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  The links will be removed when they get stale or when they are no longer valid.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.



Supreme Court:  Eastern Oklahoma is American Indian territory.  The Supreme Court ruled Thursday [7/9/2020] that a large swath of eastern Oklahoma is actually an Indian reservation belonging to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, meaning that hundreds of prosecutions could be tossed because the state does not have jurisdiction there, including in part of Tulsa.  The 5-4 decision notes that only federal prosecutors have jurisdiction over American Indians on the reservation, which includes most of Tulsa, the state's second-largest city.  Justice Neil M. Gorsuch joined the court's four liberal justices in the majority decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

NYPD limits retirement applications amid 400 percent surge this week.  New York's Finest are putting in for retirement faster than the NYPD can handle — while citing a lack of respect and the loss of overtime pay, The [New York] Post has learned.  A surge of city cops filing papers during the past week more than quadrupled last year's number — as the city grapples with a surge of shootings — and the stampede caused a bottleneck that's forcing others to delay putting in their papers, officials and sources said.  The NYPD said Wednesday that 179 cops filed for retirement between June 29 and Monday, an astounding 411-percent increase over the 35 who filed during the same time period in 2019.

Counterfeit $20 bill now part of George Floyd murder case.  The counterfeit $20 bill that cost George Floyd his life is now part of the murder case against the ex-Minneapolis cops charged in his death, according to court records made public Wednesday [7/8/2020].  The lawyer for accused former cop Thomas Lane said the crumpled bills found between the seats of Floyd's SUV put the officer on alert from the start after Floyd repeatedly reached down and ignored 10 requests to show his hand.  "From the initial interaction with Floyd and his vehicle, Lane noticed the driver and passenger in the vehicle digging underneath the seat, as if reaching for something," defense attorney Earl Gray said in a motion to dismiss charges against Lane which included photos of the bills.

Brooks Brothers Files For Bankruptcy After 202 Years Of Business.  Brooks Brothers, one of the United States' oldest and most prestigious retailers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Wednesday after 202 years, CNBC reported.  The retailer, credited with dressing 40 U.S. presidents since its founding in 1818, had already been burdened with rising rent when it was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, which sunk the company's potential sale, according to CNBC.  "Over the past year, Brooks Brothers' board, leadership team, and financial and legal advisors have been evaluating various strategic options to position the company for future success, including a potential sale of the business," a company spokesman said.

Kanye West To Run On 'Birthday Party' Ticket, Use 'Wakanda Management Model'.  Kanye West is running for president and the details of his bid for the White House are spectacular. [...] In his announcement, West said he's no longer a backer of President Donald Trump.  "I'm taking the red hat off," West told Forbes.  The reason?  "I don't like that I caught wind that he hid in the bunker," West said, referring to the time Secret Service agents took Trump to an underground safe room on May 29 amid violent riots near the White House[.]  (Trump later said he was there just to inspect the site).  But West is still a fan of the president.  "Trump is the closest president we've had in years to allowing God to still be part of the conversation," he said.

Kanye West: 'It's 'Racism and White Supremacy to Say All Black People Need to Be Democrat'.  Grammy-winning rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West ripped Joe Biden and declared that the Democratic Party has controlled black Americans to the point that "this white man can tell a black man if you don't vote for me, you're not Black."  "That is a form of racism and white supremacy and white control to say that all Black people need to be Democrat and to assume that me running is me splitting the vote.  All of that information is being charged up on social media platforms by Democrats," Kanye West said in a lengthy interview with Forbes magazine.  "And Democrats used to tell me, the same Democrats have threatened me....  The reason why this is the first day I registered to vote is because I was scared.  I was told that if I voted on Trump my music career would be over."

The Editor says...
Spoken like a man who thinks primarily of himself.

Big Tex hardest hit:
State Fair of Texas cancelled for first time since WWII due to coronavirus pandemic.  The 2020 State Fair of Texas has officially been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic — marking the first time since WWII that the annual event will not be held.  The decision was made Tuesday [7/7/2020] in a vote by the fair's board of directors.  "In the current climate of COVID-19, there is no feasible way for the Fair to put proper precautions in place while maintaining the Fair environment you know and love," board Chairwoman Gina Norris said.

The Editor says...
What a shame.  Where else can I go to enjoy a five-dollar corn dog, accompanied by a four-dollar drink?  Where else can I go to park my car in a high-crime neighborhood under the blazing Texas sun, for only $20?  Where else can I go to be aggressively approached by some nosy salesman wanting to sell me faster internet service?  Oh, wait -- that salesman is at Wal-Mart, with a table set up next to the electronics department.

2020 State Fair of Texas Canceled Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.  For just the eighth time in the fair's 134-year history, The State Fair of Texas is canceled for the upcoming season.  The fair made the announcement on their website Tuesday morning, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the reason.

FBI Director Wray says half of bureau's 5,000 counterintelligence cases are related to China.  FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday warned Americans that the Chinese government's theft of American information is taking place on so large a scale, suspected incidents make up nearly half of his bureau's counterintelligence cases.  Speaking at an event hosted by the Hudson Institute in Washington, Wray said that Chinese thefts amount to "one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history," and that the American people are the victims.

Officer cleared after appearing to flash white power sign at Oregon protest.  The Oregon State Police on Sunday [7/5/2020] cleared a trooper who appeared to make a white power symbol during a Black Lives Matter protest in Salem, Oregon, over the weekend.  In a statement, authorities said the trooper made the gesture after seeing a skirmish during the event at the Oregon Capitol on Saturday.  He was checking on a man who had been knocked to the ground, police said.  Footage of the protest, which was streamed live on social media, shows a trooper observing counter-protesters during the demonstration.  The officer then walks towards one of the counter-protesters and flashes the "OK" hand gesture, which is used among extremist circles to signal "white power," according to the Anti Defamation League.  The counter-protester is then seen patting the officer on the back.  NBC News is not publishing or linking to the video to avoid providing a platform to apparent expressions of hate or white supremacy.

The Editor says...
If you re-define a harmless hand gesture that has been in use for many decades, you are to blame if someone misconstrues its use.  I had no idea, until a few months ago, that this gesture had been hijacked (mostly by the news media, since there aren't that many white supremacists) as some sort of hateful symbol.

Burgess Owens:  America Will See a 'Renaissance' with Trump Re-Elected, GOP House.  Utah congressional Republican candidate Burgess Owens told Breitbart News Saturday that America will see a "true renaissance" with President Donald Trump re-elected for a second term and a Republican majority in the House of Representatives.  Owens — a former Oakland Raiders safety and Super Bowl champion — recently won Utah's fourth congressional district primary.  The black conservative hopes to unseat freshman swing district Democrat Rep. Ben McAdams.

The Editor says...
Now is the time to build more prisons.  If the Democrats win, the prisons will be full of people who used to wear red MAGA hats.  If the Republicans win, they could be filled with rioters, looters, and other violent criminals, of which there is no shortage.

US population growth is driven ONLY by minorities with the white population declining for the first time in the nation's history.  Population growth in the United States has been driven only by minorities in the last decade, according to a new report.  Data analysis by Brookings suggests the last decade will also be the first in America's history where the white population declined in numbers.  Estimates released by the US Census Bureau ahead of the 2020 results show that last year, for the first time, more than 50 percent of those under 16 also identified as a racial or ethnic minority.

Amazon driver in Detroit quits job on Twitter, leaves package-filled van with keys in the ignition.  Here's why he did it.  Among the grievances that led [Derick] Lancaster to quit:  He said he was late getting to his sister's recent graduation party because he was working, and he felt constant pressure to deliver more packages — and to do it faster.  Lancaster said after he left the van, he called a Lyft and went home, until he came to his senses hours later and returned to the gas station and waited for someone from Amazon to pick up the van.  He also got back on Twitter and posted a live video about why his job and mental health wasn't worth $15.50 an hour.  Since the pandemic began, Amazon workers nationwide have called out sick in protest and held rallies to raise awareness about what they say are unsafe and harsh working conditions.

Home Depot removes spools of ropes from its shelves after customer started making nooses in stores.  The Home Depot has changed the way it displays rope for sale after nooses made from spooled rope were discovered in several of its stores, most recently last month in North Carolina.  The home improvement giant has removed giant spools of rope from every one of its US locations and has switched to selling pre-cut rope in lengths that are most commonly sold, Home Depot spokesperson Margaret Smith told DailyMail.com

CBO predicts V-shaped recovery, GDP growth to top 12% for rest of 2020.  The Congressional Budget Office is predicting the economy will come roaring out of the coronavirus recession with growth surging to 12.4% the rest of this year, before settling back into the longer-term trend of about half that.  Unemployment will peak at more than 14% but "fall quickly" as the economy rebounds later this year and into next year, the CBO said in its new update Thursday [7/2/2020]. But it will still be at nearly 6% in 2024, and through the end of the decade will never reach the historically low levels of just a few months ago, CBO said.

CNN Reporter Robbed at Knifepoint on Live TV.  It doesn't matter what part of the globe you're in — if you work for fake news CNN, bad things will find you.  That's what happened to CNN Brasil reporter Bruna Macedo, who was robbed at knifepoint during a live report in São Paolo on Saturday [6/27/2020].  Macedo was reporting on rising water levels at Bandeiras Bridge in São Paolo when a man in a hoodie was lurking around on camera behind the reporter.  It didn't take long for him to make his move.

Rich Hamptons residents rush to hire private security guards after protests.  With protesters descending on the Hamptons this summer, rich New Yorkers with second homes on the East End are looking for more protection than just their hedges.  Wealthy Hamptonites are rushing to hire security guards to keep them safe from the threat of unrest, The [New York] Post has learned.  Charlie McArdle, co-founder of CM Security Consulting, says business is booming in the moneyed enclave, and that he's gotten a flood of calls after Thursday's protests, which targeted the Hamptons homes of figures such as Mayor Mike Bloomberg, real estate mogul Stephen Ross and Blackstone CEO Steven Schwarzman.  "My clients range from the 1 percenters to people who are concerned about the political climate and what's going on today," McArdle said.

Wisconsin police officer fatally shoots black man allegedly wielding knives, family says race played role.  A black man was shot a killed by a Wisconsin police officer Thursday [7/2/2020] after authorities say he chased a woman with a pair of knives and then advanced on the officer.  Family members of Kevan Ruffin, 32, said he had psychiatric issues but believe his race played a role in the shooting.  Sheboygan, Wis., Police Chief, Christopher Domagalski said police officers responded to a call that a man was chasing a women with "sai-style" kitchen knives at around 5:50 a.m.

Broadcasting legend Hugh Downs dead at 99.  Broadcasting legend Hugh Downs died at age 99 on Wednesday night [7/1/2020] surrounded by loved ones, according to CBS' Arizona affiliate.  Downs' historic career lasted over 60 years, with memorable work on "20/20," "Today" and "The Tonight Show."  He famously co-anchored "20/20" alongside Barbara Walters where the duo became beloved by millions.

Epstein 'sex slave' Virginia Giuffre, Alan Dershowitz both lose in new court ruling.  Attorneys for alleged Jeffrey Epstein "sex slave" Virginia Roberts Giuffre were ordered Wednesday [7/1/2020] to destroy evidence from her case against Ghislaine Maxwell — as lawyer Alan Dershowitz was also denied access to the potentially explosive information.  Manhattan federal Judge Loretta Preska said she was "troubled" to learn during oral arguments last week that Giuffre's lawyers, from the firm of Cooper & Kirk, had been given sealed records from her since-settled suit against Maxwell, who Giuffre claims recruited her to have sex with Epstein and his pals while she was underage.

New GOP Ad Issues Powerful Warning About Democrats Threatening American Culture.  On Wednesday, the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released a powerful new ad warning about vandals and rioters destroying a key monument in American culture — the presidents on Mount Rushmore.  While the vandals are not likely to actually deface Mount Rushmore anytime soon, their iconoclastic movement has already targeted each of the four presidents on the monument — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.

Twitter alternative Parler faces growth obstacle:  Too few liberals.  The self-proclaimed "unbiased" platform Parler has the potential to become a mainstream platform, social media analysts say, but its one-sided political audience could stunt its growth.  "If Parler can't grow beyond its current conservative user base, it will be a trend that quickly fades.  It's going to need to get more diversified users and diversified content," social media marketing expert and Digital Trailblazer owner Todd Getts told the Washington Examiner.

The Editor says...
A one-sided audience might inhibit advertising sales, but otherwise, there is nothing to be gained by recruiting left-wing extremists to join the platform.

Bottles And Trash Thrown At NYPD Responding To Crimes.  This story is from the weekend, but I wanted to circle back to it as it seems to be emblematic of what's going on in New York City these days in terms of the ability of the police to maintain order in the Big Apple.  Early Sunday morning, the police were dispatched to a scene were gunfire was reported.  Upon arriving at the Harlem neighborhood where the report originated, they were greeted by the sight of hundreds of people having some sort of party in the streets.  But rather than helping the officers look for any possible shooter in the vicinity, dozens of partygoers began pelting the police cruisers with rocks, bottles and garbage.  The cops were so badly outnumbered that there was virtually nothing they could do to address the original report.

Knoxville police regain access to computer system following ransomware attack.  The Knoxville Police Department regained use of its in-car computers more than two weeks after a ransomware attack shuttered the reporting system the officers use.  KPD previously announced officers would not respond to car crashes unless they involved injury or a disabled vehicle blocking traffic because they couldn't access their electronic reporting system.

Trump congratulates Boebert for win in Colorado primary.  President Trump congratulated Lauren Boebert late Tuesday night after the pro-gun businesswoman defeated Rep. Scott Tipton, who represented his Colorado district for five terms in Congress.  "Congratulations on a really great win!" Trump tweeted.  Trump's tweet linked to a post from her Twitter account from back in May where she described herself as a tough fighter against socialism and advocate for the Second Amendment.

University of California SF pays ransomware hackers $1.14 million to salvage research.  The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) has admitted to paying a partial ransom demand of $1.14 million to recover files locked down by a ransomware infection.  The university was struck on June 1, where malware was found in the UCSF School of Medicine's IT systems.  Administrators quickly attempted to isolate the infection and ringfence a number of systems that prevented the ransomware from traveling to the core UCSF network and causing further damage.  While the school says the cyberattack did not affect "our patient care delivery operations, overall campus network, or COVID-19 work," UCSF servers used by the school of medicine were encrypted.

China Is Buying Up Dozens of U.S. Commercial Airliners.  We Should Be Worried.  After years of aggression, broken promises and falsehoods, most recently about the coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has finally begun to face the consequences of its misconduct.  On behalf of industries that range from technology to pharmaceuticals, the United States is fighting back against the Chinese.  Why then is it looking the other way as Chinese companies buy up the commercial aircraft that Americans fly?

Black cop charged in George Floyd's death joined force to stop discrimination.  The black officer charged in the death of George Floyd had joined the force to protect other young black men from police abuse, arguing more cops like himself could change the Minneapolis force.  Now J. Alexander Kueng is being denounced by members of his own family.  Kueng's mission to change the reputation of the department was rooted in seeing friends — even a sister, Taylor Kueng — treated badly by law enforcement officers, the New York Times reported.  Still, Kueng defended authorities, including the sheriff's deputies who arrested his sibling, telling his friends and relatives the best way to fix the department was from within, not by public demonstrations.

Comey miniseries gets pre-election airdate, after director pleads for chance to sway voters.  Showtime miniseries based on former FBI Director James Comey's memoir has been rescheduled to debut before Election Day, after its creator made an emotional plea for a chance to sway presidential voters.  Billy Ray, who wrote and directed "The Comey Rule," recoiled after learning Showtime originally planned to debut it in late November.  Ray wrote an angry letter to his cast and crew about the post-election date obtained by Deadline.com.  The note suggests a collective agenda behind the project:  ["]I know what a disappointment this is to you.  It is for me too — because while I've made movies about my country before, this was the first time I ever made a movie for my country.  We all were hoping to get this story in front of the American people months before the coming election. [..."]

Disney to retheme Splash Mountain in Orlando and California to Princess and the Frog.  Disney will retheme Splash Mountain to its only film to feature a Black princess, The Princess and the Frog.  Disney announced Thursday [6/25/2020] that the ride — currently themed to a film some Disney fans say is the company's most racist, "Song of the South" — will get a makeover at both Walt Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.

Army ditches officer promotion photos to combat bias, says strength 'comes from our diversity'.  The U.S. Army says its time to ditch photos in officer promotion board packages as a way guaranteeing a diverse racial aesthetic.  The move, which will go into effect Aug. 1, was confirmed by Military.com on Thursday and comes shortly after the creation of the "Defense Board on Diversity and Inclusion."  "The strength of our Army comes from our diversity," leaders wrote in a memo obtained by the defense website.  "Developing and maintaining qualified and demographically diverse leadership is critical for mission effectiveness and is essential to national security."

The Editor says...
Exactly the opposite is true.  The strength of the Army comes from uniformity, not diversity.  Diversity adds nothing but confusion.  Just ask anyone who worked on the Tower of Babel.

US puts sanctions on 5 Iranian ship captains for bringing oil to Venezuela.  The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Iranian ship captains who delivered oil to Venezuela, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reaffirmed Washington's backing for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido.  Speaking at a news conference, Pompeo said the ships delivered about 1.5 million barrels of Iranian gasoline and related components, and warned mariners against doing business with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, whose ouster Washington seeks.

GOP Lawmaker Forces DOJ Whistleblower To Admit He Sought Job With Democrats During Trump Impeachment.  A Justice Department official turned whistleblower appeared caught off-guard Wednesday when Republican Rep. Doug Collins pressed him in a House Judiciary Committee hearing about his efforts in 2019 to work for House Democrats during the Trump impeachment saga.  John Elias, a chief of staff to the Justice Department's assistant attorney general in the antitrust division, reluctantly conceded at the hearing that he sought a position on the Democratic side of the House Judiciary Committee.  Elias was one of three witnesses who accused Attorney General William Barr of abuse of his authority at the Judiciary hearing.

Black citizens chase punk robbing old white man, make him give money back.  While you would be hard-pressed to believe it watching cable news these days, there really are two Americas.  There is the version portrayed nightly on your TV and computer screens, by a liberal media fully invested in a racially-divisive narrative ahead of the presidential election, and there is the America most of us live in.  An example of the latter world was captured in a video making the rounds on social media, featuring a black woman and her brother chasing down a younger black man, who appears to have just robbed an old white man.

We Appear to Have the Winner of the 'Most Conservative District' in New York.  State Senator Chris Jacobs declared victory Tuesday night in the special election for New York's 27th congressional district, held to replace former Rep. Chris Collins (R) after his resignation following insider trading charges.  NY-27 has been classified as the "most conservative district" in the state of New York, so there were plenty of eyes on this one.  In his win, Jacobs defeated attorney Beth Parlato, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, and the lone Democratic candidate Nate McMurray.  McMurray has yet to concede, but Jacobs's team says there's no way, even with absentee ballots, that the Democrat can make up the deficit.  President Trump endorsed Jacobs, touting him as a congressman who would be strong on many of the issues conservatives care about.

Assistant principal at Staten Island high school is investigated after 'racist' rant on Facebook.  The New York City Department of Education has launched an investigation into a troubling Facebook post penned by an employee of a Staten Island high school.  Deborah Morse-Cunningham, who serves as the assistant principal of New Dorp High School, is still at work despite sharing a lengthy status update in which she pondered the nature of privilege by referring to a number of racial stereotypes.  'What is privilege?' Morse-Cunningham asked in the post, which has now been deleted.  'Privilege is wearing $200 sneakers when you've never had a job.  Privilege is wearing $300 Beats headphones while living on public assistance.  Privilege is living in public subsidized housing where you don't have a water bill, where rising property taxes and rents and energy costs have absolutely no effect on the amount of food you can put on your table.'

The Editor says...
How is that "a troubling Facebook post"?  What did she say that isn't true?

Whistleblower Claims Chinese Communists Pay Vatican $2 Billion in Bribes.  Exiled Chinese dissident Guo Wengui alleged this weekend the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) "allocates $2 billion a year" to pay off the Vatican for its silence concerning Chinese atrocities.  In a June 20th interview on The War Room, Mr. Guo said the CCP earmarks massive sums each year to win the allegiance of foreign countries including the Vatican, Italy, and Australia.  Among them, the Vatican receives up to 2 billion dollars from the Chinese Communist Party every year, he said.

Due to Seattle's unrest, [a] billion-dollar investment firm [is] moving to Phoenix.  Coronavirus pandemic or not, an investment advisory company is leaving the cultural unrest in Seattle and moving its headquarters to Phoenix's Camelback Corridor. [...] [President and CEO Cole] Smead said that although taxes in Seattle are lower, candidate recruitment is harder and the cost of living within the city is more expensive than Phoenix.

Berman refused to criticize de Blasio over social distancing rules for religious gatherings, not protests: report.  Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, refused to sign a letter criticizing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) for okaying protests but not religious gatherings a day before Attorney General William Barr announced he would be replaced, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday [6/22/2020].  Justice Department supervisors asked both Berman and Eric Dreiband, the head of the agency's civil rights division, to sign the letter, but after a brief back-and-forth, Berman objected to its characterization of de Blasio's handling of the protests as a double standard and said signing the letter would hurt relations between the city and his office, the newspaper reported, citing people familiar with the matter.  The letter was never sent.  It is unclear whether the episode contributed to the Justice Department's removal of Berman.

Digital Yuan:  China's Plan to Topple the U.S. Dollar.  There are many qualified candidates for the title of second most consequential event of 2020, right after coronavirus and its associated worldwide economic implosion.  The global reach of the George Floyd protests comes to mind, as does the still-unfolding China-India clash in the Himalayas.  Perhaps North Korea or Iran will deliver another crisis unto the world.  Possibly more deserving than any of these, however, is China's planned rollout of its digital yuan, through which the Communist Party intends to upend the U.S.-led financial world order.

Hackers Doxxed More Than 200 Law Enforcement Agencies.  The hacker group known as "Distributed Denial of Secrets" on Friday released 10 years' worth of data from more than 200 law enforcement agencies across the nation.  The doxxing, being dubbed "BlueLeaks," includes "hundreds of thousands of documents," including "police and FBI reports, bulletins, guides, and more."  The documents are 269 [gigabytes].  The group's Twitter account stated the information is being released anonymously, but they took no part in actually obtaining it.  The release was done as protests and riots over the death of George Floyd continue across the nation.  DDOS co-founder Emma Best told Wired that people began sifting through the documents to learn more about how law enforcement is tracking and communicating with one another about the protests.

In Venezuela, 'Enforced Disappearance' Is Used by the Regime to Keep People In Line.  Earlier this week I wrote about the continued deterioration of democracy in Venezuela.  Specifically, the Maduro loyalists on Venezuela's Supreme Court announced they were handing control of two opposition parties to individuals who had previously left the parties and joined the Maduro regime.  Today a human rights group has published a report documenting how "politicallly-motivated detentions" have become a major tool of repression in Venezuela.

Facebook breaks [its] own free-speech policy over bogus 'symbol of hate' charge.  Facebook employees are apparently creating exceptions to CEO Mark Zuckerberg's vow to refrain from policing political speech:  On Thursday, the social-media giant took down a Trump-campaign ad — citing a preposterous rationale.  "We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate," a Facebook spokesman said:  They showed a red, upside-down triangle similar to what Nazis used to classify political prisoners, so they violated the platform's ban on "using a hate group's symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol."  Huh?  There are no political prisoners in question here.  And Team Trump was clearly condemning the symbol — which is indeed linked to antifa — because the ad included the words:  "STOP ANTIFA."  In any event, most Americans probably have no idea that the triangle is linked to either the Nazis or antifa.  Indeed, a campaign spokesman notes that Facebook itself "has an inverted red triangle emoji in use."

Hillsdale College Refuses To Bow To The Totalitarian Mob.  The nationally recognized liberal arts institution Hillsdale College has a history of defying political pressure in order to uphold what is good and true.  Its recent refusal to give in to the demands of those who think a public statement is necessary to fight social injustice is just the most recent example.  Some of the college's alumni publicly pushed their alma mater to comment on the recent controversies regarding the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests and riots.  When a petition began circulating calling on the college to release a statement, arguing that its "silence" supported violence, the college responded in an open letter. [...] Hillsdale was founded by abolitionists in 1844 and has, since its inception, pledged to educate all students, "irrespective of nation, color, or sex."  Such strong anti-discrimination practices were viewed as fiercely radical at the time, and made Hillsdale among the first in the nation to grant education to black Americans and the second in the nation to provide four-year liberal arts degrees to women.

In a world of sheep-like conformity, Hillsdale College takes a stand.  [Scroll down]  In the 20th century, as myriad colleges gave up their intellectual independence chasing after state and federal money (and, it seems, Chinese money), Hillsdale refused to do so.  As it has since its founding, it depends entirely on private donations and tuition to meet its needs.  Hillsdale is also one of the few colleges in America that continues the classic inquiring tradition of a liberal education, rather than falling in line with academic leftism and mindless obedience.  In sum, Hillsdale is a bastion of intellectual liberty, founded on a moral and historic bedrock dedicated to the equal rights of all people, regardless of race or sex.  So, of course, people began insisting that it issue a statement supporting Black Lives Matter.

Canceled: Hispanic Man Loses Job Over 'White Power' Hand Gesture Accusation.  He Was Cracking His Knuckles.  The fanatical urge to purge and punish wrong-think is claiming scalps across the country, and one of its latest victims is a blue collar, Mexican-American worker in Southern California.  Via San Diego's NBC affiliate, this is yet another installment of weaponized political correctness harming innocent people — as the practitioners of paranoid, irrational cancel culture run roughshod over any semblance of common sense, logic, or grace.  Everything about this is cartoonishly insane.

Sick, Twisted and Evil — Six eBay Executives Charged With Disturbing Cyberstalking.  This is so purposefully evil it almost seems unbelievable.  If you ever wondered how twisted and deranged a group of Silicon Valley executives could be this might provide some context.  This is what happens when Antifa-types get jobs.

Six Former eBay Employees Charged with Aggressive Cyberstalking Campaign Targeting Natick Couple.  Six former employees of eBay, Inc. have been charged with leading a cyberstalking campaign targeting the editor and publisher of a newsletter that eBay executives viewed as critical of the company.  The alleged harassment included sending the couple anonymous, threatening messages, disturbing deliveries — including a box of live cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody pig mask — and conducting covert surveillance of the victims.

Feds take on Nigerian internet fraud, freeze assets of six scammers.  The Treasury Department said Tuesday that it has frozen the assets of six Nigerian scammers who targeted American businesses and widows for internet fraud, hoping the same financial tools used against terrorism and drug cartels can make a dent in email phishing scams.  Government officials called the sanctions an "extraordinary step" as the Justice Department announced fraud and identity theft indictments against the six men, all of whom are still at large.  Those announcements were made a day after federal prosecutors in Boston announced that they had arrested and charged two Nigerian men who they say are responsible for stealing coronavirus unemployment benefit money.

Aunt Jemima to remove image from packaging and rename brand.  The breakfast brand Aunt Jemima is removing its logo and will be renamed, amid public outcry that the branding perpetuated a racist stereotype, its parent company said Wednesday [6/17/2020].  Quaker Oats said in a statement that the longtime brand will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from its packaging starting at the end of 2020, and the name change will happen at a later date. [...] Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, owns the Aunt Jemima brand, which has been around for more than 130 years.

The Editor says...
This is better than a caption contest.  Stand by for a whole series of memes featuring insensitive and politically incorrect new names for this product, as well as some innovative packaging ideas all over the internet.

Beverly Hills tells BLM protesters to scram; gatherings limited to 10 at night for 'tranquility'.  The wealthy stars in Beverly Hills support large Black Lives Matter protests — provided they're held elsewhere.  The city issued an ban on any gatherings over 10 people after 9 p.m. until further notice to "preserve peace and tranquility."

Panic In Beverly Hills:  Emergency Order Bans Protests In Residential Areas.  The rich and famous are all about protesting and declaring themselves down with the struggle until protesters forget their place and invade residential areas of Beverly Hills.  Then the masks drop.  It's the ultimate Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) — the City of Beverly Hills issued an emergency order Saturday night [6/13/2020] that bans public gatherings of more than 10 people in residential areas between 9 PM and 8 AM.  What brought this on?  Well, it seems a group calling themselves "Occupy" disrupted the beauty sleep of locals in their posh neighborhood on June 12 between the hours of 10 PM until 1 AM.  The group used bullhorns and "amplified music".  The residents want their tranquility back.  The emergency order remains in effect until further notice.

Disney Mum on Splash Mountain Outcry.  There is a growing call for Disney to rebrand one of its classic rides, which is intertwined with arguably the company's most controversial film.  Amid the ongoing worldwide anti-racism protests in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a number of discussions have taken place about previously accepted symbols of historical division in America.  There have been some direct results from the renewed outcry, such as NASCAR banning the use of the Confederate flag at races and the country band Lady Antebellum renaming itself "Lady A."  Disney has found itself in the middle of the debate due to Splash Mountain, the ride featured at a number of its theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  The ride features characters from the 1946 film Song of the South, a movie so overtly out-of-touch and racist, Disney chairman and former CEO Bob Iger made it a point to note the film would never be available for purchase or made to stream on Disney+.  (Vintage VHS copies are going for north of $100 on eBay).

NYPD investigating whether three cops were served poisoned milkshakes at downtown Manhattan Shake Shack.  Three police officers fell ill Monday after drinking milkshakes at a Manhattan Shake Shack, and the NYPD was investigating if they were poisoned with bleach.  The officers ordered a meal at the burger chain's location at Broadway and Fulton St. at about 8:30 p.m. and noticed their shakes tasted strange, police sources said.  One of the officers noticed a "clump of something" in one of their cups, and a second cop smelled bleach before all three fell ill, sources said.

NYPD officers taken to hospital after drinking milk shakes at Shake Shack: cops.  Three NYPD police officers were taken to the hospital on Monday night after drinking milkshakes at a Shake Shack in the city that they said had an unfamiliar taste, police officials told Fox News.  It was later determined that there was "no criminality" after police investigated the scene.  "After a thorough investigation by the NYPD's Manhattan South investigators, it has been determined that there was no criminality by shake shack's employees," Chief Rodney Harrison, the head of detectives for the department, announced on Twitter.

Update / opposing viewpoint:
Oops: Four NYPD Officers Poisoned At Restaurant — By Accident.  Detectives determined that the employees failed to properly rinse the milkshake machines after cleaning them as usual with a bleach solution, CNN reported shortly afterward. [...] It was just random chance, therefore, that the first customers who ordered milkshakes turned out to be cops.

The Editor says...
Even if this explanation is true, the cops could still sue the restaurant.

NYPD Cops 'Intentionally Poisoned' With Bleach In Drinks From Shake Shack.  After an investigation, the NYPD says there is no criminality involved, suggesting the drinks were poisoned by accident.  "NYPD finds no criminality by Shake Shack workers in case of sickened cops," remarked John Cardillo.  "Well this is odd as most places don't bleach paper cups.  I guess the bleach jumped into the milkshakes on its own."

Shake Shack 'Horrified' NYPD Cops' Drinks May Have Had Bleach.  Three NYPD officers were sickened by a cleaning solution that was left in the drink machine their milkshakes came from when they dined at a Shake Shack in Lower Manhattan Monday night, police said.  After a thorough investigation, the NYPD said it found no criminality by Shake Shack's employees, according to Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.  The three cops from the Bronx were assigned to watch over protests in Manhattan and they went into the burger chain at Fulton Center around 8:30 p.m., according to the union.  After eating their meals and drinking some of their milkshakes, the officers discovered some toxic substance in their beverages, the union said.

Update:
Update: NYPD Denies that Officers [were] Poisoned at Shake Shack.  NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison declares that an investigation of the incident did not find evidence of a crime from any Shake Shack employees.

The Editor says...
How did this story gain so much traction so quickly?  Because it is 100 percent believable, at a time when anti-police demonstrations are underway in major cities.  If I were a cop, I'd be extremely suspicious of the employees in every restaurant.

Insanity at the Poetry Foundation.  You may not pay much attention to the Poetry Foundation, possibly because you are under the impression that, as the modesty of its name and goals imply, it is a struggling little outfit.  Perhaps you picture a staff of a few miserable editors working in some backroom in threadbare cardigans, warming their hands over the only heat they can afford, which is generated by setting fire to their own rejected manuscripts.  The Poetry Foundation is, however, more like the Palace of Versailles of cultural nonprofits.  Its endowment is fat with a quarter of a billion dollars of assets, according to the New York Times, thanks to the generosity of the late pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly, who gave the Chicago foundation $100 million in 2002 before her death in 2009.  Those who would like to transfer this fortune from the Poetry Foundation to their own bank accounts are using the favored tool of the day, which is to issue a thundering race-based denunciation.  As usual, this tactic is working well.

The Editor says...
I had never heard of the Poetry Foundation until now, and now that I've heard of it, I can't imagine what this organization does that requires so much money.

Florida police chief takes a knee, loses his SWAT team.  Is there anything more pathetic than a leader whose charges have all simply walked away?  Hard to look big and powerful when that happens.  That's the pretty picture in Hallandale Beach, where the entire SWAT team resigned after the police chief and members of his command staff took a knee in religious obeisance to the Black Lives Matter anti-police activist group.

Entire SWAT Team in Florida City Resigns in Response to Police Chief Kneeling with Black Lives Matter Protesters.  An entire SWAT team in Hallandale Beach, Florida resigned on Friday in response to Police Chief Sonia Quinones kneeling with Black Lives Matter protesters.  The police chief scheduled a meeting for Monday [6/15/2020] with the officers who resigned to hear their complaints.  In a memo, the SWAT officers said in addition to being under trained and minimally equipped, they were outraged to see the police chief kneeling with political activists.

Cops to America:  You won't have to abolish police, we're outta here.  Mike O'Meara, the president of the New York State Police Benevolent Association, is not the only cop fed up and exasperated with mainstream America's incessant demonization of all law enforcement officers.  Not by a long shot.  So is Travis Yates, a 27-year Tulsa cop who "grew up in a law enforcement family" but is now warning of an incoming police exodus.  In a powerful, nearly 1500-word long column published last week at LawOfficer.com, Yates poured his heart out over the growing disrespect for law enforcement that he's seen as the decades have progressed.

Truck Drivers Say They Will Not Deliver to Dangerous Far Left Cities with Defunded Police Departments.  77% of truck drivers say they will not deliver to far left cities with defunded police departments.  Nor should they.  Truck driving is a dangerous profession.  Far left mayors and violent rioters make it deadly.  Here's a scene from a "peaceful protest" last week that did not end well for the trucker.  The mob yanked him from his cab and beat him senseless.  [Video clip]

State to relitigate Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby abortion decision.  The state of Illinois apparently has decided to relitigate the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, which concluded the First Amendment prevents the government from ordering religious believers to violate their conscience by requiring them to pay for abortion.  In response, the Thomas More Society is suing the state "to challenge a law requiring all health insurance policies sold in the state to provide coverage for elective chemical and surgical abortions, with no exemptions, even for churches."

A New Silent Majority Is Coming.  Led by a media that is at once delusional and cynical — an eye-rolling combination — America is in the throes of a national madness.  Few are able to tell the truth — and when they do, they are attacked by the mob, not only in the street, but in the board room.  Just the other day, talk show host Tucker Carlson opened his mouth about the well-documented dishonest origins (the lie about Michael Brown) of Black Lives Matter and sent advertisers skittering like so many scared rabbits.  You have the sensation that people across the country are hiding what they really think for fear of repercussions, retribution that will destroy their lives and livelihood.  And they're not being stupid.  It could — and has.

Twitter removes 170,000 accounts associated with Chinese misinformation campaigns.  Twitter announced Thursday [6/11/2020] that it deleted more than 170,000 accounts associated with Chinse state-linked misinformation campaigns.  The social media company published an archive of 32,242 accounts related to state-linked information operations including three attributed to China, Russia and Turkey, adding that data from the accounts was shared with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and Stanford Internet Observatory.

Cancel culture goes crazy, claiming classics, cartoons and the confederacy.  All right, this time they've gone too far.  As part of a sweeping reassessment of all things either favorable to the police or upsetting to the black community, the latest target is "Paw Patrol."  That's right.  No less an authority than the New York Times informs us that the Nick Jr. cartoon — featuring a squad of canines running around helping other creatures — is too positive toward the cops.  After the show tweeted an appeal for black voices to be heard, the commenters started growling:  "Defund the paw patrol."  "Euthanize the police dog."  "All dogs go to heaven, except the class traitors in the Paw Patrol."

Black Lives Matter Website, 'Defund The Police' Donations Go to 'Act Blue', The 'Biden For President' Campaign's Top Source of Donations.  The National Pulse can reveal the Black Lives Matter website — the organization spearheading nationwide "defund the police" campaigns — is partnered with ActBlue, a Democrat fundraising platform that is the top donor to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, responsible for raising nearly 99.64 percent of the Biden for President effort.  While the Biden campaign insists it doesn't support efforts to defund the police, it may happily profit from Black Lives Matter (BLM) efforts, and is complicit in taking money from an organization partnered with those spearheading the dangerous policy that has already taken root in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles.

BUSTED! DNC Gets Caught Laundering Money Through Black Lives Matter.  The Democratic National Committee and the Democrats are really as corrupt as they come.  It is absolutely unreal what they get away with.  Last year, we learned about a lot of overseas donations from foreign entities to Democrats including former presidential candidates such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Adam Schiff, but ther were a number of others as well.  It appears as though the BlackLivesMatter.com website that it is an international money laundering scheme and a front for the DNC to generate money from people across the world.

Merriam-Webster To Change Dictionary Definition of "Racism" to Show Only White People are Racist.  The root of the issue here is how to define racism.  Racism, obviously, means disliking another race, viewing it as 'bad'.  That's a definition that black nationalists and their leftist allies really hate because it raises the possibility that Farrakhan, Sharpton, or Tamika Mallory can be racist.  Instead they define racism as a system of oppression so that only people with power can be racist and only white people have power.  Therefore Farrakhan can't possibly be racist.  This wasn't a fringe idea.  Obama was one of the more prominent figures who implicitly championed it The usual tell for someone who is pushing this is their use of "reverse racism" to refer to racism by minorities, all the while insisting that reverse racism doesn't exist.  Now in the dumpster fire of 2020, Merriam-Webster will be redefining racism.

Leaked 2015 Democrat Memo Warned Lawmakers 'Don't Offer Support' for 'Radical' Black Lives Matter.  A leaked 2015 internal Democrat Party memo warned top House Democrats not to embrace the Black Lives Matter movement because it was described by the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as a "radical movement."  The memo, from then-DCCC official Troy Perry addressed to "DCCC Staff" on Thursday Nov. 19, 2015, noted that the Democrats' 2016 presidential candidates "have struggled to respond to tactics of the Black Lives Matter movement."  Perry was at the time he wrote this the DCCC's Director of Diversity and Public Engagement. [...] Perry warned recipients of his memo in the next line that it was top secret and confidential — not to be shared with anyone.  "This document should not be emailed or handed to anyone outside of the building," he wrote.  "Please only give campaign staff these best practices in meetings or over the phone."

Cox slows an entire neighborhood's internet after one person's 'excessive use'.  Cable company Cox Communications is slowing internet speeds of a whole neighborhood if one resident is a heavy user, Ars Technica reported.  Cox confirmed that it does enact neighborhood-wide slowdowns to discourage what it calls "excessive use," but didn't specify how many users it would take for this to happen.  One Florida customer said he was warned about his data usage before Cox responded by slowing upload speeds on his gigabyte internet plan with unlimited data from 35 Mbps to 10 Mbps for the customer and all of his neighbors.

'Cops' canceled amid George Floyd protests.  The long-running reality-TV show "Cops" has been canceled, a casualty of the George Floyd protests.  The show, which began in 1989, was pulled from the schedule of the Paramount Network several days ago, and Tuesday [6/9/2020] the network said it won't be coming back.  "'Cops' is not on the Paramount Network and we don't have any current or future plans for it to return," a Paramount Network spokesperson told Variety magazine in a statement.

Corcoran realtor fired for using photo of NYPD van on fire to sell homes.  A Corcoran realtor has been fired for trying to lure Big Apple home buyers to Florida — by using a photo of an NYPD van in flames during the recent George Floyd protests.  "Looking for Change?" South Florida agent Joseph Swedroe asked in an email blast — juxtaposing the engulfed cop vehicle with images of boating and sandy beaches in the Sunshine State, according to The Real Deal.  His email asked potential buyers if they wanted to live in "chaos or comfort," alluding to violent clashes and looting that rocked the city during mass protests over Floyd's death, the real estate site said.  Swedroe — a licensed real estate agent since 2010 — insisted there was "nothing offensive" in his blast because "everything in the email was easily available online, or in the newspaper or on TV."

Petition language to recall Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved by state board.  The language in a petition to recall Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for the signing of nine of her executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic has been approved by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers.  Albion resident Chad Baase, 39, was successful in his third attempt at coming up with "clear and factual" language to move forward with the recall petition process.  He and his group — the Committee to Recall Governor Gretchen Whitmer — must come up with more than 1 million signatures from registered voters in 60 days or less to trigger a recall election.

"We Effectively Have A Zimbabwe Fed" - John Williams Warns "The System Is Bankrupt".  While the country was distracted with the Covid-19 lockdown and economic crisis, the Federal Reserve made a huge banking requirement change never before done in history.  The Fed cut "...reserve requirement ratios to zero percent effective March 26, 2020.  This action eliminated reserve requirements for all depository institutions."  What does this profound change mean?

Stan Wischnowski resigns as The Philadelphia Inquirer's top editor.  Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, has announced his resignation, days after discontent among the newspaper's staff erupted over a headline on a column about the impact of the civil unrest following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. [...] It was the placement of an insensitive headline over Inga Saffron's column in the Tuesday [6/2/2020] newspaper that may have set the stage for Wischnowski's departure.  He joined the two other top editors in signing an apology to readers and staff, characterizing the headline, "Buildings Matter, Too," as "deeply offensive" and apologizing for it.

Alamance County speedway breaks state's restrictions again, draws more than 2,000 in 'protest against inequality, injustice'.  A North Carolina speedway drew a crowd of more than 2,000 spectators in defiance of the state's coronavirus restrictions after declaring the race a "protest."  The governor's office had warned Ace Speedway that a crowd of more than 25 would violate the state's Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions.  But news outlets report that more than 2,000 attended a race Saturday night.

Boris Johnson's excellent answer to Beijing's move on Hong Kong's freedom.  Cheers to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for offering millions of Hong Kongers visas and a path to UK citizenship if Beijing goes ahead with its horrible new "security law." [...] London is in no position to stop the massive treaty violation.  But Johnson's riposte will still wound:  If the law goes ahead, he says, he'll offer visas and potential citizenship to all 3 million Hong Kongers who qualify for British National (Overseas) passports, not just the 300,000 who now hold them.

The Great Diamond Glut:  Miners Stuck With Gems Worth Billions.  In one of the world's biggest diamond vaults, hidden inside a nondescript office compound on the dusty outskirts of Botswana's capital, the precious stones just keep piling up.  Owner De Beers, which mines and auctions most of its gems in the southern African nation, has barely sold any rough diamonds since February.  Neither has Russian rival Alrosa PJSC.  Now, as the coronavirus restrictions that froze the global industry for months begin to lift, the unsold diamonds present a dilemma:  how to reduce billions of dollars' worth of stocks without undermining the nascent recovery.  The pandemic has devastated the diamond world.  Jewelry stores closed their doors, India's cutting and polishing artisans were forced to stay home and De Beers had to cancel its March sale because buyers couldn't travel to view the merchandise. [...] The five biggest producers are probably sitting on excess inventories worth about $3.5 billion, according to Gemdax, a specialist advisory firm.

The Editor says...
Diamonds are just minerals, and in some parts of the world they are not especially rare.  If the American consumer were to realize this, the price of diamonds would drop ... like a stone.

Looney Tunes remake will see Elmer Fudd without his rifle as creators declare 'we're not doing guns'.  Warner Bros has commissioned a new animation series featuring the classic characters, including Bugs Bunny, which sticks close to the spirit of the originals. [...] In response to US gun violence, the showrunners will not include firearms in Fudd's arsenal.  That is not to say that he has given up hunting Bugs Bunny, though — he just uses a scythe instead.

The Editor says...
[#1] Elmer Fudd never carried a rifle.  [#2] The depictions of firearm misuse in cartoons had no effect on violent crime in America in the 1940's and 1950's, when the cartoons were so violent that many of them can't be shown on television any more.  [#3] The Warner Brothers cartoons started going downhill about 1960, and really hit the skids when computer animation took over from hand-drawn works of art.

Antifa Reportedly Chased Out of Town by Hell's Angels Biker Gang.  According to various reports on social media, several biker gangs coalesced to prevent an Antifa demonstration from taking place in Placerville, California. [...] A tweet containing a Facebook post from the small California town telling how the infamous Hell's Angels united with other gangs to reportedly repel an Antifa demonstration.  The tweet reads:  "ANTIFA has threatened the town of Placerville, CA.  They said if anyone stands in their way "there will be consequences."  So Hell's Angels and the Mongols biker gangs have accepted the challenge !

'I Only Kneel For One Person': Black Georgia State Trooper Refuses To Kneel At Black Lives Matter Protest.  A Georgia law enforcement officer refused to kneel for protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally in Hartwell, Georgia on Sunday [6/7/2020].  Instead, Georgia State Trooper O'Neal Saddler was recorded telling a female protester that he only kneels "for one person, and that's God."  The video, which was first posted to Facebook by Ni'Rubyan Photography, was shared Saturday on Twitter by Students for Trump President Ryan Fournier.

Black Georgia state trooper refuses to kneel at a Black Lives Matter protest: 'I only kneel for one person'.  Georgia State Trooper O'Neal Saddler refused to kneel during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hartwell, Georgia, on Sunday, saying he "has much respect" but only kneels "for one person."  Video was rolling after Saddler had apparently been asked by a protester to kneel during the demonstration out of respect for the black community.  "If I didn't have any respect, I wouldn't [be here]," Saddler began saying to a female protester.  "I was supposed to be out of town this weekend with my wife.  I took off today, this weekend, but I'm out here to make sure y'all are safe."  "Don't go there with respect, OK? I have much respect, but I only kneel for one person," Saddler continued.

Poll: 56% Of Americans Believe Police Are Behaving Appropriately Or Not Being Aggressive Enough.  A new NPR-Marist poll found that 56% of Americans believe that the police are behaving appropriately or not being aggressive enough during the nationwide demonstrations after George Floyd's death.  The survey, which was conducted Tuesday through Wednesday, asked 1,062 American adults about police behavior in relation to the protests about George Floyd's death with a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.

Trump retweets video of Candace Owens attacking George Floyd.  President Trump retweeted a video Friday of right-wing commentators Glenn Beck and Candace Owens attacking the reputation of George Floyd.  "The fact that he has been held up as a martyr sickens me," Owens told Beck in the footage.  "George Floyd was not a good person."  As mass protests rocked the nation for yet another day, the Trump retweet amplified the message to a worldwide audience and his 81.8 million Twitter followers.  Beck and Owens then delved into Floyd's lengthy criminal record, which included time behind bars.  Floyd's autopsy report revealed he had both fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death.

AMC theater chain warns it may not survive.  Back in mid-March, Regal Theaters announced they would be closing down operations because of the coronavirus and I was worried that it could be the end for some chains.  Today [6/3/2020], AMC Theaters, the nation's largest chain announced that it might not survive if shutdowns continue for much longer.  All of AMC's theaters are shut down through June, which means the company isn't generating any revenue.

A Dark Day for Freedom of Expression.  It's been a terrible 48 hours for Americans who believe in freedom of speech. [...] [F]irst a note about Alex Berenson.  He is the former New York Times reporter who has been highly critical of the lockdown policy employed by most places to slow the spread of coronavirus.  Berenson's lockdown critique was sober and data-based — and deeply unpopular among advocates of extending lockdowns far into the future.  So Berenson put his work into book form.  And then, on Thursday, he got a message from Amazon, telling him the online giant would not be selling his book.  "Your book does not comply with our guidelines," Amazon said.  "As a result we are not offering your book for sale."  Amazon went on to refer customers to "official sources" for information about coronavirus.  Amazon offered no further explanation.  It was censorship, pure and simple.  And then some prominent voices, notable among them tech mogul Elon Musk, began to protest.  "This is insane, @JeffBezos," Musk tweeted, addressing the head of Amazon.  "Time to break up Amazon.  Monopolies are wrong!"  And then — Presto! — Berenson's book was released from captivity, available from Amazon.

Autopsy report:  George Floyd died from cardiopulmonary arrest, was positive for COVID-19.  The family of George Floyd and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office agreed to release the full autopsy report of George Floyd.  In the report, it is stated that Floyd died of cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.  Floyd had multiple blunt force injuries to his forehead, face and upper lip as well as cutaneous blunt force injuries of the shoulders, hands, elbows and legs.

The June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre:  Five Truths That Still Aren't Widely Known.  Despite Hong Kong lighting up every evening on June 4 in an annual candlelight vigil to commemorate the victims of the massacre, Chinese mainlanders across the border are without such freedom of speech.  Talking about the Tiananmen Square Massacre, or even mentioning "June 4," or "6.4," could have one disappear.  In 2007, Zhang Zhongshun, a lecturer from Yantai University, showed his class a video of the massacre he obtained from an overseas website.  He was subsequently jailed for three years by Laishan City Court on Feb. 28, 2008.  "I imagined that the worst case would just be that the university president would criticize me in front of my colleagues in a meeting.  I would not have thought that the communist regime would imprison me," Zhang told The Epoch Times in an interview after his release from the detention.  "Is it illegal even if I include a historical event into my lecture?" he asked.  Who'd dare raise this for discussion in China knowing the consequences?

Who are the biggest holders of gold?  The U.S. Federal Reserve is the world's largest holder of gold, with 8,133.5 tonnes as of May 2020, accounting for 78.3 percent of its reserves, according to the International Monetary Fund and International Financial Statistics.  Germany was the second-largest gold hoarder at 3,362.2 tonnes, or 74.3 percent of reserves.  The International Monetary Fund has the third-largest gold stash at 2,814 tonnes.  The IMF holds the commodity for financial soundness and to help meet unforeseen contingencies.

Petition to impeach Mayor Bill de Blasio gains support amid protests.  Critics of Mayor Bill de Blasio are circulating an old, fanciful petition calling for his impeachment amid outrage over riots and lootings in the city during protests over the death of Minnesota resident George Floyd at the hands of the police.  The online Change.org petition — "Impeach de Blasio" — garnered more than 60,000 signatures and growing Tuesday night [6/2/2020]. Organizers are seeking 75,000 backers.  The petition was started last year but thousands signed onto the petition Tuesday as controversy raged over protests engulfing the city that have triggered clashes between participants and police officers and reports of vandalism and property damage of retail stores.  But critics are just venting their frustration.  De Blasio will not be impeached.  He is term-limited and will complete his term at the end of 2021.

George Floyd had 'violent criminal history': Minneapolis police union chief.  The head of the Minneapolis police union says George Floyd's "violent criminal history" needs to be remembered and that the protests over his death are the work of a "terrorist movement."  "What is not being told is the violent criminal history of George Floyd.  The media will not air this," police union president Bob Kroll told his members in a letter posted Monday on Twitter.  Floyd had landed five years behind bars in 2009 for an assault and robbery two years earlier, and before that, had been convicted of charges ranging from theft with a firearm to drugs, the Daily Mail reported.

The Editor says...
Regardless of his criminal record, Mr. Floyd did not deserve the treatment he got.

140 Republican Lawmakers Pile Onto Lawsuit Against Democrats Over Proxy Voting, File Injunctions On New Proxy Votes.  An additional 140 House Republicans have joined a lawsuit Friday filed earlier this week against Speaker Nancy Pelosi over new rules in the lower chamber allowing for proxy voting.  The suit was initially filed Tuesday by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy joined by 20 GOP lawmakers and four constituents on the eve of the first time members of the House have ever voted without being physically present, upending more than 200 years of precedent.

Chinese state media says US demonstrations are 'beautiful' as it hits back at American support for Hong Kong protests.  Chinese state and social media have been filled with reports highlighting the nationwide demonstrations against police brutality in the US and attacking American politicians who supported the Hong Kong protests.  State news agency Xinhua described the chaotic scenes as "Pelosi's beautiful landscape", a veiled reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments last year that the mass protests in Hong Kong were "a beautiful sight to behold".  State broadcaster CCTV on Saturday referred to the protest cities as "warzones" and produced round-the-clock updates and analyses highlighting the racial divide in the US.

George Floyd and Officer Chauvin worked at the same restaurant together for seventeen years.  'They were coworkers for a very long time.'  [Video clip]

Autopsy reveals George Floyd didn't die of asphyxia or strangulation.  A new finding by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office is not going to sit well with folks clamoring for charges against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to be upgraded from third-degree murder.  According to statement of probable cause filed with the Fourth District Court, the autopsy performed on George Floyd on Tuesday indicates "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation."

Complaint: Autopsy reveals nothing to support strangulation as cause of George Floyd's death.  The white Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck was arrested and charged with murder Friday [5/29/2020].  Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case.  "What Minnesota had said in this initial charging is the officer did not have premeditation, he did not go into this incident desiring to kill this victim," explained Jacksonville attorney Gene Nichols.

Asphyxiation not the cause of George Floyd's death:  Autopsy.  George Floyd died Monday from a combination of preexisting health conditions exacerbated by being held down by Minneapolis officers, not from strangulation or asphyxiation, based on the medical examiner's initial report.  Preliminary findings from a Tuesday autopsy conducted by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner found "no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation," according to the criminal complaint filed Friday against former officer Derek Michael Chauvin.  "Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease," said the complaint from the Hennepin County Attorney.  "The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death."

As you hurl bricks and set fires...
Minneapolis mayor urges protesters to wear masks and practice social distancing.  The mayor of Minneapolis told individuals protesting that their anger is "understandable" and "right" but urged them to make sure they are wearing masks and practicing social distancing during their demonstrations.  "The City encourages everyone to exercise caution to stay safe while participating in demonstrations, including wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's office wrote in a statement addressed to individuals who took to the streets following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.  "The City has made hundreds of masks available to protesters this week."

Twin Cities Situation Deteriorating as Keith Ellison Fans the Flames.  Twin Cities rioters and leftists are spreading a conspiracy theory: they claim that an agent provocateur, an undercover police officer, was the first to vandalize property in Minneapolis, and therefore the police are "really" responsible for the arson, looting, and so on now taking place.  This is absurd, of course.  But now Attorney General Keith Ellison, the state's chief law enforcement officer, has signed on with the far-left kooks:  [Tweet]

George's Floyd's preliminary autopsy raises the question:  Was this another rush to judgement?  Almost totally absent from the mainstream news Friday [5/29/2020], as the violent insurrection in the wake of George Floyd's death spread to cities nationwide, were the preliminary results of his autopsy.  The report was part of the arrest warrant for Derek Michael Chauvin, the disgraced former Minneapolis police officer who was taken into custody on Friday afternoon and charged with the third-degree murder of Floyd while he was in police custody last Monday evening.  The brief mention of the autopsy suggests that the case against Chauvin, and possibly his three colleagues assuming they too will eventually be charged, for being totally responsible for the death of Floyd may not be as cut and dried as previously thought.

Trump supporters smeared — again — by the left, in Minnesota mayhem.  When Trump supporters say 'it's not about Trump, it's about us,' when the left howls about President Trump, they aren't kidding.  The Minnesota riots, brought on by a video of a bad instance of police brutality, have incited leftists to paint the perpetrating cop, Derek Chauvin, as a Trump supporter on social media, something they're spreading around:  [Tweets]  Here's the fact-check that isn't been seen on Twitter from its vaunted fact-checkers:  The claim is 100% fake.  100%  And I've looked around for Twitter's disclaimers about it and don't see any.

At Long Last, Minnesota Officials Arrest Derek Chauvin.  Two days too late, news broke late this morning that Minnesota officials finally decided to arrest Derek Chauvin, the dirty cop who killed George Floyd earlier this week.  Had the arrest been made on Wednesday, many Minneapolis/St. Paul businesses that have been burned in the meantime might still be open for business.

George Floyd autopsy found 'no physical findings...of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation'.  The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said Friday [5/29/2020] that it found no evidence of strangulation in its autopsy of George Floyd, the Minneapolis resident who died after a police officer put his knee on a handcuffed Floyd's neck.  Floyd's death on Monday has touched off a series of violent, destructive riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The four officers involved in pinning him down during the altercation have been fired; Derek Chauvin, the officer whose knee was on Floyd's neck during the arrest, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.  In a criminal complaint filed against Chauvin, the state asserts that the officer "caused the death of George Floyd by his culpable negligence," though it stops short at claiming that it was Chauvin's knee on Floyd's neck that directly caused the latter's death.

Officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck during fatal arrest charged with murder.  The Minneapolis police officer who was kneeling on George Floyd's neck during the arrest that would lead to Floyd's death has been arrested and charged with murder, city officials reported Friday [5/29/2020].  Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington confirmed that Derek Chauvin, one of the four police officers fired after the incident that ended with Floyd dead, was arrested by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Friday.  Following the arrest, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Violent Rioters Breach Ohio Statehouse, Breaking Windows and Entering Building to Protest Death of George Floyd.  Protests and riots are ongoing in several cities around the U.S., including Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Memphis, Tenn., Louisville, Ky., Denver, Colo., Los Angeles Calif., and Columbus, Ohio.  The Statehouse in Columbus came under attack, with rioters breaking windows and some entering the building.  There are unconfirmed reports that the protesters damaged the interior of the building.  [Several video clips]  Authorities wasted no time breaking up the attack on the Statehouse, sending in the SWAT team to disburse the crowd.  Officers used a loudspeaker to announce that an emergency had been declared and ordered protesters to leave the area.

Black Small Business Owner Filmed Crying After Rioters Loot and Destroy His Business.  The rioting went on late into the night Thursday in Minneapolis, stretching into early Friday morning with protesters stealing and torching several U.S. Postal Service vans to protest the death in police custody of George Floyd on Monday.  The mob damaged or destroyed 130 businesses in Minneapolis this week. [...] This black small business owner as seen crying after looters destroyed his sports bar.

By all means, if you're going to loot a store, hit Whitey!
Sharpton Upset: 'Reckless' Rioters Are Destroying the Black-Owned Stores!  One might think that MSNBC might give Rev. Al Sharpton the day off when the hot topic is protesters burning down buildings.  In 1995, Sharpton's protest against the "white interloper" who ran Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem led to a fire where seven people died of smoke inhalation (and the arsonist shot himself).  Discussing the rioting in Minneapolis on today's [5/29/2020] Morning Joe, Al Sharpton began by telling protesters that the goal of a fair criminal justice system wouldn't be achieved by "appearing" to be criminal themselves.  He warned that people would "exploit" that.  A clearly upset Sharpton then said:  "As I walked around Minneapolis yesterday ... some of the stores that are being damaged are black-owned stores!  So we cannot become so reckless that we are destroying each other in our rage."

The Editor says...
I hope all the rioters are staying six feet apart from one another, because that's what's really important!  We want you brick-throwing Antifa anarchists to stay healthy!

Minneapolis Mayor Frey: 'Brick and mortar is not as important as life'.  Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey held a press conference early Friday morning ]5/29/2020] at City Hall.  Around 1:30 a.m., Frey addressed a city that is enduring escalating protests that have lasted for the past three days in response to the death of George Floyd.  Four Minneapolis Police officers were fired in the incident that happened Monday night.  Thursday night's protests accelerated in violence in comparison to the previous two, with the Minneapolis Police Department's 3rd Precinct set on fire, where all the fired officers were from.

CNN Crew Arrested by MN State Police Live on Air During Riot Coverage.  The Minnesota Governor has activated the National Guard and the state police have been deployed to try to control the situation.  But the state police may have just stoked the situation instead by arresting a CNN crew live on air.  Police claim that the crew didn't move out of the riot area when they were told.  The CNN crew said they were trying to be compliant with the police and that's what it appears like from the video.  But then they were arrested while the cameras rolled.  They arrested the reporter, Omar Jiminez on air, but also arrested the whole crew including the producer and the cameraman.  [Video clip]

Update:
CNN crew released after being arrested while reporting on Minneapolis protests.  Three members of a CNN crew have been released after being placed under arrest during a live report Friday morning [5/29/2020], according to the Minnesota State Patrol.  According to CNN, the crew was detained while giving a live report in Minneapolis just after 5 a.m.  Friday.  The CNN crew was covering protests over the death of George Floyd this week in Minneapolis.  The reporter at the scene who was placed under arrest told CNN he was holding his badge and identified himself as a reporter while reporting from the scene.  According to the crew at the scene, CNN reports, police told them they were detained because they were told to move and didn't.

Cuomo says NY businesses can deny entrance to those without masks.  New York businesses will have the right to deny entrance to those who refuse to wear a mask or other face covering under an executive order Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday [5/28/2020].  "We're giving the store owners the right to say, 'If you're not wearing a mask, you can't come in,' " said Cuomo in a press briefing at the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in Flatbush, Brooklyn.  "That store owner has a right to protect the other patrons in that store.  "You don't want to wear a mask?  Fine.  But you don't have a right to then go into that store if that store owner doesn't want you to."

The Editor says...
Consider what this means.  The store owners now have permission to deny entrance to certain people because of the way they're dressed.  This can be used in ways that have nothing to do with masks.  For example, some business owners don't like red MAGA hats.  Some don't like police officers and soldiers in uniform.  It's a can of worms.

China's Communist Regime Shows Its True Totalitarian Colors.  For years, Americans of all political stripes operated under the delusion that China, though nominally communist, was becoming more like the West every day.  Our massive, but one-sided, trade with the country would bring changes, we thought.  An inevitable consumer economy in China would expand, and bring with it ideas of freedom, human rights and democracy.  China would moderate its behavior, the argument went, perhaps eventually easing its military threats against Taiwan, and letting Hong Kong maintain its status as a free-trading city-state outside of Beijing's direct control.  That was our folly and our delusion, as we're now finding out.

Seattle Judge Tosses Suit That Tried to Gag Fox News Commentary.  A Seattle judge has dismissed a lawsuit from a little-known advocacy organization that hoped to bar Fox News Channel from transmitting its popular primetime opinion programs to its large cable-news audience.  The Washington state group known as the Washington League for Increased Transparency and Ethics, or WASHLITE, filed a suit in Superior Court of Washington State in April, calling for an injunction that would keep Fox News from "publishing further and false and deceptive content" about the coronavirus pandemic.  Several Fox News opinion hosts in prior weeks questioned the level of the coronavirus threat, with former Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan losing her position at the company after hosting a segment with graphics that read "Coronavirus Impeachment Scam" while suggesting liberals were overstating the danger of the contagion.

Devin Nunes:  House Cannot Debate FISA Reauthorization When Democrats are Not Here.  Devin Nunes appears on Fox News daytime to discuss the pending FISA reauthorization bill from the Senate amid President Trump's request to expose corruption before legislation.  As Representative Nunes outlines there are only a handful of Democrats in Washington DC because they are planning all votes by proxy.

'COVID camper' sales surge before summer amid pandemic: report.  The future of travel remains uncertain amid the coronavirus pandemic, but the open road is alluring as ever.  Some RV dealers across the country say that sales are surging amid the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Fox 59 reports, as cooped-up adventurers invest in what Bloomberg has dubbed "COVID campers" for road-trip getaways.  In Indiana, Mount Comfort RV owner Ken Eckstein said that RV sales are about triple what they were last year.

The Editor says...
Consider the

possibility that FEMA or other government agencies are buying them.

COVID-19 'surcharges' take customers by surprise.  Some companies are adding coronavirus surcharges to bills, infuriating customers enough to take their business elsewhere.  "Many customers are angry about the changes," wrote Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at CreditCards.com.  Rossman noted that roughly 86% of respondents from an American Express survey said they would stop patronizing a business if it applied surcharges to receipts.  A dentist in Florida charged patients $10 to help pay for the personal protective equipment worn by staff, which the mother of one patient felt she was not obligated to pay.  "I don't feel that I'm required to pay that," she told a local news station in Jacksonville, Florida.

Illinois Dems Bank on a Congressional Bailout.  Illinois Democrats passed a state budget over the weekend that relies on billions in still-not-guaranteed federal dollars to avoid a gaping deficit.  The state's 2021 budget, now headed to Gov. J. B. Pritzker's (D.) desk, is written with the expectation that the $3.5 billion the state received under the CARES Act will be freed up for general spending.  That would require Congress to change limitations on those funds, which currently can only be spent on expenses directly related to coronavirus — not general fiscal costs.  The bill also gives Pritzker the authority to borrow up to $5 billion from the Federal Reserve as part of a program backstopped by Congress.

Reopening optimism fuels stock market surge.  Stocks soared Tuesday [5/26/2020] as enthusiasm builds about the reopening of the country and the development of a coronavirus vaccine.  The S&P 500 rose nearly 2%, breaking over 3,000 for the first time since March 5.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose over 2%, briefly trading above 25,000 for the first time since early March.  Some companies showing the greatest gains would be aided by faster removal of business and travel restrictions.  They include Carnival, whose shares jumped 12.7%, MGM Resorts, whose shares climbed 8.6%, and United Airlines and Southwest Airlines, whose shares rose over 11% each.

In a viral video, a supermarket mob rampages against a woman.  On Monday morning [5/25/2020], people woke up to a video on Twitter showing masked customers in a Staten Island grocery store screaming obscenities at a woman without a mask and shouting at her to "get out."  It's an alarming video because it shows how quickly people can be turned into human weapons when fear powers them.

Poll: Up to 94 Percent of Americans Want Economic Nationalist Overhaul in Wake of Chinese Coronavirus Crisis.  Up to 94 percent of American voters say they want an economic nationalist overhaul of the United States' economy in the wake of the Chinese coronavirus crisis, a survey reveals.  A survey conducted by FTI Consulting finds that American voters overwhelmingly want economic nationalist policies implemented — including more tariffs on foreign imports, mandatory country-of-origin labeling, and a requirement that goods be made in the U.S.

The implication here is that all restaurants have rats.  That is not believable.
CDC warns rats becoming 'aggressive' in search for food during pandemic restaurant closures.  Starving rats growing increasingly "aggressive" are starting to become a problem as the coronavirus pandemic continues.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last week that restaurant closures and restrictions intended to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus have left trash bins less full than usual, cutting into a major food source for rodents.  In a battle over slim pickings, some have become more aggressive, leading to reports of rat cannibalism and rodent armies on city streets.

China poised to cash in on coronavirus aid designated for U.S. railroads, safety advocates warn.  China's communist government is poised to cash in on billions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid designated for U.S. railway systems, warn railroad safety advocates.  Erik Olson, vice president of the Rail Security Alliance, said more than $2.6 billion in contracts has already gone to the Beijing-backed China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation in the past four years.  Because CRRC benefits from financial support from the Chinese Communist Party, the company often can significantly underbid competitors, said Mr. Olson.

Hong Kong, All Alone.  China's legislature in Beijing is preparing a new national-security law aimed at Hong Kong to prohibit and punish terrorism, foreign influence, and secession.  By that, they mean demonstration, free speech, and a functioning democratic system with rights guaranteed to citizens.  Meanwhile, Beijing's loyalists installed in Hong Kong's legislative council have been making open attempts at a putsch against the pro-democracy majority.

Law professor falsely accused of rape, wins defamation case.  A University of Minnesota Law School professor, Francesco Parisi, has won a nearly $1.2 million defamation case against a woman who had falsely accused him of rape.  In his blistering ruling on Tuesday [5/19/2020], Hennepin County Judge Daniel Moreno wrote that Parisi's former lover, Morgan Wright, had pursued an "untruthful narrative crusade," and her "accusations were false, and made with malice."  It is believed to be the largest defamation judgement in Minnesota.  The vast majority of the judgement, $814,514 is for economic losses, as well as reputational and emotional damages.  Only $100,000 was for punitive damages.

Propaganda organs of the left hard hit by lockdown.  The nation's blue-state governors seem to be far more enthusiastic about lockdowns than their red-state counterparts, perhaps because they recognize that the small businesses being driven toward extinction are a key component of the GOP base.  But if their motives are so ruthless, perhaps they need to reckon with the damage being done to the key propaganda organs of the left:  progressive media, higher education, and government schools.  Waves of layoffs already have hit such progressive stalwarts as Vice, Quartz, BuzzFeed, and Conde Nast.  Now The Atlantic, controlled by Steve Jobs's widow and previously recruiting highly paid talent, is joining the layoff crowd.

Obama's Man in China Now Beijing's Man in Washington.  As the novel coronavirus wreaks havoc across the world, the Obama administration's ambassador to China has found a second lease on life as a pro-China talking head on regime propaganda outlets.  Former ambassador Max Baucus has given at least four different interviews to Chinese propaganda outlets in the last two weeks, repeatedly comparing the U.S. rhetoric about China to both the McCarthy era and Nazi Germany.  "Joe McCarthy [and] Adolf Hitler ... rallied people up, making people believe things that were really not true," Baucus said during a May 12 interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN), a regime mouthpiece.

Tomorrow could be the end of Hong Kong as we know it.  When the British handed over Hong Kong to China in 1997, China promised to respect it's [sic] independence for the next 50 years.  The shorthand for that plan was "one country, two systems."  But the two systems part of the plan could effectively come to an end tomorrow.  China has tried and failed in the past to exert more control over Hong Kong, but this time it seems prepared to simply bypass Hong Kong's government entirely and pass the new law via the mainland's one party system.

Mark Cuban's mindless critique of President Trump.  In an era when American politics is dominated by obnoxious loud mouths, it's not surprising that Mark Cuban thinks he should have a big role.  Cuban deems himself presidential timber, and has not ruled out running for president in 2024.

Media knives out for Catherine Herridge — for reporting ObamaGate straight.  Journalists are pack animals.  That's especially true in Washington.  Despite the hunger for scoops, when it comes to the substance of stories, few have the guts to go against the ideological groupthink that prevails in our nation's capital.  That's what makes CBS' Catherine Herridge so exceptional.  In an era when too many network journalists slant their reporting to serve establishment opinion, Herridge sticks to the facts.  Her dogged determination to get to the bottom of stories has made her an invaluable source on the national-security beat.  Her sterling quality and integrity have also put a target on her back.  When it came to the "collusion" hoax, she dared to let the truth guide her.

Social distancing beeper will go off if you're within 6 feet of someone.  A social distancing gadget that beeps whenever you're not keeping six feet from someone could help people return to work.  The beeper has been invented by Pathfindr and aims to helps companies keep their workers safe.  In the UK and the US, two meters (six feet) apart is the recommended distance to stand in order to try and not spread Covid-19.  Pathfindr, based in Norfolk in the UK, usually provides internet-based technical solutions for companies.

These two congressional districts could decide the presidential race.  The fate of the 2020 general election could hang on two congressional districts, one in Maine and the other tucked away in Nebraska.  Maine and Nebraska are the only two states in the country that split their Electoral College votes by congressional district while also rewarding the statewide victor, giving Democrats extra opportunities to pick up votes in otherwise Republican strongholds.  And with the fall fight between President Trump and Joe Biden set to be a tight battle for the White House, every vote will matter on Nov. 3.

The pandemic has changed everything. So, why does the race for president look the same?  In February, America had a booming economy.  Since then, because of fears of this invisible virus and even worse fears of it somehow spreading further, the entire economy is paralyzed.  More than 36 million men and women have filed unemployment claims.  Schools are closed indefinitely, as are most offices.  With little debate and virtually no opposition, the federal government is blithely spending trillions of dollars we don't have.  Many Americans have begun fighting each other over when, or even if, to resume normal social and economic activities. [...] Yet, also without seeming explanation, one thing has remained static:  politics.

Katie Hill Threw a Tantrum Because Republican Mike Garcia Won Her Vacant Seat.  Former Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) was forced to resign after the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into her private life.  She was allegedly having an extra-marital affair with her Legislative Director, Graham Kelly, and a throuple relationship with a female campaign staffer.  Hill repeatedly said she was going through a divorce from her abusive husband but text messages show Hill, her husband, Kenny Heslep, and the female staffer had an ongoing relationship.  The husband admitted in text messages to the campaign staffer that he and Hill abused her.  The former representative had a meltdown after learning that the Republican Party was successful in flipping her seat red with congressman-elect Mike Garcia.

The Editor says...
Well, Katie, perhaps if you made better decisions, your life would be less chaotic.

Elon Musk stirs the pot with cryptic 'red pill' tweet.  [Scroll down]  Musk has been vocally critical of government shutdown policies during the global pandemic recently, reopening Tesla's California plant in defiance of local restrictions there last week.  Tesla's factory reopened Monday [5/11/2020] with Musk practically daring local law enforcement to arrest him.  The plant apparently continued operations on Tuesday.  Officials backed off Wednesday and announced that the move would be okay, as long as the company followed previously agreed-upon worker safety precautions.

AG Barr:  Durham probe unlikely to lead to criminal investigations of Obama or Biden.  U.S. Attorney John Durham's probe into the origins of the Russia collusion investigation is not expected to lead to a criminal investigation of either former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Attorney General William P. Barr said Monday [5/18/2020].  "As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don't expect Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man," Mr. Barr said.  "Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others," he continued.

Elon Musk, having taken the 'red pill,' now urges others to join him.  Elon Musk is always interesting. [...] [H]aving tasted freedom, Musk likes it — especially because he's got a factory that, to survive, must be able to open.  To that end, Musk fought the law...and he won.  Now, flush with success, he has tweeted that it's time for others to join him by taking a "red pill."  Musk set up his Tesla factory in Fremont, California, which is located on the southeastern side of the über-liberal San Francisco Bay Area.  Because electric cars are "green," nobody minded a big new manufacturing plant.  Recently, however, Musk's relationship with California went flipsy-wopsy when the total lockdown, complete with mandatory "shelter in place" orders, went into effect.  By the end of April, Musk was tweeting out the damage that the lockdowns were doing and the falsity of the panic.

Fed chief inadvertantly makes the case for re-electing Trump.  [Scroll down]  This wasn't some policy that went wrong — overspending, bank failure, currency meltdown — or any of the things that have the makings for real depressions both here and abroad.  The structure was great, and the U.S. just got hit by an unexpected hurricane.  It would skew back to what it was if nothing else changed.  This would have to assume nothing else changes.  The good economy he's describing is the Trump economy, the economy that roared in the wake of President Trump's policies.  Changing those policies, as Joe Biden vows to do — and putting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in charge of energy policy is pretty much what he means — would open the door to structural problems, the things that really do create depressions.  That has to be an endorsement of President Trump from the Fed chief.  Policies are what create depressions, not natural disasters, and Joe wants to remake policies.

Firefly: Israel's 'Loitering' Munition (or Kamikaze Drone).  It hovers and looks like a black stick floating in the sky but can slam into an enemy at seventy kilometers an hour.  The Firefly is Israel's latest weapon to be acquired by the Israeli Ministry of Defense from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.  It will be deployed with infantry and is specially designed for soldiers fighting in urban areas, giving them the ability to fly a hovering missile around buildings to accurately take out terrorists or enemy forces.  The Firefly is a loitering munition, a kind of kamikaze drone but it is part of Rafael's larger Spike family of missiles that have been deployed to thirty-three countries.  The United States has used the Spike for its AH-64 Apaches.  Spike missiles are more usually known for their ability to kill tanks, but the Firefly is a much smaller weapon that weighs only 3kg so it can be carried into battle by soldiers.  Infantry have been increasingly deploying smaller drones in a surveillance role and also for attack, but the use of small drones that are man-packable is still in its infancy.

Case Western Reserve Prof Arrested over Financial Ties to Chinese Government.  A professor at Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine was arrested on Wednesday [5/13/2020] over his alleged financial ties to the Chinese government.  The FBI alleges that professor Qing Wang was providing research funded with taxpayer money to the Chinese communist government.  According to a report by Campus Reform, Professor Qing Wang was arrested in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Wednesday on wire fraud charges.  Wang allegedly failed to disclose his affiliations with several Chinese universities.

DOJ: Pakistani Doctor on H-1B Visa Wanted to Attack U.S. for ISIS.  A Pakistani doctor, admitted to the United States through the H-1B visa program, wanted to attack Americans for the Islamic State (ISIS), federal agents say in a criminal complaint.  Muhammad Masood, a 28-year-old Pakistani national, first arrived in the U.S. in February 2018 after he was able to secure an H-1B visa — the visa program whereby more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. every year and are allowed to stay for up to six years.  There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment.

Chinese-Born Researcher at Cleveland Clinic Accused of Fraud, Links to Espionage.  The FBI announced on Thursday [5/14/2020] that it has arrested Dr. Qing Wang, a longtime employee of the famed Cleveland Clinic, on charges of fraud for accepting grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) without disclosing that he was simultaneously working for a Chinese university.  "This is not a case of simple omission.  Dr. Wang deliberately failed to disclose his Chinese grants and foreign positions and even engaged in a pervasive pattern of fraud to avoid criminal culpability," said Eric B. Smith, FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Cleveland office.

Grenell: Top counterintel official will take charge of 2020 campaign briefings on election interference.  The Office of the Director of National Intelligence announced Friday [5/15/2020] that its top counterintelligence official would carry out all election security intelligence briefings to 2020 candidates and campaigns instead of the FBI or Department of Homeland Security.  The nation's top spy office, which oversees all 17 spy agencies and is currently led by acting spy chief Richard Grenell, said that the intelligence community "will lead all intelligence-based threat briefings to candidates, campaigns, and political organizations under the U.S. government's notification framework."  ODNI said William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center since 2014, will "serve as the IC's leader to this critical effort."  The ODNI also announced reforms to the National Counterterrorism Center on Friday.

NYC providing 74K air conditioners for low-income seniors ahead of summer months.  Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed new a new plan Friday [5/15/2020] aiming to keep all New Yorkers cool and safe this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The first goal of the mayor's "COVID-19 heat-wave plan" focuses on protecting the city's most vulnerable residents as they remain at home in the hotter months.

The Editor says...
Providing air conditioners (and buying votes) is not the proper role of government, but I guess it's better than handing out cash.  But wait — surely there are more than 74,000 "low-income seniors" in New York City, so who decides who receives a free air conditioner?

Farmers dubbed the 'Carbon Cowboys' say business is booming during coronavirus.  While much of the farming industry has been decimated by the global coronavirus pandemic — forced to wastefully slaughter livestock, abort piglets, crush food and pummel perfectly healthy crops — one group spawning America's heartland claims that its method has actually seen sales soaring.  The so-called Carbon Cowboys are the subject of a new 10-part documentary series detailing the farming technique known as regenerative grazing, which seemingly is saving them from a sales' drought.  The series, directed by Peter Byck, was filmed over six years in various rural communities across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Shoppers begin to shift from stockpiling to penny pinching at the grocery store.  U.S. shoppers are making more trips to the dollar store.  They're stocking up with items from stores' private label brands more than usual and cutting back on snacks and sodas at convenience stores.  Those emerging data points, captured by market research firm IRI in recent weeks, may preview the next wave of grocery shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.  They all have something in common:  They are the buying patterns that herald an economic downturn.  "As this drags on, you are going to see a lot more recessionary behavior coming up," said Krishnakumar Davey, president of strategic analytics for IRI.  "We are just seeing the beginnings of it."

Mark Kelly Silent on Firm's Windfall From Chinese Tech Giant.  Mark Kelly, the former NASA astronaut who commanded the second-to-last space shuttle mission and spent 25 years in the Navy, readily acknowledges the myriad threats China poses to the U.S. Earlier this month, he told an Arizona TV station that U.S. intelligence has repeatedly shown China suppressed information about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak before COVID-19 spread to become a global pandemic.  The interview was part of Kelly's new mission: trying to oust GOP Sen. Martha McSally, herself an aerospace pioneer as the first female fighter pilot to fly in combat.  The clash of the two American flight titans has become one of the most closely watched campaigns in the country.

$1.6T in century-old Chinese bonds offer Trump unique leverage against Beijing.  As the Trump administration seeks ways to penalize China for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, it need look no further than Tennessee.  The Lewisburg, Tennessee-based American Bondholder Foundation holds $1.6 trillion of century-old Chinese debt, including interest, dating to before the founding of the communist People's Republic of China, that it wants the administration's help in redeeming.  There is an estimated $6 trillion or more of the debt outstanding worldwide.

Elective surgery moratorium takes toll on patients.  Prohibitions on elective surgeries, in place in most states since early March, have taken a toll on hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare workers.  But patients may be the group that have suffered the most.  "A lot of treatment has been delayed that was important but not necessarily emergent," said Dr. Juliette Madrigal Dersch, a primary care physician in Marble Falls, Texas.  Elective surgery includes heart operations, cancer treatment, joint replacements, and spine surgery.  "Elective" only means that it is not a medical emergency, not that it is unnecessary.

FBI mistakenly reveals Saudi diplomat suspected of aiding 9/11 terrorists.  FBI lawyers accidentally revealed the identity of a Saudi diplomat who agents have suspected helped deliver crucial support to the al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to a report.  The disclosure came in court documents filed in April that were unsealed late last week in a lawsuit brought by families of 9/11 victims accusing the Saudi government of aiding the attacks, Yahoo News reported.  The Saudi official, Mussaed Ahmed al-Jarrah, had his name blocked out in all but one appearance in the document, with the FBI admitting to Yahoo it was a mistake.  Jarrah was a Saudi Foreign Ministry official assigned to the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, in 1999 and 2000.

RussiaGate Collapses:  CrowdStrike Admits 'No Evidence' Russia Stole Emails From DNC Servers.  Fox News' Tucker Carlson and The Grayzone's Aaron Mate on Monday broke down new evidence released by the Department of Justice exposing RussiaGate as a farce.  Mate broke down newly released testimony from CrowdStrike president Shawn Henry admitting behind closed doors before House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) that "we did not have concrete evidence" that Russian hackers stole emails from the DNC's servers.

As Lobbyist for Huawei, Las Vegas Radio Station May Have Broken Law.  A local Las Vegas radio station may have broken federal communications laws when it failed to disclose its partnership with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, according to a former official of the Federal Communications Commission.  Las Vegas Public Radio, the self-professed "people's voice of Las Vegas," registered to lobby for Huawei in May 2019, promising to "address concerns that Members of Congress, Executive branch and American businesses have about Huawei products/services being developed or manufactured in the US for US consumption" in its lobbying disclosure.  In turn, Huawei promised to help the radio station open up a branch in China.

Politico: Special election tomorrow may hand Dems 'unthinkable' defeat in House race.  Politico has never been known as a cheerleader for Republicans, so when it headlines, "Democrats are on verge of the unthinkable:  Losing a swing district in California," you know that the donkeys are facing a humiliating and symbolically important blow to their House majority and a possible portent of disaster on November.  Recall that pervy Congresswoman Katie Hill resigned after being caught in sexual involvement with her staff.  Tomorrow will see a special election in her suburban Los Angeles district largely in the Inland Empire, pitting a Dem state rep against a ruggedly handsome retired Navy combat veteran fighter pilot, who just happens to be Hispanic.

Democratic North Carolina Governor Could Throw a Monkey Wrench into GOP Convention Plans.  The Republican National Convention is scheduled for August 24-27 in Charlotte, NC, and Donald Trump has been adamant that the event will go forward as planned.  That means thousands of Republicans descending on Charlotte from across the country and standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the Spectrum Center, acclaiming Trump as their standard-bearer.  That is unless the Democratic Governor Roy Cooper intervenes and nixes the whole thing.

Many Texas ranchers won't survive multibillion-dollar financial hit from coronavirus.  The spring pastures perfect for grazing cattle on Marisue Potts' ranch have begun to dry.  That means it's time to sell.  Potts owns a ranch near Matador, Texas, where she keeps a herd of about 35 cattle.  In a few weeks she'll take her yearlings and full-grown steers to the nearest auction in Floydada.  She expects to make less per head than she's made in at least a decade.

Iran Sinks Its Own Battleship.  [F]riendly fire may have killed dozens of servicemen, Al Jazeera have reported.  According to local media, an Iranian battleship was accidentally hit by a C-802 Noor missile during military exercises, causing it to sink.

'Unhappy? Go To Another State,' Murphy Tells NJ's Jobless.  In case you missed the end of Thursday's [5/7/2020] daily news briefing, Gov. Phil Murphy told anyone unhappy with the guy in charge of New Jersey unemployment to "Go to another state."  The governor said anyone who doesn't like state Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo can move.  Murphy's dismissive remark came when asked by a reporter about Bergen County Assemblyman Kevin Rooney's call for the labor commissioner to fix the backlogged unemployment system or resign.  Earlier, state officials announced that more than a million New Jersey residents have filed jobless claims due to the coronavirus pandemic -- but that 300,000 still had to be processed.

The Editor says...
Please come to Texas, but only if you are willing to renounce everything that makes New Jersey different from Texas.  Also you must promise never to vote for a Democrat again.  Otherwise, you'll turn Texas into New Jersey, and you'll be right back where you started.

Workers Are No Longer Heroes, Kroger Concludes.  What Kroger giveth, Kroger taketh away.  The national grocery-store chain will end a $2 per hour "hero pay" bonus for workers on May 17, the United Food and Commercial Workers union announced on Thursday [5/7/2020].  Kroger only implemented the raise last month; the pandemic, meanwhile, shows no sign of ending, and the risks for essential workers remain very real.

Durham Moving Full Throttle on Russian Probe Review.  U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham is going "full throttle" with his review into the origins of the investigation into suspected Russia-Trump coordination in the 2016 election, with additional top prosecutors involved in looking at different components of the original probe, sources told Fox News.  Two sources told Fox News that Jeff Jensen, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri who was tapped by the Justice Department in February to review the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is continuing to help with Durham's investigation even after the DOJ's move last week to drop the case against Flynn.

South Dakota governor threatens Native American tribes with legal action if they do not remove coronavirus checkpoints.  The governor of South Dakota has issued ultimatums to two Sioux Native American tribes to remove travel checkpoints on state and US highways aimed at protecting themselves from the coronavirus.  Governor Kristi Noem sent letters to the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe on Friday [5/8/2020] requesting that they remove the checkpoints surrounding their reservations within 48 hours or "the state will take necessary legal action".  "We are strongest when we work together; this includes our battle against Covid-19," the governor said.  "I request that the tribes immediately cease interfering with or regulating traffic on US and State Highways and remove all travel checkpoints."

United Kingdom reveals last decoded Nazi message to mark VE Day.  To mark Friday's [5/8/2020] 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, the British government revealed the final Nazi message intercepted and decoded by U.K. codebreakers as Allied forces were advancing through Germany. [...] At 7:35 a.m. on May 7, 1945, a Nazi soldier identified as "Lt. Kunkel" sent a final message to colleagues from the town of Cuxhaven on Germany's North Sea coast.  "British troops entered Cuxhaven at 14:00 on 6 May — from now on all radio traffic will cease — wishing you all the best.  Lt Kunkel," the message read.  "Closing down forever — all the best — goodbye."

Adam Schiff Changed Russia Document Release Strategy Because Grenell Forced His Hand.  Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), had only planned to release partial transcripts from the committee's Russia investigation, not all of them, a source with knowledge of his efforts told Breitbart News.  But then, when acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell announced he was prepared to release all of the transcripts in full — something Grenell had planned to do on Friday morning if Schiff had not done so — Schiff changed his strategy and agreed to release them all in full.

Souplantation, Sweet Tomatoes permanently closing all restaurants amid pandemic.  San Diego-based buffet chain Souplantation has announced it will permanently close all of its restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. [...] CEO John Haywood told the publication that the restaurants' buffet-style model wouldn't be able to survive amid the FDA's regulations.  According to the outlet, about 4,400 employees will lose their jobs, the Union-Tribune reported.

Engineers Just Tested an 'Impossible' Detonation Engine For The First Time - And It Works.  A type of rocket engine once thought impossible has just been fired up in the lab.  Engineers have built and successfully tested what is known as a rotating detonation engine, which generates thrust via a self-sustaining wave of detonations that travel around a circular channel.  As this engine requires far less fuel than the combustion engines currently used to power rockets, it could eventually mean a more efficient and much lighter means of getting our ships into space.

Nunes dares Schiff to release House Intel Russia probe transcripts.  The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday demanded Chairman Adam Schiff release the transcripts of interviews conducted by the panel during its Russia probe in 2017 and 2018, now that they have been cleared by the intelligence community.  "Schiff himself voted to release these transcripts and claims he wants them out," Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News Thursday.  "There's no reason he can't publish them all today — except that he really doesn't want the American people to see how little evidence there ever was for the Russian collusion hoax he advocated and continues to advocate."

Sources say Russia probe transcripts affirm officials came up empty on collusion: 'Schiff is in panic mode'.  Transcripts of House Intelligence Committee interviews that have been cleared for release show top law enforcement and intelligence officials affirming they had no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, senior administration and intelligence community officials told Fox News on Wednesday [5/6/2020].  This would align with the results of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — which found no evidence of illegal or criminal coordination between President Trump, the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016 — but the numerous transcribed interviews could raise further questions about committee Chairman Adam Schiff's past statements saying that there was "direct evidence" of collusion.  "Schiff is in panic mode," a senior administration official told Fox News.

DNI to Schiff:  The transcripts are ready to release.  A big development in the fight over 53 secret interviews the House Intelligence Committee conducted during its Trump-Russia investigation.  Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has sent a letter to chairman Adam Schiff notifying him that transcripts of all 53 interviews, over 6,000 pages in all, have been cleared for public release.  "All of the transcripts, with our required redactions, can be released to the public without any concerns of disclosing classified material," Grenell wrote to Schiff in a letter dated May 4.

Russian collusion emperor Adam Schiff about to be exposed today and it won't be pretty.  Adam Schiff, the fanatic who from the begining launched probe after probe of President Trump, is about to see the 2017-2018 Russia collusion transcripts he's been sitting on all these months released to the public, all 6,000 pages, with 73 witnesses stating there was no Russian collusion in 53 transcripts.  National Intelligence Director Richard Grenell did the job Schiff wouldn't do, releasing the transcripts, and now Schiff is expected to be looking more bug-eyed than usual.

Federal judge reinstates New York Democratic presidential primary.  A federal court judge has ordered New York Democrats to reinstate the presidential primary election for June 23 after one-time candidate Andrew Yang challenged its cancellation.  Judge Analisa Torres in her decision Tuesday [5/5/2020] ruled that the New York Board of Elections' decision to cancel the vote was unconstitutional and that all qualified candidates as of April 26 must be on the ballot.  "[T]he removal of presidential contenders from the primary ballot not only deprived those candidates of the chance to garner votes for the Democratic Party's nomination," Torres wrote in her opinion.

How China is buying up America's food supply.  A Sioux Falls meatpacking plant was forced to close when it became the epicenter of COVID-19 in South Dakota.  Three weeks after executives from its Chinese owner, WH Group, visited the plant, a month after President Trump's ban on travel from China, nearly 600 of Smithfield Foods' 3,700 employees tested positive for the virus, as have 135 additional people in close contact with employees.  Smithfield Foods was started in 1936 by a family in Virginia.  Today, the Chinese own Armour and the famous Smithfield hams, together with the most quintessential American brand of all:  Nathan's Famous hot dogs, with its iconic annual eating contest.  In 2013, Smithfield Foods was bought by the Shanghui Group, later rebranded as the WH Group, for $4.7 billion.  It remains the largest total acquisition of a U.S. company by the Chinese.

Pope Francis, Not Content to Falsely Accuse Christians of Fictional Atrocity, Celebrates Jihadis' Favorite Holiday.  The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on Friday [5/1/2020] informed its "dear Muslim brothers and sisters" that the month of Ramadan is "a time for spiritual healing and growth, of sharing with the poor, of strengthening bonds with relatives and friends," as well as an opportunity for "your Christian friends" to "further strengthen our relationships with you."  The message, which was published in Arabic, Italian, French, and English, added:  "It is in this spirit that the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue offers its prayerful best wishes and hearty congratulations to you all."  And that's wonderful, but just what was the Vatican congratulating?  Vatican officials are without any doubt unaware of the fact that because Ramadan is the month in which Muslims redouble their efforts to obey Allah, Ramadan is also quintessentially the month of jihad.

'The hardest time we've ever faced': Amazon revenue surges, but coronavirus costs may wipe out operating profit.  Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos warned the company's stockholders that Amazon may incur a second-quarter operating loss as it spends at least $4 billion from April through June on its coronavirus pandemic response, including some $300 million to develop its own testing capabilities.  Amazon's first-quarter sales were up 26% year over year to $75.5 billion — well above the high end of the company's previous expectations.  Despite the revenue surge, expenses related to Amazon's pandemic response weighed on the bottom line in the quarter ended March 31.  Amazon's net income fell 29% to $2.5 billion, or $5.01 per share, compared to $3.6 billion, or $7.09 per share, during the first quarter of 2019, it said Thursday afternoon [4/30/2020].

Trump Ridicules George W. Bush Appeal for Bipartisanship amid Coronavirus.  A call by former President George W. Bush for humanity to jettison partisanship amid the Chinese coronavirus pandemic has drawn a sharp rebuke from President Donald Trump.  Bush published a video message on Saturday urging unity and togetherness amid the coronavirus' outbreak, which received 4.4 million views on Twitter as of Sunday morning [5/3/2020]. [...] The president's response was straight to the point, outlining Bush's absence when Trump was being excoriated during his impeachment proceedings.  "[...] I appreciate the message from former President Bush, but where was he during Impeachment calling for putting partisanship aside. [...]"

Epstein had his own office, phone line at Harvard even after his 2008 conviction of soliciting sex from minors.  Harvard University admitted Friday [5/1/2020] that Jeffrey Epstein had his own office and phone line at the university and also made several visits there even after he was convicted in 2008 of soliciting sex from minors.  According to a new report from the university, Epstein, the disgraced financier who killed himself in jail last year while awaiting sex crimes charges, visited Harvard more than 40 times after his 2008 conviction and unveiled deep ties between him and the university, with which he had no official affiliation.  University President Lawrence Bacow said in a letter to the Harvard community that Harvard accepted $9.1 million from Epstein between 1998 and 2008 to support research and faculty activities.

How natural gas is withstanding the energy market collapse.  Natural gas is withstanding the coronavirus-fueled economic crash in a way that its closely associated relative, oil, isn't.  Oil prices have reached record lows, with the U.S. benchmark oil price briefly dropping below zero last month after trading at around $60 per barrel at the start of 2020.  The U.S. natural gas price, meanwhile, is stable, staying below $2 per million British thermal units, or MMBtu, a historically low level it has been hovering at for a while due to a glut produced from the shale boom.  Oil producers are shutting in their wells, prompting tens of thousands of layoffs, because the pace of the price collapse was so sudden, caused mostly by the fact that the pandemic has crushed demand for transportation fuels made with oil, as people forgo driving and flying.

U-Haul hands down lifetime ban to Brooklyn funeral home that stored bodies in trucks.  Rental company U-Haul has reportedly cut ties with the Brooklyn funeral home caught storing dozens of bodies inside their unrefrigerated trucks.  Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Services in Flatlands is no longer welcome to rent from the company, U-Haul sources told TMZ.  The U-Haul trucks used by the funeral home to hold corpses are also being decommissioned so they can be deep cleaned, according to the report.  "This is a wrongful, egregious and inhumane use of our equipment," company bigs told the outlet.

Iran Is Hauling Gold Bars Out of Venezuela's Almost-Empty Vaults.  Out of cash and desperate for help in propping up its oil industry, Venezuela is raiding its gold vaults and handing tons of bars to its long-time ally Iran, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.  Government officials piled some 9 tons of gold — an amount equal to about $500 million — on Tehran-bound jets this month as payment for Iran's assistance in reviving Venezuela's crippled gasoline refineries, the people said.  The shipments, which resulted in a sudden drop in Venezuela's published foreign reserve figures, leave the crisis-ravaged country with just $6.3 billion in hard-currency assets, the lowest amount in three decades.

Globalists are Now Talking about 'Flattening the Climate Curve' to Stop Global Warming.  With the notion of "flattening the curve" now burned into the minds of traumatized individuals worldwide, the globalists are attempting to re-appropriate the familiar propaganda line in their war against so-called climate change.  The World Economic Forum (WEF), which works hand-in-hand with the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN), is urging various governments to focusing on flattening the "climate curve," whatever that is supposed to mean, when the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.

Why Trump's new UFO comments are interesting.  [Scroll down]  [President] Trump and certain members of the House and Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees have been briefed on what is known about the objects.  But those briefings center on the objects' indicated capability and behavior patterns, not their origin.  Still, Trump's doubts as to whether the objects in the videos are "even real" is noteworthy.  Those words match up with the argument propagated by some, that these objects might not actually be real in the first place.  Some have suggested these objects are actually the products of highly advanced and top-secret electronic or psychological warfare capabilities or that they're a combination of both.  Such capabilities involve tricking personnel and platforms as to the location and operational activity of enemy forces.  The United States and China have invested heavily in trying to weaponize these capabilities.  So, are these objects really sensory fictions?  The government's assessment is that this is highly unlikely, although not impossible.

City To Dump Ton Of Chicken Manure In Central Park To Discourage Festival Gathering.  A city in Sweden is set to dump a ton of chicken manure in a central park to discourage crowds from gathering for an annual festival amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The move is an attempt to deter as many as 30,000 residents in Lund, a university town east of Copenhagen, from gathering in the park for traditional celebrations to mark Walpurgis Night on Thursday [4/30/2020], The Guardian reported.  The festival features parties and bonfires scattered across Europe.

Dozens of Bodies Found in U-Haul Trucks Outside Brooklyn Funeral Home.  Dozens of dead bodies were found stored in unrefrigerated U-Haul trucks outside a Brooklyn funeral home Wednesday [4/29/2020], according to two senior law enforcement officials.  Around 50 bodies were discovered inside as many as four different storage vehicles over the past few days, the law enforcement officials said.  The Andrew T. Cleckley Funeral Home, located on Utica Avenue in the Flatlands neighborhood, was using ice inside the trucks in an effort to maintain the bodies.

Woman Who Blamed Trump after Giving Her Husband Fish-Tank Cleaner Now Under Investigation for Murder.  Arizona police are now conducting a homicide investigation into a woman who claimed she gave her husband fish tank cleaner after President Trump claimed the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine was an effective treatment for coronavirus.  Wanda Lenius told NBC News last month that she and her husband Gary consumed fish tank cleaner because it contained a chemical that Trump suggested might be an effective prophylactic and treatment for coronavirus.  The cocktail, which contained four teaspoons of fish tank cleaner mixed with soda water, put Wanda in the ICU and killed Gary.  "My advice," Wanda explained, is "don't believe anything that the President says and his people because they don't know what they're talking about."

Amazon turns to Chinese firm on U.S. blacklist to meet thermal camera needs.  Amazon.com Inc has bought cameras to take temperatures of workers during the coronavirus pandemic from a firm the United States blacklisted over allegations it helped China detain and monitor Uighurs and other Muslim minorities, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

You Don't Get to Collect Unemployment Because You Are Scared.  It is always great when the media reports news that isn't really news.  Reports are surfacing today that some awful Republican governors are telling citizens if they are recalled to work and refuse to go, they will be ineligible for unemployment.  This is not startling and will most likely be the case in blue states as well.  Of course, you won't hear about that.  Unemployment is a system for people who are able to work but either out of work for reasons beyond their control or going through a period of reduced work because of reduced business operations.  The entire goal of the Paycheck Protection Program was to keep employees attached to their employers so they could seamlessly return to work when operations resumed.

Newt Gingrich blasts 'precious politicians' who want to wimp out of their jobs with remote proxy vote.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called out "precious politicians" who are avoiding getting back to Washington due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Gingrich found it "bizarre" that some lawmakers would consider themselves any different from those who are working through the crisis, calling on them in tweets to get back to work or "resign."

The deaf community faces another communication hurdle as face masks become the new normal.  Mary Beth Pagnella, who has lived with profound hearing loss most of her life, prides herself on being an excellent lip reader.  But,amid the coronavirus outbreak, reading lips has become more difficult with state and federal officials recommending, and some requiring, people to wear masks in public.  "I feel so lost and out of place because [people] are wearing masks and I cannot read their lips," Pagnella told USA Today.  "Not being able to hear is hard enough.  Now, lip reading is hard, too."

Long-Lost U.S. Military Satellite Found By Amateur Radio Operator.  [Scroll down]  In other words, says [Scott] Tilley, even though the satellite was supposed to shut down in 1972, it's still going.  As long as the solar panels are in the sun, the satellite's radio continues to operate.  Tilley thinks it may even be possible to send commands to the satellite.  The MIT lab that built LES-5 still does a lot of work on classified projects for the military.  NPR contacted its news office to ask if someone could say more about LES-5 and whether it really could still receive commands.  But after repeated requests, Lincoln Laboratory finally answered with a "no comment."  It seems that even a 50-year-old zombie satellite might still have secrets.

Police open homicide probe into death of man whose wife gave him fish tank cleaner, blamed Trump.  The Mesa City, Ariz., Police Department has launched a homicide investigation into the death of Gary Lenius, the man whose wife gave him a drink laced with fish tank cleaner allegedly to ward off COVID-19.  The investigation, which was confirmed by the Washington Free Beacon, is being handled by Det.  Teresa Van Galder, who could not provide any details at the moment because it's an active case.  The news site also reported that it provided a recording of its interview with Wanda Lenius, 61, from March.

All Is Not What It Seems In Sweden.  Sweden has been regularly cited in American media as a country that chose an approach to the Covid-19 pandemic different from that of the U.S. and the European countries.  There have been pictures of Swedes crowding into outdoor restaurants, enjoying sunny early spring weather.  Streets in central Stockholm have been shown looking "normal," although the density of shoppers and pedestrians had been exaggerated through tele-lens photography.  These news reports seemed to suggest social life little affected by the pandemic, as if Sweden had taken a more relaxed approach to the virus than other countries.

Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie Touches the Third Rail — Reveals DC's Biggest Secret.  With congress saying they will not be returning to work next week, it appears Kentucky representative Thomas Massie has decided to use the opportunity to expose Washington DC's biggest secret.  Something 99% of American voters do not understand: [...] You see, congress doesn't actually write legislation.  The last item of legislation written by congress was sometime around the mid 1990's.  Modern legislation is sub-contracted to K-Street.  Lobbyists write the laws; congress sells the laws; lobbyists then pay congress commissions for passing their laws.  That's the modern legislative business in DC.

The House of Representatives has identified itself as a non-essential service.  The original plan in Washington, D.C., was for both the Senate and the House to reconvene on May 4.  News broke on Tuesday [4/28/2020], though, that the House will not be returning to work.  It turns out that so many members of the House panicked at the thought of working once more for the American people that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer was forced to announce that the House would remain closed next week.

Sen. Cotton says Chinese students shouldn't be allowed to study science in US.  GOP Sen. Tom Cotton suggested that Chinese students should be banned from studying technology and science in the US — and said he has "little doubt" that Beijing is trying to steal a coronavirus vaccine from America.  "In the middle of a pandemic, what's the most valuable intellectual property in the world?  It's the research that our great laboratories and life science companies are doing on prophylactic drugs, therapeutic drugs, and ultimately a vaccine," Cotton of Arkansas said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."  "So I have little doubt that the Chinese intelligence services are actively trying to steal America's intellectual property as it relates to the virus that they unleashed on the world, because, of course, they want to be the country that claims credit for finding those drugs or finding a vaccine, and then use it as leverage against the rest of the world," the senator continued.

More than 88 million emergency payments totaling $158 billion are out the door:  IRS.  The Internal Revenue Service on Friday said the federal government has issued more than 88 million emergency direct payments to individuals that collectively totaled about $158 billion over a three-week period ending April 17.  "The IRS, Treasury and partner agencies are working non-stop to get these payments out in record time to Americans who need them," said IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig.  A total of more than 150 million payments, which were a central feature of a recent $2.2 trillion economic rescue package, are expected to be sent out.

One country, one system:  The week that China shredded its promise on Hong Kong.  Martin Lee has tangled with the Chinese Communist Party countless times in his decades-long fight to achieve free elections in Hong Kong and enlist Western support for the city's democratic ambitions.  Last weekend, the police came knocking.  Seven officers appeared at Lee's home and arrested the 81-year-old for participating in an unauthorized protest last year that 1.7 million people attended.  More than a dozen other democracy activists were detained the same day.  The arrests buttressed a week of coordinated actions by Beijing that experts say have redefined the status of Hong Kong.  The effect was to demolish the "one country, two systems" framework that prohibits Beijing's involvement in local affairs and is supposed to afford the financial center a high level of autonomy.

AutoNation, a Fortune 500 auto retailer worth $3 billion, received nearly $95 million in PPP funds by using separate tax IDs.  A Fortune 500 auto company worth $3 billion received nearly $95 million in federal small-business funds, almost double the amount of any company that received money through the Paycheck Protection Program.  The $95 million received by AutoNation is said to have been spread among dozens of their more than 300 locations and intended to use the funds to help employees.  Funds for PPP ran out last week, with thousands of small businesses left without a dime.  AutoNation Executive Vice President Marc Cannon said that the company's board voted on Thursday [4/23/2020] to return the funds, the Washington Post reports.

World Health Organization's History of Promoting Radical Sex Ed.  When President Donald Trump pushed the pause button on funding the World Health Organization this past week, most people's only experience with the group was as a harmless arm of the United Nations.  But the "watchdog" of the global health is a lot more than the world's disease and infection police.  It's also, as more Americans are starting to learn, one of the biggest promoters of abortion and peddlers of radical sex ed.  At this point, it's undeniable.  And it's been its agenda for many years.  If Americans are upset about anything, it shouldn't be that the president temporarily cut the WHO's funding.  It should be the incredible injustice that's been done to taxpayers by sending billions of dollars to a group that doesn't share most people's values.

Tucker Carlson goes full Alinsky on McKinsey for outsourcing manufacturing to China.  Tucker Carlson spent the first 15 minutes of his show last night decrying the loss of so much of our manufacturing base to China.  That concern has spread from the already devastated Rust Belt to the coastal habitats of the elites now that the pandemic has exposed our reliance for survival on an increasingly threatening China for pharmaceuticals, protective gear, and many other critical strategic goods, such as the rare earths necessary for the manufacture of advanced electronic components.  With the dangers of such dependence obvious to all, Tucker took an original angle and followed Saul Alinsky's Rule #13:  "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."  His target:  McKinsey & Company, the global consulting group that has helped many a giant corporation outsource its manufacturing to lower-wage countries, pre-eminently but not exclusively China, as a means of competing in world markets and in the domestic American market, which for the most part has been wide open to foreign competition.

Workers volunteered to live in a factory for 28 days to produce millions of pounds of raw PPE materials to make masks and gowns.  Workers at a Pennsylvania petrochemical factory ended a nearly monthlong "live-in" at their workplace to produce 40 million pounds of raw material used to make personal protective equipment like hospital masks and gowns.  Forty-three employees at Braskem America in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, volunteered to live in the factory to limit outside exposure to the coronavirus as they made polypropylene, a material used to make hygienic products such as face masks, surgical gowns, and disinfectant wipes.

Could Poorly Managed States End Up in Bankruptcy?  The Constitution grants Congress the power to establish uniform laws for bankruptcies throughout the country.  Yet the bankruptcy code lacks a chapter extending such protection to states, which might be why some of them have become so profligate.  That combined with the coronavirus has put some of them on the brink of collapse.  This erupted in the news when the President of the Illinois senate, Don Harmon, wrote a letter to the Illinois delegation in the U.S. Congress asking a bailout of more than $40 billion for the state.  Chicago Tribune blew its stack in a memorable editorial.  What was so galling about it, at least to us, is that Mr. Harmon sought a $10 billion bailout directly to the Land of Lincoln's long-underfunded pension system.

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse owner says it will repay $20 million in small business loans.  Ruth's Chris Steak House announced Thursday [4/23/2020] it will return the $20 million it received in coronavirus small business loans.  Ruth's Hospitality Group, which owns the Ruth's Chris Steak House brand, procured two $10million loans from the government's $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program this month.  The chain was met with fierce criticism for using loopholes in the PPP system to secure funding, leaving the small business applicants it was designed for high and dry.

On Earth Day, pope says nature will not forgive our trespasses.  Pope Francis made an impassioned plea for protection of the environment on Wednesday's 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, saying the coronavirus pandemic had shown that some challenges had to be met with a global response.  Francis praised the environmental movement, saying it was necessary for young people to "take to the streets to teach us what is obvious, that is, that there will be no future for us if we destroy the environment that sustains us".

The Editor says...
I'm not worried about nature forgiving me for anything.  Personification of the earth, or Naturalistic Pantheism, is heresy.  The Pope's message is something you'd expect to hear from a Buddhist, not a Catholic.

States Made Risky Bets with Pensions Before Coronavirus.  Now They Want a Bailout.  Staring down the coronavirus's effect on their budgets, states like New Jersey and Illinois are calling on federal leaders to backstop public pensions as part of future coronavirus relief. [...] But the pension shortfalls are not just a product of the bear market, experts tell the Washington Free Beacon.  Some states now seeking bailouts are in part covering for more than a decade of economic mismanagement, having chased increasingly risky investments to fund generous benefits at low up-front costs.  Bailouts would allow states to dodge hard questions about the viability of excessively generous public pensions.

Usama bin Laden wanted to kill Obama so 'totally unprepared' Biden would be president, declassified docs show.  Usama bin Laden wanted to assassinate then-President Barack Obama so that the "totally unprepared" Joe Biden would take over as president and plunge the United States "into a crisis," according to documents seized from bin Laden's Pakistan compound when he was killed in May 2011.  The secretive documents, first reported in 2012 by The Washington Post, outlined a plan to take out Obama and top U.S. military commander David Petraeus as they traveled by plane.  "The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency," bin Laden wrote to a top deputy.  "Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis.  As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour ... and killing him would alter the war's path" in Afghanistan.

Judge Napolitano skeptical about lawsuits against China over coronavirus losses: 'They don't have a case'.  Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano joined the "Fox News Rundown" podcast Thursday to offer a legal perspective on coronavirus after Missouri became the first state to file a lawsuit against China in an attempt to hold Beijing accountable for the severity of the pandemic.  "At the present time, they don't have a case because of the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act [of 1976], which basically says American courts do not have jurisdiction over the behavior of foreign governments and that, of course, would bar nearly any lawsuit against the government of China," Napolitano explained.

DeVos bars undocumented college students from emergency aid.  The Trump administration on Tuesday prohibited undocumented college students from receiving emergency federal cash assistance for expenses like food, child care and housing.  The economic rescue law passed by Congress gives $6 billion to colleges to dole out to students for expenses stemming from the disruption on campuses caused by the pandemic.  But Education Department officials in new guidance said the money can go only to students who qualify for federal financial aid — U.S. citizens and some legal permanent residents.

The Death of the Department Store: 'Very Few Are Likely to Survive'.  American department stores, once all-powerful shopping meccas that anchored malls and Main Streets across the country, have been dealt blow after blow in the past decade.  J.C. Penney and Sears were upended by hedge funds.  Macy's has been closing stores and cutting corporate staff.  Barneys New York filed for bankruptcy last year.  But nothing compares to the shock the weakened industry has taken from the coronavirus pandemic.  The sales of clothing and accessories fell by more than half in March, a trend that is expected to only get worse in April.  The entire executive team at Lord & Taylor was let go this month.  Nordstrom has canceled orders and put off paying its vendors.  The Neiman Marcus Group, the most glittering of the American department store chains, is expected to declare bankruptcy in the coming days, the first major retailer felled during the current crisis.  It is not likely to be the last.

The 2016 election scandal waiting to break.  As I've been telling you for a long time, there are going to be repercussions from the political scandals of 2016.  The time is coming soon — maybe very soon — when we will find out who will be indicted and what impact these legal actions will have on the 2020 presidential election.  John Durham, the US Attorney in Connecticut, has been investigating whether there was wrongdoing before and after the last presidential election.  His focus seems to be on whether warrants were improperly obtained to spy on the Trump campaign.  But over the two-plus years since Durham has been on the case, the probe seems to have expanded.  High up intelligence officers in the US seem to be the target.  Durham's probe could turn very political if his evidence determines that actions were taken by the intelligence community to aid the Democrats.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue Announces $19 Billion U.S. Farm Aid Relief Package.  In the background of lessons being learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, stay tuned for a new MAGA-minded small farm program in the agricultural industry similar in construct to how President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin created the parallel banking system using community banks and credit unions.  Domestic food security is national security.  Today [4/17/2020] President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue revealed a $19 billion U.S. farm relief program which includes the Dept. of Agriculture purchasing $3 billion in farm products from the fresh supply chain to support those impacted by the collapse of the restaurant, hotel, school and cafeteria demand (food away from home).

Foreign Powers Test US defenses amid coronavirus pandemic.  U.S. adversaries are probing America's defenses as the world is preoccupied with the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.  In the past two weeks, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea have all moved to test Washington in the sea, in the air and on land as U.S. forces have become more restricted in movement amid concerns over the spread of COVID-19.  "Exactly how distracted is the U.S. military?  They want to know," said Susanna Blume, the director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, referring to foreign countries.

Texas Lt. Gov Patrick says it's time for Congress to take a pay cut, show Americans 'you're with us'.  Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling on Congress to show solidarity with Americans hurt by the coronavirus crisis and take a pay cut.  With millions of people across the nation facing financial hardship due to government decisions to shut down the economy, Patrick believes members of Congress who "are not hurt" by the same constraints should stand with citizens, telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham that it's high time lawmakers in Washington "feel some of this pain."

Over 20 million Americans lack broadband, says senator.  More than 20 million Americans lack "meaningful broadband service" as people turn to the internet for school and work during the coronavirus crisis, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner warned federal regulators.  "Under the current circumstances, this lack of broadband access threatens to greatly — and potentially lastingly — exacerbate disparities in health, education and economic equity," said Mr. Warner, a Democrat, in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday [4/16/2020].  He noted that 770,000 Virginians don't have broadband access.

The Editor says...
Broadband internet service should be the least of Virginians' concerns, when the Governor is trampling their First- and Second-Amendment rights.  But aside from that, what is the minimum download and upload speed that qualifies as "meaningful broadband service?"  I suspect I'm one of the unfortunate victims left behind, with my minimal DSL service.

Land O'Lakes quietly removes image of Mia, its longtime Native American maiden.  Popular dairy brand Land O'Lakes quietly changed its packaging to remove its iconic Indian maiden image, it was revealed Wednesday [4/15/2020].  The new packaging has already started to appear in stores and looks similar to the previous branding with an image of lake and trees — except without Mia, the kneeling woman featured in the center, the Minnesota Reformer reported.

Photo by Tiffany Hagler-Geard, courtesy of Bloomberg.
Land O'Lakes Drops Its 'Racist' Native American Packaging After Nearly 100 Years.  The iconic Native American woman has been removed from all butter and margerine packaging for the Minnesota-based company Land O'Lakes.  In a press release, the company announced that it has introduced a new brand of packaging without mentioning the Native American woman's removal.  The new packaging simply features the "Farmer-Owned" Land O'Lakes before an evergreen wilderness.  "The new packaging will show up in a variety of ways, including through a new front-of-package design that features the phrase 'Farmer-Owned' above the LAND O LAKES brandmark, 'Since 1921' below it and a vibrant illustration of land and lakes," said the statement.


The Editor says...
How strange it is, that the illustration wasn't racist until this year.  My advice would be to leave the packaging exactly as it was, and let that one-in-a-million snowflake boycott this product.

Related topic:  Redskins.

Q Praises Shocking Out of Shadows Documentary and Millions Watch it.  On April 10, an underground documentary with no publicity landed on YouTube and amassed one million views in 24 hours.  Despite YouTube's efforts to hide it, Out of Shadows continues to attract more than a million viewers a day, lifting the mask "on how the mainstream media and Hollywood manipulate and control the masses by spreading propaganda throughout their content."  "Why do you believe what you believe?" asks Mike Smith, a former star stuntman for Hollywood action films, who produced and self-funded the film.  Mike tells the story of how he began delving into the messages of the high-budget films he worked on, after an injury sidelined him.  To his shock, he discovered that "we have all been lied to and brainwashed by a hidden enemy with a sinister agenda."  Mike's investigation revealed a host of CIA programs he sees as designed to control the public's beliefs and deflect attention from massive governmental crimes.

Mike Smith, the Stuntman, QAnon Follower & Trump Fan Behind 'Out of Shadows' Documentary.  ike Smith is the Hollywood stuntman behind the conspiracy documentary, "Out of Shadows."  Smith says in the documentary that while he rehabbed an injury on his pelvis that he suffered while filming, he had a spiritual awakening.  Smith says, "I didn't find God because I went to church.  I found God because I realized that the Luciferian and the occult world was real and that I had been fooled for all of these years and I then got really scared."  Smith goes on to say that he became a Christian again because of his belief that Hollywood and the entertainment industry was influenced by Satan.  The film delves deep into the disproved Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

Newly Declassified Papadopoulos Transcript Exposes Crossfire Hurricane Corruption.  Attorney General William Barr said last week that "the evidence shows that we're not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness" in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.  Rather, "there is something far more troubling here."  "Without any basis," Barr added in his sit-down interview with Fox News' Laura Ingraham, "they started this investigation of [Trump's] campaign, and even more concerning actually is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president to sabotage his presidency — or at least have the effect of sabotaging the presidency."

No construction order means "open season" for squatting, theft, vandalism.  As stakeholders continue to discuss how to resume construction activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, builders across the state say criminals are taking advantage of empty construction sites and near-completed residential homes — and the effects are destructive and costly.  In one case, a city manager has provided further guidance to the industry as it seeks to navigate the challenging circumstances.  In addition to myriad financial consequences construction businesses and employees are bearing due to the inactivity, builders say there's been a sharp increase in vandalism, thefts and squatters on construction sites, in some cases despite enhanced security measures.  Additionally, people are using the sites as dumping grounds for all manner of things from old appliances to electronics and more, likely to avoid fees at transfer stations.

The Fastest Growing and Declining E-Commerce Categories.  The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on every aspect of life, including how people shop for their necessities, and their not-so-necessities.  With online retail sales estimated to reach an eye-watering $6.5 trillion by 2023, the ecommerce sector was already booming.  But since the outbreak, online shopping has been catapulted into complete overdrive.

Confirmed: Air Force "Men in Black" were investigating Luis Elizondo over UFO videos.  The last time we checked in on the folks at the Pentagon who have gone almost entirely silent on the matter of government and military investigations into Navy encounters with UFOs, there were plenty of questions left unanswered.  One of the key issues was why they seemed to keep changing their story when pressed for answers and how they couldn't seem to define precisely what Luis Elizondo did or didn't have to do with their secret UFO program known as AATIP (Advanced Aerial Threat Identification Program). One other question was how those three Navy UFO videos wound up making their way into the public eye if all of this was supposed to be so hush-hush.  Now we know the answer and several other new details.

The BBC Ridicules Christianity On Good Friday.  At the end of holy week, the Christian — or at least the Western Christian Churches — celebrate the mysteries of Easter and the resurrection of Christ.  At this time the BBC, in the shape of Nick Robinson on its flagship Today program, decided to belittle a Covid survivor's reference to his faith as a 'trick' played on him by the drugs he was being administered in intensive care.

Pressure mounts for Gov. Inslee to restart private construction projects.  Pressure is mounting on Gov. Inslee to relax his stay-at-home requirements for the construction industry.  He is getting letters from developers, lawmakers, and others saying private construction is just as essential as public projects.  While most large public projects have been halted — including state road projects and some Sound Transit work — public construction projects are on Gov. Inslee's "essential" list.  Building homes is not, a double-standard contractors believe isn't fair.

Bridge collapses in Italy with almost no traffic amid lockdown.  A bridge on a normally busy provincial road in northern Italy collapsed on Wednesday [4/8/2020] but with virtually no traffic during the coronavirus lockdown, only two truck drivers suffered minor injuries, the fire brigade said. [...] Although casualties were limited in Wednesday's incident, the incident highlights the poor state of repair of Italy's road network, after the collapse of a motorway bridge in the port city of Genoa in 2018 that killed 43 people.

Airline travel has dropped 96 percent amid coronavirus.  Airline travel has dropped 96 percent amid the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported Thursday [4/9/2020], citing multiple metrics.  Only about one in 10 seats on U.S. domestic planes are occupied, the outlet reported citing Airlines for America, an industry group that represents airlines including American, Delta, Southwest and United.  On the limited number of international flights operating, only one in five seats are occupied, the group said.

The Editor says...
On a normal day (how I miss normal days!) there was an airplane flying over my house about every two minutes.  Now, there are only a few per day.

Bill Barr:  "Without Any Basis".  Here are what I think are the important points we can take from what Barr said.  First of all, it seems apparent that the Durham investigation has completed most of its evidence gathering — whether documentary or through interviews.  That doesn't mean the investigation is finished.  There is also the question of putting together a prosecutive case, and that will probably involve complicated negotiations with the lawyers for the persons being investigated.  That, in turn, could lead to further substantive investigation.  But the bottom line is that at this point Barr appears confident that he knows what happened and, most likely, who was behind it.  As Barr says, this is a "sprawling" case.

Battery explodes in a home while being charged.  Batteries are not 100% safe and should not be left unattended while charging.  [Video clip]

NASA astronaut's estranged wife charged with lying about space crime allegation.  The estranged wife of a NASA astronaut who claimed her spouse improperly accessed her bank account from space has been indicted for lying to federal authorities.  Summer Worden, 44, whose claim would have potentially been the first accusation of a crime committed in space, made false statements to NASA's Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Trade Commission, according a statement from U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick.  A federal jury in Houston returned the two-count indictment in late February, but it was unsealed Monday [4/6/2020].

Kennedy Center Agrees To Pay Orchestra After Lawmakers Move To Rescind Bailout.  The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has walked back its decision to furlough nearly 100 members of the symphony orchestra despite receiving a $25 million federal bailout, a move that prompted the affected musicians to file a lawsuit against the performing arts center.  According to The Washington Free Beacon, the center has offered the musicians pay cuts and a wage freeze instead of furloughs, and the union representing the orchestra's musicians has, in turn, decided to drop a lawsuit against the center for allegedly violating a contract, which prohibits layoffs without six weeks notice.

US Box Office Sales Collapse To Just $5,179; Was $204 Million During Same Period Last Year.  As millions of Americans spend quality time with their families to avoid the global pandemic, box office sales across the US have predictably cratered — falling to just $5,179 from March 20 through March 26 as movie theaters across the country remain shuttered.

Landlords alarmed over rent forgiveness proposal.  On Wednesday [4/1/2020], Portland city leaders sent a letter to the governor asking for statewide rent forgiveness for people who lost incomes because of the pandemic.  "We've never talked about a rent moratorium before or forgiving mortgages.  I know it might sound outlandish to some, but I just ask them to consider the alternatives or offer alternatives.  You can't squeeze blood from a stone," Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly told KATU.  Since then, reaction has been swift, claiming if put in place, it would cause long-term damage to basic economic structures.

California nonprofit calls for statewide rent strike.  The start of the month under a statewide stay-at-home order means many tenants and homeowners are scrambling to come up with the money for their rent and mortgage bills.  On Wednesday, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment declared a statewide rent strike, demanding that those payments be forgiven until people can return to work.  With so many workers out of a job right now, a number of families do not know when their next paycheck is coming — but the bills keep piling up.

The Editor says...
Being unable to pay the rent and being unwilling to pay the rent are two entirely different things.  In the former case, one might reasonably hope for mercy, longsuffering, and unmerited kindness.  In the latter case, one might reasonably expect eviction.

European leaders warn coronavirus could lead to the breakup of their union.  The coronavirus pandemic, with its simultaneous health and economic crises, is deepening fault lines within Europe in a way some leaders fear could prove to be a final reckoning.  The cohesion of the European Union had been battered by Brexit, bruised by the political fallout from the 2015 migration surge and the 2008 financial crisis, and challenged by rising autocracy in the east that runs contrary to the professed ideals of the European project.  Now, if Europe's leaders cannot chart a more united course, the project lies in what one of its architects described this week as "mortal danger."

Major Errors Found In All 29 of the FISA Warrants The IG Has Reviewed.  FISA hearings are ex parte — one sided.  There is only a prosecutor; there is no defense attorney present to challenge or question the claims made to the judge.  That's why the Woods Procedures specify that each and every claim made in the FISA application be so thoroughly proven that even if there were a defense attorney present to challenge every claim, the judge would still find that the claim was too well supported to be questioned.

DOJ Inspector General Finds Rampant Errors in FBI Surveillance.  The Justice Department's watchdog determined that the FBI failed to properly document the facts in 29 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) applications that were reviewed in an audit.  The findings are part of a report released on March 30 by the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General.  The office had previously found widespread fundamental and serious errors in the FISA applications used to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. [...] Of the 42 applications reviewed, 39 had a "total of about 390 issues, including unverified, inaccurate, or inadequately supported facts, as well as typographical errors."  Just three applications had no issues.

Two Fateful Events Occurred on January 15 Which Changed America for Years to Come; One Glaring, the Other Quiet.  On January 15, America watched as a group of prideful House Democrats, placing partisan interests above their country, walked the spurious Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate.  The solemn looks on their faces belied the elation they tried hard not to show.  For the next three weeks, we watched the spectacle of Adam Schiff and his team trying desperately to prove their fraudulent case against President Trump.  Fortunately, they failed.  At the same time, an airplane landed at Washington State's Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.  A 35-year-old man had just returned from visiting his family in Wuhan, China.  Five days later, on January 20, he would become the first person in the U.S. to test positive for the coronavirus.

A Surprising Paradox of Major Floods.  Last year, record floods along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers caused $2.9 Billion worth of damage in Nebraska and Iowa, flooding at least one million acres of farmland and killing three people.  While floods and other natural disasters can inflict unfortunate death and destruction upon individuals, they can paradoxically benefit communities in the long run.  In the short term — over a span of a few years — floods can transform urban areas into downtrodden, waterlogged ghost towns.  But you might be surprised to learn that in the long term — think more than ten years — floods and other natural disasters actually seem to grow economies and populations.

Fish tank cleaner couple's story gets weirder and weirder.  [W]hat normal person eats a fish-tank cleaner to avoid coronavirus?  Hmmm, perhaps a loving husband whose oh, so solicitous wife suggests it because President Donald J. Trump (R) highly recommends it.  At least that's what the grieving widow says, whose husband died from dining on the stuff while she daintily ingested a mere taste.  While the lefty media — i.e., 90% or so of the media — gleefully agreed with her that Trump was at fault, the remaining 10% of the media, plus the hundreds of thousands of silent deplorables, thought this explanation was fishy.  The fishiness began to stink to high Hillary hell upon the discovery that the couple was — surprise! — Democratic donors.

The mysterious case of the people who ate fish tank cleaner.  Shortly after President Trump touted chloroquine as a potential cure for COVID-19, the media triumphantly reported that a man died from taking homemade chloroquine due to Trump's recommendation.  It turned out that the man's wife fed him some fish tank cleaner.  She even partook of it with him, except that he died while she didn't.  As a dedicated murder mystery reader, I didn't blame Trump.  My suspicions were focused elsewhere.  It turns out my instincts may have been right on the money.  Here's the story the drive-by media didn't tell you: [...] Here's an excellent rule of thumb when navigating stories that are hostile to President Trump:  Assume everything you hear is a lie, whether it's from the media or from the anti-Trump source about which the media is reporting.  Also, you can learn a lot about human nature and sneaky crimes by reading murder mysteries.

Rick Perry warns US energy sector on verge of 'massive collapse' due to coronavirus pandemic.  Former Energy Secretary Rick Perry warned Tuesday [3/31/2020] on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that the coronavirus pandemic has brought the United States' once-thriving oil and energy sector to the verge of a "massive collapse."  Sweeping restrictions on work and travel have brought industrial activity to a near-standstill.  Perry explained that fewer cars on the road and fewer flights in the air translate to a major decrease in demand for oil, which is bad news for America's energy producers.

Ex wildlife chief:  Trump rule could kill billions of birds.  At a former open-pit copper mine filled with billions of gallons of toxic water, sirens and loud pops from propane cannons echo off the granite walls to scare away birds so they don't land.  After several thousand migrating snow geese perished in the Berkeley Pit's acidic, metal-laden waters in 2016, its owners deployed a sophisticated arsenal to frighten away flocks, including lasers, drones, fireworks and remote-controlled boats.  Montana Resources already had been hazing incoming birds with spotlights and rifle shots into the water — and a spokesman says those existing deterrents likely helped the company avoid a penalty or prosecution under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. [...] However, the Trump administration says deaths of birds that fly into oil pits, mining sites, telecommunications towers, wind turbines and other hazards should be treated as accidents not subject to prosecution.

The Editor says...
Where was this writer's concern about windmills killing birds when Obama was president?

Coronavirus job losses could hit 47M, unemployment rate may surge to 32%, St.  Louis Fed says.  Tens of millions of Americans will likely lose their jobs as the coronavirus pandemic sends the U.S. economy into a free fall, causing the unemployment rate to surge to levels not seen since the Great Depression, according to a St.  Louis Federal Reserve estimate.  The analysis, posted by St. Louis Fed economist Miguel Faria-e-Castro, projected that unemployment could hit 32 percent in the second quarter as more than 47 million workers are laid off as a result of the pandemic, which has forced swaths of the economy to shut down.  That would exceed the 24.9 percent peak during the Great Depression.  "These are very large numbers by historical standards, but this is a rather unique shock that is unlike any other experienced by the U.S. economy in the last 100 years," Faria-e-Castro wrote in the research paper published last week.

King of Thailand 'isolates' from coronavirus with 20 women.  Thailand's playboy king has taken over a luxury German hotel to isolate from the coronavirus — along with a harem of 20 women, according to reports.  King Maha Vajiralongkorn, 67, reportedly booked the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl with "special permission" to break the lockdown in the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Independent said, quoting German media.  But rather than isolate, he moved in a harem of 20 concubines along with a team of servants, the UK paper said, citing German tabloid Bild.

France Issues Rallying Calls to 'Buy French' as Coronavirus Erodes EU Single Market.  French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has called on his countrymen to buy domestic products as the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak cripples the European single market.  Describing his approach as "economic patriotism," he urged French supermarkets to 'stock French products.' The call didn't go unheard.  Following the minister's remarks on Tuesday, the trade body representing French supermarkets vowed to stock up shelves exclusively with fruits and vegetables produced within France once the foreign products run out, the newspaper Les Echos reported.

Globalism gone bust:  Italians burn EU flag, vow to leave EU over EU's lousy coronavirus response.  Now that Italy has recorded its 10,000th coronavirus death, a third of the global total, and nearly a thousand just yesterday, Italians are questioning the value of globalism, and more specifically asking what good its European Union membership does it.  Sentiment is soaring for getting out and going it alone.  Britain did it, why not Italy?  Locals are now burning European Union flags, and Italian politicians are ramping up the talk about getting the heck out of the European Union altogether.

Senior WHO Official Cuts Off Interview When Reporter Implies Taiwan Isn't Part Of China.  A senior World Health Organization official appeared to pretend he couldn't hear a reporter and then cancelled the call when she implied Taiwan was a separate country from China.  A Hong Kong-based outlet was conducting the interview with senior advisor to the WHO Bruce Aylward.  Taiwan is one of the few Western-style democracies near China, and China's communist government has long insisted that the international community treat Taiwan as a part of "Greater China," despite having separate governments.  The WHO complies and does not allow Taiwan to be a member state.  The reporter asked whether that policy might change during the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump to cruise lines:  If you want American coronavirus relief, try being American companies first.  If companies want America to bail them out, perhaps they should bail back into America first.  Donald Trump had spoken repeatedly about the financial beating that cruise lines had taken since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and perhaps those corporations just assumed that they could access the COVID-19 rescue package once it passed. [...] Last night [3/26/2020], Trump sympathized with the plight of cruise lines, but noted that these companies haven't done much to invest in the US.  If the cruise lines want the protection of American taxpayers, they should join their ranks first, Trump said.

President Trump signs into law $2 trillion coronavirus bailout.  President Trump on Friday [3/27/2020] signed into law a historic $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package, the largest stimulus deal in United States history, as the pandemic devastates the nation's economy and sickens thousands.  "This will deliver urgently needed relief to our nation's families, workers and businesses and that's what this is all about," Trump said in the Oval Office flanked by GOP lawmakers and administration officials.  "I want to thank Republicans and Democrats for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first," he added.  The bill includes $500 billion in direct checks to American families, $500 billion in small business loans, $150 billion in hospital funding and a $150 billion relief fund for state and local governments, among other measures.

More than 400,000 jobs available as coronavirus prods people to stock up on necessities and order takeout.  The outbreak of the coronavirus across the United States has shuttered whole industries.  Still, demand for essentials, such as food, toilet paper, and even pizza delivery, has increased hiring by over 400,000 jobs as people shelter in their homes and stock up on necessities.  Walmart, the largest employer in the U.S., wants to hire an additional 150,000 temporary workers by the end of May to meet the increase in demand at its stores.  However, those temporary jobs could become permanent.  "These roles will be temporary at first, but many will convert to permanent roles over time," it stated in a press release.

China Uses Coronavirus Crisis to Bulldoze Churches and Temples.  Religious freedom watchdog groups are accusing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of using the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic as an opportunity to intensify their crackdown on religion, bulldozing some churches and placing others under heavy surveillance.  "China is now holding itself up as a model for fighting the coronavirus.  But fighting the pandemic hasn't stopped communist officials from persecuting Christians," Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for the nonprofit group Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), told Fox News on Tuesday.

The United States indicts Venezuela's Maduro on narco-terrorism charges.  The Trump administration unsealed sweeping indictments Thursday against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and members of his inner circle on narcoterrorism charges, a move that dramatically escalates U.S. efforts to force the authoritarian socialist from power.  The United States also offered a $15 million bounty for information leading to Maduro's capture and conviction.  Attorney General William P. Barr said the Justice Department has charged Maduro, along with a host of other current and former Venezuelan officials, with narcoterrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking.  Barr and other U.S. officials outlined a detailed conspiracy headed by Maduro that effectively worked with Colombian guerrillas to transform Venezuela into a transshipment point for moving massive amounts of cocaine into the United States.

His Tesla was in a hit and run.  It recorded the whole thing.  The car is becoming a sentry, a chaperone, and a snitch.  My parked car got gashed in a hit-and-run two weeks ago.  I found a star witness:  the car itself.  Like mine, your car might have cameras.  At least one rearview camera has been required on new American cars since 2018.  I drive a Tesla Model 3 that has eight lenses pointing in every direction, which it uses for backing up, parking and cruise control.  A year ago, Tesla updated its software to also turn its cameras into a 360-degree video recorder.  Even when the car is off.

Sentiment builds for moving U.S. companies out of China.  American companies that produce essential goods in China should plan to shift their operations back to the United States or other Western countries, according to a senior Republican lawmaker.  "We're staring into a significant, significant crisis of supply chain," Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner told the Washington Examiner.

Deal Reached on $2 Trillion Package to Pay for Our 'Strange New Reality'.  Senate and White House negotiators reached an agreement early Wednesday morning [3/25/2020] on a $2 trillion stimulus package to help businesses and families affected by the coronavirus epidemic and to bolster the economy.  The agreement clears the way for the package to sail through both houses of Congress on its way to President Trump.  Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters that Trump will sign the bill as soon as it reaches his desk."

Dow surges more than 2,000 points in its strongest one-day performance since 1933.  The Dow soared more than 2,000 points on Tuesday in its strongest one-day performance since 1933 as US lawmakers neared a deal to inject nearly $2 trillion of aid into an economy ravaged by the coronavirus.  All three main US stock indexes rebounded strongly from Monday's brutal selloff as the coronavirus outbreak forced entire nations to shut down.

Hallelujah! Daughter of Muslim domestic terrorist defeated In Illinois election.  Ameena Nuur Matthews was defeated in the Democratic primary election for Illinois' 1st Congressional District on March 17th, 2020.

De Blasio's senior staff in near revolt over his coronavirus response.  When Mayor de Blasio dragged aides and members of his NYPD security detail to his Brooklyn YMCA Monday morning amidst the coronavirus outbreak, fellow fitness enthusiasts were coughing and sneezing — and a mentally ill person was walking around touching the equipment, a gym source said.  "It's crazy that he made his staff and detail come with him to the gym and expose them like that," the source said.  But the incident is just one example of the mayor's disregard for the health of his staff during the crisis, multiple sources told The [New York] Post.  There's also growing frustration from senior aides, who fault the mayor for dithering instead of making decisions, micromanaging instead of leading, and insisting he knows best instead of listening to others, three sources said.

Political tectonic plates are shifting as media and other Dems start praising Trump's crisis management (and as his polls rise).  Democrat politicians have access to far more granular polling data that must show them that Americans want a strong leader in a time of mortal peril facing them, and that President Trump is rising to the challenge of his office.  The smarter ones among them may also understand that the nonstop carping, criticizing every move that Trump has made since taking office, has created cynicism and doubt about the sincerity of the continuous nit-picking.  President Trump is not about to let them forget the wave of criticism denouncing his prescient ban on arrivals from China as racist, either, so they had better get on board and earn his favor, lest they be called out.

Amazon to Add 100,000 Jobs, Raise Pay During 'Unprecedented' Needs of Coronavirus.  Amazon announced Monday [3/16/2020] it will invest over $350 million to open up 100,000 new jobs and to increase pay by $2 per hour in the U.S. and around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.  The Seattle-based multinational e-commerce company, said Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations, in a press release that it is seeing a "significant increase in demand" and accompanying "unprecedented" labor needs.

Americans are very likely to get $1,000 (or more) checks.  Here's what you need to know.  Americans could get a check for $1,000 or more in the coming weeks, as political leaders coalesce around a dramatic plan to try to prevent a worse recession and protect people from going bankrupt.  The idea took off Monday [3/16/2020] when Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called for every American adult to receive a $1,000 check "immediately" to help tide people over until other government aid can arrive.  By Tuesday, there was bipartisan support for the idea, including from President Trump.  The White House even suggested the amount could be over $1,000, an acknowledgment of how big the economic crisis is becoming.  "We're looking at sending checks to Americans immediately," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, adding that Trump wants checks to go out "in the next two weeks."

Utah hit with its strongest earthquake since 1992.  Utah was hit with a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday, its strongest since 1992, officials said.  The earthquake, which struck at 7:10 a.m. local time and was centered just north of Magna, shook houses between Salt Lake City and Antelope Island, the U.S. Geographical Survey (USGS) reported.

Adam Schiff's surveillance state.  Lawmakers are debating ways to prevent the Federal Bureau of Investigation from abusing its surveillance authority again.  While they're at it, they have an obligation to address their own privacy transgressor, Rep. Adam Schiff.  That's the gist of a pointed letter from Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr, which landed Thursday at the House Intelligence Committee.  Chairman Schiff spent months conducting secret impeachment hearings.  His ensuing report revealed that he'd also set up his own surveillance state.  Mr. Schiff issued secret subpoenas to phone carriers, to obtain and publish the call records of political rivals.  Targets included Rudy Giuliani and another attorney of the president, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee (Rep. Devin Nunes) and a journalist (John Solomon).

FCC Commissioner Calls Out Adam Schiff Over His Secret Subpoenas, May Take Action.  During the House impeachment proceedings, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) released a report which included the phone records that included calls made or received by Rep. Devin Nunes(R-CA), journalist John Solomon, Rudy Giuliani and others.  The records in the report didn't contain the content of the conversations but included who called who called who and how long the call lasted.  The belief was that the records were obtained through subpoena to the phone companies of records related to Giuliani and Lev Parnas, with the obvious purpose meant to try to impugn the people whose records were included without reason or cause.

Woman pardoned by President Trump announces Congressional run against Rep. John Lewis.  A woman who was pardoned by President Donald Trump has announced she will be running for Congress against Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis.  Angela Stanton-King, who was pardoned by Trump last month, announced her congressional bid in a message clarifying that "this isn't about replacing John Lewis, this is about picking up the torch and continuing the fight for Justice.

3-year-old boy gets lost and left behind by class, teachers on preschool field trip.  A 3-year-old boy was left behind by his class and his teachers while on a school field trip last week and his mother was notified days after the incident took place.  Karter Williams, a 3-year-old student in the Houston Independent School District (HISD) Head Start program at Thompson Elementary in Houston, Texas, was on a field trip with his class to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last Friday when he became separated from his classmates and teachers.  It is unclear how long Karter was wandering around for on his own.

The Editor says...
Why is a three-year-old kid in school at all?

California Throws The Books At Undercover Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking.  An undercover reporter has been arraigned in California and charged with ten felonies for secretly recording conversations, and it's time to revisit how the judiciary and the law can stifle the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press.  The accused, David Daleiden, used standard media undercover techniques to investigate and expose Planned Parenthood's sale of aborted fetus body parts.  While the use of undercover techniques like Daleiden's is a controversial practice even within journalism circles, Daleiden's upcoming jury trial has far wider implications for journalists.  Namely, can and should government criminalize undercover reporting, which historically has revealed otherwise hidden wrongdoing of all kinds?

US Treasury likely to push back April 15 tax filing deadline, Report.  The Trump administration is likely to extend the April 15 tax deadline as part of an effort to mitigate the effects of the novel coronavirus on U.S. households and businesses, according to an administration official and another person familiar with the matter.  Neither the decision to extend the deadline nor the mechanics of how such an extension might work are yet final.

'Black Americans Are Waking Up:' More African Americans Exiting Democratic Party in 'Blexit' Movement.  A recent poll found that 54 percent of African Americans believe the Democratic Party isn't paying enough attention to their needs.  It is an issue that is leading a growing number of blacks to rethink their choices at the ballot box.  For decades African Americans have been a key voting block for Democrats.  In 2016, 89 percent of black voters supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.  Now, a movement called Blexit, which means the exit of black Americans from the Democrat Party, is encouraging African Americans to abandon the status quo.

Pierce Bush, late President George H.W. Bush's grandson, loses Texas Congressional bid.  Republican Pierce Bush, a grandson of former President George H.W. Bush, failed to advance out of Tuesday's primary in his bid for a Houston congressional seat, becoming the first member of his family to lose a race in Texas in more than 40 years.  Aside from the recognition of coming from America's most enduring Republican dynasty, Bush 34, was endorsed by the outgoing GOP incumbent, Rep. Pete Olson and raised more money than many of the other 14 candidates in the field.  Troy Nehls and Kathaleen Wall, staunch defenders of President Donald Trump, advanced instead to the runoff.  That raised questions about whether the Bush family's sharp personal clashes with the president in recent years turned off Republican voters.

London Uber driver reveals how he killed a man by removing his liver and kidneys while working as a doctor in China.  China has slaughtered thousands of its citizens to harvest organs such as hearts, lungs, kidneys, eyes and even skin for sale and to transplant into sick patients in hundreds of hospitals across the country.  A landmark international investigation, published in full today, will accuse the Beijing government of covering up 'crimes against humanity' that have been routinely carried out against religious minorities.  The inquiry says the organised butchery of living people to sell body parts can be compared 'to the worst atrocities committed in conflicts of the 20th Century' such as the Nazi gassing of Jews and Khmer Rouge massacres in Cambodia.

Fed Announces Emergency Rate Cut to Fight Coronavirus Economic Risks.  The Federal Reserve announced an emergency interest rate cut Tuesday, saying it was slashing its benchmark target by half a percentage point to combat the risks by the global outbreak of the coronavirus.  This was the largest move in interest rates since the Fed cut rates during the financial crisis and the first emergency cut since late 2008.  Typically, the rate target only moves its rate target at scheduled meetings.  The next meeting is set to begin in two weeks.

Federal Reserve announces first emergency rate cut since the financial crisis.  The Federal Reserve slashed interest rates by half a percentage point on Tuesday, a bold attempt to give the US economy a jolt in the face of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.  It was the first unscheduled, emergency rate cut since 2008, and it also marks the biggest one-time cut since then.  The new benchmark interest rate is 1% to 1.25%.

Trump campaign manager says Democrats will try to steal the election.  President Trump's campaign manager thinks that Democrats will fight dirty in the race to the White House this year.  "They are going to cheat," Brad Parscale told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Friday [2/28/2020].  "Trust me, I saw what they did in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.  They are not going to wake up in 2020 and say, 'Let's play fair now.'"  Some Democratic voters are concerned that Trump will refuse to accept the results of the election.  The campaign expects to have an email list that is 50 million contacts deep by November, and 2 million trained volunteers — a massive jump from the 16,000 trained volunteers it had in 2016.

China is concocting plans to paralyze US society before conflict, Marco Rubio says.  Chinese officials are seeding the United States and allied nations indirectly with technology that could cause massive societal disruption in the event of a conflict, according to a senior Republican lawmaker.  "We have never faced that sort of vulnerability in the backbone of our country," Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said this week.  China's potential to carry out a crippling attack against U.S. satellites has commanded attention from military strategists and diplomats for years, but Rubio's warning was spurred by analysis of much more mundane systems:  office printers, which could pose an unexpected intelligence threat.

Mystery zero-day in Chrome — update now!  Google has issued an update for its widespread Chrome browser to fix three security holes.  Unfortunately, one of those holes is what's known as a zero-day: a bug that was already being exploited by cyerbcrooks before Google tracked it down and fixed it.  Google, which is often vociferous about bugs and how they work, especially those found by its own Project Zero and Threat Analysis teams, is playing its cards close to its chest in this case.

Oregon man busted for buying Girl Scout cookies with fake bills.  An Oregon man has been busted for repeatedly duping Girl Scouts, buying cookies with counterfeit money, police said.  Camden Stevens Ducharme, 36, of Salem, was arrested Sunday [2/23/2020] on charges of theft and forgery after two separate Girl Scouts troops reported getting bogus bills while hawking their iconic baked goods earlier this month, the Statesman Journal reports.  During one incident, police said Ducharme passed a counterfeit $20 to purchase a box of cookies from a Girl Scout troop outside a Walmart in Salem and received legal currency in exchange, the newspaper reports.

Using radar, not a shovel:
Digging into the far side of the moon:  Chang'E-4 probes 40 meters into lunar surface.  A little over a year after landing, China's spacecraft Chang'E-4 is continuing to unveil secrets from the far side of the Moon.  The latest study, published on Feb. 26 in Science Advances, reveals what lurks below the surface.

The Editor says...
I confidently predict that all they will find is rocks, dust, and sterile dirt.  But suppose they find giant gold nuggets or big chunks of solid uranium?  What possible benefit would that be?  The moon is too far away for mining — even robotic mining.  I encourage the government of China to keep wasting money and manpower on this futile nonsense.

In the UK, it now spells a product's death if conservatives boast about liking it.  Because Britain is still a free-market economy, although Yorkshire Tea shies away from positioning itself with specific political or social demographics, it has no control over who ultimately buys its products.  The free market's effect of letting anyone buy a product, and even boast about the product, is why SJWs in England are trying to destroy Yorkshire Tea.  Rishi Sunak, the conservative chancellor of the Exchequer in Boris Johnson's government, decided it would be good to tweet out that he was making a big pot of Yorkshire Tea.  Presumably, with Brexit going into effect, he did so to highlight homegrown British industries: [...] The SJWs went ballistic.

Beware of fair weather friends:
Eight Mississippi Elected Officials Leave Dems, Independents, Join GOP.  Sensing the sentiment in their state has swung toward the GOP, eight Mississippi political office holders who were either Democrats or Independents have joined the Republican Party.  "We have had a relentless focus on switching conservative Democrats over to the Republican party," Mississippi Republican Party Chairman Lucien Smith said of the flurry of politicians looking for a safe haven.  He added, "They recognize increasingly that there is only one party that represents the conservative values of our state and that is the Republican party," as WLBT reported.

Trey Gowdy:  Time for intel officials to stop briefing 'epidemic leaker' Adam Schiff.  Former Republican congressman Trey Gowdy suggested intelligence officials should just stop briefing "epidemic leaker" Rep. Adam Schiff.  The Fox News contributor slammed the House Intelligence Committee chairman during a discussion Monday on "Hannity" about the recent reports of US intelligence assessments on alleged Russian meddling in the 2020 election.

John Ratcliffe Discusses Manufactured ODNI Intel Briefing on Russia and Upcoming FISA Reauthorization.  Representative John Ratcliffe appears with Maria Bartiromo to answer questions about the fraudulent information within an intelligence briefing last week and the House democrats weaponizing a false narrative.  Ratcliffe points fingers toward Adam Schiff for manufacturing the false media assertions & perpetuating a hoax on the American people.  Additionally Mr. Ratcliffe notes the upcoming reauthorization of FISA authority is taking place under a cloud of abuse by government officials and a host of deep state resistance interests who do not want to admit abuse within the FISA system.  [Video clip]

Warning! House Schedules Backroom FISA Reauthorization Hearing Without Sunlight, While FISA Court and DOJ Delay.  Against the backdrop of a then pending OIG FISA report, in December of 2019 buried deep in the congressional budget Continuing Resolution (CR) was a short-term extension to reauthorize the FISA "business records provision", the "roving wiretap" provision, the "lone wolf" provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], all parts of the Patriot Act.  As a result of the FISA CR inclusion the terminal deadline was pushed to March 15, 2020: [...] For the past several years no corrective action taken by the intelligence community has improved the abuses outlined by the FISA court.  The sketchy programs, and abuse therein, needs more public attention.  However, there is now a confluence of events highlighting a likelihood congress and the intelligence apparatus writ large want to reauthorize the FISA surveillance and collection authorities without further sunlight and without public input.

New Jersey lists threat from white supremacists as higher than ISIS.  New Jersey officials have raised the threat level from white supremacists to the highest possible level — while deeming Islamic terror groups like ISIS a low threat to the Garden State.  The annual threat assessment report released Friday shows that white supremacists are now labeled a "high" threat for attacks, joining other so-called homegrown violent extremists as the biggest menace.  "The threat from white supremacist extremists increased from moderate to high in 2020 due to the number of threats, plots, and attacks conducted in 2019," the report said.  ISIS, however, was dropped from a moderate threat level to low, joining other fundamentalist terror groups like Al Qaeda, Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram.

Nevada Democratic Party asks caucus volunteers to sign confidentiality agreements.  The Nevada State Democratic Party is asking site leaders for Saturday's caucuses to sign non-disclosure agreements that would prevent them from speaking to the media.  The news comes just one day before the Nevada Democratic caucuses.  The caucus process here in Nevada has come under intense scrutiny after a similar process melted down in Iowa.

Electric rates by state
Electricity Rates By State.  Electricity rates are not usually something that most people think about every day until the end of the month when the unpleasant surprise arrives in the form of an energy bill.  If you've always wondered why your electric bill varies from time to time, who is the company whose letterhead your bill arrives on and how do the average electricity rates by state vary on average, we have the answers.


John Bolton Admits Last-Minute Impeachment Leak Was A Publicity Stunt.  Former National Security Advisor John Bolton admitted Wednesday that his testimony in President Donald Trump's recent impeachment proceedings involving Ukraine would have had no impact on the trial's outcome even after sections of his upcoming book leaked attempting to convict the president in its final days.  "People can argue about what I should have said and what I should have done," Bolton said at Vanderbilt University Wednesday night during a forum with his predecessor Susan Rice, according to ABC News.  "I will bet you a dollar right here and now my testimony would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome."

Newspaper Lobbyists and Encryption Foes Join the Chorus Against Section 230.  On Wednesday [2/19/2020], the U.S. Department of Justice held a "public workshop" on Section 230.  Predictably, it wound being up a greatest hits of the half-truths and paranoid bellyaching commonly employed against this important law.  Section 230 prevents digital companies from being automatically treated as the speaker of any third-party speech they assist in putting online.  It also allows companies to moderate content without becoming liable for it.  The law was passed in 1996 to address the fact that the then-dominant web companies felt forced to choose between very strictly gate-keeping or allowing a free-for-all if they wanted to avoid civil lawsuits and criminal liability over user-generated speech.  Section 230 has never prevented the Justice Department from enforcing federal criminal statutes against online violators, as many have misleadingly argued.  It acts as a shield against civil lawsuits and against state and local criminal charges.

If you rent an arena to a Democrat, demand payment up front.
Dems race to avoid going broke before Super Tuesday.  Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren each started the month scraping perilously close to the bottom of their campaign bank accounts, posing an existential threat to their candidacies as the Democratic primary goes national.  They're up against well-funded machines threatening to dominate the Democratic race:  Bernie Sanders, whose recent rise in the polls has come during a major spending streak fueled by his online donors, and billionaire Mike Bloomberg, whose personal fortune has vaulted him into the middle of the campaign to take on President Donald Trump.

Democrats' once-wishful hero slams House impeachment process as 'grossly partisan'.  Former National Security Adviser John Bolton slammed the Democrats' impeachment process of President Trump as "grossly partisan" and claimed his own potential testimony "would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome."  Despite the left's hailing him as a hero for claiming he had information about Trump's conduct regarding Ukraine, Bolton has increasingly come under fire for teasing information but never really saying anything.  Many who formerly praised his courage blasted him for just trying to sell his forthcoming book.

George Soros calls for Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to be removed from Facebook.  George Soros has called for Mark Zuckerberg to be removed from Facebook because he thinks he is 'helping Trump get re-elected' by not censoring or banning political ads.  Soros, a prolific billionaire Democrat donor, wrote a letter to The Financial Times on Monday [2/17/2020] calling on both Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg to step down.  He has accused them of having a 'mutual assistance arrangement' with Trump that will 'help him get re-elected'.

Source: Democrat Senator Held Secret Meeting In Munich With Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif.  Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut and other Democratic senators had a secret meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the Munich Security Conference last week, according to a source briefed by the French delegation to the conference.  Murphy's office did not respond to repeated requests for comment by press time.  Such a meeting would mean Murphy had done the type of secret coordination with foreign leaders to potentially undermine the U.S. government that he accused Trump officials of doing as they prepared for Trump's administration.  In February 2017, Murphy demanded investigations of National Security Advisor Mike Flynn because he had a phone call with his counterpart-to-be in Russia.

Alaska Supreme Court puts Gov. Dunleavy recall campaign on fast track, allowing signatures to be collected.  The Alaska Supreme Court Friday [2/14/2020] ordered the state Division of Elections to allow Alaskans to sign petitions seeking to remove Gov. Mike Dunleavy from office and said that arguments over the legality of the recall will take place March 25.  The decisions reverse a lower-court ruling that had paused signature-gathering and put the case on an extremely speedy schedule by the standards of the court.  Both orders were signed by all five justices.

Everest:  Top Sherpas slam Nepal's plan to clean rubbish from mountain.  A plan to clear 35,000kg of rubbish from Everest and five other Himalayan peaks has been slammed by some of Nepal's leading mountaineers.  The government says the army will be used for the task, which will cost 860 million Nepali rupees ($7.5m; £5.7m).  Last year, they managed to clear about 10,000kg of waste from the region.  But Kami Rita Sherpa, who has scaled the world's highest mountain a record 24 times, says they do not have the skills to reach the highest points.

Harvard, Yale under investigation over foreign gifts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.  The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) announced an investigation into Harvard and Yale on Wednesday and accused both universities of failing to report foreign gifts and contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  The federal agency claimed Yale failed to report at least $375 million in foreign transactions and hasn't reported any gifts or contracts for the last four years.  The DOE did not say how much Harvard might have failed to report.  Section 117 of the Higher Education Act requires American Title IV-eligible colleges and universities to report any foreign gifts or contracts that exceed $250,000 in value.  Institutions must also disclose any foreign ownership or control, twice each year — something many schools have failed to do, according to federal officials.

Siri is Now Refusing to Say the Word "Gun".  Apple's Siri voice assistant is now apparently refusing to say the word "gun" when used on an iPad.  Tracy Connors tweeted a video of herself attempting to have Siri read out a Daily Caller headline entitled 'Virginia House of Delegates Passes Gun Ban, Seizure Bill'.  Instead of saying the word 'gun', Siri spelled out the letters G-U-N.

Seattle City Council approves legislation protecting renters from wintertime evictions.  The Seattle City Council voted Monday [2/10/2020] to prohibit some residential evictions during the winter, but altered what had been originally proposed by reducing the number of months the ban would be in effect.  Before voting 7-0, the council trimmed the period covered by the legislation from five months to three months; limited the rule to low- and moderate-income tenants; and exempted landlords with four or fewer housing units.  The legislation is meant to prevent most evictions during the coldest months for people behind on their rent.

Catherine Herridge Drops Big Scoop About the DOJ and What They're Doing on Ukraine.  [Scroll down]  While there are obviously questions about the Bidens, there are also questions about possible interference in our 2016 election and the role of the Democrats or the DNC and Ukraine in that.  The fact that Barr took it out of main justice and assigned it to a separate U.S. Attorney, as he did with the Russia probe and U.S. Attorney John Durham, makes me think he believes there's a lot there to look at as well as he wants to ensure that an independent eye looks at it.

Authorities in Awe of Drug Runners' Jungle-Built, Kevlar-Coated Supersubs.  The vessel, which never had a chance to take its maiden voyage, is by no means perfect.  Its steel-free hull can't withstand depths of more than 62 feet, according to the US Navy's technical assessment, a limitation that gives the pilot an incredibly narrow comfort zone.  In other words, the slightest miscalculation in ballast — the amount of seawater a sub takes in to dive — could spell disaster for the unwieldy, 16-foot-high vessel.  Still, while they don't approve of its purpose, the Psubs members confirm that the craft is an impressive piece of work.  "Something like that would have taken a year or so in a modern shop," says Vance Bradley, a member of the group's advisory council and a former professional submarine fabricator.  "Imagine doing it out in the boonies with the mosquitoes and vermin!"

Boycott MSNBC trends after Chris Matthews breaks silence, goes off about Dems and socialism.  MSNBC's Chris Matthews stepped too far outside the liberal box in a rant on socialism that ignited social media's cancel culture.  Matthews unloaded on the word "socialism," saying he has an "attitude" about the term and proceeded to stun the MSNBC panel and viewers with his passionate warning to Democrats about supporting 2020 candidates who promote the ideology.

How a Croatian gas project exposes Green Deal hypocrisy.  The company in charge of the construction is the Austrian company Strabag, who provided an update on the construction's progress in December 2019.  Strabag is involved in one of the largest corruption scandals in Austria.  It is being investigated by the Austrian fiscal authorities and is accused, alongside a dozen of other peers, of cartel forming and price-fixing of construction work tenders in Austria since 2003, in violation of Austrian and EU law.  Strabag's offices were raided by the authorities in 2019.  According to media, the expected fines are estimated to reach tens of millions of euros.  This adds an extra shade of grey to the Croatia LNG project, whose hidden interests have been challenged by international civil society in a report in 2019.

Report: Missing $1.8 Billion in Aid Linked to Corrupt Oligarch Who 'Bankrolled' Ukraine Revolution.  In a live video presentation, Thursday night, conservative radio host Glenn Beck accused the Obama administration of funneling $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars to Ukraine in order to fund the Ukrainian revolution against Russia.  Calling the scandal bigger than the Reagan-era "Iran Contra" scandal, The Blaze founder said that his research team made the discovery while looking into the phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky, which spurred the Democrats' now-failed impeachment charade.

John Solomon's laptop was stolen on eve of Senate impeachment trial using 'sophisticated device'.  Investigative reporter John Solomon, whose bombshells on Ukraine-Biden corruption have upset a number of deep state operatives and Democratic lawmakers in Washington, had his laptop computer stolen on the eve of the Senate's impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.  According to a report by RealClearInvestigation's Paul Sperry, Solomon noted that nothing else was taken from his vehicle, just the laptop.  Even his US Capitol press security badge was left untouched.  According to the report, Solomon said his laptop contained "notes on Ukraine and former Vice President Joe Biden and other sensitive information."

Donald Trump Awards Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  President Donald Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh during Tuesday's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C.  Limbaugh, in attendance and seated beside first lady Melania Trump, was visibly emotional upon hearing the president's announcement.  Melania Trump presented the medal and placed it around Limbaugh's neck.

Mid-SOTU, First Lady Presents Rush Limbaugh With Presidential Medal Of Freedom.  First Lady Melania Trump presented legendary talk radio host Rush Limbaugh with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during Tuesday's State of the Union address.  Limbaugh had revealed his advanced lung cancer diagnosis only one day earlier.  "Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness," President Trump said on Tuesday night.  "Here tonight is a special man, beloved by millions of Americans, who just received a stage 4, advanced cancer diagnosis.  This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet, Rush Limbaugh.  Thank you for your decades of devotion to our country."

'An unacceptable and upsetting environment': 2020 Democratic Host Committee under investigation.  The two top officials overseeing Milwaukee's host committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention were sidelined Monday [2/3/2020] amid allegations of a toxic work culture.  In a letter to staff obtained by the Journal Sentinel, the board said it had retained an attorney to investigate "concerns about the work environment" for the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee.  During the investigation, Liz Gilbert, president of the host committee, will not be in the office and "will not have direct contact with staff," the letter says.  Adam Alonso, the chief of staff for the group, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the probe.

That Incident With the SUV Crashing the Barricades at Mar A Lago Yesterday Is Weirder Than We Realized.  It didn't quite get the attention yesterday one might expect, but yesterday was an extraordinarily busy news day and, more importantly, it wasn't quite the ominous story it initially appeared to be.  An SUV crashed through the gates at Mar-a-Lago, late yesterday morning.  Shots were fired by the Secret Service and, ultimately, the driver was taken into custody.  What became clear fairly quickly is that this was not a terrorist type thing — nor did it appear that Mar-a-Lago was intentionally targeted by the SUV driver.  Rather, the driver — a 30-year-old opera singer from Connecticut — apparently was under the influence/impaired.  But the story is a little more involved than that, [...]

CNN is Angry That White People Are Trying to Stop the Coronavirus Spreading.  According to CNN, the real concern about the coronavirus is not the potential for a global pandemic, it's the fact there are too many white people trying to stop it.  That was the message sent by an article posted on the news network's website entitled 'Coronavirus task force another example of Trump administration's lack of diversity'.

Proposed Missouri book ban could jail librarians for loaning 'inappropriate' content.  Librarians and free speech advocates are fighting back against a proposal in the Missouri House of Representatives that would ban certain books from the state's libraries with the threat of a misdemeanor charge. [...] Cynthia Dudenhoffer, the president of the Missouri Library Association, said she was shocked when she first heard about the bill and said it was unnecessary.  Each of the state's library systems, which account for a total of 365 branches, already have their own protocols in place to determine which materials are allowed for their younger members. [...] Dudenhoffer, however, noted that drag queen story hours and other similar events aren't mentioned in the bill and those readings have not included books with sexually inappropriate content.

Suspects accused of running $7M fentanyl ring released without bail.  Six suspected drug dealers who are accused of running a $7 million fentanyl distribution operation out of a Bronx apartment were released without bail under the state's new criminal justice law early Wednesday [1/29/2020].  The suspects — Livo Valdez, Jaslin Baldera, Frederick Baldera, Frandi Ledema, Diego Tejada and Parfraimy Antonio — were arrested Monday [1/27/2020] when officers with the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force raided an apartment on Sedgwick Avenue in Kingsbridge that was allegedly used as a heroin and fentanyl packaging mill.  They were each charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminally using drug paraphernalia.

Bellwether to Blowout:  Texas House District Gets Redder to Lead Off 2020 Elections.  Texas House District 28's special election offered a first test of the theory that red Texas may be trending blue in the age of Trump.  The suburban district west of Houston offered Democrats an opportunity to grab a seat and the narrative just days before the 2020 Iowa caucuses. [...] Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed the Democrat.  Former veep Joe Biden did the same.  Julian Castro campaigned for the Democrat.  Mike Bloomberg bumbled his way into town and apparently knocked on the wrong doors.  Beto O'Rourke practically lived in the district for the last few weeks, showing up everywhere giving speeches for the Democratic candidate, Dr. Eliz Markowitz.  If one were to go by Twitter, the Dem would win 90-10.

$900K in counterfeit $1 bills discovered inside Chinese shipping container.  Minnesota officers from Customs and Border Protection said they discovered 900,000 fake $1 bills in a commercial rail shipment that originated from China.  The officers flagged a container last month at the International Falls Port of Entry, located between International Falls, Minnesota, and Fort Frances, Canada.  During the search, $900,000 worth of U.S. currency was found in 45 different cartons within the shipping container.  The Secret Service determined all of the money was fake, according to a press release from CBP over the weekend.

The Editor says...
I'm very surprised that anyone bothers to counterfeit one-dollar bills.  That would involve a lot of paper and very little gain.  It sounds like the case of Mr. 880, except in this case there was a railroad car full of money.

Harvard chemistry department chairman charged with lying about ties to Chinese government.  Federal prosecutors Tuesday charged Harvard University's chemistry department chairman with lying to the U.S. Department of Defense about his ties to a controversial Chinese talent recruitment program.  Prosecutors say Charles Lieber concealed almost $2 million from authorities in an alleged scheme to hide his ties to a Chinese university linked to a program accused of stealing U.S. intellectual property from businesses and universities.  By hiding his ties, Mr. Lieber was able to secure $18 million in research grant funding from the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health, prosecutors said.

Harvard professor arrested for failing to disclose $50,000 per month he received from China.  Dr. Charles Lieber, a professor who led Harvard's chemistry department has been arrested and accused of lying about his ties to a Chinese program that recruited scientists and paid them to share their expertise at Chinese universities.

Rand Paul Says Trump Kids Should Sue Chuck Schumer for Slander.  When Senator Rand Paul gets a lil fire in his belly it is always a lot of fun to watch and man did he have some fire earlier today.  Earlier today [1/28/2020] on Fox while Rand was being interviewed they cut live for a couple of minutes to Sen. Chuck Schumer doing his daily talkfest before the trial was gaveled in.  When host Ed henry cut back to Sen. Paul and asked him what was said, the Kentucky politician was ready to rip on what he heard Schumer said.

Is This Objectively Disgusting Soup What's Causing China's Disease Outbreak?  A recent outbreak in China of a new strand of coronavirus may be linked to an objectively disgusting Chinese delicacy called bat soup, according to reports.  Video footage online shows an entire cooked, dead bat sitting in soup.  Scientists believe that the virus, which has killed 17 and infected over 640 people, could have spread from snakes or bats.  Is this bat soup the cause of the quickly-spreading virus?

The Editor says...
The Chinese people eat rats and wolves, too.  Maybe that's because they live under communism; but really, it's no wonder they're sick.

Some junk for sale on Amazon is very literally garbage, report finds.  Some days it seems like searching for an item on Amazon just brings up endless pages of junk with no clear pattern.  There's a reason for that, it turns out: dumpster divers are, in fact, literally reselling discarded junk.  Resellers hunt through trash to find and repair treasures, the Wall Street Journal reported today.  Those sellers, for understandable reasons, mostly didn't want to talk to the WSJ, so reporters for the paper tried it themselves.

The Disturbing Dismissal of the Kiddies' Climate Lawsuit.  On a 2-1 vote, the Ninth Circuit Court finally dismissed Juliana v. United States, the lawsuit brought on behalf of child plaintiffs demanding their constitutional right to "a climate system capable of sustaining human life."  The children, and the environmentalist group Our Children's Trust that's using them as lawfare puppets, were demanding a court order compelling the U.S. government to "swiftly phase out fossil-fuel use" and develop and implement "a national plan to restore Earth's energy balance ... to stabilize the climate system." [...] Juliana is only one of a "wave" of climate lawsuits proceeding on the basis "that climate science itself isn't up for debate."  Even when a court gets it right as a matter of law, as happened this time in Juliana, widespread allegations that apocalyptic climate theories are "settled science" have a cumulative effect across the Judicial Branch.

Millennials Offended by Suggestion They Work Weekends.  Individual tweets rarely deserve article-length analyses.  In our social media-addled age, blithely drafted tweets too often lead to unforgiving shaming campaigns, which result, not infrequently, in ruined careers.  But, once in a while, a 280-character-or-fewer remark actually accomplishes the Pollyannaish wishes of Silicon Valley techies:  it provokes thought, sparks debate, inspires afflatus, and makes us consider the important things in life.  A tweet from a cryptocurrency enthusiast named Ryan Selkis was roundly reviled by critics who are almost certainly leftists by persuasion.  "If you don't work nights and weekends in your 20s, you're not going to have a successful career.  Sorry," Selkis wrote in response to Jason Fried, CEO of the business management platform Basecamp, who called weekend work a sign of brokenness within a company.

US troops drink Iceland capital's entire beer supply in one weekend.  Thousands of U.S. soldiers depleted all of the beer in Iceland's capital over the weekend.  More than 6,000 soldiers were in Reykjavik for four days participating in the Trident Juncture 18 — a NATO-led military exercise.  After their drills, the troops reportedly visited the city's downtown bars, where they finished off the entire beer supply.

Justice delayed: 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed appears in Guantanamo courtroom as trial approaches.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will appear in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom this week, more than 18 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks he is alleged to have masterminded and a year before he will finally face a jury.  In the nearly two decades since 19 al Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked planes into the World Trade Center buildings, the side of the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people, the five men believed to be responsible have yet to face a trial.

Cases of bottled water found inside another vacant building in Flint.  This time, they were found inside Flint Northern High School.  Flint Northern High School closed in 2013.  The discovery was made by Todd Farnum, who is an urban discoverer in the area.  Farnum tells our Lia Kamana that he and a friend had discovered the water bottles back in 2018 while walking around in the neighborhood.  Farum and his friend came back to the area last week and noticed that the cases of bottled water were still inside the building.  The last time cases of bottled water were found inside a vacant building was back in 2019.

Made to Order Colorado Birth Certificates.  Colorado has enacted legislation, effective Jan. 1, allowing adults born in Colorado to secure a new birth certificate reflecting a self-designated gender other than as recorded on an original birth certificate.  That legislation is unwise, unethical, dangerous, and, surely to be contended by some, unlawful. [...] Impersonation is an act of pretending to be another person for the purposes of entertainment or fraud.  Criminal impersonation includes pretending to be another individual in order to deceive others or gain some advantage, benefit, or thing of value.  Since impersonation can also include assuming a fake identity with intent to defraud another, persons of one sex impersonating the opposite sex may be in violation of law when seeking an advantage such as access to opposite-sex bathrooms or when surreptitiously advancing intimate relationships with unsuspecting persons who would find such a relationship abhorrent.

Report: Over 50 Percent Of Attendees At Trump's Wisconsin Rally Weren't Republicans.  This is some news that should absolutely terrify Democrats.  They know they need Wisconsin and other rust belt states to beat Trump in 2020 but the crowd at Trump's recent rally there proves winning the state is going to be extremely difficult for them.  More than half of the people at Trump's rally were not even Republicans.

Democrats & Independents Are Now Flocking To President Trump.  Support for President Trump is surging due not only to the remarkably strong economy and international successes for the U.S., but also because of voter backlash against the ongoing insanity that is the Democrat Party — a party currently without any substantive policies or direction.  When more than half of the people attending recent political rallies for President Trump are Democrats and Independents it's a sign the president's broad-based appeal to tens of millions from all backgrounds could prove impossible for the zany Democrats to defeat in 2020.

Mother and daughter psychics get prison time for $1.4 million fraud.  They claimed they were "white squaw Cherokee Indian" spiritual healers, and used eggs filled with snake embryos to convince their victims that they were cursed, authorities say.  One woman forked over almost $1.5 million before realizing it was a scam.  But on Friday [1/17/2020], the mother-daughter pair of Annie Marie Vwanawick, 74, and April Miller, 44, both of Broward, were sentenced to 42 months and 27 months in prison, respectively, for defrauding two victims with their spiritual scams.

Meet the Muslim Republican Iraqi Refugee Who's Looking to Unseat Ilhan Omar.  A Muslim Iraqi refugee who previously worked as a war journalist announced she is running for Congress in Minnesota's 5th Congressional District, meaning she will try to unseat Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar.  In her campaign announcement video, Dalia al-Aqidi said she was fortunate to be able to come to the United States as a little girl with her mother to escape Saddam Hussein, who she described as a "brutal dictator."  Seeing how terror had affected her family, al-Aqidi says in the video she was happy President Trump ordered the death of Iranian general and terrorist Qasem Soleimani.

Amazon Crowns 'Profiles in Corruption' the 'Most Anticipated' Nonfiction Book.  Slated to hit bookstores nationwide on January 21, Profiles in Corruption by Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart senior contributor Peter Schweizer hit #1 in Amazon 10 days before its official release.  The book is said to contain never-before-published revelations about Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Eric Garcetti, Kamala Harris, Sherrod Brown, and Amy Klobuchar — several of whom are featured on the book's cover.

Victory In New Jersey!  Mandatory Vaccine Bill Miserably Fails After Thousands Show Up To Protest.  A bill in New Jersey that would've stripped parents and children of their right to informed consent by allowing them to object to mandatory vaccinations failed on Monday.  Much to the chagrin of the tyrants who claim ownership over the bodies of others, the bill that would have eliminated religious exemptions to mandatory vaccinations failed to pass the New Jersey state legislature.  According to reports, the bill was canceled in the Senate before the vote because lawmakers knew they lacked the passing votes.  The proponents of the bill vowed to reintroduce it on Tuesday but this gives opponents a new time frame on the public hearing and voting process.

Stephen King faces backlash for saying 'quality' should matter in Oscar nominees over 'diversity'.  Legendary horror author Stephen King is facing backlash on Tuesday for his commentary on this year's Oscar nominations, stressing that the "quality" of the art should matter over "diversity."  On Monday [1/13/2020], the Oscar nominations were revealed, and the Academy was slammed for both not having any female nominees for Best Director and for the numerous snubs of people of color among the other categories.  King weighed in on the controversy on Twitter.

Drinking in the US hits 30-year high — Here's how much the average American drinks.  Drinking in America has been rising for the last 20 years and has reached a point where Americans are drinking more than they were when Prohibition was enacted, according to federal health statistics.  Aside from rising per-person alcohol consumption, there has also been an increase in emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to drinking, The Associated Press reported Tuesday [1/14/2020].  "Consumption has been going up.  Harms [from alcohol] have been going up," Dr. Tim Naimi, an alcohol researcher at Boston University, said.

The NSA found a 'severe' security flaw with Microsoft Windows 10, and it's urging all users to do a software update immediately.  The National Security Agency is urging all Windows 10 users to update their software after detecting a "severe" security flaw in the operating system, the agency announced Tuesday.  The NSA first detected the flaw and alerted Microsoft, prominent security researcher Brian Krebs first reported.  NSA Director of Cybersecurity Anne Neuberger confirmed that the agency told Microsoft about the flaw in a call with reporters Tuesday morning [1/14/2020].

Rep. Meadows:  Lawmakers Will Appeal To FISC Judge To Remove David Kris From FBI Review.  North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows told "The Sara Carter Show" Monday that he — along with other senior Republican lawmakers — will send a letter to the presiding Judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court demanding that FBI apologist David Kris be removed from overseeing bureau reforms demanded by the secret court.  Kris, who openly criticized Republican lawmakers and defended the bureau's spying of short-term Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, is coming under heavy scrutiny for his online posts and blogs targeting Republican lawmakers investigations that uncovered malfeasance at the bureau.

AG Barr rains on Dem parade, says Trump consulted DOJ prior to Soleimani airstrike.  Attorney General William Barr rained on the liberal media's parade in trying to paint President Donald Trump as an impulsive, irrational war-seeking commander-in-chief going off half-cocked to stir world passions.  Countering media claims that the president disdains expertise in making decisions, Barr said Monday that Trump consulted the Justice Department before ordering the airstrike that killed Iran's terrorist general.  "The Department of Justice was consulted and frankly I don't think it was a close call," the attorney general said.  "I believe the president clearly had the authority to act as he did on numerous different bases."

Exclusive: Iranian National Arrested Near Mar-a-Lago with Machete, Knives Came to U.S. as Refugee.  An Iranian national arrested near President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, originally arrived in the United States as a refugee, Breitbart News has learned.  On January 10, Palm Beach Police Department arrested 38-year-old Masoud Yarieilzoleh, from Iran, who was apparently sleeping in a gazebo in a park in Palm Beach, according to the Palm Beach Post.  When police searched Yarieilzoleh, they found a 17-inch machete, two 4.5-inch knives, and an ax, along with about $22,000 in cash.

Poll: 47% of Young Democrats Prefer Other Countries over America.  A shocking new poll has discovered that 47 percent of young Democrats believe that other countries are better than the United States.  Moreover, many young Americans admit that they wouldn't mind other countries becoming as militarily powerful as the United States.  Slightly more than one third — 36 percent — of Americans 18 to 29 say that other countries are better than the United States, according to a recent poll released by Pew Research.

Red states see less unemployment, more economic growth.  Opinion polling isn't everything.  However, it often gives you a good barometer of the general shape of things, especially at the state level.  As of mid-2019, every single one of the top 10 most popular governors in the country were Republicans, while eight of the 10 least popular were Democrats.  Generally speaking, voters trust Republicans more than they trust Democrats to lead their states.

AG William Barr Backs Soleimani Strike: 'He Was the Head of a Terrorist Organization'.  Attorney General William Barr held a press conference on Monday to discuss the findings of an investigation into the terror attack on a Florida Naval base in December and other topics, at one point defending the Trump administration's elimination of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.  A reporter asked Barr if the Trump administration gave any "special consideration" to Soleimani's position in the Iranian government — the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) Quds Force, an arm dedicated to external acts of terrorism.

Iranian protesters refuse to walk on US, Israeli flags.  A few people who did walk over the flags were booed by protesters in the area with chants of 'Shame on you.'  Some reports said that the protesters chanted 'Our enemy is in Iran, not America.'

President Trump praises Iranians for protesting Ayatollah regime.  Protesters in Iran are calling for Ayatollah Khamenei to step down.  During Saturday's [1/11/2020] demonstrations in Tehran, protesters were heard chanting "commander in chief resign" and "death to the liars."  The protests came in response to the Iranian government's admission of guilt regarding the Ukrainian passenger plane crash, which killed 176 people this week.

Yale Psychiatrist Issues Diagnosis of "Psychotic" for Defending Constitutional Rights.  A Yale professor of forensic psychiatry has diagnosed guess who — your truly — as suffering from "psychosis" for expressing legal views that happen to be on the Constitutional rights of President Donald Trump.  Dr. Bandy Lee has never met me, never examined me, never seen my medical records, and never spoken to anyone close to me.  Yet she is prepared to offer a diagnosis of "psychosis" which she attributes to my being one of President Trump's "followers."  (I voted for Hillary Clinton and am a liberal Democrat.)  Indeed, Dr. Lee went even further, diagnosing "the severity and spread of 'shared psychosis' among just about all of Donald Trump's followers."  Nor does she seem to be using these psychiatric terms as political metaphors, dangerous as that would be.  She is literally claiming that we are mentally ill and our views should be considered symptoms of our illness, rather than as legitimate ideas.

Walmart Has Made A Genius Move To Beat Amazon.  I ordered Powerbeats earbuds from Amazon the other day.  As a Prime member, I got them to my doorstep in Stowe, Vermont the next day for free.  When I unpacked the box, one of the accessories was missing.  I called Amazon's customer service to get a replacement sorted out.  But what I was told raised my eyebrows:  "We'll make a one-time exception.  Keep the earbuds and we'll issue you a full refund right now."  "Why don't you take them back?  They are fine, it's just the wire clip is missing," I asked, puzzled.  "It's too expensive to ship them back..." the customer rep replied.  This surprising story hints at Amazon's Achilles heel that threatens its crown as the king of online retail.  And as I'll explain in a moment, America's biggest retailer Walmart has a master plan to use it against Amazon.

Once Again, Government-Subsidized Projects Fail to Deliver.  In June 2018, President Donald Trump attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a Foxconn factory in Wisconsin. [...] A year and a half after Trump paraded at the site with his golden shovel, the reality isn't as bright.  First, a few days before the ceremony, Foxconn announced that the factory would ultimately be smaller than the one initially promised.  It would also be highly automated, with almost all of the assembly work done by robots, and would only require 3,000 employees — 90% of them "knowledge workers" such as engineers, programmers and designers.  There's nothing wrong with such a modern factory, except that it's not what Trump and other government officials thought they were buying with taxpayers' money.

Illinois: Daughter of convicted Muslim terrorist is running for Congress.  The daughter of Jeff Fort (aka Abdul Malik Ka'bah), who is spending the rest of his life in prison for domestic terrorism charges, is running for Congress in Illinois.  Ameena Matthews is a Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois' 1st Congressional District.

Army warning Americans about fake military draft texts.  The US Army is warning Americans about a flurry of "fraudulent text messages" falsely telling recipients they have been drafted into the military and will be shipped out to Iran.  The bogus texts tell hapless recipients to report to the nearest Army recruiting branch "for immediate departure to Iran," and warn about multiple attempts to contact recipients, in one case warning "you'll be fined and sent to jail for minimum 6 years if no reply," CNN reported Wednesday [1/8/2020].

Scientists claim that 'normal' body temperature is now 36.6°C NOT 37°C.  Human bodies have naturally got cooler over the last century, a study reveals.  The accepted wisdom is that the human body sits, under normal conditions, at a nice balmy 37°C (98.6°F), but this is no longer true for modern-day humans.  Researchers at Stanford University in the US measured people's temperatures from the 2000s and compared them to records of soldiers that fought in the US Civil War.  The study reveals that modern-day men have a body temperature 0.58°C (1.06°F) lower than their 19th century counterparts, while women are 0.32°C (0.58°F) cooler.

Peter Schweizer Book Set to 'Upend Official Washington'.  The investigative author behind the game-changing New York Times bestsellers Clinton Cash and Secret Empires is set to drop another bombshell book that sources close to the publisher say will "upend official Washington."  As Axios reported on Thursday [1/9/2020], [...] Peter Schweizer's forthcoming book, Profiles in Corruption:  Abuse of Power by America's Progressive Elite (HarperCollins), is set to launch Tuesday, January 21.

Climate Change?  Turns Out Two Dozen Arrested for Setting Australia's Fires.  Authorities in New South Wales have arrested two dozen Australians for intentionally setting fires as huge swaths of the country continue to be engulfed by flames.  In a news release issued Monday, the NSW Police Force said legal action has been taken against more than 180 people since late last year.  The bushfires have killed 18 people and burned 4.9 million hectares of land, consuming thousands of structures, and millions of animals, the statement said.  In breaking down their figures, the police said "24 have been charged over deliberately-lit bushfires; 53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban; and 47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land."

Indiana twins born in different decades.  Meet Baby New Year — and his twin sister Baby Last Year.  A pair of Indiana twins were born just a half hour apart, but entered the world on different days, months, years and even decades from one another.

The Editor says...
Technically, the current decade doesn't end until the last day of 2020, because there was no Year Zero.

Ignored by Liberal Mainstream Media:  Iranian Regime Bribed Funeral Attendees with Free Meals.  The liberal pro-Iranian mainstream media could not stop talking about the size of the crowds at the "popular" and "loved" Qassem Soleimani funeral today [1/7/2020].  The media was in awe of the number of people at Soleimani's funeral.  [Video clips]  The regime was serving dinners to people who came out to the funeral.

Retired Green Beret slams Dems, says Army community buried Americans killed by Soleimani.  Retired Green Beret Master Sgt. Terry Schappert fired back at Democrats who criticized President Trump's order of the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani on Friday, detailing the general's role in hundreds of American deaths.  "If you're in my community, it's pretty safe to say that you've probably buried somebody who was killed by him [Soleimani], you know someone who's lost a limb or been catastrophically wounded, and you know a Gold Star family who has been destroyed by this guy," Schappert said on "The Greg Gutfeld Show" over the weekend.  "If you can't care about that, you can care about all the people he's killed over there... Iraq, Syria, Lebanon... his own country... he's murdered and tortured people," he added.

Iran Loses Its Terror-Master.  Trump's red line against the Iranian regime harming Americans was very real, and Qasem Soleimani is dead.  The U.S. killed the Iranian terror-master at the Baghdad airport where he reportedly had just arrived from Syria.  The head of the Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force, Soleimani was the instrument of Iranian imperialism around the region, building up proxy forces, overseeing operations, and executing a geopolitical vision.  He existed at the very center of the Iranian regime and was uniquely skilled at his role, honed over decades of ruthlessness and cunning.  He was also a cold-blooded killer of Americans, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of our servicemen during the Iraq war.  He deserved to die for that alone.

Inside the twisted, terrible reign of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.  The killing of Iranian terror-meister Qassem Soleimani in a targeted US air strike in Baghdad on Thursday will have a dramatic impact on the stability of the Iranian regime and its ability to conduct oversea terrorist operations.  Soleimani was, in many ways, the irreplaceable man.  Known as a charismatic leader — indeed, the only charismatic leader in Iran's military today — he has no parallel among contemporary Iranian commanders.  Wherever Iran has sent its expeditionary Quds Force to war — in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen — there you would find Soleimani.

Impeached, Imprisoned Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich Slams Democrats on Impeachment.  Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was impeached and removed, and later criminally convicted, for trying to sell then-president-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat, has written an op-ed condemning Democrats' ongoing impeachment effort.  The op-ed, published at Newsmax on Tuesday [12/31/2019], argued that Democrats' new standard for impeachment is so low that they would have impeached President Abraham Lincoln.  (In fact, Democrats' opposition to Lincoln triggered the Civil War.)

New York is losing residents at an alarming rate: report.  Despite the nation's longest economic expansion, the Empire State is actually losing population, an analysis of newly released US Census data released Monday reveals.  The total state population as of mid-2019 was 19,453,561 — a drop of 76,790, or 0.4 percent, from the previous year, according to the study by the Empire Center for Public Policy.  New York was one of only 10 states to suffer a total population decline in 2018-19 — its fourth consecutive annual decrease after five years of growth, and the largest population drop of any state.  Only West Virginia, Alaska and Illinois saw their populations fall at a faster percentage clip.

While We Were Focused on the IG Report, Rep. Ratcliffe 'Dropped a Bomb' at the House Hearing.  Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi have released most of the transcripts from the first round of witness interviews, 15 to be exact, however there is one they refuse to let go of.  That would be the transcript from Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson's October 4 closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.  Investigative journalist Paul Sperry asked about this in a tweet and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) replied. [...]

Trump Home Alone 2 Cameo - via screen grab
CBC Cuts Donald Trump's 'Home Alone 2' Cameo Out of BroadcastHome Alone 2: Lost in New York is full of violence that, in my opinion, exceeds the physical comedy of the original film and is borderline barbarism.  The main antagonists were subjected to bricks thrown at them from atop a building, being shot with a staple gun, having their heads lit afire, and being electrocuted.  It is actually hard to watch.  But, for CBC TV in Canada, the following scene was too much, and had to be removed from their broadcast of the film:  [Video clip]


Venezuela's currency so worthless it's mostly being used for making crafts.  Venezuela — once one of the more prosperous countries in Latin America — has been driven into such economic and political turmoil that its currency is no longer of any use.  However, that has not stopped Venezuelan bolivares from becoming a commodity elsewhere.  Across the border in Colombia, Hector Cordero uses the currency to make wallets and purses, which he sells to tourists in Colombia.

Giuliani: 'Saint Marie Yovanovitch' Quashed Ukraine Probe Into Missing $5.3 Billion in Foreign Aid.  Rudy Giuliani alleged Monday that former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch "quashed" a corruption investigation into the disappearance of foreign aid because the Obama Administration was funneling the money to non-governmental organizations run by left-wing billionaire George Soros.  Giuliani, President Trump's personal attorney, recently returned from a fact-finding mission in Ukraine, and discussed his findings in an interview with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk for his podcast.  The former mayor of New York City told Kirk that in 2017, the Ukrainian Accounting Authority did a study which revealed that $5.3 billion in foreign aid during the Obama/Biden years was not properly accounted for.  So the agency started an investigation[.]  "All of a sudden, members of the U.S. Embassy, under the control of Marie Yovanovitch — I call her Saint Marie Yovanovitch — comes and tells them, 'there's no need to do that.  We're okay with the spending.  There's no need to.'"

Soros gave millions to a group trying to pit Republicans against President Trump.  A "dark money" group that received millions from speculator George Soros — whose organizations and other establishments have been expelled from several countries on charges of political interference and subversion — is hiding behind a massive media campaign that is trying to pressure Republicans to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

English Girl Finds Plea for Help From Prisoners in China in Christmas Card.  Florence Widdicombe, a six-year-old girl from Tooting, Southwest London, was writing Christmas cards to send to her friends when she made a startling discovery.  Inside one of cards was the frightening message, "We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qingpu prison China.  Forced to work against our will.  Please help us and notify human rights organization." [...] As disturbing as this report of inmates at a Chinese prison being subjected to forced labor is, it is hardly an anomaly.  Communist nations such as China, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba are by their very nature giant prisons and very little labor done within them can be said to be voluntary.

U.S. Stops Sending Bomb-Sniffing Dogs To Jordan, Egypt After Ten Percent Of Dogs Die From Mistreatment.  The United States State Department says that ten percent of bomb-sniffing canines, lent to countries like Egypt and Jordan in a program to help control and prevent bombings, died after being mistreated.  The Inspector General that discovered the disturbing trend now suggests the U.S. suspend the program altogether.  The Hill reports that the State Department's Inspector General found, in September, that "at least 10 of the 100 explosive-detection dogs sent to Jordan between 2008 and 2016 died of 'various medical problems,' while others were living in 'unhealthy conditions.'"  Last Friday [12/20/2019], the same inspector general released a follow-up report, adding that they'd "received notice of additional canine deaths" since September" and that the State Department should take immediate action to stop the program.

The Editor says...
Muslims hate dogs, among other things, which probably explains why they don't take care of the dogs they've been given.  Bring the dogs home, I say, and let the Egyptians and Jordanians find explosives the hard way.

Pope says Christians should never seek to convert unbelievers, anyone who proselytizes "is not a disciple of Jesus".  In a dialogue with Catholic high school students in Rome this weekend, Pope Francis responded to a question about how to deal with atheists and people of other faiths by saying that Christians should never proselytize — and any who do are not truly Christians. [...] Last year, Pope Francis told a grieving boy that his late father was in heaven, despite the fact that he was an atheist, because he had his children baptized.

Hospitals, not drugs, are the big driver of health-care costs.  It's perfectly fine for politicians to look at ways to keep prescription drugs affordable.  But why does the bigger problem of soaring hospital bills get so little notice?  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data out this month show that "retail prescription drug prices declined by 1.0 percent" last year, to $335 billion, while spending for hospital-care services rose at about the same rate as in 2017, to $1.2 trillion.  And that's nothing new:  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that drug prices have gone down for more months this year than they've gone up, something the White House understandably celebrated.

Rudy Giuliani reveals what he discovered on Ukraine trip, alleging U.S. embassy would not stop a corruption scheme funneling money to George Soros.  Rudy Giuliani has revealed some of what he discovered on his trip to the Ukraine, unraveling a conspiracy theory alleging the U.S. Embassy — led by then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch — 'quashed' efforts by Kiev to end a corruption investigation into the disappearance of foreign aid because it was going to a non-governmental organization run by billionaire George Soros.  Giuliani, Donald Trump's personal attorney, unveiled his findings in an interview with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk for his podcast, a copy of which was obtained by DailyMail.com.  He told Kirk he has told President Trump of his findings.

China to Build Space Solar Power Station Pioneered by Caltech.  China announced it will begin building megawatt-capable solar power stations in space by 2035, as it intends to displace the United States as the leading space power.  The space-based solar power (SSP) were first designed by Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory scientists.  Caltech (California Institute of Technology) spent 40 years perfecting SSP as a weapons platform and power replacement for U.S. "peak oil."  But the effort was shelved after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s and the realization by 2009 that the U.S. oil fracking boom was about to add another 200 years to America's oil reserves.  China Academy of Space Technology scientist Wang Li stated at the China-Russia Engineering Forum in late November that China was moving ahead to build a 200-ton power (SSP) station in space to capture the sun's energy, convert it to microwaves or lasers, and wirelessly beam energy to the Earth.

What's Working:  Fuzzy math used for move-to-Vermont cash giveaway.  Vermont spent nearly a half-million bucks this year to increase its population by 341 people.  That math might work for Vermont since it had seen its resident count grow by a mere 555 over most of this decade.  New Hampshire, meanwhile, gained nearly 40,000 people during that same time frame.  "And we haven't paid one to come," Taylor Caswell, the state's economic development chief, said in an interview last week.

Three Ukrainian Officials Swear Under Oath that Ukraine Interfered in the 2016 US Election Against Donald Trump.  Andrii Telizhenko worked in Washington DC at the Ukraine Embassy in 2016.  Today Andrii is a political consultant.  Andrii was approached by a DNC operative during the 2016 election (March-April 2016).  This past week Andrii Telizhenko joined two other Ukrainian officials who all swore under oath that Ukraine was meddling in the 2016 US election.

Monica Crowley Vindicated by Columbia University After Fake Plagiarism Accusations from CNN, Establishment Media.  Treasury Department Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs Monica Crowley has been vindicated by Columbia University after a years-long investigation ultimately concluded she did not plagiarize her thesis, despite allegations by CNN and other establishment media outlets that she did.  Crowley, now the Treasury Department's top spokeswoman but previously a Fox News contributor, had been under consideration to join the National Security Council (NSC) in the White House at the very beginning of President Donald Trump's administration under his first national security adviser, retired Gen. Mike Flynn.  Then, allegations from CNN and Politico, among other publications, claimed that she plagiarized her 2012 book and her thesis at Columbia, sparking Columbia to launch a review of her thesis that has now concluded.

Investigation clears West Point cadets of 'white supremacy' allegation.  Cadets who were accused of signaling a white supremacist hand signal at the annual Army-Navy football game have been cleared of wrongdoing.  West Point released a report today that states cadets were playing the "circle game," where players attempt to get one another to look at the "OK" hand gesture and then deliver a punch if others look.  "The evidence strongly supports a finding that the cadets were playing the 'circle game,' an internationally recognized game in which people attempt to trick someone else into looking at an okay-like hand gesture below the waist."

The Editor says...
I feel so much better knowing these buffoons are about to be Army officers.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Fourth Pentagon official announces resignation within week.  A top Pentagon intelligence official will soon leave the building, the fourth key defense official to announce their resignation within a week.  Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Kari Bingen submitted her resignation on Dec. 5 and will leave Jan. 10, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Uriah Orland confirmed in a statement.  Her departure was first reported by Politico.

Marine Corps eyes gender-integrated basic training.  The push to eliminate all gender segregation at Marine Corps camps has more momentum than ever, but analysts and military insiders say there remain major real-world, physical roadblocks to coed basic training and serious questions about whether the Marines can or should follow the lead of the Army, Navy and Air Force.  The Marine Corps last month reportedly commissioned a comprehensive study to examine the benefits and potential pitfalls of moving to more integrated training of male and female Marines.

Earth's Magnetic North Pole Continues Drifting, Crosses Prime Meridian.  Earth's magnetic north pole, which has been wandering faster than expected in recent years, has now crossed the prime meridian.  Magnetic north has been lurching away from its previous home in the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia at a rate of about 34 miles (55 kilometers) a year over the past two decades.  The latest model of the Earth's magnetic field, released Dec. 10 by the National Centers for Environmental Information and the British Geological Survey, predicts that this movement will continue, though likely at a slower rate of 25 miles (40 km) each year.

Dangerous Debt Hidden Reason for Monetary Madness.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York injected $86.4 billion into the repo market on Monday.  This follows three months of the Fed intervening in a repo market it normally leaves to its own devices.  When repurchase agreement (repo) rates exploded in September and the Fed intervened in that market for the first time in more than a decade, interested parties cited corporate tax deadlines, regulations, and other minor reasons as the major factor.  BIS Quarterly Review shines the light on the $23 trillion elephant in the room.

Two Chinese diplomats expelled from US after entering military base: report.  Two Chinese diplomats have been secretly kicked out of the US after driving onto a sensitive military base in Virginia — the first such expulsions in more than 30 years, according to a report Sunday [12/15/2019].  The Chinese Embassy officials were stopped in September at a base in Norfolk that is home to Special Operations forces — after they were chased by military personnel, according to The New York Times.  At least one is believed to be an intelligence officer operating under diplomatic cover, The Times said, citing six people with knowledge of the expulsions.

What is going on at Drudge Report?  The NOQ Report noted over the weekend that the Drudge Report has lost almost a third of its regular visitors since the summer.  This observation came a week after Rasmussen Reports called attention to a rumor that Matt Drudge had sold his eponymous media behemoth some time ago.  Does it make more sense that one of the savviest communicators of information in the history of the world (no exaggeration when you think of the sheer number of ideas he has used to change minds; affect populations; and influence leaders, movements, and governments for twenty-five years) decided to burn his creation down in nihilistic rage and madness, or that some other person or entity is now directing the show in his name?

Drudge Report Has Lost 28% of Its Traffic in Last Four Months Alone As It Continues to Push Corrupt Anti-Trump News.  On November 1oth we reported that since 2017 Matt Drudge and The Drudge Report has gone from staunch Trump supporter to Never-Trump.  It's obvious to everyone.  Matt Drudge is pushing for President Trump to be removed from office in a Democrat coup.  This makes no sense.  Drudge was once well respected and it was an honor to have a link to the Drudge Report.  Now the links only go to far-left anti-Trump corrupt publications.

9 of the 20 Richest Counties Are D.C. Suburbs; Virginia Suburbs Beat Silicon Valley.  Nine of the 20 richest counties in the United States — when measured by median household income — are suburbs of Washington, D.C., according to data released today by the Census Bureau.  In fact, two Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., are richer than the California counties that constitute Silicon Valley.

Exxon wins first-of-its-kind climate change case against New York.  ExxonMobil won a first-of-its-kind climate change fraud trial on Tuesday [12/10/2019] as a judge rejected the state of New York's claim that the oil and gas giant misled investors in accounting for the financial risks of global warming.  New York Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager said the state failed to prove that Exxon violated the Martin Act, a broad state law that does not require proof of intent of shareholder fraud.

Mount Sinai Hospital's emergency department is a 'war zone,' workers say.  Mount Sinai Hospital is considered one of the best in the country — but its emergency department is a "war zone" and a danger to the very patients it is supposed to save, current and former staffers have told The [New York] Post.  Nurses from the Upper East Side hospital recalled patients going into cardiac arrest without anyone noticing, others not being admitted to the critical care area because it was too full and staffers losing track of their charges.  They blamed staffing shortages and an obsession with profits.

He makes a village.  Tyler Merritt has taken the saying "It takes a village to raise a child" and turned it a bit sideways.  He's building a village, literally, to allow adults to raise themselves up.  His village is a stabilizing rail, or a stepping stone to a better life.  Merritt, a former special operations air mission commander, is trying to help his military brothers and sisters who have found themselves post-military service one paycheck away from financial collapse, as well as those struggling to find their way through modern civilian life, which does not begin and end with a stated purpose in the way military service does.  "Our most recent initiative is our veterans village," said Merritt, whose post-military life makes him an unlikely entrepreneur and philanthropist as the CEO of Nine Line Apparel and president of Nine Line Foundation.

Cyber Monday shoppers spent $9.4 billion, setting new record.  American shoppers shelled out $9.4 billion on Cyber Monday, setting a new spending record, new data show.  The total was a 19.7 percent jump from last year, according to real-time Adobe Analytics data.  Smartphones also set a new record by accounting for $3 billion, or about a third, of all Cyber Monday sales, Adobe says.  "Consumers capitalized on deals and ramped up spending, especially on smartphones, where activity increased on days when shoppers were snowed or rained in," John Copeland, Adobe's head of marketing and consumer insights, said in a statement.

Chinese defector spills Communist Party, military secrets in Australia.  China's military is engaged in an elaborate covert smuggling operation in Hong Kong to steal U.S. and other western arms and military technology, according to a Chinese intelligence official who has defected to Australia.  Wang Liqiang described the operation in an official statement to Australian authorities that also revealed details of a major Chinese influence campaign aimed at swaying the upcoming presidential election in Taiwan, and aggressive efforts to undermine democracy advocates in Hong Kong.

Thanksgiving Day shopping frenzy tops record with $4.1B spent.  Shoppers on Thursday [11/28/2019] weren't slowed down one bit by their huge turkey feasts.  Consumers spent a staggering $4.2 billion online on Thanksgiving, a 14.5 percent from last year and a record high, according to new figures published by Adobe Analytics on Friday.  This marks the first time that Thanksgiving shopping has surpassed $4 billion.

Leftists Decry Fake University ICE Sting Practiced During Obama Administration.  The fake University of Farmington, set up by the Department of Homeland Security, that resulted in the arrest of 250 foreign students this year and prompted outrage from leftists, was a concept embraced by the Obama administration, which engaged in similar operations.  Leftists experienced a collective freakout this week after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the arrest of dozens of foreign nationals committing visa fraud by enrolling in the fake university.  It was "part of a sting operation by federal agents who enticed foreign-born students, mostly from India, to attend the school that marketed itself as offering graduate programs in technology and computer studies," the Detroit Free Press reported.

Shoppers Spend $7.4 Billion Online During Black Friday Sales.  Black Friday shoppers spent $7.4 billion online Friday [11/29/2019] and $4.2 billion on Thanksgiving day, making it the second largest Internet shopping day ever, according to data compiled by Adobe Analytics.  Receipts for Friday trail only last year's Cyber Monday's record-setting $7.9 billion in sales.

Surprising findings about your life expectancy and US health care.  Do Americans live in a health care hellscape?  A report out this week would seem to indicate as much — but that first impression is deceiving.  "U.S. life expectancy has not kept pace with that of other wealthy countries and is now decreasing," concluded the report, published by the medical journal JAMA.  Or, as The Washington Post put it:  "'There's something terribly wrong': Americans are dying young at alarming rates."  "Medicare-for-all" partisans have pounced on the research to declare the U.S. health care system an expensive failure — one in which we spend more than double what other developed nations devote to health care but die younger.

China due to introduce face scans for mobile users.  People in China are now required to have their faces scanned when registering new mobile phone services, as the authorities seek to verify the identities of the country's hundreds of millions of internet users.  The regulation, announced in September, was due to come into effect on Sunday [12/1/2019].  The government says it wants to "protect the legitimate rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace".  China already uses facial recognition technology to survey its population.

Democrats 'will not be able to field a candidate' in Arkansas Senate race.  The Democratic Party of Arkansas had selected Joshua Mahony to run against Sen. Tom Cotton in next year's election.  However, minutes after the filing deadline for candidates had passed, Cotton's campaign released significant oppo research which caused Mahony to withdraw from the race within a matter of hours.  In fact, Mahony didn't even talk to the party before announcing on Twitter that he was withdrawing from the race.  Monday [11/25/2019] the Democratic Party announced that, after a failed attempt to find a path forward, it was simply too late to field a replacement candidate.

Texas teacher fired after asking Trump to remove 'illegal students from Mexico' wins her job back.  A Texas teacher who lost her job after asking President Trump on Twitter to remove the "illegal students from Mexico" from her school has won an appeal to get her job back.  Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath ruled Monday that the series of offensive tweets sent in May by Georgia Clark — an English teacher at Carter-Riverside High School in Fort Worth — were protected by the First Amendment, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Government workers more likely to support socialism, repealing Second Amendment:  Poll.  Government employees are more likely than other workers to support socialist candidates and oppose the Second Amendment, according to a newly released poll.  A survey of likely voters conducted by the pollster Rasmussen Reports and the free-market Heartland Institute found that 69% of Americans favor capitalism over socialism, and that 50% would not vote for a self-described socialist.  Republicans and unaffiliated voters were more likely to support a free-market economic system, with 87% of Republicans and 69% of unaffiliateds favoring capitalism, while just 53% of Democrats agreed.

The Editor says...
This is not surprising.  A poll like this is hardly worth conducting, let alone publishing.  If you work for the government, you would naturally support big government.

Hero Dog 'Conan' Visits the White House.  President Donald Trump met with the hero dog of the famous raid leading to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Monday, surprising reporters at the White House.  "Conan is a tough cookie," Trump said proudly, after meeting the dog.  "Nobody's going to mess with Conan."  The dog was slightly injured in the raid that took place in October in Syria but has returned to duty.  The president, the first lady, and Vice President Mike Pence appeared in the Rose Garden with Conan to recognize her contribution to the successful raid.

The President is paid in quarters!
Trump donates 3rd-quarter salary to help fight opioid crisis.  President Donald Trump is donating his third-quarter salary to help tackle the nation's opioid epidemic.

Smoking is prohibited in shopping malls, because second-hand smoke is harmful, but this is okay?
Native American offended that his burning sage sickens people at mall.  The head of a Native American cultural center at a shopping mall in Rapid City, South Dakota, is "hurt and offended" by complaints that people are being sickened by his practice of burning sage several times a day.  However, he is promising to cut back on the smoke that has made the mall air hazy.  The Rapid City Journal reported the manager of the Rushmore Mall warned Erik Bringswhite at the I Am Legacy center in a letter that his lease would be terminated if he continued to burn sage "because it was jeopardizing people's health."

Ex-CIA operative gets 19 years for China espionage.  A former CIA case officer who spied for China was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Friday [11/22/2019] in a case U.S. officials say involved the loss of more than two dozen recruited CIA agents in China.  Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 55, was sentenced to the prison term Friday by federal Judge T.S. Ellis III during a hearing in an Eastern District of Virginia courtroom.  G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said the sentence should serve as a warning to other would be spies.

Stefanik Successfully Uses Battle Against Schiff to Raise over $500K in Less than Two Hours.  Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is using her ceaseless battle against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his impeachment efforts to her advantage, raising over $500,000 for her congressional campaign in less than two hours, she announced on Friday [11/22/2019].  Stefanik has been a predominant GOP figure in recent weeks, particularly due to her significant role on the House Intelligence Committee, which held a series of public impeachment trials over the last two weeks.  Stefanik has used her time during the hearings to demonstrate the partisan nature of the inquiry and question Schiff's methods.

Why primary care costs a trillion dollars more than it should.  Americans carry insurance for unexpected catastrophes such as car accidents, burned houses, and inpatient hospital care.  We don't purchase it for routine car or home maintenance, so why do we have it for everyday medical care?  The reason is, unlike other insurance, it is a pre-tax expense enjoyed primarily by large and medium-sized corporations that exert a large amount of political influence.  Most people don't know that this tax exemption for employer-provided health insurance adds about $350 billion to our national debt each year while discriminating against the self-employed and employees of small businesses, many of whom can't afford health insurance yet were cruelly forced to pay ObamaCare penalties.  The increasing number of families choosing membership in Christian health care sharing ministries don't benefit from this tax exemption.

Stents no better than drugs for many heart patients:  U.S. study.  Many patients with severe but stable heart disease who routinely undergo invasive procedures to clear and prop open clogged arteries would do as well by just taking medications and making lifestyle changes, U.S. researchers reported on Saturday [11/16/2019].

As Impeachment Fizzles, The Stock Market Soars.  In New York City on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared to 28,004, a new record.  In fact all major U.S. stock indexes hit new highs, and the SNP 500 hit its longest streak of weekly gains in two years.  Put simply, it was a really good day for the economy.  Meanwhile in Washington, the public phase of the House impeachment inquiry slogged along, with Democrats all but conceding that even if they vote to impeach, the removal of the president by the Senate is all but certainly not going to happen.

So 'Pachamama' was a problem in Bolivia, too.  A few weeks ago, some Catholic activists marched on the Vatican and flung statues of "Pachamama," a pagan goddess of the Andes, into the Tiber.  Good riddance.  The radical leftists in charge at the Vatican were trying to sell some extra gods to the Catholic faithful under the banner of globalism, multiculturalism, New Age-ism, and inclusion.  And while there is nothing wrong with appreciating indigenous peoples in a non-religious context, embracing them in a religious context is something else. [...] But this doesn't seem to be the end of it.  Moving away from the Catholic Church itself, seems the land of Pachamama itself, Bolivia, is getting upended over the leftist desire to shove Pachamama in people's faces, too.

Pope Francis Invokes Hitler, Criticizes Politicians Who Denounce Homosexuality.  This is an interesting point for a Pope to make for a couple of reasons.  First, is the Pope's equating of the denouncing a particular sexual act that is denounced in scripture with hating people on the basis of race, contrary to the explicit command of scripture.

LASIK eye surgery needs to stop, former FDA adviser says:  Report.  Even though LASIK has been around for 20 years in the U.S., one former FDA adviser has said the procedure should be taken off the market.  Dr. Morris Waxler originally voted to approve the eye surgery, but he's changed his mind.  "Essentially we ignored the data on vision distortions that persisted for years," the retired FDA adviser told CBS News.

CBS executive to receive $100 million package.  Joe Ianniello's sweet deal just keeps getting sweeter.  Acting CBS Chief Executive Ianniello, who will become chairman and CEO of CBS once Viacom merges with CBS, will bank a hefty payout of $100 million when the deal closes, sources said.  That's up from the $70 million he was already set to pocket in severance for not being named head of the newly combined company — despite staying on in his current job.

Chrysler prodded sellers to absorb glut of 40,000 unordered cars, dealers say.  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV has been manufacturing more cars and trucks than its U.S. dealers are willing to accept, at one point creating a nationwide glut of about 40,000 unordered vehicles and stoking tension with some of its retailers.  Four dealers, two of whom spoke on the condition they not be named, said Fiat Chrysler has revived what's known in industry circles as a "sales bank."  The practice is decades old and frowned upon by investors and analysts because it can obscure an automaker's inventory figures.

Federal Judge Rules U.S.-Born 'ISIS Bride' Not an American Citizen, U.S. Not Required to Repatriate Her.  A federal judge ruled Thursday [11/14/2019] that 25-year-old Hoda Muthana, who lived in Alabama but left the U.S. in 2014 to join ISIS, is not an American citizen and therefore the country is not required to repatriate her.  Muthana is the daughter of Yemen's former ambassador to the United Nations, Ahmed Ali Muthana.  Judge Reggie Walton ruled that because Hoda was born while Ahmed Ali still had diplomatic status, Hoda could not be considered a U.S. citizen.  Ahmed Ali has since become a naturalized citizen.  In addition, Walton ruled that Ahmed Ali cannot provide financial aid to his daughter, who escaped from ISIS to a Kurdish refugee camp in 2018.  Hoda Muthana has a son, Adam, who was born in ISIS territory.

A Judge Has Ruled That A Woman Who Left The US For ISIS Is Not An American Citizen.  A federal judge ruled Thursday [11/14/2019] that Hoda Muthana, a US-born woman who left the country to join ISIS, is not an American citizen, and therefore the government has no obligation to facilitate her return or that of her 2-year-old son.  Judge Reggie Walton said there was sufficient evidence that Muthana had been born while her father, who once represented Yemen in the United Nations, still had diplomatic status in the US.

Dutch Priest on Pope Francis: 'I Rightly Think He Is a Heretic'.  Rev. Cor Mennen, a retired priest in the Netherlands, recently wrote on his blog that he thinks Pope Francis is a "heretic," and explained that excessive respect by Catholics towards the papacy is not a virtue given that Christ Himself rebuked the first Pope, St. Peter, ordering him to "Get thee behind me, Satan!"  Fr.  Mennen, 74, was ordained a priest in 1969.  He also holds a degree in ecclesiastical law and is vice chairman of the board of the Latin Liturgy Association.  He lives in Vlijmen, east of Rotterdam, still participates in events for the diocese, and is often interviewed on Radio Maria.  In an Oct. 28 blog post, Fr. Mennen criticized some of the pagan events that occurred at the Vatican during the Amazonian synod, such as the veneration of a wooden statue of an Earth goddess named "Pachamama" in the Vatican gardens.

So much for "peak oil."
Iran discovers new oil field with over 50 billion barrels.  Iran has discovered a new oil field in the country's south with over 50 billion barrels of crude, its president said Sunday [11/10/2019], a find that could boost the country's proven reserves by a third as it struggles to sell energy abroad over U.S. sanctions.

The Editor says...
Let the Iranian terrorists drown in oil.  The United States should never buy oil from Iran again, because the U.S. has plenty of it.

Socialist Bolivia heading for the ash heap of history?  Like all dictatorships, every socialist hellhole dictatorship eventually falls.  It's a law of nature, and with socialism inherently unsustainable as both a political and an economic system, it's a law about as certain as 'what goes up, must come down.'  Which brings us to Bolivia, where embattled far left Hugo-Chavez-trained socialist dictator Evo Morales, now on his fourth term in a grossly rigged election, has for the first time wobbled in fear in response to protests.

Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down.  President Evo Morales of Bolivia, who came to power more than a decade ago as part of a leftist wave sweeping Latin America, resigned on Sunday after unrelenting protests by an infuriated population that accused him of undermining democracy to extend his rule.  Mr. Morales and his vice president, Álvaro García Linera, who also resigned, said in a national address that they were stepping down in an effort to stop the bloodshed that has spread across the country in recent weeks.  But they admitted no wrongdoing and instead insisted that they were victims of a coup.  "The coup has been consummated," Mr. García said.

70-year-old man on electric scooter dies in car crash.  The Boston Globe reports the Falmouth man, who police did not identify, was struck and killed at an intersection on Wednesday while riding the scooter.

The Editor says...
I'm surprised this doesn't happen every day.  Advertisements for electric scooters portray them as a way to ride around effortlessly, safely, and quickly, anywhere in town!  Many of the people who buy electric scooters think they are getting a one-seat electric car.  (Purchased by Medicare, of course.)  I sometimes see a fat old person trying to make a round trip to the grocery store on an electric wheelchair.  I suspect the grandkids have to come and pick up grandma fairly often, when the batteries run out.  Electric scooters are not street legal.  You shouldn't even go outdoors on one of these things.

How Dystopian Los Angeles Measures Up to Rwanda.  [Scroll down]  I asked our guide how the Rwandans manage to keep their city so clean. "Umuganda!" he shouted.  "Before Umuganda, there were piles of garbage everywhere!  Look!  Now, no one is now allowed to even use a plastic bag, no one is allowed to buy water in a plastic bottle.  We are solar.  Rwanda is green!"  He explained that on the last Saturday of every month, all able-bodied Rwandans (18-65), including the president and his Cabinet members, are required by law to go out and clean the areas around their homes and businesses.  The police fine eligible citizens who fail to participate 5,000 Rwandan francs (about U.S. $5.00).  These fines and traffic tickets are sent via text to the violator's mobile phone.  The fine is paid via the phone.  Mobile phone transactions have all but overtaken those involving currency in Rwanda.

I wonder if the Cardinals knew this before they elected him.
Report:  Pope denies bodily resurrection of Christ.  Pope Francis already has been accused of heresy by prominent Catholic clergy, but now his longtime friend and interviewer is claiming the South American-born pontiff denies one of the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, that Jesus Christ rose from the dead in bodily form.  Eugenio Scalfari, a left-wing atheist journalist, published the remarks in the periodical he founded, La Repubblica, and in a new book, CNS News reported.

Heresy:
Scalfari: Pope Denied Jesus' Bodily Resurrection, Said It Was 'Semblance of a Spirit'.  In his new book and in the periodical he founded, La Repubblica, Eugenio Scalfari, a long-time friend of Pope Francis and frequent papal interviewer, claims that the Pope told him that Jesus Christ did not rise bodily from the dead but "in the semblance of a spirit."  This notion is a contradiction of Church teaching and the Gospels.

Pilot Who Chased The UFO: Some Of The Tapes Are "Missing".  Another interesting tidbit has surfaced in the story of U.S. Navy Cmdr David Fravor (Ret), the pilot who engaged in the now-infamous encounter with the "tic-tac" UFO in 2004.  While flying his F/A-18F Super Hornet, he was sent to observe unidentified craft showing up on radar, flying from the USS Nimitz carrier battle group, leading to the bizarre run-in with the tic-tac.  This encounter produced one of the three Navy UFO videos that have been making the rounds in the media for the past couple of years.  During an interview earlier this year, however, Fravor indicated that there were more tapes, including video and radar tracking information, that simply "disappeared" after the event.  And so, the mystery deepens further.

Bill Gates says meeting Jeffrey Epstein was a 'mistake'.  Bill Gates said Wednesday that he "made a mistake" when he decided to meet with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein while seeking money for his global health campaign.  Gates made the mea culpa while speaking to The New York Times Dealbook Conference — saying that by sitting down with Epstein he helped legitimize the convicted sexual predator.  "I made a mistake in judgment that I thought that those discussions would lead, literally, to billions of dollars going to global health.  It turned out that was a bad judgment," said 64-year-old Gates.

The most and least affordable places in America to rent a home.  Average rent in the U.S. recently dropped for the first time in two years, with prices waning in more than half of the country's largest renter hubs.  The declines aren't uniform, though, and for people trying to stick to a tight budget, some areas are still significantly more affordable than others.

Turkey:  Arming Genocide of Christians in Nigeria?  [Scroll down]  He then played an intercepted audio of what he said were Mustafa Varank (currently Turkey's Minister of Industry and Technology) and Mehmet Karatas (a manager at the partly state-owned Turkish Airlines).  The gist of their brief conversation in Turkish, according to the Arabic transcript, is that weapons were being transferred from Turkey to Nigeria — and that there was a concern that the weapons might kill not just Christians but Muslims.

Planeloads of Cash From Russia Have Been Shipped to Venezuela.  Hundreds of millions of dollars in cash has been shipped from Russia to Venezuela, providing a lifeline to the South American country as U.S. sanctions limit its access to the global financial system.  A total of $315 million of U.S. dollar and euro notes were sent in six separate shipments from Moscow to Caracas from May 2018 to April 2019, according to data reviewed by Bloomberg from ImportGenius, which compiled Russian customs records it obtains through private sources.  The cash came from lenders run by the countries' governments and went to Venezuela's development bank, the records show.

TPUSA Officers at KSU Quit En Masse.  All of the officers of the Kansas State University chapter of Turning Point USA announced on Thursday that they are stepping down from their positions because the purported conservative organization no longer reflects their conservative values.  In a statement, Jaden McNeil, the former president of the KSU chapter of TPUSA listed several reasons why he was quitting, including what he called the group's "fair weather conservatism," their refusal to promote social conservative values, their tone-deaf views on immigration, and the group's "culture of censorship."

Pentagon releases incredible footage of Abu Baghdadi raid.  The Pentagon has released footage showing the raid that resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr, commander of U.S. Central Command, released the footage at a press conference on Wednesday [10/31/2019] at the Pentagon.  McKenzie was the operational commander of the Delta Force raid, which took place on Saturday in northwest Syria, and resulted in the death of Baghdadi after the terror leader detonated a suicide vest to avoid capture.  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
When the Pentagon releases footage of this sort, it is always blurry, fuzzy, monochrome video that looks like a fourth-generation VHS dub.  Come on, fellas!  We should be seeing these explosions in 4K by now.  Quit showing us the muddied-up version.

House Dem Katie Porter wears Batgirl costume in Congress.  Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., wore a Halloween costume and kept her mask on during a vote Thursday in the House Financial Services Committee.  At one point, Porter reportedly yelled at a reporter about her outfit.  "It's Batgirl!" she told Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis.  She wore her outfit on the same day Democrats voted for a resolution on ground rules for the impeachment inquiry surrounding President Trump.  For Republicans, Porter's display was inappropriate.

The Editor says...
That kind of behavior might be okay in a California high school, but not in Congress.  Grow up.

Fox News's Catherine Herridge Contract Lapses, Heads To CBS.  Catherine Herridge, a beloved investigative correspondent at Fox News, is leaving the network after 23 years to go to work for CBS News.  Media reporters like CNN's Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter are taking the moment to gloat, insinuating that Herridge's departure marks another defection from the network.  Shepard Smith recently resigned from Fox News after also working there for 23 years.

Catherine Herridge, Fox News Veteran, Moves to CBS News.  Catherine Herridge, a Fox News Channel veteran who has been with that network since it was founded in 1996, is moving to rival CBS News.  She will work as a senior investigative correspondent out of Washington, CBS News said, and will start in November.  Herridge is the second long-serving Fox News journalist to leave the Fox Corporation-owned cable-news outlet in recent weeks.

Ex-CIA boss Brennan appears to partly back Hillary Clinton's theory Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset.  When it comes to Hillary Clinton's controversial suggestions about 2020 Democratic hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, it seems that maybe, John Brennan is with her.  Speaking at the "2020 Vision:  Intelligence and the U.S. Presidential Election" event at the National Press Club, the former CIA director was asked about Clinton recently raising the suggestion that Gabbard, a Democratic candidate for president, is a Russian asset. [...] "Something is a Russia asset even if it is not intentionally advancing their interest," the ex-CIA boss said.

X-37B spaceplane lands after record-breaking 780 days in orbit.  The Air Force's X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle Mission 5 successfully landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility Oct. 27, 2019, at 3:51 a.m.  The spaceplane conducted on-orbit experiments for 780 days during its mission, recently breaking its own record by being in orbit for more than two years.

Poll: 7-in-10 Voters Believe in 'America First' Agenda Ahead of 2020 Election.  Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, the overwhelming majority of likely voters say they believe in the doctrine of "America First" when it comes to national public policy, a new poll reveals.  A poll by Selzer and Company/Grinnell College finds that the vast majority of American adults say they are America First voters, while less than 20 percent identify as socialists.  Overall, about seven-in-ten — or 70 percent — of likely voters say they are believers in America First — the nationalist-populist doctrine that guides President Trump's agenda on immigration, trade, healthcare, and foreign policy, among others.

DC Circuit Halts Disclosure Of Mueller Grand Jury Materials Just Hours Before Release.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit temporarily halted the release of grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation Tuesday, just hours ahead of their scheduled distribution.  A three-judge panel issued a short directive saying the grand jury documents will be temporarily withheld while it considers an emergency appeal from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which hopes to shield those materials on a permanent basis.

California Power Outages — A Look Into The Future.  Pacific Gas and Electric began shutting down power early the morning of Oct. 9, when electricity was cut to more than 140,000 customers in Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Marin counties.  Those outages and the ones that followed were ordered because there was a high risk of wildfires. [...] PG&E labeled the disruption a "public safety power shutoff."  The utility industry calls it "de-energization," a sort of euphemism that sounds less serious than "blackout."  It's not a word that should be used in the 21st century in California.  But there it is.  This state has long considered itself a model of progress, always pressing forward.  Yet California now chooses darkness.  And rather than being a rare exception, these autumn blackouts are more likely a preview of coming long night.

Missouri man charged with starting 13 forest fires in California.  A man found himself in handcuffs while trying to fly home to Missouri after allegedly setting 13 forest fires in California.  Freddie Graham, 68, was apprehended before boarding a plane in San Jose and charged with starting forest fires in the Milpitas foothills.  Graham had flown to California on Sept. 19 and spent two days in the state before attempting to fly back to Kansas City.  The fires in question burned 128 acres.  Graham was charged with 15 counts of committing arson, two of which were heightened charges because the fires were started during a declared emergency.

Al-Baghdadi's Right-Hand Man Killed In U.S. Airstrike.  ISIS leadership continues to crumble with the official spokesman of the terrorist organization being the latest to fall.  Sunday reports claimed the CIA targeted and killed Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir.  U.S. officials have confirmed the missile attack, which was targeted at the high level ISIS official in the Aleppo province of Syria.  The Texas-born man was named the official spokesperson for the militant group in 2016.  Muhajir climbed the ranks of ISIS, advancing to be the right-hand man of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  U.S. officials have reassured the public that a strong surveillance operation continues in the region, despite the withdrawal of troops.

Top Secret Spaceplane Lands in Florida After Spending Over 2 Years in Orbit.  The U.S. Air Force's top secret spaceplane, the Boeing X-37B, landed in Florida early Sunday after 780 days — over 2 years and one month — in orbit around the Earth.  And we still have no idea what it was doing while it was up there.  The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle-5 (OTV-5) mission was the fifth time that the uncrewed vehicle has flown around the world, beating the duration of the fourth mission, which landed in May of 2017 after 718 days in orbit.  This most recent mission launched from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on September 7, 2017.

1 In 3 Millennials See Communism As Favorable, Survey Finds.  A growing number of Millennials show support for communism and socialism, a survey from the Victims of Communism found.  The survey, conducted by the Victims of Communism and polled by the research and data firm YouGov, found that 70% of Millennials are likely to vote socialist and that one in three Millennials perceive communism as "favorable."  The survey is part of the Victims of Communism's report "U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism, Communism, and Collectivism," which polled 2,100 people in the United States who were 16 and older with a margin of error of +/- 2.4%.

Syrian Kurdish forces say they killed close al-Baghdadi aide.  One of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's last audio messages was an appeal for his followers to do everything in their power to free Islamic State detainees and the women being held in jails and camps in northeastern Syria.

Baghdadi's aide was key to his capture - Iraqi intelligence sources.  In their long hunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Iraqi intelligence teams secured a break in February 2018 after one of the Islamic State leader's top aides gave them information on how he escaped capture for so many years, said two Iraqi security officials.

George Soros on Lifelong Funding of Leftwing Causes: 'Tide Has Turned Against Me'.  Billionaire George Soros, who has spent his fortune promoting leftwing politicians, media, and organizations, said over the weekend that he hasn't failed in his lifelong quest to put socialism in place in the United States, but has been impeded by his opposition, including President Donald Trump.  "Between the election of President Trump and Britain's ongoing debate over Brexit, the billionaire philanthropist George Soros recognizes that populism is on the rise and that his brand of liberal democracy is faltering," said Michel Martin, host of All Things Considered on taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR).

PG&E will cut power to more than 3 million people over 'historic wind event'.  New evacuations were ordered Saturday for at least 90,000 people across a huge swath of Northern California as millions of Californians prepare to have their power cut — the third time in as many weeks — due to the wildfires whipped up by strong winds.  The entire communities of Healdsburg and Windsor were ordered to evacuate ahead of severe winds that could lead to erratic fire behavior near the blaze burning in wine country.  The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said it is expected to be the biggest evacuation in the county in more than 25 years.

Scientology spread its magazine across Clearwater.  Residents aren't happy.  Gertrude Zullinger woke up on Monday morning [10/26/2019] to about 10 calls from concerned neighbors.  Somebody had entered the three buildings of the 55-and-older Imperial Pines complex — where Zullinger is president of the condo association — and hung copies of the Church of Scientology's Freedom Magazine on all 168 doorknobs.  "We have gates.  Each building has a lobby that's locked," Zullinger said.  "They felt violated.  They were very upset about it."  One day after the Tampa Bay Times published an investigation showing companies tied to Scientology had bought much of the property in the center of downtown Clearwater, the church responded by spreading its own story across the city.

California enters uncharted territory:  Massive blackouts, historically dangerous wind.  Northern California braced for a weekend in uncharted territory as Pacific Gas & Electric prepared to shut off power to more than 2 million people as the region faced one of the worst periods of fire weather in a generation.  It's a perilous combination that left many anxiously planning for blackouts and the potential for more destructive wildfires, fueled by 36 hours of intense winds.  Some fear they will have to confront fires without power, an experience those who fled this week's Sonoma County fire described as terrifying.

ICE deports Russian operative Marina Butina.  The woman at the center of a Russian influence-peddling scheme has been deported, ICE announced Friday evening [10/25/2019].  Maria Butina was convicted last year of acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government, as part of the FBI's efforts to combat the Russian government's meddling in the 2016 election.  She was sentenced to 18 months, was released Friday [10/25/2019], and deported back to Russia the same day, in a flight from Miami to Moscow, the agency said.

Somethings Up:  Tusli Gabbard Will Not Run For Congress Next Year.  [Scroll down]  If she is calculating that her announcing over a year early she is not running again for her seat will make her look more viable for the Presidential run, I personally don't see how.  Maybe she has started off the 4th quarter raising more money than her campaign anticipated after the Hillary dust-up.  Possibly she just doesn't like being a congress critter anymore after traveling to Iowa and New Hamshire.  Could it be that MSNBC wants to hire her after she drops out as a commentator on the network that currently is offering every excuse in the book for Hillary?  This is one of the stranger moves I have ever seen for someone who does not have a viable path to the nomination of her party.

Tulsi Gabbard announces she is not running for re-election to House of Representatives.  Bad things tend to happen to people who find themselves on Hillary Clinton's enemies list.  Just days after being attacked by Hillary Clinton for being a favorite of the Russians and for allegedly being "groomed" (by Republicans, her spokesman later claimed she meant) to run as a third-party candidate, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard announced late last night that she will not seek re-election to the House of Representatives, where she has served since winning election there in 2012.  It is an odd coincidence that becoming an official enemy of Hillary Clinton preceded this surprise announcement that offered no new reason for the decision announced on Twitter beyond her desire to serve as president.  Curiously, the announcement came just after she was interviewed for ten minutes on Sean Hannity's Fox News program (video embedded below) during which she made no mention of her decision.

DNC Announces All-Female Moderator Panel for Next Debate amid Neutrality Concerns and Sinking Viewership.  The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced that its upcoming presidential primary debate will be moderated by an an all-female panel amid concerns over the event's neutrality and sinking viewership.  The debate, which is being sponsored by The Washington Post and MSNBC in Georgia on Nov. 20, will be moderated by NBC News's Andrea Mitchel and Kristen Welker, The Washington Post's Ashley Parker, and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

The Editor says...
This proves that the debates are all sizzle and no steak.  Nobody wants to hear about global warming, so let's put some women on display!  If the viewers were interested in substantive discussion of the issues, it wouldn't matter who the moderators were.  The debate would draw much better ratings if the moderators were Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh.

The Deep State Is Assassinating Julian Assange.  WikiLeaks founder and journalist Julian Assange appeared in court to fight his extradition to the United States, sluggishly reciting his name and date of birth in a zombie-like state — displaying signs of either sleep deprivation, torture or poisoning — but quickly recovered to state the rigged case against him to the judge when he was asked if he understood what he was facing.  Assange responded, appearing to fight back tears at his case management hearing, "I can't think properly, I don't understand how this is equitable.  This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can't access my writings.  It's very difficult where I am to do anything but these people have unlimited resources."

Josh Hawley Has Had Enough Of The Federal Government In The Swamp.  Missouri Republican and arguably the most MAGA member of the Senate, Josh Hawley, introduced a bill on Wednesday [10/23/2019] that would move numerous federal agencies out of the District of Columbia, and disperse the offices throughout cities in the country The bill was co-introduced by Republican Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and is officially known as the "Helping Infrastructure Restore the Economy (HIRE) Act."  "Every year Americans' hard-earned tax dollars fund federal agencies that are mainly located in the D.C. bubble," Sen. Hawley said in a statement.  "That's a big part of the problem with Washington:  they're too removed from the rest of America.  The HIRE Act will move policymakers directly into the communities they serve, creating thousands of jobs for local communities and saving taxpayers billions of dollars along the way."

Senate GOP bill seeks to move 90% of jobs in 10 federal departments outside D.C.  The decision to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Colorado's Western Slope should be viewed not as a one-off, but a good start, as far as some Senate Republicans are concerned.  GOP Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee introduced Wednesday legislation to move 90% of positions in 10 executive departments — including Agriculture, Education and Energy — to 10 states outside Washington, D.C., and "into the heart of economically distressed regions across the country."

The Editor says...
The relocation of the Departments of Agriculture, Education, and Energy, is a waste of money.  All three of those agencies should be shut down.  Drain the swamp, don't just spread it around.

FBI chases down increasing number of Chinese nationals in costly corporate spy cases.  A federal judge last week sentenced a Chinese national to nearly four years in prison for trying to steal U.S. space technology, the latest corporate spy snared by an FBI that has ramped up protection of American businesses amid President Trump's trade war with Beijing.  Over the past year, the Justice Department has brought public charges against Chinese nationals and entities in 10 separate trade secret cases.  That represents a rapid increase from the three the department brought during the previous year, according to The Washington Times' review of Justice Department records.

Venezuelans trade cigarettes, candy bars for gas as economic crisis worsens.  Motorists in socialist Venezuela have long enjoyed the world's cheapest gasoline, with fuel so heavily subsidized that a full tank these days costs a tiny fraction of a US penny.  But the economy is in such shambles that drivers are now paying for fill-ups with a little food, a candy bar or just a cigarette.

94 hospitalized and 4 dead from disease outbreak at hot tub display.  More than 100 people have been infected with Legionnaires' disease after stopping by a public hot tub display at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair.  The fair, which took place Sept. 6-15 in Fletcher, North Carolina, was the common link among those diagnosed.  So far, 133 cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, 94 of which resulted in hospitalizations.  Four of those diagnosed with the disease died.

Convoy of Trucks Seen Emptying Obama-Linked Former Ukrainian President Poroschenko's Palace — Confidants Arrested and Flee.  Poroshenko was known for his strong ties to the Obama Administration, specifically Obama's point man for Ukraine:  Now this:  A convoy of trucks were seen emptying former President Poroshenko's home this weekend. [...] If the reportes are accurate this will be horrific news for the Democrats and Biden Crime Family.  Poroshenko was behind all of the dirty dealings between the corrupt Obama admininstration and the Biden family corruption.

Drudge leaves Conservatives, follows Fox down the liberal rabbit hole.  The Drudge Report seems to have lost its conservative-leaning.  More and more the headline aggregator, whose claim to fame was Monica Lewinsky's semen-stained blue dress, is highlighting articles that are anti-Trump, anti-Republican, and pro-Impeachment.  It has been an obvious trend during the Trump Presidency that is accelerating as we get closer to the House Impeachment farce and the 2020 election.

Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review.  Federal prosecutors who are looking into the origins of the government's Russia probe have interviewed about two dozen people, suggesting that the inquiry is further along than previously known, The New York Times reported Saturday [10/19/2019].  The prosecutors have asked witnesses about whether former FBI officials that have been frequent targets of President Trump hold anti-Trump bias, former officials and others familiar with the review told the Times.  U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading the investigation, has not interviewed all of the FBI officials who were instrumental in opening the Russia probe in 2016, sources told the newspaper.

'Start Your Day With Maximum Gay:' Kellogg's Launches LGBT Cereal.  Have you ever eaten Froot Loops and thought, "This cereal isn't gay enough?"  Do you seek a safe space to eat your Rice Krispies?  Are you concerned that your Corn Flakes aren't sufficiently woke?  Well, now Kellogg's has the solution! [...] Kellogg's chief diversity officer (why does a cereal company need such a thing??) Priscilla Koranteng said, "At Kellogg, we are firmly committed to equality and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace and in the communities where we work and live."

The Editor says...
Why do manufacturers of consumer goods feel compelled to inject left-wing politics into their products and risk alienating their customers?  I'm no longer a regular consumer of breakfast cereal; but when I was, the least of my concerns was the level of "equality and inclusion" at the cereal factory.  If the product tastes good, I don't care if the factory workers all look alike, nor do I care how little they are paid.  Any salary paid to the "chief diversity officer" is wasted, because workplace diversity adds nothing to productivity.  For example, the Japanese economy is thriving, yet Japan has the least diverse work force in the world.  God himself originated workplace diversity at the Tower of Babel, and inflicted it upon mankind — as punishment! — to stop the entire project overnight.

Sallie Mae paid for employees to go on Hawaiian retreat to celebrate $5 billion in sales.  Student loan servicer Sallie Mae paid for more than 100 of its employees to go on a Hawaiian retreat in August to celebrate a record $5 billion worth of sales.  "We said, 'Hey, look, Maui is a pretty nice spot," Ray Quinlan, CEO of Sallie Mae, said to NBC News while on the grounds of the Fairmont Resort on Hawaii's Wailea beach.  The trip celebrated a year of $5 billion in sales to 374,000 borrowers.  The sales came as combined U.S. student debt topped $1.6 trillion.

'Women for America First' March to 'Stop Impeachment'.  Women for America First organized the march which will take place around the Capitol building in D.C. and in dozens of other cities.  "We want our President to know he is not alone and we stand with him," an announcement of the march states.  "Our President needs us more than ever before.  We must not let him down."

Mark Sanford kicked off his presidential campaign against Donald Trump in Philly.  One person showed up.  The bell in the Independence Hall tower rang at 9 a.m., and Mark Sanford took a deep breath.  He grabbed a giant check for "one trillion dollars," stood next to a tiny wooden lectern, and asked me if I was ready for him to kick off a news conference announcing his bid to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 Republican primary.  It didn't really feel like a news conference.  I was the only reporter there.

Dems Decimated in Louisiana:  GOP Gains Senate Supermajority, Dem Governor Now on the Ropes.  In Louisiana's Saturday [10/12/2019] election, Republicans had a lot to cheer about.  Among statewide office-holders, the incumbent GOP Lieutenant Governor (68 percent), Attorney General (66 percent), Treasurer (60 percent, and Agricultural Commissioner (58 percent) were all re-elected without the need for a run-off, under the state's 'jungle primary'-style system.

No fool like an old fool:  Hanoi Jane Fonda makes another comeback.  Does anyone need this?  Eighty-one year old Jane Fonda, whose claim to fame is hopping up on and bouncing around a communist North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun engaged in downing American fighters as her way of protesting the Vietnam War nearly 50 years ago, has now taken to getting herself arrested at global warming protests in Washington.  She's says she's actually moved to the city for four months for such a mission, undoubtedly leaving a [substantial] jet carbon compound trail behind her.

Half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left their job for mental health reasons.  Cases of burnout have been increasing at an alarming rate in recent years among millennials and Gen Zers.  It's a growing problem in today's workplace because of trends like rising workloads, limited staff and resources and long hours.  It's no surprise, then, that a recent study by Mind Share Partners, Qualtrics and SAP reveals that half of millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job for mental health reasons.  The study, which looked at mental-health challenges and stigmas in the U.S. workplace, polled 1,500 respondents ages 16 and older working full-time.  Another recent study, by the American Psychological Association, found the percentage of young adults experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has increased significantly in the past decade.  In particular, the percentage of people dealing with suicidal thoughts increased 47 percent from 2008 to 2017.

Kurds Report Turkish Shelling of Prison Filled with Islamic State Jihadis.  Kurdish officials in Syria on Thursday [10/10/2019] accused the invading Turkish army of shelling the Chirkin prison, which is filled with captive Islamic State jihadis from 60 different countries.  The Turkish government did not immediately respond to the allegation.

Goodbye, iTunes:  Once-revolutionary app gone in Mac update.  It's time to bid farewell to iTunes, the once-revolutionary program that made online music sales mainstream and effectively blunted the impact of piracy.

Victoria's Secret, Under Siege, Lays Off Employees at Headquarters.  Victoria's Secret is laying off about 15 percent of the brand's employees at its Columbus, Ohio, headquarters as the beleaguered lingerie chain struggles to reshape its image and the chief executive of its parent company remains under scrutiny for his ties to Jeffrey Epstein.  The cuts, which took place on Wednesday and Thursday, involved about 50 people and range from senior leaders to junior staff, according to three people with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

Intelligence agent arrested for spilling secrets to journalists.  The feds busted a Defense Intelligence Agency worker Wednesday for leaking classified national defense information to two journalists in 2018 and 2019 — one of whom he was shacking up with.  Henry Kyle Frese, 30, a counterintelligence analyst from Alexandria, Virginia, who had a Top Secret security clearance, was indicted Tuesday [10/8/2019] on two counts of willful transmission of national defense information to persons not entitled to receive it.  "Frese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain," said John C. Demers, assistant attorney general for national security, who cited ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions' vow to pursue leakers as the motivation for the probe.

In-N-Out Burger Joins Chick-fil-A as a Company That Openly Celebrates Its Christian Values.  I say "joins," but In-N-Out Burger hasn't necessarily been secretive about the fact that it's a Christian establishment.  It has printed John 3:16 on the bottom of its cups.  However, like Chick-fil-A before it, the owner and heiress of the burger chain, Lynsi Snyder, is letting everyone know just how much Christ means to her publicly.  Snyder gave an interview with The Christian Post and divulged that her life was on a downward spiral until she came to Christ, leaving behind drug and alcohol addiction, broken marriages, physical abuse, and more.  The burger empire heiress said that she "finally found that the deep need in my heart can only be filled by Jesus and my identity in Him."

BoJo to Trump:  Return diplomat's spouse to face vehicular homicide charge.  This has the potential to get very awkward for both leaders who are depending on each other a little more than usual recently.  The US whisked a State Department official's spouse out of the United Kingdom after an accident that killed a motorcyclist, claiming she had diplomatic immunity.  Responding to the outrage at home, Boris Johnson is now demanding her return to face charges, and plans to challenge his key ally Donald Trump — who has problems of his own on international relations at the moment.

Mother stopped possible school massacre by turning in her own son.  A Washington state mom turned her 17-year-old son in to police upon finding plans in his journal to carry out a school shooting on the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.  "It's devastating.  I know I did all I can do and that I made the right choice," the mother, who only identified herself as Nicole, told CBS News about the decision that led to her son's Sept. 17 arrest on harassment and bomb threat charges.  The teen, in his journal, said he'd use guns and a variety of explosives to carry out the attack on College Place High School, according to police records obtained by KTEL News.

CrowdStrike and the Impeachment Frenzy.  [Scroll down]  The time stamps contained in the released computer files' metadata establish that, at 6:45 p.m.  July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes (not megabits) of data were downloaded from the DNC's server.  This took 87 seconds, which means the transfer rate was 22.7 megabytes per second, a speed, according to VIPS, that "is much faster than what is physically possible with a hack."  Such a speed could be accomplished only by direct connection of a portable storage device to the server.  Accordingly, VIPS concluded that the DNC data theft was an inside job by someone with physical access to the server.  VIPS also found that, if there had been a hack, the NSA would have a record of it that could quickly be retrieved and produced.  But no such evidence has been forthcoming.  Can this be because no hack occurred?  Even more remarkable, the experts determined that the files released by Guccifer 2.0 have been "run, via ordinary cut and paste, through a template that effectively immersed them in what could plausibly be cast as Russian fingerprints."  In other words, the files were deliberately altered to give the false impression that they were hacked by Russian agents.

Florida woman arrested after parents find 24 pipe bombs in her bedroom.  A 27-year-old Florida woman was arrested after her parents found two dozen pipe bombs in her bedroom and called the local sheriff's office, authorities said Friday [10/4/2019].  Michelle Louise Kolts was arrested early Friday [10/4/2019]and booked on 24 counts of making, possessing, throwing, projecting, placing or discharging a destructive device.  "I can only imagine how hard it is to call in about any family member," Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said, according to Bloomingdale Patch.

The Editor says...
Yes, this is apparently a person who needed to be arrested.  But how does one "project" a destructive device?  This sounds like a law designed to be broad enough to convict anybody.

De Blasio's subsidized ferry primarily used by rich white people: report.  Mayor Bill de Blasio has touted his heavily subsidized ferry service as a tool in his war on economic and social inequality — but long-awaited ridership data released Tuesday [10/1/2019] tells an entirely different story.  Ferry users are overwhelmingly white, wealthy and come from waterfront neighborhoods, according to surveys of over 5,000 riders conducted in June by the city's Economic Development Corporation, which manages the service.  Just 36% of riders are people of color, while 65% make over $75,000 per year, the survey found.

The Editor says...
That's a misleading mix of percentages, but anyway, the cost of living is extremely high in New York City, so $75,000 per year isn't that much.

Never Forget Trash Day Again, Thanks to This Terrifying New AI Garbage Can.  I have been pretty disappointed with "the future" we are inhabiting.  I was promised flying cars and robot maids.  Instead, all we seem to have is boys in the girls' locker rooms and politicians banning plastic straws.  Until today, that is.  Because today I learned that some genius somewhere has invented garbage cans that take themselves to the curb.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Saves Taxpayers $20 Million.  The Trump administration's ambassador to Germany has saved the U.S. taxpayer some $20 million during the last two fiscal years, according to an announcement from the American mission in Berlin.  Under the leadership of U.S. ambassador Richard Grenell, the foreign mission managed to come in $6 million under budget in fiscal year 2018 and $14 million under budget in fiscal year 2019.  By streamlining operations and cutting down on burdensome bureaucracy, Grenell has been able to carry out the Trump administration's agenda abroad with limited wasteful expenditures.

Giuliani Reveals Trump Admin, Including Himself and Others, May Sue Congressional Democrats!  Trump Attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Laura Ingraham on Tuesday night [10/1/2019] that the Trump administration is considering a lawsuit against Congressional Democrats. [...] Rudy Giuliani added, "We have to raise their violation of constitution and civil right!  This is worse than McCarthy."

Dutch Farmers in Mass Revolt Against Green Fascism.  Thousands of Dutch farmers descended on the Netherlands capital to protest against onerous environmental restrictions that threaten their livelihoods.  The demonstrations were sparked after the coalition government proposed that "Dutch livestock farming should be slashed to meet commitments on reducing nitrogen emissions," reports Dutch News NL.  Farmers traveled to the Hague in their tractors, causing tailbacks in excess of 620 miles and huge traffic jams around and in the city.

Tractor Trail Of Protesting Dutch Farmers Snarls Traffic for Hundreds Of Miles.  Thousands of Dutch farmers rolled their tractors over highways to The Hague to protest a possible crackdown on nitrogen emissions from livestock and farming operations.  The angry farmers snarled traffic for hundreds of miles in what has been called the Netherlands' busiest morning rush hour.  Brightly colored rows of the tractors rolled slowly down main roads all morning on Tuesday.  The Dutch automobile association ANWB says it recorded more than 700 miles of traffic jams at the peak of rush hour, mostly due to the protest.

The Editor says...
Nitrogen is not a pollutant.  More than 78 percent of the atmosphere is nitrogen already.  Just like carbon dioxide, nitrogen is plant food.  It's about as harmless as a gas can be, without being completely inert.  I see truckloads of liquid nitrogen on the highway every day.  Wherever those trucks deliver their payloads, the nitrogen will eventually return to the atmosphere.  The radical left is trying to outlaw the emission of everything but oxygen — although that might be next — by anyone engaged in agriculture, industry, or daily life.  They are doing this to obstruct capitalism and obtain leverage and power where they currently have none.

San Francisco tour guide is accused of being a Chinese spy after 'delivering digital cards with classified national security information' to Beijing's Ministry of State Security.  A citizen of the United States is facing federal charges for allegedly spying on behalf of the Chinese government.  Xuehua 'Edward' Peng, 56, delivered classified information relating to national security to the Chinese government according to a complaint that was unsealed on Monday and obtained by DailyMail.com.  The complaint alleges he retrieved four SD cards from hotel rooms between October 2015 and June 2018, and in each instance traveled to Beijing shortly thereafter.  Peng also left behind $20,000 cash in an envelope four times in that same period.

Trump: 'Rep. Adam Schiff Must Resign From Congress!'  As we reported yesterday [9/28/2019], Republican Congressman Andy Biggs wants his fellow Congressman Adam Schiff censured.  The reason, of course, is that Schiff making up dating quotes during a congressional hearing about the conversation President Trump had with Ukraine's leader.  Biggs is now joined by President Trump himself, who takes it one step further.  He calls on Rep. Schiff to resign from Congress.

Police feared Odessa shooter was planning attack — 8 years ago.  When Amarillo, Texas, police officers arrived at her home the night of February 7, 2011, they found what they interpreted as preparations for an attack — a machete hidden in her son's bed and an underground shelter he had dug in the backyard.  In a recording the mother shared with police, her son declared, "911 will bow down before me."  The officers were so troubled by what they encountered that they recorded floor plans of the property and shared the information with the city's SWAT team, according to incident reports.  The woman's then-28-year-old son, they concluded, was volatile and might hurt somebody someday.  Those concerns were tragically realized when the woman's son — Seth Ator — engaged police in a wild shootout not unlike what officers feared might happen eight years earlier.

Study: Top Motivation For Hating Capitalism Isn't Compassion, It's Resentment.  With the 2020 presidential election around the corner, Democratic presidential hopefuls and lawmakers have put forth bold proposals such as returning the top marginal income tax rate to 70 percent, levying wealth taxes as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed, or "taxing the [heck] out of the wealthy" as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put it.  Others such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claim that capitalism is "irredeemable" and a system that "allows billionaires to exist" is "immoral."  Sanders recently declared he does not think "billionaires should exist."

Colorado governor's staff urges newspapers to remove story.  The press office for Colorado's liberal Democratic governor, Jared Polis, is facing criticism after asking two small-town newspapers to take down an online news story reported by what it calls a biased news organization affiliated with the conservative Koch family.

Susan Rice:  Obama Put Call Transcripts On Top Secret Server, Too.  Former national security adviser Susan Rice acknowledged last night [9/27/2019] that the Obama administration moved transcripts of conversations with foreign leaders onto the same top-secret server where the Trump administration stored his recent phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

US Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 election.  The Justice Department revealed that U.S. Attorney John Durham, picked by Attorney General William Barr to look into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, is investigating whether Ukraine was involved in any 2016 election efforts.  "A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election," DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Wednesday [9/25/2019].  "While the Attorney General has yet to contact Ukraine in connection with this investigation, certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information to Mr. Durham, which he is evaluating."

Mattel unveils gender-neutral dolls for 'all kids to express themselves freely'.  Mattel Inc. has unveiled a new line of customizable dolls that are free of gender labels in a step toward more "inclusive" play, the company said Wednesday [9/25/2019].  The Creatable World line allows children to create their own characters with "extensive" wardrobe options, accessories, hairstyles and up to six skin tones, Mattel said in a press release.

Federal Judge Throws Out Guilty Verdict for Flynn Partner and Acquits.  In a stunning and very rare move today [9/24/2019] Federal Judge Anthony J Trenga has thrown out the conviction of a Mike Flynn's partner Bijan Rafiekian (Flynn Intel Group) and granted the defendants' motion to acquit.  [Hat Tip to Techno-Fog for the ruling]  This is a huge blow to the DOJ-NSD who framed their special counsel case on sketchy FARA violations and bamboozled the jury with dubious legal theories.  This type of intervention by a federal judge is very rare.

Pope Announces Global Compact On Education For 'New Humanism'.  The global event, set to take place at the Vatican on May 14, 2020, is themed Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance.  According to a Vatican statement issued on Thursday, Sept. 12, the Pope is inviting representatives of the main religions, international organizations and various humanitarian institutions, as well as key figures from the world of politics, economics and academia, and prominent athletes, scientists and sociologists to sign a "Global Pact on Education" so as to "hand on to younger generations a united and fraternal common home."

Sorry, Greta:  Trump skips UN climate summit.  [Scroll down]  Throwing the U.N. into this pathetic record of failure — it can't even run a credible peacekeeping operation without a new pedophile scandal — is pretty much piling failure upon failure.  Would China and India bother to cut their greenhouse gas emissions if the U.N. told them to?  Something says no.  This points to the wisdom of Trump's refusal to even bother with this United Nations clown show.  It's a new takeover bid from unelected leftist bureaucrats to rule the U.S., which has the most pristine record on climate emissions anyway.

U.S.-Pakistan Alliance After 9/11 Was 'One of the Biggest Blunders' for the Country, Imran Khan Says.  Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his country's alliance with the U.S. in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was one of its biggest "blunders," citing the huge death toll and economic cost inflicted on the nation as part of the ongoing War on Terror.  Speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event in New York on Monday [9/23/2019], Khan also admitted his country's role in funding and training Al-Qaeda militants to fight in Afghanistan, the Hindustan Times reported.

Democrats Wrote to Ukraine in May 2018, Demanding It Investigate Trump.  Democrats wrote to the Ukrainian government in May 2018 urging it to continue investigations into President Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign — collusion later found not to exist.  The demand, which came from U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), resurfaced Wednesday in an opinion piece written by conservative Marc Thiessen in the Washington Post.

Attorney Representing Whistleblower Against Trump Worked For Hillary and Schumer.  One of the attorneys representing the person who anonymously filed a complaint against President Donald Trump claiming Trump asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter has a resume that includes working for Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).  As The Federalist reports, "Andrew Bakaj, now a managing partner at the Compass Rose Legal Group, interned for Schumer in the spring of 2001 and for Clinton in the fall of the same year, according to Bakaj's LinkedIn page."  The Federalist notes that Bakaj's resume also includes stints at the CIA and Pentagon and specializing in whistleblower and security clearances.  The anonymous official, although acknowledging a lack of firsthand knowledge of the conversation between Trump and Zelensky, filed the complaint alleging that Trump asked Zelensky to check into the Bidens' dealings with a Ukrainian energy company.

GOP rep introduces resolution to remove Nadler as Judiciary panel chairman over impeachment probe.  A Republican congressman introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the ouster of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., from his panel post for pursuing impeachment proceedings against President Trump.  The proceedings were formally backed late Tuesday by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.  Lance Gooden, R-Texas, said in a release that Nadler has acted against the will of the House of Representatives, which never gave his committee explicit authorization to begin impeachment proceedings.  The body voted 332-95 in July to table an impeachment resolution from Rep. Al Green, D-Texas.

China buys 10 boatloads of US soybeans after mid-level trade talks.  Chinese companies imported roughly 10 boatloads of soybeans from American farmers on Monday following mid-level trade talks, Reuters reported.  The deals for about 600,000 tons of soybeans were similar in size to a wave of buying earlier this month, two traders told Reuters.

Modi, Trump and protesters converge on Houston's NRG Stadium.  Charismatic, controversial Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to draw 50,000 adoring supporters to "Howdy, Modi!," an event at Houston's NRG Stadium this morning — as well as U.S. president Donald Trump and thousands of protesters outside.  Supporters praise Modi, who was first elected prime minister in 2014, for modernizing India's economy, addressing climate change and ecological issues, and dramatically improving sanitation for some of the world's poorest people.  But critics say that under Modi's Hindu nationalist government, human rights, including religious freedom, are endangered.  They point to this summer's crackdown on largely Muslim Kashmir, an autonomous territory between India and Pakistan.

We've lost sight of the real scandal.  What will Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz's latest investigation reveal?  Will Congress hold hearings about it?  Will former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe actually get indicted?  After all, it's said that a motivated prosecutor can "indict a ham sandwich" if he really wants to.  We're so wrapped up in the daily tick-tock, we could be losing sight of a big picture that's come into focus over the past two years.  For the first time in our nation's history, an inspector general — one appointed by President Obama — has determined that at least two men who sat in the top spot at the FBI committed multiple violations that warrant possible prosecution.  That in itself is a scandal with national implications deserving of headlines, congressional hearings and promises to overhaul a broken system.  Of course, the complicating factor in the whole mess is that the government entities responsible for addressing any wrongdoing are the same ones inextricably tied to the alleged wrongdoing.

Trump Deploys Troops To Saudi Arabia, UAE After Oil Attacks.  The Pentagon announced it will be deploying U.S. troops and military equipment to Middle Eastern allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, following Iran's attack on Saudi oil facilities last weekend.  "The president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which are primarily defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense," Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday, as reported by The Hill.  "We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves."

Saudi Arabia oil attacks:  US to send troops to Saudi Arabia.  The US has announced plans to send forces to Saudi Arabia in the wake of attacks against the country's oil infrastructure.  Secretary of Defence Mark Esper told reporters the deployment would be "defensive in nature".  Total troop numbers have not yet been decided.  Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels have said they were behind the attacks against two oil facilities last week.

Scientology policy enabled years of child sexual abuse, lawsuit says.  In the third lawsuit filed against the Church of Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, in three months, a 25-year-old woman alleges she was repeatedly sexually assaulted as a child in Scientology's care, including at the church's Clearwater Academy.  On top of the abuse, the lawsuit explains how church officials allegedly knew it was occurring and did nothing to stop it or alert law enforcement, actions rooted in policy written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.  When the woman spoke of her alleged abuse after leaving Scientology in 2018, the church deployed a campaign of harassment against her, a tactic also based on Hubbard's Fair Game policy aimed to destroy those labeled as enemies.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz Testifies on Matters of High Interest — FISA, Comey, McCabe, SpyGate.  DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before congress today on matters relating to the overall IG office.  However, with Democrat majority chairs refusing to call Horowitz for testimony on the recent Comey Report, republicans on the House Oversight Committee took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions about the FISA investigation and the prior IG reports on James Comey and Andrew McCabe.

Snowflake Nation:  Most Millennials Say Life More Stressful for Them Than Our Ancestors.  Are many millennials embracing socialism — which most of them can't even define — for lack of perspective?  Do they see the glass as half empty when its three-quarters full, and when for most of history it contained, materially speaking, the equivalent of bitter dregs?  A recent survey of millennials, and an analysis of it, point to this being the case.

Merriam-Webster Adds Gender-Neutral Pronouns to Dictionary.  Merriam-Webster announced Tuesday [9/18/2019] that gender-neutral pronouns "they" and "themself" have been added to the dictionary, along with more than 530 other words.  Added to "address the complex ways we view ourselves and others," the word "they" is "used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary," meaning that they do necessarily not identify with the binary language of male or female.  Nonbinary and gender nonconforming people have existed throughout history and across cultures, but as Merriam-Webster noted, "we've struggled to find the right language to describe these people — and in particular, the right pronouns."

Two labs in the world keep a live smallpox sample.  The one in Russia just had an explosion.  An explosion sparked a fire Monday at a Russian biological research center known for being one of two places in the world that holds live samples of the smallpox virus.  A gas cylinder exploded on the fifth floor of a six story laboratory building at the Russian State Centre for Research on Virology and Biotechnology in the city of Koltsovo, the center said in a statement Monday.  A sanitary inspection room was being repaired when the blast hit the center, also known as VECTOR, causing a fire that spread 30 square meters.  No biohazard material was held in the room where the explosion occurred and only one person was injured, according to the statement.

The Editor says...
Yeah, but it's Russia, so who knows if that's really true.

The Navy Says Those UFO Videos Are Real.  The U.S. Navy has confirmed that three online videos purportedly showing UFOs are genuine.  The service says the videos, taken by Navy pilots, show "unexplained aerial phenomena," but also states that the clips should have never been released to the public in the first place.

The Pope Lies.  [Scroll down]  The lies were understandable because he was making a political statement against capitalism and against America, two of his favorite bugaboos.  Yet is it ever all right for the Pope to lie?  I shall leave that matter for the theologians.  I do wonder, though, who is hearing the Pope's confession these days?  His most obvious lie came when he said that his conservative critics, mainly in the United States, have criticized him for saying what he claims were "the same things" as previous conservative popes have said about capitalism.  He mentioned Pope John Paul II, who is dead and cannot rebut him.  Pope Francis said, "They are the same things John Paul II said.  The same!  I copy him."

'These kids have all vaped': Wisconsin doctors were first to warn of a sudden surge of mystery lung illnesses.  It was June 11 when a teenager showed up at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin short of breath.  He had lost a lot of weight, was fatigued and couldn't do routine activities.  A chest X-ray showed something doctors found odd:  interstitial pneumonia.  Unlike the more common viral or bacterial pneumonia that infects one or two of the lungs' five lobes, interstitial pneumonia looks like a complex spider web crisscrossing the entire lung.  "It's usually associated with bad disease," said Michael Meyer, medical director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy as part of settlement.  Purdue Pharma, the company that made billions selling the prescription painkiller OxyContin, filed for bankruptcy in White Plains, New York, days after reaching a tentative settlement with many of the state and local governments suing it over the toll of opioids.  The filing was anticipated before and after the tentative deal, which could be worth up to $12 billion over time, was struck.

Purdue Pharma's Sackler family used hidden accounts to transfer $1B: court docs.  The Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma, used Swiss and other hidden bank accounts to transfer around $1 billion from the company to themselves, the New York attorney general's office claimed Friday [9/13/2019].  The family stands to lose billions after a litany of lawsuits claiming that their company marketed the painkiller OxyContin as nonaddictive despite knowing otherwise.

China Buys Soybeans, Exempts Pork and Beans From Additional Tariffs.  In a quiet admission of food dependency, China purchased 600,000 tonnes of soybeans yesterday [9/12/2019], and simultaneously announced that U.S. pork and soybean imports would be exempt from further tariff increases.  The surface message Beijing is selling, surrounds their magnanimous panda narrative of reaching out to diminish trade friction.  However, below the surface everyone knows China cannot feed itself, and if food prices keep rising they could likely have growing unrest.

A penthouse, limousines and private jets:  Inside the globe-trotting life of Bishop Michael Bransfield.  It was billed as a holy journey, a pilgrimage with West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield to "pray, sing and worship" at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. Catholics from remote areas of one of the nation's poorest states paid up to $190 for seats on overnight buses and hotel rooms.  Unknown to the worshipers, Bransfield traveled another way.  He hired a private jet and, after a 33-minute flight, took a limousine from the airport.  The church picked up his $6,769 travel bill.  That trip in September 2017 was emblematic of the secret history of Bransfield's lavish travel.  He spent millions of dollars from his diocese on trips in the United States and abroad, records show, while many of his parishioners struggled to find work, feed their families and educate their children.

Secretary Ben Carson Cleared of Any Misconduct in the Furniture Controversy of 2017.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) inspector general cleared Secretary Ben Carson and his wife of any misconduct in the controversy surrounding an order for expensive furniture in late 2017.  The watchdog's report, first obtained by Fox News, confirmed that Carson and his wife did not violate HUD policy when they instructed staffers to buy dining room furniture to replace the old furniture in Carson's office.  "We found no evidence indicating that either Secretary or Mrs. Carson exerted improper influence on any departmental employee in connection with the procurement," the report states, according to Fox News.

U.S. to disclose name of Saudi official redacted in 9/11 FBI report.  The U.S. said Thursday [9/12/2019] that it will disclose the name of a Saudi citizen sought by lawyers for victims of the Sept. 11 attacks who want to link the kingdom to the terrorist plot.

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax files $400 million lawsuit against CBS.  Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax filed a defamation lawsuit against CBS on Thursday seeking $400 million.  CBS News aired interviews with two women who have accused Fairfax of sexually assaulting them.  CBS News anchor Gayle King interviewed both Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson earlier this year, where they described their encounters with Fairfax.  He denies the encounters were non-consensual.

'Not a wandering tourist': Guilty verdict for woman accused of trespass at Trump's Mar-a-Lago.  A Chinese businesswoman was found guilty Wednesday of trespassing at Mar-a-Lago and lying to a federal agent about why she was at President Donald Trump's private Palm Beach club, capping a bizarre federal trial where the enigmatic defendant's true purpose in coming to the resort was never answered.  Was Yujing Zhang, 33, just a bumbling tourist or an agent of Beijing's government?  One thing is certain:  Zhang, who has been in federal custody since her arrest March 30, now faces up to one year in prison on the trespassing charge and five years on the false-statement offense.  She showed no reaction to the verdict.

Chinese Mar-a-Lago Intruder Found Guilty.  The Chinese woman who tried to lie her way into Mar-a-Lago was found guilty today [9/11/2019]. [...] From the BBC:  "Despite the guilty verdict the trial did not establish why exactly she was there.  She told agents after her arrest a friend in China had encouraged her to speak to a member of Trump's family about Chinese-US economic relations."

Why Did the Deficit Just Top $1 Trillion?  Here's Another Clue.  The deficit this year will be larger than the entire budget was in 1987. [...] Spending increases were across the board.  Social Security costs climbed 5.7%; Medicare, 6.5%; Medicaid, 4.6%.  Defense spending is up 7.9%, but spending on everything else in the budget has climbed by 4.5%.  Here's the really worrisome figure:  Interest payments on the national debt is up 14% over the prior year.  It should go without saying that these levels of spending growth are unsustainable.

The whole city is full of perverts.  Why would anyone want to go there?
Times Square's 'creepy' costumed characters are out of control.  The Times Square Elmo busted for grabbing a 14-year-old girl's rear while posing for a photo is far from an isolated incident, according to a new report that found the handsy panhandlers touched an average 24 people per hour without consent.  "This is Times Square.  Quirky is fine, but creepy is not," said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, which commissioned the report and also found that more than a third of American tourists had a gripe with the costumed creeps.  Forty-seven percent of New Yorkers said that they've had an "unpleasant interaction" with one of the pushy plushies or other street hustlers at the Crossroads of the World in the past year.

Couple spends $120,000 mistakenly deposited in their account — then are arrested.  Robert and Tiffany Williams of Montoursville, Pennsylvania, in May reportedly received an unexpected deposit of more than $120,000, the result of a BB&T bank teller's mistake, according to a police criminal complaint provided to CBS News by the Pennsylvania State Police.  The money was supposed to have been deposited to an investment firm.  Rather than checking with the bank on the nature of the deposit, the pair allegedly spent more than $100,000 on a number of household items, including a $15,000 down payment on a 2015 Chevy Traverse, two four-wheelers for about $10,000, a $4,500 camper and a race car.

The Editor says...
The jury in this case, if it goes to trial, would have been less likely to convict this couple if they had spent the money on necessities rather than an assortment of vehicles they could do without.  On the other hand, the bank made a mistake.  (How is that possible?)  So the bank should bear some of the responsibility.  After all, if you call the bank and insist that your account has half the money it's supposed to have, the people at the bank will insist that the computers never lie.

The Shocking Paper Predicting the End of Democracy.  [Scroll down]  As one of the lions of the profession, 68-year-old Shawn Rosenberg, began delivering his paper, people in the crowd of about a hundred started shifting in their seats.  They loudly whispered objections to their friends.  Three women seated next to me near the back row grew so loud and heated I had difficulty hearing for a moment what Rosenberg was saying.  What caused the stir?  Rosenberg, a professor at UC Irvine, was challenging a core assumption about America and the West.  His theory?  Democracy is devouring itself — his phrase — and it won't last.

Christians Massacred, Media Look the Other Way.  In an interview with Italian paper La Stampa, Pope Francis said that one of the biggest challenges to the Amazon region is the "threat to the life of the populations and territory which derives from the economic and political interests of the dominant sectors of society."  The program for the Amazon's synod in Rome talks about "life threatened", "inculturation and interculturality", "extractivist destruction" and "indigenous peoples", among other matters.  There is, however, another group of "indigenous people" whose life has been "threatened" and who live under an existential physical "destruction." They are the persecuted Christians, and the Vatican should dedicate the next synod to them.  "They asked him to deny Christ and when he refused they cut off his right hand; then he refused [again], they cut to the elbow.  In which he refused, before they shot him in the forehead, the neck, and chest," a Nigerian Christian, Enoch Yeohanna, recently recounted about his father's murder in 2014.  The trial of Nigerian Christians has been defined "a global nightmare."  But it is happening in many countries.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Throws Cold Water on Latest Media Conspiracy.  Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell spoke with Thomas J. Jordan, chairman of the Swiss National Bank, in Zurich, Switzerland on Friday.  The talk was hosted by the Swiss Institute of International Studies.  During his remarks Powell said he does not foresee the U.S. sliding into a recession soon, despite a slowdown in global growth and uncertainties surrounding the U.S.-China trade war.  "I wouldn't see the recession as the most likely outcome in the U.S.," he said during his remarks in Zurich.

Is China trying to elect a Democrat?  For the last three years, Democrats have obsessed over Russia's relatively trivial participation in the 2016 election.  But if they have any concern about China's reported interest in 2020, they haven't shown it.  Why?  Because China's leaders want to get rid of Donald Trump and replace him with a Democrat who will be more compliant.

China Is Using Fentanyl as 'Chemical Warfare,' Experts Say.  Behind the deadly opioid epidemic ravaging communities across the United States lies a carefully planned strategy by a hostile foreign power that experts describe as a "form of chemical warfare."  It involves the production and trafficking of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that caused the deaths of more than 32,000 Americans in 2018 alone, and fentanyl-related substances.  China is the "largest source" of illicit fentanyl in the United States, a November 2018 report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission stated.  That same commission said that since its 2017 report, they found no "substantive curtailment" of fentanyl flows from China to the United States.  They also noted that in "large part, these flows persist due to weak regulations governing pharmaceutical and chemical production in China."

Nunes suing Glenn Simpson and ethics group, claiming conspiracy.  Republican Congressman Devin Nunes of California has filed a lawsuit claiming a left-leaning transparency nonprofit conspired with a research firm to damage his reputation.  The lawsuit in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, follows two that Nunes filed in state court against parody Twitter accounts, Twitter, a Republican strategist and the media company McClatchy for mocking him.

Harry Reid:  Only a Democratic president can issue a proper executive order.  Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said executive orders can only be executed properly and appropriately when a Democrat occupies the White House.  "We need a Democratic president for a number of reasons," the Nevada Democrat said Wednesday [9/4/2019] during a conference call with reporters about climate change-related issues.  "We've learned over the last few years from trying to govern the country by executive order that there's a lot that can be done legally with executive order," Reid said, a reference to President Trump's unilateral moves on immigration, climate, deregulation generally, and other issues.  "Only the Democratic president can get that done."

The Editor says...
Why do reporters care about Harry Reid's opinion?  He's a has-been.

Bill de Blasio eyes license requirement for bike riders.  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is considering requiring bicyclists to be licensed and registered like automobile drivers currently are.  According to a report in the New York Daily News on Wednesday [9/4/2019], the mayor also wants to expand the city's safety regulations, which already have won it a nanny-state reputation, to include requiring Citi Bike renters to wear helmets.  Mr. de Blasio called the idea of forcing cyclists to have licenses and registration a "valid discussion," the Daily News reported, and added that he also plans a crackdown on cyclists who break traffic laws.

The Editor says...
The mayor is making a crime out of something that's not a crime:  riding a bicycle without a license.  (What about unicycles, skateboards, and dockless scooters?)

Devin Nunes Sues Fusion GPS Over False Media Smears And Bogus Ethics Claims.  The former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee sued Fusion GPS and its founder in a sweeping suit alleging conspiracy to obstruct investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  In the suit, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., alleges Fusion GPS worked directly with a tax-exempt organization to intimidate and harass him over his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.  That organization, Campaign for America, filed bogus ethics complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics to sideline Nunes as he investigated Fusion GPS's role in the false claims that President Donald Trump treasonously colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from Hillary Clinton.

Meet the 'super pro-cop' gorgeous young Latina running for Congress who calls herself 'the anti-AOC'.  Catalina Lauf is 26-years-old and running for Congress in Illinois, hoping to unseat a Democrat incumbent and push aside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.

Woman Told to Remove 'Obsolete' 9/11 Memorial Stone from Property.  An Illinois woman has been ordered to remove a 9/11 memorial stone from her property, according to reports.  Leigh Gardella-Wood has lived on the property in Winthrop Harbor with her family since 2011.  The land was once the site of Spring Bluff Elementary School before it closed down the year she bought it.  Reports said Gardella-Wood got a letter from Winthrop Harbor Village saying she must remove "all obsolete signage" related to the school from the property, including the memorial stone.

The Editor says...
The big stone with a plaque embedded in it sounds like it has Ebay written all over it.

Meat the Neighbors:  Giant Cookout Planned for Outside Vegan's House.  Thousands of Aussie meat eaters are planning to attend a mass community BBQ outside the home of a vegan woman who has been fighting neighbors over the smell of their outdoor cooking of meat and fish.  As Breitbart News reported, a "devastated" Australian vegan has taken her neighbors to court alleging they deliberately waft barbecue smoke rich in meat and fish smells across their shared boundary fence and into her property.

The Editor says...
Your vegetarian neighbors may be misguided troublemakers, but to blow smoke in their faces is un-Christian behavior.  1 Cor 8:13.

Cherokee Nation Names First Delegate To Congress.  The Cherokee Nation has named its first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Former Obama appointee Kimberly Teehee's nomination was approved by the tribe's council on Thursday [8/29/2019].  Although the treaty that created this nonvoting position is almost 200 years old, it had never been filled.

Voice Of America Currently Employs A Former Russian Anti-U.S. Propagandist.  The taxpayer-funded Voice of America (VOA) currently employs a reporter for its Russian website who formerly produced anti-U.S. propaganda videos for a Russian outlet.  Ilya Kolosov is a "contractor with the VOA Russian language service TV team," Bridget Serchak, Director of Public Relations at VOA, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.  He was previously employed at ONT, a Belorussian state-run TV station and RTVI, a Russian station, according to a report by Belsat.  VOA is a U.S. government-funded and state-owned news agency, reaching more than 275 million people around the world every week.  VOA is part of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which is a government agency overseeing all U.S. international broadcasting.

'National security imperative': Military spouses struggle to find employment.  Between 35% and 50% of military spouses work in fields that require occupational licenses or certifications, which are not always recognized when couples move to a new state or country.  With the constant moves military life requires, the difficulty drastically increases.  Lawyers and teachers are some of the hardest hit, but thanks to the work of advocacy groups across the country, they are seeing some relief from federal and state governments.

DOJ IG Reveals Deputy Assistant Attorney General Lied Under Oath About Viewing Porn on Govt-Issued Computer, Declined Prosecution.  First it was reported Thursday [8/29/2019] that the DOJ declined to prosecute James Comey despite the fact that he mishandled classified information and leaked to the media, then it was revealed another member of the Justice Department lied under oath to investigators and escaped prosecution!

The Character Assassination of Amy Wax and Her Response.  On August 23rd, the New Yorker ran a hit piece with the sensationalized headline, "A Penn Law Professor Wants to Make America White Again."  The writer, Isaac Chotiner, had interviewed Amy Wax, who had recently received considerable attention after a speech she made at the National Conservative Conference in Washington D.C. last month.  Part of the speech included the controversial comment that "we are better off if our country is dominated numerically, demographically, politically, at least in fact if not formally, by people from the first world, from the West, than by people from countries that had failed to advance."

A surprising number of Americans are retiring the idea of retirement.  Ah, those much-anticipated halcyon days of retirement — sleeping in, golf at will, travel too, leisurely day after leisurely day.  No more whining colleagues, carping bosses, endless meetings with no result, tedious commutes.  Of course, few retirements turn out that way.  And now a new Associated Press poll finds that for a variety of reasons about a quarter of Americans have no intention of ever retiring at all.

Report: ISIS Fighter Blows Himself Up After His Drone-Bomb Runs Low on Batteries.  Since President Trump defeated ISIS, the once-formidable terrorist organization that came into power under Barack Obama, has been forced back into hiding.  The dismantled terror group has suffered so many losses, that they've been reduced to conducting lone-wolf attacks.  And some of those attacks aren't going so well, according to a recent report.  Karma delivered a hefty blow to an ISIS terrorist who had his sights set on killing his enemies in Mosul, Iraq.  The terrorist was using a drone-bomb in his attack — however, his plans went haywire and blew up in his face (literally) when the drone ran out of battery power.

DHS bars Dem staffers from visiting border facilities after 'rude' and 'disruptive' behavior.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has barred Democratic staffers from the House Oversight Committee from visiting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border as part of a planned trip this week after committee staff allegedly were "disruptive" and refused to follow instructions during their last trip, Fox News has learned.  Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., had sent his staff to visit border facilities for "oversight inspections" last week and planned to send staff again to view Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP centers.

Bad Law Keeps People Poor.  Why does most of Africa stay poor while other parts of the world prosper?  People blame things like climate, the history of colonialism, racism, etc.  But I say Senegalese businesswoman Magatte Wade gives the right explanation:  too many rules.  "Once you hire someone, good luck getting rid of them for any reason," Wade complains.  Her government must approve every firing.  "Then the tax code is so complicated... worth at least two or three truckloads of paper."

Investigators scrutinizing video outside Epstein's cell find some footage unusable, according to people familiar with the inquiry.  At least one camera in the hallway outside the cell where authorities say registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself earlier this month had footage that is unusable, although other, clearer footage was captured in the area, according to three people briefed on the evidence gathered earlier this month.  It was not immediately clear why some video footage outside Epstein's cell is too flawed for investigators to use or what is visible in the usable footage.  The incident is being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department's inspector general's office, which are attempting to determine what happened and how to assess whether any policies were violated or crimes committed.

US Air Force's mysterious X-37B space plane sets new record after spending 717 days in orbit.  A pilotless space plane operated by the US Air Force has completed a record 717 days in orbit — and, we still have no idea what its mission is. [...] While it isn't the longest flight ever, the feat marks a personal best for this line of craft, with each pushing a bit further than the mission before.

Fake buyers raiding medicine cabinets at open houses to steal opioids from home sellers.  People are sneaking into open houses under realtors' noses and stealing home sellers' prescription opioids.  As the flood of opioids into vulnerable communities has grown, realtors have had to be on guard to prevent drug theft while hosting open houses and to educate home sellers about their roles in prevention, including hiding their medications in the same way they would firearms.

Hasbro Has a New 'Monopoly:  Socialism' Game and Socialists Are Not Happy.  A few weeks ago, my wife and I took a deep breath and then reluctantly replied "sure" to our kids' request that we play Monopoly for family game night.  As most of us can attest, Monopoly requires a level of commitment that no family game night should require, and it's not really that fun to begin with.  Hasbro's new "Monopoly:  Socialism," though, sounds like a hoot and a great way to continue to teach my kids why socialism is for the math-, economics-, and history-challenged among us.

North Carolina Police Officer Suing Former Department For Religious Discrimination For 'Billy Graham Rule'.  A police officer in North Carolina is suing for religious discrimination after being fired for following the "Billy Graham rule."  The officer in question is 51-year-old Manuel Torres, who served as a deputy for the Lee County Sheriff's office for five years.  He was then asked to train a new female deputy in July of 2017, but refused to do so on religious grounds.  Torres, a practicing Baptist, cited that his belief is that "the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife."

Federal energy program suggests keeping thermostat set at 78 degrees — 82 while you sleep.  To keep your home cool with central air conditioning while also optimizing energy efficiency (and therefore cost), keep the temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.  The suggestion comes from Energy Star, a federal program managed jointly by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency that provides information to consumers about energy efficiency practices that not only save consumers money, but also improve air quality and protect the environment.

Update:
DOE Issues Statement on Energy Star Thermostat Report.  After quite widespread discussion on the Energy Star Thermostat Report, and the ridiculous recommendations to set thermostat to 82° when sleeping, the U.S. Department of Energy (Secretary Rick Perry) issued the following statement:  "It is the position of DOE that Americans should set their thermostats to whatever temperature they choose."

Made in Mexico:  Money for the Democratic National Committee.  Desperate for cash — even the deepest blue Democratic vendor has to be paid but the significant Democratic National Committee (DNC) debt does not inspire payment confidence — the DNC, under chairman Tom Perez, has decided to outsource some of its fundraising to Mexico, where an estimated 1.5 million American expats reside.  And so next month there will be a series of events in Mexico City, featuring Perez himself, for the American citizens living there eager to help their party in the old country.

Barr: Epstein's Death Looks Like A Suicide To Us Too.  "Serious irregularities"?  You betcha.  A murder-for-hire to benefit Jeffrey Epstein's friends-cum-extortion-targets?  Naah, says William Barr.  Despite a noticeable lack of cooperation from the people at the jail where Epstein died, the Attorney General says investigators have found no evidence that anyone other than Epstein himself was behind his hanging death earlier this month.

Poll: 63 Percent of Voters Expect a Trump Victory in 2020.  As President Donald Trump's approval rating remains stable, an increasing amount of voters say he is "somewhat likely" to be re-elected as president, according to a survey.  Scott Rasmussen's latest 2020 poll revealed 63 percent of American voters believe President Trump will serve a second term in the White House, which is up 17 percentage points from February.

Amazon's CEO Owns a Terror-Linked Paper.  Millions of Americans brought Alexa into their homes only to learn, belatedly, that not only software, but human beings, were listening in on them.  Amazon employees and contractors from Costa Rica to India were caught reviewing thousands of recordings, of casual requests, private conversations and intimate moments, and sharing clips that they thought were funny in chat sessions with each other.  The Amazon product is always listening and maintains recordings of your conversations indefinitely.  But now there's something bigger at stake than privacy violations.  Amazon expects a $10 billion cloud contract for the military.

ABC Fined $395K by FCC for 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' Emergency Alert Misuse.  A Jimmy Kimmel Live! bit making fun of President Donald Trump is going to cost ABC $395,000, as the FCC is cracking down on use of the emergency alert tone in entertainment.  The network agreed to pay a fine to the agency after late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in October used a simulated tone during a monologue about the nationwide presidential wireless emergency alert test.  According to the FCC filing, ABC says it was a "misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible."

The Editor says...
I worked in broadcasting for 48 years.  There are only a few low-level newcomers in broadcasting who don't know that emergency alert tones are not to be used as sound effects.  The FCC has made this abundantly clear on several occasions.  Somebody in the production control room of the Kimmel show should have know better.  I'm surprised that the fine was not much higher.  A mere $400,000 just blends into the background cost of doing business.

This is what juries are for:
Phoenix father beats a man to death for accosting daughter in bathroom.  A Phoenix father is facing second degree murder charges for allegedly killing a man who allegedly harassed his young daughter.  Police say Melvin Harris, 40, admitted to beating Leon Armstrong, 26, to death after he attempted to break into the teenage girl's stall at a QuikTrip convenience store bathroom.  Harris was waiting for his daughter and her two friends in the store's parking lot when Armstrong approached his car asking for money.  Harris gave him change, then Armstrong walked into the convenience store, police said

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and fellow anti-vaxxers call on judge to delay law barring unvaccinated kids from school.  Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his fellow anti-vaxxers flooded an Albany courtroom Wednesday [8/14/2019] as they implored a judge to overturn a state law barring kids who haven't been vaccinated from attending school.  Hundreds of white-clad supporters later descended on the Capitol to leave photos of their children outside Gov. Cuomo's office in an attempt to draw the governor's attention to thousands who will be affected.  Rita Palma, the founder of a group called My Kids, My Choice, said new law, which ended an exception for kids whose parents objected to vaccines on religious grounds, will keep 26,000 children out of school and daycare.

New York Times:  Lawns Are Symbols of Racism and Bad for Global Warming.  While most Americans are spending time this summer enjoying the sun in the comfort of their houses' yards, the New York Times is out with a new exposé on how lawn care is problematic, once viewed through the lens of social justice.  Lawns are contributing to pollution and climate change, asserts narrator David Botti, and their origins are far from woke, in a seven-minute video on the history of American lawns.

Also posted under everything causes global warming.

Venomous snake has been missing inside Bronx Zoo for a week.  The venomous mangrove snake that escaped its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo was still loose Tuesday — marking a week since it went on the lam.  The 3-foot, tree-climbing serpent got free from its Jungle World exhibit Aug. 6 — when zoo officials claim it escaped via a mesh-covered vent in its glass case — and was still nowhere to be found Tuesday [8/13/2019].  Concerned guests were assured it was still safe to go inside Jungle World, with one ticket vendor even joking to several scared children:  "If you see him, let us know!"

Facial recognition misidentified 26 California lawmakers as criminal suspects.  San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting has never been arrested, but facial recognition technology developed by Amazon links his image to a jailhouse mugshot.  Ting is one of 26 state legislators who were wrongly identified as suspected criminals using the technology, according to results from a test released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

Minneapolis Bans New Drive-Thrus.  One of the hottest trends in the restaurant world right now is delivery — and Minneapolis just gave people one more reason to stay home and place their food orders online:  The city has placed a ban on the construction of new drive-thru windows.  Be it restaurant or coffee shop, pharmacy or bank, the Minneapolis City Council approved the new rule this past Thursday [8/8/2019], leaving current drive-thrus untouched (as well as businesses that are currently waiting for approval), but preventing the construction of any new ones within the city.

The Editor says...
In cases such as this, where a decision is made in a Democrat-controlled city, and it makes no sense at all, one can easily surmise that it must be an effort to stop global warming, or some kind of irrational nonsense of that sort.  Either that, or it's another incremental step to push us all onto mass transit.

Jermaine Taylor
Mocking [a] suspect's hairstyle could get you prosecuted, police warn.  Police have warned social media users they could face arrest if they "troll" a wanted drug dealer by mocking his distinctive hairstyle.  An online appeal to catch the criminal has resulted in tens of thousands of people posting joke comments.  Jermaine Taylor, 21, is wanted for breaching his licence [sic] conditions after being released from prison in December 2018.  Gwent Police launched the social media appeal to find the convicted drug dealer, but it backfired when people began making jokes about his hairstyle, with one saying it had been "pushed back more times than Brexit".


Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Names Powerful Men in Alleged Sex Ring.  A young woman who says financier Jeffrey Epstein and socialite Ghislaine Maxwell kept her as a sex slave also accused a host of high-powered men of being involved in Epstein's alleged sex-trafficking ring, according to court records unsealed Friday [8/9/2019].  Virginia Giuffre, who says that Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to powerful people for erotic massages and sex, claimed in a 2016 deposition that Maxwell directed her to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Britain's Prince Andrew (whom she has accused before), wealthy financier Glenn Dubin, former senator George Mitchell, now-deceased MIT scientist Marvin Minsky, and modeling agent Jean-Luc Brunel, as well as "another prince," a "foreign president," and the owner of a "large hotel chain" in France.  None of the men named in the deposition have been charged with a crime or even sued in civil court in connection with the Epstein case.

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged 'sex slave' reveals the men she claims she was forced to sleep with.  Jeffrey Epstein's alleged teenage "sex slave" claims she was ordered to sleep with powerful men — including a former US senator, the former governor of New Mexico, a prominent hedge fund manager and a late longtime MIT professor.  The identities of the men were revealed in some 2,000 documents unsealed Friday in Manhattan federal court related to Virginia Giuffre's defamation lawsuit against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.  In a deposition, Giuffre, née Roberts, claimed she was trafficked to MIT professor Marvin Minsky, who died in 2016 at age 88, as well as former Maine Sen. George Mitchell, ex-New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and money manager Glenn Dubin, whose wife, Eva, is an ex-girlfriend of Epstein's.

A 15 Year-Old Girl Was Allegedly Held Hostage on Epstein's Island.  Newly unsealed court documents contain a slew of horrifying allegations against the billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and those in his inner circle, including claims that a 15-year-old Swedish girl was essentially held hostage on his private island, and that friends of Epstein's had taken her passport and phone, and demanded sex from her.  These claims come from nearly a huge tranche of documents recently unsealed by the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals related to the defamation lawsuit filed by Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre against his associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

While media were focused on mass shootings, explosive revelations about the Russia Hoax came out in a Sunday morning interview.  Maria Bartiromo has immersed herself in the details of the Russia Hoax and has used her weekly Fox News program, Sunday Morning Futures, to tease out details of information from current and former Republican congressmen who have seen documents and interviewed witnesses that the public has not yet had access to.  The picture that emerges is ugly, indeed.  Yesterday [8/4/2019], in an interview with former House oversight committee chairman Trey Gowdy, she exposed new details — outrageous behavior by a U.S. intelligence asset — in the setting up of George Papadopoulos in order to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the Trump campaign and (unsuccessfully) attempt to lure him into a chargeable crime.

In China, Big Brother is watching you even as you sort your trash.  The Chinese state is taking surveillance to the next level.  Vast networks of cameras are not just aimed at reducing crime but also enforcing recycling laws, encouraging civic behaviour.  Privacy concerns aside, the tools are reshaping the relationship between government and citizen.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere.  IBM has banned its staff from using removable storage devices.  In an advisory to employees, IBM global chief Information security officer Shamla Naidoo said the company "is expanding the practice of prohibiting data transfer to all removable portable storage devices (eg:  USB, SD card, flash drive)."  The advisory stated some pockets of IBM have had this policy for a while, but "over the next few weeks we are implementing this policy worldwide."

Narrative of rampant white nationalist mass shootings overblown.  Seven times this year, a gunman has opened fire in a U.S. public place, killing at least three people.  One shooter is suspected of being a white supremacist.  One was an Elizabeth Warren supporter.  And two were black.  Yet fears over rising white nationalist attacks after the El Paso massacre threaten to obscure what studies describe as the big picture about mass killings:  that they represent a small fraction of annual gun deaths, that they are not surging, and that about half are committed by whites, not a share out of line with the general U.S. populace.

France [is] Slowly Sinking into Chaos.  France today is a country adrift.  Unrest and lawlessness continue to gain ground.  Disorder has become part of daily life.  Polls show that a large majority reject President Macron.  They seem to hate his arrogance and be inclined not to forgive him.  They seem to resent his contempt for the poor; the way he crushed the "yellow vest" movement, and for his not having paid even the slightest attention to the protesters' smallest demands, such as the right to hold a citizens' referendum like those in Switzerland.  Macron can no longer go anywhere in public without risking displays of anger.  The "yellow vests" seem finally to have stopped demonstrating and given up:  too many were maimed or hurt.  Their discontent, however, is still there.  It seems waiting to explode again.

Ohio gunman described himself as pro-Satan 'leftist' who supported Elizabeth Warren.  The Ohio gunman described himself on social media as a pro-Satan "leftist" who wanted Joe Biden's generation to die off, hated President Trump and law enforcement, and hoped to vote for Sen. Elizabeth Warren for president.  In the early hours of Sunday morning [8/4/2019], rifle-wielding Connor Betts rampaged through a Dayton entertainment district, killing his sister and eight other people and leaving dozens of others wounded before police killed him.  "I want socialism, and i'll [sic] not wait for the idiots to finally come round to understanding," he wrote in one tweet, according to Heavy.com.

Chinese Aluminum Billionaire Indicted in $1.8 Billion Tariff Evasion Scheme.  We previously outlined Mr. Zhongtian Liu as part of the early 2018 explanation for how China was exploiting the NAFTA loophole as an end-run around tariffs.  Today the Central District of California U.S. Attorney announces his indictment.

This supercomputer will perform 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second.  A government laboratory in Illinois will receive the fastest supercomputer in the United States in 2021, and it will be the first to hit what's called exascale-level processing.  The mammoth machine, called Aurora, will live at Argonne National Laboratory, and will be able to accomplish tasks like simulating complex systems, running artificial intelligence, and conducting materials-science research.  So what's the point of a supercomputer?  Experiments like crash-testing a car are expensive, complicated, and sometimes dangerous.  A supercomputer simulation, however, allows researchers to carry out those tests virtually, and track and change countless variables as they play out.  Some supercomputers even simulate nuclear blasts, which is best done virtually, and not in the real world.

Illinois tied for nation's most lax lawmaker/lobbyist revolving door laws.  Illinois is one of the only states in the U.S. that has no rules against lawmakers leaving office on a Friday and returning Monday as a registered lobbyist.  A new analysis of each state's lobbying restrictions for lawmakers by consumer advocacy nonprofit Public Citizen shows Illinois — along with Idaho, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Wyoming — are the most lax in their rules about lawmakers leaving office only to return as lobbyists.  Government affairs lobbyist Craig Holman says the pay that these former lawmakers often see is a stark contrast from their days in public office.

132 House Republicans Vote Against Trump-Pelosi Spending Deal, But House Democrats Push It Through.  The debt-and-spending deal that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) made with President Donald Trump and the congressional Republican leadership was rejected by a large majority of House Republicans — 132 voted against it — but it was pushed to passage on Thursday with overwhelming support from House Democrats.  The final vote on the deal was 284-149.  The 284 who voted for it included 219 Democrats and 65 Republicans.  The 149 who voted against it included 132 Republicans, 16 Democrats and 1 Independent.

Tainted alcohol killed 19 people in Costa Rica last month.  At least 19 people in Costa Rica have died after drinking alcohol tainted with toxic levels of methanol, local officials said Sunday [7/21/2019]. The Costa Rica Ministry of Health said fourteen men and five women[,] ranging in age from 32 to 72[,] died in June from what appeared to be methanol poisoning, local outlet the Tico Times reported.

New York office towers ordered to set their AC thermostats at 78 degrees to save energy [...] ahead of dangerously hot weather.

The Editor says...
Left-wing environmentalists want to do away with air conditioning, in order to "save the earth."  What then are we supposed to do during "dangerously hot weather?"

Has the duration and extent of heat waves gone up or down in the last century?  Answer:  Not just down but way down.  According to Chris Martz of Weather Facts, the average duration of heat waves is 41 percent shorter than it was in the 1930s.  They lasted nine days then to six and a half now.  Not only that, average high temperatures in the 1930s, when industrialization was minuscule compared to today, were considerably above (roughly two degrees) what they are now.

Who is "anti-science" now?
Protesters continue to block telescope construction in Hawaii.  The protesters believe the telescope project will desecrate Mauna Kea.  Their protest is based on primitive, Earth-worshiping paganism.  On the other hand, I suspect most of the astronomers who would benefit from the project are secular humanists, bent on disproving the Biblical account of creation.

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?

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 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."

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.


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




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Updated July 9, 2020.

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