Monday Top News Executive Summary

Media Editors: On the Homeland Security Front

COATS OUT: “Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats will leave his position next month, President Trump announced Sunday, capping a tumultuous relationship in which the two were often at odds over the wisdom of negotiating with Russia, the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the severity of foreign threats to U.S. elections. Trump said in a tweet that he would nominate Rep. John ­Ratcliffe (R-Tex.), a third-term congressman and prominent supporter, to replace Coats.” (The Washington Post)

BORDER FUNDING UPHELD: “The Supreme Court sided with the Trump administration on Friday in lifting a freeze backed by a lower court that had halted plans to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds for border wall construction. The decision, which split the bench along ideological lines, allows the administration to move ahead with plans to use military funds to replace existing fencing in California, Arizona and New Mexico.” (Fox News)

ASYLUM DEAL: “President Trump inked a deal with Guatemala on Friday to crack down on migrants who cross that country’s territory en route to the U.S. to claim asylum, with Guatemala’s government agreeing to take them back.” (The Washington Times)

RUSSIAN HACKING REPORT: “The Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed Friday that Russian hackers targeted election systems in all 50 states in advance of the 2016 elections, but did not attempt to alter any vote totals. … While it was previously known that hackers targeted a handful of states in the run up to the election, the report revealed that the effort was more widespread that previously understood.” (National Review)

Government & Politics

scumbag-CUMMINGS’S COMEUPPANCE: “President Trump called Rep. scumbag-Elijah Cummings a racist while defending himself against accusations of racism for having criticized the Maryland Democrat. Trump made blunt statements about the current state of Baltimore on Saturday and Sunday, accusing scumbag-Cummings of failing to represent his district well. House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats came to scumbag-Cummings’ defense, accusing Trump of being a racist and attacking minority members of Congress.” (Washington Examiner)

lowlife-HARRIS TOES THE LINE: “Sen. lowlife-Kamala Harris, who has spent some time clarifying her stance on ‘Medicare for All,’ is now proposing her own version of the single-payer insurance plan. … lowlife-Harris has proposed to double the transition period from the current health care system to the single-payer system, to reduce [commie-Bernie] Sanders’ proposed tax on middle-class families to pay for the plan, and she would allow private insurance companies to offer Medicare options.” (CBS News)

Around the Nation

CALIFORNIA SHOOTING: “Three people were killed and at least 15 others injured Sunday after a shooting that sent panicked people running at an annual food festival in Northern California. Also dead is the shooter, who used a rifle and gained entry to the packed festival by cutting through a fence to avoid the tight security, including metal detectors, police said. … Police confronted the [assailant] within a minute of shots being fired.” (KTLA)

COVINGTON LAWSUIT DISMISSED: “A federal judge in Kentucky dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against the Washington Post by a Covington Catholic High School student. Nicholas Sandmann and his family sought $250 million in damages over the newspaper’s reporting about a confrontation between Sandmann and a Native American man in January.” (Washington Examiner)

GENDER-NEUTRAL ILLINOIS: “On April 11, the Illinois state Senate voted 53-0 in favor of SB 556, otherwise known as the ‘Equitable Restrooms Act,’ which would have all single-occupancy restrooms in ‘places of public accommodation’ be labeled as gender-neutral. On May 21, the state House passed the bill on a 109-5 vote, and on Friday, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the legislation into law.” (The Daily Wire)

RHODE ISLAND PAY-TO-PLAY: “Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo is facing criticism after her administration awarded a no-bid billion-dollar contract to a gaming company that is represented by the treasurer of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) which Raimondo chairs.” (The Washington Free Beacon)

Closing Arguments

POLICY: How Republicans can appeal to the white working class (National Review)

POLICY: The minimum wage is not about helping the poor; it’s a boon to organized labor (Commentary)

HUMOR: worthless-Ilhan Omar introduces resolution condemning racism, white men, and the Jews (The Babylon Bee)

~The Patriot Post


Why an “AI Race” Between the U.S. and China Is a Terrible, Terrible Idea

by Sam Biddle

{ } ~ Perhaps because it lies at the perfect nexus of genuinely-very-complicated and impossibly-confounded-by-marketing-buzzword-speak, the term “AI”… has become a catchall for anything algorithmic and sufficiently technologically impressive. AI, which is supposed to stand for “artificial intelligence,” now spans applications from cameras to the military to medicine. One thing we can be sure about AI — because we are told it so often and at so increasingly high a pitch — is that whatever it actually is, the national interest demands more of it. And we need it now, or else China will beat us there, and we certainly wouldn’t want that, would we? What is “there,” exactly? What does it look like, how would it work, and how would it change our society? Irrelevant! The race is on, and if America doesn’t start taking AI seriously, we’re going to find ourselves the losers in an ever-widening Dystopia Gap. A piece on Politico this week by Luiza Ch. Savage and Nancy Scola exemplifies the mix of maximum alarm and minimum meaning that’s become so typical in our national and nationalist discussion around artificial intelligence. “Is America ceding the future of AI to China?” the article asks. We’re meant to take this possibility as not only very real but as an unquestionably bad thing. One only needs to tell the public that the country risks “ceding” control of something — literally anything — to the great foreign unknown for our national eyes to grow wide. “The last time a rival power tried to out-innovate the U.S. and marshaled a whole-of-government approach to doing it, the Soviet Union startled Americans by deploying the first man-made satellite into orbit,” the article says. “The Sputnik surprise in 1957 shook American confidence, galvanized its government and set off a space race culminating with the creation of NASA and the moon landing 50 years ago this month.” Our new national dread, the article continues, is “whether another Sputnik moment is around the corner” — in the form of an AI-breakthrough from the keyboards of Red China instead of Palo Alto. Forget that Sputnik was not actually a “surprise” for the powers that be, or that Sputnik itself was basically a beeping aluminum beach ball — “barely more than a radio transmitter with batteries,” the magazine Air & Space once said. There’s a bigger problem here: Framing the Cold War as a battle of innovators conveniently avoids mentioning that the chief innovation in question wasn’t Sputnik or the Space Shuttle or any peacetime venture, but the creation of an arsenal for instant global nuclear holocaust at the press of a button…


Tax Reform Has Never been So Easy

by Adam Michel and Travis Nix

{ } ~ The tax-extenders package being debated by Congress — which would prolong the life of certain tax breaks, many of which expired almost two years ago… does nothing but tilt the tax code in the favor of well-connected corporations. This package of narrow tax subsides undermines the gains from the 2017 tax cuts and reinvigorates the Washington swamp. Each tax-extender grants a narrow economic privilege, tailored to some particular group or business interest. That naturally reduces opportunity for individuals and businesses who aren’t showered with special favors by Congress. The list of extenders includes subsidies for three different alternative fuels, two special types of vehicles, short-line railroads and certain coal owned by Indian tribes, among others. Many of these programs, by their very nature, are so complicated that the government agencies which oversee them have been unable to carry out proper enforcement. For example, the owner of one of the largest biodiesel companies in the United States illegally claimed $511 million in biodiesel tax credits over a six-year period in Iowa. A different man in Colorado created a fake company to claim millions in biodiesel tax credits. And in New Jersey, another company claimed $100 million worth of credits for fuel they never produced. The IRS struggles to enforce narrowly tailored tax incentives like this. It is too difficult to determine what types of fuels qualify for the credit and if the company claiming the credit actually follows through on production. The result? Hard-working taxpayers subsidize fraudulent tax payments as part of a tax credit that shouldn’t exist in the first place. As part of another tax-extenders credit program, oil companies are working to receive subsidies for producing “alternative fuel.” Their so-called qualifying alternative fuel is the butane that is in every gallon of gasoline — and has been for a hundred years. Exploiting this tax loophole increased the cost of the subsidy from $555 million to more than $7 billion, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Tax credits cannot stimulate good environmental practices and their complexities open the door for big business to take advantage of them…


US warns Europe not to develop barter system to evade Iran sanctions

by Rob Crilly

{ } ~ American officials have issued a warning to European nations that they risk falling foul of sanctions on Iran if they press ahead with a barter system that could allow the export of Iranian oil… Last week, Russia signaled it was interested in joining the mechanism, known as Instex, as part of an effort to resuscitate a 2015 nuclear deal abandoned by President Trump last year. The U.S. has said using the channel for food and medicine would not breach sanctions. But a recent announcement that European ministers were considering extending it to oil risks undermining Washington’s strategy of “maximum pressure.” A senior administration official told the Washington Examiner that the Treasury Department wrote to the board of Instex and “communicated exactly our displeasure at the creation of an instrument that, on its face, seems to foster the evasion of sanctions and the danger associated with that and reminded them what was and was not sanctionable.” The United Kingdom, France, and Germany are intent on shoring up what is left of the 2015 accord, despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that Iran exceeded the amount and purity of uranium it is allowed under the agreement…


The End of the Syrian Civil War The Many Implications

by Eyal Zisser

{ } ~ The civil war that raged in Syria over the past eight years seems to be drawing to a close. In July 2018, the Syrian regime regained control of the southern part of the country… including the town of Dar’a where the revolt began in March 2011. Five months later in December 2018, U.S. president Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, driving the final nail in the coffin of the rebellion. Although the return of stability and security to the war-torn country is still a far-off goal, the military campaign is effectively over. The efforts of the rebel groups—supported by large segments of the Syrian population—to overthrow the Assad regime, which has ruled the country since 1970, have failed. President Bashar Assad emerged as the undisputed winner though he did so only thanks to the massive military aid rendered by Moscow, Tehran, and Iran’s Hezbollah Lebanese proxy. How will the end of the war affect Syria’s relations with its patrons, and what will be its implications for wider Middle Eastern stability? Viewed from a broad historical perspective, the end of the civil war concludes yet another chapter in “the struggle for Syria” that has plagued the country since gaining independence in April 1946, or indeed, since its designation as a distinct political entity under French mandate at the end of the 1920s. For the first one-third of this time, the Syrian state was a weak entity, lacking in stability, subject to frequent military coups and regime changes with no effective ruling center, a punching bag for regional and great power interference alike. Hafez Assad’s rise to power in November 1970 seemed to have brought this struggle to an end by ushering in a prolonged spell of domestic stability and regional preeminence that continued into the reign of Bashar, who in June 2000 succeeded his father. This was due in no small part to the broad social base underpinning the regime, comprising a diverse coalition of minority communities and groups led by the Alawites, on the one hand, and the Sunni peasantry on the other…


A Budget Disaster of Epic Proportions

by ~ Three days after President Trump told his aides to look for deep cuts in federal spending for 2020, he agreed to a budget deal that blows a $320 billion hole in the spending caps… and allows a two-year suspension of the debt ceiling. Trump tweeted that “this was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!” In fact, it is exactly how Washington has worked for decades. This is a place where politicians splurge today, and promise to repent tomorrow. And where “compromising” means adding your differences together, rather than splitting them. Thus, as a result of this “compromise,” Democrats are boasting that not only did they get a huge boost in domestic spending, they are “pleased that our increase in non-defense budget authority exceeds the defense number by $10 billion over the next two years,” according to the statement issued by House Speaker liar-Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck scumbag-Schumer. For good measure, the dynamic Democratic duo added that, with this deal, “Democrats secured an increase of more than $100 billion in funding for domestic priorities since President Trump took office.” With the national debt now exceeding $22 trillion, and this year’s deficit slated to top $1 trillion, this isn’t politics as usual. This is recklessness. The 2011 budget caps, remember, were part of the Republicans’ deal with President scumbag/liar-nObama, which they secured in exchange for letting some of President Bush’s tax cuts expire. To give the caps teeth, the deal included a sequester provision that imposed automatic, across-the-board spending cuts if Congress couldn’t figure out how to live within its means. For a time, those spending caps actually worked. Overall, federal outlays declined for three years straight after that agreement, when you adjust for inflation. As a share of GDP, spending shrank from 23.4% down to 20.2%. Lo and behold, the world didn’t come to an end…


Groupthink Campus Culture

Arnold Ahlert: “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.” ―George Orwell, 1984

At Colorado State University, the clock has “struck thirteen.” A group of officials called the Inclusive Communications Task Force has created an Inclusive Language Guidethat aims to “help our campus community reflect our Principles of Community particularly inclusion, respect, and social justice.”

Promoting institutional infantilization is more like it.

Laughingly, the Task Force insists the Guide “is not about political-correctness or policing grammar, but rather helping communicators practice inclusive language and helping everyone on our campus feel welcomed, respected, and valued.” No, it’s not. It’s about advising students to walk on politically correct eggshells — to the point of lunacy — to avoid offending anyone. Hence, their “best practice” suggestions:

Use people-first language (i.e. person with a disability vs. disabled or person of color vs. colored) unless the person indicates another preference.

Never assume a person’s gender identity based on their name or their appearance — if you don’t know, use gender-inclusive pronouns or ask for their pronouns.

Use gender-inclusive language when speaking in generalities or about groups of people that you do not know the individual pronouns of (i.e. everyone vs. ladies and gentlemen and they/them/theirs vs. he/him/his and she/her/hers).

What else is problematic? “American/America.” Why? “The Americas encompass a lot more than the United States,” the guide states. “There is South America, Central America, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean just to name a few of 42 countries in total. That’s why the word ‘americano’ in Spanish can refer to anything on the American continent. Yet, when we talk about ‘Americans’ in the United States, we’re usually just referring to people from the United States. This erases other cultures and depicts the United States as the dominant American country.”

But the United States is dominant. It has the largest population, the largest economy, and a Constitution and Declaration of Independence that are the envy of the world. And saying so doesn’t “erase other cultures.” Nonetheless, in order to remain sufficiently “woke” one must use “U.S. citizen; person from the U.S.”

What if a person in the U.S is here illegally? “The term ‘illegal immigrant’ was first used in 1939 as a slur towards Jews who were fleeing the Nazis and entered Palestine without authorization,” the guide insists. “Saying that a person is ‘illegal’ dehumanizes them and implies that they are a criminal, not taking into account that they may be a refugee seeking asylum. The term also suggests that the individual, and not the potential actions they have taken, are unlawful.”

Unsurprisingly, in a sop to the LGBT Mafia, “Male/ Female” and “Mr. /Mrs. / Ms.” are also terms to avoid because “we very rarely need to identify or know a person’s biological sex and more often are referring to gender,” and because “titles can be problematic when you are not aware of a person’s gender identity and try to guess or when the use of the title is against a person’s personal preference,” respectively.

Thus, “He or She, Ladies and Gentlemen” are also verboten because they “imply that gender is binary (i.e. either man or woman) and does not acknowledge that people may identify anywhere along the gender spectrum and/or their biological sex may not match their gender identity.”

It goes further downhill — and more nonsensical — from there. “Starving / I’m Starving / I’m Broke” is no good because “these terms appropriate real situations of hardship and can cause harm to individuals who are experiencing extreme poverty or hunger crisis.” “Peanut Gallery” is off limits because, despite the fact it is used to reference hecklers and critics, it actually refers to “a section in theaters, usually the cheapest and worst, where many Black people sat during the era of Vaudeville.” “Freshman?” If you guessed the “man” part is problematic because it “excludes women and non-binary gender identities,” go to the head of the class.

“The guide certainly does encompass a great deal of everyday, common expressions, and it is possible that the speech of some students will be chilled if they are confused into thinking that the document represents official policy of the university,” stated Azhar Majeed, spokesman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). “However, given the introductory language … I think it would be unlikely that any student carefully reading the guide would be mistaken and led to believe they could face disciplinary action for their speech,” Majeed added.

How about social ostracization? In reality, this guide is about one thing above all else: the elicitation of guilt, directly leading to either self-censorship — or silence.

That is the antithesis of what college is supposed to be about.

Colorado State is no outlier. At the Catholic University of Dayton, a gender-inclusive language “resource” frowns on the usage of “husband/wife,” which should be replaced with “spouse, partner, significant other.” The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill advises students to avoid using any word that includes “man,” such as “mailman,” “policeman,” or “man-made.”

At George Mason University, graduate teaching assistants (TAs) attending a mandatory training session in 2017 were warned to avoid using the terms “freshman,” “last name,” and “it is easy to imagine.” Their syllabi were to be written in “non-sexist, gender-inclusive terms,” while striving to embrace “inclusive language that does not assume Eurocentric name forms.”

At the University of New Hampshire, the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate was created in response to 2017 Cinco de Mayo celebrations that “generated considerable outrage among students, faculty and staff throughout UNH and the region.” It produced a 58-page document to address a list of 15 student demands that included adding a mandatory “4-credit social justice course requirement” for students, and bimonthly “holistic diversity training” for all faculty and staff.

Such utter nonsense is apparently contagious. On Monday, three Democrat presidential candidates — Julian Castro, scumbag-Bill de Blasio, and Elizabeth dinky-Warren — released Twitter bios that included their preferred gender pronouns. For Castro it’s “He/Him/Él,” for scumbag-de Blasio “He/him,” and dinky-Warren “She/her.”

The rest of the field has yet to weigh in, but one suspects all of them will display an equal reverence for the intersectionalist bankruptcy that afflicts their party.

It is bankruptcy that elicits an obvious question: In the world of self-inflicted Newspeak, how does one nominate any white, male, heterosexual, Christian — currently defined in leftist terms as a “privileged, toxic, cisgender, bitter clinger” — to be the party standard-bearer without committing a thought crime of the first order?

loose lips liar-Joe Biden should certainly be curious. So should every other candidate who doesn’t tick enough “intersectional” boxes to be sufficiently “woke.” Moreo

ver, how much narrower — as in radical to the point of nihilism — will the party’s thinking become?

“Orthodoxy means not thinking — not needing to think.” —George Orwell ~The Patriot Post  


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