Saturday, March 31, 2018

Social media's effect on the culture

John Hawkins writes at PJ Media a post entitled Confessions of a Clickbait Guru. He has some very important things to say about the world of social media and blogging.
Social Media Is A Confirmation Bias Machine: Most people on social networks start by following people that they like, admire, and agree with. Typically, this leads to people receiving more confirmation of what they already believe. If they receive information contrary to what they believe, they will refuse to share it at best or block/mute the person that sent the information they did not agree with at worst. Over time, this tends to lead to an increasingly perfect feedback loop that confirms every bias that people had going in.

...We Don’t Share Facts Anymore: Liberals have always been able to cocoon themselves off in their own little world where they only hear from left-wing news sources. Conservatives used to not have that option because liberal sources were too ever-present. But they do now and they seem to take full advantage of it. What this means is that a hot Trump “scandal” that is everywhere in the liberal media may be laughed off on the Right as a joke, if they even hear about it at all. It worked the exact same way with Obama. The stories covered by the Left and Right are often completely different, and even if they are the same, the spin will be much different. It’s gotten to the point where the Left and Right almost live in parallel realities. Of course, that has dramatically increased the amount of tribalism you see in politics and helps lead to…

...All that being said, I hate to say it, but honesty is much less important than it used to be to the general public. For one thing, people who have an appetite for propaganda can be more interested in intentions than results. The attitude is, “Sure, the outlet might not have gotten the story right, but at least it was on the side of the angels.” Additionally, social media isn’t about credibility, it’s about feeding people what they want. The more people click on something, the more they like it and such, the more the social media algorithms reward it with traffic. So, how do you get someone to click on a story? The honest way to do it is to be very “aggressive” with your headline. By that, I mean that this headline, “Is Robert Mueller Conflicted In Trump Probe?” inspired this headline that we did, “The Fix is In: Special Counsel Robert Mueller Has MASSIVE Conflict of Interest in Trump Probe.” Which one do you think would draw more traffic on Facebook? Number 2? Ding, ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. This sort of aggressiveness has become the rule on social media. The problem is that it can very easily turn into a headline that is so aggressive that it no longer matches the story. That is not a rare occurrence on the web or in the mainstream media.

...Everyone in America seems to love the idea of bipartisan solutions to issues, but it’s hard for anyone to work together when people on both sides of the aisle bend over backward to irritate each other as much as possible on a daily basis.
Read more here.

Who is to blame?

In her ultra dynamic opening statement, Judge Jeanine socks it to Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell.

Deputy White House Press Secretary Hogan Gidley is a guest. "The President respects the First Amendment, but he also respects the Second! Parkland was a systemic failure at the local, state, and federal levels of government. New legislation just passed close the loopholes in the background check."

"Barack Obama dismantled our military protection, the number one job of the president is national security!"

"We have to have 60 votes to pass a funding bill. Republicans don't have that."

DACA? The president offered the Democrats three times the number they wanted, and the Dems didn't take it!

Ann Coulter is a guest. She is depressed. She is mad about the lack of money for the wall. Jeanine defends Trump. There is no greater Trump supporter than Judge Jeanine! Ann wants Trump to take money for the wall from the huge military budget.

David Bossie was Trump's deputy campaign manager. He agrees the omnibus bill was a fundamental failure of leadership in Congress, but he also blames the White House staff!

Who says you can't get teenagers to prepare soil for seeds?



The falling Chinese satellite

Are you tracking the falling Chinese satellite? MOTUS writes,
The map below shows the relative probabilities of debris landing within a given region. Yellow indicates locations that have a higher probability while green indicates areas of lower probability. Blue areas have zero probability of debris reentry since Tiangong-1 does not fly over these areas (north of 42.7° N latitude or south of 42.7° S latitude). These zero probability areas constitute about a third of the total Earth’s surface area.

Fight the Leftist boycotts of Sean and Laura's advertisers!

Ed Driscoll says that Leftists were responsible for driving Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly off of Fox News by targeting advertisers with threats. Now they are taking aim at Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity. Nestles is one that has dropped Laura, so buy your chocolate from someone else, please. Next up? Arbys! Stop in at Arbys this week and tell them why!

The Passion of the Christ

Here is Mark Steyn's review of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

We're opening our weekend movie a little early this week, in time for Good Friday. On Saturday night we'll have another seasonal entertainment for you, but this is Mel Gibson's big blockbuster from fourteen Easters ago. Mel has spent the last decade getting a little crazier with every year that passes, and, surprisingly, there have been no attempts to follow the success of this film. But back in 2004 it was impressive not just cinematically but as an interesting business model for bypassing Hollywood:

The headline on the Washington Post review summed it up: "'Passion' Is A Gory Take On A Gentle Teacher's Violent End". Somebody's confusing their Gospel with Godspell. A few days before the "violent end", the gentle teacher had been hurling tables around in the temple. And, even if you overlook the rough stuff, rhetorically Christ was as forceful as He was gentle.

That's the real argument over The Passion Of The Christ. It's not between Christians and Jews, but between believing Christians and the broader post-Christian culture, a term that covers a large swathe from the media to your average Anglican vicar. Some in this post-Christian culture don't believe anything, some are riddled with doubts, but even the ones with only a vague residual memory of the fluffier Sunday School stories are agreed that there's little harm in a Jesus figure who's a "gentle teacher". In this environment, if Jesus came back today he'd most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in a hybrid with an "Arms Are For Hugging" sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams. If that's your boy, Mel Gibson's movie is not for you.

Indeed, although Mel is Catholic, his Passion became a hit thanks to evangelical Protestants – those who believe the Bible is the literal truth and not a "useful narrative" culminating in what the Bishop of Durham called a "conjuring trick with bones". Instead of Jesus the wimp, Mel gives us Jesus the Redeemer. He died for our sins – ie, the "violent end" is the critical bit, not just an unfortunate misunderstanding cruelly cutting short a promising career in gentle teaching. The followers of Wimp Jesus seem to believe He died to license our sins – Jesus loves us for who we are so whatever's your bag is cool with Him.

Strictly as a commercial proposition, Wimp Jesus is a loser: the churches who go down that path are emptying out and dying. Those who believe in Christ the Redeemer are, comparatively, booming, and in 2004 Mel Gibson made a movie for them. If Hollywood was as savvy as it thinks it is, it would have beaten him to it. But it isn't so it didn't. And as most studio execs had never seen an evangelical Christian except in films where they turn out to be pedophiles or serial killers, it's no wonder they were baffled by The Passion's success.

The picture opens in the Garden of Gethsemane with Christ's arrest, in the midst of which a servant of the high priest gets his ear lopped off and, in the melee, is quietly healed by Jesus. (This is from Luke; the other three gospels have the lopping but not the healing.) For Gibson, this is the point: Christ had power over His captors but didn't use it, and His sacrifice is our salvation. To that end, the director's come up with a structure that folds flashbacks of Jesus' life into the two hours of scourging and crucifixion, presumably to remind us that it's through the "violent end" that the "gentle teaching" becomes universal truth.

Sometimes this works very well: the Last Supper – "This is my body, this is my blood" – is intercut with the pulpy wounds of the real body, the rivers of real blood, and has a rare intensity. The idea of embracing Christ's life within His death is smart movie-making, and a suppler director would have done more with it. But Gibson is something of a stolid storyteller and his picture settles into an almost mechanical rhythm: flaying – flashback – beating - flashback – nailing – flashback. Jim Caviezel is a physically conventional Jesus, whose lean, rangy body seems to have been selected on the basis of how it looks when battered and bloody. He's okay in the pre-arrest scenes, except for a strange decision to do the Sermon on the Mount as a Richard Gere impression, all rueful smiles and fussy hand gestures.

The dialogue is Aramaic and Latin, but there's not a lot of it and actresses like Maia Morgenstern (Mary) and Monica Bellucci (Mary Magdalene) have apparently been chosen for their anguished facial gestures and ability to reflect Christ's pain rather than their command of language. Miss Bellucci, the sexpot schoolmarm in Malena, is the nearest thing to a big name in a cast of unknowns. It's surely the right idea not to have famous faces distracting from the story (as they did in the old-time Hollywood biblical epics) but it's less effective than it might be because, even though they're played by obscure actors, almost everybody looks exactly like a central-casting version of whoever he's meant to be – Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate and his missus; Barrabas is a scurvy, tongue-wiggling cartoon.

That's another limitation of Mel's movie. Although they're speaking Aramaic and Latin, its real language is Hollywooden. So, for example, one of the flashbacks shows Jesus the carpenter making what seems to Mary like a "tall" table. Jesus explains that it's for a rich man who likes to eat sitting down on "chairs" and mimes the position. "This will never catch on," says Mary. The imagery is rooted in the traditional: all but one of the stations of the Cross are seen (the eighth was cut for time reasons, which, for some reason, reminds me of cost-conscious Lew Grade producing Jesus of Nazareth: "Do we have to have twelve disciples?") But Mel's realization of tradition owes as much to Hollywood shorthand as the glories of Christian art: Judas is haunted by troll extras laid off from Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings, and Jesus is stalked by someone who's a cross between Nosferatu and Jessica Lange in All That Jazz. Worst of all are the Roman soldiers who torture Christ and laugh and spit and jeer like corrupt banana-republic cops in an action movie. Regardless of whether that's a slur on one of the great empires of our civilization, it serves Gibson poorly: the sins that Jesus died for are our everyday ones, not the worst excesses of an Amnesty International report. A brisker, more professional soldiery would have made the point better.

But that's nitpicking. Mel Gibson was driven by his own passion to make a movie that speaks to millions of people. And, as I always say, if it's not the Jesus movie you'd have made, then go make your own. Back in 2004, I saw it on a Monday-night full house – a rare event in itself – and the crowd was rapt and eerily hushed, except for the occasional sob. It's true that, if you don't believe that Christ's death on the cross is the central event in His time on earth, then Mel's telling won't convince you and the film will look, as it did to Christopher Hitchens, like an S&M flayfest. One can regard this as a criticism of Gibson. On the other hand, all manner of movies – Star Wars, X-Men – leave you cold if you're not already a devotee. For millions of people, Mel Gibson shows them their Jesus and their salvation. Happy Easter.

Friday, March 30, 2018

30,000 demonstrate near Israeli border

Sarah Malm reports for Mailonline,
At least 12 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds hurt during one of the largest Palestinian demonstrations along the Israel-Gaza border in recent years.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, pressing for a right of return for refugees to what is now Israel, gathered at five locations along the fenced 40-mile frontier where tents were erected for a planned six-week protest, local officials said.

Demonstrators were also seen burning and stamping on posters with the face of U.S. President Donald Trump, who ordered the US embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The protesters have vowed to remain at the border until the embassy moves to Jerusalem on May 14.

The Israeli military estimated there were 30,000 demonstrators and used a drone to drop tear gas on the massive crowds.

Gaza health officials said one of the 12 dead was aged 16 and at least 400 people were wounded by live gunfire, while others were struck by rubber bullets or treated for tear gas inhalation.

Families brought their children to the encampments just a few hundred yards from the Israeli security barrier with the Hamas Islamist-run enclave and football fields were marked in the sand and scout bands played.

But as the day wore on, hundreds of Palestinian youths ignored calls from the organisers and the Israeli military to stay away from the frontier, where Israeli soldiers across the border kept watch from dirt mound embankments.

The military said its troops had used 'riot dispersal means and firing towards main instigators.' Some of the demonstrators were 'rolling burning tires and hurling stones' at the border fence and at soldiers.

Israeli troops fired live bullets and tear gas at protesters on the other side of the border fence, and hundreds of Palestinians were wounded by army fire, Gaza officials said.

Judge caught stealing neighbor's worn underwear



Michael Balsamo reports for Associated Press,
A New York judge accused of breaking into a neighbor's home to steal her worn underpants pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony burglary charge.

Robert Cicale, a Suffolk County district court judge, admitted he had broken into the woman's Long Island home several times and stolen underwear out of her clothing hamper, District Attorney Timothy Sini said.

The 23-year-old woman once worked as an intern for Cicale when he was a town attorney. She was alone in the East Islip home Thursday when she heard a noise and saw a man running off, police said. The woman called her mother, who then called 911.

When officers arrived, they found Cicale on the street carrying several pair of the woman's soiled undergarments, authorities said.

Cicale told investigators that on Thursday he "went into the house to take the panties again," according to court documents.

It was unclear why Cicale at the time would have been carrying underwear he had taken on a previous occasion.

The judge, who generally hears misdemeanor criminal cases in the county's district court, told the officers that he had taken the underwear during another break-in, Sini said.

"This is very disturbing," Sini said in an interview Friday. "In his confession, he noted he had urges to do this, to engage in this behavior."

Investigators are still investigating to try to figure out how many times Cicale broke into the woman's home, the district attorney said.

"He admitted he had gone into the home unlawfully on a few other occasions," Sini said.

Cicale was "temporarily relieved of his judicial duties" and the matter was referred to the state's Court of Appeals to determine whether to suspend the jurist, court system spokesman Lucian Chalfen said.

A judge also issued a restraining order that prevents Cicale from contacting the victim and, as a condition of his bail, Cicale will also be required to wear a GPS monitor, Sini said.

Cicale was released after posting $25,000 bail and didn't comment as left the courthouse.

His attorney, William Wexler, said Cicale had a stellar reputation and that the judge's wife was standing by him.

"Every judge, every lawyer respects him, and we just have to see how the process plays out," Wexler told reporters outside the courtroom.

Stumbling on the miraculous; what direction are you traveling?

The media: Hogg is just a traumatized young person who can't be expected to behave or speak rationally, and should, therefore, be invited on every t.v. show to discuss the Second Amendment. Andrew thinks young Hogg should have to decide whether he is a damaged and confused young man who shouldn't be consulted about anything, or he's the leader of a movement and therefore open to criticism because you can't be both in the real world, (only on CNN). One political party using the tools of government against another political party.

The FBI has been slow-walking the production of documents that Congressional committees have asked for, and when they do forward the documents to the committees, the documents are full of redactions.

Professor Brian Clayton co-authored Two Wings; Integrating Faith and Reason. He says, if Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain. Miracles are woven into the whole story of God creating.

More meanderings from Andrew on Holy Week: Good Friday is the day of the crucifixion. Why do they call it good? Why did Jesus have to die? You cannot fix history. You can only live in history, and living in history is living in sin. Why? Because you are benefitting from the deaths of millions of people. Jesus embodied the overflowing love of God that becomes creativity, forgiveness. He was killed by the world. The world works to murder that life we are supposed to have. Truth will still get you killed in today's world. Decency, love, and forgiveness will still leave you behind. The resurrection was the statement by God that yes, history is on that train track of sin, but here is a door; turn toward it. When you turn toward the truth and the Life, you are going to suffer in the world. If you follow Jesus, you are going to take up a cross, but that gives you a fresh life, traveling away from that train track of sin. His death and resurrection are an invitation to you and me to step out of that history of sin into a new world of joy and freedom.

Fantastic reporting by The Conservative Treehouse


Do you want to know what is happening in the Department of Justice's investigation of corruption in the Obama FBI and DOJ? Look no further than here, where Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse is doing far and away the best work of anyone and deserves a Pulitzer Prize! He writes,
It is likely the final investigative summary from the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG), Michael Horowitz, is going to be very encompassing. It is also likely to be immediately followed-up by actions, perhaps immediate indictments, from DOJ Prosecutor John Huber who Jeff Sessions brought in from outside Washington.

There is no need for a “Special Counsel” when a DOJ Prosecutor is already working with IG Horowitz. The “outside prosecutor” can begin issuing subpoenas for Grand Jury testimony and statements by the officials no longer within the DOJ/FBI, just as soon as the IG report is finished.

Evil Christians running Hungary

Oregon Muse writes,
"Did you know that Hungary is being run by a bunch of eeevil Christian so-cons? I'll bet you didn't. But it's true. As such, Hungary has refused to assume responsibility to permanently feed and house the muslim thug refugees flocking in from the Mideast who will refuse to assimilate and contribute nothing except an increase in crime rates and the turning of their major cities into no-go hellholes. Naturally, EU globalist bureaucrats in Brussels are unhappy about Hungary for unapologetically trying to preserve their Christian culture (as well as the safety of their wives and daughters). So they've been trying to figure out how to impose sanctions to force Hungary to accept its "fair share" of violent muslim criminal refugees."

An explanation of why the Democratic Party has gone far Left

Posing as tough and decisive, but then when questioned, as anyone should be questioned who wishes to have power over you, Hillary whips around and accuses you of bias! Democratic centrists were represented by the kleptocratic Clintons for a long time. Now the party has gone far Left because the Clintons have discredited by their sleaziness centrist politics.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The dangerous “deep state” of elite but unelected federal officials

At American Greatness, Victor Davis Hanson writes,
If there is such a thing as a dangerous “deep state” of elite but unelected federal officials who feel that they are untouchable and unaccountable, then John Brennan is the poster boy.
VDH then gives a long list of examples of Brennan's dangerous actions.

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice lied about the Benghazi tragedy, the nature of the Bowe Bergdahl/Guantanamo detainee exchange, the presence of chemical weapons in Syria, and her role in unmasking the identities of surveilled Americans.

Andrew McCabe, recently fired from his job as FBI deputy director, openly admitted to lying to investigators, claiming he was “confused and distracted.” McCabe had said that he was not a source for background leaks about the investigation of the Clinton Foundation. He wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post that “some of my answers were not fully accurate . . .”

Former FBI Director James Comey likely lied about not drafting a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in her email scandal before interviewing her.

Comey misled a FISA court by not providing the entire truth about the Steele dossier. He falsely assured the president that he was not under investigation while likely leaking to others that Trump was, in fact, under investigation.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath to the Senate Intelligence Committee when he said that the National Security Agency did not collect data on American citizens. When caught in the lie, Clapper claimed that he had given the “least untruthful” answer to the committee that he could publicly provide.

In the past, Clapper had also misled the country about the “secular” nature of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Note that Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, and Rice so far have not been held to account for their distortions. We cynically expect our politicians and even presidents to fabricate, but we idealistically (and naively) assume that career government servants do not.

A common strategy of the deep state careerist is the psychological tactic known as “projection.” To square their own circles of lying, our so-called best and brightest loudly accuse others of precisely the sins that they themselves commit as a matter of habit.

In the ensuing chaos and uproar, careerists such as Brennan, Clapper, and Comey usually escape scrutiny—to proceed to their next political reincarnation, Beltway billet, book deal, or television gig.
Read more here.

Maundy Thursday

Ann Voskamp writes today,
What the head knows matters, but how the heart feels known matters more.

...Who doesn’t want to be more deeply seen and truly found — and who isn’t deeply afraid of being found out and seen as less than? The thing we want most — to be seen — is the thing we are most afraid of — to be seen and rejected.

It’s Holy Week — ask Jesus.

...“What if — you don’t feel wanted at the table you’re sitting at?”

You have to name your fears to tame your fears.

...I light the ring of candles on Maundy Thursday, maundatam Thursday, Thursday of the new mandate, and it burns in all the dark places, that command that Jesus gives of the Last supper:

“A new command I give you: Love one another…

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35)

There is no being known has a disciple if you aren’t known for your love.

They say that that the Romans lined the roads with crucifixions as a means to intimidate the masses into submission, that in actual fact, crosses were slammed into the ground and the crucified only hung 6 inches to a foot off the ground, so no traveller could avoid facing the sacrificed and exposed.

Stripped entirely naked, Jesus hung on a cross at almost eye level, unprotected, uncovered, unmasked.

Look your naked and vulnerable God straight in the eye. Feel the heaving breath of His surrendered givenness.

...Your vulnerable God stretches His arms out and begs you to live the beauty of vulnerability.

...Jesus sees the most broken parts of our hearts that we are most terrified of being seen — and He keeps His covenant to see us fully— and never leave us, ever.

Because the Vulnerable God was forsaken on the cross — we get to be fully seen with our crosses — and never left, never abandoned, never forsaken. This is the covenant we can know and we can give — so we are known as His.
Read more here.

Infrastructure, spacewalk, the Koreas will meet next month, tariff targets

Tesla in "dire financial straits."

Infrastructure is the next piece of the president's economic agenda. He wants $200 billion. David Stockman notes, "We don't have $200 billion dollars to spend!

Two NASA astronauts are getting ready for a 6-and-one-half hour spacewalk.

Kim Jong Un and the president of South Korea are going to meet on April 27.

Peter Navarro is a guest. He is the White House National Trade Council Director. We extended the tariff on light trucks through 2041 with South Korea.

Our proposed tariffs with China target the "industries of the future."

The BOY Crisis, Maundy Thursday, Truth and Joy, What can bind us together?

Today Andrew pays tribute to the success of the new Roseanne t.v. show.

His guest is Warren Farrell, co-author of the book, The BOY crisis. The biggest cause of the boy crisis: Dad-deprived boys.

In the developed countries there is permission for divorce and permission for freedom. Can a boy be a respected male and also be one's unique self, one's creative self? When there is not a father figure to guide the boy to a sense of purpose, boys experience a purpose void. We have morphed from muscle to mental, from muscle to microchip, which requires that boys be educated.

Farrell has served on the board of the National Organization for Women. Klavan tells him that feminism has emphasized things like all men are toxic, rapists, privileged. Stanford University gets 800 million dollars a year from the federal government. They have to be careful not to look like they discriminate against women, so boys who have consensual sex get accused of rape and have no due process to defeat false charges.

Recommendations of Farrell: get fathers much more involved; get boys involved with other male mentors, get boys in situations where they learn to have give and take, express emotions, and not withdraw into depression and feeling rejected.

Holy week thoughts of Andrew: Today is Maundy Thursday, a day we celebrate The Last Supper when Jesus gave the commandment for us to love one another as He had loved us. Andrew's father warned him not to convert to Christianity. He died on Maundy Thursday. Andrew had lost his father whom he had never gotten along with, but had found a Father who has given him so much joy and insight. Andrew wants us to be bound together in sharing truths: we do have rights and we are free! Those rights are given to us by God! It is love and truth that bind us together! God who loves us, died for us, forgives us, and over time, the more we understand the story, the more our joy increases! If you have to keep having to find other people to blame for your misery, you know that story you are believing is false because you will never run out of people to blame! Judge not, lest you be judged!

Pope Francis says there is no Hell

Michael Chapman reports at CNS News that
In another interview with his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just "disappear." This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.

The interview between Scalfari and the Pope was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica.
Read more here.

Opportunity!

I just said goodbye to a neighbor as she drove off to start a new job in Kentucky! Yes, that Kentucky, whose economy is now roaring, but suffered greatly under Obama. She is a plumber and welder and will make $31 per hour in this welding job in rural eastern Kentucky.

Unemployment benefits fell to lowest level since 1973!

Sho Chandra reports at Bloomberg,
U.S. filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since January 1973, further evidence that the labor market remains tight, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

...Claims at the lowest level in 45 years underscore a persistent shortage of qualified workers that has made employers reluctant to fire staff. Applications for jobless benefits below the 300,000 tally are typically considered consistent with a healthy labor market.

Other aspects of the job market remain robust, with payrolls continuing to exceed expectations and an unemployment rate near the lowest since late 2000. Steady employment will help to sustain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy.
Read more here.

Trump's tax reform helps McDonalds invest more in employee's educational opportunities



Jessica Haynes reports at mlive.com,
McDonald's Corp. is earmarking $150 million for college-tuition assistance for its employees, the fast food giant announced Thursday, March 29.

The money will fund its Archways to Opportunity education program, which assists employees with college tuition assistance at community colleges, universities or trade schools and connect them with English language courses and education advising services.

McDonald's said the funding was available through changes in the U.S. tax law implemented by the Trump administration, which lowered the corporate income tax rate.

Eligible crew members can get up to $2,500 and managers up to $3,000 a year in college tuition assistance, starting May 1 and retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year.
Read more here.

Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange's internet access


Julian Assange speaks at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London in May, 2017 Photo: Jack Taylor / Getty

Axios reports that Equador has cut off Julian Assange's internet access because of his support for Catalan independence.
The Ecuadorean government objects to Assange putting relations with other European countries at risk.

Why it matters: While holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London under asylum status, Assange still wields a big platform by tweeting frequently for his 780,000 Twitter followers. He has positioned himself as a leader of select political causes, including Catalan separatism.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google suffer huge losses in stock market

At Axios Dan Primack reports that
The so-called FANG stocks have had a terrible week, losing a combined $168.6 billion in market value over the past five trading days. Here's the breakdown:

Facebook stock down 8.34%. $42.12 billion in lost market cap.
Amazon stock down 8.74%. $66.3 billion in lost market cap.
Netflix stock down 8.5%. $11.49 billion in lost market cap.
Google stock down 6.52%. $48.67 billion in lost market cap.

Yes, he is my son

My son came to me tonight and asked me if I was ready. Ready for what, I asked.
To execute the plan!
What plan?
The plan.
We secede from the family. We build rockets. We start a society to get apes to evolve into various beings.
We need The Legion. We create our own merchandise and promote it through YouTube. Once people buy our merchandise we advance through the Legions of the smartest people in the world.
You will call yourself Rick and I will call myself Morty.
We get a bunch of fake taxis, fill them with the apes.
We send the apes in the fake taxis to the moon.
To be continued.

Make America Great Again!

At Deadline, Nellie Andreeva reports that Roseanne made a triumphal return last night with huge ratings, especially in Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Kansas City. Read much more here.

Shutupery! "When seconds count, the police are minutes away!" Will Walmart ban Oreos? Why is there so much antiSemitism?

Former Supreme Court Justice Stevens wrote an op-ed in the New York Times, a former newspaper, recommending the repeal of the Second Amendment. Andrew's comment: "We at the Daily Wire feel that if a 97-year-old man, an eleven-year-old girl, a bi-sexual Communist sympathizer, and a googly teenage Nazi all agree Americans should give up their guns, we clearly need more guns. "When seconds count, the police are minutes away!"

Trump has shattered political correctness. There is a reason Facebook, Google and Twitter are trying to censor us; whenever we speak freely, we win, because our arguments are better than theirs!

YouTube defunding and restricting Dennis Prager's videos. Prager sued them, saying his First Amendment rights to free speech are being violated and also it is false advertising because YouTube said they were an open platform. The judge threw out his lawsuit saying that as a private business YouTube is not bound by the First Amendment. False advertising? The judge said all of the claims Youtube made about being open to diverse viewpoints were "mere puffery!"

The purpose of political correctness is to stop debate because conservatives win debates!

Another op-ed in the New York Times, a former newspaper, by a young woman who had tried to befriend Nikolas Cruz, but he still killed her friends. She writes that no amount of kindness from others would have deterred this rageful killer. Others narcissistically assume that if we change our behavior toward a madman, he will not persist in his ragefulness.

Trump refuses to acknowledge the Left's moral superiority. Walmart has banned Cosmopolitan, which Andrew says is a feminist piece of garbage which sells the most self-destructive trashy attitude toward sex. Why did Walmart ban it? Because of the #MeToo movement! I am guessing that Walmart's real reason for banning it is because it does not sell! Let's see if Walmart decides to ban Oreos! Not going to happen!

Are conservatives going to strike back and finally get into the culture? The movie Chappaquiddick is coming out, South Park won a prize and its creators said, "We are Republicans!" Roseanne is back as a Trump supporter.

It is mailbag day. One person asked why there is so much antiSemitism. In 70 AD the Jews had an uprising against the Romans, and the Romans crushed them. A tradition developed over the centuries that the Jew was the killer of Christ. Andrew says all of us would have killed Jesus because the Light of God shines so powerfully on our flaws. Instead of accepting that guilt it was easier to blame it on the Jews. Self-hatred being projected outward on the Jews! People hate Jews because they hate God, and they hate God because they hate themselves and God's light shines on you and shows you who you really are! The Jews introduced this God into our world, that we are sinful and fallen and we hate them for it. We punish ourselves for killing God and we blame the Jews!


Start at

Microsoft banning offensive language, Can Facebook and Google be effectively regulated? Red Bull without caffeine?

Microsoft bans offensive language. They will monitor your private account to make sure you do not offend anyone! This is not an early April Fools joke!

Is it too late to regulate Facebook and Google? Maria reminds us what happened when the government regulated the big banks: they became bigger!

Red Bull without the caffeine? Three new choices for you, and it's organic!

Hypersonic missile technology, Another Comey lie

General John Hyten, Commander of the US Central Command, says both Russia and China are now outpacing the United States in hypersonic missile technology. We have no defense against the employment of such a weapon against us. Sebastian Gorka doubts Russia's capabilities, but China has tested theirs. Gorka says we have not properly looked after our military for almost a decade now. Gorka says we have to get serious about space!

Ed Rollins says if Utah elects Romney to the Senate, he is not going to be someone whom Trump can count on as a friend. He is a "John McCain type Republican."

Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch comments on James Comey's allegation that the FBI was unable to unlock the phone of the San Bernardino terrorist. Turns out that was another Comey lie: they could get into the phone. Lied in front of Congress, lied to a court. Why? Additionally, if the FBI couldn't get into an iPhone, the NSA could. You do a request for assistance from the NSA!

Putting on the squeezes

At The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance has been showing us how the Trump administration has been putting the squeeze on America's enemies for many months.


This week: •India announces $500 million investment in U.S. steelworks. •USTR finalizes section 301 report on Chinese trade practices. •The U.S. and South Korea sign historic renegotiated “KORUS” trade deal. •President Trump handing out Steel and Aluminum tariff exemption cards….. And, oh yeah, North Korea tells China it agrees to a full reversal of nuclear ambitions.
Read about the various squeezes here.

"If you give up your guns, the government will protect you."

Oregon Muse writes about gun control at Ace of Spades.
"The gun control issue is actually pretty simple if you look to see who's on either side. Those who believe in 2A rights are usually decent, hard-working citizens more comfortable with their churches or communities than in a gargantuan federal government. On the other side, you have a whole degenerate parade of dictators, would-be dictators, busy-bodies, power-mad politicians, tatted out basement-dwellers with multi-colored hair, broke baristas, overweight feminist banshees, sissified soy boys, media potato-heads on CNN, know-nothing-because-they've-been-taught-nothing high school students, pig-ignorant gender studies majors, inbred college professors, Salon editors driven mad by their own inferiority, and assorted commies, pinkos, twinks, wonks, and weirdos. It's obvious what side I should be supporting."

California showdown

Ace has the story of the Orange County Sheriff standing up to California's state government's refusal to cooperate with ICE. Read it here, and stay tuned for more action in the days ahead!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Prager on Trump and Stormy

Where do you think Dennis Prager comes down on the Stormy Daniels issue? He writes at American Greatness,
It should be clear that this whole preoccupation with Trump’s past sex life has nothing to do with morality and everything to do with humiliating Trump—and, thereby, hopefully weakening the Trump presidency—the raison d’etre of the media since he was elected. Here’s one proof: The media rightly celebrate, as we all do, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as one of the moral greats of the 20th century despite reports of his having committed adultery on numerous occasions.

Likewise, the media and the Left idolized Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), regularly referring to him as the “Lion of the Senate.” Yet Kennedy was notorious for his lechery—far more so than Trump. Typical Ted Kennedy behavior, as described in New York Magazine, was when he and then-fellow Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) “participated in the famous ‘waitress sandwich’ at La Brasserie in 1985, while their dates were in the bathroom.”

John F. Kennedy remains the most revered of Democratic presidents in the modern era. Yet we now know he routinely had affairs in the White House in his wife’s absence and had the Secret Service provide him advance notice of her return.

And, by the way, if sexual infidelity invalidates the character and, therefore, the worthiness of a politician, why doesn’t it invalidate the character and worthiness of an editor at the New York Times or the Washington Post? Why aren’t their sex lives investigated? They have, after all, more influence than almost any politician.

So, dear anti-Trump conservatives, please tone down the moral horror at Donald Trump’s character, and the suggestions that it overshadows the good he has done and continues to do for America and the world.

The fact is it is none of my business and none of my concern whether a politician ever had an extramarital affair. To cite just one of many examples, a president’s attitude toward the genocide-advocating Islamic tyrants in Tehran is incomparably more morally significant. That is just one of many reasons—on moral grounds alone—I far prefer the current president to the faithful-to-his-wife previous president.
Read more here.

False equivalence?

Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness about how #Never Trumpers such as Jonah Goldberg are ecstatic about Stormy Daniels.
Since mid-January, Goldberg has written about Daniels several times; he has devoted three columns to her in just the past three days. In Jonah’s mind, Daniels is the hero and Trump is the villain: “But the only person who seems to have really figured out how to navigate through it all with her head held high [emphasis added] starred in such classic films as The Witches of Breastwick, Porking with Pride 2, and Trailer Trash Nurses 6.” A woman who previously insisted the tryst with Trump did not happen, and now is capitalizing on her newfound fame by selling $14.99 memberships to her website, is the noble character in Goldberg’s role-playing fantasy. And he knows her movies. Gross.

Similar to his needling Republican voters who supported Roy Moore, Goldberg is demanding a full-throated repudiation by every Trump voter for his alleged Stormy rendezvous. If you don’t condemn it, you condone it, according to Goldberg’s Rules. After Daniels’ 60 Minutes interview, Goldberg doubled-down on his faux comparisons between Trump’s dalliances and the egregious history of sexual misconduct by Democratic politicians:

“Someone needs to explain to these guys that if you made a big deal about Democratic sexual impropriety and don’t about Republican sexual impropriety, you’re just as hypocritical as the liberals who didn’t make a big deal about Democrats’ misbehavior but do about Republicans’.”

This is a classic example of false equivalence, as if the behavior of Bill Clinton or Anthony Weiner or Ted Kennedy or any number of randy Democratic politicians is similar to what Trump purportedly did as a private citizen in a hotel room during George W. Bush’s second term. And the “big deal” is that these politicians leveraged their power and position while serving in elected office to seduce, harass, exploit, and assault women.
Read more here.

I am impressed with Maria Bartiromo. She is always so well prepared, and yet she is always trying to get a scoop!

South Korea has agreed to reduce their steel exports to the US by 30%, and the US has agreed not to impose tariffs on their steel.

What else is coming? "You'll see when the President announces it. It is not my practice to get ahead of the president!"

21 countries follow Trump's lead in expelling Russian spies



At The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance reports,
Earlier today President Donald Trump led the largest ever coalition response in response to Russia’s alleged use of a nerve agent to poison a former Russian spy living in the United Kingdom. In total, 21 countries simultaneously expelled Russian diplomats.
Go here to read more and see the list of countries following Trump's lead.

"Trump expels scores of Russian spies. Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels continues to have large breasts, so let's get back to talking about her!"

Russia has no ideology. Putin just wants his power. What do Americans believe? Do we have an ideology?

Andrew shows a clip of Barack Obama in Japan talking about how people used to have just three choices for whom to watch for news. Then along came cable and then the internet. Now people can choose someone who shares their view of the world. I guess he sees that as a bad thing. Andrew says the question should be: are there going to be sovereign nations and what rules are the globe going to follow? Barack says what we need is millions of little Barack Obamas doing Barack Obama things! Elite expertism! This worldview says, your God does not exist, your women are not women and men are not men, you don't have free will, you don't need a job, just take these drugs and you'll feel happier.

The voters sent a flawed man to the White House because they could not get the attention of all the little Barack Obamas!

Andrew's guest is a woman who wrote a book entitled Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the 21st Century. She is an African who is alarmed by those who give aid and push abortion, yet encourage sexual experimentation as they give school children condoms. Obama greatly expanded aid to Africa through USAID and also UN programs expanded. The President of Uganda said no, we will teach the importance of fidelity and abstinence and turn to condoms only if those first two are not successful. They greatly reduced the incidence of HIV AIDS. But, Obama persisted, paying for huge billboards advertising condoms.

We African woman love men! Our husbands and sons are important. We don't want fatherless children! Western feminism is anti-male, very toxic! The western feminists fund angry women that reflect western feminism.

Of the 54 African countries, only four have legal abortion! Guess who is pushing for legal abortion? Yep, you guessed it: International Planned Parenthood! One of Trump's first acts was to defund International Planned Parenthood (although the latest budget omnibus bill has money for Planned Parenthood, but not the International Planned Parenthood).

Holy week thoughts from Andrew. His way of looking at the Bible is that the Bible is the book God wants us to read to learn about Himself. Still, it is a book written by men, filtered through the personal experience of humans. The Law was built on the first two commandments: love God and love your neighbor, because he was made in the image of God.

FBI not abiding by judge's order

Sara Carter reports,
For more than two months, the FBI has failed to abide by a judge’s order to turn over all of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s text messages, emails and SMS phone messages to a government watchdog group that has filed a lawsuit on behalf of a former senior FBI special agent. The communications in question are related to McCabe’s wife’s unsuccessful run for Virginia State senate and might also contain invaluable information on McCabe’s role in the Bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server used to send classified information, several former FBI sources and a government official told this reporter.
Read more here.

Father of Pulse nightclub murderer an FBI informant

In 2013 Pulse Nightclub murderer Omar Mateen allegedly made threats against co-workers. The FBI did not seek an indictment. Now we learn that Omar's father was an FBI informant from 2005-2016. You don't suppose that fact had anything to do with their decision not to indict Omar? Read more here.

Second Amendment rights, Red-greens, Kicking ass and taking names, Did PDT snooker Congress, drumbeat of violent rhetoric whipped up in the Democrat-Media-Academia complex

John Sefton, at Ace of Spades, gives us his summary of his morning links today.
Good morning kids. Tuesday is here and in the lead is the assault on not only our Second Amendment rights, and really every principle and tradition this nation was founded on, but I digress. Since time immemorial, every totalitarian regime and tyranny has relied on corrupting the minds of the youth to either attain or maintain power. For those with even the slightest understanding of history will recognize what the so called "March for Our Lives" is all about. Just as Hitler, Stalin and Mao used children as weapons against the family, society and traditions, so too have America's internal enemies. The Agitprop Media is touting these mind-numbed, indoctrinated stooges as the second coming of the 60s youth movement, G-d forbid. It was that generation that trashed our society and 50 years later we are desperately trying, perhaps in vain, to reverse the damage. I have a number of links about the real problem, which is the intentional familial/societal dissolution that is the root cause of what took those 17 lives at Parkland. It's easy to rip into David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez and the others. But the question that needs to be raised, and one which I have heard for years is where are the parents? And not just in these individual cases but in general? Of course Hogg and Gonzales are products of libbo/lefty homes, no doubt. But what frightens me is seeing a number of my peers, who I thought knew better or should know better, heaping praise on their children for participating in the marches. That to me is extremely disturbing. In another time and place, one not that long ago or far away, similar proud parents would one day wake up to find themselves denounced to the State by their children and hauled off in the night. And let's not kid ourselves; it could very well happen here.

Which leads me to something that is directly related; a Democrat candidate running for the House from sheriff of Buncombe County, North Carolina, an oleaginous, rotund mass of lipids that responds to the name of R. Daryl Fisher when called, had this to say about the Second Amendment at a campaign event:

"You've heard people say: 'You'll have to pry my gun from my cold, dead hands.' Okay!"
I don't know what's more alarming; that this bi-pedal slug called for the killing of gun owners as a means to confiscate their weapons or that the reaction from the crowd was laughter and applause. When you put this together with the drumbeat of violent rhetoric whipped up in the Democrat-Media-Academia complex, the growing number and ferocity of verbal and physical acts of violence against conservatives and voices of dissent, not to mention the wholesale attempts to silence and exclude the latter from the public discourse, then you've got yourself the makings of a situation. Taken all together, I can think of no better argument for the Second Amendment.

Moving along to the Amnesty/Immigration front, the question of citizenship is back in the census and the mouthpieces for the invaders are going ape. Xavier Becerra, the attorney general for the California Territory says, get this, it's illegal to ask people if they're citizens on a census. Of course he's planning on suing and no doubt Judge Punchy Macadamia Molokai Leper will order it stopped, since he of course is the big kahuna and will throw you into Kilahuea if you disobey. In all seriousness, some leftist said that by putting that question in the census, it will deter "undocumented immigrants" (puke) from answering, and thus lead to an undercounting of them and a loss of Congressional seats. Really? Do tell!

On the political front, the President's approval numbers were up significantly last month, and that was from a CNN poll. True, it was from last month and it was before he signed the Omnibus. But by all indications, he still remains popular with the base despite the Stormy Daniels sturm-und-drang and perhaps even the Omnibus, but that will have to wait until polling comes out on that. In any case, despite my and others' big disappointment, it seems that the target of most folks' ire seems to be with the GOP establishment and McConnell. Speaking of that crook, check out an interesting interview with Rep Tom Massie of Kentucky about "the rules" in the House as well as the Senate that stifle dissent and the will of the people. Maybe he can be drafted to primary McYertle? KY morons please weigh in. Also, Rush weighed in on the Omnibus and the possibility that PDT snookered Congress into passing something that might actually fund the Border Wall.

Internationally, the President is kicking ass and taking names. John Bolton at the NSC is scaring the crap out of all the right (wrong) people, the Chi-coms evidently blinked because of the tariffs and he kicked out 60 Russians in retaliation for the nerve agent attack in the UK. And see the links about how along with spying, forgery, thievery bribery and subpar kung pao, the Chinese have been gaining on us because we have been educating their tech innovators (and not in social justice lesbian poetry of the Incas) and how the Russians infiltrate activist-enviro groups as a way to sabotage our energy production via social(ist) media. Red-Greens indeed.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Big Media echo chamber and the isolation inside the D.C. bubble.

The Washington Post actually has one opinion writer who is not a Leftist! His name is Gary Abernathy. He writes here about the D.C. bubble.

There is nothing like a good spanking to earn the respect of billionaire playboys!

The Russian collusion story is blowing up on the media, the leadership of the FBI and DOJ, which was put in place by Obama, looks really bad, so they are scrambling to come up with something. Aha, Donald Trump, the billionaire playboy, slept with a porn star!

There is a proposed Ohio bill which would ban abortions. In an editorial, The New York Times attacked the bill, saying abortion is the law of the land. Andrew says, so is the 2nd Amendment!

Meanwhile, what is the news media covering? A pornstar! There is nothing like a good spanking to earn the respect of billionaire playboys!

Trump wants a line item veto. Andrew disagrees. But he also wants the Senate to get rid of the filibuster, and Andrew agrees. It was not meant to be that a permanent 60 votes are needed to pass any law.

There is a full-fledged attack on President Trump.

It is Holy Week. "I am!" Living and dying are not meaningless processes. Love, freedom, and creativity are calling on you: I am!

An incredible hero amidst the latest Islamic murders in France

Mark Steyn writes a moving post about the latest Alluah Akbar killings in France here.The man in this photograph was an incredible hero.

John Bolton, Stormy Daniels, Jordan Peterson

"When John Bolton enters a room, you know his mustache is not far behind!"

If Stormy Daniels can give big ratings for 60 minutes, imagine the ratings of a Biden/Trump fight! Not gonna happen. Neither wants to mess up their hair!

Special guest today is Jordan Peterson.

Illegal immigrant tries to kidnap little children at a Louisiana Walmart

Fox5 reports,
Police in Louisiana say a possible illegal immigrant with a machete tried to snatch two children from their mothers inside a Walmart.

Kenner police say it happened on Friday afternoon. They say at about 2 p.m., Billy Yoe Budier-Herrera entered the Wal-Mart store with a backpack and approached a mother and her 2-year-old child, who was seated inside a grocery cart. Police say he told the mother if she did not listen to his instructions, she would die. The victim mother attempted to walk away from Budier-Herrera when he blocked the victim, placing his hand on the handle of a machete, causing the mother to fear for her and her child’s safety.

Police say he then threatened to kill the boy if she did not listen. The mother asked for help from store employees, as Budier-Herrera grabbed the 2-year-old, and attempted to remove the child from the grocery cart and take off.

The mother grabbed her child and a struggle ensued. The mother ran behind the counter with her child in the deli section of the store, as store employees arrived to intervene.

Police says Budier-Herrera then fled from store employees into the meat and poultry section of the store and pulled the machete from his waistband, and swung it at employees before running away.

While running from store employees, police say that Budier-Herrera attempted to remove another infant from a grocery cart but was prevented from doing so because of the seat strap. He was then tackled by store employees and a Kenner police officer who was working an off-duty detail inside the store.

Police say they found a 10-inch machete, pepper spray, and a makeshift shiv on him at the time of his arrest. Budier-Herrara is charged with two counts of kidnapping of a child and other offenses. Budier-Herrera was also charged with an immigration detainer.

Trump kicks out Russian spies

AP reports,
The United States and more than a dozen European nations kicked out Russian diplomats on Monday and the Trump administration ordered Russia's consulate in Seattle to close, as the West sought joint punishment for Moscow's alleged poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain.

Warning of an "unacceptably high" number of Russian spies in the U.S., the Trump administration said 60 diplomats would be expelled — all Russian intelligence agents working under diplomatic cover, the U.S. said. The group includes a dozen posted to Russia's mission to the United Nations who the officials said were engaged in "aggressive collection" of intelligence on American soil.

"This is the largest expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in United States history," said U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman.

The American penalties were echoed by announcements in European capitals across the continent, including those in Russia's backyard. All told, 18 countries were ousting more than 100 Russian spies, British Prime Minister Theresa May said, in addition to 23 already kicked out by the U.K.

The list included at least 16 European Union nations, with more likely to follow. Germany, Poland and France each planned to boot four, the Czech Republic three and Italy two. Ukraine, a non-EU country with its own conflicts with Moscow, was expelling 13 Russians, President Petro Poroshenko said. All three Baltic states said they would kick diplomats out. Canada, too, said it was taking action, kicking out four and denying three who have applied to enter the country.

Almost all of the countries said publicly that the Russian diplomats they were expelling were actually spies.
Read more here.

2017 gun violence statistics for Chicago

Charlie Kirk tweeted,
2017 Chicago Gun Crime statistics:

Shot & Killed: 624
Shot & Wounded: 2937
Total Shot: 3561
Total Homicides: 675

Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country. Gun control doesn't work

Protecting a child

Katherine Lam reports in the New York Post,
Parents of a Texas high school student who was reported missing in late January had abused their daughter after she refused an arranged marriage, leading her to run away from home until she was found in mid-March, police said.

Maarib Al Hishmawi, 16, was reported missing on Jan. 30 after she was last seen leaving Taft High School in Bexar County. She was located in mid-March when she was taken in by an organization that cared for her after she ran away, KSAT reported.



Authorities on Friday said Al Hishmawi’s parents — Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, 34, and Hamdiyah Saha Al Hishmawi, 33 — had allegedly beaten their daughter with a broomstick and poured hot cooking oil on her when she refused to marry a man in another city. The parents reportedly agreed to the arranged marriage in exchange for $20,000.

Modal Trigger
Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, and Hamdiyah Saha Al HishmawiBexar County Sheriff's Office
“This young lady, at various times over that time period was subjected to some pretty bad abuse because she didn’t want to be married to this person,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said on Friday, according to KSAT.

“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused with hot cooking oil being thrown on her body. She was beat with broomsticks,” Salazar added. “At least at one point, she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness.”

The teenage girl and her five siblings, between the ages of 5 and 15, were placed under Child Protective Services custody.

The parents face charges of continuous violence against a family member. They were taken into custody on Friday.

Police said the man who was arranged to be married to Al Hishmawi may also be charged in the case.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and draining the swamp will not be done in a day either.

Kurt Schlichter recommends that we not say what our enemies want us to say. In writing at Town Hall about the disappointing omnibus bill signed into law by President Trump, Schlichter reminds us,
...This was a bump in the road, a road that includes Justice Gorsuch, defeating ISIS, Keystone, regulatory rollback, tax cuts and many other conservative achievements. Our enemies would love for us to throw that all away because we got a case of the madz. But that would be stupid.

There’s another spending fight coming. Trump says he won’t sign another flaming pile of garbage like this. After the reaction he got the other day, it’s likely he’ll keep his word. He should demand that he receive the next bill in final form 30 days before the deadline – no more 30 minutes to read 2,200 pages nonsense. This will give real conservative leaders a chance to disinfect it with sunlight, like Senator Rand Paul did highlighting the flotsam and jetsam in the last one.

Finally, Mitch McConnell needs to earn the base’s lost confidence by getting the GOP to toss out the filibuster rule and start passing our priorities because if these hacks blow the Senate majority (and they absolutely could) Chuckie Schumer will do that the first day anyway. Oh, and it would be really good for morale to get Ric Grennell and the other hung-up nominees confirmed. If McConnell has to change the rules to outflank Democrat obstruction, okay.

What do the rest of us do? Not quit. Get up, brush off, and get ready to fight. Tighten the hell up and jump back in the game. If you can’t take a hit, if you can’t stand to encounter an obstacle, if you’re giving up everything because something goes wrong, you’re not really committed to recovering your country and your own freedom. This is going to be hard. This is going to take time, a lot of it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and draining the swamp will not be done in a day either. We are going to have more days like Omnibust Friday in the future, lots of them. That’s how it goes. But also remember that we will have days like November 8, 2016, where liberals are spread out before us, sobbing as their hideous libfascist dreams die before their eyes.

And those days make it all worthwhile.
Read more here

JJ Sefton's summary of this morning's lead stories

Good morning kids. Start of another week and the lead stories are all about the aftermath of Friday's omnibus bill fiasco. Some are trying to find any kind of a silver lining to what I and many others think was a major mistake on the part of the President in signing this. For instance, Roger Simon among others is stating that the Border Wall can indeed be funded by the President via allocation of funds for the military, since as the logic goes, the border wall can be defined as a component of national security. Considering that the bill actually funds the construction of border walls in places like Jordan and Egypt, perhaps this is not so farfetched.

Mark Levin, who we all know was a harsh critic of the President (though for the record he was never a NeverTrumper) but has actually of late been one of his defenders, while not giving him a pass for signing the bill aimed his rhetorical guns and blasted away at Mitch McConnell. And rightly so; this bill confirms him to be, not an incompetent oaf, but a willing participant in the dissolution of the republic.

That said, the buck ultimately stopped with Trump. By vetoing the bill, he had a golden opportunity to show the American people that this bill is just another avenue of attack in the Deep State's attempted coup to overthrow the 2016 election. He could have insisted on a simple one page bill that did three things: fully fund the military, fully fund the wall and fund the rest of the government but at 15% less than the previous spending bill. And then double-dog-dare them to shut down the government. It would have been a game-changer, which is what he built his candidacy and presidency on.

But no. I'm not going to sugarcoat it; I think minimally he has seriously damaged his agenda for the foreseeable future if not, G-d forbid, his presidency. I don't know if this jeopardizes 2018 for the GOP (and after Friday I almost could not give a single solitary f**k) let alone 2020. Seven months is still both an eternity and just around the corner and anything can happen, including the Democrats' own internecine war between it's left and far-left hands. But this was the time and place to make a stand, or the hill to die on as we are fond of saying. And he failed. Miserably IMHO. Now, let's move on.

In other news, Stormy Daniels sat down with Vanderbilt Poofter and, surprising no one, said that her affair with PDT more than a decade ago was consensual. This of course is the smoking gun Max-Scene "polluted" Waters needs to impeaches and herb 45.

Over the weekend, David "Twerpenfuhrer" Hogg and the Kool Kids Kadres of the Left held rallies to protest the Constitution and demand the disarming of law-abiding armed citizens, ironically who were out in force in uniform protecting them from what I'm really not sure of actually. In any case, estimates of the crowd were once again way, way off but it was enough that the Washington Mall was DC streets were trashed with the typical slime trail of detritus left by these slugs. Never fear; I'm sure Mitch McConnell is ready to sell us down the river on this as well.

From hither and yon, Andrew Cuomo got up in front of a black church and told the congregants that Jews can't dance which is funny because how does he think we control the weather (it's actually done with smoke and matzohs)? Also in the demented and dangerously delusional department, Obama gave a speech in Japan where he fantasized about creating a million more young people just like him. Hey, schmuck, Ira Levin called; "The Boys from Brazil" is a thing. And speaking of Brazil, it seems that rich Brazilian women and lesbians are desperate for some of your, er, "white privilege." Nice work if you can get it.

Lastly, we note with sadness that former Democrat Congressman Zell Miller has passed away at age 89. He took heat for endorsing Dubya, and during the 2004 GOP convention, he challenged Chris Matthews to a duel and said of John Kerry (paraphrasing) "this is the man who wants to be commander-in-chief of our armed forces, armed with what? Spitballs?"
Go here to see his links.

Best protest sign

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Our nation's biggest public health crisis: boys being raised without fathers

A 2014 Johns Hopkins study found that among younger parents without college degrees, 74% of mothers and 70% of fathers had at least one child born outside of marriage. Out of wedlock births are now the rule, not the exception. Tucker goes on to list many other ways that boys raised without their fathers are at risk.

Single mothers are an important base of the Democratic Party. In 2008 Obama won 74%. In 2012 he won 75%.

Disingenuous Wordplay

Omri Ceren writes in Commentary about the disastrous Iran deal.
...The negotiations are problematic. The New York Times reported that, as far as the Europeans are concerned, the exercise requires convincing Trump they’ve “changed the deal without actually changing it.” Public reports about the inspection fix suggest that the Europeans are loath to go beyond urging the IAEA to request inspections, which the agency may be too intimidated to do. The ballistic-missile fix is shaping up to be a political disaster, with the Europeans refusing to incorporate anything but long-range missiles into the deal. That would leave us with inadequate tools to counter Iran’s development of ballistic missiles that could be used to wipe Israel, the Saudis, and our regional bases off the map.
Go here to read his thorough analysis of all the problems that are involved in trying to fix this nightmare deal.

Forgotten

Mairead Mcardle writes in National Review,
Forgotten by some amid the controversy over President Trump’s congratulatory phone call to newly elected Russian president Vladimir Putin is that Barack Obama called the Kremlin to congratulate Putin on winning a third term in 2012.

Trump phoned Putin on Tuesday to congratulate him on winning a fourth term, in an election marred by international accusations of fraud.

President Obama made a similar call on March 9, 2012.

“President Obama called Russian President-elect and Prime Minister Putin to congratulate him on his recent victory in the Russian Presidential election,” the Obama White House said in a statement late that Friday. “President Obama highlighted achievements in U.S.-Russia relations over the past three years with President Medvedev, including cooperation on Afghanistan, the conclusion and ratification of the START agreement, Russia’s recent invitation to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and cooperation on Iran. President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed that the successful reset in relations should be built upon during the coming years.”

At the time, Moscow was already providing military aid to the brutal regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as it fought to survive in the country’s brutal civil war, a fact that the statement obliquely acknowledged: “President Obama and President-Elect Putin agreed to continue discussions on areas where the United States and Russia have differed, including Syria and missile defense.”

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe voiced concerns about the 2012 Russian election, saying that “conditions were clearly skewed” in favor of Putin. The OSCE has also accused the Russian government of creating an “overly controlled environment” and ensuring that there was a “lack of genuine competition” in last week’s vote.

"By the book!"

Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review,
On her way out the White House door and out of her job as national-security adviser, Susan Rice writes an email-to-self. Except it’s not really an email-to-self. It is quite consciously an email for the record.

...An email written on January 21 to record decisions made on January 5 is not written to memorialize what was decided. It is written to revise the memory of what was decided in order to rationalize what was then done.

January 5 was the day President Obama was presented with the ballyhooed report he had ordered to be rushed to completion by multiple intelligence agencies before his administration ended, “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.” The briefing that day was conducted by four intelligence-community leaders: James Comey, Michael Rogers, John Brennan, and James Clapper, directors respectively of the FBI, NSA, CIA and the Office of the National Intelligence Director.

Just as significant: January 5 was the day before these same intelligence-community leaders would brief President-elect Trump on the same report.

Also on hand at the January 5 White House briefing were Vice President Joe Biden and acting Attorney General Sally Yates. According to Rice, immediately after the briefing, President Obama had his two top law-enforcement officials, Yates and Comey, linger for “a brief follow-on conversation” with the administration’s political leadership: Obama, Biden, and Rice.

...Rice’s “by the book” bunkum is transparent: Obama officials claimed to adhere to a book that forbade consultations between political leaders and investigators. But here they were consulting. So Rice tried to cover the tracks in her email: She revises history such that the consultation morphs into a mere friendly reminder that Obama wanted everything done by the book. He was certainly “not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective,” no siree.

We might counter that people who have lived “by the book” for eight years would not have to remind each other to go “by the book.” It would go without saying.

...That is what Rice’s email is really about: not sharing with the incoming Trump administration classified information about the Trump-Russia investigation, such as the basis for seeking a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

...The investigation was about suspected Kremlin complicity with Trump; it was about the possibility that an adversary regime was in a position to blackmail the president of the United States. It was never about Carter Page.

...the challenge for Obama’s team was to keep the investigation going even after Trump took office.

Since Trump would have the power to shut down the investigation, the trick was to avoid making him feel threatened by it. Therefore, the strategy was to withhold information that illustrated Trump’s centrality to the investigation, assure him that he was not a suspect, and gently admonish him about the need to respect law enforcement’s independence (on pain of being accused of obstruction).

...The real objective of investigating Page and Manafort was to uncover corrupt ties — if there were any — between Russia and Trump.

...To tell Trump he was not under investigation was misleading. Just like Susan Rice’s email was misleading. The plan forged by top Obama political and law-enforcement officials was to pursue an investigation of President Trump without sharing the full details of the investigation. They made a plan: Give Trump just a sliver of what the probe is about, tell him he is not under investigation, and keep investigating him under the guise of investigating Page, Manafort, and the Steele dossier.

It is getting close to two years with no apparent evidence of an actionable Trump–Russia conspiracy. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to ask: Is President Trump under investigation for collusion with the Kremlin? If not, shouldn’t he and the country be told that?

And since counterintelligence investigations are conducted to inform the president — the constitutional officer responsible for national security against foreign threats — it is worth asking: What was the difference between what the FBI told the FISA court about the Trump–Russia investigation and what they told the president of the United States about it?
Read more here.

Appearances conflated with reality

Victor Davis Hanson writes at Hoover Institution,
...A variety of recent social trends and revolutionary economic breakthroughs have blurred the line separating the elite from the masses.

First, the cultural revolution of the 1960s made it cool for everyone to dress sloppily and to talk with slang and profanity. Levis, T-shirts, and sneakers became the hip American uniform, a way of superficially equalizing the unequal. Contrived informality radiated the veneer of class solidarity. Multimillionaires like Bruce Springsteen and Bono appear indistinguishable from welders on the street.

The locus classicus is perhaps Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg, who wears T-shirts, jeans, and flip flops to work. His reported wealth of $71 billion makes him the world’s fifth-richest man. The median net worth of Americans is about $45,000. Zuckerberg is worth more than the collective wealth of about 1.5 million Americans—or about all the household wealth in Philadelphia put together. And yet, he looks perfectly ordinary. When I walk the Stanford campus—where many of the world’s wealthiest send their children—the son of a Silicon Valley billionaire looks no different from a machinist’s daughter on full support from Akron.

Second, technology has done its part to dilute superficial class distinctions. The nineteenth-century gap between a rich man in his fine carriage—with footman and driver—and someone walking three miles to work has disappeared. The driving experience between a $20,000 Kia bought on credit with $1,000 down and a $80,0000 Mercedes paid in cash is mostly reduced to the superficial logo on the hood and trunk. An alien from Mars could not easily distinguish, at least by sight, between the two cars. Even after a ten-minute ride, an alien might be puzzled: What exactly did that extra $60,000 buy?

Third, the classes often live their lives in close quarters to one another. Walk a Manhattan sidewalk, and try to guess who has a credit line of $10 million and who has one of zero. Take a transcontinental business class flight—who paid $5,000 for it and who saved up his frequent flyer miles for a year to travel in style? The guy in the jogging outfit and the girl in a business suit have no real clue of where the other falls in the social hierarchy.

Such integration appears to be a good thing, and often is an American specialty. Over the last three decades, technological breakthroughs have rendered old Marxist theories of endless class struggle somewhat stale. Consider how smartphones give someone on public assistance infinitely more access to global knowledge and entertainment than did the million-dollar mainframe of a few decades ago. Consider that even the poorest in public housing have hot water and a refrigerator—and that their water is just as hot and their fridges just as cool as the water and fridges in a fancy Upper West Side apartment building. The vast majority of Americans take for granted access to clean water, electronics, cheap food and clothing, and shelter. For most of human history, securing such goods was the major challenge of being alive. That’s no longer the case.

Yet the irony of this new camouflaged status is that appearances are conflated with reality. Mark Zuckerberg may look like an average American, but that does not mean he has the same interests or lives a similar sort of life as ordinary citizens. The concerns of an ostensible everyman with $71 billion could not possibly be the same as those of the rest of us. It may be that their casual clothes, cool phraseology, and radical politics serve as penance for exercising power that was once considered inordinate and dangerous.

Which raises an interesting point: People like Zuckerberg are actually far more powerful than their looks suggest. The robber barons of the nineteenth century are disparaged today for their greed and power. But Amazon, Facebook and Google operate virtual monopolies, the influence of which exceeds the oil, rail, steel, and banking trusts of the Gilded Age. The chief difference is that companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, or Apple are worth more in inflation-adjusted dollars than were Standard Oil or U.S. Steel, and their global reach now affects 6 billion people, not a continent of 60 million. Yet because their leaders wear the costume of the ordinary man, they seek an informality to help exempt them from old-style trust-busting and product liability suits from which their Gilded Age predecessors—with their top hats and gold-tipped canes—were not immune.

...Take the case of Nancy Pelosi. She goes by her first name among constituents to stress her bond to common men and women, and yet her net worth is $100 million and she owns a palatial Napa villa. Though she acts ordinary in some ways, she is insulated from the ramifications of her own ideology, which harms the very people she purportedly models herself after. When she dismisses tax cuts and bonuses for the middle class as “crumbs,” are we to assume she is not an out-of-touch elite? Or does “Nancy’s” virtue-signaling politics of redistribution camouflage her own privilege and agenda?
Read more here.

Nunes: an American hero

Representative Nunes has emerged as a hero in my humble opinion. He says Maria is the first media person even to ask him about the 70 recommendations that his Intel Committee put forth when they closed their investigation. I would vote for him for president any day. He recommends paper ballots. The committee found no collusion between Trump and the Russians, but they did find links between the Democrats and the Russians. Clinton paid for the dossier, then the FBI used the dossier to get a warrant to spy on Americans. Why is Mueller not focusing on the known collusion between Hillary, the Democrats and the DNC?

"One step at a time"

Glenn Beck gets Jordan Peterson on the phone.

What's it going to be: tribal warfare, or individuals taking responsibility? To decide not to be tribal is to take individual responsibility, but that means to take the weight onto your own shoulders. The more you take on responsibility, the deeper your life becomes. Leftists believe emasculated weak men will be good because they're harmless. The truth is emasculated, weak men will be the next Parkland shooters.

Glenn asks if the media has crossed the line from bias to activism. Jordans answers that we're in a transition period from print and t.v. media to online forms of discussion, and that is happening very rapidly. As the mainstream media spirals toward their death, they become more polarized to draw attention to themselves.

Lion, Panda, and Red Dragon

At The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance helps us understand the approach President Trump is taking toward China.
It is specifically because he understands that Panda is a mask that President Trump messages warmth toward the Chinese people, and pours vociferous praise upon Xi Jinping, while simultaneously confronting the geopolitical doctrine of the Xi regime.

In essence, Trump is mirroring the behavior of China while confronting their economic duplicity.

China has no cultural or political space between peace and war; they are a historic nation based on two points of polarity. They see peace and war as coexisting with each other.

...Peace or war. Win or lose. Yin and Yang. Culturally there is no middle position in dealings with China; they are not constitutionally capable of understanding or valuing the western philosophy of mutual benefit where concession of terms gains a larger outcome. If it does not benefit China, it is not done. The outlook is simply, a polarity of peace or war. In politics or economics the same perspective is true. It is a zero-sum outlook.

...Therefore, when you see China publicly use strong language – it indicates a level of internal disposition beyond the defined western angst. Big Panda becomes Red Dragon; there is no mid-status or evolutionary phase. Every American associated with investment, economics and China would be well advised to put their business affairs in order accordingly.

President Trump will not back down from his position; the U.S. holds all of the leverage and the issue must be addressed. President Trump has waiting three decades for this moment. This President and his team are entirely prepared for this.

We are finally confronting the geopolitical Red Dragon, China!

Commenters:
Wolfmoon 1776 writes,
The fentanyl and designer opioids pouring out of CHINA and their Mex puppets into the United States, are China’s way of saying “Just like the British did to China, we do to the West to prove we’re the big dog now”.

The NEW opium pushers. CHINA.
Read more here.

Fleporeblog writes,
Our President and his Killers saw confronting China πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ as well as other countries as a four step process.

1) Deregulation across every single sector of our government. They are now on the cusp on reforming Dodd-Frank for medium and small size banks allowing small businesses to borrow money πŸ’° more easily.

2) Energy Revolution is allowing our country to process 10+ million barrels of fuel a day. That number will be increased to over 12+ million a day over the next couple of years. By 2023, we will lead the world in fuel ⛽ production.

3) Tax Reform Bill has allowed companies and corporations to not only remain in our country but to return to our country because the Corporate Tax Rate is at 20% and there is a minimal tax on bringing money πŸ’° back into our country. Also keep in mind that equipment can be deducted in full the same year it was bought.

4) Trade is the final piece of the puzzle! You could not have worked on it before the other three because the RINOs would have realized the President’s plan and would not have passed the Tax Reform Bill. By being so close to finalizing deals with South Korea πŸ‡°πŸ‡· and Japan πŸ‡―πŸ‡΅, our President and his Killers are tightening the screws on China πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³. China realizes that Vietnam πŸ‡»πŸ‡³, Malaysia πŸ‡²πŸ‡Ύ and the Philippines πŸ‡΅πŸ‡­ are ready to pick up some of the manufacturing that China πŸ‡¨πŸ‡³ currently enjoys.

Absolutely breathtaking and brilliant!

"We ask for the height and she gives us the length!"

Two engineers were standing at the base of a flagpole, looking at its top.
A woman walked by and asked what they were doing.

"We're supposed to find the height of this flagpole," said Paul, "but we don't have a ladder."

The woman took a wrench from her purse, loosened a couple of bolts, and laid the pole down on the ground. Then she took a tape measure from her pocketbook, took a measurement, announced, "Twenty-one feet, six inches," and walked away.

One engineer shook his head and laughed, "A lot of good that does us. We ask for the height and she gives us the length!"

Both engineers have since quit their engineering jobs and are currently serving in the United States Congress.

hat tip Misanthropic Humanitarian

How Facebook and Google can manipulate election results

When the Obama campaign mined Facebook, it was cool!

Cathy Burke reports at Newsmax,
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg should testify before Congress about privacy protections in the wake of revelations data from 50 million users was shared without their knowledge, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said Sunday.
Read more here.

Target of a coup d'etat?

Pat Buchanan writes at Newsmax,
...To cut through the Russophobia rampant here, Trump decided to make a direct phone call to Vladimir Putin. And in that call, Trump, like Angela Merkel, congratulated Putin on his re-election victory.

Instantly, the briefing paper for the president's call was leaked to the Post. In bold letters it read, "DO NOT CONGRATULATE."

Whereupon, the Beltway went ballistic.

How could Trump congratulate Putin, whose election was a sham? Why did he not charge Putin with the Salisbury poisoning? Why did Trump not denounce Putin for interfering with "our democracy"?

Amazing. A disloyal White House staffer betrays his trust and leaks a confidential paper to sabotage the foreign policy of a duly elected president, and he is celebrated in this capital city.

If you wish to see the deep state at work, this is it: anti-Trump journalists using First Amendment immunities to collude with and cover up the identities of bureaucratic snakes out to damage or destroy a president they despise. No wonder democracy is a declining stock worldwide.

...Not only have journalists given up any pretense of neutrality in this campaign to bring down the president, ex-national security officers of the highest rank are starting to sound like resisters.

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan openly speculated Tuesday that the president may have been compromised by Moscow and become an asset of the Kremlin.

"I think he's afraid of the president of Russia," Brennan said of Trump and Putin. "The Russians, I think, have had long experience with Mr. Trump and may have things they could expose."

If Brennan has evidence Trump is compromised, he should relay it to Robert Mueller. If he does not, this is speculation of an especially ugly variety for someone once entrusted with America's highest secrets.

...The Trump White House is behaving as if it were the prospective target of a coup d'etat. And it is not wrong to think so.
Read more here.