Friday, August 31, 2018

Final Opportunity

RIP the Mars rover?
The team hopes that, once the skies have cleared enough and the rover has recharged its batteries, Opportunity will be able to hear and respond to the signals that Earth is sending its way. If 45 days have passed without a response, the team will cease its active efforts to recover the rover. "If we do not hear back after 45 days, the team will be forced to conclude that the Sun-blocking dust and the Martian cold have conspired to cause some type of fault from which the rover will more than likely not recover," said John Callas, Opportunity's project manager, in a statement.

That doesn't mean NASA will have fully given up on Opportunity, though. After all, the rover was originally tasked with a 90-day mission and is still working almost 15 years later. The team will continue "passive listening efforts" -- presumably stop sending the rover active signals through the Deep Space Network, but monitor in case Opportunity reaches out first -- for an additional several months.
If Opportunity knocks, will NASA still be able to listen?

Robot School

The next best thing to being there?
The small, cute-looking robot, made by Oslo-based start-up No Isolation, sits in the classroom and live streams video and audio back to Zoe's tablet or smartphone at home. She can speak through the robot and take part in lessons, also controlling where AV1 is looking.

When she wants to ask a question the robot's head starts blinking on and off to alert the teacher. And when she's too tired or sick to participate she can turn AV1's head blue as a signal.

"It makes my life a lot more exciting and makes me feel like I haven't been forgotten," Zoe says.
Your robot and you?

Viva Las Vegas

It's the world's biggest bong:
It weighs more than 800 pounds and the bowl can pack a quarter of a pound of marijuana. It has elements in the glass that will make it glow — greenish mostly — while bathing in black light. Jason Harris, the artist who made it, said it’s his artistic opus to the cannabis culture.

“I make giant bongs,” he said. “They are my voice to make noise in the world.”

But to be heard and noticed on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas — where the bong is housed — is no small task.

It’s a sensory tsunami on Fremont, filled with street musicians playing “Stairway to Heaven” on electronic violins or steel drummers hammering out hits from the ’80s. There are screams from people shooting down a zip line above the street. Tribute bands blast metal music, and boozy packs of tourists point at half-naked men and women trying to lure them into posing for a picture.
What's smoked in Vegas, stays in Vegas...

Capture What Flag?

It was an American moment for all mankind:
“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

“He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg – and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true,” Gosling said.

The actor admitted “I’m Canadian, so might have cognitive bias,” but he believes Armstrong didn’t think much of patriotism.

“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero,” Gosling told the Telegraph. “From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”
Well, since he's no longer able to speak for himself, I suppose that's true. But the flag is sort of still there...

Burger War Bust

Not everyone's interested in staying away from In N Out:
California has emerged as the center of the Democratic resistance since President Donald Trump took office. But this activism might have met its match when it comes to In-N-Out, a California institution that some hold with the same level of esteem as the Golden Gate Bridge and Joshua Tree.

By the end of the day, Democrats were distancing themselves from the idea and Republicans were enjoying a political feast, with some making big lunch orders to show their support for the chain and posting photos on social media.

“We have all of our children eating In-N-Out burgers. Even my son’s German shepherd eats In-N-Out,” said state Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, whose staff ordered 25 burgers and 50 bags of fries for lunch.

Political experts said they aren’t surprised that In-N-Out has proved hard to demonize, especially if the company’s sin was simply donating to the Republican Party.

“The stomach overrules the mind,” Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles. “A cheap, good-tasting burger is hard to dismiss politically.”
Let the burgers bring Americans together?

Would You Look At That

Apparently Bill's just gotta be Bill:
Video footage of Miss Grande performing the hit (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman had social media paying more attention to Mr Clinton’s gaze, rather than Miss Grande’s vocals.

Social media users criticised the former president as “gross” after his eyes appeared to wander onto Miss Grande's derriere.

One user said: “Gross..watch Bill Clinton look Ariana Grande up and down when she sings at #ArethaFranklinFuneral and try not to throw up in your mouth.”
Some things never change...

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Never Let A Lawsuit Go To Waste

Another white man steals from the natives:
Robert Roche, 71, was sentenced to four months in prison, four months of home confinement, and restitution of the amount he stole, $77,000.

Federal prosecutors said that he took money from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant to pay for his personal expenses. The money was awarded from the federal government to the American Indian Education Center in Parma, Ohio.

Roche served as the executive director of the education center.

He was also accused of trying to intimidate witnesses by suing them during a time he was negotiating with federal prosecutors.

Roche’s program has received nearly half a million dollars in grant money from the same program he defrauded. Federal authorities will “monitor” his nonprofits while he is serving his sentence.
One good theft deserves another...

Burger Busters

In N Out learns the hard way not to incur the wrath of the online mob:
The burger chain made a $25,000 donation to the California GOP Party, according to a public filing on the California secretary of state’s website, just in time for the 2018 midterm elections.

Reporter Gabe Schneider, who was one of the first to spot the post on the secretary of state’s website, shared the image Wednesday on Twitter, where it gathered an immense amount of attention.

Schneider wrote, “In-N-Out added a new item to their secret menu.”

Almost immediately, social media users began pushing hashtag #boycottinnout. As a result, many of the restaurant’s patrons began bashing the company, with many saying that they’d never step foot in the establishment again.

One such user — California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman — tweeted his support for a boycott.

Bauman wrote, “Et tu In-N-Out? Tens of thousands of dollars donated to the California Republican Party … it’s time to #BoycottInNOut — let Trump and his cronies support these creeps … perhaps animal style!”
Does the Left want fries with that?

Yard Sale

Asian students versus Harvard:
The plaintiffs claim that students of Asian-American descent are unfairly and disproportionately “rated down” for subjective reasons under Harvard’s admissions system, in spite of having stronger academic and extra-curricular credentials than other applicants.

Last month, the Trump administration announced it would be scrapping Obama-era policies that encouraged universities to consider race in admissions.

However, Harvard wants to keep its affirmative action policies in place.

“It’s alarming that Trump is aligning himself with anti-civil rights activist Edward Blum in this subversive attempt to say that civil rights protections cause discrimination,” Jeannie Park, the head of the university’s Asian-American Alumni Alliance, told the New York Times,

Park went on to assert that “Asian-Americans have long benefited from policies to increase equal opportunity and still do.”
Shut up and be grateful, they said...

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Nobody's Perfect

Defending Antifa, the CNN way:

The Inner Rebelion

There seems to be a revolt brewing:
The new group has upset other Facebook employees, who said its online posts were offensive to minorities. One engineer, who declined to be identified for fear of retaliation, said several people had lodged complaints with their managers about FB’ers for Political Diversity and were told that it had not broken any company rules.

Another employee said the group appeared to be constructive and inclusive of different political viewpoints. Mr. Amerige did not respond to requests for comment.

The activity is a rare sign of organized dissent within Facebook over the company’s largely liberal workplace culture. While the new group is just a sliver of Facebook’s work force of more than 25,000, the company’s workers have in the past appeared less inclined than their peers at other tech companies to challenge leadership, and most have been loyalists to its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
Not everyone seems interested in being a company drone...

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

If At First You Don't Fail

Fail and fail again:
Rather than solving homelessness, the program spent all the resources the government had allocated to it, and not accomplished their goal.

The budget for the program exploded when it began to provide motel rooms for homeless families that they could not place in shelters.

In July, a Facebook post from the Portland police union proclaimed that homelessness had turned the city into “a cesspool.”

Portland ended the policy in October.

Lesson learned? Not really

Despite the “no-turn-away shelter strategy” failing spectacularly, the lawmakers say that the lesson they learned is that in order for it to work, it has to be adopted state-wide, and even nationally.
They literally never learn...

Land's End

South Africa has apparently temporarily reconsidered its land grab:
In 2015, the ANC proposed a constitutional amendment allowing the government to seize and redistribute land without any compensation to its owners. The draft, which has not been adopted so far, evoked widespread international outrage and multiple media reports of alleged violence against white South African farmers, including murders.

The committee’s chairperson, Humphrey Mmemezi, said the bill was referred to parliament on procedural grounds, but they couldn’t duplicate a separate parliamentary process.

However, the ANC reiterated its commitment to pursue the country’s controversial land reform program. The ruling party wants to redistribute the land confiscated from white farmers to the black citizens of the country. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the ANC has followed a “willing-seller, willing-buyer” model. Under the plan, the government buys land from white landowners and redistributes it among black citizens of the country. However, the land reform program has not brought the results the ANC wanted.
these types of "reforms" seldom do...

Lanny's Last Mistake

Did Lanny Davis blow the entire Trump case:
CNN’s July 26 story has come under fresh scrutiny in recent days after Davis acknowledged he had served as an anonymous source for multiple news outlets who were seeking to confirm the CNN article in the hours after it published. Davis has backed away from the story in recent days, telling the Washington Post that he is not certain if the claim is accurate, and that he could not independently corroborate it.

Last week, Davis told Anderson Cooper, “I think the reporting of the story got mixed up in the course of a criminal investigation. We were not the source of the story.”

On Monday evening, Davis told BuzzFeed News that he regrets both his role as an anonymous source and his subsequent denial of his own involvement.

Davis told BuzzFeed News that he did, in fact, speak anonymously to CNN for its story, which cited “sources with knowledge” — meaning more than one person.

“I made a mistake,” Davis said. Regarding his comments about a month later to Cooper, he added, “I did not mean to be cute.”

After Davis publicly backtracked from the claims, the New York Post and the Washington Post outed him as their confirming source and published apologies from Davis, a lawyer and communications expert who became well known for his work for Bill Clinton. The original CNN story — broadcast during Chris Cuomo’s prime-time show and written by Jim Sciutto, Marshall Cohen, and Watergate reporting legend Carl Bernstein — said that Davis had “declined to comment.” His involvement in the story, on so-called “background,” has not been previously reported.

After publication of this story, Davis added to BuzzFeed News that he did not lie to Cooper, but that he "unintentionally misspoke."
Well, it now appears that he unintentionally ruined the Left's case against Trump...

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Last Laugh?

Sacha Baron Cohen may have revealed more about America than he intended:
The scene is decidedly painful to watch; this is “comedy” only in the strictest sense of the term. There is no catharsis to be found in the discomfort here, no soft redemption in the laughter. There is only, moment by moment, awkwardness so acute as to render as indictment: of the people onscreen, in one way—all those breezy jokes about cords and cuts and killing—but also of the people on the other side of it. Those who constitute the America in question in the show’s title. The Who Is America? segment airs on Showtime not long after The People v. O.J. Simpson, Ryan Murphy’s lightly fictionalized take on the events of the 1990s, aired on FX, and after the deeply researched documentary O.J.: Made in America aired on ESPN. The upshot of both series, and of the many other retrospectives that considered the “trial of the century” two decades after its conclusion, was the cultural context the legal proceedings operated in: The obsession. The low-speed chase. The glove. The easy way Americans have of conflating murder and entertainment—the effortlessness with which American culture can take a tragedy and turn it into comedy.
We are us, and we do create our own tragicomedies...

Your Rights, Not Theirs

It's never been about what the government can give you:
Liberals want to make everything — health care, college, housing, food — a “right,” which is the opposite of the principles on which this country was founded. If the government can grant people rights, especially to the goods and services of others, there is nothing stopping that same government from taking away people’s rights. Our Founding Fathers were very careful in how they set up our government in order to protect the individual. The political left is working to turn that on its head.
They care about "the people"-but not individuals.

Insultis Romanus

The ancient Romans had their own insult culture:
Professor Dr Martin Jehne of the Technische Universität Dresden says modern insults are nothing compared to those flung around ancient Rome.

According to the historian's findings, Romans could be even more cruel than the trolls of today and would often stoop to sexual slurs to insult their opponents.

Professor Jehne said withstanding and overcoming insults can ultimately have a politically stabilising effect in society, with those who exchanged vile taunts often working together in the near future.

Likewise, the common people were allowed to insult the elite – who could not retort – helping to curb their 'omnipotence fantasies', Professor Jehne claims.
Too bad today's elite don't feel the same way...

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Sins Of The Father

A son gets blamed...for what his father said decades ago?
Derek Daly, a retired Indy 500 and Formula One driver, was fired days earlier from his role as WISH-TV’s Racing Analyst due to the controversy.

In a statement, the elder Daly admitted to using the word, but denied its connotation.

“I was a foreign driver now in America, driving for an American team, with an American crew, and with an American sponsor – and that if things did not go well, the only ‘”n” in the wood pile’ would be me,” Derek Daly wrote, saying that the expression was common in his native Ireland and didn’t carry the same racist connotation.

He added that he was “mortified” after he was informed of the derogatory nature of the word and has not used the word since.
Apparently sons are responsible for their parents' past actions. It used to be we were all responsible for our own...

Game Over

And yet, it still happened:
Jacksonville Landing’s “Rules of Conduct” clearly prohibit the possession of firearms, including firearms by those who have gone through the legal process to obtain a concealed carry permit in order to carry a firearm for self-defense.

The rules say, “Possession of a weapon, even if legally carried (except by law enforcement officers) is absolutely prohibited on Landing property.”
It sounds like the shooter knew where to go...

They're Still Hired

The President can't fire people?
Trump issued the trio of orders on May 25. Among other provisions, the directives restrict the amount of time federal workers may spend on official union duties, reduce performance-improvement periods for ineffective employees and narrow the range of issues that agencies and unions negotiate over when setting contracts.

“These executive orders make it easier for agencies to remove poor-performing employees and ensure that taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used,” White House Domestic Policy Council Director Andrew Bremberg said.

A coalition of labor unions challenged 20 different provisions in the directives, arguing that they violated the Constitution and the FSLMRS, a 1978 law securing collective bargaining rights for federal employees.

Jackson concluded that the president’s orders exceeded his authority as they effectively “eviscerate the right to bargain collectively as envisioned in the FSLMRS.”

The judge also rejected administration arguments that the orders were merely guidance that do not formally conflict with the FSLMRS.

“[S]uch directives can violate the duty to bargain in good faith that the FSLMRS prescribes,” she wrote.
What about the good faith that an employee should actually do their job?

Strange Speech Bedfellows

The ACLU defends the NRA:
New York’s attempts to compel banks and insurance companies to remove the NRA as a customer is a violation of the First Amendment, the ACLU argued in brief filed in federal court on Friday. The brief supports a lawsuit previously filed by the NRA.

“Although public officials are free to express their opinions and may condemn viewpoints or groups they view as inimical to public welfare, they cannot abuse their regulatory authority to retaliate against disfavored advocacy organizations and to impose burdens on those organizations’ ability to conduct lawful business,” according to the ACLU.

The ACLU brief does not defend the NRA’s stance on firearms but instead uses a long list of First Amendment cases to argue that regulators should not use their positions to “punish political enemies,” according to the report.
Even your enemies have the right to their opinions...

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Non Socialist Solution

Why "democratic socialism" represents the past, not the future:
The strong economy our nation enjoys today contrasts dramatically with the snake oil that Ocasio-Cortez preaches.

While the United States enjoys a booming economic recovery, even Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Nicolas Maduro admitted his economic model, based on his reign of socialism, has “failed."

"The production models we've tried so far have failed and the responsibility is ours, mine and yours," he told his United Socialist Party. Later he went on to say: “Enough with the whining … We need to produce with or without (outside) aggression, with or without blockades, we need to make Venezuela an economic power. No more whining, I want solutions comrades!”

If he really wants solutions he should try capitalism. It’s been working for years.
Better a free market than the promise of a free lunch...

The Last Maverick

RIP John McCain:
As a professed maverick, Mr. McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81, was bound to make somebody unhappy. Though for much of his career his votes on the Senate floor were mostly along party lines, his periodic challenges to Republican orthodoxy made him more popular among independents, Democrats and the tattered remnants of his party’s moderate wing than with the absolutists in the party’s base. Five years of torture in a North Vietnamese prison camp appeared to have left him with a pretty good idea of who he was, an ability to think for himself and the capacity to tune out partisan noises.

He had principles, and he had flaws, from time to time betraying those principles — most grievously in the 2008 presidential campaign. But in a Senate mostly devoid of the kind of commanding figures who once roamed its halls, he was a rare bird.
That bird has flown...

Coming Out All The Way

Can you change your gender without having to change your politics?
Unabashedly antagonistic — her first video was titled “Female Privilege | Antifeminism,” and she has since followed it with others such as “Fat Acceptance is Stupid” and “Trump IS Your President, Get Over It” — the now 24-year-old has accumulated a following of 450,000 subscribers on YouTube, some of whom, she says, are shocked or even appalled to discover that she is trans.

“If you mix being trans with having a few right-wing opinions … it’s a s**t show,” says White. “I’ll be scrolling through my tweets and my notifications, and I’ll see a comment saying, ‘F**k Blaire White. She is a gatekeeper for the trans community. She hates trans people. She’s a bigot’ … Then I’ll keep scrolling, and I’ll see one from someone more so on the right saying, “F**k Blaire White. She’s a delusional man and she deserves to die.’” As she once put it in a tweet that has since been deleted, “Coming out as transgender was infinitely easier for me than coming out as a conservative.”
The real closet is imposed by the left...

In The Tank

The propaganda is being paid for:
The influence operations are conducted by the United Front Work Department, a Central Committee organ that employs tens of thousands of operatives who seek to use both overt and covert operations to promote Communist Party policies.

The Party's United Front strategy includes paying several Washington think tanks with the goal influencing their actions and adopting positions that support Beijing's policies.

"The [Chinese Communist Party] has sought to influence academic discourse on China and in certain instances has infringed upon—and potentially criminally violated—rights to freedoms of speech and association that are guaranteed to Americans and those protected by U.S. laws," the report says.

"Despite the CCP's candid discussion of its United Front strategy, the breadth and depth of this issue remain relatively unknown to U.S. policymakers."
think for yourselves, think tanks...

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Collusion Starts Here

Where the real collusion is:
No person who actively works with foreign governments to win an election should be permitted to hold public office, especially the nation’s highest office. Colluding with foreign powers to win elections puts the United States in grave danger and, to some extent, undermines our democratic process; only Americans should be permitted to influence American elections.

However, these principles, which nearly all Americans agree with, are complicated by the very real possibility Hillary Clinton’s campaign also may have colluded with foreign governments.

As it has been widely reported, the very same Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump’s team (and reportedly with Trump’s knowledge) in June 2016 was a client of Fusion GPS, which the Clintons had hired to conduct opposition research about Trump. Veselnitskaya claims some of the information she used during the Trump Tower meeting came directly from Fusion GPS, and, even more bizarrely, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson testified before Congress that he had met with Veselnitskaya both the night before and the night after the Trump Tower meeting.

Further, as Lee Smith at RealClearInvestigations notes, “Accompanying Veselnitskaya to the meeting was Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who had served in the Soviet Union’s military counterintelligence service. His role remains unclear, but evidence suggests he may have been the source Simpson was alluding to in December 2016 when [Department of Justice official Bruce] Ohr recorded that Simpson told him, ‘Much of the collection about the Trump campaign ties to Russia comes from a former Russian intelligence officer (? not entirely clear) who lives in the U.S.’”

If, as some have speculated, Simpson was working with Veselnitskaya to entrap the Trump campaign — and it certainly seems like that is a real possibility — then that would mean the Clintons were also “colluding,” through Fusion GPS, with Russian officials.
Collusion, Mrs. Clinton?

When Facts Don't Patter, Print The Narrative

Don't bother them with facts:
One explanation for this phenomenon is that these reporters journalists hate Trump's guts because he's always so mean to them. They're so desperate to throw anything they can against him, they can't even give themselves a minute to stop and think. But that doesn't explain why they always do this sort of crap, no matter which Republican is elected president. It happens every time. And then, the millisecond another Democrat gets sworn in, they all switch back into Fawning Mode.
Expect the fawns to be wolves for a few more years yet...

They Don't Like Spam

Is it spam, or censorship?
This round of "spam" censorship, whether targeted at conservatives or not, seems to come at a particularly bad time for Facebook. Last week, the social media platform shadow-banned the conservative educational video nonprofit PragerU. At least nine of PragerU's Facebook posts reached zero of their 3 million followers, and Facebook actually deleted some of their videos.

That move seemed ironic since PragerU had filed a lawsuit against Google/YouTube last October, alleging "intentional" censorship of conservative speakers. YouTube continues to restrict access to PragerU videos, without censoring similar videos from other, less mainstream or less conservative, accounts.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing smear factory that brands conservative and Christian organizations "hate groups" for disagreeing with their liberal worldview, has encouraged the censorship of conservatives online. Organizations on their "hate group" list have found themselves exiled.
We are all spam now?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Scoffing The Scoffers

To scoff or not to scoff:
An environmental group had just finished protesting at the DNC meeting in Chicago over the committee’s hypocrisy on fossil fuel donations when the lone liberal protester stood up.

The protester scolded the DNC for how they treated the environmental group.

“I feel it is my moral imperative to speak about this right now and I did not plan to speak out today but I did after watching the Sunrise Movement,” the protester ranted. “The reason I am doing this is multiple people in this room scoffed.”
Scoff at your own risk?

Hogg Wild

Even David Hogg's supporters are getting concerned about his antics:
"Older Democrats just won’t move the f*** off the plate and let us take control," Hogg, the "spokesperson for radicalized young America," declared in an interview with New York Mag last week. "Nancy Pelosi is old."

While Pelosi has declined commenting on Hogg's harsh words, as BuzzFeed News reports, some of his supporters have felt the need to publicly reprimand the young activist for his "ageist," "mysogenistic" and "arrogant" remarks.
....

As the Daily Wire's Ryan Saavedra pointed out last week, this isn't the first time Hogg has dissed old people. "In a profanity-laced interview earlier this year, Hogg said that his parent's generation was not competent enough to solve problems in today's world, saying, 'our parents don’t know how to use a f***ing democracy, so we have to,'" Saavedra reported.

As far as the issue of his "arrogance," Hogg might actually agree. NY Mag notes that he "frequently uses the word narcissistic in reference to himself."
Well, he did learn from his elders...

Winner Loses

Reality takes a hit:
The judge’s sentence took into account recommendations from prosecutors and Winner’s defense team that the former government contractor serve five years and three months in prison.

Winner’s sentence is reportedly “the longest sentence served by a federal defendant for an unauthorized disclosure to the media,” prosecutors stated in a court filing.

The 26-year-old government contractor was arrested in June 2017 and faced charges in federal court under the Espionage Act for taking classified material from a U.S. government facility and mailing the information to a media outlet.

Her arrest was announced shortly after the left-of-center investigative news site posted a story about how Russian hackers sent “spear-phishing” emails to hundreds of local election officials and attacked a U.S. voting software supplier.
Reality for reality is hard...

To Markets, To Markets

Elizabeth Warren swears she's nothing like Bernie Sanders:
“He’s a socialist,” Warren said, “and I believe in markets.”

Such a break with Sanders could prove significant as the Democratic Party continues its march leftward.

Whether a belief in markets is enough to convince her party’s base that she’s authentic enough has yet to be seen — as has whether conceding that markets are preferable over central planning is enough to not scare away independents.

Warren has also told other interviewers that she, unlike Sanders and others, is not interested in entirely remaking the American economy.

In a July interview with CNBC, Warren gave more evidence of how she’ll continue separating herself from Sanders in the years ahead.

“I am a capitalist,” she told an interviewer. “Come on. I believe in markets.”

An an aide to Warren supported her position to BuzzFeed, saying, “She believes in markets. She loves markets.”
She really, really and truly does...

This Was Only A Test

A test of the emergency hacking system:
The DNC called the FBI on Wednesday claiming an unidentified person or service had created a login page to trick DNC staffers into providing their usernames and passwords, CNN first reported.

Such technology breaches are known as phishing attacks, and are relatively common. However, the DNC had to walk back its hacking claims after further investigation revealed it was simply an unauthorized test by a third party, and not a real attempt to obtain voter data, according to Axios.

“We, along with the partners who reported the site, now believe it was built by a third party as part of a simulated phishing test on VoteBuilder,” Bob Lord, chief security officer for the DNC, told NBC. “The test, which mimicked several attributes of actual attacks on the Democratic party’s voter file, was not authorized by the DNC, VoteBuilder nor any of our vendors.”

Reports later confirmed that the third party was a test by the Michigan Democratic Party, technically a separate entity from the DNC, to mimic actual phishing attacks.
The real thing wasn't that much different...

Welfare Kids

Raising a new welfare generation?
In households with kids under 18 headed by a female without a spouse, 78 percent received assistance in 2016 according to the census report. In households with kids under the age of 6 headed by a female without a spouse, the percentage receiving assistance jumps to 81.8 percent.
....

Numerous studies suggest that children whose parents rely on welfare will be more likely to utilize welfare services themselves as adults. In a 2015 study conducted by the University of Chicago, assistant professor of economics Magne Mogstad observed that “reforming the welfare review process can have a long-lasting effect on both the current and future generations.”
Will the cycle simply continue until it falls apart on its own?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Criminal Justice

More ex-cons for the court?
Chair of the Magistrates' Association John Bache said it was "completely erroneous" that those with an old, minor criminal record would not be considered as candidates.

"We all make mistakes, we all do things we shouldn't have done," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"But we want to increase diversity, and if we did say anyone who's ever done anything wrong ever isn't going to be appointed that's no way at all to increase diversity."
Well, it seems to work for politicians...

Power To The Customer

Why capitalism gives people the power:
Capitalism is a kind of economic democracy, where consumers vote with every dollar they spend, determining which businesses succeed and fail. Look at the thousands of products in your local grocery store, shopping mall, or on Amazon, all vying for your attention. These products represent entrepreneurs striving to meet your needs as the way to achieve their own success. That may not be purely altruistic conduct, since capitalism depends on the desire of people to better their own lives, but it channels that natural desire into focusing on the opinions and preferences of a broad class of consumers.
Capitalism listens to the customer; socialism doesn't.

Expert Opinions

So how much trouble is Trump actually in? It depends on who you ask:
At issue is a $130,000 hush money payment made by Cohen to Daniels in the weeks leading up to the presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair with Trump, and the McDougal case, where she was paid $150,000 by the parent company of the National Enquirer for her story about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump, which it never published. Cohen admitted Tuesday to making an excessive campaign contribution and causing an unlawful corporate contribution.

“Mr. Trump wasn’t willing to sign those checks himself. He directed Mr. Cohen to make those hush money payments, [which is] a federal crime,” Davis said. “If Michael Cohen agreed to that, then certainly Donald Trump is guilty of the same crime.”

But former commissioner at the Federal Election Commission, Hans von Spakovsky, said that Cohen’s decision to plead guilty does not necessarily mean Trump violated the law.

“This is not a violation because this was not a campaign-related offense,” Spakovsky told Fox News on Wednesday. “Yes, Cohen pleaded guilty to it, yeah Cohen paid it, but then Cohen was reimbursed by Trump.”

The plea deal states that the payments were in fact meant to influence the election, though that could be argued by Trump's lawyers if it ever came to that. Spakovsky said Trump had a history of making these kinds of payments before he was a candidate.

Further, Spakovsky said "a candidate can spend as much of their own money as they want to—even if it was a campaign-related expense.”

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, a frequent defender of the president, made a similar argument.

“You have to show that it’s a crime,” he told “Fox & Friends.” He said it’s “not a crime” for a candidate like Trump to contribute to his own campaign, and probably not even a crime to direct someone else to contribute if he plans to pay that back.

Further, Dershowitz said, “The only evidence that the president did anything that might be unlawful … comes from a man who’s admitted to be a liar.”

“There are a lot of barriers,” he said, “We’re far away from [an] impeachable offense or a criminal offense on the part of the president.”
Better legally safe than sorry...

Repeal Never?

Whatever happened to repeal and replace?
Die-hards still want to repeal the 2010 law, but a growing number of Republicans — particularly those facing tough elections — want to quietly admit defeat and move on to other issues.

“Even to bring it up is picking at the scab,” said Joe Antos, a health policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “It’s reminding people that they (failed). The base isn’t that stupid.”

Other GOP candidates find themselves trying to thread an awkward needle of opposing Obamacare — a law that is still unpopular with base voters — while supporting some of its key provisions. A few Republicans who once called for the repeal of Obamacare are now even embracing it, albeit cautiously.
They were against it before they were sort of for it...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The ET Endorsement

The aliens must be pleased:
The Miami Herald wrote, “We realize that Rodriguez Aguilera is an unusual candidate. Last year, she told the Miami Herald — and several Spanish-language media outlets — that she believes in extra-terrestrials. She says when she was 7, she was taken aboard a spaceship and, throughout her life, she has communicated telepathically with the beings, which remind her of the concrete Christ in Brazil. There you have it.”

Perhaps we have our first possible leader of President Trump’s proposed space force? She apparently already has allies.

According to Rodriguez Aguilera, three large, blond aliens visited her when she was 7. In a 2009 interview on the Spanish-language station América TeVé, the congressional candidate said, “I went in [to the spaceship]. There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship — not like airplanes.”
She will fight for the rights of all extraterrestrial Americans...

Crackers And Nuts

Animal crackers are...free?
For years the company's "Barnum's Animals" snacks came in a box that showed lions, polar bears, gorillas and elephants behind the bars of a circus boxcar.

PETA, which has spent decades protesting the use of animals in circuses, wrote a letter to Nabisco's parent, Mondelez International, asking for the box that contains "Barnum's Animals" to get a new look.

“Given the egregious cruelty inherent in circuses that use animals and the public’s swelling opposition to the exploitation of animals used for entertainment, we urge Nabisco to update its packaging in order to show animals who are free to roam in their natural habitats,” PETA said in its letter to Mondelez, according to the New York Post.

The company agreed and now the animals appear roaming -- or at least posing -- freely.
But what if their natural habitat is still a cardboard box?

The End Of Climate Change

Obama's legacy gets demolished:
Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler proposed Tuesday the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Plan, a more lenient regulatory scheme to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

“Between ACE, the recently proposed rollback of the Obama fuel economy standards known as CAFE, and the US pullout from the Paris climate agreement, the Obama climate legacy has been erased by President Trump,” Trump transition team member Steve Milloy told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

EPA’s new regulatory framework would focus on improving heat-rate efficiency at individual coal-fired power plants, making it easier for plants to upgrade their equipment and give states more authority over regulating emissions.

“Although ACE is not a total rollback of the Obama climate rules, that’s okay for now as it constitutes practical rollback of them,” said Milloy, who runs the website JunkScience.com.
the end of one era, the beginning of a new one...

Fascists Versus Liberals

Antifa really hates liberals:
Welch carried an American flag as he marched — but during the demonstration, members of Antifa reportedly approached him told him to give them the flag, claiming that it is “a fascist symbol,” he told the Oregonian.

He was adamantly not a supporter of the conservative activists or their movement, he told the paper, he but took an object to the back of his head anyway and ended up lying on the ground as blood ran from his scalp.

The rally held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park attracted many demonstrators from many different backgrounds of political ideology, according to Welch.

Welch, however, simply wanted to make his political points of view known and to show that conservatives don’t have a corner on the market when it comes to claiming patriotic symbols like the American flag.

“The right and certainly a lot of smaller groups like Patriot Prayer might rush to things like the flag and try to take it up as, ‘This is our symbol exclusively,'” Welch explained. “Part of my thinking was to take it back.”

Antifa protesters, however, didn’t appear to listen to Welch’s reasons for carrying a flag. They saw a man marching with an American flag and attacked.
They will tolerate no flags but their own...

The Imperial Empire State

Less freedom all around:
While drug arrests are about average, nondrug victimless crime arrests are quite low. Incarceration rates are below average. Unfortunately, the state is one of only a few to impose loss of a driver’s license as a punishment for non-driving-related drug crimes. Local law enforcement enthusiastically participates in equitable sharing, even though the state law imposes only modest limits in the first place. Tobacco freedom is the worst in the country because of smoking bans and stratospheric taxes ($4.30 a pack in 2015 dollars in 2016). Since 2014, localities have actually enacted total prohibition for 18-to 20-year-olds. New York is perhaps the worst state for homeschoolers, and it has no private or public school choice programs. Sparklers were legalized in 2015 and mixed martial arts competitions in 2016. Gambling freedom is better than average; casinos were introduced in 2005. Cannabis freedom is now slightly above average, as the state enacted a limited medical law in 2014. Alcohol freedom is a bit above average, but grocery stores can’t sell wine. Gun rights are hedged about with all kinds of restrictions, but it is possible with some effort to get a concealed-carry license in some parts of the state.
If you can't deregulate, evacuate? Many already have...

Monday, August 20, 2018

Zero Dollar Hour

Socialism minus zero:
Maduro is hoping to invest the money gained from the new taxes in the Petro, the Venezuelan government’s new cryptocurrency. According to Bloomberg, the Maduro regime stated on Friday that it “values the Petro at 3,600 sovereign bolivars,” worth $.014, and that it plans to allow “the cryptocurrency to fluctuate.”

The cornerstone of Maduro’s economic reform package is the reduction of prices for all good in the country. Effective Monday, all prices have been cut by “five zeros.” This move has the effect of essentially devaluing the bolivar by about “95 percent.”

While President Maduro claims the new reforms and the country’s investment in cryptocurrency will bring economic prosperity, most Venezuelans still living under Socialist rule are only concerned with getting by day to day.

“What worries me is how we’ll eat, the truth is that the way things are going, I really don’t know,” said Betzabeth Linares, a 47-year-old resident of Valencia while speaking to Reuters.
In Venezuela, food buys you...

Upper Class Heroes

Why don't Democrats ike the working class?
Supporters of lucrative taxpayer-funded payoffs often argue that these deals improve city and state economies and add billions in new investment income to areas that need more cash. The truth, however, is that these enormous incentive packages have to be paid for by someone, and that “someone” is typically working-class people, middle-income families, and small businesses, all of whom pay their taxes every year without receiving the same kind of special government favors companies like Amazon enjoy.

And what about the working-class residents of cities such as Newark? When companies like Amazon move into town and drive the cost of living through the roof, lower-income families end up getting pushed out of their neighborhoods and driven into adjacent communities. The price of virtually everything rises. Taxes typically increase, too, to pay for the taxpayer incentives given to millionaires and billionaires. In the end, lower-income people often receive few, if any, advantages from these deals.
But it's still for their own good...

Sunday, August 19, 2018

In His Own Defense

A gay man is the latest victim of the outrage mob:
“Not all republicans are racist. Just like not all democrars [sic] are evil, we have to stop demonizing each other,” he continued. “Unless you’re actually racist then you suck, Trump is Racist – not all his voters are necessarily we gotta remember we are all in this together.”
....

Van Ness refused to back down on his claims, arguing that the only way to heal the political divide is through compromise and mutual understanding.

“Being able to compromise is what’s missing from both sides of the American political situation & the sooner we all get to a place of mutual understanding the sooner we will get out of this mess,” he wrote.
Unfortunately, the mob doesn't want understanding...

The Shadow Ban Knows

Twitter's CEO admits that they're biased:
He explained that Twitter’s definition of “shadow banning” is “hiding tweets from everyone without that person [who published the tweet] knowing about it.” But he denied “doing something behind political ideology or viewpoints,” claiming that’s the “real question behind the question.”

“We are not — period. We do not look at content with regards to political viewpoint or ideology. We look at behavior,” he said.

Later in the interview, which is set to air in its entirety on Sunday, Dorsey said it is paramount that Twitter’s editorial decisions are transparent.

“We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is left — more left-leaning,” he said. “We need to remove all bias from how we act and our policies and our enforcement and our tools.”
Except when they allow it from the shadows...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Milk Wars

No soda for you:
Under the bill, kids aren’t prohibited from consuming or ordering alternative beverages “if the purchaser requests one,” but eateries can’t advertise that kids meals include any drink selections other than “water, sparking water, or flavored water, as specified, or unflavored milk or a nondairy milk alternative.”

The bill has passed the California Senate and Assembly and is awaiting the governor’s signature. The bill was authored by state Sen. Bill Monning (D) and is backed by the American Heart and Stroke Association, MomsRising, Public Health Advocates, YMCA, and the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California.

The American Cancer Society also supports the legislation. Spokeswoman Stephanie Winn told KOVR-TV, “Cancer is fought in the halls of government, not just in the halls of the hospital.”
Only the government can cure you, or else...

The Jones Fix

Bill Maher defends Alex Jones' right to be a loon:

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Poop Police Are Here

The streets of San Francisco need cleaning:
The poop problem is so bad that San Franciscans have grown accustomed to watching their step to avoid piles of the nasty stuff. And now, the city has approved a new squad of sanitation employees to take care of the waste matter in neighborhoods where the issue has gotten particularly out of hand.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed spoke with Heather Knight of the San Francisco Chronicle about the new team of poop cleaners: “I’ve been talking to the Department of Public Works director on a regular basis, and I’m like, ‘What are we going to do about the poop?’” she said.

“[Public Works director Mohammed Nuru] and I talked about coming up with some different solutions,” she explained. “I just want the city to be clean, and I want to make sure we’re providing the resources so that it can be.”
It's a dirty job...

They Heart Socialism

Maybe they'll grow out of it:
The Gallup report, which was published on August 13, details American attitudes on socialism and capitalism. The results specifically identified that positive attitude towards socialism amongst millennials. The majority of Americans, aged 18 to 29, now prefer socialism to capitalism.

Americans aged 18 to 29 are as positive about socialism (51%) as they are about capitalism (45%). This represents a 12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively. Meanwhile, young people’s views of socialism have fluctuated somewhat from year to year, but the 51% with a positive view today is the same as in 2010.
....

The Gallup poll revealed that older Americans have a much more negative view on socialism. This may be a consequence of the failures of socialist systems around the globe in the 20th century. Younger people, still, often point to the Scandinavian countries for their success with the Nordic model of socialism, which involves a welfare state and collective bargaining at the national level on top of free market capitalism.
But even the Scandinavians are becoming skeptical. And there's always Venezuela as an example...

Make Gaffes Great Again

When you've lost MSNBC:

New Order In The Court

Is change finally coming to the Ninth Circus?
Since Trump took office, the Senate has confirmed only one 9th Circuit judge — in Hawaii — leaving seven openings. A nominee in Oregon was abruptly withdrawn last month when it became clear he lacked the votes for Senate approval.

And Trump has yet to even nominate anyone for the three vacancies in California, partly because of a standoff with Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.

But there are signs that the administration is beginning to set its sights on the 9th Circuit, likely triggering a bruising fight with Democrats.

For one thing, Trump is running out of vacancies in other circuits, particularly in conservative states where confirmation is easier.

"They've been focusing on lower-hanging fruit," said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. "After a while there are only so many seats to fill."

More than half of the 13 vacancies remaining nationwide are on the 9th Circuit.
Here come the judges?

Going In Style

The rich die differently than the rest of us:
Some are being serenaded by gospel choirs in great halls, amid a sea of their favorite flowers flown in by private jet. Others are flying loved ones abroad to watch as their body is pushed out to sea like Viking warriors and the boat set ablaze.

“Whatever we can do that is legal, lawful and in keeping with the integrity of our profession, we will do,” said William Villanova, general manager of Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel, New York’s “undertaker to the stars.”

David Monn has planned some of the most high-profile funerals, including Oscar de la Renta’s star-studded service at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in 2014.

At the recent funeral of another fashion designer, he assembled 120 gospel singers who performed as the casket was carried from the hall. He arranged for a marching band to perform at one service, and once covered Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in blue hydrangeas to mirror his client’s Hamptons home.
One last send-off...

Soul Space

Aretha Franklin goes on:
Even though 249516 Aretha was first detected in 2001, it was not formally designated an asteroid until February 2010. To determine if a space rock is indeed an asteroid, astronomers must observe it dozens of times to figure out its orbit and other properties. After that, discoverers like Mainzer are free to submit potential names to the Minor Planet Center, the global organization that collects observational data for all known and suspected asteroids and comets. The names are then judged and chosen by a 15-person committee at the International Astronomical Union.

249516 Aretha measures two to three kilometers, or less than two miles, across. It orbits between Mars and Jupiter, one of hundreds of thousands of known asteroids that reside between the two planets. It takes about five and a half years to make one trip around the sun.
The other rocks are in good company...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A Robot Star Is Born

Thus it begins:
The move is controversial but not necessarily surprising as advancing technology is poised to take over more jobs traditionally done by human labor.

Why are they doing this?

The idea was dreamed up by Kaye and his producer, Sam Khoze, Deadline Hollywood reported. They decided to use a physical AI robot as an actor in the film, rather than use computerized special effects. They are hoping the move will grab the attention of the Screen Actors Guild, Deadline Hollywood said.

Kaye plans to train the robot on “different acting methods and techniques.”
It couldn't be worse than some meatbag actors...

The Free Press

Not everyone is joining the "resistance":
This is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry. He has, and we have written about it on numerous occasions. As early as April 2017, we wrote this as part of a full-page editorial on “Trump’s War on Journalism”:

“Trump’s strategy is pretty clear: By branding reporters as liars, he apparently hopes to discredit, disrupt or bully into silence anyone who challenges his version of reality. By undermining trust in news organizations and delegitimizing journalism and muddling the facts so that Americans no longer know who to believe, he can deny and distract and help push his administration’s far-fetched storyline.”

We still believe that. Nevertheless, the editorial board decided not to write about the subject on this particular Thursday because we cherish our independence.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board does not speak for the New York Times or for the Boston Globe or the Chicago Tribune or the Denver Post. We share certain opinions with those newspapers; we disagree on other things. Even when we do agree with another editorial page — on the death penalty or climate change or war in Afghanistan, say — we reach our own decisions and positions after careful consultation and deliberation among ourselves, and then we write our own editorials. We would not want to leave the impression that we take our lead from others, or that we engage in groupthink.
No marching orders for them...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Let Them Eat Lawsuits

Colorado is at it again:
Phillips and his attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) say the Commission has revived its campaign against him following June’s high court decision, singling Masterpiece Cakeshop out for disparate treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs.

“The state of Colorado is ignoring the message of the U.S. Supreme Court by continuing to single out Jack for punishment and to exhibit hostility toward his religious beliefs,” said Kristen Waggoner, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney who represents Phillips. “Even though Jack serves all customers and simply declines to create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in violation of his deeply held beliefs, the government is intent on destroying him — something the Supreme Court has already told it not to do.”
Sorry, Colorado-you still can't have your gay wedding cake and eat it, too...

Dog Days

It's the latest Trump outrage:
Williams argued that Trump’s “dog” insults clearly show that he isn’t a fan of the domestic animal and probably doesn’t like pets at all.

“Does this president really physically not like dogs?” Williams asked his guest, The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker, with disdain.

“That’s right, Brian. He’s actually the first president in more than 100 years that’s not had a dog as a pet in the White House,” Rucker reported, adding that Trump’s first wife had a poodle that wasn’t a big fan of the then-businessman.

Williams said that his team “launched an extensive web search” to find photos of Trump with dogs and could only find one.

“It took us at least a few minutes and we could only find one photo … of Donald Trump with a dog,” Williams claimed, noting that Trump is a “germaphobe.”
Oh, the horror of not being a dog lover...

The Party's Over

The revolution will be subsidized:
Prosecutors said Shuler signed up for disability benefits saying she is unable to work, even though she is not disabled. They also noted that she has been working in a fast food business during the time she said she could not work and that she took at least $36,000 in disability payments.

“There’s evidence she defrauded the government, and no matter who you are the government brings charges,” Beth Leahy, deputy chief of Health Care Fraud, told the media.

“When asked about the quality of life, she said that she couldn’t, rarely cook any meals and that her cousin cooked for her. In reality, Ms. Shuler was running a food take-out business for Country Cookin’,” Leahy added.
Do you want checks with that?

Poop Pay

A poop payout?
According to his resignation agreement, Tramaglini will be on paid leave until September 30, when he will be forced to resign from the position. “From the date of execution of this Separation Agreement by Tramaglini and the Board President, Tramaglini will remain on a paid leave of absence for personal reasons through Sept. 30, 2018,” the agreement reads. “During such time, he shall not report to work, perform any of the duties of, nor have any of the responsibilities of the position of Superintendent of Schools of the Kenilworth School District.”

It still isn’t entirely clear why Tramaglini was regularly pooping on the Holmdel High School track. He was charged on May 1 with defecating in public after local police set up surveillance cameras to determine who was behind the steady stream of human feces that had appearing each day.
It's apparently good work if you can get it...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Roaring Silence

Where are the Democrats?
Monahan claims to have a video of Ellison dragging her off of a bed and yelling expletives at her. She told CNN that she misplaced the thumb drive with the video on it while moving, but three of her friends (who remained anonymous) said that Monahan told them about the alleged incident in the months after she moved out of his apartment.

Ellison, who is running for Minnesota attorney general and faces two opponents in Tuesday’s primary, has denied the allegations and said that the video doesn’t exist. (RELATED: Liberal Women’s Group Calls On Ellison To Resign From Congress, Drop Out Of AG Race)

But three days after Ellison was first accused of abusing a woman, the DNC has declined to take any position on the allegations.
Perhaps because they know they're in no position to defend?

Worst Employee Ever

Nobody liked her:
At 24 years of age, she scored an entry-level, $25,000-per-year post replying to invitations for the vice president. According to The Times, she left a mound of 13 months-worth of unanswered correspondence addressed to Gore below her desk.

People Magazine reported a former staffer said, “she didn’t do her job, and it got everybody in trouble.”

“She was the worst hire we ever made,” Mary Margaret Overbey, Gore’s former office administrator told The Times.

Manigault was then moved to the Clinton White House to the position of deputy associate director of presidential personnel. She only lasted eight months in that job until she was transferred out of the White House all together to the Commerce Department.

There, Cheryl Shavers, who served as the Department’s undersecretary for technology, described Manigault to The Times as “unqualified and disruptive,” so she “had her removed.” Savers also told People Magazine in 2004 that “One woman wanted to slug her.”
Now everybody does...

Monday, August 13, 2018

Green Cooking

A panel does not an more affordable home make:
The new mandate was the latest in California’s bid to be a leader in renewable energy development. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, a major proponent of climate change legislation, has continually pushed for a higher renewable energy mix in the state while attempting to phase out coal generation.

Besides touting the environmental benefits that would come with such a mandate, the California Energy Commission argued that it would ultimately save residents money. However, one policy expert has dumped cold water on those claims.

Steven Sexton, an assistant professor of public policy and economics at Duke University, outlined where the Commission relied on biased analysis and made flimsy assumptions on what the future costs of solar technology would be — mistakes that don’t reveal the true costs of owning solar panel, according to him.

“Though the solar mandate is unlikely to deliver huge savings to consumers, it certainly will raise the price of new and old homes,” Sexton wrote in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
Going green isn't always worth the money...

Reds And Blues

At least they're being honest:
The major shift, Gallup says, has been that Democrats have lost faith in capitalism — even as the economy has exceeded 4.1% growth and unemployment has hit all-time lows:

Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year — lower than in any of the three previous measures. Republicans remain much more positive about capitalism [71%] than about socialism [16%], with little sustained change in their views of either since 2010.

The poll mentions Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has become a national figure since defeating incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary race in New York while running as an unabashed “democratic socialist.”

Gallup notes that there has been “12-point decline in young adults’ positive views of capitalism in just the past two years and a marked shift since 2010, when 68% viewed it positively.” That result comes in spite of growing opportunity for young people in the growing economy.
Socialists never want others to have their own opportunities...

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Striking Out

The EU don't need no stinkin' matches:
The matches, which can be ignited against most surfaces, are being phased out to make them safer.

The controversial EU diktat, which came into force at the end of May, bans the sale of chemicals used to make the matches.

Swan Vestas, the best known brand, confirmed its 'strike anywhere' range was being discontinued.

The products are being replaced by safety matches, which can only be struck on the strip attached to the packet.
First, they came for the straws...

Cortez The Campaign Killer

Maybe she should just keep doing what she's doing:
Returns published by the New York Times show Cortez’s preferred candidate, Kaniela Ing, came in a distant FIFTH in a field of seven candidates.

Ing captured a measly 6.1 percent of the vote, compared to the winner, Ed Case, who won 40.4 percent.

The socialist Cortez pulled off a stunning victory New York’s June primary, and is now attempting to parlay that win into helping other leftists win Democratic primaries — but that’s not quite panning out.
Revolutions don't often go the way they're supposed to...

The Second Coming Of Alex Jones

what doesn't ban him, makes him stronger:
InfoWars continues to see more than 1 million page visits per day and has trended upward this month, according to Amazon’s Alexa website traffic report, which also said InfoWars averages more than 25 million page views per month.

Consumers still can access InfoWars through the same tech companies that just banned it. Google still offers the Infowars app for Android users, and Apple customers can download it through the App Store.

As of Friday, the show’s phone app remained near the top of the charts in both the Apple App and Google Play stores. Infowars Official, an app that lets viewers stream Jones’ shows and read news of the day, was ranked fourth among trending apps in the Google Play store Friday. In the news category on Apple’s App Store, Infowars earned the fourth slot under the top free apps, behind Twitter and News Break, a local and breaking news service, revealing a sudden boost of user downloads.
If you don't like someone, ignore them. Censoring them only gives them a stronger case...

Camera Fodder

This is how NBC feels about its own reporters:
Things got super-heated when one Antifa protestor shouted “F**k you, snitch a** news b**ch. F**k you” and tried to either pull the camera away from the person using it or knock it to the ground. It was unclear in the video.

Despite the video evidence on the ground from their own reporter, NBC went to Garrett Haake, who was at the White House in anticipation of violence there as another white supremacist rally was set to be held. “Overnight, tense moments in the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, far left protesters heckling the media and chanting anti-police slogans,” he suggested at the top of his report. They actually used footage Perry and his crew shot but didn't show anything from their attack.
Everyone is expendable...

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Dead Dinosaur Dollars

The DNC finds a new way to make some quick cash:
DNC Chairman Tom Perez sponsored Friday’s resolution that allows the committee to accept contributions from “workers, including those in energy and related industries, who organize and donate to Democratic candidates individually or through their unions’ or employers’ political action committees.”

Perez, who served as Labor Secretary in the Obama administration, said the new measure was a commitment to organized labor. The resolution also says that the party wants “to support fossil fuel workers in an evolving energy economy.”
Read: They need the money; climate change no longer helps. Not that it did in the first place...

Liars Versus Censors

Why free speech is bad, according to liberals:
Hudson cited numerous studies that promote the idea that once people have believed false information, presenting them with the correct information later could just entrench them more deeply in the false belief.

Therefore, Hudson argues, social media sites like Twitter have an obligation to carefully police the speech on their platforms to limit the amplification and exposure of poisonous ideas.

“Instead, far too many of the biggest social platforms continue to tie themselves — and, by extension, their millions of users — to the railroad tracks of unfettered speech, more fearful of exuding a whiff of censorship than the oncoming train of misinformation and hate that is already barreling down upon us,” Hudson wrote.

Hudson says the First Amendment was meant to protect the public from state oppression, meaning it should not necessarily apply to what a company like Twitter allows to be posted.

“Twitter does not have the power to throw people into prison; indeed, the greater potential threat Twitter poses to the public is not its ability to lock someone’s account if they use racial slurs, but the harm it has done, and is doing, by feeding its oxygen to the ugliest and most destructive elements of society — ones that better and more civilized communities and platforms would quickly banish for the good not only of its most vulnerable members, but for discourse at large,” Hudson wrote.
He's right-Twitter is not necessarily bound by the same laws as the government-but even liars have the right to speak-after all, politicians do it all the time...

Friday, August 10, 2018

Go West

Ye is not afraid:

Nancy's Last Stand

Are these the final days?
The list of candidates refusing to support the California Democrat for speaker -- or refusing to state their position -- has steadily grown, though estimates vary.

The Washington Post counts at least 27 Democratic House candidates who won't commit support.

Another count published by NBC News says over 50 Democratic candidates and incumbents would not support Pelosi for speaker —should the party take back the 23-seat majority from Republicans.

Rashida Tlaib, who just won a House Democratic primary in Michigan, was the latest to come out against Pelosi for speaker.

“Probably not. That’s my answer, no. Probably not,” Tlaib said on CNN’s “New Day” Thursday when asked if she would support Pelosi in a vote for speaker. “For me, I need someone that, again, is connected with the different levels of poverty going on, the fact that there are structures and barriers for working families in my district that need to be dismantled, and supporting big banks and supporting efforts that I don’t think put the people first is troubling.”

Tlaib said constituents in the district she hopes to represent—the Detroit metro area—don’t feel like they are “being heard” in Washington.

“I think that starts at the top with leadership,” Tlaib said.
Is she listening now?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Popularity Contest

The scars get a popularity award:
The new film category quickly drew negative attention, with “popular film” becoming a trending topic on Twitter by Wednesday afternoon.

“Five Came Back” author Mark Harris tweeted that the popular film award, “Is a ghetto and will be perceived that way.”

Actor Rob Lowe tweeted that “The film business passed away today with the announcement of the “popular” film Oscar. It had been in poor health for a number of years. It is survived by sequels, tent-poles, and vertical integration.”

The addition of the popular film category, a clear effort to attract a larger audience to the ABC broadcast by honoring bigger and more seen films, led many to wonder whether a film like “Black Panther” would be ineligible for best picture and relegated to the popular film award because of its size and success, or lead to inadvertent segmenting by film academy voters.
Popularity might not be what it's cracked up to be...

The James Gang

LeBron James for Education Secretary?
The petition seems to be more an attack on current Secretary, Betsy DeVos, than it is an endorsement of James. The petition attacks DeVos as “a scandal-ridden Republican donor who shows an inexcusable dislike for public education, wants to gut protections for women and minorities, and has advocated for teachers to be armed in schools.”

Of course, DeVos may have a “dislike” for teachers unions, but not for “public education.”

On the other hand, the petition praises James as a “highly respected and extremely influential community advocate and activist who recently opened a state-of-the-art public school for at-risk children.”

Many left-wingers were thrilled when James announced that he would fund his “I Promise” school for at-risk kids in Akron, Ohio. However, news broke this week that, while James will fund roughly 25% of the school costs, taxpayers will be on the hook for at least eight million dollars for its operations.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste on liberalism...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Who Pays For Whom?

Can she even answer the question?
Ocasio-Cortez was being interviewed on the podcast “Pod Save America” earlier this week when the host referenced arguments against her ideas due to their cost. The interviewer asked her to respond to those arguments. Ocasio-Cortez wants single-payer, government-run health care and free college education for all Americans, along with a federal jobs guarantee.

Ocasio-Cortez shrugged off the question saying, “They say, ‘How are you going to pay for it?’ As though they haven’t used these same ways to pay for unlimited wars, to pay for trillion-dollar tax cuts and tax cut extensions.”

“They use these mechanisms to pay for these things all the time,” she continued. “It just seems like their pockets are only empty when were talking about … investing in human capital in the United States, investing in education, health care, housing and investing in the middle class.”
And yet again-who pays?

The New Brownshirts

The silence is deafening:

Blue Bust

Whatever happened to Bernie Sanders?
Emerging from the 2016 election, Sanders’ political prospects appeared to hinge on his ability to sway the Democratic Party’s left flank. And Sanders’ campaign is widely considered instrumental in a recent surge in small donors and young people registering to vote, and in the elevation of issues such as student debt and universal health care.

Yet in high-profile races across the country, Sanders-backed candidates continue to falter at the ballot box. The losses suggest organizational weaknesses that could hamper Sanders if he runs for president again in 2020 — even as a diaspora of Sanders-aligned candidates continues to test his appeal in the midterm elections.
Judging by the results, the appeal seems to be lacking...

Little Green Man

Blame it on the aliens?
Joe Manchik also says he's descended from aliens and hails from the town of Hell, Michigan.

In Tuesday's closely watched special election, 1,127 Ohioans chose him over Republican Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O'Connor.

Balderson's apparent margin of victory was just 1,754 votes. Presuming Manchik's base would otherwise have been O'Connor supporters, the result without him would have been a hair's-width away from triggering an automatic recount.
His home planet was unavailable for comment...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Don't Worry, Be Unhappy

Being too happy can be bad for you:
Scientists created stressful situations in lab experiments, telling 36 young men and women they had to give a surprise speech in public.

They then asked the research subjects to estimate their likelihood of experiencing 40 different adverse events in their life such as being involved in a car accident or becoming a victim of card fraud.

The volunteers were then given either good or bad news like being told their likelihood of experiencing these events was lower or higher than they had estimated.

The group given bad news showed higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

And the scientists noted they became better at processing the bad news.
What doesn't make you happy, makes you stronger?

Angry Birds

When birds won't sing:
The most visible results emerged after they paired males for two days with a female who had been dosed with prozac, with changes in typical behaviour.

"Singing is a key part of courtship for birds, used by males to court favoured females and used by females to choose the highest quality male to father their chicks," said Sophia Whitlock, researcher on the project.

"Males sang more than twice as often and as long to untreated females compared to females that had been receiving low doses of Prozac."

Meanwhile, instead of courting them, males were more likely to chase, peck or claw the female starlings on Prozac.

"Our findings suggest that exposure to an antidepressant reduced female attractiveness," the study's authors wrote.
Maybe alcohol would have the reverse effect? It seems to do so with humans...

The Annoying Age

Why Bret Easton Ellis doesn't like liberals:
I have never seen liberals be more annoying than they are now. These last few weeks really were a flipping point for me, with the depression over the Supreme Court and the way the detention centers were being spun by the liberal media. It’s obviously a game. Here’s Rachel Maddow crying on TV, and pictures of Trump detention centers. My stepfather, who is a Polish Jew, had his entire family wiped out when he was an infant. Throwing around words like Nazi, Gestapo and comparisons to Weimar Germany is like, “Really guys? You’re going there?” I’ve had enough. I think there’s a reason why the #WalkAway movement is getting it’s ten seconds of fame, because there’s a real reaction toward the stridency of how Democrats are expressing their disappointment. It’s turning a lot of people off.
When you turn people off, they tune you out...

Monday, August 6, 2018

An Honest Progressive

In looking at a city councilman's recent remarks, the bigger issue remains:
For the entirety of our history, the individual has been at war with the state over the question of liberty vs. control. In a rational society, there are sacrifices individuals make for the good of the community. Liberty, after all, must have limits or anarchy reigns. So for 230 years, we have battled each other over differing concepts of individual liberty and the limits of state power.

Lately, individual liberty has been getting squeezed by a cadre of statists who believe they have been born with the right to tell everyone else what to do and how to live their lives. To enforce this belief, they have hijacked the enormous power of the state, nibbling away at individual rights in the name of "community."

They couch their tyranny in soothing words, but the result is catastrophic for liberty. In truth, many Americans have abandoned ideas like personal responsibility and freedom of choice. It's so much easier to be told what to do -- to be ordered around like children.
When are we going to grow up?

Toxic Bums

Homeless men are sexist, or something:
During interviews with homeless men, Dej claims she learned that many aspire to “hegemonic masculinity,” which she defines as the type of masculinity that serves to “fortify the dominance of men” and ultimately “subordinate women.”

However, she finds that it is difficult for homeless men to achieve this. Without the trappings of a successful life — such as a home or a career— many men instead develop what Dej refers to as “compensatory masculinity” to cope with their failed status.

This type of masculinity is worse than hegemonic masculinity, though not yet as bad as toxic masculinity, and it involves men “emphasizing whatever hypermasculine traits they can within their stratified social status” to the detriment, allegedly, of women.
I wasn't aware that homeless men had much of a social stratus to begin with...

Equality Under The Economy

Sorry, Nancy, but things aren't getting worse:
Furman was not responding personally to Pelosi, and his essay pre-dates her tweet by several days, but he addresses an argument she has made repeatedly as one good jobs report after another has rolled in — namely, that current economic policy favors the rich.

Of the June jobs report, for example — which showed Hispanic unemployment at the lowest ever, and black unemployment at the second-lowest — Pelosi wrote that the economy was “being hollowed out to enrich big corporations & the wealthiest 1 percent.”

The idea that Republican help the rich and hurt the poor is a staple of Democratic Party propaganda. But Furman, crunching the actual numbers, notes: “In the past three years, workers in the bottom two-fifths of the income distribution have seen comparable or faster real wage growth than they did in the late 1990s. Higher earners, meanwhile, have seen much slower wage growth than they did in the 1990s.”
The wages of prosperity keep rising...

First What?

We is dumb:
The annual survey from the Freedom Forum Institute found that 23 percent of Americans believe the First Amendment “goes too far” but 74 percent of Americans disagreed — yet 40 percent could not name even one right First Amendment protects.

In fact, the First Amendment guarantees Americans five explicit rights:

free exercise of religion,
freedom of speech,
freedom to assemble,
freedom of the press, and
freedom to petition the government.

Of the 1,009 American adults surveyed, only 36 percent could correctly name one First Amendment right, only 12 percent could name two, and all five? Just one respondent correctly recalled each of the five rights protected by the First Amendment.
These are the people the Left has been waiting for...

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Send In The Clones

An army of Mini Mes?
“Kim Jong-Un is obsessed with the idea of recreating his grandfather. He wants to bring him back to life to demonstrate to the people the enormity of his power.

“Human cloning is probably the only area of science where North Korea leads the world but it is very secret.

“Almost all of the intelligence comes from people who worked in the labs and managed to defect.

"For all we know, they may have already achieved it.”
Even if this were true, could Kim trust his own clones?

Attack Of The Drones

Who or what tried to take out Maduro?
President Nicolas Maduro is blaming far-right factions in Venezuela for what he is describing as an assassination attempt.

In an address to the nation Saturday, Maduro said: "This was an attempt to kill me. Today they attempted to assassinate me."

He said evidence gathered thus far "points to the far right" working in conjunction with Colombians in the neighboring Andean nation.

Maduro said he believed Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was also responsible.

He added police had made arrests in the incident but did not immediately provide any further details.

Colombians officials have not yet commented on the accusation. Santos has become one of Maduro's most outspoken critics.
He needs somebody to blame besides himself for ruining his country...

Fake News Welcome Here

The online mob wins again:
The Newseum has removed the "You Are Very Fake News" t-shirts from the gift shop and online. We made a mistake and we apologize. A free press is an essential part of our democracy and journalists are not the enemy of the people.
Questions have also been raised regarding other merchandise. As an organization that celebrates the rights of people from all political spectrums to express themselves freely, we’ve historically made all types of political merchandise available for our guests to purchase. That has included former and current presidential slogans and imagery and merchandise from all political parties. We continue to do so in celebration of freedom of speech.
Except for those who disagree...

Everything Is Just Fine

CBS tires to deal with another black eye:
“The scope of what I can talk about is limited,” Kahl tried to conclude, with an eye to legalities, as was the case on the Moonves-participating CBS quarterly earnings call last week. “There is nothing more I can say about Les or the situation.”

If the exec thought that his opening remarks were going to effectively shut down further queries about the half-dozen sexual misconduct allegations against Moonves, Kahl was mistaken. Question after question relentlessly took aim at the claims, the culture at the supposedly zero tolerance policy CBS and the on-going investigations.

It was, understandably, a far far cry from the standing ovation that Moonves himself received when he walked on-stage at CBS’ Upfront Presentation on May 16 with his “how’s your week been?” quip. That was a sarcastic reference to the then smoldering legal battle and Board showdown with Shari Redstone and National Amusement over the future of the company and possible merger with Viacom.
Remember when all they had to worry about were fake Kinko's documents?

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Spy Behind The Wheel

Diane Feinstein may have hired a spy:
Politico reported that the staffer allegedly delivered non-top-secret political intelligence to Chinese consulate officials in San Francisco. Five years ago, the FBI told Feinstein—who served as chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee—that her staffer was a spy.

The California Democrat was reportedly “mortified” by the news and fired the staffer but did not disclose the news to the rest of her staff.

The FBI could not charge the individual with espionage because none of what he leaked was considered to be classified information, making it difficult for the agency to prosecute him.
Always check your driver...

Happy O-Day

In case anyone cares, it's Obama Day:
The bill marking Aug. 4 as “Barack Obama Day” throughout the state was enacted without making the date a full-scale holiday.

The Illinois House narrowly rejected a plan to make Obama’s birthday a state holiday amid worries that the cash-strapped state could not afford to give state state employees another paid day off.

Obama turned 57.

The law hailed Obama’s efforts to protect the rights of Americans and build “bridges across communities.”

"It's incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it's awesome, and I think we should celebrate it," Gov. Bruce Rauner said in signing the measure into law, according to The Hill. "I don't think it should be a formal holiday with paid, forced time off, but I think it should be a day of acknowledgment and celebration."
I guess people in Illinois are looking for any excuse to have a party...

Friday, August 3, 2018

Walk Of Shame

You have to admit, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference:
According to BuzzFeed, the tool identified 17 criminals from the most wanted list as celebrities with a 95-100 percent confidence rating. The celebrities matched to inmates included Jerry Garcia, actor Kim Coates and painter Bob Ross. The database also identified the mugshot of an arrested black man as a photo of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with a confidence level of 96 percent.

Amazon reportedly replied to a request for comment from BuzzFeed by stating that their celebrity recognition tool is different from their broader facial recognition platform, Rekognition, which Amazon claims would not have returned the same results. The celebrity facial recognition tool was designed for entertainment, Amazon claimed, and said that it was not a facial recognition system but rather a “classification” system.

A spokesperson for Amazon Web Services said in a statement to The Hill: “As we shared with Buzzfeed, this is a silly article that seems more designed to drive clicks than to educate people who use machine learning.” Amazon stated that their celebrity “detection model” is trained to recognize celebrities that “frequently disguise themselves to look like others (including criminals),” adding it was also “optimized to return celebrity matches.”
In prison, nobody cares who you look like...

No Humor For You

Satire is officially dead in the UK:
Bizarrely, the interim report into “fake news” from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee – which is made up of anti-Brexit MPs – also says satire and parody should be included in the definition of ‘Fake News’.

It further calls for all political ads to be registered, massively increased fines for perceived wrongs during campaigns, and social media platforms to be held responsible for ‘fake news’ on their platforms.

All social media firms should pay out for re-educating people, it says, with government pushing “for an educational levy to be raised by social media companies, to finance a comprehensive media educational framework”.
Who needs Monty Python when real life gets there first?