April 22, 2018

Former AG Mukasey: Comey Memos Were Classified When Written; Hillary Was Cleared to Spare Obama

Laura Ingraham interviewed Former Attorney General and former federal District Judge Michael Mukasey on her Friday Ingraham Angle show. Mukasey reminded viewers, contrary to assertions made by most other so-called experts, that memos and notes prepared by former FBI Director James Comey while he performed his federal duties “were classified as soon as he wrote them.” He also recalled that James Comey’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton over her illegal use of a private server while she was Secretary of State was orchestrated by President Barack Obama, who telegraphed his expectation that she would be spared to protect his own illegal actions.



Will Press Report That CDC Suppressed Defensive Gun Use Data for Decades?

Gun-control advocates want the Centers for Disease Control to be allowed to engage in research on gun violence. If the CDC is so impartial and reliable, why did it withhold late-1990s results of survey questions on gun ownership’s role in self-defense for over two decades? This news of a government cover-up is tailor-made for establishment press exposure, except for one thing: The results contradict gun-grabbers’ contention that defensive gun uses (DGUs) are rare.



Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042218)

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

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


Positivity: Mass in sign language? These Spanish priests celebrate it every week

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Madrid, Spain:

Apr 20, 2018 / 04:26 pm

In the Catholic Church, the spoken language is central to the liturgy: we recite the Nicene Creed as one, we praise the Lord with the Gloria that we sing, and we bow our heads to hear the blessing we receive at the end of Mass.

But there’s a different reality for hearing impaired and deaf Catholics around the world.

Father Sergio Buiza, the national director of the Spanish Conference of Catholic Bishops Deaf Ministry, said their goal is to “bring the Gospel to the maximum number of people,” including, of course, the deaf and hearing impaired, Europa news reported.

Fr. Buiza is just one of several priests who celebrates Mass in sign language at one of many Catholic churches in Spain. He celebrates a sign language Mass at the Santiago Cathedral in Bilboa, Spain each week.

There are around a million people in Spain affected by different levels of hearing loss. Some 1,250 of them attend Mass in sign language every week at one of the two dozen churches where they are held.

In the parishes where this pastoral care is provided, all types of services are offered: from Mass to catechesis, Bible study groups, wedding celebrations, and confessions.

However, Fr. Buiza explained, the biggest issue is that there is just one parish for the deaf per diocese, forcing those with hearing impairments to travel long distances each week.

“There are elderly people that come from a long way. In my diocese we celebrate the Eucharist in the cathedral every Saturday afternoon and they come from different towns by train and bus,” the priest from Bilbao said.

In 2015, the Spanish Catholic Bishops Conference announced a new initiative in collaboration with the ONCE Foundation to help the hearing impaired by installing magnetic induction loops, or hearing loops, in at least 12 churches across Spain.

Hearing loops are sound systems that transform the audio in a magnetic field that is picked up by hearing aids and Cochlear Implant processors. This will allow at least those with such devices to participate more fully in the Mass, but would not be of use to those who are fully deaf. …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Now That There Will Be a Primary, Utah GOP Voters Should Know What to Do Now

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:23 am

Vote for Mike Kennedy in the June 26 primary, and send Mitt Romney into private life once and for all.

Congratulations to Kennedy supporters for standing up for sensible conservative values at Saturday’s convention.

Utahans who think Mitt Romney would make a genuinely strong U.S. Senator need to do some serious research. Fortunately, yours truly has done most of it for you:

  • January 20, 2014 — at PJ Media, “Don’t Feed Us This Mitt Again.” The money sentences: “Mitt Romney did more harm to conservatism and the constitution-based rule of law during his ten years in public life than any other individual in America who claims to be on our side – and he did it all despite never having held national office. Romney’s betrayals as a governor and presidential candidate came in five poisonous flavors: healthcare; abortion; same-sex “marriage”; war on religion; and participation in, and encouragement of, authoritarian rule.”
  • January 3, 2012 — A De Facto Anti-Romney Testimonial From a Surprise Source (Spoiler Alert: It’s Hugh Hewitt)
  • July 24, 2008 — ‘The Case Against Mitt Romney’ Collection
  • Jan. 31, 2008 — WSJ Op-Ed: RomneyCare Is Life-Threatening CoerciveCare
  • Jan. 10, 2008 — Mitt Romney Calls Gregg Jackson “Delusional”; What Does That Make Romney?
  • Jan. 7, 2008 — Unfit Mitt’s Economic Performance as MA Gov Makes Mike Dukakis Look Good
  • Dec. 17, 2007 — Myth Romney: On Reagan, Hyde and Abortion, His History Rewrites Are Virtually Smears
  • Dec. 6, 2007 — The NY Times’s Accidental Journalism Reveals the Full Scope of Mitt Romney’s Same-Sex Marriage Deception, and His Unfitness to Be President
  • Nov. 26, 2007 — Romney, the Courts, and the Constitution Series

There’s more here at BizzyBlog I could highlight if it’s needed.


April 21, 2018

WashPost Almost Sympathizes With Gun-Controllers Harassing Chris Cox

In 2010, some Obamacare opponents conducted scattered protests at politicians’ homes. They backed away from the tactic when Tea Party groups and others declared that home protests should be out of bounds. Don’t expect leftist protesters to receive any similar admonishments — especially if they continue to receive borderline-sympathetic coverage like protesting gun-control promoters, and even a person arrested for vandalism, received at the Washington Post on Friday.



Positivity: In Haiti, Catholic Relief Services builds hospital to last

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 10:30 am

From Port-au-Prince, Haiti:

Apr 19, 2018 / 03:02 am

The tremor lasted less than a minute. Dr. Jude Banatte’s car was shaking, and then it was not.

Banatte assumed he was driving too fast as he made his way home from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince that day in January 2010. He slowed down.

But while the tremor Banatte experienced 30 minutes outside of Port-au-Prince was barely enough to shake a car, the earthquake at its epicenter had wrought large-scale devastation and would soon bring Banatte to the project that would have a hand in redefining healthcare aid in Haiti.



Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042118)

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.

April 20, 2018

Trouble Signs in California’s Jobs Market

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:06 pm

California Governor Jerry Brown’s bragging about the performance of California’s economy has been overwrought for years.

The so-called Golden State’s unemployment rate has never fallen below the national average during Brown’s tenure. As of March, at 4.3 percent (vs. 4.1 percent nationally), it’s as close as it’s ever been, but for the wrong reasons:

  • The seasonally adjusted labor force has dropped by 13,000 in the past five months (Oct. 2017 through March 2018). It grew by 234,000 during the previous 12 (from Oct. 2016 to Oct 2017).
  • Employment per the Household Survey has only risen by 26,000 in the past five months. That annualizes to about 62,000, which is barely a blip in an employment base of 18.5 million.

Payroll employment hasn’t been impressive either, though its period of decline hasn’t been as long:

  • The state lost a combined 6,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs during February and March.
  • The private sector fell by 1,500 during that period, but March alone showed a loss of 7,100 jobs.

There are early indications that minimum-wage laws are affecting employment:

  • Leisure and Hospitality employment in Metro Oakland (not seasonally adjusted) has fallen by 800 (March 2017 to March 2018), to 89,100, after rising by over 15,000 during the previous 48 months.
  • Retail employment in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward has only risen by 300 in the past 12 months, after rising by 8,000 in the previous 36.
  • Leisure and hospitality employment in San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco has fallen by 900 in the past 12 months, after rising by 10,900 in the previous 36.

I could cite several other such industry-niche examples.

The best case is that California employment growth has temporarily halted, but will resume again at a much slower rate than in previous years. The worst case is that it’s in the beginning stages of a self-inflicted long-term decline.


AP Is Now Reluctant to Admit That Comey ‘Leaked’ Memos Last Year (Instead, They Were ‘Revealed’)

Friday, the Associated Press reported that in early 2017, President Donald Trump and then-FBI Director James Comey agreed there should be a crackdown on leaks from within the administration. But the AP reporters refused to apply any form of the word “leak” to Comey’s release of a memo through an intermediary to the New York Times in May 2017 — even though it did when the leak originally occurred.



Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (042018)

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

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


Positivity: In Alabama, EWTN remembers Bishop Foley’s service to the Church

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Birmingham, Alabama:

Apr 18, 2018 / 04:38 pm

The death of Birmingham’s Bishop Emeritus David Foley prompted tributes from those he served, including the EWTN Global Catholic Network, where he served as a board member and television show host.

“All of us at EWTN are saddened by the death of the Most Reverend David Foley who served the Diocese of Birmingham as Bishop for over a decade,” Michael P. Warsaw, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the Alabama-based EWTN Global Catholic Network, said April 18.

“I had the privilege of first knowing Bishop Foley thirty years ago when he was a pastor in the Archdiocese of Washington,” Warsaw continued. “Throughout his life and wherever his service to the Church took him, he was always known for his keen intellect, pastoral sensitivity and powerful preaching.”

“May God reward him for his life of service to the Church, and may he rest in peace,” he said.

Bishop Foley, who according to news reports had been fighting cancer, passed away Tuesday evening at the St. John Vianney Residence for Priests at the age of 88.

Foley served as Bishop of Birmingham from 1994 until his retirement in 2005. The Diocese of Birmingham said the bishop had a very active retirement.

“Bishop Foley’s retirement was in name only: he never stopped being a priest, which was the true love of his life. He would spend Christmas and Thanksgiving at prisons, celebrate Mass for any priest for any reason in any parish at any time, and would regularly help with confirmations,” the diocese said in a statement.

“Always humble, he quietly continued his ministry, which included visiting the sick at hospitals each week and celebrating Mass once a week for the elderly unable to travel,” said the diocese. “He lived a full and happy life as a priest, setting an example to all on how to live fearlessly following Christ.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

April 19, 2018

AP Pretends That New Cuban President Diaz-Canel Was ‘Elected’

The Associated Press and many of the AP’s colleagues in the establishment press have had a nearly 60-year romance with Cuba’s brutal communist regime. They have frequently regaled readers with the island nation’s “free healthcare” and “free education,” as if that makes up for the fact that the typical Cuban subsists on far less than the $2 a day the international community considers extreme poverty.

Thursday, the AP, in a tweet and at least two headlines, pretended that Miguel Diaz-Canel’s ascension to Cuba’s presidency was the result of being “elected.”

Here’s the AP tweet announcing the news:


Here’s the immediate AP announcement seen at the Washington Post:


Here’s the first full-sentence AP breaking news story as presented at APNews.com:


Alex Griswold at the Washington Free Beacon  explained why “elected” does not correctly describe Diaz-Canal’s ascension to the presidency:

Diaz-Canel, previously the first vice president of the country’s Council of State and Council of Ministers, was “elected” by the Cuban National Assembly, compromised entirely of members of the Communist Party of Cuba whose candidacy must by certified by the state. He was the only candidate on the ballot, having been hand-picked by outgoing president Raul Castro to be his successor.

Even “selected” would have been a better choice. Perhaps the AP and leftist media outlets have limited the use of “selected” for describing George W. Bush’s fair-and-square electoral victory in 2000; the far-left fringe has always insisted that the Supreme Court “selected” him.

The AP’s promotion of Castro has been a decades-long affair:

  • A search of AP’s images collection on “Fidel Castro” today returned 7,380 items going back to the 1950s.
  • In 2011, on Fidel Castro’s 85th birthday, the AP’s Images Division, promoting its Castro photo collection to subscribing outlets, described Fidel Castro as as “iconic,” while photos relating to brutal comrade Ché Guevera described him as a “revolutionary hero.”
  • At least one AP raw feed web page devotes a permanent line item to “Castro,” a distinction the wire service hasn’t even granted to Barack Obama, its U.S. presidential hero.
  • In 2016, when Fidel Castro died, AP described the procession of Castro’s ashes to their final resting place as a “near-religious farewell.” The jeep carrying Castro’s ashes broke down near the end of that journey, briefly forcing soldiers to push it.
  • Shortly after his death, an AP item celebrated how Castro “defied the power of 10 U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba,” and how brother Raul Castro might be “lengthening the revolution well past both men’s lives.”

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


The Real Russian Collusion: Obstructionist Environmental Groups

Filed under: Economy,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:16 am

“Is Putin Funding Eco-Activists?” The answer is “yes” (h/t Powerline, whose ___ writes: “subsidizing of U.S. environmental groups, specifically those who oppose development of U.S. energy resources by blocking fracking and pipelines, has long been known but is too often forgotten”):


Positivity: Greeks for God — College ministry brings fraternities, sororities to Christ

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 9:00 am

From Denver:

Apr 19, 2018 / 12:50 am

Fraternities and sororities are widely known for two things on a college campus.

These communities, collectively known as Greek life, are known for attracting some of the highest achieving and most involved students. Some of the world’s most influential leaders, including numerous U.S. presidents, 40 Supreme Court justices, a majority of the members of Congress, and 43 out of 50 of the world’s most powerful CEOs were once involved in Greek life during their college years.

But there is a flipside: Anyone who has been to college, or has seen movies about American college life, knows the stereotype of fraternities and sororities as the powerhouses of the party scene and hookup culture on a college campus.

Studies have shown that Greek college students are more likely to binge drink than their non-Greek peers, and are also twice as likely to engage sexually with someone without their consent.

It is within this intense culture of both achievement and partying that missionaries with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) embed themselves, building friendships with Greek students and inviting them to bible studies, Mass, and a relationship with Christ.

“We’re just trying to meet people where they’re at in the beginning, so we’re going onto campus and finding people where they’re naturally going to be hanging out already,” Katie Moran, a FOCUS Greek missionary at the University of Alabama, told CNA.

“So we’re going to their philanthropies and going to their fraternity and sorority houses and places where they’re going to spend their time,” she said.

According to their mission statement, FOCUS “is a Catholic collegiate outreach whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students…FOCUS missionaries encounter students in friendship where they are, inviting them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and accompanying them as they pursue lives of virtue and excellence.”

FOCUS’ main methods of outreach include bible studies, one-on-one student-missionary mentorships known as discipleships, mission trips, and other events. Within the organization, there are subgroups designed to reach more specific groups of students – such as FOCUS Greek for Greek students, or Varsity Catholic for student athletes.

The ultimate goal is to unite all students together at the Catholic Church, Moran said, but FOCUS Greek (and other subgroups) “helps expose (students) to others in Greek life who are experiencing the same things, and helps them to have a community of people striving for faith within the Greek community.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.