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The PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.
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Billionaire Steyer Latest to Give Hillary a Pass for Not Taking a Stand

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Be nice to her, she’s a girl.

Tom Steyer’s hard green line is turning soft when it comes to Hillary Clinton.

The billionaire climate activist has spent more than $100 million of his personal fortune to support green-minded candidates and ballot initiatives in the past five years, ruffling the Washington establishment while threatening to torpedo even fellow Democrats who don’t hew the line on controversies like the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But he declined repeatedly Tuesday to criticize Clinton, who still refuses to take a stand on Keystone, and whose just-released initial climate proposal is notably short on specifics about issues like fracking and Arctic drilling.

There are two reasons that Mrs. Bill’s handlers keep her on a short leash. The first is that she is incapable of not being off-putting to any human with an IQ over 40. The second is that this allegedly accomplished politician who would be the most powerful woman in the world doesn’t have a lot of opinions on anything other than that she really wants to be President.

Liberals are so desperate to get their first female POTUS (I don’t know why, since gender is a social construct or something) that they’re willing to keep giving this strong feminist icon special treatment.

Those of you who read up a lot on the TPP/TPA brouhaha will remember that Her Madameship is very adept at having strong non-opinions on policy issues.

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North Korea Upgrades Missile Launch Site

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Remember these guys?

Fresh satellite images suggest North Korea has completed upgrades at its main satellite launch site, fuelling speculation of a long-range rocket launch to coincide with a major political anniversary in October.

The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said on Wednesday that analysis of the new pictures showed that construction begun in spring 2015 at the Sohae launch centre had been concluded.

As a result, space launch vehicle (SLV) stages – and payload – can be prepared horizontally in a new launch support building, then transferred to a movable support structure and conveyed to the launch pad.

The analysis, posted on the institute’s closely-watched 38North website, will reinforce predictions that the North is preparing a long-range rocket launch to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party on October 10.

There is so much going on in the world that is worthy of daily worry that it is easy to overlook the workers paradise up in northern Asia. If Iran getting a nuke doesn’t keep you up at night, imagine a world where NoKo becomes militarily competent. It may seem unthinkable right now, but the unthinkable seems to be happening on a weekly basis right now.

For the moment we’re probably safe. Unless, of course, Obama decides he needs another foreign policy “victory” for his legacy.

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Official: Links Between ISIS and Turkey ‘Undeniable’

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Never any good news about these guys.

A US-led raid on the compound housing the Islamic State’s “chief financial officer” produced evidence that Turkish officials directly dealt with ranking ISIS members, Martin Chulov of the Guardian reported recently.

The officer killed in the raid, Islamic State official Abu Sayyaf, was responsible for directing the terror army’s oil and gas operations in Syria. The Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) earns up to $10 million a month selling oil on black markets.

They use social media for recruiting, form strategic international partnerships and seem to overcome whatever setbacks befall them. Throughout all of this, U.S. leaders (loosest use of the term possible) assure us that alienating our allies in the region and using a halfhearted approach to attacking ISIS is the best course possible. The Team Lightbringer approach to foreign policy and war is so simplistic it should be written on a wall in crayon.

At present, Turkey is managing to convince NATO and most of the rest of the world that they are actually battling ISIS.

If you’re wonder just how topsy-turvy the world has become, guess who has long been critical of Turkey and its complicity in the rise of ISIS? Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep.

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Salman Rushdie Says PC Would Prevent Fellow Authors From Defending Him Against Islamic Death Threats Today

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s a scared, scared world.

Sir Salman Rushdie has claimed that the people who defended his most controversial work would not have done so today because of creeping political correctness.

Leading literary figures rallied to Rushdie’s defence after The Satanic Verses incurred the wrath of Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa for blasphemy against the author in 1989, which forced him into hiding.

Rushdie said he was dismayed by the protests that followed a decision by the American branch of the PEN writers’ association to award a prize for courage to Charlie Hebdo after many of its staff were murdered by two Islamists.

Barely three months after the attacks, more than 200 writers, including Michael Ondaatje, Peter Carey and Junot Díaz, signed a letter complaining that PEN was rewarding the satirical magazine for publishing “material that intensifies the anti-Islamic, anti-Maghreb, anti-Arab sentiments already prevalent in the Western world”.

“It seems we have learnt the wrong lessons [from the reaction to The Satanic Verses],” Rushdie told the French magazine L’Express.

“Instead of realising that we need to oppose these attacks on freedom of expression, we thought that we need to placate them with compromise and renunciation.”

Oddly enough, the tortured rationalizations for not denouncing every act (or threat) of Islamic violence all undermine the main contention of those doing the rationalizing, the idea that it’s just a few lone-wolf fringe whackos out there giving Islam a bad name. Working in tandem with this lunacy is the Ron Paul idea that we bring the crazy jihadist violence on ourselves.

It has been less than thirty years since the thoroughly unhinged Ayatollah Khomeini issued the fatwa against Rushdie for writing a book that hurt his feelings, yet people who were already adults then and should remember it have managed to either purge it from their minds or convince themselves it was simply a circumstance of a bygone age.

OK, they could be incredibly stupid too.

Whatever the case is, one thing is certain: those who pretend that the violent people aren’t violent are just as dangerous as the violent people. If you open the locked door for a murderer and he kills someone in the room, you’re part of the murder. It matters not that you convinced yourself that the murderer was different.

The MSM and entertainment media are complicit in this march to fatal political correctness, but people ultimately have to be clear thinking and responsible.

So…we’re doomed.

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Grandma’s Afraid of the Internet, Supports Taxing It

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said on Thursday she supported allowing cities and states to tax online purchases, but she would not mandate it.

Clinton, who took questions from mayors at an event in South Carolina, said she thought it was worth experimenting with Internet sales taxes and that she would not stand in the way of jurisdictions that wanted to try it.

Finally, an issue that a prominent Democrat supports states handling without federal intervention. Grandma Mrs. Bill has already shown her fear of 21st Century stuff, now she wants to tax the thing that made her husband’s economy boom without any input from him whatsoever.

Next up: Hillary’s policy speech about kids and their loud rock and roll music.

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Executive Overreach Is Contagious: Alaska Governor Bypasses Legislature for Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Process, schmocess…

Last week, Alaska Governor Bill Walker announced that he will bypass the legislative process and implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion by executive fiat.

Walker’s announcement should be no surprise to Obamacare proponents – after all, President Obama has maltreated his executive authority dozens of times to amend his signature law. But expansion may come as a shock to Alaska’s legislative leadership, who last month brokered an informal arrangement with the governor to put Medicaid expansion on hold until 2016.

The press conference Walker held last week was heavy on promises, but light on specifics. To hear the Walker administration tell it, Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion would be an economic elixir for a state budget hit hard by declining oil prices. It would help failing hospitals become whole again, a sentiment echoed by the long line of high-paid Alaska hospital CEOs brought in to praise the decision.

Before figuring out his best way to win an election was as an independent, Walker was a Republican, which simply makes him another in a long line of state executives who should know better (John Kasich, anyone?). It is always sad to see a governor elected by citizens who are hoping for some fiscally responsible leadership become addicted to federal goodies that he hopes will keep him in office for a while.

Even sadder is seeing politicians who fancy themselves independent or Republican using Democrat talking points to convince the public that fleecing taxpayers is somehow better if the money comes from Washington.

As the authors of this piece point out, those talking points also happen to be rather empty and wrong.

Gov. Walker’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion will create a massive new tax cliff, where earning a single extra dollar means that Medicaid expansion enrollees could face hundreds or even thousands of dollars of extra costs if they try and move off the program.

That new welfare cliff is sure to depress employment. Peer-reviewed research of previous Medicaid expansions to able-bodied adults shows that expanding Medicaid will diminish work, dampen earnings, reduce labor-force participation and hurt the economy. Those conclusions are supported by the independent Congressional Budget Office, which confirms that Obamacare will cause millions of working-age adults to drop out of the labor force or reduce their hours, ultimately reducing economic output.

In Alaska, nearly 4,000 able-bodied adults could drop out of the labor force entirely, with many more reducing hours to avoid the welfare cliff.

This entire article is worth the read, but I’ll finish with a thought on executive overreach: it only works when legislators abdicate power and responsibility. As the authors point out, it is imperative that the Alaska legislature block this power-hungry unilateral move.

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HuffPo ‘Data Justice’ Director: ‘Will Uber Help Kill The Planet?’

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Beyond parody.

The fight over Uber can be reduced by the media in a place like New York City as a fight between hide-bound yellow cabs and high-tech Uber “innovators”–but that’s a frame that ignores the more than 95% of the population that don’t use any kind of cab at all. And when you take a step back, the fight over Uber and its future likely use of driverless cars has enormous implications for whether our nation and the world can stop climate change from killing the planet.

This eventually gets to a pathetically predictable place, but let’s pause for a moment to have fun with whatever a “data justice” director is. Are there data victim groups that need protection? Is Big Data keeping people down? Is your data self-identifying in ways that aren’t legally protected?

Will these people make up anything to make themselves sound important to the other paste-eaters?

Back to the post. I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to find out that this writer used a thousand or so words to just puff up a yawner of a leftist talking point:

That a taxi-hailing app is an important “disruptive innovation” is a distraction from the serious failure of the U.S. to invest significant dollars in transportation infrastructure

Modern progressivism keeps its adherents riveted to the narrative by hypnotizing them with two simple, all-encompassing mantras: spend more on education and spend more on infrastructure. These are the perfect arguments for non-thinking puppets to make, largely because both are evergreen (there’s never enough spending, according to them) and involve polysyllabic catch words that make the puppets feel as if they have functioning intellects.

That’s how you get to the a place where you find the city bus more innovative than Silicon Valley.

I’m off to see if my data is oppressing anyone. If it’s not, I’ll need answers.

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(VIDEO) Hillary Tries Comedy, Says She’s Not Asking For Votes Just Because She’s A Woman

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

She says she wants people to vote for her based on “merits”, as if any modern Democrat has a functional understanding of the word.

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MSNBC Reportedly Cancelling Ed Schultz

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Predictable bedfellows.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders today released a statement about Ed Schultz‘s show being yanked from MSNBC.

Mediaite exclusively reported last night that The Cycle, Now with Alex Wagner, and The Ed Show are all getting the axe to make way for more straight-news programming.

MSNBC has not publicly confirmed it yet, but Sanders –– who has been on Schultz’s show many times and who clearly has a big fan in the MSNBC host –– already has a statement out criticizing NBCUniversal’s parent company, Comcast.

Here it is in full:

We live in a time when much of the corporate media regards politics as a baseball game or a soap opera. Ed Schultz has treated the American people with respect by focusing on the most important issues impacting their lives. He has talked about income and wealth inequality, high unemployment, low wages, our disastrous trade politics and racism in America.

I am very disappointed that Comcast chose to remove Ed Schultz from its lineup. We need more people who talk about the real issues facing our country, not fewer.

At a time when a handful of large, multi-national corporations own our major media outlets, I hope they will allow voices to be heard from those who dissent from the corporate agenda.

(Italics added)

Schultz was never quite able to create a niche as the slightly less obnoxious Keith Olbermann at MSNBC. He is an off-the-rails socialist who loves him some Bernie Sanders though. Big Ed’s refusal to cheer lead for Hillary may have as much to do with his dismissal as his ratings. Nobody at the network is pulling in monster numbers, after all.

As for Schultz’s respect for the American people, Comrade Bernie must not have been thinking about Republicans when he said that.

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Slate Male Feminist: ‘I Hate that I Love to Grill’

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Stop this sad, sad world.

I hate how much I love to grill. It’s not that I’m inclined to vegetarianism or that I otherwise object to the practice itself. But I’m uncomfortable with the pleasure I take in something so conventionally masculine. Looming over the coals, tongs in hand, I feel estranged from myself, recast in the role of suburban dad. At such moments, I get the sense that I’ve fallen into a societal trap, one that reaffirms gender roles I’ve spent years trying to undo. The whole business feels retrograde, a relic of some earlier, less inclusive era.

There was no reason to read further to see if this was a satirical piece as it was posted at Slate, a site not known for employing writers who possess the intellectual agility to write satire.

Upon reading it all, however, it is almost impossible to believe that someone who can travel through a social justice warrior journey of such self loathing proportions can actually enjoy anything. These aren’t people who even want to enjoy anything, as it ruins all purpose for them.

White, male and self-sufficient are all anathema to progressives, and the guilt is strong with any of them who find themselves cursed by birth with the first two self-descriptions. The poor dears are in a perpetual state of self-exorcism in an effort to blend in with the rest of the pinched and angry progressive horde. Jacob doesn’t really like grilling, Jacob likes beating up on Jacob to make himself likable to some thoroughly unpleasant people.

Everybody needs a hobby.

More: 

Slate Sex Trafficking Post Proves Feminists Can’t Be Happy Even When You Agree with Them

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Medicare Fund to Run Dry in 2030, but Trustees Say It’s on ‘Better Footing’

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Politispeak 101

A slowdown in healthcare spending has shored up the funding outlook for the federal program that pays elderly Americans’ hospital bills, trustees of the program said on Wednesday.

The Medicare program’s trust fund for hospital care will run out of money in 2030 the trustees said in a report. That was the same year as in their previous estimate, although the trustees said the program now appears on better footing over the longer term.

When the fund runs out of money, Washington would only be able to partially cover its obligations.

The trustees urged U.S. politicians to enact new laws to keep that from happening, though they said the funding gap over the longer run appears narrowed thanks to signs that healthcare costs would be lower in the future.

So…it’s no better than it was before but it’s better.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the United States federal bureaucracy.

All of this is predicated on the projection of lower future health care costs, which is a rather bold leap of faith for a program that has been wildly over original cost projections since its inception.

This will, of course, continue to be a mess in the age of timid, can-kicking legislators. Any real attempts by Republicans to shore it up will be used to scare voters with lies about it being “decimated.” The Republicans will then become terrified and reverse course, thus creating the appearance that the Democrat fear mongering was right.

It’s a bureaucratic sinkhole that has no bottom.

But it’s in better shape or something.

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Boehner Pays Lip Service to Stopping Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I’d like to believe him.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday said he and others in Congress would do “everything possible” to stop a new nuclear deal with Iran from moving forward.

“Members of Congress will ask much tougher questions this afternoon when we meet with the president’s team, and because a bad deal threatens the security of the American people, we’re going to do everything possible to stop it,” Boehner told reporters.

Later on Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz were scheduled to hold classified briefings for lawmakers in the U.S. Capitol.

It would be all sorts of fun if Johnny Orange actually dug in his heels and fought this sell-out “deal”. Boehner’s history, however, is filled with tough talk early in any political tussle, almost always followed by a complete disintegration of his spine and capitulation to whatever the Democrats want.

The Idiot King is going to be running amok as his tenure winds down and the country needs Congress to stall or thwart him whenever they can. If all of his legacy building is allowed to go unchecked, it may be too much for any future president to undo.

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Well Played: Perry Releases Vid of Trump Praising Him as Governor

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

While I am still a much bigger fan of Republican candidates spending their time tearing down Hillary Clinton (see: Carly Fiorina), this is the best way to handle Trump: let his own words come back to haunt him.

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Kasich Enters GOP Fray During Trump Circus with Advisers Touting His Bluntness

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The “No-Filter Party”?

John Kasich has a résumé seemingly tailor-made for a serious run for the Republican nomination: blue-collar upbringing, congressional budget hawk, Fox News commentator, investment banker, successful two-term governor of Ohio.

But there’s just one problem, according to interviews with dozens of those who’ve worked in politics alongside him at various points over the past several decades: his short fuse.
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There was the friend who excitedly called Kasich to tell him he was about to announce a campaign for statewide office, only to get a letdown of a reply: “How stupid are you?”

There was the wealthy conservative donor he raised his voice to during a Koch brothers-sponsored conference, prompting a walkout.

There was the BP employee who, in the middle of a meeting, found himself the target of Kasich’s derision. “You know why oil and gas companies have a bad reputation?” the governor barked at him. “Because they deserve it.”

There was the professor who wrote Kasich, then a young state senator, a letter of complaint about his education policies. “When you learn to write a civil letter,” the brash lawmaker fired back, “I will respond accordingly.”

Kasich, 63, is far from the only politician to face questions about his temperament. During his presidency, Bill Clinton was known to have lashed out at those who worked in the White House. Chris Christie’s outbursts have become a trademark of sorts, proudly displayed in clips on the New Jersey governor’s YouTube channel.

But the tales of angry tantrums have dogged Kasich throughout his long career, from the state Legislature, to the halls of Congress, to the governorship. So much so that even the famously volatile Sen. John McCain once said of Kasich: “He has a hair-trigger temper.”

And as the governor — who will formally declare his presidential bid during a Tuesday appearance at The Ohio State University — steps into the glare of the national spotlight, it seems certain that the questions about his bedside manner will only intensify.

Kasich’s advisers say his bluntness will appeal to frustrated voters looking for a tell-it-like-it-is candidate who has sharp elbows and authenticity.

“Even when voters disagree with him, they respect his willingness to speak truthfully about his views,” said Chris Schrimpf, a Kasich spokesman. “Many wind up thanking him for being so refreshing.”

Normally I wouldn’t be a big fan of this kind of personality profile hit piece from the likes of Politico, but Kasich has been one of the more embarrassing Republican champions of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, so I see this almost as a “left-on-left” battle at this point.

The overall issue is whether a candidate can stake out the “blunt, refreshing” ground that Trump seems to own with many who don’t follow politics 24/7. If there is a plan to out-blunt Trump, I’m not sure America wants to see it.

Once the Trump noise fades, the Republicans will still have a “tell it like it is” candidate in the race named Ted Cruz, who just happens to be a guy who doesn’t love anything about Obamacare.

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Fiorina Hits Facebook for Quick Response to Latest Planned Parenthood Video

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Wasting no time, and calling out the “moral depravity” of Planned Parenthood, GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina posted a video on her campaign Facebook page to exhort people on both sides of the abortion issue to ask how it went so wrong.

Her campaign is nimble, her message is sound, and, unlike so many of the other Republican candidates, she’s been focused on Hillary Clinton rather than Donald Trump.

If she doesn’t poll well enough to make the Fox News Channel circus debate but Trump and Huckabee do, “the government we deserve” line will ring louder and truer than ever.

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Military Families’ Percentage of Income Spent on Housing More Than Double That of Civilians

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

All kinds of wrong.

A recent study by Zillow found that military families pay more income for housing, whether a mortgage or rent, than civilians.

New housing is a frequent concern for most military families. Buying a house may make more financial sense than renting, but when you factor in that most military families move every few years, it can quickly lose appeal. Most military families move every three years, which can take a frequent toll on families — and their finances.

The percentage of income that goes to a mortgage payment in the United States for most residents is 15.5 percent. For military families, the rate is more than double: 31.5 percent of income.

Remember the Occupy crowd and their cries for free everything? There’s a snapshot of what’s wrong with America. Not only is there a political class that’s devoted to finding new ways to have taxpayers fund slackers, those same politicos often ignore the myriad plights those who risk all for this country endure. From voting rights to health care to housing, the military is constantly treated like lower-tier citizens, when the very opposite should be the case.

This isn’t all the fault of politicians, as American society doesn’t hold the military in the esteem it once did. As always, most of the blame lies with almost everything about Vietnam. The government ran a lousy war that did little more than get our troops captured or killed, and the public expressed its frustration in a variety of ways. One tragic byproduct was that the war’s failure led to an undeserved lack of respect for our military.

In an increasingly dangerous world we shouldn’t be putting undo burdens on the very people who have to protect us from the danger.

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President Obama Goes Into Federal Prison And, Sadly, Comes Back Out

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Fun while it lasted…

President Barack Obama, who wrote in his memoir about using marijuana and cocaine as a youth, became the first sitting president to tour a federal prison on Thursday and met drug-offense inmates, saying he could have been in their place if not for the advantages he had growing up.

Obama spoke with inmates and toured El Reno federal prison, which holds 1300 inmates, 146 percent of its capacity.

He vowed to work with wardens and corrections officers to address overcrowding, a piece of his administration’s wide-ranging criminal justice reform agenda.

That’s right kids, when he’s not busy making sure Iran is happy and our allies in the Middle East are not, The Idiot King is busy letting the world know that he cares about criminals. Throughout his entire presidency he hasn’t been very shy about where he stands whenever it’s a case of “cops vs criminal”. Heck, he even prefers criminals to nuns.

The good news is that he’s only got a little more time in office left. The bad news is that Hillary Clinton might replace him, and she doesn’t just sympathize with criminals, she actually is one.

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11 Commercial Aircraft Targeted with Lasers Near Newark Airport Last Night

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via ABC News:

Eleven commercial flights reported lasers illuminated their aircraft Wednesday night as they flew over New Jersey between the hours of 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and the pilot of one plane reported having blurred vision, according to federal officials.

“This is an assault on a pilot as far as I’m concerned,” said Rich Frankel, special agent in charge of the Newark, New Jersey, office of the FBI. “It is a criminal matter. You’re putting the lives of not just the pilot but everyone on the plane at risk.”

Several of the incidents were reported approximately 15 to 20 miles southwest of Newark Liberty International Airport, and the planes were bound for that airport, as well as LaGuardia Airport in New York City, and Pittsburgh, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Just for your information, there’s someone shooting a laser about four or five miles back off our back wing,” one pilot told the Newark airport control tower.
“That just happened again?” the tower responded.

“Yes, about four to five miles back,” the pilot answered. “They lit us up pretty well.”

This is a federal crime that has a heavy fine and prison sentence because it is a dangerous thing to do. What is most disturbing is that we are dealing with people who are either being remarkably stupid or deliberately dangerous, without a lot of middle ground. Imagine a plane being taken down by the idiot teenager who thinks it’s fun to bring a laser pointer to a theater (I know it’s a different laser, I’m talking about the mindset).

It’s a problem that is getting worse:

The number of nationwide laser hits is climbing each year, the Federal Aviation Administration said, from 2,200 incidents in 2010 to 3,400 in 2012 and more than 3,900 in 2013, an all-time high. That’s more than 10 incidents every day across the country.

Good luck resting after this, nervous flyers.

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Greek Parliament Approves Bailout Requirements

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via USA Today:

After protesters clashed with police outside, Greece’s parliament accepted harsh terms early Thursday to receive nearly $100 billion in the country’s third bailout in five years.

To pass the measures and avoid economic collapse without a financial rescue, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was forced to cobble together enough support from opposition parties because his own ruling party opposed the plan.

The vote — cast about two hours after the midnight Wednesday deadline — will allow Athens to receive a financial lifeline from its international creditors, but comes at a significant cost of higher taxes, deep cuts in pensions and other government benefits and the sale of most state assets.

The measure passed after at least 10 separate protests and a general strike crippled the Greek capital Wednesday as demonstrators called for the government to reject the new rescue package or try to renegotiate for better terms from international creditors that include the European Central Bank, eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund.

It would be nice to think that this will provide a lesson for other countries and states that are heading in the same general direction. California, for example, is about to hit a “painful pension reform or enjoy the cliff” point in the very near future. Mrs. Thatcher’s “other people’s money” warning is rarely heeded but always comes true. And, as we have seen, hell hath no fury like spoiled welfare state brats who have just had their taxpayer funded goodies taken away.

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White House Dispatches Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep to Sell Iran Deal to Dems

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Not a done deal?

The Obama administration on Wednesday kicked off its push for approval of the Iran nuclear deal by dispatching Vice President Joe Biden to Congress, where he assured Democrats nothing in the pact would preclude military action if Tehran violated the agreement.

“He stated clearly that nothing in the agreement takes the military option off the table,” U.S. Representative Steve Israel said after leaving the closed-door meeting between Biden and House of Representatives Democrats.

This is confusing, as the media has been assuring the American people that this deal is self-evidently perfect and the only thing keeping us from war with Iran. Why would President Obama need to sell it to his own party?

As the post notes, the Democrats probably will give the President enough support to pass the congressional review. After the struggles with the trade deal, it’s unlikely that they would provide too much resistance this soon again, given that they’re much more of a hive mind than the Republicans. There is still, however, a slight reason for the administration to be concerned.

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1970s Diplomatic Relic Brzezinski Hits Daughter’s Cable Show To Dismiss Netanyahu

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Having a Carter lackey dismiss your take on international politics is like having a Cubs fan mock how long it’s been since your team won a World Series.

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New Poll: Comrade Bernie Still Way Behind, but Gaining on Her Madameship

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Bern notice.

Hillary Clinton is still leading the Democratic field for 2016, but her lead has shrunk in recent months, according to a new Monmouth University poll out Wednesday, as independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to make steady gains despite trailing by a wide margin.

Among Democrats and those leaning toward the Democratic Party, Clinton picked up the support of 51 percent, down from 57 percent in June and 60 percent in April.
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Sanders came in second with 17 percent, followed by former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb with 1 percent each. Lincoln Chafee, the former governor and senator from Rhode Island, registered no support.

Sure, he’s far behind, but a nine point drop for The Missus in a couple of months is still worth noting. You can bet her handlers are discussing this. Mrs. Bill has already been reacting to Sanders’ presence in speeches without referencing him by name, touting her “progressive” record.

Imagine if the Democrats had any kind of a bench at all, the true weakness of Hillary Clinton as a candidate would be exposed in a heartbeat. Instead we’re left with a kooky socialist from a state with twelve people and the faint hope that Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep might jump in and chip away at her. The entire Democratic field should be delivered to the debates in a clown car.

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McCain Gets His First 2016 Primary Challenger

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Fingers crossed…

An Arizona lawmaker said on Tuesday she will challenge U.S. Senator John McCain in the 2016 Republican primary, vowing to better represent conservative values.

Kelli Ward, a two-time state legislator, said it is time to replace the state’s five-term senior senator with “a fresh, new voice” to serve residents in the burgeoning southwestern U.S. state.

“I’m running for the U.S. Senate to give you a real choice!” said Ward on her website. “Arizonans deserve a Senator who will fight for their values, and not just go along with the Beltway crowd.”

The 46-year-old emergency room physician said in a video that McCain has “too often disappointed conservatives” on issues such as Obamacare, illegal immigration and federal spending.

Ward is a long shot but Matt Salmon, who has more name recognition and more financial backing, may enter the race too.

I am an Arizona native who had no problem supporting McCain at the beginning of his Senate career when I still lived there. That, however, was before he became enamored of the occasional pat on the back from the New York Times. McCain is now the glaring epitome of everything that is wrong with Washington, especially the Senate. He continually disappoints constituents for five years, then spends his election year being the man that they want. That, coupled with the favors doled out during the aforementioned five years, provide him just enough to weather primary challenges.

Maverick will be eighty when the next election rolls around, and it will be almost thirty years since his first election to the Senate. He no longer cares about the people in Arizona. Like all members of the Senate who have been there too long, he’s only worried about the perks of being a United States Senator.

Unless the 17th Amendment is repealed, voters are going to have to get longer attention spans when senators are up for reelection.

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Jindal Launches Investigation into Planned Parenthood After Organ Harvesting Video Surfaces

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

On it.

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday announced he’s directed the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to investigate Planned Parenthood activities in the state after a video surfaced that claims the organization is selling fetal body parts.

The video, which was posted to YouTube by the Center for Medical Progress, shows a woman discussing the harvest of fetal organs and body parts from partial-birth abortions. The Center for Medical Progress identifies the woman as Dr. Deborah Nucatola, who is Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s national medical director.

There was no indication that the video or the activities described in it had ties to Louisiana. But Jindal said he was ordering an investigation in part because Planned Parenthood is planning to open a clinic in New Orleans.

This is a very swift response from a candidate who places pro-life issues at the heart of his appeal to voters. Planned Parenthood has been getting away with being little more than an abortion front while pretending that it offers an array of options to those who wander through its doors. Its disingenuous portrayal of what it does should be enough to preclude it from being eligible for public funding, but it hasn’t been so far. Now that there’s proof it is even more ghoulish than imagined, pro-life politicians have an opportunity to at least press for reductions in amount of taxpayer support.

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Politico on Hillary’s Economic Policy Speech: ‘Is that it?’

Monday, July 13th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Her Madameship continues to underwhelm.

Hillary Clinton gave a big economics speech here on Monday and the snap reaction among Wall Street investors, economists and ardent financial reformers who thrill to the soak-the-rich rhetoric of Bernie Sanders was a collective: “Meh. What’s next?”

Clinton laid out the soft contours of a “growth and fairness economy” in a speech designed to appeal to struggling middle-class workers with promises of higher pay and more generous federal policies.

But she left out many hard specifics on tougher tax policy toward the rich and corporate America. And she offered limited pledges to crack down on big Wall Street banks while hitting her strongest notes promising to toss rogue bankers in prison while ripping recent worker productivity comments from Jeb Bush.

Naturally, the cornerstone of the playbook for Mrs. Bill’s team is to have her avoid specifics. When pressed for details she finds it impossible to not come off as an imperious shrew.

The details aren’t her friend here either. She loves to tout her husband’s economic record, which was almost entirely the product of timing, as the dotcom boom happened on his watch. One of the few specifics she’s been pimping is an attack on the sharing economy, which many Americans would say is a considerably positive product of that boom. Scary grandma is talking about helping working Americans while ripping Uber, a company that provides jobs and a helpful, often more cost-effective service to those Americans.

The Missus is also taking some swings at Wall Street, which I pointed out recently is somewhere on the other side of disingenuous when you look at this history of her biggest donors.

This is a candidate who needs to keep a nonexistent narrative about a strong, self-made woman alive. As there aren’t any historical components to that story, you won’t find her handlers letting her get too deep in the weeds about anything, because she can’t speak at length on most of what she’s using as talking points.

Now, if the subject of riding coattails ever comes up…

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For Some Inexplicable Reason, Kasich Supporters Have Raised $11.5 Million

Friday, July 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Bizarro World is bizarre.

Two committees supporting Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich’s U.S. presidential candidacy have raised around $11.5 million in two months, Bloomberg reported on Friday.

Kasich, 63, is expected to announce his bid on July 21, joining 14 other candidates already in the race for the Republican nomination for the November 2016 election.

Bloomberg said the sum raised was an encouraging sign for Kasich’s effort, and that the two committees had focused their efforts on large donors rather than grassroots contributions.

There are many who subscribe to the theory that “fringe” candidates in a large presidential primary field are running for Cabinet positions should their party’s nominee prevail in the general election. It’s not an entirely implausible notion but it does discount the massive amount of ego it takes to be a politician. (Side note: I’m an entertainer, so I am definitely not ascribing any pejorative connotation to “ego.”)

What most don’t consider is that there are almost always some well-funded people telling said fringe candidate to run. Sometimes, it’s only one rich person, but when that is coupled with the ego, it is often enough to launch a campaign.

That there is 11+ million dollars floating around out there to support Kasich should dispel the idea that there is a finite pie of money for one party to go after. Paraphrasing the old adage about love, there’s a donor out there for everybody.

To say that Kasich is a long shot would be generous. He is, however, your guy if you’re the kind of Republican who loves Obamacare and Common Core.

So he’s got that going for him.

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Abortion Restriction Bill to Hit Walker’s Desk Just As Campaign Kicks Off

Friday, July 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Timing is everything.

Wisconsin Republicans gift-wrapped an Iowa talking point for Gov. Scott Walker this week, sending abortion restrictions to his desk just days ahead of his presidential announcement.

The legislation, which would ban nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, cleared the state Assembly Thursday on a party-line vote, four days before the governor intends to launch his presidential bid. Walker has indicated that he’ll sign the measure.

Walker’s win on the issue comes as he’s introducing himself to Iowa Republicans, who tend to favor social conservative candidates in their first-in-the-nation caucuses. It also comes amid questions Walker has faced on the right about his commitment to conservative causes, like opposing same-sex marriage and limiting abortions.

Prominent anti-abortion advocates and social conservatives signaled that Walker’s signature on the measure, which could come as early as Friday, would be a welcome gesture to kick off his campaign.

To date, Walker has faced far more press scrutiny and questions as an undeclared candidate than Hillary Clinton has as the Democratic front-runner. None of the hit pieces have really gotten traction and his entry into the race remains perhaps the most eagerly anticipated of this cycle. All of his stars keep aligning well, as the timing of this bill proves.

All of this leads me to wonder just how well Walker can do when most things are going just a little bit right. He was besieged by Big Labor money and legal threats almost from the moment he took office. The opposition to him has been ugly, relentless and very well funded, but all he does is win.

He may very well be a steamroller with a little breathing room.

Hope is not lost for conservative Republicans until Jeb Bush is the nominee.

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As Sanders Gains in NH, Hillary Touts Progressive Cred

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Leftward Ho!

Hillary Clinton arrived in this liberal New England enclave with a message for anyone thinking about voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders of next-door Vermont: “I take a backseat to no one when you look at my record in standing up and fighting for progressive values.”

Sanders, according to the latest New Hampshire polls, is trailing Clinton by just eight points. And at the first stop of her two-day swing through the early-voting state, Clinton highlighted contrasts with her main Democratic rival without mentioning him by name.

Politico changed her line about “progressive values” to “liberal record” for the headline. It’s important that the MSM keeps up the illusion that Democrats aren’t all extreme leftists. Bernie Sanders is refreshing in that he at least admits he’s running around on the socialist fringe, the rest of the Democrats have to at least pretend they don’t hate the Constitution.

For the moment anyway.

What makes this interesting is that the imperious presumptive runaway nominee is being forced to react to another candidate. This probably isn’t something that her team has workshopped a lot. If they have in the past, you can bet they weren’t thinking it would be Bernie Sanders forcing their hand.

The openly progressive constituency in the Democratic Party is restless, feeling that they’ve been shortchanged by the current occupant of the White House who, as many of us tried to tell them, is just in it for himself. The wing of the party that’s voting for Hillary is doing it because they feel they have to-she really doesn’t get anyone fired up. If Sanders keeps gaining momentum, it could create an opportunity for the progressive that everyone on the Left really wants to see get in the race. The Warren money may have shifted to Sanders recently but they’ll ditch him in a heartbeat if Fauxcahontas jumps in.

And then we will have something entertaining to watch.

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Church of Climate Change Doctrine: Because It’s Summer, Weather Can Be ‘Climate’ Again

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The science of no science.

As Germany and Spain sweated and London sweltered through its hottest July day on record this week, scientists said it is “virtually certain” that climate change is increasing the likelihood of such heat waves in Europe.

In real-time data analysis released on Friday, a team of international climate scientists from universities, meteorological services and research organizations said the kind of heat waves hitting Europe this week – defined as three-day periods of excessive heat – are becoming much more frequent in the region.

In De Bilt in the Netherlands, for example, a heat wave like the one forecast for the next few days would have been a roughly one-in-30-years event in the 1900s, according to the scientists. It is now likely to happen every three-and-a-half years, they said.

Whenever I read any of these articles sounding the climate change warning alarms, I pay close attention to the number of less-than-definite qualifying words.

There are always a lot.

In this piece, scientists are “virtually certain” about what something that is “likely to happen” means.

So they are almost sure that the proof they’re right might show up in the next several years.

I can get science like that from the palm reader three blocks away.

This “science” that the Climate Church is trying to use to facilitate the globalization of socialist wealth redistribution is largely based on prognostication that is so faulty its adherents are constantly moving goalposts at a rate rapid enough to induce seizures just to save face.

This science is also seasonal. While “virtually” all hot weather can be used as an “Endtimes!” cry by the Climate Church, in the winter “weather doesn’t say anything about climate change”.

Are we clear on the rules now? Of course not, because there aren’t any.

That’s not science.

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Team Lightbringer Issues New Holiday Talking Points About Health Care Law That Everyone Supposedly Loves

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

How to ruin a barbecue in 1 easy step.

The Obama administration wants you to bring a side of healthcare politics to your family picnic this weekend.

After ObamaCare’s big win at the Supreme Court last week, federal health officials are serving up some tips about talking to family members who may be less-than-enthused that ObamaCare is here to stay.

“You should be prepared when Aunt Janine says something like, ‘Obamacare hasn’t helped anyone!’” a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

For instance, if your Uncle Ted starts calling Obamacare a train wreck, you should calmly explain that he’s “gotten ahold of some old talking points,” the spokesman recommends.

Then, he suggests that you recite a three-paragraph response citing 14 figures ranging from healthcare inflation to the growth in full-time versus part-time employment.

“With greater access to affordable, quality health insurance, the Affordable Care Act is helping individuals and strengthening our economy!” the sample script goes.

Despite the assurances of every liberal on Facebook that Obamacare is awesome and here to stay, it seems this law that’s supposed to be self-evidently wonderful needs some holiday hype.

Why have fun when you spend the day telling neighbors who can no longer afford their family premiums that they’ve merely “gotten ahold of some old talking points”?

An Occam’s razor-ish approach would tell us that something so good for so many shouldn’t still need such a hard sell after so many years.

Unless they’re lying, of course.

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First U.S. Measles Death in a Decade, Courtesy of Your Neighborhood Anti-Vaxxers

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Forbes:

For the first time since 2003, a person has died from measles in the U.S. A woman in Clallam County in Washington died from pneumonia caused by measles, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

“This should have been a preventable death, and I think her death is a tragedy,” said Dr. Mark Schleiss, professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at the University of Minnesota. “Measles is a disease we know we can control with effective immunizations. For this to happen is really unfortunate and unnecessary.”

The fact that the woman’s death occurred in Washington is unfortunately unsurprising, however, Schleiss noted.

“We know that Washington state is a state with one of the highest percentages of religious and philosophical exemptions for vaccines in the country,” he said. “It seems a reasonable conclusion that this death occurred because of inadequate immunization levels, but more epidemiological investigation will have to take place to find out.”

So there you have it. When the population has a higher number of “exemptions”–anti-vaxxers–it follows that the rest of the people are at greater risk. While it’s reflexive for many to blame religion for almost anything, many of the “philosophical” exemptions occur in very liberal clusters.

As has been pointed out, but still needs to be hammered home, it isn’t surprising to see people who are devout members of the Church of Climate Change Hysteria wholeheartedly subscribing to celebrity-driven “science” about vaccinations. They’ve been selling the climate hysteria through celebrities for years, it really isn’t a leap for them to believe that one of their comrades in carbon fighting arms is an expert in the causes of autism.

These are the people who use nets rather than chemicals to combat malaria, so human casualties as a result of a misbegotten hippie narrative are nothing new to them.

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Karl Rove Exhorts GOP Candidates to Adopt Failed 2012 Playbook

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This guy needs some hobbies so he’ll leave us alone.

Now more than ever, it is imperative for every Republican presidential candidate to present a concrete plan to replace ObamaCare. The Affordable Care Act remains unpopular: Wednesday’s RealClearPolitics average of polls showed 51.4% disapprove while only 43.6% approve. Voters are more likely to be opposed than are adults overall, and opponents are more fervent than supporters.

For example, a June 14 CBS/New York Times poll found that 30% strongly opposed “the health care law that was passed in 2010,” while 24% strongly approved. The opposition would likely have been higher had pollsters labeled the law “ObamaCare.”

Though acceptance might rise following the Supreme Court’s tortured decision last week to uphold the law’s subsidies, opposition may only strengthen as the 2016 election approaches. ObamaCare participants are older and sicker than expected, so insurers are asking for big premium increases. The average requested premium hike, across 45 states and the District of Columbia, is nearly 24%, according to data from healthcare.gov.

While I am not in complete disagreement about continuing to battle and pick away at this monstrosity, I don’t think it needs to be the centerpiece of the presidential election. The time for that was 2012 and the GOP thoroughly blew the opportunity by nominating the ONE Republican who had no street cred whatsoever to battle the idea of government run healthcare.

One thing I am certain that the Republican nominee shouldn’t do in this election is appear to be looking backwards. The party doesn’t need to run against Barack Obama a third time, especially when considering how disastrous the first two attempts were. To be focusing on him and his most dubious achievement when he isn’t even in the race would be a bit…obsessive.

Focusing on Obamacare also makes things a little too easy on Hillary. She is already getting a free pass from the MSM, she doesn’t need one from the GOP field as well. If Obamacare is mentioned, do it to force her into actually taking a position on the growing disgruntlement the polling data Rove mentions represents. Ask her what she plans to do to address the ballooning premiums.

The more opponents wear Hillary down, the less she and her handlers can keep up the charade. Her nasty, imperious tendencies will assert themselves and show the public just how awful she is. There is no reason to let her hide behind an issue from the previous presidential election.

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DOJ Investigating Major Airlines for Possible Price Collusion

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya think?

The Justice Department says it is investigating “possible unlawful coordination” by several major airline carriers. American, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have all confirmed receiving letters from the Justice Department.

In a statement, American said the department “seeks documents and information from the last two years that are related to statements and decisions about airline capacity.”

A United spokesman said the company is complying fully in regard to the probe.

The story was first reported by The Associated Press, which notes that the investigation “appears to focus on whether airlines illegally signaled to each other how quickly they would add new flights, routes and extra seats.”

At this point it would probably surprise most travelers to find out that the air carriers aren’t supposed to be colluding. They move in sync like a school of fish when it comes to pricing, so it’s not difficult to believe they are communicating on the above-mentioned issues.

It’s so bad right now that Chuck Schumer is pretending to be a fan of marketplace competition:

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a statement, “It’s hard to understand, with jet fuel prices dropping by 40 percent since last year, why ticket prices haven’t followed. We know that when airlines merge, there’s less price competition. What we need now is a top-to-bottom review to ensure consumers aren’t being hurt by industry changes.”

There is still plenty of competition in the airline industry. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of taxes and arbitrary fees that have almost nothing to do with the actual cost of a flight. It’s government interference that makes things expensive in the first place, so more of it can’t really help.

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Pelosi: Elizabeth Warren Doesn’t Speak for Party

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Family feud.

Nancy Pelosi is firing back at criticism from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other liberals in the Democratic Party that President Barack Obama’s administration has been too soft on Wall Street.

“There may have been a couple of people who say that, but that is not the consensus in our party,” the House minority leader said in an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood published Wednesday. “The financial industry doesn’t agree with that,” she noted.

Honestly, no one will ever be tough enough to meet Sen. Warren’s standards. She’s a progressive commie, after all.

This is really about party leadership circling the wagons for Mrs. Bill. While it is true that the Democrats have made big public stinks about the evils of Wall Street, there is still quite a bit of chumminess there, especially when it comes to Hillary. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party is far more enthusiastic than the automatons who will go through the motions to vote for Hillary. Establishment Dems still fear the progressive outliers, as evidenced by the Mrs. Clinton’s populist kabuki theater performances of late.

What Pelosi is doing here is subtly reminding the much-needed big money Wall Street donors that Elizabeth Warren and her ilk may do more than just pay lip service to battling them. Should one of Hillary’s nine or ten thousand legal improprieties finally catch up to her and her campaign stumble, the establishment wants to make sure that money doesn’t reflexively flow to Warren if she is the “historic” choice to be the first female president.

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New Ebola Death in ‘Ebola Free’ Liberia

Monday, June 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Surprise!

Seven weeks after the World Health Organization declared Liberia to be free of the Ebola virus, the country’s deputy health minister said the body of a 17-year-old man had tested positive for the disease. The deputy minister, Tolbert Nyenswah, who also heads Liberia’s Ebola response, said Monday that the teenager had died Wednesday in Nedowein, a town close to Liberia’s international airport, and was given a safe burial the next day. He said the man was not tested until after he died. It was not known how he had contracted the disease.

It may not be time for a panic, but it would seem that all those victory laps that were taken a couple of months ago weren’t called for. Perhaps we should respect Mother Nature a little more, especially when she’s unleashing killer viruses that have sneaky incubation periods.

And let’s keep our fingers crossed that this kid wasn’t hanging around people who travel.

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