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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Featured Story" (Page 205)

Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’

Westlake Legal Group AP_17137438399733-620x372 Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’ Russia Ov1ru$ FSB Hacked Front Page Stories Forbes' Zak Doffman Featured Story Digital Revolution Cybersecurity Allow Media Exception

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a question at a joint news conference at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry announced Friday, that Putin had promised to start delivering food after speaking on the phone with President Nicolas Maduro. (Yuri Kadobnov/ Pool photo via AP)

 

Forbes’ Zak Doffman reports that Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, has been hacked. The FSB, similar to our FBI, is Russia’s main successor agency to the KGB.

BBC Russia reports this as “the largest data leak in the history of the work of Russian special services on the Internet.”

According to Forbes, on July 13, a hacking group using the name Ov1ru$ is said to have stolen 7.5 terabytes of data from SyTech, a “major FSB contractor working on a range of live and exploratory internet projects.” This revealed “secret FSB projects to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media, and help the state split its internet off from the rest of the world.” Hackers left behind a smiling Yoba face on the homepage of the company’s website.

(Notes: De-anonymization is a data-mining technique where unidentified data is matched with publicly available information to determine the source’s identity; A Yoba face is a symbol used in Russian internet slang to denote trolling; One terabyte can hold 200,000 5-minute songs, or 500 hours worth of movies.)

Ov1ru$ “passed the data itself to the larger hacking group Digital Revolution, which shared the files with various media outlets and the headlines with Twitter—taunting FSB that the agency should maybe rename one of its breached activities “Project Collander.” It is believed that none of the files sent to journalists had been edited or changed in any way.

Doffman said he had received a link to the Digital Revolution site where an initial tranche of breached documents was “published two months ago… as part of that 7.5 terabytes.”

Westlake Legal Group First-620x341 Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’ Russia Ov1ru$ FSB Hacked Front Page Stories Forbes' Zak Doffman Featured Story Digital Revolution Cybersecurity Allow Media Exception

Westlake Legal Group Second-620x569 Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’ Russia Ov1ru$ FSB Hacked Front Page Stories Forbes' Zak Doffman Featured Story Digital Revolution Cybersecurity Allow Media Exception

Forbes Screenshot: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/07/20/russian-intelligence-has-been-hacked-with-social-media-and-tor-projects-exposed/#330a19706b11

Ov1ru$ detailed the project names: “Arion”, “Relation”, “Hryvnia,” alongside the names of the SyTech project managers.

Doffman reported:

The projects themselves appear to be a mix of social media scraping (Nautilus), targeted collection against internet users seeking to anonymize their activities (Nautilus-S), data collection targeting Russian enterprises (Mentor), and projects that seem to relate to Russia’s ongoing initiative to build an option to separate the internal internet from the world wide web (Hope and Tax-3). The BBC claims that SyTech’s projects were mostly contracted with Military Unit 71330, part of FSB’s 16th Directorate which handles signals intelligence, the same group accused of emailing spyware to Ukranian intelligence officers in 2015.

Nautilus-S, the Tor de-anonymization project, was actually launched in 2012 under the remit of Russia’s Kvant Research Institute, which comes under FSB’s remit. Russia has been looking for ways to compromise nodes within Tor’s structure to either prevent off-grid communications or intercept those communications. None of which is new news. It is believed that some progress has been made under this project. Digital Revolution claims to have hacked the Kvant Research Institute before

The preparatory activities for splitting off a “Russian internet,” follow Russian President Vladimir Putin signing into law provisions for “the stable operation of the Russian Internet (Runet) in case it is disconnected from the global infrastructure of the World Wide Web.” The law set in train plans for an alternative domain name system (DNS) for Russia in the event that it is disconnected from the World Wide Web, or, one assumes, in the event that its politicians deem disconnection to be beneficial. Internet service providers would be compelled to disconnect from any foreign servers, relying on Russia’s DNS instead.

The BBC Report, which is written in Russian, states that no actual state secrets were exposed. But the mere fact that hackers had so easily been able to breach SyTech’s server is the surprise.

Doffman notes that “contractors remain the weak link in the chain for intelligence agencies worldwide.” Breaching government contractors is a common way for hackers to steal government information. It’s been tried against U.S. government contractors as well.

In January, I posted that the US electric grid had been hacked by the targeting of hundreds of small government contractors and subcontractors here.

Unfortunately, safeguards will be added which will make it more difficult to repeat a similar breach. But it makes for an interesting story anyway.

Doffman notes that the FSB has declined to comment on the breach.

Westlake Legal Group New-Yoda-Face-620x695 Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’ Russia Ov1ru$ FSB Hacked Front Page Stories Forbes' Zak Doffman Featured Story Digital Revolution Cybersecurity Allow Media Exception

https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/07/20/russian-intelligence-has-been-hacked-with-social-media-and-tor-projects-exposed/#22a0c71b6b11

The post Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_17137438399733-300x180 Russia’s FSB Hacked: ‘Largest Data Breach In its History’ Russia Ov1ru$ FSB Hacked Front Page Stories Forbes' Zak Doffman Featured Story Digital Revolution Cybersecurity Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Supporter Miss Michigan Responds to the Stripping of Her Crown Over Charges of Racism & Islamophobia

Westlake Legal Group crown-1701934_1280-620x412 Trump Supporter Miss Michigan Responds to the Stripping of Her Crown Over Charges of Racism & Islamophobia Uncategorized Front Page Stories Featured Story

 

 

As covered by RedState’s Bonchie, Miss Michigan was stripped of her Miss World America crown this week. The reason? She’s allegedly racist, insensitive, and Islamophobic.

See for yourself — I encourage you to read all of the below:

Kathy Zhu is…brace yourself, because I’m about to use this term accurately and apolitically, which you may not have heard in a while…an immigrant.

Her family moved to the U.S. when she was 5.

But the minority immigrant has been attacked online.

In response, Kathy posted a video via social media.

Here’s some of what she had to say:

“I just want to say thank you for all your support. It’s been a heck of a two days, honestly. Yesterday I was crying when I first saw the messages and emails from the organization, but today is a new day, and today was amazing.”

Kathy noted the news story really is a tale of discrimination, but not as Miss World America believes:

“I’m so glad the story got brought into the public eye and the media because this is so much bigger than pageantry; this is about an organization discriminating against people with different opinions, calling people ‘racist’ even when they’re not.”

Kathy’s into words:

“Little attacks like those really, really diminish the value and the truth of the word ‘racism.’ There shouldn’t just be diversity of skin color, there should be diversity of thought, of mindset, of political affiliation.”

Say it ain’t so!

She’s also that worst of all creatures: a Trump supporter.

But Kathy’s proud to take up the mantle:

“I’m so glad to be the voice for this right now and I hope that other pageant organizations could really learn from this story and the situation, to not discriminate with others based on opinions. Don’t worry, I’ll still stand firm, stand my ground. I’m still going to continue to fight for what I believe in.”

Watch the full video below, and let us all know what you think in the Comments section.

We’ve reached a very strange place when politics reaches this deeply into a beauty pageant.

-ALEX

 

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Find all my RedState work here.

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The post Trump Supporter Miss Michigan Responds to the Stripping of Her Crown Over Charges of Racism & Islamophobia appeared first on RedState.

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Trump Fries the Freshmen Fab Four: They’re Not ‘Capable of Loving Our Country’

Westlake Legal Group trump-white-house-lawn-AP-620x413 Trump Fries the Freshmen Fab Four: They’re Not ‘Capable of Loving Our Country’ washington D.C. Uncategorized rashida tlaib Patriotism Ilhan Omar Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Congress Ayanna Pressley AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the North Lawn of the White House, Friday, June 15, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

 

On Sunday, Trump sounded off on the congressional Freshmen Fab Four, otherwise known as Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and fartfighting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (here and here).

His message: Essentially, they stink.

The President asserted the Quad Squad are incapable of being patriotic; oh — and they’re destroying their party.

“I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country. They should apologize to America (and Israel) for the horrible (hateful) things they have said. They are destroying the Democrat Party, but are weak & insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!”

Trump’s post comes, of course, at the end of a long line of hullabaloo, including the Fresh Face Caucus fighting Nancy Pelosi (here), Donald defending Nancy (here), then the Commander-in-Chief welcoming the far-left congresswomen to go back from whence they came (here). That last turn took the whole hubbub to that place where all things in American politics end up: notions of racism.

But some think The Donald’s move was ingenious (here).

Either way, New York’s most eccentric billionaire sure knows how to generate press: As reported by The Daily Caller, Axios revealed that, in the week ending July 14th, all Democratic candidates combined generated only 6.5 million social media interactions. That’s the fewest since January.

How’d ball-hog Trump do? A clean 23.2.

And Trump keeps Trumping away…

-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: hereherehereherehere, and here.

See 3 more pieces from me:

Ilhan Omar Releases A Bizarre Video About Patriotism – Which She Never Pronounces. What Was Going On?

Anti-Trump Doctor Gets Pounced On Twitter After Advocating For Men Who ‘Can Get Pregnant & Also Have Abortions’

Big News: A New 007 Will Be Introduced In Bond 25, & The Person Playing The Character Has Been Named

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. 

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

The post Trump Fries the Freshmen Fab Four: They’re Not ‘Capable of Loving Our Country’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Donald-Trump-Pucker-AP-300x200 Trump Fries the Freshmen Fab Four: They’re Not ‘Capable of Loving Our Country’ washington D.C. Uncategorized rashida tlaib Patriotism Ilhan Omar Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Congress Ayanna Pressley AOC Allow Media Exception Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Legendary Reliever Mariano Rivera Unanimously Inducted Into Baseball HOF Sunday But Not Before Lefty Media Outlet Smears Him As A Radical, Palestinian-Hating Racist

Westlake Legal Group Mariano_Rivera_pitching_closeup_July_2007-620x462 Legendary Reliever Mariano Rivera Unanimously Inducted Into Baseball HOF Sunday But Not Before Lefty Media Outlet Smears Him As A Radical, Palestinian-Hating Racist woke Sports Mariano Rivera Lefitism HOF Front Page Stories Featured Story

New York Yankee Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles, Sunday July 29, 2007 at Camden Yards in Baltimore. The Yankees won 10-6. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

In what became a very reviled post in very short order, The Daily Beast ran what can only be termed an outright smear against legendary Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera Sunday when they suggested the man who was (on the same day) inducted into the baseball Hall Of Fame unanimously was a racist and a radical for being a conservative Christian who openly supports Israel.

Oh, and who has worked with the Trump administration. Because let’s be honest, that’s Rivera’s biggest sin is to an increasingly desperate leftist media that must prove this administration corrupts everything it touches.

Even the description of the piece drips with hackery, implying Rivera has been secretive about his political opinions (spoiler: he hasn’t).

Want to be infuriated? Read The Beast’s (who really lives up to its name on this one) invective about the only man to hold the distinction of being unanimously voted into the HOF.

To this day, he is held up as the ideal athlete, bestowed with endless grace and an unflappable demeanor on the mound that belied a burning competitive desire. Rivera represents a nearly unbroken succession of Yankee greatness that stretches all the way back to the 1920s, from Ruth and Gehrig to DiMaggio and Mantle, and then Reggie Jackson and Derek Jeter.

And over the past three years, he’s also served at the pleasure of a racist president, taken part in thinly veiled propaganda on behalf of a far-right government in Israel, and gotten chummy with outright bigots and apocalyptic loons. None of this will be inscribed on his Hall of Fame plaque. It should, even if much of the sports world would very much like to pretend none of it exists.

The most damning thing they can dig up about Rivera (besides the fact that he doesn’t revile Trump) is that he possibly believes the Jews might be ordained by God to be in control of the Holy Land before the 2nd Coming of Christ (like most evangelicals and, frankly, most devout Christians); and that appeared at an event with, and has offered praise for, Pastor John Hagee, whose most controversial statements have to do with God smiting via hurricanes (again, not that unusual for evangelical Christians).

The Beast even acknowledges Rivera’s reputation by almost everyone else as a person of integrity and character. But the fools who actually know him just need to be instructed about who he really is by The Daily Beast, or so their ridiculous article would seem to suggest.

Fortunately, the piece was pretty uniformly derided on Twitter and Major League Baseball seems to have better sense than the National Football League did when confronted with the woke police. Which is to say: they seem to be ignoring it. Which is really the only way to survive the social justice eruptions that appear intent on destroying anything this country and culture treasures.

From us here at RedState: congrats Mr. Rivera. Nice work. We’ll honor your legacy at this site.

The post Legendary Reliever Mariano Rivera Unanimously Inducted Into Baseball HOF Sunday But Not Before Lefty Media Outlet Smears Him As A Radical, Palestinian-Hating Racist appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Mariano-Rivera-210x300 Legendary Reliever Mariano Rivera Unanimously Inducted Into Baseball HOF Sunday But Not Before Lefty Media Outlet Smears Him As A Radical, Palestinian-Hating Racist woke Sports Mariano Rivera Lefitism HOF Front Page Stories Featured Story  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

There’s a New Joint in Town: West Hollywood Gets America’s First Cannabis Restaurant

Westlake Legal Group marijuana-1910560_1280-620x310 There’s a New Joint in Town: West Hollywood Gets America’s First Cannabis Restaurant Uncategorized Front Page Stories Featured Story

 

 

If you’re in the Los Angeles area and looking for a relaxing restaurant, you should check out Lowell Farms — they have great weed.

Or, at least, they will soon.

That’s right — In a history-making move, West Hollywood’s Business License Commission has approved the United States of America’s first cannabis restaurant.

The joint joint will open its doors at 1201 N. La Brea Avenue — right across the street from a synagogue, which sometimes holds events in its outdoor area. The house of worship wasn’t too thrilled about a place dedicated to He Who Sits on High being butted — or, budded — up against an establishment devoted to He Who Sits High, so a rabbi at Tuesday’s meeting requested the license be rejected.

But that plan went to pot.

So what’s the new WeHo eaterie — or, weederie — gonna be like?

Well, here’s partly why the rabbi was concerned.

As reported by Patch.com:

Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe will be an open-air restaurant…and promises cannabis cuisine and a smoking area.

Though, to be fair:

[Lowell]  promised an air filtration system like the one used in casinos to gain unanimous approval from the city.

And it’s just in time for the trend of green, leafy vegetables — a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association revealed that plant-based ingredients are currently all the rage. That includes cannabis and CBD — of the 650 chefs who took part, 75% named cannabis/CBD-infused goodies as the #2 most popular fad. The #1? Cannabis-infused drinks.

We’ve certainly come a long way from Reefer Madness (which I’m embedding below; check it out — it’s absolutely hilarious).

Lowell Farms will be in good company — in nearby Hollywood, Weedmaps is prepping for their August opening of the Museum of Weed.

According to Patch, this’ll be its 7 exhibits:

● Pre-Prohibition: Depicts the early history of the many uses of cannabis and hemp.
● Age Of Madness: Provides a visual look at the hysteria perpetuated by prohibition.
● Counterculture Revolution: Explores cannabis’ journey into the fabric of the 60s, from the hippie culture to activism.
● Behind Closed Doors: Takes visitors to the start of the war on drugs, when Richard Nixon introduced the DEA, and the people responded with foundations like NORML.
● Entrapment: Delves into the Reagan years and the government-driven propaganda that led to systematic mass incarceration of minorities.
● Dose of Compassion: Shows how the AIDS epidemic drove California’s ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana through a slice of life story.
● Legalization: A look at how both medicinal and recreational cannabis reform has evolved over the last decade and how pop culture has aided in normalizing cannabis.
● The Plant Lab: An interactive exhibit that explores everything from cannabinoids to terpenes and the latest technology and breakthrough medical research that can help shape the future of the plant and its role in society.

So there ya go.

If you’re in LA and you’ve got the munchies — or want them — head on over to Lowell Farms. I hear its Yelp score is very, very high.

Bong Appètit!

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

HILARIOUS: A Little Boy Calls 911 Because He’s Hungry. What Happens Next Will Be Your Favorite Story This Week

A Powerful Tribute: Through Tears, Gene Simmons Tells The Pentagon His Late Mother’s Greatest Lesson About America

Missouri Police Department: Hiding Felony Suspect’s Loud Flatulence Ratted Him Out

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below. For iPhone instructions, see the bottom of this page.



 

 

If you have an iPhone and want to comment, select the box with the upward arrow at the bottom of your screen; swipe left and choose “Request Desktop Site.” If it fails to automatically refresh, manually reload the page. Scroll down to the red horizontal bar that says “Show Comments.”

The post There’s a New Joint in Town: West Hollywood Gets America’s First Cannabis Restaurant appeared first on RedState.

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By Fundraising With Scooter Braun, Is Kamala Harris Standing Up for Women in Entertainment?

Music mogul Scooter Braun, recently in the news regarding his business dealings with Taylor Swift, hosted a “fireside chat” fundraiser for Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) Saturday night at his Brentwood mansion.

As the Daily Mail reported:

Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato were among the Hollywood heavyweights who turned up for a fireside chat with the Democratic hopeful in Brentwood.

The cozy gathering took place at the $20 million compound of starmaker Scooter Braun, who has helped guide the careers of A-listers including Justin Bieber, Kanye West and supermodel Karlie Kloss.

Kamala’s “hubby/stan”  Doug Emhoff tweeted a starry-eyed photo:

Taylor Swift (and her fans) have a very different view of Braun.

He is also an ‘incessant, manipulative’ bully according to Taylor Swift, whose fans are now using this event to denounce a candidate that the singer herself has shown support for on social media.

That’s because Braun recently acquired Big Machine Label Group, Taylor’s former label, and with it, her complete catalog of recordings to date.

“Since Swift signed with Big Machine Records at 15, the label owns her master recordings “for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.” The contract essentially shackles Swift to the label forever, with very few legally permissible ways to escape. Conceivably, Big Machine Records could transfer from owner to owner, and any star must continue to follow the label as it changes hands.”

And, according to Taylor, he’s bullied her for years and encouraged some of his clients (Kanye West, Justin Bieber) to bully her as well. She wrote on her Tumblr page:

I learned about Scooter Braun’s purchase of my masters as it was announced to the world. All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years.

Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it. (See photo) Or when his client, Kanye West, organized a revenge porn music video which strips my body naked. Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it.

This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value’, he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.

By associating herself with Braun, Kamala Harris’ commitment to standing up for women can certainly be called into question. Sunday morning Harris posted a video to Twitter aimed at President Trump, saying that “real strength is building people up” and not using a position of power to demean them.

As yet, Taylor Swift hasn’t commented on the irony.

Jennifer Van Laar is RedState’s Deputy Managing Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jenvanlaar, or on Facebook.

The post By Fundraising With Scooter Braun, Is Kamala Harris Standing Up for Women in Entertainment? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group D_-hNUZU4AAvBnm-2-300x199 By Fundraising With Scooter Braun, Is Kamala Harris Standing Up for Women in Entertainment? taylor swift Scooter Braun kamala harris Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

CA Dem Party Official: ‘Rural White Americans’ Are Bigoted, Not Grateful Enough

Westlake Legal Group iowafarm-620x442 CA Dem Party Official: ‘Rural White Americans’ Are Bigoted, Not Grateful Enough progressives Front Page Stories Featured Story David O. Atkins progressive worldview California Allow Media Exception 2020

California Democratic Party Regional Director David Atkins took to twitter last week to let rural white Americans know precisely what coastal liberal elites think of them.

His condescending twitter screed demonstrates how out of touch this man actually is with this demographic. Unfortunately, Atkins’ misguided understanding of “flyover” people is shared by many of his fellow Democrats.

Not only were Atkins’ comments insulting, they were unwise. First, he is quite literally biting the hand that feeds him. White rural Americans provide the food that this arschloch and every other American eats.

Secondly, white rural Americans are important electorally. Remarks like this risk alienating the entire group and that’s how elections are lost. Let’s hope he and others share their feelings this openly as we get closer to Election Day.

Atkins writes, “You know who is not grateful enough? Rural white Americans…They are heavily subsidized, drowning in federal largesse, blessed with political affirmative action & overrepresentation, have all their bills paid by cities and blue states, but they whine and yell constantly.”

Although most farms are located in rural areas, according to the USDA, only a small percentage (2%) of Americans are employed in the farming/agricultural industry. There are currently around two million farming businesses in the U.S. (as of 2018). Of those businesses, some are subsidized, but the majority (over 60%) are not.

Throughout his ill-advised tweetfest, Atkins also disparages Fox News. “People who watch the constant grating whinefest that is Fox News have a lot of gall telling anyone to love it or leave it. The Fox News cult hates the values of the vast majority of Americans who aren’t rural white evangelicals and want nothing to do with them.”

Atkins must be aware that Fox News draws the largest audiences of the Big Three cable networks. MSNBC lags behind Fox, and CNN trails both by wide margins.

He continues, “Don’t get me wrong: I’m all about reaching out & showing rural white America that it’s the plutocrats that are hurting them, not people of color. Rural white America really is hurting. But I’ll be damned if the bigoted entitled stupidity doesn’t constantly try one’s patience.”

Atkins is willing to reach out and show us, because we just don’t quite get it. He’ll do this for us even though we do try his patience.

Atkins’ statements are largely without merit. His arguments can be easily dismantled with facts and statistics. However, he does provide us with a candid look at the progressive mindset. Throughout the entire thread, Atkins shows his contempt for working class Americans. And because most liberals share the same ‘groupthink,’ his comments are representative of the views that most liberals hold. And therein lies their value.

For those interested in reading Atkins’ entire thread, it can be read below.

The post CA Dem Party Official: ‘Rural White Americans’ Are Bigoted, Not Grateful Enough appeared first on RedState.

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The RedState Box Office Report – Simba Takes Pride, and All The Receipts

Westlake Legal Group LionKing The RedState Box Office Report – Simba Takes Pride, and All The Receipts Popular Culture Movies Marvel lion king Hollywood Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post Entertainment Disney box office report Avengers

Image courtesy Disney Studios

The long-awaited hit of the summer has attacked the box office with a herd of audiences

This weekend was on the radar of everyone in Hollywood, as the release of the rebooted Disney classic was regarded as the Tentpole production of the summer. All scheduling decisions were made with this release in mind as maximizing returns and minimizing damage from the onslaught was all considered.

With a handful of titles this year expected to explode Disney has hit on each one to this point. Before this weekend Disney had already earned 35% of the total box office returns in 2019, and by Monday the total to-date will likely exceed the complete earnings of the next three studios combined. This is not market dominance by The House of Mouse, it is more like a brute-force takeover.

On related news, the long-watched event has finally taken place. The all-time global box office total has been surpassed by “Avengers: Endgame”, as it inches its way to a $2.8 billion total, besting the amount earned by “Avatar”. Disney is having quite the weekend.

THE LION KING – $185.0 Million
It will take Monday to nail down the exact figure, because the sheer amount of interest is tough to accurately gauge. Factors like how many kids tickets are bought, and how many viewers offset plans to Sunday due to the crowds creates a small amount of uncertainty. This one lands however as huge as many expected, a given as it has the widest theater release of all time, showing on 4,725 screens. This return sets a new all-time record for the month of July (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” opened to $170 million in 2011.) Director John Favreau also makes this his personal best debut, no small accomplishment for the director of the “Iron Man” films. While some were questioning the decision to make this remake so close to the original (critics only have this at 55% approval on Rotten Tomatoes) it delivered its intended content. The audience numbers show a good mix of old and new fans, with strong grades in the “A” range for the CinemaScore exit polling. Overseas the film is proving to be a smash hit as well and by next weekend we will have a grasp on just how big of a hit this will become.

2. SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME – $21.9m
This is a rather big number when facing such competition,  in its third weekend. The film is something of a conduit to the next iteration to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which was just unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. Interest has been high as a result and already the Man of the Web is sitting on $320 million.

3. TOY STORY 4 – $14.6m
Another surprisingly strong showing, possibly benefitting from an overflow of those unable to get tickets. This comes as only a -32% drop for the fifth week and the playthings have not shed off too many screens to its lion brethren. They gave up fewer than 500 screens this weekend, still showing on 3,750. Globally the title has taken in $800 million to this point.

4. CRAWL – $6.0m
Turning into a slight counter-programming success. This marks a respectable -53% drop, which is usually better than a second-week return for a horror-thriller. Factor in the massive competition and this small pic is managing to find its audience.

5. YESTERDAY – 5.1m
Still impressing on its scale, the adult fantasy drama is managing to be an impressive hit. It will probably earn $60 million before next weekend, a figure no one saw coming.

6. STUBER – $3.8m
Not a horrible drop in week #2, but with its poor opening it did not have far to go either. The adult action-comedy is struggling even in the context of the poorly performing films in that category.

7. ALADDIN – $3.6m
The other live-action remake for the studio is still around. This means that Disney has four titles in the top-10 this weekend.

8. ANNABELLE 3 – $2.66m
As the lone true horror option the demon doll is managing to stay in the mix.

9. MIDSOMMAR – $1.57m
Meanwhile this arthouse horror has not been as warmly received. While favored by critics it has only generated one-third of the business of “Annabelle”.

10. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 – $1.53m
Only just now getting across the $150 million mark, this falls well short of making 50% of the original, which closed out at nearly $370 million.

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Ted Cruz: Trump’s Reelection 50-50

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-29-620x349 Ted Cruz: Trump’s Reelection 50-50 Texas Ted Cruz Presidential Election kamala harris Front Page Stories Featured Story Elizabeth Warren donald trump Bernie Sanders Allow Media Exception 2020

President Donald Trump is greeted by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as he arrives for a campaign rally at Houston Toyota Center, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Sen. Ted Cruz said during an interview with PBS’s “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover” that aired Friday that he believes the presidential election will be a “coin flip” and placed Trump’s reelection chances at “50-50.”

Asked if Trump could be defeated, Cruz responded:

Absolutely. I personally handicap the 2020 election as a coin flip. I think it’s about 50-50.

I want to see the president reelected, I’m working hard to help the president get reelected and think he certainly can get reelected. But I think we are gonna see staggering Democratic turnout in 2020

Cruz attributed this possibly immense turnout to “anger” on the left:

Anger is a powerful motivator. The far left is pissed. They are enraged by Donald Trump, and it means they’re going to show up, and the big open question is, does everybody else show up?

Cruz cited his 2018 midterm reelection race against 2020 presidential wannabe and former congressman Beto O’Rourke in his analysis. O’Rourke was able to mobilize voters to turn out in droves in reliably red Texas. Cruz won by a 3-point margin. The Democrats in Texas more than doubled their turnout,” Cruz said.

When asked if Trump’s racially-charged rhetoric may hurt his chances in 2020, Sen. Cruz pivoted:

The president regularly says and tweets things I wish he wouldn’t say.

I wish he would say things differently. I don’t have the power to change that.

Hoover asked Cruz four times whether Trump’s rhetoric harms his reelection bid, and he refused to directly answer the question each time.

Hoover also asked Cruz to predict which Democrat would eventually become the party’s 2020 nominee. Cruz responded  said he did not believe it would be former Vice President Joe Biden, would emerge from the crowd, but that it would likely be a more extreme leftist candidate:

I think they are just galloping to the left, and I think that will continue throughout this primary, I think the nominee is going to come from the far left. The three who I would say are most likely are Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

You can watch the entire interview below:

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Krysten Sinema Sure Seems Like the Most Conservative Senator AZ Has Had in a Decade

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-23-620x317 Krysten Sinema Sure Seems Like the Most Conservative Senator AZ Has Had in a Decade progressive Politics martha mcsally Krysten Sinema John McCain Jeff Flake Illegal Immigration Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story democrats conservative border patrol Asylum Reform Arizona

U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., delivers her signatures to Arizona Director of Elections Eric Spencer at the Arizona Secretary of State’s office Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at the Capitol in Phoenix. Sinema is officially running as a Democrat for U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Women running for office have crossed another threshold with a record number of candidates for the U.S. Senate. Actually winning those seats and changing the face of the chamber are a different matter. Many of the women jumping into Senate races face uphill campaigns. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Krysten Sinema is an interesting case study in politics.

She rose to notoriety after beating Martha McSally, who’s campaign strategy in 2018 (and for 2020) appeared to be simply existing. During the campaign, numerous older videos showed Sinema trashing conservative Arizonians and presenting herself as a stalwart progressive. Sinema’s argument essentially boiled down to “I’ve changed.”

Maybe she was telling the truth?

Sinema has been one of the only Democrats to vote on Trump’s judicial nominees fairly, bucking her party to confirm many of them. She’s led work to help veterans and she shunned Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “wear all white” stunt at the State of the Union.

Now, she’s helping lead the fight for asylum reform, something the rest of her party scoffs at.

“This pilot program would apply to families who aren’t claiming ‘credible fear,’ which of course is the first threshold in seeking asylum,” Sinema told The Arizona Republic.“If someone says ‘I left my country because I can’t make a living,’ (or) ‘it’s hard to take care of my family’ — that’s what we call an economic migrant.”

If implemented, the pilot program, dubbed “Operation Safe Return,” would speed up the vetting process, giving Border Patrol 15 days to make a determination about a person’s asylum claim.

Agents would interview the asylum seeker to determine if the person truly is afraid of returning to his or her home country. Border Patrol would have three days to make the determination. If the illegal alien doesn’t have justifiable fear then they’d be immediately deported.

The above is called common sense. If Border Patrol were allowed to adjudicate asylum claims in just 15 days, it would completely solve the border crisis. The Flores Agreement would be rendered moot because it only applies after 20 days, the overcrowding would cease, and we’d be able to quickly deport people who clearly have no legal right to claim asylum.

Calling Sinema the most conservative Senator in AZ over the past decade is half tongue in cheek, but only half. Where’s Martha McSally? Why is she not leading this effort? The only time we’ve been given proof of life on her is when she came out to condemn Trump over some forgettable comment months ago (so forgettable I can’t recall what it was). McSally is currently bottoming out in fundraising and looks to lose two different Senate seats in as many years. I have nothing bad to say about her as a person, but as a campaigner, she’s been really bad.

Also, is anyone missing Jeff Flake about now? Would he have had the guts to back something like this? I highly doubt it. I’m not even sure John McCain would have supported such a hard line on asylum reform.

Maybe Sinema’s change is all about just making sure she can win re-election? That’s fine by me. Whatever it takes.

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