“Good news about the release of the American hostage from Venezuela,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
Go Woke, Go Broke: ‘Solo’ Crash Lands at Box Office
Before we go any further, let’s dispel with The Nonsense. Solo is not collapsing at this weekend’s domestic and international box office over some exotic disease known as Star Wars Fatigue. The idea that the American public is tired of Star Wars because The Last Jedi was released only five months ago, is a heaping-helping of anti-science rubbish.
To begin with, Avengers: Infinity War opened just five weeks after Black Panther. Five. Weeks. In fact, Black Panther was still in theaters when Infinity War opened and Infinity War still delivered the biggest opening in the history of the box office.
Star Wars Fatigue?
Are people actually going with that?
In a country that, for decades, still tunes in countless times a week to gobble down reruns of various procedural shows (CSI, Law & Order, NCIS) that are indistinguishable from one another?
Americans never tire of anything. Look around, y’all, we hate to tire of stuff. From our cold dead hands will we let something go. We love sameness, the comfort of predictability, the sense that the earth has stopped turning, which means time isn’t passing, which means we are not going to die. Good grief, we are so scared of dying, so terrified of change, that sometime in June of 1995 we froze our clothes, hair, and decorating styles in amber.
Fatigue? From Americans? Sorry, no. The only way to get us to move along is if it sucks … which brings me back to Star Wars.
How badly is Solo under-performing?
Oh, it’s bad.
Keeping in mind that the trades reporting on Solo’s box office tend to suck up to the studios by making things sound better than they really are — and things still look bad. Over this four-day Memorial Day weekend, Solo is belly-flopping at right around $114 million. Solo’s three-day take (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) is $93 million.
Comparing apples-to-apples, here are the three-day openings…
Solo: $92 million
The Last Jedi: $220 million
Rogue One: $155 million
When you figure in for inflation, even the dreaded prequels (that opened on a lot fewer screens) will out-perform Solo.
The Phantom Menace opened to $114 million (2970 screens) in 1999, Attack of the Clones opened to $126 million (3161 screens) in 2002, and Revenge of the Sith opened to $153 million (3663 screens) in 2005.
Solo opened on a whopping 4400 screens.
For an even clearer perspective, on its opening Friday, Rogue One earned $71 million. Solo made about half that, $36.5 million.
Internationally, that magical place where most domestic box office bombs go to thrive, Solo is even doing worse. In 43 markets, over two whole days, Solo made a paltry $11.4 million.
So what is happening? Why such a collapse?
Two words: Kathleen and Kennedy.
Kathleen Kennedy is the 65-year-old producer in charge of the Star Wars franchise. She is also a committed left-wing social justice warrior and feminist who is using the Star Wars franchise to push her obnoxious agenda.
Kennedy undoubtedly believed that with such a beloved and iconic property, she was bulletproof; that she could be as strident and obnoxious as she pleased, and we dumbass Americans would still slavishly get the line because spaceships and laser-guns are cool ‘n stuff.
She was wrong, and The Last Jedi was the beginning of the end. It under-preformed big-time at the box office and its overbearing political moments were not only eye-rollingly awful, they damaged the overall story while tainting the entire franchise. Kennedy has placed her dumb agenda over the storytelling, and the result was especially awful in Last Jedi, like that two-hour chase that went nowhere. Worse still, was Kennedy’s decision to dumb down Oscar Issac’s Poe Dameron into a sexist caveman when he is, by far, the most charismatic new character in the new trilogy.
Solo also has its SJW moments. Who doesn’t love watching a five-foot girl who weighs in at about 85 pounds kicking the ass of a grown man? Then there is the feminist droid always harping about equal rights (thankfully, she is killed off quickly). Finally, we are hit with the news that the iconic Lando Calrissian is a “pansexual,” and there are a couple moments in Solo where you are given the impression that includes sex with feminist droids.
Kathleen Kennedy is killing the Star Wars franchise because she is so drastically changing it ( remember what I said above about Americans not liking change?). What used to be escapist and mythical, what was once wondrous and ennobling of the human spirit, is now pedantic, preachy, and small-minded.
Kennedy is not appealing to our sense of adventure and shared aspirations, she is hectoring and scolding us. She is not appealing to our shared humanity, she is dividing us up into tribal camps based on race gender, color, and where we like to put our sex organs.
Kathleen Kennedy is such a bad storyteller, so heavy-handed, so selfish, so narcissistic, so wrong, so divisive, so out of touch, that a Star Wars movie — a Star Wars movie, y’all –– will probably lose money.
Decades of goodwill have been squandered, the golden goose has been made constipated, and all because of the one thing true constant in America, that thing that will never change: liberals eventually ruin everything.
Go Woke, Go Broke as the saying goes at Instapundit. ESPN, the NFL, higher education, California, Illinois, Western Europe, CNN, Newsweek, Time, the Oscars, Emmys, and Golden Globes; and now our beloved Star Wars.
Celebs Slam Trump Admin. Rule Separating Abortion Clinics from Federally Funded Facilities
Hollywood celebrities are coming to the aid of the abortion industry following the Trump administration’s announcement of a new rule that ends the notion that abortion is health care or family planning and requires abortion facilities to be physically and financially separate from federally funded family planning centers.
The new rule, which can be read at the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), bars recipients of federal Title X family planning funds from referring women for abortions and – for abortion providers that also offer family planning services – also requires completely separate facilities for these services. The rule sends the clear message that abortion is not family planning or health care.
The new regulations also require Title X recipients to both abide by all state and local laws that mandate the reporting of child sexual abuse, and to document that they have made those reports.
Actress and comedian Sarah Silverman started off ripping Trump on May 18 with her assertion the new rule is not about protecting life, but about “limiting women’s choices while courting a specific voting block”:
Time to expose all the abortions paid for by the hypocrite politicians that vote for this. Make no mistake, this is about limiting women’s choices while courting a specific voting block. This could not be less about morals or life. https://t.co/NkivIkdOuL
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) May 18, 2018
MRC NewsBusters noted other celebrity tweets as well:
“Tweet at him now and tell him: he has no right to make decisions about your body,” tweeted actress Jane Fonda:
BREAKING: .@RealDonaldTrump just announced a gag rule that would prohibit doctors from referring patients for abortion and block patients from care at PP.
— Jane Seymour Fonda (@Janefonda) May 23, 2018
Singer Pink tweeted, “Title X gives women access to contraception and more control over their lives, health, careers & economic security — and a gag rule takes that care away”:
Title X gives women access to contraception and more control over their lives, health, careers & economic security — and a gag rule takes that care away. #NoGagRule
— P!nk (@Pink) May 23, 2018
The notion that women are somehow unable to obtain contraception with the new rule in place is, however, “fake news.” Taxpayer funds that would go to abortion facilities that refuse to abide by the new regulations – and some may choose not to – are slated to go to other federally qualified health centers that do not perform abortions and that provide more comprehensive health care. Any individual who would have chosen a Title X abortion facility for regular health care and family planning services can find another center at getyourcare.org.
“These centers outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities by a 20:1 ratio,” notes Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.
Actress Jessica Biel also tweeted the “gag rule” is “a dangerous Trump-Pence policy that allows doctors to withhold information from women about their pregnancy options and block patients from coming to Planned Parenthood”:
Title X gives women access to birth control and therefore more control over their lives, health, careers and economic security. A gag rule takes that away. #NoGagRule @PPact RT pic.twitter.com/JjHkLQI7cC
— Jessica Biel (@JessicaBiel) May 24, 2018
The new rule, however, does not prohibit doctors in Title X facilities from counseling women about abortion.
Madame Secretary’s Tea Leoni also tweeted the same misinformation about the new Title X regulations:
Under the administration’s gag rule, people who access care through Title X—mostly the uninsured, low income, or people of color—wouldn’t be able to get info about all their options, including abortions. Enough is enough. #IStandWithPP to say #NoGagRule. https://t.co/hWRLx6mfIZ
— Téa Leoni (@TeaLeoni) May 24, 2018
“Under the administration’s gag rule, people who access care through Title X—mostly the uninsured, low income, or people of color—wouldn’t be able to get info about all their options, including abortions,” she posted. “Enough is enough.”
Again, the new rule does allow facilities that receive Title X funding to counsel about abortion, but not refer for abortion. Low-income individuals and the uninsured can still go to the many thousands of federally qualified health centers that provide more expansive services than Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Additionally, Title X facilities that currently perform abortions and distribute contraception can choose to abide by the new rule and separate their family planning centers from those that perform abortions in order to remain eligible for grants under this program.
Other celebrities tweeted similar left-wing talking points that reflected a lack of knowledge about the new rule.
“Stop playing politics with our bodies and health care,” postedTop Chef producer Padma Lakshmi:
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) May 24, 2018
“Title X gives women access to contraception and more control over their lives, health, careers, & economic security — and a gag rule takes that care away,” said Kate Walsh of 13 Reasons Why:
Title X gives women access to contraception and more control over their lives, health, careers, & economic security — and a gag rule takes that care away. #NoGagRule
— Kate Walsh (@katewalsh) May 23, 2018
Numerous other celebrities joined in attacking the new rule:
— Selenis Leyva (@selenis_leyva) May 23, 2018
— Bridget Moynahan (@bridgetmoynahan) May 22, 2018
— Melissa Gilbert (@MEGBusfield) May 23, 2018
— Tatiana Maslany (@tatianamaslany) May 24, 2018
— Zoe Lister-Jones (@ZoeListerJones) May 23, 2018
— Kerry O’Malley (@TheKerryOMalley) May 23, 2018
— Ally Walker (@allywalker1) May 20, 2018
— Lisa Edelstein (@LisaEdelstein) May 19, 2018
— Genevieve Hannelius (@G_Hannelius) May 18, 2018
— Sarah Wine-Thyre 🇺🇸 (@SarahThyre) May 18, 2018
Exclusive — Barr: There’s No Reason Not to Harden Security at Schools
The United States Capitol Building often is referred to as “The People’s House.” For more than two centuries, access to the People’s House was largely unfettered.
Visitors, whether American citizens or otherwise, could easily and freely walk into the building to see their Representative, listen to a congressional hearing, roam the statue- and art-bedecked corridors, or sit in the visitors galleries to watch one of the two legislative bodies in action.
All that changed dramatically after July 24, 1998, the day a deranged gunman charged into the House entrance and mortally wounded two Capitol Hill police officers. That double murder set in motion an assessment of just how open to the people the People’s House should remain. Over the next several years, a massive and costly construction project took place that now funnels all non-official visitors to the Capitol through a huge, underground system of checkpoints and stairways before they can enter the building.
Security measures on the Hill were tightened further following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. In similar fashion, it has now become far more difficult for visitors to gain access to public areas of the White House that once were within easy reach for citizens eager to do what people in other countries could only dream about – walking into the actual home of their country’s leader.
These changes serve as very real, if unfortunate reminders of the 21st Century world in which we live; among other things, lengthening the distance between the people and their government. The same can be said with regard to America’s schools.
Where once a parent could walk unquestioned into an elementary school to share lunch with their son or daughter; now they must be buzzed in, badged, possibly directed through a metal detector, and permitted to go only to a specific place within the building.
Yet even with all these security measures, tragedies such as befell the high school in Santa Fe, Texas on May 18th, still occur.
As with the debate about whether to place armed and uniformed law enforcement officers at schools, there remains much controversy surrounding the question of “how much security at a school is too much?”
Sociologists ponder whether physical security measures like metal detectors “alienates” students and makes them less receptive to learning. One writer at the RAND Corporation, Rajeev Ramchand, cites to a study that concludes, counterintuitively, that visible physical security measures makes students feel less safe. Some analysts fret that placing physical security measures at schools make the institutions appear unwelcoming.
In the end, one can become dizzy going ‘round in circles about whether to install physical security devices at school and to what extent. In many respects, this is the debate that virtually every country has faced since 9-11 regarding security at airports and other government structures.
Fears that tightened security at commercial airports would lead to a downturn in civilian air travel, however, never materialized. Despite the animosity with which passengers occasionally view TSA security checkpoints or personnel, the public’s appetite for air travel remains at historically high levels. And, despite the increased security measures at the U.S. Capitol, it remains one of the most visited tourist sites in the country.
But there are differences that must be considered. Schools are not tourist attractions; and unlike most air travel, attendance is not a voluntary activity. It is appropriate and important to consider the effects on students, teachers, and parents of enhanced security measures at schools.
The strategy underlying virtually every plan for physical security measures at schools is quite simple: minimize the opportunity for a potential murderer to gain access to the school in the first instance, and maximize the chances his efforts will be quickly thwarted if he does gain entry.
Unlike airport security, however, school security measures need to be considered in the broader context of whether they negatively impact what goes on there; in other words, whether they enhance or diminish the ability of teachers to teach and students to learn. And, unlike commercial airports, a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for the thousands of extremely diverse schools scattered across communities from Miami to Anchorage.
Striking that balance is not easy, and dollars often are in short supply; but there are resources available. Organizations such as “PASS” (the Partnership Alliance for Safer Schools), along with law enforcement organizations in all parts of the country and at all levels, are ready to assist school boards in developing, implementing and updating hardened security measures. But the will to do so has to be there.
Any school board’s failure to engage such steps for whatever reason, including political or bureaucratic concerns, should be cause for parents to demand those who failed in this regard be fired or removed from office.
Bob Barr is president and CEO of the Law Enforcement Education Foundation (LEEF). From 1995-2003, he represented Georgia’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sweden: Three Migrants Prosecuted for Synagogue Firebombing
Prosecutors have charged three migrants from Palestine and Syria for attacking a Jewish synagogue in Gothenburg, Sweden last December, following the announcement of the U.S. embassy in Israel’s move to Jerusalem.
The prosecution of the three men was announced this week by prosecutor Stella Lundqvist, who said that hate was likely a motive for the attack on the synagogue, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
The three migrants, who are in Sweden as temporary residents and are on work visas, are being charged with aggravated arson or attempted arson.
Sweden: Masked Gang Firebomb Synagogue After Jerusalem Protest https://t.co/355ObxMe63
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 10, 2017
The prosecutor said the men, “together and in agreement with a number of unknown persons, started fires by throwing several bottles of burning gas or similar liquid to cars parked outside the synagogue of the property belonging to the Jewish Assembly in Gothenburg as well as neighbouring property. The cars belonged to members of the Jewish Assembly.”
Lundqvist added that the crime was being treated as especially serious because of the potential the fires had to spread to nearby buildings in the area, which could have caused far more damage.
The attack, which occurred last December, followed a protest in Gothenburg against the U.S. announcement to move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as the capital of Israel, and was said to have involved at least 20 people.
Earlier that same day in the heavily migrant-populated city of Malmö, protestors against the embassy move said, “We have announced the intifada from Malmö. We want our freedom back, and we will shoot the Jews!”
The new U.S. embassy, which opened earlier this month, has been the subject of violent protest by some, including the terror group Hamas, but the move was also welcomed by several European countries including the Czech Republic and Romania, who have both expressed a desire to follow in the footsteps of U.S. President Donald Trump and move their country’s embassies to Jerusalem as well.
Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com
CAIR Official: Americans Who Volunteer for Israeli Army Are Like Islamic Terrorists
Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Los Angeles branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), complained recently that the U.S. government monitors Muslims who volunteer to fight for Islamic terrorist organizations abroad but does not monitor Jewish Americans who volunteer to fight in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Ayloush made his comments at an April meeting at the Islamic Institute of Orange County called “Challenging Islamophobia with My Vote.”
He complained that the U.S. government applied its Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program to Muslims and not to Jews, seeing that as an example of Islamophobia.
His remarks were reported Friday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
His comments, as transcribed by MEMRI, were as follows (from 3:00 to 4:30 in the video that follows):
You know how many hundreds of Jewish American kids are recruited to join the Israeli occupation army? Hundreds. Every year. They leave their country, leave America, to go join with an army that is engaged, with no debate [sic], in major violations of human rights, and maybe some would argue, and I’m one of them, war crimes. And yet people in America leave this country and go there. No one has ever established a CVE program to see, why would normal Jewish American kids leave their home and join to be part of an army committing war crimes. Why? But none of that is happening. They go to the American Muslim community, although again and again we’ve seen the numbers of Muslims who join extremist terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda is very, very, very, very tiny. Very tiny. Not justifying these tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions… But again the point is going back to the question that sister Asma asked, and that is stigmatizing American Muslims, making us feel that somehow we’re guilty, we’re suspect, and making the rest of the country feel that there is a reason, there is a need to scrutinize this community. So that’s why fighting Islamophobia is not just about us feeling good. It’s not just about me being able to go to the supermarket or drive without feeling threatened. This is important, but it’s more than that. It’s about the future of our existence as proud Muslims in our own country.
Ayloush has been CAIR’s executive director in Los Angeles since 1998, according to MEMRI.
Ayloush has a history of making notorious statements.
In December 2016, he tweeted, then deleted, a wish that more Russian military personnel had died in a plane crash. In December 2015, he blamed American foreign policy for an Islamic terror attack in San Bernardino, California that killed 14 people.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.