Recently in Leviathan Category

Another company is leaving CA for Texas - from Space.com:

SpaceX to Shift Starship Work From California to Texas
Less than a week after laying off 10 percent of its employees, SpaceX said Jan. 16 that it plans to shift work on at least prototypes of its next-generation launch system from Los Angeles to Texas.

In a statement, SpaceX said it was now planning to build prototypes of its Starship vehicle, the upper stage of its next-generation reusable launch system, at its site in South Texas originally designed to serve as a launch site. An initial prototype version of that vehicle has been taking shape in recent weeks at the site in advance of "hopper" tests that could begin in the next one to two months.

"To streamline operations, SpaceX is developing and will test the Starship test vehicle at our site in South Texas," company spokesperson Eva Behrend said in an emailed statement. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times after a pair of tweets early Jan. 16 from Joe Buscaino, a member of the Los Angeles City Council whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles. 

High cost of doing business, poor infrastructure, impermeable bureaucracy, liberal politics making it hard to run a business. The laundry list goes on and on and on...

Advertising placement

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I had been using Gillette razors but I am switching over to old-school safety razor. Because of their disgusting video, I am switching to a different brand (dropping Crest toothpaste too - same owners). These are what I first shaved with so should not be much of a re-learning curve.

Saw several sites recomending Feather Razor Blades as being very good (and only 20¢ each). Went on to Amazon and did a search. Here is what I saw in the top row of advertising:

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Looks like Gillette is feeling some pain and spending some bucks on advertising. That placement has to be expensive. By the way, the video is now at 669K Thumbs Up and 1.1M Thumbs Down - more than 1.5 times difference.

FAKE NEWS again - from Reason:

The Media Wildly Mischaracterized That Video of Covington Catholic Students Confronting a Native American Veteran
Partial video footage of students from a Catholic high school allegedly harassing a Native American veteran after the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday quickly went viral, provoking . widespread . condemnation of the kids on social media. Various media figures and Twitter users called for them to be doxed, shamed, or otherwise punished, and school administrators said they would consider expulsion.

But the rest of the video—nearly two hours of additional footage showing what happened before and after the encounter—adds important context that strongly contradicts the media's narrative.

Far from engaging in racially motivated harassment, the group of mostly white, MAGA-hat-wearing male teenagers remained relatively calm and restrained despite being subjected to incessant racist, homophobic, and bigoted verbal abuse by members of the bizarre religious sect Black Hebrew Israelites, who were lurking nearby. The BHI has existed since the late 19th century, and is best describes as a black nationalist cult movement; its members believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites, and often express condemnation of white people, Christians, and gays. DC-area Black Hebrews are known to spout particularly vile bigotry.

But the real story did not fit the media narrative. Nothing to see here folks - just keep moving.

Quite the new law - Canada

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Not well thought out at all - from Foundation for Economic Education:

Canada’s New Drunk Driving Law Will Make You Thankful for the 4th Amendment
Imagine going out to dinner with your wife on a Saturday night. She orders a nice bottle of pinot noir. You pour yourself a splash, but just half a glass since you’re driving. Your wife, who had a long day, drinks the rest.

After dinner, you drive home, park the car, and go inside. While watching Bird Box, you knock back a couple Scotches to catch up. The movie done, the two of you begin to retire upstairs when there’s a knock at the door. It’s the police. Someone reported seeing you driving erratically, they say, and they want you to take a breathalyzer. You decline to blow, but relent when officers threaten to arrest you. The machine says your blood alcohol concentration is 85 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, .085 percent. The night ends with you in handcuffs, arrested for drunk driving.

This scenario sounds far-fetched, but it would be perfectly legal under Canada’s new drunk driving laws, which the federal government recently revised to reduce traffic fatalities.

Not a good law at all - classic case of something that Sounds good as opposed to something that Does good. Silly liberal...

Speaker Pelosi was all set to use military airplanes to fly to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan. A nice political junket paid for by us taxpayers. President Trump sent her a letter - screen cap at Sarah Sanders' twitter account.

And, it gets better - from The Washington Free Beacon:

PICTURE: Trump Returns CODEL Luggage to Pelosi’s Office
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's luggage has been returned to the halls of congress by cart, according to a picture sent to the Washington Free Beacon by a snap-happy tipster.

The picture shows the luggage were returned to Pelosi on "military liaison" marked carts.

Pelosi's bags were packed for a congressional trip to Belgium and Afghanistan, but the trip was canceled just before the delegation was set to leave by President Donald Trump, who let her know in a letter that she would have to fly commercial if she still wanted to make the trip.

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CODEL stands for Congressional Delegation - sweet!

Back home now

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Quick surf while having lunch - great photo regarding Justice Ginsburg's health:

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Isn't that sweet - Senator McCain is saving her a seat.

Progress is being made - Clinton

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Great news from Judicial Watch:

Federal Court Orders Discovery on Clinton Email, Benghazi Scandal: Top Obama-Clinton Officials, Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes to Respond to Judicial Watch Questions Under Oath
Judicial Watch announced today that United States District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that discovery can begin in Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Obama administration senior State Department officials, lawyers, and Clinton aides will now be deposed under oath. Senior officials — including Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, Jacob Sullivan, and FBI official E.W. Priestap — will now have to answer Judicial Watch’s written questions under oath. The court rejected the DOJ and State Department’s objections to Judicial Watch’s court-ordered discovery plan. (The court, in ordering a discovery plan last month, ruled that the Clinton email system was “one of the gravest modern offenses to government transparency.”)

Judicial Watch’s discovery will seek answers to:

    • Whether Clinton intentionally attempted to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a non-government email system;
    • whether the State Department’s efforts to settle this case beginning in late 2014 amounted to bad faith; and
    • whether the State Department adequately searched for records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.

Discovery is scheduled to be completed within 120 days. The court will hold a post-discovery hearing to determine if Judicial Watch may also depose additional witnesses, including Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.

More at the site - this is wonderful news.To think that this harpy was once a legitimate candidate for the Office of The President of the United States. Makes me shudder to think about it.

Interesting times in England - Brexit

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Looks like PM Theresa May is having a spot of trouble. From The Beeb:

Brexit: Theresa May's deal is voted down in historic Commons defeat
Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal has been rejected by 230 votes - the largest defeat for a sitting government in history.

MPs voted by 432 votes to 202 to reject the deal, which sets out the terms of Britain's exit from the EU on 29 March.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has now tabled a vote of no confidence in the government, which could trigger a general election.

That is a wide margin. A bit more:

The defeat is a huge blow for Mrs May - who has spent more than two years hammering out a deal with the EU.

The plan was aimed at bringing about an orderly departure from the EU on 29 March, and setting up a 21-month transition period to negotiate a free trade deal.

In other words, she wanted to pass the bill before we knew what was in the bill. Shades of Obamacare. She wanted to placate the general public by saying: "Look - I support Brexit" while on the back-end, she wanted to cut deals with the elite bureaucrats in Brussels. BINO - Brexit In Name Only. Brexit Light.

First the fire, then the flood

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California is not having a good year. The lands denuded by the wildfires are now moving with no vegetation to hold the soil back. From the Los Angeles CBS affiliate:

Get Out: Deputies Go Door-To-Door To Evacuate Woolsey Fire Burn Area
Mandatory evacuations were ordered for several areas of Malibu and Ventura County hit hard by the Woolsey Fire that are now in danger of mudslides.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door Tuesday to tell residents they should get out before the next round of rain hits Southern California Tuesday. Heavy rainfall sent mud and debris into the lanes of Pacific Coast Highway, causing it to be closed for several hours.

Authorities are particularly concerned with areas near steep slopes or drainage areas.

If only they managed their infrastructure more carefully. But that would take away from all the billions being spent on welfare for illegals, the homeless, the bullet train, subsidizing alt.energy and electric cars. You know - the important stuff.

An interesting post - plausible

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No confirmation that this is for real but it does sound plausible - from The Daily Caller:

I’M A SENIOR TRUMP OFFICIAL, AND I HOPE A LONG SHUTDOWN SMOKES OUT THE RESISTANCE
The Daily Caller is taking the rare step of publishing this anonymous op-ed at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose career would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.

On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.

They do nothing that warrants punishment and nothing of external value. That is their workday: errands for the sake of errands — administering, refining, following and collaborating on process. “Process is your friend” is what delusional civil servants tell themselves. Even senior officials must gain approval from every rank across their department, other agencies and work units for basic administrative chores.

Much more at the site - powerful stuff. Worth your time to read and I really hope that this is President Trump's plan.

Crooked family - from The Washington Times:

Company co-founded by Nancy Pelosi's son charged with securities fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a company cofounded by Paul Pelosi Jr. with fraud on Wednesday after learning that two convicted criminals were running the business.

Paul Pelosi Jr., the son of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), was the president and chief operating officer of Natural Blue Resources Inc., an investment company he cofounded that focuses on “environmentally-friendly” ventures.

The SEC charged four individuals with fraud, including former New Mexico Gov. Toney Anaya, and suspended trading in the company’s stock. Pelosi owned over 10 million shares in the company in 2009.

The SEC said Wednesday the company was “secretly controlled” by James E. Cohen and Joseph Corazzi, both of whom had previous fraud convictions. Corazzi violated federal securities laws and was barred from acting as an officer or director of a public company. Cohen was previously incarcerated for financial fraud.

Cohen and Corazzi said they were “outside consultants,” but according to the SEC, they actually controlled Natural Blue’s business decisions “without disclosing their past brushes with the law to investors.” The pair made hundreds of thousands of dollars off the company.

Time to drain the swamp. I have zero problem with making money but it should be done legitimately - people should not be fleeced.

The Government Shutdown

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Heh - found this on the web:

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USA Today is reporting on some polling numbers:

Americans blame shutdown on Trump over Democrats by wide margin, poll finds
By a wide margin, Americans blame the longest government shutdown in U.S. history on President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll published Sunday.

The partial shutdown affects about a quarter of the U.S. government and approximately 800,000 federal workers. Now in its fourth week, the shutdown is the result of an impasse between the president and congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall, which Trump promised during the 2016 campaign.

Sounds pretty bad but this is just rhetoric (or narrative). Let's look at the numbers cited in this news article:

When asked, "Who do you think is mainly responsible for this situation?" 53 percent of Americans told pollsters they blamed Trump and congressional Republicans.

Since when is three points a "wide margin"? Most people don't read beyond the headline and the first paragraph or two. If they did, they would get a completely different story. Buried at the very end of the article is this little gem:

The poll of 788 Americans was conducted Jan. 8-11 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent. 

So the margin of error in the poll was larger than the 3% result. That is in the category of statistical noise. There is no clear answer when your error is larger than your result. USA Today is guilty of biased reporting. They are setting themselves up to be a source of accurate news and they are not doing their job.

Must be nice to live off the taxpayer's dime like this - from The Washington Examiner:

30 Democrats in Puerto Rico with 109 lobbyists for weekend despite shutdown
Some 30 Democratic lawmakers left the government shutdown behind Friday on a chartered flight to Puerto Rico for a winter retreat with 109 lobbyists and corporate executives during which they planned to see the hit Broadway show “Hamilton” and attend three parties including one with the show’s cast.

More:

Some 109 lobbyists and corporate executives are named in the memo, a rate of 3.6 lobbyists for every member. They include those from several big K Street firms, R.J. Reynolds, Facebook, Comcast, Amazon, PhRMA, Microsoft, Intel, Verizon, and unions like the National Education Association. 

And of course, no mention of who made the trip. Must be nice...

Oh wonderful - California

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Perfect example of something that sounds good as opposed to something that actually does good. From CNBC:

California bill would curb use of paper receipts to reduce waste, push digital alternative
A California lawmaker introduced legislation this week that would make the state the first to bar retailers from giving out printed receipts unless a customer requests them.

The proposed measure — Assembly Bill 161 — would require stores to use electronic receipts as the default option. Stores that give out printed receipts without first being asked by the customer could be subject to fines. If passed, the bill could have implications far beyond California, according to experts.

“There’s a negative impact on the environment with these receipts and the inability to recycle them,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, who introduced the legislation.

Christ on a corn dog - most businesses I shop at already do this. They offer me the option of a receipt if I want. I hate emailed receipts because  registering for these invariably brings in "promotional" emails from the company. I do not like spam and try to keep it at a minimum. My store does this - we are happy to print out a receipt for the customer if they want but the default setting for the printer is OFF.

Doing something that sounds good as opposed to something that actually does good is the hallmark of progressive ideologues everywhere. They are out of touch with reality and do not see that the additional layer of legislation does nothing except drive up the cost of government - the cost of which is borne by We The People.

Oh wonderful - Seattle

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Low information voters is the problem. From The Seattle Times:

The Seattle City Council may be up for a big shift all right — further to the left
It’s been conventional wisdom since last summer, when that drive for a “head tax” targeting Amazon collapsed, that our super-progressive City Council had finally gone ’round the bend. Too far, even for lefty Seattle.

The theory went that it was sure to face corrective action now from voters — to move it back more toward the political center.

“With Seattle’s head tax dead, business lobbyists set sights on City Council elections,” headlined a Seattle Times story about efforts to flip the council to a less-activist body.

But noooooo:

Already Democratic Socialist members are running vigorous campaigns for two of those empty seats. Community organizer Tammy Morales is the early favorite in Harrell’s South End district, as she nearly defeated him in 2015. And Shaun Scott, a Black Lives Matter activist and local writer, is vying for Johnson’s seat.

An upcoming meeting will feature Morales, Scott and Seattle’s one current elected socialist, Kshama Sawant, talking about how it’s they who are really going to take back the city.

“Socialists have a different idea of what Seattle should look like,” the announcement says. “How can working class people use the 2019 Seattle City Council elections to build grass roots movements to tax big business and fight for basic needs like publicly owned housing and world class, free mass transit?”

In other words - hand out free government shit and use the infrastructure of the city to pay for it all. Works great until the roads collapse and they run out of money. Oh yes, and raise property taxes. Maybe even try for a state income tax as well (WA State has a high sales tax instead of a State Income Tax).

Socialism has never ever worked - people only advocate for it because they want to be in the elite group with all the money and political power. They are not in it for the common working man.

The wall - tranquility

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Tucker Carlson takes CNN's Jim Acosta to the woodshed:

Wall now.

Two headlines

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You do not try to bullshit someone like President Trump. He has seen it all before, he has done it all before. You do not piss on his shoes and try to tell him that it is raining.
From CNBC:

Trump calls meeting with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi a 'total waste of time' after he storms out
President Donald Trump on Wednesday stormed out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over an ongoing partial government shutdown, calling it "a total waste of time."

The breakdown in already fraught negotiations over border wall funding, which have kept nine federal agencies shut down for 19 days and counting, appeared to heighten the possibility that Trump might declare a national emergency.

"I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO," Trump explained in a tweet as Pelosi and Schumer described the walk-out to reporters.

"I said bye-bye, nothing else works!" Trump added.

Those two are a serious liability to the Democratic Party. I have said before, if John F. Kennedy were running for President today, he would get my vote in a heartbeat. The party has lost its way trying to pander to every special interest group out there. It has eaten itself.

Both bastions of liberalism and both destined to fail miserably.

From the NYC NBC affiliate:

NYC Mayor Guarantees Comprehensive Health Care for All in Historic Surprise Announcement
New York City will begin guaranteeing comprehensive health care to every single resident regardless of someone's ability to pay or immigration status, an unprecedented plan that will protect the more than half-a-million New Yorkers currently using the ER as a primary provider, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. 

And from the Los Angeles CBS affiliate:

California Governor Newsom Vows ‘Sanctuary To All Who Seek It’ In Inauguration Speech
California’s new governor is promising the most populous state will be a “sanctuary to all who seek it” in a direct affront to President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom challenged the Trump administration repeatedly as he was sworn in to office Monday, particularly on immigration.

The former San Francisco mayor became the state’s 40th governor, succeeding the term-limited Jerry Brown.

These are both very good sentiments but the one question lingers - who is going to be paying for these two very expensive projects? These will cost many billions of dollers to fund - out of whose pocket are these funds coming from? Do they expect the Federal government (our tax dollars) to kick in for their hairbrained projects?

Chuck and Nancy - the wall

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Sarah Sanders talks about Chuck and Nancy's rebuttal to President Trump's speech last night

From Signs Of The Times:

Nancy Pelosi's father Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. was as crooked as they come
Nancy Pelosi's father Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. allegedly was a "constant companion" of notorious mobster Benjamin "Benny Trotta" Magliano and other underworld figures during his political years in Baltimore, MD. D'Alesandro was a Congressman for five terms from 1938 to 1947, and Baltimore mayor for three terms from 1947 to 1959. Magliano was identified by the FBI as one of Baltimore's "top hoodlums," and he widely was acknowledged as the representative for New York's Frankie Carbo who made his bones with Murder, Inc. and later became a made guy in the Lucchese family. The allegations are included in D'Alesandro's recently-released FBI files which Friends of Ours has obtained pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. 

A lot more at the site including this interesting bit of history:

Meanwhile, the allegations against D'Alesandro continued to pile up. Finally, in January 1961 President John F. Kennedy requested the G-men to address "allegations of D'Alesando's involvement with Baltimore hoodlums; with favoritism in awarding city contracts; [and] protection for political contributors and the prosecution of local cases." President Kennedy wanted to appoint D'Alesandro to the United States Renegotiation Board which was a government watchdog against profit gouging by defense contractors. A February 6, 1961 memo from Hoover to the Baltimore and Washington Field Offices cautiously advises: "The White House has requested that we proceed with a special inquiry investigation but that if substantial derogatory information were developed, we should report this and discontinue any further inquiries because substantiation of any of the allegations would eliminate D'Alesandro."

The FBI inquiry was a perfunctory exercise with little digging which vainly attempted to address two decades of allegations in less than two months, and of course some witnesses had lost their memories and others had died or otherwise disappeared.

And the FBI has not gotten any better in the intervening years. Deep state.

Funding a wall

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Great reactions from clueless people:

Mexico is defending their border

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With Guatamala - from The Seattle Times:

Mexico to regulate 370 illegal crossings on Guatemala border
The Mexican government has pledged to put guards at some 370 illegal crossing points along the country’s southern border with Guatemala.

The crossings “will be guarded and controlled to prevent the entry of undocumented people,” Interior Secretary Olga Sanchez Cordero said Monday.

A bit more - another "grass roots" caravan:

“We have information that a new caravan is forming to enter our country in mid-January,” Sanchez Cordero said. “We are already taking the necessary steps to ensure the caravan enters in a safe and orderly way.”

Again, we are looking at some major logistic hurdles and a lot of money. Who is funding these operations?
Classic Cloward-Piven.

The 2016 election - back story

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Excellent post mortem on the Democrats attempts to get Hillary into the Presidentcy - from The American Spectator:

Democrats get away with a much worse crime than Watergate.
Since Watergate, the Washington wisdom has always held that it’s not the crime, it’s the coverup that sinks a politician. But that’s only the case when the coverup fails.

But what if the coverup succeeds?

It’s horribly simple. The crimes are never uncovered and the perpetrators are never brought to justice no matter how serious their crimes may be. That is precisely what has happened because of the FBI and Justice Department’s coverup of their abuses of power and illegal actions during the 2016 election.

In this case, the FBI and the Justice Department have succeeded in the most significant coverup in American political history. The abuses of power and crimes they have succeeded in covering up are not only against the law: they are crimes against our system of law and government. They were perpetrated by employees of the government, under color of law, with the intention of affecting the outcome of an election.

For almost two years an investigation into the abuses of power — and probable crimes — committed by the FBI and Justice Department during the election has been conducted by House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes (R-Cal). Rep. Bob Goodlatte — chairman of the Judiciary Committee — and Trey Gowdy — chairman of the Oversight and government reform committee — tried to investigate other aspects of the FBI and DoJ actions.

These investigations have been stonewalled by the refusal of the FBI and Justice Department to produce the documents and provide access to witnesses that would, in all likelihood, prove that the major abuses of power and crimes had been committed.

A lot more at the site - very well researched and documented.

Great comment from Whoopi Goldberg

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Found at Ann Althouse's site:

Whoopi Goldberg to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "Before you start pooping on people and what they’ve done, you got to do something too."
On "The View" today.

My favorite thing about this is, Abby Huntsman immediately intones in the flattest possible voice, "That's well said. That's really well said." She knows her place, Huntsman does. Unlike some people. Pooping people.

Perfect.

The EU has been a mistake. From Desmond Lachman writing at the American Enterprise Institute:

An unhappy 20th birthday for the euro
It is disappointing that your editorial “ Challenging times lie ahead for the eurozone” (January 2), commemorating the euro’s 20th anniversary, glosses over how miserably the single currency has failed to deliver on the high economic and political expectations of its founders.

Whereas since the 2008 crisis, the US economy has grown by some 15 per cent, the eurozone economy has barely regained its 2008 pre-crisis peak. At the same time, economic disparities between the eurozone’s north and south have widened, as exemplified by Germany’s economy now being more than 10 per cent above its 2008 level while that of Italy remains 5 per cent below that level.

Far from promoting European political harmony, the euro seems to have done the opposite. Those countries in the eurozone’s economic periphery deeply resent the austerity that has been imposed on them, while those in the north increasingly resent having to bail out those in the south. More disturbing yet, especially since 2008, Europe’s poor economic performance has undermined public confidence in its political elite, thereby contributing to a wave of populism across the eurozone.

A key factor underlying the eurozone’s poor economic and political performance was the locking in a monetary union of a poor productivity performer like Italy with a productivity powerhouse like Germany. Without the ability to devalue, Italy was bound to progressively lose competitiveness to Germany, which has resulted in the disparate economic performance between those two countries.

A perfect indictment of socialism and globalism. Some nations are more productive than others. By hamstringing everyone together to a common currency, there is less incentive for the productive members to be - productive. There is also less incentive for the less productive nations to work to become more productive as they know that their more productive partners will float them along.

This has been tried so many times and has failed every time it is amazing that people can still consider this to be a viable option. Occasional-Cortex needs to get a refund from Boston University for her Economics degree.

From Instapundit:

THOSE SHOES DON’T BUY THEMSELVES:
Ocasio-Cortez tells reporter ‘gotta run’ when asked about shutdown paycheck. “New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is still mum on whether she will follow her own advice to lawmakers to ‘have some integrity’ and give up their salary during the government shutdown. ‘I’ve gotta run,’ the Democratic Socialist told the New York Post on Thursday after being asked about her salary, rushing for a mock swearing-in with newly elected House Speak Nancy Pelosi. The questions follow Ocasio-Cortez’ comments on social media during the early days of the shutdown, urging members of Congress to give up their salaries during the government shutdown just like federal workers.”

From The Tennessee Star:

U.S. Rep. Mark Green Refuses Salary During Partial Government Shutdown
Freshman U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) has asked that he not be paid during the partial federal government shutdown.

Green sent a letter Friday to the U.S. House of Representative’s Chief Administrative Officer, Philip Kiko, requesting his salary be suspended until a deal is reached and the partial government shutdown ends:

Dear Mr. Kiko,

I am writing today to ask you to withhold my salary as long as the government is partially shut down. I do not believe it is appropriate for Members of Congress to be paid during a lapse in appropriations while hardworking border security agents and other civil servants are furloughed.

Please accept this letter as notice that I will refuse any salary until the government is funded.

Classy.

Yesterday's briefing at the White House

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Pathetic. The equivalent of a little kid holding his hands over his ears and yelling I can't hear you. I had written about this briefing yesterday: Now this would be interesting to see. President Trump was hosting a session with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and various members of Congress. From The Daily Caller:

OFFICIAL: DEMS ‘REFUSED’ TO EVEN LISTEN TO BORDER SECURITY BRIEFING AT WHITE HOUSE
Democratic lawmakers brought a border security briefing at the White House to a screeching halt Wednesday, refusing to even listen to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, a White House official tells The Daily Caller.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy echoed this version of events to reporters outside the White House immediately after the briefing, saying, “Once the secretary started, Schumer interrupted her and didn’t want to hear it.”

Republican and Democratic lawmakers after the meeting indicated little progress was made toward ending the partial government shutdown and that they agreed to reconvene Friday. The White House official says there was a consensus in the room that negotiations would be put on hold until Pelosi officially assumed her expected role of Speaker.

The White House official told TheDC that both Pelosi and Schumer refused to hear out Nielsen’s briefing and instead advocated for two solutions to end the government shutdown. Neither of the Democratic options would provide the additional funding for border security requested by The White House.

This is not leadership. This is thuggery pure and simple. Schumer is a perfect example of the reason for Term Limits.

Now this would be interesting to see

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I hope C-SPAN is recording this meeting - from Associated Press:

Shutdown Day 12: Lawmakers to hear wall plea at White House
President Donald Trump said his Homeland Security officials will “make a plea” for the border wall with Mexico during a briefing for congressional leaders Wednesday at the White House as the partial government shutdown over his demand for wall funding entered its 12th day.

The president made his case anew ahead of the afternoon session with Democratic and Republican leaders about the migrants arriving at the border in recent days. He said the border is “like a sieve” and noted the tear gas “flying” overnight to deter them. He called the border “very tough” at keeping immigrants out.

“If they knew they couldn’t come through, they wouldn’t even start,” Trump said at a meeting joined by Cabinet secretaries and top advisers, including Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

We need the security - it is costing us taxpayers way too much to give them a free ride. The Democrats see these invaders as a steady source of votes and as a way to build the welfare system. Get people dependent on it so they do not vote to remove it.

Propaganda - North Korea

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un gave his usual New Year address - from South Korea's The Korea Herald:

NK leader talks of denuclearization, economic development in New Year address
The North Korean leader on Tuesday reiterated his determination to achieve complete denuclearization and also called for economic development in his annual New Year’s address, stressing the need to strengthen the North’s defense.

In the address, Kim Jong-un highlighted last year’s developments in inter-Korean and US-North Korea relations, while calling on his country to seek economic development and modernize its defense industry.

Kim delivered the address while sitting on a sofa in an office with portraits of his father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather Kim Il-sung in the background. His previous New Year’s addresses had taken place in more formal settings, with Kim standing at a podium.

While Kim’s address included conditions for further talks with the US, Seoul welcomed the speech as a sign of the North Korean leader’s willingness to improve inter-Korean relations and achieve denuclearization.

Regarding relations with the US, Kim said he was ready to meet with US President Donald Trump again at any time, but warned he would “find a new path” if the US were to test North Koreans’ patience with sanctions and pressure.

“I am ready to sit face to face with the US president again at any time going forward, and will make efforts to produce an outcome the international community would welcome,” he said in an apparent response to a series of conciliatory gestures from the US. Trump has said he would like to hold a summit with Kim in January or February.

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Now, compare and contrast - CNN:

Kim Jong Un says North Korea isn't making nukes, warns US on sanctions

Here is NPR:

Kim Jong Un Wants New Summit With Trump, But Also Issues A Veiled Warning

How about just listening to the guy and taking what he says at face value. He is gradually easing tensions between the two Koreas: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here aaaand I got a lot more but you get my drift...

Heh - the caravan

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A bit of backlash for the faceless "organizers" of this - from Monica Showalter writing at American Thinker:

Sure enough, caravan migrants turn on their organizers
It had to happen. As we suspected would happen.

The caravan migrants, still cooling their heels out of sight of tourists in an isolated redoubt of Tijuana, in line awaiting for their U.S. asylum claims to be adjudicated, have finally turned on their rabidly left-wing organizers – namely, Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

The Associated Press has a pretty good report about the scope of the migrant disgust:

Thousands are now in Tijuana on the U.S. border, where they are likely to be camped for months or longer with no easy way to get into the United States, creating what is fast becoming a humanitarian crisis in this overwhelmed city.

Many blame Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, made up of about 40 U.S. and Mexican activists.

Critics, including former allies and some of the migrants themselves, say Pueblo Sin Fronteras downplayed the dangers of such treks, especially for families and small children, and misled the participants about how long they would have to wait on the Mexican side to apply for asylum.

They were Chavistas, and as Chavistas, they were offering up the big goody-style free-stuff packages, except that they wanted Uncle Sam, not Hugo's oil money, to pay for them. When that fell through and the migrants ran into a U.S. president with a serious interest in border laws meaning what they say they mean, they got left high and dry, as stiffed on the promises as Venezuela's fleeing refugees are. The goody pot never materialized, though it might for some of them as they wait their turns in line. With 90% of the migrant caravan composed of military- and gang-aged young men, don't hold your breath.

More at the site. My question through all of this is who was funding the whole operation. They had buses, food depots, etc... It was well organized and funded but billed as a local grass-roots movement.

From The Times of Israel:

69 years after joining, Israel formally leaves UNESCO; so, too, does the US
As the new year began, Israel officially left the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, despite recent efforts by the agency’s head to combat its politicization and alleged anti-Israel bias.

The withdrawal went into effect at midnight Paris time (1 a.m. in Israel). The US departure also took effect at the same time.

“UNESCO is a body that continually rewrites history, including by erasing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told The Times of Israel on Monday.

“It is corrupted and manipulated by Israel’s enemies, and continually singles out the only Jewish state for condemnation. We are not going to be a member of an organization that deliberately acts against us.”

In October 2017, mere days after the US administration announced its withdrawal from UNESCO due to, among other things, its alleged obsession with Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he was following the US lead.

“We hope that the organization will change its ways but we are not pinning hopes on this; therefore, my directive to leave the organization stands and we will mo

Fantastic move for both the United States and for Israel. UNESCO was first considered in 1921 and was founded in November of 1945. A great idea but it fell victim to Jerry Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people":

First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

Maybe if enough nations leave, the unelected governing board of UNESCO will be forced to police themselves and become relevant again. They do some good work, the problem is that they pump out a lot of bad ideology too.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Malware attack disrupts delivery of L.A. Times and Tribune papers across the U.S.
What first arose as a server outage was identified Saturday as a malware attack, which appears to have originated from outside the United States and hobbled computer systems and delayed weekend deliveries of the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers across the country.

Technology teams worked feverishly to quarantine the computer virus, but it spread through Tribune Publishing’s network and reinfected systems crucial to the news production and printing process. Multiple newspapers around the country were affected because they share a production platform.

Sharing a production platform - no firewall? Bad IT team. No Biscuit. A bit more:

By Saturday afternoon, the company suspected the cyberattack originated from outside the United States, but officials said it was too soon to say whether it was carried out by a foreign state or some other entity, said a source with knowledge of the situation.

“We believe the intention of the attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to looking to steal information,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment publicly. The source would not detail what evidence led the company to believe the breach came from overseas.

Just a hacker living in Mom's basement I bet. Nothing targeted, just destruction. Fake News anyway, not like there is anything of import to read there.

Trump derangement syndrome - video

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Pure comedy gold:

And the next business related words out of that NPC's mouth will be: "Would you like fries with that" or at least until the burger place's boss runs into this video. Poor widdle snowflake.

And of course, from corporate (this is a screenshot as the Xhale Twitter account is not online):

20181229-xhale.jpg

Of course - our elites v/s our President

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From The Washington Free Beacon:

Nancy Pelosi Is Spending Shutdown at Hawaii Resort
Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi is spending the government shutdown at a luxury resort in Hawaii, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

Pelosi, who has put blame squarely on President Donald Trump for the current government shutdown, was spotted Thursday vacationing in Hawaii at the Fairmont Orchid resort, where room accommodations range from $899-a-night for a standard room to $4,899-a-night for the presidential suite.

Meanwhile:

Trump canceled his Christmas trip to Florida and remained in the White House, saying on Christmas Eve that he was "waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal." The president left the White House on Christmas to travel to Iraq and meet with American troops stationed overseas.

Trump has been holding work meetings since Congress went into recess, including one with Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on how to fund the administration's border security plan.

President Trump is actually doing his job and putting in overtime.

And Maxine Waters? From The American Mirror:

Maxine Waters unamused as Trump float passes in Bahamas parade
Donald Trump is living rent-free in Maxine Waters head.

The California congresswoman took a break from demanding the President’s impeachment to sun herself in the Bahamas.

She took in the Boxing Day Junkanoo Parade, according to Twitter user Thomas Wayne, and she looked thoroughly unamused as a float featuring the likeness of Trump passed by.

Another slacker.

Chancellor Angela Merkel - communist

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She needs to just go away - from a speech she gave at the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Berlin (Google translate):

The heart of democracy
At the event "Parliamentarism in the Tension of Globalization and National Sovereignty", international parliamentarians discussed ways of resolving populism and the 2019 European elections.

Merkel explained that Germany had given up part of its sovereign rights to the European Union. "But the states are the masters of the treaties". This requires always the backing and the decision of the national parliament. The heart of democracy is parliament, Merkel said, referring to an earlier quotation from Prof. Dr. med. Norbert Lammert.

Trust and the willingness to compromise are important keys in this national and international tense relationship. Especially in the discussions about the United Nations Migration Pact, it became clear that fundamental issues would be called into question. It questioned the democratic legitimacy of the institution and its conventions, even if they were decided a long time ago by the national parliaments. She criticized that "there are people who believed that they could determine when these agreements would become invalid because they represent the people". She denied this nationalism. "The people are the people who live permanently in one country and not a group that defines them as a people," emphasized the Chancellor.

In other words, we Elites do not want you Normals to have a representative form of government. These "parliaments" such as the EU in Brussels are filled with un-elected goobers who are completely out of touch with reality. A government Of the People, By the People and For the People is too messy and doesn't represent what we think is best for you Normals.

A bit more:

In all national states as well as at European level, populism was identified by the participants as one of the key challenges.

Of course it is a challange - if the people got what they wanted, the elites would be out of power and living on the streets if not worse - hanging from a lamp post. They have their power and they want to keep it.

Now if you will excuse me for a little bit, I need to wipe a small amount of vomit off my keyboard...

Doing business in California

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Doesn't matter what you are trying to sell. From the Los Angeles Times:

One year of legal pot sales and California doesn’t have the bustling industry it expected. Here’s why
When Californians voted in 2016 to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, advocates of the move envisioned thousands of pot shops and cannabis farms obtaining state licenses, making the drug easily available to all adults within a short drive.

But as the first year of licensed sales comes to a close, California’s legal market hasn’t performed as state officials and the cannabis industry had hoped. Retailers and growers say they’ve been stunted by complex regulations, high taxes and decisions by most cities to ban cannabis shops. At the same time, many residents are going to city halls and courts to fight pot businesses they see as nuisances, and police chiefs are raising concerns about crime triggered by the marijuana trade.

Emphasis mine. Complex regulations? High taxes? California? What did you expect.

From the conservative newspaper The Washington Free Beacon:

2018 Man of the Year: Michael Avenatti
Getting former fraternity wunderkind Brett "Keg Stand" Kavanaugh confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court was one of President Donald Trump's most laudable achievements in 2018. It might not have happened if not for the tireless renegade lawyering of Michael Avenatti.

The hair-challenged racing enthusiast burst onto the political scene as the "creepy porn lawyer" representing adult film star and former Trump mistress Stormy Daniels, and quickly earned a reputation as a street fighter who never backed down from a challenge, or an invitation to appear on television.

Avenatti's pugnacious Tweets, peppered with spurious allegations and his signature #Basta hashtag, convinced many that he was ideally suited to challenge Trump in 2020, because in Avenatti's own words: "Only a street fighter has a chance at displacing the ‘King.'"

His chiseled facade and bad-boy persona earned him the nickname "Hottie Avenatti," and moistened the undergarments of Democratic voters pining for a presidential candidate who makes them "horny." He was instantly considered a frontrunner to win the nomination. "I wouldn't not f*** him," one Democratic activist told VICE News.

Avenatti's political prospects have diminished significantly of late, most recently due to a domestic violence arrest and an ill-advised defamation case against the president that may end up forcing Stormy Daniels to pay Trump's $300,000 legal bill. (The porn star says she never even asked Avenatti to file the suit.)

The lawyer's conduct during the Kavanaugh confirmation process certainly didn't help his cause. When the judge's confirmation appeared in peril due to the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the litigious hunk could not contain his lust for attention, and brought forth a series of outlandish, unsubstantiated sexual allegations from dubious accusers, eventually getting himself and his "clients" referred to the Justice Department for making false claims in sworn statements. With the waters sufficiently muddied by Avenatti's hysterical drivel, "Keg Stand" stood tall, and claimed his seat on the high court. Trump's stellar judicial legacy remained intact.

Avenatti's shenanigans drew condemnation from Democrats, including potential 2020 candidates such as Bob O'Rourke and Eric Holder. But a grateful nation thanks you, Mr. Avenatti, for your selfless contributions to the cause of right-wing jurisprudence, and offers its best wishes as you navigate the many legal challenges ahead. For helping ensure Brett Kavanaugh's ascension to the Supreme Court, Michael Avenatti is hereby named a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year!

Avenatti is the gift that keeps on giving...

Cloward-Piven at work

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In 1966, Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven came up with this strategy to take over a section of the government without due process. The progressives are trying this now with immigration. From Breitbart:

‘Open Borders’ Advocates Are Pushing Immigration System to ‘Breaking Point,’ Says DHS
Following the death of a second migrant child in federal immigration custody in the past month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says systems for dealing with border security and migrants are being pushed to the “breaking point.”

“Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a written statement. “Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north. This crisis is exacerbated by the increase in persons who are entering our custody suffering from severe respiratory illnesses or exhibit some other illness upon apprehension.”

From InfoGalactic:

Cloward–Piven strategy
The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven that called for overloading the U.S. public welfare system in order to precipitate a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a national system of "a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty".

History
Cloward and Piven were both professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work. The strategy was formulated in a May 1966 article in the liberal magazine The Nation titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty".

The two stated that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government, particularly the Democratic Party. There would also be side consequences of this strategy, according to Cloward and Piven. These would include: easing the plight of the poor in the short-term (through their participation in the welfare system); shoring up support for the national Democratic Party-then splintered by pluralistic interests (through its cultivation of poor and minority constituencies by implementing a national "solution" to poverty); and relieving local governments of the financially and politically onerous burdens of public welfare (through a national "solution" to poverty).

Much more at the InfoGalactic website - this is pure evil. Cultural Marxism at its most essential form.

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