Saturday, August 27, 2016
In August, this often-silly presidential campaign became a medical theatre of the absurd. After Donald Trump campaign surrogates raised questions about Hillary Clinton’s physical stamina—and circulated photos of her propped up by pillows—she demonstrated her strength … by opening a pickle jar on late-night TV.
If she were to have a stroke or heart attack, that would pretty much settle it.
President Barack Obama hasn’t had many victories to point to in Syria, but there was one: the U.S. and Russia-brokered deal in 2013 that compelled the Syrian regime to hand over hundreds of tons of chemical weapons.
Now, a U.N. investigation has put even that victory in question, leading critics to hammer a U.S. president they say is too stubborn to admit he was wrong to pull back on military strikes, even after he’d warned the regime there that chemical weapons use would cross a “red line.”
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton urged Mylan to voluntarily slash the prices of its products while promising that, once she’s elected, her “plan to address exorbitant drug price hikes like these” will be finally implemented. This is a particularly empty promise considering Mylan has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, which was recently revealed to be peddling influence in exchange for cash.
It's not just about the Clinton Foundation donation, either.
Theresa May will not hold a parliamentary vote on Brexit before opening negotiations to formally trigger Britain's withdrawal from the European Union, The Telegraph has learned.
Speaking about Maine's effort to combat drug crime, Paul LePage said that "the enemy right now... are people of colour or people of Hispanic origin".
"When you go to war... and the enemy dresses in red and you dress in blue, then you shoot at red," he said.
Leading Democrats have urged him to resign.
The governor needs to find a better way to talk about drugs, clearly.
CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — Freshman U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is the rare conservative Republican who is running for re-election with the support of leading gun-control groups, but it may not be enough to save him in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania in this unusual election year.
Toomey, who also has separated himself from most of his GOP Senate colleagues by refusing to endorse Donald Trump, is facing questions from skeptical Republicans over his votes to expand background checks and prevent gun purchases by suspected terrorists as he campaigns in a state where Hillary Clinton leads Trump in polls by 10 points in the presidential race.
AUGUST 25--A man spotted yesterday afternoon performing oral sex on a woman lying down on a Florida beach boardwalk told cops that he was an “emergency responder and had to assist the female as it was his duty,” according to a criminal complaint.
Maybe it really was an emergency. That happens, you know.
The Bizarre Media Blackout Of Hacked George Soros Documents | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis - IBD
Scandal: Leaked documents released a few days ago provide juicy insider details of how a fabulously rich businessman has been using his money to influence elections in Europe, underwrite an extremist group, target U.S. citizens who disagreed with him, dictate foreign policy, and try to sway a Supreme Court ruling, among other things. Pretty compelling stuff, right?
Not if it involves leftist billionaire George Soros. In this case, the mainstream press couldn't care less.
BINDURA, Zimbabwe — Dozens of angry young men jumped off a truck in front of Agrippah Mutambara’s gate, shouting obscenities and threatening to seize his 530-acre farm in the name of Zimbabwe’s president. They tried to scale the fence, scattering only when he raised and cocked his gun.
They don't have gun control in Zimbabwe?
Absentee ballot returns show spike in unlikely voters weighing in on Florida’s primary | Miami Herald
Almost half of the mail ballots returned so far for Tuesday’s primary election have come from Floridians who voted in either one or zero of the past four primary elections. That means a big, decisive chunk of the vote will come from people who have not been polled, and potentially not courted, targeted or accounted for by countless campaigns across the state.
“This is huge,” said Marian Johnson, senior vice president of political strategy for the Florida Chamber and one of the foremost experts on Florida campaigns and politics. “I can envision election night when the votes are counted that certain people win that nobody thought had a chance, and that being attributed to this trend.”
Something unexpected might happen.
So, stacked atop of the pallets of $400 million in foreign cash that Obama arranged to shuttle from Geneva to Tehran as ransom (or, as the administration prefers, “leverage”) for the release of American hostages — via an unmarked cargo plane belonging to Iran Air, a terrorist arm of the mullahs’ terrorist coordinator, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps — we now have a second whopping money transfer that (a) violates federal criminal laws against providing things of value to Iran and (b) looks like it was conceived by Nicky Barnes.
We got revised GDP numbers from the Commerce Department on Friday and the economy actually did slightly WORSE than originally estimated. Growth was 1.1 percent in the second quarter of this year and less than 1 percent for the first six months of 2016. The business sector of the economy has sunk recession territory. Profits are srinking (down 2.4 percent last quarter) so how long can the stock market rise?
Friday, August 26, 2016
The Advocate is the Louisiana newspaper that wrote an editorial last week encouraging President Obama to interrupt his vacation and visit the state in the wake of massive flooding. Obama did visit the state earlier this week, after his vacation was over. Today the Advocate calls on Hillary Clinton to follow Obama’s example and get herself to Louisiana:
The majority of American voters want to see Libertarian Party nominee Gary JohnsonGary JohnsonFox Business, Stossel to host Libertarian town hall Beyond Trump and Hillary: What it really takes to transform election Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 2 points in Florida MORE participate in the presidential debates, a new poll released Thursday shows.ADVERTISEMENT
But he's a pretty poor debater.
Farage believes that it’s possible for a similar populist rebellion to succeed in America and elect Trump. He overstates the parallels, but he is spot-on when it comes to ridiculing the experts on Brexit. A new analysis by the Guardian, a left-leaning newspaper, concludes that British employment is up post-Brexit, retail sales have rebounded, the budget deficit is lower than it was last year, inflation remains low, the stock market is near an all-time high, and a weaker pound has boosted British tourism.
The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted August 9-16 among 2,010 adults, including 1,567 registered voters, also finds broad support among both candidates’ backers for other gun policy proposals, including barring people on federal watch lists from purchasing guns.
That’s why I cheered when the American Dialect Society met in Washington, D.C., recently and voted to make the word ‘they’ acceptable and correct when used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun. The change comes during a time of unprecedented discussion about gender identity issues.
For example, “Every student should do the best they can.”
Ugh. How about, every student should do the best he or she can? Or, he can? Or, she can? 'They' is the worst of the options.
The Obama administration proposed a rule on Friday aimed at attracting thousands of immigrant entrepreneurs to start companies in the United States.
The rule, proposed by the Department of Homeland Security, would ease the ability of startup founders to build companies if they have significant funding from U.S. investors.
Another casino is about to open in San Diego County, but this one is asking folks to gamble with their lives.
Penn National Gaming, the East Coast firm bankrolling the Hollywood Casino in Jamul, is pitching the place as a glitzy, glamorous palace worthy of the Las Vegas Strip.
But Jamul is not Vegas. It’s not Tinsel Town. The casino, with its big, garish “Hollywood” sign out front, is a slap in the face to a community that has fought for decades to stay as rural as possible.
Shoehorned onto a tiny sliver of land along a windy, two-lane highway, the giant gaming hall is setting the stage for disaster.
Some family in a minivan will get wiped out by some losers coming off a losing streak who decided to drown their sorrows. But it won't change anything where 100s of millions of dollars are in play. The sheer magnitude of the dollars at play in these deals is astonishing.
RENO, Nev. — Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering denunciation Thursday of Donald J. Trump’s personal and political history with race, arguing in her most forceful terms yet that a nationalist conservative fringe had engulfed the Republican Party.
This seems pretty much correct. Of course, coming from Hillary it's pretty rich. She knows a thing or two about dog whistles and using race to get elected. But that doesn't absolve Trump of what he at least has been doing. Kinda makes you wonder about democracy. Oh dear, that's an alt-right thought.
A French court on Friday suspended a ban on full-body "burkini" swimsuits imposed by a Mediterranean resort that has angered Muslims, feminists and civil liberties campaigners.
My only expertise in this matter comes from a vacation in St. Bart's more than twenty years ago. Geez, maybe thirty. There LWJ and I went to a famous beach that among other things permitted nude bathers. But it didn't actually require nudity. We witnessed two prominent sorts of bodies: young, nubile ladies and fat, older "gentlemen". All things considered, I think perhaps burkinis should be permitted.
This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.
It used to be President's got a couple of years before they were incapacitated by scandal. Now the scandal begins before one gets elected. Not that she doesn't deserve it. It's just curious.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
As an undergraduate, I was deeply struck by my readings of the Spanish and Salamancan friars who protested against the New World enslavement of the Indians, as they were then called. You can start with Bartolomé de las Casas. Here was a doctrine that was anti-slavery, anti-oppression, pro-reason, pro-liberty, pro-individual rights, and analytically egalitarian, and on top of that based on actual real world experience with the subject matter. On top of that, the overwhelming empirical fact is that people are far too willing to go tribal when it comes to politics. We don’t need to encourage that any further, nor am I excited by the notion of setting tribe against tribe.
The world could be facing some fairly dicey times in the decades to come, mostly for geopolitical reasons. I view the Spanish friars and their successors and offshoots — Montaigne, David Hume, Adam Smith, William Wilberforce, John Stuart Mill, Edmund Silberner, Martin Luther King Jr., Gene Sharpe, Thomas Schelling, and some of the EU founders, among many others — as providing better and more useful guides to our world than neo-reaction. Looking earlier, toss in Buddha and Jesus Christ and some of the Stoics as well.
Still, it would be a big mistake to simply dismiss neo-reaction, even though there are some rather easy and facile ways to do so. It’s a wake-up call for the fragility of liberalism, a doctrine which sinks all too readily into its own dogmatic slumbers.
Well, kudos to Tyler for reading the Spanish Renaissance greats. I'll be darned. The rest of this "lecture" as he refers to it is also well worth a read. (Yes, I'm kinda interested in all this alt-right stuff. Not liking it too much, though. Too much of a Catholic, I guess.)
He found something quite different. “Unfortunately, the empirical evidence doesn’t seem to support that strong causal hypothesis,” he said. In an analysis of 28,877 people from the Mid-Atlantic Twin Registry (known as the Virginia 30,000), and then in a second, separate longitudinal study that followed a group of more than eight thousand twins and siblings for ten years, he found no evidence of any form of causation. Instead, he found a relationship that was more complicated. It is far more likely that politics and personality traits are both influenced by some earlier genetic and environmental factors. In other words, they may indeed be related, but the fact that someone is liberal does not make him more tolerant, for instance, just as being tolerant does not make someone liberal.
Now that's a time bomb! 700-year-old hand grenade used in the Crusades is found off the coast of Israel | Daily Mail Online
The crusades saw Christian soldiers wield a terrifying array of medieval weaponry, including powerful crossbows, wickedly spiked maces and swords large enough to cleave a man in two.
But in the bloody battles over the Holy Land, the crusaders faced, and perhaps also used, weapons that were far ahead of their time – hand grenades.
Now one of these early explosive devices has been pulled from the sea in northern Israel.
Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine - The New York Times
Facebook, in the years leading up to this election, hasn’t just become nearly ubiquitous among American internet users; it has centralized online news consumption in an unprecedented way. According to the company, its site is used by more than 200 million people in the United States each month, out of a total population of 320 million. A 2016 Pew study found that 44 percent of Americans read or watch news on Facebook. These are approximate exterior dimensions and can tell us only so much. But we can know, based on these facts alone, that Facebook is hosting a huge portion of the political conversation in America.
I have a facebook account, facebook friends (Hi! ;-D ) and presumably a news feed, but I rarely go to facebook, even more rarely update it and generally just ignore it. Perhaps you should too.
In the classic film The Fall of the Roman Empire, filmmakers depicted the inflection point of the decline after the death of Marcus Aurelius, the last of the “good emperors.” In the fictional account, Livius fights Commodus to the death in an attempt to rescue the empire from its corruption. By the time he does, though, he realizes there’s nothing left to save. As he walks away from power, others begin openly bidding to seize the mantle. “One million denarii for the throne of Rome!” yells one, followed by “two million denarii!” from another, and so on.
“This was the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire,” the narrator intones gravely as the camera pulls out to a wide shot. “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
This is very sad.
Every so often RC readers mysteriously fall silent. I grow a bit morose. Is it me? Is it them? Are things so bad there's nothing to say? Then I remember the nature of typepad. Comments just stop working sometimes, for no reason I can fathom. It's sort of a good news/bad news thing. I'm on it.
DEVELOPING: A U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship fired three warning shots at an Iranian ship that sailed within 200 yards in the Northern Persian Gulf Wednesday in the second close call this week involving U.S. and Iranian vessels, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News on Thursday.
Time for another ransom payment, I guess.
One does not need to be an aggressive Fed skeptic to see how dangerous the practice of the Fed returning "profits" to the Treasury could become. In recent years, the Fed has bought large amounts of Treasury securities (using funds effectively created through an expansion of the monetary base), thus reducing the need for the Treasury to secure funds from other sources. The Fed then earns returns on these Treasury holdings, which it returns to the Treasury to lower the apparent size of the government's budget deficit. It's certainly a novel way to pay for government activity.
At this point, there are economic and fiscal risks in every direction. If the economy remains sluggish, and demand suppressed, then interest rates are likely to remain low for some time, easing federal borrowing costs in coming years. But a slow growth economy is also disastrous for the federal budget, as revenue growth is below what it should be and enrollment in expensive benefit programs is higher than it needs to be. Moreover, if the economy were to slow precipitously, the Fed is in a very difficult position. The targeted federal funds rate is already extremely low (between 0.25 and 0.50 percent), and the central bank already owns far more in assets than ever before in its h
Hooray for the rare lights of common sense in courts. On Sunday, Judge Reed O’Connor, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, blocked the Obama administration from enforcing its so-called transgender bathroom initiative, which welcomed the Peeping Toms in the bathrooms.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As a pharmaceutical company run by US Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter faces scrutiny for hiking prices on life-saving allergy injection pens, Manchin is remaining mum.
This is the kind of juicy but irrelevant tidbit you get only from the tabloids.
Because none of this adds up to a coherent explanation, I believe we are still in the dark about a hidden bombshell. There must be a secret Unholy Grail that explains her self-destructive behavior of stonewalling and lying.
I won’t speculate on what the Clintons are hiding because my gifts of imagination are no match for theirs. They always had a knack for pioneering new ways of selling access. No president had ever thought of renting out the Lincoln Bedroom until they did it.
SDCTA opposes City of San Diego Proposition C, the Chargers' "San Diego Integrated Convention Center Expansion/ Stadium and Tourism Initiative." Even with optimistic and likely unrealistic assumptions and projections, overall revenue would fall significantly short of the estimated $1.15 billion, not including interest on public debt, needed by the City of San Diego to construct this integrated facility. The City of San Diego would likely have to service debt from the General Fund, which funds street repairs, programs for citizens, and other public services, in order to maintain its credit ratings and avoid higher financing charges for future debt.
SD Chargers are attempting to hold up the city with the stadium deal. With poor turnout they'll probably get away with it. But hey, it's NFL football. Link to the report. We can drive on crappy, potholed streets to a shiny, new stadium, where we watch millionaire athletes on drugs knock each other senseless, while grandees in skyboxes chuckle over democracy in action.
Cook got a whopping 700,000 shares that vested Wednesday, capping a series of annual awards over the past five years that bring his total ownership in the company to 980,000 shares.
With Apple’s shares closing Wednesday at $108.03, that chunk of stock was valued at $105.9 million.
That unanimous decision, reinstating lawsuits against the IRS for its targeting of righty groups, noted that there’s “little factual dispute” about the targeting and the “unequal treatment” of conservatives. More, it’s “plain . . . the IRS cannot defend its discriminatory conduct on the merits.”
Tribe read that, plus a key Inspector General report, and tweeted, “I confess error [with regard to] IRS ideological targeting. The IG report and the [DC Circuit] decision seems right to me. Inexcusable abuse.”
As the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday on Thursday, the Department of the Interior is taking a step back to reflect on the story of America’s history and the importance of preserving the diverse cultures that the service is striving to portray.
Gosh, I hadn't realized there was now a Cesar Chavez National Monument. I'll have to make a special trip to check that out! Maybe they have a brochure.
"This is intended to better reflect the diversity in our communities and encourage more Muslim women to consider the Royal Canadian Mounted Police as a career option," Scott Bardsley, spokesman for Canada's public safety minister, told the Canada-based Global News.
Another symbol of our ancient liberties bites the dust.
Nearly everyone with a media credential from a major news outlet in the United States was in Rio. So you spend the month before the Olympics telling us how corrupt this police force is, but only one media outlet bothers to check a story spoon-fed them by the chief of that force? Now we know the swimmers were never, not once, questioned about the alleged vandalism. Weird, right?
But the narrative already had been chosen by the media – Lochte is an arrogant jerk, party boy – so why bother seeing if he was telling the truth before ruining his life? And ruin his life they did.
Welcome to the marketplace of ideas.
Johnson bills this as a “free market” solution. Good to know he’s got our back on small government.
To complete the circle, back at Reason, Ronald Bailey says this is no big deal, because “Johnson’s thinking that a carbon tax might be a useful way to handle the open access problem of climate change is in line with that of some groups who are part of the larger free market intellectual movement.”
Well, I'm for religious liberty, against abortion, against a carbon tax, for the Second Amendment . . . I guess I shouldn't vote for Gary Johnson either. I suppose what I should do is start looking for a *real* libertarian. But at some point, probably long since passed, this becomes such an exercise in futility. Voting for Johnson is already a protest vote. It's fast approaching to point where it's not worth the 15 minutes it takes to stop at my local polling place. Maybe if they handed out free brownies?