Friday, June 23, 2017


(08:01 PM)

QUESTIONS NOBODY IS ASKING: Gaming Site Asks if Guns Are Holding Video Games Back.


(07:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, save in Sports Nutrition.

Plus, deals on Musical Instruments and Gear.


(06:20 PM)

HAS NORTH KOREA ALREADY READ TRUMP’S ART OF THE DEAL?: It’s awkward, but Dennis Rodman may be up for the 2017 MVD award: Most Valuable Diplomat. OK, the award doesn’t exist. But dig: A North Korean taekwondo team has arrived in South Korea and will compete in the World Taekwondo Federation world championships this weekend. This is a very interesting diplomatic signal by the paranoids in Pyongyang. In the Koreas taekwondo is taken very seriously. It could be Kim Jong Un expects his team to win and he will tout team success as a major political triumph, etcetera. But South Korea is paying for the North Korean team’s expenses. The Trump Administration seeks de-nuclearization on the peninsula, not regime change. So stay tuned. Tuned to Instapundit.


(06:10 PM)

HOUSE TO HOUSE IN THE OLD CITY: Bitter combat in Mosul as Iraqi forces tighten the noose.

U.S.-trained urban warfare units are leading the fight in the maze of narrow alleyways of the Old City, the last district in the hands of the Sunni Islamist insurgents.

Iraqi authorities are hoping to declare victory in the northern Iraqi city in the Muslim Eid holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, during the next few days.

Military analysts say government troops’ advance will gather pace after Islamic State fighters blew up the 850-year-old al-Nuri mosque and its famous leaning minaret on Wednesday.

The report says Iraqi forces are attempting to open safe routes for civilians to escape from Islamic State fighters and avoid getting trapped in the final battle.


(05:44 PM)

MARY KATHARINE HAM: Aftermath Of Alexandria Shooting Showed The Left’s Cultural Bullying At Its Worst.

Related: 30 GOP Congressmen Have Been Attacked or Threatened Since May.


(05:03 PM)

I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANOTHER GODDAMN WORD ABOUT GLENN REYNOLDS’ CARBON FOOTPRINT:

Chief Executive Jeff Immelt will give up control of General Electric Co. later this year. His colleagues were relieved to learn that he will also relinquish command of the office thermostat.

Mr. Immelt, who said this week he will end his 16-year captaincy of the conglomerate, is famous for preferring refrigerator-like temperatures in GE offices and meeting rooms. “He keeps it very cold,” one person who has regularly endured the chill says. “It’s part of the Immelt lore.”

As Scott Johnson of Power Line notes in a post titled “Immelt on Ice,” “Immelt holds the preferred elite view on global warming. I wondered if he might be concerned about the possible contribution of air conditioning. You can’t be too careful to avoid the apocalypse.”

Note that Immelt’s office was freezing while GE controlled NBC until late 2009; fully divesting themselves of the network in 2013. So he was CEO when this infamous edition of Sunday Night Football ran in 2007 as battlefield preparation for the upcoming election year:

As Ann Coulter quipped that same year, when Al Gore refused to take his own pledge to limit his similarly ManBearPig-sized carbon footprint, “I kind of respect him more, it shows he is not stupid enough to believe all this global warming nonsense. He’s trying to get us to believe. Okay, fine, he may be a hypocrite but at least he’s not a moron.”

But keep the above passage regarding Immelt’s icy offices in mind the next time anyone at NBC or its sister networks goes on a global warming lecture. If you couldn’t convince your own boss to dial the temperature back; if you couldn’t convince your network not to acquire the broadcasting rights to NASCAR, don’t hector the rest of us.


(04:54 PM)

RETAIL BLUES: Sears Closing Another 20 Stores Amid Ongoing Sales Slide.


(04:48 PM)

BREAKING: Washington Times reporting that “Senate announces probe of Loretta Lynch behavior in 2016 election.

“In a letter to Ms. Lynch, the committee asks her to detail the depths of her involvement in the FBI’s investigation, including whether she ever assured Clinton confidantes that the probe wouldn’t “push too deeply into the matter.”
Fired FBI Director James B. Comey has said publicly that Ms. Lynch tried to shape the way he talked about the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails, and he also hinted at other behavior “which I cannot talk about yet” that made him worried about Ms. Lynch’s ability to make impartial decisions.”

USA Today goes further, saying that:

The committee, in a statement released Friday by Grassley and Graham, cited an April story by The New York Times reporting that the FBI came into possession of a batch of hacked documents, including one authored by a “Democratic operative who expressed confidence that Ms. Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far.” After reading that story, Grassley requested a copy of the document from the Justice Department, which he said never responded. A month later, The Washington Post reported that the email had been sent by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., in her former role as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, to Leonard Benardo of the Open Society Foundation, an international grantmaking network founded by Democratic mega-donor and businessman George Soros.

Soros, Lynch and Wasserman caught up in the probe? Who didn’t see that coming?


(04:38 PM)

DECONFLICTION: Russia Gave Heads-Up About Cruise Missile Strike. “‘The deconfliction line is open and was used to [de-conflict] airspace in advance of the Russian cruise missile strike,’ a spokesperson for the Operation Inherent Resolve headquarters tells U.S. News in an email.”

Well, good.


(04:32 PM)

MSNBC SLOWLY COMING AROUND ON TRUMP:

MSNBC’s Elise Jordan Compares President Trump to a Suicide Bomber.

NewsBusters, yesterday.

WATCH: Chris Matthews Justifies Palestinian Terrorism.

—The Daily Wire, May 23rd.

Related: Liberals Freak Out as MSNBC Gives Conservative Hugh Hewitt a Show.

As Alex Griswold of the Washington Free Beacon tweeted yesterday, “Google analytics find searches for ‘Alger Hiss’ just exploded at MSNBC headquaters.”


(04:21 PM)

OREN CASS: No, Obamacare Has Not Saved American Lives.


(04:16 PM)

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(04:14 PM)

JACK DUNPHY: Why the Cop Who Shot Philando Castile Was Rightly Acquitted.


(04:05 PM)

THE NEW RULES: Nebraska Dem. Official on Scalise: ‘I’m Glad He Got Shot … I Wish He Was F*cking Dead’

Trudy Schuett’s piece on socialism Charles linked to earlier featured a comment which seems relevant here:

The Resistance is political activist porn but there exists in every liberal group a core of [the] deranged who live for violence. The Bill Ayers, the Weatherman Underground, the Symbionese Liberation Army. The Left looks to the 60’s as the base for power and idolizes the loudest voices.

We must ask ourselves though, what happens when the party of Antifa rioters with something-studies degrees working as baristas goes head to head with the party of NRA and Iraq and Afghanistan veterans?

It’s depressing that we have to think about these things here in America, but here we are.


(04:00 PM)

IT’S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS: “Gawker Documentary Fails to Make Case for Publishing Sex Tape“. Reason’s Glenn Garvin asks why they didn’t interview me for a take on the ethics of webcasting an illegally-made sex tape. Hell, it seems they never they bothered to contact Dan Abrams, the son of First Amendment legend Floyd Abrams; Erwin Chemerinsky, Professor of First Amendment Law at the UC Irvine School of Law; or CNN legal analyst Paul Callan, all of whom did not see the threat to free speech that Gawker and its well-paid publicist touted:

“That there isn’t (or at least, shouldn’t be) any such thing as a legally enforceable right to privacy may be an arguable position—but then it should be argued, openly and plainly, not cloaked in a silly claim that in being punished for publishing an illicitly obtained picture of Hogan’s junk, Gawker is being thwarted in the pursuit of “real journalism, journalism that exposes things that powerful people don’t want known,” as one of the Gawkerites grandiosely claims in Nobody Speak.”

To his credit, at least Garvin cited my legal analysis on the matter appearing at Talking Biz News, a journalism website run by the Business Journalism Department at UNC Chapel Hill.  The video-hagiographers of Gawker couldn’t be bothered. Of course, they had no legal obligation to do so. They also ignored the fact that while blaming billionaire Peter Thiel and his money for their downfall, they — like their cohort cheerleaders in the media mafia — hid the fact that Gawker had their own sugar daddy (a shady Russian, no less) to sponsor their litigation.

 

 


(03:00 PM)

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(02:56 PM)

RODMAN SPEAKS! “People don’t see the good side about that country. It’s like going, like, to Asia. It’s like going to like Istanbul, Turkey, or any place like that.”

He’s referring of course to North Korea.


(02:44 PM)

QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

What Changes Will We Make After the Giffords Shooting?

—Alec Baldwin, the Huffington Post, January 15, 2011.

Nebraska Democratic Party official caught on tape saying he’s glad Scalise got shot.

—Headline, NTV-ABC, today.


(02:37 PM)

SCOTUS: Justices side with government in property rights case.

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled against a Wisconsin family in a property rights case that makes it easier for government officials to restrict development in environmentally sensitive areas.

The 5-3 ruling involved the family’s effort to sell part of its land along the St. Croix River. They planned to use the proceeds from an empty lot to pay for improvements on a cabin that sits on adjacent land.

County officials had barred the sale because conservation rules treat the two lots as a single property that can’t be divided.

The family claimed those rules essentially stripped the land of its value and asked the government for compensation. The government argued that it’s fair to view the property as a whole and said the family is owed nothing.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, joining the court’s liberal members, called the government’s action “a reasonable land-use regulation” meant to preserve the river and surrounding land. He said the property as a whole remains valuable and the family could not claim they expected to sell or develop the lots separately given regulations that existed before they acquired the lots.

Kennedy is rumored to be considering retirement.


(02:31 PM)

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Bill Nye ghostwriter is ok if ‘a few old ass conservative white men have to die’ to pass gun control.

Flashback: Bill Nye, the Eugenics Guy.


(02:22 PM)

YOU MEAN… FOR DEMOCRATS? There’s actually some good news buried in the four special election losses.

So where is the pony? It comes from data provided by election guru David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report, using something called the Partisan Vote Index, basically a way of determining how much any congressional district leans toward one party or the other.

Wasserman looked at the four special congressional elections we have had since Trump became President — the two on Tuesday, along with ones in Kansas and Montana, all four strongly Republican-leaning. Wasserman looked at the generic vote for Democrats in each district, what you would expect without special circumstances. They are 35% in Kansas 4, 39% in Montana, 42% in the Georgia 6th district and 41% in South Carolina 5. The actual results show Democratic candidates in these districts outdistancing the “expected” vote by 12%, 8%, 6% and 7%, respectively — an average outperformance of 8 points.

There are many Republican-held seats without the large cushion that the party had in these four contests — meaning that if those results help up in the next midterm election, Democrats would be in a position to win enough seats to take back a majority in the House. As Wasserman put it, these elections expand the map of possible winnable contests for Democrats in 2018, not contract it.

If $23 million wasn’t enough to beat a milquetoast Republican in a district barely won by Trump, where are the Democrats going to find the money to do better in tougher districts?


(02:17 PM)

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(02:06 PM)

ANDREW KLAVAN: Eat The Crap Sandwich.


(01:51 PM)

JOURNOLISTS: They’re wrong about everything.

As I used to say during the previous Administration, you can’t spell “Journolist” without “O.” And I suppose I still could.


(01:44 PM)

IN NEW YORK, SCRAPPY LOCAL NEWSPAPER STRUGGLES FOR SURVIVAL: New York Times bloodbath could include reporter jobs.

Headline via a classic 2003 Iowahawk satiric article on the Times’ first go-around with their audience — and credibility — becoming more “selective,” as legendarily fictitious rock manager Ian Faith would say.


(01:37 PM)

LAFAYETTE, INDIANA ATTORNEY QUESTIONED BY POLICE OFFICERS AFTER MAKING PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS ABOUT PHANTOM COURTROOM; NOW PURSUING LEGAL ACTION FOR POSSIBLE CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS:

“Think of a courtroom as a “poison pill” which radiates a gun ban.

The courtroom that the county attempted to foist on us is dark and unused. I filed a APRA/FOIA request for more info on the “courtroom”.

Someone got wind of this request and moved to stop me by making false allegations against me to put me in fear. Problem is that I don’t scare and I fight. Whoever did this will not get anyone with this.

Remember, if they attack you, make certain you mark them in way that when they look in the mirror and see your mark, they always remember you.”

Freeman wants answers, so he filed a motion to compel the officers to submit to a deposition in accordance with Trial Rule 27, which allows petitioners to take depositions for discovery purposes prior to filing a potential lawsuit.  A hearing on his motion is set for June 26, 2017 at 10:30 A.M. in the Tippecanoe County Circuit Court.

“I am a little stunned why they would do this to me,” he questioned.  As a Nobel Peace Prize winner once said, “If they punch me, I will punch back twice as hard.”

Heh, indeed, as the person who sent me this link from his secure, undisclosed temporarily tropical location would say. Read the whole thing.™


(01:36 PM)

BREXIT: EU leaders says UK offer could ‘worsen situation’


(01:35 PM)

AT AMAZON, Men’s Swimwear for Summer.

I guess swimwear for Winter would look more like this.


(01:30 PM)

MRS. BERNIE SANDERS LAWYERS UP: The strange story behind the federal investigation that has rattled Burlington, Vermont, and put Bernie and Jane Sanders on the defensive.


(01:26 PM)

SOCIALIST UTOPIANISM EXPLAINED: Trudy Schuett’s “Iron Ladies” blog takes an interesting look at the history of Socialist Utopianism:

“As the first of the socialists, Robert Owen made some obvious mistakes that would continue to be made until the present day. The first of those was his failure to recognize people as individuals. He saw people as a homogeneous mass, with identical needs, without taking into account the differences that abound in character, ability, intelligence and other aspects that make us all uniquely human. He never recognized that his fellow socialists had free will, and most of them wouldn’t hesitate to use it. Neither did he recognize that his solution for economic slavery and oppression was equally oppressive and enslaving, only in a different form.”

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

 


(01:21 PM)

WHY ARE WE READING ABOUT THIS? Obama ordered cyber ‘implants’ for Russian network in response to hacking.


(01:06 PM)

BRINKSMANSHIP: North Korea tests rocket engine, possibly for ICBM.

The United States assessed that the test, the latest in a series of engine and missile trials this year, could be for the smallest stage of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) rocket engine, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A second U.S. official also confirmed the test but did not provide additional details on the type of rocket component that was being tested or whether it fit into the ICBM program.

One official said he believed the test had taken place within the past 24 hours.

North Korea’s state media, which is normally quick to publicize successful missile-related developments, did not carry any reports on the engine test.

I’m not sure whether to breathe a sigh of relief, or wonder if the Norks have progressed far enough that they no longer need to exploit successes for propaganda purposes.


(12:57 PM)

CLAUDIA ROSETT: Of Course Otto Warmbier’s “Confession” Was Coerced.


(12:44 PM)

CORD-CUTTING: YouTube TV expands to ten more US metropolitan markets.


(12:36 PM)

REGULATORY COSTS, PART DEUX: Axios’ Kim Hart reporting that payphones (remember them?) are so few and far between that the cost of regulation outweighs revenue:

“Cincinnati Bell asked the FCC last month for a waiver to exempt it from filing the annual audits tracking pay phone transactions. According to FCC filings, the cost of Cincinnati Bell’s audit is now about five times the amount of revenue it makes from its pay phones. Sprint also asked for a waiver.”

Most bureaucracies (particularly the FCC) are loathe to waive jurisdiction or oversight, but let’s see what happens.

 


(12:32 PM)

F-35 UNLEASHED: The Paris display may not silence the critics, but it certainly changed the conversation.

Lockheed test pilot Billie Flynn, who flew the much-anticipated F-35 aerial demonstration at the Paris Air Show, showcased the capabilities of the controversial new fighter in a way that has never before been seen. The F-35’s slow-speed maneuverability and the power of Pratt & Whitney’s 40,000-lb.-thrust engine were on full display, with the aircraft climbing vertically into the sky and gently falling into a controlled, 360-deg. pedal turn.

The F-35 is not as agile as the twin-engine, thrust-vectoring F-22 Raptor, which is designed for air-to-air combat. But pilots say when the F-35 is flown in the way it is designed to be flown, it is a formidable dogfighter—far more so than its predecessor, the F-16, or any other fourth-generation fighter.

“This aircraft, down low in this environment, is an absolute monster,” says Flynn. “It is more powerful, it is more aggressive than any of us, including those of us [who] fly the F-35, would have imagined.”

There’s video here if you’re interested.


(12:19 PM)

HMM: More than 1,000 Uber employees ask for Travis Kalanick to return.


(12:18 PM)

DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO: The Daily Signal breaks down revealing numbers on legislators advocating for a $15/hr minimum wage:

Almost all of the lawmakers who co-sponsored a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour also hired unpaid interns to supplement their staffs, a survey shows. A report from the Employment Policies Institute reveals that 174 of the bill’s 184 co-sponsors, or 95 percent, hire interns who are paid nothing.

Well, color me shocked!


(12:13 PM)

FLORIDA MAN: If you like bizarre “Florida Man” stories (and who doesn’t) you need to read Will Greenlee in the TCPalm: “Flap involving deflated bounce house in Port St. Lucie sends man to jail.” He owns this beat.


(12:07 PM)

PRIVACY: Before You Hit ‘Submit,’ This Company Has Already Logged Your Personal Data.

If you’re daydreaming about buying a home or need to lower the payment on the one you already have, you might pay a visit to the Quicken Loans mortgage calculator. You’ll be asked a quick succession of questions that reveal how much cash you have on hand or how much your home is worth and how close you are to paying it off. Then Quicken will tell you how much you’d owe per month if you got a loan from them and asks for your name, email address, and phone number.

You might fill in the contact form, but then have second thoughts. Do you really want to tell this company how much you’re worth or how in debt you are? You change your mind and close the page before clicking the Submit button and agreeing to Quicken’s privacy policy.

But it’s too late. Your email address and phone number have already been sent to a server at “murdoog.com,” which is owned by NaviStone, a company that advertises its ability to unmask anonymous website visitors and figure out their home addresses. NaviStone’s code on Quicken’s site invisibly grabbed each piece of your information as you filled it out, before you could hit the “Submit” button.

During a recent investigation into how a drug-trial recruitment company called Acurian Health tracks down people who look online for information about their medical conditions, we discovered NaviStone’s code on sites run by Acurian, Quicken Loans, a continuing education center, a clothing store for plus-sized women, and a host of other retailers. Using Javascript, those sites were transmitting information from people as soon as they typed or auto-filled it into an online form. That way, the company would have it even if those people immediately changed their minds and closed the page.

I never browse the web without a Javascript blocker extension.


(11:00 AM)

IN THE MAIL: Cardio Sucks!:The Simple Science of Burning Fat Fast and Getting in Shape.

Plus, today’s Gold Box Deals and Lightning Deals.


(10:57 AM)

BONUS MONEY: The U.S. military wants more money to pay bonuses to keep trained personnel and attract new recruits.

In 2010 the U.S. military adopted a new bonus system for scarce medical and other technical specialists. The new program enabled the military to pay market rates for specialties like brain surgery and Internet security. In the past, the bonus program was not directly linked to the market salaries for needed specialists, who would not join and work for existing pay levels linked to rank and time in the service. In many cases, where specialists were needed for a short time, qualified civilians were hired. This specialist shortage has been a growing problem, including for purely military specialists. Currently, the military spends about half a billion dollars a year for bonuses, although during the height of the Iraq war, it was over a billion dollars a year.

Yes, it takes money to train and retain.


(10:55 AM)

THEY ALSO INCREASED THE CHOCOLATE RATION FROM 30 GRAMS TO 25: San Francisco Nanny-Staters Ban Sale of Flavored Vapor Products.


(10:49 AM)

ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: Do giraffes get struck by lightning more often than other animals?


(10:45 AM)

TWITCHY: Mary Katharine Ham NUKES VILE Lefty accusing her of lying about her late husband.


(10:43 AM)

NORTH KOREAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS: North Korea has them.

Assessing the chemical artillery. North Korea is believed to have placed a high priority on chemical weapons ever since Kim Il-sung’s “Declaration of Chemicalization” in 1961. But the quantity, quality, and durability of the North Korean chemical arsenal are unknown. In the 1970s, intelligence estimates by the United States and South Korea rated North Korea’s chemical warfare potential as mostly defensive. By the late 1980s, views had changed; Pyongyang was believed to have 250 tons of mustard gas and some nerve agents. By 2010, North Korea was estimated to possess 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, mostly sarin and the nerve agent VX. Furthermore, it is assumed that North Korean military doctrine treats chemical weapons as a natural aspect of the nation’s scheme of maneuver, and that chemical weapons would be used from the outset of hostilities. Chemical weapons are reportedly pre-deployed—with one out of three North Korean projectiles believed to be chemical. The February assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia with VX was undoubtedly a reminder to North Korea’s enemies of the chemical threat that Pyongyang poses.

Bruce Bennett of the RAND Corporation reports that eight manufacturing facilities have been identified in North Korea, capable of producing 5,000 tons of chemical weapons a year during peacetime and 12,000 tons during wartime. The Nuclear Threat Initiative, meanwhile, reports that North Korea has 11 production and storage facilities—in addition to 13 research and development facilities, two test ranges, and four military bases equipped with chemical weapons, as well as facilities near the cities of Kanggye and Sakchu prepared to fill chemical artillery.

MORE:

Reason to hesitate. Details about North Korea’s chemical arsenal are not known with confidence. We do not know for sure what chemical weapons North Korea would use or how it would use them. The North’s repeated threats to turn Seoul into a sea of fire may be only rhetoric. The North’s strategic views concerning deterrence and escalation are also unknown. History shows a willingness in Pyongyang to engage in military provocations short of the level that would justify a renewal of the Korean War. Nonetheless, it is possible to make a rough estimate of the impact of a massive chemical artillery attack on a large urban center such as Seoul. Ultimately, such an estimate is illustrative, representing one of many possible scenarios, yet it can still provide a reasonable understanding of the potential magnitude of a sarin artillery attack against civilian population centers.

Long article but well worth the read.


(10:31 AM)

MONEY: Why Democrats can’t quit Nancy Pelosi.

Democrats would have massive gaps to fill if they were to oust Pelosi.

Chief among those is fundraising. Since 2002, Pelosi has hauled in $568 million for House Democratic campaigns — including $141 million during the 2016 campaign cycle.

Pelosi also has a long history of holding her party together through difficult votes — enabling former President Barack Obama to shepherd into law a series of Democratic-backed measures in 2009 and 2010 and later forcing Republicans to grapple with the politically damaging divisions within their own ranks.

No other Democrat possesses the stature to match those accomplishments.

That reality was the subtext for Pelosi’s taunting remarks Thursday in which she cast her Democratic critics as hungry for attention rather than serious about ousting her.

“When it comes to personal ambition and having fun on TV, have your fun,” Pelosi said. “I love the arena. I thrive on competition.”

Of the political impact of the Republican attacks: “I think I’m worth the trouble,” she said.

Half a billion dollars worth of fundraising is nothing to sneeze at, but even that has gotten Democrats the majority in just two elections — one won on the back of George W. Bush’s implosion, and the other on Barack Obama’s coattails.


(10:17 AM)

JAZZ SHAW: The Qatar Ultimatum Is Pretty Much Dead On Arrival.


(10:05 AM)

BY THE NUMBERS: Four Senate Republicans Say They Can’t Support Health Care Bill Yet.

The four conservative GOP senators — Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Ted Cruz of Texas — released a joint statement Thursday afternoon outlining their concerns:

“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor. There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current healthcare system but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their healthcare costs.”

“It looks like a reiteration or a keeping of Obamacare,” Sen. Paul told reporters Thursday afternoon. “I’m a ‘no’ on the bill currently.”

Paul said the group came out together because they’d have more negotiating power to move the bill in a more conservative direction.

Their displeasure includes the amount of subsidies given to people to purchase insurance, the Medicaid expansion continues for another three years and the $15 billion per year to prop up the insurance companies providing insurance in the individual Obamacare market for the next three years.

There may be some kabuki going on here, much like Nancy Pelosi’s mock drama the day her House passed ObamaCare — she’s too sharp an operator to have held the vote if she didn’t already have the votes.

McConnell’s bill still has a few missing items, such as cross-state purchasing, any one of which might be enough to bring Johnson and Lee on board. My gut feeling is that Paul and Cruz will remain holdouts, but McConnell only needs two more votes plus Mike Pence to pass the thing.

But then there’s this from the NYT: McConnell’s Calculation May Be That He Still Wins by Losing.

In his 2016 memoir, “The Long Game,” he noted that, as minority leader, he went out of his way to make sure that one party owned the health care issue. “I wanted a clear line of demarcation — they were for this, and we were against it,” he said. Perhaps he is not excited to let that one party now be his own.

We should have an answer in the next week.


(09:00 AM)

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(08:57 AM)

NEW FORMULA: Want instant clicks or buzz around your article or stage production? Play to the groundlings and cast Trump as the villain: “George Orwell Saw Donald Trump Coming: Review of ‘1984’. I don’t know how old this Daily Beast writer is, but I suspect he was still in high school when this was happening:

In 2011, Obama signed a four-year renewal of the Patriot Act, specifically, provisions allowing roaming wiretaps and government searches of business records. Obama argued that the renewal was needed to protect the United States from terrorist attacks. However, the renewal was criticized by several members of Congress who argued that the provisions did not do enough to curtail excessive searches.

I know, research is hard, and it would have been too much work to find out that mass-spying was commonplace under the previous administration. At least, not when there’s a click-bait narrative to promulgate. Democratic operatives with bylines, indeed.
**UPDATE: I should have linked to this Obama ad using 1984 as a metaphor for Hillary.


(08:56 AM)

FRAUD: 1.4 Million Illegal Aliens who Pay Taxes Are Using Fraudulent Social Security Numbers. “The IRS is doing virtually nothing to protect taxpayer’s identity.”


(08:45 AM)

LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: One killed as Venezuelan troops fire on protesters. “Shooting outside La Carlota airbase in Caracas brings death toll from near-daily unrest to at least 76 since April.”

More:

At least two soldiers shot long firearms through the fence at protesters from a distance of just a few metres. One man collapsed to the ground and was carried off by other demonstrators, television footage showed. Paramedics took at least two other wounded people to a hospital, a witness told Reuters news agency.

The protesters began attacking the fence outside La Carlota airbase in the wealthy east of Caracas when security forces broke up a march destined for the attorney general’s office.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have taken to the streets over the past months to protest against a clampdown on the opposition, shortages of food and medicine, and President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to overhaul the constitution.

Illinois, call your office.


(08:30 AM)

HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? OPEC Has Few Escape Routes From Another Bear Market in Oil.

Oil’s back in a bear market and investors remain unmoved by last month’s agreement to prolong supply cuts, leaving OPEC and its allies with few remaining tools to boost prices.

As Saudi Arabia, Russia and their allies reduce output, supply that’s beyond their control keeps rising. Libya and Nigeria — members exempt from the curbs — and U.S. shale producers are resurgent, undermining efforts to tame a global glut. Prices are back below where they were when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries first struck its historic deal last year.

Cutting even deeper — an idea rejected just a month ago — still looks unlikely. For now at least, the Saudi pledge to do “whatever it takes” to stabilize prices looks like not much at all.

Thanks to fracking, OPEC producers can control pricing or they can maintain market share, but they can no longer do both — and even the pricing is getting iffy.


(08:28 AM)

TO QUOTE JUDGE KOZINSKI: “ROBOTS AGAIN”. VOA News has an interesting video report about a World Bank study saying that “automation could put 70 percent of India’s jobs at risk.”

I, for one, welcome our new new robot overlords.


(08:18 AM)

CLAIM: U.S. will take weapons from Kurds after Islamic State defeat.

The United States has told Turkey it will take back weapons supplied to the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria after the defeat of Islamic State, Ankara said on Thursday, seeking to address Turkish concerns about arming Kurds on its border.

Turkish defense ministry sources said U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also promised his Turkish counterpart to provide a monthly list of weapons handed to the YPG, saying the first inventory had already been sent to Ankara.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdish PKK, which has been waging an insurgency in the country’s southeast since the mid-1980s. It has said supplies to the YPG have in the past ended up in PKK hands, and described any weapon given to the force as a threat to its security.

What’s the Kurdish for “molon labe?”


(08:07 AM)

SHOT: Left-Wing Politics Will Be the Demise of the Dems.

CHASER: Democrats don’t have a policy problem. They have a marketing problem.

One has been tried and found wanting. The other is still wanted by the Progressive Left, but is just trying voters’ patience and donors’ pocketbooks.


(07:55 AM)

THE PLOT AGAINST NANCY, COMEY’S NYT FIELD TRIP, AND MORE: All in Liz Sheld’s morning brief.


(07:43 AM)

QUESTION ASKED: Who Does The FBI Work For?

Ben Domenech:

There’s no reason to beat around the bush here: what the FBI is claiming is mind-boggling when they claim the shooter had no target in mind. Consider the number of accidents of circumstance you would have to believe were going on here to not have the shooter doing what seems obvious from every piece of evidence we have: researching and planning for an attack on Republicans of some kind, particularly looking for an opportunity when security will be low and vulnerability will be high. This was an attack, not an “anger management” problem.

Step back, though, and think on the institutional conclusions here. Considering how ludicrous the FBI’s conclusions are as it relates to an attack on the third ranking member of the House of Representatives, you might reconsider whether to trust the FBI’s conclusions in other areas, as well.

I’d wager many people came to that conclusion almost exactly one year ago.


(07:29 AM)

NO. Should I sue Donald Trump for blocking me on Twitter?


(07:17 AM)

21ST CENTRUY WARFARE: China launches record-breaking UAV swarm.

The 11 June news report states that the swarm comprised 119 UAVs, breaking CETC’s previous record swarm of 67 UAVs. Xinhua did not mention when or where the event took place.

The size of the mini UAV swarm is greater than that trialled by the US Air Force in October 2016 when three Boeing F/A-18 Hornets deployed a swarm of 103 Perdix micro UAVs, which the US Department of Defense noted was one of the world’s largest micro UAV swarms to date.

CETC published a video in 2016 of its fixed-wing UAV swarm prototype, which shows the UAVs in a co-ordinated launch from the ground. The corporation said that the UAVs were flying ad hoc networks, sensing and avoiding collision, and demonstrating autonomous group control.

The 2016 video also indicates that the development is aimed at enhancing capabilities in the fields of collaborative intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), target acquisition, distributed wide area surveillance, and saturation attack.

My guess is that the intention is for future UAV swarms to be used to gather and feed realtime intelligence to China’s “carrier killer” ballistic missiles.


(07:08 AM)

HEY, STUDENT, LEAVE THEM KIDS ALONE: Evergreen State College Student: ‘F*** Free Speech’


(01:24 AM)

DISPATCHES FROM THE INTERSECTION OF THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSE AND THE MILE MARKERS ON THE WAY TO TRUMP’S SECOND TERM: Feminist Professor: ‘Trumpism’ Is About ‘Discourses of Masculinized Dominance.’


(12:44 AM)

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: ‘Blood money’? A week after Scalise shooting, Elizabeth Warren dials up the violent rhetoric.


(12:32 AM)

THE 21st CENTURY ISN’T WORKING OUT THE WAY I HAD HOPED: Six Pregnant Texas Women Test Positive for Zika.


Thursday, June 22, 2017


(11:56 PM)

CURIOUSLY, HE WAS A DEMOCRAT, AS WELL: Johnny Depp On Trump: ‘When Was The Last Time An Actor Assassinated A President?’ (Video.)

(Classical allusion in headline.)


(11:25 PM)

CHINESE SPIES: They’re not just in your computer, they’re in Virginia.


(07:00 PM)

AT AMAZON, hot deals in Camera and Photo.

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(06:32 PM)

NEXT THING, JOHN PODESTA WILL BE GIVING LECTURES ON CYBER SECURITY: “BILL COSBY SPEAKING TOUR WILL ADDRESS HOW TO AVOID SEXUAL ASSAULT ACCUSATIONS

“We are now planning town halls…. We’re going to talk to young people, because this is bigger than Bill Cosby. This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today. And they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certan things that they should be doing. And it also affects married men.”

Well, I’m all for being vigilant against phony rape charges, but there must be a better spokesperson.


(05:34 PM)

J. CHRISTIAN ADAMS: Mr. President, Meet Avner Shapiro, Saboteur From the DOJ Swamp.


(05:17 PM)

LEAKED AUDIO: Republican Senate Intern Calls British ‘F*gg*ts,’ Paul Ryan ‘a C*ck,’ and Talks of a ‘Superior Race’


(05:14 PM)

RATS ON THE WEST SIDE, BED BUGS AT BUZZFEED: METAPHOR ALERT: BuzzFeed’s NYC office is infested with bed bugs.

If only there was a proven way to quickly eradicate bed bugs…


(05:11 PM)

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(04:53 PM)

FLYING THE FRIENDLY SKIES: Toddler Forced to Wet Herself After Airline Refuses Access to Bathroom.


(04:46 PM)

WHEN VICTIM GROUPS CLASH: The Daily Signal reports on an i̶l̶l̶e̶g̶a̶l̶ ̶a̶l̶i̶e̶n̶ undocumented resident who thought it might be fun to kill a 17-year-old Muslim girl:

Authorities said a man they identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, attacked and abducted Nabra Hassanen after getting into an argument with a group of about 15 young Muslims on their way to a nearby mosque in Sterling, Virginia. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed to The Daily Caller and other news outlets that Torres is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who was living in Sterling.

The kicker? Nabra lived with her family in Reston, in Fairfax County, a “sanctuary” county. I’m betting her grieving family is asking the same questions that Kate Steinle‘s family is asking. Here’s wishing them all peace.

 


(04:32 PM)

FIGHT FOR $15! McDonald’s hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks.

Found via Adam Baldwin, who tweets, “way to go, [minimum wage] activists!”


(04:31 PM)

BOOM! Pelosi Reacts to Calls From House Dems to Stand Aside: ‘How Long I Stay is Not Up to Them’


(04:18 PM)

HMM:

Roy has been one of ObamaCare’s sharpest and best-informed critics, so I can’t wait to read the fleshed-out version just as soon as he publishes it.


(04:16 PM)

AT AMAZON, 70% off or More on Men’s Athletic Clothing.


(04:11 PM)

HEALTH: Extra virgin olive oil staves off Alzheimer’s, preserves memory, new study shows.

It’s important to know that there’s been confusion about which extra-virgin olive oils are actually extra virgin, and which ones are cut by the mob with lesser oils. My wife Melissa researched and found three brands which are believed to be the genuine article, one in each price category of low(ish), medium, and high.

For everyday use, Kirkland’s (yes, the Costco house label) extra virgin is supposedly just that, and it’s what we use for non-fancy salad dressings, frying croutons, adding depth to red sauces — anywhere you want good olive oil but don’t need to break the bank. The next step up is from California Olive Ranch. It’s great for Caesars, dipping bread, tossed pasta, and the like. And for when the tomatoes are in peak ripeness for making Caprese, we have a bottle of Bariani stashed away in the back of the pantry. The three bottles all cost about $20-$25 but vary greatly in size. Mostly what you’re paying for is the greater concentration of grassy/fruity/buttery flavor as you step up the scale.

Flavor-wise though, even the Kirkland stands head and shoulders above typical supermarket fare, and I suspect that the same is true of the health benefits.


(04:10 PM)

NEW CIVILITY WATCH: Man Charged with Threatening Ohio Rep: ‘We’re Coming to Get’ Every Go**amn One of You.’


(04:01 PM)

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE CONSIDERED “THE PARTY OF YOUTH:” “We no longer have a party caucus capable of riding this wave. We have 80-year-old leaders and 90-year-old ranking members. This isn’t a party. It’s a giant assisted living center. Complete with field trips, gym, dining room and attendants.”


(03:00 PM)

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(02:58 PM)

OH: Ann Arbor Teacher Making $77k Complains His Salary Is ‘Embarrassing’


(02:46 PM)

NO. WAY. Germany spied on the White House over years.

Other monitoring targets ranged from military institutions including the US Air Force or the Marine Corps, space agency NASA to civic group Human Rights Watch.

Hundreds of foreign embassies as well as international organisation like the International Monetary Fund were not spared, Spiegel said.

The BND [Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany’s intelligence service] declined comment in the Spiegel report.

Germany had reacted with outrage when information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that US agents were carrying out widespread tapping worldwide, including of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Merkel, who grew up in communist East Germany where state spying on citizens was rampant, declared repeatedly that “spying among friends is not on” while acknowledging Germany’s reliance on the US in security matters.

But to the great embarrassment of Germany, it later emerged that the BND helped the NSA spy on European allies.

I’m not sure Merkel embarrasses.


(02:44 PM)

GOOD LORD: Trump Supporter Stabbed Nine Times Following Political Rally.


(02:32 PM)

TAKE MY MONEY! Arrow Video Has Begun a 4K Restoration of ‘The Thing’

Not merely an effective fright-fest, The Thing might also be the most impressive achievement in practical horror effects before the computers took over.


(02:20 PM)

SOCIAL JUSTICE MEDIA: British Police Just Imprisoned A Man For Posting Mean Things About Muslims On Facebook.

A man who posted what authorities deemed “hateful” things about Muslims on Facebook is facing eight counts more than a year in prison in Sussex, a coastal county in southeast England, United Kingdom.

“The charges brought in this case are extremely serious and were only brought against four people in England and Wales during 2016,” said Sussex Police Hate Crime Sergeant Peter Allan (because apparently “Hate Crime Sergeant” is a real, taxpayer-funded, paid position in 2017 Great Britain). “Nigel Pelham used Facebook to express some truly offensive views, with no understanding of how serious his actions were.”

The Orwellian officer continued, threatening anyone and everyone who dared to express a racist, offensive, or even cheeky opinion on their own personal social media accounts.

I wonder what might happen if British authorities investigated and prosecuted all those “known wolves” with the same vigor.


(02:06 PM)

CUSTOMER SERVICE: Customers share stories after $12 billion lawsuit accuses CenturyLink of defrauding them.

It is being brought by a former employee, who is describing herself as a whistleblower.

Attorney Mark Geragos is representing the plaintiff in the case. The lawsuit calls it “frighteningly” similar to the Wells Fargo Bank scandal.

Experts say to check statements to see if anything looks out of the ordinary. If it does, contact the Denver Better Business Bureau or the firm that filed the lawsuit.

In January, the Denver Better Business Bureau issued a warning about CenturyLink, saying it had identified a pattern of complaints against the company.

The BBB said some customers claimed they are charged more than the price they agreed to pay when signing up for service, and that they don’t receive the speed and quality that is promised by sales representatives.

“Really take a look at those line items and really understand what you are being charged for,” said Krista Ferndelli, a spokeswoman with the Denver’s Better Business Bureau.

I can’t speak to the merits of this particular case, however…

My personal experience with CenturyLink was so bad that it was the deciding factor in getting rid of our land line — which by that point hadn’t had a phone plugged into it for years, and was kept live only in case of emergency.


(01:56 PM)

VIDEO: Democrats Are Blaming Donald Trump for Obama Admin’s Failure to Notify Public About Russian Interference.

I wish I could afford to live rent-free the way the President does.


(01:44 PM)

STOP MAKING SENSE: ABC News featuring interview with Mike Bloomberg, saying “Bloomberg says America should ‘get behind’ Trump because ‘the public has spoken‘.

“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him,” Bloomberg added. “Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.” Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.

All that “being reasonable” stuff is not going to play well in the #Resistance parlors on the Upper West Side and Georgetown.

**Disclosure: I worked for his company as Global Media Counsel for more than 13 years.**


(01:44 PM)

CANADIAN SPECIAL FORCES SNIPER KILLS AN ISIS FIGHTER FROM TWO MILES AWAY IN THE LONGEST CONFIRMED KILL SHOT IN HISTORY.

As one of Ace of Spades’ co-bloggers notes, “It must be a tremendously demoralizing circumstance when every now and then somebody around you gets shot, and you have no idea where the bullet came from, and probably didn’t even hear it.”

Meanwhile, in a very different Canadian universe, “Justin Trudeau Hugs a Puppet Unicorn in a Beautiful Universe Much Like Our Own.”

Found via Kate McMillan of Small Dead Animals, who notes, “This is a real headline.”

What is this “real” you speak of?


(01:43 PM)

EVENTUALLY WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT SOMEHOW: Let’s Clean Up the Space Junk with Magnetic Space Tugs.


(01:35 PM)

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(01:31 PM)

KURT SCHLICHTER: Spare Me The Principles Lecture.

If our principles are worth having, they are worth fighting for in a way that might conceivably lead to success. One of the folks telling me how wrong and unconservative I am for finding it amusing – a patriot, though wrong – also mentioned that he had been fighting for free speech on campus and in the culture for 20 years. Hmmm. I’ve been fighting for them for 30 years, ever since my dean at UCSD called me in to yell at me because I wrote that the student government was composed of leftist dweebs. Shouldn’t the fact that we have spent decades using the same tactics and losing indicate that maybe we ought to try something new?

Are we going to reason the left out of its ruthless quest for absolute power? Are we going to talk them into civility? Is our sterling example of high principles – which apparently include never, ever, for even a moment, annoying leftists by interrupting their bloody assassination festivals – leading to anything but defeat?

At Fort Benning, they didn’t teach us to lose.

Read the whole thing.


(01:17 PM)

CHANGE: Wisconsin lawmakers advance bill to suspend or expel students who disrupt campus speakers.

“Students” with no interest in learning and who make it impossible for others to learn have no business on a college campus.


(01:14 PM)

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT FROM DENNIS PRAGER: How would the DNC-MSM report the news if a Trump supporter had shot Democratic congressmen?


(01:09 PM)

BREAKING NEWS FROM 1968: Democrat Rep. Says Identity Politics Have Hijacked Her Party.


(01:06 PM)

QUESTION ASKED: How much do Democrats really want to defeat Donald Trump?

Rich Lowry:

There’s no doubt that Democrats want to watch TV programs that excoriate the president. They want to give money to candidates opposing him. They want to fantasize about frog-marching him straight from his impeachment proceedings to the nearest federal penitentiary. But do they want to do the one thing that would make it easier to win tough races in marginal areas, namely moderate on the cultural issue? Not so much.

In retrospect, Jon Ossoff’s loss in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District was overdetermined. He didn’t live in the district. He had no record of public service. Youthful to a fault, he looked like he should have been running for class president. Yet it didn’t help that he was an orthodox liberal who conceded nothing on cultural issues, even though he was running in a Republican district in the South.

In this, Ossoff merely reflected his party’s attitude. Stopping Trump is imperative, so long as it doesn’t require the party rethinking its uncompromising stance on abortion, guns or immigration. Every old rule should be thrown out in the cause of the resistance—except the tried-and-true orthodoxies on social issues.

It’s the endgame after eight years of choosing “community organizing” over politicking.


(12:56 PM)

WINNING? DNC Has Worst Fundraising May Since 2003.

The party’s appeal has become more selective.