Saturday, May 23, 2015

Clinton Campaigning in a Bubble, Largely Isolated from Real People

At McClatchy:

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA — Here’s how Hillary Clinton campaigned for president this week: She took a private 15-minute tour of a bike shop that had closed for her visit. She spoke to four small business owners chosen by her staff in front of an audience of 20, also chosen by her staff. She answered a few questions from the media following weeks of silence.

And after a little more than an hour, Clinton was off, whisked away by aides and Secret Service agents, into a minivan and on to the next event.

Members of the public who wanted to go inside the building to support her, oppose her or merely ask a question of her were left outside on an unseasonably cool Iowa day. Most didn’t bother showing up.

“I am troubled that so far in this caucus cycle she hasn’t had any public town halls,” said Chris Schwartz, a liberal activist from Waterloo, as he stood outside the bike store hoping to talk to Clinton about trade. “If she had a public town hall then we wouldn’t be out here. We would much rather be in there engaging with her.”

Welcome to Hillary Clinton 2.0. Mindful of her defeat by Barack Obama in 2008, Clinton has embraced a new strategy – one that so far does not include town-hall meetings and campaign rallies, media interviews, even public events.

Instead, she holds small controlled events with a handful of potential voters in homes, businesses and schools. She repeats many of the same lines (“I want to be your champion” is a favorite), participants are handpicked by her staff or the event host, and topics are dictated by her campaign.

Brent Johnson, 35, the owner of Bike Tech, said Clinton campaign staffers walked into the shop a week earlier and asked him if he’d be interested in hosting an event. He and the three roundtable participants were on a conference call with the campaign the day before to hear Clinton’s “basic talking points” about helping small businesses. A campaign aide says they found guests through the small business community.

Clinton’s approach – made possible by her lack of strong competition for the Democratic nomination – comes as she works to relate to working American families after years of being criticized as an out-of-touch Washington insider garnering hefty paychecks for her speeches and books.

But the campaign to show the world that she’s never forgotten her middle-class, Middle America sensibilities can be a tough sell from inside a bubble of armored cars, Secret Service agents and wary aides.

“It’s going to come back and haunt her,” said Eric Herzik, chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada, Reno. “I think it will backfire.”
She can't talk about her record. She's a walking radioactive meltdown of scandal baggage and political corruption.


Hillary's Failed War of Choice in Libya

Cut through all the partisan crap and what's now happening with the Benghazi attack is the ultimate clusterfuck which proves conservatives right all along back in 2012.

At Instapundit, "HILLARY’S FAILED WAR OF CHOICE IN LIBYA: Email calls Clinton ‘public face of US effort in Libya’":
This is a modified limited hangout. Everything you get is sanitized, and none of the worst stuff is being released. And given that this stuff is actually fairly bad, that may provide a sense of what they’re holding back.
Click through to read the whole thing.

Dani Mathers — Playboy's 2015 Playmate of the Year


Watch: "2015 Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers Turns it Way Up."

Angels Hammer Red Sox 12-5, Scoring 9 Runs in Fifth Inning

Finally, my Angels turn on the offense.

Mike Trout was called out at third base after a wild "Matrix-like" slide, but had the call reversed after the manager's challenge. The Angels ended up scoring 9 runs in 39 minutes during the fifth inning. It was incredible.

At the Boston Herald, "Rick Porcello implodes as Red Sox routed by Angels":

For the first time in a while, the Red Sox moribund offense wasn’t the main concern last night at Fenway Park.

Instead the starting pitching took the top spot on the list of worries, as righty Rick Porcello couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning in a 12-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Sox’ third straight loss and fourth in their past five games.

The Angels offense entered the game ranked 14th in the American League, worse than the 12th-ranked Sox. But Los Angeles scored nine runs in the fifth inning after Porcello walked the first two batters and the Angels ran away from there.

“I just walked those two guys in the fifth. That hurt. … Those two walks and then not being able to get out of that was the difference,” Porcello said. “So I take full responsibility for the loss today. That was completely on me and I’ve got to be better.”
Also at Halo Heaven, "BOSTON BLITZED: Angels and Mike Trout crush Red Sox 12-5":
Albert Pujols got the Angels on the board in the fourth with a laser beam solo homerun, and Marc Krauss was able to drive in a run a few batters later with a fielder’s choice. Those are both amazing things, but we don’t need to talk about that right now. We need to talk about that fifth. That 37 minute long, NINE runs scored fifth inning...just to put a point on it. We’ve seen their pitiful run differential numbers this past week, and this game will hopefully serve as a harbinger of a 180 degree turn about to happen; an antidote to the one run nailbiter disease they’ve been infected with in the month of May. There was everything you could possibly want out of an Angels baseball game. You got the rare Chris Iannetta moonshot homer. You got to point and laugh as recent Cuban call-up Rusney Castillo dropped a routine fly ball, allowing a run. You got to see Erick Aybar hit a dinger of his own, and then you watched as he circled the bases, smiling ear to ear as Albert Pujols went crazy in the dugout. You saw Mike Trout, Kole Calhoun and David Freese all drive in runs. You even saw Matt Joyce have a good game! It was heaven on Earth. But above all that, you saw something that you still don’t believe happened. Mike Trout, attempting to steal third base, was basically gunned down; 100% dead to rights. Mike Trout, seeing the tag coming from Brock Holt, entered into Matrix bullet-time mode, did a swim move OVER the tag, twisted his torso a bit, completely and inexplicably avoiding the tag all while keeping his foot on the bag. Unreal. All told, the fifth inning saw the Angels put up nine runs, six hits, two walks and a dumptruck full of Schadenfreude.

That was easily the best inning of baseball we’ve watched all year, and it came against a dream punching bag opponent. The Angels did let the Red Sox into the game a tad, as Richards ended up allowing 5 runs over six innings and had to be pulled for Jose Alvarez. So perhaps this game wont help the run differntial bottom line all that much in the end, but that’s not enough to sour the sweet taste of those Red Sox Nation tears. I don’t know if this game is a sign of things to come, but right now, I don’t care. The Angels came into Fenway, laid a monster beating on Boston, and Mike Trout bent space and time to the deliver the thrills that pay the bills. That’s all that matters right now.

Santa Barbara Refugio Oil Spill is Bleak Reminder of 1969 Environmental Disaster

I'll never forget, back in 1992, when my wife and I moved to Santa Barbara, after a day at the beach your feet would be covered in black tar. It was never like that in Orange County growing up as a kid, spending summers at the beach. Santa Barbara had the catastrophic oil spill in 1969 and the oil was still stuck deep into the sand. You had to scrape the tar off.

So this week's oil spill at Refugio State Beach is bringing back bitter reminders of the dangers of oil extraction along the coast. As the Los Angeles Times reports, "Santa Barbara oil pipeline leak rekindles memories of 1969 disaster":

It was a scene that generations of people on the Santa Barbara coast have dreaded: Cleanup workers in white protective suits combing tar-splattered beaches, hoping to contain the damage from a crude oil spill.

Nearly 50 years ago, a blowout on an offshore oil platform spewed more than 3 million gallons of oil into the Santa Barbara Channel and devastated the coastline, killing thousands of seabirds and galvanizing the U.S. environmental movement.

The spill that occurred Tuesday when a pipeline ruptured near U.S. 101 was far smaller — up to 105,000 gallons. But the incident gave rise to similar anger and frustration on the part of residents and environmentalists who have long feared a repeat of the 1969 disaster along the same sensitive coastline.

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, standing above a pile of blackened, oil-covered rocks at Refugio State Beach, said that the spill "reminds us of the perils this industry has."

On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard deployed half a dozen vessels to skim oil from the water and contain it with booms as crews of cleanup workers removed tar and oil from sand and rocks on the shoreline and shoveled mud into clear plastic bags.

Federal authorities said the 24-inch pipeline leaked for several hours after it ruptured near Refugio State Beach. Crews stopped the leak by 3 p.m., Coast Guard Petty Officer Andrea Anderson said.

The oil flowed down a culvert and into the ocean, and by Wednesday morning had formed two slicks totaling a combined nine miles in length.

Authorities estimated that it could take at least three days to clean up the spill.

The rupture occurred on an 11-mile pipe owned by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline that carries crude from a storage tank in Las Flores to a facility in Gaviota. The pipeline is part of a larger oil transport network that is centered in Kern County and carries oil to refineries throughout California.

The pipeline was designed to carry about 150,000 barrels of oil per day, according to company officials.

The company said its estimate of 105,000 gallons spilled is a worst-case scenario based on the line's elevation and flow rate, which averages about 50,400 gallons an hour. Of that, about 21,000 gallons reached the ocean, but both figures are under investigation, according to a statement from the company and state and federal officials. Investigators won't find a cause for the rupture until they excavate the line, which was installed in 1987. An employee noticed problems and shut the line down about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, the statement said.

That pipeline had not ruptured before, the company said. An inspection of the line using an internal tool was completed a few weeks ago but results hadn't come back before Tuesday's incident, the company said.

Michelle Rogow, a site manager with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said the pipeline had been regulated by the State Fire Marshal until two years ago, when jurisdiction was transferred to the Department of Transportation.

Below the spill site, just west of Refugio State Beach, a wide, black path stained the landscape of eucalyptus trees and shrubs. The oil apparently flowed through a storm drain that runs under U.S. 101 and train tracks, and into the ocean.

Officials were investigating reports of dead and live birds covered in oil, but the state Department of Fish and Wildlife did not have an official count of the animals affected. The agency deployed teams on shore — and one in a boat — to look for birds, marine mammals and other wildlife harmed by the spill.

But some of the victims of the spill were becoming apparent...

Lots more at the "oil spill" search link.

We Were Right to Fight in Iraq

From William Kristol, at USA Today:
We were right to invade Iraq in 2003 to remove Saddam Hussein, and to complete the job we should have finished in 1991.

Even with the absence of caches of weapons of mass destruction, and the mistakes we made in failing to send enough troops at first and to provide security from the beginning for the Iraqi people, we were right to persevere through several difficult years. We were able to bring the war to a reasonably successful conclusion in 2008.

When President Obama took office, Iraq was calm, al-Qaeda was weakened and ISIS did not exist. Iran, meanwhile, was under pressure from abroad (due to sanctions) and at home (due to popular discontent, manifested by the Green uprising in the summer of 2009).

The Obama administration threw it all away...
Keep reading.

Roger Daltrey Threatened to Walk Off Stage If Fan Smoking Marijuana Didn't Put It Out

We live in interesting times.

You can't even smoke a fat one at a Who concert nowadays, man.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Be Afraid of Marco Rubio, Democrats. Be Very Afraid

I love this.

As I've said before, Marco Rubio's a formidable candidate who could siphon Hispanics from the Democrat coalition. And now it turns out that the prospect has depraved Democrats shitting bricks.

At the New York Times, "Prospect of Hillary Clinton-Marco Rubio Matchup Unnerves Democrats" (via Memeorandum):

Marco Rubio photo Marco_Rubio_by_Gage_Skidmore_2_zpsqfxfh1gp.jpg
WASHINGTON — They use words like “historic” and “charismatic,” phrases like “great potential” and “million-dollar smile.” They notice audience members moved to tears by an American-dream-come-true success story. When they look at the cold, hard political math, they get uneasy.

An incipient sense of anxiety is tugging at some Democrats — a feeling tersely captured in four words from a blog post written recently by a seasoned party strategist in Florida: “Marco Rubio scares me.”

What is so unnerving to them at this early phase of the 2016 presidential campaign still seems, at worst, a distant danger: the prospect of a head-to-head general-election contest between Mr. Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Yet the worriers include some on Mrs. Clinton’s team. And even former President Bill Clinton is said to worry that Mr. Rubio could become the Republican nominee, whittle away at Mrs. Clinton’s support from Hispanics and jeopardize her chances of carrying Florida’s vital 29 electoral votes.

Democrats express concerns not only about whether Mr. Rubio, 43, a son of Cuban immigrants, will win over Hispanic voters, a growing and increasingly important slice of the electorate. They also worry that he would offer a sharp generational contrast to Mrs. Clinton, a fixture in American politics for nearly a quarter-century who will turn 69 before the election.

As her supporters recall, Barack Obama beat Mrs. Clinton for the nomination in the 2008 elections after drawing similar contrasts himself.

Patti Solis Doyle, who ran Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign for most of the 2008 contest, said Mr. Rubio “could have the ability to nip away at the numbers for the Democrats.”

Ms. Doyle, the first Hispanic woman to manage a presidential campaign, added that Mr. Rubio could allow Republicans to regain a “reasonable percentage” of the Hispanic vote. In 2012, just 27 percent of Hispanics voted for the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney.

Mr. Rubio “is a powerful speaker,” Ms. Doyle added. “He is young. He is very motivational. He has a powerful story.”

Recognizing how essential it is to win Hispanic support, Mrs. Clinton has gone further in laying out an immigration policy than she has on almost any other issue, saying that she would extend greater protections to halt deportations of people in the United States illegally. She has also hired a former undocumented immigrant to lead her Latino outreach efforts.

Her own strategists, their allies in the “super PACs” working on her behalf and the Democratic Party all say they see plenty of vulnerabilities in Mr. Rubio’s record and his views. And they are trying to shape the perception people have of him while polls show that he is still relatively unknown: Yes, the Democratic National Committee said in a recent memo, Mr. Rubio was a fresh face, but one “peddling a tired playbook of policies that endanger our country, hurt the middle class, and stifle the American dream.”

So far, Democrats who have combed over Mr. Rubio’s voting record in the Senate have seized on his opposition to legislation raising the minimum wage and to expanding college loan refinancing, trying to cast him as no different from other Republicans.

The subtext: He may be Hispanic, but he is not on the side of Hispanics when it comes to the issues they care about.

Democrats will try to use Mr. Rubio’s youth and four-year career in national politics against him, depicting him as green or na├»ve — a liability at a time when unrest abroad is a top concern. “A Dan Quayle without the experience,” suggested Christopher Lehane, a veteran strategist who has worked for the Clintons.

Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, who is of Mexican heritage, said Democrats would also make an issue of Mr. Rubio’s mixed record on how to overhaul the immigration system: He initially supported a Senate bill to grant people in the United States illegally a path to citizenship, but he later backed down.

Mr. Richardson said that would poison his chances with Hispanic voters. “His own Hispanic potential would defeat him,” he said.
Well, if anyone knows how to "poison" a presidential race it's Bill Richardson.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Islamic State Bombs Saudi Arabia Mosque, Targeting Shiite Muslims

It's a Shiite mosque.

It's an Islamic civil war fanning across the region, and the Obama administration's inaction fans the flames.

At the New York Times, "ISIS Claims Responsibility for Bombing at Saudi Mosque." (Via Memeorandum.)

Also at the Washington Post, "Islamic State claims responsibility for Shiite mosque blast in Saudi Arabia":
CAIRO — The Islamic State said Friday that it was behind a blast that killed or wounded scores of worshipers at a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia, marking the first time the militant group has claimed an attack in the oil-rich kingdom and raising fears of an expanding sectarian conflict in the region.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi authorities on the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility, which was carried in both written and audio statements distributed by accounts linked with the Islamic State on Twitter.

The Islamic State communique said that a “martyrdom-seeking brother” set off an explosive belt during a gathering of “impure” Shiites, according to the SITE Intelligence group, which monitors militant postings on social media and elsewhere.

The Sunni extremist group views Shiites as Muslim heretics and opposes the Saudi leadership’s ties with the West. The same statement called the attack a “unique operation” and referred to the group’s newly formed “Najd Province,” which encompasses central Saudi Arabia and includes the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The Saudi monarchy presides over Islam’s two holiest sites, making the kingdom a hugely symbolic target for Islamist militants.

In a statement also posted Friday on Twitter, the Saudi Health Ministry said 21 people were killed and 123 wounded in the blast.

The suicide bomber targeted worshipers at a mosque in the village of Qadeeh in the province of Qatif, part of a mostly Shiite enclave about 240 miles northeast of the capital.

An activist, Naseema al-Sada, told the Associated Press that a suicide bomber detonated explosives as worshipers marked the birth of the 7th century Shiite saint, Imam Hussein. The official Saudi News Agency reported an explosion at the mosque but had no further details. The report said authorities launched an investigation into the attack.

Saudi Arabia’s eastern region, which is the heartland of the kingdom’s Shiite minority, has been the scene of sporadic unrest and violence for years. Shiites, who account for an estimated 12 percent of the Saudi population, say they face widespread discrimination from the kingdom’s Sunni leaders. And Shiite protesters have clashed with Saudi security forces during demonstrations for greater rights in the past...

Also at Euronews, "ISIL to blame for Saudi Arabia Shi'ite mosque suicide attack."

And at Reuters, "Suicide bomber strikes Saudi Shi'ite mosque," and Russia Today, "Dozens dead after suicide bomber strikes Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia."

Rachel Farrokh, 40-Pound Woman Dying from Anorexia, Makes Desperate Plea for Medical Help

It's hard to watch.

WPIX-TV New York, "Woman weighing just 40 pounds pleading for help funding anorexia treatment."

The video's here: "Rachel's Road to Recovery."

How Democrats and Radicals Undermined America's War on Terror Before and After 9/11

With Obama's capitulation to Islamic State in Iraq, this book is more relevant than ever.

From David Horowitz and Ben Johnson, Party of Defeat.

 photo 11050209_10207076412331711_644740990200402157_n_zpskeiizugv.jpg

Rand Paul 'believes the U.S. should shy away from confronting forces of evil rather than standing up to them...'

A penetrating essay, from Jonathan Tobin, at Commentary, "Rand’s Sad Tale of Two Filibusters."

'Do You Think John Boehner Should Resign for His Role in Deflategate?'

Heh, this is the best.

Via iOWNTHEWORLD Report, "Can We Just Cut the Crap About Millennials Being the Most Educated Generation Ever?!?"

Fall of Ramadi is Military Humiliation and Humanitarian Disaster

A blistering editorial, at the Wall Street Journal, "Losing in Iraq Again":
No matter how much the Pentagon and White House downplay it, the fall of Ramadi to Islamic State on Sunday shows that President Obama’s strategy is failing. The question now is whether Mr. Obama has the political courage to change or watch Iraq descend into more chaos and perhaps a Sunni-Shiite civil war.

For now U.S. officials prefer the sunny days school of military analysis. “Regrettable but not uncommon in warfare,” says Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Secretary of State John Kerry added that “I am absolutely confident in the days ahead that [Ramadi’s fall] will be reversed.” This recalls the generals who said in 2006 that Iraq was making progress even as hundreds turned up in the morgues each night.

In reality, the fall of Ramadi is a military humiliation and humanitarian disaster with large political consequences. The city is the provincial capital of Anbar province, Iraq’s Sunni heartland. U.S. forces waged a block-by-block battle to reclaim Ramadi from insurgents during the 2007 surge because it is crucial to the sectarian geography of Iraq. Winning there proved that the U.S. could prevail anywhere, and it provided the psychological momentum to swing the Sunnis to America’s side.

So much for that. The Obama Administration strategy has rested on a plan to arm Sunni tribesmen friendly to the government in Baghdad to fight ISIS. That’s a good idea in theory, since the Iraqi army has proved mostly ineffective against ISIS while Iraq’s Shiite militias answer to Iran and are brutal and unwelcome in Anbar.

But wars aren’t waged in theory, and the effort to arm and train the tribes has foundered on Shiite resistance in Baghdad and America’s lack of commitment and urgency. A serious training program began only days ago and Mr. Obama refused to deploy U.S. combat troops to bolster vulnerable Iraqi positions. In Ramadi, ISIS took advantage of a sandstorm that prevented the U.S. from supporting the Iraqis with air strikes. But that only underscores the limitations of relying on air power alone.

The larger problem is that Mr. Obama wants to wage a de minimis campaign against an enemy with maximalist ambitions. The Administration often insists that Iraqis must defend their own country, which is true. But after making the ouster of then-Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki a condition of U.S. support, the least the U.S. can do is provide meaningful support to his successor, Haider al-Abadi.

That hasn’t happened. “Until now our feeling is that the international support is not convincing,” Selim al-Jabouri, the speaker of Iraq’s parliament, told Reuters in January. Mr. Obama promised Mr. Abadi no new weapons when they met last month in Washington. The number of air sorties flown by the U.S. and its coalition partners—about 3,800 in all since September—averages about 14 a day. The U.S. flew some 47,000 sorties in the first month of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

The White House and its military commanders have also grossly underestimated the resilience of Islamic State. “The enemy is now in a defensive crouch and is unable to conduct major operations,” U.S. Centcom Commander Lloyd Austin told Congress in March, sounding like White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

U.S. attempts to stand up a dependable Sunni fighting force have been seriously damaged. Ramadi’s fall has humiliated Mr. Abadi and discredited his strategy of trusting the U.S. Mr. Maliki and his Iranian backers are angling to return to power—and unleash Shiite militias armed and trained by Iran. The danger is that on present trend the country will soon be divided into a Shiite east dominated by Iran and a Sunni west controlled by Islamic State.

All of this matters far beyond Iraq, or even the Middle East. ISIS is a global threat, attracting more than 22,000 foreign fighters, including 3,700 from the West. A recent recording from ISIS leader Abu-Bakr Baghdadi, released in English, Russian, Turkish, German and French, called on Muslims to “migrate to the Islamic State or fight in his land.” Nearly all of the “lone wolf” terrorists in the West—including the May 3 attack in Garland, Texas—were inspired by ISIS.

The best way to diminish Islamic’s State appeal is to drive it as quickly as possible from the territory it holds...
Pathetic. The fruits of Democrat Party foreign policy. A disaster all around. And all the left can do is blame the evil BOOOSSHHH!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

At Amazon, Camera, Photo & Video - Father's Day Gift Ideas.

Hey, and thanks to all the readers who've been shopping through my Amazon links. I don't blog for the money --- I don't, for example, do fundraisers or rattle a tip jar --- but I like Amazon sales a lot, especially the books. So thanks again.

$15 Minimum Wage Will Hurt Workers

You think?

From Megan McArdle, at Bloomberg":
So Los Angeles is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, and then indexes the wage to inflation, so that it will never fall below this level in real terms. The politicians who have passed this law are understandably very excited that many low-wage workers -- perhaps almost half of the city's labor force -- will be getting raises, some from the current minimum of $9. I'm sure the workers themselves are pretty excited about having more money in their pockets. What's less clear is what happens next.

As I've written before, the existence of studies that seem to show minimal economic impact from minimum wage increases has caused many policy advocates to act as if we can assume that very high increases, like this one, can transfer money from the pockets of the affluent into the pockets of the poor without causing big disruptions. This is wildly beyond what that evidence shows, or could show. The studies in question covered small increases in the minimum wage, over short time frames. They cannot tell us what will happen with big increases over longer time frames (and neither can flat international comparisons, which get influenced by local economic conditions--for example Australia, frequently cited by proponents of the minimum wage, has been having a decades-long commodity boom that is now ending). This matters. It is over longer periods that a minimum wage hike is likely to be most disruptive.

When the minimum wage goes up, owners do not en masse shut down their restaurants or lay off their staff. What is more likely to happen is that prices will rise, sales will fall off somewhat, and owner profits will be somewhat reduced. People who were looking at opening a fast food or retail or low-wage manufacturing concern will run the numbers and decide that the potential profits can't justify the risk of some operations. Some folks who have been in the business for a while will conclude that with reduced profits, it's no longer worth putting their hours into the business, so they'll close the business and retire or do something else. Businesses that were not very profitable with the earlier minimum wage will slip into the red, and they will miss their franchise payments or loan installments and be forced out of business. Many owners who stay in business will look to invest in labor saving technology that can reduce their headcount, like touch-screen ordering or soda stations that let you fill your own drinks. These sorts of decisions take a while to make. They still add up, in the end, to deadweight loss -- that is, along with a net transfer of money from owners and customers to employees, there will also simply be fewer employees in some businesses. The workers who are dropped have effectively gone from $9 an hour to $0 an hour. This hardly benefits those employees. Or the employee's landlord, grocer, etc.

Leftists are idiots. Los Angeles has already had businesses move out of town with the threats of higher costs.

Kansas-Nebraska Act Set the Stage for Civil War

At the Smithsonian Magazine, from 2004, "The Law that Ripped America in Two" (via RealClearHistory):
Abolitionist John Brown—failed businessman, sometime farmer and fulltime agent, he believed, of a God more disposed to retribution than mercy— rode into the Pottawatomie Valley in the new territory of Kansas on May 24, 1856, intent on imposing “a restraining fear” on his proslavery neighbors. With him were seven men, including four of his sons. An hour before midnight, Brown came to the cabin of a Tennessee emigrant named James Doyle, took him prisoner despite the pleadings of Doyle’s desperate wife, and shot him dead. After butchering Doyle and two of his sons with broadswords, the party moved on to kill two other men, leaving one with his skull crushed, a hand severed and his body in Pottawatomie Creek.

In a sense, the five proslavery settlers were casualties not merely of Brown’s bloody-mindedness but also of a law described by historians William and Bruce Catton as possibly “the most fateful single piece of legislation in American history.” Ironically, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, passed by Congress 150 years ago this month (100 years to the week before the landmark Supreme Court decision—Brown v. Board of Education—barring school segregation), was meant to quiet the furious national argument over slavery by letting the new Western territories decide whether to accept the practice, without the intrusion of the federal government. Yet by repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had outlawed slavery everywhere in the Louisiana Purchase north of Missouri’s southern border (except for Missouri itself), the new law inflamed the emotions it was intended to calm and wrenched the country apart.

As a result of the legislation’s passage, resentments became bloody hostilities, the Democratic Party lay shattered, a new Republican Party was created and an Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln embarked on the road to the presidency. Had the law made civil war unavoidable? “I’d put it this way,” says historian George B. Forgie of the University of Texas. “Whatever the chances of avoiding disunion before Kansas-Nebraska, they fell dramatically as a result of it.”
Continue reading.

Crane Fights Tigers at Fuyang Wildlife Park in China


At London's Daily Mail, "Don't mess with a crane! Fearless bird fight off pair of attacking tigers after accidentally landing in their enclosure at wildlife park."

ISIS Fighters Seize Control of Syrian City of Palmyra, and Ancient Ruins

At the New York Times.

Plus, video at Telegraph UK, "Airstrikes as Islamic State advances on Palmyra."

And from Peter Wehner, at Commentary, "Obama’s Orwellian World."

Smokin' Jennifer Lopez Cutout Bathing Suit for Us Weekly Cover Photo


How One World Trade Center is Bringing New Energy to Lower Manhattan

I can't wait to get to New York again to visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and of course the One World Trade Center tower, with its new observatory open to the public May 29th.

CBS This Morning, my favorite morning news show, broadcast from the top of the tower yesterday.

More: "'CBS This Morning' makes history with first broadcast from One World Observatory"; "Take a tour of new One World Observatory"; "Bird's-eye views of NYC under your feet at One World Trade Observatory"; and "Take an interactive, guided tour of New York City with One World Observatory's City Pulse."

FHM Girlfriend Natalia on How Not to Blow the Morning After

"It's the morning after. You've woken up next to a beautiful woman. You wish every morning was like this and don't want to put a foot wrong. Luckily, our FHM Girlfriend is kindly on hand to offer you some very useful advice..."

Taylor Swift Named Number One in Maxim's Hot 100

At Maxim, "Taylor Swift Tops the 2015 Maxim Hot 100."

Baseball is Losing Children

At Instapundit, "NATION’S PASTIME IS PAST ITS TIME: Why children are abandoning baseball. Sadness. I think it’s just too slow paced for the multi-tasking, frenetic, technology-obsessed generation."