Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Candy

Just in case, for those not heading out for trick-or-treat.

At Amazon, Deals on Halloween Candy.

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

ICYMI: Ken Davenport, The Two Gates

This book is worth your time. I'm plugging away on it, although my teaching and grading is cutting into my leisure time, heh.

I'll finish it up soon.

Get yours at Amazon, Ken Davenport, The Two Gates: A Novel.

Liz Habib Chillin'

She took a Hawaiian vacation a few weeks back. Sweet lady, full of life.

Alt-Hero Posters

A Vox Day joint, on Twitter:

Six Seconds to Live

This is astonishing.

Here, on Twitter.

Nice Sweater

Seen on Twitter:

Lindsey Pelas

Seen on Twitter. (NSFW at the click-through.)

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution

At Amazon, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Crime and Punishment in the Russian Revolution: Mob Justice and Police in Petrograd.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Shop Today

At Amazon, Gold Box Deals.

Here, EGO Power+ 20-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-ion Cordless Lawn Mower - 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit.

Plus, Philips Norelco Multigroom 5100 Grooming Kit - 18 Length Settings.

And, Real Good Coffee Co 2LB, Whole Bean Coffee, French Roast Dark, 2 Pound Bag.

More, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 10 Feet (3 Meters) - White.

Also, DONCO Kids 760-CP Low Study Loft Bed, Dark Cappuccino.

Still more, Nestle - Pure Life Purified Bottled Water, 1/2 Liter (16.9 Oz) - 78 Case Pallet.

And, Honeywell HCE100 Heat Bud Ceramic Portable-Mini Heater, Black.

BONUS: Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler, Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics.

Astros Beat Dodgers 13-12 in Game 5 of #WorldSeries

Oh boy, what a game!


Marisa Miller, Bar Refaeli, Anne V, and More (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:

Laura Ingraham Brings Populist Fire to Fox

At the Guardian U.K., "‘Trump before Trump’: Laura Ingraham brings populist fire to Fox News lineup."

Rash of 'Knockout' Attacks Has New York City on Edge (VIDEO)

At CBS News 2 New York:

Artistic Jack-o'-lanterns

At the O.C. Register, "Incredibly artistic Halloween pumpkins by OCSA students on auction to benefit nonprofits."

Jennifer Delacruz's Monday Forecast

On the eve of Halloween, it's quite lovely.

Here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer:

Don DeLillo, Underworld

At Amazon, Don DeLillo, Underworld: A Novel.

Paul Manafort Surrenders to F.B.I.

Well, here's your lead story for the day.

At the New York Post, "Manafort first to fall in Russia probe":
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign manger, and his former business partner surrendered to federal authorities on Monday as the first charges are filed in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Manafort and Rick Gates were charged with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and official records, according to the indictment, referring to the Foreign Agent Registration Act.

They were indicted by a federal grand jury on Friday, and the charges were unsealed after they turned themselves in on Monday morning.

Gates is a long time business associate of Manafort’s and his name appears on documents connected to companies created by Manafort in Cyprus to receive payments from politicians and businesses in Eastern Europe, the newspaper reported.

Manafort was hired to run Trump’s campaign in May 2016 but he was forced out just three months later when news reports began questioning his work for Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He has reportedly been a focus of Mueller’s investigation, and gun-toting federal agents burst into his Alexandria, Va., home in July to execute a search warrant.

They retrieved documents and materials a day after he voluntarily appeared before staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Manafort’s shadowy work for Yanukovych has drawn recent scrutiny from Mueller’s team of investigators.

They were examining wire transfers made by off-shore companies linked to Manafort that moved $3 million around the globe between 2012 and 2013, BuzzFeed News reported on Sunday.

The transactions were being probed to determine whether Manafort was hiding money from tax authorities or helping clients in Ukraine launder money...

And at Memeorandum, "Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender."

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

I'm gonna read this woman's books. She's interesting. Her books are interesting.

At Amazon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun.
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunday Weather

I meant to post this last night but it wasn't available at YouTube.

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

Today's Deals

At Amazon, Gold Box Deals.

Also, especially, Apple 12" Macbooks (Certified Refurbished).

More, MARS Chocolate and More Favorites Halloween Candy Variety Mix 95.1-Ounce 250-Piece Bag.

Plus, Philips Norelco Multigroom 5100 Grooming Kit - 18 Length Settings.

And, Real Good Coffee Co 2LB, Whole Bean Coffee, French Roast Dark, 2 Pound Bag.

More, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 10 Feet (3 Meters) - White.

Also, Samsung Electronics UN65MU6300 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model).

BONUS: John Green, Turtles All the Way Down.

Nadeea Volianova in West Hollywood

At Taxi Driver, "Nadeea Volianova Topless Covering Her Nipples.

And at the Daily Star, "Russian pop babe strips topless to protest 'no boobs allowed' hotel rule."

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."

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

Cartoon Credit: A.F. Branco.

Barbara Palvin Uncovered for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 (VIDEO)


Rose McGowan on the Red Carpet at MTV Music Video Awards in 1998 (VIDEO)

Following-up, "Refusing Harvey Weinstein’s Hush Money."

I've seen reference to the 1998 MTV video awards, although I missed the part about her dating Marilyn Manson, eww.

It's at YouTube, though, naturally: "Rose McGowan at the1998 MTV Awards."

PREVIOUSLY: "Rose McGowan Escaped a Polygamy Cult When She Was Nine-Years-Old."

Yuli Gurriel's Offensive Gesture

Following-up, "Dodgers Get Even: #WorldSeries."

This is bad. This is really bad.

I gotta say, though. Yu Darvish was classy in response.

On the front-page today, at LAT, "Yuli Gurriel's offensive gesture unleashes World Series debate about racism and political correctness":

The world was watching when Yuli Gurriel made a racially charged gesture during Friday’s World Series game.

It came after a moment of triumph: The Houston Astros first baseman had just hit a home run off of Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish. He returned to the Astros’ dugout, where he put his fingers to the sides of his face and lifted the corners of his eyes — a “slanted eyes” gesture widely regarded as a racist mockery of Asians.

Gurriel also used the word “chinito,” or “Chinese boy,” in reference to Darvish, who is of Iranian and Japanese descent.

The episode, caught on video and repeated endlessly on television and social media, opened up a new heated conversation about race and identity in professional sports, which has already been grappling with NFL players taking knees during the national anthem.

Many found Gurriel’s antics as juvenile and insulting as they were sadly familiar.

“It just felt like, ‘Man, again?’ Like, we’re so used to this,” Jason Chu, a Chinese American rapper based in Los Angeles. “People don’t even pause. They think that this is acceptable, socially, to target Asian Americans in this way, or Asians in general.”

Chu said trash talk is a routine part of competition, but Gurriel’s behavior was offensive because it mocked Darvish for being Asian.

Well-known Asian Americans, including Los Angeles chef Roy Choi and actor Daniel Dae Kim, spoke out against Gurriel. Kim pointed out that the Gurriel incident was not the first time that slurs and stereotypes have been used against players in Major League Baseball.

“Maybe Gurriel will change that,” Kim said in a tweet to a Times reporter.

On Saturday, Gurriel apologized for his behavior, saying in a statement that he made “ an offensive gesture that was indefensible…. I deeply regret it. I would particularly like to apologize to Yu Darvish, a pitcher that I admire and respect.”

Major League Baseball acted swiftly: Gurriel will be suspended without pay for five games at the start of the 2018 season and will have to undergo sensitivity training. He won’t miss any games in the World Series.

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the suspension Saturday after he met with Gurriel before the Astros were to play the Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series. There is precedent for such a suspension: Matt Joyce of the Oakland Athletics and Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays each were suspended two games this season for using anti-gay slurs.

The controversy resonated in both Los Angeles and Houston, which are among the most racially diverse cities in the nation and have prided themselves as being melting pots that welcome immigration and celebrate tolerance. There was debate in both cities about how seriously Gurriel’s behavior should be taken.

In Koreatown, Maria Rizo, who is Cuban American, said she didn’t see anything wrong with it. “It’s like saying African American or Hispanic,” she said.

In Houston, Britny Cuellar and her husband said the gesture made them groan because they worried it would overshadow all the team has accomplished. Cuellar, a 27-year-old schoolteacher, was pushing their 2-year-old daughter in a stroller outside Minute Maid Park on Saturday, decked out in Astros gear...

Dodgers Get Even: #WorldSeries

What a game!

At the Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers pull even in World Series by defeating Astros 6-2 in Game 4":

Cody Bellinger skidded into second base like a kid on a slip-and-slide, a 22-year-old rookie enjoying the World Series for the first time in four games. He leapt to his feet and banged his hands together. Inside the Dodgers dugout, moments after Bellinger’s ninth-inning double paved the way for a 6-2 victory over the Astros in Game 4 of the World Series, his teammates responded with glee.

Bellinger looked stoic. Dirt caked his uniform. Lost for so long, he found himself at an opportune time for the Dodgers, who have evened this series at 2-2. A double by Bellinger in the seventh led to his team’s first run. His next hit put his team ahead and opened the door for a five-run flood.

“Every day you see him grow a little more,” starting pitcher Alex Wood said. “To see him break through was awesome.”

After a sacrifice fly by Austin Barnes padded the lead, Joc Pederson thundered a three-run homer to mute the 43,322 fans at Minute Maid Park. In his first outing since blowing a save in Game 2, closer Kenley Jansen surrendered a solo home run to Astros third baseman Alex Bregman. It was only the second hit of the game for the Astros.

A pitcher’s duel ratcheted up the tension beneath the roof of this ballpark. Wood did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, when Astros outfielder George Springer homered. Houston starter Charlie Morton suppressed the Dodgers until the seventh, when Bellinger recorded his first hit of the World Series and Logan Forsythe tied the game with an RBI single.

Wood pulled his team out of a pit dug by Yu Darvish in Game 3, shielded a tired bullpen from overexposure and kept the Dodgers from falling two games behind the Astros. The offense slumbered at the outset before awakening late. The team turns to Clayton Kershaw for Game 5 on Sunday in a Game 1 rematch with Astros ace Dallas Keuchel. No matter what, the Series will return to Los Angeles on Tuesday for Game 6.

“We’ve got a three-game series now, and we’ve got our guy on the mound tomorrow,” outfielder Chris Taylor said. “We’re right where we want to be.”

The confidence stems from more than Kershaw. The emergence of Bellinger adds to the equation. Bellinger revitalized the Dodgers offense when he was called up in April. He boomed 39 home runs and earned a spot on the All-Star team. As he slumped through this World Series, his teammates and coaches simplified the message directed his way.

A Movie Critical of Female Genital Mutilation?

Well, if the film doesn't criticize Islam it's no good, although this is interesting nevertheless.

At Women and Hollywood, "Aja Naomi King Toplining Drama About Activist Who Fights Against Female Genital Mutilation."

'Suburbicon' is Worst Release in the History of Paramount Pictures

Heh, serves him right. It just serves radical left-wing hypocrite George Clooney right.

At the Wrap, "With ‘Suburbicon,’ George Clooney’s Box Office Struggles Continue."

And at NYT:

Refusing Harvey Weinstein’s Hush Money

Rose McGowan's a radical leftist. She really is. She's about the resistance, lol.

But I like her anyway. I'm cutting her some slack. Politics is messed up as it is. It's tribal. I hate Democrats. But she's becoming an iconic presence, speaking out, and speaking way ahead of everyone else. It's empowering. Of course, she's taking down the left while she's at it, so that's particularly interesting, heh.

In any case, at NYT, "Refusing Weinstein’s Hush Money, Rose McGowan Calls Out Hollywood":

In late September, just as multiple women were days away from going on the record with reports of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, one of his alleged assault victims, Rose McGowan, considered an offer that suggested just how desperate the Hollywood producer had become.

Ms. McGowan, who was working on a memoir called “Brave,” had spoken privately over the years about a 1997 hotel room encounter with Mr. Weinstein and hinted at it publicly. Through her lawyer, she said, someone close to Mr. Weinstein offered her hush money: $1 million, in exchange for signing a nondisclosure agreement.

In 1997, Ms. McGowan had reached a $100,000 settlement with Mr. Weinstein, but that agreement, she learned this summer, had never included a confidentiality clause. Ms. McGowan, who was most widely known for her role as a witch on the WB show “Charmed,” had recently developed a massive following as a fiery feminist on Twitter, but she was now, at 44, a multimedia artist, no longer acting, her funds depleted by health care costs for her father, who died eight years ago.

“I had all these people I’m paying telling me to take it so that I could fund my art,” Ms. McGowan said in an interview. She responded by asking for $6 million, part counteroffer, part slow torture of her former tormentor, she said. “I figured I could probably have gotten him up to three,” she said. “But I was like — ew, gross, you’re disgusting, I don’t want your money, that would make me feel disgusting.”

She said she told her lawyer to pull the offer within a day of The New York Times publishing an article that detailed decades of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged sexual harassment, aggression and misconduct toward women, as well as at least seven other settlements he had reached with accusers. After that, the dam burst, with The New Yorker, The Times and other news outlets reporting on dozens of other women’s experiences with Mr. Weinstein.

Mr. Weinstein, his accusers say, built his long history of abusing women on a risky gamble that worked for him over and over — the assumption that money or threats could buy women’s silence on a subject so intimate and painful that most would prefer not to go public anyway. While Ms. McGowan was the rare voice suggesting that the cover-up was not fail-safe, even she considered not naming him, having already, she believes, paid a career price for that long-ago episode and its aftermath.

A Weinstein spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, said that “Mr. Weinstein unequivocally denies any allegations of nonconsensual sex.” Ms. McGowan’s lawyer, Paul Coggins, confirmed that Ms. McGowan received the offer.

By 2015, Ms. McGowan, who felt alienated by the industry, started using her sizable platform on Twitter to maximize her status as both insider and outsider — someone with enough Hollywood experience to speak with authority about sexism within it, and someone liberated enough from its compromises to unleash the fury in her that had been building for years. Only now does the scope of the news about Mr. Weinstein — and the public conversation about what’s wrong with Hollywood — seem to match the scale of her outrage, giving her the clout of a contrarian at last proven right.

On Friday, at the inaugural Women’s Convention in Detroit, she was a featured speaker — a new, combative face of feminism, endowed with Hollywood charisma yet anything but slick. “I have been silenced for 20 years,” she told the gathering. “I have been slut-shamed. I have been harassed. I have been maligned. And you know what? I’m just like you.”

Today's Political Divisions as Bad as Vietnam Era

I don't think is "just Trump," but this is interesting nevertheless.

At WaPo, "‘It’s just messed up’: Most think political divisions as bad as Vietnam era, new poll shows: The Post-U. Md. survey reveals a starkly pessimistic view of the U.S. political system under President Trump":

Seven in 10 Americans say the nation’s political divisions are at least as big as during the Vietnam War, according to a new poll, which also finds nearly 6 in 10 saying Donald Trump’s presidency is making the U.S. political system more dysfunctional.

The Washington Post-University of Maryland poll — conducted nine months into Trump’s tumultuous presidency — reveals a starkly pessimistic view of U.S. politics, widespread distrust of the nation’s political leaders and their ability to compromise, and an erosion of pride in the way democracy works in America.

Trump’s arrival in the White House in January ushered in a period of big political fights — over issues including health care, taxes and immigration — and a sharp escalation in personal attacks on political opponents, over social media and elsewhere.

Seven in 10 Americans say the nation’s politics have reached a dangerous low point, and a majority of those believe the situation is a “new normal” rather than temporary, according to the poll.

The poll finds that 7 in 10 Americans view the Trump administration as dysfunctional. But dissatisfaction extends well beyond the executive branch: Even more Americans, 8 in 10, say Congress is dysfunctional, and there is limited trust in other institutions, including the media.

“It’s just messed up now,” said Patty Kasbeck, 37, a veterinary technician in Bartlesville, Okla., and a Democrat. “It’s not even a political system. It’s a reality show.”

In the poll, 14 percent of Americans say they view ethics and honesty of politicians as excellent or good, down from 25 percent in 1997 and 39 percent in 1987. And 12 percent say members of Congress base their policies on a set of core values, while 87 percent say they mainly “do whatever is need to win reelection.”

By and large, Americans are feeling frustrated not only with the country’s politics but their ability to talk about politics in a civil way.

“It seems the country is being divided on so many topics and on so many fronts at one time,” said Gene Gardner, a retired communications specialist in Blacksburg, Va., who said American democracy has become “a rock-throwing contest.”

“When people have an opinion, they don’t just say it to their spouse across the dinner table anymore,” said Gardner, 68, who is not registered with either political party. “They put it on Facebook. Everything gets amplified and more angry.”

Recent surveys have shown consumer confidence is up this year and stands at the highest levels in the past decade, so it does not appear that economic concerns are driving discontent with the nation’s political system.

Rather, Trump’s presidency appears to be a more critical factor in informing the way people feel about the state of American democracy.

While the poll finds similar levels of distrust in the federal government as before Trump took office, it also finds that pride in U.S. democracy is eroding. The share of Americans who are not proud of the way the country’s democracy is working has doubled since three years ago — from 18 percent to 36 percent in the new survey conducted among a nationwide sample of more than 1,600 adults by The Post and U-Md.’s Center for American Politics and Citizenship.

And nearly half of those who say they “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s job performance say they are not proud of American democracy today. That’s about twice as high among as those who “somewhat disapprove” of the president’s performance.

Doubts about democracy are not limited, however, to strong Trump critics. The poll finds that 25 percent of his supporters are not proud of the way democracy is working. That’s a higher figure than for the general public since at least the 1990s, polling shows.

“I think that since Trump’s election, there’s a spotlight on Washington and how it really works: that politicians are out for themselves and beholden to special interests,” said Nola Sayne, a paralegal in Logansville, Ga., who supported Trump and says she tends to vote Republican.

Sayne, 54, partly blames the dysfunction on how the Washington establishment has reacted to Trump. “People just flip out at everything he says,” Sayne said.

Elizabeth Johnston, a worker benefits specialist in Paradise, Calif., said she’s “embarrassed for the country” and primarily blames Democrats for the nation’s current political dysfunction.

“They’re acting like the mean kids in junior high,” Johnston said. “They’re all helping to make sure that the president doesn’t succeed.”

Johnston, 58, a registered independent, said there are some things she doesn’t like about Trump, like his “childish tweets.” But she said the country needs to give him a chance. “I love it that he hears us,” she said. “I love it that he wants to cut taxes.”

Strong majorities in both parties say the political divisions today are at least as strong as during the Vietnam War, a period of protest and unrest that is widely viewed as a dark chapter in American political history.

Seven in 10 Americans overall hold that view, but it is particularly strong among those who experienced the Vietnam War era firsthand. Among those who were adults in the 1970s, more than three-quarters say political divisions today are at least as big.

“I’m old enough that I remember the Vietnam War,” said Ed Evans, 67, a lawyer in Sioux Falls, S.D., and a Democrat who was a college student in Missouri at the time. “With Vietnam, at least it was focused on one issue. Here, it’s all over the place. In some ways, this is deeply more troubling.”

Ellen Collins, a retired data architect in Dayton, Ohio, said she remembers hearing her brother, who was in the Army returning from Vietnam, say that he was spit upon in the airport during a layover in San Francisco in March 1968. Still, she is among those who say political divisions in the country are worse today.

“This country is a mess,” said Collins, 69. “There’s no civility. Friends are now enemies. These issues have made people angry.”

She blames Trump in large part, saying he has used divisions “to his benefit, to play on people’s fears.”

Collins cited Trump’s recent sparring with Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) over the president’s condolence call to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger.

“He has an inability to say, ‘My bad,’ and he just keeps going and going,” Collins said. “He’s childish, and he’s a bully.”

Majorities of both Democrats and Republicans say America’s politics have reached a dangerous low point, though more Democrats (81 percent) than Republicans (56 percent) hold that view.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Shop Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

And especially, Save on Cotton Sheets.

More, Rajlinen - #1 Bed Sheet Set - HIGHEST QUALITY 100% Egyptian Cotton 800 Thread-Count Queen Size Wrinkle, Fade, Stain Resistant - 4 Piece (Solid White) 16" Drop.

Plus, KIND Breakfast Bars, Peanut Butter, Gluten Free, 1.8 Ounce, 32 Count.

Still more, CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Crunchy Peanut Butter - (2.4 Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count).

Also, Westmark Germany Multipurpose Stainless Steel Cheese and Food Slicer with Board and Adjustable Thickness Dial (White).

Here, Koffee Kult Medium Roast Coffee Beans, Highest Quality Delicious Coffee, Artisan Blend Freshly Roasted, Whole Bean, 16oz Packaging May Vary.

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

BONUS: Carlo D'Este, Patton: A Genius for War.

Xi Jinping Enshrined in Communist Party Constitution

He's up there with Mao now.

At NYT, "China Enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought,’ Elevating Leader to Mao-Like Status":

BEIJING — China’s Communist Party on Tuesday elevated President Xi Jinping to the same exalted status as the nation’s founding father, Mao Zedong, by writing his name and ideas into the party constitution.

The historic decision, at the end of a weeklong party congress, sent a clear signal to officials throughout China that questioning Mr. Xi and his policies would be ideological heresy.

The decision solidified Mr. Xi’s position as China’s most powerful leader in decades after only five years of leading the country, making it harder for rivals to challenge him and his policies.

While there may be no “Little Red Book” of quotations for mass consumption like in the bygone Mao era, Mr. Xi’s thinking will now infuse every aspect of party ideology in schools, the media and government agencies.

In the near future, Chinese people are likely to refer to Mr. Xi’s doctrines as simply “Xi Jinping Thought,” a flattering echo of “Mao Zedong Thought.”

“This is a way of trying to project his historic stature,” said Wu Qiang, a political analyst in Beijing who formerly taught at Tsinghua University. “The congress report and the party constitution revisions both show that Xi wants to be a kind of peer with the past leaders. That doesn’t mean he sees himself as rivaling Mao in importance, but I think it’s intended to give him an ideological status that can’t be challenged, like Mao in that sense.”

Restoring China to greatness is a central message of Mr. Xi’s philosophy. That goal already has guided Mr. Xi’s policies of building up the military, strengthening domestic controls and raising China’s profile in global affairs.

Approved by the party congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, which meets every five years, the change to the constitution adds a clunky new phrase — “Xi Jinping Thought for the New Era of Socialism With Chinese Special Characteristics” — alongside the hallowed names of Mao and Deng Xiaoping.

While the meaning of those 13 words — 16 Chinese characters — may seem opaque, they are freighted with significance for the future both of the party and of China.

The critical phrase is “new era,” which Mr. Xi has used throughout the congress. He has described Chinese history since 1949 as divided into two eras — the three decades after Mao seized power in a revolution that established a unified People’s Republic and ended nearly a century of civil war and foreign invasions, and the three decades after Deng took power in 1978 and refocused China on developing its economy...

Reckoning with Communism

Turns out there's an amazing conference coming up in a couple of week, in D.C., "Victims of Communism Centennial Commemoration." (Hat Tip: National Review, below.)

'Start with the men in power who are bullies...'

Following-up from last night, "Mark Halperin Out at NBC, MSNBC, and HBO After Multiple Claims of Sexual Assault."

At Axios, "Post-Halperin, female media exec calls out 'the screamers'":
A well-known female veteran of the media business emailed me as new revelations were posted about Mark Halperin:
"If you are anxiously looking around your media organization wondering who the harassers are or were, start with the men in power who are bullies: who screamed at subordinates, berated them, seemed to take pleasure in humiliating them — often publicly. We all know them. We have all worked with them. There is clearly a correlation between that behavior and this. ... I would love to send a message to the screamers that their behavior will no longer be tolerated."
There's clearly a lot of screaming in tech, as well as in media and movies.

The excuse many men gave for not interfering with Harvey Weinstein was that "everybody knew" he was a bully and a jerk — but didn't realize he was also a serial assailant. Arianna Huffington, a board member at Uber, distilled the emerging ethos: "No brilliant jerks allowed."

Halperin's had been quite an empire. If you change the game once, it's pretty cool. Changing the game more than once? Very small club. And Halperin did it repeatedly: "The Note" at ABC ... "The Page" at TIME ... The "Game Change" franchise ... Showtime's "The Circus" series.

His comeuppance all came within 24 hours of CNN's story quoting five women as saying that he "sexually harassed women while he was in a powerful position at ABC News" (political director from 1997 to 2007)...
Keep reading.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mark Halperin Out at NBC, MSNBC, and HBO After Multiple Claims of Sexual Assault

This is freakin' major.

At the Los Angeles Times, "MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin losing book deal and TV jobs over sexual harassment claims":

The multimedia career of political journalist and author Mark Halperin is on shaky ground after a report that he sexually harassed five women during his tenure at ABC News.

Just hours after the publication of the CNN report late Wednesday, Halperin was pulled from his contributor’s role at MSNBC and NBC News. Penguin Press canceled the publication of his next “Game Change” book about the 2016 presidential campaign, co-authored with John Heilemann. Plans for an HBO miniseries tied to the title were scrapped by the premium cable network, and the next season of the Showtime documentary series “The Circus,” in which Halperin co-stars, appears in doubt.

Five women who worked with Halperin when he was political director of ABC News in the early 2000s told CNN that he propositioned them or touched them inappropriately while on the job. Three women said Halperin pressed up against them while having an erection. None of the women complained to ABC’s human resources department about his behavior. The accusers spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity.

The accusations against Halperin join the growing maelstrom of sexual harassment and assault charges, which have rocked the careers and reputations of former Weinstein Co. co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly, screenwriter James Toback, and others. As more women come forward to allege years of bad behavior, the roiling national discussion of workplace harassment shows no signs of abating.

In a statement to CNN, Halperin acknowledged that he mistreated female employees at ABC News and issued an apology.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” said Halperin, 52. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”

By Thursday morning, Halperin, a paid contributor who regularly appears on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and other NBC News programs, was on leave indefinitely.

“We find the story and the allegations very troubling. Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood,” the cable network said in a statement.

The alleged incidents involving Halperin occurred when he was political director at ABC News from 1997 to 2007. An ABC News representative said, “Mark left ABC a decade ago and no complaints were filed during his tenure.”

But some women who worked with Halperin at ABC have commented on social media that there had been talk within the company at the time about his treatment of women.

Clarissa Ward, a senior international correspondent for CNN, tweeted out the Halperin story and said, “This was an open story when I was @ABC for years.”

Former ABC News staffer Emily Miller put a #MeToo hashtag on her tweet of the CNN story and said she too was harassed by Halperin. She then added: “To be clear, I was NOT one of the victims in this story about Mark Halperin. I was ANOTHER junior ABC employee he attacked.”

As of Thursday, there had been no sexual harassment complaints filed against Halperin at NBC, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to comment publicly. As an on-air contributor, Halperin does not have an office or work space in the network’s headquarters or newsroom.

Halperin has a multiyear contract with NBC, but such deals can typically be terminated in the event an on-air talent embarrasses the company.

Showtime Networks issued a statement that there had been no allegations of “untoward behavior” by Halperin during the production of “The Circus.” However, the premium cable network said it will “evaluate its options” on going forward with a second season of the program...

Shop Halloween Candy

Once again, at Amazon, Deals on Halloween Candy.

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

The Sound is Going Down

To say I'm sad would be an understatement. This is one of the greatest radio station's since KMET in the 1970s.

Alas, nothing last forever.

At the L.A.-ist, "100.3 The Sound to Be Replaced With Christian Music Station."

And at ABC News 7 Los Angeles:

Harvey Weinstein and the Myth of 'Toxic Masculinity'

It's Helen Smith, at Pajamas, via Instapundit, "THE INSTA-WIFE: Harvey Weinstein and the Myth of “Toxic Masculinity”."

Responding to CNN

At Instapundit, "THE NRA RESPONDS TO CNN: This is a lemon."

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Emily Ratajkowski Glows Against the Sunset (VIDEO)

At Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.

New Deals Today

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

And especially, Save on Black & Decker Tools.

Also, Americanflat - 11x14 Black Picture Frame - Made to Display Pictures 8x10 with Mat or 11x14 Without Mat - Wide Molding - Wall Mounting Material Included.

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Still more, Samsung Electronics UN65MU6300 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model).

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

BONUS: Matthew A. Rozell, The Things Our Fathers Saw: The Untold Stories of the World War II Generation from Hometown, USA-Voices of the Pacific Theater.

Brianna Keilar Reflects on War and Sacrifice

I don't watch CNN anymore, and I didn't even know Brianna Keilar was married, much less to a serviceman, but I do miss watching her for the news. I think she's a good lady. In any case, at CNN:

Beating the Heat in San Diego

Well, hitting the beach would be nice.

At the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Majority of Whites Say They Believe Whites Face Discrimination

Well, it's part of the Trump phenomenon, I guess.

Perhaps part of the reason he won.

Interesting, either way. Leftists take heed.


Francis Paul Prucha, The Indians in American Society

At Amazon, Francis Paul Prucha, The Indians in American Society: From the Revolutionary War to the Present.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Record-Breaking Heat Across the Southland (VIDEO)

My weather app said it was 105 degrees when I left work (in Long Beach) a little after 4:00pm today. But, frankly, it was dry heat, and didn't feel too bad. I even went back out to Barnes and Noble after I got home and changed into some shorts. I picked up a copy of Volker Ullrich, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.

I'm going to read some of the book right now, in fact. So, until later, here's CBS News 2 Los Angeles:

Deal of the Day

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

Also, ILM Full Face Motorcycle Street Bike Helmet with Removable Winter Neck Scarf + 2 Visors DOT (M, Matte Black).

And, Soul Young - Long Cotton Scarf for Men - Warm Fringe Plaid Scarves With Luxurious Gift Box.

Plus, Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones - Gold.

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

Here, American Signature - Flag Pole Kit - Includes 2.5x4 ft American Flag Made in USA, 5 Foot Tangle Free Flag Pole, and Flagpole Bracket Holder Set.

Still more, Banana Boat Ultra Mist Sport Performance Broad Spectrum Sun Care Sunscreen Spray - Twin Pack - SPF 30, 2 count, 6OZ.

More here, Valvoline 5W-30 MaxLife High Mileage Motor Oil - 5qt (782256).


BONUS: Rick Richman, Racing Against History: The 1940 Campaign for a Jewish Army to Fight Hitler.

Out in Paperback: Volker Ullrich, Hitler

This is the moment I've been waiting for, not wanting to spend on the hard-back volume.

At Amazon, available in paperback today, Volker Ullrich, Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939.

Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater Frontier

At Amazon, Andrew Lipman, The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast.

Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs

At Amazon, Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia.

Monday, October 23, 2017

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.

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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: