Monday, October 23, 2017

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo

Saunders just won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for 2017 (an award for the best work of fiction published in the U.K.).

At Amazon, George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Chantel Jeffries in Tight Black Sweater

At Taxi Driver, "Chantel Jeffries No Bra in Tight Black Sweater."

Today's Deals

At Amazon, New Deals. Every Day.

And especially, Save on Thermos Products.

More, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters), Black.

Plus, Conair Instant Heat Curling Iron; 1 1/2-inch.

And, Shop Office Supplies.

Still more, Sanford Expo Dry Erase Markers Chisel Tip Vibrant Colors 8 Pack 1931196 Low Odor Ink (1927524).

Plus, Clif Bar Energy Bar, Variety Pack, Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, 2.4-Ounce Bars, 24 Count.

BONUS: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest.

Why is the Press Ignoring the Exploding Clinton-Russia-FBI Scandal?

At IBD, "There's One Russia Scandal the Press Doesn't Want You to Know About":

In one of his Thursday evening tweets, President Trump complained once again about the "Fake Media," this time for not covering a fresh scandal involving an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia. Does Trump have a legitimate beef? You be the judge.

By any objective measure, the story that The Hill broke on Tuesday was shocking. According to documents unearthed by the news outlet, in 2009 the FBI had uncovered evidence of a sweeping, illegal Russian scheme to boost Vladimir Putin's atomic energy business, which included bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.

The FBI had also obtained an eyewitness account that Russian nuclear officials "had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit (the Clinton Foundation)."

That's eye-opening in and of itself. But the findings are even more alarming when you understand the context.  While the FBI was learning about these illegal Russian activities, Russia's state-owned nuclear company Rosatom was trying to acquire mining rights to 20% of the uranium in the United States through its purchase of Canadian-based Uranium One.

To do so, however, they needed to get approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. Sitting on that committee were Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder. In 2010, the committee unanimously approved the sale of Uranium One to the Russian nuclear company.

In other words, while top Obama administration officials were deciding whether to hand over control of one-fifth of the nation's uranium supplies to Russia, the FBI had piles of evidence that officials at Rosatom were flagrantly violating U.S. laws and possibly compromising national security. The FBI also had evidence that officials had directed millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton's family charity, creating a clear conflict of interest.

But as the Hill notes, none of this information was made public before the Obama administration approved the sale.

Even more intriguing, key people at the FBI at the time of the Uranium One deal are now spearheading the special counsel probe into allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to swing the November election.

Needless to say, this raises a lot of important questions. Did the FBI keep the Committee on Foreign Investment in the dark about its findings? If so, why? Did Clinton, or Holder, or anyone else involved in the sale's approval know about this investigation? Why did the FBI wait until after Hillary had stepped down from State before taking action on the case? What role did those donations to Hillary's charity — as well as lucrative speaking fees to Bill — play in all this?
This is the real Russia meddling in American politics, and the Democrats are treasonous accomplices.


How Harvey Weinstein Built Pipeline of Access to the World's Beautiful Women

A guide to the super-predator's methods, at LAT, "How Harvey Weinstein used his fashion business as a pipeline to models":
It was the kind of evening Zoë Brock was accustomed to, an intimate dinner party at an Art Deco hotel on a waterfront avenue in Cannes. The Australian model was ushered to an empty seat at a long table on a lush patio overlooking a swimming pool.

She didn’t recognize the man seated next to her, but would quickly find out he was Harvey Weinstein, a brusque American producer in town for the film festival.

That first encounter of champagne and small talk would end in a much less elegant fashion hours later in a hotel room, where Weinstein stood before Brock naked and solicited a massage. She said she locked herself in a bathroom to escape him.

Still shaken by that night in 1998, Brock believes the events were set in motion by men connected to Weinstein.

"Someone put me there next to him — that was on purpose. I am pretty sure that there are a lot of people that would like to sit next to Harvey Weinstein,” said Brock, 43, who was represented by a Milanese modeling agency at the time. “So why was it me?"

Weinstein, 65, is best known for his pioneering career in the independent film industry, but over the last two decades he has also carved out a significant business in fashion — executive producing the television show "Project Runway," investing in the clothing brand Halston, and backing the high-end womenswear company Marchesa, which was co-founded by his wife, former model Georgina Chapman. The foray generated a profitable TV franchise, lucrative partnerships and cachet among the global jet set.

But that success was only one of the benefits for Weinstein. In interviews with the Los Angeles Times, nearly a dozen people with ties to the industry — including models, casting directors, publicists and executives connected to "Project Runway" — said that he used fashion as a pipeline to women. They said that models, oftentimes young and working overseas far from home, were particularly vulnerable.

In addition to Brock, more than 10 other former or current fashion models — including Cara Delevingne and Angie Everhart — have accused Weinstein of a wide range of sexual misconduct.

In a previously unreported incident, former Brazilian model Juliana De Paula told The Times that Weinstein groped her and forced her to kiss other models that he had taken to his loft in New York a decade ago. When she tried to leave, she said, he chased her through the apartment, naked. She fended him off with a broken glass.

“He looked at me and he started to laugh,” she recalled. “I was shocked. I was completely in disbelief.”

Another model, Samantha Panagrosso, said Weinstein made unwanted sexual advances toward her during the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. When Weinstein began touching her legs under the water at a hotel pool and she rebuffed him, he pointed at another model, she recalled in an interview with The Times. “Look at her, I’m going to have her come to my room for a screen test,” she said Weinstein told her.

When Panagrosso told friends about his continuing advances, she said, they laughed it off: “Sam, don’t be so naïve, you know Harvey can make you a star.”

Since the New York Times and the New Yorker first wrote about Weinstein’s alleged assaults earlier this month, more than 50 women have come forward to describe their experiences, and he has been fired by Weinstein Co., the indie studio he co-founded in 2005 that has released films including “The King’s Speech.”

Six women have accused Weinstein of rape or forcible sex acts, and he is under investigation for sexual assault in Los Angeles, New York and London...
Well, Weinstein's apparently "cured" after one week of "sex-addiction" therapy, so this is all water under the bridge now, right? [Snark.]

More, in any case.

Alexis Ren Behind the Scenes (VIDEO)

Well, I'd like to get behind the scenes with this one, IYKWIMAITYD.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunny and Hot Monday Forecast

It's supposed to be in the high 90s today in Irvine. Amazing weather we're having, although I'm not complaining, heh.

Here's the beautiful Ms. Jennifer, for ABC News 3 San Diego:

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New Deals Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, Made by Blush Avenue Womens Ladies Oversized Baggy Long Thick Knitted Plain Chunky Top Knit Jumper S-XL.

More, Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker.

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Here, Halloween Candy.

Especially, MARS Chocolate Favorites Halloween Candy Bars Variety Mix 96.2-Ounce 250-Piece Bag.

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BONUS: Cherise Wolas, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby: A Novel.

Lit Crawl L.A. – Where Literature Hits the Streets!

This is really cool. I wish Irvine had a literature crawl.

At LAT, "What to see at Lit Crawl in North Hollywood on Oct. 25."

You can imagine it's mostly wannabe Bohemian lefties, but if you like to read, and you like to read good literature, sometimes you have to go with the flow. Sometimes even left-wing books are fulfilling, which I've been finding out this past few months with my excursions into literary fiction.

My sister lives in Studio City, just a few miles from the epicenter of this event in NoHo. Not sure if I'll go, but I like that this kind of thing is thriving.

Report from Virginia's Governor's Race

From the indubitable Salena Zito, at the New York Post, "The Democrats should be terrified by this governor's race":

WINCHESTER, VA. — The melodic sounds of a street musician’s trumpet echo through every corner of this old Virginia town as locals shop or make their way to lunch. Daren Johnson has been blowing his horn at the pedestrian mall in the shadow of the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum for over an hour. He performs for two reasons: “To make some extra cash and to share a little bit of lightness. We are exhausted as a country,” he said, “a direct result of last year’s election.”

Johnson and his wife were tireless volunteers for Hillary Clinton last year. They knocked on doors, they made phone calls, they were invested. When she lost, the couple was devastated. Now, Johnson doesn’t even know who is running for governor.

“I’ve voted every year for the past 46 years, always informed, always enthusiastic, always involved in the process. Now, it’s really hard to care,” Johnson said.

The upcoming gubernatorial election in Virginia is one of only two happening in the country this year, along with New Jersey. The race pits Ralph Northam, the current lieutenant governor and a Democrat, against Ed Gillespie, a former George W. Bush administration official and Republican National Committee chairman.

Northam should have a comfortable lead right now. Terry McAuliffe, the outgoing governor he currently serves under, is popular and generally seen as successful. Plus, Virginians have historically elected governors from the party opposite to a president who’s won the year before. In 2001, Democrat Mark Warner won one year after George W. Bush was elected; in 2009, Republican Bob McDonnell won one year after Barack Obama took the state.

And, of course, there is the Trump factor — Clinton beat the president comfortably here, although almost all of her vote came from the heavily populated, heavily liberal Northern Virginia suburbs with the rest of the state (mostly rural, mostly forgotten) going for Donald Trump with the exception of the state capital and some college towns.

But Northam’s numbers are not up — in fact, the last three public polls show next month’s race within the margin of error. That includes a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, which gives Gillespie the edge over Northam among likely voters by 48 to 47 percent.

Both parties have pulled out all the stops for this race. Ex-president Obama was here for a rally; George W. Bush for a fundraiser. Joe Biden’s stumped here, so has Vice President Mike Pence. So far, Trump has only tweeted about the race: “Ralph Northam, who is running for Governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs & sanctuary cities. Vote Ed Gillespie!”

Gillespie has avoided broadcasting that endorsement on the campaign trail. There are no mentions of it on his website. After Trump claimed there were “some very fine people on both sides” of a neo-Nazi protest in nearby Charlottesville that left one woman dead, Gillespie’s spokesman Dave Abrams said the candidate “did not see any fine people on the side of the white nationalists and neo-Nazis.” But Gillespie has not directly criticized Trump either.

Meanwhile Stephanie Vaughan, the Democratic county chairperson in Winchester, says the party is working hard to clinch victory by appealing to a wider crowd. “We very much try to have a big-tent approach here. We welcome moderate, progressive and conservative Democrats into our party, and we encourage everyone to listen to our message,” she said. “Here our issues are pretty straightforward — transportation, education and health care.”

Behind the counter of her coffee shop, Lanita Byrne said she did not vote for Trump and loved Clinton but is completely undecided on which candidate she wants for governor. “Honestly it comes down to who is best on taxes. I think there should be less burdens and more opportunities for small-business owners,” she said.

Clark Hansbarger, meanwhile, said he saw the Trump win coming from a mile away. “I kept telling all of my liberal friends, and they would just laugh at me. They thought no way,” he said. Hansbarger then chuckles and admits he, too, is a liberal. “But, look, I travel a lot. When Trump spoke about carnage in his inaugural address, I’ve seen exactly what he meant all over the country,” he said.

Johnson begins to play his trumpet again, then stops. “I guess I’ll vote,” he admits. “But honestly I am sick of both parties . . . and I am not voting straight ticket, that is for sure.”

Certainly the Democrats are the ones with the most to lose...

Fox Renewed Bill O'Reilly After Cable Star Paid Out Sexual Harassment Claims in $32 Million Settlement

That's an enormous amount of money. Man, $32 million for settlement. How much was Fox paying the guy, sheesh.


California College Republicans Elect Ariana Rowlands as New Leader

She's a Breitbart conservative at UCI, and a self-identified rabble-rouser, heh.

At the O.C. Register:

Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad


I picked up a copy. I'm excited to read it.

Also at Amazon, Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

ICYMI: Philip Roth, American Pastoral

At Amazon, Philip Roth, American Pastoral (American Trilogy).

Olympic Swimmer Natalie Coughlin Body Paint for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (VIDEO)

Hmm, very athletic!

David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis


At Amazon, David M. Potter, The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War, 1848-1861.

Ian Davidson, The French Revolution


At Amazon, Ian Davidson, The French Revolution: From Enlightenment to Tyranny.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

I'm almost done with Celeste Ng.

And I picked up a copy of Philip Roth's book today, The Plot Against America.

I've got a couple of other books going as well, but I look forward to reading this one, a kind of alternative history.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Forecast

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer, at ABC News 10 San Diego:

Friday, October 20, 2017

Deal of the Day

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, Klipsch AW-400 Indoor/Outdoor Speaker - White (Pair).

Plus, EcoNour - Car Windshield Sun Shade - Blocks UV Rays Sun Visor Protector, Sunshade To Keep Your Vehicle Cool And Damage Free, Easy To Use, Fits Windshields of Various Sizes (Standard 59 x 31 inches).

And, AmazonBasics AA Performance Alkaline Batteries (48 Count) - Packaging May Vary.

More, Foxelli Trekking Poles – Collapsible, Lightweight, Shock-Absorbent, Carbon Fiber Hiking, Walking & Running Sticks with Natural Cork Grips, Quick Locks, 4 Season / All Terrain Accessories and Carry Bag.

Still more, Shop Dodgers Gear.

And, Mountain House Just In Case...Breakfast Bucket.

BONUS: Paul Kengor, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor.

Jennifer Garner in New York City

Man, Ben Affeck screwed up by losing this woman.

He's an idiot anyway, but he sure scored by marrying Ms. Jennifer. They're done now as a couple, though, so I guess karma's a bitch sometimes.

She's exquisite.

At London's Daily Mail:

Toni Garrn Flaunts in Skimpy Bikini

At London's Daily Mail, "Toni Garrn flaunts major cleavage as she strips down to VERY scanty bikini... weeks after being linked to ex Leonardo DiCaprio."

And at Drunken Stepfather, "TONI GARRN TOPLESS OF THE DAY."

BONUS: At Esquire, "12 Nude Models Posed for the Covers of a French Magazine (NSFW)."

Demi Lovato on Instagram

At London's Daily Mail, "Demi Lovato shares topless snap on Instagram."

Women Oiled-Up for the Future of CBD

This is the craziest post ever, but I like the oiled-up women, heh.


Volker Ullrich, Hitler


Out in paperback on October 24th, at Amazon, Volker Ullrich, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.

After Criticism, FBI to Investigate Death of U.S. Soldiers in Niger (VIDEO)

At the Wall Street Journal, via Memeorandum, "Death of U.S. Soldiers in Niger Sparks FBI Probe, Criticism."

And at Politico, "Mattis says Niger ambush was ‘considered unlikely,’ pledges probe: An ambush that killed four U.S. troops in Niger is under investigation, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday":

In the face of growing scrutiny, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday said the type of attack that killed four U.S. troops in Niger earlier this month was "considered unlikely" and pledged to release the findings of a Pentagon investigation "as rapidly" as possible.

"I would just tell you that in this specific case contact was considered unlikely," Mattis said of the ambush against members of the Army's 3rd Special Forces Group, which is advising local anti-terror units in the region.

"But there's a reason we have U.S. Army soldiers there and not the Peace Corps, because we carry guns and so it's a reality," he added. "It’s part of the danger that our troops face in these counterterror campaigns."

Mattis' remarks come as the White House and Pentagon are taking heat from Senate Armed Services Chairman Sen. John McCain, who threatened early Thursday to issue subpoenas to get more information on the Oct. 4 incident, which has been blamed on militants allied with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

McCain has slammed the Trump administration in recent days for not being forthcoming about the ambush, and asked again Thursday if the administration is sharing enough, he responded, "Of course not."

"It may require a subpoena, but I did have a good conversation with General McMaster, and they said that they would be briefing us," McCain told reporters on Capitol Hill, referring to White House national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. "We have a long friendship, and we'll hopefully get all the details."

McMaster, speaking at an event sponsored by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said he was hurt by McCain’s criticism and defended the National Security Council’s consultation with Congress.

"It hurt my feelings. You know, I love and respect Sen. McCain," McMaster said. "And if Sen. McCain says we need to do a better job communicating with him from our departments, from the NSC, we’re going to do it."

President Donald Trump has also come under fire in recent days for how he handled communications with the families of the fallen, some of which have claimed he was insensitive in phone calls.

Trump waited nearly two weeks before making mention of the Niger incident, even though his staff had drafted a statement of condolence for him on Oct. 5...

Stuart Varney Rips Frederica Wilson for Listening-In on President Trump's Phone Call with Fallen Soldier's Mother (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Chief of Staff John Kelly Statement on Son's Death and Rep. Frederica Wilson (VIDEO)."

The YouTube video is here, "Frederica Wilson is part of the left's ‘hate Trump’ brigade: Varney."

And on Twitter:

Laura Ingraham, Billionaire at the Barricades


I quit watching Fox News. I quit watching all cable news. But if I start watching again, I'll watch Laura Ingraham. She's a sharp cookie and a hot lady.

Her new book's out now.

At Amazon, Laura Ingraham, Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump.

Chief of Staff John Kelly Statement on Son's Death and Rep. Frederica Wilson (VIDEO)

At the Hill, "JUST IN: Kelly blasts Dem lawmaker for criticizing Trump's call to solider's family."

And watch the whole press conference:

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Shop Halloween Candy

For the good stuff, at Amazon, Deals on Halloween Candy.

And especially, Hershey's Halloween Trunk or Treat Variety Bag, 250 ct, 81.1 oz.

Stephen Kotkin, Stalin

Out October 31st, at Amazon, Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941.

Simon Schama, Citizens

This book came out when I was an undergraduate at Fresno State.

At Amazon, Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Never too late to read this one, or to reread it.

At Amazon, Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism.

Shop Today

Thanks for your support.

I'm heading out to work here in a few minutes, but if you're shopping today, I much appreciate it when you use my Amazon links.

Thanks again!

See, Today's Deals: New deals. Every day. Shop our Deal of the Day, Lightning Deals and more daily deals and limited-time sales.

And especially, Save on Merrell Shoes.

Plus, Buck Knives 0192BRS VANGUARD Fixed Blade Knife with Genuine Leather Sheath.

More, Real Good Coffee Co 2LB, Whole Bean Coffee, Breakfast Blend Light Roast, 2 Pound Bag.

BONUS: by Thomas Edsall, The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics.

Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told


At Amazon, Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.

U.S. Bank Building Lit Up in Downtown Los Angeles

For the Dodgers, who are one win away from going to the World Series for the first time in 29 years. That's going to be sweet. Game four in Chicago is tonight!

President Trump Slams John McCain

Well, yeah.

At Politico:

Rise of the 'Bromance' Threatens Heterosexual Relationships

Boy, society's all messed up. Everybody's gay, for one thing.

At the Telegraph U.K., "Rise of the ‘bromance’ threatens heterosexual relationships, warn social scientists."

Epidemic of Sexual Harassment at California State Capitol

More from the Democrat Party's rape culture, at LAT, "'pervasive' harassment in California's Capitol".

Molly Ringwald Speaks Out

At the New Yorker, which must be seeing a boom in traffic of late:

Megan Parry's Wednesday Weather

Here's Megan Parry, at ABC News 10 San Diego.

It's been continuing hot this week.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

'Dancing Days'

Yesterday was "Role the Dice" day at the Sound L.A., and the station played a number of songs from various artists depending one what came up on the roll. I'm just seeing this on Twitter as this post gets scheduled for Tuesday morning, but I didn't know what was up yesterday morning. I thought they were going wild on Led Zeppelin songs, for one thing, heh.

Led Zeppelin
8:52 AM

Led Zeppelin
8:42 AM

Ten Years Gone
Led Zeppelin
8:35 AM

Dancing Days
Led Zeppelin
8:31 AM

When the Levee Breaks
Led Zeppelin
8:24 AM

Whole Lotta Love
Led Zeppelin
8:18 AM

Going to California
Led Zeppelin
8:15 AM

In the Evening
Led Zeppelin
8:08 AM

Over the Hills and Far Away
Led Zeppelin
8:03 AM

Heartbreaker/Livin Lovin Maid
Led Zeppelin
7:56 AM

Custard Pie
Led Zeppelin
7:52 AM

Sebastian Kurz's People's Party Wins Parliamentary Elections in Austria - UPDATED!

At the Guardian U.K., "Conservative Sebastian Kurz on track to become Austria’s next leader: Centre of political gravity shifts right as projections put 31-year-old Kurz’s Austrian People’s party ahead in election with 31.7%."

And at WaPo, "Austria turns sharply to the right in an election shaped by immigration":
Early exit polls of Austria's Oct. 15 election, suggest Sebastian Kurz, will take his party into a very narrow majority — positioning himself as the next chancellor. The 31-year old conservative is known for his pledge to take the country into a more hard line stance against the influx of refugees and migrants.

BERLIN — Austria became the latest European country to take a sharp turn right on Sunday, with the conservative People’s Party riding a hard-line position on immigration to victory in national elections and likely to form a government with a nationalist party that has long advocated for an even tougher stance.

The result puts the 31-year-old foreign minister and People’s Party leader, Sebastian Kurz, in line to become Austria’s next chancellor after a campaign in which he emphasized the need to strengthen border controls, reduce caps on refugees and slash benefits for newcomers.

Much of Kurz’s rhetoric echoed positions long held by the Freedom Party, which for decades has anchored the far right of politics in this nation of 8.7 million.

With nearly all results counted as of Monday morning, the Freedom Party was in second place at 27.4 percent, with the ruling Social Democrats trailing close behind at 26.7 percent. The People’s Party was the decisive winner, at 31.6 percent.

“I’ll fight with all my strength for change in this country,” Kurz told cheering supporters — many clad in turquoise, the color he adopted to signal a new era for the People’s Party after decades of identification with black. “There’s a lot to do.”

Two years after Austria was among the more welcoming nations in Europe for refugees fleeing en masse across the continent, the results revealed just how sour public sentiment has turned. Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war, oppression and poverty passed through the central European nation on their way to destinations farther north and west in late 2015 and early 2016. Tens of thousands stayed in the country and applied for asylum protection.

“Austrians are fearful because of immigration and the refugee crisis,” said Reinhard Heinisch, a political scientist at the University of Salzburg. “Kurz addressed these fears, and played with these fears.”

As in other elections across Europe this year, the far right made significant progress, but not enough to triumph.

In France this spring, National Front leader Marine Le Pen made it to the final round of the presidential election. Just last month, the Alternative for Germany Party took 13 percent of the vote — putting a far-right party in the German Parliament for the first time in more than half a century.

But unlike in those nations, in Austria the far right is expected to become part of the government. Kurz will need a coalition partner to form a majority in the parliament, and the Freedom Party is considered the most likely option.

If he goes that route, it would end a “grand coalition” between Austria’s center left and center right that has led the country for the past decade, and for much of its modern history.

Some on Sunday called on Kurz to avoid teaming up with the Freedom Party...
A lot of good that'll do. Kurz himself is a former neo-Nazi, according to Sunday's report at the New York Times. I don't care for anyone with that kind of background and I denounce them. But I think it's just deserts for the radical left, who opened up Europe to the Muslim invasion, and thus opened up the European democracies to a resurgence of nativist, even racist, political parties.


UPDATE: Correction, it's not Kurz who belonged to neo-Nazi groups previously, but Heinz-Christian Strache, the leader of the Austrian Freedom Party, which came in second in Sunday's election and is likely to enter the government in a coalition with Kurz's People's Party.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Myla Dalbesio Caught by Surprise

At Taxi Driver, "Big and Busty Sports Illustrated Model Myla Dalbesio Caught Topless at Photoshoot."

Satanic LGBT Drag Queen Reads to Small Children at Michelle Obama Public Library in Long Beach

Seriously, this Michelle Obama Public Library in Long Beach is not even two miles from my college. So saying this "hits a little close to home" is putting it mildly. This is mind-boggling.

At CBS News 2 Los Angeles, "Photo of Horned Drag Queen Reading to Kids at Long Beach Library Goes Viral."

And see Gateway Pundit, "Satanic Looking Drag Queen with Horns Reads to Little Kids at Michelle Obama Public Library." (The Long Beach Public Library removed photos of the drag queen from its social media accounts, but of course, the Internet's forever. I'm shaking my head at this, man.)

Today's Deals

Shop today, at Amazon.

And, Saucony Men's 6 Pair Performance Comfort Fit No-Show Socks.

More, ASICS Women's Intensity Single Tab Running Socks (3 Pack).

Also, Nestlé Pure Life Bottled Purified Water, 16.9 oz. Bottles, 24/Case.

Still more, Vega Sport Protein Bar, Chocolate Peanut Butter, 2.14oz Bar, 12 Count.

Here, Lot of 3 Coppertone Sport Twin Pack Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 WITH UVA/UVB Protection.

Plus, Maud’s Gourmet Coffee Pods - Tall Dark & Handsome Dark Roast, 100-Count Single Serve Coffee Pods - Richly Satisfying Premium Arabica Beans, California-Roasted - Kcup Compatible, Including.

BONUS: Margaret George, Elizabeth I: The Novel.

Harvey Weinstein Can't Wash Away Hollywood's Sins

From Glenn Reynolds, at USA Today, "MY USA TODAY COLUMN: Harvey Weinstein can’t wash away Hollywood’s sins: Exiling one mogul won’t bury this question: If people realize the system is exploitative and inhuman, will they still watch movies?":
For his misbehavior, film mogul Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This is a pretty big deal, considering that director Roman Polanski, who pleaded guilty to rape charges involving a 13-year-old girl, is still a member.

Hollywood has stood by Polanski for decades, even as other rape accusations surfaced. Whoopi Goldberg famously remarked eight years ago that his crime, in which he drugged and anally raped the girl, wasn’t “rape-rape.”

Yet Hollywood has turned, with blinding speed, on Weinstein. He has been cast out in a way that previous Hollywood figures have not.

Why is this? I think it’s because Weinstein wasn’t as unusual as they’d like us to believe. I think it’s because Hollywood has figured out that the world is different now, and that the tame entertainment press and Hollywood publicists can’t control stories anymore. I think it’s because they hope that if they’re hard enough on Weinstein, the story will go away and the public won’t realize that he was part of an ecosystem of exploitation, part of business as usual, not a departure from it.

They aren’t turning on Weinstein because they suddenly found out what he was like. They always knew. They’re turning on Weinstein because America found out what he was like, and they’re hoping to distract people before they draw the correct conclusion about what Hollywood in general is like.

I don’t think it will work.

Harvey Weinstein is a very large man, but he is not large enough to carry away all of Hollywood’s sins.  As John Podhoretz writes, “In how many industries is there a specific term for demanding sexual favors in exchange for employment? There’s a ‘casting couch’; there’s no ‘insurance-adjuster couch.’ In how many industries do people conduct meetings in hotel rooms at off hours anyway? And in how many industries could that meeting in a hotel room end up with the dominant player telling a young woman she should feel comfortable getting naked in front of him because the job for which she is applying will require her to get naked in front of millions?”

Hollywood is the way it is because the nature of the work — a lot of judgment calls, without much in the way of transparency or objective standards — means that people who want to abuse their power can do so. Having a mogul on your side, or sometimes even a talent agent or assistant producer, can make a career; having one of them mad at you can sink it...

Jennifer Delacruz's Monday Forecast

It's been actually scorching in SoCal. It was 96 in Irvine yesterday, which is very nice, but a little unusual.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer with today's forecast. Hopefully, all the California wildfires will come under control.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:

Older People Heavily Represented in Fatalities in Northern California Fires

They can't get out fast enough. Some of them can't hear, or had spotty cell phone coverage. They never got evacuation warnings.

What a nightmare. And sad.

At LAT, "California firestorm takes deadly toll on elderly; average age of victims identified so far is 79":

As authorities begin to identify those killed in the wildfires raging across Northern California, a grim pattern is emerging.

Among the dozen people identified by Sonoma and Napa county officials as of late Thursday, the average age of those who died was 79. The youngest victim was 57, the oldest 100.

“The bulk of them are in their 70s and 80s, so there is that commonality,” Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano told reporters at a news briefing.

A majority were found inside their homes, unable to escape as the fire bore down. At least one was confined to a wheelchair. Another was lying next to a vehicle.

The trend highlights a risk for elderly people when a natural disaster strikes: Health problems may limit mobility. They may no longer drive, and often live in areas with unreliable cellphone service.

In Sonoma County, where most of the fatalities occurred, 18% of the population is over the age of 62, compared with 11% for all of California.

“With any sort of disaster … the elderly may not have transportation, they may not have access to evacuate as fast as possible,” said Sonoma County spokesman Scott Alonso. “They may be wheelchair-bound, they may have access issues — those folks may take more care to evacuate safely.”

That’s why, he said, police officers were going door-to-door Sunday night alerting people to get out. But he said it’s too early to tell whether the elderly were disproportionately affected.

That was the case two years ago when the fast-moving Valley fire ripped through Lake County and took the lives of four people. They were a 72-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis trapped in her home, and three men over the age of 65, two of whom decided not to evacuate.

The Butte fire that year didn’t spread as quickly, though the two people killed were seniors: a one-legged 65-year-old man who stayed home to protect his property and an 82-year-old man.

A 2008 report criticized disaster response systems in California. The state Department of Social Services subsequently launched functional assessment service teams, which consist of government workers and volunteers who deploy to shelters to observe conditions and identify what’s missing. The teams assess the needs of seniors and those with disabilities, working to get them the services and equipment they need.

On Sunday night when the Atlas fire erupted, Sara and Charles Rippey were home in Napa with their caretaker, Maria Sandovar. Strong winds made the lights flicker. Sandovar looked out the back window and saw that the home’s fence was on fire.

She ran to lift Sara, 98, out of bed and onto her wheelchair. Charles, 100, was in the hallway.

“What’s going on?” he asked.

In a matter of minutes, black smoke had filled the house...

Harvey Weinstein's Contract Allowed Sexual Harassment

At Hot Air, "Pay to Prey: Weinstein’s Contract Basically Allowed for Sexual Harassment — So Long As He Paid the Company":
Even if you’re not a legal eagle, you may at some point in your life have encountered the term “moral turpitude” when signing a contract. Employers will sometimes stick that phrase into the section dealing with termination for cause, for understandable reasons. The idea is that if you do something morally egregious, something that offends the sensibilities of the organization or brings it into public disrepute, you can be canned summarily. Your boss is under no obligation to keep an embarrassing degenerate on the payroll.

A moral turpitude clause would have come in handy for Harvey Weinstein considering that, if his accusers are to be believed, he’s been harassing, intimidating, groping, extorting, and raping women for, oh, 20-25 years now. And yet, according to TMZ, no such clause was to be found in his contract with the Weinstein Company. On the contrary, Big Harv had an unusual twist on the traditional moral turpitude provision in his agreement. If he was accused of “misconduct” and ended up settling with his accuser, he had to reimburse the company for any legal expenses it incurred in the process — and then he had to pay them a fine. Of up to a million dollars.

These sick bastards actually profited from Weinstein paying hush money to his victims.
According to the contract, if Weinstein “treated someone improperly in violation of the company’s Code of Conduct,” he must reimburse TWC for settlements or judgments. Additionally, “You [Weinstein] will pay the company liquidated damages of $250,000 for the first such instance, $500,000 for the second such instance, $750,000 for the third such instance, and $1,000,000 for each additional instance.”

The contract says as long as Weinstein pays, it constitutes a “cure” for the misconduct and no further action can be taken. Translation — Weinstein could be sued over and over and as long as he wrote a check, he keeps his job...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

President Trump on Track for Reelection in 2020


I love this. I just love it.

From Democrat strategist Doug Sosnik, at WaPo, "Trump is on track to win reelection":

More than half of Americans don’t think Donald Trump is fit to serve as president, yet he has a clear path to winning reelection. If Trump isn’t removed from office and doesn’t lead the country into some form of global catastrophe, he could secure a second term simply by maintaining his current level of support with his political base.

We have entered a new era in American politics. The 2016 election exposed how economic, social and cultural issues have splintered the country and increasingly divided voters by age, race, education and geography. This isn’t going to change.

What have changed are the political fault lines that have driven the debate since the early 1980s. Until now, the ideological divides between the parties were largely differences around social issues, defense spending and trade, as well as tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Today, the central issue has become populism as voters have moved away from the two political parties and increasingly self-identified as independents.

In 2016, Trump capitalized on this changing political environment. He consolidated the growing number of angry voters who felt let down by the people and institutions controlling power in the country. Trump’s support from these voters is personal, not ideological. That explains their willingness to stick with him despite his failures of leadership.

Since Trump’s inaugural address, his focus has been on maintaining his support among this loyal base rather than expanding it. As counterintuitive as it may seem, this could be a winning political strategy.

First, Trump knows that gaining the support of a majority of voters in a presidential election is not a requirement; it’s simply an aspiration. In fact, two out of the last three presidents were elected despite losing the popular vote.

Second, the continued decline in support for both political parties works to Trump’s advantage. The lack of voters’ faith in both parties increases the probability that there will be a major third-party candidate on the 2020 ballot. It will also lead to other minor-party candidates joining the presidential race. The multi-candidate field will further divide the anti-Trump vote, making it possible for him to get reelected simply by holding on to his current level of support.'

Third, despite dismal poll numbers, Trump enters the contest with a job approval rating that is certainly at least marginally better than what the current national polls would suggest. Throughout the 2016 election, most analysts tracked the national polling, which failed to capture Trump’s strength in key battleground states. Current surveys continue to understate his support. Many national polls survey all eligible voters, rather than registered or likely voters, which can underestimate Trump, and some voters may be reluctant to admit that they are pro-Trump at all. Add to that the fact that Trump effectively demonstrated during the 2016 campaign that he is capable of expanding his support by effectively demonizing his opponents.

Fourth, Trump’s support has largely remained durable with a core group of supporters. These are the voters Trump was referring to when he said that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and he wouldn’t lose votes. There is another group of Trump followers whose support isn’t unequivocal, but they have stayed with him because they still believe he will blow up the system and bring about real change...
Still more.

Edward Klein, All Out War

Out October 30th, at Amazon, Edward Klein, All Out War: The Plot to Destroy Trump.

ICYMI: Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You


[It's a great read!]

I posted Ms. Celeste's book earlier, but then I read this piece at NYT, "Celeste Ng: By the Book."

She's an interesting lady. I picked up a copy of the book.

At Amazon, Everything I Never Told You.

More Alexis Ren

Following-up, "Sexy Alexis Ren's Debut (VIDEO)."

Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling

A much talked about debut novel.

At Amazon, Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling: A Novel.

Sexy Alexis Ren's Debut (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

And at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Yasiel Puig Puts on Swaggering Show in NLCS Game 1

From Bill Plaschke, at the Los Angeles Times, "With bat flips and fly balls, Yasiel Puig puts on a swaggering Game 1 show":

He ran out of the dugout during introductions with his tongue wagging playfully out of his mouth. He took off his cap to reveal lightning bolts shaved into his haircut.

Then, a couple of hours later, with a bat flip and a chest thump and roars that made Dodger Stadium literally shake, the Yasiel Puig Show officially began.

Fifth inning, line drive to left field, sprint to second base, pounding chest, flailing arms, run-scoring double.

Seventh inning, fly ball over left-field fence, swagger around the bases, curtain call out of the dugout, more tongue wagging, home run.

Now that’s entertainment, with Puig taking the Dodgers and their enchanted fans on a raucous, rollicking trip to a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

“It’s impacting everyone,’’ said manager Dave Roberts afterward of Puig. “It’s great when you can play with such emotion. … He loves the big stage, and right now he’s playing at a high level and not only the fans, but his teammates are feeding off of it.’’

The night began as a drama, with the Dodgers announcing that their star shortstop, Corey Seager, would be lost for the entirety of the seven-game series becase of a lower back strain.

It then became an adventure, as the underdog Cubs took a 2-0 lead after four innings with a two-run homer by Albert Almora Jr. against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

But, by the time the evening ended, it was a joyous musical that, based on a serenade running through Chavez Ravine these days, would be titled, “Puiiiiig!’’

The Dodgers, now three wins from their first World Series appearance in 29 years, will attempt an encore Sunday night at Dodger Stadium in Game 2 of the best-of-seven series. The Dodgers led the Cubs two games to one in last year’s NLCS before collapsing and losing three straight, so nothing is being taken for granted. But, after one game, they clearly appear to be the more complete team.

And, of course, there’s only one Puig.

“I’m coming in here and preparing more this year than any years here with the team,’’ said Puig. “I’m so proud of myself, and I want to keep going and do the best I can for my teammates and for myself.”

Nobody epitomizes the Dodgers’ current journey more than their free-spirited, 26-year-old right fielder who, since joining the team at the start of its division-title run in 2013, has run the gamut from star to scorned and now back to star again.

He’s been cheered. He’s been benched. He’s been idolized. He’s been demoted. He’s been nearly traded about a dozen times, and, as recently as a month ago, he was scolded and punished for showing up late and missing batting practice.

But Dodgers management always kept him around in hopes that one day, he would maximize his incredible potential under the brightest of lights. That time appears to be now. So far, this October belongs to him.

“He’s really made exponential strides,’’ said Roberts. “He’s obviously a huge part of what we’re doing now, and I couldn’t be prouder.’’

Men and Women Are Different

Of course, but our culture is so fucked up, thanks to progressives, that you cant' say something like that nowadays without being attack as Nazi transphobe bigot.

Here's Ashley McGuire, for Prager University:

Theo's Pic Dump

A nice photo roundup, at Theo Spark's.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunny Hot Sunday Forecast

Today's forecast, from last night, with the lovely Ms. Jennifer.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:

Paul Krugman: 'Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies'!

It thought this was a Photoshop at first, but no. It's a legit headline at NYT.

(See Memeorandum.)

Michelle tweeted:

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Rose McGowan, Brave

She's got a book coming out next year, and this is one I definitely want to read. She's a fascinating woman.

At Amazon, Rose McGowan, Brave.
"My life, as you will read, has taken me from one cult to another. BRAVE is the story of how I fought my way out of these cults and reclaimed my life. I want to help you do the same." - Rose McGowan

A revealing memoir and empowering manifesto from one of the most provocative voices of our generation—millennial icon; star of the hit television show Charmed; indie hero; lead actress, musician; award-winning director; and feminist whistleblowing badass Rose McGowan.

Rose was born in one cult and came of age in another, more visible cult: Hollywood. Born and raised in the Italian chapter of the Children of God, she escaped through a cornfield at night, moved to the states, and ran away at thirteen. She lived a transient punk lifestyle on and off the streets until she was "discovered" on a curb in Los Angeles and became one of Hollywood’s most desired actresses overnight.

In a strange world where she was constantly on display, fame soon became a personal nightmare of constant exposure and sexualization. Rose escaped in the world of her mind, something she had done as a child, and into high profile relationships. Every detail of her personal life became public, and the realities of an inherently sexist industry emerged with every script, role, public appearance, and magazine cover. The Hollywood machine packaged her as a sexualized bombshell, hi-jacking her image and identity and marketing them for their profit.

They expected Rose to be silent and cooperative and to stay the path. Instead, she rebelled and asserted her true identity and voice. She re-emerged unscripted, courageous, victorious, angry, smart, fierce, unapologetic, controversial, and real as f*ck.

BRAVE is her raw, honest, and poignant memoir/manifesto—a no-holds-barred, pull-no-punches account of the rise of a star, fearless activist, and unstoppable force for change who is determined to expose the truth about the entertainment industry, dismantle the concept of fame, shine a light on a multi-billion-dollar business built on systemic misogyny, and empower people everywhere to wake up and be BRAVE.

Sofia Coppola See-Through

She's an attractive woman, I've always thought.

At Taxi Driver, "Sofia Coppola No Bra in See-Through Gown."

BONUS: "Marnie Simpson Braless in See-Through Black Dress."

Feminist Attorney Lisa Bloom 'Regrets' Representing Harvey Weinstein

Now she regrets it? Don't they all. Total shame. Total, complete, epic shame on this woman.

Nice Bikini

Seen on Twitter:

Rams Players Have 'Anthem Fatigue'

You think?

Following-up, "Roger Goodell Won't Require Players Stand for National Anthem."

Here's Lindsey Thiry, on Twitter:

Roger Goodell Won't Require Players Stand for National Anthem

What a disgrace.

Goodell's a coward and the league will to lose out. I quit watching the NFL. I watched one Rams game to give the league a chance, but I'd rather watch baseball and college football. Pfft.

At Instapundit, "HE CHOSE…POORLY: NFL Commissioner Caves to Players, Will Not Require Standing for Anthem."

Gold Box Deals

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Plus, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters), Black.

Finally, LG Electronics 65UJ7700 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model).

BONUS: Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere.

The Stunning, Rapid Crash of Hollywood Rapist Harvey Weinstein

It was rapid alright, but what's so stunning is that he was able to assault, harass, and rape women for so long.

At LAT, "Harvey Weinstein went from power player to pariah in less than a week. Here's how it happened":

Has there ever been a faster fall than that of independent film kingpin Harvey Weinstein? For years, rumors of sexual impropriety and harassment dogged him but his power in Hollywood appeared to render him unassailable. Through Miramax Films and the Weinstein Co. he won countless awards while turning actors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Affleck and filmmakers such as Michael Moore and Quentin Tarantino into household names. At the Oscars, he was thanked more often than God.

Then in one fell swoop the “open secret” of his abuses became secret no longer. The New York Times and the New Yorker broke stories in which more than a dozen women detailed behavior that ranged from harassment to rape. Dozens of actresses and other Hollywood insiders quickly joined the chorus of allegations while numerous celebrities and politicians reacted to the scandal. Here’s a complete rundown of the developments:

MARCH 31, 2015
Unnamed model accuses Weinstein of sexual assault

A sexual assault complaint is filed against Weinstein in New York City. The alleged victim is a 22-year-old Italian model, whose name was not given at the time but was later revealed to be Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. The claim alleges that Weinstein groped her at the Tribeca Film Center after they had been in a meeting.

OCT. 6, 2015
Ashley Judd accuses an unnamed mogul of sexual harassment

The actress reveals that at the time she was making the 1997 film “Kiss the Girls” she was sexually harassed by someone she calls one of the industry’s “most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses.” Judd alleges that he pressured her to join him in his hotel room and ultimately asked her to watch him take a shower. Two years later, Judd names the mogul.

OCT. 13, 2016
Rose McGowan refers to an unnamed film distributor as a ‘rapist’

Responding to a trending hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport, the actress — who appeared in Weinstein projects including “Scream” and “Grindhouse” — makes the accusation without using any names, although it later comes to light that it was intended for Weinstein.

OCT. 4, 2017
Weinstein lawyers up in anticipation of stories

Word leaks out that the New Yorker and the New York Times are preparing stories about Weinstein’s alleged misconduct when it becomes public that he has hired a virtual army of lawyers and crisis managers to fight the reports. The team includes attorney David Boies, the controversial Lisa Bloom (also the daughter of Gloria Allred), and Charles Harder, who famously won Hulk Hogan’s invasion of privacy trial case against the Gawker website. Weinstein preemptively denies any accusations, telling the Hollywood Reporter, "The story sounds so good, I want to buy the movie rights."

OCT. 5, 2017
The New York Times publishes its report

Hollywood is shaken when the New York Times report is published, stating that Weinstein has had a long history of sexual misconduct over the last two decades and has settled eight separate alleged sexual harassment cases. Among the numerous actresses and employees involved in the allegations are Judd, who names Weinstein as her attacker, and McGowan.

Weinstein announces a leave of absence

After issuing a statement reading, in part, “I so respect all women and regret what happened,” Weinstein announced he’d be taking a leave of absence from the Weinstein Co. effective immediately.

Hollywood begins to respond

Performers, news anchors and creative types, including Lena Dunham, Gretchen Carlson, Jenni Konner, Jake Tapper and others, begin to take to social media to condemn Weinstein, although his most famous collaborators and political allies largely remain silent. McGowan tweets without using his name...

I admire Rose McGowan, but a lot of the other women coming forward are part of the problem. Hollywood hypocrites. Ashley Judd? Give me a break, pfft.