Posted: April 28, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, U.S. News, White House | Tags: Breitbart News, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Elijah Cummings, Jared Kushner, New York, Reince Priebus, Republican Party (United States), The New York Times, White House
Cameron Easley reports: As political journalists prepare to gather at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday to celebrate their work, a new Morning Consult poll is likely to make many of them cringe.
In the new poll, roughly half (51 percent) of Americans said the national political media “is out of touch with everyday Americans,” compared with 28 percent who said it “understand the issues everyday Americans are facing.”
President Donald Trump, a frequent public antagonist of the press and the first president in 36 years to skip the confab, is also slightly more trusted than the national political media. Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.
Only 38 percent said they have “a lot” or “some” trust in the media covering Trump’s White House fairly, compared with about half (52 percent) who said they didn’t have much or none at all. Almost half (48 percent) also said they thought the media has been harder on Trump than other past presidential administrations.
Partisanship was the main determining factor on how Americans felt about the state of national political reporting and analysis, with Republicans expressing much stronger misgivings about the media than Democrats.
Republicans (67 percent) were almost twice as likely as Democrats (36 percent) to say the media was out of touch with everyday Americans. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of Republicans also said they trust the White House more to tell the truth, compared with 54 percent of Democrats who backed the media. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 28, 2017 Filed under: China, Foreign Policy, Mediasphere, Think Tank, War Room, White House | Tags: Charles Krauthammer, ICBM, North Korea, Pyongyang, Xi
It seems to be a deliberate provocation by the leadership in Pyongyang, but it is not, as John Roberts pointed out, the kind of ICBM that would threaten us. It is still liquid-fueled, so it is not advanced in its technology. It seems to me simply a deliberate provocation with us at the Security Council, with our secretary of state presiding over the meeting, with all the threats, with the president saying we are near, or at least there’s a threat of a major, major conflict here – trying to challenge the Trump administration to say, “Show us what you’ve got.” And what the administration seems to be saying is, “We’ve got China.” Well, we don’t see anything from China. We just heard that the Chinese are in contact with the North Koreans to try and put pressure on them not to test. Well, they did test. So I think we are now at point where we are going to see whether the Chinese connection is an illusion whether Trump was taken in by the meeting with Xi, president of China, or whether this is really a process where they have agreed to do things over time, but we haven’t seen a thing yet, and this is a way for the North Koreans to try, at least preliminarily, to call the American bluff.
Source: National Review
Posted: April 28, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Ajit Varadaraj Pai, AT&T, Barack Obama, Comcast, Common carrier, Facebook, Federal Communications Commission, Internet, Internet service provider, Net neutrality
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans today to roll back net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration in 2015.
The FCC currently regulates Internet service providers (ISPs) under Title II regulations that essentially treat the internet as a public utility similar to the old phone monopoly. Proponents of net neutrality and the invocation of Title II regulations say that such oversight is necessary to ensure that the Internet remains “open” and ISPs don’t block sites or degrade offerings by rivals. Long a critic of Title II regulations, which were invoked after the FCC lost two court battles to regulate the Internet, Pai describes them as “a panoply of heavy-handed economic regulations that were developed in the Great Depression to handle Ma Bell.”
Scrapping these rules, Pai told Reason’s Nick Gillespie, won’t harm consumers or the public interest because there was no reason for them in the first place. The rationales were mere “phantoms that were conjured up by people who wanted the FCC for political reasons to overregulate the internet,” Pai told Gillespie. “We were not living in a digital dystopia in the years leading up to 2015.”
If left in place, however, the Title II rules could harm the commercial internet, which Pai described as “one of the most incredible free market innovations in history.”
“Companies like Google and Facebook and Netflix became household names precisely because we didn’t have the government micromanaging how the internet would operate,” said Pai, who noted that the Clinton-era decision not to regulate the Internet like a phone utility or a broadcast network was one of the most important factors in the rise of our new economy. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 27, 2017 Filed under: Foreign Policy, U.S. News, War Room
WASHINGTON — President Trump summoned all 100 members of the Senate for a briefing by his war cabinet on the mounting tensions with North Korea. An American submarine loaded with Tomahawk missiles surfaced in a port in South Korea. Gas stations in the North shut down amid rumors that the government was stockpiling fuel.
Americans could be forgiven for thinking that war is about to break out. But it is not.
The drumbeat of bellicose threats and military muscle-flexing on both sides overstates the danger of a clash between the United States and North Korea, senior Trump administration officials and experts who have followed the Korean crisis for decades said. While Mr. Trump regards the rogue government in the North as his most pressing international problem, he told the senators he was pursuing a strategy that relied heavily on using China’s economic leverage to curb its neighbor’s provocative behavior.
Recent American military moves — like deploying the submarine Michigan and the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the waters off the Korean Peninsula — were aimed less at preparing for a pre-emptive strike, officials said, than at discouraging the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, from conducting further nuclear or ballistic missile tests.
“In confronting the reckless North Korean regime, it’s critical that we’re guided by a strong sense of resolve, both privately and publicly, both diplomatically and militarily,” Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the Pentagon’s top commander in the Pacific, told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
“We want to bring Kim Jong-un to his senses,” he said, “not to his knees.”
There are other signs that the tensions fall short of war. Mr. Kim continues to appear in public, most recently at a pig farm last weekend. South Koreans are not flooding supermarkets to stock up on food. There is no talk of evacuating cities and no sign the United States is deploying additional forces to South Korea. Nor is the American Embassy in Seoul advising diplomats’ families to leave the country. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 27, 2017 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, White House | Tags: Committee to Protect Journalists, Donald Trump, Hasan Minhaj, Pennsylvania, Samantha Bee, TBS (U.S. TV channel), Trump, Twitter, White House, White House Correspondents Association
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner has turned into a red carpet event for Washington’s media and bureaucrat elites. This year president Trump is not attending, which is a good thing. Fostering a little comity between Republicans and Democrats can bring the nation together, but a healthy democracy works best when there’s a frosty tension separating journalists and those in power. This weekend’s self-important gala encourages the executive branch and the fourth estate to get along; it would be better if we made them square off in paintball.
Mostly Weekly is a new comedy series on Reason TV written by Andrew Heaton and Sarah Siskind and produced with Meredith Bragg and Austin Bragg.
Music: Moonlight Reprise by Kai Engel
Posted: April 26, 2017 Filed under: Asia, Foreign Policy, Global, Guns and Gadgets, Mediasphere, War Room, White House | Tags: Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Korean Peninsula, North Korea, Pyongyang, United Nations Security Council, United States, United States Pacific Command, USS Carl Vinson, White House
Senators briefed at WH by military, intelligence officials.
WASHINGTON—The Trump administration said it is launching an urgent push, combining diplomatic pressure and the threat of military action in a bid to halt North Korea’s advancing nuclear-weapons program.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, one of those who briefed senators at a classified briefing hosted by the White House on Wednesday, also plans to host a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, where he will propose international officials redouble efforts to enforce economic sanctions and isolate North Korea.
North Korea’s Missile Advancements
The State Department said Mr. Tillerson is considering harsh measures such as asking other countries to shut down North Korea’s embassies and other diplomatic facilities. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 26, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, U.S. News | Tags: Affidavit, Algiers, Book of Joshua, Catholic News Agency, Catholic News Service, Catholicism, Chad Griffin, New Orleans, New Orleans Police Department, Shelly Dufresne, The Times-Picayune
The unidentified student, now 19, detailed the relationship he had with former Destrehan High School teacher Shelly Dufresne, 34, that began when he was a 16-year-old student in her English class. The month-long affair began with a Facebook message from Dufresne after the teen was out sick one day in August 2014, he testified, and quickly progressed to the student and teacher kissing in a classroom within days.
“Later on that night was the first time that Shelly and I had intercourse,” the teen told Judge Danyelle Taylor of the 24th Judicial District Court on Tuesday as Dufresne’s trial began. She has pleaded not guilty to two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile, the Times-Picayune reports.
If convicted, Dufresne faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The night of their first tryst began, the teen said, when Dufresne picked up the teen from his home in the New Orleans suburb of Destrehan after a football scrimmage. He testified that the teacher then drove to an isolated location behind a daiquiri shop, where they had sex.
Prosecutors say Dufresne coordinated the trysts using a fake Facebook profile under the name “Madison Mexicano,” complete with an image of the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez as the profile image. The cover photo also included the phrase, “I love Mexican boys,” a reference to the teen, prosecutor Rachel Africk said. The teen later testified Tuesday that he didn’t appreciate that reference, however, since he is half-Colombian and half-Caucasian.
[Read the full story here, at the New York Post]
The teen provided the court with a list of the places where he met Dufresne to have sex, including at her house in Montz, inside her Honda Pilot SUV in multiple parking lots — and in a shed at a friend’s house. The torrid romps culminated, the teen testified, with a threesome with another former Destrehan High School English teacher, 26-year-old Rachel Respess, at her apartment in Kenner.
“All three of us were in bed together,” the teen told the court. “We all started having sex.”
The teen also said he recorded video of Respess while she slept after the threesome and admitted to the court that his genitals could be seen in the footage.
“It was kind of like proof,” he testified, adding that he showed the video to some teammates on the high school football team. “I told them about it, but they didn’t believe me.”
School officials eventually learned of the threesome after rumors spread throughout the school and contacted authorities in late September. Dufresne and Respess — whose trial date has not been set for allegedly failing to report the commission of several felonies — were arrested in October 2014, the Times-Picayune reports. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 26, 2017 Filed under: Economics, Entertainment, Mediasphere | Tags: Aaron Hernandez, Africa, ESPN, Michelle Beadle, National Basketball Association, NFL, SportsCenter, Television, The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World
No one has been identified yet. These disclosures likely will trickle out once the people affected are told.
“A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions,” ESPN President John Skipper says in a memo to staffers.
Changes in ESPN content must “go further, faster…and as always, must be efficient and nimble,” he says.
That means “we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands. We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”
ESPN said in March that the layoffs announced today were a possibility.
So far this year sports viewing on Disney networks is down about 4%, Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser noted this week. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 25, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, U.S. News | Tags: Arrest, Arrest warrant, Heather Lee Robertson, Houston Chronicle, Hudson Independent School District, Intimate relationship, Middle school, Sexual intercourse, Sexual Misconduct, Teacher, Texas, Trophy Club
Natalie Musumeci reports: A former kindergarten teacher in Texas is accused of having sex with four students –- two of whom she bedded at the same time, according to reports.
Heather Lee Robertson, 38, who taught for the Hudson Independent School District, was arrested Saturday on four counts of an improper relationship after cops opened an investigation into her sexual affairs with pupils, the Lufkin Daily News reported.
Robertson copped to the sex rendezvous and told police that she did not “require” the boys she slept with to use a condom because she was unable to have children, according to the news outlet.
Before police arrested Robertson, also a former high school teacher, they questioned students they believed were involved with her.
One student told police that his affair with Robertson began after spring break with the pair “chatting and sexting” on Snapchat, the newspaper reported.
Robertson allegedly asked the boy to come over to her apartment to have sex, and the boy asked if a friend could join, the boy told police. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 24, 2017 Filed under: Censorship, Crime & Corruption, Education, Law & Justice, Mediasphere | Tags: Ann Coulter, Berkeley, Breitbart News, Charles Murray (political scientist), College Republicans, Donald Trump, Freedom of speech, Milo Yiannopoulos, Sproul Plaza, University of California
Amber Randall reports: A New York Times op-ed argues for a new understanding of free speech that takes into account the experiences of the more marginalized in society.
Ulrich Baer, the author and a New York University professor, writes Monday in favor of students who protest talks on campuses from more conservative voices like political scientist Charles Murray and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. These students, unlike “liberal free-speech advocates,” understand that a more complex definition of free speech is needed, Baer argues.
“Universities invited speakers not chiefly to present otherwise unavailable discoveries but to present to the public views they have presented elsewhere. When those views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good,” Baer writes. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 24, 2017 Filed under: Censorship, Law & Justice, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: hate speech, Howard Dean, U.S. Constitution
We have been discussing how the left has fallen out of love with free speech and how free speech is now being treated not as the defining right of liberty but the very threat to liberty. Indeed, the most existential threats to free speech around the world are now coming from the left, which has embraced speech codes and the criminalization of speech with a passion. There are exceptions like Bernie Sanders who recently declared that Ann Coulter should be allowed to speak at Berkeley — a position that I obviously have shared on this blog. However, that principled position was countered by the most common response of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean who declared that hate speech is not protected by the Constitution. He is obviously wrong but his inclination — even eagerness — to limit free speech is now a mainstream idea among liberals who once were…
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Posted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption | Tags: Denver, District Attorney, Friday (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray], Gumbo, Life imprisonment, murder, Plea, Sheriff, Spices, Weld County
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (AP) – A man charged with fatally stabbing a restaurant worker and former Florida State mascot in a fight over gumbo spices has been found guilty of second-degree murder.
Orlando Ricardo Thompson was found guilty Thursday in the 2015 death of his co-worker Caleb Joshua Halley. Thompson faces up to life in prison.
Panama City police say 33-year-old Halley was working at Buddy’s Seafood Market when he and the 27-year-old Thompson began arguing about how much spice to add to the restaurant’s gumbo. Authorities say Thompson slashed Halley across the torso. He died two days later. The two had also been roommates at one point. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere
Aaron Turpen writes: Bo and Luke Duke may have been driving a Charger back in the day, but the 1969 Charger’s successor is definitely the current-generation Challenger. Put behind the wheel of the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT in bright orange paint – as we drove it – you may want to change your name, too.
The Challenger GT is Dodge’s all-wheel-drive muscle coupe, offering something that those of us living in the land of inclement weather and dirt roads have long wanted. When the 2017 Challenger GT was shown as a concept back in November of 2015, we were drooling. When it finally dropped a year later, there was some disappointment on the engine choice.
The engine chosen for the production version of the Challenger GT is the venerable V6 that, it turns out, is the most popular engine for the Challenger lineup. Many people might be surprised…
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Posted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: Mediasphere, Entertainment, Politics, Censorship, Humor | Tags: New York Times, Media bias, satire, Parody, Truth, Advertising, Subscription
Posted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: France, Global, History, Think Tank | Tags: 2003 invasion of Iraq, BBC, Brexit, British people, Chuka Umunna, Iraq War, Labour Party (UK), Liberal Democrats, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair
This weakness should give conservatives no pleasure.
Posted: April 23, 2017 Filed under: France, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Associated Press, Donald Trump, Elections in France, Emmanuel Macron, European Union, François Fillon, France, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen
Topless FEMEN activists wearing masks of Russian President Vladimir Putin and National Front leader Marine Le Pen protested outside the Henin-Beaumont voting station on Sunday, as Le Pen arrived to cast her ballot.
Topless demonstrators from the Femen activist group have caused a commotion as they staged a stunt against Marine Le Pen outside a polling station where the far-right presidential candidate was heading to vote.
Around six topless Femen activists were detained Sunday morning after jumping out of an SUV limo wearing masks of Le Pen and United States President Donald Trump.
Police and security forces quickly forced them into police vans, confiscating their signs.
Le Pen voted at the station shortly after without further disruption.
The election is taking place amid heightened security. The government has mobilized more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect polling stations. (more)
Posted: April 22, 2017 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere, Politics, Science & Technology, Think Tank, U.S. News | Tags: Americans, Barack Obama, Buzzfeed, Democratic Party (United States), Donald Trump, Gallup (company), Pew Research Center, Republican Party (United States), The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal
“We face a possible future where people not only ignore scientific evidence, but seek to eliminate it entirely,” warns the march’s mission statement. “Staying silent is a luxury that we can no longer afford. We must stand together and support science.”
From whom do the marchers hope to defend science? Certainly not the American public: Most Americans are fairly strong supporters of the scientific enterprise. An October 2016 Pew Research Center poll reported, “Three-quarters of Americans (76%) have either a great deal (21%) or a fair amount of confidence (55%) in scientists, generally, to act in the public interest.” The General Social Survey notes that public confidence in scientists stands out among the most stable of about 13 institutions rated in the GSS survey since the mid-1970s. (For what it’s worth, the GSS reports only 8 percent of the public say that they have a great deal of confidence in the press, but at least that’s higher than the 6 percent who say the same about Congress.)
The mission statement also declares, “The application of science to policy is not a partisan issue. Anti-science agendas and policies have been advanced by politicians on both sides of the aisle, and they harm everyone—without exception.”
I thoroughly endorse that sentiment. But why didn’t the scientific community march when the Obama administration blocked over-the-counter access to emergency contraception to women under age 17? Or dawdled for years over the approval of genetically enhanced salmon? Or tried to kill off the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage facility? Or halted the development of direct-to-consumer genetic testing? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 22, 2017 Filed under: Education, Mediasphere | Tags: Academia, Gender, Gender identity, Harvard, LGTBQ, media, news, PC, Politically Correct, Radical Left, Safe Space
Posted: April 22, 2017 Filed under: Crime & Corruption, Education, Mediasphere | Tags: Adolescents, Arrest, Arrest warrant, Byron Nelson, Byron Nelson High School, Caroline County Sheriff's Office, Child, Human trafficking, Sexual intercourse
A female teacher who took part in an orgy with a sixth form girl during a two year affair has been banned from the classroom.
Francoise Jenkins, 45, a mother who was in a heterosexual relationship with one of the men who took part in the sex sessions, later paid him £13,000 “silence money” after they split up.
She had befriended the “vulnerable pupil” at Danum Academy, Doncaster, where she was a supply teacher, seducing her after obtaining her mobile phone number from the school’s database.
Text messages included personal information about the “problems she was having with Individual C”, the man she was living with.
They first had three in a bed sex on the night of the school prom. Ms Jenkins met the girl, Pupil A, for a drink after the school disco and took her home where she admitted having sex both with her and Individual C.
Pupil A later told the school she engaged in sexual activity with both Ms Jenkins and Individual C.
She said in a statement that as it progressed Individual C became more involved but they did not have full sex as she was “worried about becoming pregnant”.
Another time Pupil A was invited to the house with a male friend, Individual A, and all four of them, including Ms
Jenkins and Individual C, had sex.
A professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership found Ms Jenkins guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
Teacher panellist Dr Robert Cawley said: “Pupil A describes how she had sex with Individual A but cried and had asked for it to stop as she did not want to have sex with a man.”
[Read the full story here, at telegraph.co.uk]
Afterwards, Ms Jenkins attempted to cover up her relationship with Pupil A by paying Individual C about £13,000 – wholly or partly so he would not report it.
Posted: April 21, 2017 Filed under: France, Global, Mediasphere, Politics, Terrorism | Tags: Champs-Élysées, Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, European Union, François Fillon, François Hollande, France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Marine Le Pen, National Front (France)
US presidents typically avoid weighing in on specific candidates running in overseas election. But Mr Trump suggested his opinion was no different from an average observer, saying: “Everybody is making predictions on who is going to win. I’m no different than you.”
Cancelling visits and meetings on Friday, candidates traded blows across the airwaves as it emerged that the Isil-backed gunman had been kept in custody just 24 hours in February despite attempts to procure weapons to murder police.
Xavier Jugelé, 37, a policeman who had been deployed in the 2015 Bataclan attack, was killed in the shooting.
Ms Le Pen, the far-Right candidate, blasted the mainstream “naive” Left and Right for failing to get tough on Islamism, calling for France to instantly reinstate border checks and expel foreigners who are on the watch lists of intelligence services.
François Fillon, the mainstream conservative candidate, pledged an “iron fist” in the fight against “Islamist totalitarianism” – his priority if elected. “We are at war, it’s either us or them,” said the conservative, whose campaign has been weighed down by allegations he gave his British wife a “fake job”.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel Macron, the independent centrist, whom critics dismiss as a soft touch, hit back at claims shutting borders and filling French prisons would solve the problem, saying: “There’s no such thing as zero risk. Anyone who pretends (otherwise) is both irresponsible and deceitful.”
Sticking to his campaign agenda, far-Left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon told everyone to keep a “cool head” as he took part in a giant picnic.
A last-minute Odoxa poll taken after the attack suggested that Mr Macron was still on course to come first in Sunday’s first round, with Ms Le Pen just behind and through to the May 7 runoff. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 21, 2017 Filed under: Humor, Mediasphere, Politics | Tags: Maxine Waters, media, news, video
Posted: April 20, 2017 Filed under: Diplomacy, Education, Politics, Think Tank | Tags: Berkeley, First Amendment, Free speech, Mobs, Radical Left, Violence
We recently discussed the courageous stand of the University of Chicago in favor of free speech (a position followed by schools like Purdue). Free speech is being rapidly diminished on our campuses as an ever-widening scope of speech has been declared hate speech or part of the ill-defined “microaggression.” Now Berkeley has shown the world exactly what this intolerance looks like as protesters attacked people, burned property, and rioted to stop other people from hearing the views of a conservative speaker. As on so many campuses, they succeeded. The speech by Milo Yiannopoulos was cancelled. A triumph of anti-speech protesters. Berkeley now must face a defining moment. The only appropriate response for the school is to immediately reschedule the speaker and stand in defiance of those who want to deny the right to speak (and to hear and associate) to others. Moreover, it is liberals who should be on…
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