Организация Consumer Reports провела опрос среди американских потребителей и назвала самые ненадежные автомобили 2017 года.

Компания собрала данные у 640 тыс. автовладельцев и, проанализировав полученную информацию, сформировала рейтинг, в который вошло 10 моделей – именно те машины, на которые пришлось больше всего нареканий.

На первом месте в списке самых ненадежных автомобилей 2017 расположился Chevrolet Camaro, а на втором – Mercedes-Benz GLC. Замыкает тройку Jaguar F-Pace.

В целом рейтинг самых ненадежных автомобилей 2017 выглядит так:



Вадим Ко

вот пишешь хуйню какую-то замуденнуую, споришь про политику литературу философию, одновременно работаешь 13й час в день уже, а потом вдруг -

В меховой черной жилетке с синими аксессуарами

и понимаешь что твоя, да твоя, моя, жизнь прошла абсолютно зря.

у нея нет детей, но кому они нужны вообще. одни цоресы. родителей тоже нет. зачем?

у нея нет работы и профессии, но это тупое ярмо, зачем. морщины, блин.

у нея даже мозгов маловато - НО ЗАЧЕМ ОНИ.

зато есть черная жилетка с синими акс.. акс. аксесс? аке паке херувимами. дайте мне аксесс к тому месту откуда эта прелесть свой ментальный чай черпает.

Доброе утро!

Oct. 24th, 2017 05:01 am[syndicated profile] ibigdan_feed

Монтепульчано — итальянский город в провинции Сьена, на самом юге Тосканы.

Dilbert readers - Please visit to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to

Posted by Cameron Cawthorne

Former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly apologized to his former colleague Eric Bolling on Monday after he invoked the death of Bolling's son while discussing his sexual harassment allegations.

Bolling disputed O'Reilly's account of the facts surrounding his son's death and his relationship with Fox News and then told him it was inappropriate to mention his son, according to the Daily Beast. In a recorded interview released by the New York Times on Monday, O'Reilly appeared to criticize reporters Emily Steel and Michael E. Schmidt and to accuse them of being part of a liberal conspiracy to destroy his reputation by reporting on the sexual allegations against him.

"The pain it brings to my children is indescribable," O'Reilly said. "And I would give up my life to protect my children, but I find myself not being able to protect them because of things being said about me, their father."

O'Reilly then invoked the death of Bolling's 19-year-old son, Eric Chase Bolling, who was found dead one day after Fox News announced that it had "parted ways with his father following an investigation of claims that the elder Bolling had sent explicit images and texts to female colleagues."

"I urge you to think about what you put in your newspaper," O'Reilly said. "Eric Bolling’s son is dead. Is dead. Because of allegations made—in my opinion, and I know this to be true—against Mr. Bolling."

Bolling pushed back against O'Reilly's comments in a statement and said that it was "beyond inappropriate" to bring his son's tragic death into the conversation about the media's treatment of him.

"I believe it is beyond inappropriate for anyone to bring in the tragic death of my son Eric Chase Bolling," he wrote in a statement. "Just as Bill O’Reilly had wanted to shield his children from the allegations against him, I hope he will honor my request and avoid any future mentions of my son."

"My parting from Fox News was in no way connected to the tragic news of my son’s passing. The coroner has in fact indicated to us that they believe it was an accident," Bolling noted, before distancing his own Fox scandal from that of O’Reilly and the late Fox News founder Roger Ailes.

O'Reilly apologized to Bolling on Twitter Monday evening for his previous comments.

"Apologies to Eric Bolling and prayers for him and his family. The message I tried to send was that allegations harm kids. Nothing more," O'Reilly wrote.

"Eric Bolling is a stand up guy who deserves the respect I have for him," O'Reilly added in a follow-up tweet.


The post O’Reilly Apologizes to Bolling for Invoking Son’s Death in Harassment Dispute appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by davidruiz

Newly-minted FBI Director Christopher Wray threw out several justifications for the continued, warrantless government search of American communications. He’s wrong on all accounts.                                               

In a presentation hosted by The Heritage Foundation, Wray warned of a metaphorical policy “wall” that, more than 15 years ago, stood between the U.S. government’s multiple intelligence-gathering agencies. That wall prevented quick data sharing, he said. It prevented quick “dot-connecting” to match threats to actors, he said. And, he said, it partly prevented the U.S. from stopping the September 11 attacks.

“When people, now, sit back and say, ‘Three thousand people died on 9/11, how could the U.S. government let this happen?’” Wray said. “And one of the answers is, well, they had this wall.”                                                                       

Wray is concerned with the potential expiration of the one of the government’s most powerful surveillance tools. It’s called Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act and it allows the NSA to collect emails, browser history and chat logs of Americans. Section 702 also allows other agencies, like the FBI, to search through that data without a warrant. Those searches are called “backdoor searches.”

Congress is considering bills with limitations to backdoor searches—including one bill that we have analyzed—and Wray is against that. Section 702, Wray claimed, doesn’t need limitations, or as he called it, a “self-inflicted wound.” According to Wray, Section 702 is Constitutional, has broad government oversight, and keeps Americans safe.

Let’s see where he’s wrong.


“Section 702 is Constitutional, lawful, [and] consistent with the Fourth Amendment,” Director Wray said. “Every court to consider the 702 program, including the Ninth Circuit, has found that.”

The chasm between Wray’s words and his interpretation is enormous. Have courts “considered” Section 702, as Wray described? Yes. Have any decided Section 702’s constitutionality? Absolutely not.

U.S. courts have delivered opinions in lawsuits involving data collected under Section 702, but no single court has delivered an opinion specifically on the constitutionality of Section 702. It’s an issue that EFF is currently fighting, in our years-long lawsuit Jewel v. NSA.

When Wray mentions the Ninth Circuit, he is likely referencing a 2016 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In the opinion for USA v. Mohamed Osman Mohamud, the appeals court ruled that, based on the very specific evidence of the lawsuit, data collected under Section 702 did not violate a U.S. person’s Fourth Amendment rights. But the judge explicitly wrote that this lawsuit did not involve some of the more “complex statutory and constitutional issues” potentially raised by Section 702.

Notably, the judge wrote that the Mohamud case did not involve “the retention and querying of incidentally collected communications.” That’s exactly what we mean when we talk about “backdoor searches.”

Wray is mischaracterizing the court’s opinion. He is wrong.

Government Oversight

“[Section 702] is subject to rigorous oversight,” Wray said. “Oversight, by not just one, not just two, but all three branches of government.”

Wray’s comments again are disingenuous.

U.S. Senators have tried to get clear answers from intelligence agency directors about Section 702 collection. Many times, they have been stonewalled.

When Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) asked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

“No, sir,” Clapper said. “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”

Months later, defense contractor Edward Snowden confirmed that the NSA does indeed collect data on Americans. Clapper clarified his statement: he gave the “least untruthful” answer he could. If intelligence agencies, and their directors, cannot provide honest answers about Section 702, then meaningful Congressional oversight is a myth.

As for judicial oversight, the court that approves warrants under Section 702—known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court—has rebuked the NSA in multiple opinions. A chart of Section 702 compliance violations, with accompanying court opinions, can be found here.

While Section 702 is subject to government oversight, it doesn’t look like the NSA pays much attention.

Finally, there can be no meaningful public oversight so long as we are kept in the dark. FISC opinions are not, by default, made public. Revelations to the press are denied. Even negotiations to upcoming bills are made behind closed doors.

American Safety

The safety and well-being of Americans is paramount, and tools that help provide that safety are clearly important. But in his remarks, Wray relied on familiar scare tactics to create political leverage. Unwilling to explain Section 702 success stories, Wray instead relied on the hypothetical. He asked What If?

He conjured hypothetical mass shootings and lone gunmen. He employed the idea of a stranger taking pictures of a bridge at night; another buying suspicious supplies at a hardware store. He imagined a high schooler reporting worrying behavior of an ex-boyfriend. He invoked the specters of would-be victims.

In all these situations, Wray’s position was clear: Section 702 prevents this chaos. Do not challenge it, he begged.

“Any restriction on our ability to access the information that’s already Constitutionally collected in our databases, I just think is a really tragic and needless restriction,” Wray said. “And I beg the country not to go there again. I think we will regret it and I just am hoping that it doesn’t take another attack for people to realize that.”

The U.S. government does not publicly provide data to assert its claim that Section 702 keeps Americans safe, claiming that such disclosures would compromise intelligence gathering. This is understandable. Wray’s suggestion of “another attack” is not. It suggests fear will help steer Americans towards the right decision.             

Fear drove McCarthyism. Fear drove Japanese American internment. Fear drove the Chinese Exclusion Act and it helped drive the Patriot Act. Do not let fear drive us from our rights.

Section 702 needs review, and many parts of it—including the backdoor search—do not measure up to Wray’s justifications. If the government can prove that warrantless search of American communications keeps Americans safe, why does Wray rely on hypotheticals?

If you care about ending the backdoor search loophole, call your representatives today.

Posted by Paul Crookston

Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) Monday accused President Donald Trump of having a tendency to target women and people of color for his ire.

Waters spoke uninterrupted for almost four minutes on MSNBC’s "The Beat" about the Trump Administration’s handling of the aftermath of Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s death in Niger. She called on Trump and his Chief of Staff John Kelly to apologize to widow Myeshia Johnson and Rep. Frederica Wilson (D., Fla.), going on to criticize Trump’s disrespect for women and minorities in general.

"He seems to have this tendency to talk down to people of color, to treat them with disrespect, and I think this adds to it," Waters said. "First of all, he called [Wilson] wacky. Secondly, that he didn't back down, that he simply talked about her in a way that was not respectful—I think that yes, I think this adds to the suspicion of him and the way that he thinks about minorities and black people in particular."

She said Kelly was also wrong in her criticism of Wilson’s 2015 speech, and she said she had the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus in saying the Trump Administration needs to do more to respect black women.

"All of the women of the Congressional Black Caucus have come together and we're demanding an apology," she said. "We're sick and tired of women being undermined, dismissed, and black women, in particular, being called names."

Waters also criticized Trump’s overall leadership.

"He has the most distorted leadership of any president I've ever known or heard about," Waters said. "Here he had the opportunity to make the condolence call, to do it properly, to recognize this family and their grieving, and also to know the name of the soldier who had been killed."

"It is so unconscionable in the way that he manages his leadership," she added.

Waters also said Kelly’s credibility has been damaged.

"General Kelly has had a good career, and to have his career basically undermined by the president of the United States because he's trying to protect the president and stand up for the president when the president did not deserve to be stood up for, now he's damaged himself," Waters said. "He needs to call the congresswoman and apologize."

The post Waters: Trump Has a ‘Tendency to Talk Down to People of Color’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by Jack Heretik

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford refused to call the incident in Niger which killed four American soldiers "Trump's Benghazi" during a press briefing on Monday.

Dunford spoke to reporters at the Pentagon about the investigation into what happened to the soldiers.

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D., Fla.) first called the Niger incident "Trump's Benghazi," referring to the attack on the American diplomatic facility in Libya in 2012 which left four Americans dead.

"I personally see no utility in comparing this incident to any other incident," Dunford said. "What I would tell you is we lost four Americans in this incident, we had two others wounded. That makes it a big deal to me."

Dunford stressed the need for an investigation in order to tell the families what happened so the military can improve in the future.

"I personally am not comparing this to any other incident," Dunford said. "What's most important to me, aside from getting the facts, is identifying those things that we can do better in the future and that's my focus."

The post Dunford Refuses to Call Niger Incident ‘Trump’s Benghazi’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by Paul Crookston

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said Monday that U.S. forces were deployed in Niger because intelligence shows ISIS involvement there.

Dunford addressed the media at the Pentagon and described a global strategy against forces supported by ISIS and Al Qaeda, who have expanded operations in Africa. Answering a question about whether this could lead to "mission creep," Dunford said the U.S. judgment is to deal with these threats primarily by empowering local security forces to oppose the terror groups.

"In our judgment, we're dealing with global threats in Al Qaeda, in ISIS, in other groups, and the theory of the case of our strategy is to be able to put pressure on them simultaneously wherever they are," Dunford said. "And as importantly, to anticipate where they will be and to make sure that where they are and where they will be, when they get there, they're confronted by local security forces that have the ability to meet the challenges associated with Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other groups."

At another point, Dunford clarified that in this particular case in Niger, the group was affiliated with ISIS.

"So we are working with partners on the ground in West Africa," he added. "We are working with partners on the ground in other parts of Africa."

Dunford said forces in Niger comprise "800 Americans…4,000 French, and there’s over 35,0000 local partners." He likened the situation to other places where the U.S. has deployed forces in relatively small numbers to support larger local forces fighting ISIS and other terror groups.

"If you look at the numbers in Afghanistan, approximately 11,000 Americans on the ground, 300,000 Afghans," he said. "So what the American people need to know is, with a relatively small footprint, we are enabling local forces to deal with these challenges before they become a threat to the American people, and to help them deal with the challenges so they don't further destabilize their local area or region."

Four U.S. soldiers were killed in Niger after an ambush on Oct. 4.

The post Dunford Explains U.S. Presence in Niger: ‘We’re Dealing With Global Threats’ From ISIS appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by jyoti.panday

Increased smartphone usage and availability of wireless broadband has propelled the use of Internet based platforms and services that often compete with similar services based on older technologies. For example services like Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp that offer voice or video calls over the Internet compete with traditional SMS and voice calls over telecom networks. Such platforms have gained in popularity particularly in developing countries because calling over the Internet is far cheaper than making calls on telecom networks. Online video streaming and TV services like Netflix and online similarly compete with traditional broadcasters and network providers.

These online applications and services are transforming traditional sectors and changing the economic landscape of the markets. The increasing popularity of such apps and services, often referred to by telecommunications regulators as "Over-the-top" or OTT services, brings new regulatory challenges for governments. Historically, most of these services have not required a licence or been required to pay any licensing fee. As the use of such services picks up in developing countries, governments are rushing to create rules that would subject OTT providers to local taxation, security, and content regulation obligations—often under pressure from telco incumbents who are seeking protection from change and competition.

Taxing Online Platforms

In August 2017, the Indonesian government via the Ministry of Communication and Informatics (MCI) unveiled a liability framework for OTT providers [doc]. The sweeping regulations cover a whole slew of companies including SMS and voice calls and email services, chatting and instant messaging platforms, financial and commercial transaction service providers, search engines, social network and online media delivery networks, and companies that store and mine online data. The regulation, which is currently under review, makes it mandatory for offshore businesses to establish a "permanent establishment" either through fixed local premises or by employing locals in their operations in Indonesia. Transnational companies are also required to have an agreement with an Indonesian network provider, and use local IP numbers and national payment gateways for their services.

Considering current trade negotiations aimed at outlawing data localization, these operational obligations for OTTs cement the view that the Indonesian government is attempting to create a local territorial nexus for online transactions and activities, allowing them to be taxed and controlled. The draft MCI regulations also require online platforms to create a "censor mechanism" [sic] to filter and block "negative" content including terrorism, pornography and radical propaganda. While e-commerce and marketplace platforms enjoy immunity from content related obligations in Indonesia, the new regulation effectively dismantles this safe harbor framework.

Worryingly, the regulation outlines a system of sanctions where the government can order telecommunication operators in Indonesia to use bandwidth management measures to take action against companies that violate the rules. Bandwidth management refers to the process by which the telecommunication operators manage traffic on their network, and can include traffic engineering measures such as limiting or throttling service traffic or the provision of priority access for certain services within certain periods. Such regulations would therefore likely violate net neutrality, and it is also unclear how this bandwidth management would be implemented. For example, the Ministry has not clarified safeguards to limit telecommunications providers from voluntarily conducting bandwidth management without a formal notice if it determines non-compliance with the law.

Soft-Peddling Censorship

Similar efforts to regulate online platforms are underway in Thailand. The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has committed to create a "level playing field" between OTT service providers and traditional broadcasting and telecommunications industries. In April 2017, it suggested introducing bandwidth fees for online content providers, and has also proposed bringing OTT service providers under an operating licence framework, taxing them for transactions by local merchants and making them liable for illegal content. In July 2017, the Thai government issued an ultimatum to OTT services to register with the national telecom regulator or face getting slapped with sanctions such as bans on advertising that would threaten revenue growth.

The Thai regulator is exploring a "complaints-based" framework of regulation and has set up a control list of the top 100 content creating companies that are required to establish local offices and be registered as entities in Thailand. Allegedly, the efforts to regulate OTT providers are driven by the dramatic rise in the revenues being generated by them. A study conducted by the NBTC found that free OTT services had earned combined advertising revenue of 2.16 billion Thai baht in 2016, 70% of which stemmed from YouTube. Accordingly, the general policy recipe outlined by the regulator is aimed at increasing taxes collected from online platforms.

Efforts to create a "level playing field" could also be interpreted as measures to empower the regulator to more easily monitor and censor content that the government is finding difficult to regulate. The Thai government has been unsuccessfully trying to pressure to online intermediaries to remove allegedly illegal speech including proposing shutting down sites for non-compliance with takedown requests. The proposals to regulate OTTs can be seen as a backhanded move to give the regulator the authority to demand the removal of content the military-run government considers illegal without waiting for a court order. Parallel to the efforts of regulating OTTs, the National Reform Steering Assembly has introduced an 84-page social media censorship proposal. If approved the rules would require fingerprint and facial scanning just to top-up a prepaid plan, in addition to existing mandatory SIM card registration and linking mobiles to national identities. Commentators say the proposed rules are similar to those in use in China and Iran.

In India, regulators are considering proposals to require OTT providers to be placed under a telecom licensing-style regulatory framework. The telecom regulator has been organizing consultations on the issue since March 2015, however its stance on the matter is not clear. Reports suggest that regulating OTT may be a non-issue for the regulator in view of the future possibility of carriers to offer voice services through apps. However, telecom and network providers that stand to benefit from OTT regulation are pushing for interconnection agreements. The Department of Telecom (DoT) is reported to be working on a regulatory framework for services like WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and WeChat that would subject them to obligations similar to those outlined for telecom service providers.

The phenomenon of regulating OTTs is not limited to Asia. In Latin America, several countries including Uruguay, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are considering legislative changes to enable the taxing of OTT players. In Argentina, the government has issued a set of principles for telecommunications regulation that create obligations for registration of Internet intermediaries. Ahead of the Presidential elections in 2018 and with mounting opposition to his regime, the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has created a Cyber Security, Threat Detection, and Mitigation Ministry to reign in threats emanating from social media. The government is also pressing ahead with a Computer and Cyber Crimes Bill, a comprehensive legislation that would allow the police to intercept data, seize electronic equipment and arrest people on loosely defined charges of “insurgency” and “terrorism.”

Under increasing pressure to rein in the use of online platforms the regime has taken several measures to curtail the ability of activists and opposition to organize themselves, including raising prices on cellphone data and cutting off access to the Internet. Earlier this month, the Cybersecurity Ministry issued an order that requires all WhatsApp groups to be registered and administrator of the group to have government level clearance. The rules also make membership of groups that do not have necessary clearance or licensed administrator a criminal offence. As the order clarifies members belonging to unqualified groups will be "jointly and severally liable" for belonging to a group not registered with the cyber security ministry.

The move to regulate WhatsApp is especially significant given that the messaging service is the default window to the Internet for most Zimbabweans. In 2010, fewer than 5 percent of Zimbabweans had access to the internet, by early 2016, nearly 50 percent did, with most people connecting to the internet through their cell phones. A report by Zimbabwe’s telecoms regulatory body shows that the number of people using WhatsApp for voice calls has been on the rise. The government's tough stance on the messaging platform has got digital rights activists worried that the regulation will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

Towards An International Framework for Regulating OTTs?

So-called OTT applications and services are the most visible part of the Internet for ordinary users. The rules and liability that are created for these applications and services impact freedom of expression, net neutrality, consumer rights and innovation. Therefore, discussions and rules on OTT regulation is at its core a debate about how the Internet should be regulated. Recognizing the global nature of online platforms, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has stepped in to explore global multilateral framework for OTT services and applications.

The telecom arm of the ITU whose primary function is to develop and coordinate voluntary international standards, known as ITU-T Recommendations, has established a study group public policy issues related to the Internet. The technical study group includes a mandate to weigh in on several Internet-related technical and economic issues including "charging and accounting/settlement mechanisms" and "relevant aspects of IP peering". Last year, the study group adopted text encouraging governments to develop measures to strike an "effective balance" between OTT communications services and traditional communications services, in order to ensure a "level playing field" e.g., with respect to licensing, pricing and charging, universal service, quality of service, security and data protection, interconnection and interoperability, legal interception, taxation, and consumer protection.

In May 2017, ITU Council Working Group on International Internet-related Public Policy Issues (CWG-Internet) launched an open online and physical consultation on OTTs. The working group will evaluate opportunities and implications associated with OTT including policy and regulatory matters. It considers regulatory approaches for OTTs that ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer and will work towards developing model partnership agreements for cooperation at the local and international level.

The physical consultation took place in September and received inputs from a wide range of stakeholders. During the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC)—the main conference of the ITU’s Development sector, ITU-D—which took place in Argentina during October 2017, several governments have sought to expand the ITU Internet public policy mandate. As we approach the ITU’s 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference, or “Plenipot" we can expect conversations on regulatory frameworks to escalate in the ITU. However developing rules in a multilateral framework of the ITU may not be the most appropriate way forward.

As Public Knowledge notes, the structure of the ITU renders itself vulnerable to harmful types of politicization, as states and regional coalitions seek to leverage this forum to grab greater control over Internet policy and standards development. Unlike the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), or the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), the ITU isn’t a multistakeholder community. The only relevant actors at the ITU are Member States and although private industry and civil society may contribute to technical work, they can only participate as nonvoting sector members. With its structural lack of transparency and openness there is plenty opportunity for ITU public policy processes to be co-opted by member states to validate problematic policy or standards proposals.

In an increasingly digital world where transnational global corporations shape content and speech, governments are at an inflection point in their policy choices for regulating online platforms. In seeking to create a "level playing field" between OTT providers, and legacy media and network providers, governments may end up introducing rigid frameworks that stymie innovation and competition or cause irreversible consumer harms. There may be various valid public interest reasons to regulate OTTs such as to ensure their compliance with privacy standards and net neutrality rules. But such regulations should be made on a targeted basis. Imposing a strict and unyielding regulatory framework based on telecommunications regulation and licensing goes further than this, and risks becoming a vehicle to protect legacy telcos and to enact content censorship.


Posted by Cameron Cawthorne

Democratic mega-donor and environmentalist Tom Steyer on Monday dodged a question on whether Democratic donors should withhold their donations to Democratic lawmakers and candidates who are not willing to publicly call for President Donald Trump's impeachment immediately.

"Do you think that Democratic donors should withhold campaign money from Democrats who are not willing to say that the president should be impeached now?" MSNBC host Kasie Hunt asked.

Steyer, a multi-billionaire who donated more than $91 million to Democratic campaigns during the 2016 cycle, dodged Hunt's question and immediately started talking about his organization, Nextgen America, and how it organizes grassroots conversations around the United Sates.

"We believe anytime those conversations are held, people will move to a more progressive approach, so the fact of the matter is that isn't really ask ourselves," Steyer said. "So the fact of the matter is, that isn't really a question we really ask ourselves. The question we ask ourselves is, how do we get a broader, more just society? How do we get a more broad, more complete democracy? And that is something we'll never give up on."

"We don't see that that is in anyway in conflict with the kind of call we're making now to impeach this president," Steyer added.

Steyer's dodge on whether Democratic donors should withhold donations from those not aggressively calling for Trump's impeachment appears to be a softer stance than what he previously called for. Two weeks ago, Steyer sent a letter to Democratic congressional offices and the party's House and Senate campaign committees demanding that they pledge to push for the impeachment of Trump.

Steyer called Trump a "clear and present danger to the republic " in his letter to lawmakers and said that he is concerned about Trump's "control over our nuclear arsenal."

He also launched a TV ad campaign on Friday, which an aide has said would cost "well over $10 million," calling for Trump to be impeached.

"A Republican Congress once impeached a president for far less. And today, people in Congress and his own administration know that this President is a clear and present danger who is mentally unstable and armed with nuclear weapons," Steyer says in the ad.

The post Steyer Dodges on Whether Donors Should Withhold Donations to Dems Not Calling for Trump’s Impeachment appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by Washington Free Beacon Staff

ESPN has ended its new partnership with Barstool Sports after the website's first episode of its new show, "Barstool Van Talk."

The program, an offshoot of Barstool Sports' popular podcast "Pardon My Take," was only able to air once last week before ESPN president John Skipper announced the show was canceled on Monday, the New York Post reported.

"Effective immediately, I am cancelling ‘Barstool Van Talk,'" Skipper said in a statement. "While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content."

Dan "Big Cat" Katz and PFT Commenter co-hosted the now-canceled show.

ESPN's partnership with Barstool Sports quickly became contentious, in part because of the controversial website's past comments about Samantha Ponder, host of ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown." A 2014 Barstool Sports blog post criticized and demeaned Ponder and told her to "go fuck yourself."

Ponder on Monday sent out a tweet welcoming the new show's hosts to the "ESPN family," attaching screenshots of the blog post. She also castigated Barstool Sports after audio from 2014 surfaced of Katz laughing as the website's president, David Portnoy, called her a "slut" and other insults.

"Pardon My Take" issued a statement on Twitter after the cancellation, describing the news as disappointing.

"We had a great time working on the show and were extremely excited about the future," the statement read. "Thank you to all the Award Winning Listeners/Watchers for supporting us, and thank you to all the great people who worked alongside us at ESPN and Embassy Row."

"Although we are heartbroken, ‘Pardon My Take' will continue to get bigger and stronger every single day."

The post ESPN Cancels New Barstool Sports Show After One Episode appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by Alex Griswold

A professor at Columbia University recently argued that he was justified in shutting down a speech by a far-right British politician because his speech represented an act of violence.

Tommy Robinson, co-founder and former leader of the anti-immigration and anti-Islam English Defense League, previously served as a leader in Britain's far-right British Freedom Party. Columbia University College Republicans invited Robinson to give a talk on "The Fall of Europe: Mass Immigration" via Skype on Oct. 10.

The Columbia Daily Spectator, the school's student newspaper, reported that the speech was immediately interrupted and shut down by shouting left-wing protesters. Many of the protesters carried signs reading "hate speech = violence."

In an op-ed the following week, doctoral fellow and Law School faculty member Kayum Ahmed wrote that he was under investigation by the administration for taking part in the demonstration, but defended doing so.

Ahmed said he filed a formal discrimination complaint before the speech, asking for it to be shut down.

"Mr. Robinson's invitation to speak on campus not only violates my dignity but constitutes an act of violence, [and] is a form of harassment and discrimination," he wrote Columbia's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action.

"While I recognize Mr. Robinson's right to free speech, his presence on campus (albeit via Skype) is a threat to my safety and security since his speech may encourage fellow students to act in a violent way toward me," Ahmed added.

Ahmed lamented that Columbia adopted "a narrow conception of free speech" that denied that hate speech is an actual form of violence.

"Lips move, sound travels, and words penetrate," he insisted. "And sometimes, these words constitute an act of violence or result in physical forms of violence."

The post Columbia Professor: Speech From Right-Wing Politician Constituted ‘An Act of Violence’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by Paul Crookston

Comedienne Kathy Griffin came forward with a blistering account of attorney Lisa Bloom’s services during the aftermath of her photo shoot that featured a prop severed head of President Donald Trump.

Griffin stirred controversy when she participated in a June photo shoot featuring a prop bloody head resembling the president, and she subsequently brought in Bloom to deal with the fallout, which included losing her gig as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve program. Griffin found Bloom’s work dissatisfactory and accused her of "fame-whoring" in a recent interview with the Daily Beast.

The Los Angeles-based attorney most recently grabbed headlines after she represented – and days later, didn't represent – Harvey Weinstein following the release of stories detailing numerous allegations of sexual harassment and abuse against the Hollywood film mogul.

Grifffin blamed Bloom for a series of disastrous events, including a widely mocked press conference in which Griffin sobbed and said Trump "broke" her. Griffin posted a video on Thursday in which Bloom and her role in "fake feminism" and "Weinstein culture," a reference to Bloom’s former client.

"If you want my Lisa Bloom statement, anybody, OK, here it is. Yes, I got Bloomed," Griffin said. "Yes, I did not have a good experience with her. Yes, I feel she and her husband exacerbated my personal situation."

"I don’t think Lisa Bloom should be shot, like people want to shoot me," Griffin added. "So there’s my fucking statement."

Griffin said the messages she is receiving from some fellow women in Hollywood are "no different than the hate I get online from the Bernie Bros and the Trumpers."

"This is not the way feminism was supposed to go," she said. "This is not progress."

Griffin has been disappointed by the lack of support she has received since the Trump photo shoot. In response to criticism from her former co-host Anderson Cooper, she called the gay CNN host and child of Gloria Vanderbilt, "The Spineless Heiress," a quip she credits to her gay friends.

Griffin described the handling of the press conference in which she said Trump "broke" her as a series of failures by Bloom. She claimed she felt in danger from a Gateway Pundit writer while Bloom prevented her from having her security guard present, and then she felt trapped in a room by the attorney’s husband while Bloom gave interviews outside.

"Lisa’s husband was physically holding the door closed, so we were in there, and Lisa was outside doing interviews in the hallway fame-whoring which we didn’t know at the time," Griffin said. "We knew that the press conference was a disaster the minute it was over."

"We said, ‘Where’s Lisa, she’s supposed to be in here?’ and her husband was holding the door, and I was probably crying," Griffin said. "I remember Bill, my boyfriend, and Alan walked over to her husband and they were like ‘what the fuck is going on?’ Nobody in my posse is violent or anything, but they said, take your hand off the door."

"That press conference exacerbated my situation greatly," Griffin said. "I didn’t know I was going to her office, and that I would be under a fucking banner that said ‘,’ and that she would hand me a coffee cup that said ‘’ It was one of the worst days of my life."

Griffin also complained about a heated conference call that occurred hours after her press conference fell into disarray. The comedienne accused Bloom of shouting and said she advocated a series of joint press appearances, notably on "Good Morning America" the next week.

"Lisa said, ‘Kathy, I don’t like it that you’re the only other woman on this call and you’re not speaking up for me,’" Griffin said. "And I’m like, ‘Are you fucking kidding me? After everything I’ve been through, you’re gonna try to play the fucking feminist card with me? Are you fucking nuts? It doesn’t work that way. I don’t have your back on this one at all.’"

Griffin said Bloom’s services were a waste, tweeting on Sunday that the attorney should stop trying to get into contact with her.

Bloom contradicts Griffin’s account of the events in various ways. She told the Daily Beast that the infamous press conference was collectively planned and only took a turn for the worst when the comedienne herself elected to go off-script.

"Her [Griffin’s] entire team (entertainment lawyer, criminal lawyer, and several others) approved in advance the statements she and I were going to make," Bloom said. "Yet Kathy then during the press conference spontaneously chose to put aside the notes we had worked so hard on together."

Bloom entreated Griffin to show more solidarity with her as a woman instead of taking the side of her other, male lawyers.

"Kathy has now made a video about how women should stand together, and yet she’s attacked me, a lifetime women’s rights attorney, and not the rest of her team, all of whom were men," Bloom said.

The post Kathy Griffin Slams ‘Fame-Whoring’ Lisa Bloom for Handling of Gruesome Trump Photo Shoot appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by David Rutz

MSNBC's Ali Velshi claims to be a "baseball fan," but he did not sound like one during a discussion Monday about President Donald Trump's ongoing controversy with Gold Star families.

"As a baseball fan, I keep on coming back to the fact this is what you call an unforced error," Velshi said of Trump's dispute with a military widow over his phone call with her. "The president didn't need to go down this road to start with."

Velshi should have said as a "tennis fan," seeing as an "unforced error" is a term for when a tennis player makes a mistake to lose a point that is entirely the player's fault and not the result of a good shot by the opponent.

Like another progressive who does not appear to know baseball too well, Velshi would likely admit in retrospect this was not a slam dunk. In fact, it was a fumble and he deserves time in the penalty box.

The post MSNBC Host Commits ‘Unforced Error’ on Baseball Analogy appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Posted by Jack Heretik

Palestinian activists have erected a monument to the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya.

The monument, revealed in a ceremony last week, depicts Hussein in a bowler hat pointing a rifle in the air, while flanked by the Iraqi and Palestinian flags, the Associated Press reported Monday.

The Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian group belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization with previous ties to Hussein, built the structure, as it has in several other Palestinian towns.

Qalqiliya District Governor Rafea Rawajbeh, a member of the ruling Fatah movement; Arab Liberation Front secretary Rakad Salem; and Qalqilya City Council member Hani Ja'idi all attended the ceremony, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

"Saddam was an emblem of heroism, honor, originality, and defiance," Rawajbeh said during the event, which featured speeches in praise of Hussein.

Many Palestinians have long admired Hussein, who supported them for many years and gave millions of dollars to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers during the Second Intifada, which began in 2000. Hussein also fired several dozen Scud missiles at Israel during the 1991 Gulf War.

In 2001, Hussein's government offered $25,000 to family members of Palestinian suicide bombers who conducted attacks against Israelis while maintaining a list of more than 40 volunteers who were part of the "Martyrdom Project," whose goals included "liberating" Jerusalem from the Jewish state, according to a Pentagon-sponsored report released in 2008.

Iraq under Hussein's leadership was one of seven nations the State Department listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. The dictator was notorious for brutalizing and repressing the Iraqi people and propped up extremist groups.

Hussein's downfall came after an American-led coalition invaded Iraq in 2003 and deposed him. The ousted leader was executed in 2006.

The post Palestinian Activists Build Monument Commemorating Saddam Hussein appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.


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