In August of last year, Free Market Shooter wrote in support of an Obama administration directive to end the use of private prisons in the United States, one of the only policy issues the administration managed to get right:
Why, you ask, is a free market advocate in favor of ending private prisons? Simple: because these facilities aren’t “private” at all.
The reason why should be obvious. Prisoners are their only “customer”, if you want to call them a customer at all; the “customers” are provided by the government, who pays private prison companies for their incarceration.
What else makes private prisons so profitable? This should also be obvious – having as many facilities and customers as possible. They have every incentive to encourage laws that keep as many incarcerated as possible, as it increases their “customer” base. Moreover, they then sell the “labor” from prisoners to companies who source prison labor at bargain basement prices, increasing their margins even further.
We all should have known the Obama administration would manage to screw this up; it just took two weeks into the job for new Attorney General and Drug War champion Jeff Sessions to flick his pen and undo Obama’s efforts:
In the wake of a recent spate of incidents on US domestic airlines, The Wall Street Journal released an article detailing the differences major airlines are undergoing in the aim to gain more consumers – even less perks for the “economy” seats, and even more for the first-class and business travelers:
Battling it out with discount carriers, the world’s biggest airlines are rolling out ultracheap economy-class tickets, or cutting back sharply on basic amenities for their lowest-paying customers. At the same time, they are pulling out the stops to lavish their premium fliers with more perks.
American Airlines Group Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc. and Delta Air Lines Inc. all now offer super-low fares, dubbed “basic economy,” that strip out even once-standard allowances, such as carry-on baggage or a choice of seat before boarding.
But at the front of the plane, the same carriers are showering premium passengers with ever more comfort. Middle East and Asian airlines are among those leading the way, with U.S. carriers trying to catch up. American Airlines has upgraded its business class. Delta last year unveiled plans for business-class suites, effectively small cabins that can be closed off from others, with fully reclining seats. The suites should feature on planes this year.
Bear in mind, this is the same Wall Street Journal that shamelessly published the Shultz/Baker/Paulson essay on why a “carbon tax” is essential, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. So why hasn’t the publication looked at the increase in emissions generated by first class, and more importantly, private aviation?
On Sunday, 60 Minutes opened their program with a segment on a “return” to Newtown, Connecticut four years after the school shooting which took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Scott Pelley, fresh off his embarrassing segment about “fake news” and failure to expose Mike Cernovich, made sure to lead the segment off with pictures of murdered children and their family members continuing to mourn their losses, but hidden in there was one key sentence:
When we returned to Newtown, Connecticut recently, we found families who will never move on but are finding ways to move forward.
And, if you take a look at the way the text of the segment is presented on the 60 Minutes website, you can see in their headers the true way that the families were “moving forward” and in which the segment was heading right from the start – using victims to promote their failing agenda, and peddling lies and obfuscations in the process:
It was reported earlier today that two more Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs) will be deployed to the Korean peninsula / Sea of Japan in addition to the USS Carl Vinson CSG already underway. However, OfTwoMinds brought up a very curious point when it comes to the relationship between North Korea and China:
Imagine if the roles were reversed and China had to send its fleet to the Caribbean to deal with a rogue client state of America’s, that America could not control or contain. The loss of face is immense.
So, seeing the Chinese proximity to North Korea, and the nation’s belligerence, why hasn’t the Chinese government “handled” the problem of constant North Korean nuclear belligerence?
Recently, Free Market Shooter published a “cost-benefit” battle damage assessment (BDA), detailing whether or not the cruise missile strike was actually worth it. However, the article itself didn’t incorporate an actual BDA, instead relying on estimates based on both US and Russian reports.
Notably, the Russians reported that the US attack “inefficient”, claiming that only 23 of the 59 missiles hit the Shayrat Air Base in Syria:
Only 23 missiles flew to the Syrian air base and just 6 MiG-23s were destroyed there along with a radar station, spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, Major-General Igor Konashenkov, said at a briefing. Where the remaining 36 cruise missiles have landed is “unknown,” he said.
However, a quick glance over commercially available satellite imagery shows that the Konashenkov has been caught red-handed peddling some serious fiction with his statement.
On Monday, Politico published an article claiming that former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg was preparing to spend up to $25 million to fight national concealed reciprocity, via his gun control group “Everytown For Gun Safety”:
Preparing for life with Donald Trump as president and Republican majorities in Congress, Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group is threatening to spend more than $25 million in 2018 races.
Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and funded by the billionaire former New York City mayor, is hiring several new top staffers and turning much of its attention to state legislatures, while moving to a defensive posture in Washington as it tries to stop what’s known as “concealed carry reciprocity” from becoming law.
It seems Bloomberg hasn’t learned from his previous failures that one billionaire throwing money at a cause isn’t always a sound financial investment. Despite all that, it seems he is prepared to do the same thing all over again. So, given that Bloomberg clearly intends to just do “MOAR” of the same, with the exception of choosing a target, how will he choose to deploy his funds?
For those who have been living under a rock for the past week, the United States on Thursday night (Friday AM local time in Syria) launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Syrian air base in Ash Shayrat, near the besieged city of Homs. According to the DoD, only one missile failed out of an attempted 60, but according to the Russian military, only 23 of the 59 missiles reached the Shayrat air base.
There has been an uproar across the internet, with many claiming that this strike did a great job of sending a message, with many others criticizing President Trump for going against his campaign promises, and involving the US in yet another unwinnable war in the Middle East. In addition to the he-said/she-said out of the US and Russian defense departments, it leaves you rather confused as to what the attack actually accomplished, and whether or not it was really worth it in the end.
So, in the end, was it worth it? It depends on who you ask… but let’s attempt to look at the attack’s efficacy from a tactical perspective. To determine that, you need to first sort through all the chatter and misinformation, and see what the attack’s price tag was, and what it accomplished.
On February 12th, singer Joy Villa wore a “Make America Great Again” dress to the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Conservative news fawned over Villa’s actions, and a Breitbart article was demonstrative of that fact:
Villa confirmed to this reporter that she is a Trump supporter and that she voted for the president.
Asked why she decided to essentially troll the Grammys, Villa explained that she was “tired” of Hollywood’s treatment of Trump supporters.
“I was tired of the bullying,” she said in a phone interview. “I was tired of being pushed down so that I couldn’t say my beliefs. And being fearful of losing sales. Losing fans. Losing bookings. Losing contracts and sponsorship. You know, that’s my day to day. And a lot of my friends have the same thing. And we live in Hollywood, which is supposed to be the most open viewpoint city. But the truth is there was a lot of hate and a lot of negativity and I wanted to change the storyline to love and support and unity as an American.”
If she was truly “fearful of losing sales” by wearing the dress, it appears her fears were grossly misplaced, as her album sales vaulted to the top of Amazon’s paid albums list:
Yesterday, it was reported that Susan Rice, a national security advisor and close confidant of former President Obama, had requested that President Trump’s transition team be “unmasked” as it pertained to “incidental” surveillance on the President-elect and the team. Bloomberg covered the story, but only after it was broken by “fake news” journalist Mike Cernovich, who himself had been attacked a week earlier on a CBS’s “60 Minutes” segment on “fake news”:
Cernovich pointed out, as revealed in an article by Circa, that President Obama began loosening the rules regarding “incidental intercepts” starting in 2011 – making it easier for the US Government to spy on individuals who are not the primary target(s) of a surveillance operation.
As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats
And guess who had authorization to unmask individuals who were ‘incidentally’ surveilled? Former CIA Director John Brennan, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and Obama’s National Security advisor Susan Rice. Also of note is the claim that New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman has been sitting on the Susan Rice story for at least two days:
Twitter user James Brower (who follows Free Market Shooter on Twitter) noted that CNN didn’t run a story at all about the Susan Rice news:
According to The Hill, under the traditional rules of confirmation of Supreme Court Justices, Judge Neil Gorsuch has enough “no” votes to force the Senate to change the rules of nomination if they want Gorusch to sit on the SCOTUS bench:
Senate Democrats have clinched enough support to block Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, setting up a “nuclear” showdown over Senate rules later this week.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced on Monday that he will oppose President Trump’s pick on a procedural vote where he will need the support of eight Democrats to cross a 60-vote threshold to end debate on Gorsuch. Coons is the 41st Democrat to back the filibuster.
“Throughout this process, I have kept an open mind. … I have decided that I will not support Judge Grouch’s nomination in the Judiciary Committee meeting today,” Coons said.
“I am not ready to end debate on this issue. So I will be voting against cloture,” Coons said, absent a deal to avoid the nuclear option.
Unless one of the 41 Democrats changes their vote, the filibuster of Gorsuch will be sustained in a vote later this week.
If you take a look at the credentials of Judge Gorsuch, historical precedent, and recent history, the opposition to the Gorsuch nomination is beyond laughable – it is downright obstructionist. And it seems they are only standing in opposition because President Trump nominated the man instead of President Cruz, or Bush, or Obama, or even Clinton.