Interesting Bits

12/30/2017 9:33

I Suspect Obama Colluded With Iran

And speaking of Hezbollah, we all know now, due to reporting about Project Cassandra by Josh Meyer at Politico, that Obama was so determined to make his creepy deal that he acceded to the mullahs' demand to pull the FBI off a detailed investigation of the Hezbollah thugs' extensive involvement in the U.S. drug trade. Are we sick yet?

Now, it is being widely reported, the demonstrators are back in the streets of various cities in Iran. We don't know the extent of the protests or where they are going. I'm a bit skeptical. The time was probably more ripe in 2009, but we can be hopeful. What we do know is that these demonstrators are complaining that money garnered from the Iran nuclear deal is not going to them, the Iranian people, to make their lives better, as promised, but to carry out the mullahs' murderous military adventures across the Middle East. Was anything ever more predictable? (For ongoing updates, I recommend the Islamic State of Iran Crime Research Center.)

What we also know is that the Donald J. Trump administration has taken the exact opposite approach from the Obama administration to events in Iran. They are unqualifiedly — and immediately — supporting the demonstrators and democracy. Bravo!

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12/29/2017 11:11

Congress Did Get A Few (Good) Things Done

But behind its partisan battles and legislative dysfunction, the 115th Congress still managed to quietly pass into law 74 bills and 23 joint resolutions, which carry the weight of law. Those 97 laws make meaningful policy changes—from overhauling education benefits for veterans to expanding a program to detect hearing loss in young children—that touch on every corner of the country.

So, besides the weather forecasting law, what other major policy changes did Congress make this year with little attention? The full list is available here. Here’s a look at seven bills passed by Congress and signed by Trump that you may never have heard about—but which carry real implications for millions of Americans:

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12/29/2017 9:04

A Nice Gesture.

Prosperity and Word of Faith preacher Kenneth Copeland posted a photo to social media on Tuesday of a letter that he received from President Trump congratulating him for “50 years of ministry.” “Melania and I send our warmest wishes as you celebrate 50 years of ministry,” began the letter, which was dated Aug. 16 but just shared this week. “For half a century, you have devoted your life to faith and humanity. Your enduring commitment to spreading the word of God has influenced the lives of people across the United States and around the world.”

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12/29/2017 8:17

NFL Is Trending Down

ESPN pays $2 billion a year to the NFL for Monday Night Football, one wild card playoff game — which it also simulcasts on ABC — and the right to use NFL highlights on ESPN shows and networks. Breaking it down on a per capita basis that means every person with ESPN on a cable or satellite subscription in America, roughly 86 million people according to recent Nielsen estimates, pays $23.25 a year for Monday Night Football and NFL highlights.

That sounds like a lot of money, but you know what’s even crazier. The vast majority of cable and satellite subscribers don’t watch Monday Night Football.

In fact, how many of those subscribers are watching every week?

Based on the end of year viewership data, roughly 12% of cable and satellite subscribers watch Monday Night Football each week. So that means 88% of cable and satellite subscribers are paying $23.25 a year for Monday Night Football on ESPN and not watching the games.

As if that weren’t enough, Monday Night Football hit an all time ratings low this year on ESPN.

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12/29/2017 7:56

I Credit Trump

Fry-ups are to become healthier following a scientific breakthrough which has cut the cancer risk of bacon.  

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12/28/2017 1:59

Ravens Admit Anthem Protests Tanked Their Ticket Sales

The Baltimore Ravens are no longer in contention for the AFC North title, having fallen too far behind the Steelers, but they are currently tied with the Bills and the Titans for a wild card slot and they’ve been showing a lot of potential. They play the Colts today in a home game that could prove to be a make or break match in terms of their chances at a post-season appearance. With that much on the line, you’d expect the stadium to be buzzing, but in addition to the Colts, Baltimore is facing another battle. They’re trying to fill up the seats at M&T Bank Stadium and avoid yet another embarrassing display of sparsely populated stands.

The Ravens sold out every single home game since arriving in Baltimore in 1996. But by last month they were scrambling to (re)sell, or in some cases, give away as many of the returned tickets as possible. You can’t blame it on poor performance by the team, so this week the Ravens’ president, Dick Cass, came out and said what everyone had already known: his players’ National Anthem protest stunt in London earlier this season simply drove too many people away. 

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12/28/2017 1:43

Definitely a sign of the End Times

It may not be exactly the coming of the Messiah, but seeing a front-page story in the New York Times about over-regulation certainly feels like a breakthrough of note. Titled “One Apple Orchard and 5000 Government Rules,” the story focuses on the Indian Ladder Farms apple orchard in Altamont, NY. A small, family-run business owned by Peter Ten Eyck, the farm does the bulk of its business in the fall (naturally). Their busy season includes sales to supermarkets, direct sales to consumers, visits from busloads of schoolchildren, and “pick your own” days. That’s also the time, or it was last October, when government inspectors showed up demanding to see reams of paperwork to ensure that the farm was in compliance with immigration rules, OSHA guidelines, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and other laws and regulations.

(There is still excellence journalism in the Times. Often difficut to find but still there....)

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12/28/2017 7:50

A Media Coverup

U. S. woman stabbed 14 times by Somali migrant, media go dark  (The media did tell us about the neo-Nazi who killed his girlfriend's parents.)

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12/28/2017 7:38

48 Percent

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. (The highest rating all year for Trump)

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12/28/2017 7:30

Dems Conventional Wisdom Will Be wrong in 2018

Here are three leading examples of the conventional wisdom among Washington’s political experts about what will happen in 2018:

  • Democrats will ride a “blue wave” of congressional campaign victories to retake control of Congress, gaining majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
  • Only the richest Americans will benefit economically from passage of President Donald Trump’s tax cuts, as the stall in middle-class prosperity continues.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller will indict a host of former Trump campaign and administration figures — then the chief executive himself will be impeached and convicted by the blue wave Democratic majority in Congress.

Now here’s what will actually happen next year:

There won’t be a blue wave

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12/27/2017 11:15

Another Prediction Proves to Be False

Readers of WUWT and millions of climate skeptics have read this article before, and in fact it is likely one of the most cited articles ever that illustrates the chutzpah and sheer hubris on display from a climate scientist who was so certain he could predict the future with certainty. Dr. David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit who famously said:

From the Independent’s most cited article: Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past by Charles Onians:


(It was global cooling, then global warming and now...who knows?)

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12/26/2017 9:27

Against the odds, Trump's agenda owned 2017

The first year of Donald Trump's presidency has, in many ways, been exactly what you would expect: Trump has continued to drive his opponents — and sometimes his allies — batty with his predictable unpredictability, distracting the media and dominating the national conversation, all the while implementing many of the major policy initiatives he promised in his sweep into office.

Political pundits, media elites and pollsters decree that the presidency is on shaky ground. They'll note that the president remains divisive, with record high unfavorable ratings. There’s no way he and the GOP can survive this.

Sound familiar? It’s the same mistake most of them made in 2016. Americans may not always like the “way” President Trump does his job, but they do like a lot of “what” he is doing. Proof is the paucity of polling data and media coverage on many of the popular policy initiatives that put Americans first: job creation, the economy, immigration, national security, fair trade, support for law enforcement and the military, international relations.

The media remains consumed with Trump’s job approval rating while missing the most important metric: what Americans can see with their own eyes. And while the next Congressional election looms 10 months down the road — a lifetime in modern politics — concerned Republicans will have considerable advantages thanks to what Trump accomplished for the American people in 2017.

Most notably, all signs point to an economy that is strengthening — and that was before the largest tax reform package in this generation, which has the potential to ignite an economic boom.


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12/26/2017 7:51

Think the Dark Side won This One

The scale of the catastrophe that is Star Wars: The Last Jedi is difficult to comprehend without comparing it to major, historic natural disasters.  Because no other movie has come anywhere close to the picture’s $151.5 million 2nd weekend box office razing, there’s no movie comparison that gives its record-obliterating failure proper context.

It may seem odd to compare a movie that has earned nearly $400 million in domestic box office receipts to such a giant calamity, but that total represents a tremendous shortfall relative to expectations. The important numbers to look at are the measures of the movie’s collapse. That $400 million looks good only if we ignore the results of every previous Star Wars movie. But a closer look at the numbers reveals what a debacle The Last Jedi truly is.

It’s more the absolute number, the $151.5 million plunge from its $220 million debut to its $68.5 million second weekend, that staggers the imagination. Only a handful of movies—The Last JediHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and Batman v Superman among them, have ever shed $100 million or more in box office totals from one weekend to the next.

 

 

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12/26/2017 7:46

Panic at the Washington Post

In sum, the Post’s account of how Mueller lost the “near-universal support” he enjoyed earlier is shallow.

The Post’s story is significant, nonetheless. Clearly, the Post is concerned that, as it states, the growing criticism of Mueller “threatens to shadow his investigation’s eventual findings.”

It does, indeed. A recent Harvard poll found that 54 percent of voters believe that “as the former head of the FBI and a friend of James Comey,” Mueller has a conflict of interest in the proceedings. Meanwhile, only 35 percent believe that evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia has been found.

I’m sure Mueller believes his own press-clippings, but the public no longer does. The press, it seems, is beginning to realize this.

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12/25/2017 10:31

Haley announces $285M cut in 2018-19 UN operating budget

Calling it “a big step in the right direction,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday night announced a historic reduction in the U.N. biennial operating budget.

Haley said the plan calls for a $285 million cut for the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“The inefficiency and overspending of the United Nations are well known,” Haley said. “We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked."

She added, “This historic reduction in spending – in addition to many other moves toward a more efficient and accountable U.N. – is a big step in the right direction.”

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12/25/2017 8:53

The global tax race to the bottom is about to begin.

  • Soon after the Trump/Goldman’s final passage on December 20, Australia’s Finance Minister warned that its passage meant that his country was “falling behind” in global tax competition, and that Australia’s growth rate might fall by up to a third unless it responds. Accordingly, he promised that Australia will soon be slashing its own corporate tax rate by at least one-sixth, from 30 percent to 25 percent.

  • Similarly, in the European Union, Austria’s new government has just announced that it is considering a similar reduction.

  • This comes on top of Norway’s one-point rate cut from 25 percent to 24 percent this month, President Macron’s recent decision to slash France’s corporate rate by nearly a fifth from 33 percent to 27 by 2022, and the United Kingdom’s decision this past April to cut its corporate rate from 20 percent to 19 percent.

  • Just this week, too, Argentina’s conservative President Macri has announced plans to cut Argentina’s corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent by 2020. This comes on top of the deep reforms to public pensions that he narrowly force-fed through Argentina’s Congress just this week.

  • My interviews with key global tax analysts around the planet confirm that several other leading OECD countries, including South Korea, Mexico, and Chile, are also actively considering a new round of corporate tax cuts, in response to the U.S. measure.

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12/23/2017 7:50

Media Continues Blackout on Obama’s Hezbollah Scandal

The Cassandra story ought to resonate with the media, since it comes at the end of a year during which Washington has been transfixed by an investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with a foreign power and whether the president obstructed the probe looking into that matter. Though not exactly analogous to those still-unproven allegations, the possibility that President Obama and his minions obstructed the justice system in order to avoid offending Iran and Russia is a scandal that is every bit as bad as, if not worse than, what Trump is accused of doing.

Yet the strangest thing about this story is the way it is being ignored by the same mainstream media that breathlessly report every twist and turn in the Russia-collusion investigation, even when there is nothing to report other than baseless speculation.


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12/22/2017 11:52

A Likely Story

   Driver ran over Christmas shoppers as revenge for "Mistreatment of Muslims."  But he was in Australian, a nation that treats Muslims very well as compared to how some Muslim nations treat Muslims

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12/22/2017 11:42

Why the Remaining NeverTrumpers Should Apologize Now

Public apologies are difficult for most people, but particularly for political pundits whose livelihoods and reputations depend on their being right at least some of the time (Paul Krugman excepted).

Such statements can be emotionally wounding, even humiliating.  But it isn't my purpose to humiliate or, worse, to gloat -- which is a repellent trait and almost always counterproductive.  No spiking the football here.

Nevertheless, it is time for the remaining NeverTrumpers to apologize for a reason far more important than self-castigation or merely to make things "right."  Donald Trump -- whose initial victory was a shock, even, ironically, to those of us who predicted it -- has compounded that shock by being astoundingly successful in his first year, especially at the conclusion. (He's a quick study, evidently.) More conservative goals have been achieved or put in motion in eleven months than in any time in recent, or even distant, memory. It's an astonishing reversal for our country accompanied by the beginnings of an economic boom.

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12/22/2017 6:55

Media silence on the Obama-Hezbollah scandal

Politico published a jaw-dropping, meticulously sourced investigative piece this week detailing how the Obama administration had secretly undermined US law-enforcement agency efforts to shut down an international drug-trafficking ring run by the terror group Hezbollah. The effort was part of a wider push by the administration to placate Iran and ensure the signing of the nuclear deal.

ow swap out “Trump” for “Obama” and “Russia” for “Iran” and imagine the eruption these revelations would generate. Because, by any conceivable journalistic standard, this scandal should’ve triggered widespread coverage and been plastered on front pages across the country. By any historic standard, the scandal should elicit outrage regarding the corrosion of governing norms from pundits and editorial boards.

 Yet, as it turns out, there’s an exceptionally good chance most of your neighbors and colleagues haven’t heard anything about it.

Days after the news broke, in fact, neither NBC News, ABC News nor CBS News — whose shows can boast a collective 20 million viewers — had been able to find the time to relay the story to its sizeable audiences. Other than Fox News, cable news largely ignored the revelations, as well.

Most major newspapers, which have been sanctimoniously patting themselves on the back for the past year, couldn’t shoehorn into their pages a story about potential collusion between the former president and a terror-supporting state.

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