Hillary Clinton Secretly Enlisted Feminist Writer Jessica Valenti to Carry Her Water in Branding Bernie Sanders as "Anti-Woman" [Ace of Spades HQ]

Call me old-fashioned, but my idea here is that if it's ethically sound to do something, it should not be a problem to confess it openly. When you have to keep something secret, that's a pretty good sign it's unethical....

Buzzfeed: The Home of Listicles About Hot Men [Ace of Spades HQ]

And very, very few mentions of hot women. Mollie Hemingway asked friends for theories on BuzzFeed's near-100%-fixation on the hotness of men, to the exclusion of women. Theories ranged from the idea that BuzzFeed is a hostile work environment for...

Russian Navy Deploys Carrier to Med [Weirddave] [Ace of Spades HQ]

Oct 21, 2016 (ANN) In a move sure to be seen as provocation by many western observers, the Russian have redeployed their only carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, to the eastern Mediterranean. Ordered by the Soviet Union in 1981, the vessel was...

Military Upset With Brain-Damaged, Absent-Minded Old Woman's Disclosure of US Nuclear Response Times [Ace of Spades HQ]

But Trump said pussy! CNN's Barbara Starr reported Thursday that the U.S. military is unhappy with Hillary Clinton discussing nuclear weapon launch times during Wednesday night’s presidential debate, calling such information "extremely classified." ... When the president gives the order...

Obama's Cash-O-Rama Bonanza May Have Whetted Iran's Appetite for Ransoming More Hostages [Ace of Spades HQ]

Whodda thunk it? Iran Seeking ‘Many Billions of Dollars’ in Ransom to Free U.S. Hostages Source close to IRGC puts bounty on remaining U.S. hostages (Updated) BY: Adam Kredo Follow @Kredo0 October 19, 2016 4:18 pm Iran is seeking "many...

Wow: Leaked Email Shows Huma Abedin Admitting That Hillary Clinton's Morocco Trip was a Pay-for-Play for a $12 Million Donation, and that Hillary "Created This Mess and She Knows It" [Ace of Spades HQ]

Quick, let's elect her. She's corrupt and evil, but she's not "ours," so we don't "own" her mistakes -- just her justices, laws, failed wars, and political persecutions. But we'll get to tell our Department Heads that we don't "own"...

October 21st, 1805 [CBD] [Ace of Spades HQ]

Trafalgar Some video game..... No captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside that of the enemy. Trafalgar was the first battle I learned about in depth. I had a few of those hard-bound "young adult"...

The Morning Report 10/21/16 [J.J. Sefton] [Ace of Spades HQ]

Good morning, kids. Noted at press time: the lead for the day is not an O'Keefe or Wikileak but right out in the open. Of course, it's from a foreign paper so I fully expect a total US media...

Protests Cited Most Frequently For Reason People Are Watching Less Football [Ace of Spades HQ]

29% say they're watching less football; 27% of pajama-clad social justice warriors who have never so much as touched a ball in their life claim that they're watching more. Yeah, I doubt that. There are only so many hours of...

Weird News ONT: Not Sure What Day This Is [Ace of Spades HQ]

This Will Not Be A Good ONT But There Will Be Clowns and There Will Be Cake Howdy. Clown craze takes another life, best reaction is comment #1. Tats for Kids! j/k! I know tattoos are incredibly popular with people...

Marriage: Life Advice For Morons By Morons [Warden] [Ace of Spades HQ]

Last week's post on dating advice yielded somewhere near 1,000 comments. I'd call that a success, so let's keep this series going. Tonight's topic is marriage. Again, I'm not a guy who has all the answers--this is a jumping off...

Pierre Étaix [[Citation Needed]]

In 1989, he was entrusted with the implementation of the first fiction film omnimax format I write in space, for La Geode La Villette in 1989; Order made to him for the celebrations of the bicentenary of the Revolution, around a subject imposed on the invention of the telegraph, which he wrote the screenplay with Jean-Claude Carrière. His interest in the process - hitherto reserved for wildlife or landscape documentaries and inescapable loop roller coaster fairground - is motivated by this new form of expression significantly differing from the classic film process, the relationship established between the viewer and the projected image. It is with this last film that stops the film career of Pierre Etaix. Subjects close to his heart, he has written four scenarios between 1974 and 1986: BABEL, that you love one another, God’s name and Fost does not emerge. The film BABEL project is denied by an impressive number of solicited producers. The cost of the film and the disaffection for Jerry Lewis, are the arguments.Despite the failure to resolve the projects that are close to her heart, it stops working.

Link (Thanks, Sillstaw)

The Weirdest Dwarf Planets Discovered So Far [JSTOR Daily]


The solar system is apparently more crowded than we thought: astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet. The object, designated 2014 UZ224, joins 5 other confirmed dwarf planets in the solar system. Dwarf planets are different than full planets like Earth in that they have enough gravity to be rounded in shape but do not “clear the neighborhood around them.” Only one dwarf planet, Ceres, is located within the familiar reaches of the solar system. All the others occupy the outer reaches of the solar system, beyond Neptune.

The majority of dwarf planets (and their smaller cousins, the minor planets) are found in the Kuiper Belt region just beyond Neptune. Previously thought to be filled mostly with icy debris, it has become clear that the Kuiper Belt is full of larger bodies. To date, more than 1000 large Kuiper Belt Objects have been identified, and there are likely many more.

Haumea, a dwarf planet, resembles a lumpy, ice coated egg.

Some of these objects are downright weird, like the dwarf planet Haumea. Approximately 1200km around, Haumea is nearly the size of Pluto. It is unique because it rotates very rapidly, giving the dwarf planet an oblong shape; it resembles a lumpy, ice coated egg. Stranger still, Haumea has two moons, Hi’aka and Namaka, which are the only known objects made of pure water ice—they are essentially giant ice cubes.

Nor is the Kuiper Belt the end. Objects are turning up in the inner Oort cloud, a spherical area of icy objects surrounding the solar system. This area is beyond heliopause, where the sun’s radiation no longer has any influence. Sedna, the largest known inner Oort cloud object, is probably large enough to be a dwarf planet and is so distant that it takes nearly 12,000 years to orbit the sun. From its surface, the sun would appear barely larger than any other star. And Sedna is not alone, there are other inner Oort Cloud objects. These distant, dim objects are difficult to see, so the discovery of just a few raises the prospect that even the farthest reaches of the solar system are pretty busy.

Aside from Pluto, the dwarf planets were discovered relatively recently using improvements in detection technology, and it is likely that many more such bodies will be discovered. In 2014 UZ224 was found using specialized software that should speed up the identification of these impossibly distant worlds, and possibly find the hypothesized ninth planet. The new finding adds to what astronomers have known for some time: there is a lot more going on in our solar system than just 8 planets.

The post The Weirdest Dwarf Planets Discovered So Far appeared first on JSTOR Daily.

Friday Reads: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle [JSTOR Daily]


We asked JSTOR Daily readers what books they remembered most from childhood. Here is one of them, plus related content you won’t find anywhere else.

Many readers remember fondly the quirky old Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, which take on a whole other dimension when read to one’s own children. Written by Betty MacDonald, based on bedtime stories she told her children, these books address some of the more frustrating misbehaviors to which children are prone. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle herself, a whimsical cookie-scented creature with long hair she lets the children comb and an upside down house full of hidden treasure, comes up with cures for the misbehaviors. These cures range from the exaggerated (letting a bath-averse child get as dirty as she wants, and then planting radish seeds on her body-dirt) to the magical (pills, powders, and other substances from a pirate’s trunk). For all the fantastic details and funny moments, these books are essentially old-fashioned morality tales, as Eric A. Kimmel points out in “Toward a Theory of Children’s Literature.” Kimmel sorts these books into his “Didactic” category of children’s literature: “let’s not forget jolly Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, who in her spare time helps parents set diabolical traps for children who misbehave.”

Even children who engage in some of the misbehaviors that troubled the parents in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle tend to enjoy reading about her outlandish cures. What’s so appealing about being tricked into behaving? Perhaps something about those “diabolical traps” rings a bell (“No more screen time until…!”). At any rate, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has been revamped for modern audiences and a new book about her cures, updated with cell-phones, computers, and working mothers, has just joined the canon. Kids and nostalgic adults, meet Missy Piggle-Wiggle.

The post Friday Reads: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle appeared first on JSTOR Daily.

The Pneumatic Subway That Almost Was [JSTOR Daily]


You pays your nickel and you takes your ride. In a cylindrical subway car with plush angora seats and gas-lights above your hat, whooshing down a round tunnel via pressurized air beneath the great metropolis… Wait a minute, whose steampunk fantasy is this?

Alfred Ely Beach’s, as a matter of fact, and more than a few other’s. In 1868, inventor Beach, who was also the publisher and editor of Scientific American, proposed a pneumatic subway system for the city of New York. After all, it was just an up-scaling of the pneumatic mail system used within and between buildings.

New York City almost had a pneumatic subway system, but political, legal, and financial reasons kept it from expanding, as well as some technical difficulties.

As Sławomir Łotysz details it, the pneumatic tube idea got off the ground more than half a century before Beach. They called it an “atmospheric railroad,” and both vacuum and overpressure systems were proposed and even sometimes prototyped. The idea was that such systems could be effective where steam trains couldn’t be: on very steep inclines and underground. While other inventors, says Łotysz, “patented sometimes only a fuzzy vision of how their systems would look, Alfred Beach obtained patents for separated components of it such as tube, car, air-blower or station facility.”

Beach didn’t just get patents. He set up a demonstration model at the Fourteenth Street Armory in October 1867. Many thousands enjoyed a ride along 30 meters of wooden tunnel. Then his laborers dug a 95-meter long tunnel underneath Broadway next to City Hall in lower Manhattan, finishing in 1870. An notion has arisen over the years that all this was hush-hush, but it was not exactly a secret at the time.

Thousands took the short ride in the small cylindrical car before Beach lost his lease to the space in 1875. Yet it wasn’t gentrification that killed the pneumatic subway. Political, legal, and financial reasons kept the system from expanding, as well as the major technical challenge of how to get more than one car in the tube at the same time.

When New York City’s subway system finally did open in 1904, the trains were powered by electrified third rail. The city would consolidate two private and one public line in 1940 to create the largest public system in the world with 469 stations. Beach’s tunnel was destroyed to make way for one of those stations, the ornate City Hall Subway station, which is no longer in use.

Much mystique and myth have grown up about Beach’s tiny railroad. Some say it still runs… but that’s probably because they’re in a crowded subway car that has mysteriously stopped in a tunnel on the way to work, the lights flickering and the air-conditioning weakening. It’s always cooler, in every sense, on the other train.

The post The Pneumatic Subway That Almost Was appeared first on JSTOR Daily.

Google Has Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking [Daring Fireball]

Julia Angwin, reporting for ProPublica:

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand — literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools. […]

The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on the keywords they used in their Gmail. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct.

My question is simple. Why is Google doing this? To make even more money? Or because they need to do this to keep making the same amount of money? Either way it’s gross.

★ Don’t Hold Your Breath for an iPhone Edition [Daring Fireball]

After my link today to Greg Koenig’s excellent explanation for why the new ceramic Apple Watch Edition does not presage the use of a similar material in next year’s iPhone (in short: Apple needs to produce up to one million iPhones per day, and the ceramic process Apple is using for the watch would take way too long to meet that demand), several readers asked if Apple might go the Apple Watch Edition route: make a special ceramic iPhone Edition that sells at a much higher price.

Apple certainly could do this. But I don’t think they would. I’ve often said that the iPhone reminds me of Andy Warhol’s great quote about Coca-Cola and America:

What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

A significantly more expensive limited edition ceramic iPhone would break from this, and in my opinion it would take away from the iPhone’s brand. iPhones aren’t cheap, but they are affordable for many, and everyone who gets one knows they’re getting the best phone in the world. An expensive limited edition iPhone would mean most iPhone buyers would know they’re only getting second best.

Apple has done this with the watch — in spades last year, with the $10–20,000 gold models — but watches are different animals. Watches, in general, have never been like Coke. There have always been low-cost watches and luxury watches.

Enough With the 10-Year Anniversary Stuff

Let me add here a note about something that’s been bothering me for months: the notion that Apple is going to do something “special” next year to commemorate the iPhone’s 10th anniversary. I would wager heavily that they won’t. Apple under Tim Cook is a little bit more prone to retrospection than it was under Steve Jobs, who was almost obsessively forward-thinking, but only slightly. They made a 40-years-in-40-seconds video to commemorate the company’s 40th anniversary this year, for example, but it was only 40 seconds long. Blink and you missed it.

Apple is not going to make a special edition of any product — let alone the iPhone, their most important product — just to mark an anniversary. Don’t tell me about the 20th Anniversary Macintosh — that was a product from the old Apple that was heading toward bankruptcy, and a perfect example of why they shouldn’t do something special to mark something as arbitrary as an anniversary.

A lot of this 10th anniversary of the iPhone speculation is regarding the rumors that next year’s new iPhones might sport a new industrial design, with edge-to-edge displays that eliminate both the top and bottom bezels from the front face. If such a design does appear next year, the timing will be purely coincidental.

What’s the logic otherwise? That Apple could have debuted that design this year, but didn’t, simply because they wanted to hold off until the iPhone’s oh-so-precious 10th anniversary? That is not how a technology company operates. To maintain its position as the leading phone-maker in the world, Apple must push forward as fast as they can. They only know one way to play the game: as hard as they can.

Nothing gets held back from any Apple product just to make the next one more special. If there is going to be a new edge-to-edge iPhone design, it will appear as soon as it is ready — no sooner, and no later. It would make no sense to hold back a more visually impressive and practically superior1 design just to be able to call it the “10th anniversary iPhone” a year from now. That would mean selling fewer iPhones this year while sticking with the familiar 6/6S form factor, and not selling any additional iPhones next year. No one — no one — is going to buy any new iPhone just because it’s the 10th anniversary edition.

Every year, Apple releases the best iPhone it is able to make. That’s it. It makes no more sense for a tech company to hold back a new design for an entire year just to mark an anniversary than it would for a, say, 99-year-old sports team to bench its star player for a year to make their 100-year-anniversary team even more special. I do believe that Apple leads the industry, but they don’t lead by such a margin that they can afford to pull their punches just for an “anniversary” marketing gimmick.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple never even mentions next year that 2017 is the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone. And if they do mention it, I think it will be a brief passing reference on stage, not a part of any advertising or marketing campaign.2 New iPhones — new Apple products, period — are marketed as new. Anniversaries are about getting old.

  1. If Apple goes with an edge-to-edge display, they can either keep the display sizes the same (4.7- and 5.5-inch) and greatly reduce the overall size of the devices, or they can keep the device sizes the same as they are now and greatly increase the size of the displays. Either way is a win. (My guess though is that Apple will shrink the devices — Apple likes smaller devices.) ↩︎

  2. I’ll enjoy a nice serving of homemade claim chowder if Apple goes and names next year’s iPhone the “iPhone 10” and makes the anniversary central to its branding. ↩︎︎

Apple Sues Mobile Star for Selling Counterfeit Power Adapters and Charging Cables Through Amazon [Daring Fireball]

Patently Apple, quoting from a lawsuit filed by Apple yesterday:

Apple purchased the power products identified below (ASIN B012YEWP2K) from Amazon.com and determined that they were counterfeit. Apple was informed by Amazon.com, and upon that basis is informed and believes, that Mobile Star was the source of those particular counterfeit power products purchased by Apple.

Consumers, relying on Amazon.com’s reputation, have no reason to suspect the power products they purchased from Amazon.com are anything but genuine. This is particularly true where, as here, the products are sold directly “by Amazon.com” as genuine Apple products using Apple’s own product marketing images. Consumers are likewise unaware that the counterfeit Apple products that Amazon.com sourced from Mobile Star have not been safety certified or properly constructed, lack adequate insulation and/or have inadequate spacing between low voltage and high voltage circuits, and pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock. Indeed, consumer reviews of counterfeit Apple power adapters purchased from Amazon.com and from the above ASIN report that the counterfeit products overheat, smolder, and in some cases catch fire.

As for the products sold by third parties, and “fulfilled by Amazon”:

Apple makes great efforts to combat the distribution and sale of counterfeit Apple products bearing its trademarks. Despite Apple’s efforts, fake Apple products continue to flood Amazon.com. Each month, Apple identifies and reports many thousands of listings for counterfeit and infringing Apple products to Amazon.com under its notice and takedown procedures. Over the last nine months, Apple, as part of its ongoing brand protection efforts, has purchased well over 100 iPhone devices, Apple power products, and Lightning cables sold as genuine by sellers on Amazon.com and delivered through Amazon’s “Fulfillment by Amazon” program. Apple’s internal examination and testing for these products revealed almost 90% of these products are counterfeit.

I can certainly see why Apple is suing Mobile Star (hopefully right out of business), but why not sue Amazon too? This is shameful. I’ve known for a while never to trust anything merely “fulfilled by Amazon”, but I’m actually surprised that even the “Apple” branded chargers sold directly by Amazon are dangerous counterfeits as well.

Google Pixel gets torn asunder by iFixit [Ars Technica]


A rite of passage for any new smartphone is to eventually find itself on iFixit's teardown bench, and today the site gutted Google's newest smartphone, the Pixel XL.

There weren't too many surprises inside Google's $750 device. During disassembly, the site actually broke the Samsung-made OLED panel, noting "the OLED panel separated from the digitizer glass a little too easily for our liking. Super-thin components and no frame or bezel behind the display make it extra sketchy to remove." On the plus side for repairability, the OLED panel isn't bonded to the glass, so you can replace just the broken glass instead of having to buy another expensive OLED.

Under the display, iFixit found a "slim and flexible" magnesium mid-frame that hides most of the components. Buried under that you'll find a (hopefully non-explosive) HTC-branded battery—the only sign of the device's true manufacturer—along with Samsung-provided storage and RAM. Interestingly, like the Nexus devices last year, the Pixel contains a Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 chip despite not actually being QC 3.0 compatible—it uses USB-PD.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Community’s Donald Glover is the next young Lando Calrissian [Ars Technica]

Nice sweater, new Lando.

Nice sweater, new Lando. (credit: Lucasfilm)

In news that will have Star Wars fans exclaiming, “cool, cool-cool-cool,” LucasFilm confirmed on Friday that it had cast comedian, actor, and rapper Donald Glover to portray “young Lando Calrissian” in the first Han Solo origin-story film. Glover will star alongside previously announced Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich in the still-unnamed film, which is set to launch in theaters sometime in 2018.

Glover, who broke out as a writer on 30 Rock before starring in the weird-and-hilarious series Community, will portray Calrissian "in his formative years as a scoundrel on the rise in the galaxy’s underworld," according to a LucasFilm statement. The announcement didn't mention previously leaked details about the Solo film leading off a trilogy, to which Ehrenreich is already signed in case the first film does well enough at the box office.

According to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (of Clone High, Jump Street, and LEGO Movie fame), who will be directing the first Solo film:

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

The possible ninth planet could explain a tilt in the Sun [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

Ideas about a possible ninth planet have been kicking around since shortly after we discovered the eighth in 1781. But so far, all that we've come up with is Pluto and a handful of other objects orbiting out in the Kuiper Belt. And these dwarf planets simply don't have the mass to have a significant gravitational influence on our Solar System.

But our inability to find anything big beyond the known planets may just have been because we weren't thinking radically enough. One of the people responsible for the discovery of a number of Kuiper Belt Objects noticed an odd alignment in their orbits. When running models of how that oddity could be produced, he and his team found that a large planet with an extreme orbit would work.

Calling it Planet 9, they suggested it could be over 10 times Earth's mass and so far out it takes 20,000 years to complete one orbit. Planet 9, they speculated, has a lopsided orbit that's tilted relative to the other planets and much closer to the Sun on one side.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Prenda lawyers’ careers are up in smoke, but sanctions keep coming [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

After a few years suing Internet users over piracy claims, the lawyers behind the Prenda law copyright-trolling operation had made millions. But beginning in 2013, they were hit with repeated sanctions from federal judges. Now, their careers are in shambles—Paul Hansmeier had his law license suspended, John Steele is facing a bar complaint, and both may be facing an FBI investigation. (A third lawyer who was involved, Paul Duffy, passed away last year.)

Even as their scheme collapses, they continue to be hit with sanctions. This week, Hansmeier and Steele got hit with a big one. US District Judge John Darrah oversaw litigation related to one of Prenda's most audacious moves—their defamation lawsuit against their critics. They sued Steele's former housekeeper, Alan Cooper, and his lawyer, Paul Godfread, for accusing Steele of identity theft. For good measure, they also sued anonymous blog commenters who called Prenda attorneys "brain-dead" and "assclowns."

The defamation lawsuit resulted in a $12,000 sanction, but Godfread and Cooper also pushed an anti-SLAPP case against Hansmeier and Steele. Now that has resulted in Prenda's largest sanction yet—a sanction order for more than $600,000.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Facebook faces allegations of rule-bending for Trump, announces guideline changes [Ars Technica]

Facebook's guidelines visually sum up "offensive things" with this blue text balloon. Meaning, it doesn't resemble a "fully exposed buttock."

Facebook's guidelines visually sum up "offensive things" with this blue text balloon. Meaning, it doesn't resemble a "fully exposed buttock."

Images and posts of cultural importance sometimes fly in the face of conventional standards of offense, a fact that online services haven't always fully parsed. As a social-media gatekeeper, Facebook acknowledged some of its failures in this regard on Friday by announcing that it had begun easing up on banning images and posts that violate the site's guidelines—while simultaneously contending with allegations that it had previously bent those rules in favor of Donald Trump.

The guideline-related announcement follows an early September dust-up over the site banning and removing a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken during the Vietnam War. The photo shows a crowd of crying, screaming children, including a fully nude nine-year-old girl, running away from a napalm strike. At the time, Facebook had summarily banned all posts of the image, even by those protesting its removal from the site. In some cases, Facebook issued temporary site bans to users who had uploaded the image. The social media giant eventually relented and allowed those original posts to reappear as they had originally been posted.

Facebook says that it will not update the site's current guidelines, which prohibit images that include "genitals, "fully exposed buttocks," and "some images of female breasts if they expose the nipple." (Those rules were updated in 2015 to permit images of breastfeeding, years after users complained about that restriction.) Instead, the site will "begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest—even if they might otherwise violate our standards," according to the pair of Facebook VPs who co-signed the letter.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Double-dip Internet-of-Things botnet attack felt across the Internet [Ars Technica]

Our new IoT overlords have arrived. (credit: peyri)

The distributed denial of service attacks against dynamic domain name service provider Dyn this morning have now resurged. The attacks have caused outages at services across the Internet.

But this second wave of attacks appears to be affecting even more providers. According to Dan Drew, the chief security officer at Level 3 Communications, the attack is at least in part being mounted from a "botnet" of Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Drew explained the attack in a Periscope briefing this afternoon. "We're seeing attacks coming from a number of different locations," Drew said. "An Internet of Things botnet called Mirai that we identified is also involved in the attack."

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Civilization VI impressions: More than 500 turns can tell [Ars Technica]

Enlarge / Pixar faces on realistic bodies is an offputting mix.

I wish I could say the first thing I noticed about Civilization VI was one of its many changes over the last game. I wish I immediately saw the deep "leader traits" that lend each civilization a distinct flavor and powers or the terrain-based city building that forced me to consider the whole hex-based world when planting my wonders, settlements, and the "districts" new to the sequel.

Really, though, the first thing I noticed were the terrifying faces of the civ leaders themselves. With their photorealistic hands, skin, and hair planted under bulbous, cartoonish heads, these new leaders are clearly meant to evoke Civilization Revolution. I actually recoiled during the opening animation when the first speaking character came on-screen. Gilgamesh's perfectly conditioned, uncannily human beard just doesn't work as intended under those massive, Pixar-like eyes.

Uncanny Valley leaders aside, the game itself seems pretty good after working through a single, 500-turn match on the standard difficulty. That game length is pretty rare for me in a Civ title; normally, I crank up the number of landmasses and set the total turns to the maximum allowed, the better to properly take my time grinding through the series' midgame.

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Defense team: “No evidence” NSA contractor “intended to betray his country” [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: Ulrich Baumgarten / Getty Images News)

The federal public defenders for Harold Martin, the former National Security Agency contractor accused of stealing a large amount of highly classified data and documents, asked the judge to release their client on bail in a late Thursday evening court filing.

Earlier on Thursday, prosecutors told US Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner that Martin is a flight risk and should be kept in custody. In their own filing, the government argued that Martin, who held top-secret clearance while he was a contractor at Booz Allen Hamilton, is a flight risk. The feds noted that they would be seeking to prosecute him under the Espionage Act. (Martin was fired from his job and was stripped of his clearance once his criminal prosecution surfaced.)

In the three-page response, Martin’s lawyers, James Wyda and Deborah Boardman, argued that Martin “does not pose a serious risk of flight.” They note that in a slew of similar cases, including those that involved Gen. David Petraeus and former high-level NSA official Thomas Drake, the accused was not detained pending trial.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

NASA has found Europe’s Mars lander [Ars Technica]

Enlarge / NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found the apparent crash site of the Schiaparelli lander. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS )

NASA's sharp-eyed Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has found the site where Europe's Schiaparelli lander crashed into the red planet on Wednesday. The orbiting spacecraft's Context Camera compared images of the Meridiani Planum area near the equator; they were taken on May 29, 2016 and October 20, 2016. The camera found evidence of both the lander and its parachute.

In the image taken Thursday, a larger dark spot, estimated to measure about 15 by 40 meters, appears to show where the lander struck the surface and exposed darker ground below. Lending further credence to the likelihood of this being Schiaparelli's final resting place is that this site is located about 5.4km west of the center of the European Space Agency's intended landing target. The spacecraft's heat shield, jettisoned before landing, probably would not have made such a large impact. A smaller, bright spot near the lower edge of the enlarged image is likely the lander's parachute.

With the location of the crash landing now pinpointed, the NASA orbiter can aim its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (the most powerful camera ever sent beyond low-Earth orbit) to capture detailed images of the location. This could further help ESA understand the sequence of events that led to a loss of communication from the lander.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Shin Godzilla is a weird meditation on the problems with Japanese bureaucracy [Ars Technica]

Enlarge / Watch out! This version of Big G has a huge mouth that opens into three jaws and shoots LASERS. (credit: Toho Studios)

Shin Godzilla came out in the States last week under the name Godzilla Resurgence, and it's the strangest Godzilla movie in a very long time. Not since Godzilla vs. Hedorah (aka the Smog Monster) have we seen such a relentlessly and bizarrely political film in this franchise. What's more, we've never seen a complete reboot of the entire series from Toho studios. Yet here we have both, plus a Godzilla monster who is totally unlike its predecessors (it evolves like Pokémon!). The best part is that this new movie works, giving us a whole new perspective on the Big G, along with a whopping dose of Japanese anxiety about the country's relationship with the US.

Like any respectable Godzilla movie, Shin Godzilla is divided between insane kaiju destruction that gets progressively more spectacular, and mundane human drama as Japan tries to protect its cities. The premise is that nobody has ever encountered a giant monster before, so the government is absolutely flummoxed when broiling hot steam starts erupting from the ocean off the coast. At first, the Prime Minister and his top officials dismiss it as some kind of natural disaster. Once an enormous tentacle (actually, the Big G's tail) rises out of the water and starts waving around, however, Japan's calcified bureaucracy begins to crack. Citizens are posting pictures of the monster on social media, and a young cabinet secretary named Rando Yaguchi (Hiroki Hasegawa) is the only politician who is willing to stand up for the truth. There's a giant, unidentified biological organism on the prowl, and it's about to come ashore.

When Godzilla finally does hit the shoreline, there's a major shock in store for fans—the creature looks nothing like the terrifying toothface we have known. Instead it's a bloated, wiggly, bug-eyed beast who can't even walk upright. Sure, it's big enough to leave a considerable trail of destruction and radioactivity in its wake. But it looks almost like a joke version of the Big G, made even more unfamiliar by the use of CGI enhancements. What doesn't feel like a joke are all the scenes of coastal destruction and death as the nuclear-powered kaiju worms its way through the urban landscape. These are deliberate evocations of the Fukushima disaster, echoing a long tradition in Godzilla films of recreating nuclear horrors and other disasters that Japan has endured.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Get a Dell panoramic monitor and a $100 gift card for $292 [Ars Technica]

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our partners at TechBargains, we have a bunch of deals to start your weekend. Of note is a great deal on a panoramic monitor: now you can get a Dell 29-inch UltraSharp 2560 x 1080 panoramic monitor and a $100 Dell gift card for just $292. The monitor itself is regularly priced at $449, so you're getting a great discount plus a gift card for an incredible price.

Check out the rest of the deals below as well.


Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

One day later, additional Nintendo Switch details dribble out [Ars Technica]


Somehow, after watching yesterday's three-minute teaser trailer for the newly renamed Nintendo Switch, we've been left with even more questions than we had when the system was still the completely mysterious "Project NX." The biggest of those questions—price, tech specs, battery life, specific launch date and titles, whether it has a touchscreen, etc.—will likely remain unanswered for quite a while (maybe even until next year).

That said, in the day since the Switch's coming-out party, a few tidbits of concrete information have dribbled out. Here's a quick round-up of what we now know:

(And while we wait for the system's official dimensions to be announced, don't forget to check out our visual analysis on the Switch's physical size)

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AT&T considering purchase of Time Warner Inc. (and with it, HBO) [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Tim Boyle)

AT&T and Time Warner Inc. have recently met "to discuss various business strategies including a possible merger," Bloomberg reported yesterday.

Discussions are still in early stages, according to Bloomberg's anonymous sources. "The talks, which at this stage are informal, have focused on building relations between the companies rather than establishing the terms of a specific transaction, the people said, asking not to be identified as the deliberations are private," Bloomberg wrote. "Neither side has yet hired a financial adviser, the people said."

Negotiations might actually be further along than Bloomberg's sources suggested, though. The Wall Street Journal reported today that AT&T is "in advanced talks to acquire Time Warner" and that a deal "could happen as early as this weekend."

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Newly formed patent troll makes vast claim to Web video, sues 14 big media companies [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

These days, it seems like software patents are falling down right and left. Hundreds of them have been invalidated by US federal judges since the Supreme Court's 2014 Alice Corp v. CLS Bank. decision, and more patent-holders are getting sanctioned for their behavior in court. The economics of the patent-trolling business are changing in fundamental ways, and lawsuits are down.

It's tempting to think the whole mess is going to dry up and blow away—but the lawsuits coming from companies like Bartonfalls LLC show that some patent lawyers are going to keep on partying like it's 2009. Bartonfalls is a shell company formed in the patent hotspot of East Texas, and it sued 14 big media companies on October 11 over US Patent No. 7,917,922.

Bartonfalls is unusual in a couple ways. The company got a high-profile shout-out from a lawyer at The New York Times. The newspaper's associate general counsel, David McCraw, became a newsroom celebrity for a day when he wrote a sharply worded letter to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who threatened to sue the newspaper when it published a story about two women claiming they were sexually assaulted by Trump. McCraw's response letter explained that the paper was protected by the First Amendment and that if Trump believed "the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight."

Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

It’s official: Unionized video game voice actors are on strike [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: Jonas B / Flickr)

After 18 months of contract negotiations and over 12 months after first voting for strike authority, voice actors in the SAG-AFTRA union will stop working with a number of prominent game companies as of today. The strike is part of an attempt to negotiate a more favorable contract that gives voice actors residual payments on successful games.

As part of last-minute negotiations this week—overseen by a federal mediator—representatives from the affected game companies offered an immediate 9 percent increase in the prevailing wage offered under the contract, speeding up a previous offer of a 3 percent annual raise over three years. The companies also offered additional compensation for games that required multiple recording sessions. Combined, the companies say this would have amounted to a 23 percent or more wage increase for "typical" video game recording sessions.

The union didn't even put that proposed contract to a vote before going on strike at midnight Thursday night. In a statement, the union argued that increased upfront payments don't address their members' primary issue: continuing residuals:

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Lamborghini and MIT join forces to create a sports car for the 21st century [Ars Technica]

Abigail Bassett

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is known for cutting-edge engineers, and Lamborghini is known for super cars. Just this week, the two paired up to ponder the future of an ultra-light, strong, and innovative automotive brand.

On Wednesday at the EmTech conference at MIT in Boston, Lamborghini Chairman and CEO Stefano Domenicali sat down with leaders from the university, other Italian companies, and the Italian Trade Agency. He was there to talk about Lamborghini’s long-time work in the development of carbon-fiber technologies for automotive, consumer, and aerospace industries.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

DoS attack on major DNS provider brings Internet to morning crawl [Updated] [Ars Technica]

(credit: Jürgen Telkmann)

Update (12:04p ET): A second wave of DDoS attacks against Dyn is underway, as of noon Eastern Time today. Dyn is continuing to work on the issue. Our original story follows below; further updates will be added as information becomes available.

A distributed denial of service attack against Dyn, the dynamic DNS service, affected the availability of dozens of major websites and Internet services this morning, including Twitter and Reddit. The attack, which began this morning at 7:10am Eastern Time (12:10pm UK), is apparently focused on Dyn’s US East Coast name servers.

“This morning, Dyn received a global DDoS attack on our Managed DNS infrastructure in the east coast of the United States,” Doug Madory, Director of Internet Analysis at Dyn, said in an e-mail sent to Ars this morning. “DNS traffic resolved from east coast name server locations are experiencing a service interruption during this time.” By 9:20am ET this morning, Dyn had mitigated the attack and services returned to normal.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Child sex abuse org urges Web firms to sign up to “game-changing” hash list [Ars Technica]

(credit: Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock)

On its twentieth anniversary, the UK's Internet Watch Foundation—propped up by Microsoft's PhotoDNA tech—is urging Web companies to use its list of digital fingerprints to help prevent the upload, sharing, and storage of child abuse sex images online.

The IWF hash list of the underlying code associated with child abuse images was distributed to Google, Facebook, and Twitter in August 2015. It is compiled by analysts at the charity, who have the gruelling task of sifting through photos and videos showing children being sexually abused. Every eight minutes they identify a new webpage containing horrendous images.

To date, 125,583 hashes have be added to the list—more than 3,000 of which involved the abuse of babies and toddlers.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

HP’s new Spectre x360 is probably the best PC laptop around [Ars Technica]

Enlarge (credit: Peter Bright)

Specs at a glance: HP Spectre x360-13t
Entry level Top spec As reviewed
SCREEN 1920×1080 IPS at 13.3" (166 ppi), multitouch
OS Windows 10 Home 64-bit Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Windows 10 Home 64-bit
CPU 2.5-3.1GHz Core i5-7200U 2.7-3.5GHz Core i7-7500U 2.7-3.5GHz Core i7-7500U
RAM 8GB 1867MHz DDR3 16GB 1867MHz DDR3 16GB 1867MHz DDR3
GPU Intel HD Graphics 620
NETWORKING Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2, Bluetooth 4.0
PORTS 2×Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.0, headset jack
SIZE 12.03×8.58×0.54"
WEIGHT 2.85lb
BATTERY 3-cell 57.8Wh Li-ion
WARRANTY 1 year depot 3 year onsite 1 year depot
PRICE $1,049.99 $1,499.98 $1,299.99
OTHER PERKS 1080p webcam with Windows Hello

HP's Spectre x360 was one of our favorite laptops of the Broadwell generation. It was a thin, light, stylish ultrabook with solid battery life and a flippy hinge enabling it to be used as a (chunky) tablet or (more usefully) to hold the screen up in the kitchen or while watching movies on the plane.

The x360 received a minor refresh to upgrade to a Skylake processor, and this year HP added an optional OLED screen. Aside from these small changes, the Skylake model was little changed from its predecessor.

But now HP has a third revision, using Intel's new Kaby Lake processors. While Kaby Lake itself is not a major update on Skylake, HP has used the occasion of the processor upgrade to perform a more substantial overhaul of the Spectre x360.

Read 35 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Battlefield 1 review: We found this year’s top-notch FPS combat [Ars Technica]

Enlarge / Ridin' dirty on a horse. (That explosive tanker in the distance is always blowing up as field decoration, as opposed to being caused by multiplayer battlers.) (credit: DICE)

The Battlefield video game series has turned the clock backward and forward on its military-combat scenarios for nearly 15 years. Whether focused on wars of the past, present, or future, developer DICE has continually introduced different set pieces and weapons to the games. As such, the eras have ultimately been a backdrop for the same experience time and time again: big battles, big squads, and big machinery.

There are particular eras where'd it's be easy to envision DICE being forced to change the Battlefield formula drastically—maybe millennia into the past, where the only "vehicle" on offer is a giant Trojan horse, or so far into the future that the battles take place via telepathy (or something weird like that). But the latest rewind to World War 1 in the newest installment, Battlefield 1, isn't enough of a change, apparently.

Tanks, boats, airplanes, grenades, sniper rifles, shotguns, automatic pistols, mounted chain guns, and on and on and on—in many respects, you've played this Battlefield before. In fact, anybody charmed by an impressive advertising campaign, complete with horse-riding Ottoman warriors and era-appropriate bi-planes, should take a breath and plant their war-shredded boots back into the mud of a trench. In practice, horses are just slightly slower motorcycles. Bi-planes work as you'd expect a plane to work.

Read 44 remaining paragraphs | Comments

WTF?!? The Times Engages With Reality On Guns [JustOneMinute]

Weird - the Times actually looks at mass shootings (alternative definition) to try and glean some lessons about how effective our current gun laws are and how they might be changed. Early on they serve some surprising takeaways: Still, an...

Everything Old Is Clinton Again [JustOneMinute]

In the course of burying news on Democratic dirty "tricks", like election fraud, the Times includes this classic bit of nostalgia about tricksters past: While the 2016 race has been remarkable for its ugly tone, there is a rich political...

Cubs-Dodgers Again? [JustOneMinute]

Geez, the West Coast team got the late start every time, even when Toronto was still kicking and thrashing (but not hitting!) against Cleveland. It's almost as if Chicago and Los Angeles have bigger US television markets than Cleveland and...

CETA Talks Break Down: “It is Evident that the EU Is Incapable of Reaching an Agreement” [Michael Geist]

International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland has walked out of talks aimed at addressing Belgian opposition to the Canada-EU Trade Agreement, stating:

I have personally worked very hard, but it is now evident to me, evident to Canada, that the European Union is incapable of reaching an agreement – even with a country with European values such as Canada, even with a country as nice and as patient as Canada. Canada is disappointed and I personally am disappointed, but I think it’s impossible. We are returning home.

Leaving aside the odd reference to how nice Canada is, this is remarkable language that lays bare the obvious frustration and disappointment for the government which prioritized the CETA agreement above all others. The prospect of the deal falling apart has been evident for months. I wrote in July that the agreement was in more trouble than the Canadian government would admit, noting that opposition from any national or regional government could kill CETA altogether. Canadian officials downplayed the risk, but it was obvious that CETA faced stiff opposition that would not be easy to overcome.

Yet to focus exclusively on the political dimensions (which should also include how disingenuous the Conservatives’ claims about their trade deals were) is to miss the broader concerns with trade agreements such as CETA. The Stop CETA protests across Europe tend to focus on broader opposition to trade agreements that extend far beyond reduced tariffs. Indeed, few oppose reduced tariffs. The concerns instead typically point to the wide range of regulatory measures and dispute settlement mechanisms that may prioritize corporate concerns over local rules. The fear of these aspects of the agreement are what lies at the heart of opposition to CETA, as well as to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TTIP.

The insistence that such provisions remain in the agreement is what is truly puzzling. Given that Europe and Canada both offer reliable, respected court systems, there is little reason to insist on ISDS rules at all. Further, expanded trade should not require Canada to face increased health care costs (as would result from CETA’s extension of patent protections) or Europe to confront changes to various food and safety regulations.

The CETA setback in Europe has strong echoes to the 2012 defeat of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Trade negotiators and governments similarly downplayed mounting protests and concerns associated with ACTA, but the European Parliament ultimately rejected the agreement in a landslide. Killing ACTA – much like the potential death knell for CETA – isn’t about Europe’s ability to conclude deals or how nice Canada is. It is about the expansive approach to traditional trade agreements that it is increasingly out-of-step with local regulation, the balance between government and corporate rights, and public opinion.

The post CETA Talks Break Down: “It is Evident that the EU Is Incapable of Reaching an Agreement” appeared first on Michael Geist.

Beyond a Netflix Tax: Why Melanie Joly’s Comments Point to Regulation of Internet Services [Michael Geist]

The prospect of new digital taxes and regulation to fund the creation of Canadian content continues to attract attention with cultural groups leading the charge. For example, the Canadian Independent Music Association recently called for the regulation of digital services and ISPs including mandated contributions to support the development of Canadian content, while ADISQ has previously lobbied for a similar policy approach.

With mounting coverage of the issue, Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly appeared last weekend on CTV’s Question Period, spending most of the nine minutes dodging questions from host Evan Solomon. Joly started by clearly stating that “there will be no new Netflix tax”, but spent the rest of the interview making the case for one. The discussion featured speaking points that seemed to contradict the no Netflix tax approach, emphasizing that everything is on the policy table and that the government is looking at all scenarios. Solomon noted the inconsistency of the comments and Joly struggled to respond.

Most troubling was the exchange on new regulations, taxes or fees for Internet companies and services. Solomon specifically asked whether the only digital tax that Joly was willing rule out was a Netflix tax. Joly’s response:

I’ve said that we’re willing to have a conversation with digital platforms. Netflix is one of them. There are Amazons, Hulus, Apple. There are big companies that are part of our ecosystem, that are used and liked by Canadians. This is why we want to make sure that we know that they are using a large part of our spectrum that we can have a conversation with them to see how they can participate.

While it is somewhat difficult to fully decipher Joly’s comments, the references point in the direction of a tax or regulation on Internet services and service providers.

First, the comment suggests that Joly subscribes to the view that there is a parallel between conventional broadcast and the Internet that invites a similar regulatory approach. Part of the rationale for broadcast regulation is that broadcast spectrum is scarce, therefore requiring licensing and regulation. By indicating that Internet services use a “large part of our spectrum”, Joly is making the case for treating Internet services as equivalent to broadcast. I believe that Joly is wrong: the Internet is not the same as broadcast and access to these services frequently involves private networks, not publicly-licensed spectrum. However, by arguing that they are using Canadian spectrum, Joly is laying the groundwork for a regulatory model for Internet services.

Second, Joly speaks of the need to have a conversation with Internet services “to see how they can participate.” Services such as Hulu and Amazon’s streaming service are not even available to Canadians, but even with those services that are (such as Netflix), the notion of exploring how they can participate again assumes a regulatory approach in which offering a service to Canadians from anywhere in the world leads to regulated participation in the Canadian system. Companies such as Netflix and Google rejected this approach during the 2014 CRTC hearing, effectively arguing that they are not subject to Canadian broadcast regulation. Joly can move to change that law, but doing so will invite a new era of Internet regulation.

Joly tried to emphasize that these issues are up for consultation, but the references to digital platforms, using Canadian spectrum, and participation in the Canadian system all point to future demands for regulations, payments, levies or taxes. The consultation is open until November 25th, with preliminary findings and recommendations expected within weeks after the consultation closes.

The post Beyond a Netflix Tax: Why Melanie Joly’s Comments Point to Regulation of Internet Services appeared first on Michael Geist.

In The Mailbox: 10.20.16 [The Other McCain]

— compiled by Wombat-socho OVER THE TRANSOM EBL: Who Won Debate Number Three? Twitchy: There’s More? Wikileaks Teases “Surprise” For Tim Kaine And Donna Brazile Louder With Crowder: Guilty Much? Hillary Ditches Interview When Asked About Voter Fraud Videos RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES Adam Piggott: You Import Africans, You’ll Get Africa American Power: Book Review […]

Friday Reads: Panacea by F. Paul Wilson [The Travelin' Librarian]

From Amazon.com:
Two secret societies vie for control of the ultimate medical miracle―Panacea―in the latest novel by New York Times bestselling author F. Paul Wilson.

Medical examiner Laura Fanning has two charred corpses and no answers. Both bear a mysterious tattoo but exhibit no known cause of death. Their only connection to one another is a string of puzzling miracle cures. Her preliminary investigation points to a cult in the possession of the fabled panacea―the substance that can cure all ills―but that’s impossible.

Laura finds herself unknowingly enmeshed in an ancient conflict between the secretive keepers of the panacea and the equally secretive and far more deadly group known only as 536, a brotherhood that fervently believes God intended for humanity to suffer, not be cured. Laura doesn’t believe in the panacea, but that doesn’t prevent the agents of 536 from trying to kill her.

A reclusive, terminally ill billionaire hires Laura to research the possibility of the panacea. The billionaire’s own body guard, Rick Hayden, a mercenary who isn’t who he pretends to be, has to keep her alive as they race to find the legendary panacea before the agents of 536 can destroy it.

The post Friday Reads: Panacea by F. Paul Wilson appeared first on The Travelin' Librarian.

Under pressure: Should the Fed let the economy ‘run hot’ for awhile to raise the labor force participation rate? [Publications – AEI]

I’ve been writing about Janet Yellen’s speech last week where the Fed boss explored the idea that running a “high-pressure” economy — defined by her as “robust aggregate demand and a tight labor market” — could positively impact the supply-side of the economy, improving both labor force participation and productivity.

In practical terms, this might mean delaying any interest rates hikes until core PCE inflation reaches 2%. Goldman Sachs sees two downside risks: first, a “modest but not neglible” risk of a large inflation overshoot by 3-8 percentage points; second, a “deliberate overheating” could start the economy on the path to recession via “economic and financial imbalances.”

And what about the potential upside of letting the economy run hot? Could it, for instance, improve non-participation by prime-age workers as the jobless rate is pushed ever lower? Goldman is skeptical:

A high-pressure economy could aid the recovery of aggregate supply by increasing either the size of the labor force or productivity. In past research, we have shown that labor force participation does respond to the business cycle and tends to recover quite gradually. In our view, much of that cyclical recovery has already occurred, seen in the reduced number of discouraged workers, and there is likely only a modest amount of further slack in the form of non-participation. Believing that non-participation is hiding substantially more slack requires believing that it is quite well disguised. [See image below.] While this is not impossible, the late 90s did not see a notably lower share of prime-age workers reporting themselves as disabled or not wanting a job.



But some Americans who want to work might be helped:

Overall, we see the most convincing case for a high-pressure economy as helping low-wage workers and ensuring that the still-large pool of long-term unemployed eventually find jobs. But recent wage trend sand the already-declining rate of labor force exit of the long-term unemployed suggest these goals might be partially achievable without a sharply lower unemployment rate. We view the other potential benefits—substantially raising either the participation rate or productivity growth—as more speculative. It is plausible that so-called “hysteresis” can work in reverse, but the evidence is limited.

Goldman also notes there is an important trade-off to consider, citing research showing a low unemployment rate “tends to draw some young people away from finishing high school or pursuing post-secondary education.”

One more thing: that bar to the far left of the above chart is fairly stunning. Lots of prime age workers don’t want a job. Some useful insights here from my AEI colleague Nicholas Eberstadt.

And check out this also from the White House CEA.

The post Under pressure: Should the Fed let the economy ‘run hot’ for awhile to raise the labor force participation rate? appeared first on AEI.

Why the dead tree media... [halls of macadamia]

...are walking the doomed path of the dinosaurs...silence of the blms

"No information on suspects was immediately provided for either incident. Police said there was currently nothing to suggest the two shootings are linked."
Two shootings, Jimmy Olsen? What about the other three? And instead of putting up the metaphorical yellow barrier tape... an actual "professional" journalist might enquire about "points of commonality" between these five Toronto area shootings that have occurred recently.

Unless, of course, they really don't want to know.


RELATED: You call yourselves a tabloid?

Shame on you...
"Bullets have been flying in THE NORTHWEST END of the city all week. In all, five shootings in as many days have left two dead and five injured. “Up to 10 gunshots were heard,” Kwong said. “And MALES WERE SEEN RUNNING in all directions, but we’re not sure if they were involved."
Hoodied males were seen running in the northwest end of the city? Get out your decoder rings.

Ontario Liberal Party says OHIP premiums... [halls of macadamia]

...will now include a "Mack Daddy" surcharge...insert alt text here

The World Health Organisation will change the standard to suggest that a person who is unable to find a suitable sexual partner or is lacking a sexual relationship to have children - will now be equally classified as disabled.

WHO says the change will give every individual “the right to reproduce”.

"The strangest thing is, in the 80s we were told there were too many people here."
Forget that... I want my medicine!!!


RELATED: I can't wait for Justin...

...to declare "Omar Khadr Day" a statutory celebration.

Sounds like a plan... [halls of macadamia]

...so when exactly, will we be shutting down all those remote aboriginal communities?

"The provincial government now is pushing to close places like Little Bay Islands altogether rather than service them, offering Locke and his neighbors at least $250,000 (US$189,000) each to leave — and spurring a bitter, three-year fight over whether to cash out or endure."
Just askin'.

Who — Trump or Hillary — was confused or dishonest about abortion at the last debate? [Althouse]

I'm reading ""Fact-Checking the Debate Fact-Checkers on Abortion" by Ramesh Ponnuru at The National Review.

Many news outlets accused Trump of misrepresenting Clinton’s position by bringing up the possibility of killing “the baby on the ninth month on the final day.” This does not happen, said the fact-checkers. But go back and read the transcript: What Trump said (in two iterations) was that “if you go with what Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” That is the logic of her position on late-term abortion, which is that an abortionist should be free to perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy if there is a health reason for it, including a reason of emotional health. Some journalists were touting this criticism of Trump’s comments and defense of Clinton’s position, which ends up saying that abortions at the very end of pregnancy never happen but should still be legal because of the principle of the thing. Trump grasps that logic and says he objects to it. “Now you can say that that’s okay and Hillary can say that that’s okay, but it’s not okay with me.” You can agree with Trump or you can agree with Clinton, but you can’t truthfully say that there’s no difference between their stated positions.
The link at "this criticism" goes to a blog post by Dr. Jen Gunter, "Donald Trump confuses birth with abortion and no, there are no ninth month abortions." I'm reading that now. She quotes Trump's "I think it’s terrible if you go with what Hillary is saying in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby." Here first objection is is: "we don’t rip anything in OB/GYN." They use sharp instruments and make neat cuts.
Perhaps we can forgive Donald Trump for not knowing this as it is hard to believe that a man who bragged that he doesn’t change diapers and said he wouldn’t have had a baby if his wife had wanted him to actually physically participate in its care would have attended the birth of his own children. It’s certainly not for the faint of heart as there is, after all, lots of blood coming out the “wherever.”
That's amusingly written — if you're in the mood to be amused on this subject — but it's willfully ignoring Trump's motivation to use inflammatory rhetoric. He's not purporting to accurately describe a medical procedure but to dramatize the perspective of the baby who is getting killed. To be fair, it probably feels better to get killed with sharp instruments than to be ripped apart. And yet "partial-birth" abortion is illegal under federal law and the Supreme Court upheld that ban precisely because there is another method of late-term abortion, and that method — if I may believe Justice Kennedy's opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart does involve ripping:
The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed....
That grabbing and ripping is the the method that remained legal after the "partial-birth" abortion ban. (Gunter eventually describes this procedure: "The fetus is essentially taken apart with a D and E to fit through the dilated cervix." But, she says, this is not "ripping," but "simply surgical technique.")

Gunter says:
Trump’s statement, as incorrect as it may be, supports the fallacy of the due-date abortion. 
Supports the fallacy. In other words, he didn't say doctors were agreeing to perform abortions as late as the due date, but he caused people to picture this nonexistent event. His words, as Ponnuru observes, are about Hillary's philosophical principles: Hillary sees no role for the law to do anything in the hypothetical situation. Hillary, for her part, doesn't defend herself by saying we don't need laws about things that are not happening in the real world. She rests on the belief in the woman's autonomy. (As I would put it: The woman has sovereignty over the interior of her own body and the only legitimate law is her law.)

Back to Dr. Gunter:
Talking about abortion from a medical perspective is challenging when you are not a health care provider. Even someone familiar with the laws can get confused. For example, Mrs. Clinton made an error speaking about late-term abortion when she said it was a health of the mother issue. Typically it is not (it’s almost always fetal anomalies).... don’t know where Mrs. Clinton got this “bad news at the end” of the pregnancy being about maternal health.... [N]o one is performing health of the mother abortions at 38 or 39 weeks we just do deliveries. It’s called obstetrics.
Was Clinton confused? It might be a political choice not to talk about destroying a defective child.

Gunter proceeds to school us in birth defects, which, she says, are the reason for 80% of abortions that take place after 21 weeks. The defects, she says, "could range from Down syndrome to anomalies incompatible with life." Gunter shifts quickly to abortions that take place after 24 weeks, considered the point of viability, after which the woman no longer has a constitutional right to have an abortion for any reason. She writes:
After 24 weeks birth defects that lead to abortion are very severe and typically considered incompatible with life. 
Typically. What's hidden behind that word? Are we still destroying children with disabilities that do not mean that they'll die before birth or soon after? After 24 weeks, Gunter tells us, the doctor can either induce labor (after killing the fetus with an injection so that the "partial-birth" approach to removing the fetus won't violate the federal law) or use the ripping (it's not ripping!) method described above (which is called "dilation and extraction").
I’ve never heard of a dilation and extraction for any other reason than severe birth defects and often it is for a woman who has had two or three c-sections for whom inducing labor might pose other health hazards, like uterine rupture. Are we to force women to have c-sections for a pregnancy that is not compatible with life?
A good question. I've had 2 c-sections myself, and the second one was recommended because, after the first one, there was a danger of uterine rupture. But what I don't understand here is why wouldn't waiting for a natural birth be the alternative to a c-section? It is natural birth, not abortion, that is parallel to a c-section, since it is intended to keep the baby alive. Gunter doesn't even seem to notice the ethical question why would we accept the deliberate destruction of the fetus at this point? Is it euthanasia (because the fetus is suffering)? Is it for the mental peace of the woman once she knows that this pregnancy is not going to result in a healthy baby? Does it matter whether the disability is fatal? Remember Gunter wrote of birth defects that are "typically considered incompatible with life." So some but not all of these babies would, if not actively killed, go on to die a natural death.

Gunter tells us that some women "might think they can make it to term and then at 34 weeks cave and ask to be delivered because they just can’t bear one more person asking them about their baby":
Do they just smile and walk away or say, “Well, actually, my baby has no brain and will die at birth?” Some women go to term and others can’t. To judge these women for requesting an early delivery is cruel on so many levels. I wrote more about it here if you are interested.  Regardless, terminations for birth defects isn’t ripping “the baby out of the womb in the ninth month.” At 38 or 39 weeks it’s always an induction and is simply called a delivery.
Notice the language glitch: It's "isn't ripping" because it's "called a delivery." Of course, the official terminology avoids the ugly word "ripping." But calling it "delivery" aligns with calling it "partial-birth," which is what horrified people more than the dilation and extraction method and produced the federal law that the Supreme Court upheld in Carhart. Gunter has talked about both methods, above, but she switched to speaking only of the delivery method (with isn't illegal when the body is already dead because of the injection). But Gunter has shifted to talking about abortions after 38 or 39 weeks and now she's telling us there is no longer a choice between the 2 methods. So in that sense, there is no "ripping."

But Trump's use of "ripping" wasn't technical. It was dramatic rhetoric expressing how horrible it is to deliberately kill a human being who is this far along in development. Dr. Gunter is interested in presenting medical practitioners as expert and ethical, but she's not very attuned to the way clinical terminology can sound heartless or deceptive. I'm not convinced by her effort to skewer Trump on his use of the word "rip." Her better argument has to do with how unlikely it is that any baby is killed on the last day of a full term pregnancy, but Ponnuru deals with that argument well: Trump is testing Clinton's principle. Nevertheless, Trump is making people think about the reality, not merely a hypothetical. He's distracting us if he's alarming us about things that aren't happening. I'd like to see the candidates concentrate on the matters that genuinely will occupy their attention if they get into office.

Clinton was also confused or dishonest, as Gunter explains. I suspect that she doesn't want to delve into the ethical questions surrounding the disabled, especially if we're talking about anomalies that begin with Down syndrome.

I suspect that Hillary Clinton feels most comfortable and most politically effective talking about the feelings of women and seeming to empathize with their struggles, referenced abstractly, before scrambling to the high ground of individual autonomy.

"The brothers were not musical visionaries; they were small-time 'indie' record men making a quick buck from the poorest, least respected people in America." [Althouse]

"But their recorded bread-and-butter discs of local street musicians and bar bands still sound as fresh today as they did 60 years ago. By failing to be timely, they succeeded in being timeless."

From the obituary for Phil Chess, who was born  Fiszel Czyz in 1927 in Motal, which was in Poland at the time but is now in Belarus.

Chess Records recorded Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley and many others.

Over the years, the Chess brothers were accused more than once of taking financial advantage of their artists, and there were lawsuits, usually settled confidentially. Some Chess artists said their compensation was more often like an allowance than like a salary. But there were many instances of apparently genuine friendship: Chuck Berry sometimes stayed overnight at Phil’s house.....
Key quote from Phil Chess: "I didn’t know what I was doing." 

"The soullessness of this campaign — all ambition and entitlement — emerges almost poignantly in the emails..." [Althouse]

"... especially when aides keep asking what the campaign is about. In one largely overlooked passage, Clinton complains that her speechwriters have not given her any overall theme or rationale. Isn’t that the candidate’s job? Asked one of her aides, Joel Benenson: 'Do we have any sense from her what she believes or wants her core message to be?' As she told a Goldman Sachs gathering, after the financial collapse there was 'a need to do something because, for political reasons . . . you can’t sit idly by and do nothing.' Giving the appearance that something had to be done. That’s not why Elizabeth Warren supported Dodd-Frank. Which is the difference between a conviction politician like Warren and a calculating machine like Clinton."

From Charles Krauthammer's "Who I’m voting for, and why: We are enduring a campaign of seemingly boundless cynicism." (He's against both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Me too!)

"Hillary can't walk to a podium without an edit." [Althouse]

That's the top rated comment at the YouTube video "Hillary Clinton FULL Speech Al Smith Dinner Charity, Takes Hits at Donald Trump - 10/20/16."

The edit is at 0:03:

Since you've got the whole speech there, let me give you Trump's whole speech:

Oh! He pats Hillary on the upper arm as he passes her. Is touching allowed?

I haven't watched either past the walk-up to the lectern. I consider the Al Smith Dinner a grisly event. Both candidates somehow have to go, and they tell jokes at each other's expense... for the children... or whatever. Ugh.

ADDED: It's interesting watching those fancy people in the background. It's a swank event, they know they within camera range, the presidential candidates are speaking, and they are looking at their iPhones half the time — swiping, even putting on reading glasses to get a better look. Etiquette be damned. Appearances be damned.

A single line on a back page of Bob Dylan's website was the sole indication from his side that he sees he's won the Nobel Prize literature. [Althouse]

That was in the news yesterday, and we talked about it here.

But now that line is expunged:

The simple words “winner of the Nobel prize in literature”, which appeared on the page for The Lyrics: 1961-2012, have now been removed. Bob Dylan, Nobel laureate, is once again plain Bob Dylan.

Dylan... has always stepped away from attempts to corral him into being something he does not want to be.

In 1965, at the height of his fevered elevation from singer to spokesman for a generation, he was asked at a San Francisco press conference whether he thought of himself primarily as a singer or a poet. “Oh, I think of myself more as a song and dance man, y’know?” he replied.

In July 1966, following a motorcycle crash at the peak of his fame, Dylan disappeared from public view. Though it was claimed he had broken several vertebrae, he was never treated in hospital, and he later admitted in his autobiography, Chronicles: “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race.”

Whether the latest twist in the Dylan-Nobel saga is the result of an administrative foul-up or a deliberate choice is unknown – stars’ websites are usually run with extremely limited input from their notional owners, and it’s entirely possible Dylan never knew either that his site had made reference to the prize or removed it....
I love the enigma. We love you, Bob. You don't have to make anything any clearer...

And I tried to make sense
Out of that picture of you in your wheelchair
That leaned up against....
Her Jamaican rum
And when she did come, I asked her for some
She said, “No, dear”
I said, “Your words aren’t clear
You’d better spit out your gum”...

"The simple logistics of access journalism—which by any sane reckoning, is the most debased and putrid form of campaign insiderism..." [Althouse]

"... never should dictate the character or volume of news coverage. Via the holy mandate of candidate access, a thousand journalistic sins get rationalized and pardoned without even a cursory nod to what public interest may be served—or, much more to the point, violated—by the frenetic jockeying of politics reporters to get behind a presidential campaign’s velvet-rope line."

Writes Chris Lehmann in a piece at The Baffler called "Trump TV?/CNN’s Jeff Zucker explains how he became Donald’s useful idiot."

Should the GOP Senators get started confirming Merrick Garland before the election? [Althouse]

I'm reading "Flake says it might be Garland time" (at Politico). Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is saying that even before election day, perhaps the GOP-controlled Senate should move on confirming Garland. Why not wait until after the election (and avoid the in-your-face lack of confidence in Trump)?

Flake's comments come as the Senate GOP weighs how to deal with a Clinton nomination to the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has ruled out taking up Garland in the lame duck. But that raises the prospect that Clinton could pick someone other than Garland, whom Republicans once praised as a consensus nominee before rolling out a blockade intended to allow voters to weigh in before the vacancy is filled.
What I read between the lines there is: If they wait until after Clinton wins, to move on Garland is to deprive the President-elect of her choice. And that would be after they said that they needed to hold off on Garland because the American people should have the choice of what sort of Supreme Court we want. If the people decide for Clinton, shouldn't Clinton be the one to make the choice? The GOP Senators have held off, in the hope that the GOP candidate might win and get to make the appointment, but if they think Trump is going to lose, their best option might be to move on Garland while they still have a shred of a chance to act as though they're just doing the normal thing of confirming the President's nominee.

Should the GOP Senate move now to confirm Garland?
pollcode.com free polls

Much less spending on TV ads in this presidential race than in '12 and '08. [Althouse]

Look at this graph from the NYT:

The article is "Trump Has Spent a Fraction of What Clinton Has on Ads," concentrating on the difference between the 2 current candidates, but I'm struck by the difference between the present and the recent past.

Only Cops Can Commit The Crime Of Home Invasion [The Captain's Journal]

News from Virginia:

It was late on a Saturday night, and Elena DeRosa and her husband were watching TV in their southwest Roanoke County home. Suddenly their dog was going nuts. Seconds later the doorbell rang, and there was loud pounding on their front door — boom, boom, boom.

Because nobody they know ever uses that entrance, the couple feared they were targets of a home-invasion robbery. They’d read about one of those in Roanoke County just the week before, she said.

So DeRosa and her husband (whom she asked me not to name) went for their handguns. He was out the side door, armed, before she got to her gun. As she grabbed it, a bright light beamed into their sunroom.

Then the shouting began, DeRosa said. Someone ordered her out of the house. The light was in her face. The next day, this is what she wrote on her blog, in a post titled “My Life Matters.”

“Whoever it is, they are not lowering the light so I look away from it and see my husband to my left staring down the barrel of a gun while a cop shouts to him to put his hands on his head. WTF? The light gets lowered as I’m being yelled at to step out of the house, and for the first time I see cops, many, many cops all over my yard, guns pointed at me and my husband.

“I quickly put my [handgun] on the shelf inside and step out to the shouting, ‘Put your hands on top of your head, hands on the head!’ while three of them advance on me, their guns drawn and pointed.”

It was the Roanoke County police. The date was July 23. And the couple wanted to know why the police were at their house, pointing guns at them. And why they looked like a SWAT team.

“Finally a female cop states, ‘We got a report you assaulted someone.’ ” The DeRosas replied they’d been home peacefully, all night. Both were patted down by police.

“Then it dawns on me. ‘What address are your [sic] looking for?’ ” DeRosa wrote. “She says our four house numbers. ‘Yeah, but what street? This is Sugar Loaf Drive. Are you looking for Sugar Loaf Mountain Road? That’s two blocks down!’

“I try to point the way but I’m told to keep my hands up. She looks at her pad then all the cops start looking at each other. Then, only then, do they ask our names.” The couple told them.

At that point, DeRosa later told me, the officers all looked at each other with “Oh sh–” expressions on their faces and ran for their cars. There was no apology, no nothing, DeRosa said. They sped off into the night.

So what the heck happened? It’s a worthy question, because under the circumstance, some law-abiding citizens minding their own business in their house could easily have wound up shot or dead. Now, we have some answers, as a result of an internal investigation initiated by DeRosa after the incident.

Three officers went to the wrong house, said Assistant Chief Jimmy Chapman. The dispatcher had sent them to an address bearing the same street number, on Sugar Loaf Mountain Road rather than Sugar Loaf Drive.

But when an officer entered the address into a GPS, the DeRosas’ address was “the first one that popped up,” he said.

Geniuses, each and every one.  I reckon no one has ever heard of independent verification or QV&V (quality verification and validation to ensure the accuracy, fidelity and veracity of your information).  Guns drawn, people muzzle flagged, and innocent people put at risk, and had there been a home invasion by gang bangers, the poor folks inside wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.  Oh well, Justice Breyer says we don’t have a right to self defense anyway, because, “the children.”

Remember, boys and girls.  Only cops can commit the crime of home invasion, because they are just like you, only better and more special.  It’s illegal for you to do this.

Reddit And The Autists Joins The Fight Against Hillary [The Captain's Journal]

Wynn Anderson writes via email with the following link about #Anonymous, Reddit and 4Chan joining forces with Wikileaks to unleash retribution on the Clinton campaign.  The web site prevents me from copying their post and pasting here.  It’s worth a look.

This has been going on for some time, and this specific Reddit page isn’t the first to take on Hillary.  The Donald has been active for quite some time.  In fact, it’s a true statement that the Autists associated with Reddit are Hillary’s worst enemy.  And if you aren’t aware of the pattern recognition abilities of autistics, you should be.  Reddit makes big use of autistic folks who do this voluntarily and seemingly without tiring.

If Hillary does win the election, her reign will be problematic to say the least.  You don’t want the Autists against you.

Pistol Malfunction Due To “Stovepipe” Round [The Captain's Journal]

Of this post, Leigh Haines writes the following via email.

I’ve seen this happen when an individual “limp-wrists” an automatic by not holding it securely enough. It was a S&W Model 59 that was clean, well maintained, and running quality brass. Five different people shot it with no issue, but the next kept having jam after jam. After watching him for a minute, I had him tighten his grip, and the failures lessened. I say lessened, because this particular individual lacked sufficient forearm strength to maintain a proper hold on the grips. As he got tired, he would loosen his purchase on the pistol – allowing the recoil to rotate it in his hand, rather than cycle the slide. Needless to say, he didn’t get to shoot the 1911.

New Brunswick Man Shot In The Face By “Misfiring” Rifle [The Captain's Journal]

News from Canada:

BOIESTOWN, N.B. — A New Brunswick restaurateur has survived after a misfiring rifle showered his face with bullet shrapnel.

Douglas Lyons said a bullet exploded in the chamber as he tried to load his Savage Axis .30-06 rifle Sunday while testing it in the woods ahead of a planned hunting trip.

“The firing pin fired and blew that shell up on me, and that’s what hit me in the face,” Lyons said Wednesday from Boiestown, N.B., where he owns the Tipsy Canoe restaurant.

“The covering of the bullet and the powder and all that stuff in there came up and struck me on the side of my head. Cut my face open there quite a bit.”

Lyons said he had dropped his four sons off at Sunday school and went to the woods with some friends to sight his rifle. He took his gun from its case, and tried to load it, but the bolt wouldn’t lock.

The firing pin went off as he pulled the bolt back on his third attempt, the bullet still in the chamber, he said.

“The barrel was pointed away from me. It was quite a moment. The gun went one way and I went the other,” he said.

Lyons said he bought the gun a year ago at a store in Fredericton, and said the firing pin should never have fired in that position.

He drove himself out of the woods, despite his friends’ pleas not to, and his wife later drove him to a hospital in Fredericton.

He said he had lost a lot of blood, and felt light-headed and cold by the time he got to hospital about 90 minutes after the misfiring. Doctors found and removed most of the shrapnel, although he said they want the swelling to subside before they take the final piece out.

Lyons remains in a lot of pain, he said, but is mostly glad the damage wasn’t worse.

“My ears are still ringing, I’ve still got a friggin’ headache, but the main thing is I’m still around here to talk it about I guess,” he said. “It could be worse, I could be blinded or whatever, right?”

“The firing pin fired.”  This is a strange writeup and it isn’t clear to me what happened.  Here is a picture of the round still in the gun.


So what is your judgment?  What did this guy do – try to slam the bolt into battery and end up striking the primer with the firing pin?  You can visit the URL and see pictures of his shot up face.

Carrying Out The Trash [The Captain's Journal]

Tomorrow is trash day, and I always roll the cans out.  Sometimes I have to roll the trash out of this web site too.  Keith Perkins, of Bangor, Maine, at, kperkins257@gmail.com, made an ass of himself today at this post.

I did what I always do with those I suspect of being trolls.  I gave him enough rope to prove it.  He started by insulting my readers.  He moved from there to demand that I stop covering politics and religion, asked me if I was “willfully ignorant,” and then made ridiculous claims, viz. “Christians burn Christian churches all the time …”  He finished by refusing to substantiate his claims, but demanding that I substantiate some claims that I supposedly made but cannot locate.

The original intent and import of the post is salient and important.  With the coming Islamic invasion, those of you who are “cross worshipers” (you know that’s how they refer to you, right?) will have to consider how you protect your families, homes and churches.  Their Mosques are considered by them to be armories and forts, preparing them for battle and logistically sustaining them.  That’s why they had no problem emplacing weapons of all kinds in them during OIF.

As for Keith, he is a liar.  He didn’t really come to TCJ for firearms news and tutorials like he said, he came as a troll.  He also lied about not coming back because our views clash.  He did come back.  His email and IP address is banned now.  It’s always a smelly job to carry the trash out, but someone has to do it.

Distribution Release: Slackel 4.14.21 "KDE Live" [DistroWatch.com: News]

Dimitris Tzemos has announced a new release of the Slackware-based Slackel distribution. The new version, Slackel 4.14.21 "KDE Live", is available in 32-bit and 64-bit builds with the 64-bit media supporting UEFI. The 32-bit builds will boot on machines with or without PAE-enabled processors. The new release includes....

Distribution Release: GParted Live 0.27.0-1 [DistroWatch.com: News]

Curtis Gedak has announced the availability of GParted Live 0.27.0-1, the latest stable version of the Debian-based live CD featuring a set of disk management and data rescue tools: "The GParted team is happy to announce another stable release of GParted Live. This release includes GParted 0.27.0, patches....

Blognet [hogewash]

BlognetTitleCardMUSIC: Theme. Intro and fade under.

NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

MUSIC: Up, then under …

NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. An notorious anti-First-Amendment activist and serial bomber claims claims that he has been exonerated and was paid a settlement because of his bombing convictions. Your job … get the facts.

MUSIC: Up then under …

ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual case. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end, from crime to punishment, Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.

MUSIC: Up and out.

SOUND: Footsteps in halway.

FRIDAY: It was Monday, October 17th. It was a bight Indian Summer day in Westminster. We were working the day watch out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The Boss is Twitter Town Sheriff W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 11:06 am when Liz and I returned to Room S-140, Internet Detail.

SOUND: Door opens and closes. Footsteps across room. Chairs pulled out.

SMITH: The notes say that he made the claim fairly early in his afternoon testimony. I’ll pull the audio files for Thursday afternoon.

FRIDAY: OK. While you try to nail down exactly what he said, I’ll start a search on PACER.

SMITH: The notes say it was a case against the Department of Justice.

FRIDAY: Uh, huh. I’ll search for cases that have Timberland and the DoJ as parties.

SMITH: I’ll use headphone to search the audio to keep from distracting you.

FRIDAY: It’s surprising how tedious a search through PACER seems, especially when I’ve had the experience of slogging through paper files in courthouses. It was early afternoon before I had given up finding a case where Timberland had received any sort of settlement from the Department of Justice.

12:42 pm.

SMITH: Listen to this. It may give you a clue for your search.

TIMBERLAND: (Through a small speaker) I won a judgment for false imprisonment.

JUDGE: (Through a small speaker) Again, Mr. Timberland, I’ve told you already that we are not retying that case …

TIMBERLAND: (Through a small speaker) This is background.

JUDGE: (Through a small speaker) … to include any subsequent civil suit you may have filed against the federal government.

SMITH: I think that the clue: “false imprisonment.”

FRIDAY: Yeah. I can modify the search to look for that term. “False.” I should have guessed.

SMITH: Why’s that?

FRIDAY: I fits with his “false narratives.”

MUSIC: Stinger

FRIDAY: I went through Timberland’s cases on PACER doing a word search for “false imprisonment.” Eventually, I hit pay dirt.

3:24 pm.

OK, Liz. I think I’ve got something.

SMITH: A real case?

FRIDAY: No, but one I can see might be something he’s trying to spin. You remember how Timberland claimed to have been that politician’s dope dealer?

SMITH: Yeah.

FRIDAY: Do you remember what happened?

SMITH: He wound up featured in the funny papers.

FRIDAY: That was the second time around. The first time it came up, he was briefly put in solitary confinement to keep him from talking to the press. He sued some of the Bureau of Prison officials involved and also named the United States as defendant. He claimed that being put into solitary confinement was false imprisonment.

SMITH: OK, I remember that now. Didn’t the case go up to the Supreme Court?

FRIDAY: It did. The issue was whether he had standing to sue. The Supreme’s said he did. The case went back down to the District Court, then up to the Court of Appeals, and then back down to the District Court for trial. By the time thirteen years had elapsed, the government wasn’t listed as a defendant any more, and there’s no record of the government settling the case.

SMITH: So there’s no settlement?

FRIDAY: Well, not from the Department of Justice or any other part of the government.

NARRATOR: On Tuesday, July 15th, 2003, an order terminating the Timberland v. Quinton, et al. lawsuit was issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. In a moment, the nature and results of that order.

MUSIC: Stinger.

ANNOUNCER: Mmmm, coffee. Are you a proud member of Team Lickspittle and a fan of Blognet? Why not sip your coffee from a <a href=”http://www.cafepress.com/thehogewashstore.1619951807″>Hogewash! Murum Aries Attigit Coffee Mug</a>? <em>Murum Aries Attigit</em>, <em>Res Judicata</em>, Team Lickspittle, The Grand Hog, Collateral Estoppel, and Johnny Atsign merchandise is available exclusively at <a href=”http://cafepress.com/thehogewashstore”>The Hogewash Store</a>. Drop by today, spend some money, and show your support for Team Lickspittle. You can also show your support by hitting the <a href=”http://wp.me/P1IUdy-3UP”>Tip Jar</a> or by doing your Amazon shopping via the link on the <a href=”http://hogewash.com”>Home</a&gt; page.

NARRATOR: On Tuesday, July 15th, 2003, an order terminating the Timberland v. Quinton, et al. lawsuit was issued by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The order states that the case was dismissed with prejudice against the two remaining defendants, Quinton and Mallard, pursuant to a side agreement among the parties. The matter did not come to trial, and there were no findings with respect to any of Timberland’s claims.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.

MUSIC: Theme up to music out.

ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.

Be sure to tune in on Monday evenings at 6 pm Eastern Time for the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous Internet investigator—Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign. This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.

Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering? [hogewash]

I think so, Brain … but if the subscription is cancelled, Granny will have to find something else for the bottom of Tweety’s cage.

Hillary Milhous Clinton [hogewash]

Those of us of a certain age can remember the big to-do over political dirty tricks during the 1972 presidential election. CREEP, Fred LaRue, Donald Segretti, Howard Hunt, G. Gordon Liddy.

This year, it looks as if the dirty tricksters have changed parties, and even the New York Times has had to take notice of the reporting done by my former codefendant James O’Keefe, III.

A Spiral Nebula [hogewash]

The two spiral arms winding toward a bright center might trick you into thinking you are looking at a galaxy a bit like our Milky Way, but this object, PK329-02.2, is a planetary nebula within our galaxy.

Image Credit: ESA

Login [hogewash]

2016 OCT 21 00:07:54 UTC Home Page

UPDATE—2016 OCT 21 05:12:05 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 2—2016 OCT 21 10:55:09 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 3—2016 OCT 21 13:45:57 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 4—2016 OCT 21 15:56:02 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 21 16:12:15 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 5—2016 OCT 21 18:16:46 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 21 18:25:59 UTC Home Page

Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering? [hogewash]

I think so, Brain … turnip Kool-Aid?

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day [hogewash]

I’ve been reviewing the court audio of The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin’s testimony in Walker v. Kimberlin, et al.

He keeps using those words. I do not think they mean what he thinks they mean.

UPDATE—”This case has to do with false narratives.”

Quote of the Day [hogewash]

The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.

—Abraham Lincoln

Logins [hogewash]

2016 OCT 19 03:52:28 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 04:32:07 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 10:13:01 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 10:14:02 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 10:18:38 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 10:22:59 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 10:26:28 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 10:27:18 UTC Home Page

UPDATE—2016 OCT 19 12:36:42 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 2—2016 OCT 19 12:36:42 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 15:01:31 UTC Home Page
2016 OCT 19 15:36:01 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 3—2016 OCT 19 18:08:17 UTC Home Page

UPDATE 4—2016 OCT 19 23:55:41 UTC Home Page

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day [hogewash]

Another one bites the dust.account-suspendedOne more of the Cabin Boy’s™ Twitter accounts goes down.

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Poll: 45% of Republicans say they’re unlikely to, or definitely won’t, accept the election result if Trump loses [Top Picks – Hot Air]

This is a problem for the GOP long-term and for Trump in the short-term.


Why is it a problem for Trump? Because there’s evidence that the more people are convinced that their political system is corrupt, the less likely they are to vote. Trump is out there every day telling his fans that the election is rigged, sometimes in terms of the media being in the tank for Hillary but in other cases in terms of actual cheating at the polls. I’d bet cash money that Kellyanne Conway has asked him privately to tone that down, not just because it’ll make it harder to put the party back together after the election but because she knows he’s inadvertently suppressing his own turnout. To have any chance at an upset, Trump needs working-class whites who typically don’t vote in elections — “undercover Trump voters” — to feel it’s worth their time to turn out next month. If instead they’re now convinced that the election’s rigged, guess what happens to turnout?

A 2012 study looked at this phenomenon:

Among Americans in the 2012 ANES survey who believe that votes are “very often” counted fairly, over three-quarters (77 percent) reported that they voted. By contrast, among those with strong doubts about this process, just two-thirds (64 percent) bothered to vote, generating a net 13-point gap.

When asked whether they thought that electoral officials were fair, similar patterns can be observed, where greater trust is significantly associated with higher voter turnout. None of the other claims about electoral malpractice was observed to have a similar effect on turnout, including problems of media bias, lack of genuine choice and campaign finance…

In September 2016, a Gallup poll found that only 6 in 10 Americans were very or fairly confident that their vote would be accurately cast and counted in the U.S. election, down from around three-quarters of all Americans a decade earlier. But among Republicans, the proportion who were confident dropped to around half, the lowest which the Gallup poll has ever recorded on this question when asked in a series of surveys. Other polls have found that Trump voters are especially likely to believe that voter fraud occurs often.

As noted, Republicans generally and Trump fans specifically are already inclined to believe that vote-rigging is going on, even before Trump started using his megaphone to hammer that point. Independents, who vote less regularly than strong partisans, are also unusually likely to see turnout drop if they’re convinced that the election isn’t fair, which is bad news for a candidate like Trump who’s targeting indies with his own independent, anti-establishment brand. Giving your target constituencies a good reason not to vote by crying “voter fraud” seems like a bad play for a guy who’s relying on enthusiasm from his base rather than traditional ground-game mechanisms to get people to the polls. And for the larger GOP, it’s a disaster in the making if perceptions that this election was stolen linger among the Republican base, as that might suppress turnout in 2018 and beyond. If “they” can steal the presidency from Trump, some will say, why bother participating in the system at all, even in a midterm cycle two years from now that looks primed for a Republican blowout? That’s a big reason why so many GOP apparatchiks, from establishmentarians like Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan to Trump recruits like Conway and Mike Pence, will be pushing back on the “rigged!” narrative next month. The party’s already alienated too many other voters to lose parts of its base as well to the suspicion that voting is meaningless.

Here’s Rush Limbaugh this afternoon wondering if there’ll be riots if Clinton gets 500 electoral votes. Or does he mean riots by the left if Trump gets 500 electoral votes? It’s hard to tell. Nothing to worry about either way, although I’m curious what he thinks will happen if Clinton gets 400. That’s highly unlikely too, but not quite completely off the board.

The post Poll: 45% of Republicans say they’re unlikely to, or definitely won’t, accept the election result if Trump loses appeared first on Hot Air.

Video: And now, a word from Hillary Clinton on the importance of government cybersecurity [Top Picks – Hot Air]

This is Clintonism in 20 seconds. It’s not just that she doesn’t follow the rules that apply to everyone else, it’s the arrogance in flouting the double standard. She was willing to lecture State Department employees here on good cyber practices when her own recklessness in handing sensitive material ranged from merely disgraceful to outright felonious. It’s like the Clinton Foundation declaring a few months back, under intense scrutiny of its pay-to-play schemes, that it would no longer accept donations from foreign governments — starting after the election, so cut those checks while you can, Saudi Arabia. As a matter of basic ethics, there was no reason to delay cutting off foreign money a moment longer. As a matter of the Clintons’ right to do as they like, though? What other reason do you need?

Here’s what arrogance after a disastrous cybersecurity failure looks like.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign struggled to get the candidate to apologize for using a private email server as secretary of state, recently hacked emails reveal…

“I know this email thing isn’t on the level,” Tanden wrote to Podesta on August 22. “I’m fully aware of that. But her inability to just do a national interview and communicate genuine feelings of remorse and regret is now, I fear, becoming a character problem (more so than honesty).”

“People hate her arrogant, like her down,” Tanden said. “It’s a sexist context, but I think it’s the truth. I see no downside in her actually just saying, look, I’m sorry. I think it will take so much air out of this.”…

“She always sees herself bending to ‘their’ will when she hands over information, etc.,” she said. “But the way she has to bend here is in the remorse. Not the ‘if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it.’ A real feeling of – this decision I made created a mess and I’m sorry I did that.”

Why should she apologize for years’ worth of recklessness in mishandling classified information? She knew she’d never be charged for it. That’s what’s important.

It’s telling that the ongoing Wikileaks document dump on Clinton wasn’t a product of her server being hacked but rather a case of her own inner circle following cybersecurity practices so piss poor that the average midwestern grandma is savvy enough by now to avoid them when using the Internet. If Team Hillary cared enough about safeguarding their information to read one 500-word listicle on the subject, they might have avoided the phishing scheme that snared John Podesta. As it is, now we know just how high up the Clintons’ charitable pay-to-play endeavors went:

Just hours after Hillary Clinton dodged a question at the final presidential debate about charges of “pay to play” at the Clinton Foundation, a new batch of WikiLeaks emails surfaced with stunning charges that the candidate herself was at the center of negotiating a $12 million commitment from King Mohammed VI of Morocco…

[Huma] Abedin wrote that “this was HRC’s idea” for her to speak at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Morocco in May 2015 as an explicit condition for the $12 million commitment from the king…

This was HRC’s idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request,” wrote Abedin. “The King has personally committed approx $12 million both for the endowment and to support the meeting.”

Jim Geraghty notes that the traditional defense of the Clinton charities accepting gigantic foreign donations is that they’re gifts, not payment for any services rendered. Now here’s Hillary seemingly negotiating a de facto $12 million fee for an appearance in Morocco. (Bill and Chelsea ended up going instead.) What other quid pro quos were arranged in her post-State, pre-presidency career? Look out for the next video coming in 2017, in which President Clinton sternly urges all executive branch employees to avoid taking bribes.

The post Video: And now, a word from Hillary Clinton on the importance of government cybersecurity appeared first on Hot Air.

Bill Murray turns up at the White House briefing room [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Bill Murray continues to make movies but he’s also got a 2nd career going as the guy who shows up unexpectedly in random places and makes people laugh. Today Murray showed up at the White House briefing room where he went to the podium in Cubs gear and spoke to reporters. From NBC News:

Murray came to Washington to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, but arrived early to discuss the award — and likely Chicago sports as well — with the president.

Murray’s beloved Cubs are one win away from their first World Series appearance since 1945, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in a seven-game series. Though Obama is a noted fan of the Chicago White Sox, he has stated he will support his team’s crosstown rival.

Other unexpected Bill Murray sightings include him turning up at a kickball game, a karaoke party, joining a happy couple for an engagement photo shoot and crashing a bachelor party where he offered some unique advice on finding the right person to marry.

The post Bill Murray turns up at the White House briefing room appeared first on Hot Air.

Rolling Stone reporter: I stand by everything I wrote except for stuff from my main source [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Testimony from embattled Rolling Stone reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely might might come down to a journalistic equivalent of Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? The Daily Progress reports that Erdely underwent eight hours of questioning in the defamation of character lawsuit brought by University of Virginia dean Nicole Eramo, and tried to offer a defense of the fabulism that she and Rolling Stone ended up publishing as fact. Her summation, however, leaves much to be desired:

Sabrina Rubin Erdely vehemently defended some of her reporting choices — and fell on her sword for others — in more than eight hours of testimony with an attorney for Nicole Eramo, the University of Virginia administrator suing Erdely and Rolling Stone magazine for $7.5 million.

Among her most striking statements were her final words, in which she said unequivocally that Eramo was not damaged by her reporting in “A Rape on Campus” and that her portrayal was “fair and accurate” — as were many other aspects of the piece.

“I stand by everything I wrote … except for anything that came from Jackie,” Erdely said.

Er … that’s not quite what they teach in J-school, I suspect. Jackie, in this case, was almost the entirety of Erdely’s narrative in the now-debunked article, and it was the entirety of the reporting on Eramo. However, the reporting on Eramo did not include the entirety of information available to Erdely and Rolling Stone, as it turns out. Erdely had originally included a passage that made Eramo look much more sympathetic, but that ended up on the cutting room floor, the Daily Beast reported earlier this week:

Eramo’s lawyers asked her about each quote attributed to her in the Rolling Stone article. Eramo disputed that she ever said any of them. She added that no one atRolling Stone contacted Eramo later on during the fact-checking process.

Earlier in the day, during opening statements, Eramo’s lawyers revealed that Jackie forwarded an email to the reporter showing that the dean had set up two meetings with police so Jackie could report the alleged rape to authorities.

A reference to these meetings, her lawyers said, was included in a draft of the article but was later edited out.

Who cut it out? It’s not entirely clear, but Ashe Schow reported on Wednesday that Rolling Stone knew about the information, and yet published the article without it:

But lawyers for Rolling Stone argued that Eramo only set up two meetings between Jackie and police after Jackie came back to her to report that members of the same fraternity had thrown a bottle that hit her in the face.

“We did know there was a meeting with police,” said Rolling Stone lawyer Scott Sexton in his opening statement, according to Kingkade. Sexton added that the “meeting was about the bottle incident.”

This point is critical to Eramo’s case. In order to prevail in a defamation/libel case, a plaintiff has to prove both that the information was false and that the defendant either knew it to be so, or acted so recklessly in publishing it as to demonstrate malice. Leaving that information out of the article allowed Erdely and Rolling Stone to portray Eramo as callous and only interested in protecting the school rather than the students. The magazine wants to split hairs as to their understanding of the nature of the meetings, but the existence of the information in the earlier draft — even watered down, as Schow notes — give Eramo’s argument on malice a boost, at least.

This exchange, picked up by ABC News, adds to the argument:

“I feel like it would be really f—- up if they decide that it’s Dean Eramo who’s giving them bad publicity and they kick her in the bucket when the problem’s not her,” Jackie said to Erdely in the taped interview. “It’s people above her, they’re the problem, and she just does what she can.”

Excerpts from their conversations reviewed Thursday illustrate Erdely’s concerns about Eramo.

“I know you love her but it’s not clear she’s not doing right by you or by the university in this scenario. … I think this situation is probably being mishandled … and she may be putting the community at risk,” Erdely said.

In another exchange with Jackie, Erdely is recorded as saying: “So why, why isn’t Dean Eramo f—— doing anything?” Erdely says. “This makes me so mad, actually.”

That certainly sounds like malice, no? Speaking of knowing of falsity, Erdely finally did figure out that Jackie was lying to her, and alerted Rolling Stone in an e-mail with the subject line, “Our worst nightmare“:

Journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely fired off an email to Rolling Stone editors in the middle of the night with a sobering subject line: “Our worst nightmare.” She wrote that she no longer trusted “Jackie,” the central figure in her article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia and that she believed the magazine should issue a retraction.

As an attorney representing a university administrator who is suing Rolling Stone over the piece read the email aloud in court Thursday, Erdely broke down.

“Are those your words?” attorney Libby Locke asked.

“Yes,” Erdely said softly, tears streaming down her face.

This creates another problem for Rolling Stone. Once informed of Jackie’s fabulism, the magazine just added an editor’s note to the top of the article, but did not remove it from their website until months later. The Daily Progress reported that Erdely insists that was an effective retraction, but the attorneys begged to differ:

Locke countered that the appendage was only labeled an “Editor’s Note,” and that an official retraction came in April 2015, following a scathing review from the Columbia Journalism School of Erdely’s reporting process and the magazine’s actions. She added that the note did not once apologize to Eramo directly, only indirectly as a member of UVa’s administration.

While Erdely expressed that Eramo was included in that apology, Locke pointed out that Eramo was referenced by name in the article more than 30 times, and was even the focal point of the article’s accompanying photo illustration.

Erdely wouldn’t admit that Eramo had been damaged by the article, and argued that since Eramo had gotten a raise since then, it’s a no-harm, no-foul situation. In the end, she insisted that she had been fair to Eramo, except of course for what Jackie had told her — which was everything Erdely bothered to find out.

Erdely’s back on the stand today, this time for questioning by her own attorneys. Don’t expect many bombshells from those exchanges, but it will be interesting to see whether the plaintiff’s attorneys find points for re-examination raised by the defense.

The post Rolling Stone reporter: I stand by everything I wrote except for stuff from my main source appeared first on Hot Air.

Electoral model: Trump has at least an 87% chance of winning [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Not the only “fundamentals”-based model to show a likely Republican victory this year. Alan Abramowitz’s “Time for Change” model also pointed to a probable GOP win based on things like the state of the economy, the president’s job approval, and whether the party in power has been there for two terms or just one. Abramowitz disowned his own model’s prediction this summer, though, on the theory that it only explains whether a generic Republican should defeat a generic Democrat or vice versa. When you have a nominee who’s not at all generic, who in fact much of the public deeply dislikes and has deemed unfit for office, then don’t be surprised if that affects the results. In other words, the “Time for Change” model doesn’t say who will win the election so much as which party should have won it. And therein lies the tragedy for Republicans in 2016.

This model, called the “Primary Model,” looks at different factors than “Time for Change,” although the amount of time that the incumbent party has been in power is relevant in both. Unlike Abramowitz, though, the man who developed it is sticking to his guns.

Helmut Norpoth has been predicting a Trump victory since early this year. His model currently projects a win for the Republican with a certainty of 87 to 99 percent…

Instead of opinion polling, Norpoth relies on statistics from candidates’ performances in party primaries and patterns in the electoral cycle to forecast results. The model correctly predicted the victor in every presidential election since 1996, according to the Daily Mail.

Running the model on earlier campaigns comes up with the correct outcome for every race since 1912, except the 1960 election.

Here’s what Norpoth wrote a few days ago at the Hill:

To start with something basic, opinion polls are really about “opinions,” not actions. At their best, they can tell us how people feel about political issues and personalities. Do voters, for instance, like or dislike candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

Yet having an opinion and acting on it are two different things. Barely 6 in 10 voting-age American citizens turn out for presidential elections. Ascertaining the opinions of 100 citizens is just a start. Now you have to determine which 60 of them actually take the time to mark a ballot. They are the “likely voters.” They are the only ones that count. But to find them is no easy chore.

It is ingrained in all of us that voting is civic duty. So nearly all of us say, oh yes, I’ll vote, and then many will not follow through. Miscalculations of which respondents will turn out to vote can easily screw up a poll prediction, so would it be sure thing if we just dealt with actual voters?

He’s suggesting, in other words, that turnout on Election Day might look very different from how most pollsters seem to believe that it will. Maybe many Americans who only tepidly support Hillary will stay home and/or many who strongly support Trump but don’t usually vote will show up. That argument should be familiar to you by now — it’s the “undercover Trump voters” theory, that there are lots of people out there planning to turn out for Trump this year who aren’t showing up in polls for whatever reason. Either they’ve been left off of voter lists used by pollsters because they’ve registered to vote only very recently or they’re embarrassed to tell pollsters they’re supporting Trump so they lie and say they’re for Hillary or Gary Johnson instead. Anything’s possible, but pollsters are aware of the possibility that Trump will bring out “unlikely voters” who haven’t voted much in recent years and have spent the campaign trying to incorporate them into the data. The Clinton campaign has a sophisticated data operation that’s desperate to identify these people, I’m sure, so that they know how to allocate their resources in the final few weeks. If there are 200,000 white rural votes sitting out there for Trump in Pennsylvania that none of the public pollsters know about, Team Hillary will be doing everything it can to uncover them and then adjust its ground game and ad spending accordingly. Needless to say, with so many pollsters now pointing to a comfortable Clinton win, to miscalculate the number of likely voters so badly that a six- to seven-point polling advantage suddenly disappears on Election Day would be the most catastrophic failure in the history of American polling. A lot of statistical brainpower has gone into averting that humiliation and getting turnout expectations right.

In fact, the first inklings from early voting point more to the polls being right than wrong:

More than 3.3 million Americans have already voted. And among that group, Democrats have improved their position in North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona and even Utah compared to this point in 2012…

Democratic early turnout has stayed steady in North Carolina compared to 2012, while Republicans have dropped by about 14,500. In Nevada, Democrats have a smaller early voting deficit today than they did at this point in 2012. And Democrats are slightly ahead in Arizona in the early vote so far, though they are lagging Republicans in the tally of how many Arizonans have requested ballots.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Democrats improved their position in conservative and Mormon-heavy Utah, where recent polls have shown a tight race. At this point in 2012, Republicans led Democrats in early voting by more than 22,000 voters. But so far this year, the GOP advantage is only 3,509.

By Nate Cohn’s estimates, Trump has a five-point lead in North Carolina among absentee voters right now, which sounds good until you know that Mitt Romney had a … 33-point lead at the same stage of the 2012 election. Trump is way off the traditional pace. The early-voting numbers look much better for him in Ohio and Iowa, but that’s consistent with the polls too. Those two states have been his strongest battlegrounds all year. His path to 270 begins with winning those two, but he’d also need Florida and North Carolina to have any shot at the presidency — and as noted here, the early numbers in NC don’t look good.

As for the “Primary Model,” if I understand the methodology correctly, Norpoth is essentially extrapolating each nominee’s relative strength from how they did in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Trump won both comfortably but Clinton got blown out in NH before coming back big in SC. The idea, I guess, is that the candidate with the most enthusiastic base wins in November. Two problems with that, though. One: The New Hampshire primary was basically a home game for Bernie Sanders, who lives next door in Vermont. Hillary looked weaker there than she did in most other Democratic primaries this year because of his regional advantage. Two: Although both parties have partly fractured over their nominees this year, most polls at this point show Clinton winning more Democratic votes than Trump winning Republican ones. He’s the one dealing with the deeper party schism, especially since his “Access Hollywood” tape and the sexual-assault accusations started trickling out. I’m not sure how the “Primary Model” accounts for that. Trump’s supporters may be more motivated to vote than Clinton’s supporters, but if Clinton’s party — with plenty of “soft” supporters — is more motivated to vote on balance than Republicans are, what does that do to the model? And what about the data that shows, er, that primary turnout means nothing for the general election?

Incidentally, Norpoth notes in his column as an argument against trusting the polls that (a) the exit polls in 2004 were famously wrong in suggesting a 51/48 Kerry win and (b) Gallup was famously wrong in 2012 when it predicted Romney as the winner in its final national poll. Both of those points are true — but only partly. The preliminary exit polls in 2004 did indeed go bust, but the final exit polls saw a Bush win and got very close to capturing the final margin. Gallup’s failure four years ago is well known, especially to conservative bloggers like me who clung to their numbers as evidence that Romney had a real chance. But that’s why data nerds are constantly nudging people not to focus on individual polls but rather on poll averages. You can’t put too much stock in any one pollster, even one as esteemed as Gallup, since their sample may produce an outlier by chance or its turnout model may be flawed. The poll average, which incorporates many samples and many different turnout models, is likely to be closer to the eventual result. The nerds will also tell you to follow state polls more closely than national ones since, after all, Election Day is 50 separate state elections, not one national election. And in fact, the state polling averages were almost perfect four years ago in calling the outcome, pointing to the correct winner in every state except Florida. Saying that all polling is unreliable because of Gallup four years ago seems to me a bit like saying that you can’t trust the stock market because Enron went bust. The answer to that problem is diversification, not hoarding money in the mattress.

Incidentally, thanks to Marco Rubio’s poor performance in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries, the “Primary Model” gave Hillary Clinton an 86 percent chance of defeating him in the general election. Show of hands — who thinks Trump will finish with a higher share of the vote next month than Rubio would have?

The post Electoral model: Trump has at least an 87% chance of winning appeared first on Hot Air.

Wikileaks could have a lasting impact on Hillary Clinton [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Hillary may be up in the polls but the steady drip of leaked documents from John Podesta’s email account have done damage to her image among some progressives. Politico’s story about the reaction by the left doesn’t quite live up to it’s headline (“WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left”) but it does contain some juicy quotes.

Some of the left’s most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as “puritanical,” “pompous”, “naive”, “radical” and “dumb,” calling some “freaks,” who need to “get a life.”…

Liberal groups and activists are assembling opposition research-style dossiers of the most dismissive comments in the WikiLeaks emails about icons of their movement like Clinton’s Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders, and their stances on trade, Wall Street reform, energy and climate change. And some liberal activists are vowing to use the email fodder to oppose Clinton policy proposals or appointments deemed insufficiently progressive.

“We were already kind of suspicious of where Hillary’s instincts were, but now we see that she is who we thought she was,” said one influential liberal Democratic operative. “The honeymoon is going to be tight and small and maybe nonexistent,” the operative said.

A bit later in the article, union leader RoseAnn DeMoro says the emails depict Clinton’s top aides as “a pretty imperial bunch. Vindictive.” But the story ends with some progressives who see cause for hope in some of the things expressed in the emails, including expressions of respect for Elizabeth Warren.

Some of the quotes that turned up in the emails seem like they could be genuinely difficult to overcome. For instance, having both John Podesta and Neera Tanden refer to Media Matters’ David Brock as an “unhinged narcissist.” Also the email in which it was revealed that Hillary felt some of the people in the environmental movement (those advocating an end to all fossil fuel usage) needed to “get a life.” We haven’t seen much backlash over that yet but if Hillary wins those words could hound her for the next four years.

The post Wikileaks could have a lasting impact on Hillary Clinton appeared first on Hot Air.

Friday TEMS: Guest hosting for Relevant Radio! [Top Picks – Hot Air]

For the final time this week, I get to step outside the box today and guest-host for Drew Mariani at Relevant Radio from 3-6 pm ET! The Catholic talk-radio network is heard on over 40 stations nationwide, including affiliates and O&Os in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, as well as online and through their free mobile app that plays live and podcasted shows.

Today’s show includes:

  • Jeff Gardner from Picture Christians and Restore Nineveh Now
  • Fr. Andrew Small on World Mission Sunday
  • Dr. Mark Miravalle on the Age of Mary series
  • Peter Grandich updates us on the economy
  • Hacksaw Ridge producer Bill Mechanic gives us the backstory on a new story of faith and heroism
  • and more!

We may add more before the show starts today, plus we will have the chaplet of Divine Mercy. We will also take your calls at 1-877-766-3777You can also listen on the Relevant Radio app no matter where you are in the world, so download it now. I’ll look forward to talking with you!

The post Friday TEMS: Guest hosting for Relevant Radio! appeared first on Hot Air.

Jeff Flake: It’s time to start thinking about confirming Merrick Garland [Top Picks – Hot Air]

We all knew this was coming. I’m only surprised that it took this long.

To be clear, he doesn’t mean Garland should be confirmed now. He means in the lame-duck session, assuming Clinton does go on to win next month. Even so, it’s foolish for a Republican from Arizona, of all places, to be talking like this before the votes are cast. His state is in play. He needs GOP voters pumped to go to the polls, not demoralized, if only for the sake of reelecting his buddy McCain. I realize that Flake has been highly, shall we say, Trump-skeptical during the campaign but it’s silly to bring this up now when it’ll be on the table in less than three weeks anyway.

“I said if we were in a position like we were in in ’96 and we pretty much knew the outcome that we ought to move forward. But I think we passed that awhile ago,” Flake said. “If Hillary Clinton is president-elect then we should move forward with hearings in the lame duck. That’s what I’m encouraging my colleagues to do.”

The political calculus is straightforward: Better to deal with Garland now and avoid swallowing a more liberal nominee from Hillary Clinton…

“I’m saying that I’m not one to deny polls, particularly when they are overwhelming,” Flake said. And in the current crop of polls show a highly likely Clinton win, Flake said, “there is some accuracy there.”

Via Reason, Mike Lee was asked about the likelihood of confirming Garland in the lame-duck session recently during a debate in Utah for his Senate seat. What would we gain by doing that, Lee replied? All Democratic nominees vote the same way. Garland will be just as bad as anyone Clinton might appoint.

“Make no mistake: As a former law clerk . . . I don’t believe there would be a real substantive distinction, a real noticeable difference between the voting pattern of a justice who would be appointed by a President Hillary Clinton . . . and Merrick Garland,” he told reporters after the debate. “I just don’t think there is much, if any, difference.”

Lee argued that “the last Democratic nominee to the Supreme Court . . . who voted independently” was Byron White, appointed by John F. Kennedy in 1962.

“Not a single Democratic nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court since then has voted independently on those matters. Not one,” Lee said. “Republicans have been all over the map, all over the spectrum. Democrats vote in lock step. . . . That is how it works. I don’t think Merrick Garland would be any different. The only difference is his age.”

All true. Ain’t no hack as reliable as a Democratic SCOTUS hack. Hillary would have to go very hard left with her nominee to move the Court appreciably further left than Garland will move it. And unless Schumer nukes the filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations, a nominee that radical will likely be blocked by the GOP, forcing her to nominate someone more mainstream on her second try. Still, though, age is an important difference. Most modern nominees are in their 50s; Clarence Thomas was just 43 when he joined the Court. Garland will turn 64 years old five days after the election, making him the oldest rookie justice in nearly 50 years. If Clinton decides not to re-nominate him, she’ll almost certainly go younger with her pick even if she doesn’t go much further left. Depending upon how much younger, we could be looking at the left holding that seat for 20 years longer than they would have if Garland were appointed instead. Age is definitely a factor.

The best reason for continuing to table his nomination, I think, is to help drive a wedge between Clinton and the left beginning with her earliest days in office. If Scalia’s seat is still vacant when she’s sworn in, some Democrats will scream at her that she owes it to Garland to reward his patience by re-nominating him. Dems can’t let the GOP “win” and risk further incentivizing their obstructionism by giving up on him. She needs to set the tone for her administration by confronting them and forcing an up or down vote on his nomination. Progressives, though, will scream at Clinton that Garland was too old and moderate anyway and that the best way to punish the GOP for its obstruction is to go much younger and further left with his substitute. If Schumer has to nuke the filibuster to get him/her confirmed, so be it. We dutifully turned out for you in November despite our skepticism, the far left will say to Hillary, because you promised us you were really “one of us” and would govern as a liberal in office. Now it’s time to put up or shut up. I think Clinton would end up re-nominating Garland while assuring the left that there’ll be other vacancies in the four years to come, but that’ll further alienate progressives who are already angry at her over the Wikileaks revelations. Creating a situation for Clinton that damages her with her own base could be worth something to the GOP, but the potential price is a much younger, very left-wing justice instead of Garland. That’s the calculation for the lame-duck session.

The post Jeff Flake: It’s time to start thinking about confirming Merrick Garland appeared first on Hot Air.

Dictatorship: Venezuela’s socialist government suspends recall effort [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Whatever last vestige of democracy was left in Venezuela was wiped away Thursday when the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro suspended an effort to put a recall referendum to a vote. From the Associated Press:

With the latest actions, the government has effectively halted the effort to stage a recall effort that polls suggest Maduro would have lost by a wide margin. The ruling is particularly dramatic because it comes just days before critics of the socialist administration were to start gathering the one-fifth of voters’ signatures needed to place the issue on the ballot.

“This is a big deal and reveals that the government was fearful of what could happen in the three-day signature collection period. They have effectively postponed the recall referendum indefinitely. This measure makes it difficult to think of Venezuela as a democracy,” said David Smilde, a Venezuela expert at the Washington Office on Latin America…

The suspension of the recall came as a shock to many Venezuelans, who were gearing up for the chance to sign petitions next week seeking the embattled leader’s removal. To trigger a stay-or-go referendum, the opposition needed to collect and validate some 4 million signatures from 20 percent of the electorate in 24 states over three days next week.

The recall referendum itself is legal but the socialist government has been delaying the effort for months. The officials excuse for calling it off now is that fraud was involved in an earlier step of the process involving the gathering of signatures. That earlier step required the gathering of 200,000 signatures. The opposition turned in 1.8 million just to be sure.

Henrique Capriles, one of the leaders of the opposition, said on Twitter, “the Government pushes today to a very dangerous stage and increase of the crisis.” He also posted an image of an ominous legal document which orders that he and 7 other opposition leaders not leave the country. No reason was given for the order.

Venezuela has been suffering under triple-digit inflation which has made finding food, medicine and other basic goods a daily struggle for most Venezuelans. The country also has the second highest murder rate in the world. President Maduro is the successor to Hugo Chavez who died of cancer in 2013.

The post Dictatorship: Venezuela’s socialist government suspends recall effort appeared first on Hot Air.

Counterattack: ISIS strikes at Kirkuk [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Did the coalition in Iraq underestimate the strength of ISIS in the Mosul region? The terrorist army, thought to have fallen back to the city under siege at the moment, launched a new offensive today against Kirkuk, which the Kurds had secured two years ago. The attack, if maintained, threatens oil assets and complicates the push into Mosul. France 24 reports on the “surprise attack”:

The Washington Post’s team also reported on the power-plant attack, as well as claims by the Iraqi military that the situation has been contained:

The Iraqi military said the situation was now “under control” and that three police stations and a political party headquarters had been attacked inside the city. It is unclear how many were killed in Kirkuk, but at least 13 died in the attack on the power plant in the nearby village of Dibbis.

Lt. Col. Abdullah Majid from the Kurdish security forces known as Asayish said the attack started at 3 a.m. and now the remaining militants in Kirkuk were surrounded in a hotel in the city center. …

Army commanders and officials speculate that the attack is an attempt to relieve pressure on Mosul’s defenders as Iraqi forces reach the outskirts of the city.

“It’s a desperate attempt to move the front to Kirkuk and give their people who are besieged in Mosul a chance to escape,” said local lawmaker Ammar Kahiya. “The militants attacked the provincial council building but did not manage to control it. They managed to enter the police station but had lost it by midmorning.”

The New York Times report suggests that the effort was on the smaller-scale side for a military operation, but perhaps all ISIS could afford to send. The diversion worked, at least temporarily:

Dozens of uniformed Islamic State fighters in vehicles assaulted Kirkuk, setting off gun battles for hours in the heart of the city, according to local officials and to the militant group itself. Imams shut down all mosques in the city, canceling Friday Prayer.

The battle scenes and the sound of automatic gunfire inside the city, broadcast live on local television, were reminiscent of the Islamic State’s brazen march across northern Iraq in the summer of 2014. That offensive also involved multiple suicide attacks on police positions inside the city, and gunmen later took up positions in a mosque and a school, and on top of other buildings.

The attack on Kirkuk — a vital city to Iraq’s Kurds that has been under their control for more than two years — diverted attention, at least for a day, from the four-day offensive on Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, which has been under the control of the Islamic State for more than two years.

ABC News offers some raw video of the “daring pre-dawn attack”:

If “dozens” were all ISIS could afford to send for this diversion, then it won’t keep Iraqi forces diverted for long. It will force the Kurds to bolster defenses along an already-stretched line, and it’s obviously a ploy to put a dent in the morale of the highly motivated Peshmerga advancing on Mosul. The value of the surprise has been lost, however, and the fact that forces in place handled the diversion will probably mean that morale will remain high with the Kurds.

As far as the suggestion that the diversion is to allow ISIS to retreat, that seems an unlikely motive. ISIS had plenty of time to pull out of Mosul if that’s what they intended, and still have egress options now — although they look pretty dismal, thanks to US air power, and the Kirkuk counterattack wouldn’t have an impact on that. The intent is probably to split the coalition and force the Kurds to redeploy offensive units around Mosul to defense, leaving ISIS to fight the main Iraqi army, at which they had success until the last several months. Unless they have more in the tank than “dozens” of fighters to hit the Kurdish rear, it’s a desperate act by a doomed foe.

The post Counterattack: ISIS strikes at Kirkuk appeared first on Hot Air.

What you surely missed in that final Trump-Clinton debate [Top Picks – Hot Air]


The final presidential debate was by consensus the best of the three. Much credit goes to the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, as our Ed Morrissey described here.

There was, for a change, significant policy discussion between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, as Jazz Shaw pointed out here, deciphering the truth about the national debt discussion.

Abortion, gun control, immigration, ObamaCare, the Supreme Court, ISIS, Mosul, they were all there.

Clinton was her usually tightly-scripted self, rattling off memorized talking points and confirming her family connections to R2D2. Trump can deny all he wants that he prepared this time. Clearly, he did. And it showed to his benefit.

The two of them were pivoting so much, they pivoted from pivots. When Trump opened the smelly can of corruption holding the remains of that lucrative pay-for-play scheme between her State Department and the Clinton foundation, Hillary set a new debate-stage speed record pivoting to how hard the foundation fights AIDS.

Trump did not press it further.

Most shocking, you might recall from Wednesday evening, was how fiercely Trump tore into Clinton over the lethal Benghazi incident in 2012. How the wannabe commander-in-chief ignored or rejected so many pleas from Amb. Chris Stevens for increased security as Libya fell into lawlessness and chaos after the successful Clinton-Obama toppling of Moammar Gadhafi.

The quirky dictator, who voluntarily relinquished his nuclear weapons program as requested, ended up dead, torn apart by a mob, which Clinton was caught celebrating on videotape. A fate for weapons compliance that no doubt registered when Iran heard similar Western weapons demands.

Later on the anniversary of 9/11, another better-armed mob tore apart the U.S. Benghazi consulate and attacked its CIA annex, killing four government employees, including Stevens, an aide and two CIA operatives.

Their pleas for help went unheeded all night in Clinton’s Washington office. Not one boot or plane moved to rescue the men. The White House has refused to reveal what Obama was doing during those deadlyhours when the first American ambassador in 30 years perished.

We do know that Clinton was busy concocting that yarn about angry Libyans spontaneously reacting to an obscure YouTube video critical of Islam. She started peddling the fable to media around 10 p.m. In the morning before the bodies were cold she appeared in the Rose Garden with Obama, who denounced the attack and vowed swift justice (which, by the way, is still pending.) No media questions that day as Obama rushed off to Las Vegas fundraisers.

When the bodies arrived home, Clinton promised bereaved families tough prosecution of that unknown filmmaker, though she’d already emailed her daughter it was terrorism. Ten days later, long after intelligence agencies had debunked the video claim as fantasy, Obama was still citing it to the world in a UN speech.

Months after, a formal Accountability Review Board scanned documents kindly screened for them by Clinton staff. The report blamed Benghazi lapses on systemic bureaucratic problems. No one was charged. No one was fired. The board didn’t even bother interviewing the woman in charge that awful night.

That’s how Washington tidies up its messes.

Anyway, were you impressed by how fiercely the Republican nominee prosecuted the Democrat point by point over her murderous failures? And how lame were Clinton’s responses?

You were not.

That’s because Benghazi’s blood stains on Hillary Clinton never came up in the debate. The would be Oval Office occupant had to defend nothing about leaving four men to die at the hands of terrorists. Another missed Trump opportunity to define a Clinton vulnerability.

Americans died. Americans lied. And among the more than 17,000 words uttered in that debate on national TV the word “Benghazi” was totally absent. Pfft. As if it never happened.

After all, what difference, at this point, does it make?

The post What you surely missed in that final Trump-Clinton debate appeared first on Hot Air.

Another poll of Utah has McMullin within one point of the lead [Top Picks – Hot Air]

This Utah Policy survey makes three in a row that put McMullin in the 29-31 percent range, with Trump clinging to a bare 30/29 lead. It seems likely that the state really is a toss-up now between the two with ~30 percent apiece. Clinton remains just a few points behind at 25 percent, but that looks to be her ceiling .

What’s interesting about this poll are the religious demographics. McMullin’s surge is being driven not so much by Mormons generally as by “very active” Mormons in particular. The further you move from that niche, the more his support falls. Although, needless to say, if there’s any state where being a favorite of “very active” Mormons might be enough to win, this is it.

McMullin leads Trump among “very active” LDS voters 43-31%.

Surprisingly, “somewhat active” Mormons prefer Trump by 15-points, 37-22%

Hillary Clinton leads among “not active” members of the LDS Church. The Democratic nominee gets 36% of this group, while Trump has 33%. McMullin only gets 13% support here.

Catholics prefer Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump 55-26%. McMullin only gets 5%.

Protestants pick Trump over Clinton, 45-37%. McMullin is at 8%.

Most of the Republican leadership in the state cut Trump loose after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out but rank-and-file GOPers haven’t followed suit (yet?). Trump still leads McMullin among Republican voters by 11 points (48/37) and, interestingly, among “very conservative” voters by 12 (51/39). So how’s McMullin within a point of the lead? Simple: Independents. He leads them with 31 percent followed by Clinton with 27 and Trump in third(!) at just 20. That’s surprising to me since you would think most conservatives in Utah would have been assimilated into the GOP at some point. The resisters, I would have guessed, might lean right on balance but are sufficiently uncomfortable with conservative orthodoxy to refrain from becoming Republicans. (Ideal Gary Johnson voters, one would think.) Yet it’s McMullin who’s the most orthodox conservative in the race — and he’s killing it with independents while Trump, the more centrist Republican, is lagging. Maybe there’s a significant conservative minority in the state who quit the GOP recently because of Trump and now identify as independent.

One note about this poll: It was conducted before the third presidential debate, which other scientific surveys say Clinton won. Here’s a new one from NBC, in fact.

That split is remarkably close to the RCP polling average in the four-way race (45/39), further evidence that most voters have made their choice for president by now and watched the debate through that lens. Whoever you’re voting for won the debate. If that’s true, the effects in Utah will be unpredictable. Does Clinton’s debate “win” mean she gains a few points and breaks through her 25-percent ceiling after all, or does Trump’s “loss” free up more Republicans and independents to tilt towards McMullin? Like I said yesterday, there’s a chance as buzz grows for McMullin in the state that some Clinton voters will switch to supporting him for strategic reasons. Right now Utah Dems are probably looking at these polls, noticing Clinton is just a few points out of the lead, and sticking with her. If, though, next week’s polls show McMullin up five points on Trump in the mid-30s with Clinton falling into the low 20s, Democrats might conclude that it’s hopeless and therefore pointless to continue to back her. The goal might become to simply take a red state out of Trump’s column by backing the independent. I wonder, in fact, how much Team Clinton itself might try to nudge its voters there towards McMullin in the last two weeks. Stay tuned.

The post Another poll of Utah has McMullin within one point of the lead appeared first on Hot Air.

Axelrod: I’ll bet the house that Michelle Obama never runs for office [Top Picks – Hot Air]

With Hillary Clinton reaching the end of a generation-long quest to return the Clintons to the White House — successful or not — some are pondering the First Lady-to-POTUS model in the future. With Michelle Obama hitting the hustings hard for Hillary*, that question obviously applies in the present tense. Don’t worry, former Barack Obama campaign chief tells Hugh Hewitt this morning — he’d bet “everything I own” that the current First Lady wants a non-electoral life when Barack Obama retires in January:

HH: You’ve known her a long time. I actually have, I know she’s given a few political speeches. I think of her primarily as non-political.

DA: Yes.

HH: And is there a risk to her in doing this? Or is this simply a complement to what she’s done?

DA: Not in the way, I don’t think in the way that she is campaigning, you know, Hugh. You know, she’s giving speeches that are very sort of value-laden and personal and to her. I don’t think she’s hurting herself. It is, it is, to me, it’s really interesting, because you know, she was a reluctant conscript to politics. I mean, when Michelle, you know, she had her own sort of professional life, and she was very committed, as she is now, to the kids. And so there was this understanding between them before he ran for president that you know, that was his career. She would be as supportive as she could, but she wasn’t really involved. You know, she wasn’t, she didn’t campaign terribly much for him in 2004 when he ran for the Senate, for example, a campaign that I was involved in. And that was just the understanding between them. But you know, obviously when you run for president, that’s a different, it’s a different deal. So she, you know, she became, you know, she gave up a lot to help him and assist him, and then as First Lady. And, but she’s, you know, to say, people say to me all the time well, do you think she might run for office sometime? I would bet everything that I own against that prospect. She is not someone who loves politics or, at all. And I don’t think she’s really out there as a political figure. Now she’s out there because she feels passionately about the choice here.

Axelrod knows Michelle Obama personally and has more insight into her motives, but this doesn’t take into account the rest of the Democratic Party. At the moment, she’s one of the top three most prominent women in the party (Hillary and Elizabeth Warren being the other two), and the only woman of color in their top tier. If Democrats somehow boot a chance to win control of the Senate in this term, she’d be their top prospect to carpetbag into another state to take on a vulnerable Republican in 2018. If by some chance Donald Trump wins in two-plus weeks, Michelle would instantly become the best potential candidate on the Democratic bench to become the first woman President. She might not have that ambition now, but it would be hard to resist getting drafted into running in those circumstances. Frankly, if Republicans had an asset with this much potential electoral value (at least theoretically), they’d be righty scolded for leaving it on the shelf.

What happens if Hillary wins? Hugh wonders whether Michelle would accept an appointment to the bench, but Axelrod doesn’t think she’s much interested in the practice of law any longer:

HH: I really do not think, and there are some conservatives who believe she is political. She has been like Laura bush, very non-political. I am curious if you think she would ever accept an appointment to the Bench, because she was a pretty good lawyer before she went into the role of First Lady.

DA: She was. You know, that’s another question, but I’ve never discussed it with her. I would say no, because the fact is she was a good lawyer. I mean, you know, she went to a, I think you may have attended this place, at least as an undergraduate.

HH: Oh, no. I’m a University of Michigan lawyer.

DA: Yes…

HH: Yeah.

DA: But she went to your college alma mater…

HH: Yes, she’s a Harvard lawyer.

DA: And, but she really, she hasn’t, she was less about the practice of law than about doing other kinds of work. She worked for the University of Chicago in kind of community relations work and building a community health network and things like that. So you know, I don’t, I’ve never heard her speak in that context. I honestly think she’s going to be very happy to get her life back when this is over, and to recede a little bit from the public eye, and trying to help on the issues that she cares about.

Well, pardon my skepticism on this point as well, but Democrats also have a particular notion about the judiciary that coincidentally matches up with Axelrod’s description. As Hillary put it in the debate on Wednesday, they see the judiciary as a position for activism rather than adherence to the letter of the law. If she wants to “help on the issues that she cares about,” what better place to do so (for progressives) than on the bench somewhere at the appellate level — and especially on SCOTUS?

Axelrod may be right that Mrs. Obama wants to retire from the national spotlight and get back to community work. The rest of us shouldn’t bet the house on it.

* – Yeah, I’m a fan of alliteration.

The post Axelrod: I’ll bet the house that Michelle Obama never runs for office appeared first on Hot Air.

AP: Bayh skipped out on Indiana in last year of office, went job-hunting in NY instead [Top Picks – Hot Air]

In 2010, Evan Bayh retired from the Senate, telling his constituents that he wanted to return to teaching and to Indiana. Instead, Bayh stayed in Washington and became a lobbyist, until Democrats recruited him to run for his old seat again this year. Bayh has made much of his Indiana roots, but an investigation by the Associated Press shows that he didn’t feel too rooted there in his last year in the Senate. In fact, he never stayed overnight in the condo he cited as his primary residence in the entire year — and spent taxpayer dollars job-hunting in the Big Apple instead:

Evan Bayh says that his Indianapolis condominium has long been his home, and that he has spent “lots and lots” of time there since deciding to run for his old Senate seat. But a copy of his schedule shows Bayh did not stay overnight there once during his last year in office in 2010.

The schedule provided to The Associated Press shows the Democrat spent taxpayer money, campaign funds or let other people pay for him to stay in Indianapolis hotels on the relatively rare occasions he returned from Washington, D.C.

During the same period, he spent $3,000 in taxpayer money on what appeared to be job hunting trips to New York, despite the assertion of his campaign that the trips were devoted to official media appearances. …

Bayh’s schedule shows the four taxpayer-funded trips to New York between September and November 2010 revolved largely around meetings with a veritable who’s who of American banking and finance, as well as a job headhunter.

Bayh calls focus on this a “distraction” but he didn’t think so while running for office before. Supposedly, Bayh got disgusted with money in politics, he’d declared, which is why he claimed to look forward to a return to private life in Indiana:

Perhaps from this starting point, we can move onto more intractable problems, like the current campaign finance system that has such a corrosive effect on Congress. In the Senate, raising in small increments the $10 million to $20 million a competitive race requires takes huge amounts of time that could otherwise be spent talking with constituents, legislating or becoming well-versed on public policy. In my father’s time there was a saying: “A senator legislates for four years and campaigns for two.” Because of the incessant need to raise campaign cash, we now have perpetual campaigns. If fund-raising is constantly on members’ minds, it’s difficult for policy compromise to trump political calculation.

So what did Bayh do after his retirement to address this issue? Ezra Klein described it in 2011:

But Bayh did not return to Indiana to teach. He did not, as he said he was thinking of doing, join a foundation. Rather, he went to the massive law firm McGuire Woods. And who does McGuire Woods work for? “Principal clients served from our Washington office include national energy companies, foreign countries, international manufacturing companies, trade associations and local and national businesses,” reads the company’s Web site. He followed that up by signing on as a senior adviser to Apollo Management Group, a giant public-equity firm. And, finally, this week, hejoined Fox News as a contributor. It’s as if he’s systematically ticking off every poison he identified in the body politic and rushing to dump more of it into the water supply.

The “corrosive system of campaign financing” that Bayh considered such a threat? He’s being paid by both McGuire Woods and Apollo Global Management to act as a corroding agent on their behalf. The “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology” he complained was ruining the Senate? At Fox News, he’ll be right there on set while it gets cooked up. His warning that “what is required from members of Congress and the public alike is a new spirit of devotion to the national welfare beyond party or self-interest” sounds, in retrospect, like a joke. Evan Bayh doing performance art as Evan Bayh. Exactly which of these new positions would Bayh say is against his self-interest, or in promotion of the general welfare?

Now it appears that not only did Bayh sell out, he used taxpayer dollars to put himself on the auction block.

Even so, recent polling shows Bayh in the lead in Indiana over challenger Todd Young, who gave up his House seat for a run at the Senate. A Monmouth poll a week ago puts Bayh up six, while a WTHR/Howey poll puts the gap at a single point. Republicans need to hold this seat in order to have a decent chance of keeping control of the Senate, and also to avoid the embarrassment of having both seats from red-state Indiana in the hands of Democrats. Perhaps Indiana voters will ask themselves whether they want to return a Senator to Washington who so thoroughly cashed out at their expense on his last tour.

The post AP: Bayh skipped out on Indiana in last year of office, went job-hunting in NY instead appeared first on Hot Air.

Obama: ObamaCare is like a defective cellphone, or something [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Shorter Barack Obama: They shoot Samsungs, don’t they? In a speech “celebrating” the Affordable Care Act in Florida yesterday, the president admitted that his signature ObamaCare program has some problems, but compared them with glitches that consumers find with their cellphones. “They fix it, they upgrade” Obama said, “unless it catches fire.”

This analogy won’t catch fire — it’ll blow up in his face:

The point is, now is not the time to move backwards on health care reform.  Now is the time to move forward.  The problems that may have arisen from the Affordable Care Act is not because government is too involved in the process.  The problem is, is that we have not reached everybody and pulled them in.  And think about it.  When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone and it had a few bugs, what do they do?  They fix it.  They upgrade — unless it catches fire, and they just — (laughter) — then they pull it off the market.  But you don’t go back to using a rotary phone.  (Laughter.)  You don’t say, well, we’re repealing smartphones — we’re just going to do the dial-up thing.  (Laughter.)  That’s not what you do.

This analogy would work great if (a) the government mandated that everyone buy a cellphone, (b) the government also mandated that all cellphones have similar interfaces and apps, and (c) the government then ran the markets in which the phones were purchased. The problems with ObamaCare don’t come from insurance policies with bugs in them;  they spring from the government interventions that Obama and his fellow Democrats imposed on the individual insurance markets.

Those interventions have created distorted risk pools that have not caught fire but blown up instead. Premiums that jump 50-67% in a single year, as they did in Minnesota this year after double-digit increases last year, are not a “bug” but an eminently predictable response to the distortions of these risk pools over the last three years. Moreover, the “fixes” Obama wants are simply more taxpayer subsidies to bail out the insurers for the losses driving the premium hikes — essentially opening up an ocean of red ink at the Treasury to hide the problems rather than solve them. Meanwhile, most consumers have to spend thousands of dollars to see even the first benefit other than a wellness check from their insurance — and in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars.

In other words, this is the Samsung Note 7, only worse. Imagine that the Affordable Cellphone Act had mandated that all cellphones operate like the Note 7, but the prices increased from $700 in Year One to $1,292 in Year Four without any improvement in quality or service. Now imagine that consumers have to pay for the first 5,000 minutes out of pocket before getting free coverage, and that if they actually try to use it, the phone has an almost-even chance of catching fire in their pockets, but that the only response from the White House is to try to get Congress to offer a subsidy for Neosporin. Now we have an actual analogy to ObamaCare.

The post Obama: ObamaCare is like a defective cellphone, or something appeared first on Hot Air.

Trump-Clinton summit at Al Smith Dinner goes … about as well as you’d expect [Top Picks – Hot Air]

As Steve Martin once said, comedy is not pretty — and neither is comity, or rather attempts at both by people whose hearts aren’t really into it. The purpose of inviting the two major-party presidential candidates to the Al Smith Dinner is to allow them to demonstrate a self-deprecating sense of humor and to give others a chance to see that they both have humanity beyond politics. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump turned it into a roast that didn’t bother with the conceit of comity to disguise their bitterness, turning Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s banquet into what NPR called “a three-alarm fire.”

Trump got booed for his remarks about Clinton pretending not to hate Catholics for an evening, after offering some remarks more in the spirit of the gathering:

The Republican nominee even scored laughter at the expense of his wife Melania, who drew sharp criticism after she plagiarized portions of a Michelle Obama speech in her 2016 address to the Republican National Convention. “Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it, it’s fantastic,” Trump said. “They think she’s absolutely great. My wife Melania gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case!”

But then things went south. Trump called Hillary Clinton corrupt several times, and not in a joking kind of way. “Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private.” That remark drew boos.

And there were even more boos when Trump alluded to recent emails dumped by WikiLeaks showing Clinton staffers disparaging conservative Catholics. “Here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”

The Donna Brazile gag had some promise, actually, but the setup flopped because no one else was laughing by that time.

Clinton didn’t do much better, according to CNN, although she didn’t draw boos. Even so, the audience couldn’t wait to leave:

Clinton cut less close to the bone than Trump, but her speech also seemed to lack the generosity the evening requires.

They struggled to disguise the anger, bitterness and sheer open dislike that has pulsed through their recriminatory White House race, perhaps not surprisingly since he has threatened to throw her in jail and she says he’s a threat to the republic.

An evening known for sharp humor that often goes right up to the line but rarely crosses it quickly degenerated into an uncomfortable experience. They just imported the acrimony of Wednesday night’s debate to a new venue.

In short, the evening became an apt metaphor for the campaign.

In most cycles, this event would work well; in fact, it did in 2012, when both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama took a night off from slugging it out on the campaign trail to at least offer some kind words about their respective families. Given the dynamics of this cycle and the two candidates, this looked like a trainwreck waiting to happen — and from the glimpses of the audience, it appears that trainwrecks are less entertaining than people would imagine. Metaphor for the campaign, indeed.

The post Trump-Clinton summit at Al Smith Dinner goes … about as well as you’d expect appeared first on Hot Air.

Should the judge in that Montana incest case be impeached? [Top Picks – Hot Air]

By now you have likely heard about the latest chapter in the national discussion over judges handing down preposterously lenient sentences to people convicted of heinous crimes. It came to us from Montana, where District Judge John McKeon sentenced a man to 60 days in jail (with credit for time already served) for repeatedly raping his prepubescent daughter. The public outcry over that decision was fast and furious, and now a Change.org petition drawing tens of thousands of signatures calling for his impeachment has been assembled for the governor. (Fox News)

An online petition calling for the impeachment of a Montana judge over the sentencing of a 40-year-old man to 60 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to raping his 12-year-old daughter has more than 30,000 signatures…

The author of the Change.org petition against McKeon said it was sent to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and other officials. Bullock’s office and at least one other official said Tuesday they had not received it.

We’ve seen some cases of lenient sentencing where there’s room to argue the merits of a more progressive sentencing structure, but for most any decent human being this isn’t one of them. Judges generally can’t simply be fired on a moment’s notice, so in McKeon’s case he would need to be impeached. Should Governor Bullock heed the demands of the public here or does the judge have a reasonable argument to excuse his decision? According to the laws in his state, there’s a technicality which covers this situation. (Washington Post)

According to McKeon, the law allows those arrested for incest involving someone under 12 years old to avoid prison if a psychosexual evaluation finds that psychiatric treatment “affords a better opportunity for rehabilitation of the offender and for the ultimate protection of the victim and society.”

The judge wrote this is one of Montana’s attempts “to encourage and provide opportunities for an offender’s self-improvement, rehabilitation and reintegration back into a community.”

Here’s that double edged sword which seems to come up every time we discuss mandatory sentencing laws. There are clearly cases which arise where extenuating circumstances make it reasonable for judges to retain some discretion before handing down a massive prison sentence. But it’s almost impossible to frame such rules in a way which doesn’t leave the door open for some particularly odious criminals to get off easy. In this case the judge’s excuse appears to be a complete joke. Obviously some defendants are caught up in extreme situations and might benefit from community based treatment rather than decades in the slammer, but this guy repeatedly raped his own little girl. You can’t just let that slide, even if the family members are arguing against jail. Sometimes the family just can’t see the larger picture and will circle the wagons to protect one of their own.

So what’s to be done? If we can’t craft the laws to fit every situation but still wish to allow judges some flexibility, the ones who grossly abuse the provisions of sentencing laws need to be punished to set an example for the rest. So in this case, yes. This judge needs to be impeached and it will hopefully send a message to other judges should they be faced with similar situations in their own courtrooms.


The post Should the judge in that Montana incest case be impeached? appeared first on Hot Air.

Video: Obama unloads on Marco Rubio in Florida for supporting Trump [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Something for everyone here. For Trump fans, any reason to brutalize Rubio is a good reason, even when he’s being brutalized for, er, endorsing Trump. For #NeverTrumpers, there’s grim recognition that it is weird, come to think of it, for Rubio to stand by a would-be president whom he admitted isn’t fit to command America’s nuclear arsenal. Candidates routinely endorse victorious opponents after a tough primary but they don’t routinely describe their opponent as “a dangerous con artist” first. And for Rubio fans, there’s the satisfaction of knowing that this tirade, as effective as it is, probably isn’t derailing Rubio’s reelection bid. In fact, the DSCC canceled its ad spending in Florida a few days ago, resigned, it seems, to the reality that Patrick Murphy’s a lame candidate who hasn’t led a poll there since June — even though Clinton’s surged into a steady four-point lead over the same period.

There are two explanations for Obama going after Rubio this harshly. One is strategic, that he’s playing the long game. If he can help get Murphy elected, that’ll finish off Rubio’s national ambitions and spare Democrats from a threat in 2020. One of the revelations from John Podesta’s emails via Wikileaks was that Team Clinton feared Rubio, understandably. The other explanation is non-strategic, namely, that this is payback for Rubio attacking Obama relentlessly during the primaries as a malign force. “All this damage that he’s done to America is deliberate,” Rubio once said of O. Maybe Obama remembered and decided to vent.

The killer line comes at the very end:

“Marco Rubio is one of those people!” Obama said, of Republicans who have stood behind Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump despite speaking out against him. “How does that work? Who can you call him a con artist and dangerous and object to all the controversial things he says, and then say, ‘but I’m still gonna vote for him’? Come on, man!”

“Come on, man!”

“It is the height of cynicism – that’s the sign of somebody who will say anything, do anything, pretend to be anybody, just to get elected,” Obama continued. “And you know what? If you’re willing to be anybody just to be somebody, then you don’t have the leadership that Florida needs in the US Senate!”

Rubio was willing to be an immigration hawk in his first run for Senate in 2010 in order to “be somebody,” then willing to be a moderate as part of the Gang of Eight because he thought it’d help him “be somebody” in 2016. He thought Trump was grossly unfit for office in the primaries, now he stands by him for fear of alienating Trump’s voters. That’s the deeper critique of Rubio here, and one that resonates with many Republicans — that Rubio’s ambitious opportunism leaves you perpetually unsure of how much you can trust him to stick to his guns. Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

Oh well. Luckily we’ve got Donald Trump as our nominee instead of Marco, huh? Exit question via Matt Lewis: Didn’t Barack Obama once help tank immigration reform as a senator for his own nakedly ambitious reasons? Bad things happen if you’re willing to be anybody just to be somebody, Barack.

The post Video: Obama unloads on Marco Rubio in Florida for supporting Trump appeared first on Hot Air.

Poll: Majority of Republicans say Trump, not Paul Ryan, represents what the GOP should stand for politically [Top Picks – Hot Air]

A perfect complement to yesterday’s post showing Ryan’s favorable rating now underwater among … Republicans.

It’s Trump’s party now. And by “now,” I mean “for the next 19 days.”


I’ll give you three theories for that, none of them mutually exclusive. One: The GOP’s base isn’t nearly as “conservatarian” as movement conservatives would like. Ted Cruz learned that the hard way in the primaries, right? Much of the base is populist first and foremost, and that populism trends strongly towards nationalist/reactionary politics, not classical liberalism. Republican voters, especially Trump’s white working-class fans, care little for conservative economics as practiced by Randians like Ryan. They’re Republican chiefly because that party is their best vehicle for white identity politics and culture war waged against left-wing political correctness.

Two: It’s immigration, stupid. As America’s demographics have continued to change, the right has become more sensitive to that change accelerating by importing millions of workers from Mexico, Asia, and so on. Some significant chunk of the base has effectively decided that immigration is so urgently important that the right position on borders can excuse the wrong position on virtually anything else. (Ahem.) And Paul Ryan most definitely has the wrong position on borders. His House caucus has held the line against Obama’s executive amnesties, knowing that the revolt among the base would have been even worse this year if they’d caved, but Ryan has been soft on amnesty for years, even partnering with open-borders shill Luis Gutierrez on proposals. If Ryan had been a Sessions-style border hawk all along, he wouldn’t be in this much trouble.

Three: This isn’t about policy, it’s about rank tribalism. A presidential election is political war and Trump, not Ryan, is the general right now. It doesn’t matter which policies Trump and Ryan do and don’t agree on. The hard fact of the matter for many Republicans is that Ryan fragged Trump the day after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out; asking them now who better represents their politics is like asking them if they prefer their commanding officer to the insubordinate who tried to murder him. However, once Trump’s no longer in command, that preference might shift. In fact…

“What is clear in these data is that a large segment of Trump supporters are all-in with the candidate. They see him as capable of delivering on the promise of a greater nation. That said, just 38 percent of them say they will stay loyal and follow his future endeavors if he does not win,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, who oversaw the survey ahead of the final debate Wednesday. “If he were to lose, our data suggest his standing would diminish.”

Thirty-eight percent ain’t peanuts but Trump’s support within the party is soft enough that he finished second, not first, in Bloomberg’s poll when Republicans were asked who the leader of the party will be if Trump goes on to lose the election. Mike Pence finished on top with 27 percent. Trump was second at 24 percent, then Ted Cruz at 19, then Ryan at 15. (When given a binary choice between Trump and Ryan in yesterday’s YouGov poll, slightly more Republicans said Ryan is the leader of the party, not Trump — another sign of Trump’s support softening.) Trump’s favorable rating within his own party stands at 76 percent, fully 15 points lower than Mitt Romney’s rating among Republicans at this time four years ago. There are some Trump loyalists who will stick with him after the election no matter what — there had better be, for the sake of Trump TV — but there’s also room for Ryan, Cruz, etc to rehab their own images as the tribal pressures of the election ease. In particular, Ryan will emerge by pure circumstance as Hillary Clinton’s biggest headache in the Republican Party. If the Senate flips to the Democrats, as is likely to happen, and the GOP holds on in the House, the only thing stopping Clinton from ramming through her agenda will be Ryan and his caucus. Unless he’s foolish enough to sell out the base on immigration, he’ll have many opportunities to earn back goodwill among Republicans by thwarting their least favorite Democrat. His numbers should rise. But as I say, all bets are off if he caves on amnesty.

The post Poll: Majority of Republicans say Trump, not Paul Ryan, represents what the GOP should stand for politically appeared first on Hot Air.

Trump’s national political director taking a ‘step back’ from campaign [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Politico is reporting that Jim Murphy, Donald Trump’s national political director is stepping back from the campaign less than three weeks before election day. From Politico:

“I have not resigned but for personal reasons have had to take a step back from the campaign,” Murphy said in a statement to POLITICO. He did not elaborate on the reasons for his departure.

Several Trump aides said that Murphy has been conspicuously absent in recent days as the campaign mobilizes for the final push.

There are three possibilities here that strike me as the most plausible explanation for what, on its face, is an unusual move at this late date.

Possibility one is that Murphy is abandoning a sinking ship. Perhaps he has been frustrated with how things have been going for a while and simply reached his limit. If so, this statement would be a way of downplaying what is potentially a very bad sign about confidence within the campaign. In line with that thought, George Takei offered this sarcastic take on the news:

Possibility two is that Murphy was fired. In this scenario it’s not Murphy that was fed up (at least not just Murphy) it was the campaign that was fed up with him. Again, it would be easy to explain his terse statement as trying not to rock the boat this close to the election. Obviously if the headlines become “Last minute shakeup of Trump campaign” that doesn’t look very good this close to the election.

Possibility three is that Murphy really does have some personal problem completely unrelated to politics which has forced him to step away. If so it would have to be pretty serious, perhaps a major illness in the family or something of that nature. Obviously, I hope that’s not the case for his sake but if it is, then there’s really nothing to parse in his statement.

Given how many people would be involved in scenarios one or two (he quit or he was fired) I wouldn’t expect it to stay quiet for very long.

Murphy joined the campaign in June after previous political director Rick Wiley was fired having served just two months in the job.

The post Trump’s national political director taking a ‘step back’ from campaign appeared first on Hot Air.

Philippine president realigns with China; ‘America has lost’ [Top Picks – Hot Air]

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is engaging in direct talks with China to resolve their dispute over man-made islands in the South China Sea, signaling a potential failure of American influence at the hands of the Kerry State Department and the Obama Administration. (NY Times)

The announcement came during Mr. Duterte’s state visit to Beijing, as he repeatedly sought to distance the Philippines from the United States, a treaty ally. Mr. Duterte, speaking to business leaders shortly after meeting with Mr. Xi, openly declared a “separation from the United States.”

He refrained, however, from saying that he would revoke a 70-year-old treaty alliance with Washington and made no indication of doing what China would like most: scrapping an accord that gives the United States access to five military bases in the Philippines.

“Though we come to your country close to winter, it is the springtime of our relationship,” Duterte told his Chinese hosts.

The first term president explained that the separation would involve the “military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”  “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow, and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin,” he continued.

Last month the relationship with our closest Southeast Asian ally was strained when Duterte spoke out against the Obama Administration signaling concerns over the new president’s hyper-aggressive anti-drug policies which include extra-judicial killings and bounties on the heads of corrupt cops.

A scheduled side-meeting between Obama and Duterte at the meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was cancelled after Duterte insulted Obama as a preemptive measure to warn the American president to not raise concerns over his anti-drug dealer policies.

“You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum,” he told AFP.  “We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me.”

The next day, Duterte’s office issued a statement of regret over the comments. “Our primary intention is to chart an independent foreign policy while promoting closer ties with all nations, especially the U.S.,” he said in the statement.  “We look forward to ironing out differences arising out of national priorities and perceptions, and working in mutually responsible ways for both countries.”

duterte china

The post Philippine president realigns with China; ‘America has lost’ appeared first on Hot Air.

What could go wrong? The “Trump and Clinton roast each other at the Al Smith dinner” live thread [Top Picks – Hot Air]

The Al Smith dinner is one of the oddest traditions in presidential politics. By design, it interrupts the most cutthroat stage of the campaign, when the two candidates are killing each other in the last push before Election Day, for an evening of comity and comedy. They sit a seat apart from each other, with New York City’s cardinal as a buffer between them, and roast each other in 10-minute speeches for charity. Everyone laughs, everyone’s chummy, everything’s in good sport. Then they go back out on the campaign trail and kill each other again. The vibe isn’t the same as the sleazy White House Correspondents Dinner, which is dedicated to backslapping and stargazing among Washington’s political class, but there’s an element of overlap in the idea that politics — even at a moment of maximum discord — can lightly be set aside in the interest of socializing for an evening.

Tonight’s dinner is weirder than usual because of how nasty the campaign’s gotten. Clinton’s allies are running around accusing Trump of sexual assault; Trump’s allies are running around accusing Clinton’s husband of the same thing. Trump calls Clinton the epitome of corruption and says he’ll lock her up if elected; Clinton’s message distilled is that Trump is a would-be fascist who shouldn’t get within a thousand miles of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Somehow all of this will, supposedly, be summarily dropped for some good-natured japes and ribbing. Emphasis on “supposedly”: Trump has proved that he can take a joke at his own expense, but maybe not when it’s being aimed at him by a political enemy. And typically the roasting at this dinner involves plenty of self-deprecating gags by the candidates. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Trump goof on himself. It seems completely alien to his nature.

Point being, this could be endearing, with Trump seizing an opportunity to build some goodwill on the cheap by poking fun at himself, or it could turn into a total sh*tshow, with Clinton struggling to deliver a joke in a recognizably human way and Trump getting far, far too personal in his shots at her and Bill. It airs live on C-SPAN at 8:45 ET but I assume CNN and other cable nets will also break in to carry the speeches live. This is the last time the candidates will share a stage before the vote, which means it’s your last chance to watch Trump interact with a Clinton until, inevitably, he and Bill are playing golf together again next year. Here’s a thread for reaction.

While we wait, enjoy the surprisingly effective comedy stylings of Willard Mitt Romney from the 2012 dinner.

The post What could go wrong? The “Trump and Clinton roast each other at the Al Smith dinner” live thread appeared first on Hot Air.

Jake Tapper hammers Think Progress for publishing story it knew was false [Top Picks – Hot Air]

One of the things that has become clear in the wake of Wikileaks dump of Podesta emails is that a lot of journalists have a very cozy—one could even say sycophantic— relationship with Democrats. We saw that with this email from Glenn Thrush:

And this one from John Harwood:

There’s more from Harwood but let’s not forget TVOne’s Roland Martin passing a question to CNN’s Donna Brazile who then passed it to Clinton’s team in advance.

There is one notable exception to this trend and his name is Jake Tapper. Back in May 2009, Think Progress (a site connected to the Center for American Progress) contacted Tapper about a story it was preparing. The story Think Progress wanted to tell was simple, in fact it literally had three simple steps:

  • Step one: “Right-Wing Radio Gives Corporate Hedge Funds A Venue To Attack Obama”
  • Step two: “Right-Wing Pressures White House Reporters To Take Up Its Attack”
  • Step three: “ABC’s Jake Tapper Picks It Up, Drudge Promotes It”

The problem is that the author of the piece knew steps one and two had no connection to step three before the story was published. We know this because Wikileaks released an email in which Tapper responded to TP’s request for clarification of how he learned about the story and why he decided to cover it. And, surprise, it did not involve listening to the pleas of right-wing radio hosts.

But Think Progress went ahead and published the piece anyway under the headline “Right-Wing Radio Successfully Gets ABC’s Jake Tapper To Take Up Its Attack Against Obama.” Here is Tapper’s understandably outraged response:

As I told you many times off the record, both in email and on the phone, the premise of your story is just false.

You nonetheless wrote it anyway, indicating quite clearly that you don’t care about accuracy or the truth in your reporting.

You wanted to push a narrative that I was used by the right wing media, so you wrote what you wrote regardless of the facts. That’s shoddy journalism, and it’s simply not reflective of the truth.

As I told you, I heard of Lauria’s claims when I overheard Ann Compton talking with someone at ABC News radio about Lauria’s interview. That was the last I heard of it.

I was interested in speaking with someone representing the hedge funds since President Obama spoke so strongly against them. Friday I was busy with Justice Souter’s story, so I didn’t get a chance to look into it.

On Saturday, I found Lauria’s interview on the WJR-AM website. I looked into Lauria, found him to be a credible voice, a leading bankruptcy attormey who indeed had represented the firm in question. Moreover, he had recently given $10,000 to the DSCC so he had no discernible partisan motives.

I reached out to the White House, they denied Lauria’s story, which we gave prominence in the story.

Nothing in your story about my reporting on this matter is accurate. No one pressured me, no one peddled anything to me, and no one reached out to me to cover this. Indeed, the first I heard of Mark Levin pushing this story was on your post.

The fact that you don’t mention Lauria’s giving money to Democrats is quite telling. This is inaccurate and you should be ashamed to have written it after I told you what happened.


If you visit the story now you’ll see there are 3 updates at the bottom including one from ABC denying the claims made in the post (which Think Progress already knew) and one about changing the misleading headline.

Yesterday someone on Twitter said Jake Tapper is the only journalists who looks better after the WikiLeaks dump of Podesta’s emails. I think that’s probably right.

The post Jake Tapper hammers Think Progress for publishing story it knew was false appeared first on Hot Air.

Is ISDS reason to reject a trade agreement? [Marginal REVOLUTION]

No, here is my latest Bloomberg column on that question.  Here is one bit:

One criticism is that the tribunals could force governments to pay compensatory “takings” to foreign companies that incur costs as a result of safety or environmental regulations. But it has long been standard practice for trade treaties to protect foreign companies, for example by limiting the nationalization of foreign investment. Investors don’t always trust the courts of the nations they are investing in, and indeed from 1990 to 2013, at least 150 foreign-owned firms were nationalized, typically in emerging economies, or otherwise subjected to confiscation of value. Agreeing to refrain from such practices can attract more foreign investment and raise living standards.


…the U.S. and Vietnam have had a bilateral investment agreement since 2001, and with few if any negative consequences. More generally, there are now more than 2,000 bilateral investment treaties worldwide, 41 with the U.S. at last measurement, and they typically have some form of investor-state dispute resolution. So does the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Over this same period, trade and investment have brought global living standards to unprecedented heights.

National sovereignty has not exactly disappeared. Trade treaties typically recognize that governments have a legitimate interest in regulating safety and the environment, and most of the world’s trading nations have made good progress in those areas.

Part of the discomfort over dispute-resolution panels is the notion that their private deliberations circumvent the democratic process. But it is a basic feature of most democratic governments that the legislature sets up legal institutions that subsequently act outside of direct democratic control.

I do readily grant that ISDS may be a bad idea for tactical reasons, simply because it is unpopular.  But a good question to ask is this: if someone opposes a trade agreement because of ISDS, is that person a committed opponent of excess litigation more generally?  Usually not.

The post Is ISDS reason to reject a trade agreement? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

What should I ask Mark Miller? [Marginal REVOLUTION]

I’ll be interviewing Mark soon, at a private venue, no public event, but for eventual release in the Conversations with Tyler series.  Here is a short bio of Mark.  He is credited as being the founder of modern Southwestern cuisine, and he was the driving force behind Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe and Red Sage in Washington, D.C.  He has written numerous books on food, including the very best books on chilies.  He is a supertaster, and more generally one of the world’s great food minds and a truly curious and generous soul.  He also has a background in anthropology, cooked for Chez Panisse in its early days, and is one of the best-traveled people I know.  Do you want to know what is/was special about chiles in Syria, or how many varieties of soy sauce you can find in one part of Hokkaido?  Mark is the guy to ask.

So what should I ask him?

The post What should I ask Mark Miller? appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

From pack animals to carts pulled by beasts [Marginal REVOLUTION]

…the most important technological change for the transportation of heavy goods in nineteenth-century India was not the arrival of the quick, expensive railway: it was the move from pack animals to carts pulled by two or four beasts in the first half of the century.  This was the process historian Amalendu Guha calls ‘the bullock cart revolution’.  Throughout the 1860s and 1870s railways found it impossible to compete not only with bullock carts, but also with human-powered river transport.  Rowing boats along the Ganges and Jamuna won a price war with the railways over the cost of transporting heavy goods.  Vessels powered by human beings were able to undercut steam vessels elsewhere.

That is from Jon Wilson, The Chaos of Empire: The British Raj and the Conquest of India, a new and excellent book that stresses how much British rule of India was rooted in chaos and violence, rather than the smooth operation of a colonial elite.

The post From pack animals to carts pulled by beasts appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

The year that is 2016 [Marginal REVOLUTION]

Japan’s Financial Services Agency is nearing a landmark decision on the status and securitisation of PokeCoins, the virtual currency used to breed rare monsters in the highly successful mobile game Pokémon Go.

The FSA, which has not formally disclosed when it will make its ruling, is debating the issue with Pokémon Go’s US-based creator, Niantic. The outcome, according to lawyers scrutinising the matter, could oblige domestic Japanese and overseas companies whose games are available in Japan to secure the virtual money they have sold to local gamers with substantial deposits of real-world yen.

Analysts say that while the FSA is focused on PokeCoins, the regulatory time-bomb could threaten the magic stones of Puzzle & Dragons, the green gems of Clash of Clans and the rainbow orbs of Monster Strike.

The FSA is so far the only regulator in the world weighing the measure, but its decision looms over Japan-based pools of cash worth tens of millions of dollars, according to industry consultants. Yen-denominated sales of virtual currencies are especially high in Japan because of its status as the world’s most valuable mobile games market.

According to SuperData Research, annual revenues from mobile games in Japan have nearly tripled since 2012 to an estimated $8.6bn in 2016 — much of that, say analysts, driven by sales of virtual currency.

Pokémon Go, the Nintendo smartphone game that was launched in Japan in July and surged at record speed to the top of the accumulated revenue charts, has made the sale of its virtual currency especially appealing to players eager to complete the full collection of monsters. One hundred PokeCoins, costing Y120 ($1.16), will buy a monster lure while 500 will buy eight lucky eggs.

That is from Leo Lewis at the FT.

The post The year that is 2016 appeared first on Marginal REVOLUTION.

An IoT botnet is partly behind Friday's massive DDOS attack [PCWorld]

Malware that can build botnets out of IoT devices is at least partly responsible for a massive distributed denial-of-service attack that disrupted U.S. internet traffic on Friday, according to network security companies.

Since Friday morning, the assault has been disrupting access to popular websites by flooding a DNS service provider called Dyn with an overwhelming amount of internet traffic.

Some of that traffic has been observed coming from botnets created with the Mirai malware that is estimated to have infected over 500,000 devices, according to Level 3 Communications, a provider of internet backbone services.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Windows: When no growth is an improvement [PCWorld]

Microsoft yesterday said that revenue in the September quarter for the More Personal Computing group was down 2%, the second consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines and the fifth contraction in the last six quarters.

Windows revenue, which accounts for the bulk of More Personal Computing’s (MPC) total, was flat. But that was an improvement over the prior quarter, when sales of the operating system were down 4%.

“Our total [Windows] OEM business was flat this quarter, more in line with the PC market and better than we expected,” said Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, during a call with Wall Street analysts Thursday. Most of Microsoft’s income from Windows comes from license sales to device makers, called OEMs for “original equipment manufacturers.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Major DDoS attack on Dyn DNS knocks Spotify, Twitter, Github, PayPal, and more offline [PCWorld]

Update 5: At 6:18 P.M. Eastern Dyn said the DDoS attacks have been resolved. Fingers crossed another wave doesn't occur, as happened earlier today. You can find Dyn's incident report here.

Update 4: Dyn is being hit by a third wave of DDoS attacks Friday afternoon. The attacks are “well planned and executed, coming from tens of millions of IP addresses at the same time,” the company told CNBC.

Update 3: A DownDetector.com heat map purportedly showing backbone internet provider Level 3’s East Coast outages was removed from this piece at 2:50 p.m. Eastern, as a Level 3 spokesperson says its network “was operating normally this morning, and [the company] did not see an East Coast outage.” See the informative Periscope from its CSO embedded below.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

This week in games: Diablo 4 whispers, Civilization VI launch [PCWorld]

I thought I’d be posting news about Red Dead Revolution 2 here this week, but since Rockstar didn’t bother announcing a PC version, instead we'll roll with Diablo 4 rumors, Stellaris getting a big story expansion, Watch Dogs 2 needing two extra weeks to hit PC, and King’s Quest finally drawing to a close.

Definitely no Nintendo Switch or Red Dead news here. This is your PC gaming news for October 17 through 21.

Watch (everyone else play) Watch Dogs

In a now-familiar move for anyone who follows Ubisoft’s November releases, Watch Dogs 2 has been delayed on PC—but only for two weeks! Now it’ll launch November 29 instead of day-and-date with consoles on November 15. Good news for people who don’t want a repeat of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, bad news for people who hoped to play it over Thanksgiving.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Chrome for Android keeps the music going with background media playback [PCWorld]

The music and videos don’t have to stop in the latest build of Chrome for Android. Version 54, which launched Wednesday, supports background media playback, which means you can leave Chrome and keep listening to whatever is playing in the background.

With the update, you can hit the home button and move onto another task while the audio keeps going. Swipe down and hit pause or sweep away the tab to end the playback.

chrome background audio

Chrome 54 keep the music going in the background.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Bankers plan to give Corda blockchain code to Hyperledger project [PCWorld]

Corda, a distributed ledger platform developed by a finance industry consortium, will go open source next month when its developers donate the code to the Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project.

The move was reported by Reuters on Thursday and the story subsequently reposted to the websites of Corda backer R3 and the Hyperledger Project.

A distributed ledger, sometimes referred to as a blockchain, is a database shared across a number of servers and that relies on a consensus among those servers to guarantee its integrity.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux PCs at risk [PCWorld]

The maintainers of Linux distributions are rushing to patch a privilege escalation vulnerability that’s already being exploited in the wild and poses a serious risk to servers, desktops and other devices that run the OS.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2016-5195, has existed in the Linux kernel for the past nine years. This means that many kernel versions that are used in a variety of computers, servers, routers, embedded devices and hardware appliances are affected.

The Red Hat security team describes the flaw as a “race” condition, “in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handles the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings.” This allows an attacker who gains access to a limited user account to obtain root privileges and therefore take complete control over the system.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

75% off DKnight MagicBox II Bluetooth 4.0 Portable Wireless speaker, 10W Output Power with Enhanced Bass - Deal Alert [PCWorld]

The DKnightMagicBox II Bluetooth speaker offers great quality sound with the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology. It features two highly powerful 40mm total 10W acoustic drivers for excellent sound. With the ultra-compact size and the soft touch rubber design, it can be easily fitted into a backpack, suitcase, or a travel bag. The built-in 2000 mAh rechargeable battery enables an 10-12 hours of playtime on a single charge. This speaker is strong enough to fill up a kitchen, living room, or classroom. It is ideal for personal usage, indoor party or outdoor BBQ or picnic with friends and family. This portable speaker averages 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 8,700 people (read reviews). With a typical list price of $129.99, this 75% off deal is just $32.99. Check out buying options now at Amazon.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

13 gadget-friendly travel bags for the discerning techie [PCWorld]

The best travel bags and backpacks for techies01 travel bag intro slide

Would you use a rolling suitcase with a built-in laptop tray? How about a backpack designed specifically for GoPro fans, or a purse that recharges your iPhone? 

Bag makers, including startups and more established brands, clearly think you would. During the past year or so, a variety of bags hit the market that aim to make the life of the gadget-laden traveler a little easier, often in clever or unusual ways. These 13 bags range in style, size, features, and price. We road tested a few of them, and we selected the others because they're in some way different, cool or otherwise compelling.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu: A look back at a Linux flagbearer [PCWorld]

Happy birthdayunbuntu b day

Image by Thinkstock/Ubuntu

Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Battlefield 1 review: Satisfying chaos, solemn silence [PCWorld]

“If history only remembers one in a thousand of us, then the future will be filled with stories of who we were and what we did. How we lived, how we fought, and how we died. When this is all over and the war is won, they will remember us.”

These solemn lines close out Battlefield 1’s campaign, and it’s as bittersweet a note as I can think to start this review on.

Total warfare

Because the truth is we haven’t remembered. Not enough of us, anyway. To put a twist on a Churchill quote, “Never has so much been owed by so many to so many.” Be it because World War I is too distant a part of our past or because the horror was too great or simply because it was overshadowed by its follow-up twenty years later, the so-called “War to end all wars” doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Privacy groups target kids advertising disguised as YouTube content [PCWorld]

Marketing companies are targeting children on YouTube with advertising disguised as other content, an “unfair and deceptive” business practice, three privacy groups said in a complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The companies, including Disney’s Maker Studios and DreamWorks’ AwesomenessTV, use popular “influencers” on YouTube to pitch products, aimed at children worldwide, with videos that “masquerade” as unsponsored content, said the complaint, filed Friday by the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), Public Citizen, and the Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood (CCFC). YouTube and corporate parent Google reap the benefits through advertising sold alongside the videos.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Intel asserts trademark rights against John McAfee [PCWorld]

Intel does not object to John McAfee using his personal name in connection with his business, but it objects to the use by the maverick entrepreneur and security expert of the McAfee trade name and trademark in a way that could confuse or deceive consumers or dilute the brand.

The issue came up when John McAfee teamed with MGT Capital Investments, which had been until recently mainly into gaming sites, and announced in May that it is in the process of acquiring a diverse portfolio of cybersecurity technologies. MGT also announced that it intended to change its corporate name to “John McAfee Global Technologies, Inc.” with John McAfee at the helm of the new company.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

3 handy image tools you can use in File Explorer [PCWorld]

Believe it or not, File Explorer has a few handy image tools that can make your life easier. They’re nothing exciting—we’re not talking about hidden image-editing here. Nevertheless, these tools are helpful to know about in a pinch.

All three of these tools exist under the Manage tab when you open a folder in File Explorer that contains images. The Manage tab will not appear if you’re looking at a folder with just documents or other file types.

These features are available on Windows 8 and up.


File Explorer’s Manage tab for photos.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

20 terrifying PC horror games to play with the lights off [PCWorld]

Interview: Sid Meier reflects on 25 years of Civilization [PCWorld]

Happy birthday, Civilization. 

2K and Firaxis are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the legendary series with the launch of a new game, Civilization VI. Those games have struck a nerve with fans the world over. The Civilization series has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, while gamers have spent over 1 billion combined hours playing them. All those “one more turns” add up, it seems.

The man whose name has literally been on the box of every Civilization game, Sid Meier, has been making games for even longer than that. So while Firaxis and 2K weren’t able to provide PCWorld with a Civilization VI copy ($60 on Steam) in time for a launch review, we were able to catch up with Meier himself recently in Washington, D.C., when Meier was with the Entertainment Software Association for a Civilization VI launch event. He took some time to talk about the history—and legacy—of the franchise in this exclusive interview.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

13 super-scary movies to stream for Halloween [PCWorld]

Halloween is believed to be a time when the spirits of the dead roam the earth, and so we decorate our homes with macabre items and wear costumes to fool them and scare them away. By extension, it seems like scary movies, with their projection of unholy images and sound, could serve to keep ne'er-do-well ghouls out of our living rooms (and their paws off our popcorn).

Or maybe such movies just give us a fittingly chilling thrill at this most sinister time of the year. Whatever your motivation, we've got 13 (in honor of a witches coven) superb examples of the horror genre that will add some grisly grins to your holiday. Serial killers, murderous dolls, chainsaw-toting psychopaths, demons, monsters, mad scientists, vampires, headless horsemen, ghosts, ghosts in the machine, and—finally—death itself. All are represented for your enjoyment. Scream if you must. 

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Samsung releases super-high-capacity 8GB DRAM [PCWorld]

Samsung today introduced the world's first 8GB LPDDR4 DRAM package, a memory chip with twice the capacity and twice the speed of typical DRAM used in PCs.

The new LPDDR4 (low power, double data rate 4) DRAM uses new 10-nanometer-class process technology, which gives it twice the capacity of previous 20-nanometer (nm) process chips. The DRAM package is 15mm x 15mm x 1.0mm in size. Samsung now plans to expand its use of 10nm process technology across its fabrication plants.

While many high-end, ultra-slim notebook PCs currently use 8GB of DRAM, Samsung's new 8GB LPDDR4 package will help other next-generation mobile devices take full advantage of its extremely high capacity.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Trump’s refusal to commit to “accepting” defeat — some historical perspective [Power LinePower Line]

(Paul Mirengoff)

Ignorance and anti-Trump bias continue to prevail in the denunciations of Donald Trump’s statement that he doesn’t know yet whether he will “accept” the result of the presidential election. For example, Michael Gerson asserts that Trump’s lack of belief in the fairness of our electoral system “is disqualifying” in a presidential candidate.

Gerson notes that the fairness of our electoral system has been “hard-won through a long history of strife and courage.” But if the system has become unfair to a significant degree, the hard work will be undone unless those victimized by unfairness speak up.

The claim that Trump has broken faith with American tradition by not promising in advance to “accept” a loss would be news to Rutherford B. Hayes and Andrew Jackson. Throughout his term as president, Hayes was commonly referred to as “His Illegitimacy” because of the intense controversy that surrounded his victory in 1876. (Without getting into the weeds of that election, Hayes’ victory seemed unfair at the time. However, given the abuses against Blacks who wanted to vote Republican — the party of Hayes — in the key Southern states around which the electoral controversy centered, it may well be that Hayes would have won a completely fair election).

As for Jackson, if complaining about election unfairness is disqualifying, “Old Hickory” should never have been president. In 1824, he was denied the presidency when the election went to the House of Representatives. Four candidates had split the electoral vote. Jackson had a plurality, but lacked a majority.

In the House, Henry Clay, one of the four candidates, helped swing the election to John Quincy Adams who had run second, well behind Jackson in the popular vote. Adams went on the name Clay his Secretary of State.

Jackson and his followers cried “corrupt bargain” throughout the four unhappy years of Adams’ presidency. In the 1828 election, Jackson romped to victory over Adams.

I don’t think it has ever been established that Adams and Clay made a corrupt bargain, and there is reason to doubt that they did. In those days, the Secretary of State position usually went to the most prominent politician affiliated with the president’s party or faction (a tradition that was revived when President Obama made Hillary Clinton his Secretary of State). Henry Clay fit that description in 1825.

Moreover, Adams and Clay had worked together as diplomats. They spent well over a year (if my memory serves) in Belgium negotiating an end to the War of 1812.

To be clear, they didn’t spend the entire period negotiating. The British engaged in shameless stalling. During the down time, it is said that Adams and Clay saw each other only for a brief time each day — the time early in the morning when Adams rose to write in his journal and Clay returned to their hotel in Ghent after a night on the town.

Still, the two respected each other. Clay was the natural choice to be Adams’ Secretary of State without regard to the House election. Moreover, it may well have been that most members of the House simply preferred Adams to Jackson.

As for Trump, he erred politically by not stating categorically, as he did in the first debate, that he will accept the election result. But his refusal to say this was not the egregious offense against American democracy that his detractors make it out to be.

Loose Ends (13) [Power LinePower Line]

(Steven Hayward)

The best laugh line of the week comes from—where else?—the New York Times, which ran an op-ed about how Trump’s hypermasculinity is causing problems for the raising of boys. Here’s the punch line from the piece:

Even at my son’s preschool, the children’s interest in Mr. Trump led to a circle-time discussion about bullying.

Ah yes, circle time. Wonder if that preschool had circle time discussion of President Clinton back in 1998?

The creepy clown scare is a perfect metaphor of this election cycle, but the whole thing is getting out of hand. A county in Mississippi is banning clown costumes completely. And the clown menace has even spread to Australia:

THE creepy clown craze that has America on high alert has spread to Australia, with copycat pranksters sparking warnings from police that dressing up and scaring people is no laughing matter. . .

Yesterday, police in south-west Sydney issued a stern warning to would-be clown pranksters following sightings reported on social media in Minto, Ingleburn and Campbelltown.

Maybe people should just dress up in sombreros instead. Oh, wait. . .

Regular reminder: It is an outrage that half of all Americans are below the median! I’m sure Bernie Sanders has lots of ideas to fix this.

If you don’t mind the foul language, one of the best explanations for the rise of Trump, as understood by reference to popular movies, appears in the most unlikely place, Cracked: “How Half of American Lost Its F**king Mind.” The analysis of the piece doesn’t actually match up to the headline, and is quite sympathetic to Trumpers and highly critical of our ruling class.

Interesting to see ABC News cover the story of Russia’s potential war preparations in much the same way we did in “The Gathering Storm” about 10 days ago.

Finally, from the “How Can They Tell?” Department: “Philosophy Professors Receive Packets of Poop.” Sounds like a great time-saver to me.

What’s Up With the Polls? [Power LinePower Line]

(Steven Hayward)

There’s quite a variance in the polling numbers for Trump and Hillary Clinton, complicated by the fact that some polls only offer a choice between the two major party candidates, and ignore Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein. Some polls have Hillary leading by as much as 15 points, while the Los Angeles Times poll continues to show Trump leading or virtually tied. (The methodology of the Times poll has received a lot of criticism, yet the Times poll was very close to the exact result in 2012.)

Usually when you hear a candidate or his supporters claim that the polls are wrong, it’s because they know they are losing. This is one reason why Trump has pivoted from talking about how great his poll numbers are to the “rigged election” theme. Could this be the first time that the majority of the polls are completely off? That’s what happened in Britain’s last general election, where the polls badly underestimated Conservative Party strength, which was attributed to “shy Tories.” (See charts below.) And the Brexit polls were wrong, too. Could there be a lot of “shy Trumpers” out there?

Maybe, but it’s worth pausing for a moment and understanding why polling is becoming so difficult and more volatile. Nature magazine, of all unlikely places, has a good article out this week about the methodological problems with polls. Among other things, the Nature article makes clear that most political polling, both here and in the UK, skew toward the left. Hence the calls for “unskewing” the polls are not fanciful.

A few excerpts since Nature is behind a subscription paywall:

The polling crisis: How to tell what people really think

Hillary Clinton is heading for a landslide victory over Donald Trump. But wait. Trump is pulling ahead and could take the White House. No, Clinton has a clear lead and is gaining ground. Nearly every day, a new poll comes out touting a different result, leaving voters wondering what to believe. . .

As the US presidential election approaches, pollsters are scrambling to improve their methods and avoid another embarrassing mistake. Their job is getting harder. Until as recently as ten years ago, polling organizations were able to tap into public opinion simply by calling people at home. But large segments of the population in developed countries have given up their landlines for mobile phones. That is making them more difficult for pollsters to reach because people will often not answer calls from unfamiliar numbers.

So the pollsters are fighting back. They are fine-tuning their efforts in reaching mobile phones, using statistical tools to correct for biases and turning to online surveys. . .

“Polling is an art, but it’s largely a scientific endeavour,” says Michael Link, president and chief executive of Abt SRBI polling firm in New York City and former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research. . .

In the 2015 UK general election, most major pollsters, including ICM Unlimited and YouGov, underestimated the turnout of older, Conservative Party voters, according to an inquiry published in March by the British Polling Council and Market Research Society1. The inquiry also found that pollsters have systematic biases in their samples. They tend to have too many Labour supporters at the expense of Conservative ones. They had applied weighting and adjustment procedures to the raw data, but this has not mitigated the bias problem. Another source of error identified in the report is “herding” — when pollsters consciously or unconsciously adjust their polls so that their results seem similar to those released earlier, causing the polls to converge.

The bias in favour of left-leaning parties is not unique to the United Kingdom. The inquiry analysed more than 30,000 polls from 45 countries and found a similar, although smaller, bias. The report did not give an explanation for why, but some pollsters in the United States and Britain attribute the trend to inaccurate predictions of who will turn up to vote. . .

A variation on this is the ‘shy Tory effect’, named after Conservative-leaning voters in the United Kingdom who hide their views or misreport their intentions to pollsters. That makes some experts wonder whether a shy Trump effect might come into play in the forthcoming US election — in which a fraction of voters are embarrassed about or reluctant to admit their support for Trump or opposition to Clinton. But most major pollsters doubt that this will be a major factor because polls before the Republican primary elections gauged support for Trump accurately and he has performed similarly in online polls and in ones that use live interviews.

Stay tuned. My expectation is that Trump will close strong, and the race will be closer than the current Oval Office drape measurers think.

poll-chart-2-copy uk-polls-copy

Thoughts from the ammo line [Power LinePower Line]

(Scott Johnson)

Ammo Grrrll charts her recovery from injury in HEALING GRACE. She writes:

Everyone knows how I’m voting; there is no one left to convince, and I am heartsick of politics. So before this election makes me mentally ill enough to be hired by the Democrats as a Trump Rally Disrupter, how about a welcome change of subject? Many of you were very kind in wishing me a speedy recovery in my first reference to a (choose one) minor injury or extreme tragedy depending on whether or not it happened to me or thee. Thought you might want an update.

To recap: In a bizarre dust-up with a sliding screen door – spoiler alert: I lost — I tore my rotator cuff, a cuff whose existence I was blissfully unaware of previously. Are there other important cuffs in the body? Is fisticuffs a thing? The blow also severely traumatized various muscles in my right shoulder area: the tricep (which was nothing to write home about before the accident, believe me), the bicep, the Deltoid, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, I think, and they seem even slower to heal. The initial bruise extended from my shoulder to my elbow and was in the shape of Saskatchewan.

I went to Physical Therapy for 12 sessions and have been doing the godawful, hideous exercises at home. In late, late middle age here, my recovery speed could accurately be called “glacial.” People in Physical Therapy must sit around all day asking, “What kind of awkward, unnatural movement can we have clients do that will hurt the most?” Of course, in Medical Speak there is no such thing as “pain,” only “discomfort,” or in the case of labor, a “contraction.”

There’s a wretched stretchy band that I have to extend across my chest that hurts no worse than an ice pick jammed into my shoulder blade. There are things you do with little 2-lb. weights. Five months ago, I would have spit on 2-lb. weights. Now I am proud. I have graduated from the totally-humiliating ONE-lb. weights. And even those I could only lift a few times!

ME! Who could hold a 1911 and shoot for half an hour after shooting my Walther PPQ 9 mm for an hour! ME! Who have been showing off my “guns” unsolicited, often to complete strangers, since about the age of 8. Ask anyone who knows me. I was always proud to be strong, “for a girl.” When I was a child, Mama and I routinely used to move the upright piano around the room in what Daddy called her “weekly fits” of rearranging the furniture.

However, the key to PT and any recovery from accident or illness, is not to focus on how far you have left to go, but on how far you’ve come. This is also true of diet, exercise, and most any attempt to learn something new, like a language or musical instrument.

Here is my progress in five months: when it first happened, though I could bathe after a fashion, I could not put deodorant under my left arm. I had to tell people, “Please sit on my right side, because it’s possible I could smell on that other side. It is 117 degrees out.” Now, I am fresh as a daisy on both sides especially since the temperature has plummeted to 97. Sit wherever you like.

When it first happened, I could not raise a glass. Drinking whiskey through a bendy-straw really destroys the whole whiskey vibe. Now I can sip slowly in a grown-up manner, no problem. Which has improved my poker playing no end. Also my disposition.

When it first happened, I could not stir scrambled eggs and had to go OUT for scrambled eggs and all comestibles except yogurt. And even that required someone to rip the lid off the yogurt for me or suppress laughter while watching me wrestle the lid off with my left hand. (What do yogurt makers think they have IN there? The Hope Diamond?) Now I COULD stir scrambled eggs if I cared to, but I still prefer to go out.

When it first happened, I could not lift a hanger with a shirt or dress on it all the way up to the closet rod. Today, in irrational exuberance, I arranged all my clothes by color according to the spectrum. Remember ROYGBIV from junior high school? You will when you see my closet, although I seem to have precious few garments in either Indigo or Violet. I don’t rightly know if I’ve ever discussed my Obsessive-Compulsive tendencies in this forum before. Maybe I was too busy alphabetizing my spices, inventorying all calibers of ammo, or making sure all my washcloths were folded exactly the same way to mention it.

I am no longer as weak as a kitten. Now I am at least as strong as a large, old, crabby tomcat. Yesterday, when my doctor tried to push my outstretched arm down, he couldn’t do it. So that’s a comfort, knowing I can keep busybodies from pushing my extended arm down in the highly-unlikely event I execute a spastic “Sieg, Heil” like Dr. Strangelove. (Who knows what wacky thing an irredeemable Jewish Trump voter might do when let out of her basket?)

Mostly, I am filled with gratitude. That it wasn’t worse. That I didn’t also fall down and break a hip. I am grateful for professional medical staff, including the PTs I kidded earlier, and for the amazing ability of the body to heal. The 18th Century French wit Voltaire said, “The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while Nature cures the disease.” Go, Nature! God, if you prefer, which I do.

And, as I mentioned in my previous post on the subject, I am grateful for perspective. Though more inconvenient even than painful, this injury has taught me to be very very impressed with those who fight through far worse events. Courage!

Clinton security detail also considered Hillary a nasty woman [Power LinePower Line]

(Paul Mirengoff)

Donald Trump has drawn criticism for saying of Hillary Clinton during last night’s debate: “What a nasty woman.” Supposedly, this remark will hurt Trump. If so, it may be because Trump, having so viciously attacked Republicans like Ted Cruz and George W. Bush and having repeatedly called Clinton a liar and a crook, lacks standing to call anyone nasty.

There is no doubt, however, that Clinton is a nasty woman. I think all but her most hard core supporters recognize this.

That Clinton’s State Department security team considered her nasty has been widely reported based on FBI documents from its investigation of Her Highness. The depth of its dislike for Clinton comes through in this report in the New York Post, via Debra Heine of PJ Media, that members of her security detail privately snickered after she fell down and broke her arm.

It’s hard for me to imagine disliking someone to the point of being happy she sustained a serious injury. But then, I never had to work for Hillary Clinton.

One agent told the Post:

We sort of got the last laugh. It was kind of like payback: You’re treating us like s**t. Hey karma is a b*tch! We were smiling to ourselves.

Clinton reportedly made things worse by blaming the security team for her tumble:

She blamed us for breaking her elbow, saying it was our fault and we could have prevented that. She’s bad news.

Bad news on multiple fronts.

Stories of Clinton’s rudeness and contempt for those who protect her date back to her days as First Lady of Arkansas. They persisted through her time as America’s First Lady (and let’s not forget the Travelgate scandal). Now, it’s clear from FBI documents that Clinton remains a very nasty woman.

Trump is nasty too. But the accounts I’ve read suggest that he treats the people who serve him well. A number of them vouched for this in speeches at the Republican Convention.

Still, Americans don’t perceive Trump as less nasty than Clinton. It’s a pity that the GOP didn’t nominate a conservative who projects the personal decency that Hillary so plainly lacks.

Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™ [Wizbang]

It’s Friday, which means it’s time for the Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™. Enter your best caption for the following picture: Winners will be announced Monday morning.

Walkers Crisps Factory Was Raided for Illegal Immigrants [Guido Fawkes]


When the advertising implied Lineker would do anything to get more crisps, they were just joking, right?

The post Walkers Crisps Factory Was Raided for Illegal Immigrants appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Look Inside Slug-On-Thames [Guido Fawkes]


Guido brings you an update on the radical design for a floating temporary parliament during renovation work at Westminster. Gensler, the firm vying for a £160 million contract to build the structure have revealed images showing inside the slug. The Commons and Lords chambers would be exactly the same dimensions as their original but it would house a different Royal Gallery and Central Lobby.

slug on thames

The building would allow parliament to be renovated in only six years without working around politicians – the “full decant” option. It could be built in time for the vote on the third runway to be held within…

The post Look Inside Slug-On-Thames appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

‘The Left’s Jewish Problem’ [Guido Fawkes]

Dave Rich is deputy director of communications at the Community Security Trust (CST), associate research fellow at the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, and author of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism.” This is a very temperate analysis of how the Labour Party has got into the position it is in, well worth watching this video interview.

Buy the book:  The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism

The post ‘The Left’s Jewish Problem’ appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Super Sunday: UKIP Leadership Declarations Coming [Guido Fawkes]


Stand by for UKIP leadership contenders to make their minds up by Sunday. There are op-eds being lined up in the weekend papers, before Suzanne Evans and Paul Nuttall tour the Sunday morning politics programmes. Suzanne has been gathering signatures so she looks set to announce. All eyes on Nuttall, who some prominent Kippers think has plucked up the courage to run. Farage is also appearing on Peston. Raheem Kassam will be spending the weekend with the grassroots, trying to close the gap on the others who’ve done years on the rubber chicken circuit. We’ll have a better idea of who the next leader will be in 72 hours time…

The post Super Sunday: UKIP Leadership Declarations Coming appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Mazher Mahmood Jailed and Sacked By The Sun [Guido Fawkes]


“Following the sentencing of Mazher Mahmood today, News UK can confirm that his employment has been terminated.

Mazher was suspended after the Tulisa Contostavlos trial collapsed, pending an internal inquiry. That inquiry was superseded by the criminal process.

Mazher has led scores of successful investigations during his 25-year career with the company. His work has led to the exposure of criminality and wrongdoing. It is a source of great regret that his time with the company should end in this manner.

The previous criminal cases that have resulted from his investigations were tested by the courts or guilty pleas were entered. We are aware that the Crown Prosecution Service has reviewed some cases and understand that the Criminal Cases Review Commission is looking at whether a small number of matters should be referred back to the Court of Appeal. We await their decisions.

We have noted the threats made after Mazher’s conviction of civil claims against this company in relation to his previous work. Should such claims be brought, they will be vigorously defended.”

Mazher Mahmood has been jailed for 15 months and sacked by the Sun…

The post Mazher Mahmood Jailed and Sacked By The Sun appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

SpAds in Numbers [Guido Fawkes]


With Guido’s SpAd list all but complete, our data bods have crunched the numbers to give you a statistical analysis of the government’s bag-carriers. More than two thirds of SpAds are men – that said, female representation among advisers is higher than in the Commons. 32% of SpAds are women compared to just 29% of MPs. 5% of SpAds are ethnic minority, which is below the 6% figure for MPs and is also an under-representation on a national scale. Plenty of diversity on the names front though – Richard, Rupert, Tim and Tom all feature prominently, not to mention Poppy, Lottie and Flora.


A government that works for everyone, especially Richard.

The post SpAds in Numbers appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Trump v Clinton Charity Roast [Guido Fawkes]

Trump’s Melania gag was inspired…

The post Trump v Clinton Charity Roast appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

IEA LAUNCHES £50,000 PRIZE [Guido Fawkes]

The Institute of Economic Affairs has just launched the Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize.

First prize of £50,000 will be awarded to the best and most innovative entry outlining a ‘Free-Market Breakthrough’ policy to tackle poverty in the UK.

There will be runner up prizes of £7,500 each, and a student prize of £2,500. Judging panel includes former Liberal Democrat MP Jeremy Browne (chair) and the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith.

The deadline for entries is Monday, 9 January 2017.

To learn more about the Richard Koch Breakthrough Prize and the entry requirements, click here – and watch the video below!

The post IEA LAUNCHES £50,000 PRIZE appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

By-Election Results in Full [Guido Fawkes]


Robert Courts (Con) – 17,313 (45.02%)

Liz Leffman (Lib Dem) – 11,611 (30.19%)

Duncan Enright (Lab) – 5,765 (14.99%)

Larry Sanders (Green) – 1,363 (3.54%)

Dickie Bird (UKIP) – 1,354 (3.52%)

Easy Tory hold though a big swing to the LibDems, very bad result for UKIP.

Batley and Spen

Tracy Brabin (Lab) – 17,506 (85.84%)

Therese Hirst (Eng Dem) – 969 (4.75%)

David Furness (BNP) – 548 (2.69%)

Garry Kitchin (Ind) – 517 (2.54%)

Labour uncontested in Batley and Spen.

The post By-Election Results in Full appeared first on Guido Fawkes.

Linux users urged to protect against ‘Dirty COW’ security flaw [Full Circle Magazine]

Organisations and individuals have been urged to patch Linux servers immediately or risk falling victim to exploits for a Linux kernel security flaw dubbed ‘Dirty COW’. This follows a warning from open source software vendor Red Hat that the flaw is being exploited in the wild. Phil Oester, the Linux security researcher who uncovered the flaw, explained to V3 that the exploit is easy to execute and will almost certainly become more widely used. “The exploit in the wild is trivial to execute, never fails and has probably been around for years – the version I obtained was compiled with gcc 4.8,” he said. “As Linus [Torvalds] notes in his commit, this is an ancient bug and impacts kernels going back many years. All Linux users need to take this bug very seriously, and patch their systems ASAP.” Oester said that he uncovered the exploit for the bug, which has been around since 2007, while examining a server that appeared to have been attacked.

Source: http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2474845/linux-users-urged-to-protect-against-dirty-cow-security-flaw
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

“Most serious” Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit [Full Circle Magazine]

A serious vulnerability that has been present for nine years in virtually all versions of the Linux operating system is under active exploit, according to researchers who are advising users to install a patch as soon as possible.
While CVE-2016-5195, as the bug is cataloged, amounts to a mere privilege-escalation vulnerability rather than a more serious code-execution vulnerability, there are several reasons many researchers are taking it extremely seriously. For one thing, it’s not hard to develop exploits that work reliably. For another, the flaw is located in a section of the Linux kernel that’s a part of virtually every distribution of the open-source OS released for almost a decade. What’s more, researchers have discovered attack code that indicates the vulnerability is being actively and maliciously exploited in the wild.
The underlying bug was patched this week by the maintainers of the official Linux kernel. Downstream distributors are in the process of releasing updates that incorporate the fix. Red Hat has classified the vulnerability as “important.”

Source: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/10/most-serious-linux-privilege-escalation-bug-ever-is-under-active-exploit/
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Clear Linux Now Powered by Kernel 4.8.1, Adds Wayland 1.12, GNOME 3.22 & Vim 8.0 [Full Circle Magazine]

Clear Linux Project’s Eva P. Hutanu informs the community about the latest updated components and new features implemented in the Clear Linux operating system during the past few weeks.
Key updated components added to the Clear Linux distribution include the Linux 4.8.1 kernel, systemd 231 init system, Vim 8.0 and Emacs 25.1 text editors, as well as node.js 6.8 server-side JavaScript environment. Many GNOME components are now based on the latest GNOME 3.22 Stack, and the recently released Wayland 1.12 display server is present.
Apache Maven open-source build manager for Java projects is also now available in Clear Linux, and it looks like key Python libraries, such as SciPy, NumPy, and scikit-learn received a bunch of performance improvements for Intel AVX2 (Advanced Vector Extensions 2) processors.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/clear-linux-now-powered-by-kernel-4-8-1-adds-wayland-1-12-gnome-3-22-vim-8-0-509470.shtml
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

Ubuntu Turns 12, Happy Birthday! [Full Circle Magazine]

October 20, 2016, is Ubuntu’s birthday! Its 12th anniversary since the release of the first Ubuntu version, namely Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog), which was originally announced by Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth on the 20th of October 2004.
12 years later and with 25 releases later, Ubuntu is currently one of the most used Linux-based operating systems in the world on desktops, servers, and cloud. The latest release, Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) was announced only a week ago, on October 13, 2016, and it ships with dozens of up-to-date GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source software applications.
On this occasion, we’d to wish a happy birthday to Ubuntu and congratulate the Ubuntu Desktop team over at Canonical for building a solid operating system that is free for use. I invite you to share your experience with Ubuntu (bad or good) in the comments section below. Happy 12th anniversary, Ubuntu!

Source: http://linux.softpedia.com/blog/ubuntu-turns-12-happy-birthday-509497.shtml
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht

RSGB GB2RS NEWS BULLETIN for 23rd. October 2016. [GB2RS]


Sunday 23rd October 2016

The news headlines:

  • NoV for terahertz bands

  • 60m for Luxembourg

  • Fire at SAQ, Grimeton

  • K1ZZ new IARU Secretary

Frequencies above 275GHz, the so-called terahertz bands, are a new area for experimentation and propagation research. Ofcom have generously enabled low-power Notice of Variation access for Full licensees in order to facilitate innovation at the cutting edge of RF technology. The NoV includes a number of conditions related to frequency bands, and protection zones around key UK Radio Astronomy Sites, for which guidance is available. The NoV application is now available, along with several other NoVs, at www.rsgb.org/nov

Since the 10th of October, the new WRC15 60m band has been released for amateur radio use in Luxembourg. The update to the national frequency plan allows the use from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a secondary basis with an effective radiated power of 15W. The Luxembourg LX0HF CW beacon presently operates on 5205.25kHz.

A fire in early October at the SAQ Alexanderson alternator long wave antenna is under investigation by the Grimeton World Heritage Foundation, which owns and manages the station in Grimeton, Sweden. The fire, attributed to arcing, was quickly extinguished. Fortunately, no injuries occurred. The Foundation said that it could take a while to determine the extent of the damage, and then to complete repairs. The fire will keep SAQ off the air for a while, and prevent operation on the next scheduled UN Day transmission, the 24th of October.

Rod Stafford, W6ROD has retired as IARU Secretary after seven years and the ARRL Board of Directors has designated David Sumner, K1ZZ as his replacement. Dave Sumner has served in this capacity twice previously, from 1982 to 1989 and from 1999 to 2009. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH has appointed Rod Stafford as Emergency Communications Special Advisor, where he will represent the interests of the IARU and the global amateur radio community in the Development Sector of the ITU. He will also offer advice and counsel on matters relating to emergency and disaster response communications.

It is with sadness we report the death of Geoff Holland, G3GHS, a long time QSL sub manager for the G3E-H group of callsigns. In his 90s and unwell for several years, Geoff was always cheerful and helped by his XYL Mavis. He continued in post until his death two weeks ago. He will be missed by many. Members with G3E-H callsigns need to be aware that this small series will now be absorbed into other groups as part of the long term consolidation plan. All cards and envelopes are being transferred. The new groups will shortly become G3A-F and G3G-L. See the RSGB website for updates at www.rsgb.org/qsl

The RSGB Spectrum Forum will hold its annual meeting on Saturday the 29th of October. This key event will be an opportunity to consider reports from its members and review current and emerging issues. These include the potential harmonisation of the 50MHz band in Region 1, wireless power transmission, and plans for the forthcoming Region 1 Conference. Amateurs are reminded that the Society has a consultation open for topics for the Conference. Just search for IARU Consultation on the RSGB website.

The RSGB Training and Education Committee Schools Link project is expanding and has vacancies for additional team members and also for the team leader. The aim of Schools Link is to find ways of supporting teachers delivering the curriculum, by providing additional help and materials for those places where radio examples help illuminate it. The focus is on teachers and supporting the curriculum, rather than directly on school students or on getting amateur radio into schools. If you are interested in joining this team, please contact Philip Willis by email to tec.chair@rsgb.org.uk, describing those parts of your background that may be relevant, how they fit the project’s needs and why you think this is something where you would enjoy making a contribution.

The VHF handheld transceiver used for the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program has begun to display an error message and is unusable at this time. It has been in use for more than 16 years and in that time has connected students worldwide with astronauts on board the International Space Station. While the ARISS technical team evaluates the best path to restore operation from the ISS Columbus module, ARISS contacts will be supported using the Kenwood radio in the Russian Service Module. During this period, the packet digipeater will be unavailable.

And now for the details of rallies and events for the coming week

Today, the 23rd, the Galashiels Rally takes place at the Volunteer Hall, St Johns Street, Galashiels TD1 3JX. Opening time is 11.15am, and admission is £2.50. There will be traders, a Bring and Buy, and refreshments. Details from Jim, GM7LUN, on 01896 850 245, or email mail@gm7lun.co.uk

As mentioned on previous occasions, the North Wales Rally planned for today, the 23rd of October, has had to be cancelled.

Lomond Radio Club will be holding a junk sale on the 30th of October in the John Connolly Centre, Renton, West Dumbartonshire. Doors are open from 10am to 2pm. Everyone is welcome.

We have no details of any full scale rallies taking place next weekend, the 29th or 30th of October.

If you have any rally or event information you’d like to appear in future editions of GB2RS News, in RadCom and on the RSGB website, please email details to radcom@rsgb.org.uk

And now the DX news compiled from 425 DX News and other sources

Keith, GM4YXI and Chris, GM3WOJ will be active as V6Z from Chuuk island in Micronesia, which is IOTA reference OC-011, until the 1st of November. Activity will be on SSB and CW, with extra emphasis on 160m and 80m, and they are looking especially for UK stations. Direct QSLs should be sent to Steve, N3SL. Visit www.v6z2016.com for more details, propagation charts, latest news and info, etc.

A multi-national team will be active as 3W2R from the Mekong Delta in Vietnam until the 28th of October. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres. QSL via EB7DX.

Daniel, DL5YWM will be on the air as OA4/DL5YWM, and possibly as OA8/DL5YWM from Peru, until the 5th of November. QSL to home call.

ES2RR, OH2BH and OH2PM will be on the air as OJ0B from the 23rd to 31st of October from Market Reef, EU-053. Activity will be on the low HF bands using RTTY. QSL via OH2BH.

John, KK9A will be active as P40A from the 25th to the 31st of October. Activity will be on 160 to 10 metres using CW and SSB. QSL via WD9DZV.

Francois, F6AJL is on the air as TY5AA from Parakou City until the 13th of November. Activity is on 80 to 10 metres. QSL to home call.

Now the special event news

Members of the Radio club Admira in Romania are on the air with special event calls YR95HMK and YP95HMK until the 15th of November to mark the 95th birthday of King Michael. Activity is on 160 to 10 metres using CW, SSB and RTTY. QSL direct to YO2KBQ.

Now the contest news

The UKEICC DX contest ends its 24 hour run at 1200UTC today, the 23rd. Using CW and SSB on the 3.5 to 28MHz contest bands, RST, serial number and district code form the exchange.

On Tuesday the 50MHz UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on Tuesday, the SHF UK Activity Contest runs from 1900 to 2130UTC. Using the 2.3 to 10GHz bands the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

On Wednesday the UK EI CC takes place on 80m between 2000 and 21000UTC. It’s CW only and the exchange is your four-character locator, for example IO93.

On Thursday, the 80m Club Sprint contest runs from 1900 to 2000UTC. SSB only, the exchange is serial number and name.

Next weekend is one of the big contests, the CQ World Wide DX SSB. Running from 0000UTC on the 29th to 2359UTC on the 30th, it’s SSB only on the 1.8 to 28MHz bands. The exchange is signal report and Zone, which for the UK is 14.

Now the radio propagation report, compiled by G0KYA, G3YLA and G4BAO on Friday the 21st of October

Last week the solar flux index fell back to the high seventies. Geomagnetic conditions were unsettled over the weekend, but improved as the week went on. We are well and truly into the autumn HF season now, which is reflected in higher daytime maximum useable frequencies and lower night-time ones. However, we continue to be dogged by unsettled geomagnetic conditions at times, which have impacted MUFs and generally created poor HF opportunities. But when conditions have became more settled there have been band openings up to 12 metres.

As this is being written sunspot 2602 is heading towards the solar rim and there is nothing to replace it. As a result NOAA predicts the solar flux index will remain in the range 70-75 next week, and HF conditions are likely to hampered by high K indices from the 22nd onwards. We may even see the K index hit six early in the week, due to recurrent coronal hole activity, and it could remain high until at least Wednesday.

Apart from possible auroral openings, there might be a pre-ionospheric storm event enhancement this weekend, although these are very hard to predict.

The last storm resulted in a good 10m opening to the Middle East and South America, so keep an eye on the higher HF bands this weekend.

And now the VHF and up propagation news

It’s a mixed week with unstable air still producing showers near the east coast at first with some scope for rain scatter on the GHz bands. Around midweek, a more changeable westerly flow will bring windier weather across the north of Britain, so we need to be looking to the south for a high to develop over Brittany and bring a chance of some Tropo later in the week, which may then extend into parts of northern Britain later. Now this high is placed such that it may not be a great provider, but the peak times should be overnight and early morning, especially in regions where fog and mist has formed.

The Orionids meteor shower is over now, so it’s back to early morning random meteor QSOs on the lower VHF bands. There are still quite long daytime moon windows for EME operation, but Moon declination goes negative on Thursday and losses are approaching their highest at the end of the week.

And that’s all for this week from the propagation team.

Franz Kakfa’s only known advertising endorsement [Lint]

Franz Kakfa’s only known advertising endorsement

Abandoned secret Nazi Arctic base found. [Moe Lane]

Come on, don’t make this easy for me.  A ‘secret Arctic Nazi base’ is already enough.  You don’t have to spot me this:

It was codenamed “Schatzgraber” or “Treasure Hunter” by the Germans and was primarily used as a tactical weather station.

The base was abandoned when the scientists stationed there were poisoned by polar bear meat in 1944 and had to be rescued by a German U-boat.


Russia is thought to be looking to build its own permanent military base there today.

Seriously, if you can’t write an adventure around that then you… probably just need to get a good night’s sleep or a hot meal, or something.  I don’t want people to feel bad if they don’t come up with four ways to run this one right away. Everybody can have a bad creative day, every once in a while.


Area Seed: Skeletonia. [Moe Lane]

Skeletonia – Google Docs


Underground – but not too underground – in caves not known to man or elf or dwarf or even orc, you will find… Skeletonia. The Bone Kingdom. The Land of the Dead Who Walk.  You will likely walk right past their first set of sentries; after all, who notices the bones buried in dirt walls.  But they notice you; oh, yes, they do.  Once you have passed them, some of the sentries will dig themselves out of the dirt to follow.  Hear that slight scrabbling sound from behind?  That’s them, creeping in the forever night of the underground.  But by the time you notice, it’ll be too late: you’ll have come to the first obvious sentries, and by now the Bone-people will have you covered from a dozen different angles.  There is no escape.

The good news is, you’re only in trouble if a majority of your party registers as ‘evil.’  If not… come on in! Sell things! Buy things! Hope you like alcohol made from fungi, because the selection is pretty limited.

The exact ‘population’ of Skeletonia is kind of hard to pin down, but there’s at least a couple of hundred thousand of them.  They’re all skeletons of various humanoid races that got reanimated somehow via the backlash of various area effect spells cast too near a graveyard. Fortunately, the spirits that animate them are generally not ‘evil;’ the newly-raised skeleton has no particular animus towards the living.  In fact, if it wasn’t for the notoriously bad reputation non-free willed skeletons have on the surface, most Free Skeletons would probably just wander over to the nearest town and try to keep busy.  

But there is that notoriously bad reputation, and most newly-formed Free Skeletons seem to dimly remember that (as well as the local language).  So, they dig down, instead of up: eventually they break through to a tunnel or cave below; and from there it’s just a matter of listening to local Deep Dark tall tales looking for that rumoured underground city where skeletons wander around freely.  Once they get there, they discover that Skeletonia is not so much a city as it is a collection of hobby clubs and debating societies.  After all, Free Skeletons don’t eat, drink, sleep, fornicate, breathe, get hot, get cold, or almost anything else that might require a living sentient creature to gather resources.  There’s not much to do except talk, read what’s available, and, well, arts and crafts.  With a lot of swapping around.

And that’s why they love to see adventuring parties.  Particularly ones with those fancy magical bags with infinite cargo capacity.  Adventuring parties carry around the most eclectic piles of junk, and it turns out that a Free Skeleton will buy anything, secure in the knowledge that it will eventually find another Free Skeleton who actually wants it. Free Skeletons particularly crave tools, finished metal products, wood products of any kind, art supplies, the chance to transcribe the party’s spell books, any other books that they don’t want… and they’re willing to pay for them, too.  Skeletonia has quite a bit more gold ore and gemstones than it actually needs; and, of course, its main library has by now a rather impressive library of spells and magic.  

And then there’s the beer (and rations) made from fungi.  Admittedly, those are all a bit of an acquired taste.  On the other hand, the stuff lasts forever and you can sterilize water with the alcohol, so they’ve got their own value as trade goods.

Yes, the Eastern Seaboard got a DDOS Tsunami this morning. [Moe Lane]

Pretty much the entire Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Area, in fact:

Major websites and services across the East Coast were shut down for two hours Friday morning by a denial of service attack.

Domain host company Dyn said the attack started at 7:10 a.m. and lasted for more than two hours.

It affected Dyn’s Managed Domain Name System infrastructure, which serves companies including Amazon, Twitter, Spotify and CNBC.com.

…and a bunch of other sites, too.  Just going after site redirects instead of personal info, fortunately. Still, it was interesting (also: infuriating) to see what got hammered by the attack.

Sorry. Got stuck on a simultaneously excellent and annoying mod. [Moe Lane]

Excellent because it’s very well done, thematically; annoying because there’s a couple of ongoing bugs in it and the guy who made the mod is a bit of a hypersensitive ass about it. The kind who has been told one too many times that he’s the greatest, in fact. I’m starting to get an appreciation of just how annoying that can be when you’re on the receiving end of it…

Tweet of the Day, SHUT UP THIS HAPPENED EDITION. [Moe Lane]


I am about half-ready to write a campaign setting around this picture, in fact. I just need to think of the right ruleset.

In the Mail: The Gaean Reach. [Moe Lane]

Picked up The Gaean Reach RPG largely due to an unfortunate, yet ultimately advantageous, error originating from Pelgrane Press’s billing department.  It is a RPG based around one adventuring party’s quest for revenge, set in Jack Vance’s far-far-future science fiction setting.  I suppose that this means that I will actually have to read said series now…

War Porn: The Best Kind Edition [The Jawa Report]

You know the part where Daesh folds like a wet dollar bill.

Trump Booed at Al Smith Dinner (Video) [Patterico's Pontifications]

Donald Trump was booed at the Al Smith Dinner last night — a fundraiser for Catholic charities helping children. Politicians often attend these dinners and tell self-deprecating jokes and point fun at their opponents. But at a certain point, Trump just wasn’t funny — and it hurt to watch.

Here’s the video of Trump’s remarks. The bad times begin around 9:59:

Here’s a transcript of where Trump started to run into trouble:

Now, I’m told Hillary went to confession before tonight’s event, but the priest was having a hard time, when he asked about her sins, and she said she couldn’t remember 39 times.

Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission.


How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt.

Hillary is, and has been, in politics since the 70s. What’s her pitch? The economy is busted? The government’s corrupt? Washington is failing? “Vote for me. I’ve been working on these problems for 30 years. I can fix it”, she says.

I wasn’t really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight, because I guess you didn’t send her invitation by email. Or, maybe, you did and she just found out about it through the wonder of WikiLeaks.


We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy —


— and a totally different policy in private. That’s okay. I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.

Now some of you haven’t noticed, Hillary isn’t laughing as much as the rest of us. [Editorial note: nobody was laughing at this point.] That’s because she knows the jokes. And all of the jokes were given to her in advance of the dinner by Donna Brazile. Which is – everyone knows, of course, Hillary’s belief that it takes a village, which only makes sense after all in places like Haiti, where she’s taken a number of them.


The second he called her “corrupt,” this is the scene. Check the dude on the right side of the screen:


It was . . . awkward. I felt bad for Trump, the way you do when you watch any comic bomb. I didn’t think he was intending to be nasty, necessarily. The ethic at this thing is, you tell some jokes at your expense, and some at your opponent’s expense. Trump’s sin wasn’t so much that he was criticizing Hillary as that, at this particular moment, he wasn’t being funny. I wonder if maybe these were the jokes he had written for himself. I watched his entire performance — and hers too — and they both had some good lines written for them. Here are some of Trump’s that worked well:

And even tonight, with all of the heated back and forth, between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, “Pardon me.”

And I very politely replied, “Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.”

. . . .

You know, last night, I called Hillary a “nasty woman,” but this stuff is all relative. After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore.

These two were my favorites:

These events give not only the candidates a chance to be with each other in a very social setting; it also allows the candidates the opportunity to meet the other candidate’s team — good team.

I know Hillary met my campaign manager, and I got the chance to meet the people who are working so hard to get her elected. There they are — the heads of NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC — there’s the New York Times, right over there, and the Washington Post.

. . . .

Oh, this one’s going to get me in trouble.

Not with Hillary. You know, the president told me to stop whining, but I really have to say, the media is even more biased this year than ever before — ever. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it — it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech

— and people get on her case!

Those were genuinely funny, and people laughed. Hillary had some good lines written for her too — and while she delivered them in that annoying Hillary way, I still laughed at a few things:

And, Donald, after listening to your speech, I will also enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it.

. . . .

Now, you notice there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day. And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with, and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.

. . . .

And look at this dais — we’ve got Charlie Rose, and Maria Bartiromo, and Chris Matthews, and Gayle King, and Nora O’Donnell, and Katie Couric — this counts as a press conference, right?

. . . .

There is nothing like sharing a stage with Donald Trump. Donald wanted me drug tested before last night’s debate. And look, I’ve got to tell you, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer.

Now, actually, I did. It’s called preparation.

. . . .

Now, look, I have deep respect for people like Kellyanne Conway. She’s working day and night for Donald and because she’s a contractor, he’s probably not even going to pay her.

Not everyone was amused. She told this joke about Rudy Giuliani

Now, many don’t know this, but Rudy actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorkers who avoided paying taxes. But, as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, go on Fox News and call them a genius.”

Here was his reaction:


None of this is going to change anyone’s vote. Trump voters probably didn’t watch this — and if they hear that a bunch of elites in tuxes booed Trump, especially for criticizing Hillary, so much the better.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Throwback Thursday: Remember That RIGGED Al Franken Election? [Patterico's Pontifications]

In our headlong rush to make Donald Trump get in a time machine and declare that next month’s election “was” fair — even though it hasn’t happened yet — we all might do well to remember some history that has happened: Al Franken’s 2008 Senate race, won by 312 illegal votes — all of them, and more, illegally cast.

This August 2012 piece from Byron York makes for an enjoyable if infuriating read these days.

In the ’08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken. It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.

Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman’s lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes. He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.

During the controversy a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of voter fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons — all ineligible to vote — who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.

Minnesota Majority took the information to prosecutors across the state, many of whom showed no interest in pursuing it. But Minnesota law requires authorities to investigate such leads. And so far, Fund and von Spakovsky report, 177 people have been convicted — not just accused, but convicted — of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. “The numbers aren’t greater,” the authors say, “because the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that they must have been both ineligible, and ‘knowingly’ voted unlawfully.” The accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.

Still, that’s a total of 243 people either convicted of voter fraud or awaiting trial in an election that was decided by 312 votes.

But it’s not like felons would overwhelmingly vote Democrat, is it? (Yes, that’s a joke.)

Now: felons are probably not going to be enough to throw this presidential election. Even widespread voter fraud would be unlikely to change the results of this election. Trump looks like he is headed for a historic defeat.

But . . .

But you never know.

WARNING: DIGRESSION! And in addition to felons, there is another large group of potential illegal voters out there: illegal immigrants. I wrote about this potential problem back in 2008 here:

We have gotten about 500,000 new illegal immigrants per year every year since 2004; from 2000-2004 this number was even higher, ranging from 800,000 to 850,000 new illegals every year.

We all know that these illegals do much of what citizens do: drive, work, receive health care, etc.

Many do these things off the books, driving without licenses and working without documentation. But many others do these things with phony documentation, obtaining fraudulent licenses and filling out work papers with bogus information.

Why wouldn’t they vote, too?

Of course, I’m not sure where I might have gotten the idea that illegal immigrants might be motivated to vote against Donald Trump . . .



Oh. Right.

But surely Democrats would never encourage people they believed to be illegal immigrants to vote in federal elections, right? Well . . . um . . . James O’Keefe caught Democrats on camera doing exactly that in 2014.

END DIGRESSION! Anyway, getting back to Al Franken: his 2008 Senate race, like the 2000 presidential election, shows that very important political races can come down to a handful of votes. Democrats always have the advantage in those situations, because people who would vote illegally — like felons or illegal aliens — tend to vote Democrat. So voter fraud always benefits Democrats.

No wonder Democrats want the Republican candidate to declare fraud is not a problem before we even hold the election.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Ted Cruz Should Have Been the One Debating Hillary Clinton Last Night [Patterico's Pontifications]

Chris Wallace, who has received all sorts of (in my view largely unmerited) accolades for his performance last night, began the debate with one of the dumbest questions I have heard this election cycle:

First of all, where do you want to see the court take the country? And secondly, what’s your view on how the constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders’ words mean what they say or is it a living document to be applied flexibly, according to changing circumstances? In this segment, secretary Clinton, you go first. You have two minutes.

Think about that for a moment. Chris Wallace asks the candidates where they want the Supreme Court to “take the country.” But it’s not the Supreme Court’s job to take the country anywhere!

For a constitutional conservative, this was a hanging curveball over the fat part of home plate. Trump should have been able to knock it out of the park! So what does the bumbling Donald Trump do with it instead? Well, because everything is about him, he immediately thinks about the time one of the justices insulted him personally:

Well, first of all, it’s so great to be with you and thank you, everybody. The Supreme Court, it is what it is all about. Our country is so, so, it is just so imperative that we have the right justices. Something happened recently where Justice Ginsburg made some very inappropriate statements toward me and toward a tremendous number of people. Many, many millions of people that I represent and she was forced to apologize. And apologize she did. But these were statements that should never, ever have been made.

This pathetic and predictably narcissistic answer got me thinking: how would the debate have gone if Ted Cruz been on stage instead of Donald Trump?

He would have let Hillary Clinton have it dozens of times. He would have explained the O’Keefe videos in a pithy way, and tied them to Hillary effectively. He would have had a mastery of the details of the Wikileaks revelations, and hit her hard on that too.

And how might he have answered Wallaces’s little softball question about the Court? I imagine it might have gone a little something like this:

Thank you, Chris, and thank you to UNLV and everyone who took part in hosting this debate. It’s great to be here.

Chris, it’s not the job of the Supreme Court to “take the country” anywhere. It is the job of Congress to pass laws, and the job of the Court to interpret them according to the plain meaning of the words. If the Court followed that simple mandate, it would not be “taking the country” anywhere. It would be interpreting the law, which is its only function.

But Chris, I understand why you think it’s the Court’s job to “take the country” places, because far too often, that’s what the court does: ignore plain meaning and founding principles in favor of instituting the policy preferences of its elite members.

For example, in their Obamacare decisions, this handful of unelected judges rewrote the text of Obamacare twice in order to impose that failed law upon millions of Americans.

The first time, the court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory penalty into a tax. The second time, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a federal exchange into a exchange “established by the state.”

This is lawless conduct. Justice Scalia said, “we should start calling this law SCOTUScare,” and I agree.

Unelected judges have become legislators — and bad ones at that. They are lawless and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and the transparent distortions of the court are disgraceful.

These justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes. They have joined a team, and it’s a team that’s hurting Americans across this country.

If those justices want to become legislators I invite them to resign and run for office. That’s the appropriate place to write laws: on the floor of Congress — not from that courtroom. And if you elect Hillary Clinton, you’ll just get more of the same leftist and elitist arrogance.

Ted Cruz would have wiped the floor with Hillary Clinton.

OK, I have to confess: I’m not imagining Ted Cruz saying those words, so much as I’m repeating Ted Cruz’s words. Virtually everything you just read is a quote or very close paraphrase of things Ted Cruz has already said. You can read much of it here.

Why do I bring this up? Because, pretty soon, after Trump loses, we’re going to have to reassess where this party has been and where it’s going, and answer the question: What do we do next?

And, I don’t know. Somehow, I think this little mental exercise I just took us through . . . it feels relevant to that question.

Don’t you think?

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

Megyn Kelly Neatly Slices And Dices Donna Brazile [Patterico's Pontifications]

[guest post by Dana]

After the debate last night, Megyn Kelly was relentless in confronting current Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile about the damning videos released by James O’Keefe this week, and the Wikileaks revelation that Brazile tipped off the Clinton campaign about a specific question ahead of an upcoming townhall debate when she was a political contributor at CNN. Brazile desperately sought to deflect the truth blows being lobbed at her by Kelly, whining that she, a “Christian woman,” was being “persecuted” by the tenacious Kelly. It is a delicious demonstration of a reporter determined to do the work that reporters are supposed to do. It is the antithesis of the many mainstream journalists who let their own craven ambitions and personal politics determine what they will say and how hard they will press.

In a follow-up to Megyn Kelly’s evisceration, Brazile was again confronted a by another ballsy reporter. This time, Jordan Chariton with the Young Turks, pushes Brazile on the issue of the leaked question. The look of utter disbelief and disgust on his face at the 2:19 mark is priceless. I can’t embed the video, but definitely watch it at the link.

In a depressing election, it’s great two see two determined journalists forcefully pushing back on the DNC company line and the obvious untruths they are being fed. Letting nothing prevent them from doing their due diligence, Kelly and Chariton provide American voters a golden opportunity to catch a glimpse of the level of dishonesty and corruption at the top of the DNC.


Another Fact-Check from Our Media Betters [Patterico's Pontifications]

[guest post by JVW]

In the aftermath of last night’s lamentable debate, the sophisticated Eastern Corridor media has assumed their sacred role of fact-checkers, assuring us that while the Dem candidate sometimes shades the truth or jumbles her facts, the GOP candidate is an inveterate liar who invents facts wholesale. Comes now [I stole that from the late William Safire, I think] one Brooke Baldwin of CNN, who last came to our attention when she declared that the Baltimore riots were fueled by returning veterans (presumably working as cops) who have a hankering for shooting up communities in which they have no emotional investment. Earlier this week (in fact, before the debate), Ms. Baldwin put her ignorance of the legislative branch of our government on full display, in a vain effort to criticize the GOP nominee:

So Ms. Baldwin is under the impression that members of Congress are already subject to term limits, which in her eyes makes the GOP nominee’s call for a Constitutional Amendment superfluous and dumb. Note her snide exclamation, “Correct me — there already are term limits for members of Congress, so what does he mean?” Watch her roll her eyes as she forthrightly exposes the ignorance of the GOP nominee who doesn’t know the first thing about civics and actually seems to believe that some elected politicians spend decades mucking about Capitol Hill. How difficult it must be for Brooke Baldwin to suffer these fools who are nominated for the Presidency!

Once Ms. Baldwin makes her declaration that Congress is already subject to term limits, check out the two men staring dumbly into the camera with their vapid TV grins affixed to their mugs. It’s up to CNN political analyst Dana Bash who seems to give a slight “oh shit: I can’t believe she said that” head-bob before gingerly trying to set her colleague straight:

“Right. Well, there’s term limits on the Presidency of course, and one of the big debates for some time has been whether or not the fact that there are no term limits in Congress — whether that helps to breed corruption because it breeds a whole industry of lobbyists. . . .”

If you watch Ms. Baldwin during this exchange you can sort of detect the moment when it dawns upon her that she is completely wrong. She manages to maintain her poker face throughout the Ms. Bash’s response, but at one point she departs from staring into the camera in order to look down at her notes. Wouldn’t you love to know what a producer might have been saying into her earpiece during those moments? The video ends at that point and I don’t care about this to track down how the rest of the segment played out. Ms. Baldwin, to my knowledge, has not publicly addressed the issue, but she is being lit up on Twitter. Behold a sampling of some tweets she has received in response to a tweet of hers in which she discusses bumping into GOP campaign manager Steve Bannon on a recent flight:


Here’s a huge surprise: outside of the usual suspects in right-wing media, no traditional outlets seem to care that a CNN political host is so substantively wrong on what is a pretty well-known fact. I agree with Patterico and Dana that this election is probably lost, and now we’re going to have to deal with an insufferable media that believes that it has performed some special service to the republic by putting their thumbs on the scale of the election coverage. I’m afraid that things just get worse from here on in.


Dirk Eddelbuettel: anytime 0.0.4: New features and fixes [Planet Debian]

A brand-new release of anytime is now on CRAN following the three earlier releases since mid-September. anytime aims to convert anything in integer, numeric, character, factor, ordered, ... format to POSIXct (or Date) objects -- and does so without requiring a format string. See the anytime page for a few examples.

With release 0.0.4, we add two nice new features. First, NA, NaN and Inf are now simply skipped (similar to what the corresponding Base R functions do). Second, we now also accept large numeric values so that, _e.g., anytime(as.numeric(Sys.time()) also works, effectively adding another input type. We also have squashed an issue reported by the 'undefined behaviour' sanitizer, and the widened the test for when we try to deploy the gettz package get missing timezone information.

A quick example of the new features:

anydate(c(NA, NaN, Inf, as.numeric(as.POSIXct("2016-09-01 10:11:12"))))
[1] NA           NA           NA           "2016-09-01"

The NEWS file summarises the release:

Changes in anytime version 0.0.4 (2016-10-20)

  • Before converting via lexical_cast, assign to atomic type via template logic to avoid an UBSAN issue (PR #15 closing issue #14)

  • More robust initialization and timezone information gathering.

  • More robust processing of non-finite input also coping with non-finite values such as NA, NaN and Inf which all return NA

  • Allow numeric POSIXt representation on input, also creating proper POSIXct (or, if requested, Date)

Courtesy of CRANberries, there is a comparison to the previous release. More information is on the anytime page.

For questions or comments use the issue tracker off the GitHub repo.

This post by Dirk Eddelbuettel originated on his Thinking inside the box blog. Please report excessive re-aggregation in third-party for-profit settings.

Kees Cook: CVE-2016-5195 [Planet Debian]

My prior post showed my research from earlier in the year at the 2016 Linux Security Summit on kernel security flaw lifetimes. Now that CVE-2016-5195 is public, here are updated graphs and statistics. Due to their rarity, the Critical bug average has now jumped from 3.3 years to 5.2 years. There aren’t many, but, as I mentioned, they still exist, whether you know about them or not. CVE-2016-5195 was sitting on everyone’s machine when I gave my LSS talk, and there are still other flaws on all our Linux machines right now. (And, I should note, this problem is not unique to Linux.) Dealing with knowing that there are always going to be bugs present requires proactive kernel self-protection (to minimize the effects of possible flaws) and vendors dedicated to updating their devices regularly and quickly (to keep the exposure window minimized once a flaw is widely known).

So, here are the graphs updated for the 668 CVEs known today:

  • Critical: 3 @ 5.2 years average
  • High: 44 @ 6.2 years average
  • Medium: 404 @ 5.3 years average
  • Low: 216 @ 5.5 years average

© 2016, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
Creative Commons License

Dominique Leuenberger: Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/42 [Planet openSUSE]

Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

This was week 42 – The openSUSE LEAP week of the Year. It can’t be a co-incidence that the Release Candidate 1 was announced in Week 42, on the 2nd day (42.2 – European counting, we start our week on Monday, not on Sunday).

But also in Tumbleweed things are not standing still: of course many of the things are well in line with what Leap received (like for example Plasma updates), but Tumbleweed rolls at a different pace ahead of the game.

So, this week we delivered these noteworthy updates in four snapshots (1013, 1014, 1018 and 1019):

  • KDE Applications 16.08.2
  • KDE Plasma 5.8.1
  • GNOME 3.22.1
  • Boost 1.62

On the side of what you will be receiving soon, things are also moving:

  • Kernel 4.8.2 – in snapshot 1020+
  • linux-glibc-devel 4.8: only one more build failure (lirc)
  • Bash 4.4: the dracut issue remains
  • KDE Plasma 5.8.2 is lined up
  • Kernel 4.8.3 – likely in snapshot 1021+

Keep on running Tumbleweed, keep on testing Leap 42.2 – help ensure that bugs you find in one of the two are also fixed in the other.

Ubuntu Insights: Managing your physical infrastructure from the top of rack switch [Planet Ubuntu]


At the last OpenStack Design Summit in Austin, TX we showed you a preview of deploying your physical server and network infrastructure from the top-of-rack switch, which included OpenStack with your choice of SDN solution.

This was made possible by disaggregating the network stack functionality (the “N” in Network Operating System) to run on general purpose, devices-centric, operating systems. In the world of the Open Compute Project and whitebox switches, a switch can be more than just a switch. Switches are no longer closed systems where you can only see the command line of the network operating system. Whitebox switches are produced by marrying common server components with high powered switching ASICs, loading a Linux OS, and running a network operating system (NOS) functionality as an application.


The user has the ability to not only choose hardware from multiple providers, they can chose the Linux distribution, and the NOS that best matches their environment. Commands can be issued from the Linux prompt or the NOS prompt and most importantly, other applications can be securely installed alongside the NOS. This new switch design opens up the ability to architect secure distributed data center networks with higher scale and more efficient utilization of existing resources in each rack.


Since the last ODS we have witnessed a continued trend for whitebox switches to provide more server like and general purpose functionality from increases in CPU, memory, storage, internal bandwidth between the CPU and ASIC, to power-management (BMC), and secure boot options (UEFI+PXE). This month Mellanox announced the availability of their standard Linux kernel driver included in Ubuntu Core 16 (and classic Ubuntu) for their Open Ethernet Spectrum switch platforms. More recently Facebook announced the acceptance of the Wedge 100 into OCP that includes Facebook’s OpenBMC and their continued effort to disaggregate the stack.
“We are excited to work with Facebook on next generation switch hardware, adding Facebook’s Wedge OpenBMC power driver to our physical cloud (‘Metal-As-A-Service’) MAAS 2.1, and packaging the Facebook Open Switch System (FBOSS) as a snap.” said David Duffey, Director of Technical Partnerships, Canonical. “Facebook with OCP is leading the way to modern, secure, and flexible datacenter design and management. Canonical’s MAAS and snaps give the datacenter operator free choice of network bootloader, operating system, and network stack.”

At this OpenStack Design Summit we are also going to show you the latest integration with MAAS, how you can use snaps as a universal way to install across Linux distributions (including non-Ubuntu non-Debian based distributions), and deploying WiFi-based solutions, like OpenWrt, as a snap.

Please stop by our booth and let us help you plan your transition to a fully automated, secure modern datacenter.

New terahertz band NoV [Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site]

Frequencies above 275 GHz, the terahertz bands, are a new area for experimentation and propagation research. Ofcom have generously enabled low-power NoV access for Full licensees in order to facilitate innovation at the cutting edge of RF technology. The NoV includes a number of conditions related to frequency bands, and protection zones around key UK […]

60m for Luxembourg [Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site]

Since 10 October 2016, the new WRC15 60m band has been released for amateur radio use in Luxembourg. The update to the national frequency plan allows the use from 5351.5 to 5366.5kHz on a secondary basis with an effective radiated power of 15W. The Luxembourg LX0HF CW beacon presently operates on 5205.25kHz.

Fire at SAQ, Grimeton [Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site]

A fire in early October at the SAQ Alexanderson alternator long wave antenna is under investigation by the Grimeton World Heritage Foundation, which owns and manages the station in Grimeton, Sweden. The fire—attributed to arcing—was quickly extinguished. Fortunately, no injuries occurred. The Foundation said that it could take a while to determine the extent of […]

Also in GB2RS this week… [Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site]

Rod Stafford, W6ROD has retired as IARU Secretary after seven years and the ARRL Board of Directors has designated David Sumner, K1ZZ as his replacement. Dave Sumner has served in this capacity twice previously, from 1982 to 1989 and from 1999 to 2009. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH has appointed Rod Stafford as Emergency Communications […]

K1ZZ is new IARU Secretary [Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site]

Rod Stafford, W6ROD has retired as IARU Secretary after seven years and the ARRL Board of Directors has designated David Sumner, K1ZZ as his replacement. Dave Sumner has served in this capacity twice previously, from 1982 to 1989 and from 1999 to 2009. IARU President Tim Ellam, VE6SH has appointed Rod Stafford as Emergency Communications […]

Researchers uncover structure of marijuana receptor that makes humans 'high' [CBC | Technology News]


Researchers have the clearest-ever picture of the receptor that gives humans the 'high' from marijuana, which could lead to a better understanding of how the drug affects humans.

Why it's so hard to land on Mars: Bob McDonald [CBC | Technology News]

Generation Mars - Mars 1976

Almost 60 per cent of robot missions to Mars have failed for one reason or another. Here's why it's an enormous challenge to land safely on the Red Planet.

Major cyberattack knocks Twitter, Paypal, Spotify offline Friday [CBC | Technology News]


Cyberattacks targeting a little known internet infrastructure company, Dyn, disrupted access to dozens of websites on Friday, preventing some users from accessing PayPal, Twitter and Spotify.

Schiaparelli Mars probe crash-landed, may have exploded, says ESA [CBC | Technology News]


Images taken by a NASA Mars orbiter indicate that a missing European space probe was destroyed on impact after plummeting to the surface of the Red Planet from a height of two to four kilometres, the European Space Agency said on Friday.

Stunning drone footage reveals bowhead whales feeding, swimming patterns [CBC | Technology News]

Bowhead whales

Bowhead whales like their afternoon siestas. That's what UBC's Sarah Fortune realized after she and her fellow researchers gathered and analysed stunning drone footage of the mammals in the eastern Canadian Arctic.

Jeremy the snail is rare, lonely and looking for love [CBC | Technology News]

Jeremy the snail 1

A British researcher is playing match-maker for a garden snail. The challenge is that Jeremy's shell swirls the opposite direction than most. That means he'll need to find another extremely rare "lefty" to mate with.

Twitter conversations on abortion, economy rise after Clinton vs. Trump debate [CBC | Technology News]


This week's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had a significant effect on shifting the U.S. election conversation on Twitter from scandals to policy issues.

Facial recognition software 'sounds like science fiction,' but may affect half of Americans [CBC | Technology News]

Real Time Face Detector

A report published this week from Georgetown University describes the worrying ways in which law enforcement agencies use automatic photo identification technology. As It Happens host Carol Off speaks with Alvaro Bedoya, executive director at the Center on Privacy & Technology.

How Netflix may be crushing border hoppers — and ways to get around it [CBC | Technology News]

Paul Bischoff Netflix crackdown

Netflix may be winning the war on cross-border watchers, but some of its targets refuse to go down without a fight. A handful of unblocking companies are finding ways around the Netflix blocks, says the consumer tech security website Comparitech.

Tesla may get into ride-hailing business in 2017 [CBC | Technology News]


Tesla hinted at a possible moving into ride hailing when it announced earlier this week that all of its cars would come equipped with hardware needed to drive themselves.

Mystery flares: Edmonton astronomer stumped by his own discovery [CBC | Technology News]

mystery flares

For Edmonton astronomer Gregory Sivakoff, the sight of never-before-seen explosions in space was the find of a lifetime.

'There's a big problem': Two-thirds of Tragically Hip tickets weren't sold directly to fans [CBC | Technology News]

MUSIC Downies Doctor 20160811

CBC’s Marketplace investigated why it’s so hard for fans to get good seats and found that only one-third of tickets for the Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem tour made it to fans at face value.

Snapchat, Skype, BBM not protecting users' privacy, says Amnesty International [CBC | Technology News]

Snapchat logo

Major messaging services like Snapchat, Skype and BlackBerry's BBM are not taking basic steps to ensure privacy, according to Amnesty International.

Partisan Twitter bots distorting U.S. presidential candidates' popularity [CBC | Technology News]

Italy US Campaign 2016

It may sound a bit childish, but bot (automated) Twitter accounts like @loserDonldTrump and thousands of others are changing the conversations around this election. They might even be changing minds.

Calgary Zoo opens Canada's 1st greater sage-grouse breeding facility [CBC | Technology News]

Sage grouse calgary

The Calgary Zoo has just opened the first captive breeding facility in the country to help restore the greater sage-grouse population, which experts estimate has fallen below 400 individuals.

A review of the Como Audio Solo [The SWLing Post]


Regular SWLing Post readers might remember that this past summer, I made an impulse purchase–and in doing so, backed a Kickstarter campaign for the new Como Audio Solo.

But exactly why did I buy this small, self-contained digital music device–? Having just completed an in-depth review of several WiFi radios, I certainly didn’t need another.  But the good-looking Solo, with its clean design and walnut casing really caught my attention…I couldn’t resist checking it out.  Plus, in backing the radio via Kickstarter, I was able to purchase it for $100 less than the predicted future retail of $299 US.

The Kickstarter campaign funding Como Audio was prompt in communicating updates with backers and providing even more product options during the wait for production and delivery. Although several other snazzy finishes for the Solo were brandished before me, I stuck firmly by the walnut veneer I’d originally chosen.

Fast forward to the present. I finally received my Como Audio Solo a few weeks ago, and have had time to play with it. While I haven’t had time to explore every nuance of this radio, of course, I have had an opportunity to form some opinions.


I don’t often comment on the design of radios I review, but in this case it’s worth noting.

The Como Audio Solo, in wood, is elegant and simple. Love it:


The only element of the design I’m not typically keen on?  I’m not the biggest fan of devices that sport colored backlit displays; to me they appear a bit flash and faddish, undermining a radio’s overall aesthetic.

But I must say, the Solo pulls it off.  The color display in this case is somehow not too distracting–it’s soft yet crisp, and easy to read even at a distance.

In short, the Solo is a stunning piece of kit, especially with that warm walnut casing, and looks right at home in any setting–office, living area, kitchen, or at the bedside.

I’ve only one gripe with the Solo’s ergonomics: the front control knobs are a little too close to the bottom of the recessed controls area. When I try to turn a knob–for example, attempt to tune the FM band–I find my fingertips won’t fit between the knob and lower edge of the recessed panel, making the knobs a little hard to turn in one fluid motion. (Of course,this is also due to the fact that I have big fingers; my wife doesn’t seem to have this problem).

But this isn’t a dealbreaker as I’m finding I don’t often need to reach for the front controls, anyway.  Why? Because the rig’s IR remote–or better yet, its smartphone app–control the radio effectively at any convenient distance from the radio.  Sweet.



I’m a sucker for quality audio fidelity, and I must admit that this was one of the biggest deciding factors in purchasing the Solo: it touted extraordinary audio in a modest package, being designed around an acoustic chamber/chassis containing a 3″ woofer and 3/4″ dome tweeter fueled by a 2 X 30 watt RMS amplifier. I was very curious whether it could live up to its initial claim.

After turning on the Solo for the first time, I immediately wanted to hear audio, so I put it in Bluetooth mode and played a few songs, ranging from Jazz to Electronica.

In a nutshell:  Wow.

The audio is strikingly reminiscent of my Tivoli Audio Model One…which is to say, it’s excellent. It packs more audio punch than any of the radios I reviewed in my WiFi radio comparison.

Out of the box, the audio is fairly well-balanced, too. But you can tweak the equalizer, and I did, drawing in a little more bass and treble.  My wife (also a bit of an audiophile) was impressed. And yes, the sound is all the more remarkable considering the radio’s relatively small form-factor:  little box, big voice.

FM Reception


The Como Audio Solo is one of the few Wifi radios on the market that has a built-in analog FM and DAB receiver (save the $120 Sangean WFR-28, which has analog FM reviewed here).

Since I live in the US, I can’t comment on DAB reception.  I have, however, had an opportunity to test the FM analog reception.  Keep in mind, I live in a rural area and require a decent FM receiver with telescopic antenna fully extended just to listen to my favorite regional programming.

When I tune the Solo to my benchmark FM stations, it can receive them–but not as effectively as many of my other radios, including the WFR-28. Even when forced to use the Mono setting only, the stations it receives carry too much static for good listening.  So obviously the Solo isn’t as sensitive as some of my other radios, at least in this setting. Indeed, few stations it receives in this area are able to lock in to the point that there’s no static in the received audio. For out-of-towners, this is a bit of a disappointment.

With this said, I imagine if you live in an urban area, the FM receiver should more than please you. I’ve no doubt it can faithfully reproduce beautiful audio from local FM outlets.

I should add that, while FM reception isn’t stellar for distant stations, the RDS information does convey even when the audio isn’t full fidelity.

WiFi radio


Of course, the main reason I purchased the Como Audio Solo was to use and review it as a WiFi radio…nothing at all to do with that sharp walnut chassis, or audio power.

As I outlined in my WiFi Radio primer, WiFi radios rely on station aggregators–extensive curated databases of radio stations–to surf and serve up the tens of thousands of streaming stations around the globe.

Based on feedback from Como Audio shortly after the Kickstarter launch, I was under the impression that the station aggregator of choice was vTuner. This concerned me, as vTuner’s reputation as an aggregator is somewhat maligned due to a series of documented faults and weaknesses.  Fortunately, this turned out not to be the case: after the initial confusion, I soon discovered Como had adopted the more robust Frontier Silicon aggregator, instead–a better choice.

Click here to read our primer on setting up your Como Audio product on the Frontier Silicon radio portal.

Since I’m a pretty big fan of Frontier Silicon and since I’ve already been using their service with my Sangean WFR-28, once I connected my radio to my user account, the WiFi portion of the radio felt identical to that of my WFR-28. Simply brilliant, as the Frontier Silicon radio portal gives the user flexibility to create station lists and folders with ease–all of which readily convey to the radio itself.

The Solo also features six dedicated memory buttons on the front panel for quick access to favorites.

Turns out, there’s also a comprehensive manual available online for download (click here).




And am I please with the Solo so far?

I’ll reply with a resounding “Yes!”

I love the Solo’s design–this certainly is a handsome product. Moreover, I love the audio, and am pleased that it delivers the fidelity promised by its Kickstarter campaign. The Solo and Duet are loaded with features, connections, Aux In and Aux Out audio and digital ports–more, in fact, than any similar device with which I’m familiar. I regret that the rig’s FM isn’t suited for country life, but the audio coupled with its stylish exterior do make up for this somewhat.


I do wish the Solo had an internal rechargeable battery option. Being able to move the receiver to different locations within a home or building could be a major plus for rural FM reception. As my friend John pointed out, however, the audio amplifier is robust enough, it might have been a challenge to implement an affordable-but-effective internal battery without compromising the audio amplifier’s needs.

In truth, I favor audio fidelity over portability for a tabletop radio.


In conclusion…do I have any backer’s remorse?  Absolutely not–!

In short, the Como Audio Solo is a keeper.  I’m still marvelling at this classy and dynamic radio that fills our home with rich beautiful audio. A few weeks in, the Solo has already become a permanent feature in our abode. It’s one of the few radios I have that meets my artist wife’s approval in terms of both design and audio.comoaudiosolo-fm

Great job, Como Audio!  If the Solo is any indication of radios to come, I’ll certainly be looking for your future innovations.

Click here to order the Como Audio Solo and Como Audio Duetto.

5 Reasons Football Fans Are Losing Interest In NFL Games [The Federalist]

Last Sunday night’s NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans drew 12.9 million viewers, a massive 38.4 percent drop from last year’s week six game. It was the least-watched Sunday Night Football game in five years.

If this drastic ratings drop was an anomaly, you could blame the uninteresting matchup. Houston (4-2) represents the best (or perhaps the least awful) team the dismal AFC South provides, and Indianapolis (2-4) is a rudderless ship, plagued with injuries and coaching issues.

But the Sunday night numbers are not unique. Viewership is still high—the NHL and MLB would love the same numbers—but has dropped by around 10 percent. While the NFL is quick to blame election coverage for stealing eyeballs, I can’t help but think there is more to the story.

As a long-time fan of the NFL, I’ve noticed my own apathy toward the league grow this year. I tune in to watch my favorite team play. I’ll catch a game if I’m not busy or need background noise. But my passion for the sport is waning. Given the numbers, I’m likely not alone. Here are a few reasons people may be turning away from the sport.

1. Flags Fly Forever

No other major professional sport is affected by referees or officials more than the NFL. It degrades the quality of games when almost every play is followed by a flurry of yellow flags. In Monday night’s Cardinals vs. Jets game, referees threw 23 penalty flags.

Obviously some penalty flags are necessary to protect players and the integrity of the game. But seemingly every deep incomplete pass is flagged for pass interference. Almost every time a player laughs or dances or points his finger on the field, he’s flagged for excessive celebration. If a defensive player gets too close to an opposing quarterback, he’s flagged for roughing the passer. When fans watch an athletic event, their enjoyment comes from the skill and strategy the players use to win the game. When that skill and strategy is overridden incessantly by officials, the game becomes an exercise in frustration.

By far the worst use of the penalty flags this year has been for excessive celebration. Players have been flagged, and teams penalized 15 yards each time—for dancing, “choreographed celebration,” using the football to make a jump shot, and countless other displays of enthusiasm. Redskins cornerback Josh Norman received a personal foul after miming a bow and arrow shot following a game-changing interception.

This is an intentional choice by the NFL to crack down on such shenanigans, because players are “role models” to young viewers, according to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The hypocrisy stands out clearly to fans. The NFL seems fine with having its players break bones and crack skulls on the field, walking away with injuries that will follow them for the rest of their lives—but God forbid someone pull out a dance move. The NFL claims that it wants to protect kids by keeping players from celebrating, a strange idea by itself—but has no problem with the non-stop Viagra commercials played during each broadcast, or up-skirt shots of team cheerleaders.

This is the same league that initially suspended Baltimore running back Ray Rice in 2014 for only two games after he punched his then-fiancée in the face and dragged her unconscious body out of an elevator. The league’s priorities are inexplicable.

2. Commercials, Commercials Everywhere

The NFL has always tried to milk every last penny of ad revenue out of games, but there seems to be an advertising overkill this season. This especially affects the younger generation in America, which has already shown a propensity for moving away from commercial-laden cable and toward online streaming and other sources that minimize advertisements or allow advertisements to be more easily skipped.

If you’re a diehard NFL fan and it’s the only sport you watch, take a break and watch some hockey, baseball, basketball, or soccer. It’s crazy, right? You actually get to see a game played.

Every NFL game follows a similar pattern: kickoff (15 seconds), commercials (2 minutes), a couple of plays (1-2 minutes), commercials (2 minutes), punt (15 seconds), commercials (2 minutes), and so on and so forth. CBS even inadvertently cut out some gameplay for more commercials last Thursday night. NFL games last from three to three and a half hours, but only around 11 minutes is actual playing time. I’m not making that up.

3. Inconsistency, Thy Name Is Catch

How many people in the country, including referees, actually know what a catch is? What does it mean “to control the ball” to secure a catch? When does the player who caught the ball become a runner? The vagueness of the NFL’s catch rule, as well as the inconsistency in how catches are defined by referees, hammers home the fact that officials have as much to say in a game’s outcome as the players do. Did your team just score a very obvious touchdown? Don’t celebrate. You have to sit and wait for several minutes as the NFL tries to figure out if the player actually caught the ball.

The same inconsistency can be found in other rules: what constitutes pass interference? The answer depends on that day’s officiating crew. At what point is a tackle considered roughing the quarterback? Depends on the quarterback.

With a little over a minute left in Sunday’s Falcons vs. Seahawks game, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a deep pass to his receiver Julio Jones on fourth down. Jones went for the ball, but Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman grabbed his arm and pulled him away from the ball.

To everyone watching, Sherman had clearly committed pass interference, and the Falcons, trailing 26-24, would benefit from the penalty and have a chance to take the lead. Instead, the referees didn’t throw a flag. Because of another inexplicable NFL rule, the play was not reviewable. The Seahawks were awarded the ball, ran out the clock, and won the game. Eleven penalty flags had been thrown—but none when it mattered most, at least to Atlanta fans.

The inconsistency sends irrational fans to that great fallback conspiracy theory: that the league is rigging games. Just ask Browns fans.

4. No Cameras Allowed

The league’s social media policy is a great example of the NFL actively making things worse for fans and teams. Basically, the new rules state that teams can’t post videos or GIFs from television on social media between kickoff and an hour after the game. They also can’t take videos inside the stadiums, and can’t post live videos through Facebook, Twitter, or Periscope.

The NFL is actively lowering fan participation and free advertisement on social media in an attempt to maximize profits from the content it produces. While some teams have had fun with the new rules by using paper footballs and toy figures to reenact highlights for their social media followers, fans of the game, especially the younger generation, continue to express their frustration.

Team penalties for violating the social media policy can reach $100,000.

5. Something’s Gotta Give

In addition to the above points, NFL fans have been bombarded with the negative news cycle surrounding the league—which includes domestic violence issues, national anthem protests, the NFL’s concussion hypocrisy, decreased participation in youth football nationwide, the Deflategate controversy, the poor selection of primetime games, the loss of marketable stars, and the NFL’s misguided disciplinary policy.

The violent nature of the NFL may have already marked a future expiration date for the league. While that date may not be anytime soon, the NFL is pushing away fans right now. The constant stream of revenue pouring into league coffers has prevented the commissioner from addressing fan concerns to this point, but when November 8 passes, officials will no longer be able to blame the election for dropping viewership.

Baseball is looking really good right now.

Podcast: Free Speech Defenders And Infamous ‘Rigged’ Elections [The Federalist]

Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor in chief of Reason magazine, discusses free speech issues in campaign finance, on college campuses, and Facebook’s board of directors.

In regards to Hillary Clinton’s beliefs on free speech, Mangu-Ward said what Clinton says in public, is what she really believes about the first amendment. “She started her career saying let’s put labels on music,” she said. “She wanted to use the power of the state to shut down people who were being mean.”

Bre Payton, staff writer at The Federalist, later joins the program to discuss the recent history of “rigged” or “stolen” elections. “When Donald Trump says the election is ‘rigged,’ I think it implies there is this larger, globalist conspiracy at work, which we don’t have any evidence that that is occurring at all,” she said. “But there are so many examples of vulnerabilities and issues with our electoral system.”

Listen here:

No Fact-Checkers Can Cover For Hillary Clinton’s Ghastly Abortion Views [The Federalist]

How do you “beat” abortion—how do you ultimately convince enough people it is an indefensible practice that should not, in any civilized society, be legal? You do so by exposing it to the light of day, in the same way that was done with, say, slavery, or civil rights abuses. The great liberation movements of the past knew how to use effective exposure to get their messages across.

The pro-life movement need not necessarily use photographs to transmit its worldview (although I think there are times when it’s appropriate). Rather, the most salient and effective tools in the pro-life arsenal are the cold, hard facts about abortion: it is a medical procedure that kills innocent human beings.

No serious person can deny this in any meaningful way. The only response that the pro-abortion movement can muster is to lapse into confused quack philosophy regarding the matter of “personhood.” For all practical legal purposes, pro-choicers generally put forth the same legal argument as did the majority in Dred Scott v. Sandford. Quite a legacy.

Donald Trump Gave Us a Good Example

Then there is the good rhetorical tool of simple, forceful language. Proving that even he can get something right every now and then, Donald Trump gave a great example of this at the final presidential debate this week, criticizing Hillary Clinton’s position on infanticide: “Well, I think it’s terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

This is indeed the case: under Clinton’s proposed abortion regime, it would be entirely legal to “rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.” She has personally defended partial-birth abortion in the past.

As Hillary put it when pressed on late-term abortions, “there can be restrictions in the very end of the third trimester,” but this is clearly a cowardly and meaningless evasion: Clinton carefully avoiding saying there should be restrictions at the very end of the third trimester. She also asserted the restrictions have to take into account “the life and health of the mother,” but as abortion activist Ron Fitzsimmons demonstrated years ago, late-term abortions were performed with great frequency on “healthy women bearing healthy fetuses.”

This is how abortion “exceptions” generally work. The “health of the mother” is broadened to cover just about every possible consideration, and it becomes an effectively toothless qualifier. Hillary knows this.

Panicked and blindsided by Trump’s accurate description of the brutal procedure that she fully supports, Hillary countered: “Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate.” It’s not scare rhetoric, though—it’s true. But pro-abortionists hate the truth. They despise it, they cannot tolerate the thought of it, and they attempt to bury it at every possible opportunity. Wouldn’t you? Who would want to be caught defending such barbarity?

Let’s Avoid the Truth Because We Hate It

Fascinating to watch in the wake of this debate has been the reaction from “fact-checkers,” the class of pundits and journalists who, in spite of their titles, are not actually all that interested in “facts” and are generally committed to “checking” things only insofar as the facts can be obscured. Take, for instance, Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post:

THE FACT CHECKER | Trump suggested that abortions can take place just two or three days before birth. That doesn’t really happen.

Most abortions take place early in the pregnancy. One-third take place at six weeks or pregnancy or earlier; 89 percent occur in the first 12 weeks, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights. Only 1.2 percent of abortions—about 12,000 a year– take place after 21 weeks. (The Supreme Court has held that states may not prohibit abortions ‘necessary to preserve the life or health’ of the mother.)

On top of that, Guttmacher says that 43 states already prohibit some abortions after a certain point in pregnancy, such as fetal viability, in the third trimester or after a certain number of weeks. So this is already a rare procedure that is prohibited in much of the country.

What kind of a “fact check” is this? It is pure, unadulterated drivel. Trump made a statement about Hillary’s position on late-term abortions. Kessler “fact-checked” it, and this is what he came up with: “This is already a rare procedure.”

That doesn’t address the substance of Trump’s assertion, or anything even approaching the substance of it. Was what Trump said true, or not? Since it was true—and since truth is inconvenient for the pro-abortion movement—we are left with senseless, incoherent babble from the people who purport to “check” “facts.”

What about the Los Angeles Times? Did they “fact-check” Trump’s accurate claim with any grace? “Donald Trump offers graphic description of later-term abortion, but such procedures are extremely rare.” Gee, thanks. Notice that the papers can’t dispute Trump’s “graphic description,” nor can they really mount an effective defense of Clinton. So they are reduced to this petty and genuinely irrelevant distinction: “Such procedures are extremely rare.” Good to know!

Politico, too, claimed that Trump “miss[ed] the mark” on abortion. But it is Politico that missed the mark. Indeed, it is not at all clear that Politico knew there was a mark to hit:

Trump’s graphic description doesn’t provide a fair characterization of how abortion procedures take place. The Supreme Court has held that so-called ‘partial-birth’ abortions are banned nationally, except for when the woman’s life is in danger.

Additionally, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, only 1.2 percent of all abortions in the U.S. take place after 20 weeks of gestation. Many states also impose restrictions on later term abortions. Under the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, states may restrict or ban abortions after fetal viability, although they may not prohibit abortions that are needed to protect the life or health of the woman.

Abortion restrictions vary by state but many ban the procedure after viability or at a particular point in pregnancy, such as 20 weeks or 24 weeks. Technically Trump is right that in a handful of states, abortions may be performed late in pregnancy. But late-term abortions are exceedingly rare.

But Trump wasn’t commenting on what the Supreme Court has held; nor was he remarking on the frequency of late-term abortions, or the scope of abortion restrictions across the United States. He was commenting solely on Hillary Clinton’s position on abortion. The fact-checkers are checking “facts” that were never even addressed at the debate.

Now We Get to the Truth

Perhaps the most viciously mendacious quibble came from Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB/GYN who, writing at the Huffington Post, claimed late-term abortions are generally undertaken to kill a baby who has birth defects. As she put it, “There are no ninth month abortions. Really. A ninth month abortion is a unicorn and so it’s ridiculous to even discuss it.”

How does Gunter characterize this “unicorn?” Simply put: “[T]erminations for birth defects isn’t ripping ‘the baby out of the womb in the ninth month.’ At 38 or 39 weeks, it’s always an induction and is simply called a delivery.” Got that? Killing an unborn human isn’t an “abortion” if you don’t call it an abortion. Rather, it’s a “delivery.” That makes it better.

I have very little faith that Trump, if elected, would do much of anything about abortion. His own ostensible conversion to the pro-life movement feels insincere and opportunistic, like most of the rest of his campaign. But at the very least he spoke accurately about Hillary Clinton’s position on abortion. The least the fact-checkers and the journalist class could do is assess his claim honestly. But why would they start now?

Obama’s Obamacare Speech Proves He’s As Authoritarian As Donald Trump [The Federalist]

In Miami on Thursday afternoon, President Obama gave a speech ostensibly updating the American people on the status of his health-care law. But beneath the wonky explanations lay several dark—one might even call them intolerant—undercurrents.

As much as Donald Trump’s recent comments suggesting he won’t accept the results of November’s election violate democratic norms, President Obama’s demeanor provides a more subtle, but perhaps no less insidious, threat to democratic pluralism and representative government.

Regarding his eponymous law, President Obama thinks only policy outcomes to his liking warrant an end to debate, will only acknowledge ideas and philosophies consonant with his own, and refuses to acknowledge the extent of the deception needed to pass the measure in the first place.

Granted, the president didn’t follow Trump’s (bad) example in saying he would only accept the election results “if I win.” But about the policy consequences arising from said elections, the president’s attitude essentially echoes Trump’s: The outcomes only matter if he wins.

Going Back’ to HillaryCare

As his is wont, the president on Thursday cited multiple votes on repeal bills in Congress, and questioned why Republicans wouldn’t want to “go back” to the days before Obamacare. But to this historian, it’s worth taking at least minute to do just that.

A certain former secretary of State often likes to point out that “it was called Hillarycare before it was called Obamacare.” She’s right, of course. It was called Hillarycare—and the voters overwhelmingly rejected it, handing control of both chambers of Congress to Republicans for the first time in 40 years. Before that, voters and legislators rejected universal coverage schemes under presidents Nixon, Truman, and both presidents Roosevelt, to name but a few.

Viewed from this prism, why did Democrats in 2009 “go back” to try and enact Hillarycare after voters soundly rejected it—not just during the Clinton administration, but time after time after time over a span of nearly a century? Because, for good or for ill, they believed in the objective of universal coverage, and they would not take repeated “nos” from the voters for an answer.

Why then should those concerned about the impact of Obamacare (or for that matter, any program this president promotes) not demonstrate the same level of passion and sustained enthusiasm to obtain their objectives? The answer is simple: They absolutely should—at least, if you believe in democracy. But to judge from his speech, President Obama apparently places a higher priority on denigrating those who would undermine his agenda.

Granted, if you believe government only exists to provide an ever-larger amount of largesse to individuals—a boundless array of programs, generating an ever-growing level of federal munificence—you might think the only outcomes that matter are ones that increase government’s scope and reach. But if you believe that lawmakers, in their rush to obtain short-term political advantage, might be spending their way into unsustainable levels of debt for future generations, you probably take issue with the president’s one-sided perspective.

No One Can Have Any Different Goals than Mine

Likewise, the president refuses to acknowledge that conservatives have any “serious alternatives” to the law. As someone who helped draft not one, but two, such alternatives, I can categorically call that claim false. President Obama likely knows such alternatives exist, but because they disagree with his objectives, he refuses to acknowledge them.

There’s an ironic contradiction between the president’s refusal to acknowledge conservative alternatives to Obamacare and his self-proclaimed willingness to accept ideas from any quarter. In his speech Thursday, the president joked that he would even change the name of Obamacare to “Reagancare” or “Paul Ryancare” if Republicans would agree to improve the measure.

But there’s a not-insignificant catch: President Obama will discuss ideas from anyone, but only if they accomplish his objectives. If the ideas don’t synch up with his objectives—if he doesn’t win on the policy, to echo Trump—then to the president, those ideas simply don’t exist.

The president once again talked about Obamacare’s program of state waivers, which he claimed would provide states flexibility. But as I have previously noted, the law permits states to waive some of the law’s requirements only if they agree to accomplish the law’s objectives. States can impose more mandates and regulations, and cover more people, but not fewer.

Conservatives who wish to emphasize solutions that focus on lowering health-care costs over expanding coverage will find little comfort from the law’s waivers—and little acknowledgement from this president.

Win at All Costs?

One might not recognize it at first glance, but the president’s speech implicitly admitted many of the deceptions needed to pass Obamacare in the first place. In calling the law a “starter home,” and calling for increased subsidies, he conceded that his remarks to Congress stating “the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion” amounted to a bait-and-switch. Ditto his claims that premiums are rising at their slowest rate, far from the $2,500 per family premium reduction he promised in 2008.

But to President Obama, winning his policy objectives is all that matters. Just as with Trump’s comments on the election in November, the only outcomes that matter to President Obama—and the only ideas he will acknowledge—are those in agreement with him. Regardless of whether you believe Obamacare should be preserved, improved, or repealed, that’s bad for democracy.

7 Things Voters Should Care About Besides Trump Vs. Hillary [The Federalist]

In case you haven’t noticed: this year’s presidential election is a pretty big deal. Americans all over the nation are deliberating about whether they intend to vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or the third-party candidate of their choice.

But believe it or not, there are other things you’ll be asked to vote for on November 8. As important as the presidential election is, we also have a legislative branch that presides over the political sphere in Washington—and a whole host of state issues that also often show up on that ballot.

If you aren’t sure what issues you’ll be asked to vote on, Google “what’s on the ballot in my state.” Once you input your ZIP code, you’ll get a list. In addition, you can visit OntheIssues.org to get a good overview of federal and state candidates’ stances.

In case you have not yet talked to someone about political issues outside the executive, here are a few highlights.

1. Your Vote Could Have a Huge Impact on the Senate

Currently, Republicans hold the majority in both the House and the Senate. But there’s a chance Democrats could take back the Senate this fall: they only have 10 seats open this election, while Republicans have to defend 24 seats.

In Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio’s decision to run for president may seriously jeopardize his ability to take back his seat. Not to mention the fact that Rubio “entered the race with the baggage of his own ambivalence toward the job,” in the words of Wall Street Journal reporter Arian Campo-Flores. “He missed numerous votes during his White House run, justifying it by saying the Senate had limited ability to set the nation’s agenda.”

But according to The Hill, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson “faces the most uphill climb of any GOP Senate incumbent seeking reelection.” In Illinois, Sen. Mark Kirk faces a similarly difficult battle—like Johnson, Kirk “represents a solidly blue state and won election in a midterm year.” In addition, he’s being challenged by two-term Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who’s an Iraq War veteran and former assistant secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department.

In Arizona, Sen. John McCain—despite his incumbent status—may face a difficult fight against Democratic nominee Ann Kirkpatrick. “The rise of Donald Trump and his anti-immigration views has served to tighten the race in Arizona, where Hispanics make up about 30% of the population and 22% of the state’s eligible voters,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal predicts similar close battles in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

It’s true that presidents nominate Supreme Court justices. But the Senate confirms them. So this November 8 election is a big deal.

2. Maine Could Make Drastic Changes to Voting Procedures

In what Foreign Policy magazine called “the second most important vote on November 8,” Maine will ask voters to adopt ranked-choice voting. Larry Diamond explains how it works:

In RCV, voters select not just one candidate, but a list of candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets a majority of first-preference votes when tabulating the results, the least popular candidate is eliminated and the second-preference votes of his or her supporters are redistributed to the other candidates. The process continues until someone gets a majority.

What would this do, practically? Among other things, it eliminates the perception that voting third-party is a waste. “Under RCV, voters who don’t like the established party choices can vote their conscience with a first preference, and rank their ‘less bad’ option second,” writes Diamond. “As a result, more independents — who tend to shy away from running because they don’t want to be spoilers — will come forward and present their case.”

3. Oklahoma Could Get Rid of the Blaine Amendment

Oklahoma voters will be asked whether they would like to repeal Article II, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution, known as the “Blaine Amendment.” The amendment’s original text says the following:

No State shall make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by taxation in any State for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund therefor, nor any public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under the control of any religious sect; nor shall any money so raised or lands so devoted be divided between religious sects or denominations.

“It was not widely appreciated until recently that Blaine Amendments were passed as a direct result of the nativist, anti-Catholic bigotry that was a recurring theme in American politics during the 19th and early 20th centuries,” writes the Becket Fund, a group currently fighting Blaine Amendments in several states. Sen. Rob Standridge, author of Oklahoma’s resolution, said many Oklahomans “have expressed dismay such a discriminatory provision was still in our constitution. This measure will give the final say to the citizens of our state.”

4. Californians and Coloradans: Take Note of Health-Care Proposals

Meanwhile, Colorado’s Amendment 69 is proposing a new system called ColoradoCare, “a healthcare payment system designed to finance universal health care for Colorado residents.” This would create the nation’s first single-payer health-care system. Surprise: it’s been endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. The healthcare plan would be funded (“in part”) by a new 10 percent payroll tax and a 10 percent “nonpayroll income” tax.

California has a lot of initiatives on the ballot: everything from banning plastic grocery bags to requiring the use of condoms in pornographic films (not joking). But one of their less bizarre items is Proposition 61. According to BallotPedia, the proposition would cap prescription drug prices at “the lowest price paid for the same drug by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, except as may be required by federal law.” This ballot measure has “the most money spent on it ever in California’s history, with the combined amount of money raised by the support and opposition campaigns totaling to over $101.4 million as of October 2.”

5. Gun Control Is an Issue This Election

There are firearms measures on the ballot in four states: California, Maine, Nevada, and Washington. California is proposing an outright ban on the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines. Maine and Nevada are proposing background checks on gun sales or purchases. And Washington Initiative 1491 would authorize courts “to issue extreme risk protection orders to remove an individual from access to firearms.”

6. Don’t Ignore Minimum Wage Increases

Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington all have proposals to increase the minimum wage—to $10, $12, $12, and $13.50, respectively. Meanwhile, South Dakota has a proposal for a decrease in the youth minimum wage, from $8.50 to $7.50.

7. And Then There’s Marijuana Legalization

There are marijuana legalization measures in several states—nine, to be exact. Some of these (in Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota) call for the authorization of medical marijuana. Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada have proposals for its outright legalization.

And That’s Not All

Don’t take this as an authoritative list of issues to care about. It’s just a glimpse at the issues we should be aware of this fall.

Regardless of where you live, your vote counts. If you don’t want to vote for Clinton or Trump, don’t take that as an excuse to stay home on November 8. There are still important issues to be considered—and the U.S. Constitution put power in the hands of “we the people,” which means you.

It’s Time To Make The Supreme Court Boring Again [The Federalist]

In the second presidential debate, Hillary Clinton described her ideal Supreme Court Justice: someone who “understands the way the world really works, who ha[s] real life experiences.” During Wednesday’s final debate, she called for a Supreme Court that would “represent all of us.”

But neither time did she say a word about commitment to the Constitution or to the text of a statute.

Clinton’s unapologetic call for judicial activism should be frightening. But truth be told, liberals are not the only ones advocating for “judicial engagement.” Debates over religious liberty, marriage, and abortion suggest that both right and left have abandoned the idea of judicial restraint, thus forgetting the Constitution our Founders envisioned.

The Supreme Court Wasn’t Meant to Be This Powerful

The Supreme Court was not always so central to American life: Alexander Hamilton famously described the federal judiciary as the “least dangerous” branch of government. The Constitution itself says surprisingly little about the court. Article III declares that “the judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior Courts as the Congress from time to time ordain and establish.” What “judicial power” is, however, and how it works is unspecified.

At the country’s inception, Hamilton’s humbler view of the court’s role was entirely accurate. The Supreme Court was a rather boring institution, and was held in relatively low esteem. It heard no cases its first two terms, and only 50 cases during its first 10 years. The Justices were required to “ride circuit,” spending approximately half the year trekking across the country by horse, stagecoach, and riverboat to sit as federal trial judges. This arduous duty led many notables, including Hamilton himself, to turn the job down.

All that changed with Marbury v. Madison, the famous judicial review case. Chief Justice Marshall concluded that “the judicial power” referred to by Article III of the Constitution included the power to review a statute and—this was critical—declare it void if contrary to the Constitution.

Marshall’s conclusions are by no means obvious from the text of the document itself. Nevertheless, Marshall’s notion of judicial review set the Supreme Court on the road to stardom. It empowered the court to sit as a review board on national and state legislation—a role the court fully embraced once Congress gave it the time.

The Federal Court System Has Only Grown With Time

Along with Marbury, the elimination of the Supreme Court’s mandatory docket and creation of the federal courts of appeals thrust the judiciary into the limelight. In its first century, the court’s primary role was to correct mundane legal and factual errors made by the federal trial courts. The courts of appeal did not yet exist, and the Supreme Court was required to review nearly every civil case in which its views were sought.

As the Reconstruction Congress enacted more regulatory legislation, the court’s docket became unmanageable. It swelled to over 1200 cases in 1880. The overloaded docket meant that cases received little attention and decisions took years.

In 1891, Congress created the federal courts of appeal to relieve some of the workload, and in so doing, gave the Supreme Court the time and opportunity to put their Marbury power into full effect. By 1925, Congress had made the vast majority of the Supreme Court’s docket discretionary. That meant the Supreme Court could largely set its own agenda by choosing which cases it would hear. The court would no longer sit primarily to correct run-of-the-mill errors. Instead, it decided important questions of federal law. Perhaps not surprisingly, the court has spent much of its time striking down congressional and state laws it regards unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court’s Rise to Power

To say the Supreme Court has grown in power since the Constitution’s framing hardly does justice to the transformation. Today one can only quote Hamilton’s assurances about the “least dangerous branch” ironically.

The change is not all loss. On the upside, judicial review acts as a check on the elected branches. The Supreme Court can ensure that governmental power remains limited, and resist incursions on the Constitution’s structure and liberties by the other branches.

But the power claimed by the current judiciary is dangerous, too. The problem, of course, is that the judiciary is unelected and thus unaccountable. The counter-majoritarian dilemma made famous by Alexander Bickel is very real. When the federal courts strike down a law of Congress, they invalidate the decision made by the people’s representatives.

This is all well and fine when federal courts stick to the text and original meaning of the Constitution and laws they are interpreting. But when courts stray beyond those sources and impose their own values and “understandings,” they take the fundamental freedom of self-governance away from the people.

Thus, any call for “judicial engagement” should carefully confine the judicial role to interpreting statutes, not making them. The prospect of an unelected committee of nine deciding cases—based on their understanding of “how the world works”—should be a non-starter.

There is no doubt that today’s Supreme Court is a political star. But boring would be better.

To Resurrect ‘The Idea Of A Christian Society’ Christians Need To Get Courageous [The Federalist]

We are experiencing a new kind of class warfare, and the Christian voice in the public square is needed now more than ever, says R.R. Reno in Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society. In the book he argues that the new kind of social politics are designed to further a duplicitous vision for society that empowers the upper classes, while providing the illusion this is furthering human progress. And this all comes at the cost of the well-being of the lower castes of society.

Any reader familiar with his “Public Square” column in First Things magazine is likely aware that he has been building this case for some time, warning that the very institutions designed to give the poor a leg up are the new targets in the culture wars. Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society is a resounding exclamation point to the thoughts that he has been solidifying in his column.

Reno fleshes things out by juxtaposing the top 20% way of life against the bottom 20%, which he calls Belmont and Fishtown respectively. Cold hard statistics show the moral reckoning that Fishtown experiences as a consequence for the moral deregulation to advance the “soft hedonist” agenda of Belmont. While Belmont continues to live as though they are planted firmly in the 1950s—where the church, the family, and the community are as strong as ever—Fishtown is experiencing record numbers of divorce, fatherless homes, addiction, and unprecedented unemployment among able bodied men.

Through moral deregulation, Belmont is further able to enjoy the comforts of a relativistic system that facilitates prosperity for a class of people who still have community, unrivaled discipline, and access to rehab clinics when all else fails. All the while, this moral deregulation is making life for the poor a living hell.

A recent study that examined religious affiliation and social class points toward the idea of his book by showing that according to a person’s place in society typically determines what, if any, kind of church a person attends. The churches that adhere to the most fundamentalist beliefs and are hard lined on social issues tend to be attended by people from the working class and altogether less prosperous economic backgrounds. Connecting these dots to Reno’s book, the fundamentalist narrative is more wholly embraced by those who need an authority unapologetic about its position on drug or alcohol use and marital infidelity, while the upper classes embrace the churches where love and forgiveness is always the answer.

But looking at what Christian groups are most under attack in the culture wars, it is not Methodists or Episcopals who are fighting the courts to practice their beliefs in the public square. The churches who are willing to change with the culture are the ones most predominant in Belmont and least likely to be taking fire in the culture wars.

This is all a relatively new development in the West, Reno asserts. Whether it was manifest as divine kingship or just civic duty, our elite classes have historically considered it their responsibility to be the moral trendsetter. Now the sexual revolution and globalization seem to be the primary instigators behind the rebellion of Belmont against this understanding.

As a microcosm of culture, our elite colleges and public schools across America tend to magnify these moral shifts the most. What might the shifts look like? Tampons in the men’s rooms at Brown University? Trigger warnings for students whose lives are so foreign to the idea of struggle that the mere existence of confrontation can be almost unmanageable? College administrators who have to create flow charts to explain to students what Halloween costumes are offensive? These are problems that can only exist in communities without many other problems.

Consider Reno’s point: when is the last time anyone has read the profile in a prominent newspaper of a gay couple preparing to take vows who are employed as janitors or do shift work at the local factory? Or have we even seen a story on an inner-city school fighting for non-gendered pronouns or implementing systems to reduce their carbon footprint? These are not the issues of a class of people still struggling with poverty, atomization, and single-parent households.

Reno rightly notes that Fishtown depends on this moral guidance in structuring their lives in a successful manner. Forced compliance with Belmont’s pet policies only saps resources and erodes the institutions that Fishtown needs for its children to ever have a chance at moving on up to Belmont.

One of the more fascinating ideas in this book is how we struggle to define how this deregulation is being imposed from top down. “Moral relativism” is a phrase one often sees bandied about, but Reno suggests this is an incorrect diagnosis. According to Reno, a moral relativist does not live inside a 1950s-era cocoon where people marry, stay together, have children, and enable them to navigate life in the upper classes of society.

Instead, we are living in an era of nonjudgmentalism because in practice, relativism is for thee, not for me. While citizens of Belmont may handle the legal accessibility of various intoxicants generally well and keep their adulterous escapades discreet, it is access to the same substances and womanizing that condemn many others to the confines of Fishtown.

Reno also shows that when Belmont issues such as doctor-assisted suicide enter the public imagination, they rarely do so without producing side effects, in this case an accompanying increase of suicides in general by nearly 30 percent between the ages 35 and 64. Belmont is given the rich man’s luxury of deciding how and when he dies, or what Reno observes is “a soft landing for a high achiever who’s been the pilot of his own life.” But while “cultural change affects everyone, and there are costs paid by others.”

What should likely not come as any surprise to most believing Christians is that contemporary western society needs Jesus, and specifically the adherence to Christian values. It took Christians to end the cruel gladiator shows some 16 centuries ago; it took the growth of Christian families to end the practice of infanticide in ancient Rome; and it took Christian institutions centuries to create the hospital system we depend on today. Though Christians may be pushed to the edges of public life, our systems of morality are needed now more than ever.

Reno is careful to make clear he is not suggesting a theocracy, but rather that the Christian needs to be the leaven of society. He implores the reader to push back against the nonjudgmental will that the upper classes of society has impressed upon us. “We need to criticize the critics for their often unconscious but all too real service of the powerful,” Reno writes. “A Christian society judges nonjudgmentalism unjust.” He further explains that the preferential option for the poor requires the Christian to abandon nonjudgmentalism for the sake of the “least of these.”

One of the best aspects of this book is the optimism with which Reno approaches the current state of affairs. He does not mince words about the challenges we face in reasserting the values that made America great, but nor does he suggest it may be time to tuck tail and retreat. For Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society may very well be among the most important books of this year. It both highlights the challenges of the twenty-first-century Christian and provides avenues and hope for reasserting our place as the conscience of American life.

True freedom, as taught by Jesus Christ and championed by the apostles, requires both love and an ability to say no. Although there is nothing new about Christians saying no to the corrosive habits of a society hell-bent on social libertinism, we are facing a new kind of hostility for these beliefs. Our place at the public table requires our willingness to assert Christian freedom as though the widow and the orphan depend on it, because their fates surely depend on our courage as much as our compassion.

When Social Justice Warriors Get Through With Halloween, It Won’t Exist [The Federalist]

Just in time for Halloween, a social scare-tale is playing out across the country. Well, actually, an isolated incident has taken place with a lone crank targeting a holiday event, but still, the horror!

The impetus for change is Ron Thomas, a mental health activist whose schizophrenic son died at the hands of police years ago. What does Thomas’ tragic experience have to do with a Halloween theme park? I am not sure I could tell you. While there is a zeal to his complaints, there was little curiosity or analysis in his accusations.

Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times details how Thomas caused Knotts Berry Farm to close its Halloween-themed amusement park, called FearVR: 5150. Curiously, Thomas expected to be offended by the theme park, yet went anyway. Now, if I find myself offended by an activity, I take action by not engaging in that activity. That is not possible for today’s social justice warriors. Avoiding offense is never an option. Banishing that activity, and preventing others from any possible enjoyment they derive from it, is the only acceptable result.

While Thomas did head over to the attraction, he never got in—the lines were too long. “Instead, he talked to people as they exited and asked them to describe FearVR. They told him they were strapped into seats as if being admitted to a hospital, and then were transported into a frightening scene of mayhem,” Lopez writes. Therefore any outrage and action taken as a result is the result of hearsay.

Thomas Found What He Was Looking For

Yet Thomas went on to complain that the park “perpetuates stereotypes” about mentally ill people. But the use of a mental hospital for psychological fright purposes clearly derives from cinema. Mental asylums have long been a film setting, used so extensively they’ve become a trope in horror movies. Moreover, the attraction could hardly be described as an accurate portrayal of contemporary mental health facilities for other reasons.

FearVR patrons were stalked by a patient described as possessing demonic powers. Other elements of the exhibit included the paranormal and zombies. “The whole thing sounded wildly inappropriate to Thomas, whose son was in and out of mental facilities in his years-long struggle with schizophrenia. ‘It’s so insensitive,’ said Thomas.’” When Thomas says the attraction was confirming hurtful stereotypes, he is also suggesting that ghosts, demons, and zombies are elements commonly affiliated with the mental health field.

The Orange County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness also approached organizers with grievances. The park officials then declared they would drop the “5150” designation.

The virtual reality experience is actually built around paranormal, zombie-like activity in a medical hospital setting. Cedar Fair [Knott’s parent company] recognizes the perception of the experience has raised concerns around the insensitivity to the stigmas surrounding mental health.… Part of the confusion stems from the use of the code 5150 in the experience’s original name. For that reason, the name has been changed to FearVR.

Not acceptable! These activists demand blood! Or, at least, some red ink needs to flow. “Thomas said changing the name, but not the content, wasn’t good enough,” Lopez wrote. NAMI chapter President Jim Leyerle also received the announcement but was hardly placated: “he thought that was a step in the right direction, but he wasn’t entirely satisfied and requested a meeting with Knott’s officials.”

Journalists Give Grievance-Mongers a Lift

It never occurs to Lopez, as is often the case with sympathetic journalists, to ask who these authorities are that they need to be “satisfied.” How are they in any position to demand such? Lopez approached this story by assuming guilt, which includes the assumption that any demands need to be met. His column declares early, “Here’s the story; you be the judge.” However this even-handed declaration is compromised by his opening sentence: “The folks who run Knotts Berry Farm did a lousy thing”—just in case you didn’t have the energy to judge for yourself.

The columnist also tips a biased hand with an assumptive query. “The obvious question is this: If it wasn’t meant to be a mental institution, why was 5150 originally in the name?” Except, Knotts never said it “wasn’t meant to be.” Their statement declares it is in fact using that setting, noting that the attraction’s focus on other-worldly paranormal and zombie-like elements doesn’t represent contemporary mental health realities.

This distinction is too much for the aggrieved to comprehend. When the activist crowd finds itself in a froth over an issue, facts are rarely in play. Countering their claims with accuracy does little to curtail the outrage. The pitchforks are already in hand. Nothing will pacify them short of retribution.

Appeasement Feeds the Monsters

Despite the name change, Lopez, Thomas, and the OC-NAMI all got their scalp. In a later email Knotts Berry Farm alerted the Times writer, “We have decided to close the attraction.” This was the wrong decision, for the same reason you do not pay kidnappers a ransom: appeasement only encourages more of the activist behavior.

Note well that when activists demand satisfaction they are rarely ever satisfied. To wit, the reaction from Lopez is hardly that of a sated SJW. “My first thought: Bravo! But another line in the email made me wonder if Knott’s was taking blame, or pointing a finger.” Of course, as soon as an entity retracts in the fashion you demanded, the first reaction needs to be critical.

Someday businesses may realize appeasement is bad business. Placating a group that was never your customer base does not lead to financial reward. Also, as this case continues to prove, satisfying their demands usually leads to them delivering scorn.

In the meantime, the general public mutes its holiday revelry. Go forth, and enjoy your sanitized frights that are approved by the proper cultural authorities. Just understand the scariest part: these social cranks are only becoming more empowered.

Hemingway: Brazile’s E-mail Is The Tip Of The Media Bias Iceberg [The Federalist]

Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway joined Fox News to talk about how the most recent WikiLeaks dump has revealed corruption among the media and Democrats.

“It was audacious, it was arrogant, and it’s completely unacceptable for what we have learned from these WikiLeaks,” Hemingway said about DNC interim chairwoman Donna Brazile’s response when she was questioned about allegedly sending questions to be asked in an upcoming debate to the Clinton campaign.

While the e-mails leaked by WikiLeaks were indeed stolen, the facts appear to indicate it would have been possible for Brazile to have known a debate question and to have sent it to the Clinton campaign ahead of the debate, she explained.

“Donna Brazile herself is the current head of the DNC because of previous WikiLeaks that showed that corruption in the Democratic Party,” she said. “This is also part of a much bigger story that we’ve learned from WikiLeaks which is just this general compliance among the media with the Clintons and with Democrats.”

“This is not just about Donna Brazile at CNN, this is about John Harwood, who was the moderator for the GOP debate, being so obsequious with John Podesta, sending emails and talking about how great Hillary Clinton is and how silly it would be that you would even have a concern about her email. He sent that email a month before he was moderating a GOP debate.”

“It’s not just him, it’s people at Politico, people at The New York Times who were passing quotes along to the Clintons and saying ‘You can veto this quote’ or that quote or saying ‘Can I run this story,'” Hemingway said. “This is such a violation of journalistic ethics, it’s just not even close.”

Payton: Trump Has Legitimate Concerns About A ‘Rigged’ Election [The Federalist]

Federalist staff writer Bre Payton joined Fox Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Thursday night to explain why Trump’s concerns about the electoral process being rigged and wanting a fair election are legitimate.

“It’s perfectly fair to expect a fair election,” Payton said, referring to Donald Trump’s comments that he would only accept the election results if they were fair. “His questioning of this being rigged is completely reasonable given that a GOP office in North Carolina was literally firebombed last week.”

Payton also cited a Pew Charitable Trust study that found one in eight voter registrations was invalid, equating to roughly 18 million invalid voter registrations still being on the rolls — enough to tip an election.

“It’s also telling that a lot of the groups that try to silence or gaslight concerns about voter integrity often are liberal groups,” she added.

“We’re often told that requiring someone to bring a photo ID to the polls is somehow racist,” Payton said. “I think it’s ironic that it often comes from the left and now we’re seeing physical evidence that the left is actually doing this.”

I’m Sick Of Left-Wing Politics In My Sports Stories [The Federalist]

Yahoo Sports’ Major League Baseball page Big League Stew exemplifies why Yahoo is losing readership. Instead of sticking with their area of expertise, they venture too much into social justice warrior journalism. A case in point is Liz Roscher, who recently wrote that Pedro Martinez used an “offensive gesture” in an attempt to celebrate the Indians’ victory over the Red Sox.

Martinez, who is part of the TBS pre- and post-game broadcast, did a Native American war whoop in tribute to the team. Since athletes have compared their competition to battle since forever and Cleveland’s mascot is an Indian, it just makes sense to imitate a war cry after victory.

For someone to get offended by this just demonstrates SJW virtue-signaling, not concern for Native American honor or well-being. Roscher goes so far as to say that using an Indian face as a mascot is racist. According to her and her ilk, it is now offensive to even draw a person of color. I feel like I just woke up from a coma in the Middle East where people are told who they can and cannot depict in drawings.

It is especially irksome when people like her take offense at this but are silent about the fighting Irish mascot of Notre Dame or the Viking mascot for the Minnesota NFL team. Is it because they believe all Irish are violent or that all Scandinavians got on boats and raided the rest of Europe? I don’t think so. Yet not a peep of outrage.

I agree that if Native Americans don’t want to be caricatured as a sports logo then we should remove those logos immediately. There are far better things that could be caricatured to represent Cleveland. How about the Cleveland Fires?

As if Roscher hadn’t demonstrated her hate against the culture that has created everything she holds dear, she added a last parting shot. “It’s just a coincidence that the TBS incident happened on Columbus Day, a day that celebrates the man who didn’t discover America but just landed near it, and then decimated native populations.”

Roscher not only misses the point of the holiday but also excludes and misstates actual history. The holiday is a celebration of the fact that Columbus had discovered lands that were new to Europeans instead of landing in Japan like he intended.

This paved the way for other explorers to further Europeans’ knowledge of the world. Roscher leaves the reason out of the equation: why did Columbus set sail west? He was looking for a new way to procure the spices of India because Ottoman Turks and other violent Muslim nations had blocked trade. Following Roscher’s logic to its conclusion, blame for what happened to Native Americans after Columbus arrived could be laid at Muslims’ feet.

Finally, Columbus didn’t decimate native populations. European diseases for which Native Americans had no immunity did that. If he is to blame for that, do Europeans have the right to blame Asians for the fact that the Black Death wiped out a third of Europe’s population? Do you see how silly that sounds?

A word of advice to Yahoo: tell your writers to stick to their subject matter. We don’t need politics in our sports stories. We already get enough of that from all of your links to Hello Giggles, People, and Vibe. Taking a phrase from our SJW friends: make your sports pages a safe place for everyone. Please!

12 Reasons Donald Trump Is A Bluth From ‘Arrested Development’ [The Federalist]

Remember “Arrested Development”? Well, the Bluth family is back, except in real life, embodied in Donald Trump and company. Behold the evidence.

1. They Like to Eavesdrop

trumpphone phone

2. They Can’t Quite Grasp Religion



3. They Lack Respect for Women


4. They Have Few Qualms About Their Proclivities

5. They Had Questionable Real Estate Dealings with Middle Eastern Tyrants


6. They Want a Wall



7. They Have an Interest in Scott Baio



8. They Have a Side Business Selling Food



9. They Have Dubious Charities



10. They Do Bad Chicken Impressions

11. They Have a Thing for Doves



12. They Have Some Creepy Family Relationships



All Pumpkin Beer Is Not Gross. Try These [The Federalist]

The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and the sun is setting early enough that “Look, it’s dark, time to go to sleep” just might get your kids in bed by a reasonable hour. With fall also comes one of the trendiest beer flavors: pumpkin. Just about every brewery makes a variation of pumpkin beer now. It’s the thing. Pumpkin beer is also quite divisive. People love ‘em or hate ‘em.

I generally buy a couple of bottles of what I’m going to taste for the week. I’ve usually had most of them before, so I don’t get more than a few to drink and photograph. This week, though, I bought at least four of the beers I tried. I had one of each at the beginning of the week, again a couple days later, and then again before writing. I gave my palate a lasting chance to figure out pumpkin beers, and came away with one favorite, one that was pretty good, and one that was lacking.

How Pumpkin Beer Come to Be

First let’s talk about what pumpkin beer is, or at least what it’s supposed to be. Pumpkin beers are mostly, but not exclusively ales. Some brewers throw in actual cut or smashed pumpkins into their mash, some use pumpkin purée like you would for a pie, and others opt just for pumpkin flavoring. Most of these ales are pretty malty, low on bitterness, and high on the sweet, savory spices of the pumpkin flavors.

With the varying pumpkin and spice inputs, you get a broad variety for these beers. Some are heavy on the allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Some are not. I tend to like the beers that are closer to pumpkin pie in a glass, but that’s just me.

I tried three beers this week. I got the Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, the Punkin Ale from Dogfish Head, and the Nightmare on 1st Street Imperial Pumpkin Ale from No Label Brewing.

I don’t generally drink anything that’s from the Bud, Miller, or Coors family, but Blue Moon is an incredibly popular brand and their pumpkin ale is very easy to find, so I gave it a shot. This was my least favorite of the beers I tried. It’s the lightest in color of the three, and had the least real pumpkin flavor of the bunch. As I moved along in the pumpkin beer tasting I realized this was the most “industrial grade” of the beers I had, which makes sense since it comes from the folks at Coors.

Now For the Yummier Pumpkin Beer

Then I had the one everyone who likes pumpkin beers was telling me to try, the Punkin Ale from the good folks at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. These guys make some great beers, particularly their incredibly punchy 60, 90, and 120 minute IPAs, which are worthy of an entire column. This was my second favorite of the beers, much better than the Blue Moon but just shy of the No Label variety. It’s a copper pour, very full-bodied brown ale that is brewed with actual pumpkin plus allspice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It comes closer to that drinkable pumpkin pie flavor.

Finally, I had the Nightmare on 1st Street Imperial Pumpkin Ale from No Label Brewing Co. in Katy, Texas. This brewery located just off of I-10 in Houston’s largest suburb makes their pumpkin ale as part of their “Off Label” series. This pumpkin beer uses an imperial amber ale as its base, or “binding potion,” as they describe it. It’s full of rich, roasty pumpkin flavor plus a heavy dose of clove and ginger, and a nice dash of allspice and cinnamon. This is pumpkin pie in a glass. This is what I want to drink while eating dessert on Thanksgiving night. It’s a damn good beer.

That brings up a good point. A good pumpkin beer is a tasty, sweet, solid beer. You’re not going to pound these while watching the World Series. These are beers that you have with desert (or breakfast instead of those overrated Starbucks “Pumpkin Spice” Lattes). So if you’re up for it, grab a few of these and try them out before the holidays. When you find one you like, keep some around for after Thanksgiving dinner. Pumpkin pie plus pumpkin beer will make for a great way to close out Turkey Day.


This Week In Weird Twitter, Volume 72 [The Federalist]

A truth was recently revealed to the world. Famed theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking is actually a supervillain, one planning to use Jaguars (the vehicles and not the jungle cats) to shred through Einstein-Rosen Bridges, also known as wormholes, and rip apart the very seams of space and time.

As yet, we do not know what he will do once he destroys the fabric of the multiverse, but we have to assume it won’t be good and may involve actual jaguars. Maybe, just maybe, Hawking the evil genius plans to use Jaguar SUVs to transport jaguar jungle cats to other dimensions, unleashing a snarling, nightmarish cornucopia of destruction upon us all.

For a man who once asked, “In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?” it’s a devilishly unexpected and fiendish move, but it could also prove rather entertaining.

I guess it’s possible that Hawking is planning to use jaguars to fight these and the whole supervillain thing is just a ruse.

I think it’s more of a promise.

And from that one, he pulled another universe.

Stop bringing people’s alternate selves back from the other worlds, Hawking!

Too bad I put a black hole in there.

This is actually the same in all the universes.

Then, just start raining jaguars on your audience.


There’s a certain theoretical physicist who might dispute one or two of these.

Don’t despair. Perhaps an alternate version of you is doing this very thing at this exact moment.

You should’ve gone with “In Your Eyes.”

Have you ever considered not chasing them?

If only you were armed with a team of angry, interdimensional predators that could devour them.

Put. On. The. Glasses.

Then you get sucked through a portal and thrown in the back of an SUV.

Maybe you should’ve doubled back instead of continuing in the tunnel.

I’ll take “Shows That Are Going to Vanish During a Trip to the Store” for $800, Alex.

Why would anyone ask questions about this?


Your mistake is thinking there’s an order.

In a wormhole, no one can hear you scream.

Yes, this works better than shouting.

Then, in a shocking twist, a jaguar jumps out of the last pocket he goes to fill.

Where’s Steven Seagal when you need him?

This universe is a tad frightening.

But what if they’d arrived via the Einstein-Rosen Bridge?

It’s for the best that you embrace the supervillain’s plan.

There’s a solution for this.

She’s just thinking about her final plans for a post-jaguar-apocalypse hellscape.

You see, the tests show that there’s a snarling jungle cat directly behind you.

He shouldn’t try to stop you from crossing over to another dimension.

Maybe the crosswalk guard had a point.

That’s the spirit!

Another rule of fight club.

That little girl shouldn’t have broken rule one.

You won’t believe what happened next.

A lesser known but equally important rule of fight club, one from a parallel plane where things are a bit different.

When battling a sinister physicist, this is a strength.

But the other version of her…

What most don’t realize is that out there in the multiverse, the garden was a pumpkin patch and orchard.

And with that, I’m off to another world, provided I can avoid the stalking beasts.

Though our supervillain is possessed of unique intelligence and a nefarious plan, it was not to be. The omniverse is a large and contains multitudes, including a number of Walt Whitmans who focus more on thwarting nefarious plans than on crafting verses.

It was in one of those that Hawking met his end. Hawking set about to release his squadron of jaguars when Whitman emerged from the shadows and proclaimed, “Be composed—but be not at ease with me—I am Walt Whitman, liberal and lusty as Nature. You killed a parallel version of me. Prepare to die.”

Thus his plot unravels, though the advice Whitman dispensed remains. For no matter the situation, it’s good to be prepared.

Annual ARRL On-Line Auction Now Open for Bidding! [American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources]

The 11th Annual ARRL On-Line Auction now is under way. Bidding on nearly 300 items will continue through Thursday, October 27. Participants must register. Those who have participated in past ARRL On-Line Auction events may use their previous log-in information.

This year’s auction booty includes some vintage ham radio items, including a Collins S Line. Premier items from the QST “Product Review”...

The K7RA Solar Update [American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources]

Over the past reporting week (October 13-19) compared to the previous seven-day average daily sunspot number declined from 55 to 31, while average daily solar flux dropped from 101.9 to 83.4.

Planetary A index increased from 6.6 to 19.1, and average mid-latitude A index jumped from 5 to 14.

This is the opposite of what happened two weeks ago compared to last week, when A indices decreased but sol...

Is AI Cause For Fear Or Hope? [Tech Tent]

Are researchers now taking the ethics of artificial intelligence seriously, following a series of rapid recent advances? Plus how "computational propaganda" is at play in the US election. And, the claim that "ransomware" is now the cybercrime of choice against businesses. Presented by Rory Cellan-Jones, with special guest Thomas Tamblyn, technology editor of the Huffington Post UK. (Image: Human and robot hands touching, Credit: Thinkstock).

The News Quiz, 21 October 2016 [Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4]

Jeremy Hardy, Chris Addison, Rebecca Front and Zoe Lyons join Chairman Miles Jupp for the latest edition of the long-running satirical quiz of the week's news. Trump/Clinton, The Labour Party and Heathrow are just some of the topics tackled by the panel. Producer: Paul Sheehan. A BBC Studios Production.

Democrat Operative Admits: We’ve Been Rigging Elections “for 50 Years” [Blazing Cat Fur]


“It’s a very easy thing for Republicans to say, ‘Well, they’re bussing people in.’ Well, you know what? We’ve been bussing people in to deal with you f*****g a******s for 50 years and we’re not going to stop now.” So said Scott Foval, until recently the national field director for left-wing group Americans United for Change. The people he described so vulgarly are Republicans, and by “deal with” he was referring to committing vote fraud.

You know, that crime Democrats claim doesn’t exist.


Woman Working on Sex Abuse Documentary in Refugee Camp Raped by Migrants [Blazing Cat Fur]


Police in nearby Boulogne-sur-Mer confirmed that no arrests have yet been made, but that police officers are hunting for three Afghan suspects allegedly responsible for the violent assault.

There are some 10,000 people currently living in the Calais Jungle, the vast majority of which are young men from Afghanistan, Syria and Eritrea. The camp is due to be razed to the ground before Christmas, and possibly as early as next week, with residents dispersed to other parts of France.


‘Global warming’ in Texas a farce [Blazing Cat Fur]


RealClimateScience.com, which refers to itself as “The Deplorable Climate Science Blog,” maintains that Texas has been cooling since 1895, but this observation reportedly “doesn’t suit NOAA’s global warming agenda.”

Using animation, the blog illustrates the fact that the NOAA keeps manipulating and cooling down the past temperatures of the Lone Star State further and further to create the appearance of a warming trend.


Internet Down This Morning? Massive Cyber Attack Cripples Internet Across Eastern Half of U.S. [Blazing Cat Fur]


From Indiana to Maine and all the way down into North Carolina many Americans awoke to frustration as they couldn’t access many high profile platforms like Twitter, Soundcloud and many others. Or anything at all for some.

This because of a massive cyber attack that utilized “denial of service” methods to cripple infrastructure. The DOS attack took down domain name servers, the system that associates domains with the websites they point to.


Fox News Is Reporting Widespread Voter Fraud, Obama Says It’s Dangerous to Report It [Blazing Cat Fur]


Barack Obama took his views to an extreme level, saying it’s dangerous to talk about voter fraud because it will undermine our democracy. Substitute ‘democracy’ with ‘big government’.


Iran Demands “Many Billions” In New Ransoms [Blazing Cat Fur]


In what ought to be the least surprising news story of all time, the Washington Free Beacon reports that Iran is seeking “many billions” in new ransom payments from the Obama administration. After all, the last time they shook that tree giant pallets of cash fell out.


Facial Recognition’s Threat to Privacy is Worse Than Anyone Thought [Blazing Cat Fur]


If we don’t speak up now, the days when we can walk around with our heads held high without fear of surveillance are numbered. Federal and local law enforcement across the country are adopting sophisticated facial recognition technologies to identify us on the streets and in social media by matching our faces to massive databases.


The Solution to Canada’s Aboriginal Problem: Give Them a Country [Blazing Cat Fur]


Canada’s aboriginals have been a problem for Canada since the first French settlers were attacked by the Iroquois. The solution is staring us in the face. Since we took their land, we need to give it back to them; and not just a sliver, a lot of it.


Experts warn anti-terror scheme launched by British Muslims risks ‘deepening divisions’ [Blazing Cat Fur]


The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which represents 500 charities, schools and mosques, will create a scheme aiming to quash terrorist narratives from developing within communities.

The group set up the initiative in direct competition to the Home Office’s anti-radicalisation scheme, Prevent, which they insist imposes a strong western government ideology and foreign policy, rather than simply discouraging terrorism and violence.

However, critics now fear this rival scheme could in fact strain relations and undermine the Government’s work.


“Nothing to Do with Islam”? [Blazing Cat Fur]

“Politicians rarely have long term vision. They want tangible, if possible immediate, results.”


Kids do Trump, genderless pronouns and moose-eating grizzlies [Because News from CBC Radio]

Comedian Mary Walsh, Big Brother Canada's Arisa Cox and author Tom Howell take this week's news quiz.

Insight in to the minds of Italian men and soccer coaches [Laugh Out Loud from CBC Radio]

Sandra Battaglini introduces you to the King of "abbreves" - her Italian father and Dan Taylor tells you what your soccer coach is REALLY thinking.

"Dave’s Hypochondria" – October 21st, 2016 [Vinyl Cafe Stories from CBC Radio]

This week we have two stories about Dave’s hypochondria. In the first half of the show, Dave swallows a fly. In the second half, he goes to visit a friend in the hospital.

Florida Man Leaves TV News Business, Becomes Gay Porn Star [Jammie Wearing Fools]

Let’s face it, considering the utter contempt most Americans have for the media, doing gay porn is a step up in prestige.

For more than two decades Jim Walker was a clean-cut anchor who read the news on Fox, NBC and CBS.

He was nominated for two regional Emmys and became known for his calm and authoritative delivery of the news.

But after 23 years he left that all behind him to embark on a completely different career – reinventing himself as Dallas Steele, a gay porn actor with dozens of blue movies to his name.

The 44-year-old said he turned his back on the news networks because of the immense pressure to get ratings.

He has had implants in his backside, which he said were paid for by an escort client, and says he has no regrets.

In an interview, he said: ‘I’m much more successful in every measure than I ever was before.’

He apparently felt being stuck in Southwest Florida wasn’t doing much for his career, so gay porn seemed like a better career choice.

In an interview with TitanMen (It’s very NSFW, so Google it if you like), Walker (AKA Dallas Steele) opened up about the reasons why he walked away from the news business.

“I left the business in 2013 after my boss in Southwest Florida told me that research had shown ’people here just don’t like you,’” Steele said. “Add to that, the immense pressure of daily ratings where your job is virtually on the line every single day.”

While Steele says that he misses covering breaking stories, he doesn’t miss the “schizophrenic management” of producers directing his every waking moment. Internet trolls have tried to bother Steele since he started his “mid-life crisis”, but according to him, he’s taking it in stride and is quite enjoying his line of work.

Plus he’s got his self-esteem back.

Man Arrested After Bomb Threat to GOP Office in North Carolina [Jammie Wearing Fools]

Maybe the authorities can dig a little deeper and see if he knows who firebombed the GOP office last weekend. Not that the media has any interest in that.

A suspect has been charged and is in custody after calling in a bomb threat to Republican Party headquarters on Thursday.

Officers said a chairman entered the headquarters on Asheville Highway around 10:30 a.m. and found multiple threatening voicemails left by the same man. The messages were described as very vulgar and the suspect was reportedly angry about a pamphlet left on his property.

The suspect said he left a bomb at the GOP headquarters, according to officers.

A bomb dog with the State Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene and the building was evacuated, but an investigation didn’t turn up anything suspicious. Investigators said the building has been cleared for re-entry around 2:45 p.m.

While officers cleared the building, detectives from the police department worked to identify the suspect. Detectives identified Dylan James Schacht of Hendersonville as the suspect responsible for making the threat, and he was taken into custody.

There doesn’t seem to be much of an electronic trail from this clown, but perhaps this is him.

Because these Christian Republicans are complete bafoons and they should not have any power in running this country.


Nutty! Clinton Fan Smears Cars with Peanut Butter Because Trump or Something [Jammie Wearing Fools]

We’ll say one thing for Mrs. Clinton: She’s got the mentally ill vote locked up.

An Amherst Junction woman has been charged with disorderly conduct after allegedly smearing peanut butter on several vehicles parked outside what she mistakenly thought was a Donald Trump rally.

Christina Ferguson, 32, was arrested on Oct. 17 after disrupting what was actually a meeting of the Tomorrow River Conservation Club.

According to the complaint, Ferguson entered the meeting, which was being held on the 3900 block of Second St. in Amherst Junction, at about 9:30 PM on Monday, holding a jar of peanut butter and yelling at the club members about how much she hated the presidential candidate.

Ferguson left the meeting after being asked to do so, but after a few minutes one of the members suggested they check the parking lot to “make sure she wasn’t doing anything to their vehicles after leaving.”

As they went outside, one man saw Ferguson spreading peanut butter on a vehicle. He yelled at her, according to the complaint, and watched her walk into a nearby apartment complex. The man then called the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies attempted to question Ferguson, a man at the apartment claimed she had been home all night and couldn’t have been involved in the incident. Ferguson also claimed she hadn’t left the apartment that night, and was repeatedly licking her fingers — indicating the presence of an edible substance on her fingers, according to the complaint — while talking to the deputy.

After being identified by a member of the conservation club, Ferguson then admitted to crashing the meeting and smearing vehicles with peanut butter. When asked why she did it, Ferguson become “very emotional”, according to the complaint, and talked about “how much she loved Hillary Clinton and hated Donald Trump.”

She also said she’d been “terrorized” by people who support Donald Trump.

“Peanut buttering is better than firebombing, and Trump plans on firebombing everybody in other countries,” she said, according to the complaint.


Speaking of firebombing, that story about Trump’s office in North Carolina getting torched sure did disappear from the radar pretty quickly.

Via Tim Blair.

Feds: Theft of Classified Material is ‘Felonious Conduct That is Breathtaking in its Longevity and Scale’ [Jammie Wearing Fools]

A shame for this guy his name isn’t Clinton. Then he’d have the entire media, Justice Department and a large segment of the population scoffing and saying it’s no big deal.

A former government contractor who’s charged with stealing thousands of classified and sensitive intelligence files committed “breathtaking” crimes, according to a new filing from federal prosecutors.

Harold Thomas Martin, III, 51, has been charged with stealing government property and unauthorized removal of classified materials. He was arrested in late August, but his case was only made public earlier this month.
In its filing Thursday, the government said they may bring charges against Martin beyond those he currently faces, including violations of the Espionage Act.
Before his arrest, Martin worked as a contractor to the National Security Agency through consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, which fired him after he was charged. He has a long history working with sensitive government intelligence, and served in the US Navy and Naval Reserves for more than 10 years, reaching the rank of lieutenant.
In a filing from prosecutors Thursday arguing that Martin should be kept in custody until his trial, the government alleged there is “overwhelming” evidence that Martin committed the crimes.
“Throughout his government assignments, the Defendant violated that trust by engaging in wholesale theft of classified government documents and property — a course of felonious conduct that is breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” prosecutors wrote.
A hearing on Martin’s detention is set for Friday.
The filing contained more detail on the thousands of documents prosecutors say they found in Martin’s home and vehicle — which they say was parked in the open and used to drive around members of the public as it contained top secret documents. The information he had digitally, the feds said, was equivalent to approximately 50,000 gigabytes, enough to store 500 million documents containing images and text.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton’s top aide left classified information in a rental car overseas and hey, no big deal, let’s move on!

Huma Was Concerned About Clinton’s $12 Million Solicitation from Morocco: ‘She created this mess and she knows it’ [Jammie Wearing Fools]

Is it any wonder this criminal Hillary Clinton was desperate to have the clown Donald Trump as her opponent? Stories like this clearly demonstrate what a vile, corrupt thug she is but none of it regsters since she’s got a human dumpster fire as her opponent. Normally stories like this would break presidential campaigns. Instead the media is busy kvelling over Trump getting booed at a dinner.

Hillary Clinton solicited a $12 million donation from a government her State Department considered corrupt, then realized the “mess” it would cause to her presidential run, a newly leaked ­e-mail reveals.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco agreed to give the money to the Clinton Foundation, provided that it hold a convention in his country in May 2015 with Clinton as the keynote speaker.

But Clinton realized that the conference, slated for a month after she announced her run for president, would hurt her candidacy.

“No matter what happens, she will be in Morocco hosting CGI [Clinton Global Initiative] on May 5-7, 2015. Her presence was a condition for the Moroccans to proceed so there is no going back on this,” top Clinton aide Huma Abedin wrote to campaign manager Robby Mook in a November 2014 e-mail revealed by Wiki­Leaks.

In another e-mail, Abedin warned that if Clinton didn’t attend, the $12 million would be off the table.

“Just to give you some context, the condition upon which the Moroccans agreed to host the meeting was her participation. If hrc was not part if it, meeting was a non-starter,” Abedin wrote in a January 2015 ­e-mail to Mook and campaign manager John ­Podesta.


“CGI also wasn’t pushing for a meeting in Morocco and it wasn’t their first choice. This was HRC’s idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request. The King has personally committed approx $12 million both for the [foundation’s] endowment and to support the meeting,” Abedin continued.

“It will break a lot of china to back out now when we had so many opportunities to do it in the past few months. She created this mess and she knows it.”

There would be plenty to investigate about Clinton, Abedin, Mook, Podesta, the whole lot of them, if only we had something resembling a Justice Department.

The deal with Morocco was struck even though the State Department — under Hillary Clinton — accused the country’s government of “arbitrary arrests and corruption,” according to Fox News.

It was unclear exactly how much went directly for the summit and how much went to the Clinton Foundation — but the total added up to $12 million, according to the e-mails.

So this greedy hag still took the $12 million, despite concerns about their human rights violations. Awesome.

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice charged OCP with “serious human-rights violations,” the Daily Caller said.

And Mohamed Yeslem Beisat, the Washington envoy for the self-described “government in exile” Polisario Front, told US News & World Report in April 2013 that “OCP is the first beneficiary of the war and the first beneficiary of the occupation — it is the one that is cashing in on the misery of thousands of refugees and hundreds of political detainees for the past 40 years.”

Beisat added, “They’re doing this because they know Hillary has some chances of being president of the United States. And they want her to support their brutal occupation of Western Sahara.”

Human-rights advocates have called the company’s mined phosphates “blood phosphates” — similar to the term “blood diamonds,” referring to precious stones mined in war zones and/or used to finance deadly conflicts.

We’re sure the media would have an interest if Trump had a hotel there.

In Miami Beach, Donald Trump’s Orthodox support is increasingly on the down-low [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]


A scene on 41st Street, the shopping and dining district of Miami Beach’s Orthodox Jewish community, Oct. 14 2016. (Ron Kampeas)

MIAMI BEACH (JTA) – It’s mid-Friday afternoon on 41st street, aka Arthur Godfrey Road, the heart of the Orthodox enclave here.

The high-schoolers in Torah Treasures Judaica store are preparing lulavs for sale before Sukkot, which is to start in a couple of days, and shoppers are rushing into Kosher Price Market for last minute pre-Shabbat shopping. The local Chabad guy is working Pita Hut seeking folks who want to lay tefillin.

And no one wants to talk, especially to a reporter about the presidential election.

Kippah-clad shoppers scoot away from me when I approach them. Some pretend not to speak English.

Chabad guy won’t speak, but asks if I want to lay tefillin.

“Friends?” he asks, although he won’t tell me his name.

“Friends,” I say. We shake hands.

It’s a week after the video dropped onto an unsuspecting world, the 2005 outtake from “Access Hollywood” where the presidential candidate who polls say is favored by most Orthodox Jews bragged about sexually assaulting women.

Does this explain the silence?

I’m about to give up — how often can I chase someone who looks obviously Orthodox before someone calls the cops? — when, lo and behold, someone wants to talk.

He even approaches me: He recognizes me from my social media feeds, although we’ve never met.

“Kampeas!” he says. “What kind of bullshit article did you write today?”

He holds up his smartphone as his family toddles off into the distance.

“’Donald Trump’s “international bankers” speech leaves some uneasy’? Oof.” He’s not happy what I wrote about the speech, which the Republican nominee gave the day before in nearby West Palm Beach, alleging secret international financier conspiracies. I wasn’t the only observer to note the speech’s anti-Semitic associations.

“He’s not an anti-Semite,” he scolds me.

He won’t let me use his name – once he introduces himself, I realize I know him, by reputation — but he wants to give me the lowdown, “off the record,” of why no one will talk with me. I lower my notebook and he looks at me like I’m nuts.

“Write, write!” he says. He doesn’t mean off the record, he means “on background.”

“Call me an Orthodox active in Republican politics.” Done.

“No one’s going to talk to you,” he explains. “You can’t be for Hillary in this community. But how can you be for Trump? What he said was disgusting.”

Trump has said he was engaging in “locker room talk” on the 2005 video and has denied the ensuing allegations by women (up to 10 at the end of this week) that he sexually assaulted them over the years.

He asks me if I saw the CNN interview, the evening previous, with Jessica Leeds, who said Trump assaulted her on an airplane decades ago.

“What do you think? Credible? Credible!” he answers before I have a chance to reply. “We have a word in Jewish,” he said, meaning Yiddish. “Ekldik,” disgusting.

Why can’t you be for Hillary in this community? I ask.

Democrats are hard work, he explains, and Clinton won’t be different from Obama: They come around to the right position on Israel, but it takes exhausting work behind the scenes.

“Four more years of that,” he says, not relishing the prospect.

A September poll by the American Jewish Committee showed Orthodox voters were a mirror image of the broader community when it came to presidential preferences. The poll showed Clinton defeating Trump, 61 percent to 19 percent among Jewish voters; among Orthodox Jews, Trump was favored at 50 percent and Clinton at 21 percent.

But that was before the sex scandals, and there are indications they might be having an effect. Clinton’s campaign this week dispatched Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee and an Orthodox Jew, to South Florida, where he wooed fellow Orthodox Jews, among others.

Lieberman told me that he sensed the community there – including the Orthodox Jews he met – were moving Clinton’s way.

And this week, in Beachwood, a Cleveland suburb with a substantial Orthodox population, there was an event titled “Ohio Orthodox Jews on the Fence.”

“Are you an Orthodox Jew still on the fence, asking yourself what is really best for the Jews, and best for Israel, in this election?” asked the Facebook pitch for the event featuring Boston University scholar Hillel Levine.

Miami beach

The pool overlooking a canal at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center, Oct. 14 2016. (Ron Kampeas)

At the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center a short walk away from 41st Street, I position myself at the entrance waiting for families to drop off kids for dance and gymnastics. The kids are accompanied by nannies. An attractive young couple coming out of the exercise room apologizes for not being Jewish.

“How do you like Miami?” they ask.

“Great,” I say, struggling for an impression of a city they clearly adore. “I got upgraded to a Mustang convertible at the airport!”

They grin.

“Niiice!” I have achieved some kind of Miaminess.

Here comes a woman in yoga tights and a friend dressed more modestly, happily chatting, toting yoga mats. Score!

The secular woman, Mia Glick, a pilates teacher, is happy to talk. Of course she’s voting for Clinton. Trump has no character, she says, and the video is proof positive.

“I met him in the 1990s,” she said, relishing the memory.

Glick was a Ford agency model on a gig at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Trump marched up to her, she presumes ready to launch a come-on, when she grimaced at him and Trump did an about-face.

She replicates the grimace for us and Trump’s about-face. The Orthodox woman, Teresa, widens her eyes.

What about you? I ask Teresa, a 33-year-old stay-at-home mom. She who won’t give me her last name.

“I’m probably voting for Trump,” she says.

What’s appealing about him?

“My husband is voting for him.”

Anything else?

“He has some good points,” she says, pausing to think. “The wall – he wants to build a wall. He’s copying Israel.”

Back on 41st, I check in at Roaster’s NY Deli. Brice Ciener, the manager, is deep in conversation with the owner, David Glass. They wave me over.

Ciener, who does not back Trump, enjoys chatting politics with the Orthodox clientele, who do.

Just a few minutes ago, he says, “You missed a couple.” Older, they backed Trump, principally because they do not trust Clinton on Israel. Now, though, there was a change.

They talked about the “Access Hollywood” tape.

“The wife can’t vote for him. She doesn’t know who to vote for,” Ciener says. “The guy laughed it off.”

I head out. Across the street, Chabad guy waves, heading out of Pita Hut for Chicken Kitchen.

I get into the white Mustang convertible, turn up Collins Boulevard and blast Latin music into the clear late afternoon air, something I’ve been planning since I was about 8 years old. After that indulgence I head onto residential streets, searching for signs: Trump-Pence. Clinton-Kaine.

There are none.

4 Palestinians detained by own police after visiting West Bank mayor’s sukkah [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — Four Palestinians who attended a Sukkot celebration alongside Israelis in the home of a West Bank mayor were arrested by Palestinian security forces.

The celebration took place without incident Wednesday at the home of Oded Revivi, mayor of the Efrat settlement. Revivi had invited several dozen Palestinians living near Efrat to join 30 Israelis in celebrating the Jewish harvest holiday.

But four of the Palestinians who attended were arrested late the next day. The reason for their arrest was not clear, but their relatives suggested it was because they were photographed with prominent Israeli army and police officers, The Washington Post reported.

One relative of the detained men accused Revivi of “tricking” the Palestinians.

“Instead of helping us, he destroyed us,” Asad Abu Hamad told The Washington Post.

Revivi denied the accusations and said he had urged for the four men to be released.

“I understand they are upset. I understand what the relatives are saying,” he said. “But was this a trap? This was no trap.”

Israeli pharmacy chain working with government to sell medical marijuana [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

A cannabis plant was brought to the Knesset on Nov. 24, 2009 for the Labor Welfare and Health Committee, which was addressing the issue of medical marijuana. (Kobi Gideon/Flash 90)

Cannabis plant (Kobi Gideon/Flash 90)

(JTA) — Israel’s largest pharmacy chain is working with the government to implement reform that would make medical marijuana more widely available.

Super-Pharm has been talking in recent weeks with the Health Ministry to coordinate selling cannabis  in some of its stores to those with a prescription, Haaretz reported.

While medical marijuana has been legal in Israel since the early 1990s, it was previously only sold in specialized dispensaries. Last year, the Health Ministry said it intended to make medical marijuana available at pharmacies with a prescription.

It was not yet known when medical marijuana would become available in Super-Pharm stores.

“Super-Pharm strictly observes Health Ministry guidelines and is participating in reforms that improve the lives of Israeli patients,” the chain said in a statement. “We are currently studying all aspects and consequences of the subject, with the intention of taking part in this field later on.”

A former chairman of the Pharmaceutical Society of Israel told Haaretz that the group supports the sale of medical marijuana in pharmacies.

“We think that this is the right place for dispensing the substance, just as it is for other narcotic drugs,” Miki Ofer said. “Also, economically, we think that this will be a potential source of profit point for the pharmacies.”

About 27,000 Israelis are legally using medical marijuana, according to Haaretz.

Jewish plus-size model shocks German viewers with anorexia photos [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — A Jewish plus-size model and reality TV star shocked viewers in Germany with photos of herself from when she was suffering from anorexia while working for a mainstream modeling agency.

The pictures of Polina Kudina, a 22-year-old retail management student from Cologne, aired Oct. 12 in an episode of the German hit show “Curvy Supermodel,” bringing other participants and the head of the show’s panel of judges to tears.

Taken several years ago when Kudina was working for an undisclosed agency, the pictures show the 5-foot-10 model in a condition of extreme anorexia that appears dangerous to her health. She revealed during the show that she had been taking slimming pills before abandoning her modeling career.

Motshegetsi Mabuse, the well-known dancer and television star in Germany who heads the judges’ panel, said that Kudina’s journey personifies the mission statement of the show — namely to help women feel comfortable about their bodies and offset the harmful effects of unattainable beauty standards.

“It can’t be that beautiful women look at the mirror and hate themselves,” she said.

Proclaimed as a “sexy babe” on the show’s website, Polina posed for a photo shoot for the site wearing a sleeveless shirt, shorts and a Star of David pendant.

The show, which according to the MEEDIA rating agency attained 8 percent of viewership among 14- to 49-year-olds in Germany – some 860,000 people – features 10 models vying for a contract with a leading plus-size modeling agency.

More than a third of German adults are overweight and another 13 percent are obese, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index from 2011 in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Weight problems emerged as more serious still in Britain, with 33 and 21 percent of the adult population there overweight and obese, respectively. However, the data from the United States were worse still, with 26 percent of American adults suffering from obesity and another 36 percent being overweight.

Those who are underweight accounted for 2, 2.4 and 1.8 percent of the adult population in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively, in that report.

Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize mention deleted from his website [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan onstage during the 2015 MusiCares Person of The Year honoring him held at Los Angeles Convention Center, Febr. 6, 2015. (Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

(JTA) — The fallout from Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature has taken a strange turn: The Jewish folk singer’s website has taken down its only brief mention of the award.

Dylan has not acknowledged the award at any of his performances in the week since the Nobel committee’s Oct. 13 announcement, but his website made one allusion to it this week on a page promoting a new collection of his lyrics, “The Lyrics: 1961: 2012.” The page on bobdylan.com simply called him the “winner of the Nobel Prize in literature.”

As of Friday morning, the reference has been erased without explanation.

The Swedish Academy has tried and failed multiple times to contact Dylan through close associates of his since the award announcement. Sara Danius, the Nobel academy’s secretary, told Swedish radio on Monday that the academy has given up attempting to contact him and could not confirm whether he would attend the award ceremony in Stockholm on Nov. 10.

Numerous publications have noted that celebrities often do not control the content of their public websites, so it is conceivable that Dylan had no input about the award’s mention on his site.

Dylan, 75, is the first artist seen primarily as a songwriter to win the award, a fact that has stirred a divisive debate in literary circles. Some writers, such as the poets Amy King and Danniel Schoonebeek, have called for him to turn down the award.

Black rabbinical student leads ‘Army of Moms’ in fighting Chicago gun violence [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Tamar Manasseh

Tamar Manasseh: “I was always taught that Jews were survivors. … Black people were never taught that we were survivors.” (Courtesy of Manasseh)

CHICAGO (JTA) — The same week Tamar Manasseh’s African-American son was going to become a bar mitzvah, gang violence killed two 13-year-old black boys who were also from Chicago’s South Side.

As she picked out the bar mitzvah suit for her son, Manasseh couldn’t shake the image of the slain boys’ mothers, who were likely also picking out suits — for their sons to be buried in.

Manasseh, a lifelong Chicagoan who attended Jewish day school and is now studying to be a rabbi, has always been proud to be Jewish and black. But gun violence, which has surrounded the 38-year-old since she was a kid, has accentuated both the tensions and connections between the two parts of her identity. While most South Side Jews lived in the relatively affluent neighborhood of Hyde Park, she grew up in nearby Englewood, an area that she described as “Afghanistan.”

“I was always taught that Jews were survivors,” Manasseh told JTA. “The Holocaust happened, and Jews survived that, right? Black people were never taught that we were survivors. If anything, we’re pretty much taught that we were born to die. Being Jewish, I was never able to look at things like that.”

Manasseh — a mother of two children, ages 18 and 20 — has taken it upon herself to stop gun violence in Englewood. During the summer months, when programs to keep kids off the streets are scarce, she and several other parents — who she dubs an “Army of Moms” — spend hours sitting on the corner of 75th Street and South Stewart Avenue chatting to passers-by and offering them barbecue.

The food and talk, she said, has been enough to stop gun violence there. And the statistics back her up: The corner, in the middle of a violent neighborhood, has seen zero shootings this year.

“I felt like if I didn’t do something, it would come for my kids eventually,” said Manasseh, who sells real estate and studies for her ordination in her spare time. “So I’m more afraid of what happens if I don’t get out there and do something than I am if I do. I’m more afraid of one of my kids being shot than I am of me being shot.”

Tamar Manasseh

Tamar Manasseh, on the corner of 75th Street and Stewart Avenue on Chicago’s South Side, gathers mothers at the intersection to prevent violence there. (Courtesy of Manasseh)

Chicago has become a hotbed of gun violence in recent years — especially on the South Side. Nearly 6,000 people have been shot since the beginning of 2015, and Chicago experienced 78 homicides in August alone, making it the deadliest month the city has seen in nearly two decades. Some residents have nicknamed the city “Chi-raq,” a portmanteau of Chicago and Iraq, because it can feel like a war zone.

Manasseh, however, has found some success in curbing the violence, and she’s looking to build upon it. She founded a nonprofit, Mothers Against Senseless Killings, which has raised approximately $20,000 to fund the street corner presence and support cash-strapped young men who might otherwise turn to crime.

Following a dispute with the landlord of the building next to their usual spot, the group, known as MASK, is raising more money to buy the vacant lot across the street, where they can set up a permanent play area for kids. MASK has spawned offshoots in Staten Island, New York, and Evansville, Indiana.

“When your parents are home watching every move you make, would you and your siblings set the house on fire? Probably not,” she said. “All it took was people being there. Some of these kids, they’ve never had anybody there looking out for them.”

Manasseh grew up attending Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation, an African-American Hebrew Israelite congregation on the South Side, as well as Akiba-Schechter, a local Jewish day school that was affiliated with the Conservative movement at the time. Before Manasseh was born, her mother had “reverted,” in Manasseh’s words, to Judaism.

Although she was born and raised Jewish, at age 30 Manasseh decided to undergo a confirmation of her Judaism, which involved immersion in a ritual bath, supervised by Rabbi Capers Funnye, who leads Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken. Her children underwent similar processes at the time of their bat and bar mitzvahs.

Last year, Funnye was appointed head of the International Israelite Board of Rabbis, an African Hebrew Israelite body. Although the Hebrew Israelite movement is usually considered outside the mainstream by Judaism’s main denominations, Funnye has undergone a conversion by Conservative rabbis and is a member of the Chicago Board of Rabbis.

Manasseh is pursuing her rabbinic ordination at the Israelite Academy, the Hebrew Israelite rabbinical school, where she’s been studying part-time for seven years. Should she graduate next year, she will be the first woman to receive ordination from the academy. But though she was raised in the movement and is set to hold its rabbinic degree, she does not identify as a Hebrew Israelite. She identifies as a Jew — full stop.

“If you have to look a certain way to be a Jew, that’s a bad thing,” she said. “I think if you have to look a certain way to be a Hebrew Israelite, that’s a bad thing. So no, I’m just a Jew, I’m just Jewish. Because even the Hebrew Israelite movement is born out of the black nationalist movement, and it has something to do with race. And you cannot have race and religion occupying the same space.”

MASK isn’t explicitly Jewish, but it is infused with Jewish themes and language. One of the group’s projects, which has planted 10 Crimson King maple trees around Chicago in memory of gun victims, is inspired by the Jewish arboreal holiday of Tu b’Shvat, she said. The trees’ leaves are red to symbolize the blood of the victims.

Last week, the group held a concluding service for Yom Kippur that along with traditional elements like the Amidah prayer and shofar blowing featured volunteers reading out names of shooting victims.

Manasseh isn’t the only Jewish activist working to fight gun violence. Last year, the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, a Chicago social justice group, joined a campaign to persuade the University of Chicago to build a trauma center on its medical campus to better serve shooting victims. The university broke ground on the center last month.

“One of the ways we could add value was we had access to people in positions of power,” said Judy Levey, JCUA’s executive director. “We’re not there to target the Jews by any stretch, but in some campaigns, there are Jews in positions of leadership, and that helps.”

In addition, Funnye is part of a coalition of faith leaders that helps combat gun violence by engaging with young men on the streets through local activist groups. While few black men on the South Side are Jewish, Funnye — who incidentally is a cousin of Michelle Obama — said his religion doesn’t get in the way of connecting with them.

“Before they see me being a Jew, they see me as being a black man, and they see me as being a black man that’s interested in them, and then they see that I’m a rabbi,” Funnye said. “This is an individual they can interface with.”

Capers Funnye

Rabbi Capers Funnye is part of a coalition of Chicago faith leaders that helps combat gun violence by engaging with young men on the streets. (Ben Sales)

Funnye remembers Manasseh composing Jewish songs as a 14-year-old in his congregation, and isn’t surprised that she has applied her Jewish learning to community organizing.

“Her pulpit is on the corner,” Funnye said. “She is practicing her rabbinate. I think that she is sincere, and I think the people she approaches on the block feel the depths of her sincerity.”

While more than two dozen Chicago Jewish clergy pledged to support the trauma center campaign, and some have spoken out against gun violence or attended events, Manasseh wants to see more of them on the street with her.

Last week, she met with JTA at a chic Hyde Park cafe surrounded by greenery, upscale shops and University of Chicago buildings. It’s just four miles from her intersection, but psychologically a world away. It felt like an incongruous place to talk about gun violence in a poor neighborhood.

But if Manasseh also felt the conversation was out of context, she wasn’t bothered by it. She wore a Chicago Cubs hat and sweatshirt — risky apparel on the South Side, which is White Sox country — and exuded confidence and focus. After a lifetime of sticking out — first by virtue of being a black Jewish woman, and then by becoming the first woman to try for ordination in her movement — she feels other Jews could benefit by leaving their comfort zone.

“It’s all smoke and mirrors,” she said, referring to some Jewish efforts against gun violence. “There are many Jewish social justice organizations that are able to do as much as they can to make themselves look good, but nothing that will have impact in the long run. I want to see them be the Jews they claim they are.”

One Jew, One Vote: Ayalon Eliach, 33 [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Ayalon Eliach

Ayalon Eliach (Ben Sales)

Every weekday from now through Election Day — minus holidays — JTA will post a brief profile of one Jewish voter. Here’s our first installment. (Thanks for the inspiration, Humans of New York.)

Name: Ayalon Eliach
Age: 33
Lives: Boston area, Mass.
Works: Rabbinical student at Hebrew College, rabbinical intern at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York, N.Y.
Voting for: Hillary Clinton (supported Bernie Sanders in the primary)

“To me, the most important Jewish values are ones that have to do with social justice, ones that have to do with being kind to fellow human beings. At one point, Bernie Sanders was asked about his belief in God, and his answer had to do with really feeling pain of the other, and feeling shared destiny. To me those are deeply Jewish values, deeply religious values that have to do with really feeling connected to each other and feeling connected to the totality of existence in a deep way. So to me, I look for a candidate who I think really embodies that connected-ness. And I think of all the candidates that are out there today, it’s clear to me that Hillary Clinton is the one who emphasizes most this idea of connected-ness.”

French, Dutch towns commemorate Alfred Dreyfus and Holocaust survivor Jules Schelvis [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

(JTA) — A French municipality has honored the persecuted Jewish soldier Alfred Dreyfus with a statue and a Dutch town honored the Holocaust survivor and writer Jules Schelvis with a street sign.

Dreyfus, a French army captain who was wrongfully convicted of spying for Germany in 1894, was commemorated earlier this month in his native city of Mulhouse in eastern France. On Oct. 9, the day Dreyfus was born in 1859, one of his grandsons unveiled a statue of him at a local park during a ceremony attended by the mayor, France 3 reported.

Paris, the city where his show trial was held and where he was eventually exonerated in 1906, has no street named after Dreyfus, who was exiled to a French colony in South America for the false charges brought against him.

On Wednesday, the municipality of Amstelveen, south of Amsterdam, where several thousand Jews live, inaugurated a street sign bearing the name of Schelvis, who survived seven Nazi concentration and death camps. He died earlier this year in Amstelveen.

The sign will be installed in 2018 in a neighborhood that is still being constructed, according to the municipality’s official blog.

The University of Amsterdam gave Schelvis an honorary doctorate in 2008 for his research of the Sobibor death camp in Poland, which he survived. His 1993 book “Extermination Camp Sobibor” is considered one of the most detailed documents ever written on the death site, which fewer than 50 people are believed to have escaped and which the Nazis largely obliterated to cover up their atrocities.

An amateur historian who has researched the near annihilation of Dutch Jewry during the Holocaust warned last week that lacking documentation about the victims could lead to spelling errors and other mistakes in commemorative projects, including a memorial wall planned to be unveiled in Amsterdam in 2018 with 102,000 victims’ names.

Jim Terlingen said the Netherlands, which lost approximately 75 percent of its Jews during the Holocaust — the highest percentage in Nazi-occupied Western Europe — has only kept partial lists of Holocaust victims. His op-ed published Oct. 15 in the Volkskrant daily was titled “Check war victims’ names before they are set in stone.”

Frustrated with Trump, Sheldon Adelson said to focus on Senate [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Sheldon Adelson attending the fourth Annual Champions Of Jewish Values International Awards Gala at Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City, May 5, 2016. (Steve Mack/Getty Images)

Sheldon Adelson attending the fourth Annual Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala in New York City, May 5, 2016. (Steve Mack/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Jewish philanthropist and top Republican donor Sheldon Adelson’s reported impatience with Donald Trump is reflected in the emphasis Adelson is placing on the battle for control of the Senate, CNN reported.

Adelson has given at least $40 million to super PACs focused solely on the fight for Congress, while the $10 million he dedicated to a pro-Trump super PAC is only advertising in states with competitive Senate races.

CNN and other outlets, citing unnamed figures close to Adelson, reported that Adelson — who has contributed up to $25 million to the Republican nominee’s presidential bid — regrets Trump’s “lack of focus” and misdirected attacks at fellow Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan as missed opportunities.

“Sheldon’s got to protect the House and the Senate, and Trump’s going after [fellow Republicans] isn’t helpful,” a source told CNN. “He’s really upset with the way Trump’s been running his campaign.”

Adelson and his wife, Miriam, were also reported to have attended a lunch with Trump and his family and other Trump allies prior to Wednesday’s presidential debate in Las Vegas. Fox Business reported that day, citing an unnamed “associate” of Adelson, that the donor sent an email to Trump urging him to stop attacking fellow Republicans and launching “counter-productive attacks” on the media.

The third and final debate came after a week in which Trump fended off charges by more than 10 women that he had initiated inappropriate contact with them in years past, and in which various Republican elected officials further distanced themselves from the candidate. Trump’s performance at the third debate was largely seen as a disappointment by Republicans and appeared to do little to improve his position behind Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in most polls.

Joe Lieberman, stumping for a Clinton in Florida, feels like he’s ‘home again’ [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]

Joe Lieberman speaking at an event for Jewish supporters of Hillary Clinton at The Shul in Surfside, Florida. (Hillary Clinton Campaign)

Joe Lieberman speaking to Jewish voters on behalf of Hillary Clinton at The Shul in Surfside, Fla., Oct. 20, 2016. (Courtesy of the Hillary Clinton campaign)

(JTA) — Joe Lieberman is in South Florida doing the shul and seniors circuit for a Clinton, and he’s relishing the gig.

“How does it feel? It feels like I’m home again,” Lieberman said Thursday in a phone interview, his voice relaxing into a remarkable confession for the former senator from Connecticut who set fire to his bridges with his party in 2006 and torched them completely in 2008 when he endorsed the Republican presidential candidate.

“You know, I am a Democrat,” he said. “And it’s been uncomfortable for me to be off as an Independent.”

Lieberman’s appearances in South Florida on behalf of Hillary Clinton – and a video and robocall soon to be released targeting Jewish voters in the state – is a sign of how the Clinton nomination is reconciling anxious centrist Jews with a party perceived to have veered left during the Obama presidency.

“It’s a clear choice that she’s so much better for the future of the country” than Donald Trump, Lieberman said, noting her Republican rival.

“She also represents somebody who feels that the Democratic Party is at its best when it’s a center-left party and not a left party,” he said. “She holds the hope of restoring the Democratic Party, broadening the coalition and maybe even picking up some moderate Republicans who join the Democratic Party, and it would be a much more constructive, successful party.”

Lieberman spoke to JTA having just completed a grueling day stumping for Clinton on the Jewish circuit in Palm Beach, Miami Dade and Broward counties.

For Democrats, it’s a replay of efforts in 2012 to push back against inroads that Republicans were making among Florida Jews, albeit with a different centrist Jewish hero to make the case for the candidate.

Then it was Ed Koch, the former New York mayor who had excoriated President Barack Obama’s first-term Israel policies. Koch appeared in a video e-blasted to Florida’s Jews on the eve of that election arguing that whatever disagreements he had with Obama on Israel, the president met the pro-Israel threshold and his re-election was preferable because of his pledge to preserve entitlements.

Koch died months after the election. Now, as in 2012, polling shows a tight race in Florida, and both sides are reaching out to Jews. This time, Democrats are bringing Lieberman to bat.

Jews for Progress, a pro-Clinton super PAC, is including Lieberman’s message on a robocall aimed at 100,000 Jewish homes in the state and a video also aimed at reaching 100,000 Florida Jews through email and social media.

Lieberman made history in 2000 when he became the first Jewish candidate to place on a national party ticket: Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore named him his running mate.

That – and his Orthodoxy — means he scores high name recognition among Jewish voters of a certain age, and that age is prevalent on the circuit he worked Thursday, including the Century Village retirement community in West Palm Beach and The Shul, a Chabad-Lubavitch synagogue in Surfside, in Miami-Dade County, among other stops.

Lieberman said he encountered skepticism during his rounds, some of it “silly,” some of it substantive. In the former category, Lieberman said Jewish voters were still wondering about Clinton’s embrace with Suha Arafat in 1999, after the Palestinian leader’s wife delivered a speech in Arabic accusing Israel of poisoning Palestinian girls. (Clinton claims she did not pick up on the accusation when she listened to the speech through an interpreter.)

“I explained, in the Arab world, [embraces] are like shaking hands,” he said.

More substantive, Lieberman said, was Clinton’s support for the Iran nuclear deal reached last year. It was evident that criticism was harder to deflect, as Lieberman took a lead role in opposing the deal, which traded sanctions relief for a partial rollback in Iran’s nuclear development.

Recounting the arguments he pitched to skeptics, Lieberman cast Clinton as the “bad cop” before and after the deal was made: She shaped tough sanctions by joining initiatives Lieberman helped lead in the Senate and then as secretary of state in Obama’s first term, and seeks to enforce the deal in the post-Obama era.

“I was disappointed in her support of the agreement,” Lieberman said, but added: “She helped build the climate of economic stress in Iran that brought the Iranians to the table. The Obama administration then basically made a bad deal and didn’t get from the Iranians what he could have gotten, which was really an end to their nuclear program.

“Now that’s a fact, so I say: Before the agreement, she was very strong on the sanctions, after the agreement she’s been clear she’s going to monitor Iran’s compliance with the agreement, and if they don’t comply she’s not only going to lodge complaints, but if necessary she’ll be prepared to use American military force to stop development of a nuclear weapon by Iran.”

Lieberman’s argument is a blunter version of the subtle straddle Clinton has attempted when it comes to Israel and, more broadly, engagement in the Middle East. She wants to tamp down tensions with Israel’s government, but does not want to suggest Obama stoked them. She wants a more robust U.S. posture vis-a-vis Syria and Iran, but does not want to suggest that Obama has not been robust.

It is precisely Clinton’s advocacy for a more potent U.S. profile overseas that underscores Lieberman’s distaste for Trump, although, the consummate bridge builder, he prefers throughout the interview to build up Clinton and not attack the Republican nominee.

Lieberman outlined Clinton’s pro-Israel record throughout her Senate career and then as secretary of state.

“You compare that to Donald Trump, who because he hasn’t been in public service he doesn’t have that kind of record, you couldn’t say with the same confidence what she will do when she is president with regard to the U.S.-Israel relationship,” he said.

A few sentences later, he was tougher on Trump, and registered the concerns that have preoccupied some conservative Jewish Republicans who have abandoned Trump because of his isolationist tendencies.

“She’s so much better prepared for the Middle East alone to be the next president as compared to Donald Trump, who has no record in this regard and who sometimes seems to be suggesting that we pull back from a lot of parts of the world, including the Middle East, which would be terrible for Israel,” he said.

Lieberman returned to how “at home” it felt to be working with the Clintons, remembering her husband, former President Bill Clinton, a fellow Yalee: stumping for him in the 1970s, when Lieberman first ran for the state Senate in Connecticut, and then his endorsement in 1992, one of the first by a Northern senator.

“I was very proud that I did” endorse Clinton, said Lieberman. “I thought he was an exceptional president.”

Lieberman made history in 1998 when he became the first Democrat on the Senate floor to denounce Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. That foreshadowed a slow, painful rupture with the party, accelerated by Lieberman’s backing of President George W. Bush’s Iraq War, which led to Lieberman losing the 2006 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. He went on to win as an Independent and then quit politics in 2012, but not before endorsing his old friend Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election. That move seemed to be a permanent breach with a party whose left wing he had identified with as a youth. (Bill Clinton backed Lieberman “against the establishment” in the 1970s, Lieberman fondly recalled.)

Or not so permanent a rupture. Despite the “unhappy” Lewinsky episode, Lieberman said, Bill Clinton was ecstatic when Gore named him his running mate, and stumped for him during the 2006 primary.

And now he’s returning the favor.

“There are still some persuadables in the general community and the Jewish community,” Lieberman said. “I think this community is moving in the direction of Hillary Clinton and I’m glad to be here to make the case.”

NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN - English News at 20:01 (JST), October 21 [English News - NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN]

A Night Of Comity Turns Bitter [Outside the Beltway]

Clinton Dolan Trump

In most Presidential Election years, the Al Smith Dinner is one of the easiest events of the year for both candidates. Named after the late New York Governor who became the first Catholic nominee of a major political party only to lose in a landslide to Herbert Hoover in 1928, the dinner is a major annual fundraiser for Catholic Church charities in the New York area and, in Presidential election years, has played host to the major party candidates in what is supposed to be a night off the campaign trail the highlight of which are usually remarks filled with largely self-deprecating humor from the two candidates. Since the parties are considered to be guests of the Archbishop of New York, the one rule that candidates in the past have followed is to leave the partisanship aside for one night. Perhaps inevitably, the nature of this year’s campaign made that either impossible or unlikely. In any case, rather than a night in which the respective candidates light-heartily poked fun at one another, but mostly themselves, the affair turned into a metaphor for this entire campaign:

Donald J. Trump began this quadrennial exercise in campaign humility and self-deprecation on Thursday by comparing himself to the son of God — just another “carpenter working for his father” in his youth.

By the end, facing cascading and uncomfortable jeers from a crowd full of white ties and gowns, he had called Hillary ClintonCatholic-hating, “so corrupt” and potentially jail-bound in a prospective Trump administration.

“I don’t know who they’re angry at, Hillary, you or I,” Mr. Trump said sheepishly from the dais, turning to his opponent amid the heckling.

It seemed clear to everyone else. Mr. Trump was being booed at a charity dinner.

So it went at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in Manhattan, a presidential campaign ritual of levity and feigned warmth — upended, like so much else in this election season, by the gale-force bid of Mr. Trump.

Breaking with decades of tradition at the gathering once he took the microphone, Mr. Trump set off on a blistering, grievance-filled performance that translated poorly to the staid setting, stunning many of the well-heeled guests who had filed into the Waldorf Astoria hotel for an uncommon spectacle: an attempted détente in a campaign so caustic that the candidates, less than 24 hours earlier, declined to shake hands on a debate stage.

Relations did not much improve.

Mr. Trump’s set began typically enough. He joked about the size of his hands and Mrs. Clinton’s comparatively small crowds. He even very nearly poked fun at himself — insofar as a zinger about his wife, and her partly plagiarized Republican convention speech, qualifies — when discussing the “biased” news media.

“You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech, and everyone loves it,” Mr. Trump said. “My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech and people get on her case.”

Some sharper jokes about Mrs. Clinton seemed to edge just to the line.

“Just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me. And she very civilly said, ‘Pardon me,'” Mr. Trump said, as murmurs filled the room. “I very politely replied, ‘Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.'”

Mrs. Clinton, seeming to get the joke before some others, chuckled hard before the punch line.

But quickly, his remarks took a more menacing turn.

Mr. Trump said Mrs. Clinton was merely “pretending not to hate Catholics,” an allusion to hacked correspondences from Clinton aides that appeared to include messages criticizing Roman Catholic conservatism.

He wondered aloud how someone like Mrs. Clinton — “so corrupt,” he said — could sell herself to the American people. “What’s her pitch?” he asked. “The economy is busted, the government’s corrupt, Washington is failing. Vote for me.”

The evening went somewhat better for Hilary Clinton, but not by much:

“I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule to be here,” she said, adding, “Usually, I charge a lot for speeches like this.”

But she soon turned to more cutting satire, joking that Mr. Trump was “translating from the original Russian” on his teleprompters and wondering just how President Obama might be able to visit the White House for a reunion of former presidents under a Trump administration.

“How is Barack going to get past the Muslim ban?” she asked.

Noting that she was speaking second, she riffed: “It’s amazing I’m up here after Donald. I didn’t think he’d be O.K. with a peaceful transition of power.”

She also spoke of the Statue of Liberty, recounting how for most Americans, the green lady of freedom represents a shining beacon of hope and a welcome symbol for immigrants arriving on the nation’s shores. But Mr. Trump, she added with a glint of steel, “looks at the Statue of Liberty and sees a 4” — a not-so-veiled reference to his comments rating the physical appearance of women.

“Maybe a 5 if she loses the torch and tablet and changes her hair,” she continued, before making an explicit, if subtle, pitch for becoming the nation’s first female president.

“You know, come to think, know what would be a good number for a woman? 45,” she concluded triumphantly.

The night was a marked contrast to four years ago when Mitt Romney and Barack Obama shared the dais at the same time and came away with good reviews for displays of humor and good will during a tough campaign. Instead of that, this year we got Trump, who spent most of his time attacking others rather than making fun of himself, and Clinton, who had better material but honestly just isn’t very good at delivering it. At the very least it makes one dread the prospect of future White House Correspondents Dinners regardless of which one of these two ends up winning in November. Of the two, though, it was clearly Trump’s remarks that were the least well-received in the room. To the extent any of what he said was self-deprecating, it was mainly one joke and that one was aimed mostly at his wife and the media rather than himself. The rest was almost identical to some of his campaign speeches even though Trump and his people must surely have been aware of the tradition involved in the event. By the time he sat down, it was clear even from just listening to the reaction that Trump had lost the crowd.

In the end, of course, what was said at a dinner attended mostly by the upper-crust of New York City elites is hardly going to matter to the result of this election. Most Americans either will not have seen coverage of the event, or simply won’t care about it enough for it to make a difference in their vote. On some level, though, the entire affair seemed to be a metaphor for this entire Presidential campaign and what it has done to American politics. While election campaigns have been intense in the past, this year’s contest seems especially bitter on all sides and it seems unlikely that the wounds are going to heal very easily after the voting is done and the winner is decided. Of course, when you have candidates like these, that’s probably inevitable.

In any case, here are Trump’s remarks from last night:

And here are Clinton’s:

By contrast, you can watch what Mitt Romney and President Obama had to say four years ago, and you’ll see what I mean about the marked difference in tone.

Tagata o te Moana for 22 October 2016 [RNZ: Tagata o te Moana]

A survey backs calls for New Zealand to speak up over Nauru human rights concerns; Fiji's DPP says no charges for prominent people arrested and detained; The Cook Islands are rocked by a multiple shooting; Pacific people lead the push for Papuan decolonisation; The EU and the Cooks formalise a controversial fishing deal; PNG struggles to change a sorcery mindset; PNG struggles to change sorcery mindset; Norfolk Islands finds a champion in Pauline Hanson; Niueans work to revive dying language.

College Radio Watch: Philadelphia on My Mind [Radio Survivor]

I’m having a great time immersing myself in all things college radio while in Philadelphia this week for the College Broadcasters Inc. conference. Visiting college radio stations is always a priority and I never miss an opportunity to pop by my alma mater, Haverford College, to continue with my ongoing research about the history of […]

The post College Radio Watch: Philadelphia on My Mind appeared first on Radio Survivor.

Gropey Joe Biden Tells PA Voters He Wants to Fight Donald Trump for Groping Women [RedState]

The Vice President dialed up the outrage in Pennsylvania today while campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Biden told Hillary Clinton supporters that he doesn’t wish he could debate Donald Trump, he wishes he could fight him.

He said he wished he and Trump were in high school so he “could take him behind the gym” over Donald Trump’s remarks on the now infamous Access Hollywood video. (I presume that means fighting and not something weird.)

Does creepy uncle Joe really have the standing to be critical of a man for groping women from a position of power? This is the man who reportedly likes to swim in the nude in front of his female Secret Service agents. Word around Washington DC is that the Secret Service has a radio code word to warn female agents whenever Biden is enjoying naked time. That code word is said to be “anaconda.” I apologize for that mental image.

And lest we forget…


Helping pass the Violence Against Women Act isn’t a “get out of jail free card.”

Biden put on a pretty good display of righteous anger for the faithful in attendance but the basis of his attack on Trump makes you think twice about his sincerity…or at least his ability to recognize cognitive dissonance. He attacked Trump on his “abuse of power.” Joe Biden is the number two person (maybe number three if you count Valeri Jarrett) in one of the most lawless administrations in recent history.

He doesn’t have the credibility to criticize abuse of power either.

The post Gropey Joe Biden Tells PA Voters He Wants to Fight Donald Trump for Groping Women appeared first on RedState.

“Unborn Lives Matter” Considered Bigotry And Censored on Campus [RedState]

Increasingly, college campuses across the U.S. are becoming havens for everything but conservative thought. At these institutions of “higher learning”, safe spaces protect tender twenty-somethings from the scary concept called diversity of thought. DePaul University, a private, (loosely) Catholic university in Chicago, is just the latest example.

In the era of Black Lives Matter, you may think all lives matter. Silly you. Such an idea is offensive. You’d also be wrong if you thought a more specific campaign promoting Unborn Lives Matter would go over well.

At DePaul, the College Republicans went too far for the Catholic school and their Catholic “ideals”, or something. Campus Reform reports:

…DePaul College Republicans chapter has been censored yet again, this time over promotional flyers proclaiming that “Unborn Lives Matter.”

According to University President Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, the club was forbidden from using the flyers because they were “bigotry…under the cover of free speech,” meant to “provoke” members of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Holtschneider not only declined to approve the flyers, but sent a letter to the entire university body explaining that the pro-life posters constituted “bigotry” and were not considered free speech.

“There will be times when some forms of speech challenge our grounding in Catholic and Vincentian values,” Holtschneider wrote. “When that happens, you will see us refuse to allow members of our community to be subjected to bigotry that occurs under the cover of free speech. In fact, you have seen this in past months, as we have declined to host a proposed speaker and asked students to redesign a banner that provokes the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Oh, the bravery of it all.

Promoting “unborn lives matter” is in no way bigotry. If the phrase provokes members of Black Lives Matter, then that’s on them entirely. Perhaps it’s because the black community has a high rate of abortion, and promoting the worth of unborn black lives is just too much of a wake-up call?

Even if it were bigotry (which it’s not), that’s actually part of free speech. Yes, others have just as much freedom to say something offensive – and even hateful – as you have to be offended by it.

Most amusing of all is that President Holtschneider uses the convenient excuse of “values” when defending his position. Even this Baptist knows that Catholics (are supposed to) view life as sacred from conception on. For some reason, I feel that DePaul’s president would fit right in with Catholics for Choice.

The post “Unborn Lives Matter” Considered Bigotry And Censored on Campus appeared first on RedState.

Donald Trump Never Learned to be a Good Sport [RedState]

Do your best, no matter what, and win or lose, you can hold your head up, knowing that you tried.

It’s sound advice. It’s usually given by parents to a child who faces some competition, and is unsure of the outcome.

It can also be twisted into something really wrong, in the wrong hands.

At a rally in North Carolina, Donald Trump distorted this saying, just as he has so many other things.

“I am working hard,” Trump said at an afternoon rally in Fletcher, N.C., his first of three campaign stops on Friday. “I’ve got three [and] on occasion I have four [rallies]. I think I have one rest day when I have two, but these are massive rallies and we’re going to do this for the next 19 days right up until the actual vote of Nov 8.

“Then I don’t know what kind of shape I’m in but at least I will have known win, lose or draw — and I’m almost sure if the people come out we’re going to win — I will be happy with myself,” he said.

You’re not working hard enough, Donald. You’re certainly not doing your best.

You’ve blown off your advisors, abused the very party you seek to lead, and have shown no ability to express humility, contrition, or grace.

“I always say I don’t want to think back, ‘If I did one more rally, I would have won North Carolina by 500 votes instead of losing it by 200 votes,” he said, describing an Election Day possibility. “I never want to say that about myself.”

Less than five minutes later, while urging his supporters to get out and vote, Trump said the crowd: “What a waste of time if we don’t pull this off.”

If he truly believed in his message, or what he claims he has been trying to do for the American people, he wouldn’t consider it a waste of time.

Trump has acted like a spoiled child, not someone who grew up in a household where losing with grace and good sportsmanship was ever taught.

His refusal to accept the outcome of the election, unless he wins, is the reaction of someone who feels “owed” power.

I’m not saying Hillary Clinton is any better, but for those who want to hold Trump up as different or better, he has yet to prove it.

That may be why he’s losing.

The post Donald Trump Never Learned to be a Good Sport appeared first on RedState.

Drunk Moonbat Mistakes Environmentalist Meeting for Trump Rally, Vandalizes 30 Cars [RedState]

Here’s one for the “you can’t make this stuff up” file.

In Amherst Junction, Wisconsin, a meeting of the Tomorrow River Conservation Club was disrupted when Christina Ferguson went on a parking lot rampage with a family-size jar of peanut butter. Ferguson had mistaken the meeting for a Donald Trump rally.

According to the complaint, Ferguson entered the meeting, which was being held on the 3900 block of Second St. in Amherst Junction, at about 9:30 PM on Monday, holding a jar of peanut butter and yelling at the club members about how much she hated the presidential candidate.

Ferguson left the meeting after being asked to do so, but after a few minutes one of the members suggested they check the parking lot to “make sure she wasn’t doing anything to their vehicles after leaving.”

As they went outside, one man saw Ferguson spreading peanut butter on a vehicle. He yelled at her, according to the complaint, and watched her walk into a nearby apartment complex. The man then called the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Ferguson told police how much she loves Hillary Clinton and how much she hates Donald Trump. She claims to have been “terrorized” by Trump supporters. Or maybe they were  Jehovah’s Witnesses or Girl Scouts selling cookies—correctly identifying the targets of her wrath does not appear to be Ferguson’s forte.

“Peanut buttering is better than firebombing, and Trump plans on firebombing everybody in other countries,” she said, according to the complaint.


After the deputy explained to her that she’d actually interrupted the meeting of a nonprofit conservation organization, and that it was not a political meeting, she apologized and said she was “just fed up about the entire election.”


A deputy sheriff gave Ferguson a Breathalyzer test and she blew a 0.218. In Wisconsin, operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 is considered drunk driving.

“Fortunately it wasn’t chunky peanut butter, so vehicles didn’t get scratched,” said Chief Deputy Dan Kontos.

They really dodged a bullet there.

The post Drunk Moonbat Mistakes Environmentalist Meeting for Trump Rally, Vandalizes 30 Cars appeared first on RedState.

Baltimore Mom Finds Fisher-Price “Mom” Toy Offensive, but I Find Her Outrage Offensive [RedState]

Gina Zuk Gerber -a Baltimore mother of a little girl- recently saw something so frightening she immediately took to Facebook to warn other unsuspecting women and girls about her terrifying discovery.

No, it wasn’t a pressure-cooker bomb planted by some guy named Mohammed who is definitely, 100% not a terrorist, just a pissed off naturalized citizen.

No, it wasn’t a man in the woman’s bathroom while her daughter was trying to relieve herself.

No, it wasn’t leftover baby parts from a Planned Parenthood garage sale.

The horrific discovery was a Fisher-Price Little People toy. While those things are a little creepy, that wasn’t what offended Gerber. The toy was – brace yourselves – a mom and an SUV.

And it was pink!

Gerber complained that all the Little People toys for girls were pink and purple and worked at places like “home”, but the worst part was that the packaging read “Time for a yoga and a smoothie.” The Maryland mom was outraged and her post immediately caught the attention of other moms and Fisher-Price.

My son’s favorite toys growing up were Little People. I always just grabbed the fire truck or barn and didn’t think much about it. Today when shopping for toys for Anna I was disgusted to see the “girl” versions of Little People. The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the “home”, and they all lacked the multiple educational elements the “boys” toys had. Then I set my eyes on this prize: “SUV” and a clearly mom looking figure. Please note tagline “time for yoga and a smoothie”. It’s 2016 people. Fisher Price needs to step it the f up and show women working in all types of fields and in leadership roles. Ok off my soap box. Carry on with your regularly scheduled Saturday night and election bashing….


Fisher-Price responded to Gerber, saying they would make a change in the packaging and reminding her that there are also many other female Little People with more a diverse slate of occupations, including firefighters and doctors.

Gerber finds the toy’s take on motherhood offenisve, but I find her offense offensive.

I’ve been a stay-at-home mother for 14 years. “Home” might not be the glamorous workplace this woman seems to think constitutes a “real job” but it’s not some useless profession that women take on when they don’t know how to do anything else. “Home” is an absolute legitimate workplace. In fact, there is probably no greater job on earth a woman could have than to raise good people in the home she prepares for them every day.


That the job typically falls to the people who actually birth the children is a historical and biological imperative, not a conspiracy to teach girls failure.

My daughter is nine. We do own an SUV and she’s definitely seen me in yoga pants. I absolutely drink smoothies while I’m on the run as a busy mom. She doesn’t see me or my job as pathetic or worthless. She doesn’t tell people she never wants to be like me. She tells people she wants to be a mom someday…and also someone who “works on a computer, like my mom.”

That’s because that is how she sees me and she sees my job at home is important to her. It matters in her life and because of that its what she wants to model in her own life. I suppose if I were an astronaut she’d want to be one too. But I’m not an astronaut. I’m a mom who is home for her at the end of every school day and that’s worth something.

In fact, it must be worth quite a bit if Fisher-Price is actually packaging a toy to reflect that reality. You see, Fisher-Price isn’t exactly a lemonade stand. It is a billion-dollar conglomerate that creates thousands of products and employs thousands of people. Their products aren’t haphazardly thrown out onto store shelves for unsuspecting pearl-clutchers like Gerber. They do testing and polling and market research and limited roll-outs. This is their business. They make what sells. If there is a mom doll in yoga pants, drinking smoothies in her SUV that’s because people are buying it…a lot.

Perhaps Gerber should direct her outrage towards people who are buying what Fisher-Price is selling. It is terrible we can’t all be as sophisticated and “accomplished” as she must be. I laughed out loud when I read that this woman was put off by the yoga pants but brings a private yoga instructor into her offices.


You moms who stay in your yoga pants all day are pathetic. Important women only wear them on lunch breaks with their PRIVATE INSTRUCTORS.

Also, Gerber’s outrage is so gender normative. What is a “girl” toy, anyway? Who’s to say pink is a “girl” color anymore? What is a girl, even? I can’t keep up with the changing social trends these days, but I’m pretty sure we’re not supposed to be using terms like “girl” or “boy” anymore anyway.

Or she could just think of it as a toy for boys. Suddenly it becomes empowering! Who says it wasn’t for boys in the first place?

I have a real problem with parents who get so bent out of shape of the “kind of example” being set by toys or celebrities or presidential candidates. If your child’s identity and self-esteem is based on what Donald Trump thinks about women or what color pants their doll is wearing, you’re doing it wrong.

If you don’t want your daughter to see positive, realistic, harmless representations of motherhood in toys then don’t buy her those toys. Eezy-peezy! If your daughter’s temperament is so fragile that just the mere passing sight of the toy is enough to crush her dreams and intellectual development you should probably be spending less time at work and more time at home modeling positive behaviors.

I know home isn’t that “interesting” but it is the most influential place your children will ever visit or occupy in their entire lives…even if there’s an SUV in the driveway.




The post Baltimore Mom Finds Fisher-Price “Mom” Toy Offensive, but I Find Her Outrage Offensive appeared first on RedState.

(VIDEO) Weird Al Parodies the Final Presidential Debate in Song [RedState]

AutoTune. Weird Al. The final presidential debate.

There had to be some way to make this catastrophe more bearable, right?

Musical satirist, and my hero, Weird Al Yankovic has added his talents to the race, by participating in a video parodying the debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and it is amazing!

The song, titled “Bad Hombres, Nasty Women,” has Weird Al grilling the candidates in the chorus: “Why should really run the show?/ Tell us cause we need to know/ Two more weeks until we vote/ Who should really run the show?” The Gregory Brothers of “Songify This” fame produced the song and accompany Weird Al in the background of the music video.

YouTube channel the Gregory Brothers created musical parodies of the previous two presidential debates, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the first debate and Blondie in the second.

Watch and enjoy. It may be one of very few light moments in this election season.

The post (VIDEO) Weird Al Parodies the Final Presidential Debate in Song appeared first on RedState.

Today’s Internet outages warn us that Cruz is right and Obama is wrong [RedState]

Today there was a major attack on a part of the Internet that few people pay any attention to. It’s critically important though, and any disruption threatens both our prosperity as Americans, but also our freedom to communicate with each other.

This is a great reminder of why President Obama’s Internet handover plans are so threatening to our way of life.

Probable foreign attackers effectively took thousands of companies off of the Internet today by attacking a major Domain Name Service (DNS) provider: Dyn. This two-hour outage surely cost many people, very much money.

What is DNS, and why is it so important? Put simply, DNS is the system that tells people how to find you online. It converts the names of servers and sites, into numbers that the Internet Protocol can find. It’s an essential service of the commercial Internet.

And yet Barack Obama is trying to hand control of DNS over to the Chinese and the Russians. Ted Cruz has been warning people about this, and so have I. People tend to tune it out, because it sounds like a very technical, obscure issue that isn’t very important.

But DNS is one of the most important things on the Internet. Right now, the US Government has the final say, but Obama and the global left want to take control and give it to a “multistakeholder” model. That model will allow Russia and China to exert greater influence over American companies online.

Obama must be stopped from giving ICANN over to our global competitors.

The post Today’s Internet outages warn us that Cruz is right and Obama is wrong appeared first on RedState.

Trump Booed at Al Smith Dinner (Video) [RedState]

Donald Trump was booed at the Al Smith Dinner last night — a fundraiser for Catholic charities helping children. Politicians often attend these dinners and tell self-deprecating jokes and point fun at their opponents. But at a certain point, Trump just wasn’t funny — and it hurt to watch.

Here’s the video of Trump’s remarks. The bad times begin around 9:59:

Here’s a transcript of where Trump started to run into trouble:

Now, I’m told Hillary went to confession before tonight’s event, but the priest was having a hard time, when he asked about her sins, and she said she couldn’t remember 39 times.

Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate Commission.


How corrupt do you have to be to get kicked off the Watergate Commission? Pretty corrupt.

Hillary is, and has been, in politics since the 70s. What’s her pitch? The economy is busted? The government’s corrupt? Washington is failing? “Vote for me. I’ve been working on these problems for 30 years. I can fix it”, she says.

I wasn’t really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight, because I guess you didn’t send her invitation by email. Or, maybe, you did and she just found out about it through the wonder of WikiLeaks.


We’ve learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it’s vital to deceive the people by having one public policy —


— and a totally different policy in private. That’s okay. I don’t know who they’re angry at Hillary, you or I. For example, here she is tonight, in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.

Now some of you haven’t noticed, Hillary isn’t laughing as much as the rest of us. [Editorial note: nobody was laughing at this point.] That’s because she knows the jokes. And all of the jokes were given to her in advance of the dinner by Donna Brazile. Which is – everyone knows, of course, Hillary’s belief that it takes a village, which only makes sense after all in places like Haiti, where she’s taken a number of them.


The second he called her “corrupt,” this is the scene. Check the dude on the right side of the screen:


It was . . . awkward. I felt bad for Trump, the way you do when you watch any comic bomb. I didn’t think he was intending to be nasty, necessarily. The ethic at this thing is, you tell some jokes at your expense, and some at your opponent’s expense. Trump’s sin wasn’t so much that he was criticizing Hillary as that, at this particular moment, he wasn’t being funny. I wonder if maybe these were the jokes he had written for himself. I watched his entire performance — and hers too — and they both had some good lines written for them. Here are some of Trump’s that worked well:

And even tonight, with all of the heated back and forth, between my opponent and me at the debate last night, we have proven that we can actually be civil to each other. In fact, just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said, “Pardon me.”

And I very politely replied, “Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.”

. . . .

You know, last night, I called Hillary a “nasty woman,” but this stuff is all relative. After listening to Hillary rattle on and on and on, I don’t think so badly of Rosie O’Donnell anymore.

These two were my favorites:

These events give not only the candidates a chance to be with each other in a very social setting; it also allows the candidates the opportunity to meet the other candidate’s team — good team.

I know Hillary met my campaign manager, and I got the chance to meet the people who are working so hard to get her elected. There they are — the heads of NBC, CNN, CBS, ABC — there’s the New York Times, right over there, and the Washington Post.

. . . .

Oh, this one’s going to get me in trouble.

Not with Hillary. You know, the president told me to stop whining, but I really have to say, the media is even more biased this year than ever before — ever. You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it — it’s fantastic. They think she’s absolutely great. My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech

— and people get on her case!

Those were genuinely funny, and people laughed. Hillary had some good lines written for her too — and while she delivered them in that annoying Hillary way, I still laughed at a few things:

And, Donald, after listening to your speech, I will also enjoy listening to Mike Pence deny that you ever gave it.

. . . .

Now, you notice there is no teleprompter here tonight, which is probably smart, because maybe you saw Donald dismantle his prompter the other day. And I get that. They’re hard to keep up with, and I’m sure it’s even harder when you’re translating from the original Russian.

. . . .

And look at this dais — we’ve got Charlie Rose, and Maria Bartiromo, and Chris Matthews, and Gayle King, and Nora O’Donnell, and Katie Couric — this counts as a press conference, right?

. . . .

There is nothing like sharing a stage with Donald Trump. Donald wanted me drug tested before last night’s debate. And look, I’ve got to tell you, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer.

Now, actually, I did. It’s called preparation.

. . . .

Now, look, I have deep respect for people like Kellyanne Conway. She’s working day and night for Donald and because she’s a contractor, he’s probably not even going to pay her.

Not everyone was amused. She told this joke about Rudy Giuliani

Now, many don’t know this, but Rudy actually got his start as a prosecutor going after wealthy New Yorkers who avoided paying taxes. But, as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, go on Fox News and call them a genius.”

Here was his reaction:


None of this is going to change anyone’s vote. Trump voters probably didn’t watch this — and if they hear that a bunch of elites in tuxes booed Trump, especially for criticizing Hillary, so much the better.


The post Trump Booed at Al Smith Dinner (Video) appeared first on RedState.

Leftist Wannabe Dictators Attack Trump by Comparing Him to Leftist Dictators [RedState]

Did Hillary just lose Sean Penn, Danny Glover, and Jamie Foxx? It seems odd that an American Democrat would be using a Hugo Chavez comparison as a negative thing. Normally they love socialist dictators. But the Democrat National Committee released a video ad targeted at latino voters which compares Donald Trump to the late Venezuelan strong man.

The ad that’s caused the international furor is a Spanish-language spot that features comments by Trump saying that Clinton should be jailed and his vow to sue media organizations that spread “purposely negative, horrible and false” articles about the real estate mogul.

“Remind you of anyone?” the video says in Spanish, before showing images of Chávez dressed in military fatigues and a red beret while he ordered the closure of radio and television stations in Venezuela.

The ad, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee in support of Clinton, goes on to compare Trump to 20th century dictators Mussolini and Hitler before urging voters to “protect” democracy.

Venezuela is unhappy with the comparison but Fox News Latino notes that it is unclear whether the Trump comparison or the inclusion of Mussolini and Hitler. Either way the Venezuelan Ministry of Truth is offended by the slight against their Big Brother.

“It is an expression of racist arrogance and irrationality from a party that does not serve its constituents,” Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez said in a statement obtained by Reuters. “Chávez is a leader who transcended our time for his democratic nature, his fight for the poor and universal feeling for humanity.”

Even leftist “journalist”—and spawn of Clinton toadie Sidney Blumenthal—Max Blumenthal seems displeased over the Democrats’ “red-baiting.”

Granted, some of Trump’s rhetoric about things like punishing the media are reminiscent of a banana republic strong man. At times the Republican nominee goes off script and seems to have inadequate knowledge of how our system of government works or what his powers as President would be. This can give the impression that he is running to be dictator. The jabs from the DNC may be highly exaggerated but they’re not entirely baseless, at least not in terms of Hugo Chávez. They would be fair game if the Democrats had a leg to stand on.

Again the problem is their hypocrisy. They are attacking Trump for being like someone their side wishes to emulate and whom many of their supporters love.


The post Leftist Wannabe Dictators Attack Trump by Comparing Him to Leftist Dictators appeared first on RedState.

As Election Day Nears, the Flesh of Christian Leaders Trembles [RedState]

He does. He doesn’t. He does again.

Theologian, Wayne Grudem is really having a crisis of conscience this election season, and he has found it hard to keep his footing.

He’s not alone. Christians across America are being asked to choose between a corrupt, pro-partial birth abortion, abusive crone, and an adulterous, cheating, conniving, sexual deviant, who has for years supported and befriended that abusive crone.

We are being asked to choose between Herod and Ahab.

And the flesh of Christians across the land either rejoices that their deeply repressed sin-nature has now been validated, or it quakes with fear and indecision.

Am I being too harsh? Am I being judgmental?

Maybe a little of both, and that is my own flesh. I will commit to working that out with my heavenly Father, on my knees and with heartfelt pleadings for mercy.

Lord knows I am imperfect, but perfectly loved by Him, and I make no apologies for my faith, nor this rock that my feet are planted upon.

Grudem’s explanation for his swing back to Trump, only days separated from his repudiation of the man is policy based.

“Voting for Clinton and her ultraliberal policies is not an option for me as an evangelical Christian. Therefore I am left with two options: (1) vote for Trump, or (2) vote for a third-party candidate whose hopes of winning belong to fantasy, not reality,” wrote Grudem.

“And if these are my only two options, then voting for a third-party candidate has the clear effect of helping to elect Clinton, because it is taking my vote away from Trump. That is why the liberal media loved it when I said I was finding it hard to decide.”

Grudem went on to note that since he found “both candidates morally objectionable,” he is left with choosing to vote for one or the other based on their promised public policies.

Christianity Today published an amazing piece on October 10, 2016, called “Speak Truth to Trump.” The author of the piece implored Christians to consider Trump’s life of idolatry, as spelled out in Colossians 3:5 (NIV):

 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”

Or to quote from the CT piece (and I urge you, that if you never stop and truly focus on anything said during this election season, become hyper-focused on these passages):

Indeed, there is hardly any public person in America today who has more exemplified the “earthly nature” (“flesh” in the King James and the literal Greek) that Paul urges the Colossians to shed: “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry” (3:5). This is an incredibly apt summary of Trump’s life to date. Idolatry, greed, and sexual immorality are intertwined in individual lives and whole societies. Sexuality is designed to be properly ordered within marriage, a relationship marked by covenant faithfulness and profound self-giving and sacrifice. To indulge in sexual immorality is to make oneself and one’s desires an idol. That Trump has been, his whole adult life, an idolater of this sort, and a singularly unrepentant one, should have been clear to everyone.

And therefore it is completely consistent that Trump is an idolater in many other ways. He has given no evidence of humility or dependence on others, let alone on God his Maker and Judge. He wantonly celebrates strongmen and takes every opportunity to humiliate and demean the vulnerable. He shows no curiosity or capacity to learn. He is, in short, the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool.

How much more foolish are those who would trust in such a man to keep his word about anything?

There are scores of students who thought they were going to get a valuable education in business management through Trump University.

They did not.

There are businessmen, contractors, painters, electricians, and other craftsmen who thought they were going to get paid for their sweat and efforts, after working on Trump’s buildings, but they did not. Many of them had to close their businesses down, in ruin, because of one corrupt billionaire who manipulated the legal system and did not pay them an honest wage for honest labor.

Not only has Trump not tried to make right in these cases, but he has doubled down and patted himself on the back for successfully using the laws of bankruptcy to avoid paying these workmen.

If he wins the White House and suddenly takes off the Republican mask he’s been wearing for a couple of years, to reveal the big government liberal that most of us know he is, is he still smart for saying whatever he needed to, in order to gain the trust of Grudem and countless others, just to get in office?

Is he smart, or is he as corrupt as Hillary Clinton?

At least Clinton is honest about her wickedness. She readily owns up to her disgusting beliefs.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, explained in a statement that “my support for [Trump] in the general election was never based upon shared values, rather it was built upon shared concerns.”

Regarding Grudem’s most recent assessment of voting for Trump, Perkins posted a statement to Facebook wherein he encouraged people to read the Grudem piece.

“As I have said, the situation we are in is far from ideal, but our country hangs by a thread over a raging fire,” stated Perkins on Wednesday.

“I believe we have to remain focused on the issues that will impact America for generations to come: the Supreme Court, abortion, religious liberty, and our nation’s ability to protect itself.”

Grudem, Perkins, and too many others have staked their eternity in creating a Utopia in America, against the very heart and promise of the Scripture.

If you are a Christian, you believe (or are supposed to) that the Holy Bible is the inerrant Word of God. What part about this world is going to get very bad before it gets any better slipped past Grudem and Perkins?

There is no chance of creating a perfect manmade system of government. Men will fail you. Even the very best of them, and in spite of their promises. We’ve had more than a few disappointments in government, and in government officials, that none warrant our absolute fealty.

Does that mean that Christians check out and not be involved in the government process?

Not at all.

On the contrary, we become vigilant. We become involved on every possible level, not to create a Utopia. Not to create a theocracy, but to craft the most accountable government possible, and one that reflects our values.

Christians failed that test during the primary process.

As I have said, time and again, I will not let fear dictate my vote. If I wouldn’t vote for Trump in the primaries, I certainly won’t vote for him now. He’s the same unrepentant, abusive person he was then.

Perhaps Grudem, Perkins, et al. need to revisit 2 Corinthians 5:7 (AMP):

“for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]—“

That’s God’s promises, not Trump’s.


The post As Election Day Nears, the Flesh of Christian Leaders Trembles appeared first on RedState.

Jake Tapper SLAMS Think Progress For Publishing A Story They Knew Was Bogus [RedState]

Think Progress, an arm of John Podesta’s terrible Center For American Progress, is an organization with one heck of a misnomer. The people who work over there don’t do much thinking, and it’s idea of “progress” is floating every cockamamie left wing conspiracy theory there is to prove to the world conservatives are little Lucifers, bent on destroying the United States while drinking the blood of children.

Via Hotair comes this wonderful little nugget involving CNN’s Jake Tapper, who were the victims of Think Progress’s duplicity in 2009 when Tapper was on ABC. One of the awful theories Think Progress and their garbage sister site, Media Matters For America often float, is conservative outlets such as talk radio and specific websites push lies that are then picked up by the mainstream media and just reported verbatim. As if television journalists never do any of their own investigating and reporting.

From Hot Air:

Back in May 2009, Think Progress (a site connected to the Center for American Progress) contacted Tapper about a story it was preparing. The story Think Progress wanted to tell was simple, in fact, it literally had three simple steps:

  • Step one: “Right-Wing Radio Gives Corporate Hedge Funds A Venue To Attack Obama”
  • Step two: “Right-Wing Pressures White House Reporters To Take Up Its Attack”
  • Step three: “ABC’s Jake Tapper Picks It Up, Drudge Promotes It”

The problem is that the author of the piece knew steps one and two had no connection to step three before the story was published. We know this because Wikileaks released an email in which Tapper responded to TP’s request for clarification of how he learned about the story and why he decided to cover it. And, surprise, it did not involve listening to the pleas of right-wing radio hosts.

So what did Think Progress do? They went and published the story anyway. 

Tapper wrote an email, blasting them:

As I told you many times off the record, both in email and on the phone, the premise of your story is just false.

You nonetheless wrote it anyway, indicating quite clearly that you don’t care about accuracy or the truth in your reporting.

You wanted to push a narrative that I was used by the right wing media, so you wrote what you wrote regardless of the facts. That’s shoddy journalism, and it’s simply not reflective of the truth.

As I told you, I heard of Lauria’s claims when I overheard Ann Compton talking with someone at ABC News radio about Lauria’s interview. That was the last I heard of it.

I was interested in speaking with someone representing the hedge funds since President Obama spoke so strongly against them. Friday I was busy with Justice Souter’s story, so I didn’t get a chance to look into it.

On Saturday, I found Lauria’s interview on the WJR-AM website. I looked into Lauria, found him to be a credible voice, a leading bankruptcy attormey who indeed had represented the firm in question. Moreover, he had recently given $10,000 to the DSCC so he had no discernible partisan motives.

I reached out to the White House, they denied Lauria’s story, which we gave prominence in the story.

Nothing in your story about my reporting on this matter is accurate. No one pressured me, no one peddled anything to me, and no one reached out to me to cover this. Indeed, the first I heard of Mark Levin pushing this story was on your post.

The fact that you don’t mention Lauria’s giving money to Democrats is quite telling. This is inaccurate and you should be ashamed to have written it after I told you what happened.


Depending on who you talk to, Tapper is either a left winger who kowtows to the CLINTON NEWS NETWORK or a right wing ideologue who hates Hillary Clinton’s guts.

It’s neither. He’s just a damned good journalist.

The post Jake Tapper SLAMS Think Progress For Publishing A Story They Knew Was Bogus appeared first on RedState.

Expanding The Map? Trump and Hillary Are Tied In Latest Georgia Poll [RedState]

If you thought the Washington Post/SurveyMonkey poll of Georgia, showing Hillary Clinton with a 4 point lead over Donald Trump was a fluke, you might be incorrect. The latest Atlanta-Journal Constitution poll shows the race is deadlocked:

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are deadlocked in Georgia with less than three weeks until Election Day, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll.

The poll released Friday shows Trump leading Clinton 44-42 among likely Georgia voters, which is within the poll’s margin of error. Libertarian Gary Johnson is at 9 percent in the poll, and another 4 percent had not yet made up their minds.

It is the latest in a string of recent polls that show a tightening race in Georgia, which has voted for the GOP presidential nominee since 1996. An AJC poll released in August showed Clinton had a 4-point lead over Trump in Georgia.

Both candidates remain deeply unpopular in Georgia. About six in 10 voters had negative views of both Trump and Clinton. And a significant portion of voters – a third of Clinton’s supporters and almost half of Trump’s backers – said they see their pick vote for president more as a vote against their opponent.

For the record, Mitt Romney never led by anything less than eight points over Barack Obama in any poll in 2012. Romney’s victory over Obama in Georgia was eight points. 

To think people were hilariously saying states like New York would be in play with Trump as the nominee.



The post Expanding The Map? Trump and Hillary Are Tied In Latest Georgia Poll appeared first on RedState.

Still Waiting: What Happened to Trump’s Proof of His Innocence? [RedState]

Hey, remember that time the GOP nominee was accused of groping and sexually mistreating women, and all the media panic it caused?

And do you remember how he and his campaign promised that they had substantial evidence to prove his innocence?

“We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time  —  very soon,” said the Republican presidential hopeful at a rally in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Stay tuned,” his running mate, Mike Pence, added the next day during an interview with CBS. “I know there’s more information that’s going to be coming out that will back his claim that this is all categorically false.”

With early voting well under way in most states, and election day less than three weeks away, we’re still waiting.

The camp did produce a New York Post article about some loon, who claimed to have been on the same flight with Trump and one accuser, Jessica Leeds.

“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her,” 54-year-old Anthony Gilberthorpe told the Post.

He said Leeds “was the one being flirtatious” and suggested he would go so far as to “challenge her on the points she made” against Trump should they happen to meet again. Gilberthorpe’s interview with the Post was arranged by the campaign, and he had no eyewitnesses to corroborate his own account.

This Gilberthorpe’s claim to fame?

He is alleged to be the pimp for young, male prostitutes to members of Great Britain’s Parliament in the 80s.

So, basically the kind of man you’d expect to be a “character” witness for Donald Trump.

And now, there is a 10th accuser.

On Thursday, Trump faced his 10th accusation of sexual assault. This time from Karena Virginia, a yoga instructor, who claimed the billionaire grabbed her breast and made inappropriate comments about her appearance while she was waiting for a car outside the 1998 U.S. Open in Queens, N.Y.

The Trump camp denies this allegation, as well.

At what point does it all become too much? How heavy must the scales be weighed down, before even the most ardent supporters say, “Enough!” and look at their hero with more discerning eyes?

He may be completely innocent. I actually hope he is. He has yet to offer anything other than lip service as proof, however, and this has hurt his campaign.

The post Still Waiting: What Happened to Trump’s Proof of His Innocence? appeared first on RedState.

Finally a Statistically Significant Lead in the NH Senate Race [RedState]

Sen. Kelley Ayotte

In a race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, a new WMUR Granite State Poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, finds that among likely New Hampshire voters Democrat Maggie Hassan leads Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte:

  • Hassan  – 46%
  • Ayotte – 38%
  • Undecided – 13%

When leaners are included, Hassan leads Ayotte 48 percent to 39 percent, with 9% percent undecided.

“The survey center said the new poll marked the first time either candidate in the Senate race ‘has held a statistically significant lead since the UNH Survey Center began polling on this race in May 2015.’” But, half of likely voters have not “definitely decided” whom they will vote for.

The Real Clear Politics average for New Hampshire Senate – Ayotte vs. Hassan has Hassan up by 2.0 points.

The new WMUR Granite State poll was conducted  October 11-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The poll supports Steve Schmidt’s prediction that the Democrats will retake control of the Senate. It also shows the danger to Republicans of Clinton’s growing lead over Donald Trump in the polls. As we reported yesterday, Hillary supporting Super PACS are now freeing up money to try and win congressional races.

WMUR reports that both Ayotte and Hassan have suffered a steady stream of negative television attack ads. The pro-Hassan groups have been advertising more heavily on New Hampshire and Boston television airwaves in recent months and those attacks have focused on tying Ayotte to Trump. That appears to be working even though Ayotte dropped her support for Trump, following the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video.

The post Finally a Statistically Significant Lead in the NH Senate Race appeared first on RedState.

Ted Cruz Should Have Been the One Debating Hillary Clinton This Week [RedState]


Chris Wallace, who has received all sorts of (in my view, largely unmerited) accolades for his performance Wednesday, began the debate with one of the dumbest questions I have heard this election cycle:

First of all, where do you want to see the court take the country? And secondly, what’s your view on how the constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders’ words mean what they say or is it a living document to be applied flexibly, according to changing circumstances? In this segment, secretary Clinton, you go first. You have two minutes.

Think about that for a moment. Chris Wallace asks the candidates where they want the Supreme Court to “take the country.” But it’s not the Supreme Court’s job to take the country anywhere!

For a constitutional conservative, this was a hanging curveball over the fat part of home plate. Trump should have been able to knock it out of the park! So what does the bumbling Donald Trump do with it instead? Well, because everything is about him, he immediately thinks about the time one of the justices insulted him personally:

Well, first of all, it’s so great to be with you and thank you, everybody. The Supreme Court, it is what it is all about. Our country is so, so, it is just so imperative that we have the right justices. Something happened recently where Justice Ginsburg made some very inappropriate statements toward me and toward a tremendous number of people. Many, many millions of people that I represent and she was forced to apologize. And apologize she did. But these were statements that should never, ever have been made.

This pathetic and predictably narcissistic answer got me thinking: how would the debate have gone if Ted Cruz been on stage instead of Donald Trump?

He would have let Hillary Clinton have it dozens of times. He would have explained the O’Keefe videos in a pithy way, and tied them to Hillary effectively. He would have had a mastery of the details of the Wikileaks revelations, and hit her hard on that too.

And how might he have answered Wallaces’s little softball question about the Court? I imagine it might have gone a little something like this:

Thank you, Chris, and thank you to UNLV and everyone who took part in hosting this debate. It’s great to be here.

Chris, it’s not the job of the Supreme Court to “take the country” anywhere. It is the job of Congress to pass laws, and the job of the Court to interpret them according to the plain meaning of the words. If the Court followed that simple mandate, it would not be “taking the country” anywhere. It would be interpreting the law, which is its only function.

But Chris, I understand why you think it’s the Court’s job to “take the country” places, because far too often, that’s what the court does: ignore plain meaning and founding principles in favor of instituting the policy preferences of its elite members.

For example, in their Obamacare decisions, this handful of unelected judges rewrote the text of Obamacare twice in order to impose that failed law upon millions of Americans.

The first time, the court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory penalty into a tax. The second time, these robed Houdinis transmogrified a federal exchange into a exchange “established by the state.”

This is lawless conduct. Justice Scalia said, “we should start calling this law SCOTUScare,” and I agree.

Unelected judges have become legislators — and bad ones at that. They are lawless and they hide their prevarication in legalese. Our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men, and the transparent distortions of the court are disgraceful.

These justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes. They have joined a team, and it’s a team that’s hurting Americans across this country.

If those justices want to become legislators I invite them to resign and run for office. That’s the appropriate place to write laws: on the floor of Congress — not from that courtroom. And if you elect Hillary Clinton, you’ll just get more of the same leftist and elitist arrogance.

Ted Cruz would have wiped the floor with Hillary Clinton.

OK, I have to confess: I’m not imagining Ted Cruz saying those words, so much as I’m repeating Ted Cruz’s words. Virtually everything you just read is a quote or very close paraphrase of things Ted Cruz has already said. You can read much of it here.

Why do I bring this up? Because, pretty soon, after Trump loses, we’re going to have to reassess where this party has been and where it’s going, and answer the question: What do we do next?

And, I don’t know. Somehow, I think this little mental exercise I just took us through . . . it feels relevant to that question.

Don’t you think?


The post Ted Cruz Should Have Been the One Debating Hillary Clinton This Week appeared first on RedState.

VIDEO: Donald Trump Succeeds in Making Hillary Clinton Likable [RedState]

At the Al Smith Dinner in New York, the night is supposed to be filled with humor, especially of the self-deprecating kind. It’s the kind of thing that can really make a candidate seem like a normal human, and is a fine break from the overbearing nature of the presidential election. However, no one seems to have told Donald Trump this. He gave a political speech attacking Hillary Clinton, and was booed, jeered, and told to get off the stage.

Congratulations are in order here, ladies and gentlemen. Donald Trump has done the impossible. He has made HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON the most likable major party candidate in this race. It is truly a feat to be memorialized in some way.

My favorite part of the video clip is this not too far in. The camera cuts away to Clinton, who is just reveling in how lucky she is right at that moment in time. Just look at her grinning like she’s already won this thing (note: she has):


Her happiness is understandable. I’d be standing up and applauding him if I were in her shoes. He has done her yet another favor.

The post VIDEO: Donald Trump Succeeds in Making Hillary Clinton Likable appeared first on RedState.

Throwback Thursday: Remember That RIGGED Al Franken Election? [RedState]

In our headlong rush to make Donald Trump get in a time machine and declare that next month’s election “was” fair — even though it hasn’t happened yet — we all might do well to remember some history that has happened: Al Franken’s 2008 Senate race, won by 312 illegal votes — all of them, and more, illegally cast.

This August 2012 piece from Byron York makes for an enjoyable if infuriating read these days.

In the ’08 campaign, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman was running for re-election against Democrat Al Franken. It was impossibly close; on the morning after the election, after 2.9 million people had voted, Coleman led Franken by 725 votes.

Franken and his Democratic allies dispatched an army of lawyers to challenge the results. After the first canvass, Coleman’s lead was down to 206 votes. That was followed by months of wrangling and litigation. In the end, Franken was declared the winner by 312 votes. He was sworn into office in July 2009, eight months after the election.

During the controversy a conservative group called Minnesota Majority began to look into claims of voter fraud. Comparing criminal records with voting rolls, the group identified 1,099 felons — all ineligible to vote — who had voted in the Franken-Coleman race.

Minnesota Majority took the information to prosecutors across the state, many of whom showed no interest in pursuing it. But Minnesota law requires authorities to investigate such leads. And so far, Fund and von Spakovsky report, 177 people have been convicted — not just accused, but convicted — of voting fraudulently in the Senate race. Another 66 are awaiting trial. “The numbers aren’t greater,” the authors say, “because the standard for convicting someone of voter fraud in Minnesota is that they must have been both ineligible, and ‘knowingly’ voted unlawfully.” The accused can get off by claiming not to have known they did anything wrong.

Still, that’s a total of 243 people either convicted of voter fraud or awaiting trial in an election that was decided by 312 votes.

But it’s not like felons would overwhelmingly vote Democrat, is it? (Yes, that’s a joke.)

Now: felons are probably not going to be enough to throw this presidential election. Even widespread voter fraud would be unlikely to change the results of this election. Trump looks like he is headed for a historic defeat.

But . . .

But you never know.

WARNING: DIGRESSION! And in addition to felons, there is another large group of potential illegal voters out there: illegal immigrants. I wrote about this potential problem back in 2008 on my personal blog:

We have gotten about 500,000 new illegal immigrants per year every year since 2004; from 2000-2004 this number was even higher, ranging from 800,000 to 850,000 new illegals every year.

We all know that these illegals do much of what citizens do: drive, work, receive health care, etc.

Many do these things off the books, driving without licenses and working without documentation. But many others do these things with phony documentation, obtaining fraudulent licenses and filling out work papers with bogus information.

Why wouldn’t they vote, too?

Of course, I’m not sure where I might have gotten the idea that illegal immigrants might be motivated to vote against Donald Trump . . .

Oh. Right.

But surely Democrats would never encourage people they believed to be illegal immigrants to vote in federal elections, right? Well . . . um . . . James O’Keefe caught Democrats on camera doing exactly that in 2014.

END DIGRESSION! Anyway, getting back to Al Franken: his 2008 Senate race, like the 2000 presidential election, shows that very important political races can come down to a handful of votes. Democrats always have the advantage in those situations, because people who would vote illegally — like felons or illegal aliens — tend to vote Democrat. So voter fraud always benefits Democrats.

No wonder Democrats want the Republican candidate to declare fraud is not a problem before we even hold the election.


The post Throwback Thursday: Remember That RIGGED Al Franken Election? appeared first on RedState.

Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump At The Al Smith Dinner – Livestream And Open Thread [RedState]

It is a tradition for both the Republican and Democratic nominees for President to appear each year at the Al Smith Dinner together. It is a night when both candidates can just relax and have a good time.

Here is the live feed. Enjoy and comment away!

This will be a whole lot better than the debate.

The post Hillary Clinton And Donald Trump At The Al Smith Dinner – Livestream And Open Thread appeared first on RedState.

They’re Not Joking: Major Threat to Health Insurance Industry Identified and it’s Not Obamacare [RedState]

Big health insurers are distancing themselves from Obamacare like it’s a Baby Ruth in a public swimming pool but the non-profit group Ceres has identified the real looming threat to the health insurance industry.

Climate change.

Ceres identifies itself as “an advocate for sustainable leadership” with a mission to “mobilize investor and business leadership to build a thriving, sustainable global economy.”

We work with nearly 70 companies–across more than 20 sectors–committed to engaging with diverse stakeholders, improving their performance on social and environmental issues and disclosing strategies and progress publicly.

In some circles this is the kind of language used to describe what Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson do. Do as we say and we’ll leave you alone. Refuse us and we will make trouble for you publicly.

The group says that they were formed in response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill, so their priorities probably aren’t related to how well health insurance providers provide health insurance.

Ceres tells us that health insurers are not prepared to deal with climate change induced health issues. Market Watch reports on the “study” performed by Ceres.

The biggest health insurers in the U.S. show little understanding or concern about the risks to their business posed by climate change, even though warmer winters and springs are already causing spikes in conditions such as allergies, asthma and Lyme disease.

But wouldn’t those spikes be offset by a reduction in frostbite, injuries or heart attacks brought on by snow shoveling, ice related car accidents? Of course not because that wouldn’t fit the agenda, but your hay fever lasting an extra few weeks will bring the industry to its knees.

Ceres found that while property and casualty insurers and life and annuity insurers have made some progress in engaging with climate change and attempting to evaluate the risks to their business, health insurers appear to be in a state of denial.

“Every segment can improve, but health insurers are just not engaged much and that really came through in their disclosures,” said Max Messervy, manager of the Ceres insurance program and one of the authors of the report. “ A few actually said they do not believe climate change is a material business risk.”

Burn the witches.

The companies were evaluated on five core themes, including governance, climate risk management, the use of catastrophe modeling or other modeling to evaluate and manage risk, greenhouse gas management and stakeholder engagement. The latter includes the extent to which climate risk is discussed at board level and among senior managers, as well as external parties such as shareholders and regulators, and elected lawmakers, who could work on carbon-reducing legislation.

They are actually rating insurance companies on whether they lobby elected officials about reducing carbon emissions.

Property and casualty insurers demonstrated better awareness of and engagement with climate risk, to which they are exposed through policies written for homeowners, cars and businesses. Disasters such as the recent Hurricane Matthew can be expensive for those companies as they pay up for damage to homes, vehicles and commercial properties.

Imagine that. Property insurers concern themselves with weather related disasters. That’s what they do. It is one of the primary reasons their industry even exists. The presumption that any weather related issue is a sign of “engagement with climate risk” is a little ridiculous. The climate alarmist faith has done an efficient job of evangelizing. Note how the reporter casually treats Hurricane Matthew and climate change as practically interchangeable.

I don’t know about you but Ceres “helping” insurance companies this way has “shakedown” written all over it.

The post They’re Not Joking: Major Threat to Health Insurance Industry Identified and it’s Not Obamacare appeared first on RedState.

ABANDON SHIP! Trump Loses Another Key Campaign Player [RedState]

Another day, another rat abandoning this torpedoed ship?

I’ve worked in companies with high turnover rates, before. Usually, it’s for one of two reasons: either the work is too strenuous, or its is too difficult to work with management.

With roughly two weeks until election day, Donald Trump has seen another key player step back from his campaign.

Jim Murphy, national political director for the Trump campaign, has decided to take a little time off, according to multiple sources.

“I have not resigned but for personal reasons have had to take a step back from the campaign,” Murphy said in a statement to POLITICO. He did not elaborate on the reasons for his departure.

Several Trump aides said that Murphy has been conspicuously absent in recent days as the campaign mobilizes for the final push.

Since joining the Trump campaign in June, Murphy, a longtime party operative, has played a key role in setting up field programs in battleground states. He has emerged as a central point person between top Trump campaign officials and the Republican National Committee. Murphy also helped to oversee floor operations at the Republican National Convention in July.

The facts are, Trump has not put together a genuine, cohesive ground game in some very key states in this race.

He has been outmaneuvered by Clinton’s more professional team, from day one.

Note to Branch Trumpidians: This is the difference between “professional politicians” and “outsiders.”

Those professional politicians know how to run campaigns and win elections. Those outsiders, especially if they are determined to push back against their advisors and every sound piece of policy advice, don’t tend to do very well, except with the fringe groups that adore them.

There’s a reason Trump is having trouble keeping help. Just yesterday, it was reported that even former Fox News president, Roger Ailes was stepping back.

It’s the latest departure in a campaign rife with turnover. Manafort resigned from the campaign in August, just two months after succeeding Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who was fired. Other campaign hands, including longtime party strategist Ed Brookover, have also left.

This is in addition to the various state campaign directors and operatives who have either bailed or been let go.

It’s almost like they can sense the inevitable.

The post ABANDON SHIP! Trump Loses Another Key Campaign Player appeared first on RedState.

Blog Notes [Small Dead Animals]

I'm busy with a family event for the next couple of days, so blogging will be slow. Have a good weekend!

#TommyDouglasDay [Small Dead Animals]

Follow along here.

Reader Tips [Small Dead Animals]

The selection for this evening's entertainment is Mr. Scam Man (2012), by Dan Roberts.

Thread's open for your tips.

Who needs to remember soldiers killed by Jihadis [Small Dead Animals]

cirillo vincent.jpgPrime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has no plans to mark the second anniversary of the terrorist attack on Parliament Hill and the slaying of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial.

"I am not aware of any plans to mark the anniversary this year," Zoltan Csepregi, Manager of Media Relations for Veterans Affairs Canada told CFRA in an emailed statement Thursday. "I spoke with my colleagues at DND (Department of National Defence) and they are not aware of any events this year following the plaque unveiling last year."

Read the full story here.

Pollspotting! [Small Dead Animals]

Just to mess with their heads: If you could cast a ballot in the U.S. presidential race, who would you vote for?

Currently Hillary 32, Donald 24.

Machine-learning craze reaches freelancers: AI skills sought for gigs [The Register]

Fed up with artificial intelligence hype? The blather is only just beginning

Machine learning, Tableau, and user experience design represented the fastest growing skills on freelancing platform Upwork during the third quarter of the year, a finding that makes sense in the context of the accelerating collection of data and the need to present it.…

Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second guide [The Register]

Compromised gadgets behind tens of millions of IP addresses flooded DNS biz Dyn

Today, a huge army of hijacked internet-connected devices – from security cameras to home routers – turned on their owners and broke a big chunk of the internet.…

Como–D'oh! Infosec duo exploits OCR flaw to nab a website's HTTPS cert [The Register]

Pair abused typo blind spot to game certificate authority

Two European security researchers exploited Comodo's crappy backend systems to obtain a HTTPS certificate for a domain they do not own.…

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed' [The Register]

4KM plummet to surface shattered Euro spacecraft

Pic  The European Space Agency has spotted what it assumes is what's left of its Schiaparelli lander that smashed into the Martian surface this week.…

DNS devastation: Top websites whacked offline as Dyn dies again [The Register]

Twitter, Amazon, AirBnB, Github and many others hit in DDoS attack on infrastructure

An extraordinary, focused attack on DNS provider Dyn continues to disrupt internet services for hundreds of companies, including online giants Twitter, Amazon, AirBnB, Spotify and others.…

Boffins twist beams of neutrons into pasta to cook up holograms [The Register]

Fun but it's probably better for measuring really small things

Holograms created with neutron beams have been demonstrated for the first time by a team of scientists working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.…

Gartner's seers pass judgement on storage industry leaders [The Register]

Quadrantic magicians do their square rating thingy

Gartner has published a distributed file systems and object storage magic quadrant with the top three suppliers being Dell EMC, followed by IBM and Scality.…

Acronis: Yep, we're using blockchain for backup now [The Register]

Blockchain timestamped hashing fraud check

Acronis's Storage software product for businesses and service providers uses blockchain technology to prove data has not been altered.…

OpenStack-flinger Mirantis signs landmark NTT deal [The Register]

Private cloud - as a service, sir?

Cloud-flinger Mirantis has signed up global telco giant NTT as its first data centre service provider partner.…

EMC moves into Dell house: Where'd I put the spoons? [The Register]

Check the Org chart, will you

Comment  We've learnt how the EMC organisation has been fitted into its new Dell house, at least at a top exec and product level, and here is an org chart set to show what we believe we know.…

Hewlett Packard Enterprise gives UK boss control of Ireland [The Register]

No, not the whole country, just the whole country operation

After three decades at or near the top of HPE’s Irish ops - latterly the standalone Enterprise organisation - Martin Murphy is to leave the business by the end of February, El Reg can confirm.…

Dyn dinged by DDoS: US DNS firm gives web a bad hair day [The Register]

Reddit, Github, Airbnb and pals affected

A denial of service attack against managed DNS provider Dyn restricted access to many US-based websites on Friday.…

New measurement alert. The Pogba: 1,200Pg = NHS annual budget [The Register]

You gotta have standards

Reg Standards Bureau  Reporting on NHS expenditure today, the BBC's health correspondent Nick Triggle coined The Register's newest unit of measurement: The Pogba (Pg).…

Today is the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar [The Register]

Toast the Immortal Memory of Admiral Lord Nelson, shipmates

Today marks the 211th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, in which Admiral Horatio Nelson gave the combined naval might of France and Spain a bloody good kicking.…

Hax0rs sow Discord by using VoIP service to sling malware at gamers [The Register]

Not even playtime's safe these days

Hackers abused a free VoIP service for gamers to distribute remote-access Trojans and other malware.…

Computacenter Q3 numbers lifted by weak British Pound [The Register]

'Hurrah for the Euro and our services biz in Germany' cheers reseller titan

The weak British pound worked in Computacenter’s favour during its calendar Q3, as the conversion of Euros generated by ops in mainland Europe helped to lift group revenues and offset “softness” in the UK.…

Hapless Network Rail contractors KO broadband in Uxbridge [The Register]

30 cables cut and countless masts out of action

Hapless Network Rail contractors drove a pile through 30 cable ducts, cutting phone, broadband services and many cell towers in the Uxbridge, Middlesex - potentially knocking services out until next week.…

No matter who becomes US president, America's tech giants are going to be quids in [The Register]

Both parties promising massive tax break on overseas earnings

Last night's US presidential debate may have been fierce, but no matter who wins the election next month, technology firms are going to make out like bandits.…

Hack us and you're basically attacking America, says UK defence sec [The Register]

And we'll attack you back, promises Defence Secretary

Britain is splurging £265m on military cyber security – and that includes offensive capabilities, according to Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.…

Meet the slimeballs who are openly sabotaging Virgin Media [The Register]

Amazingly slow Shropshire attack causes sluggish services

Snails attacked a Virgin Media broadband cabinet in Shropshire, resulting in sluggish broadband services.…

UK fintech firm reaches for Ireland Brexit escape hatch [The Register]

Seeks passporting clarity

A UK fin-tech firm will seek regulation in Ireland if the government doesn’t preserve financial services passporting rights in its EU exit talks.…

Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this [The Register]

How not to throw the baby out with the bathwater

If you're considering doing a relaunch, a "reboot", or a revamp of any kind, there's a lot to learn from the story of the Mini.…

Oh joy. You can now buy a gold plated quadcopter drone [The Register]

And fly it at more than 16 times the legally permitted height, we're told

Rich fools who like remote control toys can now splurge £20,000 buying a gold-plated DJI Phantom quadcopter, we are breathlessly told.…

What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is) [The Register]

Glitzy gadgets begin to lose their appeal

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  I'd like you to consider my underwear.…

Sky’s CEO drops MVNO bombshell at results conference [The Register]

Firm's sure to use its sports lure to bring in the punters

At the announcement of its results this week, Sky said that it was planning MVNO services based on the O2 network, which is run in the UK by Telefonica. Faultline has been forecasting a move by Sky into cellular for the past four years and is surprised that it has taken this long for the move to emerge.…

Hardware ain't hard, money is: Crowdfunding, bootstraps and startups [The Register]

Can you rattle the tin for marketing? Really?

Radbot  Our quiz on startup branding revealed that a worrying number of you are not to be trusted with a hot iron - branding, soldering, or even wool setting, it seems.…

Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit [The Register]

And he needed rather obscure controllers to get anything working again

On-Call  Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday frolic through readers' memories of jobs gone bad.…

AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all [The Register]

Zen biz's only hope is to avoid Chipzilla's wrath, it seems

On Tuesday, Intel said it expects to bank in the final quarter of the year $15.7bn in sales, plus or minus $500m. That's a billion-dollar swing.…

Puppet shows its hand: All your software is belong to us [The Register]

In the future code is going to be managed and deployed by other code

Special report  In an episode of Seinfeld from 1996, George is shocked when he discovers his former boss, Mr Wilhelm, has joined a cult, the Sunshine Carpet Cleaners.…

Glued-shut IT wallets hindered UK govt's programmes – study [The Register]

Viewing big initiatives as tech projects not helpful, say Brunel researchers

Efforts by the previous UK government to rein in lavish Whitehall technology spending caused more harm than good in some instances.…

Slack whacks global account hijack holes [The Register]

For a while there your Slack account could be hijacked with just a username

Hipster collaboration platform Slack has shuttered an access control bypass that allowed users to hijack any account.…

Rogue sysadmins the target of Microsoft's new 'Shielded VM' security [The Register]

VMware's also trying to stop Dennis Nedry in vSphere 6.5, but both trail the NSA and Xen

Virtual machine security is suddenly a hot spot: VMware's building a new product for it and has added new bits to vSphere 6.5 to enhance it. And Microsoft thinks it has found a new way to secure VMs.…

Fruity hacking group juiced by Microsoft's October patch parade [The Register]

Get your patching done, people, this Font-borne bug is being actively exploited

Kaspersky Labs researcher Anton Ivanov says an advanced threat group was exploiting a Windows zero day vulnerability before Microsoft patched it last week.…

Two new dinosaurs walked from South America to Australia, via Antarctica [The Register]

Skeleton suggests beast as long as a London bus

Australian paleo-boffins have revealed two new dinosaurs, Savannasaurus elliottorum and Diamantinasaurus matildae.…

Spam scum ping global blacklists to wreck rep [The Register]

Email pests seek clean machines for better hit rates.

Malware authors are consulting IP blacklists designed to help fight spam in a bid to avoid detection and increase inbox hit rates.…

IBM throws ISP under a bus for Australia's #Censusfail [The Register]

Big Blue claims ISP allowed DDoS. ISP says IBM rejected DDoS advice and services

IBM has blamed a supplier for causing the failure of Australia's online census, which went offline on the very night millions of households were required to describe their disposition.…

Dirty COW explained: Get a moooo-ve on and patch Linux root hole [The Register]

Widespread flaw can be easily exploited to hijack PCs, servers, gizmos, phones

Code dive  Patch your Linux-powered systems, phones and gadgets as soon as possible, if you can, to kill off a kernel-level flaw affecting nearly every distro of the open-source operating system.…

Google pays $100k to anti-malware crusader Giovanni Vigna [The Register]

Prolific malware murderer bags Mountain View's Security, Privacy and Anti-Abuse award

Anti-malware machine and head of the Shellphish DARPA Grand Challenge bronze-medallist team has won US$100,000 from Google for security research efforts.…

DIY website builder Weebly was secured feebly [The Register]

43m credentials lifted, plus 58m more at Modern Business Solutions and 22m from FourSquare

Another day, another three major breaches: this time at do it yourself website builder Weebly, which has been revealed as secured feebly, as were FourSquare and Modern Business Solutions.…

Microsoft kinda did OK this quarter – but whatever, Wall Street loves Satya Nadella [The Register]

It's the cloud economy, stupid

Microsoft's first-quarter results for its 2017 fiscal year reveal a four per cent year-on-year fall in profit and 10 per cent dive in operating income.…

US DNC hackers blew through SIX zero-days vulns last year alone [The Register]

Most targets were individuals with Gmail addresses

Security researchers have shone fresh light on the allegedly Russian state-sponsored hacking crew blamed for ransacking the US Democratic National Committee's computers.…

Cheapest Apple iPhone 7's flash memory is waaaaay slower than pricier model [The Register]

Your donation is insufficient. Please buy again

Apple is silently stiffing customers who don't spend enough on the latest iPhones.…

Instagram appears to be testing live video [The Verge - All Posts]

Facebook's all-out embrace of live video appears to be heading to Instagram. A new report from a Russian news site shows live functionality embedded into Instagram stories, with a bold "LIVE" banner on what is apparently a live video appearing at the front of the stories feed. The report from T Journal also shows the user interface for going live from Instagram, which includes a giant red button reading "Go Insta!"

Continue reading…

Donald Glover will play a young Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo movie [The Verge - All Posts]

Donald Glover has just been cast to play a young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo movie coming out in 2018. The news confirms months of rumors linking Glover to the project, and now the artist will officially join Alden Ehrenreich, who was recently cast as Han, in the spin-off.

Continue reading…

How an army of vulnerable gadgets took down the web today [The Verge - All Posts]

At some point this morning, one of the US’s critical internet infrastructure players was hit with a staggering distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that has taken out huge swaths of the web. Sites like Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Reddit, and many others — all clients of a domain registration service provider called Dyn — have suffered crippling interruptions and, in some cases, blanket outages.

Details are now emerging about the nature of the attack. It appears the cause is what’s known as a Mirai-based IoT botnet, according to security journalist Brian Krebs, who cited cyber-threat intelligence firm Flashpoint. Dyn’s chief strategy officer Kyle Owen, who spoke with reporters this afternoon, later confirmed Flashpoint’s claim,...

Continue reading…

LG is reportedly abandoning its modular phone strategy after one try [The Verge - All Posts]

Modular phones aren't winning. Korea's Electronic Times reported today that LG will go back to a regular, integrated design for its upcoming G6 phone after a failed experiment with modularity.

LG seemed to have big plans for its G5 phone, with a nice collection of modules out of the gate and the promise of an ecosystem. We liked some things about the phone, but also found a lot of compromises thanks to the modular design. In June we learned that the phone wasn't doing very well, partly due to the complication of building it... and due to the fact that nobody really wants a modular phone. Then in September Google cancelled Project Ara, so that modular dream is dead. Now that LG has given up on the G5, the (actually good) Moto Z now owns...

Continue reading…

Facebook employees argued Trump's posts should be banned as hate speech [The Verge - All Posts]

Some Facebook employees have argued that Donald Trump’s posts on the social network should be designated as hate speech and removed, according to a new report. The Wall Street Journal said today that Trump posts calling for a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States had triggered an emotional debate inside Facebook over enforcement of the company’s community standards. CEO Mark Zuckerberg ultimately ruled against deleting the posts, which he argued would amount to censorship of a political candidate, according to the Journal.

The internal arguments started after Trump began discussing Muslim immigration last December, the report said. Zuckerberg’s decision not to delete Trump’s posts, as an unspecified number of employees had...

Continue reading…

The Feds are investigating today's massive DDoS attacks [The Verge - All Posts]

The motivations behind today's massive denial-of-service attacks are still unknown, but the FBI and Department of Homeland Security are now looking into the incident.

As Politico reported earlier today, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that DHS was "monitoring this situation," as the agency said it was "investigating all potential causes." Reuters reports that the FBI is also investigating the attacks. The news service also reported earlier today that officials were investigating whether the incident was a "criminal act," although by now it seems clear the outages were almost certainly related to a targeted strike.

The DDoS, which first hit DNS service company Dyn, has affected several major websites, including...

Continue reading…

Airbnb is now banned from listing short-term rentals in New York [The Verge - All Posts]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law today a bill to make it illegal to advertise entire unoccupied apartments for less than 30 days on Airbnb, according to multiple reports. Cuomo had until October 29th to sign the bill, but until today the governor’s office had been mum on the legislation. Airbnb loudly opposed the measure, spending $10 million on a campaign to defeat its passage.

Airbnb says it will sue to block the law from going into effect, according to the Times-Union. The company has retained the law firm Gibson Dunn, which is currently suing the state of New York to block a wage increase for fast food employees.

Airbnb first threatened to sue last month, claiming the bill...

Continue reading…

Facebook says it will allow more explicit posts if they are newsworthy [The Verge - All Posts]

Facebook will begin allowing more explicit posts if they are "newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest," the company said today, following a series of controversies over deleted content. "Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them," said  Joel Kaplan, vice president of global public policy, and Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations and media partnerships, in a blog post.

Continue reading…

Refreshing The Verge: no platform like home [The Verge - All Posts]

The Verge turns five on November 1st, and we’re in the process of refreshing our entire brand for the next five years. In Refreshing The Verge, we’ll be looking at how that refresh process works, and what it’s like to adapt a brand like The Verge to a world where media platforms have become dominant.

One of the biggest advantages The Verge has always had is Vox Media’s own proprietary publishing platform, Chorus. As we think about building The Verge for a future where other media platforms command more and more of our audience’s attention, the needs and demands of Chorus have also changed — what started as an efficient tool for writing articles and publishing a website now needs to become a system for creating a wide range of formats...

Continue reading…

Moonlight is a beautifully nuanced gay coming-of-age tale [The Verge - All Posts]

Going into events like the Toronto International Film Festival, it's easy to predict a few of the hot-ticket hits — the movies that built major buzz at other festivals, or that come with particularly high-powered cast-and-crew lineages. And then there are films like Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, an artfully intense coming-of-age story which started as a promising word-of-mouth highlight and grew into the breakout must-see movie of the festival season, surpassing the demand of much bigger-budgeted, starry premieres. Even after two extra press-and-industry screenings were rushed onto the schedule at TIFF, the regularly scheduled IMAX screening in one of the festival's largest theaters was crammed to capacity as well. That's a big response for...

Continue reading…

Colonizing Mars [Transterrestrial Musings]

Speaking of space in The New Atlantis, thoughts from Bob Zubrin about Elon’s plans.

The Ascent Of Populism [Transterrestrial Musings]

A long but useful history of the conservative intellectual, from Matthew Continetti.

Growing New Knees [Transterrestrial Musings]

…and other joint cartilage, from noses. Faster please. Though I do have to say it sort of reminds me of the end of Sleeper.

Schiaparelli, RIP [Transterrestrial Musings]

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has seen the impact site. Burn was ten times too short, fell from 2-4 kilometers, almost-full tanks probably exploded on “landing.” But they think it was a software error, which is good news.

Getting Over “Apolloism” [Transterrestrial Musings]

My longish print essay at The New Atlantis is now on line.

The Internet [Transterrestrial Musings]

Someone is learning how to take it down. Ironic, considering that the original purpose of Arpanet was to prevent exactly this sort of thing. https://t.co/mYDqxbWGaA — Apostle To Morons (@Rand_Simberg) October 21, 2016 [Update a few minutes later] Oh, goody, a vulnerability in the Linux kernel that’s been there for nine years.

U.S. Gov’t: No Indication DDOS Attacks ‘State Sponsored’, Dyn Says Attack From Devices Using Malware [Weasel Zippers]

Wikileaks seems to be suggesting its supporters are behind it or it would like to believe they are. HT: Twitchy

In 2010 Video, Clinton Lectured Underlings On Cybersecurity And Guarding ‘Sensitive Information’ [Weasel Zippers]

Rules for thee, but not for me. Via Mediaite In 2010, at the same time then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using an unsecured private email server, she also filmed a video lecturing State Department subordinates on the importance of cybersecurity. “I think this is a responsibility we all share as Americans, but as State […]

Friday Doc Dump: State Department Releases 122 Hillary Clinton Emails (With More Classified Info) [Weasel Zippers]

Friday while the net is under DDOS attack, perfect time to slip these out. These are ones that she didn’t turn over, so remember that’s ‘classified’ yoga routines and Chelsea’s wedding into… Via Washington Times: The State Department released another batch of emails from former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s secret email server Friday and at least […]

Gary Johnson Says ‘Glaring Double Standard’ Kept Hillary Clinton’s Mosul ‘Mistake’ From Being an Aleppo Moment [Weasel Zippers]

Of course, it’s Hillary. Via US News: Hillary Clinton gave a disputable description of the location of Mosul, the largest city held by the Islamic State group, during Wednesday’s final major-party presidential debate, but pundits and the press did not pounce. In contrast to the intense news coverage of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson’s moment of […]

Amazon, Spotify And CNBC All Taken Down In Apparent DDOS Attack…UPDATE: Twitter, CNN, HBO, NY Times, Disqus Also Affected, East Coast Then West Coast Under Attack, Dyn Says Third Attack Underway… [Weasel Zippers]

Russia is bored today. Via CNBC: Major websites and services across the East Coast were shut down for two hours Friday morning by a denial of service attack. Domain host company Dyn said the attack started at 7:10 a.m. and lasted for more than two hours. It affected Dyn’s Managed Domain Name System infrastructure, which […]

Clinton Foundation Employed Now Jailed Muslim Brotherhood Official… [Weasel Zippers]

Via PJ Media: Gehad El-Haddad, the now-imprisoned former spokesman for the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s so-called “Freedom and Justice Party,” was effectively the “Baghdad Bob” of the Arab Spring. Educated in the UK and the son of a top Muslim Brotherhood leader, Gehad served as the special advisor on foreign policy to deposed Muslim Brotherhood president […]

Oprah: “You Don’t Have To Like Clinton To Vote For Her” [Weasel Zippers]

But if you love your country, just no… Via Politico: Oprah Winfrey’s message for undecided voters is simple: There’s only once choice, and you don’t have to like her. The former talk show host and media mogul, who endorsed Hillary Clinton in June, said she has been largely silent in this election because she wasn’t […]

Miley Cyrus To Campaign For Clinton, Katy Perry To Take Voters To The Polls To Vote… [Weasel Zippers]

Because when I think whose advice I want on who to vote for, I think of Miley Cyrus… Via Billboard: Miley Cyrus is definitely #WithHer. The singer and The Voice coach will join Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, at a rally on Saturday (Oct. 22) in Virginia. Cyrus will […]

Clinton Spent $66 Million On Ads In September Alone… [Weasel Zippers]

Wall Street candidate. Via Washington Post: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s September inundation of the airwaves cost her campaign $66 million, swamping rival Donald Trump’s media presence. A new campaign finance report filed Thursday night showed that Clinton’s campaign committee paid out nearly $66 million for media buys last month to the ad placement firm […]

Woman Mistakes Town Hall For Donald Trump Rally, Smears 30 Cars With Peanut Butter… [Weasel Zippers]

Just a bit nutty… Via The Independent: A woman was arrested on Monday after allegedly smearing peanut butter on 30 cars parked outside what she believed was a pro-Donald Trump rally. Christina Ferguson was arrested in Amherst Junction, Wisconsin after interrupting what turned out to be a meeting of a local environmental organisation, Tomorrow River […]

BREAKING: 26 People Treated At London City Airport In London After “Chemical Incident”… [Weasel Zippers]

Via RT: Twenty-six people were treated for breathing difficulties with two individuals taken to hospital following an alleged chemical incident at London City Airport. The site was evacuated after a fire alarm went off in the terminal building. Passengers and airport staff were left on the tarmac as three fire engines responded to the alarm. […]

Planned Parenthood President Won’t Say Whether Ritual Sacrifice Is A Religious Freedom Issue [Weasel Zippers]

Just say no. Via Free Beacon: I don’t know what I will be doing with my time four years from now. Maybe I’ll be in a house on the shore of Lake Superior writing a book that will sell modestly but receive glowing reviews. Maybe I will be playing pedal steel in a country-rock band. […]

NYC’s Cardinal Dolan: Hillary Should Disavow Negative Remarks on Catholics [Weasel Zippers]

Via Newsmax: New York City’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that Hillary Clinton should disavow negative comments made by campaign staffers that were disclosed in emails hacked by WikiLeaks. “They are extraordinarily patronizing and insulting to Catholics,” the archbishop of the Big Apple told News Channel 13 in Colorado Springs on Monday. Dolan will host the […]

Huma On Hillary’s $12M Morocco Fiasco: ‘She Created This Mess And She Knows It’ [Weasel Zippers]

More money grubbing from another Islamic country with a sterling human rights record. Via NY Post: Hillary Clinton solicited a $12 million donation from a government that her State Department considered corrupt, then realized the “mess” it would cause to her presidential run, a newly leaked ­email reveals. King Mohammed VI of Morocco agreed to […]

President Of Philippines Announces ‘Separation From America’ [Weasel Zippers]

Thanks, Obama! Pres. Duterte(Philippines ) Announces separation from the United States.Says will Join Russia & China,"there are 3 of us against the World" pic.twitter.com/QYkZQ85hu8 — Ms. Naahyah (@MsNayas) October 21, 2016

Wikileaks Teases ‘October Surprise’ For Tim Kaine And DNC Chair Donna Brazile [Weasel Zippers]

Via Washington Examiner: WikiLeaks teased Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile on Twitter Thursday evening, warning an October surprise is looming. The website’s founder, Julian Assange, has used the site to release hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and Democratic organizations in the final weeks of the […]

Mississippi County Passes Anti-Clown Ordinance… [Weasel Zippers]

This is not a laughing matter. Via Kemper County Messenger: Clowning around in Kemper County has just become an expensive proposition. At least until November 1. The Kemper County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance during its regular meeting on Monday that makes it unlawful for any person of any age to appear in […]

It Was a Bright Cold Day in April, and the Clocks Were Striking Patriarchy [According To Hoyt]

‘As you lie there,’ said O’Brien, ‘you have often wondered you have even asked me — why the Ministry of Love should expend so much time and trouble on you. And when you were free you were puzzled by what was essentially the same question. You could grasp the mechanics of the Society you lived in, but not its underlying motives. Do you remember writing in your diary, “I understand how: I do not understand why“? It was when you thought about “why” that you doubted your own sanity. You have read the book, Hayek’s book, or parts of it, at least. Did it tell you anything that you did not know already?’

‘You have read it?’ said Winston.

‘I wrote it. That is to say, I collaborated in writing it. No book is produced individually, as you know.’

‘Is it true, what it says?’ Something about the idea that O’Brien had written it did not ring true, but Winston had no proof it had existed before the Utopia.

‘It was thought to be true once, yes. The programme it sets forth is nonsense. The individual by himself, no compensation to historically oppressed groups, no debasing of privilege.  Everyone knows the only way to run a society is to keep the forces of oppression and compensation in balance, to right historical wrongs.  The way to sanity is to always be aware of your evil thoughts, your tendency to abuse your privilege.  And everyone has privilege, except the priests of balancing, the enlightened, those who know how to keep society running.

The peons can’t be trusted with such delicate balancing of forces.  Left to themselves,s the lumpen proletariat will embrace greed and money making and the society created will be unequal, and wrong, and chaotic.  Like Somalia.”

“What’s Somalia?” Winston asked.  And for a moment he saw a shadow of confusion cross O’Brien’s eyes.  “It’s not important.  That’s how to answer the idea of individual freedom.  It’s like Somalia.  And Somalia is not Utopia. Utopia is perfect and it’s forever. Make that the starting-point of your thoughts.’

The faint, mad gleam of enthusiasm had come back into O’Brien’s face. He knew in advance what O’Brien would say. That the enlightened ones did not seek power for their own ends, but only for the good of the majority. That it sought power because men in the mass were frail cowardly creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over and systematically deceived by others who were stronger than themselves. That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better. That the enlightened ones was the eternal guardian of the weak, a dedicated sect doing evil that good might come, sacrificing its own happiness to that of others. The terrible thing, thought Winston, the terrible thing was that when O’Brien said this he would believe it.

You could see it in his face. O’Brien knew everything. A thousand times better than Winston he knew what the world was really like, in what degradation the mass of human beings lived and by what lies and barbarities the enlightened ones kept them there. He had understood it all, weighed it all, and it made no difference: all was justified by the ultimate purpose. What can you do, thought Winston, against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

‘You are ruling over us for our own good,’ he said feebly. ‘You believe that human beings are not fit to govern themselves, and therefore –‘

He started and almost cried out. A pang of pain had shot through his body. O’Brien had pushed the lever of the dial up to thirty-five.

‘That was stupid, Winston, stupid!’ he said. ‘You should know better than to say a thing like that.’

He pulled the lever back and continued:

‘Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. Only the enlightened ones can punish humanity as it deserves to be punished.  Humanity is a cancer upon the Earth, the only species capable of rendering others extinct, the only species that will destroy the planet left to its own devices.

But killing everyone would be wrong, because then someone might get the idea they could kill us and we don’t want to die.  And the instinct to reproduce is so strong, that merely outlawing reproduction wouldn’t work.

Setting a barrier between men and women? Convincing women men are the oppressors?  Convincing women that they are simultaneously fragile and powerful, till they’re crazy?  That works.  Convincing people heterosexuality is somehow abnormal, and sex is just for play, and then ultimately that all sex everywhere is about power and wrong?  That works.  The birthrate is falling, Winston, and soon we will have w orld without people.”  Winston stopped, a mad gleam in his eyes.  “A world without people.”

For a moment Winston ignored the dial. He made a violent effort to raise himself into a sitting position, and merely succeeded in wrenching his body painfully.

‘But how can you control all humans?’ he burst out. ‘Don’t you think here and there, a new colony will start and the species will grow anew.”

O’Brien silenced him by a movement of his hand. ‘Oh, yes,” he said.  “Humans are like cockroaches.  But if we get in their minds and make them believe us, then we have them. You can make them believe anything. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not make you believe. Invisibility, levitation — anything. That despite biological, obvious differences, and other differences in musculature, in brain formation, despite hormones and how they shape everything about a human before he’s even born, we can make humans believe there are no differences between the sexes.  And alternately we can make them believe all males are natural oppressors and must be punished simply for existing, and all women, no matter how powerful or rich are natural victims and must be appeased.  We can make them believe there are no differences, and at the same time that there are six genders, or ten, or twelve, or a hundred, all of them natural from birth.’

“But that’s mad,” Winston shouted.  “Utterly mad.  You can’t make anyone deny the truth of their own eyes, forever.”

He knew the lever would be pulled.


“How many genders does humanity have, Winston?”


The lever was pulled.

“How many?”


The lever was pulled.

“How many?”

“A hundred”

The lever was pulled.

“How many?”

“As many as the enlightened say.”

“That is right, Winston, you are almost well.  And what is PIV.”
“Violation.  Always violation.”

“Can’t a woman consent to sex with a man?”

“There is no true consent, since even in Utopia cis het males are programmed to institute patriarchy.  You must always be vigilant against your own thoughts and your own unconscious privilege, even if you can’t be fully aware of it.  All penetration is violation.  A baby is an invader in a woman’s body.  Utopia is forever and only the enlightened can tell us when we’re wrong. Because the individual is not able to balance the forces of retribution and oppression and greed by himself, or not even within himself. Society is always imbalanced, and there will be oppression till all of humanity is gone, so the enlightened ones must teach us and correct us until that time.”


Winston gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken zeem to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the androgynous, unreadable face. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of zees nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. Zee had won the victory over Zeeself. Zee loved Big Gender Indeterminate Sibling.

Roman LD, Inc [FCC Recent Releases]

The Consent Decree resolves a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) which found that Roman apparently submitted requests to switch consumers' preferred long distance telephone carrier without authorization, commonly known as "slamming."

Petition of General Communication, Inc. for Waiver of Certain Channelization and Other Restrictions on Common Carrier Fixed Point-to-Point Operations Between 6425 and 7125 MHz [FCC Recent Releases]

Granted GCI's request for a waiver of certain channelization and other limitations in the Upper 6 GHz microwave bands in rural Alaska

Policy Branch Information [FCC Recent Releases]

Satellite Space Applications Accepted for Filing

Erratum - Petition for Rulemaking Filed by the Telecommunication Industry Association Regarding Hearing Aid Compatibility Volume Control Requirements [FCC Recent Releases]

Issued an Erratum correcting, Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), FCC 15-144, released October 30, 2015

Life of Victory TV, Inc [FCC Recent Releases]

Adopted a Consent Decree in this proceeding

Crying (but also Laughing) about Clinton and Trump [International Liberty]

One interesting feature of this election is that many voters, grappling with the unpalatable choice of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, are dealing with the feelings of dismay and despair that libertarians experience almost every election.

All I can say is, “welcome to my world.”

Though I admit our experiences aren’t the same. Ordinary voters presumably are agitated by Hillary’s corruption and Donald’s buffoonery.

As a free-market policy wonk, by contrast, I’m more concerned that both Clinton and Trump are statists. Heck, I’d tolerate some unseemly behavior and sleaze if a politician actually reduced the burden of government (hence, my bizarre ex post facto fondness for Bill Clinton’s presidency).

But since Hillary isn’t Bill and Trump isn’t Reagan, the dark cloud that we’re facing doesn’t have any silver lining.

Unless, of course, you’re a fan of political humor. In which case the 2016 election is Nirvana.

And since I’m a fan (even when libertarians are the intended target), I’m greatly enjoying each and every time that Clinton and Trump are mocked.

And the best of all worlds is when there’s some humor that nails both of them at the same time. So it’s easy to see why I like this bit of satire that combines the controversy over Trump’s undisclosed tax returns and the controversy over Clinton’s illegal (and vulnerable) email server.

Here’s another example of this genre.

Here’s an amusing image showing what might happen if Trump was capable of time travel.

And this anti-Hillary image obviously is satire, though I think it makes a very sensible point about the dangers of interventionism.

Indeed, to be momentarily serious, the moral of the story is that Hillary’s recklessness is likely to create more risk for America, whereas the libertarian approach (illustrated by George Will, Barack Obama (in theory but not practice), and Mark Steyn is based on prudence and a Bastiat-like appreciation for unintended consequences.

Let’s get back to the funny stuff.

Did your parents ever say “America is great because anyone can grow up to be President”? Well, as you can see, that’s not such a good idea.

Last but not least, this cartoon captures the outcome of the election, regardless of which major-party candidate prevails.

Though Libertarians say you can escape this dilemma by choosing with “The Johnson.”

P.S. Since Putin made an appearance in our first item, it reminded me that he featured in a couple of amusing bits of satire (here and here) mocking Obama.


FeedRSSLast fetchedNext fetched after
[Citation Needed] XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
According To Hoyt XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ace of Spades HQ XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ace of Spades HQ Podcast XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ali Spagnola XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Allergic to Bull XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Althouse XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
American Bandscan XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
American Radio Relay League | Ham Radio Association and Resources XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
AMSAT-NA XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Annoyed Librarian XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Armed and Dangerous XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ars Technica XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
as days pass by XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Barry's news XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Because News from CBC Radio XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Bill Corbett XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Bits from Debian XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
BlackFive XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Blazing Cat Fur XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Blog XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
BodyRock XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Bradley M. Kuhn's Blog ( bkuhn ) XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
bsdtalk XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Camilla Akerberg Official XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
CBC | Technology News XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Celestial Junk XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Chicago Boyz XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Clockwise XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Comedy Factory from CBC Radio XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Comedy of the Week XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Conor Lastowka XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Coyle's InFormation XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Cybersauce World News XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Damian J. Penny XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Dannibelle XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Daring Fireball XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Debian package news for dianara XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Debian package news for pumpa XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
DistroWatch.com: News XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Dr. Helen XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
DX International radio XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ed Driscoll XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Elizabeth Yisrael XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
English News - NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
FCC Recent Releases XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
fccdotgovvideo XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
FrequencyCast UK Tech Radio Show XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4 XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Full Circle Magazine XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
GB2RS XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Glenn Hausers World of Radio XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Guido Fawkes XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
halls of macadamia XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Harry Shearer: Le Show XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
hogewash XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Houston AMSAT Net Podcast XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
http://PodcastOne.com XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
http://PodcastOne.com XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
http://PodcastOne.com XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02lwy59/episodes/downloads.rss XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
http://www.radionz.co.nz/podcasts/bestoftheweek.rss XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
http://www.radionz.co.nz/podcasts/soundshistorical.rss XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Information Wants To Be Free XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
International Liberty XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
IRSvideos XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Jammie Wearing Fools XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Jewish Telegraphic Agency XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Jim'll Paint It XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Join me, won't we? XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
JSTOR Daily XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
JustOneMinute XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
KCRW's Martini Shot XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
kevin w murphy XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Late Night Live - Full program podcast XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Laugh Out Loud from CBC Radio XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
librarian.net XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Lint XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Linux Voice Podcast XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
LISNews: XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Loco Council XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
lol my thesis XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Maetenloch XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Marginal REVOLUTION XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Marissa Myatt XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Mark Shuttleworth XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Michael Geist XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Moe Lane XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Natasha Aughey XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
New Every Day XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Newsjack XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
NZART Official Broadcast XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Off The Hook (high-bitrate) XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ordered Liberty XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Outside the Beltway XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
ownCloud Planet XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Patterico's Pontifications XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
PCWorld XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Pegasus Librarian XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Perlsphere XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
PJ Media XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Planet Debian XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Planet openSUSE XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Planet Ubuntu XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Power LinePower Line XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Protein Wisdom XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Publications – AEI XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Radio Society of Great Britain – Main Site XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Radio Survivor XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
RedState XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Region V News XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
RiffTrax XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
RiffTrax XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
RNZ: New Zealand Society XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
RNZ: Tagata o te Moana XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Rubin Reports XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ryan Finnie XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
ScottK might have something to say … XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Sense of Openness XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Shortwave America XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Small Dead Animals XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
SoccerGrlProbsVids XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Speaking in Tech XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Svetlana Belkin XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Tech Tent XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Archers Omnibus XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Btown Monitoring Post XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Captain's Journal XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The DiploMad 2.0 XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Federalist XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Flash XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Ihnatko Almanac XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Jawa Report XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Nerdist XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Other McCain XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Register XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The SWLing Post XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Travelin' Librarian XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
The Verge - All Posts XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Tim Blair XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Top Picks – Hot Air XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Transterrestrial Musings XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Ubuntu Fridge XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Vinyl Cafe Stories from CBC Radio XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
VodkaPundit XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Voices for the Library XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Walt at Random XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Weasel Zippers XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Welcome to the FUNcube Web Site XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
WIL WHEATON dot NET XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Wizbang XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Works and Days XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Xfce Blog XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
xkcd.com XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Xubuntu » Blog XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17
Yourish.com XML 2016-10-21 18:07 2016-10-21 18:17