Friday's HOT MIC
I see that my controversial piece on the "Amazon Washington Post" was listed on Real Clear Politics Wednesday, which is always nice. It's also part of my conversation with NPR's tech editor, Lauren Silverman, which just got posted today. Have a read and a listen:
This week Amazon became the fourth company in the U.S. worth half a trillion dollars. The online retail giant is in the exclusive club with Apple, Microsoft and Google's parent company, Alphabet. Americans clearly love Amazon: one of every two dollars spent online goes to the e-retailing giant. But customers and lawmakers are also spending more time picking on Amazon these days. As the online shopping company branches out, it's rubbing some people the wrong way.
Conservative author Michael Walsh has a different bone to pick with Amazon. He says it's killing mom and pop shops and speeding up the "couch-potatoing" of America. "I've gotten a lot of heat on the Right with my stance on this," Walsh says. "I'm called a luddite, a buggy whip guy (...) Well, I've got a moral issue with putting my neighbors out of business."
Walsh says in small towns across the country, like his in rural Northwest Connecticut, e-retailing has wiped out local businesses. "Do we really want to live in the world where we wait for the postman every single day?" Walsh asks.
Tyler asks -- was he being rhetorical? -- what left-wing Jews will do about the homicidal anti-Semitic screed of one Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis.
In a word, nothing.
But I'll tell what this right-wing Jew would do. If this psycho-Imam wants to kill Jews, he can come over to me and try. I may be 73, but I deadlift 200 lbs and I've taken Krav Maga lessons. Also, I keep kettle bells in my office for exercise and I wouldn't mind swinging one upside his head.
And then when he is writhing on the floor, I will remind him of this simple fact: Jewish doctors and their inventions have saved more Muslim lives than all the imams in history combined. And they're still doing it. Read this.
I'm in the Acela Corridor, on my way back to New England from Swampland, where it's been an exciting few days; never a dull moment in our nation's capital. But the ouster of Reince Priebus was always just a matter of time. Priebus was a bad choice for chief of staff (new presidents often screw this one up the first time), named solely for political reasons in order to placate the hostile GOPe wing of the party, led by Ryan and McConnell, and temperamentally unsuited to the demands of the job, especially give the president's volatile and mercurial nature. Priebus's portfolio had shrunk to the size of a cocktail nut, he couldn't protect his own people (such as Sean Spicer) and he was hopelessly outclassed in the White House game of thrones.
His replacement, Gen. John Kelly, is a far stronger figure. Moving from Homeland Security to the West Wing, he will find the cast of characters no less difficult than the Muslim terrorists and Mexican drug gangs he was battling at DHS, and needs to bring order and discipline to the fractious courtiers. Most expect the next personality clash to come between Kelly and presidential adviser Steve Bannon, but that's unlikely. Both are military men who understand not only the chain of command but the judicious use of force, emphatically applied when necessary; they ought to get along very well. Plus Kelly has the president's trust and respect.
The big loser in all this, besides Priebus and the RNC, is speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite and, despite outward appearances, Trump's principal antagonist in Washington. Given the well-deserved failure of his superfluous "A Better Way" exercise in Big Government, Ryan should already be toast, and restive real conservatives in the House ought now to be plotting ways to oust him. Trump's very public execution of Priebus ought to remind Ryan that uneasy lies the head...
Not reading much about trannies in the military today, though, are we? Fearless prediction: the next victim will be North Korea's Li'l Kim, vaporized before the Left can so much as emit a squawk.
What more is there to say, except primary the bastards?
Charlie Gard passed away today.
In a statement, Charlie’s mother, Connie Yates, said: “Our beautiful little boy has gone. We are so proud of you, Charlie.”
Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his condolences to the family.
The tragic story of Charlie Gard shows the danger of socialized medicine — the British government decided not to allow the family to pursue treatments for their son, judging that he had no chance of living.
Here's Charlie Martin's piece on this tragic story.
More governing by tweet.
Reince Priebus is out.
California imam caught on camera encouraging Muslims to attack Jews.
How will Left-wing Jews respond to this? TheBlaze's Brandon Morse reported:
Imam Ammar Shahin of the Islamic Center of Davis in northern California was caught on camera allegedly encouraging American Muslims to eliminate Jewish people and praying for the death of Jewish people during a sermon on Friday.
According to Arutz Shiva, Shahin is a well-educated Muslim with a bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from Egypt. He came to America in 1999 and obtained a computer engineering degree. Arutz Shiva also reported that Shahin is an instructor at the Zidni Islamic Institute, a California-based organization that teaches Sunni Islam in the West.
During his sermon, Shahin seemingly sought to inspire Muslims to carry out the termination of Jewish people here in America by stating that the Prophet Muhammad said all Muslims will deal death to the Jewish people, not just those from specific countries, Arutz Shiva reported.
Allah does not change the situation of people “until they change their own situation.” The Prophet Muhammad said: “Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, and the Jews hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and the trees say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah …” They will not say: “Oh Egyptian, oh Palestinian, oh Jordanian, oh Syrian, oh Afghan, oh Pakistani.” The Prophet Muhammad says that the time will come, the Last Hour will not take place until the Muslims fight the Jews.
Afterward, Shahin is shown in prayer, asking Allah to eliminate the Jews around the Al-Aqsa Mosque, an Islamic holy site in Jerusalem. The mosque suffered a terror attack Friday, killing six, after Israeli officials placed metal detectors around the facility.
Here's the video.
Muslims embracing Christianity — in Finland?!
Christian Today's Joseph Hartropp has the story:
Finland has reportedly seen a flood of conversions from Islam to Christianity, with hundreds of asylum seekers from the Middle East turning to the Christian faith, officials in the Evangelical Lutheran community said.
Evangelical Lutheran parishes have begun establishing confirmation classes for Muslim immigrants who want to become Christians. Exact figures on the number of recent Muslim converts aren't available since such records aren't kept – but conservative estimates on the number suggest several hundred in recent years within the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, according to the Finnish news source Yle Uutiset.
Converts hail from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. As many as 20 Afghani men are enrolled in 'pre-confirmation' teaching on the Christian faith at the Tainionkoski parish centre in Imatra, Eastern Finland. Students are assisted by a New Testament in the Dari language, the variety of Persian spoken in Afghanistan. A Dari interpreter is also on hand via Skype to support the teaching given in English.
'I haven't been baptised yet, but I'm looking forward to it and I'm sure I will be a good Christian,' said one convert, Aliraza Hussaini.
This is nothing short of a miracle, for many reasons. Finland is arguably the most "progressive," sexually lax, and irreligious country in Scandinavia — a part of Europe not exactly known for traditional values — and Muslims who convert face social isolation, threats, and even death threats for becoming "apostates."
Nabeel Qureshi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, wrote about his conviction that Christianity fit both reason and history better than Islam. He also explained why Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God. Even so, he was ostracized from his family when they realized he had rejected Islam.
If at first you don't succeed...
Rep. Mark Meadows says another health care reform bill is on the way and this time, for sure...PRESTO!
Ooops. Wrong hat.
"We continue to work on two different plans with our Senate colleagues," Meadows, R-N.C., told the Washington Examiner. "We will continue to do that over the next couple of weeks on a plan that can get to 51" votes in the Senate.
Meadows said he has talked to senators, including Graham, in the hours after this morning's failure to pass a "skinny" repeal bill, and the mood is "all hands on deck" to come up with a new deal.
"I believe we deliver, still, on healthcare," Meadows said. To suggest that everything is over is not understanding the dynamics going on right now in the Senate. It's not over."
Amendments sponsored by the four senators have yet to receive an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, which made them impossible to pass under special Senate rules that circumvent a Democratic filibuster.
Now there is time to get the information from CBO, Meadows said.
Cruz, of Texas, sponsored an amendment that would allow health insurers to offer a range of plans, which proponents believe would lower premiums, while Portman, of Ohio, offered a proposal to shore up Medicaid with additional federal spending to ensure low-income earners don't get shut out of healthcare. Graham, of South Carolina, and Cassidy, of Louisiana, have their own plan they are eager to try to pass, which would give states control of Obamacare dollars.
For God's sake, would someone please put Senate Republicans out of their misery? Meadows' ideas sound like a moderate substitute to the original failed Obamacare reform bill. This has about as much chance of succeeding as I do becoming the closer for the Chicago White Sox.
Face it. Health care reform won't pass until Republicans stop hating each other. With no party leader and a president who gets no respect (and whom no one fears), the total aimlessness of Republicans and the irrelevancy of the party will prevent any major legislation from passing.
If you thought Obamacare reform was tough, what do you think will happen when 10 different factions of Republicans start weighing in on tax reform? Or any other issue in the Trump agenda?
A Democratic takeover of the House is looking possible, when just a few short weeks ago it was a joke. That's the kind of disaster that might be the only way to bring the GOP together. Otherwise, it's every man for himself and throw the women and children out of the lifeboats.