Le Pen & Macron Runoff — OPEN THREAD

From CNBC:

Centrist Emmanuel Macron took a big step towards the French presidency on Sunday by winning the first round of voting and qualifying for a May 7 runoff alongside far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

Though Macron, 39, is a comparative political novice who has never held elected office, new opinion polls on Sunday had him easily winning the final clash against the 48-year-old Le Pen.

The French Interior Ministry’s final figures for the first round showed Macron earned 23.75 percent of the vote, while Le Pen won 21.53 percent.

Sunday’s outcome is a huge defeat for the two center-right and center-left groupings that have dominated French politics for 60 years, and also reduces the prospect of an anti-establishment shock on the scale of Britain’s vote last June to quit the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president.

 

Wizbang Weekend Caption Contest™
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of April 21, 2017
  • Scalia

    Third U.S. citizen detained in North Korea: sources:

    SEOUL, April 23 (Yonhap) — A former Korean-American professor was arrested in North Korea last week, becoming the third U.S. citizen to be detained by the communist country as of late, according to sources Sunday.

    The U.S. citizen, identified only by his surname Kim, was arrested by North Korean authorities on Friday at Pyongyang International Airport on his way out of the country, said the sources, who asked not to be named.

    Kim, a former professor at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology in his late 50s, has been engaged in aid and relief programs to North Korea.

    He reportedly was in the North for about a month to discuss relief activities. The reason for his arrest was not clear.

    The detainment is the latest in a series of American nationals being arrested in North Korea. Two other U.S. citizens — college student Otto Warmbier and Korean-American pastor Kim Dong-chul — are also currently detained in the North after being sentenced to long prison terms for what Pyongyang calls subversive acts against the country.

    Ahn Chan-il, director of the World North Korea Research Center in Seoul, said that the North “seems to be intending to use professor Kim as leverage in negotiations” amid the current bad relations between the two countries.

    • Retired military

      IMO any US citizen (except CIA Agents, soldiers, etc) that knowingly goes to NK for any reason deserves everything they have coming to them

      • Scalia

        Most certainly. There’s not enough money a person could give to induce me to visit that country.

      • Brett Buck

        That’s a special kind of stupid.

  • Scalia

    Trump Budget Eliminates Federal Funding for 19 Agencies:

    In addition to reducing spending from several large government entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department, President Donald Trump’s proposed first budget calls to eliminate federal funding for 19 federal agencies, for a total of $3 billion in cuts.

    Some of the agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, are relatively well known, while others benefit foreign countries and are, in many cases, holdovers from former presidencies.

    “Consistent with the President’s approach to move the nation toward fiscal responsibility, the budget eliminates and reduces hundreds of programs and focuses funding to redefine the proper role of the federal government,” a blueprint copy of Trump’s “America First” budget says.

    The agencies to lose their federal funding include: the African Development Foundation; the Appalachian Regional Commission; the Chemical Safety Board; the Corporation for National and Community Service; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Delta Regional Authority; the Denali Commission; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the Inter-American Foundation; the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; the Legal Services Corporation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation; the Northern Border Regional Commission; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; the United States Institute of Peace; the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness; and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

  • Scalia

    Despite Reports, Fmr Fox Guest Now Claims She Was Never Sexually Harassed by Sean Hannity

    Debbie Schlussel, a former Fox News guest, appeared on a local radio show on Friday and recounted an incident where Sean Hannity purportedly asked her to a hotel, and when she rebuffed his advances, she claims, she was ostracized by the network star. The story has since gone viral garnering headlines like “Sean Hannity Accused of Sexually Harassing Fox News Guest” in publications like The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post. Now, in an interview with LawNewz.com on Monday morning, Schlussel is denying that she was ever sexually harassed by Sean Hannity. While Schlussel stands by her description of the incident, Schlussel told us that she doesn’t believe what happened between the two amounted to sexual harassment by any legal definition.

    “I would never accuse him of that. Sexual harassment has a special meaning under the law, and I would never accuse him of that,” Schlussel, an attorney herself, said. Schlussel said the interaction happened in the early 2000’s when Hannity was in Detroit taping a show.

    “He tried to get me to go back to the hotel after the show after he and his executive producer Bill Shine treated me horribly,” she said on the radio program. Schlussel later clarified that it wasn’t his hotel room, but rather his hotel. She told LawNewz.com that she did go on the show following the incident, but after that was “banned from Fox News.”

    “I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” Schlussel said.

    Following the radio interview on Friday, Hannity issued a strongly worded statement denying Schlussel’s claims saying he plans to take legal action against Schlussel for possible libel.

    “LET ME BE CLEAR THE COMMENTS ABOUT ME ON A RADIO SHOW THIS WEEK by this individual ARE 100% false and a complete fabrication,” Hannity said in a statement obtained by LawNewz.com. “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation. The individual has not just slandered me over the years but many people who this individual disagrees with.”

    • pennywit

      “I never thought I was sexually harassed by Sean Hannity, I thought he was weird and creepy not someone I liked,” Schlussel said.

      Now there’s a character reference.

      • WHO’S THE BUSTER

        Tucker Carlson manages to make Hannity the “nice” one.

        I am guessing junior high was very difficult for Tucker.

      • jim_m

        Schlussel is full of shit. Evidence the dearth of people coming to back her up or to make similar claims. She made her bullshit up and you only embarrass yourself by announcing publicly that you believe it.

    • Wild_Willie

      It is a very terrible state of affairs when someone just uses words and words only. No evidence and/or witnesses and someone’s career is in jeopardy or over. This country could and should do better then this. I think Mr. Hannity is correct. He should go after people who do this with extreme prejudice legally. Make a few examples and women will think twice before they make false accusations. ww

  • Scalia

    New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments, Under Police Guard:

    New Orleans on Monday began removing four monuments dedicated to the era of the Confederacy and its aftermath, capping a prolonged battle about the future of the memorials, which critics deemed symbols of racism and intolerance and which supporters viewed as historically important.

    Workers dismantled an obelisk, which was erected in 1891 to honor members of the “Crescent City White League” who in 1874 fought in the Reconstruction-era Battle of Liberty Place against the racially integrated New Orleans police and state militia, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.

    The monument, which was sometimes used as a rallying point by David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, has stirred debate for decades. Local leaders unsuccessfully tried to remove it in 1981 and 1993.

    The workers were dressed in flak jackets, helmets and scarves to conceal their identities because of concerns about their safety, The Associated Press reported. Police officers watched from a nearby hotel.

    Pieces of the monument were put on a truck and hauled away.

    Other monuments expected to be removed include a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in a traffic circle, named Lee Circle, in the city’s central business district since 1884; an equestrian statue of P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general, and one of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.

  • Scalia

    Congressman: Trump More Dangerous than TerroristsU.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier’s town hall was winding down, and as usual his audience had gotten its money’s worth.

    And not just because it was free.

    DeSaulnier, D-Concord, treated the audience during a recent event at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette to the full dinner show: a fast-paced PowerPoint presentation; a civics lesson (want to know why the Congressional districts are numbered the way they are?); a dose of history (do you know which president was the first to issue his inaugural address from the West Terrace of the Capitol)?

    Many familiar topics were touched upon, both in DeSaulnier’s talk and the Q&A that followed. Yes, more than a few dealt with the Trump in the room. Then came the final question card of the night, from a young girl, and it was a show-stopper.

    “Eden wanted to have her question asked by staff because it’s past her bedtime,” explained a member of DeSaulnier’s staff, who then read the question:
    “My name is Eden, and I’m 11 years old. My mom is worried about my future with President Trump. On election night, my mom cried. Kids at my school are worrying about being deported. I’ve read and heard awful things about him. Should I be worried about my future? As a kid, what can I do about it?”

    “From the mouths of babes,” DeSaulnier said, apparently affected by the question. And who wouldn’t be? The toxic national discourse is dispiriting enough for adults. To hear that it is trickling down to affect 11-year-olds?

    “It’s interesting,” he would say a few days later. “The night before in Richmond, something similar happened. Both instances were a little out of body for me. I sort of responded to the way people were responding to me.”

    Back to Eden’s question: “I think you should be concerned,” DeSaulnier said. “This is dangerous stuff. I’ve said a few times, the most dangerous person in America isn’t a terrorist, it’s the person who’s president of the United States. So Eden, you’ve got to read, you have to be thoughtful, and you have to be engaged.”Pass the barf bag. This kind of tripe is applauded by the Left while they’re complaining about our “toxic national discourse”?? These people must have a mental disorder not to notice the irony.

  • Scalia

    After violent weekend, Chicago nearing 1,000 gunshot victims this year

    The number of people shot in Chicago this year is nearing 1,000 after a violent weekend left seven dead and 31 others wounded, according to data kept by the Tribune.

    As of Monday morning, at least 992 people had been shot in Chicago this year. Last year, the city passed the 1,000 mark on April 20 and had reached 1,054 by this time, the Tribune data show.

    The pace of homicides is virtually the same as last year. There have been at least 179 homicides so far this year compared with 180 this time last year, according to the data.

    The weekend violence included a span of seven hours Sunday when four men were fatally shot and six other people were wounded across the city. Two of those killed were shot within 15 minutes on the city’s South and West sides.

  • Scalia

    Police: Resident kills gunman during home invasion

    A resident shot and killed a gunman who forced his way into an apartment early today, according to Metro Police.

    The incident, which police described as a home invasion, was reported shortly before 1 a.m. at an apartment complex in the 3600 block of East Sahara Avenue, just west of U.S. 95.

    The resident was in his apartment when an unidentified man armed with a handgun forced the front door open, police said. The resident retrieved his own gun and shot the man, police said.

    When officers arrived, they found the shooting victim, whose name has not yet been released, unresponsive inside the apartment, police said.

    No arrests have been made, police said. Once the investigation is finished, the findings will be submitted to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office for review, police said.

    • Scalia

      Often, the mere brandishing of a weapon is sufficient to defuse a situation:

      Good samaritan pulls gun on would-be robber:

      Officers were flagged down by a parking attendant who told police he was walking a woman to her car from Hernando Street.

      An unknown suspect approached him from behind and hit him on the back of the head.

      Police do not know what kind of weapon was used. The victim was then pushed to the ground, and the suspect started rummaging through his pockets.

      A witness, who has his hand gun permit, saw what was going down, and pulled a gun on the suspect. Police said the suspect yelled, “I don’t have a gun,” and hopped into a tan Toyota.

      According to police, nothing was stolen from the victim. Luckily, he only suffered a minor bump and cut. He was not transported to a hospital.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Somewhere, a boatload of virgins are giggling uncontrollably:

    Three ISIS fighters ‘are killed by rampaging wild BOARS’ near Iraqi farmland

    Islamic State militants took Kirkuk in 2014 forcing civilians to flee

    Thee fighters trying to rid the boars from the farmland were killed

  • Brett Buck

    Just to be entirely clear – Macron is no “centrist” by most standards, he’s a middle-leftist in a country that has indulged avowed communists for about a century. Le Pen is close to the center in any rational evaluation.

    The media has the same vested interest in misrepresenting the situation in France that they do in the US and everywhere else. And in any case, stopping an invasion of your country, and tossing out those who managed to make it across the border is hardly a “conservative” position in the large scheme of things. It’s common sense that almost anyone without a mental illness can see.

    • jim_m

      Le Pen is a leftist too. Her economic policies are all socialist verging on communism. The only thing which makes her “right wing” is her nationalism.

      Apart from her feelings that France and French culture are worthy of preservation, there is little difference between her and the rest unless you count her willingness to quit NATO and align herself with Russia. That would be considered ultra left wing in anyone else.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        So, who do we root for?

        • Brett Buck

          Le Pen. Just don’t expect them to suddenly become self-effacing, polite, or even smell good. They are fighting to remain French – we can applaud the fight, and then afterwards, still find them annoying.

          Charles De Gaulle was one of the most arrogant and insufferable assholes in human history – but he cared about his country and culture (as long as he ended up in charge of it).

          A world of Individuals operating in their own enlightened self-interest is the end goal. This would be one battle in a vast war, but you have to win the battles first.

        • jim_m

          I don’t think there is anyone to root for. France has been dead for a long time now.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            I think you’re right. It’s sad. When my wife and I visited France last year the people we met were quite nice – even the waiters. We had a long conversation with a couple at a local bistro one rather misty evening. They were definitely lefties, but despised political correctness and the immigrants. They both were of the opinion that France was no longer “France.”

          • Brucehenry

            I hope to visit France as a tourist in the next year or two. Do you recommend any places as “must see”?

          • Walter_Cronanty

            First, I would recommend staying in an apartment – in a safe part of town. The first apartment we stayed in was lovely [if small – elevators are the size of a phone booth]. We were located about a 10 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower in what I would call a working class neighborhood. The rent was less than a decent hotel room. Ate at local bistros and never disappointed. Locals helped us order, as we know very little French. We readily admitted that we were dumb Americans. As I said above, the locals were very nice.

            Consider Paris to be one extremely large, rather disjointed museum. I don’t know how long you will be in Paris, but this is what we did. On the day of arrival – all night flight, got there about 7:30am with severe jet lag – we went to our apartment and got settled in. Then, I had already booked us for a 2-day pass on the “Big Red Bus” – a tourist bus that goes by, and stops at, the “big” tourist attractions. You can hop on and hop off at its stops. On the first day, we just rode around Paris, noting where we would like to get off on the next day – there are two routes you can go on and if you do, it’s probably about 4 hours total. Totally exhausted.

            Second day, we hopped on and off at various sites and just sort of wandered around. Paris is amazing. Example – on our third day, we had booked a tour to Versailles. It didn’t leave until about 1:00 pm, so we walked to the place where we would catch the tour, arriving early. We checked in and asked about taking the bus to the Rodin Museum. The lady we checked in with walked us to the correct bus stop and told us where to get off. We missed our stop, and had to walk probably 10 blocks back to the museum. It was a lovely neighborhood. On the way, we saw a cathedral that wasn’t mentioned very highly in any of the tourist info we had reviewed. We went in. It was breathtakingly beautiful – totally unexpected.

            As to “can’t miss sights” – I asked my wife. Here are our big three or four [NOTE – we didn’t go into the Louvre – it’s absolutely huge and awfully crowded and even the locals said don’t feel bad about skipping – if you’ve got plenty of time, go ahead and go].

            1. Les Invalides – Napoleon’s tomb and the French Military Museum. We spent about 3 hours there, and could have spent 3 more.

            2. Versailles – worth the money and tour. Huge and beautiful. You can understand why the peasants revolted.

            3. Notre Dame – it’s so big and so much to see, it’s somewhat overwhelming. Go as early as possible to beat tours, or the line will be very long to get in. On the same rather small island in the Seine is the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle. Both are well worth while. Also, note the walkways down by the river. In the summer, there’s usually a lot going on.
            We didn’t make it in the grand Opera House. Wish we had, but simply ran out of time. Plus, there are at least 3-4 rather large art museums that you can visit instead of the Louvre.
            I can’t emphasize enough to walk and eat where to locals are eating. Bus transportation is good. Get a good travel book [Rick Steves], a good map, and public transportation [trains and buses] map/schedule.
            Enjoy yourself! You won’t be bored. I would definitely return.

            {Edit} Oops, I now see you asked about France, not just Paris. We took a 7 day tour of Provence and that was simply amazing – Roman ruins, wine, food, Pope’s castle.

          • Brucehenry

            Thank you sir!

          • Walter_Cronanty

            I know, TMI – but note my edit. You’re quite welcome.

          • Brucehenry

            So much to see, but I am particularly interested in Avignon because of the history of the Schism. I’d like to see many of the places mentioned in Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, a fascinating popular history of the 14th Century, which uses as a focal point the Lord of Coucy. I also am fascinated by Napoleon and the revolutionary history of the 19th Century.

            Again, thanks!

          • Walter_Cronanty

            On our tour of Provence, we stayed in Avignon for 6 nights, going by bus to various surrounding towns during the day. It truly was beautiful. The various Roman ruins were fascinating.

            I’m an old fart, but my wife isn’t and we really enjoyed the tour as we didn’t have to worry about driving, parking, hotels etc. Plus, our fellow travelers were good company. We took the train from Paris to Marseilles to catch the tour.

            In case you’re interested, here’s the tour. It’s with “Cosmos” tour company – a “budget” tour company, but nothin’s cheap. http://www.tourvacationstogo.com/cosmos_tours.cfm?npid=65982

            In case the link is wrong, it’s the “Discover Provence” tour.
            If you’re really interested in Napoleon and the revolutionary history, then Les Invalides – Napoleon’s Tomb – French Military Museum is a must. I would schedule at least 4 hours. The history of the French military was fascinating – many, many exhibits.

          • jim_m

            I would add that a tour of the Loire valley and the castles there would be worthwhile

            Also, the biggest must see is the US cemetery at Omaha beach. It’s beautiful and amazing and staggering in its size. There are few places where the price tag of freedom is so vividly displayed.

          • jim_m

            Michelin guides used to offer fantastic walking tours of Paris. So much of the city is walkable.

            With regard to Versailles, go on a weekend when the fountains are running. They only run for a brief period but it is more than worth the effort to see them in action. Plan to spend the whole day there. You still won’t see everything. It really is that big.

            Of course an afternoon at the Louvre goes without saying. Too many famous pieces of art to pass up the opportunity to see them in person.

            I would suggest going before they tear down Notre Dam and replace it with a mosque.

          • Brucehenry

            Thanks, Jim, for the information — and for remaining in character.

  • Scalia

    You can’t make this stuff up. This is where we are folks:

    Activist Says Having ‘Genital Preferences’ In Dating Is Transphobic:

    Trans-activist Riley J. Dennis says having ‘genital preferences’ in dating is transphobic.

    Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re a man who wants your woman to have a vagina you’re a bigot.

    Dennis released a video at Everydayfeminist.com about his theory on “cissexism”, which he says is interchangeable with “transphobia” and means “prejudice or discrimination against trans people.”

    My head is spinning. So, you’re born gay, you’re born trans, but no one is born straight. Straight people are just bigots.

    Got it….I think.

    https://youtu.be/k5GYlZKfBmI

    • pennywit

      I subscribe to a different theory: What’s in somebody’s pants is none of my business unless I’m trying to get in those pants.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        And if one is trying to get in those pants, one has a natural tendency towards “genital preferences” when dating.

        • pennywit

          But what happens if you discover a Pittsburgh Steelers thong inside those pants?

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Several off-color, borderline disgusting, replies come to mind. Let’s just say I’m not into five day old fish.

          • pennywit

            So glad I can provide you cheery thoughts.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            You never disappoint.

      • Retired military

        Sexist
        You are discriminating against people who were born with male parts but consider themselves women. By not indulging them you are denying their womanhood.

        • pennywit

          You’re sexist for denying me my sexual preference.

          • Retired military

            And you are sexist for calling me sexist and I am offended that you are offended.

          • pennywit

            Check your privilege.

          • Retired military

            I did and it is still there as big as ever 🙂

          • pennywit

            A man doesn’t brag about the size of his “privilege” unless he is insecure about something …

            (PS. I apologize for assuming your gender identity)

    • pennywit

      Usually, I’d be a stickler for watching the video myself to get the content and context … but I just can’t make my time for this one.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Bill Nye, the SJW guy – illustrates your point

      • Scalia

        This world gets sicker all the time, Walter.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          When I was in my teens, I [secretly] scoffed at my parents’ despair when they shook their heads and said: “What is this world coming to?”
          Then, in my late 20s I had a son and started watching TV more closely and said: “What is this world coming to?”
          Now, I wonder if there are depths of the barrel we are scraping that I am unaware of. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure there are.

          • Scalia

            2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
            2Ti 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
            2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Yes, there are absolutes that are comforting.

          • Retired military

            Just so you know.
            I saw an article on Drudge about a dog getting a sex change.
            I think that some people are going under the barrel.

          • pennywit

            A classic case of projecting your politics onto somebody who can’t fight you.

          • Retired military

            Penny
            I assume you are speaking of the dog’s owner. At least I hope so.

          • pennywit

            Yes, I am. It’s a pet peeve of mine — right up there with people who (for example) put their cats or dogs on a vegetarian diet, or who are maniacal about keeping their small kids “non-gendered.”

            On that latter point, I see nothing wrong with giving your little boy dolls or your little girl trucks to play with. But you should be trying to encourage your kid’s interests or offer him opportunities, not forcing your own preconceptions on the kid.

          • pennywit

            PS. From my observation, a dog’s general sexual orientation is “couch” and “person’s leg.”

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            Is the world worse?

            I contend that coverage amplifies what has always been there.

            Slavery, the Inquisition, Caligula, the Holocaust (or numerous other genocides), etc.

            Now is entertainment more violent and obscene? Well, sure, but people choose what they want to watch. I personally think we are currently in the Golden Age of television. Far more selection for everyone and truly compelling entertainment since the launch of the Sopranos until now.

            When I list my favorite television shows of all time only a few are from decades ago. Rockford Files and maybe NYPD Blue, but then the list is far more current. Deadwood, The Wire, the aforementioned Sopranos, Justified, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, the list goes on and on. For adults, television has far surpassed movies and allows for long and complex story arcs with fully developed characters.

            Music is now virtually free due to streaming services, but again, list your favorite artists and skip songs that you don’t like, or find objectionable. I was born in the early fifties and came of age in the sixties and our parents certainly thought it was the end of civilization, just as those of the previous decade lamented its demise due to Elvis and rock and roll.

            Can you imagine if we had a 24 hour news cycle in 1939? My 92 year old (and radically right wing) Father simply scoffs at the alarm that is voiced every day and chalks it up to “too much news” and a certain self-involvement that is present in today’s world.

            You have to lend credence to a guy that grew up in the Depression, served in WWII and literally fought through the 1967 Detroit riots to maintain his business, I also have learned to pay heed to the wisdom that can only be accrued over time.

            When we were in the throes of the most recent economic downturn he offered sage advice. He accurately suggested that it was the time to buy, expand market share and concentrate on areas that suffered the most damage. I had suggested, as did many others, that Detroit was finished. He quickly listed the numerous reasons I was mistaken. I realize this is “inside baseball,” that is locally-based, but Detroit is again on fire, but this time, in a good way.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            I agree that “…coverage amplifies what has always been there.” But I also believe that it has amplified the miniscule to much larger proportions.
            As to whether the world has grown worse, I would say an emphatic “yes.” The culture is saturated with a certain coarseness that is hardly edifying. I think “Two Broke Girls” is definitely a step or two down from “I Love Lucy.” I’m not saying that government should ban “Two Broke Girls,” I am merely bemoaning the fact that there is an audience for such a show – and yes, I’m sure there are coarser shows on both broadcast and cable TV.
            The lack of diversity of thought on today’s university campuses is well documented. Equally well documented is the left’s attack on the First Amendment – unthinkable when I first attended college in the 60s.
            There are other areas from which one can reach the opinion that things are worse – from national security to the pseudo-science/religion of CAGW which casts doubt on science as a whole. But enough of my pontificating. I guess I just don’t share your rosy view. Oh, and thanks to your father for his service.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          What in the hell has happened to Bill Nye?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46h-LfNWPn8

          • Scalia

            Science must bow to political correctness. I guess he didn’t see his attack against the transcommunity. How can one flavor tell another flavor that s/he can’t be another flavor?

            According to our neo-science friends on the Left, we have to call a man a woman because he declares himself to be a woman. Similarly, why can’t chocolate be vanilla by mere assertion? The cartoon provides the answer: You can’t change who you are.

            On another note, pedophiles can’t change who they are, right? People who think they’re giraffes can’t change who they are. People who think they are birds and, therefore, want to jump off the roof, can’t change who they are. People who think they’re supposed to have one arm can’t change who they are. So, in our banana-split world, we let them jump off buildings and amputate their arms because it’s really good for them to live what they are.

            Like I said above, the world gets sicker all the time.

          • pennywit

            Let the world get sicker and tend your own garden.

          • Scalia

            Nope. As long as I’m able, I’ll call it as I see it.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            Why would pedophilia be lumped in with gender identification?

          • pennywit

            Please state, with specificity, where I have categorized pedophilia as a form of gender identification.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            My apologies, I only replied to you as a continuation of the thread and no way contend that you expressed, or even possess, an opinion on this matter, but I often see a correlation in the opinion of many. Especially in regard to a link between various segments of the LGBTQ and sexual crimes.

            I think that people are free to determine whatever identity allows them to get along in this world.

            Despite the fact that younger people are far more forgiving to their peers that may be gay or transgender, I can only imagine how difficult it is to grow up as “different” in this world.

            I graduated high school in 1972 and cannot remember one person that identified as any part of LGBTQ. That is obviously a statistical impossibility, so I can only imagine how difficult their lives must have been. I hope it is now better for them.

          • Second tap deleted.

          • Scalia

            I think that people are free to determine whatever identity allows them to get along in this world.

            But they are not free to compel us to agree with them. They are not free to penalize us for refusing to endorse their delusions.

            …but I often see a correlation in the opinion of many. Especially in regard to a link between various segments of the LGBTQ and sexual crimes.

            It would really, really help if you exhibited just a basic understanding of what the debate is. We’ve been told ad nauseam that same-sex attraction is a perfectly normal variation of human sexuality on par with being left-handed, yet the same apologists flip out when they’re asked whether sexual attraction to children is “a perfectly normal variation of human sexuality.” It’s the all-too-typical leftist double standard.

            That is obviously a statistical impossibility, so I can only imagine how difficult their lives must have been. I hope it is now better for them.

            Yes, it must be difficult for poor pedophiles who can’t find acceptance and are unable to satisfy their urges. Perverts need psychological treatment; they don’t need applause.

          • Hear him, hear him!

          • pennywit

            It would really, really help if you exhibited just a basic understanding of what the debate is. We’ve been told ad nauseam that same-sex attraction is a perfectly normal variation of human sexuality on par with being left-handed, yet the same apologists flip out when they’re asked whether sexual attraction to children is “a perfectly normal variation of human sexuality.” It’s the all-too-typical leftist double standard.

            Not really — the standard I usually hear is “What goes on between consenting adults isn’t anybody else’s business.” Which specifically excludes pedophila.

          • Scalia

            Not really?? Yes, really. The fact that you might not personally hear that argument bears no relevance to the greater argument outside your circle. Many pro-gay activists have for years argued that SSA is a normal variation. If they’re “born that way,” then we should treat them the same way we treat racial minorities. They can’t help being what they are, so let’s remove the antiquated stigma associated with it. In fact, it is often used to counter the argument that SSA is perverted and though tolerated, should not be celebrated.

          • pennywit

            *Shrug*. You asked for a distinguishing factor, and I gave it to you.

          • Scalia

            When did I ask for a distinguishing factor?

          • pennywit

            *Shrug* It seemed that way to me.

          • Scalia

            Well, I didn’t. Besides, the “consenting adults” rejoinder is a straw man. Nobody responsible is arguing otherwise.

          • pennywit

            You assume all left-wingers are responsible.

          • Scalia

            ?? Running a little too quickly, pennywit? My “[n]obody responsible” remark relates to the Right, not the Left. Nobody responsible on the Right argues that we should care what consenting adults do in their bedrooms. We care when the Constitution is warped to create rights at the whim of judges, and we care when we’re told that abnormal behavior is normal.

          • pennywit

            Wasn’t obvious from the context.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            My apologies, I only replied to you as a continuation of the thread and no way contend that you expressed, or even possess, an opinion on this matter, but I often see a correlation in the opinion of many. Especially in regard to a link between various segments of the LGBTQ and sexual crimes.

            I think that people are free to determine whatever identity allows them to get along in this world.

            Despite the fact that younger people are far more forgiving to their peers that may be gay or transgender, I can only imagine how difficult it is to grow up as “different” in this world.

            I graduated high school in 1972 and cannot remember one person that identified as any part of LGBTQ. That is obviously a statistical impossibility, so I can only imagine how difficult their lives must have been.

          • Scalia

            Your reading skills are tanking again. I guess you’re so used to it, you don’t even notice.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            So, you think I, or Scalia, shouldn’t comment on what I, or Scalia, view as rampant immoral stupidity?

          • pennywit

            We’re all entitled to get up on our soapboxes and speak our piece. I certainly do so. Hell, pontificating on the Interwebs is a fun way to waste time. But I also think there’s wisdom in real life in tending to your own garden.

            Over the years, I’ve come to see a lot of wisdom in a certain indifference to others’ antics.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            There is wisdom in tending one’s own garden – but “Let the world get sicker and tend your own garden” would negate the rationale for, say, sneaking into North Korea and breaking its laws to demonstrate what you believe they are doing wrong and/or immoral, yes?
            I just think your comment was somewhat ill-thought out for a comment section of a political blog.

          • pennywit

            I just think your comment was somewhat ill-thought out for a comment section of a political blog.

            I’ll stipulate to that.

      • pennywit

        Ugh. Pedagogical hip-hop.

      • pennywit

        By the way, Walter, this reminds me of the FEMA for kids safety rap from 2010.

        Sample lyrics:

        Disaster prep is your responsibility
        And mitigation is important to our agency.

        • Walter_Cronanty

          Whoever ordered that that little ditty is a prime candidate for one of Trump’s budget cuts.

          • pennywit

            The video was uploaded in 2010, but on further research, I found (and recalled) the video was created around 2007-2008. I blame Bush.

            BTW, I watched “Sex Junk,” and I cringed. Not because of the subject matter. I’m indifferent toward the subject matter and the song’s political stance. But the song … dear god, it’s awful. It’s like all of America’s junior-high vice principals said, “We know what appeals to hip kids today!!” and they got together and wrote a song.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            An incredibly inept response to the meme that W hated black people and let them die after Katrina?

          • pennywit

            Well, apparently the guy who wrote it has a background in disaster preparedness. No word on his skills as a musical composer.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Well, the ditty is a disaster, so it was right up his alley.

          • pennywit

            Further research: I found a Slate article about the video — in 2005. Yeah, this one’s on the Republican Party.

    • Wild_Willie
  • Joe_Miller

    It’s starting to look like Obama will be more involved in Trump’s presidency than he was in his own.

    • Walter_Cronanty

      Obviously, he isn’t satisfied with only eight years of devastation.

    • Hank_M

      He can try but aside from his cheerleaders in the fake-media, no one cares what he has to say.

      Besides, how can we miss him if he won’t go away?
      Then again, even when he does go away, no one will miss him.

    • Low bar that…

  • WHO’S THE BUSTER

    It appears the same cyber-fingerprints are present in the recent French election and targeted Macron.

    Can’t say I blame them as it is an inexpensive way to sway elections to candidates that are favorable.

    LaPen has taken loans from Russian banks and has been friendly to Putin so I can see why they would do such a thing.

    • Retired military

      Didn’t help Hillary when Podesta took Russian bank money.

    • Vagabond661

      Yeah. Good thing Podesta doesn’t work for Marcon.

  • WHO’S THE BUSTER

    So Alex Jones is now claiming he is a “performance artist” in his custody suit. He was also just sued by the owner of Chobani, the country’s largest yogurt manufacturer.

    Most people know it is obvious he just makes up nonsense, well, except the President, but the custody trial will force him to prove that much of what he has stated is simply hyperbolic fiction.

    Where does he start?

    911 was an inside job?

    Sandy Hook was fake?

    Pizzagate?

    • Retired military

      I don’t follow Alex Jones (barely know who he is). But umm how does 911 etc fit into a custody trial? Or where you being sarcastic and I missed it (not trying to ding you just trying to see if I misunderstood your post)/

      • pennywit

        I think Buster is just saying Jones is full of it and citing examples.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          Alex Jones is claiming that his show is 90% news, while his lawyer is claiming he is a performance artist. His lawyer is trying to distinguish his role as a parent from his inane rants.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Whatever cuts Trump has proposed for the UN, they’re not deep enough:

    U.N. WARNS THAT REPEALING OBAMACARE MAY BE ILLEGAL

    Dana Milbank reports, with glee, that the United Nations “has contacted the Trump administration as part of an investigation into whether repealing [Obamacare] without an adequate substitute for the millions who would lose health coverage would be a violation of several international conventions that bind the United States.” The warning comes from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva.

    The U.N. Human Rights Commission (now known as the Human Rights Council) purports to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,“ Its members include China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Tolerant left shuts down Portland’s Rose Parade, which “celebrates the area’s diversity” because “Shut up!”

    Organizers of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade announced Tuesday that the event will be canceled, for fear that the east Portland parade could be disrupted by “the type of riots which happen in downtown Portland.”

    Originally scheduled this Saturday, April 29, the parade is meant to highlight the local community and businesses along Southeast 82nd Avenue, aiming to turn around the negative perception many people have of the area. It started in 2007 and has since become a popular event on the Rose Festival calendar.

    This year’s parade was once again set to feature the Multnomah County Republican Party as one of the many groups slated to march, but that inclusion drew ire from some of the city’s left-leaning protest groups.

    • pennywit

      Is there some other aspect to this not reported? I mean, did the local GOP do something really heinous? If not, Portland’s liberals ought to be ashamed.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        You assume “liberals” [by the way, I consider myself a classic liberal in many ways] are capable of shame.
        And yes, the local GOP is doing something really heinous – it exists.

        • pennywit

          Perhaps instead of wrangling with the local Republicans, the Portland liberals could visit Pyongyang to take pictures.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            From the pictures I’ve seen, Pyongyang would be progressives’ heaven. The elites living in concrete “Clockwork Orange” high rises with no cars in the street – Conservatives relegated to peasanthood in the hinterlands.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        I guess Portland’s decision to cancel the parade was correct. What the hell is the problem with Portland’s “progressives?” Why would anyone want to open a business downtown?
        http://image.oregonlive.com/home/olive-media/width960/img/oregonian/photo/2017/05/01/-f0f9fa27e873cd72.JPG

        • pennywit

          This is fucking insane.

          f Business X cheats its customers, and the customers riot and destroy Business X, I can get it. Doesn’t make it right. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be punished. But I can wrap my head around it: Business X wrongs people, the people wronged want revenge.

          But this mayhem targeting everything in sight? It’s fucking insane. No other words for it.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            I agree.

        • Scalia

          I wonder how they’d feel if somebody published their addresses and gave their homes the same treatment.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            I remember a video of a few years ago, I think after the Ferguson faux fit of outrage, when a television reporter showed up on the front porch of a protester who had led one of the many highway blockades – asking him why he would endanger lives and inconvenience thousands of commuters. If I remember correctly, his response was to claim a right of privacy and order the reporter off his property. This should happen more often.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Is everybody having a Brown’s Super Bowl party tonight? Who will be the next players drafted to cause Brown’s fans to exclaim: “Oh, the humanity!” Good times [until September].

    • pennywit

      Walter, in deference to your feelings, I have avoided making Cleveland Browns jokes on this open thread. *Sigh*. You are tempting me so much.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        Joke on, Penny. It will be all the sweeter throwing your words back atcha when the Browns “wreck this league,” going 3-13.

        • pennywit

          Which, by the way, was one of the nicknames for Robert Griffin III in these here parts a couple years back. “RG3-13,” along with “RGKnee.” I still remember that after he took the Skins to a sterling 3-13 season, Robert Griffin unveiled a new logo.

          As for the Browns and this year — are you guys going to keep that sweet, sweet first pick, or are you going to trade down?

          • Walter_Cronanty

            A lot of blood, sweat and tears were spent on guaranteeing “that sweet, sweet first pick.” We’re going to keep it.

          • pennywit

            I think there’s merit to both “trade away” and “keep it.” I could see keeping it if you’re really dead-set on a player. But as a Skins fan, I’m keenly aware of Heath Shuler (3rd overall pick, 1994) and Robert Griffin III (2nd overall pick, gave up 2013 and 2014 first-rounders to get him, 2012). They didn’t quite cross the Ryan Leaf Threshold, but they came close.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            The fan base would go crazy if they traded away the first pick. The team needs an immediate impact player, and that appears to be Myles Garrett – despite the fact that he attended the same school as Johnny Gin Mill..

          • Brucehenry

            Trubitsky?

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Nope – Garrett. It was reported on here at about 6:00 that it was Garrett. Now, the Bears have taken Trubitsky, our home town boy.

          • pennywit

            There was a rumor out there that the Browns were trying to trade for Cousins. That would have been awful for everybody.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            Yeah, heard that last night. Cousins is going to be a high-priced free agent next year – Is that correct? If so, it would have been bad for us – we already have an $18m quarterback in Brock Osweiler. We still don’t have QB for future. Brock will be starting this year.
            Other rumor [going on forever] was stocking up on picks to trade for Garoppolo. I doubt that – not going to happen, at least this year.
            We traded 12 when there were several highly rated prospects on the board.
            We ended up with the 1st, 14th, and 20th highest rated players according to NFLDraftScout.com.
            You guys [Redskins] picked up the 4th rated player – good player for 17th pick.

          • pennywit

            Yeah, heard that last night. Cousins is going to be a high-priced free agent next year – Is that correct?

            Pretty much. The history, in brief, is that Cousins was a good little soldier for a few years on his rookie contract behind RG3. Once RG3 became the leagues highest-paid third-string QB, Cousins played out the final year on this rookie deal, he did a pretty good job, and he wanted to get paid. He and the Skins didn’t reach a deal, so he played 2016 on the franchise tag, and did a good job.

            Consensus is that Cousins may not be superstar material, but he is probably the best available QB who isn’t firmly ensconced with a team AND he’s about to enter his prime years as a pretty good starting quarterback.

            The Skins used the franchise tag AGAIN on him this year to keep him out of the free agent market. There’s also a rumor the Skins front office has alienated Cousins by not signing him to a long-term deal, and he really wants to leave town and go play for Kyle Shanahan on the West Coast.

          • Walter_Cronanty

            There’s also a rumor the Skins front office has alienated Cousins by not signing him to a long-term deal, and he really wants to leave town and go play for Kyle Shanahan on the West Coast.

            I’ve heard the same thing – another reason for the Browns not to trade to get him.

          • pennywit

            Right. I admire what Cousins is doing. The Skins have a horrible habit of yanking players around and waffling on potentially good homegrown talent. They’re doing it with Cousins now … but good on him for making the Skins pay for it.

          • Scalia

            Ryan Leaf. What a disappointment. He looked like a monster at Washington State. Regrettably, my Lions picked Heisman winner Andre Ware.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Sorry – you’ve probably all seen this before, but I hadn’t. “MISS LUBE RACK-1959”

    Let the off-color comments commence.
    http://www.websophist.com/Pelosi_MissLubeRack1959Ed500O.jpg

  • Walter_Cronanty

    If we are willing, this is what we can learn from Hungary.

    • Scalia

      Good piece. I’m certain we’d get lots of border hunter volunteers to go with a good fence. I prefer a wall, but something is better than nothing.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        In September of 2015, my wife and I went on our first trip to Europe – bus tour – Munich, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Salzburg, Munich. While we were in Vienna, the border between Austria and Hungary was closed. Our guide was from Budapest [she was excellent, separate local guides for each city except Budapest]. She was constantly on the phone the day before and the day of our drive from Vienna to Budapest, checking on the status of the border. We made it to Budapest without incident.

        During the drive, however, she made it clear that she, and the vast majority of Hungarians, did not want the immigrants marching through Hungary, snarling traffic and demanding food and shelter on their way to Austria or Germany. It was interesting.