Posts

Showing posts from 2017

Hillary Clinton accused of extortion in uranium deal

Newsweek:
The senior editor-at-large of Breitbart News claims that Hillary Clinton extorted nuclear officials involved in a uranium deal and that the investigation will get “very exciting” with an FBI informant’s upcoming testimony.

Peter Schweizer, who wrote the 2015 book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” claimed on Fox News that a foreign government official said he and fellow employees were extorted by Hillary Clinton.

“This comes from the Kazakh head of their atomic agency saying that Senator Clinton refused to meet with Kazakh officials unless and until they granted uranium concessions to Frank Giustra, who ended up giving more than $100 million to the Clinton Foundation,” Schweizer said on Thursday.

Republican critics of Clinton have tried to tie the Uranium One deal, in which the U.S. ceded 20 percent of its uranium assets to Russia, to $145 million in donations that stakeholders in the Russian …

Documents show Fusion GPS paid three journalist

Washington Examiner:
Newly filed court documents confirm that Fusion GPS, the company mostly responsible for the controversial “Trump dossier” on presidential candidate Donald Trump, made payments to three journalists between June 2016 until February 2017.

The revelation could be a breakthrough for House Republicans, who are exploring whether Fusion GPS used the dossier, which was later criticized for having inaccurate information on Trump, to feed anti-Trump stories to the press during and after the presidential campaign. The three journalists who were paid by Fusion GPS are known to have reported on "Russia issues relevant to [the committee's] investigation," the House Intelligence Committee said in a court filing.

But the recipients' names, the amounts, and purposes of those payments were either redacted from the documents that Fusion GPS filed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or were not disclosed.

Fusion has asked the court to issue a rest…

Won't broadband companies compete to offer the most access at the fastest speed?

NY Times:
Sweeping Plan Would Overturn Equal Access to the Internet
The Federal Communications Commission plans to scrap net neutrality rules requiring broadband providers to give consumers equal access to all content on the internet.A rollback of the regulations would represent a significant victory for broadband and telecom companies like AT&T and Comcast and would amount to a strike against consumers. I think competition by providers will take care of the concerns of those who have been pushing net neutrality.  There is already competition by cable companies that claim superior service to telephone company DSL offerings.  Any company that tries to restrict access will automatically be targeted by competitors who will offer more for less.

Bribing an opponent to drop out of election?

AP/Washington Times:
FBI probes Democratic lawmaker over payments to get challenger to quit campaign

...
The primary opponent and a former aide already have pleaded guilty to concealing the payment. Two political consultants also have been charged in the case.

The warrant, which was executed earlier this month, states that Brady and his primary challenger agreed that the payment “would be disguised” and that the deception would include hiding some of the money under the purchasing of a political poll.
... I get the feeling that $90,000 payment is less than the congressman would have had to spend in a legitimate contest.

Venezuela state owned oil company accused of engaging in corruption

AP/Fuel Fix:
Venezuelan authorities detained the acting president of Citgo, the state-owned oil company's U.S. subsidiary, and five other executives for their alleged involvement in a corruption scheme, officials said Tuesday.

Chief prosecutor Tarek William Saab said Jose Pereira and five Citgo vice presidents have been detained on suspicion of embezzlement stemming from a $4 billion agreement to refinance company bonds.

According to Saab, the deal provided "unconscionable and unfavorable" terms for state oil giant PDVSA and offered Citgo itself as a guarantee on repayment without prior government approval. Mediators of the contract were purportedly eligible for a 1.5 percent payoff of the total.

Saab described the Citgo executives as facilitators for U.S. international pressure on Venezuela's oil sector, "putting at risk Citgo's assets while obtaining personal benefits."

A Citgo spokesman said they are looking into the investigation to better understand t…

US abandons another failed Obama war strategy and attacks Taliban Drug dens

Washington Examiner:
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan says he is using new authority given him by President Trump to launch a bombing campaign against Taliban drug production facilities to cut off the revenue streams that have been funding the insurgency against Afghan government forces.

"In striking northern Helmand and the drug enterprises there, we're hitting the Taliban where it hurts, which is their finances,” said Gen. John “Mick” Nicholson, commander of the NATO-led Operation Resolute Support. “This is the first significant use of the new authorities.”

Until Trump unshackled U.S. commanders, airpower could be used only to protect U.S., NATO and Afghan forces, and not for offensive strikes.

“These new authorities allow me to go after the enemy in ways I couldn’t before,” said Nicholson, who says it took months to track Taliban revenue streams and develop targets that would not result in civilian casualties.

The U.S. estimates the Taliban have 400 to 500 drug labs i…

US reversing Obama's misguided missile defense strategy in Poland

DOD Buzz:
US Plans $10B Sale of Missile Defense System to Poland This does not look like the actions of a US administration in the pockets of the Russians.  Missile defense is the one area where Putin is most worried.

US airstrike kills over 100 Islamic terrorist in Somalia

Washington Times:
A single American military airstrike killed an estimated 100 or more fighters allied with the Somali-based terror group al-Shabab, the Pentagon revealed Tuesday, adding to an an escalating body count as the Trump administration ramps up the counterterrorism campaign in the East African nation.

U.S. forces working with the Somalian government on Tuesday confirmed an American sortie against a suspected al-Shabab camp ended with more than 100 fighters dead. The strike, which took place 125 miles west of the Somali capital of Mogadishu, was the largest casualty count racked up by U.S. warplanes operating in Somalia this month.

“U.S. forces will continue to use all authorized and appropriate measures to protect Americans and to disable terrorist threats,” via partner nation forces including those with the African Union and Somali federal forces, according to a statement issued by U.S. Africa Command, shortly after Tuesday’s strike.

Tuesday’s strike against the al-Shabab comp…

ISIS, al Qaeda have significant losses in many areas, but still a problem in Yemen

Bill Gertz:
Most of the 16 regional branches or affiliates of the Islamic State and al Qaeda terrorist groups have been suppressed, contained, or placed under pressure from global counterterrorism efforts, according to the U.S. Special Operations Command.

"There's been a lot of losses," said a command official, who along with several others recently briefed reporters on the global footprint of the two Salafist-jihadist groups.

As of October, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria had begun transitioning from a pseudo-state entity to an Islamist insurgency, according to the briefing.

Disclosure of the fate of the two terror groups that have been a major focus of U.S. military and intelligence operations for 16 years comes as Iraqi forces last week captured the border town of Rawa—the last town under IS control in Iraq.

The takeover of Rawa is being hailed by some counterterrorism experts as an important step in disbanding the so-called ISIS caliphate declared in 2014.

Socom …

Democrats continue their forum shopping in attempt to thwart immigration laws

Washington Post:
Federal judge blocks Trump’s executive order on denying funding to ‘sanctuary cities’

District Judge William H. Orrick in San Francisco issued an injunction to permanently block President Trump’s executive order to deny funding to cities that refused to cooperate with federal immigration officials, after finding the order unconstitutional. Let's see.  The same federal judges who seek to protect immigration scofflaws had no problem with Obama's goofy executive order to allow boys in the girls' restrooms in schools across the country.  Democrats usually select courts in the Ninth Circut for these unlawful rulings in the hope the equally goofy Ninth Circuit will approve of the unconstitutional restrictions on executive power and force the DOJ to go to the Supreme court. 

It is an outrageous decision that never should have been issued.  Sanctuary cities are a rebellion against not just Trump's excutrive power, but also against the laws of the land as approv…

Getting available intel on the North Korean hermit kingdom

Image
Washington Post:
With satellite photos and other technology, these researchers are figuring out North Korea’s nuclear secrets

Armed with 3-D models, reports about Kim Jong Un’s public activities and other records, open-source analysts are able to do the kind of work previously the preserve of intelligence agencies and, in the process, learn more about one of the most impenetrable countries in the world. The intelligence agencies are probably doing the same thing.  They routinely study the media of target countries and clip interesting tidbits to see how they fit the puzzle that goes on in a despotic dictatorship.

Cutting the Taliban finances

NY Times:

U.S. Airstrikes in Afghanistan Take Aim at Taliban Opium Labs

The airstrikes are part of what is expected to be a sustained campaign targeting a lucrative source of funding for the Taliban. Why has it taken over sixteen years to start attacking the Taliban's main source of revenue?  I suspect there was some element of political correctness.  It is another example of how the US has pulled its punches in dealing with the enemy in Afghanistan.

Sex becomes a thorny issue for Charlie Rose

NY Times:
Charlie Rose Made Sexual Advances, Multiple Women Say
Allegations by women who worked with Mr. Rose over a dozen years led CBS to suspend him from its morning program and PBS to stop distributing his interview show. Most men I know bath at home, get dressed and go to work and do not take their clothes off until they return home unless they go to a gym to work out.  It is hard to imagine what Rose was thinking and why he found the situation at all erotic.  Clearly, the women who saw him did not think it erotic.

The convoluted reason the bird you eat for Thanksgiving is called 'Turkey'

Now I Know:
This week, many American families will gather around the lunch or (and?) dinner table, feasting on a Thanksgiving meal centered on turkey. It’s a celebration of many things, but historically, stems back to 1621, when European settlers (“Pilgrims,” as any American elementary school children will surely tell you) marked the harvest by having a similar meal.
Turkeys are indigenous to the United States and Mexico; in fact, Europeans only first came into contact with turkeys roughly 500 years ago, upon discovery of the New World. So how did turkeys (the bird) end up being named so similarly to Turkey (the country)? Let’s follow that bird’s history from the New World to the Old.

As far as we can tell, the first European explorers to discover (and eat) turkey were those in Hernan Cortez’s expedition in Mexico in 1519. This new delicacy was brought back to Europe by Spanish Conquistadors and by 1524, had reached England. The bird was domesticated in England within a decade, …

Evidence that high taxes hurt the economy and make states noncompetitive

Washington Free Beacon:
States with lower taxes on businesses and personal income have higher economic growth, according to an economist at the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Jonathan Williams, an economist at the council, spoke at an event on the Hill Monday and used two states, Kansas and North Carolina, to illustrate how raising and cutting taxes can affect the local state economy in either a positive or negative way.

Williams explained that while many try to suggest Kansas's economic difficulty has been due to tax cuts they have implemented in the past, the data suggest otherwise.

"Based on our ranking of rich states, poor states of economic competitiveness, Kansas started out about 10 years ago at 29th in America," Williams explained. "After tax reform, about 2013, it bolted up to number 11."

Additionally, data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis find that from 2012 to 2015 Kansas had annualized job growth of 1.3 percent per 10,000 residents.

"Kan…

Hillary Clinton admits it is harder for Democrats in a competitive media environment

Brandon Morse:
Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a lot of faith in the Clinton regime’s chances of survival in the presence of oppositional media sources.

According to the Daily Caller, Clinton “42” and Clinton “never was” sat down for a Clinton Foundation event to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Bill’s election to office in 1992.

During the discussion, Hillary struck at right leaning media outlets, saying that Bill was only elected and survived his first term because outlets like Fox News were not around yet:
“Unfortunately our body politic’s immune system has been impaired because there has been a concerted effort starting with the creation of the Fox network — it wasn’t there when Bill first ran, it was one of the reasons he probably survived, it was there when he ran the second time — it and all of its associated media outlets who are by no means delivering news. They are delivering partisan advocacy positions irrespective of the truth, the facts, the evidence,” Clinton said. Hillary…

Anti-energy left will try to drive up cost of Keystone XL with frivolous litigation

Fuel Fix:
When is a win not a win?

When it promises to open up fertile new areas of potential litigation. That's the view of Keystone XL's opponents after Nebraska regulators approved the project's construction there, but mandated that it follow an alternative route to TransCanada Corp.'s preferred path.

Because the new route wasn't vetted at the same level as the original, foes believe it will let them challenge the project in ways they couldn't before, further delaying construction that's been on the drawing boards since 2008.

RELATED: Nebraska commission approves Keystone XL

It is "an incredible victory," said Brian Jorde, an attorney for landowners who have opposed the project for seven years, in a telephone interview. The regulators approved a route the company said was inferior, according to Jorde. "They won nothing," he said.


The Nebraska Public Service Commission approved TransCanada's project on a three-to-two vote, removing one …

New evidence in the Russian Uranium One scandal shows Russia was trying to dominate the world uranium market

The Hill:
Evidence gathered by an FBI undercover informant conflicts with several media reports as well as statements by Justice officials concerning the connections between a Russian nuclear bribery case and the Obama administration's approval of the sale of uranium One to Russia's state-owned Rosatom nuclear company.

Here are five revelations from those documents reviewed by The Hill:

Russia saw its purchase of Uranium One as part of a strategy to dominate global uranium markets, including making the United States more dependent on Moscow's nuclear fuel.

Documents the informant gave the FBI clearly show that the purchase of Uranium One was seen by Russia and its American consultants as one tool in a strategy to "control" the uranium market worldwide. In the United States, that strategy focused on securing billions of new uranium contracts to create a new reliance on Russian nuclear fuel just as the Cold War-era Megatons to Megawatts program was ending.

Uranium One …

With Hillary at State Department it approved 215 Bill Clinton speeches and consulting deals worth $48 million

Judicial Watch:
A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President Clinton gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton‘s tenure as secretary of state.

According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch and released Wednesday in an ongoing Freedom of Information Act case, State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one.

Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S.

The documents also show that in June 2011, the State Department approved a consulting agreement between Bill Clinton and a controversial Clinton Foundation adviser, Doug Band.

The consultancy with Band’s Teneo Strategy ended eight mont…

A grudging recognition by the media that the economy has picked up since Trump's election

LA Times:
Strong economy boosts Trump among otherwise skeptical voters He still is getting negative style points, but it is hard to ignore that the economy is much stronger.  The unemployment rate is at its lowest point in 40 years.  The stock market is a leading indicator that investors believe there will be future growth in the economy.

I also give Trump credit for unleashing the military so that they can defeat ISIS and other terrorist organizations.  It is another aspect of his success that the media has been slow to credit him for.

Electronic lasers seen as defensive weapons for fighter jets

Stars & Stripes:
Air Force aims for laser weapons on a fighter jet by 2021 The lasers would be used to attack incoming weapons and also drones.  It sounds a little like the Star Trek defense shields.

Myths and circular logic of the dirty dossier reporting

Paul Sperry:
Here are some of the biggest myths of the Russian-collusion story This is a long piece with several problems with teh story, but this is one of my favorites:
...
Some press accounts have treated the dossier’s allegation that Russian officials offered Trump adviser Carter Page billions to end US sanctions as confirmed in September 2016 reporting by Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff. But Isikoff’s “Western intelligence source” was almost surely the dossier itself. So the media used the dossier to corroborate the dossier. (Page, who has repeatedly denied under oath he met with the Russian officials cited in the dossier, is suing Yahoo News over the Isikoff story.)
... That hints at the desperation of the left to push this bogus narrative.   It is looking like the dossier and the Democrats embrace of it may be one of the biggest frauds in the history of politics.

When millionaires feel sorry for themselves

Washington Post:
Trump calls out Marshawn Lynch, who sat for the U.S. national anthem but stood for Mexico’s anthem

The president reignites the conversation about NFL players and their anthem demonstrations after a game in Mexico. Why does this guy feel so sorry for himself? 

He seems to hate the country that has rewarded him handsomely for his limited talents as a football player.  As a black athlete, he would not be treated nearly as nice in Mexico as he is in the US, yet he stands for the Mexican national anthem and disrespects the US national anthem.  In the process, he and his fellow sitting and kneeling athletes will be causing future players millions as revenue dries up because of fan disgust with their attitude.

Al Qaeda taking advantage of Somalia's failed state

Image
NY Times:
After Huge Truck Bombings, U.S. Steps Up Attacks Against Somali Militants The Trump administration has redoubled its campaign to defeat the Qaeda-backed Shabab, but the group has proved to be a potent and resilient killing force. Somalia has been a failed state for over 25 years at least.  It is such a failed state it is hardly worth saving.  But its value to al Qaeda is that it is too weak to resist its presence.  The US can punish al Qaeda in Somalia with raids by drones and special ops, but that is likely all it is willing to do at this point.

Is Mueller part of the deep state cover up?

James Lewis:
Friendship is a beautiful thing, and it's really good to know that Robert Mueller, Comey, Brennan, and Clapper have known each other for many years. They're loyal friends.

Mueller is a former top FBI dude, who helped to clear Bill Clinton after that impeachment mess, and like Mr. Comey, he did his very best. Clapper was the single most powerful man in the "intelligence" "community," a centralized directorate (as the Soviets used to call it), which was George W. Bush's principal response to 9/11/01.

Now don't get me wrong: I'm sure all these brave men (or persons, I should say) made great contributions to the safety and welfare of all of us. But here they are at the peak of their careers, each one of them, and Democrat candidate Hillary is suddenly exposed to the world with her email fiasco as SecState. Violating the very first rule of intelligence and statecraft, to protect your country's secrets. And she obviously sold s…

Arab League designates Hezballah as terrorist organization

CNN:
Saudi Arabia ramped up its campaign against Iran's growing influence in the Arab World Sunday by persuading most of the 22 member states of the Arab League to condemn Iran's Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, as a "terrorist organization."

Arab foreign ministers gathered at the League's headquarters in Cairo Sunday for an emergency meeting called by Saudi Arabia. Lebanon's foreign minister, Gibran Bassil, did not attend, and the Lebanese representative at the meeting expressed reservations over the final communique.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari also did not attend the meeting. Iran, along with the US-led international coalition, has been a major supporter of Baghdad in its war against ISIS.

"We want to hold everyone responsible," Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa said during the deliberations. "We want to hold countries where Hezbollah is a partner in government responsible, specifically Lebanon." Al-Khalifa cl…

Contrary to Democrat narrative the FBI has not verified allegations of dirty dossier

Byron York:
FBI and Justice Department officials have told congressional investigators in recent days that they have not been able to verify or corroborate the substantive allegations of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign outlined in the Trump dossier.

The FBI received the first installment of the dossier in July 2016. It received later installments as they were written at the height of the presidential campaign, which means the bureau has had more than a year to investigate the allegations in the document. The dossier was financed by the Hillary Clinton campaign and compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

An August 24, 2017 subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee to the FBI and Justice Department asked for information on the bureau's efforts to validate the dossier. Specifically, the subpoena demanded "any documents, if they exist, that memorialize DOJ and/or FBI efforts to corroborate, validate, or evaluate information provided by Mr. Steele a…

Venezuela's decrepit oil infrastructure is unable to meet its oil production target

Reuters:
As Venezuela's dilapidated energy sector struggles to pump enough crude oil to meet the country's OPEC output target, rival producers within the exporters group have started to plug the gap, OPEC and industry sources said.

The South American country's oil output hit a 28-year low in October as state-owned oil giant PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] struggled to find the funds to drill wells, maintain oilfields and keep pipelines and ports working.

Venezuela's oil production, which has been falling by about 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) per month since last year, is on track to fall by at least 250,000 bpd in 2017 according to numbers reported to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as U.S. sanctions and a lack of capital hobble operations. [For a graphic on Venezuelan and Iraqi oil shipments to the United States and India, click tmsnrt.rs/2A9EKCH]

Some OPEC members expect the fall to accelerate in 2018, reaching at least 300,000 bpd, OPEC sources said. At …

The food Luddites are causing starvation in Africa

Matt Ridley:
An even more dangerous foe than Robert Mugabe is stalking Africa. Early last year, a moth caterpillar called the fall armyworm, a native of the Americas, turned up in Nigeria. It has quickly spread across most of Africa. This is fairly terrifying news, threatening to undo some of the unprecedented improvements in African living standards of the past two decades. Many Africans depend on maize for food, and maize is the fall armyworm’s favourite diet.

Fortunately, there is a defence to hand. Bt maize, grown throughout the Americas for many years, is resistant to insects. The initials stand for a bacterium that produces a protein toxic to insects but not to people. Organic farmers have been using the bacterium as a pesticide for more than five decades, but it is expensive. Bt maize has the protein inside the plant, thanks to genetic engineers, who took a gene from the bacterium and put it in the plant.

Bt maize has largely saved Brazil’s maize crop from fall armyworms.

Howe…

Border agent brutally murdered in Texas Big Bend area

Breitbart:
Exclusive details have emerged on the early morning attack against Border Patrol agents that left one agent dead and another hospitalized in serious condition on November, 19 2017. Breitbart Texas first broke the news of the death and injuries and now the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) says that their agents on the ground have stated that the agents were tracking a group of illegal aliens who then beat the agents with rocks until one was killed and the other hospitalized.

Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd, also president of the NBPC, stated, “What we know is that Border Patrol Agent Rogilio Martinez appears to have been ambushed by a group of illegal aliens whom he was tracking. Our agents’ reports from the ground say that he was struck in the head multiple times with a rock or rocks.”

Agent Judd continued, “The other agent arrived on scene a short time later and was also ambushed and struck in the head with what is believed to have been a rock or rocks. These disgust…

La Var Ball's attempt to downplay shop lifting could explain why his son thought he could get away with it

NY Times:
Trump on U.C.L.A. Trio: ‘I Should Have Left Them in Jail!’
A day after LaVar Ball downplayed President Trump’s involvement in getting three U.C.L.A. players safely out of China, the president fired back on Twitter. La Var Ball may be a bigger screw up than his son.  What kind of parent acts as if stealing merchandise is not a big deal?   His son showed the appropriate amount of contrition about what he did and dad continued to make the situation worse.

DHS was warned about the dangers of using Russian tied software

Washington Times:
The Pentagon’s intelligence agency flagged Russian software company Kaspersky Lab as a potential threat as far back as 2004, 13 years before the Department of Homeland Security banned the government from using its products, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Kaspersky producers were the subject of a Pentagon-wide threat assessment circulated by the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2013, according to an email sent from the Department of Defense this week to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, The Journal reported after reviewing the message.

The DIA “began producing threat reporting referencing Kaspersky Lab as a threat actor as early as 2004,” the email said, suggesting the government’s suspicions about the antivirus vendor started well before recent reports linking it to Russian intelligence.

The DHS recently issued a directive on September 13 ordering federal agencies to audit their systems for Kaspersky products and remove them within 90 days, c…

NFL whistling as they walk through the graveyard of half empty stadiums

Jim Hanson:
Hey, NFL owners, tired of half-empty stadiums? This isn’t hard. Tell your players to stand up for America

...
They say the protests are not against the anthem or the flag or the military for that matter. But that is garbage because the effect is to disrespect all of those things so they can virtue signal their solidarity with the radical left. They could do their social justice pandering whenever they want, and they made a conscious choice. By choosing to put the spotlight on themselves instead of the symbols of what makes this country great.

That just doesn’t sit well with those of us who served, or have family who did or who just want to enjoy a football game without politics. We get plenty of bitter arguments and displays of partisanship all day every day. Football was a time to forget all that and just remember how much the Bears still suck. They took that and even worse did so with divisive anti-police grievance mongering to a crowd with a heavy component of Blue Live…

Media ignores China's huge investment in West Virginia during Trump visit

Salena Zito:
Bad news travels fast. Good news, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to travel at all.

Last weekend in Beijing, as part of his 12-day trip to Asia, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion deal to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.

If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.

And yet, speaking to the locals here, you wouldn’t even know it had happened.

“I am surprised I heard nothing about it on the national news, nor in my local paper and newscasts,” said Jerald Stephens, 67, a West Virginia native and union rep, who has been a keen observer of local politics for as long as he can remember.

The BBC and CNN covered the news in their business sections, while The New York Times picked up a short story by The Associated Press on the deal. The stories’ headlines were muted; their placement low-key.

“One would have suspected that the prospect of an investment this large — nea…

Palestinians learn it is no longer business as usual with US

Washington Post:
U.S. threat to close PLO office puts peace at risk, Palestinian president says

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was “deeply surprised” by a U.S. threat to close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington unless it enters direct peace negotiations with Israel. He must not have been paying attention.  Congress passed a law before teh 2016 election that indicated the PLO office would be closed if the Palestinians attempt to go to the International Criminal Court to push their agenda against Israel.   They are already looking at losing funding if they do not negotiate in good faith with the Israelis.  The Saudis are also threatening to cut them off if they do not take the deal proposed by the Trump administration.

They should have noticed that Barack Obama was no longer in office.

Texas trial lawyer who supported liberal Democrats dies

NY Times:

Steve Mostyn, Texas Democratic Fund-Raiser, Dies at 46

Mr. Mostyn was at the center of a long effort to wrest political power from Republicans. Texas Democrats have not won a statewide office since 1994. Mostyn was among a group of trial lawyers who opposed tort reform in Texas and backed Democrat efforts to reimpose laws that hurt the growth of business in Texas and drove up the cost of healthcare.   Mostyn was in his early 20's the last time Democrats held statewide offices in Texas.

Tort reform is one of the reasons Texas has enjoyed an economic boom over the last 20 years.

The House version of tax cuts is friendlier to small business?

NY Times:
Why a Firm Believer in Tax Cuts Could Derail the Senate Tax Cut Plan Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a small-business owner, says the measure would give an unfair advantage to larger corporations. It is hard to imagine a more friendly version for small business than that passed by the House.  Johnson needs to vote for the Senate version and then push for the House plan in the conference committee.  Killing the Senate bill will only keep the status quo which is the worst of all possible worlds for business.  There are some good things in the Senate bill for small business such as eliminating the Obamacare mandate.  That could help those businesses expand without being trapped by having to expand healthcare coverage.

Trump administration tells Palestinians to enter talks with Israel or lose Washington office

Haaretz:
The Trump administration has notified the Palestinian Authority that unless it enters serious peace negotiations with Israel, the U.S. could shut down the Palestinian diplomatic delegation in Washington, D.C. within the next few months.

The message was relayed to the Palestinians by the U.S. State Department recently, but it did not include a firm timeline. It was first reported on Friday by the Associated Press.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the Palestinians that this decision was reached as a result of statements made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who called on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel and prosecute actions by Israelis.

The State Department said that the statements made by Abbas go against a U.S. law which stipulates that the Palestinian mission should be closed if the Palestinians try to take action against Israel at the ICC.
...
According to al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority would not give in to "extortion"…

Of course not, liberal feminist put ideology ahead of sexual harassment as they did with Clinton

Washington Post:
I’m a feminist. I study rape culture. And I don’t want Al Franken to resign. It is the same reason that some conservatives do not want Judge Roy Moore to resign from his campaign for the Senate seat.

Russians tried to meet with Trump campaign with no apparent success

NY Times:

Top Russian Official Tried to Broker ‘Backdoor’ Meeting Between Trump and Putin

The overture came soon after the Trump campaign was told of Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. As Donald J. Trump neared the Republican nomination, Moscow tried repeatedly to contact his campaign. The Russians may have had several reasons for wanting to understand how Trump would treat the US relations with Russia, but there is still no valid evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign ad Russia.  In fact, this lead suggests the Russians were frustrated in their attempts to contact the Trump campaign.

Why the Senate should not accept the ABA recommendations on judges--They are just another liberal advocacy group

Image
Ben Sasse nails it on the American Bar Asociation.  I canceled my membership decades ago and I think others should too if they value conservative judicial positions.

University of Nebraska disciplines assistant professor who called student a 'neo-fascist'

Omaha World-Herald:
University of Nebraska officials announced Friday that new steps are being taken in relation to an incident involving a conservative student Aug. 25.

NU President Hank Bounds said the graduate student-lecturer who called a conservative student a “neo-fascist” for recruiting for Turning Point USA would no longer teach at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The World-Herald further learned that the lecturer, Courtney Lawton, will be released from employment completely when her contract expires at the end of the school year.

Bounds also sent Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska’s state senators a letter that cites various actions that reflect “the importance of open conversation that respects each other’s differences” on campus.

One of those is to have Gallup do a survey to assess the campus environment for people of diverse political backgrounds on NU’s campuses in Omaha, Lincoln and Kearney.

NU also released emails as a result of public records requests by Conservative Revie…

Some women have a way of deterring sexual harassers

Washington Free Beacon:
Palin: People Don’t Sexually Harass Me Because They ‘Know That I’m Probably Packing’ I am reminded of a journalism professor I had as an undergraduate at the University of Texas.  Dr. Gardner was one of the most demanding teachers I had.  A misspelled word was an automatic F on any work she assigned.   She was also a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves and she ran her class like one.

One of my classmates had a disease that caused his hands to tremor.  One of my friends in the class was not aware of his condition and just assumed that it was caused by being in Dr. Gardner's class.  Some women just have an aura of "don't mess with me."

On another occasion, after I graduated from law school, I was in San Antonio helping the DA's office prosecute a securities fraud case.  The assistant DA I was working with pointed out another assistant DA who happened to be an attractive woman.  He said guys do not mess with her for fear she would castrate th…

Media frustrated by Trump's successful trip to Asia

Spectator:
It’s been a miserable two weeks for our Foreign Secretary. Not only did Boris Johnson trip up over the British woman held in Iran; not only did he find himself accused of puppeteering Theresa May to further his and Michael Gove’s Brexit ambitions; he also committed the most grievous PR sin any politician can commit: he praised Donald Trump in public. ‘What you’ve got to realise is that the American President is just one of the huge, great global brands,’ Boris told Fox & Friends. ‘He is penetrating corners of the global consciousness that I think few other presidents have ever done.’

That made people very cross. The Labour MP David Lammy called Johnson an ‘odious arse-kisser’ and countless others echoed that sentiment. Boris was a brown-nose, a buffoon, a national disgrace, and so on.

What nobody admitted was that Boris had, as he so often does, said something true. Donald Trump is a phenomenon the like of which the world has never seen, and while most political analyst…

British judge rules on the limits of flirting on a date, really

Times:
High Court judge hands down guide to flirting at work The headline is a bit misleading since the events at issue took place at a dinner date away from work.  But the judge's decision was basically "no harm, no foul."  With all the sexual harassment claims these days it appears that both sexes need some guidance on teh rules of flirting and the limits allowable.

Voters want a special counsel for Hillary Campaign too

The Hill:
A plurality of voters in a new poll want special counsel investigations of the 2016 presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and President Trump.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is already spearheading an investigation into whether Trump campaign officials had improper contacts or colluded with Moscow during the election.

So far, Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate have been indicted for financial crimes. A low-level adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pled guilty to lying to investigators about his contacts with Russians.

The latest Harvard CAPS/Harris survey found the public split on the question of Russian collusion, with 38 percent saying they believe the special counsel has found hard evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Moscow, 36 percent saying there is no hard evidence yet and 27 percent saying they don’t know.

But 44 percent of voters surveyed said a special counsel is needed to investigate both campaigns. Twenty-seven percen…

Democrats' 'tax breaks for the rich' mantra not selling this time

NY Times:
Senate Tax Debate Devolves Into Angry Shouting Match
A daylong debate over taxes got personal as Senators Orrin Hatch and Sherrod Brown sparred over whether the bill favored the rich. It has always been misleading.  The poor do not pay income taxes.  In fact, the way they are taxed the most is by the adding to cost of goods and services as a result of an excessively high corporate income tax.

It is hard for Democrats to admit that corporations don't really pay the taxes they are levying on them.  They pass on the cost of the tax to consumers as a cost of doing business.  The corporations are merely the Democrats tax collectors for all consumers, rich or poor.

By having an excessively high corporate tax, the Democrats make US companies less competitive and hurt job creation.  Their excessive taxes have also led to trillions of dollars not being repatriated back to the US for foreign sales.  Getting that money back in the US economy would be a bigger stimulus that most Demo…

Democrats show their ideological bigotry when it comes to who is a Hispanic

streiff:
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Decides Republican Is Not Sufficiently Hispanic Your kind of Hispanic is not welcome in our club?  Texas Hispanics are welcomed into the GOP.  In fact, Texas Hispanics win elections when they run as Republicans.

Texas unemployment rate falls below 4 % for first time in 40 years

Houston Chronicle:
The state unemployment rate fell to a record low in October, slipping below 4 percent for the first time in more than 40 years, the Texas Workforce Commission reported Friday.

Unemployment declined to 3.9 percent from 4 percent as employment growth accelerated to an annual rate of 2.6 percent, nearly double the national rate 1.4 percent. All told, the state gained more than 71,000 jobs over the month and has added more than 300,000 over the past year, the Workforce Commission said.

Greater Houston's economy continued to improve as oil recovery advances, but growth here continues to lag the state, which has a broader economy not quite as dependent on the energy industry. Employment grew 1.6 percent over the past year.

The region added 48,000 jobs over the past year as the unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent from 4.8 percent in October 2016.
... The recovery from the energy slump has driven much of the gains.   Manufacturing is also a key driver that is helped by na…

Dogs can extend their owners life

Image
CNN:
The benefits that come with owning a dog are clear-- physical activity, support, companionship -- but owning a dog could literally be saving your life Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death, finds a new study published Friday in Scientific Reports, a Swedish publication. For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower. Multi-person household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.

"A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group r…