Julian Assange may be stuck in the Ecuadorean embassy… forever

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange hasn’t been in the news quite as much lately, mostly due to the fact that he’s been stuck in a self-imposed prison, seeking refuge from the long arm of the law in the Ecuadorean embassy in London for more than five years now. But just this week, as Ed reported yesterday, there seemed to be new hope for Assange. The hot rumor was that Ecuador may have … [Read more...]

Breaking: House reauthorizes NSA mass surveillance statute, kills reform

In the end, the dustup over Donald Trump’s contradictory tweets did little to derail reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act’s most controversial section. The House passed a bill giving Section 702’s mass surveillance capabilities another five-year run on a bipartisan vote, 256-164: JUST IN: After Trump tweets throw FISA surveillance re-authorization vote into confusion, U.S. House … [Read more...]

Tax cut dividend: Wal-Mart to pay bonuses, raise minimum wage for employees in wake of GOP bill

The biggest private employer in the United States, one synonymous with blue-collar America, is handing out cash to its workers and Democrats think running against the tax bill will be a slam dunk for them next year? As of last night, according to a running list being kept by Americans for Tax Reform, more than a million employees among dozens of companies are getting bonuses inspired by tax … [Read more...]

Hundreds of 7-Eleven stores had some surprise visitors this week… from ICE

If you happened to be lining up for coffee yesterday morning at a 7-Eleven convenience store in California, D.C. or a few other locations, you might have encountered some unexpected activity. ICE agents rolled up on more than one hundred of these establishments, cleared out customers, paused the entry of other shoppers and began going over the ID, citizenship status and paperwork of the employees. … [Read more...]

50 shades of revenge porn? Greitens accused of extortion in affair

An explosive scandal in Missouri erupted last night in which the tamest part was an extramarital affair. Governor Eric Greitens, the subject of presidential speculation in GOP circles, admitted to the affair after KMOV reported on it yesterday, but Greitens has bigger worries. According to a secret recording made by the former husband of his paramour, Greitens threatened her with revenge porn if … [Read more...]

WH about-face: Trump now opposes 702 renewal? Update: “With that being said…”; Update: “Disarray”; Update: Pelosi tells Ryan to pull bill

Was Donald Trump for the PATRIOT Act before he was against it? Later today, the House will vote on reauthorizing the controversial Section 702 of the law, which has come under fire for its potentially overbroad reach. Opponents of the current law have offered a “USA Rights” amendment to the bill aiming to curtail government surveillance authority and jurisdiction, which has picked up … [Read more...]

It’s happening. California schedules recall of Democrat tax hike author

Last year, after California legislators passed yet another massive gas tax hike, the people seemed to have finally hit the boiling point. In addition to launching a referendum to repeal the tax increase, a movement began to attempt to recall state Senator Josh Newman, widely viewed as one of the key players who allowed the tax package to pass without a single Republican vote. (Newman holds a seat … [Read more...]

Oof: Steve Bannon’s popularity collapses among Republicans

He’ll return to Trump’s, and populists’, good graces eventually. But with numbers like these, probably not soon enough to have avoided hurting Breitbart’s bottom line, had they kept him on. So they didn’t. Bannon thought he was Michael Corleone when really he was Sal Tessio. I can imagine him whimpering to Rebekah Mercer, “Can you get me off the hook? For old … [Read more...]

Meghan McCain to Michael Wolff: You’re why people hate journalists, you know

Is this the first hostile interview he’s had since his media tour began? Other reporters have nudged him about his sloppy errors but McCain seems sincerely skeptical of him. I don’t know if there’s history between Wolff and her dad or if she’s annoyed on principle by the book’s slipperiness but she came to play. When she accuses him of having a credibility problem, … [Read more...]

Steven Pinker: Here’s how political correctness winds up creating its own antagonists

This is a week old so forgive me if you’ve seen it already but I just came across it today. In this clip, Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker makes the case that political correctness actually winds up creating its own antagonists as curious students discover certain unspeakable truths have been hidden from them. Pinker doesn’t offer any precise definitions of political … [Read more...]

Shock poll: Oprah 48, Trump 38

The shock is that she’s under 50 percent. Universally known, widely well liked, and she can’t crack a majority against a guy with a 40 percent job approval? C’mon. On the other hand, this comes from Rasmussen, the most consistently pro-Trump pollster out there. the outfit touted by POTUS himself whenever he wants to point to some middling data to counter the terrible numbers from … [Read more...]

Priorities: ObamaCare repeal, we hardly knew ye

Remember how Republicans planned to circle back around to repealing ObamaCare in 2018? Good times, good times. After repealing the most unpopular part of the Affordable Care Act in its tax-reform bill, the GOP seems satisfied to stand pat on the status quo, according to The Hill: The chances of repealing ObamaCare this year are fading further, with top Republicans saying they hardly discussed … [Read more...]

Psychiatrists: Discussing President Trump’s mental state is how we’ll prevent the rise of another Hitler

Psychiatrists Brandy Lee and Leonard Glass are leading a campaign to convince the public that President Trump is a danger to the country. In a piece written for Politico Magazine today, they argue that their efforts do not violate the longstanding “Goldwater rule” against making a diagnosis of a public figure without examining that individual in person. The Goldwater rule was put in … [Read more...]

Have you read “Fire and Fury” yet? No… the other one

Confession time. I have not read the new Michael Wolff book, nor do I expect it to make its way to the top of my already extensive list of books I want to get around to reading. From what I’ve seen in various reviews and interviews I’m not missing out on much, but plenty of other people are snapping it up. Unfortunately for some of them, they didn’t look into the details very … [Read more...]

Will conservatives find a strange, new respect for pork-barrel spending?

Never let it be said that liberals have a monopoly on politically correct nomenclature. After Donald Trump raised the question of revisiting the ban on “earmarks” — the formerly polite reference to pork-barrel line items that favor home districts and states — some on Capitol Hill wagged a finger over the term, as The Hill reported last night: Momentum is building in … [Read more...]

Trump on Michael Wolff: We’re going to take a strong look at our libel laws

Does POTUS know that regular people can be sued for defamation for the things they say or write, not just media outlets? Someone on Twitter joked a few days ago that if libel laws suddenly became more lax Barack Obama might end up owning Trump Tower. That’s an exaggeration, but it’s undeniable that the biggest loudmouth loose cannon in American culture, a man famous for lobbing … [Read more...]

Revised Obama presidential library looks like the stump of the Washington Monument

The Obama presidential library unveiled a new design proposal yesterday. Chicago Tribune columnist Blair Kamis says the new design is intended to satisfy critics of the previous design released last year. Addressing criticism that their plans would undermine the serene landscape of historic Jackson Park, backers of the Obama Presidential Center on Tuesday revealed major revisions that include a … [Read more...]

NYC Mayor to sue “Big Oil” for causing Hurricane Sandy or something

Many people still foolishly blame things like lightning strikes, tornadoes, tsunamis and hurricanes on the random vagaries of fate or simply describe them as acts of God. But not the intrepid Mayor of New York City, who apparently also doubles as a sleuth in his spare time. He’s been investigating the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy for half a decade now, seeking out the cause of the storm. And … [Read more...]