[Ed. – East European governments would interject here that the NGOs map back to George Soros, and a handful of other usual-suspect foundations and institutes. I’m not fully convinced that it’s ALL about the money, as Monica Showalter suggests. But that’s probably part of it.]
So what’s behind the sudden deluge of migrants flooding Europe?
According to the Italian prosecutor’s office, it’s non-government organizations, seeking to keep a problem boiling in order to win more funds, funds, funds for all their supposed do-goodery. …
The BBC reports:
An Italian prosecutor says he has evidence some of the charities saving migrants in the Mediterranean Sea are colluding with people-smugglers.
Carmelo Zuccaro told La Stampa (in Italian) phone calls were being made from Libya to rescue vessels. …
“We have evidence that there are direct contacts between certain NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and people traffickers in Libya,” Mr Zuccaro is quoted as saying in La Stampa.
[Ed. – Why should Virginia have all the fun?]
Hundreds of illegal voters participated in the 2016 general election in North Carolina, according to a new report.
The post-election audit report, released by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), an independent and bipartisan agency that oversees elections in the state, found hundreds of illegal votes, including votes cast by felons and non-citizens, double voting, voter impersonation, and irregularities that affected mail-in absentee ballots.
The audit uncovered 441 cases where suspected active felons voted during the 2016 elections. …
A separate investigation using state and federal databases identified non-citizens suspected of voting in the election. The NCSBE said 41 voters acknowledged they were not U.S. citizens after receiving a letter from the board of elections. The non-citizen voters came from 28 different countries.
An additional 61 voters did not respond to NCSBE’s letter. Investigations into these cases are ongoing.
[Ed. – I’m not sure I can read this one just yet. For one thing, I don’t know that Trump even needs new money to accomplish construction on the wall in the next budget year. But we’ll see. I’ve learned not to bet against him in the medium run. Limbaugh’s bigger concern here is that the spell of the “government shutdown threat” needs to be broken, and Trump is apparently choosing not to do that.]
RUSH: I’m not happy to have to pass this on. I’m very, very troubled to have to pass this on. And I want to say at the outset that I hope my interpretation is wrong, and I hope this is not the case. But it looks like, from here, right here, right now, it looks like President Trump is caving on his demand for a measly $1 billion in the budget for his wall on the border with Mexico.
The Democrats are threatening a government shutdown. It’s the same old same old, and I was hoping that Trump would throw this shutdown thing right back in their face and have everybody realize they’re the ones engineering these shutdowns that nobody would notice anyway unless a big hullabaloo was made about it. The Democrats seem to have successfully used this stupid, silly threat of a government shutdown to get their way. What Trump is saying is if we need to get this done, then I’ll delay the spending on the wall until September. And it’s just a measly billion dollars.
But the problem here, folks, is one of politics. If this happens, if Trump does — and I use the word “cave” guardedly. Trump, I’m sure, does not ever think he caves on anything. But outward appearances are what they are.
[Ed. – I’m kind of stuck back on that “Mitt Romney has a 55-year-old nephew” thing. I guess Romney is 70 himself. Walker Stapleton, meanwhile, is Bush 41’s cousin — technically a first cousin once removed.]
Mitt Romney’s nephew Doug Robinson is running for governor of Colorado.
The former investment banker declared his candidacy for the 2018 race in a letter sent Monday to Republican activists and later confirmed the bid in an interview with The Denver Post.
“The reason I’m running and the reason I’m the best candidate for the job is simple — I know how to get things done,” Robinson wrote in the letter ahead of an official campaign launch Friday.
A first-time candidate, Robinson, 55, is touting himself as an outsider in an increasingly crowded field of current and former elected officials. …
His entry into the Republican contest will add national attention as a proxy fight between two prominent political families. State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a relative of former President George H.W. Bush, is poised to enter the governor’s race in coming months.
[Ed. – You’d automatically assume that it’s straight males the trans activist is upset with. But he’s apparently really disappointed in lesbians who want their amorous interests to be biologically female. Which sounds a whole lot like something from the 1950s, actually, and might, in a saner world, seem to make all kinds of sense — except we’re not in that saner world. So instead of being, you know, normal, this person has to accuse lesbians of transphobia.]
Trans-activist Riley J. Dennis says having ‘genital preferences’ in dating is transphobic. …
Dennis released a video at Everydayfeminist.com about his theory on “cissexism”, which he says is interchangeable with “transphobia” and means “prejudice or discrimination against trans people.”
My head is spinning. So, you’re born gay, you’re born trans, but no one is born straight. Straight people are just bigots. …
Riley goes on to discuss the rebuttals to his “cissexism” argument, admitting that he has received many complaints from lesbians who claim he is engaging in “lesbian erasure”. He goes on to say that he doesn’t deny any lesbian the right to prefer vaginas but not all women have vaginas and if a lesbian denies that being attracted to a woman with a penis is also a valid homosexual choice that is because she’s “cissexist”.
[Ed. – So the left’s attack squad should definitely keep trying to bring Hannity down, or something.]
A night of big shifts in cable’s typical lineup brought a win Monday for Fox News Channel, which topped primetime among both adults 25-54 and total viewers. Most importantly, Tucker Carlson shifted into ousted Bill O’Reilly’s 8 o’clock hour as the night’s dominant telecast.
The first official night without The O’Reilly Factor saw the 8 p.m. telecast of Tucker Carlson Tonight average 3.2 million viewers and 636,000 adults 25-54, per early returns from Nielsen Media. … O’Reilly’s final Monday on the air, his penultimate Fox News telecast on April 10, averaged 3.7 million viewers and 635,000 adults 25-54 — so while Carlson may not have pulled the same audience, he was dead even in the demo.
Also good news for Fox News, which officially severed ties with O’Reilly last week amidst mounting claims of sexual harassment, is that The Five made a solid segue into the 9 o’clock hour — Carlson’s old time slot. The panel show edged past MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show for a win with 2.8 million viewers and 568,000 adults 25-54. (Maddow averaged 2.2 million viewers and 523,000 adults 25-54.)
[Ed. – There was just one?]
Hundreds of thousands of self-professed science supporters turned out to over 600 iterations of the March for Science around the world this weekend. Thanks to the app Periscope, I attended half a dozen of them from the comfort of my apartment, thereby assiduously minimizing my carbon footprint.
Mainly, these marches appeared to be a pleasant excuse for liberals to write some really bad (and, OK, some truly superb) puns, and put them on cardboard signs. There were also some nicely stated slogans that roused support for important concepts such as reason and data and many that decried the defunding of scientific research and ignorance-driven policy.
But here’s the problem: Little of what I observed dissuades me from my baseline belief that, even among the sanctimonious elite who want to own science (and pwn anyone who questions it), most people have no idea how science actually works. The scientific method itself is already under constant attack from within the scientific community itself and is ceaselessly undermined by its so-called supporters, including during marches like those on Saturday. In the long run, such demonstrations will do little to resolve the myriad problems science faces and instead could continue to undermine our efforts to use science accurately and productively.
One supposes it’s a step up from wanting to rid the earth of white people.
A university law school hosted a social justice conference this Saturday with workshops tying capitalism to racism and professing “reproductive justice,” with one entitled “White People, Do Better!” The law school also reserved a room for “fragrance-free space” so that participants could “center themselves.”
The student-organized conference at Northeastern University, “How To Get It Done: Where Legal Power Meets People Power,” brought together activists and law students for panel talks, “identity-based caucusing,” and a “healing space” to further social justice in the legal field.
“Capitalism, Imperialism, & Racism,” How To Get It Done’s first session, focused on how “economic exploitation” creates “marginalized identities.”
“Local organizers and scholars will discuss how capitalism drives racism and imperialism,” read the event description. “After Trump’s election, it is crucial to remember and affirm that in America racism, US imperialism, and economic exploitation are and always have been connected.”
The event named four panelists, three of whose names were followed by personal pronouns such as “she/her/hers” and “they/them/theirs.” Subsequent events on the program, such as “Our Bodies, Our Laws,” used a similar format.
“[This panel] will explore how the legal system historically and presently infringes on physical autonomy and self-definition,” said the section detailing the “Our Bodies, Our Laws” workshop. “Panelists will share their expertise and experience related to reproductive justice, Queer theory in the law, transgender justice, and disability justice.”
“While these communities have been powerful advocates throughout history, the Trump administration presents new challenges to our liberation. Engage in a critical discussion about the intersectional impact of laws and social context and leave with insight about how you can participate in resistance, reform, and remedies during the age of Trump and after it ends.”
Another event insisted that the election of President Trump “reinvigorated many forms of bigotry,” including Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and hatred of Mexicans, “Latinx people,” and illegal immigrants.
In the afternoon, Northeastern University hosted “White People, Do Better!,” which was apparently “a Caucus for white people to work together to address white supremacy.”
“While many white people are now aware of the need to address structural racism and white supremacy at a legal or policy level, this doesn’t always translate into our daily relationships and practices,” stated the event description. “How are we failing to show up for, excluding, or hurting our classmates or colleagues of color?”
A final workshop, entitled “Building Alternative Community Frameworks” was hosted by a representative of Black Lives Matter Boston.
The university made a “Spiritual Counselor” available to students during lunch at a “healing space” and instructed participants to stay outside of the “quiet + fragrance-free space” if they have used any perfumes.
The Daily Caller News Foundation requested comment from Northeastern University, the university’s School of Law, and the How To Get It Done student organization, but received none in time for publication.
This report, by Rob Shimshock, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
President Trump’s White House is making an effort to heal the wounds from the infighting and leaks that have dogged the administration over its first 100 days.
Trump appears to have brokered at least a temporary peace between son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior adviser with a growing portfolio of responsibilities, and chief strategist Stephen Bannon, the former Breitbart News chief whose rough edges and nationalist vision were among the animating characteristics of Trump’s insurgent campaign.
People who have spoken with Bannon say he has given explicit orders to allies who may have been taking swipes at Kushner in the press to knock it off.
But the persistent internal warring and fears over what stories might appear in tomorrow’s newspapers have driven some administration officials to exhaustion.
It has sometimes felt like top officials have been in an arms race to plant or kill stories in the press. Those who decline to participate in the sniping feel at risk of being thrown under the bus by their colleagues or described by the media as having diminished influence, according to officials interviewed by The Hill.
Two prominent liberals, onetime Democratic presidential hopeful and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and HBO TV host Bill Maher, decided to speak out against against the campus protesters at the University of California at Berkeley. Both men spent time over the weekend arguing that conservatives like Ann Coulter have every right to be heard on college campuses across the country and that it’s simply ridiculous for liberal students to expend so much effort to silence them instead of debating them on the issues. More importantly, both men have argued that Democratic leader Howard Dean (and many other liberals) are simply wrong about certain kinds of free speech not being protected.
Let’s start with Bernie Sanders, who is probably the more important voice of the two:
“Obviously Ann Coulter’s outrageous ― to my mind, off the wall,” Sanders argued. “But you know, people have a right to give their two cents-worth, give a speech, without fear of violence and intimidation.” Sanders then lambasted the liberal protesters for fighting so hard to keep conservatives like Coulter out. “What are you afraid of ― her ideas?” asked Sanders, according to HuffPo. “Ask her the hard questions. Confront her intellectually. Booing people down, or intimidating people, or shutting down events, I don’t think that that works in any way.”
Maher made a similar argument, though he did so much more colorfully. He also added an important point about free speech that completely contradicts the argument that some liberals are making, that “hate speech” is not protected free speech.
Bill Maher: I like her as a person. I’ve never agreed with one thing she ever said. That’s different….
I was the speaker at Berkeley a couple of years ago and they disinvited me and then they got their act together and I wound up doing it, and apparently, that’s what’s going to happen to her. I think. But, Berkeley, used to be the cradle of free speech but now it’s the cradle for f***ing babies.
This goes on all over the country on campuses. They invite someone to speak who is not exactly what liberals want to hear and they want to shut her down. I feel like this is the liberals’ version of book burning, and it’s got to stop.
Howard Dean tweeted today about this, ‘Hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment.’ Yes, it is. Threats are not protected by the First Amendment. This is why the Supreme Court said that the Nazis could march in Skokie. They are a hateful bunch. But that is what the First Amendment means. It doesn’t mean just shut up and agree with me.
S.E. Cupp: I can’t believe you have to remind liberals this.
Maher: I can’t believe it either.
I want to settle on Maher’s point about “hate speech” and free speech for just a moment, because it’s important. Many conservatives have argued that hate speech is protected, because free speech is really all about protecting unpopular speech. If only acceptable speech is allowed, than speech is most certainly not free.
Also, since when do liberals get to decide what “hate speech” is? For example, liberal college students argue that Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Bill Maher, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, and many others have been disinvited, protested, shouted down, and worse for spouting what they called “hate speech.” None of these people has ever said one word of hate speech, which simply serves to prove the point that liberals should not be the arbiters of what hate speech is.
Cross-posted at Constitution.com
Earlier this week, the gullible Huffington Post published, defended, and later retracted an article in its South African edition, calling for white men to lose the right to vote. The post was revealed to be a Sokal Affair-like hoax, written with the intention of outing the publication’s political bias. HuffPost South Africa reporters wasted no time in uncovering the author of the piece and confronted him at his place of work, and he was forced to resign.
And now Huffington Post SA editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay resigned this weekend following an investigation into the controversial article and a severe ruling by South Africa’s press ombudsman.
The CEO of Media24, which operates HuffPost in South Africa, issued a statement calling the article’s publication “hugely damaging” to their reputation.
“Responsible journalism is at the heart of what we do; it’s the currency we trade in,” said Media24 CEO Esmaré Weideman. “In an era of fake news, I know only too well that our editors spend an inordinate amount of time checking the veracity of information before they publish. When our systems fail, we’re not just alarmed; we’re outraged. This is a sad day for journalism.”
A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington, D.C. often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion.
Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion.
“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration that he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.
He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014 showing hurricane activity has increased from 1980 as an illustration of how federal agencies fudged climate data. Koonin said the NCA’s assessment was technically incorrect.
“What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print is that it actually decreased in the decades before that,” he said. The U.N. published reports in 2014 essentially mirroring Koonin’s argument.
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported there “is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century” and current data shows “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century.”
Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added.
Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for instance, recently jumpstarted an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.
Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith , the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.
Koonin, who served under Obama from 2009 to 2011, went on to lament the politicization of science suggested that the ethos should be to “tell it like it is. You’re a scientist and it is your responsibility to put the facts on the table.”
NASA and NOAA’s actions, he said, are problematic, because “public opinion is formed by the data that is formed from those organizations and appears in newspapers.”
Neither agency responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
This report, by Chris White, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
[Ed. – That will eliminate fake news?]
The founder of online encyclopaedia Wikipedia has announced plans for a crowd-funded news website offering stories by journalists and volunteers working together, an initiative he hopes will counter the spread of fake news.
Jimmy Wales said the new platform, Wikitribune, would be free to read and carry no advertising, instead relying on supporters to fund it, while the accuracy of its articles would be easily verifiable as source material would be published.
“The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it,” he said in a promotional video posted on the website’s homepage, which does not yet carry any news stories. The page indicates the platform will go live in 29 days.
The initial goal is to raise sufficient funds to hire 10 professional journalists. The website is set up to encourage supporters to give $10 a month, but the amount and frequency of gifts can easily be modified.
The online proliferation of fake news, some of it generated for profit and some for political ends, became a major topic of angst and debate in many developed countries during last year’s U.S. presidential election.
[Ed. – A followup to this story.]
A top New York Times editor decided the paper shouldn’t use the term “female genital mutilation” because the phrase is too “culturally loaded” and widens a divide between the Western world and “people who follow the rite.”
Health and Science editor Celia Dugger said she came to the conclusion to refer to the act of removing the female genitalia of young girls as “genital cutting” during a trip to Africa in the 1990s. She spoke about her decision in a Times mailbag article in response to a reader’s question.
“I never minced words in describing exactly what form of cutting was involved, and there are many gradations of severity, and the terrible damage it did, and stayed away from the euphemistic circumcision, but chose to use the less culturally loaded term, genital cutting,” Dugger wrote. “There’s a gulf between the Western (and some African) advocates who campaign against the practice and the people who follow the rite, and I felt the language used widened that chasm.”
The term “female genital mutilation” has actually been used by the Times in six articles in 2017, according to a website search; however, the instances are extremely restricted.
Dr. David Dao, whose forcible removal from an overbooked United Airlines flight unleashed a PR maelstrom for the carrier, was “aggressive” and “flailing his arms” as he fought with officers. That’s according to incident reports filed by the Chicago aviation officers who dragged him from the plane.
The reports, released on Monday in response to Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Los Angeles Times and others, show that the officers portrayed a significantly different version of events from those depicted in videos Dao’s fellow passengers filmed on their cellphones.
The videos — which have been viewed by millions around the world and prompted several apologies from United CEO Oscar Munoz — show officers wrenching Dao from his seat. The passenger then hits his head on an armrest before being dragged down the aisle.
Two of the aviation officers’ reports blame Dao for his injuries. One, filed by an officer named James Long, alleges: “the subject started swinging his arms up and down with a closed fist. Ofc. Long was able to grab the subject and pull him away from the window seat towards the aisle. But suddenly the subject started flailing and fighting.”
With a recent poll finding that 45% of Democrats long for a new national leader, could Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe be the man to watch? Even McAuliffe himself is dropping hints. Is that laughter I hear from Republicans saying, “Yes, yes, bring him on”? But I also hear echoes of Democrats laughing at the prospects of running against Donald Trump in 2016 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Here are six reasons why the GOP should not laugh at Terry McAuliffe’s presidential rumblings.
1. Terry McAuliffe is ambitious, wealthy, and power-hungry with nothing to lose
By law, Virginia governors can only serve one four-year term. Thus, on January 13, 2018, Governor McAuliffe will become a former governor after only four years of elective experience. But do years in office even matter anymore? Besides, McAuliffe’s strength is his political credentials that far exceed other potential 2020 Democratic candidates. Furthermore, in party leadership circles McAuliffe is a living legend.
For starters, McAuliffe currently serves as chairman of the National Governors Association (NGA). McAuliffe’s best friend, President Bill Clinton, was NGA chairman during the 1986-87 term.
In 2008 McAuliffe was chairman of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.
Between 2001 and 2005 he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee. During that time in 2004, McAuliffe served on the Clinton Foundation board of directors.
In 1996 he served as co-chairman of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign.
2. McAuliffe is putting out feelers for his 2020 presidential run
The leadership vacuum at the top of the Democratic Party is tailor made for a power-player such as McAuliffe, and he has twice hinted about a 2020 presidential run.
First on February 26 in the New York Times: “Asked if he wanted to be president, Mr. McAuliffe said, ‘I don’t know, I might.’ ”
The second was on March 29 when McAuliffe told ABC’s Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein: “‘You know my personality, go big or go home, adding I’m not thinking about it, but I never take anything off the table.’ ”
Translation: Watch out 2020 Democratic hopefuls. McAuliffe is in exploration mode, and if he decides to move forward, prepare to be crushed.
3. Good news — bad news, McAuliffe is best friends with the Clintons
For decades, Terry McAuliffe was the Clinton’s go-to-money-man-fundraiser-extraordinaire. Then, as governor in 2016, he delivered Virginia’s 13 electoral votes to Hillary’s column and greased the skids that anointed Virginia senator and former governor Tim Kaine as her running mate.
The good news is that in one day before lunch, McAuliffe could reassemble any part of the Clinton machine worth saving. By afternoon he could enlist his own vast network of loyalists, and by happy hour, “Help Terry Dump Trump 2020” will be ready to roll.
But the bad news is that McAuliffe is perceived, rightfully so, as a “son of the Clintons.” Certainly, Clinton fatigue would be McAuliffe’s biggest obstacle, along with his dubious past as a wheeler-dealer businessman. (See President Trump, Donald J. for how to handle that problem.) If McAuliffe were to run, he must first establish himself as his own man, and as governor of Virginia and chair of the NGA, he is doing exactly that.
4. McAuliffe could suck up all the early oxygen from the rest of the 2020 field
Yes, McAuliffe could easily raise well over a billion dollars – what it will cost to run for president in 2020 — but his skill set extends far beyond fundraising. After decades as a top-tier Democratic Party leader, Clinton acolyte, now Virginia governor and NGA chairman, McAuliffe has formed strong alliances with other national leaders. Potentially those relationships might lead to early endorsements, leaving many vacant seats on what looks like now could be a mini-van full of 2020 candidate wannabes.
5. Watch the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial race and 2018 midterm elections
McAuliffe’s hand-picked successor, Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, is in a tougher than expected primary race. If Northam were to win his June primary and the general election victory in November, that would signal Governor McAuliffe’s strength in a swing state and act as his national springboard. Currently, McAuliffe enjoys a 52% approval rating. But even more telling will be how active McAuliffe becomes in the Democrat’s midterm election quest to win back Congress. If McAuliffe is in the thick of the national fight, it is a sure sign that his own 2020 announcement is forthcoming.
6. Who better times two?
In 2020 who better to contest President Trump than another multi-millionaire businessman with decades of political experience and tons of business and political baggage?
If McAuliffe “went big” as hinted to ABC News, he will attempt to avenge Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat. McAuliffe could joke, “You wanted her but you got me.” Who better than a close family friend who for decades has stood in Washington’s center court playing hardball power games?
My fellow Republicans, are you still laughing?
Cross-posted at the Washington Examiner
British athlete James Cracknell was recently caught citing North Korea and Cuba as examples of how to “get a handle on obesity”—which both regimes have done by starving their people.
Cracknell posted a half-hearted apology, and I don’t want to be too hard on him, because in all likelihood he is simply not very bright and just needs to refrain from speaking in public ever again. This is unfortunate for him, since he has ambitions of running for Parliament.
The problem is that Cracknell has clearly been educated and lives in an environment where the reasons for starvation in Communist regimes are considered to be vague and complex and maybe can just be chalked down to “behavior modification.” Cracking jokes about the Holocaust is a line not to be crossed, but insensitive offhand references to brutal communist dictatorships? No big deal.
This sort of thing is not new. As Elizabeth Nolan Brown points out, by way of The Federalist’s Bre Payton, there was once a craze about the “Cuban diet,” telling us how healthy it is to be starved by your government.
President Donald Trump may be willing to wait until September or possibly next year to secure federal funding for his controversial border wall, a shift that could make it possible for Congress to finish work on spending legislation in time to avoid a government shutdown.
“Building that wall and having it funded remains an important priority to him but we also know that that can happen later this year and into next year, and in the interim you see other smart technology and other resources and tools being used toward border security,” Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News on Tuesday.
Trump told a group of conservative journalists gathered at the White House on Monday that he could put off until September asking Congress to include the money in the federal budget. That could remove, at least for now, one of the biggest deal-breakers he’s inserted into talks to pass a bill this week that would finance the government through September, the end of the fiscal year.