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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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Proposed CA Bill Allows Some Calls to Be Recorded Without Consent

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

For “clarification” or something.

Companies would no longer have to tell consumers they are recording some cellphone conversations until 20 seconds into the calls under a bill approved Tuesday by a committee in the California legislature.

The bill by freshman assembly member Evan Low, a Democrat from the state’s Silicon Valley tech hub, would remove a provision in state law making it illegal for companies to record all cellphone conversations without the express consent of the consumer if the person has done business with the company or owes it money.

The bill was opposed by numerous advocates for consumers and seniors, including the Consumer Federation of California and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“At a time when consumers are more and more concerned about businesses invading their privacy, it is wrong to be considering rolling back an important privacy law,” said Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California, testifying against the bill on Tuesday.

Low has said his bill simply seeks to clarify the law, which was written before mobile phones were commonly used and forbids the recording of confidential conversations.

That law has been interpreted as allowing the recording of non-confidential conversations on landline phones, but not with regard to mobile phones.

His bill would allow companies to record conversations deemed “non-confidential” on cellphones for the first 20 seconds, something consumer advocates said could allow companies to try to catch consumers in an apparent admission that they owe a debt or understand a pricing scheme.

Call me old-fashioned, but I liked it better when the lefties were distrustful of big government and big business. That this is sponsored by a Silicon Valley guy is indicative of the disconnect between what leftist political money is really about and what most leftists think it’s about. Here’s an idea: how about maybe not recording the call at all?

Wait — even better, just don’t call me.

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Whew! The Federal Government Will Save Us From The Scourge Of Homemade Soap

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

They’re ON it.

People who are trying to do good for their families and the planet by living a simple life based on traditional skills are facing yet another assault. Artisanal soap makers say new regulations, proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), will put them out of business.

The view of Sen. Feinstein and her corporate backers (listed below) is that the Personal Care Products Safety Act (Senate Bill S.1014) will make the world a safer place by scrutinizing “everything from shampoo and hair dye to deodorant and lotion.” She says the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act should be more progressive like laws in Europe rather than antiquated US regulations in effect since the 1930s.

I know that I have hardly been able to worry about Iran getting nukes or yet another round of violent “protests” plaguing America because the horror of artisan soaps has been occupying my every waking moment. These are truly glorious times we live in when a federal regulatory agency can take time out from its busy day to make sure we safe from a harmful sudsing.

If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ll be sleeping better tonight.

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(VIDEO) George W. Bush to Spend 3 Days Cycling with Wounded Warriors in 5th Annual W100K

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

At the risk of sounding somewhat cynical after the last six years, I can’t really see the current commander in-chief doing something like this once he’s out of office.

YouTube Preview Image

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Bernie Sanders to Court the Left-Of-Everyone Dems and Run for President

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Because Fidel Castro isn’t eligible…

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will hold a press conference Thursday on his “agenda for America” the same day he is expected to announce a Democratic presidential bid.

The Independent’s office sent out a notice to reporters on Wednesday afternoon that the senator will hold a press conference from the U.S. Capitol at noon.

Asked about what the senator would discuss, Sanders spokesman Jeff Frank said it’s “about his agenda for America, that’s about all I can tell you.”

At the very least, this should provide some entertainment value. On her best days, Hillary induces teeth-grinding, and that’s among the people who like her (all 6). Shockingly, Sanders doesn’t come off like as much of a crotchety old man as Mrs. Bill does.

If Sanders gets any traction whatsoever, it will force Hillary further to the left, where she will then trip over Martin O’Malley.

If all of the Democrats in the field start vying for the title of “Most Progressive” it provides an opportunity for Crazy Joe the Wonder Veep to wander in with a soothing slogan like, “Hey, At Least I’m Not A Commie!”

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Rubio Intent on Being Thorn in Sides of Obama and McConnell Over Iran Deal Amendments

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Not backing down.

Marco Rubio is refusing to back down from from his fight to force Iran to recognize Israel, a stance that threatens to disrupt a delicately negotiated bipartisan bill that would allow Congress to review any nuclear deal with Tehran.

In an interview on Wednesday afternoon, the Florida senator and GOP presidential candidate said he has no plans to forgo his amendments to the bill, the most controversial of which would require Iran to acknowledge Israel’s statehood and presents a tough vote for both parties.

If that vote takes place on the Senate floor, Democrats in particular would be caught between wanting to appear strong on Israel issues and deferring to President Barack Obama, who may revive his veto threat if the measure is significantly amended.

Rubio is upsetting the carefully choreographed theater that, if allowed to proceed as planned, will give Congress a chance to “weigh in” on the Iran deal but still give Obama pretty much everything he wants. It would seem that they want to be able to say, “Hey, we tried!”

I may be jaded, but any bipartisan bill that immediately gets the approval of this president is suspect. It would also be nice if the Republicans learn that “compromise” doesn’t mean “eventually doing what makes the Democrats stop calling us names”.

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Goodell Announces NFL Will End Tax-Exempt Status

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

An idea whose time has come.

The NFL has often faced scrutiny over its status as a tax-exempt organization. Now the league is deciding to give up that status.

According to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, the NFL will change its status to taxable from tax-exempt. The federal government has granted tax-exempt 501(c)(6) status to the NFL since 1966.

That may reduce the criticism the league takes for being a tax-exempt organization, but more important to the league, it removes the requirement that the NFL disclose the compensation of Commissioner Roger Goodell and other top executives. So Goodell’s salary will no longer be public record.

Although the league has been classified as a tax-exempt organization, the 32 teams are all taxable, for-profit businesses, which means the money made by the league is taxed. This move will not affect the tax burden faced by the teams.

It will still be business as usual, football fans: Goodell will continue unabated in his quest to remove all of the football from football. And some twenty year olds who suddenly become multi-millionaires will be train wrecks.

The only big difference is that Congress now doesn’t have a built-in excuse to shirk other responsibilities to hold hearings about the league whenever it wants.

The fact that any of the major sports leagues are tax-exempt is both a joke and an affront to hard working citizens (especially the self employed) who can’t dance around IRS rules, leaving us less money to spend on NFL merchandise.

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Joe Scarborough Suggests New Slogan: ‘Black Business Owners Matter’ (VIDEO)

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s only Tuesday and Scarborough has already gotten his one thing right for the week! Dare we hope for a bonus moment of clarity from Morning Squish?

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McConnell Expects ‘Vigorous Debate’ Over Iran Bill Before He Caves on That, Too

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Hardball Mitch is ready to rumble…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he wants to pass a “sensible” bipartisan bill giving Congress the right to review an international nuclear agreement with Iran but made clear he expects lawmakers to introduce a wide variety of amendments to the legislation.

“I still expect to see a vigorous debate this week. I still expect to see a robust amendment process,” McConnell said in a Senate speech before debate on the bill began on Tuesday.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 19-0 last week for a compromise version of the Iran Nuclear Review Act in a rare display of bipartisan unity in the deeply divided Congress.

But some U.S. Republicans have introduced amendments seeking to toughen the bill, raising the possibility of a partisan battle that could complicate the measure’s chances of passing.

Remember, a “sensible bipartisan” bill means it doesn’t offend anyone or really do anything. Once language is introduced that could hold our rogue chief executive in check, “Kumbaya” stops playing and those dastardly conservatives are grinding the Senate to a halt.

Call me jaded (or well informed and in possession of functioning memory), but I think the more the MSM gives McConnell a chance to be the good guy by kneecapping conservatives, the better the odds that he’ll dance for them. They know it. Democrat leadership knows it. You and I know it.

Mitch McConnell is probably the only one who doesn’t understand what’s going on here.

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Hillary Clinton’s Marketing People Display an Epic Abandonment of Self-Awareness

Friday, April 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Umm….
stick

This was apparently part of a fundraising email gif. Had it been released on social media first I would have said it was brilliant trolling. Like all things Hillary, however, it’s merely unfortunate.

By the way, this same gif had a pic of a Hillary sticker on a cat.

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Reuters: Third Straight Uptick in Unemployment Claims Somehow Indicates ‘Solid’ Momentum in Labor Market

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sure, let’s go with that.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid edged up last week for a third straight week, but the underlying trend continued to point to solid momentum in the labor market.

Still, the rise in jobless claims and other data on Thursday showing weak new home sales in March and factory activity this month could heighten concerns about the economy’s ability to rebound strongly after stumbling at the start of the year.

Growth braked sharply as the economy was slammed by harsh winter weather, weak global demand and a now-settled labor dispute at West Coast ports. Activity also was constrained by a strong dollar as well as lower energy prices, which cut into domestic oil production.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 295,000 for the week ended April 18, the Labor Department said. Despite the increase, claims remained for a seventh consecutive week below the 300,000 threshold, a level associated with a strengthening labor market.

“Overall, the level of claims remains low and is consistent with a healthy labor market,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

As has been pointed out many times, but obviously hasn’t sunken in, the “level of claims remains low” because so many people have just given up completely and dropped out of the system.

For the last six years it has been the nature of even media outlets that aren’t horribly biased (like Reuters) to overplay any positive economic data while almost completely ignoring negative data.

The reality is that the economy has moments of promise, but it hasn’t been able to string a lot of them in a row for quite some time now. It’s the “Little Engine That Could, But The Press Is Telling Us Is, Even If It Really Hasn’t Yet”.

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McConnell Caves, Lynch Confirmed as Attorney General

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Predictable.

Loretta Lynch was confirmed Thursday as attorney general, the first black woman in American history to hold the country’s top law enforcement post.

The Senate approved Lynch, a federal prosecutor from New York, after an unusually long confirmation delay, fraught with partisan bickering. President Barack Obama nominated her as the successor to Eric Holder in November.

The vote was 56-43.

After a few weeks of seeming to understand that he was in control of the Senate majority, Mitch the Squish ran away from his own shadow and voted to confirm. He was joined by a cast of the usual Dem-friendly suspects: Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham, Jeff Flake, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson and Rob Portman.

Those thinking, “She can’t be worse than Eric Holder,” should remember that this administration has a particular knack for replacing awful officials with people who are, in fact, much worse (see: John Kerry).

We can also now be fairly assured that 99% or so of the strong stances McConnell takes will be nothing more than kabuki theater.

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Rand Paul Calls McCain and Graham ‘Lapdogs’ for Obama’s Foreign Policy

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Finally, some Tuesday fun.

Lindsey Graham and John McCain are “lapdogs” for President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, Rand Paul said Tuesday, at once firing back at recent remarks from the hawkish Republicans and seeking to distinguish his defense credentials.

“This comes from a group of people wrong about every policy issue over the last two decades,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview with Fox News, touting his credentials as the “one standing up to President Obama.”

This should make things interesting. Very often, the only time John McCain and his political life partner Lindsey Graham aren’t irritating conservatives is when it comes to foreign policy. Not always, of course, but often. Sen. Paul has been as coy as possible about his foreign policy leanings, lest he seem too aligned with Crazy Pops in the attic. This dust-up might just get Paul some positive play with members of the base who just skim headlines, as attacking Maverick and his buddy is never really a bad thing. The Squish Twins haven’t made any friends in the base for years and it may now be at the point where going after them on any issue can’t hurt, even if the attack isn’t completely sound.

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Welcome to Dystopia: D.C. Attorney General ‘Looking Into’ Pic of Trey Gowdy Holding an AR-15

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is just pathetic.

Two Republican congressmen who posed for a picture with an assault rifle are coming under scrutiny from the District of Columbia’s Attorney General Office.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) last week tweeted a picture of himself and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the leader of the House GOP’s Benghazi investigation, holding an AR-15.

Buck said in the tweet that the assault rifle is his, and that the picture was taken after Gowdy “stopped by” his office.

Having the AR-15 in the Cannon House Office Building could be a violation of the District’s strict gun laws, and the Washington, D.C., Attorney General’s Office is “looking into the matter,” a spokesman told The Hill.

Buck told The Hill the rifle is “inoperable” and that he received approval from U.S. Capitol Police to bring it to his office, where it is on display in a locked case.

“I have a very patriotic AR-15 hanging in my office. It hangs directly above my Second Amendment flag,” Buck said.

It is a bit disturbing that this is even an issue. The fact that the gun laws in the nation’s capital are so onerous is a national embarrassment. There is a borderline abrogation of the Constitution going on in the very place that is supposed to richly symbolize our freedoms.

If Washington, D.C., wants full representation in the House of Representatives maybe its leaders should start governing the city in a slightly more, you know, American fashion.

On another note, fifty bucks says this ball got rolling with a heads-up from a Team Hillary staffer.

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For Now, America Still Safe From Lynch Confirmation Vote, But ‘Progress’ Made

Monday, April 20th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Politico:

The Senate is inching toward a deal to resolve a month-long dispute that’s halted a human trafficking bill and confirmation of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, even as Minority Leader Harry Reid on Monday resumed his rhetorical attacks on Republicans for the delay.

Top sources in both parties — and even Reid himself — said negotiators had made headway toward a compromise on abortion language included in the sexual trafficking bill that Democrats have strongly opposed.

The Democrats are still accusing the Republicans of trickery here, but that’s kind of how the Senate works. Perhaps they’re just surprised that McConnell is actually acting like he’s in charge of the majority for once. I know I am.

Politico maintains its hack cred for propping up Jeb Bush (while getting in a dig at his brother) and praising him for saying that Lynch deserved a vote.

What this really boils down to is the Democrats’ overriding commitment to the fight to make abortions easier to afford than a pack of gum. They’re prioritizing the fight for the dream of federally funded abortions for all over the fight against human trafficking.

It remains to be seen whether the “progress” made will eventually lead to total caving by the majority, but the current game of hard ball has been refreshing.

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LAUSD Finds That $1.3 Billion iPad Program Was Largely a Bust

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I know my shocked face is around here somewhere…

The Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking to recoup millions of dollars from technology giant Apple over a problem-plagued curriculum that was provided with iPads intended to be given to every student, teacher and administrator.

To press its case, the Board of Education on Tuesday authorized its attorneys in a closed-door meeting to explore possible litigation against Apple and Pearson, the company that developed the curriculum as a subcontractor to Apple.

L.A. schools Supt. Ramon C. Cortines “made the decision that he wanted to put them on notice, Pearson in particular, that he’s dissatisfied with their product,” said David Holmquist, general counsel for the nation’s second-largest school system. He said millions of dollars could be at stake.

The program was sold as a “civil rights imperative” by the previous superintendent, John Deasy. In reality, it was just another bureaucratic excuse to throw away taxpayers’ money on education. The average liberal’s plan for improving our schools begins with “increase spending” and doesn’t flesh out much beyond that. The leftist core principle, after all, is that anything can be made better by bathing it in tax revenues. Childhood Santa Claus beliefs are more rooted in reality.

Giving lower-income students an increased access to technology that could help with education is not a bad thing in an of itself. It’s just that even the best ideas can be screwed up in a nanosecond once a bureaucracy gets to work on them.

Deasy, it should be pointed out, was also the superintendent who was rewarding students for just showing up.

This is the second largest and one of the worst school districts in America. It needs some fundamental change, not a shiny, expensive tech bandage on the problem to keep the people distracted for a while.

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Cruz Demands Public Outline of Iran Deal

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Hill:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is demanding six world powers and Iran to produce a single outline of the framework agreement reached over Tehran’s nuclear program.

“While there appears to be consensus that some agreement was reached … there is no consensus on the actual parameters of that agreement — including such critical items as the scope of Iran’s ongoing nuclear program, the extent of the [International Atomic Energy Agency] verification regime, and the schedule for nuclear-related sanctions relief by both the United States and the international community,” Cruz, a 2016 presidential contender, wrote Friday in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry.

This seems reasonable, given that the lunatic at the center of the “negotiations” said that the State Dept. fact sheet on the deal was wrong.

You know you’re dealing with some serious governmental transparency problems when you’re being called out by the guy in charge of a Sharia dictatorfest. The only people who seem to think this is going well for the United States are President Obama, John Kerry, and their various spokesmorons. Ayatollah Khamenei doesn’t really strike me as the type given to levity, but I bet he is having a continual hearty guffaw over the Keystone Cop foreign policy show being put on by Team Lightbringer.

Twenty-one months, boy and girls. Hope for change.

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Turkey Increasingly Upset About Armenian Genocide Being Referred To As ‘Genocide’

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Silly people and their truth.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, has accused the EU of declaring “enmity” on his country as next week’s centenary commemorations of the massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire descend into bitter rows over what to call them.

Both the European Parliament and Pope Francis this week referred to the killings as a genocide, a term recognised by much of the rest of the world but fiercely disputed by Turkey.

The European decision prompted a furious response from Mr Erdogan.
“Such decisions are nothing but expressions of enmity against Turkey by abusing Armenians,” he said while on a visit to Kazakhstan. “Come on, let’s leave history to historians.”

Earlier he had made an implicit threat to deport Armenian citizens, many of whom work in Turkey.

Well, it’s been 100 years so it kind of has been left to the historians, and the historians tend to refer to it as a genocide. Those who don’t usually opt for “Armenian holocaust” instead.

Here is another classic example of a dictator used to tightly controlling the messaging at home getting upset when he bumps into the big, bad, connected rest of the world.

President Erdogan can take comfort in the fact that Russell Crowe seems to be on his side.

Erdogan will be fine. After all, being a Holocaust denier really never hurt Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s United Nations or Ivy League speech opportunities.

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Low Bar: Scott Brown Says Hillary Would Be Better President than Obama

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya don’t say.

Hillary Clinton “will make a better president than Barack Obama,” former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown says, but Mitt Romney would have made a better president than both of them put together.

“Let’s start with this: I think Hillary Clinton would have made, and will make, a better president than Barack Obama, absolutely,” he said in an interview with Boston Herald Radio on Friday. I think Mitt Romney would have made an incredibly better president than both of them combined. That being said, yes, I do like Hillary Clinton personally.”

Brown admits that Her Madameship is a flawed candidate, and that her attempts to portray herself as an everyday American are bunk.

Still, with Hillary largely getting a free pass from the press (despite their protestations to the contrary) the last thing the GOP needs right now is any Republican saying nice things about her. She’s got the MSM for that.

The Romney “what ifs” need to be purged from the Republican psyche as well. Yes, he would have been a better president than Obama, but so would my houseplants. And yes, he was right about almost everything that was a point of contention during the primary. However, Mitt Romney was also a very flawed presidential candidate, and Republicans who are flawed don’t get the kid-gloves treatment from the media. Romney isn’t president because he couldn’t be tougher than Candy Crowley for five minutes, so let’s stop with the warm fuzzies about what might have been and nominate someone with a spine next time.

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Florida to Sue Feds Over Medicaid Expansion

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Bravo.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday that Florida will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its decision to link the continuation of billions of dollars for the state’s health care providers to Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

Scott’s announcement follows weeks of escalating tensions between state and administration officials over Florida’s opposition to Medicaid expansion. His decision, a surprise to fellow Republican state legislators, was supported by the leader of the conservative House but criticized by the leader of the more moderate Senate.

The federal strong-arm tactics have got to stop, and it is nice to see a Republican governor who agrees. Several have made typical bureaucratic hack excuses for the expansion. The federal behemoth loves financial trickery to get states to go along with its money-hungry growth schemes and the political landscape has fewer and fewer voices who will just say “No!” every once in a while.

The moderate Republicans will always opt for the expansion of the bureaucracy, which is why they shouldn’t ever be in charge. Of anything.

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Chaffetz Bill Would Reduce Expense Allowances for Former Presidents Earning Private Sector Money

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

An occasional good piece of legislation is proposed…

U.S taxpayers provide former presidents with a pension of $203,000 a year — plus annual expenses that can add up to more than $1 million.

But most of them don’t need the money, says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. He wants to reduce the pension to $200,000, and phase out expense allowances for former presidents who have outside income.

A bill he introduced this week would cap expenses at $200,000 a year. And once a former president makes more than $400,000 a year, that expense budget would be reduced dollar-for-dollar, eliminating it entirely for former presidents making more than $600,000.

Bubba has earned over $100 million since he last stole furniture from the White House and we’re subsidizing Jimmy Carter to run around and undermine national security. If ever a bill was a no-brainer, this one is it.

Which means it probably doesn’t stand a chance.

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Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Yahoo! Sports:

A jury found Aaron Hernandez guilty of murder in the first degree for the 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd, ending forever his life of NFL fame and fortune.

A Bristol County jury of seven women and five men deliberated for 36 hours over seven days before reaching a unanimous verdict on the former New England Patriots star. They said the murder rose to first degree due to Hernandez acting with extreme atrocity or cruelty. The conviction carries a sentence of automatic life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hernandez, 25, stood stone-faced as the verdict was read, only to collapse into a chair as the guilty charges piled on. Behind him, his fiancée Shayanna Jenkins wept uncontrollably on the shoulder of Teri Hernandez, Aaron’s mother. Lloyd’s family, who during the trial made a daily pilgrimage to this old mill town 50 miles south of Boston, wept and embraced as the verdict was read.

This is a tragic end to what could have been an outstanding life and career. It’s also a lesson about associating with the wrong people. Wealth, testosterone and youth can be a deadly mix. One or two wrong choices and lives can end literally and figuratively (see: Len Bias).

The NFL tries to mitigate this with training for rookies, but it’s something that is still far beyond its control. Unless, of course, it assigns personal monitors to all of its players. Never put anything past Roger Goodell.

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U.S. Will Become Net Exporter of Natural Gas by 2017

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

The United States will transition from a net importer of natural gas to a net exporter of the fuel by 2017 as the nation’s shale gas production continues to grow, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday in its Annual Energy Outlook.

In its 2014 outlook, the EIA forecast the U.S. would become a net exporter of gas before 2020.

The EIA said increases in domestic gas production are expected to reduce demand for gas imports from Canada and support growth in exports to Mexico, Asia and Europe.

This would be an even shorter timetable if the anti-science enviro loons weren’t standing in the way.

This is progress that American workers and the economy should be welcoming all around but well-funded people are using debunked studies to prevent fracking in places where huge shale reserves exist.

Perhaps we can soon elect a president who isn’t in the pockets of the debunked junk people.

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Great News: In-flight WiFi Could Help Hackers Bring Down the Plane

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Comforting.

Commercial airliners could be hacked in flight by passengers using a plane’s wireless entertainment system to access its flight controls, a US watchdog agency has warned.

A new report from the US Government Accountability Office identified the danger as one of several emerging cybersecurity weaknesses that the Federal Aviation Administration must address as the air traffic control systems move toward next generation technology.

“Internet connectivity in the cabin should be considered a direct link between the aircraft and the outside world, which includes potential malicious actors,” the report said.

As someone who has been a frequent flyer for decades, I was always hoping that technological advancements would make flying safer, not bring about something new to worry about. The thought of some disgruntled hacker (have you ever met a gruntled hacker?) taking out his break-up on a passenger jet turns air travel into a potential Stephen King novel.

Honestly, I am one of the few frequent flyers I know who hasn’t really welcomed in-flight WiFi. One of my favorite things about being on a plane is being disconnected from the world for a few hours.

Hey, I’m just trying to keep everyone safe.

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WaPo: It’s Difficult to Sell Hillary as a Normal Person Because She’s Just SO Awesome

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

It’s only going to get more embarrassing, kids.

This article was posted yesterday but just floated across my awareness today (Cillizza is like media bias white noise to me, generally: so predictable I tune him out). At first, Cillizza gives the impression that he might be lampooning Team Clinton’s approach. The average American knows that it is difficult to sell Her Madameship as normal because she’s a wealthy snob who looks down on everyone and has a sense of entitlement that would make a British royal from the 17th Ccntury blush.

This, however, is what is going on in the largely vacant space that is the mind of the mainstream media:

Here’s the problem: Hillary Clinton hasn’t been “us” for, well, almost her entire adult life. She was featured in Life magazine in 1969 after making history as the first student to give a commencement address at Wellesley College. By 30, she was married to the Arkansas attorney general and by her mid 30s she was firmly ensconced as the first lady of the Natural State. Then, starting in 1991, Clinton was (and is) an ever-present figure on the national and international stage — first as the most powerful First Lady in modern memory, then as a Senator, then as a presidential candidate and, finally, as the nation’s top diplomat.

There is no one in political life with a resume as deep, unique and varied as Clinton. No one. But, the fact that she has been “Hillary Clinton” for the better part of, well, forever makes it extremely difficult to re-package her as just like the rest of us. The truth is that Hillary hasn’t been a regular person in a very, very long time. She has been famous for decades on end — instantly recognizable since back in the days when cell phones looked like this.

Maybe it’s not the most effusive praise we’ve seen about her since the campaign launch on Sunday, but absent the counter point it suffices as bias. That no one on the Left ever admits that this deep resume of hers was built riding the coattails of a man who publicly humiliates her in some sort of ongoing, fetish-y political dungeon role-playing game is just sad.

As is she.

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New York Times Manufactures ‘Fact’ Out of Thin Air, Uses It to Accuse NRA of Hypocrisy

Friday, April 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Federalist:

In a scathing editorial this morning, the New York Times editorial board excoriated the National Rifle Association (NRA) for banning all working weapons from its annual convention in Nashville this weekend:

Seventy-thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention opening on Friday in Tennessee, and not one of them will be allowed to come armed with guns that can actually shoot. After all the N.R.A. propaganda about how “good guys with guns” are needed to be on guard across American life, from elementary schools to workplaces, the weekend’s gathering of disarmed conventioneers seems the ultimate in hypocrisy.

There’s only one problem: this claim is blatantly false. It is a complete lie. There is no ban, NRA-instituted or otherwise, on the carrying of working weapons at the NRA convention in Nashville this year.

Contrary to the claims of the New York Times editorial board, anyone who is licensed to carry in the state of Tennessee — including those with carry permits from states that have a reciprocity agreement with Tennessee — may carry working, loaded weapons at the convention in accordance with state and local laws. The removal of firing pins from display guns is a commonplace practice for most gun shows.

Grab any checkout counter tabloid at the grocery store and you are likely to encounter more veracity than you will on the pages of the Times. This is blatant false-narrative crafting and they still do it because they have gotten away with it for so long. If they do publish any kind of correction, you can bet it will be buried and come long after this falsehood has taken root in the minds of the readers.

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Walter Scott’s Family Asks Al Sharpton to Keep His ‘Circus’ Away from the Funeral

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

No more Fergusons, please.

Walter Scott’s family have asked Al Sharpton not to attend the funeral, it is claimed.

The New York-based Reverend became a prominent voice in the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting at the hands of a white police officer in Ferguson last August.

But as the nation’s attention turns to South Carolina and footage showing Officer Michael Slager shooting dead father-of-four Walter Scott, his parents and brothers have made plain that they do not want the same treatment.

According to the New York Daily News, the family told Rev Sharpton to ‘keep away’ from the relatives-only memorial service.

A source close to the Scotts told the paper: ‘We don’t want another Ferguson type of circus here.’

Fingers crossed that this is true. Sharpton does nothing but compound misery when he shows up to “help” with cameras in tow. The man is a menace to law-abiding citizens and the fact that anyone respects him is all the indication you need as to the depths of progressive depravity.

Let us also hope that Jesse Jackson doesn’t see an opportunity here.

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Politico Flails About in Pathetic Attempt to Explain What Could Go Wrong for Scott Walker

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sad, really.

He’s also prone to brainstorming out loud as he sifts and winnows to refine his message. And while he likes to say he’s the most scrutinized governor in America, he hasn’t had to worry before if his positions in the Wisconsin city of La Crosse were different from what he said in Green Bay.

Those tendencies all play into the stumbles that have prompted a steady stream of stories in recent weeks questioning if Walker is as authentic as he portrays himself. So far, they don’t seem to be hurting his standing in the polls or in the perception he could be the biggest threat to Jeb Bush for the GOP nomination. But the potential risk is huge: The narrative of a flip-flopper is one of the most potent in American politics—think John Kerry windsurfing in the 2004 campaign—and if takes hold, it could cost Walker the credibility with the Republican base he needs to make it through the grueling primary season ahead.

This is essentially an article that accuses a politician of being — wait for it — a politician.

That crafty Walker is shifting his positions on things and it could be problematic, according to Politico’s Concern Troll Dept. Rest assured, they won’t be asking Hillary Clinton about where she was on gay marriage three years ago.

The key words in this post are “he could be the biggest threat to Jeb Bush.” The Leftmedia knows that Jebster isn’t really a threat to Hillary so he is, naturally, their preferred candidate. Any threat to Jeb is a threat to Hillary, however, so that candidate must be destroyed.

In reality, there isn’t a single thing that Scott Walker has done that is as credibility threatening as Hillary’s email scandal is to her, or should be. The reason the media scrutiny of GOP candidates in this cycle is so tortured is that they have to twist themselves into knots to avoid not mentioning what a pile of awful Her Madameship is.

As each candidate announces, expect most reporting being variations on the “throw everything against the wall and hope something sticks” approach. Hopefully, the Republicans won’t get sucked into standard “Gotcha!” operating procedure and instead, like Rand Paul did this week, throw their nonsense right back in their laps.

More from Stephen Kruiser at the Tatler: New York Times Manufactures ‘Fact’ Out of Thin Air, Uses It to Accuse NRA of Hypocrisy

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MA Rep. Stephen Lynch Says Pelosi Can’t Lead Dems Back to Majority

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Well, this is uncomfortable.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch said Tuesday that Nancy Pelosi should consider stepping aside from her post as minority leader in the House.

Speaking on a local television program in Boston, Lynch was pressed on whether Pelosi should continue leading House Democrats after the party lost a substantial number of congressional seats in 2014.

“Nancy Pelosi will not lead us back to the majority,” Lynch said. Asked if Pelosi should resign from her leadership post, Lynch replied, “Right.”

Gone are the heady days when House Democrats feared Grandma Nan so much that they would throw their careers away for her just to get some awful, Republic-ruining health care legislation passed.

Pelosi just turned 75 last month, so she’s practically a kid in Congress. So she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Heck, she probably thinks she has another 20 years or so to become speaker again. Also, given her history, it doesn’t seem likely that she would would give up power for the good of the party.

The seems to be some disgruntlement with leadership after the embarrassing losses last November, but no one challenges Pelosi for the leadership position. The Republicans, of course, have been doing much the same with John Boehner. There is a lot of complaining about him, but no one makes a serious run at him.

Maybe it’s time to look at term limits for leadership positions?

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Leftist Pollution in Academia Continues: U. of Michigan Cancels American Sniper Showing

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh, the commies

The University of Michigan’s Center for Campus Involvement canceled a showing of American Sniper after 300 students protested, saying the film

“not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim…rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer. Chris Kyle was a racist who took a disturbing stance on murdering Iraqi civilians…watching this movie is provocative and unsafe to…Muslim students who are too often reminded of how little the media and world values their lives.”

This is (or was, anyway) a college, right, where learning and uncomfortable ideas are occassionally encountered?

The only kind of diversity one can’t celebrate on most American college campuses is diversity of thought. The mindless little prog mobs are easily motivated to protest anything that doesn’t fit the pre-approved Hive Mind agenda.

The point cannot be made often enough that this dumbing down of young American minds in the very places they are supposed to be expanding them is precisely the reason that leftists can get away with cheap emotional ploys almost devoid of facts to win elections.

Yes, they planned it this way.

Nick Gillespie makes a good point about the presupposition that any and all messages in movies will be absorbed by the audience. When my daughter was eleven and I was being very cautious about something she wanted to watch on television she said, “I’m not a monkey who is going to repeat everything I see on TV.”

I guess this U of M crowd is mostly monkey-based.

What thought-provoking college-level cinematic offering was shown instead, you ask? This:
PaddingtonPOSTER

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This Is What Democracy Looks Like: Number of Blacks on Ferguson City Council Triples After Election

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the  Associated Press:

Two black candidates were among three people elected to the Ferguson City Council Tuesday, tripling African-American representation in the St. Louis suburb where poor race relations have been a focal point since the August shooting death of an 18-year-old black by a white police officer.

The election means that half of the six-member city council in Ferguson, a town where two-thirds of the 21,000 residents are black, will now be African-American. The lone black incumbent councilman was not up for re-election. The mayor, who could break any tie votes, is white.

Voter turnout increased substantially from the previous election following a strong get-out-the-vote effort from labor unions and other national organizations.

After last year’s turmoil in Ferguson there was a lot of talk about more proportional representation for African-American residents in city government and the police force, which is certainly a more realistic and long-term solution than rioting. Neither can be coerced, however. The citizens have to be the catalysts for positive change (not the creeping influence of the federal government).

All too often, Americans don’t understand or use the power of the ballot box. Sadly, it almost always takes tragedy to remind us.

This story also illustrates that Big Labor still understands the power of the ballot box better than those to whom they might be politically opposed.

Hmmm…wonder who that might be?

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Comforting: FAA Hit with Cyber Attack Earlier This Year

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Fly the hacking skies…

Hackers spread malicious software through a computer network at the Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year, the agency said.

The administrative computer system was affected by a “known virus” that passed from computer to computer via email, NextGov reported late Monday.

The FAA told the publication that it identified no damage to agency systems after a “thorough review.”

The cyberattack was evident from an April 2 interim contract solicitation for the FAA’s Cybersecurity Management Center Security Operations Center.

“Due to a recent cyber-attack, the FAA requires additional planning time to determine the impact,” the notice stated.
It is not clear who was behind the cyberattack or what their intentions were.

This report is rather vague and such is the level of my suspicion of all things government that I immediately thought, “This was probably worse than they’re letting on.”

It is an odd little world we live in, where the good and bad guys are fluid groups depending upon present needs. In this case, one hopes that the government computer people can stay ahead of the computer people who would disrupt air travel.

Then again, do we want to root for the government computer people to become too powerful?

You can see why I don’t sleep much.

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Sculptor of Frightening Lucille Ball Statue Apologizes, Promises to Fix It

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Michael Walsh told you about this unfortunate piece of art last week.

Now it seems the sculptor feels exactly the same way.

The sculptor responsible for the “frightening” Lucille Ball statue that’s been terrorizing local residents is now offering to fix it for free, admitting it is “by far my most unsettling sculpture.”

In a letter to The Hollywood Reporter, artist Dave Poulin writes, “I take full responsibility for ‘Scary Lucy,’ though by no means was that my intent or did I wish to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image.”

The 400-pound bronze sculpture, which was privately commissioned and publicly displayed in Ball’s hometown of Celoron, NY in 2009, upset many locals and even inspired a Facebook group dedicated to its removal (“We Love Lucy! Get Rid of This Statue.”).

“From the day of its installation,” Poulin continues, “I have shared my disappointment in the final outcome and have always believed it to be by far my most unsettling sculpture, not befitting of Lucy’s beauty or my ability as a sculptor. Yes, in retrospect, it should have never been cast in bronze and made public, and I take complete ownership of that poor decision.”

Perhaps we should all take a moment and savor the fact that someone in the 21st Century is taking full responsibility for screwing up. We may not live long enough to see it happen again.

Poulin has offered to sculpt a new statue at his own expense to replace this one.

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Steyer Vows to Spend Big in 2016, Media Suddenly Not Concerned About ‘Money in Politics’

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

He has a name (sort of)!

Environmental activist and billionaire Tom Steyer served notice on Monday that he will use his wealth to try to bring climate change into the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, vowing to target Republican hopefuls who deny the connection between burning fossil fuels and rising global temperatures.

Steyer’s NextGen Climate political action committee launched what it calls the Hot Seat campaign aimed at calling out Republican candidates for taking money from the billionaire Koch brothers. The group will target Senator Rand Paul, who is expected to launch his presidential campaign on Tuesday.

Steyer’s PAC found limited success turning climate change into a wedge issue in the 2014 midterm elections, despite spending over $70 million on candidates backing strong climate change policies. Only three of seven candidates backed by NextGen won their races.

This time, it hopes to use the conservative Koch brothers as foils, highlighting the connection between their campaign spending and politicians who deny the science underpinning the rise in global temperatures.

It’s adorable that this piece pretends Steyer wasn’t using the Koch brothers as foils when his candidates were getting shellacked last November. However, as I pointed out last Thursday, this is a game the media is duty bound to play as Official Lap Dogs of the Democratic Party.

The media pretends that the Left’s benefactors aren’t really that rich, you know. Nothing like the KOCH BROTHERS FINANCIAL BEHEMOTH. In this post alone, the writer lets Steyer’s NextGen PAC play coy about how much it will spend, while quoting a NextGen memo decrying “the Koch brothers’ unprecedented campaign spending…” In reality, Steyer spent almost $69 million more than the Koch brothers in the last election cycle.

But it’s the Koch name that everyone knows, because the media keep screaming it from the rooftops. Harry Reid spent much of the time he wasn’t getting his butt kicked by the mob (exercise bands, whatever) on the Senate floor accusing the Kochs pretty much influencing the entire electoral process in America.

Steyer’s name, on the other hand, is rarely mentioned in the media. He’s practically a publicity ghost. Hell, his name didn’t even make it into the headline of the Reuters post. They referred to him as “green donor.” In fact, the Koch brothers get mentioned twice as many times as Steyer does in the article, and it’s about him.

Tom Steyer is the $74 million elephant in the room and the press barely knows his name or acknowledges his existence.

Wise GOP presidential candidates would do well to mention him often.

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CNN Uses Warren Buffet to Pretend Democrats Don’t Have Huge Donors

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is how media bias works.

Warren Buffett likes giving away his money and he likes being involved in the nation’s political debate. But he won’t become a Democratic version of the Koch Brothers, giving away millions of dollars to his favorite candidates.

Buffett has given $25,000 to Ready for Hillary, a Super PAC that’s backing Hillary Clinton’s expected run for the White House. He strongly supports her and expects she’ll win. But she’ll have to do so without a six-figure check from Buffett, even if he can easily afford to write one.

“I support her, but I would not write a huge check,” he told CNN. He plans to help raise money for her campaign, but says he doesn’t believe in the kind of huge donations that current campaign laws allow.

“I just don’t believe that the elections should be decided by the super-rich,” he said. Being a billionaire, he has said, shouldn’t mean he can “outshout everybody else.”

This piece is so full of manure it could fertilize Iowa for a decade.

It gives Buffett an opportunity to parrot a Dem talking point about “the super-rich” and “elections.” He even gets a free pass on donating twenty five grand to a Super Pac while railing against them. The man who is notoriously detail-oriented with his money says he didn’t know it was going to a Super Pac, and that’s that. No need to do any journalism and call out his lame excuse, which was that he didn’t know it was a Super Pac because he was only giving $25,000 and he thinks of them as being things you donate millions to.

The real bias here, however, is what the article is none-too-subtly implying: since Warren Buffett isn’t giving millions like the Koch brothers, the Democrats don’t have anyone doing it. This is essential to keep the “super-rich” and “elections” nonsense from choking on hypocrisy. The unceasing mentions of the Koch brothers are meant to create the idea that no one in politics spreads money around like they do, especially no Democrat donors. Even people who are barely aware of politics know who the Koch brothers are now because this has been such an effective strategy.

Meanwhile, a name only known to Democrat insiders and people who read conservative political blogs remains King of the Donation Hill, and it is all going to Democrats.

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Cruz Campaign Picks Up $4 Million in First 8 Days

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Looks like somebody wants him to run.

Ted Cruz raked in around $4 million in the eight days following his presidential kickoff last week, his campaign announced Thursday.

The Texas Republican, the first candidate to formally launch a 2016 campaign, has capitalized on a wave of attention since kicking off his campaign last week at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In his speech, he cast himself as a steadfast conservative who, if elected, would roll back much of President Barack Obama’s agenda.

Facing a crowded Republican field, Cruz, a tea party-aligned senator elected in 2012, is trying to erase doubts early on about whether he can raise enough money to compete against candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who have established broad bases of fundraising support. Bush has spent recent months crisscrossing the country to raise money for a super PAC, Right to Rise, which is expected to spend tens of millions of dollars in support of his candidacy.

The Cruz campaign said 95 percent of the donations they received between his announcement on March 23 until the end of the first quarter on March 31 were for $100 or less.

I think the real reason so many establishment GOP talking heads got out the “Ted Cruz can’t win” message when he announced was that they wanted to derail his fundraising a bit. Well, so much for that.

It’s encouraging that so many were small donors, too. This is one area the Republicans have been awful in, always relying on the octogenarian harumph money. There are people who want to be involved, but can’t be involved for $1000 every time you ask them.

Cruz definitely has enthusiastic supporters but it remains to be seen whether this first week will encourage some new support.

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