Thursday, June 30, 2016

Please Don't Go

Democrats want him to stay:
Data provided to The Hill by the conservative polling outlet WPA Research found that 67 percent of Democrats would take a third term for Obama over a potential Clinton administration.
Only 28 percent said they’re ready to move on from the Obama White House, while 6 percent are undecided.

Obama is enjoying a surprisingly strong approval rating for a president serving out the final months of his second term.

A Washington Post-ABC News survey released this week found Obama’s net approval rating approaching 80 points in positive territory among Democrats. Former President Bill Clinton was at about 60 points positive within his own party at this point in 2000, while former President George W. Bush was under 40 with Republicans.

At the same time, a Gallup survey from April found Clinton’s net approval rating among Democrats hitting a new low. She had a 63-point net positive approval rating last November. That plummeted to only 36 points in April.

“The results should give pause to the Hillary Clinton campaign as Democratic respondents clearly prefer the status quo to a Clinton presidency,” a memo from WPA said.
What makes them think Hillary would be any different, then?

Safe Haven For Rent

What do you do when you find out your tenant is a wanted fugitive?
The U.S. Marshals Service, the agency with primary jurisdiction over foreign nationals on Interpol’s wanted list, said it is unable to arrest Russian nationals on the list because the United States and Russia don’t have an extradition treaty.

“At this point in time, the U.S. Marshals Service is not investigating or looking into Mr. Kholodnyak. Since there is no treaty between the U.S. and Russia, Mr. Kholodnyak can’t be picked up on the Interpol notice,” explained Senior Inspector Barry Golden, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Foreign money, some of it from individuals with questionable financial backgrounds, has flooded the South Florida condo market, so much so that the Treasury Department announced temporary regulations requiring title insurance companies to identify the owners of shell companies buying high-end Miami real estate in cash.
Have fun in the sun, while you're on the run...

For A Free Web

Will the Internet still be free?
“Protecting freedom on the Internet is just one vote away,” said Lee E. Goodman, a commissioner on the FEC which is divided three Democrats to three Republicans. “There is a cloud over your free speech.”

Freedom of speech on the Internet, added Ajit Pai, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, “is increasingly under threat.”

Pai and Goodman cited political correctness campaigns by Democrats as a threat. Both also said their agencies are becoming politicized and the liberals are using their power to push regulations that impact business and conservative outlets and voices.

“One of the things that is critical for this country is to reassert the value of the First Amendment, the fact that robust discourse, that is sometimes cacophonous, is nonetheless a value, in fact it creates value,” said Pai.
Free speech used to be a liberal value too, you know...

Foundation Of Protection

Don't worry, Mrs. Clinton, your foundation is safe:
Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court late Wednesday seeking a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a closely allied public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.

If the court permits the delay, the public won’t be able to read the communications until October 2018, about 22 months into her prospective first term as President. The four senior Clinton aides involved were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Fuchs, Ambassador-At-Large Melanne Verveer, Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin.
....

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, a President Obama-appointed judge, had previously ordered the State Department to release the requested documents by July 21. But Department of Justice lawyers informed Contreras Wednesday night that “the [State] department discovered errors in the manner in which the searches had been conducted in order to capture documents potentially responsive to plaintiff’s request.” The motion was filed by Justice Department attorney Joseph Borson on behalf of the State Department.
It's always nice to have your own government lawyers...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Private Conversation

What did they talk about?
According to ABC 15, the meeting occurred hours before the House Select Committee on Benghazi released its final report to the public.

The private meeting comes as Lynch’s Justice Department is investigating presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal, private email server during her time as Secretary of State.

“Lynch said the private meeting on the tarmac did not involve these topics,” ABC 15 reports.

“I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as he was leaving and spoke to myself and my husband on the plane,” Lynch stated, confirming the meeting. “Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix.”
I'm sure the possibility of his wife going to jail didn't come up...

Call It A Bailout

Well, that didn't work:
“On July 1, 2016, Puerto Rico will default on more than $1 billion in general obligation bonds, the island’s senior credits protected by a constitutional lien on revenues,” Garcia Padilla wrote in a editorial posted on a CNBC website.
The lapse will mark the first time the U.S. territory has failed to pay what it owes on general-obligation debt, a $13 billion swath that its constitution says has the top claim to the government’s funds. Garcia Padilla previously said the commonwealth couldn’t raise enough to cover what’s owed to bondholders even if he shut down the government. The island has about $2 billion in principal and interest payments due Friday.
“All the efforts up until now have already damaged relations with investors,” said Daniel Solender, who oversees $19 billion, including Puerto Rico securities, as head of municipals at Lord Abbett & Co. in Jersey City, New Jersey. “By taking a step to break the constitution, it makes it more definitive.”
So much for the loan. Is Puerto Rico now too small to succeed?

Will The Real Populist Please Stand Up?

Hey, he's the real populist, America:

Stay Sick For Progressivism

Why don't emocrats want to helpsick people?
Senate Democrats are blocking a $1.1 billion Republican measure that would fund efforts to fight the Zika virus because it does not contain funding for Planned Parenthood.

Through its alliance with the Democrat Party and the pro-abortion mainstream media, Planned Parenthood has promoted the notion that its biggest money-makers — abortion and birth control — are the means to combat the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is being linked to cases of a rare birth defect called microcephaly, primarily in Brazil.
....

The Republican measure would take $750 million from other health programs to fund anti-Zika efforts. In addition, the bill would cut $543 million in unused funds from Obamacare, $107 million from unused funds to combat Ebola, and $100 million in administrative funds from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Despite their expressed concern about the spread of Zika, Democrats rejected a bill that would end a redundant Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permit requirement to spray federally approved pesticides into bodies of water to combat the mosquito that carries the Zika virus.
Bugs don't care what your politics are...

No More Referendums For Us, Please

The people have still spoken:
A YouGov poll published today shows that less than a third of the public, 31 per cent, believe the referendum should be re-run. By contrast, 58 per cent say it should not, while 11 per cent do not know.

This includes 91 per cent of ‘Leave’ voters who do not want a second vote, and also 29 per cent of ‘Remain’ voters.

Even if Scotland threatened to break away from the United Kingdom, 51 per cent would still oppose a second vote. Only three in 10 would support it.

There is also no appetite for holding a referendum once the terms of Britain’s withdrawal have been decided, with just 33 per cent calling for a vote in such a circumstance, compared to 51 per cent who would oppose it.
It seems second thoughts aren't there, after all...

Big Winners On Campus

Free speech win again:
The College Republicans at the UC Irvine are claiming victory, following the reversal of a decision by administrators to suspend them for a year. “It’s a huge victory for freedom of speech and assembly, and I think this move proves that there is bias to political ideologies in this administration,” said Ariana Rowlands, President of the UCI College Republicans.

The disciplinary action was imposed after a June 2nd event hosting the controversial right wing speaker Milo Yiannopoulos. He visited the students as part of his “Dangerous Faggot Tour.” The administration based the action on a contractual insurance violation at the event. However, the University changed course following a social media firestorm and national petition supporting the students. First administrators temporarily lifted the ban pending an appeal, and now have permanently lifted the suspension and cancelled the appeals process.
....

Following the initial suspension, the conservative group found unlikely allies in the BernEaters for Bernie Sanders and the Students in Support of Israel. “We’re sending a message that no matter what your political views are that you should have a right to say them, and you shouldn’t be punished for having a different opinion than the administration,” said Kevin Brum, President of UCI Students Supporting Israel.
All speech matters-even the kind that leftists can't stand...

The High Cost Of Liberal Living

San Francisco is no place for the short of cash:
The Chronicle notes that last year, just six miles away from North Beach in Bernal Heights, tenant Deb Follingstad made headlines when she posted a notice from her landlord on Facebook indicating that her rent had leapt from $2,145 to $8,900.

Renters aren’t the only ones experiencing the woes of San Francisco’s gentrification. The long battle between the city and multi-billion dollar short-term rentals startup Airbnb continues to rage. According to TechCrunch, on Monday, Airbnb filed suit against San Francisco to block a new ordinance, which would require the company to verify that its hosts have registered with the city before showing ads for their homes online, from going into effect on August 1.

The city is reportedly attempting to make Airbnb go through the rigorous registration and quarterly process in order to find out which commercial renters are taking their properties off of the housing market and listing them exclusively on the short-term rentals startup. Homeowners are able to make more money that way, but the city wants to stop them from doing it to preserve housing stock.
Shakedowns for social justice, anyone?

The Toking Dead

All they want is their stash:
New York City health officials issued warnings last spring after synthetic marijuana sent 160 people to hospitals in a little over a week. Thousands more were hospitalized statewide. Mayor de Blasio signed a bill banning the sale of the drug in October. At that time, the intersection of Lexington Avenue and 125th Street was considered the epicenter of the K2 problem.
A lifelong Harlem resident said: “They got rid of all the crackheads and here come the K2 smokers.”
Now it appears the drug has taken hold in Brooklyn. Residents told DNAinfo that K2 packages litter the sidewalks and a burning chemical odor fills the air near the Broadway-Myrtle intersection.
Trevor Tyrrell, 39, told DNAinfo that “people are passed out everywhere” or “yelling at passersby.”
“It’s an epidemic, every borough, every hood. Just look at the people on the corner, they look like zombies,” Tyrrell said.
At least real zombies just want your brains...

Starving For Socialism

The Revolution comes full circle:
What has been a slow-motion crisis in Venezuela seems to be careening into a new, more dangerous phase. The long economic decline of the country with the world’s largest oil reserves now shows signs of morphing into a humanitarian emergency, with government mismanagement and low petroleum prices leading to widespread shortages and inflation that could surpass 700 percent this year.

The political stakes are mounting. Exhausted by government-imposed power blackouts, spiraling crime, endless food lines, shortages of medicine and waves of looting and protest, citizens are mobilizing against their leaders. In recent days, Venezuelans lined up to add their names to a recall petition that aims to bring down the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, and put an end to the socialist-inspired “revolution” ignited 17 years ago by Hugo Chavez.

“This can’t continue,” said Angel Rondon, a mechanic, who now sometimes eats just once a day. “Things have to change.”
From one revolution to another...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

All Eyes On Them

Paranoia strikes deep in Clinton country:
CNN reporter Dan Merica appears to be one of the campaign’s main targets, according to The Smoking Gun, the website which obtained the emails.

“Watch out for Dan Merica center right,” one press staffer warned in an email sent during an event in Las Vegas in February.

“Dan Merica stage left,” a press team member wrote minutes later.

Campaign staffer Sarah Hamilton also had eyes on a French journalist.

“French journos and dan merica heading to stage right,” she wrote.

Shortly after, the press team appears to have neutralized Merica at a set of bleachers at the event.

“Dan America [sic] is on backstage bleachers,” one staffer wrote, according to The Smoking Gun.

“I’m with dan America [sic] on back stage bleachers,” the staffer added in an update.

The Clinton campaign, which has been heavily criticized for shielding the candidate from reporters at campaign events, appears to have deployed the same strategy at a campaign event in Chicago in March.
Why is she so worried? It's not like they've actually asked her anything...

Tough Room

Nigel Farage enters the lion's den:

Testing Patterns

MSNBC seems to be having trouble seeing one:
Between President Barack Obama, who refuses to use the phrase “radical Islam,” and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who is seeming to slowly shift toward saying “radical jihadism” after refusing to associate the attacks with Islam, many seem to be becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of clarity regarding the frequent assaults.

And MSNBC seems to be the latest target of those seeking to vent their anger at many politicians’ refusal to identify the terrorists with radicalized Islam — a phrase presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump interestingly did not invoke Tuesday night.
He didn't have to. Others seem to still be in denial, however...

Mattress Madness

Remember Mattress Girl?
In 2014, Sulkowicz carried her dormitory mattress around campus in protest after she claimed that a fellow student raped her at the college in 2012. The mattress was carried everywhere, including to Sulkowicz’s graduation, prompting a huge media storm surrounding the student who media dubbed “Mattress Girl.”

However, in early 2015 it was reported that Sulkowicz had repeatedly told her “rapist” she loved him through leaked text messages after the “attack”, with the alleged rapist Paul Nungesser eventually being pardoned by the campus due to lack of evidence. Nungesser was repeatedly threatened, harassed, and assaulted during the lengthy campus trial, and Nungesser reported multiple rescinded job offers and missed opportunities due to the accusations.

Sulkowicz claimed that Nungesser had beaten her in bed after agreeing to mutually consensual sex, before he allegedly forced anal upon her. Nungesser, however, denied this story and claimed that their sexual encounters were entirely consensual. Nungesser theorized that Sulkowicz’s claims against him were due to the fact that he had decided to split up with her shortly after the encounter.
Love hurts. Social Justice even more so...

Philosophy Fail

It's nice to know what they think:
If anyone needs another confirmation that the European Union is fundamentally the most anti-democratic entity currently in existence, then the following statement by European Parliament Martin Schultz should put all confusion to rest.

Schulz: "The British have violated the rules. It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate".
Strange, in a free country we call that democracy...

Cruel Pool Summer

Rules are racist, or something:
At the top of the problematic poster are the words “Be Cool, Follow the Rules,” with depictions of children playing underneath. Some of the white children in the drawing are labeled with an arrow pointing toward them and praised for behaving “cool,” while some children of color have an arrow pointing toward them as they push white children, break pool safety rules, and behave in a “not cool” manner.
....

The Red Cross Hospital also released a lengthy statement apologizing for the water safety poster. “The American Red Cross appreciates and is sensitive to the concerns raised regarding one of the water safety posters we produced,” the hospital’s statement to NBCBLK said, adding, “We deeply apologize for any misunderstanding, as it was absolutely not our intent to offend anyone. As one of the nation’s oldest and largest humanitarian organizations, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do, every day.”
All rule-breakers will now be treated equally...

Clocking Out

"clock Boy" comes home:
The teen and his family have been living in Qatar for the past nine months where he accepted a fully-funded education scholarship from the Qatar Foundation. Monday, Ahmed told reporters he came back for a summer internship with Twitter.

Ahmed also said Facebook, NASA, and even, MIT, the prestigious university he nixed in favor of attending the Qatari school, contacted him over social media, asking him to visit while he is stateside this summer.

.@IStandWithAhmed is in Dallas. He has an internship with @twitter, will visit Facebook, MIT & NASA this summer. pic.twitter.com/P14RcFmUuA

— Allison Harris (@allisonfox4news) June 27, 2016

He told KDFW 4 there is a 50/50 chance he will finish high school in the U.S. and not Qatar. However, the Dallas Morning News reported the teen plans to return to Qatar to finish high school and attending an American college remains a possibility. Conversely, KDFW 4 reported the teen said he definitely wants to go to a U.S. college.

“School was amazing over there,” the teen explained to the Dallas newspaper. Regardless of where he studies, he says his interests are coding, engineering and technology.

“It’s beautiful to be here in U.S.A,” added Ahmed’s father, Mohamed Elhassan Mohamed, who also spoke to news media. He told KDFW 4: “It is our home and it is our country and we love it.”
Because if there's one thing Twitter needs, its more twits...

Programming Error In The Court

Robot lawyer, attorney at law:
The artificial intelligence bot was launched just 21 months ago and is touted as the "world's first robot lawyer".

DoNotPay uses a simple chat-based interface to guide users through a range of basic questions to establish if an appeal on their parking ticket is possible.

These include queries on whether there were any visible parking signs at the location where the ticket was given.

The AI lawyer then guides the user through the lengthy appeals process.

The chatbot is the brainchild of 19-year-old British student and self-taught coder Joshua Browder.
It might be more productive than real lawyers, at that...

The Vast Internet Conspiracy

Why don't people like me, she asked?
Clinton said she was troubled by polling numbers which show that voters didn’t trust her, and she put the blame on political opponents and conspiracy theories about her.

“I could say that political opponents and conspiracy theorists have accused me of every crime in the book over the years,” she added. “None of it’s true, never has been.”

Clinton grew reflective, admitting that she had “work to do” to convince voters that she was trustworthy.

“You know, you hear 25 years worth of wild accusations, anyone would start to wonder,” she said. “And it is certainly true that I’ve made mistakes. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. So I understand why people have questions.”

Clinton insisted that she wasn’t hiding anything. “I can say the reason I sometimes sound careful with my worlds is not that I’m hiding something — it’s just that I’m careful with my words,” she said.
She certainly knows the words "Delete" and "Omit..."

Listen To Your Betters

Because they're the educated ones:
Zakaria acknowledged that journalists tend to be “better-educated,’ “comfortable with diversity,” more liberal, and “probably less sensitive to the concerns” of average Britons who supported the Brexit.

However, he said, the pro-Brexit campaign was “entirely using emotion, conjuring horror stories” about immigrants and the like, aided on by the British tabloids––which Zakaria referred to as “basically their Fox News.”

Zakaria argued that “the media does have a bias in favor of facts” when it calls out the Leave campaign for going on emotion while the Remain campaign was bringing up facts and figures about the cost and consequences of leaving the EU.
How about the facts and figures of bias?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Dollars For Ozone

Cash for climate change?
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit, claims tough new EPA regulations that critics say would cost the industry trillions of dollars and thousands of jobs are being waved through by scientists dependent on the federal agency. Of the 26 members appointed to the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Particulate Matter Review Panel, 24 received direct or indirect grants from the EPA totaling more than $190 million claims the institute’s lawyer.

“This clearly violates the law and makes a mockery of the notion of ‘independent’ scientific review,” Energy and Environment Legal Institute General Counsel Steve Milloy said.

The panel’s endorsement last October was necessary for the EPA to implement its “Particulate Matter 2.5” regulatory agenda, which controls airborne pollutants such as soot and dust in outdoor air. The new regulations, which updated 2008 rules, are opposed by the trucking and mining industries, as well as Milloy’s institute, which claims to focus on free-market solutions to energy and environmental problems.
How much just for the propaganda?

That Constitution Thing

Eh, it doesn't matter:
And on another note about academia and practical law, I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, day, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation (across the centuries—well, just a little more than two centuries, and of course less for many of the amendments). Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc., of the 21st century. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post–Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today.
It seems to work well enough most of the time...

Bias Begone

The Justice Department wants its employees to check their bias:
In a memo to Justice Department employees obtained by Reuters, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said the program targets "implicit biases" - subtle, unconscious stereotypes or characterizations nearly everyone makes about certain groups of people.

"But implicit bias also presents unique challenges to effective law enforcement, because it can alter where investigators and prosecutors look for evidence and how they analyze it without their awareness or ability to compensate," Yates said in the memo.

The training will be mandatory for all Justice Department agents and prosecutors and will be rolled out over the next year, Yates said.

Arrest data compiled by some police departments have shown that black and Hispanic men are more likely to be stopped by police than others, suggesting officers may be exerting implicit bias in deciding whom to question or apprehend.

The Justice Department will use a model developed by the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit organization that provides expertise on policing issues, designed to make people aware of attitudes they may hold about certain races, genders, nationalities and other characteristics.
Remember, be politically correct when arresting criminals...

Super Union

Goodbye EU, hello Super EU?
The public broadcaster reports that the bombshell proposal will be presented to a meeting of the Visegrad group of countries - made up of Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia - by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier later today.

Excerpts of the nine-page report were published today as the leaders of Germany, France and Italy met in Berlin for Brexit crisis talks.

In the preamble to the text the two ministers write: "Our countries share a common destiny and a common set of values ??that give rise to an even closer union between our citizens. We will therefore strive for a political union in Europe and invite the next Europeans to participate in this venture."

The revelations come just days after Britain shook the Brussels establishment by voting to leave the European Union in a move some have predicted could leave to the break-up of the EU.
Breaking up is hard to do, even when you want to...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Old And In the Way

Sorry, old people, President Obama hates you, too:
The president’s Medicare reforms make it harder for seniors to get joint replace­ments. His new payment rules short­change doctors, discour­ag­ing them from accept­ing Medicare in the first place. New ER rules clobber seniors with bills for “obser­va­tion care.” Under ObamaCare, hospi­tals get bonuses for spend­ing less per senior, despite having higher death rates and infec­tion rates.

Expect the Medicare Trustees’ annual report, due out Wednes­day, to ignore these problems.

Obama’s latest assault is a 962-page regula­tion dictat­ing how doctors treat patients. Precious minutes with your doctor are wasted complet­ing manda­tory reports for the federal govern­ment, and your ailment gets short shrift.

Physi­cians are glued to computer screens, follow­ing prompts, seldom making eye contact with patients. Renowned New York cardi­ol­o­gist Jeffrey Borer’s fed up: “I need to inter­act with my patients.”

“Doctors who want to provide individ­u­al­ized care” will have to “either opt out of Medicare or simply not comply,” explains Richard Amerling, past presi­dent of the Ameri­can Associ­a­tion of Physi­cians and Surgeons.
If you like your old age, you may not be able to afford to keep it...

Fighting The Free Fraud

Even government-supported fraud only goes so far:
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) first noted concern May 27 over the state ending food stamps benefits for qualified individuals. USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon and five state lawmakers are now urging federal investigators to intervene. The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) responded by noting it is already working with the USDA to resolve the issues.

“We find the allegations very troubling,” HSD Spokesman Kyler Nerison told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Which is why we immediately launched an investigation and asked the USDA to assist us long before this letter was written. In fact, our Inspector General continues to work with the USDA Office of Inspector General.”

A federal lawsuit alleges the state falsified applicant records to disqualify them from receiving benefits. Concannon warned in a letter to the USDA Office of Inspector General that the accusations could be considered criminal if true. The letter was first published June 23 by the New Mexico Political Report.
No fake free for them. Now on to the rest of the states...

The Madness Of The Anti-Conservative Mob

Fighting back against the thugs:
ALEC is targeted because 69 of 99 state legislatures are now controlled by conservatives, according to its CEO Lisa Nelson. ALEC is effective in providing model legislation to help states pursue limited government and free markets – an anathema to the American left.

This conservative organization’s most recent annual budget was $7.6 million, but it is up against radical groups with $800-900 million of the left’s “dark money” attacking them.

Nelson says in this exclusive video interview for The Daily Caller News Foundation, the donors giving “dark money” to these groups include George Soros, Tom Steyer, and the Democracy Alliance. Some of ALEC’s adversaries include the Center for Media Democracy, Common Cause, Color of Change, and the Citizen Engagement Lab in Berkeley, CA.

Prominent Democrats even sent letters to major corporations threatening them to leave ALEC or else. Corporations that cave to one demand are given more demands until the entity is a force to manipulate, helping the left fundamentally transform America.
Ya wanna be "transformed," don't ya?

Conservatives For The Queen

George Will explains:
Will said, “I left it for the same reason I joined it in 1964 when I voted for Barry Goldwater, because I was a conservative. I leave for the same reason, I’m a conservative. To give you a time line, shortly after Trump became the presumptive nominee he had a summit meeting with Paul Ryan where they stressed their vast shared ground, which is more important than their differences. I thought that was puzzling because Paul Ryan still didn’t endorse him. After Trump went after the Mexican judge, then Paul Ryan endorsed him. I decided that, in fact, this is not my party anymore. I changed my registration to unaffiliated 23 days ago. I hardly made an announcement. I mentioned this in a meeting with the Federalist Society. The long and the short of it is, as Ronald Reagan said when he changed his registration, I did not leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”
Actually, the problem might be that the Republican establishment, which includes Mr. Will, left the voters. Supporting the opposition to spite the nominee isn't conservative, just cranky.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Where There's No Longer A Will

George Will is out:
Will, who writes for the Washington Post, acknowledged it is a “little too late” for the Republican Party to find a replacement for Trump but had a message for Republican voters.

“Make sure he loses. Grit their teeth for four years and win the White House,” Will said during an interview after his speech at a Federalist Society luncheon.

Will said he changed his voter registration this month from Republican to “unaffiliated” in the state of Maryland.

“This is not my party,” Will said during his speech at the event.

He mentioned House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) endorsement of Trump as one of the factors that led him to leave the party.

Will, a Fox News contributor, said a “President Trump” with “no opposition” from a Republican-led Congress would be worse than a Hillary Clinton presidency with a Republican-led Congress.
That's assuming they act like Republicans. Many of them haven't, lately...

Transparent Defense

It was just a little scrubbing:
Clinton’s press secretary, Brian Fallon, said in an interview on Friday that the release of Clinton’s 1,500-page calendar shows that the Democratic presidential nominee is committed to transparency.

“People can see in the totality all the meetings that she had during her years as secretary of state,” Fallon told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

“And this is just another example in terms of the level of detail in terms of her schedule that’s now out there of her being the most transparent secretary, and not just of the State Department, but in any cabinet in any administration,” he added.
Just because she won't let you see it, doesn't mean she won't let you see it...

Hitting The Hikers

Sorry, Bernie-no wage hike for you:

Kiddie Corner

When you act like children, get treated like them:
Maher said, “I mean, do we need any more proof how dysfunctional this Congress is when they’re literally sitting on the floor like a toddler in the cereal aisle? They said they were going to stay there until gun control passed or mom buys Pop-Tarts. Several of the House members were asked how long they were willing to keep their protest going by staying seated on the floor, and they said, until hell freezes over, or one day. One day. I’ve waited longer for the cable guy. are you f*cking kidding me? Stop guns? They didn’t even stop the cleaning crew from coming in and shampooing the rugs.”
Not to mention fumigating the place...

The Biggest Loser

Brexit ends a bad week for President Obama:
The Brexit decision came after a deadlock in the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday effectively ended Obama’s push to overhaul immigration rules, and the week after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

For Obama, the reversals heighten pressure on him and fellow Democrats to work harder for the Nov. 8 elections – particularly for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who represents his best shot at making sure more of his policies are not rolled back.

Speaking at two fundraising events in Seattle on Friday night, at the end of an arduous day that saw global markets plunge after the Brexit vote, Obama acknowledged the shifting political winds four months from the vote.
The winds of change are sweeping through the end of the Obama era...

Full Protection

For those who want to feel really safe:
Abbas Haider founded a custom tailoring shop in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia, that sells a wide variety of “ballistic clothing” — tailored jackets, dress shirts, ties and even underwear — designed to repel bullets shot a point blank range.

While the majority of bullet-resistant clothing consists of heavy gear typically worn over clothes, Haider’s company, Aspetto Inc., offers lightweight options for everyday civilians. His products are equipped with super-thin bullet-resistant panels of Dyneema and Twaron or Kevlar that are zipped into the linings and can be removed for dry cleaning.

“For most people, we suggested ballistic t-shirts,” Haider told NBC News. “They can get more use out of a ballistic T-shirt than a suit.”
Because you never know where you might get hit...

Friday, June 24, 2016

Water Worry World

We're doomed, you know:
“There are entire continents, sub-Saharan Africa or the Indian sub-continent where people are developing rapidly, they’re getting connected,” he said. “They’re going to need electricity, they’re going to need energy, but if they duplicate the ways that we produce energy here, or have in the past, then the entire planet is under water.”

Obama urged the world to use social media to work together to solve climate change before it was too late.

But Obama also paid homage to the Facebook CEO, praising him for contributing to the social media revolution.

“Well, if you think about just 2008, and what’s happened in social media, as something that you helped to lead obviously, that has been an incredible transformation,” Obama said.

“We didn’t talk about this beforehand,” Zuckerberg informed his viewers awkwardly.

“No we did not,” Obama replied, but praised Zuckerberg for social media changing politics, education, and economics.
Too bad we're all drowning, or something...

Dropped Drawers

When furniture becomes dangerous:
There have been several lawsuits filed against IKEA involving their design of their MALM dresser. According to the CPSC, tip-overs of furniture, appliances and TVs cause roughly 25,400 annual injuries.

In reaction to the lawsuits, IKEA has reportedly made free kits available to mount the dressers to the wall. Casey said the CPSC should recall IKEA’s MALM dresser due to the deaths that have occurred.

“Whether it’s legislation or action or otherwise, I want to eliminate the possibility that a child could be injured or killed, so that means stop the manufacturing. I don’t care how the hell they do it. I want them to take every step necessary,” he told PJM on a conference call. “They have decisions to make when it comes to their product but I hope they would take steps absent legislation, absent any other activity and make sure that when these things go out the door they are safe. Simple as that.”
Except that when you're a politician with a cause, nothing is ever simple...

The Bird Is The Final Word

Polly wnat a confession?
Glenna Duram, 48, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in the death of Martin Duram, who was found shot five times in May 2015 at their home in Sand Lake. Glenna was found lying next to Martin with a gunshot wound to her head.

Martin’s family claims the couple’s pet parrot, Bud, likely witnessed the murder after the bird was heard saying “Don’t f------ shoot” in a video taken shortly after Duram’s death, WOOD reported.

The prosecutor told WOOD he hasn’t ruled out using the winged witness on the stand as evidence.

“That bird picks up everything and anything, and it’s got the filthiest mouth around,” Duram’s mom, Lillian Duram, told the station.

According to police, Glenna maintains her innocence saying “I know for a fact I didn’t kill my husband.”
The bird might say otherwise...

Bound And Unbound

Never Trump goes to court:
At issue is a Virginia law that states "Delegates and alternates shall be bound to vote on the first ballot at the national convention for the candidate receiving the most votes in the primary unless that candidate releases those delegates and alternates from such vote."

Correll, who argues in his complaint that Trump is "unfit to serve" as President, claims the law violates his right to free speech. He's seeking an injunction that would exempt him from criminal penalties under Virginia law or possible retaliatory litigation by Trump for backing another candidate on the first ballot.

Trump won Virginia's primary in March, narowly defeating Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and scooping 17 delegates in the process.

Correll's attorneys, who filed the lawsuit in the Eastern District of Virginia, have asked for the case to be expedited in the hope of getting a ruling for the start of the convention in Cleveland July 18.
Sorry, you're still fired...

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...

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Great Whitewash North

Stephen who?
On Jan. 27, 2016, the govern­ment asked Google to remove dozens of sites contain­ing Harper’s news releases in English and in French from search results.

Cameron Ahmad, spokesman for Trudeau, insisted the prime minister’s office did not make the request to have the websites related to Harper removed from Google search results and was not aware it had happened.

Chris­tiane Fox, assis­tant secre­tary for commu­ni­ca­tions in the Privy Council, said the requests to Google were part of the Privy Council’s standard transi­tion from the Harper govern­ment to Trudeau’s. She said the content of Harper’s prime minis­te­r­ial website was trans­ferred to Library and Archives Canada but did not know whether it was online and avail­able to the public.
There is no history here...

Oil Gets Derailed

Greener than green Oregon wants to stop oil by rail:
In a letter to the Federal Railroad Admin­is­tra­tion dated June 8, the Oregon Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion said prelim­i­nary findings of an inves­ti­ga­tion suggested inspec­tors might not be able to deter­mine the cause.

In the accident, a Union Pacific train carry­ing crude oil derailed, burst into flames and spilled crude along Oregon’s scenic Colum­bia River gorge. Nobody was injured.

A prelim­i­nary inves­ti­ga­tion suggested a failure with a bolt that fastened the rail to the railroad ties.

A spokesman for the FRA said the agency will respond to the letter.

Oregon is the first U.S. state to request such a move, although environ­men­tal lobby­ists have called for years for a morato­rium on oil trains after a series of explo­sive accidents.
Caused by the same people who didn't want to use pipelines...

Swiss Missed

No EU for them:
Twenty-seven members of the Council of States, Switzerland’s upper house, voted in favour of cancelling the application, against 13 who opposed the motion. Two abstained, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung has reported.

The vote ratifies an earlier vote held by Parliamentarians in the lower house in March, which saw the motion to withdraw the application agreed to with an overwhelming majority of 126 in favour, 46 against.

In response to the federal vote, Switzerland’s foreign minister Didier Burkhalter confirmed that his country will now give formal notice to the EU to consider the Swiss application officially withdrawn.

Switzerland’s application to join the European Economic Area, the precursor to the EU, was lodged in 1992, but a referendum held the same year on the matter saw the Swiss people narrowly turned down the prospect of closer ties to the bloc, putting the application on ice.
Where it will now remain. It's safe to say that the EU has more holes in it than Swiss cheese...

Fighting Fake Fraud

Fraud is a two-way street:
The “cuts both ways” argument was among those raised by 13 Republican attorneys general in a letter urging their Democratic counterparts to stop using their law enforcement power against fossil fuel companies and others that challenge the climate change catastrophe narrative.
Consider carefully the legal precedent and threat to free speech, said the state prosecutors in their letter this week, headed by Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
“If it is possible to minimize the risks of climate change, then the same goes for exaggeration,” said the letter. “If minimization is fraud, exaggeration is fraud.”
If you lie about someone, they still have the right to fight back...

Not Their Problem

Liberals like the poor-except when they have to actually do something for them:
In a statement via a spokeswoman, the governor said Thursday that a gubernatorial declaration of emergency “is not appropriate.”

“We recognize the importance of addressing homelessness in our cities and will continue to support local governments, which remain best positioned to tackle challenges like this and tailor solutions to the needs of their communities,” the statement said.

The budget the governor and state lawmakers agreed on this week would set aside $400 million for affordable housing, to be spent only if a separate deal can be reached on streamlining the process for new construction. The state is also considering issuing a $2-billion bond to build supportive housing for mentally ill homeless people, of which $267 million would be included in the coming year’s budget.

County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who has led the push for the so-called millionaires tax and for a declaration of emergency, said the county would receive only $30 million or $40 million a year from the bond proceeds to build new housing, while the estimated cost to ramp up homeless services in the county enough to significantly decrease the numbers on the streets is $450 million a year.
Of course, their solutions aren't so great, either...

The Creeps

When Democrats get creepy:
The wife of candidate Phil Oliva said she caught state Democratic operative Yougourthen Ayouni peering into the windows of their family home in the Westchester County town of Somers.

“He was hunched over looking inside,” Jessica Oliva told The Post. “I’m always breast-feeding. It’s scary. Do we have to have a police officer stationed outside our house?”

The Oliva family filed a harassment incident report with the Somers Police Department against Ayouni — who was fired by New York Democratic Party officials when news of his heavy-handed tactics was revealed.

“It’s behavior that is unacceptable to us and will not be tolerated. He’s been fired,” said the state party’s executive director, Basil Smikle.
Unfortunately, there are others who will always take his place...

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Not Smart Enough For The Room

Sorry, you still can't be a lawyer:
Tamara Wyche claims that ever since sustaining a head injury in an ATV accident in 2009, she has suffered from a host of cognitive problems that seem as though they would make it very difficult to be an effective lawyer. Among her alleged disabilities are a panic disorder, a reading disorder, memory problems, difficulty concentrating for extended periods, and a cognitive impairment that makes her struggle with complex abstract problems. Because of her various impairments, along with a major spell of depression, Wyche took five years to complete law school.

Despite her troubles with reading, thinking, and remembering, Wyche says she would have had an excellent legal career if she’d simply received proper accommodations from the New York State Board of Bar Examiners the first two times she sat for the New York bar exam. Wyche said she should have received 50 percent more time on the exam, her own private testing room, and special untimed breaks during the exam itself in order to compensate for her disabilities. Wyche said she received all of these accommodations during her time at Harvard, as well as a special exemption from being cold-called in class (a major component of Harvard’s legal education).

Instead, the first time she took the test, in July 2013,Wyche only received a smaller testing room (which still had other test-takers in it) and untimed breaks, without being given extra exam time. She failed, in part because of a panic attack she says she suffered during the exam. On her second attempt in July 2014, Wyche was given extra time and a smaller room, but no special untimed breaks. She failed again. Wyche only managed to pass the bar on her third attempt, during which she was given double time.
On the other hand, she might be qualified for government...

Union Blow

How to really get along with your union:

Let Them Eat Garbage

Wealthy socialists live it up while they can:
'Those rich people are thieves. They are government cronies and they stole the country's money,' said Vanessa, 36, who earns £14 a month as an analyst at an electrics company.

'They don't want anything to change, or they would lose their high lifestyle.

'Chávez pretended to be this big Socialist, but he was rich himself. He was a hypocrite. He was a f*****g liar. His legacy is people like me looking for food in the garbage.'

For 20 years, Venezuela's economy was gradually destroyed by 'Chavismo', an authoritarian form of Socialism that wrecked the private sector with mass nationalisation and regulation.

....

This was a world apart from the Country Club, where white-coated waiters were seen serving cocktails and canapés and men practised their swings on the golf course against a backdrop of the city's impoverished neighbourhoods on the skyline.

'It's not that we don't care about the poor people. We give a lot to charity,' one golfer told MailOnline. 'Should we stop enjoying ourselves just because the country is burning?'
I thought that's what revolutionaries wanted?

Bitter Hardball

When you've lost Chris Matthews: Without naming names, the host of MSNBC’s “Hardball” told a crowd at Florida’s Miami Dade College that ...