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North Korea needs a deal and it looks like the meeting with Trump will be rescheduled

NY Times:
Kim Jong-un Held Meeting With South Korean Leader
The unexpected meeting with President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on the northern side of the Demilitarized Zone on Saturday was held amid doubts over a proposed summit meeting with President Trump.



Trump Says North Korea Summit May Be Rescheduled
In a reversal just a day after canceling his meeting with Kim Jong-un, President Trump said the two countries may meet on June 12 after all.
Kim’s Actions Suggest He May Need a Deal, Analysts Say Of course, he needs a deal.  His country is starving and he has had much of his revenue cutoff as a result of sanctions.  He screwed up in attacking Pence and failing to send people to meet with the US to set up the talks.  The others who screwed up were the partisans who showed glee as the prospect of the talks being called off.

Having found nothing of substance Mueller focuses on manufacturing obstruction of justice for non crimes

NY Times:
What Mueller Wants to Ask, and What It Means
The questions show the special counsel’s focus on obstruction of justice and touch on some surprising other areas. Mueller is looking more like a rogue prosecutor looking to manufacture a bad faith claim against the President.  It is the kind of case that only hyper-partisan Democrats would think was legitimate.  I think a majority of voters would reject such a politically charged case.

If Mueller was smart he would resign from this position and dismiss the process criminal case he manufactured to try to extort testimony against the President.

Hillary Clinton makes weird claim about the media

The Hill:
Former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Friday that Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting are “delivering propaganda” and pressed the need for “more outlets for reliable information.”

Clinton made the remarks while receiving the Radcliffe Medal for leadership and human rights Friday in Cambridge, Mass.

“It's not just Fox, it's now Sinclair. They are essentially delivering propaganda. ... We need more outlets for reliable information,” Clinton said in her acceptance speech.
... What a hoot.  The Democrats have all of the mainstream media on their side and she worries about a few dissenting voices.   The Democrats also have their friends in the social media business suppressing conservative content.  She should be ashamed of herself.

The Democrats MS-13 screw up

Hot Air:
Trump Wins? Poll Shows Majority Believe “Animals” A Fair Description Of MS-13 How well have the efforts by Democrats and themedia to scold Donald Trump over his use of the word “animals” succeeded when describing the murderous gang MS-13? About as well as one would expect outside of their bubble. A new poll from Harvard and Harris shows that a solid majority believe that “animals” is indeed a fair description for gangs that rape, kill, and butcher their victims, and aren’t all that concerned over “dehumanizing” them either:
A majority of Americans in a new poll believe it’s fair to characterize members of the MS-13 gang as “animals,” according to the survey taken after President Trump faced controversy for remarks during an immigration meeting.

Fifty-six percent of American adults in the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll said referring to members of the gang as “animals” is fair, compared to 44 percent who said the characterization was unfair.

A slimmer majority, 52 percent, added that…

US bumping up against the limits of its refining capacity for light crude from shale wells

Bloomberg:
U.S. refiners are maxing out on the shale they can process as production surges, contributing to a blowout between domestic and global oil prices, or the WTI-Brent spread. Exports can’t ramp up fast enough to keep storage levels from rising and domestic prices from further weakening. Aggressive midterm shale-output forecasts should be tempered.

The combination of torrid U.S. production, refiners’ shale-processing-capacity crunch, infrastructure bottlenecks and exponential yet limited export growth is depressing domestic prices and widening the WTI-Brent spread to levels not seen since 2015. The dynamics driving the spread blowout show no signs of abating and will create an environment supporting domestic refiners’ profitability while hurting E&Ps. U.S.-based refiners, which consume discounted domestic crude and sell globally priced petroleum products, include Delek, HollyFrontier, Andeavor (being acquired by Marathon Petroleum), Valero, PBF and Phillips 66. E&Ps suc…

Democrats supportive of law enforcement abuses

Kimberley Strassel:
Democrats and their media allies are again shouting “constitutional crisis,” this time claiming President Trump has waded too far into the Russia investigation. The howls are a diversion from the actual crisis: the Justice Department’s unprecedented contempt for duly elected representatives, and the lasting harm it is doing to law enforcement and to the department’s relationship with Congress.

The conceit of those claiming Mr. Trump has crossed some line in ordering the Justice Department to comply with oversight is that “investigators” are beyond question. We are meant to take them at their word that they did everything appropriately. Never mind that the revelations of warrants and spies and dirty dossiers and biased text messages already show otherwise.

We are told that Mr. Trump cannot be allowed to have any say over the Justice Department’s actions, since this might make him privy to sensitive details about an investigation into himself. We are also told that C…

Germany's pandering to Iran causes Saudis to stop doing business with German companies

Reuters:
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has ordered that no more government contracts be awarded to German companies, in a sign of continued irritation over Berlin’s foreign policy in the Middle East, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

Citing no sources, it said the move was likely to hit major companies such as Siemens (SIEGn.DE), Bayer (BAYGn.DE) and Boehringer Ingelheim as well as carmaker Daimler (DAIGn.DE).

Relations between Germany and Saudi Arabia have been strained, and Saudi Arabia last year summoned its ambassador in Germany home for consultations over comments by then-Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel about the political crisis in Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia is a significant trade partner for Germany, generating 2017 exports worth 6.6 billion euros ($7.7 billion), according to Germany’s statistics office.

Siemens last year won an order worth around $400 million to deliver five gas turbines for a combined heat and power plant being built in Saudi Arabia. Daimler…

Billionaire runs into headwinds in attempt to require inefficient alternative energy in Arizona

Phoenix New Times:
Tom Steyer is best known as a liberal mega-donor, Wall Street executive, and the man holding the megaphone in a controversial campaign to impeach President Trump.

But these days in Arizona, Steyer is famous — or infamous — for another reason.

He's behind a hotly contested ballot measure on renewable energy. And as a result, Steyer is now public enemy number one in an aggressive PR campaign to push back on an initiative to amend Arizona's constitution.

On one side: a mysterious new opposition group that says the clean energy ballot measure will hike electricity prices. On the other: clean energy advocates who contend that the state's largest utility company is fueling the opposition campaign with ratepayer money. Both sides are less than transparent.

The initiative campaign, Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, would enshrine mandatory renewable energy goals for utility companies in the state constitution, mandating that utilities achieve 50 percent of their …

Frack sand mine to serve Eagle Ford planned for area south of San Antonio

Fuel Fix:
There's been a race to build new sand mines in West Texas' Permian Basin to satisfy all of the hydraulic fracturing needs for oil wells. But now there are signs of growth in South Texas' long-stagnant Eagle Ford shale.

Fort Worth-based Black Mountain Sand said it plans to construct a new sand mine south of San Antonio near the Eagle Ford to serve the growing oil and gas production in the region as crude oil prices continue to rebound.

After building two mines in the Permian, Black Mountain said it is turning its attention to the Eagle Ford. The company acquired 2,300 acres in Atascosa County with the aim of completing a mine by the end of this year that would churn out 2.2 million metric tons of sand annually. The mine would employ about 75 people.

Ever-increasing large volumes of sand and water are required to frack the shale oil and gas wells to shatter the tough shale rock and release the petroleum.

"With the (Eagle Ford) region currently producing approx…

Who gave the order to spy on the Trump campaign?

James Robbins:
President Trump is ordering the Justice Department formally to examine whether the Obama administration used the FBI to attempt a political hit on his 2016 campaign. It’s about time.

On Sunday the president tweeted that he will instruct the DOJ to investigate whether the FBI/DOJ “infiltrated or surveilled the Trump campaign for political purposes.” The last three words are key, because we already know the Trump campaign was under FBI "surveillance." Only the motive and who gave the orders remains a mystery.

Remember the umbrage in March 2017 when the president said that he had been “wiretapped” before the election? Then-FBI Director James Comey testified he had had “no information” to support that idea, and he had “looked carefully inside the FBI." Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said there was no surveillance, and as DNI he would have known about a court order on "something like this." PolitiFact labeled the claim 100% fa…

OPEC, Russia to increase oil production to offset Venezuela and Iran cuts

Reuters:
Saudi Arabia and Russia are discussing raising OPEC and non-OPEC oil production by some 1 million barrels a day, sources said, while OPEC’s chief said a complaint from U.S. President Donald Trump over high prices had triggered the idea of upping output.

Riyadh and Moscow are prepared to ease output cuts to calm consumer worries about supply adequacy, their energy ministers said on Friday. Saudi Arabia’s Khalid al-Falih and Russia’s Alexander Novak both said any such move would be gradual.

Raising production would ease 17 months of strict supply curbs amid concerns that a price rally has gone too far, with oil LCOc1 having hit its highest since late 2014 at $80.50 a barrel this month.

OPEC began a discussion about easing production cuts following a critical tweet from Trump, OPEC’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said. Trump tweeted last month that OPEC had “artificially” boosted oil prices.

“We pride ourselves as friends of the United States,” Barkindo told a panel with t…

European control freaks try to rein in Silicon Valley

Washington Post:
Europe, not the U.S., is now the most powerful regulator of Silicon Valley

As Europe’s new privacy law takes affect, Facebook and other big companies scramble to comply, underscoring how the European Union has stepped in to lead where Washington has failed. It is not hard to see why Europe has become a wasteland of innovation and creativity.  They punish it.  US media companies are also restricting their content from being seen in Europe to avoid ridiculous restrictions on things like "cookies."  It is the kind of thing you would expect from an organization that has control freak policies on the size and shape of fruits and vegetables.  No wonder the Brits voted to get out from under this ridiculousness.

US drones working out of Greece covering North Africa threats

The Intercept:
AS PART OF its ongoing expansion of operations in and around Africa, the U.S. military has recently begun operating drones from a Greek airfield.

MQ-9 Reapers, the more advanced replacement for the venerable Predator drone, deployed last month to Larissa air base in eastern Greece near the Aegean Sea “on a temporary basis as they transition to a different location,” according to Auburn Davis, the chief of media operations for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, who noted that the remotely piloted aircraft, or RPA, are unarmed and engaged in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions known as ISR.

“This is the first time that ISR capabilities have been temporarily deployed to Greece,” Davis told The Intercept. Due to “operational security considerations,” the Air Force declined to release details about the missions for which they’ll be used beyond referencing “foreign policy security objectives in the region, specifically to address threats eman…

Independents rejecting Democrats in 2018

Washington Times:
Pollster Frank Luntz says the Republican Party’s tracking numbers for midterm elections are looking good, thanks to independent voters who recoil at the thought of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi becoming speaker.

The creator of “Instant Response” polling told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham Thursday evening that a bit of political finesse by the GOP over the next few months is poised to pay off in November. If Republicans can vote on a speaker prior to midterm elections, Mr. Luntz said, then swing voters are likely to side with them in the voting booth.

“Well, I’ve been tracking this on a weekly basis going back now for a year and a half and these are the best numbers that the GOP has had in the last year,” he said, Mediaite reported. “One of the reasons is that women, working women, women with children, have begun to leave the Democratic Party. It’s not that they are pro-Republican, but what they see among the Democrats is the same kind of negativity that turned them o…

Democrats try deflecting spying scandal by feigning anger at who was at meeting

NY Times:
Trump Proxies Drop by Briefings on Use of F.B.I. Informant
The presence of Emmet T. Flood, a lawyer representing the president in the Russia investigation, and John F. Kelly, the chief of staff, at the start of the classified meetings infuriated Democrats. It is just the kind of actions I have come to expect from Democrats.  Their party was responsible for using government resources to spy on a candidate from the other party and they pretend to be victims.  Their anger should be directed at Obama and his spying and not at those in the meeting.

Iran's truck drivers fed up with Mullahs wasting money on missiles and supporting proxies while infrastructure crumbles

Image
Hassan Mahmoudi:
Angry Iranian truck-drivers began a nationwide strike on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in more than 70 cities, protesting the mullah regime. They protested low wages; high taxes; lack of job security; mismanagement of their facilities; worsening living conditions; and deteriorating sources of revenue along with rising costs of maintenance, both the result of Iran's monetary mismanagement, which has driven down the value of Iran's currency, including their earnings. Truck-drivers, and especially fuel truck-drivers, refused to continue loading freight, and they parked their trucks in parking lots in cities and even on highways, chanting slogans against the authorities for mismanagement and for plundering their revenues. The strike by the fuel truckers led to fuel shortages in gas stations in the Fars province, triggering a rush to the fuel stations and long lines for fuel rationing. It's a significant strike because freight transportation has played an important …

Trump to cut foreign aid for countries exporting their population to the US illegally

Washington Examiner:
President Trump announced Wednesday that the U.S. will begin to deduct foreign aid from countries whose residents illegally enter the United States.

"Many of these countries we give tremendous amounts of aid to. Tens of millions of dollars. And we're working on a plan to deduct a lot of the aid," Trump said at an event in New York denouncing the Salvadoran gang MS-13.

"We're going to work out something where every time someone comes in from a certain country, we're going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them in aid, if we give them aid at all," Trump said. "We may just not give them aid at all."

Trump did not specify which countries would be targeted, but spoke after another panelist mentioned foreign countries refusing to accept deportees.

"They'll let you think they're trying to stop this. They are not trying to stop it," Trump said. "I think they encourage people... They …

Clapper's claims about Russian interference with election contradicts his earlier statments

Power Line:
In his new book, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, says “of course”Russian activity swung the election to Donald Trump. The left is treating this speculation, almost certainly driven by animus towards President Trump, as immensely important. For example, Rachel Maddow said, ahead of her interview with Clapper: “The immediate past director of national intelligence, who was director of national intelligence during the Russian attack on the election says he has ‘no doubt’ the Russian attack ‘swung the election to a Trump win.” (Emphasis added) But Clapper and Maddow are being disingenuous. How do I know? Because of this exchange between Clapper and Sen. Tom Cotton on January 6, 2017: Sen. Cotton: Director Clapper, you said to Senator McCain earlier “the intelligence community cannot gauge the impact” on the election [of Russian activity]. Is that because that kind of electoral analysis is not a task that’s within the traditional responsibility and skil…

Will Democrats defend this guy and the system that let him into the country?

Fox News:
MS-13 suspect who allegedly killed man, burned body entered US as 'unaccompanied alien child'

...
The suspected gang member was found with a 9 mm pistol, which the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday could have been the weapon used in the Texas murder.

Officials said the suspect killed the man, put his body in the trunk of the vehicle and poured gasoline on it before setting the vehicle on fire. He then apparently fled to South Carolina.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told Fox News that Platero-Rodriguez, through a loophole, was able to enter the country as an unaccompanied alien child (UAC) — an illegal immigrant under the age of 18 who's entered the country.
... The story indicates he had previously been deported and reentered the country illegally.  He sounds just like the kind of guy Nancy Pelosi would invite to dinner and introduce to her grandchildren?

Democrats' misplaced criticism of Trump's handling of Nork negotiations

Jeff Dunitz:
On Thursday President Trump “walked away” from the June 12th summit with North Korean despot Kim Jung Un. As they usually do whenever this president makes a decision the liberals went berserk. The same people who six-months-ago warned that President Trump was going to get us into a nuclear war with North Korea, then cautioned that President Trump was going to give too much to Kim Jung Un a week ago, are now saying by walking away Trump made the U.S. look weak. That’s because liberals do not know the first thing about negotiation tactics.

Isn’t there one liberal who has ever negotiated for a living? Is there one Trump-hating member of the mainstream media who remembers how we got a lousy deal with Iran? Every time Iran said jump, not only did Barack Obama and John Kerry jump, but they kissed Iranians’ posteriors on the way up and again on the way down.

For thirty years before entering the blogging business, my negotiation skills were honed in the advertising media world…

Texas Democrat nominee for governor owes past due property taxes

Houston Chronicle:
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lupe Valdez, who has campaigned to close loopholes in the state's broken property-tax system, owes more than $12,000 in overdue taxes on seven properties in two counties, official records showed Thursday.

In addition, Valdez provided incorrect details on her official financial-disclosure report : A Dallas property that she owns is not listed, and two companies listed on the filing have incorrect names on the form. Her campaign attributes those mistakes to typos.

Valdez's campaign officials acknowledged that she owes taxes on several properties, but said she is paying them in monthly installments because she cannot afford to pay the total amounts, which were due at the end of January.
...
Dallas tax officials said while they show no agreement on file, Valdez could be paying the taxes late along with penalties and interest — which records show are included in the amounts she owes.

Online property tax records show Valdez persona…

It is unlikely Europe can avoid US sanctions against Iran

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
The world’s top oil trader said it will be near impossible to avoid U.S. sanctions on Iran, suggesting Donald Trump’s attack on OPEC’s third-largest producer may have a bigger impact on the global crude market than many anticipate.

“For us it’s a real challenge,” Vitol Group Chairman Ian Taylor said on Friday at the St. Petersburg Economic forum, adding there are unanswered questions about Europe’s response, and whether the European Central Bank will “stand up” to Trump’s measures. "I personally think none of us will be able to get around it.”

President Donald Trump said May 8 he was withdrawing the U.S. from an international pact on Iran’s nuclear program and reimposing sanctions that will force other nations to cut purchases. So far, there’s been little clarity about how his actions will impact the oil market because there’s less international support than last time. In particular, it’s been unclear by how much European refineries will cut purchases, if at a…

Missile that took down Malaysian passenger plane of Ukraine was fired from Russia unit

Guardian:
A Russian military missile was responsible for shooting down flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, an international team of investigators said on Thursday, for the first time pointing the finger directly at Moscow.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014. All 298 people onboard were killed.

In 2016, investigators announced they had evidence that the BUK systeminvolved in the incident had crossed the border into eastern Ukraine from Russia and returned after the plane had been shot down.

At a press conference in The Hague on Thursday, the investigators showed photo and video evidence that they said proved they had identified the specific BUK missile system responsible.

They said they had “legal and convincing evidence which will stand up in a courtroom” that the BUK system involved came from the 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade based in Kursk, in western Ru…

China to increase US oil imports

Reuters:
Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, will boost U.S. crude oil imports to an all-time high as China tries to reduce its trade deficit with the United States, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

The company’s trading arm Unipec has bought 16 million barrels, or about 533,000 barrels per day (bpd), of U.S. crude to load in June, they said, the largest volume ever to be lifted in a month by the company.

“The government has encouraged us to lift more U.S. crude,” one of the sources said.
...
China has pledged to buy more U.S. goods to reduce the huge trade deficit with the United States and help ease the threat of a trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. Energy and commodities are high on Washington’s list of products for sale.
... Why did Obama never think of doing this with China?  I suspect because he was a CO2 phobe who was trying to reduce oil and gas production despite abundant alternative supplies to fill the market he was denying to US pr…

Anti-Trump leftists impervious to facts that demonstrate their Russian collusion fantasy was ill conceived

Shawn Mitchell:
The Unshakable Faith of the Anti-Trump Mob
It’s scary how unable most people are to reexamine their conclusions once they reach them, even when presented with important new information. Take the people who are sure Trump is dirty with Russia, and that government officials could not possibly have manufactured the story.

Consider all that has come out in recent months, all that we didn't know in the early, heady days of the Search for Red Collusion. Two main FBI players on the case, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page didn’t just favor Clinton, they hated Trump’s guts. Even then, Strzok said of Russia he didn’t think there was any “big there, there.

The main hit on Trump, a scandalous dossier featuring sketchy political allegations and kinky Moscow sexcapades was commissioned and funded by Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr fed the dossier to the FBI without telling anyone that his wife recently landed on the payroll of the dossier’s purveyor, Fusi…

Obama's strategic disaster in Libya still haunts a North Korean deal.

Image
Washington Post:

The more the U.S. said ‘Libya,’ the angrier North Korea got
Pyongyang lashed out at Vice President Pence after he said “this will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong Un doesn’t make a deal.” The Obama-Clinton strategic disaster in Libya created many problems and among them is persuading countries with nukes to give them up.  That was just one of the strategic blunders of the Libyan operation which created a failed state that became a playground for terrorists, a conduit for refugees going to Europe and a slave market run by Islamic terrorists.  There have been no real upsides to that blunder.

It is not clear why Libya became part of the conversation, but I suspect North Korea raised it as a negotiating point.  I can understand why they would after Obama's screw up.

Pentagon releases details of lopsided defeat of Russian mercenaries

NY Times:
U.S. Commandos vs. Russian Mercenaries: Inside a Deadly Battle
Interviews and newly obtained documents provide the Pentagon’s first public on-the-ground accounting of one of the bloodiest battles the military has faced in Syria since deploying to fight ISIS. The mercenaries were hoping to capitalize on a deal from Syria Assad for a piece of the action in the oil field they tried to capture in a zone protected by the US.  The US operation was mostly an air attack and some of the most damage was done by a gunship supporting special operations troops.

Trump demonstrates that he is not afraid to walk away from North Korea deal

NY Times:
Letter to Leader of North Korea Cites Its ‘Open Hostility’
President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their meeting, which was set for June 12.In a letter to Mr. Kim, Mr. Trump cited “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement.” The Nork delegation failed to show at a preliminary meeting and unlike previous administrations, Trump was unwilling to offer them something for doing what they had previously agreed to.  I find nothing wrong with Trump's response, although many of his critics on the left were quick to blame him for North Korea's bad faith.    It is something they do reflexively.  It is how they got the label of the "blame America first" group.

Trump was smart enough to wait until North Korea detonated explosives around its nuclear testing facility:
Trump Upends North Korea’s Big Moment
North Korea said it detonated its only known nuclear test site in a show of good faith. Th…

The NFL did not give in to Trump--They gave in to the fans who left them with empty seats at games

NY Times Editorial:
The N.F.L. Kneels to Trump
The league has given in to the president’s demagogy. If your employees are doing things that lead customers to avoid your business, intelligent people take action against the employees offending the customers.  If half the seats in a restaurant were empty because employees were offending the customers, the owner would deal with the employees and tell them to go work somewhere else.  The NFL is no different in that regard.

What makes the actions of the players at NFL games more egregious is that it all started with the "Hands up, Don't shoot" lie that came from the shooting of a suspect in a strong-arm robbery in Ferguson, Missouri.  Like many other fans, I find the actions of players showing disrespect for the country offensive.  It is a counterproductive move they would be wise to avoid.

Debate over guns falters after Texas high school shooting

Silvio Cantu:
Student shootings are horrible events, especially for those who remember dropping off children at schools that look very much like the one near Houston.

Nevertheless, it's good to see that we are not blaming guns or letting left-wing groups use high school students to carry their message.

The Los Angeles Times noticed the difference between South Florida and Houston in this report:
There was no outcry against firearms in Santa Fe after a gunman killed 10 and wounded 13 others Friday. Guns didn't come up at a prayerful vigil attended by 1,000 people that evening. On Saturday, there were no protests, and local leaders don't expect any Sunday.

But three months earlier in Parkland, Fla., the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead unleashed a movement, with students and parents of the dead organizing, protesting and calling for expanded gun control laws.

Their activism led to school walkouts nationwide, voter registration drives and …

Senate Democrat from Missouri trails two GOP challengers

Breitbart:
Missouri Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill trails not one but two Republican challengers in head-to-head matchups, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The poll by Gravis Marketing — commissioned by Republican candidate Austin Peterson — shows the incumbent trailing state Attorney General Josh Hawley and libertarian-leaning Petersen by more than the margin of error.
...
“In the first match-up, Hawley was picked by 50 percent of respondents and McCaskill was chosen by 43 percent. In the second, 56 percent of respondents chose Petersen, and 40 percent picked McCaskill. The margin of error for the survey was 3.4 percentage points,” reports USA Today.
... Democrats appear to be pinning their hopes on the legal problems of the GOP Missouri governor who is not a candidate in this race.  These numbers do not support that conclusion.

Former Navy SEAL wins GOP nomination to replace Ted Poe in Congress

Washington Free Beacon:
Retired Navy SEAL Dan Crenshaw notched a landslide victory Tuesday in the Texas Republican primary runoff for the seat of the retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R.), securing nearly 70 percent of the vote to his opponent's 30 percent.

Crenshaw's definitive win came less than two months after he finished a distant second behind state Rep. Kevin Roberts in the March 6 primary election, upending early predictions by party operatives that the ex-SEAL didn't have a shot.

"We spent our entire campaign trying to create this fire that spread throughout the district and I think we succeeded," Crenshaw told the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday.

"Political experts miss this all the time because they lose sight of the heart behind politics. They take a very cerebral approach to politics with polling, statistics, looking at the money raised and the power brokers in the race, that's all they care about, so they completely lose sight of what you can…

The collusion narrative has collapsed

Conrad Black:
The Collapse of the Collusion Narrative

...
The early righteousness of the anti-Trump lynch-mob was deflated when the Steele dossier was revealed as defamatory lies assembled and paid for by the Clinton campaign. The feeble effort at claiming a boozy conversation between a very junior member of the Trump campaign team and a former Australian politician (who had secured $25 million of Australian government money for the Clinton Foundation) as the source of the investigation has crumbled. The origins were earlier, and Christopher Steele and prominent members of the FBI and CIA shopped his inane and scatological dossier around the media to incite the misplaced belief that there were multiple disinterested sources for its contents.

It also seems to be clear that Comey, and former National Intelligence and Central Intelligence directors James Clapper and John Brennan, were involved in improper leaks of confidential information and in coordinating their activities to mislead th…

Democrats think it is OK to US intelligence resources to spy on their political opponents

Kurt Schlichter:
Think about this – a significant portion of our country, including a majority of its elite, thinks that it’s A-OK for a Democrat administration to spy on a Republican candidate. Think hard about that. And think about whether or not we can ever put the pieces of our shattered republic back together again if we can’t even agree that using government power against our political enemies is a bad thing.

But the terrifying truth is that liberals and their Never Trump enablers actually think this kind of tyranny is a good thing. You see, they think Normal Americans are so transcendently awful (and, even more importantly, that the elite’s power so precious) that all is fair in order to stifle their opponents’ collective voice.

Yeah, I know they have reasons and excuses and elaborate theories about why it was absolutely necessary for a Democrat administration to spy on its designated replacement’s Republican opponent. And it was also totally cool for the IRS to suppress uppity…

Norks blow up nuclear test tunnels?

BBC:
North Korea appears to have blown up tunnels at its only nuclear test site, in a move to reduce regional tensions.

Foreign journalists at the Punggye-ri nuclear testing site in the north-east said they witnessed a huge explosion.

Pyongyang offered to scrap the site earlier this year as part of a diplomatic rapprochement with South Korea and the US.

But scientists believe it partially collapsed after the last test in September 2017, rendering it unusable.

Independent inspectors were not allowed to witness the process of the dismantling of the Punggye-ri site in the mountainous region of the country, and some worry it could be easily reversible, the BBC's Laura Bicker reports.
...

Three tunnels were collapsed in a series of explosions in front of about 20 handpicked international journalists.

Two blasts were reportedly carried out in the morning, and four in the afternoon.

Sky News' Tom Cheshire was among the journalists present. He said the doors to the tunnels were "theatric…

Iran ICBM development disclosed

Ed Morrissey:
Surprise! The Iranians may have been cooking up long-range ballistic missiles all during the time that both Tehran and the Obama administration downplayed those possibilities. As far back as 2011 or earlier, Iran has operated a secret missile-development site near Shahrud, the New York Times reported. For those keeping score, that would be four years before the US agreed to a deal that did nothing to restrain such activities:
When an explosion nearly razed Iran’s long-range missile research facility in 2011 — and killed the military scientist who ran it — many Western intelligence analysts viewed it as devastating to Tehran’s technological ambitions.

Since then, there has been little indication of Iranian work on a missile that could reach significantly beyond the Middle East, and Iranian leaders have said they do not intend to build one. That might explain why the Obama administration didn’t link missile development to the “bar” on Iran’s nuclear-weapons programs. That’…

Offshore oil activity ticks up with increased prices and reduced regulations

Fuel Fix:
The top U.S. offshore safety official said Wednesday that a recent rise in drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico was in part the result of a "renewal of optimism" following the Trump administration's push to roll back regulation.

"This administration is very clear on offshore [oil and gas] being a prominent part of America's energy portfolio, and that impacts companies' desire to invest," Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, said in an interview. "At the same energy prices have helped their spirits."

There were 46 drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico as of May 14, a level last seen in May 2016, according to BSEE. And over the first four months of this year, 35 deepwater drilling permits were issued, almost double the tally from a year ago.

That is in large part driven to a rise in oil prices, with West Texas Intermediate now trading at more than $70 a barrel, its highest level sinc…

LNG export facility at Port of Corpus Christi adds a third unit

Fuel Fix:
Houston's Cheniere Energy has decided to build a third unit to process liquefied natural gas at its export facility under construction in Corpus Christi.

Limited construction began last year, and Cheniere will give its builder, Bechtel, notice to proceed with the project. It's the first commitment to build new U.S. liquefaction capacity since 2015, Cheniere said.

RELATED: Cheniere Energy strikes LNG export deals with China

The Corpus Christi facility will support as many as five processing units. Construction on the first two began in 2015.

Earlier this year, Cheniere struck two long-term deals to sell LNG to PetroChina International Co., a subsidiary of China's state-controlled oil and gas giant. Those sale contracts, which extend through 2043, supported Cheniere's decision to construct the third processing unit in Corpus Christi.
... The expansion reflects a robust market for LNG shipments.  It is also telling that Democrats for years opposed LNG exports.  I th…

Grassley calls out FBI on redacts of text message after the line "The White House is running this"

Fox News:
A top Senate Republican is challenging the Justice Department over extensive redactions made in files showing text messages between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, drew particular attention to one text that suggested the Obama “White House is running this,” in reference to an unspecified investigation.

But, like in so many of the files, a name was redacted and the context was unclear, though one report suggests that was related to the Russia probe.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Grassley called for all redactions to be removed.

“The manner in which some redactions have been used casts doubt on whether the remaining redactions are necessary and defensible,” Grassley wrote.

He sent the letter following two sessions for committee staff to view less-redacted versions of the texts between Strzok and now-former FBI official Page. Both officials previously wo…

Inside the Obama deep state counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign

Sharyl Attkisson:
It may be true that President Trump illegally conspired with Russia and was so good at covering it up he’s managed to outwit our best intel and media minds who've searched for irrefutable evidence for two years. (We still await special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.)

But there’s a growing appearance of alleged wrongdoing equally as insidious, if not more so, because it implies widespread misuse of America’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons.

Code name

The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Wiretap fever

Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign…

US looked at hacking North Korean missiles on the launch pad

Daily Beast:
The Pentagon has embraced a controversial policy of destroying enemy nuclear missiles before they launch, an internal policy document from May 2017 shows. It’s an effort that appears to include executing cyberattacks against missile control systems or components.

The Pentagon document does not name adversaries. But experts who reviewed it for The Daily Beast considered it aimed at North Korea—and may represent a fallback option for the Trump administration should its June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un fail to result in the denuclearization President Trump desires.

Former State Department nonproliferation official Alexandra Bell called the Pentagon plan an “exercise to legally justify a potential attack on a North Korean missile on the launchpad.”

Kingston Reif of the Arms Control Association added, “Like the overall U.S. missile defense effort, the intended role and purpose is North Korea, and possibly Iran, too.”

For about four years, senior U.S. military officers have fear…

Democrat misconduct in 2016 slowly being revealed

Adiana Cohen:
A Democratic Watergate is unfolding before our eyes.

It’s no wonder Obama’s former CIA chief John Brennan is tweeting like a madman, attacking President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Brennan’s running scared because it’s starting to look like he may have been a co-conspirator in the biggest political scandal since, well, Watergate.

Yesterday, Trump met with FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to inquire if Brennan’s CIA and the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign, as reported by The New York Times and other media last week.

If it’s confirmed that the Obama administration used U.S. intelligence agencies and the Justice Department to go after political opponents — to keep Democrats in power through a presidential election cycle — Attorney General Jeff Sessions should immediately un-recuse himself from the Russia “collusion” witch hunt, shut…

Creating jobs for blacks is the left's new racism

NY Times Op-ed:
The Racism of Trump-Era ‘Welfare Reform’ By BRYCE COVERT These reforms, like many before them, are really about punishing black people. I think Democrats are conjuring up phantom racism because they are fearful that blacks who are escaping government dependency will no longer be automatically Democrat voters despite the decades of failure the Democrats have imposed on the black community.  If you think blacks in Detroit, Baltimore, and other areas of urban blight are better off voting for Democrats, you are not paying attention.  Polls are already suggesting that the lowest black unemployment on record is starting to see movement toward Trump.

O don't think Trump is a racist and it is clear that blacks are benefiting from the economic growth produced by his policies.  That is really why Democrats are trying to sell a racist myth.