Thursday, January 18, 2018

By Weekly Standard, Jan. 17, 2018

On Tuesday night, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker seemed rattled. In a special election in the state’s 10th Senate district, Democrat Patty Schachtner beat Republican Adam Jarchow, taking over district that voted for Trump by 17 points in 2016. Walker responded by firing off a series of tweets that called the election a “WAKE UP CALL” and asked his followers to help him “spread the good news” about positive statewide educational and economic numbers. Walker is a savvy politician. He won three consecutive gubernatorial elections in purple Wisconsin while amassing a solidly conservative record on policy. So it’s not hard to imagine that this election – and Walker’s reaction to it–will cause other top Republicans across the country to worry about their prospects in 2018.

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By The Hill, Jan. 17, 2018

CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, said Wednesday that he believes tests reveal that President Trump has heart disease.

Gupta said dating back to 2009, Trump started to have "these tests that are actually looking for the presence of calcium in the blood vessels that lead to the heart."


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By Larry Elder, Jan. 18, 2018

In the era of President Donald Trump, Democrats think presidents should be impeached over policy differences.

In Trump's case, the Democrats accuse him of winning the election by "colluding" with Russia to win. After nearly a year of investigations, there does not appear to be any evidence. Yet many Democrats have already called for impeachment.

In truth, Democrats want this President out because they don't like him or his policies. One of Trump's major campaign promises was to build a "wall" to protect our southern border. Never mind that, in 2006, 26 Democratic senators -- including Hillary Clinton, then-Sen. Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer -- voted for hundreds of miles of barriers and fencing. And every Senate Democrat voted for 2013's Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which again called for hundreds of miles of barriers.

But Trump is "racist" and "xenophobic." Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, calls Trump a "bigot in the White House who incites hatred and hostility," which, says Green, is a "high misdemeanor" that constitutes an impeachable offense.

All right, let's apply the Democrats' new standard for impeachment to President Obama and his decision in 2011 to pull all the troops from Iraq against the advice of his national security team. President George W. Bush warned his successor. Bush turned around the Iraq War with his controversial "surge," a troop increase of about 21,500 in 2007. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, in October 2011, two months before Obama pulled out all the troops in Iraq, said that Bush's 2007 agreement envisioned a negotiation for a stay-behind force: "There was another provision in (Bush's status-of-forces agreement) that's very important, seems to have been ignored, which was that we would also reserve the right to negotiate with the Iraqis on some stay-behind forces. ... They're a new democracy; they're not very well-organized yet. I worry that in the rush for the exit here, that we may in fact make it very difficult for them to succeed."

But then-Sen. Barack Obama, who called the Iraq War "dumb," not only opposed Bush's surge but also predicted it would make things worse: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse. ... So I am going to actively oppose the President's proposal."

But the surge did work. By 2008, the violence subsided to the point where American soldiers, celebrating with Iraqis in Ramadi, were on the streets not even wearing their helmets. War correspondent Dexter Filkins, who had all but given up in Iraq when he was last there just two years earlier, could not believe the improvement: "The progress here is remarkable," said Filkins in 2008. "I came back to Iraq after being away for nearly two years, and honestly, parts of it are difficult for me to recognize. The park out in front of the house where I live -- on the Tigris River -- was a dead, dying, spooky place. It's now filled with people -- families with children, women walking alone, even at night. That was inconceivable in 2006. The Iraqis who are out there walking in the parks were making their own judgments -- that it is safe enough for them to go out for a walk. They're voting with their feet. It's a wonderful thing to see." But Filkins warned that the gains could erode. "It's pretty clear," Filkins said, "that the calm is very fragile. The calm is built on a series of arrangements that are not self-sustaining; indeed, some of which, like the Sunni Awakening, are showing signs of coming apart. So the genie is back in the bottle, but I'm not sure for how long."

Obama, however, pulled out all the troops against the advice given by Obama's CIA chief, his secretary of defense, the United States ambassador to Iraq, his national security adviser, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This commander in chief with no military experience rejected the apparent unanimous advice from his defense team: Leave a stay-behind force or run the risk of terrorists filling the power vacuum.

But Obama did not listen.

As to the Joint Chiefs' opposition to what became known as the "Iraq bug-out," now-retired Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said: "I go back to the work we did in 2007 (through) 2010, and we got into a place that was really good. Violence was low, the economy was growing, politics looked like it was heading in the right direction. ... We thought we had it going exactly in the right direction, but now we watch it fall apart. It's frustrating. ... I think, maybe, if we had stayed a little more engaged, I think maybe it might have prevented it."

If policy disagreement is the new standard for impeachment in the Trump era, wouldn't Obama's Iraq bug-out qualify?


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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By Fox Business, Jan. 16, 2018

High school student RJ Duarte started mowing lawns at eight years old, now he has a full-fledged business that generates well over six-figures.

“As I kept going it turned into more and more and then, you know, like 2012, I brought on a business partner, Owen Johnson,” Duarte told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney


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By Hot Air, Jan. 15, 2018

No one here wrote about it at the time but for a few days in early December the talk of the chatterati was a short story in the New Yorker, “Cat Person” by Kristen Roupenian. Read it if you can spare 10 minutes. (There’s an audio version read by Roupenian at the link too.) Condemning Harvey Weinstein and other degenerates named by #MeToo accusers is easy, as most are accused of behavior ranging from minor sexual assault all the way up to forcible rape. If you force a woman, or a man, to engage in sexual contact against her or his will, you’ve crossed a moral line and have committed a crime. “Cat Person,” however, imagines an encounter where the contact is reluctant but consensual. If you’re a woman out on a date with a man whom you like and then, as things get physical, you start to like him a bit less, how assertive should you be in stopping him?

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By National Review, Jan. 15, 2018

It was inevitable. The #MeToo movement was going to collide directly with all the ambiguity and pain of the college sexual-assault tribunals. We were going to read not about sexual assault but instead about a date gone wrong — where two parties had different perceptions, and all we could really know is that another young woman would feel used and traumatized, and a confused man would find his reputation in tatters because of a sexual encounter that never at any point (to him) had seemed inappropriate or wrong.

In this case, the young woman is known only as “Grace,” and the man is comedian Aziz Ansari, a certified “woke” celebrity, a darling of the progressive movement, and a genuinely funny man. In a long reported piece in a publication called Babe, Grace tells her side of the story. She met Ansari at an Emmy Awards after-party, they texted back and forth for a few days, and he asked her out. They met at his apartment, had a glass of wine, went out to eat, and then came back to his apartment, where the evening rapidly turned intimate:


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By Daily Mail, Jan. 11, 2018

A new undercover video from a group of conservative investigative journalists appears to show Twitter staff and former employees talking about how they censor content they disagree with - and without the user ever knowing.

James O'Keefe, Project Veritas founder, posted a video showing an undercover reporter speaking to Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter software engineer, at a San Francisco restaurant on January 3.


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By Hot Air, Jan. 15, 2018

Here is the basic truth about “free” Internet services: If you’re not paying, you’re not the customer. Project Veritas provides us with yet another reminder of that which we should already know about platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and other Internet providers. Once you post something on them, they last forever — and become commodities for the platform owners:

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By National Review, Jan. 16, 2018

Here are ten thoughts on the president’s alleged use of the word “sh**hole” in describing Haiti, a Central American country, and African countries:

1. There are few filters between President Donald Trump’s mind and mouth. That is his appeal and his weakness. It is very common that a person’s strengths are also weaknesses. I wish Trump’s tweets and comments were as forthright — as un-PC — as they are now but stated in a sophisticated way. I also wish that cheesecake were not fattening. But just as cheesecake comes with sugar, Donald Trump comes with unsophisticated rhetoric. People are packages, not a la carte menus.


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By The Hill, Jan. 14, 2018

Actress Ashley Judd said in a new interview she believes movie mogul Harvey Weinstein ruined her career because she was not afraid to stand up to his sexual advances.

“I was not frightened of Harvey Weinstein and I think that was why he blackballed me,” Judd told host Stephen Sackur on BBC's "Hardtalk."


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By The Hill, Jan. 16, 2018

The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday night slammed what he described as a "gag order by the White House" following testimony from President Trump's former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, before the panel amid its Russia probe.

Bannon refused to answer questions related to his time in the White House and on the transition team during 10 hours of testimony before the panel, according to lawmakers, cabining his responses to his stint on the campaign.


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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

By US News, Jan. 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The death toll from mudslides that devastated parts of California's scenic Santa Barbara County rose to 19 on Saturday amid a massive influx of emergency crews searching for five people still missing.

One missing person was found alive on Saturday but chances were dwindling fast that more survivors could still be located from the torrent of mud and debris that struck on Tuesday, said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown..


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By San Diego Union Tribune, Jan. 14, 2018

El Cajon police officers arrested about a dozen people for feeding the homeless at a city park Sunday afternoon.

The event was organized by a group called Break the Ban, which formed after the El Cajon City Council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance in October prohibiting the distribution of food on any city-owned property.


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By Independent., Jan. 16, 2018

California authorities say they have rescued more than a dozen starving, filthy young people who were chained inside their parents’ home in Perris.

One of the captives, a 17-year-old girl, escaped over the weekend and notified the Riverside Sheriff’s Department that her siblings “were being held captive inside the residence by her parents,” some of them “bound with chains and padlocks,” the Sheriff’s Department said.


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By Show Biz 411, Jan. 15, 2018

We all like Ed Sheeran. He’s a nice guy, lots of fun, and a seemingly serious musician.

So why why why does he have such a bad problem with plagiarism?

His latest involves a song called “The Rest of Our Life,” which he gave to country superstar husband and wife Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The song sounds so much like Jasmine Rae’s 2014 hit “When I Found You” that its Australian writers, Sean Carey and Beau Golden, have filed suit against Sheeran, et al. And yes, the songs are very much alike.


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By Project Veritas, Jan. 15, 2018

(San Francisco) Project Veritas has released undercover footage of Twitter Engineers and employees admitting that Twitter employees view all of your private messages on their servers and analyze it to create a “virtual profile” of you which they sell to advertisers.

The footage features four current Twitter software engineers–Conrado Miranda, Clay Haynes, Pranay Singh, and Mihai Alexandru Florea.

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By Daily Mail, Jan. 15, 2018

A UK supermarket will be the first in the world to remove plastic packaging from all of its own-label products.

Iceland's landmark move puts pressure on its rivals to follow suit amid public demands to turn back the tide of plastic pollution.
The company, which has more than 900 stores, has a five-year plan to ditch plastic from all of its own-brand products.


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