June 26, 2017

CNN Deletes a Russia-Trump Story, Tries Not to Leave Tracks, Injects Adult Supervision

Thursday evening, CNN.com ran a story by reporter Thomas Frank which, according to a now-posted Editor’s Note, connected “Anthony Scaramucci with (congressional) investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund.” The Editor’s Note tells the network’s readers: “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted.” Further, “Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.” What in the world happened?

(more…)

Share

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062617)

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

Share

Positivity: ‘A saint for our times’ – the inspiring story of Chiara Corbella Petrillo

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Manchester, New Hampshire:

Jun 22, 2017 / 09:05 am

Chiara Corbella Petrillo lived a short life.

She met her husband Enrico Petrillo at age 18, became the mother of three children, and died at the age 28.

But what happened within those 10 years has touched the hearts of thousands across the globe. Chiara’s sainthood cause was opened last week, five years after her death. Her story is told in the 2015 book, “Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy,” published by Sophia Institute Press.

“In the story of the Petrillo couple, many people recognize a providential consolation from heaven,” said Simone Troisi and Christiana Paccini, close friends of the Petrillo’s who wrote the biography of Chiara’s life.

“They discover that in any situation, there is no real reason to be sad. This is because Chiara shows that if you have God as your guide, misfortunes do not exist,” they told CNA.

Chiara and Enrico married in Italy on September 21, 2008 after having met at Medjugorje in 2002. During the early years of their marriage, the young Italian couple faced many hardships together, including the death of two children, who both died only 30 minutes after birth.

Chiara became pregnant a third time with their son, Francesco. However, the joyful news of their pregnancy also came with a fatal diagnosis of cancer for Chiara. Her cancer was an unusual lesion of the tongue, which was later discovered to be a carcinoma.

Chiara rejected any treatment that could have saved her life during pregnancy because it would have risked the life of her unborn son. As the cancer progressed, it became difficult for Chiara to speak and see clearly, eventually making her final days on earth particularly excruciating.

“Her [Chiara's] suffering became a holy place because it was the place where she encountered God,” Troisi and Paccini recalled.

Although many couples face hardships, Troisi and Paccini remembered something different about the Petrillos – they leaned on God’s grace which made their family particularly serene. They made peace with the reality that Chiara would never grow old with Enrico or watch Francesco grow up.

During Chiara’s last days, Enrico embraced God’s grace just as Chiara did, saying, “If she is going to be with Someone who loves her more than I, why should I be upset?”

Chiara died on June 13, 2012 at home in her wedding gown, surrounded by her family and friends. Although her earthly life was over, Chiara would continue to be a witness to joy. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
June 25, 2017

With Virtually Each Passing Day, We See How Fortunate We Are …

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:35 pm

… that Hillary Clinton did not become this nation’s 45th president:

A secretive Washington firm that commissioned the dubious intelligence dossier on Donald Trump is stonewalling congressional investigators trying to learn more about its connections to the Democratic Party.

The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.

… “These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

… The Senate Judiciary Committee is also investigating whether the FBI has wrongly relied on the anti-Trump dossier and its author, Christopher Steele — the old spy who was hired by Fusion GPS to build a Russia file on Trump — to aid its ongoing espionage investigation into the Trump campaign and its possible ties to Moscow.

The FBI received a copy of the Democrat-funded dossier in August, during the heat of the campaign, and is said to have contracted in October to pay Steele $50,000 to help corroborate the dirt on Trump — a relationship that “raises substantial questions about the independence” of the bureau in investigating Trump, warned Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Like Fusion GPS, the FBI has failed to cooperate with congressional investigators seeking documents.

… The real question is why anyone would take anything in the sketchy report seriously.

But even the CIA gave it credence. The dossier ended up attached to a Top Secret intelligence briefing on Russia for President Obama, even though his intelligence czar last month testified “We couldn’t corroborate the sourcing.” The FBI, moreover, has been using it for investigative leads on Trump associates like Carter Page, even though former FBI Director James Comey this month described the dossier as “salacious and unverified.”

The FBI refuses to cooperate with Congress and continues to use a crap “investigation” as the basis for investigating, i.e., harassing, Trump associates.

This shows how pervasive and nearly complete deep-state corruption became under Barack Obama.

If Hillary Clinton had won, the consolidation of pervasive, likely untouchable corruption would likely have become complete.

Those who decided they couldn’t vote for Mrs. Clinton because of the obvious evidence of corruption and dishonesty which was known at the time certainly have every right to feel completely vindicated.

Share

Positivity: The tale of Fr. Brochero: Gaucho priest, devil’s worst nightmare

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:00 pm

From Vatican City:

Jun 25, 2017 / 02:03 am

If Jose Brochero doesn’t sound like a Gaucho name, nothing does.

Last year, Pope Francis canonized Saint Brochero, a fellow countryman from Argentina also known as the “Gaucho priest.”

He was beatified in Sept. 2013 by Pope Francis, who said Fr. Brochero was a priest who truly “smelled of his sheep.” He was canonized Oct. 16, 2016.

Saint Brochero was born Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero in Argentina in 1840, the fourth of ten children to Ignacio Brochero and Petrona Davila.

St. Brochero entered seminary at the age of 16, and was ordained a priest at the age of 26 for the Archdiocese of Cordoba.

As a priest, after teaching philosophy at a seminary for a few years, Fr. Brochero was assigned to the large diocese of St. Albert – 1,675 square miles with 10,000 far-flung parishioners in the rural, Great Highlands region of Argentina.

Not deterred by altitude, distance or bad weather, Fr. Brochero was known for riding throughout the countryside of his parish on the back of a mule to bring his people the sacraments, always wearing a poncho and sombrero in the style of a gaucho, or Argentinian cowboy.

On muleback, he carried an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mass kit and a prayer book on his travels so that he was always prepared to offer the sacraments. He established a House of Exercises where his people could participate in spiritual exercises, and helped found a school for girls.

He is also credited with building post and telegraph stations, for building nearly 125 miles of roads, and for helping plan the railroad in the area.

“Woe if the devil is going to rob a soul from me,” he is held to have said, capturing his determined spirit to be close to his people no matter what. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062517)

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

Share
June 24, 2017

Positivity: This pro-life talk at Google’s headquarters was a hit

Filed under: Activism,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 3:00 pm

From Mountain View, California (video at link):

Jun 22, 2017 / 05:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A pro-life activist walks into Google’s headquarters and delivers a speech so compelling that within 24 hours, the online video of it surpassed a similar speech given by the head of Planned Parenthood.

It may sound like the start to a far-fetched joke, but on April 20th, pro-life speaker and activist Stephanie Gray did just that.

Gray was the co-founder of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and served as its executive director for several year before starting the ministry which she now runs, Love Unleashes Life.

She spoke in April as a part of the Talks at Google series, a program that brings a variety of speakers to the company’s headquarters to discuss their work. Gray has participated in more than 800 talks and debates on abortion.

Gray’s talk centered around the idea that there are three qualities that lead us to call someone “inspiring:” They place others ahead of themselves, have “perspective” on their sufferings and situation in life, and do the right thing even in difficult situations. She linked these criteria to the process of dialoguing with others about abortion, emphasizing question asking.

… In a question-and-answer session after her talk, she recommended that audience members seek to start dialogue on the difficult topic of abortion with open-ended questions, and to “seek to understand where (another) person is coming from.” She also used the analogy of a person choosing rape to address the thought that pro-life views cannot be “forced on” pregnant women, saying that just as it is illegal to make the choice to rape someone, it ought to be illegal to choose to end the life of a fetus.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards also gave a Talk at Google, in a video published March 7. Gray’s talk, published June 19, had surpassed Richards in views within 24 hours of being uploaded.

Go here for the full story.

Share

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062417)

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

Share
June 23, 2017

AP Buries DHS-DNC Server Standoff, Tells Us It ‘Counts Votes’

Until I read Wednesday evening’s dispatch from the Associated Press by Deb Riechmann and Richard Lardner, I had no idea that the secretaries of state and boards of election throughout the land had surrendered their roles in compiling election results to the Associated Press. Now I know better. In a report which primarily concerned former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s appearance earlier that day before the House Intelligence Committee, the AP buried news that the Democratic National Committee had refused DHS’s help after its systems were allegedly hacked, but also told readers that prior to Election Day, Johnson “contacted The Associated Press, which counts votes.”

(more…)

Share

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062317)

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

Share
June 22, 2017

Media Virtually Ignoring Handel’s GA-06 Victory As Potentially Due to Anti-Leftist Violence Backlash

With so much attention focused on the meaning of the results of Sixth District Congressional special election in Georgia, the establishment press has not looked into what happened to pre-election polls which showed Democrat Jon Ossoff ahead of Republican Karen Handel by as many as seven points less than two weeks before Tuesday's election.

Though it may partially have been yet another in a long series of Democrat-driven polling failures intended to drive down Republican turnout, the plausible idea that the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise the previous week and the ongoing campaign of violent rhetoric from the left had an impact is not getting the attention one would expect.

[ads:im]

The Real Clear Politics polling average went from a tie 30 days out to a nearly 5-point Ossoff lead just eight days before Election Day:

HandelVsOssoffFinal30DaysPolls0617

Four days out, on June 16, Ossoff's average polling lead was still 3.2 points.

Then something we've seen so often in the past happened. As Election Day approached, the Democrat's lead vanished, and the race almost instantly became a dead heat.

Handel won by 3.8 points — a nearly nine-point swing, from 4.8 points down to 3.8 points up in the space of eight days.

The usual argument in these circumstances would be that pollsters continued their longstanding practice trying to discourage Republican turnout by showing the Democrat with a significant lead before calling the race a dead heat in its final days.

On Wednesday, talk radio's Rush Limbaugh characterized all of this as the usual attempt to demoralize and suppress Republican turnout. He referred to a correspondent who lives in the district who thought that Handel didn't have a chance:

… I’m just telling you, if he thought that, there have to be lots of others, and she still won. Despite that obvious pessimism, despite believing that the Democrats are gonna run away with it, they still went out and voted. There was no question in my mind, these polls that showed 15% of Republicans crossing over to vote for Ossoff, that’s attempted voter suppression.

You know, it’s about time you professional conservatives out there started realizing that everything’s not on the up and up in these institutions that you’ve always trusted — the media, polling units — because the Democrats and the left have corrupted virtually every political institution they have their hands on.

… Fifteen percent of Republicans crossing over to vote for the Pajama Boy. Give me a break. There was no way that was gonna happen. Common sense told me it was not gonna happen. I took no risk whatsoever predicting that Handel was gonna win, and I did so boldly two weeks, three weeks, a month out.

In the past, Limbaugh has alleged, with a great deal of supporting circumstantial evidence, that pollsters who claim to be impartial but really aren't inflate Democratic candidates' standing to discourage their opponents. They do this by including a higher than justified number of Democrats in their surveys. (Remember those absurd polls showing Hillary Clinton with double-digit leads over Trump just a few weeks before Election Day?) However,  as Election Day approaches and their reputations for accuracy are on the line, pollsters try to ensure that their final numbers reflect their best estimates of the reality on the ground.

That's fine, but the final RCP average above (Handel +0.2) still understated the Republican's ultimate margin by 3.6 points. Given that about half of all ballots were cast in early voting, this would indicate that the pollsters missed their Election Day voting projections by seven points or more. It’s hard to imagine that pollsters would have been willing to live with yet another bust this big if they genuinely knew that this variance from reality existed. It seems this time around that something unusual happened in the run-up to Election Day that the pollsters didn’t have time to detect.

It's reasonable to contend that something else was at work here — something the press is clearly uninterested in exposing.

The "something else" was the near-fatal shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise on June 14, followed by evidence-based reports indicating that Scalise's shooter intended to kill several Republican congressmen, followed by the sending of a "suspicious package" with white powder accompanied by a threatening letter to houses in Handel's neighborhood, followed by a New York City theater group's refusal to put a halt to its outrageous Trump-assassination fantasy disguised as a modern version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

When these items and their potential impact on GA-06 were noticed at all before the election, the press claimed that any effort to tag Democrats and the left with collective responsibility for "inspiring" Scalise's shooter with its over-the-top eliminationist rhetoric, and to blame Democrats for doing almost nothing to quell the violent tendencies in their ranks, was irresponsibly opportunistic and would backfire on Handel (the second linked example is to fake Washington Post "conservative" and intense never-Trumper Jennifer Rubin).

But what if enough voters to matter among those who went to the polls on Election Day in GA-06 in this high-turnout race, described by Politico in a post-mortem Wednesday as one where "Republican voters … unexpectedly showed up in droves," decided that they needed to make a statement that violent and violence-promoting conduct supported by a significant percentage of those aligned with the Democratic Party could not be allowed to stand — never mind that Ossoff himself clearly had no direct connection to them?

That Politico item is the only post-election writeup I could find that specifically alluded to this possibility:

… pollsters in both parties suggested Handel gained additional momentum following the shootings in Virginia last week at congressional Republicans’ baseball practice.

“It’s not that people were like, ‘Oh, this terrible tragedy happened to Republicans. We’re going to rally around Republicans,’” (Trafalgar Group's Robert) Cahaly said. “[But] it kind of galvanized these folks. And we watched her percentages of Republicans go from the high 70s to over 85 over the weekend. Republicans were definitely consolidating behind her.”

This plausible potential explanation for the size of Karen Handel's victory in a race seen as a dead heat is apparently so damning that the rest of the establishment press has even been addressing post-election Democratic loss topics they've avoided in the past, including Nancy Pelosi's continued status as minority leader and the Democratic Party's lack of a message beyond "Our people aren't Trump!" — anything to crowd out the discussion of the possible impact of leftist violence on actual election results.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Cross-posted, with minor revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

Share

Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062217)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 3:35 pm

Apologize for this post’s late appearance. Have not been feeling well.

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.

Share

Positivity: Court Dismisses Bogus Charges Against David Daleiden for Exposing Planned Parenthood

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 3:30 pm

It’s not the end, but it looks like a very big step towards justice.

From Life News:

JUN 21, 2017 | 5:57PM

In a huge victory, a California court today dismissed almost all of the criminal charges abortion activists filed against the pro-life advocates who recorded undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts from aborted babies.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony charges against both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Becerra is a longtime abortion advocate with financial connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion company that the two pro-life Advocates exposed in the videos for selling body parts such as fetal brains and livers.

At the time, pro-life advocates said Becerra’s 15 felony charges were bogus charges meant to belittle the expose’ campaign and to cast aspersions on Daleiden and the organization behind the videos. They said the attempt was about drawing attention away from Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby parts.

The San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts but the pair are still charged with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy. However the court dismissed the charges with leave to amend — meaning Becerra could re-file the charges with additional supposed evidence against the pair. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

Share
June 21, 2017

AP Absurdly Pretends Handel Kept Her Distance From Trump

It only took four sentences for Bill Barrow and Kathleen Foody at the Associated Press to serve up a howler for the ages in their attempt to minimize the national significance of Republican Karen Handel’s victory over Democrat Jon Ossoff in Tuesday evening’s Sixth District congressional election in Georgia. Their report’s fourth sentence claimed that the winner’s victory speech “thank you to Trump was Handel’s most public show of support of the man who wasn’t embraced by many voters in the well-educated suburban Atlanta district in November.” That’s utter nonsense, as the AP pair essentially admitted two times much later in their dispatch.

(more…)

Share

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062117)

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.

Share