Uncategorized News Items


If I owned a newspaper, this is what you'd see in it.  These are news item of which you probably haven't heard, if you get all your information from television.  Some of these stories have appeared in the "mainstream media" briefly but they deserve additional publicity.  Special attention is given to stories which show the alarming growth rate of the federal government's size and power, and abuses of that power, as well as especially bad ideas which are being given undue consideration.  The links will be removed when they get stale or when they are no longer valid.  As a general rule, the most recent and the most important items are at the top of the page.

The stories that interest me the most are the ones that show blind over-reliance on technology — especially GPS-related systems and computers in general.  There is no shortage of minimum-wage clerks who believe anything that pops up on a computer screen.  (That's why electronic voting is a very bad idea.)  But there are apparently a lot of politicians and cops who assume that GPS tracking devices are infallible, too.

This page is for stories that the mainstream press seems to have overlooked.  On the other hand, the stories that appear to have been intentionally squelched are on this page.

News items that are more than about two years old are now located on a spin-off page, which you can find here.

More odd/weird news that imply little or no political controversy can be found on this page.



Ousted UK ambassador leaked US intelligence.  Leaked U.K. diplomatic cables critical of President Trump have led Britain's ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, to announce his departure from Washington earlier than expected.  But the story is not yet concluded.  According to one current and one former U.S. government official speaking on the condition of anonymity, Darroch repeatedly leaked classified U.S. intelligence information, including highly classified information, to a journalist for a U.S.-based media outlet.  The sources are consolidated by the reaction my related inquiries have received from other government officials.  These leaks are unrelated to the diplomatic cables which sparked Trump's anger and Darroch's departure.

Overpopulation:
Our New Planet Is Going to Be Great!  For example, in 1991, when Omar's family fled Somalia due to their complicity in the genocidal regime of the dictator Siad Barre, the population of Somalia was only 7 million.  Today, 28 chaotic years later, Somalia has more than doubled in size to 15 million despite immense outflows of emigrants.  The U.N. forecasts that Somalia's population will reach 35 million in 2050 and 76 million in 2100.  Alternatively, millions of Somalis (or, quite possibly, tens of millions of Somalis) might prefer to follow Rep. Omar to the Magic Dirt of the first world.  According to a Gallup poll, at present one-third of the population of sub-Saharan African wants to migrate, and it's unlikely that additional population growth will make Africa more attractive.

These Are The Most And Least Obese States In America.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), their most recent estimate is that 30.1% of adults are obese as of 2017.  The obesity rate in the United States has doubled since 1990 when 15% of the population was classified as obese.  Further, estimates for the costs of obesity range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.  As consumers, we're footing the bill. [...] The state with the highest levels of obesity in America is West Virginia. [...] West Virginia just beat out Mississippi, the state with the second highest obesity rate in the country.  Mississippi ranks as the state with the lowest life expectancy in America.

New York's power is coming back after Manhattan spent hours in the dark.  [Scroll down]  ConEd CEO John McAvoy said the company is working to understand the cause of the outage and needs to do a full engineering analysis.  The city's fire department responded to numerous transformer fires, the first of which occurred in Manhattan on West 64th Street and West End Avenue, officials said.  [7/13/2019]

The Editor says...
Why would "numerous" transformers catch fire simultaneously in a small area?  Was it a chain reaction, or something else?

American Parents 'Are Afraid of Their Own Kids,' Physician Says.  Family physician and author Dr. Leonard Sax has made a name for himself by seeking to restore common sense to today's crazy world of child-rearing.  He continues this quest toward restored sanity in a recent interview with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.  As Dr. Sax explains, there is a great difference between parents in European countries, such as the U.K., and those in the U.S. That difference, Sax explains, is fear.

Attention Correction Feature in iOS 13 Beta Enables Appearance of Eye Contact During FaceTime Calls.  A new feature in the latest iOS 13 beta makes users appear as if they're looking directly at the camera to make eye contact during FaceTime calls, when actually they're looking away from the camera at the image of the other person on their screen.

Real Hedge-Fund Managers Have Some Thoughts on What Epstein Was Actually Doing.  Long before Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in Florida more than a decade ago, his fellow Palm Beach resident and hedge-fund manager Douglas Kass was intrigued by the local gossip about his neighbor.  "I'm hearing about the parties, hearing about a guy who's throwing money around," says Kass, president of Seabreeze Partners Management.  While stories about young girls swarming Epstein's waterfront mansion and the sex parties he hosted for the rich and powerful were the talk of the town, Kass was more focused on how this obscure person, rumored to be managing billions of dollars, had become so wealthy without much of a track record.

Axios: Breitbart Defines Democratic Presidential Field by Dominating Social Media.  Despite widespread, documented cases of bias against conservative media by social media platforms, Breitbart News and other conservative media have dominated online coverage of the Democrat party primaries, according to Axios.  In an article titled "Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker:  The might of right-wing media," Axios published data from its online media tracker, which tracks the attention received by individual Democrat presidential candidates from stories shared on social media.

American Psychological Association Pushes Polyamory.  Remember when psychologists' goal was to help people live balanced and ordered lives?  Now, it seems, the profession's highest purpose is to empower and validate people's deepest desires and sexual urges without having to suffer "stigma" or any adverse judgments from themselves or society.  Hence, the American Psychological Association has launched the "Non-Monogamy Task Force," the goal of which seem to be the promotion of sexual anarchy and the muting of polyamorists' moral consciences.

APA Task Force Promotes Multiple Sex Partner Status as Legally Protected Class.  The American Psychological Association (APA) has created a task force to promote "consensual non-monogamous relationships" (CNM) and a petition seeking legal protected class status of individuals with multiple sex partners.

Ross Perot, self-made billionaire and presidential candidate, dead at 89.  Ross Perot, the fiery, self-made Texas billionaire whose failed but memorable White House bids as a third-party candidate garnered a sizable slice of the popular vote, died Tuesday [7/9/2019].  He was 89.

Barr's recusal from Epstein case should give Democrats the willies.  [Scroll down]  Now Democrats can have a field day against Trump with the investigation entirely in their hands, right?  Don't think so.  On the surface it may appear to be bad news for President Trump — another rat fleeing a sinking ship? — and the left may be secretly cheering.  But if they are, they don't know Barr very well.  Barr is a canny player in ways that Sessions was not, and more likely, he's clearing the floor to keep any hint of politics out of this bona fide child-molestation case.

Did someone mention Jeffrey Epstein?

A warning about the stalemate in Venezuela.  Colombia has a recent history of one group of bad guys replacing another.  When Pablo Escobar and his M-19 Marxist guerrilla buddies were knocked out in 1990, the Cali Cartel took over.  When the Cali Cartel as knocked out, FARC took over.  When FARC got its vaunted yet locally rejected "peace" deal, they were knocked out (but got free stuff).  Now it's ELN's turn.

New 7.1 earthquake hits Southern California — 1 day after largest temblor in decades.  A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Kern County in California on Friday evening [7/5/2019] — just a day after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that was the largest temblor in the region in two decades, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed.  Shaking on Friday evening was felt as far away as Las Vegas and Los Angeles and into northern Mexico.  The USGS said there was a 5 percent chance a larger quake could still follow.

Act removed from Du Quoin State Fair lineup.  A band has been removed from the Du Quoin State Fair lineup.  Confederate Railroad will no longer perform on August 27.  The Du Quoin Weekly reports the band was removed because of their name.

Venezuela Forces Killed Thousands, Then Covered It Up, U.N. Says.  Venezuelan special forces have carried out thousands of extrajudicial killings in the past 18 months and then manipulated crime scenes to make it look as if the victims had been resisting arrest, the United Nations said on Thursday [7/4/2019] in a report detailing wide-ranging government abuses targeting political opponents.

Venezuela's implosion is becoming Colombia's security nightmare.  As Venezuela's economic and political situation continues to plumb new depths, analysts fret that the crisis is bound to spill over its borders sooner or later.  The most obvious candidate for destabilization is Colombia, which lies just across a long, porous, heavily populated border region that stretches over the Andes and down through the Amazon jungle.  It's no picnic having a failed state on your border.  As Rwanda found out in the '90s when the perpetrators of its genocide set up camp across the border in the vast, ungoverned jungles of Congo, security threats quickly become unmanageable if your foe has a safe harbor just across a lightly patrolled border.  And while the scale of violence in the northern tip of South America is much less, the basic dynamic looks distressingly similar.

UN finds a torture den in Venezuela's detention centers.  Where are Ocasio-Cortez's fake tears at the fence?  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of the few Democrats who's openly stood up for and defended the socialist Venezuelan regime even as millions of Venezuelans seek to dislodge it from power. [...] Now a report from the United Nations high commissioner of human rights is out, on Venezuela, and it's profoundly ugly. [...] Can we draw one conclusion about her?  She's not about humanitarian concerns.  She's about seeking raw power, using people's emotions about what's humane to achieve her ends.  Socialism is always given a pass.

US customs agents seize rat meat at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.  Officials say U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport thwarted a man's attempt to import several pounds of African rat meat.

Border Protection stops illegal Giant African snails that were smuggled into US in luggage from Nigeria.  Two keen-nosed Beagles at a Georgia airport are being hailed for sniffing out two, illegal Giant African snails which were stashed inside an international passenger's luggage.  US Customs and Border Protection revealed that Candie and Chipper — members of the CBP's 'Beagle Brigade' — were on duty at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, on June 23 when they alerted their handlers to the presence of contraband in a traveler's checked luggage.  The traveler, who has not been identified, had arrived in the US from a flight originating in Nigeria.

The Editor says...
From the two articles immediately above, one can reasonably infer that the residents of Africa, where the ten poorest countries in the world are located, are so poor they have to eat snails and rats.  While there is no doubt that slavery was a disgraceful facet of this country's early history, it seems to me that the descendants of African slaves should be glad they live here.

July 4: Feds Warn of Possible Terror Attacks as ISIS Threatens New York, White House.  Federal authorities, in the days leading to Independence Day, warned of potential, not specific, attacks against revelers at the hands of "homegrown terrorists," referring to those inspired by overseas jihadi groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al-Qaeda, according to an intelligence bulletin issued to law enforcement.  The warning came as ISIS threatened to target the celebrations marking the birth of the United States in the nation's capital and New York.

Charlie Kirk Launches 'Turning Point Action' to Organize 1 Million Trump-Supporting Students.  Turning Point USA founder and executive director Charlie Kirk, who has launched Turning Point Action, a national get out the vote initiative for President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, announced the acquisition of Students for Trump on Tuesday [7/2/2019].  TPUSA's sister 501(c)(4) organization, Turning Point Action (TPA), announced on Tuesday its expansion with the acquisition of Students for Trump, and "all associated media assets."  The new initiative is seeking to organize one million student Trump-supporters in an effort to get out the vote in 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the internet, I'm shocked!
Toll House shocks the internet with surprise raw cookie dough announcement.  Raw cookie dough has always been a popular snack food, but it hasn't always been safe.  Health officials warn that it can cause sickness and infections, such as salmonella.  While that hasn't stopped a lot of people from risking it over the years, several companies have introduced safe-to-eat raw cookie dough over the last few years.  Nestle Toll House just entered the uncooked-cookie market with their own brand of raw cookie dough.

The President, China and the Spooks.  Why is it that every time Donald Trump gets together with Xi Jinping, someone gets busted on a sanctions violation?  I'm not privy to the inner workings of our cops and spooks, so I'm just asking.  While Trump and Xi sat down to dinner at the November 2018 Group of 20 meeting in Argentina, the chief financial officer of Huawei was arrested in a Vancouver airport transit lounge.  Now that Trump and Xi are meeting again next week at the Osaka Group of 20 meeting, there are reports of a contempt-of-court order against Chinese banks for violation of North Korea sanctions.

Second world war bomb explodes after three-quarters of a century.  The second world war may be long over, but its weapons remain deadly.  This huge crater in a field near the town of Limburg, Germany was created when a bomb exploded without warning during the early hours of 23 June.  Nearby residents heard the explosion during the night.  The next day they discovered the crater, which is 10 metres wide and 4 metres deep.  Bomb disposal experts think it was created by a 250-kilogram bomb.  It may have been faulty or failed to explode because it hit soft soil rather than a hard surface.  Around 75 years later, it seems a decaying detonator finally triggered the explosion.

The Editor says...
Maybe that was the last one of its kind.  Or maybe it wasn't.

Former White House lawyer: 'I'm not aware of any situation like' Elaine Chao's reported conflicts of interest.  Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao's personal connections are raising concerns on Capitol Hill and beyond amid recent reports of various conflicts of interest.  Recent reports found that the Trump cabinet member created a "special path" for projects favored by Senate Majority Leader and husband Mitch McConnell for his home state of Kentucky; she retained shares in a construction-materials company for more than a year after promising to relinquish them; and she has "extraordinary proximity to power in China" given her family's American shipping company is largely based in China.

Facebook to hand over identity data of users suspected of hate speech, report says.  Facebook has struck a deal with France to turn over identity information on users suspected of posting hate speech on the platform, Reuters reported Tuesday [6/25/2019].  Digital Affairs Minister Cédric O said he reached an agreement with the social media site, according to the report.  Facebook has also been using artificial intelligence technology to combat the increasing problems of fake accounts, fake news and hate speech.  Between October 2018 and March 2019, Facebook took down more than 3 billion fake accounts, estimating that around 5% of monthly active accounts are fake.

Oregon Republican senator threatens state troopers, warns them to 'come heavily armed'.  After Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said Tuesday [6/18/2019] that his caucus was "prepared to take actions" to prevent passage of a major climate change bill, Gov. Brown announced on Wednesday that she was ready to answer Republican stonewalling by calling lawmakers back for a special session.  Brown hinted that she would be willing to send state troopers to round up Republicans if they walk out in the final days of the regular legislative session, saying in a statement that she is "in close communication with Oregon State Police."  That's an option Democratic senators and the governor did not use earlier this year, when Senate Republicans first brought the Senate to a standstill by walking out and preventing the necessary quorum.

The Editor says...
The Democrats did the same thing in Texas in 2003, [see this and this] but they had sense enough to leave the state and hide out in Oklahoma, beyond the reach of the Texas state troopers.

92% of left-wing activists live with their parents and one in three is unemployed, study of Berlin protesters finds.  The vast majority of left-wing protesters arrested on suspicion of politically-fuelled offences in Berlin are young men who live with their parents, a new report found.  The figures, which were published in daily newspaper Bild revealed that 873 suspects were investigated by authorities between 2003 and 2013.  Of these 84 per cent were men, and 72 per cent were aged between 18 and 29.

Monsignor Rossi Boots Me From D.C. Basilica on Corpus Christi Sunday.  For now, Rossi enjoys the PC immunity of the press and the protection of the utterly hypocritical Church of Pope Francis, which preaches poverty by day and practices decadence by night.  Pope Francis goes on and on about "self-interested clericalism" than protects and promotes its most obvious practitioners.  The McCarrick-Bransfield-Rossi triumvirate, with its beach houses, boy toys, and ballooning bank accounts, resembled nothing less than self-interested clericalism on steroids. [...] With one hand, Rossi invites Nancy Pelosi and company to Communion; with the other, he calls the police and his praetorian guard on me.

Pink Floyd frontman David Gilmour sells guitars for over $21 million in auction to combat climate change.  Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour sold over 120 of his guitars for a charity that combats climate change.  According to NBC News, the former frontman's auction raked in $21.5 million, all of which will be donated to ClientEarth, a nonprofit environmental law organization that prides itself on using the law to "combat climate change" and "defend habitats and wildlife," according to its Facebook page.  Gilmour tweeted about his decision to sell the guitars on Friday [6/21/2019], writing, "The choice really is that simple, and I hope that the sale of these guitars will help ClientEarth in their cause to use the law to bring about real change."

The Editor says...
This fellow wants to halt climate change, but then he says he wants "real change."  So he's not against changes.  But he is.

Why The Delay in Public Release of Key Documents?  [Scroll down]  The Inspector General report on FISA abuse has apparently been delayed due to the new angle of interviewing Christopher Steele.  Given the nature of this new aspect; and considering the process for a report assembly after investigation all the way to release (a minimum of a month); it is highly unlikely we will see the IG report until the end of July or August 2019, which triggers suspicions of the proverbial DC can-kicking process.

Feds Seize 16.5 Tons of Cocaine at Philly Port Worth over $1 Billion.  Federal authorities have confiscated 16.5 tons of cocaine from a ship at a port in South Philadelphia.  The U.S. Attorney's office reported the illegal drug was found in a ship at the Packer Marine Terminal on Tuesday, Fox 32 reported.  Officials estimate the seized shipment of 33,000 pounds of cocaine has a street value of over $1 billion.

The Editor says...
If this took place in Philadelphia, wouldn't that be Fox 29?  Fox 32 is in Chicago.

Pro-Life Rep Speaks Out After He Was Uninvited to a Security Conference Over Politics.  Pro-life Republican Texas Rep. Will Hurd responded Tuesday [6/18/2019] after his invitation to speak at a high-profile cyber security conference was rescinded.  "One of the things that's disturbing, I think, this is one more data point in a trend where people are uncomfortable or unwilling to engage with people who disagree with them," Hurd said on "Fox and Friends."

Can the swamp be drained?
City of Secrets:  Estimated 10,000 people in DC are spies.  Waves of civil servants, military and law enforcement officers, business people, students, diplomats and tourists saturate the city.  That is the scene on a typical weekday in the world's most powerful city — whose business revolves around secret meetings, information and documents.  Woven into that orderly bedlam are sophisticated networks of foreign nationals whose sole purpose is to steal secrets.  They are spies.  According to the International Spy Museum in D.C., an educational and historical center of U.S. intelligence documentation and artifacts, there are "more than 10,000 spies in Washington."  While there may be some quibbling about the actual numbers, the FBI agrees with the premise.

Disney World Raises Prices for Annual Passes.  As of Tuesday [6/18/2019], the lower-cost Epcot After 4 pass was $309, up from $289.  Disney's Silver Pass went up from $479 to $519.  The Gold Pass increased $90, from $609 to $699.  Prices for the higher-tier annual passes also went up.  The Platinum Pass now costs $899, up from $749.  The Platinum Plus Pass jumped from $849 to $999, an increase of $150.  The price for the Theme Park Select Pass remains the same.  Prices also increased on the annual passes offered to out-of-state residents.  The Platinum Pass now costs $1,119, while the Platinum Plus Pass increased to $1,219.

The Editor says...
I wouldn't be seen in Disney World if they gave me a lifetime Uranium-plus ultra super duper pass, and free parking, and the air fare to get there.

Oh, by the way...
Dozens of Disney World workers arrested in child sex stings.  Almost three dozen Disney theme park workers have been arrested for alleged kiddie-sex crimes since 2006, according to a broadcast report.  The 35 busts have been for possession of child porn or trying to meet a minor for sex, CNN found after combing through law enforcement and court records.  So far, 32 of those busted have been convicted and the other cases are pending.  Two cases of child porn allegedly happened on Disney property.  Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahler said these scary arrests represent only a tiny fraction of the company's workforce.

Trump supporters line up over 36 hours early for President's Orlando rally.  President Donald J. Trump is holding a rally at the Amway Center on Tuesday evening to announce his re-election campaign.  The event does not begin until 8 p.m.  However, people from across the United States began to line up outside of the Amway Center on Monday morning [6/17/2019].  Fox 35 was on scene and spoke to Maureen Bailey, a supporter of President Trump.

Foreign Meddling: [The] Department Of Education [is] Going After Elite Colleges For Allegedly Taking And Hiding Foreign Cash.  The Department of Education is going after U.S universities over supposed ties to foreign governments, after some allegedly took huge quantities of foreign cash and hid it from regulators.  At the top of the list are Georgetown University and Texas A&M, which have taken hundreds of millions of dollars from the government of Qatar, a middle eastern nation with suspected links to international terrorism.  Both schools received letters from the Department of Education Thursday [6/13/2019] saying they should have disclosed that funding but their filings "may not fully capture" the activity, the Associated Press reported.  The letter warned that they could be referred to the attorney general to "compel compliance."

GOP Congressman Nixed As Keynote Speaker For Cybersecurity Conference.  The effort by the left to de-platform conservative speakers continues.  This time it is Rep. Will Hurd, former CIA officer, and cybersecurity expert, who has been disinvited to be a keynote speaker at a cybersecurity conference.  The reason?  He's a pro-life Republican politician.  No, really.  This slight doesn't make any sense at all except to highlight the fact that there is no tolerance from the pro-abortion left for pro-life politicians.  What does a pro-life position have to do with cybersecurity?  The answer is absolutely nothing.

Indian election reveals role of money, questionable morality.  Nearly 43% of the new members of [India's] lower house of Parliament that convenes Monday [6/17/2019] for the first time since the election won despite facing criminal charges.  More than a quarter of those relate to rape, murder or attempted murder, according to a report by the civic group Association of Democratic Reforms.

Hong Kong and China Give In to Protesters, Suspend Extradition Bill.  Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Saturday [6/15/2019] that a proposed extradition bill will be suspended, handing a stunning victory to thousands of protesters who packed the streets for a week to oppose legislation strongly desired by the mainland Chinese government.

DOJ Admits FBI Never Saw Crowdstrike Report on DNC Russian Hacking Claim.  The foundation for the Russian election interference narrative is built on the claim of Russians hacking the servers of the Democrat National Committee (DNC), and subsequently releasing damaging emails that showed the DNC worked to help Hillary Clinton and eliminate Bernie Sanders.  Despite the Russian 'hacking' claim the DOJ previously admitted the DNC would not let FBI investigators review the DNC server.  Instead the DNC provided the FBI with analysis of a technical review done through a cyber-security contract with Crowdstrike.

23 House Republicans Suspect DOJ Cover-up in Progress? — Request "Prompt" Declassification from President Trump.  Twenty-three House republicans request declassification of documents directly from President Trump as soon as possible.  Despite the executive office directive to AG Bill Barr, the republican group seemingly do not trust the DOJ and FBI institutional interests.  It's a smart move to keep the pressure on.

Children should have the right to tell doctors to vaccinate them if parents have 'flawed' anti-vaxx beliefs, rules American Medical Association.  Children should be able to get vaccines even if their parents don't want them to, top doctors in the US have ruled.  The American Medical Association — the country's largest doctors' union — this week voted to give 'mature' children as young as 12 the power of consent.

Denver elects an Ocasio-Cortez wannabe to its city council.  Is the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez phenomenon spreading through the country?  In Denver, it looks like the Bronx congresswoman has got an imitator, and not just in the Latina looks department, we're talking the bad stuff, the Hugo Chavez socialist department.

Avowed Communist Wins a Seat in the Denver City Council.  Candi CdeBaca, an avowed Communist, just won a seat in the Denver City Council.  She knows literally nothing but firmly believes in communism.  "I don't believe that our current economic system actually works," she said.  "Capitalism by design is extractive and in order to generate profit in a capitalist system, something has to be exploited.  That's land, labor or resources.  And I think that we're in late phase capitalism and we know it doesn't work and we've got to move into something new."

Is Stacey Abrams being groomed for higher office?  The practice of opposing a party rebuttal to the president's State of the Union speech was started in 1966, when Republicans Senator Everett Dirksen and Rep. Gerald Ford responded to Democrat President Lyndon Johnson's State of the Union on television.  Since then, it has become an annual event.  Until 2019, all previous responses were delivered by contemporary senators, representatives, or governors.  Since 2011, there have been two responses — one in English and one in Spanish.  And here I was, under the illusion that English is our national language.  So how did Stacey Abrams, an ungracious loser with no national elective office, become the Democrats' choice to deliver a response?

Meadows: 'There's a Cover-up Within Certain Realms at the FBI'.  Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), in an interview on "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo," touched on a wide range of issues including the investigation by Justice Department (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the potential testimony before Congress of former special counsel Robert Mueller, the release of new documents this week, and whether people in the FBI and DOJ will be held accountable.  About the investigation by Horowitz into alleged FISA abuse, Meadows said that he expects the report to be delayed.  "Only Michael Horowitz knows the exact timeframe of when it's coming out.  Obviously, the attorney general had indicated that he hoped to see it in June.  I'm not as optimistic now.  And one of the reasons for that is additional information has been given to the inspector general for them to investigate," Meadows said.

Good!  It was the students that got you into this mess.
Oberlin College to Jury:  We're cash poor and big punitive award to Gibson's Bakery will hurt students.  The witness testimony completed today [6/12/2019] in the punitive damages hearing, which follows the $11.2 million compensatory verdict last Friday in the lawsuit Gibson's Bakery v. Oberlin College.  The jury could award up to double damages, meaning $22.4 million on top of the $11.2 million, bringing the potential total to $33.6 million, plus a recommendation that the judge award attorney's fees. [...] Gibson's lawyers spent considerable time going over Oberlin College's IRS Form 990, showing over $1 billion in assets and numerous employees earning over $100,000[.]

'Homework gap' shows millions of students lack home internet.  In classrooms, access to laptops and the internet is nearly universal.  But at home, the cost of internet service and gaps in its availability create obstacles in urban areas and rural communities alike.

The Editor says...
That's what books are for.  That's what the library is for.

Record High Employment — Available Jobs Exceed Labor Pool by 1.6 Million.  The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary, aka "JOLTS report", lags behind monthly employment reports by a month as the 'hires' and 'quits' are contrast against available job openings.  In the latest JOLTS report we find evidence why the May employment numbers were less than expected.  The data shows the economy is expanding; businesses are hiring; and the reason for lower new hires has nothing to do with an economic slow-down.  In essence, the labor market is tight, very tight, and Main Street businesses are having a hard time finding qualified workers.

The Editor says...
There will always be a shortage of qualified workers because the public schools are not teaching young people to learn and think for themselves.

Mississippi River floods right after climate alarmists predict water shortages.  The Mississippi River is inundated with water this spring, defying climate alarmists' claims and predictions that global warming is drying up the Midwest.  Reuters published an article in February asserting global warming will cause less precipitation and more drought in the Mississippi River basin.  The article, titled "U.S. faces fresh water shortages due to climate change, research shows," claims, "The pressures of climate change and population growth could cause water shortages in most of the United States."  The article specifically mentions the Midwest, where the Mississippi River flows, as one of the regions poised for reduced rainfall and water shortages.

The Toronto School Board's New Marxist 'Dress Code' Is A Huge Red Flag.  The Toronto District School Board recently announced changes to their official dress code.  Shaping the direction of the new code is the TDSB's push to ensure that school attire reflects "individual expression of identity, socio-cultural norms, and economic factors," which it deems "important factors to a person's health and well-being."  What has so far caused the most controversy is that the new policy allows students to wear hats in class while the national anthem plays at the start of the day.  In a tone-deaf move, the news broke the morning Canadians were paying their respects to those who fought at Juno Beach on D-Day.

PG&E Is Cutting Off Power In California So They Don't Get Sued Over Another Wildfire.  There have been a series of blackouts in northern California recently, but these don't have anything to do with storms or equipment failure.  Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been intentionally, proactively shutting off the juice in areas where red flag warnings for potential wildfires have been posted.  This has led to numerous complaints (mostly justified or at least understandable) from people losing service, particularly those who rely on electricity for home medical equipment.  But the actions by PG&E are equally understandable.

Oberlin College's identity crisis led to its Gibson's Bakery train wreck.  [Scroll down]  There are two things about this case that are very important, of which some of the commenters and tweets I read are missing.  The first is that Oberlin College, in the minds of the jury, wasn't guilty only of what they did, but also what they didn't do.  They had opportunities early on to see the [nonsense] flying in their faces — thrown by the social justice warrior students — and didn't have the good sense to see a basic problem and recognize the simplest of solutions.  What happened here is that Oberlin College and many universities have lost the understanding of their identity and basic purpose, and when that happens with most of us, when we don't know who we are, we tend to do stupid things.  That's what happened here.

Oberlin College ignored the First Law of Holes responding to the jury verdict against it.  Lack of respect for juries can be very, very costly.  The landmark jury verdict awarding $11 million (with the possibility of triple damages to come) to members of the Gibson Family, owners of a 5-generation bakery boycotted and slandered by students with the encouragement of a College official, is looking to be as much about social class as it is about the excesses social justice warriors (SJWs).

Gibson's Bakery v.  Oberlin College:  More than $11 million awarded.  A Lorain County jury on Friday awarded the owners of Gibson's Bakery more than $11 million from Oberlin College in finding that the college inflicted emotional distress, interfered with business relationships and libeled the family-owned bakery in downtown Oberlin.  The jury also found that Meredith Raimondo, the college's vice president and dean of students, libeled the family and business.  "All the Gibsons ever wanted was for the truth to come out," Lee Plakas, lead attorney for the Gibson family, said afterward.  "All they ever asked from the beginning, from Oberlin College, was to use its power and influence and might to tell the truth, and that letter never came.  But the jury sent the letter that was louder and more visible and more public.  I think the Gibson family is grateful for that and grateful for the jury to have the courage to be able to send a letter that no one else would send for the last almost three years."

Catering to the PC mob is going to cost Oberlin College big bucks.  Oberlin College, which has become one of the most politically correct campuses in the United States, has just discovered that allowing and encouraging social justice warriors to damage their perceived enemies can be expensive.  A local jury has just awarded Gibson's Bakery, a five-generation institution in Oberlin, Ohio, $11 million in its lawsuit against the college for throwing its support behind a student-led boycott over false charges of racism.  This amount could triple to $33 million if punitive damages — intended to punish and disincentivize egregious behavior — are awarded in proceedings Tuesday next week.

Arrogant Conceit and Pratfalls.  It's foolish to think that this case impacts only Oberlin.  Insurance companies are not as stupid as the Oberlin administrators and surely are reviewing the fees they charge colleges and universities for tortious liability claims.  Every one of them will pay more.  Will this come out of the payroll of the very bloated administrative salaries they are paying?  Not unless trustees finally get off their duffs and do their job of fiscal and policy oversight.  I do not see Oberlin long surviving this and that's as it should be.  The staff may have cushy, protected jobs but people like Gibson do not.

California utility proactively cuts power because of weather.  Pacific Gas & Electric implemented a controversial practice of cutting power to selected portions of Northern California on Saturday to guard against wildfires as the weather turned very windy, dry and hot.

Backlash when House Dems propose Congressional pay raise.  House Democrats apparently believe all of their hard work chasing impeachment, collusion and obstruction claims against President Donald Trump deserve a reward.  Tone-deaf Congressional Democrats are now proposing a pay raise for themselves, lifting a nearly decade-long pay freeze that would effectively give them an extra $4,500 next year, according to The Hill.

Jury awards Gibson's Bakery $11 million against Oberlin College.  The Jury in the Gibson's Bakery v.  Oberlin College case has reached a verdict.  According to our reporter in the Courtroom, the jury awarded $11 million.  Here are the details:  Allyn W. Gibson was awarded $3 million, David Gibson $5.8 million, Gibson Bros. $2,274,500.  Next Tuesday [6/11/2019] there will be a separate punitive damages which could be a double award (meaning tripling the $11 million to $33 million).

Construction to Begin Soon on Taller White House Fence.  The White House is getting a new 13-foot fence, almost double its current height, to help keep intruders out.

Liberals are gunning for your 401(k).  Shareholder activists are taking direct aim at companies — such as oil companies and gun-manufacturers — by abusing rules that publicly traded companies must follow to promote a far-left agenda.  Instead of trying to pass gun control laws through Congress, they are forcing public companies to bend to their will.  What they are doing is dangerous.  The most recent example happened to the legendary gun-maker Smith & Wesson.  As The Free Beacon reported, an obscure women's group called the Adrian Dominican Sisters has organized its 600 members to become marginal shareholders in gun companies to pass far-left political resolutions. [...] Other asset-managers and hedge fund leaders are willing to cave to activists — in the form of "virtue-signaling" — because they fear retribution and take actions not in the shareholders' best interest.

Leftwing Academic Calls On Bill Barr To Investigate A Surprising Player In The Russia Hoax Scandal.  Now that the popular consensus in the nation has shifted from "Trump is Putin's tool" to "Trump didn't want to help Mueller destroy his presidency" it is interesting to see some of the folks claim that they never ever supported the whole Russia hoax. [...] What shows that Steele dossier is looking more and more Chernobyl-like is the fact that the left is beginning to run from it.  Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, who is also Mr. Katrina vanden Heuvel, definitely a lefty, and a contributor at The Nation, thinks that Bill Barr might be onto something.

A New Player Emerges In The Russia Investigation:  Who Is Walter Soriano?  One of the most interesting and maddening things about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia collusion investigation and report is that it has always felt less than comprehensive.  It has been rightly criticized as only lightly touching on the role Hillary Clinton played in hiring Fusion GPS, to name one example.  Now Politico reports there's a new name added to the mix, discovered as part of an ongoing investigation by the Senate Intelligence Committee's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  That name is Walter Soriano, and no one really seems to know much about him.

Pope Francis Approves Change To Lord's Prayer.  Pope Francis finally approved the changes he has long wanted to implement to the Lord's Prayer by replacing "lead us not into temptation" with "do not let us fall into temptation," reports UCatholic.

The Editor says...
The Pope should attend to his own prayers.  The Pope presumes to know more than Jesus, by editing His model prayer.

Healthy Texas couple dies from mysterious virus in Fiji.  A young and healthy Texas couple on a dream vacation in Fiji died suddenly after they both contracted a mysterious illness.  Family of David and Michelle Paul said the Fort Worth couple began feeling unwell the day before they were supposed to leave Fiji and return home two weeks ago.

Texas couple who died in Fiji said hands went numb in message: reports.  The Texas couple who died suddenly from a mysterious illness in Fiji last month sent messages to relatives saying their hands went numb and that they had been throwing up for at least eight hours prior to rushing to a local doctor to be examined.  David and Michelle Paul of Fort Worth, Texas, were in their 30s and both healthy when they arrived in Fiji on May 22.  According to relatives, the couple were in and out of the hospital due to a violent illness that caused vomiting, diarrhea, extreme weakness, shortness of breath and hand numbness.

An Ornery Old Man.  [T]he Mississippi River, the world's most economically significant watershed, is coming to the end of its lease and considering relocation.  Old Man River is a frightening and uncooperative beast in the best of times.  It's an alluvial river, meaning the Mississippi's bed isn't solid rock like, for example, the Colorado.  At its bottom the Mississippi flows on top of sand and mud, and it moves that sediment hither and yon as it pleases while draining half the North American continent from western Canada to the Appalachians down into the Gulf of Mexico.  Which means every thousand years or so the Mississippi will choose for itself a new channel.

De Blasio blames his staff for missing 9/11 memorial event.  Mayor de Blasio's staff threw themselves under the bus Friday to protect their boss from the fallout over his blowing off a memorial event for those who died from toxic exposure to Ground Zero after 9/11.  A spokesman for de Blasio claimed the mayor was missing from the ceremony for the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial Glade because nobody told him about it.

New York City Is Facing A Rat Invasion.  Back in 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared war on rats demanding "more rat corpses."  The city council mobilized and minted $32 million for the war.  So, what are the results?  After a small drop, rat sightings are again on the upswing.

Commonwealth: You unwittingly pay billions for political agendas in your electric bill.  Already, these agendas add up to about $300 a year for the average electricity bill.

What if Green Energy Isn't the Future?  What's Warren Buffett doing with a $10 billion bet on the future of oil and gas, helping old-school Occidental Petroleum buy Anadarko, a U.S. shale leader?  For pundits promoting the all-green future, this looks like betting on horse farms circa 1919.  Meanwhile, broad market sentiment is decidedly bearish on hydrocarbons.  The oil and gas share of the S&P 500 is at a 40-year low, and the first quarter of 2019 saw the Nasdaq Clean Edge Green Energy Index and "clean tech" exchange-traded funds outperform the S&P.

WHO will no longer categorize transgender as mental disorder.  The World Health Organization will no longer categorize transgender people as having a mental disorder, according to reports.  "Gender Identity Disorder" was removed from the organization's classification of diseases as of last weekend and will now be referred to as "gender incongruence," included in WHO's section about sexual health, Time reported.

Also in the news, the same day:
Burnout is an official medical diagnosis, World Health Organization says.  It's a feeling of extreme work stress that's long been embedded in the cultural lexicon, and now it might be codified in your medical records as well.  Burnout is now a legitimate medical diagnosis, according to the International Classification of Diseases, or the ICD-11, the World Health Organization's handbook that guides medical providers in diagnosing diseases.  Burnout now appears in the ICD-11's section on problems related to employment or unemployment.

There aren't that many dope smoking hippies, even in Oregon.
Oregon, awash in marijuana, takes steps to curb production.  Oregon is awash in pot, glutted with so much legal weed that if growing were to stop today, it could take more than six years by one estimate to smoke or eat it all.

Why the UFO story is far more interesting than you think.  The New York Times has made waves with a new report on sightings by U.S. Navy aviators of unidentified flying objects between 2014 and 2015.  But the UFO issue, which follows a similar 2017 story, is far more interesting than the reporters let on.

JPMorgan Chase accused of purging accounts of conservative activists.  Conservative activists are calling out America's largest financial institution, charging they are being targeted.  JPMorgan Chase is under fire for closing the bank accounts of several customers in the conservative movement as other right-wingers are threatening to close their accounts unless the bank plays nice.  "If Jamie Dimon can't absolutely guarantee that Chase Bank won't ever discriminate against conservatives, conservatives should consider banking elsewhere," warned David Almasi, vice president of the conservative-leaning National Center for Public Policy Research, referring to JPMorgan's chairman and CEO.

How's that legalized pot working out?  Is the War on Drugs over yet?
42 arrested across metro Denver in massive black market marijuana bust.  Authorities said Friday [5/24/2019] they raided hundreds of black market marijuana operations in Colorado that flouted the state's cannabis law by growing tens of thousands of plants in Denver-area homes and selling it out of state.  Investigators seized more than 80,000 plants and 4,500 pounds of harvested marijuana, state and federal prosecutors said at a news conference.  Officers raided 247 homes and eight businesses and arrested 42 people in Denver and seven nearby counties.

Americans' Life Savings Disappear From Mexican Bank Accounts.  In late December, Kathy Machir called Marcela Zavala Taylor, her banker of nine years at Mexico's Monex Casa de Bolsa, to get cash for contractors building her retirement home in San Miguel de Allende.  Typically, Zavala would wire money or dispatch her assistant, Juan, on his motorcycle with an envelope full of pesos.  Monex, with $5.2 billion in assets and operations in the U.S., was woven into the lives of Machir and the 10,000 other Americans who've moved to San Miguel de Allende.  The transfer didn't happen.  Juan didn't show, Zavala didn't return calls, and Kathy and Jim Machir discovered that their nest egg was gone.  When the Machirs and other San Miguel expatriates met with Monex officials in early January, the bankers told some of them that about $40 million was missing from as many as 158 accounts, many belonging to English-speaking Americans.

Wendy's employee takes bath in kitchen sink, restaurant still passes inspection.  This doesn't count as washing your hands before returning to work.  An employee at a Wendy's in Florida brought his home hygiene routine to the fast food restaurant, washing up in an industrial sink, a revolting viral video shows.  The 93-second footage, posted Tuesday [5/21/2019] on Facebook, shows a Snapchat video of a shirtless young man without shoes or socks climbing into an oversize sink in the Milton restaurant's kitchen.

FDA looks to swap out 'sell by' dates for 'best if used by'.  The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday [5/23/2019] that it will work with food manufacturers to use the label "best if used by" to refer to food quality, rather than the phrase "sell by," which can create the impression the product is not safe by a certain date.  The FDA said that the new label will curb food waste.  Setting expiration dates on foods is not an exact science.  The "best if used by" date on milk or eggs means that the products will be the highest quality until a certain date, not that they will expire after that date.  The "best if used by" date shows consumers that the products are still safe by the date indicated, but doesn't lead them to think they have to immediately toss the milk or eggs in the trash after the date.

Sometimes the swamp drains itself:
USDA staffers quit en masse as Trump administration eyes moving offices out of DC.  Employees at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are quitting at a rapid clip as Secretary Sonny Perdue prepares to move forward with plans to relocate two offices far outside the Washington, D.C., Beltway.  Federal employees at the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) — two small but important agencies within the USDA — are unhappy with Perdue's plan, announced last August, to move the majority of their staff from current offices in the capital to an area closer the country's agricultural centers.

The Editor says...
Here's a better idea:  After all the employees walk out in protest, eliminate the USDA completely.  If anybody misses the USDA, a private company will pop up to take its place.

FBI Warns of New Twist in Virtual Kidnapping Scams.  The FBI and our law enforcement partners are warning the public about a new, concerning twist on virtual kidnapping for ransom scams (VKFR), where criminals are convincing U.S. victims to cross the border into Mexico.  Law enforcement agencies have been warning the public of virtual kidnapping schemes for some time.  Virtual kidnappings happen when a victim is told, over the phone, that his or her family member has been kidnapped.  Then, through deception and threats, criminals coerce victims to pay a ransom.  The criminals also threaten harm to the party(s) if they call law enforcement or alert authorities.  No one is physically kidnapped in these schemes, but they are often traumatic for everyone involved.

After the global warming alarmists were defeated...
ASX closes $33 billion higher at 11-year high.  The S&P/ASX 200 has closed [5/20/2019] 1.7 percent higher at 6476, the highest since 14 December, 2007.  The gains are thanks solely to the financial sector, which had multiple negative overhangs removed with the Coalition's victory on Saturday [5/18/2019].

3 Hectares of Poppy Crops Near Tijuana, BC = 2 Million Plants.  A poppy field of approximately three hectares was located by agents of the State Preventive Police at the height of El Veladero Hill, in the Natura district, in Tijuana.  The first data provided to ZETA that at 4:38 pm on Friday [5/17/2019] they reported to the emergency line that from Camino Vecinal street in Colonia Natura a poppy field was visible.

The Editor says...
That's a surprise, but is that really an emergency?

Jesse Jackson Wants To Help Fix The Venezuelan Embassy Standoff.  After the United States recognized Juan Guaido as the interim President of that country, he appointed a new ambassador to our country named Carlos Vecchio.  But Ambassador Vecchio hasn't been able to get into the Venezuelan embassy in Washington because it's being "occupied" by protesters who support Nicolas Maduro.  They're primarily comprised of Code Pink members and other random socialists, but they've locked themselves in for some time.  In response, officials have cut off the power and, allegedly, the water (the utility company denies the water was cut off), and counter-protesters have not allowed anyone to bring in food.  This has been going on for a couple of weeks.

Microsoft uses artificial intelligence to push what liberals think you should write.  Microsoft has decided that you need help in understanding what words to use when you write.  After all, what you write and how you want to write it should take a backseat to what liberals think you should write.  Fox News reported, "Microsoft is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to boost the use of 'inclusive language' in Word.  The feature is part of Ideas in Word, a forthcoming AI-powered online tool designed to improve users' writing ... In addition to 'familiar fixes for spelling and grammatical errors,' Ideas in Word will also offer 'advice on more concise and inclusive language,' according to Microsoft.  In the blog post, [John] Roach used the example of 'police officer,' instead of 'policeman.'"

If Globalization Meant China Could Turn off Your Fridge, Would You Still Like It?  The pill many people take in the morning may have come a long way to the breakfast table, from the other side of the world, in fact.  "America needs generic drugs.  They make up 90 percent of the American drug supply.  Without them, every large-scale government health program — the Affordable Care Act, Medicare Part D, the Veterans Health Administration, charitable programs for the developing world — would be unaffordable."  In the fall of 2012, an FDA employee tasked with "inspecting the Indian manufacturing plants that make many of America's low-cost generic drugs" discovered that its reputation as "the world leader in aseptic manufacturing" was a fraud.

California May Go Dark This Summer and Most Aren't Ready.  A plan by California's biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness.  And most people aren't ready.  The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year's Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history.  While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.

'America Needs Men and Women of Integrity... Freedom of Religion Is Under Assault'.  Vice President Mike Pence on Saturday [5/11/2019] delivered the commencement address at the 46th graduation ceremony at Liberty University — and spoke bluntly to the new graduates and their families and friends [1] as over 50,000 people gathered at Williams Stadium on the Liberty University campus in Lynchburg, Virginia.  More than 8,000 graduates were in attendance to hear the vice president's remarks.  The university graduated more than 20,000 students — 80 percent of whom earned their degrees via the school's online programs, as the university noted in a press release.

Soon, Microsoft Word Will Edit Your Document for Political Correctness.  Is Microsoft trying to rehabilitate the image of Clippy? [...] I'm not sure anything can replace that stupid paperclip, but according to the business magazine Fast Company, Microsoft is rolling out a series of features called "Ideas in Word" to help users with their writing — and one of those features will have to do with whether your writing is sufficiently woke.  "Microsoft will soon preview a version of Word that will use artificial intelligence to make your writing not just grammatically but politically correct," Fast Company reported Wednesday [5/8/2019].

Intelligence analyst charged with leaking Top Secret information to left-wing reporter Jeremy Scahill.  A former intelligence analyst and Afghanistan veteran has been charged with leaking classified information to the media.  Daniel Everette Hale, 31, of Nashville, Tenn., was arrested on federal charges Thursday [5/9/2019].  The reporter that Hale leaked this information to is not named in the indictment, but the charging document identifies him as Jeremy Scahill of the Intercept, an outspoken critic of America's military activities overseas.  Hale "printed off a series of Secret and Top Secret documents through his position with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, many of which he then provided to the reporter."

Secret Knife Missile That Kills Terrorists Without Harming Civilians.  The U.S. has developed a secret missile to kill terrorists in precision strikes without harming civilians nearby, and it has already proven its worth in the field, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing more than a dozen current and former US officials.  The R9X is a modified version of the Hellfire missile.  Instead of exploding, the weapon uses sheer force to kill its target.  "To the targeted person, it is as if a speeding anvil fell from the sky," The Journal wrote.

FCC warns about 'one ring' robocall scam:  Do not call numbers back.  Don't call back phone numbers that ring once and hang up, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has warned.  People throughout the U.S. have been receiving "One Ring" or "Wangiri" robocalls in bursts, according to officials.  The calls are targeting specific area codes "often calling multiple times in the middle of the night."

Rep. Devin Nunes Sends Letter to FBI, DOJ, CIA and NSA Requesting Info on Mysterious Prof. Mifsud.  Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) sent letters to the heads of the CIA, NSA, FBI and DOJ late Friday [5/3/2019] requesting information pertaining to the mysterious Maltese professor who allegedly told Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails.  Nunes told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo that he wants to "get to the bottom of [Joseph] Mifsud," whom the Mueller report paints as a Russian spy, (although he is more likely a Western asset).

Nadler Schedules Vote To Hold Barr In Contempt Of Congress.  House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler scheduled a vote Monday [5/6/2019] to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not giving the committee special counsel Robert Mueller's full unredacted report.  The New York Democrat gave Barr a deadline of 9 a.m.  Monday to turn in the full report with no redactions, which many Republicans believe would be dangerous due to the possibly sensitive material, which could be leaked.

Does this come with a fair trial, or just a decree of guilt?
Democrats prepare to hold William Barr in contempt.  The House Judiciary Committee will proceed with a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress on Wednesday [5/8/2019], Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) confirmed late Monday, as the Justice Department attempts to fend off the effort ahead of a negotiating session with the Democratic-led committee on Tuesday.  Nadler's firm stance comes as he seeks punitive actions against the attorney general for defying a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report on the Russia investigation and its underlying evidence.

Imprisoning Bill Barr is left's new rallying cry.  The battle between congressional Democrats and the Justice Department over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report has reached new levels of vitriol, as some on the left call for Attorney General Bill Barr to be physically dragged in to testify or even locked up for defying congressional subpoenas.  The demands have escalated after the attorney general refused to appear before the House Judiciary Committee last week amid disagreements over the format of the hearing.

Ken Starr:  Leak of Mueller's 'whiny' letter to Barr was an 'unforgivable sin'.  Former independent counsel Ken Starr on Monday sharply criticized the leak of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's letter to Attorney General William Barr following Barr's summary of the Russia report, calling the release of the letter an "unforgivable sin."  "His letter, that was then leaked on the very eve of Bill Barr's testimony, was essentially, I believe, an unfair, whiny complaint," Starr argued on "The Story with Martha MacCallum."  Details of the March 24 letter went public shortly before Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a tense hearing last week.

Is Venezuela's military really loyal to Maduro — or its own survival?  The Venezuelan military officers, summoned to the feared headquarters of the Military Counter Intelligence Agency, found themselves in a room wondering what was looming behind the piece of cloth covering the bulletin board facing them.  Having to be there was bad enough.  The agency, known by its acronym DGCIM, is notorious for holding some 200 to 300 officers and military personnel who have been sent over the years for punishment after being arrested on accusations of conspiring to depose the socialist regime headed by Nicolás Maduro.  Reports of dire conditions and torture abound, the term "hell" often used to describe what it's like to be in DGCIM custody.

WaPo reports that Maduro had advance knowledge of Guaido's plans.  Somehow in the events leading up to the May Day protests that rocked Caracas over the last three days, Maduro got advance word that his military leaders were about to defect, forcing acting president Juan Guaido to start his street protests a day earlier than scheduled.  The leak to Maduro also forced military, now on its backfoot, to show an exaggerated sort of loyalty to the Maduro dictatorship to keep themselves out of the torture chambers, or maybe just plain dead — which is why we saw such a brutal military response to the protests in the streets, with in one instance, the military running a truck over protestors.

Conservatives want Catholic bishops to denounce pope as a heretic.  A group of 19 Catholic priests and academics have urged bishops to denounce Pope Francis as a heretic, in the latest ultra-conservative broadside against the pontiff over a range of topics from communion for the divorced to religious diversity.

Marco Rubio: the narrative that Nicolás Maduro is winning in Venezuela is 'ridiculous'.  Venezuela's self-declared president may have tried and failed this week to overthrow and expel the country's embattled ruler, but U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday that Juan Guaidó is winning a power struggle with Nicolás Maduro.  Appearing in the heart of South Florida's Venezuelan exile community with U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rubio argued that Maduro maintains control over the military but can't move around his own country amid a popular uprising.  He described Maduro as a man with reason to be paranoid, and limited time left on the life of an administration propped up by the Cuban and Russian governments.

McConnell: Senate won't take up bill preventing US withdrawal from Paris deal.  Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that the Senate will not take up a House bill that would force President Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement.  "This futile gesture to handcuff the U.S. economy through the ill-fated Paris deal will go nowhere here in the Senate," McConnell said from the Senate floor.  "We're in the business of actually helping middle-class families, not inventing new obstacles to throw in their paths."

Ukrainian Embassy confirms DNC contractor solicited Trump dirt in 2016.  The boomerang from the Democratic Party's failed attempt to connect Donald Trump to Russia's 2016 election meddling is picking up speed, and its flight path crosses right through Moscow's pesky neighbor, Ukraine.  That is where there is growing evidence a foreign power was asked, and in some cases tried, to help Hillary Clinton.  In its most detailed account yet, the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington says a Democratic National Committee (DNC) insider during the 2016 election solicited dirt on Donald Trump's campaign chairman and even tried to enlist the country's president to help.

Ukraine Embassy Says DNC Operative Reached Out For Dirt On Trump In 2016, Report Says.  A new bombshell report released on Thursday evening alleges that an operative for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) reached out during the 2016 presidential election and asked for dirt on Donald Trump.  The Hill reports that Ukrainian Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office said in written answers to questions that DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information on Paul Manafort because Chalupa wanted to force Manafort's business dealings in front Congress.

Journalism Institute Poynter Tries to 'Blacklist' 29 Conservative Outlets as 'UnNews'.  The attack on the conservative internet has reached a new low.  Poynter, the journalism institute responsible for training writers and reporters, decided to promote a left-wing smear of conservative groups online.  The result was a hit job written by someone who works for the anti-conservative Southern Poverty Law Center for a journalism organization funded by prominent liberal billionaires such as George Soros and Pierre Omidyar.  Poynter, which has started the International Fact-Checking Network, shared the new report and dataset called "UnNews," declaring at least 29 right-leaning news outlets and organizations to be "unreliable news websites."

The Editor says...
I was disappointed to see akdart.com did not make the list.

But then, the very next day...
Poynter Shelves Entire Blacklist Of 'Unreliable' News Outlets Following Backlash.  The Poynter Institute, a journalism nonprofit organization, has completely disabled a list of what they labeled as an extensive list of "unreliable" news websites on Thursday night after facing scrutiny in the days since its publication.  A litany of conservative publications, including The Washington Free Beacon and The Washington Examiner, were lumped into the list of "unreliable" publications and it received nearly instantaneous condemnation from them.

Poynter pulls list of 'unreliable' news sites.  Well, that was quick.  Yesterday [5/2/2019], I reported that the Poynter Institute for Media Studies had published a list of 515 "unreliable news websites" that included this blog.  Today I am pleased to report that the list has been pulled with Poynter's apology, albeit a qualified one.

Update:
Poynter 'Blacklist' of Conservative News Sites Was Created by SPLC Employee.  A journalism institute released a "blacklist" of media outlets they deemed as "unreliable" that was created by an employee of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center and overwhelmingly contains conservative new media outlets.  The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, a Florida-based nonprofit journalism school, released the list on Wednesday [5/1/2019] and declared dozens of mainstream conservative sites such as the Washington Free Beacon, Daily Caller, Daily Signal, CNS News, and Breitbart as "unreliable" while listing few liberal sites," Newsbusters reports.

For Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders — Utopia looks like Venezuela.  The already ruined nation of Venezuela descended further into chaos this week.  Opposition leader Juan Guidó has called on the military to overturn the leftist regime of Nicolás Maduro.  The government has blocked CNN from the nation's airwaves.  Every storm cloud has a silver lining.  Doctors have treated at least 50 injured demonstrators, including one woman shot in the abdomen.  A military tank crushed protesters attempting to flee.  Amnesty International reports a systematic policy of repression throughout the country, including widespread extrajudicial executions.  More than one-third of Venezuelans eat just one meal per day.  "We eat what people give us," one desperate mother of three explained to the Miami Herald.  "My husband works as a watchman, but his salary is not enough to buy food.  We have gone up to two days without eating."  So she waits with hundreds of other hungry Venezuelans in breadlines at her local church.

Brutal: Maduro's Thugs Run People Over With Heavy Trucks in Venezuela.  The situation in Venezuela is deteriorating by the minute as President Guan Guido continues to encourage the military to stop taking orders from Dictator Nicolas Maduro.  During opposition protests Tuesday [4/30/2019] in Caracus, Maduro's thugs deliberately plowed into a crowd of people, running them over and causing severe injury.

Venezuela's Guaido makes a bold new push for military uprising.  We've had so many false alarms it's tempting to just ignore this one.  Wake us when it's over.  Venezuela's democratic acting president, Juan Guaido, called for a giant rally on May Day, a bid for the Venezuelan public to come out into the streets and protest yet again.  Not very original, but there isn't much else he can do, given that the Venezuelan military, the traditional avenue for power shifts in that country, hasn't significantly joined the side of the democrats.  And, it's hard to top the avalanchas of protest that have flooded Venezuela in the past.  How could this one be any bigger?  What's more, given that none of the past demonstrations ever brought forth any change, it's hard to see how this one will.  In Venezuela, it seems it's just all there is to do.  But there are some details that suggest maybe a corner is being turned.

Venezuela's Guaido calls for military uprising while flanked by soldiers at Caracas airbase.  The power struggle between embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and the opposition met its most bold action on Tuesday when Juan Guaido called for a military uprising to oust the socialist leader.  Emboldened crowds took to the streets of Caracas — and around the country — after the 35-year-old leader of the opposition-led National Assembly and a small contingent of heavily armed soldiers appeared in an early morning video promoting the "final phase" of his putsch to oust Maduro.

Watch Ben Rhodes Squirm as He Denies Obama White House Involvement in Trump-Russia Probe.  During an interview last week with PJ Media's Nick Ballasy, Ben Rhodes, former deputy national security adviser to President Obama, strenuously denied that the Obama White House had anything to do with the improper surveillance of the Trump campaign.  Echoing a familiar Obama refrain, Rhodes, in fact, insisted that he "literally" read about the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Trump for the first time in the newspaper ("the [...] Washington Post" to be exact).

Muslim Murders US Soldier - Canada will Apologize to Him and Give Him $10,500,000.  A Toronto-born Muslim is set to receive an apology from Canada's justice and public safety ministers plus pay him more than $10,000,000.00 after he pled guilty to five war crimes, including killing an American soldier.  Omar Khadr, 30, pleaded guilty to five war crimes before a military commission in 2010.  The allegations against him occurred in 2002 in Afghanistan when he was just 15 years old.

Nepal Deports US Citizen, Arrests Four on Allegations of Converting People to Christianity.  Nepalese authorities arrested four people Tuesday and deported a U.S. citizen on allegations of illegally converting people to Christianity by "allurement," sparking outcry from Christian advocates.  Police officers arrested two men and two women, one of whom is a resident of Colorado, around 8 a.m.  Tuesday [4/23/2019], a day after the group of four attended a one day conference for pastors with 70 others at a local church, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

U.S. Broadcaster Under Scrutiny for Disseminating Autocratic Propaganda.  Federal officials are scrutinizing the U.S. government's Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty news service, established to promote democratic values abroad, after complaints it has distributed foreign propaganda favorable to authoritarian regimes in Central Asia, according to the network, its employees and an internal State Department memo.  State Department officials sent a six-page memo to the leaders of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty earlier this year criticizing a pro-government stance by the service's Tajikistan network and urging them to intervene following repeated complaints by U.S. diplomats, network employees and academics specializing in Central Asia.  They said the network was providing programming favorable to Tajikistan's president, Emomali Rahmon, his government and family.

Navy SEAL combat veteran told that age 37 is too old become a New York firefighter.  A Navy SEAL, 37, who served four combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan has been told he is too old to become a New York firefighter.  Special Operations Chief Shaun Donovan is due to leave the Navy next year and was planning to join the Fire Department of New York.  He enlisted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which took place on his twentieth birthday. [...] He took a written exam in October and scored within the top 1% of the nearly 44,000 applicants.  He returned to New York in January for the physical exam and passed that as well.  The two trips from San Diego, Calif., cost him $1,331 and military leave time.

Video: Officer who fatally shot man said she had no choice.  A North Carolina police officer who fatally shot a black man in a parking lot after repeatedly ordering him to drop his gun said multiple times that she had no choice, according to a bodycam video released Wednesday [4/24/2019].

The Editor says...
Despite the news media hype, there is nothing extraordinary about this.  If you don't want to get shot, drop your gun when the cops tell you to.

Chinese family paid $6.5M to admissions scam mastermind.  A Chinese family allegedly paid a whopping $6.5 million to crooked college prep adviser William "Rick" Singer in the nationwide admissions scandal — but still haven't been charged in the case, according to a new report.  Prosecutors mentioned the eye-popping figure last month when announcing they'd busted dozens of rich American parents for allegedly paying Singer to bribe their kids' way into top colleges — but none of those families were accused of paying anywhere near that much.  The Wall Street Journal on Friday [4/26/2019] revealed that the deep-pocketed family in question is from China, and have not been charged.

Mississippi flag ordered out of park near Statue of Liberty.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is ordering that the Mississippi flag be replaced by the American flag at a state park that overlooks the Statue of Liberty because it has a Confederate emblem on it.

So much for E Pluribus Unum.
New Jersey's Dem governor says Mississippi flag won't fly in park near Statue of Liberty.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the Mississippi flag removed from a state park Friday [4/27/2019] over the Confederate emblem that adorns it, as the nationwide debate rages over symbols honoring the antebellum South.  Murphy, a Democrat, ordered the flag be replaced with an American flag at Liberty State Park, a preserve of more than 1,200 acres in Jersey City that overlooks Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, just across the harbor from New York City, NorthJersey.com reported.  The park has traditionally flown the flags of all 50 states.

The Editor says...
The liberals have to inject politics into everything.  The socialists are bent on destroying American traditions.  Draw your own conclusions about the New Jersey Governor.

Trump denies paying North Korea $2 million for Otto Warmbier's medical care.  President Donald Trump denied that the U.S. paid North Korea $2 million for Otto Warmbier's medical care after reports emerged Thursday [4/25/2019] that the regime forced U.S. officials to sign a pledge to do so.  "No money was paid to North Korea for Otto Warmbier, not two Million Dollars, not anything else," the president tweeted.  Warmbier, an American college student detained by North Korea for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster, died six days after he was freed by North Korea and handed over to U.S. officials in June 2017.

Lettuce weigh the pros and cons.
Lettuce-Farming Robots Might Grow Your Next Salad.  Your next salad might include leafy greens grown by robots in California greenhouses.  About 75 percent of the lettuce farmed in the U.S. comes from that state's Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley.  Cultivating it requires warm temperatures, not too much rain, and lots of time and labor.  Startups such as Iron Ox, a maker of agricultural robots, and big players such as John Deere are investing in artificial intelligence to raise produce more efficiently.

President Trump Speech During NRA Convention at the Indiana Convention Center.  Earlier today [4/26/2019] President Trump delivered exceptional remarks during the National Rifle Association 148th Convention, Indiana Convention Center.  One very important aspect to point out in this speech is the remarks about the "coup" and "overthrow" were not off-the-cuff additions[,] they were written into the teleprompter[.]

Clinton-Era State Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiring With Chinese Agents.  The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a former State Department employee who also happened to be a Clinton appointee, pleaded guilty to conspiring with foreign agents.  The FBI arrested Candace Marie Claiborne on March 28th, 2017.  She made her first appearance in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia the following day.  According to the DOJ, Candace Marie Claiborne, a former employee of the U.S. Department of State, pleaded guilty Wednesday [4/24/2019] to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, by lying to law enforcement and background investigators, and hiding her extensive contacts with, and gifts from, agents of the People's Republic of China (PRC), in exchange for providing them with internal documents from the U.S. State Department.

2020 candidates are too old, warns Obama's former doctor: 'We're asking for trouble'.  The entrance of former Vice President Joe Biden into the 2020 White House race adds yet another septuagenarian into the crowded field of contenders.  Of the 20 Democrats and two Republicans who are running for president, six are nearing or over the age of 70.  If Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., wins, he would be 79 by the time he reaches the White House, becoming the oldest president in history; Ronald Reagan was 77 years and 349 days on the day he left office.  President Trump, who turns 73 this summer and has long batted back scrutiny about his health, is the oldest president when first sworn in.

The writer of this article sounds like a Russian propagandist, or maybe he reads too many comic books:
Russia reveals its new submarine armed with nuclear-tipped drones capable of wiping out a city by triggering a tsunami.  Russia has launched its latest nuclear-armed submarine under the watchful eye of President Vladimir Putin.  The sub, named Belgorod, was launched from the Sevmash plant in northwestern Russian on Tuesday [4/23/2019] while Putin observed via teleconference.  Belgorod is designed to carry nuclear-armed Poseidon drones, a doomsday weapon that Russia says will be capable of destroying entire cities by triggering a tsunami.

Bad air days on the rise:  The nation's most polluted city is...  California's reign as the U.S. state with the worst air pollution continues as Los Angeles is again the nation's smoggiest metro area, according to a report released Wednesday [4/24/2019].  LA isn't alone when it comes to smog-choked cities in California:  seven of the nation's top 10 smoggiest cities are in the Golden State, including other sprawling cities such as San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento.

The Editor says...
Note that all ten of the smoggiest cities have been run by Democrats for years.

Pulitzer Prize administrator defends process after prize goes to board member's wife.  The Pulitzer Prizes organization has been accused of being an exclusive club in which members give awards to each other, and the institution did nothing to dispel that notion last week by honoring the wife of a prominent board member.  Author Eliza Griswold won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for Amity and Prosperity:  One Family and the Fracturing of America.  Her husband is Steve Coll, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, which hosts the prizes, and a Pulitzer board member since 2012.

Vaccine skeptics under siege.  [Scroll down]  As for efficacy, consider this new data:  A recent whooping cough outbreak at the private Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles last week resulted in 30 students contracting the illness, all of whom were vaccinated.  Of 18 unvaccinated students, none caught the disease.

Democrats Can Kiss Ohio Goodbye.  You have to go all the way back to 1960 and JFK to find a president who got elected without Ohio.  If I could pick football teams the way Ohio picks presidents, I'd be a very wealthy man.  Ohio hasn't elected a Democrat to state office since Obama took the state by a solid three points (50.6% to 47.6%) over Mitt Romney.  And yet Donald Trump, for all his supposed unelectability, scored nearly 52%, beating Hillary Clinton by a whopping eight points.

Mulvaney: Trump Personally Wrote Pro-Life Comments in State of the Union Speech.  Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney praised President Donald Trump's personal commitment to the protection of religious liberty while speaking at the 15th annual National Catholic Prayer breakfast on Tuesday [4/23/2019].  Mulvaney told the audience of Catholic leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., that in addition to emphasizing religious liberty during his public speeches, during private meetings at the White House Trump also speaks with world leaders about the importance of protecting the rights of Christians.  "He will look at them and say, 'You're not doing enough to take care of the Christians in your country,' or 'Thank you for helping the Christians in your country,'" Mulvaney said.

Half of England Is Owned by Less Than 1% of Its Population, Researcher Says.  Land ownership in England, a source of enormous wealth, is often shielded by a culture of secrecy harking back to the Middle Ages.  But a researcher says that after years of digging, he has an answer:  Less than 1 percent of the population — including aristocrats, royals and wealthy investors — owns about half of the land, according to "Who Owns England," a book that is to be published in May.  And many of them inherited the property as members of families that have held it for generations — even centuries.

49% of workers are stressed out: here are some of the biggest office culprits.  On the heels of April being dubbed National Stress Awareness Month, a new survey found that nearly half of Americans workers are battling the condition at work.  While not all stress is bad, too much of it could lead to extreme health problems like obesity, heart disease and asthma.

Vatican makes history:  Pope allows Islamic prayers, Koran readings.  For the first time in Vatican history, the pope allowed for the reading of Islamic prayers and Koran readings from the Catholic facility.

Documents reveal attempts to 'smear the brand' of Gibson's.  An associate professor at Oberlin College wrote that the protests conducted by students outside of Gibson's Bakery in 2016 to "smear the brand" of the business had been achieved. [...] The transcript of [associate professor Jan] Miyake's message was included in a recently unsealed court filing made by the attorneys for Gibson's as part of the lawsuit filed against the college and Meredith Raimondo, vice president and dean of students, for libel, slander, interference with business relationships, interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring and trespass.

Venezuela's Guaidó waging election-style campaign in a country with no plans for an election.  This is not how it was supposed to go for Guaidó.  The National Assembly leader declared himself Venezuela's interim president in January and quickly won recognition from the United States and dozens of other countries as he prepared to take control of the struggling South American nation.  But three months later, the military has remained loyal to President Nicolás Maduro, and increasing U.S. sanctions and threats have yet to dislodge him.  So this is Plan B:  An election-style campaign in a country with no plans for an election.  Guaidó is traveling Venezuela, addressing crowds and meeting with interest groups, as aides develop a governing platform, recruit local committee members and try to raise money.  Organizers say the effort is modeled, in part, on a presidential run — and on one level, it's working.

Virus identified as a cause of paralyzing condition in Minnesota children.  A virus appears to be the cause behind a rash of polio-like illnesses that struck Minnesota last fall, causing paralyzing symptoms in several children, including one girl who lost all motor function and remains hospitalized.  Researchers from Minnesota and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday [4/18/2019] that they found Enterovirus-D68 in the spinal fluid of one of six children who suffered acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM.  The virus caused the condition in that child and is presumed to be the cause in the other five, according to the researchers, who described their finding as a key development in addressing a puzzling national outbreak.

Secret 'Memorandums Of Understanding' Among House Democrats; It's Almost As If They Don't Trust Each Other.  Investigative journalist Sara Carter reported that House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings and House Finance Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters allegedly "executed a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to "target" President Trump and subpoena all his financial and banking records."  Carter obtained a copy of a letter from Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking member of the Oversight Committee, sent to Cummings on Monday [4/15/2019].  She reports that, "The letter also indicates that other MOUs have apparently been signed and agreed to with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Ca, who has promised to continue investigations into the president despite findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office that there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia."

No one, not even the Secret Service, should randomly plug in a strange USB stick.  The case follows a Chinese national, Yujing Zhang, who is accused of trying to sneak into President Trump's private Florida resort Mar-a-Largo last month.  She was caught by the Secret Service with four cellphones, a laptop, cash, an external hard drive, a signals detector to spot hidden cameras, and a thumb drive.  The arrest sparked new concerns about the president's security amid concerns that foreign governments have tried to infiltrate the resort.  Allegations aside and notwithstanding, what sent alarm bells ringing was how the Secret Service handled the USB drive, which cannot be understated — it was not good.

Putting American flags on police cars sparks backlash in Laguna Beach.  A decision to affix an American flag graphic to the side of freshly painted Laguna Beach police cars is dividing residents, who are alternately praising the image as patriotic or panning it as too aggressive.  After hearing the criticism and acknowledging that the image they approved didn't quite match the final results, officials agreed to reconsider their February decision to paint the Laguna Beach Police Department's fleet of 11 squad cars.  The City Council will take up the issue again at its Tuesday [4/16/2019] meeting.

What is kratom?  And why is it being promoted as a 'wellness' product to our kids?  Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as "kratom," comes from a tropical tree native to Southeast Asia — primarily Malaysia and Thailand.  Most commonly the leaves are brewed as a tea or even chewed directly.  My son tells me that the tea form is most common, and a tea labeled "green tea and kratom" is quite popular and being sold in most stores around his campus.  However, kratom is not a safe, benign plant.  In fact, emerging data is providing strong evidence that kratom and its compounds work on the same central (brain) nervous system receptors as opioids, and therefore have the potential for addiction and abuse.  It is because of this opioid association that people are using kratom for pain relief and the euphoric high.  But patients are also, according to the FDA, using kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms.  Alarmingly this can lead to further dependence, withdrawal and abuse.

Trump goes after Ilhan Omar with dramatic video using 9/11 footage.  President Trump Friday tweeted out a jarring video juxtaposing remarks last month by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., which some charged minimized the 9/11 tragedy, with archival footage of the destruction of the World Trade Center.  Writing "WE WILL NEVER FORGET," Trump tweeted a video that repeatedly displays Omar's reference to the terrorists as "some people" and then cuts to planes crashing into the buildings and the towers tumbling to the ground.

GOP trolls 'Georgia' Dem over residency claims, gets her to accept gift basket at 'real home' in Tennessee.  Georgia Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath was the target of some creative trolling by the Republican Party over her widely disputed claim that she actually lives in Georgia, after receiving and signing for a gift basket the GOP sent to her address — in Tennessee.  McBath, a racial justice activist who defeated Republican incumbent Karen Handel in November, has been dogged with questions since the election campaign on whether she actually lives in the state she now represents.

Tesla's Sentry Mode has already caught a suspected car thief.  At the start of the year Tesla teased Sentry Mode, a security feature for its EVs that leverages a 360 dash cam to record damage and attempted break-ins.  It rolled out in February, and it's already earning its keep.  According to ABC 7 news, the feature has resulted in the arrest of a would-be thief.  San Francisco-based Jed Franklin received an alert on his phone informing him that Sentry Mode had been activated.  On arriving at his vehicle, he found that the window had been broken, but that the perp had fled empty-handed.

Senior Obama Cyber Official [is now] Lobbying for China.  China's government-linked telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies has hired a senior Obama administration cyber security official as a lobbyist, according to a congressional filing.  Samir Jain, former senior director for cybersecurity policy at the White House National Security Council, notified Congress March 27 that he is registering as a lobbyist for the Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.  Jain is now with the lobbying firm Jones Day.

Hackers attacked California DMV voter registration system marred by bugs, glitches.  California has launched few government projects with higher stakes than its ambitious 2018 program for registering millions of new voters at the Department of Motor Vehicles, an effort with the potential to shape elections for years to come.  Yet six days before the scheduled launch of the DMV's new "motor voter" system last April, state computer security officials noticed something ominous:  The department's computer network was trying to connect to internet servers in Croatia.

Ukrainian to US prosecutors:  Why don't you want our evidence on Democrats?  Ukrainian law enforcement officials believe they have evidence of wrongdoing by American Democrats and their allies in Kiev, ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes.  But, they say, they've been thwarted in trying to get the Trump Justice Department to act.  Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Prosecutor General's International Legal Cooperation Department, told me he and other senior law enforcement officials tried unsuccessfully since last year to get visas from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev to deliver their evidence to Washington.

Socialist Venezuela now an exploding supernova of spreading infectious disease.  So much for all that free health care.  Now for what it looks like up close:  Socialist Venezuela is an exploding supernova of spreading disease vectors, with its three million fleeing refugees bringing measles, malaria, diptheria, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, AIDS, Zika, leprosy, dengue, chikungunya virus, and other diseases long thought to have been eradicated in the early 20th century, with them.  What an advertisement for socialism that is.  It's the effect of the collapse of the country's medical system, brought on by socialism's unsustainable economics and Venezuela's Maduro dictatorship (unlike a lot of starving African countries) refusing to permit any aid to enter.

Venezuela:  The Next Syria.  Venezuela has been transformed from an oil-rich nation into a failed state by the late Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolás Maduro.  Many of its people are literally starving, unable to barter or buy the essentials of life and living in near-constant nationwide blackouts at night.  Months ago, the only thing holding Venezuela together was Maduro's military which — when it isn't oppressing the people — is feeding itself from the profits it derives from drug trafficking.  But now, with about 500 Russian mercenaries, at least 100 Russian regular troops, an unknown number of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps troops, and who-knows-how-many Cuban troops, Venezuela is being transformed into a major Russian-Iranian power base in South America.

The Chinese woman caught at Mar-a-Lago.  The Chinese woman arrested at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club with four cell phones on her last month entered the U.S. on a business visa that allowed her to make repeat trips to the country for a period of a decade.  Yujing Zhang, who had a bond hearing in Florida Monday [4/8/2019], entered the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visa, according to documents released by the government.  Her visa allowed her to travel to the U.S. for a period ranging from 2016 through 2026.  Those visas are designed for people who need to be in the country on a temporary basis, such as to attend a business conference, or to seek medical treatment.  They allow for repeat visits.

Chinese Woman Arrested at Mar-a-Lago Had Device to Detect Hidden Cameras.  A Chinese woman charged last week for bluffing her way into President Donald Trump's Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, had a device used to detect hidden cameras and thousands of dollars in cash in her hotel room, prosecutors said April 8.  Yujing Zhang appeared at a Florida court for a bail hearing on April 8, where prosecutors said a search of her Florida hotel room turned up a signal detector — a device used to detect hidden cameras — nine USB drives, five SIM cards, and over $8,000 in cash, the Washington Post reported.

Chinese Woman Had Additional Spy Tech During Security Breach at Mar-a-lago.  During a bond hearing today prosecutors say the FBI is still investigating whether a 32-year-old Yujing Zhang, the Chinese woman accused of lying to illegally enter President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, is a spy.  After a search warrant, additional spy tech was found in her hotel room including:  $7,500 in one hundred dollar bills; a signal detector device to find hidden cameras; nine USB drives, five SIM cards and an additional cell phone.

Trump fires Secret Service director after agency ducks blame for Chinese malware carrier at Mar-a-Lago.  President Donald Trump followed the ouster of his Homeland Security secretary with another pink slip on Monday, reportedly axing the director of the U.S. Secret Service.  Trump ordered acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to fire Randolph 'Tex' Alles.  CNN first reported the move.  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Lee Cissna is also leaving, according to CBS News.  So are DHS undersecretary for management Claire Grady and general counsel John Mitnick.  A person with knowledge of USCIS's front office, however, said late Monday that Cissna was still in his job.  And Alles told his agency's staff that he wasn't forced out.

Update:
Judge in Mar-a-Lago Chinese Spy Case Denies Bail.  The Chinese woman who tried to lie her way into Mar-a-Lago appeared in court today [4/15/2019] to plea 'not guilty'.

'Restore Public Trust' Blacklists Former Trump Administration Employees.  A number of organizations are coalescing to actively blacklist people who have worked for the Trump administration, including former Secretary of the Department of Homeland (DHS) Security Kirstjen Nielsen.  Nielsen resigned Sunday, but could face opposition finding new employment.  A group known as "Restore Public Trust" is targeting her and others in a letter sent Saturday [4/6/2019] that warns corporate America that these purported pariahs may "seek refuge in their corner offices or boardrooms."

Frightening Drug-Resistant Infection Cropping Up Around The World.  The New York Times reported Saturday morning [4/6/2019] that an elderly man was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital's branch in Brooklyn for abdominal surgery.  After getting his blood tested, it was revealed that he was infected with Candida auris, a fungus that was recently discovered but has been identified in patients around the world.  The fungus is most deadly to those with already weak immune systems.  The elderly man, who was not named by the Times, was isolated in the intensive care unit, but died 90 days later.  What makes his case so frightening is that after his death, doctors tested his room and discovered the fungus was everywhere.

Former Sen. Harry Reid loses civil lawsuit over exercise-device injury.  After about an hour of deliberations Friday, a jury in Las Vegas rejected former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid's lawsuit against the maker of an exercise band that Reid claimed was responsible for injuries he suffered in January 2015.  The injuries included blindness in one eye for Reid, 79, a Nevada Democrat and former party leader who asserted in his lawsuit that his injuries forced him to retire early from the Senate, where he had served for three decades.

The Editor says...
If a man served in the Senate for three decades, and retired at age 79, that is not early retirement.  That's long overdue retirement.

The Arms Race in Space Is Here.  Last week, the world was up-in-arms over the fact that democratic India, one of the world's leading economies with nuclear arms, launched an anti-satellite test.  Codenamed "Mission Shakti" by India's military, the test of their anti-satellite capability was a resounding success:  the target was a derelict Indian weather satellite in low-Earth orbit (LEO).  By launching a missile at the dead weather satellite, India was sending an unmistakable signal to the world that it was a major power and not to be messed with.  Presently, India is experiencing what some might call a quasi-war with its Muslim-majority neighbor of Pakistan and the tensions between India's other major neighbor, China, have long been an issue.

Hate-Based Faith.  [Scroll down]  DNA technology is also making it harder to get away with murder.  For example, in the Queens jogger murder case that was decided this week in New York, the cops started out with the assumption that the pretty young speech pathologist had been killed by "two jacked-up white guys from Howard Beach."  But when the DNA found under her fingernails turned out to be of black ancestry, the NYPD obtained samples from 384 sketchy black guys in the area.  Law enforcement has recently been making arrests in cold cases from decades ago.  Killers and rapists are tracked down via their relatives posting their own DNA online.

Collusion? Russians Gave $35 Million to Company with John Podesta on Board.  Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, John Podesta, played a central role in another potential Russian collusion scandal that has not yet been investigated.  Podesta, the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, served on the board of Joule Unlimited, a now defunct alternative energy company, from January 2011 to January 2014.  He resigned from the company's board to accept the powerful job of Counselor to President Barack Obama.  During Podesta's tenure on the board of Joule Unlimited, a significant investment in the company by a firm owned by the Russian government escaped review and scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy.  The germ, a fungus called Candida auris, preys on people with weakened immune systems, and it is quietly spreading across the globe.  Over the last five years, it has hit a neonatal unit in Venezuela, swept through a hospital in Spain, forced a prestigious British medical center to shut down its intensive care unit, and taken root in India, Pakistan and South Africa.  Recently C. auris reached New York, New Jersey and Illinois, leading the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to add it to a list of germs deemed "urgent threats."

Scientists Discover World's Tallest Tropical Tree In Borneo.  Scientists have discovered the world's tallest tropical tree in the tropical rainforest of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.  The previous record holder is also from the same region. [...] The tree has since been named Menara which means "tower" in Malay, and it stands at 330 feet (100.8 meters) from ground to sky.  The previous record holder for tallest tropical tree was also from the same region and from the same genus as Menara.

US health officials alarmed by paralyzing illness in kids.  One morning last fall, 4-year-old Joey Wilcox woke up with the left side of his face drooping.  It was the first sign of an unfolding nightmare.

Pope Francis Says God Only 'Permits' Islam to Exist.  Pope Francis walked back an earlier statement Wednesday [4/3/2019] on God "willing" a plurality of religions, saying that in reality God only permits the existence of many religions.  In a joint statement with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, Pope Francis said in February that the plurality and diversity of religions "are willed by God in His wisdom," just as God wills a plurality of colors, sexes, races, and languages.

The Editor says...
By the same token, God only permits Catholicism — which is based on superstition, monetized indulgences, bureaucracy, communication with the dead, and the worship of the Pope — to exist, for the moment.

Conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Shocks Liberals With Surprise Victory.  It was a statewide race that only the nerdiest of political nerds were following at the national level, but suffice it to say that we'd be hearing a lot about it if the expected outcome had come to pass.  By way of background, Wisconsin's Supreme Court has been decidedly conservative for years, but when a liberal justice won a resounding 12-point victory last fall (Badger State voters choose Supreme Court members in nominally "non-partisan" elections), the Left immediately set it sights on the 2019 contest.  If a left-leaning candidate had defeated another right-leaning jurist — as was widely anticipated by political experts — liberals believed they'd have a very real shot at wresting ideological control of the state's high court in 2020.  But a funny thing happened on the way to that liberal judicial renaissance.  Voters intervened.

A Big Win for Conservatives in Wisconsin?  In Tuesday's [4/2/2019] Wisconsin supreme-court election, conservatives appear to have scored a shocking upset victory.  With only a handful of precincts left to report, conservative-backed Brian Hagedorn leads liberal-backed Lisa Neubauer by nearly 6,000 votes out of 1.2 million cast, according to unofficial results.  The liberal Neubauer called for a recount, which a losing candidate may do — if she pays for it herself — when the margin is less than one percentage point.  (Taxpayers pick up the tab at margins less than 0.25 points.)  But a lead of 6,000 votes would almost certainly be insurmountable in a recount, assuming there were no unusually large tabulation errors Tuesday night, as there was in a 2011 supreme-court election in the state.

Chinese woman carrying thumb drive with malware arrested at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.  Secret Service agents arrested a Chinese woman after she bypassed layers of security and gained access to the reception area of President Trump's Florida resort this past weekend, saying they found she was carrying two passports and a thumb drive containing malicious software, according to court documents.  The incident renews concerns about how secure the president and his advisers are during their frequent stays at his Mar-a-Lago Club, which stays open for its members and their guests when the president is there.

A Paralyzing Illness In Kids Is On The Rise, But Continues To Mystify Doctors.  It starts with just a droopy eye and a slightly slumped face.  Within just a few days, reflexes begin to lose their sharpness, while the arms and legs become weaker.  If left without therapy, the nervous system continues to become damaged, the ability to breath becomes strained, and paralysis can take hold.  More and more children are falling sick with this polio-like illness.  However, there are currently few solid ideas about how it develops, how it can be treated, or even what it is exactly.

Children of Jamal Khashoggi receiving homes, 'blood money' from Saudis: report.  Saudi Arabia has given multimillion-dollar homes and monthly five-figure payments to the children of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post writer who was killed in a Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last October, as compensation for their father's death, according to a report.  The reported payments to Khashoggi's two sons and two daughters are part of a long-term arrangement to ensure they refrain from speaking out, the Washington Post reported, citing information from current and former Saudi officials.

John Huber leaves Congress in the dark on FBI probe.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions thought he had already answered calls for a special counsel to look into the FBI's handling of sensitive political investigations when he named a Utah prosecutor to conduct an inquiry and report back.  Nearly 18 months later, there has been nary a public peep from U.S. Attorney John Huber, the man Mr. Sessions assigned to get to the bottom of things.  Likely witnesses say Mr. Huber has never contacted them, and members of Congress say they are still in the dark despite regular pleas to see progress.

Conversion is not your mission, pope tells Catholics in Morocco.  Pope Francis told the tiny Catholic community in predominantly Muslim Morocco on Sunday [3/31/2019] that their mission was not to covert their neighbors but to live in brotherhood with other faiths.

Chicago Isn't The Only Town With A Problem In The Office Of Its Chief Prosecutor.  [Scroll down]  This is about the office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner.  You may recall that Gardner's office was the driving force behind the prosecution (subsequently dropped) of former (now resigned) Missouri Governor Eric Greitens over his alleged photographing of his mistress in a state of undress prior to taking office.  Even at the time, Gardner's actions were questioned and criticized.  Since then, a grand jury probe has been opened into Gardner's handling of that matter and, in particular, her hiring of ex-FBI agent William Tisaby as an investigator and his purported perjury in that matter.  And it's not been a good look for Gardner.

CNN and MSNBC ratings plummet, Fox News triumphs in wake of 'no collusion'.  Starting on Sunday [3/24/2019] and continuing all day Monday, CNN and MSNBC — the two cable "news" channels that over the past two years have morphed into high-impact electronic facilitators of the anti-Trump resistance — saw their ratings plummet... precipitously.  Meanwhile, the Fox News Channel (FNC), the only mainstream media outlet to even question the whole collusion meme from the outset, trounced the competition.

Devin Nunes Prepares Criminal Referrals for Next Week Delivery to AG Barr.  Two MAGA freight trains are heading full-speed toward each other and there ain't no spur between em'.  The conductor of one engine is HPSCI ranking member Devin Nunes who will be sending criminal referrals to AG Barr next week based on existing evidence and testimony.  The conductor of the opposing engine is Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, who wants AG Barr to ignore the criminal referrals and instead launch another Special Counsel which will be guaranteed to carry into the 2020 election year.

Is Europe About to Break the Internet?  The European Parliament is about to vote on contentious new regulations that threaten to reshape how the internet operates.  This will end a debate started in 2016 over two key provisions to the EU's Copyright Directive, Article 11 and Article 13.  These changes turn internet policy on its head, moving the web from a world of permissionless innovation to a world where platforms and websites must proactively police internet users.  And given the borderless nature of the internet, America and the rest of the world also will suffer the consequences of Europe's internet makeover.

Sketchy Cesar Sayoc Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges of Mailing "pipe bombs".  Everything about last year's headline story just two-weeks before the mid-term election was weird; including the refusal of the FBI to state what 'specifically' was the material suspect Cesar Sayoc was accused of using to create his Acme looking pipe bombs.  You might remember:  FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined during his remarks that the devices consisted of PVC pipe, clocks, batteries, wiring and "energetic material that can become combustible when subjected to heat or friction".  The FBI director went out of his way to state:  "these were not hoax devices."  The DOJ then moved to seal all court filings and the case against the nut continued behind the curtain of 'national security'.

The Editor says...
Just about anything "can become combustible when subjected to [sufficient] heat or friction."  This guy's "pipe bombs" were a lot less convincing than the gadget built by Clock Boy in 2015.

Mark Kelly Returns $55,000 From Paid Speech in United Arab Emirates.  Mark Kelly, a Democrat running for the Senate in Arizona, this week returned $55,000 that he received from a paid speech in the United Arab Emirates last year.  Kelly, a former astronaut and the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D., Ariz.), delivered the speech with his twin brother and fellow astronaut Scott Kelly at an event sponsored by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as part of a lecture series, CNN reported Friday [3/22/2019].  While Kelly, who is challenging Sen. Martha McSally (R., Ariz.), has vowed to refuse donations from corporate political action committees, he has faced scrutiny from one of his potential challengers, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D., Ariz.), for breaking his "no corporate PAC money" pledge.

Eight Years of Corrosive Lies about Syria.  [Scroll down]  But, then I come across another story about Syria in the Wall Street Journal, suggesting that the United States may leave 1,000 troops in that country after all.  The president, if you'll remember, announced a complete withdrawal of troops from Syria months ago.  Then, weeks later the White House announced that a small force of 200 would stay behind.  Now, the Journal was reporting that it would actually be 1,000.  A few hours later the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff said the original plan remained unchanged.  I realized that I no longer knew what to believe.

With Personal Connection to Crash, Ralph Nader Takes on Boeing.  Mr. Nader, the high-profile consumer crusader in the twilight of his career, is determined to translate his family's anguish into action.  He is on a personal mission to find out what caused the Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet to plunge to the ground minutes after takeoff from Addis Ababa.  His goal is to get the plane maker — along with U.S. air-safety regulators who certified the jetliner — to assume legal and moral responsibility for the tragedy and an earlier 737 MAX crash in Indonesia.

Hannity's warm welcome for Donna Brazile has fans changing the channel in disgust.  On Tuesday [3/19/2019] longtime Fox News host Sean Hannity welcomed former Democrat National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile to the network by inviting her onto his show, "Hannity," so he could grill her to smithereens in a fast-paced "lightning round" debate over various issues.  The scorching, oftentimes hilarious grilling started right away thanks to the former DNC chair's refusal to stick to the "lightning round" rules and keep her answers sweet and to the point.

Green New Deal Would Spark Yellow Vest-Style Protests.  Democrats are predicting a climate-change-fueled apocalypse 12 years from now, but 3,800 miles away in Paris, we're seeing a preview of the real doomsday scenario that would result from radical policies such as the Green New Deal.  For the 18th weekend in a row, violent protests broke out in the streets of one of Europe's oldest cities as French citizens protested their government's efforts to make them bear the costs of transitioning to clean energy.  The mouvement des gilets jaunes, or Yellow Vests Movement, started in response to French President Emmanuel Macron's decision to raise gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon for gasoline and 24 cents per gallon for diesel, prompting the working-class protesters to complain that "the government talks about the end of the world.  We are worried about the end of the month."  With gas prices at nearly $6 per gallon, driving in France is already very expensive, and while public transportation is available in urban centers, most people in rural areas have no realistic alternative to driving.

NYU Students Blame Chelsea Clinton for New Zealand Attack over Condemnation of Rep. Ilhan Omar's Antisemitic Comments.  A group of students confronted Chelsea Clinton on Friday night [3/15/2019] at NYU where they accused the former first daughter of stoking "Islamophobia" and facilitating, with her words, the recent terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 49 people dead and dozens of others wounded.  The former first daughter was berated by students as she tried to attend a vigil honoring the victims of the New Zealand terror attack in what turned out to be a bizarre confrontation as students blamed the mosque shootings on her "rhetoric."

The Editor says...
"Islamophobia" is not even a phobia, it's just the word most commonly used for denunciation of Islam.  "Islamophobia" does not cause terrorist attacks.  Criticism of Muslims only rarely induces Islamic terrorism.  The Koran and the daily preaching of hatred in mosques all over the world are the principal causes of Islamic terrorism.

New Zealand Mosque Shooting Leaves Dozens Dead.  [Scroll down]  Some people reading this will note that I am diametrically opposed to Islam, but this is plain murder.  The people were not attacking anyone and no one's life was in danger.  These shooters deserve the same thing I said Anders Behring Breivik deserved:  justice, a swift execution.  Furthermore, there is no doubt that New Zealand will attempt to encroach more on the people's God-given rights to arms in light of this attack by a few people, which only makes the people more defenseless no matter what their religion is.  They already have fairly restrictive regulations against civilians owning handguns, semi-automatic weapons or fully automatic weapons, but pay no attention to the fact that those "restrictions" didn't stop these people from possessing them to murder unarmed people.

Christchurch, Conservatism, and Fascism.  At the time of writing, 49 people have been killed at two separate Christchurch mosques, with dozens more left injured by the shooter.  Both media and public officials, in New Zealand and elsewhere have chosen to lay the blame for the killings on "conservatives."  In fact, conservatism had nothing to do with this. [...] How do we know that the shooter isn't a conservative?  For starters, he explicitly says that he detests conservatism twice, once in the "Q&A" and again in his more ideological section, where he devotes a whole page to it.

How Sears Lost the American Shopper.  Over the last four decades, a succession of CEOs have tried to reinvent, reimagine and, finally, save Sears.  One discussed merging with rivals Best Buy and Home Depot, talks not previously reported.  Another opened the door to hedge-fund billionaire Eddie Lampert, who went on to slash spending with little investment in stores.  Amid changing shopping patterns, technology shifts and Sears's own missteps, customers fled.

Report: Lori Loughlin's Daughter Skipped First Week Of Classes At USC To Vacation In Fiji.  It is not surprising that a child of privilege with zero interest in school, whose parents allegedly had to commit a federal crime just to get her into USC, would decide to blow off the first week of classes for a vacation in a tropical paradise.  What continues to surprise is that someone this young, good-looking, connected, and vacuous doesn't already have her own reality show.

U.S. seeks input on GM petition to deploy cars without steering wheels.  U.S. regulators will ask the public if robotic cars should be allowed on streets without steering wheels or brake pedals as they try to set the first legal boundaries for their design in the world's second largest vehicle market.

DA: Urgent care clinic in Los Gatos charged someone $700 for a pair of foam slippers.  The owner and manager of the facility, Los Gatos Urgent Care Clinic, have been charged with insurance fraud after billing patients' insurance for a range of egregious expenses, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.  The eye-popping bills include one instance in which the clinic allegedly billed a patient who stepped on a sea urchin $700 for a pair of foam slippers that cost less than $10. [...] The pair behind the clinic are a married couple from Monte Sereno, Ali Moayed, 53, and Dr. Farzaneh Tabrizi, 50.

College Scam:  That's Not the Half of It.  "The biggest college scandal in our history!" exclaims a news reader, referring to the indictment of William Singer, who organized a scheme so the wealthy could bypass the college admissions process and get their children into prestigious schools through a combination of fraud, deceit, and bribery.  The scandal might not have received the attention it generated had it not been for actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman getting caught in the FBI's net.  If there are celebrities involved, the story must be important.  As offensive as this scandal is, it is nowhere near the biggest college scandal in our history.  Our colleges and universities have long been mired in ongoing scandals, but they are so common that we hardly consider them newsworthy.

You Know Who Hates People Who Cheat To Get In To College?  Elizabeth Warren.  Yesterday's top news item, that dozens of parents — including two Hollywood actresses — lied and cheated to get their kids into top colleges, is still getting talked about today.  To be fair, it should be, as the corrupt admissions process should be exposed for all to see.  However, there is one person I figured would avoid any questions about it.  One 2020 hopeful who needed to stay away from the subject of lying or cheating to get into a college or university.  "Surely," thought I (perhaps a bit naively), "she wouldn't speak on this issue.  She can't possibly think it would go over well."

Russian ship with 'vomit-inducing weapon' spotted off UK coast.  A Royal Navy warship has been scrambled to follow a Russian vessel believed to be carrying a "vomit inducing" weapon as it sails close to UK territorial waters.  HMS Defender was deployed at weekend to keep watch on the frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary ships. [...] The Gorshkov is reportedly fitted with Russia's Filin 5P-42 device — a "visual optical interference" weapon which can cause "dizziness, nausea and feelings of disorientation".

How bad is Venezuela's economy?  Even the criminals are struggling to get by.  In one of the strangest consequences of this oil-rich country's collapse, cash has virtually disappeared.  With soaring hyperinflation, the government can't print money fast enough to keep up, so many Venezuelans have switched to debit cards — not that they have enough money on them.

Government Jobs Drop by 5,000.  As the number of people employed in the United States climbed to a record 156,949,000, the number of people working for government in the country declined by 5,000, according to data released today [3/8/2019] by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Senate Confirms High-Priority Trump Judges Without Any Democrat Support.  Senators confirmed three high-priority Trump judges to the federal appeals courts last week without a single Democrat voting for any of them, with one of those new judges replacing an irreplaceable conservative judicial icon, Judge Alice Batchelder.  The Senate confirmed Allison Jones Rushing on March 6 as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which covers five states in the middle of the Eastern Seaboard.

New York man with 600-square-foot apartment gets $38M Con Edison bill: report.  A New York man reportedly received a Con Edison monthly bill of $38 million on Monday [3/11/2019] for his 600 square foot apartment. [...] "Our customer ops team is looking into it and we'll definitely work on it and fix it," a ConEd spokesperson told the New York Daily News, saying that it was most likely a computer error.

The Editor says...
Most likely a computer error, they say.  There's still a chance that he actually consumed that much electricity in a month.  To believe this, and to insist on payment, you would have to believe that his electric meter could pass that much electricity without burning up.  In the case of my very modest house, for example, the main breaker will handle no more than 70 amperes.  That limits the electric consumption to about 17 kilowatts.  In 31 days, I couldn't possibly consume more than 12,650 kilowatt-hours; and even if I paid the highest rates in town (which I might be, I don't know), that would produce an electric bill of only about $2,000 dollars.  Obviously Con Edison has no sanity checking software in their billing computers.

Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin among 50 snared in elite college cheating scam, authorities say.  Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among more than four dozen people charged in a nationwide college admissions cheating scandal that involved wealthy individuals paying up to $6.5 million to place their children into elite universities, according to court records revealed Tuesday [3/12/2019].

"Leaving Neverland" — Hollywood's pedophilia problem exposed.  The Michael Jackson estate is suing HBO to the tune of $100 million.  The suit says the documentary makers failed to reach out to the Jackson family for comment on the sexual allegations.  And estate attorneys also claim HBO violated a "non-disparagement agreement" they made as part of its contract to broadcast the pop star's "Dangerous" world tour in 1992.

Scrutinizing Fake Business Reviews Online.  More than 80 percent of people sometimes check reviews for businesses, but half wonder if they can be trusted, according to the Pew Research Center — and they have good reason to, according to experts in online reviews.

Robot workers can't go on strike but they can go up in flames.  Machines may be efficient and safe workers, but their environment is not designed for human intervention when disaster strikes. [...] Fashion brand Asos has had three warehouse fires since 2005.  The online grocer said on Feb 5 that the fire started in what is called the ambient grid, where food is stored at room temperature.  A spokesman declined to comment further on the cause.  The blaze began high in the warehouse and was so difficult to reach that firefighters had to cut holes in the roof, according to chief officer Neil Odin at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.  A sprinkler system only contained the fire in its early stages.

Venezuela:  Socialism Dies in the Darkness.  "A major power outage hit crisis-stricken Venezuela on Thursday [3/7/2019], according to Reuters ... a problem the government of President Nicolas Maduro quickly blamed on "sabotage" at a hydroelectric dam that provides much of the country's power."  National life ground to a standstill, telecommunications — including the internet — stopped working, hospitals were plunged into darkness and cities of millions lay helpless without electricity.  As the outage continued into Friday spreading to every Venezuelan state, it became clear this was going to become the biggest of the blackouts yet and Maduro's officials increasingly pointed a finger at the United States.  But the national electric grid had also been teetering for a long time.  "Crumbling infrastructure and lack of investments have hit Venezuela's power supply for years."  Outages had become a way of life and there was no easy way of proving this wasn't "sabotage" but only more of the same dysfunction.

Venezuela Goes Dark In Worst Blackout In Decades, At Least 17 People Dead.  Venezuela entered its fourth day of blackouts in an "electricity crisis" that plunged most of the country's 23 states, including the state home to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, into complete darkness.  Reuters reports that international non-governmental organizations estimate that at least 17 people have died, nine of whom were waiting for emergency medical attention.  Reuters was not able to independently verify the numbers, but they are being tabulated by the non-partisan NGO, Doctors For Health, which has been treating patients in Venezuela.

They're still in the dark in Venezuela, and it's really ugly.  [Scroll down]  These reports describe the terrible conditions in just Caracas — in the rest of the country, the situation is reportedly far, far worse.  And yes, the result looks as though it's going to be famine.  And coincidence of coincidences, it comes just as dictator Nicolas Maduro is under fire from millions and millions of Venezuelans to get out and allow acting president Juan Guaidó, who's there through democratic mechanisms, to take over.  Guaidó returned to the country last week without much fuss and says he's calling for protests, and now the blackout has followed.  The internet has been shut off, and the subways are out.  Both of those things are instrumental in getting word out of protests and transporting protestors to locations.  Shut.  Down.  How very convenient for Maduro.  And by another coincidence, Maduro has had high-level contacts with Russians in recent weeks — and the Russians just happen to be the masters of blowing out power grids.

Nationwide blackout in socialist Venezuela is more than just turning the country into North Korea.  It's the spectacle of a whole country going dead, with its socialist rulers turning the nation into something quite similar to parts of eastern Nigeria, where the impoverished locals in remote rural areas live with little electrical infrastructure (Lagos and Abuja have no such problems), or, even more similarly, into Pol Pot's inhuman communist regime, which was a nationwide project by Khmer Rouge central planners to rebuild the entire society from the ground up.  I have my doubts that this nationwide blackout was just the characteristic incompetence of socialism and its Cuban masters.  Cubans have made a hash of the electrical grid in Venezuela, it's true, but they also seem to be following the plan of doing what it takes to make Cuba the electrical disaster it also is.

Republicans notch streak of special election victories, ousting Democrats.  Republicans picked up a Kentucky state Senate seat earlier this week, marking the latest in a series of under-the-radar wins at the state level for the GOP since the November midterms.  The pickups have the party claiming momentum going into 2020, after having lost control of the U.S. House last fall.  Republican Phillip Wheeler defeated Democrat Darrell Pugh in a special election to fill an eastern Kentucky state Senate seat.  Wheeler will succeed a Democrat, making it a Republican pickup.

Black journalists' group places CNN on 'special monitoring list'.  The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) said Tuesday that it would place CNN on a "special media monitoring list," citing a lack of black representation among the network's leadership ranks.  NABJ said in a statement that its preliminary research showed that CNN has no black employees reporting to CNN President Jeff Zucker.  It also showed that the news organization has no black executive producers as well as no black vice presidents or senior vice presidents on the news side.  CNN disputed the group's finding that there are no black vice presidents on the news side, according to NABJ.  But the news network did not provide the name or position of the vice president or vice presidents, NABJ said.

Geraldo Rivera defends AOC, 'generosity' of socialism.  Geraldo Rivera, in a heated debate on Fox News with host Sean Hannity and guest Dan Bongino, defended Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by saying she was a too-easy target of the ideological right and that conservatives should just leave her alone because, by gosh, "she has heart" and socialism "is so yesterday" and mean old Americans were killing the dreams of all these youthful idealists.

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Conservative Employees Who Feel Shunned: 'Come Talk to Me'.  Apple CEO Tim Cook recently encouraged any conservative employees who felt discriminated against due to their political views to speak with him directly.  Business Insider reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently encouraged conservative employees at the Silicon Valley giant to speak with him directly if they felt discriminated against or shunned due to their beliefs.  Cook's statement was in response to a question at the company's annual shareholder meeting; the questioner stated that a friend of hers worked at Apple and this friend did not "share the left-wing view" and suggested that her friend felt discriminated against by her fellow workers as a result.

The Editor says...
Usually, when the CEO of a giant company tells you to come and speak to him directly, it means your employment is about to end.

JetBlue black history display honored convicted killer.  JetBlue has taken down a poster of a convicted murderer that it had included as part of a Black History Month tribute at New York's Kennedy Airport.  The airline said Saturday [3/2/2019] it removed the poster paying tribute to Assata Shakur last month after being alerted via Twitter that Shakur is "a convicted cop killer."

Canadian Economy Halts — GDP Growth Drops to 0.1 Percent, and No-One Is Talking About Why.  The Canadian government shocked the professional financial and economic media with their latest fourth quarter GDP release showing the economy has essentially come to a grinding halt at 0.1% growth.  [Compare to U.S. GDP growth of 3%]  The Canadian Q4 GDP growth isn't one percent, it's one-tenth of one percent: 0.1%, essentially halted; but everyone discussing this is missing something very important.

The Awful Truth of Michael Jackson's Depravity.  Fair warning for those curious about exactly what Michael Jackson did to little boys:  The two-part, four-hour documentary Leaving Neverland goes into gruesome, nauseating, nightmarish detail about the King of Pop's depredations.  But it's also disturbing for another reason, one you might not have anticipated.  Debuting on HBO March 3 and 4 after a previous series of screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, this enraging film by Dan Reed inspired a lawsuit against the pay-cable channel from Jackson's estate, which desperately wants people not to see a story that may significantly diminish the value of his brand.  It's a wonder that there is any brand left to defend, given that four men have now made detailed, credible claims that Jackson sexually abused them as minors over extended periods of time.

'Social justice' is killing organized religion.  A fascinating article by Joel Kotkin in The Tablet describes the precipitous decline in membership to organized churches and synagogues, with a primary reason being the growing influence in these religious organizations of leftists and leftist dogma.  The numbers are shocking.  It's not just the decline of members that's concerning; it's the aging of the church-going population that jumps out at you.  For example, attendance at conservative and reformed synagogues is declining at a time when the average age of Reform congregations is 54, and only 17 percent of members say they attend religious services even once a month.  It's just as bad for Christians. [...]

Millennial Repo: Car Loan Defaults on the Rise.  An interesting data nugget percolated the other day about a "sharp worsening" — that is to say, an increase — in the number of car loan defaults among borrowers under 30 years old.  According to Bloomberg Financial News, the rate for the Millennial demographic was 4.04 percent last quarter vs. 2.36 for the general population, or about twice as high.

There's A Vladimir Lenin Statue In Seattle, and Republican Lawmakers Want It Gone.  In the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle (because, duh, it's Seattle) stands a 16 foot tall statue of communist revolutionary and innovator of mass starvation and firing squads, Vladimir Lenin.  Republican lawmakers in Washington have now introduced a bill "to study and make recommendations on an appropriate historical figure to replace the statue of Lenin, and to represent the state of Washington."

People Search Garbage Truck For Food In Socialist Venezuela.  Starving Venezuelans rummaged through a trash truck this week in a search for food, following Venezuela's collapse due to its socialist policies.  "Amid the increasingly dire situation in Venezuela, Univision's left-leaning anchor Jorge Ramos traveled into the rapidly imploding socialist country for an interview Monday with dictator Nicolas Maduro," The Daily Wire reported. [...] In a video posted on the "Real American with Jorge Ramos" Facebook page, Ramos "said the last straw for Maduro was when the Mexican-American journalist held up his iPad and showed him footage he had filmed himself of three children on the streets of Venezuela rummaging through the back of a garbage truck for scraps of food," Fox News reported.  "He just couldn't stand it," Ramos said.  "He didn't want to continue the interview.  He tried to close my iPad.  They confiscated all of our cameras, all our videos."

Venezuela to deport Univision team after Maduro shown 'garbage eating' video.  U.S. television network Univision said on Monday Venezuela was deporting a news team led by anchor Jorge Ramos after they were briefly detained at the presidential palace because their line of questioning upset President Nicolas Maduro.

George Pell: cardinal found guilty of child sexual assault.  Cardinal George Pell, once the third most powerful man in the Vatican and Australia's most senior Catholic, has been found guilty of child sexual abuse after a trial in Melbourne.  A jury delivered the unanimous verdict on 11 December in Melbourne's county court, but the result was subject to a suppression order and could not be reported until now.

PayPal CEO Admits Partnership with Far-Left SPLC to Blacklist Conservatives.  PayPal CEO Dan Schulman admitted during an interview with the Wall Street Journal that PayPal works with the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) when it considers blacklisting conservatives.  After being asked by the Wall Street Journal what "values" PayPal identifies with," Schulman replied, "Probably the most important value to us is diversity and inclusion."

Venezuela Ex-spy Chief Reveals Maduro's Ties To Hezbollah, Drugs.  Former head of Venezuela's intelligence services Hugo Carvajal revealed powerful ties between the administration of President Nicolás Maduro and the Hezbollah terrorist group, as well as wide-spread corruption and drug activity, the New York Times reported on Thursday [2/21/2019].  The nefarious activities were directed by Maduro himself as well as Interior Minister Néstor Reverol and former vice-president Tareck El Aissami.

Women May Have to Register for the Draft as Men's Group Wins Selective Service Lawsuit.  On Friday [2/22/2019], a Texas judge ruled that the Selective Service System (SSS) violates the Constitution by requiring only men to register for the draft.  The court ruled with the National Coalition for Men (NCFM) in a lawsuit claiming the male-only draft constitutes discrimination against men.  NCFM's lawyer told PJ Media that even if the SSS appeals, they are likely to lose again.  He also suggested the Pentagon will not end the draft, so women may have to register.

The Corruption of the Vatican's Gay Elite Has Been Exposed.  I spent much of this week reading and trying to absorb the new and devastating book by one Frédéric Martel on the gayness of the hierarchy at the top of the Catholic Church, In the Closet of the Vatican:  Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy.  It's a bewildering and vast piece of reporting — Martel interviewed no fewer than "41 cardinals, 52 bishops and monsignori, 45 apostolic nuncios, secretaries of nunciatures or foreign ambassadors, 11 Swiss Guards and over 200 Catholic priests and seminarians."  He conducted more than 1,500 interviews over four years, is quite clear about his sources, and helps the reader weigh their credibility.  He keeps the identity of many of the most egregiously hypocritical cardinals confidential, but is unsparing about the dead.  The picture Martel draws is jaw-dropping.  Many of the Vatican gays — especially the most homophobic — treat their vows of celibacy with an insouciant contempt.  Martel argues that many of these cardinals and officials have lively sex lives, operate within a "don't ask, don't tell" culture, constantly hit on young men, hire prostitutes, throw chem-sex parties, and even pay for sex with church money.  How do we know this?  Because, astonishingly, they tell us.

Catholic Cardinal Marx says files on child abusers 'destroyed'.  Vatican officials worked to silence the victims, senior German Cardinal Reinhard Marx has told the summit on tackling pedophilia within the church.  He said files on the abusers were often destroyed.  Germany's top cardinal, Reinhard Marx, slammed the Catholic Church officials for their response to the decadeslong pedophilia scandal at a conference called by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Saturday [2/23/2019].

Projection:
Pope Francis decries critics of church as 'friends of the devil'.  Pope Francis has said that those who constantly criticise the Catholic church are "friends of the devil".  Speaking to pilgrims from southern Italy, the pontiff said that defects of the church needed to be denounced so they could be corrected, but that those who condemned "without love" were linked to the devil.  "One cannot live a whole life accusing, accusing, accusing, the church," he said.  People who did, he said, were "the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil".  His remarks come as dozens of victims of clerical sexual abuse gathered in Rome ahead of an unprecedented Vatican summit on the issue.

Brian Stelter Reports CNN Staff 'Up in Arms' Over Hiring of Ex-Trump Official as Editor.  Many media figures were instantly horrified by CNN's hiring of former Trump Department of Justice official Sarah Isgur Flores as a political editor, and according to CNN's Brian Stelter, so are many of CNN's other staffers.  Stelter spent much of Tuesday night [2/19/2019] tweeting updates about the hiring, then published a detailed story on the controversy that included extremely dissatisfied comments from several unnamed CNN staffers.

Chinese Cardinal:  Vatican Has Kept Secret the Text of Deal With Atheist Regime on Naming of Bishops.  Cardinal Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, said in a video interview with CNSNews.com that the Vatican has kept secret the text of the agreement it made in September with the government of the People's Republic of China on the appointment of Catholic bishops.  According to the U.S. State Department, the government of China is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, whose members are required to be atheists.  "The People's Republic of China (PRC) is an authoritarian state in which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is the paramount authority," says the State Department's latest report on human rights in China, which was published on April 20, 2018.

Congress Wants To Bring Thousands More Acres Under Federal Control. The US Can't Afford It.  A lengthy public lands package sitting in Congress adds hundreds of thousands of acres of federally protected wilderness without securing funding to manage it.  The House is preparing to vote on a bipartisan land package next week that is roughly 660 pages and composed of 118 different bills.  The Senate version passed its version, the most comprehensive land package in a decade, on Feb. 12 in a 92 to 8 vote.  "It touches every state, features the input of a wide coalition of our colleagues, and has earned the support of a broad, diverse coalition of many advocates for public lands, economic development and conservation," Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, according to The Washington Post.

Democrats took $60,000 junket to attend Beyonce concert in South Africa.  Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus took an official three-day trip to South Africa to be feted as VIPs at a Beyonce and Jay Z concert, according to congressional disclosure records.  The stated purpose of the $60,000 trip in December was to attend the "Global Citizen Mandela 100" concert, the stated purpose of which was to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Nelson Mandela and raise awareness of global poverty.  The extravaganza was headlined by Beyonce, Jay Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and Chris Martin.

Chase Bank Shuts Down Personal Account of Vocal Trump-Supporting US Army Combat Vet.  Chase Bank abruptly closed the personal account of US Army combat veteran Joe "Rambo" Biggs.  Mr. Biggs is a very vocal Trump supporter with a bluecheck verified Twitter account and has over 200,000 followers.  "Chase bank just closed out my account!" Biggs said on Twitter Saturday [2/16/2019]. [...] Joe Biggs is a huge supporter of the 2nd Amendment and also makes documentary films focused on the border crisis but he says YouTube has taken down most of his videos and demonetized his channel.  Tyranny from big tech and big banks in the US is reminiscent of the 'social credit score' in China which is used to silence and control the population.

What is the purpose of a secret Facebook account?
Malia Obama's secret Facebook account reveals just how much former First Daughter hates Trump.  Malia Obama described President Trump as 'evil' on a secret Facebook page where she exchanges messages friends including Joe Biden's granddaughter, DailyMail.com can reveal.  The Facebook page operates under a pseudonym and does not appear to have been publicly updated since 2017.

Defrocking McCarrick Before the Abuse Summit.  With his "abuse summit" a few days away, Pope Francis finally got around to defrocking the sexual predator Theodore McCarrick this week.  The move appears to have been driven by optics more than anything else.  It would have simply been too embarrassing for the pope to conduct the summit with the McCarrick matter still unresolved.  The pope's ostensible hope in delaying the abuse summit until this year was that interest in the scandal would dissipate.  It hasn't.

Former Air Force intelligence officer charged with revealing classified information to Iran.  The Justice Department on Wednesday unsealed an indictment against a former Air Force counterintelligence officer on espionage charges for allegedly revealing classified information to Iran.  On a Wednesday [2/13/2019] conference call with reporters, the Justice Department said former Air Force officer Monica Witt defected to Iran in 2013, where she is still suspected to be located.  She allegedly provided the code name and mission of a secret Department of Defense program and information about her former intelligence colleagues to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

House Democrat counters Trump with resolution declaring climate change a national emergency.  Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon said Friday he intends to introduce a resolution declaring climate change a national emergency.  Blumenauer, who has endorsed the progressive Green New Deal resolution and is active on environmental and renewable energy issues, circulated a letter to colleagues Friday seeking support for a resolution that would declare the "sense of Congress" that climate change is a national emergency.  Blumenauer's resolution would swipe President Trump for declaring a national emergency Friday to build a border wall and address what the congressman called a "manufactured crisis."

The Editor says...
That's all very nice, except that The climate isn't changing.

This is the man who delivered the death blow to Amazon deal.  The watershed moment that led Amazon to reconsider coming to Queens came on Feb. 4, when a fierce political foe was appointed to a state board with the power to thwart the project, said sources involved in the discussions.  That was the day state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins nominated Sen. Michael Gianaris as her appointee to the obscure Public Authorities Control Board.  Gianaris, who represents Long Island City, where Amazon was planning to build one of its new headquarters, bitterly opposed the $3 billion in subsidies offered by the city and state and was miffed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't consult him on the deal, according to sources.

Amazon's cancellation of move to NYC is catastrophic and could hurt far-left Dems at polls.  Amazon's announcement Thursday [2/14/2019] that it is abandoning plans to construct a second corporate headquarters New York City is a catastrophic loss for the city, New York state and the metropolitan region.  As a New Yorker, I find it immensely disappointing to see the immediate economic impacts and future economic losses of this unfortunate move.  I wholeheartedly believe that New York is a global city that should always strive to diversify its economy and compete on the world stage.

After Venezuela exchange, the case grows for throwing Ilhan Omar off the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  The unfitness of Rep. Ilhan Omar for the House Foreign Affairs Committee has already been brought up based on her persistent anti-Semitism, her strange habit of repeating Russian propaganda, and her apparent abuse of U.S. immigration law.  Now a new and very big reason has come up:  Her cringe-inducing ignorance of actual foreign affairs.

Judge voids Paul Manafort plea deal, says he 'intentionally' lied to the FBI, special counsel and grand jury.  Paul Manafort "intentionally" lied to special counsel Robert Mueller's office, breaking the plea agreement that made him the star cooperator in the Russia probe, a federal judge found on Wednesday [2/13/2019].  Manafort "made multiple false statements to the FBI, the OSC and the grand jury concerning matters that were material to the investigation," including his contacts with his Russian associate during the campaign and later, Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote on Wednesday [2/13/2019].

This means they really don't know, or they DO know but won't say.
Feds don't know what caused romaine lettuce food poisoning outbreak.  U.S. food regulators say they weren't able to identify a contamination source for a food poisoning outbreak that prompted them to warn people to avoid romaine lettuce this fall.  The Food and Drug Administration says it wasn't able to determine how a water reservoir on a Santa Barbara County, California, farm became contaminated with E. coli.  It also says the water reservoir doesn't explain how lettuce from other farms may have been contaminated.  The FDA says leafy greens' short shelf life makes it difficult to investigate such outbreaks.

The Editor says...
The two most likely causes, in my opinion, are:  [1] Illegal aliens defecating in the water supply, or out in the lettuce fields (lettuce hope not!), or [2] small-scale Islamic terrorism designed to destabilize the US economy.

Tech Elites, Donor Class Unite with GOP/Dems to Outsource White-Collar American Jobs.  Silicon Valley's business elites and donor-class billionaires are uniting with elected Republicans and Democrats to ensure that white-collar, middle-class American jobs are swiftly outsourced to mostly Indian and Chinese nationals.  A plan known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, introduced in the Senate by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), as well as Reps.  Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Ken Buck (R-CO), would eliminate the U.S. country caps in the legal immigration system and would fast-track outsourcing of white-collar American jobs to mostly Indian and Chinese nationals imported to the country by businesses, outsourcing firms, and multinational corporations.

Mysterious Turkish Firm Helped Maduro Move $900 Million in Gold.  Two months after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visited his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, a mysterious company called Sardes sprang into existence.  The firm started business with a bang in January of 2018, when it imported about $41 million worth of gold from Venezuela, the first such transaction between the two countries in records that go back 50 years.  The next month its volume more than doubled, with Sardes transporting almost $100 million worth to Turkey.

Pope signs pact with Islam declaring 'diversity of religions' is 'willed by God'.  Almost without notice from the global media, Pope Francis held a historic meeting last week in the United Arab Emirates with Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of Egypt's al-Azhar University, the world's most authoritative institution on Islamic law.  El-Tayeb, while touted as a "moderate" by some in the West, unapologetically teaches that Muslims who leave Islam for other religions, or no religion at all, are guilty of apostasy and should be killed.  So what is the Pope of Rome, the supposed Vicar of Christ, doing cavorting with such a man?

Pope Francis Leading His Flock to the Slaughter?  The two foremost representatives of Christianity and Islam, Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb — the Grand Imam of Al Azhar who was once named the "most influential Muslim in the world" — just signed "A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together."  The Document "forcefully rejects," to quote Vatican News, "any justification of violence undertaken in the name of God," and affirms "respect for believers of different faiths, the condemnation of all discrimination, the need to protect all places of worship, and the right to religious liberty, as well as the recognition of the rights of women."  The Document is being portrayed as a "historic pledge of fraternity" and applauded as a "historical breakthrough."  The problem is that one of the two men who signed it, Dr. al-Tayeb, has repeatedly contradicted — when speaking in Arabic and appearing on Arabic media — all the lofty sentiments it highlights.

Panera Bread's Socialist 'Pay What You Want' Experiment Fails Miserably.  Panera Bread has shuttered the last of its ideologically driven "pay what you want" restaurants.  The socialist-tinged ventures were called "Panera Cares" and the higher-ups have finally figured out that "caring" is not synonymous with "viable business model."  On February 15, the final Panera Cares, located in Boston, will close. [...] If Panera had cared more about making money than promoting a constantly refuted ideology, its employees would still be receiving paychecks.  Frighteningly, though, a growing segment of the populace seems to be allergic to common-sense economic principles.

Panera's Socialist Pay-What-You-Want Restaurant Implodes:  Students, Homeless Mob The Place.  According to Eater, after nine years of being in business, Panera Bread's socialist pay-what-you-want restaurant, Panera Cares, will officially be closing shop on February 15 due to the business model's unsustainability.  While Panera Cares billed itself as a "non-profit" restaurant designed to feed low-income people, the business model was anything but.  Rather than create a charitable organization that distributes food to needy families or a discount outlet or even a $1 menu (like every other fast-food restaurant), Panera tried to create a socialist system in which meals were offered at a suggested donation price.  That means some people would pay more while others would pay less based on what they felt like or could afford.  By not simply offering food at a low price (hat-tip, Dollar Tree), Panera completely removed any incentive for patrons to meet even the lowest standards of consumer/retailer exchange.  The result:  some people paid their fair share while others enjoyed a "free lunch."

Why didn't the Panera Cares social experiment pay off?  The concept was introduced in 2010, when Panera Bread Co. opened its first Panera Cares location in a suburb of St.  Louis, where the company is based.  Under the chain's nonprofit arm, the stores operated on a pay-what-you-can model.  Customers could pay as much or as little as they wanted for sandwiches, soups, and other menu items, which carried only suggested prices.  The hope was that enough of them would "pay it forward" for those who were less well off.  To make it work, the company figured, 60 percent of patrons would need to fork over the full price, about 20 percent would have to offer more money, and another 20 percent could leave less than the suggested price, or even pay nothing.  In December 2012, when the Boston Panera Cares was about to open at 3 Center Plaza, company founder Ron Shaich that it would be a place where people could eat with dignity, no matter whether they could afford a meal.  "It's a powerful study of humanity," he said.  "Will people do the right thing?"  The answer, apparently:  Some did, but not enough to make the restaurants sustainable.

Surprise!  Panera's Socialist Restaurant Closes Due To People Not Paying For Their Food.  Panera Cares'll be officially closing on February 15th.  As it turns out, when you don't make people pay for stuff, people don't pay for stuff.

The Editor says...
The "pay whatever you feel it's worth" idea is suitable only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate for any others.  The liberal Left has created a culture of entitlement, and there is an abundance of freeloaders in this country who feel they are entitled to take whatever they can get, free of charge.

China and Russia loaned billions to Venezuela — and then the presidency went up for grabs.  Venezuela is in the middle of a power struggle at the highest level, and that could mean trouble for its two biggest foreign allies:  China and Russia.  The socialist petrostate is home to the largest oil reserves on the planet, but endemic corruption has devastated its economy.  Beijing and Moscow have helped the country stave off collapse by repeatedly extending financial lifelines — to the tune of tens of billions of dollars over the last decade.  For the most part, those oil-for-debt swaps were good for all parties involved.  But that may be changing.

Denton County measles case is first in Dallas-Fort Worth, seventh in Texas.  One case of measles has been confirmed in Denton County, raising the statewide total to seven, according to health officials.  Denton County Public Health confirmed the case Wednesday [2/6/2019] and is working to identify and contact other people who may have been exposed.  The case has not been linked to any other cases, the health department said.  The department did not release any information about the person who contracted measles, citing patient confidentiality.

The Editor says...
I suppose it's a sign of the times:  The privacy of the person with the measles is more important than the health of the general population.  What's all the fuss about the measles, anyway?  I had the measles when I was a kid, and it was no big deal.

Yup, Iran/Hezbollah Really Is In Venezuela.  Ghazi Nasr Al-Din fundraisers for and with Hezbollah.  He also is a player in operational issues which includes a Hizbollah community center and operations office in Venezuela.  He speaks Arabic and Spanish.  Born in Beirut, Lebanon, he has been on the FBI Most Wanted List for several years.  Al Din along with Fawzi Kan'an are based in Venezuela and have been since at least 2008.

Earth's Magnetic North Pole keeps moving about and it could be a problem.  Earth's North Magnetic Pole has been drifting so fast in the last few decades that scientists say past estimates are no longer accurate enough for precise navigation.  On Monday [2/4/2019], they released an update of where magnetic north really is, nearly a year ahead of schedule.  The North Magnetic Pole is wandering about 34 miles a year.  It crossed the international dateline in 2017 and is leaving the Canadian Arctic on its way to Siberia.

Getting the gold out:  The rats are fleeing Venezuela's sinking ship.  You can tell that things are not going well for Venezuela's Maduro socialist dictatorship, based on how they're behaving now.  All signs are out now that the rats are fleeing a sinking ship.  Giant contractors, even from Venezuela's allies Russia and China, are pulling out, meaning the money's running out.  Just as interesting are the huge 757 Russian off-radar cargo jet flights into Caracas bearing the name of a newly-founded company, which sounds like a front for the Russian government.  They came and went, with unknown purpose, but lots of room for anyone who might want to ... smuggle out the nation's gold.

Plan to pull nearly $1B in gold out of Venezuela reportedly halted.  Plans by Venezuelan officials to ship 20 tons of gold overseas have reportedly been halted as the embattled presidency of Nicolas Maduro faces international pressure to cede power to a transitional government and protect the country's hard assets.  The gold bars, worth around $850 million, were weighed and separated in the central bank but won't be leaving the country anytime soon, according to reports.  On Tuesday, reports emerged that the gold was ready to be loaded onto a Russian airliner that arrived in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas a day earlier.

How the feds pulled off University of Farmington sting.  Federal agents who created a phony university to bust immigration fraud had help from straw men, a state agency, a national college accreditation group and a dead-end post office box, public records show.  The tapestry of tricks added a sheen of legitimacy to the University of Farmington, a fake university used by Homeland Security agents to arrest eight recruiters who are accused of visa fraud conspiracy and harboring aliens for profit.  The recruiters helped at least 600 foreign nationals illegally remain and work in the United States by recruiting them to enroll as students at the fake university, according to federal prosecutors.

And now they're stuck with a lifetime of student loan debt!
Homeland Security made fake university to lure illegal immigrants.  The Department of Homeland Security created a fake university in Detroit to lure — and arrest — illegal immigrant students and recruiters, according to newly unsealed court documents.  The University of Farmington existed in Farmington Hills, Michigan — but had no real teachers, curriculum or actual classes.  Instead, undercover Homeland Security agents posed as "owners and employees" of the school as "part of a federal law enforcement undercover operation designed to identify recruiters and entities engaged in immigration fraud," according to a federal indictment filed Jan. 15 but unsealed Wednesday [1/30/2019].

Russian Boeing 777 in Caracas set to haul 20 tons of gold from central bank, report says.  About 20 tons of gold from Venezuela's central bank was ready to be hauled away Tuesday [1/29/2019] on a Russian airline's Boeing 777 that landed in Caracas a day earlier, a Venezuelan lawmaker wrote on Twitter.  The destination of the $840 million in gold bars was unknown, but a source told Bloomberg News that it represented about 20 percent of the country's holding of the metal.  The gold was set aside for loading, the report said.

Senator's huge financial win after neighbour tackled him in lawn maintenance dispute.  A jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky, deliberated less than two hours before delivering the award to Republican Rand Paul, who had been attacked while doing yard work at his home.  During the three-day trial Mr Paul told the court he feared for his life as he struggled to breathe after Rene Boucher, an anesthesiologist, slammed into him in late 2017.  The jury awarded $375,000 in punitive damages and $200,000 for pain and suffering, plus $7,834 for medical expenses.

Struggling Newseum Sells Building to Johns Hopkins for $372.5 Million.  The financially struggling Newseum which moved from Virginia to D.C. in 2008 announced that it has agreed to sell its Pennsylvania Ave. location to Johns Hopkins University for $372.5 million.  The Newseum will remain open through 2019 while museum executives search for a new and presumably less costly location at which to operate.

Democrat Who Laughed Out Loud at Pledge of Allegiance will Deliver Dem's SOTU Response in Spanish.  On Tuesday [1/29/2019] it was announced that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will deliver the Dems' State of the Union response in Spanish.  Schumer and Pelosi praised the incredibly corrupt California Attorney General with more Marxist doublespeak.

Failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams gets a SOTU response participation trophy.  On Tuesday [1/29/2019], Senator Chuck Schumer announced that he is pleased that failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams had accepted the invitation to give a televised rebuttal directly following President Trump's State of the Union address on February 5.  Given that she's not an elected representative, it's an odd choice [...] It is likely that Democratic leaders are offering Abrams as a sacrificial lamb, considering the failed rebuttal given by the frothymouthed Joe Kennedy last year, which led to thousands of memes and harsh criticisms about his flat and wet delivery.  Before he gave his speech, he was considered the "rising star" of the Democratic Party.  Afterward, he fell back into obscurity.

Israel Kamikaze Drones are Destroying Syria's Air Defenses.  On January 21, Iranian, Syrian and Israeli forces unleashed a hail of missiles upon each other in what is becoming yet another flare-up of violence along the Syria-Israel border.  Afterwards, the Israeli Defense Force released a video depicting unidentified munitions eliminating two or three short-range air defense systems--apparently including Russia's latest short-range system, the Pantsir-S2.  In fact, the recent raids may reveal improvements to Syria's air defense forces due to ongoing Russian training and weapons transfers.  However, they also reveal Israel's continuing ability to defeat, including through likely use of kamikaze-drones.

Thanks to Trump, China's economy is rapidly decelerating — Here's what could happen next.  The Chinese government recently announced that its GDP growth for 2018 of only 6.6 percent — the country's slowest rate of economic development since 1990.  Growth in the fourth quarter declined to 6.4 percent.  For the second half of 2018, Chinese investment, consumer spending, manufacturing and exports all slowed markedly with the current trade war with the U.S. hurting China more than anticipated.  And that's assuming the numbers are accurate.  Economists have long questioned the accuracy of China's official economic data.  In any event, China's economy is rapidly decelerating — and that's no coincidence.

Yes, Venezuela Is a Socialist Catastrophe.  Conspicuous by its absence in much of the mainstream news coverage of Venezuela's political crisis is the word "socialism."  Yes, every sensible observer agrees that Latin America's once-richest country, sitting atop the world's largest proven oil reserves, is an economic basket case, a humanitarian disaster, and a dictatorship whose demise cannot come soon enough.  But ... socialist?  Perish the thought.  Or so goes a line of argument that insists socialism's good name shouldn't be tarred by the results of experience.  On Venezuela, what you're likelier to read is that the crisis is the product of corruption, cronyism, populism, authoritarianism, resource-dependency, U.S. sanctions and trickery, even the residues of capitalism itself.

Venezuela Erupts Against Dictator Maduro as His Socialist Regime Starts to Completely Collapse.  Hundreds-of-thousands of people took to the streets in Venezuela Wednesday afternoon in protest of illegitimate President Nicolas Maduro and in support of internationally recognized President Juan Guadio. [...] On Wednesday afternoon [1/23/2019] the Trump administration, in partnership with a number of Central and South American countries, officially declared Maduro is no longer recognized as the leader of Venezuela and that Guadio is the legitimate President of the country.

Bernie Sanders warns about US, not Russian, intervention in Venezuela.  The story out of Venezuela is revolting: mass Egypt-style protest to get a leftist dictator who's put the country in ruins out, and the whole thing stopped by Russian intervention. [...] Russian president Vladimir Putin's warnings, delivered yesterday via his administrative minions, threatening civil war and hell to pay if Maduro is thrown out, is a clear signal that somebody's rice bowl is threatened in Moscow if Maduro exits and that Russia itself is trying to intervene.  By the wildest coincidence, they just happen to be the Venezuelan military's arms-supplier, supplying the weapons that, so far, are being aimed at Venezuela's protesting people.  China, which has loaned Venezuela billions in exchange for oil at below-market rates, is another one.  And Cuba, which literally runs the critical parts of the Venezuelan government, including much of its military, has the dirtiest hands of them all.

Most supporters of socialism ignore Venezuela's collapse — with one exception.  Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and most other fantasy-embracing leftists are uncharacteristically silent about the collapse of socialism, even as President Trump calls out the real-world refutation of the suddenly trendy failed ideology in the experience of Venezuela.

Trump announces temporary end to partial government shutdown; vows to build wall despite no funding deal.  Both chambers of Congress passed the short-term spending bill to re-open the government, temporarily ending the 35-day partial government shutdown on Friday [1/25/2019], sending the measure to President Trump's desk for him to sign into law.  Trump and congressional Democrats arrived at an agreement Friday to support a short-term spending bill to re-open the government, temporarily ending the partial government shutdown that has dragged on for 35 days, in a move to separate the controversial issue of border security from funding of the government.

Desperate Embrace At Europe's Core.  Europe's most powerful personages on Tuesday [1/22/2019] signed a treaty for the "unification," of Western Europe's biggest countries.  French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel inked the deal at Aachen/Aix la Chapelle.  It was there in the chapel that Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer had knelt at Holy Mass to celebrate the signing of the 1963 Franco-German treaty of cooperation that sealed their peoples' vow of friendship and cooperation.  In the ensuing half century, it produced just that.  France and Germany became the core of the Common Market and then of the European Union.  Today's treaty, its pretensions notwithstanding, is between regimes that are overwhelmingly occupied trying, with decreasing success, to fend off domestic challenges to their legitimacy.  The treaty is a desperate attempt by France and Germany to change the subject from their internal struggles.  Nevertheless, the treaty cannot but have major and deleterious effects on intra-European relations as well as on relations between Europe and the United States.

Venezuelans set fire to Hugo Chavez statue.  Operation Boot Maduro seems to be moving to stage two.  Following this week's military mutiny, which was squelched, but not before locals ran out and attempted to defend the troops in pitched street battles, now at least sixty — sixty! — neighborhoods in Caracas have erupted into riots — big riots, with people reported shot dead.  Take a look at the series of tweets posted by Caracas Chronicles on its Twitter feed enumerating the names of the neighborhoods now in open revolt.

That weird silence from Democrats over Venezuela's massive rejection of socialism.  All over the world, nations and leaders are throwing expressions of support and praise for Venezuela's leaders and people, who after many years of oppression and missteps, have come together with a courageous plan to non-violently shake off a detested socialist dictatorship that has left their country in ruins.  Television pictures from yesterday's demonstration covered the story in spades, showing the magnificent human spectacle to U.S. viewers.  President Trump and Vice President Pence have been right there for them.  The Organization of American States and the Inter American Development Bank are loudly supporting them.  The European Union is openly encouraging them.  There also are the skunks, such as Russian President Vladimir Putin's government, an official of which dismissed the millions-strong effort to shake off socialism and finally have food to eat, muggers in jail, a full roll of toilet paper and hospitals with sheets, running water and Band Aids as "an attempted coup."  Then there are the Democrats, who are curiously, weirdly silent.

Astronomers Aren't Pleased About a Russian Plan to Put Billboards in Space.  Russian company StartRocket is proposing to use Cubesats, small satellites with inexpensive launch profiles, to put billboards in space.  At an altitude of about 450 km (280 miles), the satellites would unfurl a mylar sail about 9 meters (30 ft.) long.  A group of CubeSats would work together to create a singe billboard, and the result would be a pixelated billboard with a viewable area of about 50 sq. km., visible in morning and evening twilight, when they catch and reflect sunlight.  StartRocket thinks of their billboards in space as the creation of a new media.  The company calls them Orbital Displays, and each one would only last about a year.  They would be easily visible on clear nights, but not overbearingly bright.

Socialists can't stand to see capitalism succeed.
Progressives target Amazon.  Amazon has become a recurring symbol of economic inequality for newly emboldened progressive Democrats.

Like in Nigeria, 20 Mexican oil pipeline thieves die in fire.  Stealing fuel from oil pipelines appears not to be a peculiar Nigerian habit.  It is also a problem in Mexico, where the theft cost the government about $3 billion in 2018.  At least 20 people were killed and 54 were injured on Friday [1/18/2019] when a pipeline ruptured by suspected fuel thieves exploded in central Mexico as dozens of people tried to fill up containers, state and federal authorities said.

Update:
At least 66 dead, dozens injured after pipeline explosion in Mexico.  Forensic experts attempted to separate and count charred heaps of corpses in central Mexico on Saturday after a massive fireball erupted at an illegal pipeline tap, killing at least 66 people.

More updates:
Pipeline explosion witnesses describe scene where 73 died.  Grief-stricken family members and witnesses to Friday's pipeline explosion in central Mexico — which killed at least 73 people, burning many to just bones or ash, and injured at least 74 — were still reeling from the tragedy Saturday [1/19/2019]. [...] Isaias Garcia, a farmer who witnessed the explosion from a distance, explained why so many had come to the area.  "Everyone came to see if they could get a bit of gasoline for their car," he said.  "There isn't any in the gas stations."

Death toll rises in Mexico pipeline blast.  Mexico's state oil firm, Pemex, did not close the valve at a leaking gasoline pipeline when first notified because it was not initially thought to be an "important" leak, Mexico's security minister said on Sunday [1/20/2019].  The number of people who died from the explosion in central Mexico has risen to 85, Mexico's health minister said on Sunday.  An additional 58 people were hospitalized, Health Minister Jorge Alcocer told a news conference.

Death toll in Mexico gasoline pipeline blast climbs to 96.  The number of people who died in a gasoline pipeline explosion in central Mexico late last week has risen to 96, government officials said on Tuesday [1/22/2019], from 91 reported a day earlier.

The Editor says...
This horrific tragedy was caused by gasoline thieves drilling into a pipeline to get free gas.  This event will probably be used by anti-pipeline activists as evidence that pipelines are dangerous, but that is not true, at least in the United States.  Pipelines are safe if you leave them alone.

The 'Pelosi Rule' — "Sen. Joni Ernst Proposes Legislation to Keep Lawmakers in DC During Shutdowns.  On Friday night Speaker Nancy Pelosi was spotted at Reagan International Airport in Washington DC flying commercial as the president suggested.  This was after President Trump grounded Speaker Pelosi and Democrats taking a "public relations tour" to trash the administration in Europe and Afghanistan.  On Friday [1/18/2019] Sen. Joni Ernst (R_IA) proposed legislation to force lawmakers to stay in Washington and meet twice per day until their work is done on national budgets.

The Tense Debate Over Gay Priests.  Since last summer, the Catholic Church has been roiled by accusations that retired Archbishop Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., molested male minors and sexually harassed adult seminarians and priests over more than two decades.  The case has reignited a long and tense debate among Catholics over the question of homosexuality in the all-male priesthood.  Some bishops, other clergy and laypeople have cited Archbishop McCarrick's rise to power, despite widespread rumors of sexual misconduct, as evidence of a "homosexual subculture" in the hierarchy that they blame for allowing sex abuse and covering it up.

GOP Senators:  No Official Travel for Pelosi or Anyone If Budget Deadlines Aren't Met.  After President Trump yanked funding for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D., Calif.) Democratic delegation trip to Afghanistan, a trio of GOP senators are pushing a proposal that would bar any congressional travel if Congress can't meet its budget deadlines.  The bill would also prevent Congress from leaving Washington if lawmakers fail to complete their job of funding the government on time in an effort to fix the broken budget process and avoid future government shutdowns, stop-gap funding extensions, and bloated, last-minute, "omnibus" spending deals.

Another FBI Lawyer is Under Criminal Investigation for Leaking to the Media.  Former FBI attorney James Baker is reportedly under criminal investigation for improperly leaking sensitive information the media. [...] Baker reported to fired FBI Director James Comey, who has also been the subject of investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General for his leaking habits and potential improper handling of classified information.  Comey openly admitted to leaking memos about his conversations with President Trump during a congressional hearing in June 2017.  He said his goal was to launch a special counsel investigation into the president.

Freshman Democrats frustrated with leadership over shutdown impasse.  While Democratic leadership holds the line, apparently refusing to come to the table to negotiate, the resolve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in holding out might not be trickling down into the freshman class.  A number of newly sworn-in Democrats have reportedly voiced frustration with the leaders within their own party.  Some are suggesting that they might be willing to at least negotiate and see what kind of a deal could result.

You don't know what's in those vaccines.
Leading cancer expert dies suddenly after routine yellow fever jab.  A leading cancer expert has died suddenly after a routine yellow fever jab.  Martin Gore[,] once described by the Duke of Cambridge as an 'inspiration[,]' suffered total organ failure shortly after having the injection.  The jab is recommended to anyone visiting Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central America and the Caribbean, reports The Times.

America's progressives are so busy extolling virtues of socialism that they want you to ignore this.  Venezuela is in deep trouble:  hyperinflation, food shortages, scarce medical supplies, and soaring violence born of desperation.  It's all the doing of former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, his successor Nicolás Maduro, and their fellow kleptocrats.  Though America didn't cause Venezuela's problems, the Trump administration is trying to be part of the solution.  Its primary motive:  to ease the intolerable suffering caused by the socialist regime and its destabilizing effects on the entire region.  Nearly three-quarters of a century ago, Winston Churchill described socialism as "the equal sharing of misery."  Venezuela under Maduro shows that description holds true today.

Libertarian Party Organizes National Park Cleanups.  Republicans and Democrats may be sniping at each other over the partial government shutdown, but it's the Libertarian Party which is putting words to action.  Libertarians have organized multiple national park cleanups over the last week to show maybe the government isn't needed to provide services.  Libertarian Party National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark sees it as a real opportunity.

Mercenary:
Joe Lieberman Called Chinese Telecom Giant ZTE a National Security Threat.  Now He's a Lobbyist for It.  Joseph Lieberman, the former Connecticut senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate, is working for a company he once called a national security threat.  In November, Lieberman registered as a lobbyist for ZTE, a Chinese telecom giant with close links to the country's government.  The ex-senator told Politico that, despite his registration, he wouldn't actually be lobbying for the firm.  Rather, he hoped to "raise the level of trust in ZTE."  Lieberman certainly should understand the trust deficit the company faces.  In 2010, he signed a letter saying ZTE and another Chinese telecom company, Huawei, could threaten American national security.

Ex-CIA Interrogator:  Dems Comparing Shutdown to Hostage Situation Is a 'Narcissistic Power Grab'.  Dr. James Mitchell, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former CIA interrogator, blasted Democrats for likening the partial government shutdown to a hostage situation.  A multitude of top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), have recently said President Trump has taken Americans "hostage" by not opening up the government.  Mitchell, who interrogated 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said Saturday [1/12/2019] on Fox & Friends that the true hostage-takers are the Democrats themselves.  "They're using the federal employees as human shields in order to keep the southern border open to illegal immigration," he said.

The Unraveling of Wuerl's Lies.  In the latest revelation about Donald Wuerl — that, contrary to his claims of ignorance, he knew about McCarrick's misconduct for at least 14 years — he emerges as the amoral but self-protective bureaucrat, undone by his own pass-the-buck-style record-keeping, which gives a grimly ironic dimension to his downfall.  Wuerl's policy wasn't one of zero tolerance but of zero legal exposure, and toward that end he needed to keep records of complaints he had received and transmitted to the papal nuncio.

Gone: More cases emerge of Saudi students vanishing while facing Oregon charges.  In December 2014, a university student from Saudi Arabia was arrested in Monmouth and accused of raping a classmate after giving her marijuana and shots of Jack Daniel's.  Bail was set at a half-million dollars.  The judge ordered the student, Abdulaziz Al Duways, to turn over his passport to the private defense lawyer hired to represent him, according to court records and the Polk County District Attorney's Office.  A few days later, an official from the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Los Angeles posted bail.  Al Duways disappeared.  The case preceded a similar one recently reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive involving Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah.  The Portland Community College student jumped bail in the hit-and-run death of a 15-year-old Portland girl and apparently fled with the Saudi Arabian government's help, law enforcement officials said.

Real Mature:  Democratic Lawmakers Deliver National Park Trash To White House Amid Shutdown.  When things get serious, you can always count on Democrats to put the best interest of the country ahead of everything.  Just kidding.  Instead, when the chips are down, you can expect Democrats to pull stunts — pointless, crude and childish.  That's just what two California Democrats did on Wednesday [1/9/2019], making a show of bringing boxes of garbage collected at a national park during the government shutdown, which began December 22.  Reps. Jackie Speier and Jared Huffman went out to Golden Gate National Recreation Area on Saturday [1/5/2019] and helped volunteers pick up trash.  On Wednesday, the two House members brought the garbage to the White House to deliver what they called a "reality check."

Surgeon fined $3K for removing kidney he thought was tumor.  The Florida Board of Medicine says a West Palm Beach surgeon has agreed to pay a $3,000 fine for removing a woman's healthy kidney that he thought was a tumor.

"Biblical plague" swarms into Muslim holy capital.  A plague that seems straight out of the Bible's Old Testament has hit the Muslim holy capital of Mecca — the first time in recorded history such an event has occurred.  Inside Islam's holy city, the Grand Mecca itself has been swarmed by hordes of flying locust[s].  The unexplained event has left authorities struggling to clean up.  According to Newsweek, "The Holy Mecca Municipality issued a statement Monday responding to the swarm of so-called 'night cockroaches,' saying it had dispatched '22 teams consisting of 138 individuals and 111 devices'" to clean up.

Portland professor behind journal paper hoax fears he could lose his job.  A professor who fooled prestigious journals into running absurd hoax papers, as a test of their bias, says he may now lose his job because of his actions.  Peter Boghossian was one of three people who collaborated last year to test the standards of various university disciplines, submitting papers loaded with left-wing buzzwords to journals in fields like feminism, race studies, queer studies, and cultural studies.  Many prestigious journals fell for their absurd hoax papers.  A leading feminist journal published a section of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf that had simply been re-written with fashionable buzzwords.  Another journal published a paper about "rape culture and queer performativity" in dog parks.

How Convenient:  Charter Spectrum has Major Outage Across US before President Trump's Address on Border Security.  Spectrum has announced a major cable outage across the country just 1 hour before President Donald Trump is supposed to address the nation about the immigration crisis and the need to build the wall.  What are the odds?  Interesting how the outage is in all major cities and border states.

GOP senator's bill to withhold pay from Congress members during gov't shutdowns catches on.  Republican Montana Sen. Steve Daines introduced a bill on the Senate floor Thursday that would withhold the pay of members of Congress during future government shutdowns.  Daines's introduction of the bill, sponsored by Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn, comes hours after Daines announced he sent a letter requesting the secretary of the U.S. Senate withhold his pay during the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government.

Families of Sandy Hook shooting victims win legal victory in lawsuit against InfoWars, Alex Jones.  Six families of victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School won a legal victory Friday [1/11/2019] in their fight against controversial radio and internet personality Alex Jones.  A judge in Connecticut has granted the families' discovery requests, allowing them access to, among other things, Infowars' internal marketing and financial documents.

New York now requires changing tables in public men's restrooms.  Change is coming to men's restrooms in New York — and it's going to be a big help to fathers all over the state.  A new law requires all new or renovated buildings in New York that have bathrooms used by the public to make changing tables available to both men and women.  The rule, which passed in April 2018 but didn't go into effect until the new year, applies to restaurants, stores and movie theaters as well as state facilities such as parks and offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Here's The Viral Photo Of The Bloodied Man Female UFC Fighter Allegedly Beat Up For Attempted Robbery.  Twenty-six-year-old UFC fighter Polyana Viana told MMAjunkie on Sunday [1/6/2019] that she was approached by a man while she was waiting for an Uber driver.  After asking her for the time, he demanded she give him her cellphone and told her he was armed.  Making a split-second decision, Viana decided the "gun" he claimed to have was likely "too soft" to be an actual gun and deployed two punches and a kick to the man, and as he fell to the ground, she caught him in a headlock, she recalled.  The fighter said she held him until the cops arrived.

Four-year Senate investigation finds US Marshals Service plagued with corruption.  Wasteful spending.  Favoritism and nepotism.  Sexual harassment.  These were a few of the findings of a four-year Senate investigation into the U.S. Marshals Service, which concluded Thursday [1/3/2019].  A newly released report has revealed the Justice Department agency was rife with misconduct and abuse of authority, and at high levels.  The Senate Judiciary Committee's report, that included more than 100 interviews with current and former agency employees, details a long list of serious offenses that touched every part of internal affairs.

China: We'll Use Force To "Absorb" Taiwan If Necessary.  2019 is shaping up to be the year of Chinese aggression and challenges to the west.  On the technological front, they just landed a spacecraft on the dark side of the moon.  Far more troubling is the increasing level of military saber-rattling going on.  After launching their first domestically constructed aircraft carrier, one of their admirals suggest that they might sink a couple of ours.  And now, renewing a diplomatic battle that's been going on for decades, China's president is suggesting that they will bring Taiwan back under the direct control of Beijing, even if they have to do so by force.

Senate confirms dozens of stalled Trump nominees hours before the 115th Congress ends.  The Senate confirmed dozens of stalled Trump administration nominees Wednesday night, just hours before the close of the 115th Congress.  The list excluded federal judges despite an effort by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to secure a deal for those nominees with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.  In total, the Senate cleared 77 nominees by voice vote, among them 23 ambassadors to countries including Australia, Armenia, Yemen, Guyana, Kenya, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Overflowing garbage, feces on roads prompt Yosemite National Park officials to close some campgrounds.  Campgrounds in Yosemite National Park have been closed amid a foul tide of trash and human waste that is being blamed on the partial federal shutdown.  The restrooms and visitor centers at the park in California have been closed since Dec. 22, when the partial government shutdown began, the Los Angeles Times reported.  Trash collection was also suspended at the park but it has remained open.  But on Monday, feces and garbage were beginning to overwhelm Yosemite and other national parks.

The Editor says...
False flag alert:  Are average park visitors suddenly throwing trash wherever they please, or is someone making the government shutdown look more inconvenient than it really is?

Federal workers are suing the US government over the shutdown.  Federal workers on Wednesday sued the U.S. government over the shutdown, protesting the requirement that employees who are considered "essential" must report to work without pay, a major federal workers' union announced Monday.  An estimated 420,000 employees fall into the category of being essential, many of them working for the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department, focused on public safety.  In previous government shutdowns, Congress approved back pay for federal employees, something that's likely to happen again once the standoff between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats ends.

Utah implements nation's strictest drunk-driving law.  Just in time for New Year's Eve, Utah is setting up the strictest DUI law in the country.  The state is lowering its limit on blood-alcohol content from 0.08 to 0.05 percent.  Most states, including New York, set the limit at 0.08 percent.  Utah's mostly Mormon lawmakers embraced the change.

Journalists Dropping the Ball to End 2018.  After another year of embarrassing and sometimes bizarre behavior, the American news media will shamelessly celebrate themselves as 2018 draws to a close.  The irony of people representing media outlets that have polluted our public discourse with some of the most flawed, biased, and conspiratorial news coverage in modern times dropping a ball together in midtown Manhattan is delicious.  And their lack of self-awareness makes it even more spectacular.

Chancellor Merkel Says Nations Must 'Give up Sovereignty' to the EU.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a very troubling speech yesterday to the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin where she said, "Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty" and that the will of the people on issues like immigration and border security doesn't matter.

French security services investigate Russian role in yellow vests movement.  Yellow vest protestors claim that tax increases are disproportionally affecting working- and middle-class people and that everyday life is becoming economically unsustainable in France.  Some of the demonstrations have turned violent, and so far at least eight people have died as a result.  The ensuing crisis has become the most significant threat to the government of Emmanuel Macron, as the protests are increasingly evolving into an anti-Macron rallies.  So far, the yellow vests campaign has been largely bipartisan, bringing together protestors from the entirety of the French political spectrum.  Additionally, there are no identified leaders or coordinators of the movement.  However, some suspect that Russian government operatives may be further-inflaming an already incensed protest movement.

Kenya believe it?
China's African debt-trap:  Beijing prepares to seize Kenya's port of Mombasa.  China may be preparing to seize some major assets in the African nation of Kenya, as a result of debt-trap diplomacy.  African media reports that Kenya may soon be forced to relinquish control of its largest and most lucrative port in Mombasa to Chinese control.  Other assets related to the inland shipment of goods from the port, including the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), may also be compromised in the event of a Chinese port takeover.

What the Russian Trolls Were Really Doing in 2016.  [Scroll down]  So the actual story of Russia's Facebook operations is that they targeted African-Americans and even Latinos more than conservatives.  That would be entirely in line with Russia's past propaganda, and its influence operations in the United States, but it doesn't fit the Clinton conspiracy theory.  The Oxford report is even forced to concede that the Russians hit Muslims with "pro-Clinton" messages and that the Russians had "targeted Canadians with ads encouraging donations to Justin Trudeau's campaign."  That doesn't fit the narrative, so it's dismissed as confusing.  When Russia posted pro-Trump material, it's touted as proof of Russian backing.  But when the Russians supported Bernie Sanders, Justin Trudeau or other leftists, suddenly "it's not what it looks like."

Not in my neighborhood!
Plans for homeless shelter on Billionaires' Row are stopped.  The new homeless shelter set to open up in the former Park Savoy Hotel in Manhattan's "Billionaires' Row" has been put on ice — at least, for the time being.  The group of residents suing over the city's contentious housing plan was granted a temporary injunction halting the construction at the West 58th Street shelter.

National debt interest will soon exceed national defense spending.  President Trump has harshly criticized the Federal Reserve in recent weeks for inching up the standard interest rate to guard against rising inflation and threatening the four percent economic growth rate the billionaire likes to brag about.  Here's another reason:  The higher interest rates on your credit card balances and car loans also apply to the federal government's borrowing.

Iraqi politicians attack Trump's visit to US troops as 'blatant violation of sovereignty'.  Iraqi politicians and military leaders have criticised Donald Trump's visit to US troops in the country.  Calling it a "blatant violation of Iraq's sovereignty" Sabah al Saadi, the former head of Iraq's integrity commission and leader of the powerful Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of parliament.  He described Mr Trump's visit as "aggressive" before claiming the US president "should know his limits."  He said:  "The US occupation of Iraq is over."

The Editor says...
Why are we in Iraq at all?  Pull out now, I say, and let the ungrateful Iraqis rot.

Top Amazon boss privately advised US government on web portal worth billions to tech firm.  A top Amazon executive privately advised the Trump administration on the launch of a new internet portal that is expected to generate billions of dollars for the technology company and give it a dominant role in how the US government buys everything from paper clips to office chairs.  Emails seen by the Guardian show that the Amazon executive Anne Rung communicated with a top official at the General Services Administration (GSA) about the approach the government would take to create the new portal, even before the legislation that created it — known to its critics as the "Amazon amendment" — was signed into law late last yea

Baltimore police pay $500 for rocket launcher at gun buyback.  Baltimore police say a rocket launcher was among the more than 1,000 firearms turned in during recent gun buyback events.

In Brazil, Bolsonaro gives cops 'license to kill.' What could go wrong?  High crime has made Brazil's cities unlivable, which is why many of even the poorest Brazilians flocked to elect right-wing conservative Jair Bolsonaro for president.  But his solution — which news accounts say is to just get out there and shoot the criminals — isn't likely to work.

License-to-Kill Policing to Get a Trial Run in Rio de Janeiro.  Teams of marksmen next year will patrol swaths of Rio de Janeiro with high-powered weapons and a license to kill, said a security adviser to Governor-elect Wilson Witzel.  As many as 120 sharpshooters will accompany police incursions into the slums of Brazil's postcard city to exterminate gun-toting criminals, according to Flavio Pacca, a longtime associate of Witzel who the governor-elect's press office said will join the administration.  The shooters will work in pairs — one to pull the trigger, one to monitor conditions and videotape deaths.

Report: Huber and Horowitz Investigations Deep State Cons Constructed by DOJ.  Paul Sperry has an interesting report posted at RCP-Investigations outlining numerous interviews with DC politicians and would-be witnesses, if any actual DOJ investigation of the FBI and DOJ misconduct was taking place.  What Sperry discovers is the year-long narrative around John Huber and Michael Horowitz is factually false.  Just like the false framework surrounding the long-forgotten U.S. Attorney John Lausch; the guy who was supposedly hired to facilitate DOJ record production but actually did nothing of the sort; Sperry discovers the framework around U.S. Attorney John Huber was manufactured by career officials inside the DOJ to tamp down problematic demands for a second special counsel.

Former Senate Intel aide accused of passing info to 'young, female reporters' gets 2 months.  A former aide to the Senate Intelligence Committee, who leaked information to a journalist he was having an affair with, has been sentenced to two months in prison for lying to the FBI.  James Wolfe, 58, pleaded guilty in October to one felony count of lying to the FBI.  The count referenced use of encrypted messaging in October 2017 to tell "Reporter #3" about a subpoena the committee had issued.

Ticking Time Bombs in the [Catholic] Church.  Former Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony is long retired, but his scandals keep exploding like ticking time bombs around the feet of his successor.  The latest eruption was this week's revelation that Mahony had elevated Monsignor Alexander Salazar to auxiliary bishop in 2004 despite a credible allegation of abuse against Salazar from the 1990s.

Catholic Church in Illinois Withheld Names of at Least 500 Priests Accused of Abuse, Attorney General Says.  The Catholic Church in Illinois withheld the names of at least 500 priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, the state's attorney general said Wednesday in a scathing report that accused the church of failing victims by neglecting to investigate their allegations.  The preliminary report by Attorney General Lisa Madigan concludes that the Catholic dioceses in Illinois are incapable of investigating themselves and "will not resolve the clergy sexual abuse crisis on their own."

Microsoft Making It Easier to Type Kaomoji.  Last night Microsoft released quite a feature-packed Windows 10 2019 Preview Build to Windows Insiders.  The last major update for the year, build 18305 brought in some pretty useful features.  But, it's the fun ones that deserve some attention.

Illinois finds 500 more Catholic clergy accused of abuse.  Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Wednesday issued a blistering report about clergy sexual abuse, saying that Catholic dioceses in Illinois received allegations of child sexual abuse by 500 more clergy than previously publicly identified.

What's Happening to Tucker Carlson (and Others) Is Called 'Blacklisting'.  There is no question political blacklisting has returned with a vengeance.  Once again, just as we saw during the Hollywood blacklist of old, large corporations are de-platforming, refusing to serve, firing, and stripping sponsorship from those who hold beliefs and opinions unpopular with the establishment.  We even have large media corporations, like the far-left CNN, openly demanding the blacklisting of certain opinions.  What's more, in a truly ironic example of history repeating itself, we have the powerful in Hollywood calling for the blacklisting of certain opinions.

Protester Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty To Protest ICE Convicted On All Counts.  On Monday [12/17/2018], the woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty to protest against U.S. immigration policy last July 4, forcing thousands of visitors who wanted to visit the iconic statue on Liberty Island to evacuate the island, was convicted on all counts by a judge in Manhattan.

Federal court says NY ban on nunchucks [is] unconstitutional.  A federal court says New York's ban on nunchucks, the martial arts weapon made famous by Bruce Lee but prohibited in the state for decades, is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

Acting AG Matt Whitaker likely in clear in Hatch Act probe, experts say.  Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker did not violate the Hatch Act when his campaign account from a failed 2014 Senate bid accepted four donations totaling nearly $9,000 earlier this year, campaign finance experts said.  But most of the money is still sitting in the campaign's account because William Gustoff, the campaign's treasurer, is waiting to make sure he can use it to pay back a loan to Mr. Whitaker, who is still owed $50,000 from a personal loan he made to his Senate bid.

Over 40 percent of Americans say no to flu vaccinations.  Have you gotten your flu shot this year?  If the answer is no — and I'm not getting one! — you're not alone.  A new study finds more than 40 percent of Americans have not been vaccinated and, in fact, don't plan on it either.  This is despite the warnings, potential dangers, and last year's record-number of flu deaths.  The survey was done by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.  People under the age of 45 were the least likely to report being vaccinated.

Joe Lieberman, former 'conscience of the Senate,' becomes a Chinese agent.  Joe Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-independent who has backed Republicans, has found friends in yet another party:  the ruling Communist Party of the People's Republic of China.  The former "conscience of the Senate" has been hired to represent China's ZTE telecommunications company, which is basically a front organization for Chinese intelligence services.  ZTE is under pressure in light of overdue U.S. government efforts to prevent it from entrenching a stronger position in the U.S. economy.  With the U.S. now in a new cold war with Beijing, no former U.S. official, let alone a foreign policy hawk like Lieberman, should be serving ZTE.

How to delete Facebook without losing your friends and photos.  Casey Neistat wrote an article back in 2014 how he 'fixed' his Facebook by unfriending people who shared too much.  I tried this in 2017, and it absolutely didn't work!  People still share way too much and every time I go on Facebook it feels like like a whole plague of negativity that's trying to give me cancer.  Just no.  It's not cool.  Facebook really isn't the 'cool' platform it was back in 2008.

The curiously now-dead Venezuelan PDVSA oil chief was the CITGO guy and a Washington fixer.  Another day, another dead dissident over in the socialist hellhole of Venezuela.  The death of Nelson Martínez in police custody made the news, because no one had ever seen such a high-level official killed off, possibly by bad medical care, which wouldn't be surprising in a Venezuelan dungeon, or maybe a rubout from the mafia state that's currently in power.  Maybe it was both.  It's likely someone wanted him dead.  Martínez had been Venezuela's oil chief, the man at the top of state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., which brought in 95% of the country's export revenues based on Venezuela's oil shipments, and close to Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro.

New App Posing HUGE Threat To Twitter Sees Thousands Sign Up Almost Overnight.  Twitter has done more than its fair share to make many feel unwelcome on the platform.  Between banning and suspending conservatives for so much as glancing at a leftist the wrong way, to taking their sweet time in punishing leftists who break their terms of service in a big way, Twitter has made its bias very clear.  If you're a conservative, you're a target.  As I discussed in a video, Twitter employees even admitted to this while being filmed under-cover.

Judge rules Americans can secretly record public officials in victory for Project Veritas.  A federal judge ruled Monday that Americans have a right to secretly record their public officials, including police, when they are engaged in their government duties.  U.S. District Chief Judge Patti B. Saris said a Massachusetts law banning secret recordings violates the First Amendment when it comes to government employees, rejecting the state's claims that officials need some space to be able to operate without having to worry about being monitored.

Project Veritas Gets A Win In Massachusetts.  Chalk up a win for the watchdogs of government.  A federal judge in Massachusetts has ruled in two cases — one including the bane of many Democrats' existence, Project Veritas — that the Massachusetts state law prohibiting secretly recording government officials is unconstitutional.

Naval Air Station Corpus Christi could be re-named after Bush 41.  The naval air station where former President George H.W. Bush earned his naval wings in 1943 could soon be renamed after the late president.  Nueces County commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a resolution in support of changing the name of the N.A.S. Corpus Christi to the George H.W. Bush Naval Air Station Corpus Christi — a push that's making its way through Texas and Washington.

Barack Obama's Campaign Was Fined $375,000 for Campaign Finance.  Donations — Why Didn't Liberal SDNY Prosecute Obama?  Gregg Jarrett went off after the New York Southern Division accused President Trump of campaign violations by paying hush money to two women from his own pocket. [...] Of course, the NYSD said nothing when Obama was accused of campaign finance donations.  In January 2013 the Obama Campaign was fined $375,000 for campaign reporting violations.

France surrenders to the French.  Macron today [12/10/2018] capitulated to the Yellow Jacket rioters who have turned Paris into Europe's first no-go zone not run by Muslims.  Corporate media in America is alarmed and couched Macron's submission as heroic.  Maybe he can relocate his capital to Vichy.  Some Trump supporters are saying he negotiated with terrorists.  That's being kind.  He merely gave them what they want.  Again.

Are 'deplorables' reaching the breaking point... again?  Another possible government shutdown showdown just ahead of Christmas, along with news of massive protests in France against unfair and unsustainable tax policies, has comments sections on conservative sites buzzing with calls to just "shut it down" if funding for the border wall is not included in the budget.  Candidate Trump's "forgotten" men and women are getting antsy.

AI can solve CAPTCHA tests in under 0.05 seconds.  CAPTCHA is an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart", a type of challenge-response test used in computing to determine whether or not the user is human.  Text-based CAPTCHAs use a jumble of letters and numbers, alongside other security features such as occluding lines, to distinguish between humans and malicious automated computer programmes.  The system relies on people finding it easier to decipher the characters than machines.  Developed by computer scientists at Lancaster University in the UK as well as Northwest University and Peking University in China, the new algorithm delivers significantly higher accuracy than previous CAPTCHA attack systems, and is able to successfully crack versions where previous attacks failed.  It is also highly efficient, able to pass a test within 0.05 seconds on a desktop PC.

Nadler: I'm ending investigation into FBI, DOJ when I become chairman.  The Democrat poised to lead the House Judiciary Committee next year says he has no intention of continuing the GOP-led investigation into FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) decisionmaking [sic] during the 2016 election.  Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who stepped outside of the ongoing closed-door interview with former FBI Director James Comey, told reporters Friday [12/7/2018] that he plans to end the probe come January.

The Editor says...
Please show me a dictionary (if you attended a public school, that's a hardback book with a lot of definitions and pronunciation guides in it), in which decisionmaking is a single un-hyphenated word.

Macron Shuts Down Paris in Attempt To Stop Protests.  French President Emmanuel Macron has officially shut down Paris this weekend in his attempt to stop the "Yellow Vest" populist uprising against current political policies.  The primary tourist venues are all closed; shops ordered to close; windows boarded up; 8,000 police units dispatched to Paris and 89,000 deployed throughout the country.

The Editor says...
Beware of new reports that tell you about thousands of people rioting in the streets over "political policies" without telling you what those policies are, or why they're bad enough to justify violence.  The riots are all about sudden increases in already-high gasoline taxes to pay for environmental money pits like global warming.  The French people are just now figuring out that socialism comes at a high cost.  They may also learn that carbon dioxide is harmless, global warming and cooling is inevitable and natural, and no amount of money can change the weather.

Paris Is Burning Over Climate Change Taxes — Is America Next?  The City of Lights, Paris, has been illuminated in recent days by cars set alight by thousands of protesting "Yellow Vests" — largely middle class people who earn their living by driving or who commute to get to work.  The cause of their ire is a scheduled 25 cents-per-gallon increase in gas taxes, and about 10 cents on diesel, to fight climate change.  French President Macron, deeply unpopular, just reversed course on the new green tax — Parisians are already paying about $7.06 per gallon for gasoline, almost half of that in taxes.  If Paris streets burned over a proposed 25 cents per gallon climate change tax, imagine the global conflagration over a $49 per gallon tax.

France protests and the 'yellow vests' deep anger reveal the hypocrisy at the heart of the green agenda.  Over the last month, hundreds of thousands of angry French citizens have joined in "yellow vest" protests, initially sparked by proposed carbon taxes on fuel.  This weekend, protester turnout was down, but the violence was up.  While the destructive rioting should be deplored, the underlying problems that led to this moment should not be ignored.  French President Emmanuel Macron once heralded as a visionary "centrist" leader who would pull France and the world into glorious modernity, now finds himself in hot water.

More than a thousand arrested in Paris 'Yellow Vest' protests.  Paris was again the epicentre of clashes as fresh anti-government Yellow Vest protests swept France for a fourth consecutive weekend.

Trump Says Paris Climate Accord 'Isn't Working Out So Well For Paris' As Riots Engulf The City.  For weeks, tens of thousands of French have risen up to oppose planned hikes to carbon taxes on diesel and gasoline as part of Macron's climate agenda.  Carbon taxes provided the spark for what's morphed into protests against Macron's attempts to revamp France's economy.  Thousands of protesters, called "yellow vests" for the safety jackets European law mandates all drivers have on hand, stormed the Champs-Elysées for another round of protests.  The entire city is basically shut down, including major tourist attractions.

More about carbon (dioxide) taxes.

Frexit? French protesters call for EU exit as Macron fails to control deadly Paris riots.  Yellow vest protesters in Paris have been calling for France to leave the European Union as President Emmanuel Macron struggles to control the deadly riots currently shutting down the capital.  The yellow vest protests in the French capital escalated on Saturday [12/8/2018] with protesters firing tear gas canisters against police officers and holding up banners calling for France to leave the European Union.  More than 400 people have already been arrested with thousands of protesters breaking police barriers to inundate the streets of Paris.  The so-called gilets jaunes have been protesting against French President Emmanuel Macon's policies for the fourth weekend in a row.

New Drone City.  The New York Police Department is planning to introduce a new drone program in New York City and we should all be enthusiastic about this development. [...] As the rest of the world finds ways to maximize profits and key results using technology, our cops need the same equipment to maximize our safety.  Imagine how many drug busts, gang activities, and crimes in general can be stopped if a drone is flying nearby.  The power of deterrence is incomparable in its importance to police work and if drones are utilized to monitor potential criminal activity we might be able to stop crimes before they happen, and maybe even save some lives.

The Editor says...
As long as they are investigating felons and fighting violent crimes, I'm all for it.  If they're using the drones as a way to collect overdue payments from tax cheats and "deadbeat dads," that's another matter.

Outrage over Boeing selling top-secret satellite technology to a company financed by ChiComs.  What [...] was Boeing thinking when it agreed to sell a satellite containing top-secret technology to a startup company financed by China?  How [...] did this deal pass muster and gain an export license from the Commerce Department?  I am not the only one baffled: [...]

SDNY Releases Cohen Sentencing Memo — Apparently Media Reports of Cohen Cooperation Were Greatly Exaggerated.  Within a sentencing memo filed today [12/7/2018] the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York recommends "a substantial term of imprisonment" for Michael Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges and campaign finance crimes, as well as lying to Congress.  Reading through the memo — the content of cooperation, and the details that surface as a result therein, are entirely different from all previous media claims.

Eye-opening breakdown of America's safest cities — and the one labeled most dangerous.  East Coast cities won first and second place rankings as the safest cities in America, according to a Monday WalletHub study.  Columbia, Maryland, and South Burlington, Vermont, rank as America's two safest cities, respectively, according to the study.  Plano, Texas, and Virginia Beach, Virginia, followed as the third and fourth safest cities in the U.S., respectively, according to the study.  St. Louis ranked as the least safe city, followed by Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and San Bernardino, California, as the most unsafe cities, respectively, according to WalletHub.

Two cemeteries found in violation as Michigan mortuary scandal broadens: reports.  Two cemeteries in Michigan incurred multiple violations related to fetuses and fetal remains found in their facilities, reports said.  Both cemeteries' fetuses with documentation violations were improperly handled by Perry Funeral Home, according to the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

54,543 Voters.  That's the extent of the "blue wave" which occurred on November 6th.  True, that isn't what you've heard on MSNBC, who crowed that 8,805,130 more voters voted for Democratic House candidates than voted for Republicans — a record.  That figure isn't wrong.  Just irrelevant.  The 8,800,000 wasted votes in places like California, New York, and Boston that piled up massive "blue" supermajorities in "super-blue" urban districts and states isn't a good thing for the Democrats; it's their central problem.

U.S. military warns electromagnetic pulse weapons in Iran, Russia and North Korea could melt down nuclear power plants.  The military is warning the U.S. government to prepare for a potential electromagnetic pulse weapon attack, as countries like North Korea, Russia and Iran develop the special arms.  The shocking report, published by the Air Force's Air University, reveals that the U.S. is dismally unprepared for such an attack that could wipe out all electricity, kill 90 percent of the East Coast, and lead to utter chaos.  And it could take 18 months to restore the electricity grid and social order.

The Editor says...
Everyone seems to be so afraid of EMP weapons, and the government sounds so sure this sort of weapon would be completely effective; yet no such weapon has ever been used by any country, as far as I know.  Every time you hear alarms sounding about a problem that nobody has (for example:  global warming, light pollution, plastic straws in the ocean), it's almost certainly a ploy to get taxpayer money thrown at somebody's pet project.

The CRISPR Baby Scandal Gets Worse by the Day.  Before last week, few people had heard the name He Jiankui.  But on November 25, the young Chinese researcher became the center of a global firestorm when it emerged that he had allegedly made the first CRISPR-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana.  Antonio Regalado broke the story for MIT Technology Review, and He himself described the experiment at an international gene-editing summit in Hong Kong.  After his talk, He revealed that another early pregnancy is under way. [...] If you wanted to create the worst possible scenario for introducing the first gene-edited babies into the world, it is difficult to imagine how you could improve on this 15-part farce.

Three charged — including exec with past ties to Clintons — in alleged scheme to defraud Pentagon billions, DOJ says.  Three Northern Virginia men — including one who reportedly celebrated New Year's Eve in 1999 with the Clintons — were charged last week for their alleged roles in a scheme to defraud the Pentagon after receiving an $8 billion contract in 2012 to provide food and supplies to troops in Afghanistan, the Department of Justice announced.  Federal prosecutors said the three — all executives connected to Anham FZCO, a defense contractor based in the United Arab Emirates — knowingly gave false estimates of completion dates for a warehouse intended to provide supplies for troops in Afghanistan in order to win contracts.  They allegedly provided "misleading photographs" to show that the project was further along than it was.

FBI raids home of Atlantic City mayor.  FBI agents raided the home of Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam just before 8 a.m.  Monday morning [12/3/2018], the agency confirmed to NJ Advance Media.  "We can confirm that our agents were executing search warrant at the home of Mayor Frank Gilliam," said Doreen Holder, a public affairs specialist with the FBI's Newark office, declining to comment on the reasons for the possible seizure of documents.  At least a dozen agents were seen going in and out of the Ohio Avenue home Monday morning, removing more than 10 boxes.  An FBI spokeswoman at the scene said both FBI and IRS agents were involved in the search of home.

New Study Provides Further Evidence that Marijuana Is a Gateway Drug.  A new study looking at alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use among adolescents gives some interesting and helpful conclusions.  Well, helpful conclusions if people will be willing to remove their cultural blinders concerning marijuana.  Since the politically and culturally popular thing to do is to extol the virtues of the recreational use of marijuana, the study's sharp gateway-drug implications will most likely be a warning that is derided and unheeded.  Frankly, I don't really care if people smoke weed or not.  To be clear, if asked, I'll warn against it.  What bugs me, though, is that many who do choose to smoke weed deceive themselves (and others) about marijuana's potential for harm.

My Pillow CEO Puts $1 Million Into Upcoming Pro-Life, Anti-Planned Parenthood Film.  Putting your money where you mouth is would be one way to show how much you believe in something.  One entrepreneur has done just that.  Christian conservative CEO of My Pillow Mike Lindell has reportedly invested in a new film that might not make the folks at abortion mill Planned Parenthood that happy.

Austin Votes to Keep the Books Closed.  It would be hard to find a better example of left-wing naiveité in municipal affairs than what transpired here in November.  Voters in the Lone Star State's progressive bastion, overwhelmingly approved a $925 million bond package but rejected a simple ballot initiative for an independent audit of city spending.  The defeat of the audit wouldn't be so galling if the new bonds didn't so obviously demonstrate the need for an independent review of Austin's books.  Spending in the Texas capital is more like what one would expect in some profligate California city.

Trump hints at the scandal about to blow.  The Clinton Foundation scandal is, as President Trump would say, yuuuuge.  I am told by a knowledgeable source that the official that John Solomon cites "knows where the bodies are buried."  Of course, the news that another whistleblower who came forward with information and documents on the Uranium One scandal, Dennis Nathan Cain, was raided by a team of FBI agents who spent six hours rummaging through his home raises some alarming possibilities.

Top Obama-era officials tangled in watchdog's lawsuit over Clinton Foundation investigation.  A conservative watchdog group announced Friday it had filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Justice Department seeking communications records that relate the FBI's investigation into whether Hillary and Bill Clinton's charity organization participated in pay-to-play schemes or other improper behavior with the U.S. government.  The latest lawsuit by Judicial Watch related to the Clintons, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI denied their FOIA request and appeal this fall, targets the offices of prominent Obama-era officials, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Foreboding — FBI Raids Home of Clinton Foundation Whistleblower.  The Daily Caller has an exclusive report tonight that is very troubling, and, unfortunately in alignment with a previous suspicion CTH shared when it was first announced that John Huber was scheduled to testify to congress on December 5th.

FBI Raids Home of Whistleblower on Clinton Foundation, Lawyer Says.  FBI agents raided the home of a recognized Department of Justice whistleblower who privately delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a government watchdog, according to the whistleblower's attorney.  The Justice Department's inspector general was informed that the documents show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, a document reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation alleges.

Revealed: Democrats went $18 million into debt to win control of the House.  Democrats paid a heavy price to win control of the House of Representatives, going $18 million into debt for the election.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee went into the red despite raising $272 million for the 2018 election, in which its heavy spending helped flip at least 39 House seats to Democrats.  A source with knowledge of the group's finances confirmed the debt figure to NBC News.  The GOP's counterpart group also spent heavily on House races, ending the election cycle $12 million in debt, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee confirmed.

Honduran president's brother accused of conspiring to import tons of cocaine to US.  A brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was charged by federal prosecutors Monday [11/26/2018] with conspiring to import tons of cocaine to the United States, as well as weapons offenses and lying to federal agents.  Juan Antonio Hernandez Alvarado, aka Tony Hernandez, was arrested Friday in Miami and was due to appear in federal court there on Monday.  Federal prosecutors in New York described the suspect, a former Honduran congressman, as "a large-scale drug trafficker" who worked for more than a decade with compatriots as well as traffickers based in Mexico, Colombia and other countries to receive, process and distribute cocaine making its way through Honduras en route to the United States.

Vatican: Climate Change 'Key Challenge' of Our Age.  In its ongoing climate crusade, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano echoed dire warnings in its weekend edition that the present generation may be the last to be able to battle global warming effectively. [...] "The effects of climate change," the joint declaration states, "are well documented and are felt everywhere in the world."

The Editor says...
With homosexual predators running rampant in the leadership of the Catholic church, I'd say the Pope has bigger fish to fry.

Against the 'Other'.  Rest in peace, John Allen Chau, a Christian missionary killed while attempting to share the Good News with an uncontacted people known as the Sentineli, habitants of North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal. [...] Claims of attempted genocide are predicated on the idea that Chau may have, had he made contact, introduced disease among the primitives.  On the other hand, Americans who object to how tuberculosis, among other diseases, has made a resurgence in the United States as a result of Third World immigration to the U.S. are condemned as racists by many of these same critics.  The tribe that killed Chau, [Josh] Shahryar says, has "chosen deliberately to not reach back and to keep living on THEIR land in THEIR way."  Shahryar argues that people have a right to defend their land and their way of life, but there is a catch — only non-Western people may exercise this right.

The Bitcoin 'pyramid scheme' continues to collapse.  I've been calling it a "bitcon" for a long time.  And now the pyramid seems to be collapsing because fewer and fewer people have confidence that the price of this inherently worthless "cryptocurrency" is going to continue to rise.  I've just repeated some of the comments I made about bitcoin (and you could include other cryptocurrencies here) for years.  But I've been especially vocal since early this year when bitcoin was reaching nearly $20,000 in price and even staid Wall Street firms were being lured to this "investment."

So much to love in Senate Judiciary Committee downsizing plan.  It's been reported that the new, larger Republican Senate majority is going to exercise its power and downsize the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It's a brilliant plan for two different reasons.  The first reason is that fewer Democrat senators will have the opportunity to showboat and eat up precious time with the sort of antics they displayed in the confirmation hearings for Justice Kavanaugh.  Confirmation of more federal judges at the district court and appeals court levels is the most important priority for Senate Republicans, and this proposal would streamline and therefore speed that process.  But the second reason is delicious, because thanks to longstanding Senate tradition, the member who would lose a committee seat first would be the senator with the lowest seniority.  And that would be Senator Kamala Harris of California, who has held office only since 2016.  Not only is she transparently running for the 2020 presidential nod, she is a shameless demagogue.

French Riot Against "Green" Policies.  Protests and riots against the Macron government's economic policies have been going on in France for the last week.  In Paris, the demonstrations have turned violent and police are using tear gas and water cannons to disperse rioters.  The demonstrations are referred to as "yellow vest" protests because demonstrators are wearing the yellow vests that French drivers are required by law to carry in their cars as a safety measure.

Nearly all homes in San Francisco cost over $1M.  San Francisco real estate is holding strong with a new report from housing website Trulia showing 81 percent of homes in the Bay Area cost $1 million or more.  The impressive price tags represent a 13.7 percent increase since October 2017 — only second to neighboring San Jose, which saw a 14.3 percent year-over-year increase.  Number three in the nationwide report on the housing markets with biggest increases is also a Bay Area city, Oakland, which saw a 5.8 percent increase.

EU Army: Just Another Bad Idea From Euro-socialists Macron And Merkel.  The European Union has announced it wants its own army and intelligence services.  Why?  Europeans need to be protected from mean, predatory potential enemies.  Like the U.S.

Francis Has Mobilized The Papacy's Absolute Monarchy Against Justice.  Pope Francis administered a stunning and humiliating shock to the bishops of the Catholic Church in the United States last week.  The American bishops had gathered in Baltimore to discuss a pair of measures to deal with the continuing crisis over clerical sexual abuses in this country.  The measures were fairly modest.  One sought to build on the 2002 "Dallas charter" — measures designed to stop priests' abuse of children, mostly young boys — by extending its rules on reporting and accountability to bishops.  The other would have launched an investigation, led by lay Catholics, into reports of abuses by bishops.  Conceivably, this would have looked into how former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., could have risen to the top of the U.S. Catholic hierarchy, despite being widely known — in secular circles, to the Vatican, and to many in the church — as being a serial abuser and harasser of young adult male seminarians (and at least one young boy).

So What Do You Think:  Hijabs In Congress?  Elections do, indeed, have consequences.  And one of the most interesting and perhaps controversial consequences of Nancy Pelosi and Democrats being elected to take control of the House of Representatives come January is their planned rules change to allow religious head covers on the floor of the House.  Head covers as in hijabs, Muslim head scarves covering an entire woman's head except for her face.  The new House will have the first two Muslim females — Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a Somali refugee, and Michigan's Rashida Tlaib.  For nearly two centuries, hats have been banned from the House floor.

Hancock Elevator Dropped From 95th To 11th Floor, Passenger Says.  It took nearly three hours to rescue six people stuck in an elevator in Chicago's fourth-tallest building early Friday [11/16/2018].  A broken hoist rope caused the express elevator to malfunction while guests who had just left the Signature Room on the 95th floor rode down toward the lobby.  The elevator and two others have since been closed to the public while repairs are made and investigators figure out what happened.

Was a sexy Italian actor living with the man who would be Washington's new cardinal?  Was the man who who's widely believed to be the next cardinal for the Washington archdiocese, Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, bunking with a houseboy?  It looks like it, given the reporting of the indefatigable George Neumayr.

Noted Vatican Theologian Calls for Examination of Validity of Pope Benedict's XVI's Resignation.  In an important interview that was overlooked last month, a Vatican theologian said that unless Pope Francis corrects himself and reaffirms Church teaching on morals, the faith, and the sacraments, "the apostasy will deepen and the de facto schism will widen."  To address the current crisis, he suggested that an examination of the "juridical validity" of Pope Benedict's XVI's resignation was in order to "overcome problems that today seem insurmountable to us."  The theologian consultor to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints was implying that further study of the situation could reveal that Francis is not and has never been a valid pope, but is, in fact, an antipope who could be removed from the papacy, thus nullifying his "insurmountable" errors.

Amazon Chose DC And NYC Because That's Where The Childless Workaholics Live.  After courting every city in America large enough to support its own Jimmy John's franchise, Amazon is going to split its HQ2 between Long Island City in New York and Crystal City in the D.C. metro area. [...] Besides being boring, what does Amazon's location choice signal?  According to CNN's Jill Filipovic, the predictable selections mean that, "Republicans can no longer lay claim to being a pro-business party, successful as they've been at making the states they control increasingly undesirable to modern businesses and workers."  She also says the lack of a commitment to public education and transportation in Republican states was a determining reason Amazon didn't pick a Republican-governed state.

Report: Cruz Internal Polls Showed Him Leading O'Rourke By Double Digits — Until Trump Showed Up.  What more fitting end could there have been to Cruz's political career than Trump blowing into town and fumbling away a reelection bid for him that was in the bag?  Between that and the 2016 primaries, it would have been Shakespearean tragedy.  Well, Shakespearean comedy, at least.

Democrats pushing losing senate candidate to run for president.  Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke narrowly lost to GOP Senator Ted Cruz on Tuesday night [11/6/2018], but that isn't stopping national Democrats, activists, and other left wing loons from pushing O'Rourke to run for the nomination for president in 2020.  This unlikely scenario is nearly unheard of.  Losing candidates don't usually run for anything, much less president.

Rush Limbaugh Rocks Missouri Rally with President Donald Trump.  Talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh took the stage with President Donald Trump at a rally in Missouri on Monday defining the greatness of the first two years of the Trump presidency.  Limbaugh said that Trump was committed to making America great again, which was more than a campaign slogan.  He slammed the left and the media for refusing to concede the 2016 election, repeatedly blaming it on racism and the Russians.

You Had One Job.  Understandably, people worry about the temperament of anyone with access to US nuclear codes.  It turns out Bill Clinton solved that particular problem in a uniquely Clintonian way.  He lost the codes:  ["]For several months during Bill Clinton's administration, a former top military officer says the White House lost the card with a set of numbers for opening the briefcase containing the codes for a nuclear attack.["]

Uber and Lyft Slowing Traffic in San Francisco, Says Report.  The experience of moving through San Francisco in a car has gone from slow to crawl.  Congestion in the Bay Area flagship city has grown increasingly worse, and a new report by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority placed a sizable portion of that blame on ride-hailing services like Lyft or Uber.

New Supercomputer with 1 Million Processors Is World's Fastest Brain-Mimicking Machine.  Since April 2016, SpiNNaker has been simulating neuron activity using 500,000 core processors, but the upgraded machine has twice that capacity, Furber explained.  With the support of the European Union's Human Brain Project — an effort to construct a virtual human brain — SpiNNaker will continue to enable scientists to create detailed brain models.  But now it has the capacity to perform 200 quadrillion actions simultaneously, university representatives reported in the statement. [...] "Even with a million processors, we can only approach 1 percent of the scale of the human brain, and that's with a lot of simplifying assumptions," he said.  However, SpiNNaker could mimic the function of a mouse brain, which is 1,000 times smaller than a human brain, Furber added.

Papadopoulos Wants Congress To Inspect Cash He Says He Was Given During Suspected 'Sting Operation'.  "I am more than happy to deliver the $10,000 in cash I received, as part of what I believe was a sting operation to frame me in summer 2017, to your committee to examine for marked bills.  This is in the interest of me being fully transparent," [George] Papadopoulos wrote on Twitter [10/31/2018] to North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows and Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe.  The two Republicans are members of a congressional task force investigating the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  The task force interviewed Papadopoulos on Oct. 25.

CNN shocker:  Jake Tapper does a great job grilling DNC Chair Tom Perez.  Yesterday [11/4/2018], Jake Tapper of CNN behaved most uncharacteristically for a CNN interviewer of this day and age, aggressively questioning and confronting DNC chair Tom Perez on the Sunday morning interview show State of the Nation.  Listen to the two segments below with your eyes closed, and you could imagine that this was a Fox News interviewer.  But don't do it!  Watch, instead, the looks on Perez's face:  [Video clip]

Candidates seek to represent districts they don't live in: 'I don't think a lot of voters even know'.  For voters in Maryland's 6th Congressional District, it's proving difficult to find representation right at home.  Four candidates are vying for the seat Tuesday, but only one of them, Libertarian Kevin Caldwell, lives in the 6th District's jigsaw piece of Western Maryland.  Neither the Republican nor Democratic nominee is a resident — nor, for that matter, is Rep. John Delaney, the Democrat retiring from the seat.  "It's sort of a joke that when you say you live in Maryland people will often say, 'Where are you really from?'" said Paul Ellington, a spokesman for Republican Amie Hoeber.  "So in those areas close to D.C., it's not a hindrance.  In some of the other areas, however, there have been questions."

Should News Anchors Wear Ties?  One Station No Longer Thinks So.  Pretty much since the first television newscast, one wardrobe rule has been fairly consistent:  anchors wear ties.  One Boston station is trying to rewrite that rule.  Most of the time, news anchors wear ties and jackets when they deliver the news.  There are some individual newscasts, particularly at less usual news times, such as 4:00 pm or 7:00 pm, where male anchors can get away with not wearing or tie or wearing a tie with no sports coat.  But as a general rule, the biggest newscasts of the day still follow the old fashion format.  In Boston, that just changed for three NBC-owned outlets.

PHOTOS: #WalkAway from Democrats Rally Draws Hundreds of Patriots, 'We Love America and Trump'.  The gathering at Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC, on Saturday [10/27/2018] was a stark contrast to recent rallies where people dressed in black and held signs disparaging President Donald Trump and members of his administration.  The #WalkAway rally featured a sea of red, white, and blue-clad participants, waving flags, wearing Make America Great hats, and even [pink] hats made infamous during the Women's March were transformed into bright red, Trump-supporting headgear.

Murderous communists?  Who knew?  Take a look at what they are doing in Venezuela.  When we think of Venezuela, we think of starving people fleeing their country without access to food, clothing, toilet paper, or medical care.  We think of street urchins fighting over garbage scraps with machetes.  We think of migrant exoduses from socialism.  But there's another reality about the place, and it's not getting the attention, say, Saudi Arabia or Russia is, over the killings of dissidents.  The Maduro regime is showing an alarming willingness to violently attack opposition leaders, and it's moving in on high-profile ones who had previously seemed untouchable.  They've already jailed politician Leopoldo Lopez and driven many others into exile.  But the regime's people have stepped up the thuggery to higher levels since then. [...] What we are looking at is not just a failed regime that can't feed its people; we are looking at a communist thug regime that beats and kills dissidents.  The two go hand in hand in any communist regime, every single time.

Middle school 'Satanists' arrested for mass murder plot in Bartow.  Police say two Polk County middle school students are facing charges following the discovery of a disturbing plot to kill several students, cut them up and eat them.  The investigation began on Tuesday [10/23/2018] at Bartow Middle School when Bartow police were contacted by a school resource officer who had detained two girls that came to school with knives.  An affidavit from the police department says the students, a 12-year-old girl and an 11-year-old girl, came up with the plan after spending the past weekend together watching scary movies.  During an interview with detectives, the girls said they planned to go to their first-period class and then meet in the bathroom.  The affidavit says they planned to then wait for smaller students to come into the bathroom so they could attack them.

The Facts Of The Mail Bomber Case Don't Add Up.  The October spree of packaged mail bombs unsuccessfully delivered to media outlets, politicians and politically active benefactors has gripped the United States ahead of the November midterm elections.  The media is awash with speculation about the suspect's inspiration and why he may have carried out the attacks.  While the official narrative makes for captivating commentary amongst pundits, the case bears several suspicious points.  Inconsistencies between reported facts and the official version of events, the targets chosen to receive packages and details about the suspect and their social media all represent loose ends to the case that have not been adequately addressed.

Bomb sent to CNN
5 Bizarre Facts About Cesar Sayoc & His Fake Pipe Bomb Scare That Are Making Americans Shout "False Flag!"  A large number of Americans are not sold on this fake pipe bomb story and are entertaining the idea that this was a false flag to benefit Democrats AND that Cesar Sayoc is simply a patsy.  If you are still trying to process the information and figure out what you believe, here are 5 things to consider:  [#1] The timing was suspicious[.] Could the Democrats have asked for a series of bomb scares at a better time?  I think not.  [#2] Look hard at this envelope.  This is the envelope sent to CNN for John Brennan.  The perpetrator can't spell Brennan, nor can he spell Florida, despite supposedly living there.  I think the misspellings just add to the intended end correlation of Republicans being idiots.  I see it as just a little bonus psychological warfare for the American sheeple (those who won't think for themselves).  They want you and I to look at that envelope and draw the conclusion that Republicans are uneducated.


Some Suspected Mail Bombs Were Not Capable of Exploding, Others Yet to Be Analyzed, Officials Say.  Some of the 10 suspected mail bombs addressed to high-profile Democrats and others over the last few days were flawed and not capable of exploding, while others have yet to be fully analyzed, several investigators said Thursday [10/25/2018].  In some cases, the flaws were substantial.  In others, more subtle, they said.  The news comes after investigators said the devices appeared poorly made and that it was unclear if they were hoaxes or simply cases of bad construction.  Earlier in the investigation, officials in multiple states had described the items as live explosives and a number of senior bomb techs briefed on the probe said they had all the components necessary for successful explosions.

Could the "bombs" that targeted Democrats win them the midterm elections?  It's a tactic that has worked before.  Then-President Bill Clinton struck back at anti-government rhetoric in the aftermath of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and eventually used a heroic survivor of that attack to rebuke congressional Republicans for government shutdowns. [...] Others later invoked the 2011 shooting of then-Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., to discredit the burgeoning Tea Party movement, which also used rhetoric sharply critical of liberals, politicians, and the federal government, though no link was ever found.  Giffords survived the assassination attempt and became a gun control advocate.  Arguments about right-wing extremism and Trump's incendiary rhetoric will be easily made now.

Suspicious packages, not bombs.  Always wait 24 hours before reacting politically to crime news because the media generally does a terrible job in reporting national crime stories.  Rumors and hype hound the coverage because the amount of actual news does not warrant the amount of time devoted to the story on cable television.  Commentary from people ignorant of the facts (and limited in their intellect) dominate the airwaves. [...] Finally, the media's history of falling for hoaxes complicates the situation.  Liberals have succeeded in destroying America's ability to trust its media.  Calling a suspicious package a bomb did little to reassure us that the media is run by competent people.

Explosive Packages a False Flag?  The packages may be found to be a real threat from an obviously unbalanced individual or individuals, but it may very well also be a false flag designed to reaffirm the Democrats' continuous slander against the GOP.

Rush Limbaugh suggests bombs mailed to Democrats are a false flag:  "Republicans just don't do this kind of thing".  ["]Mrs. Clinton, it's your party, forgive me, that is encouraging this kind of thing.  It is the Democrat Party that's home to all of these mobs.  It's the Democrat Party — Mrs. Clinton herself who said that being uncivil at this point in time is entirely proper and understandable.  It's — the time to go back to civility will be after the Democrats win.  You've got bought and paid for operatives by Mrs. Clinton money showing up at Trump rallies trying to make them look like deranged Trump supporters.  The Democrats are even paying people to draw swastikas on American flags and waving them around, made to look like deranged, lunatic Trump supporters.  And so, in the midst of this atmosphere, we have this series of bombs that were supposedly sent today, exclusively to Democrats.["]

Feds tell reporter that bombs were 'Complete Hoaxes'!  We should know pretty soon if they were real or not, which would make a big difference as to motivation, and what the attacks mean for the election.

Explosive Packages a False Flag?  As the liberals rise up in righteous condemnation of Trump's "toxic" rhetoric, we will be asked to forget Rep. Maxine Waters' call for nonstop harassment of GOP players, of key Republicans being hounded out of restaurants, confronted in elevators and even in their offices and at their homes.  We will be asked to forget the violent riots on college campuses to keep conservative speakers from speaking.

The Pipe-Bombs Story:  Another Example of Why No One Trusts the Media.  The political Left has been known to orchestrate frame-up attacks designed to make it appear that right-leaning opponents are responsible for violent acts and plots.  If I wrote the paragraph above in the context of reporting or commenting on the pipe bombs that were reportedly sent by an unidentified person or persons to prominent Democrats, many people would react angrily, and rightly so.  After all, there is no evidence that the atrocious but thankfully unsuccessful targeting of the Obamas, the Clintons, CNN, George Soros, and Eric Holder (as well as "Debbie Wasserman Shultz," whose Florida office, with her name misspelled, was given as the return address on some of the packages) was carried out by political leftists.  There is no proof that any Democrat was hoping to cast suspicion on Republican supporters, to suggest to voters, less than two weeks before the midterms, that Trump and GOP rhetoric incites violence.  To intimate, in the absence of any proof, that left-wing agitators may be responsible would be a condemnable smear.

Democrats and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  On Wednesday [10/24/2018], several pipe bombs were sent to Democrat leaders, none of which detonated.  These suspicious packages were sent to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, George Soros, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Rep. Maxine Waters.  The return address name on the suspicious packages sent to Clinton, Obama, Holder and Waters belonged to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  Several investigative journalists have said this stunt seems designed for maximum political and media optics, and not maximum damage.  The political Left has been caught orchestrating attacks on themselves in the past, to make it look as if the right attacked.

George Soros's Son Has Op-Ed Published In NYT Condemning Political Violence Within An Hour Of Pipe Bomb Story Breaking.  The timing of Alexander Soros's published piece in the New York Times today will do nothing to quell the understandable skepticism of the 'pipe bomb' story that broke across all news agencies earlier today given the article was apparently written and then published within an hour of the events being made public.

Caravans, Mobs, and Phony Bombs.  Recently it seems that whatever foul means the Dems turn their hand to they overplay it.  Take the Kavanaugh hearings for example.  Democrat theatrical histrionics and semi-coherent mobs didn't sidetrack Kavanaugh's confirmation, so the Left turned to incoherent mobs and a Dreyfus Affair-style show trial.  Both the mobs and the trial backfired on the Dems big time.  More than anything else they served to further wake up and engage We the People.

Bomb Expert Labels Today's 'Pipe Bomb' Scare A Dumb Hoax.  "Dumb."  That's the assessment of a Navy veteran and professional bomb disposal officer regarding the toy-like 'bombs' that the media has gone gaga over today.  In fact, Tom Sauer likens these non-functional pipe bombs to a few road flares taped to an 'old-timey alarm clock ticking away' like you would see in cartoons.  Which of course leads to the real important question.  Who would send out these fake bombs and why?  Who might have anything political to gain two weeks out from the Midterm Elections by staging a fake bomb hoax against noted Democrat politicians that then generates Establishment Media hysteria?

"Too Coincidental": MAGA-Land Calls Bombing Threats A False Flag.  [Scroll down]  "Here's my bet ... no one will be arrested for these alleged mail bombs," suggested pro-Trump commentator Kurt Schlicter.  "After dozens of college-campus hoaxes by leftists, I don't buy this super-convenient turn of events."  Candace Owens, who is the communications director for Turning Point USA and a frequent Fox News guest, suggested that there was "zero percent chance" that conservatives sent the packages.  "Caravans, fake bomb threats — these leftists are going ALL OUT for midterms."  Rush Limbaugh, the paterfamilias of conservative radio, warned, "It's happening in October.  There's a reason for this."

UPDATE: Fake Bomber is a Registered DEMOCRAT.  Anybody surprised to see how quickly the fake bomb case got resolved.  It's as if the person wanted to get caught.  No ingenuity, as all the packages looked the same.  And there were a multitude of clues.  They solved this case faster than it took the FBI to clear Hillary Clinton, and they did that in advance!

These Prominent Conservatives Think the Bomb Scares Were a Liberal Hoax.  The moment news reports first surfaced on Wednesday of explosive devices sent to the Clintons, Obamas, and CNN, the counterintuitive, conspiracy-fueled takes started rolling in.  It was inevitable.  The bombs were not meant to maim the people to whom they were addressed, the main theory went:  They were planted by liberals hoping to scapegoat the right, distract from the migrant caravan in Mexico, or boost Democratic chances in the midterms.  These mad ravings weren't only coming from the lunatic fringe, either.

Alleged Fake Bomber is a Fillipino Ex-Con Who Claimed to be Seminole.  I don't think there's a profile that fits this guy.  There's no point in even bothering to try. [...] At least one of his businesses seem to have involved male burlesque dancers.  And he has an extensive criminal record for pretty much everything.  The media is going to cynically try to connect him to Trump and Republicans, but he seems to have been a mentally unstable man with a lot of anger and obvious personal issues.

Opening Up the Package Plot.  FBI director Christopher Wray described the packages as improvised explosive devices and not "hoax devices," though according to a U.S. News report it was unclear whether they could be detonated.  To date, none of the devices exploded and no one has been harmed, but Wray believes "we've caught the right guy."  That turned out to be Cesar Sayoc, 56, and the establishment media cranked out stories on what was known about him. [...] Sayoc also had a criminal record, with arrests for bomb threats, grand theft, battery, fraud, drug possession and probation violations.  His lawyer Ronald S. Lowy told CNN Sayoc "didn't fit it" and he questioned Sayoc's ability to execute a scheme of explosive devices.

Why are fake bombs sent to Democrats more shocking than real ricin packages to Republicans?  [Scroll down]  The other difference between this spate of packages and the attack on Trump, Cruz, Mattis, and Richardson it that the ricin attack was real and it was potentially deadly.  The letters really contained ricin.  Whereas, the packages sent to Democrat grandees including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros, Maxine Waters, and Joe Biden were apparently inert and were made just to look dangerous according to recent reporting.  Since none of the packages detonated, and possibly were not able to detonate, Occam's Razor demands that we confront the most likely choices:  Either the sender intended harm but was grossly incompetent or the sender never intended harm and meant the packages to be a form of agitprop.  The notes that accompanied the packages read like parodies of how committed progressives think Republicans speak.

The Media climbs out on a limb.  [Scroll down]  Thirteen days before a contentious election and suddenly a bunch of pipe bombs turn up and the targets are all Democrats?  Come on.  I wasn't born yesterday.  And I didn't just fall off a turnip truck from Guatemala.  The "Democrats are the party of the Mob" talking point is clearly having a negative effect on their much anticipated Blue Wave.  And what better way to shift that talking point away from the Democrats than the conveniently-timed Pipe-Bomb-ageddon?  Plus, it just doesn't make sense.  Why would a Trump supporter try and blow up Maxine Waters?  She is a gift to our side.  Come to think of it, so are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

If democrats campaign on the bombs, you'll know who was behind it.  It's just too convenient.  Politico published a target list.  It includes the Clinton's, the Obama's, John Brennan and CNN, Eric Holder, Wasserman-Schultz, Joe Biden, Maxine Waters and Robert DeNiro.  All these targets and not a single device exploded.  The devices were apparently not meant to detonate.  They were sent to a very specific list of people who have been critical of Trump.  They were sent to people who don't open their own mail.

Feds widen search for others who may have helped the South Florida mail-bomb suspect.  [Scroll down]  Despite allegedly committing practically the entire mail-bombing campaign from South Florida, Sayoc will be whisked away to New York after appearing in federal court in Miami for a removal hearing on Monday.  He will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York, based on evidence that at least five of the 14 packages were sent to that area, including CNN's offices in Manhattan.  Many criminal and legal experts in South Florida called the New York U.S. Attorney Office's takeover of the case a classic "power grab" of a national case that really belongs in South Florida.  One former federal prosecutor said Miami's new U.S. attorney, Ariana Fajardo Orshan, got a "dose of the SDNY."

Wondered Why All Those Trump Stickers On Fake "MAGA" Bomber's Van Were So Pristine? - Here's Why.  [Scroll down]  Maybe Cesar Altieri Sayoc is just that stupid.  Maybe he's crazy.  Maybe he's a patsy.  Or just maybe, Mr. Alleged Hoax Bomber wanted to get caught looking like the world's most syrupy Trump fan boy, knowing that his Trump-mobile MAGA bomb delivery vehicle would instantly become the most vividly captured image in the political universe just days before the most important midterm election in American history.  After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Or, in this case, maybe a million votes or more.

MAGAbomber Suspect:  A Case of Homosexual Panic?  [Scroll down]  At some point over the past year, the Klan and lynching tableau on Sayoc's van gave way to more explicitly pro-Trump and anti-Democrat bumper stickers.  Every available inch of his van's exterior was spackled with violent imagery featuring rifle crosshairs placed over the faces of people such as Barack Obama, Michael Moore, and Hillary Clinton.  Another sticker said "CNN ****s."  Yet another showed Trump standing atop a tank while a bomb was exploding in the background.  All of this makes him seem like either a demented Trump supporter or a mindless patsy for anti-Trump forces.  One thing is for certain — the story completely deflected attention away from the ominous brown human caravan headed to the USA from points south, a story that was working in Trump's favor.  Yet what seems to have completely escaped notice is how intensely squirrely this alleged Hate Bomber is.

Everything Is Trump's Fault Is Fake News At Its Worst.  [Scroll down]  Next, came the bizarre non-bomb terrorism-by-mail campaign against prominent Democrats, anti-Trump mouthpieces and Far-Left liberal donors.  The fall guy in this is one Cesar Sayoc, a "crazed" former pizza deliveryman, body builder, DJ and casino employee who fancied himself as a defender of the "unconquered" Seminole Indian tribe and allegedly lived out of his vehicle for over a decade.  Sayoc's mother, Madeline Giardiello has been active in Democratic politics and was an officer on her condominium board in Aventura for many years according to reporting by the Washington Post.  USA Today reported that online records show that Sayoc has a string of arrest records that date back to 1991 for alleged theft and drug offenses, along with traffic infractions.

What a small world!
Bomb Suspect Cesar Sayoc And Stormy Daniels Worked at the Same Strip Club.  In a really strange turn of events, it has been discovered that bombing suspect Cesar Sayoc worked at Ultra Gentleman's Club in West Palm Beach, FL, the same strip club that Stormy Daniels performed at back in April, WPTV reported.  Sayoc worked as a DJ at the club on Thursday afternoon and was arrested on Friday [10/26/2018].  According to the club's manager, Stacey Saccal, Sayoc had worked as a DJ for the past two months.  She had received no complaints about him from other staff members and he seemed like a "nice guy."

Democrats [are] Using Every Evil Play in the Book to Silence Americans.  A crazy man sent package bombs to prominent Democrats.  Fake news media and the demonic Democratic Party viewed the mentally ill man's actions as a gift from the gods of liberalism.  They immediately flooded the airwaves with their absurd narrative that Trump was responsible for the package bomber's behavior because he told the truth about CNN and their fellow fake news liars.  Fake news media and Democrats outrageously said Americans who cheer and applaud Trump at his rallies are also responsible for the package bombs.

Update:
'MAGA bomber': I didn't know pipe bombs could hurt anyone.  A Florida man who last week pleaded guilty to sending pipe bombs to prominent Democratic politicians and other targets says in a new court filing that he didn't know the devices could actually hurt anyone.  In a hand-written letter to the Manhattan federal judge presiding over his case, "MAGA bomber" Cesar Sayoc, 65, acknowledged that he pleaded guilty to 65 counts — which included charges of using weapons of mass destruction — at his March 21 hearing.  But he said that when he was asked if he knew whether the devices could harm anyone, his lawyer told him to say, "Yes."

The Editor says...
I find it difficult to believe that a phony pipe bomb, or even a real pipe bomb that's only a few inches long, could be considered a "weapon of mass destruction."  The FBI never did describe the construction of the bombs in any detail.  Maybe it was just a bunch of plastic pipes full of Plumber's Putty.  I also find it hard to believe that a gay, Fillipino, ex-convict, who is a registered Democrat, can be accurately described as a "MAGA bomber."  Moreover, I find it hard to believe that this whole incident was not an elaborate and carefully-timed hoax that was staged, choreographed, and orchestrated by the Democratic Party.

Red Wave Rising:  Over 12,000 Voters Change Party Affiliation in Wyoming — 90% to Republican.  As we reported on Thursday early ballots show a huge increase in voting in favor of Republicans.  It looks like our prediction is holding up!  On June 23, 2018, we reported that the 2018 Mid-terms would be a referendum on government corruption and because of this President Trump and the Republicans would win big.  This was before Democrats made up trumped up charges against a good man — Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

US Marines reveal plans for plasma crowd control weapon that can shout at people from 3,000 feet away - then be 'turned up' to temporarily blind and even burn them.  The US Marines are developing a new laser weapon that can transmit voice messages at long range, or be turned up to deafen, dazzle or even kill.  The Scalable Compact Ultra-short Pulse Laser System (SCUPLS) will be mounted on a truck or tank.  It will initially be used as a non-lethal weapon for crowd control, according to US Government documents.

The Editor says...
Hmmm... How do they know this weapon can kill people?

President Trump Can't Find Venue Big Enough for Houston Rally with Senator Ted Cruz — 77,800 People Already Signed Up!  President Trump is unable to find a location where he can hold all his followers that want to see him and Senator Ted Cruz in Houston, Texas.  The Texas Tribune reported that the original site that President Trump set up for the rally in Houston is too small so they found a bigger venue [...]

Former Minnesota FBI Agent Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Leaking Documents.  Terry James Albury, a former FBI agent in Minnesota, was sentenced to four years in prison with an additional three years of supervised release on Thursday [10/18/2018] in U.S. District Court.  Albury admitted that he leaked documents to a reporter from The Intercept, an online news publication.  He worked as an FBI Special Agent at the field office in Minneapolis at the time of the disclosure in 2016-2017.  He was also working as a liaison with the Department of Customs and Border Protection at MSP International Airport during that same time period.

Democrats start to regret piling money on Beto O'Rourke.  Is bulging war chest going to waste?  Despite touting socialist-like policies, Texas Democrat congressional nominee Rep. Beto O'Rourke seems to prefer not sharing his wealth, much to the chagrin of other nominees across the nation. [...] The problem is that the polls continue to show O'Rourke trailing leagues behind Sen. Ted Cruz, whom he seeks to unseat.  The chances of him eking out a victory appear so low that some argue he should redistribute some of the $38 million he's raised in the last three months to other nominees in need.

Trump: I sent weapons to Ukraine, Obama 'sent pillows and blankets'.  President Trump claims his administration has been tougher on Russia than his predecessor's, arguing that former President Obama allowed Russia to annex Ukraine and only offered them "pillows and blankets."  "I'm the one that gave Ukraine offensive weapons and tank killers.  Obama didn't.  You know what he sent?  He sent pillows and blankets.  I'm the one — and he's the one that gave away a part of Ukraine where Russia," Trump said in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired dSunday [sic] evening [10/14/2018] on CBS.

Heitkamp campaign identifies sexual-assault victims in ad without permission.  Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is trying to recover from her vote against President Trump's Supreme Court nominee by standing up for victims of sexual assault, but the North Dakota Democrat's efforts backfired Tuesday [10/16/2018] when she had to apologize for identifying victims without their permission in a recent campaign ad.  Some of the women her ad identified say they weren't even victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.  Others say they don't support her campaign.  Ms. Heitkamp admitted the bungle in a statement Tuesday, blaming victim advocates for feeding her wrong information.

California Christian school brings back gay relationship ban, students protest.  Azusa Pacific University made changes to the school's policy without the approval of the Board of Trustees, seemingly suggesting that students could engage in same-sex relationships.  Pro-LGBTQ students protested after the school's board of trustees clarified that these relationships would, in fact, not be permitted on campus.

What a dope!
Stephen Hawking said 'there is no god' and that humans will 'live in space' in final book.  The late Professor Stephen Hawking revealed his answers to the 10 "big questions" he was often asked in a new book published six months after his death.  In "Brief Answers to the Big Questions," the British scientific hero admitted he thought "there is no god" and that humans would eventually live in space.  Professor Hawking passed away in March this year after a lifelong battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

The Fall of the Gay Mafia's Don.  Some of Donald Wuerl's priests called him the "Tin Man," a reference to his cold, heartless style as the archbishop of Washington, D.C., a position from which he has now formally resigned, though outrageously Pope Francis is permitting him to continue as an "apostolic administrator" until his successor arrives.  It is hilarious that Wuerl became arguably the most powerful American cardinal in the "pastoral church of Pope Francis," given that Wuerl is the least pastoral prelate imaginable.  He instinctively avoided encounters with his flock and priests, unless they served some immediate interest or enjoyed riches and power.  "He is a robot," said one of his priests.  "All he cared about was money and living as comfortably as possible and whatever else he got up to."

Cardinal Wuerl Is Out... Or Is He?  Embattled Cardinal Wuerl is finally out after Pope Francis accepted his resignation.  Wuerl was named in the Pennsylvania grand jury report accusing him of being responsible for shuffling known predator priests around.  In one egregious case, he allegedly paid off a priest who was involved in a child porn ring.  It is disturbing to many Catholics that Wuerl is being allowed to retire with all his benefits after so terrible a cover-up, but at one point it was debatable whether he would even resign.

Joe Biden's Endless Rumination About Running for President.  In Democratic circles, the common nickname for Biden is "Uncle Joe."  But it cuts two ways.  On the one hand, it connotes the kind of familiarity and affection that comes with his longtime presence in the capital, and his tenure as the loyal sidekick to a president who's still popular with the party base.  Grassroots Democrats say he's their top choice for 2020, as evidenced this year in a series of polls.  But a sizable share of Democrats believe there comes a time when even a beloved uncle should be put out to pasture.

CNN Poll:  Biden Leads Field of 2020 Democratic Hopefuls.  Former Vice President Joe Biden is leading the field of prospective 2020 Democratic candidates, according to a recent poll from CNN.  The CNN/SSRS poll, which surveyed 1,009 adults between October 4 and 7, found that one-third — or 33 percent — of Democrats and independents who leaned Democratic thought Biden would be the most likely to take on President Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Another Shoe Drops In The Catholic Church Abuse Scandal.  Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Archbishop of Washington, D.C this week, but his letter reveals that he still has a blind spot when it comes to the Catholic abuse scandal.

The Catholic Church's Biggest Crisis Since the Reformation.  The Catholic Church is facing its most serious crisis in 500 years.  In these last few months, a new wave of clerical sexual abuse revelations left the world in shock.  From Australia to Chile to Germany to the United States, horrifying reports revealed thousands of cases of child molestation by members of the clergy.  One U.S. grand jury report documented 1,000 children abused by 300 priests in the state of Pennsylvania alone over seven decades.

Chinese Communist Propaganda Group Paying for Vox Posts.  Explanatory media website Vox has been receiving money from a Chinese communist government-backed front organization.  A recent Vox blog post by foreign editor Yochi Dreazen titled, "The big winner of the Trump-Kim summit?  China" discloses at the bottom of the piece that the reporting was subsidized by the China-United States Exchange Foundation.

Mormon no more:  Tabernacle Choir renamed in big church shift.  The choir was renamed Friday [10/5/2018] to strip out the word Mormon in a move aimed at ending shorthand names for the religion that have been used for generations by church members and others.

Judicial Watch Uncovers Soros Open Society Foundation/Obama State Department Collusion.  The latest Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit has enabled the release of documents showing U.S. Embassy officials in Albania shown working directly with Soros operatives to channel grant money into left-wing operations that attack traditional, pro-American groups, governments and policies in name of 'civil society.'

Always Believe Women?  Boy's Life Destroyed by Girls' False Allegations.  The accusations plaguing Brett Kavanaugh have captivated the nation.  Yet they're not as damning as two relatively recent allegations of sexual assault made against a Pennsylvania teen — allegations that were backed by corroborating witnesses.  Until a few of the female accusers admitted they'd lied simply because they didn't like the boy.  Unfortunately, this admission came only after they'd ruined his life.  Now the teen's parents, Michael J. and Alecia Flood of Zelienople, Butler County, have filed a federal lawsuit seeking "unspecified civil damages against the girls' parents, the school district and Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger's office.

Thirteen states now investigating alleged sexual abuse linked to Catholic church.  Florida's attorney general said Thursday [10/4/2018] she is launching an investigation of potential sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church, making Florida at least the 13th state with an ongoing statewide probe of the church.  "Any priest that would exploit a position of power and trust to abuse a child is a disgrace to the church and a threat to society," said Attorney General Pam Bondi in a statement.  The Attorney General's Office will coordinate its probe with local prosecutors and review records from all seven of Florida's Catholic dioceses.  It is also launching a tip line for victims.

Rock used as doorstop is actually a meteorite worth $100K.  A Michigan man curious about a rock he'd used for decades as a doorstop now knows its secret:  it's a meteorite worth $100,000.

Study: 91 Percent of Apple Contributions Went to Democrats.  According to a new GovPredict study released Thursday [10/4/2018], Apple employees heavily favored Democrats in their contributions for local, state, and federal elections.  In all, 91 percent of their political giving went to Democrats, with only 9 percent going to Republicans between 2004 and 2018.  Since 2004, 95.5 percent of contributions by Apple employees to local political action committees (PACs) went to Democrats and only 4.5 percent went to Republicans.

Philly's Illegal Tacos restaurant gets stuffed — and not with cheese and lettuce.  Let's just say it wasn't a great night for Illegal Tacos, the restaurant on South Broad Street.  It started when about 35 demonstrators showed up around dinnertime Tuesday, parked themselves at the front door, and loudly decried what they saw as the racism of the eatery's name.  It got worse when the protesters brought in a local taco truck and parked it outside the restaurant.

NSA staffer who took top secret files home so he could do extra work and get promoted is jailed for five years 'after they were stolen by Russians'.  A former NSA employee who took secret files home with him in an effort to get promoted has been jailed after they were allegedly stolen by Russian spies.  Nghia Hoang Pho, 68, from Maryland, was sentenced to five and a half years Tuesday [9/25/2018] after earlier pleading guilty to willful retention of national defense information.  Pho was working as a software developer for the NSA's Tailored Access Operations branch, which hacks into foreign computer networks, at Fort Meade when he began taking the files home in 2010.

School bus driver fired for letting kids take the wheel.  A school bus driver in Indiana was fired after a shocking video emerged showing her let students get behind the wheel, according to reports.  Joandrea McAtee, 27, faces charges for allowing kids as young as 11 years old drive the bus as they dropped off students Thursday from a Porter Township school, according to the Chicago Tribune.  The Porter County Sheriff's Department said at least three students got a turn driving short distances in Lake Eliza.

Senate about to pass 'opioid' laws that are built on lies.  Today [9/17/2018], the Senate will vote on H.R. 6, a package of dozens of bills designed to treat the opioid crisis, which is misdiagnosed and misidentified from head to toe.  But they have a lot of solutions!  The bill provides grants for the endless "evidenced-based" treatment programs for addiction groups that live rent-free in government.  It also hands the pharmaceutical companies more money to work on research and development for non-addictive painkillers.  Yup, after pushing the medical industry into treating pain, then pushing them out of it, now they will get it just right with their social engineering.  The bill increases the scope of Medicaid coverage for addiction treatment.  It also gives the DEA a more flexible mandate to set targets for manufacturing of painkillers and shutting down the supply.

Hurricane Florence leaves behind millions of hungry mosquitoes.  Storm-battered North Carolinians are facing a new plague — millions of hungry mosquitoes, with some invading buggers three times the size of more common species.  Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water — of which there is now plenty in the Tar Heel State — thanks to flooding caused by Hurricane Florence, which dumped more than 30 inches of rain on the region.  "It's like "a bad science fiction movie," Robert Phillips told the Fayetteville Observer.  "They were inundating me, and one landed on me.  It was like a small blackbird.  I told my wife, 'Gosh, look at the size of this thing.'  I told her that I guess I'm going to have to use a shotgun on these things if they get any bigger."

The Editor says...
Bring back DDT.

Utah toddler put $1,000 through shredder, parents say.  A Utah toddler's parents are in disbelief after they discovered their 2-year-old son sent more than $1,000 through a shredder.  Leo Belnap's parents, Ben and Jackee, tore through their home over the weekend, desperate to find the $1,060 they had saved to pay back Ben's parents.  The couple had borrowed the money to purchase season tickets to the University of Utah's football games, KSL-TV reported.

The Editor says...
Pardon my constant skepticism, but this story has all the ingredients of a hoax:  [#1] Why did the toddler have access to a thousand dollars in cash?  [#2] Wouldn't normal parents keep their toddler away from a paper shredder?  [#3] The parents saved the shredded money, which can probably be replaced by their bank.  [#4] Even if it cost them $1,000, this is a relatively small price to pay for 15 minutes of "viral" internet and TV fame.

The Most Dangerous Place to Bicycle in America.  Florida has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country.  The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016 — the most recent data available — according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  That was the most since 1991 and a 35% jump from 2010.

Life in a Democrat-controlled dystopia:
East Village already a 'war zone' ahead of L train shutdown.  The L train shutdown is still seven months away, but East Villagers say they're already going through hell.  Non-stop construction spanning two blocks on East 14th Street near the First Avenue station is costing residents their sleep and sanity, while businesses are losing customers and cash.  "It's like living in the middle of a war zone," said Stuyvesant Town resident Scott Francis, 47.  "It's dirty, loud, terrible and disgusting."  Traffic is reduced to one lane, stores are blocked off by fences, parts of sidewalks are closed, several 70-year-old trees were cut down, and diesel generators, drills, compressors and bulldozers are running from 7 a.m. to almost midnight.

PetSmart under fire after investigation finds dozens of dogs across the US died after a grooming at the retailing giant.  PetSmart is under fire after an investigation found dozens of dogs have died after going to the nation's leading pet retailer for grooming.  A nine-month investigation by NJ Advanced Media discovered that since 2008, at least 47 dogs across 14 states in the US died shortly after going to PetSmart for a routine appointment.  Of those cases, 32 deaths occurred after 2015, the year that PetSmart was bought by BC Partners for $8.7 billion.

Dems Down:  Flores Clobbers Gallego, Poll Shows Cruz Up by Nine.  In Texas, September 18 may be remembered as the day the Democratic Party's plans of for a 'blue wave' in the November elections broke and rolled back out to sea, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.  Republican Pete Flores, a retired Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden, stunned former Congressman Pete Gallego to win the District 19 State Senate seat which was vacated by convicted felon Carlos Uresti.  A Republican has never won in the 19th District dating back to the creation of the district, which runs from Southeast San Antonio all the way to the Big Bend.

Chairman Devin Nunes Discusses The Use of Legislative Branch Rules To Combat DOJ/FBI Corruption.  A few days ago, September 13th, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was given the Keeper of the Flame Award in Washington DC.  Within his acceptance speech Chairman Nunes discusses the significance of this time in U.S. history.  In the days and months following Watergate, the HPSCI was given specific rules within their legislative branch oversight, which actually became the most significant tools — utilized for the first time — to uncover intelligence abuses by the former administration.  Additionally, Chairman Nunes expands on the "next steps."

No bad reviews?  Amazon employees might have deleted them for bribes.  Some Amazon employees have reportedly been bribed by sellers to remove bad reviews of products sold through the online retail giant.  The average bribe is around $300 per review, with most of the demand coming from China.  The retail giant has launched an internal investigation into the shady practice, with a probe ongoing since May, when Eric Broussard, Amazon's vice president, was reportedly notified of the problem, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday [9/16/2018].  The transactions were facilitated by middlemen who used the messaging service WeChat in China.  Citing people familiar with the scheme, the WSJ reported that it costs around $300 to delete one review.  However, brokers prefer to trade wholesale, with the minimum number of reviews for removal standing at five.

The European Union Would Love to Control Your Internet Use.  Imagine an internet in which users can't freely blog, parody, share material, or remix content — an online experience in which linking, code-sharing, and the unfettered use of art and images would be nearly impossible due to legal limitations.  Unfortunately, this scenario — a restrictive internet culture — may soon be a reality in the European Union with the recent passage of the European Unions Copyright Directive.  This new E.U. decree, which includes provisions for filtering and surveillance, could have a chilling effect on internet creativity and innovation, potentially increase censorship, and impose new market barriers for businesses worldwide.  The new regulations were originally proposed two years ago as part of the E.U.'s Digital Single Market policy that applies to 28 E.U. member-states and the four non-E.U. states of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.  Essentially, it could have a global impact on non-E.U. countries across the world similar to the effect of the E.U.'s 2016 E.U.-wide data protection rules created under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

State Signs Off on Alamo Plan, but Controversy Builds.  The long range, $300 million plan to 'reimagine the Alamo' is one step closer to becoming a reality today, as Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office owns the Alamo, has signed off on the agreement approved by a citizens review committee, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.  The last signature needed to put the plan in motion is that of Mayor Nirenberg, and Bush is clearly hoping to prod the mayor into signing, releasing a photograph of the agreement with a 'sign here' sticker over the place where the mayor signs his name.

The mystery of a Russian satellite attacking others.  Russia has launched a military satellite that, according to U.S. officials, is behaving strangely.  And they say concerns are mounting that it is a test for some kind of military weapon, perhaps designed to cripple or silence an adversary's satellites.  An arms race in space makes perfect sense for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently boasted about new missile and submarine technology.

New Mexico observatory's sudden closure sparks wild speculation.  The temporary closure of a New Mexico observatory last week sparked wide-ranging theories, especially after reports that federal authorities were involved.  The Sunspot Solar Observatory, located near the Sacramento Mountains, closed over an unspecified security issue, the facility said in a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday [9/9/2018].

New Mexico:  The Sunspot Solar Observatory Unexpectedly Closed Due To "Security Issue".  The Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico was rapidly closed down and evacuated last Thursday [9/13/2018] with no explanation why.  Locals report that the FBI is involved, though the Bureau has neither confirmed or denied their presences at the facility.  The official statement from The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) is there was "a security issue" so they "decided to temporarily vacate the facility as a precautionary measure."

A solar observatory in New Mexico is evacuated for a week and the FBI is investigating.  No one will say why.  At a small solar observatory tucked away in the woods of a national forest here, scientists and other personnel were commanded last week to leave at once.  A week later, the facility remains vacant, and no one is willing to say why.  The mysterious and lengthy evacuation, in a state known for secretive military testing and a suspected UFO crash, has spawned a wealth of speculation.

Update:
New Mexico observatory shut down amid FBI child porn investigation: documents.  Investigators determined the observatory's janitor had used his laptop to connect to the facility's wireless internet system, an FBI affidavit said.  Federal authorities obtained a warrant to the search the suspect's residence, Reuters reported, citing FBI records.  On Sept. 14, FBI agents removed three cell phones, five laptops, one iPad, an external hard drive, and other electronic devices, from the suspect's home, FBI records showed.  An FBI spokesman said the case is still under investigation.  According to the FBI, the suspect has not been arrested or charged.

3,677 sex abuse cases in German Catholic Church.  A report on sexual abuse inside the Catholic Church in Germany says 3,677 people were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014, two leading German media outlets said Wednesday [9/12/2018].

Andrew Cuomo has no credibility left.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo's credibility stands in shreds just hours before Thursday's [9/13/2018] primary, as fresh evidence puts his fingerprints all over what he insists are just a series of remarkable coincidences.  As The [New York] Post's Anna Sanders and Bruce Golding report, a top Cuomo campaign official emailed this paper trying to plant a news story that mirrored the same points contained in that dirty-trick mailer accusing opponent Cynthia Nixon of being "silent on anti-Semitism."  That would be the very same mailer the notoriously hands-on governor insisted he knew nothing about and hadn't even seen, even though it was sent by the Democratic State Committee — which he funds and controls.

Airbnb renter trashes luxury San Francisco home, leaving piles of trash, feces, needles.  A man who rented a luxury home in San Francisco through Airbnb trashed it, KTVU has learned, leaving used needles and human waste throughout the $5-million home.  The owner of the home does not want to reveal any identifying details about where this house is located, other than that it is in one of The City's most desirable neighborhoods.  On Friday [9/7/2018], KTVU got an exclusive look inside the home and spoke with the property manager, Egan Lim, who was dressed in a hazmat suit and supervised cleaning up the mess.

'People are on edge': Inside the palpable tension throughout Miss America.  Despite the sweltering temperatures last week in Atlantic City, there was a discernible chill in the air as Miss America contestants, volunteers and executives arrived for the annual pageant.  The recently revamped event, which airs Sunday on ABC, kicked off at Boardwalk Hall Wednesday night with the first phase of preliminary competition.  "The energy was very odd in the auditorium, for sure," said one former board member who asked not to be identified, citing for professional reasons.

Why Is Obama's Secret Service Head Working for Cardinal Wuerl?  I googled Obama's Mark Sullivan and compared him to the man with whom I spoke.  Yep, they were one and the same.  I nearly dropped my phone as a chill went up my spine and the dawning realization hit:  Obama's Secret Service honcho had become Cardinal Wuerl's.  What made the discovery even more alarming was the subsequent harassment I received from security goons clearly working for Cardinal Wuerl, with whom I have had multiple encounters in August and September.  Are all these goons working for Sullivan and the private security firm GSIS, of which he is a principal and co-founder?  It looks like a real possibility.

Pluto never should have been downgraded from a planet, scientists say in new study.  Make Pluto a planet again.  According to a new study published in the scientific journal Icarus, Pluto never should have been downgraded more than a decade ago.  Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union, which ruled a planet a "celestial body that is in orbit around the Sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."  That last qualification is where Pluto was tripped up; the IAU said the planet was too small to control its own orbit, as its gravity is influenced by Neptune's.

The Editor says...
No planet controls its own orbit.

British Navy Confronts Argentina ship in military face off over Falklands.  The Royal Navy unleashed a patrol ship against an Argentinian vessel in the Falkland Islands, after the South American ship was caught "snooping for oil" in UK territorial waters.

The ABA Just Gave Brett Kavanaugh Its Highest Possible Rating.  The American Bar Association's (ABA) standing committee on the judiciary released its evaluation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Friday, awarding him a unanimous "well-qualified" rating.  The ABA panel issues its evaluation based on a variety of measures including integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament.  "The committee's objective is to provide impartial peer evaluations of the professional qualifications of judicial nominees in order to assist the Senate Judiciary Committee in assessing whether such individuals should be confirmed by the Senate," an ABA memo detailing the process reads.

California approves measure to pass on wildfire costs.  The California Legislature voted Friday [8/31/2018] to allow power companies to raise electric bills to cover the cost of lawsuits from last year's deadly wildfires amid fears that Pacific Gas & Electric Co., would otherwise face financial ruin.

US soldier pleads guilty to supplying terrorist group with secret military information.  A soldier who was filmed by the FBI kissing the ISIS flag has pleaded guilty to supporting the jihadist group.  Ikaika Erik Kang, a 35-year-old sergeant first class in the US Army, admitted to four counts of attempting to provide material support to ISIS.  Kang, who is based in Hawaii, provided secret military information, a drone meant to track US troops and other support to undercover agents he believed were members of the terrorist organization.

Borders won't be able to contain Venezuela's disaster.  For years, the world watched corrupt socialists turn Latin America's richest nation, Venezuela, into one of its poorest.  Now, as the country's economy nears total collapse, it's time to ask what can be done to contain the fallout and help its residents.  Start with its refugees:  In a nation whose 2016 population was 31 million, 1.8 million have fled the country over the past two years.  This year, it's 5,000 a day — with the United Nations projecting another 2 million gone by year's end.  Venezuela's neighbors bear the brunt of this refugee flood.  But more than 28,000 Venezuelans sought asylum in the United States last year, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services notes.  That's up 88 percent from 2016, and 1,300 percent since 2014.  There are now three times as many asylum-seekers here from Venezuela as from any other nation.

Former CIA Officer Charged With Spying For China.  An ex-CIA officer arrested in January at New York's John F. Kennedy airport has been charged with conspiracy to commit espionage on behalf of China years after FBI agents turned up notebooks containing classified information in a search of his hotel room.  Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, a naturalized U.S. citizen, had a top-secret clearance and worked as a field agent for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1994 until 2007.  He was living in Hong Kong at the time of his arrest, and had apparently been the target of an FBI investigation since 2012, when agents searching a Honolulu hotel room discovered handwritten notes on "asset meeting, operational meeting locations, operational phone numbers, true names of assets, and covert facilities" pertaining to China, according to a court affidavit.

Transvestites monkeying up US Navy.  The Navy Times had a propaganda article yesterday [8/30/2018] featuring a sailor who likes to get dressed up as a woman and "perform" for the troops.  Why is this newsworthy?  It's all part of the liberal propaganda effort to increase acceptance of the so-called "transgendered."  This is sick brainwashing of the worst kind.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, Page 1507.
The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition, Page 1507.

Box Office:  Summer Movie Attendance Second Worst in 25 years.  Movie attendance for the summer of 2018 at the box office is the second worst in 25 years, reports the Hollywood Reporter.  For months now all we have been hearing about the box office is what a great season it has been, a record season, a comeback that proved all the doomsayers wrong who said America is falling out of love with going to the movies.  To a point, that remains true, but only if you look at the cold, hard numbers.  As far as money, the summer of 2018 is a record breaker, up +14 percent over 2017's brutal summer, and the fifth best on record.

B-1 Crew Makes 'Emergency Landing' Request in Newly Released Audio.  "Is that an actual emergency?" an air traffic controller at Midland Airport, Texas, asks an Air Force B-1B Lancer crew experiencing an engine fire.  After someone interjects a quick "Yes," the voice replies, "Actual emergency.  Alright, Bravo go."  The conversation is part of a recently released audio clip between the control tower and a Dyess Air Force Base-based bomber that had to make an emergency landing in May after an ejection seat didn't work following an engine fire.  The audio was obtained and published by Military Times.

Pope silent on claim he ignored abuse.  Pope Francis has declined to comment [8/26/2018] on a growing scandal after a former Vatican official claimed the pontiff ignored sexual abuse allegations against a senior clergyman and called on him to resign.

The Catholic abuse scandal now leads all the to way the Vatican.  An ecclesial straight shooter.  A reliable character.  A serious man.  That's how sources familiar with Carlo Maria Viganò describe the Italian archbishop, who served as the Vatican ambassador to the United States from 2011 to 2016.  His reputation makes the publication Saturday of Viganò's written "testimony" about the Theodore McCarrick affair all the more inconvenient for those in the Catholic hierarchy who tried to bury the truth about the disgraced American prelate.  The core claim in the 11-page document is that a high-powered circle of silence for years abetted McCarrick's career, despite his well-known penchant for sexual abuse.  The circle of silence, Viganò says, included the current successor of Saint Peter.  In a cryptic statement to reporters on Sunday, Pope Francis refused to confirm or deny the allegations, instead urging them to "read the document carefully and judge it for yourselves."

Journalist Who Exposed CIA Cocaine Trafficking, Would Be 63 Today, But He 'Shot Himself' TWICE.  On August 22nd, 1996 the San Jose Mercury News shocked the country with a series of articles entitled 'The Dark Alliance' detailing the CIA's connection to the crack epidemic that terrorized the nation in the 1980's and destroyed countless lives in its wake.  After the article's publication, the story's author, award winning journalist Gary Webb, was initially hailed as a hero, before a massive smear campaign attacked his credibility and destroyed his career.

DNC passes historic reforms stripping superdelegates of power.  Two years after the gruesome presidential primary of 2016 left Democrats bitterly divided, the Democratic National Committee adopted major reforms Saturday [8/25/2018] to reduce the outsized influence of unpledged delegates, known as superdelegates.  In a majority vote, the DNC passed a measure to block superdelegates — elected officials and party leaders — from casting a vote for any presidential candidate unless a second ballot is required at the 2020 national convention, stripping them of power.

The Editor says...
The Washington Examiner exaggerates somewhat:  The super-delegates have the same power they've always had, except on the first vote (at the party convention) for the presidential nominee.

The Left's New Offensive In Their Economic War On Conservative Speech.  The evidence is clear the left is ramping up its war on conservative free speech.  We've already the social media platforms' censorship of Alex Jones, or NY Governor Cuomo's attempts to get banks and insurance companies to stop working with the NRA, or even YouTube's removal of Dennis Prager's "Prager U" videos.  Visa and Mastercard have blocked service to the David Horowitz Freedom Center because the far left hate group, The Southern Policy Law Center (SPLC) pressured them into believing that the Horowitz Center is a hate group.

Chinese Communist Party Funds Washington Think Tanks.  China's Communist Party is intensifying covert influence operations in the United States that include funding Washington think tanks and coercing Chinese Americans, according to a congressional commission report.  The influence operations are conducted by the United Front Work Department, a Central Committee organ that employs tens of thousands of operatives who seek to use both overt and covert operations to promote Communist Party policies.  The Party's United Front strategy includes paying several Washington think tanks with the goal influencing their actions and adopting positions that support Beijing's policies.

Loyal Democratic donors:  We're done with the DNC 'until they get their act together'.  The Democratic National Committee — the party's signature organization — has posted its worst midterm fund raising totals in more than a decade.  The DNC has so far taken in $116 million before the November midterm elections, $9 million less than it had taken in at this point in 2014 and more than $30 million less than it had taken in at this point in 2010, the last two midterm cycles.  By contrast, the Republican National Committee has nearly doubled the DNC's haul this cycle, bringing in a total of $227 million.  And of the six major federal committees of both parties, the DNC has by far the most debt ($6.7 million) and the least amount in its bank account ($7.8 million).

Michael Jackson 'may not have' sung lead vocals on posthumous tracks.  When an album of previously-unreleased songs from their hero Michael Jackson was released a year after his death it seemed, some astute fans feared, too good to be true.  Today [8/24/2018], it appeared those suspicions may not necessarily have been unfounded, as a record label was caught up in an extraordinary dispute over whether three songs were really performed by the late singer himself.  A court case, revolving around the release of posthumous album in 2010, saw a fan of the singer take on Sony Music Entertainment, alleging songs on the record were not sung by the late artist.

Republican declared winner of Ohio special congressional election.  Republican congressional candidate Troy Balderson on Friday was declared the winner of a hotly contested Ohio special election that served as a final test of his party's ability to hold off an anticipated surge of Democratic voters in the November elections.  After two weeks of counting additional ballots in a district that has historically provided easy victories to Republicans, Balderson was declared by Franklin County officials as the winner over Democrat Danny O'Connor, who said on Friday [8/24/2018] he called to concede to Balderson.

Police union offers $500 reward for people who take down suspects.  A police union wants to turn random bystanders into vigilantes-for-hire — by offering $500 to any civilian who helps cops wrestle down suspects who are resisting arrest.  The cash proposal from the Sergeants Benevolent Association is aimed at getting those who normally would make videos of cops taking people into custody to put down their phones and actually get involved.  "When you see an officer struggling, rather than take your cellphone out, assist the officer and you'll receive an award of $500," SBA president Ed Mullins told The [New York] Post.  "Far too often, we see police officers engaged in violent struggles with perpetrators while members of the public stand by and take videos of the incident.  This has got to stop, and hopefully this program will incentivize good Samaritans to do the right thing."

The Editor says...
Yes, the police have to "incentivize [bystanders] to do the right thing" because kids these days won't do the right thing without the likelihood of reimbursement.

'Stop Filming and Help Me!': Officer Begs Security Guard to Help Him Subdue Suspect.  A police officer begged a female security guard to put down her cell phone and help him subdue a robbery suspect in Houston.  Bystanders began filming the confrontation between the officer and 17-year-old Davon Shavelle Miller, who was pulled over and ran from the officer, a local news station reported.  "He's trying to kill me!" the suspect yelled, while the officer yelled that Miller was trying to grab his service weapon.

University Bans Snowball Fights.  Any "snowflakes" at Delaware State University among the student body will be pleased to hear that the university is protecting them — by banning snowball fights.  As Maria Lencki of The College Fix reports, "The school's Division of Student Affairs Student Judicial Handbook, lists 'the throwing of snowballs on University grounds' under the 'personal violations' category, alongside violations such as 'being in the bath/shower areas of the opposite sex' and 'making threats of violence or intimidation.'"

Scientists discover water ice on moon's surface.  Here's why that's big news.  For the first time, scientists have found what they say is definitive evidence of water ice on the surface of the moon.  The discovery suggests that future lunar expeditions might have a readily available source of water that would make it easier "to explore and even stay on the moon," officials at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement Tuesday about the discovery.  The ice was detected at the darkest, coldest regions of the moon's north and south poles.  It exists in sparse patches in the north and is concentrated in permanently shadowed craters in the south, where temperatures never climb above minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Editor says...
Ri-i-i-i-ight.  Thirsty?  Too bad we didn't bring enough water on this trip to the moon.  Well... just climb a few thousand feet down into this crater, and you'll find water.  Oh, but it's about 250 degrees below zero.  Is that a problem?  Tell me again why we need to have people on the moon.

Miss Denver resigns her crown in solidarity with Miss America who insists former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson 'abused and silenced' her.  The winner of the 2018 Miss Denver beauty pageant publicly renounced her crown on Friday [8/24/2018].  In a message posted to her Instagram account, Kayla Kline said that she was stepping away from her position in solidarity with Miss America Cara Mund, who claimed earlier this year that she was abused by senior leadership of the Miss America Organization.

Sunken World War II British warships reportedly raided by pirates for scrap metal.  World War II-era shipwrecks containing the remains of hundreds of British sailors and civilians are now being plundered by pirates scrounging for scrap metal in Southeast Asia, prompting calls for a multinational investigation.  The wrecks of four ships that were sunk in the waters off Malaysia and Indonesia have recently been looted for scrap metal, The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported.  Several other British shipwrecks in the region have previously been looted, even though the United Nations International Salvaging Convention bans raiding sunken warships.

Clergy sex abuse has cost Catholic Church $3 billion in settlements.  Clergy sex abuse of children has rocked the Catholic Church not only in terms of trust and reputation, but also financially, to the tune of more than $3 billion, according to National Public Radio.  The multibillion-dollar expense has gone to settlements in response to lawsuits filed by people abused by clergy, reports NPR.  Nearly 20 Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy because of the scandals.

The Editor says...
If you are Catholic, ask yourself this question:  Where do you suppose that money comes from?

Canadian Government Moves To Block Freedom of Speech in Effort to Prop-up Justin.  Under the auspices of making moves to block election interference from outside interests the government of Justin from Canada is moving to block internet content critical of Trudeau and his policies.  Simultaneously and ironically, the same Canadian government is spending millions lobbying U.S. politicians in Washington DC to retain their one-sided NAFTA trade benefits.

Miami Herald endorses House candidate who claims aliens took her aboard a spaceship.  The Miami Herald is endorsing a congressional candidate who claims to have communicated with aliens throughout her life and says extraterrestrials once visited her.  The newspaper on Sunday [8/19/2018] endorsed Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, who is running as a Republican for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's (R-Fla.) seat in the Republican primary for Florida's 27th Congressional District.  The newspaper called her "a strong candidate in the race with plausible conservative ideas."  Rodriguez Aguilera said in a 2009 television interview that she boarded a spaceship occupied by aliens when she was 7.

Venezuela's Crack-Up Is Accelerating.  What happens when the country with the world's largest oil reserves becomes its latest failed state?  As Venezuela's government grows increasingly despotic, a crack-up is accelerating — and despite plenty of warning, the world remains unprepared for the consequences.  Recent headlines read like the plot of a Hollywood thriller:  According to President Nicolas Maduro, assassins trained in Colombia tried to kill him with explosive-laden drones as he was delivering a televised speech.  He has responded with a broad crackdown, including the jailing and alleged torture of one of his most vocal opponents.  Even as theories about the attack's origins multiplied in Caracas, a judge in Delaware ruled that a Canadian mining company could seize the assets of Citgo Petroleum Corp.'s parent firm, a key piece of the beleaguered Venezuelan state-owned oil company that funds the government.

3 million bolivars will buy one kilogram of carrots
Hyperinflation in Venezuela - in pictures.  Venezuela has devalued its currency by about 95 per cent ahead of the rollout of a new bolivar as part of a recovery plan that seeks to loosen the grip of hyperinflation on the country.  In recent weeks, goods have skyrocketed in price, leaving locals needing piles of cash to purchase household essentials.


Venezuela's detention of an opposition lawmaker is chilling.  The world must act.  Venezuelans have every reason to doubt the events surrounding the mysterious "assassination" attempt against President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas on Aug. 4.  The regime distorts reality every day, even refusing to recognize and address the economic and social collapse it has created.  But whether you believe the official version or not, there's no question that it has served as a heaven-sent excuse to further crack down on civil liberties and the opposition.

Brazilian border town residents drive out Venezuelan immigrants.  Angry residents of the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima ran riot and drove out Venezuelan immigrants on Saturday [8/18/2018] after a local restaurant owner was stabbed and beaten, residents and government officials said.

Joe DiGenova:  Process is underway declassifying documents.  Former US Attorney for DC Joseph DiGenova is one of the smartest, most energetic, and clearest-thinking lawyers on the conservative side.  He knows what he is talking about, and he doesn't mince words.  The video of him speaking for 12 minutes with Howie Carr on Carr's Newsmax TV show, embedded below, is must-watch material, and well worth the twelve minutes it will take.  The first thing that DiGenova does is bust wide open the Russia Collusion fantasy and re-frame the issue as a conspiracy against President Trump, a theory explaining the events of the past two years with far better evidence than the theory that President Trump is a pawn of Putin.  But then he gets into explaining what is underway beneath the surface:  the process of declassifying documents that implicate the cabal is underway, based on hints that DiGenova has picked up from his many contacts.

HUD sues Facebook, which could jeopardize all Internet ads.  HUD today sued Facebook for promoting illegal discrimination in housing.  This could be the first legal challenge to how Internet oligarchs target ads.  One man's tailoring ads to audiences is another man's discrimination.  The agency's press release said, "The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today a formal complaint against Facebook for violating the Fair Housing Act by allowing landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination.  "HUD claims Facebook enables advertisers to control which users receive housing-related ads based upon the recipient's race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, and/or zip code.  Facebook then invites advertisers to express unlawful preferences by offering discriminatory options, allowing them to effectively limit housing options for these protected classes under the guise of 'targeted advertising.'"  That triggered so much laughing that I had a coughing spell.

The Crusader Who Exposed Pennsylvania's Sadistic Priests.  Without [Richard] Serbin's diligence and commitment, many of these atrocities never would have come to light.  Serbin, who has been defending victims of clerical sex abuse since he met Michael more than 30 years ago, provided the names of 109 predator priests to the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation, and to a prior Pennsylvania grand jury investigation in 2016.

Miss America Ordered to Regularly Say 3 Things Promoting Gretchen Carlson.  The AP reported that the reigning Miss America says she has been bullied, manipulated and silenced by the pageant's leadership.  The alleged bullies include former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson.  Carlson, a former Miss America, famously sued Roger Ailes for inappropriate sexualized comments, eventually settling for millions.  In a letter sent Friday [8/17/2018] to former Miss Americas, Cara Mund says she decided to speak out despite the risk of punishment.  She said she doesn't want to leave this mess for future Miss Americas.  Miss Mund criticized both Gretchen Carlson, chairwoman of the Miss America Organization and Regina Hopper, the CEO.  She said her voice was not heard nor did leadership have any interest in knowing who she was.

Monsters Of The Cloth.  The grand jury report in that Pennsylvania child rape case involving several hundred Catholic priests which surfaced last week is, as Michael Brendan Dougherty termed it at NRO Wednesday, a Rotherham for the Church.  But unlike Rotherham, a case in which a ring of Muslim pedophiles and rapists latched on to local ethnic English girls and turned them into an extended harem of prostitutes, there will be no institutional cowardice involving politically correct politicians and law enforcement officials wishing the horror away.  Pennsylvania won't be swept under the rug.  Nor should it.  And after years of pedophilia scandals engulfing the Church, with promise after promise that the problem has finally been banished to the hell from whence it came, the public is eventually going to demand its pound of flesh for the clergy's sins.  We're going to see that made manifest as that case goes to trial in the weeks and months to come.  As we should.

Omarosa acted dishonorably by recording confidential White House conversations, but here's the bigger problem.  Even if you strongly oppose President Trump and want to see him defeated in 2020 or impeached before then, you should hope his presidential campaign succeeds with its legal action against Omarosa Manigault Newman alleging she violated a nondisclosure agreement.  And if she broke any laws you should want her prosecuted.  Manigault Newman — a fired presidential aide and earlier a member of the Trump campaign staff — has set a dangerous precedent by her secret recording of conversations with President Trump and White House and campaign aides.  The New York Times reported Thursday that Manigault Newman "is believed to have as many as 200" recordings of such conversations.  If Manigault Newman suffers no penalty for making her secret recordings — and instead uses the recordings to boost sales of her virulently anti-Trump book "Unhinged," as she is clearly doing now for maximum media exposure — future White House employees will be tempted to follow in her footsteps.

Whistleblower makes shocking IRS, insider trading allegations.  A whistleblower made this shocking allegation to me last week:  the IRS was tipping off members of Congress to corporate takeovers so the elected officials could profit from insider trading.  My snitch also charged that higher-level employees of the IRS also used that information to enrich themselves.  This may sound crazy but remember:  Up until a few years ago members of Congress were allowed to trade stock based on information they got while performing their public duties.  It wasn't until 2012, during President Obama's tenure, that the practice was banned.

Fusion GPS Founder Shared 'False Story' About GOP Lawyer In Meeting With DOJ's Bruce Ohr.  Veteran GOP lawyer Cleta Mitchell suddenly found her name mixed up in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.  The first public mention of Mitchell came in a March 13 report released by Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  The report listed Mitchell, a partner at the firm Foley & Lardner, as one of the "individuals or groups who were involved in or may have knowledge of third-party political outreach from the Kremlin to the Trump campaign."  Two days later, McClatchy newspapers cited two anonymous sources who claimed that Mitchell expressed concerns just after the election that Russians had funneled secret cash to the National Rifle Association.

West Virginia House votes to impeach entire state Supreme Court.  The West Virginia House of Delegates voted on Monday to impeach the state's entire Supreme Court, a remarkable move occasioned by reports of extravagant spending by the court's five members, one of whom resigned in July.  Of the four impeached justices, one, Allen H. Loughry II, also faces 23 federal counts of fraud, witness tampering, lying to a federal agent and obstruction of justice.  If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 405 years in prison and a fine of $5.75 million.  He pleaded not guilty and was suspended without pay in June.  The impeachment charges against Loughry, who was the chief justice until February, are most severe, included lying to the House Finance Committee and moving an antique desk appraised at $42,000 to his home.

Church protected more than 300 'predator priests' in Pa., grand jury says.  Church leaders protected more than 300 "predator priests" in six Roman Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania for decades because they were more interested in safeguarding the church and the abusers than tending to their victims, says a scathing grand jury report released Tuesday [8/14/2018].

NBC Releases Portion of Secretly Recorded Audio of John Kelly Firing Omarosa Manigault.  Former short-term White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman is attempting to stir up interest in a new book by delivering audio that she secretly recorded in the White House situation room when she was fired by Chief of Staff John Kelly.  Ms. Manigault released the audio to NBC for use in a Sunday [8/12/2018] broadcast of Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.  There is a strong possibility Ms. Manigault has committed several violations of federal law with a secret electronic recording within a SCIF (Situation Room); however, any action therein would only further provide fuel for her already discredited self-promotion.  The fact Ms. Manigault made the recording speaks to her duplicitous intent and lack of integrity.

Omorosa releases purported secret recording of Chief Of Staff John Kelly 'threatening' her in the Situation Room.  Omarosa Manigault-Newman, the ex-reality star and former Trump aide who has since acccused the president of racism, on Sunday released what she claimed was a secret recording of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly "threatening" her in the White House Situation Room. [...] "The very idea a staff member would sneak a recording device into the White House Situation Room, shows a blatant disregard for our national security — and then to brag about it on national television further proves the lack of character and integrity of this disgruntled former White House employee," White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Sunday evening.

Hungary's populist government abolishes gender studies courses.  Hungary's populist government is stopping universities from offering courses in gender studies, saying there is no need for graduates in the labor market and they take taxpayer money away from other programs.  The move, announced this week, comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban's government won a comfortable majority in April after an election focused primarily on immigration.

Secret DMV office serves lawmakers, Capitol staffers.  In California, long lines are a fact of life at Department of Motor Vehicles offices across the state, but for California lawmakers and their legislative staffers, there's an alternative.  KCRA has learned of a DMV office that is not open to the public.  It's located inside the Legislative Office Building on N Street, adjacent to the state Capitol.

White Republican Michigan Voters Chose a Black Guy.  White Republican voters chose a black conservative over a white billionaire in Michigan. [...] Black conservative John James won Michigan's U.S. Senate Republican primary because he shares the values of most Americans.  James boldly expresses his desire to help Trump Make America Great Again.  Voters chose James because of the content of his character rather than the color of his skin, fulfilling the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

'Souza's Death of a Nation has provoked prog critics' outrage.  Unsurprisingly, Dinesh D'Souza's film Death of a Nation has made the loud voices on the left stark raving mad.  A perfect example is the film review website Rotten Tomatoes.  The eleven critics gave the film a zero.  The voting audience gave it 90% approval.  The same is true at all the typically left-wing sites that review films.  The Hollywood Reporter reviewer, Frank Scheck, was apoplectic.  He does not bother to provide any countervailing facts.  He cannot.  D'Souza's history is accurate.  But reviewers like Scheck are so committed to the lies they have been taught in college, or maybe J-school, for forty years that they leap to histrionic attacks on the film before bothering to do any research.  The hysterical reaction to this film by the left is yet another sad commentary on the state of American education.

Rogue Chinese message broadcast over intercom at National Weather Service center.  A strange Chinese audio message was heard over the intercom at the National Weather Service center on Wednesday [8/8/2018].  The voice was from a woman and the 45-second message was also heard by building employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction.  The intercom message, translated from Chinese, said something to the effect of "you have a package from Amazon at the Chinese Embassy, press 1 for more details," according to a National Weather Service employee who spoke to the Washington Post.

In Venezuela's hospitals, eat at your own risk.  Hardly anybody likes hospital food but in Venezuela, it's so awful — monotonous, starchy diets cooked in filthy conditions, and newborns fed intravenous solution for lack of baby formula — that experts call it an actual health risk.

China may have to resume U.S. soybean purchases in weeks:  Oil World.  China may have to start buying U.S. soybeans again in coming weeks despite the trade war between the two countries as other regions cannot supply enough soybeans to meet China's needs, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday [8/7/2018].

Search for missing Atlanta Muslim child leads to discovery of a makeshift armed Muslim compound in New Mexico.  The detective forwarded the message to Taos County, New Mexico Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, who executed a search warrant Friday [8/3/2018] on a makeshift compound that authorities believed was operated by armed Muslim extremists.  After a standoff with two metro Atlanta men inside the heavily armed encampment, officers arrested and Siraj Ibn Wahhaj — the fugitive wanted in the child abduction case as well as Lucas Allen Morten.  But they weren't the only ones at the property that had no running water, plumbing or electricity.

Moms arrested after 11 children found in 'filthy' New Mexico compound with armed Muslim 'extremists,' cops say.  The three mothers of the 11 malnourished children found living in a filthy New Mexico compound were arrested and charged Sunday along with two men described as armed Muslim "extremists" after authorities raided the property in search of a 4-year-old boy.  Jany Leveille, 35; Hujrah Wahhaj, 38, and Subhannah Wahhaj, 35, were arrested and charged with neglect and child abuse of the children.  The three women, who were found at the compound in Amalia, initially refused to answer any questions.

More about this case has been posted here.

Polling Shows Leah Vukmir Takes Dive in Wisconsin After Video Emerges of Her Calling Trump 'Offensive to Everyone'.  State Sen. Leah Vukmir, one of the two candidates for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, has been hit hard throughout the state after Breitbart News unearthed video of her in 2016 saying that President Donald Trump, then a candidate for the GOP nomination, was "offensive to everyone."  The video, along with audio of her saying she is not a "Trumpkin," a derisive term she and Never Trump leader Charlie Sykes use to describe supporters of the president, was part of a series of pieces exposing Vukmir's opposition to the president and his agenda.

Far Left Actress Alyssa Milano Blames Russia for Republican Win in Ohio Special Election.  On Tuesday Trump-endorsed Troy Balderson defeated Democrat Danny O'Connor by less than 1% of the vote. [...] Balderson ended up defeating O'Connor by 1,754 votes.  The Green Party candidate in the district had 1,127 votes.

Red China bans Winnie the Pooh.  The total value of Chinese stocks have fallen 40% in the last three years, putting Chairman Xi in a precarious place politically. [...] But Xi is on top of things.  He just banned a new Disney movie, "Christopher Robin," because it features Winnie the Pooh.  Conservative Chinese people mock Xi as Winnie the Pooh.

Stealth Socialist Steve Phillips Works With TOP Radicals To Turn Texas Blue.  The US Electoral College consists of 538 electoral votes.  A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president.  The Democrats have a lock on California's 55 votes.  The Republicans rely on Texas' 38 votes.  If either party can ever win both states in the same cycle, that will be the end of the traditional two-party system.  Given the Democrats' heavy top to bottom Marxist infiltration, flipping Texas to their camp would usher in a permanent one-party socialist state.  San Francisco lawyer and stealth socialist Steve Phillips is aiming to do just that.  Working with leftist mega donors from the secretive Democracy Alliance and his own organizations, Steve Phillips has set up mass voter registration programs in several states to sign up millions of new minority voters.  Phillips is well on the way to flipping Georgia, Arizona, Florida and North Carolina.  But Texas will be the biggest prize of all.  Not this election cycle, not the next election cycle, but within a decade at the most, Steve Phillips wants to turn Texas blue.

Rhode Island Senate race may be in play, as media and political pros [are] oblivious.  If good presents come in small packages, the Rhode Island Senate race this year may be a great example for the GOP.  William Jacobson, the founder of Legal Insurrection and an astute political analyst who has spent many years in Rhode Island, writes that the Big Surprise of the 2016 election could be the defeat of incumbent Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.

West Hollywood's Moral Crusade against Trump.  Donald Trump is sometimes fortunate in his opponents.  The town fathers of West Hollywood have adopted — unanimously! — a resolution calling on the City of Los Angeles and the L.A. Chamber of Commerce to remove Donald Trump's star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Their reasoning?  Trump's "disturbing treatment of women and other actions that do not meet the shared values of the City of West Hollywood."  West Hollywood values.  I am on record as a fan of Los Angeles.  I like the place very much.  I think West Hollywood is A-okay.  But I'm not sure I would cite "West Hollywood values" in a moral crusade.

West Hollywood Fascists Vote Unanimously to Remove Donald Trump's Star on Walk of Fame — But Guess Whose Star Remains?  Tonight [8/6/2018] the West Hollywood City Council is voting to remove President Donald Trump's star on the Walk of Fame. [...] Guess whose Hollywood star they won't be voting on?  Far left actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct by at least a dozen men and several underage teens.  They have no problem with Kevin Spacey.

If Hollywood is going to strip Trump of his Walk of Fame star for sexual misconduct then when will Spacey and Cosby lose theirs?  [Scroll down]  Then there's liberal fury over Trump's sexual behaviour, which is perfectly reasonable given his own unedifying admission that he's treated women like pieces of meat.  When playing 'Whataboutery' however, I wonder why the same liberal fury is not extended to Democratic presidential legends Bill Clinton and JFK, whose treatment of women made Trump look like a choirboy?

West Hollywood to vote on removing Trump's Walk of Fame star.  The West Hollywood City Council is expected to vote Monday night on a resolution calling on officials to permanently remove President's Trump's star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  "The City Council will consider adopting a resolution urging the Los Angeles City Council and Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to remove President Donald J. Trump's star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, due to his disturbing treatment of women and other actions that do not meet the shared values of the City of West Hollywood, the region, state, and country," reads the agenda item, The Hollywood Reporter said Monday [8/6/2018].

The Editor says...
The collection of celebrity stars in the sidewalks of Hollywood is an exercise in idolatry. 

'This is huge': US Ambassador Grenell quietly blocks $400 million transfer from Germany to Iran.  A transfer of nearly $400 million in cash to Iran has been blocked by Germany's central bank in what appears to be a response to efforts by the U.S. ambassador to Germany.  Last month, Ambassador Richard Grenell urged Berlin to prevent Iran's withdrawal of large sums of cash from German bank accounts in an effort to offset U.S. sanctions that took effect following Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Venezuela's Maduro says drone blast was bid to kill him, blames Colombia.  At least one explosion rocked a military event where Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was giving a speech on Saturday [8/4/2018] and the government said it was a failed assassination attempt involving drones carrying explosives.

Venezuela: Always a bad sign when your military scatters and runs.  As with everything else in socialist Venezuela, truth is experiencing some shortages.  So it's not all that clear whether the 'incident' that went down in Venezuela on Saturday afternoon [8/4/2018], [...] was really an 'assassination attempt' on President Nicolas Maduro, from two drones carrying the moldable explosive known as C-4, as the Venezuelan government claimed, or else the noise from a gas canister explosion from a nearby apartment building, as local firemen have alleged.

The Editor says...
In the video, the Venezuelan President didn't seem very alarmed by the incident.  It was almost as if he was expecting the disruption at about that time.  The attack was apparently an attempt to use a drone to deliver a bomb to the target, but it failed to get anywhere close to him.  That also suggests it was a stunt planned by the "victim" himself.

Wells Fargo apologizes and admits error that caused hundreds of people to lose their homes because of a computer malfunction.  Wells Fargo has apologized on Friday [8/3/2018] for a error they made that caused hundreds of customers to lose their homes over a five-year period.  The San-Francisco based bank claimed that a calculation error utilizing the company's mortgage underwriting tool caused 625 customers to be effected [sic].  Those customers where wrongly denied access to modifications that would make their loans more affordable.  400 of those cases resulted in actual home foreclosure, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Sen. Mark Warner Strays from Dem Talking Point, Says Foreign Interference Didn't Favor Any Party.  Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, seems to have strayed from the Democrats' talking point, reinforced by Obama-era intelligence agencies, that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election specifically to ensure that Donald Trump was victorious.  Warner stated:  "This is one where there is no Democratic or Republican answer since clearly the goal of our adversaries was not to favor one party over the other.  It was to wreak havoc and split divisions."

McCain Flunky Who Weaponized the IRS Now Controls All Internal DoJ/FBI Probes.  As corruption continues at the DoJ/FBI, it is important to know the name of an operative who is working behind the scenes in a powerful position.  That person is Henry Kerner.  Former McCain staffer, Henry Kerner, a deep state bureaucrat, has oversight over whistleblowers and internal probes.  This is no ordinary staffer.  This man hates conservatives.  Senator John McCain's Staff Director Henry Kerner urged the IRS' Steve Miller and Lois Lerner to target the tea party and any conservative groups until its "financially ruinous".  Henry Kerner is now in charge of all internal investigations in the government.  In his past positions, he was in investigative control during Obama's scandals.

BBC, Fox News, PBS ranked as TV's most trusted news brands.  The BBC, Fox News and PBS are the most-trusted TV news brands in the U.S., according to an analysis released Tuesday [7/31/2018].  Research Intelligencer by Brand Keys surveyed 4,012 viewers who rated broadcast and cable brands that they watch more than three times per week "to determine how much trust those brands engendered."  The BBC came in first, with 90 percent of those surveyed saying they trust the British news outlet.

Feinstein was 'mortified' by FBI allegation that staffer was spy for China: report.  U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein fired a staffer a few years back who was allegedly part of an effort to spy and pass on political intelligence to the Chinese government.  The staffer, based in the Democrat's San Francisco office, was suspected of delivering political intelligence, though nothing top secret, to officials based at the local Chinese Consulate, Politico reported.  The FBI informed Feinstein, the then-chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, about five years ago about the staffer and allegations that the staffer was a spy.

Donald Trump Surprises Rush Limbaugh to Congratulate Him for 30th Anniversary.  President Donald Trump surprised talk radio host Rush Limbaugh by calling him on the air to congratulate him on the 30th anniversary of his show.  "You're a very special man, Rush, and you have people that love you.  I'm one of them," Trump said.  "What you do for this country, people have no idea how important your voice is."  Limbaugh thanked Trump for the courtesy, noting that the president meant a great deal to his listeners.

Stupid People Start 90% of California Wildfires:  Study.  The left is already blaming climate change for the spate of destructive California wildfires, which have already killed eight people and burned hundreds of thousands of acres.  The UK Guardian reports, with incredulity, that Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) does not believe that climate change is responsible for the devastation in his district, even though he is "surrounded by fire."  Yet as even the liberal SFGate.com notes, the vast majority — some 90% — of California wildfires are started by humans behaving extremely stupidly.

City forced to correct misspelled YIELD on the road.  It was an oops that wasn't easy to fix.  The "yield" sign painted on West Street in Gardner, Mass., made drivers do just that, but for the wrong reason.  It was spelled Y-E-I-L-D.  The department of public works (DPW) corrected the misspelling overnight Monday [7/30/2018] into Tuesday.

Young people don't want construction jobs.  That's a problem for the housing market.  The construction business is having trouble attracting young job seekers.  The share of workers in the sector who are 24 years old or younger has declined in 48 states since the last housing boom in 2005, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data by Issi Romem, chief economist at construction data firm BuildZoom.  Nationally, the share of young construction workers declined nearly 30% from 2005 through 2016, according to Mr. Romem.  While there's no single reason why younger folks are losing interest in a job that is generally well-paid and doesn't require a college education, their indifference is exacerbating a labor shortage that has meant fewer homes being built and rising prices, possibly for years to come.

Greece's fire disaster another gift of socialism.  The terrible wildfire in Greece, which destroyed the seaside village of Mati and killed, at last count, 91 people, was all the more awful because it need never have happened.  Unfortunately, it did, and it was a problem of not having free markets.  The New York Times, in an op-ed from a Greek journalist who knows the place, points out that scores of unpermitted buildings and a non-working property registry, along with the corruption that makes its home in any such setting, were at fault. [...] Unpermitted buildings?  You know, like the shacks and shantytowns of the Third World?  Sounds like it.

Ron Dellums:  Anti-American pro-communist to the very end.  Yes, I'm gonna go with "rest in peace" for the late Rep. Ron Dellums (D-Calif.), former Democratic Socialists of America vice chair and one of the most extreme left-wing Democratic congressmen.  He was actually a nice guy. [...] Dellums was also known as someone who could keep a secret; one of the tropes on Capitol Hill I heard in those old days was that Dellums had an impeccable record of never leaking classified information as chief of the House Armed Services Committee.  He was a guy who could be trusted with America's secrets, at least around the swamp, not playing the swamp games we see now.  The problem is that Dellums's civility concealed a strategic-minded general's mentality for the big game of turning the U.S. into a socialist state.  A social worker with an interest in boosting domestic spending, he joined the House Armed Services Committee — not to support U.S. defense, but to drain money from it for domestic programs while he was a power in Congress.

Keywords:  Triggering, snowflakes, fragile, crybabies.
Counselors Claim Clients Face Trump Anxiety: 'Fear of the World Ending'.  A correspondent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) based in Washington, DC, ferreted out a counselor who is treating people for a "collective anxiety" caused by President Donald Trump "volatility."  "There is a fear of the world ending," Elisabeth LaMotte, founder of D.C. Counseling and Psychotherapy Center, told CBC.  "It's very disorienting and constantly unsettling."

Therapists claim patients are experiencing President-related anxiety due to Potus' policies and Twitter feuds.  Therapists across the United States say that ever since president Donald Trump took office patients have been experiencing more anxiety — and it's affecting both Trump critics and supporters.  Several therapists spoke to Canada's CBC News saying that many of their patients have a fear about the country's future and if Trump will 'blow us all up.'  'There is a fear of the world ending,' DC therapist Elisabeth LaMotte said.  'It's very disorienting and constantly unsettling.'  LaMotte said there is a 'collective anxiety' about how Trump's decisions could affect everyone.  Patients and therapists refer to it as 'Trump Anxiety Disorder', although it is not an official diagnosis.

The Editor says...
[A] foolish man built his house upon the sand:  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell:  and great was the fall of it.

China Expands Surveillance of Sewage to Police Illegal Drug Use.  Dozens of cities across China are applying an unusual forensic technique to monitor illegal drug use:  chemically analysing sewage for traces of drugs, or their telltale metabolites, excreted in urine.  One southern city, Zhongshan, a drug hotspot, is also monitoring waste water to evaluate the effectiveness of its drug-reduction programmes, says Li Xiqing, an environmental chemist at Peking University in Beijing who is working with police in these cities.  Li says Zhongshan police have already used the technique to help track down and arrest a drug manufacturer.  He says a handful of cities are planning to use data from waste water to set targets for police arrests of drug users, some as early as next year.

Venezuelan inflation heading towards 1,000,000 percent.  Inflation in Venezuela could top 1 million percent by the end of 2018 as its five-year-long economic crisis deepens, the region's observer at the International Monetary Fund said.  Years of hyperinflation and destitute conditions in the oil-concentrated nation compare to Germany after World War I and Zimbabwe at the beginning of the last decade, said Alejandro Werner, head of the Western Hemisphere for the IMF, in a blog post.

NJ 101.5 suspends 'Dennis & Judi' hosts for racist comments about N.J. attorney general.  New Jersey 101.5 radio hosts Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco have been suspended for 10 days over the duo's derogatory comments about state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal.  Malloy and Franco, who have hosted 101.5's Dennis & Judi Show since 1997, repeatedly referred to Grewal, the nation's first Sikh attorney general, as "turban man" during Wednesday's broadcast.

The Editor says...
If you are a prominent public official and you don't want to be called "Turban Man," then stop wearing a turban in public.  This is America.  If you don't act like an American, don't complain about the treatment you get.  Assimilate or leave!

California teen wakes up couple to ask for Wi-Fi code as he burglarizes their house, police say.  Because he is under 18, the name and photo of the suspect have not been released.

Attorney calls Markeis McGlockton's death 'cold-blooded murder' by 'wannabe cop'.  Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump stood in front of the Pinellas County Justice Center on Thursday [7/26/2018] and demanded justice for the family of Markeis McGlockton.  Flanked by the slain man's parents and girlfriend, Crump told reporters that McGlockton's shooting death last week was "cold-blooded murder ... by the self-appointed, wannabe cop Michael Drejka."  The July 19 incident started when Drejka, 47, confronted the girlfriend, Britany Jacobs, over why she had parked in a handicap-reserved parking space without a permit outside a convenience store near Clearwater.  McGlockton, in the store with his 5-year-old son, got wind of the argument and walked outside, where he shoved Drejka to the ground.  Drejka then pulled out a gun and fatally shot McGlockton, 28.

Bill Cosby recommended to be classified as a 'sexually violent predator' by Pennsylvania board.  The Sexual Offenders Assessment Board is recommending to the court that recently convicted Bill Cosby be classified as a sexually violent predator.  According to the Assocaited Press, The Montgomery County District Attorney requested a hearing regarding the report on Tuesday where a judge will determine if Cosby will be classified as a sexually violent predator.  Following his conviction, the state law requires Cosby to register as a sex offender and the possible prediator classification would result in increased treatment in prison and increased notification of neighbors when and if he is released.

How Many Times Did Barack Obama Meddle In Other Nations' Elections?  Answer:  A LOT.  Barack Obama was the meddler-in-chief — a U.S. president who attempted to shape the elections of foreign nations multiple times during his eight years in the White House.  The media knew of it, downplayed it, and since 2016, has all but ignored it.  The fact is, when it comes to election meddling, the Russians have nothing on one Barack Hussein Obama.

Alaska Democratic congressional candidate doesn't live in state — or plan to campaign there.  Carol Hafner hopes to represent Alaska in Congress — even though she doesn't live in the state nor does she plan to campaign there.  Hafner, a Democrat running for Congress in Alaska's primary, listed two addresses on her candidate filing form: one in New Jersey and one in South Dakota.  While she considers South Dakota her home base, Hafner told The Associated Press that she travels a lot and has been in New Jersey to deal with an illness in the family.  Hafner said she's never been to Alaska and does not plan to campaign in person.

The Democratic Party's New Motto Same As A Used Car Dealership, Personal Injury Law Firm.  House Democrats revealed their new slogan for the upcoming 2018 elections, but whoever was behind it probably forgot to check that it's identical to the one used by a used car dealership in Texas and a personal injury law firm in Florida.  The motto, "For the People," debuted at a private meeting with members Wednesday, according to Politico.  Yet Democrats probably won't like to know that their new message for American voters is the same used by some of the sleaziest businesses in the country, namely used car dealers and ambulance chasers.

House Democrats Pivot Away From 'Better Deal' Slogan to New 'For the People' Slogan.  House Democrats are now pivoting away from their "Better Deal" slogan, according to Politico.  In a private meeting Wednesday, House Democrats announced that they will be employing the new slogan "For the People" in the 2018 midterm elections. [...] The new slogan will reportedly not have the same dramatic rollout that the "Better Deal" slogan did last year, featuring a press conference with Democratic leadership.  Their old slogan was roundly mocked by the media and even some Democratic lawmakers.

House intel committee votes down Dems' motion to subpoena Trump's translator.  Republicans voted down a motion introduced by two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee to subpoena President Trump's translator.  Committee members Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, both of California, announced the congressional vote on Twitter.  Mr. Schiff said the move was "an extraordinary remedy," but the president's rhetoric at the summit and in subsequent days necessitated it.

Antifa Attempts Attack on Lauren Southern — Fails Miserably.  The Canadian-born Conservative activist Lauren Southern is on tour in Australia.  In a video posted to YouTube promoting her visit, Southern said Australians are "at a crossroads."  She asks "Do you want to retain your culture, do you want to retain your borders, family, identity."  As you'd expect, her tour will focus mainly on immigration and multiculturalism.  The 23-year-old commentator rose to popularity almost exclusively online, working for the right-wing group Rebel Media before pursuing an independent career funded by fan donations, posting her own reports to her YouTube channel that boasts nearly 800,000 subscribers.  The cost to see Southern speak in Australia starts at $79 a seat and goes up from there, but it's clear that she didn't have much trouble filling an auditorium despite the cost.  Australian media billed her as an "alt-right" activist coming to Australia, which predictably led to Antifa groups planning massive protests against her talks.

Unmasked: Matt Rivitz, Founder of Sleeping Giants, Behind Anti-Breitbart, Laura Ingraham Social Media Mobs.  A Monday [7/16/2018] report revealed Matt Rivitz, a San Francisco-based ad executive, as the founder of Sleeping Giants, the anonymous leftist group that organizes social media mobs in an effort to silence conservative voices.  According to the Daily Caller News Foundation's (DCNF) Peter Hasson, Rivitz's identity as the until-now anonymous founder is confirmed by clues left in Rivitz's media interviews and social media posts by people in his "social and professional circles."  Rivitz himself long ago deleted his Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as his professional websites.

Woman Who Sought 'Back Channel' Meeting for Trump and Putin is Charged as Russian Agent.  A Russian woman who tried to broker a secret meeting between Donald J. Trump and the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, during the 2016 presidential campaign was charged Monday and accused of working with Americans to carry out a secret Russian effort to influence American politics.  At the behest of a senior Russian government official, the woman, Mariia [sic] Butina, made connections through the National Rifle Association, religious organizations and the National Prayer Breakfast to try to steer the Republican Party toward more pro-Russia policies, court records show.  Privately comparing herself to a Soviet Cold War propagandist, she worked to infiltrate American organizations and establish "back channel" lines of communication with American politicians.

Russian redhead gun activist is arrested over 'infiltrating U.S. political organizations for a Kremlin boss before the election'.  A 29-year-old Russian woman living in Washington has been arrested and charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian government while developing ties with U.S. citizens and infiltrating political groups, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday [7/16/2018].  Maria Butina allegedly worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Justice Department said in a statement.  Butina — a life member of the National Rifle Association — was arrested on Sunday [7/15/2018] and was ordered held pending a hearing set Wednesday, it said.

New Army fitness standards.  Now no push-ups, sit-ups.  Every time the military changes their fitness requirements lately it leads to controversy.  This is mostly because so many of the recent changes created at least the suggestion that accommodations were being made for female recruits, or perhaps even males who couldn't meet the traditional standards.  This latest set of changes may sound similar on the surface, but let's not be too quick to judge.  Rather than doing two minutes of push-ups and two minutes of sit-ups, new exercises are being added which supposedly better simulate physical demands encountered on the battlefield.

NATO's lavish new headquarters is a danger sign.  It is virtually an iron law that mature bureaucracies turn their focus from the ostensible mission to self-preservation and aggrandizement of the bureaucrats.  One side benefit of President Trump's attendance at the NATO Summit has been the opportunity to view the huge and lavish new headquarters building the organization proudly opened a couple of months ago.

Deep Fake News.  The Brookings Institution warns that "fact checking" will become a lot harder in the 21st century as artificial intelligence becomes better at producing "deep fake news" creating counterfeits so good they are difficult to distinguish from the Real McCoy.  "Because the algorithms that generate the fakes continuously learn how to more effectively replicate the appearance of reality, deep fakes cannot easily be detected by other algorithms — indeed, in the case of generative adversarial networks, the algorithm works by getting really good at fooling itself."  The technology to fake videos, photographs and sound clips is now so good even Hollywood is increasingly using digital actors.  Moreover artificial intelligence can weave these fakes into a superficially self-consistent universe of lies creating a false narrative whose fraudulence can only be exposed by painstaking comparison to reality.

WalkAway founder Brandon Straka denied service at Adorama camera store.  A Manhattan camera store has apologized after the founder of the #WalkAway movement, which encourages Democrats to abandon the party, said he was denied service.  Brandon Straka said he had already spent a considerable amount of time picking out camera equipment at Adorama on West 18th St. in Manhattan on July 5 when one of the salesmen refused to sell anything to him.  "He stared at me with this kind of deadpan expression," Mr. Strakatold The Epoch Times.  "And he said:  Are you planning to use this equipment for alt-right purposes?'"  "'I'm sorry I just don't feel comfortable selling to you,'" he recalled the clerk as saying.

The Editor says...
After you purchase a product, its ownership is transferred, and what you do with that product after leaving the store is entirely up to you.  You can bet that if Mr. Straka had wanted to buy photographic equipment to take pictures of his neighbor's wife, or to take snapshots at the next Mardi Gras, the store manager would have supported it 100 percent. 

Americans are losing confidence in many things, but not these three.  Americans, it seems, are growing increasingly dubious, skeptical, even cynical about many of their once-hallowed institutions.  These include especially Congress.  But any such disapproval list also contains TV news, newspapers, unions, public schools and even the criminal justice system.  Only two institutions — the military and small business — hold an overwhelming net positive opinion in the minds of Americans.  The volunteer military has by far the most public confidence — 94 percent with a great deal or some confidence in it.

Episcopal Church considers making God gender neutral.  The Episcopal Church formed a committee Wednesday to "provide a pathway" toward revising the Book of Common Prayer to include gender-neutral language.  Church leaders called for immediate revisions to correct the "overwhelming use of masculine language" throughout the book, arguing that the language is now a hindrance to spiritual inclusion, according to the Episcopal Church website.  "As long as 'men' and 'God' are in the same category, our work toward equity will not just be incomplete.  I honestly think it won't matter in some ways," Wil Gafney, a professor of the Hebrew Bible and strong advocate for the edit, told the Washington Post[.]

The Editor says...
God is exactly what he always has been.  He does not change.  The delusional leadership of the Episcopal Church cannot make him into something else.

Long Island family busted for $25M counterfeiting scheme.  Nassau County cops arrested a father and his two sons Tuesday for importing $25 million of phony luxury bags, watches and other accessories, officials said.  Mahmood Nasir, 55, was charged with counterfeiting after an investigation by Nassau police and federal authorities found millions of fake goods in his home, at a storage facility and in another rental property.  The phony accessories were emblazoned with brand-name goods Rolex, Burberry, Hublot, Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton.

Vaccinated children are more likely to develop OCD and other anxiety disorders.  A recent study, led by researchers from two Ivy League universities, found a link between vaccines and the onset of anxiety and other related disorders.  This shocking find once again calls vaccine "safety" into question, though the mainstream media and other pharma shills are loath to admit it.  Even the World Health Organization has quietly admitted that anxiety-related reactions following vaccination are a growing phenomenon — yet, little is being done to rectify the issue.  Vaccine dogma and Big Pharma are so powerful that even with mountains of evidence showing harm, the "powers that be" continue to look the other way, all the while pushing for even more vaccinations at seemingly ever-younger ages.

Who Is Joel Davis, Really?  [Scroll down]  In light of all this, it is unavoidable to ask questions, including:  How was it possible for a two-time college dropout to be appointed to a leading role at the head of a defunct charity which then held a leadership position over such a vast coalition of thousands of groups and individuals, with many member-organizations having entire legal departments and staff who could have easily recognized that Davis's charity did not have 501c status?

House Democrat Tulsi Gabbard dodges debates in home state — despite demanding them in 2016: report.  A House Democrat is drawing heat in her home state for her history of refusing to participate in debates prior to primary elections.  But ironically, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii resigned from her position with the Democratic National Committee in 2016 because she believed the party hadn't scheduled enough debates among its presidential candidates that year.

Family of baby treated at hospital with bottle of formula gets $18G bill: report.  A bottle of formula and a nap cost $18,000, according to a family whose son was treated at a San Francisco hospital after a head injury.  Vox.com reported that a family from South Korea was visiting the city in 2016 when their infant son fell off a hotel bed and hit his head.  The baby reportedly never lost consciousness, but was crying hysterically.  So out of an abundance of caution, the family took the baby to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the report said.  Doctors quickly determined that eight-month-old Park jeong-whan was fine.  The family told the news site that the baby had some formula, took a little snooze and they got on with their vacation.  Two years later, the family said they were handed the bill:  $18,836.

General Mills quarterly profit drops 13 percent.  Cheerios cereal maker General Mills on Wednesday [6/27/2018] reported a quarterly profit that topped analysts' estimates, as its efforts to reduce costs and improve distribution network paid off.  Gross margins of the company, which is also known for its Haagen-Dazs and Betty Crocker brands, rose to 36.5 percent in the fourth quarter from 34.7 percent a year earlier.

The Editor says...
Somehow I feel partly responsible.  Mrs. Editor refuses to buy Cheerios as long as the boxes feature pictures of a lesbian.  Who wants to look at that while eating breakfast?

Keyless Cars and Their Carbon Monoxide Toll.  It seems like a common convenience in a digital age:  a car that can be powered on and off with the push of a button, rather than the mechanical turning of a key.  But it is a convenience that can have a deadly effect.  On a summer morning last year, Fred Schaub drove his Toyota RAV4 into the garage attached to his Florida home and went into the house with the wireless key fob, evidently believing the car was shut off.  Twenty-nine hours later, he was found dead, overcome with carbon monoxide that flooded his home while he slept.  "After 75 years of driving, my father thought that when he took the key with him when he left the car, the car would be off," said Mr. Schaub's son Doug.  Mr. Schaub is among more than two dozen people killed by carbon monoxide nationwide since 2006 after a keyless-ignition vehicle was inadvertently left running in a garage.  Dozens of others have been injured, some left with brain damage.

Another risk of driverless cars.  NPR reported today [6/11/2018] that Waymo is buying a slew of cars to create a driverless taxi fleet with no human overseer required in the car.  Emergency takeover would be done by a fleet of well-trained remote admin personnel, via cell phone.  There seem to be some massive flaws in that reasoning.  One is the need for real-time response.  Another is unavailable cell-phone coverage.

Red Hen eateries feel the heat after Sarah Sanders booted from Virginia restaurant with same name.  Michael Friedman never imagined that naming his restaurant The Red Hen would be so controversial.  But when the co-owner of another restaurant named The Red Hen — this one almost 200 miles away in Lexington, Va. — refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday night, it was open season on any eatery with Hen in its name.  "It was a bit of an interesting day yesterday," Friedman told Fox News.  "There were so many negative comments floating in on social media and people calling up my restaurants to threaten us."

Now that Obama's gone...
Army training will now focus on actual battlefield skills, not social issues.  In a series of servicewide memorandums approved by Army Secretary Mark Esper and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and obtained by The Washington Times, service leaders are making optional previously mandatory training on issues such as transgender transition and drug abuse.  The move, Army leaders argue, is designed to relieve stress on the overburdened troop training regimen and refocus on soldiers' ability to fight in combat.

Red Hen Owner Runs Historic Downtown And They Just Threw Her Under the Bus.  Apparently, Meryl Streep's cousin, Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen and a bully who kicked out Sarah Sanders and her family mid-meal, runs all of Downtown Main Street Lexington.  She is the Director of the area.  Unfortunately for her, the officials of historic downtown are very unhappy with her rude, bullying tactics.  She's been thrown under the bus and rightfully so.

New poll ranks Obama as the worst president since World War II.  No wonder there is such a rush to build that ugly monument to Barack Obama in Chicago: the bloom is already off his rose.  I suppose it was inevitable that the tidal wave of media flattery would recede from memory and allow the hollowness of his two terms in office to be perceived by those who don't think critically about what they see in the media.  But now that President Trump is demonstrating the bankruptcy of the Obama administration economic and foreign policies with solid results that vividly contrast Obama's failures, a new poll has identified him as the worst president since World War II.

Mixed-Race Family Asks Ice Cream Company To Change Flavor Name To Make It More Inclusive.  A Louisiana mother of six children and foster mother to other children has a mixed-race family whose children thought that Blue Bell Ice Cream should change the name of a popular chocolate and vanilla ice cream flavor, The Great Divide, to "Better Together."

The Editor says...
Some people have to inject politics into everything.  The overwhelming majority of us go to the grocery store, see products on the shelves, and either buy them or don't.  Once in a while, someone comes along who's just so special and so victimized and triggered by what she sees, that she undertakes an effort to tell a private company how to run their business — and make a name for herself on social media at the same time.

NHS boss warns of cannabis addiction risk for children after former Tory leader William Hague [calls] for the drug to be legalised.  Legalising cannabis risks making children believe it is safe, the head of the NHS warned yesterday [6/18/2018].  In a major intervention, Simon Stevens highlighted serious health dangers, such as addiction and psychosis.  He spoke out after former Tory leader Lord Hague urged ministers to be 'bold' and legalise cannabis for recreational use — meaning it could be sold in shops with alcohol and tobacco.  The peer claimed the war on the class B drug had been 'comprehensively and irreversibly lost'.  But campaigners said it would be wrong to decriminalise a narcotic linked to mental illness, organised crime, violence and road deaths.

Texas Billboard
Texas Billboard:  Liberals Should Keep Driving "Until You Have Left Our Great State Of Texas".  This photo was recently posted on Facebook and has already been shared thousands of times.

Texas billboard tells liberals to keep driving until they leave the state.  A photo of the sign was posted to Facebook by Kyle Mccallie, of Fritch.  He wrote the billboard was six miles east of Vega, a city roughly 35 miles west of Amarillo, on the eastbound side of the highway.  Mccallie's post, which was uploaded earlier Tuesday, had more than 8,000 shares as of Tuesday night [6/19/2018].


The Bad Hate The Good:  The Southern Poverty Law Center Tries To Smear PragerU.  The SPLC smears individuals and groups it differs with by labeling them as some form of "hater" — "racist," "white supremacist," "extremist" and the like.  That it is cited and even relied upon by The New York Times, Facebook, Amazon, Google, CNN and others, and that Apple gave the organization a million dollars, is testimony to the moral state of mainstream media and corporate culture in America today.  Were the SPLC not quoted and used as a source, there would be no reason to pay it any attention.  All the SPLC does is politicize, and thereby trivialize, the fight against racism and other evils.

Southern Poverty Law Center finally pays for its smears.  The SPLC rakes in donations by claiming to fight hate, but its lists of hate groups routinely include not just truly vile outfits but also ones that simply don't toe a politically correct line.  It went too far in listing Maajid Nawaz and Quilliam, a think tank he founded, in its 2016 "Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists," which proclaimed in part:  "Extremists routinely espouse a wide range of utter falsehoods, all designed to make Muslims appear as bloodthirsty terrorists or people intent on undermining American constitutional freedoms."  Actually, Quilliam is dedicated to countering extremism, and Nawaz is a practicing Muslim — indeed, a prominent voice for reform within the faith, having turned from extremism during four years in an Egyptian prison for his work with the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.  Nawaz sued, and the SPLC plainly realized it couldn't win:  It has agreed to pay $3.4 million to settle the case and also issued a full apology.

Not a Surprise:  DC Has Highest Concentration of Psychopaths in the United States.  It is often said that Washington, DC is filled with a bunch of nerds dominated by psychopaths.  Others say that politics is simply Hollywood for ugly people.  These are usually said in a joking manner and often uttered after coming back from a young professional happy hour here in the swamp.  Perhaps the most soulless congregation of folks ever assembled can be found at those kind of events.  But it turns out that a recent study showing the population density of psychopaths could confirm anecdotal suspicions that these two areas of American life have more in common than either would like to admit.

Texas GOP Endorses Marijuana Decriminalization.  The Republican Party of Texas has officially endorsed decriminalization of marijuana, offering yet more proof of the dizzying speed at which attitudes are changing toward marijuana and marijuana prohibition.  At the state's GOP biennial party convention in San Antonio last week, assembled delegates lent their overwhelming support to adding four cannabis-related planks to the party platform, including the repeal of criminal penalties for marijuana possession, the expansion of the state's incredibly limited medical marijuana law, a call for the rescheduling of marijuana at the federal level, and the legalization of industrial hemp production.  All measures passed with 80 percent of the vote or more.

The Editor says...
The Texas GOP did not vote to decriminalize marijuana.  Any assertions to the contrary are false and misleading.  The plank in the platform endorsed the re-categorization of marijuana from one Schedule to another in the DEA system of drug possession penalties.  The Editor and Mrs. Editor were both present at the Texas Republican State Convention and neither of us heard a word spoken about decriminalizing marijuana.  There was a lot of talk about growing "industrial hemp," as if that's something we all need, but in my opinion that's just another way to open the door to Colorado-style legalization of marijuana.  If you like Colorado, go there.  But don't bring any part of Colorado back to Texas.

Roger Stone Was Offered "Dirt" On Hillary Clinton By An FBI Asset.  The salient feature of the whole Russian collusion story is not that the Trump campaign is alleged to have reached out to Russia for help, but that on at least two occasions alleged Russian contacts reached out to Trump campaign operatives with the exact same offer, that is, Russia had "dirt" on Clinton and was willing to give it to the Trump campaign. [...] As far as we know, the first contact was made, apparently by Joseph Mifsud, with George Papadopoulos.  Mifsud, you'll recall, knew Stefan Halper, the FBI asset, and Halper knew Christopher Steele who was busily working on the Trump dossier.

Cartoonist claims he was fired after 25 years for making fun of Trump.  A cartoonist who was terminated by his employer of 25 years on Thursday believes his provocative portrayals of President Donald Trump were the cause of his firing.  Rob Rogers, a cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, was let go by the paper after six of his cartoons in a row were spiked and his employer tried to change his terms of working, he told the Guardian.  His final cartoon showed a bloated man representing the United States, impaled on a steel girder with "trade war" written on it, waving the Stars and Stripes and saying:  "Take that, Canada, Mexico and Europe."

No, the firing of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist is not a threat to free speech.  The press has had a field day pumping the news that a publisher's firing of a political cartoonist in Pittsburgh is a sign of President Trump's war on freedom of the press.  It's nonsense.  Whatever President Trump's voiced beefs with the mainstream media, rest assured, he had nothing to do with this.  And it actually happens all the time, and on both sides of the political spectrum.

In Venezuela, the End Is Near.  We have chronicled the accelerating destruction of Venezuela, once one of the world's more prosperous countries, by socialism.  The most recent news from that country is chilling:
  •   According to Gallup, Venezuela is now the least safe place in the world, having tumbled below Afghanistan in the rankings.  Only 17% of Venezuelans say they feel safe walking alone at night.
  •   Polio has re-emerged in Venezuela, 30 years after it was declared extinct there.  The country's health care system is verging on non-existent, as hospitals not only have run out of medicines, in some instances they don't even have running water.
  •   Venezuela is said to have more proven oil reserves than any other country, but its socialist government can't keep the petroleum flowing, as pretty much everyone who is competent enough to do so has left the country.  As a result, Venezuela's oil exports are heading toward zero.
  •   Having frustrated the creation of wealth, Venezuela's socialists have done what they thought was the next best thing — they created a lot of currency.  With an inflation rate now at 24,600%, that currency is essentially worthless.

Bestselling Author Fired for Mocking Publisher's Diversity Policy.  Publishing giant Penguin Random House has announced that its authors are no longer to be chosen on literary merit but according to a politically correct quota system "taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability".  This is mad, stupid, and insulting.  But not nearly as mad, stupid, and insulting as the decision by the Mslexia Short Story Prize, a literary competition for women authors, to sack one of its judges[,] Lionel Shriver[,] as a punishment for daring to criticise the new policy.

Smokey Bear the (Unwitting) Arsonist:  The Culture War and Western Wildfires.  "We held then, and we hold now, that economics alone is not a sufficient basis for determining whether wilderness shall survive or die," said Secretary Orville L. Freeman in reference to the construction of Interstate 70 in Colorado in 1968.  This sentiment, imbued with an almost religious confidence, embodies the defiant attitude of liberal environmentalism that still haunts the United States.  As wildfires rip through California, Colorado, and New Mexico, it must not be forgotten how we arrived here.  Smokey needs more paws to get the job done or, at the very least, more cash.  In a statement from last summer, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue noted how Forest Service funding continues to disproportionately flow towards active fire suppression over forest management.  This reflects research from the University of Arizona which points towards fires becoming both more numerous and larger.

Air Force's 'most wanted deserter' discovered working on Janet Napolitano's staff.  The former head of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, managed to overlook the Air Force deserter with top-security clearance on her staff who has been a "most-wanted" fugitive for 35 years.

Federal judge halts secret FEC plot to target GOP groups.  A federal judge has blown the whistle on a secret Federal Election Commission scheme to punish some Republican groups and their donors, the latest sign of an anti-GOP bias at the elections watchdog.  In a newly released decision, Trump-appointed District Court Judge Trevor N. McFadden shined a spotlight on the FEC's general counsel who recommended action against four Republican groups but dismissal of similar charges against supporters of a Democratic group, "Black Men Vote."  In the case, the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center charged that the FEC wrongly voted to drop charges against three of the Republican super PACS accused of taking "straw donations" through corporations.

Judge Orders Mueller to Name Key Players in Manafort's Ukraine-Lobbying Operation.  A federal judge has ordered Special Counsel Robert Mueller to identify by Friday all of the individuals and companies involved in former Trump-campaign chairman Paul Manafort's Ukraine-lobbying operation.  Mueller will be required to turn over to the defense the names of top European politicians who participated in Manafort's efforts to lobby on behalf of Ukraine without registering as a foreign agent, as is required under U.S. law, Politico first reported.

FBI Sweep Takes Down More Than 70 'Nigerian Prince' Email Scammers.  The FBI arrested more than 70 people in the U.S. and Nigeria for engaging in a massive email scam that has taken millions of dollars from U.S. companies in 2018 alone.  The arrests came over a month after an email protection group, Agari, exposed the scammers behind the infamous "Nigerian Prince" email scams that have been appearing in American inboxes for years.  The FBI announced Monday it had taken down more than 70 members of the west African crime ring in an action dubbed Operation Wire Wire, The Wall Street Journal reported.  The organization had mostly targeted the finance departments of U.S. companies, posing as business partners seeking bill payments.

These Are The Drunkest Cities In America.  Drinking in excess has proven to claim the lives of thousands of Americans each year.  Alcohol is responsible for about 1 in every 10 deaths among working-age adults.  As enjoyable as drinking can be, those who consume too much often feel long-lasting effects.  In 2016, Appleton, Wisconsin was awarded the title of the Drunkest City In America.  They ended up losing the honors this year to nearby Green Bay.  It would appear that many cities in Wisconsin have nothing better to do than drink.  There are still plenty of other states where people rely heavily on alcohol to get through their day.

The Editor says...
What cities are on the other end of the scale?  Salt Lake City?  Abilene?  Waxahachie?

Connecticut Town Bans For Sale Signs In Front Of Homes.  Guess Why.  Here's an odd little story which is probably going to be cropping up more and more in blue states in the near future.  The town of New Canaan, Connecticut is instituting a change this summer.  Their Board of Realtors has passed a ban on "For Sale" signs placed in front of the properties where residents are selling their houses and moving away.  Why is that?  Well, if you ask the local government they'll tell you that there's simply no need for the signs anymore.  Savvy shoppers are looking for houses online and besides... those signs are an eyesore anyway.

'Commie Cadet' Spenser Rapone Leaving Army with 'Other Than Honorable Discharge'.  Eight months after his communist social media postings and conduct caused a conservative media firestorm, 2nd Lieutenant Spenser Rapone (better known as "the commie cadet") is reportedly being processed out of the Army with the most severe type of military administrative discharge — an "other than honorable discharge."  Rapone, you may recall, is the avowed Marxist and Antifa supporter who posted pictures of himself on social media promoting pro-communist messages and expressing an intention to infiltrate the U.S. military.

Senate Select Intel Staffer Targeted Trump Campaign Adviser In Aggressive Leak Campaign.  Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was the primary target of a Senate Select Intelligence Committee (SSIC) staffer indicted for lying about his contacts with reporters, according to an indictment released on Thursday [6/7/2018].  James Wolfe, the former director of security for the SSIC panel, was in contact with at least three reporters at around the time they published articles about Page, an energy consultant who is a central player in the investigations into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.  Wolfe, 57, is charged with lying to the FBI during a Dec. 15, 2017 interview about whether he knew the journalists and had contact with them on certain dates.

A shocking 83% of junior U.S. Navy officers lacked proficient seamanship skills in spot test.  The Navy has identified deep deficiencies in seamanship among its junior officers, with just 27 of 164 first-tour officers passing competency checks with "no concerns," according to an internal review obtained Wednesday by The Washington Times.  The study was ordered after two naval collisions claimed the lives of 17 sailors last year and put the Navy in the spotlight.  Both maritime disasters, the Navy concluded, were avoidable and stemmed from failures of leadership aboard both vessels.  In the internal message, written by Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander of Naval Surface Force Pacific, the Navy identified concerns with 137 of 164 junior officers who were randomly tested.

Pope Francis to host oil executives to talk about combating climate change.  Pope Francis will convene a meeting of oil producer and investment firm executives next week at the Vatican to discuss what the industry can do to address climate change, according to a report.  Companies such as BlackRock, BP, ExxonMobil, and Equinor are expected to be represented at the gathering, which will likely take place on June 9, per Axios.  The conversation's focus will be aligned with Francis' 2015 "On Care For Our Common Home" encyclical, a papal document arguing climate change is caused by humans and that world leaders were not doing enough to mitigate it, sources told the news outlet.

Black unemployment rate hits new record low in May.  The unemployment rate for black workers hit new record lows in May, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday [6/1/2018].  Black unemployment fell sharply to 5.9 percent, beating out the 6.6 percent record low that was set a month earlier.  The unemployment rate for Hispanic workers hit a record low in April, at 4.8 percent, but it rose slightly to 4.9 percent in May.

America has a massive truck driver shortage.  Here's why few want an $80,000 job.  America has a massive shortage of truck drivers.  Joyce Brenny, head of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, increased driver pay 15 percent this year to try to attract more drivers.  Many of her drivers now earn $80,000, she says, yet she still can't find enough people for the job.  About 51,000 more drivers are needed to meet the demand from companies such as Amazon and Walmart that are shipping more goods across the country, according to the American Trucking Associations.  The driver shortage is already leading to delayed deliveries and higher prices for goods that Americans buy.  The ATA predicts that it's likely to get worse in the coming years.  Many trucking companies are so desperate for drivers that they are offering signing bonuses and pay raises.

Attackers Can Use Sonic and Ultrasonic Signals to Crash Hard Drives.  Researchers have demonstrated how sonic and ultrasonic signals (inaudible to human) can be used to cause physical damage to hard drives just by playing ultrasonic sounds through a target computer's own built-in speaker or by exploiting a speaker near the targeted device.  Similar research was conducted last year by a group of researchers from Princeton and Purdue University, who demonstrated a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against HDDs by exploiting a physical phenomenon called acoustic resonance.  Since HDDs are exposed to external vibrations, researchers showed how specially crafted acoustic signals could cause significant vibrations in HDDs internal components, which eventually leads to the failure in systems that relies on the HDD.

Venezuela's Road To Serfdom.  Venezuela trudged further down its road to serfdom when a sham election on May 20 returned Nicolas Maduro to the presidency for another six-year term.  Venezuela's experiment with democratic socialism has now run its course from early optimism through economic dysfunction and now ever-closer to political tyranny.

Poland Wants To Pay US $2 Billion For Its Permanent Military Presence.  Poland is willing to pay the U.S. up to $2 billion for the installment of a permanent American military base in the nation, according to a document Polish news portal Outlet obtained.  "This proposal outlines the clear and present need for a permanent U.S. armored division deployed in Poland, Poland's commitment to provide significant support that may reach $1.5-2 billion by establishing joint military installations and provide for more flexible movement of U.S. forces," the Polish defense ministry states in the document.

The Editor says...
Great.  Now how about Japan, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Australia, and South Korea?

101 grads owe over $1M in federal student loans, with more students expected to follow suit.  A total of 101 graduates in the U.S. owe at least $1 million in federal student loans compared to only 14 owing that much just five years ago.  The latest Education Department figures reveal that thanks to skyrocketing education costs, living expenses, crippling interest rates and additional fees, more graduates expected to join the club of debtors who may not ever pay back their loans, the Wall Street Journal reported.

'Heretic' in the Vatican.  Celebrated by progressives around the world for his push to update and liberalize aspects of church doctrine, [Pope] Francis is facing fierce blowback from traditionalists who take issue with his openness to Muslim migrants, his concern for the environment and his softer tone on divorce, cohabitation and homosexuality.  Opposition has become so heated that some advisers are warning him to tread carefully to avoid a "schism" in the church.

Trust in Self-Driving Cars is Wavering.  A study conducted by AAA last month found that 73 percent of Americans don't trust the current iteration of autonomous vehicle technology.  That number is up from 63 percent as noted in late 2017.

Tesla in Autopilot mode crashes into police car.  Authorities say a Tesla sedan in Autopilot mode has crashed into a parked police cruiser in Southern California.

Self-driving car caught on camera running red light.  An self-driving car prototype failed in dramatic fashion last week when it ran a red light in Jerusalem with a TV news crew on board.  The Ford Fusion built by Intel-owned Mobileye was nearing the end of a successful demonstration run, News 10 reports, when the light turned red and it cruised right through the intersection with the cameras rolling.

Uber self-drives robo-cars out of Arizona after fatal crash.  Uber is pulling its self-driving cars out of Arizona.  The ride-sharing company's reversal was triggered by the recent death of woman who was run over by one of its robotic vehicles while crossing a darkened street in a Phoenix suburb.  The decision announced Wednesday means Uber won't be bringing back its self-driving cars to the streets to Arizona, eliminating the jobs of about 300 people who served as backup drivers and performed other jobs connected to the vehicles.

FBI repeatedly overstated encryption threat figures to Congress, public.  The FBI has repeatedly provided grossly inflated statistics to Congress and the public about the extent of problems posed by encrypted cellphones, claiming investigators were locked out of nearly 7,800 devices connected to crimes last year when the correct number was much smaller, probably between 1,000 and 2,000, The Washington Post has learned.  Over a period of seven months, FBI Director Christopher A. Wray cited the inflated figure as the most compelling evidence for the need to address what the FBI calls "Going Dark" — the spread of encrypted software that can block investigators' access to digital data even with a court order.  The FBI first became aware of the miscount about a month ago and still does not have an accurate count of how many encrypted phones they received as part of criminal investigations last year, officials said.  Last week, one internal estimate put the correct number of locked phones at 1,200, though officials expect that number to change as they launch a new audit, which could take weeks to complete, according to people familiar with the work.

Publix grocery in Charleston censored 'Summa Cum Laude' on graduation cake.  Saturday was Jacob Kosinski's big day.  His whole family, many from out of town, saw the Charleston, South Carolina, student graduate from his Christian-based homeschool program with a 4.79 grade point average and the coveted honor of summa cum laude.  His mother, Cara Koscinski organized a graduation party for her 18-year-old son.  For the occasion, she ordered a cake online from her nearest grocery store, Publix, which lets customers build their own cakes complete with a customized inscription, which they enter into a little message box.  Carefully, she typed in the message she wanted on the cake:  "Congrats Jacob!  Summa Cum Laude class of 2018."  The Publix software was unhappy with the word cum.  In Latin, cum is the preposition "with," as in summa cum laude "with the highest distinction."

Journalist Who Vowed to Expose George Soros, Found Dead.  An investigative journalist, who went undercover to infiltrate violent leftist groups such as Antifa, has been found dead shortly after he vowed to expose billionaire globalist, George Soros.  33-year-old Bechir Rabani was a hugely popular Swedish independent reporter, well known for his daring exposés.

Obama Is Lawyering Up After Discovering He's Being Implicated In The Biggest Scandal In US History.  Obama, Hillary, Comey, Strzok, and many others are about to get the slap back to the reality that they have sorely needed for quite some time now.  Technical glitches in the form of the delete button and a hammer don't last too long in a world where everything that has ever been sent through any device is never truly gone.

Republicans Introduce Resolution for Second Special Counsel to Investigate FBI and FISA Abuse.  Twenty-five House Republicans have introduced a resolution officially calling for a second Special Counsel to investigate FBI misconduct and FISA abuse during the 2016 presidential election.  "Here's the now filed 12 pg[page] H.Res.907 w[ith] 25 original cosponsors, detailing misconduct at highest levels of DOJ/FBI re FISA abuse, how/why Clinton email probe ended & Trump-Russia probe began.  Also calls for 2nd Special Counsel," Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin tweeted Friday.  As mentioned, the legislation is twelve pages long and details two dozen reasons — including the handling of the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton — why the Special Counsel is necessary.

Dancing surgeon accused of leaving patient brain-damaged.  A plastic surgeon who filmed herself singing and dancing around the operating table as she performed procedures was accused of leaving a patient with "catastrophic" brain damage.  Dr. Windell Davis Boutte uploaded over 20 clips of herself prancing around next to patients while singing along to hip-hop tunes.  She even sliced someone open for the camera as "Cut It" by O.T. Genasis blared out in the background.  Icilma Cornelius suffered heart failure after being pushed into having a pre-wedding tummy tuck at Boutte's clinic in Lilburn, Georgia, in February 2016, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Mystery in Mueller probe:  Where's the hacking indictment?  In the year since the start of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, one thing has been notably absent:  a public indictment of any Russians for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  Mueller has charged President Trump's former campaign chief, secured guilty pleas from several individuals in Trump's orbit and indicted 13 Russians for an elaborate plot to leverage social media to influence the American electorate.  But the special counsel has yet to announce charges for the hacking of the DNC, even though the intelligence community and private cybersecurity experts linked the attack to the Russian government more than a year ago.

Human Rights Activist Files RICO Suit Against Fusion GPS Founders.  A prominent human rights activist is suing two of the founders of Fusion GPS and several Venezuelan businessmen under a statute usually associated with the Mafia.  Thor Halvorssen, the president of the Human Rights Foundation, claims that Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, two former Wall Street Journal reporters who founded Fusion, engaged in a conspiracy to retaliate against him for blowing the whistle on one of Fusion's clients, a Venezuelan power plant company called Derwick Associates.  The two Fusion founders were hired to produce a dossier and a media campaign "to depict Halvorrsen as a pedophile, heroin addict, and embezzler of the Foundation's money," reads Halvorssen's lawsuit, which he filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute.

Sweden distributes 'be prepared for war' leaflet to all 4.8 million homes.  The Swedish government has begun sending all 4.8 [million] of the country's households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of a war.  Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) explains how people can secure basic needs such as food, water and heat, what warning signals mean, where to find bomb shelters and how to contribute to Sweden's "total defence".  The 20-page pamphlet, illustrated with pictures of sirens, warplanes and families fleeing their homes, also prepares the population for dangers such as cyber and terror attacks and climate change, and includes a page on identifying fake news.

Florida judge rules ballots were illegally destroyed in Wasserman Schultz race.  A Florida Circuit judge ruled Friday [5/11/2018] that that the state's second-most populous county violated state and federal laws by destroying ballots from a 2016 Democratic primary race which Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz won.  Circuit Judge Raag Singhal decided that the records were wrongly destroyed because the laws require elections offices to keep the ballots in federal elections for 22 months.  Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes destroyed the ballots just after 12 months, the Sun-Sentinel reported.  The judge also noted that because the ballots were subject to a lawsuit, only a court order should have allowed their destruction.

Teen who started devastating wildfire ordered by judge to pay more than $36 million in restitution.  A teen who started a massive wildfire in Oregon has been ordered by a judge to pay nearly $37 million over the next decade.  Hood River County Circuit Judge John Olson awarded the restitution totaling $36,618,330.24 to cover the costs of firefighting, repair and restoration, according to the Oregonian.  "Having reviewed the arguments presented by the parties, the court is persuaded that an award of more than $36 million in restitution does not violate either the state or federal constitution," the judge wrote in Monday's [5/21/2018] decision, according to the newspaper.

Pope Francis tells gay man 'God made you like this and loves you like this'.  Pope Francis has told a gay man that God loves him during a private meeting, it has been claimed.  In a private dialogue, the Pontiff is understood to have told Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, that God loves gay people and it is fine to be homosexual.

Pope's reported comment to a gay man may indicate a new level of acceptance of homosexuality.  Pope Francis has reportedly told a gay man that "God made you that way and loves you as you are," apparently pushing the pontiff's acceptance of homosexuality to a new level.  Francis made the comments to Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of priestly sexual abuse who recently spent days with the pope at the Vatican to discuss his ordeal as the pontiff moves to tackle decades of coverups and ostracism of victims in the Chilean church, according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais.  Cruz was quoted as having discussed his homosexuality with Francis.  "He told me:  'Juan Carlos, I don't care about you being gay.  God made you that way and loves you as you are and I don't mind.  The pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are.'"

Fox News Reportedly Turned Oliver North's Former Office Into 'Meditation Room' With Muslim Prayer Rugs.  According to Gabe Sherman at Vanity Fair, the network that Ailes long saw as a beacon of political incorrectness "is getting woke."  Aside from empowering a new female CEO — which makes Scott the only female CEO leading a major news organization — Fox News has also implemented some cosmetic changes to its offices.  Most remarkably:  Lt. Col. Oliver North, the pugnacious former Fox News host who left to serve as president of the NRA, has seen his old office the network's Washington Bureau turned into a "mediation room" replete with Muslim prayer rugs, per Sherman.

No purchase required to sit in Starbucks cafes or use the bathroom.  Starbucks will allow people to sit in its cafes and use its bathrooms — even if they don't buy anything.  The new policy, announced on Saturday [5/19/2018], comes five weeks after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia store after one asked to use the bathroom before he had made a purchase.

Devin Nunes Is [Formidable].  Devin Nunes, the eight-term Republican congressman from California, is taking on the world's most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus to uncover exactly what happened before and after the 2016 presidential election.  Although Nunes is undoubtedly earning some formidable enemies, he seems undaunted — perhaps even emboldened — by the anti-Trump mob on the Left and the Right trying to discredit his investigation and destroy his reputation.  Nunes, 44, goes about his business in a way that only a politician who doesn't owe his career to billionaire benefactors or a privileged pedigree can:  He is fearless, well-informed, and slightly snarky.

Sarah Sanders Is One Of The 10 Most Admired Women In America.  White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is one of the most admired women in America, according to a fact check.  Snopes fact-checked a popular conservative meme being shared on Facebook that claimed that Sanders is in the top 10 of most admired women in the U.S.  The site rated the claim as "true."

Joe DiGenova:  Frustrated President May Fire 'Clowns' Sessions and Rosenstein.  Attorney Joe diGenova predicted that both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' days are numbered at the Department of Justice during a telephone interview with Newsmax's Howie Carr Wednesday [5/16/2018].  DiGenova's claim came after the New York Times published a report titled "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane:  The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation". The report has been interpreted by many as an attempt by sources within the "Deep State" to cushion the blow of the imminent DOJ inspector general report, which is expected to be explosive.

Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile Fights to Keep Superdelegates in Dem Primary.  Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, is defending the party's use of superdelegates in its presidential primary.  Brazile has criticized how the DNC favored Hillary Clinton during the 2016 primary but said superdelegates — party insiders who are not pledged to back candidates voters choose — are helpful to the primaries, according to the New York Times.  "We have to make sure that we do this in the right way, in the most responsible way, and superdelegates should be a part of that process," she said.

Hotel pools linked to many disease outbreaks.  Hotel pools and hot tubs are breeding grounds for waterborne diseases.  A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find a third of all recreational waterborne disease outbreaks occurred in hotel pools or hot tubs and water play venues.  Between 2000 and 2014 the CDC recorded nearly 500 disease outbreaks related to recreational water use that resulted in more than 27,000 illnesses and eight deaths.  Hotels were the leading setting, associated with 157 of the outbreaks

Crime Plague in the Alamo City.  The incidence of reported crimes in San Antonio fluctuates from year to year, affecting the comparative rankings, but despite a reduction in some categories in 2017, heavily Hispanic San Antonio has had a major crime problem since the 1980s.  With more than 1,200 drive-by shootings in 1993, many gang-related, San Antonio earned the nickname the "Drive-By City."  Reported homicides in 2016 were the highest since 1995.  San Antonio also has one of the nation's worst rates of auto theft.  In the National Council for Home Safety and Security's 2018 ranking of Texas cities, San Antonio came in at 215 out of 224, making it "one of the most dangerous cities in the nation."

Tesla with Autopilot slams into truck stopped at red light.  A Tesla sedan with a semi-autonomous Autopilot feature has rear-ended a fire department truck at 60 mph (97 kph) apparently without braking before impact, but police say it's unknown if the Autopilot feature was engaged.

Update:
Tesla that crashed into truck was on Autopilot.  The driver of a Tesla electric car had the vehicle's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode engaged when she slammed into the back of a Utah fire truck over the weekend, in the latest crash involving a car with self-driving features.

Laziness:
Amazon's Alexa to Come Standard With Some New Houses.  Is It a Good Idea?  Amazon announced its partnership with homebuilder Lennar on Wednesday.  The two companies are creating "Amazon Experience Centers," which are model homes that contain appliances controlled by Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa, an artificial intelligence device sold as a home automation and time saving tool.  "As one of the nation's largest homebuilders, Lennar offers the potential to enable this experience within easy driving distance of millions of customers," said Nish Lathia, general manager of Amazon Services.  The commercials for Alexa and similar devices are tempting.  A weary couple comes home from a hard day's work, collapses on the sofa and merely speaks orders to an unobtrusive device tucked away in the corner of the room.  The device turns lights on and off, adjusts the thermostat, picks out a good television show and orders pizza.  At some point, one can imagine a near future where the consumer won't even have to answer his door — a robot controlled by a virtual home assistant will do it.

Wellstone legacy 'goes dormant' after family ousted in Democratic feud.  In the Democratic Party's reckoning following the election of Donald Trump, an unlikely feud has erupted inside an organization at the heart of the progressive movement.  Earlier this year, the board of directors of Wellstone Action — an influential training group formed after Paul Wellstone's death — dumbfounded Minnesota Democrats when it voted the late senator's sons off the governing board.

Soros Buying San Diego DA Race.  Leftist billionaire George Soros is injecting big money into a San Diego district attorney race as part of his larger effort to install extremist prosecutors across America who will refuse to enforce inconvenient laws that liberals and progressives don't like.  Soros, who turns 88 in August, has been underwriting district attorney races across America in an effort to dismantle the criminal justice system, empty the prisons, and sabotage the enforcement of immigration laws.

Why isn't Michael Avenatti in jail?  Porn star Stormy Daniels's lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has covered television screens across America, and because of it, he claims his exposure is why he was able to get his hands on the bank records of President Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, as well as the bank records of several other Michael Cohens, none of whom have anything at all to do with President Trump.  Possession of such stolen property is well worth throwing him in jail all by itself, and even the experts quoted in the leftwing Daily Beast say he's got a problem with that one.  But he's actually got a longtime record of sleaze and shadiness and if an investigative report, which ran in the Seattle Times a month ago is correct, he looks like the sort of guy who absolutely belongs in jail.  He did despicable things in his business practices that anyone can see is illegal.

Noam Chomsky Says Christians and Republicans Are the Real Threats to the World.  Noam Chomsky may not be a household name in most circles, but the philosopher and linguist has a reputation in academic and political circles for his outspoken radical left worldview.  In a recent 90-minute speech at St.  OlafCollege (no word if Rose Nylund is an alumna), Chomsky declared that he knows the biggest threat to the world.  And boy, is it a doozy!  So, is the truest threat to the world North Korea?  Is it Iran or ISIS?  How about Russia or China?  Nope.  According to Chomsky, nuclear war and climate change are pretty scary, but the big threats to our planet are the Republican Party and Christianity.

DC Think Tank Wins FOIA Case Against Climate Crusading NY AG.  A New York court ordered AG Eric Schneiderman Thursday [5/3/2018] to fork over public information about elements of his climate crusade to a libertarian think tank in Washington, D.C.  New York Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in a case involving a series of documents conservatives believe could reveal a coordinated campaign against global warming dissenters.  Schneiderman has consistently used his state's Freedom of Information Law to block past requests.

Nigerians 'escaping' US and asking for asylum in welcoming Canada.  Well what should Canada expect when their Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited them in in the immediate wake of the election of Donald J. Trump!  Now the Canadians have the audacity to tell us we have to be more strict about who we admit to the US, so our soil doesn't become a stepping stone to their welcoming arms in the north.

Indictments Are Coming.  Americans must open their eyes.  Indictments of those responsible for this charade will reaffirm America as a nation of laws and not of people, no matter how big and untouchable those on the left think they are.

Huge icebergs could be towed from Antarctica to Cape Town to solve South African drought crisis.  Huge icebergs could be towed from Antarctica to Cape Town in a bid to solve South Africa's worst drought in a century.  Marine salvage experts are floating the plan to tug the icebergs to the region after its seen the worst water shortage in decades.  Salvage master Nick Sloane told Reuters news agency he was looking for government and private investors for a scheme to guide huge chunks of ice across the ocean, chop them into a slurry and melt them down into millions of litres of drinking water.

CIA emails to journalists don't have to be released to public, judge rules.  The CIA can selectively divulge classified information to selected reporters in emails yet withhold that information from other journalists or members of the public when they seek the same information under the Freedom of Information Act, a federal judge in New York has ruled.  The decision appeared in the court record on Friday but became more widely disseminated Monday [4/30/2018].

Facebook's dark-ads problem is systemic.  Facebook's admission to the UK parliament this week that it had unearthed unquantified thousands of dark fake ads after investigating fakes bearing the face and name of well-known consumer advice personality, Martin Lewis, underscores the massive challenge for its platform on this front.  Lewis is suing the company for defamation over its failure to stop bogus ads besmirching his reputation with their associated scams.  Lewis decided to file his campaigning lawsuit after reporting 50 fake ads himself, having been alerted to the scale of the problem by consumers contacting him to ask if the ads were genuine or not.  But the revelation that there were in fact associated "thousands" of fake ads being run on Facebook as a clickdriver for fraud shows the company needs to change its entire system, he has now argued.

Starbucks drops Jewish group from bias training.  Bowing to pressure from African-American activists, Starbucks excluded the Anti-Defamation League from an upcoming daylong anti-bias training session.  The ADL, whose mission is to fight anti-Semitism, will play an advisory role in the company's long-term efforts to combat discrimination, Jaime Riley, a Starbucks spokeswoman, told POLITICO Monday [4/30/2018].  But the group won't help develop the curriculum for Starbucks' May 29 mandatory anti-bias training, as originally planned.

Kim Jong Un may have no nukes.  The truth about North Korea's nuclear program may leak out.  "North Korea's main nuclear test site has collapsed following its latest bomb test and could be at risk of leaking radiation, research by Chinese geologists has shown," the Independent reported this weekend.  "As a result, the Punggye-ri site under Mount Mantap has been rendered unsafe for further testing and should be monitored, scientists from the University of Science and Technology of China have said."  This happened September 3.  This was done either by nature or man.

Canadian Man Switched Genders for Lower Car Insurance.  Some dude from Alberta switched genders to save money on car insurance. [...] I view this story with a healthy dose of skepticism.  But we've already seen a story where a man changed genders to retire early.  Plus, this is Canada.

Lubbock Democrats Blasted for 'Childish Crop Job' that Cuts Melania out of Presidents Photo.  Democratic Party members in Lubbock, Texas, have apologized for posting the photo of four previous U.S. presidents and their wives together at Barbara Bush's funeral with Melania Trump cropped out.  The original photograph, featuring Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, George Bush Sr. and the current First Lady, went viral after it was taken at the funeral of Barbra Bush in Houston, Texas, on April 21.  The Lubbock County Democratic Party Headquarters also uploaded a version of the photo, but the image they used was edited so that Melania Trump was not in it.

The Editor says...
Imagine the reaction from the news media if Michelle Obama had ever been so amateurishly cropped out of a similar photo.

A soldier just got authorization to wear a beard because of his Norse pagan faith.  When the Army authorized beards for religious soldiers in early 2017, the move was a response to years of requests — and a lawsuit — from Sikh soldiers seeking to both serve and adhere to the tenets of their faith.  But the directive, technically, applied to all religions.  And that includes Norse pagans, also known as heathens, according to an undated memo from the 14th Military Police Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Former Sen. Feinstein staffer hired FUSION GPS and it somehow never came up during Senate investigation.  A newly declassified congressional report shows that a former staffer to Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, had ties to Fusion GPS and British ex-spy Christopher Steele, both subjects of Feinstein's committee's investigation.  Feinstein never disclosed these connections publicly.  The former staffer, Daniel Jones, previously served as Feinstein's senior intelligence staffer.  Jones currently leads a "research and investigatory advisory" that hired Fusion GPS and Steele after the 2016 election to push the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, [...]

Former Feinstein Staffer Raised $50 Million, Hired Fusion GPS And Christopher Steele After 2016 Election.  A declassified congressional report confirms prior reporting by The Federalist that Daniel Jones, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), hired Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele after the 2016 election to push the anti-Trump Russian collusion narrative.  According to the report, Jones, who runs an investigative outfit called the Penn Quarter Group (PQG), told the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in March of 2017 that he had retained the services of Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to "continue exposing Russian interference" in the 2016 election.  Steele is the former British spy who authored the infamous unverified dossier of allegations against President Donald Trump.  Although Jones' name is redacted in the report, the biographical details plus previous reporting on the matter make clear that he is the individual referenced.

Trump delays release of some JFK assassination files until 2021, bowing to national security concerns.  President Trump vowed last year to release all the long-secret files related to the JFK assassination, but the administration announced Thursday that some documents will remain redacted until October 2021 for national security reasons.  In a White House memo, Trump said that the nation's intelligence community persuaded him to keep some parts of documents secret because their exposure could harm "identifiable national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns."  Trump gave the CIA, FBI and other agencies a deadline of April 26 to release documents related to the investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

The Editor says...
What could possibly be so secret about the Kennedy assassination after half a century?  Whatever the "concerns" are, the classified files must be an embarrassment to the U.S. government — most likely meaning some of the "conspiracy theories" are actually true.

Twin Peaks mandated lingerie 'dress-up days,' federal sexual harassment complaint claims.  Employees of the Dallas-based Twin Peaks restaurant chain, which describes itself as "the ultimate sports lodge," allege they were sexually harassed and subjected to a hostile work environment when they were forced to wear skimpy costumes they had to pay for themselves and were ranked in a weekly report evaluating their bodies.  A Chicago attorney, Tamara Holder, said Thursday [4/26/2018] that she has filed federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints on behalf of three former workers at Illinois locations of the chain.  A fourth former employee plans to sue for breach of contract.

The Editor says...
What did you expect, ladies?  It ain't exactly Chick-Fil-A.  I've never been in the place, but I've heard the atmosphere of the Twin Peaks restaurant is readily apparent.  Reviews frequently include the terms "breastaurant" and "man cave," along with comparisons to Hooters.  Thus the working conditions should come as no surprise.  There are women who don't mind working as NFL cheerleaders or swimsuit models or Playboy bunnies, and there are others who could work in those jobs but would prefer not to.  But once you accept a job in a sexually-charged atmosphere, you can't be surprised when the job turns out to be demeaning and degrading.

'QLaser' TV infomercial doc gets 12 years in prison for selling scam device.  A former dentist-turned-con man and his two cohorts were sentenced to prison on Friday [4/20/2018] for their roles in a multimillion-dollar fraud case that primarily preyed on the elderly.  Robert "Larry"' Lytle, who created the QLaser, along with Irina Kossovkaia and Ronald Weir Jr., who helped him hawk it as a "cure-all" device, had pleaded guilty to fraud charges in South Dakota earlier this year.

Members of Congress Who Questioned Mark Zuckerberg Had Received $641,685 From Facebook.  The top recipients include Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).  The hostility of the questioning did not appear to correlate with the contributions.  Sen. Orrin Hatch — who has received $15,200 in donations in the past three years, the sixth largest amount — asked purely softball questions.

The Most Dangerous Democrat in America.  Imagine a combination of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and you've got Kamala Harris, the current seat-warming senator from California who, like Obama, is using the World's Greatest Deliberative Body as a resume-puncher before swiftly moving on to bigger things:  the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination.  Even as a nobody senator, she's been the subject of dozens, perhaps scores of speculative stories about her future, [...]

Report: Facebook Spent More on Swamp Lobbyists in 1Q than Ever Before.  Facebook reportedly spent more on lobbyists in the first quarter of 2018 than it has ever before as the company faces increased scrutiny over data breaches and censorship.  According to a Recode report, Facebook spent more than "$3.3 million to steer lawmakers on privacy, security, online advertising and transparency efforts, among other issues."  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress, and his company and entities associated with it donated to 46 of the 55 Members on the House Energy and Commerce Committee that questioned him.

Waffle House Suspect Said Taylor Swift Was Stalking Him.  The 29-year-old man wanted in a deadly mass shooting at an Antioch Waffle House allegedly told officials Taylor Swift was stalking him.  Travis Reinking is from Illinois. [...] Reinking told officials Taylor Swift was harassing him by stalking him and hacking his phone.  He later told them she had hacked his Netflix account, told him to meet her at a Dairy Queen, then allegedly ran from him at that location.  He said he chased her to the rooftop of a building, but she was gone.  Reinking told authorities he was telling the truth.  He also stated he had proof on his phone, but he would not show it to them.  His family stated he had made suicidal threats and owned guns.  Officials said they took him for an evaluation at Methodist Hospital.

The Editor says...
What are mental hospitals for, if not to protect the sane population from people like this?  Why was this man not locked up?

Waffle House gunman killed four with a gun that was confiscated by the FBI and returned.  Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson said there was no clear motive for the shooting but noted that Reinking may have 'mental issues.'

The Editor says...
Oh.  He may have mental issues.  Indeed, the man's history is apparently well documented.

Update:
Defense claims accused Waffle House shooter is incompetent to stand trial.  Travis Reinking's defense attorney has filed a motion stating that after testing, their experts believe he is not mentally fit to stand trial.  Sources close to the case say more testing is underway to determine if the claim by the accused Waffle House shooter's defense team is true.  Reinking is accused of killing four people in the Antioch Waffle House shooting on April 22.  Authorities conducted a 36-hour manhunt for Reinking after the shooting at the restaurant along Murfreesboro Pike.

Finally, a truly bipartisan issue:  We all hate robocalls.  [Scroll down]  One Saturday morning I was even wakened by a phone call not from a telemarketer, but from an angry man asking me why I was calling him!  Turns out the robocaller had hijacked my phone number and was annoying other real live humans just like me.  I explained to the man who woke me up that we were both victims of a digital scam "too big to fail," but I had no idea just HOW BIG until I read the press release from Sen. Tester.  One hundred million calls in three months?  Apparently, robots really are invaluable to the forward progress of Western civilization!  There's no way that an ordinary call center could possibly have annoyed so many people in so short a time.

Politico: Kamala Harris, 2020 Presidential Contender, is a Mystery in California.  First-term Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) is emerging as a Democratic presidential contender in 2020.  However, according to Politico, her own voters in California do not really know much about her.

Kangaroo in zoo dies after being pelted by bricks from tourists trying to see it hop: report.  Tourists at a zoo in South China pelted a kangaroo with bricks in an attempt to see the animal hop, but the animal was fatally injured, The AFP reported Thursday, citing state television.  The marsupial died after a few days after suffering a ruptured kidney, the report said.  A few weeks later, another kangaroo in the enclosure was slightly injured in a similar incident, the report said.  The report said that visitors at the Fuzhou Zoo in Fujian province are known to try and get kangaroos to hop.  The zoo reportedly said it will install cameras and stuff the 12-year-old female.

Facebook to put 1.5 billion users beyond the reach of new EU privacy law, report says.  Reuters reports that Facebook is looking to limit its exposure to the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Passed in 2016, the law regulates how firms protect the data of EU citizens.  On May 25, the EU will start enforcing the new regulation, which explicitly applies to any company that uses the data of EU residents, no matter where it is based.  Organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4 percent of their annual global turnover or 20 million Euros ($24.6 million), whichever is greater.  For Facebook, which reported over $40 billion in revenue during its fiscal year 2017, the implications of the new regulation is significant.

CNN Panel Gives Their Opinions About Why Opinion Shows Are Bad.  In a jaw-dropping display that was one part a lack of self-awareness and another part hypocrisy, Wednesday's [4/18/2018] prime-time Anderson Cooper 360 featured a panel of CNN analysts sharing their opinions about opinion shows like Hannity on Fox News.  Their opinions varied but were largely against the mixing of opinion and news.  And that was their opinion on the news of the day.  The hypocrisy was so thick you could cut it with a knife.  "I mean, personally, I have no problem with Fox News.  I'm glad Fox News is out there.  I'm glad MSNBC is out there.  I personally wouldn't want to do what either of them do," explained host Anderson Cooper.

NYC 'poop train' sitting idle in Alabama has become a 'nightmare' for residents, mayor says.  A stinking trainload of human waste from New York City is stranded in a tiny Alabama town, spreading a stench like a giant backed-up toilet — and the "poop train" is just the latest example of the South being used as a dumping ground for other states' waste.  In Parrish, Alabama, population 982, the sludge-hauling train cars have sat idle near the little league ball fields for more than two months, Mayor Heather Hall said.  The smell is unbearable, especially around dusk after the atmosphere has become heated, she said.

New air pollution report:  California is the worst.  So, don't come here.  Good news for those of us who think the nation's most populous state should be a little less populous.  Or a lot less.  The American Lung Association has released its annual report on ozone pollution.  And would you believe, eight of the worst places in the country for ozone pollution are in California?

Ingraham's Viewership Increases 20 Percent Since David Hogg's Boycott.  Fox News host Laura Ingraham's viewership has gone up by 20 percent since gun control activist David Hogg initiated a boycott of her advertisers late last month.  Hogg went after "Ingraham Angle" advertisers on March 29, and that week Ingraham's ratings had averaged about 2.23 million, but last week she returned from vacation and her ratings climbed to around 2.7 million, NewsBusters reported.  Hogg, a 17-year-old student [...], targeted Ingraham's advertisers last month after she tweeted an article about him being turned down from four different campuses in the University of California school system.  The boycott, which was pushed by Media Matters for America among other liberal-leaning groups, led to at 27 companies dropping their ads from her show, as of Friday [4/13/2018].

Trey Gowdy Requests IG Horowitz Appearance Before House Oversight Committee May 8th, 2018.  Hopefully, this is not cause for alarm.  However, given the history of such activity; and specifically given the history of the engagements and motives of the participants involved in this request; it is a troubling development.  The House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee is the official DC enterprise deployed when Washington DC interests identify a threat and maneuver their political UniParty alliances to eliminate the issue.  Historic Oversight Committee references to Fast-n-Furious (Issa), IRS targeting (Chaffetz), and the origin of the Benghazi, Libya investigation are recent examples of outcomes therein.

Laura Ingraham Maintains Ratings, Advertiser Returns To Her Show.  The leftist attempt to take down Fox News by methodically targeting each show's host and the show's advertisers seems to have hit a wrinkle as Laura Ingraham's show is still boasting high ratings.  In addition to her high ratings, she has also had one advertiser return to her show.  Ace Hardware, my new favorite hardware retailer, has returned to Ingraham's show.  They say that they made the decision to pull their ads because they didn't have the whole story.

Sen. Cory Booker Violating Constitution:  Voting Against Pompeo for Religious Beliefs.  Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) announced on Friday that he will vote against CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination to become secretary of state because of Pompeo's beliefs on marriage and sexuality — beliefs consistent with Pompeo's Christian faith.  Conservative leaders are now denouncing Booker's vote as a violation of the Constitution's Religious Test Clause.  Booker sharply questioned Pompeo on Thursday [4/12/2018] during the nominee's confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referring to words Pompeo spoke at a church in his district when the current director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was still serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.

National Park Service drops entrance fees to $35 after public outcry.  After fierce public outcry, the agency is indeed hiking daily entrance fees at some of America's most popular parks by $5 to $35 a vehicle.  The new plan replaces a proposal that would have charged $70 for cars to enter perennial hotspots like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Zion, the release details.

Facebook spent nearly $9M on jets and security for Zuckerberg.  Facebook spent nearly 37 times the typical worker's salary on private security and private jets for Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's security in 2017, the company said late Friday [4/13/2018] in a Security and Exchange Commission filing.  Zuckerberg received $1 in compensation and received no stock, but the company said the company paid for his security at private residences, and during personal travel, which included the use of private aircraft.  Facebook spent $7.3 million on private security and $1.5 million in 2017 on Zuckerberg's use of private aircraft; the company spent $5.8 million on security for Zuckerberg in the year-earlier period.

Pope Francis does for church attendance what Colin Kaepernick did for NFL attendance.  The comparison is obvious.  A new Gallup poll finds a precipitous drop in Catholic Church attendance coinciding with the years of Pope Francis's papacy.  Francis is known for shoving secular statist left-wing ideology into church teachings, through both his words and his deeds, just as Colin Kaepernick did with the National Football League.  That's clear in what Pope Francis says and in whom he invites into the Vatican to provide advice.  And surprise, surprise, the result is the same:  the fans and the flock stay away.

Trump pardons ex-Cheney aide Scooter Libby.  President Trump on Friday pardoned Scooter Libby, the former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was ensnared in what was known as the "Valerie Plame affair" during the Bush administration.  "I don't know Mr. Libby," Trump said in a statement.  "But for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.  Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life."  Libby told Fox News in a brief phone call after Trump's announcement he is "pleased" his "innocence has been recognized."

Trump issues pardon for Lewis 'Scooter' Libby.  President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney who was caught up in the investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame.  "I don't know Mr. Libby," Trump said in a statement, adding, "but for years I have heard that he has been treated unfairly.  Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life."  Libby came under scrutiny in connection with the leak in 2003 of the identity of Plame, who had worked undercover overseas and was married to a prominent George W. Bush administration critic, Joseph Wilson.  Libby was never charged with leaking, but was indicted in 2005 on charges of obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to investigators, largely for denying his contacts with the media about Plame.

This Hospital Bed May Kill You.  Danger lurks for hospital patients in a place they'd least expect it — the bed.  Hospitals claim to disinfect beds in between patients.  Don't believe it.  Data from four New York hospitals prove beds are full of germs.  Patients are nearly six times as likely to come down with staph, strep or another dangerous infection if the patient who used the bed before them had it.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Will Not Be Under Oath Before Senate Committee.  When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the stand before a joint congressional panel on Tuesday [4/10/2018], he will not be under oath, Breitbart News has learned.  But he will be required by federal statute to tell the truth, and if he lies he could face serious legal consequences.  A senior Senate GOP aide helping organize the joint Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Commerce Committee hearing told Breitbart News that it is standard practice not to swear witnesses like this in under oath.  But they are required by law to tell the truth, the aide says.

U.S. Attorney John Lausch Assigned To Document Production.  Tomorrow [4/9/2018] Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce the assignment of U.S. Attorney John Lausch to facilitate the production of documents from the DOJ (Horowitz/Huber) to the House Judiciary Committee, and Chairman Bob Goodlatte.  Mr. Lausch is a Trump appointed U.S. Attorney from outside Washington DC.  John Lausch currently heads the Northern District of Illinois which includes Chicago, and this specific U.S. Attorney has extensive experience in complex cases of conspiracy and political corruption; a key skill-set given the issues within the Horowitz/Huber investigation of potential politicization of the FBI and DOJ offices.

The Limits of American Patience.  Questioning whether America can afford the status quo here and abroad is not heresy.  Assuming we can borrow our way out of any inconvenience is largely over.  What helped elect Trump was a collective weariness with demands put on a country $20 trillion in debt.  America is currently running a $57 billion a month trade deficit.

Communist China Bans Online Bible Sales — Crosses Removed From Churches.  The Communist Chinese government banned the sale of Bibles online this week and released a new document dictating its "Policies and Practices on Protecting Freedom of Religious Belief."  By Thursday, April 5, "internet searches for the Bible came up empty on leading online Chinese retailers, such as JD.com, Taobao, and Amazon," reported the New York Times.  Christianity is the only religion in China, according to The Times, in which its primary holy book, the Bible, is banned online.  Books from other religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam are available.  The Quran is not banned online.

Not much good news for DNC.  As of now, according to the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee is in debt to the tune of $6,271,605.47.  For the period between 2017-2018, total individual contributions to the DNC were $61,939,222.68, and its total cash on hand is $10,093,347.47.  That is not good news for the party trying to rally momentum for a big "blue wave" this November.  The situation is so bad that DNC Chair Tom Perez went on C-SPAN last month to spin morale out of the Intensive Care Unit: [...]

DNC Quietly Adds Another 160K In Debt, Bringing Total Debt To $6.3 Million.  The Democratic National Committee (DNC) reported more than $162,000 in additional debt in an amended FEC report filed this week.  The DNC originally reported $6.1 million in debt in its March 2018 FEC report filed on March 20 but amended that report on Monday to include an additional $162,368.64 in debt, bringing the DNC's total debt to just under $6.3 million.  The Republican National Committee (RNC) has zero debt, according to the committee's most recent FEC filings.

If Fox News' Laura Ingraham Goes Down for 'Bullying,' You're Next!  What did Fox News' Laura Ingraham say that cost her advertisers?  About David Hogg, the teenage Parkland, Florida, high school shooting survivor, Fox's Ingraham tweeted:  "David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it.  (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA ... totally predictable given acceptance rates.)" [...] Two weeks after the Parkland shooting, Hogg gave an interview to The Outline, in which the writer described Hogg as "exhausted" and "still traumatized."

Cops kill Brooklyn man wielding pipe like gun.  A man terrorizing people on the streets in Brooklyn with what appeared to be a firearm was fatally shot by cops — who later determined the weapon was not a gun but a metal pipe.  Saheed Vassell, 34 — whose family said he suffered from bi-polar disorder — was brandishing the curved metal pipe and pointing it at people at a bus stop at Utica Avenue and Empire Boulevard in Crown Heights at 4:40 p.m., according to police.  Three witnesses called 911 to report that a man wearing a brown jacket was pointing "what was described as a silver firearm at people on the street."  Surveillance footage from a Utica Avenue store shows Vassell pointing the pipe like a firearm at a person who is walking into a store.

The Editor says...
This now-deceased fellow should have been confined to a state hospital years ago.  Failing that, he should have at least had 24/7 supervision.  Now he's dead, entirely due to his own feeble-minded actions, yet he still counts as "an unarmed black man" in the statistics.

'Chappaquiddick' Is A Brutally Honest Movie Laying Bare The Kennedys For Who They Really Were.  Conservatives' expectations for honest and fair movies coming out of Hollywood are understandably low.  For decades now we have been brow-beaten and lectured by clueless celebrities on everything from saving the Spotted Owl to gun control — the latest flavor of the moment.  But a breath of fresh air is blowing in from the left coast.  The new movie 'Chappaquiddick,' from Entertainment Studios and Apex Entertainment, is a brutally honest recounting of one of America's greatest public tragedies: the death of Mary Jo Kopechne in a car owned and driven by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.)

Malaysia outlaws 'fake news'; sets jail of up to six years.  Malaysia on Monday [4/2/2018] approved a law against "fake news" that would allow for prison of up to six years for offenders, shrugging off critics who say it was aimed at curbing dissent and free speech ahead of a general election.

This Dental Office Threatens Parents Over Kids' 'Dental Neglect'.  How sharper than a serpent's tooth to have a despotic pediatric dentist.  Parents who decide, for whatever reason, that they don't like their children's oral care provider should be forewarned.  Empowered by government "mandatory reporter" laws, dental offices are now using their authority to threaten families with child abuse charges if they don't comply with the cavity police.  Mom Trey Hoyumpa shared a letter last week on Facebook from a dental office called Smiles 4 Keeps in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania.  It informed her that if she did not make a dental appointment for "regular professional cleanings" for her child, she could be charged with "dental neglect."

Historic New York City churches install metal detectors to prevent (Islamic) terrorism.  If Alexander Hamilton wanted to visit the church where he's buried today, he'd have to leave his pistol at home.  Historic Trinity Church and St. Paul's Chapel have installed metal detectors at their entrances, citing terrorism fears.  "It's a sign of the times, unfortunately," said Marc Pacheco, a tourist from Albuquerque who was visiting Trinity on Wednesday [3/28/2018].  "I'm sad that we have to have it, but it's probably necessary."

AARP accused of hard-sell marketing practices like those it warns seniors about.  In its newsletters and magazines, in congressional testimony and on its website, AARP warns seniors about deceptive direct mail and other dubious marketing come-ons as part of its mission to protect members from financial abuses.  But the huge lobbying group's own aggressive efforts to coax seniors to join or renew their memberships also have drawn a burst of criticism this year.

What The Laura Ingraham Boycott Is Really About.  Advertisers are dropping Fox News host Laura Ingraham after she made fun of Parkland survivor David Hogg this week.  On Wednesday, Ingraham tweeted a Daily Wire article mocking Hogg for whining about getting rejected by four different colleges.  It was not a smart move for a cable news host to tease a high school student over such a matter, but it was hardly as offensive as Hogg claiming Sen. Marco Rubio makes money off of dead kids.  The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student soon got the upper hand in this feud when he called for a pressure campaign against Ingraham's advertisers.  His large fanbase quickly went into action and forced several companies — including TripAdvisor, Hulu and Jos. A. Bank — to cut ties with Ingraham's Fox News program.

Stand for Laura Ingraham and a Free Press.  Laura Ingraham tweets the mildest of tweets, in this case about the news that David Hogg of Parkland student anti-gun activism fame, has been rejected by various colleges.  This news of Hogg's rejections — something totally normal in the world of being admitted to X or Y college — was put out there by Hogg himself in [a] talk with TMZ. [...] Hogg, who has made extensive use of his First Amendment free speech rights, immediately turns around and demands that a free press that displeases him — Ingraham's Fox News show — be "boycotted" by advertisers.

Uber driver takes the stairs, blames app's navigation.  An Uber driver in California ended up taking the stairs on Sunday after claiming the navigation system in the ride-sharing app told him to.  The driver, only identified as Fred by Business Insider, was reportedly driving two passengers through San Francisco, on his way to pick up a third, when he made the wrong turn just before 1:30 p.m.

Students at Florida high school stage walkout in support of Second Amendment.  A group of students at a Central Florida high school walked out of class Friday [3/30/2018] as part of a protest in support of the Second Amendment.  Some of the students who participated in the walkout at Rockledge High School told WFTV that when the movement to honor the victims and survivors of the shooting in Parkland became political, they felt silenced.

Man carrying $10 million in U.S. currency arrested at Tijuana airport.  A man carrying $10 million in U.S. currency was arrested Friday [3/30/2018] at Tijuana's A.L. Rodriguez International Airport, authorities said.  The man was taken into custody after he tried to pick up the money — bills of different denominations that had been stuffed into 31 white plastic sacks, according to a statement from Mexico's Federal Police.  He was unable to show documentation proving the shipment's legal origin, police said.

Rhode Island considers cash incentives to win new residents before Census.  One Rhode Island state representative wants to pay cash to people willing to move there, as the state faces the prospect of losing half their congressional delegation after the next census and reapportionment process.  State Rep. Carlos Tobon (D) has introduced legislation that would give families $833.33 per month — up to $10,000 — to move to Rhode Island for a year.  Those families would be counted in the 2020 census as Rhode Island residents.  The goal, Tobon said, is to attract enough residents to maintain Rhode Island's two seats in the House of Representatives at a time when most population projections show the state has not grown fast enough to warrant two seats.

The Editor says...
This could be construed as buying votes.  If you accept compensation to reside in a state for a year, specifically for the purpose of tampering with the outcome of the census, which then amplifies the power of that state in the House of Representatives, you abetting an attempt to affect the balance of power in the Congress.  Are you willing to relocate to another part of the country at the request of the highest bidder?  To migrate across state lines for a better job is one thing, but this bonus is for one year only, and $10,000 is not enough:  That's not much more than it would cost most people to move to Rhode Island, and it's certainly not enough to compensate for the high cost of living there, not to mention the cost of heating one's house in Rhode Island's long winters.  None of this matters much, because the idea is unlikely to become law.  Where is the State of Rhode Island going to get ten thousand dollars, multiplied by the number of additional residents they'd need to acquire another seat in the House of Representatives?  That would be a lot of money.

Chef sues Virginia over happy hour law, claims it is a violation of the First Amendment.  Popular D.C.-area Chef Geoff Tracy has filed a lawsuit against Virginia claiming his First Amendment rights are being violated due to the state's law on happy hour advertising.  In Virginia, happy hour is defined as a time period where alcoholic drinks are sold at a reduced price.  But bars and restaurants are very restricted at how they can advertise.  Businesses are only allowed to use the terms "happy hour" or "drink specials" for their promotions and they cannot put out anything specific regarding happy hour prices or discounted amounts when advertising outside of the business.  Virginia also prohibits two-for-one drink specials.

California Catholic school removed statue of Jesus & Mary so as not to alienate students.  Founded in 1850, San Domenico Catholic School in San Anselmo in the San Francisco Bay Area serves 671 students grades K-12, and is California's oldest independent school and first Catholic school.  The school is not an archdiocesan school, but an independent school sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael.  In an effort to make the Catholic school more "inclusive" and less "alienating" to prospective students, the school recently removed 162 Catholic statues and icons, including a statue of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus.  The statues were stored in the school's basement or donated to "appreciative recipients".

Pope Francis: 'There Is No Hell'.  In another interview with his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis claims that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just "disappear."  This is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.  The interview between Scalfari and the Pope was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica.

The Editor says...
If the quote is accurate and the Pope actually said there is no such place as Hell, he is a heretic.

Did the Pope Commit Rank Heresy?  Drudge quoted this exchange, published in La Repubblica, between Pope Francis and his atheist friend, journalist Eugenio Scalfari.  Scalfari:  "What about bad souls?  Where are they punished?"  Bad souls "are not punished," Pope Francis is quoted, "those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear.  There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls." [...] If there is no hell, is not the greatest deterrent to the worst of sins removed?  What did Christ die on the cross to save us from?  If Francis made such a statement, it would be rank heresy.

Vatican Refuses to Disavow Pope's Alleged Denial of Hell.  In reaction to reports that Pope Francis has denied the existence of hell, the Vatican has released a carefully worded statement that does not refute the substance of the claims.  "The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting for the occasion of Easter, without giving him an interview," the unsigned March 29 Vatican statement begins.  "What is reported by the author in today's article is the result of his reconstruction, in which the pope's exact words are not cited.  No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the Holy Father's words," the statement concludes.

The Editor says...
I wouldn't convert to Catholicism if you put a gun to my head.  But even a life-long Catholic should have a problem calling someone "the Holy Father" who denies the existence of Hell.  Or Heaven.  Such a person isn't holy at all.  Moreover, the Pope is undercutting his own business:  If there is no Hell, why would anyone sit through Mass every week?


Editor's note:
News items older than this are located here.




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Updated July 17, 2019.

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