January 2016 Archives
The network news almost ignored the annual March for Life while gushing over baby pandas. Baby humans -- who cares?
Tens of thousands of Americans filled Washington, D.C., Friday for the annual March for Life commemorating the nearly 60 million babies snuffed out since 1973's Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. During their nationally broadcast news shows following the march (Friday night to Monday morning) ABC, CBS and NBC totally ignored the event - except as a casual reference to a group stranded in the snow.
At the same time, the three networks dedicated more than nine-and-a-half minutes - 26 times more than the march - on the debut of the National Zoo's cub last weekend. Journalists don't care about the unborn, but they care about the newly born if they happen to be adorable animals.
It seems that Hillary Clinton's team intentionally ignored security markings on highly sensitive information.
The FBI is investigating whether members of Hillary Clinton's inner circle "cut and pasted" material from the government's classified network so that it could be sent to her private email address, former State Department security officials say.
Clinton and her top aides had access to a Pentagon-run classified network that goes up to the Secret level, as well as a separate system used for Top Secret communications.
The two systems -- the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS) -- are not connected to the unclassified system, known as the Non-Classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet). You cannot email from one system to the other, though you can use NIPRNet to send emails outside the government.
Somehow, highly classified information from SIPRNet, as well as even the super-secure JWICS, jumped from those closed systems to the open system and turned up in at least 1,340 of Clinton's home emails -- including several the CIA earlier this month flagged as containing ultra-secret Sensitive Compartmented Information and Special Access Programs, a subset of SCI.
Ann Althouse (with Glenn Loury) wonder whether there's an imminent preference cascade in favor of Donald Trump among "smart, educated people".
"It troubles me that there can't be a serious discussion about immigration issues because people are afraid of being called racist. People are afraid of being called a bigot. And I think one of the things that people like about Donald Trump -- those who like him -- is that he's going ahead and saying it, and it's creating a kind of inoculation against something people have feared so much, which is being called a bigot. It's just too effective to call people bigots, and a lot of people are very intimidated and silenced and don't even want to talk about certain issues because they don't want to be called that. So I think part of his popularity is: He goes there, he says it, he takes the hit, and it still works for him. So that's a kind of a liberating change in the discourse."
If there's a preference cascade, don't forget that Scott Adams predicted it in August!
Marco Rubio is questioned by an atheist on the influence his faith will have on his potential presidency. I'm super-impressed.
The analysis writes itself. Filmmakers robbed by refugees they're advocating for.
Two Dutch, pro-immigration filmmakers published a video Saturday of themselves getting brutally robbed at a refugee camp in Calais, France, known as "The Jungle."
Journalist Maaike Engels and photographer Teun Voeten were attacked at knife point while obtaining footage for their documentary "Calais: Welcome to "The Jungle." The video shows Voeten getting tackled down by three masked men, before one man threatens Engels with a knife.
The proliferation of welfare programs and the decline of the labor force have crushed America's post-2009 economic recovery. When it's more beneficial not to work, people won't work. Quoting within quoting:
So what accounts for America's anemic economy? Hall has about 50 pages of analysis, but since brevity is a virtue, let's look at some of what he wrote in his final paragraph.Labor-force participation fell substantially after the crisis, contributing 2.5 percentage points to the shortfall in output. The decline showed no sign of reverting as of 2013. ...an important part may be related to the large growth in beneficiaries of disability and food-stamp programs. Bulges in their enrollments appear to be highly persistent. Both programs place high taxes on earnings and so discourage labor-force participation among beneficiaries. The bulge in program dependence...may impede output and employment growth for some years into the future.
In other words, he pointed out that a large number of people have left the labor force, which obviously isn't good since our economy's ability to generate output (and boost living standards) is a function of the degree to which labor and capital are being productively utilized.
And his work suggests that redistribution programs are a big reason for this drop in labor-force participation.
WaPo has posted detailed "will this matter?" article about the numerous allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against Bill Clinton, and how the allegations might derail Hillary's campaign. The article covers several of his accusers:
- Broaddrick had accused Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978, when she was working on his Arkansas gubernatorial campaign.
- Willey, a former White House volunteer, said he had attempted to kiss and grope her in a private hallway leading to the Oval Office.
- Jones, a onetime Arkansas state employee, sued Clinton in 1994 for sexual harassment, saying he had three years earlier exposed his erect penis to her and asked her to kiss it.
And, of course, the biggest of all was the scandal over Clinton's extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky, who was a White House intern at the time. Diane Blair, a close friend of Hillary Clinton, wrote in her journal unearthed in 2014 that the then-first lady had privately called Lewinsky a "narcissistic loony toon."
But the authors neglect to mention what might be the most damaging scandal: Bill Clinton's close friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A new lawsuit has revealed the extent of former President Clinton's friendship with a fundraiser who was later jailed for having sex with an underage prostitute.
Bill Clinton's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who served time in 2008 for his illegal sexual partners, included up multiple trips to the onetime billionaire's private island in the Caribbean where underage girls were allegedly kept as sex slaves. ...
Tales of orgies and young girls being shipped to the island, called Little St. James, have been revealed as part of an ongoing lawsuit between Epstein and his former lawyers Scott Rothstein and Bradley Edwards.
It is unclear what the basis of the suit is, but they go on to call witness testimony from some of the frequent guests at Epstein's island to talk about the wild parties that were held there in the early 2000s.
Flight logs pinpoint Clinton's trips on Epstein's jet between the years 2002 and 2005, while he was working on his philanthropic post-presidential career and while his wife Hillary was a Senator for their adopted state of New York.
'I remember asking Jeffrey what's Bill Clinton doing here kind [of] thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me a favor,' one unidentified woman said in the lawsuit, which was filed in Palm Beach Circuit Court.
The woman went on to say how orgies were a regular occurrence and she recalled two young girls from New York who were always seen around the five-house compound but their personal backstories were never revealed.
I'm sure there are more details waiting to be revealed.
Walter Russell Mead has written several excellent essays about Christmas this year, but this one is especially worth sharing: on the accessibility of the Gospel. It's hard to quote just a small bit, but here's the most interesting thesis to me:
If the Gospels came out of a culture that was closer to Western modernity, and they had therefore been written in ways that satisfied contemporary academic historiographic models (complete with photos and footnotes), the resulting 900 page biographies of Christ might be more satisfying to us, but perhaps much less accessible to poor farmers in Africa or simple fishermen in Indonesia.
Shockingly, that matters a great deal to God. The story of the Gospels is a story for everybody, not just for sophisticated, college educated citizens of advanced industrial democracies. Just as we find just enough common ground, intellectually and culturally, with these documents to grasp what they are getting at even while we are frustrated by their indifference to some of our cultural expectations, so other people in other places and times have found them clear enough to hear and believe. The Gospels occupy a kind of center point in human culture as a whole: products of a particular time and place, but comprehensible to all.
A Republican-appointed former US Attorney describes what he thinks -- or has heard? -- is going on inside the FBI's investigation of Hillary's secret email server. All speculative and possibly biased, but still interesting to ponder.
But [Joe DiGenova, a Republican U.S. attorney appointed by President Reagan] warned the decision to charge Clinton personally with a crime lies with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, putting the Obama administration in a difficult political position.
"I believe that the evidence that the FBI is compiling will be so compelling that, unless [Lynch] agrees to the charges, there will be a massive revolt inside the FBI, which she will not be able to survive as an attorney general. It will be like Watergate. It will be unbelievable," DiGenova said.
"The evidence against the Clinton staff and the secretary is so overwhelming at this point that if, in fact, she chooses not to charge Hillary, they will never be able to charge another federal employee with the negligent handling of classified information," he added. "The intelligence community will not stand for that. They will fight for indictment and they are already in the process of gearing themselves to basically revolt if she refuses to bring charges."
In his first paid campaign ad, Donald Trump says that he will get Mexico to pay for for a border wall to stop illegal immigration.
How is that possible? Scott Adams points out that almost any deal is possible.
I am not smart enough to know who would do the best job as president. But I do have a graduate degree in business from the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, and one of the things I learned is that you can always make a deal when two parties want different things. The only time you can't make a deal is when people want exactly the same limited resource.
The United States and Mexico want different things, generally speaking, so according to my business training, a deal is possible.
You might be wondering... is this really Trump's first campaign ad? We've been hearing about him non-stop for months! One of Adams' commenters notes:
Trump has gotten the media to fund most of his campaign. No doubt he can get Mexico to pay for the wall.