THE SOCIAL-MEDIA PANIC: All that matters to Democrats is whether Silicon Valley will keep them in power.
LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Austin Explosion, Trump’s Opiod Speech, Mueller Drama and Much, Much More.
Plus, Lightning Deal, Soil pH Meter, 3-in-1 Soil Test Kit For Moisture, Light & pH, A Must Have For Home And Garden, Lawn, Farm, Plants, Herbs & Gardening Tools, Indoor/Outdoors Plant Care Soil Tester.
THIS IS A NEW DEVELOPMENT: Austin-bound package explodes at FedEx facility near San Antonio. The others were all hand-placed; assuming (as seems likely) that this is a product of the same bomber, it represents a departure. It’s also more likely to have left a data trail.
WAIT, WHAT? Ex-French president Sarkozy held on Gadhafi claims. “In the latest judicial setback for the former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy was placed in custody on Tuesday as part of an investigation that he received millions of euros in illegal campaign financing from the regime of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. . . . Sarkozy has vehemently and repeatedly denied wrongdoing in the case, which involves funding for his winning 2007 presidential campaign.”
CBS NEWS HARSHES THE NARRATIVE: Trump campaign phased out use of Cambridge Analytica data before election.
NEWS YOU CAN USE: How to Make a Clean Break with the Clingiest Social Networks.
If you’ve ever deactivated your account, you may have noticed that everything goes back to normal the next time you log in, as if nothing has happened. That’s because deactivating your Facebook account is not the same as deleting it. When you deactivate your account, you are just hiding your information from searches and your Facebook friends. Although nothing is visible on the site, your account information remains intact on Facebook’s servers, eagerly awaiting your return.
Even so, deactivating your account is still a complex process. Go into your settings and click General. At the bottom, you’ll find Manage your Account. From there, click on “Deactivate your account” and type in your password. Before you’re completely off the hook, Facebook shows you photos of all the “friends” you’ll miss (“Callie will miss you”, “Phoebe will miss you”, “Ben will miss you”) followed by a survey asking you to detail your reasons for leaving. Get through that, click Deactivate, and you’re good to go.
Now, to permanently delete your account, you’ll need to learn where the delete option resides. The easiest way to find it is by clicking the “Quick Help” icon in the top-right corner, then the “Search” icon. When you see the search field, type “delete account.” You’ll see a list of search results. Click on “How do I permanently delete my account?” and Facebook will give you the obscure instructions to “log into your account and let us know.” In this case, “let us know” is code for “delete my account,” so click on that link. From here, the final steps are clear: Enter your password and solve the security captcha, and your request to permanently delete your account is underway.
Yes, you read that right—it’s just a request. Facebook delays the deletion process for a few days after you submit your request, and will cancel your request if you log into your account during that time period.
It’s like trying to find the exit from the casino floor.
HOW U.S. NEWS SHAFTED PEPPERDINE LAW SCHOOL.
My sense, actually, is that Pepperdine is doing very well these days, and if the ranking system worked it would be moving up.
UPDATE: More here:
U.S. News removed Pepperdine University School of Law from the ranking after the school reported a mistake in the median LSAT score it provided to the publication. According to Pepperdine law dean Paul Caron, the school last week realized that it had incorrectly reported its median LSAT score as 162 instead of the correct 160 when it saw the early embargoed version of the rankings that U.S. News provides each school for review. (The initial ranking had Pepperdine moving up from No. 72 to No. 59.)
Rather than recalculate the school’s rank and issue a new list prior to the official release, as the Caron requested, U.S. News removed Pepperdine’s ranking altogether.
“It is, of course, deeply disappointing to be unranked for a year,” Caron wrote in a post on his Tax Prof Blog. “But the reality is that we made great progress in the rankings this year, and should continue our ascent next year.”
Caron said several experts concluded that Pepperdine would have ranked 62nd or 64th using the correct median LSAT.
University of Chicago law professor Brian Leiter, a frequent critic of law school rankings, said on his blog that U.S. News’ handling of the situation will dissuade law schools from disclosing any inadvertent mistakes in their data.
I think U.S. News blew this call. And credit to Dean Paul Caron for reporting the error; I feel certain that some schools wouldn’t have been so honest.
Please don’t confuse a rapidly expanding offensive into neighboring countries with an invasion.
WE SHOULD PROBABLY SHUT DOWN FACEBOOK, IN THE INTERESTS OF NATIONAL SECURITY AND OF PROTECTING THE CHILDREN: Facebook faces new crisis over Cambridge Analytica data.
Meanwhile, here’s a whole Twitter thread on how Obama’s 2012 team scraped social media data, for which they were hailed as geniuses.
And Facebook let them do it, because they were on their side:
LATE-STAGE SOCIALISM: Venezuela town issues own currency amid cash shortages.
Amid an acute national shortage of banknotes, the town of Elorza in western Venezuela has started issuing its own paper currency.
Local officials said that the currency would make it easier for residents and visitors to trade during the town’s festivities, which start on Monday.
They said rampant hyperinflation and a scarcity of bolivares, the national currency, had affected trade in Elorza.
The new currency can be bought at the mayor’s office via bank transfer.
The paper bills feature the face of independence hero José Andrés Elorza and, like the town, are named after him.
“People don’t have bolivares to spend, that’s why we have created bills of two denominations… and we’ve already sold 2bn bolivares worth,” mayor Solfreddy Solórzano, from the governing PSUV party, said.
That’s nice — but what is there to buy?
European Union and British negotiators on Monday agreed on the terms of the U.K.’s 21-month transition after it leaves the bloc next March, but left unresolved a thorny issue—the future of Ireland—that could derail the entire Brexit deal.
The new agreement opens the way for talks on the U.K.’s future economic and security relationship with the bloc, something the U.K. has long asked for. But while the transition was relatively easy to agree on, the most difficult phase of negotiations still lies ahead.
With just one year to go, the two sides must finalize the negotiations and get the deal approved by EU governments, the U.K. and the EU parliament.
The U.K. wants a much closer trade and economic relationship after Brexit than the EU says is possible for a country that won’t allow free movement of EU citizens and won’t follow the rulings of the EU top court.
Getting out from under Brussels’ thumb while maintaining a free trade relationship with Europe would be ideal for the UK, but it seems more likely that Britain will lose at least some access to the common market, while remaining mired in an EU-like regulatory state.
MALE PRIVILEGE: Why A Good Father Prepares His Sons For War.
IT ISN’T BOMBSHELL IF IT ONLY CONFIRMS WHAT EVERYBODY KNEW: Ex-Obama Campaign Director Drops Bombshell Claim on Facebook: ‘They Were on Our Side.’
The dark night of economic collapse is always descending in capitalist countries and yet lands only in the socialist ones.
REMEMBERING WHERE WE CAME FROM: Valley Forge.
I BELIEVE THE CHILDREN ARE INFANTILE: Political Children.
KEEPING YOUR HEAD WHEN ALL AROUND ARE LOSING THEIRS: Where’s Waldo?
KEEPING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE: On reviews.
DOGS LEFTISTS OF SCIENCE FICTION: First they came for the sad puppy.
BUT THE BENEFIT PACKAGE IS UNPARALLELED! Being a mom is the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs.
BETTER? HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? How to make bacon taste even better.
NO, YOU CAN’T BELIEVE YOUR EARS – AUDIO SYNTHESIS IS WHY: Listen to JFK speak from beyond the grave.
SHEER INCOMPETENCE AND AN OVERWEENING DISDAIN FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS: United Airlines In The News Again…But Is Sheer Incompetence The Only Flaw Here?
NO, HILLY, MOST OF US DON’T THINK WITH OUR VAGINAS: Hillary Clinton Says Women Just ‘Misunderstood’ Her India Remarks. Only your followers, Hillary.
THEY HATE US, THEY REALLY HATE US: CNN Desperately Tries, Fails at Connecting Explosions to Race.
YOU PAID FOR HER TO INSULT YOU FROM ABROAD: Hillary Clinton’s India Trip Cost Taxpayers More than $22k. Shouldn’t multi-millionaire Clinton pay for her own security already? We could call it “Hands off Deplorable Pockets!”
As RedState’s Joe Cunningham pointed out, actress Gal Gadot made mention of constraints when she tweeted out her sympathies at the recent death of Steven Hawking.
“Rest in peace Dr. Hawking,” tweeted Gadot. “Now you’re free of any physical constraints. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever.”
Disabilities come in many forms. In the case of the recently passed Hawking, his was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The disease is terrifying, and essentially stops motor function to your body. Without constant help, you’re a mind trapped in a shell you can hardly move if you can move it at all.
To any normal person, this is a sweet sentiment. It’s nice to think that Hawking is now free of his disability, and is free to do whatever he wishes for the first time in decades. It’s a sentiment that was seen quite often at his passing, including from yours truly.
As Cunningham pointed out, however, this sentiment from Gadot enraged SJWs and attacked the actress for being “ableist,” or viewing Hawking’s sickness as a negative.
* * * * * * * *
But according to the SJW crowd, merely saying that having ALS is debilitating and horrible is a grave sin worthy of labeling the person who says it as hateful toward those without properly working bodies. This is, of course, madness, but pointing this out will cause an SJW to scream “THIS IS SAFE SPACE” then attempt to kick you into a pit where you’re made to feel like a pariah, and possibly deplatformed.
But this line of thinking is disturbing.
For one, SJWs seem to be arriving at the fact that diseases are somehow a good thing. That instead of acknowledging that diseases hinder and harm, they choose to glorify the disability or disease. The disease itself, and the effects it has on a person are not to be thought of as bad according to them, but should be celebrated and applauded.
It gets worse; read the whole thing. But who knew that Mr. Spock was so ableist for wanting to return the crippled Capt. Pike to Talos IV to be free to live out the rest of his life inside the allusion of his once healthy body? Who knew Gene Roddenberry was such an alt-right reactionary? The “burn all the things” impulse regarding our pop culture past over the next few decades will be amazing to witness.
AT AMAZON, save in Safety and Security.
In Sunday’s Washington Post, art critic Philip Kennicott unloaded on images of American “fascism” in a new exhibit in New York featuring photographs of the unjust internment of Japanese Americans during World War II titled “Then They Came For Me.” That’s somehow comparable to Trump if he deported “Dreamers.” That would be a “looming civic crisis.” The online headline was “If America fails its people again, what will the catastrophe look like?” In the paper, it was simply “Images that provoke deja vu.”
In his 1,571 words, Kennicott never used these words: Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Or any reference to the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, “CNN Exploits Holocaust, Suggests ICE Agents are Nazis,” Joel Pollack writes at Big Journalism:
CNN posted a tweet to promote the article, declaring: “A Jewish woman heard an undocumented immigrant and her two daughters were on the run from ICE. Driven by thoughts of the Holocaust, she risked her own comfort to offer them shelter.”
* * * * * * * *
The implication is that ICE agents are like Nazis or Gestapo secret police ready to arrest illegal aliens for legitimate reason other than their identity. Jews in Germany and in Nazi-occupied Europe were citizens of the countries where they were arrested, and where they were murdered or deported to death camps. They had not violated immigration laws or any other laws except laws preventing them from existing.
More at Red State:
I have to give CNN credit. Just when you think they’ve given it their best shot in lying, in manufacturing news, in encouraging hatred of people they don’t like, in deliberately maligning Republican office holders; when they’ve reached that pinnacle where you think, “my stars, they can’t possibly be more douchebaggy than this,” you find out, yes, they can.
Dude, it’s CNN; the scale of douchebaggery there reaches to infinity and beyond – and then some.
(Classical reference in headline.)
Eric had everything that transgender activists say they want — and still, he killed himself. The poor kid was plainly tormented, but doesn’t that indicate that the entire world can rearrange itself to suit what these people want to believe about themselves, and it still won’t be enough? What more could have been done for him?
The thing that jumped out even more about this story is this: the Miami Herald chose to call this male teenager who had not yet transitioned “she”. This might seem like a small thing, but it in fact is a massive one. In this case, the media is attempting to change the way we use language, which is to say, trying to change at a foundational level how we think.
We cannot conform to this lie. We cannot. The stakes are enormous. You change a people’s language, and you change the way they construe reality. George Orwell addressed this point in his famous essay “Politics and the English Language.” Here:
I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognise that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.
The Miami Herald — along with almost all our media today — insist on calling a thing what it is not, for entirely political reasons. I could understand using the feminine pronoun if Eric Verbeeck had completed his transition. I wouldn’t agree with it, but I could understand it. But Eric was still legally named Eric, and had only begun to transition. Yet here are major English language newspapers destroying the language to accommodate a politically correct mental condition. What they’re doing is accustoming their readership to accepting as real and true the claim of a mentally ill teenage male that he is in fact a female.
Read the whole thing.
OPEN THREAD: Don’t let it go to waste.
ASKING THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS: What Causes Canker Sores.
HEY, IF ONLY SOMEONE HAD WRITTEN A SCHOLARLY PAPER ON THIS OR SOMETHING: Are some states headed for Splitsville? Movement grows to allow sections of states to break away.
Note this take from Joel Kotkin: “The worst thing in the world to be is the red part of a blue state.”
Zachary Cruz, the brother of confessed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz, has been arrested today for trespassing at that same school.
According to CBS Miami, the probable cause affidavit stated that the 18-year-old Cruz wanted to “reflect on the school shooting and soak it in,” and that he “surpassed all locked doors and gates.”
He was riding his skateboard around campus when he was arrested. The police report states that Cruz had received “prior warnings by school officials to refrain from entering the school campus.”
DEUTSCHLAND UNTER ALLEN: “Germany has come up short once more in meeting its military obligations to NATO. Leaked readiness data indicates that a key component of the NATO rapid reaction force, which Germany is to supply in 2019, is nowhere near ready to perform duties German said it could handle.”
Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Photos or facsimiles of Sarah’s surprised face are not acceptable.
TIPS FOR PICKING the right concealed-carry pistol.
I’m a Rotherham grooming gang survivor. I call myself a survivor because I’m still alive. I’m part of the UK’s largest ever child sexual abuse investigation.
As a teenager, I was taken to various houses and flats above takeaways in the north of England, to be beaten, tortured and raped over 100 times. I was called a “white slag” and “white c***” as they beat me.
They made it clear that because I was a non-Muslim, and not a virgin, and because I didn’t dress “modestly”, that they believed I deserved to be “punished”. They said I had to “obey” or be beaten.
Fear of being killed, and threats to my parents’ lives, made it impossible for me to escape for about a year. The police didn’t help me.
Well, you were raped, and feared being killed, but they couldn’t risk being called racist.
KURT SCHLICHTER: The Joy and Necessity of Driving Liberals Nuts. “They have to minimize and marginalize us because labelling our rebellion against their self-serving, failed rule a mere temper tantrum allows them to avoid the painful reality that they brought this on themselves because they are terrible.”
THIS COULD EXPLAIN A LOT: Widely used essential oils may block testosterone, cause men to grow breasts.
NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST NICHOLAS KRISTOF WARNS OF CLIMATE CHANGE WHILE ON COMPANY’S GLOBAL $135,000 A TICKET PRIVATE JET TOUR.
The tour, if it sold out, would bring in $6.75 million.
In 2013, the Times ran a “news analysis” piece entitled, “Your Biggest Carbon Sin May Be Air Travel,” which reported, “For many people reading this, air travel is their most serious environmental sin. One round-trip flight from New York to Europe or to San Francisco creates a warming effect equivalent to 2 or 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person.”
The size of the “carbon footprint” for the Times tour is not known, but some estimates place private jet flights at 10 times that of a commercial flight.
As for the Times trip, Kristof will not be making the entire journey with the group. He is only going to Easter Island, Samoa and Australia. Other Times writers are taking different legs of the 26-day journey. That, presumably, means each will be meeting the group on their appointed leg of the tour and flying back to wherever they call home, adding to the carbon footprint of the tour.
Today, the ever-scolding Gray Lady tweeted, “It’s harder to enjoy your burger when you think of the greenhouse gas emitted in producing it.”
To normal Americans, it makes it all the more enjoyable knowing that leftwing urban puritans are diving for fainting couches. Though presumably, those eating burgers while on Kristoff’s $135,000 a ticket private jet tour are absolved of any such guilt.
As Glenn noted over the weekend, when another leftwing Massachusetts woman was triggered by signage involving the name of a Civil War hero, “It would be easy to write an argument for restoring the patriarchy based solely on feminists’ statements about how weak, fragile, and stupid women are.”
SHOCKING NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SCIENCE: Ocean Water May Contain Bacteria.
I’M NOT SURE I WANT TO RISK ASKING THE VODKAWIFE… Let’s Settle This Once and for All: Women Do Not Love Jerks.
TANNED, RESTED, AND READY: Cynthia Nixon announces bid for NY governor.
“Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon on Monday announced that she would stage a primary campaign against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I love New York. I’ve never lived anywhere else,” Nixon said in a video statement, which shows her starting her day at home with her wife, Christine, and son Charlie, and walking her son Max to school.
“But something has to change. We want our government to work again, on health care, ending mass incarceration, fixing our broken subway. We are sick of politicians who care more about headlines and power than they do about us. It can’t just be business as usual anymore.”
Nixon’s candidacy gives those on the left an alternative to the more moderate incumbent.
As they say in both Hollywood and celebrity politics, pass the popcorn.
PUT ANY WORD BEFORE “JUSTICE” AND IT BECOMES THE OPPOSITE OF JUSTICE: David Solway writes that “‘Social Justice’ Is About Anything but Justice.”
(Classical reference in headline.)
COME AND SEE THE VIOLENCE INHERENT IN THE LEFTISM: Democrat suggests ‘Second Amendment’ remedy vs. Trump.
(Classical reference in headline.)
DO YOU KNOW WHO IS U.S. AMBASSADOR FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM? It’s Sam Brownback, the former Kansas governor and before that U.S. senator from John Brown’s former state of (brief) residence. Hardwired’s Tina Ramirez tells LifeZette that Brownback has a huge opportunity to advance religious freedom around the world.
BRUCE BAWER: The Upside-Down Morals of Today’s Britain.
OUR TECH LORDS CERTAINLY LOVE THEIR SERFS: Mark Zuckerberg once called Facebook users ‘dumb f***s’ for handing personal data over to him – as firm becomes further embroiled in Cambridge Analytica row.
HAVE YOU HUGGED A FRACKER TODAY? Crude Oil Prices Turn Lower on U.S. Drilling Activity.
WELL, THIS IS THE 21ST CENTURY, YOU KNOW: This 25-Year-Old Lived For More Than a Year Without a Heart.
DC COUNCILMAN TRAYON WHITE SR. (D-WARD 8): HEY, SORRY FOR THAT WHOLE “JEWS CONTROL THE WEATHER TO OWN THE CITIES” THING.
But of course, “NYT’s [Jonathan] Weisman Sees Anti-Semitism Solely on Right:”
Weisman has himself been the victim of anti-semitism. Yet as deputy Washington editor, he’s also responsible for offensive reporting, and an incredibly offensive chart, targeting Jewish lawmakers who care about Israel.
In September 2015 he proudly claimed responsibility for a New York Times chart labeling Democratic lawmakers against the Obama administration’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran as “Jewish?” or not (the “Jewish?” part was removed from the online version after outcry). Under the heading “Democrats against the deal,” the lawmakers’ names were arranged out of alphabetical order solely to stack all the “Yes” names that qualified as “Jewish?” at the top of the chart.
As Twitchy quipped at the time, “Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Gee, wouldn’t it be great if I could keep track of all the Jews, all in one place?’ Well, the wait is over. The New York Times is here to help.”
That last sentence might just be the eight scariest words in the English language.
Two of them, actually. Neither name — Lamar Alexander or Susan Collins — will surprise you.
“BAD FEMINISM:” Why They Hate Margaret Atwood.
THE FUTURE IS NOW: Seth McFarland, Social Media, and Communist China.
SELF-DRIVING UBER CAR KILLS ARIZONA PEDESTRIAN: “A woman in Tempe, Ariz., died after being hit by a self-driving car operated by Uber, in what appears to be the first known death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle on public roads.”
In at least four investigations last year – cases of murder, sexual battery and even possible arson at the massive downtown fire in March 2017 – Raleigh police used search warrants to demand Google accounts not of specific suspects, but from any mobile devices that veered too close to the scene of a crime, according to a WRAL News review of court records. These warrants often prevent the technology giant for months from disclosing information about the searches not just to potential suspects, but to any users swept up in the search.
This comes courtesy of Dave Mark, who adds: “According to this story, and others I’ve read, Google can track your location, even if you take out your SIM card. Amazing.”
I’m not sure “amazing” is the word I’d use.
The first commercial consumer devices to have higher-capacity lithium-silicon batteries will likely be announced in the next two years, says Mr. Lam, who expects a wearable to be first. Other companies claim a similar timetable for consumer rollout.
Enevate produces complete silicon-dominant anodes for car manufacturers. CEO Robert Rango says its technology increases the range of electric vehicles by 30% compared with conventional lithium-ion batteries.
BMW plans to incorporate Sila’s silicon anode technology in a plug-in electric vehicle by 2023, says a company spokesman. BMW expects an increase of 10% to 15% in battery-pack capacity in a single leap. While this is the same technology destined for mobile electronics, the higher volumes and higher safety demands of the auto industry mean slower implementation there. In 2017, BMW said it would invest €200 million ($246 million) in its own battery-research center.
Now looks like a great time to wait before buying an electric car.
PLANETARY DEFENSE: Options And Uncertainties.
AT AMAZON, Lightning Deal, COWIN E7 Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones with Microphone Hi-Fi Deep Bass Wireless Headphones Over Ear, Comfortable Protein Earpads, 30H Playtime for Travel Work TV Computer Iphone – Black.
BLUE WAVE? New Generic Congressional Ballot Poll Shows Dems Regaining Double-Digit Lead. But: “Will party infighting derail the Dems’ chances to take over the House?”
FROM SETH BARRETT TILLMAN, a new filing in the Emoluments Clause suit.
A TROUBLING QUESTION FOR CBS NEWS: What if Trump is right and there is no collusion?
CHANGE: Saudi Crown Prince, in His Own Words: Women Are ‘Absolutely’ Equal. Didn’t all this stuff start after Trump’s Saudi trip?
BIPARTISANSHIP: Public Troubled by ‘Deep State.’
A majority of the American public believe that the U.S. government engages in widespread monitoring of its own citizens and worry that the U.S. government could be invading their own privacy. The Monmouth University Poll also finds a large bipartisan majority who feel that national policy is being manipulated or directed by a “Deep State” of unelected government officials. Americans of color on the center and left and NRA members on the right are among those most worried about the reach of government prying into average citizens’ lives.
Just over half of the public is either very worried (23%) or somewhat worried (30%) about the U.S. government monitoring their activities and invading their privacy. There are no significant partisan differences – 57% of independents, 51% of Republicans, and 50% of Democrats are at least somewhat worried the federal government is monitoring their activities. Another 24% of the American public are not too worried and 22% are not at all worried.
Fully 8-in-10 believe that the U.S. government currently monitors or spies on the activities of American citizens, including a majority (53%) who say this activity is widespread and another 29% who say such monitoring happens but is not widespread. Just 14% say this monitoring does not happen at all. There are no substantial partisan differences in these results.
This breakdown in trust is what happens when power is held by people unworthy of it.
WEIRD HOW WE AREN’T SEEING MORE STORIES LIKE THIS: This Is What Record-Low Unemployment Looks Like in America.
ROGER KIMBALL ON OUR PREENING RULERS: A ‘Higher Loyalty’ to Their Inflated Sense of Virtue.
One of the most interesting details to emerge from the Comey-McCabe Affair is the . . . er, tension between what McCabe has just said about who said what to whom and with what authority and the testimony of Comey before Congress under oath. In his post-firing statement, McCabe said “I chose to share [information about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server] with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor. As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter” (my emphasis).
But as Jonathan Turley reports at The Hill, “If the ‘interaction’ means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing.”
SOD OFF, SWAMPY: Experts Say We Should Tax Meat Eaters the Same Way We Tax Smokers.
FROM MY COLLEAGUE MICHAEL HIGDON, WHO HAS SPENT A LOT OF TIME THINKING ABOUT PATERNITY: Biological Citizenship and the Children of Same-Sex Marriage.
ANALYSIS: TRUE. No one can pretend Facebook is just harmless fun any more.
Even if we want to avoid the site and keep our data protected, it’s not as easy as one might think. According to Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook, the company uses techniques found in propaganda and casino gambling to foster psychological addiction in its users – such as constant notifications and variable rewards. By keeping us hooked, Facebook is able to hold a huge amount of data on us. What is surprising, and worrying, is the derived data Facebook has – the profiles it can build of its users based on seemingly innocuous information. The author of the book Networks of Control, Wolfie Christl, noted that a patent published by Facebook works out people’s commute times by using location data from mobile apps. It then uses this and other data to segregate users into social classes.
Facebook’s massive data cache goes hand in hand with its acquisition of competitors. Nick Srnicek, author of Platform Capitalism, says, “Facebook is acting like a classic monopoly: it’s buying up competitors like Instagram, it’s blatantly copying rivals like Snapchat, and it even has its own app, Onavo, that acts to warn them of potential threats. All of this is combined with an unchecked sweeping up of our data that’s being used to build an impervious moat around its business.”
Anti-Facebook sentiment seems to have gone viral.
THESE AUSTIN BOMBINGS are escalating. Bomb designs are sophisticated, from a “serial bomber.”
IN THE MAIL: From Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.
Plus, fresh Gold Box and Lightning Deals. New deals every hour. Your patronage is always appreciated!
I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING: Walmart Applies for Patent to Develop Drone Bees.
MAGGIE HABERMAN: Newly Emboldened, Trump Says What He Really Feels.
For months, President Trump’s legal advisers implored him to avoid so much as mentioning the name of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, in his tweets, and to do nothing to provoke him or suggest his investigation is not proper.
Ignoring that advice over the weekend was the decision of a president who ultimately trusts only his own instincts, and now believes he has settled into the job enough to rely on them rather than the people who advise him.
A dozen people close to Mr. Trump or the White House, including current and former aides and longtime friends, described him as newly emboldened to say what he really feels and to ignore the cautions of those around him.
That self-confidence has led to a series of surprising comments and actions that have pushed the Trump presidency in an ever more tumultuous direction.
Yes, up until now reticence has been Trump’s defining characteristic.
HOW THE #METOO MOVEMENT IS BACKFIRING ON CAMPUS:
Rape hoaxes like what took place at the University of Virginia, Duke, and Columbia, added fuel to the fire and amplified the debate on whether campus sexual assault cases should rely solely on due process or if campus authorities can act without ample evidence. In many circles, it is thought that sexual assault accusers should be readily believed, even if all the facts aren’t yet presented. However, two recent cases have shed light on the dangers of jumping to conclusions.
Last December, a student activist at Middlebury College published a “List of Men to Avoid” in the campus newspaper. It brandished individuals as “physically /emotionally abusive,” “physically violent,” and even as a “rapist.” Elizabeth Dunn, the student author, “evidently took no steps to verify any of the claims she posted,” according to one of the men accused as a rapist.
While Dunn, the author of the list, lacked any compelling evidence, many students at Middlebury jumped to conclusions. The fallout from the published piece was brutal for the students accused. One individual, who insists all his sexual encounters were consensual, penned a letter for The College Fix, explaining the social and psychological setbacks he experienced. He lost friends and has sought professional counseling. He’s even had suicidal thoughts.
Dunn claimed to have been motivated by the #MeToo movement.
A case with additional repercussions took place at Clemson University earlier this year. Sarah Katherine Campbell submitted a fake police report against the Delta Chi fraternity at Clemson, claiming to have been sexually assaulted. When the local sheriff deputies concluded that actions between Campbell and the male she was accusing were consensual, she was arrested for filing a false report. Based upon the investigation and the evidence gathered, it was actually found that Campbell wasn’t the victim at all. Instead, the man she falsely accused was a victim of her wrath.
Despite the due process, Clemson Interfraternity Council suspended all Greek life on campus.
Sounds like a hostile educational environment on account of sex. Let the lawsuits bloom!
DON’T SAY THAT LIKE IT’S A BAD THING: Trump’s pick for secretary of state reportedly set up ‘kill teams’ of commandos at the CIA.
The Pakistani migrant, who died in 2015 aged 61, had targeted girls in the town since 1981, picking up at least one of his victims from under the noses of the authorities outside a police station on a regular basis, the Mirror reports.
“He’d pick me up right outside the police station in Wellington and sometimes police cars would drive past us,” she said.
“They must have realised something was very badly wrong but they never said a word, nor asked me what I was doing with a much older man.”
The scandal — barely covered by national broadcasters, including the publicly-funded BBC, despite being the worst in Britain’s history — saw up to a thousand girls beaten, raped, and even killed in a city of just 170,000, with Khan standing out as one of the most prolific abusers among hundreds of potential rapists.
Diversity is our strength.
YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY: From Suffrage to Suppression: Women Now Lead in Anti-Speech Sentiment.
SALENA ZITO: For Republicans, A Lesson for 2018. “One of the biggest advantages Conor Lamb had in his victory last week in the special election for Western Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District was that his campaign manager lived in his district. Abby Nassif Murphy did not have an office at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; she did not hold daily meetings with fellow Democrats in the Beltway who, on average, are fairly progressive both culturally and politically. She understood the heartbeat of the district not because of polls and data, but because she spends the bulk of her time carting her sons to and from their activities. Untethered from the pressures of Washington consultants, agenda items, and resistance talking points, she was able to respond to what she saw the community wanted.”
LIZ SHELD’S MORNING BRIEF: Another Austin Bomb, McCabe DOWN and Much, Much More. “If you ever doubted that there was a group of senior government bureaucrats working against the election of Trump and the Trump administration, doubt no more.”
NEO-OTTOMAN EMPIRE: Turkish Forces Seize Syrian City of Afrin.
Turkey’s offensive against Afrin began on January 20th, and the Associated Press reports it slowly pushed the Kurdish militia and civilians into the town center. The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says nearly 200,000 people have fled the Afrin region in recent days, and cites witnesses who say intense clashes between Turkish-backed forces and YPG Syrian Kurdish fighters are ongoing. A Kurdish official told the AP YPG fighters have evacuated remaining civilians “because of massacres” by Turkish and allied forces.
The Turkish government says the Kurdish forces in Afrin are tied to an insurgent group that has fought for Kurdish autonomy in southeastern Turkey. The AP reports that Turkey “fears the establishment of a Kurdish self-ruled zone in Syria that could inspire its own Kurdish minority to press for greater autonomy.” While the Turkish government sees the YPG as a “terrorist army,” the militia has been an important ally to the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State group.
According to the BBC’s Mark Lowen, “President Erdogan has achieved his twin objectives: to remove a key area under YPG control and to rally the vast majority of Turks behind their commander-in-chief. The jingoism here has been breathtaking. Targeting Turkey’s age-old enemy of the Kurdish militants is a rare uniting force in a polarised country.”
Plus: “The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says nearly 200,000 people have fled the Afrin region in recent days.”
That’s mission accomplished for Erdogan.
WHAT TRUMP LEARNED FROM OBAMA: President Obama embraced base-first politics. President Trump is taking a page from his predecessor’s playbook. One strange phenomenon of the Obama years is my progressive friends insisting, to this day, that Obama, who oozed (admitted generally polite) supercilious contempt for anyone to his right, bent over backwards to accommodate Republicans. If you know people like that, send them this article
REGARDLESS OF TRUMP, LIBERALISM IS IN TROUBLE: After noting that the liberalism of the rule of law and skepticism of government power and foreign adventurism and so forth was abandoned during the Obama years, Oliver Traldi writes: “Perhaps the most interesting dynamic post-Trump is that there has been no reassessment this time. Instead, there’s been an acceleration. Just as a terrorist attack can be spun to support counterterrorism policy — it’s not that the policy didn’t work; it’s that we need more of it! — the 2016 election seems to have proven to liberals not that their shift in principles was wrong, but that they didn’t shift enough, because they didn’t realize just how powerful the hateful, mystical forces arrayed against them really were.”
I have seen virtually no soul-searching among progressives about what they might have done differently that might have prevented the Trump counter-reaction. Instead, it’s all about how to seize power back and crush the enemy.
“Traitor!” cry socialist stalwarts, who cannot forgive the former state governor for breaking with their beloved late leader Hugo Chavez in 2010.
“Chavista lite!” say opposition radicals, always suspicious that Falcon came into their ranks as a Trojan horse.
Now that the 56-year-old former soldier is running for president in a May 20 vote, both groups are united in scoffing at his chances.
After all, Falcon is up against not just a powerful President Nicolas Maduro but also an election system widely considered unfair and an opposition boycott that will deprive him of votes.
And yet, a clutch of opinion polls show Falcon ahead, bolstering his campaign mantra that he is a natural transition candidate with appeal to a moderate majority fed up with political polarization and economic chaos.
Widely-followed pollster Datanalisis, for example, put him more than 10 percentage points ahead in voter intentions.
FIRST, SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A YOUNG MAN, NOW THIS: Nun says she’s broke after legal battle with Katy Perry.
YOU WENT FULL CALIGULA, MAN. NEVER GO FULL CALIGULA. Peak Hollywood, reached: Celebs are using ‘cloned baby foreskin’ in facials.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: How Broward County funneled offenders from prison to school.
THE TWO MILLION DOLLAR DEM: More Dems offer to hire McCabe.
More Democratic lawmakers are coming forward with offers to hire former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe after he was fired Friday, just two days before he was eligible for his pension.
Democratic Reps. Seth Moulton (Mass.), Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.) have all made job offers on Twitter. The lawmakers are extending the offers in an attempt to help McCabe to qualify for his benefits.
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