Your Morning Cup of Links

The Left: “We should be more like Europe!”
Normal Americans: “LOL. Pass.”

Hilarious. Statistics show Ted Cruz is correct (sexual assaults in Australia went up by over 20% since 1996), WaPo’s hack “fact checker” gives him four Pinocchios anyway.

Poll: Trump supporters dislike minorities, but like government and progressive economic policies. Indeed. He’s FDR, without the charm.

WaPo points out the obvious, (which is also true of Obama): “Sanders…merely proves that many progressives like being told everything they want to hear.

Musn’t stress the kiddies. Not like completing difficult tasks within a certain time frame is a life skill they’ll need or anything.

This person is absolutely a cat if she says she’s a cat and is completely mentally healthy. Anyone who doesn’t agree is speciesphobic and a bad person.

You can’t make it up.

For more than two years, the Navy’s intelligence chief has been stuck with a major handicap: He’s not allowed to know any secrets. Vice Adm. Ted “Twig” Branch has been barred from reading, seeing or hearing classified information since November 2013, when the Navy learned from the Justice Department that his name had surfaced in a giant corruption investigation involving a foreign defense contractor and scores of Navy personnel.

Worried that Branch was on the verge of being indicted, Navy leaders suspended his access to classified materials. They did the same to one of his deputies, Rear Adm. Bruce F. Loveless, the Navy’s director of intelligence operations. More than 800 days later, neither Branch nor Loveless has been charged. But neither has been cleared, either. Their access to classified information remains blocked.

Although the Navy transferred Loveless to a slightly less sensitive post, it kept Branch in charge of its intelligence division. That has resulted in an awkward arrangement, akin to sending a warship into battle with its skipper stuck onshore. Branch can’t meet with other senior U.S. intelligence leaders to discuss sensitive operations, or hear updates from his staff about secret missions or projects.

Lol. It appears Marco Rubio may have lost the critical Swedish Royal family bloc of voters.

The extraordinary generosity of ordinary Americans

The scope of American philanthropy is unparalleled anywhere on Earth. In 2014, Americans gave nearly $360 billion to charity, the highest total ever recorded. Most of it didn’t come from plutocrats and vast charitable endowments. Though the good works of private foundations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or the Ford Foundation, draw plenty of notice, they account for only 14 percent of charitable giving in this country. And just 5 percent comes from corporations. The overwhelming share of that $360 billion is donated by individuals. Not everyone gives, of course, but in this country those who don’t are decidedly in the minority. Nearly seven out of 10 American households donate to at least one charitable cause each year, at an average annual rate of about $2,600. Philanthropic giving is a quintessentially American behavior, and always has been. It is also a radiant example of American exceptionalism. The new Almanac ranks 14 leading industrial countries by the amount of charity their citizens give yearly (calculated as a percentage of GDP). Americans were by far the most charitable — roughly twice as generous as Canadians, Spaniards, and the Irish, for instance, and more than 20 times as apt to give as Germans and Italians.

You just have to laugh at this point or you’ll cry all the time.

A Department of Veterans Affairs official who was demoted after allegedly stealing thousands of taxpayer dollars from the agency was quietly reinstated to her position earlier this week. Kimberly Graves, former head of a VA regional office in Minnesota, appeared before the Merit Systems Protection Board Wednesday to appeal the VA’s decision to strip her of her title in the wake of a scathing inspector general report. That report found Graves had pressured a colleague to leave his job so she could manipulate an employee relocation program and pocket nearly $130,000.

If corporations had poisoned Flint, people could have sued. But government is shielded from liability, of course, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The cherry on top of this shit sundae: Government workers in Flint got their own clean water shipped in, as they insisted to the city residents that the water was fine.

Read The New York Times‘s review of “The World in Play: Luxury Cards, 1430-1540,” on view at The Cloisters museum and gardens through April 17.

Why Western civilization needs heroes

Anthem of Freedom: How Whitney Houston Remade “The Star-Spangled Banner”

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