PowerLine -> FRACK THIS – Mattis speaks

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> FRACK THIS – Mattis speaks

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • Frack This
  • Christian Group Sues SPLC and Amazon
  • Mayweather-McGregor
  • Mattis speaks
  • CIA keeping a watchful eye on. . .its director!
Frack This

Posted: 27 Aug 2017 01:59 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

I do hope that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo runs for president in 2020, and further that he is the Democratic nominee. He appears determined to make upstate New York into the East Germany of America by his intransigent refusal to allow fracking to produce natural gas, thus keeping shale gas-rich upstate New York from enjoying the same kind of prosperity as western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Cuomo’s anti-gas bias extends to using state power to block natural gas pipelines intended to serve New England that has received federal approval. So lots of New Englanders will have to continue using more expensive and higher polluting fuel oil for winter heat.

I hope Cuomo runs on his anti-gas stance: he’ll lose Pennsylvania and Ohio for sure; possibly Colorado, too, and likely New Hampshire and maybe even Massachusetts and Maine.

The scientific case against all the anti-fracking claims of the environmental/Hollywood left continues to collapse more fully than an undercooked soufflé. The latest piece of evidence is a report from Resources for the Future, a centrist environmental group that is one of the oldest environmental organizations in the country, founded way back in 1947 by Fairfield Osborn, who was actually a Malthusian alarmist, thus making today’s RFF a curiosity in that is perhaps the only environmental organization that moved away from the left over its history.

RFF has conducted a thorough review of the academic literature on the health effects of unconventional oil and gas production (which mostly means fracking) and passes along these key findings:

  • We review 32 studies that cover health impacts such as birth outcomes, cancers, asthma, and other health effects, including migraines and hospitalization.
  • We find that though many epidemiological studies used robust statistical methods to estimate changes in health outcomes associated with unconventional oil and gas development, all had weaknesses and many had significant shortcomings.
  • Due to the nature of the data and research methodologies, the studies are unable to assess the mechanisms of any health impacts (i.e., whether a certain impact is caused by air pollution, stress, water pollution, or another burden).
  • Even where good evidence is offered for a link between unconventional oil and gas development and health, the causal factor(s) driving this association is unclear.
  • Though we do not see strong evidence of impacts in the literature, a lack of data or rigorous analysis does not rule out the potential for any effects.

You can read or download the complete study here.


Christian Group Sues SPLC and Amazon

Posted: 27 Aug 2017 11:56 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Inc., which does business as D. James Kennedy Ministries, has sued the Southern Poverty Law Center, Amazon, and Guidestar in federal court in Alabama. The complaint is here. The case arises out of SPLC’s designation of the Kennedy Ministries as a “hate group” because, consistent with Christian doctrine, it opposes gay marriage. Because of that designation, Amazon has barred Kennedy Ministries from its Amazon Smile program for nonprofits, and Guidestar has republished SPLC’s smear in its guide to nonprofits, which is heavily relied on by donors.

I love to see SPLC get sued, and it would be great if they lost. They deserve it. Amazon, too. But I doubt that this case has much of a chance. There are some more or less clever theories in the complaint–the Lanham Act, and a Civil Rights Act claim against Amazon predicated on the theory that it is a public accommodation since it sells movies and songs–but the core claim is defamation, and the central defendant is SPLC.

Of course, SPLC won’t want this case to get anywhere near a jury. It won’t try to mount a truth defense but will argue that as a matter of law its statement that Kennedy is a “hate group” is an opinion and therefore cannot be the basis of liability. As I understand it, SPLC hasn’t asserted any facts about Kennedy Ministries that could be shown to be false, but has merely included the organization on its “hate map.” If that is correct, the opinion defense is destined to prevail.

Still, it is heartwarming to see someone go after one of the most detestable organizations in America. And the politically correct Amazon, too. Even if unsuccessful, the litigation may alert more people to what an unreliable, partisan organization SPLC is.



Posted: 27 Aug 2017 08:23 AM PDT

(John Hinderaker)

Last night’s much-anticipated fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor was a triumph of marketing. It was strictly a novelty show; there was no title at stake. Nevertheless, thanks largely to tireless promotion by the fighters, it generated worldwide interest. I haven’t yet seen the numbers, but millions were expected to buy the Showtime program, and it was the most heavily-bet boxing match in history. Surprisingly, it also turned out to be a pretty good fight.

To recap, briefly: Mayweather retired from boxing with a record of 49-0, universally regarded as one of the sport’s all-time greats. At 40, he hadn’t fought in two years, but his fans didn’t worry too much about that, as he is always in superb condition. Floyd is a defensive genius, and the main knock on him is that his fights tend to be boring. (Exhibit A was his uninspiring win against an over-the-hill Manny Pacquiao.) McGregor, a 29-year-old Irishman, is a mixed martial arts champion and the most prominent figure in his sport. McGregor is quite a bit bigger than Mayweather as well as 11 years younger, but it was a boxing match, not wrestling or whatever else they do in MMA, and Floyd was a heavy favorite.

Mayweather’s usual style is to counterpunch while backing up, but he didn’t do that last night. Stung by criticism of his performance against Pacquiao, he vowed to stand in with McGregor, and that is what he did, eschewing his normal defensive approach. Mayweather may have felt secure in the knowledge that McGregor can’t punch hard, but nevertheless, the early rounds went to McGregor, as Floyd did nothing.

After the fight, Mayweather said that his strategy was to let McGregor tire himself out in the early rounds and then wear him down in the middle rounds (the bout was scheduled to go 12). That is what happened, as Floyd started to get active in the fourth and by the 8th was in control.

Of course, Mayweather doesn’t hit very hard either, in part because he has broken his hands so many times that he wears special protective gloves. It took a lot of punches to chop down the Irishman. By the ninth, McGregor had nothing left and was in deep trouble. A minute into the tenth he was defenseless as Mayweather pummeled him against the ropes and the referee wisely stopped the fight.

Many had feared the bout would be a freak show. There had been speculation that the fight might end bizarrely–for example, with a fading McGregor throwing a kick–which would, the theory went, require a rematch. Thankfully, nothing like that happened. McGregor’s tendency to punch to the back of the head was the only oddity.

MMA fans can take satisfaction from the fact that their man performed relatively well in an unfamiliar sport, while boxing fans were relieved that Mayweather, who throughout his career has been more respected than loved, upheld the honor of their sport.

Some say that Mayweather could have put McGregor away at will, but let the MMA champ hang around to make a more entertaining event. It didn’t look that way to me, but ESPN reported that Mayweather tried to place a $400,000 bet on himself winning in under 9 1/2 rounds, and then on himself winning by a knockout. Maybe the fighter knew what he was doing: the TKO came at 9 1/3 rounds.

With Mayweather-McGregor behind us, attention turns to what should be a real thriller: Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will fight for the unified middleweight championship of the world on September 16. It will be the biggest fight in years, a relatively rare meeting between two great champions who are still in their primes, although GGG says it likely will be his last fight. Golovkin has never been beaten and has never been on the canvas. Alvarez has lost only once, by a decision to Mayweather. I will have more to say about Golovkin-Alvarez as the fight draws nearer.


Mattis speaks

Posted: 27 Aug 2017 07:11 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)

Defense Secretary Mattis loves the troops and the feeling is obviously mutual. Speaking to the troops somewhere on his current tour to Jordan, Turkey, and Ukraine, he spoke to them from the heart about their mission as well as the home front (video below):

Here is the text of his remarks via The Daily Wire:

Believe me, I know you’re far from home, every one of you; I know you could all be going to college, you young people, or you could be back on the block, just grateful. The only way, the only way this great big experiment you and I call America is gonna survive is if we’ve got tough hombres like you.

If you remember — some of you are too young — on 9/11 we were matched up against an enemy that thought if you hurt us you can scare us. We don’t frickin’ scare; that’s the bottom line.

We’ll go out here; we’ll fight alongside our friends and allies, and we’re gonna keep right on fightin’ until they’re sick of us, leave us alone.

You’re buyin’ time; you’re a great example for our country right now. It’s got some problems; you know it and I know it. It’s got problems that we don’t have in the military.

You just hold the line, my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines. You just hold the line until our country gets back to understandin’ and respectin’ each other and showin’ it, of being friendly to one another, that Americans owe to one another. We’re so doggone lucky to be Americans.

We got two powers: the power of inspiration, and you’ll get the power of inspiration back; you have the power of intimidation, and that’s you, if someone wants to screw with our families, and our country, or our allies.

So thanks so much for being out here; you completely took me by surprise. That’s good; keep the old guys like me guessing. The only reason I came back, I flunked retirement, okay? The only reason I came back was to serve alongside young people like you who are so selfless, and frankly, so rambunctious. It’s a pleasure to be around you all.

You take care of each other out here, okay? We call ‘em in the Naval, “you take care of your shipmates out here”, okay? Take care of each other. It can get old, it can get hot; you can get sloppy, you can get complacent; don’t let it happen, okay.

Thank all of you. Listen to your NCOs, okay?

According to Jared Keller writing at Task & Purpose, Mattis’s remarks were delivered in Jordan on August 23. At New York Magazine’s Intelligencer, Benjamin Hart explains: “Footage of the remarks was first flagged by Defense One’s Kevin Baron. It was posted to a Facebook page called ‘U.S. Army W.T.F. Moments.’”


CIA keeping a watchful eye on. . .its director!

Posted: 26 Aug 2017 07:49 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)

This Washington Post story is called “At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally.” It sounds like the CIA is spying on its own director. If there is such a thing as the “deep state,” I think we have sighted it.

According to Post reporter Greg Miller, “Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, requiring the Counterintelligence Mission Center to report directly to him.” That’s one way of putting it. A more honest way would be to acknowledge that the investigation in question is actually a broad counterintelligence probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The media and its Democratic allies would have us believe that Russian interference in that election is the greatest, most ominous intelligence caper of all time. Even if it falls somewhat short of that billing, as it almost certainly does, why shouldn’t the head of the CIA take a “special interest” in the matter?

The Post and the Democrats can’t have it both ways. Russian interference in the 2016 election can’t be both an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a hostile foreign power’s intelligence operatives and a matter as to which the CIA director should take little interest.

I’m sure the Post, as well as Trump’s enemies in the CIA, would like Pompeo to recuse himself from the investigation, as Jeff Sessions recused himself at the Justice Department. But there’s no reason why he should.

Sessions recused himself because of testimony he gave regarding the Russian ambassador and, perhaps, because he was part of the Trump campaign team. Pompeo has given no problematic testimony about Russia and was not part of the Trump campaign.

Unlike Sessions, he did not even provide Trump an early endorsement. Even when Trump became the presumptive nominee, Pompeo would say only that he would “support the nominee of the Republican Party because Hillary Clinton cannot be president of the United States.”

That was then. Now, Pompeo works closely with President Trump, as one should want a CIA to do. But does this mean he is going to compromise the investigation into the 2016 election in order to help Trump politically?

There is no reason to think so. The anti-Trump, anti-Pompeo leakers at the CIA acknowledge that Pompeo has not impeded the investigation. However, they express concern “about what he might do if the CIA uncovered new information potentially damaging to Trump and Pompeo were forced to choose between protecting the agency or the president.” The fear, as one of them, put it, is “that if you were passing on something too dicey [to Pompeo] he would go to the White House with it.”

The fear is absurd. If the Trump’s enemies in the CIA, the FBI, or the Mueller dream team ever come up with anything damaging to Trump, the president will read about it in the Washington Post and the New York Times before anyone has time to “go to the White House with it.”

Moreover, executive-order guidelines prohibit the CIA from passing information to the White House “for the purpose of affecting the political process in the United States.” Neither the Post nor its sources offer any reason to believe that Pompeo would violate this order. In lieu of such evidence or analysis, the Post’s Miller ends up whining about Pompeo’s social conservatism, as if it is somehow relevant.

Miller’s piece contains this bit of unintended irony: In addition to the importance of the Russia investigation, the other reason the CIA has given for Pompeo’s active participation in the matter is concern about leaks. The fact that CIA officials are smearing the director in the pages of the Washington Post, going so far as to say he can’t be trusted to follow executive-order guidelines, strongly suggests that Pompeo’s concern about leaks is well-founded.

If CIA employees are going to keep a “watchful eye” on their director, they shouldn’t object if their director keeps a watchful eye on them.


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