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Updated: 2016-10-23T21:10:18.506-04:00


Cruising the Web


Rumors are out there that Trump is considering founding his own TV network after he loses the election. It might seem like a natural progression for the guy who has built so much of his reputation by appearances in the media and on a reality show. Reportedly, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been talking to an investor about setting up a Trump TV network. I guess his family doesn't think that he will win and they're thinking about what he can do to cash in on his election fun.Ryan Lizza reminds us that there have been other attempts to launch TV networks that have not been successful.In recent years, several Trump-like personalities have tried to transform their populist shtick into a television venture and have failed. First, there was the Sarah Palin Channel, which lasted less than a year. Glenn Beck, who once led the anti-Obama conspiracy theorists on the right, had a popular show on HLN and then Fox News, but his Blaze TV project has been in a death spiral this year.Recent newcomers to cable news, like Bloomberg and Fox Business Channel, have also failed to take off. Outside of conservative and news media, networks designed around a single person are no easier to sustain. Even the Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable channel with hundreds of millions of dollar in startup funds, created, in 2011, by one of the most popular personalities in America, has struggled to post impressive ratings.I wonder how Fox News would regard Trump's efforts to eat into their viewership with a competing network after some of their shows like Hannity and Fox and Friends have basically been operating as arms of the Trump campaign. Lizza is skeptical that Trump TV would be successful.It also seems highly unlikely that Trump—who is loath even to spend money on polls because he believes there are plenty of public ones he can have for free—would suddenly cough up tens and perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars to enter the fraught business of cable TV. It’s also improbable that someone who brags about how much money he has could find others to finance such a risky venture, especially given Trump’s long trail of failed businesses (Trump Airlines, the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, Trump University, Trump Magazine).Even Trump’s closest advisers are skeptical that cable news is the right path. I recently talked to a top Trump campaign official who has studied the cable news business closely, and he argued that it was a foolish endeavor.“Roger Ailes is the most brilliant guy in this business,” the official said. “He put seven hundred fifty million a year into Fox Business. He put the best guys you’ve got, like Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo. In the early afternoon, there are more people on Breitbart’s home page than are watching Fox Business. Look at the guys at Bloomberg. And these are brilliant TV guys. That business breaks people.”Trump is certainly not going away, but there are good reasons to suspect that you won’t find Trump TV on your cable box anytime soon.Well, that's a relief. I suspect that he's going to be facing a real downturn in his finances after this election as his main source of wealth, licensing his name, will no longer be in such demand. I suspect also that he will decide that he prefers to make occasional appearances with a sycophantic Sean Hannity where he can spout his incoherent conspiracy theories rather than risk his wealth on a doubtful TV venture. Shop Amazon Devices - All-New Fire HD 8Shop Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone - Moto G Play $50 OffShop Amazon Devices - All New Echo DotAnn Althouse excoriates Hillary Clinton's statement in the debate about how she views the Supreme Court. Clinton's answer demonstrates the left's attitude that the courts should just be an arm of their political party. She said that she would "stand up against Citizens United." Althouse writes, There's that injudicious term "stand up" again. You know, sticking with precedent is called "stare decisis," and that Latin phrase literally contains the word "stand": Let the decision stand. The idea that courts [...]

Cruising the Web


By opening with a question on the Supreme Court, Chris Wallace hit the one issue that might make some conservatives vote for Trump. Hillary's answer on D.C. v. Heller was quite deceptive. The case was not about protecting toddlers. It concerned whether D.C.'s laws were so restrictive that they violated the individual's right to keep and bear arms. Sean Davis explains how wrong she was in her characterization of the decision.It’s a lie so absurd that I honestly don’t know where to begin, but I’ll give it a shot: No, the Heller decision was not about toddlers. It had nothing to do with toddlers. Nothing. It’s no coincidence that the word “toddler” doesn’t appear in either the majority or dissenting opinions in the case. Because it had nothing to do with toddlers.So what was the Heller case really about? It was about whether Dick Anthony Heller, a 66-year-old police officer, should be legally allowed to own and bear a personal firearm to defend himself and his family at home. That’s it....o mention of toddlers. Because the case wasn’t about toddlers. It was about whether the District of Columbia’s “total ban on handguns” — the Supreme Court’s characterization of the law at issue in the case — was constitutional. The Supreme Court ruled that D.C.’s ban on handguns was unconstitutional and that Heller, a police officer, had a constitutional right to own and bear a firearm in his home. It had nothing whatsoever to do with toddlers. We saw the difference in having a moderator who isn't an obvious liberal for there to be a question on partial-birth abortion right in the beginning. Hillary can talk about the difficult decisions that women face at the end of a pregnancy but that doesn't mean that the baby has to be killed as it is in a late-term abortion. Babies at that stage of pregnancy, if the situation were as Hillary described of there being a problem with the woman's health, a baby could still be delivered and live. Of course, for all Trump's pretend outrage on partial-birth abortion, he once supported it.Of course, then Trump had to go and claim that ICE has endorsed him. Government agencies don't make endorsements. The union representing ICE agents is what endorsed him. Then he went and praised Obama for deporting people. Apparently, Trump doesn't know that the numbers of deportations under Obama are opened because the definition of deportation has changed.Will someone explain to Donald Trump, that Wharton graduate, that "bigly" is not a word?I'd like to ask Trump if he plans to ignore the evaluation of intelligence agencies in a Trump administration when they tell him that the Russians are responsible for the Wikileaks or does his admiration of Vladimir Putin trump American intelligence agencies? And he's already been informed in his intelligence briefings that Russia is behind the hacking.A senior U.S. intelligence official assured NBC News that cybersecurity and the Russian government's attempts to interfere in the 2016 election have been briefed to, and discussed extensively with, both parties' candidates, surrogates and leadership, since mid-August. "To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation," said the official. "The intelligence community has walked a very thin line in not taking sides, but both candidates have all the information they need to be crystal clear."Of course, the woman who giggled her way through the mistranslated "Reset" button is not a woman who can brag about how tough she'd be with Putin.Hillary was quite dishonest in saying that she hadn't been talking about "open borders" in her leaked speech in Brazil.Bragging about how her husband was responsible for the 1990s economic boom is ludicrous. And crediting Obama with saving the economy is also a laugh. Given that the Obama administration has doubled the national debt, she shouldn't be bragging about how she's worried about the debt. She seems to think that giving the government a bigger role in the economy is the way to grow the economy.Shop Amazon Devic[...]

Cruising the Web


Joy Pullmann explains why the NAACP has betrayed the very people the organization pretends to be fighting for. Even though black leaders and black families are looking to charter schools as the saving grace for children stuck in awful schools, the NAACP has issued a resolution calling for a moratorium on charter schools and any other form of choice in education.The NAACP seems to think that the problem is that we're not spending enough money on schools. This stance is a head-scratcher on myriad counts. For one, the United States already boasts the highest-funded public education system in the world, at an average cost (not including public debt, typically for facilities costs, which is massive) of $12,000 per student per year. The districts where black students are concentrated tend to spend even more — Washington DC, for example, spends approximately $25,000 per child per year, Baltimore spends $15,000 per student, and Detroit $14,000. U.S. education spending has quadrupled since the 1970s while student achievement has stagnated, and seems to have had little effect on black kids particularly (once raised above segregation-era pittances).But don't let such facts get in the way of dogma. Especially inconvenient is the fact that charters, which are public schools that just give the school more choice in how to accomplish its educational mission, don't spend anywhere the amount of money that regular public schools spend per student.Now, the average charter school — which is a fully public school that local citizens can apply to run as independent boards following public transparency laws — spends approximately $7,600 per student per year. Despite the huge cost savings charters offer, quality studies show their students learn at least as much, and often more, than their peers in traditional public schools.In fact, the children who seem to academically and socially benefit the most from enrolling in a charter school are the very children NAACP claims to represent: poor, minority children. For example: “Black and Hispanic students who attended charter schools in [New York City] for eight years closed the achievement gap with affluent suburbs like Scarsdale by 86% in math and 66% in English,” found a National Bureau for Economic Research study. “Public charter middle schools in Boston cut the black-white achievement gap in math by as much as half in a single year.”Massachusetts charters close the racial achievement gap on half the funding of traditional public schools — and charters are legally forbidden from refusing any student for any reason. They have to take low performers, English learners, and disabled kids. Closed the achievement gaps between white and minority students! That’s practically the Holy Grail of education reform! And at half the cost! What more could you want?The gap between black and white kids exists, but the NAACP now is on board opposing the very schools that are actually doing something to close that gap. The families of children lucky enough to attend those charter schools are tremendously grateful for that opportunity. Sadly, the NAACP is rejecting the very solution that they should be throwing all their support behind.Just a quarter of African-Americans would pick public schools if they had a choice in the matter; and 20 percent would pick a charter school. In that same poll, a whopping 74 percent of black respondents favored charter schools, and two-thirds supported vouchers and tax-credit scholarships. Clearly, the NAACP doesn’t represent most black families on this matter.Enrollment patterns show a similar reality. According to the latest federal data, 27 percent of charter school students are black, more than double their proportion among the general population of 12 percent. About a million African-American children attend charter schools exclusively because of their parents’ choice to enroll them in those environments.NAACP is telling these black parents they’ve made bad choices, that their individual success is[...]

Cruising the Web


For those Trumpkins who are vowing revenge against Republicans who aren't sufficiently supportive of their guy, should simply read this story and think again.Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House.As Donald Trump’s poll numbers tank, dragging the whole GOP down with him, the possibility that Pelosi could return to the speaker’s chair after a six-year absence has suddenly grown very real. No one has done anything like this since the legendary Sam Rayburn did 60 years ago, and it is still unlikely to happen. Yet the House is definitely in play, according to experts on both sides of the aisle, which means the 76-year-old Pelosi could be wielding the speaker’s gavel again come January.It's bad enough that their beau ideal has ruined what would have been a very winnable election and virtually guaranteed that the Clintons will be returning to the White House, but do they really want to be responsible for again enthroning Pelosi in the Speaker's chair? The best argument GOP House and Senate candidates should be drumming home in the next few weeks is that a vote for them is a needed check on a Clinton White House.Why is the administration making this public?t's not clear what to make of NBC's weekend report that the CIA is plotting a cyberattack against the Russian government (Vladimir Putin in particular) or why sources decided to go public about it.To summarize: The CIA has apparently been planning a cyber counterstrike to expose information intended to "embarrass" the Kremlin and "unsavory tactics by Russian President Vladimir Putin." Why this has been made public is anybody's guess, but Vice President Joe Biden confirmed with a wink and a nod to Meet the Press that America is "sending a message" to Russia. When asked whether the public would know about this message, Biden responded, very Bidenly, "Hope not."While we try to wrap our minds around the idea of the public not finding out about a cyberattack Biden is openly promoting on a Sunday talk show, NBC does get a sense of the internal conflict with the administration about whether it's possible to retaliate against Russia in any meaningful way:Yes, proposed covert actions should definitely be leaked and discussed on public TV. And I'm sure that Putin is quaking in his boots at the thought that we would release some information that would reveal that he has "unsavory tactics." That would be a real shocker to everyone, I'm sure.Interesting Finds at Amazon: Updated DailySpring Savings in Grocery and Gourmet FoodGroceries under $10Best Deals in Pet Supplies Office and School SuppliesWe keep finding out such revealing details in the WikiLeaks hacking of John Podesta's email. For example, here is a tidbit from Clinton's 2008 campaign about proposed attacks on Obama.The e-mails, which were allegedly hacked from Podesta’s account and were published by WikiLeaks today, reveal that Clinton’s 2008 campaign had focus-group tested attacks focusing on Obama’s cocaine habit, his decision to not wear an American flag lapel pin, and the time he spent in Indonesia.They proposed to attack Obama, whom they mysteriously kept referring to as "owe-BAH-uh," for such assorted sins as not covering his heart during the national anthem, his connection to Tony Rezko, his willingness to negotiation with Iran and North Korea without preconditions, his votes against allowing people to use handguns in self-defense, his proposed tax increases for his health care idea, having a Muslim father and growing up in Indonesia, a Muslim country, his votes in illinois against health care for babies who survive an abortion and are born alive, his support for giving driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, and his use of cocaine as a young man. It sounds just like what the Republicans were saying about Obama during that election. I guess these attacks didn't focus-group all that well since Clinton didn't use them. But it's sure interesting that these were all lines of attack that they might have been willing to use if[...]

Cruising the Web


As we learn that Rahami, the man arrested for the New Jersey and New York bombing plots, was reported to the police by his own father for suspected ties to terrorism, but after investigating, the FBI didn't go further, the WSJ argues we need to adjust our laws on surveillance of suspected terrorists.the Rahami case raises troubling questions about whether U.S. law enforcement and intelligence are gathering, analyzing and acting on the information they need to detect and disrupt threats before they happen. Mr. Rahami, who came to the U.S. in 1995 with his family of Afghan asylum seekers, was arrested in 2014 for stabbing his brother, and his father told the police then that his son was involved in terrorism.The Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an “assessment,” which is a risk review short of a full criminal probe that includes interviews and cross-checks of federal terrorism and criminal databases. Mr. Rahami was cleared, though he travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan several times over the last decade, including a year in the Taliban hothouse of Quetta.So what can the FBI do with such information? Now, after the fact, family and friends are speaking up that he returned from those trips radicalized. What else could the authorities known about him if they'd had him under surveillance. Would they have found out that he ordered the components for his IEDs online? As the WSJ points out, there have been other terrorists in the United States who eluded FBI surveillance.The 2015 San Bernardino killers, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, weren’t in the terror database. But they spent a year planning and maintained an extensive digital correspondence about jihad and martyrdom. Malik was born in Pakistan and spent time in Saudi Arabia before marrying Farook.The FBI also kept a file on the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers, after receiving a tip in 2011 that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a dangerous Islamic radical. The G-men missed his trip to a Muslim region in Russia near Chechnya. The voyage registered on a Homeland Security travel monitoring system when he left, but the listing somehow lapsed by the time he came back and no one was alerted. Similar failures have also been documented after the separate attacks on two Tennessee military bases and in Garland, Texas in 2015.The authorities seem to be doing the best they come under the parameters they have to operate. They claim to have thwarted over 90 terrorist attacks within the U.S.Yet Americans are right to wonder about the erosion of intelligence collection in the post-Edward Snowden period, even as the terror danger has increased to a post-9/11 high. Islamic State isn’t the al Qaeda of 2001. ISIS is a creature of modern technology, and across social media and the “dark web” they have a wide reach to disseminate propaganda and training materials. Unlike al Qaeda, they encourage random people to self-radicalize and carry out attacks.To find the terror signal amid this noise, U.S. counterterrorism operations need the same or better technological tools as ISIS. Yet last year Congress and President Obama panicked over the Snowden disclosures and limited several surveillance programs with the USA Freedom Act....As for surveillance, about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every day—digital traces from social media, consumer purchases, call logs and smartphones. Google, social networks, credit-card companies, banks, retailers, academic researchers and many others analyze this information with algorithms to make money, innovate or learn about society. Politicians use data mining to target voters. The irony is that Hillary Clinton’s campaign probably knows more about individual citizens and their behavior than Mrs. Clinton could know if she becomes Commander in Chief.If someone pledges allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Facebook, travels to the Syro-Turkish border, buys pressure cookers on Amazon and then pays the toll at the Ho[...]

Cruising the Web


The Washington Post has been going to town examining Trump's foundation and his rather meager charitable giving. Now they've uncovered potentially illegal actions to use money from his charity to settle his own legal disputes.Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.Those cases, which together used $258,000 from Trump’s charity, were among four newly documented expenditures in which Trump may have violated laws against “self-dealing” — which prohibit nonprofit leaders from using charity money to benefit themselves or their businesses.That's in addition to using the foundation's money to buy portraits of himself and to tout his own businesses. The other expenditures involved smaller amounts. In 2013, Trump used $5,000 from the foundation to buy advertisements touting his chain of hotels in programs for three events organized by a D.C. preservation group. And in 2014, Trump spent $10,000 of the foundation’s money for a portrait of himself bought at a charity fundraiser.Or, rather, another portrait of himself.Several years earlier, Trump had used $20,000 from the Trump Foundation to buy a different, six foot-tall portrait.So sleazy and so typical.It's hard to pick whose dealings with their charitable foundations was sleazier. But Hillary's depredations take the prize because she was dealing with a public office at the time. Here is yet another example of her actions to repay donors.Hillary Clinton placed dozens of her donors on State Department advisory boards between 2009 and 2012, federal records show.The former secretary of state's agency appointed 194 donors who had given either to her family's foundation, her political campaigns, or both, or were affiliated with groups that had.Those donors represented nearly 40 percent of the 511 advisory appointments the State Department made during Clinton's tenure.Atlantic Magazine provides a handy cheat sheet of Trump scandals. It goes with their primer on Clinton scandals. Or you can use this cheat sheet. I just finished covering Washington's presidency in my US History class. How dismal it is to turn from that subject to today's politics.Shop Amazon Devices - All-New Fire HD 8Shop Amazon Prime Exclusive Phone - Moto G Play $50 OffShop Amazon Devices - All New Echo DotIt's just a short jump from using her position at the State Department to reward donors to the family foundation to promising taxpayer funds so she can convince key constituencies to vote for her. Isn't that basically what Hillary is doing when she tries to motivate young people to come out and vote for her by promising them government payment of their college debts?Hillary Clinton, campaigning Monday at Temple University, told college students - many of whom are drowning in debt - that she's the candidate to address their needs.Hillary Clinton told students that she is the candidate to speak to their needs, such as student debt levels. Slideshow icon SLIDESHOWClinton offers Temple students debt relief, urges them to voteClinton stresses 'resolve' on terror; Trump promises to get 'tough'Trump tax plan may cost $1.5 trillion more than he saysPoliticos say they'll use Uber to offer 'free rides' to the polls Election Day"No one will work harder to make your life better," Clinton said, promising to give young people a say in White House decision-making.Clinton told the crowd of 300 at Mitten Hall that she has a plan that would offer debt-free public college for everyone, apprentice programs for those who opt to not go to college, and high-quality child care for every family. The pitch was part of her campaign's push to get millennials involved and committed to voting for her in November.Of course, that is just what Trump does when he promises a new entitlement to new mothers to give them mate[...]