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Obama-linked Activists Have a ‘Training Manual’ for Protesting Trump 

As Donald Trump Wins Presidency, Country Reacts

Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall.

Paul Sperry reports: An Obama-tied activist group training tens of thousands of agitators to protest President Trump’s policies plans to hit Republican lawmakers supporting those policies even harder this week, when they return home for the congressional recess and hold town hall meetings and other functions.

“A script advises callers to complain: ‘I’m honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office … It is everyone’s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president.’”

Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall.

“The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda.”

In a new Facebook post, OFA calls on activists to mobilize against Republicans from now until Feb. 26, when “representatives are going to be in their home districts.”

The protesters disrupted town halls earlier this month, including one held in Utah by House Oversight Chairman Jasonobama_in_limo_pd_12913 Chaffetz, who was confronted by hundreds of angry demonstrators claiming to be his constituents.

The manual, published with OFA partner “Indivisible,” advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and “grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.” Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. “This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.” It also urges them to ask “hostile” questions — while keeping “a firm hold on the mic” — and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn’t “giving you real answers.”

[Read the full story here, at New York Post]

“Express your concern [to the event’s hosts] they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption,” it says.

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“The manual, published with OFA partner ‘Indivisible,’ advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and “grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.’ Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. ‘This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.’”

The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda, and to prime “the ground for the 2018 midterms when Democrats retake power.”

“It also urges them to ask ‘hostile’ questions — while keeping ‘a firm hold on the mic’ — and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn’t ‘giving you real answers.’”

“Even the safest [Republican] will be deeply alarmed by signs of organized opposition,” the document states, “because these actions create the impression that they’re not connected to their district and not listening to their constituents.”

After the event, protesters are advised to feed video footage to local and national media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Our Cult-Like Education System: Stella Morabito on the Ideological Cold War

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Riot-Prone Mobs Are A Product Of America’s Cult-Like Education System

‘If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.’

— Thomas Jefferson

 writes

…Those who are pushing for sustained street resistance seem to be banking on two things. First they are betting that mainstream Americans won’t realize until it’s too late that we are in the midst of a virtual civil war that could turn violent. Dennis Prager recently wrote of this Second Civil War, warning Americans to wake up to it. Second, agitators are also wagering that Americans will not have the stomach for the prolonged fight they intend to bring to the streets, a point noted by psychologist Tim Daughtry in his book “Waking the Sleeping Giant.”

“What brought us to this place where the losing side has so utterly and violently rejected the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, and previously agreed-upon electoral process and rules?”

So is this some kind of a joke? Revolution in the streets of America that overturns the election results? So far it all sounds so goofy, at least where it doesn’t get violent. We can watch in wonder as a shrieking NYU professor verbally assaults numerous police officers with the sort of impunity only afforded to the far-left. We can assure ourselves that there aren’t that many irrational people. Even if true, however, that’s beside the point. Too many citizens are at sea in understanding what freedom even means.

“Let’s face it. Today’s street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision. The radical Left’s systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies. It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free.”

We need to ask ourselves: What brought us to this place where the losing side has so utterly and violently rejected the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another, and previously agreed-upon electoral process and rules? It’s past time to ponder the quote from Thomas Jefferson: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

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Destroying Our Education System Got Us Here

Let’s face it. Today’s street theater is the culmination of decades of radical education revision. The radical Left’s systematic attack on the study of Western Civilization has essentially been an attack against the study of any and all civil societies. It is an attack on the features that make a society civil and free. Those features include freedom of expression, civil discourse, the Socratic method of figuring out truth, value of the individual, and a common knowledge of the classics of history and literature that help us understand what’s universal in the human experience. All of that had to go.

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

Now, as we see students marching to demonize as “fascists” proponents of free speech, their ignorance is in full view. This is really a full frontal attack on the rule of law, the Constitution, and a system of checks and balances that guards against the consolidation of centralized power.

That’s the whole point of the education these students have been fed. In fact, a lot of 1960s agitators, including domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, decided to place their bets on radical education revision. For at least 40 years, Ayers has been devoted to transforming schools from places of actual education to places of coercive thought reform. As Andrew McCarthy recently pointed out in National Review: “It was a comfy fit for him and many of his confederates, once it dawned on them that indoctrination inside the schoolhouse was more effective than blowing up the schoolhouse.”

If you review the history of radical education reform, it’s clear these agitators have been committing mind arson on the children, undermining their ability to think independently and clearly. (For more on this, read Robin Eubanks’ book “Credentialed to Destroy.”)

Demotivated students sitting in a lecture hall with one girl napping in college

How to Short-Circuit a Child’s Thinking

Radical education reformers have made a point of removing context from children’s education, and to squash their natural curiosity, undermining their capacity to think. Read the rest of this entry »


Life Under Alternative Facts 

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The Soviet Union bombarded its citizens with such facts in the seventies and eighties. No one was fooled.

 writes: There was no real cognitive dissonance existing in the minds of most people in the Soviet Union of the nineteen-seventies and eighties. Everyone knew that everything said on the radio or on television, everything (with the exception of weather reports or sports results) was a blatant lie, spoken pro forma, just because that’s the way things were and had to be: outside, it was dark or light or drizzly or sunny or cold and snowy or pleasantly warm or too hot for comfort—and on the radio and on TV and in newspapers and magazines the untold legions of official-propaganda folks talked about the kind of reality which did not remotely exist in the reality of Soviet people’s lives.

“Everyone knew that they, the Soviet people, lived in a veritable funhouse of a giant isolated world unto itself, in the parallel reality of that endless hall of crazily distorted mirrors.”

Just because from dawn to dusk everyone was forced to hear on the radio and read in newspapers that everyone’s life in the Soviet land was wonderful and was going to be infinitely better still, and that everyone else out in the capitalist world envied the happiness of Soviet people’s lives, no one was duped into thinking this was actually how things were, neither in their own lives or in the lives of people all around them, in their cities and villages.

[Read the full story here, at The New Yorker]

Everyone knew the truth, even in the absence of any alternative, more reality-bound source of information. Everyone knew how things were in reality. How could one not? One had one’s eyes and ears and one’s own life to live. Read the rest of this entry »


Karl Rove Strikes Back, Defends Reputation as Democrat’s Favorite Super-Scary Hate Object

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Source: POLITICO


[VIDEO] SUPERCUTS: Nancy Pelosi: This Girl is on Fire!

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[VIDEO] Tucker Carlson vs UConn Professor Matthew Hughey: White Supremacy Fueled Donald Trump’s Win

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[VIDEO] Trump Delivers Big Blow to Obama’s Environmental Legacy

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The Abortion Industry Has a New Enemy: Ultrasounds

The article’s headline is bad enough—”How the Ultrasound Pushed the Idea That a Fetus Is a Person”—but its subhed is the real work of art: “The technology has been used to create an ‘imaginary’ heartbeat and sped-up videos that falsely depict a response to stimulus.”

[Read the full story here, at thefederalist.com]

There are numerous other gems throughout the piece, such as her implication that only male doctors are allowed to use ultrasounds.

“Ultrasound made it possible for the male doctor to evaluate the fetus without female interference,” Weigel declares. Are female doctors banned from or incapable of doing an ultrasound on a pregnant mother? What about X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans? Are those marvels of modern technology that have helped to diagnose and cure countless diseases and physical maladies since their inception? Or are they evil technologies that merely enable peeping mandoctors to cast their eyes into the inner recesses of a woman’s body? Read the rest of this entry »


End of an Era: Failure Fondly Remembered

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[VIDEO] REASON TV: What We Saw at Women’s March on Washington

On January 21, an estimated 500,000 people attended the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. as a protest against incoming President Donald Trump.

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Man Shot Outside Milo Yiannopoulos Event at University of Washington 

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Left Wing Violence Erupts at UW’s Red Square

SEATTLE — A man was shot at a University of Washington protest in the campus’ Red Square outside an event with controversial Brietbart News editor Milo YiannopoulosCBS affiliate KIRO reports.

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Seattle Fire Department said that the man has possible life threatening injuries.

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“Adult male transported to HMC with possible life threatening injury from a gun shot wound. Pt transported from area near Spokane Ln NE”

— Seattle Fire Dept (@SeattleFire) January 21, 2017

The University of Washington College Republicans invited Yiannopoulos to speak on Friday. People have been waiting outside for the event since around 5 p.m.

Protesters showed up on campus around 6 p.m. and began clashing with police….(more)

KIRO7 reports:

An online petition asked UW president Ana Mari Cauce to ban Yiannopoulos from the event.

“Please make the right choice President Ana Mari Cauce and stand up for student safety and tolerance on campus. Please stand with us – your students, faculty, staff, workers, and community members in opposing this hatred from being spread on our campus,” the petition said.

The group behind the petition said that Yiannopoulos’ visit would violate the university’s student conduct official censorship code. They specifically pointed to the following section:

PRO-CENSORSHIP-YOUTH

Discriminatory harassment. Official Censorship policy: “Discriminatory harassment” (censored speech) is language or conduct directed at a person because of the person’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or veteran status that is unwelcome and sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive such that it could reasonably be expected to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment, or has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person’s academic or work performance, or the person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs, services, opportunities, or activities.

(read more)

Protesters threw rocks, fireworks, and other items at officers. They blocked the entrance to Kane Hall, but Yiannopoulos’ speech still started around 8 p.m.

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“Seattle officers at the park had confiscated wooden poles, heavy pipes and hammers.”

A KIRO chopper caught video of bike officers rushing to a crowd of people at 8:30 p.m. Moments later they started responding to a man on the ground.

UW alert went out to students, telling them to stay out of the area. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] FLASHBACK: ‘Sing for Change’ Obama Kids Worshipful Music Video

A YouTube video circulating on the Internet features 22 children aged 5 – 12 singing original songs to contribute to the Obama campaign. According to the Web site for the group Sing for Change these non-voting children believe that their very best contribution to the Obama campaign is to sing. Is it cute or creepy?

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[VIDEO] SJW Gender Studies: FOR KIDS! 

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SCIENCE: Arc of the Moral Universe; Before and After Being Lectured by Barack Obama

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[VIDEO] CNN’s Dan Rather Moment?

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[VIDEO] 13 Inconvenient Truths About Obama’s Legacy

(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

From the president’s speech, you wouldn’t know the administration’s biggest policy failures.


Source: dailysignal.com


Jeff Sessions Confirmation Hearings Highlights

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[VIDEO] The Worst of MSNBC in 2016

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WaPo: 50% of Clinton Voters Believe Russia ‘Tampered with Vote Tallies in Order to get Donald Trump Elected’

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The story deals largely with the fact that party breakdown determines the conspiracy theories people are willing to believe or not. Interestingly enough, when looking at the results, Republicans (in particular, Trump voters) are less likely to believe conspiracy theories than Hillary voters. For example, the ‘Pizzagate’ conspiracy that said leaked emails from the Clinton campaign talked about a pedophilia ring run out of pizza parlor, shows 46% of Trump voters believe it but 53% do not.

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Bitter Clinton voters are more easily persuaded, however, especially when it comes to the belief the Russians hacked our voting systems to help Trump:

Trump voters and Clinton voters also look differently at two Election Day conspiracy theories: that Russia actually hacked the votes to change the election results, and that there were, as Donald Trump suggested, there were “millions of people who voted illegally.”

Half of Clinton’s voters think Russia even hacked the Election Day votes (only 9% of Trump voters give that any credibility at all). Six in ten Trump voters believe there were millions of illegal votes cast on election day. Read the rest of this entry »


New York Times: ‘Was Barack Obama Bad for Democrats?’ #FakeNews

President Obama Laughs with Aides on Air Force One

Comedy Gold: Was Barack Obama Bad for Democrats?”, by Stanley B. Greenberg and Anna Greenberg, the New York Times

At NRO Deroy Murdock writes:

…As Obama concludes his reign of error, his party is smaller, weaker, and more rickety than it has been since at least the 1940s. Behold the tremendous power that Democrats have frittered away — from January 2009 through the aftermath of Election Day 2016 — thanks to Obama and his ideas:

  • Democrats surrendered the White House to political neophyte Donald J. Trump.
  • U.S. Senate seats slipped from 55 to 46, down 16 percent.
  • U.S. House seats slid from 256 to 194, down 24 percent.
  • Democrats ran the U.S. Senate and House in 2009. Next year, they will control neither.
  • Governorships fell from 28 to 16, down 43 percent.
  • State legislatures (both chambers) plunged from 27 to 14, down 48 percent.
  • Trifectas (states with Democratic governors and both legislative chambers) cratered from 17 to 6, down 65 percent.

Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, eight U.S. presidents have served at least two terms or bowed to their vice-presidents due to death or resignation. Among them, Obama ranks eighth in total state legislative seats that his party preserved during his tenure. Obama has supervised the net loss of 959 such Democratic positions, down 23.5 percent, according to Ballotpedia, which generated most of the data cited here. This far outpaces the 843 net seats that Republicans yielded under President Dwight David Eisenhower. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] SAY WHAT? CNN Anchor: Generals Oppose Saying ‘Radical Islamic Jihadist’ 

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[VIDEO] Greenwald: Anonymous Leaks Not Evidence in Russian Hacking

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GRAPHIC: Anti-Gun Activists Send Grotesque Gun Victim Christmas Cards

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Conservatives, gun store owners, and Second Amendment activists are receiving ‘Christmas Cards’ from anti-gun advocates that include graphic photos of victims who have received gunshots to the face.

Lana Shadwick writes: The Christmas card includes the Bible verse, “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked. And the one who loves violence His soul hates.”

The card also bears the inscription:

The NRA gives the gift of nonfatal gunshot wounds like these to 100,000 Americans per year. Your continued support of ‘guns everywhere’ legislation is directly responsible for this health epidemic. In your heart, do you honestly believe this is what Jesus wants? Shame on you for dishonoring Jesus Christ with your support of gun-pushing legislation.

The Christmas card is signed from “The Betsy Riot” which describes itself on the card as “a decentralized movement that nonviolently opposes gun culture.”

The post on Facebook bears a graphic warning that must be clicked on before the photos can be seen.

[Read the full story here, at Breitbart.com]

The photos can also be found on the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health and the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery, Official Publication of Maxillofacial Society of India. These sources do not tell how both of these victims sustained their wounds. The male victim can be found under a case report for “self-inflicting gunshot injury.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Brian Williams Gushes Over Obama’s Press Conference

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[VIDEO] With a Straight Face: ‘America is Stronger and More Prosperous Now’

President Obama Laughs with Aides on Air Force One

 


Mainstream Media’s Top 10 #FakeNews Stories

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The mainstream media is the biggest purveyor of fake news.

debra-heine-sized-50x50xfDebra Heine writes: You gotta love our liberal media. Their entire modus operandi for at least the past two decades has been to shamelessly disseminate false left-wing narratives to the masses in their ongoing effort to discredit conservatism and further a progressive agenda. It’s what they do.

But since the election of Donald Trump, they have been obsessed with a new pet narrative: that a so-called “fake news” epidemic is occurring on the right.

This is partly because, I’m convinced, they resent the fact that some people on the alt-right are making inroads on their turf. But the “fake news” excuse also functions as a soothing balm for their wounded egos after their devastating 2016 election losses. It helps them deal with the uncomfortable fact that the electorate just rejected the hell out of the candidates for whom they blatantly shilled.

This happens every time the mainstream media’s favored party suffes a massive defeat at the polls, by the way. In 1994, they blamed their losses on the “angry white male.” After the 2010 “shellacking,” they attributed it to a menacing “climate of hate,”as personified by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

And now we are asked to believe that fringe conspiracy theories like “PizzaGate” swung the 2016 election for Donald Trump. That may make the left feel better about losing, but their pathetic “fake news” narrative is a conspiracy theory in and of itself.

[Read the full list here, at PJ Media]

PizzaGate refers to a spectacular conspiracy theory surrounding Comet Ping Pong, a Baltimore pizza parlor that some internet sleuths claim is at the center of an international child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton and the Podesta brothers. This month, a man with an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong to “self-investigate,” and reportedly fired the rifle at least once inside the restaurant. Luckily, no one was injured.

If only one could say the same about the countless left-wing fake news narratives that have been pushed by the MSM over the years.

For example, the PizzaGate conspiracy theory festered online only in places like 4Chan, Infowars, and Reddit.

But the “hands up, don’t shoot” conspiracy theory — which suggested a racist white cop shot an unarmed black teenager for no reason at all in Ferguson, Missouri — was propagated all over the mainstream news: CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and others. It even was heavily spread by elected members of the Democratic Party.

That fake news led to riots, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume that the ensuing murdered policemen were the result of some bad actors feeling justified in retaliating.

Here is a list of ten memorable fake news stories from the mainstream media.

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1. RatherGate:

In an effort to influence the 2004 presidential election, Dan Rather used fake documents to claim that George W. Bush served dishonorably during his time in the Air National Guard:

CBS did its own investigation in the matter, and determined there were several serious breaches of handling this story, among them failure to identify the sources of the documents properly; failure to document the chain of custody of the documents; failure to establish the credibility of the documents.Those that tendered their resignations on request were: Senior Vice President Betsy West, the supervisor of primetime programs for CBS News; Josh Howard, the executive producer of Wednesday’s version of 60 Minutes; Mary Murphy, senior broadcast producer and Howard’s deputy. Mary Mapes, the actual producer of the Killian documents story, was terminated, in part for calling a senior official in John Kerry’s presidential campaign (Joe Lockhart) and offering to put him in touch with Burkett. The CBS panel called Mapes’ action a “clear conflict of interest that created the appearance of political bias.”

Unbowed and still convinced of the document’s authenticity, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former corporate parent, Viacom on September 19, 2007, claiming he was made a “scapegoat”. A day later, Mapes wrote a column in the Huffington Post, claiming that far-right blogs have “pronounced themselves experts on document analysis, and began attacking the form and font in the memos. They screamed objections that ultimately proved to have no basis in fact … They dominated the discussion by churning out gigabytes of mind-numbing internet dissertations about the typeface in the memos, focusing on the curl at the end of the “a,” the dip on the top of the “t,” the spacing, the superscript, which typewriters were used in the military in 1972. It was a deceptive approach, and it worked”.

[Read the full list here, at PJ Media]

In a clear contradiction of her rant, Mapes did in fact have prior knowledge of Bush’s guard service in her hands but chose to ignore it. In a press release on January 10, 2005, Accuracy in Media reported that the internal investigation conducted by CBS into the “Rathergate” matter revealed that Mapes had documented information on hand which detailed Bush’s attempt to volunteer for duty as a fighter pilot in Vietnam but was denied by his superiors at the time due to his inexperience. Accuracy in Media Editor Cliff Kincaid explained:

“Mapes, who was very close to Rather and enjoyed his confidence, had the evidence exonerating Bush of this malicious charge. The report shows that there were multiple credible sources to prove that Bush did not try to avoid Vietnam by going into the National Guard and that he was in fact willing to go to Vietnam as a pilot. However, CBS News deliberately kept this information from its viewers and conveyed an opposite impression because Rather, Mapes & Company were trying to depict Bush as a coward who, as Commander-in-Chief, was sending American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq.”

The truth is that Bush, the alleged slacker, had volunteered to go to Vietnam while in the Texas Air National Guard, but was he was turned down because he didn’t have enough flight hours to qualify.

And Mary Mapes knew it.

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2. The Tucson Massacre Was Inspired by a “Climate of Hate” 

On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a Safeway parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona, shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head, and eighteen others. Six people died, including a federal judge, one of Rep. Giffords’ staffers, and a nine-year-old girl. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Miss Sloane’ Has One of the Worst Opening Weekends Ever

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Seventy-ninth worst opening of the past 35 years

— Brendan Kelly, press secretary for the Brady Campaign

The movie pulled in $1,167 on average at the 1,648 theaters across the country it was shown in. It made $1,922,300, meaning it was the 11th-highest grossing movie in the country. It is number 79 on Box Office Mojo’s list of Worst Opening Weekend by Per-Theater Average since 1982.

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“Gun owners always knew the movie was—pardon the pun—a dud.”

— Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundationmsloane-poster

That means Miss Sloane earned less money per theater than Pride and Prejudice and ZombiesShaun the Sheep MovieLawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, and Gigli.

“Unless Jessica Chastain ends up with a Golden Globe nomination and/or an Oscar nomination in a robustly crowded ‘Best Actress’ field, this one is finished.”

— Scott Mendelson, at Forbes

Industry observers criticized the movie’s performance on Monday. Time said the movie “fizzled in its wide expansion.” Fortune described it as struggling. The Los Angeles Times said Miss Sloane failed to meet “an already lackluster” projection of $5 million for the weekend.

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EuropaCorp expanded the terrific Jessica Chastain vehicle Miss Sloane into 1,648 theaters over the weekend, with just tragic results,” Scott Mendelson wrote at Forbes. “Unless Jessica Chastain ends up with a Golden Globe nomination and/or an Oscar nomination in a robustly crowded ‘Best Actress’ field, this one is finished.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Tucker Carlson vs. Washington Post Over ‘Angry White Racist’ Trump Voters

Tucker Carlson takes on Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin over her claims that many of Trump’s voters are angry, racist white people. (December 9th, 2016)

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Unpacking the New CIA Leak: Don’t Ignore the Aluminum Tube Footnote 

This post will unpack the leak from the CIA published in the WaPo tonight.

 writes: Before I start with the substance of the story, consider this background. First, if Trump comes into office on the current trajectory, the US will let Russia help Bashar al-Assad stay in power, thwarting a 4-year effort on the part of the Saudis to remove him from power. It will also restructure the hierarchy of horrible human rights abusing allies the US has, with the Saudis losing out to other human rights abusers, potentially up to and including that other petrostate, Russia. It will also install a ton of people with ties to the US oil industry in the cabinet, meaning the US will effectively subsidize oil production in this country, which will have the perhaps inadvertent result of ensuring the US remains oil-independent even though the market can’t justify fracking right now.

The CIA is institutionally quite close with the Saudis right now, and has been in charge of their covert war against Assad.

This story came 24 days after the White House released an anonymous statement asserting, among other things, “the Federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day,” suggesting that the Russians may have been deterred.

[Read the full text here, at emptywheel]

This story was leaked within hours of the time the White House announced it was calling for an all-intelligence community review of the Russia intelligence, offered without much detail. Indeed, this story was leaked and published as an update to that story.

Which is to say, the CIA and/or people in Congress (this story seems primarily to come from Democratic Senators) leaked this, apparently in response to President Obama’s not terribly urgent call to have all intelligence agencies weigh in on the subject of Russian influence, after weeks of Democrats pressuring him to release more information. It was designed to both make the White House-ordered review more urgent and influence the outcome.

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So here’s what that story says.

In September, the spooks briefed “congressional leaders” (which for a variety of reasons I wildarseguess is either a Gang of Four briefing including Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, and Harry Reid or a briefing to SSCI plus McConnell, Reid, Jack Reed, and John McCain). Apparently, the substance of the briefing was that Russia’s intent in hacking Democratic entities was not to increase distrust of institutions, but instead to elect Trump.

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

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[Read more at The Washington Examiner]

The difference between this story and other public assessments is that it seems to identify the people — who sound like people with ties to the Russian government but not necessarily part of it — who funneled documents from Russia’s GRU to Wikileaks.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

[snip]

[I]ntelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees.

NSA headquarters. Image: Wikimedia Commons

[Read the full analysis here, at emptywheel]

This is the part that has always been missing in the past: how the documents got from GRU, which hacked the DNC and John Podesta, to Wikileaks, which released them. It appears that CIA now thinks they know the answer: some people one step removed from the Russian government, funneling the documents from GRU hackers (presumably) to Wikileaks to be leaked, with the intent of electing Trump.

Not everyone buys this story. Mitch McConnell doesn’t buy the intelligence. Read the rest of this entry »


The Left Loses its Mind Over Conservative Group’s ‘Professor Watch List’ 

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Trolling Success Level 100%

Annabel Scott reports: Turning Point USA, a conservative organization made up of high school and college students, has compiled a website database of more than 200 professors at universities across the nation that “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.”

“This list watches over us at our country’s darkest turning point, poised to inflame the tinder-dry, gasoline-soaked pitchforks of a mob that has just stepped boldly into the light.”

— Slate author Rebecca Schuman, hyperventilating at keyboard

The website, professorwatchlist.org, doesn’t list just any professo­r — TPUSA requires proof.

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Caller]

“This watchlist is an aggregated list of pre-existing news stories that were published by a variety of news organizations,” the website states. “While we accept tips for new additions on our website, we only publish profiles on incidents that have already been reported by a credible source.”

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“Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo. This is, indeed, a turning point in our country, a time of fear unprecedented on this continent since the Second World War. Fear of being placed on a list, targeted as undesirable, and subjected to whatever happens next.”

— Slate author Rebecca Schuman

The website also says that TPUSA is not attempting to silence the professors on the list, but instead they are exposing “specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls.”

crying college student

“The website has thin information in its entries and a less-than-smooth search function. That could be a reflection of how rapidly it was created to capitalize on the political climate, particularly after the election of Donald J. Trump as president.”

— Julio C. Pino, an associate professor history at Kent State

Since its recent debut, the list has seen no shortage of harsh criticism.

Slate author Rebecca Schuman deemed the watchlist “grotesque,” and called it “a stock agency for photos of self-satisfied young white people.”

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“If the professors are so scared of what’s going on in their lecture halls being made public then that is their problem, not ours. We’re not trying to prevent teachers from saying anything. All we want here is to shine a light on what’s going on in our universities and the response has been incredible.”

— TPUSA founder and CEO, Charlie Kirk, defending the list

“Intentionally or not, the Professor Watchlist, simply by being a self-styled watch list, has aligned itself with the ugly, frightening new political status quo,” writes Schuman. Read the rest of this entry »


Social Media Is Killing Discourse Because It’s Too Much Like TV

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We need more text and fewer videos and memes in the age of Trump.

Hossein Derakshan writes: If I say that social media aided Donald Trump’s election,
you might think of fake news on Facebook. But even if Facebook fixes the algorithms that elevate phony stories, there’s something else going on: social media represents the ultimate ascendance of television over other media.

I’ve been warning about this since November 2014, when I was freed from six years of incarceration in Tehran, a punishment I received for my online activism in Iran. Before I went to prison, I blogged frequently on what I now call the open Web: it was
decentralized, text-centered, and abundant with 51kxbo1vo8l-_sl250_hyperlinks to source material and rich background. It nurtured varying opinions. It was related to the world of books.

[Order Neil Postman’s book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business” from Amazon.com]

Then for six years I got disconnected; when I left prison and came back online, I was confronted by a brave new world. Facebook and Twitter had replaced blogging and had made the Internet like TV: centralized and image-centered, with content embedded in pictures, without links.

[Read the full story here, at technologyreview.com]

Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside. This is why Oxford Dictionaries designated “post-truth” as the word of 2016: an adjective “relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.”

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Neil Postman provided some clues about this in his illuminating 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show BusinessThe media scholar at New York University saw then how television transformed public discourse into an exchange of volatile emotions that are usually mistaken by pollsters as opinion. One of the scariest outcomes of this transition, Postman wrote, is that television essentially turns all news into disinformation. “Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information—misplaced, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information—information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing … The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.” (Emphasis added.) And, Postman argued, when news is constructed as a form of entertainment, it inevitably loses its function for a healthy democracy. “I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] American University Students Prefer Castro Over Trump, ‘Made Endless Possibilities for the Cuban People’

Justin Holcomb reports: Some students at American University would prefer Fidel Castro over President-elect Donald Trump and were not afraid to let their voice be heard on at the liberal elite school.

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Fidel Castro’s firing squad, fatally enforcing long-term favorability

“I mean, right now I don’t think Donald Trump is very good, and I know that Fidel Castro has done some good things for the world so I’d say he’s proven himself at least in the long term to be more favorable.”

raulgettingready

Raud Castro, preparing a Cuban citizen for a personal introduction to Marxist utopia

“I mean, right now I don’t think Donald Trump is very good, and I know that Fidel Castro has done some good things for the world so I’d say he’s proven himself at least in the long term to be more favorable,” one student said…(read more)

Revolutionary communist leader Fidel Castro, displaying his instrument for enforcing endless possibilities.

Social justice warrior Fidel Castro, displaying his instrument for enforcing endless possibilities.

American University students. Risk of being shot by Trump firing squad: 0%

American University students. Risk of being shot by Trump firing squad: 0%

Read the rest of this entry »


Toronto Reporter Ginella Massa Becomes Canada’s First Hijab-Wearing News Anchor 

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A journalist at one of Toronto’s major news broadcasters is believed to be Canada’s first anchor to don a Muslim head scarf.

Ginella Massa was asked to fill in on the anchor desk for CityNews’ 11 p.m. broadcast last week. She created a buzz after the broadcast ended and she tweeted: “That’s a wrap! Tonight wasn’t just important for me. I don’t think a woman in hijab has ever anchored a newscast in Canada.”

“I’ve talked to many women who are journalists in the U.S. who work behind the scenes, and they’ve told me that they face multiple challenges trying to get on air. They’ve been told because of their hijab, that’s not going to happen. That makes me really sad because they’re being held back by someone else’s idea of what the public can or cannot handle.”

Massa, 29, said Friday that she became Canada’s first hijab-wearing television news reporter in 2015 while reporting for CTV News in Kitchener, Ontario, west of Toronto. She moved back to Toronto, where she grew up, this year to take a reporting job at CityNews.

“But this is all the more reason in today’s climate to see positive images of Muslim women. They are a symbol of Islam when they wear the hijab, and that carries a powerful image. It’s so important to see positive images of us in the media.”

Massa said in an interview that it took her editor to point out the larger significance. “It wasn’t until my editor said, ‘Hey, great job! Was that a first for Canada? A woman in a hijab?’ And I said yes. Read the rest of this entry »