"The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that." -- John Stuart Mill
Some of America's elite universities claim to know, as they defend the use of affirmative action in college admissions. But the dishonesty at the heart of their view is painfully obvious.
Their pitifully narrow understanding of diversity has damaged America.
'I've heard the word diversity quite a few times and I don't have a clue what it means,' Thomas said during oral arguments in the Supreme Court on Monday.
'Give us a specific definition of diversity…' he asked Ryan Park, the solicitor representing the University of North Carolina, alongside Harvard University, in their defense of race-conscious admissions programs.
It was a pointed question. Apparently, Park didn't see it coming.
'Racially diverse groups of people . . . perform at a higher level,' Park responded.
'The mechanism there,' he continued, 'is that it reduces groupthink and that people have longer and more sustained disagreement, and that leads to a more efficient outcome.'
Thomas' next cut went deep.
'I guess I don't put too much stock in that,' he replied, 'I've heard similar arguments in favor of segregation, too.'
As President Joe Biden launched a final four-state campaign sprint on Thursday to boost struggling Democrats ahead of the midterms, he fired back at a key GOP criticism that the economy has lagged under his watch.
'Here's the deal: economic growth is up, price inflation is down, real income's up, gas prices are down,' said Biden at a rally near San Diego in support of Democratic Rep. Mike Levin, who is in a tight race to hang on to his seat.
By certain narrow measures, Biden's claims could be construed as true -- for instance, gas prices and inflation have retreated somewhat from the historic highs they hit over the summer.
Paul Pelosi returned home Thursday after he was released from the hospital, the same San Francisco residence where he was attacked by a man wielding a hammer and suffered a fractured skull six days before.
The 82-year-old husband of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was taken for treatment after David DePape allegedly broke into his San Francisco house with a hammer and beat him.
'The Pelosi family is thankful for the beautiful outpouring of love, support and prayers from around the world,' Pelosi's office said in a statement.
Webmaster addition: Well, I guess Paul wasn't as badly wounded as we had all been told!
Sen. Joe Manchin's eleventh-hour midterm pitch was imploring Congress to deal with the nation's 'crippling debt' by reforming Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare and other programs he claims are 'going bankrupt.'
The West Virginia Democrat told a Fortune CEO conference on Thursday he would like the next Congress to work on bipartisan entitlement reform to fix the programs that are facing 'tremendous problems.'
'We cannot live with this crippling debt,' Manchin griped, per Bloomberg. 'If we can't come to grips of how we face the financial challenges this country has, then we're all going to be paying a price that we can't afford.'
Republicans voters in Florida are using early voting in larger numbers than Democrats, including in the deep blue city of Miami, a sign of high enthusiasm among the GOP and a troubling indicator for President Joe Biden's party. The number of registered Republicans voting early in Miami-Dade County surpassed Democrats on Wednesday – one day after Biden visited the area to campaign for his party's candidates amid concerns the GOP will win control of the House in next week's midterm election. It's a good sign for Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is seeking a second term, and for GOP Senator Marco Rubio, who's also running for re-election.
John Fetterman, the Democrat running for US Senate in Pennsylvania, has defended his refusal to release in-depth medical records, following questions about his fitness as he recovers from a serious stroke.
'We have shown more, and shared more kinds of medical evaluation, more than virtually anyone unless you're running for the president,' Fetterman told CBS Evening News on Thursday.
However, Fetterman has resisted calls to release detailed medical records or allow interviews with his doctors, instead pointing to a one-page doctor's note he put out last month saying he had 'no work restrictions' and 'can work full duty in public office.'
A senior Chinese diplomat called for cooperation with foreign firms, denounced the US Chips Act and reassured business leaders that "opening up" to overseas markets remains a national objective during a speech to foreign diplomats and state-owned enterprises.
In an apparent criticism of Washington's China-targeted Chips and Science Act, which offers financial incentives to tech companies that make semiconductor investments on American soil, foreign vice-minister Xie Feng described efforts to suppress China as "counterproductive".
"Presently, some countries are keen to forge small circles, instigate 'decoupling', build 'small courtyards with high walls', implement 'friendshoring', establish 'chip alliances', weave exclusive economic frameworks, and vainly attempt to gang up to contain and suppress China," Xie said in Beijing on Wednesday.
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday voted 185-2 to condemn the U.S. embargo of Cuba for the 30th year in a row.
Why it matters: Although UN resolutions are non-binding and aren't legally enforceable, they carry political weight by illustrating the isolation of the U.S. position and the heft of global opinion against it.
The United Nations refugee chief has called on countries to suspend any forced returns of Haitians to their country, where gang violence and political instability are fuelling a humanitarian and security crisis.
In a statement on Thursday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi appealed “to all states to stand in solidarity with Haiti and urge them not to return Haitians to a country that is extremely fragile”.
Webmaster addition: I'm sure the Haitians will find Gitmo an improvement, right? Right? Hello?
The United States believes China and Russia have leverage they can use to persuade North Korea not to resume nuclear bomb testing, according to a senior US administration official.
The official, who spoke to the Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity, said that while the US had been saying since May that North Korea was preparing to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017, it was not clear when it might conduct such a test.
Webmaster addition: And I am certain that at this particular point in time, China and Russia will be eager to do whatever the US wants!
The United States has asked the U.N. Security Council to meet publicly on North Korea on Friday, diplomats said, after Pyongyang fired multiple missiles, including a possible failed intercontinental ballistic missile.
The meeting request was backed by other council members Britain, France, Albania, Ireland and Norway, diplomats said.
North Korea has long been banned from conducting nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches by the Security Council, which has strengthened sanctions on Pyongyang over the years to try and cut off funding for those programs.
But in recent years the 15-member body has been split on how to deal with the hermit Asian state. In May, China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-led push to impose more U.N. sanctions on North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches.
Elliott Management, the hedge fund founded by Wall Street billionaire Paul Singer, hit out at central bank rate-setters in an apocalyptic warning to clients as rate-setters bring the era of ultra-cheap money to an abrupt end.
The world economy faces an “extremely challenging” outlook and hyperinflation could result in “global societal collapse and civil or international strife”, the letter to clients said, the Financial Times reported. It said central banks have been “dishonest” in deflecting blame for the price surge from their prolonged use of ultra-loose monetary policy.
Elliott is one of the most influential hedge funds in the world and is feared in corporate boardrooms for its approach to investor activism.
The FDA just told pro-abortion groups that they are putting women’s lives in danger by providing abortion drugs before they are pregnant.
Politico reports the federal agency spoke out against the new “advanced provision” abortion pill practice last week after Choix, Aid Access and other pro-abortion groups began advertising pills to keep at home in case a woman gets pregnant.
Although the FDA did not mention any enforcement actions, the agency did warn that the abortion drug mifepristone is not approved for advance provision and the groups that are selling it in advance are putting women’s lives at risk, according to the report.
An FDA spokesperson told Politico that the agency is concerned that women are not receiving proper care, such as checking for symptoms of a potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy or determining how far along she is in her pregnancy. The abortion pills do not abort unborn babies as effectively after 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Republicans Senate candidate Gen. Don Bolduc expanded his lead over Democrat Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in New Hampshire, according to a Thursday Trafalgar Group poll.
Forty-seven percent support Bolduc, 45.7 percent back Hassan, and 3.2 percent are undecided. Libertarian Jeremy Kauffman has 4 percent.
Among Hispanics, Bolduc leads 70.2 – 17.7 percent over Hassan. Among black voters, Hassan only holds a 19.9-point lead (34.7 – 54.6 percent). Among white voters, Bolduc leads (46.9 – 46.4 percent).
The general also polled better than Hassan in every age demographic except 65 and older, likely because of her history as a former governor of the Granite State.
The survey sampled 2022 general election voters from October 30 through November 1, with a 2.9 percent margin of error. Respondents included 44 percent Democrat, 35 percent Republican, and 21 percent unaffiliated.
China's tech sector is scrambling to snap up experienced engineers from foreign companies that are scaling back operations in the country amid a crackdown by the U.S.
When word got out recently that U.S. chip developer Marvell was laying off hundreds of workers in China, job postings from top Chinese tech companies and local chip companies targeting them went up almost immediately. The companies seeking talent range from tech heavyweights like Alibaba Group Holding and Huawei Technologies to local chip developers.
"Looking forward to seeing resumes from our dear peers from Marvell. Come work with Alibaba Cloud to develop storage-related products," said Zhu Zongpeng, senior engineering specialist at Alibaba, in a post on Maimai, China's version of LinkedIn.
"We welcome any Marvell employees who want to work with us," a human resources manager at the world's top drone maker DJI wrote on professional networking website MaiMai. "I am always online."
Africa Intelligence website said the Libyan American Alliance, chaired by Esam Omeish, is gearing up to deal another legal blow against Khalifa Haftar and has appointed as legal counsel for the plaintiffs lawyer Miya Griggs, who is close to the group.
The French website added that the plaintiffs are suing Haftar in the US state of Virginia and are seeking millions of dollars over a January 2020 attack on a military academy in Tripoli.
It said that alongside Ashraf Wajih Nubani, Griggs is representing three relatives of people who died on 4 January 2020 in a bombing raid on the military academy in Tripoli, when the capital was under siege by Haftar’s forces.
“The plaintiffs – Othman Bin Amara, Anas Al-Tayra and Miftah Al-Haris – are seeking $10m in compensatory damages and $10m in punitive damages for extrajudicial killings and torture. The case will be heard in the States by Judge Rossie David Alston Jr. whom then president Donald Trump appointed in in June 2019.” Africa Intelligence added.
They are falling like ninepins, and the Tories have now given the weary people of Britain yet another prime minister. And what a catch: stupendously wealthy, youthful – the youngest in two centuries – and a lawbreaker. As Chancellor of the Exchequer in the government of Boris Johnson, he was fined for breaches during the partygate scandal, despite telling the Commons that he had attended no illegal gatherings.
The statement released in response to the fine was ice cool, belying the fact that he had become the first Chancellor ever charged with an offence while in office. “I understand that for figures in public office, the rules must be applied stringently in order to maintain public confidence.” He respected “the decision that has been made and have paid the fine.” The outcome was always likely: not paying could have landed him in an even stickier situation.
Being sly with regulations is obviously something that runs in the family. Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, ran into some trouble earlier this year when attention was brought to her non-domiciled (non-dom) status in the UK. She owns a jaw dropping £700 million in shares in the Indian IT giant Infosys, from which she received £11.6 million in dividend income last year.
Declaring one’s domicile to be in another country can be a fine money saver: in this case, £2.1 million a year. But Murty wanted to be generous and gracious – at least for her husband’s political ambitions. “I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I do not wish my tax status to be a distraction for my husband or to affect my family.”
The FBI's Newark office issued a stark warning Thursday as it announced it had received "credible information" about a nonspecific but widescale threat to synagogues in New Jersey.
The FBI described the threat, shared by the bureau's Newark office on Twitter around 3 p.m., as "broad." However, a senior law enforcement official told News 4 New York that warning the public was done in "an abundance of caution."
"We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility," FBI Newark tweeted in part. "We shall share more information as soon as we can. Stay alert. In case of emergency call police."
Webmaster addition: We always see these stories about the poor victims of anti-semitism right before Israel does something icky!
South Korea scrambled about 80 fighter jets after detecting a large number of North Korean warplanes during a four-hour period Friday, the country’s military said, in a further escalation of regional tensions.
In a statement, the South Korean military said it spotted about 180 North Korean military aircraft between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time, a day after Pyongyang is believed to have conducted the failed test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Tensions in the Korean Peninsula began rising Monday, when the “Vigilant Storm” joint military drills began between the United States and South Korea, involving hundreds of aircraft and thousands of service members from both countries, according to the US.
The cause of death has been released for Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean, who suddenly passed away last weekend at his home.
An autopsy revealed that McKean died from a heart attack.
Colorado State House Republicans announced the sudden death of their minority leader last Sunday, saying that McKean died in his home in the early morning The prominent state lawmaker was running for a fourth term and his death was described as “tragic and sudden.”
When the Confederacy seceded from the United States, the bankers once again saw the opportunity for a rich harvest of debt, and offered to fund Lincoln's efforts to bring the south back into the union, but at 30% interest. Lincoln remarked that he would not free the black man by enslaving the white man to the bankers and using his authority as President, issued a new government currency, the greenback. This was a direct threat to the wealth and power of the central bankers, who quickly responded.
"Dear Sir: It is advisable to do all in your power to sustain such prominent daily and weekly newspapers... as will oppose the issuing of greenback paper money, and that you also withhold patronage or favors from all applicants who are not willing to oppose the Government issue of money. Let the Government issue the coin and the banks issue the paper money of the country... [T]o restore to circulation the Government issue of money, will be to provide the people with money, and will therefore seriously affect your individual profit as bankers and lenders." -- Triumphant plutocracy; the story of American public life from 1870 to 1920, by Lynn Wheeler
"It will not do to allow the greenback, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that." -- Triumphant plutocracy; the story of American public life from 1870 to 1920, by Lynn Wheeler
"Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power, and chattel slavery destroyed. This, I and my European friends are in favor of, for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care for the laborer, while the European plan, led on by England, is for capital to control labor by controlling the wages. THIS CAN BE DONE BY CONTROLLING THE MONEY." -- Triumphant plutocracy; the story of American public life from 1870 to 1920, by Lynn Wheeler
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has been floated by many as a potential challenger to Donald Trump in the 2024 Presidential Primaries. He has quite a resume, and his notoriety is superb. However, recent insider reporting indicates DeSantis is unlikely to challenge Trump in 2024, as the 45th President likely takes another swing at the coveted Republican Presidential nomination.
Paul Pelosi has been released from the San Francisco hospital after recovering from surgery to repair a skull fracture and injuries to his hand and arm, according to a source familiar with the matter. Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is home and resting just six days after the brutal attack last week, the source said.
NBC News presidential historian and best-selling author Michael Beschloss went off the rails Wednesday night while reacting to President Biden’s speech claiming “MAGA Republicans” were threatening democracy — warning that if so-called GOP “election deniers” were successful in next week’s midterms “our children will be arrested and conceivably killed.”
Beschloss, who appears routinely on MSNBC, was a guest on the cable network’s “All in with Chris Hayes” to analyze the president’s address earlier in the evening at Washington’s Union Station.
Hayes said the Nov. 8 elections will determine whether the country is embarking on a “path to chaos.”
“We could be six days away from losing our rule of law and losing a situation where we have elections that we all can rely on. You know, those are the foundation stones of a democracy,” concurred Beschloss, the author of nine books on the American presidency.
Webmaster addition: Remind me again which party supports unlimited abortion?