News of the Week (December 17th, 2017)

 

News of the Week for Dec. 17th, 2017


 

Gun Rights

 

ATF on “bump stocks”: On second thought …
More than two months after their use in the worst mass shooting sprees in US history, Congress still has not acted on “bump stocks” – and now they may not need to act at all. The ATF, which originally allowed their sale, has notified Congress that they will review that decision. If they reclassify bump stocks as a full-auto modification, they can effectively ban them through the regulatory process, letting lawmakers off the hook for a statutory response.

New York Governor announces new gun ban which has existed for 20 years
When I saw a press release this week saying that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was announcing yet another gun ban, all I could think was… oh, great. After all, after he managed to pass the so-called “New York SAFE Act” in 2013, pretty much everything having to do with firearms has been banned up to and including looking at pictures of guns on your laptop. (Okay… don’t quote me on that last part.) So what’s it going to be this time? A ban on vegetables that happen to grow in the shape of a gun? Burning all the copies of the James Clavell novel Shogun?

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

NAFTA Talks Stall Over Climate Change
Negotiations for a new North American Free Trade Agreement have reportedly stalled at least in part over whether climate change should be included in the text of the agreement.

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.
No one is born transgender. If gender identity were hardwired in the brain before birth, identical twins would have the same gender identity 100 percent of the time. But they don’t.

The MS Word Theory of Free-Market Social Services
A few days back, Kevin wrote a very helpful explanation of the factors that make health-insurance reform so difficult, and proposed some ways that market forces could be combined with widespread coverage.

2 companies reach $7.7-million settlement over allegations of selling fetal tissue
Two bioscience companies that once operated in Costa Mesa have reached a $7.785-million settlement with the Orange County district attorney’s office over allegations that they illegally sold fetal tissue to companies around the world, prosecutors said Friday.

Study Of 1.8 Million Women Links Birth Control And Breast Cancer
Danish researchers have found there are approximately 13 additional breast cancer cases for every 100,000 women who use hormonal contraception for one year.

Dutch bureaucrat to man with Down’s syndrome: Do you know how much you’re costing the state?
This is making the rounds on Twitter today, to the horror of many a conservative.

NHS: The Gift that keeps on taking
Britain’s Much Vaunted National Health System has long been touted as the quintessential model of government-run, single-payer health “care.” Today we offer two more shining examples of how that’s working out.

 

War & Terror

 

China’s Military Is Getting Stronger and Could ‘Leapfrog’ over America
China’s military modernization remains a key concern for the US and its allies. Crucial in that regard has been China’s development of forces geared towards preventing uncontested access to its air and maritime approaches by potential adversaries. Such “anti-access and area denial” (A2AD) capabilities are designed either to prevent an adversary’s access to a particular region (anti-access) or to contest its freedom of movement within that theater (area denial).

Port Authority explosion: Suspect ID’d in ‘attempted terrorist attack’
A Bangladeshi man reportedly inspired by ISIS set off a pipe bomb inside New York’s Port Authority bus terminal during rush hour Monday morning, sowing mass chaos but causing few injuries — likely because the “attempted terrorist” detonated his “low-tech device” prematurely.

The U.S. Army Had a Special ‘Suicide Squad’ Ready to Strike Russian Forces
Had the Cold War turned hot, there would have been no escape for the U.S. garrison in West Berlin. Marooned in a city more than 100 miles inside Communist East Germany, the U.S. Berlin Brigade—and the British and French garrisons as well—would certainly have been overwhelmed by Soviet and East German troops. Their presence helped keep half of Berlin free from Communist rule. But it was no secret that theirs was a suicide mission.

China, Taiwan spar over Chinese diplomat’s invasion threat
A threat by a senior Chinese diplomat to invade Taiwan the instant any U.S. warship visits the self-ruled island has sparked a war of words, with Taipei accusing Beijing of failing to understand what democracy means.

Rebuilding the Military Comes With a Price Tag. But the Price of Waiting Is Higher.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will cost an additional $295 billion over the next four years to execute President Donald Trump’s plans to rebuild the military.

Report: 44,000 “unknown” military personnel stationed around the world
The U. S. military has more than 44,000 troops across the globe that the Pentagon claims it cannot track, according to a recent report.

German City Cancels Hanukkah Festivities Due to “Security Concerns”
“Widespread antisemitism among Arab refugees in Germany,” claims a new study by American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Intelligence Leaks Reveal Erdogan Regime Arming Criminal Turkish Gangs in Germany
An explosive report has revealed that close associates of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and officials of his AKP Party are funding and arming criminal gangs in Germany. This information reportedly was leaked by German intelligence to several media outlets, which subsequently published the allegations.

This Sputnik Moment Larry Diamond
As authoritarian states like China double down on strategic investments and project their “sharp power” abroad, the United States may finally be reaching a new Sputnik moment.

 

National

 

Go, Joe: Sheriff Arpaio eyes Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat
Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the law enforcer who raised the hackles, to put it mildly, of the Eric Holder-esque social justice crowd, announced in an interview with The Daily Beast that he’s seriously considering a run at Jeff Flake’s Senate seat.

Roy Moore sits down for interview with 12-year-old girl
Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore recently sat down for an interview with a 12-year-old girl in a meeting arranged by a pro-Trump political action committee.

Las Vegas judge hints at mistrial in Bunkerville standoff case
A federal judge in Las Vegas raised the prospect of a mistrial Monday for four main defendants, including Cliven Bundy, in the Bunkerville standoff case.

National Republican group funded attempt to recall Farley
A national Republican group bankrolled campaigns to recall three Nevada state senators.

Top Dem In Tennessee Senate Race Probably Won’t Be For Much Longer
Top Democratic Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen’s gubernatorial administration was investigated for concealing details of sexual harassment allegations against high ranking political appointees

Prof: Academic rigor reinforces ‘power and privilege’
A Purdue University engineering professor recently lamented the emphasis on academic “rigor,” calling it a “dirty deed” that upholds “white male heterosexual privilege.”

Did Elizabeth Warren Just Call Her Fellow Senator a Slut?
On Tuesday morning, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) defended her fellow senator, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y), from President Trump. In doing so, however, she used a term that should raise quite a few eyebrows.

Franken’s Replacement To Be Announced On Wednesday–Reminder: He Still Hasn’t Officially Quit
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) will officially announce on Wednesday who he has picked to replace Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) who resigned (kind of) last week.

Famed restaurateur allegedly has “rape room” in trendy NYC eatery
The owner of one of the city’s most famous celeb hangouts, the Spotted Pig, has been accused of routinely groping female employees and demanding sex and nude photos from them – while allowing his buddies to molest them too, a new report says.

Rep. Chabot to Deputy AG Rosenstein: Nine members of Mueller’s team made campaign donations to Democrats
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is answering questions in Congress this morning. In the light of the clearly partisan views of Peter Strzok, which Ed wrote about this morning, Republicans are looking to question the partisanship of the team assembled by Special Counsel Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the election. Republican Rep. Steve Chabot spent most of his five minutes running down a list of political donations made by members of Mueller’s team.

Alabama Republican Sen. Shelby: I’m “Relieved” Moore Lost
Alabama’s own Republican Senator Richard Shelby confessed that he’s as “relieved” as many other Republicans are about Roy Moore’s loss on Tuesday night.

FBI reviewing claims that university violated abortion laws
The FBI recently began reviewing allegations that the University of New Mexico illegally procured fetuses from a local abortion clinic to conduct medical research, but could not confirm whether it has opened an official “investigation.”

Christian students claim school told them to ‘revise’ beliefs
A Christian student group has filed a lawsuit against the University of Iowa, alleging that the school tried to make it “revise” its Statement of Faith before reinstating its official status.

Forget Intersectionality: At UCSB, feminist and LGBTQ factions at war
LGBTQ leaders accuse women and gender studies officials of “perpetuating violence” and “white supremacy”

SJW Comics Writer Fired after Turning G.I. Joe Character into an Overweight Lesbian
Comicsgate continues to rage after IDW comic book writer Aubrey Sitterson lost his job because he turned G.I. Joe into a leftist fantasy, full of gay identity politics. Sitterson reimagined the beloved male character Salvo as an overweight lesbian. Here’s what Salvo looked like before Sitterson monkeyed with him.

DC buses can ban “religious” Christmas ads, judge rules
A federal court has ruled against the Archdiocese of Washington, DC (ADW) in its quest to display Christmas ads on the city’s Transit Authority buses.

GOP Congressman: ‘Disheveled Drunk’ Bannon Hurting Politics with ‘Weird, Alt-Right Views’
In the wake of Roy Moore’s loss to Democrat Doug Jones, a New York congressman lashed out at former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon this morning as looking like a “disheveled drunk” who’s blowing elections for the GOP.

Gowdy Grills Deputy Attorney General Over Conflict of Interests in Mueller Investigation
“Those who are supposed to make sure there are no conflicts of interest seem to have a few of their own.”

Nevada awards $2.7M to Las Vegas police for rape kit testing
Nevada is awarding $2.7 million to Las Vegas police to continue to pay for testing a backlog of thousands of sexual assault evidence kits, including some that went untested for up to 30 years.

Prostitution Ad Ban Creeps Forward, Threatening Social Media and Sex Workers
The bill would gut Section 230 and make sex advertising a federal crime.

L.A.’s “Solution” to Affordable Housing Scarcity is a Circular Firing Squad
There’s an old Lakotah saying about daylight savings time: Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.

Oh my: Rumors on the Hill that Paul Ryan might quit as Speaker
No, no, this isn’t related to Pervnado. Good lord, at least I hope not. Can you imagine the disillusionment if our boy-scout Speaker of the House got taken down for whipping it out or grabbing asses at the office, or worse? It’d be like finding out Tom Hanks was part of some Weinstein-run child-trafficking ring. We need a few Jimmy Stewart types left to run things as the rest of America’s powerful men drown in sleaze.

Speaker Paul Ryan shoots down reports of retirement plans
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan shot down reports Thursday that he plans to retire from Congress, with his spokeswoman saying he’s not going anywhere “soon” and the White House saying President Trump begged him stay another seven years.

Meet Some Calif. Prop 57 Early Release Inmates
We extensively chronicled how the Prop 57 campaign was sold on the lie that only “non-violent” criminals would be released early from their lawfully imposed state prison terms. The decision on who gets the early release is now in the hands of the Board of Parole, whose release decisions show an appalling disregard of fact and reality.

Shelter dogs could go vegan in Los Angeles
Los Angeles may soon be home to a lot more vegan dogs.

University memo: wrapped gifts, Santa, Christmas trees “not appropriate”
Memo points readers to “Bias Incident Website” to lodge complaints

Minnesota Is Next Year’s Biggest Election Battleground
Assuming Al Franken resigns from the Senate, Minnesota is going to have two Senate elections next year. The state will also be electing a new governor, since incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton is not running again. Minnesota hasn’t had simultaneous elections for these three offices since 1978.

Commissioner Suggests U.N. Send Troops To Fight “Quiet Genocide” Of Gun Violence In Chicago
Some politicians in the past have recommended deploying the National Guard to help Chicago quell gun violence, but Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin went even further on Thursday, suggesting the United Nations perhaps send in peacekeepers in the face of what he called a “quiet genocide.”

Half of Americans approve of banning Nazi speech on campus, with definition of “Nazi” expanding
Nearly half of Americans support banning Nazis and white supremacists from speaking on college campuses, a poll shows, but higher education critics warn that such a move would be imprudent and legally dubious.

Wisconsin tattoo company helps trafficking survivors cover brands
A Kenosha, Wisconsin tattoo shop owner has dedicated himself to helping victims of human trafficking. Free of charge, the Kenosha Tattoo Company covers up human trafficking tattoos for victims. It’s their way of standing up against an issue affecting the whole nation.

Director: Weinsteins prevented me from casting Mira Sorvino in “Bad Santa”
The director of “Bad Santa” revealed on Friday that he was prevented from hiring Mira Sorvino by Harvey Weinstein – amid accusations the disgraced studio head launched a smear campaign against the actress.

Kihuen, accused of sexual harassment, says he won’t seek re-election
Rep. Ruben Kihuen said Saturday he would not seek re-election following accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior with women.

California to bring back net neutrality… but only for California
Now that net neutrality has ended and the internet’s been shut down, hordes of confused peasants roam America’s formerly bustling highways on foot, trudging along as they stare forlornly at their now-useless mobile devices which used to connect them to the rest of the world.

 

Economy & Taxes

 

Errors and Reconciliation: The GOP Has a Lot to Do to Pass the Tax Bill by Christmas
Errors, unpopularity, and disagreements between the chambers.

How Trump Won and Moore Lost
What happened in Alabama last night bore some resemblance to what most political operatives in both parties, and most political journalists, expected to happen in the 2016 election: The Republican candidate would offend and repulse voters in both parties, leading to high Democratic turnout and leading Republicans to vote for the Democrat, stay home, vote third party, or write someone in.

Senate, House GOP Claim They Have a Tax Bill Deal
The bill may end up on Trump’s desk next week.

Trump, gold scissors in hand, cuts red tape at White House
Wielding a pair of gold scissors, President Donald Trump on Thursday literally cut a strip of red tape, a move intended to symbolize his administration’s effort to slash regulations on businesses.

Tax Reform Bill Would Give Back Alaskans Control of Their Energy Future
In a compromise tax reform package, Senate and House negotiators have agreed to include language to open Alaska’s coastal plain for energy exploration and production.

 

International

 

Macron has answers, but not for France
Emmanuel Macron, who became president of France because a scandal effectively took down the front-running candidate, fancies himself the leader of the free world. This week he will host a climate summit. Last week he chastised President Trump for his decision to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Last month, he mediated a dispute over Lebanon.

Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro bans opposition parties from election
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced Sunday that leading opposition parties will be barred from taking part in next year’s presidential vote after they boycotted mayoral polls, in a move set to further consolidate his grip on power.

Malmö was the canary in the coal mine warning of European Islamist anti-Semitism
The canary has died.

Liberals win 3 of 4 federal byelections, nab seat from Tories in B.C.
Conservatives keep 1 seat in byelections held across country Monday night

German police are told they have no chance
The Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) reported 36,755 attacks against German police in 2016 – or an average of 100 per day, a significant increase over previous years.

North Korean defector describes forced abortion, said bodies fed to dogs in prison
United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held a meeting on the human rights situation in North Korea where one defector spoke about how she was forced to have an abortion following her repatriation from China.

Venezuela’s Ruling Socialists Sweep Mayoral Races Amid Opposition Boycott
The ruling party of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has won more than 90 percent of the country’s mayoral races, after the opposition boycotted the election. Maduro said parties that sat out Sunday’s vote will be barred from next year’s presidential election.

Cologne distributes wristbands against sexual violence
Many of the images and headlines from the Cologne New Year’s Eve 2015 are still in the memory when hundreds of women on the station forecourt of nearly 1,000 African immigrants massively sexually forced. Since then, such incidents have not been repeated, city and police have since strengthened the security arrangements for New Year’s Eve. For this year, a campaign has been launched in the course of the security concept, which, however, ensures a lot of malice: every visitor receives a wristlet as a sign of mutual respect.

Feminist kicked out of Labour Christmas party because her views on transgender rights ‘made guests feel unsafe’
Venice Allan, 42, accused the Labour Party of ‘an appalling, Orwellian betrayal’

The bill sent to terror victim’s family instead of condolences
A YEAR after a truck mowed down a crowd at a Berlin Christmas market and killed 12, relatives of the dead received this in the mail.

French Kids May Soon Be Able to Have Sex 3 Years Before They Can Join Facebook
France is considering a new law that would require all children under the age of 16 to get parental approval to open a social media account.

Sweden and the Politics of Denial
Sweden is deservedly notorious for its åsiktskorridor-its “opinion corridor”. Breaking outside its still narrow (if buckling) confines is frowned upon (and more) by the “respectable” political and media class.

German protest over Nazi toy soldiers on Amazon
A German father is campaigning online to stop Lego-style toy Nazi soldiers being sold on Amazon.

Scientists Say Japanese Monkeys Are Having ‘Sexual Interactions’ With Deer
Adolescent female monkeys in Japan have repeatedly engaged in sexual behaviors with sika deer, for reasons that are not yet clear, according to researchers who study macaque behavior.

 

Opinion

 

Why I Don’t Think Keaton Jones’ Mom Should Have Posted Video Of Him Talking About Being Bullied
Over the weekend, Keaton Jones’ story went viral. Keaton is a middle school student who was viciously bullied at his school by other children for the crime of having a scar on his head thanks to a tumor removal. His mother, Kimberly, wrote this on Facebook.

NYC Terror: Why Bill de Blasio and Linda Sarsour share responsibility
Today we saw another terrorist attack in New York City, I’m going to tell you why I place partial blame for this one on far-left Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio and his radical Muslim activist pal, Linda Sarsour.

Is Objectum Sexual (OS) the Next Set of Letters in the LGBTQWTF Acronym?
Recently, we all learned about new sexual identities like “two spirit” and “questioning” when a teacher’s group in Canada reeducated us about the latest victim groups that need attention. Right on cue, a new sexual orientation has leapt onto the scene. “Objectum sexual” describes people who are sexually attracted to inanimate objects like cars or statues. Amanda Liberty is one such person whose attraction for hanging chandeliers cannot be suppressed.

CCSD should drop push for new transgender policy
Under the guise of creating a “safe and respectful learning environment,” the Clark County School District is willing to sacrifice both.

Welcome Californians: Please leave your politics at the state line
The Californians are coming. The Californians are coming.

Free Speech In The Custodial State
A point I’m fond of making is that without freedom of association, you cannot have any other liberties. You can have the appearance of choice, like when you stand in the breakfast cereal aisle at the grocery store, but you can never have real choices. The state not only puts you in that supermarket, they put you in the aisle, along with a bunch of other people. In order to prevent a riot from breaking out, the state must supervise your speech, your actions and make sure you focus on picking from the options on the shelves.

In the Pronoun Wars, Be Thankful for the Founding Fathers
It is sometimes astounding the kind of foresight the Founding Fathers had in protecting future generations from tyranny.

Socialist Tumblrina Witches
Sara is a 19-year-old bisexual socialist witch who likes cats and attends college somewhere in New England. She posts a lot of selfies, including pictures of herself dressed as Hecate, pagan goddess of death. Like every other pouty teenage Goth girl with a Tumblr blog, Sara fancies herself a writer and self-published a science fiction novel in 2014. So . . .

Steve Bannon’s Big Loss in Alabama
The big loser in Tuesday’s Alabama’s special Senate election was not the Republican Party. They had already lost weeks ago, the moment the Washington Post wrote their (carefully vetted, in this instance) exposé of the thirty-year-old sexual proclivities of Judge Roy Moore.

Is Steve Bannon to blame for Roy Moore?
Not really, no, but Bannon inspires fear and loathing in so many Republicans that the entirety of the non-Breitbart universe is dunking on him savagely this morning. Matt Drudge!

How “goofy” can P.C. language get? Why it’s time to reclaim forbidden words
A funny, albeit disturbing, piece in the Daily Mail outlining the most unbelievable examples of leftist new-speak recently caught my attention.

Blame Voters
The kid gloves come off.

Twenty Steps to Last Night’s GOP Disaster
Twenty steps to GOP disaster last night. Follow the bouncing ball

Tumblrina “Intersectionality”
Excuse me for returning to this bottomless well of feminist insanity, but here’s a Tumblr post that went viral last week.

Tumblrina Hot Take
Political commentary from a 27-year-old feminist.

Was There an Agency Under Obama That WASN’T Politically Weaponized?
Friday morning on Twitter, notable free-market champion Phil Kerpen shared a chart from a November 2017 Forbes article showing just how much the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) flubbed the numbers related to how many people they projected would sign up for Obamacare. We’ve known for a while the assumption that Obamacare, with it’s ridiculous premiums, would actually draw record enrollments was, at best, optimistic (at worst, an outright fabrication).

California middle class look for a winning hand in Las Vegas
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Apparently, this is true of Californians, as well: If they happen to be in Vegas, there’s a good chance they’re going to be staying there.

The Sexual Harassment Apocalypse
Remember “Mattress Girl”? In 2014, Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz became a feminist heroine for her performance-art project dramatizing what she claimed was rape, but what her ex-boyfriend Paul Nungesser said was a consensual hook-up. Neither the police nor university officials believed there was a case against Nungesser, but feminists insisted that anyone who doubted Sulkowicz’s claim was a “rape apologist.” At the time, the media applauded Sulkowicz and amplified the feminist chorus proclaiming their belief that “women never lie about rape,” so that the rights of due-process for male students could be disregarded as a matter of policy implemented by the Obama administration pursuant to the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter.

Judicial confirmation hearings, then and now
John wrote today about Matthew Petersen, President Trump’s nominee for a federal district judgeship. Petersen is a substantial guy, as John shows, and he was rated “qualified” to serve as district court judge by the American Bar Association.

It’s for keeps
The trouble with relying on metaphors and historical parallels as a guide to analyzing a recent event lies in figuring out which one to use. It is particularly hard to find the right fit in the case of Roy Moore’s loss to Doug Jones in Alabama. What lessons can be learned from it?

Romanticizing the Hunter-Gatherer
In 1966, at the “Man the Hunter” symposium held at the University of Chicago, anthropologist Richard B. Lee presented a paper that would radically rewrite how academics and the public at large interpret life in hunter-gatherer societies.

This pattern is not a pattern…
Last week we heard news of yet another arrest. Yet another planned target. And yet another Islam-inspired terrorist plot.

Pre-K proponents rely on decades old study of child at risk of “retarded intellectual functioning”
Nevada education advocates have long included universal pre-kindergarten on their expensive wish list. But the evidence that pre-K will set children on a path toward academic success is so weak that advocates routinely cite a 55-year-old study of 123 Michigan children.

Recalls of Woodhouse, Cannizzaro rest on judge upholding “plain language” of constitution
If judges are willing to ignore the “plain language” of the constitution, efforts to recall sitting state senators are dead.

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