PowerLine -> Why People Hate Big Business

PowerLine -> Why People Hate Big Business

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest


  • Why People Hate Big Business
  • How Churches Die
  • Investigate this (4)
  • Perez says
  • Sunday morning coming down
Why People Hate Big Business

Posted: 29 Oct 2017 11:15 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

I missed this story several days ago about General Electric’s former CEO Jeff Immelt, who always spouted the party line about climate change and the “renewable energy” racket:

For much of Jeff Immelt’s 16-year run atop one of the world’s largest conglomerates, an empty business jet followed his GE-owned plane on some trips to destinations around the world, according to people familiar with the matter. The two jets sometimes parked far apart so they wouldn’t attract attention, and flight crews were told to not openly discuss the empty plane, the people said.

The second plane was a spare in case Mr. Immelt’s jet had mechanical problems. A GE spokeswoman said that “two planes were used on limited occasions for business-critical or security purposes.” Mr. Immelt didn’t respond to requests for comment.

GE’s new CEO John Flannery is cutting out this nonsense. Perhaps it might have made sense if Immelt delivered stellar returns for GE shareholders, but GE has been one of the worst performing blue–chip stocks of the last 15 years. In fact the value of GE stock fell by half during Immelt’s 15 years as CEO, and is down 25 percent just this year alone.

Chaser:

GE may cut dividend

General Electric (GE), often referred to as a stock for widows and orphans because of the steady and generous dividend, is coming full circle and not in a positive way.

Wall Street analysts are pounding the drum warning that its dividend, yielding 4.15%, may get slashed as CEO John Flannery, who took over in August, looks to cut costs. Because GE is the third-largest owned stock among institutional investors, according to our partners at the WSJ Market Data Group, that could impact many Americans either through their 401(k) or plain vanilla index funds.

  

How Churches Die

Posted: 29 Oct 2017 08:25 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)

There’s a saying attributed variously to Robert Conquest or John O’Sullivan that “any institution that is not explicitly right-wing will become left-wing over time.” A good case in point is the Episcopal Church, which was once known as “the Republican Party at prayer,” but which has for the last several decades fallen in line behind every politically correct enthusiasm of the left.

We imagine the conversation in the Episcopal clergy must go something like this:

Bishop: Father Smith, I see that a few parishioners are still showing up for the liturgy on Sundays. Isn’t there something else we can do about this to drive the remaining people away?

Father Smith: Well, I suppose we could double down on the “Star Trek” prayer and use it in every Sundayservice until everyone stops coming: “At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.”*

Bishop: Not sure that will do the trick. ‘The Force’ is great and all, but ironically it just might be too close to the Holy Spirit to be effective.

Father Smith: That’s Star WARS, your excellence, not Star TREK.

Bishop: Well whatever. In either case, their General Conventions are way more intelligent than ours.

Father Smith: I’ve got it! Let’s throw out the honors for George Washington in his old parish in Alexandria!

Bishop: Genius! What didn’t we think of this before?

[*Actual words of Rite II, Eucharistic Prayer C.]

News item:

George Washington’s church to tear down memorial honoring first president

By Stephen Dinan

George Washington was one of the founding members of Christ Church in Alexandria, buying pew No. 5 when the church first opened in 1773, and attending for more than two decades.

This week the church announced it was pulling down a memorial to its one-time vestryman and the country’s first president, saying he and another famous parishioner, Robert E. Lee, have become too controversial and are chasing away would-be parishioners.

While acknowledging “friction” over the decision, the church’s leadership said the twin memorials, which are attached to the wall on either side of the altar, are relics of another era and have no business in a church that proclaims its motto as “All are welcome — no exceptions.”

“The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome. Some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques,” the church leaders said.

Nitwits.

Chaser:

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

—President George Washington, Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, August 21, 1790. Unfortunately, this understanding is nowadays lost on the leadership of the Episcopal Church (among many others).

  

Investigate this (4)

Posted: 29 Oct 2017 06:46 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Doing the work that the mainstream media won’t do, the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross has compiled a useful timeline bearing on what I have been calling the Trump Dossier. Our friendly former FBI Special Agent with two decades of experience in counterintelligence provides related background on the Attorney General Guidelines for National Security Investigations and Foreign Intelligence Collection. “Without an understanding of them,” he says, “it is impossible to understand the import of what happened and what the investigators are looking at and for.” He explains:

The basic distinction in the AG Guidelines is between Preliminary Inquiry (PI) and Full Investigation (FI). There are some other distinctions, but PI/FI governs pretty much everything. The importance of the distinction is twofold:

1. The predication for each is different–there’s a lower threshold for a PI and a higher threshold for an FI, or perhaps it would be better to say that the predication for an FI requires more specificity.

2. The Guidelines specify what investigative techniques can be used for PI/FI. They are different.

The significance is that FISA techniques can only be used under an FI. Therefore, it’s not possible to take advantage of the low threshold for PI in order to abuse FISA–you must satisfy the requirements for an FI.

The point is that it’s not so easy to invent specific and articulable facts of this sort–especially when you’re talking about a presidential candidate. If you put that in the context here, you’ll see how troubling all this “dossier” stuff is. You’ll also see why I keep saying that they “needed” an FI. Nothing else would give them what they really wanted: putatively legal access to Trump communications.

From all this, you can see why I say that the FISA applications are a sort of Holy Grail. Only by reading those can we see how the FIs were justified, and whether they relied on material provided by Steele, whether directly to the FBI or through Fusion GPS. And at that point, we can also judge the truthfulness of the representations that were sworn to in those applications. I don’t say it’s a slam dunk, but that’s another reason to haul the people below Comey before Congressional committees–to find out how those things were evaluated, formulated, etc.

All this that we’ve been discussing explains why the Department of Justice and the FBI simply ignored oversight reporting requirements. Comey admitted that he’d been running an FI investigation for nine months without notifying Congress — which is supposed to be done on a quarterly basis. Right, because neither he nor Lynch nor anyone else in the Obama administration would want GOP Congressmen reading what passed for predication for FIs and FISAs targeting Trump (no matter who the named subject might be). That might have led to awkward questions! Like, Waitaminute, how do you know Trump’s a Russian agent, and who told you that?

  

Perez says

Posted: 29 Oct 2017 06:09 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is not only a lawyer, he served as Secretary of Labor under President Obama and as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Holder Justice Department. It, therefore, makes a certain kind of sense that he was invited to give the sixth annual Birch Bayh Lecture at Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

In his lecture, Perez spoke on the subject of “The Lawyer’s Duty: Social Justice, Racial Justice, Economic Justice.”Lawyers in attendance could even receive continuing legal education credit for hearing Perez out.

However, I hope the students in attendance at Perez’s lecture weren’t listening too closely or taking him too seriously. Perez actually said this (audio below): “The Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution. It doesn’t have to be there.”

The Washington Free Beacon’s Brent Scher posted the audio and reports on Perez’s ruminations here. Scher adds: “The DNC did not respond to an inquiry into whether Perez truly thinks the ‘Electoral College is not a creation of the Constitution.’”

The Free Beacon is in the news for its acknowledgment that it paid Fusion GPS for research on Donald Trump. Although many have sought to sow confusion about the involvement of a GOP candidate that now turns out instead to be the Free Beacon, please note this: “All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele. Nor did we have any knowledge of the relationship between Fusion GPS and the Democratic National Committee, Perkins Coie, and the Clinton campaign.”

  

Sunday morning coming down

Posted: 29 Oct 2017 05:52 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)With the coming of Halloween on Tuesday, it may be an opportune moment for a diversion. If you listen to the right radio stations at this time of the year, you will hear a few songs associated with the holiday. Probably foremost among them is “I Put a Spell on You” by the artist known as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. I’d like to take the liberty of revisiting the song this year just for the pleasure of it.

Here is the improbable backstory offered by Bill Diehl at AllMusic: “Hawkins originally envisioned the tune as a refined ballad. After he and his New York session aces (notably guitarist Mickey Baker and saxist Sam ‘The Man’ Taylor) had imbibed to the point of no return, Hawkins screamed, grunted, and gurgled his way through the tune with utter drunken abandon.”

Screamin’ Jay recalled: “[T]he producer brought in ribs and chicken and got everybody drunk, and we came out with this weird version … I don’t even remember making the record. Before, I was just a normal blues singer. I was just Jay Hawkins. It all sort of just fell in place. I found out I could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death.”

The song was first recorded during a session in late 1955. However, that version was kept in the vaults for a long time. In 1956 Hawkins took another stab at the song and produced the hit version. You can hear Screamin’ Jay screaming on what I assume is that version in the video below. To me, it sounds like a novelty song.

Who first heard the possibilities in the song? I’m not sure, but I think it must have been Nina Simone. Simone turned it into a tortured love song (the sax solo is by Jerome Richardson, I think) in 1965. She titled her album of that year after the song. Her version is a keeper.

In 1968, the British rocker Arthur Brown harked back to the theatricality of Screamin’ Jay on The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. “I Put a Spell on You” fit right in.

That same year Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded the song for their debut album. Playing lead guitar and shredding his voice on the vocal, John Fogerty takes possession of the song. It’s no joke. I love this version.

Even if it doesn’t get any better than Simone’s or CCR’s version, it’s not right to stop time in 1968. The song has been covered by many artists over the years. Joe Cocker recorded a fine version in 2004 with a little help from Eric Clapton on guitar (though in a way it leaves us stuck in the sixties). With a little encouragement, I could easily keep going. Nevertheless, not wanting to beat it into the ground, I’m going to wind it up here this morning and encourage you to pursue it further on your own if you are so inclined (and I hope you are).

  

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