Deep freeze ends a dreadful 2017 for climate activists

Julie Kelly writes:

It’s been a bad year for global warming propagandists, but fear not: Here comes a polar vortex to make it worse for them.

The unrelenting Arctic blast arrived on Christmas Eve and it remains the holiday houseguest from Hell that won’t leave: Record-breaking cold and snowfall are tormenting the eastern half of the country, and it’s only going to get worse. Weather models predict Americans will ring in the New Year while shivering under the lowest temperatures in 70 years, and the first day of 2018 could set record lows everywhere east of the Rockies.

Kelly concludes:

There is also a chance this cold snap portends a global cooling period that some scientists now predict. If that happens, we might all be huddled near the furnace, wondering why we ever feared global warming in the first place.

Tesla’s Model S will soon drive itself across country

From an article in January last year:

Elon Musk has announced a new feature for the Tesla Model S that will allow you to ‘summon’ it to and from a parking spot, meaning it’ll drive itself in and out of the garage. Good news then, if you really hate parking.

And if you hate driving across country? Even better news. “Eventually, your Tesla will be able to drive anywhere across the country to meet you, charging itself along the way,” the company announced.

Wow!

Trump is right about the FBI

“The ferocity of President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on the integrity of the FBI has sent shock waves through an agency accustomed to public adulation in recent years. Sadly, much of the presidential criticism of the bureau may be entirely legitimate.”

However, “The field agents of the FBI should still retain the trust of the American people. Their honor and dignity has not been compromised; but the bureau’s leadership ranks require a prompt and thorough house cleaning by the new director, Christopher Wray. The bureau’s leadership has forfeited the reputation of a cherished American institution.”

Iran’s protests are powerful and real. Why are mainstream media outlets so hesitant to report on them?

Yes, indeed. You have to wonder why traditional mainstream media outlets are largely ignoring what appears to be a developing revolution:

A woman was caught on videotape screaming “death to Khamenei” at Iranian law enforcement officials — an action that could not only endanger her life, but the lives of her family. But nevertheless, she persisted.

Social media came to a halt when another video was shared on Twitter of a female activist, shedding her hijab and waving a makeshift flag at security forces while standing atop a container.

I’m not exactly sure why an Iranian woman would shed such a garment that we’ve been told by the political left of this country is a symbol of empowerment and feminism. But her body, her choice.

Protesters are shouting “Death to Khamenei,” “Mullahs get lost,” “No more Islamic Republic,” “Clerics return us our country.” They are not shouting “We have economic anxiety”. This is not about economic anxiety. This about revolting against a regime who has exhausted its moral good will, and no longer can lean on a sympathetic United States for more pallets of cash.

Fact check: Here are the biggest whoppers of 2017

From USA TODAY:

We first dubbed President Donald Trump, then just a candidate, as “King of Whoppers” in our annual roundup of notable false claims for 2015.

He dominated our list that year – and again in 2016 – but there was still plenty of room for others.

This year? The takeover is complete.

In his first year as president, Trump used his bully pulpit and Twitter account to fuel conspiracy theories, level unsubstantiated accusations and issue easily debunked boasts about his accomplishments.

And a chorus of administration officials helped in spreading his falsehoods.

Trump complained — without a shred of evidence — that massive voter fraud cost him the 2016 popular vote. He doubled down by creating the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and appointing a vice chairman who falsely claimed to have “proof” that Democrats stole a U.S. Senate seat in New Hampshire.

Even as he mobilized the federal government to ferret out Democratic voter fraud, Trump refused to accept the U.S. intelligence community’s consensus finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 campaign.

Trump disparaged the “so-called ‘Russian hacking’” as a “hoax” and a “phony Russian Witch Hunt,” and compared the conduct of U.S. intelligence agencies to “Nazi Germany.” He then falsely accused the “dishonest” news media of making it “sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.”

When he spoke of himself, Trump’s boastfulness went far beyond the facts.

He claimed that his inaugural crowd “went all the way back to the Washington Monument,” and sent out his press secretary to declare it the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.” He described his tax plan as the “biggest tax cut in the history of our country,” and took credit for making the U.S. nuclear arsenal “far stronger and more powerful than ever” after seven months on the job. None of that was true.

Trump is clearly an outlier. If he and his aides were removed from our list, we would be left with a dozen or more notable falsehoods roughly equally distributed between the two parties. You’ll find those at the end of this very long list.

Republican tax law is not a win. Take it from me, the backlash is coming

Democratic strategist Shripal Shah writes:

Only in Washington can people argue that doing something the public hates is better than not doing it. But that’s where we are with the post-game analysis of the tax fight, where a historically unpopular president teamed up with a historically unpopular Republican Congress to pass a historically unpopular bill that further rigs the economy for the rich at everyone else’s expense.

Anyone who thinks this bill will improve the Republican Party’s electoral prospects is ignoring history and common sense. In reality, 2018 just went from bad to worse for the GOP thanks to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump.

Shripal Shah concludes:

The 2010 parallels are striking, and the Republicans ignoring them do so at their own peril. As someone who has been on the receiving end of a wave, I say this with certainty: thanks to this tax scam, 2018 just got a lot more daunting for Republicans trying to keep control of Congress. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Mueller probe outgrows its ‘witch hunt’ phase

Sources familiar with the Russia collusion probe say Mueller and his team “are pursuing new leads, interrogating new witnesses and collecting a mountain of new evidence, including subpoenaed bank records and thousands of emails from the campaign and the Trump transition.”

Moreover, “In what is potentially another ominous sign for the White House, the lawyer for Jared Kushner, the president’s son in law and senior adviser who was in charge of the campaign’s digital operation, recently began searching for a crisis public relations firm to handle press inquiries — a step frequently taken by people who believe they may be facing criminal charges.”

Trump’s ‘no collusion!’ cry is getting increasingly desperate

Columnist Paul Waldman writes.

You know how if you repeat a word over and over, eventually it starts to sound strange to your ear, like merely a random collection of sounds? That is apparently what President Trump is doing with the word “collusion.” Say it often enough, and perhaps it will lose all meaning.

That’s just one of the things that comes through in this bizarre and disturbing interview Trump conducted at the Trump International Golf Club with Michael Schmidt of the New York Times, apparently on the spur of the moment and with no aides there to protect him. As we’ve almost come to expect by now, when Trump speaks at length without a script, he skitters back and forth along the line that divides the comical from the terrifying, telling one obvious lie after another, making endless digressions that devolve into incomprehensible word salad, and generally sounding like someone with only the most tenuous grip on his faculties.

But there’s one thing he’s very clear about wanting everyone to know: He and his campaign did not collude with Russia during 2016. In fact, without being prompted he returned again and again to the topic, repeating the word “collusion” no fewer than 23 times:

“Frankly there is absolutely no collusion…Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion…I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion…I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion…There’s been no collusion…There was no collusion. None whatsoever…everybody knows that there was no collusion. I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion [note: not true]…The Republicans, in terms of the House committees, they come out, they’re so angry because there is no collusion…there was collusion on behalf of the Democrats. There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats. A lot of collusion…There was tremendous collusion on behalf of the Russians and the Democrats. There was no collusion with respect to my campaign…But there is tremendous collusion with the Russians and with the Democratic Party…I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion…There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion…when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems [Democrats] had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion.“

Could we soon regrow our limbs?

Yes, we could, say scientists:

Humans may one day be able to regrow missing limbs, and even brain tissue.

At least that’s the claim of scientists who have mapped the genome of a salamander, the Iberian ribbed newt.

Many amphibians have regenerative abilities, but salamanders have the special ability to regrow whole organs, including parts of the brain.

Among the early findings in the salamander’s genome is a family of genes that can provide clues to this unique ability.

Scientists say this will one day allow humans to regrow limbs and could also be the breakthrough needed to cure Parkinson’s and other degenerative brain conditions.

A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don’t get sleep

“Sleep expert Matthew Walker breaks down the many effects of sleep deprivation” — from bad to terrifying — “on your brain and body.”