WHAT IF LISA BLOOM CROSSED THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM LINE? It may seem a bit of a stretch but Kathryn Blackhurst of LifeZette talked to a really smart lawyer who offered this intriguing observation:
“I don’t know that campaign finance law wanted to discourage people from coming out with factual allegations about candidates or anybody in society by requiring money to be reported. That was not the real purpose of campaign finance law. Although since this does appear to be trying to influence an election, it could fall under the realm of campaign finance law,” said Mark Fitzgibbons, president of American Target Advertising in Manassas, Va.
Fitzgibbons added that it would be “very troubling from a legal ethics perspective” if a PAC associated with Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign was involved in any way in Bloom’s activities.
PEOPLE ON THE RIGHT WHO’VE BEEN WARNING ABOUT THIS FOR YEARS HAVE BEEN CALLED RACIST ISLAMOPHOBES, BUTU NOW IT’S REACHED THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Uncomfortable Truth About Swedish Anti-Semitism.. “Historically, anti-Semitism in Sweden could mainly be attributed to right-wing extremists. While this problem persists, a study from 2013 showed that 51 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Sweden were attributed to Muslim extremists. Only 5 percent were carried out by right-wing extremists; 25 percent were perpetrated by left-wing extremists. Swedish politicians have no problem condemning anti-Semitism carried out by right-wingers. . . . There is, however, tremendous hesitation to speak out against hate crimes committed by members of another minority group in a country that prides itself on welcoming minorities and immigrants. In 2015, Sweden was second only to Germany in the number of Syrian refugees it welcomed. Yet the three men arrested in the Molotov cocktail attack were newly arrived immigrants, two Syrians and a Palestinian.”
THE DARK NIGHT OF FASCISM IS ALWAYS DESCENDING IN THE UNITED STATES AND YET LANDS ONLY IN EUROPE: “Pupils of the St-Gregorius College (a high school) in Utrecht, the Netherlands, recently participated in an event organized by DOX, a left-wing organization. DOX got the pupils to sing and dance to a song with lyrics such as ‘[Geert] Wilders rot op!’ (‘Wilders F— Off!’).”
RICHARD FERNANDEZ: IT’S FOR KEEPS. “But perhaps the most salient and disturbing lesson of the Alabama campaign is both sides are truly at political war. The sound of the closing polls was the sound of the door of history shutting behind us.”
Listing his principles, he started with one he often mentions. “We must reject as a nation the false paradigm that if you are pro-energy, you are anti-environment, and if you are pro-environment, you are anti-energy. I utterly reject that narrative. . . . It is not an either-or proposition.”
The New York Times is Pruitt’s most vigorous media critic. In August, it featured a front-page story under the headline “Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret.” The story, among other things, noted he’s “the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security.”
Smart move by Pruitt. Given the way he’s been demonized, he needs the security. In September, the Washington Post reported that his guards—“triple the manpower” of his predecessors—are pulling agents away from “pursuing environmental crimes.” The story didn’t mention the EPA has 15,000 employees.
An academic department at the University of Minnesota declared that “bows/wrapped gifts” are “not appropriate for gatherings and displays at this time of year.”
According a copy of the guidelines obtained by Campus Reform, UMN’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) encouraged its employees “to recognize holidays in ways that are respectful of the diversity of our community,” recommending a series of steps to take.
“Consider neutral-themed parties such as ‘winter celebration,’” the flyer suggests, adding that “decorations, music, and food should be general and not specific to any one religion.”
SCOTT JOHNSON: What happened in Wisconsin, cont’d. “The wrongdoing detailed in the WisDoJ report is of the deeply fascist variety that exceeds my poor powers of denunciation. Suffice it to say that it combines the instruments of tyranny — physical torture omitted — in the service of the suppression of conservatives. The story is shocking almost beyond belief. One might ask where the outrage is, but at this point we should probably ask if anyone is paying attention.”
Well, I wrote a column about it. But yeah. It’s gotten about 1% the attention it would get if the parties were reversed.
“There is particularly a lot of depression in rural society. It happens for a lot of different reasons. A lot of it is our roller-coaster economics. People outside of farming, I think, understand that farming is hard work. What they don’t understand is the depth of the lows that can hit you at any one time, with just one small problem that can lead to hundreds of little problems.
“I just had the discussion today with my son-in-law,” he explained. “We sold feeder steers. We missed by about 50 pounds what we were hoping to get. Well, that was about another $15,000 worth of income we’re not going to have. That’s a big deal, because the margins are so tough.”
His brother, who works on the ranch and keeps the books, told him that their diverse operation of crops and livestock should bring in enough money to keep the 3,500-acre ranch going next year. “You know, pay taxes, make sure you have money to pay people, pay for your seed, your fertilizer. And hope to hell no big catastrophes hit you in the side of the head.”
The 2016 CDC study of approximately 40,000 suicides reported in the US in 2012 — the most recent year for which statistics are available — showed that the rate for agriculture workers is 84.5 per 100,000. The next occupation most at risk were construction, extraction, installation, maintenance and repair workers who had a suicide rate hovering around the 50 per 100,000 mark. Meanwhile, the suicide rate among American male veterans is 37 per 100,000, according to a 2016 study by the Veterans Affairs department.
The first vote I ever cast, at 18, was for Bill Clinton. The last vote I cast was for his wife, Hillary. My adoration for Hillary bordered on mania. In college, I named my ficus plant after her. Twenty years later, I canvassed, held fundraisers, dragged my 8-year-old daughter door to door, proudly wore HRC’s face on T-shirts and housed campaign volunteers in my home.
I loved you so much that I cried each time I voted. Thinking about the women who died fighting for my right to vote did it every time. I cried when I voted for Bill. For Barack Obama. I wept when I voted for Hillary. You’ve been that kind of mad love to me.
And now I want to break up.
I realize now that the love has been one-sided, unrequited. You’ve never recognized me, as a brown woman. You’ve taken my love, my money, my tokenism, with nary anything in return. You married the white woman and hooked up with me on the side.
While Libya has been known for horrific abuses in its migrant detention centers, Europe has a large role to play in the horrific conditions that have led to black Africans being sold like livestock in Libya. A new report by Amnesty International says that European governments have been “knowingly complicit in the torture and abuses of tens of thousands of refugees and migrants detained by Libyan immigration authorities …by actively supporting the Libyan authorities in stopping sea crossings and containing people in Libya.” The report, called “Libya’s Dark Web of Collusion,” says that “the use of aid, trade, and other leverage to push transit countries, including some where widespread and systematic human rights violations against refugees and migrants has been documented, to implement stricter border control measures … risks trapping [them] in countries where they are exposed to serious human rights violations.” Italy and other member states have been supporting the Libyan coast guard to return migrants.
When it comes to Libyan attitudes toward other Africans, the report says that there is a “general acquiescence about detaining sub-Saharan Africans as a means of deterrence”; an unnamed Libyan official said off the record that the migrants and refugees “cannot be left to roam freely, and they will swarm the country.”
Today: Maria Bartiromo: Dow 24,000 and the Trump boom. “The next morning, with the Trump victory confirmed, I told my colleague Martha MacCallum that I would be ‘buying the stock market with both hands.’ Investors began doing the same. U.S. markets have added $6 trillion in value since the election, with investors around the world wanting in on America’s new growth story. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is now forecasting the third straight quarter of U.S. gross domestic product growth around 3%.”
Saturday, December 16, 2017
AND ANOTHER ONE: Democratic Congressman Bobby Scott Accused Of Sexual Harassment. “Another member of the Congressional Black Caucus has been accused of sexual harassment, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). According to WTKR, Congressman Scott now stands accused of forcing himself on a female staffer and then firing her when she rejected his advances.”
Apple was inactive for the game and not in uniform. However, tweeting from the sidelines, or in the immediate aftermath of games, is prohibited by the league.
“I wasn’t confused. It was just a mistake by me,” Apple said Thursday.
Apple hasn’t played in over a month as he’s been inactive for the Giants’ last four games. While the policy against tweeting is a league rule, the Giants fining him takes care of the matter and he won’t be fined by the league as well.
A literary anniversary passed unobserved in 2017: the 50th anniversary of the publication of William Styron’s enthralling historical novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, which tells the story of the slave who led a bloody rebellion in Virginia. While Vintage International’s 25th anniversary edition remains in print, the publisher hasn’t offered an edition honoring the book’s 50th year, and to my knowledge, no commemorative articles have appeared.
* * * * * * * *
My guess is that the nonobservance springs from reluctance to get embroiled in a replay of the controversy that erupted soon after the novel appeared. The Confessions of Nat Turner was celebrated when it was published in 1967—a Pulitzer Prize winner and Book of the Month Club selection, it made the New York Times bestseller list and scored a movie deal with Twentieth Century Fox. But Styron was soon condemned by black intellectuals for an offense more broadly condemned in 2017 than in 1967: a white novelist and native of Virginia, he had presumed to write historical fiction in the first person about a real human being who had been a rebellious black slave. He even had the temerity to lift his title from the original “Confessions of Nat Turner,” the brief document based on statements by Turner that white lawyer Thomas Gray recorded shortly before Turner was hanged in 1831, at about the age of 31.
The attacks on Styron in the late 1960s sound like a prelude to what we often hear and read half a century later. Less than a year after the novel appeared, Beacon Press published William Styron’s Nat Turner: Ten Black Writers Respond, a collection of essays in which the novelist was called “an unreconstructed Southern racist” suffering from “moral senility” who “dehumanizes every black person in the book” to affirm “all of the myths and prejudices about the American black man.” The attacks prompted Invisible Man novelist Ralph Ellison to declare that he wouldn’t read the novel.
In his afterword to the 25th anniversary edition, Styron recalls that he naively persisted in making public appearances before “predominantly young black audiences” to plead his case. The encounters often turned out to be “raucous sessions, where the gathering was drenched with hostility.” Styron adds that “[b]y this time, I was being stalked from Boston to New Orleans by a young dashiki-clad firebrand, who unnerved me.” Twentieth Century Fox shelved plans for the film.
“The ultimate endpoint of keeping our mitts off experience that doesn’t belong to us is that there is no fiction,” novelist Lionel Shriver warned last year in a speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival. She put on a sombrero during the speech to demonstrate that novelists were being warned by SJWs that “you’re not supposed to try on other people’s hats. Yet that’s what we’re paid to do, isn’t it? Step into other people’s shoes, and try on their hats.”
POWER CORRUPTS: Thoughts on how industry structure affects the rate of sexual harassment. I think it’s not just that the hierarchies are “stricter,” but that the standards are less discernible, so that there’s a bigger role for favoritism and punishment of non-favorites. That’s why you see so much abuse (sexual and otherwise) not only in Hollywood or in journalism, but in graduate PhD programs, where one person can derail a career without it being obvious that they’re doing it for bad reasons.
DISPATCHES FROM THE PARTY OF SCIENCE:
The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.
The shadowy program — parts of it remain classified — began in 2007, and initially it was largely funded at the request of Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat who was the Senate majority leader at the time and who has long had an interest in space phenomena. Most of the money went to an aerospace research company run by a billionaire entrepreneur and longtime friend of Mr. Reid’s, Robert Bigelow, who is currently working with NASA to produce expandable craft for humans to use in space.
On CBS’s “60 Minutes” in May, Mr. Bigelow said he was “absolutely convinced” that aliens exist and that U.F.O.s have visited Earth.
It’s no secret that the Hillary Clinton campaign chairman is a UFO buff, but the recent WikiLeaks dump of Mr. Podesta’s hacked account sheds new light on how deeply interested he is in extraterrestrial conspiracy theories.
Messages between Mr. Podesta and fellow alien enthusiasts — including a former Apollo astronaut and the guitarist of pop-punk band Blink 182 — came as a welcome surprise to UFO researchers. They are more convinced than ever that a Clinton administration would bring about the declassification of some of the federal government’s deepest secrets, including what really happened at Roswell, New Mexico; activities inside the notorious Area 51; and other pieces of a complex puzzle involving alien craft and space travel.
“There have been people within the community working with Podesta and the Clintons on the subject,” Jan Harzan, executive director of the Mutual UFO Network, told The Washington Times. “Just having the conversation is very positive to realize the subject is real, and these intelligences, wherever they’re from, visit us from time to time and we get reports on it. … We’re delighted to see the conversation going on. Hopefully, it will wake people up to the fact that we’re not alone in the universe.”
Within Mr. Podesta’s private account is a trove of messages related to UFOs, aliens and conspiracies. Some are relatively benign, such as links to news stories about the return of the Fox TV show “The X-Files.”
But others show a much deeper level of interest, seemingly confirming Mr. Podesta’s stated desire for secret government documents to be made public.
After a set at a hotel in Washington State, I was dragged into a long, drawn-out discussion with a graying, balding New Ager who just couldn’t get over my evangelical background. “You seem so smart,” he kept saying. “How could you buy into that stuff?”
Here’s a guy wearing a crystal around his neck to open up his chakra, who thinks that the spirit of a warrior from the lost city of Atlantis is channeled through the body of a hairdresser from Palm Springs, and who stuffs magnets in his pants to enhance his aura, and he finds evangelicalism an insult to his intelligence. I ask you: Who’s the redneck?
Come to think of it, I’m not sure if this guy—who believed in reincarnation, ghostly hauntings, and the eternal souls of animals—actually believed in God. It’s not uncommon for Northerners, especially those who like to use the word “spirituality,” to believe in all manner of metaphysical events, while not believing in the Big Guy. “Religious” people go to church and read the Bible, and Northerners view them as intolerant, ill-educated saps. “Spiritual” people go hiking, read Shirley MacLaine or L. Ron Hubbard, and are considered rational, intelligent beings.
Speaking of “spiritual people,” maybe the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn can use her Ouija board to make contact with the aliens. The truth is out there!
What happens when a rape doesn’t fit within the ideological parameters of feminist discourse? It’s as if it never happened, although feminists have sometimes devoted enormous efforts to publicizing rapes that quite literally never happened, as in the case of Rolling Stone’s infamous 2014 hoax, where the non-existent “Haven Monahan” was invented by an emotionally disturbed freshman who falsely claimed to have been gang-raped at a fraternity.
That notorious hoax “sparked a national conversation about sexual assault at elite institutions,” the Guardian said in reporting the $3 million verdict against Rolling Stone after they were sued for defamation by a university official, former associate dean of students Nicole Eramo. Why did a lurid story about rape at “elite institutions” merit such treatment, but there is no “national conversation” about university students getting raped by cab drivers? Isn’t it because these crimes — real rapes with real victims — don’t fit the feminist narrative? Say hello to Jose Angel Moreno-Hernandez.
From the first, Hagan makes clear, Wenner was as much a fanboy as a journalist, hoping to use his position as editor of a rising publication to bathe in the nimbus of his favorite rock-and-roll celebrities. The ambition often paid off editorially. Wenner’s obsession with John Lennon led to other early scoops and made Rolling Stone seem indispensable to anyone following the counterculture. In 1968 word came that Lennon and Yoko Ono had posed naked, front and back, for the cover of a new album called Two Virgins. After Wenner’s relentless transatlantic hectoring, Lennon agreed to license the photos to Rolling Stone, if only because no one else would take them. (Asked about the significance of the Two Virgins cover, Lennon’s bandmate George Harrison said everything that needed saying. “It’s just two not-very-nice-looking bodies,” said the Quiet Beatle. “Two flabby bodies naked.”) Wenner put the flabby backsides on the magazine’s cover and tucked the other, full-frontal photo inside. It made a worldwide sensation. Multiple printings of the issue sold out. “Print a famous foreskin,” Wenner said, “and the world will beat a path to your door.”
And Wenner had made a new friend. The HBO documentary gives Homeric treatment to the relationship between Wenner and the Lennons, from foreskin to aft. The friendship was transactional, as friendships between journalists and celebrities usually are. Lennon had a constant need to generate publicity, especially for the new commercial entity known as “John and Yoko,” and Wenner craved proximity to a Beatle. A few months after the Beatles broke up, Lennon agreed to grant Wenner a long interview. Coming off years of drug abuse and months of psychotherapy, Lennon was as garrulous as any ex-junkie analysand could be.
He hammered his former bandmates personally and musically and careened from self-adulation (“If there’s such a thing as [a genius], I am one”) to self-loathing (“the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth”). The interview, its extravagant profanity uncensored, appeared over twoissues and again generated headlines everywhere. In his nationally syndicated column William F. Buckley Jr. referred to the interview as “How I Wrecked My Own Life, and Can Help Wreck Yours.”
Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™ For my own review of the Wenner bio, click here.
When the Insta-Daughter was away at college and left her car behind for 5 weeks over Christmas vacation the battery went flat. (Maybe it pulled more because it was a hybrid, my old Highlander). Anyway, the next year I got her this Noco solar charger with the adapter that lets it plug right into the OBDII connector underneath the dash. Problem solved! The next year it started right up after weeks of cold and disuse.
Related thoughts from Sue Tierney. “A resilient grid is one with the following characteristics: It is one where the grid planners, operators and regulators assume that they cannot foresee and avoid every type of event that could take out the system in a very big way; where they therefore plan for how they will ride through big-impact events with as much of the system still intact as possible: where they can mobilize the resources to restore the system safely and quickly, especially to support the provision of critical services; and where the industry players learn lessons from prior disruptions and plan for how to better handle the next hit on the grid.”
If you’re ever looking for a hearty chuckle, the Nation never fails to deliver. It fashions itself as a “progressive” magazine—if your notion of progress is reviving Marxist nostrums of yesteryear.
There’s nothing much funny about white supremacists. But reading along as a left-wing Nation correspondent hangs out with white supremacists and realizes she shares some political beliefs with them? Well, this should be entertaining.
Writer Donna Minkowitz describes a secret meeting organized by alt-right figure Richard Spencer that she crashed in mid-November at an organic winery in Maryland. Upon arrival, Minkowitz writes that she was surprised to find that the discussion centered not only on the usual brown-shirt Jew-hating you might expect from neo-Nazis, but also on what she says is a “new emphasis on economic issues” that she found “seductive.”
Why seductive? Because the white supremacists’ views on economic issues sound a lot like, well, like views espoused by the Nation and Democratic party progressives. In what could pass for Bernie Sanders campaign literature, she quotes Spencer saying “I support national health care” and railing against “the trillions spent in insane wars.” Minkowitz also quotes Spencer blasting the GOP tax plan as “stupid . . . Reaganite nostalgia” and supporting a universal basic income. Another speaker decried that everything is seemingly becoming “corporatized and capitalized.” Wait—is this a white supremacist conference or a New York Times editorial board meeting?
Today, if a major American university is looking for government support to promote study of the foreign language—Chinese—that will be most crucial to the future shape of global competition, it may well come instead from the Chinese government, in the form of the Confucius Institutes that provide funding, teachers, and curricula to study Chinese language and culture. The goal of these institutes, explains the website of Hanban (their coordinating headquarters within the Chinese Ministry of Education), is to help develop “multiculturalism” and build “a harmonious world.” But for the Chinese Communist Party, “harmony” means never being questioned by society. China’s vast global network of some 500 Confucius Institutes (most of them on university campuses) may be the most benign dimension of an increasingly visible and troubling Chinese government effort to penetrate and influence democratic cultures and societies.
The experience of New Zealand and Australia suggests that what begins with the cultural and social progresses to the political. In November, an Australian commercial publisher postponed its commitment to publish a book by a highly respected professor, Clive Hamilton, detailing China’s efforts to shape and censor public expression in Australia. The clumsy cave-in to China’s sensitivities, reflecting rising Chinese pressure on Australian publishers and media companies, outraged the Australian public and appeared to confirm the book’s title: Silent Invasion: How China is Turning Australia Into a Puppet State.
More recently, as reported in the Telegraph this week, “An Australian MP was forced to quit over revelations he adopted pro-China positions after accepting donations from a wealthy Chinese property developer with links to China’s Communist Party.” As accounts have piled up of Chinese government-linked donations to Australia’s two major parties, Australia’s government has proposed legislation that would ban foreign donations to political parties and groups that lobby the government and institute a public register for foreign lobbyists. The political scandal—coming amid years of accelerating Chinese influence activities—may represent a “Sputnik moment” for Australia.
But the situation in neighboring New Zealand is more urgent still. . . .
What these two resurgent authoritarian states are projecting, argue Walker and Ludwig, is power that is not “soft” but rather “sharp,” like the tip of a dagger: It enables them “to cut, razor-like, into the fabric of a society, stoking and amplifying existing divisions” (in the case of Russia) or to seek, especially in the case of China, “to monopolize ideas, suppress alternative narratives, and exploit partner institutions.”
There is also an alarming technological dimension to China’s sharp power: a relentless, multidimensional, and highly orchestrated campaign to capture, transfer, and innovate the technologies of the future, including artificial intelligence, supercomputing, drone vehicles, robotics, gene editing, and other advanced medical technology. Within a decade, China could well overtake the United States in the development of these critical technologies, which will increasingly drive the next generation of global economic growth and China’s continued rise to superpower status.
Yeah, it was probably a mistake for the Clinton Administration to open up our technology to them so readily.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) turned his fire on President Trump on Friday over the Trump administration’s hesitance to depart from trying suspected terrorists in the criminal justice system.
In a series of tweets Friday afternoon, the South Carolina Republican and frequent ally of Trump turned on the administration for its decision to charge Akayed Ullah, the suspect in Monday morning’s pipe bombing in New York, in criminal court.
“I am incredibly disappointed to see the Trump Administration continue to treat terrorists as common criminals,” Graham wrote. “Giving Akayed Ullah a lawyer and putting him directly into the criminal justice system means we lose the ability to gather intelligence from a person who fits the profile of an enemy combatant.”
In 2020, expect to see Kamala Harris attack Trump as a squish and promise to try terrorists in front of military tribunals and execute them by firing squad. Heck, she’s already got experience defending fake confessions.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is emphasizing its ejection of FBI agent Peter Strzok immediately upon learning about anti-Trump texts he exchanged with another FBI employee, Lisa Page, before the 2016 election. But when did the FBI learn of the messages? The inspector general’s investigation began in mid-January. The letter explains that the FBI was asked for text messages of certain key employees based on search terms, which turned up “a number of politically-oriented” Strzok-Page texts. The inspector general then demanded all of the duo’s text messages, which the FBI began producing on July 20.
But when did the FBI dig up and turn over that very first tranche? How long has the bureau known one of its lead investigators was exhibiting such bias? Was it before Mr. Mueller was even appointed? Did FBI leaders sit by as the special counsel tapped Mr. Strzok? In any case, we know from the letter that the inspector general informed both Messrs. Rosenstein and Mueller of the texts on July 27, and that both men hid that explosive information from Congress for four months. The Justice Department, pleading secrecy, defied subpoenas that would have produced the texts. It refused to make Mr. Strzok available for an interview. It didn’t do all this out of fear of hurting national security, obviously. It did it to save itself and the FBI from embarrassment.
This week’s other revelation of jaw-dropping FBI tactics came from a separate letter from Mr. Johnson. In November 2016, the Office of Special Counsel—a federal agency that polices personnel practices and is distinct from the Mueller probe—began investigating whether former FBI Director Jim Comey violated the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by executive-branch officials, while investigating Hillary Clinton’s private server. The office conducted interviews with two of Mr. Comey’s confidantes: FBI chief of staff James Rybicki and FBI attorney Trisha Anderson.
Sen. Johnson in September demanded the full, unredacted transcripts of the interviews. But it turned out the FBI had refused to let the Office of Special Counsel interview them unless it first signed unprecedented nondisclosure agreements, giving the FBI full authority to withhold the information from Congress. The bureau has continued to insist the office keep huge swaths of the interviews secret from Congress, including the names and actions of key political players. (The Office of Special Counsel closed its investigation in May.)
In his letter this week, Mr. Johnson demanded that Mr. Wray authorize the release of the full transcripts and other documents. Even the redacted ones have revealed important information, for instance that Mr. Comey was drafting his Hillary Clinton exoneration statement well before she was interviewed. Congressional investigators believe the unredacted versions contain pertinent information about the actions of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and key investigators such as Mr. Strzok.
REMEMBER THIS NAME AND REMEMBER THIS DATE: The name is Michael Horowitz. The date is Jan. 12, 2017. Horowitz is the Inspector-General of the Department of Justice. January 12, 2017, is the date Horowitz announced an investigation of these factors:
• Allegations that Department or FBI policies or procedures were not followed in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and that certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations;
• Allegations that the FBI Deputy Director should have been recused from participating in certain investigative matters;
• Allegations that the Department’s Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs improperly disclosed non-public information to the Clinton campaign and/or should have been recused from participating in certain matters;
• Allegations that Department and FBI employees improperly disclosed non-public information;
• Allegations that decisions regarding the timing of the FBI’s release of certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents on October 30 and November 1, 2016, and the use of a Twitter account to publicize same, were influenced by improper considerations.
The Horowitz probe is why Peter Strzok’s amazing emails were discovered. As sensational as those emails are, the more important question is what occasioned their becoming available to the Horowitz investigators. The DOJ IG is nobody’s fool and his report is just over the horizon. Just ask American Thinker’s Thomas Lifson.
There are more than 70 IGs in the federal government in positions created in 1978 during the Carter administration. There have been some bad eggs among the IGs over the years but collectively, the IG community has been the unsung hero in efforts to expose and prosecute waste, fraud and abuse in government. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has been the IGs’ strongest advocate in Congress.
And there’s this: The journo community in the nation’s capital has been rumbling in recent days about a bombshell report supposedly being prepared for publication by the Washington Post that will ruin the careers of dozens of Members of Congress, from both parties.
“Our record as journalists in covering this Trump story and the Russian story is pretty good,” legendary reporter Carl Bernstein recently claimed. Pretty good? If there’s a major news story over the past 70 years that the American media has botched more often because of bias and wishful thinking, I’d love to hear about it.
Four big scoops recently run by major news organizations—written by top reporters and, presumably, churned through layers of scrupulous editing—turned out to be completely wrong. Reuters, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and others reported that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office had subpoenaed President Donald Trump’s records from Deutsche Bank. Trump’s attorney says it hadn’t. ABC reported that candidate Trump had directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election. He didn’t (as far as we know). The New York Times ran a story claiming that K.T. McFarland, a former member of the Trump transition team, had acknowledged collusion. She hadn’t. Then, CNN topped off the week by falsely reporting that the Trump campaign had been offered access to hacked Democratic National Committee emails before they were published. It wasn’t.
Forget your routine bias. These were four bombshells disseminated to millions of Americans by breathless anchors, pundits and analysts, all of whom are feeding frenzied expectations about Trump-Russia collusion that have now been internalized by many as indisputable truths. All four pieces, incidentally, are useless without their central faulty claims. Yet there they sit. And these are only four of dozens of other stories that have fizzled over the year.
CHANCES OF PASSAGE ARE LOOKING DECENT: GOP Senators unanimous in support for tax bill. If they can pass this, they will have delivered on numerous campaign promises, including the ObamaCare mandate repeal that looked like it was never going to happen.
“Look, I just feel like we’re having a really unfair conversation here, I’m trying to have a conversation on the merits of the principle of unintended consequences,” Velshi whined. “And you’re dropping a lot of legal-ese.”
“The legal-ese is the merits though, Ali,” McDowell asserted. “That’s what’s at play here, and maybe you haven’t read these laws.”
“I’m very familiar with net neutrality,” Velshi snarked back. “I’m really not that familiar with being condescended to.”
Because it’s absolutely impossible to out-smug an MSNBC anchor. Read and/or watch the whole thing.
What makes this even more compelling is the relative stature of both women in the entertainment industry. Judd’s mother and sister had risen to the top of the country charts before her Hollywood career had taken off; Sorvino’s father Paul is a popular actor who appeared in classic films such as Goodfellas. Sorvino herself had won an Oscar and a Golden Globe two years before this took place for Mighty Aphrodite. If Weinstein could derail their careers with a smear campaign, how many other actresses and whistleblowers of lesser stature got blackballed out of the industry?
The pull-quote making the rounds from Jackson’s interview with Stuff is “My experience, when Miramax controlled the Lord of the Rings (before New Line took over production of the film), was of Weinstein and his brother behaving like second-rate Mafia bullies.”
“You know what? It’s good that I’m the fucking sheriff of this fucking lawless piece-of-shit town.” Weinstein said that to Andrew Goldman, then a reporter for the New York Observer, when he took him out of a party in a headlock last November after there was a tussle for Goldman’s tape recorder and someone got knocked in the head. Weinstein deputized himself and insisted that Goldman apologize. His hubris would be hilarious if he weren’t able to back it up. Several paparazzi got pictures of the tussle, but Goldman bet me at the time that they would never see print.
I mailed him his dollar a week later. I’d talk to Goldman about it, except he now works for Talk magazine, which is half-owned by Miramax.
I’m pretty sure that David Chase didn’t create Tony Soprano to be a how-to guide for career advancement. Though as with Mad Men, I wonder how many of the incidents shown in that series were inspired by Hollywood itself.
In what would speed up Boom Technology’s dream of making supersonic passenger jet, Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced its strategic partnership with the company. The new-generation superfast aircraft will travel at the speed of Mach 2.2 (1,451 mph / 2,335 km/h), which is more than double the speed of the average airliner (Mach 0.85).
Japan Airlines has agreed to invest $10 million in Boom besides helping to refine the aircraft design and has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft through a pre-order arrangement.
“We are very proud to be working with Boom on the possible advancement in the commercial aviation industry. Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more ‘time’ to our valued passengers while emphasizing flight safety,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines, in a statement obtained by PRNewswire.
“Ninety minutes from New York to Paris” has a nice ring to it.