"Honestly, do you think the White House has spent more time in the past 90 days managing its school bathroom mandate for transgender students or trying figuring out how to make TSA security lines work with adequate efficiency this travel season? The answer is obvious."
Denial is rampant in this administration. Its approach to management is to deny problems exist and to shift focus to one left-wing cause or another. I have no doubt the TSA strategy will be to shift blame, whine about funding shortages and deny that things are as bad as they are. I suspect after a congressional probe, we will actually find that much of the TSA problems in the summer of 2016 were made worse by the Obama administration's obsession with regulations, grievances and union rules that took precedence over efficiency, customer service and getting a job done.
What's the point of a technocrat who can't run things efficiently?
Larry O'Connor has pictures and video of the anti-Trump protests in New Mexico last night. Most interesting to me right now are the euphemisms the media is using to describe the mayhem.
Here's CNN's contribution to the cause: (emphasis mine)Protesters lit fires, smashed a door and threw rocks outside a Donald Trump rally Tuesday night in New Mexico -- the latest scuffle to follow the presumptive Republican nominee's campaign.
Scuffle? Look at that paragraph again. Arson, vandalism, violence and assault summed up by CNN with the quaint little word "scuffle." Just a little scuffle folks, nothing to see here:
And yes, watch that video above and you'll see that the thugs were waving Mexican flags, but you won't see that reported either
How many people will believe that these riots are Trump's fault?
Liberals will try to imply that violence by anti-Trump rioters is somehow Trump's fault, but they can't sell that theory. Most people dislike riots and rioters just as much today as they did in 1968. Trump has risen to the top of the political heap in large part because of the enemies he has made. During the primaries, the more he was denounced by liberal reporters, the more votes he got. The same will happen in the general election if voters see that he is besieged by left-wing rioters.
Earlier this month, three Democratic senators obtained a letter from the State Department suggesting that reports about 2,100 classified emails were found in Clinton's account may have exaggerated the import of that claim. A top State official suggested there was nothing wrong with Clinton handling about 2,000 of those messages in unclassified channels because they were only classified in order to prevent the release of those messages to the public following FOIA requests.
To the best of my knowledge, a desire to avoid compliance with an FOIA request is not a justification for classifying information.
With all the news about "improved" screenings for passengers, it's shocking to read about haphazard security measures for airport employees.
EgyptAir made stops in Tunisia and Eritrea before picking up passengers in Paris. Planes are swept by security at each stop, but former CIA Director James Woolsey told CNN it was "far more likely that someone who worked in one of those airports was able to get something into the plane."
Woolsey called the subcontracting at airports, in areas such as janitorial and maintenance, a "real vulnerability."
"We have to make sure that people are vetted extremely carefully... we haven't paid much attention to this," he said.
(Emphasis mine.) Seems like an obvious vulnerability, no?
This XKCD comic captures many implications about the nonlinearity of software.
A person who is smart and experienced in other areas can find it very difficult to adjust his intuition to the software landscape.
So says Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs. Strangely, the editorial begins with a slap at Donald Trump and his supporters, who play no apparent role in the conflict between Sanders and Hillary that is tearing the Democrats apart.
The Sanders campaign has been noticeably silent about the events on social media - the main way the candidate communicates with his supporters.
When asked by reporters, his campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs, insists that Sanders does not "condone violence or encourage violence or even threats of violence." Then in the next breath, his campaign abdicates all responsibility for what happened in Nevada, offers excuses and shifts the blame.
Briggs says the campaign "had no role in encouraging the activity that the party is complaining about." He even implied to The New York Times that Democratic Party itself is partly responsible for the tense atmosphere because it's not doing a good enough job of being welcoming to "people who have been energized and excited by (the Sanders) campaign."
Sanders is no noble that he doesn't "even" condone or encourage threats of violence! How can you question his integrity? He had no role in any of this!
Says Democrat pollster Peter Hart about Hillary Clinton. But don't fret: Hillary's campaign is working hard to rehabilitate her image.
To counter these challenges, Clinton is relying primarily on the prospect that her likely Republican opponent's weaknesses are even greater. But advisers also are working to soften her stiff public image by highlighting her compassion and to combat perceptions about trustworthiness and authenticity by playing up her problem-solving abilities.
Too bad she didn't start working on her image 25 years ago! It's too bad these "perceptions about trustworthiness and authenticity" only surfaced recently.
said Justin Shur, the former deputy chief of the Justice Department's public integrity section.
"Regardless of whether the charging decision is supported by the facts and the law, there's always someone who will suggest there was a political agenda behind it."
Maybe this wouldn't be true if the bureaucracy hadn't been so politicized during the Obama administration?
Is it too much to ask that the law simply be applied as written, without regard for the political power of the person being investigated?
As a Missouri resident, the collapse of Mizzou worries me. Of course, college as we know it may not exist by the time my kids are graduating future-high-school, so maybe Missouri is just ahead of the curve.
The steep dropoff in enrollment appears to directly traceable to the events of last fall. During October and November, the university found itself in the national spotlight after reports emerged of several racist incidents on campus. Protests erupted, forcing the cancellation of classes. In solidarity with a graduate student who went on a hunger strike, the university's football team refused to play until the demands of one organization, #ConcernedStudent1950, were met. As the protests raged, a video went viral portraying one of the university's communications professors, Melissa Click, calling for "muscle" against a student journalist covering the controversy.
The protestors ultimately ousted both the president and chancellor. But as Heat Street has reported, the fallout from the protests has been punishing. Donors and alumni have vowed to pull financial support, sports fans have declared that they will stop attending games, and parents and prospective students said they'd no longer consider Mizzou.
Language warning: Ice T says "fuck it". In this video from 2011 Ice T explains the benefits of calculated risk taking, and include a mention of Donald Trump.
Kurt Schlichter has a hilarious future-retrospective looking back at how Trump beat Hillary. The best parts are the made-up Trump quotes.
Hillary tried to compete using free media, but her condescending, bitter demeanor made her a ratings albatross. And Trump bored right in: "No one's watching her. Really, look at her. She's like a first wife. Nag, nag, nag. No, seriously, I love my first wife, and my second, but really, no one wants to hear Hillary's complaining. Can you imagine four years of this, of her in the White House nagging us for four years? Naggin' Hillary! And Crooked Hillary! Naggin', crooked Hillary! Sad!" That was in August. By then the polls were effectively tied. ...
Hillary finally agreed to a debate, and it was a disaster. She was prim, prepared, and utterly stiff while Trump was loose, limber, and lacerating. She called him sexist, and he went for the throat: "I love women, not like your husband did, which was very shameful and which you tolerated. And a lot of young people who weren't around then don't know about how you covered up when Bill behaved very badly to women but when they learn about it it's going to be very bad for you because you were very bad to the women. And everyone knows if you weren't a woman you wouldn't even be here. Sad!"
Later, in an exchange on global warming, Trump made one of the comments that was supposed to be a campaign-ender and instead it simply slid off him: "I don't know if there is global warming but I'll tell you I like the idea of global warming because when it's warmer beautiful women wear bikinis and we all enjoy that, but then some women who shouldn't might wear them too." He was staring at Hillary as he spoke the last clause.
With seven months to go, Trump is leading Clinton in the polls.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 41% support to Clinton's 39%. Fifteen percent (15%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
This is the first time Trump has led the matchup since last October. Clinton held a 41% to 36% advantage in early March.
Trump now has the support of 73% of Republicans, while 77% of Democrats back Clinton. But Trump picks up 15% of Democrats, while just eight percent (8%) of GOP voters prefer Clinton, given this matchup. Republicans are twice as likely to prefer another candidate.
Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Trump leads 37% to 31%, but 23% like another candidate. Nine percent (9%) are undecided.
I tend to agree with Scott Adams who thinks that Trump will ultimately win, but unlike Adams my record of prediction is terrible. Still, I enjoy being contrarian: 86% of campaign reporters think Hillary will win.
Reading news about Zika victims is completely heartbreaking. Say a prayer for the children and families affected. Protecting public health should be a top priority for any government, and I urge American officials to take whatever actions are necessary to combat this disease.
Republican former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for "structuring" bank withdrawals to avoid notice by authorities.
Prosecutors say he so badly wanted to hide his past sexual misconduct, he agreed to pay a former student $3.5 million in hush money. Hastert pleaded guilty last fall to withdrawing $952,000 from the bank in increments crafted to avoid notice, in violation of banking laws. Prosecutors say when FBI investigators approached Hastert, he said he was being falsely extorted and even agreed to record a phone conversation with the individual.
"Structuring" shouldn't be a crime at all -- it's illegal to move money around for illegal purposes, and "structuring" makes it illegal to shape your transactions to avoid scrutiny. That's absurd. It's like a law against adhering to speed limit signs because that makes it harder for the police to give you a ticket for speeding.
Anyway, Hastert was guilty of some pretty reprehensible behavior. Not only did he molest a bunch of students when he worked as a wrestling coach, but he falsely told the FBI that one of his victims was extorting him.
[Judge] Durkin called it "deplorable" that Hastert lied to the FBI during an initial investigation. He also said it was "unconscionable" that Hastert initially accused Individual A of extortion, leading the FBI to begin investigating the victim.
"You set him up," Durkin told Hastert.
Hastert was one of the most politically connected people in the country, and he intentionally aimed the FBI at his abuse victim. Awful.
Still to be explained: how did Hastert get millions of dollars?
To many people it seems far-fetched that the right to bear arms that is enshrined in the Second Amendment is intended to empower citizens to protect themselves from tyranny -- but it is. And America has a sad history with tyranny. We're not immune, and we citizens need guns to protect our liberties.
"Do you really think that it could happen here?" remains a favorite refrain of the modern gun-control movement. Alas, the answer should be a resounding "Yes." For most of America's story, an entire class of people was, as a matter of course, enslaved, beaten, lynched, subjected to the most egregious miscarriages of justice, and excluded either explicitly or practically from the body politic. We prefer today to reserve the word "tyranny" for its original target, King George III, or to apply it to foreign despots. But what other characterization can be reasonably applied to the governments that, ignoring the words of the Declaration of Independence, enacted and enforced the Fugitive Slave Act? How else can we see the men who crushed Reconstruction? How might we view the recalcitrant American South in the early 20th century? "It" did "happen here." And "it" was achieved -- in part, at least -- because its victims were denied the very right to self-protection that during the Revolution had been recognized as the unalienable prerogative of "all men."
When, in 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney buttoned his Dred Scott v. Sandford opinion with the panicked warning that if free blacks were permitted to become American citizens they might begin "to keep and carry arms wherever they went," he was signaling his support for a disgraceful status quo within which suppression of the right to bear arms was depressingly quotidian. Indeed, until the late 1970s, the history of American gun control was largely inextricable from the history of American racism. Long before Louisiana was a glint in Thomas Jefferson's eye, the French "Black Codes" mandated that any black person found with a "potential weapon" be not only deprived of that weapon but also beaten for his audacity. British colonies, both slaveholding and free, tended to restrict gun ownership to whites, with even the settlements at Massachusetts and Plymouth prohibiting Indians from purchasing or owning firearms. Throughout the South, blacks were denied weapons. The intention of these rules was clear: to remove the means by which undesirables might rebel or resist, and to ensure that the majority maintained its prerogatives. In 1834, alarmed by Nat Turner's rebellion in Virginia, Tennessee amended its state constitution to make this purpose unambiguous, clarifying that the "right to keep and to bear arms" applied not to "the freemen of this State" -- as the 1794 version of the document had allowed -- but to "the free white men of this State."
Paracelsus said "the dose makes the poison", and it appears that low doses of radiation may actually be beneficial, similar to the way other moderate stresses can strengthen your body.
This molecular skirmish appears to invigorate the organism. Various findings point towards the conclusion that moderate stress of any kind is advantageous. Roundworms fed small amount of arsenic live longer. People who indulge in moderate levels of alcohol have reduced risks of heart attacks, diabetes and Alzheimer's according to epidemiological studies.
Yet these blessings do seem to be coupled with notable damage to genomes. But this is as true of exercise as it is for other sources of stress. "Even when you jog," says Wetzker, "the genomes in your cells come under attack." In this instance, the impact leads to muscles being strengthened.
Wetzker hypothesizes that there is a universal principle when it comes to stress response, namely that the body can acclimatize to -- or even requires -- any kind of moderate challenge. "After a few weeks in a cast, your muscles are withered." The body needs to be regularly pushed, even with radioactivity.
Wetzker, of course, admits that caution is required when it comes to nuclear radiation. It is too difficult to calculate doses and effects. Experiments on people to gain better insights are out of the question. The researcher believes, however, that there are ill people who would be willing to accept a small amount of risk.
Much of what we "know" is wrong.
Abolitionist Harriet Tubman will be replacing President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. Sounds good to me... I've got no particular attachment to Jackson -- he was a slaveholder, creator of the Trial of Tears, and the founder of the Democratic Party.
Surprisingly, none of the news articles about Tubman note her party affiliation or her choice of weapon.
Organic, locally-sourced food is a scam. I mean, obviously.
It's hard to be too angry at consumers. To be sure, they probably should have known that you couldn't really buy organic, locally sourced food year-round at just a smidge more than you'd pay for a regular meal. After all, the average American spent half their income on food in 1900, while the modern American now spends a paltry 12 percent, even including a lavish helping of restaurant meals. That should give us some sign that local, artisanal food is not going to be cheap. But most Americans are not economic historians.
But it's not even that easy to be mad at the restaurants. They're in a viciously competitive business where most places don't survive. In a competitive equilibrium where so many people want to be told they're eating farm-fresh food -- and so few people seem willing to pay for it -- many of them probably feel that their choice is "lie or die."
The Left is all about virtue signalling, not actual virtue.