Saturday, May 11, 2013

Open Thread -- Vox Populi

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."

-- Mark Twain


AndrewPrice said...

For those of you keeping up with the outrage of the day, and it is a genuine outrage, let me say only that I did my part and I bought Angus Burgers every once in awhile... yummy, Mushroom Angus burger. So don't blame me that McDonalds is taking them away.

Also, did you know there was a website dedicated to burger news? I do not know that until today.

There may be some changes afoot to Commentarama after this revelation... Burgerama. ;)

T-Rav said...

I did not buy any Angus Burgers, because I think it's wrong for McDonald's to pretend to sell anything other than burgers of questionable quality.

Also, for those not following entertainment news, basically every show on network television got canceled yesterday. So, yay.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Ironically, I never saw them as anything other than questionable quality burgers, I just liked the mushrooms. :)

Yeah, I saw that they cancelled everything. I guess it's back to reruns from the 1970s! ;P

K said...

Yeah, I saw that they cancelled everything.

Not Glee, thank goodness. :)

Question: What would it take for you and your neighbors to seize your congress critter during her/his local "town hall" meeting and

1. Actually tar and feather them?
2. Actually ride them out of town on a rail?
3. String them up from the nearest lamp post?

(Note to junior G-men, TSA/NSA secret police: This is all entirely hypothetical and for entertainment purposes only!!)

For 1: I'd say voting to conduct house to house searches in order to confiscate private firearms.

For 2: Voting to establish "Human Rights Commissions" (see Canada) which could arrest anyone for non politically correct speech.

For 3, voting to confiscate retirement funds in exchange for a limited government pension OR the establishment of concentration camps for those who are not responding to media re-education.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw that they cancelled everything.

Oddly, NBC renewed the cult favorite Community. It seems my letters, faxes, and phone calls worked. Nice to know NBC is still employing one smart person, who is most likely getting canned as we speak. :-)

(They probably want enough episodes for syndication - that's where the real money is.)

And Andrew, eventually we'll have to start Burgerama Films!

Oh, by the way, it seems my generation is on the cover of Time Magazine. Ugh...

It's been pointed out elsewhere that the Millennials who are best known to magazine editors are often unpaid interns... who can afford not to be paid because they come from well to-do families... including a sense of entitlement.

We're not all guilty of that!

Tennessee Jed said...

The press certainly has the "distort" part down pat when it comes to Benghazi.

"Jed swiftly* scolded ScottDS": "NBC and Time Magazine? You are hanging out with some folks of questionable character, young man." :)

* with apologies to Tom Swift

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Honestly, I don't think Benghazi means anything. The public doesn't care about foreign policy unless it leads to war.

That said, you are right to scold Scott for his questionable friends! ;)

Anonymous said...

Jed -

I still enjoy some of NBC's comedies (more so than CBS' "comedies.") The Office is ending, 30 Rock ended already, but we still have Parks and Recreation and now one more season of Community.

And I don't read Time Magazine - it was mentioned on a blog I do read. But it's Andrew Sullivan's blog so let your disappointment commence. :-D

AndrewPrice said...

K, It's hard to say at what point it would become too much. Perhaps the day they ban burgers?!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Sadly, most the Millennials I know are just kind of worthless. They say talent skips a generation and it seems to have skipped that one. But at least they are narcissist like the baby boomers. That's the ME generation.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. WE should definitely start a Burger-based website. Its yummy and informative! ;)

Also, they probably just forgot to cancel Community. They'll get around to it once they realize they're still cutting checks to the actors.

K said...

Perhaps the day they ban burgers?!

I just realized that I'm posting on a board run by revolutionary epicureans.

T-Rav said...

Scott, frankly, reading Andrew Sullivan's blog is worse than reading Time.

The fact that The Office is ending its run makes me feel a lot better about completely abandoning NBC. Maybe the network will fold here soon.

BevfromNYC said...

Commentarama-Cuisine - For the Revolutionary with a Discriminating Palate!

Tennessee Jed said...

ah jeez, Scott, you are just trying to push my buttons aren't you ? :) Andrew, that may be true about foreighn policy, but I never saw this as foreign policy. It's about the lame streams trying to protect Hildabeast from any perceived damage. There are legions of feminazis who worship at the alter of HILLARY and still hope she can become the real "FIRST!"

AndrewPrice said...

Bev and K, It's all about food! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Anything that happens overseas is foreign policy unless the public fears that it could affect them personally.

This has the added problem of happening in a region that the public has proven they don't care about and don't want to have anything to do with. Moreover, this is known to be so violent of a region that the public will first ask, "Why are we even there?" and will then add, "Well, he knew the risks."

So unless the Republicans can find something more than just simple negligence or recklessness, the public isn't going to care. Basically, the Republicans need to prove that Obama/Hillary let this man die for political or personal gain.

Moreover, it absolutely has not helped that a group of conservatives is out there claiming that this will "take down Obama." That not only raised the burden of proof because the public will see this as a political witch hunt, but it casts doubt on anything except truly undeniable facts. They might as well have argued, "We intend to be biased!"

Finally, the public really doesn't care about peripheral issues. Yes, they excite the bases, but not the public.

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, I wonder what people think about this idea of 3-D printing making gun control moot since people will be able to print up a gun whenever they want one?

Personally, I suspect this will change nothing because gun control isn't about guns, it's about control. And even gun control supporters know they aren't really stopping criminals from getting guns.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh, and speaking of food and revolution, Bev, check this out: The Bloomberg Cupcake

Someone has made a 36,000 calorie cupcake just to tick off Mayor Hugo himself. He is apparently not amused and said this was "stupid" and reminds us that obesity kills. But then, so does stupidity and he's done nothing to fix that.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I think what people DO care about is that the public has been lied to after the fact for political gain. Couple that with the IRS apologizing for specifically targeting conservative groups when these groups were called paranoid for thinking they were being targeted makes the lies more than can reasonably be ignored or set aside.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The public expects some lying from government, and I doubt that whatever lies there were regarding Benghazi will matter. There are only two ways lies hurt you in politics (1) the public wants to be rid of you already so they use the lie as a pretext, or (2) the lie is significant, it's shocking, and it's about something that matters to people.

Nixon went down under number one. Bush imploded under number two, but hung on to the end. The Democrats blew themselves up attacking Regan without a number 2 over Iran-Contra. And the Republicans blew themselves up attacking Clinton without a number 2 over impeachment.

The Tea Party IRS thing has MUCH more potential than Benghazi because that reeks of abuse of power aimed at political opponents. That won't sit well with the public, IF... IF it can be linked to someone high up (right now they claim it happened at a low level in Cincinnati only). Also, conservatives need to play this careful and treat it more like something they are shocked and horrified to discover rather than treating it as an opportunity. So far, the Tea Party groups are playing this right.

BevfromNYC said...

When is Mayor Bloomberg NOT ticked off about our personal habits that he can't control? They should make him eat it!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think he's insane. The degree to which he wants to control people's daily lives reeks of a mania more than anything else. Just wait until he realizes that all of you New Yorkers are covered in millions of germs. Then the real Bloomberg will finally come out.

K said...

Bev and K, It's all about food! :)

"sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc"

AndrewPrice said...

K, That's the Addams family credo! "We gladly feast on those who would subdue us." LOL!

BevfromNYC said...

That will DEFINITELY be the motto of our Culinary section!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, WHOOPS.... According to the AP

Senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a draft of an inspector general's report obtained by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner.

The IRS apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was "inappropriate" targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog's report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with "Tea Party," ''Patriot" or "9/12 Project" in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says.


Lerner instructed agents to change the criteria for flagging groups "immediately," the report says.

The Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration is expected to release the results of a nearly yearlong investigation in the coming week. The AP obtained part of the draft report, which has been shared with congressional aides.

Among the other revelations, on Aug. 4, 2011, staffers in the IRS' Rulings and Agreements office "held a meeting with chief counsel so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue."

When the AP picks up a Democratic scandal this early, there is trouble for the Democrats. And if the report of the IG report is right, then this would be evidence of senior level involvement. That makes this a potentially HUGE scandal.

AndrewPrice said...

p.s. It's too bad we don't have staff because a culinary section would be great! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, More on the Tea Party stuff...

1. The AP has called this an exclusive and is bragging about it. That means they will dig harder and other journalists will try to dig to get their name attached as well. This is now about competition and the sharks smell blood in the water. That mean legs.

2. Politico has picked this up and is reporting it quite straight actually. Their spin is that "the IRS has no friends" and even the White House has attacked this discovery. That will blow up on them if anyone can show knowledge of the political people at the IRS or at the White House, because now everyone agrees the conduct was rotten.

3. This is widespread, so it's not just one person who got attacked. In other words, this cannot be explained away as just tit for tat.

4. Orin Hatch, a mild fellow indeed, used the word "Nixon" and basically suggested this was an enemies-list practice. Politico reported that and didn't shoot it down. I think that becomes the narrative.

That's a bad narrative for Obama.

tryanmax said...

Are you taking volunteers for a culinary section?

Whew! It's been a busy day. I just logged on for the first time.

- Never had the Angus burger. I don't particularly care for Angus beef. Don't know what the big deal is.

- Strangely, none of my shows was cancelled. Yay, me!

- I think Benghazi can be used to cast doubt on other statements from the Administration, but not much more.

- At what point does a cupcake cease to be a cupcake and become simply a cake? Anyway, Bloombie needn't worry so much about a 36,000 calorie snack. It wouldn't kill you, but it would probably give you a nasty case of the runs. I don't think the human body can absorb that many calories all at once. Not unless you can put on ~12,000 lbs. in one day. (1 lb. fat = roughly 3000 calories.)

- 3D printing will be to patent law what digital media is to copyright law. It still has a ways to go before Average Joe can print a gun at home. Expect a flurry of legislation related to 3D printing in the meantime.

- The IRS/Tea Party thing looks pretty ugly, so far. Still, I expect the majority of reporters to actively search for a place to stop the buck well outside of the White House. All the same, this could be a handy peg to hang some much-needed tax reform on.


AndrewPrice said...

Nice catch up!

I'm thinking we could probably have a pretty good culinary section if we wanted! :)

I take "Angus" in the same vein I took "Corinthian Leather"... just marketing. I just like the burgers.

Ah... the philosophical question of the ages... at one point does a cupcake become a cake? That and can you make an eggless omelet without breaking any eggs have vexed philosophers for generations. ;)

The 3-D printing thing won't really hit big for another few years, but I'll bet it hits a lot faster than we expect.

On the tax thing, I think it's too early to tell where it will go, but it strikes me that they've got a problem if they're already admitting the basic facts and calling them wrong. And I think linking this with tax reform would be the smart move.

T-Rav said...

It amuses me that the 3-D gun printing thing is going to completely ruin plans for gun control, but I'll be honest--no way would I fire or even handle a gun that got printed off. I prefer a well-constructed piece made of durable components, thank you very much.

AndrewPrice said...

That was Mr. T-Rav speaking on behalf of the gun manufacturers of America: "Don't trust your life to cheap knock offs. By manufacture-made!" ;)

In all seriousness, when 3-D printing really hits, it's going to change the world in very unforeseen ways and I think that wiping out gun control is just the first most obvious. It's going to be really interesting to see how the world changes.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, plastic isn't the only material that can be 3D printed. Softer metals could be feasibly 3D printed in a home garage. Beyond that, there is the possibility of metal ceramic, where metal powder is used to make a clay which can then be fired in a kiln into solid metal. If none of those suffices, you can always use the plastic original to create a form for other materials, although at that point you're setting up a blacksmith shop in your backyard. But the thing that really has gun control advocates squirming is that you can print a fully functional AR-15 lower receiver--legally "the gun"--and outfit it with metal parts freely purchasable without any need for licensure or background checks. The receiver need not be metal as it isn't exposed to the full extremity of temperature or stress. No, it wouldn't be as durable, but you can go home and print another. Plus, you can also print magazines of any capacity you desire.

Hmm, now who could be knocking on my door at this hour? BRB

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, From what I've read, they are talking about using a high-strength resin that's supposed to be nearly as strong as metals. That's why they were saying you could build things like wrenches and hammers with no problem and they would equal to metal tools in terms of capability. They're even talking about being able to make things like engine parts, which need to withstand a LOT of force.

tryanmax said...

True. When most people think of plastic, they think of stuff that you can't even put in the dishwasher. But there are many types of plastics that can withstand all sorts of conditions. Plus, there are many materials options available via 3D printing besides plastics. I guarantee, if it hasn't been sorted out already, somebody is working on 3D printing with carbon fiber.

T-Rav said...

Excuse me? Just because I prefer a certain kind of gun over another, that makes me some sort of lobbyist hack? That is completely unfair, and I resent it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some checks I need to go cash.

AndrewPrice said...

Check?! I want one! :)

tryanmax, Carbon fiber will kill your system. Trust me. You'll be in the bathroom for days.

BevfromNYC said...

You guys are thinking so literally. 3D printing has the potential WAY beyond that! Nanotechnology and genetic researchers can take this to the atomic level. Scientists are already working on ways to use thie to create replacement organs from a persons own DNA. No more rejection drugs needed.

Anthony said...

Supposedly gun ownership rates are sharply decreasing among Democrats and Independents and rising a bit among Republicans. That should translate into lots of skirmishes over gun control (because neither party has anything to lose) but nothing being done on a national level.

On a local level, the Supreme Court is in the process of destroying the stringent (but completely meaningless) gun control laws one sees in some cities (the types which ban even handguns).

As for 3D guns, I'm sure that enthusiasts will start designing their own guns in short order and sharing those designs online. I don't see how one can ban information from the internet (where literally any and everything is at everyone's fingertips).

I think mankind is rushing towards his own destruction. Science advances, putting more and more power into our hands, but we get no smarter or saner.

Of course, I worry more about stuff like chemical weapons than I do about guns (though I concede that statistically speaking, I'm much more likely to be shot than poisoned).

Some guy who prints his own machine guns might rack up a sizable bodycount, but nothing like that of a guy who unleashes a deadly toxin in a crowded area or a town's water supply or what have you.

I don't care for guns, but I think gun control is as pointless as any form of prohibition. There are roughly as many guns as there are people in the US so someone who wants one can get one.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, are your checks as big as the ones I'm getting from the Koch Bros?

tryanmax said...

Oh, BTW, how many years now have we been being told how selfish and lazy the Millennial Generation is? And I'm pretty sure the same was said about Xers. Boomers are the dominant consumers of weekly news magazines, news papers, and evening news broadcasts. I think it's all an effort to make the main demo feel good. "It's not your fault your kids are so rotten. Certainly not the example you set."

tryanmax said...

The Tea Party/IRS deal looks like it hurts, if the Sunday shows are any indication. The administration's apologists haven't settled on a spin yet, so at present they are probably being more candid than they want to be. The only fix for Obama would be the unattainable goal of convincing the public that he is not a political hyper-partisan. LOL, good luck!

RE: Benghazi, as I said before, the proper way to use that incident politically is to cast doubt on other administration statements and actions, and some analyst I'm not familiar with stated exactly the same thing regarding Tea Party/IRS. He also mentioned the Syrian red line, which I had overlooked. Partisanship over security is a line that could sell to the public.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The future is going to be really cool. I can't wait for more of it to get here!

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I worry about that too actually. There are many things we are doing with the potential to do a lot of harm, as in end of the world type harm, and the people who push this stuff never think through the consequences.

As for guns, the gun design the government just banned is available on bit-torrent already.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The problem is this on Benghazi:

1. Small potatoes -- doesn't affect people personally.

2. It's more of a disagreement, not a lie. The public doesn't punish you over disagreements. Moreover, even if it was a full-on lie, the public expects lies, especially where there is an enemy who might be listening or an on-going situation.

3. It's been politicized from the moment Romney attacked it while it was still going on right up through Huckabee saying, "Goo goo goo, we gonna impeach us a President." That turns the public off.

4. The only use of this is to weaken an administration that can't be re-elected in any event. This doesn't win the future. That just keep re-enacting the last battle.

The IRS thing doesn't have these problems and if they link it to (1) needing tax reform, (2) ousting the political class at the IRS (purging partisans), and (3) painting Obama as Nixon, then it could have a strong effect. The angle here is abuse of power, which always plays with the public.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, they're much bigger. At least in size; they print them on those huge Publishers Clearing House panels. I have no idea about dollar amount.

(Incidentally, I think the Millennial generation is extremely selfish and lazy, but as a direct result of the Baby Boomer parents being so self-indulgent.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I tried cashing one of those once through a drive-thru... didn't work. ;)

I agree about the Boomers. My whole life I've watched as whatever their generation's particular self-obsession du jour was became a national obsession and how they've attacked every other generation as not as good as themselves. They're a self-centered mess.

BevfromNYC said...

T-Rav and Andrew - So now you're blaming us for being nice to you? Speaking for the Boomers, quit complaining and brush your teeth! And don't forget to floss!! And get a job! Take that, you ungrateful progeny!

And where is my big check from the Koch brothers?? It's because I'm a woman, isn't it?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Yes, it is because you're a woman. Sorry. :(

Actually, we might need to find new billionaires because the Koch brothers have officially been designated RINOs for supporting RubioSoros. Sad.

BevfromNYC said...

Oh, no? What will the Libs do now if they can't completely hate the Koch brothers? Their heads will explode.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I think the Libs can still hate them. Boogeymen don't need to be fact-based. Trust me, insanity is easy to maintain.

rlaWTX said...

[1] I don't effing care if the regular folks don't care about Benghazi, I hope Issa and company keep pushing. Then start pushing on the IRS... Some things need to be done whether regular people care or not. (grrrrrr)

[2] 3-D guns: Yay Texas

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I'm fine with them pushing on Benghazi. They should. People need to be punished, blame needs to be assigned, and whatever went wrong needs to be fixed.

But my point is to not expect anything from it. I'm seeing conservative blogs and talk radio talking about how this will "ruin" Hillary or "bring down" Obama and that's never going to happen. That's wishful thinking.

Post a Comment