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The Slaughter of Innocents May Continue, But They are Losing the Fight

 

I wasn’t shocked when I saw this from LifeNews, “For Every 1,000 Babies Born, New York City Kills 544 Babies in Abortions.” Over one-third of pregnancies in New York City ends in the killing of the child. I wasn’t shocked because I knew NYC was the abortion capital of the US as far as a single city goes. And that’s not good enough. The Dems have taken over both Houses of the legislature in NY State now and fully intend to expand abortions if that is physically possible.

On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton joined forces at a Barnard College rally to promote the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). As Jack Crowe reported for National Review, Cuomo has “no doubt” that conservative justices will enable the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion at the a federal level. If that happens, the RHA will fortify abortion right in New York state law.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back with another full serving of crazy martinis. First, they question the motives and geometry skills of Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar, who publicly insists that Lindsay Graham is somehow “compromised” because he’s become more supportive of President Trump. They also dissect the bumbling scheme confessed by Michael Cohen, who says Trump directed him to pay thousands of dollars to rig online polls in 2014 and 2015. And that’s just the beginning of the story. Finally, Jim shares some lesser-known details and oddities from the career of former Vice President Joe Biden that he uncovered for his latest article.

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Russian Collusion and Active Measures

 

I spent most of my 30 years in the FBI dealing with counterintelligence. I have been retired for 20 years and have no inside information. My comments are based on facts reported in the news.

The idea that the FBI opened a counterintelligence case on facts that led them to believe President Trump was an agent of Russian Intelligence is an interesting one. What could have been the predication that was sufficient to set this in motion in the FBI? I think it is possible there was more to this than some short-sighted bureaucrats striking out against a person they regarded as a political enemy.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of CNN commentator Areva Martin telling radio host David Webb his success is a result of white privilege – until Webb tells her he is black. They’re also aghast as 59 percent of registered voters support a 70 percent marginal tax rate on the nation’s highest earners, including 45 percent of Republicans. And they shake their heads as Beto O’Rourke openly wonders whether our “empire” can “still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago.”

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Hello there, HLC mavens! Welcome to the HLC podcast for January 15, 2019 (this is Todd Feinburg’s birthday week podcast) with your hosts, the aforementioned Todd Feinburg, radio guy, and Mike Stopa the as yet to be mentioned west coast AI guy. We are here every week etc. etc. as you well know.

This week, we discuss toxic masculinity as seen through the eyes of everyday guys who are shaving their ugly masculine faces and thinking deep inside about the sexual harassment that they are planning for the day…or something. Has Gillette blown away a significant part of their patronage by insulting men for being men?

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USS Fitzgerald: The Fort Report

 

Sightline Media is an independent media group (formerly part of Gannett) that focuses on the US military and publishes The Navy Times and her sister publications for the Army, Marines and Air Force. On Monday they published part of the Navy’s internal review of the 2017 incident aboard the USS Fitzgerald that claimed the lives of seven sailors. It is not pretty.

Overseen by Rear Adm. Brian Fort, it describes a ship (and a Navy) in disarray, stretched to the limit by multiple deployments, ill-trained and ill-prepared, low on morale and distrustful of leadership on the bridge. Fort describes finding bottles of urine all over the combat information center as evidently the crews were so bereft of trained personnel that those who knew what they were doing couldn’t even take bathroom breaks.

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Some Galaxy Brain Thinking on the Shutdown and Its Economic Impact

 

The easy — though not entirely wrong — analysis of the ongoing government shutdown is that it’s a political event rather than a market or economic event. For Republicans and Democrats, the shutdown is the ultimate cage match with big potential electoral and policy implications. As the Washington Post characterizes the standoff: “[President Trump] has to win. His entire reputation, his entire relationship with the base, it’s all a function of being committed on big things and not backing down. If he backs down on this, Pelosi will be so emboldened that the next two years will be a nightmare.” Big stakes, to say the least.

But not so much for Wall Street. At least not yet. Perfect example: JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli has lowered his estimate of first-quarter real GDP growth to 2.0 percent from 2.25 percent with the “primary reason” for the revision being the shutdown. And although the longer the shutdown lasts the greater the risk of “spillover to the private sector,” Feroli adds, his downward revision to growth this quarter implies a lift to the second quarter (assuming the shutdown is over). So, even-steven, more or less.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to House Republicans stripping Iowa Rep. Steve King of all committee assignments after his controversial comments in the New York Times. Jim also reveals some his interesting discoveries after combing through the record of California Sen. Kamala Harris as she prepares for a 2020 White House run. And they wonder why New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is bothering to run for president and planning to run as a champion of women in a Democratic primary full of them.

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The Greatness of Harold Demsetz

 

This past week, Harold Demsetz, one of the great economists of the Chicago School, died in California at the age of 88. In one sense, Demsetz’s passing marks the end of an era now that the Chicago School of Economics, to which I generally subscribe, is subject to multiple sustained attacks. Behavioral economists, such as Daniel Kahneman, believe the secret to understanding human behavior lies in identifying, through experimental observation, anomalies in individual choices tending to undermine the axioms of rational choice theory. Meanwhile, other modern populists such as legal scholars Tim Wu and Lina Khan attack Chicago-style antitrust law for wrongly exalting economic efficiency over all other values, such as the protection of small businesses from competition or the ability of moral communities to flourish when operating in the large shadow of powerful economic firms.

Demsetz would have none of this. As if to rebut these novel approaches in advance, Demsetz constantly stressed the dangers of falling prey to the “nirvana fallacy,” or the view of public policy that “implicitly presents the relevant choice as between an ideal norm and an existing ‘imperfect’ institutional arrangement. This nirvana approach differs considerably from a comparative institution approach in which the relevant choice is between alternative real institutional arrangements.” As economist Peter Boettke has pointed out, Demsetz never quarreled with success in the marketplace. If firms like Amazon and Netflix can obtain and sustain a dominant position, it is because they have figured out a formula for success that they constantly adjust to ensure that some new upstart competitor in these “contestable” markets does not take their place. Demsetz was right to scorn the populist critique of popular firms that succeed because they offer low prices and excellent service.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud new Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for suspending Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and naming two stellar judges to the Florida Supreme Court. They also discuss Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joining the 2020 presidential race and how her defense of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad could impact the campaign. And as many breathlessly await the Mueller report on Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign, ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports that the report will likely be anti-climactic.

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Blood: The Gift that Keeps Giving

 

ALBUQUERQUE – January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, so it should come as no surprise when volunteers and employees alike at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center continuously step up to the plate and donate much needed life-saving blood. Vitalant, formerly known as United Blood Services, is a nationwide organization that draws and […]

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Finance and Economy, What is it?

 

Economics. The value of something, say land, is how much increase you can get from it, in money or trade, or happiness. Land can be increased in value by labor, by enriching the soil by certain farming practices, including build structures out of the contents of the land and so forth. Money has value, is […]

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Deadly Physical Force, Part 2

 

I’ll begin Part 2 with a disclaimer: The purpose of this series is not to offer legal advice if you are involved in a shooting. I’m presenting the statutes to clarify terms and meanings of the Oregon Revised Statutes that involve the use of deadly physical force. Oregon law may be different than the laws in other states. CHL holders, or those that keep a firearm in their home, or place of business should have a thorough understanding of their state laws on the use of deadly physical force.

My personal belief is that this is just as important as practice time on the range. You will need a criminal defense attorney if you are involved in a shooting, and should have one present before you answer any questions.

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The Latest Threat to the Planet: Paper Receipts

 

A California Assemblyman has introduced legislation that would ban paper receipts from being printed and given to customers unless the customer asked for a printed receipt. So I guess I’m behind the times. I thought California had an ongoing problem with wildfires and was staring down the barrel of a crippling pension problem. And had […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see Republican leaders denounce the latest controversial comments from Iowa Rep. Steve King and argue that while it’s worth defending the greatness of Western Civilization, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. While being perfectly fine with a wall at various points along our southern border, they offer multiple reasons why an emergency declaration to move it forward would be a bad idea now and an even worse precedent for when a Democrat eventually becomes president. And they get a kick out of CNN’s Jim Acosta intending to make an argument against the need for a border wall but accidentally demonstrating why a wall works. And Jim explains how Acosta has become the Hollywood caricature of an arrogant reporter.

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An American Soundtrack: Help with an Assignment

 

Every term I try to come up with new projects for students to engage different learning styles with history. I started thinking about an assignment that I’m not sure will work, so I want to get your thoughts here. The idea: I am going to have students design a CD cover for different figures in […]

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Saving Our Gun Rights Means Saving People From Suicide

 

We’ve known for years now that the problem with gun deaths in America isn’t street gangs and other criminals, it’s the thousands of people who commit suicide with a firearm each year. This horror is affecting men (especially men who live in small, rural towns) to a much greater extent than it is women. But rather than reach out to men and channel their feelings of frustration and impotence into more positive, traditional ways, the American Psychological Association says the real problem is they’re acting like men. 

“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health... Researchers led by James Mahalik, PhD, of Boston College, found that the more men conformed to masculine norms, the more likely they were to consider as normal risky health behaviors such as heavy drinking, using tobacco and avoiding vegetables, and to engage in these risky behaviors themselves.”

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Why Doesn’t Anyone Ask…?

 

All the lies and exaggerations from the Democrats periodically exceed my tolerance for nonsense. And I have a pretty high tolerance. But I’m frustrated that there is no venue for the Republicans to insist that the Democrats provide some answers to their absurd claims and attacks against Trump. Isn’t there some way we can force the Dems to respond to the following questions?

  • Why won’t you acknowledge that terrorists and gang members have been apprehended at the border?
  • How are your decisions helping to protect Americans?
  • Why don’t you see the approach of another caravan as a problem?
  • Why are you saying that constructing a barrier is immoral?
  • Why aren’t you considering the assessments of the Border Patrol, that they need a wall to protect the country?
  • At what point did it become clear to you that a wall was not helpful, given that you approved a wall just a few years ago?
  • If you are a compassionate person, why would you want to give illegal migrants the impression that it is safe to bring their children?
  • You say walls are not effective, and yet the segments of our border that have walls or fences have worked? How do you respond?
  • What data can you provide that shows that walls aren’t effective?
  • Why should we believe that if we re-open the government that you would negotiate in good faith?

I would want specific answers to these questions. They are in no way intended to be rhetorical. I’m tired of the schoolyard attacks; all the Democrats who insisted that Trump was going to lie and scare-monger before his speech looked like petty adolescents to me.

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While Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has come under deserved fire for defending Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are applauding Gabbard today for being the only Democrat willing to stand up to Senate Democrats who contend that being a member of the Knights of Columbus is disqualifying for service as a federal judge. They also brace for the imminent presidential campaign of California Sen. Kamala Harris, who is very liberal but is one of only a few Democrats with a legitimate shot at the nomination. And, as more stories emerge of the fiscal hardship of federal employees going without pay during the partial shutdown, they are staggered by statistics showing that nearly 80 percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and over 60 percent don’t have enough money saved to cover six months of expenses.

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