April 30, 2015

Thursday Night ONT-Coercion Edition [Weirddave]
— Open Blogger

I've been open blogging here at AoS HQ for more than a year now. It started with an offhand comment in a thread about my tomato plants, whereupon Y-Not shanghaied me into the garden thread. I kind of grew from there, finding my niche with my Fundamental Concept threads, and generally enjoying being able to contribute to AoS.

Until now.

Yesterday, I came home to find that my house had been ransacked, and this picture was taped to the mirror in the foyer:

gundog.jpg

I never realized that Ace learned his business ethics from the Mafia. Please guys, don't hurt him, he's just a pup. I'll do as you say. more...

Posted by: Open Blogger at 04:56 PM | Comments (784)
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April 30, 1975 - The Day Saigon Fell
— Dave in Texas

40 years ago today the "People's" Army of Vietnam and their VC commie guerrilla pals overran Saigon. This marked the end of organized defense by South Vietnam and created the paradise on earth that is The Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

First, some iconic photos:

Saigon-hubert-van-es.jpg

CIA station evacuation

vietnam030-sjpg_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50.jpg

Airlift

tossing it.jpg

Epilogue

At the end, US Forces evacuated 135,000 Vietnamese. The rest were left to the camps and brutality.

Andy tipped me to a PBS documentary, "Last Days in Vietnam". Trailer and clip below the fold. OH. He also explains the reason they're tossing that Huey off the deck of the USS Kirk - making room for the next bird to land.

[Update - Andy] This documentary is outstanding. Highly recommended.


more...

Posted by: Dave in Texas at 01:33 PM | Comments (344)
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Baltimore Headlines
— Ace

Sheriff: I was told to stand down during riots.

Obviously. We saw the cops standing down and retreating from rioters.

"I was sick to my stomach like everybody else. … This was urban warfare, no question about it. They were coming in absolutely beaten down. The [city officers] got out of their vehicles, thanked us profusely for being there, apologized to us for having to be there. They said we could have handled this, we were very capable of handling this, but we were told to stand down, repeatedly told to stand down," he said. "I had never heard that order come from anyone -- we went right out to our posts as soon as we got there, so I never heard the mayor say that. But repeatedly these guys, and there were many high-ranking officials from the Baltimore City Police Department … and these guys told me they were essentially neutered from the start. They were spayed from the start. They were told to stand down, you will not take any action, let them destroy property. I couldn’t believe it, I'm a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. … I had never heard anything like this before in my life and these guys obviously aren't gonna speak out and the more I thought about this, … I had to say a few things. I apologize if I’ve upset people, but I believe in saying it like it is."

Freddie Gray was killed, initial investigations find, by a blow to the head in the back of the prison transport van.

An investigation into the death of Baltimore resident Freddie Gray has found no evidence that his fatal injuries were caused during the videotaped arrest and interaction with police officers, according to multiple law enforcement sources.

Sources said the medical examiner found Gray's catastrophic injury was caused when he slammed into the back of the police transport van, apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van.

Details surrounding exactly what caused Gray to slam into the back of the van was unclear.

As you've probably heard, it is suspected that Gray was the recipient of a so-called "rough ride," an extrajudicial punishment by which police handcuff a suspect -- but do not secure him to a seat with seatbelts -- and then toss him around the back of a police van by taking corners hard, driving over bumpy roads, etc.

This much-linked Washington Post story reports on a prisoner claiming that Gray was pounding his head on the inside of the police van, like he was trying to harm himself. But let's be serious, prisoners have enormous incentives to make up things that will be useful to their captors.


Tavis Smiley says riots could be "the new normal," calling the resort to mass violence, strangely, "a dignity thing."

Posted by: Ace at 01:02 PM | Comments (357)
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That Just About Wraps It Up For "PunditFact"
— Ace

Sean Davis had demonstrated that the Clinton Foundation only gives 15% of its donated monies to charities. "PunditFact" presumed to rate the truth of this claim. They found that Davis' math was correct... and then rated the claim Mostly False anyway.

Davis now answers them.

My favorite part is the ending, though:


[UPDATE: Phil Kerpen notes on Twitter that PunditFact and PolitiFact are funded by a large and active Clinton Foundation donor and partner, a fact PunditFact conveniently failed to disclose in its defense of the Clinton Foundation.]



Posted by: Ace at 12:19 PM | Comments (112)
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Republicans: Block This Corker Bill Immediately
— Ace

Rubio's offering some bullshit amendments designed to make him appear Strong On Defense but he's just part of Failure Theater like the rest of them.

Without this bill, Obama needs 67 votes to approve the Iran treaty.

With the bill, the treaty is presumptively approved, and it takes 67 votes to disapprove of the treaty.

And this is Corker's way of showing he's "standing up to Obama."

How? By performing analingus on him?

This is just the latest insult from the Republican Party. All their bullshit is designed to trick conservatives into thinking they're taking a stance, when in fact they're voting with the Democrats.

If Corker has good reasons why this treaty should be passed -- and it's plain that he's a fan, because he's making up yet more Fake Opposition to pass it -- he should say so.

We could have an argument about it.

Maybe Corker has good reasons for wanting this treaty passed. Maybe, if I heard those reasons, I'd agree that it should be passed.

But Corker and McConnell fundamentally despise and disrespect Republican voters. That is why they never have an honest talk with us. They never explain "This is why we're retroactively approving Obama's executive amnesty. Do you agree with our reasons?"

No, they lie, they pretend they're opposed to it, and they stage productions of Failure Theater to trick conservatives into thinking they're opposing it -- but are just being outfoxed, by gum! -- when in fact they've voted in advance to lose on the issue.

They think conservatives are unreasonable, emotional, unthinking racist monsters, just like MSNBC does.

Because if they had the least respect for us, they'd explain their reasons for disagreeing with us, rather than tricking us, yet again, like we're a pack of unruly Retarded Children who must be tricked into going to the doctor.

Corker's bill does not impose limits on Obama; Corker's bill does not oppose the Iran treaty.

Corker's bill is a nasty trick to once again allow Republican officeholders pretend at opposing Obama, when they're just creating convoluted mechanisms to permit them to appear to be voting against him, when they're actually voting against him.

Without the Corker bill, Obama would need 67 Senate votes to pass his treaty. The treaty dies without the Corker bill.

With the Corker bill, Obama needs only 34 Senate votes to keep his treaty -- which is actually passed, beforehand, by the Corker bill.

The treaty passes into law with the Corker bill.

But Corker, McConnell, and the rest of the traitors will Lie To Your Fucking Face that they "did their best" when, once again, another Obama measure is passed by the Senate.

But by gum! They did their best. They fought so hard but they just couldn't do it.

Here's how you actually defeat Obama's treaty:

1. You scrap the Corker bill, which approves of the treaty, then requires a supermajority of 67 to block it it. (Something which will fail.)

2. Then, you vote against the treaty.

Simple, isn't it? You just vote against the treaty. You don't create a convoluted process where you first vote for the treaty and then later vote against it -- but oh darn! That first vote was the important one!

Failed again!

The fuck with these people.

They are lying to us, they are corrupt as the worst whores of hell, and they are leading this country into destruction.

Do not go gently on this Corker bill.

Raise Hell.

Let these vile motherfuckers know WE WILL NOT BE LIED TO ANY LONGER.

Posted by: Ace at 09:48 AM | Comments (626)
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Embarrassing
— Ace

This is so perfect I fear it will soon be outed as a hoax, but until then, enjoy it.

Remember, even it if turns out to be completely made-up, The Narrative is true and must be heard.

As that writer (who I wish I could credit by name) said: This isn't feminist, this is merely female.

From @BrandonMorse.

Danger Will Robinson: I've checked the poster here, "Brunette Editor." She only has five entries, going back to the beginning of this month.

I strongly suspect a hoax. In fact, I'm almost sure of it.

This just Proves The Argument so perfectly -- Too Good To Be True.

Anyway, like I said: It's fake, but completely, 100% accurate.

Studies prove it.

One in five women engages in fit-shaming. That's Science.

Posted by: Ace at 08:30 AM | Comments (384)
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Goodbye: Britain Bans "Are You Beach Body Ready?" Ads, Citing "Sexism"
— Ace

Every day in every way feminism becomes more indistinguishable from Islamism -- which also strenuously objects to the uncovered female form.

Britain has of course gesticulated to the hysterical women and their board of advertising standards has now ruled the Protein World ads-- simply featuring a woman in a bikini, like a million other ads (I guess Caribbean resorts won't be able to advertise anymore, either?) -- unclean.

A feminist wrote an article in (of course) The Guardian that sparked so much hysteria among the unmedicated neurotics of the feminist movement.

In that piece, she likened pictures of women in bikinis to rape, and also, capitalism to rape. Because, as Instapundit said, everything feminists don't like is like rape.

Nice mixture of SJW and Marxism here. pic.twitter.com/fEs6HnPFQc

— John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) April 30, 2015

I'm going to get personal here -- because it's time to get personal.

It is pretty obvious what is driving this. Sexually insecure, unattractive women, who feel under-valued in the sexual market, are using simple and brutish strategies to bring down their Higher-Valued Rivals and thus increase, relatively, their own sexual desirability.

It's Science.


About a year ago I read an alleged feminist "thinker" writing at, I think, Salon, who actually wondered -- and just wondered; she had no conclusions about the matter -- why she felt hostile towards the Sexualization of Scarlett Johanson in the Avengers move, but, get this, actually enjoyed seeing Chris Evans sexualized.

She didn't know why.

If she weren't a narcissistic lunatic incapable of probing her own biases and insecurities, she would have realized that Chris Evans is, for her, a sexual object, and thus she enjoys seeing him shirtless and looking sexy, whereas Scarlett Johanson is a sexual rival, and she is thus programmed to feel jealousy towards her, and further programmed to want to bring her down, to hobble her, to put her on the sexual sidelines, so that she can woo Chris Evans without the ridiculously hot Scarlett Johanson stealing him away.

This was obvious. Evans is the prize; Johanson is the competition.

But she was such a childlike, insecure, untutored, uncultured mind she simple explanation never occurred to her. The explanations she was looking for were the ones that flattered her further, that told her that she was Objectively Right to enjoy a shirtless Chris Evans, whereas Men were Objectively Wrong to enjoy a shot of ScarJo's butt.

We are increasingly surrounded by bitter, tantrum-prone, unsocialized sociopathic children for whom every hurt and ever failure is cause for spitting and biting.

Now here's where I get personal. If these monsters are determined to attack everyone else, they invite such behavior in return. I think society is much better when things are not personal, and in which people are given a little latitude to pursue their own desires, whether you approve or not.

But the shrieking harpies are unattractive and bitter women, who are also stupid and lacking in all self-reflection and thus incapable in understanding why they feel the volcanic torrents of black emotion they feel, and they've pretty much forced us to stop being nice and start being real.

So my point is: Google images for the author of the Guardian piece, a Ms. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, and tell me the sexual behavioral evolution explanation for her embarrassing behavior is wrong.


Let Me Make This Clear: I am not one of those idiot men who worship hot women who are obviously out of their league.

I am an average-looking guy. I like average-looking women. Very attractive women completely ignore me, which isn't a fun feeling.

So I am predipsosed to liking medium-attractive women, and sort of resenting very attractive women, to the extent I think about them at all.

But being the underdog -- being the one who is not overly gifted with advantages-- does not give one the right to indulge her Inner Asshole, her Inner Bully, her Inner Narcissistic Monster.

And that is what is going on with these Piranha Princesses. They've felt left-out and wallflowerish their whole lives, and now it's time, they think, for some payback.

I have sympathy for wallflowers (being one myself, especially so).

But I do not have sympathy for narcissistic lunatics and vindictive bitches.

Posted by: Ace at 06:58 AM | Comments (525)
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NYT, Boston Globe Both Report That Different Structures of the Clinton Foundation Deliberately Hid Money
— Ace

Ed Morrissey does a good job of summing up at Hot Air.

This New York Times article by, again, Mike McIntire and Jo Becker shreds the Clintons' claims that Canadian law forces them to hide their money and donor lists. Mollie Hemingway reported this yesterday in the Federalist -- a scoop, I'm pretty sure.

Today, the NYT follows up on Sean Davis' work and adds a little bit.

The Clintons' defense here is that they could not comply with their agreement to disclose donors to the State Department, because Canadian law prohibits such disclosures. Sean Davis called up some experts and found out that just wasn't true.

Here's what McIntire and Becker found.


Aides to former President Bill Clinton helped start a Canadian charity that effectively shielded the identities of donors who gave more than $33 million that went to his foundation, despite a pledge of transparency when Hillary Rodham Clinton became secretary of state.

The nonprofit, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), operates in parallel to a Clinton Foundation project called the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, which is expressly covered by an agreement Mrs. Clinton signed to make all donors public while she led the State Department. However, the foundation maintains that the Canadian partnership is not bound by that agreement and that under Canadian law contributors’ names cannot be made public.

The foundation cited that restriction last weekend in explaining why it did not disclose $2.35 million in donations from the chairman of Uranium One, the subject of an article in The New York Times last week....

"This is hardly an effort on our part to avoid transparency," said Maura Pally, acting chief executive of the Clinton Foundation, as she took new efforts to avoid transparency.

I may have altered the end of that sentence.


Instead, the foundation said that the partnership was created by the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra to allow Canadian donors to get a tax benefit for supporting his work with Mr. Clinton -- a benefit that came with the price of respecting Canada's privacy laws. On Wednesday, the partnership issued a statement citing a legal opinion that "charitable donors have an expectation and right of privacy."


However, interviews with tax lawyers and officials in Canada cast doubt on assertions that the partnership was necessary to confer a tax benefit; an examination shows that for many donors it was not needed, and in any event, since 2010, Canadians could have donated to the foundation directly and received the same tax break. Also, it is not at all clear that privacy laws prohibit the partnership from disclosing its donors, the tax lawyers and officials in Canada said.

The partnership, established in 2007, effectively shielded the identities of its donors -- and the amount they gave -- by allowing them to bundle their money together in the offshoot Canadian partnership before it was passed along to Clinton Foundation programs. The foundation, in turn, names only the partnership as the source of those funds.

...

The partnership might have been necessary to provide a tax benefit to early individual donors, but not since 2010. That year, the Clinton Foundation was specially designated by the Canadian government, allowing Canadians to write off donations given directly to it.

"It makes no tax difference," Mr. Blumberg said, "whether a donor gives the money to a Canadian charity or the Clinton Foundation."

....

How many more such entities exist, or might be created in the future, is also unclear. A search of charity registrations in Britain, for instance, found a William J. Clinton Foundation UK that has raised about $1.5 million for a climate change initiative. Foundation officials said those donations were made public.

...

Mr. Blumberg, the tax lawyer, said that while privacy laws would prohibit charities from misusing donor information for commercial purposes, they generally did not otherwise prevent disclosure of donors. But, he said, laws in the province of British Columbia -- where the Clinton Giustra partnership is set up --- are stricter. But even there, he said, a charity could arrange for disclosure of donors if it wanted to, something Mr. Giustra is now saying he will attempt to do.

Ed Morrissey makes a great point about this, which I think actually Becker and McIntire want to make, but don't, out of journalistic professionalism:

If the specific rules of British Columbia just happened to appear, on the surface, to be stricter about disclosing donor information, isn't it terribly convenient the Clintons and their eternal Mob Lawyer Bruce Lindsey incorporated there, as opposed to much-more-convenient Toronto or Quebec?

It sure looks like the Clintons went forum shopping to specifically find someplace where the tax laws could be misconstrued -- or pretended to be misconstrued, rather -- to shield their donors from disclosure.

More "mistakes were made" in Boston, it turns out.

An unprecedented ethics promise that played a pivotal role in helping Hillary Rodham Clinton win confirmation as secretary of state, soothing senators' concerns about conflicts of interests with Clinton family charities, was uniformly bypassed by the biggest of the philanthropies involved.


The Clinton Health Access Initiative never submitted information on any foreign donations to State Department lawyers for review during Clinton's tenure from 2009 to 2013, Maura Daley, the organization's spokeswoman, acknowledged to the Globe this week. She said the charity deemed it unnecessary, except in one case that she described as an "oversight."

During that time, grants from foreign governments increased by tens of millions of dollars to the Boston-based organization.

Daley’s acknowledgement was the first by the charity of the broad scope of its apparent failures to fulfill the spirit of a crucial political pledge made by the Clinton family and their charities. The health initiative has previously acknowledged failing only to disclose the identity of its contributors, another requirement under the agreement.

You can read the rest at the Boston Globe. You get the idea.

So... what can you say?

I do note this move the Clintons always make. See if you've seen this before.

Step One: The Clintons claim they didn't break the law because their departure from regular order was justified by a technicality.

Step Two: You look into this alleged technicality that the Clintons claim saves them from being felons, and you find that it doesn't apply -- they're misinterpreting it (almost certainly deliberately).

Step Three: You tell them: Your lawbreaking is not excused by this claimed technicality, because you are deliberately misinterpreting the law to claim this technicality.

Step Four: Now they bat innocent eyes at you and ask: "Why are you focusing on mere technicalities when there are such important issues to be dealt with?!"

Then they turn to their partisan supporters in the public, jab their thumbs in your direction, and say "Ha, ha, look at these silly people who spend all day talking about technicalities in the law."

Correction: Ed Morrissey wrote the article, not Noah Rothman. Sorry. I've just been linking Rothman a lot lately.

Another Correction: It was Mollie Hemingway, not Sean Davis, who broke the story about the Clintons lying about Canadian laws about disclosure.


Posted by: Ace at 05:46 AM | Comments (281)
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Open Thread
— rdbrewer


Francis Danby, "A Lake in Norway" (c. 1835)

Posted by: rdbrewer at 04:59 AM | Comments (311)
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Morning Open Thread
— Open Blogger

You will comment in the thread that is open.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:30 AM | Comments (370)
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Early Morning Thread (4-30-15) [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

Hell.
Handbasket.

No assembly required.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 02:07 AM | Comments (154)
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April 29, 2015

ONT 4-29-15 : Space to Destroy edition [krakatoa]
— Open Blogger

Look, I know: It's not going to be easy following last nights ONT. That was just a brilliant bit of minimalism -- sort of an avante-'tard blend of Andy Warhol and Steven Wright.

All I have today are cheap insults and a pressing need for a shower that, while you won't be able to actually smell, will probably make its influence known in the lingering miasma that is tonight's ONT.

Maetenlock is still away on some "business" trip.

Which is to say he's up to his tits in cheap European vodka, unearned superior attitudes, burning cars, and gypsy ears.

Which is to further say: Just another Wednesday evening.

more...

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— Ace

Blue Box D&D Cover Recreated In Huge Scale, With Legos
Because playing with Legos wasn't dorky enough as it was already

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Alex Wagner: Obama, Who Is Only "Half Black," Doubling Down On Use of the Word "Thug"
— Ace

It's about time Obama had the race card played on him.

I ain't gonna lie: I came.

Bonus: Matt Taibbi, of the Hoax Magazine Rolling Stone, has a "little known" secret to share with you.


Posted by: Ace at 04:04 PM | Comments (235)
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I Don't Know What to Believe
— Ace

People: Everything's Great!!!!

BruceJennerHappy.jpg

Us: Everything's Amazing!!!

UsJennerAmazingJourney.jpg


In Touch: It could be better, I guess

JennerSuicideWatch.jpg

Posted by: Ace at 02:47 PM | Comments (439)
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Chelsea Clinton's Claim That An Independent Watchdog Rated the Clinton Foundation As Among the World's Most Transparent Organizations is, Get This, a Complete Lie
— Ace

Says who?

Says NPR.

I'd like to give Hillary Clinton a special The Balls On That Woman Award for sending out not Susan Rice as a human shield to lie for her, but her own f***ing daughter.



Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary, sought to tamp down new allegations that rich foreign donors had influenced her mother while she was secretary of state by noting that an international anti-corruption group had endorsed the foundation's disclosure practices.

"What the Clinton foundation has said is that we will be kind of even more transparent," said the former first daughter, now vice chairman of the foundation, at an event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. "Even though Transparency International and others have said we're among the most transparent foundations, we'll disclose donors on a quarterly basis, not just an annual basis."

The problem with that, though, is Transparency International never cited the Clinton foundation. It did award Hillary Clinton its 2012 TI-USA Integrity Award when Clinton was secretary of state for "recognizing her contributions as secretary of state in raising the importance of transparency and anticorruption as elements of U.S. policy," Claudia Dumas, president of Transparency International, told NPR. (The organization put out a fuller statement Monday.)

...

She never mentioned the Clinton foundation, and Dumas' organization is focused on promoting government transparency.

"We do not do an examination or any ranking of foundations," said Dumas, who noted that Chelsea Clinton may have simply made an innocent mistake.

Yes I think that's exactly what it must have been.

From Morgen Richmond (@morgenR), who has more:





Posted by: Ace at 12:34 PM | Comments (391)
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New Racial Codeword: "Thug"
— Ace

There's actually a major Social Justice Warrior controversy over whether we can call thugs "thugs," or whether that's -- wait for it -- racist.

Mayor Space-to-Destroy has apologized for calling looters and arsonists "thugs," but Obama hasn't. Josh Earnest says he stands by that word.

Black Twitter called Obama an "Uncle Tom n*****r ass cracker" for using it.

I wouldn't give Obama any kudos for "standing behind" the word thug. He stands behind everything he says and does, because he's a malignant narcissist who becomes petulant and angry when someone suggests fault in him.

So, he's not standing behind "thug" out of course, but rather because it's his habit. And standing behind everything you do or say is not courage: In fact, it's cowardice. It takes bravery to examine oneself for flaws and to confess them.

Obama's right on this point, but, of course: Accidentally.

Oh, and you know what else is controversial? Whole Foods' donation of sandwiches to the National Guard, probably an encouragement to the Guard to stop the thugs from burning down their store.

But the thugs want to burn shit, and it's racist to do tell them "No," so.


Posted by: Ace at 10:55 AM | Comments (555)
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Likely Felon Hillary Clinton: Let's Open Up All the Prisons
— Ace

It's time to "end the era of mass incarceration," the suspected embezzler says.

Vowing to "end the era of mass incarceration," presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for sweeping changes to the country's criminal justice system on Wednesday as well as a recognition of "hard truths" about race and law enforcement tactics nationwide.

...

Listing the series of unarmed black men who have recently died after altercations with law enforcement -- including Freddie Gray, whose death while in police custody sparked riots in Baltimore this week -- Clinton said that the deaths should "galvanize" Americans to fight for change.

"My heart breaks for these young men and their families," she said. "We have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America."

The article does not say if she listed Michael Brown-- though I assume she did. WaPo black-and-gay-issues writer Jonathan Capeheart got a round of approbation for admitting that everything he thought he knew about the Brown shooting was a lie, and then, a couple of weeks later, listed Brown anyway in the List of the Fallen Black Innocents.

Hillary Clinton is claiming that our jailed are filled with the indiscriminately-imprisoned -- that "masses" of people are just winding up in jail.

It is one thing to call for criminal justice reform. It is another thing entirely to demagogue the issue from a hard leftwing viewpoint and claim that "masses" of prisoners -- most of them -- are essentially politically prisoners.

She also called for an end to armored vehicles, just as those are being used to quell the Baltimore riots:

The former New York senator also suggested that federal funds should be used to bolster public safety, not for "weapons of war that have no place on our streets."

Meanwhile, Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland puts an end to "tomfoolery," as Moe Lane puts it, having his guys snatch up a guy who was blatantly defying curfew (parading himself right before the National Guard. An armored Humvee -- a "weapon of war" in Ms. Clinton's parlance -- was used to execute the arrest.

Video at that link.

Oh, BTW, Kermit the Frog told me he "can't wait" to vote for Hillary Clinton. But then, (Mild Content Warning) he's a little bent.


Posted by: Ace at 09:55 AM | Comments (370)
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US Growth Slows to 0.2% Annualized GDP Growth, Also Known as "Recessionary Nongrowth"
— Ace

A negative growth rate is actually the definition of a recession, of course, but these things often have to first cross an almost-zero threshold before plunging officially into negative territory.

Via @comradearthur -- Obama's Miracle Economy continues to astound.

The U.S. economy ground nearly to a halt in the first three months of the year, according to government data released Wednesday morning, as exports plunged and severe winter weather helped keep consumers indoors.

The gross domestic product grew between January and March at an annualized rate of 0.2 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department said, adding to the picture of an economy braking sharply after accelerating for much of last year. The pace fell well shy of the 1 percent mark anticipated by analysts and marked the weakest quarter in a year.

The economy had expanded at a rate of 2.2 percent in the final three months of 2014 and at a rate of 2.4 percent for the year.

Which is itself a horrible rate of "growth."

But Obama declared victory over one quarter of good growth (I think the 2nd quarter 2014), and the media of course declared him officially "Back."

Consumer confidence -- which is far too high, thanks to media cheerleading -- already took a tumble after recent disappointing job growth, and will undoubtedly fall further still now that the economy is in a pre-recessionary funk.

The WaPo's Chico Harlan also casts doubt on Obama's favorite excuse for a terrible economy -- that it's all the weather.

To be sure, the weather in some parts of the country between January and March was really bad. Boston got crushed by snow. So did Chicago. In the Northeast, this was the coldest winter in 30 years.

But the tie between weather and economic performance is often overstated, according to the small number of experts who’ve searched for a correlation. In fact, the data shows that only a few slices of the economy -- manufacturing and construction, namely --can be hurt by a brutal winter. Retail sales, to a much lesser extent, can also feel a pinch. But weather alone won’t bring a humming economy to a halt....

In a paper released recently by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, two researchers concluded that the effect of weather "is not very large." The effect, they added, is certainly not large enough to explain what happened a year ago, when a 2.2 percent contraction in the quarter lasting from January through March coincided with a particularly brutal winter.

Yes, remember that winter? It was actually a lot like this one. An Artic cold front froze much of the country, cancelling flights, closing schools and leading to a series of record lows. Initially, analysts were careful about drawing a connection to the economy; the slowdown was "in part" related to weather, the Federal Reserve said. But as the months passed, and the U.S. economy rebounded during the spring and summer, the narrative changed. It became "folk wisdom" that the winter storms led almost directly to the contraction, the Chicago Fed researchers wrote.

Gee, I wonder how it became "folk wisdom." Maybe because virtually every media voice was echoing Obama's spin.

I definitely recommend this piece. I do not think I've read a single other piece in the media debunking the constant "It unexpectedly snowed in winter" excuse from this Administration and its media Spirit Squad.

Posted by: Ace at 08:05 AM | Comments (475)
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You're Not Quite Going to Believe This, But Hillary Clinton Is, Get This, Refusing to Disclose 1,100 of Her Big Money Foreign Donors
— Ace

@benk84 already covered this, but Sean Davis has a little more, so first, the news report. Bloomberg's Green and Rubin:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential run is prompting new scrutiny of the Clintons' financial and charitable affairs--something that’s already proved problematic for the Democratic frontrunner, given how closely these two worlds overlap. Last week, the New York Times examined Bill Clinton’s relationship with a Canadian mining financier, Frank Giustra, who has donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and sits on its board. Clinton, the story suggests, helped Giustra's company secure a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan and in return received "a flow of cash" to the Clinton Foundation, including previously undisclosed donations from the company's chairman totaling $2.35 million.

Giustra strenuously objects to how he was portrayed....

"We're not trying to hide anything," he says. There are in fact 1,100 undisclosed donors to the Clinton Foundation, Giustra says, most of them non-U.S. residents who donated to CGEP. "All of the money that was raised by CGEP flowed through to the Clinton Foundation--every penny--and went to the [charitable] initiatives we identified," he says.

"We're not trying to hide anything."

We're not trying to hide anything, he says, about the hiding of the names of 1,100 wealthy foreign donors to a presidential candidate.


The reason this is a politically explosive revelation is because the Clinton Foundation promised to disclose its donors as a condition of Hillary Clinton becoming secretary of state. Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the Clinton Foundation signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Obama White House agreeing to reveal its contributors every year. The agreement stipulates that the "Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative" (as the charity was then known) is part of the Clinton Foundation and must follow "the same protocols."

It hasn't.

Giustra says that’s because Canada’s federal privacy law forbids CGEP, a Canadian-registered charity, from revealing its donors.

Hillary and Giustra claim Canadian law forbids disclosing the donors-- but Sean Davis has contacted some experts in Canadian law, and they say that's just not true.

BloombergPolitics reported this morning that the Clinton Foundation refused to disclose the identities of at least 1,100 donors, most of whom are not U.S. citizens, to a Clinton Foundation affiliate. The donations were routed through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), or CGEPartnership, a Canadian charitable organization. That organization then effectively bundled the foreign donations and sent them along to the Clinton Foundation itself, and it did all of this without ever disclosing the individual foreign sources of the income.

If that sounds to you like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization, that’s because it certainly looks like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization....


Multiple Canadian tax and privacy law experts contacted by The Federalist, the Washington Post, and BloombergPolitics said there was no such blanket prohibition on public disclosure of charitable donor identities. While Canada does include a ban on the release of donor information in the course of commercial activity, it specifically exempts fundraising from that definition. And because the public disclosure of a donor's name doesn't include any transaction or consideration, it's not considered to be commercial activity.

"Federal law prohibits disclosure related to commercial activity: things like selling, renting, or bartering of a list. Fundraising is not a covered activity under PIPEDA, the federal privacy law," Adam Aptowitzer, a Canadian charitable organization attorney, told The Federalist.

...

The Clinton Foundation’s deliberate misinterpretation of Canadian privacy law in order to rationalize its secrecy raises several questions, chief among them: why?

I think Hillary's question would be, "Why not?"

Posted by: Ace at 06:44 AM | Comments (310)
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