Friday, February 24, 2017

This Means War

The battle is joined:
The New York Times reported Thursday that there was a time when Democrats were divided on their Trump approach. Trump did win former blue states in his November victory and Democrats in those states witnessed a new vulnerability.

The report, however, said that protests and angry emails have prompted Democrats to "cast aside any notion of conciliation with the White House.”

“My belief is, we have to resist every way and everywhere, every time we can,” Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington told the paper. Inslee said there was a “tornado of support” for a wall-to-wall resistance.

Douglas E. Schoen, a former pollster for President Clinton and Fox News contributor, wrote in an opinion piece that “Trump's ascendance is rooted in America’s preference for center-right policy."

"As the Democratic Party shifted ever leftwards under Obama, it suffered net losses of 11 Senate seats, 62 House seats, and 10 governorships since 2010, as well as nearly 1000 state legislative seats.”

He went on to say, “The groups driving the Democratic Party to the left believe their only path to victory is mobilization. These forces are pushing the party away from the American public, which fundamentally is center-right, and channeling the concerns and priorities of the core Democratic coastal base.”
They're going down fighting...

Winning Ugly

Ugly people are winners, too:
Researchers at the London School of Economics and the University of Massachusetts have been able to somewhat dispel a pervasive theory regarding attractiveness, commonly referred to as a “beauty premium” or the “ugliness penalty.” Previous studies have found that those who are good-looking command higher wages in their employment. This phenomenon has been seen in a wide range of professions, from business to law.

It turns out that people aren’t necessarily discriminated against because of their appearance, the researchers determined.

For their analysis, Satoshi Kanazawa and Mary Still, the study’s co-authors, examined a data set pulled from a popular survey looking at adolescents, the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, also known as “Add Health.” The survey is notable in that it measures physical attractiveness for a given individual in four installments over a period of 13 years, doing so on a five-point scale.

In their analysis, Kanazawa and Still found that while more attractive individuals often outearned their less attractive peers, this was often due to the presence of other qualities, such as being smarter, healthier, calmer, more extroverted, and more conscientious.

“Physically more attractive workers may earn more, not necessarily because they are more beautiful, but because they are healthier, more intelligent, and have better personality traits conducive to higher earnings,” says Kanazawa.

Interestingly, those who were categorized by Add Health as being “very unattractive” were also higher earners. They always outearned those who were deemed “merely unattractive,” and in some cases made more money than individuals of average and above-average attractiveness.
You don't have to be one of the beautiful people after all...

Real Science Marches On

Al Gore willnot be pleased:
More than 300 eminent scientists signed the letter to Trump, delivered Thursday, arguing he should pull out of the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) because it targets carbon dioxide — a gas essential for life.

CO2 “is not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on Earth,” reads the petition, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions.”

Trump promised to pull out of the Paris agreement on global warming, which went into effect in November 2016. President Barack Obama signed the U.S. up to cut greenhouse gases 26 to 28 percent.

The hundreds of scientists who signed the letter, however, argue that’s not far enough. Trump should pull out of the foundational treaty the Paris agreement is based on — the UNFCCC.
The science is not settled, but the debate may be...

Black Magic Women

Well, nothing else seems to have worked:
The “mass spell to bind Donald Trump” will be performed at midnight on every waning crescent moon beginning Friday, February 24, “until Donald Trump is removed from office,” the group’s website states.

The mass ritual will allegedly be repeated again March 26, April 24, May 23, June 21 (the summer solstice), July 21, and August 19.

The spell also invokes evil on “those who abet” Trump, which would seem to appear to cover his staff and political nominees, and perhaps the millions who voted for him as well.
Eye of Newt Gingrich?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Walker's Way

How Scott Walker could reform welfare:
As part of his executive budget, Walker is proposing an expansion of work requirements to able-bodied adults with school-age children on food stamps. In addition, he calls for extending these work requirements to childless adults on Medicaid and pursuing a pilot program to implement work requirements for able-bodied adults in public housing.

Walker's reforms would counteract a wave of increased dependency and poverty. These work requirements would reinforce the idea that, to interrupt the generational cycle of poverty, able-bodied parents need to model work and not dependence.

Research published by the Foundation for Government Accountability found that after more than 40,000 childless adults on food stamps were faced with work requirements, record numbers went to work, their average incomes doubled, and their income gains more than offset their lost welfare benefits.
Actually helping those on welfare get off of it-sounds like something liberals would want...

Hannity Without Colmes

RIP Alan Colmes:
Colmes was known for his electric commentary and for the fierce debates across Fox News programs since the channel's launch in 1996. "Hannity & Colmes" debuted on Fox News in 1996 and ran until Jan. 2009.

Colmes also hosted the nationally-syndicated "Alan Colmes Show" on Fox News Radio. He addressed his recent absence from the show in a note to listeners on Jan. 30.

"As I previously mentioned on the show last year, there would be times I would be taking off from the show to deal with a medical issue. This is why I’ve been out recently and will be out this week as well. But I will be back taking your calls as soon as I can," he wrote.
Now he is forever fair, balanced, and unafraid...

Clap Hands And Rant

Seriously, what is going on with her?

The Last Repeal

No repeal at all?
Boehner, who resigned in 2015 amid unrest among conservatives, said at an Orlando health care conference that the idea that a repeal-and-replace plan would blitz through Congress is just “happy talk.”

Instead, he said changes to former President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement would likely be relatively modest.

“[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix Obamacare – I shouldn’t call it repeal-and-replace, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.

Boehner’s comments come as Republican lawmakers across the country are facing angry constituents at town halls worried that Obamacare will be yanked away without a suitable replacement.
Meanwhile, what about angry conservatives who are worried that Obamacare won't go away?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Flushed

No more bathroom breaks:
The decision, not yet announced, would be a reversal of an Obama-era directive issued in May requiring public schools to grant bathroom access even if the student's chosen gender identity isn't the same as what's in the student's record.

Although the original guidance carried no force of law, transgender rights advocates say it was necessary to protect students from discrimination. Opponents argued it was overreach.

The Obama administration's guidance was based on its determination that Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education and activities, also applies to gender identity.

It was not legally binding but sent a warning that schools could lose funding if they did not comply with the administration's interpretation of the law.

Republicans immediately pushed back, arguing it was an example of federal government overreach and the Obama administration meddling in local matters. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick equated it to "blackmail" and said at the time that the state was ready to forfeit federal education money rather than comply with the guidance.
Politically correct blackmail is an ugly business...

Who Controls The Message?

This is what media types actually believe:
SCARBOROUGH: "Exactly. That is exactly what I hear. What Yamiche said is what I hear from all the Trump supporters that I talk to who were Trump voters and are still Trump supporters. They go, 'Yeah you guys are going crazy. He's doing -- what are you so surprised about? He is doing exactly what he said he is going to do.'"
BRZEZINSKI: "Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job."
Doesn't seem to be working...

The Mini Me Method

How to lose even more friends and not influence anybody:
Much of the world believes North Korea ordered the hit on Kim Jong Un’s half-brother and experts say that could further alienate the country from the few allies it has.

“By conducting this kind of killing, North Korea is biting the hand that feeds it economically by alienating China, by running the risk of further restrictions in Malaysia and by essentially looking like an actor that is unreasonable,” said Scott Snyder, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, “thus making it much more difficult to try and use reason or dialogue as a way of addressing the problem.”
Snyder said if North Korea’s leader is willing to kill a member of his own family, who knows what he’s capable of doing next.
“It shows a depth of paranoia on the part of Kim Jong Un that implies that he will go after enemies, especially family members and remove them as potential alternative sources of competition for rule,” Snyder said.

If he keeps this up, there won't be anyone left to-oh, wait...

The IT Money Trail

They had friends in low places:
Imran Awan and four of his relatives were employed as information technology (IT) aides by dozens of House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. The aides’ administrator-level IT access was terminated earlier this month amid a criminal probe by U.S. Capitol Police of a suspected security breach, including an off-site server housing congressional data.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has reported that while working for Congress, the Pakistani brothers controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances, which took–and was unable to repay–a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote that Attar “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon conversing with a Hezbollah official” in 2012–shortly after the loan was made. Attar has also been accused of helping provoke the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a leader of Iraqi dissidents opposed to Saddam Hussein.

After moving to the U.S., Attar made his money practicing medicine in Maryland and Virginia and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies by billing for non-existent medical procedures. The FBI raided his offices in 2009 and the Department of Health and Human Services sued his business partner in 2011.

Attar was indicted in March 2012 on separate tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI found he used multiple bank accounts to hide income. He fled back to Iraq to avoid prison.
In other words, he fit in well in Washington...

Who Hacked Whom?

Who needs the Russians?
The attacks are the second confirmed IT scanning assault by DHS officials against states that resisted then-President Barack Obama’s attempt to increase federal involvement in state and local election systems by designating them as “critical infrastructure” for national security.

Members of the National Association of Secretaries of State voted Saturday at their winter meeting to oppose the designation. They are asking President Donald Trump to overturn it.

Former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was also Trump’s vice presidential-elect during much of the period covered by the DHS scans of the Indiana system.

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson, the incoming president of the association, told TheDCNF Tuesday that, “we know that between November 1 and December 16 we were scanned with about 14,800 scans, nearly 15,000 different times.”

The state’s IT team traced the intruder to a DHS computer’s IP address. The same DHS unit attempted 10 times in 2016 to hack into the Georgia electoral system.

Federal officials are barred under DHS rules from trying to penetrate a state system without the express approval of the state. Neither Georgia nor Indiana approved the DHS scanning attempts.
Hacking rules are for little people...

The Mirror Universe

Welcome to Clinton World:
“Approval ratings for President Clinton hit 89 percent,” “Confused by fake news, Redditers think Trump is president” and “DOJ considers charging Trump with treason” are just a few headlines featured on HillaryBeatTrump.org, a satirical news site devoted to covering stories from an alternate universe where Hillary won last November’s election.

“In the midst of a Constitutional crisis, this is our response,” the site’s description reads. “Long live the true president, Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

The site’s proprietors do not identify themselves online, and did not return TheDC’s request for comment, but their articles suggest they have liberal leanings.
Everyone has their own fantasy land...

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dumpster Shopping

It's the socialist diet:
A combination of socialist economic mismanagement, government rationing of basic goods, and corruption have contributed to the situation in which Venezuela currently finds itself. For years, finding supermarkets properly stocked with basics such as flour, vegetable oil, and butter has been an odyssey for most Venezuelans. Under Hugo Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro, the situation has become more desperate, with many Venezuelans resorting to extreme measures to survive.

A poll released in September found that 15 percent of the nation relied on garbage, most from industrial businesses like groceries and restaurants, to eat. Over half of Venezuelans said they had experienced going to bed hungry, and a similar amount said they were forced to take days off from work to search for food.

That situation has not improved — on the contrary, video surfacing this year appears to indicate that scavenging in garbage dumpsters for food has become so popular that Venezuelans now stand in line in front of dumpsters to look for food.
Feed a revolution, starve a country...

On His Own

Milo speaks out:
I haven’t ever apologized before. Name-calling doesn’t bother me. But to be a victim of child abuse and for the media to call me an apologist for child abuse is absurd.

I regret the things I said. I don’t think I’ve been as sorry about anything in my whole life. This isn’t how I wanted my parents to find out about this.

But let’s be clear what is happening here. This is a cynical media witch hunt from people who don’t care about children. They care about destroying me and my career, and by extension my allies. They know that although I made some outrageous statements, I’ve never actually done anything wrong. These videos have been out there for more than a year. The media held this story back because they don’t care about victims, they only care about bringing me down. They will fail.
Haters usually do...

Monday, February 20, 2017

Paysplaining

Equal pay, or no way?
Green wrote a letter in response to Senate Bill 210, which focuses on equal pay and would force some employers to create a standard to determine who gets raises or not.

Green claimed that men need to make more than women so they can support their families. If women start earning more money, men’s wages will be lowered as a result, Green reasoned.

“If that happens, then men will have an even more difficult time earning enough to support their families, which will mean more Mothers will be forced to leave the home (where they may prefer to be) to join the workforce to make up the difference,” Green wrote, adding that this would hurt society at large.

Green said the outrage over the letter was so great that he chose to leave his position.

“I didn’t want to hurt the party any further,” he said. “They didn’t force me to do it. There was no coercion. I chose to step down.”
The wages of an honest opinion...

Canadian Carbon

Carbon taxes don't sit well with Canadian conservatives:
Leadership candidate Chong, trailing badly in the race, announced his support of a federal carbon tax and was roundly criticized by his Conservative colleagues.

“With respect, Michael, I am not in this race to out-Liberal the Liberals,” said fellow leadership candidate and Ontario MP Erin O’Toole, a former minister of veterans affairs, who told the debate audience that he would scrap any federal carbon tax imposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

O’Toole told The Daily Caller that “Chong has bought-in to the Liberal notion that you help the environment by raising taxes, despite the fact that average Canadians are not the problem. I like Michael a lot, but creating a new tax and running a large deficit to do it is not a conservative plan,” he said.
There are other ways of going green without making people pay more green...

Permanent Day Off

Protesters discover the price of "justice":
NBC News reports at least 100 workers lost their jobs at different restaurants and businesses after the February 16 protest.

Migrants who advocated for the wage-suppressing, cheap labor policies allowing them to work in the U.S. found themselves rapidly replaced by new workers. One business, the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill in Catoosa, Oklahoma, fired several workers by text message: “You and your family are fired. I hope you enjoyed your day off, and you can enjoy many more. Love you.” The next day, the restaurant posted an announcement looking for new workers on Facebook.

The migrant workers say they felt their firings were unfair, but the owner had a long-standing “no call/no show” policy.

Another 18 employees working at Bradley Coatings in Tennessee told their bosses they were skipping work to protest in a “Day Without Immigrants” demonstration. The business promptly fired them for missing work.

“I would tell him he was unfair, after working for them for so many years, giving him our best,” one migrant worker told KTNV. “They could not understand that it was just one day. We were going to make up that day on a Sunday, but they didn’t understand that, and it was not the best way. They didn’t give us an opportunity and just told us we were fired.”
They did, however, seem to understand that if you don't do your job, you don't get paid...

Grammar Grabbers

Because spelling is racist, or something:
“Linguistic and writing research has shown clearly for many decades that there is no inherent ‘standard’ of English,” proclaims the writing center’s statement. “Language is constantly changing. These two facts make it very difficult to justify placing people in hierarchies or restricting opportunities and privileges because of the way people communicate in particular versions of English.”
In the introduction to its “commitment” section, the Tacoma Writing Center pledges to “listen and look carefully and compassionately for ways we may unintentionally perpetuate racism or social injustice, actively engaging in antiracist practices” before making nine specific promises to students.

“We promise to emphasize the importance of rhetorical situations over grammatical ‘correctness’ in the production of texts,” announces the poster. “We promise to challenge conventional word choices and writing explanations.”
How about an explanation as to why me no spell good?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The "I" Word Is Out

No impeachment after all?
Just a month into Donald Trump’s presidency, Democratic Party leaders are trying to rein in the talk of impeachment that’s animating the grass roots, the product of a restive base demanding deeper and more aggressive investigations into Trump’s ties to Russia.

Democratic officials in Republican-dominated Washington view the entire subject as a trap, a premature discussion that could backfire in spectacular fashion by making the party appear too overzealous in its opposition to Trump. Worse, they fear, it could harden Republican support for the president by handing his party significant fundraising and political ammunition when the chances of success for an early impeachment push are remote, at best.
Especially when he hasn't actually done anything yet...

Coal Sacked

China puts North Korea on notice:
China’s announcement on Saturday that it would suspend all coal shipments from North Korea was a surprise, but not totally unexpected. On Monday of last week, the day after the ballistic missile test, China prevented a North Korean ship from unloading a shipment of 16,295 tons coal, worth about US$1 million, at a Chinese port, and ordered that it be returned to North Korea. However, China blamed the rejection not on the ballistic missile test, but instead on a claim that the coal contained higher-than-permissible level of mercury.

China’s announcement could have significant economic impact on North Korea. In order to import foreign goods, North Korea needs foreign reserves. In order to get foreign reserves, it needs to export goods. About 90% of North Korea’s exports go to China, and most of that is coal. So this announcement will severely limit the foreign goods that North Korea can import.

The intent is that by limiting North Korea’s ability to import, the country will be unable to import that equipment required for further development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons. It is not clear that this objective is realistic, as Kim Jong-un has previously been willing to allow his people to starve rather than to allow his nuclear weapons program to starve. No matter what the intent, Kim will let his people starve and will torture, jail and execute anyone who objects.
Don't make Mini Me even more insane than he already is...

Mac Attack

John McCain is not a fan of these attacks on the people who don't like Trump anyway:

The French Russian Connection

Man, those Russians are everywhere:
Jean-Marc Ayrault, in an interview published Sunday in newspaper Journal du Dimanche, said Russia appears to be targeting centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, while favoring more pro-Russia candidates such as conservative Francois Fillon and nationalist Marine Le Pen.

Macron’s campaign has described hacking attempts that it suspects are linked to Russia, though it’s unclear whether the detected activity was more than routine cybersecurity breaches. The Kremlin has denied involvement.

Ayrault is quoted as saying “this kind of interference in French democratic life is unacceptable….The French will not accept anyone dictating their (electoral) choices.”
So surrender, already...

Un-Raveled

No more regulating for her:
Ann Ravel, who wanted to regulate political speech on the internet from websites such as the Drudge Report, announced Sunday that she is stepping down from her post.

“It’s been an honor to serve the FEC. I’m committed to transparency – here’s my resignation letter to Donald Trump,” Ravel tweeted on Sunday morning.

Ravel attached her resignation letter to President Donald Trump, which focused on asking Trump to prioritize campaign finance reform.

"I respectfully urge you to prioritize campaign finance reform to remedy the significant problems identified during the last election cycle," the letter says. "Disclosure laws need to be strengthened; the mistaken jurisprudence of Citizens United reexamined; public financing of candidates ought to be expanded to reduce reliance on the wealthy; and Commissioners who will carry out the mandates of the law should be appointed to expired terms at the FEC. Thank you very much."

Ravel’s resignation will be effective March 1.

The Democratic commissioner has come under fire on numerous occasions in the past due to her desire to regulate online political speech—actions some viewed as targeting conservative websites.

Ravel has also been a no-show from FEC public meetings in recent months, phoning it in from California after being passed up for the attorney general spot in the state. During one meeting, Ravel seemed so distant that the Democratic chair of the commission asked if she was awake.
Now she'll have plenty of nap time...

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Out On The Town Hall

Republicans deal with "tolerance":
The advisory issued Thursday by the House Sergeant at Arms “strongly encouraged” the chamber’s roughly 435 members to review security protocols as they leave Capitol Hill for a “District Work Period,” which historically includes town hall-style events and other interactions with constituents.

“This is important if your district office becomes a potential demonstration site,” the advisory reads. “If your home address and phone number are publicly available, you should remain particularly alert regarding your surroundings.”

On Saturday, GOP Rep. Tom Reed hosted another town hall event in his upstate New York district in which attendees gave him rough time, demanding answers about his purported desire to shutter the Environmental Protection Agency and about “Russia, Russia, Russia.”

The situation follows several town hall events hosted by House Republicans over the past several weeks in which some attendees shouted and demanded answers to a range of concerns about their agenda and that of Republican President Trump – particularly whether millions of Americans will lose health insurance if ObamaCare is indeed dismantled.
The brownshirts are out there, waiting...

Back To Home School

Do you need a "right" to homeschool?
King’s bill would first repeal the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. While many homeschoolers agree with the repeal of ESEA, the bill next would send all federal education funds to the states in the form of grants, which states would then distribute as vouchers to public, private, and homeschooled students.

Estrada asserts the bill would essentially create a “federal right to homeschool.” Section 104 of the bill states, “To be eligible to receive a grant…the State will…make it lawful for parents of an eligible child to elect…to enroll their child in any public or private elementary or secondary school in the State; or to home-school their child.”

While this sounds good, HSLDA has fought — successfully—for decades to make sure that there is no “federal right to homeschool” because what could be created by a favorable Congress could be regulated by a future, hostile Congress. It is far better (and far more constitutionally sound) for education decisions—and homeschool freedom—to be protected at the state level. We ask our friends at the federal level to simply leave homeschooling families alone.
With friends like them, parents don't need enemies?

Blind Evil

Good riddance:
Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of plotting terror attacks throughout New York City, targeting the United Nations and other New York City landmarks. He was also linked to the 1993 World Trade Center attack in which six people died and more than 1,000 others were injured.

Known as “The Blind Sheikh,” Abdel-Rahman lost his eyesight when he was 10 months old. By the time he was 11 years old, he had memorized the Braille version of the Qur’an and was sent to an Islamic boarding school.

He went on to study at Cairo University’s School of Theology and later earned a doctorate in from Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Abdel-Rahman went on to become one of the country’s most prominent and outspoken Muslim clerics to denounce Egypt’s secularism.

In the mid-1980s, Abdel-Rahman made his way to Afghanistan, where he built a strong rapport with former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Bin Laden once credited Abdel-Rahman as the inspiration and justification for the September 11 attacks which destroyed the World Trade Center.
He rotted in prison, now he rots in the ground...

Biting The Bullet

The Republican plan comes forward:
House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, “We’re going to continue to work through this through the district work period next week. And as we come back in the weeks ahead we’re going to be moving forward with legislation.”

Republicans leaders hope to soon provide a credible alternative to Obamacare. House congressional committees including Ways and Means, as well as Energy and Commerce, will start the markup of the bill after the president’s day recess next week.

The Republican proposal would include health savings accounts, high-risk pools for sick people, and states receiving greater control over health care. The plan also includes tax credits for individuals to buy health insurance dependent on age and family size rather than Obamacare’s income basis.
If you like their plan, you'll be able to try their plan...

We Can Forget It For You Wholesale

Clinton voters, rejoice:
The process mirrors the storyline in the hit movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind although it fails to bring happiness to Jim Carrey’s character.

University of Toronto experts have discovered that although there are millions of brain cells in the brain, only a handful are linked to bad memories.

And in groundbreaking studies on mice, they were able to pinpoint those brain cells associated with “fear or threat” memories - and delete them.

Crucially, the researchers found they could wipe away single, specific memories while leaving other memories intact.
You can do the same thing with alcohol, although this sounds less painful the morning after...

Beauty And The Beasts

Ugly people are still ugly:
“I know we are supposed to say beauty is inner — but come on. If that was true, there would be no models,” observed author Fran Lebowitz during a New York Fashion Week party for the Pirelli calendar at Cipriani Wall Street.

“Artifice is fashion,” she further mused. “People’s concept of beauty is different now than it was 50 years ago … It used to mean blond, blue-eyed white girl, and now it can be any color of person and any ethnicity. But still beautiful. There are no models that are not beautiful. They may not be to your taste … but that is a personal thing.”
The ugly stick still hits some people whether they like it or not...