#CruzFiorina : A good move, but too little, too late?

CruzFiorina1Well, now I have a new campaign logo image for blog posts! From The Wall Street Journal:

Ted Cruz Names Carly Fiorina as Running Mate

Texas senator makes announcement as he gears up for crucial Indiana primary

By Reid J. Epstein | Updated April 27, 2016 5:41 p.m. ET

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) with by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina at a rally in Indianapolis, Wednesday. Photo: Michael Conroy/Associated Press. Click to enlarge

Republican Ted Cruz, desperate to change the course of his flagging presidential campaign, on Wednesday named former Hewlett-Packard Co. Chief Executive Officer Carly Fiorina as his running mate.

Trailing far behind ascendant GOP front-runner Donald Trump, the Texas senator is betting Mrs. Fiorina will help him prevail in Indiana—a must-win state after a series of crushing losses to Mr. Trump in the Northeast—and help his chances of peeling away delegates from Mr. Trump in California, where Mrs. Fiorina unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010. That state’s June 7 primary will determine whether the New Yorker can clinch the party’s nomination before the Republican National Convention.

“I have come to the conclusion that if I am nominated to be president of the United States that I will run on a ticket with my vice-presidential nominee, Carly Fiorina,” Mr. Cruz told supporters in Indianapolis.

For Mr. Cruz, announcing Mrs. Fiorina as his running mate is a move engineered to change the focus of the Republican primary campaign to his new ticket and away from Mr. Trump’s runaway victories in the five Northeastern state primaries Tuesday. But the danger is voters will see it—combined with his struggling alliance with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who agreed to refrain from campaigning in Indiana—as last-gasp political maneuvering instead of principled leadership.

Mr. Cruz devoted the bulk of his speech naming Mrs. Fiorina as his running mate to bashing Mr. Trump, who after winning five Northeastern states Tuesday holds a commanding delegate advantage heading into Indiana’s May 3 primary next week. Indiana is now viewed as a last stand for Mr. Cruz—if he cannot win a decisive victory over Mr. Trump next week, it becomes implausible to argue that he can stop Mr. Trump from amassing the 1,237 delegates required to clinch the party’s nomination on the first ballot at its July convention.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, R-Texas appeared alongside Carly Fiorina in Orlando in March. Photo: Mike Carlson/Associated Press . Click to enlarge

Is it my imagination, or do they both have the same nose? :) At any rate, there’s more on the Journal original. I didn’t see the event, but from what I’ve heard, Mrs Fiorina’s speech wowed ’em at the announcement.

Trouble is, this is coming as too little/too late. This was a savvy move, but it would have been savvier a month ago. Whether Mrs Fiorina will be able to help Senator Cruz in the few primaries left is unknowable, but if she is going to be able to help him as his running mate, that would have been better done before yesterday’s disastrous primaries, and really almost anytime after Mrs Fiorina noted that she voted for Senator Cruz in the March 1 primary in Virginia. She might not have helped Senator Cruz had she been selected earlier, but she has far less opportunity to help him at this late stage of the game.

I voted today for Ted Cruz!

Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio were on the ballot along with the remain active candidates. Living in the 17th congressional district, there was a long list of delegate candidates, and I could have voted for three, but voted for only two, Ron Boltz and, as a write-in, Joel Underwood, the two pledged to support Senator Cruz.

If you are eligible to vote, and choose not to vote, your whining about the outcome will not get one bit of sympathy from me.

Democrisy! John Kerry hides millions of dollars in off-shore tax havens

Remember, the left support having higher-earning people pay more in income taxes!

EXCLUSIVE: Kerry, Heinz Family Have Millions Invested In Offshore Tax Havens

Richard Pollock | 10:42 PM 04/25/2016

Secretary of State John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz have invested millions of U.S. dollars through family trusts in at least 11 offshore tax havens, according to an analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The revelation comes on the heels of the release of the Panama Papers, a treasure trove of 11.5 million legal and financial records documenting how some of the world’s richest and most powerful people have used offshore bank accounts to conceal their wealth and avoid taxes.

Since the release of the papers, no American politician has been identified as using the secretive offshore accounts.

A DCNF investigation has confirmed that the former Massachusetts Democratic senator and his billionaire wife, using an elaborate set of Heinz family trusts, have invested “more than $1 million” each into 11 separate offshore accounts — mainly hedge funds in the Cayman Islands.

There’s more at the original, but this is hardly a surprise; remember how the esteemed Mr Kerry berthed his luxury yacht — the one he ordered from a boat builder in New Zealand rather than employing Americans — in the nautical tax haven of Rhode Island? When the scandal broke, then Senator Kerry promised that he would go ahead and voluntarily pay the Massachusetts taxes he avoided, but almost two years later he had still not done so.

I suppose that it’s easier to advocate higher taxes on the top producers if you are already using every trick in the book to avoid as much tax liability as you can.

When the left say that they support higher taxes on the top producers, they mean Republican businessmen; they don’t mean themselves.

#CruzFiorina 2016? Ted Cruz couldn't do better than having Carly Fiorina as his running mate!

As a supporter of, and contributor to, Carly Fiorina, this is good, but hardly unexpected, news:

Ted Cruz ‘narrowing’ vice-presidential shortlist — and it includes Carly Fiorina

By Theodore Schleifer, CNN | Updated 5:08 PM ET, Mon April 25, 2016

Washington (CNN) Ted Cruz’s campaign is vetting a list of potential vice-presidential choices including Carly Fiorina, an indication that the campaign could choose a running mate while he continues to battle for the GOP nomination.

Image by CARLY for America (Click to enlarge)

The Texas senator is considering naming Fiorina, a prominent Cruz surrogate and a former GOP White House rival, as his running mate, a Cruz campaign adviser confirmed Monday. Presumptive nominees typically vet many possible vice presidents, asking them for extensive financial documents and thoroughly investigating their backgrounds.

“He is vetting a number of solid candidates, and certainly Ms. Fiorina is absolutely one of them,” Chad Sweet, Cruz’s campaign chairperson, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.” “She’s one of the most talented business leaders of modern times.”

Fiorina aide Sarah Isgur Flores also confirmed that the former Hewlett-Packard CEO was being vetted for a possible pick on a Cruz ticket.

Cruz and top Cruz aides Monday sought to end a day of news reports about Cruz’s veepstakes, downplaying any vetting as a normal part a fall campaign plan. Cruz himself preached prudence.

“Any responsible candidate — just a couple of months out from the convention — would begin that process, examining a both a long list and now a shorter list,” Cruz told reporters in Greenwood, Indiana. “And that naturally includes a vetting process.”

There’s a little more at the link, but I guess this gives me another chance to use my Carly for President logo image! :)

Mrs Fiorina has been out on the campaign trail, working for Senator Cruz’s nomination. After the Virginia primary, Mrs Fiorina said:

Last Tuesday we had a primary, and I walked into the ballot box. I saw my name on the ballot, and it was kind of a thrill, but I checked the box for Ted Cruz.

As a former campaign contributor to Mrs Fiorina, I’m still getting e-mails from the campaign — though not every day, as I did before Mrs Fiorina dropped out — but they are e-mails in support of Senator Cruz.

Where is Job Bush? Has he been out campaigning for anyone after he was forced to withdraw? How about Marco Rubio? Chris Christie did campaign, for Donald Trump, after he was forced to drop out, but was quickly put in his place by the man he was there to support. I’m sure that the naysayers and the cynics will say that Mrs Fiorina’s vocal and vigorous support for Mr Cruz is actually her campaigning for the vice presidential nomination, and maybe it is — I have never met her and certainly can’t read her mind — but she is out there, working hard for a conservative candidate and for conservative causes. Whether Senator Cruz wins the Republican nomination or not, and if he does, whether Mrs Fiorina becomes his running mate or not, she’s out there, working for a better America.

Pennsylvania’s Republican primary is tomorrow, and yes, I will vote, and I’ll vote for Ted Cruz. As I mentioned earlier, I have my list of which congressional district delegate candidates support Mr Cruz, and I’ll be voting for them as well.
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Cross-posted on RedState.

Dead newspaper walking: The Los Angeles Times and the potential buyout by Gannett

From The Wall Street Journal:

Gannett Offers to Buy Tribune Publishing

Deal, valued at $815 million with debt, would combine owners of USA Today, L.A. Times

By Lukas I. Alpert and Joshua Jamerson | Updated April 25, 2016 2:00 p.m. ET

Gannett Co. on Monday went public with its proposal to acquire Tribune Publishing Co. in a deal valued at about $400 million that would combine titles like USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, as the struggling newspaper industry increasingly consolidates.

Gannett is offering $12.25 in cash for each share of Tribune, a 63% premium to the stock’s closing price Friday. Including the assumption of Tribune’s debt, Gannett said the deal has a total value of $815 million.

“By combining, we would create a company with the financial stability and flexibility equipped to preserve journalistic integrity, high standards and excellence for years to come,” Gannett Chief Executive Robert Dickey wrote in a letter to his counterpart at Tribune, CEO Justin Dearborn.

In the letter, Gannett said it was disappointed with Tribune’s response to its proposal made April 12 and frustrated with its “refusal to begin constructive discussions with us.”

In a statement Monday, Tribune said it told Gannett that it is completing arrangements with financial and legal advisers to assist it in reviewing the offer and would “respond to Gannett as quickly as feasible.”

There’s more at the original.

I have previously mentioned just how far downhill the Louisville Courier-Journal has fallen since being bought out by Gannett. It has been a serious problem for virtually every newspaper, how to survive economically in an age where the news can be delivered, often for free, and always updated, to your computer, to your television, and now to your smart phone. Newspapers are, despite what updating can be done, 18th century technology, and there’s really nothing that can be done about that; if you distribute the news by printing it on dead trees, and delivering it to your customers hours after writing and printing, you are using outdated technology.

“By combining, we would create a company with the financial stability and flexibility equipped to preserve journalistic integrity, high standards and excellence for years to come,” Gannett Chief Executive Robert Dickey wrote, but that’s sure not how the Courier-Journal turned out. It has a mediocre local section, and the national news is basically a rehash/ reprint of USAToday. The sports section is half-way decent, but that’s the best that can be said for the paper. Why should anyone believe that the Los Angeles Times would turn out any differently?

A graph on the Journal original noted that daily newspaper circulation has fallen from 44 million in 2009 to 41 million in 2015; that’s a 6.8% decline, and 2009 wasn’t a great year for newspapers; it was just another marker on a steady decline:

In 1950, the average daily total paid circulation for U.S. daily newspapers was 53.8 million (equivalent to 123.6% of households); the total paid circulation for U.S. Sunday newspapers was 46.6 million (equivalent to 107.0%of households).

By 2010, the average daily total paid circulation for U.S. daily newspapers was about 43.4 million (equivalent to 36.7% of households); the total paid circulation for U.S. Sunday newspapers was about 44.1 million (equivalent to 37.3% of households).

Translation: newspaper readership in 2010 was only about 30% of what it was in 1950, and it has declined even further since that data were reported.

I’ll be blunt here: print newspapers have no real future. I grew up with newspapers, and delivered newspapers from the seventh through eleventh grades, but I’m also 63 years old, and the generations which grew up with newspapers are just plain dying out. Even having grown up with newspapers, the only paper to which I subscribe is The Wall Street Journal, and even there, I have a digital subscription only. I check the Lexington Herald-Leader for University of Kentucky sports stories, but that costs me nothing. Occasionally I will check The Philadelphia Inquirer or The New York Times, for a story I’ve heard about over free sources like msn.com or cnn.com, but I can get all of the news stories I want without paying a single shilling for them.

So, if I can get all of that for free, why should I spend money for it?

The answer is: more and more people are not. Just like land-line telephones and VCRs, technology has moved on, and newspapers are being left in the dust. The Gannett deal, if it goes through, may save the Los Angeles Times for a few more years, but what will be saved will be a shadow if its former self, and, in the end, the Times, at least as a print newspaper, will die.

Economics 101: Whenever you are told that a proposed tax will barely be noticeable, don’t believe it!

From The Wall Street Journal:

Long-Term Costs of Cutting Emissions Grow Hazy

Economic costs of hitting near-term targets appear modest, but modeling grows less reliable further out

By Amy Harder and Greg Ip | Updated April 24, 2016 12:42 p.m. ET

The world’s top officials just signed an agreement to slow the buildup of planet-warming greenhouse-gas emissions. They have yet to grapple with the cost of implementing it.

Economists developing sophisticated models have good and bad news. The economic costs of meeting near-term emissions targets are relatively modest. But long-run targets are far harder and infeasible with technology widely available today.

“There’s an optical illusion right now, which is that short-term planning leads to low-hanging fruit but not to the kind of strategy that we need to achieve deep decarbonization by 2050,” said Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, who advises United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Policy makers meeting in Paris last December agreed Earth’s temperature shouldn’t rise more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels by the end of the century. The emissions cuts agreed to don’t actually limit the temperature rise to two degrees. But the nearly 200 participating nations—most of whom had representatives sign the agreement Friday at the U.N. in New York—hope further cuts in the coming years will. . . .

Click to enlarge.

A $45-per-ton tax of carbon dioxide, rising 2% above inflation each year, would make households worse off in 2030 by an amount equal to 0.45% of all household spending if the revenue were used to reduce corporate income taxes, or 0.79% if it were rebated back to households.

Spread over 14 years, such a reduction would be almost unnoticeable. The price of electricity would rise 15% and gasoline prices would go up slightly less than 8%.

Indeed, related work by Resources for the Future and Stanford University researchers finds that a roughly $45 carbon tax on just electricity could achieve between 75% and 83% of Mr. Obama’s 26% to 28% emissions target.

There’s more at the link, but let’s do the math. Gasoline without ethanol produces 19.64 lb of carbon dioxide per gallon, while diesel fuel produces 22.38 lb of CO2; gasoline using 10% ethanol produces 18.95 lb of CO2, while B20 biodiesel emits 22.06 lb of CO2.

Using the figures for regular unleaded gasoline with 10% ethanol added, a $45 per ton CO2 tax would mean $45 tax on every 105.54 gallons of gasoline; that’s 29.0¢ per gallon. In Pennsylvania, the current average price of regular unleaded is $2.319 per gallon.1 If that 29.0¢ per gallon were added, gasoline in the Keystone state would increase by 12.5%. If you fill a 20 gallon tank, that’s $5.80 more you’ll pay for fuel.

In figures from 2013, the average household used 1,011 gallons of fuel for the year, and that was a significant decrease from previous years. At that consumption rate, the average household would be paying $293.19 more just in gasoline taxes. The left would pish-posh, and say, Oh, that’s nothing!” but with a median family income of just $53,657 (in 2014), we’re talking about 0.55% of income being taken away, for no tangible gain for a family. And if you have to live in Ravenna, Kentucky,2 with a median family income of just $30,253, all of a sudden we are talking of close to 1%, 0.97%. The average monthly rent in Ravenna is $552 per month; the CO2 would be slightly more than half a month’s rent.

But that’s hardly all of it. In 2012, the United States used 36,343,072,000 gallons of diesel fuel. With diesel producing 22.38 lb/gl of CO2, at $45 per ton of CO2, or one ton per 89.37 gallons, the extra tax on diesel fuel would be 50.4¢ per gallon. Virtually everything we buy, almost everything we consume, is transported by a commercial truck at some point, often several points, from production to the point-of-sale. Everything you buy is going to cost you more, because we are looking at an additional $18.3 billion added to consumer costs, or a 0.04% increase (based on total consumer spending of $44,555.8 billion in 2015).

This is a problem with articles in The Wall Street Journal: they are written and edited by people living and working in the most expensive city in the United States, people who are paid a lot, and hob-nob with people who make a lot more; they have no fornicating clue as to what life is like in Ravenna, or any of the other places in what so many on the left have dismissed as “flyover country.” For Wall Street brokers and Journal editors, $293.13 extra a year is nothing; for people in Hedrick, Iowa, it’s more than half a month’s rent.

However, there’s a catch in he figures in the Journal: look at this paragraph again:

A $45-per-ton tax of carbon dioxide, rising 2% above inflation each year, would make households worse off in 2030 by an amount equal to 0.45% of all household spending if the revenue were used to reduce corporate income taxes, or 0.79% if it were rebated back to households.

Emphasis mine. Why would anyone believe that the taxes would be rebated, either to corporations or to consumers? As of 21 April 2016, the national debt stood at $19,196,769,313,019.68. The final FY2015 federal budget deficit was down to $439 billion, but deficits are forecast once again to skyrocket, passing one trillion dollars again by 2025, under the rosiest projections. With those kinds of numbers looking us dead in the eye, only a complete naïf could believe that any of that tax — increasing 2% per year above the rate of inflation, remember — would be “rebated back to consumers.”

Nor would the left even want the tax to be rebated to consumers: such would mitigate the effect they were trying to achieve in the first place. If the goal is to reduce fossil fuel consumption by increasing its cost, what logic wold there be in rebating back part of the increased cost?

The moral of the story is simple: whenever the left, or anyone else for that matter, start talking about taxes having minimal impact or being barely noticeable, you know that they are lying to you. They either do not know what they are talking about, or they just plain don’t care, but, either way, they are not telling the truth.
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  1. This includes state and federal taxes already on gasoline; Pennsylvania is already one of the highest taxes states in the nation when it comes to fuel. The source ws accessed at 1454 on Sunday, 24 April 2016, and the numbers are subject to change.
  2. I selected Ravenna because that is the closest town to where my darling bride and I will retire.

About that great Ted Cruz “ground game”

Rigged process? Wait till Trump sees how Pennsylvania picks delegates

  • Voters admit they don’t understand the way the Keystone State GOP chooses delegates

  • The campaigns seem adrift also in trying to explain a convoluted process

  • Which candidate do the people on the ballot favor? Voters left to guess

| April 23, 2016 | 12:31 PM

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania: Mel Bingaman couldn’t be more excited to cast her vote for Donald Trump – “a real man of the people,” she says, when Pennsylvania and four other states hold primary elections on Tuesday.

But a reminder here at a raucous Trump rally to also notch her ballot for delegates who have committed to vote for her candidate at the Republican convention this summer left her baffled.

“I know I’m going to vote for Mr. Trump,” the Selinsgrove nurses aide said, emerging from the rally with a yard sign and a campaign button. “But I don’t know about this delegate business. Who am I supposed to vote for?”

With the possibility that the Republican presidential nomination won’t be wrapped up until the July convention, Pennsylvania and its unique method of picking delegates who will cast the actual votes at the convention could play a critical role and serve as a test case for Trump’s efforts to professionalize his campaign and nab delegates, not just the popular vote.

The top Republican vote-getter in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary wins just 17 statewide delegates. Three more delegates are allocated to state party leaders.

But the bulk of the state’s votes – 54 – go to delegates who are elected by congressional districts and are not obligated to be faithful to any candidate. And there will be no indication on the ballot whether or not they favor a particular candidate, though many have made their intentions known.

Trump supporters see the rules as another hurdle imposed by what they view as hostile Republican Party apparatchiks, though the process has been used for years. But this time the delegates are critical because Trump, despite winning more states than his rivals, is still short of the 1,237 delegates required to nab the nomination ahead of the convention.

There’s more at the link.

I received an email from the Ted Cruz campaign concerning which delegate candidates supported the Texas Senator, and it was pretty ugly. Here is the information, an image included in the e-mail:

I live in the 17th District, which means that there is one candidate pledged to Senator Cruz on the ballot, and I have a second Cruz delegate as a write-in possibility. But Pennsylvania Republicans get to select three delegates from each congressional district, and that means that even people who support Mr Cruz might well vote for a delegate who is going to support someone else. Me? I’ll cast ballots for only two delegates, and not give a Trump or Kasich delegate an extra vote.1

But this exposes the obvious problem: in only four of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts has the Cruz campaign fielded a full slate of pledged delegate candidates! In the 1st, 3rd, 7th and 14th districts there aren’t any pledged delegates for Mr Cruz, and two of those districts, the 3rd and 7th, are represented by Republicans. Pennsylvania’s most strongly Republican district,2 the 10th, has exactly one pledged Cruz delegate candidate, and she is a write-in!

Count on it: there will be Cruz supporters voting for Trump-supporting delegates!3

I will be the first to admit it: I did not expect the nomination struggle to last as long as it has. I thought that the nomination would have been settled long before our April 26th primary. But Mr Cruz was the first candidate in the race, and his campaign had more time than anyone else’s to find and get potential delegates on the ballot, and the campaign just didn’t get the job done. Out of 54 potential slots, the Cruz campaign got only 24 potential delegates to file to get on the ballot. Maybe his “ground game” hasn’t been as good as advertised.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. The First Street Journal has not actually endorsed Ted Cruz, because everyone this website endorses seems to lose!
  2. Based on the Cook Partisan Voting Index
  3. In my district, there are 11 candidates on the ballot, four of whom are committed to Donald Trump, four committed to the “District Winner” on he first ballot, two “uncommitted,” and one committed to Ted Cruz. You can find a spreadsheet of all Pennsylvania delegate candidates here.

Rule 5 Blogging: NYPD

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Paris Hilton in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude.

This week, we depart from the military, to honor the New York Police Department! Click any photo to enlarge.

military_woman_usa_police_000002

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: NYPD’ »

From Around the Blogroll

From The Wall Street Journal:

Federal Prosecutors Drop Court Case to Force Apple to Unlock iPhone

This is second time the government said it couldn’t open an iPhone and then suddenly announced it had found a way without Apple’s help

By Devlin Barrett | Updated April 22, 2016 10:36 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON—The Justice Department on Friday night dropped a court case trying to force Apple Inc. to help authorities open a locked iPhone, adding new uncertainty to the government’s standoff with the technology company over encryption.

In a one-page letter filed with a Brooklyn federal court Friday night, the government said an individual had recently come forward to offer the passcode to the long-locked phone. The filing means that in both of the high-profile cases pitting the Justice Department against Apple, the government first said it couldn’t open the phone, only to suddenly announce it had found a way into the device as the case proceeded in court.

“Yesterday evening, an individual provided the passcode to the iPhone at issue in this case,’’ prosecutors said in their terse letter to the judge. “Late last night, the government used that passcode by hand and gained access to the iPhone. Accordingly, the government no longer needs Apple’s assistance to unlock the iPhone, and withdraws its application.’’

Apple declined to comment. Last week, Apple had asked U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie to drop the case, saying the government had failed to demonstrate that it had exhausted all other options before demanding the company’s help.

The sudden withdrawal from the case is a setback in more ways than one for the Justice Department. It leaves unchallenged a 50-page ruling by a magistrate judge concluding the government doesn’t have legal authority to force companies like Apple to help investigators open devices. It is also likely to spark further criticism from privacy advocates that government officials shouldn’t be believed when they say the only way they can open a device is with help from the manufacturer.

There’s more at the original. But just last week, in the more publicly notorious case:

James Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told a London security conference audience that the government paid more than $1 million for an unidentified third-party to help open the San Bernardino work phone of Syed Rizwan Farook.

Translation: they paid a hacker who was smarter and more skillful than the computer whizzes the government already employs.

I am supposed to believe that the government wants access to people’s encrypted data only in criminal cases or where national security is in jeopardy. Does anyone out there think that I really believe what President Obama and his minions tell me I should believe?

And now, on to the blogroll!