Hello !
Recent Appearances... Rantburg

-PC Follies
Facebook slammed in its own audit for setting back civil rights
2020-07-09
[IsraelTimes] Auditors express particular alarm at media giant’s reluctance to act on President Trump posts that ’allowed the propagation of hate/violent mostly peaceful speech’ and ’facilitated voter suppression’.

The audit commissioned by Facebook in 2018 found the Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, giant had taken "important steps forward in building a long-term civil rights accountability structure" but "are not sufficient and should not be the end of Facebook’s progress."

Despite progress, "the auditors are concerned that those gains could be obscured by the vexing and heartbreaking decisions Facebook has made that represent significant setbacks for civil rights," the 100-page report said.
Link


Home Front: Politix
Democratic Op-Ed: To Defeat Trump We Must Knock Down The Economy
2020-07-09
[Hot Air] There’s been a recurring theme among a lot of conservative social media voices this year that seems to drive liberals and their media allies into a foam-at-the-mouth frenzy. It’s the suggestion that many Democrats and progressives are actually rooting for the pandemic shutdowns and the resultant economic retraction to last as long as possible, preferably until November. Why? Because a bad economy tends to make people sour on the party in power and if the public can be convinced that this was somehow all Donald Trump’s fault, or at least that he didn’t do enough to solve the problem, they will be more inclined to vote him out of office. And just for the record, that’s really not a far-fetched theory at all.

But it’s also not something they tend to come right out and say, either. That’s why I was somewhat startled when I was flipping through my newsfeed this morning and saw the title of this op-ed in the USA Today from Democratic activist and president of the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, Bradley Beychok. The piece boasted the headline, "Trump’s last line of defense is the economy. Biden and Democrats must knock it down."
Link


Fifth Column
Robespierre Leftists Condemn Danton Chomsky for Defending Free Speech
2020-07-09
[BREITBART] Left-wingers attacked radical leftist intellectual Noam Chomsky
...Intellectual and political theorist of a socialist persuasion. He is noted for being so far out in left field he can't see the shortstop on every issue he pushes...
on Tuesday after he co-signed a statement in Harper’s criticizing cancel culture — several days after President Donald Trump
...The tack in the backside of the Democratic Party...
did the same in his Mount Rushmore speech.

Several "verified" blue-checkmark users on Twitter were outraged that Chomsky, 91, should agree with Trump, albeit indirectly, or that he would push back against left-wing efforts to deny platforms to those who dispute its orthodoxies.

The Harper’s statement, titled "A Letter on Justice and Open Debate," included Chomsky, J.K. Rowling, and others.
Link


Home Front: Politix
CNN’s Lemon: The Way to Fix Mount Rushmore Is Add Obama
2020-07-09
[BREITBART] Tuesday on CNN
...formerly the Cable News Network, now who know what it might stand for...
, host Don Lemon said President Barack Obama
How much damage could he do in four years?... Eight, then...
should be added to the Mount Rushmore sculptures of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.

While discussing a Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, couple charged for painting over a "Black Lives Matter" mural, Lemon said, "You see the right-wing machine kick in, media kick in and see Trump’s poll numbers go south. They kick in with Democratic cities are in chaos right now. Is this what you want from Joe Foreign Policy Whiz Kid Biden
...When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'...
? And they are taking your country away sand they are going to take down statues. Crime is rising. It’s so bad. Oh my, defund police. And the people who you saw there for the most part —not specifically, as a whole, fall for it. They fall for it. That’s why they do things like that. They want to paint over signs and think it’s our country. This is the country that we built. Even though a rich diversity of people helped build the country, and many of us, meaning ancestors, for free — did not get paid for it, could not get an education, could not build wealth, are not on statues, Confederate or otherwise, are not on Mount Rushmore. I think, listen ... if they are going to put someone on Mount Rushmore, considering the history of the country, the first black president should be front and center."

Anchor Chris Cuomo said, "Add to Mount Rushmore. I think that’s first of all, it’s a more salable idea than the idea of taking away Founding Fathers."

Lemon said, "So what’s wrong with all of us together thinking or reshaping our country so that more people rethink our country in the way we think and where priorities are so the country it belongs to everyone."

Cuomo said, "Nothing is wrong with it."

Lemon said, "Maybe some of the people up there on Mount Rushmore, who knows? The name shouldn’t be Mount Rushmore if you talk to Native Americans. It is stolen land. It was only Mount Rushmore 40 years before they started to carve presidents’ faces in it. No one got any money for that."
Link


Home Front: WoT
US Congress drafts bill to prevent Pentagon from spending funds on occupying Syrian, Iraqi oil
2020-07-09
[ALMASDARNEWS] A new U.S. Congress bill aims to prevent the Pentagon from spending federal funds for the purposes of imposing control over oil fields in Syria and Iraq.

The project came on the heels of the draft military budget for fiscal year 2021, released on Tuesday by the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee.
Golly. They have been flouncing around down there, as if anything they do is meaningful.
The blurb regarding the new draft law states: "It is prohibited to spend money to control oil resources in Syria and Iraq."

This amount, in particular, is estimated at about $700 million, and it is proposed that it be used to provide assistance, and to train foreign security services, gangs, and persons involved in activities aimed at combating the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that they were al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're really very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear western pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(ISIS/ISIS/IS/ISIS).

These funds aim, among other things, to support the Iraqi security forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Members of Congress proposed to allocate $1.14 billion to international security cooperation programs, including $150 million to be used to enhance security in the Baltic states, $160 million for programs in Africa, $130 million to help Central and South American countries, and $105 million for "programs with Jordan."

They are proposing to allocate another $3 billion to help the Afghan cops, provided that they are "under the control of a civilian government that protects human and women’s rights and does not allow holy warriors to use Afghanistan’s territory to threaten the United States and its allies."

Adoption of the bill requires approval by the House of Representatives and the Senate in Congress before it is submitted to the president.
Link


Home Front: Politix
New York Times columnist: Biden should agree to debate Trump only if two conditions met
2020-07-09
They all know he's damaged goods that ain't getting better. "Hide him!"
[Wash Examiner] Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should only agree to debate President Trump if two conditions are met , the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said.

"I worry about Joe Biden debating Donald Trump," Friedman wrote in his column on Tuesday. "He should do it only under two conditions. Otherwise, he's giving Trump unfair advantages."

"First, Biden should declare that he will take part in a debate only if Trump releases his tax returns for 2016 through 2018," Friedman said. Second, Biden "should insist that a real-time fact-checking team approved by both candidates be hired by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates."

"Debates always have ground rules," Friedman wrote. "Why can't telling the truth and equal transparency on taxes be conditions for this one?"Trump's reelection campaign is reportedly pushing for four debates before the November general election. Biden's campaign has agreed to three debates. They are currently scheduled for September 29, October 15, and October 22.

"Our position is straightforward and clear: Joe Biden will accept the Commission's debates, on the Commission's dates, under the Commission's established format and the Commission's independent choice of moderators," Biden's campaign manager wrote in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates. "Donald Trump and Mike Pence should do the same. That is what every candidate for President and Vice President have done in modern times, Democrat and Republican alike."

The president, however, has attempted to paint the soon-to-be Democratic nominee as scared of going toe-to-toe with him on the debate stage.

"Now, he's already saying that he can't do debates because of COVID. Do you believe it? 'I can't do the debates because of COVID.' That was ‐ I just heard a little inkling of it two days ago. I said, 'Watch this one,'" Trump said during a Fox News town hall last month.

The University of Michigan, which was slated to host the October debate, announced on June 22 it would no longer host the event because of public health concerns.

"In consideration of the public health guidelines in our state as well as advice from our own experts ‐ we feel it is not feasible for us to safely host the presidential debate as planned," university president Mark Schlissel said in a statement.

Similarly, several pundits in conservative media and other critics of the former vice president have mocked him for "hiding in his basement" and not holding any in-person campaign events during the coronavirus pandemic.

Friedman praised Biden as a "role model" for staying inside his house during recent months as millions of people do the same to slow the spread of the virus.

"And with the coronavirus now spreading further, and Biden being a responsible individual and role model, it's likely that he won't be able to engage with any large groups of voters before Election Day. Therefore, the three scheduled televised debates, which will garner huge audiences, will carry more weight for him than ever," Friedman wrote. "Only if leading into the debate, American voters have a clear picture of Trump's tax returns alongside Biden's, and only if, coming out of the debate, they have a clear picture of who was telling the truth and who was not, will they be able to make a fair judgment between the two candidates."

Otherwise, the veteran journalist wrote, "Joe, stay in your basement."
Related:
Joe Biden: 2020-07-08 Lt. Col. Vindman Retires from Military; Impeachment Witness Blames Trump
Joe Biden: 2020-07-07 To Save Time, The Babylon Bee Will Now Just Republish Everything Biden Says Verbatim
Joe Biden: 2020-07-07 Biden says he is going to ‘transform’ the nation if elected
Related:
Thomas Friedman: 2020-04-17 Conrad Black: ‘Claiming any grandeur of emergency now, on behalf of Joe Biden, is a formidable stretch, even for Tom Friedman's elastic imagination...‘
Thomas Friedman: 2018-07-27 The Left is too smart to fail
Thomas Friedman: 2017-10-29 The Global Failure of Globalization
Link


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
After sending 1000s of COVID patients into nursing homes, New York blames deaths on 'infected staff'
2020-07-08
[Just The News] New York officials issue a report this week concluding that the high number of coronavirus deaths in state care facilities was the result of infected workers, not sick residents, spreading the contagion.

New York has face sharp criticism over the past several months for its policy of allowing COVID-19-positive patients to return to nursing homes before they were declared free of the virus.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state policy of allowing residents to return to elderly-care facilities was in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, PolitiFact in May rated that claim "mostly false," pointing out the state appeared to pressure nursing homes to take COVID-19 patients regardless of whether they could properly house them.

The report by the New York Department of Health states that "an analysis of the timing between known nursing home staff infections and nursing home fatalities indicates that they are correlated." It also states that "the peak number of nursing home staff reporting COVID-19 symptoms occurred 23 days prior to the date of the peak nursing home fatalities."

The data "does not support [the] assertion" that infected patients were the spreaders of the disease, the department argues.

"Nursing home resident fatalities peaked on April 8, 2020," the report also states. "The peak of nursing home admissions from hospitals did not occur until April 14, 2020, a week after peak nursing home fatalities — suggesting the policy was not the cause."

The report also finds that "most patients readmitted to nursing homes were likely not infectious," claiming that they would likely have spent enough time in the hospital to have entered a non-infectious stage of the disease.

Data also "do not show a consistent relationship between admissions and increased mortality," the report says, adding that "there were cases where nursing homes did not admit any COVID-positive patients, yet still had a high number of COVID-related deaths."

The report states that any staff who spread the disease did so "through no fault of their own," insofar as they would have been unaware they were infectious while working.
Link


Home Front: Politix
Tucker Carlson: We Cannot Let Democrats Run This Country Because They Hate It
2020-07-08
[BREITBART] Monday, Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson opened his show by giving President Donald Trump
...Oh, noze! Not him!...
’s speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota high marks. He then pointed to the Democrat backlash and concluded that Democrats and their allies in the media hate the country.

He alluded to remarks made by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Foreign Policy Whiz Kid Biden
...When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'...
and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to bolster that point. Carlson then posed the question: Could the left in America lead a country that it hates?

"So what to make of all of this," Carlson said. "It’s long been considered out-of-bounds to question a person’s patriotism. It’s a very strong charge, and we try not ever to make it. But in the face of all of this, the conclusion can’t be avoided — these people actually hate America. There’s no longer a question about that. And yet paradoxically, at the same time, they desperately want to control America more than anything. And that leads to the most basic of all questions: Can you really lead a country that you hate? Ask yourself, what kind of parent would you be if you hated your children?"

"What kind of officer would you make if you didn’t care about your troops?" he continued. "It would be awful. The results would be ugly. It would not work. Loving the people you lead, caring deeply about them is the basic prerequisite of leadership. The leaders of today’s Democratic Party do not. They despise this country. They have said so. They continue to. That is shocking, but it is also disqualifying. We cannot let them run this nation because they hate it. Imagine what they would do to it."
Link


Fifth Column
Black Lives Matter Has Super Powers? Here's the Kryptonite.
2020-07-08
[AmericanThinker] This article gives everybody it reaches the power to send BLM, along with its political, academic, and corporate supporters, crashing down in total ruin. This material, all of which readers and other interested parties can verify independently from the links — you don't have to take my word for it — also has the potential to demolish the credibility of ActBlue, the Democrats' key fundraising organization, and the left-leaning Thousand Currents organization. This material is, to be quite blunt, what Kryptonite is to Superman, Valyrian Steel is to the White Walkers in Game of Thrones, and a cross is to Dracula. The issue consists simply of BLM's apparent misuse of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt money to influence the November election.

An inaccurate story has been circulating to the effect that Black Lives Matter is working with ActBlue to launder money that goes to Democratic candidates. Open Secrets explains, "A donation to BLM through ActBlue goes just to BLM, not any other group." ActBlue is itself not 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, so there's nothing more to see here, is there, folks?

There is actually plenty to see, and the real truth is far worse than the debunked rumor. While ActBlue is not 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, therefore it has considerable leeway about what it does with its money, ActBlue Charities, which accepts donations for the Black Lives Global Network (the entity that apparently controls Blacklivesmatter.com) is. Thousand Currents, which is BLM's fiscal sponsor, also is 501(c)(3) tax-exempt. BLM is openly using its website to campaign against President Trump. Web pages hosted by ActBlue Charities and Thousand Currents also attack Trump, so these entities will have trouble saying "we did not know."

We need to clarify before we proceed that BLM Global Network is emphatically not BLM Foundation, the noncontroversial organization founded by Robert Ray Barnes. BLM Global Network is represented at BlackLivesMatter.com, the same website linked by Thousand Currents and which collects donations via ActBlue Charities. The fact that the first Google result for "Black Lives Matter Foundation" links to BLM Global Network's About page* suggests to me that the latter organization is using the name of Barnes's organization to mislead internet users into visiting BlackLivesMatter.com instead and possibly donate money under the mistaken belief that they are supporting Barnes's far less controversial organization. This tells me plenty, and nothing good, about the ethics of BLM Global Network. For the purpose of further discussion, "BLM" means BLM Global Network and not BLM Foundation.
The steps of the argument — supporting material at the link:
  • 501(c)(3) Money Cannot be Used to Influence an Election
  • BLM Global Network is Openly Campaigning against Trump
  • ActBlue Charities' and Thousand Currents' Own Roles

    These are but three of many examples, and you can find more yourself with a Google search on site:ActBlue.com and "Trump." Be sure, however, to pay attention to only the pages that say "ActBlue Charities" and cite 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status at the bottom. ActBlue also has a non-tax-exempt arm that has far more leeway as to what it can do to influence an election.

    Widespread publicity for these issues should collapse the Democrat left's center of gravity to deliver an electoral landslide in November. "Woke" virtue-signaling corporations that have supported BLM Global Network will scramble desperately to pretend that they never heard of it.
  • Link


    -Land of the Free
    Trump's brilliant move on July 4th
    2020-07-07
    A reluctant admission from an anti-Trumper in Israel.
    [Jpost] With Independence Day addresses, the US president uses scare tactics to boost lagging poll numbers. Democrats should take note

    It might be too generous to chalk it up to actual strategic planning, but US President Donald Trump
    ...dictatorial for repealing some (but not all) of the diktats of his predecessor, misogynistic because he likes pretty girls, homophobic because he doesn't think gender bending should be mandatory, truly a man for all seasons......
    ’s innate tendency to divide Americans into an us-vs-them, steel-cage, ’til-the-death match might inadvertently prove to be his golden card to reelection.

    With poll numbers plummeting amid the coronavirus (aka COVID19 or Chinese Plague)
    ...the twenty first century equivalent of bubonic plague, only instead of killing off a third of the population of Europe it kills 3.4 percent of those who notice they have it. It seems to be fond of the elderly, especially Iranian politicians and holy men...
    pandemic free fall due to chaotic or non-management policies and the unrest that has gripped the United States since the death of George Floyd, Trump used the Fourth of July holiday to draw the battle lines.

    Speaking at the iconic Mount Rushmore monument in South Dakota and a day later from the White House, Trump promised to defeat the "radical Left."

    "We are now in the process of defeating the radical Left: the Marxists, the anarchists, the agitators, the looters and people who, in many instances, have absolutely no clue what they are doing," Trump said, echoing remarks he gave at Mount Rushmore. "We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms."

    By lumping anyone who supports change in the American tradition of honoring Confederate generals and other symbols of racism and questions the long-held historical narrative that ignores the decimation of Native American culture with the lawless mobs who are taking the law in their own hands and toppling monuments around the country, Trump is succeeding to instill fear into Middle America.

    Although they may have grown weary of Trump despite having voted for him, they don’t want anarchy and rampant violence in the streets. They want a democratic process to determine the future direction of the country, fueled by legislation and reasoned logic, not by mob mentality.

    If Trump is able to convince those voters that a Biden administration will open the floodgates for the "Marxists, agitators and looters" to take over, it could emerge as a powerful tool to overshadow the incumbent’s deficient qualities that have him considerably trailing Biden in nationwide polls.

    It’s a long way to November, and any confidence that Democrats feel now should be tempered with worry about how to embrace progressive change while condemning street justice.

    It is possible to identify with the idea that all black lives matter and still come out strongly against the growing sense that the most extreme elements of the recent enlightenment are prodding the process to spiral out of control.

    If they really want to win in November, Biden and Democrats need to distance themselves from the knee-jerk reactions to the cancel culture that has erupted in the aftermath of the Floyd debacle. Otherwise, they will find those poll numbers closing in as we head toward the conventions and the November election.

    Trump is a master manipulator, and his July 4 addresses demonstrate that he is far from ready to hand over the keys to the Oval Office.

    And more, from writers who approve of him. Hotlinks in the article — just click on the headline:
    Trump At Mount Rushmore Revisited

    [PowerLine] As I listened to President Trump’s July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore (White House text here, video below), I couldn’t believe how good it was. One measure of the speech is the campaign of falsehood undertaken by the press condemning it in unison. As I wrote here yesterday morning, I had only my own reaction to go on. Now I can commend the following columns to the attention of interested readers:

    • Roger Kimball, “A magnificent speech.”

    • Ken Masugi, “Trump Calls Out the New Confederate and Tory Mobs.”

    • Seth Lipsky, “At Mount Rushmore, Trump Scoops the Democrats.”

    • Clarice Feldman, “A night at Mount Rushmore.”

    • Neo, “Trump gives America a history lesson at Mount Rushmore.”

    UPDATE: Professor Jean Yarbrough adds another way to take the measure of the speech: the reaction of historians reported by the Daily Mail in “No Latinos, only five African Americans and not a single Democratic president: Historians weigh in on Trump’s ‘odd and inappropriate’ picks for new National Garden of American Heroes.”

    Yesterday Besoeker gave us Gov. Kristi Noem‘s speech. Today here is President Trump:
    Link


    Syria-Lebanon-Iran
    Unidentified aircraft bombs Turkish-backed forces in northern Syria
    2020-07-07
    [ALMASDARNEWS] On Monday, an unidentified aircraft carried out a raid on the positions of the Ottoman Turkish-backed Death Eaters in northern Syria.

    According to reports from northern Syria, an unidentified aircraft, possibly belonging to the U.S. Coalition, bombed the sites belonging to the Ottoman Turkish-backed forces in the al-Raqqa Governorate.

    The first Arclight airstrike
    ...KABOOM!...
    was said to have targeted the outskirts of Hammam al-Turkman in the countryside of Tal Abyad, which is controlled by forces loyal to The Sick Man of Europe Turkey
    ...the only place on the face of the earth that misses the Ottoman Empire...
    The second airstrike targeted a neighboring area, but it caused limited damage and no casualties.

    The third raid targeted the village of Abu Shakhat near al-Mabrouka in the Ras al-Ain countryside. No casualties were reported.

    Since the bombings, the Ottoman Turkish-backed Death Eaters have been high alert, especially after their forces were targeted in a number of areas where they have launched attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
    Link


    Home Front: Politix
    Spencer Cox defeats Jon Huntsman in Utah GOP governor primary
    2020-07-07
    GOOD! That smarmy little punk Huntsman lost his good will with the voters
    [The Hill] Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox fended off former Gov. Jon Huntsman in the Republican primary race to succeed Gov. Gary Herbert (R).

    Cox prevailed in a crowded June 30 Republican primary with 36.4 percent of the vote, according to The Associated Press. Huntsman received 34.6 percent of the vote. Results were out on Monday after the state accounted for a surge in mailed ballots.

    A former state representative, Cox has served as Utah's lieutenant governor under Herbert since 2013.

    Cox will be the favorite to replace the retiring Herbert, who endorsed his lieutenant governor. The state last elected a Democratic governor in 1980.

    Polls had indicated a tight race between Cox and Huntsman ahead of their primary, with Huntsman holding high name recognition from his time as governor and Cox benefiting from incumbency.
    Related:
    Gary Herbert: 2017-03-10 18th Amendment is back in Utah
    Gary Herbert: 2010-03-29 Utah Governor approves use of eminent domain to take federal land
    Gary Herbert: 2009-08-28 Utah governor plans debate on warming
    Related:
    Jon Huntsman: 2019-01-06 The American detained in Russia has four passports
    Jon Huntsman: 2018-05-15 Salt Lake City Tribune Cans One Third Of Newsroom Staff
    Jon Huntsman: 2012-06-25 Jon Huntsman Lands a Job at Brookings
    Link


    -12 More