News of the Week (December 10th, 2017)

 

News of the Week for Dec. 10th, 2017


 

Gun Rights

 

House passes concealed carry gun bill
Two months after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, the House on Wednesday passed legislation that would allow people to use permits for carrying concealed handguns across state lines while also boosting the background check system.

Hampshire College cancels gun-rights speech because sponsor didn’t say it might provoke “intense debate”
“We realized that the student application was not sufficiently complete”

Delaware Supreme Court strikes down broad restrictions on gun possession in state parks and forests
From Thursday’s Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club v. Small, a decision applying the Delaware Constitution’s right to bear arms

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

An environmental revolution is about to transform our ports and piers
ECOncrete products increase the stability and aesthetics of urban waterfronts and coastal structures, while enhancing marine life.

Claim: Adding Fudge Factors Makes Climate Models Scarier
Climate models do a poor job of reproducing observed climate. But climate scientists seem to think they can produce more accurate projections by adding fudge factors to their models, to force better agreement between models and observations.

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

27 Live Babies That Died At Abortion Clinic Could Spark Investigation
An Australian member of parliament petitioned to launch an investigation after 27 babies born alive died at an abortion clinic, following failed abortions.

Another UK Hospital: NO to Baby Transfer + End Life Support
Readers here may recall the infamous Charlie Gard case earlier this year. Charlie was a terminally ill baby with a progressive and terminal genetic disease. Charlie’s parents wanted to take their boy to a specialist in the US, but was refused permission by the hospital, later supported by a judge. Further, the hospital obtained a ruling that Charlie should be taken off life support, an imposition the to which the parents eventually agreed after the US doctor said that with the passage of time, he could no longer help.

ANOTHER Baby Charlie? The MVNHS© Strikes Again
Regular readers may recall the tragic story of Baby Charlie. Well, turns out the caring, compassionate Angels of the Death at the Much Vaunted National Health Service© apparently haven’t met their quota

Study Suggests Medicaid Is A “Persistently Inferior” Form Of Health Coverage
A new study suggests Medicaid provides inferior outcomes in the nation’s largest state, raising more questions about the program that represents the bulk of Obamacare’s coverage expansion.

Venezuela’s chronic shortages give rise to ‘medical flea markets’
Venezuela’s critical medicine shortage has spurred “medical flea markets,” where peddlers offer everything from antibiotics to contraceptives laid out among the traditional fruits and vegetables.

 

War & Terror

 

French City Cancels Christmas Market, Can’t Afford € 20,000 in Security Costs After ISIS Attacks
This week, the French city of Lyon announced it would cancel its world-famous Christmas market after seven years, as costs to protect the market against potential terror threats escalated to € 20,000 – a price the city could not afford.

Extremism stems from repressive states, not Western policy, says UK’s Johnson
Repressive states are to blame for breeding terrorism, Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson will say on Thursday, in a speech defending Western foreign policy and denouncing Islamist extremism.

U.S. Embassy Victims in Cuba Have Brain Abnormalities
“Medical testing has revealed the embassy workers developed changes to the white matter tracts that let different parts of the brain communicate.”

 

National

 

Obama’s Last-Minute Land Grab Was Bad for Utah. Trump Is Showing He Hears the People.
During the Christmas season last year, the Obama administration ignored the majority of Utahans by designating a vast tract of land in southern Utah as a national monument.

CA Treasurer Chiang’s cure-all for sexual harassment – race and sex quotas!
Sooooo, with the Pension Tsunami bearing down on California state and local governments, our crackerjack State Treasurer John Chiang has a new proposal – to dramatically reduce the nation’s sexual harassment by mandating demographic “diversity” quotas for the boards of directors of our nation’s corporations. Say what??

California assemblyman accused of forcing lobbyist into bathroom and masturbating
Sacramento lobbyist Pamela Lopez has claimed that, in 2016, Democratic Assemblyman Matt Dababneh followed her into a bathroom, masturbated in front of her and urged her to touch him. Dababneh has strongly denied the allegation.

Spider drinks graphene, spins web that can hold the weight of a human
The webbing was on par with bulletproof Kevlar in strength.

Native American student group accuses Polynesian dance group of “appropriating Hawaiian and Tahitian culture”
“There is no room for compromise”

Zinke to ask Trump to shrink two more monuments
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended President Trump shrink the boundaries of two more national monuments, a day after rolling back protected areas in Utah.

2 Nevada Supreme Court justices to retire
Two longtime Nevada Supreme Court justices announced retirement plans Monday.

Trump: Today the United States recognizes that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel
“Today we saw the up side of Trump’s willingness to smash norms,” wrote Philip Klein of this announcement. Indeed. Formal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital is an audacious move, something to which every presidential candidate pays lip service and from which every president quietly retreats once elected for fear of a global Muslim freakout. Only one who’s unusually comfortable with audacity would follow through. (And would go out of his way, as Trump does below, to note how timid his predecessors have been.) That’s what we have. To Republican supporters of Israel, this is repayment for their vote last November as much as Gorsuch’s appointment was repayment to conservatives.

SecState Tillerson Announces Process of Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem Will Begin Immediately
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson followed up President Trump’s announcement of the official recognition by the United States of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with his own newsmaker.

Alternate Juror: Here’s why the man who shot Kate Steinle wasn’t convicted of manslaughter
Politico Magazine published a first-hand account by one of the alternate jurors in the trial of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate. As an alternate juror, Phil Van Stockum didn’t get a vote in the outcome of the trial, but he did hear all of the evidence that was presented and says the jury reached the right decision.

So, What Happens to Al Franken;s Seat If He Resigns?
The walls are closing in on Sen. Al Franken, with a seventh accuser stepping forward today and multiple Democrats calling for his resignation in the aftermath, including DNC chair Tom Perez and more than 20 Senators (and counting).

Democrat Accused Of Sexual Harassment: Pelosi Knew And Did Nothing About It
A first-term Democratic congressman accused of sexual harassment said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knew about the allegations while he was running for office and supported him anyway, putting millions of dollars behind his 2016 congressional campaign.

Democrat Accused Of Sexual Harassment: Pelosi Knew And Did Nothing About It
A first-term Democratic congressman accused of sexual harassment said that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi knew about the allegations while he was running for office and supported him anyway, putting millions of dollars behind his 2016 congressional campaign.

Bredesen running for Senate
Former governor jumps in the Democratic primary

Bad News for the Highly Intelligent
Superior IQs associated with mental and physical disorders, research suggests

Son of funeral home owner accused of building sex doll out of dead body parts
The son of a Milwaukee funeral home owner has been arrested after he allegedly used limbs and several body parts from corpses at his father’s business to make himself a customized sex doll.

California in a “literacy crisis” with children who can’t read: suit
A group of prominent lawyers representing teachers and students from poor performing schools sued California on Tuesday, arguing that the state has done nothing about a high number of schoolchildren who do not know how to read.

Thriving rodent population to be controlled by genetically modified “super rats”
A new breed of super rat could dramatically reduce the rising rodent population in the UK, it has emerged.

Al Franken announces he will resign from Senate
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced on the Senate floor Thursday that he is resigning at the end of the month following multiple allegations that he sexually harassed women.

Licensing Board Admits It Can’t Silence Red Light Camera Critic
The Oregon engineering board fined Mats Järlström for exercising his First Amendment rights. Now, finally, it admits it’s not allowed to do that.

DOJ Official Demoted During Investigation Into Contacts With Trump Dossier Firm
Supposedly had contacts with those at Fusion GPS.

Female lieutenant governor expected to replace Franken if he resigns
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to appoint his lieutenant governor and close ally, Tina Smith, to Al Franken’s seat if the Democratic senator resigns on Thursday, three people familiar with the Democratic governor’s thinking said.

Student suspended for debating Islamic extremism with Muslim peer in debate club
Officials allegedly said it could be “harassing,” told him to observe “social cues”

Students question Catholic school’s emphasis on Christmas
Some students are complaining that Loyola University Chicago puts a greater emphasis on Christmas than on other religious holidays, such as Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

Will Tim Pawlenty run for Franken’s Senate seat?
An NBC News piece run in the aftermath of (for now) Sen. Al Franken’s announcement that he will resign seems to be serving an interesting dual purpose. The author, Jonathan Allen, looks like he’s not just reporting on the possibility that a Republican could retake the seat previously held by Republican Norm Coleman; he’s also providing ample space to friends and allies of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to make the case for the Carhartt-wearing jacket former presidential candidate to step back into the ring.

Mueller’s “Pit Bull” Attended Clinton’s Election Night Party
An attorney for special counsel Robert Mueller attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Nevada triples funding for New Year’s Eve security in Las Vegas
Nevada lawmakers on Thursday approved a record amount of funding for New Year’s Eve security in Las Vegas.

Prominent appeals court Judge Alex Kozinski accused of sexual misconduct
A former clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski said the powerful and well-known jurist, who for many years served as chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, called her into his office several times and pulled up pornography on his computer, asking if she thought it was photoshopped or if it aroused her sexually.

The Hollywood Rape Machine
The anonymous blogger describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “300 pound entertainment lawyer who has been married six times, lives in his parent’s basement and has an obsession with digging up celebrity dirt.” While it is doubtful he’s that fat or “lives in his parent’s basement,” he is legitimately a lawyer in show business, and the dirt he’s been digging up has made him “King of the Hollywood Blind Item.”

Nikki Haley defends America and Israel over Jerusalem at UN Security Council
“The United States no longer stands by when Israel is unfairly attacked in the United Nations.”

Homeschool girl donates Christmas money to help pay off school lunch debts
Julie donated most of her Christmas money to her former elementary school to alleviate students’ lunch debts.

‘Walking on Eggshells’ in Sacramento Over Fears of Sexual Harassment Allegations
Jodi Hicks, a lobbyist in Sacramento, told the Associated Press she’s feeling a backlash from sexual harassment charges involving California legislators.

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby: I wrote in a Republican instead of voting for Roy Moore
Most Senate Republicans are reluctant to criticize Moore too loudly lest populists punish them for it in their next primary. As an Alabamian Shelby has more skin in the game than any of them, and not only did he not vote for the guy, he’s perfectly happy to discuss that fact on national television. I don’t follow Alabama politics so I don’t know if there’s history between him and Moore, but either way it takes some stones to anti-endorse your party’s candidate from your own state in a TV appearance you didn’t need to make two days out from the election knowing you’ll have to serve with him if he wins. He must really dislike Moore.

The FBI is now investigating the NY Governor’s office
Over a year ago I wrote about the discovery of a curious aspect of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s staffing situation. Nearly half (roughly 40%) of the people working directly for Cuomo were paid by other government departments rather than falling under the payroll umbrella of the executive branch. While not technically illegal in the view of most legal analysts at the time, it was yet another indicator of a general lack of transparency in the state capitol. But as it turned out, that practice continued after it was exposed and crossed over into some other investigations which were already underway. And now the FBI is involved.

 

Economy & Taxes

 

NYT: Republicans plan to cut spending. No, really.
Mark this day on the calendar, folks, to commemorate the point in time where the New York Times has more faith in Republican leadership than its own voters. Now that the GOP has succeeded with tax reform — an optimistic assessment on its own – the Times’ Kate Zernike and Alan Rappeport wrote that the next item on their list will be massive entitlement and welfare reform.

Today’s Laugh: Real Socialism!
I’m sure most of our readers will know the old laugh line that “real socialism has never been tried.” Guess what? The World Socialists actually believe this! Below is a chart they’ve put out putting us all in our places (and putting people in their places is what socialism is all about, no?). Notice how both North Korea and Venezuela are both “capitalist” countries. Best laugh I’ve had since the latest Kurt Eichenwald tweet.

Survey: US firms losing confidence in China business climate
U.S. companies in China are seeing their sales improve but are frustrated by policies and regulatory barriers that block better access to the country’s lucrative market, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. fired for sexual misconduct
When it rains it pours. HuffPost’s Yaher Ali reports that former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has been fired by Morgan Stanley after allegations of sexual misconduct.

About That Tuition-Waiver Deduction for Graduate Students
I was on PBS the other night to talk about the House and Senate versions of the tax plan. At some point, we started talking about how the House reform plan treats graduate-student tuition waivers as taxable income. In response to the other guest on the show saying that it was malicious, I pointed out that a tuition waiver was indeed income. Based on the response I received from listeners, you would have believed that I had just endorsed torturing kittens.

Bill Whittle: Why a Flat Tax would be the End of Leftism
In this segment, he talks about why a flat tax would be the end of leftism.

 

International

 

Merkel’s coalition woes pile up as ally weakened
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s struggling bid to form a government was hit by a new setback Monday as her key ally was weakened in a leadership tussle.

The Left Sets Honduras on Fire
Socialists rampage through the country after an apparent election loss.

International Olympic Committee Bans Russia From 2018 Winter Games
Investigation found a massive doping scheme from the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

Pfizer denies fumes from Viagra factory are arousing town’s males
Villagers of Ringaskiddy, County Cork, Ireland, say air pollution from a factory that produces the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra are affecting the menfolk.

Pope Francis defends Jerusalem ‘status quo’
Pope Francis Wednesday defended the “status quo” of Jerusalem, hours ahead of an announcement by US President Donald Trump in which officials said he will recognise the disputed city as Israel’s capital.

Irish border: Brexit committee says solution doubtful
It is not possible to see how the Irish border issue can be resolved after Brexit, the influential group of MPs scrutinising the process has said.

Kevin Spacey grabbed my crown jewels: Actor ‘groped Norwegian ROYAL under a table while asking him for a cigarette during Nobel Peace Prize party’
Ex-husband of Princess of Norway claims Kevin Spacey groped him

Argentina judge orders arrest of ex-president Kirchner over Iran terror cover-up
Former leader suspected of hiding Iranian involvement in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires

The Pope Wants to Make a Small Change to How We Say the Lord’s Prayer
According to Pope Francis, the way we’re saying the Lord’s Prayer doesn’t sit right, and he suggests we change it up so that it sounds more fitting with the Lord’s ways.

Dreaming of a black Christmas
UCLA Prof. Melina Abdullah recently called for a “Black Christmas” as a protest against capitalism.

Australians Applaud the ‘Erosion of Religious Liberty’ as Same-Sex Marriage Becomes Law
On Thursday, the Australia House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, but it struck down multiple amendments to protect religious liberty and other forms of dissent in the process. As the U.S. Supreme Court debates a free speech refusal to take part in a same-sex wedding, this rejection of dissent bodes ill for religious freedom and free association down under.

Martin Schulz wants ‘United States of Europe’ within eight years
German SDP party leader sets out his demands before entering into grand coalition talks with Angela Merkel in bid to end political deadlock

Schulz: United States of Europe by 2025, those who resist will automatically leave EU
Germany’s lefty leader Martin Schulz has finally let the EU cat well and truly out of the bag – pushing for a full United States of Europe by 2025.

China sues Venezuela’s oil company over unpaid bills
China is turning up the heat on Venezuela. One of its biggest state-owned companies has filed a lawsuit against Venezuela’s oil company, PDVSA, in a U.S. court, claiming millions of dollars it says it is owed.

Brexit Breakthrough: The EU and Britain Have Agreed on Key Terms of Divorce
Britain and the European Union struck a deal on Friday to move on to talk about trade and a transition period after they agreed the outline of their divorce, easing the pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May.

YouTube censures Polish government video
The Polish Ministry of Interior’s short video about the negative effects of third world immigration to Europe, has became too much for YouTube. The American site has now classified the video as “offensive” and severely restricted its spread:

No Gender December rolls round again
December is most known as the month of Christmas, the closing off of the calendar year and in Australia the beginning of the summer holidays. But now the month has also been infected by leftist gender social reengineers who are always looking for a new way to promote the concept of gender fluidly, especially to children.

Why the Liberals think it’s safe to ignore Quebec now
Pierre Karl Péladeau is perhaps the most divisive figure in Quebec’s already fractured cultural, political and business landscape. The businessman and erstwhile politician (he was leader of the Parti Québécois for what felt like 10 minutes in 2015) casts a long shadow over the province.

Christian maths teacher sues school for religious discrimination after being suspended for calling a transgender pupil a girl rather than a boy
Joshua Sutcliffe was suspended after he misgendered a student at his school

Trudeau’s minister of immigration avoids issue of legality of ritual clitorectomies
Standing committee on citizenship and immigration

‘Samurai sword’ attack leaves three dead at Tokyo shrine
An attack believed to have been sparked by a succession feud has left three people dead at a well-known Shinto shrine in Tokyo.

 

Opinion

 

FusionGPS Scandal May Lead to Exposure of Pay-for-Publish Journalism Scandal
I’ve said before that I do not think FusionGPS needs to pay reporters to publish stories. I don’t think reporters would want that stated explicitly. It would lead to their firing if exposed, and even if not exposed, it would erode their narcissistic conception of themselves. And their egos are very, very important to them.

How Democrats Corrupt English To Create Hysteria
Liberals aren’t just peddling political euphemisms, they are contorting basic truths.

Yes, $100 a Month Is “Real Money”
Partisanship can make you blind to reality. Because I am a conservative and generally support Republicans, it would be easy for me to ignore any faults with the tax reform bill the GOP-controlled Senate passed over the weekend. Yet I am skeptical enough to believe that, as a matter of economic policy, the bill is neither (a) the brilliant Reaganesque triumph its supporters claim, nor (b) the unmitigated disaster its Democrat opponents claim. Probably both sides are mistaken to some degree. My hunch is that the tax bill is overall a good thing, just not as good as the GOP would have us believe. This is only a hunch, however, because I don’t bother getting down into the messy mathematical details of a mere legislative proposal; what the Senate passed will not be the actual law, as the House has yet to pass its own bill, and the two versions of tax reform must be reconciled before anything can be enacted as law.

The Gay Couple In The Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Are Vindictive Bullies, Not Victims.
The Supreme Court began hearing arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case today. Ben Shapiro has already provided a helpful refresher on the case, which you can read here.

Supreme Court Appears Sympathetic To Christian Baker In LGBT Rights Dispute
A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court appeared sympathetic Tuesday with a Christian baker from Colorado who declined to create a custom wedding cake for an LGBT couple.

Did the prosecution tell Flynn’s lawyer that their main witness against him was removed for bias?
Since Strzok led the interview and his testimony would be needed to establish untruthfulness, he is a critical witness not just a prosecutor. If not disclosed, would this not be a Giglio violation? This is the kind of misconduct that can get a case dismissed and a lawyer disbarred. It is a Constitutional violation. This has bothered me since I heard about it.

Everybody Lies: FBI Edition
You, dear readers, know my advice about talking to the FBI: don’t. If the FBI – or any law enforcement agency – asks to talk to you, say “No, I want to talk to my lawyer, I don’t want to talk to you,” and repeat as necessary. Do not talk to them “just to see what they want.” Do not try to “set the facts straight.” Do not try to outwit them. Do not explain that you have “nothing to hide.”

It’s Time to Reduce the Power of the Federal Government Over Western Land
President Donald Trump has taken an important step in curtailing the oversized federal footprint in the Western states.

A Two State Solution for Europe?
A poll conducted this summer found that 29% of French Muslims found Sharia to be more important to them than French laws. It also found that 67% of Muslims want their children to study Arabic, and 56% think it should be taught in public schools.

Is Fascism Right Or Left?
Every Republican president since the 1970s has been called a fascist. Ironic, no?

The Impending Death of Multiculturalism
We are all familiar with the Democratic Party gambit of packing the electorate with poor, third-world immigrants, all but guaranteed to vote for the party who offers them a living on the taxpayers’ largesse. While progressives still roll their eyes at the suggestion that this is why third-world immigration has been encouraged — the point is no longer even worth arguing.

Minnesota’s new game: Who wants to be a Senator?
That’s not just a rhetorical question, either. In the present political environment, both in Minnesota and in Washington, who in their right mind would want Al Franken’s job? Mark Dayton released a statement this morning after Franken announced his intention to resign from the Senate laying out the timetable for his choice for an interim replacement

Bottom Line: The Social Justice Community Attempted to Force Rape on the Porn Star Who then Killed Herself
Whatever your stance is on pornography, or the people who work in the industry, we can all agree that being forced to have sex is a kind of wrong that people should be drawn and quartered for. We would normally call forced sex “rape,” yet that’s usually a term we give to an act committed by one to a handful of people.

SCOTUS Should Recognize Religious Beliefs Don’t Equal Bigotry
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this past week in a case that may well decide the fate of the First Amendment in America. A case that began in 2012 has finally snaked its way to the Supreme Court, and the stakes could not be higher. Colorado Baker Jack Phillips was sued and harassed by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony, citing his Christian faith. Phillips did not disparage the same sex couple that came to his store, Masterpiece Cakeshop, he just referred the couple to another bakery because of his Christian conviction that marriage is the relationship between one man and one woman. David Mullins, the man who placed the order for the cake, refused to take no for an answer and decided to destroy Jack Phillips’s company.

Jerry Brown’s Pot versus Donald Trump’s Kettle
The radical governor of California–who signed bills legalizing assisted suicide, allowing non-doctors to be abortionists, and forcing pro-life pregnancy counseling centers to notify clients where to access free abortion (now before the Supreme Court)–has brought the Lord into his critique of Donald Trump. From The Hill story:

The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone
Students don’t seem to be getting much out of higher education.

The French Ambassador Insulted US on Pearl Harbor Day. Here’s Why He Shouldn’t Be Talking.
When it comes to who did the most to stop the Nazis in World War II, it would generally be best for France to remain quiet.

What C.S. Lewis Can Teach Us About America’s Pronoun Wars
While the pronoun wars may be new to America, the writings of C.S. Lewis show that the fight over language as a way of controlling the mind is nothing new.

At War With Reality
I’m a bookish person – I know, astound you — who lives at least ninety percent of the time in her own head. This led to some really weird times in my childhood, where I could see the ideal world so clearly but it just didn’t mesh with reality. So I would say things like “money should be abolished” because you know, people should just trade for what they needed.

Maddness And (The lack Of) Civilization
In light of the Harvey Weinstein mess, more and more Hollywood people are starting to fall.

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