Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Saudi says Trump stance on Iran and IS cause for optimism!

Reuters ^ | January 16, 2017 | By John Irish 

PARIS--Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Monday he was positive about the way the incoming U.S. administration wanted to restore American influence in the world, contain Iran and fight Islamic State.
"We are optimistic about the incoming administration and look forward to working with it in all areas that are a concern for both of us," Jubeir told reporters in Paris.
"We will look at the Trump administration's view as articulated. Wanting to restore America's role in the world, we welcome this. Wanting to defeat ISIS (Islamic State), absolutely. Wanting to contain Iran ... absolutely."
Jubeir said the interests of the world's largest oil exporter were aligned with those of the United States, be it geopolitically - in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran - or on energy and financial issues.
"The objectives we want to achieve are the same. We may have disagreements on how to get there, but we don't disagree on what needs to be done, and that will not change," he said. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...


jmAndrewBreitbart 001

Paid protesters pretending to be the Grassroots

Canada Free Press ^ | 01/17/17 | Judi McLeod 

Coming to a street corner near you:

The chanting and ranting, the high-pitched screaming going to be heard on D.C. streets during inauguration are, like Rosie O’Donnell’s, Michael Moore’s, and other entertainment celebrities’ paid acts.

O’Donnell and Moore get paid plenty by people who just don’t want to be titillated and entertained but by those who naively believe they represent their personal political beliefs, and by the publicity needed to keep their television shows and ‘shockumentaries’ afloat.

Democrats wasting time hating Donald Trump

The Washington Times ^ | 16 Jan 17 | Wesley Pruden 

Democrats who confuse hating Donald Trump with Mom and apple pie as the all-American recipe to win elections are blowing their chances, such as they are, for the 2018 midterm elections. If you’re a Democrat it’s never too soon to fret and stew about the prospects.

But Democrats are having so much fun despising the Donald they’re forgetting duty to party and responsibility to exploit opportunity. The party on the outs nearly always picks up a few seats in the midterms. But sore losers forget the ancient bipartisan admonition that “now is the time for every man to come to the aid of the party.” And that includes the women.

Even if the diehard losers can get their act together soon, the job of making a dent in the Donald’s Republican prospects will be daunting. Thirty-three seats in the Senate will be up for election in 2018, and 25 of those are now held by Democrats. Additionally, two independents who caucus and usually vote with Democratic senators will be completing their six-year terms.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

After Eight Years Of Drowning In Obama’s Regulations, America Can Come Up For Air!

dailycaller.com ^ | 1/17/2017 | Rep. Scott DesJarlais 

The Obama Administration has set records for new pages of federal regulations, issuing more “midnight” regulations during the President’s last days in office – the lame-duck period after November’s election – than any other. The conservative American Action Forum describes 31 new regulations as “economically significant,” costing at least $100 million annually.

The burden falls heaviest on small businesses, costing each an estimated $30,000 per employee, and the economy as a whole $2 trillion every year. As a result of regulations such as Obamacare, small businesses are disappearing and jobs along with them. The labor force participation rate is at a generational low, and the real unemployment rate may be as high as 10 percent, taking into account Americans who have given up looking for work or stuck in part-time jobs.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...

Boom: Trump eyes 10% spending cuts, 20% slash of federal workers!

Washington Examiner ^ | January 17,2017 | PAUL BEDARD 

Making good on a promise to slash government, President-elect Trump has asked his incoming team to pursue spending and staffing cuts.
Insiders said that the spending reductions in some departments could go as high as 10 percent and staff cuts to 20 percent, numbers that would rock Washington if he follows through.
At least two so-called "landing teams" in Cabinet agencies have relayed the call for cuts as part of their marching orders to shrink the flab in government.
The cuts would target discretionary spending, not mandated programs such as Medicare or Social Security, the sources said.
The spending reductions are expected to be used to help pay for Trump's plan to boost the Pentagon's budget, tax cuts and some pet projects, potentially including the anti-immigration wall on the nation's southern border.
The teams also are looking at staffing cuts over four years through attrition, a hiring freeze and reorganization.
The plan is winning cheers in conservative, anti-tax and anti-spending corners in Washington that have long sought massive cuts in the bureaucracy.
Presidents rarely cut spending, choosing freezes instead. In the meantime, federal spending has reached historic levels. Trump has picked a budget hawk, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, to head the Office of Management and Budget, a clear sign that spending cuts are a top priority.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...

Obama’s IRS Commission Says Its “OK” For Illegals To Steal Social Security Numbers On Tax Returns!

USChronicle.com ^ | Phoenix Brooks 

Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) asked Koskinen about the process, and for the commissioner to explain the logic behind giving tax refunds to illegal aliens who have committed a theft of a tax-payer’s identification number.

Koskinen’s AMAZING response, according to the Washington Examiner, was that it was in everybody’s interest to have the illegal aliens pay taxes with stolen id’s.
(Excerpt) Read more at uschronicle.com ...

Why Obamacare's "20 Million Insured" Number Is Fake

Zero Hedge ^ | 01/17/2017 | Submitted by Genevieve Wood via DailySignal.com 

Liberals are notorious for caring about “groups” of people, but when it gets down to individual persons, not so much. You’re about to see this play out in spades as Democrats cry crocodile tears over the coming repeal of Obamacare.
You hear it over and over again: “This will be catastrophic for the 20 million people who were previously uninsured but now have coverage! You can’t take away their health care!”
First of all, no one is talking about doing that. Any repeal legislation will have a transition period for those who got coverage through Obamacare to move to new plans. And second, they will have more choices and better options. Win. Win.
But liberals would rather focus on quantity, how many millions we’ve given something to, versus quality, what does that “gift” mean for individual people.
The Obama administration claims 20 million more Americans today have health care due to Obamacare. The reality is that when you look at the actual net gains over the past two years since the program was fully implemented, the number is 14 million, and of that, 11.8 million (84 percent) were people given the “gift” of Medicaid.
And new research shows that even fewer people will be left without insurance after the repeal of Obamacare. Numbers are still being crunched, but between statistics released by the Congressional Budget Office and one of the infamous architects of Obamacare, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jonathan Gruber, it’s estimated that anywhere from 2 to 7 million people now on Medicaid would have qualified for the program even without Obamacare.
That further discredits the administration’s claim of 20 million more Americans having health insurance because of Obamacare.
Multiple studies have also shown that even those who are uninsured often have better outcomes than those with Medicaid. A University of Virginia study found that for eight different surgical procedures, Medicaid patients were more likely to die than privately insured or uninsured patients. They were also more likely to suffer complications.
And it is important to note that this study focused on procedures done from 2003-2007, prior to the geniuses in Washington deciding it was a good idea to put even more people on the already overburdened Medicaid system.
Additionally, despite what proponents of the law promised, there is little evidence to show that the use of emergency rooms, which have a higher level of medical errors, has decreased due to Obamacare.
Then there is this realityWhile Obamacare has handed out millions of new Medicaid cards, that does not mean the recipients now have quality health care. In fact, it doesn’t ensure they have health care at all. That’s because increasing numbers of doctors aren’t accepting Medicaid.
As a Louisiana woman told The New York Times, “My Medicaid card is useless for me right now. It’s a useless piece of plastic. I can’t find an orthopedic surgeon or a pain management doctor who will accept Medicaid.”
Keep that in mind every time liberal Democratic senators pull out the Kleenex boxes bemoaning the fact Republicans are the ones trying to take people’s health care away.
Speaking of which, a much underreported fact of Obamacare is how many truly needy and disabled Americans are NOT getting the services they need because of the expansion of Medicaid for able-bodied adults (aka healthy) of prime working age, 19-54.
So while the left talks about all the new people Obamacare is helping, it neglects to mention that over half a million disabled people, from those with developmental disabilities to traumatic brain injuries, are on waiting lists for care.
And many of them are on waiting lists because Obamacare gives states more money to enroll able-bodied adults than it does to take care of disabled children and adults who qualified for Medicaid prior to Obamacare.
If you think that doesn’t have a real-world perverse impact, note this. Since Arkansas expanded its Medicaid program under Obamacare, it’s rolls have grown by 25 percent. During that same time, 79 people on the Medicaid waiting list who suffered from developmental disabilities have died. I would encourage you to read my former Heritage Foundation colleague Chris Jacob’s full piece on this.
Finally, it’s not just those enrolled in Medicaid that are finding fewer health care provider options. For people who now have health plans through the Obamacare exchanges, new Heritage Foundation research shows that this year, in 70 percent of counties across the country, those consumers will have only one or two insurers to choose from.
Add to that the millions of people who lost the doctors and health plans they liked and are now paying higher premiums for less coverage, and you can see that quality health care and anything resembling “choice” has quickly disappeared for an increasing number of Americans due to Obamacare.
So the next time a defender of Obamacare tries to take the moral high ground about the millions of people the law has helped, ask them to define what “help” looks like.

A Guide to Basic Differences Between Left and Right

The Dennis Prager Show ^ | 1-17-17 | Dennis Prager 

Source of Human Rights: Left: government; Right: the Creator
Human Nature: Left: basically good (Therefore, society is primarily responsible for evil.); Right: not basically good (Therefore, the individual is primarily responsible for evil.)
Economic Goal: Left: equality; Right: prosperity
Primary Role of the State: Left: increase and protect equality; Right: increase and protect liberty
Government: Left: as large as possible; Right: as small as possible
Family Ideal: Left: any loving unit of people; Right: a married father and mother, and children
Guiding Trinity: Left: race, gender and class; Right: liberty, In God We Trust and e pluribus unum
Good and Evil: Left: relative to individual and/or society; Right: based on universal absolutes
Humanity’s Primary Division(s): Left: rich and poor; strong and weak; Right: good and evil
Ideal Primary Identity of an American: Left: world citizen; Right: American citizen
How to Make a Good Society: Left: abolish inequality; Right: develop each citizen’s moral character
View of America: Left: profoundly morally flawed; inferior to any number of European countries; Right: greatest force for good among nations in world history
Gender: Left: a social construct; Right: male and female
Most Important Trait to Cultivate in a Child: Left: self-esteem; Right: self-control
Worth of the Human Fetus: Left: determined by the mother; Right: determined by society rooted in Judeo-Christian values
Primary Source of Crime: Left: poverty, racism and other societal flaws; Right: the criminal’s malfunctioning conscience
Place of God and Religion in America: Left: secular government and secular society; Right: secular government and religious society
American Exceptionalism: Left: chauvinistic doctrine; Right: historical reality
Greatest Threat to the World: Left: environmental catastrophe (currently global warming); Right: evil (currently radical Islamist violence)
International Ideal: Left: world governed by the United Nations, and no single country is dominant; Right: world in which America is the single strongest entity
Primary Reason for Lack of Peace in Middle East: Left: Israeli settlements in the West Bank; Right: Palestinian, Arab and Muslim denial of Jewish state’s right to exist
Purpose of Art: Left: challenge status quo and bourgeois sensibilities; Right: produce works of beauty and profundity to elevate the individual and society
Guns: Left: ideally universally abolished, except for use by police, the armed forces and registered sportsmen; Right: ideally widely owned by responsible individuals for self-protection and the protection of others
Race: Left: intrinsically significant; Right: intrinsically insignificant
Racial, Ethnic and Gender Diversity at Universities: Left: most important; Right: far less important than ideological diversity
Black America’s Primary Problem: Left: racism; Right: lack of fathers
Greatest Playwright: Left: entirely subjective; there is no greatest playwright; Right: Shakespeare
War: Left: not the answer; Right: sometimes the only answer
Hate: Left: wrong, except when directed at the political; Right: wrong, except when directed at evil
Cultures: Left: all equal; Right: some are better than others
America’s Founding Fathers: Left: rich white male slave owners; Right: great men who founded the greatest society
Purpose of Judges: Left: pursue social justice; Right: pursue justice
National Borders: Left: a relic of the past; Right: indispensable for national survival
View of Illegal Immigrants: Left: welcomed guests; Right: illegal immigrants
Nature: Left: intrinsically valuable; Right: made for man

The Seven Most Undercovered Obama Scandals

News Busters ^ | 01/17/2017 | By Geoffrey Dickens 

Donald Trump hasn’t even been sworn-in yet but the liberal media has obsessed almost over every Trump tweet and controversy. Conversely, Barack Obama’s administration has been full of scandals and gaffes but liberal reporters have insisted that his record is clean as a whistle.

Former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw, after Obama’s January 10 farewell speech gushed: “He’s been scandal free, frankly, in the White House. We haven’t had that what for a while.” Time magazine’s Joe Klein, back in December declared there has been “absolutely no hint of scandal” during his eight years. And in 2013 reporters first took up this line when the GOP Congress began investigating the myriad of scandals from Obama’s first term. At that time ABC’s Jon Karl noted that this was “a White House that takes pride in being scandal-free.” NPR’s Steve Inskeep asserted “This administration has been described, I don’t even know how many times, as remarkably scandal-free,” and Time’s Rana Foroohar noted “the President has been very rightfully proud of the lack of scandal in his administration so far.”

These liberal reporters have the audacity to bless this administration as scandal free, because many of Obama’s controversies were either ignored or barely reported by the establishment media.

The following is a look through the MRC’s archives at some of the worst scandals and gaffes made during the Obama administration and how they were underreported at the time:

IRS Targets the Tea Party 

After a partisan report in June 2013 absurdly suggested that progressive groups were just as likely to be scrutinized as conservative ones, ABC, CBS and NBC essentially abandoned their coverage of the IRS targeting scandal. After producing 136 stories on their morning and evening news show during the first seven weeks of the scandal, broadcast news coverage dried up, with just 14 more reports over the next 10 months, as the Big Three ignored numerous damning developments in the case.

During the seven weeks after news of the scandal broke (from May 10, 2013  through June 28, 2013), the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening newscasts churned out a respectable 136 stories about the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups. After that, an MRC study shows, broadcast network coverage dried up. From June 29, 2013 through April 30, 2014 — a span of more than ten months —  those same programs aired just 14 stories that even mentioned the IRS scandal. And, most of those were brief or inconsequential references that shed no light on the activities of either the IRS or the Obama administration.

The media’s blackout of the IRS scandal continued through 2016 despite more and more developments being unearthed. On June 15, 2016 it was reported the IRS had finally released an almost complete list of organizations that the tax agency scrutinized in the Tea Party targeting scandal, but the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks ignored this stunning development. As of January 16, 2017 it has been over two years (803 days) since any network reported on the IRS scandal, when CBS This Morning made a mention of it on October 28, 2014. NBC last noted the targeting scandal 828 days ago and it’s been a whopping 974 days — since ABC last mentioned it on the May 8, 2014 Good Morning America.

Fast and Furious Scandal

In 2009, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) launched “Operation Fast and Furious,” which permitted thousands of guns to be illegally sold in the hope of tracking the weapons as they made their way up the ranks of Mexican drug cartels. In December 2010, one of those weapons was used to kill U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

In a Republican administration, such incompetence and stonewalling would likely have been a major story. Yet ABC’s World News and the NBC Nightly News acted as if the scandal did not exist, never once mentioning it on their evening news programs in 2011. CBS Evening News ran a dozen full reports in 2011 exposing various elements of the scandal, thanks to then correspondent Sharyl Attkisson.

NBC finally arrived on the story on June 12, 2012, 546 days after Brian Terry’s murder, and then only after the House of Representatives was about to approve a contempt charge against the Attorney General for failing to produce crucial documents. ABC’s World News took another eight days, until June 20, to acknowledge the scandal, dallying until President Obama himself stepped in to claim Executive Privilege on behalf of Holder. CBS, which in 2011 had distinguished itself as the lone broadcast network pursuing this story, also waited until the June 20 Evening News to file their first Fast and Furious story of 2012.

The House vote against Holder and the President’s use of Executive Privilege would ordinarily be the red flare that set the networks to digging deeper on a scandal, but not when it came to Obama’s Fast and Furious fiasco. Even with all of the unanswered questions and political drama, ABC’s World News barely touched the story — just one full report (June 20) and two brief mentions before Election Day of 2012. The CBS Evening News managed two full reports and two briefs during this same period, while the NBC Nightly News produced four reports and two briefs.

Those reports, plus a quick news brief that night on ABC’s World News, totaled just 4 minutes, 7 seconds. After that, the networks stayed silent about Fast and Furious for the rest of the campaign. Just as ABC and NBC acted as if the scandal did not exist in 2011, none of the three broadcast networks burdened the Obama re-election effort by digging through the dirt of one of its most mishandled programs.

VA Scandal Gets Less Coverage Than Local New Jersey Story

On May 22, 2014 the MRC’s Scott Whitlock reported that in nearly four and a half weeks, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have offered 110 minutes to Obama administration scandal involving secret lists designed to keep veterans from receiving proper medical treatment. Back in January 2014, it took those same network shows just four and a half days to churn that much coverage for Chris Christie's Bridgegate.

When the VA story broke on April 23, 2014 with news as many as 40 veterans seeking treatment at one Phoenix facility died while on secret waiting lists, CBS provided the most coverage, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. NBC allowed 44 minutes and 53 seconds and ABC came in last with a scant 16 minutes and 44 seconds. None of the networks bothered covering the story until May 6, 2014 almost two weeks after it broke. (This is despite heavy investigative reporting by Fox News and CNN.)

In just four and half days, from January 7, 2014 through the January 12 morning programs, ABC, CBS and NBC deluged Americans with 112 minutes and 23 seconds of analysis into what Christie knew about an intentional traffic jam created on the George Washington bridge last fall.


Relying on “Stupidity of the American Voter” to Pass ObamaCare

Just imagine the reaction of the liberal media if a video had surfaced of a George W. Bush administration official admitting that “lack of transparency” was “a huge political advantage” in selling the Iraq war and that they relied on the “stupidity of the American voter” to launch an attack on Iraq? That video would be everywhere.

However, the clip of ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber using those exact phrases in talking about the passage of the Affordable Care Act wasn’t reported until six days after the video had surfaced, on the November 13, 2014 CBS This Morning. It took nine days for ABC and NBC to finally arrive on the Gruber story on the November 16 ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and NBC’s Meet the Press. Most stunning however was NBC Nightly News’ treatment of the Gruber scandal.

It took that program 32 days for then anchor Brian Williams to tease a 2-minute-and-12-second segment by remarking that “it is unlikely that most Americans have heard the name Jonathan Gruber until a few weeks ago, when a video emerged of him insulting their intelligence.” His statement can be viewed as rather ironic, considering the fact that the viewers of his own program were kept in the dark on the ObamaCare architect, depriving them knowledge of the story for over a month.

ObamaCare Failures

Despite skyrocketing premiums, major insurance companies backing out, and one state exchange after another failing, through October 28, 2016, the evening news broadcasts of ABC, CBS and NBC have only devoted 10 minutes and 21 seconds combined to ObamaCare failures. Until Bill Clinton called the Affordable Care Act “this crazy system” on October 3, ABC and NBC hadn’t covered any ObamaCare news in 2016 at all.

Going back to 2015 the news for ObamaCare was mostly negative, as well. In October, the Department of Health and Human Services reduced the estimated enrollment in ObamaCare to 10 million by the end of 2016, or less than half the original estimates made in 2013. Both customers and taxpayers suffered when nine ObamaCare state co-ops failed in 2015, including those in New York, Colorado, Kentucky, and South Carolina.

And in November, the biggest insurance company participating in ObamaCare, UnitedHealth, said it might have to withdraw from the program because of huge losses — $700 million — in the preceding year.

But the broadcast networks that seemed so excited when ObamaCare first became law seemed uninterested in following up on its actual performance. ABC, CBS and NBC spent just 34 minutes covering the gargantuan government health program last year, and the lion’s share of that coverage (24 minutes) was devoted to the Supreme Court case about whether the program’s tax subsidies could go to citizens of states that did not set up their own exchanges.

In that case, the Court ruled in the administration’s favor. “ObamaCare, 2; conservatives, zero,”  crowed ABC correspondent Terry Moran on June 25.

Solyndra Scandal

Running for president in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to “invest” taxpayer dollars to create five million so-called “green jobs” over a ten-year period. Once in office, Obama’s Department of Energy began shoveling out “stimulus” cash to companies involved in renewable energy, with $527 billion in loans guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers going to the California-based solar company Solyndra.

Fast forward to August 31, 2011, when Solyndra declared bankruptcy and suspended all production, laying off 1,100 employees. Aside from the sheer negligence of losing more than $500 million in taxpayer money, it was also the case that Solyndra’s biggest investor, George Kaiser, bundled more than $50,000 in contributions for the President’s 2008 campaign, and visited the White House four times before the loan from the Department of Energy was finalized.

Despite the odor of both incompetence and corruption, the three broadcast evening newscasts had virtually no time for this embarrassing failure by Team Obama. In the six weeks after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy in 2011, the evening newscasts ran just eight stories (four full reports, plus brief mentions in four additional stories).

Even that puny amount of coverage was too much for the networks in 2012, which saw not a single evening news story devoted exclusively to the case. The NBC Nightly News included three brief discussions of Solyndra in longer political reports, while on ABC’s World News investigative correspondent Brian Ross spent a whopping 29 seconds recounting the case of Obama 2008 mega-fundraiser Steven Spinner, who pushed the Energy Department loans in 2009. For its part, the CBS Evening News aired nothing about the story in 2012 (although other CBS News programs did include brief reports).

Total evening news coverage in 2012: four brief mentions, totaling just 1 minute, 43 seconds.


Ransom for Hostages? 

The network evening and morning shows seem to have badly misplaced priorities. In August of 2016 ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted 10 times more coverage to the Olympic swimmer “scandal” than they did the bombshell admission that the Obama administration linked the release of four American prisoners and a $400 million payment to Iran.

From the evening of August 18, 2016 through August 19 morning programs, the networks pounced on the report that Olympian Ryan Lochte and three other swimmers may have fabricated some or all of an alleged robbery in Rio de Janeiro. This garnered a whopping 37 minutes and 31 seconds. In comparison, the cash payout to Iran, which looked suspiciously like ransom, only amounted to a scant 3 minutes and 46 seconds.

Pelosi: Remember How Carefully We Considered Obamacare? (Really?)

Townhall.com ^ | January 16, 2017 | Cortney O'Brien 

Democrats couldn't bother to read all of the Affordable Care Act legislation while it was being debated in Congress. Of course you can't really blame them, considering it was 2,000 pages long. Yet, they passed it anyway, without one Republican vote. Before the vote, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi showed her hand by infamously noting they had to "pass it to see what's in it."

Now, as Republicans have begun the process of repealing the ACA, Pelosi is acting as if the original document was gone over with a fine tooth comb.

The document Pelosi links to outlines the "debate" Democrats had over the legislation, in the form of hearings and markups.
Pelosi is getting defensive because both the Senate and the House accepted a budget resolution last week that includes language to repeal Obamacare. President-elect Donald Trump has told Americans not to worry about their health insurance because the Republican alternative will cover everyone.

Inauguration Protesters Want To ‘Instill Terror In Police For Violating People’s Rights’

dailycaller.com ^ | 1/16/17 | Kerry Picket 

WASHINGTON—Protest organizers seeking to disrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration want to “instill terror in” law enforcement for “violating people’s rights.”

The DisruptJ20 protest coalition hosted a breakout meeting for the organization known as Cop Watch, a group that trains protesters to observe and record law enforcement activity for the purpose of accusing officers of police brutality.

“So we don’t want to cultivate a relationship between us and the police where they respect our rights. We want to instill terror in the police of violating people’s rights. And the best way to make this happen is to allow them to violate our rights and then to hit them back with legal consequences and publicity so that bad things happen to them when they do that,” a trainer from Cop Watch told meeting attendees.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...

Study finds association between eating HOT PEPPERS and DECREASED MORTALITY!

medicalxpress.com ^ | 1/13/17 | N/A 

Like spicy food? If so, you might live longer, say researchers at the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont,
who found that consumption of hot red chili peppers is associated with a 13 percent reduction in total mortality
- primarily in deaths due to heart disease or stroke—in a large prospective study.

Going back for centuries, peppers and spices have been thought to be beneficial in the treatment of diseases, but only one other study—conducted in China and published in 2015
- has previously examined chili pepper consumption and its association with mortality.
This new study corroborates the earlier study's findings

Data collected from more than 16,000 Americans who were followed for up to 23 years, medical student Mustafa Chopan '17 and Professor of Medicine Benjamin Littenberg, M.D.,
examined the baseline characteristics of the participants according to hot red chili pepper consumption.
They found that consumers of hot red chili peppers tended to be "younger, male, white, Mexican-American, married, and to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol,
and consume more vegetables and meats . . . had lower HDL-cholesterol, lower income, and less education," in comparison to participants who did not consume red chili peppers.
They examined data from a median follow-up of 18.9 years and observed the number of deaths and then analyzed specific causes of death.
(Excerpt) Read more at medicalxpress.com ...

Obama's Fake Legacy: Progress in the Black Community

Townhall.com ^ | January 16, 2017 | Katie Kieffer 

“Snake-oil salesman” is the stinging label Princeton’s African-American studies chair, Eddie S. Glaude Jr.—who happens to be black—gives President Obama as he leaves the White House. Because Obama betrayed blacks.
Millions of white men and women voted for Barack Obama, a biracial president, in hopes that he would unite our country. Millions of black men and women voted for Obama hoping he would help them forsake disparate levels of poverty; teen pregnancy; single motherhood; absent fatherhood; and violent crime. Whites’ and blacks’ hopes were historic.
Turns out Obama’s dual presidency was historic. Historically bad.
Only wealthy whites and Asians notably improved their quality of life during Obama’s eight-year reign. On economic and social levels—American blacks slid the furthest. Even reality-denying Slate now bemoans a “rising” tide of “racial discontent” in America.
Today, our nation celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.—a man to whom Obama often compared himself in his own quest for power. In 2007, candidate Obama announced his run for the presidency by invoking “King’s call to let justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream. …it is time for our generation to answer that call.”
He needed his black brothers’ and sisters’ votes—and won them with lofty promises—by 91 percentage points in 2008 an by 87 percentage points in 2012. Then, he twisted the knife.
Legacy Control: Taping Statisticians’ Mouths Shut
Numbers don’t lie. Which is why liars love taping shut the mouths of statisticians.
African Americans have made enormous strides,” WhiteHouse.gov touts “during [the Obama] Administration.” The official Obama administration website then proceeds to tick off areas in which blacks elevated their quality of life since 2007, such as a falling “poverty rate” and a “historically low” level of teen pregnancy.
Do some fact-checking—and you’ll quickly learn that Obama is engaging in what I’ll call “blackwashing”—or painting a picture that seems beneficial to his own people.
“For the first time, there are more poor African-American children than white children,” Glaude Jr. recently told TIME. “What’s startling about that is that there are three times as many white children in America as black children.” Indeed, according to Pew Research Center’s July, 2015 report—for the first time since the federal government began collecting data—almost four times more black children live in poverty (38.3 percent) than white children (10.7 percent).
And black teen pregnancy fell—but Obama’s administration fails to describe this fall as part of an overall drop in teen pregnancy across all demographics. Over twice as many (35 percent) black females still become mothers as teenagers compared to white females (17 percent), according to Pew Research.
Used and Confused
He was a playboy, in the worst way. Obama used and confused blacks more than any other president in the modern era. They trusted that he would help them. In reality, he only wanted their help at the polls.
Along with his wife, First Lady Michelle, Obama used his eight years of influence to uphold one woman as the paragon of black female success. No matter that this woman made her millions by shaking her derrière in front of millions on Super Bowl Sunday; sipping sugary soft drinks (Pepsi) while shouting “Live for now!” and posing with her celebrity-thug hubby who made his millions by rapping about heroin and using the b-word to slam white, female pop star Taylor Swift.
“Stop shooting us!” Beyoncé told police in her pre-Super Bowl 2016 music video. Too bad, in reality, blacks shoot blacks more often than cops shoot blacks. Or whites shoot blacks.
The latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and FBI data reveals that black men are 40 times more likely to be shot by a fellow black man than by a police officer. And FBI crime statistics indicate that in murders where the victim is black, the murderer is also black—93 percent of the time.
“I’d be Beyoncé” Michelle loudly and proudly told People, when asked who she’d be if she could be anyone else. Over and over, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were invited to perform at presidential events—and even given controversial access to the White House Situation Room and to Cuba for a 2013 vacation spree.
The New York Times reports that thousands of women plan to march in Washington, D.C. on the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration—in protest of his supposed oppression of females. Interestingly, however, black women are telling white women on social media not to show up if they can’t “check their [white] privilege constantly.”
Funny, but the facts indicate that white girls might be bullied more than black girls. A 2015 report from the National Center for Education Statistics found that among students ages 12-to-18, the victims were most often white females.
Black “feminists” telling white feminists to metaphorically go to the back of the march are simply heeding President Obama’s farewell message, wherein he reminded blacks that they are victims with “very real struggles for justice” while whites are the aggressors, who need to “acknowledge[e] that the effects of slavery and Jim Crow didn't suddenly vanish in the '60s.”
On every level; in every category; black Americans faced setbacks under our first black president.
May Donald J. Trump be the first president in recent memory who can truly be color blind; who will unite us by ignoring race while focusing on the issues we care about; and who will help every American achieve a better life.

Reporters Plead with MLK III to Attack Trump; Did Lewis Tweets Shake You 'To Your Core?'

newsbusters.org ^ | 1/16/17 | Curtis Houck 

On Monday afternoon, reporters stationed inside Trump Tower begged with Martin Luther King III to attack President-elect Trump over tweets concerning Democratic Congressman John Lewis (Ga.) following a meeting on the day honoring King’s father Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King began by stating that he and Trump had “a very constructive meeting” with most of the focus being on voting rights, but the topic shifted to Lewis when reporters interjected with questions.

ABC correspondent Tom Llamas snuck in the first pathetic question baiting King into blasting Trump: “Mr. King, as you know, Representative Lewis still has the scars from the March on Selma. Were you offended by the President-elect's tweet that Representative Lewis is all talk and no action?”

King responded by stating the Lewis is, like “many others,” a “bridge builder” but added that “in the heat of emotion, a lot of things get said on both sides.”

With the press corps not satisfied, an unidentified male reporter trotted out this second-hand claim by a woman he saw on Sunday at Trump Tower:
(Excerpt) Read more at newsbusters.org ...

Jim Brown: Trump Won 'Fair and Square' - 'I'm Going to Support Him as President'

Breitbart ^ 

NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown does not believe President-elect Donald Trump to be an “illegitimate president.”

He said Monday on Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” that Trump won the election “fair and square,” and he will be supporting Trump even though he backed Hillary Clinton for president.

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Older, fitter adults experience greater brain activity while learning (Physical and brain fitness)

medicalxpress.com ^ | 1/13/17 | N/A 

Older adults who experience good cardiac fitness may be also keeping their brains in good shape as well.

In what is believed to be the first study of its kind, older adults who scored high on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) tests
performed better on memory tasks than those who had low CRF.
Further, the more fit older adults were, the more active their brain was during learning.
These findings appear in the journal Cortex.
Difficulty remembering new information represents one of the most common complaints in aging
and decreased memory performance is one of the hallmark impairments in Alzheimer's disease.

Healthy young (18-31 years) and older adults (55-74 years) with a wide range of fitness levels walked and jogged on a treadmill
while researchers assessed their cardiorespiratory fitness by measuring the ratio of inhaled and exhaled oxygen and carbon dioxide.
These participants also underwent MRI scans which collected images of their brain while they learned and remembered names that were associated with pictures of unfamiliar faces.

The researchers found that older adults, when compared to younger adults, had more difficulty learning and remembering the correct name that was associated with each face.
Age differences in brain activation were observed during the learning of the face-name pairs, with older adults showing decreased brain activation in some regions and increased brain activation in others.
However, the degree to which older adults demonstrated these age-related changes in memory performance and brain activity largely depended on their fitness level.
In particular, high fit older adults showed better memory performance and increased brain activity patterns compared to their low fit peers.
(Excerpt) Read more at medicalxpress.com ...

Trump May Herald a New Political Order

The Wall Street Journal ^ | January 16, 2017 | John Steele Gordon 

For all their noise and news dominance, presidential elections typically don’t change the country all that much. That isn’t a bad thing but a sign of how strong American democracy is. It rarely veers far from the center, where successful policy usually lies. But on rare occasions, deep historical currents and extraordinary political talents produce an entirely new order. It happened in the presidential elections of 1828, 1860, 1896, 1932—and, quite probably, 2016.
Denied the presidency in 1824 by what he called a “corrupt bargain” in the House of Representatives, Tennessee’s Andrew Jackson swept to a landslide four years later. He was the first president from west of the Appalachians—indeed, the first from anywhere other than Virginia or Massachusetts. Born dirt-poor, Jackson was also the first president to rise to affluence solely by his own effort.
*** Jackson created the modern Democratic Party, and the intense opposition to his policies coalesced into the Whig Party, establishing the two-party norm that prevails to this day. No wonder the great 19th-century American historian George Bancroft considered Jackson the last of the Founding Fathers.
*** It would take the greatest war in American history to reunite the country. By the time the Civil War was over, the nation had been transformed. The South, impoverished and politically crippled, would be effectively a Third World country inside a First World one for 100 years. The North, with its rapidly expanding industry and growing population, was politically dominant. More than half the antebellum presidents had been Southern. In the century after the war ended, only two Southerners were elected to the White House: Woodrow Wilson, a Virginia native who made his career in New Jersey, and Texas’ Lyndon B. Johnson.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...

Sergeant York and The Affordable Care Act

Illinois Review ^ | January 16, 2017 AD | John F. Di Leo 

Reflections on Enemies, Warriors, and Duty…

As I write these words, hundreds of Republican, libertarian, and independent politicians, civil servants, and think tank analysts on Capitol Hill are working to finally overturn the monstrous law called the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. And just as many Democrats are working just as feverishly to thwart the effort.
Now, before we get into the details, we should first begin by considering a crucial issue: Obamacare is a misnomer: it's not REALLY Obama's program.
Barack Obama didn't write the bill (in all his years as a legislator, he’s never written a major bill). Barack Obama just did the necessary lying to sell it, and then he signed it once it was passed. It is a product of the Democrat Congressional caucus and the socialist think tank arena, written and created by the Democrat party as a whole.
We must mention this because there is a very serious risk that, once it's repealed, people will forget that Barack Obama’s entire corrupt party deserves the blame for it, forever, and people will instead associate it only with Barack Obama.
And that would be very dangerous to the republic, because the left will raise the idea again, in a decade or two, and then they will claim that the flaw was only in how one man implemented it.
So we must always remember that the flaw of the ACA is at the heart of the concept itself, not in how it was implemented, or after whom it was named.
The ACA represents the modern Democratic approach to government better than most issues, and it has brought them all into public view:
The belief that liberal philosophy outranks the morals and interests of private citizens… The belief that the public sector is inherently superior to the private sector, despite all evidence… The belief that outright lying in support of a hated program is not only acceptable, but heroic… The belief that when millions of individuals suffer, and when millions of companies shrink, flee or collapse, it MUST be because they deserved to. Only modern Democrat politicians, bureaucrats and analysts – utterly divorced from the real world due to a lifetime in politics – think like that!
World War I and the German Guns
Do you remember the story of Sergeant Alvin York, the subject of a great 1941 movie starring Gary Cooper and Walter Brennan?
During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in World War I, Alvin York’s squad identified a range of German machine gun nests firing at the American line, so he almost singlehandedly took them out… shooting them with his rifle, then with his pistol, then taking 130 German prisoners.
Alvin York led the team that saved hundreds of American lives that day, and enabled our offensive to move forward in that area, by shutting down those machine gun nests. His heroism won him the Distinguished Service Cross, later upgraded to a Medal of Honor.
These machine gun nests were trained on our troops, stopping our movement forward, taking American lives. They were the very definition of an anti-American, enemy installation.
In a modern analogy, the ACA is also an anti-American enemy installation. The ACA has been a veritable range of machine gun nests with unlimited ammunition, constantly firing on the American people now for almost seven years straight.
Lest you think this is too extreme an analogy, please consider the full effects of the ACA since its unconstitutional “passage” in March, 2010.
Instead of the normal economic boom that follows severe recessions, the American economy has been flat for seven years. Barack Obama is the only president to end two terms without EVER having served during a quarter with even three percent economic growth.
After the 2007-2008 recession that started with the Democrat takeover of the House in 2006, the nation quickly hit bottom and then never came back. All honest analysts will confirm that the primary cause of this stagnation has been this ghastly healthcare nationalization.
This oppressive healthcare mandate – and its resulting state and federal programs and bureaucracies – are a range of machine gun nests, which have been killing jobs, killing businesses, killing new business start-ups, killing doctors' offices and insurance companies and medical clinics, for seven years now.
The ACA has turned full time employees into part timers, forced manufacturers to move offshore, denied coverage to individuals by operating death panels, rendered manufacturers unable to compete with foreign sources, or simply bankrupted people by doubling, trebling, quadrupling their insurance costs – for seven painful years.
The very day it was passed and signed, companies started adjusting their operations, moving production lines, giving up expansion plans, slowing or stopping hiring, looking overseas for less painful options.
And the day it is fully repealed – the day when the mandate is removed, and insurance costs can go back to normal – those businesses and entrepreneurs will again be free to operate in the United States.
The Republican Party is today's Sergeant York. The Republican majorities in the House and Senate voted this week to repeal the ACA… to finally take out that machine gun nest and free our economy from its horror.
Resistance from Within
Now... we must turn a bit from the actual history and imagine an alternative spin on our analogy for a moment.
When Sergeant York was a sniper - on our side - taking aim and working to take out those German machine gun nests... what if some of his fellow American soldiers had tried to knock his rifle out of his hands, and to steal his pistol from its holster during the action?
This didn’t happen, of course… but what if it did?
What if some of his fellow Americans had tried to thwart his efforts to protect the American line from those enemy guns?
I know. We can’t imagine such a thing. Their colleagues were being killed; they themselves were being shot at… of course, they were overjoyed to support Sergeant York’s efforts.
But if it happened… if these fellow American soldiers had tried to thwart Sergeant York’s heroism… What names would come to mind, to describe such obstructionists?
Traitors. Killers. Moles. Turncoats.
Yes, those are the names.
And as the Republicans work around the clock to save Americans from ACA… that is EXACTLY what Democrat politicians, bureaucrats, and the talking heads on television are trying to do.
Rather than acknowledging their failure, rather than admitting to the unprecedented destruction of human lives that the ACA has caused… Democrat politicians want that machine gun nest to remain in place, because they are more interested in their policies, their love of big government, their love of regulatory control, their ongoing effort to lower everyone in America to the lowest common denominator.
Yes, even if that means continuing to destroy American jobs and American lives forever.
…because the expansion of government and the reduction of personal freedom and prosperity are exactly what today’s Democratic Party exists to do.
Thank Heaven, real Americans outnumber the Democrats enough in Washington today, so we can do our job without their being able to thwart us this time.
We must never forget these experiences, and these images.
And we must never allow our government to erect such a chain of machine gun nests again.
Copyright 2017 John F. Di Leo
John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based Customs broker, international trade trainer, writer and actor. A former president of the Ethnic American Council and vice chairman of the Greater Chicagoland Young Americans for Freedom, he has been a recovering politician for almost twenty years now.
Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included.

Six False Accusations by John Lewis, Hero-Turned-Hack

Breitbart ^ | January 15, 2017 | Joel B. Pollak 

2008: Falsely accused Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Gov. Sarah Palin of racism. Lewis attacked McCain and Palin, then running against Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for president: “Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division,” he said, going on to suggest that the Republican ticket were creating the climate for racist terrorism. “[Democrat] George Wallace never threw a bomb … but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans … four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.” Years later, McCain still had not forgiven him: “I’ll never forgive John Lewis,” he told AL.com in 2013.

2010: Falsely claimed that Tea Party demonstrators said the “N-word” during anti-Obamacare rally. Lewis joined several other members of the Congressional Black Caucus in claiming that a crowd of thousands of Tea Party protesters on the steps of Capitol Hill had shouted the “N-word” at them when they walked through the crowd — apparently in the hope of provoking a reaction. “It surprised me that people are so mean and we can’t engage in a civil dialogue and debate,” Lewis claimed. But he never proved the accusation — and when Andrew Breitbart offered to donate $10,000, then $100,000, to the United Negro College Fund for any video evidence of the “N-word,” none surfaced — despite hundreds of cameras present.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Taxpayers Off The Hook With Trump's Infrastructure Plan (750,000 new jobs)

Fox Business News ^ | January 16, 2017 | Julia Limitone 

Private enterprise is lining up to help pay for the nation’s crippling infrastructure.

Norman Anderson, informal advisor to the Trump “Infrastructure Task Force,” says there are 68 infrastructure projects ready to go under president-elect Trump and taxpayers will not have to pay for it.

“Forty billion dollar’s-worth of electricity transmission projects [are] ready to go as soon as we can move through the approval process,” Anderson told the FOX Business Networks Stuart Varney.

However, regulatory hurdles must be addressed he said....
(Excerpt) Read more at foxbusiness.com ...

Obama golfed 333 times, most since Ike!

Washingtonexaminer.com ^ | January 15, 2017 | By Paul Bedard 

President Obama earned his title as "golfer in chief" over eight years, becoming the first duffer who spent the most time on the greens since former President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

CBS White House reporter Mark Knoller, who keeps an accurate database on presidential movements and actions, said Obama has golfed 333 times during his eight years, the last few outings in Hawaii during the first family's Christmas vacation last month.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonexaminer.com ...

John Lewis starts a fight and then fund raises as the victim!

Flopping Aces ^ | 01-16-17 | DrJohn 

This is John Lewis. Because of something he did a very long time ago, he's better than you. He is above common courtesy and civility. He can insult you. He could poison puppies. He could even kill you. And you are not allowed to dare question any of it. Well, over the weekend he picked a fight with Donald Trump. Trump had the temerity to respond and now Lewis wallows in victimhood.
Lewis did something admirable fifty years ago and has been living off of it ever since. Lewis uses it as a shield when he picks fights. He uses it as a shield when he hurls insults. He retreats to it after he throws stones.
Thing is, this was about one thing- money.
John Lewis cast the first stone when he called Trump's Presidency illegitimate.
Democratic Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) said in an interview that he does not consider President-elect Donald Trump to be a legitimate president.In a preview clip of an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd set to air Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Lewis said his view on Trump’s presidency is attributed to Russian meddling in the presidential election, which he called a “conspiracy.”
When Todd asked Lewis if he planned to try work with Trump to pass legislation, Lewis said he believes in forgiveness but that Trump is not legitimate.
“It’s going to be very difficult,” Lewis said. “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president.”
Todd asked Lewis to explain his position.
“I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected, and they have destroyed the candidacy of Hillary Clinton,” Lewis said.
He offered not a "smidgen" of evidence for this assertion, of course, but let's be clear. He started it. Trump being Trump, he fired back:

Trump's responding set off a flurry of harrumphs and what I want to point out is the manner in which they are characterized:
Donald Trump just attacked civil rights hero John Lewis on Twitter
And there's lots more
Trump blasts civil rights icon John Lewis in Twitter attack
Trump Attacks Rep. Lewis, Who Said He Wasn’t ‘Legitimate President’
Disappointingly, Michael Steele jumped on Trump:
“John Lewis has a walk that very few people in this country – least of all Donald Trump – have ever walked. So you have to respect that and pay attention to that in a real sense," he added.
True, but few remember that Donald Trump was the recipient of the Ellis Island Award and he was in some pretty good company:

Lewis's history doesn't give him the right to unfairly assault a President-elect. Trump broke no laws. He did not cheat. And Trump did not start this fight. He was attacked by Lewis. Fighting back seems to be out of order for Republicans. But let's get to the motivations of the attack.
  1. Delegitimize Trump and 2. Money.
Seemingly within seconds, democrats were fund raising off the incident, complete with the race card:
Democrats are fundraising off of comments made by President-elect Donald Trump attacking Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
(Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net ...

NFL Support of Colin Kaepernick Tanked 2016 TV Ratings

Breitbart.com ^ | 16 Jan 2017 | Robert J. Marlow 

A large share of fans responded to the NFL’s tacit endorsement of Colin Kaepernick’s anti-American message by refusing to tune-in to games, prompting a huge decline in TV ratings. Aside from his disrespect for the national anthem, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback also sparked outrage by donning socks embroidered with pigs wearing police uniforms.

Early in the season, ESPN and network broadcasts never missed an opportunity to spotlight Kaepernick and his followers taking a knee during the pre-game ritual. Fans, though, saw Kaepernick’s protest as thumbing his nose at America. As a result, regular season ratings for 2016 dropped 8% to 16.5 million viewers per game from the 17.9 million who watched games during the 2015 NFL campaign.
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

General Motors Plans at Least $1 Billion in Fresh U.S. Investment

WSJ ^ | Jan. 16, 2017 | Mike Colias 

General Motors Co. this week will announce plans to invest at least $1 billion across several U.S. factories, two people familiar with the plan said, a move aimed at underlining its commitment to U.S. manufacturing jobs in the wake of President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the auto maker’s imports from Mexico.

GM’s announcement could come as early as Tuesday, the people briefed on the plan said. The company will cite a number of new jobs in excess of 1,000 stemming from the investment but doesn’t plan to specify which of its factories are in line for more work, one person said.

A GM spokesman declined to comment. The Trump transition team didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...

Trump Pushes Lockheed to Cut F-35 Costs by Asking Boeing to Develop a Comparable Jet!

Newswire ^ | January 16, 2017 | Boris Djuric 

After meeting with the president-elect Donald Trump, Lockheed Martin CEO, Marillyn Hewson, promises to lower the costs of F-35 program as well as to create 1,800 new jobs.
This brings out the question how come cheaper F-35 program and thousands of new jobs weren’t suggested earlier? Also, a frequently asked question is whether developing the fifth generation F-35 “super jet”, which proved to be not that “super” after all, justified spending $trillions of taxpayer’s money?
According to Trump, this expense is unacceptable. The President-elect already promised a modernization of U.S. military, however, under certain conditions.
“The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th”, Trump promised in his tweet on December 12th.
On December 22nd, Trump tweeted that he asked Boeing, Lockheed Martin’s major competitor, to develop a F-18 Super Hornet which is comparable to F35.
In January, Lockheed Martin promised not only to reduce the costs of F-35 jets, but also to help “America be Great Again” by generating jobs for thousands of Americans.
“I certainly share his [Trump’s] views that we need to get the best capability to our men and women in uniform, and we have to get it at the lowest possible price,” Hewson told the reporters in the Trump Tower, after the meeting took place on Friday.
According to Lockheed Martin’s CEO, the company also plans to create 1,800 jobs at its plant in Fort Worth, Texas, where the F-35s are built.
The offer may appeal to the president-elect, however, Lockheed Martin needs to justify its $1.5 trillion spending on a jet that reportedly has some serious issues which are yet to be resolved until the mass production starts.
On December 19th, Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, informed Senator John McCain (R-Arizona), that development of the F-35’s software was being delayed for seven months, resulting in an escalated cost of “at least $500 million more than previously budgeted”.
Boeing may enter the ‘super-jet race’ and build a matching warplane, however, according to experts, this is highly unlikely, because there is no way the F-18 Hornet can be modified to counterpart the F-35. Accordingly, Boeing would have to create a whole new concept.
Nonetheless, Trump once again proved he knows how to negotiate a better deal, which may be just what America needs.

Poll of cops shows the ‘Ferguson effect’ is all too real

New York Post ^ | January 16, 2017 | Post Editorial Board 

The nonpartisan Pew poll just confirmed the existence of the so-called “Ferguson effect”: 86 percent of cops polled say all the national controversy over police killings of civilians has made their jobs tougher.

The St. Louis police chief coined the term after the shooting of Michael Brown, to describe the tendency of officers to back off from proactive policing in the wake of widespread protests. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald and others point to the Ferguson effect to help explain the rise in violent crime in many US cities.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...

Obama: Limbaugh and Fox News ruined my presidency!

American Thinker ^ | January 17, 2017 | J. Marsolo 

Obama has added Rush Limbaugh and "some commentators on Fox News" to the list of those responsible for his failure as a president.

On the January 13, 2017 NBC Dateline, Obama told Lester Holt, also known as Candy Crowley Holt for his impersonation of Ms. Crowley during the presidential debate:

The ability of Republican leaders to rile up their base, helped along by folks like Rush Limbaugh and some commentators on Fox News, I think created an environment in which Republican voters would punish Republicans for cooperating with me.

In ObamaWorld, Putin is responsible for Hillary's loss, otherwise known as the rejection of Obama's third term and agenda.  In ObamaWorld,  if Limbaugh and "some commentators on Fox News" (presumably Sean Hannity), had only praised Obama and not reported on Obama's shortcomings, then the Republicans would have "cooperated" with Obama.  Limbaugh and Hannity are responsible for Republicans not doing whatever Obama wanted.

Obama failed to say he did whatever he wanted by using executive orders and agency regulations.  For example, he termed the Iran nuclear deal an "agreement" instead of a treaty, thereby bypassing the two-thirds Senate vote to approve as required by the Constitution.  This was a major policy decision that allows Iran to continue its nuclear program, with a short unverified hiatus, that puts the burden on President Trump and his successors and Israel to deal with a nuclear Iran.  Obama unilaterally gave Iran, the principal sponsor and supporter of Islamist terrorist, 150 billion dollars that Iran can use for further terrorism.
Obama is trying to match Bill Clinton for Clinton-speak.  To Obama, when Republicans refrained from doing whatever Obama wanted, that means that Republicans did not cooperate with him.  The Republicans would have gone along with Obama if only Limbaugh and Hannity had kept quiet.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Which Is the Biggest Moocher State of All?

world press ^ | January 14, 2017 | Dan Mitchell 

Which state gets the biggest share of its budget from the federal government?
Nope, not even close. As a matter of fact, those two jurisdictions are among the 10-least dependent states.
And if you’re guessing that the answer is New YorkNew JerseyMarylandConnecticut, or some other “blue state,” that would be wrong as well.
Instead, if you check out this map from the Tax Foundation, the answer is Mississippi, followed by Louisiana, Tennessee, Montana, and Kentucky. All of which are red states!

So does this mean that politicians in red states are hypocrites who like big government so long as someone else is paying?
That’s one way of interpreting the data, and I’m sure it’s partially true. But for a more complete answer, let’s look at the Tax Foundation’s explanation of its methodology. Here’s part of what Morgan Scarboro wrote.
State governments…receive a significant amount of assistance from the federal government in the form of federal grants-in-aid. Aid is given to states for Medicaid, transportation, education, and other means-tested entitlement programs administered by the states. …states…that rely heavily on federal assistance…tend to have modest tax collections and a relatively large low-income population.
In other words, red states may have plenty of bad politicians, but what the data is really saying – at least in part – is that places with a lot of poor people automatically get big handouts from the federal government because of programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.  So if you compared this map with a map of poverty rates, there would be a noticeable overlap.
Moreover, it’s also important to remember that the map is showing the relationship between state revenue and federal transfers. So if a state has a very high tax burden (take a wild guess), then federal aid will represent a smaller share of the total amount of money. By contrast, a very libertarian-oriented state with a very low tax burden might look like a moocher state simply because its tax collections are small relative to formulaic transfers from Uncle Sam.
Indeed, this is a reason why the state with best tax policy, South Dakota, looks like one of the top-10 moocher states in the map.
This is why it would be nice if the Tax Foundation expanded its methodology to see what states receive a disproportionate level of handouts when other factors are equalized. For instance, what happens is you look at federal aid adjusted for population (which USA Today did in 2011). Or maybe even adjusted for the poverty rate as well (an approached used for the Moocher Index).

P.S. For what it’s worth, California has the nation’s most self-reliant people, as measured by voluntary food stamp usage.
P.P.S. And it’s definitely worth noting that the federal government deserves the overwhelming share of the blame for rising levels of dependency in the United States.

President Obama's (Tentative) Economic Legacy

Real Clear Markets ^ | January 17, 2017 | Robert Samuelson 

It is far too early to render final judgment on the Obama presidency. All the chatter about his "legacy" overlooks two obvious realities. The significance of Obama will depend heavily on events that have not yet happened (for starters, the fate of the Iranian nuclear deal) and comparisons, for better or worse, with his successor. Still, it's possible to make some tentative observations.
As I've written before, the administration's greatest achievement was, in its first year, stabilizing a collapsing economy and arguably avoiding a second Great Depression. Even now, only eight years after the event, many people forget the crash's horrific nature. Unemployment was increasing roughly 700,000 to 800,000 a month. No one knew when the downward spiral would stop.
In this turbulence, Obama was a model of calm and confidence. The policies he embraced — various economic stimulus packages, support for the Federal Reserve, the rescue of the auto industry, the shoring up of the banking system — were what the economy needed, though they were not perfect in every detail. Although the subsequent recovery was disappointing, it's not clear that anyone else would have accomplished more.
If Obama had done nothing else, rescuing the economy would ensure a successful presidency. But he did do other things, and we shouldn't forget the historic significance of having an African-American as the nation's leader.
Still, his broader record is mixed. I think he will get credit for ObamaCare, regardless of how Donald Trump and the Republicans modify it. The argument will be made, accurately I think, that the expansion of insurance coverage to roughly 20 million Americans would never have occurred if Obama hadn't put it at the top of his agenda.
This does not mean that promoting ObamaCare was uniformly wise. It did not solve the problem of high health costs, and it aggravated political polarization. It also seems a product of personal ambition, reflecting Obama's desire to be remembered as the liberal president who finally achieved universal coverage. In reality, even after the 20 million, there were an estimated 28 million uncovered Americans in 2016, says the National Center for Health Statistics.
Some of Obama's biggest setbacks were widely shared. One was coming to grips with an aging society. As I've repeatedly written, the growing population of older people is distorting government priorities, because Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (which covers nursing home care) increasingly dominate the federal budget, squeezing other programs and enlarging budget deficits.
Obama never dealt aggressively with this problem, because doing so would have offended his liberal political base. His failure made it impossible to secure major concessions from Republicans on raising taxes. Similar failures plagued immigration policy and climate change. Facing political paralysis, Obama resorted to executive orders and regulations. Many will probably be revoked in a Trump administration.
What Obama lacked was the ability to inspire fear as well as respect, and this also helps explain why his foreign policy often fell short — Syria being the best but not the only example. Few presidents have worshipped their words more than Obama. To take one example: His farewell speech last week ran 50 minutes; the average for seven other post-World War II presidents was 18 minutes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Not only did he worship his words, but he assigned them more power than they possessed. At times, he seemed to treat the White House as a graduate-school seminar, where he was the smartest guy in the room and, therefore, deserved to prevail. At news conferences, he gave long, convoluted responses full of subtleties that may have impressed political and media elites — but didn't do much to shift public opinion.
Our government has turned into a quasi-parliamentary system. Controversial proposals are supported and opposed mainly, or exclusively, by one party or the other. This is a bad development. It strengthens fringes in both parties, who hold veto power. This discourages compromise and encourages stalemate. The legislation it produces is often acceptable to partisans but less so to the wider middle class, undermining public faith in government.
The question historians need to ask is whether Obama contributed to this dysfunctional system or was victimized by it. He was unable to construct a working relationship with congressional Republicans. Was this because, as the White House has contended, Republicans had been unmovable from partisan positions? Or was Obama complicit, because his own partisan constraints left little maneuvering room? Maybe both.
In this era of snap judgments, a true verdict on Obama is years away.

“pattern or practice” of unconstitutional force

“Statistical Evidence Not Required” (Heather MacDonald on DOJ and Chicago Police)
The most important statement in the Justice Department’s damning report on the Chicago Police Department has nothing to do with police behavior. Released on Friday, the report found the Chicago police guilty of a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional force. But it turns out that the Justice Department has no standard for what constitutes a “pattern or practice” (the phrase comes from a 1994 federal statute) of unconstitutional police conduct. “Statistical evidence is not required” for a “pattern or practice” finding, the DOJ lawyers announce, citing unrelated court precedent. Nor is there “a specific number of incidents” required to constitute a “pattern or practice,” they proclaim.
Having cleared themselves of any obligation to provide “a specific number of [unconstitutional] incidents” or a statistical benchmark for evaluating them, the DOJ attorneys proceed to ignore any further obligation of transparency. The reader never learns how many incidents of allegedly unconstitutional behavior the Justice Department found, nor how those incidents compare with the universe of police-civilian contacts conducted by the Chicago Police Department. No clue is provided regarding why the DOJ lawyers concluded that the alleged abuses reached the mysterious threshold for constituting a pattern or practice. Instead, the report uses waffle words like “several,” “often,” or “many” as a substitute for actual quantification. This vacuum of information hasn’t stopped the mainstream media from trumpeting the report as yet another exposé of abusive, racist policing. Excessive force is rife in chicago, u.s. review finds, read the headline on the New York Times’s front-page story, which went on to note that the excessive force was “chiefly aimed at African-Americans and Latinos.”
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...

Women’s March on Washington Shows Left-Wing Devouring Its Own

Splice Today ^ | January 16, 2017 | Chris Beck 

According to The New York Times, Jennifer Willis was planning to travel up to D.C. from South Carolina with her two daughters to attend the Women’s March on Washington on the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. She thought it’d be a great opportunity to stand alongside her sisters and protest Trump’s misogyny. Then she got a harsh lesson in how the political left conducts itself. One of the event’s organizers, a black woman from Brooklyn, lectured on Facebook in excluding language that white “allies” should listen more and talk less, adding, “You don’t get to join because now you’re scared too. I was born scared.” There’re plenty of victimhood points for being born scared. Willis decided that she and her daughters might not be welcome at the gathering, so she cancelled the trip.
People may ask how the march became a racial affair, when it was supposed to be about all women, but that’s how things work on the left, a movement so obsessed with personal identity that tangible goals and opportunities often slip out of reach amidst tribal infighting. The left devours its own in what often appears to be an addiction to identity politics they can’t own up to, and therefore have no hope of treating.
The American left is poor at strategy. Demonstrations are clearly a numbers game. The power of the message is directly driven by how many show up. The main strategy for the Women’s March should’ve been to maximize attendance, yet it wasn’t. The national organizers deliberately set out to inject the racial issue from the outset, as well as that of undocumented immigrant women, in order to “take the conversation to deep places,” in the oddly-phrased words of Muslim intersectionalist Linda Sarsour, who led the successful effort to close New York public schools on Islam holy days, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Sarsour is one of the four national co-chairwomen of the post-inaugural event. “Sometimes you are going to upset people,” she said of the intersectional approach, demonstrating her unsound grasp of strategy. The time to bring up the uncomfortable questions is after you’ve pulled off the successful march. After you’ve made your show of strength and unity and delivered a powerful message, then you address the dirtier, messier business of how to slice up the pie.
Sarsour encouraged the Brooklyn organizer to high-handedly scold potential attendees, thus turning them off. The “allies” she spoke of have just as much right to march as she does, and for that matter why is she even calling them allies when it’s a women’s march and they’re women too? Maybe because categorizing them as mere allies marginalizes them, while simultaneously boosting your own status. It’s a power game.
The Left just can’t seem to help itself. It uses the victimhood index to determine who gets to speak and who must listen politely. The designated listeners are the ones who’ve been cowed into submission by all the privilege they’re constantly told they have. The most guilt-addled comply meekly, but there are many others, like Jennifer Willis, who just decide not to show up. She probably doesn’t want to expose her daughters to potential racial unpleasantness at their impressionable age. Maybe her daughters will one day decide to become Republicans. One could hardly blame them for not wanting any part of the perpetual identity-driven power struggle that consumes the left. To be a part of a political discussion not focused on individual skin colors, ethnic background, religion, ableism, etc. could be seen as refreshing in comparison.
The victim-centric philosophy currently embraced by progressives sets them up for a perpetual power struggle. Blacks, for example, outrank women on the victimhood index, so white women can’t be seen as legitimate leaders of the Women’s March On Washington. Such an approach is doomed, as the most legitimate candidate for leadership (the one with the least privilege) would logically be the person who has the greatest conceivable combination of marginalizing characteristics possible in one individual. That would be something like a transsexual gender-neutral person of color with below average physical looks and a physical disability. Nobody could question this person without exposing their own relative privilege, including good-looking black, cisgendered, heterosexual women. This would not work out well.
Alienating the majority in favor of the marginalized works badly from a purely mathematical point of view. The only group you end up never alienating has almost no membership, while members of the largest groups have an incentive to drop out. The left has now reached the Kafkaesque position where, by their actions, they actually help achieve what they profess to be fighting against. If you told one of them that, they’d be flabbergasted. They think they’re fighting racism by calling out as many people possible as racists, but that ended up fueling the backlash elected Trump. Trump’s inauguration offers them the perfect opportunity to stand together against what he represents, but they’re too obsessed with their addictions to make the best of it.