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Showing posts from 2017

Manafort asks DOJ to release any transcripts of his conversations that were recorded

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In a statement released by his spokesman Manafort said:

This looks like a major embarrassment for the Obama administration.

Trump's terrific UN speech gets reaction you would expect from media

Washington Post:
Trump threatens to ‘destroy North Korea,’ calls Kim ‘Rocket Man’

President Trump warned that the world faces “great peril” from gathering threats posed by rogue regimes with powerful weapons.

The president's address was highly anticipated around the world after he had criticized the organization during his campaign as being bloated and ineffective. The part of the speech where he responded to provocations from the Nork regime was not that different from what the administration spokesmen have been saying for several days.  I guess the media was surprised that he would be so straightforward at the UN.

Trump also called out Iran for its phony "democracy" and for its threats against its Arab and Israeli neighbors.  It was a far cry from the appeasement of Obama and his terrible deal he struck with Iran.

Trump properly ridiculed socialism saying that Venezuela had followed it to a perfection to become a failed state.

He also attacked the UN phony human rights …

The pollution of the minds of students

Washington Post:
A chilling study shows how hostile college students are toward free speech Liberals have changed their mind about free speech because it has become harder for them to win the debate.  Now they try to shut down speech they do not agree with rather than engage on the issues.  Their position on speech is not that different from totalitarians everywhere, be they, fascists or communists.   The lack of intellectual diversity in the education process is one of the causes of this problem.

Deep State support for more refugees bumps up against administration policy

NY Times:
Administration Shuns Study Showing Benefits of Refugees
A draft report by the Department of Health and Human Services contradicts a central argument made by advocates of deep cuts in refugees. The problem with teh more traditional thinking on refugees is that the US and its allies are dealing with an enemy whose policy is to use refugees as a Trojan Horse for gain entry inside the gates, and the vetting process has had difficulty screening out the terrorists.  Even if only a small fraction of the refugees are Islamic terrorists the risk of mass murder is high.  Even refugees from Central America can be troublesome as the MS-13 gang has demonstrated.

Mueller's message of Gestapo tactics in Russian witch hunt

NY Times:
Mueller Inquiry Sets Tone With Shock-and-Awe Approach
Federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on Paul J. Manafort’s front door, and raided his Virginia home.The moves against President Trump’s former campaign chairman are just a glimpse of the aggressive tactics used by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel for the Russia investigation, to send a message to Washington. Sometimes I like to take a page from how the liberal media describes enforcement actions by a conservative US Attorney or law enforcement.  What Mueller is doing would be lambasted if Attorney General Sessions was doing it to a liberal Democrat political opponent.  We now learn that despite denials in the media the FBI was wiretapping Manfort while he was working for the Trump campaign and could have been listening to his conversations with Trump.

Liberals do not seem to be troubled by this because they want to use any means necessary for their coup attempt against the President.  No wonder …

Pipelines to reuse water for shale oil extraction build efficiency in West Texas

Bloomberg:
The torrent of dirty water coming out of almost every American oil well is the next big bet for a former fund manager for billionaire Paul Allen.

Getting rid of wastewater from onshore wells has become an increasingly costly problem for oil producers as U.S. crude output surged in recent years, especially in the new shale fields from Texas to North Dakota. Drillers typically get about seven barrels of water for every one of oil, and some struggle to deal with the overflow that is mostly sent by truck to disposal sites miles away.

David Capobianco, a former managing director for Allen’s Vulcan Capital, is trying to change that by building pipelines to get wastewater out. His newly formed WaterBridge Resources LLC aims to be a water-management company for oilfields. The firm is considering a public share listing within a year to 18 months, taking advantage of a U.S. shale boom that the government expects will boost crude production close to 10 million barrels a day next year.

Woman finds her attitude toward red states change after a move

Leah Singer:
I used to say I’d never move to a red state. And then I did. And it’s changed my life for the better.

In July 2016, I moved from San Diego to Terre Haute when my husband received a job opportunity at a local university. At 41 years old — at midlife — I moved from the blue, liberal left coast bubble to a rural, Midwest, Rust Belt red state.

I was raised in California, where we like to believe diversity is applauded and opportunities abound. In many ways, California’s blue state bubble can be a very safe place to live if you subscribe to the popular liberal politics.

Over and over, I was questioned about why I would ever leave the Golden State for a “flyover” red state. This phrase alone troubled me, and the implied perception that one flies over the Midwest just to get to their East or West coast home.

As I settled into life in the Midwest, I heard the same assumptive questions: “Did everyone you know vote for Donald Trump?" "Are there African-American, Jewish, A…

Majority of Americans back military strikes against North Korea if diplomacy fails

Washington Times:
The American attitude toward North Korea appears to be evolving ­— and not necessarily in a docile direction. The number of Americans who would support a U.S. military response to the rogue nation’s aggression is “significantly higher” these days, according to a new Gallup poll.

“As North Korea continues to launch test missiles and issue provocative threats against the U.S. and its allies in the region, a majority of Americans appear ready to support military action against that country, at least as a last resort. More specifically, 58 percent say they would favor taking military action against North Korea if economic and diplomatic efforts fail to achieve the United States’ goals. This is significantly higher than the 47 percent in favor the last time Gallup asked this, in 2003,” reports Lydia Saad, a Gallup analyst.

“U.S. attitudes about striking North Korea are partisan, as they were in 2003,” she said, noting that the new pollconducted found that 82 percent of Repu…

Democrat base see compromise with Trump as doing deals with the devil

Steve Berman:
The Left Can’t Stomach ‘Normalizing’ Trump

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But they’re scared because they’ve built their whole case on hating Donald Trump because he’s Donald Trump. What do they do when he agrees with their legislative agenda? What do Democrats do when the Great Satan of their political life is no longer devilish?
... It is scary when he agrees to some of their issues.   I suspect there are some in both parties who are troubled by compromise.

Scientist admit that 'climate change' has been over hyped

Times:
We were wrong — worst effects of climate change can be avoided, say experts

Scientists admit that world is warming more slowly than predicted Having overhyped "climate change" it has become hard to sell the controls they want to impose on the economy of the world.  With all of their dire warnings not coming true the whole movement has become suspect.

Stems of cotton make people crazy

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Red States:

“Offensive” Hobby Lobby Decoration Goes Viral For Being Problematic
When I was in grade school I had a friend whose father grew cotton and he allowed both of us to pick it to earn some spending money.   We were not the only white people who picked cotton either.  His aunt and her husband also picked it.

This reminds me of how stupid identity politics has become.  People are going crazy over the fact that fried chicken is supposedly a black thing when we used to have it almost every Sunday as a special treat.  It was just a typical southern dish along with other things that came to be associated with "soul food."

Only days after accusing the President of lying about his campaign being wired tapped CNN say it was

CNN:
US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.

Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is leading the investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.

A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Ma…

Clinton deciding to go the sore loser route and challenge democracy?

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CNN:
Clinton opens door to questioning 2016 vote Candidate says she would not rule out questioning the election's legitimacy if more is learned on Russia's role This is the phony who made a big deal about how undemocratic it was not to accept the results of the election.  So far there has been zero evidence produced suggesting there was collusion between Trump and the Russians or that any of the messing around the Russians were doing had any effect on voters.

It was certainly not the reason I voted against her.   I wanted a change from Obama's liberalism and I was appalled at her mishandling of classified material.

As for Russian collusion, her and Obama's energy policy were a gift to the Russians.  By joining the anti-energy left in trying to thwart domestic energy production she was helping Russian oligarchs and teh Russian economy along with OPEC.  She was also involved in selling a significant portion of US uranium to the Russians and her husband did get a hefty che…

Another live fire bombing run a few miles from North Korea

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Washington Post:
U.S. jets drop live bombs in a massive show of force aimed at North Korea

Responding to Pyongyang’s aggressions, the aircraft carried out a simulated attack on the Pilsung training range in South Korea, a few dozen miles from the demilitarized zone. It is a reminder for Rocket Man Kim that he is playing fire.  If he thought the war games in the South were provocative, he has not seen anything yet.  A couple of nuclear-capable B-1 bombers escorted by South Korean fighters make their point.

It probably depends on whether one thinks it is a good faith inquiry

NY Times:
Trump Lawyers Clash Over How Much to Cooperate With Russia Inquiry The debate, which led to an angry confrontation between two members of the legal team, could shape the course of the special counsel’s investigation. It really depends on the scope of the investigation.  If it is limited to collusion with Russians during the campaign, then have at it.  If it is a broad get Trump at any cost, my inclination would be to tell them they will not get voluntary cooperation in that endeavor.

They are dealing with someone with the resources and the will to fight them at every turn.  It could take a prosecutor with a "get Trump at any cost" until the end of his second term to get what he is looking for.

US failed to cut off North Korea's supply of rocket fuel

NY Times:
When North Korea launched long-range missiles this summer, and again on Friday, demonstrating its ability to strike Guam and perhaps the United States mainland, it powered the weapons with a rare, potent rocket fuel that American intelligence agencies believe initially came from China and Russia.

The United States government is scrambling to determine whether those two countries are still providing the ingredients for the highly volatile fuel and, if so, whether North Korea’s supply can be interrupted, either through sanctions or sabotage. Among those who study the issue, there is a growing belief that the United States should focus on the fuel, either to halt it, if possible, or to take advantage of its volatile properties to slow the North’s program.

But it may well be too late. Intelligence officials believe that the North’s program has advanced to the point where it is no longer as reliant on outside suppliers, and that it may itself be making the potent fuel, known as U…

Those responsible for placing terror suspect with foster family never disclosed his connection with ISIS

Times:
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Mr Jones, 88, and his wife, 71, who were appointed MBEs in 2010 for having fostered hundreds of children, had been caring for a young man who had arrived in Britain from the conflict zone in Iraq and Syria.

A family friend claimed that they had learnt more detail about the young man’s background from police in the past three days than they had from Surrey county council, which had asked them to take him in.

“They were aware he had been in an Isis-controlled area but there was a lack of information about what appears now to have been a very troubled past,” the friend said. “Penny and Ron are very good people. They’ve been doing what decent English people have been doing for decades and that is offering a helping hand. They’re not to blame for this situation.”
... While not refugees are terrorist, it appears to be too hard to distinguish the good from the bad to take a chance on them.  The UK vetting process seems lacking as is their support for those who take in the refugees…

Democrats and the media wanted Trump to be GOP nominee

David Harsanyi:
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While all this is true, the problem is that Clinton and her advisers were part of the same effort. “The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right,” read one Clinton-campaign agenda item, according to WikiLeaks. “In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more ‘Pied Piper’ candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party.” Those candidates included Senator Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, and Trump.

In fairness, it should be noted that some were worried that the strategy would backfire. “Right now I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump,” Brent Budowsky emailed John Podesta. Most, however, liked the plan. Another agenda item involved how to prevent candidate Jeb Bush “from bettering himself/how do we maximize Trump and others?” Neera Tanden emai…

The Russian art of killing dissidents

Stratfor:
At 6:08 p.m. on Sept. 8, the cacophony of Kiev's Friday evening rush hour was pierced by an explosion under a black Toyota Camry in the middle of heavy traffic near Bessarabska Square in the heart of the capital. The car's driver, Timur Mahauri, a Chechen with Georgian citizenship, was killed instantly. His wife and their 10-year-old child who were riding with him were hurt, but they survived.

Mahauri was reportedly a member of a Chechen militant group fighting with Ukrainian troops against separatist and Russian forces in eastern Ukraine. Media reports suggested that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov considered him an enemy. In addition to these two possible motives for his assassination, Kiev has recently become a hot spot for the assassination of Moscow's enemies, and opponents of the Chechen government are being killed in a worldwide campaign. Indeed, given Mahauri's enemies and location, it is surprising that he didn't check his car for bombs before h…

Sniper turns ISIS executioner into a fireball from a mile away

NY Post:
A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report.

The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barrett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back, the UK’s Daily Star reported Sunday.

The pack exploded, killing the sadistic terrorist and three of his flunkies, who were supposed to film the execution, last month, the paper said.

The ISIS butcher — who reportedly delighted in burning hostages alive — had been on a US “kill list” for several months, sources told the paper, which did not identify the sniper or the executioner.

He and his band of wicked men had been traveling around ISIS-held compounds in Syria slaughtering civilians labeled as spies.

Their prisoners were tied to stakes or thrown in cages be…

Enemy is using the media to mislead on civilian casualties in war against ISIS

Stephen Townsend:
Reports of Civilian Casualties in the War Against ISIS Are Vastly Inflated

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Out of the 270 allegations obtained from Airwars that have been assessed thus far, 258 have been assessed as non-credible. Of those, 119 were assessed as non-credible because the Coalition did not conduct a strike near the area of the allegation. Another 60 of those allegations were so vague in regard to the date and location of the alleged casualties that they were impossible to assess. The remaining 79 allegations were found to be non-credible due to lack of sufficient evidence or are still being assessed.

To date, based on data collected between August 2014 and July 2017, the Coalition conducted a total of 24,160 strikes that included 51,038 separate engagements.

The percentage of all Coalition engagements that resulted in a report of possible civilian casualties is 2.29 percent. The percentage of engagements that resulted in a credible report of civilian casualties was 0.32 percent.
...…

Democrats' dirty dossier draws another law suit

Washington Times:
A third figure in the Russia probe has filed a slander lawsuit as a direct result of the infamous Democrat-financed dossier that helped prompt the FBI to investigate purported collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Moscow.

Carter Page, a former low-level Trump volunteer acting as his own attorney, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Yahoo News and HuffPost (formerly The Huffington Post) through owner Oath Inc.

Mr. Page, an energy investor who does business in Russia and lived in Moscow for a time, charges that the two news outlets libeled him by repeating dossier accusations that he met two Kremlin figures in July 2016 and tried to negotiate an end to U.S. sanctions.

The false charges, he says, brought him “irreparable damage” and subjected him to voicemail death threats. He seeks $75,000 in damages.

Previously, a Russian tech entrepreneur and Russian bank owners filed defamation lawsuits against news outlets that posted the dossi…

Nork 'Rocket Man' may face military action if UN sanctions do not stop his program

Guardian:
Trump mocks ‘Rocket Man’ Kim Jong-un as advisers issue warnings

President appears to ridicule North Korean leader and shortages after sanctions, as UN ambassador says Pentagon has ‘plenty of military options’

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Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, said North Korea was starting to “feel the pinch” of being “economically strangled” as recent sanctions have caused the country to be “cut off from the world”. But, she said, diplomatic and other non-military options were running out.

“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” the former South Carolina governor told CNN’s State of the Union. “We all know that and none of us want that. None of us want war. But … something is going to have to be done.”
... It is a pretty clear signal that diplomatic means have about run their course and the matter will be turned over to the US military to deal with the t…

Has the media already forgotten about ISIS?

Washington Post Editorial:
This ethnic cleansing in Asia is the most brutal the world has seen in years I am not defending what is happening in Asia.  But it is more of a forced migration than the mass murders of ethnic groups and religions other than Islam that was used by ISIS.  It could be based on the fact that Islam does not play well with others because it is an intolerant sect.

White supremacists get little support in poll

Huffington Post:
A new poll in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, finds that while Americans widely say they oppose racism and white nationalism, many still appear to hold far-right, white supremacist views.

The Ipsos poll, for Thomson Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics, was conducted online from Aug. 21 to Sept. 5 ― in the weeks following the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. It sampled around 5,360 American adults, asking questions about race that respondents could agree or disagree with to varying degrees.

“While there is relatively little national endorsement of neo-Nazis and white supremacists,” according to the release describing the poll’s findings, “there are troubling levels of support for certain racially-charged ideas and attitudes frequently expressed by extremist groups.”

While the vast majority of Americans polled expressed support for racial equality when asked in so many words ― 70 percent strongly agreed t…

Brits find another barbarian inside the gates? Terrorism in the UK

Washington Post:
British police arrest second man in connection with London subway attack

A 21-year-old arrested Saturday night in London and an 18-year-old detained earlier in southeastern England are being held for questioning under the Terrorism Act. Accepting large-scale refugee influxes brings with it mass murder attacks and attempts which the politicians seem reluctant to deal with until after the attacks.  To accept all want to get in means accepting a certain level of murders and sexual assaults from those who bring their dysfunctional culture with them.  Extreme vetting seems to make more sense than enduring senseless killings and attempted killings.

It looks like radical Islamists are using their own version of the Trojan Horse, hiding their mass murders in a wave of migration that they caused.  The European approach has made it less safe.

Mexico becomes a dangerous vacation option

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NY Times:
Where Tourism Thrives in Mexico, Bloodshed and Poverty Are Blocks Away A surge of violence has shaken the once-peaceful tourist destination of Los Cabos, exposing stark inequality and longstanding government indifference. I grew up on the border with Mexico.  It has always had poverty, but it was never this dangerous before the cartels began their criminal insurgency.  I recall vacationing there in the 1980's at a beach resort on the West Coast and being surprised by the military with M-16's patrolling the beaches.

Now the cartels are trying to move in on the tourist trade and there is more violence in the resorts as turf battles erupt.  Even without the violence, it has become unsafe with some tourist getting sick from drinking tainted cocktails.  Now you have to worry about more than the water and the ice.

Edy Raven's song about curing a heartache in Mexico looks a little scarier these days.  


European border wall cuts illegal immigration by 99 percent

Breitbart:
Hungary has slashed illegal immigration by over 99 percent after rolling out a series of powerful border fences in response to the European migrant crisis, possibly providing a lesson as to the potential impact of constructing President Trump’s much-discussed southern wall in the U.S.

Speaking on the second anniversary of the government’s move to seal Hungary’s border with Serbia — which is also an external border for the European Union — Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Chief Security Advisor, György Bakondi, announced that the fences have caused illegal immigration to collapse from 391,000 in 2015, to 18,236 in 2016, to just 1,184 in 2017.

“The system of technical barriers is the key to the success of border security, and without it, it would be impossible to stop the mass arrival of immigrants”, the security chief explained.
...
Hungary had to respond rapidly to the migrant influx which burst upon Europe after Germany’s Angela Merkel announced there was “no limit” on the nu…

Teen Syrian refugee repays UK with a terror attack?

Daily Mail:
The suspect is one of several refugees taken in by the elderly couple in the UK.   He was arrested at a port to Europe in what authorities think was an attempt to escape after he was identified by facial recognition software.  It is another demonstration of the problem of vetting refugees from Syria.

Americans continue to be moved by the troops in the long war with radical Islam

Daily Mail:
'Everyone on the plane was crying': Delta passenger captures the heart-wrenching moment a sailor's body is met by her weeping family after she died on duty
The scene of a fallen soldier coming back home to her family in Oklahoma was so overwhelming for passengers on a commercial flight it brought nearly everyone to tears. 'When we stopped at the terminal, the pilot announced that he would like to inform us that we were flying one of our fallen soldiers home to her family,' Mike Helms wrote to Facebook. Despite the identity politics of some the reaction of those on the plane was a shared sorrow for this sailor and her family.  In a way, it is similar to the response to flooding in Houston where a community came together.  We are all grateful for her service and the sacrifices made by her family.

Deductions that favor blue state high tax policies under threat in tax reform

Washington Post:
Republicans take aim at state-and-local-tax deductions — and raise ire of GOP legislators in blue states

Republican leaders have made clear the SALT deduction is on the table as they rewrite the tax code — but internal dissent threatens the effort. “I intend to fight it with everything I know how,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), in whose district 43 percent of tax filers claim SALT deductions. Here is the compromise I would offer them.  They can have the same deduction that similarly situated taxpayers in Texas get.   That would be a fair way to handle it and it would ensure that blue state taxpayers pay their fair share of the taxes.  It would also give those states an incentive to stop their destructive tax and spend policies that have dragged down their economy and chased away taxpayers.

Refusing to participate in a wedding is not the same as refusing to serve someone

NY Times:
Cake Is His ‘Art.’ So Can He Deny One to a Gay Couple?
This fall, a Supreme Court case that pits a gay couple against a Colorado baker who refused to serve them will mostly center on the protections of free speech. I think the lead here mistakes the issue in the case.  It is my understanding that the baker would make them a cake, he just felt making a wedding cake for a wedding he had religious objections to was a bridge too far.  Similar cases have been used to ruin the businesses of people of faith just to push the liberal agenda of forcing people to accept conduct they see as deviancy.

The reasons for favoring Kurdish independence

Jonathon Tobin:
For months, the Trump administration has been coping with a huge problem to which it has no solution.

Iran has been the big winner of the conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Its intervention in the Syrian civil war and influence over its Shia allies in Iraq has enabled it to acquire a land bridge to Lebanon, which is dominated by its Hezbollah auxiliaries.

The implications for this strategic coup for US interests and any hope for Middle East peace are enormous but the administration doesn’t seem to have a clue about what to do about it.

Yet at least a partial answer to this dilemma is at hand in the form of a referendum to be held this month on independence for Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdish independence could create a state that would act as a firewall against Iran’s quest for regional hegemony.

So why has the US been going all out to stop the Kurds from voting? On Friday, a White House statement flatly demanded the referendum be called off.

It boils down to a fear that Kurdish in…

GOP congressional leaders need to deliver on their promises

Washington Post:
As congressional Republicans see influence slipping, they’re not sure what to do about it

After winning the White House and Congress in November, the GOP thought conservatives would have control. But Republican lawmakers are struggling to exert leverage over efforts to rewrite tax laws and craft a bill to decide the fate of young undocumented immigrants. Their failure to deliver on the repeal of Obamacare was a major mistake.  The betrayal of by the senators who voted against repeal did lasting damage to the party and its leadership.  John McCain is no hero to those who have fought so hard to get this terrible law repealed.  The same goes for the other GOP senators who saved this crap.

They finally have a President who is willing to sign the repeal and they show themselves to have been engaged in the politics of fraud all these years they have been saying they would repeal it.  What they should do about is what they said they would do when they were elected.  That is t…

Trump administration looks to open ANWR to energy exploration

Washington Post:
Administration aims to resume Arctic drilling after more than 30 years

Interior Department officials are modifying a 1980s regulation to lay the groundwork for energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in three decades, according to documents obtained by The Post. Alaska officials have worked for years to restart certain studies, although environmental groups probably would mount a court challenge. The restrictions on drilling in ANWR are more about the anti-energy left's agenda thana bout what is best for Alaska and US energy production.  Democrats would rail about the high price of oil while restricting the supply as if that had nothing to do with the price.  The restrictions have always been absurd.  Arguments that a barren wasteland was "pristine" are ridiculous.

DOJ and FBI have something to hide in Russia investigation?

NY Times:

Judiciary Chairman Considers Subpoenas in Trump Investigation
Senate Judiciary Committee leaders are growing frustrated with what they see as stonewalling from the Justice Department over their Russia probe. They seem reluctant to disclose their part in pushing the dirty dossier and they may have used the bogus document to get approval for intelligence operations against a domestic political operation in a hard-fought election.  If that were the case, I can understand why they would be reluctant.  It looks like misconduct.

CIA wants to do its own drone strikes

NY Times:
C.I.A. Pushing to Loosen Restraints on Secret Drone Strikes
The C.I.A. is pushing for expanded powers to carry out its own drone strikes in Afghanistan and other war zones, and the White House is said to favor the proposal despite Pentagon resistance. Before 9-11 the CIA had Osama bin Laden in its sights but lost the opportunity because of the time it took to go through the chain of command to get approval to take him out.  Targets can be fleeting and if the CIA drone spots on they want to be able to take them out immediately.  I think this makes sense.  It is another example of how rules of engagement hamper operations.

Why the left fears a speech by Ben Shapiro

Daily Caller:
A student asked conservative commentator Ben Shapiro a question about abortion at his Berkeley speech Thursday night, prompting Shapiro to engage in rapid-fire dialogue with the student.

“Any time you draw any line other than the inception of the child, you end up drawing a false line that can also be applied to adults,” Shapiro said. “So either human life has intrinsic value or it doesn’t.”

Shapiro asked the student if he could at least agree that adult life has intrinsic value, to which the student responded that he believes “sentience” — the ability to perceive or feel things — gives something moral value, rather than being a human alone.

“OK, so when you’re asleep, can I stab you?” Shapiro asked, to which the student responded in the negative.

“OK, if you are in a coma from which you may awake, can I stab you?” Shapiro then asked.

“Well then … uhhh, no,” the student replied. “But that’s still potential sentience!”

“Do you know what else has potential sentience? Being…

Single payer healthcare means substandard care and longer waits for it

IBD:
Everywhere we turn these days, we hear people calling for an end to ObamaCare and the imposition of a far-harsher solution to our medical problems: A single-payer system. That's one in which government is the sole payer and provider for health services and the legal private market for health care services essentially disappears.

Sound good to you? Before you embrace the idea, you might want to look at what's happening in Britain right now.

There, some hospitals are moving to ration care for those who are officially deemed obese — that is, anyone who has a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Oh, and while they're at it, they will also ration care for smokers, too.

Why? "To plug a funding black hole," as the British Telegraph newspaper put it. Translation: Britain's National Health Service faces such a serious financial crisis that it now has to deny care to some people, despite its claims of "universal care." And who better to deny care for tha…

Those behind the bad nuclear deal with Iran reconstitute their echo chamber to try to save it

Politico:
Obama hands scramble to save Iran deal

Democratic insiders try to stop Trump from risking ‘war,’ with former president’s tacit blessing. It is a deeply flawed deal that does nothing to stop Iran from outsourcing its nuclear program to North Korea.  And Obama has given them the money to buy nuclear weapons from North Korea.  They have been actively collaborating with North Korea on the program and on ICBM technology.

It has to be one of the worst deals in history.  It was sold through the politics of fraud and it appears they are willing to go that route to save the mess.

Congressional Republicans have squandered an opportunity of a generation

Washington Post:


Republicans see their influence slipping away — and they are unsure what to do

The GOP thought that after it won both the White House and Congress in November, conservatives would have control. But Republicans in Congress are laboring to project leverage over efforts to rewrite tax laws and craft a bill to decide the fate of young undocumented immigrants. It is disappointing that they have missed the chance to repeal the Democrats' disastrous healthcare law.  It is also disappointed that they are paying too much attention to the Chamber of Commerce on immigration and not to the voters who want to see the laws enforced.

They seem hell-bent on making everything too hard.  They are now doing that on taxes.  By squandering their opportunities they are losing the trust of the President who is trying to get things done.

In the process, they are helping Democrats resist change that is needed.

The European fetish of not naming terrorist attacks as such

NY Times:
Trump’s Remarks on Attack ‘Unhelpful,’ British Officials Say
President Trump suggested that British intelligence officials were aware of whoever was behind a terrorist attack on in the London subway. Perhaps there is a concern that discussing the facts of a terrorist attack might tip the terrorists that police are on to them.  In this case, ISIS is eager to confess its guilt in the attack so the chances that Trump statement was "unhelpful" are remote.

What to do with flooded Houston neighborhoods

Washington Post:
As flooded Houston neighborhoods dry out, residents wonder if they’re worth rebuilding

After three major floods — in 2015, 2016 and now Hurricane Harvey — urban planners are broaching the once-unthinkable idea that some communities ought to be abandoned and returned to nature. After the 1900 Galveston Hurricane dredge material from digging the Houston Ship Channel was used to raise the elevation of Galveston Island by eight or nine feet.  What Houston should consider is making the Barker and Addicks reservoirs deeper so they can retain more water when there is an another flood event.  The material from the dig can be used to raise the elevation of flood prone areas.
I suspect that many of these areas have homes built prior to the 1970's when Houston instituted a requirement that all new construction be above the 100-year flood plain.  Because of Houston's lack of zoning, it is much easier to turn a neighborhood over and see tear downs of older homes and new co…

Resistance to Islamic religious bigotry seen as religious discrimination by media?

NY Times:
Trump Seizes on London Attack to Push for Expanding a Travel Ban The president’s proposed restrictions have faced legal challenges and drawn criticism because of concerns that they amount to discrimination based on religion. At their core, Islamic terrorists are religious bigots who believe they are commanded to engage in mass murder of those who disagree with them on religion.

Restricting their access by enhanced screening is a sane response to the threats posed by the mass murder for Allah attacks.  Europe has demonstrated the folly of the open borders approach to mass migration from Muslim countries.  Those coming to this country should be properly vetted and screened.

DACA for border wall deal makes more sense than DACA alone

NY Times:
Conservatives Recoil at Trump’s Accommodation With Democrats Over DACA President Trump came under sharp attack on Thursday for appearing to set aside a border wall fight while reaching a deal on DACA immigrants. DACA without a border wall is likely to lead to more illegals bringing kids into the country.  If you are going to legalize the illegals who came here as kids you need to cut off new illegal immigration.

I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other about these young people.  I do have a strong feeling that we should do more to stop illegal immigration.  Democrats desperately want it to increase because they see these people as undocumented Democrats to add to their shrinking base.

Why would sending them back to their country of origin be anymore traumatizing for them than bringing them here in the first place?  They might even improve the culture of Mexico and Central America by Americanizing it.  There are already reports of deportees changing things for t…

US cyber security team deployed to investigate ship collisions in Pacific

Washington Free Beacon:
Navy Deploys Cyber Security Team to Investigate USS John McCain Collision

Navy has never before deployed its D.C.-based Cyber Command abroad I think they should look at not only the US ships but the commercial ships that were involved in teh collisions.  Other reports indicate that the ship that struck the McCain made a sharp turn to port to collide with the McCain.  Perhaps it was a victim of the cyber attack that was used to hit the McCain.  A Chinese dissident has said that his yacht was taken over by a cyber attack in US waters.

Russia accused of supplying electronic warfare bombs to North Korea

UPI:
North Korea obtained "electronic bombs" from Russia capable of jamming electronic signals and disabling technology on enemy planes, ships and missiles, according to a Japanese newspaper.

The Sankei Shimbun reported Thursday North Korea's cutting edge technology was sourced from Russia, and in past periods, the former Soviet Union.

Pyongyang had claimed it possessed electromagnetic pulse, or EMP technology, capable of neutralizing radar and satellite from detecting North Korean targets.

That claim is supported by a report in 38 North published in June, stating the Russians may have "accidentally" transferred the design of Russia's super-EMP warhead to North Korea before 2004.

The Sankei reported Russian engineers in the collapsed Soviet state of the '90s began to help overseas contacts with obtaining native technology, because they had no other source of income in a failing economy.

In 2009, South Korea's military said Russian scientists were in…

US to increase response to Iranian cyber attacks

VOA:
The United States is looking to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East with a more aggressive approach in cyberspace.

“They operate almost entirely in what we refer to as the gray zone, that space between normal international competition and armed conflict,” the commander of U.S. Central Command, General Joseph Votel, said Wednesday in Washington, calling it “an area ripe for cyberspace operations.”

“We at CENTCOM are examining ways to compete in the gray zone,” he said. “Integrating cyberspace operations as part of a holistic approach is clearly a critical part of that.”

U.S. intelligence and military officials have long warned of Tehran’s “malign influence” in the Middle East. And they say Iran is increasingly relying upon its cyber operations to shape both the battlefield and the information environment in places like Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Votel told an audience at the Billington CyberSecurity Summit that, like Russia, Iran has focused its attention on social media, and…

Anti-1st Amendment left leaves potty mouth chalk talk in response to conservative speech

Washington Examiner:
Berkeley protesters chalk 'Free speech kills,' 'F--k the police,' and 'F--k Ben Shapiro' on campus This is the voice of liberal fascism in the US.  Police also arrested a few people for bringing weapons to the planned speech by Shapiro.  Shapiro is a skilled debater who has a knack for destroying liberal arguments.

Anti-energy left fails to block offshore drilling in Atlantic

Fuel Fix:
A bipartisan effort to block the Department of Interior from developing oil and gas deposits in the Atlantic Ocean has failed.

In a voice vote Thursday night on legislation funding the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency for next year, House members voted down an amendment that would have blocked any of that money from going to Atlantic oil projects, according to Politico.

That would included funding for seismic testing via the use of air guns, a controversial process that scientists suspect is causing behavioral changes in marine mammals like dolphins and whales.
... Blocking drilling in the offshore Atlantic would be a mistake.  It would be a gift to the Russians and OPEC.  Some of the same people who claim they want to punish the Russians for their campaign activities in the US reward them by reducing the potential supply of oil.  Their move would also hurt job creation on the East Coast.

Some Iran deal supporters now see it as a flawed agreement

Eli Lake:
...
The State Department's former special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, Bob Einhorn, invited these nonproliferation experts to "one or more workshops to address the nuclear deal's 'sunset' problem," which he said was the risk that, "when key nuclear restrictions of the JCPOA expire, Iran will be free to build up its nuclear capabilities, especially its enrichment capacity, and drastically reduce the time it would need to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon."

This was a key objection voiced by Israel in 2015 when it publicly opposed Obama's deal with Iran. Between 2025 and 2030, the agreement to limit Iran's stocks of low-enriched uranium and the number of centrifuge cascades it can operate will expire, allowing Iran to erect an industrial-scale nuclear program if it chooses.

At the time, Israel's objections were dismissed and derided by the White House. Obama called the deal's critics warmo…

US hits Iran with new sanctions on its missile program and its cyber warfare

Washington Posts:
U.S. extends waivers from Iran sanctions, but adds new penalties

The United States on Thursday waived nuclear-related sanctions on Iran but slapped new ones on 11 companies and individuals linked to the country’s ballistic missile program and cyberattacks on U.S. companies. Obama's bad deal survives for a few more weeks or months, but Iran will screw up at some point and end it.  Trading billions of dollars for a few years halt to their nuclear program only made it easier for Iran to buy nuclear weapons from North Korea, and because it refuses to allow inspection of its military sites, they may go undetected until they are used.  That is another reason their missile program is so dangerous.

Trump voters really don't like Democrats or their ideas

Thomas P. Edsall:
Trump Says Jump. His Supporters Ask, How High?
Many Republican voters appear to be ready to follow the president wherever he goes. Liberals still do not comprehend how much they have lost the trust of the American people who supported Trump.  All the attacks on Trump by the Democrats and their cohorts in the media have not moved them.  One of the serious flaws in the polling on presidential approval is the lack of a question "compared to what."

It is not so much that they like everything Trump does.  It is they despise most of the things Democrats are pushing and especially the bogus claims of racism against those who disagree with Democrats.  Since the election, Democrats have been as insulting to Trump voters as they have to the President.  That is not a plan that will endear them.

Democrat polling on border fence is misleading

Sharyl Attkisson:
Americans support a border wall more than the media wants to believe They are making the same mistake they made when they thought Trump would lose the election.

Democrats embracing failed healthcare model

Image
Obamacare has been a disaster for them and this will only make matters worse for them.

Democrats are showing the same tone deftness they had when they pushed Obamacare through.

Democrat publicity firm still on the gravy train of government spending

Daily Caller:
EXCLUSIVE: Obama’s Top Campaign Ad Firm Got Nearly $60M In Federal Contracts

...
The overwhelming majority of the $58 million funneled to GMMB came from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) created by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2011. The CFPB awarded the agency a whopping $43.7 million, about 75 percent of GMMB’s total federal funding stream.

The second-most lucrative government account for GMMB is a community service agency founded by Bill Clinton, the Corporation for National and Community Service, which awarded GMMB $13.1 million worth of contracts. Other agencies that awarded contracts to GMMB include the Department of Homeland Security ($1.6 million) and the Department of the Interior ($24,000).
... Both CFPB and GMMB should be abolished.  They are leftist boondoggles that thwart government oversite.

Democrats side with illegal alien gang members

Steve Berman:
SHAME: Not a Single Democrat Voted to Deport MS13 Members Keep voting to protect the bad guys, Democrats.  It says who you are.  Siding with criminals rather than their victims should not be a winning ticket.

North Korea keeps saying things that convince the world it should not be trusted with nuclear weapons

Reuters:
North Korea threatens to 'sink' Japan, reduce U.S. to 'ashes and darkness' They keep doing things to justify a preemptive attack against North Korea and its nuclear program.

Some liberals are getting fed up with the Democrats' narrative

Fox News:
The mainstream media failed to see the rise of Donald Trump in 2016. Now it’s overlooking another grassroots movement that may soon be of equal significance— the growing number of liberals “taking the red pill.” People of all ages and ethnicities are posting YouTube videos describing “red pill moments”—personal awakenings that have caused them to reject leftist narratives imbibed since childhood from friends, teachers, and the news and entertainment media.

You might say that those who take the red pill have been “triggered.” But instead of seeking out “safe spaces,” they’re doing the opposite, posting monologues throwing off the shackles of political correctness.

Their videos can feature the kind of subversiveness that was once a hallmark of the left—before the movement lost its sense of humor.

Candace Owens, a charismatic young African American, posts commentaries on her YouTube channel whose titles seem expressly designed to make PC heads explode.

A sample: “I Don't…