October 21, 2016

Was Andrea Mitchell Fed a Question to Ask Hillary at Post-Debate Q&A?

Did NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell ask Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a softball question fed to her by a leading Clinton campaign official Wednesday evening? It sure looks that way.

The concern is utterly reasonable because of Mitchell’s track record of running interference for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and liberal politicians and causes in general.



Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102116)

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: This Baseball Player Did What?

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Fox Sports, on something the Chicago Cubs baseball player Anthony Rizzo did during Game 5 of the National League Championship Series:

There’s more, however, to what makes Rizzo so important. The man is the fulcrum of the team, the organizer of team parties and dinners, a well-mannered gentleman and a cancer survivor who knows all about proper perspective when it comes to the stock market ride that is postseason baseball. The national television audience gained a window into Rizzo’s emotional ballast to the team when microphones captured a sweet chat between Rizzo and home plate umpire Angel Hernandez during Game 4.

Rizzo apologized to Hernandez for assuming a ball four call on his at-bat against Baez—he dropped his bat and began jogging to first—only to have Hernandez call it a strike. “No worries,” Hernandez said to him, and then complimented Rizzo on his deportment. In the heat of battle, the sportsmanship sold baseball better than any slick advertisement.

Readers can go to a video which picked up the conversation here.

Here’s more from Rizzo at that link, from a postgame interview:

Q. The TV cameras picked up what people on social media are calling a cool moment of sportsmanship between you and Angel Hernandez. Can you just talk about that?

RIZZO: Yeah, well, the umpires, all of the umpires they’re out here at the highest level doing their best, and we’re competing at our best and they’re competing. So on a pitch that I disagreed with and to think it was a ball and then him call a strike, I don’t like showing up the umpires. They’re out here working their tails off 162 like we are. There is no home for them. They’re on the road the entire season. So just to let him know that, hey, my fault there. I probably should have waited a little longer to not just assume it was a ball. That’s just the way I am. They’re working as hard as we’re working, and it’s just different perspectives.

How utterly refreshing.

October 20, 2016

AP Finally, But Disgracefully, ‘Covers’ O’Keefe’s ‘Rigged’ Videos — Just Before Debate

At NewsBusters late Wednesday afternoon, Tim Graham observed that many news outlets, including the Associated Press and most of the nation’s major newspapers, had not yet covered “the Project Veritas videos exposing Democratic operatives talking about voter fraud and inciting violence at Donald Trump rallies.”

Graham’s explanation: The non-coverage “marginalizes these charges enough that if Donald Trump brought it up” in Wednesday night’s debate, many viewers unaware of the games the press plays with news timing wouldn’t believe it — because after all, they surely would have seen important news like this reported by now. As if by magic, the Associated Press squeezed in a report on the Veritas videos which could easily have been filed Tuesday evening — and posted it at 8:14 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, 46 minutes before the third presidential debate officially began.



Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (102016)

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: The Memorial of Moses reopens, where he viewed the Promised Land

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Amman, Jordan:

Oct 19, 2016 / 12:08 am

After 10 years of renovations the Memorial Sanctuary of Moses on Mount Nebo has reopened, highlighting the importance of sacred art and holy spaces in the preservation of the faith.

Mount Nebo is where, according to tradition, Moses beheld the Promised Land before his death. The 2,680 foot high ridge is located about 20 miles southwest of Amman, the Jordanian capital, and affords views of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

“Through religious art, men both celebrate their faith and leave a sign of it for future generations,” Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, said at the celebration of the reopening Oct. 15. The cardinal was serving as papal envoy at the event.

“We wish to reaffirm here together the invaluable role of culture and art: they express the nobility of the soul of man of every age. Let us endeavor to commit ourselves to its preservation, especially when it expresses the tending of the human heart towards the Absolute.”

He said that “with this gesture, the Holy Father, to whom we turn our grateful thoughts, intends to pay tribute to the importance of this symbolic place, which serves as a crossroads of dialogue and encounter for the three great monotheistic religions, all of which were born in this beloved Middle East.”

“The figure of Moses, as a prophet, friend of God and giver of the law, is indeed held in high esteem by our Jewish, Christian and Muslim brothers.”

Jordan gained custody of the Holy Land in 1932 thanks to the presence of King Abdullah I, Cardinal Sandri noted. The Franciscans took charge of the ruins excavated by archaeologists from the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem.

Despite disruptions of war, Cardinal Sandri said the intense work of the decades since then have made it possible to “bring to light the historical and spiritual treasures that this place holds, and which today are returned to Jordan and to humanity in a definitive and renewed installation.”

In a time when many treasures of religious history from the region are being looted or destroyed, such as the tomb of the prophet Jonah, Cardinal Sandri expressed his gratitude and appreciation for all those who dedicated themselves to the cause of reopening the memorial.

From Mount Nebo, Cardinal Sandri said, “our gaze reaches to the lands that we inwardly contemplate.”

“The Kingdom of Jordan, which, extending its boundaries nearly to this mountain, has become in recent years a place of welcome, hospitality and healing for thousands of refugees and exiles from the suffering lands of Palestine, Syria and Iraq.”

The shrine is a place “of healing for souls and bodies, and a place of refuge for all who come here from every part, afflicted in soul and burdened by all manner of bodily suffering,” Cardinal Sandri said, quoting a text from the 5th century. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 19, 2016

AP: Fiscal 2016 Deficit, 34 Percent Higher Than Last Year, Is ‘Totally Manageable’

The federal government’s fiscal year ended on September 30. As has been the administration’s habit for years with news that might draw negative attention, the Treasury Department conveniently released its year-end Monthly Budget Review Friday afternoon to minimize the discussion of its grim news.

The government ran a $587 billion deficit, up from $414 billion the previous year. Andrew Taylor’s coverage at the Associated Press glossed over why this occurred, because to do so would call into doubt the questionable Congressional Budget Office projections for future years he relied on to reassure readers that the situation is, in the words of an economist he quoted, “totally manageable.” The other two main business wire services performed a bit better, but still missed several key items.



What WaPo Giveth Hillary Nationally, It Taketh Away in Key States (UPDATE: IBD Has Trump Up, Rasmussen Tied)

As noted earlier this week, Washington Post/ABC polling shows Hillary Clinton with a 4-point, 47-43 lead over Donald Trump — readings identical to mid-July.

Well now, imagine this: Post/Survey Monkey polling shows Trump up in nearly enough battleground states won by Hillary Clinton to win the election if Mrs. Clinton fails to turn any red states blue (which seems likely but far from certain.

The four states involved (FL, OH, IA and NV) have 59 electoral votes. Added to Mitt Romney’s 2012 total of 206, Trump victories in those four states while holding elsewhere would leave him 5 EVs short of the 270 needed for victory.

Given the shortcomings of polling, particularly their 8 percent to 10 percent completion rate after initial contact, this doesn’t demonstrate anything but that the race is far from over, despite the press constantly pushing the “Trump is badly trailing” narrative.


UPDATE: Investor’s Business Daily’s poll, which if I recall correctly has had a good record in the past two presidential elections, has Trump up by 1, 41-40. The shocker is that Hillary is so low, which seems to indicate that a significant cadre of leftists is resisting in favor of Jill Stein.

UPDATE 2: Rasmussen is in a tie.


Another False Hope Dashed: September Housing Starts and Completions Dive

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:46 pm

From the Census Bureau:


Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,225,000. This is 6.3 percent (±1.9%) above the revised August rate of 1,152,000 and is 8.5 percent (±2.4%) above the September 2015 estimate of 1,129,000.

Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 739,000; this is 0.4 percent (±1.6%)* above the revised August figure of 736,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 449,000 in September.


Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,047,000. This is 9.0 percent (±9.2%)* below the revised August estimate of 1,150,000 and is 11.9 percent (±11.9%) below the September 2015 rate of 1,189,000.

Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 783,000; this is 8.1 percent (±7.4%) above the revised August figure of 724,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 250,000.


Privately-owned housing completions in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 951,000. This is 8.4 percent (±10.3%)* below the revised August estimate of 1,038,000 and is 5.8 percent (±13.4%)* below the September 2015 rate of 1,010,000.

Single-family housing completions in September were at a rate of 687,000; this is 8.8 percent (±9.8%)* below the revised August rate of 753,000. The September rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 250,000.

It would appear that builders are stockpiling permits — and perhaps even holding off on completing units — in hopes of a more conducive business atmosphere next year.

The strong-looking seasonally adjusted single-family starts number isn’t really. It’s 7 percent below February’s peak of 845,000, and slightly below November 2015. The multifamily starts figure of 250,000, which is the lowest single-month figure in over three years, is 39 percent below August.


Stupid Fact Check at Politifact: Michelle O Did Attack the Clintons, and the Obama Campaign Sharply Attacked Hillary in ’08 Campaign

Today’s installment of Stupid Fact Checks again goes after Politifact, this time on two items in one “fact check.” First, the web site’s Louis Jacobson claims that Michelle Obama couldn’t possibly have been talking about the Clintons on August 12, 2007 when she told an audience about the importance of a First Family serving as a “role model” in the White House. It’s obvious to anyone without blinders that she was.

Second, Jacobson claims that he doesn’t remember “‘vicious’ attack ads from Obama during the 2008 campaign.” That’s because he didn’t look very hard, if at all.



Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (101916)

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: A lesson from one of the Church’s newest saints

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Vatican City:

Oct 18, 2016 / 02:46 pm (CNA).- When we find ourselves weary from the troubles of life, we can find inspiration in the heroism of one of the Church’s new saints, said Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia, Mexico.

From its inception, “the history of the Church is the history of a martyr Church,” the cardinal told CNA. He pointed to the persecutions of the first Christians – including Peter and Paul – and those that took place in Korea, Japan, and even in countries with deep Catholic roots such as Spain and Mexico.

Still, the cardinal continued, “many of us don’t have the grace of a bloody martyrdom.” However, we are called “to be heroic every day, in ordinary life, and this calls us to not falter, to not be carried away by some trend, but to stand firm in the faith when there are more subtle persecutions.”

Cardinal Suarez reflected on the life of Jose Sanchez del Rio, who was canonized by Pope Francis on October 16, alongside 6 other Blesseds.

St. Jose Sanchez del Rio was born in Sahuayo de Morelos, Mexico in 1913. During the 1924-1928 religious persecution by Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles, St. Jose became a Mexican Cristero, fighting against the anti-Catholic legislation.

At that time, the laws banned religious orders, deprived the Church of property rights and denied priests civil liberties, including the right to trial by jury and the right to vote. As the restrictions on religious liberty increased, Catholics could be fined or imprisoned for teaching Church doctrine, wearing clerical attire, meeting together after their convents were disbanded, promoting religious life or holding religious services in non-church locations.

At age 14, St. Jose was martyred by the Federal Army on Feb. 10, 1928. According to witness accounts, soldiers cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk barefoot to his grave.

Although he was tortured, he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. Moments before he was killed, the teen shouted, “Viva Cristo Rey!” which means “Long live Christ the King!”

Cardinal Suarez pointed to the story of the young saint as an example of Christian courage. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 18, 2016

O’Keefe on Rigging the Election: Parts I and II

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:18 pm

Please watch and share widely.

UPDATE: The two key figures in the first two videos have been fired (Scott Foval) and resigned (Robert Creamer). Creamer, who is the husband of Chicago-area Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, has visited the White House 345 times since President Obama took office. 45 of those visits were to “POTUS” himself. Imagine that.

(Note: This post was assembled live between 10 p.m. and midight on October 18.)

In Part I of what has been promised as multiple parts up to Election Day, Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe shows that the Democratic Party, up to and including the Democratic National Committee, has been an integral part of attempts to create disruptions outside of Donald Trump campaign rallies this year and provoke violence (WARNING: These videos and the photo grabs in this post contain very graphic and profane language):

Key quote:

O’KEEFE: This investigation has revealed compelling evidence of a dark-money conspiracy, a violation of federal campaign coordination laws between Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Priorities USA, Hillary’s Super PAC, and the Democratic National Committee.

Other pull quotes show operatives:

  • admitting to DNC involvement while creating a wall of “plausible deniability.”
  • admitting/bragging that the DNC funded the protest effort which was ultimately responsible for shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally in March (later footage claims involvement with a highway blockage at a Trump rally in Arizona).
  • acknowledging that proactive efforts to get the press to cover their protests are aggressive.





Part I also:

  • Show these operatives claiming credit for a tightly orchestrated disruption of a Scott Walker rally in Iowa (“that was all us”; “we planted multiple people … to make sure … that there was action that happened up front … and a reaction that happened out back”).
  • Shows them admit to setting up a 69 year-old female activist with COPD to be a “birddog” at Trump rallies who gets there early enough to ask a question designed to incite violent reaction in reporters’ view.
  • Shows that the Clinton campaign, all the way up to its top management, is aware of and has encouraged “birddogging.”

Finally, there’s this quote, which I suspect will improve Trump’s electoral chances in Iowa and Wisconsin:


In Part II, “Democratic operatives tell us how to commit voter fraud on a massive scale”:

At the 0:55 mark of Part II, in an obviously late-breaking insert, O’Keefe reports that his work is being suppressed by frightened media outlets:

Part I blew up on social media, with many Americans wondering why the mainstream media wasn’t covering the story.

In fact, Project Veritas Action had television exclusives lined up around the country. Those television stations spiked the story at the last minute. Our sources tell us the reason they did so was fear of retaliation and retribution from a future Hillary Clinton administration. Truth is dangerous, especially when it challenges those in power.

Key quotes:


(He adds that they’re going to find a “different way” besides busses to engage in multiple-vote fraud by having voters doing this drive a “personal vehicle,” which is obviously far less suspect. There’s apparently enough spending money available to fund what would appear to be a relatively expensive effort.)


This may explain the recent seemingly counterintuitive news that there’s a massive voter fraud effort in deep-red Texas.

Here’s an identification of targeted midwestern states, delivered with the apparently obligatory insult:


This would appear to indicate that the State of Indiana is not out of line in investigating potentially fraudulent voter registrations in 56 of its counties.

Veritas’s videographers, posing as a donor and businessperson with employees in multiple states, presented a vote fraud scheme involving getting illegal immigrants to vote in multiple states. Democratic operatives are on tape agreeing that the idea is something they will seriously consider implementing in during the off-year elections in 2018.


Stupid Fact Check: Politifact Claims NRA Is ‘Mostly False’ Directly Quoting Hillary on Gun Confiscation

The latest installment of Stupid Fact Checks involves Politifact, the heavyweight champion of dishonest “fact checkers.” The web site’s clear mission is to make false leftist claims look credible while discrediting valid statements made by those on the center-right.

Early Monday morning, the web site criticized a flyer issued by the National Rifle Association which quoted Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. A year ago, Mrs. Clinton, responding to an audience member’s question, said that what Australia did in the mid-1990s to take guns away from many of its citizens “would be worth considering doing … on a national level, if that can be arranged” here in the U.S. Politifact Virginia’s Warren Fiske asserted that the NRA was “mostly false” in claiming that that she said “gun confiscation would be worth considering.” In other words, the NRA was “mostly false” in quoting Mrs. Clinton’s own words.



September Industrial Production: Weak Again; Three Prior Months Revised Down

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:59 am

From the Federal Reserve (paragraph breaks and bolds added by me):

Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in September after falling 0.5 percent in August. For the third quarter as a whole, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 1.8 percent for its first quarterly increase since the third quarter of 2015.

Manufacturing output increased 0.2 percent in September and moved up at an annual rate of 0.9 percent in the third quarter. In September, the index for utilities declined 1.0 percent; mining posted a gain of 0.4 percent, which partially reversed its August decline.

At 104.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production in September was 1.0 percent lower than its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector edged up 0.1 percentage point in September to 75.4 percent, a rate that is 4.6 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2015) average.

Given that the sum of July, August and September is +0.1 points, I’m not sure how the Fed can say that the quarterly increase in production was 1.8 percent. From September of 2015 to September 2016, industrial production has declined by 1.0 percent.

Predictions for September were for a 0.2 percent increase and 75.7 percent utilization (average of two figures at the link).

Additionally, three previous months were written down by 0.1 percent (April, July and August), wiping out September’s increase; last month’s capacity utilization was written down to 75.3 percent from 75.5 percent; and the quarter’s increase in manufacturing was only 1.0 percent.

The year-over-year change in manufacturing is zero, which totally explains why the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index has been positive during most of that time (that’s sarcasm, folks).

This report certainly won’t move GDP estimates upward.