2/17/2020

"Survivors of Church Shootings Run as Gun-Rights Candidates: Three men in Texas are seeking public office in March’s Republican primaries"

Stephen Willeford who stopped the 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs Church shooting.
Pastor Frank Pomeroy, who lost his teenage daughter, in the Sutherland Springs Church shooting.
Jack Wilson who stopped the West Freeway Church of Christ shooting near Fort Worth.

All three are Republicans. They are following in the footsteps of Suzanna Hupp, who served in the Texas state House.
In Colorado, the state House minority leader, Patrick Neville, was a student at the Columbine High School attack.

Here is a Wall Street Journal article on the top three and a long list of Democrats who have run for public office after these types of attacks.

2/15/2020

A TV show that puts private companies in a good light?

From Fox News:
Is your child's favorite TV show propaganda? Kings College professor Liam Kennedy says his 2-year-old son isn't allowed to watch the popular show "Paw Patrol" because of what he sees as the show's harmful underlying messages. 
Created in 2013, "Paw Patrol" is an animated series about a group of do-good dogs and a 10-year-old boy named Ryder who rescue various people in tricky situations. But when the Canadian educator watched hours of the show during research for the journal "Crime Media Culture," that's not all he saw. 
Kennedy published a paper on the subject titled "'Whenever there's trouble. Just yelp for help': Crime, Conservation and Corporatization in Paw Patrol." In an interviewwith London Morning's Rebecca Zandbergen, Kennedy said the depiction of the state and local government officials like Mayor Humdinger and Mayor Goodway are "portrayed negatively." . . . 
In addition, Kennedy takes issue with the "Paw Patrol" organization as a "private corporation" acting as a stand-in for a government-funded police force. . . .

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Is it fair that high school girls have to compete against boys?: Conn. high school girls file lawsuit arguing that allowing transgender athletes to compete is sex discrimination

From Fox News:
Three female high school athletes in Connecticut, along with their families, filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to prevent transgender athletes from competing in girls track and field meets, arguing that biologically male athletes have a physical advantage. 
Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School; Chelsea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School; and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School, announced the lawsuit in a press conference on the steps of the state capitol in Hartford, the Washington Post reported.  
“Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win, fair and square,” Mitchell said. “All we’re asking for is a fair chance.” 
The three are arguing that competing against biologically male athletes has denied them the chance to win medals and achieve scholarship opportunities. . . .

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2/09/2020

Comparing Coronavirus to SARS

The Coronavirus has surpassed SARS in terms of the total number of deaths, and it is spreading much more rapidly than SARS. This graph is out of date, as there are now over 34,800 cases of the Coronavirus as of February 8th, 2020. The Coronavirus seems to still be accelerating.



2/02/2020

Washington Post: "Sex Suit Could Be Problem for Bloomberg"

Among the allegations in the 2007 Washington Post story about Michael Bloomberg:
_Bloomberg asked the woman who sued if she was giving her boyfriend "good" oral sex.
_He said "I'd like to do that" and "That's a great piece of a--" to describe women in the office.
_When he found out the woman was pregnant, he told her "Kill it!" and said "Great! Number 16!" _ an apparent reference to the number of women in the company who were pregnant or had maternity-related status. . . .
The individual also said Garrison had a tape of Bloomberg leaving a message on her home answering machine, saying he had heard she was upset about the pregnancy and maternity comment and adding: "I didn't say it, but if I said it I didn't mean it." . . .
A less-restrained Bloomberg was also portrayed in a book of quips, quotes and anecdotes attributed to him and put together by employees for a birthday present in 1990. It contains such statements as: "If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they'd go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale's." . . .
A former longtime Bloomberg employee who was familiar with the book confirmed the authenticity of the quotes to the AP and said Bloomberg regularly made similar offensive remarks. The person spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that Bloomberg would retaliate. . . . .
Will Democrats demand that Bloomberg release his employees from their confidentiality agreements?

Here is the view of Bloomberg from a liberal perspective in the Atlantic. 

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Michael Bloomberg's proposal for a $5 trillion increase in taxes


Higher taxes on individuals and corporations are the highlights of Michael Bloomberg's tax plan. It is pretty clear that his tax proposals won't generate the tax revenue that Bloomberg claims for the simple reason that the proposals assume that as tax rates go up they won't alter people's behavior. The one part of the Trump tax reform that Bloomberg won't reverse is the $10,000 cap on state and local deductions because reversing that would lower tax burdens for some people.

From the Wall Street Journal, here are the main points:
-- raise the top tax rate to 44.6% for income, the next highest rate would be 39.6% up from 37%.-- Corporations would pay a 28% tax rate, up from the current 21% rate -- would tax capital gains and ordinary income at that same rate for the top taxpayers-- his top income-tax rates on individuals would be higher than those proposed by former Vice President Joe Biden-- Unlike Mr. Biden, he would not repeal the $10,000 cap on state and local deductions because the benefits of that change would flow mostly to high-income people, according to the campaign.-- The plan released Saturday doesn’t address changes to Social Security taxes or the carbon taxes that Mr. Bloomberg favors.

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2/01/2020

How come New Yorkers aren't supporting Michael Bloomberg for President?

Here are the latest estimated odds of which Democrat will win the New York Presidential primary from Predictit.



But despite massive campaign expenditures, Bloomberg is still not ahead in any of the states.

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When the left is attacking Mark Zuckerberg for being too friendly with Trump, you at least know that Facebook won't be quite as pro-Democrat

In an op-ed, George Soros claims that Facebook got Trump elected in 2016 because it didn't censor what he claims was incorrect news. He also claims that FB is trying to help out out Trump again.
More recently, direct contact between the two men has raised serious questions. Mr. Zuckerberg met with Mr. Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 19, 2019. We don’t know what was said. But from an interview on the sidelines at the World Economic Forum on Jan. 22, we do know what Mr. Trump said about the meeting: Mr. Zuckerberg “told me that I’m No. 1 in the world in Facebook.” Mr. Trump apparently had no problem with Facebook’s decision not to fact-check political ads. “I’d rather have him just do whatever he is going to do,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Zuckerberg. “He’s done a hell of a job, when you think of it.” 
The president’s 2016 campaign mounted a robust data-centric communications effort and has continued to build on that program over the past few years, using Facebook as a key part of their strategy. 
Facebook’s decision not to require fact-checking for political candidates’ advertising in 2020 has flung open the door for false, manipulated, extreme and incendiary statements. Such content is rewarded with prime placement and promotion if it meets Facebook-designed algorithmic standards for popularity and engagement. . . .  
I expressed my fear that with Facebook’s help, Mr. Trump will win the 2020 election. The recent hiring of a right-wing figure to help manage its news tab has reinforced those fears. . . . 


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DNC changes rules so that Michael Bloomberg can enter Democrat debates

How come the DNC has changed the rules to help Bloomberg but not to help other candidates? Not everyone is pleased by the double standard. From Politico:
“Now, suddenly because Mr. Bloomberg couldn’t satisfy one of the prongs, we see it get changed?” Weaver said. “That’s the definition of a rigged system where the rich can buy their way in.” . . . 
Steyer — like Bloomberg, a billionaire — has also been accused of buying his spot on the debate stage, having spent well over $150 million of his own money to fuel his bid, including spending eight figures to solicit donations from enough individuals to qualify. But Steyer and Bloomberg are taking two very different paths to trying to secure the nomination: Steyer is competing extensively in the four early states, while Bloomberg is skipping them entirely to focus on Super Tuesday and beyond. 
Steyer, like Weaver, the Sanders' adviser, accused the DNC of changing the criteria to benefit Bloomberg. "Back in December, I called on the DNC to open up the debate requirements so that more candidates, including candidates of color, would be able to participate, he said. “Instead, they are changing the rules for a candidate who is ignoring early states voters and grassroots donors.” . . .
Michael Moore has gotten quite vexed about this.
"They removed it so that [Bloomberg] could be in the next debate," Moore said about the donor requirement. "...He can just buy his way onto the debate stage!" 
Billionaire Tom Steyer had to spend dollars convincing ppl to donate to his campaign, but not Bloomberg.

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1/31/2020

Truly massive campaign spending by Michael Bloomberg


From Politico:
Michael Bloomberg’s big-spending, shock-and-awe TV ad campaign has made politicking more expensive for everyone from his 2020 rivals to Senate, House and state legislative candidates around the country. 
Eight weeks into his presidential campaign, Bloomberg has already spent more money on advertising — $248 million — than most candidates could spend in years. That amount has squeezed TV ad inventory in nearly every state, lowering supply and causing stations to raise ad prices at a time of high demand, as candidates around the country gear up for their primaries. . . . 
Bloomberg’s ad onslaught comes with benefits to Democrats around the country, too: His ads have pushed issues that are critical to the party, like health care and climate change, and he has attacked President Donald Trump relentlessly in key swing states where Democrats might not have aired ads for months, softening up the Republican incumbent before the 2020 election. . . .
And $100 million has been spent just on attack ads against Trump. Of course, with all of Drudge's attacks on Trump, this shows how close Drudge is to the Bloomberg campaign.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg has already dropped a fortune in support of his 2020 presidential bid — including, reportedly, $10 million for ad time during Sunday’s Super Bowl. Now, the exact figures are coming to light. And they are staggering. . . . 
Drudge, reporting through a Bloomberg campaign source, says the campaign has spent in excess of $25 million on digital ads, and has topped $85 million in TV buys. 
The Bloomberg source called the massive spending a “down payment” on the former mayor’s effort to take down Trump in November. . . . 
All this is on top of the $60 million that Bloomberg's Everytown will spend pushing gun control issues. It is nearly double the $36 million that the NRA spent in 2016, but it ignores the fact that Bloomberg funneled even much more money through other liberal groups (environmental, abortion, and other similar groups).

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1/28/2020

Bloomberg compares the US to Nazi Germany

https://twitter.com/MikeBloomberg/status/1221881826945441794

1/18/2020

Democrats turn on Facebook and Zuckerberg

CNN is making it clear that its Democrat allies hate Facebook.
Facebook has also faced mounting scrutiny on both sides of the political aisle — but especially from Democrats — over what is seen by lawmakers as its market dominance as well as the perception, expressed in an interview published this week with Democratic presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg, that Zuckerberg has too much power.  
Facebook's refusal to remove a doctored video of Pelosi last May clearly irked Democrats, including Clinton, who called the video "sexist trash" and suggested the argument for taking it down "wasn't even a close call." 
But what really hit a nerve with Democrats more recently was Facebook's insistence last September that it would not fact-check ads from politicians — a policy many Democrats saw as beneficial to Trump's reelection campaign.  
Facebook, the Democratic National Committee said, was allowing Trump "to mislead the American people on their platform unimpeded." 
Sen. Elizabeth Warren ran a deliberately false ad to highlight what Democrats saw as the ludicrousness of the policy. The false ad claimed Zuckerberg had endorsed Trump's reelection campaign. 
When Biden's campaign demanded Facebook remove a false ad from the Trump campaign accusing Biden of corruption of his role in Ukraine policy during the Obama administration, Facebook refused. 
"Our approach is grounded in Facebook's fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process, and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is," Katie Harbath, Facebook's head of global elections policy wrote in response last October. . . . 
But Facebook often appears to be the Democrats' favored target — even as leading Democratic candidates for president continue to sink money into the platform for their campaigns. . . .

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10/15/2019

At Townhall: Felons Voting While In Prison In D.C.

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at Townhall on the push in Washington, DC to let felons vote while they are still serving their sentence in prison. The piece starts this way:
Washington, D.C.’s council seems posed to let felons vote while they are still serving their sentences in prison. Surely, that has the benefit of ensuring that these individuals turn out to vote. But one claim made to push the change, that felon disenfranchisement is racist, is absurd. 
Many states have had that rule as long as they have been states, and places such as Vermont in 1793 or later in North and South Dakota can hardly be claimed to have adopted these rules because of concerns about black voters.
Democrats used to argue that once felons had served their time, they had paid their debt to society and should be able to vote. Now, after Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) earlier this year argued for felons to vote while they are in prison, even for those who have committed the most horrible crimes, other Democrats have picked up the cause. 
Other than racism, there is a more straightforward explanation for this prohibition. We learn about murderers and rapists in terms of how they care about their fellow citizens in other ways. The Boston Marathon bomber killed three people and wounded 260 others. How will someone willing to take many lives and maimed or disfigured for life many others vote on issues from law enforcement to health care policy? How will they vote on issues that depend on compassion?
Why is it in the interests of women that rapists should have a say in deciding who will win elections? Sexual offenders aren’t going to support women’s safety and health issues or education the way that other citizens will. Criminals probably shouldn’t be deciding what the laws should be or how they should be enforced.
The rest of the piece is available here.

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Peter Navarro quoted Character He Invented in His Books

From the Daily Beast:
Economist and Assistant to the President Peter Navarro has admitted to quoting a fictional character he made up and named after an anagram of his last name, The Chronicle Review reports. Tessa Morris-Suzuki, emeritus professor at the Australian National University, was reportedly working on an essay involving Navarro's books when she noticed an oft-quoted man named Ron Vara—a rich military veteran and Harvard-trained economist who studied utilities regulation. None of Morris-Suzuki's Harvard contacts had any record of a Ron Vara, but Ron Vara's name suspiciously shared letters with Navarro's last name. Both Vara and Navarro also reportedly studied utilities regulation in their real and fictional bouts in higher education. 
In a statement, Navarro fessed up to Vara being fictional and called the character a “whimsical device and pen name I’ve used throughout the years for opinions and purely entertainment value, not as a source of fact.” He also likened his use of Vara in his own works to director “Alfred Hitchcock appearing briefly in cameo in his movies,” and said it was an “inside joke that has been hiding in plain sight for years.” One of Navarro's co-authors, Columbia professor Glenn Hubbard, said he did not know Vara was a fictional individual and said he was not okay with Vara being in the book that he and Navarro wrote. . . .

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6/22/2019

Google Chrome: the new "surveillance software"

Geoffrey Fowler has some pretty scary info on how Google's Chrome spies on you.
Over a recent week of web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad and data companies ride shotgun while I clicked around the web. 
This was made possible by the web’s biggest snoop of all: Google. Seen from the inside, its Chrome browser looks a lot like surveillance software. . . . 
My tests of Chrome versus Firefox unearthed a personal data caper of absurd proportions. In a week of web surfing on my desktop, I discovered 11,189 requests for tracker “cookies” that Chrome would have ushered right onto my computer, but were automatically blocked by Firefox. These little files are the hooks that data firms, including Google itself, use to follow what websites you visit so they can build profiles of your interests, income and personality. . . . 
Chrome is even sneakier on your phone. If you use Android, Chrome sends Google your location every time you conduct a search. (If you turn off location sharing it still sends your coordinates out, just with less accuracy.) . . .

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6/09/2019

"WeChat and the Surveillance State," 1984 in China

BBC reporter discusses his experience when he posts pictures of the protests commemorating Tiananmen Square in Hong Kong on WeChat.
I was in Hong Kong to cover the enormous candlelight vigil marking 30 years since the People's Liberation Army was ordered to open fire on its own people to remove the mostly student protesters who'd been gathering in and around Tiananmen Square for months in June 1989.  
This moment in history has been all but erased from public discourse on mainland China but in Hong Kong, with its special status in the Chinese-speaking world, people turn out every year to remember the bloody crackdown.
This time round the crowd was particularly huge, with estimates ranging up to 180,000. . . .
After he posted the pictures on WeChat and started answering questions from Chinese who had never heard of Tiananmen Square, he was blocked from using WeChat.
It seems posting photos of an actual event taking place, without commentary, amounts to "spreading malicious rumours" in China. 
I was given time to try and log in again the next day after my penalty had been served.
When I did I had to push "agree and unblock" under the stated reason of "spread malicious rumours". 
So this rumour-monger clicked on "agree". 
Then came a stage I was not prepared for. "Faceprint is required for security purposes," it said. 
I was instructed to hold my phone up - to "face front camera straight on" - looking directly at the image of a human head. Then told to "Read numbers aloud in Mandarin Chinese". . . .

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6/06/2019

Mueller Report Commits fraud, alters quote from Trump lawyer John Dowd to make it look like he was pressuring witness

Apparently, we were just lucky that a judge decided to look at the underlying information himself. It raises questions of how many other times this type of fraud has occurred. From Fox News:
Former Trump lawyer John Dowd on Monday slammed the Mueller report as a "fraud," for allegedly mispresenting a quote he had said in a key voicemail. 
Dowd said there will likely be more discrepancies in the future stemming from the report. 

“Isn’t it ironic that this man [Mueller], who kept indicting and prosecuting people for process crimes, committed a false statement in his own report,” Dowd said. 
U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes called for the release of “all backup and source information” for the Mueller report on Friday after a newly released transcript of a former Trump lawyer's 2017 voicemail message included content that did not appear in a version that was part of the special counsel's Russia investigation findings. 
Nunes, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, was reacting to the release of a voicemail message that John Dowd, a former lawyer for President Trump, had left for a lawyer representing former national security adviser Michael Flynn, in which Dowd asks for a “heads up” if Flynn planned to say anything damaging about Trump to Mueller’s team. 
Nunes retweeted a side-by-side comparison of the Dowd transcript text and the Mueller report text, suggesting that the Mueller report did not disclose the full Dowd message. The Mueller report had redacted the part of the voicemail where Dowd said he wanted the heads up “not only for the president but for the country” and that he wasn’t asking for “any confidential information.” 
Alan Dershowitz claimed on "Hannity" Monday night that the quotation was "distorted." . . .

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