Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 41 of a series

You can tell autumn is in the air. The snowflakes are already blowing in the wind:

The Fake News Is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!

Somebody has obviously missed the point of irony:

I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, “I hope so!”

Donald, please stay. You are truly a source without end.

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Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 40 of a series

In case there is somebody reading who does not have a clear understanding, here is some clarification. In the traditional (meaning most recent) sense, a snowflake is a person who cannot tolerate a dissenting view, especially dissenting commentary. A snowflake’s feelings are injured in the face of criticism or contradiction. From that I derive the title for this series, and I aim it at the new President, who has to be the most delicate of snowflakes to  come our way in decades.

That said, let me get started:

The Fake News Is going all out in order to demean and denigrate! Such hatred!

“Demean and denigrate.” Imagine that. People can be so thoughtless.

See what I  mean? Wait, there’s more.

Donald J. Trump Retweeted Bill O’Reilly

Sadly, they and others are Fake News, and the public is just beginning to figure it out!

[more omitted]

There certainly is a problem with fake news.

And that’s about it for today with fake news. And for snowflakes of the first order.

 

 

 

 

Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 39 of a series

I receive daily newsletters from the Media Research Center (MRC). You can thank me later. The MRC is a conservative propaganda institution set up to protect sensitive targets:

Since 1987, the Media Research Center (MRC) has been the nation’s premier media watchdog. We don’t endorse politicians and we don’t lobby for legislation. MRC’s sole mission is to expose and neutralize the propaganda arm of the Left: the national news media. This makes the MRC’s work unique within the conservative movement.

Their message may provide lift to America’s conservative base, reminding them that our problems are not the actions of conservative leaders but are due to bad press from left-leaning news sources. From the most recent email:

1. Hypocrisy Alert: Today’s Trump Bashing Media Thought It Was Awful to Bash Obama in 2009

Over the past several months, journalists have had no qualms about attacking President Trump on a deeply personal level, calling him an “embarrassing” “unhinged” “liar,” a “sociopath” and a “madman” presiding over a “malignant presidency.” But eight years ago, many of these same reporters were offended at criticism of Barack Obama and his policies, scorning the “mean,” “ugly,” “offensive” “vitriol” and “idiot talk” hurled at the last President during the same months of his term.

Of course, that is most impolite of liberal journalists to say those bad things about President Trump, and the MRC has done this country a good service in exposing the atrocity. They have, in my view, not gone far enough. I will expand on their revelations.

Embarrassing

Unhinged

Liar

Sociopath

Madman

Malignant Presidency

Note to the MRC: you don’t have to thank me. Just make sure I get your check by Monday.

And may Jesus have mercy on your souls.

The Government You Paid For

Number 11

So this meme came across my Facebook feed, and I thought, “Is this for real?” I mean, did a government official stiff the American taxpayers $250,000 in order to pull off a politically-motivated publicity stunt? This requires some Skeptical Analysis.

I left today’s Colts game because and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.

Apparently Mr. Pence did attend the game, and he did make a publicized exit. At what cost to the taxpayers? Somebody else is thinking the same thing:

Adam Schiff Retweeted Vice President Pence

After all the scandals involving unnecessarily expensive travel by cabinet secretaries, how much taxpayer money was wasted on this stunt?

Adam Schiff added,

So what was the cost? An item posted to Market Watch took a stab at it:

The answer is likely hundreds of thousands of dollars, at least.

CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak tweeted that Air Force 2 costs the government $42,936 an hour to fly, and estimated Pence’s trip to Indianapolis took about two and a half hours flying time, each way. That would put the flight’s cost well over $200,000.

And that doesn’t include the costs of a hotel room in Indianapolis,where Pence spent Saturday night, and extra police protection in Indianapolis. Fans at Sunday’s game were asked to show up early due to enhanced security at the stadium.

The Market Watch post mentions the cost of staying at a hotel, an expense the taxpayers do not bear, since attending the game was not official business. Also, when Mr. Pence flies on personal business (a football game), he is required to pay the equivalent of first class passage. However, his Secret Service detail must be booked in the hotel, and it appears to me that I have been billed personally for this expense. I need to take a closer look at my tax return to verify.

Anyhow, let’s take as a given that Pence flew to Las Vegas (official business) and then to Indianapolis (personal business), and then to Los Angeles for Party business (not government business). Under other circumstances his itinerary would have been to Las Vegas (government business), then to Los Angeles (private business). The added cost was Las Vegas to Indianapolis and for all practical purposes from Indianapolis back to Las Vegas (Las Vegas is sort of on the way to Los Angeles). A round trip flight of Air Force 2 was made for personal business with a few thousand dollars of the cost being reimbursed by Mr. Pence (or the Republican Party). That’s a hefty load for watching the opening ceremonies of a football game.

And why was this expense incurred? Glad you asked:

I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled, disrespecting our country. I am proud of him and @SecondLadyKaren.

Of course, Pence and Trump had no way of knowing that Pence was going to exit the game early and thereby cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to pull off of a political grandstand:

Adding to the speculation that Pence’s abrupt departure was political theater, reporters traveling with the vice president were reportedly told to wait outside the stadium because there may be a early departure.

All right. It’s junior high time at the White House. Good to see the government we paid for is not so stuck on themselves they can’t have a bit of fun. At taxpayer expense. Sorry, it’s too late to get your money back.

Selling It

Hopefully Not The Beginning of A Lengthy Series

Yes, the picture says it all. Some may not know, but I subscribe to the newsletter of Dallas, Texas, Pastor Robert Jeffress, head of the 13,000-member  First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. This came in an email to me shortly after 58 people were murdered by a millionaire gunman, who subsequently killed himself. Over 500 others were otherwise injured. The message is that financial gain knows no missed opportunity.

The email came with a link to a page hawking one of Pastor Jeffress’ books:

REQUEST YOUR COPY OF A PLACE CALLED HEAVEN: 10 SURPRISING TRUTHS ABOUT YOUR ETERNAL HOME

Start living today with eternity fresh in mind!
Brand-new hard-cover book from Dr. Jeffress and the ministry-exclusive DVD/CD set opens the Scripture to answer your questions about heaven!

Explore …
• Three popular myths about God and Heaven
• Is Hell a real place … and would God really send someone there?
• Six things you and your loved ones can do to prepare for Heaven

Please be as generous as possible — and learn as much as possible — about your everlasting home!

Use the form below to request the book with a generous gift to Pathway to Victory.

You are asked to select amounts of $25, $50, $100, $250.

First Baptist in Dallas is, if nothing else, about money. From Wikipedia:

Under Dr. Jeffress’ leadership, the First Baptist Church of Dallas broke ground on the construction of a new 3,000-seat Worship Center.  As of 2013, it was the largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history.  The $130 million church campus officially opened for Easter Sunday worship on March 31, 2013

Not mentioned in the above item, the perception in Dallas is that First Baptist serves the richest and the most conservative clientèle of a rich and conservative cluster. Jeffress’ conservative politics are never to be questioned. Wikipedia:

Dr. Jeffress is a Fox News contributor and a faith advisor to President Donald Trump.

Jeffress supported Governor Rick Perry in the Republican presidential primaries for the 2012 presidential nomination. On October 7, 2011, he provoked a national controversy when he introduced Perry at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, by indicating that one of Perry’s rivals, Romney, of Massachusetts, is opposed to Christianity. According to Jeffress, Romney’s Mormonism contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ. He had previously made a similar statement during the 2008 presidential primaries. Nevertheless, in April 2012, Jeffress endorsed Romney for president because of the pastor’s strong opposition to the re-election of Barack Obama.

I may be missing something, but the perception is there is a common theme running through here. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.

The Golden Shower

Number 24

A couple kisses in front of graffiti depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, on the walls of a bar in the old town in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, May 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

This is the fun that will not go away. Looking at the top I notice I’m up to number 24 in this series relating to Donald Trump’s ties to the Russian government. That said, there are some telling me I am in for disappointment when the story finally dries up. A recent Facebook conversation drifted off onto the Russian connection. The following is a snapshot of my Facebook feed, images and other stuff removed:

Bob Walters But what about the Russian connection between Trump and Russia, it’s been a year and no one can close that investigation.

John Blanton Close the Russian investigation? No way. We are having too much fun.
https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/…/the-golden-shower-23/

Number 23 It’s a story that will not go away, possibly because I love it so much, and I want to keep coming…
SKEPTIC78240.WORDPRESS.COM
William M Lolli I agree John. Keep the Russia thing going… the more they look and have no evidence, the stupider the accusers will sound.

All right, I left in the image of my personal copy of the Pee Pee Tape. But William Lolli’s final shot is what’s critical. I am going to look really stupid when it turns out that months worth of investigation fails to produce any evidence of collusion with the Russian government.

Being committed to living a life based on fact, I have to allow for the possibility the investigation will lead nowhere, However, for the moment, the drift is going the opposite direction:

WASHINGTON — A former British spy who compiled a dossier with allegations that Russia helped Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has met with investigators working for the special counsel on the case, a source familiar with the contact said on Thursday.

Christopher Steele, a former senior operative for MI6, the British foreign intelligence agency, met representatives of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team “recently,” said the source, who declined to provide further details.

A spokesman for Mueller declined comment.

While President Trump and some of his supporters have dismissed the dossier as “fake news”, two sources familiar with Mueller’s probe and a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation of suspected Russian meddling in the election said on Thursday that investigators have not dismissed it.

For those who have not been following the series, here is a flashback to the essentials. What is of interest is whether this part of the Steele dossier has merit:

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

So, did a future President of the United States pay prostitutes to pee on a bed in a Moscow hotel, and did he watch as the act was performed? Did Russian intelligence obtain video of this, and are they using this or other articles to blackmail the President into acquiescence on critical matters? That is what is going to be interesting and not the names of the prostitutes who did the pissing.

Will I have to eat crow and concede to William Lolli and others? Or will I, a few months hence, have in my possession another item in my bag of tools to embarrass the unembarrassable? I have been wrong before. Keep reading.

The Age Of Embarrassment

Number 16 in a series

This takes some telling. Bear with me.

Start with a paper published in the journal Science 26 June 2015. It’s by Karl Thomas and others, and it carries the title “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus.” Here’s the abstract:

Much study has been devoted to the possible causes of an apparent decrease in the upward trend of global surface temperatures since 1998, a phenomenon that has been dubbed the global warming “hiatus.” Here, we present an updated global surface temperature analysis that reveals that global trends are higher than those reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, especially in recent decades, and that the central estimate for the rate of warming during the first 15 years of the 21st century is at least as great as the last half of the 20th century. These results do not support the notion of a “slowdown” in the increase of global surface temperature.

That was a couple of years ago. Now come forward to September of this year:

WASHINGTON — Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), an early and loyal supporter of President Donald Trump, likes to make noise about the liberal media’s coverage of climate change, often dismissing it as “fake news.”

In February, however, this vocal denier of near-universally accepted climate science promoted a story about a climate data manipulation scandal that is about as flawed as they come.

The representative of Congressional District 21, just up the road from me, has, from all appearances, a mental block regarding aspects of modern science:

Smith publicly denies global warming. As of 2015, Smith has received more than $600,000 from the fossil fuel industry during his career in Congress. In 2014, Smith got more money from fossil fuels than he did from any other industry.

Under his leadership, the House Science committee has held hearings that feature the views of climate change deniers, subpoenaed the records and communications of scientists who published papers that Smith disapproved of, attempted to cut NASA’s earth sciences budget, and “the committee has earned a reputation for questioning climate scientists and environmental groups that say human activity, like burning fossil fuels, is the main cause of rising temperatures.” In his capacity as Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, Smith issued more subpoenas in his first three years than the committee had for its entire 54-year history. In a June 2016 response letter to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Smith cited the work of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s as valid legal precedent for his investigation. On December 1, 2016 as Chair on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, he tweeted out on behalf of that committee a Breitbart article denying climate change.

Smith has been criticized for conducting “witch hunts,” a “campaign of intimidation,” and “a direct attack on the rights of scientists and others to conduct research independent of government interference” against climate scientists. Smith has a lifetime score of 6% on the National Environmental Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters. Smith is an “outspoken climate naysayer in Congress”, according to Scientific American magazine. Smith has been described as a “climate change denier” by Vice Media and by Organizing for America and as “Congress’s preeminent climate change denier” by Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times.

As a life-long Texas, this brings a small lump in my throat. Such notoriety and so little merit.

It is worth linking to the Breitbart posting at issue:

Global land temperatures have plummeted by one degree Celsius since the middle of this year – the biggest and steepest fall on record.

But the news has been greeted with an eerie silence by the world’s alarmist community. You’d almost imagine that when temperatures shoot up it’s catastrophic climate change which requires dramatic headlines across the mainstream media and demands for urgent action. But that when they fall even more precipitously it’s just a case of “nothing to see here”.

Yeah, let’s chase that down. Breitbart links to a story that ran in MailOnline, an organ of the British Daily Mail.

Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.

The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.

Obviously there is much more, and you need to read the complete posting. So, what happened next?

IPSO adjudication upheld against MoS climate science article

Following an article published on 5 February 2017 in the Mail on Sunday, headlined ‘EXPOSED How world leaders were duped over global warming’, Bob Ward complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. IPSO upheld the complaint and has required the Mail on Sunday to publish this decision as a remedy to the breach.

The article reported on claims made by Dr John Bates, a climate scientist formerly employed at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about a paper published in the journal Science that suggested that there had been no ‘pause’ in global warming in the 2000s. Dr Bates had published a blog criticising the way the data used for the paper had been analysed and archived. The article detailed at length the complainant’s concerns with the data; it then characterised them as demonstrating ‘irrefutable evidence’ that the paper had been based upon ‘misleading, unverified data’.

And more. Read.

So, MailOnline published an item based on faulty information, and IPSO, the Independent Press Standards Organization, called them down on it, and the item had to be disclaimed. On a side note, IPSO is a UK institution that oversees press standards. Ever wonder whether American outlets could use some oversight?

And the total of all this is that MailOnline published what was essentially a baseless claim, leading readers to conclude anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is a hoax.

Next, Breitbart, that stellar exemplar of journalistic integrity, regurgitated the item, I’m guessing much to the delight of their readership, said readership being the cream of American conservatism.

Finally, the Republican chair of the House Science Committee, tweeted out the gist of the Breitbart posting, apparently considering it justification for his anti-science position.

Get this, readers. A fatally flawed item in a British on-line journal worked its way into shaping this country’s science policy. I’m thinking the Brits have never gotten over Yorktown.

Snowflake-in-Chief

Number 38 of a series

I have a Twitter account. I got it a few months ago with the sole purpose of following tweets from the Snowflake-in-Chief. It has been a gold mine:

More and more people are suggesting that Republicans (and me) should be given Equal Time on T.V. when you look at the one-sided coverage?

Glad you asked, Mr. President. You could use a bit more equal time, and I am prepared to give you some. Starting now:

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Screen shoot from CNN on YouTube

Donny, let me know if you require any more equal time. I’m always here if you need me.

People Unclear

An ongoing scandal – number 19

Laura Ingraham has been popping up on my news feeds for the past few years, always in relation to some conservative viewpoint. I never paid much attention before. It’s time. From Wikipedia:

Laura Anne Ingraham (born June 19, 1963) is an American TV and radio talk show host, author, and conservative political commentator. She hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, The Laura Ingraham Show, is the editor-in-chief of LifeZette, a long time Fox News Channel contributor, and starting October 30, 2017 will host her own FNC show, The Ingraham Angle, weeknights at 10 p.m.

All right. I’m comfortable with that. Here’s what brings me some distress:

Ingraham: “I also think we should remember that we’ve done a lot to kick Christianity, God, to the curb in our society in the way we treat each other, in some government policy, in our schools”

That’s from a recent post on MediaMatters. The quote is apparently from a session of Fox & Friends on 3 October. There is some more, but the salient point is the matter of kicking God to the curb. Others commented:

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): You mentioned religion. We all have our cross to bear, right? We all are sinners, and we fall short. This guy, his brother said, did not have religion in his life. You wear your cross. I heard you last night say you went to St. Patrick’s to pray. There were a lot of people there lighting candles and praying. And then I heard you say Big & Rich, when they sang on stage “God Bless America” an hour before some of [the concertgoers] were killed to go meet God, that you said that was such a gift to their families, and I agree with you.

Earhardt remarks the Las Vegas shooter had no religion, and she mentions this as though it were significant. The fact is, having a religion seems not to matter when it comes to mass murder:

How much does it cost to kill 14 people and terrorize a city?

About $4,500, according to an NBC News analysis of the pre-tax cost of the guns and explosives assembled by Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik for their attack on an office holiday party in San Bernardino, California on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

In this case two deeply religious people went on a killing spree, all in the name of religion. To be sure, Ingraham and others will argue this is not the religion they want in our schools. Really? These people prayed to the same God that Christians and Jews pray to. It’s the God of Abraham, the same Abraham who was willing to kill his son on instructions from God. But it’s not Christianity. That makes a difference?

Eric Robert Rudolph (born September 19, 1966), also known as the Olympic Park Bomber, is an American domestic terrorist convicted for a series of anti-abortion and anti-gay-motivated bombings across the southern United States between 1996 and 1998, which killed two people and injured over 120 others.

Rudolph is not alone in demonstrating that Christian belief is no inoculation against mayhem:

James Charles Kopp (born August 2, 1954) is an American citizen who was convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Barnett Slepian, an American physician from Amherst, New York who performed abortions. Prior to his capture, Kopp was on the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. On June 7, 1999 he had become the 455th fugitive placed on the list by the FBI. He was affiliated with the militant Roman Catholic anti-abortion group known as “The Lambs of Christ“.

“Lambs of Christ,” indeed. When do we get to meet the Goats of Christ. But I wax sarcastic. Issues with Laura Ingraham run deeper. Getting back to the Las Vegas shooting:

On the October 5 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show, host Laura Ingraham used her platform to spread conspiracy theories about the massacre in Las Vegas, NV. Ingraham claimed photos of the shooter’s room “were selectively leaked” to the media and “look[ed] like a scene from a Law & Order” episode because everything is “perfectly laid down.” Ingraham implied that these selective photos were staged and leaked to support Democrats who were “speaking from the same [gun control] script” since the attack. Ingraham also baselessly suggested that the shooter was inexperienced with firearms and “clearly in poor health” to cast doubt on the possibility he acted alone.

To be sure, law enforcement agencies are thinking the shooter may have had an accomplice, but it’s not due to his state of health. Unlike many jihadists of late, the Las Vegas shooter appeared to have an escape plan. That said, no accomplice has been identified. The above from MediaMatters is a summation. A pertinent quote is in order:

INGRAHAM: Selective leaking of photos. The press has an overwhelming lack of curiosity as to why those photos were selectively leaked, and where are the other photos? Where are the press folks asking questions about the check-in of Mr. Paddock? When he checked-in by himself, 10 significant-sized bags that held these weapons? Where’s that? Where’s the video? You’re releasing video of body cam — like one body cam video, as far as I can tell just one. You know all those police officers had body cams. One body cam video. And these pictures of the cart and the — it’s just very curious. But you notice how the media, they’re only on gun control. They’re not on — well, wait a second. How is this even possible for one man, with no significant weapons training —

I note from Wikipedia that “In 2012, Ingraham was rated as the No. 5 radio show in America,” and that is telling on the American audience. The quote above indicates there is not a boat load of deep insight going to waste here. And, yes, you guessed it. Ingraham is not alone in casting about for conspiracies. My Facebook feed is alive with them [a bunch of stuff deleted]:

If Ingraham has issues with deep insight, she has ample company. May Jesus have mercy on our souls.