June 21, 2017

Karen Handel Beats Jon Ossoff in GA-06 (Ossoff’s Non-Residency Likely Cost Him the Election)

Filed under: Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:16 am

To lose to Republican Karen Handel by roughly 4 points, supporters of Democrat Jon Ossoff spent $23 million — just through May 31. Republicans spent about $14 million through May 31 defending a seat they had previously held, making the race the most expensive House contest in history, probably by miles.

By comparison, in a House race in Ohio’s Second District which drew a very similar amount of national attention in 2005, Republican primary loser Pat DeWine was ridiculed for spending $1 million, when none of his rivals spent anywhere near that. The general election two months later saw larger sums spent, but nothing resembling the amounts just seen in GA-06. (Note the Democrats don’t talk much about the evils of money in politics when they’re on the outside trying to get back in.)

Unless someone can cite a meaningful exception, I believe that Democrats, despite spending wildly unprecedented amounts of money, have yet to win a race that matters since Donald Trump’s election last November. The more they continue to spend in losing special-election efforts on races such as GA-06, the more difficulty they will have raising major dollars for the general election in 2018.

If the Dems haul out James Hodgkinson, Kathy Griffin and the Julius Caesar-Trump assassination fantasy play as excuses, they’ll be essentially admitting the degree of deep trouble they are in. If that really is their copout list, and if they expect voters to forget these and other examples of violence and incivility, they would seem to be in line for a very rude awakening 16-1/2 months from now.

Here’s a better idea: Blame the party for clearing the field for and pushing a guy who didn’t even live in the district. Why would a party trying to flip a district long held by the other party even think of doing that?

I keep seeing people who claim that the residency issue, which has been an automatic disqualifier at this blog since it began 12 years ago, is not a big deal. Don’t kid yourself; it’s big enough to matter.

If Ossoff’s non-residency was deal-breaker for just 5,000 voters tonight (just under 2 percent of the total turnout), causing them to vote for Handel when they would otherwise have voted for Ossoff, it means a similar Democrat who actually lives in the district would have won tonight.

June 20, 2017

AP and Its ‘Experts’ Can’t ‘Make Sense of’ North Korea’s Mistreatment of Otto Warmbier

Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old student from Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia who was returned to his family in a coma last week after being imprisoned in North Korea for over a year, died on Monday. Tuesday morning, the Associated Press and “experts” it consulted somehow found the communist nation’s treatment of Warmbier “one of the more perplexing and heart-rending developments in North Korea’s long, antagonistic standoff with its neighbors and Washington.” A reading of AP’s “analysis” indicates that it’s fair to claim that restrictions North Korea has placed on the wire service in return for its presence there have pervasively affected the credibility of all of its reporting from and even about that country.



Positivity: RIP, Otto Warmbier (Official Family Statement)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 9:05 am

I don’t know how a family suffering such a devastating loss issues such a positive statement. But they did, and they deserve plaudits for it.

Here it is (original here):

CINCINNATI, OHIO — 6/19/17 — The following statement is issued at the request of Fred & Cindy Warmbier and family:

It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m.

It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.

We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensure that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.

We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.

- Fred & Cindy Warmbier and Family

Keep this wonderful family in your prayers.


Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (062017)

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

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

June 19, 2017

Whiff of Sanity: Supremes Allow Registration of Trademarks Seen As ‘Disparaging’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 3:19 pm

Hard to believe, but the decision was unanimous (HT RedState), and will almost certainly make the lives of the ninnies who are abusing the court system to force the Washington Redskins (and, almost certainly, the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves after that) to change their team names:

Supreme Court says government can’t refuse disparaging trademarks

The government cannot censor trademarks on the grounds they may be offensive to some, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a major decision that could also clear the way for the Washington Redskins football team to maintain its trademarks.

The case before the high court involved an Asian rock band named “The Slants.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office originally denying the band’s name, saying it was a racial slur that violated the agency’s policy, based on federal law, that prohibits granting disparaging trademarks.

Justices, though, said that violated the First Amendment.

“Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said in his opinion for the court.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which supported the band, said Monday’s ruling was a huge win for the First Amendment and prevents the government from policing speech.

The ruling was 8-0, though four justices joined a concurring opinion. Justice Neil Gorsuch didn’t participate in the case.

Government lawyers had argued that since a federal agency ruled on trademarks, they amounted to a form of government speech. That, the lawyers said, meant the government had the right to prohibit ones deemed offensive.

The court, though, said trademarks are private speech.

“Government lawyers” in this instance means “nutty Obama administration lawyers at his Justice Department.” Given that they couldn’t even convince the far-left likes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg or “wise Latina” Sonia Sototmayor that they had a case, “nutty” is not an extreme descriptor at all.

The unanimous nature of the decision, in my view, also betrays the fact that Obama’s Department of Justice really knew they would lose if the case got to the Supremes, and was hoping to intimidate the plaintiffs into giving in and settling, thereby setting a precedent for turning the Patent Office into a premanent branch of the left’s Speech Police.


UPDATE: It gets better. This opinion makes it crystal clear, despite at least four decades of PC efforts to make it so, that there is (still) no genuine Constitutional basis for the government banning or even regulating “offensive” speech or even arbitrarily defined (by people, almost invariably leftists who want to silence the right, who claim to know what’s best for us) “hate speech” —

“… speech that some view as racially offensive is protected not just against outright prohibition but also against lesser restrictions.”

Imagine that.


AP Avoids ID’ing Hodgkinson’s ‘Piece of Paper’ As a List of Freedom Caucus Republicans

Saturday evening, Eric Tucker and Erica Werner at the Associated Press were clearly determined to tell readers as little as they possibly could about the list of GOP lawmakers’ names found on James Hodgkinson after he was killed trying to assassinate several congressmen and others present at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia on Wednesday. In doing so, the AP pair failed to disclose details already reported by several media outlets.



Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061917)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:55 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: Connecticut educator using his ALS diagnosis to teach students about life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:50 am

From Greenwich, Connecticut:

Jun 19, 2017, 8:44 AM ET

The head of an elementary school in Connecticut is inspiring students with his optimism and honesty as he continues to work despite being diagnosed with Asymotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) nearly 11 months ago.

“I have the best job in the world,” Andrew Niblock, the head of the Greenwich Country Day School’s lower school told ABC News’ Lara Spencer. “There might be somebody out there who gets more hugs than I do, during their work day, but I’d like to meet them.”

“I get to greet 417 smiling, skipping, laughing, children every day,” Niblock added. “It energizes me, it gives me that sense of purpose.”

The 42-year-old father of two said that he decided to continue to work, despite being diagnosed with the incurable disease around 11 months ago, because he wanted to be an example for his students and teach them a lesson about life.

“I want children to understand curve balls,” Niblock said. “No matter what is thrown your way … if a kid powers through or makes the most of something later because of knowing me, that’d be great.”

ALS, a rare and incurable nervous system disease, is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, according to the ALS Association. The disease gained widespread awareness after baseball legend Lou Gehrig succumbed to it in 1941. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

June 18, 2017

Scott Pelley: DC Attack on Congressmen Was ‘To Some Degree Self-inflicted’

UPDATE: The NewsBusters version of this post is now also at FoxNews.com (except for links, clear blockquotes and bullet-point punctuation; oh well, beggars can’t be choosers). Thanks to Fox for posting it. UPDATE, JUNE 24: Real Clear Politics has linked to the Fox version of the post.


Thursday evening, CBS’s Scott Pelley, who officially ended his tenure as the network’s Evening News anchor the following evening, told viewers that “It’s time to ask whether the attack on the United States Congress Wednesday was foreseeable, predictable and, to some degree, self-inflicted.” It’s clear from Pelley’s subsequent commentary that his answers to all three elements are “Yes.” It’s equally clear from the examples he supplied as support that he sees (or wants viewers to see) the problem as predominantly about the conduct of those on the right.



Positivity: What does ‘the Joy of the Gospel’ look like in the US?

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:00 pm

From Orlando, Florida:

Jun 17, 2017 / 03:35 pm

It’s been nearly four years since Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii gaudium, or “The Joy of the Gospel.” But what does it look like to truly live out the Joy of the Gospel in the U.S.?

That’s the question behind an unprecedented gathering of Catholic leaders from around the country this summer.

On the weekend of July 4th, hundreds of bishops will join with thousands of Catholic leaders from around the country to participate in “The Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America,” a four-day conference to share experiences about the Church engaging with modern U.S. culture.

“Never before has such a large and diverse group assembled under the guidance of the bishops,” said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. Speaking to his brother bishops in a June 15 talk, he stressed, “This is truly unlike any other meeting.”

Dr. Jonathan Reyes, executive director of the bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, said in an interview with Register Radio that the Church finds herself in a unique moment, which provides a wealth of opportunities for growth and fruit from this convocation.

“I think it’s the kind of moment the Holy Spirit uses for the Church, to open the Church up to ideas and opportunities,” Reyes said. “It’s about an opportunity that we think the Lord has given, that we believe the Lord has given and that we have to respond to.”

The Convocation of Catholic Leaders will take place July 1-4 in Orlando, Florida, and will bring together a broad swath of bishops, clergy and lay Catholic leaders from around the country.

Focusing on what it means to be a Catholic in the United States, delegations from 155 dioceses and roughly 200 Catholic organizations will be in attendance, along with 160 bishops. Nearly 4,000 people of all ages, backgrounds, and ministerial focuses are expected to attend.

Bishop Malone explained the major role the bishops have played in organizing the event. “It had to be led by us, the bishops. It had to leverage our best research strategy and people.”

“And,” Bishop Malone continued, “it had to be about forming missionary disciples.”

The bishops will be leading each of the panel discussions, round table conversations, liturgies and speeches at the event. Topics will range from the Church and politics, youth evangelization, reaching to the peripheries, family dynamics, technology, life issues, disabilities, application of the Church’s social magisterium and more. …

Go here for the rest of the story.


Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061817)

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

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

June 17, 2017

NY Times, After ‘Corrections,’ Fails to Remove Palin ‘Targeting’ Myth From Scalise Shooting Editorial

As the Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell noted Thursday morning, a Wednesday evening New York Times editorial which made it into Thursday’s print edition outrageously perpetuated “a long-debunked leftist conspiracy theory about Gov. Sarah Palin inciting the (2011 Gabby) Giffords shooting,” even though the paper’s “own news reporters declared just yesterday that there was no evidence linking Palin to.” The Times issued corrections which would have led its readers to believe that all mention of the 2011 Palin-targeting myth had been excised. That’s not what happened.



Positivity: Hero homeowner holds escaped Georgia inmates at gunpoint until arrests

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 11:16 am

From Rutherford County, Tennessee:

June 16, 2017

A Tennessee homeowner held two escaped inmates wanted in the killing of two prison guards at gunpoint Thursday until authorities arrived and made the arrests.

Tennessee Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Bill Miller said late Thursday that the homeowner caught Donnie Rowe and Ricky Dubose trying to steal his vehicle.

Miller says the escaped Georgia inmates had crashed a car while being chased by law enforcement and fled on foot into woods along Interstate 24 near the rural community of Christiana.

Miller says something alerted the homeowner that people were outside his home and he saw the men trying to steal his vehicle. The trooper says the homeowner held the two at gunpoint with a neighbor he called until the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department could get there to arrest them.

Rowe and Dubose are accused of killing two guards on a prison transfer bus early Tuesday. Authorities had offered a $130,000 reward for information leading to their arrests. …

… Gov. Nathan Deal released a statement, “Rest assured, justice will be served. My sincere thanks to our local, state and federal law enforcement officers who assisted in the manhunt. Because of their tireless efforts, the public is safe.”

Go here for the full story.

Elsewhere, I’ve seen reports that the homeowner actually didn’t have to draw his weapon to convince the prisoners to get on the ground and stay there, and that the family put has a sign at the entrance of their property saying they didn’t see the need to talk the press any more, but were glad to help.


Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (061717)

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

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

June 16, 2017

HuffPost’s Sam Stein Is ‘Weirded Out’ by Trump Commenting on Scalise’s Condition

HuffPost — previously known as the Huffington Post, the far-left entity whose cashed-out original owners made themselves millionaires on the backs of thousands of unpaid bloggers — “laid off 39 staffers on Wednesday, a move that follows parent company AOL’s acquisition by telecom giant Verizon.” On Thursday, Sam Stein, the website’s senior politics editor, demonstrated such tone-deafness that one has to wonder how he escaped being among those who were let go.