June 17, 2018

Quote of the Day: Camille Paglia

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day — Tom @ 11:55 am



Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061718)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: Student with Down syndrome known as ‘Mr Joyous’ steals the show by jumping and dancing across the stage in excitement at his graduation

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Midland, Texas, originally published in the UK Daily Mail and noted at LifeNews.com:

JUN 15 2018, 5:24PM

Carlos Neria’s joy is contagious, so much so that it has earned him the nickname “Mr. Joyous.”

The young man who has Down syndrome brought smiles to the Lee High School commencement crowd this summer when he danced across the stage to accept his diploma, the Daily Mail reports.

His enthusiasm quickly spread from his Midland, Texas high school to communities across the world when a video of his diploma walk went viral. Nearly 60,000 people have watched the online video thus far.

“We wanted to share a video with you of a very special graduate, Carlos Neria, who danced across the stage with the greatest joy and enthusiasm as he received his high school diploma! We are so proud of you Carlos and proud of all of our 2018 graduates!” his school said when it released the video.

Teresa Neira, his mother, said Carlos is a blessing to their family. The youngest of eight children, she said she learned she was pregnant with him when she went to get sterilized.

“He’s given us an example of sharing, of love, of happiness,” his mother said. “Nothing gets him down. He looks up and points to God. God. He’s full of faith. Lots of faith.”

Go here for the rest of the LifeNews.com post.

June 16, 2018

Dem Rep to CNN: Unaccompanied-Minors Detention Center Conditions ‘Kept Quiet’ Under Obama

Appearing to take the show’s host by surprise, Henry Cuellar, a Democrat in Texas’s congressional delegation contended Saturday on CNN that in 2014, the conditions at detention centers holding unaccompanied and separated illegal-immigrant children were “kept quiet under the Obama Administration.” That’s probably correct, but it should also be noted that enough info had leaked out that that the press, if it had been genuinely interested, could have investigated matters further, and clearly didn’t.



WSJ’s Kim Strassel on IG Report: Media Ignoring ‘Searing Indictment’ of FBI Culture

The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Friday to discuss Thursday’s Inspector General report on “Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.” She made the big-picture point most of the rest of the press is either ignoring or denying, namely that the IG has delivered “a searing indictment of the entire FBI and its culture.”



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061618)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


Positivity: ‘Much-needed’ initiative aims to protect churches from zoning discrimination

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Washington:

Jun 15, 2018 / 06:31 am

Protecting places of worship from zoning discrimination is the focus of a new initiative from the Department of Justice, announced earlier this week.

The ‘Place to Worship’ initiative aims to increase awareness of religious institutions’ right to build, expand, buy or rent facilities.

These land-use provisions are already provided for in the 2000 Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which protects religious institutions from discriminatory or unduly burdensome zoning practices. However, these rights have come under threat recently in several legal cases.

In a statement announcing the initiative, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the provisions protect not only the private act of worship, but the public exercise of religion provided for in the Constitution.

“Under the laws of this country, government cannot discriminate against people based on their religion – not in law enforcement, not in grant-making, not in hiring, and not in local zoning laws,” Sessions said. “President Trump is an unwavering defender of the right of free exercise, and under his leadership, the Department of Justice is standing up for the rights of all Americans. By raising awareness about our legal rights, the Place to Worship Initiative will help us bring more civil rights cases, win more cases, and prevent discrimination from happening in the first place.”

Goals of the new initiative include raising awareness of these rights through community outreach events, educating municipal officials and religious organizations about RLUIPA’s requirements, and providing additional training and resources for federal prosecutors regarding these cases.

The DOJ also launched a new website containing additional information about RLUIPA for religious institutions and lawyers, as well as a complaint portal and Q&A section.

Non-profit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which has represented several religious clients in RLUIPA lawsuits, applauded the initiative for providing a “much-needed” focus on religious freedom. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 15, 2018

At the NY Times, David Leonhardt Stretches IG’s Conclusions to Breaking Point

David Leonhardt’s Friday New York Times column about President Donald Trump’s reactions to the Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s and Department of Justice’s pre-2016 general election actions is treating it as a blanket exoneration. Therefore, everything Presidential Donald Trump has said about it is a lie.



Press Ignores Obama’s Lie About and Emails to Hillary’s Private Server

Thursday’s Inspector General’s report reviewing FBI and Department of Justice actions before the 2016 election effectively concluded that former President Barack Obama lied to the American people and committed illegal acts in emailing then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private-server email addresses. The IG also found that former FBI Director James Comey scrubbed all hints of Obama’s prior knowledge from his July 2016 statement explaining why Mrs. Clinton would not be indicted for her illegal acts. Despite these indisputable facts, reports at the nation’s three gatekeeping establishment press outlets have not mentioned Obama’s name in connection with any of this.



Positivity: Most Americans support restrictions on abortion

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:00 am

From Washington:

Jun 12, 2018 / 04:41 pm

Americans who think abortion is morally wrong outnumber those who see it as morally acceptable, said a new Gallup poll, released Monday.

This result is consistent with Gallup’s findings since it first started surveying Americans about the issue in 2001.

In this year’s poll, 48 percent of respondents believe abortion to be wrong, and 43 percent say it is acceptable.

Abortion, said the poll report, is one of a small handful of issues “about which Americans’ views have not become more liberal over the past two decades.”

Asked whether they identify as “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” respondents were evenly split, with 48 percent siding with each label. Over the last three years, “pro-choice” respondents outnumbered “pro-life” respondents by an average of about three percentage points.

Most Americans favor at least some restrictions on abortion, the poll found. Fifty percent said abortion should be legal “only under certain circumstances,” while 29 percent said it should be legal in all circumstances, and 18 percent said it should be illegal in all cases.

Go here for the rest of the story.


Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061518)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.

June 14, 2018

Guest Tags Carlson As Racist, Won’t Discuss Md. Middle School Under MS-13 Siege

Filed under: Immigration,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:53 pm

Tucker Carlson attempted to interview Jose Aristimuno on his Tuesday Fox News program. The effort quickly degenerated into a shouting match. Carson asked his guest to comment on the frightening situation at William Wirt Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland. A grimly detailed Monday Washington Post investigative report described it as “a ticking time bomb” where MS-13 members have committed violent crimes, creating a pervasive climate of fear as school administrators engage in shocking denial. Rather than respond substantively, Aristimuno played the racism card.



May 2018 Retail Sales: Up 0.8 Percent, Doubling Expectations; April Revised Up to 0.4 Pct. from +0.2 Pct. (UPDATES: 4.0 Pct. 2Q17 GDP Growth Looking Likely)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:28 am

From the Census Bureau:

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for May 2018, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $502.0 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, and 5.9 percent (±0.5 percent) above May 2017. Total sales for the March 2018 through May 2018 period were up 5.2 percent (±0.5 percent) from the same period a year ago. The March 2018 to April 2018 percent change was revised from up 0.2 percent (±0.7 percent)* to up 0.4 percent (±0.2 percent).

Expectations were for a 0.4 percent increase, per Reuters.

Ex-autos and gas, May’s increase was 0.5 percent.

Increases in total retail sales during the past 9 months have totaled 5.2 points, which annualizes to almost 7 percent.

These are genuinely strong numbers.

The comprehensive revision of seasonal factors described last month resulted in a net increase of 0.3 percentage points from January 2017 to March 2018. Revisions to 2015 and 2016 resulted a net increase of 1.1 points — but there was no net adjustment to that two-year period’s final six months.


UPDATE: Today’s stronger-than-expected May and upwardly revised April retail sales figures should lead to upward revisions of second-quarter economic growth estimates, which before this report were as follows —

UPDATE 2: CNBC reports that J.P. Morgan is now predicting 4.0 percent.


Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061418)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:00 am

This open thread is meant for commenters to post on items either briefly noted below (if any) or otherwise not covered at this blog. Rules are here.


8:30 a.m.: People who should know better are framing the lowest level of food stamp enrollment in 8 years as some kind of accomplishment. It’s not; it’s a disgrace. enrollment is still 40.1 million, despite low unemployment and a pretty strong economy. The average in 2007, the last calendar year before the Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy’s recession driven by the Democrat policy-caused housing and mortgage-lending debacle, was 26.3 million, and was only 17 million at the turn of the century.

Enrollment has only dropped by 2.9 million since the end of 2016. By contrast, even though it was only about half of what it is now, average enrollment dropped by a combined 5.8 million in both 1997 and 1998.


Positivity: A teen tried to rape his friend’s mother at a sleepover — until she pulled a gun, police say

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Arlington, Tennessee (ignore the bogus statistical grandstanding in unexcerpted material at the link):

June 6, 2018

An 18-year-old, reportedly just out of high school, has been charged with trying to rape his friend’s mother during a sleepover in Tennessee.

Police said Jordan Corter and other “boys” showed up about 8:30 p.m. at the woman’s home in Arlington, outside Memphis. In an interview with WREG, one resident compared the leafy neighborhood to the fictional suburbia of Mayberry, where nothing goes wrong.

The mother, whose name police did not release, may have had a different intuition. About 10 minutes after her son’s friend arrived, a sheriff’s investigator wrote in an affidavit obtained by WREG, she collected all the alcohol in the house and locked herself in her bedroom.

She was “awaked at 0230 hours to Jordan Corter knocking on her bedroom door.”

The woman answered the door, thinking something was wrong. “Jordan forced himself into the bedroom and locked the door behind him,” she later told police.

She said he pushed her to the bed and put a hand down her shorts. In a subsequent interview, the affidavit continued, Corter wept and told police “he basically forced her to do something she didn’t want to do,” and “should not be forgiven.”

[An FBI agent did a back flip in a club, dropped his gun and accidentally shot someone, police say]

He allegedly tried to rape the woman, Fox 13 in Memphis reported, but she broke free, giving herself a black eye in the struggle. She told investigators she kneed Corter in the groin and got to a pistol she kept in the bedroom.

“Police said the woman then placed the gun in the man’s face and told him to leave,” Fox 13 reported.

According to the affidavit, the woman’s boss noticed her condition when she went to work the next day and persuaded her to phone the authorities.

Corter was subsequently arrested, charged with sexual battery and attempted rape and released on bail. He could not be contacted, and a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office told The Washington Post no details would be released while the case is investigated.

A man who answered the door at Corter’s house told WREG he had just graduated from high school and was “a good kid.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.