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Showing posts from March, 2018

UN blacklists ships alleged to be smuggling oil to North Korea

Guardian:
The UN security council has blacklisted dozens of ships and shipping companies involved in smuggling oil and coal in and out of North Korea.

The security council’s North Korea sanctions committee on Friday acted on a request by the US, took action against 21 shipping companies – including five based in China – 15 North Korean ships, 12 non-North Korean ships and a Taiwanese man.

The move increases pressure on Pyongyang as the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, plans to meet with his South Korean and US counterparts.

It came days after Kim met the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and an announcement that the North Korean leader would meet the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, on 27 April. He is also scheduled to meet the US president, Donald Trump, some time in May.

While Trump has agreed to meet Kim, he tweeted on Wednesday that “maximum sanctions and pressure must be maintained”.

The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said the sanctions designations – the largest agreed by the …

Hamas got the casualties it wanted in confrontation with Israel

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Washington Post:
‘He was running away’: Palestinians call for probe of Gaza deaths

At least 15 people were killed and hundreds were wounded by Israeli forces Friday on the bloodiest day in the 140-square-mile territory since the 2014 war between Israel and militant group Hamas. Why did they put the people there in the first place? because they wanted a confrontation that would produce casualties.  That is what Hamas does.  It uses human shields as a policy.  It is a working war crimes operation.   It can now pretend that these human shields or others are martyrs.

Debating David Hogg is a waste of time. He tends to respond with insults and bogus accusations of murder

Washington Post:
Laura Ingraham doesn’t really want to debate David Hogg

One reason for the Fox News host's decision to mock the Parkland shooting survivor could be that she wants to remove Hogg from a national conversation about gun control. Rather than debate him, she would prefer to disqualify him. Hogg is not worthy of a debate.  He thinks insults are valid arguments and also is inclined to make bogus assertions of guilt toward those who had nothing to do with the crime.  You can't have an intelligent exchange of ideas with someone like that.  It is like arguing with a drunk in a bar.

Why are police so reluctant to explain the shooting of an unarmed man?

NY Times:
Autopsy in Police Killing Finds Several Shots From Behind
A lawyer for the family said the findings proved that Stephon Clark could not have been moving in a threatening fashion toward Sacramento officers when they opened fire. As perplexing as the shooting is, the lack of explanation is even more perplexing.  It is the kind of thing that can lead to greater troubles. 

While the Ferguson shooting was eventually explained and was shown to be justified, the long wait for the explanation allowed the situation to fester and the "hands up, don't shoot" lie to become widespread.  We are still feeling the ramifications of that with the misguided protest at NFL games which are causing a disgust with fans. 

Police would be wise to expedite their investigation of this shooting and get the explanation out there.

Liberal cowards are exploiting the students pushing their anti-2nd Amendment agenda

Brandon Morse:
Politics is a dirty business, but there’s a level of filthiness with regard to the Parkland shooting survivors that I’m having trouble getting over.

Like all of you, I’ve been watching the story of the Parkland students unfold before our eyes in the huge media spotlight they now occupy. It’s not the ideal place for teenagers, but the media and the left have made it clear it is theirs. These students – well a certain selected few of them, anyway – are at the forefront of the left’s gun control movement. That was a decision out of our hands.

In watching it, I’ve become increasingly angered by the behavior of David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and others among the Parkland student activists. In fact, I’m pretty disgusted. And that disgust is only made worse by the fact that this process and media bonanza began before the blood had even been cleaned from the high school where the horror took place.

David Hogg, who has been the most visible of the group, has in particular been an unfi…

President Trump and Congress can impound some spending in the huge appropriation bill

Kimberley Strassel:
Plenty of Republicans remain bitter that their party passed that bloated $1.3 trillion omnibus—almost as bitter as President Trump, who felt pressured to sign it. But this fight doesn’t have to be over.

Across Washington, principled conservatives are noodling with an idea that—if done right—could be a political winner. It’s a chance for Republicans to honor their promises of spending restraint and redeem themselves with a base turned off by the omnibus blowout. It’s an opening for the GOP to highlight the degree to which Democrats used the bill to hold the military hostage to their own domestic boondoggles. And it’s a chance for Mr. Trump to present himself again as an outsider, willing to use unconventional means to change Washington’s spending culture.

It’s called the 1974 Impoundment Act, which allows the president to order the rescission of specific funds, so long as Congress approves those cuts within 45 days. The act hasn’t seen a lot of use in recent decades…

Questions about citizenship will aid black Americans

Christian Adams:
After the Commerce Department decided to ask if people filling out the census are citizens, the crazed racial Left mobilized and called the change the return of Jim Crow. The change to the Census was a plot against minorities.

To them, Jim Crow keeps returning again and again. His return has more sequels than Rocky.

Jim Crow first came back as Voter ID. Jim Crow returned as keeping voter rolls clean. Then Jim Crow rode into town, again, when Kansas sought to ensure that only citizens are registering to vote.

Jim Crow also appeared when the federal Election Assistance Commission allowed Alabama and Georgia to change a federal voter registration form to ensure that only citizens were registering to vote. Jim Crow is also on the loose in Indiana, because that state compares Indiana voter rolls with other states via the interstate cross check program, to make sure people aren’t registered twice.

Jim Crow is on the loose everywhere, it seems. Anytime honest elections are promo…

Palestinians are still paying terrorists despite Taylor Force Act

Washington Free Beacon:
The Palestinian Authority is continuing to pay out salaries to convicted terrorists using funds provided by the American taxpayer, a policy that defies a recent U.S. law mandating the PA stop these subsidies or face a cutoff in U.S. aid dollars, according to U.S. and Israeli lawmakers who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Palestinian officials in recent days have rejected a new U.S. law, known as the Taylor Force Act, or TFA, that bans the PA government from providing salaries to terrorists and their families, a longstanding policy that had become the center of controversy after it was found U.S. taxpayer aid dollars to the Palestinians had been used to subsidize this practice.

While the Taylor Force Act—named after an American who was killed by a Palestinian terror attack in 2016—mandates the PA cease these payments or face a cutoff in U.S. aid, Palestinian officials have made clear in recent days they have no intention of ending this practice of funneling …

Ted Cruz schools education establishment on the 1st Amendment

Ted Cruz:
The headlines from colleges across America tell the story: universities disinviting lecturers, student activists shouting down speakers, and professors being harassed both inside and outside their classrooms. A loud minority targets individuals for expressing viewpoints it finds unacceptable.

As the animosity toward free speech on college campuses grows, it threatens to undermine not only the First Amendment but also the fundamental principles of higher education. We must not allow that to happen at our colleges and universities here in Texas.

In December, San Antonio area higher education leaders and Mayor Ron Nirenberg published a letter in the Express-News titled “Hate disguised as free speech.” They wrote, among other proposed diktats, that “hate speech has no place at our colleges and universities” and that “appropriate messages, such as banners and flyers that are meant to provoke, spread hate or create animosity and hostility, are not welcome or accepted.”

As a policy…

Venezuela's oil for loan deal with China leaves little room for cash flow from exports

Oil Price:
Venezuela’s debt crisis is only expected to grow worse this year, and the government could be without one of its most important benefactors, raising the odds of yet another default.

China has sent around $50 billion to Venezuela over the years, loans that were repaid in oil shipments. China needed oil and Venezuela needed cash, and the relationship worked for a period of time. But as Venezuela’s economic situation took a turn for the worse, China slowly backed away. Or, more accurately, China allowed Venezuela more lenient repayment terms while at the same time slowly closing the door on new loans.

According to a new Reuters report, with an agreement expiring this year, China will likely extend a financing arrangement that has already been in place that stretches out Venezuela’s debt payments. With little to no cash on hand, China is allowing Venezuela to only pay interest on its debt.

However, while that arrangement will continue, Reuters reports that China will likely cut of…

Media Stormy effort in service of their coup attempt against Trump not working

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Rush Limbaugh:
RUSH: Monday night, CNN, Anderson Cooper — the same guy that interviewed Stormy Daniels. This is a portion of Randi Kaye… She’s the correspondent. She went out and did a report, a focus group of Trump supporters reacting to the 60 Minutes Make America Horny Again Tour interview.
...



RUSH: This is not what they had in mind, obviously, at CNN — and I think they were sort of gobsmacked by it. Remember the world they construct for themselves: Everybody hates Trump. Responsible, reasonable women, they hate Trump — and so they couldn’t find any here. And don’t think they didn’t look hard. I’m just surprised they didn’t hire an actor or make up one of their infobabe reporters to look frumpy and stuff and to pretend to be somebody.
... These women nail it.  They know exactly what the media is up to and they are having none of it.  And they are exactly right.  The media knows that to get their coup attempt against Trump they have to peel away enough Trump supporters to ge…

India invest in Texas project

Dallas Business Journal:
Indian tech company unveils Plano tech hub, could make up to 450 hires Texas governor Greg Abbott has been on a trip to India and the country has agreed to a couple of significant investments in Texas including this one.  Another investment is in the expansion of a steel plant in Baytown, Texas that will create several hundred jobs.

Were the alleged lies in service of a coup plot by the FBI and intelligence agencies?

Washington Post:
GOP congressman alleges McCabe lied to Comey, hinting at apparent rift between FBI officials

Rep. Jim Jordan said the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility determined that ousted deputy director Andrew McCabe lied to his superiors and investigators four times. It appears that there was a group within the government determined to block Trump's election and if elected to take down his presidency and they seem willing to do whatever it took to make that happen.  Why would they lie to others in government to achieve that objective?  Probably because they knew that their effort would be thwarted if it came to light.

The families of victims of immigrant killers will not buy this story

NY Times:
The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant
The link between immigration and crime exists in the imaginations of Americans, and nowhere else. It is not clear why the NY  Times would put such a blatantly false and easily provable false claim on its opening page.  Tell it to the victims of MS-13.  Tell it to Kate Steinle's family. There are stories like these all over the US where victims would never have lost their lives if the border had been enforced and the killers kept out. 

It would be more accurate to say that this story is pushing a myth in order to recruit what Democrats hope will be future voters for their shrinking ranks.  They are looking for a subclass of new dependency voters.

Border wall additions in the works

Washington Times:
The Trump administration’s plans for a border wall will put about 1,000 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border behind some barrier — up from 654 miles right now, the Border Patrol said Friday.

“That will make a major difference,” said Ronald D. Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as he briefed reporters on progress in building the wall.

He said wall construction is already underway in Calexico, California, thanks to money the Trump administration won last year, and up to 100 miles of additional wall money was approved in the new 2018 spending bill President Trump signed last week.

Some of that upgrades existing fencing while other wall will cover new mileage.
... Contrary to some reports the border agents favor the wall.
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Acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello told reporters that agents have repeatedly said that a mix of technology, infrastructure and access to the border are what is necessary to keep the border secure. An impo…

Obama partisans make bogus attacks on Trump policies

Seth Mandel:
“John Bolton is at the nexus of Russia’s interference in our democracy and the NRA’s reckless agenda”: The sentence is so bonkers, so pristine in its conspiratorial insanity that it should one day grace a Museum of Natural History exhibit on early-21st-century US politics.

et it wasn’t from an anonymous troll, or some Hollywood figure with tons of followers but little common sense. It was tweeted by National Security Action — an outfit run by former top Obama officials.

Described by the Washington Post as a “political strike force,” this NSA is a coterie of veterans from the Obama White House and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, acting as a shadow government to weaponize foreign-policy disputes. It’s a fever-swamp-in-exile.

And it exemplifies everything that’s wrong with top Democrats’ partisan madness in the Age of Trump.

The co-chairs are Ben Rhodes and Jake Sullivan. Rhodes, you’ll recall, was the reckless novice Barack Obama made a top adviser who proceeded to create what …

Building cars is harder than Tesla execs thought

NY Times:
Tesla in Need of a Recharge After a Series of Setbacks
Production delays, a recall and other problems have presented the electric-car maker and its founder, Elon Musk, with a crisis of confidence among investors. I am not a fan of electric cars, to begin with, but vehicles are complicated things that require professional managers and workers to assemble ones that are dependable.  As other US manufacturers learned in the 70's you can't just push product out the door.  Most manufacturers learned from Toyota and Honda how to build quality automobiles.  Musk needs to hire some quality control professionals from successful automakers to make his project acceptable.

Harris County Texas refuses to produce voting records that might show illegal voters

Washington Free Beacon:
A Texas county has been hit with a lawsuit for concealing records in relation to noncitizens on voter rolls.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), an election integrity group, filed a complaint on Thursday against the Office of the Harris County Voter Registrar in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas for its refusal to disclose documents or allow the inspection of its voter rolls in relation to registrants who were removed after it was discovered that they were noncitizens.

"The Foundation seeks a declaration that all of Defendant's records related to list maintenance, including but not limited to those explicitly requested by the Foundation, are subject to public inspection without encumbrance by any state public disclosure laws and must be preserved for such inspection purposes," the complaint reads. "The Foundation seeks an injunction to compel Defendant Bennett to comply with Subsection 20507(i) through…

The deep state political fraud in pursuit of objectives

Victor Davis Hanson:
The Distortions of Our Unelected Officials

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If there is such a thing as a dangerous “deep state” of elite but unelected federal officials who feel that they are untouchable and unaccountable, then John Brennan is the poster boy.
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Brennan claimed that intelligence agencies had not missed clear indications in 2009 that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “underwear bomber,” would try to take down a U.S. airliner. Just days later when his denials were ridiculed, Brennan flipped and blasted intelligence agencies for their laxity.

In 2011, Brennan falsely alleged that the Obama administration’s drone program had not caused a single civilian death in Pakistan over the previous year. In truth, around 50 civilians had been killed by drones since the 9/11 attacks.

The same year, Brennan offered various versions of the American killing of Osama bin Laden. His misleading narratives required White House revisions.

In March 2014, Brennan denied accusations that CIA a…

Clinton campaign was also harvesting Facebook data

Fox News:
Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign may have harvested the Facebook data of millions of people using an app that asked them to pair their Facebook friends list with their smartphone's contacts list – in a bid to reach those people and persuade them to vote for Clinton.

In the midst of the election, the Clinton campaign launched a mobile application called “Hillary 2016” that worked its way around the banned practice of gathering information from users’ friends without their consent.

The Clinton campaign’s use of big data raises concerns amid controversy surrounding Cambridge Analytica, a data-driven company with ties to the Trump campaign that was accused of mining Facebook data and using it to target potential voters.
... I am still of the opinion that these attempts to contact voters that might support them was not that big a deal for either candidate.  I have no idea whether any of my communications with Facebook were involved.  While I received email from th…

FBI made generous offer to Russian hacker to buy his testimony against Trump

Washington Times:
A Russian man wanted by the Justice Department on charges connected to hacking U.S. companies now claims the FBI offered him immunity in exchange for accepting responsibility for cyberattacks targeting former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Yevgeny Nikulin, the alleged hacker, laid the claim to Russian media Thursday in a letter sent from a Czech Republic prison cell amid an international extradition battle currently underway between Washington and Moscow.

FBI agents promised Mr. Nikulin money, American citizenship and a free apartment for taking the fall over hacking Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, he alleged in a letter published Thursday by Nastoyashchoe Vremya, a Russian-language website.

“[They told me:] you will have to confess to breaking into Clinton’s inbox for [President Trump] on behalf of [Russian President Vladimir Putin],” Mr. Nikulin wrote, as translated by The Moscow Times.

“He was offered to falsely testify that he was cooperating in the attack on the D…

Putin's nerve agent miscalculation

Tom Rogan:
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Timing matters greatly here.

After all, Russia is about to host the World Cup and Vladimir Putin wants to show off Russia as a place to visit and invest. Instead, the diplomatic expulsions have drawn international media attention to Putin's decision to spread an exceptionally toxic nerve agent compound around a small British town.

In turn, the Russian leader's assassination antics have given him an utter "blowback" failure. In intelligence circles, blowback refers to an operation in which a mission causes far more harm to those carrying it out than those they targeted.

Consider that Skripal and his daughter weren't killed (although he might still die), and Putin has made himself more of an international pariah than ever before.

The exigent question now is what follows? I think one of two things.

Either Putin will escalate further by attempting to kill another defector or, perhaps, by escalating his harassment of U.S. persons in Russia. Alternativel…

DOJ accused of redacting material facts in documents produced to Congress

Washington Examiner:
A top conservative congressman complained Thursday about the Justice Department redacting "material facts" in documents provided to congressional investigators looking into possible wrongdoing at the agency.

Upset that Attorney General Jeff Sessions refused to appoint a second special counsel, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., accused the DOJ of not complying with a subpoena for documents related to alleged spy authority abuses.
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Meadows pointed to that report name-dropping former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, among others, and said the materials he viewed "didn't stop there."

"When we look at the multiple reactions that have taken place, this Department of Justice is not complying with the subpoena and with the oversight responsibility we have in Congress," he said. "And so for the attorney general to suggest that there is not enough there is extremely disappointing."

Meadows was joined by Goodla…

Sec. Mattis shows his sense of humor in greeting John Bolton

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Making fun of the Democrats' attack on Bolton was an interesting icebreaker and Bolton took it with good humor.

Texas Permian Basin needs more gas pipelines as production swamps current facilities

Fuel Fix:
America's most prolific oil field is now its worst market for natural gas.

A pipeline shortage that's leaving gas trapped in West Texas' Permian Basin means prices for the fuel there are the lowest of any major U.S. hub, wresting that distinction from Appalachia's Marcellus Shale. Prices for Permian gas, produced alongside oil in the play, have tumbled 30 percent from a year ago, while output rose to a record. And the pipeline crunch is also pummeling the region's oil market.

All that gas production is creating a dilemma for drillers, who may be forced to curtail oil output if they can't get their gas to market. Producers can burn off some of the gas -- a process known as flaring -- but state regulators typically won't allow that to happen indefinitely. And as mild spring weather limits demand for the heating fuel, explorers may be giving their gas away, according to broker Ion Energy Group LLC.

In the next three to four weeks, "natural gas p…

Mexican governor issues a travel warning for his own state

Houston Chronicle:
A governor in Mexico is warning his citizens to not travel to the U.S. through the state of Tamaulipas following a deadly ambush on Mexican marines in Nuevo Laredo that left eight people dead.

"The first recommendation that I make to citizens as governor of Nuevo Leon is to not travel to the United States through Reynosa," said Manuel Gonzalez Flores, the interim governor of Nuevo Leon, according to the Mexican newspaper El Universal.

Tamaulipas is also on a U.S. State Department list of Mexican states where travel is not advised due to crime.

Flores specifically advised his citizens against traveling on the Reynosa-McAllen bridge into the U.S., and to instead use roads from Nuevo Laredo, which have received "much better" security reports.

Vacationers from Nuevo Leon were also asked to be cautious if they choose to travel to popular beach spots in Tamaulipas like Matamoros and Tampico.

"Tamaulipas is a state that has many problems right now,&quo…

China puts more pressure on North Korea cutting off fuel supply

Telegraph:
China has turned off the tap on crucial goods for North Korea in a bid to pile on economic pressure as South and North Korean leaders prepare for an unprecedented diplomatic summit this April, and hopes for May talks between the US the isolated country mount.

The leaders of North and South Korea are to meet on April 27 for the first time in more than a decade, the two countries announced on Thursday after preliminary talks between senior officials.

An analysis of Chinese customs data from Aberdeen Standard Investments has revealed that China’s exports of refined petroleum to North Korea have collapsed in the last five months, to as little as 3.7 per cent on the previous year.

Other products have also been hit. North Korean steel imports from China have fallen dramatically, along with car imports. Economists believe that the data may explain the recent dramatic shifts in North Korean policy.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un provoked widespread international attention …

Marine Corps developing deady new drone called MUX

Fox News:
Armed to the teeth with an array of powerful, destructive weapons, an incredible thinking drone may soon hit the skies to keep Marines safe.

The Marine Corps is aiming to build a revolutionary drone called MUX (Marine Air Ground Task Force Unmanned Aircraft System-Expeditionary).

The MUX will terrify enemies of the United States, and with good reason. The aircraft won't be just big and powerful: it will also be ultra-smart. This could be a heavily armed drone that takes off, flies, avoids obstacles, adapts and lands by itself — all without a human piloting it.

If goals are met, the MUX will be a drone that can truly run vital missions all by itself. Sure, it can be an eye in the sky, but it could carry all the same weapons as the F-35B — a variant of the sophisticated fifth generation stealth fighter jet, the F-35.
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The goal is for MUX to fit on a ship with a similar footprint to a UH-1Y Venom helicopter. When it is launched for a mission, it will be able to take off…

Bolton vs. the appeasers

Cal Thomas:
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Writing about Mr. Bolton’s appointment, Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick rightly stated: “For the better part of three decades, Mr. Bolton has bravely held positions that fly in the face of the establishment’s innate preference for appeasement. He was a vocal critic, for example, of then-President Bill Clinton’s disastrous nuclear diplomacy with North Korea.” Mr. Bolton was also a critic of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. Some of his predictions and policy recommendations turned out to be right.

Here are some pithy Bolton-isms that are clear-eyed and have the advantage of being right. About diplomatic dealings with Iran, Mr. Bolton has said: “When you have a regime that would be happier in the afterlife than in this life, this is not a regime that is subject to classic theories of deterrence.”

On the strategy known as negotiation, Mr. Bolton is quoted as saying, “Negotiation is not a policy. It’s a technique. It’s something you use when it’s to your ad…

NOAA cooks the books in support of 'global warming'

Investors Business Daily:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have a boring name, but it has a very important job: It measures U.S. temperatures. Unfortunately, it seems to be a captive of the global warming religion. Its data are fraudulent.

What do we mean by fraudulent? How about this: NOAA has made repeated "adjustments" to its data, for the presumed scientific reason of making the data sets more accurate.

Nothing wrong with that. Except, all their changes point to one thing — lowering previously measured temperatures to show cooler weather in the past, and raising more recent temperatures to show warming in the recent present.

This creates a data illusion of ever-rising temperatures to match the increase in CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere since the mid-1800s, which global warming advocates say is a cause-and-effect relationship. The more CO2, the more warming.

But the actual measured temperature record shows something different: There have been hot…

Israel lets Iran know it is vulnerable

Jerusalem Post:
Two Israeli F-35 fighter jets entered Iranian airspace over the past month, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Thursday. The act is a signal of heightened regional tensions, especially in light of recent Israeli military attacks in Syria, including against Iranian bases in the country.

Sources quoted in Al-Jarida stated that two stealth fighters flew over Syrian and Iraqi airspace to reach Iran, and even targeted locations in the Iranian cities Bandar Abbas, Esfahan and Shiraz.

The report states that the two fighter jets, among the most advanced in the world, circled at high altitude above Persian Gulf sites suspected of being associated with the Iranian nuclear program.

It also states that the two jets went undetected by radar, including by the Russian radar system located in Syria. The source refused to confirm if the operation was undertaken in coordination with the US army, which has recently conducted joint exercises with the IDF.

The source added that the s…

Appointed lawyers who do more than offer a plea bargain?

NY Times:
His Clients Weren’t Complaining. But the Judge Said This Lawyer Worked Too Hard. When judges appoint the lawyers in their courtroom, speed can be more important than a vigorous defense, a lawsuit says. When I got out of law school and had passed the bar, I took an appointed case and did something that seemed to surprise everyone in the courtroom.  I won. 

The DA's office was attempting to revoke the probation of the young black man I was representing on the theory that he had an unexplained possession of a stolen boombox from a burglary.  When I interviewed him he said he bought it from a guy and gave me his name. 

He also had alibi witnesses for the time of burglary that I interviewed.  The guy he claimed to have bought the boombox from was also an inmate in the Travis County jail and I interviewed him and he confirmed the young man's story.  I had all these witnesses ready to testify at the revocation hearing, but it turned out I did not need them.

The Assistant DA…

Erdogan's Turkey will no longer get the soft treatment

Washington Times:
Mike Pompeo expected to take tough tact as relations with Turkey erode

Former CIA chief seen as more in line with White House, ‘bit less afraid to throw an elbow’ Erdogan is an Islamists despot who has been a lousy ally and whose policies are inconsistent with those of the US in the Middle East.

Attacks on NRA backfire

NY Post:
Donations to NRA tripled after Florida shooting While the donations are helpful, the real strength of the NRA is in the voter intensity of its members.  They will turn out and vote against those who threaten their rights.

The left wants to use environmental worry to control the population

Justin Haskins:
Why the Environmental Left Is Secretly Petrified by Truly Renewable Energy

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As Fox News noted in a recent report on the potential discovery, "[n]uclear fusion is the be-all and end-all source of energy because, in theory, it's practically unlimited and has almost no downside. It doesn't put carbon into the atmosphere like the burning of fossil fuels or generate radioactive waste like nuclear fission, which is the technology in current nuclear power plants."

If nuclear fusion is achieved, it will in relatively short order render much of the existing energy market useless. Many traditional power plants would close. Carbon dioxide emissions would be cut dramatically in countries with enough wealth to build nuclear fusion plants. Billions of people would have access to affordable energy that they never had before.

This scenario might sound as though it's every environmentalist's paradise, but there's more to leftist environmentalism than…

Trump opposition getting boomeranged

Washington Examiner:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the Left's efforts to cast President Trump as someone guilty of misconduct and subject to impeachment "has effectively boomeranged on them."
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"The Left has continued to say this is Watergate and Trump's going to be impeached," Nunes said, riffing off Hannity's misgivings with Trump's opponents who believe his campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 campaign and that Trump may have obstructed justice — two matters being looked at by special counsel Robert Mueller.

"Now this has effectively boomeranged on them," Nunes continued. "You have at least I think half of the American people now know that the other party, the Democrats, appear like they weaponized, to some degree, the intelligence services by using the foreign intelligence surveillance apparatus in this country to go and target the opposition campaign is totally unacceptable.&qu…

The Democrat crack-up since the election

Kimberley Ross:
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They call themselves The Resistance. They wear pu**y hats. They view everything coming from the White House through apocalyptic lenses. There is no room for rational observation; all must be extreme. While this would certainly be an exhausting way to proceed through life, it is the normal mode for those who are still reeling from Hillary’s loss and utterly consumed with apprehension as they look toward the near future.

As Iraq war veteran Jesse Kelly said on Twitter, “All Democrats have to do is not be insane. And they can’t do it.”

And we’ve seen more than one example of recently.

Last Saturday, youth and adults around the nation gathered for the March for Our Lives. The hundreds of thousands assembled in D.C. listened to speeches from impassioned teenagers whose own experiences during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had started a movement. While peaceful protesting is the right of every American, this one was solely about reducing Americans’ …

Obama's hubris about healthcare

Washington Examiner:
"We know what works,” then-President Barack Obama said at the Global Center for Health Innovation in 2015. “We know what we have to do. We’ve just got to put aside the stale and outmoded debates. Reject failed policies. Embrace the policies that we know work. Embrace the promise of the future.”

What Obama claimed with such overweening confidence was that a few technical changes might fix most of the problems with healthcare delivery. But he and his allies pushing Obamacare were just plain wrong. His technocratic arguments that the 2010 law could bend the cost curve downward have been refuted again and again since its passage. Now, two new studies are out that explode critical assumptions people made in debate about medical bankruptcies and electronic medical records.

The first study, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, deflates bloated assumptions about electronic health records. These enjoyed bipartisan support when Obamacare was passed from …

Documents reveal coordinated attacks on Trump from Obama White House, intel agencies and FBI

Sara Carter:
Documents obtained by congressional investigators suggest possible coordination by Obama White House officials, the CIA and the FBI into the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign. Those senior Obama officials used unsubstantiated evidence to launch allegations in the media that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to newly discovered documents and communications obtained by Congress.

The documents also reveal that former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, sent a letter on Aug. 29, 2016, asking then FBI Director James Comey to investigate the allegations, which were presented to him by then CIA Director John Brennan. Brennan had briefed Reid privately days earlier on the counterintelligence investigation and documents suggest Reid was also staying in close touch with Comey over the issues. The Gang of Eight is a group of eight lawmakers who have access to the most highly classi…

Russian nerve agent smeared on victims door in UK

Telegraph:
A Russian hit squad poisoned Sergei Skripal and his daughter by smearing nerve agent on his front door, police disclosed last night.

Counter-terrorism police revealed for the first time that they believed Colonel Skripal and his daughter Yulia "first came into contact" with the Novichok nerve agent at their home.

Scotland Yard added that the "highest concentration of the nerve agent" had been discovered on the front door of Col Skripal's home in a cul-de-sac close to Salisbury city centre.

Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, who was also hospitalised, is thought to have become ill after going to the house and was one of the first on the scene.

The disclosure will intensify the manhunt for the would-be assassins who had targeted Col Skripal, 66, and his 33-year-old daughter. It will also heap further pressure on the Kremlin, which is accused of being behind the attack, for putting at risk anybody who had gone to the Skripals' home.
... I am sure the police…

Media madness--They can't seem to put Trump away

George Neumeyer:
Hillary famously shouted during the throes of the campaign, “Why am I not up by 50 points?” No doubt the media feels similar rage as it pores over Trump’s latest job approval numbers, which have actually gone up since February, according to CNN: “42% approve of Trump, highest in 11 months.” The CNN correspondent, grudgingly reporting these numbers, chalked Trump’s staying power up to the “economy.”

But in a reversal of the Clintonian adage, it is not the economy, stupid, around CNN these days. It is the sex scandal. Womanizing pundits and louche-living hosts profess shock at Trump’s behavior. They act like it is all so incomprehensible to them. Jeffrey Toobin likes to crank up his wind machine about Trump’s lack of integrity, but not so long ago Toobin’s squalid personal life was tabloid fodder. He was cheating on his wife with former CNN correspondent Jeff Greenfield’s daughter, impregnated her, then (unsuccessfully) put pressure on her to get an abortion, according t…

DOJ IG to look at FISA abuses by FBI, DOJ

Washington Examiner:
A federal watchdog said it will launch a review of the process by which the Justice Department and FBI obtained a surveillance warrant on a "certain U.S. person" amid allegations from Republican lawmakers that the FBI relied improperly on campaign opposition research to justify the warrant.

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, is already probing allegations of political bias in several investigations leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

In a statement, the IG said it will determine what the Justice Department and FBI knew “at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”

“Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications. If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,” the IG said.

According to a statement, the…

Sessions could dismiss Mueller cases not related to the campaign

Law & Crime:
Paul Manafort‘s legal team brought a motion to dismiss on Tuesday, noting that Rosenstein could not appoint Mueller to any investigation outside the scope of the 2016 campaign since Sessions did not recuse himself for anything outside the campaign. I agree with this take on Mueller’s authority. If we follow that argument that would mean Sessions himself has exclusive authority to appoint a special counsel for non-collusion charges, and Sessions has taken no such action. Sessions himself should make that clear to Mueller, rather than await court resolution. Doing so would remove three of the four areas of inquiry from Mueller’s requested interview with President Trump.

Sessions formally notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases and cases related to obstruction of Mueller’s investigation would be doing what the Constitution compels: enforcing the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Additionally, Sessions notifying Mu…

Receiving benefit payments could jeopardize immigrant citizenship applications

Washington Post:
Trump proposal would penalize immigrants who use tax credits, other benefits

Immigrants who accept almost any form of welfare or public benefit could be denied legal U.S. residency under a plan awaiting approval by the administration, which is seeking to reduce the number of foreigners living in the United States. I think the idea is that the US is seeking immigrants who would not be a burden on the country and would instead be productive citizens.  Democrats tend to want people who are dependent on the government which tends to vote for them.

Did Democrats ever seek to have a cabinet keep a Democrat President in check?

Marc Thiessen:
It’s not the job of Cabinet officials to be a ‘check’ on the president This is just another example of how Democrats have sought to unconstitutionally restrict the duties and responsibilities of a President with which they disagree.

Obama bent the cost curve for Obamacare up instead of down

Washington Times:
Congress failed to tamp down Obamacare premiums in last week’s spending bill, shifting the burden onto states, where governors and legislatures are facing growing pressure — but few good options — to bring down rates before companies finalize their 2019 prices.

Politicians at all levels of government are fearing another round of sticker shock for consumers this fall as insurers jack up prices, blaming both the original 2010 health law and the moves Congress and the Trump administration have made to undercut it in the years since.

Capitol Hill had a chance to lower rates with a stabilization bill Republicans had hoped to attach to last week’s spending package. But Democrats balked, and Congress likely missed its last chance to act before the new rates are set.
... This law is indefensible.  The GOP would be wise to remind voters of how the Democrats have screwed them on healthcare.

The 'resistance' is becoming counter productive?

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William Jacobson:
At one level, nothing has changed about Trump. He still stirs the pot on Twitter, the staffing changes continue, and the sense of turmoil never seems to leave.

Certainly, #TheResistance against Trump has not changed. If anything, the opposition to Trump has gone from foaming at the mouth to … Exorcist-like goo bursting head spins. And that’s just CNN.

But something has changed in Trump’s favor. Recent polling consistently shows a meaningful uptick in Trump’s job approval.

This RCP chart shows a steady improvement since the end of 2017: A 42% approval rating may not seem like much, but as CNN notes, that’s not far off where Obama and Reagan were at similar points in their first term.... There is more.

One of the things I find remarkable about these numbers is that they are happening during a time of heightened hysteria about Trump and about the 2nd Amendment, yet Trump seems to be gaining on them.  This looks like a healthy move for the country too since hysteria should …

The Democrats' favorite racists and religious bigot

Dennis Lund:
In late January of this year, a previously unreleased photo of then-senator Barack Obama schmoozing it up with Louis Farrakhan was made public.  The photo had been kept from public view to protect the political aspirant from potential negative fallout for associating with the racist and anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI). How damaging this photo would have been to Obama's presidential campaign is subject to debate.  Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a rare honest liberal, stated he would not have supported Obama had he known of his association with "Calypso Louie."  Certainly, at a minimum, the Jewish vote would have been impacted.  Dershowitz further added, "We should have nobody in public office associating with a bigot like Farrakhan."
 Keeping the "hidden" life of Obama quiet was instrumental in the success of this unique political figure.  Associations with a known terrorist and an anti-American preacher were downplay…