Interesting Bits

08/02/2017 10:57

Another Judge Confirmed

President Trump may be facing a roadblock on the rest of his nominees — but he’s outpacing his predecessors when it comes to getting federal judges confirmed, with his fifth court pick approved by the Senate on Tuesday.

Alabama lawyer Kevin Christopher Newsom was confirmed to a seat on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on a 66-31 vote, with 16 Democrats joining the GOP.

He’s the third circuit judge approved so far, and combined with one district judge and Supreme CourtJustice Neil M. Gorsuch, puts the president and the GOP-led Senate well ahead of pace.

By comparison, President Obama had zero judges confirmed in his first six months and it took him until November of 2009 to get three circuit court nominees cleared through the Senate.

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08/02/2017 7:58

Justice Dept. to Take On Affirmative Action in College Admissions

The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.

The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”

The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants.

(Considering all the anti-white courses and the "white privilege" classes today and the general plitical corrrect atmosphere on most colleges, it's easy to believe there is anti-white racism in the admissions policies)

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08/02/2017 7:54

The Dow Hits 22,000

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Watch the moment the Dow hit 22,000 points  21 Mins Ago | 01:31

The Dow Jones industrial average notched another milestone on Wednesday, breaking above 22,000 for the first time.

The 30-stock index climbed about 43 points at the open, receiving a boost from Apple's stock, which surged nearly 6 percent in the premarket after posting quarterly results that blew expectations out of the water.

The company reported earnings per share of $1.67 on revenue of $45.4 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters expected earnings per share of $1.57 on revenue of $44.89 billion.

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08/02/2017 7:51

Future Scandals Will Involve Gender Studies

From 1993 through 2011, about 3,100 UNC students – nearly half of whom were athletes – took African studies classes that proved to be bogus. Classes generally did not meet; homework was not assigned.

Most required little work – a simple term paper at the end of the semester often sufficed.

UNC hired attorney Kenneth Wainstein to investigate, and he found that about 40 percent of those term papers were at least in part plagiarized, yet were accorded an average grade of A-minus.

Many of the term papers were graded by Deborah Crowder, a former academic administrative assistant and an avid Tar Heels fan. She gave A and B grades, Wainstein found, regardless of the quality of the work. Never mind that she was not a faculty member and was not supposed to grade papers.

These “fake” courses helped athletes remain eligible, Wainstein wrote, including members of UNC’s 2005 national championship basketball team.

The News & Observer later reported that five members of that team took a combined 52 fake courses. Rashad McCants, a starter on that team, has said (his claims are disputed by former teammates) that tutors wrote term papers for athletes.

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08/01/2017 4:51

It's A Shame the Bill Was Needed

The state of North Carolina has enacted the Restore Campus Free Speech Act. This is the first comprehensive campus free-speech legislation to be based on the Goldwater Institute proposal that Stanley helped develop.

The final version of the Act passed the North Carolina House by a margin of 80 to 31. Ten Democrats, about a quarter of those present, voted for the bill. The final version passed the Senate by a margin of 34 to 11 along strict party lines.

Roy Cooper, the state’s Democratic governor, took no action on the bill. Thus, it has become law.

The legislation does the following:

It ensures that University of North Carolina policy will strongly affirm the importance of free expression.

It prevents administrators from disinviting speakers whom members of the campus community wish to hear from.

It establishes a system of disciplinary sanctions for students and anyone else who interferes with the free-speech rights of others, and ensures that students will be informed of those sanctions at freshman orientation.

It reaffirms the principle that universities, at the official institutional level, ought to remain neutral on issues of public controversy to encourage the widest possible range of opinion and dialogue within the university itself.

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08/01/2017 11:40

Diversity and our prison population

A stunning 22 percent of the federal prison population is immigrants who have either already been deemed to be in the country illegally or who the government is looking to put in deportation proceedings, the administration said Tuesday.

President Trump requested the numbers as part of his initial immigration executive orders.

The 22 percent is much higher than the population of foreign-born in the U.S. as a whole, which is about 13.5 percent.

All told, the government counted more than 42,000 aliens in federal prisons as of June 24.

About 47 percent already face final deportation orders, making them illegal immigrants, and 3 percent are currently in immigration courts facing deportation proceedings.

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08/01/2017 10:21

The Man Who Loved Women

Enjoyed this great column by Sarah Hoyt on Robert Heinlein.

 

I was married and in the States, by the first time I heard that Robert A. Heinlein was supposed to be misogynistic.

This surprised me more than a little because I’d read the man, and I thought he was, if anything, too idealistic and viewed women through rose colored glasses.

Take his quote: Once a month, some women act like men act all the time.

By the time I read Heinlein, I had been exposed to that “once a month” thing, both by myself and by attending an all-girls school and I thought his view was unwarrantedly rosy.  If men were like women are once a month, there would be no civilization.  At least, not any civilization that didn’t involve bursting into tears and punching holes in walls.

But in that quote is the reason that my female friends in the US  had become convinced he was “misogynistic”: he dared mention the ways in which women are different, the basic chains of our biology.  By the eighties, the female “thought leaders” had decided that women were special because they were exactly like men but more oppressed.I’m not now, and have never been, absolutely sure how these “we are exactly alike, and women have been held back for centuries and are therefore superior” is supposed to work.

Me?  Ah.  I grew up in an actual traditional culture – a Latin one – in which women were actually considered inferior.

While I didn’t read Heinlein for his female characters – unlike toddlers and some of my colleagues, I can identify with and enjoy the adventures of characters not exactly like me – it was freeing, mind-expanding that Heinlein had women as space explorers, making their home on the final frontier, facing down danger with his male characters, and often being the voice of reason, the voice of sanity or the voice of daring.

His women lived lives they chose and were as competent as men when they needed to be while being still, undeniably female, and not giving up any of their own unique abilities and characteristics.  They were space pilots, and secret agents (and yes, they used female razzle dazzle, because in jobs you use all that you are.  No, that didn’t make them inferior) homesteaders on Mars, women who could and did fight against alien invaders.

Heinlein’s women were an integral part of the human race, capable of contributing to the survival of the species by all means necessary.  Sure, they wanted to have children, because a species without children doesn’t survive, but they also stood ready to fight for and protect those children, and carry humanity into the future.

 

 


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08/01/2017 8:14

Start Your Day With a Laugh

Vanity Fair designated the growing number of people who don’t trust what they read in The Washington Post and The New York Times as an “existential threat” to the two media organizations in the September issue of the magazine.

The papers have managed to stay afloat in terms of readers and revenue thanks to a big boost from the Trump campaign and presidency, James Warren notes in the article. But that list may be obscuring the extent to which the outlets are losing credibility with the public.

“[A]n existential threat is already apparent: many Americans won’t believe a thing either newspaper says, no matter how great the accuracy, attention to detail, or fair-mindedness,” he writes. “The sharp uptick in Times and Post readership may obscure a larger cultural change.”

Warren cites a 2017 Pew poll showing that only 20 percent of adults trust what they read from national news organizations like the NYT and WaPo. It was only a year ago that Republicans and Democrats agreed on the scope of the press’ influence, but 2017 now boasts a wider gap between the parties than ever before. While 77 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats thought that news criticism kept political leaders on track in 2016, now only about a third of Democrats say they really trust national news outlets, along with just 11 percent of Republicans, according to Pew.

(The Soviet Union having 20,000 ICBMs aimed at us is an existential threat.  Lower readership of NYT and WaPo is not an existential threat.)

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08/01/2017 7:24

Here's Some Good News

Homeland Security triggered a waiver Tuesday allowing the department to bypass environmental and other land protection laws in order to begin building and testing President Trump’s new border wall.

The waivers apply to San Diego, where officials already plan to upgrade miles of existing fence, but where they’ll also stage a competition this summer to build and test prototypes for Mr. Trump’s wall.

It’s the first in what’s likely to be a series of waivers that will be needed as wall construction ramps up.

Officials insisted they will still try to be mindful of local impacts as they work on the wall.

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08/01/2017 6:54

The Party of Death

The Democratic party is facing a revolt from the left after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman said the party would back pro-life candidates in 2018.

The DCCC chairman, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, told The Hill that there will not be “a litmus test” for candidates on the subject of abortion. Lujan’s comments come as Democrats attempt to rebuild a broken party that has hemorrhaged elected offices on both the state and national level.

Lujan’s comments sparked immediate outrage from left-wingers.

“I’m afraid I’ll be with holding support for the DCCC if this is true,” said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, whose name was briefly floated this year as a candidate for DNC chair.

“What better strategy than to betray their base and reaffirm that women’s basic rights are negotiable and disposable,” said prominent liberal columnist Jill Filipovic

(Progressivism, as a few have noted, has become a religion but it's a religion of death and abortion is its sacrement.)

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08/01/2017 6:27

Welfare for Immigration Lawyers

As their battle with President Trump over immigration escalates, cities and states run by Democrats are funneling millions of dollars to progressive organizations to provide undocumented aliens with something courts have ruled they are not entitled to: free lawyers.

Even as it faces severe fiscal problems, Chicago recently committed $1.3 million to such aid, while the District of Columbia will spend at least $500,000. Cash-strapped New York state has earmarked $10 million while New York City has pledged another $16 million. Seattle’s City Council approved $750,000. All told, at least a dozen jurisdictions have budgeted more than $54 million to provide legal assistance for illegal immigrants.

Under a law that sailed through the state legislature last month, California will spend at least $15 million to pay lawyers to represent defendants at deportation hearings. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, Democratic elected officials have approved spending millions more.

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08/01/2017 6:15

Three Cheers for Fracking!

Eight months after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries announced a plan for its 14 members and 10 allied countries to withhold almost 2% of the world’s oil every day to boost prices, seven of the 11 OPEC members that pledged to cut appear to be producing more oil than promised.

Crude prices have actually fallen, by 7.6% to $52.52 a barrel, since the beginning of the year—half what the cartel called a fair price just three years ago and a level that some say is here for the long term.

Previously, low production costs meant OPEC members profited even when oil prices fell. These days, members have ramped up government spending to keep populations happy and cover military expenses, and don’t have a cushion to let oil revenues slip. Their strained budgets can be covered only through increasingly high prices per barrel, and if prices are low they need to produce more.

The inability to control output poses a potentially existential threat to OPEC’s influence.

(The dagger at the heart of OPEC  is due to fracking, so are the low gas prices. Obama's stupid remark about we can't drill our way to low gas prices was stupid on its face. Fracking has proved him wrong. And, for course, the benefits came after fighting the radical leftists)

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07/31/2017 6:37

Dow Closes At Record High

 

The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a record high on Monday as Wall Street cheered on what's been a strong earnings season.

The 30-stock index rose 60.81 points to close at 21,891.12 with Goldman Sachs and Home Depot contributing the most gains. Boeing also contributed gains, with shares rising half a percent after announcing it expects a record number of aircraft orders from India. The announcement came about a week after posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

The S&P 500 closed 0.07 percent lower at 2,470.30 as materials and information technology lagged. The Nasdaq composite underperformed, falling 0.42 percent to end at 6,348.12 as large-cap tech stocks like Facebook and Alphabet pulled back.

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07/31/2017 4:37

National Debt Has Decreased

Many people don’t call President Trump the Tea Party President for nothing.  For the first time in our lifetime President Trump’s fiscal policies, targeting growth in the economy, actually have the cumulative effect of lowering the national debt as measured by the U.S. Treasury.

Total U.S. National Debt has now decreased by over $100 billion.  *Note: That’s five times more than is needed to build the Southern Security and Border Wall.

And yes, this decrease is real and represents a long term reversal. During same 6 months in 2016 the U.S. National Debt grew by $450 billion (from $18,941,406,899,252.15 -to- $19,391,704,027,667.12).   [DATA HERE] The Trump trend is not connected to a temporary lowering of debt during tax collection season.  The ACTUAL ‘federal’ debt clock is now running backwards.

(Hope they have doublechecked their figures)

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07/31/2017 4:27

Will NBC Report on This Lawsuit

NBC Lawsuit: The Network’s Desire for ‘Attractive Employees’ Created a ‘Toxic Environment (NBC  had numerous reports on the sexual harassment allegations against Fox. Think the network will report on this?)

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07/31/2017 3:54

Our Multicultural Utopia

Cops say hands are tied in arresting unruly 'desnudas' naked female panhandlers 'because most are illegal immigrants'. 

(This is in New York City. I would think the New York Times would mention it. Oh, well...)

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07/31/2017 8:29

The Pakistani Hackers Worked for the DNC

It’s U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), former head of the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton groupie, and, right now, the Barbie Doll in the center of (at last!) a real scandal involving a Pakistani computer guru called Imran Awan, his wife Hina Alvi, various other family members, and the computer servers of various Democratic congressmen, including Schultz.

Last week, Awan was nabbed by the FBI at Dulles Airport trying to flee to Pakistan. His wife had already flown the coop for Lahore in March, taking $12,400 with her. (The poor thing forgot to read the fine print you see in all those travel advisories that it is a felony to transport more than $10,000 in currency without reporting it.)

Sunday is a big day of the week for The New York Times. Were you or (per impossible) I the editor of the Gray Lady, this story would have occupied a prominent place on the front page of Sunday’s edition. And sure enough, there it was, above the fold . . . Oh, wait, I was mistaken. It was not DWS after all. Silly mistake. It was actually an African herder surrounded by a bunch of goats. Also above the fold was a rare Times story lambasting Donald Trump. About Wasserman Schultz and the Iwan scandal there was precisely . . . nothing.

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07/31/2017 8:18

One Year Later, Journalists Exposed By WikiLeaks Carry On As Before

Take Glenn Thrush, for example. Thrush, now with the New York Times, was exposed sending stories to the Clinton campaign for approval while at Politico.

Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to [you],” he wrote in an April 30, 2015 email to Podesta, including five paragraphs from a story later titled “Hillary’s big money dilemma.”

“Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this,” Thrush added. “Tell me if I fucked up anything.

“No problems here,” Podesta replied.

On April 17, 2015, Thrush sent an email to Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri with the subject line: “pls read asap — the [Jennifer Palmieri] bits — don’t share.”

Palmieri forwarded Thrush’s email to other Clinton campaign staffers, writing: “He did me courtesy of sending what he is going to say about me. Seems fine.”

Thrush’s career doesn’t appear to have been harmed by the fact that he sent stories to Clinton staffers for approval. If anything, his career trajectory has continued upward: Thrush joined the New York Times in December as a White House correspondent.

While covering the Trump administration for the NYT, Thrush has often co-authored stories with fellow White House correspondent Maggie Haberman, whom an internal Clinton campaign memo described as a “friendly journalist.” The memo added: “We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed.

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07/31/2017 7:30

Did Legal Pot Contribute to This?

A slew of reports finds a fresh reason for the chronic inability of American companies to fill skilled jobs: not a lack of skills, and hence a training-and-education crisis, but a surfeit of drug abuse. Simply put, prime-working age Americans without a college diploma are often too drugged-out to get the best jobs. Opioids remain at high levels, but the surge in drug use is now heroin and the powerful contaminant fentanyl.

The reports suggest a circularity to the crisis in America's rust and manufacturing belts: the loss of jobs and wage stagnation has led to widespread disaffection, alienation and drug abuse; and drug abuse has led to joblessness, hopelessness and disaffection

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07/30/2017 12:59

Lower Gas Prices Are the Future

 Last week Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) told investors that it expects oil prices to be "lower forever." We're still waiting for all those people who were only recently complaining about higher-forever oil prices to admit their mistake.

It wasn't that long ago that President Obama was mocking Republicans for their "three-point plan for $2 gas: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keeping drilling."

He went on to say that "the American people aren't stupid. They know that's not a plan."

Renewable energy, he said, was the only way to solve the "problem" of high oil prices.

And he kept pushing for new taxes on "old" energy to support federal subsidies for the energy supplies "of the future."

Of course, Obama wasn't the only one. There was endless talk about how Big Oil was making obscene profits while gas prices skyrocketed. There were calls for investigations into collusion among oil companies. Some wanted to bring back the Jimmy Carter-era "windfall profits tax."

Turns out drill, baby, drill was exactly what was needed.

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