Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jurassic Bling

Size did matter:
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that theropods that developed ornaments on their heads evolved to gigantic body sizes 20 times faster than those that didn’t, and that 20 of the 22 largest theropod species, like T. Rex and Allosaurus, had them.

Researchers Terry Gates and Lindsay Zanno suspect the ornaments served as socio-sexual display mechanisms the dinosaurs would use to signal their mating, territory and defense intentions.

Gates and Zanno examined the fossils of 111 ornamented and unornamented theropods and determined that those weighing under 80 pounds did not develop head ornaments, but 20 of 22 above that threshold did.

"We were surprised to find such a strong relationship between ornaments and huge body size in theropods," Gates said. "Something about their world clearly favored bling and big bods."
Dinosaurs keeping it real?

Halloween Pet Parade

Don't make sexist costumes for
On the site, options for your female pooch include “sweet heart nurse” or French maid. “Any tidy girl dog will look adorable wearing this French Maid Dog Costume,” the site’s description reads. “Whether your pup is a clean freak or a messy mutt, she will enjoy playing ‘dress up’ in this fun costume.”

The choices for male dogs, meanwhile, include fireman, mob boss and doctor (suggested pairing: “match up with a girl friend with the Sweet Heart Nurse Dog Costume.”)

“It seems silly on the surface, but this is part of a larger message we’re sending, that there are certain jobs for men, and certain jobs for women,” said Scott Lawrie, 36, who co-hosts a podcast, ‘She will not be ignored,’ about gender issues. “The career options for women — and dogs — need to go beyond pink loofahs and pink cowgirls.”
Chasing chew toys needs to be respected, you know...

Breaking The Bank

What is going on with Deutsche Bank?
European regulators and government officials have kept a low profile in public over Deutsche’s deepening woes. However, in private they have struck a sanguine tone, stressing that in extremis there is scope under European regulation to inject state funds to support the bank, provided it is done in line with market conditions.

Marcel Fratzscher, head of DIW Berlin, a think-tank, said: “If push comes to shove, the German government would contribute because Deutsche Bank is the only global bank that Germany has.”

A person briefed on the situation at Deutsche said some of the bank’s hedge fund clients had imposed risk limits on the business they do with it in response to the negative headlines swirling around the lender and the recent rise in its credit default swap prices, a key indicator of credit risk.
I'm sure everything will be just fine...

Black Moon Rising

'Tis only the moon:
The latest causing excitement among skygazers is the so-called black moon, however there are several definitions about what it actually is.

Most experts agree the term black moon refers to the second new moon in a calendar month.

It shouldn’t be confused with a blue moon, a phenomenon that occurs when there is a second full moon in one calendar month.

Joe Rao from explains: "A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. A black moon is supposedly the flip side of a blue moon; the second new moon in a single calendar month."
The moon is black and blue...

The Dearly Disemboweled

Always make sure your loved one's internal organs are properly stored:
The woman, who has lived in Graz for the past eight years, asked a Moroccan doctor to examine the body for evidence that her in-laws killed their son in protest of his marriage. The doctor agreed with her suspicions, and told the woman to take a small piece of the man’s intestine to Europe for testing.

The customs officials had never experienced a similar situation and called in police to decide if the woman was breaking any laws. Police spokesman Leo Josefus said it turned out to be perfectly legal to bring a sample of your dead spouse’s organs to Austria, and the woman was cleared to take the bag to a lab for examination.

“I would imagine that it was done by a pathologist,” Gerald Höfler, the pathologist examining the intestine, said of the package, according to The New York Times. “It was absolutely secure, triple wrapped, according to European Union norms.”
No leakage, no problem...

The Last Days

Headed for election Armageddon?
Caddell said, “One of the things we’ll see, and I’ll predict this now and why if Trump’s going to win he has to go to this higher ground, is, you’re going to see … just how much the establishment order will fight to hold onto its power and privilege at all costs.”

He continued, “It is going to be the most broad-based assault in every direction to try to keep [Trump] out of the White House. And so this is headed to Armageddon, if you will, politically.”

“This is an election where the American people have bolted,” asserted Caddell, adding:

They want control back of their government, and they are very anti-establishment and political class. That’s why you see such a united effort by the Democrats and Republicans in the establishment who are terrified that Trump represents the diminution of their power.
Power to the people-or just power?

Remember When

Linda Tripp brings back the dark side of the Clinton years:
Tripp possesses insider information on the scandals known as Travelgate, Filegate and Whitewater, and she personally witnessed the handling of documents from Vince Foster’s office the morning after the Deputy White House Counsel was found dead in an apparent suicide. Foster was heavily involved in defending the Clintons in the Travelgate, Filegate and Whitewater cases. Tripp was the last person known to have spoken to Foster before his death.

In an exclusive interview, Tripp reopened each of those scandals – Travelgate, Filegate, Whitewater and the issues surrounding Vince Foster’s death – and she used her unique vantage point to explain how the notorious cases foreshadowed many of the current Clinton controversies, from the Clinton Foundation to Hillary Clinton’s private email server troubles.
The past is always there, even if you try to delete it...

Government Train Wreck

Where were the crash controls?
Passengers aboard the No. 1614 Pascack Valley line train say it never slowed down before slamming through barriers and into a wall at the New Jersey station.

A witness at the scene said the engineer was found slumped over at the wheel of the train.

Now it has emerged that the train lacked a system called Positive Train Control (PTC), which combines satellite and computer data to monitor train movements and prevent them from going too fast or hitting other locomotives on the track.

A mandatory report by Federal Railroad Administration revealed that the life-saving technology is not installed on any NJ Transit locomotives.
More government fail-at passenger expense?


Delivered in thirty bytes or less?
Here’s how it works: When a customer places an order, a robot sauces a pre-formed uncooked pie, then sends it down a conveyor belt to a human, who adds the toppings. The pizza is then loaded into one of those 56 ovens on a special delivery truck, where it will bake en route to its destination.

“We’re starting with pizza, but the implications for BOTW [baked on the way] technology extends to the entire food-delivery industry,” Garden said in a statement. “By eliminating dwell-time, we can make pizza with locally sourced, chemical-free ingredients, so that customers don’t have to compromise quality for convenience.”

The pizzas range from $15 to $18. And the toppings go beyond your average cheese and pepperoni: On something called a Veggie Jackson pizza, you’ll find mozzarella, young goat gouda, baby spinach, yellow squash, green squash, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, red onions, gremolata and tomato sauce. There’s also a gluten-free option for some of the pies.
Don't forget to tip your robot...

Up Above The World So High

The world of flight:
Cruising along, skimming the top of the cloud layers rewards you with the glory of it all. The sun is above you. The clouds are at eye level. You can peer down through the breaks to see farmlands, winding rivers, and geometric highways. You can spot quarries and prisons, schoolyards, and backyard swimming pools.

The cooling towers of the nuclear plants make their own clouds, which rise and mingle with those of Mother Nature.

Other strangers appear in the sky: sometimes there are “jumpers” who are sliding out of planes and floating down to earth by parachute. Sometimes there are low-flying gliders or dirigibles. In the distance, we’ll see the profiles of big jumbo jets and 747s. Occasionally at low altitudes, birds will come out of nowhere, unexpected and dangerous. And near storms, we might see the drama of lightning.
The sky above, the ground below...

Young Man With A Cleaver

Learning a useful trade:
Basically, what we do is we take the pig and figure out how to best preserve it and create different flavors. I take the raw product and through either curing or smoking preserve the product so that it becomes sellable, as well as altering the flavor to a more desirable, complex flavor background.

Lam: What are some of the challenges of your job?

Larson: When I first started, it was very difficult because I'd never done anything like that. It was tough to get through a pig in one day. Even skinning the pig was challenging. I think that was the biggest struggle was getting my butchery skills to a level to where I could do more interesting and valuable things with the meat. That took a solid four or five months before I was really comfortable breaking down the whole pig, making accurate cuts, being precise, and knowing what I was going to do with it.

Now, the challenge has kind of changed. Recently, it's been more about creativity and understanding more what I can do with the animals: How I can work with Nathaniel to create different products that are more interesting and more useful?

Lam: What do you mean by useful?

Larson: For instance, today we're trying to figure out how to make pork-skin sausage. Traditionally, what we do is we take the pork skin, boil it down, render out the fat, and scrape the skins, then dehydrate them and fry them and they crackle. We'll sell that at Bourrée.
An education can come in many forms...

The Worst Boss

When it comes to the government, scraping the bottom of the barrel is areward, not punishment:
In St. Louis, Nelson oversaw a hospital that potentially exposed 1,800 patients to HIV and was closed twice for serious medical safety issues. Patients and employees both gave it the worst possible marks for trustworthiness. The Democratic congressman who represents the area around the facility said mediocrity “thrives” under Nelson and he was astounded that she was still employed by the VA.

When she starts Oct. 2, she will become the seventh director in less than three years for Phoenix’s hospital — the epicenter of the national wait-time scandal that rocked the nation. She is the second consecutive boss who is known to have a bad track record even before her first day on the job.
She'll fit right in...

Railroading 101

The rights of the accused still matter:
The decision, by Judge William E. Smith, blasts Brown for a variety of actions that deprived Doe of due process. Most notably, he faults the school for telling Doe he would be judged under the 2014 student code of conduct, but then without warning switching to a new code of conduct that did not even exist when his alleged offense occurred. The new code of conduct included a tougher definition of sexual consent, likely increasing the odds that Doe would be found responsible and kicked out.

The ruling also notes that Brown’s training of sexual assault investigators apparently caused them to deliberately overlook evidence with the potential to exonerate Doe, such as exculpatory text messages sent after the alleged assault.
In the real world, you can still have a chance at a fair trial. On campus, not so much...

The New Net Masters

So who will run the web now?
Bottom line: contrary to left-wing cant, there is such a thing as American exceptionalism – areas in which the United States is demonstrably superior to every other nation, a leader to which the entire world should look for examples. Sadly, our society is losing its fervor for free expression, and growing more comfortable with suppressing “unacceptable” speech, but we’re still far better than anyone else in this regard.

The rest of the world, taken in total, is very interested in suppressing various forms of expression, for reasons ranging from security to political stability and religion. Those governments will never be comfortable, so long as parts of the Internet remain outside of their control. They have censorship demands they consider very reasonable, and absolutely vital. The website you are reading right now violates every single one of them, on a regular basis.
I hope the left likes their new Internet overlords...

Red Payment Plan

Communists are finally making money, sort of:
The country’s GDP per capita for 2015 is now estimated to be $1,013, according to the Hyundai Research Institute on Thursday.

That figure is roughly equivalent to the average South Korean income in the mid- to late 1970s.

In 2013, North Korea’s per capita GDP was $854, then rose to $930 in 2014.

North Korea’s economy has been improving incrementally since the 2000s, when former leader Kim Jong Il called for new reforms that would bring significant changes to the economy’s centralized planning system.

But the lack of substantial reform has also left North Korea’s economy stuck at underdeveloped levels, according to the report.

The data provides a remarkable contrast to the wealthier South, where GDP per capita for 2015 is estimated to be $27,195.

North Korea’s estimated per capita GDP for 2015 is less than 4 percent of the South’s, and is well below China at $7,990, Vietnam at $2,088, and Laos at $1,779, according to the analysis.
I'm sure they'll thank Dear Leader for his table scraps...

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Write It Off

Breaking the law is tax-deductible:
The Clintons’ publicly available tax filings show that the former first couple deducted similar amounts from Bill Clinton’s speechmaking income for computer maintenance expenses in those same years.

The Clintons also depreciated computer equipment that was put in service in June 2011 — the same month Pagliano traveled to the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, N.Y. to work on the server — as well as at other times when major changes were made to the off-the-books email system.

The similarities in the deductions and server payments are not definitive proof that the Clintons wrote off the money they paid to Pagliano. But none of the available evidence rules it out.
It's the giving that counts...

Where's My Internet?

Who controls the web, now?
Pai said, “This proposal is to essentially give up the US oversight role that it’s had for the last 20 years, basically for the entire commercial lifespan of the Internet to a company called ICANN, which is an international organization, which includes a number of foreign countries. And, it’s an unprecedented move, and one that, as Mr. DeMint pointed out, is irreversible. Once we give up this oversight role, we can’t get it back.”

He added that Internet oversight is a case of, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Pai further stated, “[I]f you cherish free expression, and free speech rights generally, you should be worried, I think, when there’s — this oversight role’s going to be ceded to potentially, foreign governments who might not share our values.”
An online dictatorship by default?

Winding Up, Winding Down

Whatever happened to Obamacare?
As a candidate on the campaign trail in 2008, Obama once said: “If you’ve got health insurance, we’re going to help that employer save $2,500 per family per year. … Those savings are going to be passed along to the workers.”

Nationally, though, premium hikes are expected to average 8 percent next year. Many insurance companies are seeking much more than that, for the exchange plans and those offered to employers.

Premera in Washington state is approved to charge 19 percent more next year. Rates across California will go up an average of 13 percent. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is asking to raise premiums a stunning 60 percent.

Long-time critics of ObamaCare say they saw it coming.

“That basic promise, that it’s going to make health care more affordable, it’s not making health care more affordable,” said Avik Roy, an author and Republican adviser. “It’s making health care more expensive, especially for the uninsured.”
As it was planned to do...

Hatin' On The Frog

So apparently a cartoon frog is now hateful:
“In recent years, with the growth of the ‘alt right’ segment of the white supremacist movement, a segment that draws some of its support from some of the above-mentioned Internet sites, the number of ‘alt right’ Pepe memes has grown, a tendency exacerbated by the controversial and contentious 2016 presidential election,” wrote the ADL on their Pepe page. “Though Pepe memes have many defenders, not least the character’s creator, Matt Furie, who has called the alt right appropriation of the meme merely a ‘phase,’ the use of racist and bigoted versions of Pepe memes seems to be increasing, not decreasing.”

The ADL’s entry of Pepe the Frog into the Hate Symbol Database is accompanied with various modified images, portraying the cartoon frog as a Nazi, a Ku Klux Klan member, a negative stereotype of a Jew, and a black person.
Could it be that Trump supporters took Pepe away from the real haters? But then, these are the same types of people who are scared of Harambe, so...

Angry Snakes On A Plane

Why are people so angry when they fly?
Some 10,854 incidents were reported to IATA by its member airlines in 2015, equating to one every 1,205 flights. That’s up from 9,316 incidents, or one every 1,282 flights, the previous year, the industry group said Wednesday.
The majority of cases involved verbal abuse, failure to follow lawful crew instructions and other forms of anti-social behavior, while 11 percent featured physical aggression toward passengers or crew, or damage to the aircraft.
Intoxication was identified as a factor in 23 percent of cases, and in most instances alcohol was consumed prior to boarding or from a personal supply rather than bought -- or handed out -- on the plane.
Rage doesn't work well at 30,000 feet...

What's In A Mispronounced Name?

Say their name, or else:
The “microaggression” of failing to say a student’s name correctly adds to America’s lengthy and ever-growing list of “microaggressions” — everyday words and actions that radical leftists have decided to be angry or frustrated about.

The pledge to pronounce every kid’s name correctly 100 percent of the time appears to have originated with a national campaign launched last year by the National Association for Bilingual Education and the taxpayer-funded school district in Santa Clara, California, according to the Media Research Center.

The campaign, called “My Name, My Identity: A Declaration of Self,” suggests that teachers cause “anxiety and resentment” when they mispronounce students’ names.
It's always easier with Smith or Jones...

Blogging In The Years: 2003

What would a President Trump do? Would he invade Iraq?

Master Payment

The US owes reparations, according to the UN:
The group’s statement was part of a study by the United Nations’ Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, a group that reports to the international organization’s High Commissioner on Human Rights, The Washington Post reported.

The group of experts, made up of leading human rights lawyers from around the world, presented its findings about the link between the U.S.’s history of slavery and present injustices, such as the recent police shootings of African Americans to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday.

“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report stated. “Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”
Because shooting an armed man is like putting his ancestors on a slave ship, or something. while we're at it, how about the Middle Eastern and African countries that participated in the slave trade? Or all the other countries that had slavery long before the U.S.? Any takers?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Penalty Box

If you don't want your Obamacare, you still have to pay for it:
The number of people paying the penalty rather than purchasing insurance in 2014 is greater than IRS officials initially thought last year. Based on reports, IRS commissioner John Koskinen estimated that around 7.5 million Americans paid $1.5 billion in penalties.

Several Republican senators proposed legislation this summer to suspend the individual mandate if insurance premiums rose.

“Our bill would exempt people from the law’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance if their plan’s premiums increase by 10 percent or the average of their home state’s premiums increase by more than 10 percent,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, one of the co-sponsors of the bill, said in July.

“Obamacare has failed,” Sen. Tom Cotton, another co-sponser of the bill, said in July. “Premiums are skyrocketing by more than 50 percent in some states, deductibles average more than $5,000 for the cheapest plans, and networks are shrinking Even worse, many of those same families will face a massive tax penalty because they can’t afford care”
But it's their "fair share..."

Winners And Losers

By most accounts Hillary won, or at least survived. But it wasn't without help:
Holt reminded viewers he’s liberal – from pushing the birther issue to harassing Trump about his tax returns to a wildly biased question about Clinton as “the first woman nominated by a party” not having “the look.” Clinton skated by with a 15-second response on her emails while Trump was asked repeated follow-up questions while Hillary was not. There was no “deplorables” question and Holt promoted the birther meme without noting its origin in the Clinton camp.

Clinton discussed fact-checking three times, even imploring her media friends: “Well, I hope the fact checkers are turning up the volume and really working hard.” Holt sure was.
But who checks the fact checkers?

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Great Debate '16

One way or another, one of them will become the next President of the United States.

Will Hillary be the Richard Nixon of 2016?

Nixon was ill-prepared for the 1960 debate. He'd been recently hospitalized, didn't want to wear makeup, and sweated like a stuck pig. Kennedy was young and charismatic, and cool on camera.

Hillary's health issues have become part of the debate-she wants a bigger podium, presumably the better to sneer at Donald Trump with. Any coughing will immediately raise red flags with viewers, even low-information types who haven't been paying that much attention until now.

Trump brings his vast experience with television performances to the arena, but how well will that carry over into a debate? He may be living rent-free inside her medicated head, but what if she gets under his skin?

Lincoln concluded another consequential debate by saying that a house divided cannot stand. Douglas wound up supporting Lincoln as the country unraveled. Who will unravel first in 2016?

Are we ready?

Blogging In The Years: 1972

Is our problem really too many people? If so, what's the solution? Something that only a radical environmentalist could love?

Beam Them Up

While the method of breaking down people and objects into an energy pattern sounds downright scary (we feel you, Bones), researchers have figured out a way to teleport a particle of light just under four miles away. That doesn't mean humans will be replicating food anytime soon, but it's a step in the right direction. More specifically, the researchers teleported a photon over a straight line using the fiber-optical cable structure in the city of Calgary.

The research was conducted through a collaboration between the University of Calgary, a group of United States-based researchers, and the Canadian city itself. Wolfgang Tittel, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Calgary, led a team of physicists to set a new record for transferring a quantum state a specific distance using teleportation. The achievement arrives after kicking off the project in 2014 thanks to an Urban Alliance seed grant.

The project is based on quantum entanglement where two or more photons become entangled with each other to the point that their properties become linked, creating a single "quantum state," or a set list of properties. The team managed to teleport two photons of an entangled set, which remained linked to each other despite the distance they traveled.
At least they didn't lose their photons on the way...

Romney's Last Win

That moment when Mitt Romney actually won:
Obama hated debates, his former speechwriter Jon Favreau recalled in a recent column for The Ringer. The President viewed them as phony gladiator matches and "a highly subjective test of style and demeanor over substance and accuracy."
And it showed in his wince-worthy performance that night, his annoyance at having his record challenged, his disengagement, all magnified by the split screen images of the two candidates.
"In the green room, we were on our feet, hooting and hollering; like watching an early Tyson fight," recalled Will Ritter, a Republican strategist who was Romney's 2012 director of advance. "Gov. Romney humbled the sitting president who was too arrogant to prepare."
Obama hasn't changed much, has he?

Mac Man

Who to thank for mac and cheese:

No Police Near Them

Black Lives Matter goes South Park:
Garza argued that the United States gives too much respect to police officers, explaining that when police do wrong, a few bad cops are blamed, rather than a “corroded and corrupt system.”

“Quite frankly, many of our [Black Lives Matter] members are continuing to investigate what it would mean to have police-free communities. I think what we’ve continued to see over time is that no moral appeal is actually stopping the deaths of black people, whether they be armed or unarmed.” Garza told Complex.

Garza also claimed that the Charlotte riots are a natural reaction; they occurred because people had been denied housing and good schools.
We'll see how well this works out:

Gorilla, Gorilla

No great apes for them:
“I think it would be best if your floor chose a different theme animal to be more inclusive,” Assistant Complex Director Dale Morrow wrote in an email at the start of this academic year. “First, gorillas represent a very masculine image, and I feel that this would not be inclusive to all of our residents on that floor.”

Morrow went on to add that images of a gorilla could reinforce “stereotypes,” but fails to stipulate exactly what sorts of stereotypes he is referring to.

“Second, this animal could be triggering to some people as their [sic] are stereotypes that surround this animal,” he continued, noting that all the RA would need to change “is the picture and the words.”
What would Harambe do?

Here We Are Now, Entertain Us

Feel old yet?
Spencer Elden, 25, wanted to go au naturel when he made a splash to honor the legendary grunge band, he told The Post.

“I said to the photographer, ‘Let’s do it naked.’ But he thought that would be weird, so I wore my swim shorts,” said Elden, an artist from LA.

The album, released 25 years ago Saturday, includes songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Come as You Are” and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

“The anniversary means something to me. It’s strange that I did this for five minutes when I was 4 months old and it became this really iconic image,” he said.

“It’s cool but weird to be part of something so important that I don’t even remember,” said Elden, who prefers the punk band The Clash over Nirvana.
Many rock stars can say they've often felt the same way...

Public Plan B

The Obamacare option?
The idea is contentious, even at state and local levels. By offering cheaper rates, public-option plans can put pressure on private plans to reduce prices as well, helping consumers buy health coverage that is typically expensive.

But opponents say government-run health plans ultimately hurt the healthcare industry by destroying competition among plans and slashing reimbursements to doctors and hospitals.

Yet there may soon be some room for lawmakers to work together, as states grow increasingly concerned about rising rates and decreasing competition in the Obamacare marketplaces where their low-income residents are buying coverage.
Or were, before they couldn't...

Lend Me Your Earmarks

What could go wrong?
A GOP lawmaker is proposing a change in the House rules next year that would revive congressional line-item spending, known as earmarks, but only for water resource development projects of the Army Corps of Engineers.

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., called his proposal "a toe in the water" for restoring direct funding authority to House lawmakers that was eliminated nearly six years ago under now-retired House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Rooney's idea received bipartisan praise from members of the House Rules Committee at a recent hearing on proposed changes for the 115th session of Congress, which begins in January.
That's how it starts...

The Extremists' Choice

Remember him?
Ahmadinejad had not announced any plans to run in the vote scheduled for May, but has made several speeches in recent months, prompting speculation of a political comeback.

Commentators had suggested the firebrand populist, who frequently enraged the West with his rhetoric during his eight years in office, would have given Iran’s conservatives their best chance of regaining power.

But the instruction by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reported by state news agency IRNA, effectively destroys his chances of getting the wider backing he would need to run a successful campaign.

“He (Ahmadinejad) came to me and I told him not to stand as I think it is not in his interest and that of the country,” Khamenei was quoted as saying.
You know it's bad when the other extremists don't want you...

"We're Begging You"

Please vote for her, says the Times:
Our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. (We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.)

But this endorsement would also be an empty exercise if it merely affirmed the choice of Clinton supporters. We’re aiming instead to persuade those of you who are hesitating to vote for Mrs. Clinton — because you are reluctant to vote for a Democrat, or for another Clinton, or for a candidate who might appear, on the surface, not to offer change from an establishment that seems indifferent and a political system that seems broken.
In other words, Hillary Clinton...

Sunday, September 25, 2016

America's Post-Racial Troubles

Welcome to Obama's transformed America:
Under Obama, the number of both white and black Americans who believe race relations are good has declined, and a July Rasmussen poll found 60 percent of Americans think race relations are worse; a growing number of violent riots across the country seem to back up that sentiment.
Much of this has been building for a long time, to say the least-but this was supposed to be the age of Hope and change, and instead we got anger and entitlement. It would most likely not get any better under Hillary Clinton, and would take more than a President Trump to fix, even though he is at least offering a real alternative. The Obama legacy will be felt-and remembered-long after he's gone, and that's not good.

The FBI Show

They didn't need any real investigation:
Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.

Worse, the FBI completely ignored the appearance of highly classified signals intelligence in Hillary’s email, including information lifted verbatim from above-Top Secret NSA reports back in 2011. This crime, representing the worst compromise of classified information in EmailGate – that the public knows of, at least – was somehow deemed so uninteresting that nobody at the FBI bothered to ask anybody on Team Clinton about it.

This stunning omission appears highly curious to anybody versed in counterintelligence matters, not least since during Obama’s presidency, the FBI has prosecuted Americans for compromising information far less classified than what Clinton and her staff exposed on Hillary “unclassified” email server of bathroom infamy.
Well, they weren't Clintons...

Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Friends For Hillary

Looking for new gigs?
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg were part of over 1,100 "elite bundlers" that also include actor Ben Affleck and the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

The analysis done by the Center for Public Integrity also found several lawmakers on the Clinton bundler list.

CPI's Michael Beckel explained, "A 'bundler' is someone who collects checks from friends or associates and gives them to the campaign. They are often rewarded for their efforts with prize positions in the administration of the candidate they support. That is, if the candidate wins."
Also for when foreign dictators are unavailable for funds...

The Voting Dead

So dead people are apparently still voting in Colorado, but is it really a problem? I guess it depends on who you ask:
Donald Trump has repeatedly alluded to fraud as a reason to introduce controversial voter ID laws, but a News21 analysis and recent court rulings show little evidence that such fraud is widespread.
A study of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases in 50 states between 2000 and 2012 found the level of fraud was infinitesimal compared with the 146 million voters registered over the 12-year period.

The analysis found only 10 cases of voter impersonation, the only kind of fraud that could be prevented by voter ID at the polls.
Never mind those zombies at the polling place...

Triggering The Insanity

So criticizing safe spaces is crazy, or something:
"The people who decry safe spaces do it from their segregated housing places, from their jobs without diversity — they do it from their country clubs," Schapiro said. "It just drives me nuts."

[…]Calling people who deny the existence of microaggressions "idiots," Schapiro said he clearly remembers every microaggression he has experienced.

Microaggressions "cut you to the core" and aren't easily forgotten, he said.

Schapiro also criticized those who "conflate" the use of trigger warnings with undermining the First Amendment, saying students should be warned about potentially traumatic content, such as the Holocaust or lynching of black people.

"If they say that … you shouldn't be warned to prepare yourself psychologically for that, that somehow that's coddling, those people are lunatics," Schapiro said.
Snowflakes must be protected-and their therapists need jobs...

Imperfect Match

Who wants Cleveland? Anyone?
In Cleveland, officials are eying development possibilities that exist in neighboring East Cleveland, a place so impoverished that some residents fill their own potholes.

In East Cleveland, City Council members had long balked at the idea of dissolving their city. But with no viable solution short of an economic miracle in sight, they agreed last month to pursue annexation without the list of demands — such as continuing to be paid after annexation — it originally submitted to the dismay of Cleveland officials.

"Without a revenue stream, I don't know how we would exist," said Thomas Wheeler, president of East Cleveland City Council. He and mayor Gary Norton agreed their city is out of options and needs money now.

East Cleveland has millions in unpaid bills and hasn't been able to borrow money on the municipal credit market for years. The city can barely make payroll even after deep cuts in its workforce. Wheeler said only five firefighters were available to respond to a recent house fire.
A marriage made in Hell that even Hell doesn't want?

Liars On Trial

Rolling Stone goes to court:
Nicole Eramo sued Rolling Stone for $7.85 million last year over her portrayal in its story “A Rape on Campus.” It tells the story of UVA student Jackie Coakley, who claimed she was gang-raped at a fraternity party and then spent years struggling to get justice. The article portrayed Eramo as callous toward Coakley’s plight and unwilling to take action to stop sexual assault because “nobody wants to send their daughter to the rape school.” The magazine even took a photo of Eramo giving a lecture and photoshopped it to make her look more sinister.

But Rolling Stone eventually had to retract its entire story, after follow-up investigations revealed Coakley had invented the story as part of a bizarre scheme to win the affections of a boy she had a crush on.

Eramo’s case was the first lawsuit filed against Rolling Stone over the article, and is the most likely to succeed. Eramo claims Rolling Stone and writer Sabrina Erdely had ample reason to distrust Coakley’s story, but published the story anyway due to a mixture of recklessness and desire to push a particular narrative.
Unfortunately Rolling Stone isn't alone in this regard...

No Joke, Mrs. Clinton

Who's laughing now?
The documents, released en masse Friday afternoon, include numerous notes the FBI made of interviews with members of Clinton’s staff and Platte River Networks, the private company that handled her private email server.

In one of them, an unnamed employee of Platte River Networks is shown an email from 2014 in which he refers to a “coverup operation” with Clinton’s emails.

“After reviewing an email dated December 11, 2014 with the subject line ‘RE: 2 items for IT support,’ and a December 12, 2014 work ticket referencing email retention changes and archive/email cleanup, [redacted] stated his reference in the email to ‘…the Hilary [sic] coverup [sic] operation…’ was probably due to the requested change to a 60 day email retention policy and the comment was a joke,” the FBI’s notes say.
It's always funny until somebody wants immunity...

Friday, September 23, 2016

Contracts For Sale, Not Cheap

Andrew Cuomo's pals share the wealth:
As we’ve noted before, handing a billion dollars in taxpayer money to the private sector in the name of “economic development” is an open invitation to corruption, especially in New York.

But when it involves the governor’s pet project, which allegedly was looted by the governor’s closest pals — well, even though he’s “saddened and profoundly disappointed,” there’s no way Cuomo can avoid getting stung.

The indictment alleges Percoco solicited and took more than $315,000 in bribes from companies (and Cuomo donors) to steer state contracts their way.

Another decades-long Cuomo friend and former top aide, Todd Howe, allegedly helped arrange the bribes.

Bottom line, per Bharara: “Companies got rich, and the public got bamboozled.”
It was strictly giving them the business...

Chalk Speech Outlines

You can talk, but not chalk?
“It is important to recognize that there will be times when chalking offends or even upsets us, individually or as a campus that stands for respect, inclusion, and a diversity of perspectives and people,” he wrote. “Over the next several weeks, there will inevitably be an increase in expression, in many forms, about the candidates (presidential and others) and the issues at play. We are an institution of learning and a marketplace of ideas, and a campus that doesn’t just permit but actively encourages our population to engage in dialogue about sensitive topics. The safety of those who wish to express their viewpoints is of utmost importance. In turn, the safety of those exposed to those expressions is also critical.
“I do believe it is important to note that not agreeing with an opinion shouldn’t be equated with feeling threatened by it,” the chancellor added.
“I take seriously my obligation as your chancellor to encourage free and open expression while treating each other with respect and dignity — not just in your political opinions but always,” Mr. Sartarelli wrote. “We are Seahawks, and we must not let differences divide us. This election season is a timely opportunity to illustrate our campus’s regard for higher learning and the honor with which we approach the exchange of ideas.”
Some chalkings are more equal than others...

Rocky Mountain Die

The voting dead come to Colorado:
Election sleuthing by Brian Maass of KCNC-TV in Denver exposed multiple instances in recent years where dead Coloradans were still voting. A dead World War II veteran named John Grosso voted in a 2006 primary election, and a woman named Sara Sosa who died in 2009 cast ballots in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Mrs. Sosa’s husband Miguel died in 2008, but a vote was cast in his name one year later.
“This is the kind of thing you hear rumored, joked about in Chicago, that kind of thing,” Mr. Maasssaid during a Thursday evening broadcast. “Tonight, that changes. We did find voter fraud in Colorado that essentially waters down your vote.”
At one point Mr. Maass‘ investigation led him to the Colorado Springs home of Sarilu Sosa-Sanchez, the daughter of Mrs. Sosa. The reporter received the cold shoulder when he asked the homeowner about her mother’s “voting” record.
“Go talk to someone else,” the woman said. “I don’t have to clear anything up. I don’t know what that has to do with me.”
The son of Mr. Grosso, John, was much more willing to talk.
“I think that’s a disgrace,” he told the station. “The man is dead. He can’t vote. Somebody is cheating.”
Or maybe he's just resting...

The Pseudonym Smoking Gun?

What's in a pseudonym?
The latest revelation from the FBI adds to a growing list of questions about Obama's claim in 2015 that he didn't learn of Clinton's private email server until it was on the news.

"My emails, the Blackberry I carry around, all those records are available and archived," the president said in an interview with CBS News' Bill Plante. "I'm glad that Hillary's instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed."

Asked when he learned of Clinton's private emails, Obama responded unequivocally, "the same time that everybody else learned it through news reports."
But what name was he learning it under?

Snakes In The Sand

Our allies, our enemies?
A CIA memorandum dated July 2, 2002, stated unequivocally that the connections found between the hijackers, the Saudi embassy in Washington and Saudi consulate in Los Angeles are “incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi government.”

“Numerous” FBI files also fingered two Saudi government employees who assisted the 9/11 hijackers as “Saudi intelligence officers,” the newly declassified documents reveal.

Though much is still redacted, they also show the Saudi government’s ties to the hijackers and other al Qaeda suspects were so extensive that the FBI’s Washington field office created a special squad to investigate the Saudi angle.
Don't mention the Saudis, though...

Cruz Surrender

Ted Cruz finally capitulates:
In Cleveland, I urged voters, “please, don’t stay home in November. Stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket whom you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.”

After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

I’ve made this decision for two reasons. First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.

Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.
Or maybe just #AlwaysAboutMe?

How Now, Clean Cow

The climate change cows come home?
Although these gases don't linger in the atmosphere, they still make people sick and hasten global warming due to their heat-trapping ability, per Reuters. "We're protecting people's lungs and their health," Brown said, per Courthouse News.

One of the main methane culprits: manure. Per the bill, dairy farmers have to cut methane emissions to 40 percent below 2013 levels by 2030. Under a cap-and-trade plan, farmers will receive aid from the $50 million or so raised via polluter fees, which they can then put toward machinery that uses methane to create energy they can in turn sell to electric companies.

The state's Air Resources Board can also now regulate bovine flatulence, as long as there are practical ways to reduce the cows' belching and breaking wind.

Under the bill, emissions from HFCs also must be reduced by 40 percent from 2013 levels by 2030, while black carbon emissions will have to get to 50 percent below those levels by the same year.
Don't have a dirty cow...

Super Hack

Who hacked you?
It’s reported Yahoo knew of the potential hack that affects 500m users in ‘at least August’, but only confirmed the huge breach on Thursday.

The hackers are believed to have grabbed names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, encrypted passwords and the ‘unencrypted’ security questions and answers of its 500 million users.

They are now said to be selling the stolen data on the ‘dark web’ for just 3 bitcoin – around £1,400.

The ‘treasure trove of secrets’ could be used to defraud or blackmail money from Yahoo users or even steal their identities.

The company said that certain account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 in what it believes was a ‘state-sponsored actor.’

Russia has been linked to several recent US hacks. North Korea are also understood to have a large state-sponsored hacking unit.
Those Russians seem to be everywhere...

No Pain, Just Gain

It has arrived:
The new drink, known as 'alcosynth', is designed to mimic the positive effects of alcohol but doesn’t cause a dry mouth, nausea and a throbbing head, according to its creator Professor David Nutt.

The Imperial College Professor and former government drugs advisor told The Independent he has patented around 90 different alcosynth compounds.

Two of them are now being rigorously tested for widespread use, he said – and by 2050, he hopes alcosynth could completely replace normal alcohol.
I don't know what it is, but it's green...

The Immunity Syndrome

Let's make a deal?
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, told the wire service that Mills, who served as Clinton’s chief of staff, granted federal investigators access to her laptop on the condition that nothing found on the computer could be used against her.

Two other former State Department officials also received immunity, Chaffetz said. Heather Samuelson, a former State Department official who now works as a lawyer for Clinton, received immunity. So did John Bentel, a former State Department official who managed the agency’s IT systems.

“No wonder they couldn’t prosecute a case,” Chaffetz said of the Justice Department. “They were handing out immunity deals like candy.”
It's deals all the way down...

Some Estates Are More Equal Than Others

Taxes for thee, not for me and mine:
Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill have created a number of tax shelters in recent years to dramatically limit their payment of the very same tax. As Bloomberg reported back in 2014: “To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth.”

In 2010 the Clinton created “residential trusts” and the following year moved their Chappaqua estate into the trust, according to their financial records. As David Scott Sloan, a partner at the firm Holland Knight explained the Clinton trust to CBS News, “You’re creating things that are going to be on the nontaxable side of the balance sheet when they die.”

The move will save the Clintons hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes, according to accountants quoted by Bloomberg.
More money for the Foundation?