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

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.


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, NestlΓ© 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.

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.

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: