Archive of Uncategorized News Items


This is the overflow from the Uncategorized News page, which is located here.




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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More about carbon (dioxide) taxes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Editor says...
Bring back DDT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parkland Students Bullied Shooter.  Yes, said Parkland student Emma González.  She and her fellow students at Parkland's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School "ostracized" fellow student Nikolas Cruz. [...] Which is to say, González just made a startling admission.  Parkland students bullied Nikolas Cruz.  It may well be that González is right — the rest of us didn't know him.  But there are a large number of people — some of whom are celebrities and either marched in and/or supported the March — who have spent years insisting that what González and her friends who "ostracized" Nikolas Cruz did was... bullying.

Walmart's: shelf-scanning robots to patrol the aisles.  Machines already play a part in the shopping experience for many, with self-checkout facilities popping up in supermarkets and department stores all over the world.  They now continue their push into retail, with Walmart expanding its trials of robots that roam the aisles for sections in need of attention.  Self-checkouts have been around for years now, but the truth is there a other repetitive tasks that could conceivably be carried out by machines.  Way back in 2015, Simbe Robotics took aim at at this with a fully autonomous robot called Tally that rolls around stores using a sensor array to make sure shelves are fully stocked and that items are correctly priced, placed and labelled.

Man guilty of hate crime for filming pug's 'Nazi salutes'.  A man who filmed a pet dog giving Nazi salutes before putting the footage on YouTube has been convicted of committing a hate crime.  Mark Meechan, 30, recorded his girlfriend's pug, Buddha, responding to statements such as "gas the Jews" and "Sieg Heil" by raising its paw.  But police were alerted and he was arrested for allegedly committing a hate crime.  The original clip had been viewed more than three million times on YouTube.

Democratic senator resigns for new gov't role paying $100G more.  A North Carolina Democrat resigned from the state Senate this week, on the same day she announced she was joining the state parole board — at a pay raise of more than $100,000.  The state Senate received Sen. Angela Bryant's resignation letter Monday [3/19/2018], the same day Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced he was appointing Bryant to the state Post-Release Supervision & Parole Commission.  State law sets Bryant's board salary at $116,595 annually, about eight times more compared to her legislative salary at nearly $14,000, the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

Guccifer (Marcel Lehel Lazar) Says Guccifer 2.0 was a Creation of the NSA and US State Department and at Least 10 Groups or Individuals Breached Hillary's Private Server!  Crooked and corrupt Assistant US AG Rod Rosenstein is holding a cyber law enforcement announcement today where's he's expected to announce that the corrupt Mueller investigation is taking over the Guccifer 2 investigation. [...] In August of 2017, the Eastern European hacker known as "Guccifer" reached out to US reporters from prison in Romania to claim that Guccifer 2.0 is a scheme orchestrated by the National Security Agency and US State Department.

Elon Musk on Mars flights: 'Good chance' first passengers will die.  Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says his company SpaceX is close to sending passengers on test flights to Mars, but with a catch:  the trip will likely be deadly.  Musk told attendees of the South by Southwest tech and pop culture festival that SpaceX is aiming to launch an interplanetary shuttle to Mars by the first half of 2019.  The Tesla founder said the trips would be "up and down flights" using reusable rockets, with flights likely costing less than $6 million.

DOD To Transfer Secret Data To Amazon's Secret Cloud.  The U.S. Department of Defense is set to start transferring top-secret data to Amazon's secret cloud storage platform after a military command awarded the tech giant a large contract.  "This is a significant benefit to the warfighter," Amazon said in a press release, "as it allows the most sensitive mission workloads to benefit from the innovation and agility of cloud and also simplifies training for DoD's IT professionals, as training on AWS will help the DoD take advantage of the cloud across all data classification levels."

Air Force:  GPS Satellites Vulnerable to Attack.  Global Positioning System satellites that guide both precision guided weapons and car navigation systems are vulnerable to attack from Chinese and Russian lasers and missiles, Air Force officials told Congress this week.  Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said in House testimony on Wednesday that her service is working on developing jam-proof GPS satellites that currently can be disrupted by a variety of weapons.  "With respect to the threat that we face, I think it's everything from jamming from the surface or a cyber attack, to direct-ascent satellite weapons, either from Russia [or] in 2007 the Chinese tested an anti-satellite weapon and spread debris all over orbit," Wilson told a House Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing.  The testimony on space warfare threats came a day after President Donald Trump told Marines in California that the military needs a "space corps."

Searches for Hotels in Fictional Country 'Wakanda' Rise 620% Following 'Black Panther' Release.  Searches for hotels in the fictional African country of Wakanda are up by 620 percent, following the release of Black Panther.  According to the Daily Mail, "Hotelscan.com reported that the number of people landing on its Wisconsin Wakanda Water Park page is up by 620 percent and Hotels.com reported that searches for neighbouring Wakanda Park are up by 55 percent year on year."

The Editor says...
There are a lot of poorly-educated simpletons who spend too much time in movie theaters; and even worse, they seem to think every film is a documentary.  That's probably why some of the simpletons are trying to buy tickets to visit a place that exists only in a work of fiction.

Navy Floats Idea of Atheist Chaplains.  If there aren't atheists in foxholes, why should we put them in the Chaplain Corps?  Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) can't imagine.  Like most leaders, he's astounded that the Navy is even considering letting someone who doesn't believe in God join the chaplaincy.  Three years ago, the idea was so absurd that even Obama's military attorneys went to court to stop it.  Now, with Secretary Jim Mattis at the helm, no one can quite understand why the topic is even up for discussion.

Radical Atheist Who Trashed Billy Graham after His Death Is Set to Become a Navy "Chaplain".  Radical atheist Jason Heap is hoping to become a Navy chaplain.  The US Navy is seriously considering the approval of this anti-Christian activist for a spot in its Chaplain Corps.

Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof's sister charged with bringing weapons, drugs to school.  The sister of Dylann Roof, the man who shot and killed nine people at a Charleston, South Carolina, church in 2015, was arrested Wednesday after authorities said she brought weapons and drugs to school.  According to WIS-TV, Morgan Roof, 18, is accused of bringing a knife, pepper spray and marijuana to A.C. Flora High School in Forest Acres.  She was arrested on charges of carrying weapons on school property and simple possession of marijuana, the station reported.

Ohio student suspended for staying in class during walkouts.  An Ohio high school student says he tried to remain nonpolitical during school walkouts over gun violence and was suspended for a day because he stayed in a classroom instead of joining protests or the alternative, a study hall.

Rebuttal:
Hilliard student wasn't suspended for avoiding gun protest, but the Internet doesn't believe that.  Scott Shoemaker was flooded with messages of support, death threats and offers from attorneys because of a viral internet post claiming his son was suspended for refusing to join the national walkout on Wednesday to protest guns in schools.  The story wasn't true, but that didn't stop thousands from sharing it.  The photo of a Hilliard City Schools suspension slip made its away around Twitter and Facebook — along with Shoemaker's name and phone number on it.  The now-viral story is 100 percent false, the Hilliard district says.  Shoemaker says that the story is partially true, but not in the way the sharers are trying to spin it.

This collusion should worry all.  In light of current investigations of interference in the U.S. political process, it turns out that Russia has, in fact, been meddling for years — not only in the electoral system, but also in the legislative process, and in our internal cultural debates over a wide range of policy issues.  According to congressional investigators, a primary focus of their influence-buying has focused on the environmental movement.  The committees discovered that Russia has covertly funded opposition to U.S. domestic energy production by funding the environmental opposition.  That includes underwriting organizations that work to ban fracking, and even efforts to push ballot initiatives at the state and local level.

Environmental group may have to register as foreign agents.  U.S. environmental activists who are working to halt the production and use of fossil fuels could be required to register as foreign agents if Congress gets serious about enforcing an existing law.  There was some potential movement in that direction last October when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced legislation that would put some teeth into the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  The law, which was first passed in 1938, calls for individuals and organizations to provide full disclosure when they are working to advance the public policy interests of a foreign government.

Everything You Need to Know About 5G.  [Synopsis by The Editor] This article includes an amusing video clip that explains some advancements in cell phone technology, but the bottom line is that cell phone providers are about to demand control of every radio frequency above 500 MHz.  In the video clip (at the 1:43 mark), the frequencies above 6 GHz are labeled as "EMPTY."  This is not true.  In any big city, the frequency bands up to at least 20 GHz are well-populated by long-established services.

Conservative Activists Martin Sellner and Brittany Pettibone Detained in UK for Political Beliefs.  Austrian activist Martin Sellner of Génération Identitaire and his girlfriend, American author and YouTuber Brittany Pettibone, have been detained by airport police in England for nearly three days.  Nobody from the US State Department or embassy contacted Pettibone's family.  Sellner was on his way to give a speech that authorities say would cause "tension among local communities and possibly incite hatred."

Footage of mysterious object above ocean stuns military personnel.  The videos, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, "appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies," writes Christopher Mellon, a former defense official in the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations and an adviser to To the Stars Academy.  In a Washington Post op-ed, Mellon reasoned that if the origin of these aircraft is a mystery, "so is the paralysis of the US government in the face of such evidence."

Ex-Justice Dept. lawyer caught in 'most serious' internal corruption case in recent memory.  A former corporate-fraud prosecutor carried out the "most serious" example of public corruption by a U.S. Department of Justice attorney in years by stealing more than 40 whistleblower fraud cases in 2016 and trying to sell the secret information to companies under federal investigation, prosecutors said.  The scheme was an attempt to woo potential clients and increase his earnings and standing in his new role as a defense lawyer for one of Washington's most influential law firms, according to prosecutors and admissions by Jeffrey Wertkin at his sentencing Wednesday [3/7/2018].

Official: School metal detectors not in use day of shooting.  Metal detectors at an Alabama high school were not in use the day a 17-year-old student was killed in a shooting on campus, the district's superintendent said Thursday [3/8/2018].

The Grim Conclusions of the Largest-Ever Study of Fake News.  "Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it," Jonathan Swift once wrote.  It was hyperbole three centuries ago.  But it is a factual description of social media, according to an ambitious and first-of-its-kind study published Thursday [3/8/2018] in Science.  The massive new study analyzes every major contested news story in English across the span of Twitter's existence — some 126,000 stories, tweeted by 3 million users, over more than 10 years — and finds that the truth simply cannot compete with hoax and rumor.  By every common metric, falsehood consistently dominates the truth on Twitter, the study finds:  Fake news and false rumors reach more people, penetrate deeper into the social network, and spread much faster than accurate stories.

False stories travel way faster on Twitter than true ones do, study finds.  Twitter loves lies.  A new study finds that false information on the social media network travels six times faster than the truth and reaches far more people.  And you can't blame bots; it's us, say the authors of the largest study of online misinformation.  Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology looked at more than 126,000 stories tweeted millions of times between 2006 and the end of 2016 — before Donald Trump took office but during the combative presidential campaign.  They found that "fake news" sped through Twitter "farther, faster, deeper and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information," according to the study in Thursday's journal Science.

Justice Department processing pardon case for sailor Trump compared to Hillary Clinton.  The Justice Department is processing a pardon application from former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier after denying him a waiver to apply for a pardon last year.  President Trump repeatedly invoked Saucier during the 2016 campaign after he was sentenced to one year in prison for taking pictures inside a nuclear submarine, arguing Saucier was "ruined" for doing "nothing" compared to Hillary Clinton.  The photos Saucier, now 31, took inside the sub were deemed "confidential," meaning the lowest level of classification, even though some depicted the vessel's nuclear reactor.  Clinton, by contrast, sent and received more highly classified information on a private and insecure email server.

Trump preparing to use a pardon to highlight the depth of Hillary's national security crimes.  On the campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly referred to the case of Navy sailor Kristian Saucier, who was sentenced to one year in prison for taking pictures on a submarine that were deemed "confidential" — the lowest rung on the ladder of national security secrets.  Candidate Trump compared Saucier's severe punishment for this comparatively minor infraction to Hillary Clinton's exoneration by James Comey for far more serious breaches in using an unprotected server in a bathroom to house top secret and beyond documents.  This usually was a cue for the crowd to chant, "Lock her up!  Lock her up!"  The next chapter is about to dawn.

Eating a nutria rat is okay for someone like Granny Clampett or Kim Jong-un, but count me out.
Invasive rodent threatens California wetlands and there's talk about eating them.  Wildlife officials in California are asking residents to report any sightings of nutria — an invasive rodent that threatens wetlands — and at least one report raises the question of whether or not the rodents should be eaten.  There is no indication that the rodent is anywhere close to being on the menus at Craig's or the Polo Lounge, but The Verge's report said other states that have grappled with nutria have turned to eating them.

The No. 1 Thing That Causes Millennial Employees to Quit.  Jive Communications looked at 2,000 millennials and asked them about their workplace requirements and why they leave.  Thirty-seven percent said having a job with flexible hours is essential, and a quarter of those reported they'd left jobs because they couldn't work flexibly.  The ability to work remotely was also an important factor for 63 percent of millennials surveyed, who said they might not be interested in future jobs if working remotely wasn't an option.  Sixty-four percent of the millennials surveyed also said they'd leave a job if it were too difficult to take sick or personal days.  Meanwhile, over 70 percent said they strongly prefer fast in-office technology, and without it, 20 percent of the millennials polled said they would actually quit.

Chinese billionaire 'hid $2bn aluminium pile in Mexican desert and then sold it across the border to America to avoid costly tariffs', claim US rivals.  A Chinese billionaire is hiding a giant stockpile of aluminum in the Mexican desert, his American rivals have claimed.  The pile, worth $2 billion and measuring one million metric tons, represents six percent of the world's aluminum.  It was discovered two years ago after a California aluminum executive sent a pilot over San José Iturbide, a city in central Mexico, the Wall Street Journal reported in an investigative piece Friday.  Trade representative Jeff Henderson believes Chinese billionaire Liu Zhongtian, an aluminum magnate, routed merchandise through Mexico to avoid paying US tariffs.

SST Committee Staff Report Reveals Russia's Social Media Meddling in U.S. Energy Markets.  U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today released a staff report uncovering Russia's extensive efforts to influence U.S. energy markets through divisive and inflammatory posts on social media platforms.  The report details Russia's motives in interfering with U.S. energy markets and influencing domestic energy policy and its manipulation of Americans via social media propaganda.  The report includes examples of Russian-propagated social media posts.

Disneyland workers struggle with low wages and homelessness.  The happiest place on Earth may not be a happy place to work.  Some workers at Disneyland say they are struggling with homelessness and poverty because the theme park doesn't pay them enough to live on, CBS Los Angeles reports.  Several Disney (DIS) unions met to discuss wages Wednesday night in Anaheim, while hundreds of protesters showed up to demand a livable wage.  One in 10 Disneyland employees has recently experienced homelessness, while two-thirds of workers don't have enough food to eat three meals per day, according to a new study from researchers at Occidental College and the Economic Roundtable.  Low-wage workers in expensive regions — such as Disneyland's location near Los Angeles — are increasingly feeling the pinch as their incomes have failed to keep up with soaring real estate values and the cost of living.

Kenya believe it?
Kenya doctors 'perform brain surgery on wrong patient'.  Staff from nurses to the CEO have been suspended at a Nairobi hospital after the wrong patient underwent brain surgery.  One patient needed surgery for a blood clot on the brain, the other only non-invasive treatment for swelling.  But a horrifying mix-up of identification tags saw the wrong man operated on, reports say.  The doctors did not realise their mistake until "hours into the surgery", the Daily Nation reported.  They then realised "there was no blood clot".

The Editor says...
In Africa, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to be a brain surgeon.

Florida sheriff on the defensive after school shooting.  The outspoken Florida sheriff whose deputies responded to the Parkland school shooting usually deals with critics head on.  But in recent days, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has been mostly silent.

Deputies Allegedly Told To Set Up 'Perimeter' Around Parkland Shooting, Opposite Of Training.  A partial Broward Sheriff's Office dispatch log obtained by a local newspaper revealed on Friday that the captain who initially took charge of the scene at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, allegedly told deputies to form a perimeter around the school, leaving questions as to whether a stand-down order was given.

Teacher who caused mass panic when he fired a gun at Georgia high school had multiple run-ins with police in recent years including confessing to 'killing a woman'.  The teacher who caused mass panic when he fired a gun at a Georgia high school had been the subject of multiple police reports in recent years.  including one instance where he told officers he had killed a woman.  Jesse Randal Davidson, 53, was arrested on Wednesday after he barricaded himself inside a classroom at Dalton High School and fired a handgun through the window.  The social studies teacher was taken into custody after a 45-minute standoff with police and later refused to discuss what led to the shooting.

Supreme Court rules immigrants can be held indefinitely with no bond hearings.  The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday [2/27/2018] that immigration officials can continue to indefinitely detain immigrants during proceedings to determine the legality of their status in the U.S.  In the 5-3 decision, which Justice Elena Kagan took no part in, the Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled detained immigrants must receive bond hearings every six months to determine if their continued detainment was necessary.  The decision of Jennings v.  Rodriguez affects illegal and legal immigrants.  Legal permanent residents facing deportation as a result of committing crimes and asylum seekers who have turned themselves in at the border and are awaiting a court date can be detained indefinitely with no interval bond hearings.

Cheers, protests as German court lets cities ban diesel cars.  Handing environmentalists a landmark victory, a German court ruled Tuesday that cities can ban diesel cars and trucks to combat air pollution, a decision with far-reaching and costly implications in the country where the diesel engine was invented in the 1890s.  The ruling by the Federal Administrative Court stirred fears from motorists, auto dealers and other businesses worried about the financial impact.  And Chancellor Angela Merkel's government scrambled to reassure drivers it would seek to prevent such drastic measures by pushing other ways to reduce urban pollution.

Cape Cod environmentalists plan to wreck their lobster Industry to save the whales.  Scientists trying to convince New England lobstermen to invest in "ropeless fishing" to cut the risk current fishing methods pose to northern right whales, The Boston Globe reported.  Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution say ropeless fishing will allow lobstermen to continue in their livelihood, but without long ropes running from buoys on the ocean's surface to lobster traps on the ocean floor.  Whales are caught in these lines, which fishermen use to haul up their catch, and tangle themselves until they drown.

Pattern Starts To Emerge In Political Corruption Cases That Bodes Ill for Prosecutors.  [This article presents] four examples, featuring two Republican and two Democratic politicians whose prosecutions were originally brought in 2014 and 2015, when the White House and the Justice Department were under control of the Democrats.  In all four cases, the prosecutors proclaimed they had caught a crime.  In all four cases, judges or jurors disagreed.  In all four cases, the politicians, who pleaded not guilty, have suffered the punishment of public humiliation — negative headlines and unflattering photographs.  Three of the four are no longer elected officials, though [Robert] Menendez remains in office and is running for reelection this year.  All four politicians have at least so far not had to serve the long prison terms with which they were threatened had they been convicted and had the convictions been sustained on appeal.

The CIA's year-long inquiry into whether employees have to pay for their own coffee.  During its 70 year history, a number of coffee-related controversies have gripped the Central Intelligence Agency — but perhaps none of them had such long-lasting impact on the caffeination of our nation's clandestine service as a year-long inquiry into the legality of using government funds to buy CIA employees their daily pick-me-up.  After a lengthy departmental review, Director of Central Intelligence William Colby announced the decision to stop allowing government funds to be used to purchase coffee and food at meetings attended solely by U.S. Government employees in a June 12, 1975 memo: [...]

South Korean MPs demand execution of North's Olympic delegate.  South Korean lawmakers protested Friday over a visit by a top North Korean general for the Pyeongchang Olympics, labelling him a war criminal over the 2010 sinking of a warship and calling for his execution.  Kim Yong Chol will head an eight-member delegation to arrive on Sunday for the Games' closing ceremony — which will also be attended by US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, creating protocol headaches for Seoul officials.  Kim is widely blamed for a spate of attacks against the South including the torpedoing nearly eight years ago of the Seoul's Cheonan corvette, with the loss of 46 lives.  Some 70 lawmakers of the conservative Liberty Korea Party staged a protest outside the presidential Blue House, urging President Moon Jae-in to scrap the visit.

Apple removes Good Friday, Easter from calendar for iPhones.  Breitbart reports that the latest iPhone update has deliberately removed Good Friday and Easter Sunday from users' calendars. [...] Apple has been receiving complaints about this change.

Democrat Dallas Mayor — Move the NRA Convention Out Because of JFK or Something.  The liberal Democrat mayor of Dallas (elected by ghetto voters) doesn't want to the NRA convention to be held in Dallas.  His reason?  Because JFK was assassinated in Dallas back in 1963.

Dallas Mayor Pro Tem urges NRA to find a new home for their convention.  A leader in Dallas politics does not want the National Rifle Association to meet in his city.  Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway is urging the NRA to find a new home for its annual convention.  He says the meeting is not appropriate in Dallas in the wake of last week's school shooting in Florida.  Caraway also points to the past tragedies in Dallas, including the 2016 ambush that killed five Dallas officers, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The Editor says...
The City of Dallas has been working for decades on various ways to make the city more attractive to large conventions, even going so far as to build a nice hotel adjacent to the downtown convention center.  By attempting to turn away convention business merely on the basis of his own misguided left-wing views, Mr. Caraway is undoing a lot of other people's work.

Free Speech Panel at CPAC Canceled by Pamela Geller After Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft Banned.  Conservative commentator Pam Geller revealed on Breitbart News Daily on Wednesday morning that her panel on free speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) had been canceled because she refused to remove Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit as a participant. [...] Geller said that she had been asked to exclude Hoft after a post at Gateway Pundit on the Parkland shooting in Florida last week.  The site has published several posts criticizing the students who are advocating for gun control.  The demand, she said, forced her to cancel the panel.

Powell: 'Pretty Shocking' That So Many American Youths Lack Smarts, Fitness for Military.  Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said too many young people do not qualify for military service due in part to obesity and criminal records, which is reflective of many "scary" problems in local communities that must be addressed.  Powell, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton, was asked why he thinks more African-Americans should join the military.  "I'm very, very thankful that they do, and they join the military for a variety of reasons:  a combination of patriotism, looking for a change in their life experience at that point, travel or serving their country, just serving their country.  And many of them go in because, frankly, it's a steady wage every month," Powell said during a discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Avoice Heritage Celebration recognizing African-American veterans.

250 Teachers Sign Up for 50 Seats at Concealed Carry Training Session.  Butler County, Ohio, Sheriff Richard K. Jones offered free concealed carry training for 50 teachers and 250 teachers responded within 24 hours.  Breitbart News reported that Jones began advertising the free training on Sunday [2/18/2018] and the immediate response was 50 emails within 20 minutes.

Woman Pulled From Public Hearing While Listing Corporate Donations to Reps.  Lissa Lucas, Democratic candidate for District 7 of the West Virginia House of Delegates., appeared at the state capitol to testify regarding House Bill 4268, "which would allow a majority of 75 percent of owners or heirs of a single piece of property to determine whether the property could be developed for oil or gas production" according to WVNews.  Lucas claimed that those speaking in favor of the bill and some voting on the bill were being paid by "the industry."  "I have to keep this short because the public only gets a minute and 45 seconds while lobbyists can throw a gala at the Marriott with whiskey and wine and talk for hours to the delegates," Lucas said.

Soros Backed Pro-Mass Migration NGO Has Funds Frozen Amidst Sex Abuse, Fraud Claims.  The International Rescue Committee (IRC), an open borders-backing NGO fronted by former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been accused of "hushing up" allegations of more than 30 crimes.  UK government ministers froze funds to the NGO, which is a major partner of globalist billionaire George Soros, "based on direct reporting of sexual harassment and fraud", it was reported this week.  With nearly five and a half million pounds of taxpayer cash at stake, a team from the IRC was sent to look into claims made over the body's behaviour in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Marine Corps Drops Major Obstacle to Female Infantry Officers.  The Marine Corps has made a major change to its Infantry Officer Course.  The first big challenge for many was a test of physical fitness.  If you passed, you moved on.  If you didn't, you washed out.  The test was especially difficult for women who had to meet the same standard as the men.  Not anymore.

Apple's iCal calendar mysteriously deletes Easter.  Easter Sunday, which arrives on April 1 this year, is the culmination of Holy Week, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the most important holiday in the Christian religion.  However, it's absent from some Apple users' iCal calendars.  There are other holidays on the U.S. calendar, such as Juneteenth (a holiday celebrating the abolition of slavery in Texas), Flag Day and Indigenous People's Day, that appear.

Air Force Academy First Sergeant Reprimanded For Telling Cadets To Dress Properly.  Progressive social justice trends appear to be creeping into the Air Force Academy, as an academy first sergeant was reprimanded for instructing cadets to maintain a professional appearance, emails reveal.  "Observations made by USAFA [United States Air Force Academy] permanent party members regarding cadet grooming standards have become increasingly unfavorable," First Sergeant Zachary Parish apparently wrote in a leaked email to cadets.  "Going forward, I expect you all to do your part in reversing negative perceptions about cadet personal appearance that circulates USAFA and diminishes your credibility as a member in the profession of arms."  The first sergeant then advised the cadets in his charge to be like Mike.

Trump White House agrees to make some visitor logs available to the public — but traffic into the Oval Office will stay a secret.  The Trump administration has settled a transparency lawsuit by agreeing to release visitor logs from some White House agencies — but not those that cover major West Wing areas.  Offices on the White House complex that are specifically funded by Congress or are led by Senate-confirmed officials are required to make public records available in response to Freedom Of Information Act requests.  But offices that are created by the president and managed internally are not.  That includes most of the Executive Office of the President and the top-level officials who work most closely with the president — and the Oval Office itself.

Venezuela oil production is plummeting.  Venezuela's main source of cash is dwindling at a breathtaking pace.  The country's oil output in January fell to its lowest level in nearly 30 years, not including a brief oil strike in 2003, according to S&P Global Platts.  A monthly OPEC report published Monday revealed Venezuela pumped 1.6 million barrels of oil per day last month.  Production in January was down 20% from a year ago.  The staggering decline is another sign of Venezuela's economic and political crisis.  The country is heading toward a presidential election in April that international critics are already labeling fraudulent.  Venezuela has more crude oil than any other country in the world and it heavily depends on the commodity to power its economy.  Crude oil makes up about 95% of Venezuela's exports.  The country has no other source of foreign income.

Someone's Doing The DOJ and FBI Interrogations and It's Not Congress.  On a Monday night (February 12th, 2018) episode of Tucker Carlson a Democrat member of the House Intelligence committee said something interesting that almost everyone missed.  Appearing on the show to joust with Tucker, HPSCI member Eric Swalwell stated:  "the House Intel Committee has not interviewed a single witness in over a month".  This statement is rather enlightening.

Judge orders release of sealed Bill Clinton documents from Ken Starr probe.  A federal judge has ordered the unsealing of documents from then-Independent Counsel Ken Starr's two-decade old probe that led to former President Bill Clinton's impeachment.  Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia granted the order Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from CNN.  According to the judge's order, CNN journalist Katelyn Polantz requested on Feb. 9, 2018 that eight sealed matters arising from Starr's 1998 investigation of Clinton "be unsealed and made public."

CNN Stunned By What Iowa Voters Think About Russia Investigation.  CNN's Martin Savidge interviewed a group of voters from Iowa on Monday [2/12/2018] who all expressed serious doubts about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.  The panel, comprised of four Trump voters, voiced their support for the president while slamming Mueller's investigation.  Vicente Javier, a former baseball player, called the investigation a "political witch hunt from the get-go" and a "disgrace."

FBI, Hillary scandals could have a ripple effect on Wall Street.  Again, if you are investing in US financial markets, keep a close eye on developments regarding the FBI and the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation.  The markets don't like chaos, and that's what we are headed for.  There have been a lot of major developments recently, although most big media organizations are ignoring them.  They will soon regret that.

Hawaii Has A Major [Cesspool] Problem.  Hawaii is struggling to find more sanitary ways to dispose of human waste after years of putting sewage into open holes in the ground.  The state's five islands have more than 88,000 "cesspools," Hawaii's Department of Health determined in a recent report.  The cesspools put 53 million gallons of sewage into ground and surface water.  The 2017 legislative session passed a law requiring all cesspools to be replaced with better sewer systems by 2050, but that might not be fast enough.

San Francisco Fines Landlord $2 Million For Renting Out Dwellings to Low-Income Veterans that Violated Zoning Codes.  For the past two years the City of San Francisco has been doing everything in its power to dismantle low-income housing units that run afoul of the city's laborious zoning codes.  Over the past decade, San Francisco landlord Judy Wu (real name Xiaoqi Wu) converted some 12 properties she owns into 49 housing units which she and her husband, Trent Zhu, have rented predominately to low-income veterans, many of whom are disabled, or previously homeless.  These units, however, were only zoned for 15 dwellings.  And in 2015, the city's Planning Department first became aware of the excess units, ordering her to obtain permits to dismantle many of them.  In 2016, as she was working to bring her units into compliance, and while her tenants fought to preserve their homes, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued Wu, claiming that her unauthorized dwellings "substantially endanger the health, welfare, and safety of individual tenants, the residents of the City and County of San Francisco."

Farage: Instead of Russian Collusion, Press Should Look at Where Soros' Billions Are Going.  Former United Kingdom Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage said the world need to keep a closer eye on the activities of billionaire investor and political activist George Soros.  Farage underlined that nothing Soros has done has been illegal, but that with the billions he has spread around the world for left-wing causes, "nation-state democracies" should be concerned.  "We all need to wake up to who George Soros is and how big his [Open Society Foundations] organization is," Farage said of the 87-year-old.

Obama Knew.  Former President Obama wanted "to know everything" the FBI was doing in its investigation into claims that Russia was interfering in the 2016 election, a new report suggests, raising the specter of a sitting president becoming involved in a plot to rig the 2016 election.  It was a year ago the outlines of a Watergate-like conspiracy emerged in which a term-limited Democrat president used the privacy-invading apparatus of the state to spy on a Republican presidential candidate.  Watergate differed in that President Nixon didn't get involved in the plot against the Democratic National Committee until later as an accomplice after the fact.  But this new evidence suggests Obama may have been part of a sinister anti-democratic cabal from the beginning.

50% Think Senior Law Enforcement Officials Broke the Law to Block Trump Presidency.  A once-secret memo released last week scrutinizes the FBI and Justice Department officials for their surveillance practices of a former Trump campaign adviser, and half of voters think those officials went too far.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters believe it's at least Somewhat Likely senior federal law enforcement officials broke the law in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidency, including 32% who think it's Very Likely.  Forty percent (40%) think it's not likely these officials broke the law, with 25% who feel it's Not At All Likely.

Adam Schiff, gullible fool.  The easiest marks are the desperate ones, the ones who want something so bad they lose their common sense, becoming putty in the hands of their manipulators.  So here we have Rep. Adam Schiff, easy mark for a phone prank tailored especially for him by Russian comedians, pushing all his right buttons.  Here is the audio, and man is it stupid.

Watch: Chuck Schumer Called For Military Parade In 2014.  Historically ignorant and cynical politicians feigned outrage on Wednesday [2/7/2018] at President Trump's proposal of a military parade in 2018.  Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) insisted, "I think confidence is silent and insecurity is loud.  America is the most powerful country in all of human history; you don't need to show it off."  Rep. Adam Smith (D-CA) preened, "A military parade of this kind would also be a departure from the values of our constitutional democracy."  Reps.  Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) glibly observed, "Because authoritarian regimes like Russia and North Korea hold massive military parades does not mean that we must as well."

Well, Well, Well, Look Who Adam Schiff Has "Family Ties" To.  Twitter is on fire with the revelation that Democratic party mouthpiece Adam Schiff turns out to have "family ties" to none other than George Soros himself.

Mexico pipeline thefts at record high, 10,363 illegal taps.  Fuel thieves in Mexico drilled 10,363 illegal taps into state-owned pipelines in 2017, or an average of about 28 illegal taps every day.

The Air Force Turned Off GPS To Rehearse a War Without It.  The U.S. military is worryingly dependent on GPS. Our global positioning satellites tell planes where they are, provide targeting info for smart weapons, and support communication and navigation systems.  But in a war with a tech-advanced adversary — think China, Russia, or Iran — GPS could become a big liability because it could be jammed, spoofed, or outright destroyed.  So how does the U.S. Air Force train for such a scenario?  Simple — just turn it off.

The Editor says...
Jamming is a possibility in wartime, but that would likely affect other countries' versions of GPS, like Glonass, putting all parties on equal footing.  And I suspect our jamming is much more effective than their jamming.  Spoofing is not easy.  It has been done, but it takes a lot of talent and a lot of computer and radio hardware.  Both jamming and spoofing would be local, not global or even regional.  Destroying the entire GPS system would be impossible:  It would have to be done by a country with extremely sophisticated (laser) weapons, and it would have to be done quickly, before any countermeasures could be taken.  Agents of some other country could upload a "shutdown" command to all of the GPS satellites at once, but this would require the theft of encryption keys, multiple uplink sites, and lots of other stuff.  In summary, there is no credible threat to the GPS system from anyone outside of our own government.  Someone at the top levels of our government could tell the Air Force to put GPS into the military-only mode and those who rely on GPS navigation would need to make other arrangements.  This, too, is unlikely except in the event of civil war.  So it's good that the military is making plans to remain functional in the absence of GPS, but that situation is extremely unlikely.

Amazon patents could enable worker monitoring via wristband.  The patent filings, first reported this week by the news site Geekwire, come amid concerns over workplace conditions for the company, which has seen rapid growth in its warehouses or "fulfillment centers" key to its logistics.  The publicly available patent documents show how wrist-worn devices could deliver ultrasonic pulses that could direct employees to the location of bins for packages being sought.  "Ultrasonic tracking of a worker's hands may be used to monitor performance of assigned tasks," according to one of the documents.

The Editor says...
I hope I'm retired by the time this device is issued to every U.S. worker.  On the other hand, it might be very beneficial for my employer to see who's completely motionless (asleep), who's hiding in the freight elevator until shift change, who's in a room he's not supposed to be in, and who's not even in the building.

SJWs Demand You Stop Saying 'Marijuana.' The Reason Is Stupider Than You'd Expect.  I have to admit, weed culture can be downright befuddling to us normies on the outside looking in (see Nevada Declares State of Emergency for Running Low on Weed).  We're not up to speed on all the different terms.  Can't tell a roach clip from a hair barrette.  Sometimes mistake broccoli for the pot.  That sort of thing.  Yet, having said that, one still can't help but be surprised at this story crawling its way out of the cannabis community.  Apparently saying "marijuana" is now a big no-no.

Politifact Backs Down:  Crazed Democrat Out As