Thursday, November 30, 2017

Progressives want only you to meet their "high" standards

Garrison Keillor firing prompts backlash from his fans

For the Progs lying equals free speech.

 - The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 29, 2017
The Justice Department has rejected BuzzFeed’s argument in a pending libel lawsuit that its posting of the discredited Trump-Russia dossier and an accompanying story is protected speech.
In a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., three Justice Department attorneys rebutted the news website’s stance it enjoys “fair reporting privilege” because the dossier was part of an FBI investigation.
The Justice Department’s declaration says that BuzzFeed’s Jan. 10 posting never cited any such probe and the dossier itself is not a government document.
BuzzFeed faces a separate, dossier-linked libel suit in Florida. The D.C. case involves BuzzFeed’s request for a judge to compel testimony from the FBI and possibly the national intelligence directorate on how they handled the dossier and what was told to President Trump.
The website’s aim is to prove that its dossier posting was part of accepted journalism practices when reporting on government investigations.
BuzzFeed, a mix of politics and pop culture edited by Ben Smith, is defending itself against a libel suit brought by Russian-born entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, chief of XBT Holdings and its popular internet hosting network Webzilla.The dossier accuses Mr. Gubarev of hacking Democratic Party computers with spyware and porn under orders from Russia’s counter-intelligence agency, FSB. Mr. Gubarev, who denies the charge, also is suing the dossier writer, British ex-spy Christopher Steele, in a London court.
The dossier is filled with criminal charges against Mr. Trump and his associates, and was funded by the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. The money moved from them to a D.C. law firm, then to the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Mr. Steele. He used the money to pay his Russian sources.
The Justice Department filing accuses BuzzFeed of a “gross mischaracterization” of its own dossier story.
“Although the Article states that BuzzFeed decided to publish the so-called Dossier to provide readers an opportunity to ‘make up their own mind’ about its explosive but unverified allegations, BuzzFeed now contends in its motion to compel that the Article is nothing more than a report on official government proceedings,” the Justice lawyers wrote.
“Even a cursory review of the Article — which consists of less than 500 words of text and an embedded 35-page document — reveals that it does not actually ‘report’ that the Dossier has been the subject of official government activity,” the Justice lawyers added.
Mr. Steele briefed the FBI on his evolving dossier in July, about the same time the bureau opened a criminal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. CNN reported the FBI used the dossier to obtain surveillance warrants.
Republicans have demanded an investigation into how an unverified document came to hold such importance inside the FBI.
Four days before BuzzFeed posted the file, then-FBI director James B. Comey personally briefed President-elect Trump on its contents, including salacious allegations about him and prostitutes at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton in 2013.
Mr. Trump repeatedly has denied the encounter ever happened. None of the dossier’s central collusion charges, including the one against Mr. Gubarev, has been publicly confirmed after months of congressional investigations.
Val Gurvits, a Gubarev attorney at the Boston Law Group, said the next step is for a judge to rule on BuzzFeed’s subpoenas.
“I feel somewhat vindicated,” he told The Washington Times. “We’re not the only ones that see that BuzzFeed’s attempts to defend its actions after the fact are really nothing more an afterthought to try to limit their liability.”
Mr. Gurvits spelled out his argument: “This document was written by a foreign national acting in his commercial capacity and not because the government wrote it or not because the government hired him to do it. Their position seems to be, if the government happens to read something as part of doing its job, all of a sudden that becomes a government document that you can now publish it, which is an asinine position because if that was true, all I would have to do to ruin my neighbor’s reputation is [write] a letter to the FBI accusing my neighbor of orchestrating 9/11, sending a copy to BuzzFeed, and then BuzzFeed would have the unfettered right to publish that false letter.”
Meanwhile, the libel case in Florida is in the discovery stage. Mr. Gubarev’s attorneys have asked a judge to compel BuzzFeed to reveal its dossier source. Mr. Steele has been ordered by a court in London to provide a deposition which he is resisting.
“They intentionally published a document simply for the salacious value,” Mr. Gurvits said. “Simply for the shock value to get traffic to their website.”

It's the mindset: Army veteran fifth woman to accuse Al Franken of sexual misconduct

An Army veteran becomes the fifth woman to accuse Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., of inappropriately touching her in December 2003.
Army veteran Stephanie Kemplin told CNN that Franken touched her breast while she was deployed in Kuwait in 2003. She said the alleged groping happened during a photo op during Franken’s USO tour.
“When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over my breast,” Kemplin told CNN In an interview published Thursday. "I've never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side."
Kemplin, 41, said she remembers thinking, “Is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand.”
A photo published by CNN showing Kemplin smiling with the left side of her face pressed up against Franken’s face does not appear to show Franken’s hand on her breast. His hand appears to be touching her back.
Kemplin said Franken touched her for several seconds until she turned her body to move Franken’s hand off her chest before the photo was taken.
Kemplin didn’t tell her fellow soldiers or confront Franken at the time because she said she felt embarrassed.
Kemplin’s sister, Amy Muddiman, and a former boyfriend, who asked not to be named, told CNN that Kemplin had told them both that Franken had inappropriately touched her.
"I just remember her telling me that he grabbed her breast and that she was so shocked about it," Muddiman said.
Four other women in the last two weeks have accused Franken of inappropriately touching them.
Radio host Leeann Tweeden accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour in 2006. Tweeden also released a photo of Franken appearing to touch her breasts while she was sleeping.
Days later, Lindsay Menz came forward and said Franken groped her while posing for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, two years after he was elected to the Senate.
Two other women told the Huffington Postthey attended events during Franken’s first Senate campaign where he touched their buttocks without permission.
A spokesman for Franken told CNN: "As Sen. Franken made clear this week, he takes thousands of photos and has met tens of thousands of people and he has never intentionally engaged in this kind of conduct. He remains fully committed to cooperating with the ethics investigation."

Green Lobbyists Are Scrambling To Save Their Subsidies From GOP Tax Reform

Posted By Michael Bastasch On 11:45 AM 11/30/2017 

The GOP tax plan looks like it could pass out of the Senate, a prospect that has green energy companies scrambling to save their tax subsidies.
The Senate tax plan, which moved to a formal debate Wednesday, would make it harder for green energy companies to exchange their tax subsidies for financing. “Without tax equity financing, most of these projects don’t go forward, solar or wind,” an unnamed green energy lobbyist told Politico.
Wind energy lobbyists are working with senators to try and get the provision changed. American Wind Energy Association Peter Kelley said they want tax reform that “does not threaten the $85 billion in economic activity and the projected 50,000 new American jobs from wind farm development through 2020.”

News outlets often parrot reports claiming that wind and solar energy are outcompeting more conventional sources, like coal and natural gas. However, tax benefits are a major reason why banks finance wind and solar farms. So-called tax equity financing allow green energy companies to leverage tax benefits in exchange for financing. Financiers then get cash from the government. Green energy companies often don’t make enough money to take advantage of tax credits, so they use them as leverage for financing.

These tax equity deals make up as much as 60 percent of a wind farm’s capital cost, and about half the cost of a solar project, Politico noted.

Wind and solar tax credits are quite generous. The wind production tax credit allows turbine owners to collect $23 per megawatt hour for 10 years. Solar panel owners can get a credit worth up to 30 percent of the project’s cost.

Without generous tax incentives, banks are less likely to finance green energy projects.
“It takes us out of the market,” a green energy financing source told Politico. “The best case scenario is it significantly reduces our involvement in the market, but it would be so difficult to plan in the near term at least, it would take us out. And we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars of investment every year.”

The House version of the GOP tax plan also takes aim at green energy tax subsidies, reducing the production and investment credits for wind and solar projects.

Changes made to green energy production tax credits would save taxpayers $12.3 billion over 10 years, according to the bill’s cost estimate. Payments for green energy generation fall from 2.3 to 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour and it more narrowly defines when a project can qualify.

Trump Bypasses McConnell. Chooses Senator Thune To Lead Healthcare Reform Charge..the with the Administrative State.

Trump Bypasses McConnell. Chooses Senator Thune To Lead Healthcare Reform Charge

Mitch McConnell is a D.C. dinosaur and and an elitist member of the political establishment who has never been a supporter of the Trump presidency. When McConnell failed to cobble together enough senators to pass a much-needed healthcare reform bill, the Trump White House turned to South Dakota Senator John Thune, signaling to every other Republican in the Senate that it is Thune and not McConnell who has the President’s trust.
It is an interesting choice by the President given Thune was among the earliest and more vocal Senate opponents of Mr. Trump’s then-insurgent presidential campaign.  Trump is a man who prizes results above all else, though, and it appears he believes Thune is the one to ensure the Senate finalizes passage of its healthcare reform bill.
Just this morning Senator Thune was pushing back against recent media reports that suggest President Trump has not been involved in the ongoing healthcare reform deliberations:
“The president has been very involved. He’s engaged with individual members that have specific concerns they want addressed. He’s engaged in our entire conference as you saw yesterday. He had all Republicans come down to the White House and convey to them the sense of urgency in getting something done, and rescuing the American people in what is a failed Obamacare system,” Mr. Thune, South Dakota Republican, said on Fox News.

As of now Thune and the Trump White House are pushing for a Friday vote. If that happens, the 55-year old Senator Thune’s standing within the Republican-controlled Senate will be strengthened considerably while 75-year-old Mitch McConnell will clearly be in the final years of his D.C. relevance.
The message from President Trump is clear. Either get things done or get out of the way.
It appears more and more in D.C. are finally getting the message.


Obama IG guy flags ‘strategic coordination’ of State, Clinton on emails

Obama IG guy flags ‘strategic coordination’ of State, Clinton on emails

 - The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Here’s something you don’t hear every day — but an inspector general who was actually appointed by Barack Obama told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that there was “strategic coordination” taking place among the State Department, Campaign Team Hillary Clinton, certain key legal minds and politicos on Capitol Hill, regarding the behind-scenes talk of The Emails.
Yes, those emails — the ones that were marked classified and top secret and that were found on Clinton’s private and unsecured email system.
Thud. That’s the sound of Democrats’ jaws dropping.
From the mouth of former Inspector General Charles McCullough III, as reported by Mediaite: “I’m well aware there was a strategic coordination between the campaign, the State Department, certain officials at the State Department, certain law firms in town and people on Capitol Hill.”
About, for instance, what he told Carlson on Fox was a “deliberate effort” to mislead the public about Clinton’s emails. And who was driving that effort?

In McCullough’s view — the Obama administration and Team Clinton.
This isn’t exactly shocking to political watchers. After all, conservatives in particular watched with dismay as the FBI’s James Comey came out and on one hand, announced Clinton’s email server was dangerously improper and on the other, that he recommended no charges against her.
But in the face of Clinton’s complete skirt of accountability on the private email server she was allowed to operate in her New York home — a private server that compromised State Department communications, and therefore, the safety and security of the American citizenry — it’s double face-slapping to hear McCullough speak of the politicizing of the whole investigation.
McCullough, for instance, claimed he faced “personal backlash” while investigating the emails on the 2016 campaign trail — and that when he told then-DNI head James Clapper that he found Clinton’s email correspondences “extremely reckless,” nothing but coverup ensued.
He said a “deliberate effort” went forth to mislead the American people about the seriousness of the email scandal and that he personally faced “nothing but contention” for his attempt to sift through the emails and discern the true level of compromise to national security.
“[I was] chided [for] not considering the political consequences,” he said, Mediaite noted. “I’m an inspector general. That’s my job — to not consider the political consequences. … As an IG, you’re not a D, you’re not an R. You’re an I — you’re an IG. Those are the letters that matter to you.”
And when McCullough tried further to bring forth his findings into the light?
He said he was dismissed “as a shill of the right,” his character, “attacked” and sullied.
That’s got Team Democrat written all over it — Team Clinton, for sure. Attack the messenger — distract from the scandal. America’s politically savvy already knew this was taking place over the investigation of Clinton’s emails. But McCullough’s statements on Fox underscore and confirm. The coverup was massive, the behind-door whispers and strategizing, extensive. And what’s clear is that Clinton will never face accountability, in this lifetime at least, for the compromises to America’s security she shoulder-shrugged with her private email server.

White privilege and the country of Africa...outrage form the hate filled perpetual aggreived.

University event highlights 14 ways ‘whiteness’ oppresses society
SAN MARCOS, Calif. — A “Whiteness Forum” at Cal State San Marcos on Tuesday prominently displayed 14 poster boards detailing different ways in which students say whiteness in America oppresses people of color and society.
For 15 years and “going strong,” this annual forum has taken place as a part of Professor Dreama Moon’s “Communication of Whiteness” course, the scholar said as she kicked off the two-hour event inside a large multipurpose room.
A banner hung at the front of the room indicated the “Whiteness Forum” is about “reflecting on white privilege and racism.”
As part of the class, the students teamed up to create 14 different poster boards that aimed to illustrate different ways whiteness is allegedly oppressive.
Among the topics students broached: mental health services favor whites, media coverage is biased against people of color, Hollywood stereotyping, racism in the military, and real estate practices that favor whites, according to their projects.
The forum kicked off at noon with two spoken poems performed by students in the class who took the opportunity to express frustration with whiteness.
One of the performers, a female African American student, called Africa “the greatest country in the world, where we all once originated.” Her poem went on: “On a daily basis I am seen as a threat, but you get a pass because you’re white.”
“I am an African American and by my people and country I stand,” she continued. “I identify not with the equality of America, but with the ‘We The People.’”
Another student’s poem offered similar sentiments: “Whiteness thrives on the hate of everyone. Realize we are all pawns in this chess game. Every day is a day to challenge whiteness.”
As the young women spoke their poems with passion, Professor Moon, who is white, stood nearby and watched with a smile. After the performances, Moon encouraged the crowd to interact with her students and learn about “white supremacy.”
One poster board was labeled “#MentalHealthTooWhite.” Its student creators argued that mental health concerns of white individuals are portrayed as alarming and complex, while people of color are shown as simply being crazy.
Another poster board labeled “Whiteness in the Entertainment Industry” depicted different films and television shows in which white actors had been cast in roles that some believe should have been portrayed by people of color. The students also accused Hollywood of stereotyping, citing as an example Sophia Vergara’s “hypersexualized” character on “Modern Family.”
At the “Writing It White” display, student creators accused the media of racial bias.
“Since newsrooms are largely white, ethnocentrism and unconscious stereotyping by whites produce positive images of Caucasians and negative images of people of color,” the display stated. The display also argued that headlines tend to go easier on white criminals.
“No Human Left Behind” was another poster board on display focused on the military.
“In our discussion of whiteness, we argue that practices of power in both the past and present have continuously reinforced white supremacy in the United States military through the use of policies, attitudes and unequal opportunities given to minorities,” the display stated.
“Students learn best when they actually do something as opposed to just hear something,” Moon told The Fix in an interview at last year’s event.
As the event took place, both a plain clothes and uniformed police officer remained nearby. Among the guests were members of the College Republicans, including Erin Clements, who donned her “Make America Great Again” hat.
Although it earned her a few stares, she said she had not received any backlash otherwise. She said she went to the event to understand what it was about and found it interesting but troubling.
“The event is racist in itself,” she said in an interview with The College Fix, pointing out that if the forum was dedicated to any other race in the same way it was dedicated to whiteness there would have been a huge outrage.
The titles of the 14 booths were: “Anti-Racist Discourse in Mental Health,” “Whiteness in the Entertainment Industry,” “Writing It White,” “Asian Does Not Start With A+,” “Colorism,” “Confederate Monuments,” “It’s Not Us, It’s Them,” “White Supremacy in Government Representatives,” “Redlining,” “The Spin,” “Got Privilege,” “No Human Left Behind,” “Puerto Rico & Whiteness,” and “Build Bridges Not Walls.”