Friday, December 15, 2017

How the Media Already Have Twisted the Meaning of the Alabama Election

In their elation over Doug Jones having prevailed in the Alabama Senate race to fill the seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the media are now trying to position the election as a referendum on President Trump.
Take a recent New York Times article, for example, which cites “4 Takeaways from Doug Jones’s Alabama Victory.” 
Doug Jones’s win in the “reddest of red states,” the article suggests, signifies that Alabama’s “highly educated and high-income voters, while often open to supporting Republicans, are uneasy with the hard-edged politics of President Trump.”  Simply put, this is meant to suggest that the race was a referendum on President Trump’s politics, and specifically, that Moore’s loss was not a reaction to the “claims of sexual misconduct against Roy Moore.” After all, the voting results in the suburbs of Alabama “mirror” the voting pattern of “well-heeled suburbanites” in Virginia last month -- a comparison which I cannot imagine the article’s authors could have typed with a straight face.  Comparing the voting impulses of D.C. suburbanites in Virginia to Alabama’s suburbanites is about as apples-and-oranges of a comparison as one might get.
But here’s the interesting thing.  Anyone who’s honest knows that the media centerpiece of the Alabama election was the troubling allegations of child molestation and sexual assault against Roy Moore, and the scandal which followed.  However, the only other mention of the prominent scandal in the New York Times piece is that that “some of Moore’s allies placed the blame for the loss on [Mitch] McConnell, who withdrew his support after the allegations first emerged that Mr. Moore had pursued teenage girls sexually or romantically.” 

Trump Cuts 22 Regs for Every New One

The administration has cut 22 regulations for every new rule introduced, President Donald Trump announced at the White House Thursday.
Agencies and departments issued 67 deregulatory actions and imposed only three new rules in fiscal year 2017, according to senior administration officials. The number far exceeded Trump's goal through his executive order to cut two old rules for any new regulation proposed.
While making the announcement, Trump stood beside a mountain of paperwork that makes up the Federal Register. A piece of red tape connected a much smaller pile, which represented the regulatory code in 1960.
"Within the first eleven months, we canceled or delayed over 1,500 planned regulatory actions, more than any previous president, by far," Trump said. "And you see the results, when you look at the stock market, the results of companies, and when you see companies coming back into our country."
"Instead of eliminating two old regulations for every one new regulation, we have eliminated 22" he said. "Twenty-two. That's a big difference. We aimed for 2 for 1, and in 2017, we hit 22-1."
A senior official said the administration deregulatory moves were taken in careful and mindful ways and have saved $8.1 billion in lifetime net regulatory costs.

Soros Behind Some of Trump Sexual Harassment Claims

Billionaire left-wing globalist George Soros is at it again, this time wielding his financial heft to advance the narrative that President Trump is guilty of sexual harassment and assault.
InfoWars reports that Soros’ Open Society Foundations and Media Matters for America funds Brave New Films, an allegedly non-partisan, non-profit organization that released a film entitled “16 women and Donald Trump,” which detailed the accounts of 16 women who claim to have been sexually harassed and assaulted by the president.
Brave New Films then hosted a press conference on December 11, which proved a forum for the women to share their firsthand accounts of their experiences being harassed by President Trump. The women claimed that they had been forcibly kissed and groped by President Trump before he came to office.
While Brave New Films claims that they do not “expressly advocate for the election or defeat of candidates for public office,” their videos tell a different story:
Stand Up, Senate! The President-elect is a hypocrite.
Protect Public Education — Stop Betsy DeVos!
Indivisible: A Practical Guide For Resisting The Trump Agenda
A statement by CBS announcing the press conference stated that the conference would call for accountability and “an investigation by Congress of sexual misconduct by the president.” CBS’ statement left little room to question the news outlet’s bias: “These brave women have all spoken out individually.” It sounds like CBS has already made up its mind about the accusations.

Why we can’t let the creeps write the rules

Maybe we need a fresh perspective. Everybody regards harassers as creeps. We’re watching them fall on their swords of necessity and regret, as much for being caught for what they’ve actually done. Some of the rest of us, however, are acting a little too much like Madame Defarge in Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” knitting with contented delight as the heads of the guilty and innocent drop from the guillotine.
Nobody wants to do nuance. No one wants to take the side of a hideous harasser or boorish jerk, but we do need to face up to the difference between a man charged with rape and one simply forcing an unwanted kiss on the lips of a lady, between the man who presses his body close and the creep who locks the door of his office to prevent her escape, or between the dedicated masher and the flamboyant performer taking slapstick to the point of touching a bosom or bottom.
Santa knows who’s naughty, nice and nefarious, as on a “Saturday Night Live” satire of the shenanigans and aggressions on Page One, but the comics at NBC concede that children are naturally confused to learn that adults like toys, too, such as those Matt Lauer kept in his office for play dates. One of the youngsters in the “Saturday Night Live” skit asks Santa why, “If you admit you did something wrong, you get in trouble, but if you deny it, they let you keep your job.” (Out of the mouths of babes.) Of course, that’s not getting it exactly right, but in terms of morality and the law the lessons are ambiguous, written not in black and white but in the fifty shades of gray in an erotic novel.

Is The Oil Glut Set To Return?

For the second month in a row, the IEA has poured cold water onto the oil market, publishing an analysis that suggests 2018 could hold some bearish surprises for crude.
The IEA’s December Oil Market Report dramatically revises up the expected growth of U.S. shale, which goes a long way to torpedoing the excitement around the OPEC extension.
Late last month, when OPEC agreed to extend its production cuts through the end of 2018, the U.S. EIA came out with data – on the same day as the OPEC announcement – that showed an explosive increase in shale output for the month of September, up 290,000 bpd from the month before.
Although there is a time lag on publishing production data, the huge jump in output in September, plus the spike in rig count activity over the past few weeks, points to strength in the U.S. shale sector. Against that backdrop, the IEA predicted that non-OPEC supply would grow by 1.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2018, a rather significant upward revision of 0.2 mb/d compared to last month’s report.
Adding insult to injury for OPEC, the IEA sees oil demand growing by just 1.3 mb/d. In other words, supply will grow at a faster pace than demand next year, opening up a global surplus once again. “So, on our current outlook 2018 may not necessarily be a happy New Year for those who would like to see a tighter market,” the IEA said. The surplus will be front-loaded – the first half of the year will see a glut of about 200,000 bpd.

Congressional Democrats Want To Play Shutdown Theater As They Reject Anymore Clean Spending Bills

Okay, folks—we have ourselves some shutdown theater going on from Congressional Democrats. We were on the verge of a government shutdown last week. On December 8, at midnight, the government was set to run out of money. A two-week continuing resolution was introduced and passed. While 14 Democrats did vote for it in the House and Senate Minority Leader helped it cruise to passage in the Senate with an 81-14 vote, the Left is hitting the brakes on more CRs. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said he and Sen. Schumer have signaled that they’re not going to pass another temporary spending bill, even if its clean. House Democrats didn’t lift a finger to help Republicans pass it, though they knew they had the votes. Republicans were really not happy about the two-week CReither, though the conservative wing conceded it had enough votes to pass. It was either this or an epic logrolling session in the future. It was the lesser of two evils.
Hoyer says he’s not that confident Republicans have the votes to continue this, which us why he and Schumer are reportedly putting their foot down, forcing the GOP to act on bills that have been stalled. Roll Call has more:

Judicial Watch Sues FBI for Records About Removal of Peter Strzok from Mueller Operation

Judicial Watch today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for records about the removal and reassignment of Peter Strzok, a former deputy to the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, from the special counsel’s investigative team led by former FBI director Robert Mueller. Strzok also was the FBI’s second in command of counterintelligence and chief of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server, interviewing Hillary Clinton himself on July 2, 2016. 

The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI failed to respond to an August 17, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-02682)). Judicial Watch seeks:
  • All records regarding the assignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok to the special counsel’s investigation led by former Director Robert Mueller.
  • All records related to the reassignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok from the special counsel’s investigation to another position within the FBI.
  • All SF-50 and/or SF-52 employment forms, as well as all related records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the FBI and any other individual or entity.