Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Why Did Ye Do It?

The artist formerly known as Kanye West may have felt used for a different reason:
a new article in trade paper Footwear News is devastating to Kanye’s sneaker brand Yeezy. The article cites a study done by Spotted.com and states: “Kanye’s behavior has also had a large impact on consumers’ perception of him, with Spotted’s data showing that consumers see Kanye as “wacky,” ranking higher than 97 percent of other celebrities for this attribute.”

More from the article:

According to Comenos — whether solo or with the Kardashians by his side — Spotted does not find West’s fame to be worth the danger.

“Overall, he’s an extremely risky choice, and not someone I’d be recommending to a brand in the fashion space…There are a lot celebrities out there that can help a brand be perceived as more edgy — and they don’t have these other negative qualities [such as being] erratic, rebellious or negatively outspoken, where Kanye ranks high.”
Too crazy for their cash?

Black Magic Woman

She wishes she had the power:
"If I had a magic wand, I would raise taxes and cut retirement spending," Yellen told CNBC's Steve Liesman at the Charles Schwab Impact conference in Washington, D.C., who characterized the U.S. debt path as "unsustainable."

The U.S. fiscal deficit rose to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, up 17 percent from the previous fiscal year. This happened after President Donald Trump signed a bill late last year slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent. Spending levels climbed to their highest in six years while revenue only increased slightly.

Yellen noted this will only get worse as more baby boomers retire and spending on retirement and health care programs grow.
She's right-but the answer is less spending, not more taxes...

The Egos Have Landed

Jon Stewart concedes:
“I think that journalists have taken it personally, they are personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them, and they dive in,” Stewart replied. “What he’s done well, I thought, is appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego, because when he [attacks the media], they say, we are noble, we are honorable, how dare you, sir! And they take it personally.”

He continued by explaining why this hurts the news cycle: “Now, he’s changed the conversation to not that his policies are silly or not working or any of those other things, it’s all about the fight and he’s able to tune out everything else and get people just focused on the fight, and he’s going to win that fight.”
Making the conversation great again?

Scare Tactics

Is the moment finally upon us?
Since mid-August, he may have been locked in proceedings with Trump and his lawyers over a grand jury subpoena—in secret litigation that could tell us by December whether the president will testify before Mueller’s grand jury.

The evidence lies in obscure docket entries at the clerk’s office for the D.C. Circuit. Thanks to Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn, we know that on August 16 (the day after Giuliani said he was almost finished with his memorandum, remember), a sealed grand jury case was initiated in the D.C. federal district court before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. We know that on September 19, Howell issued a ruling and five days later one of the parties appealed to the D.C. Circuit. And, thanks to Politico’s reporting, we know that the special counsel’s office is involved (because the reporter overheard a conversation in the clerk’s office). We can further deduce that the special counsel prevailed in the district court and that the presumptive grand jury witness has frantically appealed that order and sought special treatment from the judges of the D.C. Circuit—often referred to as the “second-most important court in the land.”
Has Mueller been biding his time long enough?

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Who Went There?

Never reveal the ending:
Savitsky — who had become an avid reader to pass the lonesome months at the isolated facility — was allegedly drinking when he flipped out over the repeated spoilers, according to the paper.

His motive centered on the fact that his partner “kept telling [him] the endings of books before he read them,” The Sun reported, citing an unnamed source.

Part of Beloguzov’s heart was injured during the attack, which was also fueled by “tensions in a confined space,” Russian authorities said last week.

Beloguzov was rushed to the nearest hospital, in Chile, and admitted to an intensive care unit. He is expected to survive.

Both men had spent year-long missions working together at the station, Alexander Klepikov, deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, told the Russian news outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda.
No spoilers for this one...

Bulger's Last Breath

A violent man meets a predictable end:
The former South Boston crime boss and longtime FBI informant was one of America’s most wanted criminals until his capture in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011 after more than 16 years on the run.

In 2013, a federal jury in Boston convicted him of participating in 11 murders in the 1970s and 1980s while running a sprawling criminal enterprise involved in gambling, extortion, and drug trafficking.

Bulger was transferred to US Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Fla., in 2014 from another high-security penitentiary in Arizona after his relationship with a female psychologist who was counseling him came under scrutiny.
His only relationship now will be with his maker...

Cream Of The Resistance

They scream for resistance cream:
The product’s description reads, “This Limited Batch flavor packs a powerful message along with its abundant nutty chunks!

“Together, we can build a tomorrow that is safe and welcoming for all people and peacefully resist the Trump administration’s discriminatory policies,” the description adds. “Pecan Resist supports four organizations that are working on the front lines of the peaceful resistance: Color of Change, Women’s March, Neta, and Honor the Earth. Together, Pecan Resist!”

According to USA Today, the pint itself reads “Welcome to the resistance. Together, Pecan Resist!” and “We celebrate the diversity of our glorious nation & raise our spoons in solidarity for all Americans. Take a stand & join those on the front lines.”
For that creamy, nutty flavor...

Mueller, Too?

Mueller stands accused:
The special counsel’s office’s attention to this scheme and its decision to release a rare statement about it indicates the seriousness with which the office is taking the purported plot to discredit Mueller in the middle of an ongoing investigation.

The special counsel’s office confirmed that the scheme was brought to its attention by several journalists who were told about it by a woman alleging that she herself had been offered roughly $20,000 by a man claiming to work for a firm called Surefire Intelligence—which was in turn hired by GOP activist named Jack Burkman—“to make accusations of sexual misconduct and workplace harassment against Robert Mueller.” The woman told journalists in an email, a copy of which I obtained, that she had worked for Mueller as a paralegal at the Pillsbury, Madison, and Sutro law firm in 1974, but that she “didn’t see” him much. “When I did see him, he was always very polite to me, and was never inappropriate,” the woman wrote. The law firm told me on late Tuesday afternoon, however, that it has “no record of this individual working for our firm.”
Another old, false claim?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Non-Members Only

Things don't quite go according to plan:
The program resulted in 49 new voters, which turned out to cost the city $6,326 each, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The paper called the effort “pretty much a bust the first time out.”

Local officials suggest residents who might otherwise consider registering are worried the Trump administration would learn their identities.

The voters are only able to vote in a school board race. John Arntz, the city elections chief, In San Francisco, noncitizens who opt to vote will be listed on a separate roster from citizens and will get a ballot with just the school board contest, city elections chief John Arntz said.
That's assuming any of them show up...

This Is...A Campaign Message

Thanks, CNN:

Her Again?

Maybe, maybe not:

Give Disunity A Chance

Can't they all just get along?
The partisan jabs began right away, starting with Stivers saying that the NRCC is “the only major party committee to cut off a candidate for their behavior,” a jab at his counterpart’s committee.

“A candidate in New Jersey, Seth Grossman, who said bigoted things, we cut him off, we’re the only committee to show that kind of leadership,” he said. “The Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee continues to support Leslie Coburn and Scott Wallace, who have said bigoted and anti-Semitic things, and I think we need to, we all bear some responsibility.”

Chuck Todd then immediately asked Rep. Stivers about the president’s tone on the idea of unity and coming together, and then asked Rep. Lujan about the accusation of the DCCC supporting candidates who “traffic in hate speech. Lujan only said “that’s not true,” before making his argument for both sides to “reach out” and appeal to a “greater good.”
Politicians gotta politicize...

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Who Killed Star Wars?

How the Dark Side won:
Oh, Kennedy and Company have some TV shows coming, but TV is still TV… In the arena of the big screen, where Star Wars truly belongs, Star Wars has one last gasp before it stares into the abyss, before it can no longer ride on the goodwill of the original trilogy and those beloved characters, who are all dead now.

Bottom line: without those Obi-Wan, Han Solo, Boba Fett spin-offs, after Episode IX hits theaters next Christmas, the Star Wars film franchise is looking dead in the water.

All Kennedy has lined up is the promise of two new trilogies, one being developed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who is dead to the hardcore Star Wars community because The Last Jedi sucked; and a separate trilogy in development by a couple of guys who did Game of Thrones.

That’s it, y’all.

It actually gets worse, because as she kills off our beloved characters (and those she doesn’t kill she turns into metrosexual-soy-boys), Star Wars has no characters to build a fourth trilogy from.
I always had a bad feeling about this...

Which Road Not Taken?

Have you been reading Robert Frost's poem wrong all this time?

The Heat's Back On?

Whatever happened to Eddie Murphy?
He was bigger than TV, more than just a comedian—attractive, charming, bright, arrogant—he was a star. Before a lot of us kids at the time wanted to be like Mike, we dreamed of being Eddie. Murphy didn’t have Richard Pryor’s rage or tenderness—he’s never delivered a performance like Pryor did in Blue Collar—but he was a crack mimic, and he invited us to join him, even the white audience he was teasing. Above all, Murphy was in control.
Now he's back doing the neutron dance?

The Architect's Auction

Frank Lloyd's stuff is now up for bid:
90% of the collection will go up for auction on November 1st, with previews of nearly 250 lots now listed online. They include everything from fragments of demolished Frank Lloyd Wright builds to a functioning foosball table from Mussolini-era Italy.

If you’re not familiar with Grannen’s story, it’s an interesting one. The son of two hobbyist antiquers in New Jersey, he spent his weekends as a kid exploring New York City’s museums and Tri-state estate sales in the 1970s. That led him to the University of Tennessee to study archaeology, though he eventually dropped out and moved to New Orleans to work for an antiques dealer.

He had a rough few years in the Big Easy, ending up in a rehab facility before he was 30. But he got clean, moved to Chicago and then built up the most prized antiques collection in the city over the course of three decades.
Who's up for some Foosball?

Nights At The Museum

A history of America's first huckster:
In the over 20 years that the first and greatest iteration of Barnum’s American Museum entertained the New York masses, the top showman gathered wonders both real and concocted from around the world.

There were displays of U.S. national history (relics from the Revolutionary War and War of 1812), exotic fossils and taxidermied specimens of natural history that were gathered from Barnum’s international travels (think birds, insects, reptiles, and animals), and a collection of precious stones and rare coins. Wax figures of important historical characters were exhibited as well as newfangled inventions to delight the viewing public.

Barnum, the king of fabulist creations, also assembled a few more creative displays, like a fossil of a Feejee Mermaid that was really the head of a monkey sewn onto the tail of a fish.
There really was one born every minute back then...

Last Meal And Testimonials

Who would you eat?
Ningen Restaurant, meaning “human restaurant,” opened in the city’s red light district this month, serving last meals requested by famous death row inmates like double-murderer Gary Mark Gilmore, who requested a hamburger, baked potato, hard-boiled egg and three Jack Daniels shots; “Black Widow” Judy Buonoano, who dined on asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes and strawberries; and a rendition of killer clown John Wayne Gacy’s bucket of KFC, french fries, pound of strawberries and fried shrimp – among others.
The last dinner appeal?

The Great Escape

Candace Owens explains Blexit:
Across America, black people are beginning to question political orthodoxy. We have been quietly building an ecosystem of free thinkers and at long last, the intellectual dam is breaking.

This unique moment will come to be known as BLEXIT: the black exit from the Democrat party.

For decades, the black community has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with the Democrat Party. Our fidelity to leftist politicians coupled with our false belief that a larger government might facilitate solutions, has led to the overall collapse of our families, neighborhoods, and incidentally, our futures.

BLEXIT is a national movement of minorities that have awakened to the truth. It is for those who have taken an objective look at our decades-long allegiance to the left and asked ourselves “what do we have to show for it?”
What, indeed?

Setting Sail

It's the new Titanic:
The Titanic II, a replica of the original “ship of dreams,” will be setting sail in 2022, following the same Southampton, England, to New York route the famed Titanic tried in 1912.

“The ship will follow the original journey, carrying passengers from Southampton to New York, but she will also circumnavigate the globe, inspiring and enchanting people while attracting unrivalled attention, intrigue and mystery in every port she visits,” Clive Palmer, chairman of Blue Star Line wrote in a statement.

The new luxury liner was announced in 2012 to honor the ship’s 100-year anniversary, but the inaugural voyage was ultimately postponed due to a reported financial dispute between Blue Star Line’s parent company, Mineralogy, and the Chinese government.
What could go wrong?

The Search Isn't Over

Google still being evil?
In August, Amazon banned the sale of a book that contained the code for a 3D-printed gun, but the online retailer still sells copies of The Anarchist Cookbook.

And Google’s first page of search results for pipe-bomb making instructions includes a text file with instructions written by Columbine shooter Eric Harris.

“Pipe bombs are some of the easiest and deadliest ways to kill a group of people,” Harris wrote. He recommended using shrapnel “if you want to kill and injure a lot of people.”

YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced in March that it would ban videos with instructions for assembling guns.

A Google spokeswoman said the company removes information from search only in certain circumstances, including if a court has deemed it illegal. No court has ruled the Harris instructions to be illegal, the spokeswoman pointed out.
Some extremists are more equal than others...

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Apu Is Out

He won't be coming again:
Indie film producer and Indian-American Adi Shankar attempted to raise fan support for a Simpsons episode that would deal with the show’s “Apu problem.”

However, that idea is set to die, as Shankar has reported, “I’ve verified from multiple sources now: They’re going to drop the Apu character altogether. They aren’t going to make a big deal out of it, or anything like that, but they’ll drop him altogether just to avoid the controversy.”

Shankar, however, says the sudden disappearance of a near 30-year-old character is a mistake. “If you are a show about cultural commentary and you are too afraid to comment on the culture, especially when it’s a component of the culture you had a hand in creating, then you are a show about cowardice,” Shankar said.
Cowards never prosper...

Too Much For Him

Well, yes, there is:

You Are What You Are?

We can all self-identify:

Mr. Clean

It wasn't because they didn't deserve it:
"They promised to take on corruption. Remember that?" Obama said while going after Trump and Republicans during a Democratic campaign event in Milwaukee.

"They have gone to Washington and just plundered away. In Washington, they have racked up enough indictments to field a football team," he said.

"Nobody in my administration got indicted."
Not yet, anyway...

Hate In Pittsburgh

So now we have this loon:
After bursting into the synagogue, Bowers fired three handguns and an AR-15 rifle indiscriminately screaming 'all Jews must die', according to witnesses.

Little is known about him but he made no attempt to conceal his antisemitism on the social media website Gab, beloved by users because it promises never to censor them or hinder their free speech. He had an active gun license and has bought six firearms since 1996.
....

Two days ago, he said there was no 'MAGA as there is a k*** [ethnic slur for a Jewish person] infestation'.

A photograph at the top of Bowers’ profile showed a machine with the numbers 1488 - a prolific white supremacist symbol - on it. He also previously wrote that he had never voted for Donald Trump, 'nor have I owned, worn or even touched a maga hat’.
Hate is hate no matter where it comes from-but will the Left ever own up to theirs?

Friday, October 26, 2018

Le Mask, Non

No mask, or no march:
The new bill was adopted by the Senate on Tuesday and specifically targets members of Antifa black bloc groups which often show up to protests to cause property damage and violence against political opponents and police, reports FranceInfo.

Willful concealment of protestors’ faces will now carry a proposed 15,000 euro fine and a prison sentence of up to one year. The bill also allows for authorities to ban individuals deemed harmful to the public good from protests entirely.

The new bill was proposed by the conservative Republicans but was rejected and voted against by the Communists, the Socialist party, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s Le Republique En Marche! (LREM).

“This bill clearly erases public freedoms, including the freedom to demonstrate,” said the chairman of the majority-Communist CRCE group. The comments were countered by Republican senator Catherine Troendle who said: “This in no way undermines the freedom to demonstrate but, on the contrary, is there to ensure the free exercise of it.”
Portland, Oregon, please take note...

The Lone Star Case

They needed to get out the dead vote:
Leticia Sanchez was charged with 17 felony counts of voter fraud following an investigation by Paxton’s office. Sanchez, 57, allegedly paid her co-defendants to target elderly voters in select northern Fort Worth precincts in the 2016 March Democrat Party primary election to affect the outcome of certain down-ballot candidate races.

The state’s newly filed notice of intent to introduce evidence in the Sanchez criminal case alleged that Stuart Clegg, then Tarrant County Democratic Party executive director, funded the alleged voter fraud ring’s criminal activities.

Breitbart obtained the court documents which stated that “after learning that state police investigators were in Tarrant County interviewing voters and members of her vote harvesting group,” Sanchez sent a text message to her daughter, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, “conveying a message from Sanchez and Stuart Clegg” that the others involved in the ring should not cooperate with investigators. The message, written in Spanish, told Tepichin to “advise immediately” that a group of “malicious people” were investigating “our work” and “our boss Mr. Stuart.” She also advised them that a lawyer was in charge of the matter and they should tell the lawyer immediately if they are approached by anyone with questions.
He'll also handle their appeals...

Bernie's Kids

The new Goldwaters?
despite Sanders’ ultimate failure to win the nomination, and the mixed fortunes of democratic socialists since, organizers on the left insist they are at the start of something big – even if that something takes time to materialize.

“One parallel could be when Barry Goldwater lost in 1964,” said Waleed Shahid, a director at Justice Democrats, a progressive organization that works to elect candidates like Ocasio-Cortez. Goldwater, a Republican, won just six states in the 1964 presidential election but his opposition to government intervention – including opposing the 1964 Civil Rights Act – arguably laid groundwork for the future of the GOP.

Shahid said: “There was a whole generation of conservative activists, organizers, intellectuals who felt emboldened to kind of plant the seeds of a movement, and that movement ultimately 16 years later led to Ronald Reagan.

“And I feel like when Bernie Sanders loss in 2016 is similar to that where I think that just ushered in a whole new generation of candidates, organizers, intellectuals who feel emboldened now.”
Except that the Goldwater conservatives had more of a winning argument...

Tesla Troubles

Tesla continues to tumble:
Tesla says the company has not received "a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process," but the Journal reported Friday that former Tesla employees have received subpoenas and requests for testimony.

Tesla struggled to ramp up Model 3 production as promised, plagued by factory issues and reports of unfit working conditions. Musk set lofty goals and insisted on sticking to them, according to countless media reports.

Federal agents are probing whether the company knowingly made public statements of impossible production goals, the Journal reported.
Musk is gone, but his legacy remains...

The Angry Bomber

The man behind the bombs?
Cesar Sayoc Jr., 56, who has been arrested before, was in custody, law enforcement officials said. DNA evidence played a role in the arrest, law enforcement told NBC News.

He was charged with five federal counts: Interstate transport of explosives, mailing of explosives, threats against a former president, making threatening interstate communications and assault of a current or former official.

Sayoc faces up to 58 years behind bars if convicted of all counts, officials said.

Sayoc has an extensive criminal past, records showed. He was arrested in 2002 for threatening to throw a bomb; he pleaded guilty and was given a special sentence in which probation was ordered but a formal conviction was not made. He was also arrested for theft in 1992 and 2014.
One more lunatic off the streets. Unfortunately there are more out there...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Welfare State

America becomes a welfare nation:
once we get to the point that a majority of the voting population receives more in benefits than it pays in taxes, then voters will demand more and more wealth be transferred to them through government programs. It will then become politically necessary to extract larger and larger amounts of wealth from a minority in order to subsidize the majority.

Market economics will become less and less popular because the voters will have realized they can — in the words of James Bovard — "vote for a living" instead of work for a living.

These findings don't always apply at the level of the individual household, of course. In the middle quintile, especially, we'll find some households that are indeed worse off after taxes and transfers than before. This will especially be the case for households that do not yet receive old-age benefits such as Medicare and Social Security. Those households are currently being taxed to pay for current recipients of SS and Medicare. Later, however, those households will begin to receive those benefits. And, over a lifetime, they're likely to receive more in benefits than what they "paid in." This notion of "paying in," however, is pure fiction, and there is no "trust fund" for old-age benefits, and all benefits received at any given time are funded via taxation of current wage earners.

As far as politics goes, this latter fact is very important because voters receiving old-age benefits know that any significant cut in government spending and government taxation is likely to necessitate a decline in paid benefits. This is why neither major party ever seriously talks about cutting Medicare or Social Security, and why Donald Trump has even recently declared his own love for Medicare. It's simply a redistribution of income and wealth from current wage earners to current recipients, and for most elected officials, attempting to cut these benefits would be political suicide.
Nobody seems to have the courage to fall on their own sword for the sake of cutting spending...

The Client

The future of the Democratic Party may have trouble living down his past:
In a statement, Grassley said, "When a well-meaning citizen comes forward with information relevant to the committee's work, I take it seriously. It takes courage to come forward, especially with allegations of sexual misconduct or personal trauma. I'm grateful for those who find that courage."
Grassley continued, "But in the heat of partisan moments, some do try to knowingly mislead the committee. That's unfair to my colleagues, the nominees and others providing information who are seeking the truth."
Avenatti, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, told CNN that the referral is "completely baseless and political."
"I look forward to a thorough investigation into Judge Kavanaugh," Avenatti said. "We have all waited long enough."
Be careful what you wish for...

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Not Her Turn

Hillary's not helping:
“Hillary Clinton is a rallying point for the right. They use that messaging against Hillary Clinton to drive out their votes. I think you could end up seeing a huge boost in their numbers because you have Hillary Clinton now on the other side being associated with Gillum so closely,” Rob Long stated.

“Her post-presidential sort of demeanor or platform has been very sort of self-indulgent and very much about re-litigating what happened in 2016,” he continued. “In our generation, my generation doesn’t really respond to this re-litigation of 2016. And I [don’t] want to call it whining, but at this point, it’s kind of what it feels like.”

When Kaye asked if anyone thought Clinton could be helpful to Gillum, Stephanie Ruebins said, “I do. I think she can be financially helpful because she has a history of fabulous fundraising, and I think that’s where she should stay.”

“She’s just got bad cred,” Ruebins continued when asked why Clinton could be harmful as well. “Bad cred. People don’t trust her. No one trusts her. The reality is, I voted for her. I supported her. But she does things that — she trips over herself. And she makes big mistakes.”
Nobody seems interested in helping her back up...

Paying Their Way

Who's paying for it?
“At the president’s direction I spoke to President [Juan Orlando] Hernandez of Honduras,” said Pence, “he told me that the caravan that’s now making its way through Mexico headed for the southern border was organized by leftist organizations and financed by Venezuela.”

“And the Democrats maybe?” added the president. “And the Democrats?”

“It sounds like you’re teasing about that but where’s the proof that Democrats are paying for this caravan?” CNN’s Jim Acosta asked. “Why would they pay for a caravan to come up two weeks before the election?”

“You know what?” Trump replied. “You’re gonna find out, and we’re gonna see. Well maybe they made a bad mistake too. We’re gonna find out about that.”
Somebody seems to be helping them out...

Bench Run

There goes the Judge:
Defendants Kodey Howard and Tanner Jacobson ran — while still wearing handcuffs and jail sandals — during a courtroom appearance on Tuesday. Presiding Judge R.W. Buzzard quickly leapt from behind the bench, threw off his robe and chased after the escapees.

Howard fell while running through a hallway after Jacobson, but recovered, and the two ran down three flights of stairs. After a short chase, Jacobson was apprehended by deputies a few blocks away from the courthouse. Meanwhile. Judge Buzzard grabbed Howard at the exit door in what he called a “bear hug” and held onto the inmate until law enforcement arrived “luckily about 10 seconds later.”
They can run, but they can't hide...

Deadly Delivery

Whoever did this needs to get caught, and soon:
In a statement, the Secret Service said that the Clintons and Obamas were at no risk of receiving these packages: “The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such.”

Authorities are investigating a possible connection between the explosive devices, but have not made an official declaration regarding that yet.

NBC News reported that all the packages so far were sent in manilla envelopes, and the devices were all made with“similar or identical components.” The return address labels for all these packages listed the same“prominent democratic official,” although that person’s name has not yet been released.

CNN later reported that the return address on the packages was for the offices of Debbie Wasserman Shultz, and that a package with a bad address meant for former attorney general Eric Holder was sent to her office because of the fraudulent return address.
There are more than enough nutcases to go around; we don't need more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Stressed Out Test

More trauma drama:
One out of every four people surveyed “met criteria for clinically significant symptoms related to the election.”

“The high level of event-related stress are predictive of future distress and subsequent PTSD diagnoses,” the study’s conclusion reads.

The results compared the level of stress experienced by some of these students to that of people who have witnessed mass shootings.

Women, Democrats, minorities and non-Christians reported significantly higher levels of stress in the study.
The horror of losing?

Tree Time

They speak for their trees:
Once the brothers cleared the land to plant 2,500 Christmas trees, the “Canton Tree Police showed up,” Pattwell said. “Canton Township’s tree removal ordinance prohibits landowners from removing trees from private property without government permission, which may be obtained by either payment into the township’s so-called tree fund or on-site replacement with trees of certain designated trunk diameters.”

Canton Township’s attorney, Kristin Kolb, stands by the city’s decision to issue a fine to the Percys, because the brothers were “specifically told at least twice last year” that they needed a permit to remove trees from their property.

“This case is about misguided overreach,” Pattwell said. “It is unavoidably about whether people who own property are allowed to use it. … We contend the Percy brothers exercised a farming exemption in the local tree removal law to clear the historic pasture behind their business and develop a Christmas tree farm.”
Breeding pine trees without a license?

Monday, October 22, 2018

Due Triggers

Stay away, they said:
During the lecture, Daily Caller editor Amber Athey intends to explore issues including “how to preserve due process in the age of #MeToo” and how “believing all women actually hurts women the most.”

Meanwhile, the American University Women’s Initiative (AUSG WI), under the leadership of student Maureen Smith, is anticipating that Athey will be so “triggering” that they’re planning to host a “safe space” during and after Athey’s lecture.

“In light of an event taking place on campus on Tuesday, October 23rd that is promoting the disempowerment and invalidation of survivors in sharing their stories, AUSG WI will be opening our office as a safe space from 7:00pm to 9:00pm,” reads a recent statement.

“Whether you choose to protest, speak out, or unplug from social media and the news, your feelings and experiences are valid,” the statement also noted, adding that “news content can be triggering and you may find it beneficial to unplug from social media.”

It’s unclear what exactly will be at the safe space.
Anyone who thinks that due process is dangerous to their cause?

Shut Up And Sell

No causes in their commercials, please:
Online retailer OnBuy.com analyzed data provided by Morning Consult and discovered 60 percent of all Americans believe companies and brands should not get involved with cultural or political issues and “stick to what they know.”

The study also found that even with campaigns by corporations to show they are in-touch with liberal causes, only 13 percent of respondents said, “They pay a lot of attention to ethical and political concerns relating to brands.”
....

Conservative causes were viewed as the least popular by respondents, with 36 percent saying they wanted more advertisements promoting “stricter policies preventing abortions” or “the campaign of a Republican lawmaker.”

Yet corporations promoting “the rights of protesters to kneel during the public anthem” only garnered support from 38 percent of respondents and only 32 percent wanted to see more support of Democratic lawmakers.
Activism doesn't sell...

Village Idiot People

It's the Cult of Beto:
The song begins calling out "Texas," with the catchy music from "YMCA" playing in the background. "Texas, there's a choice 'round the state. Texas, we can all celebrate, because Texas carries one candidate who's the hands-down, clear-cut winner."

"Texas, time to make a new choice," the song continues. It encourages liberals to vote: "There's a new day dawning."

It certainly is a "new day." A Democrat in a deep red state has run a national campaign, raising a record-breaking haul of money — arguably making it more difficult for other Democrats to raise money — and making himself extremely unpopular statewide.

Liberals are turning Beto O'Rourke into a "star," a source of "good news," and the harbinger of a "new day." Beto-mania is more than odd, it's concerning.
Maybe he really is the new Obama...

The Fatal Flaws

Why "Medicare for all" is doomed to fail:
1. It failed in Vermont, Bernie Sanders’s home state. That’s right — the guy running around promoting “Medicare for All” could not make it work in his own little state: it was far too expensive, and too complicated. The idea failed to pass in California for the same reason: it would have cost more than twice the annual budget. A recent study showed “Medicare for All” would cost $38 trillion over the first 10 years — again, twice the current federal budget.

2. You think you’re getting “Medicare,” but you’d get “Medicaid” — if you’re lucky. Medicaid is the insurance policy for the poor, and it is plagued by chronic problems. Not only is it a huge financial burden, but many doctors do not accept Medicaid insurance: you cannot get the doctor or the care that you want. That is what “Medicare for All” would look like once the resources of the Medicare system were stretched to cover everyone else. Medicare is already very complicated, subject to fraud, over-spending, and endless bureaucracy. The idea of adding at least an additional 250 million or so people to the roughly 50 million Medicare now serves would be a recipe for disaster.
The worst laid plans are made with good intentions...

Cash Flow Problems

Michael Avenatti seems to have a few money issues:
In July, Avenatti was ordered by a judge to pay $31,981 a month in child support and $124,398 a month in spousal support to Storie-Avenatti. In addition, he was ordered to pay $185,000 in attorney’s fees and $30,000 in expert fees.

And in Orange County, California, tax lien filings showed that Avenatti personally owed at least $1.2 million in federal taxes. A lien filed in August 2015 showed a balance of $903,987 and another filed earlier this year showed a balance of $308,396.

In July, Avenatti told CNN that both debts had been “fully paid,” but the Daily Beast was unable to find lien release records related to the alleged payments.

What are the debts connected to his former law firm?

All the while, the lawyer has remained in a long-running battle with his former colleague, Jason Frank, who claims that Eagan Avenatti owes him millions in unpaid compensation that stemmed from the firm’s 2017 bankruptcy action.

In January, Frank settled with Eagan Avenatti for $4.85 million, which Avenatti personally guaranteed to pay, but failed to do so.
A lawyer's life is an expensive one...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The High Working Life

This is your job on drugs:
A 2018 report by Quest Diagnostics reveals a 150 percent increase from 2013 to 2017 of methamphetamine positivity rates for workers tested in the wider New York region, which covers New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Drug abuse rates overall for workers tested in New York state were at 3.5 percent in 2017, compared with 3.2 percent a decade earlier, the Quest data analysis shows.

The drug crisis comes as the local job market is very tight, with the New York City unemployment rate at 4.1 percent.

And the Labor Department said that job openings in August topped a record 7 million nationwide — with the number of openings exceeding job seekers by 902,000 — as the national unemployment rate stands at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent.

Analysts believe there is a direct connection between drug-impaired workers and employers’ inability to fill open slots.

“Now that the economic considerations of this are real, it is time for a fresh look at what is happening in this area of drug testing,” said Peter C. Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research.
Addicts need not apply...

The Payout Plan

Democrats are still pushing for one, but not everyone's convinced:
The conservative Heritage Foundation released an analysis this week showing repealing the tax cuts in 2020 would cost the average household nearly $27,000 in lost take-home pay over the next decade. Some of the decline is due to higher individual tax rates, said Adam Michel, a policy analyst at Heritage and one of the authors of the report. But most of it is the result of lower economic growth because of higher corporate rates, he said.

"That's where a lot of the juice comes from," Michel said. "That's the thing I'm frankly most concerned about."

Democrats have also criticized the GOP for passing its sweeping tax plan with a party-line vote. Yet it seems unlikely that any Republicans would support repealing and replacing what GOP leadership has dubbed the "crown jewel" of its legislative agenda.

"The tax cuts launched our booming economy into the stratosphere and anybody advocating for repeal will have to explain why they want to reverse the jobs and wage growth our country has seen since the law passed," said John Ashbrook, a Republican strategist who worked under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Because Democrats don't like prosperity-unless they can take credit for it...

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Where The Money Matters

Even San Francisco's liberalism only goes so far:
Mr. Dorsey and others have argued that San Francisco officials, and not the companies, are best equipped to deal with homelessness. They have said that the city has a new mayor, London Breed, who was elected in June partly on her promise to combat the issue, and that she needs time to deliver on her campaign. Ms. Breed opposes the measure.

“I’m down to help in any way I can, as long as the mayor has the accountability,” Mr. Dorsey said in an interview. He added that he was not worried about being perceived as opposing support for the homeless, “because it feels like the right thing to do to get into the nuance and bring out more of the concerns.”

Those in favor of the new tax argue that they are not asking tech companies to come up with a strategy to save the homeless. Instead, they said, they simply want to raise taxes on the firms to fund resources. The extra money from the proposition could total $300 million a year and would effectively double the city’s budget for addressing homelessness.
Not everyone agrees:
In one email, Darryl Yee, Salesforce’s tax chief, said: “I grew up in SF and very much want to address the homeless problem, but the city’s budget already seems pretty healthy, especially when you consider we’re only a population of 800K.”

Michael Yip, Stripe’s head of tax, wrote back that tech companies might make sizable charitable donations to homelessness causes instead, “in hopes that this will be enough to sway the Mayor to publicly oppose this.”

Twitter and Zendesk declined to comment. GitHub and Lyft did not return requests for comment. Yelp said it was “not active” on the issue.

Some tech companies began giving money to the campaign to fight the tax. In September, Stripe donated $20,000 to the “No on C” effort. In an editorial in The San Francisco Chronicle that month, its general counsel, Jon Zieger, wrote that “Prop. C will likely hurt more than it helps” because there was no comprehensive plan to tackle homelessness and the extra money might go nowhere.
As is usually the case with liberal plans...

The Last Charles Dickens Story

Whatever happened to Edwin Drood?
On August 6, 1869, Dickens wrote to Forster that he had “a very curious and new idea for my new story. Not a communicable idea (or the interest of the book would be gone), but a very strong one, though difficult to work.”

The novel was titled The Mystery of Edwin Drood and it was going to be Dickens’s version of a dark whodunnit set in his hometown of Rochester. The story centered around a choirmaster with a hidden wicked side who covets his nephew’s fiancé. When the nephew, one Edwin Drood, suddenly disappears, a murder mystery ensues.

“I hope his book is finished. It is certainly one of his most beautiful works, if not the most beautiful of all,” Longfellow wrote in his condolence letter. “It would be too sad to think the pen had fallen from his hand, and left it incomplete.”

Alas, the pen had fallen from Dickens’s hand when the tale was only halfway done. The contract for the novel specified it would be published in 12 installments; Dickens completed six, with the last of the chapters left two pages short.
An unfinished tale-or the author's last laugh?

No Magic Kingdom

The Khashoggi case continues to haunt Saudi Arabia::
The Khashoggi affair is the latest in a series of missteps that tarnished the crown prince’s reputation, including getting into a prolonged war in Yemen, imprisoning dozens of perceived dissidents and failing to carry off a planned initial public offering of Saudi Arabia’s state oil company.

He developed “a complete intolerance for dissenting voices,” said Dennis Horak, the recently retired Canadian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who himself was barred from the kingdom in August, after the Canadian government criticized Saudi Arabia on Twitter for jailing activists.

In recent months, Prince Mohammed had begun appearing less in public. He has spent many nights on his yacht on the Red Sea, say people briefed on the matter, thinking it safer than his palaces.

The fate of the missing journalist has drawn condemnations from Saudi Arabia’s Western allies and prompting business executives to distance themselves from the kingdom. Some remained unconvinced by the official Saudi explanation.

“Confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death is a first step toward establishing the truth,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Foreign Minister who helped engineer a rapprochement between Paris and Riyadh in recent years, said in a statement on Saturday. “But many questions remain unanswered.”
Whatever happened, it seems to have backfired on them big time...

Harts On Fire

Remember Gary Hart?
The truth is the late Mr. Broadhurst did everything short of violence trying to prevent the Herald’s investigations team from publishing the first story about the scandal.

Reporters Tom Fiedler, Jim McGee, and I were preparing that story on deadline after interviewing Hart about his relationship with the young woman from Miami when Broadhurst phoned our hotel room in Washington.

MORE STORIES

Was Gary Hart Set Up?
JAMES FALLOWS

Letters: ‘What Hope Does an Ordinary Black Man Have?’

Letters: ‘It Is Devastating Every Time I Read of Another Child Who Was Not Protected’

Letter: Laquan McDonald’s Death and the Rhetoric of Police
Broadhurst insisted that he had invited the Miami woman and a friend to Washington and any story we wrote would unfairly portray Hart’s relationship. He refused to name the woman who was later identified as Donna Rice.

We included Broadhurst’s defense of Hart in that first story. After filing our story, at Broadhurst’s suggestion, we met with him at an all-night restaurant where he continued to argue on Hart’s behalf.

Broadhurst died recently and can’t defend himself.

I believe the Atlantic story also implies that Donna Rice was somehow involved in a conspiracy to embarrass Hart. I am convinced from my firsthand knowledge of how the Herald learned about Hart’s plan to meet with Ms. Rice that she did not have any involvement in any plan to embarrass Hart.
The only person who set up Gary Hart was Gary Hart...

Friday, October 19, 2018

Dog Brain

Good dog, smart dog?

Her Turn Two

Here she comes again?
Publicly, Clinton has said she will not run again, but Reines doesn't sound so sure she'll keep her word on that. Politico explored Clinton's careful re-entry into the political arena, noting that she's going on tour with former President Bill Clinton this fall and has reportedly even called up journalists who cover the White House to put out "the occasional feeler."

Despite her non-zero interest in public office, her favorability is even lower than it was in 2016. A recent Gallup poll found that Clinton is now polling at 36 percent — five points lower than President Trump.
The lower of two evils?

Bum Rush The Border

Here comes the mob:
Chanting "Yes we can!" and "Mexico! Mexico!" hundreds of migrants climbed or violently tore down a series of barriers leading to the final fence and police line on Mexico's southern border.

"We ask you to please name a committee to hold a dialogue with officials from the National Migration Institute. Don't continue putting women's and children's lives at risk," a Mexican official pleaded with them through a bullhorn.

The migrants could be seen passing babies overhead through the crowd, as women holding crying children by the hand or pressing their infants to their chests streamed past the broken metal barriers and onto the bridge.

"Open please!" one woman said through tears at the final barrier, carrying a baby in her arms.

"The children are suffocating," said a young man.

"We're going to get in! We're going to get in together!" shouted another young man as the migrant caravan -- whose journey has triggered escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric from President Donald Trump ahead of congressional elections -- massed on the bridge.
But who's paying their way? Who, indeed?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Longest Goodbye

She just won't leave:
Hillary remains caught up in the delusion that the only reason she lost in 2016 was because of Russian interference. She does not seem to have fully processed the fact that she lost the electoral college, the only vote that counts. She touts the fact that she got nearly three million more votes than Trump while conveniently leaving out that her tally of the vote still fell well below 50 percent.

Both of the major party nominees in 2016 were so unlikable, flawed and—let’s be candid—unethical that lots of us just couldn’t pull the lever for her even if we couldn’t stand Trump. According to a study from American National Election Studies, the words most associated by voters with Hillary in 2016 were “experienced liar.” Is it logical that she’d want to rehab her image, given all this? Perhaps. Is it possible? No. Do we need to watch her try? Definitely, definitely, definitely not.
Why won't she listen?

Fortunate 500

Kamala Harris goes the free money route:
Harris’ office cited a 2017 survey from the website Bankrate.com that found more than half of Americans cannot afford a $500 unexpected expense, such as a rent increase, medical bill or child care.

According to Harris’ office, recipients could receive the money in either monthly payments or annually.

“The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy estimates the (bill) would impact one in every two workers and two out of every three children in America,” according to Harris’ office, in addition to approximately 1 million Pell Grant-eligible college students.

Harris’ announcement also included endorsements from several elected officials and organizations, including Alice Huffman, president of the California NAACP, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and the mayors of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland and Long Beach.
All the usual suspects...

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Happy PC Halloween

Remember, don't offend:
“If you’re dressing up for #Huluween this year, this is your reminder to wear a costume that is culturally appropriate and respectful to others,” posted Hulu, the streaming video service which airs The Handmaid’s Tale, on Twitter, Tuesday. “Let’s celebrate the holiday in a way that we can all enjoy.”

The post was soon deleted after Hulu was mocked and criticized.
....

“Cultural appropriation” is a social justice term, common on college campuses, which is frequently used by activists against those who celebrate or engage in the culture of nationalities and races different to their own.

People have previously been criticized, and even attacked, for braiding their hair, growing dreadlocks, practicing yoga, wearing sombreros on Cinco de Mayo, and dressing up as Native Americans.
Now go get your politically correct candy...

Black And Blue

Democrats continue to show their true colors:
The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has suspended communications staffer William Davis for one week without pay after making a Facebook post joking that Democrats would "bring [Republicans] to the guillotine" on Nov. 7, the day after the midterm elections. Minnesota Republican Party chairman Jennifer Carnahan said the suspension was not enough, calling for his immediate firing in the aftermath of separate attacks against Republican candidates. She said she has been subjected to numerous death threats during her tenure as the state party leader and that death threats are no laughing matter.

"The overt hatred and violence that has become prevalent from many Democrats towards Republicans in recent times is unlawful, unacceptable, and downright scary," she said in an email. "Yes, we have free speech and the right to peacefully assemble, but these words and actions by the left have gone too far. … He should have been terminated immediately."

DFL officials did not respond to request for comment.
Not proud of their handiwork?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

March Of The Memes

Blank faces are real:
The popular NPC meme trend frames its targets as non-player characters (NPCs) who reflexively spout neo-Marxist axioms in response to real-world events. Actual NPCs are computer-controlled characters in video games with limited scripted responses given the parameters of the games in which they appear. For example, NPCs may assign quests to the player in games like Skyrim, or join the player as a companion in Fallout.

Built on the long-running Wojak meme, the NPC meme mocks leftists as expressionless in appearance and bot-like in behavior. The universal standard appearance illustrates the left’s political homogeneity.....

Left-wing gaming blog Kotaku addressed the aforementioned memes with an article entitled, “How The ‘NPC’ Meme Tries To Dehumanize ‘SJWs’.” It described the memes’ sentiment as “anti-progressive” and “dehumanizing” while heralding leftists as opponents of “racial injustice.”

Kotaku’s Cecilia D’Anastasio characterized the NPC memes’ spread as “a little scary”:

NPCs have no agency; NPCs don’t think for themselves; NPCs don’t perceive, process, or understand; NPCs arrive at the same worldview not because it’s authentic to their experiences, but automatically. As a descriptor, it suggests that those to whom it applies aren’t even human, but are rather, functionally, robots, or clusters of computer code. That this has resonated as widely as it has is funny, but also a little scary.
It's scary 'cause it's true...

The Restoration

Fixing a masterpiece:
The multi-million-euro restoration starting in July 2019 will be open to the two million people a year who come to the gallery in the capital of the Netherlands to see the Dutch master?s 1642 tableau.

But the painstaking work on the piece, which hangs in the gallery of honour in the museum, will also be carried online so people around the world can see it be restored inch by inch.

"The Night Watch by Rembrandt is one of the most famous paintings in the world and we feel we have to preserve it for future generations," Rijksmuseum General Director Taco Dibbits told AFP.

"Over two million people a year come to see The Night Watch, it's a painting that everybody loves, and we feel that the world has the right to see what we will do with it."
Hopefully it will turn out better than some others have...

The Silenced Majority

Silence isn't always golden:
In the United States today, right- and left-wing tribes — Progressive Activists and Devoted Conservatives, as the More in Common report designates them — enforce “core beliefs” within their own ranks. A quarter to a third of Americans feel pressure to “think a certain way” about controversial issues even among people like themselves, according to the report.

Among progressives, more men than women felt pressure to conform; among conservatives, more women than men did.

With these less-than-tolerant ideological factions dominating everything from town hall meetings to Twitter, the far larger percentage of Americans who do see nuances, and who do favor policy compromise, keep their heads down.
Opposites don't attract?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Hillary's Problem

When you've lost The View:
Co-host Joy Behar was one of the first to tackle the subject and slammed both Hillary and Republicans in one swipe.

“What [Hillary] just did is exactly what Republicans do — they changed the subject,” Behar explained. “And that’s why we never get anywhere in the discourse.”

Co-host Abby Huntsman highlighted Hillary’s hypocrisy.

“This highlights to me I think why some people struggled to vote for [Hillary], because you can’t have it both ways in her position,” Huntsman explained. “You can’t put yourself on a pedestal and be a leader for the feminist movement, and at the same time refuse to acknowledge the reality that you’ve lived with for all these years and stand by your husband.

“I don’t think she can have it both ways, and she continues to try and do this,” she added.
She wanted to be Tammy Wynette, after all?

Indian Giver

She's almost a native:
Warren, whose claims to Native American blood have been mocked by President Trump and other Republicans, provided the test results to the Globe on Sunday in an effort to defuse questions about her ancestry that have persisted for years. She planned an elaborate rollout Monday of the results as she aimed for widespread attention.

The analysis of Warren’s DNA was done by Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor and expert in the field who won a 2010 MacArthur fellowship, also known as a genius grant, for his work on tracking population migration via DNA analysis.

He concluded that “the vast majority” of Warren’s ancestry is European, but he added that “the results strongly support the existence of an unmixed Native American ancestor.”
So there's that, at least...

Sunday, October 14, 2018

With This Ring

Pick your ring poison:
There is a long history of poison rings, and some of the oldest examples may date back to ancient Asia and India. In Western European culture, they surface prominently in the Middle Ages, the quintessential era for tipping one’s hand over a goblet to sprinkle deadly powder into wine.

In her book Rings: Jewelry of Power, Love and Loyalty, Diana Scarisbrick writes that, “for centuries, rings, conveniently ready for use on the finger, have been adapted for functions other than the sealing of documents with signets. They might be attached to perfume flaçons, spy-glasses and handkerchiefs; they might measure time, safeguard property and conceal poison.”

Poison rings usually have a large stone bezel set into the band of the ring, but they can come with all sorts of different ornamentation. The larger the stone, the more concealed the compartment below is, and thus the dispersal of poison liquid or powder can go undetected. A small catch and hinge allow the stone to swing open and release the deadly agent into the victim’s food or beverage.
These rings may be hazardous to your health...

Moore Becomes Less

Whatever happened to Michael Moore?
Moore spent years as an outlier on the left, willing to go much further into wackadoodle territory than others when he, for instance, blamed the military-industrial complex for the Columbine shootings at the end of “Bowling for Columbine” or hinted that the 9/11 attacks caused a suspiciously convenient reversal of sagging poll numbers for President George W. Bush in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Today, when an avowed socialist is the spiritual leader of the Democratic Party and leading party figures support such loony-tunes ideas as abolishing ICE or putting everyone on Medicare, Moore’s persona no longer stands out.
But did he ever really matter?

Pop Up Science

When science first went pop:
The charm and whimsy of pop-ups might seem far removed from the dry seriousness of technical literature. But during the first three centuries of printing, from about 1450 to 1750, most pop-ups appeared in scientific books. Moveable paper parts were once used to explain the movements of the moon, the five regular geometric solids, the connections between the eye and the brain, and more. Although there are examples in medieval manuscripts, pop-ups became prominent during the age of print, when there was a rising demand for books on scientific subjects.

The invention of printing was accompanied by a surge in literacy and book ownership. Readers expanded beyond the small, wealthy, educated elite that held medieval manuscripts. These new readers were hungry for knowledge. Scientific, technical, and medical books aimed at the general public (as opposed to academic or specialist readers) were among the most popular types of books produced during the early era of print.
The original illustrated classicists?

Not Woke Nation

Most Americans don't like political correctness:
According to the report, 25 percent of Americans are traditional or devoted conservatives, and their views are far outside the American mainstream. Some 8 percent of Americans are progressive activists, and their views are even less typical. By contrast, the two-thirds of Americans who don’t belong to either extreme constitute an “exhausted majority.” Their members “share a sense of fatigue with our polarized national conversation, a willingness to be flexible in their political viewpoints, and a lack of voice in the national conversation.”

Most members of the “exhausted majority,” and then some, dislike political correctness. Among the general population, a full 80 percent believe that “political correctness is a problem in our country.” Even young people are uncomfortable with it, including 74 percent ages 24 to 29, and 79 percent under age 24. On this particular issue, the woke are in a clear minority across all ages.
Time to take a nap?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Not Her

No Clinton for them:
As the midterm election campaigns enter the home stretch, the former secretary of state, first lady, senator, and 2016 Democratic nominee is almost completely absent from the campaign trail. Most Democrats are keen to keep it that way, fearing that her reappearance could cost them a golden opportunity of winning back control of Congress.

Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are due to go back on the road next month, embarking on a 13-city tour in which they will conduct “one-of-a-kind conversations" about "the most impactful moments in modern history". But Democratic strategists are relieved that their first event will be 12 days after Americans go to the polls on Nov 6.

"I think they're measuring how they can have the best, positive impact and have kind of decided to wait until after the election," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

One House Democrat said the Clintons were not missed. "I have not seen Hillary or Bill at all — and I’m very grateful for that," he said. "When I think of people who have been part of our push to retake the House, I just don’t think of them at all. ... I think it’s a very good thing that they’re not being visible. It wouldn’t help our candidates."
Sometimes it's best to let the past be in the past, and not in the way...

Pie Eyed

First, they came for the pizzas:
Under the draft proposals, a standard pizza for one should contain no more than 928 calories - far less than many sold by takeaways, restaurants and shops. And the recommendations suggest that a savoury pie should contain no more than 695 calories.

Public Health England (PHE) said “drastic” measures were needed to combat Britain’s obesity crisis.

Their plans will see recommended limits on thousands of regularly consumed foods, including cooking sauces, soups, burgers and processed meats.

It comes as new figures show rates of severe obesity among children have risen by more than a third in just over a decade.

More than one in five pupils are obese by the time they leave primary school - including around 24,000 children who are classed as “severely obese”.

Dr Alison Tedstone, PHE chief nutritionist, said the threat to children’s health had been “decades in the making”.
Blame the eater, not the pie...

The Terminology Terminator

Meet the new Arnold:
In a new interview with Men’s Health magazine, Schwarzenegger is abjectly apologetic over his “girlie men” taunt.

“At the time it felt like the right thing to do. It was in my gut. I improvised it. I called them girlie men because they weren’t willing to take risks,” the actor told the magazine.

“They were afraid of everything,” he explained. “Politicians, in general, want to do little things, so there’s no risk involved.”

But, today there are regrets. Schwarzenegger now says his rhetoric was counterproductive. “It was shortsighted. In the long term, it’s better to not say that, because you want to work with them.”
Even if it was true?

Fright Ride

Creepy clowns are back:
“A guy got out and banged on my windows wearing a horror clown mask.

“Terrified is an understatement.

“We are okay and it’s been passed to the serious crime unit but please please be careful and lock yourselves in your cars.

“He tried my door but I always lock them. The man wasn’t bright though and left a fabulous set of finger prints on my window.

“Please take care.”

The incident happened on Tuesday night and the woman wanted to warn other drivers in the area.

In a message shared on social media, she said: “

The appeal received wide-spread attention and has been shared more than 430 times across social media in a bid to warn other drivers in the area.

The incident caused concern among the community.

Alison Coates, who lives in Benfleet, said: “I am glad the woman is OK. I hope this kind of thing does not become more regular ahead of Halloween.

“It is dangerous because you don’t know whether it is a prank or they are trying to commit a crime.
No time for clowns...

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What Ye Said

Kanye speaks:
“A liberal will try to control a black person through the concept of racism because they know that we are very proud emotional people,” West said. “You think racism can control me? That don’t stop me, that’s an invisible wall.”

The famous rapper wore a Donald Trump campaign hat to the meeting, calling it his “superman cape” delivering an over 10-minute speech about his support for the president.

When reporters started asking him questions, he quickly responded.

“I think we need to care about all people,” he said.

He said he had grown after he said that George W. Bush didn’t care about black people in 2004 after hurricane Katrina.

“I believe that when I went on TV, I was very emotional and I was programmed to think from a victimized mentality, a welfare mentality…we need to have ownership of our own blocks.”
He's no longer programmed. He was able to resist...

The Tax Returns Cometh

They haven't forgotten:
The Chronicle‘s editor-in-chief, Audrey Cooper, live-tweeted Pelosi’s conversations with the editorial board, and reported Pelosi’s pledge on Trump’s tax returns:

One of the first things a Dem-majority would do in the House is ask for President Trump’s tax returns, Pelosi says. #Midterms2018

— Audrey Cooper (@audreycoopersf) October 10, 2018

Ironically, Pelosi’s vow to uncover Trump’s tax returns followed her pledge not to be vindictive if Democrats won:

Pelosi on the #Midterms2018 “One of the reasons we should win is we are not like them (GOP). We will not be like them. Don’t tell anyone I said this but there is a ‘pound of flesh’ club that says you should do to them what they’ve done to you. We will not.”

— Audrey Cooper (@audreycoopersf) October 10, 2018

Democrats have been obsessed with Trump’s tax returns since the 2016 election, convinced that they will turn up information that would damage or disqualify him, though the information has always been available to the Internal Revenue Service.
The obsession continues...

The Gambler

The ride's over:
A subpoena revealed that Cortez had allegedly been depositing large sums of money in his bank account, including $58,730 in one month. The memo line on checks reportedly deposited by Cortez identified the money as coming from the sale of stamps. One check for $3,868,75 from July 10 allegedly revealed that it came from the sale of “10,000 Forever Stamps.” This meant that Cortez was allegedly selling 50 cent forever stamps at a discount price of 38 cents.

Authorities said Cortez used the money to gamble at Harrah’s Casino in New Orleans. He reportedly lost $667,000 since 2011 including $220,000 in 2017. Cortez reportedly told the OIG agents that he was a gambling addict and that the money had been used to pay for his addiction. Investigators said he also confessed that he had also been forging signatures on checks in order to embezzle money from a Mennonite church, and told the OIG agents where he could find the church’s checkbook.

Cortez was arrested Wednesday after a search warrant for his residence was issued by a federal magistrate judge. Cortez could face up to 10 years in prison, three additional years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
You've got to pay for those stamps...

Torched

A man learns what it's like to be a Trump supporter in Washington the hard way:
Johnny McKay said that he was shocked to discover his truck — which featured two bumper stickers supporting the president — had been torched when he went to pick the vehicle up the next morning.

According to McKay, the bumper stickers read, “Trump 2020: Make Liberals Cry Again,” and “Trump 2020: Keep America Great.” McKay noted that he’d put the stickers on his vehicle as a tongue-in-cheek joke just a few days prior to it being destroyed.

The Washington man said that he believed he was a target of the anti-Trump agenda after he discovered his burned truck, complete with melted tires and sprayed with paint.

“[The] tires were melted [and] the windows were shattered,” McKay told “Fox & Friends” in a Thursday interview.

McKay — who didn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election because he felt that Hillary Clinton was a crook and Trump was just for rich people — said that the woman who had called in the truck fire said that the paint on the truck initially read “Fk Trump,” but the fire had burned away some of the letters.

Note that the alleged vandals weren’t deterred from setting a vehicle on fire, but were apparently afraid to use the F-word.
At least they watched their language...

Mad Bomber

Stopping a lunatic:
The 56-year-old man reportedly told authorities that he planned to detonate a large explosive device on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to bring attention to his belief in sortition, which advocates the random selection of government officials.

Rosenfeld was charged on two counts after FBI agents discovered a 200-pound explosive device in his home, according to the DOJ.

“In the basement, law enforcement agents found what appeared to be a functional explosive device weighing approximately 200 pounds,” the release said.

Authorities were informed of the man’s purported plan from an unidentified person in Pennsylvania.
Some people just really can't stand losing...

Lending A Helping Hand

But he's supposed to be evil:
Entertainment publication TMZ reported on Judge Kavanaugh keeping up his volunteer work in spite of it being his first week on the Supreme Court. The jurist was seen working alongside his former pastor — Monsignor John Enzler, who is now the CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington — feeding homeless residents while his security detail looked on.

“Cynics might see this as a blatant attempt at image repair after the nightmare of his confirmation hearing, but the truth is … this appears to be a regular thing for him,” TMZ wrote. “The Justice was also seen serving up grub to the homeless back in July with the same organization.”

Leftist comedienne Kathy Griffin was one of the anti-Kavanaugh liberals who seized on the story, saying on Twitter, “Yet again, TMZ is serving as the PR arm of the White House…helping to normalize Trump’s monsters.”

Yet again, TMZ is serving as the PR arm of the White House…helping to normalize Trump’s monsters. pic.twitter.com/70ddF7m2Tx

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) October 11, 2018

But as TMZ noted, this is the second time in the past few months Kavanaugh was seen serving the homeless as a volunteer with Catholic Charities. A passerby snapped a picture of the judge that went viral back in July, when he was spotted dishing up meals to the needy less than two days after his nomination was announced.

Critics alleged at that time, too, that the scene must have been a staged PR stunt.
At least he's not snubbing them in his gym...

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Big Blue Money

Liberals hate the wealthy, except when it's their own:
Hundreds of Democrats in this election cycle came out against the influence of America's super-rich. "We’ve got people; they’ve got money," New York Democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won against top Democrat Joe Crowley earlier this year, declared in a campaign ad.

Many progressive candidates have since followed suit, making the pledge not to take money from the PACs financed by the ultra-rich, while simultaneously slamming Republicans for continuing, in their view, to rely on the multi-million dollar support from the rich.

But as Democrats shun direct donations from the billionaires, they pour hundreds of millions into groups aimed at mobilizing voters and running ads against their political opponents.
Somebody has to pay for that wave...

The Media Mob Rules

Er, yes it was, Don:

Amazon, Too

When your AI is sexist:
The company’s experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars - much like shoppers rate products on Amazon, some of the people said.

“Everyone wanted this holy grail,” one of the people said. “They literally wanted it to be an engine where I’m going to give you 100 resumes, it will spit out the top five, and we’ll hire those.”

But by 2015, the company realized its new system was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way.

That is because Amazon’s computer models were trained to vet applicants by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over a 10-year period. Most came from men, a reflection of male dominance across the tech industry.
Bias, or just business?

Mad World

It's an insane asylum:
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 300 million people worldwide have depression and 50 million have dementia. Schizophrenia is estimated to affect 23 million people, and bipolar disorder around 60 million.

The Lancet report found that in many countries, people with common mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia routinely suffer gross human rights violations - including shackling, torture and imprisonment.

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal the Lancet, which commissioned the report, said it highlighted the “shameful and shocking treatment of people with mental ill health around the world”.
Welcome to the Crazy Years?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Chief Justice Columbus

He discovered the Americas, and traveled through time?

Fighting Words

We'll be nice when we're in charge, she says:

Mr. West Goes To Washington

Kanye comes calling:
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to the White House TV pool that West will be joining the president for lunch, and also meeting with Kushner.

"Topics of discussions will include manufacturing resurgence in America, prison reform, how to prevent gang violence, and what can be done to reduce violence in Chicago," Sanders said in a statement.

The president, who has espoused the importance of due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, voiced his own ideas about how to reduce crime in Chicago during a speech to police in Orlando Monday — trying out "stop-and-frisk," like tactics New York City has employed in the past.

"I've told them to work with local authorities to try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into with ACLU, which ties law enforcement's hands; and to strongly consider stop-and-frisk," the president told the supportive crowd. "It works, and it was meant for problems like Chicago. It was meant for it. Stop-and-frisk."

As of late, West has drawn ire for his public support of Mr. Trump, most recently after going on a rant following a performance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." In clips that circulated on social media but were not broadcast, West discussed his plans to run for president and his support for Mr. Trump as he wore a red "Make America Great Again" cap.

"It's so many times that I talk to a white person about this, and they say, 'How could you support Trump? He's racist.' Well, if I was concerned about racism, I would have moved out of America a long time ago," he said. "We don't just make our decisions off of racism. I'ma break it down to you right now ... If someone inspires me and I connect with them, I don't have to believe in all they policies."
Just two guys having lunch...

Haley Goes Home

Nikki Haley is out:
White House officials had sought to put a hold on Trump’s record-setting turnover in the run-up to the Nov. 6 elections, with aides being asked months ago to step down or commit to stay through Election Day to avoid adding to a sense of turmoil.

Still, the prospect of post-midterm changes continues to hang over the West Wing, and Haley’s exit was one that has been discussed, according to a senior administration official not authorized to publicly discuss private conversations.

A number of officials speculated that the timing was meant to preserve the ambassador’s own political future. A post in the Trump administration has proven to be a rickety stepping-stone to either lucrative private sector work or hopes for higher office, and the risk to those ambitions might only increase after the elections if Democrats make significant gains in Congress.
Leaving just in time?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Family Fund

It's strictly a family business:
The pro-Villaraigosa group paid $25,000 to the Citizens for Waters Committee on May 25 to include Villaraigosa in her slate mailer, according to the complaint. FEC guidelines, however, say only a candidate’s committee can pay for the mailers — sample ballots traditionally mailed out to about 200,000 voters in Los Angeles highlighting whom Waters supports.

Waters’ mailers have faced scrutiny since 2010 because the campaign, since 2004, has paid her daughter Karen Waters, or her public relations firm Progressive Connections, to produce, print and mail the sample ballots.

Legally, candidates are paying a reimbursement for the slate mailer, rather than buying an endorsement. But it’s difficult to prove whether the Waters endorsement comes as a result of the payment or if already endorsed candidates are paying for their share, Adav Noti, a former FEC assistant general counsel, recently told Fox News while explaining the peculiar process.

The mailers also effectively provide a loophole to get around federal campaign contribution limits. The watchdog group’s FEC complaint, the second against Waters since July, is asking for a full audit of the congresswoman’s campaign.
Never hire your relatives-unless you can use them as the fall guy...

Kavanaugh's Turn

They're not done yet:
Whether the court's legitimacy really comes into question will be seen when major decisions start coming down. More immediately, though, some Democrats are hinting at impeachment efforts should they win the House in November.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said the option of impeaching Kavanaugh should not be ruled out and said he would support further investigation into the newest justice.

“If there is conclusory evidence that shows unequivocally that he lied to a Senate committee, that is a crime and he should be held accountable for those criminal acts,” Booker told Yahoo News on Sunday in Iowa, suggesting a probe into whether Kavanaugh perjured himself before the Senate.
If you can't get Trump, go for the next best thing?

Second Coming

The Clintons are back:
Pre-sale tickets are listed for as much as $228.44 for an appearance with the Clintons as they travel to over a dozen places like Las Vegas, Toronto, New York City, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC.

The tour begins November 18, after the Congressional mid-term elections.

Prior to the tour, Hillary Clinton will host three private fundraisers for Democrats in the midterm elections in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.
This may be their last campaign-or not...

The NFL Returns?

Maybe they're learning:
In addition to the explosion of offense and the youth movement at the quarterback position, the network executives also point out the decline of the anthem protest movement as a contributing factor in helping the ratings.

“It’s largely a resolved issue,” Mulvihill said of the anthem protests. “That’s one of the reasons we are seeing stabilization in the numbers. There’s not a lot of new information there for fans to digest. Everyone has reached their own conclusion on it.”

“One of the things that our research has showed is that when people are watching football games, in a perfect world they view it as an escape,” McManus said. “They want to get away from the politics and the other storylines that are dominating the media landscape.”
Stand up and play...

Sunday, October 7, 2018

A Day At The Gym

Another Democrat who doesn't like poor people?
“I’m in the middle of doing my workout, I can’t do this now,” the mayor responded, before bolting towards the nearest exit.

Once de Blasio made it outside the gym, activists held signs which read: “De Blasio To Homeless NYers: Stay Homeless” and clamored around the mayor as he reached for his suit and ran back inside the gym.

Adesegun, along with several other activists with the advocacy group VOCAL-NY, arrived at the Ninth Street YMCA to advocate for New York City’s homeless.

“He made it clear that his morning workout was more important to him,” Adesegun told Park Slope Patch. “Am I just supposed to stay homeless?”
According to Big Bill, apparently yes...

Ringside Circus

The return of Conor McGregor went about as well as expected:
The Khabib-McGregor bout was already the subject of great controversy prior to Saturday. Following a UFC 223 promotional event in April, one in which Khabib and McGregor pal Artem Lobov got into a minor scuffle, McGregor took it upon himself to throw a metal equipment dolly at a bus containing Khabib and several other UFC fighters, two of whom were injured by broken glass. McGregor was charged with three counts of assault, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and menacing, but only ended up pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, carrying a light penalty of five days of community service and anger management classes.
I guess they didn't take...

The Cute Factor

Never mind cats, it's apparently the puppies that control us:
In a study published this spring, Wynne and his colleagues sought to pin down, scientifically, the timeline of puppy cuteness. Their finding largely matched that of breeders: People consistently rated dogs most attractive when they were six to eight weeks old. This age, Wynne says, coincides with a crucial developmental milestone: Mother dogs stop nursing their young around the eighth week, after which pups rely on humans for survival. (Puppies without human caretakers face mortality rates of up to 95 percent in their first year of life.) Peak cuteness, then, is no accident—at exactly the moment when our intervention matters most, puppies become irresistible to us.
Too cute to resist?

The Chu Chu Train

It's the new age of children's media:
America’s grip on children’s entertainment is coming to an end. ChuChu is but the largest of a new constellation of children’s-media brands on YouTube that is spread out across the world: Little Baby Bum in London, Animaccord Studios in Moscow, Videogyan in Bangalore, Billion Surprise Toys in Dubai, TuTiTu TV in Tel Aviv, and LooLoo Kids in Iași, a Romanian town near the country’s border with Moldova. The new children’s media look nothing like what we adults would have expected. They are exuberant, cheap, weird, and multicultural. YouTube’s content for young kids—what I think of as Toddler YouTube—is a mishmash, a bricolage, a trash fire, an explosion of creativity. It’s a largely unregulated, data-driven grab for toddlers’ attention, and, as we’ve seen with the rest of social media, its ramifications may be deeper and wider than you’d initially think.
Welcome to Kid Tube?

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Under The Influencers

What exactly is an online influencer?
In the past few years, the term “influencer” has become virtually unavoidable. It’s been embraced by ad agencies (a recent study from the Association of National Advertisers found that 75 percent of companies use influencer marketing); adopted by retailers (fashion e-commerce site Revolve used the word 79 times in their IPO filing last month); welcomed into the lexicon of mainstream media (a Google search for “influencer” and “New York Times” yields nearly 3 million results); and cited so often by critics as an emblem of cultural decay, that it’s become a kind of shorthand for the perversions of late capitalism. But for a word so widely used, it’s surprisingly hard to grasp what it actually means.

By most accounts, “influencing” has something to do with social media and something to do with marketing. Money, power, and popularity are involved, as are brand identities, promotional samples, and likes. But like so much corporate jargon, when taken literally, the phrase, denoting only a vague power to affect, is spectacularly hollow. A Google image search for “influencer,” for example, yields a constellation—not of people—but of near-identical infographics, whose cartoon characters point, whisper, and, weirdly, hold magnets. Even the etymology is cryptic: “influence” stems from a Latin astrology term, meaning “the flowing in of ethereal fluid (affecting human destiny).”
It's all fluid, or something...

Life After Radiation

Here comes the sun?
The 1 million-euro ($1.2-million), one-megawatt plant is located just a hundred metres (yards) from a giant metal dome sealing the remains of the the nuclear power plant which suffered a catastrophic meltdown in 1986.

"Today we are connecting the station to the power system of Ukraine," Yevgen Varyagin, the head of Solar Chernobyl, a Ukrainian-German company behind the project, said at the launch ceremony.

The facility, which is installed across an area of 1.6 hectares (4 acres), can power a medium-sized village, or about 2,000 households.

Plans are to eventually produce 100 megawatts at the site, which due to contamination from radiation cannot be used for farming.

Ukrainian authorities have offered investors nearly 2,500 hectares to construct solar panels, and beside the cheap price of the land the site is also attractive as it offers connections to the power grid.
Hopefully no meltdowns this time...