Mueller is abusing DOJ standards

Andrew McCarthy:
These columns have many times observed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s failure to set limits on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. To trigger the appointment of a special counsel, federal regulations require the Justice Department to identify the crimes that warrant investigation and prosecution — crimes that the Justice Department is too conflicted to investigate in the normal course; crimes that become the parameters of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

Rosenstein, instead, put the cart before the horse: Mueller was invited to conduct a fishing expedition, a boundless quest to hunt for undiscovered crimes, rather than an investigation and prosecution of known crimes.

That deviation, it turns out, is not the half of it. With Rosenstein’s passive approval, Mueller is shredding Justice Department charging policy by alleging earth-shattering crimes, then cutting a sweetheart deal that shields the defendant from liability for those crimes and from…

Businessman with ties to Democrats ensnared in Mueller's investigation of Trump

Washington Post:
Complex portrait of special counsel cooperator emerges in newly unsealed child pornography case

It is unclear if the 1991 felony conviction of Lebanese American businessman George Nader figures into his agreement to assist special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But the case raises questions about access he had to top Trump White House officials. I suspect the prior conviction makes him less credible as a witness.  He has been a lobbyist for Middle East Arabs for years who also worked with the Obama administration.  It is weird that the Post would omit that and raise questions only about his attempt to lobby the Trump administration.

The Mueller Seychelle gambit to which this witness is tied looks like another dry hole he is exploring.  To the extent he had access, it was probably related to his Middle-East clients and not the Russians.

Victim families want Oakland mayor prosecuted

Red States:
Father Of A Boy Killed By Illegal Immigrants SLAMS Oakland’s Mayor For Warning Illegals Of Impending ICE Raid

You know, it was just disgusting. Her job is to protect the citizens, the American citizens, you know. And for her to take a stand like that, she’s allowing Americans to be murdered. She has blood on her hands because she could have easily just let them go into the jail system and capture those criminals, but she allowed them to come out, and then for people to be murdered and raped and robbed and identity theft; that’s all on her and people like her.
... I think she should be prosecuted.  She should be charged with obstruction of justice and aiding and abetting unlawful flight.

Some 'disabled' workers were probably just looking to extend unemployment benefits during Obama's recession

NY Times:
Disabled Workers’ Return to Work Force Offers Hope
A seemingly inexorable economic trend has changed direction in the past few years, as people who cited health reasons for not working are returning to the labor force. It’s a sign that employment may still have room to grow. It is good news that these people are rejoining the workforce, but it does say something about how the Obama administration was complicit in hiding unemployment.

How does McCabe's firing for misleading investigators undermine Mueller?

NY Times:
McCabe Says His Firing Was Meant to Undermine Mueller
Andrew McCabe, the ex-F.B.I. deputy director, said his dismissal was meant to undermine his credibility as a potential witness in the Russia inquiry led by Robert S. Mueller III. Mueller is doing a good enough job undermining himself without help.  He has wasted a ton of time and money without producing any charges related to his original writ to find evidence of collusion with Russian trolls.  This is just another example of how the leftist in the FBI are looking for a gotcha case against Trump since they lack evidence to support their original thesis.  He was fired because of the finding of an internal investigation not on the orders of Trump.

Grassley and Graham layout the case for further internal investigations of the FBI and those who have left it:

Iran threatens bad behavior if Europe increases sanctions

Any new European sanctions against Iran will have a direct effect on the nuclear deal struck between world powers and Tehran, Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Friday, according to state media.

“In case some European countries are following steps to put non-nuclear sanctions against Iran in order to please the American president, they will be making a big mistake and they will see the direct result of that on the nuclear deal,” Abbas Araqchi said, according to state media.

“It’s better that European countries continue their current action to persuade America to keep its promises in the nuclear deal and for that country to effectively execute the deal in all its parts with good will and in a productive atmosphere.”

Araqchi’s comments were in reaction to a Reuters report that Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in Syria’s war to try to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

A first person report on the decline of life in San Francisco

Erielle Davidson:

San Francisco Is Suffering From The Excesses Of Its Own Liberalism

The astounding level of mismanagement and general deterioration of public decency will continue to plague the city until reasonable measures are taken to combat vagrancy. A young woman's move to the city is clouded by broken glass from car burglaries dodging feces on the sidewalk and being groped on her way to work.  She gets to pay big bucks for this cultural experience.

It is interesting to see the lack of shame by California politicians who have created this culture.

The media has a short-term memory problem about media hires by Presidents

Joe Concha:
‘Trump TV pipeline’ is a joke, next to Obama’s media hires

There are more than a dozen examples from a media appalled by a president tapping members of the media to serve in important posts in his administration.

Is there precedent for such decision-making in the Oval Office? Of course. But thanks to the bias of omission, the reader or viewer would never know that the prior administration puts this one to shame for the revolving door from media to the White House and State Department.

In the first four years alone in the Obama administration, more than 25 former reporters joined the team by my count. Yup. 25.

Per the Washington Post in 2013, Richard Stengel, Time magazine’s managing editor was the “latest in long line of reporters who jumped to jobs in Obama administration."

Here's more from that 2013 story, where just one paragraph alone shows how far and wide media members got into the tentacles of the Obama State Department.

You'll also recognize more th…

The population bomb theory flubs again

The Population Bomb Has Been Defused

The Earth and humanity will survive as fertility rates fall almost everywhere. There have been many predictions in teh past that were proved wrong.  In the 1970's a biologist predicted we would run out of food.  But the US managed to produce an abundance of food and the only places where there are people starving are artificial famines caused by conflicts and artificial scarcity caused by the food Luddites who oppose GMO's that increase production.

Russian pipeline to Europe would be strategic mistake by the West

Fuel Fix:
A top official with the U.S. State Department says the Trump administration continues to oppose the construction of a pipeline that would increase Russian supplies of natural gas into Europe.

Called Nordstream 2, the project has aroused criticism that it would deepen Europe's dependence on Russian energy supplies, leaving the European Union vulnerable to manipulation by Moscow.

"We view Nordstream 2 as a project that would cement in place for generations the same vulnerability many Central European and Balkan states" experience now," Sandra Oudkirk, deputy assistant secretary for energy diplomacy at the State Department, said Monday during an event at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. "The president has spoken pretty clearly."

That would continue the position of the former Obama administration, which sought to expand U.S. supplies of Liquefied natural gas into Europe as a buffer to Russian influence. Likewise, Trump has discussed inc…

FBI Deputy Director McCabe fired hours before retirement, accused of making misleading statements in internal investigation

Washington Post:
FBI’s McCabe is fired 26 hours before he could retire

Andrew McCabe, who had stepped down from his post as FBI deputy director earlier this year but remained an employee, had been a lightning rod in the political battles surrounding the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe. The firing will likely cost McCabe a significant portion of his retirement benefit. President Trump and others thought McCabe had some responsibility for the failure to charge Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified materials.  To many, it looked like the fix was in with the FBI and DOJ.  There were two primary reasons for that feeling.  First, such a ruling would also reflect on Obama who had to be aware that Clinton was mishandling classified material.  Second, there was political animus by many in the FBI and DOJ against Trump as the candidate for the GOP.

The Russian murder spree in London claims a victim

Sunday Telegraph:
Counter-terror police launch murder investigation after confirming Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov strangled

A fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, who was found dead at his south London home earlier this week, was murdered, police have said, amid fears of a second Russia-sponsored attack on British soil.

Businessman, Nikolai Glushkov, 68, who was granted asylum in the UK after fleeing Moscow in 2006, was strangled to death, Scotland Yard has confirmed.

The former right-hand man of deceased oligarch, Boris Berezovsky, his death came just over a week after Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned by a nerve agent in Salisbury.
... The victim was the former head of a Russian airline.  What is the motive for all these attacks on Russian expats?  Does the Russian government fear they have information that could hurt them or do they just want to kill Russians who have left the country?   Does Putin fear that other Russians might be ready to leave with…

The danger of accepting Muslim refugees from the Middle East

Daily Mial:

Betrayed by the 'shy and polite' boy they took into their home: Iraqi asylum seeker, 18, is found guilty of trying to blow up 93 Parsons Green commuters with bomb built with his foster parents' Tupperware while pair were on holiday
Teenage refugee built 'Mother of Satan' bomb at foster home in summer holidaysHe left explosive on packed tube train, but luckily it failed to properly detonateThe 18-year-old was found guilty of attempted murder for trying to kill 93 peopleQuestions surround his past after conflicting claims to immigration and police How can you know whom to trust among unvetted refugees?  There have also been cases of older refugees pretending to be teenagers in order to seek asylum.

Texts suggest an attempt by FBI agents to influence judge in FISA court who was hearing Flynn's plea deal

Sara Carter:
Newly redacted text messages discovered by congressional investigators reveal that an embattled FBI agent at the center of the Russia investigation controversy was close friends with a District of Columbia judge who recused himself from the criminal case over former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, congressional members said, and text documents show.

The never before seen text messages, which were a part of the texts given to Congress by the Department of Justice, show that FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI attorney Lisa Page discussed Strzok’s relationship with U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over a Dec. 1, 2017, hearing where former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Strzok was removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office last year after anti-Trump text messages between him and his FBI agent lover were discovered by the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz. But on …

Russian hacks also took a peek at US civil aviation during 2017 attacks

Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. civilian aviation system early in 2017 as part of the broad assault on the nation’s sensitive infrastructure, according to a consortium designed to protect the industry.
The attack had limited impact and the industry has taken steps to prevent a repeat of the intrusion, according to Jeff Troy, executive director of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said Friday. Troy wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the breach and declined to identify specific companies or the affected sector.

“It hit a part of our very broad membership,” Troy said. The intrusion wasn’t something that would directly harm airplanes or airlines, he said. “But I did see that this impacted some companies that are in the aviation sector.”

Troy’s comments confirmed the impact on aviation from a Russian attack that was described more broadly on Thursday by U.S. government officials. The assault was aimed at the electric grid, water processing plants and other…

2 million fewer people relying on food stamps

Daily Caller:
The number of food stamp dependent Americans hit a six-year low in President Donald Trump’s first year in office, reflecting an improving economy and falling unemployment, according to a U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) report.

An average of 42.2 million Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program in 2017, which is an 11 percent decrease from 2013, when a record number of people used food stamps, according to USDA.

“Federal spending for SNAP totaled $68.0 billion or 4 percent less than in the previous fiscal year,” USDA reported. “This was also 15 percent less than the historical high of $79.9 billion set in FY 2013.”

It’s the fourth year in a row SNAP participation fell. Previously, the number of people on food stamps grew for 12 years. About 13 percent of Americans used food stamps in 2017. That’s well above pre-recession levels.
Thirteen Alabama counties saw food stamp use drop 85 percent between January and May 2017 on…

Brits say Putin likely responsible for attempted murder of spy

NY Times:
‘Overwhelmingly Likely’ That Putin Ordered Poisoning
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson of Britain made the remarks just hours before the police in London said they were treating the death of another Russian expatriate as a murder. I get the impression that several people in Russia supported the hit on the former spy.  Putin is probably among them.  That he is destroying any chance of getting along with the West does not seem to bother him and others in the Kremlin.

Russian cyber attacks show the need to harden energy supplies

NY Times:
Russia Could Have Switched Off U.S. Power, Officials Say
Russian hackers used cyberattacks to gain the foothold they need to manipulate or shut down energy, water and nuclear plants, the Trump administration revealed.U.S. officials and private security firms see the attacks as a signal by Moscow that it could disrupt the West’s critical facilities in the event of a conflict. The US needs to develop a system to disconnect from the internet and use auxiliary energy access to thwart the attacks.  The US also needs an effective counterstrike capability to fry the computers used in the attacks.

Environmentalist change their mind about Renewable fuel standards

Washington Times:
Green groups were among the loudest champions for the federal government’s sweeping ethanol mandate a decade ago, touting it as a near-magic fuel that could help ease a climate crisis.

But the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that boosted ethanol use has fallen out of favor so badly that environmentalists now see themselves on the same side of the debate as Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz, arguing that the entire program is deeply flawed and must be completely overhauled.

The intense opposition to the RFS from environmental and conservation groups comes as the White House and congressional leaders work to craft the most serious reforms the program has seen since it was established more than 10 years ago. As Republicans and oil-industry groups bemoan the RFS as a job killer in the oil refining sector, environmentalists say their once-high hopes that ethanol could reduce carbon emissions, preserve land and help fight climate change have been proven wrong.
Mr. O’Mara…

An attempted murder in Britain makes clear that Russia is not a reliable peace partner

Melanie Phillips:
What’s that deafening noise of squawking and screeching and flapping that we can now hear all around us? Why, it’s the West’s chickens finally coming home to roost.

In Britain, a retired Russian spy and his daughter, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, remain critically ill in hospital after being poisoned earlier this month in the quiet cathedral city of Salisbury by a rare, military- grade and deadly nerve agent.

Skripal was a double agent who had worked for British intelligence. The poison used against him reportedly could only have been produced by Russia. Although there’s no conclusive proof of Kremlin involvement, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament this week the attack was an “unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the UK.”

In 2006, another former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko, died after being poisoned in a London hotel by a rare, highly radioactive isotope – a murder that a British public inquiry decided was likely ordered by President…

Kick Turkey out of NATO

Michael Rubin:
The core of the U.S.-Turkey relationship has been Turkey’s participation in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the bedrock security structure upon which the United States and Europe have depended for almost 70 years. As President Trump highlighted during his campaign and in the first months of his presidency, many NATO members only nominally contribute to the organization and few meet their commitments. Historically, Turkey has been different. Turkey has the second-largest army in NATO, and has more men under arms or in the reserves than France, the United Kingdom, and Germany combined.

Alas, after 15 years of Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Turkey’s helm, the Turkish army has changed radically. Almost every officer up to lieutenant colonel arose under the Islamist leader. In addition, Erdogan’s manipulation of promotions with fake plots — Ergenekon, Balyoz, and perhaps even the 2016 abortive coup — allowed him to replace the top brass. Turkey’s top generals today are loyal…

The Renewable Fuels Standards do nothing for consumers and are a sop to the agribusiness lobby

Printus LeBlanc:
The Renewable Fuel Standard is beyond repair; it is time to repeal it. They were meant to solve a problem that no longer exists.  At the time there was a perceived scarcity of fossil fuels.  That perception is no longer valid.  If ethanol has any value it should have to compete in the marketplace.  The current Renewable Fuel Standards are actually an impediment to US national security and energy independence because they force refiners to spend money on something that is no longer needed instead of converting their operations to refine the light crude being produced by shale wells which would virtually eliminate teh need to import oil.

Unemployment could drop below 3 %

U.S. unemployment is primed to fall significantly further and could drop below 3 percent for the first time since 1953, the year central bank chief Jerome Powell was born.

That’s according to economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Moody’s Analytics Inc. With an already solid economy set to receive a double dose of fiscal stimulus, they argue that a drop in joblessness from its 17-year low of 4.1 percent in February is all but inevitable.

And they say that a break below 3 percent is a distinct possibility -- even with the return of some workers to the labor force -- especially if Federal Reserve Chairman Powell doesn’t do more to slow the economy down.

“We have unemployment at 3.25 percent by the end of 2019,” Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist, said in an email. “A decline below 3 percent at some point is obviously possible.”

Such a drop would return unemployment to levels not seen in 65 years, when millions of Americans w…

Liberal fascists thinks the answer to losing the debate is to suppress free speech

Washington Examiner:
More than 6 in 10 college students say their campus climate is too hostile for free speech

According to a new poll from Gallup, 61 percent of college students in 2017 felt that a hostile climate on their campus prevents some individuals from expressing their views because others might perceive their views as offensive. This percentage is a significant increase from 2016, where 54 percent of college students surveyed expressed this view.
... Speech suppression is not just on campus.  Silicon Valley is in an all out war with conservative speech.  Twitter is not allowing links to articles it disagrees with.  Google if juggling the algorithms to downgrade searches for conservative posts.  Facebook has committed the sin of becoming boring by trying to suppress conservative content.

The reaction to this may be more regulation to ensure that the right to free speech is not infringed.  The tech guys could find themselves being regulated as common carriers.

As far the c…

Russians launching cyber attacks on US energy companies

Fuel Fix:
Russian government-linked hackers have targeted the U.S. energy industry and other sectors critical to running the economy in a new surge of online attacks since at least March 2016, federal agencies said on Thursday.

The hacking campaign, orchestrated by a seven-year-old group known as Dragonfly, has hit U.S. government entities and domestic companies in the energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and critical manufacturing sectors, according to an alert the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team put out on Thursday.

"In multiple instances, the threat actors accessed workstations and servers on a corporate network that contained data output from control systems within energy generation facilities," the U.S. CERT said.

Related: As cyberattacks become more sophisticated, energy industry's controls provide an alluring target

The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have been studying the attacks, and found that the…

Hillary Clinton has trouble navigating bath in India

Daily Mail:
Now Hillary Clinton fractures her wrist after slipping in an Indian palace BATHTUB in second fall during trip to India She seems to be having a lot of mobility problems going back as far as her campaign.  She should get it checked out.

Obama made background checks less reliable by removing 5,000 fugitives

Daily Caller:
Obama DOJ Forced FBI To Delete 500,000 Fugitives From Background Check Database It looks like the DOJ lawyers under Obama confused themselves into doing nothing with fugitives.

Iran has backed off provocation against US ship

Iranian naval forces appear to have deliberately halted their provocations of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf in recent months, a U.S. military official said Thursday.

According to Navy Cmdr. William Urban, spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, there have been no “unsafe and unprofessional” actions by Iranian naval forces in the Gulf since August 2017.

Prior to that, Iranian vessels had periodically made high-speed approaches to U.S. ships that were considered dangerous provocations.

Urban declined to speculate on the reason for the change.

“It seems like they’ve absolutely made a conscious decision to give us more space,” he said. “That is definitely a change in their behavior.”
... There is more.

I suspect that Iran came to this conclusion because they see someone not to be trifled with and also as someone looking for an excuse to pull out of the nuke deal.

All is not well in the Golden State

Katy Grimes:
How California Democrats Have Turned The Golden State Into A ‘Sh*thole ...

Despite so-called “progressives” promising their policies will create a Soviet-style worker’s paradise, California’s leftist Democrats have turned the once Golden State into a sh*thole through decades of leftist policies penalizing and demonizing employers, businesses, property owners, innovators, entrepreneurs – and really, anyone who wants to work hard and get ahead. These hard working people are responding by fleeing liberal California for conservative red states.

The perception across America is that California is the state people are leaving. And that perception is accurate.

More than 1,000 people each day are leaving leftist sh*thole blue states and moving to red states. “This migration is changing the economic center of gravity in America—moving it relentlessly to the South and West,” according to economist Stephen Moore. “California is one of the oil- and gas-richest states in the nation,” w…

Mueller goes fishing in Trump company records

NY Times:
Trump Business Gets Subpoena From Mueller in Russia Inquiry
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed records from President Trump’s business, including some related to Russia, people briefed on the matter said.It’s the first known time the special counsel has ordered that documents directly related to the president’s businesses be turned over. Mueller should be required to disclose exactly what crime he is investigating that requires a look at company records that had nothing to do with the campaign. If this is a subpoena in search of a crime the court should quash it.

Senior GOP Senators call for special counsel on FISA abuse investigation

Washington Times:
Top Senate Republicans called Thursday for a new special counsel to probe how the FBI and Justice Department handled interactions with the Trump campaign and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Lindsey Graham, the top Republicans who’ve been pursuing the issue, said an inspector general’s investigation is already underway, but it’s constrained by law and it will take someone with special counsel powers to get to the bottom of what happened.

“Thus, we believe that a special counsel is needed to work with the Inspector General to independently gather the facts and make prosecutorial decisions, if any are merited,” said Mr. Grassley and Mr. Graham, who were joined in their request by Sens. John Cornyn and Thom Tillis.

The top Republicans on the key committees in the House already called for a special counsel, and the senators’ letter ups the pressure on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod…

US sanctions Russia over cyber attacks, criticizes WMD attacks in UK

Washington Post:
U.S. sanctions Russians over election interference, cyberattacks

The financial sanctions seek to deter Moscow from targeting this year’s midterm elections. It's a noteworthy step, as President Trump has shown reluctance to blame the Kremlin for tampering with the 2016 presidential race despite the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Moscow did so.
U.S., two major allies back Britain’s claim that Russia likely tied to ex-spy’s poisoning

The nerve agent attack “threatens the security of us all,” reads a joint statement from President Trump and the leaders of Britain, France and Germany. This looks like Putin misplayed he had badly as did the Democrats who falsely accused Trump of colluding with them.

The Russians will be more isolated than ever.   They have missed their best chance at improving relations with the US and its allies.

I doubt that the sanctions will deter Russian cyber attacks.  I am still in the belief that the attacks in 2016 had minimal …

Who would want a deadly cyber attack explosion in Saudi Arabia?

NY Times:
When a Cyberattack’s Goal Is a Catastrophic Explosion
Experts believe an attack last year on a petrochemical company in Saudi Arabia was intended to cause a deadly explosion, and they fear the next one might succeed. I suspect it was done by someone in their neighborhood.  While it is possible that remnants of ISIS could be behind the attack, I would focus on Iran and some of its allies.   When it comes to cybersecurity the ability to trace the source of the attacks is critical to retaliation.  The US and its allies need to get much better at doing that.

London's Muslim mayor wants to suppress legitimate criticism of Islam

Jeffry Ludwig:
Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, will be speaking at a conference of technology executives in Austin, Texas. The gist of his remarks has been announced. It is a speech advocating a troika of control, condemnation, and confiscation. The control he requests is that the masters of the internet bar anti-Islamic comments and threats. His condemnation is of President Donald Trump for his tweets (especially those in support of Britain First), which have proven to be an encouragement to those with an anti-Islamic agenda. And he suggests that the big technology firms be taxed not on the basis of profits, but on the basis of revenue if the anti-Islamic messages continue on the internet, thus threatening confiscation if his "advice" is not taken. He has expressed delight at Germany's hate speech laws, advocated and advanced by Angela Merkel.

Mr. Khan comes out of a cultural mindset that does not understand the idea of the marketplace of ideas, inde…

A December special operations fight in Niger left 11 ISIS fighters dead

Washington Examiner:
U.S. Green Berets and Nigerien forces in Niger were involved in a battle with those believed to be Islamic State militants in December — an episode the U.S. military acknowledged for the first time this week, according to a new report.

According to Samantha Reho, a spokesperson for U.S. Africa Command, Nigerien and American troops “came under fire from a formation of violent extremists," starting a fight which ended in the deaths of 11 ISIS militants. U.S. and Nigerien troops were not harmed in the fight.

The December attack came just two months after the deadly ambush of the joint patrol of U.S. and Nigerien forces in Niger in October, which took the lives of four American soldiers.

The battle was mentioned in an unclassified report obtained by the New York Times and delivered to Congress this week by the Trump administration, which claimed that U.S. and Nigerien forces had responded “in self-defense” after coming under fire.

“The purpose of the mission was …

The left does want to take away your guns

Brandon Morse:
Every time the issue of gun control comes up and America goes to war with itself over the preservation of the Second Amendment, I get a slew of leftists and uneducated statists popping up in my mentions and comments sections telling me that no one is trying to take our guns.

But they absolutely are. In their braver moments, when they think all the momentum is with them, they straight up admit it.
Right now there’s a bunch of people marching in D.C. with all sorts of signs calling for the banning of certain guns, or a restriction of our rights. Flip on the news. They’re covering it like it’s our first alien contact.

But one thing they don’t shy away from is the fact that they want to ban what they call “assault weapons of war.” For the left, “assault weapon” really means “lack of wooden finish, and looks like something I saw in a war movie.” They too often believe that these guns are fully automatic, and spray a thousand million bullets in a matter of seconds out of …

US to expand special ops training center in Estonia near the Russian border

Stars & Stripes:
The Pentagon intends to spend more than $15 million to improve working conditions for special operations forces on missions in the Baltics, where elite U.S. troops have been a quiet but steady presence in recent years.

The Pentagon’s 2019 budget calls for establishing new operations and training facilities in Estonia, one of NATO’s smallest and most exposed member states that shares a border with Russia.

“The facilities essentially provide administrative and logistics space to enable our SOF to continue conducting bilateral training with our allies,” said Maj. Michael Weisman, Special Operations Command Europe spokesman.

Since 2014, SOCEUR has had forces working with allies in the Baltics to help bolster local militaries. With no end in sight to a broader U.S. military campaign to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank, officials said there was a need for upgrades for the special operators. The facilities, which serve as a small base of operations in Baltics, are on an un…

Saudis propose carbon capture from heavy truck to be reused to increase production of oil

Fuel Fix:
Saudi Aramco, the world's biggest oil producer, wants to develop technologies that can collect carbon emissions from heavy-duty trucks, store that CO2 at refueling stations – and use it to harvest more oil.

Saudi officials hope the so-called mobile carbon capture systems will trap around half of the carbon dioxide pouring out of 16-ton Class 8 trucks, which will also use more efficient compression ignition gasoline engines instead of higher-emitting diesel engines.
... This is an interesting project that looks more realistic than electric trucks especially in third world countries where electricity is scarce.

US pullout from Iran deal could have positive effects on oil market

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
For those in the oil market, it may seem like there's no end to U.S. events determining the course of prices these days. Donald Trump's sudden firing of Rex Tillerson is unlikely to prove an exception.

The president's decision to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State to replace the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive may have big ramifications for the crude market, according to Fereidun Fesharaki, chairman of energy consultant FGE. That's because Trump's pick for America's top foreign diplomat is an Iran hawk whose appointment raises the prospect of unilateral U.S. sanctions that target the OPEC member's oil sales.

Oil investors are increasingly being whipsawed by events in the U.S., be it surging American output or Trump's planned tariffs on steel imports that raised the potential for crude pipelines to turn costlier. Booming shale supplies are currently threatening to undo a rally in prices in spite of effort…

Alleged source of Steele dossier asks for immunity and tells reporters Steele's allegations are untrue

Daily Caller:
An alleged source for the Steele dossier refused to testify without immunity before the House committee conducting the Russia probe, according to a government document released Tuesday.

The immunity request, which was made by Sergei Millian, the chairman of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, was denied by the committee. Democrats on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence called Tuesday for a subpoena to be issued to force Millian to testify.

Democrats said that Millian, who is identified as “Source D” in the Steele dossier, “declined to cooperate with the investigation unless he was granted immunity,” in a report released on Tuesday.
Millian, whose real name is Siarhei Kukuts, was identified early in 2017 as a source for the most salacious claims in the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee....
“Had Millian …

Kudlow gets White House Economic Adviser gig

Washington Post:
Trump taps Kudlow as top White House economic adviser

Larry Kudlow, a conservative economic media analyst and Trump campaign adviser, championed the president's plan to cut taxes. But Kudlow recently criticized Trump's moves to add tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He’ll replace Gary Cohn, who recently resigned. I like Kudlow.  I think he will give good advice to grow the economy.  He probably had a lot of input into Trump's original cut plan. 

Like Kudlow, I have reservations about the tariff plans, but it is looking like they are part of a negotiating strategy to get concessions on trade.  It is a way to attack trading partners like the EU which are using unfair trade practices to block US goods.  It will also probably be used to get US concessions on NAFTA.

FBI's McCabe and the media leaks attacking Trump

NY Times:
Ex-Deputy at F.B.I., a Trump Target, May Be Fired
Andrew McCabe faces accusations that he was not forthcoming about F.B.I. media contacts. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reviewing a recommendation that he be fired just days before his retirement. The allegations are that McCabe leaked misleading material to the NY Times suggesting surveillance of the Trump campaign and then told the White House staff it was BS.  What he told the staff may have been closer to the truth than what he told the NY Times.

It looks like this was part of an FBI plot against the President as demonstrated by the FISA warrant relying on an unverified opposition research effort.  In hindsight, it looks pretty tawdry to all but the true believers of a Russian-Trump collusion story.  There has been no evidence to support such a theory despite the efforts of the FBI and the mainstream media as well as Democrats in Congress.

Pennsylvania 'win' for "Democrats proves they can't win on Democrat issues

David Marcus:
After PA-18 Squeaker Democrats Face A Choice

Having apparently eked out a win with a pro-life, pro gun conservative candidate, will the Democratic Party now shift to the middle? The Democrats stand no chance with their hard left agenda.  The leftist media that is trying to sell this election as a rejection of Trump should be noting that it is a rejection of the hard left values of the Democrats.

The intolerant campus left is taking a toll on attitudes about college

Washington Times:
86% of university presidents cite negative effects of ‘liberal political bias on campus’: Poll

One-third acknowledge their schools are ‘intolerant’ of conservative views Many of these institutions have become a hostile environment for conservatives to the point of violent repression of free speech rights.

Sen. Cruz highlights the failures of law enforcement in the Florida school shooter case

The FBI spokesman tended to agree with Cruz's assessment.  This witness wasn't the one to prove up the other failure caused by the Obama-Holder Promise program which kept the shooter off the list of people that should be blocked by background lists.

Fusion GPS tied to Silicon Valley billionaires and Soros?

Daily Caller:
An American lawyer who served as a back channel between dossier author Christopher Steele and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner is opening up about explosive testimony he gave to a Senate committee late last year.

Adam Waldman said that during an appearance before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) on Nov. 3, he relayed information about possible links between billionaire activist George Soros and Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier.

Waldman said he received the information in a March 16 meeting he had with Daniel J. Jones, a consultant and former staffer to California Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Waldman told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Jones asserted that he was working with Fusion GPS and that the research firm was being funded by a “group of Silicon Valley billionaires and George Soros.” Jones also described Fusion as a “shadow media organization helping the government.”

“He was there as Fusion GPS. He brought up Fusio…

Trump attacks California's goofy immigration policy

NY Times:
In California, Trump Attacks Governor and ‘Sanctuary Policies’
In his first visit as president to California, President Trump attacked the Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, and called on Congress to punish jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Trump was actually returning fire on Brown who had criticized the enforcement of immigration law, and defended the states unconstitutional treats to those who cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officials.   California has become a scofflaw jurisdiction on immigration enforcement.

The US is considering filing obstruction of justice charges against some state official.  There is a case to be made on that issue for all "sanctuary" jurisdictions.

Democrats thrilled about 'landslide' Lamb in too close to call Pennsylvania race

NY Times:
No Result in House Race, but Democrat Declares Victory
A special House election in western Pennsylvania ended the night in a virtual dead heat, with Conor Lamb, a Democrat, and Rick Saccone, a Republican, separated by a few hundred votes. If Lamb holds on a eeks out a victory it will mean that running away from liberalism is a survival tactic for Democrats in close races.  It certainly will not mean an upswell of opposition to Trump's policies.   It means that Democrat hostility to the NRA is not a winning issue.

Democrats have a low opinion of the intelligence of married white women

Kimberlee Kaye, Legal Insurrection:
Following her electoral 2016 electoral loss, Hillary embarked on her Great Delusion Tour. Traipsing about the country, Hillary had reason aplenty why she lost. Conveniently, Hillary’s electoral loss was the fault of everyone but her.

One of her many campaign foes? White fathers, boyfriends, and husbands. The white patriarchy, you see, has an unseen, powerful influence on white women and was magically able to dissuade them from voting for “the girl”, Hillary claimed.

Last September, The Guardian used a study from Oregon State to prove that white women are pawns of the patriarchy.

Last week, Clinton, who has had a lifetime to contemplate the women’s vote, copped to having a theory. “[Women] will be under tremendous pressure – and I’m talking principally about white women. They will be under tremendous pressure from fathers and husbands and boyfriends and male employers not to vote for ‘the girl’,” she said in an interview as part of a tour promoting h…

Military in a competitive environment in recruiting talent

Washington Free Beacon:
The U.S. military is competing across the services and with the private sector to employee service members amid a contracting field of qualified recruits, the Navy secretary said on Monday.

"Depending on what article you read, the number of potential applicants that would successfully qualify for our services range somewhere from 25 to 30 percent," Sec. Richard Spencer said in remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

"Going forward, we're all going to have a real war for talent. The three of us up here fish from the same pool and we're all going to be looking for more people to do more things in a more intelligent manner."

Spencer spoke alongside Army Secretary Mark Esper and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson on the challenges facing the military and key priorities in President Donald Trump's 2019 defense budget proposal. The three service secretaries agreed that the Pentagon's top priorit…

Texas Democrats have a problem in 2018 election

Silvio Cantu, Jr.:
Officially, it's Senator Cruz vs. Representative O'Rourke. In reality, it's a liberal vs. a conservative. In some circles, it's Rafael vs. Beto!

Senator Cruz took the first shot the day after the primary. It started with a humorous radio ad focusing on the Democrat's name....
Beto will have another problem. It's likely that the Democrats will nominate Miss Lupe Valdez, a very liberal Democrat from Dallas who is closely associated with sanctuary cities. In other words, the governor's race will feature the man who signed SB-4, the Texas law against sanctuary cities, versus a woman who openly opposed it.

Put your money on Governor Abbott and Senator Cruz. They will easily get 60% of the vote later this year.
... The Fifth Circuit has just cleared the path to implementation of the law against sanctuary cities.  The Democrats will continue their losing streak in statewide offices in Texas.

Obamacare hanging by a thread as fig leaf of tax wilts

Washington Examiner:
Obamacare's future is once again in jeopardy, thanks to one of the law's most stubborn opponents — the U.S. Constitution. Twenty states are suing the federal government in Texas on the grounds that, since Congress zeroed-out the penalty for the individual mandate, the law is no longer constitutional.

They're right.

The U.S. Supreme Court deemed the individual mandate constitutional back in June 2012 by interpreting the provision as a tax — something Congress clearly has the power to impose. But the tax reform law enacted in December 2017 reduced the penalty for not having coverage to zero dollars, starting in 2019. So, as a matter of fact, there's no longer a tax for those going without insurance coverage.

This, the plaintiffs argue, means that the defense that allowed Obamacare to survive six years ago no longer applies. And that makes the mandate unconstitutional.

The lawsuit also claims that the individual mandate is not "severable" fr…

The college PC war against science gets more ridiculous

Washington Examiner:
College student kicked out of 'Christianity' class for saying there are only two genders Where in the New Testament does the text ever infer there are more than two genders?   The stance of the college is not supported by any biblical text or by science.  Chromosomes are not a matter of what someone thinks they are.

It would be interesting to see a legal challenge to this ruling.

Russia refuses to say what is behind WMD attacks in Britain

Caleb Howe:
Midnight came and went and Russia failed to provide the answers that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May demanded in the very serious imbroglio over the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy living in Britain under British protection.

President Trump, despite reports or expectations to the contrary, offered his full support and the support of the United States in Britain’s stand against Russian interference. On Wednesday, May will outline new measures against Russia following their complete disregard of that midnight deadline, and has an international coalition to back her up, – one that includes the United States.
The Express lists some of the options on the table:

Britain’s options are being weighed up by Government with a cyber counter-strike said to be among the possible measures being considered, along with economic, financial and diplomatic action.

A mass expulsion of Russian officials and diplomatic staff is widely expected among security experts and MPs.

Other options inc…

Grid operators ordered to allow batteries for energy storage

Fuel Fix:
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered electric grid operators around the country to adjust regulations to incorporate electric storage, like batteries, into their systems.

The FERC rule orders grid operators to establish a set of rules that would incorporate batteries into the wholesale electricity market.

The rule, released last month, echoes a decision made by Texas' Public Utility Commission in January to remove barriers to using battery storage on the electric grid and defining how batteries fit into the state's competitive electricity market.

RELATED: Will batteries energize the Texas power grid?

In January, the commission rejected a a 2-year-old proposal from one of the state's largest utilities, AEP Texas, to use two batteries to back up overloaded transmission systems in two small Texas towns - a plan opposed by a merchant power industry likely to a play key role in developing any rules governing the use of batteries.
... At the current cost for…

Court backs Texas sanctuary city policy

Washington Times:
States have the power to punish sanctuary cities within their borders and to force local police and sheriff’s departments to cooperate in turning illegal immigrants over to the federal government for deportation, an appeals court ruled Tuesday in upholding a Texas law.

The 3-0 decision by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals marks a major victory for President Trump, who has demanded sanctuary cities be punished for thwarting the federal government and protecting illegal immigrants.

The judges didn’t go that far, but they did say the federal government’s “detainer” requests, which ask local governments to hold illegal immigrants for pickup, are legal. Localities can refuse based on their own resources, the court ruled — but the detainer requests are legal, the judges said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the ruling.

“Law is in effect,” he said on Twitter.

Known as SB4, the law Mr. Abbott signed last year requires police to determine the legal status of tho…

Another mysterious Russian exile death in London

A Russian exile who was close friends with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in his London home, according to friends.

Nikolai Glushkov, 68, was discovered by his family and friends late on Monday night. The cause of death is not yet clear. One of his friends, the newspaper editor Damian Kudryavtsev, posted the news on his Facebook page.

Without confirming the man’s name, the Metropolitan police said the counter-terrorism command unit was leading the investigation into the death “as a precaution because of associations that the man is believed to have had”.

It said there was no evidence at present to suggest a link to the incident in Salisbury, where the Russian former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned and remain in a critical condition.

“An investigation is under way following the death of a man in his 60s in Kingston borough,” said the police, who were called by the London ambulance service at 10.46pm to reports of a …