Archive for Aunt Agatha

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– Aggie

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Hand Dryers As Weapons Of Mass Destruction

Hand dryers spread all sorts of bacteria

Modern hand dryers are much worse than paper towels when it comes to spreading germs, according to new University of Leeds research.
Scientists from the University of Leeds have found that high-powered ‘jet-air’ and warm air hand dryers can spread bacteria in public toilets.
Airborne germ counts were 27 times higher around jet air dryers in comparison with the air around paper towel dispensers.
The study shows that both jet and warm air hand dryers spread bacteria into the air and onto users and those nearby.

Gross, but so what? Well, imagine intentionally putting… oh, I don’t know… ebola or anthrax into a hand dryer, say in a busy restaurant.. no wait! How about an airport? Hmmm. I doubt I’m the only person who ever thought about that.

– Aggie

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A Truly Astounding Video

It seems that youtube links open automatically, so I will not provide it. Instead, here is a page link to The Jerusalem Post. Go there and watch the video about flags at UC Berkley. You won’t be disappointed.

– Aggie

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British Parliamentarian Cannot Tell The Difference Between Street Protest And Terror Attack

The mind of the formerly highest ranking British Muslim in the Parliament on display here

Here’s the Tweet from the British Twit:

Israeli extremists storm Al Aqsa & intimidate worshippers
Palestinian extremists storm synagogue & kill 4 worshippers

And here’s more about her:

Former UK Foreign Office Minister and previous Conservative Party Chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi started a social media storm after she tweeted a message that clearly implied equivalence between the Har Nof terrorists and Israelis protesting over Temple Mount.

The controversial politician, who – until her resignation in protest at Government policy which she complained was far too tolerant of Israel’s action in defending itself against Hamas rocketry during the recent Gaza war – had been the highest ranked Muslim in British politics with a seat at the Cabinet table.

But her outburst, just hours after the terrorist atrocity, led to a sharp rebuke from her successor as Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps who tweeted that Warsi only spoke for herself and not for their Party.

We at BTL direct a lot of criticism to Leftists, but this is a Conservative Jew hater. Just saying’.

– Aggie

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Lame And Lamer

But which is which?

For the first time since the beginning of the current wave of terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday issued a condemnation of the latest such act.

Abbas was forced to condemn the Har Nof synagogue attack after facing pressure from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who had phoned the PA president twice over the past few days to demand that the Palestinians stop anti-Israel incitement. On Tuesday, Kerry issued a call to the PA leadership to condemn the Har Nof attack.

Kerry’s pressure prompted Abbas to issue two condemnations of the incident. The first came in the form of a terse statement published by official PA news agency Wafa, in which the Palestinian leadership condemned the “killing of worshipers in a synagogue and all acts of violence regardless of their source.”

The statement also called for an end to “incursions and provocations by settlers against the Aksa Mosque.”

Later, Abbas’s office issued a second statement, which again condemned the Har Nof attack and “assaults on the Noble Sanctuary [Temple Mount].”

News Flash: Jews will continue to go to the Kotel and Jerusalem – all of it – is the capital of Israel. But, leaving that aside, who’s more of a dolt, John Kerry or Abu Mazen?

– Aggie

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We Can Quantify The Loss Of Personal Freedom Under Obama

Do you remember all those people who claimed that George W. Bush was taking away our personal freedoms? All those fiery dinner parties? Where are those folks now?

Americans’ assessments of their personal freedom have significantly declined under President Obama, according to a new study from the Legatum Institute in London, and the United States now ranks below 20 other countries on this measure.

The research shows that citizens of countries including France, Uruguay, and Costa Rica now feel that they enjoy more personal freedom than Americans.

As the Washington Examiner reported this morning, representatives of the Legatum Institute are in the U.S. this week to promote the sixth edition of their Prosperity Index. The index aims to measure aspects of prosperity that typical gross domestic product measurements don’t include, such as entrepreneurship and opportunity, education, and social capital.

The freedom scores are based on polling data from 2013 indicating citizens’ satisfaction with their nation’s handling of civil liberties, freedom of choice, tolerance of ethnic minorities, and tolerance of immigrants. Polling data were provided by Gallup World Poll Service. The index is notable for the way it measures how free people feel, unlike other freedom indices that measure freedom by comparing government policies.

“This is not a good report for Obama,” Legatum Institute spokeswoman Cristina Odone told the Washington Examiner.

In the 2010 report (which relied on data gathered in 2009), the U.S. was ranked ninth in personal freedom, but that ranking has since fallen to 21st, with several countries, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom passing the U.S.

The nation’s overall personal freedom score has declined by 17 percent since 2009, with a 22 percent drop in combined civil liberty and free choice contributing to that decline.

Of the eight categories in the index, personal freedom was America’s second lowest performance relative to other countries. The U.S. had its lowest ranking when it came to safety and security (a broad measure of how threatened citizens feel in instances such as walking late at night, or expressing their opinions) — ranking 31st out of 142 countries.

More at the link.

– Aggie

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Interesting Midterm Demographic Stuff

Did the Republicans sweep merely because of midterm demographics?

Happily, no.

A congealing conventional wisdom surrounding the 2014 elections is that Democrats had a long night because of an unfavorable Senate map and because Democratic constituencies failed to show up. One storyline growing out of this is that once Democrats can enjoy a “presidential electorate” rather than a “midterm electorate,” their fortunes will turn, and Democrats will run well.

This isn’t entirely correct. The major factors driving the different results between 2012 and 2014 were not demographic. The major difference was that in 2012 Barack Obama was a moderately popular president. In 2014, he is an unpopular president. If this does not change between now and 2016, demographic shifts alone will not save the Democratic nominee.

He proceeds to become wonky, but it’s interesting. The gist of the approach is to compare the known differences in voter demographics between 2010 and 2012, and then apply to the differences between 2012 and 2014. I’ll give you a bit of the argument:

We can illustrate this best by borrowing a page from Harry Enten, and seeing what would have happened if the 2014 electorate had instead more closely resembled the 2012 electorate. That is to say, let’s keep whites voting 60-38 for Republicans, Hispanics voting 62-36 for Democrats, and so forth, as they all did in 2014, but alter their shares of the electorate to resemble 2012 (72 percent white, 10 percent Hispanic, and so forth) rather than 2014 (75 percent white, 8 percent Hispanic, and so forth). This allows us to isolate the effects of demographic change between 2012 and 2014.

The results are underwhelming: If the 2014 electorate had resembled the 2012 electorate in terms of race, the Republican vote share would shrink by just 1.97 percentage points. In other words, in a 2012 electorate, Republicans would have won the popular vote for the House by 4.5 points, rather than 6.5 points. That’s not nothing, as they say, but it still only explains a relatively small share of the difference between the 2012 and 2014 results. Put differently, if Obama had put up the same vote shares among racial groups in 2012 as Democrats ultimately did in 2014, he’d have lost.

Perhaps the difference is not so much differences in the racial makeup of the electorate, but rather differences in the age makeup of the electorate? The 2014 electorate was, in fact, quite a bit older than the 2012 electorate. This isn’t necessarily surprising, given that the elderly population is actually set to grow substantially in the next decade. Regardless, if we reduce the 65+ share of the electorate from 2014’s 22 percent to 2012’s 16 percent, increase the 18-24 year old share from 7 percent (2014) to 11 percent (2012), and adjust everything in between accordingly, the Republican advantage contracts by … 1.94 points.

Now you might look at this and say, “Well, that’s a total of four points!” The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites. So this isn’t a cumulative exercise.

That last section is fascinating. Did you know this: The problem with this approach is that there is a substantial double count going on. Democrats do better among young voters in large part because that demographic is less white; younger whites don’t vote that differently from older whites.

Now, I thought that younger whites definitely voted overwhelmingly for the Democrats. I did when I was young and virtually all of the young people that I know today do too. But apparently I exist in a liberal bubble, and this doesn’t generalize to the rest of the nation.

In any case, if Obama continues to suck, we have a hope for 2016. Let’s raise our coffee cups to that.

– Aggie

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Another American Beheaded

If you go to CNN, you can watch of video of an interview with him, working with wounded Arabs and explaining that he was put on this earth to do this.

It is very sad. But he would have been better off helping injured people just about anywhere else in the world.

Obama uses his Arabic name in this statement (he was born Peter Kassig):

Kassig had converted to Islam in a process that began before his captivity, his family has said. The trained emergency medical technician was captured while traveling in an ambulance to deliver medical supplies, they said.

“Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity,” Obama said, referring to Kassig by the name he adopted after converting to Islam. “Like [executed US journalists] Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff before him, his life and deeds stand in stark contrast to everything that ISIL represents.”

Obama praised Kassig for his humanitarian work and said he cared deeply about the plight of the Syria people.

Poor guy. Like a moth to the flame.

– Aggie

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Simple Arithmetic

Byron York estimates how much Professor Gruber earned from ObamaCare

Remember when Nancy Pelosi declared that Obamacare was a jobs bill? “It’s about jobs,” Pelosi said in 2011, during a news conference to mark the first anniversary of passage of the Affordable Care Act. “Does it create jobs? Health insurance reform creates 4 million jobs.”

Like many other promises about Obamacare, that hasn’t worked out. But there is no doubt that Obamacare created a lot of work for at least one American — MIT professor Jonathan Gruber. Gruber’s frank admissions that he and others deceived the public about Obamacare have drawn a lot of attention in recent days. But the money that Gruber made from Obamacare raises yet another issue about his involvement in the project. Throughout 2009 and 2010, he energetically advocated a bill from which he stood to profit. And when it became law, the money rolled in.

You can read about it at the link. I added it up and it exceeds 1.3 million – roughly 400,000 from the Federal Government and the rest from the states. Four hundred thousand from Wisconsin (which opted out in the end), $329,000, about $121,000 from West Virginia and almost $92,000 from Vermont. The total exceeds 1.3, but it is impossible to know by how much, because Michigan let a contract from over 400,000 which was split between several entities, including Gruber.

I guess you could say that he did well by doing good. Or something.

– Aggie

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Epiphany

Who does Jonathan Gruber think is stupid – the Conservatives who never believed a word of ObamaCare nonsense or the NPR/NY Times/Boston Glob crowd who licked up every syllable and accused those who didn’t believe in it of racism? When he says that the American voter is stupid, he means them. Because the Limbaugh crowd and the Wall Street Journal crowd and the Libertarians and Fox News and the small business community and the Tea Party all knew that he, Obama, Reid and Pelosi lied about this every time they spoke. It was the Charlie Rose crowd, the Terry Gross crowd, the earnest little twits who gobbled this nonsense up with a spoon. No wonder the MSM isn’t covering any of this. It’s embarrassing.

– Aggie

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Yep. [Update]

Update: This is a wonderful clip wherein Jonathan Gruber explains that John Kerry helped craft the Evil Insurance Company Tax™ (aka The Cadillac Tax), using the wonderful tool of the stupidity of the American voter. I couldn’t figure out how to post it, but its a lot of fun.

– Aggie

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Now Dems Want To Vote On Keystone XL

Mary Landrieu fights to save her seat.

It seems the voters have already done themselves some good.

For the first time in the six-year fight over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, both houses of Congress will hold a vote on the proposed project, giving each side in a Louisiana Senate election a chance to boost its candidate.

But not so fast:

A large showing of Democratic support for the pipeline could complicate the administration’s decision-making process, given the party’s dismal showing at the polls last week. Environmentalist allies of the president are solidly against the project and have been doggedly lobbying the administration against approving it.

But Republicans successfully used the president’s environmental and climate agenda as key lines of attack against Democrats in several contested midterm races. Those results strengthen the arguments of those who believe that it would be a political mistake for the administration to deny permits for the unbuilt sections of the pipeline, and congressional approval of the project could put the administration on the defensive if it were inclined to halt the project.

You know what I love most about this? It again highlights Obama’s idiocy. Love it.

Acknowledging the importance of energy to Louisiana’s economy, Landrieu and Cassidy have championed completion of the pipeline, which would transport oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. The GOP-controlled House voted several times in recent years to support the pipeline, while the Senate, in deference to the administration’s review, has resisted holding a vote on the matter despite strong objections from several moderate Democratic senators from rural or energy-rich states.

You have to ask: At this point, what difference does it make? (Don’t you just love that question?)

For six years, the pipeline has been under review by the State Department, which has jurisdiction because the project crosses international borders. Democrats such as Landrieu from energy-producing states have joined Republicans in calling for its approval.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) voiced strong support for the plan on Wednesday, saying that “it would be a tremendous windfall for all of us. It’s something we can count on. And I can’t for the life of me understand why we haven’t to date been able to move this piece of legislation forward.”

Joe, let me help you out here. You haven’t been able to move this piece of legislation forward because your Senate leader, Harry Reid, refused to permit a vote. Does that ring a bell, Joe?

Meanwhile, Landrieu is tense:

Party leaders agreed suggesting that it [the pipeline] could be voted on next year in the new Congress.

Landrieu had other ideas.

“I don’t think we necessarily need to wait until January,” she said Wednesday in a floor speech that lasted almost three hours. Landrieu made no attempt to hide her motive. “I’m going to do everything in my power here and at home on the campaign trail, where I’m still in a runoff, as you know, to get this project moving forward,” she said.

She blathered on for three hours!!! She must really want to keep her job.

This exchange between Chuck Schumer and Landrieu is priceless:

Before her remarks, Landrieu was spotted riding the escalator alone up from the Senate trains that carry lawmakers between their offices and the Capitol, toward a row of elevators. She was stone-faced and declined to answer questions from reporters. Once she reached the top level and stepped off, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), one of his party’s top campaign strategists, walked over.

Smiling, he asked Landrieu to step aside for a private conversation. She shook her head and moved briskly toward the elevator. As she did, she pointed to her phone, saying she had a call. Schumer paused for a moment as she moved away. His smile dropped, and he turned to follow her. “Mary, Mary,” he said, a few steps behind, asking her to speak with him. When she kept moving and ducked into an elevator, he hustled and jumped in to join her as the doors closed.

You know, I’ll just bet she’s furious with the elitist, coastal Left wing of her party. But… she voted with them time after time. I hope that the voters in Louisiana think long and hard before returning her to Washington.

– Aggie

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