Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Quantum Sexism

Because science is sexist, or something:
Researcher Whitney Stark of the University of Arizona’s Institute for LGBT Studies claims to have invented a new form of physics, intersectional quantum physics, that combats the alleged bigotries of classical science.

“Intersectionality and quantum physics can provide for differing perspectives on organizing practices long used by marginalized people, for enabling apparatuses that allow for new possibilities of safer spaces, and for practices of accountability,” she writes in the abstract for her paper, “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.”

Inside the paper, Stark argues that the advent of “quantum feminisms” will allow for an “anti-oppressive transformation” in the sciences.

I refer to these allying strategies as a constellatory body called “quantum feminisms” Hopefully, this locating-as-body can enflame some political closenesses that help shift apparatuses, allowing for energy, time, love, concentration to disperse and gather differently. That is, serve as a decent coalition, a relevant apparatus enabling conditions possible for thinking/mattering innovative transformative antioppression practices and helpful semantic/teleological tools and for checking the political salience of structures in work toward accountable, anti-oppressive transformation. I hope to unpack and highlight connectivities in which these quantum feminist posthuman tools can be explicitly relevant to anti-oppression struggles.

The research was published in the Minnesota Review, a literary magazine published by the Duke University Press that describes itself as a publication that publishes “contemporary poetry and fiction as well as reviews, critical commentary, and interviews of leading intellectual figures, the Minnesota Review curates smart, accessible collections of progressive new work.”
I wasn't aware there was a problem with sexist subatomic particles...

Off With Her Head

Kathy Griffin gets canned:
The termination comes one day after the comedienne posted a photo and video of her holding a fake severed head of President Donald Trump.

She later apologized for the photo, saying it went too far, and removed it.

Trump tweeted about the photo early on Wednesday, writing that Griffin “should be ashamed of herself.”

“My children, especially my 11-year-old son Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!”

CNN issued a statement on Tuesday night, condemning Griffin’s video and saying that they were evaluating New Year’s Eve plans.
Even other satanists don't want anything to do with her...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Hail To What King?

Will the real king please stand up?
The ad called “Two Kings. One crown. Who will rule? Vote now,” invites Belgians to choose between the “kings” to “crown” the true ruler of the nation. Those who choose King Philippe, however, are then prompted by a message, “Are you sure? He won’t be the one to cook your fries.”

The ad did not sit well with the royal family who is protesting with the chain.

"We disapprove of this approach," royal spokesman Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw told the BBC. "Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorization.”

Despite the backlash, Burger King has not removed its ad and votes are still open until June 19th to promote the chain’s first restaurant opening in Belgium, scheduled for the end of June.
They are not, the Burger King has always been kind of creepy anyway...

The Great Tweet War

Finally-a literal Twitter war between two countries:
The bizarre back and forth came after Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to Queen Anne, the queen consort of France during part of the 11th century, as “Anne of Russia.” Queen Anne was born in Kievan Rus, a medieval European territory near modern day Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Both modern day Ukraine and modern day Russia claim Kievan Rus as their respective ancestry homelands, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica.

Putin made the comment about Queen Anne while meeting last week with newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, CNN reported.

On Tuesday, however, the official Twitter account for the country of Ukraine rebutted Putin’s claim.

“When @Russia says Anne de Kiev established Russia-France relations, let us remind the sequence of events,” Ukraine tweeted, along with a photo of Anne de Kiev, some brief historical context, and an image below it showing a desolate forest with the words, “Meanwhile in Moscow…”

Russia replied by pointing out the two countries’ “common history,” together with the country of Belarus, and their “same historical heritage.”
In Russia, government tweets you...

Tell It To The Feminists

What's really "toxic" about today's PC culture:
No, the Marines being a "historically macho club" is not the reason why Marines have concerns regarding women in their ranks. After all, there have been female Marines since 1918, and while it would be foolish to claim there are never any problems, the problems that have occurred were not due to the Marine Corps culture that emphasizes honor. They were due to lapses in honor.

I've spoken with numerous soldiers and Marines on the topic of women in combat, and universally they express the same concerns. They don't give a crap about "macho," they want to know that all of their comrades can perform physically in combat. Can a female Marine carry her 250 lb. comrade to safety while under fire? Can she do every aspect of the job?

If so, great. No worries.

However, those same Marines recognize that the vast majority of fit women are still weaker and slower than the average man -- let alone a Marine. Since male Marines may pay the price of this social experiment with their lives, it's understandable that they have concerns.

Not that Vox worries about that.
Social can literally be a killer...

Eating In

Let's not do lunch:
Americans made 433 million fewer trips to restaurants at lunchtime last year, resulting in roughly $3.2 billion in lost business for restaurants, according to market-research firm NPD Group Inc. It was the lowest level of lunch traffic in at least four decades.

While that loss in traffic is a 2% decline from 2015, it is a significant one-year drop for an industry that has traditionally relied on lunch and has had little or no growth for a decade.

“I put [restaurant] lunch right up there with fax machines and pay phones,” said Jim Parks, a 55-year-old sales director who used to dine out for lunch nearly every day but found in recent years that he no longer had room for it in his schedule.
The cafeteria awaits us all?

The Island Syndrome

Whatever happened to Three Mile Island?
Exelon said it would make shutdown notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission within 30 days, terminate capital investment projects required for long-term operation and cancel 2019 fuel purchases and outage planning.

Still, the corporation held the door open to preserving the plant, saying reforms to Pennsylvania state energy policy to support nuclear power could provide “one of many potential solutions.”

Exelon said it is “committed” to finding the best solution, saying nuclear energy contributes $2 billion a year to Pennsylvania’s economy and supports 16,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.
New technology and better reactors could help make nuclear energy great again. It's always been a double-edged sword, either way...

Jerry, Jerry...Jerry?

Because this is the era in which we live:
Many have said the 73-year-old “Jerry Springer Show” host could be a successful candidate in today’s political climate, Business Insider reported. In the late 1970s, Springer served as the Democratic mayor of Cincinnati and, in 1982, he sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) confirmed he has discussed a possible run with Springer, noting the TV personality “certainly would start out with wide name recognition.”

“I think he has a very strong ability to communicate what I think is the heart of the Democratic message,” Strickland said. “I think he is a superb communicator.”

Springer is set to deliver the keynote address on Sunday at the Geauga County Democratic Party dinner. He headlined a similar event for Sandusky County Democratic Party in April, when he said he did not “need” to run for elected office.
No word on whether there would be brawls at the debates...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Media Of Futures Past

The future is behind them now:
Byers, who has long reported on and analyzed the media, explained that many in the news industry are trying to bridge the gap that exists between the press and “conservatives that don’t trust the media.”

“Maybe, you can’t,” Byers said. “They’re just not paying attention to it because they don’t trust us.”

Byers then diagnosed the problem with the media and explained why exactly it is that conservatives don’t trust the mainstream press.

“On occasion, more than the media would probably like to admit, we have not told the story of conservative Americans — disenfranchised Americans — who believe that they are losing their country,” Byers explained. “The story we have largely been telling is a story that is more or less in step with the arc of history as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”

“That doesn’t mean we favor them to win,” the reporter added. “It just means that that sort of vision of a progressive future — a global future — and that is not one that resonates with so many conservative American voters.”
Even unintentional truth hurts, doesn't it?

Ads Ad Nauseum

The liberal boycott of Sean Hannity hasn't worked out so well:
In some cases, the pressure has worked. Companies TD Ameritrade, and USAA, among others, have withdrawn their sponsorship of Hannity’s show. But in at least one case, the pressure has hurt liberal programming, too.

USAA, a banking and investment firm based in Texas, announced last week its decision to withdraw ads from Hannity’s show. But instead of citing the boycott, USAA explained it pulled its ads because advertising on Hannity’s show violated the company policy of not advertising on opinion-based shows. According to USAA, the company policy allows advertisements to appear on only news programming.

That’s when the Media Research Center, a nonprofit media watchdog, pointed out that USAA also runs ads on liberal opinion news shows on MSNBC, including shows hosted by Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Chris Matthews. It was only after the MRC noted the ads on the liberal news network that USAA announced its decision to pull them from the MSNBC shows.
Some networks are more equal than others...

Sunday, May 28, 2017

When Monkeys Go Bad

And now-monkey con?
Locals have long observed the monkeys’ rude behavior at Uluwatu Temple on Bali. Videos from the renowned temple show the animals leaping onto unsuspecting tourists, stealing their stuff and hobbling back to their perches as they await a ransom.

But there’s important science to be gleaned from these aggressive animals, say researchers from the University of Liège in Belgium. Since the Uluwatu Temple is really the only place where monkeys act this way, the behavior must be learned.

With each generation, the monkeys have grown bolder and have learned from their parents that if they hold onto the stolen goods, they will get a tasty treat.

The monkeys are actually pretty smart to be able to pull this stunt off over generations, the scientists say.
This is how it starts. First the small-time treats, then whole bananas...

Encyclopedic Art

The art of knowledge:
Montreal-based Guy Laramée creates sculptures out of old dictionaries and encyclopedias, or anything else a library visitor might walk past without a second glance. Most of his pieces are under a foot tall, but up close they contain grand vistas.

Laramée carves cavernous valleys, formidable peaks, and cascading hills into the sets of books. The detailed etchings are done via sandblasting.

With the books arranged in a variety of different ways, he glues them together with adhesives and applies layers of paints, inks, pastels, and crayons to provide color.

Not surprisingly, each piece, whether it’s a unique inspired or a commissioned work, takes several months to produce.
I don't know anything about encyclopedias, but I know what they are when I see one...


That time a TV psychic tried to hypnotize an entire country:
Through the broadcasts, Anatoly Mikhailovich Kashpirovsky promised to heal the populace, even as their world changed forever.

Kashpirovsky has been described as “perestroika’s chief magician.” Born in Ukraine in 1939, he trained in clinical psychotherapy and practiced it for 25 years. Having worked successfully with the Olympic weightlifting team, in 1989 he appeared on TV six times for “séances” in which he promised mystical benefits to his viewers.
Communism had already been fooling the masses for decades; I suppose this was its last resort...

Flourish Or Perish

Meet the new puritans:
The feverish obsession with sex in all its myriad forms and embodiments has led to some very bizarre ideas and mind-numbing outcomes, of which gender (or non-biological) self-identification and transgender fluidity are among the most conspicuous. The pursuit of the sexual makeover has become gruesomely popular. And when mother and son transition to father and daughter, we know we have entered the twilight zone. Indeed, one feels as if one is living among James Cameron’s epicene avatars or deep in some psychotic’s substitute world. And yet the gender radicals are chiefly accredited academics, journal editors, published feminists and government functionaries, an infallible sign that our so-called elites have entered the realm of the fabular, dragging the wider culture and its political masters with them.

What we are observing is a bizarre form of Puritanism. The visceral yet denied fixation on sexual expression and behavior that we associate with the Puritan sensibility, especially as it manifested in the Salem witch trials, has morphed into its opposite, namely, a lubricious fixation that has become publicly endorsed and applauded. The gender mavens of our time are as prurient as the witch hunters of old.

They are the Puritans of the modern age who see sex under every stone while at the same time unleashing a campaign against all that is normal and fruitful in the relation between men and women. The delusion in which they have invested -- that sex and gender are conceptually unrelated and the latter trumps the former -- is not only an affront to common sense but leads by unrelenting increments to the displacement of the usages and conventions on which normative life and societal flourishing depend.
You can deny gender, but not nature...

The De-Regulators

President Trump may finally succeed where others have failed:
Trump and his agencies have already wielded executive actions and Republican control of Congress to postpone, weaken or outright kill dozens of regulations created by Barack Obama’s administration, often using delays in the courtroom to buy time to make those changes. Their targets have included protections for streams from coal-mining pollution and a directive on the rights of transgender students.

Other Obama-era regulations are in the crosshairs for possible elimination or downsizing, such as limits on greenhouse gases from power plants and rules meant to prevent concentrated ownership of media companies.

But Trump is going after even bigger targets, setting bureaucratic wheels in motion that could eventually ax or revise hundreds of regulations as agencies reorient themselves toward unwinding red tape and granting speedier approvals to projects. Just one of those efforts — an upcoming plan by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for reducing burdens on manufacturers — yielded 171 suggestions from business groups and others who submitted comments. Another executive order, requiring agencies to repeal two regulations for every new one they create, “will be the biggest such act that our country has ever seen,” Trump said in January.

If successful, these efforts could represent the most far-reaching rollback of federal regulations since Ronald Reagan’s presidency, especially if Trump’s proposed budget cuts make it hard for a future Democratic president to reaccelerate the rule-making apparatus.
Some rule-making apparatuses were meant to be broken...

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

A Democratic senator offers grudging opposition to "dark money":
“The Republican Party is the party of dark money these days. They’re fond of pointing out that given that they have defended these dark money rules that Democrats have also followed that path as well, now that these are the rules of political engagement,” Whitehouse said on a conference call Thursday about requiring “high-ranking government officials” to disclose their political contributions.

“We on the Democratic side are reluctant participants who continue to try to solve this problem legislatively, so there is a partisan divide on this and it has to do with where the Republican Party gets its money and how badly those big special interests, particularly the fossil fuel industry, want to obscure their hand in the political influence game,” he added. “So this is not going to be easy.”
When your own party has dirty hands, it never is...

Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart

Elizabeth Merkel is not a team player:
Merkel warned of changing relations after Brexit and the election of President Donald Trump. She said a division within the western alliance became evident during the G7 meeting in Italy this weekend.

“The times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out. I’ve experienced that in the last few days,” Merkel said at a campaign rally in Munich. “We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.”

While Europe will stay close to its traditional allies, “we have to fight for our own destiny,” according to Merkel.

She described climate talks with Trump during the G7 as “very unsatisfying” Saturday. Trump left the summit as the only leader to not commit to the Paris Agreement.

“The Paris deal isn’t just any other deal,” she said Saturday, according to Deutsche Welle. “It is a key agreement that shapes today’s globalization.”
Deal, or no Deutschland?

Collusion Coda

This is not the conspiracy you were looking for:
Recent leaks about the Russia probe, although damaging to the Trump White House, have actually worked against the collusion narrative.

The New York Times reported that Russian officials discussed finding backdoor ways to influence Trump without his knowledge through retired Lieutenant Gen. Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. If true, the Times’ report appears to be inconsistent with the narrative that Trump was engaged in a quid-pro-quo with Russia, as alleged by the infamous Trump dossier that some liberals have used to accuse Trump of colluding with the Russians. (It’s also worth noting that the US officials who leaked to the Times admitted that there is no evidence that Russia actually followed through in that influence campaign.)

Similarly, reports that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner suggested opening up covert channels with Russian officials after the election also appear to work against the collusion narrative. The fact that Kushner allegedly explored opening channels of communication with the Russians would imply that such channels didn’t already exist. (Here, too, it’s important to note that no evidence exists that Russia and Kushner actually followed through on the alleged idea.)
Time to put this to rest once and for all, da?

Angry Grandma

You still mad, Hillary?
It has been more than six months since Clinton lost to Trump in last year’s presidential election. She mostly kept quiet in the following months and was frequently spotted in public living a normal life. But in the last month or so, Clinton has increased her number of interviews and speaking engagements.

In interviews and while speaking, Clinton refuses to take personal responsibility for her second unsuccessful run at the White House. She blames former FBI Director James Comey, Russia interference, sexism, racism, among other reasons, for her loss. She recently even blamed voter suppression.

But it’s clear Clinton isn’t yet over her loss.
Unfortunately, she's not alone in that regard...

Au Revoir, C'est Climate Change

It may soon be official:
Publicly, Trump's position is that he has not made up his mind and when we asked the White House about these private comments, Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks said, "I think his tweet was clear. He will make a decision this week."

Why this matters: Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could to do unravel Obama's climate policies. It also sends a stark and combative signal to the rest of the world that working with other nations on climate change isn't a priority to the Trump administration. And pulling out threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal, given how integral former President Obama was in making it come together in the first place.
All it takes is one loose thread...

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Art Of The Declined Deal

President Trump's views might be "evolving," but his decisions aren't:
Trump’s decision upset world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, desperate to convince the president of the agreement’s merits.

“The Paris deal isn’t just any other deal. It is a key agreement that shapes today’s globalization,” Merkel said, describing discussions with Trump about climate change “very unsatisfying.”

For opponents of the agreement, the decision is a welcome development after the president’s economic adviser, Gary Cohn, told reporters that Trump was “evolving” on the issue. But it still was not a fulfillment of his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement.
Hopefully that comes soon...

Blue Losing Streak

The Democrats just can't seem to catch a break:
In the three opportunities they've had to deliver a brushback to Trump through special U.S. House elections, they've failed. These districts are undoubtedly conservative-leaning, having not been held by a Democrat for decades, and in one case, Democrats still have a shot to flip a seat in Georgia next month.

But for all the raised expectations on the left and the hand-wringing on the right, the results have been the same, underscoring just how difficult it will be for the minority party to claw its way back into power. Trump is weakened, but far from vanquished. Republican candidates may be flawed, but their loyal constituencies are showing up to bail them out – if only to rebut the narrative they're constantly hearing permeate out of Washington.

The seesaw of politics says Democrats should have the wind at their backs during next year's midterms, especially if Trump doesn't improve his own standing. Over the last 20 such elections, the president's party has lost House seats in 18. Yet even with a wave, those are towering margins to climb and topple to reclaim control.

Of course, it's foolish to read too much into just a few special elections, let alone a single one.

But observers can be assured that if Democrats had emerged victorious in any thus far, it would've sparked a fusillade of headlines and coverage portraying a coming doomsday for the GOP.

What's true is that these early elections are showing the limits of the Democratic resistance that has bubbled up across the country and into the streets. It's proved powerful, but not transformative.
"Change" does not mean what the Democrats think it does...

Friday, May 26, 2017

From A To Z

It's the Pelosi alphabet:

When All Is Innuendo

Innuendo and rumors aren't evidence:
Normally if a U.S. official is suspected of treason, the government collects evidence before hinting to the public what it might be seeking evidence about. Think of FBI agent Robert Hanssen or CIA officer Aldrich Ames, both of whom provided the Soviet Union with information that led to the deaths of American agents. Ames and Hanssen are fiends. And yet the public learned about their treachery only when the government charged them.

The discretion of our spy hunters is important not just to protect the rights of the accused. It also is vital to the health of our own political culture. Public discussion of ongoing counterintelligence probes by necessity relies on state secrets. When anonymous allegations of political figures find their way into the press, the guardians of those secrets control the debate. What's more, political debates that revolve around the loyalty of current or former high officials historically has degenerated into witch hunts.
In a kangaroo court, the conviction always comes before the trial...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Losing To Themselves

tom Perez thinks he knows why his party is getting beat, despite spending more than the opposition:

Mean Trolls

Don't hurt their feelings:
Feminists United, a student group at the University of Mary Washington, has claimed in a recently filed lawsuit that the administration failed to protect them from posts made on the anonymous social media app, Yik Yak.

The suit alleges that the university failed to protect the students by refusing to ban access to the app via the university’s wifi system. The complaint ignores the reality that most students have access to the app via LTE internet service on their cellular devices, which would render a ban on the university’s wifi system almost worthless.
So it would match the opinions of radical feminists, then...

Stamp On, Stamp Off

Earn it or lose it?
Many states have work requirements for food stamps. However, the Obama administration granted states waivers during the recession, and many states continue to use waivers for the food stamp requirements.

In 2014, Maine dropped its waiver for work requirements, and required everyone who could work and did not have dependents to either get employment for at least 20 hours a week, enter job-training programs, or volunteer a minimum of 24 hours a month.

Before Maine dropped its waiver in 2014, there were 13,332 food stamp recipients. By March 2015, the number of food stamp recipients dropped by 80 percent, to 2,678 recipients who decided to get a job, participate in job training, or volunteer. Roughly 9,000 people dropped out of the program, leading many analysts to observe that many of those food stamp recipients worked off the books and used food stamps to save money for other expenses. Others stipulated that many became so dependent on government welfare that they could not volunteer 24 hours a month, or roughly one hour of work per day.

Some studies estimate that 4.7 million Americans receive food stamps who are able-bodied, not elderly, and do not have children or dependents. Requiring work for food stamps would save the country $8.4 billion every year.

“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of people on these programs,” Mulvaney said. “We’re going to measure compassion by how many people we can get off these programs.”
Sometimes you just need some tough love...

Tell It To The Judges

trump's travel ban is headed for the high court:
In a 10-3 vote, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban likely violates the Constitution. And it upheld a lower court ruling that blocks the Republican administration from cutting off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th Circuit is the first appeals court to rule on the revised travel ban unveiled in March. Trump's administration had hoped it would avoid the legal problems that the first version from January encountered. A second appeals court, the 9th U.S. Circuit based in San Francisco, is also weighing the revised travel ban after a federal judge in Hawaii blocked it.

The Supreme Court almost certainly would step into the case if asked. The justices almost always have the final say when a lower court strikes down a federal law or presidential action.

Trump could try to persuade the Supreme Court to allow the policy to take effect, even while the justices weigh whether to hear the case, by arguing that the court orders blocking the ban make the country less safe. If the administration does ask the court to step in, the justices' first vote could signal the court's ultimate decision.
Be careful what you wish for?

Pass Or Fail

Nancy Pelosi swears it will happen:

If You Are Captured Or Exposed, We Never Heard of You

It's hard out there for a press spy:
Plenda announced that the AP has terminated her effective immediately in an interview with the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple. Her termination comes as a Nov. 10, 2016, Facebook post she wrote—in which she pledged resistance to then-incoming President Donald J. Trump—was found to be in direct violation of the AP’s editorial standards.

Plenda, in her interview with Wemple, confirmed she wrote the leftist activist post on her Facebook page—a post she has since deleted, but of which Breitbart News published a screenshot earlier this week.

“There’s no denial from Plenda that she authored the tract in question,” Wemple wrote, summarizing their interview.

“I wrote that,” Plenda is quoted as saying.

“It started out on her ‘personal, private’ Facebook page, she says, and then someone shared it more widely,” Wemple continued, paraphrasing the interview with Plenda before dropping the biggest revelation—one the AP’s own spokeswoman Lauren Easton would not confirm earlier in the day for Breitbart News’s second investigative report into Plenda’s activities—that the AP has terminated Plenda entirely.

“The AP, she continues, has barred her from future political assignments because of the posting,” Wemple wrote.
She'll have to find honest work now...

What About Bob?

Bob Woodward will not be popular with his peers after this:
When asked about press “smugness,” Woodward said, “Yes. I think that is a giant problem. On television particularly, you will see a White House correspondent deliver a report and then say ‘the Trump White House said…’ and then there’s a kind of smug smile, which is the correspondent undermining what the White House says. And there may be grounds for that, but it should be reported. It should be straight.”

He added, “I think there are so many people that are treating the Trump presidency as if it’s a tryout—as if it’s provisional. I was reading a column this morning that said Trump half won the presidency because he did not get the popular vote. He is president. Odds are he is probably going to be president for a full term, four years and maybe even more. There is hyperventilation. There is this kind of sense of too many people writing things like—when is the impeachment coming, how long will it last, will he make it through the summer, and so forth. No, there may be stuff that comes out, but it has to be hard evidence. I worry for the business and I worry for the perception of the business by people, not to just Trump supporters, but people that see that kind of smugness that they are talking about. You know, he was elected, the Constitution says he gets a full term.”
Unfortunately, the left has shown that they don't really care...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Revenge Of The Anti-Nerds

Silicon Valley may be facing its own version of "Occupy":
With large cap tech stocks that are mostly headquartered in Silicon Valley accounting for about 40 percent of all market gains from the Trump stock boom, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett suggests that the irrational bonanza “could ultimately lead to populist calls for redistribution of the increasingly concentrated wealth of Silicon Valley,” as first reported by the Value Walk blog.

B of A sees parallels to the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in 2011 that targeted the “one percent,” including big banks that were bailed and given cheap federal loans during the financial crisis of 2007-8. Occupy protestors claimed the government loans were a wealth transfer for the rich, at the expense of workers.

The bipartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks the influence of Silicon Valley money on American elections and government bureaucrats, commented, “Just as water flows downhill, money in politics flows to where the power is.” Their research found that with the rise of Democrat Barack Obama since 2008, Silicon Valley’s annual lobbying expenditures skyrocketed by 800 percent, from $17.8 million to $139.5 million.
Nerds with power tend to be not much different from others with power...

Fake News Numbers

The least trusted names in fake news:
According to new Harvard-Harris Poll data, which was first obtained by The Hill, a majority of Americans — 65 percent — believe there is no shortage of fake news in the mainstream media.

That number includes a whopping 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents, and a surprising 53 percent of Democrats. President Donald Trump has long decried the media — and CNN, in particular — as “fake news,” and Steve Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, has dubbed journalists the “opposition party.”

And it appears many Americans agree with Trump, at least on this issue. Eighty-four percent of the survey’s 2,006 respondents said it’s difficult to know what news to trust.

“Much of the media is now just another part of the partisan divide in the country with Republicans not trusting the ‘mainstream’ media and Democrats seeing them as reflecting their beliefs,” Mark Penn, co-director of the Harvard-Harris Poll, said. “Every major institution from the presidency to the courts is now seen as operating in a partisan fashion in one direction or the other.”
But the media seem determined to beat all of them...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Secret Surveys

The NSA spied, Obama lied:
More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

The normally supportive court excoriated administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to a “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.
Spies without portfolio, or permission...

Wage Hikers Strike Again

San Francisco has become another example of why wage hikes don't work, but there are others:
The high minimum wage affects restaurants on the margin -- those already losing money or barely squeaking by. How many of those would eventually have succeeded without the wage hike, with success being measured by the ability of the business to stay open for five years or more? Impossible to say.

That Harvard study appears to take the factors above into consideration, so at least nine of those 64 restaurants were forced to close because of the higher wage. But no study can predict how many restaurants won't even open because of the high minimum wage. An established business can get away with raising prices to a certain extent as well as cutting staff. But how many potential restaurant owners are looking at the numbers and changing their minds? Again, we'll never know.

Unions have been pushing the "15 or Fight" movement because the higher minimum wage means higher wages for their members in the trades and elsewhere. Few restaurant workers are unionized, so unions don't care if those workers lose their jobs.
Some workers are always more equal than others...

Real Spies For Fake News

If you can't find anything, send a spy who will make stuff up:
Following the fundraiser, the Associated Press published a short story without a byline that was “grossly inaccurate,” NHGOP adviser Patrick Hynes told local television outlet WMUR-9.

“President Donald Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway has told supporters in New Hampshire they should ‘just ignore’ his critics and the incessant chatter about the scandals dogging him,” the “reporter,” later learned to be Melanie Plenda, wrote for the AP.

The report also said about 150 attended, and attendees were “largely friendly” to Conway, but “some people in attendance withheld applause when Conway let loose with snarky comments about Democrat Hillary Clinton.”

“The Associated Press in New Hampshire appears to be engaged in leftwing activism rather than journalism,” Hynes told Breitbart News. “And Melanie Plenda is a leftwing activist not a journalist.”

“They conspired to sneak this leftwing activist into an event for which they were not credentialed and deliberately misreported on the attendance and the enthusiasm with which Kellyanne Conway was greeted,” Hynes said.

“Republicans across the country should be aware that the AP cannot be trusted to be fair and balanced,” Hynes said.
Welcome to the fake news club, AP...

That Old Black Magic

Witchcraft is the last resort of desperate liberals:
The “binding-spell movement,” according to Wagman, began with a Medium post by magician Michael M. Hughes, who wrote the initial spell “to be performed at midnight on every waning crescent moon until [Trump] is removed from office.”

“I don’t believe in the devil, but I do believe our country has gone to hell,” Wagman wrote, “and I am willing to try anything to save us.”

Before beginning the ritual, Wagman said she “researched” binding spells because she “didn’t want to send bad vibes into the universe” since “there is enough evil in Washington already.”
They even have spirit cookers...

Avert Your Eyes

Do not embarrass the King:
Article 112 of Thailand’s criminal code states that anyone who insults the king, queen, heir or regent will be sentenced up to 15 years in prison.

Earlier this month the King threatened to sue Facebook because users posted videos of him in public at a German shopping mall wearing a crop top. The footage quickly went viral.

According to the current law, the technology crime suppression police division has to ask internet service providers for cooperation, which ISPs are not required to provide. It is unclear how they will enforce this interpretation.
No funny pictures for you...

Stirred, Not Shaken

RIP Roger Moore:
Born in London, the only child of a policeman, Moore had studied painting before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He played a few small roles in theater and films before his mandatory army duty, then moved to Hollywood in the 1950s. He appeared opposite Elizabeth Taylor in 1954's "The Last Time I Saw Paris" and with Eleanor Parker in "Interrupted Melody" the following year.
In 1970, he became managing director for European production for Faberge's Brut Productions. With the company, he co-starred with Tony Curtis in "The Persuaders!" for British television and was involved in producing "A Touch of Class," which won a best-actress Oscar for Glenda Jackson.
Three years later, he made his first Bond film, "Live and Let Die."
He would make six more, "The Man With the Golden Gun," ''The Spy Who Loved Me," ''Octopussy," ''Moonraker," ''For Your Eyes Only and "A View to a Kill" over the next 12 years. And while the Bond of the Ian Fleming novels that the films were based on was generally described as being in his 30s, Moore would stay with the role until he was 57.
Moore's Bond was definitely a product of his time, but he really was a man for all seasons. RIP Mister Bond...

Burning Down The House

Hugo's home gets burned:
Demonstrators lit the house in the city of Barinas where Chavez spent his early years aflame Monday afternoon along with several government buildings, including the regional office of the National Electoral Council, said Pedro Luis Castillo, a legislator who represents the area.

The burnings capped a violent day in Barinas — known as the cradle of Chavez's revolution — during which protesters clashed with national guardsmen, businesses were shuttered and roads were blocked with fire-filled barricades.

Nineteen-year-old Yorman Bervecia was shot and killed during a protest, according to the nation's chief prosecutor. His death brings to at least 49 the number killed in nearly two months of anti-government protests demanding new elections.

"It is pretty symbolic that the citizens are venting their frustrations on the author of the Bolivarian revolution," said Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the Council of the Americas.
One "revolution" begets another...

Manchester Madness

First, a reminder of how this happened:
Around 400 ISIS-trained fighters are believed to have returned from war zones in Syria and Iraq.

Despite being on red alert for more attacks on home soil like today's carnage in Westminster, new statistics show the number of arrests, stop and searches, and examinations of suspected terrorists at ports and airports dropped in 2016 on the levels seen in 2015.

This comes at the same time that the number of people arrested on suspicion of plotting terror strikes on British soil has grown by eight per cent.
Meanwhile, Chris Matthews apparently doesn't know real news when he sees it:
As Matthews speaks, a video plays in the background from the arena, and loud screams are heard as people on the scene navigate the aftermath of the attack. Matthews nevertheless quickly moved on to a more pressing matter.

“We’ll get the latest on that in a minute,” he said. “We begin however, with the shocking news in Washington tonight.”

That news, Trump asking the intelligence officials to dismiss media reports of alleged Russian collusion, actually took place months ago. Still, Matthews deemed it more important than a developing terrorist attack.
Finally, there's the usual false outrage:
An explosion outside of an Ariana Grande concert Monday night killed as many as 20 people and injured approximately 50, but some liberals on Twitter seem more concerned about hurting the feelings of Muslim people.

Some verified users are angry at the “racism and xenophobia” they’re seeing in response to the attack, which reports say was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Needless to say, the fakes never want to admit where the real response should be directed...

The Trillion Dollar Man

President Trump cuts deep:
Trump’s proposal, to be released Tuesday, claims to balance the budget within a decade. But it relies on a tax plan for which the administration has provided precious little detail, the elimination of programs backed by many Republican lawmakers, and heavy use of accounting gimmicks.

Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal has already been declared dead on arrival by many of his Republican allies in Congress. The plan would slash Medicaid payments, increase monthly student loan payments and cut food stamps and agricultural subsidies, each backed by powerful constituencies. The administration is unbowed.

"We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs," White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said. "We’re going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off those programs and back in charge of their own lives."
But then, where would big-government liberals get followers?

Don't Ask, Don't Collude

Well, this won't look good:
Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
He was just asking...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Fake Bias

When fake news fakes its own data:
According to the study, 52 percent of Fox News’ Trump coverage over his first 100 days as president was negative, while 48 percent was positive. It’s a far cry from CNN, NBC News and ABC News, which covered Trump negatively more than 90 percent of the time.

But if you happened to be watching CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday, you might think that Fox News covered Trump in an overwhelmingly positive fashion while outlets such as NBC News and CNN painted Trump in a much more favorable light than The New York Times or Washington Post.

That’s because, as the Daily Caller first reported, “Reliable Sources,” which advertises itself as “telling the story behind the story,” used the wrong data chart when reporting on the study during its Sunday show.

Not only did they use the wrong chart, but the show used a chart that gave viewers the impression that Fox News was overly biased in favor of Trump by covering Trump positively 67 percent of the time.

They even titled their chart, “Fox News Only Outlet With Overwhelmingly Positive Coverage.”
Real bias always tells...

Green Radiation

Why do environmentalists hate green power?
Every time we shut down a nuclear power plant in the United States, carbon emissions go up by millions of metric tons. Isn’t that a bad thing?

When Bernie’s own state shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, it was replaced by a plant burning a fossil fuel: natural gas. Emissions went up by five percent, the first increase since 2010.

Thirty million tons of carbon emissions spewed into the crisp Vermont air, partly blamed on the cold winter and New Englanders trying to not freeze to death.

Nuclear power is largely carbon neutral and in theory, “an environmentalist’s dream,” Stu said. Yet seven more plants are scheduled to close between now and 2025. The Energy Information Administration predicts an increase of 30-46 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
Some carbon is more equal than others...

Seniority For Sale

Call it the UK anti-retirement plan:
In her biggest misstep of the campaign so far, May set out plans on Thursday to make some elderly people pay a greater share of their care costs, before hastily announcing on Monday there would be a limit. Questioned at an election event, she grew irritated at suggestions she was backing down.

Six opinion polls published in the past three days have all shown the Conservative Party's lead over the opposition Labour Party narrow by between 2 and 9 percentage points, though all project May will win the election.

May said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and other opponents had tried to scare the elderly by spreading "fake claims" about her plan to transfer more of the cost from taxpayers to recipients who can afford to fund care themselves.

Dubbed the 'dementia tax' by opponents, the proposal had raised concerns that some seniors might see their houses sold off to pay for care, rather than passed on to their descendants.
Just because you're old, doesn't mean you still can't be "useful..."

Inside Panic

So does the Seth Rich case actually have legs?
“The behavior is near open panic. To even mention this name in D.C. Circles [sic] will bring you under automatic scrutiny. To even admit that you have knowledge of this story puts you in immediate danger.

If there was no smoke there would be no fire. I have never, in my 20 years of working in D.C. Seen [sic] such a panicked reaction from anyone.

I have strong reason to believe that the smoking gun in this case is out o [sic] the hands of the conspirators, and will be discovered by anon. I know for certain that Podesta is deeply concerned. He’s been receiving anonymous calls and emails from people saying they know the truth. Same with Hillary.”
The Clintons are certainly capable of a great deal, but we'll see if this will truly be their undoing or not.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Stamp Of Corruption

They're only following the Democratic model:
U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Mohammad Shafiq, 51, to four years in prison and three years of supervised release after his sentence ends, in addition to making him pay $3.7 million in restitution, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Shafiq was the latest defendant to be sentenced in a series of prosecutions of 14 retailers in the Baltimore area.

A federal grand jury indicted the retailers in August 2016 for food stamp and wire fraud.

The 14 retailers stole a total of $16 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture by illegally exchanging food stamps for cash, according to the indictment.

Twelve out the 14 defendants pleaded guilty, and two were sentenced this week, according to the Sun.
On the bright side, they can get "free" food in prison...

No Parent Left Behind

The plan for choice:
In September, then-candidate Donald Trump rolled out a $20 billion block-grant proposal that would have provided states with access to federal funds for creating school-choice programs.

The plan DeVos is expected to outline on May 22 will likely be more similar to the Educational Opportunities Act, legislation proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) in 2013. Under that proposal, which was not approved by the House or the Senate, would have provided individuals with a tax credit amounting to as much as $4,500 for donating money to nonprofit scholarship-granting organizations, which would then provide scholarships to low-income students for use at public or private schools, including religious schools. Corporations could receive a tax credit worth up to $100,000 for their donations.

Politico also reports it’s unlikely the Trump administration’s plan will require states to create school-choice programs.

Because the proposal could be built into a larger tax-reform bill, it’s possible the school-choice plan could be implemented through the budget reconciliation process, which means only a simple majority of legislators in the Senate would be needed to end debate. Most legislation considered in the Senate requires 60 votes.

In creating a school-choice plan, the Trump administration must walk a fine line. Many Democrats will oppose any school-choice plan—largely because they receive significant financial and political support from powerful teachers unions—and some conservative Republicans will be very skeptical of any legislation that attempts to create a more significant role for the federal government in education, which they believe to be a state and local issue protected by the 10th Amendment.
But wouldn't choice actually create less of a role? Maybe that's what both sides are really afraid of...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Fake News Without Shame

They're not even pretending:
In their effort to impugn Trump, the Times and the Post violate the most basic journalistic standards. Publishing parts of a document that you do not possess and cannot verify, and timing the release to cause maximum political damage (right after the president leaves the country), is not investigative journalism. It is political propaganda.

It is the mirror image of what the Los Angeles Times did in April 2008, when it published a story referring to a speech then-State Senator Barack Obama gave at a farewell celebration for radical Palestinian-American academic Rashid Khalidi in 2003. The Times was given a video of the speech, but refused to publish the video. Instead, it offered a mere summary, raising suspicions that the Times had sanitized the event to protect Obama’s presidential campaign.

The pattern is the same, from the Khalidi tape to the “nut job” story. For the elite mainstream media, when it comes to protecting Democrats or attacking Republicans, there are no journalistic standards, no ethics, and no shame.
It's not like they had that much to begin with...

You Auto Know

One of the ideas for replacing Obamacare might not be so great:
As for auto-enrolling Americans without health insurance, you are mainly talking about a group of low-income people who choose not to buy insurance even if they are healthy. It’s a practical question how do you make that work and stay with it, and especially for people who are loosely connected to the workforce, and don’t have a lot of income and usually go to a clinic to get care. This is the problem with expanding Medicaid; it does not do a lot to change their behavior, it does a lot more to get the hospital paid.

So there’s a number of issues you have to think through on that, that I believe they have to do.

Once you enroll people, how do you keep them in the system? They do not want to pay nominal premiums, and that’s what happened with Obamacare. With Obamacare, we got them insured in very subsidized coverage, and the insurers were surprised that once they were healthy, they would not even pay ten bucks to keep the coverage.

It is a technical issue, how do you work through that and make it better?
By coming up with something that isn't Obamacare by another name?

Friday, May 19, 2017

This Is...A Brain Freeze

Everyone has a bad day. Maybe it was the heat? Or just working for CNN?

Shallow Waters

There are no Russians here:
Huffington Post editor Sam Stein, a frequent “Morning Joe” guest, asked Waters on Thursday what she meant when she accused Trump of “collusion” with Russia. Stein said that “collusion,” to him, means something very specific and that most of the evidence cited by Waters so far seems circumstantial.

“I am talking about strategies that were developed, working with the Trump campaign. I really do believe that much of what you saw coming out of Trump’s mouth was a play from [Russia President Vladimir] Putin’s playbook,” Waters responded.

Waters explained that Trump calling Hillary “crooked” and encouraging talk about locking her up were strategies developed by Putin and the Russians. The congresswoman added that the Russians needed Trump in order to lift drilling sanctions in the arctic, turning a blind eye to the invasion of Crimea, and allowing the reunification of the Soviet Union.

“But just to be clear, there has been no actual evidence yet?” Stein asked.

“No, it has not been,” Waters admitted. “No, it has not. And I want you to know every time I’ve talked about impeachment I’ve said we’ve got to connect the dots, we’ve got to get the facts, we’ve got to do the investigation. That is what leads to impeachment, and I’ve also said that Trump will lead us right there.”
Unless he simply can't...

Clocked Out

Clock Boy gets his cleaned:
On September 14, 2015, 14-year-old Ahmed gained national attention when his high school teacher suspected he brought a bomb to school.

Ahmed was surprised and showed the teacher it was actually a homemade alarm clock. She told the Muslim teen she would keep it behind her desk for the rest of the day.

Mohamed filed a Federal lawsuit against the City of Irving, Texas and Irving Independent School District accusing them of violating his son's civil rights.

Court papers obtained by reveal on May 18, a judge dismissed the entire case. The lawsuit sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages along with attorney fees.

The judge wrote: 'Plaintiff does not allege any facts from which this court can reasonably infer that any IISD employee intentionally discriminated against Ahmed Mohamed based on his race or religion.'

Further, he notes that the suit failed to identify any policy, custom, or practice of the City that was allegedly the moving force behind any violation of Ahmed's Fifth Amendment rights.
Sometimes a clock is just a clock, but if it looks like a bomb...

Weiner Dog

Anthony Weiner is officially a creep:
Weiner did not comment as he walked out of the courthouse, but in court he said his “… destructive impulses brought great devastation to my family and friends and destroyed my life’s dream of public service.”

He cried as he apologized to the teen saying, “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse.”

Weiner’s attorney said his client “accepted full responsibility” and “apologized, offered no excuses, and made a commitment to make amends.” He said Weiner is “focused on his recovery.”

The judge told Weiner he would have to register as a sex offender.

He has been released on bail pending his sentencing, which has been set for Sept. 8. He could face a fine and anywhere from no time in prison to up to 10 years. Weiner agreed to not appeal any sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison.
You live by the selfie, you commit career suicide by the selfie...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Hidden Forests

New forests abound:
“We found new dryland forest on all inhabited continents, but mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, around the Mediterranean, central India, coastal Australia, western South America, northeastern Brazil, northern Colombia and Venezuela, and northern parts of the boreal forests in Canada and Russia. In Africa, our study has doubled the amount of known dryland forest,” Lowe and Sparrow wrote in their report at The Conversation.

“With current satellite imagery and mapping techniques, it might seem amazing that these forests have stayed hidden in plain sight for so long. But this type of forest was previously difficult to measure globally, because of the relatively low density of trees,” the report said.

This greening is likely the result of the fertilizing effects of CO2, as revealed in a 2016 study by an international team of 32 scientists from 24 institutions. The study, titled “Greening of the Earth and its Drivers,” utilized satellite sensors over the span of 33 years to monitor the Earth’s vegetation. What they found was that the Earth had greened significantly due to increased CO2 emissions. The greening was equivalent to “adding a green continent about two-times the size of mainland USA,” according to a statement by Dr. Zaichun Zhu, a researcher from China’s Peking University.
Real fertilizer works; the global warming hysteria variety doesn't...

Non-Neutrality Territory

Guess who's against free speech online?
Members of the alt-left who have been tied to violent protests in the past picketed outside the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday in protest of Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to reverse net neutrality rules. The FCC will vote to undue the Obama era Title II rule that classified Internet service providers as utilities, subjecting them to more federal regulation.

Protesters covering their faces held signs that read "Ban Drudge," with a no symbol over the Drudge Report, the highly trafficked news website run by Matt Drudge. Other protesters held signs to ban other news websites, including Breitbart and InfoWars.

Organizers of the campaign "Protect Our Internet" are connected to, which features several members of the antifascist (antifa) campaign.
"Resistance" against real freedom seems somewhat counterproductive...

General For Hire, Reasonable Rates

Michael Flynn warned them:
Flynn's conversation with the transition team came a month after the Justice Department notified Flynn he was under investigation, according to the Times.

The Justice Department investigation was not seen as disqualifying Flynn from the national security adviser position, people close to the retired Army lieutenant general told Fox News.

Flynn was fired as national security adviser by Trump on Feb. 13 after the White House said he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other top officials about his communications with Russia's ambassador to the United States.

The White House had no immediate comment on the Times story Wednesday night.

Earlier Wednesday, people close to the former national security adviser told Fox News that Flynn never asked Trump to interfere or block federal probes.

"Flynn never spoke to the president about trying to end or influence any ongoing government investigations of him," Fox News was told.
It might have been awkward if he had...

The Last Broadcast

RIP Fox News' ex-CEO Roger Ailes:
Ailes resigned from Fox in summer 2016 in the wake of former Fox News Channel Host Gretchen Carlson's sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Ailes had denied the allegations.

Ailes founded Fox News and helped shape the modern cable news landscape in the process. Before that, he worked as a producer and also worked in politics as a consultant. In the early 1990s, he served as president of CNBC, which he left to create Fox News.

In a statement to Drudge Report, his wife Elizabeth Ailes said, "I am profoundly sad and heartbroken to report that my husband, Roger Ailes, passed away this morning. Roger was a loving husband to me, to his son Zachary, and a loyal friend to many. He was also a patriot, profoundly grateful to live in a country that gave him so much opportunity to work hard, to rise—and to give back. During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life..."
Fox News may well have died with him...

The Sheriff Is A...

Sheriff Clarke gets a new gig:
Clarke was recently floated as a long shot to replace former FBI Director James Comey after his firing last week. Rumors surfaced last month that Clarke was being considered for a Homeland Security position.

Clarke’s tough talk on crime has made him a hit with conservatives, including with President Trump’s base. He has been a vocal critic of illegal immigration and anti-police crime. He has also caused controversy over his remarks about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Clarke’s new job will be “a huge undertaking,” he told McKenna.

“I’m almost overwhelmed just with the thought of it, but at the same time I never shy away from a challenge,” he said.
There's a new sheriff in town...


RIP Chris Cornell:
Cornell died at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel, Woody said. He said Cornell's wife had called a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell; the friend forced open a hotel room door and found Cornell on the bathroom floor.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's office will make an official determination about the cause of death.

News of Cornell's death prompted scores of tweets expressing sadness. Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry tweeted: "Very sad news about Chris Cornell today. A sad loss of a great talent to the world, his friends and family. Rest In Peace."

With his powerful, nearly four-octave vocal range, Cornell was one of the leading voices of the 1990s grunge movement with Soundgarden, which emerged as one of the biggest bands out of Seattle's emerging music scene, joining the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
This leaves Eddie Vedder as one of the last survivors of that era...

Love And Self Marriage

What do you do, when you're literally in love with yourself?
In the new, sad trend called "sologamy," women are committing themselves to themselves with their own wedding ceremony. These women, such as self-styled "sologamist" Erika Anderson, throw on a white gown, invite their close friends and family and marry themselves in a legally nonbinding way.

“I would describe it as women saying yes to themselves,” Anderson, 37, told WUSA9. “It means that we are enough, even if we are not partnered with someone else.

"You're worth it!" added the feminist.

Anderson tied the knot to herself in New York City and advocates for the self-marriage lifestyle.

"Anderson said she grew tired of people asking why she was still single. So, in front of family and friends she married herself," notes WUSA9.

The trend has grown within the United States and has even gone international.
Just because you're lonely, doesn't mean you can't find that perfect significant other...

The Snob Party

When you've lost Rahmbo:
Emanuel said, “I think don’t we talk about, and fight for the middle class like we are. We believe we’re for them, but they don’t — if they don’t hear we’re for them, then we’ve got a problem. Because we’re not going to convince them that they’re wrong.”

He added that the Democrats have “wandered off” from being the party that fought for working families in some ways.

Emanuel continued, “And it’s not just a string of policies, it’s also a set of values that respect who they are in their lives. And I think we come off, and can come off as a party disdainful of them as the bedrock of this great country.”
It doesn't help when you take them for granted, either...

Out On Their Own

Could the entitlement mentality be skipping a generation?
Millennials say people should be able to pay for their own housing at 22 years of age, pay for their own car at 20.5 years of age and be responsible for their own cell phone plan at 18.5 years of age, according to a new study from personal-finance site

In all three cases, the younger cohort’s average response is about a year and a half earlier than when baby boomers feel these three landmarks of financial independence should happen.

“Millennials are often stereotyped as being entitled,” Sarah Berger, a columnist and analyst at, said in a statement on the survey released Wednesday. “It’s refreshing to see that millennials really do have high expectations of gaining financial independence and getting off their parents’ payroll.”
Unfortunately, many of them still feel otherwise...

Don't Harass My Authority

Who says liberals and conservatives can't find common ground?
The lawsuit was filed by the liberal blog Plunderbund, the Portage County Tea Party. Also included as plaintiffs are John Spinelli, who frequently writes for Plunderbund, and Tom Zawistowski, head of the Portage County Tea Party.

The plaintiffs claim the law's language is overly broad and prohibits critical speech of public officials. Both groups publish opinions critical of public officials and their court filings say they are not covered under an exception in Ohio law provided for media outlets.

The groups are asking a judge to block the law while the case is pending and to ultimately find the law unconstitutional.

It acknowledges that the groups sometimes put "invective, ridicule and strong language intended to mock, lampoon or call into question the actions, motives and public policy positions of various figures" in its articles. However, that speech is protected and should not be subject to criminal sanctions, the suit says.

"In sum, the Plaintiffs engage in core political expression of a sort squarely within the heartland of what the First Amendment protects, and yet legitimately fear prosecution under the statute based upon the provocative and critical nature of what they publish," the groups state in a filing asking for a preliminary injunction.
If you can't stand the online heat, stay out of the kitchen...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mac Makes His Move

John McCain is on the warpath:
“Every couple of days, there’s a new aspect of this really unhappy situation… None of us, no matter what our political leanings are, no matter how we feel about Trump, feel this is not good for America,” McCain added.

The comments are the harshest yet from the GOP side of the aisle and come as some Democrats are openly calling for President Donald Trump impeachment over the “Comey Memo.” Rep. Al Green (D-TX) did so on the House floor Tuesday morning.

McCain’s comments add to rumblings among certain other Republicans on Capitol Hill who have signaled their willingness to abandon Trump over the allegations in Comey’s memo and reports of discussion of classified information with Russian diplomats. The Hill reported Wednesday that the Comey Memo was causing more GOPers to try and detach their legislative agenda from the president.

McCain has been a proponent of the Russian election-influence narrative, and a central figure in Senate hearings on the issue. He expressed his dismay over President Trump’s decision to dismiss Comey last week.
He's also been dismayed that he never got to be President, so he's going after the guy who is...

Moore Versus Trump

He's baaaack:
It’s called “Fahrenheit 11/9” — a reference not only to Moore’s previous flick “Fahrenheit 9/11” but also to Nov. 9, 2016, the date Trump’s win over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton became official.

“I’m making a movie to get us out of this mess,” Moore said on Facebook of his newest project. “I’ve f***ing had it.”

Moore said in a statement that “filming has been done under a strict cloak of secrecy and is expected to be key in dissolving Trump’s ‘teflon’ shield and, in turn, his presidency,” reported.

But believe it or not, the filmmaker — who’s been among the loudest and most frequent opponents of Trump among the Hollywood elite — also acknowledged Trump’s famous staying power.

“No matter what you throw at him, it hasn’t worked,” Moore said of the president. “No matter what is revealed, he remains standing. Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him. Even when he commits a self-inflicted wound, he gets up the next morning and keeps going and tweeting. That all ends with this movie.”
Fake documentary time?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A Spy In The House And Senate

Just how many people did Obama spy on, anyway?

Union Dues

Being a union boss is good work if you can get it:
Union leaders earned an average salary of $252,370 in 2016, according to a new report from the Center for Union Facts. The center compiled salary information from federal labor filings from 192 of the largest national, state, and local unions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business leaders only earned an average of $194,350 — almost $60,000 less than union bosses, the Washington Free Beacon's Bill McMorris reported.

When other perks were taken into consideration, union officials took home an average of $283,678.

For instance, Airline Pilots Association President Timothy Canoll was the highest-paid union leader, taking home a total compensation of $775,829, with benefits added on top of his base salary of $526,292. The union gave Canoll about $250,000 in perks, including $24,000 in allowances and $29,000 in official business expenses including things like meals and entertainment. And there's the $196,534 in compensation classified as "Other."
It's just extra cash for a rainy day...

The Laws Of Whose Land?

Democrats try to save Obama's legal legacy:
Democratic Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Tom Udall of New Mexico introduced the Sunset the CRA and Restore American Protections (or SCRAP) Act to eliminate the law President Donald Trump used to repeal dozens of his predecessor’s environmental rules.

The president has used the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a law passed in 1996 that makes it easier for lawmakers to repeal regulations from the executive branch. Congress only needs a simple majority to nix recently issued regulations, but it must act on the regulation within 60 days.

Booker and Udall’s proposal would allow federal agencies to reinstate rules that have already been struck down under the CRA, which has been used only once since 2001, when former President George W. Bush used it to repeal a Clinton-era labor rule.

Democrats argue Republicans are abusing the law.

“It’s like using a sledgehammer when a chisel is needed,” Udall said. “The CRA never should have been passed into law, and it’s past time to repeal it.”
Some regulations are more equal than others...

Deep Blue Mystery

Who killed the staffer?
The Democratic National Committee staffer who was gunned down on July 10 on a Washington, D.C., street last July just steps from his home had leaked thousands of internal emails to WikiLeaks, law enforcement sources told Fox News.

A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of DNC staffer Seth Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder, said Rich made contact with Wikileaks through Gavin MacFadyen [pictured: bottom right], a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time.

“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and Wikileaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News, confirming the MacFadyen connection. He said the emails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department.
A case of Clinton-itis?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fake News Strikes Again

Who leaked what to whom?
In a brief statement in front of the White House, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster described the Post's story as "false."

The newspaper cited current and former U.S. officials who said Trump jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on ISIS in his conversations with the Russian officials, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation," McMaster said. "At no time, at no time, were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known."

McMaster's statement echoed earlier denials issued by two other administration officials who attended the meeting.

"This story is false. The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced," said Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy.
Somebody's lying, and the MSM hasn't had a lot of credibility as of late...

The Anti-Fascist Fascists

Being openly Republican has become the new taboo:
In one of the most recent incidents, police in Tennessee charged a woman with felony reckless endangerment on Thursday for allegedly trying to run Republican Congressman David Kustoff off the road after a town hall. The woman, Wendi Wright, was reportedly enraged over Kustoff’s support for the American Health Care Act and screamed at the congressman and his aide, striking his car windows and reaching inside the vehicle.

The same day that Tennessee police charged Wright for reckless endangerment, police in North Dakota escorted an enraged man from another town hall after he became physical with Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer over his support for the GOP Obamacare replacement. “Will the rich benefit from, if the health care is destroyed, do the rich get a tax break? Yes or no?” the man shouted, before shoving cash down the congressman’s collar. “There you go, take it.”

CNN’s Poppy Harlow downplayed the incident, saying the man was “showing his disgust” with Cramer.

The day before that, a Huffington Post article that showed “how to really turn up the heat on elected officials” went viral. The author, Michaelangelo Signorile, called on protesters to harass Republicans at dinner, when they’re out shopping and even at home. Societal norms for the basic levels of decency one should afford political opponents, Signorile argued, no longer apply to liberals.

“It’s time to move beyond polite protests within specified boundaries. It’s time to escalate the expression of our outrage and our anger in a massive way,” he wrote.
What should make all decent people angry is the outrageous way supposed "liberals" have been behaving...

The Trade-In

NAFTA's days may be slowly numbered:
Congress finally approved Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s nominee for the United States Trade Representative on Thursday, allowing the administration to begin “fast track” trade discussions with Congress. Lighthizer’s nomination was stalled in the Senate for four months, effectively freezing attempts from the administration to move forward on NAFTA.

Despite efforts by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro to progress Trump’s trade agenda, Congress insisted that Lighthizer be confirmed and in place before continuing fast track negotiations, according to White House sources.

“I would call it a slow track to hell,” a White House senior aide said in an interview with Breitbart News, blaming Republicans opposed to renegotiating trade deals and Democrats eager to stall Trump’s agenda. The administration still has to formally notify Congress of its intentions to renegotiate NAFTA, triggering a 90-day waiting period.
The Swamp, it drains slowly...

I Scream, You Scream, They Scream

Apparently this is the next big Trump scandal:
In a segment titled, “Two scoops for Trump,” CNN’s Jeanne Moos talks about Trump’s “executive privilege” for receiving two scoops of ice cream while the three TIME magazine correspondents he had dinner with only got one.

The TIME magazine correspondents made sure to take note of the disparity between the food given to the president and the food they were served in a profile called “Donald Trump After Hours,” the profile the segment was based on.

“At the dessert course, he gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, instead of the single scoop for everyone else,” TIME’s Michael Scherer and Zeke Miller wrote.

“With the salad course, Trump is served what appears to be Thousand Island dressing instead of the creamy vinaigrette for his guests,” they added.
And what if he adds syrup? That's grounds for impeachment, right there...

Cool Heads Versus Hot Air

It's Dilbert in denial mode:

Let the outrage begin...

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Wages Of Reality

Wage hikers continue to suffer setbacks in the real world:
Mike Whatley, director of state and local government policy for the National Restaurant Association, which generally opposes the higher rates, said activists had plucked the long-hanging fruit when they got traditionally liberal places such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City to adopt $15 rates. Other regions are taking a "more measured approach."

"You see it more and more from politicians of all stripes. They are taking a hard look at the economic impact of this," Whatley said.

The stalled efforts come as reports are trickling in that $15 minimum wage increases in other regions are causing economic problems – well before the full rate has been phased in.

A study by the University of Washington last year on Seattle's increase to $11 an hour — the rate is set to rise to $15 by 2021 — found that the region's low-income workers were marginally worse off because of it.

"The city's low-wage workers did relatively well after the minimum wage increased, but largely because of the strong regional economy. Seattle's low-wage workers would have experienced almost equally positive trends if the minimum wage had not increased. Although the minimum wage clearly increased wages for this group, offsetting effects on low-wage worker hours and employment muted the impact on labor earnings," the report said.
You don't need wage hikes when they aren't necessary...

The Non-Watergate Watergate

Bob Woodward in't impressed by the Watergate comparisons:
"This is not yet Watergate — not yet a clear crime," said the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who helped report the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974. He was participating in a panel on "Fox News Sunday."

Woodward added that Trump's actions since launching his campaign have long been "strange and unpredictable and impulsive."

"But in the case of Nixon, he had his former White House counsel John Dean for four days testifying that the president corruptly and illegally led the obstruction of justice. And you have nothing comparable," Woodward said. "Now that doesn't mean, you know, we don't know where this is gonna go there is a tremendous amount of smoke."

"There are, you know, a thousand questions and they should be answered, but there's no evidence President Trump at this point will somehow involve in collusion here, that's an important," Woodward said.
That hasn't stopped the tinfoil hat crowd in the media from trying...

Last Man Walking

Why was Tim Allen's show axed?
The liberal ABC Television Network’s decision to axe Tim Allen’s hit Friday night comedy The Last Man Standing has caused consternation among fans who suspect the highly rated multi-camera sitcom has been nixed primarily because of Allen’s right-of-center political beliefs.

The show was ABC’s second-most-watched comedy this season, with 8.1 million viewers, only behind Modern Family. Deadline Hollywood, which broke the news of the cancellation, reported that The Last Man Standing was “hitting ratings highs in its sixth season.”

Many viewers of the show think that the decision is being made by liberal ABC, owned by Disney, primarily because the series is about an unashamedly conservative character (Mike Baxter) played by a conservative actor. Allen told Jimmy Kimmel in March that living in Hollywood right now was akin to being in Nazi Germany.
He seems to have been more right than he realized...

Mother Mothers

What would Mother's Day in the 21st century be without social justice warriors?
Writing in the Toronto Star, columnist Emma Teitel says that such “gendered holidays” are “generally a drag for non-binary parents who don’t identify with a single gender.”

There’s even a proposed “Non Binary Parents Day” (July 17), Teitel notes. But she has a different idea: Getting rid of both Mother’s and Father’s Day, and, “in the spirit of both inclusivity and selfishness,” opting for a gender-neutral “Guardians Day.”

“A guardian can be a mom, a dad, a non-binary parent, a grandparent, an aunt, an uncle, a pet owner, or why the heck not—somebody who takes really good care of his houseplants,” she writes.

This Mother’s Day, several transgender people have written or posted video describing how the holiday can trigger feelings of guilt and confusion.
people who are unhappy with themselves generally don't want others to be...

Where Ideologues Go To Die

Suppose you started a fringe movement and nobody cared?
Everyday Feminism vows to find a way to survive “at a time when unapologetic white supremacists are in power” and at a time when “millions of readers” seek strategies “for healing from systemic oppression and for inclusive, effective activism.”

The website vows it will only go out of business with “one hell of a fight.”

“Help us resist,” Everyday Feminism implores.

Everyday Feminism claims to be “one of the most popular feminist digital media sites in the world.” The founder and CEO is Sandra Kim, is “a person with multiple marginalized identities.”

According to the “About Everyday Feminism” webpage, the site works “to amplify and accelerate the progressive cultural shifts taking place across the US and the world.” The site also helps people “apply intersectional feminism and compassionate activism to their real everyday lives.”

The term “intersectionality” means the study of links — “intersections” — between different forms of oppression and discrimination. The idea is to bind different groups of fringe activists together. Frequently, however, the concept tends to lead to friction because various fringe activists accuse others of putting insufficient focus on their particular, obscure causes.
Some people just want all the attention-and then wonder why they don't get any...

Left Coast Revolt

Californians don't approve of Jerry Brown's gas tax:
Citizens have signed signatures for a recall effort against Democratic state Sen. Josh Newman for his vote in favor of for the Road Repair and Accountability Act, and another lawmaker is moving forward on an initiative to repeal the unpopular gas tax.

The law, passed April 6, imposes a 12 cents a gallon hike on citizens and raises the tax on diesel fuel by 20 cents a gallon. It also implements an additional charge to annual vehicle license fees ranging from $25 to $175 depending on the car’s value.

Democrats in the state legislature forced the measure along party lines. Only one Republican — state Sen. Anthony Cannella — voted in favor of the measure after receiving $500 million in kickbacks for a commuter rail extension in his district. But Cannella’s Democratic colleagues are the lawmakers being targeted.
Sometimes the people do pay attention when you screw them over...

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Lunch Lady Blues

Michelle Obama is unhappy that the days of her lunch menus are over:
“We gotta make sure we don’t let anybody take us back,” the former first lady said. “The question is, ‘where are we going back to?’ You know, what is it that people. This is where you really have to look at motives. I mean you have to stop and think why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school?

“What is wrong with you?” she asked rhetorically, to great applause.

“And why is that a partisan issue?” she continued. “Why would that be political? What is going on? You know, now that’s up to moms. Moms, think about this. I don’t care what state you live in. Take me out of the equation, like me, don’t like me, but think about why someone is OK with your kids eatin’ crap.”

“Why you would celebrate that?” she asked. “Why would you sit idly and be OK with that?”
Well, she was when it was her crap the kids were eating...

Bill Versus Bill

Bill Maher gets it right:
Maher said on Friday’s “Real Time” that Bill Clinton is to blame for the Comey fallout, citing a tarmac meeting he had with Lynch last summer in Arizona just days before Hillary Clinton was to be deposed by federal investigators.

“A lot of this is because of Bill Clinton,” Maher said Friday. “The reason why Comey had to say what he did is because the attorney general had to recuse herself because [Bill Clinton] walked on her plane.

“Let’s not forget that,” Maher emphasized.

“Bill Clinton, once again, f**ked up his wife’s life. If Bill Clinton hadn’t walked on Loretta Lynch’s plane, then she would have been making the statement instead of Comey,” Maher explained, adding that Comey was put in an “almost impossible” position.

“That’s where we are — Bill Clinton,” Maher said. “Let’s put the blame where it belongs.”
Unfortunately, too many on his own side won't...

The Invisible Executive

Whatever happened to Mark Zuckerberg? “It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to stop hiding behind his Facebook page,” said the Conservative MP Dami...