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The PJ Tatler

Stephen Kruiser

Stephen Kruiser is a professional comedian and writer who has also been a conservative political activist for over two decades. A co-founder of the first Los Angeles Tea Party, Kruiser often speaks to grassroots groups around America and has had the great honor of traveling around the world entertaining U.S. troops.
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LAUSD Finds That $1.3 Billion iPad Program Was Largely a Bust

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I know my shocked face is around here somewhere…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cruz Demands Public Outline of Iran Deal

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Hill:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Silly people and their truth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Ya don’t say.

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

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

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

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

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

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Florida to Sue Feds Over Medicaid Expansion

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser


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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

An occasional good piece of legislation is proposed…

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

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

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

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

Which means it probably doesn’t stand a chance.

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Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Yahoo! Sports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via Reuters:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

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

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

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

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

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

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

As is she.

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

Friday, April 10th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Federalist:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

No more Fergusons, please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Sad, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Well, this is uncomfortable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Oh, the commies

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, they planned it this way.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the  Associated Press:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hmmm…wonder who that might be?

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Comforting: FAA Hit with Cyber Attack Earlier This Year

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Fly the hacking skies…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can see why I don’t sleep much.

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

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

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

Now it seems the sculptor feels exactly the same way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 6th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

He has a name (sort of)!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is how media bias works.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cruz Campaign Picks Up $4 Million in First 8 Days

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Looks like somebody wants him to run.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Good News for a Troubled World: SkyMall Might Relaunch

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The sun may shine again:

In January, SkyMall LLC and its parent company, Xhibit Corp., filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with some $50 million in liabilities. The company’s assets were set to go up for auction in late March. The news led to a strong show of support for the in-flight catalog.

On Friday, a company called C&A Marketing bought SkyMall, with a winning bid of $1.9 million. The company’s leadership already is hinting that they’ll bring back the SkyMall catalog. NPR spoke with Chiam Pikarski, executive vice president of C&A, for details about the catalog’s return.

But are they merely teasing us?

There have been a few articles saying that you might bring back SkyMall. Is that to be believed?

Everybody’s saying “bring back my SkyMall!” — sort of an outcry. And it’s something that we will definitely take a very close look at. We would start by reengaging our conversations with the airlines, get their understanding of what it is they liked in the SkyMall catalog, what did work for them. Then we can align that with what didn’t work for SkyMall, and see if there is an opportunity to bring it back in one form or another. To bring back something in print, and physically to the airlines … there will be some kind of catalog in one format or the other, whether it’s in the airline seat, whether it’s exclusive for regular customers in the mail, or some combination of that.

I’m the reason for SkyMall’s failure. During a quarter century of flying to gigs I used it for my reading entertainment, and to entertain my daughter when she’s traveling with me, but I never once purchased anything.

If it returns, I promise to become a customer. Until then, here are some weird products by which to remember the beloved catalog.

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House Oversight Committee Pretends to Care about Revolving Door Cronyism at Dept. of Energy

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

I’m sure they’ll fix this right away.

House investigators are asking questions about former Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman’s past dealings with Centrus Energy Corp., the nuclear enrichment company that just hired Poneman as CEO after getting hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of federal aid during his time at the Energy Department.

Leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released letters Tuesday night in which they demanded that the department and Centrus turn over five years’ worth of documents, including communications between Poneman and Centrus and any discussions of potential job opportunities at the company, formerly known as USEC.

Hey, isn’t this why people get involved with government jobs in the first place? Yes, the cronyism here is awful, but the joke is that this guy wouldn’t be getting a second look if he had just taken an energy lobbying job with the same salary.

This might surprise you, but I think THE FEDERAL AID IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM.

The less taxpayer money the political class can dole out, the fewer opportunities for the Crony Express to ride. This is the reason I am so bitterly opposed to electing big government “compassionate” Republicans. They’re doing just as much damage, just doing it more slowly than their Democrat counterparts. Unless conservatives find a way to elect people who will fight the expansion of the size and scope of the federal behemoth, the Republic has a pretty short shelf life.

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GOP Voter Registration Tanking in California

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The Jebification continues

Republicans’ voter registration ranks continue to slip, with no-party preference voters now outnumbering Republicans in 13 counties and more than a third of the state’s cities, state numbers released this week show.

Since last fall, independent voters have overtaken Republicans in Humboldt County and in Burbank, Dublin and several other cities. No-party preference voters outnumber GOP registrants in 172 cities, according to Monday’s report from the Secretary of State’s Office.

Independent voters outnumber Democrats in 14 cities, but not in any county, the records show.

The dirty little secret that the rest of the country doesn’t understand is that the California GOP doesn’t need to be a hot mess, it chooses to be. For the last couple of years, Republicans have held more than half of the elected positions in the state, despite the party’s leadership constantly whining about shifting demographics. So the notion that people in the state won’t vote for Republicans is simply false.

The big problem with the California Republican Party comes in the bigger elections, where it has been embracing moderate, “electable” and largely self-funded candidates for two decades now.

None of whom have won elections, by the way.

This parade of unelectable electability is wearing thin with even the most hardcore Republicans in the state (“Present”). It has done done damage that is approaching the irreparable stage quickly. Sadly, even with the evidence in plain sight of what’s happened here, the national party is embracing the same penchant for self-inflicted wounds.

I know many outside of California love to take the, “Who cares? Let it burn,” approach to the goings-on in this state, but Republicans do that at their own peril. Do we really want to concede the largest bloc of electoral votes every presidential election? This is the reason the GOP has to focus its entire strategy on fourteen people in Ohio every four years. The party will be skating on thin-margin ice until it fixes this problem.

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MSNBC Ratings Continue to Crater

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Surprise! But not.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for MSNBC, along came the quarterly ratings reports.

In both daytime and prime time, MSNBC endured its lowest quarterly demo numbers in a decade, and its total viewership since the final quarter of 2007. Prime-time viewership was down 45 percent in the demo from the first quarter of 2014, while daytime viewership was down 39 percent in the demo.

On Tuesday, while Fox News and CNN were boasting their own quarterly numbers — Fox News remained dominant, CNN made major strides in the demo — MSNBC chose to focus on the month of March instead, where it boasted gains in prime time and a victory for “Morning Joe” over CNN’s “New Day.”

But things are still looking grim for MSNBC: Between the hours of 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday, for instance, more people were watching Al Jazeera America than MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Thomas Roberts and “The Cycle.”

That’s right, even perpetually catering to the pro-terrorist crowd isn’t helping MSNBC pull numbers away from Al Jazeera America.

Unlike their favorite energy sources to talk about, the progressive audience isn’t a sustainable one because there aren’t as many progressives in America as the coastal media elites think there are. It doesn’t take that many to get distracted by things like prison or the occasional flirtation with employment to carve into your audience.

Bless their hearts, none of them have even tried to become more appealing. The entire lineup spent so many years being coddled by upper management that they don’t know they are failing miserably. Soon, most of them will be able to cuddle their participation trophies for comfort.

Until the money from their severance checks runs out.

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Poll: American Support for 2 State Solution in Israel Hits 20 Year Low

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

So much for that story.

Support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at nearly a 20-year low among Americans, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Only 39 percent of respondents in the poll expressed support for a two-state solution, down from 58 percent in 2003, according to a Gallup Poll.

It is worth noting that Politico is running a huge picture of a Code Pink anti-Israel protest. That’s a powerful, not-so-subtle attempt to undermine the very news in the post running below the picture.

Also, it’s rather difficult to ascertain if Americans are losing hope, realizing that this is a part of the world that will always be in turmoil.

One thing is certain: the relationship between the United States and Israel is going to need a lot of repair when President Fundamentally Transform finally exits the arena. If he stays around to muck up the works like Jimmy Carter has all these years, things may never be patched up.

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Reeling Detroit Residents Hit with 62,000 Tax Foreclosure Notices

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via NPR:

In Detroit, tens of thousands of people are facing a deadline tomorrow that could cost some of them their homes. That’s when homeowners have to make arrangements to either pay delinquent property taxes — or risk losing their home at a county auction.

When Detroit emerged from bankruptcy last year, it did so with a razor-thin financial cushion. It desperately needs every bit of tax revenue it can muster.

Earlier this year, county officials sent out 72,000 foreclosure notices to homeowners behind on property taxes — 62,000 of them in Detroit alone. They say about 18,000 of these properties are occupied, but fewer than half of those homeowners have paid all of their tax.

A tax moratorium has been discussed by some politicians but those pending “revenues” are already budgeted:

We pledge all the penalties and fees in our bond pledges to borrow money,” he says. “We can’t do a moratorium on police protection or fire protection.

The Democrats who drove Detroit off of the cliff for half a century probably planned on get some grand scale federal assistance, much like New York received in the mid 1970s. A slightly more fiscally responsible approach was taken, however, and the city is far from being out of the woods.

According to this piece, a thriving slumlord market is opening up.

The glitch here is obvious: kicking these people out and taking over the properties for nonpayment doesn’t solve the revenue problem. Can the city really expect to quickly sell over 60,000 properties for back taxes in time to take care of budgetary needs?

Is that Donald Trump at the door?

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California: No Room at the Death Penalty Inn

Monday, March 30th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

What if they gave a death penalty and no one was killed?

The country’s largest death row has run out of room.

As NPR member station KCRW reports, that’s because a legal fight has meant that the state has not put an inmate to death in nearly a decade, leaving more than 750 of them on death row in the state.

Can it really be called a “death penalty” if they don’t really put criminals to death? California taxpayers suffer from the double whammy of funding automatic appeals for death sentences which then aren’t even carried out if upheld, so we get to pay for life imprisonment too. Add to all of that the need for additional funding to expand death rows in prisons and these murderers are getting pretty expensive.

Also, where are the supposed deterrent effects of the death penalty if criminals know the “death” part isn’t in play?

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GAME CHANGER: Hillary’s Campaign Is More Tech Savvy than in ’08

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser


Hillary Clinton is assembling a technology team that signals a significant departure from her 2008 presidential run, led by Obama veterans and geared toward recasting her analog-era image.

With the hiring of 2012 Obama campaign alumni Teddy Goff as chief digital strategist, Elan Kriegel as analytics director and Andrew Bleeker as a top outside adviser, the campaign is indicating a greater emphasis on the kinds of cutting-edge techniques that both parties now routinely use to tap into every possible fundraising dollar and seek out every available voter. Just as important, the new hires point to a candidate who’s learned from a 2008 campaign marked by its inability to harness technology to its advantage.

It is adorable that they are trying to make it seem as if a shift in approach to technology after eight years is a big deal. In an arena that changes by the second, only the Democratic front-runner could get this many words devoted to the fact that she will be doing something every other major candidate has been doing in recent years: focusing greater resources on tech.

It’s doubly adorable for the lapdogs to pretend this is completely new, given that she already had people on staff who were smart enough to get her private servers to skirt the law while she was secretary of State.

So she’s not really doing something that can be called markedly new when compared either to other campaigns or a recent professional incarnation of herself.

Yet Politico gave it a thousand words.

No bias to see here, move along…

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One FCC Commissioner Has A Suggestion for Stopping Net Neutrality

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

It’s not every day that a federal official goes to Congress and tells them not to fund some of his agency’s functions. But that’s what FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai did at a House FCC budget hearing:

Congress should forbid the Commission from using any appropriated funds to implement or enforce the plan the FCC just adopted to regulate the Internet. Not only is this plan bad policy; absent outside intervention, the Commission will expend substantial resources implementing and enforcing regulations that are wasteful, unnecessary, and affirmatively detrimental to the American public.

This, of course, would be dependent upon the Republicans getting a little more fortitude when it comes to exercising the “power of the purse”. Thus far, that’s something they have been a little timid about. Even when they try (executive amnesty), they don’t commit.

One thing is for certain: nothing in the president’s overreach plans will be free, it all needs to be funded. Maybe if he gets the cookie jar lid slammed on his fingers a few times some of his enthusiasm will diminish.

It’s worth a try.

And now I want cookies.

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Obama’s Yemen Foreign Policy ‘Success’ Continues: President May Have Fled the Country

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

This is going swimmingly.

Gunfire could be heard around the city centre, and security forces allied to the Houthis have taken over the international airport.

The rebels have made rapid gains since seizing a key airbase only 60km (37 miles) from Aden on Wednesday morning.

Government officials deny reports that the president has fled the country, and say he remains in Aden.

The US State Department says it was in touch with President Hadi earlier in the day. It said he is no longer at the compound but could not confirm any “additional details” about his location.

State television, which is controlled by the rebels, announced a reward of 20m Yemeni riyals ($93,000; £62,500) for anyone who captures the “fugitive” president.

Is there anything more comforting in these troubled times than assurances from our State Dept. that all is not as bad as it seems in a conflict-ridden region (pick one)?

If this were a Republican adminstration, the MSM would be competing to see how many “He called this a SUCCESS!” stories they could get out there each day. With this president, it’s like they’re all given daily hits of the memory zapper from the “Men In Black” series.

Oh, in case you need a real world barometer to counter the official news from our government, the rebels running roughshod over Yemen are backed by Iran.

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Flashback: President Poor Choices Says ‘Absolutely No Apologies’ for Bergdahl Swap

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via The Hill:

President Obama said Thursday he would make “absolutely no apologies” for ordering the controversial prisoner swap to rescue Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the last American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

Obama said he was never surprised by “controversies that are whipped up in Washington,” but deflected criticism from members of Congress and the military over the trade of five Guantánamo prisoners for Bergdahl, who has been accused of abandoning his post in Afghanistan before his capture.

We see that Obama went with his standard “it’s all made up” dismissal. One really couldn’t blame him –the press has been letting him get away with it for the entire time he’s been in office.

Thankfully, the military is too busy protecting us to watch much cable news, so they proceeded with the investigation into Bergdahl despite the president’s assurance that it was all a Beltway fabrication.

If you ever have time to kill and want a brain teaser, try to remember any time President Obama staged a media op to address criminal activity and didn’t come down on the side of the criminal.

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Surprise! Taliban Opposed to U.S. Troops Remaining in Afghanistan

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Wonder why.

A Taliban spokesman says the U.S. decision to delay the reduction of troops in Afghanistan will badly undermine the chances for peace.

Meeting with Aghan President Ashraf Ghani at the White House on March 24, President Barack Obama said the United States would leave 9,800 troops in Afghanistan though the end of 2015 instead of cutting the number to 5,500, and would decide on plans for 2016 later this year.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on March 25 that Obama’s announcement “damages all prospects for peace.”

Mujahid said the U.S. decision “means the war will go on until they are all defeated.”

It really doesn’t take a hyperactive imagination to draw a mental picture of what a peace negotiation on the part of the Taliban looks like when they are not held in check militarily. There are people who can remember fifteen years ago, after all.

If the bad guys are in a hurry for you to get out of town, it generally isn’t because they just want to relax in your absence. The Unites States shouldn’t be there forever, obviously, but troops may need to be there longer than what is necessary for President Obama’s legacy-building plan.

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Canadian PM Harper Vows to Fight ISIS ‘as Long as It Is There’

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Well that’s different.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday that Canada intends to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham for as long as the militant group poses a threat.

The government introduced a motion to extend the current six-month mission in Iraq for up to a year, ending in March 2016. But the expiry date is apparently flexible.

In one of their terse exchanges in question period, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair asked the prime minister if the military campaign had an exit strategy. Mr. Harper did not provide one.

What’s that? A leader not telling the enemy when he will stop fighting? What kind of madness is this?!?

This guy has obviously not read Obama’s “Cut and Run” playbook:

“Our goal here is to deal with the threat to [Canada],” Mr. Harper said, “and we will deal with it for as long as it is there and we will not stop dealing with it before that.”

Some may say that I am making an apples and oranges comparison here, but it’s the differences in focus between Obama and Harper that are interesting. Obama is in it for as long as he deems necessary, and Harper realizes that things like this have a messiness and fluidity about them.

In other words, he’s a grown-up. One who has perhaps read a history book or two, rather than gobble up the words of Alinsky and Bill Ayers.

They’ve got good beer up there…road trip, maybe?

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Report: DHS Deputy Chief Created Appearance of Politically Motivated Favoritism

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Another day, another corrupt government official.

The No. 2 official at the Homeland Security Department improperly intervened on behalf of foreign investors seeking U.S. visas in three cases involving prominent Democrats, including a company run by the youngest brother of likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, the agency’s inspector general said Tuesday.

Investigators said Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas helped efforts to secure the visas in ways that created the appearance of favoritism and special access and caused resentment among career government employees, managers and lawyers.

The agency’s inspector general, John Roth, said he could not suggest a motive for Mayorkas, a longtime Democrat who served on President Barack Obama’s transition team after his 2008 election and was U.S. attorney in California under President Bill Clinton. Roth did not accuse Mayorkas of violating any laws and acknowledged that Mayorkas sometimes declined to become involved in cases because he said he did not think it would be appropriate.

Maybe it was just an oversight and this is all much ado about nothing, right?

Could be plausible, until you find out that Terry McAuliffe was involved.

Not long before he became governor of Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe received special treatment on behalf of his electric-car company from a top official at the Department of Homeland Security, according to a new report from the department’s inspector general.

McAuliffe was among several politically powerful individuals from both parties, including Sen. Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), seeking special visas for foreign investors through a program administered by the department. But intervention on behalf of McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive company by Alejandro Mayorkas, now the department’s No. 2 official, “was unprecedented,” according to the report.

A good rule of thumb when dealing with any appearance of impropriety in which a Clintonista is involved is “guilty until proven much guiltier than you could possibly imagine.”

Alas, when the Clinton folk are involved they always find a way to not make anything criminal stick, largely because they are such practiced criminals.

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