August 15, 2016

CNN Pair: Clintons’ Tax Return Shows How ‘Middle-Classy’ They Are

The Hillary Clinton campaign released the 2015 joint federal income tax return filed by Mrs. Clinton and her ex-President husband Bill this week. Among other things, the Clintons reported total income of over $10.7 million, incurred income and self-employment taxes of over $3.6 million, and deducted $1 million for a charitable contribution to (imagine that) the Clinton Foundation.

According to CNN’s Errol Louis and Kate Bolduan, as seen in a discussion on CNN’s Inside Politics, the contents of the Clintons’ return make them seem “more middle classy.”

(more…)

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August 14, 2016

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (081416)

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.

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Positivity: This Catholic school network produced nine Rio Olympians

Filed under: Education,Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rio de Janeiro:

Aug 13, 2016 / 03:02 am

Katie Ledecky, Lia Neal, and Anabelle Smith are some names you might hear on television if you are watching the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this year.

These Olympians have all won medals in the 2016 games, but they are also united by another common factor: their Catholic education.

Sacred Heart Schools, founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, boasts of a network of over 145 Catholic schools across the globe that have been teaching for over two hundred years. These schools are also responsible for producing nine Olympic athletes who are competing at Rio this year.

“Our athletes recognize that their gifts comes from God and are not to be wasted,” the school’s communications director Donna Heckler told CNA.

“They are taught to take personal responsibility for themselves while being self-disciplined in their efforts,” she said.

After the first two days of competition, the Sacred Heart Olympians won four medals in Rio. Their alumnae are from four different countries, and include Katie Ledecky, Lia Neal, Anabelle Smith, KK Clark, Mary Joe Fenandez, Gaby Lopez, Gabi Nance, Erin Rafuse, and Denise Sheldon.

So, what’s their secret to producing all-stars?

While Heckler noted that they have no secret to producing Olympians, she did say that the school “does have a secret to producing amazing people. That secret is seen in the five Goals and Criteria of the Sacred Heart Schools that bind the schools together.”

According to Heckler, the network of Sacred Heart Schools focuses on instilling five main goals in their students: a personal relationship with God, respect for intellectual values, social awareness and action, community building, and personal growth.

“The Goals and Criteria, which are Sacred Heart educational principles, are foundational to this year’s dedicated Sacred Heart Olympians,” the schools press release stated. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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August 13, 2016

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (081316)

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.

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Positivity: These two game-changing Olympians are serious Catholics (Part 2)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rio de Janeiro:

Aug 9, 2016 / 03:02 am

Simone Biles (story in Part 1) and Katie Ledecky are two of the names to know in this year’s summer Olympic games in Rio.

… Katie Ledecky is also one of the top athletes to watch at this year’s games.

A 19 year-old swimmer, two-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time world champion, Ledecky returns to the Olympics after taking home the gold in the women’s 800-meter freestyle swim at the summer games in London in 2012. At the time, she was just 15 years old.

The Bethesda, Maryland athlete has no obvious physiological advantages. Measuring in at 6 feet tall, she is often on the shorter end of the swim roster. Her hands and feet aren’t particularly large, and her general physique offers her no upper hand – so much so that a summary of her physical-assessment tests at the U.S. Olympic Training Center referred to her as “remarkably unremarkable.”

But what is remarkable about Ledecky is her inner drive. A young woman with a gentle demeanor outside of the pool, Ledecky swims with an “aggression and the kind of fury” the moment she begins a competition. She’s adopted a type of “galloping” stroke typically used by male swimmers like Michael Phelps, and has a “tough as nails” determination to be the best, according to her coaches.

“She’s the greatest athlete in the world today by far,” Michael J. Joyner, an anesthesiologist and researcher for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., specializing in human performance and physiology, told the Washington Post. “She’s dominating by the widest margin in international sport, winning by 1 or 2 percent. If [a runner] won the 10,000 meters by that wide a margin, they’d win by 100 meters. One or 2 percent in the Tour de France, over about 80 hours of racing, would be 30 or 40 minutes. It’s just absolutely remarkable.”

Like Biles, Ledecky has shattered world records. She is the current world-record holder in the 400-, 800-, and 1,500-meter freestyle (long course). She also holds the fastest times in the 500-, 1000-, and 1,650-yard freestyle events.

Also like Biles, Ledecky’s Catholic faith is central to her identity.

Ledecky attended Catholic school – Little Flower School in Bethesda through 8th grade, and then Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart for high school – her whole life.

“My Catholic faith is very important to me. It always has been and it always will be. It is part of who I am and I feel comfortable practicing my faith. It helps me put things in perspective,” Ledecky told the Catholic Standard in a recent interview.

She also confirmed that she says a “Hail Mary” before each event.

“I do say a prayer – or two – before any race. The Hail Mary is a beautiful prayer and I find that it calms me,” she told the Catholic Standard.

After winning her first Olympic gold 4 years ago, Ledecky paid a visit to the convent of the sisters from her grade school, Crux reported. She wanted to thank the sisters for their support over the years, and give them a chance to celebrate with her. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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August 12, 2016

Why We Should Fear For the Future of the Republic

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:36 am

From Zero Hedge, summarizing the nonsense:

– to summarize – we have hard evidence of the potential for an inappropriate relationship between Hillary Clinton’s State Department and The Clinton Foundation – after she had pledged that this would not occur. We have The Justice Department – led by Clinton appointee Loretta Lynch – implicitly blocking The FBI’s probe of The Clinton Foundation’s dealings (for, among other reasons, the timing could be viewed as “politically motivated.” We have a State Department Inspector General who is silent, and a State Department public relations person who has stonewalled so much, even the American press corps has grown frustrated… and the mainstream media on TV will be running stories on Trump’s poll numbers, his apparent ‘resignation’ to losing, and his “friends and family” economic plan.

This appears to be what I’ll call a Sandinista election.

As in 1990 in Nicaragua, there seems to be a pretty high chance that many people — on the left and right — who support someone other than Hillary Clinton are not inclined to tell pollsters who they favor.

If so, Election Night may bring a Brexit-level or greater “surprise.”

At this point, we can only hope things turn out like that Nicaraguan election in 1990, when hardened leftists took out a full-page ad for publication the day after that election in the New York Times (something on the order of “Congratulations, Commandante”), only to see the Sandinistas’ Daniel Ortega decisively defeated by Violeta Chamorro.

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Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (081216)

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.

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Positivity: These two game-changing Olympians are serious Catholics (Part 1)

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Rio de Janeiro:

Aug 9, 2016 / 03:02 am

Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky are two of the names to know in this year’s summer Olympic games in Rio.

Biles, a record-shattering gymnast with a sparkling smile and bubbly energy that shines through her routines, is the U.S. gymnastics team fan favorite and the gymnast to beat for any chance at the gold.

“Biles competes with a joy and abandon that has been lacking in women’s gymnastics in recent years,” wrote Liz Clarke for the Washington Post. “All too often, grim-faced pony-tailed youngsters clench their jaws, furrow their brows and inhale an ocean’s worth of air before hurtling into rigorous tumbling passes. Their feats may be acrobatically eye-popping, but the strain of pulling them off is palpable.”

“Biles, by contrast, exudes utter delight, competing as if the four-inch-wide balance beam is the sidewalk in front of her house, the vault and uneven bars mere elements of her backyard swing-set and the mat a magic carpet for high-flying fun,” Clarke wrote.

The Texas teenager is a four-time national champion and the first female gymnast in history to win three consecutive world championships. The complex moves written into her Rio routines – including her signature series of flips now called “The Biles” – give her an edge before she even performs.

But behind her jaw-dropping performances is a strong family and faith life that Biles (literally) carries with her.

In a recent interview with Us Magazine, the athlete unpacked her Olympic bag, explaining the significance of each item. Along with her bottled water, bobby pins, Beats headphones and cheetah-print umbrella, Biles carries a white rosary.

“My mom, Nellie, got me a rosary at church,” she told the magazine. “I don’t use it to pray before a competition. I’ll just pray normally to myself, but it’s there just in case.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

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Gary Johnson Agrees With Trump; Obama and Hillary ‘Founded ISIS’

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson, who is far more liberal than genuinely libertarian, nonetheless agrees with Donald Trump that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton essentially founded ISIS. His only qualifier is that they did so “unintentionally.” You blew your chance to get noticed by piling on, Gary.

Johnson made this statement to MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, who appeared, when she asked the related question, to expect Johnson to denounce Trump. Oops. To get to that answer, Ruhle and her audience had to endure Johnson’s painful, low-energy delivery.

(more…)

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August 11, 2016

Reuters Refutes CNN’s Claim That Secret Service ‘Talked To’ Trump About 2A Comment

Yesterday, CNN’s Jim Sciutto, the network’s Chief National Security Correspondent, reported, based on a discussion he claims to have had with “an official from the United States Secret Service,” that “it has spoken with the Trump campaign regarding those comments.”

The reference to “those comments” has to do with Trump’s statement yesterday about “Second Amendment people.” In context, normal humans understand Trump to have said that those who believe that the Constitution’s Second Amendment should remain intact as an individual right, as confirmed by the Supreme Court in its 2009 Heller ruling, could aggressively act in the political arena to stop Hillary Clinton from successfully nominating a fifth gun-grabbing jurist to the Court should she win the presidency. Of course, that’s not how the left and the press interpreted Trump — which isn’t surprising, because they also won’t admit that the Second Amendment’s “shall not be infringed” means “shall not be infringed.” But now, Reuters has specifically refuted CNN by name, reporting that “a federal official familiar with the matter told Reuters that there had been no formal conversations between the Secret Service and the Trump campaign.”

(more…)

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Fairfax, Virginia Mayor in ‘Meth-for-Sex’ Bust Rarely Tagged As a Democrat

According to a statement at the city’s web site, Fairfax, Virginia Mayor Mayor Richard “Scott” Silverthorne’s resignation took effect at noon on Thursday. The resignation occurs a week after Silverthorne was arrested “for allegedly trying to exchange methamphetamine to undercover detectives in exchange for sex, city officials said Monday.”

The press, as has so often been the case in situations involving Democrats, has been very reluctant to report Silverthorne’s party affiliation, either avoiding the tag entirely or delaying it until their stories’ very late paragraphs.

(more…)

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Initial Unemployment Claims (081116): 266K SA; Raw Claims (231K) 3 Pct. Below Same Week Last Year

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:31 am

Predictions, per Yahoo’s Economic Calendar: 262K-266K claims, down from 269K last week.

The seasonal adjustment factor for this year (86.9) is barely below the factor for the same week last year (87.8). For seasonally adjusted claims to stay below the 300K concern level, raw claims need to be less than 261K, which should be a cinch.

Here’s the report:

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending August 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 266,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 269,000 to 267,000. The 4-week moving average was 262,750, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 500 from 260,250 to 259,750.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 231,356 in the week ending August 6, an increase of 12,173 (or 5.6 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 13,098 (or 6.0 percent) from the previous week. There were 239,326 initial claims in the comparable week in 2015.

There’s nothing alarming here.

What IS alarming is what was disclosed on Tuesday in the government’s productivity report. Hourly compensation fell in the first quarter when it was originally thought to have risen significantly. It also fell in the second quarter. The “wages are rising” meme has been thoroughly busted.

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Positivity: Self-Defense Success — Robbery suspect shot by elderly Ohio woman

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Positivity — Tom @ 8:23 am

From Dayton, Ohio, two months old but worth a visit (HT Moonbattery):

POSTED 12:19 PM, JUNE 7, 2016,

Police say a suspect is in “grave” condition after he was shot by an elderly woman while apparently trying to break into her Dayton home, WHIO reports.

Police officials say the woman had been alone Monday evening when she shot someone who she believed was trying to break into her home.

“It appears the individual did, in fact, begin to make entry into her home before the resident did discharge her weapon,” Said Police Lt. Mark Ponichtera.

First responders found a male on the porch and rushed him to a hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police say the suspect’s injuries are so severe that it’s unclear if he’s an adult or a juvenile. Lt. Mark Ponichtera said, “Other means will have to be used to identify him.”

Detectives will question the woman and determine whether to pursue charges.

“People do have a right to protect their home if they feel as if their life is in danger,” Ponichtera said. …

Go here for the rest of the story

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Thursday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (081116)

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.

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August 10, 2016

NY Times Op-Ed Howler: ‘The Path to Prosperity Is Blue’

In a New York Times op-ed with so many holes it wouldn’t hold up as swiss cheese, two political science profs, Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, set out to reassure the leftist elites that “The Path to Prosperity Is Blue.”

This would be pretty funny if it weren’t for the fact that many of the Old Gray Lady’s smug readers will actually buy this nonsense. The pair’s presentation tortures economic and other statistics so badly that they make getting waterboarded look like a walk in Central Park.

(more…)

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