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Showing posts from May, 2017

House subpoena's intel agencies for data on unmasking

James Rosen, Fox News:
Three of the nation’s intelligence agencies received subpoenas Wednesday afternoon issued by the House Intelligence Committee, Fox News has confirmed, with each of the three demands for documents explicitly naming three top officials of the Obama administration: Susan Rice, who served as President Obama’s White House national security adviser; former CIA Director John Brennan; and former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power.

The three subpoenas, among a total of seven signed by panel chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), were served on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency, and all three explicitly referenced “unmasking” – a signal that the House panel is intensifying its investigation into allegations that Obama-era aides improperly demanded the “unmasking” of names of associates of President Trump that had appeared, in coded form, in classified intelligence reports, then leaked the data to news media organ…

When it comes to terrorism many on the left want to do nothing to inconvenience the terrorists

Heather MacDonald:
Liberal ideology conceives of “safe spaces” in the context of alleged white patriarchy, but there was a real need for a “safe space” in Britain’s Manchester Arena on May 22, when 22-year-old terrorist Salman Abedi detonated his nail- and screw-filled suicide bomb after a concert by teen idol Ariana Grande. What was the “progressive” answer to yet another instance of Islamic terrorism in the West? Feckless calls for resisting hate, pledges of renewed diversity, and little else.

A rethinking of immigration policies is off the table. Nothing that an Islamic terrorist can do will ever shake the left-wing commitment to open borders—not mass sexual assaults, not the deliberate slaughter of gays, and not, as in Manchester last week, the killing of young girls. The real threat that radical Islam poses to feminism and gay rights must be disregarded in order to transform the West by Third World immigration. Defenders of the open-borders status quo inevitably claim that if a te…

Majority of voters think leaking classified information is treasonous

Rasmussen Reports:
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The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just over half (53%) of all Likely U.S. Voters still consider the leaking of classified information to the media to be an act of treason. Thirty percent (30%) disagree, while 18% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

This is largely the same way voters felt in November 2010 following WikiLeaks’ publication of top secret U.S. government data related to the war in Afghanistan and other defense and foreign policy issues.

But while 73% of Republicans consider the leaking of classified information which plagues the Trump administration as treasonous, only half as many Democrats (36%) feel that way now. Voters not affiliated with either major party agree by a 50% to 27% margin that the leaks are an act of treason.
...
A closer look finds that 56% of GOP voters and 49% of unaffiliateds believe the media is hurting national security when it publishes government secrets, b…

What Germany could do to repair trade imbalance with US and increase strength of NATO

NY Times:
Trump Takes Aim at German Trade, but Overlooks Benefits
The president’s campaign against the trade deficit with Germany ignores the 700,000 jobs its carmakers have brought to America and overstates Berlin’s ability to do much about the imbalance. I am sure Trump is aware of the jobs provided by German companies, and he probably wants more of them because the Germans are still importing more cars into the US.  What Germany should understand is that Trump is not just randomly throwing out insults.

The Chinese and Japanese understand this far better than the Merkel government and both have reached out to accommodate Trump's insistence on creating US jobs in return for more trade.

What German should do is make a bigger investment in US weapons in order to increase its contribution to NATO to the agreed upon level.  That would be a good deal for both countries and increase Germany's ability to resist Russian aggression.

The sooner the media and the Europeans understand t…

Googles skewed search results in 2016 accused of aiding Clinton campaign

streiff:
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What the study shows, or purports to show–I’m not a mathematician and I don’t play one on the internet–is that no matter who you were or your political preferences, Google and Yahoo, but particularly Google, was going to serve up stories which were favorable to Hillary Clinton and they did it for at least six months prior to the election.

This is the kicker:
9) Issue: Could the pro-Clinton bias in search results have shifted votes to Mrs. Clinton? A comprehensive study published in 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that biased search rankings can easily shift the voting preferences of undecided voters by 20% or more – up to 80% in some demographic groups. Extrapolating from the mathematics introduced in this report, in articles published in February 2016 and thereafter, the lead author of the PNAS study predicted that a pro-Clinton bias in Google’s search results would, over time, shift at least 2.6 million votes to Clinton. She won the pop…

Liquefied Natural Gas a game changer for those previously dependent on Russian gas

Wall Street Journal:
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An integrated market improves energy security by reducing the leverage of dominant pipeline gas suppliers, helping Europe implement its Energy Union package goals to reduce vulnerability to Russian gas dependence through market integration, interconnectivity and diversification. Just before Lithuania started operating its LNG import terminal, aptly named “Independence,” it negotiated a more than 20% discount off its gas bill from Gazprom. Poland’s new LNG terminal will allow it to achieve its strategic objective to replace Russian gas imports with alternatives. And growing competition from LNG helped encourage Gazprom to settle the EU Commission’s long-running antitrust case against the company.

Moreover, increased LNG supply enables gas to respond to changing market conditions more easily, such as Japan’s demand surge following the Fukushima disaster, enhancing energy security through more interconnected markets. It is also encouraging the emergence of an int…

Thousands of non-citizens found on Virginia voting rolls with some voting for decades

Washington Free Beacon:
A public interest law firm has discovered thousands of noncitizens were quietly removed from Virginia voter rolls and that a number of the removed individuals had been voting since the 1980s.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an Indiana-based group that litigates to protect election integrity, released a report detailing their findings on Virginia's voter rolls. The group filed numerous lawsuits and submitted a number of record requests in order to gather the information after the state had initially stonewalled their efforts.

The extensive review of voter history files across Virginia's 133 jurisdictions found that state election officials removed 5,556 noncitizen voters between 2011 and May 2017. Of the 5,556 noncitizens that were quietly removed from the rolls, 1,852 cast ballots.

PILF said that a total of 7,474 illegal ballots were cast by the noncitizens, with records of illegal voting dating as far back as the 1980s.
... This is a story…

Collusion alleged between Clinton campaign and Obama in pushing the bogus Russian narrative

Breitbart:
Carter Page, the American finance professional who was tangentially and briefly associated with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has requested that the House Select Committee on Intelligence investigate the possibility of “collusion” between Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and members of the Obama administration in perpetuating the unsubstantiated narrative about Donald Trump and Russia.
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Page was referring to the controversial 35-page dossier on Trump compiled by a former British intelligence officer which CNN reported served as part of the FBI’s justification for seeking a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) warrant to clandestinely monitor Page.

Page contends that the warrant was obtained utilizing false evidence and he has been seeking the public disclosure of information containing the justification for what he refers to as the “illegitimate” FISA warrant.

Speaking to Breitbart News on Tuesday, Page stated, “Last year’s collusion between…

Sanctions expose Iran's role in Syrian WMD attacks and China's role in Iran's missile program

Israel Defense:
The US Department of the Treasury designated seven persons and entities for ties to Iran’s ballistic missile program earlier this month. The sanctions reveal new evidence pointing to Iran’s support for entities involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program, and continuing evidence of illicit procurement networks that aid Tehran’s ballistic missile development.

Morteza Farastpour, a target of the actions, is a high-ranking Iranian defense official responsible for coordinating "the sale and delivery of explosives and other materiel" from Iran’s Defense Industries Organization (DIO) to Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC). Just last month, the US Department of the Treasury sanctioned 271 individuals working for SSRC, noting that the center is "responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them” and that the individuals designated “worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons program."

Iran’s mil…

Obama's regulation onslaught nicked the US economy for $2 trillion annually

Washington Times:
The Obama administration issued a record number of new regulations on its way out the door in 2016, leaving an administrative state that saps the economy of nearly $2 trillion a year, according to a new report being released Wednesday.

The government itself spent $63 billion in 2016 to administer and enforce all of its own regulations, the Competitive Enterprise Institute said.

With Republicans in Washington looking for reasons to streamline Washington and roll back President Barack Obama’s accomplishments, the new report is likely to be ammunition.

“The federal government’s reach extends far beyond its taxes, deficits, and borrowing. Federal environmental, safety and health, and economic regulations affect the economy by hundreds of billions — even trillions — of dollars annually,” Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. wrote in the CEI’s 2017 “Ten Thousand Commandments” report on federal regulations.

He counted 3,853 federal rules that were finalized in 2016 — the most for any year sin…

USAA responds to customers angry about cancelling ads on Hannity

Daily Mail:

The military insurer announced on Tuesday that it would resume advertising on Hannity after scores of customers threatened to cancel their accounts when it removed commercials. The opposition to the move was pretty intense by military members who make up USAA's customer base.   I think the insurance company may have been taken in by a left wing scam that makes it look like the opposition to their advertising on Hannity is greater than it really is.  That was what they tried with Rush Limbaugh's advertisers and his investigators discovered that the complaints were generated by only about 15 people who made it look like thousands were complaining.

Gitmo alum accused of being an ISIS recruiter

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Daily Mail:

Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar, a former Guantananmo Bay inmate, is one of the six people arrested in Bordeaux, France, for allegedly being involved in an ISIS recruiting network. Obama released him after the French agreed to take him in.  Apparently, both Obama and Sarkozy were wrong about him.  Obama's position on Gitmo never made much sense.  He bought into the false premise that Gitmo was a recruiting tool for al Qaeda.  This ignored the fact that the biggest recruiting tool was the interpretation of the Koran by the radical Islamists.

Missile defense test against ICBM successful--A message to the Norks

NBC Los Angeles:
A ground-based interceptor launched Tuesday from Southern California's Vandenberg Air Force Base shot down a simulated incoming warhead as part of a U.S. defense system test.

The drill at the Santa Barbara County base is designed to prepare for any North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile strike and marked an important milestone in the defense system's development. The interceptor was launched from Vandenberg AFB at midday and targeted a simulated incoming warhead launched from the central Pacific Ocean.

The test launch, the first of its kind in nearly three years, was seen from miles away, but the missile intercept was not visible, according to the air base. The interceptor struck the mock warhead as it traveled outside the Earth's atmosphere.
... The test suggests improved accuracy for the missile defense system.  I suspect this particular test was to catch missiles that may have evaded Aegis type systems fired closer to North Korea.  I still be…

Obama's spying on political opponents worse than Watergate?

Glenn Harlen Reynolds:
In 1972, some employees of President Nixon’s re-election committee were caught when they broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to plant a bug. This led to Nixon’s resignation and probably would have led to his felony prosecution had he not been pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.

But if a single bugging of the political opposition is enough to bring down a presidency — and maybe lead to an unprecedented criminal prosecution of a former president — then what are we to make of the recently unveiled Obama administration program of massively spying on political opponents in violation of clearly established law?

Because that’s what was unveiled last week.

When the FBI wants to wiretap a domestic suspect, it goes to court for a warrant. But when listening in on foreigners, the National Security Agency hoovers up a vast amount of stuff in bulk: Conversations between foreigners, conversations between Americans and foreigners, conversations between A…

Iranian backed forces continue to mass near US special ops base near Syria-Iraq border

Washington Times:
Hundreds of Iranian-backed militiamen, fighting alongside government troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, are amassing near a U.S.-training base located near the country’s border with Iraq, the Defense Department confirmed Tuesday.

Pro-Assad fighters supported by Tehran have begun conducting patrols near the southern Syrian town of At Tanf, which is home to a U.S. training camp for moderate Syrian militias battling the Islamic State, said Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis.

American commanders and their Russian counterparts, deployed to Syria in support of the Assad regime, have designated At Tanf and the surrounding areas as a deconfliction zone, which bars any interference by any outside forces of coalition operations within the area.

“We continue to see massing [of forces] and we are concerned about that,” Capt. Davis told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday. “These patrols are unacceptable and threaten coalition forces” operating within the deconfliction z…

The media-Democrat coalition

Victor Davis Hanson:
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It is no longer a liberal (a word now replaced by progressive) political alternative to conservatism as much as a cultural movement fueled by coastal elites, academics, celebrities — and the media. Its interests are not so much political as cultural. True to its new media identity, the Democratic party is against anything Trump rather than being for something. It seeks to shock and entertain in the fashion of a red-carpet celebrity or MSNBC talking head rather than to legislate or formulate policy as a political party.

The result is that in traditional governing terms, the Democratic party has recalibrated itself into near political impotency. Barack Obama ended the centrism of Bill Clinton and with it the prior Democratic comeback (thanks to the third-party candidacies of Ross Perot) from the disastrous McGovern, Carter, Mondale, and Dukakis years.
... The Democrats have become a party desperately clinging to the status quo while trying to stop change.

Was this in response to threat to legislator who called ICE?

NY Times:
Texas Lawmaker Threatens to Shoot Colleague After Reporting Protesters to ICE
Representative Matt Rinaldi said he called federal immigration authorities after protesters at the Capitol interrupted the final day of the legislative session. Rinaldi story is that the Democrat threaten to attack him when he left the chamber to go to his car.  He apparently was putting the man threatening him on notice that he would respond to such an attack.

The event demonstrated the Democrats hostility to the rule of law when it comes to immigration.  The Democrats are really on the wrong side of voters on this issue.  Polls indicate that around 80 percent of voters oppose sanctuary cities.

Rinaldi claimed that he called ICE because people wearing shirts that said they were "illegal and not leaving" were disrupting the proceedings.  The headline and the lead appear to leave out important context to the confrontation.

When Rinaldi left at the end of the session he was under the protect…

Merkel's climate obsession is the real issue in dispute over US leadership

Wall Street Journal:
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Mrs. Merkel seemed especially miffed about Mr. Trump’s decision not to embrace the Paris climate accord that Mr. Obama signed in his final year as President. “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory,” Mrs. Merkel told reporters. “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the [European Union], stand against one.’

But wait. Since when is a difference of opinion on climate policy a signal of U.S. retreat from Europe? And why is Mr. Trump’s reluctance to sign on to Paris—he says he’ll decide whether to leave the accord this week—a failure of leadership? Mrs. Merkel’s comments suggest that she is most upset because Mr. Trump declined to follow her lead on climate.

Mr. Trump should decline if he wants to fulfill his campaign promises to lift the U.S. economy. Mrs. Merkel’s embrace of green-energy dogmas has done enormous harm to the German economy. She reacted to the Fukushima meltdown …

The battle for Raqqa and the thwarting of Iranian ambitions

Rubin Center:
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The battle against the territorial holdings of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is reaching its final phase. The re-conquest of Mosul is almost done. The assault on Raqqa city, the capital city of the Caliphate is about to begin. It is set to be a hard and bloody fight. But its eventual outcome is not in question. Islamic State as an entity controlling ground will be destroyed. At which point the movement will revert back to its former status as a clandestine terror network. As the eclipse of the Caliphate draws near, the race is opening up to inherit its former domains.

The competitors in this contest are Iran and its various allies and proxies, and forces associated with the west and the Sunni Arab states.

The Iranians and their allies want to penetrate IS territory from west to east – with the Iraqi Shia militias pushing westwards from Tel Afar and Assad regime forces and pro-Assad militias (including Hizballah) probing east.

The regime forces nosing aro…

Leaks from FISA material could lead Congress to cut off program

Washington Examiner:
A key government surveillance tool set to expire in 2017 could be jeopardized by a string of intelligence leaks that have damaged the Trump administration, and led to questions about whether federal officials can protect the information they collect.

Top members of the House Intelligence Committee are warning they won't renew a provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act until they get to the bottom of how classified information identifying Trump administration officials was leaked to the media earlier this year.

"We are not going to reauthorize these surveillance programs if the American people are not satisfied that their security is going to be safeguarded," Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said recently on Fox News.

Section 702 of the FISA law gives the Intelligence Community the authority to eavesdrop on communications of foreigners outside the United States.

The law is aimed at giving U.S. intell…

Goldman Sachs accused of giving a lifeline to Venezuela's oppressive government

Reuters:
The president of Venezuela's opposition-run Congress on Monday accused Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs of "aiding and abetting the country's dictatorial regime" following a report that it had bought $2.8 billion in bonds from the cash-strapped country.

The Wall Street Journal on Sunday said Goldman paid 31 cents on the dollar for bonds issued by state oil company PDVSA that mature in 2022, or around $865 million, citing five people familiar with the transaction.

That comes as two months of opposition protests against President Nicolas Maduro have killed almost 60 people and the collapse of the country's socialist economy has left millions of people struggling to eat.

"Goldman Sachs' financial lifeline to the regime will serve to strengthen the brutal repression unleashed against the hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans peacefully protesting for political change in the country," wrote Julio Borges in a letter to Goldman Sachs Presi…

Brennan was behind allegations of Trump campaign collusion despite no evidence

Washington Times:
What caused the Barack Obama administration to begin investigating the Donald Trump campaign last summer has come into clearer focus following a string of congressional hearings on Russian interference in the presidential election.

It was then-CIA Director John O. Brennan, a close confidant of Mr. Obama’s, who provided the information — what he termed the “basis” — for the FBI to start the counterintelligence investigation last summer. Mr. Brennan served on the former president’s 2008 presidential campaign and in his White House.

Mr. Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 that the intelligence community was picking up tidbits on Trump associates making contacts with Russians. Mr. Brennan did not name either the Russians or the Trump people. He indicated he did not know what was said.


But he said he believed the contacts were numerous enough to alert the FBI, which began its probe into Trump associates that same July, according to previous congressional …

Texas Democrats lose composure when GOP members calls ICE to pick up illegals demonstrating

Washington Times:
Democratic members of the Texas Legislature reportedly assaulted and threatened a Republican colleague over his call to immigration authorities, prompting the GOP lawmaker to say he’d defend himself with deadly force if the Democrats followed through on their threats.

Rep. Matt Rinaldi, Irving Republican, said the altercation began when he called Immigration and Customs Enforcement in response to repeated disruptions of the day’s proceedings by illegal-immigrant demonstrators over a bill targeting sanctuary cities.

According to the account he posted on social media, when Mr. Rinaldi told a group of Democrats on the floor that he had done this, he was “physically assaulted” by Rep. Ramon Romero, Fort Worth Democrat, and other Democrats had to be held back by lawmakers.

Shortly after the widely-seen altercation on the House floor, several Democratic lawmakers held a press conference where they accused Mr. Rinaldi of saying he would “put a bullet in the head” of one of the…

Media overreacts to 'white supremacist' Bernie Sanders supporter

Washington Post:
Attacks like Portland's will keep happening unless we all fight white supremacy
When Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche boarded a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., on Friday night, they never could have imagined they wouldn't make it home. As terrible as this event was it is more indicative of a guy with a mental health problem than the dangers of white supremacists.  When it comes to crazy this guy's alleged actions look like a twofer. A white supremacist Bernie Sanders supporter suggests a guy with inner conflicts.

I am against any racist groups including Black Lives Matter whose actions have resulted in even more black on black crime because of its antagonism toward the police.  This guy was seen as a danger before this actions and the liberals in Washington chose not to do anything about it.  They tend to excuse crazy out there.

Hyper ventilating liberals take a deep breath?

LA Times:
Worn-out activists in the age of Trump learn how to breathe in, breathe out, fight on This is just so California.  I think they have started using this technique in their regular calls to others going insane over the idea that many people in this country disagree with them.

Russia is playing the intel leakers

Holman Jenkins:
The Trump-Russia Story Starts Making Sense

The Kremlin seems to have bet big on the willingness of U.S. intelligence agencies to leak.

...
This also should shed new light on today’s anti-Trump leakers in the intelligence agencies: They may be the real unwitting agents of Russian influence.
...
It’s times like this we are reminded how personally stupid are many people who make up the media. These leaks need to be investigated—and by Mr. Mueller specifically to the extent that the leaks, as seems more and more likely, indirectly or partly have their origins in Russian manipulation of our own intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Democrats wanted an independent counsel investigation of Russia’s election meddling. They believed it would lead to evidence of, or at least keep alive the story of, Trump collusion. They may be unpleasantly surprised where it really leads. This makes more sense than many of the leak stories such as the current one about Kushner's seeking…

Appeals court ruling is a show of political bias and not legal thinking

Washington Post:
Appeals court says essentially that Trump is not to be believed. Will the Supreme Court reach the same conclusion?

The president’s lawyers will probably ask the high court this week to overturn the rejection of the travel ban by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. This is an embarrassingly bad decision by the 4th Circuit.

By their standards, the Supreme Court should have overturned Obamacare because both the Democrats and Obama said over and over again that the mandate was not a tax.  That is not to mention the other lies they told about being able to "keep your plan" and "keep your doctor."  The court ignored all of those things and declared it a tax to keep from finding it unconstitutional.

If the Supreme Court is consistent it will slap down this ridiculous decision.

The problem with the Kushner Russian leak story

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NY Times:
Reported Talks by Jared Kushner With Russia Would Be ‘Good Thing,’ Trump Official Says Al Drago/The New York TimesPresident Trump and Melania Trump arriving at the White House on Saturday night after a nine-day overseas trip. John F. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, played down reports of a back channel. The president, meanwhile, resumed using Twitter as a weapon. While the Times continues to flog the story about Kushner's interest in a back channel to talk with Russian leaders, increasingly there is no there, there.  US officials have used back channels for communication for decades.

The Times had no problem when John Kerry used back channels to make the bad deal with Iran possible.  Kissinger had a back channel communication ability with the Soviets.

So why does the Times keep pretending that this is a "growing controversy"?  I suspect it is because they think it fits their anti-Trump narrative.  Like most liberals, they are desperate to distract the …

Hybrid dirt bike gives special ops more stealth in approaching the enemy

Popular Science:
The bike is so quiet it even surprised its designer. Dzwill recalls a testing session in the woods where a rider was able to sneak up on him undetected. "He just popped up behind us, like the sound of us walking was enough to completely hide the sound of the motorcycle approaching behind us." As a comparison, they were able to hear a traditional gas-powered dirtbike from almost a mile away.

There are no other stealth features for the SilentHawk other than its quiet engine, but that's still probably enough for the silent professionals that may take it into battle. Traveling undetected is a tremendous advantage, provided the bike itself doesn't end up a encumbrance. Which nods to one of DARPA's goals in asking for new prototypes: reducing the weight, while retaining all the added functionality.

Off the shelf, an Alta Motors electric motorcycle weighs 270 pounds. With everything added to the first prototype, including two-wheel drive, the hybrid eng…

Trump says Palestinians lied to him

Israel National News:
President Donald Trump lambasted Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, after the president claims the PA leader deceived him regarding his party’s involvement in anti-Israel incitement.

Trump met with Abbas in the PA-controlled city of Bethlehem last week during his two-day visit to Israel. The two held a joint press conference, at which time the president praised Abbas’ commitment to restarting negotiations with Israel for a final status agreement.

But according to a report by Channel 2 Sunday evening, the closed-door meeting between the president and the PA chairman was anything but cordial.

A US official present during the meeting claims the president expressed outrage with Abbas, yelling at him regarding Abbas’ claims that his Fatah faction was not involved in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement.

“You tricked me in Washington,” the president is said to have yelled at Abbas, referencing the PA leader’s March trip to the US capital.

During his March get-…

Media fails to separate Trump supporters from President

Washington Times:
Despite an onslaught of ridicule from the national media, chiding from their neighbors and repeated public relations flare-ups from the White House, President Trump’s voters remain remarkably loyal to him, pollsters and analysts say.

These voters reject notions that they should regret their vote, saying that their frustration is not with Mr. Trump but with the resistance mounted by Democrats determined to stymie Mr. Trump at every turn.

But they also blame much of the stalled Trump agenda on congressional Republicans — party leaders, hard-line conservatives and moderates whose squabbling caused major problems in the Obamacare repeal effort.
... Liberals in the media still do not comprehend why their attacks didn't work in the election, yet they keep trying the same thing hoping a =for a different results.  Stories in the Washington Post and NY Times are often focused on how they believe Trump policies will hurt these voters, but both have long since lost this aud…

ISIS Philippines attack a continuation of strategy of attacking elsewhere when under pressure

Washington Times:
Western powers and media outlets convulsed in shock at last week’s horrific suicide attack on a pop concert in Britain, but little attention was paid to a surge of violence by the Islamic State on the other side of the world — specifically in the Philippines and Indonesia.

Dozens have died since a Southeast Asian faction of the organization also known as ISIS and ISIL raised its black flag over a key southern Philippine city on Wednesday, the same day that a double suicide bombing since claimed by the terrorist group rocked the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

With terrorism analysts having warned months ago that the Islamic State could surge in the region as it lost territory in the Middle East, U.S. intelligence officials have expressed particular wariness in recent days over the group’s push to hold territory in the southern Philippines.

“ISIS has publicly accepted pledges from various groups in the Philippines and has called on followers in Southeast Asia to go to the…

How ISIS will be defeated

Guardian:
...
Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Mattis said: “Our strategy right now is to accelerate the campaign against Isis. It is a threat to all civilized nations. And the bottom line is we are going to move in an accelerated and reinforced manner, throw them on their back foot.

“We have already shifted from attrition tactics, where we shove them from one position to another in Iraq and Syria, to annihilation tactics where we surround them. Our intention is that the foreign fighters do not survive the fight to return home to North Africa, to Europe, to America, to Asia, to Africa. We’re not going to allow them to do so. We’re going to stop them there and take apart the caliphate.”

Mattis also said efforts against Isis would be “a long fight” and “a fight about ideas”.

“We’re going to shatter their sense of invincibility there in the physical caliphate,” he said. “That’s only one phase of this. Then we have the virtual caliphate, that they use the internet.”

“We have g…

Europe seems to be getting the message that it needs to step up its defense

Washington Post:


Europe can no longer rely on ‘others,’ Merkel says after Trump’s visit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who leads Europe’s most powerful economy, declared a new chapter in U.S.-European relations after contentious meetings with President Trump. Merkel did not mention the U.S. president but offered a clear repudiation of his leadership after he blasted NATO leaders and refused to commit to the Paris climate accord. She declared that Europe “must take our fate into our own hands.” Europe has been free riding on the US defense umbrella for too long.  Only the Brits have been a strong ally of the major powers.  Smaller powers like Estonia and Poland have done their part, but they are also two of the most threatened by Russia.  Germany has been particularly weak in its defense effort and Merkel seems somewhat petulant about being called on their lack of effort.

Petition at college would take grade points from the top 10 % and give it to bottom 10 %

Red States:
College Students Freak Out After Accidentally Rejecting Socialism ...
The College Fix reports that students were extremely upset when they realized they had accidentally rejected socialism. They called for a “teach-in” at the student union to discuss their feelings on the matter. In the video of this event, students denounce the YAF effort as “inflammatory” and unfair, making light of socioeconomic disparity of campus.
... When it comes to socialism, many students are just unteachable.

What is missing from this sad story is that Palestinian terrorists are responsible for barriers

Washington Post:
For a Palestinian with cancer, Israel was her best hope. But that meant a painful separation.

An Israeli permit gave her access to better medical care in East Jerusalem. But while she praised her doctors, what she wanted most was to go home to her children, who were stuck on the other side of Israel’s separation barrier. While Israelis show compassion for her condition there are limits to access to Israeli areas because the Palestinians have a history of engaging in mass murder attacks before the barrier was put in place and removing it would only open the door to more terrorist attacks.

Using this sob story as an excuse to attack the wall is an open attempt to get empathy for a hostile neighbor who supports mass murder attacks on Israel through grants of money to the murderers and their families.  Stop using a passive aggressive narrative to gain empathy for mass murderers.  This woman is an unfortunate victim of Palestinian terror that keeps her away from her family…

Burying the lead on back channel to Russia story

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NY Times:
Kushner Is Said to Have Discussed a Secret Channel to Talk to Russia
A back channel between Jared Kushner, a White House adviser, and Moscow was proposed to discuss Syria, but never pursued, in the weeks before Donald J. Trump’s inauguration. So why is the following story the lead at the Times?
Trump Returns to Crisis Over Kushner as White House Tries to Contain It Stephen Crowley/The New York TimesPresident Trump with his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, at the White House in March. President Trump arrived home Saturday to face reports that his son-in-law is under scrutiny in inquiries into possible ties between Russia and associates of Mr. Trump. It appears that the facts don't fit the narrative of collusion with the Russians, but the media is rolling out the story to continue its efforts to distract the administration and put it on the defensive.  The alleged meeting to discuss the proposed back-channel was also well after the election.  The facts that have…

Why is the mainstream media routinely ignoring the illegal collection of data on Americans by NSA?

Andrew McCarthy:
During the Obama years, the National Security Agency intentionally and routinely intercepted and reviewed communications of American citizens in violation of the Constitution and of court-ordered guidelines implemented pursuant to federal law.

The unlawful surveillance appears to have been a massive abuse of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection authority, carried out for the purpose of monitoring the communications of Americans in the United States. While aware that it was going on for an extensive period of time, the administration failed to disclose its unlawful surveillance of Americans until late October 2016, when the administration was winding down and the NSA needed to meet a court deadline in order to renew various surveillance authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

The administration’s stonewalling about the scope of the violation induced an exasperated Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to accuse the NSA of “an …

FBI warned Britain about Manchester mass murderer

Daily Mail:
UK security chiefs were warned in January that Salman Abedi was planning an attack in Britain, it was claimed last night.

According to a security source, the FBI told MI5 that Abedi was part of a North African Islamic State cell plotting to strike a political target in the UK.

The information came from a US investigation into Abedi and his links to terrorist groups in Libya. The Mail on Sunday has also been told that US security services put him on a terror watch list – used by agents to identify key suspects – in 2016.

The shocking claim piles further pressure on MI5 to reveal when and how it became aware of Abedi, and why UK spies decided he did not pose a significant threat to British security.
... It would appear that US intelligence was also responsible for finding many of his associates in Libya.  It makes the UK's upset about the release of bomber's name all the more curious since the FBI knew about who he is before the police started the roundup.

Property tax rebellion in Texas

Texas Public Policy Foundation:

A new poll is spotlighting the fact that property taxes in Texas are out of control, and Texans consider lower property taxes a top Legislative priority.
...

The desire to lessen the burden of big government is nothing new. Another UT/Texas Tribune poll taken in 2015 showed that 54 percent of those polled were “dissatisfied with property taxes” and for good reason. Currently Texans pay the sixth highest property tax nationwide and according to Politifact Texas.
... The schools are the big consumer of property taxes and they appear to have little restraint on their ability to tax and spend.  Some of their expenditures appear frivolous.   In the recent legislative session, these same schools have fought tooth and nail to prevent parents from having school choice even when they are keeping kids in failing schools.

Will DOJ prosecute the leakers inside the White House?

Breitbart:
Reports: At Least Three Anti-Trump Leakers Identified, Referred to Proper Authorities, Expected to Be Fired Soon The leakers are believed to be holdovers from the Obama administration who deliberately leaked the material to hurt the Trump administration.

I am just curious as to why they are waiting for Trump to fire them in person.

Another Washington Post scoop appears suspect

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Daily Mail:

Jared Kushner reportedly proposed a back-channel between the Kremlin and the Trump transition team during a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat to 'discuss strategy in Syria'. Evidence of a desire for back-channel, talks is not evidence of collusion or any other crime.  The Obama administration had back-channel talks with Iran before their bad deal was struck.  This is looking more and more like a media in search of an excuse to support a coup attempt against the Trump administration.

The Russian probe sounds like a Stalinist operation looking for a crime to get a political enemy

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Trump should add Alan Dershowitz to his legal team.  There is no crime and no evidence of one to justify an investigation.

Why hasn't the US designated Muslim Brotherhood terrorists?

BBC:
Saudi Arabia declares Muslim Brotherhood 'terrorist group' Obviously, the claim that the US would alienate Muslims if it declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization is not true.  And, the Saudis are not the only Muslim nation who has mad ethe same finding.

While some have claimed that al Qaeda's roots are Whabbism, in fact, their roots go back to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and one of the co-founders of al Qaeda is also Egyptian.  The Egyptian government has also outlawed them so why hasn't the US?

The Obama administration tried to hack US election

Paul Sperry:
New revelations have surfaced that the Obama administration abused intelligence during the election by launching a massive domestic-spy campaign that included snooping on Trump officials.

The irony is mind-boggling: Targeting political opposition is long a technique of police states like Russia, which Team Obama has loudly condemned for allegedly using its own intelligence agencies to hack into our election.

The revelations, as well as testimony this week from former Obama intel officials, show the extent to which the Obama administration politicized and weaponized intelligence against Americans.

Thanks to Circa News, we now know the National Security Agency under President Barack Obama routinely violated privacy protections while snooping through foreign intercepts involving US citizens — and failed to disclose the breaches, prompting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court a month before the election to rebuke administration officials.

The story concerns what’s know…

Syrian war effort has created shortage of Russian bombs

War is Boring:
An air campaign requires a sprawling, complicated supply chain. Fire enough missiles and drop enough bombs, which require a heavy investment in materials and chemicals, and there will come a point when the logistics trail starts to strain.

Nearly 20 months into Russia’s intervention in Syria’s civil war, the strain is starting to show.

Russia has heavily relied on air power to support Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad. At times, the Russian air force has dropped bombs at a faster pace than the United States in Syria, benefiting from significantly shorter flight times, and being hampered by the need to rely on a greater number of unguided bombs.

The results include the deaths of more than 9,000 people including 4,000 civilians from the start of the campaign through September 2016, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group.

Every bomb contains chemicals, and every rocket requires a propellant to send it from a plane or helicopter’s p…

Turkish despot Erdogan frightened by NBA player

Washington Post:
Turkey reportedly seeks arrest of NBA center who criticized Erdogan

A Turkish judge issued an arrest warrant for the Oklahoma Thunder’s Enes Kanter over allegations that he is a part of a “terror group,” according to reports. Kanter, a native of Turkey, has accused the government there of “human rights abuses.” I think Kanter is too busy making a good living as a basketball player to join with a "terror group."  He also appears to be a sane critic of Erdogan's despotic regime.  In fact, the arrest warrant helps make the case against Erdogan's tyranny of his own people.

Democrats losing control of their activists?

NY Times:
Liberals Wanted a Fight in Montana. Democratic Leaders Saw a Lost Cause.
Tension between party leaders who will not compete for unlikely seats and an energized base loath to concede anything to Republicans risks demoralizing activists. Well, at least the Democrat leaders have not sicced the IRS on them the way they did Tea Party activist upset with the Obama administration. But the Democrat activists have made some to the same mistakes as the Tea Party groups did pushing candidates without a broad appeal to voters in a general election.  Perhaps they will learn that not everyone shares their dismay at losing to Trump.

This appears to be the sum total of Russian 'interference' in 2016 election

What has been talked about the most are the schemes to reveal internal emails of the DNC and John Podesta which showed how the Democrat primary had been rigged for Hillary Clinton.  Lately another element has been added.

The Comey press conference announcing that he would not seek an indictment for Hillary Clinton's violation of the law regarding her home brew server and her mishandling of classified material was apparently triggered by a Russian disinformation campaign tied to Bill Clinton's meeting with AG Lynch on her airplane.

The latest reports indicate that Comey knew the Russian material was false but did not know how to discredit it without burning sources so the news conference announcing his decision was an attempt to discredit the Russian scam.

If this story is true, it appears the Russians in all three instances took advantage of Democrat miscues.  The emails were not disinformation.  They were what the Democrats were actually saying to each other.  Bill Clinton&#…

Saudi company investing billions in Texas refinery

Fuel Fix:
Saudi Arabia’s Motiva Enterprises said it plans to spend billions of dollars more to expand its Port Arthur Refinery — already North America’s largest — and grow more in the petrochemical and refining sectors.

Motiva, which finalized its divorce from Royal Dutch Shell in the beginning of May, said it plans to spend close to $18 billion in the U.S., largely along the Gulf Coast, within the next five years.

Although scant on details, this comes after Motiva already expanded the Port Arthur Refinery in recent years. Motiva emphasized it will continue to expand its crown jewel asset in Texas near the Louisiana border.

Motiva, which operated as a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Shell for nearly 20 years, is now purely a Saudi venture with a growing headquarters in downtown Houston. The Motiva growth is intended as part of an overall Saudi strategy to diversify its global footprint, including substantial growth in Texas.
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Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Basic Industries C…