Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Medicare Armageddon

What would really happen?
How would the Democrats pay for it? Well, the bill, sponsored by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, calls for massive tax increases, including a 7.5 percent payroll tax on businesses, a 4 percent health care “premium” assessed on households, much higher income taxes on wealthy Americans (up to 52 percent), higher death taxes, higher capital gains taxes, and fewer tax deductions.

In other words, the Medicare-for-All Democrats would wipe out the tax cuts that took effect in January, and then add trillions more. Every one of them should be forced to explain on the record how that would affect the economy. Although the tax cuts have been in place for barely half a year, they’ve already sparked an economic boom. Just last week, the Commerce Department reported GDP growth of 4.1 percent, the fastest rate of growth in years. Unemployment is at a near record low, and jobless claims for African Americans and Hispanics are the lowest in history.
They want to destroy your prosperity to save their health care plan...

Running From Rhambo

The Left goes after Rahmbo:
The march is ostensibly meant to bring more attention to the growing gang violence and the rising murder rate infesting the city, but one of the main goals announced by march representative Dr. Gregory Livingston is the resignation of Mayor Emanuel, a former Barack Obama chief of staff.

Livingston also said his group does not want city hall’s support for the march.

“The call of the people is ‘Resign Rahm,'” Livingston said, according to Fox News. “So how, then, can you back your own regime change? How do you sanction your own termination? How dumb, naive and self-hating do you think we are?”
Does he really want an answer?

You Can Call Him Al

He's back-and back in?

License To Deal

Legalized pot has been bad for business:
In 2014, Oregon legalized marijuana for recreational use, which prompted many medical businesses to shift to the recreational side in hopes of making big bucks. The law went into effect in July 2015.

Since the Oregon Liquor Control Commission took control of the recreational industry in 2015, nine bills have passed that expanded consumer access. At the same time, regulatory procedures for growing, processing, and packaging have changed.

The changes have created a big industry for recreational cannabis, but the medical program has nearly disappeared.

While recreational dispensaries can sell both products and many do, growers and processors who don’t hold an OLCC license aren’t allowed to sell their products in a recreational dispensary. The OLCC has issued nearly 2,000 licenses since recreational marijuana was legalized and it’s no longer accepting new applicants.
There is n such thing as a free cure...

Monday, July 30, 2018

No More Mister Nice Guy

Sometimes a friend is just a friend:
Charles Davis, dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA, tweeted-then-deleted a message about the President Trump-endorsed candidate for Georgia governor, Brian Kemp, on the night he won the Republican primary.

“I went to high school with GOP guv candidate @BrianKempGA,” Davis wrote in the now-deleted tweet. “We played YMCA ball from childhood. Politics be damned. He is a nice guy, always was. Kind to a fault. He’s a friend, always has been, and will be when we’re old(er) and grey(er). That’s how all this should work, people.”

Liberals on Twitter labeled Davis a “racist” and one user said “You’d never vote for a black woman and would much rather vote for the white racist,” as reported by CampusReform.org.

“I’d like to apologize to anyone offended by my tweet shout out to Brian Kemp,” Davis wrote. “It was ill-timed and poorly written. I’ve read and learned so much from you all and will endeavor to be more thoughtful.”
The thoughtful police strike again...

Price Hikes For All

There is no such thing as free Medicare:
"It's showing that if you are going to go in this direction, it's going to cost the federal government $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion a year in terms of spending," said Thorpe. "Even though people don't pay premiums, the tax increases are going to be enormous. There are going to be a lot of people who'll pay more in taxes than they save on premiums." Thorpe was a senior health policy adviser in the Clinton administration.

The Mercatus study takes issue with a key cost-saving feature of the plan — that hospitals and doctors will accept payment based on lower Medicare rates for all their patients.

The study found that the plan would reap substantial savings from lower prescription costs — $846 billion over 10 years — since the government would deal directly with drugmakers. Savings from streamlined administration would be even greater, nearly $1.6 trillion.

But other provisions would tend to drive up spending, including coverage for nearly 30 million uninsured people, no deductibles and copays, and improved benefits, including dental, vision and hearing.

After taking into account current government health care financing, the study estimated that doubling all federal individual and corporate income taxes would not fully cover the additional costs.
Don't worry; I'm sure the Left has a plan for that, too-unfortunately it will also cost more...

Trump Disorder Or Derangement?

No, there isn't any such thing:

Fish Tales

A Facebook event posting said the protest’s demeanor “will be that of people at a funeral for a friend: solemn, sad, and respectful of the dead.”

Protester Daniel Veber told WECT that demonstrators gathered in solidarity with the fish because the fish cannot speak for themselves.

“We’re vegan activists, and we want to bring awareness to what fish go through,” he said. “A lot of times, they look so different from us that you don’t really put them into a position where you give them individual status, where they are actually individuals that want to live. They don’t want to pulled out of the water, fish have families, fish want to live.”

“Look at it from the fish’s point of view. If you were in your home, you would not want a hook to be hooked in the mouth, you would not want to be pulled up, you wouldn’t have to fight hours for your life to be pulled up — it’s scary,” he added.

While many fishing tournaments are catch-and-release, event organizer Gary Hurley told WECT that fish caught during his tournament are donated to a Wilmington food bank to help people in need.

What was the response to the protest?

Hurley noted the irony of the protest, explaining that fisherman are some of the most ecologically aware outdoorsmen.

“Fishermen, in general, are probably the best stewards of the resource. They care about the resource more than anyone else. I can’t speak to perhaps their claims that fish have feelings, that fish have souls, I mean I’m not sure,” he said.
The soul of a fisherman...

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Tanks A Lot

Because, Arnold:

Trump Therapy

Image result for lucy psychiatrist

The doctors are in:

“There is a fear of the world ending,” said DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center founder, Elisabeth LaMotte, referring to some of President Donald Trump’s decisions. “It’s very disorienting and constantly unsettling.”

LaMotte described an uptick in her patients describing what the right refers to as Trump Derangement Syndrome, CBC reported Saturday. “Is he gonna blow us all up?” one of her patients asked.

Urban Dictionary defines Trump Derangement Syndrome as “a mental condition in which a person has been driven effectively insane due to their dislike of Donald Trump, to the point at which they will abandon all logic and reason.”
As they keep proving...

Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Decline And Fall Of The Facebook Empire

Sorry, Mark, it's your own fault:
He’s created an intense dislike of himself and his values because he comes across as being distasteful and insincere. He dodges questions and he doesn’t take the most obvious and common sense actions to fix things. He’s trying to thread the needle by avoiding responsibility for what he’s unleashed while making faux apologies and weaving arguments that defy logic. Look at his defense for allowing postings from sites denying the Holocaust and the Sandy Hook massacre for just one example.

As a result, Facebook has become a place that makes people feel dirty and makes them want to spend less time there or leave forever.

People are smart. They’ve learned how their presence on Facebook has led to their personal information being compromised. While we can argue that Facebook users should not have expected privacy, there's a difference between giving up privacy to legitimate advertisers and handing it over to those creating havoc and dissension in the world.

People by their nature want to be associated with positive things, whether it be a store, a politician, or a product; they avoid those things that feel slimy.
Slime only attracts other slime...

Zoo Patrol

Just another day at the fake zoo:
Cairo's International Garden municipal park became a target of ridicule after an Egyptian student, Mahmoud Sarhan, posted images on Facebook of the suspicious beast. Sarhan said that the zoo's two zebras were obviously painted donkeys, a view that has since been embraced by online animal experts.

However, zoo director Mohamed Sultan told a local radio station that his zebras are real, dismissing claims that they are just painted donkeys, according to the BBC.

This is not the first time that a zoo has painted donkeys to look like zebras. In 2009, a zoo in Gaza did the same thing, saying that it could not procure real zebras due to an Israeli blockade.

"The first time we used paint but it didn't look good," the zoo's proprietor told Reuters at the time. "The children don't know, so they call them zebras and they are happy to see something new."
Don't mention the jackasses...

A Tax Pox

What would Jesus pay?
“This is an issue that will not go away,” said Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Fiscal Accountability. “When you stir up 100,000 houses of worship, and then hundreds of thousands of nonprofits on top of that, you have a pretty mighty force that is going to get attention on this issue.”

Tucked away in the new tax law congressional Republicans passed late last year with no Democratic support is a provision slapping certain nonprofits and charities, including houses of worship, with a 21 percent tax on the value of some employee benefits.

The expectation is the tax would relate to parking spaces and public transit passes. But those affected by the provision are genuinely unsure what exactly would qualify as a taxable expense because they still haven’t received official guidance from the Treasury Department.

“Treasury is aware of the change … and we have been talking to the impacted constituencies about the concern,” said a Treasury spokesperson in a statement to McClatchy. “We are working to address the issue and provide clarity for taxpayers.”

The new tax on the value of employee benefits means that many institutions are going to have to prepare tax forms for the very first time — a convoluted and potentially costly exercise.

“Most churches do not have the sophistication that’s necessary to deal with the tax code,” Clyburn told McClatchy. “Small churches that exist in communities I represent … don’t operate as businesses. They’ve never operated as businesses.”
But politicians still want to give them the business...

Friends Of The Deep State

Some extremists are more equal than others:
“For many years, the FBI has engaged with various organizations, both formally and informally,” FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire said in a statement to Carlson’s show.

“Such outreach is a critical component of the FBI’s mission, and we welcome information from these organizations on any possible violations of civil rights, hate crimes, or other potential crimes or threats.”

“The Attorney General has directed the FBI to reevaluate their relationships with groups like this to ensure the FBI does not partner with any group that discriminates,” Department of Justice spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News.

The SPLC’s lists of “extremists” and “hate groups” have consistently courted controversy and the nonprofit’s work has been plagued by inaccuracies.
Can't let fake labeling get in the way of the propaganda...

Friday, July 27, 2018

Reality Pays?

University, or reality TV?
While the aim of the TV show may be to find true love, the victorious couple also get 50,000 pounds which they can choose to share or risk losing. The real money comes after leaving the show though, when sponsored Instagram posts, club appearances and social media followers can all help former contestants continue to rake in cash.

“It appears to us that the young people of Britain are on to something and may be completely rational in their desire to appear on Love Island,” the researchers said.

Earlier this summer, it emerged that more Britons applied to appear on the show than to study at Oxford and Cambridge, which top the Times Higher Education world university rankings. The hit program is now in its fourth season and draws in 2.7 million viewers a night, or 4 million with catch-up viewing included.
Given what's happening at today's universities, the show might be a better bet at that...

Who Pays For Free?

Can anyone answer this question?

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Mr. Jones

Alex Jones becomes a non-person:
The InfoWars channel has received three “strikes” in 90 days, meaning that the channel is now subject to termination. For now, the channel is suspended from live broadcasts for 90 days. However, it remains unclear if YouTube will make the decision during that period to terminate the channel altogether.

In a post, InfoWars addressed the sanctions against their channel, arguing that YouTube is engaged in a “wider assault” against them. “YouTube could have simply slapped an age restriction on the videos but instead leapt straight to a copyright strike, further illustrating how this is part of a wider assault to remove the Alex Jones Channel,” the post read.

In a statement, a YouTube spokeswoman said that they apply their policies against hate speech and graphic content consistently across their platform.

“We have longstanding policies against child endangerment and hate speech,” the YouTube spokeswoman told The Verge in a statement. “We apply our policies consistently according to the content in the videos, regardless of the speaker or the channel. We also have a clear three-strikes policy and we terminate channels when they receive three strikes in three months.”
But what if the pitcher is running a rigged game?

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Straw Time

Serve a straw, serve time?
Waiters will be given a written warning on the first offense, but on the second offense they will receive “fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months,” according to the city’ municipal code.

The punishments are worse than Seattle, which first made headlines with a straw ban this year by fining businesses $250 per offense.

Interestingly, Seattle-based Starbucks is going strawless in all its stores by 2020, but the coffee company is replacing plastic straws with lids that use even more plastic.

“Right now, Starbucks patrons are topping most of their cold drinks with either 3.23 grams or 3.55 grams of plastic product, depending on whether they pair their lid with a small or large straw,” reported Reason.com. “The new nitro lids meanwhile weigh either 3.55 or 4.11 grams, depending again on lid size.”
The plastic police will see you now...

Facebook Fail

Facebook has problems:
The shift in Facebook’s business fortunes follows a series of crises that began in late 2016 with the revelations that it had become a prime distributor of misinformation. That has since been exacerbated by questions over the company’s role in securing private user data, its effect on the democratic process and its commitment to stemming disinformation on the site.

Mr. Zuckerberg has had to appear in front of lawmakers, has apologized profusely and has tied himself into knots explaining what he will and will not allow to appear on the social network.

After these events, several senior leaders have departed Facebook, including a board director, its chief information security officer, and its vice president of communications, marketing and public policy. This week, Colin Stretch, who led Facebook’s investigation into Russian election interference and who testified before Congress last year on Facebook’s behalf, said he would leave the company by the end of the year.
Censoring people hasn't helped, either...

Because God Told Her To

Sent from on high?
In a video first reported on by The American Mirror, Waters said, “You’ve gotta know that I’m here to do the work that I was sent to do, and as pastor said to me when I came in this morning, ‘When God sends you to do something, you just do it!'”

She continues, “So, I have a message. I’m going back to Washington tomorrow morning. I’m going to tell them Pastor told me to come here and just do it!”

Waters also reportedly said, “I don’t know intimidation. I don’t know fear.”
Or sanity...

Flying The Unhappy Skies

Well this is encouraging:
The study shows that 1.9 to 12.6 percent of commercial airline pilots around the world suffer from depression — almost double the U.S. rate of approximately 6.7 percent, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The study also shows that 4 percent of pilots have suicidal thoughts.

“These figures oppose previous beliefs that the mental health of commercial airline pilots is better than the general population,” the study says. “This also implies that potentially hundreds of active pilots currently flying may be experiencing unreported mental health disorders, including suicidal ideation.”

“Factors that negatively impacted the mental health of pilots included substance abuse, experiencing verbal or sexual abuse, disruption in sleep circadian rhythms and fatigue,” according to the study, published by Frontiers in Psychiatry.
Is your Captain OK?

Saturday Night

Remember, the Bay City Rollers:
Amidst the brick-dust and smoke of the shattered mid-1970s, they made women out of children and created confusing shivers that yet had no name (but it wrote its bliss in crayon and lipstick). The supernova of sensation they caused may now seem like a dervish spell of badge-covered madness, but this must not obscure the honesty and purity of the feeling, nor the I/IV/V beauty at its root. I am not here to ask any of you to reconsider the Bay City Rollers. I am here to ask you to remember the Rollers, exactly as they were:

Remember the joy they gave you. Remember the flurry of strange feelings you had when you thought of them, and how you wrote their names in the margins of your notebook, and in soft blue Biro on the back of your hand. These were honest feelings, friends. These were the real you, these were the real Rollers.

Remember them, with the fingers of your teenage heart, but with your adult cognition: They did not just invent you, a screamer and a schoolroom daydreamer. They also invented you, a listener, lover, chaser, and canvasser of music. You needed those records, you flew down far corners and strange corridors to find those import copies; you memorized those songwriter and producer names, just like you would again and again in the far future when the music was ever-so-much-more serious. But the Bay City Rollers were your first.
Remember them, down through the years...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Line Of Sound

Listening to your words:
I realized that I can spend all day finessing the sound of a single paragraph—but if it’s an early draft, the chances are that the paragraph isn’t going to stick around anyway. So first I need to get to a place where I feel that the story is working, where the basic architecture is at least partly there. There’s no reason to do all that careful line-edit work when I’m still making basic character and structural changes.

It does mean that the first few drafts aren’t much fun to write, since I’m not spending time on the part of writing where I find the most joy. But that provides additional motivation for me to get through them even more quickly, and that can be a good thing in the beginning.

As I continue, and start to focus more on sound, on the sentences, one technique I use is to figure out where I’m getting bored. When I’m finding joy in a paragraph, there’s really no sentence where I’m getting bored. If I am getting bored, I have to look back and try to figure out on a word level how to make those sentences less boring. It’s not just about the thought that’s being expressed. It’s also about what the words are doing with one another and how they’re playing together.
What are they saying?

The Goddess

What hath they wrought?
“Which way do you want your party to turn?” Cavuto asked. “I mean there’s a thought that a hard left turn, you know and maybe someone like the woman who was elected in New York to be Democratic nominee, that hard left Bernie Sanders type approach, is the way the party should go, that’s where the passion is. What do you think?”

“Well I can answer the question rather easily, I didn’t support Bernie Sanders for president, I supported somebody else,” Cleaver responded.

“And secondly,” he continued, “I think in some ways the media has pushed the young woman victorious in the New York congressional race against Joe Crowley to the point that she has been made out as some kind of deity.”
The Left already has its own cult...

The Keymasters

Don't forget your keys:
Security Keys are small USB stick devices made by YubiKey that function similar to two-factor authentication (2FA) methods you may (and should!) already be using. With 2FA enabled, you (or hackers) need more than just a username and password for access. A second factor is required, often a secret number sent to a trusted telephone number by SMS, or a key generated by an authentication app like Google Authenticator.

These measures help, but they come with their own downsides. SMS messages are far from secure and can be compromised by hackers. Authenticator apps are more secure, but are a hassle. Physical keys solve both these problems at once: There's no transmitted code to intercept, no phone apps to fumble with, and no numbers to punch in at login. Instead, you pop the Security Key into the device and press a button.

Google's promising results could help these keys gain the momentum for more widespread adoption. Yubikey's Security Keys operate on an open-source standard called Universal 2nd Factor (U2F), which is already supported by a number of companies and products such as Google, Dropbox, and Facebook, as well as browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
Lock your online doors before you leave...

The Great Tape Caper

So CNN aired the now infamous Cohen-Trump tape, but what happened, exactly?
On the recording, which was made prior to the 2016 election, Cohen tells Trump: "I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David" and adds that he has consulted Trump Organization CFO Allan Weisselberg "about how to set the whole thing up."

Cohen then starts to say: "When it comes time for the financing," at which point Trump cuts him off and says," What financing?"

What Trump says next is not clear, but it ends with the phrase "with cash."

"No, no, no, no, no, no," Cohen responds before the tape cuts off.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" that Trump told Cohen, "don't pay with cash" and slammed Cohen for making the recording "surreptitiously."

"There’s no way the president is going to be talking about setting up a corporation and then using cash unless you’re a complete idiot," Giuliani said, "and the president’s not an idiot."
People will hear what they want to hear. Meanwhile, the beat goes on...

Conceal And Carry On

The 9th Circuit has a rare moment of clarity:
“Analyzing the text of the Second Amendment and reviewing the relevant history, including founding-era treatises and nineteenth century case law, the panel stated that it was unpersuaded by the county’s and the state’s argument that the Second Amendment only has force within the home,” the ruling states.

The case resulted from Hawaii resident George Young being denied twice in 2011 as he sought to carry a handgun. Two of the three judges -- who were both appointed by Republican presidents -- ruled against a lower court upholding the restriction.

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain wrote in his opinion that “for better or for worse, the Second Amendment does protect a right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense.”
Broken clock time?

Nap Time

Well, this explains a few things:
Between February 2014 and December 2017, the employee snoozed through an estimated 2,200 hours’ worth of work, costing California taxpayers more than $40,000, the audit said.

The worker, who was not named in the report, is a data operator responsible for updating information on address changes and new vehicle ownership forms.

According to the report, a typical data operator averages 560 documents a day, but the worker managed only 200, leaving other data operators to pick up the slack, the audit found. Her colleagues said her work was filled with errors, the report said.

The worker’s supervisors had been aware of her misuse of time but “failed to take disciplinary or medical action against the employee after initial efforts to address her conduct proved unsuccessful,” the audit said.

In November 2016, the worker’s request for reasonable accommodation was denied. Two months later, the worker’s physician indicated she could “perform all of her duties.”

DMV officials told state auditors that they did not pursue disciplinary action against the worker because her behavior had not been properly documented.

Previous disciplinary attempts were found by legal and human resources staff to have not had “appropriate language necessary for such disciplinary action,” the audit said.
Like, "You're fired?"

Raise, Cut, Or Go Home

There's always an alternative:
Brady released a listening session framework for the proposed round of tax cuts, which includes making the original individual and small business tax cuts permanent and new tax write-offs for startups, on Tuesday as well.

“With this framework, we are taking the first step to change the culture in Washington D.C. where tax reform only happens once a generation,” Brady said, according to a Tuesday press release. “We plan to work off this framework to build on the growing successes of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and ensure this energized economy continues moving forward.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus released its “People’s Budget” Tuesday. The budget plan includes closing “wasteful corporate tax loopholes that cost billions of dollars,” “taxes [on] Wall Street to fund Main Street,” and a plan to tax investments at the same rate as income taxes.

The People’s Budget plan would also raise taxes on the wealthiest Americas — to 45 percent for the bracket $1 million to $10 million, and up to 49 percent for over a billion dollars. “Additional revenue can be raised by curbing new tax benefits under the Republican tax scam and limiting the value of deductions for high-income taxpayers,” the plan says.

“This would just erase all the gains we’ve had from the Trump tax cut, which has been phenomenally successful,” economist Stephen Moore told The Daily Caller News Foundation about the People’s Budget.

“If we start raising [taxes] a lot of … jobs are going to be lost … I don’t see how people are going to benefit from a massive tax increase,” Moore said. “Especially since the highest income tax rate … about half of those people are small business owners. You’re raising taxes on small business.”
Not that the Democrats care...

Tolerance Attacks

Another example of left wing "tolerance":
The attack apparently happened when the man showed up to a protest over an African-American woman who was killed in a BART station.

This display of political violence follows a disturbing trend of Trump supporters and conservatives in general facing harassment and intimidation in public. (RELATED: Since Trump’s Election, Violence Against His Supporters Has Become Routine)

California Democrat Maxine Waters told a crowd in June, “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station — you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”
Well, Maxine, they seem to be listening...

The Income Equality Stops Here

Why don't iberal states like poor people?
Clinton won the majority of the vote in the most unequal state, New York, where top earners make 44 times what other households do. She took 8 out of the top ten, with Trump winning only Florida and Wyoming out of the most unequal states.

Trump won six of states with the ten lowest levels of income inequality, while Clinton won four.

The state with the lowest threshold to be in the top one percent $254,362 is Mississippi, where Donald Trump won 58 percent of the vote. You would have to make three times as much, $700,800, to be in the top one percent in Connecticut, the state with the highest threshold and where Hillary Clinton won 54 percent of the vote.

Alaska has the smallest income gap, with the top one percent earning an average of $910,059, 12.7 times the average of $71,876 for everyone else. Trump got 53 percent of the vote there.

Trump voting states had a median top one percent threshold of $333,139 and the average income of the top earners was $946,688. In Clinton voting states, the median one percent threshold was $442,804 and the average of the wealthiest one percent was $1,036,142.
They like their own money, but want more of yours...

Resilience Versus Resistance

How Trump survives:
Opinions diverge as to why Trump himself commands such strong loyalty from his base of support.

Shrum argued that the economic factors were much less relevant than other, gut-level responses.

“I just think there is a deep emotional investment in him by a shrinking Republican Party,” Shrum said, “He speaks to the politics of resentment, he speaks to the anxieties — though I think his remedies are absurd — of people who think they have been left behind, and so they don’t want to give up on him.”

Devine argued that the strong economy played its part as “protective armor” for Trump — but he asserted that an anti-media reflex is also part of the picture.

“Usually the battles are between the Democrats and the Republicans, but in Trump’s case it is himself and the press,” he said. “That’s the battle, and he is delivering these messages to people in his base, and they are responding to it.”

Devine also asserted that support for Trump was more complicated than the headline figures from a poll suggest.

Research from focus groups or voter interviews, he asserted, would reveal “they don’t really like the way Trump has handled himself but they also think he is being attacked unfairly and all this other stuff.”

For the moment, however, the idea of a Trump collapse looks increasingly unrealistic, at least in the short term.
Well, the Resistance hasn't bothered with reality in the past...

Meeting Big Brother

Yes, it does happen:
“In what appears to be new ranking behavior, Gizmodo has identified several prominent far-right accounts now buried by Twitter’s search feature,” the site claimed. “As an unintended side effect of demoting divisive figures, many of the dropdown results now show fake accounts.”

Some examples of accounts which have been censored include author and journalist Mike Cernovich, author and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux, InfoWars Editor-at-Large Paul Joseph Watson, Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft, and commentator Laura Loomer.

The demotion censorship makes it so that these accounts are not recommended when users search for them, with Twitter’s algorithm preferring to recommend fake impersonation accounts than the real users.

The accounts could only be found after a user hit enter, but were not recommended in the search bar.
Bury them deep, they said...

Monday, July 23, 2018

Make Making Great Again

If you can't beat him, join him?
Trump campaigned in 2016 promising to bring jobs back to the U.S.; reform the tax code to make American businesses more competitive; repair and rebuild American roads, bridges and waterways to improve commerce; and unleash American innovation to make the U.S. competitive on a global scale. The Democrats’ 2018 platform looks incredibly similar.

Hoyer rolled out the Democrats’ new platform Monday, titled “Make It In America.” The minority whip, who originally came up with platform in 2010, and House Democrats spent the past year traveling the nation to better understand the needs of American businesses and workers.

Make It In America is focused on encouraging “private sector job creation” in the U.S., with primary focuses on improving the economy through education, promoting entrepreneurship and strengthening infrastructure. Essentially, Democrats want to make it easier for Americans to find work, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and increase American innovation.
You mean, sort of like what Trump is already doing?

From Left To Left

James Comey is begging you:
“Democrats, please, please don’t lose your minds and rush to the socialist left. This president and his Republican Party are counting on you to do exactly that. America’s great middle wants sensible, balanced, ethical leadership,” Comey tweeted.

Comey was commenting on Democrats’ leftward shift, which began with the so-called “Resistance” to President Donald Trump, and reached a new milestone when “democratic socialist” Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez unseated senior Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley in the New York primary earlier this month.

The Associated Press noted on Saturday: “Democratic socialism surging in Trump era.” It wrote: “[A]s Donald Trump’s presidency stretches into its second year, democratic socialism has become a significant force in Democratic politics. Its rise comes as Democrats debate whether moving too far left will turn off voters.”
As far as losing their minds goes, it's a bit late for that...

No "O's" Allowed

Their presence is no longer required:
“Not only is the president looking to take away Brennan’s security clearance, he’s also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice, and McCabe,” Sanders said during the White House press briefing.

The list features prominent critics of the Obama administration who had access to top-secret intelligence. Sanders said that the president was concerned that former officials were politicizing their institutional knowledge from the country’s top intelligence agencies.

The list includes:

Former FBI Director James Comey
Former CIA Director John Brennan
Former Director of the National Security Agency Michael Hayden
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice
It's no longer the One's house, after all...

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Boys' Town

There are too many men, or something:
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think that the factors that ultimately created our win was the fact that we had bold commitments and I campaigned on hard commitments of Medicare for all, tuition free public college, ensuring a Green New Deal for our future and championing those issues were the reason that we won. We won across demographics. We won- we expanded the electorate ourselves. We did the work of organizing.

BRENNAN: So you reject the idea that your gender was a factor here?

OCASIO-CORTEZ: Um, you know, I think that you know I think that in this moment, there’s a confluence of factors that makes this moment inspiring. Right now more women than ever are running for office and I do think that women want representation in Congress, absolutely. Congress right now is 80 percent male. And that creates blind spots in our legislation. It means we don’t have family leave, we don’t have paid maternal and parental leave. It means that we don’t get the equal pay that we want. So I think those issues certainly were important.
Welcome to the clubhouse?

They Care A Lot

They care. Normal people don't:
Regarding economic problems, there is little concern about inflation (good for Republicans) and there isn't much worry about the "gap between rich and poor" (bad for Democrats).
On non-economic problems, more bad news for Democrats. Not only is there no mention by voters of climate change and Russia, but worry about immigration/illegal aliens tops the list.
Liberals have been harping on health care for months so it's not surprising it comes in at 6th. Right behind it is worry about the "decline of the family."
Gun control is 9th, but sliding in importance from previous months. If history is any guide, it won't  be much of an issue by election day.
It seems that the average voter just doesn't care that much about issues that liberals believe are life and death.
Maybe because other people actually care about life and death...

Saturday, July 21, 2018

New Red Blues

The new socialists go after the old socialists:
The DSA, which is not a formal political party but bills itself as the largest socialist organization in the U.S., is working its way into the Democratic Party in part because of its failure to advance its own brand with a voting public reflexively suspicious of hard-left socialist policies. So it set a goal of working with groups devoted to a wide range of issues like health care, college debt, immigration, and racism to see socialism – and Democratic Socialist political candidates – as the vehicle for policy changes.

“If we don’t relate politically to social forces bigger than our own, DSA could devolve into merely a large socialist sect or subculture,” wrote Schwartz and his co-author, Bhaskar Sunkara, founder of Jacobin Magazine.

The organization also has recognized it needs to broaden the diversity of its own membership, which it concedes is predominately white, male and upper-income.

“We will focus on overcoming this historic bias of our organization toward white (particularly male) activists. We will do this by building deeper ties with organizations representing poor and working-class women and people of color … We must do so with humility and take our lead from the organizations that organize and are led by poor and working-class people in those communities.”

Political experts say the soul searching is somewhat surprising.

“They seem very pragmatic, which to me doesn’t seem very Socialist,” said Daniel Pout, an instructor at Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies. “They have to almost be non-socialist in order to be popular.”
Meet the new socialists, soon to be same as the old ones?

The Man Inside

A former woman incurs the wrath of the feminist crowd:
“I was an outspoken radical feminist,” before transitioning, 52-year-old San Diego resident Zander Keig told The Washington Post Friday.

Keig, a Coast Guard veteran, now works as a clinical social work case manager at San Diego’s Naval Medical Center. She started transitioning in 2005.

She told WaPo that she was encouraged to speak up loudly and often when she was a woman, but now that she looks like and identifies as a man, she gets accused of “mansplaining,” “taking up too much space” or “asserting my white male heterosexual privilege,” by outspoken feminists like her former self.

“I now factor men into my thinking and feeling about situations,” Keig said, explaining that she had not thought about what men might like, how they think or what they enjoy about life before transitioning.
You might have once been a woman, but to them you're still a man...

The Judge's Defense

A black conservative defends judge Jeanine:
“This is the tolerant left that like to pretend that they care about black people, and women, and all the underdogs in America, but when those underdogs in America start to speak up – when those underdogs in America start to walk away from the liberal plantation we are treated with the most vileness and disrespect you wouldn’t expect from the most tolerant among us,” Pearson said, comparing the treatment conservative women like Pirro get from the left to that of black conservatives.

After their heated on-air exchange on “The View” Thursday, Pirro described her off-air verbal altercation with host Whoopi Goldberg to fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity.

“Whoopi I fought for victims my whole life and she came at me as I was leaving and she said ‘F you’ in my face – literally spitting at me, ‘F you, get the F out of this building.’ And I said to her, ‘did you just say that?’ She said that’s what I said, ‘get the F out of this building’ and she was screaming at me and I’m walking out of the building like a dog who was just kicked off,” Pirro told Hannity, adding that she had “never been treated like that in my life. I was stunned.”

Goldberg was apparently upset that Pirro had publicly diagnosed her with “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
Well, she does. And she's not the only one...

Friday, July 20, 2018

Troll Down

Who trolls the trolls:
Elfwick, who has been banned from Twitter in the past, was famous for satirizing leftists. Elfwick was banned back in July 2017 for “violating the Twitter rules” regarding “targeted abuse.” Then, James Delingpole of Breitbart News addressed Elfwick’s ban.

It is a truth universally acknowledged by anyone who has spent more than a moment glancing at social media that SJWs can’t do jokes. Or banter. Or memes. Given that social media is mostly about jokes, banter, and memes, this means that SJWs spend their every moment on the internet in a state of near-impotent pique. They cannot strike back with wit or charm or facts or evidence or amusing images of Pepe the frog, for these are all things they singularly lack. So every time they are forced to resort to the only weapon in their armory: censorship.

Although the account is gone, the person behind the Elfwick account has left behind a legacy of great satire.
Unfortunately, leftists don't get the joke, especially when it's on them...

Your House Is Their House

Another wayward "journalist":
Brian Landrum told WRC-TV that his house guest encountered Stephanie Saul inside the unlocked Woodbridge apartment Wednesday afternoon.

The New York Times denied the accusations against Saul in an email to the news outlet.

“Ms. Saul went to an address for Landrum Associates in Woodbridge looking for Mr. Landrum. She was told by a woman who opened the door that he was not present. She left a note with the woman for Mr. Landrum asking him to call. At no time did she enter the premises,” a spokeswoman for The Times told WRC.

Landrum, who works part-time for Stewart, and his houseguest filed reports with the Prince William County Police Department, according to the Stewart campaign.

Authorities are expected to release information about the incident in the coming days.
All just part of the job, I'm sure...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

There Is No Apocalypse Here

And the world goes on:
The massive coffin, which was recently excavated in the city of Alexandria, has now been opened, according to a statement released Thursday by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities. A layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicated that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago.

Three skeletons and sewage water were found inside the sarcophagus, the Ministry explained, in a Facebook post. “The initial preview of bone structures suggests that they are most likely to belong to three officers or military soldiers,” it said, noting that one of the skeletons appears to have an arrow wound.

Mystery has surrounded the sarcophagus since its discovery was announced earlier this month. The Independent, citing local reports, said that Egyptian officials have been mocking suggestions that opening the sarcophagus would unleash a curse.
Some might argue that's already happened...

Don't Take Them Out To The Ballgame

Millennials are upset that a baseball team is treating them like millennials:
The Tampa Bay Rays’ Double-A affiliate, currently with a record of 15-11, tweeted last week: “Want free things without doing much work? Well you're in luck! Riverwalk Stadium will be millennial friendly on Saturday, July 21, with a participation ribbon giveaway just for showing up, napping and selfie stations, along with lots of avocados.”

Vice president of fan engagement, Mike Murphy, told Fox News this is just one of 70 promotions the Biscuits offer for their home games, ranging from Outdoors Night to Military Wednesdays and Autism Friendly Night.

This season marks the first full year under new management, and the team is testing out its funny bone.

“80 percent of the people in our front office are millennials, myself included, and we’re just having fun with some of the clich├ęs that people point out about millennials,” Murphy said.
Some cliches exist because they're true...


Why do environmentalists hate safer pipes?
Line 3 is a crude oil pipeline that stretches 1,097 miles from Alberta, Canada, to Superior, Wisconsin, running through Minnesota along the way. Constructed to hep the U.S. meet its growing need for oil, the pipeline still provides around 400 thousand barrels of oil a day.

However, Line 3 is very old. Originally built in the 1960s and put in operation by 1968, the pipeline has experienced serious degradation. Enbridge, the energy company that operates Line 3, says it has been forced to reduce oil output due to corrosion and other defects. The Canadian company now says a replacement pipeline is needed for safety reasons.

While government regulators appear to agree with Enbridge — the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in June unanimously approved their proposal — other groups are sharply opposed to the idea.

“They’re bringing highly toxic, highly poisonous tar sands oil directly through major watersheds and the last standing reserve of wild rice that the Ojibwe have to harvest,” Bill Paulson, a member of the Ojibwe tribe, stated to CNN. “Our culture is the wild rice and gathering and being out in the woods. If there’s a threat to that, then there’s a direct threat to the people.”
So where will they gather if the pipe fails due to its age? Lawyers' offices?

Free Hate For All?

For Facebook, some hate seems to be more equal than others:
"But overall, let’s take this whole closer to home. I’m Jewish, and there’s a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened. I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong."

"In the case of the Holocaust deniers, they might be, but go ahead," the interviewer interjected.

"It’s hard to impugn intent and to understand the intent," Zuckerberg continued. "I just think, as abhorrent as some of those examples are, I think the reality is also that I get things wrong when I speak publicly. I’m sure you do. I’m sure a lot of leaders and public figures we respect do too, and I just don’t think that it is the right thing to say, 'We’re going to take someone off the platform if they get things wrong, even multiple times.' What we will do is we’ll say, 'Okay, you have your page, and if you’re not trying to organize harm against someone, or attacking someone, then you can put up that content on your page, even if people might disagree with it or find it offensive.' But that doesn’t mean that we have a responsibility to make it widely distributed in News Feed."

Zuckerberg stressed that he wants to "make sure that our products are used for good."

"At the end of the day, other people blaming us or not is actually not the thing that matters to me. What matters to me is how are people using our services, and are we acting as the force for good that I know we can and have a responsibility to [be]," he said. "It’s not that every single thing that happens on Facebook is gonna be good. This is humanity. People use tools for good and bad, but I think that we have a clear responsibility to make sure that the good is amplified and to do everything we can to mitigate the bad."

Zuckerberg later emailed podcast host Kara Swisher to clarify his remarks.

"I personally find Holocaust denial deeply offensive, and I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that," he wrote. "...These issues are very challenging but I believe that often the best way to fight offensive bad speech is with good speech."
Then why does Zuckerberg seem to have such a problem with actual good speech?

The Anarchist In Resistance Clothing

Another "tolerant" leftist gets busted:
Mark Einerwold, 43, was arrested "on multiple burglary charges and for the sale or transportation of a destructive device," KDLT News reported.

Authorities say they found multiple explosive devices as well as aluminum nitrate and aluminum powder, which authorities say have no use other than for an explosive device.
Authorities also seized multiple firearms and a homemade firearm silencer from the residence.

Einerwold said he was $350,000 in debt and had no assets in his application for a court-appointed attorney.

In court, prosecutors said that police found a pistol, sawed-off shotgun and a silencer in a backpack in Einerwold's home. In addition, police reportedly found a "manifesto" that issued threats toward law enforcement and the government.

Captain Jason Gearman with the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Department said they also found an "antifa" jacket and "indications of extreme hatred for the police, fire and the government." Antifa is a militant movement of extreme left-wing anarchists who often use violent means to protest right-wing and "fascist" organizations and ideas.
Real fascists always copy Communists...

Blue Vs Red

They're just not that into her:
“She’s carrying on and she ain’t gonna make friends that way,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) told The Hill. “Joe conceded, wished her well, said he would support her…so she doesn’t know what the hell she’s talking about.”

“She’s not asking my advice,” he added, “[but] I would do it differently, rather than make enemies of people.”

If Ocasio-Cortez wants to be successful in Congress, she needs to learn to forge working relationships with fellow Democrats, even if they’re not as far left, said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

“Meteors fizz out,” Hastings said. “What she will learn in this institution is that it’s glacial to begin with, and therefore no matter how far you rise, that’s just how far you will ultimately get your comeuppance.”

“You come up here and you’re going to be buddy-buddy with all the folks or you’re going to make them do certain things? Ain’t happening, OK?” he added.
You're on your own, kid...

They're Doing It For You

Democrats claim to have a winner:
Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, co-chair of House Democrats’ messaging arm, and her colleagues unveiled the new line Wednesday after a private meeting with members. They say it sums up the party’s position on three core issues: health care costs, infrastructure projects and efforts to expose corruption.

“We basically put it all on paper to say here are our top issues — they’re simple, they’re easy to understand,” the lawmaker told Politico. “That’s how you break through this tweet machine coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

She added that no one thought the message was “poetic,” although they agreed it conveys “the answer to what we stand for.”
Which is...what, exactly?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Green On Green Corruption

No more green gravy train:
The Green Energy Climate Fund had ambitious goals when it was launched by the United Nations in 2010. Based in Songdo, South Korea, and employing 250 people, the organization’s mission is to boost renewable energy development in third-world countries with money donated from richer countries. Former President Barack Obama was a major supporter of the initiative and pledged $3 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The Obama administration was only able to donate $1 billion before President Donald Trump entered office. Unfortunately for the GCF, the Republican president was not a fan of the program. In his 2017 decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, Trump also indicated he would not be donating the remaining $2 billion. (RELATED: President Trump Has Rendered The Green Climate Fund Nearly Useless)

While his decision was widely derided by environmentalists and other progressive groups, not everyone agreed the GCF was worth investing in.

“This is a welcome development, given the endemic corruption in the countries and organizations on the receiving end of GCF dollars,” Ross Marchand, the director of policy at Taxpayer Protection Alliance, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation. The Taxpayer Protection Alliance, which monitors wasteful spending by the U.S. government, has been critical of the GCF’s handling of money.

“How can we trust, for instance, that the $5 million given by the GCF to the Tajikistan government will be allocated wisely, given the country’s abysmal corruption rankings? Given the exposure of ‘anti-corruption’ officials in that country as corrupt themselves, there is absolutely zero accountability for dispersed U.S. dollars,” Marchand continued.
Why give kleptocracies even more money than they already have?

The Meaning Of Life And Everything

Life is what you make it:
Researchers examined data acquired from five studies looking at how liberals and conservatives rate their lives in terms of meaning and purpose in a dataset spanning four decades.

Participants were asked to rate their political beliefs on a spectrum, ranging from “extremely conservative” to “extremely liberal” and were subsequently asked to respond to statements questioning the extent to which they felt their lives had purpose such as “I understand my life’s meaning”.

The study’s authors accounted for religious beliefs when analysing the responses and still found strong links between those with conservative ideologies having a stronger sense of purpose compared to liberals.

However, Newman stressed the findings are by no means necessarily applicable to all.

"It doesn't mean that every conservative finds a lot of meaning in their life and that every liberal is depressed," he clarified, adding that there are a number of other factors which may influence a person’s feelings towards whether their life has meaning.
For liberals, it doesn't seem to have much...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Vegan Worldwide

No more meat for them:
WeWork will no longer serve red meat, poultry or pork at company events, only meat-free options are to be offered in its 400 office spaces — and employees will no longer be reimbursed for work-related meals containing meat. Seafood is not included in the prohibition.

Members are still able to bring their own lunches of whatever they choose, so the ban isn’t complete. But the company says that by the year 2023, their new initiative will have saved 16.6 billion gallons of water, more than 15 million animals, and 445 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

Referring to WeWork’s removal of meat from the menu during the company’s upcoming ‘Summer Camp’ meeting, McKelvey wrote: “In just the three days we are together, we estimate that we can save more than 10,000 animals. The team has worked hard to create a sustainable, plentiful and delicious menu.”
Big Menu will be watching you...

City Of The Big Spenders

Chicago gets basic income?
Alderman Ameya Pawar recently introduced legislation that would hand out $500 a month to 1,000 families in the Windy City. In addition to the no-strings-attached cash payments, Pawar’s proposal would modify the Earned Income Tax Credit program for those families, so they would receive EITC payments on a monthly basis rather than at the end of the year.

The majority of the city’s lawmakers have jumped on board with Pawar to co-sponsor the plan.

Pawar told The Intercept that he’s concerned about the future of automation and how it could put millions of Americans out of work, which he believes would lead to more political polarization.

“From a race and class perspective, just know that 66 percent of long-haul truck drivers are middle-aged white men,” Pawar said. “So if you put them out of work without any investment in new jobs or in a social support system so that they transition from their job to another job, these race and class and geographical divides are going to grow.”

The lawmaker hopes the city council will start working with Mayor Rahm Emanuel soon to approve and implement the plan.

“Nearly 70 percent of Americans don’t have $1,000 in the bank for an emergency,” Pawar told The Intercept. “UBI could be an incredible benefit for people who are working and are having a tough time making ends meet or putting food on the table at the end of the month. … It’s time to start thinking about direct cash transfers to people so that they can start making plans about how they’re going to get by.”
Considering how Illinois has handled its finances in the past, if I were a poor person in Chicago, I'd be skeptical...

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Feinstein Follies

Democratic Party scion Diane Feinstein just isn't liberal enough anymore:
Dianne Feinstein has been a liberal icon since she took office as a senator in 1993. But the state party has given its endorsement to Feinstein's Democratic rival, state Senator Kevin de Leon.

De Leon is a radical leftist who has become a star among California Democrats. Feinstein, the 14th most liberal senator according to one analysis, isn't partisan enough or radical enough for most state Democrats. It sets up an interesting contest in November as Feinstein has far more money and name recognition while de Leon has the enthusiasm and love of the activists.

These California Democrats are, by and large, not young millenials. They are old-line socialists and far-left radicals, veterans of the political wars. That Feinstein has lost their favor is not important to the Senate race in November, but could have negative implications for the party down the road.
You can't teach old socialists new tricks...

The Sidewalks Of San Francisco

The city's mayor admits his town has a problem:
In an interview with the local NBC affiliate, Breed admitted the problem was out of control. “There is more feces on the sidewalks than I’ve ever seen growing up here,” Breed told KNTV. “That is a huge problem and we are not just talking about from dogs — we’re talking about from humans.”

The Daily Caller:

“We see poop, we see pee, we see needles, and we see trash,” preschool teacher Adelita Orellana told KNTV. “Sometimes they ask what is it, and that’s a conversation that’s a little difficult to have with a 2-year old, but we just let them know that those things are full of germs, that they are dangerous, and they should never be touched.”
There are about 7,500 homeless people living in San Francisco according to the city, which will spend nearly $280 million this year on housing services for the homeless.

Breed said San Francisco’s high cost of living cast the city’s homeless onto the streets.

“About 70 percent of the people estimated to be homeless in San Francisco were actually housed in San Francisco before they became homeless,” she said. “We have to make sure people who live here, [and] sadly, people who are homeless here, that they are also held accountable for taking care of our streets.”

It’s unclear how Breed will hold public defecators accountable. She said Friday that harsher penalties for offenders are not on the table.

So whom does Breed blame for this ghastly situation? The do-gooder homeless advocacy groups:

Instead, she directed her criticism towards homeless advocacy groups, who she said aren’t doing a good enough job teaching their clients how to keep the streets clean.
Huh? Homeless people aren't being taught to use the toilet?

“I work hard to make sure your programs are funded for the purposes of trying to get these individuals help, and what I am asking you to do is work with your clients and ask them to at least have respect for the community — at least, clean up after themselves and show respect to one another and people in the neighborhood,” she said.
This is not just a homeless crisis. It's a public health crisis. One hundred twenty five years ago, the streets of San Francisco were covered with horse manure. Even then city officials knew enough to remove the manure to promote a healthier community. Human feces carry numerous diseases. Allowing the waste to pile up on the sidewalks is an invitation for an outbreak of some kind.
So who's going to clean up after them? Any takers?

Russian Dressing

The day that Trump met Putin:
The U.S. president, for his part, called the summit with Putin "deeply productive." After Democrats for days called on him to nix the meeting in the wake of indictments against Russian officers for U.S. campaign hacking, Trump said he would "not make decisions on foreign policy in a futile effort to appease partisan critics."

He cited progress on a range of issues, and said it would be a "good thing" to get along with Russia.

However, the president angered members of both parties by saying both countries share blame for damaged relations and by not firmly standing by U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.

Trump said he has great confidence in the intelligence community, but Putin gave a "strong and powerful" denial. He said he doesn't "see any reason why" Russia would be behind election meddling.
Maybe he could ask Putin about it the next time they meet...

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Social Media Matters

Social media comes under fire:
“The advent of social media has made it possible for people to connect across continents, explore vast amounts of information, and share meaningful dialogue with friends and strangers,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. “However, this same technology can be used to suppress a particular viewpoint and manipulate public opinion.” (RELATED: Are Faulty Algorithms, Not Liberal Bias, To Blame For Google’s Fact-Checking Mess?)

The hearing will be similar to another one held in April, but many representatives were not present at the time.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted in a hearing before the Senate that Facebook is a left-leaning place. The same could probably be said of Twitter and Google parent company Alphabet, but all promise to not make decisions based on ideology and politics.

“I am pleased that the leading social media companies have agreed to send content management experts to answer questions on their content moderation practices,” Goodlatte continued, “and how they can be better stewards of free speech in the United States and abroad.”
Free speech shouldn't be considered "fake news..."

The Socialist Republican

Elon Musk has a hidden past:
According to election filings published by ProPublica, Musk donated $33,900 last quarter to Protect the House, a PAC dedicated to maintaining Republican control of the House.

The PAC raised more than $8 million in the second quarter, data shows. Robert McNair, owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans, and businessman Sheldon Adelson were the PAC’s largest donors, each contributing $371,500.

What did Musk’s critics say?
They alleged Musk’s donation proves he is not an ally of progressive causes, and instead shows he is a closeted conservative.

How did Musk respond to the outrage?
He denied the characterization that he is a “top donor” to the GOP.

He further clarified that he is not a member of either major political party, but he donates to both to maintain an “open dialogue.”

“To be clear, I am not a conservative. Am registered independent & politically moderate. Doesn’t mean I’m moderate about all issues. Humanitarian issues are extremely important to me & I don’t understand why they are not important to everyone,” Musk wrote.
Because some people on the left care more about their politics-and yours...

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Grasping At Lids

Plastic is now the new evil, yet the alternative may be worse:
Right now, Starbucks patrons are topping most of their cold drinks with either 3.23 grams or 3.55 grams of plastic product, depending on whether they pair their lid with a small or large straw. The new nitro lids meanwhile weigh either 3.55 or 4.11 grams, depending again on lid size.

(I got these results by measuring Starbucks' plastic straws and lids on two separate scales, both of which gave me the same results.)

This means customers are at best breaking even under Starbucks' strawless scheme, or they are adding between .32 and .88 grams to their plastic consumption per drink. Given that customers are going to use a mix of the larger and smaller nitro lids, Starbucks' plastic consumption is bound to increase, although it's anybody's guess as to how much.

In response to questions about whether their strawless move will increase the company's plastic consumption, a Starbucks spokesperson told Reason "the introduction of our strawless lid as the standard for non-blended beverages by 2020 allows us to significantly reduce the number of straws and non-recyclable plastic" as the new lids are recyclable, while the plastic straws the company currently uses are not.

This is cold comfort given the fact that even most of the stuff that is put in recycling bins still winds up at the dump. The company did not address, nor did it dispute, that its transition to strawless lids would increase its overall plastic consumption.

The weight of plastic—not the raw number of plastic objects used, or whether those objects are recyclable—is what should really concern environmentalists.
Once again, good intentions come before common sense...

Trans Spotting

When real actresses fall victim to fake outrage:
Not long ago, simply calling attention to the existence of the transgendered was deemed a victory for their cause. In 1999, Hillary Swank received massive critical praise — and an Oscar — for playing a transgender woman in “Boys Don’t Cry” (a movie I despised). No one complained about stolen narratives then. (By the way, did anyone complain when Charlton Heston, an Episcopalian, stole the most famous Jewish narrative of all time by playing Moses?)

But we have passed the awareness-raising phase, and now the issue is about cultural clout. The transgendered are following in the footsteps of other identity-politics groups that want to use their cultural power to carve out more roles for their members. They’re free to do so, of course. But it’s worth noting that it is hardly outrageous for a movie studio to prefer an international movie star like Johansson over an obscure transgender actor.
Let actors act?

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Left Wing

Well, yes:
“If we as a Democratic Party are going to move from a minority at every level that is dedicated to resistance, to a majority that is capable of governing, we have got to move from grievance to optimism,” Coons said in a speech on Thursday, according to US News and World Report.

“And we’ve got to abandon a politics of anxiety that is characterized by wild-eyed proposals and instead deliver ideas and practical solutions.”

Coons also warned that the growing Democratic push to abolish Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE), which enforces the nation’s immigration laws, is counterproductive.

“Abolish ICE is too easily mocked as open borders and no law enforcement,” the senator warned.

“Instead of having something that makes a Twitter hashtag and gets you on Rachel Maddow and fires people up, we need to have something that fires people up and is a policy position we can actually defend.” (RELATED: PHOTOS: ‘Abolish ICE’ Vandals Throw Brick Through Window Of GOP Office, Leave Graffiti Message)

“Forty percent of voters self-identify as pragmatic or moderate. We cannot abandon them,” he added.
Too bad it looks like his colleagues already have...

Last Store Standing

Welcome to the last Blockbuster:
Blockbuster's march into obsolescence began around 2013, when parent company Dish Network Corp's CEO Joseph Clayton acknowledged that video entertainment was shifting towards a digital distribution system. After announcing it would close its final 300 retail stores, the company vowed to continue serving customers online through an On Demand app. But Blockbuster faithfuls knew it could never replace the authenticity of a physical store.

Around two months ago, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver attempted to rescue the DeBarr Road Blockbuster by donating the jockstrap used by Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man, but while the unconventional choice of memorabilia helped create short-lived interest and increased customers, it wasn't enough to secure the store's future.

It's been suggested that Blockbuster stores have been preserved for longer in Alaska due to the state's costly internet -- which drove many residents to continue renting videos instead of viewing content online.

The last store standing in the video rental apocalypse, however, is in Bend, Oregon. "If you'd asked me 14 years ago, there's no way I'd thought we'd be the last one. It just seems a little crazy" General Manager Sandi Harding said, adding that she doesn't plan on shutting up shop.
Going, but not forgotten...

Russians In The House

The Russians were there:
Eleven of the 12 Russians are charged with money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit computer crimes. All 12 were indicted for hacking.

According to Rosenstein, the GRU officers “hacked the website of a state election board, and stole information of about 500,000 voters.” The indictment does not specify which state had been hacked.

In addition, the group visited the websites related to “state and county offices responsible for administering the 2016 U.S. elections” in several states, including Georgia, Iowa, and Florida, to “identify vulnerabilities.”

The Russians also sent more than 100 spearphishing emails to “organizations and personnel involved in administering elections in numerous Florida counties” in and around election day in November 2016. Spearphishing involves sending someone an email that looks like it came from a sender that they trust. The recipient is then often asked to enter personal information.

Among the victims targeted in these attacks were the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Hillary Clinton Campaign.

Rosenstein said that his team had determined that these 12 Russians were also behind the websites “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer 2.0,” which they used to release information that they had stolen through hacking and spearphishing. Using these methods, the Russians released “tens of thousands of stolen emails and documents.”
Maybe that's where Hillary's emails went?

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Treading Lighter Than Ever

Our carbon footprint has gotten a lot smaller:
The numbers indicate that the free market could be much more effective in reducing emissions than heavy regulations. From Real Clear Energy:

In fact, the U.S. has slashed CO2 emissions much faster than our European allies that adopted the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions in 1997. Preferring markets over incessant regulation, non-signatory U.S. has been reducing emissions faster than any other nation on Earth. All the while, our economy has boomed nearly 60 percent to $18 trillion (real 2010 $).

Investor’s Business Daily explained that efficiency is the key to reducing emissions, and capitalism pushes toward and rewards maximum efficiency:

Because capitalism, unlike socialism and its welfare-state kin, hates waste. So it does all it can to be efficient. That means using as little energy as possible to make things. And this predates any of the current CO2 hysteria.

In the U.S., the data are clear and utterly convincing: In 1949, it took 1,098 metric tons of CO2 emissions to produce $1 million in the U.S., after adjusting for inflation. Today, it takes just 301 metric tons to produce that same million dollars, after inflation — a 73 percent gain in carbon efficiency.

The increased use of natural gas, which produces significantly less CO2 than oil or coal, has also contributed to the U.S. decline in emissions.
Unfortunately, there's still too much hot air over what we supposedly haven't done...

Mr. Strzok Goes To Washington

Well, that went well:
He insisted under aggressive questioning that an August 2016 text in which he said "We'll stop" a Trump presidency followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead U.S. service member. He said it was his personal view, written late at night and off-the-cuff, of "horrible, disgusting behavior" by the Republican presidential candidate.

But, he added in a raised voice and emphatic tone, "It was in no way — unequivocally — any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate." Some Democrats applauded after he finished speaking.

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that the text messages exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page color the outcome of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and undercut the ongoing investigation into Russian election interference. Strzok, a seasoned counterintelligence agent, helped lead both investigations but has since been reassigned to human resources.
Seasoned enough to know how to lie about it, apparently...

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Big Labor Goes Bust

Labor unions are upset that they have less opportunity for theft:
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a proposed rule Tuesday that would require Medicaid payments to go directly to healthcare workers, ending a 2014 Obama-era rule that let third parties, such as unions and insurance companies, skim off a share of the paycheck before the worker saw any of it.

The SEIU, one of the largest public-sector unions in the U.S., referred to the proposed rule “as part of the [Trump] administration’s broad, coordinated attack against working people.”

“The proposed rule targets these home care workers and is designed to stop them from contributing their own wages to support their union in the same way that teachers, police and firefighters do,” the SEIU said in a statement. “This proposal is a transparent attempt to interfere with workers’ freedom to choose to join together in a union and advocate for higher wages, better training, and basic benefits like affordable healthcare and paid sick time that are crucial to ensure quality home care for our parents, grandparents and children.”

Though the Obama rule legalizing the practice went into effect in 2014, unions have been skimming money from Medicaid payments for nearly two decades, according to Freedom Foundation director for labor policy Maxford Nelson.

The practice has netted unions billions of dollars from public-sector home healthcare workers forced to pay union dues or “agency fees” equivalent to 85 percent of a dues payment to cover the cost of representation for non-members.

“It is very heartening to see this administration taking the first practical steps to stop states and unions from deducting money from the Medicaid checks of home caregivers serving our society’s disabled and elderly,” Nelson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “This illegal and exploitive practice has victimized hundreds of thousands of caregivers. It has only been allowed to persist because it generated significant funds for a politically-connected special interest group.”
Kind of like how the Democratic Party operates...

The Masks

No masks allowed:
The Unmasking Antifa Act of 2018 can mean additional fines and prison terms of up to 15 years. The Hill reports the “bill was introduced by Republican Rep. Dan Donovan (N.Y.) and is co-sponsored by GOP Reps. Pete King (R-NY), Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Ted Budd (R-NC).”

Ironically, this proposed law is similar to laws passed decades ago in states like Georgia and Alabama to stop another terrorist group formed by far-left Democrats, the Ku Klux Klan. According to the far-left New York Times, Ohio and West Virginia already have similar laws on the books.

Unless it is Halloween, Mardi Gras, or some other kind of celebration, there is no legitimate reason to disguise who you are in public, unless you intend to do something illegal and do not wish to be identified.
Masks off, everyone...

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Magic Weed

Is pot the new snake oil?
Marijuana is increasingly described online as a magical elixir, not only for cancer, but also for virtually every disease. The claims are often unattributed and are rarely tied in a substantive way to mainstream science. And they aren’t likely to fade.

Six months ago, it became legal in California to sell recreational marijuana in licensed shops. Customers have been lining up, and many turn to the store’s “bud tenders” to tell them which strain of weed can alleviate their aches and pains or help them to sleep.

Most bud tenders have no formal training in medicine or science.

Zach Lazarus recognizes the potential for abuse and works to avoid it.

“Our employees are not licensed physicians, nor do they pretend otherwise,” said Lazarus, co-founder of A Green Alternative, a marijuana store in Otay Mesa.

“They just help facilitate the sale of marijuana. The consumer uses his own discretion, and hopefully advice from his physician, if he needs it.”
Let the toker beware...

The Submariner

No submarine necessary:
Mr. Musk had mused on Twitter that they could build a “tiny, kid-sized submarine” with a part from a Falcon rocket, which SpaceX produces. He had said that a transfer tube, which helps move liquid oxygen to fuel the rocket’s engine, could serve as the body of the submarine.

Mr. Musk’s representatives did not make him available for comment, but a SpaceX spokesman said that divers with the mission had signed off on the efforts.

“Multiple divers involved with the rescue said the mini-sub design was viable, and their feedback directly informed our engineering and testing,” he said.

The company did not immediately respond to a follow-up question about whether it planned to remove the abandoned submarine from the cave area.

In his tweets amid the rescue, Mr. Musk presented his own evidence that team leaders had welcomed his help. He said of Mr. Narongsak: “The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as ‘rescue chief’) is not the subject matter expert.”

He said the expert was Richard Stanton, one of the first two British cave divers to reach the soccer team, and Mr. Musk shared an email in which Mr. Stanton had asked him to “please keep working on the capsule details.”

But a spokesman for Mr. Stanton said Tuesday that the cave proved to be too narrow for the mini-submarine.
And for Mr. Musk's ego?

The War On Judges

Democrats never met an impeachment they didn't like:
“Assuming the Democrats do take the House and the Senate in November,” the attendee asked, “as shattering as this would be to the separation of powers, is there any possibility that the legislative branch would remove a Supreme Court justice? I know it’s constitutionally possible, I also know it’s never been done.”

Ellison paused and considered the question before tentatively answering, “You’d have to find some evidence of like corruption, something like that.”

“I will say that there have been lower court judges that have been impeached,” he continued.

“And honestly there were some things that came up with Justice Thomas that I thought were very concerning to me, in terms of, is there partiality?” he concluded.
But nothing impeachable. But actual crimes don't seem to matter to Democrats...

Don't Make Every Vote Count

Third party? Not here:
The Montana Democrats argued that the Green Party failed to submit 5,000 signatures from at least 34 state House districts in order to qualify for the midterms. The Green Party received enough signatures, but only from 30 state House districts.

The Montana Democrats also claimed that the Republicans helped the Green Party gather signatures to take votes away from the Democratic Party. Montana Sen. Jon Tester is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking re-election against Republican candidate Matt Rosendale.

The Green Party turned in over 7,000 signatures to qualify for the midterms early in the year, but two of the signature gatherers were associated with the Republican political consulting firm Advanced Micro Targeting, according to a report by The Hill.

State campaign laws require all financial activities to be reported, but the Democrats argued that the Green Party did not report its alleged affiliation with the Republican Party. The state commissioner is currently looking into the matter.
Apparently there isn't enough room in the West for everyone...

Offense By Example

No dissenting opinions for them:
Daniella Greenbaum published the column “Scarlett Johansson is being unfairly criticized for doing her job after being cast as a transgender man,” on Friday and defended the actress’s decision to play the role after some expressed outrage over a non-transgender individual portraying a fictional member of the LGBT community.

“The job of an actor is to represent someone else,” Greenbaum wrote. “Johansson’s identity off the screen is irrelevant to the identities she plays on the screen. That’s what she’s paid for. And if she does her job, she’ll make everyone forget about the controversy in the first place.”

A number of BI employees were offended by the column and decided to take their issues to management, resulting in the piece being taken down later that day, according to The Daily Beast.

BI added an editors note on Tuesday saying that “Business Insider removed the column because, upon further review, we decided it did not meet our editorial standards.”

As a result, the outlet released a new set of editorial policies around “culturally sensitive topics, such as marginalized communities, race, or LGTBQ+ issues.”
New rules, no free speech...

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Doctors Are Out

No San Francisco for them:
The doctors told the delegation that they “loved” San Francisco but did not feel safe due to open drug use in the city, threatening behavior and mental illness that plague the streets, according to SF Gate. A member of the association was assaulted last year near the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

“There was a time when the biggest obstacle to having a convention here was that it can be expensive, but now we have this new factor,” D’Alessandro said.

Conventions have employed off-duty police officers to secure the area in recent years.

Tourism in San Francisco brings in about $9 billion annually.

“You may not know it, but tourists spend more money outside of the hotel than inside the hotel,” Kevin Carroll, the executive director of the Hotel Council, told the paper. “Everything from restaurants to shopping to taking taxis.”

SF Gate reported industry officials have been meeting with mayor-elect London Breed to discuss increasing law enforcement and mental health services in the city.
Maybe a psychiatrists' convention would help...

Here Comes The Judge

It's decision time:
The finalists are believed to be four federal judges: Brett Kavanaugh, Raymond Kethledge, Amy Coney Barrett and Thomas Hardiman.

Trump said he will announce his choice to fill Justice Anthony Kennedy's seat Monday night.

“I have long heard that the most important decision a U.S. President can make is the selection of a Supreme Court Justice - Will be announced tonight at 9:00 P.M,” the president tweeted.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a speech on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, blasted the “scare tactics” from Democrats and called for Trump’s nominee to face a fair evaluation in the Senate.

“Tonight, President Trump will announce his nominee to fill the current Supreme Court vacancy,” McConnell said. “We don't know who he will name but we already know exactly what unfair tactics the nominee will face.”
Some appear to have already decided how they'll react...