Mr. Punky Kitten
Speaking truth to old-stream media bias.
Thursday, May 26, 2016
This Is How Much Your Health Insurance Payment Is About To Jump By
It's official: years of warnings that Obamacare will lead to dramatic increases in healthcare premiums are about to be validated.
As the WSJ writes, big health plans stung by losses in the first few years of the U.S. health law's implementation are seeking hefty premium increases for individual plans sold through insurance exchanges in more than a dozen states.
To be sure, we have extensively covered the imminent danger of rising healthcare prices as a result of Obamacare's intrusive intervention in the insurance sector; however now that this is about to become mainstream information, we expect consumers to hunker down and save even more in anticipation of what is about to be a shock price increase for millions of middle-class American families.
As the WSJ reports, the insurers' proposed rates for individual coverage in states that have made their 2017 requests public largely bear out health plans' grim predictions about their challenges under the health-care overhaul. According to the insurers' filings with regulators, large plans in states including New York, Pennsylvania and Georgia are seeking to raise rates by 20% or more.
In states such as Florida and Maryland, insurers are seeking to raise premiums by percentage averages that are markedly above 10%. Among those that have published so far, only in Vermont do big insurers' requests fall below 10%. Proposals still have to be approved by state regulators, and a full picture of final approved rates across the entire country likely won't be known until shortly before HealthCare.gov and state equivalents reopen for the law's fourth main enrollment window on Nov. 1.
Nonetheless, the proposed average increases that are available are a vivid indicator this year of how insurers are adapting to the 2010 Affordable Care Act's transformation of the way health coverage is priced and sold in the U.S.
So for all those currently enrolled in healthcare plans administered in the following states, this is how much, on average, your plans will go up by.
The silver lining? Since this effective tax goes straight to "boosting US GDP", we look forward to a year of "above trendling" GDP growth thanks to this forced reallocation of consumers' disposable income into the infamous "healthcare" category.
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
In Today's Layoff News: Microsoft Fires 1,850; Intel Cuts 350; Shell Terminating 2,200
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Facebook Scandal: Free Speech, as long as you are a Liberal
Fakebook: free speech, as long as you're a Liberal!
Media Ignoring a MAJOR Part of the Facebook Scandal
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Friday, May 06, 2016
562,000 Workers Drop Out Of The Labor Force As Participation Rate Resumes Drop
- Prime Aged Workers Tumble By 280K
- Workers 55 And Over Surge To New All Time High
- Full-time jobs -253K [YES, THAT IS A MINUS!]
- 562,000 Workers Drop Out Of The Labor Force As
- Participation Rate Resumes Drop
- -316,000 jobs [YES, THAT IS A MINUS!]
- April Payrolls 160K, Exp. 200K
562,000 Workers Drop Out Of The Labor Force As Participation Rate Resumes Drop
In addition to the poor headline Establishment survey print which rose only 160,000 in April, coupled with a deplorable Household survey employment number which plunged by 316,000 for the month and below levels seen in February, an even more concerning development was the resumption in the deteriorating trend in the US labor force participation rate, which in recent months had been on a steady increase as far fewer workers were dropping out of the workforce (contrary to convention wisdom, this was not driven by new entrants into the labor force).
All that changed today, when the number of Americans not in the labor force soared by a whopping 562,000 in April, pushing the grand total of people not in the labor force back over 94 million and fast approaching the all time high of 94.6 million.
As a result, the participation rate, which recently had climbed to 63% or the highest since early 2014, has once again resumed its downward slope with the April print down to just 62.8% as the poor labor and demographic conditions once again emerge as a key driver within the US workforce.
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Morning Joe Panel LAUGHS UNCONTROLLABLY After Watching Trump Supporter Destroy Lyin’ Ted
On Monday Trump supporters protested Ted Cruz outside an event in Indiana.
The Trump supporters were standing across the street from Ted chanting when Ted decided to go talk with them.
The protesters called Cruz "Lying Ted" to his face – over and over again.
The protesters went on to tell Ted, "It's time to drop out!"
The protester took advantage of Ted's many mid-sentence Shakespearean pauses – scoring hit after hit.
This exchange was hilarious:
Ted Cruz: Sir, America is a better country…
Protester: Without you.
Ted Cruz: Thank you for those kind sentiments. Let me point out I've treated you respectfully the entire time. And a question everyone here should ask…
Protester: Are you Canadian?
Oh my gosh.
What a disaster.
On Tuesday Joe Scarborough laughed uncontrollably after playing part of the exchange on Morning Joe.
"Are you Canadian?… Oh my God, are you Canadian!… Who was that guy? He's got great timing!… That's the problem when you have the Shakespearean pauses or the Pinter pauses, you leave room… "
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) May 3, 2016
The post Morning Joe Panel LAUGHS UNCONTROLLABLY After Watching Trump Supporter Destroy Lyin' Ted (VIDEO) appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Tweeting for President Trump?
No tweeting for President Trump
Donald Trump announced yesterday that he would no longer delight and enrage the universe with his nuggets of wit and wisdom via Twitter once he is elected President.
Politico reports that he made the proclamation at a rally in Rhode Island:
"You know, I tweeted today, @realDonaldTrump. I tweet," Trump said. He added, "Don't worry, I'll give it up after I'm president. We won't tweet anymore. I don't know. Not presidential."
The remark comes days after wife Melania remarked that she wished her husband would tone down his Twitter habit.
Say it ain't so!
For those who have spent way too much time on Twitter for the past several years, Trump's finest Twitter moments pre-date his announcement for the White House. The world needs Trump on Twitter. Being Commander-in-Chief should deprive us of these unforgettable gems as compiled by The Mirror:
I never fall for scams. I am the only person who immediately walked out of my 'Ali G' interview
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2012
My twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2012
As everybody knows, but the haters & losers refuse to acknowledge, I do not wear a "wig." My hair may not be perfect but it's mine.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2013
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2014
While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2012
And then there are a few of my all-time favorites:
I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2012
I would like to wish everyone, including all haters and losers (of which, sadly, there are many) a truly happy and enjoyable Memorial Day!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2015
Thanks- many are saying I'm the best 140 character writer in the world. It's easy when it's fun.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2012
It's hard to imagine life without @realDonaldTrump. Maybe cooler heads will prevail and Trump will be given some limited opportunities to spin his 140-character magic. Let's hope so. After all, I think we can all agree that tweeting is not, by definition, "un-presidential."
After all, whatever Trump tweets as president, it will hard to be as embarrassing and divisive as this:
It takes courage to share your story. https://t.co/Q7wWjV9Rxx
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 1, 2015
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Re: Markets vs. Economy
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man is facing a fine for flying flags supporting Donald Trump.
Joseph Hornick thought police on March 25 were responding to his reports that the flags proclaiming "Trump Make America Great Again" flying outside his West Long Branch home had been vandalized. Instead, he was ticketed for violating an ordinance that restricts the display of political signs.
According to the police report, a resident who is a former Democratic councilman questioned why the municipal code enforcement officer had not cited Hornick.
"I'm not a football fan. I'm not a sports fan, but I'm surely a Donald Trump fan," Hornick told New York's WNBC-TV. The Republican said he has a right to express himself.
The town considers the flags supporting the Republican presidential candidate the same as political lawn signs, acting borough administrator Lori Cole said. "The ordinance states no political sign shall be displayed sooner than 30 days prior to the date of the election or the decision of the issue is scheduled," she said.
New Jersey's primary is June 7.
Violators face a minimum fine of $100. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000, 90 days in jail or both.
"I'm not taking the flag down, and if I do 90 days in jail, I'll do 90 days in jail," Hornick said.
His court date is April 20.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Before Predicting the Future, Take a Closer Look at the Present
Friday, April 08, 2016
Newt Gingrich Nails the Washington Insider Problem
Newt Gingrich Nails the Washington Insider Problem: Jeffrey Lord
You can't make it up.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gave an interview to reporter Isaac Chotiner of Slate the other day.
For a vivid illustration of the difference between the elitist, haughty thinking of the American Ruling Class (as unerringly described in Angelo Codevilla's The Ruling Class)and those who, like Newt, have not lost their ability to connect with (Codevilla again) the "Country Class" — i.e., the American people — the interview is priceless. Bravo to Newt!
The interview should be read in totality, but here are a few excerpts to give a flavor:
Isaac Chotiner: You were at a meeting on Monday with other Washington figures and Trump. What did you make of him?
Newt Gingrich: Well, Callista and I were both very impressed. In that kind of a setting he talks in a relatively low tone. He is very much somebody who has been good at business. And he listens well. He outlined the campaign as he saw it. I think he did a good job listening. He occasionally asked clarifying questions. He was very open to critical advice. I am not going to get into details, but I will say my overall impression was that in that setting he was totally under control as a guy who has done a ton of business and knows exactly how to operate in that kind of room.
You seem more sanguine than other people in Washington about Trump's rise. Is that fair to say?
Sure. Remember, I came in as a Reaganite, Kempite when I helped lead the effort in 1994. And I have consistently been in favor of a more aggressive, more active Republican Party that reaches out and expands its base and that is very, very idea-oriented. I think Washington is a city with enormous problems. I think we need somebody — and both Cruz and Trump fit this — who is going to break up the old order and insist on real change. It's not that I am sanguine. This will lead to a period of very real challenges, but I think we need it.
Mr. Speaker, we are talking about a possible president here.
You are talking about a guy who was smart enough to build Trump Towers, build lots of hotels, build lots of casinos, and own the Miss Universe contest.
He is not stupid. For many people, that seems to be inconceivable because they have a university Ph.D. theory of being smart.
Didn't you write your Ph.D. thesis on the Belgian Congo?
I did, and I wrote my master's thesis on Japanese and Russian railroad construction in the 19th century.
So why are you bashing people with Ph.D.s?
Because I have been in the real world, doing real things, and I understand the limitations of academic knowledge. I think it's greatly overrated.
Look, you read a lot of books about how the world works, you are an educated person, you care about policy. When you hear Trump address subjects like NATO, it doesn't worry you —
No. I read what he said about NATO, and I think it has been grossly taken out of context. What he said about NATO was the Bush — Rumsfeld position, which is that the Europeans ought to pick up more of the slack.
… I want to get back to what Trump is doing, and we both know he is playing on impulses —
No, no we don't.
What we know is that Trump has had the nerve to raise questions in a clear language because he represents the millions of Americans who are sick and tired of being told that they have to be guilt-ridden and keep their mouth shut.
… You must know a lot of people in Washington like Kristol and Krauthammer and George Will who are horrified by Trump. This isn't just liberal angst.
I think a number of them need to go on vacation.
You think that is all it is?
I think the tension is getting to them.
The tension of what?
Of having to deal with something that they don't understand and don't believe in. It horrifies them. It represents an alternative world they never dreamed of.
… You must notice that Trump has no serious foreign or domestic policy, and that these "intellectuals" who are horrified by this are not just dreaming it up out of nowhere.
They are queueing off something different than the American people are.
Is your job, as a politician, to merely follow the American people?
I am applying the Buckley principle to the Washington intellectuals. They are inbred, they talk to each other, they are treating the American people with contempt. Forget Trump. Seventy percent of Republicans between Trump, Carson, and Cruz have repudiated their world. And they are saying, "Boy, these people are really hicks. They are so stupid they have been taken in." Well maybe, just maybe, those American people know something the guys in Washington don't, and frankly, I am on the side of the American people, not the Washington intellectuals.
Now. What do you see here in this Newt interview with Chotiner? What is on display is a sterling example of exactly what has gone wrong inside the Washington Beltway — and just why so many millions are responding to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. (Ahem: again, ticket material?)
When, for example, Chotiner says, bold print supplied by me, "…I want to get back to what Trump is doing, and we both know he is playing on impulses," the underlying moral superiority of the Ruling Class is surfaced. What Chotiner is really saying is that Americans are nothing more than… sniff, sniff… a bunch of bigoted rubes. And make no mistake, Chotiner is far from alone here in this all-too typical belief underlying the Ruling Class views of Americans.
Note as well the belief that to have an academic Ph.D. is a sign of impeccable brilliance. Real word experience is, if considered at all, as the sign of a second or possibly third or fourth-rate mind. Translation in this situation? Donald Trump is not a smart guy. No wonder all those millions of stupid people are voting for him.
Underneath the thin veneer of the ordinary politics involved in choosing candidate A over candidate B this year lies the dark mass of contempt and insiderdom that permeates the culture of Washington. It is this contempt that explains what can only be called the wild hysteria that is coursing so palpably through wild-eyed D.C. elites.
Here is the Washington Post comparing — not for the first time — Trump to Hitler:
First, you don't have to go back to history's most famous example, Adolf Hitler, to understand that authoritarian rulers can achieve power through the ballot box. In the world today, it has become almost commonplace for elected leaders to lock the door behind them once they achieve power. Vladimir Putin in Russia, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey — all found ways once in power to restrict opposition, muzzle the media and erode checks and balances.
Hitler? Hitler? Really? The man who launched a World War II that killed six million Jews and by historical estimates some 11 million human beings roughly estimated? Well, yes. As in this column yesterday from the Post's "conservative" columnist Kathleen Parker who wrote — amazingly? stunningly? like a certifiable wacko bird? — a column which said this after calling Trump a fascist:
The conundrum for Republicans is that though Trump may be the devil, he's their devil. How can they condemn the guy that a near-majority of their own party prefers? If you're, say, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), how do you say you won't support your party's nominee? Then again, if you're a good man like Ryan, how do you support him?
That is the question of the moment, isn't it? This is what we ask ourselves about the industrialists and "good Germans" who supported Hitler. This is what we ask our Southern grandparents about the time when blacks were being lynched. What we ask the World War II generation about rounding up Japanese Americans. And while we're at it, what was your vote on Vietnam, Iraq? There's a price to pay for silence.
That so few have shown the courage to deny Trump tells us how difficult it is to be brave — and how rare character is. But one can only pretend for so long not to hear the dog whistles of history, a skill at which Republicans have become too well practiced over the decades. Perhaps they're no longer listening. Or they're deluding themselves that Trump's words don't really mean what, you know, they mean.
Wow. Living Outside the Washington Insider Culture of Washington Insider Reich Enthusiasts, one is forced to ask. Who is really the "Good German" here? Paul Ryan — or Kathleen Parker? What disapprobation will Parker face if she supports Trump? Loss of TV and cocktail party invites? What love will come her way by spewing the anti-Semitic spittle that Donald Trump, father of the Judaism-convert Ivanka, father-in-law, in-law. and grandfather to Jews — is really a Hitler wannabe? Does this not serve as just a tiny indicator of how truly disturbing and morally rotted the Washington Insider culture has become? One is compelled to ask of Ms. Parker a gender-revised Joseph Welch question from the Army-McCarthy hearings: "Have you no sense of decency, m'am? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" Never mind. Clearly the answer is "no."
Donald Trump's hardline stance on immigration didn't seem to hurt him with Latinos in Nevada, as the Republican presidential front-runner claimed 45 percent of the Hispanic vote in Tuesday's caucus, according to an entrance poll conducted by Fox News.
All of which translates to Washington Insiders as saying that if Nevada Latinos aren't racist for supporting Trump they are at the very least stupid. And of course, how many Ph.D.s do they have? And when was the last time they dined in Georgetown or thought deeply on foreign policy with the guys and gals over at the AEI?
Newt Gingrich wasn't kidding when he said, "I think the tension is getting to them…. Of having to deal with something that they don't understand and don't believe in. It horrifies them. It represents an alternative world they never dreamed of."
Let's suppose for a moment that Donald Trump is now President-elect Trump as of yesterday's election. Now what? What happens in "ordinary" circumstances when a new president arrives in town? The Old Guard braces. There's a new team sweeping in and the old team is on it's way out. All those relationships carefully built over the years with Team Obama — as with Team Bush 43, Team Clinton, Team Bush 41, and Team Reagan before it — is gonzo. Time to get on the Inside with the new people. Problem? Who the hell are the new people? Who is the new chief of staff? Who knows the new guy or at who at least knows somebody who knows the new guy? Who is handling that proposal to handle the President-elect's crazy idea about making insurance companies more competitive? God, you don't think he was serious about that, do you? Has he read the paper from the think tank on the nuclear triad? Who should I invite to lunch? To dinner?
And on and on the circus goes as the Washington Cartel — to borrow from Senator Cruz — sets to work to grind down the sensibilities of the new Team Trump. And if they don't succeed? Panic. Phone calls aren't being returned. President Trump and his team not only have no idea who Mr. Insider is — and worse they may know exactly — but they don't care. They don't care.
Washington is the Big City that is really a village. Instead of six degrees of separation there are about three. One's neighbors are lobbyists, journalists, congressmen, and senators and Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officials. And don't forget the bureaucrats — the unassuming man or woman down the block who has spent the last thirty years in the concrete box that is the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education. The idea of abolishing the Education Department outright and shipping its functions back to states means a comfy career for your neighbor is now about to come to a screeching halt. This brings, shall we say, concern in concentrated form.
This doesn't even touch the more delicate areas of foreign policy, where a whole priesthood of think tankers, ex-office holders, and wanna-be office holders labor. How can these people and the world view they are so certain the new president is totally ignorant of ever get their foot in the door at the White House or State or the Pentagon?
Not to be forgotten? How can you actually report a story if you can't develop good sources — because the new President has different ways of operating with his communications team? You can pound away at the new president's image — and that of his staffers — but what if it doesn't work in this instance? What if readers or viewers think you are the problem.
All of this and more is what creates the "tension" of which Newt Gingrich speaks in that Slate article. It is what underlies the hysterical reaction to Trump — that he is Hitler, a bigot, an idiot. That his voters are wannabe Nazis and white supremacists and generally speaking all around uneducated and unsophisticated rubes who think the Four Seasons are times of the year instead of a decent place to talk the intricacies of devaluing the yen while choosing between the A3 Wagyu Beef Tartare and the Siberian Caviar.
In sum? This is the real reason why the Washington Establishment fights. Once upon a time, when they were young, they came, they conquered — and then they stayed. And stayed. Growing fat and prosperous and ever so much more separated from the actual people they once upon a time were so passionate about representing.
It's too bad. But the American people at this point in time have, safe to say, no sympathy with all of this. They are trying to get a job — and keep it. They have a mortgage, kids to educate — and in the case of the aging Baby Boomer generation, senior parents to care for.
Suffice to say, at this point after eight years of the Obama era that was supposedly about "hope and change" there are millions of Americans who have been left with little or no hope — and they damn well are determined to bring change. Big change.
Bravo to Speaker Gingrich for speaking truth to Washington Insider power.
And to hell with the Siberian Caviar.
Thursday, April 07, 2016
GOOGLE Engineer Rips Toxic Working Environment...
GOOGLE Engineer Rips Toxic Working Environment...
'Tony and his goons demand crazy timelines so much that 'crunch time' has basically lost meaning. Just when your labor bears fruit, they swoop in, 180 the specs you just delivered on, then have the gall to call your team 'incompetent' for not reading their mind and delivering on these brand-new specs. I waste most of my time in pointless meetings, or defending my teams so they don't flip their desks and walk out,' he wrote of the supposed Nest office culture.
He went on to say that disheveled employees' lives and marriages are being destroyed and that they are forced to take naps in bathrooms because they are so overworked.
'People fall asleep in corners and cry in the bathrooms, health and marriages are suffering. Already the churn is insane, close to half the company if not more. Skilled engineers can tell the environment is toxic, so we're filling vacancies with mostly sub-par talent,' continued the post.
The anonymous man continued his rant and warned the CEO that he can't hide anything from engineers.
'Tony, you can't hide anything from engineers. We know how many units are actually being sold, how many subscriptions lapse, how many fail or get returned. We know about that time-bomb flaw you ignored so people will have to upgrade. We can see the data in those executive dashboards you think we don't know about,' he said.
'But go ahead, keep trashing us in public. We dare you to tell everyone just how much of that $340M was due to a simple Dropcam rebrand, and not the thermostats and smoke alarms. Good luck shipping that critical new project after restarting it for the umpteenth time. Ah, that feels better. Now off to the other 4 meetings I have today,' he concluded.https://np.reddit.com/r/Nest/comments/4dbbgh/is_anyone_concerned_about_the_future_of_nest/?sort=top
Full post: After garnering attention from his post he added that despite having issues with the CEO, he is supportive of his fellow employees of the company
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Prosecutors have too much power. Juries should rein them in. Jury Nullification - The Washington Post
Prosecutors have too much power. Juries should rein them in.
By Glenn Harlan Reynolds April 6 at 9:00 AM
Each week, In Theory takes on a big idea in the news and explores it from a range of perspectives. This week, we're talking about jury nullification. Need a primer? Catch up here.
Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee. He blogs at InstaPundit.com.
If there's strong evidence that you've committed a crime, there's still hope. Despite the evidence, those responsible for convicting you may choose to let you go, if they think that sending you to jail would result in an injustice.
That can happen through what's called "prosecutorial discretion," where a prosecutor decides not to bring or pursue charges against you because doing so would be unfair, even though the evidence is strong. Or it can happen through "jury nullification," where a jury thinks that the evidence supports conviction but then decides to issue a "not guilty" verdict because it feels that a conviction would be unjust.
[Jurors need to take the law into their own hands]
Strangely, the former is much less controversial than the latter. Prosecutorial discretion is regularly applied and generally regarded as a standard part of criminal justice. Its application may, on rare occasions, create controversy — such as when TV host David Gregory got a pass for what even the prosecutor called a "clear violation" of D.C. gun law when he displayed a high-capacity ammunition magazine on "Meet the Press" or when U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch invoked prosecutorial discretion as a reason for not pursuing charges against disgraced IRS employee Lois Lerner. But the concept of prosecutorial discretion is generally regarded as sound.
So-called jury nullification, on the other hand, gets far less respect. Though it is clearly within the power of juries to refuse to convict whenever they choose, judges and prosecutors tend to view this practice with hostility. They may not be able to stop juries from exercising their power, but they do their best to keep people from telling them that they have this option: Periodically, we see stories of people prosecuted for handing out jury nullification leaflets outside courthouses. Prosecutors in the District have even complained about billboards telling potential jurors about jury nullification.
That may change, however, with New Hampshire's new legislation requiring that juries be informed by the court that they may refuse to convict if they feel a conviction would yield an "unjust result." The New Hampshire legislation is good, but in my opinion it doesn't go far enough. Juries should be empowered to punish the prosecution when they feel the prosecution is abusive or malicious.
[Why do prosecutors go after innocent people?]
In today's system, prosecutors hold almost all the cards. The prosecutor's unreviewable decision whether to charge someone with a crime is, for all practical purposes, the most important part of the criminal justice system, yet it is a decision to which no due process attaches.
In a recent Columbia Law Review essay, titled "Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything Is A Crime," I noted that "prosecutors count on the fact that when a defendant faces a hundred felony charges, the prospect that a jury might go along with even one of them will be enough to make a plea deal look attractive. Then, of course, there are the reputational damages involved, which may be of greatest importance precisely in cases where political motivations might be in play. Worse, prosecutors have no countervailing incentives not to overcharge. A defendant who makes the wrong choice will wind up in jail; a prosecutor who charges improperly will suffer little, if any, adverse consequence beyond a poor win/loss record. Prosecutors are even absolutely immune from lawsuits over misconduct in their prosecutorial capacity."
So I think we should give prosecutors some skin in the game. Let juries be informed that they may refuse to convict if they think a conviction is unjust — and, if that happens, let the defendants' attorney fees and other costs be billed to the government. Also, let juries be informed that, if they believe the prosecution itself was malicious or unfair, they can make that finding — in which case the defendants' costs should come out of the prosecutor's budget. (If you want to get even tougher, you could provide that the prosecutors involved should be disqualified from law practice for a year or stripped of their immunity from civil suit. But I'm not sure we need to go that far).
Over the past several decades there has been a massive shift of power toward prosecutors, the result of politics, over-criminalization, institutional leverage and judges' failure to provide supervision. It's time to redress the balance. Although it doesn't go far enough, New Hampshire's proposed legislation is an excellent start.
Explore these other perspectives:
Paul Butler: Jurors need to take the law into their own hands
Friday, April 01, 2016
Waiters And Bartenders Rise To Record, As Manufacturing Workers Drop Most Since 2009
But not all is lost: as has been the case for virtually every month during the "recovery", virtually every laid off manufacturing worker could find a job as a waiter: in March, the workers in the "Food services and drinking places" category, aka waiters, bartenders and minimum wage line cooks, rose again to a new record high of 11,307,000 workers, an increase of 25K in the month, offsetting virtually all lost manufacturing jobs.
This is how the two job series have looked since the start of 2015: 24k manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past 14 months compared to an increase of 365K food service workers.
And here is the longer-term, going back to the start of the crisis in December 2007.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
2016 US Presidential Election Voter's Guide
In this day-and-age of infinitesimally short attention spans, we thought the following flowchart would provide today's Millennial voter a quick-and-dirty solution for making their decision come November...
Judicial Watch: Obama Administration Withholds Draft Whitewater Indictment of Hillary Clinton
Judicial Watch: Obama Administration Withholds Draft Whitewater Indictment of Hillary Clinton
MARCH 28, 2016
Cites 'Privacy' and 'Scintilla' of Public Interest in Material about Potential Clinton Crimes
Judicial Watch: Draft Indictment Bears on 'Mrs. Clinton's honesty, credibility, and trustworthiness … for the position she currently seeks.'
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it is asking a federal court to order the National Archives and Records Administration to release draft criminal indictments of Hillary Clinton. In its motion for summary judgment, the National Archives claimed that "the drafts involve a significant [Clinton] privacy interest that is not outweighed by any public interest…." In its March 11 opposition brief, Judicial Watch counters that allegedly "making false statements and withholding evidence from federal investigators bears on Mrs. Clinton's honesty, credibility, and trustworthiness … for the position she currently seeks," rendering the National Archives claim "neither serious nor credible."
These developments stem from an October 20, 2015, Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. National Archives and Records Administration (No. 15-cv-01740)) seeking:
All versions of indictments against Hillary Rodham Clinton, including but not limited to, Versions 1, 2, and 3 in box 2250 of the Hickman Ewing Attorney Files, the "HRC/_ Draft Indictment" in box 2256 of the Hickman Ewing Attorney Files, as well as any and all versions written by Deputy Independent Counsel Hickman Ewing, Jr. prior to September of 1996.
The draft indictments relate to allegations that Clinton provided false information and withheld evidence from federal investigators to conceal her involvement with the defunct Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan, the collapse of which lead to multiple criminal convictions. Clinton provided legal representation to Madison Guaranty as an attorney at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas. Clinton's Rose Law Firm billing records, long sought by prosecutors, were found in the private quarters of the White House shortly after an important statute of limitations had expired.
In its motion for summary judgment, the National Archives confirmed that it has located the Clinton draft indictments, stating, "Included among the records of Mr. Starr and his successors are drafts of a proposed indictment of Hillary Rodham Clinton." It adds, "Box 2250 contains a folder labeled 'Draft Indictment.' Box 2256 contains a folder labelled 'Hillary Rodham Clinton/Webster L. Hubbell Draft Indictment.' Multiple drafts of the proposed indictment of Mrs. Clinton were located by NARA [National Archives and Records Administration] within these folders."
The National Archives claims that Clinton's right to privacy supersedes the public interest concerning the draft indictments. It also claims that the release would violate grand jury secrecy protections and that Mrs. Clinton has 'a strong interest in not being associated unwarrantedly with alleged criminal activity.'
The National Archives asserts:
While there may be a scintilla of public interest in these documents since Mrs. Clinton is presently a Democratic presidential candidate, that fact alone is not a cognizable public interest under FOIA, as disclosure of the draft indictments would not shed light on what the government is up to.
Judicial Watch counters that the public interest in finding what Mrs. Clinton was up to in the White House is paramount:
[A]t the time Mrs. Clinton was being investigated by the independent counsel for making false statements and withholding evidence from federal investigators, she was First Lady of the United States. The alleged false statements and withholding of evidence also allegedly occurred while Mrs. Clinton was First Lady of the United States. The D.C. Circuit has found that, as First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Clinton was an officer of the United States, at least for purposes of the Federal Advisory Committee Act….
Obviously, making false statements and withholding evidence from federal investigators bears on Mrs. Clinton's honesty, credibility, and trustworthiness, not only as First Lady, but also in her subsequent government service as a U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State and for the position she currently seeks … The Archives' assertions to the contrary are neither serious nor credible.
In its opposition brief, Judicial Watch also notes that when it comes to any grand jury secrecy, "there is no secrecy left to protect:"
Finally, enormous amounts of grand jury information about the independent counsel's investigation of the First Lady have already been made public and are widely available. The relevant section of the January 5, 2001 Final Report [by the independent counsel] – which, again, the D.C. Circuit approved for publication and which is readily available on the Government Publishing Office's website – cites to, references, or quotes testimony from at least 25 grand jury appearances by 21 witnesses between 1995 and 1998… Once published, independent counsel reports effectively eliminate grand jury secrecy. Similarly, the 206-page "Summary of Evidence" produced by the Archives to Judicial Watch pursuant to a separate FOIA request also discloses even more grand jury information.
In response to a separate Judicial Watch FOIA investigation, the National Archives released 246 pages of previously undisclosed Office of Independent Counsel internal memos revealing extensive details about the investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton for possible criminal charges involving her involvement with Madison Guaranty, including the infamous Whitewater/Castle Grande land transaction. The memos are "statements of the case" against Hillary Clinton and Webster Lee "Webb" Hubbell, Hillary Clinton's former law partner and former Associate Attorney General in the Clinton Justice Department. Ultimately, the memos show that prosecutors declined to prosecute Clinton because of the difficulty of persuading a jury to convict a public figure as widely known as Clinton.
"It is absurd for the Obama administration to argue that Hillary Clinton's privacy would keep a draft indictment from the American public," said Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. "One can't help but conclude that the Obama administration is doing a political favor for Hillary Clinton at the expense of the public's right to know about whether prosecutors believed she may have committed federal crimes."
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Feel the Bern: Why get a job when my IRS will steal the money for you
Monday, March 14, 2016
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Sunday, March 06, 2016
An Open Letter to the Conservative Media Explaining Why I Have Left the Movement | Ricochet
Third, there is the issue of the war on Islamic extremism. Let me say upfront that, as a veteran of two foreign deployments in this war, I speak with some moral authority on it. So please do not lecture me on the need to sacrifice for one's country or the nature of the threat that we face. I have gotten on that plane twice and have the medals and t-shirt to prove it. And, as a member of the one percent who have actually put my life on the line in these wars movement conservatives consider so vital, my question for you and every other conservatives is just when the hell did being conservative mean thinking the US has some kind of a duty to save foreign nations from themselves or bring our form of democratic republicanism to them by force? I fully understand the sad necessity to fight wars and I do not believe in "blow back" or any of the other nonsense that says the world will leave us alone if only we will do that same. At the same time, I cannot for the life of me understand how conservatives of all people convinced themselves that the solution to the 9-11 attacks was to forcibly create democracy in the Islamic world. I have even less explanations for how — 15 years and 10,000 plus lives later — conservatives refuse to examine their actions and expect the country to send more of its young to bleed and die over there to save the Iraqis who are clearly too slovenly and corrupt to save themselves.
The lowest moment of the election was when Trump said what everyone in the country knows: that invading Iraq was a mistake. Rather than engaging the question with honest self-reflection, all of the so called "conservatives" responded with the usual "How dare he?" Worse, they let Jeb Bush claim that Bush "kept us safe." I can assure you that President Bush didn't keep me safe. Do I and the other people in the military not count? Sure, we signed up to give our lives for our country and I will never regret doing so. But doesn't our commitment require a corresponding responsibility on the part of the president to only expect us to do so when it is both necessary and in the national interest?
And since when is bringing democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan so much in the national interest that it is worth killing or maiming 50,000 Americans to try and achieve? I don't see that, but I am not a Wilsonian and used to, at least, be a conservative. I have these strange ideas that my government ought to act in America's interests instead of the rest of the world's interests. I wish conservatives could understand how galling it was to have a fat, rich, career politician who has never once risked his life for this country lecture those of us who have about how George Bush kept us safe.
Donald Trump is the only Republican candidate who seems to have any inclination to act strictly in America's interest. More importantly, he is the only Republican candidate who is willing to even address the problem. Trump was right to say that we need to stop letting more Muslims into the country or, at least, examine the issue. And like when he said the obvious about Iraq, the first people to condemn him and deny the obvious were conservatives. Somehow, being conservative now means denying the obvious and saying idiotic fantasies like "Islam is the religion of peace," or "Our war is not with Islam." Uh, sorry but no it is not, and yes it is. And if getting a president who at least understands that means voting for Trump, then I guess I am not a conservative.
Fourth, I really do not care that Donald Trump is vulgar, combative, and uncivil and I would encourage you not to care as well. I would love to have our political discourse be what it was even thirty years ago and something better than what it is today. But the fact is the Democratic Party is never going to return to that and there isn't anything anyone can do about it. Over the last 15 years, I have watched the then-chairman of the DNC say the idea that President Bush knew about 9-11 and let it happen was a "serious position held by many people," watched the vice president tell a black audience that Republicans would return them to slavery if they could, watched Harry Reid say Mitt Romney was a tax cheat without any reason to believe it was true, and seen an endless amount of appalling behavior on the part of the Democrats which is too long to list here and which I am sure you are aware. And now you tell me that I should reject Trump because he is uncivil and mean to his opponents? Is that some kind of a joke? This is not the time for civility or to worry about it in our candidates.
Fifth, I do not care that Donald Trump is in favor of big government. That is certainly not a virtue but it is not a meaningful vice since the same can be said of every single Republican in the race. I am sorry but the "we are just one more Republican victory from small government" card is maxed out. We are not getting small government no matter who wins. So Trump being big government is a wash.
Sixth, Trump offers at least the chance that he might act in the American interest instead of the world's interest or in the blind pursuit of some fantasy ideological goals. There is more to economic policy than cutting taxes, sham free trade agreements, and hollow appeals to "cutting government" and the free market. Trump may not be good, but he at least understands that. In contrast, the rest of the GOP and everyone in Washington or the media who calls themselves a conservative has no understanding of this.
Rubio would be — as Laura Ingram pointed out this week — nothing but a repeat of the Bush 43 administration with more blood and treasure spent on the fantasy that acting in other people's interests indirectly helps ours. Cruz might be somewhat better, but it is unclear whethe...
Friday, March 04, 2016
Desperation Moves: Romney Plots To Block Trump At Republican Convention
And in tonight's debate (the 23781st we believe), Trump destroys Romney with his response to the first question:
"He was a failed candidate. He should have beaten President Obama very easily,"
"He failed miserably. And it was an embarrassment to everybody, including the Republican Party."
"So I don't take that. And I guess obviously he wants to be relevant. He wants to be back in the game."
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Make America Great Again – The Movement !
Make America Great Again – The Movement
Great supporter created grassroots video
Monday, February 22, 2016
We've always been at war with Eastasia
Wow, the media and this administration are like "1984."
"To fix this to conform to the new political reality, the Tsarnaev's were reclassified as "asylees" (asylum seekers) rather than "refugees".
"To make this reclassification work, history had to be re-written. The Winston Smith's of the world had to go backward in time to edit old stories to conform to the new reality."
We've always been at war with Eastasia
Our media is surprisingly Orwellian, and it's not always due to government control. People practice "doublethink" at their own volition, without a Thought Police. Social media (Twitter, Facebook) are instituting their own private Thought Police. Online journalism now means that the press is free to edit old articles, to change past reporting to conform to new political realities.
Consider the example in the book 1984 regarding the ongoing war between the three superstates of Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia (representing English, Russian, and Chinese empires respectively).
At the start of the book, Oceania is at war with Eurasia. They have always been at war with Eurasia. That's the political consensus, and all historic documents agree. However, Winston Smith (the protagonist) remembers a time five years ago when Oceania was instead at war with Eastasia. Winston Smith struggles with philosophical idea of "truth". Which is more true, what everyone knows and what's in the newspapers, or the memories within his head?
Then Ocean's allegiance switched back again. On the sixth day of Hate Week, as crowds gathered to denounce Eurasia, the Party switched enemies to Eastasia. In a particularly rousing speech against their enemy, the speaker was handed a slip of paper, and in mid-sentence, without pause, without change in content or tone, he changed the name of the enemy he was speaking against to Eastasia. Eurasia was now their dearest friends. Those holding banners denouncing their enemy were suddenly embarrassed to discover they had unaccountably written the wrong name, and quickly trampled and destroyed them.
This change meant work for Winston in the Ministry of Truth:
Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with
Eastasia. A large part of the political literature of five years was now
completely obsolete. Reports and records of all kinds, newspapers, books,
pamphlets, films, sound-tracks, photographs--all had to be rectified at
lightning speed. Although no directive was ever issued, it was known that
the chiefs of the Department intended that within one week no reference
to the war with Eurasia, or the alliance with Eastasia, should remain in
Last November, the Tsarnaev brothers (the "Boston Bombers") were "refugees". News articles from all the mainstream news outlets agreed, such as The Washington Post, the Atlantic, Time magazine, the UN/VOA, Vanity Fair, the Huffington Post, Nobody disputed that description. Even Wikipedia described them as "refugees".
Then terrorists attacked Paris, killing 129 innocents. A Syrian passport was found, making it look like terrorists inserted one of their own into the stream of refugees flowing into Europe. This created political backlash in America, where the House of Representatives passed a bill to hinder Syrian refugees coming into the country.
The other, pro-refugee side, has fought back, claiming that no refugee in American has ever committed a terrorist act. It's at this point that the Tsarnaev's become an embarrassing counter example, since indeed they committed the worst terrorist attack since 9/11.
To fix this to conform to the new political reality, the Tsarnaev's were reclassified as "asylees" (asylum seekers) rather than "refugees".
To make this reclassification work, history had to be re-written. The Winston Smith's of the world had to go backward in time to edit old stories to conform to the new reality.
For example, the Wikipedia page on Tsarnaev changed, purging the word "refugee" and replacing it with "asylee".
Wikipedia is just the start. The mainstream media likewise went back and "fixed" their embarrassing mistakes in news articles. If you search for "tsarnaev refugee" for dates before the Paris attacks, the top result is this article from the Washington Post. The Washington Post edited this article, purging the word "refugee" from both the title and the contents, either replacing it with "asylee" or rewording things. Here's a picture of the original title/lead, followed by the new version. The date of this change was November 19, 2015 -- in other words, specifically in response to the Paris debate.
What unreal about this change is that "refugee" and "asylee" refer to the same people. It's like how "emigrant" (or "emigree") and "immigrant" refer to the same people, just with a different focus. One (emigrant, refugee) focuses on leaving the original country. The other (immigrant, asylee) focuses on arriving in a new country. But to arrive in one country is to leave another -- it's the same person doing both.
They are saying the Tsarnaev's are no longer Chechen emigrants/refugees, but now American immigrants/asylees. This reclassification is technically correct, because they arrived in American first, then applied for asylum status, unlike those applying from refugee camps in and around Syria. But this technicality doesn't change who they are. Being American immigrants/asylees doesn't change the fact that they are also refugees/emigrants fleeing strife in Chechnya.
In English, the word "asylee" isn't really used. Sure, it's technically a word, but used so seldomly that it's not included in spellcheck dictionaries. That's why I enabled spellcheck when creating the above picture, to demonstrate this issue -- spellcheck underlines the word in red. Most people have never heard of the word "asylee". Go to the local bar and ask random people what the word means. They'll just look at you funny. Indeed, your first hurdle will be the fact that you aren't sure how to pronounce it right yourself. According to Google's Ngrame, "refugee" is preferred over "asylee" by a 250:1 ratio in the English language.
For journalists, since both words are valid, but one is rare and confusing, the correct word to use is "refugee". This is especially true when it's the emigration side being stressed, as in the above Washington Post article. While you can make a case for discussing "asylees in America", the correct word in the article would be "refugees fleeing war". I just verified that the AP Stylebook has a reference for "refugee" but no entry for "asylee".
This post isn't about refugees, but Orwelianism. What's shown here is retroactive changing of history to conform to the new political consensus. It's doublethink, as people strive to change their own thinking. It's newspeek, as people try to change what others believe by changing the words used to express those ideas. It's also about the mainstream press, which has become part of the corrupt establishment, obviously violating every principle of journalism in order to exercise power.
Sunday, February 21, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
Trump deftly navigates CNN setup question
I doubt you could ever find another candidate capable of navigating his/her way through the gauntlet of organized media opposition as Donald Trump.
He possesses a skillset that will become even more valuable when the primary enemy is Hillary and the media assisted Clinton Machine. Hence, the increasingly obvious reasoning why they hate the thought of facing him one-on-one.
Monday, February 15, 2016
It Feels Good to Be a Clinton - YouTube
Friday, February 05, 2016
Sanders Slams Hillary As Wall Street Puppet
The success of Bernie Sanders (whose campaign boasts that the average donation is just $27, reflecting the grassroots nature of his support) and Donald Trump (who is self funding his campaign and repeatedly reminds voters that no one "owns" him) reflect the electorate's growing frustration with what Americans see as a corrupt political system that's ultimately controlled by lobbyists and entrenched special interests that spend millions to ensure that their agenda gets pushed on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Jeb Bush's abysmal poll numbers also reflect this frustration (Bush's super PAC has taken the most money from Wall Street of any candidate).
At issue is the $14.3 million Clinton has raised from Wall Street through her super PAC and the numerous paid speeches both her and her husband have made for Wall Street firms. Those speeches pay nearly a quarter of a million each and as you can see, there are quite a few of them.
"Since Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton entered national politics in the early 1990s, Wall Street has contributed more than $100 million to their political campaigns, charitable foundation and personal finances," WSJ wrote late on Thursday. "Financial-services firms accounted for about 12% of the total amount raised by the Clintons during their more than two decades in politics."
Sanders' suggestion that Clinton's ties to the financial industry mean she can't be trusted to fight for Main Street is "an artful smear," the former First Lady insisted during Thursday's debate. "You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation I ever received," she insisted.
Sanders Slams Hillary As Wall Street Puppet Ahead Of Critical New Hampshire Primary