Patterico's Pontifications

3/8/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:57 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Today is International Women’s Day. These unbelievably courageous women lay it all on the line, no matter the risk and consequences. I am so humbled by their determination:

This too:

While the women of Iran face torture and imprisonment as they work to end gender apartheid and Israeli women remain held hostage by Hamas, the AP answers the vexing question of whether it is appropriate to send women flowers and chocolates today:

It depends on the time and place.

Women in Eastern Europe have long received flowers on March 8 — and sometimes even gotten the day off from work. But chocolates and candy can come across as a belittling gestures, showing a lack of understanding of the struggles driving women to protest, particularly in regions where protests have been combative.

Yeah, about those women in Eastern Europe:

Second news item

Donald Trump last night before the SOTU speech:

“I am pleased to inform you that tomorrow night we will be doing a LIVE, Play by Play, of Crooked Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. I will correct, in rapid response, any and all inaccurate Statements, especially pertaining to the Border and his Weaponization of the DOJ, FBI, A.G.s, and District Attorneys, to go after his Political Opponent, ME (something never done before in this Country!). We did this once before to tremendous success – Beating All Records. It is important for the Country to get the TRUTH!”

Unfortunately for the man who would be king president and had promised to live blog the President’s speech, his Truth Social website suffered any number of outages minutes after President Biden began speaking. Sad!

Third news item

President Biden correctly identifies the killer of Laken Riley:

President Joe Biden mentioned the death of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley during his State of the Union address on Thursday and referred to the Venezuelan man accused of killing her as an “illegal.”

Although a correct description of Riley’s killer, we are instructed about the “outdated” language:

By calling the suspect an “illegal,” Biden was using outdated language often preferred by Republicans – but long abandoned by Democrats and social justice advocates – when referring to people who have entered the country illegally.

Of course, the larger issue is the humanitarian crisis at our Southern border and the need for border security. Remember too, the it was the GOP’s decision to walk away from the $118 billion border deal.

President Biden was asked today about his use of the word “illegal” last night:

REPORTER: Do you regret using the word illegal to describe immigrants last night, sir?

BIDEN: Well, I probably, uh, I don’t regret…it, uh, technically he’s not supposed to be here.

Fourth news item

President Biden should focus on the most difficult part of the problem, and the one with the most severe consequences:

President Biden in his State of the Union address lashed out at Israel for not allowing more aid into Gaza, and announced a harebrained scheme to have the U.S. military build a port to facilitate the delivery of more aid.

Biden’s focus has been on getting food and other humanitarian aid into Gaza, not on the real challenge of protecting it and making sure that it gets to those in need once it gets in.

So even if the port project goes perfectly (and the U.S. military is capable of some amazing things) and more aid flows in, it doesn’t really solve what happens to the aid once it hits the shore. Who is preventing it from getting looted, hoarded by Hamas, and sold on the black market for prices that are unaffordable to those most in need?

What the author doesn’t provide readers with is a possible solution to the problem of protecting the aid once it lands on the ground.

Fifth news item

Trauma and the hope for tomorrow:

…Samer Sinjilawi…is a Palestinian born and bred in East Jerusalem. Samer is 52 years old, a political activist who spent five years in Israeli prison from the age of 15 for throwing stones at Israelis during the first intifada. He defines himself as part of the leadership of the opposition to Mahmoud Abbas within the Fatah movement. Samer tells audiences that he has lived his whole life without being the citizen of any country. His lives in the city of his birth, which is the capital of the State of Israel, where there are almost 400,000 Palestinians, about 40% of the population of Jerusalem, but the State of Israel does not want him as a citizen. The State of Israel also does not allow him to be a citizen of the State of Palestine, which Israel does not recognize. Samer is a politician but has never been able to run for national office…When Samer is asked how he deals with the trauma of this war and of the whole conflict he responds by saying that when he sees an Israeli Jew who hates Palestinians and even wants to kill them, he understands them. He says “we did terrible things to the Jews and the Jews did terrible things to us. I used to think that we were the good guys and they were the bad guys. Now I know that the reality is much more complex and we have done terrible things to each other.”

Samer went to visit Kibbutz Kfar Aza after October 7. He was filmed there by a documentary film maker and he said that he came because he wanted to see with his own eyes the atrocities committed by Hamas. He said “I have to take responsibility for this because it was done in my name as a Palestinian, by my own people, and we are all responsible.” He also now says that he hopes that someday Israelis will be able to go to Gaza and stand up and say “I take responsibility as an Israeli because the atrocities committed by Israel in Gaza were done in my name.” Confronting trauma begins with compassion and taking responsibility.

Sixth news item

Keeping it in the family:

At the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting here Friday, members elevated Trump’s endorsed candidates – North Carolina GOP chairman Michael Whatley and the former president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump – to serve as the organization’s new chair and co-chair, respectively…Neither faced any challengers Friday…[P]eople close to the former president and at the RNC describe the shift as a more of a takeover. Trump is looking to sync the RNC closely with his presidential campaign, building out a team that will indulge in his focus on election fraud and improve its fundraising prowess – at a time when the committee finds itself in dire financial straits.

Seventh news item

By a wide margin, San Franciscans say enough is enough!:

Proposition E was passed by San Francisco voters Tuesday night. The proposition pertains to police department policies and procedures. Prop E limits the amount of time a patrol officer may spend on administrative tasks and allows the use of drones along with, or instead of vehicular pursuits…In addition to expanding the use of drones and limiting desk time for officers, Prop E allows for use of body camera footage to satisfy reporting requirements and allows the installation of surveillance and facial recognition cameras without approval from the police commission or board of supervisors.

Proposition F, another city ballot initiative that would require drug screening for certain beneficiaries of county assistance, also passed…

Eighth news item

One of the unintended consequences of AI:

Five Beverly Hills eighth-graders have been expelled for their involvement in the creation and sharing of fake nude pictures of their classmates.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District board of education voted at a special meeting Wednesday evening to approve stipulated agreements of expulsion with five students. According to a source close to the investigation, the expelled students were attending Beverly Vista Middle School. Under a stipulated agreement, the students and their parents do not contest the punishment and no hearing was held.

According to Supt. Michael Bregy, the five students who were the focus of its investigation were the “most egregiously involved” in the creation and sharing of the images, which superimposed pictures of real students’ faces onto simulated nude bodies generated by artificial intelligence. The victims, the district said, were 16 eighth-grade students.

Note: California’s laws against possessing child pornography and sharing nonconsensual nude pictures do not specifically apply to AI-generated images, which legal experts say would pose a problem for prosecutors.

MISCELLANEOUS

I realize it’s a thankless job, but still…

Have a great weekend!

–Dana

245 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Hello. Happy Friday!

    Dana (8e902f)

  2. “Remember too, the it was the GOP’s decision to walk away from the $118 billion border deal.”

    1) There was never a deal.
    2) There is nothing in the Senate bill that would’ve prevented Laken’s murderer from entering the country.
    3) Democrats walked away from HR2, the only bill that passed a chamber.
    4) The Democrats will walk away from the Laken Riley Act, just passed by the House.
    5) HR2 would’ve severely curtailed parole authority, which is how Laken’s murderer was let in.
    6) Democrats support sanctuary policies, which is how Laken’s murderer avoided deportation.

    lloyd (de99c7)

  3. Unfortunately for the man who would be king president and had promised to live blog the President’s speech, his Truth Social website suffered any number of outages minutes after President Biden began speaking.

    He hires tech people like he hires lawyers.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  4. Who is preventing it from getting looted, hoarded by Hamas, and sold on the black market for prices that are unaffordable to those most in need?

    From a president who views Kroger as a rapacious black marketeer.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  5. The RNC is beginning to look like the North Korean legislature. All in favor? Unanimous again! All hail our Blessed Leader.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  6. There is nothing in the Senate bill that would’ve prevented Laken’s murderer from entering the country.

    There is nothing that could have been PUT in the bill that would have prevented that either. Prove me wrong.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  7. Eighth news item

    One of the unintended intended consequences of AI

    FIFY

    Rip Murdock (3eea61)

  8. Another insurrection averted

    Father of Marine killed in Afghanistan arrested for shouting at Biden

    Steven Nikoui, the father a Marine killed during the U.S. withdrawal of Afghanistan, was arrested Thursday evening for shouting from a House gallery at President Biden during his State of the Union address.

    Nikoui, 51, was arrested for disrupting Biden’s speech around 10:15 p.m. EST, U.S. Capitol Police confirmed.

    “Our officers warned him to stop and when he did not, the man was removed from the House Galleries,” Capitol Police said in a statement.

    He was arrested for crowding, obstructing or incommoding, Capitol Police said, adding that “disrupting the Congress and demonstrating in the Congressional Buildings is illegal.”

    Nikoui was invited to attend the annual address by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.), who served in the Army for more than 12 years. While deployed in Afghanistan, Mast worked as a bomb disposal expert, where he lost both his legs in an explosion, according to his congressional website.

    Mast posted online ahead of the address, saying he was “honored” to have Nikoui as his guest.

    lloyd (de99c7)

  9. RE: MISCELLANEOUS:

    Ouch!

    Rip Murdock (3eea61)

  10. @6 “There is nothing that could have been PUT in the bill that would have prevented that either. Prove me wrong.”

    Read part 4 here. I’ve posted it here before but you don’t want to listen. My guess is, you still don’t. In any case, just proved you wrong.

    The caveat is that we don’t know the basis for granting parole to Laken’s murderer, because Mayorkas has stonewalled. Given history with this administration, it’s correct to assume the worst until given other evidence.

    lloyd (e1c92a)

  11. @6

    There is nothing in the Senate bill that would’ve prevented Laken’s murderer from entering the country.

    There is nothing that could have been PUT in the bill that would have prevented that either. Prove me wrong.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 12:06 pm

    It reinforces the current mandate of detaining asylum seekers by mandating to send the seekers to another country (not necessarily their home country) if there’s no space left in the detainment center.

    whembly (5f7596)

  12. Who is preventing it from getting looted, hoarded by Hamas, and sold on the black market for prices that are unaffordable to those most in need?

    Sheer quantity. At some point, the hoarders and the black market will be satiated, and in the meantime the free market will get the food to the most difficult places (much better than starting a distribution point where not everybody will get to, or trying to find people. I mean do air drops work any differently?

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  13. SNL wants to thank sen. britt for their opening skitt tomorrow night. As for criticism republicans are doing a better job of that then I could do.

    asset (3badf5)

  14. What I’m wondering about is why they think that it makes a difference whether or not any U.S. military personnel touch land. (maybe it does for PR purposes.)

    The coast is mostly or entirely not a combat zone, and the tunnels don’t seem to go there. In fact, Israel earlier suggested that it be used as a safe haven, but Hamas wouldn’t go along – after all, their strategy is to force Israel to let them be in charge of Gaza on pain of creating a famine!

    If U.S. naval personnel will not be targeted so long as they on the water, they also will not be targeted if they get a few feet, even more than a hundred feet, onto land, and if they will be targeted on land, they’ll also be targeted even offshore.

    Unless they think that the enemies of the United States are more afraid to attack the U.S. at sea than on land. There was the Maine in 1898 (even though that was really an accident); the Lusitania in 1915 and other ships in the Atlantic during World War I; during World War II, Hitler avoided attacking U.S. ships in the Atlantic in 1941, and Pearl Harbor, which brought about a devastating response, (where Japan’s goal had been to keep the United States out its planned expansion of the war) was basically an attack on ships at sea. And the North Koreans settled for a statement after taking the Pueblo and the Khmer Rouge instantly gave up after seizing the Mayaguez in 1975.

    But on land there is precedent for retreat – Black Hawk down, Afghanistan etc.

    But how do the Houthis fit into this? Their attacks are on ships at sea. On the other hand, the U.S. responds.

    On the third hand, the U.S. stopped the attacks by Iranian proxies on U.S. forces on land in Syria, Iraq and Jordan that had been going on since October 17, by killing an important commander in Baghdad on February 7. 2024.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/05/opinion/biden-iran-middle-east.html

    The operation was then capped off on Feb. 7 when the U.S. decided to demonstrate to Iran and its proxies what kind of combined intelligence/precision warfare the U.S. can deploy by killing Abu Baqir al-Saedi, the specific commander from Kataib Hezbollah who the U.S. determined was in charge of drone attacks on its bases in Iraq, Jordan and Syria.

    Al-Saedi was hit while driving on a Baghdad street by the same kind of drone-fired Hellfire missile that killed the senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qassim Suleimani in 2020. It was equipped with six swordlike blades that once it penetrates a vehicle slice and dice anything in their path like a blender, which is why the missile has been nicknamed the “Flying Ginsu.”

    This American response clearly got the Iranians’ attention, and Iran’s proxies have been observing an undeclared cease-fire on land ever since, which certainly helped ease my mind as we flew around in helicopters and a C-130 all over the ungoverned spaces of eastern Syria, too close for my comfort one day near the joint Russian-Iranian base on the western side of the Euphrates…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  15. Item 4 Biden needs michigan, minnesota and wisconsin. He doesn’t need muslims and progressives voting for jill stein or uncommitted making him come to jesus. Its called being between a rock and the hard place.

    asset (3badf5)

  16. @14 Sammy german submarines sank a U.S. destroyer and torpedoed other american ships before Pearl Harbor.

    asset (3badf5)

  17. asset (3badf5) — 3/8/2024 @ 12:52 pm

    SNL wants to thank sen. britt for their opening skitt tomorrow night.

    She acted really afraid, and was breathless.

    But the thing that resembled a Saturday Night Live skit was taken from a speech by climate envoy John Kerry:

    https://nypost.com/2024/03/07/us-news/john-kerry-ripped-for-suggesting-world-may-feel-better-about-ukraine-war-if-russia-cut-emissions

    President Biden’s outgoing climate czar, John Kerry, one of the most powerful and esteemed figures in Washington, made jaws drop this week when he suggested that the world might “feel better” about the ongoing bloodshed caused by Russia in Ukraine if Moscow cut its emissions.

    “Russia is one of the largest emitters in the world. If Russia wanted to show good faith, they could go out and announce what their reductions are going to be and make a greater effort to reduce emissions,” Kerry, 80, said during a foreign press briefing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, his penultimate day on the job before leaving to assist Biden’s re-election campaign and teach at Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs.

    “Maybe that would open up the door for people to feel better about what Russia is choosing to do at this point in time.”

    ,,,,“At this point, the Biden admin is like a continuous SNL skit,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted alongside a clip of Kerry’s comments.

    “I had to listen to this three times to make sure Kerry really said this. And he did. Embarrassing beyond words, and quite frankly, utterly offensive!” International Legal Forum CEO Arsen Ostrovsky wrote on X.

    Kerry was wrong, of course, because all the bombs that Russia is dropping on Ukraine, start fires which burn carbon.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  18. Clever criminal uses of voice cloning:

    https://www.newyorker.com/science/annals-of-artificial-intelligence/the-terrifying-ai-scam-that-uses-your-loved-ones-voice

    On a recent night, a woman named Robin was asleep next to her husband, Steve, in their Brooklyn home, when her phone buzzed on the bedside table…

    …She picked up the phone, and, on the other end, she heard Mona’s voice wailing and repeating the words “I can’t do it, I can’t do it.” “I thought she was trying to tell me that some horrible tragic thing had happened,” Robin told me. Mona and her husband, Bob, are in their seventies. She’s a retired party planner, and he’s a dentist. They spend the warm months in Bethesda, Maryland, and winters in Boca Raton, where they play pickleball and canasta. Robin’s first thought was that there had been an accident. Robin’s parents also winter in Florida, and she pictured the four of them in a car wreck. “Your brain does weird things in the middle of the night,” she said. Robin then heard what sounded like Bob’s voice on the phone. (The family members requested that their names be changed to protect their privacy.) “Mona, pass me the phone,” Bob’s voice said, then, “Get Steve. Get Steve.”

    Robin took this—that they didn’t want to tell her while she was alone—as another sign of their seriousness. She shook Steve awake. “I think it’s your mom,” she told him. “I think she’s telling me something terrible happened.”

    Steve, who has close-cropped hair and an athletic build, works in law enforcement. When he opened his eyes, he found Robin in a state of panic. “She was screaming,” he recalled. “I thought her whole family was dead.” When he took the phone, he heard a relaxed male voice—possibly Southern—on the other end of the line. “You’re not gonna call the police,” the man said. “You’re not gonna tell anybody. I’ve got a gun to your mom’s head, and I’m gonna blow her brains out if you don’t do exactly what I say.”

    Steve used his own phone to call a colleague with experience in hostage negotiations. The colleague was muted, so that he could hear the call but wouldn’t be heard. “You hear this???” Steve texted him. “What should I do?” The colleague wrote back, “Taking notes. Keep talking.” The idea, Steve said, was to continue the conversation, delaying violence and trying to learn any useful information.

    “I want to hear her voice,” Steve said to the man on the phone.

    The man refused. “If you ask me that again, I’m gonna kill her,” he said. “Are you f?????? crazy?”

    “O.K.,” Steve said. “What do you want?”

    The man demanded money for travel; he wanted five hundred dollars, sent through Venmo. “It was such an insanely small amount of money for a human being,” Steve recalled. “But also: I’m obviously gonna pay this.” Robin, listening in, reasoned that someone had broken into Steve’s parents’ home to hold them up for a little cash. On the phone, the man gave Steve a Venmo account to send the money to. It didn’t work

    so he tried a few more, and eventually found one that did. The app asked what the transaction was for.

    “Put in a pizza emoji,” the man said.

    After Steve sent the five hundred dollars, the man patched in a female voice—a girlfriend, it seemed—who said that the money had come through, but that it wasn’t enough. Steve asked if his mother would be released, and the man got upset that he was bringing this up with the woman listening. “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” he said. “Baby, I’ll call you later.” The implication, to Steve, was that the woman didn’t know about the hostage situation. “That made it even more real,” Steve told me. The man then asked for an additional two hundred and fifty dollars to get a ticket for his girlfriend. “I’ve gotta get my baby mama down here to me,” he said. Steve sent the additional sum, and, when it processed, the man hung up.

    By this time, about twenty-five minutes had elapsed. Robin cried and Steve spoke to his colleague. “You guys did great,” the colleague said. He told them to call Bob, since Mona’s phone was clearly compromised, to make sure that he and Mona were now safe. After a few tries, Bob picked up the phone and handed it to Mona. “Are you at home?” Steve and Robin asked her. “Are you O.K.?”

    Mona sounded fine, but she was unsure of what they were talking about. “Yeah, I’m in bed,” she replied. “Why?”

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  19. International women’s day. This weekend we will have many women racing against men in Nascar Arca and xfinity. In Indy car in indy nxt. Sports car racing and drag racing has women competing against men and so does formula 4. Unfortunately the best women drivers will not be racing against men in formula 1 academy ;but soon whey will on to higher ranks where they will.

    asset (3badf5)

  20. RIP singer Steve Lawrence (88):

    …………
    Born Sidney Liebowitz in Brooklyn, New York, on July 8, 1935, Lawrence, the son of a cantor, was just 16 when he took top honors in the famed Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts competition. Lawrence met (his future wife) Edyie Gormé (d. 2013) when both were appearing as regulars on Allen’s Tonight show; they married in 1957 in Las Vegas, where they would be a concert staple for decades.

    The duo continued their success through the 1960s, appearing onstage and on such television shows as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Hollywood Palace, The Carol Burnett Show, The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Julie Andrews Hour and many others.
    …………
    As an actor, Lawrence appeared in many TV series of the 1970s (Medical Center, Here’s Lucy, Sanford & Son, Police Story), the 1980s (Murder She Wrote), ’90s (Frasier, The Nanny) and 2000s (Two and a Half Men, Hot in Cleveland).

    On the big screen, Lawrence played agent Maury Sline in The Blues Brothers (1980) and the 1998 sequel Blues Brothers 2000. Other film appearances include The Lonely Guy (1984) and the crime thriller The Yards (2000).
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  21. Biden identified Lincoln Riley, not Laken Riley.

    He also made it all about himself as he always does saying him losing “children” is the same as parents having their child murdered by someone Biden invited in.

    NJRob (d44433)

  22. MISCELLANEOUS:

    Ouch!

    Rip Murdock (3eea61) — 3/8/2024 @ 12:11 pm

    Your sexism towards conservative woman and preference for leftist policies is noted.

    NJRob (d44433)

  23. NJRob (d44433) — 3/8/2024 @ 1:26 pm

    I guess there won’t be a visit from Santa this year. 🤣

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  24. No politician should be immune from mockery, male or female.

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  25. I think March 8 as Women’s Day was invented by the old Soviet Union.

    Well, no actually not. It originated with labor unions and Socislists (but got promoted by the Soviet Union)

    https://www.marx-memorial-library.org.uk/project/centenary-russian-revolution/origins-international-womens-day

    The motivation for IWD came from two sources: the struggle of working class women to form trade unions and the fight for women’s franchise. These two issues united European women with their sisters in the USA. In 1908 hundreds of women workers in the New York needle trades demonstrated in Rutgers Square in Manhattan’s Lower East Side to form their own union and to demand the right to vote. This historic demonstration took place on March 8th. It led, in the following year to the ‘uprising’ of 30,000 women shirtwaist makers which resulted in the first permanent trade unions for women workers in the USA.

    Meanwhile news of the heroic fight of US women workers reached Europe – in particular it inspired European socialist women who had established, on the initiative of the German socialist feminist, Clara Zetkin (1857-1933), the International Socialist Women’s Conference. This latter body met for the first time in 1907 in Stuttgart alongside one of the periodic conferences of the Second International (1889-1914). Three years later in 1910 the Copenhagen Conference of the Second International Clara Zetkin proposed the following motion:…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  26. 6, Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 12:06 pm

    There is nothing that could have been PUT in the bill that would have prevented that either. Prove me wrong.

    Nothing rational.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  27. Samer Sinjilawi…is a Palestinian born and bred in East Jerusalem. Samer is 52 years old, a political activist who spent five years in Israeli prison from the age of 15 for throwing stones at Israelis during the first intifada. He defines himself as part of the leadership of the opposition to Mahmoud Abbas within the Fatah movement. Samer tells audiences that he has lived his whole life without being the citizen of any country. His lives in the city of his birth, which is the capital of the State of Israel, where there are almost 400,000 Palestinians, about 40% of the population of Jerusalem, but the State of Israel does not want him as a citizen.

    Normally any resident of East Jerusalem is eligible to become an Israeli citizen (for various reasons few do)

    He must have been barred because of his record of supporting terrorism (five years in jail for what was probably more than merely throwing a few stones)

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  28. Too bad oberman didn’t add the women of Iran, gaza and the rest of the world. There would be complaints if the women of gaza were brought up and the jewish women held by hamas ignored.

    asset (3badf5)

  29. @27 “probably?” Makes it easier to ignore.

    asset (3badf5)

  30. https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/08/us/politics/state-of-the-union-transcript-biden.html

    Joe Biden:

    Lincoln Riley, an innocent young woman who was killed by an illegal, that’s right. But how many thousands of people are being killed by legals?

    And what about someone illegal killed by American citizens?

    And why is anyone ever let out of jail??

    What Republicans are doing is like AL Sharpton seeking out examples of someone black kiled by the police. Maybe defunding the police could stop that – along with many good things.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  31. One, call me…well…something, but the drawing of the lady whacking the guy with the flowers is kind of hot.
    Also, Dana, maybe I’m going out on a limb by correcting a woman (but with affection) on International Womens Day, but the $118 billion is a border security and foreign aid bill, since the border component makes up around 20% of the total.

    Two, Mediaite has a funny compilation of the Xitter reaction to Ms. Britt’s breathy speech. Personally, I watched about three minutes of it and then turned the channel out of revulsion of her phoniness.

    Three, here’s a thread about the all the opportunities Putin had to negotiate peace with Ukraine in good faith, but he welshed on them or shut them down. Of note, Joel Wasserman suggests that it was Zelenskyy’s arrest of Medvedchuk for treason that catalyzed Putin to invade, not Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. Who can say for sure, but it does look like Putin’s intent is the cultural genocide of Ukraine

    Putin says Russia and Ukraine “will be reunited, at least at the spiritual level – it’s inevitable,” meaning Ukraine can’t have an identity distinct from Russia’s.

    Then he says “nationalism poisons many peoples,” which from him sounds like “Cocaine is a hell of a drug”

    Putin seems unaware of the poisoning he’s causing by his own perverted sense of nationalism. And this is one example of what the Ukrainians are fighting against.

    The Russian occupier was captured and this is what was found on his phone:
    “In war, you definitely need to try the following things (otherwise why go to war at all?):
    1) Try human flesh;
    2) Torture the prisoner of war (it is desirable for the prisoner to beg for mercy and cry, but not to spare him, but to kill him terribly and slowly: bury him alive or saw him with a chainsaw;
    3) Rape and kill an enemy girl, it is best to do this with the whole company;
    4) Collect trophies from the houses of killed enemies – for happiness and as a memory;
    5) If you manage to personally participate in the execution of all prisoners of war, and ideally, drown them in an ice hole, stab them with a bayonet, or burn their entire families along with their houses.”

    And it’s an example of Trump and MAGA Mike being objectively pro-Russian and pro cultural genocide by betraying American policy.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  32. How will Prop E work in practice? The city will hire more clerical employees? Maybe just honest accounting

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  33. Paul Montagu (d4d407) — 3/8/2024 @ 1:58 pm

    Ms. Britt’s breathy speech. Personally, I watched about three minutes of it and then turned the channel out of revulsion of her phoniness.

    Did everyone detect that, or do have to be too much of an intellectual to do so. What if you are totally ignorant of the facts? It was geared to that sort of person.

    would say in that case what you think wouldn’t mater as you likely would not be paying attention and if you got a but more knowledge you would know. Maybe it could temporally confuse an 11-year old.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  34. Why did the Republican Party think this kind of speech was a good idea?

    It was aimed at someone who was born yesterday. Or had been on long sea journey for years out of touch.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  35. If Sen. Britt can take the heat from her speech, she should stay out of the kitchen. Oh wait………

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  36. Correction:

    If Sen. Britt can can’t take the heat from her speech, she should stay out of the kitchen. Oh wait………

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  37. I’d wager good money those Beverly Hills students won’t be expelled for long.

    norcal (a5b268)

  38. Whereas Charles C.W. Cooke has coined the proper name for some of you here:
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2024/03/the-biden-apologists-are-lying/


    The third type is Circumstantial. Circumstantial understands that the press is supposed to tell the truth, but, where Joe Biden is implicated, he cannot bring himself to do it, lest he indirectly help Donald Trump win reelection and thus bring about the end of the world. Circumstantial feels a touch guilty about this, but not as guilty as he feels when he sees his work being shared approvingly by people whose politics he dislikes. Circumstantial’s rubric is that Joe Biden must be good because Donald Trump is bad. This position is negotiable, but only in service of the broader cause: If there were a chance of replacing Joe Biden with someone better, he would happily help that along by acknowledging Biden’s flaws. For now, though, Biden must be protected.

    whembly (5f7596)

  39. https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/08/exclusive-liz-cheney-january-6-committee-suppressed-exonerating-evidence-of-trumps-push-for-national-guard/

    Former Rep. Liz Cheney’s January 6 Committee suppressed evidence that President Donald Trump pushed for 10,000 National Guard troops to protect the nation’s capital, a previously hidden transcript obtained by The Federalist shows.
    Cheney and her committee falsely claimed they had “no evidence” to support Trump officials’ claims the White House had communicated its desire for 10,000 National Guard troops. In fact, an early transcribed interview conducted by the committee included precisely that evidence from a key source. The interview, which Cheney attended and personally participated in, was suppressed from public release until now.

    Deputy Chief of Staff Anthony Ornato’s first transcribed interview with the committee was conducted on January 28, 2022. In it, he told Cheney and her investigators that he overheard White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows push Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to request as many National Guard troops as she needed to protect the city.

    He also testified President Trump had suggested 10,000 would be needed to keep the peace at the public rallies and protests scheduled for January 6, 2021. Ornato also described White House frustration with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller’s slow deployment of assistance on the afternoon of January 6, 2021.

    Not only did the committee not accurately characterize the interview, they suppressed the transcript from public review. On top of that, committee allies began publishing critical stories and even conspiracy theories about Ornato ahead of follow-up interviews with him. Ornato was a career Secret Service official who had been detailed to the security position in the White House.

    So she’s a liar and a fraud. But the cause was correct so all is forgiven, right?

    Something about tearing down the laws to get the devil applies.

    NJRob (d44433)

  40. Sorry for the unclosed link. Here’s the closed version.

    Jim Miller (95928a)

  41. More reactions from Sen. Britt’s kitchen speech:

    ………
    “Katie Britt is talking like she’s hosting a cooking show whispering about how Democrats ‘dont get it,’’’ wrote Charlie Kirk.
    …………..
    “She’s a mom and has young kids and wanted to give the approach of a housewife,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told POLITICO. “I thought she did good for just kinda getting thrown out there. … I’m sure she’ll get praise and she’ll get criticism, but I thought she did good for our state.”

    “She’s a bright upcoming star,” said Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) with a smirk. “That’s all I got.”

    “At least she didn’t drink water,” quipped Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who faced harsh criticism over his drink of the beverage during his own State of the Union response in 2013.
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  42. It reinforces the current mandate of detaining asylum seekers by mandating to send the seekers to another country (not necessarily their home country) if there’s no space left in the detainment center

    It still will not “stop” illegal entry, which was the claim made.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  43. Jim Miller (95928a) — 3/8/2024 @ 3:13 pm

    That may be, but it’s not like the polls gave false hope to the Haley campaign (or voters). . She still lost every primary (except Vermont) by double digits

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  44. Kerry was wrong, of course, because all the bombs that Russia is dropping on Ukraine, start fires which burn carbon.

    Three guesses what you get when you burn carbon. Hint: C + O2

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  45. I’m sure she’ll get praise and she’ll get criticism, but I thought she did good for our state.”

    Yeah, she’s from Alabama too. It’s good that she spat out her chaw beforehand, but wearing shoes in the kitchen might be seen by some as putting on airs.

    nk (6bd818)

  46. Ouch!

    Such a list of unbiased criticism. The Left’s staged criticism of Britt (especially the kitchen bits) is basically straight from the WH fax machine.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  47. One year it was a water glass. This year it’s her kitchen. There’s always something.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  48. I thought they should let Trump do it.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  49. BTW, saw Dune, Part 2. A few observations:

    1. I’m glad I had recently re-watched Part 1.
    2. The actress who plays Jessica underwhelmed.
    3. Zendaya was reduced to acting with her face entirely, since the rest of her was swaddled.
    4. There will be a Part 3, based on “Dune Messiah” but loosely, one would hope.
    5. The two films are much better overall than the David Lynch film.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  50. I’m fairness to Ms. Britt, this seems more like how she sounds in real life, which is charming.

    https://twitter.com/KFILE/status/1766098563879018761?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1766098563879018761%7Ctwgr%5E386e1a7a375d572f14e5752c325ee543a6b41a64%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mediaite.com%2Fonline%2Fvideo-of-katie-britt-being-totally-normal-goes-viral-after-sotu-response-trainwreck%2F

    I blame campaign consultants, who badly and overly coached her when she should’ve talked normally and conversationally.

    Paul Montagu (851866)

  51. I thought they should let Trump do it.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 4:13 pm

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qktgZYdhtWI

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  52. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 4:09 pm

    Even Roger Stone?

    Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative and Trump ally, said (Britt’s) performance disqualified her from contention to be Trump’s running mate.

    “I guess Katie Britt just failed her vice presidential audition,” Stone wrote Friday morning on X. “Godawful.”

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  53. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 4:09 pm

    You should probably then skip SNL tomorrow-the cold open will no doubt parody Britt-but it will be tough to the original.
    🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  54. Christian Internationalism to the rescue

    Biden caught on hot mic: I told Bibi we’re going to have a ‘Come to Jesus’ meeting

    In the exchange, Bennet congratulated Biden on his speech and urged the president to keep pressing Netanyahu on growing humanitarian concerns in Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were also part of the brief conversation.

    Biden responded using Netanyahu’s nickname, saying, “I told him, Bibi, and don’t repeat this, but you and I are going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.”

    An aide to the president standing nearby then spoke quietly into the president’s ear, appearing to alert Biden that microphones remained on as he worked the room.

    “I’m on a hot mic here,” Biden said after being alerted. “Good. That’s good.”

    lloyd (4ee5a2)

  55. No Labels is apparently unable to get a candidate than anyone knows. The incompetence of the group seems to know no bounds. Having not found a candidate a LOT sooner than this — and having made it clear they were only there to help Biden defeat Trump anyway — they have been largely unable to get the grassroots support needed to get those petitions signed.

    Now, with all the higher profile candidates having decline, they are looking a former Georgia Lt Governor who spells “Jeff” like it was 1859. I think McMuffin is a better bet.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  56. Regarding Ms. Britt’s breathless sex-trafficking tale, it’s a misleading dishonest crock. That kind of lie should put her in the running for Trump’s VP.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  57. No Labels is an answer in search of a question. If 70% opposed a Trump v. Biden rematch, why did both candidates easily win their respective presidential nominations? It’s because the Republican and Democrat party faithful didn’t care there would be a rematch.

    Rip Murdock (a6b579)

  58. If 70% opposed a Trump v. Biden rematch, why did both candidates easily win their respective presidential nominations?

    Inertia.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  59. I read this website but don’t comment often, but given that Britt’s speech came up I thought you all might enjoy this video which examines one part of her speech, about the Del Rio woman, and finds Britt to be disingenuous in the extreme:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1766308578904998127

    Occasional reader (f93ef8)

  60. No Labels is a leftist front group that is trying to seem non partisan to get Biden elected. They made it clear as to their goal.

    Grifters.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  61. Geoff Duncan will do as he’s a conservative and not Trump, provided he has a right-of-center running mate.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  62. When I remove labels from shipping boxes, I use a heat gun and they peel right off. I don’t think that will work with erstwhile Republicans. They are indelibly marked with the Trump brand. And there’s also the smell.

    nk (88efde)

  63. About Mr. Orban

    Orban is a “strong Christian” leader of a country with lower church attendance, less professed belief in God, and higher abortion rate than the US.

    But he cracks down on LGBT people, migrants, and colleges, and abused power to make elections not free and fair, so he’s their model.

    On a personal note, a couple of friends of mine spent five years in Hungary doing missionary work, and they found Hungary to be one of those unchurched and godless countries they’ve seen. Suffice to say that professions of faith and baptisms were a rarity.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  64. Hungary lived through nearly fifty years of Soviet rule. What did you expect?

    lloyd (4ee5a2)

  65. What I expect is for a former president to not gush over a wannabe dictator of a sheethole country who’s in the tank for Putin, who’s an actual dictator of a hostile foreign power.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  66. BTW, Poland and Lithuania and Croatia and Estonia were also lived through nearly fifty years of Soviet rule, yet they became actual democracies, without wannabe strongmen for Trump to gush over.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  67. And let’s also dispense with the fiction that Putin is a Christian leader of a Christian nation.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  68. And let’s also dispense with the fiction that Putin is a Christian leader of a Christian nation.

    But wait, isn’t that what Trump aspires to?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  69. Mayorkas has until Tuesday to hand over DHS files pertaining to Laken’s murderer. My guess is he won’t, because he’s an anti-American a$$hole, and because he hasn’t handed them over already and there’s no need to wait until the deadline. We know what sort of political theater comes next. Nevertrump will run interference for this administration, as they always do. No group is more desperate to get the murder of an innocent American out of the news.

    What we know already is that the murderer got in on parole, something that would’ve been addressed by HR2, which the Democrats in the Senate have sat on for nearly a year, before the murderer was let in. We just don’t know why. The Senate bill did nothing about parole that might have helped Laken.

    lloyd (4ee5a2)

  70. Hungary is partly free in terms of civil liberties and political rights.

    Hungary is moderately free in economic freedoms, now less free than at any time since 1999.

    Hungary’s press freedoms weren’t that great to begin with, and have worsened under Orban’s rule, and now they’re a little better than Georgia and worse than Panama.

    In sum, it’s a nothing-special eastern European country that’s only getting this much attention because of right-wing praise from Tucker Carlson and because Orban fluffed Trump’s tender ego.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  71. Since Mayorkas has already been impeached, he really has no incentive to cooperate.

    BTW, why hasn’t the House delivered the articles of impeachment to the Senate?

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  72. Since No Labels won’t release any financial reports (as a social welfare organization it’s not required), the public has no idea who their backers are-for all we know they are the same people who back Trump or Biden.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  73. “Since Mayorkas has already been impeached, he really has no incentive to cooperate.”

    I like that you’re assuming Mayorkas is such a monumental a$$ that he would give a middle finger to the Riley family’s right to know, as well as the people’s right to know.

    But, beyond that, a subpoena might be a sufficient incentive though I would expect Nevertrump to run interference for him if he ignored it, like they did with Hunter (and like they didn’t with Bannon).

    lloyd (862cad)

  74. Maybe the Riley family does not want their daughter being the appetizer at Trump fundraising dinners.

    nk (d26eb3)

  75. Laken Riley’s mother blasts Biden as ‘pathetic’ for getting daughter’s name wrong during SOTU

    “Biden does not even KNOW my child’s name – it’s pathetic! If you are going to say her name (even when forced to do so) at least say the right name!” Laken’s mother, Allyson Phillips, wrote on Facebook in response after someone noted Biden called her “Lincoln” and said he was trying to “minimize” her murder by invoking his son Beau’s death from cancer.

    lloyd (862cad)

  76. @75 Laken being the appetizer at a Trump fundraiser would be the only reason Nevertrump wouldn’t cover her story with a pillow.

    lloyd (862cad)

  77. If 70% opposed a Trump v. Biden rematch, why did both candidates easily win their respective presidential nominations?

    Inertia.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/8/2024 @ 10:15 pm

    Geoff Duncan will do as he’s a conservative and not Trump, provided he has a right-of-center running mate.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 6:17 am

    It’s going to take a lot of money and organization to overcome the inertia of the two party system to elect an obscure ex-lieutenant governor President. Duncan going to look even more like a tool of whomever is financing No Labels. I’m sure 90% of voters have no idea who he is or what he believes.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  78. for all we know they are the same people who back Trump or Biden.

    I can guess. Bill Kristol, Mike Murphy and the rest of the McCain/Jeb! set.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  79. I’m sure 90% of voters have no idea who he is or what he believes.

    Even in Georgia. To run an effective campaign (one with even remote hopes of winning), you have to have marquee names. I’d say that a Chris Christie type would be the minimum, and I’d like better.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  80. But it is increasingly clear that No Labels actual goal is to bleed off votes from Trump.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  81. But it is increasingly clear that No Labels actual goal is to bleed off votes from Trump.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/9/2024 @ 10:35 am

    That may be their intention, but it may not be the result.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  82. I can guess. Bill Kristol, Mike Murphy and the rest of the McCain/Jeb! set.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/9/2024 @ 10:31 am

    LOL! It’s going to take billionaires to provide the funding for a national political infrastructure and campaign.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  83. It’s going to take a lot of money and organization to overcome the inertia of the two party system to elect an obscure ex-lieutenant governor President.

    It’s a protest vote, Rip.
    Trump is going to lose in WA State by double digits no matter what.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  84. It’s a protest vote, Rip.
    Trump is going to lose in WA State by double digits no matter what.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 10:44 am

    Not according to NL-they’ve said they intend to win. But that does explain why no one of any political stature wants to run. Why endure a presidential campaign if you don’t want to win?

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  85. I suspect that America is still thriving in some alternate universe where Romney won in 2012.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  86. Trump is going to lose in WA State by double digits no matter what.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 10:44 am

    Irrelevant-it’s not Washington State where NL can throw the election-it’s swing states like Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  87. Not according to NL-they’ve said they intend to win.

    Like I care about what some flack from No Labels says. I’m not wedded to any particular candidate, Rip, but for being magnetically repellent to the Dem and GOP nominees, because both parties have fundamentally badly served the American people.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  88. If you just want a protest vote, nominate Ralph Nader.

    Rip Murdock (6eb97c)

  89. I’m not wedded to any particular candidate, Rip, but for being magnetically repellent to the Dem and GOP nominees, because both parties have fundamentally badly served the American people.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 11:02 am

    Then you can do what I intend to do, which is to just not vote for a presidential candidate.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  90. Then you can do what I intend to do, which is to just not vote for a presidential candidate.

    I can withhold my vote, but I won’t, because I prefer a protest vote, and I won’t vote for a liberal because I’m not a liberal.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  91. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 8:49 am

    They give the United States an 83 and Canada a 99. Canada persecutes political speech and jailed and stole political dissidents assets.

    Carry on carrying water.

    NJRob (6dead4)

  92. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 11:23 am

    Too each his own. I’m sure there are minor party candidates on your ballot.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  93. Federal Judge Dismisses Texas Lawsuit against Biden’s Immigration-Parole Program
    ……….
    U.S. district judge Drew Tipton, appointed by former president Donald Trump, ruled that Texas attorney general Ken Paxton, who led the multistate lawsuit, has “not proven that Texas has suffered an injury and therefore do not have standing to maintain this suit.” ……….

    “The court has before it a case in which Plaintiffs claim that they have been injured by a program that has actually lowered their out-of-pocket costs,” he wrote in his opinion.

    Paxton filed the lawsuit in January 2023, arguing that the parole policy harmed the state because immigrants participating in the program increased the costs of public services such as health care and public education. The plaintiffs also claimed it was illegal and beyond the federal government’s authority to use parole.

    The program, which began in fall 2022, had admitted more than 357,000 people from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela as of this January, the Associated Press reported. ………
    …………
    In order to be approved, people must apply from their home countries, pass a background check, and prove they have a sponsor in the U.S. If approved, they are allowed to stay in the country for up to two years and obtain a work permit. Once in the U.S., they can request asylum or return to their homes after the two years are up.
    …………

    From the Court’s decision:

    To prove an injury in fact, Texas must show “an invasion of a legally protected interest which is (a) concrete and particularized, and (b) actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.” ……….In the context of state challenges to federal immigration policies, states have historically proven injury-in-fact by demonstrating the additional costs paid across state-funded industries because of additional aliens……..

    Citations omitted.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  94. Carry on carrying water.

    Yes, I know you’ll do that for Trump the Adjudicated Insurrectionist, Rob, and I expect you’ll continue to pervert the meanings of words in furtherance of supporting this unpatriotic un-American asswipe of a former president.

    Too each his own. I’m sure there are minor party candidates on your ballot.

    Yes, to each my own, Rip. I don’t know why you’re even arguing about this. Neither Trump nor Biden are getting your vote, nor are they getting mine.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  95. I just think NL will throw the election to Trump by being the difference between Trump winning or losing the swing states.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  96. Lemme put it this way, Rip. If there’s a Democrat on the No Labels ticket, even for VP, I’m not supporting them. The only reason I would support Nikki is if her running mate is right-of-center. As I see it, there’s a major hole in the electorate, exemplified by the 25% to 30% who supported Haley, and Trump has not been inclined to woo that bloc. If anything, he’s alienating those voters who aren’t agreeable to declaring loyalty to that guy.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  97. As expected, Kessler gives Ms. Britt’s sex-trafficking tale Four Pinocchios, but it was Jon Katz who did the heavy lifting.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  98. Maybe Kessler and Katz can expose this lie as well:

    17 dead bodies, rape trees and migrants crawling on his land

    BuDuh (43a04a)

  99. BuDuh (43a04a) — 3/9/2024 @ 1:14 pm

    Or maybe Ms. Britt could have found a true story of sex-trafficking on Biden’s watch instead of deceiving viewers. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  100. Cool map here. I’m near the border of “UK” and “France”, and it feels like it.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  101. I agree, Paul. There are plenty of true stories on how Biden makes thinks less safe for everyone.

    BuDuh (43a04a)

  102. Rand Paul’s defense of CCP-controlled TikTok is finally making sense, and it’s not about the 1st Amendment.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  103. AllahNick making more sense:

    If conservatism, broadly speaking, is a belief in ordered liberty secured by the rule of law and limited government power, those who support Trump because some of his policies will be better than Biden’s are signing conservatism’s death warrant. They’re trading the proverbial forest for a few trees: For the sake of discrete policy gains in some areas, they’re handing over the American right to malicious authoritarians whose highest goal is to use state power to favor their friends and harass their enemies.

    https://thedispatch.com/newsletter/boilingfrogs/the-state-of-our-union/

    norcal (42bff2)

  104. Lemme put it this way, Rip. If there’s a Democrat on the No Labels ticket, even for VP, I’m not supporting them. The only reason I would support Nikki is if her running mate is right-of-center. ……..

    Whatever. The whole point of NL was to combine a conservative Republican presidential candidate with a moderate Democrat. As I’ve pointed out before, Haley has said she intention of running as an independent or on a third party ticket, so it’s a moot point.

    Who would be your ideal NL presidential team?

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  105. Correction:

    As I’ve pointed out before, Haley has said she no intention of running as an independent or on a third party ticket, so it’s a moot point.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  106. Biden regrets mangling Laken Riley’s name, it’s been eating at him and he wants to reach out to her family and set things right. Oh wait…

    “During your response to [Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s] heckling of you, you used the word ‘illegal’ when talking about the man who allegedly killed Laken Riley,” Capehart said.

    “An undocumented person. And I shouldn’t have used ‘illegal.’ It’s ‘undocumented,’” Biden said.

    “So you regret using that word?” Capehart pressed him.

    “Yes,” Biden replied.

    lloyd (5852e0)

  107. https://thefederalist.com/2024/03/08/biden-lied-30-times-during-the-state-of-the-union/?

    The fact checking of Biden that Paul will never link.

    He’s too severe a conservative to critique Biden. It’s much more conservative to attack the Republican response instead on minutae

    NJRob (905240)

  108. An update on the story I posted last week about a group of migrant children who showed up at the border with only slips of paper with New York addresses, knowing they would be reunited with their parents at taxpayer expense. (The oldest was 9 years old.) Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened.

    When she was asked if her mother broke her heart, the girl fought to hold back her tears and said she hurt her because ‘she left. My brothers did not see her when she left. but I did, I cried. I felt tears.’

    The Puebla state government said a United States social worker, with the assistance of the Poblano Institute of Migrant Assistance, arranged Wednesday’s heartwarming reunion at a New York City migrant shelter for unaccompanied children.

    Efforts are being made for the mother to regain full custody of her son and two daughters while they remain under the watch of the Cayuga Centers – which provides care for unaccompanied children for up to 30 days before they are released to a family member or their parents.

    According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), border agents have registered 46,289 encounters with unaccompanied children since October 1, 2023, the start of fiscal year 2024.

    CBP recorded 137,275 encounters with unaccompanied minors in fiscal year 2023 and 152,057 during the prior fiscal calendar. In comparison, 146,924 encounters were reported in fiscal year 2021.

    Reader reactions weren’t exactly positive:

    “And if the mother was a US citizen, she would be under arrest for child endangerment. But I am happy that the kids are ok.”

    “This is human trafficking. Shame on you, democrats.”

    “plan worked. encourages more”

    lloyd (d3b705)

  109. Federal Court Rejects Florida Gov. DeSantis’ “Stop WOKE” Restrictions
    …………..
    A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the restrictions violated First Amendment rights.

    “This is not the first era in which Americans have held widely divergent views on important areas of morality, ethics, law and public policy,” the 22-page opinion said. “And it is not the first time that these disagreements have seemed so important, and their airing so dangerous, that something had to be done. But now, as before, the First Amendment keeps the government from putting its thumb on the scale.”

    The panel upheld a preliminary injunction issued in 2022 by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker against the restrictions. ……….
    ………..
    The workplace-training part of the law listed eight race-related concepts and said that a required training program or other activity that “espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual (an employee) to believe any of the following concepts constitutes discrimination based on race, color, sex, or national origin.”

    In court documents, the state disputed that the law violated speech rights, saying that it regulated “conduct.” It said businesses could still address the targeted concepts in workplace training — but couldn’t force employees to take part.

    But the appeals court flatly rejected such arguments Monday. It described the law as the “latest attempt to control speech by recharacterizing it as conduct. Florida may be exactly right about the nature of the ideas it targets. Or it may not. Either way, the merits of these views will be decided in the clanging marketplace of ideas rather than a codebook or a courtroom.”

    “By limiting its restrictions to a list of ideas designated as offensive, the act (the Florida law) targets speech based on its content,” said the opinion, written by Judge Britt Grant and joined by Judges Charles Wilson and Andrew Brasher. “And by barring only speech that endorses any of those ideas, it penalizes certain viewpoints — the greatest First Amendment sin.”
    ……………
    The opinion also said the law “prohibits mandatory employee meetings — but only when those meetings include speech endorsing certain ideas.”
    …………….

    Judges Britt Grant and Andrew Basher were appointed by President Trump and Charles Wilson was appointed by President Clinton.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  110. One of the small blessings of living in a state dominated by Democrats is that I can cast a presidential write-in ballot for a Republican who is neither orange, nor crazy.

    Which I fully intend to do. Without the slightest worry that my vote will make a difference.

    (Republicans would have a better chance here in Washington state — and the state would have better policies — were it not for the damage done to the state party by the Loser.)

    Jim Miller (1c7ed2)

  111. “Who would be your ideal NL presidential team?”

    How about Sununu and Sinema?

    After watching him on the stump with Haley, Sununu brings a lot of energy and common sense. He’s also not afraid to hit Trump. Of course he’s ruled out leaving the GOP and at 49 who would blame him? He’s got future senate seats and cabinet positions to consider. Sinema is 47 and has a record of finding common ground. Having burned the Democrat bridge she really is a free agent and the NL vehicle certainly would present a platform to be a new type of leader. It won’t happen but this is the sort of team that would have centrist appeal. I think Sununu sells better than Hogan….who I would also support….but I fear has less natural charisma.

    AJ_Liberty (ebd73f)

  112. Border tragedy:

    Two National Guardsmen and a U.S. Border Patrol agent were killed in a helicopter crash in Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border Friday evening, the Department of Defense’s Joint Task Force North said.

    A third National Guardsman was injured in the crash, the task force said.

    The helicopter was a National Guard Lakota UH-72, according to a defense official.

    The helicopter assigned to the federal Southwest border support mission crashed at approximately 2:50 p.m. local time Friday while conducting aviation operations near Rio Grande City, Texas, JTF-N said. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
    ………………

    From the White House:

    ………..
    These brave Americans dedicated their lives to protecting our nation. They signed up knowing the risks and believing in the mission of serving their fellow Americans by keeping our nation safe. Our gratitude is profound, and their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

    We extend our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones, as well as their colleagues in the National Guard and U.S. Border Patrol. We pray for the injured Guardsman’s swift recovery.
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  113. How about Sununu and Sinema?

    Sununu has endorsed Donald Trump.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  114. It is possible that, this November, the Loser might win again in the electoral college — and the Democrats take control of the House. You’d have to do a district-by-district study to see how likely that is, but the Republicans have probably already lost a seat in Alabama.

    Consequences? I’m thinking about that problem. (Of course the consequences would depend on what happens in the Senate, too.)

    The balance is currently 219-212, with 4 vacancies, and, thanks to the Loser, Republicans are going to have trouble finding quality candidates for many districts.

    (Cross posted at Political Betting.)

    Jim Miller (1c7ed2)

  115. The fact checking of Biden that Paul will never link.

    I stopped reading after Fact Check #1, because it’s full of sh-t, using the same “endlessly funding Ukraine’s war with Russia” straw man that’s been used by pro-Putin Trumpists for months.

    For one, there’s no “endlessly funding”, which is wrong and dishonest. The discussion is about discrete amounts of military aid.

    Two, most of the aid isn’t about sending Ukraine funds, it’s about sending them American weaponry. The money spent stays in the United States, creating American jobs, to replenish and grow our arsenal.

    Three, there’s no “Ukraine’s war with Russia”, which implies Ukraine holds some sort responsibility for this fight. The reality is that it’s Putin’s War Against Ukraine, and it’s all on him. His invasions, plural, were unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful, and Ukraine has every right to defend itself from Putin’s land-grubbing war crimes.

    You’re right, Rob, I wouldn’t link that “fact check”, because it’s a piece of dishonest hyperpartisan garbage.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  116. What is your preferred fact-check of Biden’s SOTU lies, Paul?

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  117. We’ll never go back to 100% in person voting, but I do miss waking up the day after election day and knowing results.
    Now election day night isn’t the big deal, its a week out. Locally we have a tight race that won’t be finalized until March 12th at the earliest.

    steveg (64913c)

  118. As I’ve pointed out before, Haley has said she no intention of running as an independent or on a third party ticket, so it’s a moot point.

    When has “moot” ever stopped us?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  119. We’ll never go back to 100% in person voting, but I do miss waking up the day after election day and knowing results.

    Now election day night isn’t the big deal, its a week out. Locally we have a tight race that won’t be finalized until March 12th at the earliest.

    steveg (64913c) — 3/9/2024 @ 4:34 pm

    These are unrelated issues. In-person voting has nothing to do with “long counts.” The only way to eliminate multi-day ballot counts is either stop counting ballots at 11:59 pm on Election Day, thereby disenfranchising those voters whose ballots are leftover, or to limit the number of people who can vote.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  120. The best I can say is, I’m glad Pope Francis didn’t have his job during WW2 where, using his so-called rationale with Ukraine, would urge Churchill to lay down their arms in front of Germany and negotiate with Hitler. I can say a whole lot worse about the Pope’s rationalizing evil for “peace”, but I’m trying to keep a semi-civil tongue.

    The Pope said that Ukraine should have the courage to raise the “white flag” and negotiate with russia to end the war.

    Here are his words: “The word ‘negotiate’ is a brave word. When you see that you have been defeated, that things are not going well, you must have the courage to negotiate.. I believe that the strongest is the one who.. has the courage to raise the white flag and negotiates.”

    How morally bankrupt would you have to be as to encourage a nation to submit to a genocide? Personally, I have lost any respect for Pope Francis a long time ago. Since the beginning of the russian invasion of Ukraine, Pope’s behavior has been despicable and even immoral.

    First, Pope asked a russian and a Ukrainian woman to carry the cross together. Sure, what’s the difference between the evil and the good?

    Then, he prayed to God: “Bring enemies to a handshake so that they can taste mutual forgiveness.” Ukraine asking forgiveness of russia for what? Equating the aggressor and the victim is a sign of complete moral bankruptcy.

    Then, he called the death of a russian propagandist Dugina on the territory of russia an “innocent” victim of the war. For God’s sake, this is a person who instigated genocide of Ukrainian people!

    After that, came his famous: “I have great respect for the Russian people, for Russian humanism.” He should visit Bucha, Irpin and other Ukrainian cities to see russian humanism.

    Then at the Stations of the Cross, Pope had a Ukrainian boy who escaped Mariupol stand next to a russian whose brother enlisted in russian army and went to kill Ukrainians.

    Do people finally understand the completely moral bankruptcy of this “man of God”? For me, as a Christian, the position and the statements of this man are despicable and morally bankrupt. If the Catholic Church is to keep any decency, this ungodly man has to go now!

    Of course, God will judge this immoral man. But before that happens, I would recommend Pope to read the Bible once in a while, because it says: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” (Isaiah 5:20, NIV).

    The moral blindness of this acclaimed man of God is stunning. I note that Francis only asked Ukrainians to do something brave, but didn’t even think to urge Putin to do the brave thing and end his war by getting TFO of Ukraine.

    Of course, things could go much better for Ukraine (and worse for Putin) if MAGA Mike and his puppet master would approve military aid, thereby living up to the promises made to this beleaguered country. We did sign a Budapest Memorandum that promised security assurances to Ukraine (the Russian Federation also signed the deal and made the same promises, but Putin obviously welshed).

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  121. When has “moot” ever stopped us?

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/9/2024 @ 4:42 pm

    That’s certainly true, but saying someone should run when they have publicly declared they won’t, or have endorsed Trump (like Sununu), it becomes wishcasting.

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  122. What is your preferred fact-check of Biden’s SOTU lies, Paul?

    CNN is the only one I’ve read, BuDuh, but I don’t engage in bogus equivalencies. There’s no comparison between Trump’s firehose of lies to Biden’s garden hose.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  123. Some lies are ok.

    BuDuh (4214e4)

  124. Some lies are ok.

    I didn’t say that, did I?
    Do you agree that it’s worse when Person A tells a Niagra Falls of lies than than Person B who tells a Cherry Creek Falls of lies?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  125. Shocking that you prefer CNN Paul.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  126. Speaking of lies, looks like Ms. Carroll needs to return to the NY court and get more cash from Trump, for continuing to lie about her.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  127. Shocking that you prefer CNN Paul.

    I prefer a fact check that’s factual. The question is why don’t you?
    I’ll also note your choosing ad hominem in lieu of addressing the facts presented, and Daniel Dale presented plenty. I doubt you even read it, just saw the source and did the lazy thing to make your flippant factless remark.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  128. I read the 1st 2 pieces of propaganda, saw how they stretched and twisted to cover for Biden, shook my head and laughed. Only a fool or a propagandist would use them as a fact checker.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  129. Biden’s propaganda SOTU was a campaign speech to attack half of America and to lie with every breath he took. It’s why he was constantly garbled, incoherent and angry.

    It would take a leftist “fact-checker” to cover for the mess and proclaim truth out of lies.

    I wonder if they’ll get a job at the Ministry?

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  130. Trump Civil Litigation Watch:

    ……………
    On Friday, the (U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia) gave the green light to three civil complaints against Trump tied to Jan. 6. ……….(Former President) Trump missed his deadline at the Supreme Court to fight the civil lawsuits in February.

    These appeals raise the same question that this court recently decided in Blassingame v. Trump. As a result, the merits of the parties positions are so clear as to warrant summary action. Blassingame held that former President Donald J. Trump lacks presidential immunity for actions that he took ‘in his personal capacity as presidential candidate’ as opposed to ‘in his official capacity as sitting President.’

    The three lawsuits approved to move forward on Friday are Marcos J. Moore v. Donald Trump; Bobby Tabron et al v. Donald Trump; and Briana Kirkland v. Donald Trump. All of the plaintiffs are police officers who responded to the Capitol on Jan. 6.

    Mutually but in their own separate motions, the plaintiffs argue Trump broke the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. That law bars mob violence from being directed at federal officials. Many of the officers also allege that Trump inflicted physical and emotional injuries on them by inciting the attack at the Capitol.
    …………….
    (Marcos Moore’s) lawsuit seeks to hold Trump liable for an array of offenses including directing assault and battery, aiding and abetting assault and battery, inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and civil conspiracy.
    ###########

    Rip Murdock (53c1f3)

  131. Had Judge Kaplan and Judge Engoron truly been Agents Of The Vast Left Wing Donnie-Hating China-Loving Conspiracy worthy of the name they missed a golden opportunity to declare Trump not competent to stand trial and appoint a guardian-ad-litem and conservator to manage his legal and business affairs.

    But there are lot of other letters in the mail and a lot of other postmen to ring the bell. It’s a cinch that Cannon won’t do it, but let’s see what happens when Trump puts on his Dr. Strangelove act in front of Judge Marchan in the Manhattan criminal case.

    nk (7613d2)

  132. I read the 1st 2 pieces of propaganda, saw how they stretched and twisted to cover for Biden, shook my head and laughed.

    Yet you didn’t actually challenge Dale’s fact-check, just opined.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  133. Sharot-Sunstein have a piece on our brain’s capacity for habituation.

    You enter a cafe filled with the smell of coffee and at first the smell is overwhelming, but no more than 20 minutes go by and you cannot smell it any longer. This is because your olfactory neurons stop firing in response to a now-familiar odor.

    Similarly, you stop hearing the persistent buzz of an air-conditioner because your brain filters out background noise. Your brain cares about what recently changed, not about what remained the same.

    Habituation is one of our most basic biological characteristics — something that we two-legged, bigheaded creatures share with other animals on earth, including apes, elephants, dogs, birds, frogs, fish and rats. Human beings also habituate to complex social circumstances such as war, corruption, discrimination, oppression, widespread misinformation and extremism. Habituation does not only result in a reduced tendency to notice and react to grossly immoral deeds around us; it also increases the likelihood that we will engage in them ourselves.

    A study conducted in Dr. Sharot’s lab, for example, showed that people habituate to their own dishonesty. In the study, volunteers were given the opportunity to lie repeatedly to gain money at the expense of another person. All the while, their brain activity was recorded.

    The volunteers started with relatively small lies, cheating only to win a few more cents. But slowly over the course of the experiment the lies became bigger in order to obtain escalating dollar amounts.

    At first, parts of the brain that signal emotion responded strongly in the volunteers when they lied, suggesting that people were uncomfortable with their own dishonesty. But with each additional lie, the emotional response in the brain was reduced; people habituated. Without the negative feeling, there was nothing to curb dishonesty, so people lied more and more.

    It’s not only small acts of dishonesty to which we habituate. Consider a famous study conducted in the early 1960s by the psychologist Stanley Milgram. The motivation for this experiment was to understand the rise of authoritarianism, as it happened in Germany before and during World War II.

    Milgram wanted to study obedience and understand how ordinary people could participate in horrible acts. His experiments do tell us about obedience, but intentionally or unintentionally, Milgram was also studying habituation.

    He showed that regular citizens are willing to administer electric shocks — even those that appear to be extremely painful — to others when told to do so by an authority figure. But Milgram’s careful design was crucial. Milgram’s volunteers were asked to deliver small shocks at first and then only very slowly, and by increments, to ramp up the voltage to what seemed to be high levels.

    By asking the volunteers to increase the voltage one step at a time, Milgram was inducing emotional habituation. The volunteers may have felt some guilt at the beginning, but because the shocks increased by small increments, any feelings of guilt were likely less intense than they would otherwise have been. By the time the volunteers reached the high voltage, many of them appeared to have habituated to the idea of causing dreadful pain to another human being. It is fair to doubt whether so many of the volunteers would have complied if the high-voltage shock was the first that they were asked to administer.

    Milgram’s study tells us something important about behavior outside the laboratory, and about how people can get used to not only lying and cruelty, but also horrors — including their own. For Milton Mayer’s staggering book about the rise of Nazism, for example, a man who lived in Germany at the time described the regime to the author: “Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse.”

    He added: “If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked. … But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next.”

    You might now be thinking about alarming developments in the United States and Europe. If so, you are entirely right to do so.

    While they have a point about how societies can become more authoritarian, and that we need to dishabituate by getting out of our environments (so that we can be on the outside and looking in), they also have a blind spot in their failure to note that the progressive movement’s moving to the left is a function of left-wing habituation, with the trans issue a case in point.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  134. In the WSJ, a Dutch professor has some good insights and prescriptions on the illegal immigration issue. In short, it isn’t so much about the poverty and oppression in other countries, but more about the labor shortage in our own country, which won’t be solved with a wall.

    There is a correlation between rising levels of border crossings and deepening U.S. labor shortages. After the Covid-related slump in labor demand, illegal immigration peaked as U.S. unemployment hit a 50-year low of 3.5% in 2022-23. Labor shortages reached an unprecedented peak, with vacancies topping 10 million, partly because some 1.7 million American workers did not go back to their jobs after the pandemic.

    There is no denying that poverty, violence and a lack of opportunity often play a role in motivating people to migrate, but without chronic labor shortages in the U.S., most migrants simply would not come.

    The fact is that in today’s U.S. economy, the most vilified categories of migrants do all sorts of essential jobs. It’s an open secret, but politicians lack the courage to admit it, damning an influx that they have shown themselves unwilling to stop where it matters most, not on the border but in the workplace.

    The same politicians—Republican and Democrat—who over the past four decades have repeatedly promised to “crack down” on illegal migration have turned a blind eye to the actual employment of undocumented migrant workers. The clearest evidence of this hypocrisy is the laughably low level of workplace enforcement in the U.S., where inspections and routine checks of immigration status and other papers would serve as the most direct deterrent.

    Since 1986, when employing undocumented immigrants was made a criminal offense, data from the Justice Department reveals that, nationwide, there have seldom been more than 15-20 prosecutions of employers a year. Fines for infractions have been symbolic at best, currently ranging from $676 to $5,404 per worker for an employer’s first offense, and these fines are routinely negotiated down. Workplace enforcement was as much a joke under Donald Trump as it was under previous presidents.

    Indifference to workplace enforcement perpetuates the suffering and insecurity of migrants and refugees. It also leaves largely unpunished the widespread exploitation of undocumented migrant workers, many of them minors.

    American politicians need to come clean about immigration and tell an honest story about it. Falling U.S. birthrates and an aging population will only increase the urgency of such discussions, as demand for lower-skilled workers, especially in home care and other service sectors, continues to increase. As long as there is a demand for their labor, and illegal labor is tolerated, migrants will continue to come—and ill-conceived border restrictions will continue to backfire.

    To be successful, any credible comprehensive immigration reform should have three foundations.

    First, however unfair it may sound to many, some form of migrant amnesty is inevitable. No matter what they say on television or on the campaign trail, no serious politician really believes that 11 million undocumented migrants, many of whom have been living and working in the U.S. for decades, will all be rounded up and deported.

    Second, repairing America’s broken immigration system will require opening more legal channels for lower-skilled workers, making it easier for them to move back and forth across the border. Such reforms would have the added benefit of relieving the burden on the asylum system, as economic migrants will have fewer incentives to migrate illegally and apply for asylum to avoid deportation.

    Finally, serious investments in the U.S. refugee system are needed so that asylum claims can be processed efficiently and considered decisions can be made in a relatively short term. Policies mainly focused on deterring asylum seekers are counterproductive; they lead to endless litigation, drive refugee migration underground and deprive genuine refugees of humanitarian protection.

    Experience shows that creating more avenues for lower-skilled workers does not have to lead to mass immigration. It’s easy to forget that until the late 1980s Mexican immigration to the U.S. was largely unregulated. It didn’t lead to mass settlement exactly because it was easy for workers to circulate.

    This doesn’t mean that governments should automatically let more migrants in when employers snap their fingers. There is no evidence that immigration has a substantial effect on the wages or welfare of local workers, but immigration is also not an unmitigated blessing. Research shows that it’s primarily the affluent who reap the economic benefits of immigration, while local workers are most directly confronted with its social and cultural consequences in their day-to-day lives.

    Such considerations should affect policy decisions about which workers to admit, when and in what numbers. But immigration restrictions can work only when combined with serious workplace enforcement. The only way to keep foreign workers from being exploited is to punish employers who exploit them.

    Allowing more lower-skilled workers to enter the U.S. won’t just increase the governments’ ability to control who is coming in. It will also prevent the further criminalization of economic migration. As incentives for smuggling weaken, migrants will become more visible and more able to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.

    My only real objection is Dr. de Haas’ use of the A-word: Amnesty. But I think there should be a pathway for otherwise law-abiding and contributing illegal immigrants to gain some form of residency, especially for the ones who’ve already been here for decades.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  135. Because why should our own election be the only one Biden meddles in:

    One Israeli expert frequently consulted by American officials says, “I have been asked by a serious administration figure what it is that will force the Netanyahu coalition to collapse. They were interested in the mechanics, what can we demand which will collapse his coalition.”

    In the event the new American position over Netanyahu remained unclear, Vice President Kamala Harris left no doubts in a Friday interview with CBS News, which asked “are the Israelis at risk of losing U.S. aid if this continues?” Harris replied: “I think it’s important for us to distinguish or at least not conflate the Israeli government with the Israeli people.”

    In other words: Israelis, we’re with you. Netanyahu, be gone.

    lloyd (1b978a)

  136. https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1766189290869121163

    No surprise, but like everything else in the leftist propaganda paper, the Best Seller list is fake and editorial content.

    NJRob (9d1fef)

  137. The Economist has a piece on new cities being built from scratch. One of them is northeast of San Francisco Bay (California Forever) and another is a Bill Gates project west of Phoenix (ugh).

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  138. The suggestion isn’t a surprise — but the person who made it, is:

    Steve Bannon, the one-time adviser to Donald Trump, suggested on Saturday that the former president was paid off after a shift in stance on TikTok.

    TikTok, the immensely popular video-sharing app known for its predominantly young audience, has once again come under scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers. The app is currently owned by Chinese tech company, ByteDance, which has spurred significant suspicion that its abundance of user data is being furnished to the Chinese government.

    Jim Miller (870dc5)

  139. An undocumented person. And I shouldn’t have used ‘illegal.’ It’s ‘undocumented,’” Biden said.

    It’s neither.

    He wasn’t illegally present, and he wasn’t undocumented.

    He may have been without permission to legally work, I don’t know, but if so, it was mostly because he didn’t need it (being able to work using a borrowed or rented identity) and so didn’t apply when he became eligible

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  140. Paul Montagu (d52d7d) — 3/9/2024 @ 1:26 pm

    Or maybe Ms. Britt could have found a true story of sex-trafficking on Biden’s watch instead of deceiving viewers. That shouldn’t be too much to ask.

    And give up on the plagiarism? That requires work.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  141. @136 “In short, it isn’t so much about the poverty and oppression in other countries, but more about the labor shortage in our own country, which won’t be solved with a wall.“

    You mean, it’s not about those fleeing persecution and in fear of their safety? If it’s about a labor shortage, there’s a lot of asylum fraud and parole fraud going on under current law. Too bad we don’t have a president interested in cracking down on it.

    lloyd (b79ffc)

  142. No, lloyd, I meant exactly what I said.

    Paul Montagu (011c73)

  143. Senator Katie Britt was on Fox News Sunday today. She sounded like a normal person.

    She said that while the case she talked about took place between 2005 and 2008 (in other words 15 to 20 years ago) it was “emblematic” of what could be happening now.

    She can use that argument, But it would be hard to draw a connection between any specific policy and the odds of this happening again. Also this happens with teenage girls running away from home in the United States. Laws make it difficult for them to survive independently.

    I think they didn;t search for a more contemporary example because they wanted a case where the person in question was willing to make her name public and wouldn’t object to their proposed remedies or suggest others of their own.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  144. Believe it or not, people running away from situations tend to only go to places where they see a prospect for economic survival and even prosperity. It takes a lot to make people leave.

    Sammy Finkelman (c2c77e)

  145. Ms. Swift is an economic powerhouse, all the way to Singapore.

    Economists upgraded their first-quarter growth forecasts for Singapore, with some attributing the gains in part to Taylor Swift’s Eras tour.

    Gross domestic product will probably expand 2.9% in the three months ending March 31, the quickest pace in six quarters, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Economists also raised their annual growth expectation to 2.5% from 2.3% seen previously — toward the upper end of the government’s 1%-3% forecast for 2024.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  146. There’s a cool new architectural trend in new home construction.

    Tabitha Kane is a co-host of a true crime podcast so it might not come as a complete surprise to learn that when she and her husband were planning a new house for their family in Dallas, she cooked up the idea of adding a secret room.

    At first, the couple thought they’d get their contractor to make the door to it look like a wall cabinet. But then they found an Arizona firm named Creative Home Engineering that rigged up a faux fireplace for Mrs. Kane’s home office that rotates to provide entry to the room when a member of the family places a hand on a biometric touch pad that recognizes their fingerprints.

    “It makes the house more fun,” Mrs. Kane said.

    Armchair sleuths aren’t the only devotees of the open-sesame game these days. Hidden doors and secret rooms have become an increasingly popular feature in American homes, whether the goal is foiling burglars, eking out extra storage or creating so-called safe, or panic, rooms for doomsday scenarios.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  147. Give Trump credit where due. More water pressure in showers makes for better showers and less water usage.

    And this is where we saw the big win-win: there’s a clear negative relationship between water pressure and consumption. More powerful showers used less water overall.

    A LOVELY TINGLY SHOWER MIGHT BE *BETTER* FOR THE ENVIRONMENT THAN A WEAK DRIBBLE. I know, right?

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  148. Are you against good showers?

    Kevin M (de3773)

  149. Shocking that you prefer CNN Paul.

    Best of bad choices

    Kevin M (de3773)

  150. I get a twofore Hamas destruction continues as does netanyahu. Actually a threefore as biden is further discredited by the democrat party base. will see how well uncommitted does in the rest of the primaries.

    asset (4d0d54)

  151. Are you against good showers?

    Huh?

    BTW, congrats for 20 Days in Mariupol winning Best Documentary, the first ever Academy Award given to a Ukrainian. The acceptance speech was extraordinary.

    Paul Montagu (d52d7d)

  152. Both oppenheimer and alan turing were treated badly by their country for helping them win the war.

    asset (4d0d54)

  153. Sad!

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  154. NAACP tells black athletes to boycott floriduh over D.E.I. law. Floriduh coaches say they will now have to pay black players even more money now!

    asset (e4ffb4)

  155. Rip Murdock (a6b579) — 3/8/2024 @ 4:01 pm

    but it’s not like the polls gave false hope to the Haley campaign (or voters). . She still lost every primary (except Vermont) by double digits

    Polls overestimating Trump’s percentage of the vote is an argument that maybe they are also overestimating Trump’s percentage in the general election. ‘

    But Trump won those primaries by extremely big margins. When there is a big margin, perhaps it’s easier to overestimate, or they get turnout by the losing and/or wining side wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  156. There actually isn’t that much difference between what Netanyahu is asking for except that Biden limits himself to can’t happen.

    Biden is his Sate of the Union message:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/08/us/politics/state-of-the-union-transcript-biden.html

    Israel has a right to go after Hamas. Hamas ended this conflict by releasing the hostages, laying down arms — could end it — by releasing the hostages, laying down arms and surrendering those responsible for Oct. 7.

    Since the people responsible for Oct. 7 are the people running Gaza this sounds impossible without unconditional surrender. Israel isn’t even asking for that. It would probably agree to to safe conduct out of Gaza in return for safe release of the hostages and giving up control of Gaza (woth the proviso that they will go after them later, so the only truly safe place for the men responsible for Oct. 7 would be being under arrest by a friendly to Israel power, or maybe in China.

    Now this is what Netanyahu said (also) in the Knesset:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/hamas-said-to-insist-on-deal-that-will-end-war-withdraw-idf-troops-from-gaza

    He emphasized that Israel would not end the war until all its aims are accomplished — “the elimination of Hamas, bringing back all our hostages, and ensuring that Gaza will never again represent a threat to Israel.”

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  157. Bad places:

    1. Haiti:

    https://nypost.com/2024/03/10/opinion/why-isnt-biden-breathing-fire-over-the-humanitarian-crisis-in-haiti

    Haiti is again descending deep into chaos and violence — to the point where, historically, the United States has intervened.

    Will the Biden administration refuse?

    The latest was the March 2 prison break that sprang most of the nearly 4,000 inmates of the National Penitentiary, part of coordinated strikes across the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

    Heavily armed gangs now control 80% of the city, including the nation’s only international airport. Armed vigilantes are the main opposition to the gangs across the country…

    ….The State Department has urged Americans to leave Haiti, but good luck; the gangs have the airport and the neighboring Dominican Republic has closed its airspace to planes flying to and from Haiti.

    One gang leader, Jimmy “Barbecue” Cherizier, an ex-police officer, threatened “civil war that will lead to genocide” unless Henry steps down — but civil war might be more orderly than the insanity now inflicting Haiti.

    Sparking the latest downward spiral was President Jovenel Moise’s assassination in July 2021, followed by Henry’s takeover as de facto dictator; he escaped an assassination attempt the next January and has refused to hold elections.

    At this point, the Parliament doesn’t have enough members to meet legally (if there was a safe place to do so); the high court is similarly dysfunctional.

    You see why tens of thousands of Haitians have tried to flee to America, most famously the 17,000 camped under that Del Rio, Texas, bridge in 2021.

    The Biden administration, in turn, has respected Henry as Haiti’s leader not least because he’s willing to kosherize US deportation of Haitian illegal migrants.

    The White House says it won’t send US troops to Haiti to restore order, but only help fund that UN force, which is supposed to be comprised of security personnel from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America.

    The Biden Administration wanted Canada to join in, but Canada wasn’t interested.

    The UN Security Council OK’d that Kenyan-led force in October, but actually deploying it seems beyond dicey: The last (Brazilian-led) UN force sent to “help” Haiti pulled out in 2017 after causing a cholera outbreak; some of its troops reportedly raped and looted themselves.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  158. Also a bad place:

    2. Al-Hol, Syria

    A detention camp in eastern Syria for 50,000 people controlled internally by ISIS with people suspected of being informers to the authorities being murdered there.

    Its inhabitants are people somehow involved with ISIS (often through marriage) and others caught up somehow and not cleared)

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2024/03/18/the-open-air-prison-for-isis-supporters-and-victims

    …Al-Hol was created decades ago, in a stretch of scrubland about ten miles west of the Iraqi border, as a haven for refugees. But in 2019, when the U.S.-led coalition vanquished isis—the armed group that had briefly established a breakaway caliphate within Syria and Iraq, imposing an extremist interpretation of Islamic law—tens of thousands of people who’d been living under its rule were herded to the camp. Guard towers and armored vehicles and concertina-crowned walls appeared, and residents could no longer walk out the gate.

    About fifty thousand people are currently imprisoned in Al-Hol, which is named for a dilapidated nearby town. The detainees hail from more than fifty countries: Chinese and Trinidadians and Russians and Swedes and Brits live alongside Syrians and Iraqis. Many of the adults had either joined isis or been married to someone who’d joined. But many others have no links to the Islamic State and fled to the camp to escape the punishing U.S.-led bombing campaign. Some were thrown into isis’s orbit by force: Yazidis enslaved by commanders, teen-age girls married off by their families. More than half the population are children, the majority of whom are younger than twelve. Dozens of babies are born each month. All the residents are under indefinite detention, as no plans have apparently been made to prosecute any of them—imagine if Guantánamo were the size of a city, and its inmates were mostly women and children. The United Nations has called Al-Hol a “blight on the conscience of humanity.”

    The camp, which is in a region of Syria still protected by several hundred U.S. troops, is under the aegis of a beleaguered force of mostly Kurdish fighters—soldiers who had previously aligned with the Americans to defeat isis. They are largely backed by the United States, but the Pentagon declines to specify how much it spends annually on Al-Hol. The Kurdish fighters guard the camp’s perimeter in swat vehicles, and a primarily Kurdish civilian administration manages the camp bureaucracy, coördinating with aid organizations to distribute rations and deliver such basic services as sewage treatment and water. But the camp itself—block after block of dirt lanes and tents—is effectively under the control of its isis inmates. All-female squads of religious police pressure women to cover head to toe in the black niqab; violators have been dragged to makeshift Sharia courts, where judges order floggings and executions. Assassination cells gun down inmates accused of passing information to camp authorities.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  159. “Maybe the Riley family does not want their daughter being the appetizer at Trump fundraising dinners.

    unfortunately: https://i.imgur.com/8nZCn7U.jpeg

    “Biden does not even KNOW my child’s name – it’s pathetic! If you are going to say her name (even when forced to do so) at least say the right name!”

    If you look closely at the above picture, you’ll see that Trump misspelled her name.

    Davethulhu (4789b3)

  160. just saw that meme on twitter, reddit, and facebook.

    Thanks for repeating it so promptly.

    As usual, whatabouts are poor arguments. Trump was not good on the border, but he was much better than Biden, and Biden’s policies probably caused that poor woman’s death. Waving that accountability away because whatabout Trump is … why Trump is viable.

    You guys think reframing every issue like thulhu just did, ‘republicans pounce on democrat mistake’ style, is going to hurt Trump, and it’s literally the only reason he’s viable.

    Dustin (c1324d)

  161. I think the main reason it’s getting posted so much is that it’s an incredibly weird picture, especially for people who aren’t immersed in politics like all of us here.

    Davethulhu (4789b3)

  162. I just saw the photo for the first time.

    What’s mine is
    “Maybe the Riley family does not want their daughter being the appetizer at Trump fundraising dinners.”

    And I meant it. The hyena-jackal-pigs in human form are feasting on the corpse.

    nk (f932f7)

  163. You guys think reframing every issue like thulhu just did, ‘republicans pounce on democrat mistake’ style, is going to hurt Trump, and it’s literally the only reason he’s viable.

    They say that cockroaches will be the last (some say only) survivors of a nuclear holocaust that destroys all life on Earth. But that’s irrelevant in this instance. I don’t step around dog poop on the sidewalk because I think it’s going to hurt Trump. It’s because it’s nasty.

    nk (f932f7)

  164. @163 Laken only merits a mention if it’s a dig at Trump. Says it all. But, you couldn’t even say her name. Yeah, maybe it’s a weird picture. But, it happened because of an even weirder and obscene border policy, or does that policy seem normal to you?

    Do you support the Laken Riley Act? It’s not about Trump, so who cares right?

    Here’s a new victim of Biden’s border mess by design.

    Does Trump need to hold another photo op to get a mention? If so, kudos to him.

    Travis Wolfe. 12 years old. Say his name.

    lloyd (272a9f)

  165. The only one who is not smiling in that photo is the father.

    nk (aebd95)

  166. There’s nothing that the House GOP does that is not about Trump.

    nk (aebd95)

  167. Give Trump his due. He knows only a “weird” photo op with only the best handwriting experts deciding it’s an “a “ instead of an “e” will get the Left to acknowledge a victim of their policies, albeit still without naming her.

    lloyd (272a9f)

  168. “There’s nothing that the House GOP does that is not about Trump.”

    Sounds like a No on the Laken Riley Act. Because Trump. Of course.

    lloyd (272a9f)

  169. “The only one who is not smiling in that photo is the father.”

    Laken is smiling. So weird.

    lloyd (272a9f)

  170. Sounds like a No on the Laken Riley Act. Because Trump. Of course.

    It’s a “Shove it!” on any opportunistic, manipulative, election season meaningless noise by any politician.

    nk (aebd95)

  171. If only Trump had called off the Capitol riot earlier, then Ashli Babbitt would still be with us….and smiling. His reckless policy of using violence to protest an election has cost us a dear life. It’s a darn shame.

    AJ_Liberty (5f05c3)

  172. @173 Whatabout. Pathetic. Anyway, Babbitt died for her ideals. Laken died for yours.

    lloyd (b18851)

  173. IF only Trump had told his voters to use those mail-in ballots, he would have won that damn election and ALL the people who have died because of Joe Biden’s evil machinations would be alive today!

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  174. Laken is dead because of a wet market in wuhan.

    lloyd (cb0aac)

  175. Biden puts another 10 billion in the hands of the mullahs in Iran. Voting for Biden is voting for terrorism.

    NJRob (826cf2)

  176. Outta here:

    ……….
    (Rep. Ken Buck, R-CO) criticized dysfunction on Capitol Hill in discussing his decision to leave (by the end of next week), telling CNN’s Dana Bash, “It is the worst year of the nine years and three months that I’ve been in Congress and having talked to former members, it’s the worst year in 40, 50 years to be in Congress. But I’m leaving because I think there’s a job to do out there.”

    “This place has just devolved into this bickering and nonsense and not really doing the job for the American people,” he said.

    The Colorado Republican’s departure from the House will shake up the chamber’s partisan breakdown, where Republicans control only a very narrow majority – a major challenge for Speaker Mike Johnson who has frequently been forced to rely on votes from Democrats as well as Republicans to get major pieces of legislation across the finish line.
    ……….
    Buck’s decision to step down before the end of his term will trim Republicans’ slim edge to 218 seats over 213 for Democrats, with three vacancies. With that breakdown, Republicans could only afford to lose two votes to pass legislation on a party-line vote.

    Pressed by Bash on whether Donald Trump’s status as the presumptive GOP nominee influenced his decision, Buck said, “Whether he was the nominee or not, I think our system is broken in how we choose candidates and I want to get involved in that process.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  177. Jon Stewart had a another good segment, this time on Trump’s so-called patriotism, which is anti-patriotic and anti-American. It’s worth watching the whole 9:55.

    Because, what kind of American who swears to defend and uphold the Constitution then turns around and says “I want to be a dictator for one day”? It’s as believable as the college guy saying “just the tip” to the coed in a heavy makeout session. In the latter scenario, the girl is screwed. In the former, America, IMO.

    What kind of American helps the hostile foreign power that is undertaking an unprovoked, unjustified and unlawful invasion of a neighboring sovereign state, a country that we promised to help?

    Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in a new interview that former President Donald Trump told him he would cut off U.S. military aid to Ukraine in an effort to end its conflict with Russia.

    Orbán said in an interview with a state-run media organization in Hungary, M1, published overnight, that Trump’s plan is to “not give a penny” to Ukraine, stating that the country “cannot stand on its own feet.”

    This Russian ruler is also enriching two other adversaries, Iran and North Korea, buying drones and artillery from them, respectively.

    Paul Montagu (d4d407)

  178. lloyd (cb0aac) — 3/13/2024 @ 9:55 am

    Laken is dead because of a wet market in wuhan.

    This was initially confusing.

    I supposed that’s supposed to be a satire of the opinion of anyone who who does not agree with the Republican Party line on this.

    Trump did use Covid as a hook to hang his “remain in Mexico” policy so you could say she’d be alive if the Covid pandemic had lasted longer

    Just to digress: There was no wet market – it was mainly a seafood market, and was not the origin point of Covid. The second lab leak (of a more dangerous version of the virus) may have taken place on or about December 2, 2019, when the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention moved to within 300 yards of the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. (the source of the bat viruses was another lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, eight miles away. That was presumably the source of the first lab leak. sometime toward late August of 2019 – but definitely before September 12, 2019, when the database of viruses was taken offline. That virus seems to have been successfully contained and concealed from the world till after the second lab leak, of a different variant.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  179. The Laken Riley Act in addition to being stupid and cruel is snake oil and the Republicans know it. Just when would criminals be detained? I presume after conviction.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  180. “Whether he was the nominee or not, I think our system is broken in how we choose candidates and I want to get involved in that process.”

    I’ve been saying that for a while.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  181. Paul Krugman is deliberately biased, but some points he says are true/

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/11/opinion/katie-britt-trump-immigration.html

    What I want to do instead is focus on the centerpiece of Britt’s remarks, a deeply misleading story about sex trafficking that she used to attack President Biden. Her use of the story — which turns out to have involved events in Mexico way back when George W. Bush was president — wasn’t technically a lie, since she didn’t explicitly say that it happened in the United States on Biden’s watch. She did, however, say: “We wouldn’t be OK with this happening in a third-world country. This is the United States of America, and it’s past time we start acting like it. President Biden’s border crisis is a disgrace.”

    But, if Krugman is correct, it did happen in a third world country! Mexico. This is like including in discussions about the border, fake pills containing fentanyl which were bought by U.S. citizens who crossed the border into Mexico to buy cheaper drugs.

    After criticizing some of Mr. Biden’s immigration policies in his first 100 days in office — including a halt to border-wall construction, though construction has since continued, and a pause on some deportations, which she falsely described as his having “stopped all deportations” — Ms. Britt said in the Fox interview that she had referred to the woman, Karla Jacinto Romero, because Ms. Jacinto is an advocate for the welfare of victims of similar crimes that are “happening now at an astronomical rate.”

    She said human trafficking had grown into a $13 billion industry from a $500 million industry in 2018. That statistic is from 2022, meaning the increase came over a four-year period roughly equally divided between the Trump and Biden administrations.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  182. More from Krugman’s column:

    Over the past few months, there’s been a palpable shift in Republican rhetoric away from attacks on the Biden economy and toward dire warnings about “migrant crime.”

    …Yes, figuring out how best to secure our borders is a real issue, but the data just doesn’t show that there’s a crisis of migrant crime. Indeed, homicides in America surged in 2020 — a year in which Trump was still president and apprehensions at the southern border were way down. By contrast, in the past couple of years, the homicide rate has come down even as border activity has increased.

    So what do you do when the numbers don’t support your dystopian fantasies? You zero in on the most horrific individual stories.

    Without question, the killing of Laken Riley, for which an undocumented immigrant has been charged, is devastating. But in a country as big as ours, it’s almost always possible to find examples of unspeakable tragedies involving individual members of whatever group you name. There are probably more than 10 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Based on the available evidence, however, immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes.

    In any case, the migrant crime wave — the “plunder of our cities” Trump seems to endlessly decry — is a myth…

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  183. “Whether he was the nominee or not, I think our system is broken in how we choose candidates and I want to get involved in that process.

    Really broken. The New York presidential primary will be on Tuesday April 2, complete with nine days of early voting. The Board of Elections cheerfully sends mail to people telling them they can also request an absentee ballot – as if there was anything to vote for. It’s completely oblivious, or makes itself oblivious, to the fact that both Biden and Trump are believed to have clinched their respective nominations yesterday.

    I think in New York you also vote for individual delegates. If there is more than one slate of Biden delegates then you would vote for who goes to the convention (a candidate gets assigned a number of delegates per Congressional district – in addition to statewide delegates which are used to backfill the quotas among other purposes) but there can be a contest for, say, which six.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  184. More proof that Biden was afraid to let Ukraine win in 2022.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/03/09/us/politics/biden-nuclear-russia-ukraine.html

    President Biden was standing in an Upper East Side townhouse owned by the businessman James Murdoch, the rebellious scion of the media empire, surrounded by liberal New York Democrats who had paid handsomely to come hear optimistic talk about the Biden agenda for the next few years.

    It was Oct. 6, 2022, but what they heard instead that evening was a disturbing message that — though Mr. Biden didn’t say so — came straight from highly classified intercepted communications he had recently been briefed about, suggesting that President Vladimir V. Putin’s threats to use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine might be turning into an operational plan.

    For the “first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he told the group, as they gathered amid Mr. Murdoch’s art collection, “we have a direct threat of the use of a nuclear weapon if in fact things continue down the path they’ve been going.” The gravity of his tone began to sink in: The president was talking about the prospect of the first wartime use of a nuclear weapon since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.’

    And not at some vague moment in the future. He meant in the next few weeks….

    Fortunately, Mr. Biden was told in his briefings, there was no evidence of weapons being moved. But soon the C.I.A. was warning that, under a singular scenario in which Ukrainian forces decimated Russian defensive lines and looked as if they might try to retake Crimea — a possibility that seemed imaginable that fall — the likelihood of nuclear use might rise to 50 percent or even higher. That “got everyone’s attention fast,” said an official involved in the discussions.

    No one knew how to assess the accuracy of that estimate: the factors that play into decisions to use nuclear weapons, or even to threaten their use, were too abstract, too dependent on human emotion and accident, to measure with precision. But it wasn’t the kind of warning any American president could dismiss.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  185. @178 Ken buck says he has talked to three other republican house members who say they are going to resign in the next few weeks over attacks from maggot republicans ;but didn’t name them. (DU)

    asset (ef5125)

  186. @184 “Based on the available evidence, however, immigrants are less likely than native-born Americans to commit crimes.”

    Notice the sleight of hand. What is being flagged are unvetted illegals who are allowed into the country, and those who commit crimes who are then shielded from deportation. Such as, Laken Riley’s murderer. Evidence regarding relative crime rates among all immigrants is irrelevant to that issue. Krugman of course knows this, and makes the correct calculation that those repeating his point either won’t notice or will take part in the deception.

    lloyd (8db5bc)

  187. Yes, the comparative percentages are horsesh!t. The plain fact is that the murder of Laken Riley, or any crime at all committed by an illegal, would not have happened if the illegal was not in America in the first place. We have enough problems with our home-grown hoodlums, we don’t need Venezaguaco’s on top of it.

    nk (54c0ae)

  188. RIP British actor Michael Culver (85):

    …………
    In (The Empire Strikes Back), Culver played Captain Needa, an Imperial officer who pursues Han Solo in the Millennium Falcon as the Rebel Alliance escapes from their secret base on Hoth.

    When the Falcon escapes his clutches, Needa accepts full responsibility and goes to apologize to Darth Vader, only to be choked to death with Vader’s Sith powers. “Apology accepted, Captain Needa,” Vader says as the officer’s body is dragged away.
    …………
    ………… Culver appeared as a racist police major in David Lean’s final film “A Passage to India” and in uncredited roles in the James Bond films “From Russia With Love” and “Thunderball.”
    …………..

    Rip Murdock (2a8b99)

  189. It’s an open thread, so:

    Which movie is scientifically sillier?

    The Core: The Earth’s core has stopped rotating, causing problems. Men drill down with a bomb to speed it up again.

    Sunshine: The Sun is failing, causing problems. Men go to the Sun with a BIG bomb to reignite it.

    Moonfall: The Moon is inexplicably falling towards the Earth (more than it is now), causing problems. Men go there to fix it, and find that the Moon is hollow. And worse. Then worser.

    2012: None of the above is going on, but it’s still pretty bad because of a planetary conjunction. Example: tidal waves in Nepal.

    Mitigating factors: Sunshine has a great cast.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  190. The Core

    My favorite scene was the Dodger Stadium flyover and landing at LAX.

    Rip Murdock (aec99e)

  191. Star Wars and Star Trek films are about as scientifically silly as you can get.

    Rip Murdock (aec99e)

  192. Entertaining yes, but not scientifically accurate.

    Rip Murdock (aec99e)

  193. Star Wars and Star Trek films are about as scientifically silly as you can get.

    You are going to have to defend that, in the face of 4 films that fly in the face of actual hard knowledge. IF you are referring to FTL, well there are several actual possible theories of FTL travel.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  194. Science fiction is simply an extrapolation of what is known, or an exploration of what is not known that does not openly conflict with what IS known.

    Fantasy is neither connected to the real world nor a reasonable extrapolation from it.

    “The Core” is neither. “Star Wars” is just simplistic SF with a touch of fantasy. As literature, it would seem to fall into the 1920s pretty easily.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  195. Star trek’s balance of terror was a copy of 1950’s movie enemy below and some what believable.

    asset (aafa34)

  196. I don’t think Star Wars is particularly science fiction at all, as there’s basically no science or explanation of their tech involved: it’s fantasy opera with a space setting.

    Star Trek is definitely sci-fi. There is plenty of made-up stuff, but then there’s also a good deal based in theoretical science available at the time of writing.

    Sam G (74da99)

  197. @188 illegal immigrants are even less likely to commit crimes than legal immigrants, due to their status and needing to avoid entanglements with authorities.

    Sam G (74da99)

  198. there’s basically no science or explanation of their tech involved

    You’d rule out all of Bradbury and much of Heinlein with that rule.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  199. Elon Musk is a steely-eyed rocket man.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  200. Teen Pregnancy Linked to Risk of Earlier Death in Adulthood, Study Finds

    A large analysis in Canada finds that teenagers who had babies were twice as likely to die before age 31.

    It is hard to find better proof that “correlation is not causation”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  201. Serious question:

    Is RFK Jr a better choice than Biden or Trump?

    Even if the object is to rebuke the major parties?

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  202. I guess it depends if he picks Aaron Rodgers or Jesse Ventura.

    No, RFK Jr votes would send the message that we just want more unserious candidates with some celebrity draw. I’ll stick with individuals who have demonstrated some leadership…regardless of how many pushups they can do…

    AJ_Liberty (e9d177)

  203. What is wrong here? Can you spot the error?

    Teen escapes 6-day hostage situation where she was raped, police say.

    A 17-year-old girl was held hostage for nearly a week and raped at a Big Bear Lake-area home before escaping from a locked car, according to the San Bernardino Police Department.

    Police said in a statement released Tuesday that the near-weeklong hostage situation ended Thursday when the girl escaped and sought help from employees at a local business at the Village, a popular Big Bear shopping district. The employees notified law enforcement.

    Police have identified 25-year-old Zackary Dourousseau of Sugarloaf as the victim’s alleged captor. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and statutory rape.

    He is free on bail, according to San Bernardino County jail records.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  204. #203 Serious answer — the point of RFK Jr is anti-vax madness. That makes him more objectionable than Trump, who at least got Operation Warp Speed right.

    Appalled (84592b)

  205. Well, the point of Biden is anti-Trump madness, so I’m not sure I see the problem.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  206. Kevin M,

    Call me old-fahioned, but you actually DO vote for the candidate you’d rather have — which means lesser of how ever many evils there are. RFK Jr is worse than Trump — that’s actually his brand.

    The one time I did 3rd party was in 2016, when I had hopes a significant Libertarian vote would happen and send the GOP a message about what nominating Trump would do to them as a party. Hopes were defnitely dashed, and my 2024 self shakes his head at my 2016 hopes.

    Appalled (88a1a3)

  207. I was really hopeful about the Johnson/Weld ticket in 2016 but they ended up not veering close enough to normal. The effusive compliments toward Hillary was also off putting. Muffing Aleppo was unforgivable. Johnson came across as too much Cheech Marin and that just ain’t the middle of the electorate. I wrote in…and slept well.

    I agree with Appalled that anti-vax…which is why Rodgers is being named as a #2….is just wacky. Now he is probably drawing more from Trump so if that holds, he’s at least accomplishing something…

    AJ_Liberty (e9d177)

  208. I am not going to vote for RFK Jr. Never was. It’s just that the mainstream choices are so bad that it’s hard to talk about Overton windows.

    And yes, I do try to vote for what I want but this year I am seeing that might not be possible, even on the margin. So an alternative strategy — voting for a candidate unlikely to win but most likely to ring up a lot of votes so as to make an adequate stink. If it could throw the election into the House, the stink would be profound.

    The two parties have failed and cosigning their bullsh1t is repulsive. I am looking for a way to help rub their noses in it.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  209. Quinnipiac University Michigan Poll 3/14/24

    ……….
    In the five-person hypothetical 2024 general election matchup, Trump receives 41 percent support among registered voters, Biden receives 36 percent support, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. receives 10 percent support, Green Party candidate Jill Stein receives 4 percent support, and independent candidate Cornel West receives 3 percent support, with 5 percent volunteering that they either are undecided (4 percent) or refused to answer (1 percent).

    In a head-to-head matchup, Trump receives 48 percent support and Biden receives 45 percent support, with 8 percent volunteering that they either are undecided (3 percent), wouldn’t vote (2 percent), would vote for someone else (1 percent), or refused to answer (2 percent).
    ………
    Given a list of 10 issues and asked which is the most urgent one facing the country today, 22 percent of voters say preserving democracy in the United States, 21 percent say the economy, and 21 percent say immigration. No other issue reached double digits.
    ………..
    Thirty-five percent of voters describe the state of the nation’s economy these days as either excellent (6 percent) or good (29 percent), while 65 percent describe it as either not so good (28 percent) or poor (37 percent).

    Nearly half of voters (47 percent) think the nation’s economy is getting worse, 28 percent think it’s staying about the same, and 23 percent think it’s getting better.

    A majority of voters (61 percent) describe their personal financial situation these days as either excellent (9 percent) or good (52 percent), while 38 percent describe it as either not so good (25 percent) or poor (13 percent).
    ……….
    Among Democrats, 94 percent think abortion should be legal in either all cases (62 percent) or most cases (32 percent) and 5 percent think it should be illegal in either most cases (4 percent) or all cases (1 percent).

    Among independents, 67 percent think abortion should be legal in either all cases (33 percent) or most cases (34 percent) and 26 percent think it should be illegal in either most cases (19 percent) or all cases (7 percent).

    Among Republicans, 39 percent think abortion should be legal in either all cases (11 percent) or most cases (28 percent) and 57 percent think it should be illegal in either most cases (39 percent) or all cases (18 percent).
    ………..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  210. Everything after the link should have been blockquoted.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  211. @211 In another post Yahoo news say democrat party is worried more about third parties then biden’s age as attacks on trump may lead to third party voting instead of voting for biden as in 2016 5% voted third party in 2016 trump wins 1.5% voted third party in 2020 biden wins. DNc is waging all out campaign to prevent third parties from getting on ballot as biden only won electoral college by 43,000 votes.

    asset (650075)

  212. Arbitrary enforcement

    NJRob (28bb9b)

  213. Star Trek not only has FTL travel, but transporters and replicators and time travel and a number of other things including telepathy and things like switching bodies. Most of them are familiar science fiction tropes.

    . A lot of it s not real science. What makes it science fiction rather than fantasy most of the time is that everything is governed by rules of engineering, or supposedly so. There is a lot of what fans called technobabble.

    Of course in TNG they threw in Q. but he only affects a few episodes and there is quasi-religion.

    One place Star Trek goes into problems with realism is in the introduction to both TOS and TNG:

    boldly go where no man has gone before

    How can they be going to where no man has gone before is they repeatedly encounter what look like people (called humanoids) who speak English!

    Also, too much history is squeezed into 200 (TOS) or 300 years. (TNG, S9, VOY)

    In the mid- 1960s there were three science fiction series on television.

    On CBS there was Lost i Space. That too had too many encounters. It is not as well known as Star Trek even though they eventually made amovie, but remembered is the clumsy robot with it saying “Danger Will Robinson” and “That does not computer” A Columbo episode has a similiar robot, built by a child genius named Steve Spelberg. It was produced before Jaws but the name is not a coincidence.

    On NBC there was “Star Trek”

    And on ABC there was “The Time Tunnel” That seems not to be remembered at all, although they did write a few books.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  214. who speak English!

    Universal translators. Which will be real in the next decade, btw. AI Babelfish.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  215. And, Sammy, there is a lot of SF not on television. Almost all of it, actually, and most of that is lots better SF than “Star Trek” or “Star Wars”. And we won’t even mention “Time Tunnel.”

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  216. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/14/2024 @ 4:06 pm

    Universal translators. Which will be real in the next decade, btw. AI Babelfish.

    To have a machine translator, you must first have a Rosetta stone.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  217. Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/14/2024 @ 1:03 pm

    The two parties have failed

    And so have the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th parties [RFK Jr, Jill Stein, Cornel West and No Labels.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  218. who speak English!

    Universal translators. Which will be real in the next decade, btw. AI Babelfish.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/14/2024 @ 4:06 pm

    LOL! Universal translators appear in very few episodes of Star Trek (TOS and Next Gen) where there is direct, fact to face conversations. The only one I can think of in TOS is in the episode Metamorphosis. Though you apparently can buy one on Etsy.

    English is truly the universal language.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  219. And we won’t even mention “Time Tunnel.”

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/14/2024 @ 4:09 pm

    One of my favorite series ever. I have the TT hourglass as wallpaper on my phone.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  220. Equity will deem done that which ought to have been done, I suppose. Or something close.

    Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can stay on and prosecute the Georgia 2020 election interference racketeering case against former President Donald Trump and 14 of his co-defendants, Judge Scott McAfee ruled Friday, but only if she removes the special prosecutor with whom she engaged in a romantic relationship. https://www.cnn.com/2024/03/15/politics/fani-willis-fulton-county-donald-trump-election-subversion-scott-mcafee/index.html

    nk (be69b0)

  221. #222 —

    I really can’t complain about the resolution here, which recognizes and addresses a problem without imposing a completely nonsensical remedy. Funny thing — it’ usually the woman who gets canned in these situations. So its a feminist solution as well.

    Appalled (5ecdf9)

  222. To have a machine translator, you must first have a Rosetta stone.

    To have an AI translator you first must have it fully trained. Guess what they are doing now.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  223. English is truly the universal language.

    You’ve obviously never been in France.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  224. The judge in the Georgia Trump case (I almost wrote Fani Willis case, which is telling) does a real good job on the Solomon thing.

    https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24482779-order-on-defendants-motions-to-dismiss-and-disqualify-the-fulton-county-district-attorney

    I am actually impressed — because Willis’ mistakes deserve some kind of sanction, but the People deserve to have the Trump case ajudicated fairly, and not delayed over Real Housewives of Atlanta antics.

    Appalled (5ecdf9)

  225. I read McAffee’s ruling.

    I don’t think I’m quite on board with the Trump defenders that this is a win for Willis and a loss for them.

    I don’t think McAffee felt he had enough to formally DQ Willis/FultonCO, and I think he wanted to but couldn’t find enough guidance from GA law to do so.

    What he did, though, is to put all of Willis’ misdeeds in record, and I think now the defense can immediately appeal this de novo.

    In short, its a trainwreck and if an appeal is granted, this case won’t happen this year.

    whembly (5f7596)

  226. Willis will need to withdraw for the cse to go forward.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  227. It seems that every case involving Trump eventually becomes a legal food fight.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  228. #228 — Under the current formulation, if Willis goes, her entire team must go too. I don’t see that happening. I also don’t see that team doing well without Willis. (If you want an example of how bad that would be, run a tape of the closing arguments of her colleague at the evidentary hearing. Gawd, what a train wreck.)

    She will not be sanctioned by the local bar — getting the political stuff all settled is what Willis statements at the black church was all about, and that has been handled. You can tell by the local politicos who kept showing up at the Willis hearings. Willis has the support of her base and a left leaning local bar.

    #227 — Trump’s folks will appeal — it’s what they do. If anything, though, McAffee’s decision is harder on Willis than what is called for under Georiga law. The court may well choose NOT to get in the middle of this for that reason. Also, just remember that not every appeal results in a stay.

    #229 — That’s what he pays his lawyers to do. (Or fails to pay them, as the case may be)

    Appalled (5ecdf9)

  229. @229

    It seems that every case involving Trump eventually becomes a legal food fight.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/15/2024 @ 9:07 am

    These are criminal prosecutions.

    It’s expected that the defense attorneys will vigorously defend their clients in a legal bare-knuckle fight.

    whembly (5f7596)

  230. Incidentally, whembly, under no circumstances do I think this is a “win” for Fani Willis. She is having her case referred to diciplinary boards, her testimony has been called inappropriate and the “scent of mendacity” overlays it, and she is being forced to lose a trusted aide. The court basically invited the people of Fulton County to throw her out at the next election. Living in DeKalb County, that’s not my call to make.

    However, he took steps to avoid having a righteous prosecution delayed to the 31st of February, 2029.

    Appalled (5ecdf9)

  231. So, it’s back to hoping for God to make a ruling.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  232. What he did, though, is to put all of Willis’ misdeeds in record, and I think now the defense can immediately appeal this de novo.

    In short, its a trainwreck and if an appeal is granted, this case won’t happen this year.

    whembly (5f7596) — 3/15/2024 @ 9:03 am

    I don’t think it’s appealable since the decision has no impact on the defendants rights. Not all judicial rulings are appeal issues.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  233. Willis will need to withdraw for the cse to go forward.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/15/2024 @ 9:04 am

    Incorrect, McAfee gave her a choice-she could withdraw, or Nathan Wade must go.

    “”[T]he Court finds that the Defendants failed to meet their burden of proving that the District Attorney acquired an actual conflict of interest in this case through her personal relationship and recurring travels with her lead prosecutor,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee wrote in the Friday morning order. “[T]he established record now highlights a significant appearance of impropriety that infects the current structure of the prosecution team — an appearance that must be removed through the State’s selection of one of two options,” the court’s order continues. “The Defendants’ motions are therefore granted in part.”

    McAfee denied “other alleged grounds for disqualification, including forensic misconduct.”

    The forensic misconduct denial was related to the district attorney’s racially-charged Martin Luther King, Jr. Day speech at Big Bethel A.M.E. Church in Atlanta. While not disqualifying, McAfee says Willis’ comments during that lengthy speech were “improper.”

    However, the speech did not specifically mention any Defendant by name. Although not improvised or inadvertent, it also did not address the merits of the indicted offenses in an effort to move the trial itself to the court of public opinion. Nor did it disclose sensitive or confidential evidence yet to be revealed or admitted at trial. In addition, the case is too far removed from jury selection to establish a permanent taint of the jury pool. As best it can divine, under the sole direction of Williams, the Court cannot find that this speech crossed the line to the point where the Defendants have been denied the opportunity for a fundamentally fair trial, or that it requires the District Attorney’s disqualification. But it was still legally improper. Providing this type of public comment creates dangerous waters for the District Attorney to wade further into.

    ……….
    The crux of the defense’s argument for removing Willis and Wade is that the district attorney hired her then-boyfriend for the job, overpaid him, and then reaped something akin to a financial windfall in the form of vacations, travel, lodging, and other such gifts. Those alleged gifts, the defense argued, were paid for with public funds.

    Despite issuing a half-win for the nine co-defendants who moved to disqualify the prosecutors, the court did not find the evidence in the record was substantial enough to support those claims.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  234. English is truly the universal language.

    You’ve obviously never been in France.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/15/2024 @ 8:08 am

    Changing the subject. How many French-speaking aliens have you heard on Star Trek?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  235. How many French-speaking aliens have you heard on Star Trek?

    Lots, if you watch it in France.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  236. Apparently, Justice Gorsuch is a bleeding-heart liberal on criminal justice matters. He dissents in what should have been a slam-dunk 9-0 decision in Pulsifer v US, arguing for a nonsense construction when a sane construction of a law was evident. 6-3, with Gorsuch joining Sotomayor and Jackson.

    Kevin M (8676e4)

  237. A judge (McAfee, not Gorsuch) who does what the law says he must and not what the law says he can is what everybody should want.

    nk (95fcea)

  238. He’s a good judge and a good cello player.

    Paul Montagu (1e8339)

  239. How many French-speaking aliens have you heard on Star Trek?

    Lots, if you watch it in France.

    Kevin M (8676e4) — 3/15/2024 @ 10:09 am

    What is it with your obsession with France? In the past you have argued that the US should adopt their limits on abortion (14 weeks). Would you have the US also adopt their constitutional amendment on abortion?

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  240. In one episode in Star Trek The Next Generation, Data calls French (something like a no longer spoken language) Picard rebukes him.

    But at home he and his family speak English among themselves.

    I think there was some attempt to explain the prevalence of English – people taken from earth maybe. But that would mean they were NOT going to where no man has gone before.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  241. Nathan Wade went.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)

  242. The Time Tunnel had only one season? hat would be why it never went into syndication, You generally needed 3m or at least two.
    Cozi TV manages to run Columbo once a week on Saturday nights (two episodes at a time) with only 63 episodes total. (it alternated with some other series and there was a decade in which it was not produced. The last one was in 2003, and I think the previous one in 1999.

    Some are 90 minutes, some two hours.

    Sammy Finkelman (1d215a)


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