Recently in Leviathan Category

Your dystopian thought for the morning from Borepatch:

Using The Big Eraser
A cynical guy would think that the recent events in Charlottesville were orchestrated, with law enforcement standing aside, counter-protesters attacking protesters to provoke a response, and the inevitable outcome of lit matches and gasoline playing out.

But no matter, the Confederate memorials are coming down. A couple of years ago it was the battle flag, now it's time for the next step. All across the country, big diesel powered erasers are going to remove history.

It won't stop there, of course.

The book burning is coming.

Orwell's 1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

From the Los Angeles Times:

UC Berkeley chancellor unveils 'Free Speech Year' as right-wing speakers plan campus events
Carol T. Christ, UC Berkeley’s 11th chancellor and the first woman to lead the nation’s top public research university, unveiled plans Tuesday for a “Free Speech Year” as right-wing speakers prepare to come to campus.

Christ said the campus would hold “point-counterpoint” panels to demonstrate how to exchange opposing views in a respectful manner. Other events will explore constitutional questions, the history of Berkeley’s free speech movement and how that movement inspired acclaimed chef Alice Waters to create her Chez Panisse restaurant.

“Now what public speech is about is shouting, screaming your point of view in a public space rather than really thoughtfully engaging someone with a different point of view,” Christ said in an interview. “We have to build a deeper and richer shared public understanding.”

One student's reaction:

Christ’s focus on free speech heartened Alex Nguyen, a sophomore studying molecular cellular biology. She said she took the issue especially to heart because her parents were born in Vietnam, where criticizing the government could lead to imprisonment.

“I want her to really protect free speech because there’s really high political tensions here,” Nguyen said of the chancellor. “We’re at the university to learn new things and disprove our ideas.”

Very good news indeed - if the little snowflakes try to act out, they will show themselves to be the intolerant little bigots that they deny being.

An excellent rant - Silicon Valley

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From Kurt Schlichter writing at Town Hall:

Conservatives Must Regulate Google And All of Silicon Valley Into Submission
Google's fascist witch-burning of an honest engineer for refusing to bow down at the altar of politically correct lies was the final straw, an unequivocal warning to conservatives that there's a new set of rules, and that we need to play by them. First they came for the tech geeks; we’re next. That means Republicans at both the federal and the state level need to rein in the skinny-jeaned fascist social justice warriors who control Silicon Valley – and, to a growing extent, our society – through the kind of crushing regulation of these private business that we conservatives used to oppose.

And this idea is just wonderful:

So what are we talking about? Well, size matters, and Silicon Valley’s giants are just too darn big. Time to chop them up like old Ma Bell. Let's apply the antitrust laws that were made for taming just these types of octopod monopolies. For example, Google and Facebook’s tentacles have slithered into every corner of the web and strangled the competition. There was a word for that back in the day – what was it? Oh, yeah. “Monopoly.” The left used to like breaking up monopolies until its leftist allies starting controlling them. But the leftists don't control the executive branch. Since Attorney General Sessions isn't busy investigating the Democrats, maybe he can get his army of lawyers busy breaking up these enormous, bloated, anti-competitive conglomerates.

Read the whole thing - Kurt is on fire.

The last time that New Orleans had a Republican mayor was in 1872 with Benjamin Flanders. It shows. From the UK Guardian:

New Orleans under water: 12 years after Katrina, officials can't get it right
It is true: New Orleans lives and dies by its water. We eat from the Gulf, lake and wetlands and we breathe deeply of a sweltering, airborne humidity. We get our drinking water from the muddy Mississippi river, which carries the effluvia of half the country. Thousands upon thousands of rainy years have amplified the continuing decay in wetlands surrounding the city, creating vast pockets of valuable petroleum and natural gas which generate a major portion of our economy. The same rainfall and river provide continual growth in one of the lushest plant environments in America.

But we occasionally have our homes ruined, and we occasionally drown, in water.

In the last big lesson, involving the loss of 134,000 homes and 1,500 lives in New Orleans, a hurricane overwhelmed the manmade walls meant to keep the water at bay. Since then, hundreds of miles of new and reinforced levees have been built, over the last dozen years, to make sure that a ruinous intrusion does not happen again. The army corps of engineers built three huge new multimillion-dollar pumps on the Lakefront, so that when the engineers close the floodgates to keep the lake waters out, the pumps can be activated to keep excessive water from overwhelming the system.

Now all the city needs to do is be able to remove water that falls from the sky throughout every single year. And in 2017, that rain has fallen almost every day since 1 April.

So what do they do with all this shiny new infrastructure?

The meteorological bottom line is that even if the entire pumping system had been operating at maximum capacity, as Grant and the S&WB general superintendent, Joseph Becker, had earlier claimed, the rain would still have overwhelmed the system.

However, when pressed by an angry public and a media swarm that sensed something amiss, Becker first admitted eight of the city’s pumps had been out of service before a drop of rain fell on Saturday.

Subsequent investigation found that of 67 pumps on the East Bank of the city, just 58 were “functional in some form”. But the board’s dedicated power system also failed, so that only 38 pumps could be used at one time. Half capacity. And according to the board’s own logs, one crucial pumping station, No 12 on the Lakefront, had not even been manned until four hours after the 3.30pm storm, and not actually turned on until 8.49pm. Which is exactly when residents say they first saw waters starting to recede.

Business as usual. Unelected bureaucrats with no accountability. If someone screws up enough to warrant an investigation, they will be quietly shifted to some other office - often with a raise in pay "for their troubles".

Calling a spade a spade

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President Trump is not bowing to the demands of the Social Justice Warriors and is, in fact, calling them out on their role in Charlottesville - from Yahoo / Agence France Presse:

Trump defiant on Charlottesville unrest: 'Blame on both sides'
US President Donald Trump sparked a political firestorm Tuesday when he doubled down on his initial response to the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville that ended in bloodshed, saying there was "blame on both sides."

The Republican president -- who one day ago solemnly denounced racism and singled out the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis as "criminals and thugs" -- also hit out at the "alt-left" over the weekend melee.

Simple really - SJW's can't handle the truth when it does not fit their narrative. The narrative is what defines them.

Flashback to the 2011 "Occupy Wall Street" protests. And, let us ask ourselves exactly what these protest accomplished besides a lot of overtime for the sanitation crews. From ABC News, November 3, 2011:

Sexual Assaults Reported in 'Occupy' Camps
Alleged sexual assaults at Occupy Wall Street camps have raised concerns about security in a handful of cities, including reports of rape and groping in tents at New York's Zuccotti Park and a sex offender in Dallas having sex with an underage runaway.

I find it very ironic that the Anti Fascist movement (Antifa) is operating straight out of the Fascist playbook. Here is just one excerpt from THE DOCTRINE OF FASCISM by BENITO MUSSOLINI (1932)

FASCIST STATE AS A SPIRITUAL FORCE
The Fascist State, as a higher and more powerful expression of personality, is a force, but a spiritual one. It sums up all the manifestations of the moral and intellectual life of man. Its functions cannot therefore be limited to those of enforcing order and keeping the peace, as the liberal doctrine had it. It is no mere mechanical device for defining the sphere within which the individual may duly exercise his supposed rights. The Fascist State is an inwardly accepted standard and rule of conduct, a discipline of the whole person; it permeates the will no less than the intellect. It stands for a principle which becomes the central motive of man as a member of civilized society, sinking deep down into his personality; it dwells in the heart of the man of action and of the thinker, of the artist and of the man of science: soul of the soul.

Fascism, in short, is not only a law-giver and a founder of institutions, but an educator and a promoter of spiritual life. It aims at refashioning not only the forms of life but their content - man, his character, and his faith. To achieve this propose it enforces discipline and uses authority, entering into the soul and ruling with undisputed sway. Therefore it has chosen as its emblem the Lictor’s rods, the symbol of unity, strength, and justice.

Funny that the widdle snowflakes at Antifa want to smash the state but they are so dependent on food stamps and welfare to survive all the while using their $500 iPhones and $800 laptops and wearing their $300 Patagonia parkas. They are just sucking up at the big government teat all the while acting out their puerile fantasies. Talk about a fertile breeding ground for cognitive dissonance.

If you want to dig deeper into this cess-pit, Wilhelm Reich has an excellent book in public domain. Reich went a bit overboard with his "orgone" work but at heart, he had an excellent understanding of the human condition. Check out this breif excerpt from The Mass Psychology Of Fascism

In the ethical and social ideals of liberalism we recognize the representation of the superficial layer of the character, of self-control and tolerance. The ethics of this liberalism serve to keep down "the beast" in man, the second layer, our "secondary impulses," the Freudian "unconscious." The natural sociality of the deepest, nuclear layer is alien to the liberal. He deplores the perversion of human character and fights it with ethical norms, but the social catastrophes of this century show the inadequacy of this approach.

All that which is genuinely revolutionary, all genuine art and science stems from the natural biological nucleus. Neither the genuine revolutionary nor the artist or scientist has been able thus far to win over and lead masses or, if so, to keep them in the realm of the life interests.

In contradistinction to liberalism, which represents the superficial character layer, and to genuine revolution, which represents the deepest layer, fascism represents essentially the second character layer, that of the secondary impulses.

A bit wordy but this is how Germans write. Despite the verbosity, Reich nails it. Much more at the site. Antifa is Fascism writ large.

North Korea - 1994

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And of course they abided by the treaty and allowed the International Inspectors in to view their nuclear facilities:

Thanks a lot President Clinton you impotent fool. And people still wonder why most of us do not trust either Bill or Hillary. Remember Hans Blix?

Charlottesville, Va. and Seattle, WA.

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Because I have been away from the news, I am waiting for 48 hours before I make any comments.

Just talking about grandchildren and golf - yeah and I have a bridge to sell you (no really)... From Hot Air:

The Real Story Of That Lynch-Clinton Tarmac Meeting Gets Even Stranger
When we last checked in on newly released information regarding that infamous tarmac meeting between then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton, we learned that the media wasn’t terribly interested in discussing the matter any more than absolutely necessary. But as reporters continue to dig through the trove of Justice Department emails obtained by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, we find out that there were some people who were very interested in talking. The people in question would be Lynch’s staff and they were having a flurry of discussions with none other than the folks at James Comey’s office.

You’ll recall that all of this was taking place only days before Comey would hold his bizarre press conference where essentially cleared Hillary Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing in the private email server scandal. (Only to famously reopen the investigation later.) So if it was really just a casual, chance meeting to discuss grandchildren and golf, why would the Attorney General’s office be sending out a flurry of messages to the FBI Director’s office? It turns out that one of Lynch’s own attorneys was editing talking points for the White House in terms of how to address questions from the press and another of her people was sending talking points to the FBI. The Washington Free Beacon once again has the details

Even if it was just a chat about grandchildren and golf, the optics are really strange and why all of the emails. More at the site and the comments make for an interesting read.

The internet is forever - Mexico

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A photo, especially if posted by someone famous, will circulate around the internet forever. Delete it from your site? Never fear, screen-caps and web archives will preserve it forever. From Breitbart:

Mexican President Deletes Instagram Pic with Alleged Cartel Frontman
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and his staff appear to be trying to erase all traces of connections with a famous musician recently accused of being a drug cartel frontman.

This week, Peña Nieto visited the Mexican state of Chiapas and posted on Instagram with singer Julion Alvarez, where the men are seen on a boat. The photograph was deleted soon after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Treasury Department announced that Alvarez and Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez were singled out as alleged cartel frontmen.

Julio Cesar Alvarez Montelongo, better known as “Julion Alvarez”, and soccer star Rafael “Rafa” Marquez are among 22 Mexican nationals and 43 business entities whose assets in the U.S are now frozen by the Treasury Department, Breitbart Texas reported. Julion Alvarez is considered one of Mexico’s most famous singers in the banda music genre and is known for praising the drug trafficking lifestyle in his music. Despite the type of music that Alvarez performs, in 2015 Peña Nieto called him “a great example for Mexico’s youth”, Mexico’s Proceso reported.

The connection to Alvarez is the latest scandal to plague Peña Nieto at a time when his popularity continues to plummet after his failure in being able to reign in Mexico’s raging cartel violence. Peña Nieto has also been accused of having Mexican cartel operators funnel illicit funds into his 2012 presidential election campaign in a scandal that became known as Monexgate, Breitbart Texas reported.

Welcome to Mexico - we think we have it bad here with the deep state. In Mexico, the rot goes all the way to the top. Nothing happens without mordita.

Illegal immigrants - those in jail

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An interesting number - from the Washington Examiner:

DHS: 23% of all federal prisoners are illegals, just 7 of 42,034 saved from deportation
Nearly one-quarter of all federal inmates are illegal immigrants and virtually all are in deportation proceedings or already face removal orders, according to a new Homeland Security report.

The Justice Department's Bureau of Prisons, fulfilling a presidential executive order requiring transparency on prisoner immigration status, said that it houses 187,855 inmates of which 42,034 are foreign born.

The DHS report said that only seven of those 42,034 have been granted deportation "relief." 

I figured it was a big number - did not realize just how big it was.

Fake News - The New York Times

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ShotThe New York Times:

Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report
The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration.

And:

The National Academy of Sciences has signed off on the draft report, and the authors are awaiting permission from the Trump administration to release it.

Chaser: The Daily Caller

NYT’s ‘Leaked’ Bombshell Climate Report Was Actually Public For Months
A draft government climate assessment The New York Times “obtained” and claims is not yet public has actually been available online since January, according to scientists who worked on the report.

The whole thing can be read here: U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report (CSSR)

And they wonder why we do not trust the media...

Heh - talk about clueless

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Mitch McConnell is well past his sell-by date. From ABC News:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vents about Trump's 'excessive expectations' regarding legislation
Speaking at a Rotary Club gathering in Kentucky on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vented about how President Donald Trump's lack of political experience has led to him setting “excessive expectations” for legislative priorities.

McConnell, R-Ky., told the group in Florence that he found it “extremely irritating” that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing anything.

“Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven’t done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point,” said McConnell, a Republican and the state’s senior senator.

He sounds just like a little kid who has been called out for not doing his homework. Hey Mitch - you were elected by the people of Kentucky to represent them and to work for them. If you cannot handle the work load, I am sure they will elect someone who can. Your choice...

Great news - Fat-boy Kim

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From FOX News:

Haley: North Korea needs to brace for combined pressure from US and the world
Less than a day after North Korea threatened that the United States would pay dearly “thousands of times” for pushing new sanctions to cripple the rogue nation's economy, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told Fox News that America has the iron-clad upper hand.

“It was a gut-punch to North Korea, to let them know the international community is tired of it and we’re going to start fighting back,” Haley told Dana Perino Monday on “The Story," in reference to the sweeping U.N. sanctions. “Every dollar of revenue that the North Korean government gets, they’re not feeding their people with it. They’re using it toward a nuclear weapons system. Going after these sanctions is going after their ability to build these missiles.”

The U.N. Security Council on Saturday voted unanimously to introduce a set of punishing sanctions that could cost the communist dictatorship some $1 billion off its $3 billion annual export revenue. The resolution, deemed the harshest since its first nuclear experiment in 2006, was payback for Pyongyang’s testing of two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month, which for the first time showed a capacity to hit the U.S. mainland.

Unanimous is good - the Security Council includes China which is the buyer for about 90% of Nork's output. There is a big difference between what China says and what China actually does but still, this is an excellent start.

Voter fraud - Massachusetts

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From the United States Attorney’s Office - District of Massachusetts:

Six Arrested in Registry of Motor Vehicles Identity Theft Scheme
Six individuals, including four RMV clerks, were arrested today in connection with a scheme to produce false identification documents through the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. Some of the false identities and addresses were used to fraudulently register to vote in the City of Boston.

And I would be greatly surprised if those illegals did not vote Democrat. Keep the free government shit flowing. But it is not free. Not at all.

Say hello to my little friend...

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From The Drive:

This Mysterious Military Spy Plane Has Been Flying Circles Over Seattle For Days
A very unique USAF surveillance aircraft has been flying highly defined circles over Seattle and its various suburbs for nine days now. Nobody at the DoD seems to know who the aircraft belongs to or what exactly it is doing flying so many missions over the Seattle area. But based on its visibly exotic configuration, and information collected by open source flight tracking websites, we can get a good idea of its capabilities and guess as to what it’s up to.

The aircraft, which goes by the callsign “SPUD21” and wears a nondescript flat gray paint job with the only visible markings being a USAF serial on its tail, is a CASA CN-235-300 transport aircraft that has been extensively modified for the surveillance mission.

It is covered in a dizzying array of blisters, protrusions, humps and bumps. These include missile approach warning detectors and large fairings on its empennage for buckets of forward-firing decoy flares, as well as both microwave — the dome antenna behind the wing and flat antenna modification in front of the wing — and ultra high-frequency satellite communications — the platter-like antenna behind the dome antenna. A communications intelligence suite also appears to be installed on the aircraft, with the antenna farm on the bottom of its fuselage being a clear indication of such a capability.

Just a test run but for what?

From Associated Press:

WELCOME BOOST FROM CHINA TO GLOBAL PRESSURE ON NORTH KOREA
A global pressure campaign on North Korea propelled by sharp new U.N. sanctions received a welcome boost Sunday from China, the North's economic lifeline, as Beijing called on its neighbor to halt its missile and nuclear tests.

The Trump administration cautiously embraced China's apparent newfound cooperation, while putting it on notice that the U.S. would be watching closely to ensure it didn't ease up on North Korea if and when the world's attention is diverted elsewhere. But there were no signs the U.S. would acquiesce to China's call for a quick return to negotiations.

The diplomatic wrangling sought to build on the sweeping new North Korea sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council a day earlier - the strongest in a generation, the U.S. said. As diplomats gathered in the Philippines for an annual regional meeting, President Donald Trump was cheering the move. He cited the "very big financial impact" of the sanctions and noted optimistically that both China and Russia had joined in the unanimous vote.

Good - without Chinese support, North Korea would fade away. Time for them to put away their nukes and start feeding their people.  The leadership is delusional. But then, there is this story from CNBC:

North Korea's 'No. 2' official strengthens ties with Iran as UN hits Pyongyang with new sanctions
Amid new international sanctions, North Korea's "No. 2" official embarked on a 10-day visit to Iran, a move that could result in the two sides expanding their ties.

Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Supreme Assembly of North Korea, arrived Thursday for the weekend inauguration ceremony for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

But given the head of North Korea's parliament is expected to stay for 10 days in Iran, the trip is being seen as a front for other purposes, including expanding military cooperation. At the same time, Pyongyang is looking for ways to counter sanctions and to boost the hard currency for the dynastic regime led by Kim Jong Un.

Crap - just what we need. The two most evil nations in the world these days are colluding. The only good thing is that neither of them are that strong and their leadership is not wise or prudent. Both nations sponsor terrorist groups so this is not good.

California - voter fraud

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An interesting report from Judicial Watch - from Zero Hedge:

California Has 11 Counties With More Registered Voters Than Voting-Age Citizens
The Election Integrity Project California provides a list of 11 California counties that have more registered voters than voting-age citizens.

In addition, Los Angeles County officials informed the project that “the number of registered voters now stands at a number that is a whopping 144% of the total number of resident citizens of voting age.”

The Election Integrity Project California, Inc. has joined Judicial Watch, Inc., a non-partisan organization in Washington, D.C., in sending a National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) Section 8 notice of violation letter to California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla.

The liberals have nothing to run on so they have to rig the elections. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

Something curious just crawled out - from Zero Hedge:

Loretta Lynch Communicated With DOJ Officials Using Grandmother's Name As Alias
Loretta Lynch has been busted using an alias to communicate with DOJ officials, per a tweet by Kim Dotcom last night. The revelation comes after internet sleuths sifted through a new release of emails obtained via FOIA request by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) last week (link here to PDF) and found an email from “Elizabeth Carlisle” to colleagues, thanking “to all who worked on this.”

Much more at the site. We have them - we just need the resolve to prosecute and sentence them. Get a couple of key players in jail for ten years and the rest of the "deep state" will fall in line.

The Chicago mayor is suing President Trump's administration - from Chicago powerhouse WLS-AM:

Emanuel to sue Feds over new Sanctuary City Rules
Mayor Emanuel says he’s going to sue the Trump Justice Dept on Monday, over its new Sanctuary City rules.

New rules just out, prevent Sanctuary Cities like Chicago to get certain law enforcement grants. The mayor says Chicago will file suit to kill the rules and get the millions in question.

Riiiiight - I'm going to hold my breath until I turn blue. I want my money - give me my money. Emanuel is throwing a tantrum because he actually has to show leadership if he wants to get his cushy government grant. What a putz.

WLS-AM is one of the original AM clear channel radio stations broadcasting with a power of 50,000 Watts. I grew up listening to it in Pittsburgh, PA Been on the air for 90 years. History here: WLS History Originally started as an advertising outreach from Sears and Roebuck - WLS? World's Largest Store.

Those Pakistani IT guys

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Billl was thinking about the fate of the Pakistani brother who was arrested trying to leave the USA with $300,000 in cash. Quoted in full as it is impossible to excerpt:

Near-Clinton Experiences
Unlike near death experiences, the near-Clinton ones are usually fatal with causes ranging from accidental to suicide-by-5-rounds-in-the-back.

In this case its Imran Awan, one of 3 Paki brothers who worked as IT managers for the DNC until they were implicated in a bank fraud caper and multiple government computers were found in Imran's apartment with smashed hard drives. The FBI has taken an interest in this and it seems that DWS was paying Imran $1270K/yr all the way up to his arrest as he was attempting to leave the country. As a side note, no one whose computer was associated with the Awan brothers wants to talk to the press amid speculation that classified data was transferred to a server in Pakistan and personal information on the congressional persons computer was being used to blackmail them. Imran was initially denied bail as he was considered a flight risk (ya think?), but this was waived provided he wears an ankle bracelet.

So the poll of the week is this:
What will happen to Imran in the next month or so?

1. He stays in town like a good boy until he's called to appear in court.

2. His bracelet is found in his apartment and his Tweets seem to originate in Pakistan.

3. His bracelet is found on his ankle when his body is found, a suicide from multiple gunshot wounds.

4. As above, but a victim of a botched robbery.

5. His bracelet ceases transmitting and neither he nor it are ever heard from again.

UPDATE: Option 6 may well be that Imran disappears and reappears in Pakistan. Seems the US attorney heading up the investigation into the affair is Steve Wasserman, Debbie's brother.

For more on Near-Clinton Experiences (especially line items 3 and 4) see this website: Arkancide

Hey - you started it...

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Schadenfreude - from Politico:

Democrats fear Russia probe blowback
Democrats are increasingly conflicted about how forcefully to press the issue of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Fearful of alienating voters who appear more concerned about the economy and health care, Democrats campaigning in districts across the country are de-emphasizing Russia in their rhetoric — and some are warning that a persistent focus on the Russia investigation could backfire.

When your own operatives are calling this a nothing-burger it is time to drop it and invent some new outrage, some new narrative.

All over but the shouting

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Michael Ramirez on Obamacare's implosion

20170805-obamacare.jpg

From The Sacramento Bee:

Who’s really lying on climate change? Hint: Their first names are Jerry and Arnold
Arnold Schwarzenegger really should be careful about calling people liars. Especially when he’s trying to pass off faith as scientific fact.

Maybe you saw the former governor and erstwhile action star berating conservatives the other day for refusing to accept his view that the answer to climate change is the heavy hand of government.

“Don’t those conservative Republicans get the message?” he asked. “And can’t they just think about it for a second and say, ‘Maybe we should stop lying to the people.’ Stop lying to the people. Stop it.”

The two of them were celebrating the signing of a bill that would extend cap-and-trade to 2030. California already has the highest gasoline taxes, high energy prices, a crumbling infrastructure. Of course this is pure "do as I say not as I do" as the big businesses (and Democratic contributors) are exempted from this:

California’s cap-and-trade program is full of carve-outs for industry. That’s the only way it can work without manufacturers abandoning the state wholesale and electricity and fuel prices climbing even higher than they are already.

And they’re quite high. California’s gasoline and electricity prices are the highest in the western United States. We had the highest gasoline taxes at around 54 cents a gallon, and they’re about to go up again in November between 12 cents and 19 cents per gallon, depending on the type of fuel. Cap-and-trade mandates will likely add another 63 cents a gallon by 2021, according to Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor. Low-income Californians will be hardest hit. The state’s answer seems to be, “Let them eat solar.”

One of my favorite metrics is the U-Haul measurement - here are two quotes from just a few minutes ago. First is for a 10' box truck from San Francisco to Dallas, Texas. The second is from Dallas to San Francisco - notice any difference?

20170804-sf-dallas.jpg

20170804-dallas-sf.jpg

What you are seeing is the volume of people leaving from San Francisco and moving to Dallas, Texas. UHaul has to incentivize the Dallas to SF trip otherwise they would have to pay their own staff to move the trucks back to SF. The $731 is probably just the cost of operation for the vehicle - depreciation, wear and tear and insurance. This is a 277.8% difference between the two.

Leveraging their debt

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Typical socialist economics - spend, spend, spend - oops - out of money! Borrow, borrow, borrow. From Illinois Policy:

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO PAY $850 MILLION IN INTEREST ON $500 MILLION LOAN
In July, Chicago Public Schools borrowed $500 million in long-term, high-interest loans. These loans, taken out at interest rates between 7.25-7.65 percent, will cost the district more than $850 million in interest costs alone for a total cost of $1.35 billion, according to a Chicago Tribune analysis.

CPS will pay off the loans over 25 years, paying roughly $35 million a year in interest. Adjusted for inflation, the total value of the interest on the loan is roughly $405 million.

As the Tribune notes, by the time the loan is paid off, CPS students entering kindergarten this fall will be in their mid-30s.

The district plans to use $229 million from the $500 million loan to recoup losses on bonds from previous years. The district will also reimburse itself $31 million in capital expenses from past years, the Tribune explains. This tactic of using new loans to pay off old debts is known as “scoop and toss,” a method of covering deficits used by various city bodies.

No one person is accountable - the blame can be shifted to some unelected committee whose members rotate in and out of office so nobody is in the cross-hairs. This graph from the CATO Institute is worth reposting - and yes, it is adjusted for inflation:

cato_education.jpg

It comes from page two of this PDF report: State Education Trends - Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years

The European Economy in Three Minutes

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A great presentation on just how screwed the EU is at this time:

Good news - leakers

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From The Hill:

DOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaks
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department’s policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information.



At a press conference with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Sessions announced that the Justice Department, FBI and government intelligence agencies will direct more resources into the investigations of government leaks and would prioritize prosecuting those that pass sensitive information along to the press or foreign officials.



Good - this activity is damaging our standing in the world. Time to get tough. Subpoenaing the media is an excellent idea - force them to reveal their sources and the leaks will dry up. This is classified material after all.

Good news - the Pakistani IT guys

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From The Washington Free Beacon:

Congressional Investigation Into Wasserman Schultz IT Scandal Moves Forward
Congress is advancing an investigation into a growing scandal surrounding IT staffers working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.), who are accused of stealing sensitive computer equipment from House lawmakers' offices, according to senior congressional sources who told the Washington Free Beacon the Democratic leader's refusal to answer questions could "merit resignation."

Congressional leaders have now requested a formal briefing by Capitol Police into its investigation of several Pakistani House IT staffers who are accused of stealing sensitive computer equipment and of illegally penetrating congressional networks.

If half of what is being reported is true, these guys were sending classified Congressional emails and documents to our enemies. We have one of them (we allowed the others to leave the country) so we need to throw the book at them.

The company you keep - Detroit

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An interesting bit of news from The Detroit News:

Half of Detroit’s 8 mayoral candidates are felons
Half of the eight mayoral hopefuls on Detroit’s primary ballot next week have been convicted of felony crimes involving drugs, assault or weapons, a Detroit News analysis shows.

Three were charged with gun crimes and two for assault with intent to commit murder. Some of the offenses date back decades, the earliest to 1977. The most recent was in 2008.

Political consultant Greg Bowens said there are candidates with past hardships in every election cycle. It’s not something unique to Detroit or the political arena in general, he said.

Yeah Greg - try and spin that piece of inconvenient news.

Let me introduce you to Louis C. Miriani - from Infogalactic:

Louis C. Miriani (January 1, 1897 – October 18, 1987) was an American politician who served as mayor of Detroit, Michigan (1957–62). He was the last Republican mayor of Detroit.

So Detroit has been governed by Democrats for the last 55 years and people wonder why it is the stinking wasteland that it is? This was once Motor City.

Al Gore in the news

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And not in a good sense - from The Hollywood Reporter:

Al Gore's Electric Bills Get Criticism Ahead of 'An Inconvenient Sequel'
Al Gore's environmental documentary An Inconvenient Sequel opens Friday, so a conservative think tank figured it was the perfect time to accuse the former vp of hypocrisy, using Gore's electric bills from his Nashville home to claim he uses at least 21 times more energy than the average American.

The group says "at least" 21 times because they only looked at the energy consumption at Gore's Nashville home, not his other two houses. In one peak month, September last year, Gore's power consumption at the Nashville home reached 34 times that of a typical American home, according to the group, the National Center for Public Policy Research.

Al is just a common variety hypocrite - a crazed poodle in fact - do as I say and not as I do. He is worth $200 million - not too shabby on a Senator's salary - here is the house in question:

20170803-algore-house.jpg

Thanks Deb for bringing this to my attention!

A two-fer - first from this September 15, 2015 post at Reason:

Why Boston's Sports Fans Rejected the Olympics Boondoggle—and L.A. Said Bring It On
As the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) submits the city of Los Angeles as the country’s official nominee to host the 2024 Summer Games, sports fans in Boston are whooping it up like they did after the Red Sox finally won another World Series.

And with good reason. Earlier this year, the USOC had picked Boston to represent America in the Olympics-host sweepstakes. Then the sports-mad fans of the Red Sox, the Bruins, the Celtics, and the Patriots told city fathers—especially Mayor Martin J. Walsh—to pound sand when it came to hosting the Olympic Games with tax dollars.

How Boston’s rabid sports fans rejected the Olympics—and how chumps in Los Angeles enthusiastically stepped up to potential bankruptcy—is a tale worth understanding, especially the next time your city or state tries selling voters on a new stadium or venue for billionaire sports team owners.

And the decision is final - from yesterday's post written by Nick Gillespie - again, at Reason:

Los Angeles Just 'Won' the 2028 Summer Olympics. That Is SUCH Bad News
So Los Angeles will be hosting the Summer Olympics for a third time, in 2028 (the city previously hosted Olympics in 1932 and 1984). The city had originally tried to win hosting rights for the 2024 Games, which went to Paris instead. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has had trouble finding cities willing and able to host its quadrennial summer boondoggles, went ahead and gave LA the nod 11 years from now.

My advice for residents in the city I once called home and where Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website, is to start packing your bags.

Really, just GTFO. 2028 may seem like a long time away, but it will sneak up on you and the last place anyone wants to be is in a city that has pledged billions—over $5 billion, in LA's case—to stage a boondoggle that will almost certainly suck all sorts of tax dollars and private resources out of the real economy and flush them down a unisex toilet in the basement of the Edifice Complex.

As Garrett Quinn explained for Reason in 2015, it's virtually impossible for a city to break even when hosting a Summer Games. The expected revenue is around $6 billion and the gate is split between the host city and the IOC (which takes a whopping 70 percent of the TV revenues alone!).

So before the first athlete gets bounced for failing a drug test, LA is already $2 billion in the red, assuming the bidders' cost estimate is correct, which it almost certainly isn't. The Beijing Games cost $40 billion and the London version cost $20 billion. Russia ponied up $50 billion for the poorly provisioned Sochi Games and Brazil has consistently lied about how much its Rio Games cost (officials say $13 billion while outside analysts put it closer to $20 billion). Montreal hosted the Games back in 1976, arguably at the peak of Cold War interest in the Olympics, and spent 30 years paying off its debt. But at least Bruce Jenner defeated communism (in the figure of Nikolai Avilov) in the decathlon back then. Americans will doubtless be more interested in the Games when they are held in LA than they are elsewhere, but history is rapidly leaving the Olympics behind for all sorts of reasons, including all the awful mascots.

Come on Nick - why don't you tell us what you really feel. A great rant. If they wanted to really symbolize the Olympic spirit, they should build a permanent stadium in Greece and use that for every event. No opportunity for bribery or kickbacks though...

From FOX News:

Lock up the leakers? Sessions to unveil crackdown, as Kelly gets White House staff in line
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to announce a major crackdown on leakers this week, in the latest sign the administration is pushing to run a tighter ship as John Kelly seizes the reins as White House chief of staff.

One of the first tasks facing the retired general and former Homeland Security boss will be plugging the leaks at the White House that his predecessor struggled to stanch.

"If Reince [Priebus] couldn't control those leaks ... then he was the one who was ultimately responsible, and General Kelly was brought in to make sure those leaks do not continue," former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.

So what is the problem with a leak now and then? From this July 6th, 2017 FOX News report:

Senate report: 'Avalanche' of media leaks hurting national security
The Trump administration is facing an "alarming" and "unprecedented" cascade of media leaks that pose a potential danger to national security, according to a Senate report released Thursday.

The Republican-authored report, which estimated the administration has dealt with roughly one leak per day, was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The authors urged law enforcement officials to step up their investigation of leaks exposing potentially sensitive information.

The July 6th, 2017 report can be found here (PDF file): State Secrets: How an Avalanche of Media Leaks is Harming National Security

A sobering read with lots of links to corroborating data - these people need to be stopped. Have a couple of very public examples.

Police corruption in Chicago

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Curious story from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Cicero cop shooting tied to gun Chicago P.D. should have destroyed
Thirteen years ago, William Stewart Boyd, a Cook County judge, drove to a South Side church to turn in a handgun his late father had owned.

The Chicago Police Department was accepting guns as part of a buyback program meant to take weapons off the streets and help make the city safer.

Boyd, who hears domestic relations cases, brought them his father’s .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, serial number J515268. He remembers handing it to plainclothes officers who wore their badges and service weapons on their belts. Under the buyback program, they, in turn, gave him a prepaid Visa card. It was for less than $100.

The police recover thousands of guns every year, many of them through buyback programs like this, as well as by confiscating weapons seized during arrests — more than 5,000 guns so far this year alone.

The guns are supposed to be destroyed. But the gun Judge Boyd took in somehow wasn’t. Instead, it turned up eight years later next to the body of a young man who was shot to death by a Cicero police officer.

And it gets much worse:

Whatever happened to keep the gun from being destroyed, Munive’s family members believe they know how it ended up next to his body. It was planted there by Cicero police to cover up an unjustified shooting by a cop of an unarmed man, according to a civil rights lawsuit the family filed in federal court.

Now, after five years of litigation, Cicero officials are poised to pay the family $3.5 million to settle their case. The Cicero Town Council agreed earlier this month to approve the settlement and is expected to take a final vote soon.

More at the site - this is what happens when you have a corrupt government and no accountability. The last time Chicago had a Republican mayor was William Hale Thompson who left office in 1931. Maybe it is time for a change?

Single Payer Healthcare in Vermont

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I really do not like anything about single-payer healthcare. The idea that a centralized government bureau will be able to run this efficiently beggars belief - just look at the Veteran's Administration for an example. Whenever it has been implemented, costs have gone up and quality of care has gone down - there is no financial incentive to do anything else.

The state of Vermont just dodged the bullet on this - from the Boston Globe:

Costs derail Vermont’s dream of a single-payer health plan
For decades, liberal activists yearned for a European-style, single-payer health system that they argued would lead to more affordable, efficient, and comprehensive medical coverage for all citizens. When Vermont four years ago enacted a landmark bill to establish the nation’s first single-payer health care system, they saw their long-sought dream about to be fulfilled.

But reality hit last month. Governor Peter Shumlin released a financial report that showed the cost of the program would nearly double the size of the state’s budget in the first year alone and require large tax increases for residents and businesses. Shumlin, a Democrat and long-time single-payer advocate, said he would not seek funding for the law, effectively tabling the program called Green Mountain Care.

I really feel sorry for these activists - they are so wrapped up in their narrative that they can not see the numbers for what they are. They are innumerate. The are so eager to do what sounds good as opposed to what does good.

One person's comment - a perfect example of being trapped in a narrative:

“The idea of single-payer, or a Medicare-for-all type program, has always been a cherished dream for many in the Democratic Party,” said Henry J. Aaron, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning Washington think tank. “In truth, there had never been a hard, developed plan to implement such a dream. In Vermont, they finally developed a plan, and look what happened.”

Living in a bubble will do this to you.

And not in a good sense - from the San Francisco Chronicle:

'Green spots' on Oroville Dam raise concern that a leak could lead to a breach
"Green spots" on the back side of California's Oroville Dam have some engineers and scientists concerned.

A 15-member team at UC Berkeley conducted an analysis on the condition of the nation's tallest dam that caused a state crisis when its spillway failed earlier this year. The group issued a report through the university's Center for Catastrophic Risk Management identifying several design flaws and maintenance issues that contributed to the failure and that could cause future problems.

One of the worrisome conclusions reveals that a wet area on the dam where the grass is lush — and appear as green spots — might be the result of a slow leak that could lead the dam to breach.

More at the site - of course, the State Bureaucrats are saying that there is no problem. These were the same unelected and unaccountable morons who let the spillway deteriorate to such a degree.

A few months ago, the Internal Revenue Service made a big show of firing incompetent employees. But, bureaucracies look after their own - from The Washington Free Beacon:

IRS Rehired Employees That Falsified Documents, Had Unauthorized Access to Taxpayer Information
The Internal Revenue Service rehired employees who were previously involved in agency misconduct such as falsifying documents or having unauthorized access to sensitive taxpayer information, according to an audit from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Considering that identify theft is a major concern, auditors wanted to inspect the agency to ensure the individuals they hire are of high integrity in safeguarding sensitive taxpayer information.

The auditors found there were 200 employees who were rehired between January 2015 and March 2016 that were terminated or separated from the agency that were either under investigation or had some misconduct that caused them to leave.

Some more swamp for President Trump to drain. Actually, I am very surprised to see that Koskinen is still the Chairman.

I wrote about this herehere, here, here, here. Now, from Squaker we see that this investigation is in the best of hands:

Steven Wasserman, Brother of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, to Oversee Awan Family Investigation
In what may be one of the most remarkable conflicts of interest that we have seen in a long time, it appears that Steven Wasserman, Assistant Attorney for the District of Columbia who is the brother of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been tasked with overseeing the investigation of DNC IT employee Imran Awan, who was arrested earlier this week while attempting to flee the US and charged with bank fraud.

Verily, the mind - it doth boggle. These people seriously think that they can get away with this?

Illegals in the news

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Sanctuary cities - Portland, Oregon

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How's that sanctuary city thing working out for you Portland? From KGW-TV:

ICE not alerted when sex assault suspect released from jail in 2016, official says
A man accused of breaking into a 65-year-old woman's home, sexually assaulting her and stealing her car was arrested after allegedly assaulting another woman and running from police.

Sergio Jose Martinez, 31, was caught July 24 after officers chased him through a neighborhood.

According to court documents filed in March 2017, Martinez has a history of illegal entry into the United States. He has been a transient in the Portland area for more than a year and has been deported 20 times.

Sending nothing but their best and brightest. Time for the County to get some new leaders (and a new Sheriff):

Earlier this year, Multnomah County leaders and Sheriff Mike Reese wrote a letter to the community saying, "The Sheriff's Office does not hold people in county jails on ICE detainers or conduct any immigration enforcement actions."

Time for them to stop virtue signalling and to start enforcing federal law.

A pox on all people who think that government run medicine is a good thng. From the London Daily Mail:

'Our beautiful boy has gone': Little Charlie Gard's parents announce that their brave warrior whose plight touched the world has finally died after battling devastating genetic illness he fought for so long
Eleven-month-old Charlie Gard, whose short life captured the hearts of the world, has died a week before his first birthday.

Charlie suffered from a rare genetic condition which saw him in hospital for the majority of his short life.

His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, fought a lengthy and emotional legal battle to take their severely ill baby son to the US for treatment, but were denied by judges.

Charlie's mother, Connie, said tonight: 'Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you.'

Yesterday courts denied his parents the chance to bring their son home to die and he was taken from Great Ormond Street to a hospice.

First they denied him the chance of experimental treatment in the US even though it would have cost the National Health Service nothing - the Gard family had raised £1.35 million online for this. To do so would have been to admit that the National Health Service failed where a privately run medical business could have succeeded.

What really has me seeing red is the denial of the right for him to die at home and his transportation from his hospital to a hospice.

Words fail.

August 2017

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