Friday, March 10, 2017

Donald Trump's FDA plans makes sense

When getting a new drug past the regulators can cost up to a billion dollars, it's no wonder that drug costs are so high. The manufascturers have got a huge investment to recoup.  The probable Trump solution could cut costs drastically:  Have the FDA rule on safety only, with efficacy left up to doctors to decide on, based in part on their own experience.  Manufacturers will alway show what efficacy proof they have and manufacturers of rival drugs will always be quick to point to failures in efficacy trials of rival products.

The galoots below are so entrenched in their negativity that they say the new move will unleash dangerous drugs on to the market.  How so? Nobody is proposing to lower the standards of safety testing.  That should continue as before

Professor Rasko, with two international colleagues from Japan and Canada, has penned a comment article in the journal Nature published on Thursday calling for the US Food and Drug Administration to continue regulation of pharmaceuticals for both efficacy and safety.

In January, Mr Trump told pharmaceutical industry executives: "We're going to be cutting regulations at a level that nobody's seen before."

Professor Rasko, who is head of cell and molecular therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and affiliated with the University of Sydney, said: "The most extreme proponents of deregulation say the market should be the sole arbiter of utility: if a medicine sells well, then it must be safe and effective."

He told Fairfax Media: "If these sorts of changes go through, I can see a world in 10 years where the snake-oil salesman is back. It will all come down to marketing."

Mr Trump is vetting candidates for FDA commissioner. According to The New York Times, one candidate is Jim O'Neill, a former official at the US Health and Human Services Department.

At a conference on ageing in 2014, Mr O'Neill spoke in favour of "progressive approval" for drugs, which would see pharmaceuticals proved safe for use, but not shown to be effective for treatment.

Mr O'Neill said: "We should reform FDA so it is approving drugs after their sponsors have demonstrated safety. Then let people start using them at their own risk."

Professor Rasko has responded to what he regards as a global health threat. The authors say relaxing the FDA's regulatory system will subject patients to drugs that might be toxic.

Professor Terry Campbell, who is is head of the department of medicine at St Vincent's Hospital, said he was "inclined to agree with" the authors of the Nature article but noted "there is still a strong public health lobby in the US".

"Trials will still happen. Big cancer drugs won't be bought if they aren't proven effective."

Professor Campbell, who sat on the PBAC for 16 years to February this year, also said that even if the FDA changed its regulatory stance, "I can see no way that the Europeans would allow marketing without proving efficacy".

Professor Rasko in Nature argued that "unregulated markets are hopeless at sifting out futile drugs". "Witness the multibillion-dollar industries in homeopathy and other pseudo-medicines," the authors say.

Professor Rasko said: "Rigorous clinical studies are still the best way to learn whether a drug works and regulation is essential to ensure that these studies are conducted."



Senate Rescinds Obama’s Blacklist Rule

WH has indicated Trump will sign bill overturning rule that gave unions 'unprecedented new leverage'

The Senate voted to roll back an Obama executive order that would have shut out businesses undergoing labor disputes from obtaining federal contracts.

The Senate passed a resolution Monday evening to reverse the "blacklisting" rule, which would force companies to disclose any allegations of unfair labor practices when bidding for federal contracts. Previously, contractors were only forced to disclose actual violations that had been determined following agency investigations.

The Senate vote came weeks after the House approved a resolution overturning the rule. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) had made overturning the executive order a priority, pointing to a study that estimated compliance "will cost companies $454.6 million in the first year alone." Sen. Lamar Alexander (R., Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, said that the executive order was overly burdensome because it would punish companies before investigations into the allegations could be completed.

“The harmful Obama administration ‘blacklisting’ regulation … could have prevented our nation’s federal contractors from receiving a federal contract for an alleged labor violation before any wrongdoing has been proven," Alexander said in a release.

President Obama issued the blacklisting executive order in 2014 saying that it would produce "economy and efficiency in procurement by contracting with responsible sources who comply with labor laws." The Department of Labor released its finalized rules in August 2016 after receiving tens of thousands of comments from businesses, organized labor, and other interest groups.

Labor law experts on both sides of the union divide recognized that the executive order would benefit unions. Veteran union attorney Robert Schwartz wrote in a blog post that it provided "unions unprecedented new leverage against companies" because they could potentially derail contract opportunities with an allegation no matter how specious. Trey Kovacs, a labor law expert at the pro-free market Competitive Enterprise Institute, agreed with Schwartz's analysis.

"The rule may provide incentive to labor unions, attempting to organize a workplace, to file frivolous labor-related charges against companies that bid on federal contractors in order to extract favorable union election conditions," he said in a post.

The National Labor Relations Board is the nation's top federal labor arbiter and handles unfair labor practice complaints. After an investigation the agency can file official complaints against the organization, encourage settlement between the two parties, or dismiss the charges. Workers and unions filed more charges in 2016 than in 2015, but the number of settlements and official charges fell. Workers filed 21,326 complaints to the NLRB in 2016, a five percent increase from 2015. The NLRB issued complaints in 1,272 of those cases—equal to the number in 2015 —and settlements were reached in 6,010 cases, a seven percent decline.

Business groups had turned to the courts to block the rule. Federal Judge Marcia A. Crone issued a temporary injunction against the rule in October because it potentially violated the due process rights of businesses. Associated Builders & Contractors, which filed the suit, praised the Senate for exercising its Congressional Review Act powers to reverse the rule.

"Congress has taken an important step in removing burdensome and duplicative reporting requirements and eliminating a costly barrier to entry that would have discouraged many small contractors from bidding on government contracts,” ABC spokesman Ben Brubeck said in a release.

The Senate resolution will now head to President Donald Trump's desk. The White House included the blacklisting rule in its list of Obama-era regulations that Trump wanted to overturn, saying that it "would bog down Federal procurement with unnecessary and burdensome processes that would result in delays, and decreased competition for Federal government contracts."

"Rolling back this rule will also help to reduce costs in federal procurement," the White House said. "The administration is committed to reducing onerous regulatory burdens on America's businesses and using existing authorities to continue enforcing the nation's workplace laws."

Trump has already taken action on some of the items on the list. He signed a bill in February reversing the Environmental Protection Agency's stream rules that had hindered coal mining for the past eight years.



The Trump Effect on your pocket

Here are two scenarios. One: you are a retiree who in recent years has been concerned about the value of your stock portfolio. Suddenly, the value of your stocks and stock-based mutual funds surges, the Dow rising 1,000 points to record highs within weeks.

You examine the monthly report your broker sends and you are pleasantly surprised at how much your investments have earned since Donald Trump took office.

Scenario two: You are reading and watching the news and all you see are stories about meetings between Trump campaign officials and the Russians, who have been accused of tampering with the election, though, according to The New York Times, law enforcement officials have said that none of the investigations “so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government.”

The media are obsessed with the Trump campaign’s alleged Russian connections, because, as their “reporting” and punditry has shown, they are no fans of President Trump.

If you are a retiree, or approaching retirement, which scenario most affects you? Do you care more about the Russians, or your increasing net worth? I thought so.

While some polls can be manipulated to produce outcomes based on the bias of the polltakers, this one by CNBC seems to reflect what the stock market is telling us. According to the financial network’s All-America Economic Survey for the fourth quarter, “the percentage of Americans who believe the economy will get better in the next year jumped an unprecedented 17 points to 42 percent, compared with before the election.”

Even more remarkable, the poll notes, “The surge was powered by Republicans and independents reversing their outlooks. Republicans swung from deeply pessimistic, with just 15 percent saying the economy would improve in the next year, to strongly optimistic, with 74 percent believing in an economic upswing.”

Of greatest interest for Republicans is the poll’s finding that optimism among independents doubled, though Democrat optimism declined by more than half. Maybe that has more to do with their failure to elect Hillary Clinton than the realities of the stock market, because one can presume their portfolios are doing well, too.

A Rasmussen Daily Tracking Poll found that as of last Friday “52 percent of likely U.S. voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. 48 percent disapprove.” Those numbers are likely to improve if the economy continues its upward swing and some of Trump’s promises are fulfilled, producing advertised results. Success is not only the best revenge; it is the best policy.

A recent Gallup poll put Trump’s approval rating at 43 percent with 50 percent disapproving of his job performance. In light of the incessantly negative media onslaught against Trump it is amazing he is doing as well as he is with the public.

Outside the beltway and inside the few remaining Democratic strongholds I suspect there is less concern about Russia and meetings between then-Sen. Jeff Sessions before he became attorney general and the Russian ambassador than how people think they are doing. “It’s the economy stupid,” reminded James Carville, campaign strategist for Bill Clinton. Remember?

The focus on Russia and “scandal” is the kind of petty politics that soured enough people in traditionally Democratic states to vote for Trump. They are tired of the games politicians play and want their government to work for them, not for the politicians and insiders.

If the Trump administration finishes its first year in office with demonstrable results, including a continually improving economy, the Left will have nothing remaining in its bag of tricks and that will make Democrats look even weaker and ineffective heading into the 2018 elections.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Thursday, March 09, 2017

Trump’s Revised Travel Order Is Constitutional, Legal, Common Sense

By Hans von Spakovsky

President Donald Trump’s revised executive order restricting travel from terrorist safe havens is just as constitutional and legal as his original order, despite what some courts such as the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said about the original order.

But the revisions he has made, which clarify that the executive order does not apply to any foreigners who already hold visas to enter the U.S., will make it tougher for activist judges to justify any injunction orders they might be inclined to issue against it. Yet there is little doubt that progressive groups will seek such orders.

The executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” confirms what the administration had previously announced, which is that the temporary, 90-day suspension of entry into the U.S. from certain designated countries will not apply to:

* Lawful permanent residents as well as diplomatic, NATO, and U.N. personnel.
* Foreign nationals admitted after the effective date of the executive order.
* Individuals with a visa valid on the date of the executive order.
* Dual nationals travelling on a passport issued by a non-designated country.
* Individuals already granted asylum or refugee status before the effective date of the executive order.

This is an important revision because it voids the due process concerns that the 9th Circuit expressed—namely, that individuals who had already received approval to enter or reside in the United States might have that right taken away from them without a review and appeal process.

The revised executive order reduces the number of designated countries to which the visa suspension applies by one. Iraq has been removed from the original list, while Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen remain on the list.

Apparently, the administration conducted negotiations with Iraq last month that resulted in Iraq agreeing to increase its cooperation in vetting Iraqis applying for travel into the U.S.

The six remaining countries had been designated by the Obama administration as “countries of concern” (Libya, Somalia, and Yemen) or state sponsors of terrorism (Iran, Syria, and Sudan). The new executive order lists specific reasons for each country’s inclusion in the suspension taken from the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2015 (released in June 2016).

It is certainly common sense (and easy to understand) why one would suspend entry from countries whose governments are official sponsors of terrorism, given that we could not trust any records those governments produce when their citizens are being vetted.

And the executive order points out that the other three countries were designated as “countries of concern” by Jeh Johnson, President Barack Obama’s secretary of homeland security, in 2016 based on three statutory factors set out by Congress:

* Whether the presence of an alien in the country or area increases the likelihood that the alien is a credible threat to the national security of the United States.
* Whether a foreign terrorist organization has a significant presence in the country or area.
* Whether the country or area is a safe haven for terrorists.

So under the prior administration’s own standards, this 90-day suspension until a more thorough vetting process can be implemented is only from countries that are, in essence, terrorist safe havens that the government has been concerned about for many years.

The revised executive order repeats the 120-day suspension of refugee admissions to allow the Department of Homeland Security to revise its screening procedures to ensure that refuges do not pose a security risk, although the suspension will not apply to any refuges already formally scheduled for transit by the State Department.

The order also makes a point of refuting claims that were raised in various lawsuits that the original order was intended to discriminate against Muslims: It “did not provide a basis for discriminating for or against members of any particular religion.”

The original order did allow for prioritization of refugee claims, once the 120-day suspension period lapses, from persecuted religious minorities—but that priority “applied to refugees from every nation, including those in which Islam is a minority religion, and it applied to minority sects within a religion.”

That prioritization is not in the revised order, although that is not really needed since federal immigration law (8 U.S.C. §1101 (a)(42)(A)) already defines refugees as including those persecuted because of their religion.

Finally, the revised executive order also takes the time to answer another question that arose in the litigation over the previously issued executive order. The order specifically states that since 2001, “hundreds of persons born abroad have been convicted of terrorism-related crimes in the United States. They have included not just persons who came here legally on visas but also individuals who first entered the country as refugees.”

That includes the two Iraqi nationals convicted in 2013 for multiple terrorism-related offenses who were admitted as refuges in 2009. According to the order, Trump has been informed by the attorney general “that more than 300 persons who entered the Untied States as refuges are currently the subjects of counterterrorism investigations” by the FBI.

This executive order is clearly within the president’s authority under 8 U.S.C. § 1182 (f), in which Congress clearly delegated to the president the authority to suspend the entry of any aliens into the U.S. when he believes it would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Whether that will deter activist judges who don’t like this policy from enjoining it is still another question.



Wiretapping Trump: Did Obama Lie and Spy?

There's a long way to go to get to the bottom of this one.

The state of politics in the Washington Swamp is in absolute disarray. The deceit, cover-ups, scandals and illegal activity amongst government officials both former and current really seem to be the norm these days. And while the Leftmedia scramble to find new stories to discredit President Donald Trump, the American public is becoming more disgusted by the actions of the people who are supposed to be serving us.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted out several statements accusing Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump and his associates at some point during his presidential campaign. Of course, as we noted yesterday the Leftmedia were quick to jump all over Trump for presenting no evidence to support his wiretapping claim and for accusing a former president of doing something so egregious.

“Unsubstantiated,” “baseless” and “no evidence” are the Leftmedia buzzwords to try and convince the American public that the Obama administration did no wrong. Except he was citing that same Leftmedia. For instance, in January, The New York Times reported about an intelligence investigation into Trump. Was he wiretapped? We don’t know.

Interestingly, the media slap these labels upon Trump with regard to wiretapping, yet the same media across a multitude of networks have no qualms about telling everyone that the Russians hacked the 2016 election, helped Trump get elected and that Trump welcomed their support.

Without evidence.

Conveniently, it seems that every time Trump does something positive — such as give an impressive speech or hold to one of his campaign promises — the Leftmedia attempt to halt his momentum by bringing up Russian involvement with the election.

It’s not only the media. Shortly after Trump’s wiretapping tweets, FBI director James Comey on Sunday requested that the Justice Department publicly rebuke Trump’s surveillance claims. It’s strange that the head of the FBI would make such an extraordinary request to discredit the president — unless the wiretapping did occur and there were many people within the Obama administration who knew about it.

Then again, with all Comey did to help Hillary Clinton, maybe it’s not so strange after all.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked during an interview about any wiretapping. Clapper stated, “To my knowledge” there was no wiretapping activity mounted against Trump or his campaign and that if the FBI had sought a FISA court order to wiretap the Trump campaign he would have known about it.

Then again, Clapper also initially falsely claimed the NSA had no program conducting widespread surveillance of all Americans.

Obama denied through a spokesman any wiretapping against Trump. Nothing unusual with that, though — Obama always denied any allegations of unlawful actions during his presidency.

Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Susan Collins of Maine, both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committee, were also asked if they had any knowledge of wiretapping being conducted on Trump. Both were unaware, and Collins noted that the Intelligence Committee would be looking into the issue as part of the investigation into Russian influence on the election.

Given Obama’s involvement with other numerous scandals and cover-ups during his presidency — the IRS scandal, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, to name a few — why should anyone, especially the media, immediately dismiss Trump’s claims against Obama? Even if he didn’t “order the code red,” as with the IRS targeting scandal, Obama’s minions knew the objective and didn’t need direct orders.

University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds also points out that Obama’s administration was involved with wiretapping journalists and spying on Congress. Given that information, along with Obama’s blatant disregard for the Rule of Law, it’s reasonable to surmise that he might not have taken “no” for an answer from the FISA court.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, writing for National Review, explains:

First, as Obama officials well know, under the FISA process, it is technically the FISA court that “orders” surveillance. And by statute, it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court. So, the issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff “ordered” surveillance of Trump and his associates. The issues are (a) whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and (b) whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so. Personally, given the explosive and controversial nature of the surveillance request we are talking about — an application to wiretap the presidential candidate of the opposition party, and some of his associates, during the heat of the presidential campaign, based on the allegation that the candidate and his associates were acting as Russian agents — it seems to me that there is less than zero chance that could have happened without consultation between the Justice Department and the White House.

And as talk radio host Mark Levin, a constitutional attorney and former chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese III in the Ronald Reagan administration, put it, “The issue isn’t whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign or transition of surrogates; the issue is the extent of it.”



Muslim supremacists blame 'White Supremacists'

I know of no-one preaching white supremacism, though I guess there are some somewhere.  Certainly none of Trump's people preach it.  But Muslim supremacism is easy to find.  It's commanded in the Koran, Surah 9:29, for instance

The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Monday blamed "Islamophobes" and "white supremacists" in the White House for President Trump's new travel executive order - or what CAIR has dubbed "Muslim ban 2.0."

"The driving force behind this Muslim ban are the Islamophobes and the white supremacists employed by the Trump administration, including [counterterrorism advisor] Sebastian Gorka, [chief strategist] Steve Bannon, and [senior policy advisor] Stephen Miller," CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad told a press conference at the group's Capitol Hill headquarters.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Historically speaking, Trump's foreign policy not all that radical

Ivan Eland

Although the administration of President Donald Trump is still new to its duties and has been somewhat erratic with its foreign policy plans, a historic comparison with past presidents shows that while Trump is indeed shaking things up with a few key ideas, he's largely following the usual route on international relations.

Leaving Russia's meddling in the recent election aside for a moment, it should be noted that Trump's long-running efforts to better relations with Russia are nothing new. Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both attempted but failed to carry out resets with our Cold War enemy. Their efforts fell short because they refused to empathize with Russia's intrinsically poor security situation.

Russia has been invaded across the North European Plain many times, including the Nazis' catastrophic attack during World War II that cost millions of Russian civilian lives. And although the United States is half a world away, in the wake of the Cold War, it advanced a hostile NATO alliance to Russia's borders and today still performs military maneuvers in Eastern European ally nations.

Russia is still weak and its meddling in Eastern Ukraine, including its annexation of Crimea, has primarily been aimed at keeping a vital country out of NATO.

While Trump may come across as more sympathetic than usual to Russia's perspective and has called NATO "obsolete," his vice president, secretary of defense, and secretary of homeland security all recently traveled to Europe to reiterate support for the alliance. While there, they reminded some of our wealthy allies of their financial obligations to the pact, something past administrations have failed to do.

That said, tough guy Trump needs to stiffen his spine and tell Russia bluntly and publicly that there will be hell to pay if it ever tries to meddle in American elections again. If China and other would-be meddlers hear the message too, even better.

In regards to immigration, while Trump's travel ban seems to have been based on a wildly exaggerated threat of terrorism, his plans to deport illegal immigrants en masse follow in the footsteps of Obama, whose administration did more than its fair share of deporting.

Even Trump's proposed wall isn't totally new. America's southern border is already sporadically fenced in some locations along its extensive course.

Trump has talked about reversing Obama's thawing of relations with Cuba and scrapping the international nuclear deal with Iran. But Michael Flynn, an anti-Iran hawk, is out as national security adviser, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, though he takes a dim view of Iran, has supported living with the deal. The agreement, which will therefore probably survive, will delay an Iranian nuclear weapon for at least 10 to 15 years, a positive outcome for the entire world and particularly Iran's primary adversaries - the Arab Gulf states and Israel.

The one area where significant change could occur is his ill-advised protectionist trade policies, a centerpiece of his campaign.

He has scrapped Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have further opened up trade with Asian nations but was politically dead even before Trump took office. In addition, he's threatened to increase tariffs on Mexico, China and on U.S. companies that manufacture products overseas and send them back to U.S. shores.

Such initiatives could cause worldwide trade war, as did the 1930 Smoot-Hawley tariff during Herbert Hoover's administration. The vast reduction in world trade caused by that measure, and adverse foreign reactions to it, deepened the Great Depression and helped cause the conditions leading to World War II. Hopefully, Trump's rhetoric in this area will turn out to be mostly bluster.

In the end, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly will probably end up taming Trump's foreign policy - for better or for worse.



Obama's Intelligence Chief Says `No Evidence' of Trump-Russian Collusion; Media Focus on Wiretap Denial

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday denied knowledge of any wire-tapping of then-nominee or president-elect Donald Trump - but in an assertion receiving considerably less press attention also stated he had no knowledge of evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Clapper appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" a day after the president alleged on Twitter that President Obama had tapped Trump Tower before the election.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer in a series of subsequent tweets said Trump wanted congressional investigations into Russian activity to be broadened to probe "whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016." Spicer also said the White House would not comment further about the allegations until that happens.

Clapper made two key statements during Sunday's interview.

First, he said that the agencies he oversaw as DNI - which include the CIA, FBI Intelligence branch and National Security Agency - did not conduct any "wiretap activity" against Trump or his campaign and that to his knowledge no FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order for such surveillance was issued.

He stressed that he could only speak for the intelligence community, not for state or local agencies or for government entities authorized under Title Three of the 1968 "Wiretap Act."

But Clapper then went on to say that to his knowledge there was "no evidence" of "collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians."

"We did not include any evidence in our report - and I say `our,' that's NSA, FBI and CIA, with my office, the Director of National Intelligence - that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report."

"I understand that," said interviewer Chuck Todd. "But does it exist?"

"Not to my knowledge."

"If it existed, it would have been in this report?"

"This could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government.," Clapper replied, "but at the time I - we had no evidence of such collusion."

Clapper stepped down on January 20, the day Obama's term ended.

The former DNI told Todd it was in the interests of the president Republicans and Democrats alike, and the country, to get to the bottom of the Russia allegations.

"Because it's such a distraction," he said. "And certainly the Russians have to be chortling about the success of their efforts to sow dissention in this country."

Clapper said towards the end of the interview he had little doubt he would be called upon to testify in congressional probes into the Russian activities.

A non-exhaustive review of media coverage in the hours after the NBC show aired found just a small handful of headlines that focused on Clapper's comments about no evidence having been found of Russia-Trump collusion.

In contrast, scores of news stories' headlines focused on Clapper's no-wiretapping remarks, ranging from straight "Clapper denies" to the liberal PoliticusUSA site's breathless, "Clapper Destroys Trump's Wild Accusations Saying There Was No Such Wiretap Activity."

Rare exceptions included a McClatchy report headlined "Obama's intel chief says he knows of no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion" and a Newsmax story headlined "Obama Intel Chief Clapper: Denies Wire Tap Claim, `No Evidence of Collusion' Between Trump, Russians."'s own homepage on Sunday evening included five headlines linked to the wiretapping claim - and none to Clapper's no-Russia-Trump collusion claim.



EEOC's Budget Should Be Cut to Protect Free Speech and Jobs

Congress should cut the budget of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Doing so will help the economy and protect civil liberties. As legal scholars and journalists have noted, the EEOC's actions have often discouraged hiring and undermined free speech.

Under the Obama administration, the EEOC sued employers for using hiring criteria required by state law, demanding that they violate health and safety codes. It even pressured employers to hire felons as armed guards. The EEOC sued companies that quite reasonably refuse to employ truck drivers with a history of heavy drinking, even though companies that hire them will be sued under state personal-injury laws when they have an accident. The EEOC has also used costly lawsuits to pressure businesses into hiring or rehiring incompetent employees. In 2011, a hotel chain had to pay $132,500 for dismissing an autistic clerk who did not do his job properly, in order to get the EEOC to dismiss its lawsuit. In 2012, a caf‚ owner had to pay thousands of dollars for not selecting a hearing- and speech-impaired employee for a customer-service position that the employee was unqualified for.

The EEOC has also been criticized by free speech advocates and legal scholars. In 2016, the EEOC was criticized for ordering a racial harassment investigation simply because an agency employee repeatedly wore a harmless cap with the Gadsden flag on it (a flag whose imagery and origins are not racist at all).

Since the EEOC is an independent agency (it currently has three Democratic commissioners and only one Republican commissioner), this problem will likely persist even under the new administration. Last month, the EEOC angered free-speech advocates by using an erroneous definition of religious harassment to force an agency to pay over $20,000 to a lawyer and Labor Department employee because a supervisor used the word "Hebrew slave" to describe himself.

The EEOC sometimes exhibits contempt for the very laws it administers. The EEOC was found guilty of systematic, illegal, reverse discrimination in Jurgens v. Thomas (1982), which it continued to illegally engage in for years, even after being ordered to stop. (See Terry v. Gallegos, 926 F.Supp. 679 (W.D. Tenn. 1996)). EEOC officials have also frequently committed sexual misconduct. (See, e.g., Spain v. Gallegos, 26 F.3d 439 (3rd Cir.1994)). The Washington Post reported in 2009 that "the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, responsible for ensuring that the nation's workers are treated fairly, has itself willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act on a nationwide basis with its own employees."

Given the EEOC's contempt for the law, and its attacks on free speech, its budget should be cut substantially. Budget cuts would effectively force EEOC staff to focus more on its core areas of responsibility - such as processing valid federal employee discrimination claims-rather than suing private employers, or stretching the law to hold agencies liable for perfectly legal conduct. There are many overlapping legal remedies for discrimination and federal employee dismissal, so a smaller EEOC budget need not lead to valid discrimination or harassment claims going unaddressed. Most discrimination victims already sue without any help from the EEOC.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Mediterranean diet faith is struggling on

That eating like a traditional Greek or Southern Italian is good for you is now widely believed. We must not let it upset our faith that mainly Nordic populations such as Iceland, Finland and Australia have the longest lifespans, must we?

The faith has come under heavy attack in the medical journals lately.  In 2011, for instance a Dutchman named Piet van den Brandt found that the diet had some benefit to women but none to men.  Icelandic men should marry Greek women, or something.

That finding doesn't seem to have fazed our dogged Dutchman, however.  He has just found that the diet helps to prevent breast cancer -- but only a minority of cancers in post-menopausal women.  Still a pretty thin finding for him, I would think.

And it may even be true.  A diet that does not bother most people can be bad for some subsets of people. A Southeast Asian diet rich in peanuts can kill some allergic Westerners, for instance.

I should note that the layman's report below overstates the findings.  The connection between diet and ER negative  breast cancer was extremely weak -- to the point of negligibility.  It is certainly not enough to influence anyone's diet.  The connection was statistically significant only by virtue of the large sample size. And the connection between diet and ER positive breast cancer was not even statistically significant. So the layman's summary immediately below is essentially fake news.

Report below plus abstract:

Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil cuts the risk of getting a deadly form of breast cancer by 40 per cent, a study has found.

The diet – which keeps white bread, red meat and sweets to a minimum – significantly reduced the likelihood of oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

The cancer is more likely to prove fatal than other types. It is often harder to treat than hormone-sensitive cancer. Nearly a third of the 55,000 women in the UK diagnosed with breast cancer each year have this form. Around 11,400 women die from breast cancer in the UK every year.

A typical Mediterranean diet includes high intakes of plant-based proteins such as nuts, lentils and beans, whole grains, fish and 'healthy' monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.

Refined sugars and saturated fat are kept to a minimum.

Professor Piet van den Brandt, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, led the study of 62,000 women over 20 years. He said: 'Our research can help to shine a light on how dietary patterns can affect our cancer risk.

A Mediterranean diet only had a weak non-significant effect on the risk of hormone-sensitive oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, the study published in the International Journal of Cancer found


Mediterranean diet adherence and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer: results of a cohort study and meta-analysis

Piet A. van den Brandt et al.


The Mediterranean Diet (MD) has been associated with reduced mortality and risk of cardiovascular diseases, but there is only limited evidence on cancer. We investigated the relationship between adherence to MD and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer (and estrogen/progesterone receptor subtypes, ER/PR). In the Netherlands Cohort Study, 62,573 women aged 55–69 years provided information on dietary and lifestyle habits in 1986. Follow-up for cancer incidence until 2007 (20.3 years) consisted of record linkages with the Netherlands Cancer Registry and the Dutch Pathology Registry PALGA. Adherence to MD was estimated through the alternate Mediterranean Diet Score excluding alcohol. Multivariate case–cohort analyses were based on 2,321 incident breast cancer cases and 1,665 subcohort members with complete data on diet and potential confounders. We also conducted meta-analyses of our results with those of other published cohort studies.

We found a statistically significant inverse association between MD adherence and risk of ER negative (ER−) breast cancer, with a hazard ratio of 0.60 (95% Confidence Interval, 0.39–0.93) for high versus low MD adherence (ptrend = 0.032). MD adherence showed only nonsignificant weak inverse associations with ER positive (ER+) or total breast cancer risk. In meta-analyses, summary HRs for high versus low MD adherence were 0.94 for total postmenopausal breast cancer, 0.98 for ER+, 0.73 for ER− and 0.77 for ER − PR− breast cancer. Our findings support an inverse association between MD adherence and, particularly, receptor negative breast cancer. This may have important implications for prevention because of the poorer prognosis of these breast cancer subtypes.



Salt. Medical wisdom tipped on its ear once again

I have been pointing out for years the research findings showing that it is lack of salt rather than an excess of it that is the problem.  So it is good to see the research findings slowly beginning to percolate into medical practice

For years we have been told to cut down on our salt intake, but one health expert has now said we need to eat MORE salt.

Professor Salim Yusuf has argued that eating less than three grams of salt per day is worse for your health and can increase the risk of heart failure.

The professor, who stepped down from the role of president of the World Health Federation earlier this year, disagreed with current health advice given by Public Health England, which says to eat no more than six grams of salt per day.

'It is futile to target such low intakes and, moreover, it may well be harmful. Studies show below about three grams of sodium per day there is increased mortality, heart attack and heart failure,' he told the Sunday Express.

'Reaching sodium intake levels below 2.3g day over a sustainable period of time is not feasible. There is no evidence that this is beneficial and there are concerns it could be harmful.'

Professor Yusuf suggests eating between 7.5g and 12.5g of salt per day.

However, Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE), told the newspaper that reducing salt consumption helps lower blood pressure, adding: 'We are still eating a third more than we should. That's why industry needs to continue to reduce salt in everyday foods.'

PHE argues reducing salt intake can help aid blood pressure levels, meaning there is a lower chance of people of suffering a heart attack, stroke or vascular dementia.

But does it?  Does salt control reduce adverse cardiovascular events?  Is the theory right?  It is not.  But the theory still hangs on, facts regardless



Hollywood as Science Experts

Let's try and get this right.

These are people who excel at pretending they're someone else - mostly people who never existed - while mouthing words they memorized, written by someone else, while being told how to say those words, by another person, in order to maximize the emotional impact on an audience.  All the while being professionally filmed by a bunch of others to enhance that image.

That makes them look smarter, faster, tougher and depending on the theme of this fictional character they're promoting more empathetic, more compassionate, more likable, or more sympathetic, but that's all illusion. That's why they call it acting.

Let's get this right.  Being a celebrity is their only qualification! Not being an actor, singer or comedian - being a celebrity!  Why don't they send in actors, singers or comedians who no one ever heard of? Because they're actors, singers or comedians no one ever heard of. They're just actors, singers or comedians - not celebrities!

How many actual scientists who testify does anyone know?  Unless you're involved in their fields - or as in my case I write about them - the public is clueless as to who they are.  So why are they there?  They're there because they really are experts, not celebrities playing at being an expert.

Although in recent years we're finding so many of these experts are actors like Bill Nye, The Science Guy, and Doctor Oz, who has been ripped by scientists for a lot of their views. These 'experts' they have to face the music within the scientific community after they spew out nonsense. Who do these actors have to answer to?

When they're called before some Congressional panel to testify about issues in which they're completely unqualified to speak - that's not fine - because they're totally unqualified to be there unless they're there to sit down, shut their mouths, listen and learn. But that's not what "celebrities" do and that's not celebrities are used to.

Once these people reach a certain level of celebrity they live in a world of "yes"! Everything they say and do is "news", everything they think is "important", every utterance is splashed over the media as if what they say really means something - or anything for that matter - and many in the public eat it up.  But when you turn out the lights - you get someone who was parking cars, pumping gas and waiting on tables, but now they've become 'stars' and society hungers for their insights on life.

What a sorry state we're in



A low information voter

At one of the DC marches, one woman carried a sign that said "I dream women will someday have the same rights as guns."  Huh??

Does that mean that this brilliant liberal wants...

- you to have to wait 72 hrs after you go out and buy a woman to have your background investigation completed?

- women to be banned from entering school and college campuses?

- women to be banned from any establishment selling alcohol?

- women to be banned from polling places on election days?

- women to be banned from any official government group meetings?

- all women to be banned from all airports?

- you to have to pay a fee to the state before you can carry a woman on your person?

- some women to be banned outright simply because they look too scary?

- all women to be locked up at all times that they are not in use?

Hmmmm.  Does she also think that all guys should have more than one?

That all women should come with silencers?


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Monday, March 06, 2017

Levin: Conservatism Can Never Be Dead – It’s a Way of Life

(And is also rooted in the personality)

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin passionately defended conservatism on Monday, referring to it as “a way of life” that “can never be dead” despite the attempts of the liberal media and some forces within the conservative movement.

“The lib media wants it that way,” said Mark Levin. “They want conservatism dead, but conservatism can never be dead. As long as there is a desire for liberty and individualism, as long as there’s a desire for faith, and there are believers, conservatism can’t go away.”

Below is a transcript of Levin’s comments from the show:

“I keep reading almost breathless and excited reporters writing that CPAC demonstrated that conservatism is no more. I also read it from people I’ve never heard of before on pseudo-conservative websites.

“Well that’s not the CPAC I was at. I can’t speak for the people who were speaking, but as I went around – and I spent about three hours there – and spoke with an enormous number of particularly young people. They’re wrong. They want Trump to succeed, and they endorse the conservative parts of his agenda. And they’re skeptical about the other parts of his agenda. And this is what you would expect from people who are conservative. And they also know the enemy, the left, is diabolical.

“But there seem to be efforts to redefine conservatism and conservative institutions by, among others, conservatives, who— It’s very strange. It just is. It’s very strange, at least, to me.

“Not by the lib media. The lib media wants it that way. They want conservatism dead, but conservatism can never be dead.

“As long as there is a desire for liberty and individualism, as long as there’s a desire for faith, and there are believers, conservatism can’t go away.

“As I said, it’s a way of life. Progressivism, Marxism, nationalism, populism, they’re not ways of life; they’re ideologies that require government to impose a will, somebody else’s will, on you. That’s not conservatism.”



These Cases Prove the Left Is Wrong to Dismiss Voter Fraud

Voter fraud is back in the news, and liberals are not happy about it.

President Donald Trump has pledged that his administration will fully investigate voter fraud in U.S. elections and recently appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the charge.

This is a welcome development. Free and fair elections are the foundation of our political system. If Americans are to have faith in that system, they need to be able to say with confidence that the results of these contests accurately reflect the will of the people.

But for some, the integrity of the ballot box is less important than victory. These fraudsters and thieves are not above rigging elections and stealing votes to advance their careers and their causes.

And because few states have the policies needed to detect and prevent their fraud, there is little risk of being caught. In these situations, it is all too easy to thwart the will of voters.

Of course, there are many on the left who prefer to bury their head in the sand, insisting that voter fraud is a red herring meant only to justify acts of “voter suppression.” It makes for a powerful narrative, but liberals can hide from the facts for only so long.

We have developed and maintained The Heritage Foundation’s voter fraud database, listing confirmed cases of election fraud that have resulted in criminal convictions. Our records are the incontrovertible proof the left insists does not exist—and the database grows larger as new convictions roll in nearly every week.

Today, Heritage is adding 13 cases to our voter fraud database. As of this writing, we have documented 755 confirmed criminal convictions in 474 voter fraud cases from across the country.

Here are three of the newest cases from 2017.


Rosa Maria Ortega, a noncitizen, was found guilty on two counts of voting in the November 2012 general election and the 2014 Republican primary runoff. Ortega claimed she thought she was a citizen, and blamed her lack of education for the mix-up, but prosecutors pointed out that Ortega had previously indicated on a driver’s license application that she was a noncitizen.

A judge sentenced her to eight years’ imprisonment, after which she faces the possibility of deportation.


Vafalay Massaquoi pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying voter registration applications and two counts of forging a public record. While working for New Virginia Majority, a liberal advocacy group, Massaquoi filed voter applications for completely made-up Alexandria residents. An Alexandria official noticed the voter applications were all filled out in the same handwriting and turned the documents over to the authorities.

Massaquoi was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for each count, to run concurrently, but his sentence will be suspended pending his good behavior. He was also ordered to perform 500 hours of community service.


While working for Black Diamond Outreach, a Denver-based community outreach organization, Maureen Marie Moss forged 34 signatures on petitions she was circulating to get U.S. Senate candidate Jon Keyser on the ballot for the June 2016 primary.

Moss ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts, and was sentenced to four years’ probation on each count. She was also ordered to complete 250 hours of community service.

When it comes to election integrity, opponents of voter ID and other protective laws do not understand that absence of evidence is not the same thing as evidence of absence.

Voter fraud often goes undetected for a multitude of reasons. Many states lack the policies and procedures needed to detect fraud, either as it occurs or after the election. Prosecutors, forced to work with limited resources, often do not prioritize these cases, particularly after an election has occurred.

The Heritage Foundation’s report, “Does Your Vote Count?,” outlines reforms that states should adopt—including requiring photo identification, proof of citizenship, and entering into interstate cross-check programs—that will preserve the sanctity of the ballot box and protect the right of all citizens to cast a ballot.

These policies will finally make it possible to reliably detect, deter, and penalize election crimes.

Every instance of voter fraud is a threat to a system that guarantees every American the right to vote, and to have that vote counted. It is time to get serious about the integrity of our elections.



Democrats Hypocritical on Recusal

Newly installed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being harshly castigated over conflict of interest allegations that link him to last year’s non-scandal Russia scandal. Unsurprisingly, those Democrats who aren’t calling for his immediate removal from office are urging Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations into Donald Trump’s links to Russia. And, to his credit, that’s just what Sessions did late yesterday. As the National Review editors write, “Government officials ought to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Given that that standard has been honored mainly in the breach over the past eight years — especially in the Justice Department — Sessions’s decision is a marked improvement on the conduct of his most recent predecessors.”

On that note, let’s step back and evaluate several conflicts of interest the Leftmedia sidestepped when Barack Obama was in power. Let’s start with Justice Elena Kagan. Before her promotion to the Supreme Court, Kagan served as Obama’s solicitor general. Her job was to convince the High Court on the legality of Obama’s agenda. After her ascension to the Supreme Court, however, Kagan refused to recuse herself from NFIB v. Sebelius, the contentious ObamaCare case. This is critical because, despite the administration’s assurances, she was clearly involved in defending the health care overhaul as solicitor general. That ruling, you’ll recall, was 5-4, and it had a far bigger impact than any meetings Sessions had with Russian officials.

Then there’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Despite being, as Daniel Horowitz wrote last year, “a long-time activist in open borders activism,” she ignored her own prejudice and voted in United States v. Texas. This case pertained to Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, more accurately described as executive amnesty. The only good thing that can be said of this case is that the 4-4 tie (Justice Antonin Scalia died before the vote) didn’t change a lower court’s ruling. Regardless, if Democrats were truly concerned about impartiality, Sotomayor would have stepped aside.

And finally, recall the utter malfeasance of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who masqueraded last summer’s private meeting with Bill Clinton as a happenstance that included friendly small talk and nothing more. Democrats actually expected Americans to believe the exchange had nothing to do with the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email. Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi even called the meeting “serendipitous.” Despite the obvious conflict of interest, Lynch ultimately refused to recuse herself.

These are just a few examples of non-recusals. Democrat shenanigans go far beyond this. Remember that Eric Holder’s DOJ targeted media outlets and trafficked guns to Mexico as part of an elaborate gun control agenda. Where was the Democrat opposition then? The most embarrassing of hypocrisy came from Sen. Claire McCaskill, who this week claimed on Twitter: “I’ve been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever.” Yet that very same Twitter feed reveals that in 2013 and 2015, respectively, she tweeted “Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador,” and, “Today calls with British, Russian, and German Ambassadors re: Iran deal.” Moreover, some 30 Democrat senators met with the Russian ambassador in 2015 as Obama was hawking his nuclear deal with Iran.

But now, there’s blood in the water, and the Left is doing its best to exploit it. The reality is that the Sessions uproar is a political witch hunt. One that Democrats embark on while ignoring their own hypocrisy.



Why is Obama using a spokesperson to deny wiretap? The non-denial denial

A spokesman for former President Obama issued a statement denying the former president or his White House ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the election.

The statement came from the former president’s current spokesman Kevin Lewis on Saturday afternoon, after President Donald Trump made the accusation in a tweetstorm that shifted the focus of the news day.

There are still questions such as, why didn’t the 44th president issue the statement himself but rather opted to have it done through a spokesman who signed his name to it?

And, was it actually a denial? Jon Favreau‏, a speechwriter who worked for former President Obama during his administration, warned the media, and fellow liberals, not to paint the statement as a denial that Trump Tower was wiretapped.  He is correct. Nowhere in the “denial” is any denial that the wiretap occurred or that the Obama administration knew of it.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


Sunday, March 05, 2017

Biden Warns Against Delegitimizing the Courts, Undermining the Media

He's got a point.  Both the courts and the media are important checks and balances on an out of control administration. But it's not Trump who is delegitimizing them.  They have already delegitimized themselves -- by their furiously partisan reporting and their selective enforcement of the law.

That the 9th circuit ignored many precedents set by Obama and others in disallowing Trump's Muslim travel ban was blatant even for them.  So when a major part of the judiciary is so selective in enforcing the law, why should anyone have respect for them? Why is something wrong only when Trump does it?

And note that the media just bowed down to Obama's constant and explicit efforts to supplant legislation by regulations.  And the courts let a lot of that through as well

So Biden is right.  The present situation is a bad one for America -- but his side of politics is responsible for it.  One can only hope that Trump's judicial appointments will help restore the balance

Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke out Wednesday about efforts to undermine the press and “delegitimize the courts,” saying “an independent and free press is the fundamental element” in a functioning democracy.

Biden spoke about “the almost drumbeat of denigration of the institutional structures that govern us.”

“When you delegitimize the courts, you delegitimize the legislative body. It’s corrosive, and it makes it almost impossible to reach compromise,” he said during a speech where he was given the 2017 Congressional Patriot Award by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Biden said “if we undermine or destroy” the media, “we do it at our own peril.”

He said he’s taken more than his “fair share of hits from the press,” adding that he’s been “covered by the very best in the business and some of the worst.”

“Some of you press guys are lousy, just like some senators are lousy, like doctors are lousy, lawyers are lousy, but it doesn’t matter. We should never challenge the basic truth that an independent and free press is the fundamental element in functioning of our democracy,” Biden said.

Biden complained that politics “has become much too negative, too nasty, too petty, too personal, and yes, too partisan.”

“Compromise has literally become a dirty word,” he said. “We don’t just question other people’s judgment [when] we disagree with them, but we question their motivation now.”

“If you don’t agree with me, it’s because you’re in the pocket of somebody or if you don’t agree with me, you’re being bought off. If you don’t agree with me, it’s because you are not a good person. We don’t know each other anymore,” Biden said.

He said it’s hard to dislike someone “on the other side when you understand their problems.”

“We’ve got to stop being blinded by anger,” Biden said. “We’ve got to see each other again and continue to focus on hope and the things that unite us.

“I’ve always believed that we’re strongest when we’re one America, and I really mean that – rich, poor, middle-class, black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, transgender - folks like my family and all of yours at some point who came to this country with a dream – new immigrants arriving today. One America. We’re all in this together. Everybody does their fair share. We can argue about what that share is… but we’ve got to move beyond where we are today,” he said.



Reporters savaged Trump for suggesting liberals behind anti Jewish threats

Now a liberal king of fake news has been arrested for the offences

President Donald Trump this week, lamenting a national wave of phoned-in threats to Jewish community centers, countered the mainstream media’s insistence that Trump supporters were behind it by suggesting perhaps it was a liberal.

Reporters reacted with feral outrage, howling at the thought a liberal could be behind such vile threats, until the FBI arrested a suspect in connection with some of the threats.

He’s a liberal.  In fact, he’s a liberal reporter.  And he’s a nationally notorious liberal reporter.

“A St. Louis man has been arrested for making some of the bomb threats against Jewish community centers,” The Washington Examiner reports.

“According to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York, Juan Thompson was arrested on one count of cyberstalking.”

Thompson made threats to several Jewish community centers, as well as the New York headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League.

The Juan Thompson taken into custody is no stranger to media coverage.  He used to be on the other side of it.

Thompson was fired in 2015 from his job as a reporter at The Intercept after reporting on his interview with Scott Roof, the cousin of racist mass killer Dylann Roof. It was a massive scoop, and Thompson’s story grabbed national headlines.

But there was a problem.  Scott Roof didn’t exist.  Thompson made up the story and the quotes.  His editors looked into other stories he had written, and found many of them to be completely made up.

“Thompson fabricated several quotes in his stories and created fake email accounts that he used to impersonate people, one of which was a Gmail account in my name,” Intercept editor-in-chief Betsy Reed confessed to readers. One of the people Thompson impersonated through fake email accounts was Reed herself.

Thompson was back in the national news, but this time exposed as a liar.

After being bounced from The Intercept, Thompson landed a job at “Media Blackout USA” before being canned after writing just six stories.

Thompson’s writing are unapologetically leftist.  In  “‘No Justice, No Respect’: Why the Ferguson Riots Were Justified,” Thompson claimed to have been gassed by police while in Ferguson, Missouri.

“…any person who looks at Ferguson and does not recognize the root cause of it is not the least bit interested in confronting America’s institutionalized racism. He or she is committed to maintaining the current social order that was built to oppress and degrade black life. He or she is an opponent of justice and a proponent of white supremacy,” he wrote.

“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker,” he writes on his Twitter profile.

Thompson was planning to run for St. Louis Mayor.  As a socialist. “F–k it. I’m young, gifted, black, and a socialist and I’m running for mayor of St. Louis in 2017. #peoplepower,” he wrote on Twitter. (We deleted the expletive.)

“Make no mistake: #Chicago’s southside is about to be ethnically cleansed. It will look drastically different in 10 yrs,” he posted to Twitter Feb. 23, claiming President Trump was plotting to exterminate black people.

Thompson also took to Twitter to show off his latest tattoo, of Malcolm X, which he got in Cuba.  He also promoted anti-Trump “Resist” t-shirts.

Now he’s in custody for a series of bomb threats and threats to kill President Trump, which he made while impersonating a woman he once dated.  He claims he’s being framed by the “nasty white woman.”

“Thompson appears to have made some of the … threats as part of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate” the woman, the FBI complaint reads.

“The defendant allegedly caused havoc, expending hundreds of hours of police and law enforcement resources to respond and investigate these threats,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “We will continue to pursue those who peddle fear.”

All of this begs the question.  How did such an obvious liar and mentally unstable psychotic land multiple jobs at liberal media outlets?

And will liberals finally admit liberalism’s mainstream has a domestic terrorism problem?


Below is a picture of Juan Thompson, together with a picture of Jayson Blair, the famous creator of fake news at the NYT.  What makes such people think they can get away with totally made-up stuff?


Soft on Russia?

Not Trump.  Obama/Clinton were much softer

If you want to contain rather than coddle Russia, you certainly would not do what Barack Obama did ahead of his 2012 presidential election. Recall if you will, Obama told then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that incoming President Vladimir Putin needed to “give me space” on missile defense and other major policy and security matters ahead of the 2012 presidential election, and that after the election Obama would have “more flexibility.” Medvedev said he would “transmit” the message to Putin.

So as opposed to Obama’s weak and subservient sop to Moscow, let’s examine if Donald Trump’s policy is promoting or containing Russian power. There are a couple of key elements:

First, Russia’s anemic economy is totally dependent on oil and gas prices, so what has Trump done — opened the gate on oil exploration to keep the price down. And in general, to ensure dominance over totalitarian and dictator states, Trump is taking action to rekindle America’s economic might.

Second, Trump is following Ronald Reagan’s playbook to rebuild our military to contain threats like Russian expansion into Ukraine, which got a yawn from Obama.

Make no mistake, Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary “Reset Button” Clinton, were soft on Russia. Trump, on the other hand, is restoring America’s standing in the world.

And as for the Demo claims that Jeff Sessions perjured himself in confirmation testimony, that’s all political theater designed to derail Trump’s momentum after his congressional address Tuesday night.



Mattis livid at reports disputing value of Yemen raid

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is hopping mad about media reports disputing his assessment that the U.S. special operations raid in Yemen last month yielded "vital intelligence."

Aides say Mattis is particularly upset about an NBC News report suggesting that so far none of the intelligence gathered in the raid, which cost the life of Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens, has proven to be either "actionable or vital."

"That is inaccurate," said a senior Pentagon official, who said while much of the intelligence is still being exploited, the cache of seized computers, cell phones, and hard drive has already produced leads as to where other al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists were located in Yemen, and their contacts.

The official said the raid was considered worth the risk of sending U.S. ground forces because AQAP has a history of plotting, inspiring, and exporting terror to America and the West, and because the U.S. has no military presence on the ground.

The U.S. said AQAP was behind the "underwear bomber," Boston Marathon bombing, and the 2015 attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

As if to underscore that the Jan. 29 raid gave the U.S. a better idea of where to strike in Yemen, U.S. warplanes and drones struck a suspected al Qaeda hideout in a mountainous region of Yemen on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

The Pentagon has consistently said that the raid was a success, and that it was a worthwhile mission given that AQAP is the "most capable element of al Qaeda in exporting terror to the west."

"Valuable and actionable intelligence was taken in this operation," said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, in a Pentagon briefing earlier this month.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)