Friday, June 24, 2016

Rocky Mountain Buy

Colrado decides to replace what doesn't work with...what doesn't work:
Support­ers hope that if Amend­ment 69, known as Colorado­Care, passes, other states will follow.

“The way to get here is state by state,” accord­ing to T.R. Reid, spokesman for Colorado­Care and author of “The Healing of America.”

“That’s how we got female suffrage, child labor laws, inter­ra­cial marriage, marijuana. One state does it and the other states see that it works and it spreads.”

Propo­nents believe Colorado is the perfect testing ground for this issue because its consti­tu­tion is far easier to amend than most other states. They cite the passage in 2012 of an amend­ment legal­iz­ing recre­ational marijuana despite the opposi­tion of nearly every elected official in the state.

“People trust us to take ideas and make them work,” Reid said, “and we can make this work and then the whole country will finally provide health care for every­body.”
Socialism, state by state?

Don't Drink And Guard

The stress of working for Hillary:
‘Many turned to alcohol, drugs, perfor­mance enhancers, affairs (sometimes at the workplace), and even prosti­tutes and other danger­ous habits,’ Gary Byrne writes in the forth­com­ing memoir ‘Crisis of Charac­ter.’

And perhaps most ominously for the agency tasked with the safety of the White House and its occupants, he writes that ‘a “f*** it” mental­ity trick­led down’ through­out the Service because of Hillary’s careless­ness with safety and security.

‘Mrs. Clinton was a joke,’ writes Byrne, a former uniformed Secret Service officer who was stationed in the West Wing of the White House for several years during the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

‘She was a faux leader, all bark, no bite, but in a very real power position as First Lady.’
All the power, none of the sobriety...

Her Major Award

For a job not well done:
According to NARA spokesman John Valceanu, the award was “specifically focused” on its work related to the management of inactive paper records stored in the State Department records center.

But at the time both awards were given, Clinton was skirting records rules with her email practices, according to a recent and highly critical inspector general report.

“It is ironic, to say the least, that the National Archives and Records Administration presented awards to the State Department for their record-keeping practices while Secretary Clinton was violating the law by using a private email server,” said Alfred J. Lechner, Jr., president of Cause of Action Institute, a public interest law firm suing over department record-keeping.
Get an award, do not go directly to jail...

Stamped Out

Once a thief:
The Arizona Department of Economic Security began investigating Velasquez in 2014. According to the Arizona DES, Velasquez fraudulently used $1,726 worth of food stamps between 2013 and 2015.

This past February, Velasquez had voted against a bill aimed at giving the same state agency stronger anti-fraud tools – a program that could have quickly detected her alleged fraudulent activity.

Arizona state Rep. Anthony Kern, who sponsored the House bill, called the indictment “sad.”

“It is appalling that an elected official representing the people of Arizona would steal from the poor, while consistently saying she is trying to help the poor,” Kern told Fox News.
Other Democrats do it all the time...

Nexit In Line

Who's next?
While for the past two months a Nexit has been on the cards after Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected a Ukraine-European Union treaty

Details of Berlin's concerns were outlined in a finance ministry strategy document.

Angela Merkel's country faces having to pay an extra £2.44billion a year to the annual EU budget once Britain has left.

Fears for the future of the EU have prompted German government officials to propose that Britain is offered “constructive exit negotiations”.

The aim is of making the UK an “associated partner country” of the EU, according to German newspaper Die Welt today.
And thus it begins...

The Dying European Dream

President Obama is not a fan of how things went down in the UK:
He celebrated the European Union as a political body that had “done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond.”

But Obama signaled respect for the United Kingdom’s decision, even though he visited London in April to urge the country to stay in the EU.

“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,” he adding that “the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring.”

Obama warned in April that the United States would put the UK in the “back of the queue” for trade talks if they decided to leave the EU. But he tried to call for global stability in spite of the shocking vote.

“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world,” he said.
It looks like the rest of the world might be having second thoughts...

Taking Hidden Meetings

Well, she had to do something as Secretary of State:
Documents obtained by the Associated Press as part of a lawsuit involving the Obama administration showed at least 75 meetings with longtime backers of her political efforts, the Clinton Foundation or other interests that were either not included on her official calendar or whose names were not disclosed.

There were at least 114 non-governmental officials who attended those meetings and meals with Clinton, the AP found.

On Friday, State Department spokesman John Kirby refused to defend the discrepancies, citing both the ongoing AP lawsuit and the passage of time.

“Regardless of the ongoing litigation I am not in a position — nor should I be expected to — to speak of the scheduling habits of a previous secretary of State,” Kirby told reporters. “I’m not able to do that.”

“It’s a case of ongoing litigation and I’m simply not able to discuss it further.”

The AP located the discrepancies with Clinton’s schedule by comparing a 1,500-page official calendar with separate plans compiled by Clinton’s aides each day.
They were just friends...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

It's Personal, She Said

What missing emails? Oh, that one:
The email was included within messages exchanged Nov. 13, 2010, between Clinton and one of her closest aides, Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. At the time, emails sent from Clinton's BlackBerry device and routed through her private clintonemail.com server in the basement of her New York home were being blocked by the State Department's spam filter. A suggested remedy was for Clinton to obtain a state.gov email account.

"Let's get separate address or device but I don't want any risk of the personal being accessible," Clinton responded to Abedin.

Clinton never used a government account that was set up for her, instead continuing to rely on her private server until leaving office.

The email was not among the tens of thousands of emails Clinton turned over to the agency in response to public records lawsuits seeking copies of her official correspondence. Abedin, who also used a private account on Clinton's server, provided a copy from her own inbox after the State Department asked her to return any work-related emails. That copy of the email was publicly cited last month in a blistering audit by the State Department's inspector general that concluded Clinton and her team ignored clear internal guidance that her email setup violated federal standards and could have left sensitive material vulnerable to hackers.
Grandma might not know how to use a computer, but others surely do...

Independence Day

the votes are in:
UKIP leader Nigel Farage - who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU - told supporters "this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people".
Mr Farage - who predicted a Remain win at the start of the night after polls suggested that would happen - said Thursday, 23 June would "go down in history as our independence day".
He called on Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the referendum but campaigned passionately for a Remain vote, to quit "immediately".
A Labour source said: "If we vote to leave, Cameron should seriously consider his position."
But pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Mr Cameron urging him to stay on whatever the result.
Labour former Europe Minister Keith Vaz told the BBC the British people had voted with their "emotions" and rejected the advice of experts who had warned about the economic impact of leaving the EU.
He added: "It will be catastrophic for our country, for the rest of Europe and for the rest of the world."
Or at least for those who want to control it...

The New Radicals

It's the new punk rock:

Out On The Floor

Suppose they gave a sit-n and nobody cared?
Democrats declared success in dramatizing the arguments for action to stem gun violence, despite the failure to conjure a vote.

"Just because they cut and run in the dark of night, just because they have left doesn't mean we are taking no for an answer," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

"We won't stop until the job is done," the Californian declared to fellow Democrats camped out in the well of the House in the early hours of the morning, saying the party had changed "the dynamic of what happens" concerning guns.

House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said the public shouldn't be happy with a Republican majority that shut down the House and disregarded "the unfinished business of the American people."
So, why aren't they actually doing anything?

A Little Corruption Goes A Long Way

For one Congressman, corruption was a family affair:
Fattah, 59, had said this week he would leave office when he is sentenced in October. He had run for a 12th term, but lost the primary to state Rep. Dwight Evans weeks before his trial began.

A jury on Tuesday convicted him on all 22 counts in a case that centered on his misuse of federal grants and nonprofit funds to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan from his 2007 run for mayor.

The eight-year, on-again, off-again FBI investigation that followed his mayoral bid also brought down many people close to Fattah. His son was convicted of bank fraud in a related case and sent to prison for five years. Two political consultants who let him move money through their businesses pleaded guilty and testified against the congressman. Four trusted associates, two of whom had worked on his congressional staff, were convicted with him at trial.

And Fattah's wife, Philadelphia TV anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah, left her job after the indictment described her as a participant in one of the bribery schemes. She was never charged and denied wrongdoing.
Somebody had to tell him where to put the cash...

No Facts, No Foul

Fact-checking the fact-checkers:
Why Alesci and Frankel couldn’t confirm the $145 million in Clinton Foundation donations for themselves is curious. Indeed, in a 4,000-word front page story written over a year ago, the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Jo Becker and Mike McIntire verified the Clinton Cash uranium revelation in stunning detail, including charts and graphs laying out the flow of millions of dollars from the nine investors in the uranium deal who flowed $145 million to Hillary’s family foundation.
....

Alesci and Frankel claim there’s “no hard evidence of a quid pro quo.” Naturally, they fail to note that the legal standard for conflicts of interest and corruption do not require a quid pro quo. Nor do they note that Hillary Clinton deleted and destroyed over 30,000 emails housed on her secret server—the obvious location of any so-called “smoking guns.”

Still, the CNN Money “fact-checkers” correctly note that “the State Department was one of several agencies that needed to sign off on the transaction.” Indeed, the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) has nine members, one of which is the State Dept. Yet through willful ignorance or an unusual lack of journalistic curiosity, Alesci and Frankel didn’t think to ask the obvious: which of the eight other agency heads needed to approve the deal were receiving $145 million to their family’s charity at the time of such a pivotal decision? And did Hillary Clinton’s State Department report the glaring conflict of interest before granting its approval of handing over 20 percent of American uranium to Putin’s Russia? Why didn’t Hillary Clinton recuse her agency from voting, knowing that her charity was receiving $145 million from nine investors in the deal?

Those questions apparently did not occur to Cristina Alesci and Laurie Frankel.
You can't get answers if you don't actually ask the questions...

Tell It To The Judges

It was not a good day for President Obama:
People who would have benefited from Obama's plan face no imminent threat of deportation because Congress has provided money to deal with only a small percentage of people who live in the country illegally, and the president retains ample discretion to decide whom to deport. But Obama's effort to expand that protection to many others is effectively stymied.

Obama said Thursday's impasse "takes us further from the country we aspire to be."

The 4-4 tie vote sets no national precedent but leaves in place the ruling by the lower court. The justices issued a one-sentence opinion, with no further comment.
Checks and balances do matter, even if the King says otherwise.

California, There They Go

The Golden State exodus continues:
During the 12 months ending June 30, the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere in the U.S., according to state Finance Department statistics. The so-called "net outward migration" was the largest since 2011, when 63,300 more people fled California than entered.

"The main factors are housing costs in many parts of the state, including coastal regions of California such as the Bay Area," said Dan Hamilton, director of economics with the Economic Forecasting Center at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.

"California has seen negative outward migration to other states for 22 of the last 25 years."

A recent poll revealed that an unsettling sense of yearning has descended on people in the Bay Area: About one-third of those surveyed by the Bay Area Council say they would like to exit the nine-county region sometime soon.

"They are tired of the expense of living here. They are tired of the state of California and the endless taxes here," said Scott McElfresh, a certified moving consultant. "People are getting soaked every time they turn around."
When it rains taxes, it pours...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What She Said

Yes, she did say that:

Lights Out

California is nuclear no more:
Southern California faces potential blackouts in the midst of an ongoing heat wave, due to the lack of available backup power after a massive natural gas leak at Porter Ranch earlier this year, and the recent closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant.

Diablo Canyon is the state’s last nuclear power plant, and its closure has divided environmentalists. Some regard nuclear power as too risky, especially given the damage done by the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan in 2011, after an earthquake and tsunami disabled the reactors’ power supplies and cooling mechanisms. Like that plant, Diablo Canyon sits on the coast — in order to access large quantities of water needed for cooling — and is near earthquake fault lines as well.

Other environmentalists see nuclear power as a key component of the effort to fight climate change, since nuclear involves few greenhouse gas emissions and substitutes for traditional fossil fuel energy sources. Renewable energy is not yet able to generate large quantities of power at an affordable cost on the scale required to provide electricity, including air conditioning, to millions of consumers. Nuclear energy currently makes up 9% of the state’s supply.
The way things are going, California may soon not have even that much...

Omission Admission

Who did the editing?
"I'm not going to go into the detail of the process behind it," Lynch said. "Our review was not to further spread the propaganda, but once it became a distraction, we released the whole transcript."

Soon after release of the edited transcript on Monday, federal officials were slammed by Republican lawmakers including House Speaker Paul Ryan, who suggested that the deleted references to ISIL and its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi reflected the Obama administration's reluctance to acknowledge the threat posed by radical Islam.

The White House has denied any involvement in the initial decision or the reversal. Officials have said the FBI had the lead role in distribution of the initial transcript, which was linked to an interagency press conference in Orlando Monday morning.
You will not know for your own good...

The Deaf Elephant

Dear GOP leadership: The voters don't like you:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 73% of Likely Republican Voters believe GOP leaders have lost touch with Republican voters. Just 20% say those leaders have done a good job representing GOP voters. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

By comparison, only 28% of Democratic voters say their leaders have lost touch with the party's voter base. Sixty-two percent (62%) believe instead that the party's leaders have done a good job representing Democratic voters.

These findings are in line with surveys for several years that have asked voters to rate their party leaders in Congress.

Despite Donald Trump’s record turnout in this year’s primaries, most Republican voters are convinced that their party’s leaders don’t want him to get elected president. Democrats are more confident than Republicans that their party will be unified after next month's national conventions.
It's fair to say that the Republicans have an unpopular leadership, while the Democrats have an unpopular nominee. If it comes down to a popularity contest, do both sides really lose?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

They're Just Splicing

We may die, but our genes live on:
New evidence in animals suggests that many genes go on working for up to 48 hours after the lights have gone out.

This hustle and bustle has been seen in mice and zebrafish, but there are hints that genes are also active for some time in deceased humans. This discovery could have implications for the safety of organ transplants as well as help pathologists pinpoint a time of death more precisely, perhaps to within minutes of the event.

Peter Noble and Alex Pozhitkov at the University of Washington, Seattle, and their colleagues investigated the activity of genes in the organs of mice and zebrafish immediately after death. They did this by measuring the amount of messenger RNA present. An increase in this mRNA – which genes use to tell cells to make products such as proteins – indicates that genes are more active.
Genes with nothing else to do?

A Spoonful Of Taxes

More government sugar for everyone:
“Congress should follow Philadelphia’s lead and enact the SWEET Act, which would reduce the human and economic costs of health conditions related to these beverages,” DeLauro said in a press statement this week. “And while we continue to pressure Congress to act, more cities should step up and lead on this critical issue. At a time when one-in-three children and adolescents are overweight or obese, with the numbers even worse for adults, we must take action.”

Philadelphia is the second large U.S. city to tax soda and follows Chicago – which has a three percent tax on retail soda sales and a separate tax on fountain beverages. Associated Press (AP) reports that Philadelphia will have a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar, which will become effective January 1.

“The tax will be levied on distributors,” AP explains. “If they pass it entirely on to consumers, the cost of a 12-ounce can of soda would go up 18 cents. A six-pack of 16-ounce bottles would go up $1.44.”
Passing the cost of the nanny state on to you...

Saving Detroit From Itself?

Detroit's schools get some money:
The debt-ridden Detroit Public Schools has been managed by the state for seven years, yet has continued to face plummeting enrollment, deficits and this year, teachers calling out sick in protests that closed numerous schools for several days.

“This marks a new day for Detroit families, with DPS free from debt and strong accountability measures for all schools in the city that promises a brighter future for all of Detroit’s children,” Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said in a written statement, nearly two weeks after the plan narrowly cleared the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Democrats, the teachers union and others opposed the plan, saying it won’t do enough for the district’s roughly 46,000 students and nearly 100 schools.
Because they did such a bang-up job before, right?

Big Internet Is Watching You

Coming soon to a country near you?
China and Iran long have restricted online speech. Now limitations are under discussion in countries that have had a more open approach to speech, including Brazil, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bolivia, Kenya and Nigeria.

Advocates said some of the proposals would criminalize conversations online that otherwise would be protected under the countries' constitutions. Some use broad language to outlaw online postings that "disturb the public order" or "convey false statements" - formulations that could enable crackdowns on political speech, critics said.

"Free expression is one of the foundational elements of the internet," said Michael Chertoff, former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and a co-author of the internet governance report. "It shouldn't be protecting the political interests of the ruling party or something of that sort."
Somebody forgot to tell the powers that be...

Jackass Army

Who works for Politico?
A number of Politico reporters and editors who claim to be objective are actually partisan Democrats, as voter registration files and other documentation obtained by Breitbart News show. Breaking this veneer of objectivity could be a problem for a struggling news organization like Politico, which is going through a transition this year as several of its most senior officials are leaving the company after years of service.

Big-name, respected journalists like Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei are gearing up to leave the once-great political media juggernaut, and these revelations represent insight into how Politico has gone from arguably one of the biggest names in political news to just another mainstream media outlet driving a progressive narrative.

Politico, in its heyday, was viewed by Republicans and Democrats alike as a place where they would battle over the day’s news and compete on an even playing field. Founded in January 2007, Politico took off like a rocket ship as several senior journalists from across a variety of mainstream media outlets joined the burgeoning outlet in the early days of then-candidate Barack Obama’s rise to power, fashioning content with an intense interest in inside-the-beltway politics, including sports-like recaps of the battles of the day on Capitol Hill.
The rocket seems to have run out of fuel...

Human Park

Are we literally just somebody else's prey?
It may sound like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie but the dystopian vision could become even become an attraction for stag parties, team building exercise and sightseers, a report claims.

And by 2200 it could even become a televised public spectacle, like Arnie's sci fi classic The Running Man or, more recently, The Hunger Games , it added.

The nightmare prediction comes from Daniel Wright, senior lecturer in tourism at the University of Central Lancashire in a paper for the scientific journal Futures.
But do humans taste like chicken?

Robo Rights

How to keep the Cylons from revolting:
Robots are being deployed in ever-greater numbers in factories and also taking on tasks such as personal care or surgery, raising fears over unemployment, wealth inequality and alienation.

Their growing intelligence, pervasiveness and autonomy requires rethinking everything from taxation to legal liability, a draft European Parliament motion, dated May 31, suggests.

Some robots are even taking on a human form. Visitors to the world's biggest travel show in March were greeted by a lifelike robot developed by Japan's Toshiba <6502.T> and were helped by another made by France's Aldebaran Robotics.

However, Germany's VDMA, which represents companies such as automation giant Siemens and robot maker Kuka , says the proposals are too complicated and too early.
Wait until they start demanding $15 an hour...

Delegates For Dollars

They have to give Clinton the nomination somehow:
Fattah and four associates were indicted in July 2015 on 29 corruption charges including racketeering, bribery, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, and falsification of records, among other charges.

The Department of Justice said Fattah took an illegal $1 million loan from his failed Philadelphia mayoral bid in 2007 and disguised it as a loan to his consulting company.

At the end of the campaign, Fattah used a scheme to repay the loan through grants and charitable funds from his nonprofit, the Educational Advancement Alliance, and passed through two other companies. In order to pull off the scheme, sham contracts were created to conceal the contributions and repayment operation. False entries were made into accounting records, campaign finance disclosure statements, and tax returns.
With a resume like that, I'm sure he'd find work in her administration...

Monday, June 20, 2016

Frozen For The Future

Is this what the next generation of Japanese will look like?
Dr. Iwaho Kikuchi of the hospital said Thursday that using public funds to support this kind of study may be a first in the world.

The average cost of such procedure is around 500,000 to 600,000 yen ($4,700 to $5,700), but a woman will only pay 20 percent of the cost with the subsidy. Women between the age of 25 and 34 who live in Urayasu, also home to Tokyo Disneyland, are eligible to participate.

Kikuchi said 12 women are in the process of starting the freezing process, and about two-thirds of them or their husbands have some sort of health issue.

The success rate of pregnancy from frozen eggs is slim. If a woman freezes eggs at the age of 25, the chance of successfully giving birth is 30 percent. At the age of 34, it drops to 20 percent.

Japan has been struggling to boost its declining birth rate, which would depress the working population and increase the financial burden on them as the older generation retires.

Urayasu mayor Hideaki Matsuzaki called the low birthrate a national problem.

“In general, pregnancy and childbirth is an individual issue. But when the situation has become this far, I consider it a social problem,” Matsuzaki said. “I view using public expenditure as the right thing to do.”
It takes a clinic to raise future children?

When In Rome

Viva change:
Virginia Raggi's triumph in Rome made her the first female leader of the capital since it was founded over two and a half millennia ago.

And it was a win based on exactly the kind of pro-change platform and mood that had, until now, underpinned Renzi's popularity.

In his first reaction to Sunday's losses, Renzi made light of the setbacks, stressing big regional variations and arguing that the gains for M5S reflected a desire for change that his government shared.

"Those who won yesterday were those who knew best how to reflect this longing for change," he said.

The ruling council of his Democratic Party (PD) will hold an inquest into the result of the vote on Friday.

Analysts saw the outcome as worrying for the premier because the landmark victories were achieved by M5S securing the backing or the abstention of anti-Renzi forces encompassing the far-left, the far-right and the centre right.
The outsiders know that real change is more than just talk...

No Free Speech For You

Turkey goes after the "real" enemy:
Turkey jailed three leading press freedom and human rights advocates, charging them with disseminating terrorist propaganda after they joined a solidarity campaign for a newspaper focusing on Kurdish issues.
Erol Onderoglu, who represents the Paris-based press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders, was arrested after appearing in an Istanbul court on Monday. Sebnem Korur Fincanci, a forensics expert who helped set the international standard for documenting torture claims, and writer Ahmet Nesin, were also sent to prison on similar charges.
The three had served as honorary editors-in-chief for Ozgur Gundem, a daily newspaper and news website whose coverage focuses on the conflict between the government and the autonomy-seeking Kurdish militant group PKK. Turkish authorities have opened criminal investigations against 37 of 44 people who protested a crackdown on Ozgur Gundem staff by joining a campaign to serve as the paper’s rotating "on-duty editor-in-chief" since last month, T24 news reported.
One man's unfair critic is another's truth-teller...

Selective Scandals

Who has more dirt? If you believe the media, it's not Hillary:
Indeed, the only Clinton scandal to receive more than a minimal amount of attention from the networks during the primaries was the ongoing investigation of Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server and her mishandling of classified information while serving as Secretary of State. The networks paid little or no attention to a host of other Clinton controversies that likely would have been big news if they had been associated with her GOP opponent.

MRC analysts reviewed all 1,099 stories on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts which talked about the presidential campaign between January 1 through June 7, including weekends. This tally includes 950 full reports and interview segments; 66 short items read by the anchor; plus 83 stories on other topics that included some discussion of one or more of the candidates.
No news is good news for her...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Exit Europa, Stage Right

Who's killing the EU?
To the pro-Europe establishment, this latest crisis is considered a peculiarly British affair, in which the villains are opportunistic politicians steering voters toward a delusional, self-inflicted mistake.

That may be. But if Britain does leave, the European Union can also blame its own handling of the crises of the past decade — the tribulations of the euro, the debt standoff with Greece and a flawed approach to migration. Each time, the bloc rammed through ugly, short-term fixes that only inflamed the angry nationalism now spreading across the Continent and Britain.

The result was almost a decade of ad hoc crisis management that even many admirers agree has left the European Union badly wounded and its reputation badly damaged. Idealism has given way to disillusionment. The bloc’s elite technocrats are often perceived as out of touch, while European institutions are not fully equipped to address problems like unemployment and economic stagnation. Political solidarity is dissolving into regional divisions of east and west, north and south.
So it's not just Britain. The EU has angered everyone equally...

Fire Salesman

Never let a heat wave go to waste:
While fires could become more likely in the future, the link in the present has not been established. False statements like the president’s could, they warn, lead to inappropriate policies.

The president’s statement was only the latest example of climate change hysteria from the president. Earlier this month, he warned that Manhattan would be “underwater” unless action was taken soon on climate change. (Scientists say that some portions of Manhattan could experience flooding, but not the entire island, even under the most catastrophic models.)

Obama also touted his administration’s record in expanding public lands and taking regulatory actions, including enforcing the Endangered Species Act (which many Californians blame for overzealous protection of the Delta smelt at the expense of water allocations to farmers).
Feel the big government burn...

Trump Love

The perils of being a gay Trump supporter:
A number of gay men who have decided to throw their support behind Trump told NBC OUT it has not been an easy road. Juan Hernandez, a gay and Latino member of the Log Cabin Republicans, said his support led to physical violence by anti-Trump protesters at a rally in San Jose. Images of the attack and his bloodied clothes went viral.

"This is politics. Debate is OK," Hernandez said. "When you start getting violent and throwing out derogatory terms, that's not OK."

Hernandez, who switched to the GOP after realizing his views outside of LGBTQ issues were more conservative, said he was a target even before the rally in San Jose. Other members of the LGBTQ and Latino communities, he said, have singled him out for his Trump support. "They'll email me or send me messages. They say that I'm a sellout," he explained.
They'll let you eat at their table, but they won't let you off the plantation...

Hack Attack

Hackers strike again:
The hacker forwarded an assortment of Excel spreadsheets containing the names, e-mail addresses, occupations, and phone numbers of thousands of individuals, many of whom are listed as Democratic donors.

According to metadata embedded in the spreadsheets, the documents were created by various Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffers.

The pilfered records include entries as recent as April, proof that “Guccifer 2.0” was recently rooting around in the DNC’s system. The hacker has ignored TSG questions about why the DNC was targeted (or whether the incursion was a Russian intelligence operation, as suspected by a security firm hired by the Democratic party).
there's enough dirt to go around for everyone...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Fact-Checking Hoax

Everybody has to work somewhere:
Snopes’ main political fact-checker is a writer named Kim Lacapria. Before writing for Snopes, Lacapria wrote for Inquisitr, a blog that — oddly enough — is known for publishing fake quotes and even downright hoaxes as much as anything else.

While at Inquisitr, the future “fact-checker” consistently displayed clear partisanship.

She described herself as “openly left-leaning” and a liberal. She trashed the Tea Party as “teahadists.” She called Bill Clinton “one of our greatest” presidents. She claimed that conservatives only criticized Lena Dunham’s comparison of voting to sex because they “fear female agency.”

She once wrote: “Like many GOP ideas about the poor, the panic about using food stamps for alcohol, pornography or guns seems to have been cut from whole cloth–or more likely, the ideas many have about the fantasy of poverty.” (A simple fact-check would show that food stamp fraud does occur and costs taxpayers tens of millions.)

Lacapria even accused the Bush administration of being “at least guilty of criminal negligience” in the September 11 attacks. (The future “fact-checker” offered no evidence to support her accusation.)

Her columns apparently failed to impress her readership, oftentimes failing to get more than 10-20 shares.

After blogging the Inquisitr, Lacapria joined Snopes, where she regularly plays defense for her fellow liberals.
Not everyone learns from their past failures...

Dollars And Sense

Millennials meet reality, sort of:
Nielsen data shows that wealthy millennials — with incomes in excess of $100,000 — are increasingly shopping at dollar stores. The number rose over 7 percent from 2012 to 2015.

Department store brands such as Macy’s and big-box retailers such as Target reported weak earnings in the most recent quarter.

In addition to shopping at discount stores, millennials also support U.S. military intervention including the use of ground troops against the Islamic State and believe that the 2015 outbreak of #BlackLivesMatter protests will fail to create any meaningful changes in American society, according to a Harvard University survey conducted last year.

In 2014, another poll by the same Harvard polling group showed that 18-to-29-year-old Americans were abandoning the Democratic coalition built largely by Obama.
Some of them do grow up after all...

Left Like Me

Yes, CNN is liberal:
“We have added many more middle-of-the-road conservative voices to an already strong stable of liberal voices. And I think that we are a much more-balanced network and, as a result, a much more inviting network to a segment of the audience that might not have otherwise been willing to come here,” The CNN boss said.

Indeed, this is a reversal from previous network executives. For instance, in 2013, Tuner Broadcasting CEO (owner of CNN) Phil Kent insisted that CNN was not a liberal news network.

Only a few short years later, it appears Zucker has gotten the message, at least to the degree that he has garnered praise from National Center Free Enterprise Project Director Justin Danhof for making an effort to tamp down on bias.

“CNN deserves credit for admitting its liberal bias and doing something to correct the problem,” Danhof said in a press release after attending the annual meeting of Time Warner investors in Burbank, California on June 17. “While much of the liberal media, including the New York Times, MSNBC, ABC, ESPN, CBS, and the Washington Post all continue to deny their bias or the negative results thereof, CNN has made a deliberate effort to increase conservative voices in its airways, and that decision has paid dividends.”
Diversity can be profitable! Spread the word...

Running From Rio

Welcome to Rio-or not:
The BBC reported that public funding for the Olympics has come from Rio’s city government, but the state is responsible for footing the bill for transportation and policing.

Brazil as a whole has been dealing with a severe economic recession. Dornelles’ declaration could expedite the release of federal emergency funds.

The interim governor noted that “exceptional measures” will be taken ahead of the Games that could affect “all essential public services”, but offered no further details.

The country’s Interim President Michel Temer has already promised financial aid.

Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes assured on Twitter (in Portuguese) that the state’s announcement “in no way delays the delivery of Olympic projects and the promises assumed by the city of Rio.”
"Assume" being the operative word here...