Category Archives: Newsroom


Category: Newsroom

32-Year-Old Forcibly Transferred From College Ministry To Singles’ Ministry | The Babylon Bee

According to sources, Freeman, who dabbled in community college for a few semesters in his late teens before deciding it wasn’t for him, rode his longboard into the college ministry’s building as usual for Wednesday Bible study. College pastor Philip Huxley, whom Freeman affectionately calls “Preacha Hux,” was waiting at the door with several members of the security team to escort the unemployed Freeman to the church’s singles’ ministry on the other side of the property.

While Freeman initially resisted, throwing his flat-billed cap on the ground in disgust and shouting phrases like, “You’re killing me, Smalls,” and “Ice cold, Preacha Hux, ICE COLD,” eventually Huxley and his associate pastor were able to calm him down and gently coax him into the singles’ ministry Bible study by offering him Mountain Dew and a yo-yo.

This might ring familiar to anyone who’s been here long enough to remember Sheila. I certainly thought of her when I read it. Well done! My only complaint is to the reference of the singles group being male-heavy. I… don’t think that’s true in most churches.


Category: Newsroom

‘Charging Bull’ sculptor says ‘Fearless Girl’ distorts his art. He’s fighting back. – The Washington Post

The project is about “girl power,” she said, a message to corporate boards on Wall Street with a dearth of women members “that we are here, that we are heard, that we are permanent.”

They also drew inspiration from Di Modica’s surprise installment, albeit with a permit, and dropped her off in the middle of the night. The girl quickly became an online sensation, earning praise from Chelsea Clinton and actress Jessica Chastain and drawing its own swarm of women and girls who felt inspired.

The plaque at the feet of “Fearless Girl” reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.”

This overt reference to State Street’s SHE Index could contribute to Di Modica insistence that “Fearless Girl” is nothing more than marketing trickery orchestrated by the firm’s New York advertising partner, McCann.

“That is not a symbol!” the 76-year-old Sicilian immigrant told the New York Post and Market Watch in March.

New York City’s relationship with its bread and butter industry is really quite fascinating. It’s analogous in some ways to mining towns’ relationship with the mining industries that often don’t treat them well.

Of course, Wall Street does actually treat New York reasonably well, all things considered. Certainly better than Anaconda ever treated Montana, or Shell treats Louisiana. And in both places, when the chips are down, they know who butters their bread.

It was a really fascinating thing after Deepwater Horizon, when folks everywhere seemed to be saying that we must halt offshore drilling. Everywhere except Louisiana, which had paid the heftiest price for the disaster. To this day they have not forgiven BP. But still, drill baby drill.

They need it. The joy of being as relatively privileged as New York City is that they don’t. They can be wealthy and sanctimoniously resentful of its source.


Category: Newsroom

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Trump picks trade advocate to be ambassador to China (New York Times)

Mr. Branstad, whose selection was first reported by Bloomberg News and confirmed on condition of anonymity on Wednesday by two people with direct knowledge, is close to President Xi Jinping, whom he has known for more than three decades. They met in 1985, when Mr. Branstad was serving his first term as governor of Iowa and Mr. Xi was a 31-year-old rural official in Hebei Province, studying modern American agriculture, including hog and corn farming in Iowa.

Mr. Branstad has courted China as governor, promoting his state’s farm goods. As ambassador, he would be tasked with managing a complex relationship that Mr. Trump has already indicated he is willing to shake up. The president-elect’s call with Taiwan’s president last week prompted criticism from Beijing, which considers it a breakaway province, and Mr. Trump responded with posts on Twitter attacking China for its trade practices and provocative moves in the South China Sea.

Trump picks Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad — a ‘friend’ of China’s leader — as Beijing ambassador (Washington Post)

Branstad has extensive ties to China and a personal friendship with Chinese President Xi Jinping that dates back decades. If confirmed, the move could go some way to reassure China’s leadership that Trump understands the importance of healthy relations with Beijing.

The Chinese reacted with concern to Trump’s protocol-busting phone call last Friday with Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of Taiwan, an island that China considers a rogue province. Trump repeatedly attacked China on the campaign trail and in a pair of tweets last Sunday over its trade and currency policies, as well as the way it has staked its territorial claims in the South China Sea. He has threatened to slap tariffs of up to 45 percent on Chinese goods if Beijing didn’t “behave.”

The selection of Branstad was first reported by Bloomberg News and confirmed Wednesday by a transition official, who requested anonymity because the nomination had not yet been formally announced.

China’s foreign ministry did not confirm the report, but reacted warmly.

“First of all, I would like to say that Mr. Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people and we welcome him to play a greater role in promoting Sino-U. S. relations,” spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news conference.

“The U.S. ambassador to China is an important bridge between the U.S. government and the Chinese government. No matter who is in this position, we are willing to work with him to push forward the sound, steady and steady development of Sino-U. S. relations.”

usac-snark


Category: Newsroom
What happened – and didn’t happen – in Austria.

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Category: Newsroom

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{Crossposted From OT} (more…)


Category: Newsroom

So this happened:

President-elect Donald Trump accused the “Hamilton” cast Saturday of harassing Vice president-elect Mike Pence at a performance Friday evening after the actors called on Pence to “uphold our American values.”

“Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing.This should not happen!” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.

I do not feel bad for Mike Pence.

The reasons I don’t feel bad for Pence is that he signed on with Trump and has some particularly bad views. I, like a lot of unclean folks, recognize that I have some “particularly bad views” as well and so there is a tendency to see ourselves in him even if we don’t like Trump. That being said, he signed on with Trump, so oh well.

Above comments refer to the booing. I think there’s a time/place argument where there’s a difference between booing at a show and booing at a rally, but it’s kind of murky. I thought the cast speech at the end was fine.

Notwithstanding the fineness of the cast speech, and my ambivalence on the booing, I believe that Donald Trump won the exchange for at least five reasons: (1) To the uncommitted, the hecklers do not come across as the good guys, (2) he wins any time the totalitarian card is pulled out on something people don’t care about, (3) Pence is not himself nationally unpopular, and (4) More important stories are being missed. Oh, and (5) increased tribal solidarity among Trump’s supporters and wobblers.

The only upshot I see is tribal solidarity among his opponents, which I don’t think was previously lacking. Maybe they helped get some of Pence’s past and/or present views on gay rights out there, though not in a way I think is especially helpful.

That being said, this is not a game-changer and is not huge. It’s indicative of potential problems, but right now it’s like a thirty yard kickoff return called back on a penalty. Not off to a good start, but life goes on.


Category: Newsroom
A few random observations.

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Politico says there is no Shy Trump Voter. Morning Consult says that there is, but that it’s not sufficient to close the gap with Hillary Clinton.

One of the thoughts that has been crossing my mind is the phantom Clinton voter. Who would be afraid of saying that they plan to vote for Clinton? Well, some Republicans might. But maybe the bigger goal mine is Clinton wives with Trump husbands:

I don’t know how widespread this is, but it’s an interesting phenomenon all the same and could cut in to whatever Shy Trump Voter margin exists out there. My final prediction is that Clinton will win by six, outperforming the polls by a bit. It may prove to be going out on a limb. However, I think the reasons for the disparity are probably not shy voters but a combination of organization and harder-to-reach Democratic voters. Basically, the same factor that lead polls to underestimate Obama in 2012.


One thing we’re likely to learn this election is whether the swing voter is, in fact, a thing of the past. I believe its death has been exaggerated, and that at least a part of the reason for greater alignment is candidates being in-sync with their party. If there is ever an election which might shake some people loose, it’s this one. The non-GOP public has been very patient with the GOP in not associated it with its standard-bearer. It’s unclear whether that will carry over to the election. And whether they might view the GOP as a hedge against also-unpopular Hillary Clinton.


I follow a lot of conservatives on Twitter who didn’t like Trump in the primary. Some intentionally, some just kind of ended up in the same place. Different people have responded to everything differently. Some came around to Trump. Others are talking about pox and a pair of houses. Others still are saying that they would prefer Hillary but will punt by voting third party. Some are now With Her.

It seems not coincidental that ethnic and racial minorities are going the last route. Most whites (including Jewish) are going in one of the first. It’s actually a stronger predictor than “How conservative are they?” is. While saying things like “Voting for third party is white male privilege” leads to things like white men lecturing women and minorities about privilege, it seems noteworthy all the same.


There was a case to be made for Hillary Clinton’s courting of the frustrated Republicans early on. There was at least the perception of a chance of a landslide. As time has progressed, however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that it wasn’t actually helping her as much as downticket Republicans. Which, as one can imagine, frustrates downticket Democrats. Especially given their historical hyperfocus on the presidency that has left congress shut out of what could have been a majority.

Clinton has gone more sharply against Republican officeholders, but never did go full-throttle. I have a theory as to why.

For all of the talk of how divided the GOP is, there is a bit of a battle brewing on the Democratic side. Democrats seem oddly sanguine about Sanders getting way further in the primary than he should have because he lost in the end, but that should be an alarm for some of the more moderate members. Combine that with Fight for Fifteen and the ascent of Elizabeth Warren, and there could be some trouble ahead once Trump is no longer in the picture.

Or maybe not. It’s hard to say. But one of the things we’ve learned through various illicit releases about Hillary Clinton is that despite being reckless in some regards, is very cautious in others. They are keenly aware of their vulnerabilities. Overly so, at times. It’s not out of the question that she might be worried about the above. And another sense I’ve gotten from what I’ve learned is that she may be, in her heard of hearts, a moderate that is genuinely uncomfortable with the leftier segment of her party. More than once, I’ve gotten the impression her folks might hate hippies more than a lot of Republicans do.

If this is the case, then I actually find myself wondering if she’s not courting our votes precisely in preparation for the coming conflict. I don’t know what my partisan future holds, though if I do jump it will likely be to keep the Hillary Faction in charge up against the Warren Faction. Not out of any particular love for her, of course, but if she could once again find herself in my eye as the thing that stands in between the future and a wrong turn. Meanwhile, doubling down to enthuse the youth vote and disaffected left is something that she’s seen can backfire on a political party. People like me would only strengthen her faction.

Whatever the case, while I don’t know how I’m going to vote tomorrow I have found myself more comfortable with the prospect of her leadership. Maybe corrupt, but within normal parameters. And on the political spectrum, even moreso perhaps.


Donald Trump has taken the lead in the Yardsign poll. He started off ahead 5-3, then at some point it became 10-9 for Clinton. It’s been all Trump since. Even the guy with the flag put it back out.


Category: Newsroom

Some of you may recall, not all of the students at Liberty University were happy to board the Trump Train:

The group, Liberty United Against Trump, released a statement earlier this week arguing that the school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., had linked the school and Trump. The group noted that any member of the school’s faculty would be fired for bragging about kissing and groping women the way that Trump has.

“A recently uncovered tape revealed his comments bragging about sexually assaulting women,” the statement, which also serves as a petition, reads. “Any faculty or staff member at Liberty would be terminated for such comments, and yet when Donald Trump makes them, President Falwell rushes eagerly to his defense ― taking the name ‘Liberty University’ with him. ‘We’re all sinners,’ Falwell told the media, as if sexual assault is a shoulder-shrugging issue rather than an atrocity which plagues college campuses across America, including our own.”

ipad_retinaJunior Fallwell responded diplomatically. There have, however, been other incidents surrounding the schism between Falwell and the rest of the school. The first involves a former regent who opposed Trump and later resigned. The second involved a newspaper column the university pulled for “redundancy.”

This lead to some calls about college political correctness and “Why aren’t the anti-SJW people condemning this!!!!!”

The regent who quit is a non-issue as far as this goes, but the newspaper column story is pretty sketchy (as it pertains to free speech). I guess I do hold Liberty to a lower standard because, contra its name, you know what you’re getting when you’re going there. It’s not Pensacola Christian College or anything, but it is what it is. And it’s private. Yes, I also hold Oberlin to a lower standard for those reasons. State universities, and elite future-leaders-of-our-country universities, though, deserve more scrutiny.

All of that said, I’m totally cool making Liberty University the exemplar of the Safe Space mentality. When the University of Michigan does something questionable, we can call it “Acting like Liberty U.”

Sound fair?


Category: Newsroom

A guest-post by Maddie Fitzgerald

I have always been against Trump. I consider him vulgar and unbefitting of the office of the presidency. But sorry, I just need to take a moment to tell everybody to get a grip. It’s not about defending him. I don’t like him. I just feel compelled to respond to and defend him from every single criticism from the media.

The media. Remember them? You should never forget that they hate not just Trump, but all Republicans. that’s why it’s extremely important that Republicans take a stand against media criticisms that are used against Trump today, but might be used against Trump tomorrow. I don’t want to defend Trump, believe me, but somebody has to keep the media in check.

The latest example is Trump’s comments about setting up internment camps for Mormons. Yes, this sounds bad. But the important thing to remember is that the internment camps were originally put in place by FDR, a Democrat. Yes, internment camps are wrong, but where were they then? Is this really an objection to internment camps, or is this just an objection to the fact that it’s Donald Trump, and not their icon, that is proposing it? Nobody is asking this question because everybody is too busy freaking out over what was really just Trump floating an idea. Compare this to Democrats, who have actually implemented policies that would put Mormons in prison if they refuse to bake wedding cakes for gay couples (and refuse to pay fines). I’m not at all in favor of Trump’s proposal, but let’s get real: Are we really supposed to believe that it’s Donald Trump who is against religious freedom here?

This is on the heels of Trump’s previous comments about dropping nuclear bombs on cities that vote against him. Once again, the elites and media are taking a legitimate criticism (that it would be had for a president to drop nuclear bombs on American cities) and blowing it completely out of proportion. Once again, the media is responding to Trump literally and unseriously. Obviously, Trump is not going to detonate a bomb on an American city. Hillary Clinton called tens of millions of Americans deplorable while everybody freaks out over an off-the-cuff hypothetical annihilation of Chicago.

More than anything, however, it was the story about taking CNN’s Leigh Horvit “behind the shed” and “having her shot” that caught the media’s attention. Lordy, lordy, is there anthing the media won’t try to make themselves the story of? First and foremost, the news cycle has to be about them as much as possible. Trump is threatening to kill a lot of people at any given time, and while the media panics every time, when it’s their lives that are threatened they take it to a whole new level of hysterics. Even while Hillary Clinton was refusing to grant press conferences, the media became positively fixated on loose chatter of putting newspapers out of business and having reporters shot.

Frankly, it has grown tiresome to watch conservatives fall into the liberal media narrative over and over again. They ask leading questions like “Are you concerned about your lack of Mormon support?” and get the answer they were hoping for. It may be Trump’s fault for failing to avoid the minefield, but the media are the ones laying the lines. Conservatives usually know better, but they are so wrapped up in their Trump-hatred that they can’t see the obvious.

I’m really not saying all of this to defend Trump. I am simply concerned over the degree of deference we’re giving to the press here. Right now a lot of you think it’s okay because it’s Trump, but what happens the next time a conservative talks about removing disfavored minorities from society? The media is going to use this as an example of why it’s wrong, because that’s their way, and conservatives are just handing it to them.


Category: Newsroom

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