Monthly Archives: July 2012

Inside The Twisted Minds Of People Who Worship James Holmes

via Business Insider: 

While most Americans are horrified by alleged mass murderer James Holmes, he has also developed quite a fan base.

The twisted fans of the 24-year-old accused of killing a dozen people and injuring many more at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater have congregated on the Internet.

There are already several blogs devoted to the self-described “Holmies” that shed light on the strange culture.

Here’s a graph posted to Tumblr explaining the demographic of people who identify as “Holmies:”

 

graph holmies

Tumblr

 

A drawing for the fans. Note the plaid shirt, which is a recurring theme in “Holmie” culture because that’s what he was wearing at the theater:

 

holmie drawing

Tumblr

 

This chat excerpt was making the rounds on Tumblr in which Holmies express their desire for everyone to have a “Jimmy.”

 

holmie chat

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There are also a lot of memes that reference slurpees because of a video from high school science camp that reveals Holmes’ dream was to own a slurpee machine.

 

holmes slurpee meme

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Here’s a Photoshopped tribute to his “soul-penetrating eyes,” as described on his Match.com profile:

 

photoshop james holmes

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This blogger wrote about her letter to James Holmes:

 

james holmes letter

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Here are thoughts from the same blogger on why she finds Holmes so attractive:

 

james holmes tumblr answer

Harry Reid Makes A Wild Accusation About Mitt Romney’s Tax Returns

via Business Insider: 

harry reid tbi

We’ve touched before on theories of Mitt Romney paying no taxes for a year, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Huffington Post of an even more shocking theory about why Romney won’t release his returns: He didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years.

His source for his wild accusation? A “Bain investor.” From The Huff Po:

Saying he had “no problem with somebody being really, really wealthy,” Reid sat up in his chair a bit before stirring the pot further. A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office. 

Harry, he didn’t pay any taxes for 10 years,” Reid recounted the person as saying.

“He didn’t pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that’s true? Well, I’m not certain,” said Reid. “But obviously he can’t release those tax returns. How would it look?

“You guys have said his wealth is $250 million,” Reid went on. “Not a chance in the world. It’s a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don’t pay taxes for 10 years when you’re making millions and millions of dollars.”

Last week, Reid told The Huff Po that Romney “insulted everybody” in Britain because of comments he made about London’s readiness.

 

9 Unforgettable Quotes From Milton Friedman

via Business Insider: 

Today would be Noble Prize winning economist Milton Friedman’s 100th birthday.

milton friedman

To celebrate what would have been a century of Milton Friedman, here are some of Friedman’s best quotes.

  • If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand. – Think Exist
  • The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy. – Capitalism and Freedom
  • Governments never learn. Only people learn. – Think Exist
  • There is no such thing as a free lunch. – Book Title
  • I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstance and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible. – Interview With John Hawkins regarding Bush Tax Cuts
  • When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union — like public housing in the United states — look decrepit within a year or two of their construction. – Free to Choose: A Personal Statement.
  • One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results. – Interview With Richard Heffner
  • Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program. – Good Reads
  • I’m in favor of legalizing drugs. According to my values, if people want to kill themselves, they have every right to do so. Most of the harm that comes from drugs is because they are illegal. – Interview With Randy Paige

 

 

USPS Says It Definitely Isn’t Going To Scrounge Up $5.5 Billion To Make Payment By Tomorrow

 

USPS Says It Definitely Isn’t Going To Scrounge Up $5.5 Billion To Make Payment By Tomorrow

 

Remember when we reported that the U.S. Postal Service wasthisclose to defaulting for the first time in its history? That deadline for paying the $5.5 billion it owes to the U.S Treasury is due tomorrow, and the agency says it’s just not going to find enough change in the couch cushions to pay it.

It’s not like this is a surprise, points out BusinessWeek — the USPS has been warning the government that it didn’t have the means to pay the $5.5 billion payment, which was due last September, or another one for $5.6 billion by Sept. 30 this year. The payments are required and go toward future retirees’ health care. The USPS says those payments are causing it to be financially unstable and that it needs help from Congress.

So what’s the hold-up in Congress? Legislation passed by the Senate in April that would return $10.9 billion that was overpaid into health-fund benefit accounts for those retirees who have yet to retire might help, but the House has yet to act on a different bit of legislation. And if it hasn’t yet, it’s doubtful it will by tomorrow.

The USPS has more employees than any other U.S.-based public company other than Walmart, and lost $3.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012. It’s going to run out of cash in October unless that required payment toward health care, which went into effect in 2006,  goes away as well as big services changes like the end of Saturday mail delivery.

A statement on the USPS site reads:

“The Postal Service continues to implement its strategic plan. However, comprehensive postal legislation is needed to return the Postal Service to long-term financial stability. We remain hopeful that such legislation can be enacted during the current Congress.”

Included in the strategic plan would be a cut of around 220,000 jobs and the closing of various mail-processing plants to cut down on costs. The USPS was going to totally shut down some of its post offices in an earlier plan to avoid default, until opposition in Congress put a stop tot hat plan. Instead, it’ll cut operating hours at many locations in a bid to save $500 million per year.

Proponents of the plan to stop paying into the retiree fund say there’s plenty of cash to go around for decades to come — $45 billion.

If we thought our retired members were in danger of losing their health care, we’d be screaming bloody murder about it,” said the president of the National Association of Letter Carriers union in a statement.

Postal Service to Miss $5.5 Billion Payment to U.S. Treasury [Business Week]

Print & E-Book Copies Of Bestseller Pulled After Author Admits To Making Up Bob Dylan Quotes

 

Print & E-Book Copies Of Bestseller Pulled After Author Admits To Making Up Bob Dylan Quotes

 

Making up quotes from say, one of the most admired, researched and beloved American music icons might’ve seemed like a good idea to New Yorker magazine staff writer Jonah Lehrer when he was writing his book Imagine: How Creativity Works, but those fabricated words are going to cost his publishers a pretty penny. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt said it’ll pull the book entirely from the market after Lehrer admitted to putting words in Bob Dylan’s mouth that he never said.

The book has already sold 200,000 copies since its debut in March, and now the company says it’s trying to figure out what to do next. Lehrer was busted by a reporter for Tablet Magazine who caught the fabrications and called him on it. After at first trying to give the reporter the runaround about where the quotes were from, Lehrer gave up and subsequently resigned from the New Yorker while apologizing to his readers.

“In light of the serious misuse of quotations admitted above, we are exploring all options available to us,” the publishing house said in a statement. “We are taking the e-book of ‘Imagine’ off-sale, and halting shipment of physical copies.”

Another spokeswoman told TheWrap.com that the e-book would be removed from all retail sites by the end of Monday.

No word yet on whether Houghton Miffling Harcourt will offer a refund to customers who already bought the book, but that could be what the “next step” is that it’s weighing in light of the situation.

Getting your money back would certainly not be out of bounds here (unless you want to hang on to it for laughs), so we hope Houghton decides a full refund for its readers is in order and have reached out to the company to see if that is a possibility.

Jonah Lehrer Publisher Pulls Bestseller ‘Imagine’ [The Wrap]

NBC Makes Viewers Wait For Prime-Time, Still Manages To Spoil U.S. Swimmer’s Big Win Before Event Airs

 

NBC Makes Viewers Wait For Prime-Time, Still Manages To Spoil U.S. Swimmer’s Big Win Before Event Airs

 

franklinoly

NBC is already ticking its viewers off by making them wait for prime-time coverage to watch some of the most popular events on TV as well as delaying Internet streams of said events. But it isn’t just the Internet news coverage and social networks fans need to stay away from if they don’t want to have the results revealed before they can watch — turns out NBC found a way to spoil the fun minutes before broadcasting a big swimming moment last night.

Warning — in case you still haven’t watched last night’s swimming events, we’re about to tell you what happened.

Right before NBC was set to air the women’s 100-meter backstroke where U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin won the gold, the network ran a promo for this morning’s Today show featuring none other than gold-medal winner Missy Franklin. But in the land of viewers who abstained from the Internet in order to enjoy the watching experience NBC forced them to wait for, the race she won the gold for hadn’t even happened yet.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the promo announced: “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with,” and showed footage of Franklin standing on the medal stand with her gold medal, as well as reuniting with her parents. Surprise ruined.

So just stay away from the Internet and keep your eyes and ears shut while watching NBC right up until the moment the event starts. Although at this rate, NBC might find a way to spoil the surprise even then.

*Thanks for the tip, Jessica!

NBC spoils their own time-delayed Olympic coverage [EW.com]

Is Herman Cain Working On A Secret Project With Pauly Shore?

via Business Insider: 

Just weeks after the launch of his personal online television station, former Republican presidential candidate and conservative Merry Prankster Herman Cain has already moved on to the next endeavor of his post-campaign career — and apparently, it involves Pauly Shore.

Cain’s media relations director Kathy Hoekstra tipped us off this afternoon, tweeting this picture of Cain and the 90s comedian: 

 

herman cain pauly shore

Twitter / @khoekstra

 

The photo was accompanied by this tweet:

 

herman cain pauly shore tweet

Twitter / @khoekstra

 

We are still waiting for more details about the collaboration, but we are guessing it involves Shore’s new Showtime series “Pauly-tics,” which is set to air in November.

 

Tea Party Candidate Ted Cruz Is Destroying The Establishment Republican In The Texas Senate Primary

via Business Insider: 

 

The Texas Senate runoff Republican primary is Tuesday, and according to a new Public Policy Polling survey, it looks likely that tea party candidate Ted Cruz is going to trounce the more establishment Republican David Dewhurst. 

Ted Cruz David Dewhurst

Cruz has a 10-point lead in the PPP poll, breaking the 50-percent threshold and up from a 5-point lead a couple weeks ago.

Cruz also holds a 63-33 advantage with voters who describe themselves as “very excited,” an important measure in a July runoff election where turnout will be low. The only reason Dewhurst is still somewhat competitive is because of a huge advantage among supporters that are “not that excited” to vote.

A telling sign from the poll is how much Gov. Rick Perry has fallen in public opinion since his failed Republican presidential bid. Perry endorsed Dewhurst in the primary race, but only 16 percent of voters said that was a good thing and would make them more likely to support Dewhurst. On the other hand, 35 percent said that made them less likely to support Dewhurst.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is a favorable endorser for Cruz. Thirty-one percent of Texas voters said they were more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Palin, compared with 24 percent who were less likely.

PPP’s Tom Jensen writes that runoff elections are usually very unpredictable. But all the momentum of the past couple of months has belonged to Cruz since he forced a runoff election in May.

Runoffs are unpredictable and it still seems possible that Dewhurst could win on Tuesday, but for now it looks like all the momentum since the primary has gone in Ted Cruz’s direction.

 

Bill Marriott Also Dislikes Gay Marriage, But Here’s Why People Aren’t Freaking Out At His Hotel Chain

via Business Insider:

Diane Brady at Bloomberg Businessweek had a very interesting chat with Bill Marriott months before the Chick-fil-A controversy exploded.

Marriott hotel, hotel

Marriott is the chairman, and former longtime CEO, of Marriott International, a big Mormon-controlled business.

He personally believes that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, but he does his best to keep those personal views far away from his business.

What does he have to say about gay marriage? Nothing.

Here’s what Marriott had to say about his company and the church. From Bloomberg Businessweek:

“This church helped me raise a family and has brought great joy and happiness to my life. We have to take care of our people, regardless of their sexual orientation or anything else. We are an American Church. We have all the American values: the values of hard work, the values of integrity, the values of fairness and respect.

“Our church is very much opposed to alcohol and we’re probably one of the biggest sales engines of liquor in the United States. I don’t drink. We serve a lot of liquor. You’re in business. You’ve got to make money. We have to appeal to the masses out there, no matter what their beliefs are.”

For instance, his church campaigned against gay marriage in California, but he kept himself — and his company — out of it. He donated nothing, and instead reiterated Marriott International’s commitment to gay rights.

Now, look at Dan Cathy, the president and COO of Chick-fil-A, whose remarks about the definition of marriage have sparked boycotts and a national political firestorm.

What’s the difference?

Chick-fil-A’s charity arm donated nearly $2 million to anti-gay marriage groups. When Chick-fil-A committed to stop talking about marriage, it did so in a generic release, where Cathy’s name was not to be found.

And, importantly, when he spoke publicly about marriage, he said that it’s “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.” He said that those who seek to include homosexuals in the definition of marriage are “prideful” and “arrogant.”

While he certainly has a right to any opinion he may have, statements like that are bound to alienate people — not just customers, but his own employees.

That’s a big reason why people are freaking out at Cathy, but not at Marriott.

“Not only did he openly condemn the beliefs of a big chunk of Chick-fil-A’s audience, he implied that their views are unpatriotic and even put the country at risk,” writes Brady.

“The issue isn’t that Dan Cathy disapproves of gay marriage … The problem is that he crossed the line in letting his faith become less about inspiration than alienation.”

 

The Berenstains Want You To Know That There’s Nothing They Can Do About Chick-Fil-A Selling Their Bears

via Business Insider:

 

Jim Henson Co. pulled its toys from Chick-fil-A meals quite publicly after the gay marriage controversy sparked by comments from the chicken chain’s president and COO Dan Cathy.

berenstain bears family

Chick-fil-A is now replacing the toys with the Berenstain Bears. The bears are featured in a book that teaches the “Golden Rule.”

The Berenstain family felt some pressure from anti-Chick-fil-A folks after the partnership was announced. So, the family has felt the need to clarify exactly what their relationship is with Chick-fil-A and the Cathys.

They’re distancing themselves from the political firestorm.

Here’s the message that’s posted on the Berenstain Bears website and Facebook page:

 

berenstain bears