SUPER BOWL OPEN THREAD…

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Our Super Bowl open thread is officially under way! Updates will be added at the top, in EST. Have at it!

6:56

Hahaha, long time NBC spokes tools Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric did a BMW commercial for the Super Bowl which mostly shows how unaware they were.

Heh, but Audi says, psst, she actually drives an Audi:

6:50 Brady intercepted!

6:39
Seahawk should have been called for roughing kicker, hit him in the planted leg. 15 yard penalty, automatic first down, not called. Got away with that one.

6:32
I don’t have a team in this fight. But if you’re wondering who to root for, here’s one reason to root for the Pats, courtesy of one of our readers, U.S. Patriot 1776:

6:18

Idina Menzel sings National Anthem. Not a fan of that rendition. Too stylized, guess I prefer the simple.

6:00 pm (EST)

Via NY Post:

The Seahawks will be led onto University of Phoenix Stadium field in Glendale, AZ by a 9-year-old augur hawk called Taima, a name of native American origin meaning “thunder.” The bird of prey has a 4 1/2-foot wingspan and usually stays on course — except that time last November at a Seahawks-Giants game when he went rogue and perched on a fan’s head.

As the technically visiting team, the Patriots will be in their white road jerseys, while the Seahawks will be in their home blue.

It’s the third time Arizona has played host to a Super Bowl, the last one in 2008. Aside from the glory in playing in the big game, players from either side get a few extra shekels: losers $49,000, and winners $97,000.

And for some, the most important part? The best commercial. The two best, at least in the first quarter, seem to be from Budweiser, who just seems to have a sense of Americana, and Snickers (funny!) (don’t click if you want to see it live):

Former Washington Redskins Super Bowl Winner John Riggins To Chris Wallace: Belichick Would Make An Ideal Partner For A Bank Robbery

And not because Belichick wears a hoodie.

Via NRO

For obvious reasons, the Sunday shows this week all had football on the brain.

On Meet the Press, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash both popped up to tout the success of measures aimed at making the game safer. Smith, a D.C. native who grew up a Redskins fan, initially demurred when asked whether he thought the team’s name should be changed, before ultimately concluding that “if it’s in the best interests of everybody that we not offend anybody, then let’s make that change.”

Keep reading

Obama Predicts Close Game In Super Bowl, Deflated Balls Haven’t Hindered His Administration

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Obama has a laser focus on the upcoming March madness bracket picks.

Via Washington Examiner

President Obama has predicted that Super Bowl XLIX will be a close game, and said under-inflation of footballs is “break[ing] the rules.”

Weighing in, in an interview aired late Sunday afternoon with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, the president declined to predict whether Seattle or New England would earn rings this year.

“I will say that it’s going to be close, and the question I have is whether Seattle’s secondary’s healthy or not,” Obama said, referring to the injuries to Seahawks Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, stars of the Seattle defense sometimes known as the “Legion of Boom.”

“That’s the heart and soul of their team,” the president said. “They’ve got three guys back there who are hurt, and I don’t know how that’s going to affect the game.”[…]

Asked whether he preferred football to basketball, he said, “I’m still a basketball guy, but I love football.”

Asked whether he preferred Buffalo wings or chips and guacamole, he replied, “That’s tough. I’m going to go with chips and guac,” but added, “I’m not a fanatic about guac.”

Asked whether he preferred Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, he was quick with a response: “Love ‘em both.”

Keep reading

GOP Senate Vote On Funding DHS Sets Up Showdown With WH In Effort To Roll Back Executive Actions On Immigration

Via Fox News:

The GOP-led Senate is expected to vote next week on legislation that keeps the Department of Homeland Security fully operational through February, but parts of the bill that attempt to reverse President Obama’s immigration policy set up a major showdown with Democrats.

The expected political battle started before Republicans took control of the upper chamber, when the parties agreed on a temporary spending bill that essentially funded the entire federal government through the fiscal year, with the exception of the homeland security department.

It was a defiant move by the GOP-led House, in response to Obama’s recent executive actions on illegal immigration, which Democrats accepted as part of the larger budget deal and that also included significant compromises on both sides.

Keep reading…

Smartest Man On Planet (Obama, If You Didn’t Know) Thinks George Washington Lived In White House

Oopsie.

Obama was interviewed as part of a Super Bowl pre-game show by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie. Obama says during interview, “We make beer. First president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House”. Guthrie clearly doesn’t get what he just said; she never challenges him.

Obama has the great honor of living in the White House but never checked the tour or the history?

The first president to live in the White House was John Adams, after it was constructed between 1792 and 1800. President George Washington never did, as most American school children learn in elementary school. So no, he never made booze in the White house.

Obama might have missed that since he was living in Indonesia as a young boy, or perhaps he started the Super Bowl partying a bit early…

Ohio Army National Guard Unit Deploying To Kuwait

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Obama didn’t say no boots on the ground in Kuwait while supporting the air campaign over Iraq.

Via WKBN

About 150 soldiers from an Army National Guard unit in Ohio are deploying to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

A release from the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department says the unit will be tasked with providing aviation support and conducting operations in partnership with countries in the region.

The soldiers deploying are from the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 137th Aviation Regiment based in Columbus.

A Police Officer’s Act Of Kindness

LONDON, Ky. (WKYT) – It started with a complaint about a shoplifter, but it ended with an act of kindness.

A London police officer took it upon himself to help a suspected shoplifter after realizing the man was in a difficult situation.

“As a police officer, it’s not black and white for us,” said Officer Justin Roby. “There’s a lot of gray. And you have to cipher through everything and you really need to figure out the whole story.”

Roby was called to the Kroger on North Main Street in London on Saturday, Jan. 17 after a loss prevention officer stopped a man who was shoplifting.

The suspect was a single father who had fallen on hard times, Roby said. The man was caught stealing baby formula for his six-month-old son, who was with him at the time.

Keep reading…

NYC Homelessness Jumps 10% In Just One Year Under The Love And Benevolence Of Comrade De Blasio

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Once again, proving alleged ‘care for the poor’, really isn’t. Democratic ‘war on poverty’ guarantees it.

Via NYDN:

The homeless population has risen to an all-time high, forcing the de Blasio administration to house desperate families in decrepit tenements red-flagged by the city’s own inspectors as hazardous.

Since he arrived at City Hall pledging to turn things around, Mayor de Blasio has struggled to confront a long-intractable problem that has only gotten worse.

By mid-December, the homeless census reached a record 59,068 — nearly the population of Utica, city records show. The Coalition for the Homeless says it peaked even higher at 60,352.

The homeless count, according to the city and the coalition, includes 25,000 children. And it represents a 10% jump from the 53,615 in shelters on de Blasio’s Inauguration Day.

Keep reading…

Uruguay Man Hitchhiking From Work, Picked Up By President Mujica And His Wife Driving In A VW

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Obama stops for hitchhikers while piloting Air Force One all the time.

Via IJR

After being forced to leave work early, Gerhald Acosta began walking home.

As cars continued to pass, he would throw out his thumb, hoping to hitch a ride home from someone.

Acosta told Daily Mail that “25-30 cars had already passed him by without stopping,” until he was finally picked up by a goodhearted Samaritan in a little blue Volkswagen Beetle.

Little did he know, the Beetle belonged to President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, and his wife, Sen. Lucia Topolansky.

About realizing this, Acosta said:

“I couldn’t believe it. The president was giving me a ride.

When I got out, I thanked them profusely, because not everyone helps someone out on the road, and much less a president.”

Before parting ways, the president and his wife allowed Acosta to snap a few pictures as a memento of their short journey together.[…]

Famously known for his humble lifestyle, President Mujica is quoted telling Al Jazeera:

“A president is a high-level official who is elected to carry out a function. He is not a king, not a god. He is not the witch doctor of a tribe who knows everything.

He is a civil servant. I think the ideal way of living is to live like the vast majority of people whom we attempt to serve and represent.”

Keep reading

HT Toothless Dawg

The March Toward Empires – Iran, Arab Caliphate And Russia

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Via NY Post:

The sight of vast graves opening and the undead clawing out should unnerve us all. But we haven’t even noticed. As more blood flows than any horror film offers, it’s brought the hope of eternal life to bygone empires we all thought dead and buried — and good riddance.

Blinded by the flash of headline events, we fail to see the strategic arcs of our era: the agonized collapse of Europe’s empires — climaxing in the Soviet Union’s demise — and now, amid the chaos and fanaticism, the belief on the part of once-mighty powers that they can rebuild fallen empires.

History is vengeful toward the ignorant. And we’re historically illiterate.

A Turkish attempt to establish a neo-Ottoman Empire failed (none of their neighbors wanted the Turks back), but three other imperia have gotten at least one foot out of the grave: the Persian Empire, the Arab Caliphate and the Russian Empire.

Not one means us well.

Keep reading…

Chickens Come Home To Roost For De Blasio…

Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio holds press conference on winter weather conditions at City Hall in New York, NY

Via NY Post:

For Mayor de Blasio, last week was one he’d like to forget. It started with brickbats over a botched plan for a blizzard that fizzled, and it was all downhill from there.

By the end, he was battling something more pernicious than either Mother Nature or Gov. Cuomo. That would be political allies whose actions point up once again the dangers of his radical anti-police agenda.

In a decision that earned City Hall and its lawyers a rare but justified outburst from top cop Bill Bratton, de Blasio’s team wrote a check to a machete-wielding thug who was shot by cops after he threatened them.

The payoff to Ruhim Ullah to drop his lawsuit was only $5,000 but the principle it represented — that cops who shot him did something wrong — sent Bratton into orbit.

“It’s outrageous that the city Law Department is continuing to not support the men and women of this department as they go about their duties,” he thundered. “Our cops work very hard trying to keep this city safe, and if they’re not going to be backed up by the city law office, we need to do something about this.”
The commish was still fuming when it emerged that lawyers under contract with the city to represent poor defendants had participated in a video calling for the execution of cops — and lied about it to city ­investigators.

Keep reading…

Palestinian Refugees In Syria Again Cut Off From Emergency Aid – Silence From Medea Benjamin And Code Pink

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Time for Code Pink to organize another peace flotilla.

Via JPost

Tens of thousands of longtime Palestinian refugees in a camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital have been cut off from United Nations emergency aid for nearly two months by armed groups that are preventing access, a UN official said.

Up to 18,000 people are living inside the devastated Yarmouk camp, which is caught between government forces and Syrian insurgent groups including al-Qaida’s Nusra Front. Food, water and medicine are scarce.

Last year “a degree of cooperation” allowed aid to enter after several months of being blocked, but access has again vanished with a deterioration of security, said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, head of the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

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Europe’s Jews Are Wondering: Is It Time To Flee Again?

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Oddly, violence and anti-semitic incidents increased with greater immigration from Muslim countries. Wonder why that would be?

BERLIN — Eighty years ago, Jael Botsch-Fitterling’s parents decided something was very wrong in Germany, the nation they called home. Chancellor Adolf Hitler had just named himself fuhrer, and anti-Semitism was becoming national law. Her parents and other relatives packed up and fled.

Because of that move, six years later she was born in Jerusalem in what was then Palestine. When she was 7, the land beneath her feet became Israel, making her one of the original Jews in a new Jewish homeland. All because her parents had sensed in time that Germany was becoming very dangerous for Jews.

Then, in the 1950s, they trusted their instincts again and returned to Germany. Botsch-Fitterling has never left.

But today, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris, she’s been thinking about that first decision to leave – thinking about it quite a bit, in fact.

The Charlie Hebdo attacks ended in a bloodbath inside a Jewish market in Paris with four Jewish men slaughtered. And there’d been other attacks: In 2012, a so-called “lone wolf” killed three students and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France; last May, an attacker with links to the Islamic State killed four people at the entrance to the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Keep reading…

#BlackLivesMatter Supporters: Maybe Capitalism Isn’t So Bad If We Can Make A Buck Off Of It…

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One of the underpinnings we have seen with the Black Lives Matter folks is their rabid hatred of the evil ‘system’ and of course, capitalism, that from which all evil stems.

Unless of course, Black Lives Matter supporters can make money off of it.

This week, Ben Cohen, of Ben and Jerry’s fame, that aging old hippy champion of far left causes, encouraged the company to allow franchisees to sell #BlackLivesMatter T-shirts and other swag in their stores. Come get your Rocky Road with a topping of leftist ideology…

Speaking at their annual franchisee meeting earlier this month in New Orleans, Cohen and Greenfield—who sold Ben & Jerry’s to Unilever Corp. in 2000 but who reportedly remain heavily involved in operations—have publicly declared themselves allies of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Specifically raising awareness about the movement’s “Hands up, don’t shoot” iteration, Cohen urged franchise owners to sell T-shirts benefiting the work of Hands Up United, a grassroots organization founded by St. Louis hip-hop artist and activist Tef Poe and activist Taureen “Tory” Russell.

“Some people might say, ‘Oh, we can’t do that,’” Cohen said to franchise owners. “‘We can’t sell those T-shirts in our shops; it’s controversial.’ But isn’t that exactly the point? If it weren’t controversial, we wouldn’t need to do it. At some point we have to ask ourselves: ‘What do we stand for? Whose side are you on?’”

Hey Ben, we’re on the side of folks advocating actual rights, not the Communist collective.

Then there’s more folks using it to make a buck.

D’Angelo (who?), whose band appeared on SNL last night, played a truly horrible song that hurt my ears. His band wore T-shirts with #BlackLivesMatter and ‘I Can’t Breathe’ on them. D’Angelo himself wore a hoodie in honor of Trayvon Martin. A chalk mark body was drawn on the stage to symbolize Mike Brown and periodically, during the song, the robotic-like back up singers would raise their hands in the black power fist a la Tommie Smith and John Carlos (except without any of the drama). He is of course trying to promote his songs off his new Black Messiah album, which he rush-released to take advantage of #BlackLivesMatter effort (can we say use, here, yes, I think we can).

Okayplayer, an online music and promotional website, then was proud to tweet how they were promoting his song and that they provided the clothes for the event (hint: frequent us).

How do you know when something is over? When it gets a T-shirt and marketing appropriates it. But maybe someone might want to tell Unilever and D’Angelo about Black Lives ‘activists’ preventing a crash victim’s ambulance from reaching the hospital in Boston, interrupting MLK events, and protesting gay bars?

When even the liberal mecca of Boston tires of you, maybe it’s a sign…

Site Note…

We’ll be doing a Super Bowl open thread starting at 6:00pm EST. Being from the People’s Republic, you know who I’m rooting for (which isn’t exactly a popular choice considering the rest of America thinks Tom Brady is the Antichrist and the Pats are the Devil’s Army).


Update: Vegas line is currently a pick ‘em.

Steve Kroft Afraid of “Right-Wing Zealots” Tells Mistress Not To Dress Like Beyonce, Brags About Friendship With “Barry” Obama…

Kroft’s lucky he doesn’t work for Fox News or the left would be screaming “raaaacism!”

Via NY Post:

The Manhattan mistress of married “60 Minutes’’ newsman Steve Kroft sent him sexy lingerie photos during their affair, but he insisted she dress low-key — like “Laura Bush” — with him in public to keep things hush-hush, according to newly revealed texts.

A source close to Kroft’s lover told The Post that the TV hotshot was “really paranoid about right-wing zealots” finding out about their affair and using the tawdry details to try to destroy his career and CBS.

The sexts between Kroft and Lisan Goines — obtained exclusively by The Post — include a nude selfie of the lusty lawyer that she sent to her much-older lover. Other photos show her wearing a red thong and busting out of a black bra.

But “dress in Washington is Either professional or Laura Bush,” Kroft messaged his illicit squeeze in advance of their September 2011 play date at the Park Hyatt on 24th and M streets in DC.

“Don’t dress like Beyoncé,” Kroft warned the Harvard-educated beauty, according to the source.

In addition to fearing the zealots, Kroft, 69, was “beyond terrified” that his wife of 23 years, fellow journalist Jennet Conant, would find out about the affair, the source added. […]

The racy texts also show Kroft boasting about his buddy-buddy rapport with President Obama, whom he referred to as “Barry.”

When news of Kroft’s affair with Goines, 41, broke four weeks ago, he readily admitted it to The Post — but insisted that he never had any pillow talk with Goines about Obama, whom the newsman has interviewed repeatedly.

The source, however, said Kroft was proud to boast to Goines about his closeness to the leader of the free world — and let slip that Obama “hates” his attorney general, Eric Holder.

“[Kroft] definitely said Obama feels comfortable with him, because he was the first person to take him seriously when he was running for president,” the insider said.

“They have a rapport. They used to smoke together.”

HT: JustTheTipHQ

Major Advances For Concealed Carry On Campuses In Several States

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Academia confused about the ineffectiveness of gun free zone signs.

Via WFB

Concealed carry on campuses made strong advances with bills in Wyoming and Florida passing out of committee and one bill in Texas gaining support. Indiana and Montana recently introduced similar bills, and North Dakota is reportedly considering such legislation.

Rep. Allen Jaggi (R.) was the primary sponsor of House Bill 114, the Wyoming Repeal Gun Free Zones Act. It would allow for concealed carry of weapons at schools, universities, and colleges as well as governmental buildings.

It passed its first hurdle this week, with the House Judiciary Committee voting 8-1 to approve the bill and send it to the House floor.

Jaggi’s communications director did not respond to a request for comment as of press time. Jaggi told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle he believes it is unconstitutional that the state currently designates the areas his bill would allow concealed carry as “gun free zones.”

“No matter how many laws we have, the people who are there to do harm don’t care about our laws,” said Jaggi.

Wyoming Gun Owners (WGO), a state-level group that advocates for gun rights, supports the bill because it believes it would deter potential campus shooters.

Keep reading

HT 90 Miles from Tyranny

GOP House To Vote To Repeal Obamacare Next Week

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Via Fox News:

The Republican-led House is set to begin February with a vote to repeal ObamaCare, making clear that trying to dismantle the health-care law remains a top priority.

The scheduled vote next week was announced in a new memo from House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy to fellow GOP House members in which he said the effort to repeal the legislation will give them an opportunity to tell voters that health care decisions “should be made by patients and their doctors, not by Washington.”

The California lawmaker also stated that members should remind Americans that the country needs solutions that reduce costs and give them access to “21st Century cures and treatments” — an often repeated message at congressional Republicans’ policy retreat earlier this month.

Keep reading…

Prisoner 4859: The Man Who Volunteered For Auschwitz

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As we remember the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz this week, here is a story that most have never heard, the story of Witold Pilecki.

WARSAW — There are very few places that can accurately be described as hell on Earth. One of these is the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, where as many as 1.5 million people died during the five years the camp was in operation.

The Polish resistance had been hearing horrific first- or second-hand accounts about the conditions inside Auschwitz. These early accounts came primarily from released prisoners, but also from casual observers like railway employees and residents of the nearby village of Oswiecim. The resistance decided they needed someone on the inside.

It is into this environment that Witold Pilecki, a 39-year old veteran of the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1921 who fought against the initial Nazi invasion and a member of the Polish resistance, volunteered himself in 1940. Pilecki’s mission was to allow himself to be arrested and, once inside Auschwitz, to collect intelligence for the Polish resistance in the country and the government-in-exile in London, and to organize a resistance from inside the camp.

Keep reading…

HT: Nicholas Kristof

White House Set To Grant More Exemptions To Limit Obamacare’s Tax Troubles

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Delaying the inevitable until after Obama leaves office.

Via NYT

Obama administration officials and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act say they worry that the tax-filing season will generate new anger as uninsured consumers learn that they must pay tax penalties and as many people struggle with complex forms needed to justify tax credits they received in 2014 to pay for health insurance.

The White House has already granted some exemptions and is considering more to avoid a political firestorm.

Mark J. Mazur, the assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy, said up to six million taxpayers would have to “pay a fee this year because they made a choice not to obtain health care coverage that they could have afforded.”

But Christine Speidel, a tax lawyer at Vermont Legal Aid, said: “A lot of people do not feel that health insurance plans in the marketplace were affordable to them, even with subsidies. Some went without coverage and will therefore be subject to penalties.”

The penalties, approaching 1 percent of income for some households, are supposed to be paid with income taxes due April 15. In addition, officials said, many people with subsidized coverage purchased through the new public insurance exchanges will need to repay some of the subsidies because they received more than they were entitled to.

More than 6.5 million people had insurance through the exchanges at some point last year, and 85 percent of them qualified for financial assistance, in the form of tax credits, to lower their premiums. Most people chose to have the subsidies paid in advance, based on projected income for 2014. If their actual income was higher — because they got a raise or found a new job — they will be entitled to a smaller subsidy and must repay the difference, subject to certain limits.

“If the advanced premium tax credit amount is too high, the taxpayer could have an unwelcome surprise and owe money,” said Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service.

Many people awarded insurance subsidies for 2014 did not realize that the amount would be reviewed and recalculated at tax time in 2015.

Keep reading

HT LA Mom