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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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MSNBC’s Ratings Free-Fall Prompts Discussions of a Shakeup

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

They miss Olbermann.

When President Obama was reelected in 2012, MSNBC was “leaning forward” and smiling wide as Obama 2.0 propelled it to record ratings and a firm grasp on the No. 2 spot in cable news.

Over two years later, the network has fallen backwards. January ratings revealed double-digit declines compared with January, 2014 in all ratings measurements. During the day, MSNBC was down 20 percent in viewers and 37 percent in the advertising-coveted 25-54 demo. In primetime, it fell 23 percent in viewers and 39 percent in demo.

Network President Phil Griffin knows MSNBC needs to turn those numbers around quickly, and multiple insiders tell TheWrap Griffin is in the process of deciding what potential changes to make, including tinkering with primetime.

One well-placed insider told TheWrap that the ratings-challenged “All In” with Chris Hayes — airing in the cable news sweet spot of 8 p.m. ET — might get uprooted for a different timeslot. It’s not clear who will replace Hayes in the event that he gets yanked from 8 p.m., but since Keith Olbermann’s 2011 exit, MSNBC has filled the all-important timeslot with internal talent rather than seeking hosts from the outside.

MSNBC is a lot like the current administration it so admires: every time someone awful leaves, someone worse is found as a replacement.

A key component in its struggle is the fact that the network’s executives and on-air talent are blissfully unaware of the fact that progressivism is still a fringe ideology in America. The little bump they enjoyed was due to a combination of the unsustainable emotional high of the early Obama years and the CNN’s floundering. CNN may not be what it was twenty years ago, but it has made some slight improvements in the past couple of years.

Jeff Zucker seems genuinely interested in restoring the CNN brand, while Phil Griffin seems to be merely creating programming that he and his friends enjoy:

MSNBC’s other programming problem appears to be Griffin himself, whom multiple insiders told TheWrap is too attached to the hosts he’s selected and the shows they’ve developed, including Farrow, Reid, Hayes and Alex Wagner, who hosts “Now” at 4 p.m. ET.

That this niche network is still supported by the parent company is also indicative of just how left-leaning NBC as a whole is.

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Uh-Oh: FCC Chairman Wants To Regulate Broadband Like A Utility

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A bad idea made worse…

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed Wednesday he’s seeking strong net neutrality rules that regulate broadband service like a utility, matching a vision laid out by President Barack Obama and setting up a high-stakes standoff with the telecom industry and congressional Republicans.

The move, which Wheeler announced in an online op-ed in Wired magazine, is expected to meet heavy resistance from the GOP Congress and Internet-service providers, which warn it will lead to burdensome regulation and hinder investment. AT&T has already said it will challenge such rules in court.

Wheeler’s plan would prevent broadband providers from engaging in pay-for-play deals with companies for faster delivery of their content to consumers. It would also extend net neutrality rules to mobile devices. The full five-member commission is slated to vote on Wheeler’s plan on Feb. 26.

“I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” the chairman wrote. “These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband.”

We can only hope that the anticipated standoff with Republicans will actually happen. If there is a line in the sand to be drawn by this majority I can’t think of a better one than keeping the un-elected regulatory agencies in check. I would obviously prefer that they have their powers stripped but let’s take this one step at a time.

The Idiot King knows that he isn’t going to get any assists from Congress in the next couple of years so he is going to let the EPA and FCC run crazy, unleashing a regulatory zombie apocalypse on the American people. This battle in particular should be an easy fight for even the Republicans to get the messaging right. Not too many regular people have warm and fuzzy feelings about dealing with utilities. I waited ten days for the gas company to turn my gas on when I moved into my current home. I’ve got nothing nice to say about them.

Also, if you have been exasperated at any time with your mobile provider, imagine how much worse it will be with our heavy-handed overlords upping their regulatory stake in the process.

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(VIDEO) Jon Stewart Mocks Anti-Vaxxer ‘Science-Denying Affluent CA Liberals’

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The Marin County rich hippie mom’s comments here practically mock themselves, but Stewart does a great job of piling on:

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Shucks: North Korea Won’t Renew Talks with ‘Gangster-Like’ United States

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

And we were just starting to get along so well.

North Korea is dismissing the possibility of renewing talks with the United States, which it said is trying to overthrow the communist government in Pyongyang.

In a statement Wednesday, the National Defense Commission, North Korea’s top military body, also threatened retaliatory nuclear and cyberattacks on the U.S.

“Now that the gangster-like U.S. imperialists’ military strategy towards the DPRK is inching close to the stage of igniting a war of aggression, the just counteraction of the army and people of the DPRK will be focused on inflicting the bitterest disasters upon the United States of America,” the statement read.

Such inflammatory comments are common in the lead-up to Washington’s annual joint military drills with South Korea, which are set to begin in March. Pyongyang says it views the drills as preparation to invade.

The world is just a super fun place now that the craziest non-Castro dictator has nukes, isn’t it? Imagine how it will be after the ayatollahs get them too.

Seriously though, with the American fighting forces being reduced and slightly recommitted to fighting the terrorists we left alone just long enough to get stronger in the Middle East, what would happen if the Pyongyang Pudgy wanted to start acting up?

Each passing day makes me wish Newt could have gotten his Moon bases built.

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CA Day Care Shut Down After Baby Too Young for Vaccination Contracts Measles

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The hits just keep on coming.

A Southern California day care has shut down because an infant there — who’s too young to get vaccinated — contracted measles, another case in the re-emergence of the disease on the West Coast.

The Samohi Infant Toddler Center inside Santa Monica High School, a facility for 24 young children of students and staff members, closed Monday after it was learned that a baby under 12 months old being care for there had measles. It’s not clear when, where or how the child got the disease.

Nor is there any timetable for when the center will reopen, but it’s possible that children who have been immunized against the highly contagious virus could soon go back.

In addition to the baby with measles, 13 other infants who went to the day care center are being quarantined for 21 days as a safeguard.

I have seen a number of social media and blog posts in recent weeks of the “If your kids are vaccinated what are you worried about?” variety. All of these obviously disregard the fact that newborns aren’t vaccinated and many are in day care and/or public.

This may not be at epidemic proportions but it is unconscionable that people are having their lives, their work, and their kids’ lives disrupted because irresponsible parents are making medical decisions based on hippie fake science.

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Cruz: Use Lynch Nomination to Play Hardball with President on Immigration

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

We have a plan!

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that Republicans block the nomination of Loretta Lynch as attorney general until President Barack Obama relents on his immigration policies.

The likely presidential candidate said in an interview Tuesday that Republicans should use “every procedural tool” to block Obama’s move to defer deportations for roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants — calling on the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee to block her nomination and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to deny her a confirmation vote on the floor.

“For several months now, I have called on the Senate majority leader to halt confirmations of every nominee executive and judicial, other than vital national security positions, unless or until the president rescinds his unconstitutional amnesty,” Cruz told POLITICO in the Capitol. “We have an opportunity in front of us right now with Loretta Lynch – a nominee for attorney general — who has fully embraced and flat-out promised to implement the unconstitutional amnesty.”

Given the overwhelming loathing for the kind of immigration reform the president wants, this seems like a plausible suggestion. True, Cruz likes to push the envelope a little just to force conversations that make Republican leadership uncomfortable, but there are always kernels of political wisdom in each.

One of the supposed advantages to being in the majority is having control of procedural options that can be used to influence an agenda. In his first speech after the election last year, Mitch McConnell took one off the table. He seemed more interested in sending a message to Ted Cruz than to the Democrats.

Thankfully, Ted Cruz wasn’t listening.

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The Science Is Settled: Super Bowl XLIX Ads Were Horrible

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

So it wasn’t just me

It was one of the most memorable Super Bowls of all time but, in terms of the commercials, it was more like a blowout that was over by halftime. “There were some of the worst Super Bowl ads I’ve ever seen – that really missed badly,” said David Steinberg, CEO of Zeta Interactive, a New York-based digital marketing firm.

“It was a somber, very emotional year. There were no epic standouts,” said David Shoffner, senior public relations strategist of Pavone, a Pennsylvania ad agency. An ad that was a particular downer to many people was a Nationwide Insurance spot advising parents to protect their children – or they’ll die. “There’s a time and place for those kind of ads, but the Super Bowl isn’t one of them,” Shoffner explained.

As a hardcore football fan, I’ve long loathed the focus on commercials and half time shows surrounding the Super Bowl, so I’m glad that the people who tend to “only watch for the commercials” had an awful night.

Sports are supposed to be escapist entertainment. We don’t need to be taught life lessons during a football game. The notion that some kind of depth can be conveyed via television advertising during a sporting event is rather pathetic, actually.

The Nationwide ad was extraordinarily awful and was met with almost universal derision. Instead of admitting that it whiffed with its attempt, the company doubled down and issued a statement saying that it was attempting to start a dialogue about home accidents and child deaths.

Um, no, you were trying to scare people into buying insurance.

It did inspire a new slogan for the company which spread throughout social media: “Nationwide Your Kid Has Died”.

Nationwide also started a Twitter hashtag game that I’m sure isn’t the kind of publicity it wanted. If you have a minute, check out #NationwideAMovie.

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American Sniper Eclipses Saving Private Ryan to Become #1 Domestic Grossing War Film Of All Time

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

That was fast.

“American Sniper” has overtaken “Saving Private Ryan” as the top domestic grossing war movie of all time. The Clint Eastwood drama starring Bradley Cooper has so far earned $217.1 million at the U.S. box office, surpassing Spielberg’s film, which earned $216.5 million in 1998.

The Eastwood drama added 180 theaters in its third week of release, with “Sniper” now playing in 3,885 theaters. It overtook “Saving Private Ryan” on Thursday, and is on track to earn another $35 million to finish No. 1 at the box office for the third week in a row.

This should cause some in-between-sandwiches weeping and gnashing of teeth at Michael Moore’s house.

After complaining for a couple of weeks that “Sniper” glorifies war and seeing it become even more popular, the leftmedia hit the bandwagon has spent the last few days trying to claim that it is in fact an anti-war movie.

Sadly, the whining from the people who were never going to like the film will probably have an effect on its Academy Awards chances.

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A Five Story Building From A 3-D Printer? That Just Happened

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Welcome to incredible.

Not satisfied with its recent feat of 3D-printing 10 small houses in a day, Chinese construction firm WinSun Decoration Design Engineering has just topped itself by 3D-printing a five-story apartment building and a 11,840-square-foot Neoclassical mansion. Just like the batch of single-story buildings unveiled last year, these new structures are also made of recycled construction waste, assembled by one massive 3D printer.

As WinSun CEO Ma Yi He explained in a press conference earlier this month, this technology can save between 30 and 60 percent of building materials, shorten production times by 50 to 70 percent, and cut down labor costs by 50 to 80 percent. And it appears there’s already a lot of interest. CityLab reports that the Egyptian government has ordered 20,000 of WinSun’s single-story houses and a Taiwanese real estate has pre-ordered ten of these newly unveiled mansions.

This is pretty incredible stuff (that’s high-level technology speak). 3-D printing has gone from an interesting curiosity to “Whoa, the future just got here!” in a few short years. Those cost reduction numbers are so staggering they could make housing here in Southern California affordable.

Until Jerry Brown taxes 3-D printers to pay for a bullet train, of course. 4e32199880d1572c401fd93b5a7d688f

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Army Deletes ‘Chinks’ in Armor Tweet Because PC Crowd Too Stupid to Understand English

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Stop the madness.

The Army has deleted a tweet posted Thursday afternoon referring to “chinks” in the armor of its Special Operations capabilities after receiving numerous accusations of racism.

The tweet read: “Chinks in special ops’ digital and physical armor poses challenges, experts say.”

The political correctness speech fascists are second only to terrorists in their zeal to destroy America. In fact, they do more to help the terrorists’ cause here than the terrorists do themselves. The arbitrary assignation of evil/hate/whatever to words or phrases is a growing cancer in American society that is designed solely to assault free speech. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre there was a lot of lip service paid to freedom of expression, but the majority of the people linking arms in solidarity are also the ones who created this dangerous hyper-sensitivity.

That public display put them in a position to be held accountable on this matter, and real proponents of free speech should exploit this chink in their armor. special-operations

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Fourth Quarter GDP Report A ‘Disappointment’

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This number is awful in light of what economists expected but pretty much par for the course in recent years. The good news always brings hope for some sustainable growth but is followed by “unexpected” bad news. The lapdog media faithfully dig for nuggets of hope, though.

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Has ‘Hillary Fatigue’ Already Set In? MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch Thinks So (VIDEO)

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

A couple of weeks ago Jay Leno told Bill Maher that he didn’t see Hillary’s “fire” anymore. Throw in this from the MSNBC faithful today and it could very mean that the Democrats are more weary of the inevitability talk than anyone else.

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Daily Beast: ‘Sources’ Say Romney Is In (UPDATE: Thankfully, They Were Wrong)

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

UPDATE: Whew!

Let’s hope not.

Mitt Romney will call senior donors at 11am EST Friday to give them “an update” on his campaign plans. Sources have told the Daily Beast that the former Massachusetts governor will announce his intention to explore another run for the White House.

Much ado is being made about the two phone calls that Mitt Romney has scheduled with supporters today. His casual consideration of another run seems to be kicking into high speed in the past week. In a battle of two establishment favorites, the old GOP money is going to want to pick a favorite early so the Mittster can’t really sit around much longer.

There are also only so many recycled GOP strategy losers to give another shot at screwing up an election.

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Warren Supporters Fund Anti-Hillary Poll

Friday, January 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Lotta love in the room

A group of major liberal donors who want Elizabeth Warren to run for president have paid for a poll intended to show that Hillary Clinton does not excite the Democratic base and would be vulnerable in a 2016 general election.

The automated poll of nearly 900 registered voters, conducted last week by Public Policy Polling, found that 48 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 43 percent who viewed the former secretary of State favorably.

While Clinton — the prospective favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination should she enter the race — holds leads over every major GOP candidate tested in the poll, she doesn’t break 50 percent against any, and some are well within striking distance. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker comes closest, with Clinton leading him by a margin of 45 percent to 42 percent (with 14 percent not sure who they’d vote for) – within the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

The only people who desperately want the public to believe Hillary Clinton’s nomination is a foregone conclusion are some in the MSM and GOP establishment hacks who want to scare the Republican electorate into getting behind a horrible moderate candidate early. The media people will at least turn on Her Madameship the second a fresher face shows itself, the Republican old guard is probably doing more to help Clinton’s image than she is herself.

Elizabeth Warren may not want to run at this point but there are plenty of well placed Democrats-many of them former Obama staffers-who want nothing more. They will keep working to convince her to run and the tides could start to turn against Hillary once her handlers can’t hide her from the public anymore.

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Some Doctors Refusing to See Anti-Vaccine Patients

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Good.

With California gripped by a measles outbreak, Dr. Charles Goodman posted a clear notice in his waiting room and on Facebook: His practice will no longer see children whose parents won’t get them vaccinated.

“Parents who choose not to give measles shots, they’re not just putting their kids at risk, but they’re also putting other kids at risk — especially kids in my waiting room,” the Los Angeles pediatrician said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by a small number of doctors who in recent years have “fired” patients who continue to believe debunked research linking vaccines to autism. They hope the strategy will lead parents to change their minds; if that fails, they hope it will at least reduce the risk to other children in the office.

There aren’t many doctors doing this, but it’s a good start. These loons who are making medical decisions for their children based on the opinions of some empty-headed celebrity hippies need to be marginalized and shamed, if shaming them is even possible. If someone wants to make decisions for their kids that will put other kids at risk, then keep them away from other kids.

The anti-vaxxers are reminiscent of the climate change cultists — they ferociously cling to speculation, debunked theories and junk science for reasons known only to the alien voices in their heads.

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Lindsey Graham Keeps Threatening To Run For President

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Your guess is as good as mine.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday formed a political organization to explore a potential run for his party’s presidential nomination, the latest high-profile politician to test the 2016 waters.

Graham would attempt to use his South Carolina home base to his advantage for any potential run, since the Southern state is typically the third to hold a nominating contest in presidential election years, after Iowa and New Hampshire.

“What I’m looking at is, is there a pathway forward on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire for a guy like me? I don’t know until I look,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Someone is feeding the squish horrible information. The only Republican outside of South Carolina who likes Graham is John McCain, and he isn’t exactly flush with presidential campaign mojo. In fact, the greatest thing that could happen to the GOP would be those two taking a permanent vacation together.

Of all the long-shot potential Republican candidates, Graham makes the least sense. He’s loathed by the base and really doesn’t excite many centrists. Perhaps his inner circle at home feels this is his participation trophy moment. The sooner it passes the better for all of us.

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House GOP February Agenda: Tax Breaks And Protection From Common Core

Thursday, January 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Pinch me.

House Republicans will vote on repealing Obamacare next week, but this time the legislation will include “instructions” for committees to craft an GOP alternative.

In a memo sent to Republicans on Thursday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) laid out the agenda for the entire month of February, which will also include making permanent tax breaks for charitable giving and preventing the White House from “coercing states to adopt Common Core standards.”

Admittedly, I had set my expectations for this Congress low, so it is pretty easy for them to make me happy now. I am pleasantly surprised thus far, even with the hiccups.

They are also going to vote on a bill that would prevent any future attempts to raid 529 accounts. Just because this president figured out in a hurry that was a bad idea doesn’t mean some “revenue” seeking progressive won’t go after them in the future.

The most interesting tidbit on the agenda appears at the end of this article:

Next week, the GOP will also vote on a bill that attempts to “hold agencies accountable for the true cost of federal mandates” by imposing “stricter requirements for how and when federal agencies must disclose the cost of federal mandates and equips both Congress and the public with tools to determine the true costs of regulations.”

Putting the bureaucracy in charge of revealing how much bureaucracy costs may not be the most perfect solution, but this is a start. Nearly every (I’m being generous here) federal program and mandate is presented to the public with extremely low cost projections (see: Medicare) to make the sale go smoothly. It’s not unlike being told a new car is going to cost $10,000 and finding out that number was adjusted to $45,000 as soon as you signed the contract.

Any move towards increased transparency has got to help.

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(VIDEO) Gowdy on Benghazi Hearings: ‘We’re Going to Ratchet It Up’

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

He also says that he would rather have hearings about substance rather than process. One thing is certain, he’s not going to back down just because the Democrats and their media mouthpieces keep saying he should.

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Boehner: House ‘Finalizing a Plan’ to Sue Administration Over Immigration

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s a start.

House Speaker John Boehner’s leadership team is preparing a resolution that could authorize further legal action against the Obama administration over its moves on immigration, he told his colleagues Tuesday morning.

The resolution, which Boehner discussed in a closed Republican meeting Tuesday, could authorize the House to take several different forms of legal action against the administration, but no final course of action has been decided. For example, the resolution could authorize the House to join a lawsuit that states have filed against President Barack Obama over the executive action.

“We are finalizing a plan to authorize litigation on this issue — one we believe gives us the best chance of success,” Boehner said in the meeting.

Honestly, this is a pleasant surprise. For a few years Boehner has been echoing the president about a “need for immigration reform” and he was really only kept in check last year by Mitch McConnell and the prospect of retaking the Senate. The president’s post-election love for executive overreach seems to have been a blessing in disguise, as Boehner seems resolute about battling the tactic.

If the result of the president’s arrogant constitutional end-around plays is a slightly more conservative speaker, here’s hoping the White House remains tone deaf for the next couple of years.

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California Franchise Tax Board Cleared for Suspicious Package…Full of Dog Droppings

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I swear it wasn’t me.

A package opened in the tax-collecting agency’s mailroom in Sacramento on Monday caused an evacuation until firefighters determined the substance was – technically — harmless: dog feces.

The dog waste was inside a leaky container within the package, said Capt. Michelle Eidam of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District. Workers called authorities once they saw the liquid had leaked, noticed the odd smell and saw it had no message and no specific addressee. It was sent through standard mail.

Oh, I won’t lie and say I haven’t had the urge to do something along these lines but, hey, the fact that it has to be sent anonymously kind of takes the fun out of it.

I also don’t have a dog right now.

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Media Busy Letting You Know SUPER SCARY KOCH BROTHERS Will Be Spending Money For 2016

Monday, January 26th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Yeah, so?

Conservative political advocacy groups supported by the billionaire Koch brothers plan to spend $889 million in the 2016 U.S. elections, more than double what they raised in 2012, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

The newspaper said the goal was announced to donors at a weekend meeting in Rancho Mirage, California, hosted by Freedom Partners, a business lobby at the center of the Koch brothers’ political operation. The Post cited a person who attended the gathering.

The money will be doled out by a network of 17 organizations funded by industrialists Charles and David Koch, who have become a major force in conservative politics in recent years, and other wealthy donors. The network raised $407 million for the 2012 campaign.

I spent some time scouring the MSM to see if there were any similarly specific stories about how much Tom Steyer or groups funded by George Soros plan on spending during the same election cycle and didn’t find much.

One of the inaccuracies in the constant media wailing is the “organizations funded by” line. Many of those organizations are only partially funded by the Kochs, one with a built-in reduced yearly amount. It doesn’t fit the “They control everything and damn Citizens United!” story that the leftist talking heads like to tell. When Soros only partially funds an organization, his name is never mentioned.

Steyer is pretty much a ghost, even though he throws money around Democrat politics like a Kennedy at an exotic dancer convention.

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Bill Nye the ‘Idiot Guy’ Hits MSNBC to Blame Storm and Everything Else on Climate Change

Monday, January 26th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

He should think about getting an adult job one day. The most laughable part of this pseudo-science babble is Nye’s claim that “the strong winds we had in California” are a result of climate change. For those unfamiliar with the region, they are called Santa Ana Winds and they have been a fact of life here for thousands of years.

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Good News: Winter Storm Cancels House Votes Today

Monday, January 26th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Snow day!

The House has canceled its vote series Monday evening due to the winter storm bearing down on the East Coast.

This was already slated to be a short week in Washington. The House Democrats begin their legislative retreat Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia. The chamber will now only be in session for two days.

The storm has also forced the House to put off consideration of a border security bill. The legislation was running into some opposition from conservatives, who thought it was a first step toward comprehensive immigration reform. Instead, the House will consider the LNG Permitting and Transparency Act, which relates to exports of liquefied natural gas.

If you’re one of those people who thinks “gridlock” is a beautiful word when referring to Washington then this is a welcome start to the week. The less time Congress has to “help” the better our lives are. This is one reason I never get upset about The Idiot King golfing all the time. Look at the damage he does when he’s at work. The more days away from the office for him, the better.

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Think Progress Finds 2 Economists and a Magic Unicorn to Make $15 Minimum Wage Feasible

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Welcome to the other side of the looking glass.

Fast food workers have been staging strikes across the country for the last three years to demand a $15 minimum wage, among other things. Which begs the question: Would raising wages in the industry to that level force companies to lay off workers to reduce costs?

The answer in a new paper is a resounding no. Economists Robert Pollin and Jeannette Wicks-Lim of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst looked at a scenario in which the federal minimum wage gets increased to $10.50 in one year and to $15 three years after that, which in the end would mean a 107 percent increase over the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. They found that instead of having to cut jobs, fast food restaurants could cover the cost of the increase with savings from reducing turnover, higher prices, and greater economic growth.

I made it as far as that paragraph before my first out loud laugh.

As with most progressive think pieces, it is a veritable cornucopia of qualifying. There are enough assumptions and kinda/sorta/maybes to fill Michael Moore at lunchtime here.

The first assumption is that the jump to $10.50 an hour would be so life-changing that it would drastically reduce turnover. This key component also exposes the fact that progressives would prefer to trap people in low income jobs for as long as possible, if not forever. Rather than get someone on the path to being a fast food franchisee, the progs would rather they remain slightly more comfortable fry cooks.

The second assumption is that sales would only suffer a slight dip from the price increases that would have to be put in place, which is a rather bold hope when even McDonald’s is looking at dropping numbers.

So significantly higher wages and the resultant higher prices are going to eventually result in economic growth. Makes sense, no?

No.

Especially when there is a more sensible way to reduce turnover and avoid raising wages:
McDonalds-Machines

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Smart Shoppers Hitting Gun Buyback Events for Bargains

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Making the system work for you.

A recent gun buyback event in Oregon, aimed at curbing the number of weapons on the street, turned into a planned profit making opportunity for a group of firearms enthusiasts.

The Jan. 17 event was co-sponsored by Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon and the Newport Police Department, who offered gift cards to superstore Fred Meyer in return for guns, no questions asked. A sliding scale meant assault rifles fetched $175 gift cards each, and high capacity magazines were worth $25 credits at the store, which ironically sells firearms.

Second Amendment supporters took to OpenCarry.org’s forum to spread the word about the event, and to plan out their attendance to make maximum profit.

“A $25 gift card for “high capacity magazines – like the ones you can buy for $8?” questioned one forum member.

According to the article, others were intercepting people turning in quality guns and offering them more than the buyback but still getting deals.

Here’s a novel idea: why don’t law enforcement officials work on curbing the number of violent criminals on the street? The gun “problem” kind of clears itself up if you focus on that.

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Wheels for Possible Primary Challenge to Ellmers Already In Motion

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Whoops.

Rep. Renee Ellmers, the North Carolina Republican who led the charge to pull the House GOP’s 20-week abortion ban bill this week, could have a bruising primary from the conservative wing of her party in 2016.

Jim Duncan, the chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party, is mulling a bid against Ellmers, according to multiple GOP sources in the Tar Heel State.

Duncan could not immediately be reached for comment. But GOP operatives say Duncan was looking at a primary challenge against Ellmers before this week. Operatives say Thursday’s events — in which a group of anti-abortion protesters in Washington, D.C., for the March for Life demonstrated outside her Longworth office — could push Duncan toward entering a primary race.

Ellmers already started the 2016 cycle with a couple cracks in her hold on the seat.

In 2014, local activists were angry over her support for giving undocumented immigrants earned legal work status, and she received a primary challenge. She defeated Frank Roche, a radio host whom Republicans called a weak and underfunded challenger, with 58 percent of the vote.

Republicans say Duncan, a retired businessman who ran a computer disaster recovery company, is a more serious candidate than Roche. Duncan has better ties to the conservative base in the district, both because of his role as chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party and as a co-founder of the Coalition for American Principles, a group that seeks to elect Republicans in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Those in the GOP establishment who eschew the core principles of the conservative base may want to pay attention to what is happening to Congresswoman Ellmers these past few days. Once a Tea Party movement darling because she is a medical professional who was vehemently opposed to Obamacare, a couple of missteps on immigration and abortion have now cast a cloud on her future. Contrary to general establishment thinking, the base isn’t comprised of a bunch of rubes in the hinterlands who are out of touch. When they’re disgruntled, they can get loud in a hurry.

Someone might want to write that on a triplicate memo and post it to Reince Priebus’s door.

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Slate Social Justice Warrior Overcome by the Urge to Retroactively Complain About…Chandler Bing

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is a thing that happened today.

I loved Friends during its 1994–2004 run, but when I started re-watching the sitcom thanks to its Jan. 1 arrival on Netflix, I steeled myself to be disappointed. I knew that from our modern vantage point, the fashion and technology would feel, at times, obsolete. (Ross’s Season 3 “laserdisc marathon”!) I suspected some plotlines would be a little creaky, too: Ross’s relationship with an undergrad, say, and Monica in a fat suit. But as a longtime fan, I worried most about Joey.

Joey’s “thing” was that he was an inveterate womanizer; in the pilot, he compared women to ice cream, and told a mopey Ross to “grab a spoon.” In the year 2015, would this kind of horndogginess play? The trope of the leering lothario just felt so old, so unfunny, so painfully CBS. But as I watched, I was soon reminded of Joey’s other qualities: His warmth, his happy-go-lucky confidence, and his love of jam. Joey is great! Sure, he loves beautiful women, but somehow his openness and goofiness—and Matt LeBlanc’s performance—still make him easy to watch.

You know who isn’t easy to watch? Chandler Bing.

Indeed, of all the aspects of Friends that seem trapped in the past, Chandler Bing is the most agonizingly obsolete. Once he may have seemed coolly sarcastic, the gang’s designated “funny one.” But through the eyes of a 2015 viewer even vaguely cognizant of modern gender politics, he’s also the cringe-worthy one.

Chandler, identified in Season 1 as having a “quality” of gayness about him, is endlessly paranoid about being perceived as insufficiently masculine. He’s freaked out by hugs, and by Joey having a pink pillow on his couch. (“If you let this go, you’re going to be sitting around with your fingers soaking in stuff!”)

In retrospect, the entire show’s treatment of LGBTQ issues is awful, a fault pointedly illustrated by the exhaustive clip-compilation “Homophobic Friends.” But Chandler’s treatment of his gay father, a Vegas drag queen played by Kathleen Turner, is especially appalling, and it’s not clear the show knows it. It’s one thing for Chandler to recall being embarrassed as a kid, but he is actively resentful and mocking of his loving, involved father right up until his own wedding (to which his father is initially not invited!). Even a line like “Hi, Dad” is delivered with vicious sarcasm. Monica eventually cajoles him into a grudging reconciliation, which the show treats as an acceptably warm conclusion. But his continuing discomfort now reads as jarringly out-of-place for a supposedly hip New York thirtysomething—let alone a supposedly good person, period.

One wonders what kinds of childhood traumas were visited upon these leftist scolds to make them decide ahead of time what they won’t like about a sitcom that went off the air over ten years ago. Probably something horrific like mommy not getting the right kind of frosting for the 10th birthday cake.

I am often considered somewhat cranky, yet on my worst days I’m the Happiest Guy On Earth compared to your garden variety Social Justice Warrior (SJW). Imagine living such a miserable life that the phrase “I steeled myself to be disappointed” comes out of your brain in reference to watching a popular situation comedy.

In their zeal to despise all things American, progressives spend their days creating struggles and seeing oppression in places like sitcoms, where most people see an easy laugh.

The writer laments the treatment of “LGBTQ issues” in a show that really didn’t go after a lot of heavy issues. Ross wasn’t a very flattering portrayal of paleontologists either. Monica seemed far too anal to be a really inventive chef. Rachel’s career path was unrealistic.

The list of things to complain about in a show that never really was about any of those things is endless.

Because it was a lighthearted television show, you SJW shrew.

Progressives rail at the lack of depth in things that aren’t supposed to have depth because they are working out personal issues related to the shallowness of their own lives and political philosophy, it’s that simple.

They are that simple.

And sad.

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Carson to RNC: ‘I’m Not Crazy’

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Not timid either.

Ben Carson – a Washington outsider, a world-renowned neurosurgeon, a favorite among tea party insurgents – had a message Thursday for the Republican Party’s most influential establishment figures: I’m not “crazy.”

Speaking to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, Carson tried to challenge the caricature of him as a right-wing zealot by addressing – one by one – many of the individual controversies that have surrounded him, and dismissing them as lies from “the liberal media.”

Carson defended, among other things, his statements about Obamacare being the worst thing since slavery; comparing present-day America to Nazi Germany; and calling last year’s Veterans Affairs scandal “a gift from God” because it revealed holes in the system.

“I stand by those” remarks, Carson told the crowd. “I don’t think there’s anything crazy at all.”

Still, the significant time devoted to explaining and debunking these incidents suggests Carson is keenly aware of the damage they could do to his White House run.

Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of the good doctor, just not for a presidential run.

He may be a little crazy for thinking the RNC establishment types will give a newcomer a real look. Then again, the mere fact that he was speaking to them shows that he really isn’t that far outside the cherished inner circle.

It should be noted that during this same speech he said what could be interpreted has his craziest thing yet.

Good luck explaining that one away.

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Uh-Oh: GOP Crafting Its Own Net Neutrality Legislation

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

More government “help” is on the way.

Republicans in Congress are doing a 180 on net neutrality as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to issue new rules within weeks.

For years, GOP lawmakers have adamantly opposed any rules requiring Internet service providers to treat all Web traffic equally, calling them unnecessary and an example of Washington overreach.

But now that the FCC is moving toward issuing a tough net neutrality order that would subject broadband to utility-style regulation — an approach endorsed by President Barack Obama — top Republicans in both chambers are making plans to legislate their own rules to ensure the agency doesn’t go too far.

There are enough bad ideas here to write five posts about but I’ll limit it to a couple of broader ideas.

First, net neutrality is a bad idea. That is, of course, unless you are a big fan of government regulation.

I am not.

Secondly, this approach by the Republicans is, quite frankly, idiotic.

If a regulatory agency is going to run amok and circumvent the legislative process, giving said agency a modified legislated version of its overreach isn’t the best way to deal with it. Legislating the opposite, or trying to trim back the power of the agency would be more along the lines of what the country definitely needs at this time.

Most disturbing about this is seeing the new majority Republicans caving on an issue they were adamantly opposed to when they were in the minority. They can spin it however they want, but their reasons for originally being against it were sound and nothing has changed to warrant an about-face.

As I have been saying since November: the reason I am not excited about the new Republican majority is that I remember the last one.

The White House, by the way, believes that the FCC has all of the power it needs to make their version happen anyway.

That is the real problem.

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Here We Go: Complaints About Lack of Diversity in This Year’s Oscar Nominations Already Flying

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This could get ugly. An industry dominated by liberals just ignored diversity-inclusion rules in a purely subjective awards process?!?

It didn’t take long for the first complaints to be lodged.

Question: In a Hollywood-on-Hollywood social justice warrior outrage fight, who wins?

America.

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Police ‘Slowdown’ in NYC Cost $5 Million in Lost Fines

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oops.

Now that New York’s police force has returned to enforcing the laws at a pace closer to normal, city officials are calculating the costs of its protracted slowdown. Their best guess so far is that the tally will be no more than several million dollars.

The biggest loss will come from all of the parking tickets that went unwritten, particularly in the three weeks after two police officers were shot to death in a patrol car in Brooklyn on Dec. 20. Parking fines account for most of the revenue the city receives from summonses issued by police officers or traffic enforcement agents, who are Police Department employees.

In each of the first two weeks after the killings of those officers — Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu — the number of parking tickets issued was down over 90 percent from the same period the year before. Last week, the number of parking tickets rose to 5,550 from just 1,191 the week before, but that total was still only about a quarter of the total a year ago.

The “no more than several million dollars” line is some precious spin. Had the revenue loss come for political reasons that the Times didn’t endorse you can bet it would be screaming for weeks on the front page about the MILLIONS lost.

During the slowdown there was no shortage of idiots proclaiming that crime was down when it was merely arrests that had been greatly reduced.

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(VIDEO) Andrea Mitchell Worried About ‘Rise of the Right Wing’ in France

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sure, that’s the problem.

The American media seems to already be held hostage by Islamic terrorists and doesn’t even know it. Jews are fleeing France, Islamic terrorists are slaughtering people by the thousands in the last week, and they’re worried about backlash from the people who decidedly are not out killing others.

When it comes to the news here, the terrorists have definitely already won.

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Ron Paul Institute: Charlie Hebdo Massacre a False Flag Operation

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

From The Weekly Standard:

An institue (sic) named for the father of possible presidential candidate Rand Paul has published a piece saying the Charlie Hebdo massacre, like 9/11, was a false flag operation. The claim comes in piece titled, “Charlie Hebdo Shootings: False Flag?,” put online today at the Ron Paul Institute.

“The Charlie Hebdo affair has many of the characteristics of a false flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists’ office was a disciplined professional attack of the kind associated with highly trained special forces; yet the suspects who were later corralled and killed seemed bumbling and unprofessional. It is like two different sets of people,” reads the first paragraph of the piece.

Rand Paul has been making all the right moves to prepare himself for a run at the presidency except one: shutting up his daddy and his daddy’s lunatic minions.

I have been asked numerous times in the past several months if the younger Paul can overcome the family baggage. For the longest time, I thought an early and strong public disavowal of his father’s views would do the trick.

Now I’m not so sure.

That kind of crazy is toxic and, given the digital media prowess of the Paul the Elder’s sycophants, almost impossible to contain.

Would it be possible to get Ron Paul to disavow himself?

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RadioShack Prepares to File for Bankruptcy

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Welcome to the new tech world order.

Electronics retailer RadioShack Corp (RSH.N) might prepare to file for bankruptcy protection by next month, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

Texas-based Radioshack is in talks with a private-equity firm that could buy its assets out of bankruptcy, the Journal reported, citing sources.

The talks may not produce a deal, and RadioShack may opt for other debt-restructuring options that do not include a sale, the Journal said.

RadioShack has reached out to potential lenders that could provide a loan to fund its operations during the bankruptcy case, the Journal added.

RadioShack was not immediately available for comment.

The retailer, which reported a bigger-than-expected third-quarter loss last month, warned in September that a bankruptcy filing was a possibility.

Just the other day I was explaining to my sixteen-year-old daughter how many brands that seemed like they would last forever are going by the wayside. Blockbuster is the prime example for her because she remembers going there when she was little and now its brick and mortar stores have vanished.

RadioShack was a frequent go-to for us road comics and our various electronic needs as we spent weeks away from home.

Every time I think about these dying brands (and the malls) I get a little nostalgic.

Then I order something from Amazon to make me feel better.

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Romney 3.0 not Getting the Warmest Welcome so Far

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Hint, hint.

“Recycled.” Not the “new blood” the GOP needs. A man who “had his shot.”

A Republican backlash against Mitt Romney that had been simmering for days boiled over on Wednesday as conservatives across the GOP spectrum panned the prospect of another presidential bid by the former Massachusetts governor and two-time loser on the national stage.

Leading the anti-Romney charge was the voice of the GOP establishment wing, the Wall Street Journal editorial page. “The question the former Massachusetts Governor will have to answer,” the newspaper wrote, “is why he would be a better candidate than he was in 2012… The answer is not obvious.”

In a Wednesday evening interview with POLITICO, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who’s considering a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, said that the reemergence of Romney could offset the Republicans’ advantage if their Democratic opponent is Hillary Clinton.

“I think the best way to counter something from the past is with something new,” Walker said.

I haven’t determined if this is a relief yet. Yes, the Mittster is most definitely in need of a reality check. However, if he keeps sniffing around for the nomination it divides what I like to call the octogenarian GOP establishment harumph money between him and Jeb Bush. Add Chris Christie into the mix and it’s a full-on family brawl for the addled elders of the party.

The Romney 2012 story has been rewritten with help from Barack Obama. The Idiot King has proven Romney to have been correct about many things during the campaign, which has led everyone to almost forget how awful he is at connecting with voters. With the campaign riding high after the president phoned in his performance during the first debate, Romney let Candy Crowley defeat him in the second one.

Those of us who didn’t think Romney was the right guy in 2012 certainly don’t want him to be the nominee in 2016.

We might just want him to hang around long enough to make Jeb Bush’s life miserable, however.

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