Saturday, January 20, 2018

Cartoon Round-up


Dana Summers  Copyright 2018 Tribune Content Agency









Nate Beeler  Copyright 2018 Cagle Cartoons



 
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Lawless

John P. Warren

A Nation of Laws, Not of Men.

These words are engraved in stone atop the pillars of many a courthouse across our land. Yet, in our 242nd year of independence, it must be asked: Is it still true?

Prompting the question is an article in The Week centering on a potential reopening of investigations into illicit Clinton shenanigans during the Obama years. It closed with a Vox.com line from Andrew Prokop suggesting we’re now in a country where presidential enemies are investigated and prosecuted, and this is ‘where it began.’

Not so fast. Sentient beings will acknowledge, of course, that progressives have a steroidal entitlement when it comes to double standards. That is to say, their short-term memory loss (political Alzheimer’s making them unfit to govern?) means no one else is permitted a misdeed with impunity.
This is not to suggest, however, that DOJ being interested in the Clintons because POTUS thinks it should be, is in any way, a misdeed. In fact, a huge slice of the American population wonders why it hasn’t occurred already. No one expected Obamians to do their duty, of course, since it was an administration apparently dedicated to preserving, protecting, and defending progressive impulses, criminal and otherwise, at all costs.

Warren G. Harding had Teapot Dome, but scandals during the Obama years cling like iron filings to a magnet. Here’s a Dirty Dozen:
  1. Operation Fast and Furious—Arming Mexican drug lords for a questionable purpose, with AG Holder the first of many to plead incompetence to avoid nastier truths.   
  2. Solyndra—We never did get to the bottom of that $500 million taxpayer gift, did we? 
  3. Lois Lerner and the IRS—The second-best example of weaponizing a federal agency to go after political adversaries—was this ‘where it began’? 
  4. Benghazi—Progressives are tired of this one because it comes closest to their creed: human beings are expendable in the cause of political action.
  5. Clinton Global Initiative—Was this a one-stop shop to offer millions in trade for face time and favors? Finders fees in the extreme?
  6. Uranium One—A word like treason should rarely be used, but this is another example of progressives’ hate for America going the limit. Is there anything progressives won’t do to take America down a few notches?
  7. James Comey—His exoneration of HRC two months before completion of the so-called FBI investigation conducted by known politically conflicted civil servants is breathtaking in scope, isn’t it?
  8. The Lynch-Clinton tarmac tete a tete—Whoever believes AG Lynch and Bill Clinton talked about grandchildren must believe Bill never preyed on Monica Lewinsky.
  9. Sanctuary Cities/States—Who’d have thought we’d have whole American cities and states regularly, routinely, ritually flouting federal law—all thanks to an Obamian strategy?
  10. Planned Parenthood—How did the selling of infant body parts pass anyone’s aroma test for the right thing to do? Did Obamians lift a finger to prevent those infants from being drawn and quartered—for profit?
  11. Burwell v Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor—Just two of the cases where the Obama crowd used the Affordable Care Act to deny First Amendment religious rights to citizens. Should we have been surprised?
  12. FISA warrant abuse—Perhaps worst of all, trusted organs of government were used to directly attack and foul an opponent’s presidential campaign. There is no limit after all, is there?
There are more than the Dirty Dozen, of course. Has anyone been indicted? Has anyone spent even one hour in confinement? Has anyone been held accountable for them? Have many—any—lost jobs, been demoted, been reassigned, had their reputations destroyed?.......To Read More.....

What All Fake News Award Winners Have in Common

Humberto Fontova Jan 20, 2018

A Scarlet Letter (A) once marked a harlot (OK, OK!… by Puritan New England 1650 standards!) In 1944-45 a French woman with a shaved head meant she was guilty of much the same –but with the added onus of having “slept-in-sin” with the enemy (Germans.)  (Please, amigos! Let’s argue about the morals and merits of these designations another time! My point is that these “brands” were a way to let the world know—easily and without going into a long inquiry--what these women had been up to.)

Well, without a long inquiry, all you really need to know about a news network’s propensity for lying and creating fake news is whether they were bestowed a Havana bureau by Cuba’s totalitarian regime. It’s that simple. Nothing to it..........In brief, you’re not getting and keeping a Cuban journalist visa (much less a Havana Bureau) unless you  shamelessly (and genuinely) collude with Cuba’s KGB-founded and mentored ministry of propaganda—i.e. unless you create Fake News. This isn’t rocket science, amigos..........To Read More...


There Are 3.6M ‘Dreamers’—A Number Far Greater Than Commonly Known

Alan Gomez, USA Today, January 18, 2018
The political debate over the fate of “DREAMers” — undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — has overlooked just how many there are in the country today: about 3.6 million.

That number of people whose lives risk being uprooted is not widely known, in large part because so much public attention has been focused recently on 800,000 mostly young DREAMers accepted into the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This smaller group of DREAMers is in the spotlight because President Trump terminated DACA in September, saying it was an illegal overreach of executive authority that can only come from Congress, which is negotiating with Trump on a compromise immigration plan.

While many politicians use DREAMer and DACA interchangeably, the terms are “not a distinction without a difference,” said House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md..........To Read More....

Another Hate Crime at the University of Maryland Turns Out to Be a Hoax

Robby Soave, Rseason, January 19, 2018
Racially charged graffiti—including a swastika—was found in a men’s bathroom at the University of Maryland last fall and reported to the authorities as a hate crime.

That case is now solved. The perpetrator was Terrell Demonte Alexander, an 18-year-old former university employee. According to The College Fix, Alexander is black—which suggests this incident was a hoax, or at the least an act of intimidation committed by a member of the targeted minority group.

It’s the second such deceptive case at the university in the past few months. Last October, police arrested Ronald Alford, a 52-year-old black former employee, for spray-painting a swastika on campus. {snip}

Meanwhile in Toronto, police have wrapped up their investigation of an anti-Islamic hate crime. An 11-year-old Muslim girl claimed a man cut off her hijab with a pair of scissors, but now the authorities contend that no such thing happened.

{snip} But in a nontrivial number of cases where the police actually caught the guy, the truth was something else entirely..............Original Article

Cartoon of the Day

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After One Year of Trump, Democrats Are Delusional

Dennis Lennox Posted: Jan 19, 2018
 
Not much has changed in the one year since President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office at the west front of the Capitol.

By that I mean the Democrats haven’t learned anything from the epic 2016 presidential election in which Trump slayed a who’s who of the Republican establishment to claim the party’s nomination before conquering Bill and Hillary Clinton. Then there’s the chattering class, which still thinks Trump Democrats in Saginaw will be swayed by whatever “Morning Joe” is saying.

To this day, they are in a state of delusion..........To Read More....

 

Thought For the Day

"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still." - Unknown

57.9% of Illegals Caught at U.S.-Mexico Border in FY17 Not Mexican; From 111 Other Countries

By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 18, 2018

CNSNews.com) - Only 42.1 percent of the “deportable aliens” that the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2017 were citizens of Mexico, according to data produced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.   A significant majority—57.9 percent—came from 111 other countries.   In fact, during fiscal year 2017, the Border Patrol apprehended deportable aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border who came from 84 countries that are not in the Americas.

In fiscal 2017, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spreadsheet, the Border Patrol apprehended a total of 310,531 “deportable aliens” in all 20 Border Patrol sectors. (These include nine sectors along the Southwest Border with Mexico, eight across the Northern Border with Canada, and three along the nation’s Coastal Border.)  Of the total 310,531 “deportable aliens” the Border Patrol apprehended, 303,916 (or about 97.9 percent) were apprehended in the nine sectors along the Southwest Border with Mexico.........To Read More....

The Easy Eddie Story

Editor's Note:  I don't know who originated this.  This was sent to me by my friend Maury Siskel....and dog.....I loved this account and I hope you will also. Please enjoy. RK

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.

To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.

Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.

The poem read:
"The clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop, at late or early hour. Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will. Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still."
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the fleet.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding its way toward the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.

Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Left vs. Natural Instincts

John Craig, American Renaissance, January 18, 2018
Liberals want to abolish human nature.  The more you see of Leftists, the more you realize that what they are really trying to abolish is human nature—pretty much at every level.  They have done their best to attach labels to many of our most basic instincts, labels which make them sound like either mental illnesses or moral failings.
 
Being mildly repulsed by homosexuals is a natural enough feeling for most guys, and there’s a strong evolutionary reason for men to feel this way. But Leftists claim that men who are put off by gay guys suffer from a disorder, homophobia.  A phobia is an extreme, irrational fear. Yet I know of no heterosexual man for whom seeing a gay guy induces the same sort of sweaty-palmed, heart-pounding panic that, say, a turbulent airplane flight or a nearby rattlesnake does.

We’re constantly told that gay men can’t help but be attracted to other men, and that only clueless conservatives would regard homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice.” Yet when heterosexual men are attracted to slender women but not fat ones, they’re lambasted for their “patriarchal” sense of beauty. Yet heterosexual men can’t help whom they’re attracted to anymore than homosexual men can.

Once again, it’s a natural instinct which is at fault...........To Read More.....

‘Shithole Countries’: What Makes a County? The Place or the People?

Ilana Mercer, American Renaissance, January 19, 2018
“The Man makes the country what it is.”
 
President Trump’s questioning of immigration into the United States from what he crudely called “shithole” countries masks a more vexing question: What makes a country, the place or the people? Does “the country” create the man or does the man make the country?

To listen to the deformed logic of the president’s detractors, it’s the former: the “country” makes the person. No sooner does an African or Haitian immigrant wash up on American shores—courtesy of random quotas, lotteries and other government grants of privilege and protection—than the process of cultural and philosophical osmosis begins. American probity and productivity soon become his own.
As an African libertarian—an ex-South African, to be precise—I took the liberty of addressing the matter in the book Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa, in which a Cameroonian scholar, Daniel Etounga-Manguelle, among others, is extensively cited.

Easily one of the most controversial thinkers on the causes of underdevelopment in Africa, Etounga-Manguelle, a former adviser to the World Bank, contends that “What Africans are doing to one another defies credulity. Genocide, bloody civil wars, and rampant violent crime suggest African societies at all social levels are to some extent cannibalistic.” Why? In part, because of the inveterate values held by so many Africans............Voodoo for values.....To Read More......

What I Learned in the Peace Corps in Africa: Trump Is Right

Karin McQuillan, American Thinker, January 17, 2108
Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town. Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health. That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, “a fecalized environment.”

In plain English: s— is everywhere. People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water. He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water. Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a few decades later, liberals would be pushing the lie that Western civilization is no better than a third-world country. Or would teach two generations of our kids that loving your own culture and wanting to preserve it are racism.........

Senegal was not a hellhole. Very poor people can lead happy, meaningful lives in their own cultures’ terms. But they are not our terms. The excrement is the least of it. Our basic ideas of human relations, right and wrong, are incompatible.............In Senegal, corruption ruled, from top to bottom. Go to the post office, and the clerk would name an outrageous price for a stamp. After paying the bribe, you still didn’t know it if it would be mailed or thrown out. That was normal............Americans think it is a universal human instinct to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s not. It seems natural to us because we live in a Bible-based Judeo-Christian culture............To Read More....

Gov’t Shutdown Friday? Congress Must Stop Kicking Debt Can Down the Road

By Ryan Bourne | January 18, 2018

Fears are mounting that the current Congressional funding impasse will lead to a government shutdown by Friday. So far three continuing resolutions to fund the government have been passed during fiscal year 2018. Now, the impending deadline is the focus of horse-trading and negotiation, with many in Congress pushing for yet higher spending. President Donald Trump’s original budget last May proposed higher defense spending financed by discretionary spending cuts elsewhere of $54 billion. House Republicans followed up with a more modest proposal with cuts of $5 billion. Now though, there is talk that the two parties might eventually agree to spending increases totaling over $200 billion over the next two years, busting existing caps. At the moment details cannot be agreed upon, and Democrats are trying to attach other issues to any spending bill, driving talk of a shutdown. But eventually a compromise will no doubt be reached............To Read More....

Linda Tripp Laughs Last at the Clintons

Suzanne Fields Posted: Jan 19, 2018

What fools (and hypocrites) these mortals be. Two decades have passed since Linda Tripp blew the whistle on sexual hijinks in high places with her tapes of Monica Lewinsky, the young intern who described to her confidant and colleague the passionate ordeal of a sexual liaison with the president of the United States. She blew the whistle, she says, to protect her friend. Twenty years on, she's still a villain for many women who remember those times.
 
But history's on her side............"When the president gets a pass for something that egregious," she tells DailyMailTV, "he essentially gave tacit permission to all those who followed to do the same.".......To Read More.....

Cartoon of the Day!

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Trump admin agreed to restart DACA because of fear of 'disruption'

Not every action Trump takes is good.  This is one of the bad ones.

By Ed Straker January 19, 2018

As previously reported, when a federal judge ordered the Trump administration to restart the "DREAMer" program, the Trump administration appealed the decision but purposefully did not request a stay of the judge's order, obediently restarting the machinery of legalization for illegal aliens brought the U.S. as children.

Now the Trump administration has explained its rationale for failing to request that the judge's order to restart the DREAMer program be stayed:

In the new filing, [Solicitor Geneal] Francisco says officials concluded that a stay that the Supreme Court might eventually withdraw and reverse posed too much risk of disruption and confusion. "A primary purpose of the [Homeland Security] [a]cting [s]ecretary's orderly wind-down of the DACA policy was to avoid the disruptive effects on all parties of abrupt shifts in the enforcement of the [n]ation's immigration laws," the solicitor general wrote. "Inviting more changes before final resolution of this litigation would not further that interest." So let's examine the sequence of events.
  1. Before the judge's order was issued, the DACA program was shut down.
  2. Then the judge's order came to restart it.
  3. Rather than first seeking a stay of the judge's order from the Supreme Court, to keep the program shut down, as it already was, the Trump administration felt that it was less disruptive to restart the DACA program and then prevail at the Supreme Court level some months from now and get it shut down again.
This makes absolutely no sense. It is more disruptive to restart a program and then stop it again than it is never to restart it in the first place. ............To Read More.....

Democrats Insist on DACA Amnesty

A government shutdown could begin tonight.
 
The House vote to fund the government whose funds run out later today, came as the Trump administration sent out confusing mixed messages about its commitment to build a wall on the nation’s southern border and about the constitutionally dubious Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that Trump said in September he planned to end. At that time Trump gave Congress six months to put some kind of a legislative fix in place. At a recent televised meeting with lawmakers at the White House Trump seemed to soften his position on DACA and border security but yesterday on Twitter he reaffirmed his previous hardline positions.

Democrats want any funding legislation passed by Congress to provide legal certainty for the illegal aliens they intend to count on as future voters. Protecting DACA recipients is so important to the Left that Democrats have to “refuse to offer any votes for Republican spending bills that do not offer a fix for Dreamers and instead appropriate funds to deport them,” stated a secret strategy memo dated Jan. 8 revealed a few days ago. The document was co-authored by Center for American Progress Action Fund President Jennifer Palmieri and Executive Director Navin Nayak. Both worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Palmieri was Clinton’s communications director; Nayak was her director of opinion research...........To Read More.....

My Take - What happens when the government shuts down? Do Social Security benefits end?  Does Welfare end?  Does the military shut down?  No!

The fact of the matter is even if the government has a "shut down", it's still functioning and still collecting all the revenue they've allotted for the government.  All form of taxes are still being paid.  If they get rid of a ton of government employees - all the better for the nation. 
 

Muslim Derangement Syndrome in Canada

Credulity for Muslim hoaxes, willful ignorance for Muslim attacks.
 

“Clean Our Excrement Every Day or Die”

Another month in the lives of Christians under Islam.
 

The Big Palestinian Lie

End the “Palestinian” occupation of Israel.

Daniel Greenfield 8 January 19, 2018 

Palestinian boss Mahmoud Abbas recently declared that Israel is "a colonial enterprise that has nothing to do with Jewishness." Moses, King David and thousands of years of Jewish history would disagree. Israel and the Jews are part of the story of human civilization. Over 50% of the human race has a holy book that tells of the Jewish journey to Israel. That includes Mohammed’s own copy of the Koran.

Israel isn’t a “colonial enterprise.” Palestine is.

Anyone who wants to find out where the name Israel comes from can open the Book of Genesis 32:29. The story even appears in Islamic hadiths. But where does “Palestine” really come from?
Palestine isn’t a Hebrew or Arabic word. The Greeks used it to describe the area. And when the Romans and their Arab mercenaries repressed the indigenous Jewish population, they renamed it all Palestine.

Palestine, after the Philistines: but why did the Greeks and Romans name the area after the Philistines?...........To Read More.....



Obesity-Associated Cancers Are Increasing

 By Ruth Kava — December 28, 2017 @ American Council on Science and Health
 
It's common knowledge that as a country, we've been getting fatter for decades. In some states the prevalence of obesity is over 35 percent, as it is in adults over all, as shown in the graphic below.



Probably it's less widely known that there are at least 13 different types of cancer that are associated with overweight (BMI = 25-29.9) and obesity (BMI = or > 30), according to Dr. C. Brooke Steele of the CDC, and colleagues. These include: adenocarcinoma of the esophagus; cancers of the breast [in postmenopausal women], colon and rectum, endometrium, gallbladder, gastric cardia, kidney, liver, ovary, pancreas, and thyroid; meningioma; and multiple myeloma.

These investigators used data from the US Cancer Statistics database for 2014 to determine new cases of such cancers, as well as assessing trends between 2005 and 2014. They reported that approximately 40 percent of cancers diagnosed in 2014 were among those associated with overweight and obesity and affected about 631,000 persons.

Overweight and obesity-related cancer incidences were greater in people over the age of 50, as one would expect, and were also greater in women than men: 218 VS 115 per 100,000 persons, respectively, because about 42 percent of these cancers affected breast, endometrium, or ovaries. However, for most of those cancers that affected both genders, there were higher incidences in men than in women.

There were also differences in the incidence of these cancers for different ethnic/racial groups, with African Americans having the highest rate, followed by Caucasians. Further, different cancers' rates changed to various extents. For example, between 2005 and 2014 the rate of occurrence of thyroid cancer increased (in both sexes) by 40 percent; that of liver cancer by about 29 percent; but that of stomach cancer (gastric cardia) by only about 1.2 percent.

Using data from cancer registries from 2005 to 2014, the investigators found distinct geographical differences in the trends of overweight and obesity-related cancers as shown in the map below.
























These data indicate that during the period when many of the risks of overweight and obesity became widely known, both the occurrence of excess body fat as well as associated kinds of cancers were increasing. Clearly, more must be done to target populations at the greatest risk of overweight and obesity; if there is truly a causal link between overweight, obesity and these cancers, then reducing the prevalence of excess avoirdupois could also reduce the incidence of such cancers.
 

Deep State Corruption and the Intelligence Agencies


Feel the Bern: Civil Service Pensions


Pope Francis Honors Dutch Abortion Activist with Pontifical Medal of Knighthood

What the Media Really Wants

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 7 Comments  Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog

President Trump’s end year remarks to the New York Times acerbically summed up his relationship with the media. “I’m going to win another four years… because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there.” The answering outburst of rage and contempt from the media burned all the hotter because the statement was not only intentionally provocative; it was also true.

The media has never been able to quit Trump. Its conviction that it can destroy him through coverage has repeatedly proven false. But that hasn’t stopped the media from throwing more coverage at him. And its motive for the non-stop coverage has always been the selfish pursuit of ratings, clicks and sales.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN are all busy playing Trump-slayers when what they really want is four more years of rising subscriptions, ad sales and profits. Few politicians understand that conflict of interest better than Trump who has spent most of his adult life playing the media.

These days the media needs Trump more than ever. Its old purpose, reporting the news, is as dead as the telegraph. Reporting is expensive. It requires infrastructure and personnel. And it isn’t very profitable. In the age of the internet, few people will sit around and watch the pointless reporting from the scene of an event that was once the staple of local news and cable news.

And repurposing viral videos and stories can only fill so much of that hole. But the media doesn’t really report news either. Mostly it repurposes it to create narratives that it can then milk for days or months. Whether it’s a missing airliner, #MeToo or Russian collusion, the best narratives are part mystery, scandal and thriller. The news isn’t just fake: It’s metafictional. It turns real life into fodder for fiction.

The media has crossed the mirror’s edge where reality television, recreations of crimes and movies based on true stories once lived. It lives and dies by turning the news into a fictional narrative. And narratives are cheap. Every news network can run video of Mueller slowly walking down a hallway while a panel of experts discusses what the latest leak really means for President Trump. For the cost of a green room, a limo and a little promotion, CNN can have its very own House of Cards drama.

Trump is the media’s star. Without him, CNN would have to go back to chasing missing airliners. And he has an innate understanding of the media’s business model from the days when he was playing New York City tabloids against each other. The tabloidization of the national media is a development that has left the GOP’s Beltway establishment bewildered and confused. But Trump has always understood the media as a tabloid operation that specialized in the same heroes and heels as professional wrestling.

And he knows that he doesn’t have to beat the media. He just has to let it beat itself.

The combination of political anger and personal greed that drives the media is destroying its credibility. The media was most effective when it was playing the detached narrator and the impartial referee. Trump’s greatest trick was forcing it to get in the ring with him. That’s always been his trick for defeating his opponents. And the media has eagerly cast away its restraints and given in to its worst instincts.

It can’t defeat Trump by getting in the ring with him. But it’s a lot more fun. And it’s profitable.

Trump’s remarks to the New York Times taunt it with the truth about its obsession with him. Behind the ideology is greed. And the greed is stronger than the ideology. The media hates and needs him. It’s become addicted to both. The need intensifies its hatred. And the hatred intensifies the need.

The media spent eight years declining into irrelevance under Obama. Even before Trump, Obama had bypassed the media for social media. The big stories were fed to the press by Obama Inc. cronies like Ben Rhodes or hidden hand political smear shops like Fusion GPS. Even its core mission of cheerleading the left had become meaningless as younger lefties no longer bothered reading, watching or even clicking on mainstream media sites. The media was running out of customers, money and relevance.

Trump revived the media. The young lefties helping monetize the media again are coming for him. And every time he attacks the media, he makes it more relevant. The ritually insincere public wails about the unique threat to the free press posed by snarky tweets from the White House mask the private celebrations in every newsroom that Trump is making them into the center of attention once again.

The media is no longer just reprinting photos of Obama’s latest viral stunt from his house photog or running its stories by Hillary’s people to see how much more flattering they can be; it’s getting out there and leading the #Resistance while cashing in on all the publicity.

And it owes it all to Trump.

President Trump is confident that he can get the media to do what he wants because he understands that it only pretends to be driven by progressive virtue, but is actually motivated by classic vice. The core hypocrisy of the left is its belief that it can have virtue in the public sphere and vice in the private one.

Media stars can grope their female subordinates in private as long as they tout Planned Parenthood and Linda Sarsour in public. It’s okay to fly private jets as long as they push for plastic bag bans. Getting rich is great if they do it while dedicating their careers to opposing the idea of other people getting rich. If you tweet #BlackLivesMatter, you can make racist jokes with your friends. That’s the hypocritical left.

And the media pretends that it can bring down President Trump by getting rich covering him. Trump rode that hypocrisy to the White House. He’s telling the media that he’ll ride it to a second term. And that the media would rather see him in the White House than stop playing into his hands.

Trump beat the media by playing on its private motivations rather than its public ones. And now he’s mocking its hypocrisy in the pages of its top paper while it responds exactly as he wants it to.

President Trump needs the media to hate him. And the media needs him to hate. Trump benefits politically from that relationship, but the media only benefits financially from it. The media’s Trump rage ended Hillary’s career, put a Republican in the White House, pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accords, brought in the Muslim travel ban, recognized Jerusalem and did all the other things the media wails about every second of the day. And the media helped make them happen.

The media could have covered President Trump fairly, objectively and dispassionately. But that wouldn’t have been nearly as popular. It was much more lucrative to run 24/7 hysteria, to convince its own audience that the world was about to end and to stay tuned for the latest Trump revelation. Each time it did that, it boosted his image as a revolutionary anti-establishment politician bringing real change.

Media icons may ridicule Trump’s remarks in public, but they know the truth of them in private.

President Trump makes their jobs, raises and bonuses possible. He’s the reason why media outlets have started expanding, instead of contracting, their investigative resources. Sinking newspapers and networks have suddenly become profitable. CNN can spend three hours on a single Trump tweet. All it has to do is bring in four ‘experts’ to stir up the outrage and then sell commercials in between.

It’s not journalism. But it sure makes money.

The media could stop any time. All it would have to do is put principles over profit. Even the totalitarian political principles of the left. But it’s too greedy to stop. Trump has hooked the media on himself.

President Trump beat the media by using its worst impulses against it. And he’s taunting the media with the truth about its motivations and exposing the lie that it tells itself. He’s reminding media elites that behind their posturing, they will hypocritically betray their leftist ideals and win him another election.

 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Cartoon of the Day!

Fox News to Premiere 'Scandalous,' First Installment to Look at Bill Clinton's Impeachment

Fox News Insider January 16, 2018
 
"Scandalous" - a riveting, up-close look at the Clinton scandals of the 1990s - will premiere on Sunday night at 8:00pm ET on Fox News Channel.  In the first seven-episode installment of the documentary-style series, viewers will be taken inside the events that enveloped Washington, D.C., and ultimately led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton............Continue Reading.....
 

Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against Unconstitutional NY Safe Act Permit Rules

Tim Brown

Here is the problem we face in this country.  We have come to the place that the clear wording of the Constitution will not be allowed to be presented in a court of law.  Last week, a federal court dismissed a lawsuit over the state’s restrictive handgun permitting rules that was brought by a county Libertarian Party.  The decision was made by Chief Judge Frank Paul Geraci Jr., a nominee of Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah.

The Libertarian Party of Eerie County argued that the state did not possess the authority to require a license to possess a handgun, and they are constitutionally correct.  It is a God-given right to both "keep and bear arms."  Therefore, it does not need permission.  However, instead of this seeing the inside of a courtroom where the truth would have been revealed, Judge Geraci dismissed the suit saying, “While NYS’s firearms licensing laws implicate the core Second Amendment right, they do not substantially burden it.  The licensing laws place no more than ‘marginal, incremental, or even appreciable restraint on the right to keep and bear arms.'”........To Read More....

Why Is Liberal California the Poverty Capital of America?

Kerry Jackson, Los Angeles Times, January 14, 2018
Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.
 
Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).
It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.
 
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states—principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia—initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.
 
The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

 

California's Brown Raises Prospect of Pension Cuts in Downturn

By Romy Varghese

California Governor Jerry Brown said legal rulings may clear the way for making cuts to public pension benefits, which would go against long-standing assumptions and potentially provide financial relief to the state and its local governments.
Brown said he has a "hunch" the courts would "modify" the so-called California rule, which holds that benefits promised to public employees can’t be rolled back. The state’s Supreme Court is set to hear a case in which lower courts ruled that reductions to pensions are permissible if the payments remain “reasonable” for workers........To Read More.....


Honey Bees: The #1 Pollinator of Both Crops and Wild Plants

Fearmongers warn of a coming "Beepocalypse." The media narrative is that bees are dying, humans are responsible, and if bees go extinct, many of our favorite foods will disappear and humans will starve to death. That's a gross exaggeration.

In reality, the western honey bee (a.k.a., European honey bee), which does much of the heavy lifting in regard to crop pollination, is doing just fine. Though there is evidence that some wild bee populations are declining, keep in mind that there are about 20,000 bee species, only a fraction of which contribute meaningfully to crop pollination. A paper published in Nature Communications underscores that latter point:
First, few species are needed to provide ecosystem services, with almost 80% of the crop pollination provided by only 2% of bee species. Second, the species currently contributing most to pollination service delivery are generally regionally common species, whereas threatened species contribute little, particularly in the most agriculturally productive areas.
In other words, commonly found bees do most of the pollination, while endangered bee species aren't contributing much to agriculture. If they went extinct, it would be a sad (and perhaps preventable) loss to biodiversity, but hardly an ecological catastrophe.

Besides, even if the very worst were to come true and all bees vanished overnight -- a scenario so outlandish as to be laughable -- society would not face an insurmountable problem: The Genetic Literacy Project explains that bees are responsible for about 7% of our food supply. That's a substantial portion; however, a bee extinction would not trigger civilizational collapse.

Just How Busy Are the Little Bees?

In order to have sane, evidence-based conversations on topics like bees, we need to collect as much data as possible. We all know that honey bees are important, but it would be far more useful to put a numerical value on their importance. So, researchers set about doing just that.

The team, led by Keng-Lou James Hung, collected data from the published literature on 80 different plant-pollinator interaction networks across the world. They only examined natural habitats (not farmland), and they excluded any natural areas thought to be too close to places that might house domesticated bees for agricultural pollination. The data, which probably underestimate the true importance of the western honey bee in natural habitats, are visualized in the graphic below:


On average, across natural habitats all over the world, the western honey bee was the most common pollinator, responsible for 13% of flower visits. The researchers also found that 5% of the plant species they studied were exclusively visited by the western honey bee.

Fear not, bee lovers. The busy little bees are keeping busy.

Source: Keng-Lou James Hung, Jennifer M. Kingston, Matthias Albrecht, David A. Holway, Joshua R. Kohn. "The worldwide importance of honey bees as pollinators in natural habitats." Proc Royal Soc B 285: 20172140. Published: 10-January-2018. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.2140

Another Chapter in the Never-Ending Story of Big Business Undermining Capitalism

January 17, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
 
With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, here’s the opening of the big-business version of Sonnet 43.
How do I hate thee, capitalism? Let me count the ways.
I hate thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, for I am big and competition is a threat
Better to have bailouts, subsidies, mandates, protectionism, and cronyism.
I wish this was just empty satire. Sadly, however, there are many examples of big businesses fighting against free enterprise.

And now we have a new example.
The head of a huge investment fund has implied that businesses should become social justice warriors, a missive that (predictably) led to some fawning coverage in the New York Times.
Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of the investment firm BlackRock, is going to inform business leaders that their companies need to do more than make profits — they need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive the support of BlackRock. …“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” he wrote in a draft of the letter that was shared with me.
Actually, as Walter Williams has eloquently explained, businesses perform a very valuable social purpose when they earn profits.

Indeed, the free enterprise system is why we enjoy unimaginable prosperity and why poor people in the United States have higher living standards than the average person in a socialist economy.
But that’s not the point Mr. Fink is making. Instead, he’s giving aid and comfort to the interventionists and redistributionists who want politicians and bureaucrats to have more power.
Which is, of course, the angle the New York Times chose to highlight.
It may be a watershed moment on Wall Street, one that raises all sorts of questions about the very nature of capitalism. …for the world’s largest investor to say it aloud — and declare that he plans to hold companies accountable — is a bracing example of the evolution of corporate America. …Mr. Fink’s declaration…pits him, to some degree, against many of the companies that he’s invested in, which hold the view that their only duty is to produce profits for their shareholders, an argument long espoused by economists like Milton Friedman.
Friedman was right, of course.
And not just about the value of profits. He also pointed out that people like Mr. Fink play a very destructive role.
Friedman wrote…in this very newspaper. “Businessmen who talk this way are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.”
Amen.

So why would a fabulously rich man like Mr. Fink engage in this kind of stunt.
There are three possible explanations.
  1. He’s stupid. But I think we can eliminate that possibility by virtue of what he has achieved.
  2. He sincerely believes that businesses should sacrifice profits to pursue social justice. If that’s the case, I would suggest he lead by example by voluntarily giving the government 90 percent of his income over $200,000 per year (sort of a do-it-yourself version of 1950s tax policy). Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath. Rich people who decide to become left-wing always seem to want to appease their feelings of guilt by coercing other people into giving more money to politicians.
  3. He realizes his letter is a bunch of nonsense, but he wants to appease the left in order to shield his industry from bad policies such as an increase in capital gains taxes on “carried interest.” If this is the right answer, I sympathize with Mr. Fink’s policy objective (especially since higher taxes on carried interest would be the precursor for higher taxes on other forms of capital gains), but I very much disagree with his tactics.
Indeed, I have a suggestion for Republicans on Capitol Hill, one that I’ve made in the past when big businesses have urged tax hikes.

They should invite Mr. Fink to testify and ask him whether he supports higher taxes to achieve warm and fuzzy goals. Assuming he then says yes, they should then ask how much of his income he is voluntarily giving to Washington.

He’ll presumably say none (like all the other rich leftists), at which point they should rake him over the coals for hypocrisy,

And then they should ask him for a yes-or-no answer on whether he will support legislation specifically increasing the tax rate on CEOs of investment funds.  And follow that with a question of whether he endorses higher capital gains taxes on carried interest (a class-warfare levy that would be very painful for firms that specialize in private equity investments.

Last but not least, they should ask him for examples of BlackRock choosing unprofitable (or even less-profitable) investments in order to “serve a social purpose.” It would be somewhat amusing to see the reaction of investors if Fink actually named examples (and amusing to expose an additional layer of hypocrisy if he didn’t).

Here’s my bottom line on this issue. If Mr. Fink wants to be an effective advocate of social justice, properly defined, then he should concentrate on making very wise (i.e., profitable) investments. Because getting a healthy return on his investments would be the best possible evidence that he was helping the poor.


P.S. The first dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, is rumored to have said that “capitalists will sell us the rope we will hang them with.” There’s no proof he actually said that, but the “Order of Lenin” was the highest civilian award granted by the Soviet Union.

So maybe we should mix the two concepts and create “The Lenin Award for Rich People Who Want to Destroy Free Enterprise.” Or something like that.

It definitely would be more meaningful than the Bob Dole Award or the Charlie Brown Award, and I know a good candidate for the inaugural prize.

Frigid cold is why we need dependable energy

Cheap, abundant coal is key to national security, warm homes and wintertime survival
By Tom Harris
Recent record-setting low temperatures have underscored the creature comfort and often life-saving importance of abundant, reliable, affordable energy. They also reminded us how appropriate it was that America’s 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) emphasizes energy security – and was released on December 18, three days before this extra chilly winter officially began.
This first Trump Administration NSS identifies four vital national interests. Two of them – “promoting American prosperity” and “advancing American influence” – require that the United States “take advantage of our wealth in domestic resources.” However, America is no longer taking full advantage of one of its most important of its domestic resources: its vast coal reserves, the largest of any nation on Earth.
Testifying November 28 in Charleston, West Virginia, at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public hearing on repealing the Clean Power Plan, Robert E. Murray, president and CEO of Murray Energy Corp., summarized the bleak state of affairs.
“Prior to the election of President Obama,” Murray noted, “52% of America’s electricity was generated from coal, and this rate was much higher in the Midwest. That percentage of coal generation declined under the Obama Administration to 30%. Under the Obama Administration, and its so-called Clean Power Plan, over 400 coal-fired generating plants totaling over 100,000 megawatts of capacity were closed, with no proven environmental benefit whatsoever.”
Much of this was driven by Obama’s determination to be seen as contributing to “arresting climate change,” to quote from his 2015 NSS, by mandating severe reductions of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. Unbelievably, this NSS listed “climate change” ahead of “major energy market disruptions” in its list of “top strategic risks to our interests.”
That made no sense. Climate is, and always will be, variable. There is nothing we can do to stop it.  And many scientists do not support the hypothesis that our CO2 emissions will cause dangerous climate change.
Regardless, recent climate change has been unremarkable. It is certainly not “unprecedented,” and it clearly does not constitute a national security threat by comparison to a lack of affordable, reliable energy to power the nation and its military, and export to world markets. President Donald Trump was right to make only passing reference to climate change in the 2017 NSS.
Even in the unlikely event that CO2 emissions were or became a problem, developing countries are the source of most of the world’s emissions, and China alone currently emits about twice as much the USA. Those nations are not about to follow Obama’s lead. They understand that they must continue building coal-fired power plants at an aggressive pace, to meet their growing electricity needs.
Even the New York Times admitted that “As Beijing joins climate fight, Chinese companies build coal plants” (July 1, 2017).
“Chinese corporations are building or planning to build more than 700 new coal plants at home and around the world, some in countries that today burn little or no coal, according to tallies compiled by Urgewald, an environmental group based in Berlin…. Overall, 1,600 coal plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries, according to Urgewald’s tally, which uses data from the Global Coal Plant Tracker portal. The new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent.
Similarly, India’s heavy reliance on coal will continue even in 2047, according to the June 16, 2017 report “Energizing India,” by the National Institute for Transforming India (NTTI) and Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ). Coal is forecast to rise from its 2012 46% of India’s total energy mix to 50% in 2047 in the “business as usual scenario.” Even in an “ambitious” scenario in which renewables supply 12% of India’s primary energy (in 2012 it was 3%), coal still accounts for 42% of India’s energy mix.
The authors of the NTTI/IEEJ report state, “India would like to use its abundant coal reserves as it provides a cheap source of energy and ensures energy security as well.” Simply put, coal is essential if the rest of India’s population is to gain access to electricity and rise up out of abject poverty. Even today, some 240 million Indians (nearly seven times the population of Canada!) still do not have electricity.
India and these analysts are right, of course. So it is a welcome development that Trump is promoting a resurgence of the American coal industry.
Obama’s dedication to the climate scare contributed significantly to coal’s tragic decline in America. Besides the impact of his Clean Power Plan, a rule that will hopefully be withdrawn very soon, coal has been hammered as a result of a 2015 EPA rule that limits plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power stations. The result is that the U.S. can no longer build modern, clean, efficient coal plants to replace older stations, as is happening in China, India and even Europe. Here’s why:
The 2015 EPA rule, titled “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions From New, Modified, and Reconstructed Stationary Sources: Electric Generating Units,” limits CO2 emissions on new coal-fired stations to 1,400 pounds per megawatt-hour of electricity generated. When releasing the new standard, the EPA asserted that it “is the performance achievable by a [supercritical pulverized coal] unit capturing about 20 percent of its carbon pollution.” This is irrational.
CO2 is no more pollution than is water vapour, the major greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. By calling the gas “carbon,” the Obama EPA deliberately and falsely encouraged the public to think of it as something dirty, like graphite and soot, which really are carbon. Calling CO2 by its proper name, carbon dioxide, would have helped people remember that it is an invisible, odourless gas that we exhale and is essential to plant photosynthesis. Mr. Obama apparently did not want people to remember that.
Moreover, the technology of CO2 capture on a full-scale power plant is still a technological fantasy. So in reality, the EPA was actually banning even the most modern, most efficient, least polluting, supercritical coal-fired stations – because even their CO2 emissions are at least 20% above the arbitrary EPA limit.
Speaking at the November 9, 2017 America First Energy Conference in Houston, Texas, keynote speaker Joe Leimkuhler, vice president of drilling for Louisiana-based LLOG Exploration, showed that America has 22.1% of the world’s proven coal reserves, more than any other country, and enough to last for 381 years at current consumption rates.
So it is a tragedy that America can no longer build modern coal-fired power stations to replace its aging fleet. Clearly, the rule limiting CO2 emissions from new coal-fired power stations must be cancelled as soon as possible.
The climate scare has also impeded coal’s development in the USA by restricting its export. In particular, Asia would be a huge market for inexpensive American coal if sufficient U.S. export facilities were available. But, again, thanks largely to the climate scare contributing to the blocking of construction of coal export terminals, America exports only about as much coal as does Poland.
To ensure energy security, especially when demand soars during bitterly cold spells and heat waves, and to “restore America’s advantages in the world and build upon our country’s great strengths” (quoting from the NSS fact sheets), the U.S. must expand its fleet of coal-fired power stations and build coal export facilities as quickly as possible. To make that possible, the Trump administration must do everything in its power to thoroughly debunk the climate alarm that has so crippled coal’s development.
Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition. He writes from Ontario, a province that seriously damaged its economy by banning all coal-fired power generation.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Six Thoughts As We Re-Enter the Deep Hole of America’s Sordid Politics

It’s enough to make one watch NFL football.

Dov Fischer January 14, 2018

I really hate this stuff. I am so sick of it, so disgusted by it. It is enough almost to get me thinking about watching football again. But the Year Without Football has been too sweet. So, energized by another weekend of seeing no one kneel in disrespect to my flag, here goes:......To Read More....

My Take - You will find this - at least in my opinion - one of the best articles you will read today.  I never - I repeat never - liked Trump as a person, and I didn't think he was all that bright.  But I have to admit - most of what I didn't like about Trump was his public "entertainer" image, and I really didn't like how he treated his wives, although this marriage seems to be working.  And Melania, while stunning, certainly appears to be the perfect First Lady in all she does. 

As for Trump - I'm finding we have a lot of personality traits in common.  He's willing to be unpopular for as long as is necessary to accomplish his mission - Americans First!  He's willing to say what needs to be said and doesn't care about the current conventional wisdom!   He thrives on confrontation!  And most importantly - he understands politics isn't for gentlemen! 

And nothing he does demonstrates all of those qualities as does his tweets. 

I'm enjoying his tweets!   As time goes by it's now obvious his tweets are doing exactly what he wants them to do  - make the left nuts!  They act accordingly while he sits back and let's the whole thing play out - and usually to his advantage.  

At first I thought this was a strange way to act, but it became apparent to me very quickly there was a method to his "madness" - he was by-passing the press, the White House staff, the Congress, the Democrats and the RINO's and going directly to the American people.  And it's working.  

As for Romney - he's a disgrace, right along with John McCain and John Kasich.