Miller On Trade and Immigration. Robert Massimi.

 

Featured

A rising White House power: true-believer Stephen Miller

Stephen Miller at the White House press briefing room podium. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Guess who’s likely to stick around for all four or eight years, and will be empowered in 2018? Stephen Miller, the true-believer senior policy adviser, who trumps Trump on hardline immigration views — and may outlast almost everyone.

  • The two issues Miller cares and knows most about, immigration and trade, will be front and center.
  • And Miller channels (and believes) Trump campaign rhetoric more than anyone internally.
  • Although some of Miller’s allies speculate that he could one day wind up as chief of staff, he’s seen more as an advocate and adviser than manager or leader. He works super-hard, but doesn’t delegate.

Some West Wing officials are putting pressure on economic adviser Gary Cohn to stay: He would be vital to a push for a big infrastructure package, one of the year’s policy centerpieces. And he’s a crucial goalie on trade.

  • But Wall Street sources tell us Cohn may depart.
  • Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell — like Cohn, a major moderating influence — has said she’s leaving early next year.
  • Finding big establishment names to replace them will be hard, especially with the tax cut already in the win column.
  • If National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster leaves in the dominoes that would follow the expected departure of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, one possible replacement is hardliner John Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. under President George W. Bush.

Among key advisers likely to stay:

  • Chief of Staff John Kelly, who has imposed order and seems to enjoy running the place, despite occasional frustrations with the boss.
  • Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who is good at engaging Trump in briefings.
  • Defense Secretary James Mattis, a moderate voice in Situation Room meetings.
  • Communications Director Hope Hicks, the closest adviser — period.
  • Staff Secretary Rob Porter, respected for his intellect and instincts.
  • Marc Short, the legislative affairs director, coming off the big tax-cut win.
  • Nick Ayers, chief of staff to Vice President Pence.

Go deeper … “Scoop: White House reshuffle expected in new year,” by Jonathan Swan:

Featured

South Korea moves against Bitcoin

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

South Korea has proposed legislation that would prohibit South Korean entities from providing settlement services to complete cryptocurrency transactions, per The Verge. The country also handed down rules earlier this year that restrict cryptocurrency investments by financial firms. And South Korea’s government has hinted that it might want to ban cryptocurrency exchanges entirely in the future.

Why it matters: It’s a sign that developed nations with strict monetary controls are becoming hyper-aware of the implications of an uncontrolled cryptocurrency market. But while nations could make it difficult for their citizens to interact and do business with cryptocurrency by implementing regulations preventing interactions with traditional financial institutions, it might be impossible to ever completely cut off access.

Featured

Behind the scenes: choosing the new 💩💁😂

There’s 🍞, 🥐 and 🥖, but where’s the bagel? AP Tech Writer Barbara Ortutay looks at the emoji approval process (complete with lobbying and campaigning).

How can our emotional vocabulary be complete without a teddy bear, a lobster, a petri dish or a tooth?

  • “These are the kind of questions that trigger heated debates … among members of the group burdened with deciding which new emojis make it onto our phones and computer screens each year.”
  • “The Unicode Consortium is tasked with setting the global standard for the icons. … The nonprofit group [is] mostly made up of people from large tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook.”
  • Why it matters: “Not since the printing press has something changed written language as much as emojis have, says Lauren Collister, a scholarly communications librarian at the University of Pittsburgh. ‘Emoji is one way language is growing.'”
  • Former N.Y. Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee “didn’t understand how there could be no dumpling. … The process took almost two years, including research, many meetings and a written, illustrated proposal that reads a bit like an academic paper, complete with research on dumpling history and popularity.”
  • “But thanks largely to her efforts, the 🥟 was added to the Unicode Standard this year. “

Featured

Trump just fired the entire White House HIV/AIDS council

An LA protest in 2009. Photo: David McNew / Getty

There is currently no Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS as President Trump fired the last 16 members on Wednesday, the Daily Beast reports. Six other members had resigned in June.

A grain of salt: Trump had renewed the council’s brief through next year and PACHA advisor Gabriel Maldonado told the WashingtonBlade, “Like any administration, they want their own people there. Many of us were Obama appointees. I was an Obama appointee and my term was continuing until 2018.”

Reaction: Scott Schoettes, a former PACHA member who resigned in June, tweeted: “Remaining #HIV/AIDS council members booted by @realDonaldTrump. No respect for their service. Dangerous that #Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed. #WeObject #PACHA6 #Resist”

Climate Change, The Lies, The Fake Statistics and The People who promote It. Robert Massimi.

Graph from p3768 of J. Hansen et al.: Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms.

Robert M. Massimi.

I am no scientist, I do not even like science. It was the least favorite of my subjects in school. Although I generally like a good argument, I always found science to not have  a definite answer to any of the problems. We do know that science abhors a vacuum, in other words, cure something and mother nature comes back with another problem two fold!

I do love history however and one thing I can go on about for a long time is the different periods of the world. Some of those periods include a different time with different, changing environments. To me, the world goes round and the world is constantly changing, and so is the environment. Some scientists I know say no to climate change, some say yes to climate change. Which is it? Can you tell me for sure?

We do know Al Gore fudged the numbers as he got caught doing it. He gets a Nobel peace prize for lying. Bill Gates talks about global warming like it is a certainty.   The fact is ,I know some smart ass scientists, people who had aids bottled up back in the early 80’s, scientists who work for NASA as well as some who work for the CIA. All have different opinions.

I have always believed like the Dark Age, the Stone Age, the Ice Age, our world will keep evolving and changing. I think what is happening today is a result of the world turning and whats around the bend is not due to global warming.

Robert Massimi.

Does record breaking winter cold cast doubt on climate predictions of milder winters? Could ANY weather or climate shift cast doubt on the dominance of that wicked little trace molecule? Apparently not, according to leading climate explainers.

It’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real

Sammy Roth, USA TODAY Published 5:13 p.m. ET Dec. 28, 2017

This week’s cold snap has brought record-low temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snow to much of the United States. But 2017 is still on track to be the second- or third-hottest year ever recorded globally — and scientists say climate change is to blame.

Even this week’s cold weather is probably being caused at least in part by global warming, said Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan.

The Arctic is warming much faster than most of the planet, leading to a dramatic decline in the amount of sea ice that covers the region each winter. That loss of ice has allowed more heat to transfer from the ocean to the atmosphere, causing a weakening of the polar vortex winds over the Arctic. Those winds usually “insulate the rest of the Northern Hemisphere” from freezing Arctic temperatures, Overpeck said. But as the winds have weakened, it’s gotten easier for freezing Arctic air to swoop further south, he said.

“That is due to the warming of the Arctic, which in turn is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases and primarily burning of fossil fuels,” Overpeck said in an interview.

Arctic warming may also be contributing to the long-term drying of the U.S. Southwest, although the science on that front is less certain, Overpeck said. Unlike most of the rest of North America, the Southwest is warmer than usual right now, and 2017 will “without a doubt” go down as one of the region’s hottest years ever measured, Overpeck said.

“This is contributing to our record wildfires in California, and the drying out of vegetation that’s leading to those wildfires, and the drying out of the Southwest’s water,” he said.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2017/12/28/its-cold-outside-but-doesnt-mean-climate-change-isnt-real/987948001/

So what happens if global temperatures take a real plunge for a sustained period? Don’t worry, the explainers have that one covered as well – James Hansen, former NASA GISS Director, published a paper which suggests global warming will trigger a short ice age in the near future (see the graph at the top of the page).

Global temperature becomes an unreliable diagnostic of planetary condition as the ice melt rate increases. Global energy imbalance (Fig. 15b) is a more meaningful measure of planetary status as well as an estimate of the climate forcing change required to stabilize climate. Our calculated present energy imbalance of ∼ 0.8 W m−2 (Fig. 15b) is larger than the observed 0.58 ± 0.15 W m−2 during 2005–2010 (Hansen et al., 2011). The discrepancy is likely accounted for by excessive ocean heat uptake at low latitudes in our model, a problem related to the model’s slow surface response time (Fig. 4) that may be caused by excessive small-scale ocean mixing.

Large scale regional cooling occurs in the North Atlantic and Southern oceans by mid-century (Fig. 16) for 10-year doubling of freshwater injection. A 20-year doubling places similar cooling near the end of this century, 40 years ear- lier than in our prior simulations (Fig. 7), as the factor of 4 increase in current freshwater from Antarctica is a 40-year advance.

Cumulative North Atlantic freshwater forcing in sverdrup years (Sv years) is 0.2 Sv years in 2014, 2.4 Sv years in 2050, and 3.4Sv years (its maximum) prior to 2060 (Fig. S14). The critical issue is whether human-spurred ice sheet mass loss can be approximated as an exponential process during the next few decades. Such nonlinear behavior depends upon amplifying feedbacks, which, indeed, our climate simulations reveal in the Southern Ocean. …

Read more: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/16/3761/2016/acp-16-3761-2016.pdf

Global warming is an infinitely flexible, unscientific, unfalsifiable theory which can be stretched to accommodate any observation. Some Climate Scientists even shamelessly reject the very concept of scientific falsification with regard to the conduct of climate science.

1. Methods aren’t always necessarily falsifiable

Falsifiability is the idea that an assertion can be shown to be false by an experiment or an observation, and is critical to distinctions between “true science” and “pseudoscience”.

Climate models are important and complex tools for understanding the climate system. Are climate models falsifiable? Are they science? A test of falsifiability requires a model test or climate observation that shows global warming caused by increased human-produced greenhouse gases is untrue. It is difficult to propose a test of climate models in advance that is falsifiable.

Science is complicated – and doesn’t always fit the simplified version we learn as children.

This difficulty doesn’t mean that climate models or climate science are invalid or untrustworthy. Climate models are carefully developed and evaluatedbased on their ability to accurately reproduce observed climate trends and processes. This is why climatologists have confidence in them as scientific tools, not because of ideas around falsifiability.

The Conversation: Climate change has changed the way I think about science. Here’s why

No matter what happens to the weather, the climate explainers shamelessly cobble together an explanation which blames bad weather on your sinful lifestyle.

Whatever the observation, the climate explainers have their theory – their infinitely adaptable theory, which they claim is science. Warm weather confirms their worst fears. Cold weather is waved away. Whatever the observation, the explainers shamelessly adapt their theory to provide an explanation, based on their “scientific” theory which cannot be falsified by any conceivable observations, event an abrupt plunge into a new ice age.

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Theatre Review, Glass Guignol: The Brother and Sister Play. Robert Massimi/ Jeremy Fabi.

In the East Village, the king of Avent Garde Theatre , The Mabou Mines Theater performed an adaptation of Tennessee Williams Glass Menagerie . The play focuses more on Williams relationship with his sister rather then the play/ book, as we know it. The theater, the first production at Mabou Mines, stitched together several of Williams dramas , not just “Glass”, but I got more of the flavor of “Glass Menagerie” then any other of his works here. The play is part literary exegesis, part horror show, part psychotherapy session. this and gorillas.

In childhood, Tennessee and Rose Williams had a very close brother and sister bond which became frayed due to Rose’s erratic behavior. After threatening to kill her father, she was sent to a mental institution where she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and later underwent a frontal lobotomy.

The show entertains by using Frankenstein as a framing devise, as well as Lord Byron and Mary Shelley during the show. all entertaining, and raw.  A unicorns horn doubles as a lobotomist’s drill. The Gothic  performance has the gentleman caller in a leather jockstrap and a wanting brother of the caller.

The play explores the deep structures underlying the characters; the grief and the guilt, the disgust and the difficult love.

Mabou Mines, now 50 is the epicenter for off off Broadway avant- garde theater, and at 50 shows no signs of slowing down.

Robert M Massimi.

The FBI And There Sleazy Dealings. Robert Massimi.

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The original question the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign was to answer was a simple one: Did he do it?

Did Trump, or officials with his knowledge, collude with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to hack the emails of John Podesta and the DNC, and leak the contents to damage Hillary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?

A year-and-a-half into the investigation, and, still, no “collusion” has been found. Yet the investigation goes on, at the demand of the never-Trump media and Beltway establishment.

Hence, and understandably, suspicions have arisen.

Are the investigators after the truth, or are they after Trump?

Set aside the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory momentarily, and consider a rival explanation for what is going down here:

That, from the outset, Director James Comey and an FBI camarilla were determined to stop Trump and elect Hillary Clinton. Having failed, they conspired to break Trump’s presidency, overturn his mandate and bring him down.

Essential to any such project was first to block any indictment of Hillary for transmitting national security secrets over her private email server. That first objective was achieved 18 months ago.

On July 5, 2016, Comey stepped before a stunned press corps to declare that, given the evidence gathered by the FBI, “no reasonable prosecutor” would indict Clinton. Therefore, that was the course he, Comey, was recommending.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, compromised by her infamous 35-minute tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton – to discuss golf and grandkids – seconded Comey’s decision.

And so Hillary walked. Why is this suspicious?

What do YOU

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2017/12/did-the-fbi-conspire-to-stop-trump/#5CPLYXS6LG1VgGLg.99

Blue States Losing People Daily. Robert Massimi.

US

Nearly 450,000 People Fled These Three Deep Blue States In 2017

Will Racke
Immigration and Foreign Policy Reporter
 Robert M Massimi.

Three Democratic-leaning states hemorrhaged hundreds of thousands of people in 2016 and 2017 as crime, high taxes and, in some cases, crummy weather had residents seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

The exodus of residents was most pronounced in New York, which saw about 190,000 people leave the state between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last week.

New York’s domestic out-migration during that time period was about the same as it was in the same time 2015 and 2016. Since 2010, the state’s outflow of just over 1 million residents has exceeded that of every other state, both in absolute terms and as a share of population, according to the free-market think tank Empire Center.

Despite the massive domestic out-migration flow, New York’s net population grew slightly, largely due to high levels of international immigration and a so-called “natural increase” — the difference between births and deaths in a given year. New York’s net migration was about minus 60,000 residents, but the state had 73,000 more births than deaths, resulting in a net population growth of about 13,000.

Illinois was not so fortunate. Long-beset by twin budget and pension crises and the erosion of its tax base, Illinois lost so many residents that it dropped from the fifth to the sixth-most populous state in 2017, losing its previous spot to Pennsylvania.

Just under 115,000 Illinois residents decamped for other states between July 2016 and July 2017. Since 2010, the Land of Lincoln has lost about 650,000 residents to other states on net, equal to the combined population of the state’s four largest cities other than Chicago, according to the Illinois Policy Institute.

Illinois’ domestic out-migration problem has become a nightmare for lawmakers, who must find a way to solve the worst pension crisis in the nation as the state’s tax base shrinks year after year. Illinois’ Democratic-dominated legislature has tried to ameliorate the situation with tax hikes, causing even more people to leave and throwing the state into a demographic spiral. Illinois experiences a net loss of about 33,000 residents in 2016, the fourth consecutive year of population decline.

“As people leave the state, they take their pocketbooks with them. That means there are fewer Illinoisans to pay the bills,” Orphe Divounguy, chief economist with the Illinois Policy Institute, told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s worrying because if you have a declining population and a declining labor force, you will for sure have a further slowdown of economic activity going into 2018.”

California was the third deep blue state to experience significant domestic out-migration between July 2016 and July 2017, and it couldn’t blame the outflow on retirees searching for a more agreeable climate. About 138,000 residents left the state during that time period, second only to New York.

However, because California was the top receiving state for international migrants, its net migration was actually 27,000. Add to that number a “natural increase” of 214,000 people, and California’s population grew by about just over 240,000, according to the Census Bureau.

Going forward, one factor that could worsen domestic out-migration from New York, California and Illinois is the newly-enacted tax reform bill, which caps state and local tax (SALT) deductions at $10,000. The limit on SALT deduction is poised to hit taxpayers harder in those states than it will in just about any other.

According to the Tax Foundation, New York, Illinois and California had three of the five highest tax rates expressed as a percentage of per capita income, with residents paying 12.7 percent, 11 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

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Damon On The hot seat. Robert Massimi.