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Showing posts from April, 2018

Democrats make a play for the geek vote that cares about 'net neutrality'

Politico:
Senate Democrats are preparing to force a floor vote next month on restoring net neutrality rules repealed by President Donald Trump's Federal Communications Commission, creating a public clash they hope will help them in the midterm elections.

Democrats are planning to take the procedural step May 9 to compel the vote, a Senate Democratic aide told POLITICO. That could set up the vote as soon as the following week.

Senate Democrats have 50 votes lined up — more than enough to force a vote under the Congressional Review Act, but one shy of the 51 required for passage. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is the only Republican to have pledged support for the effort so far.

Even with Senate passage, the Democrats’ proposal would be unlikely to get through the House or earn Trump’s signature. But their plans for a floor fight would still add visibility to an issue that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has suggested will resonate with younger, internet-savvy voters.
... This is …

Israel provides proof that Iran lied about its nuclear weapons program

Washington Free Beacon:
U.S. officials and congressional insiders view the disclosure Monday by Israel of Iran's ongoing efforts to develop a nuclear weapon as game over for the landmark nuclear deal, telling the Washington Free Beacon that new evidence of Iran's top secret nuclear workings makes it virtually impossible for President Donald Trump to remain in the agreement.

Senior Trump administration officials confirmed the findings as authentic and praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's for disclosing thousands of secret documents proving Iran lied about its past work on a nuclear warhead, telling the Free Beacon the revelation was a "powerful presentation" by Israel outlining why the Iran deal must be fixed or killed.

U.S. officials who reviewed the secret documents confirmed their authenticity and said that Israel has shared the information fully with the United States, most likely to help build the case for Trump to abandon the nuclear deal, rat…

Iran seems to be doing a good job of provoking Saudi Arabia by supplying missiles fired from Yemen into kingdom

The Hill:
Iran: US working to 'provoke' Saudi Arabia against Iran Iran seems to be insulting the intelligence of the Saudis who are regularly shooting down Iranian missiles fired from Yemen.  It is typical of the kind of proxy warfare the Iranians engage in.

Millennials leaving Democrats behind?

Reuters:
Enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning among millennials as its candidates head into the crucial midterm congressional elections, according to the Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll.

The online survey of more than 16,000 registered voters ages 18 to 34 shows their support for Democrats over Republicans for Congress slipped by about 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall. And they increasingly say the Republican Party is a better steward of the economy.

Although nearly two of three young voters polled said they do not like Republican President Donald Trump, their distaste for him does not necessarily extend to all Republicans or translate directly into votes for Democratic congressional candidates.

That presents a potential problem for Democrats who have come to count on millennials as a core constituency - and will need all the loyalty they can get to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in …

Anti-energy, keep it in the ground left pursues counter productive policies

Seth Whitehead:
Earth Day is coming up on Sunday, and environmentalists have much cause for celebration this year when it comes to U.S. emissions reductions.

The latest Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data show U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have declined 13 percent since 2005, while overall greenhouse gas emissions are at their lowest levels since 1992. EPA data also show emissions of three air pollutants responsible for millions of deaths worldwide — sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and fine particulate matter — have also plummeted since 2005.

The environmental movement has been striving to achieve these kinds of reductions ever since the first Earth Day debuted way back in 1970. But ironically, if the “keep it in the ground” groups behind many of Sunday’s Earth Day events had their druthers, the fuel largely responsible for these emission declines would be eliminated altogether.

Numerous reputable third party experts — including the International Energy Agency (IEA), U.S. Energy …

Trump deserves credit for his handling of North Korean threat

Washington Post:
Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize for North Korea talks, says South’s Moon

President Moon Jae-in has gone out of his way to credit President Trump for creating the environment that has brought about the remarkable diplomatic rapprochement now unfolding. I disagree that Moon has "gone out of his way" to credit Trump's policies which brought Kim to the point of an agreement.  Trump ignored the advice of liberals and the foreign policy establishment and achieved something that has evaded normal diplomacy for decades.  I am sure that this has at best-prompted mix feeling at the Washington Post and elsewhere in liberal America, but it is what it is and it appears to have worked.

The Clinton-Obama Libyan screw up has made doing a deal with North Korea more difficult

NY Times:
Libya as a Model for Disarmament? Kim May Not Think So
John R. Bolton, the new national security adviser, pointed to Libya as an example of how to rid a hostile dictatorial state of its nuclear program. But the violent end of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi is likely to serve as a cautionary tale for Mr. Kim. Overthrowing Qaddafi was one of the biggest strategic blunders in history.  It turned the country into a failed state and a terrorist haven.  It also made it a jumping off point for migration to Europe and the selling of Africans into slavery.  I don't think I would mention it in negotiations with North Korea.

Hamas leadership has left Gaza with a lose-lose attitude

NY Times:
For Gazan at Fence, Living or Dying Is
‘the Same Thing’

More than a decade of deprivation and desperation has led thousands of young Gazans to throw themselves into a bloody protest against Israel. Here’s a look at how one man ended up there. Hamas seems frustrated by the Israelis refusal to allow them to remove all Jews from Israel as called for in their charter.  They keep provoking conflicts in which they lose and use it as justification for the next conflict they provoke.   They can't accept Israel or the Jews and therefore they are condemned to engage in one futile gesture after another.  I have zero empathy for Hamas leaders and little for those who continue to support them.

Here is an idea for improving their lot.  Accept the reality of Israel and try to get along with the Israelis.  It just might work.  After all, it has worked for Egypt and Jordan.

Iran not in compliance with Obama's bad deal

Jeff Dunetz:
Claims Iran’s Complying With The JCPOA Aren’t True

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Because of a secret side deal revealed by the Associated Press long before the deal was agreed to, Iran gets to self-inspect the Parchin military base with no IAEA inspectors present. However, all other military base inspections are allowed under the JCPOA. However, Iran has stated more than once they will not allow inspections of military sites, which has restricted The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from completing its inspection tasks.

The agreement specifically “requests the Director General of the IAEA to undertake the necessary verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments for the full duration of those commitments under the JCPOA.”

Despite the what the JCPOA states, the Iranian authorities claim military sites are off limits to the IAEA. And the IAEA refuses to push the point because they don’t want Iran to seem non-compliant. A key result of this refusal involves “Section T” of …

Iranians killed in missile attack in Syria

AP:
A missile attack targeting government outposts in Syria’s northern region killed 26 pro-government fighters, mostly Iranians, a Syria war monitoring group said Monday.

Iranian media gave conflicting reports about the overnight incident amid speculation it was carried out by neighboring Israel.

The attack came hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talked to President Donald Trump on the phone. The White House said the two leaders discussed the continuing threats and challenges facing the Middle East, “especially the problems posed by the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the late Sunday night attack appears to have been carried out by Israel and targeted an arms depot for surface-to-surface missiles at a base in northern Syria known as Brigade 47. The Observatory said four Syrians were also among casualties.

It said the death toll could rise as the attack also wounded 60 fighters and there were sev…

When it comes to the deep state coup attempt the media and Comey seem blissfully ignorant

Mollie Hemingway:

The New York Times’ Hatchet Job On Devin Nunes Is Riddled With Errors

The New York Times article is riddled with errors that multiple sources publicly deny. It fails to include information easily found in the public record. Alan Dershowitz Tweets this about Comey:
Comey said it never occurred to him there could be connection between Weiner and Hillary C.
Did the head of the FBI not know W was married to HC top aide? Duh! Also when Comey was being interviewed on Fox News Special Report he said he didn't know who paid for the dirty dossier and then said the Republicans initially paid for it which is untrue.  The Washingon Free Beacon hiring of Fusion GPS had nothing to do with the dossier based on Russian hearsay information.   He also acted as if he was unaware that a law firm hired by the DNC and Hillary Clinton actually paid for the dossier.  Something that was revealed when Nunes subpoenaed Fusion GPS bank records.

Rowan Scarborough also has a compilation of t…

Internal descent grows in Iran using bank notes for messages

BBC:
A group of Iranian Twitter users are spreading protest messages by writing slogans on banknotes.

"Banknotes are our un-censorable messengers," one user wrote, referring to a rumoured plan to permanently block the popular messaging app Telegram, which is by far the most popular digital communication tool in Iran.

Slogans included "I am an overthrower".

Some of the sayings were originally chanted during mass anti-establishment protests at the turn of the year.

In late December, demonstrators took to the streets then to express their dissatisfaction with the social and economic situation in the country.

Telegram was believed to have been the main platform people used to obtain and share information about the protests, which took place across Iran from late December 2017 to January 2018.

Nearly 8,000 tweets have been posted since 28 April under the hashtag #Onehundredthousand_talking_banknotes in Persian, according to BBC Monitoring. Most posts are aimed at raising aware…

Tennessee Democrat running for Senate does not want to be associated with Democrat party

CNN:
It would be difficult to tell that Phil Bredesen is a Democrat by observing him and his cadre of supporters at the "World's Largest Fish Fry" here on Friday.

Most of his Senate campaign signs don't advertise it, and it isn't part of his pitch to voters lined up on Old State Road 76. More than a few spectators at the parade honoring catfish turned to their family to ask if he is for or against President Donald Trump.

This is just how Bredesen, the former two-term governor of Tennessee and former mayor of Nashville, wants it.

"I don't want to come across as somebody who is the toy of the national Democratic Party," says Bredesen, the soft-spoken, cerebral 74-year old Senate candidate, as he walks the parade route.
...
Tennessee hasn't sent a Democrat to the US Senate in over 20 years, and the state has only trended more towards Republicans since Bredesen won his last statewide election in 2006. But in an election year shaping up to be good fo…

Democrat coup attempt backfiring on them

NY Times:
Republicans Seize on Impeachment for Edge in 2018 Midterms
Invoking the specter of President Trump’s impeachment has become a fund-raising and get-out-the-vote tactic for Republicans. Democratic leaders see the issue as a trap. If it is a trap it is one they have sprung on themselves.  Their visceral hatred for the President is not popular with the voters.  They have tried to finesse it by leaders downplaying the possibility, but to be successful they would need a commitment not to pursue it, which would be a problem with many in their kook base.

North Korea appears to agree with terms Trump has pushed from the beginning

NY Times:
Kim Says He’ll Give Up Nuclear Weapons if U.S. Won’t Invade
South Korean officials said Kim Jong-un had told them that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if Washington ended the Korean War and promised nonaggression.The details of the talks came as many have expressed skepticism about the friendly gestures made by the North Korean leader. This is exactly the terms Trump has offered.  It is an outcome that most liberals in the US never dreamed could be achieved by the Trump administration.  How we can be assured of this outcome is yet to be explained, but at least we seem to be on the same page as to the end game.   It is interesting that the lead story in the NY Times does not even mention Trump on its lead.  However, his accomplishments here are hard to ignore.

Hard but not impossible as this "analysis" attempts to show:
Trump’s Bargaining Chips Slip Away as Koreas Talk Peace
The overtures between North and South Korea will inevitably erode crippling economic sanct…

While liberals were resisting, Trump was doing a good job

Russ McSwain:
...
Trump-supporters had the stronger case. Their man's specific business skill is as a marvelous negotiator. There is no doubt that he is ruthless and relentless in his willingness to leverage American power. America has desired outcomes all over the world. Trump has proven to be the best available agent to achieve those outcomes. Here are a few examples:

1. The already mentioned trade concessions from people previously all too happy to take advantage of previous administration weakness.

2. Getting our allies to carry a heavier load. Most NATO nations are now meeting their obligations for defense spending. Middle Eastern countries are moving more aggressively to counter terrorism and to stand against Iran.

3. Russia is no longer buzzing our planes and ships and otherwise testing our troops or our border.

4. North Korea has agreed to stop testing nuclear weapons and missiles. It has agreed to talks and to accept a peaceful end of the Korean War, rather than j…

Israel attacks the Hamas Navy in Gaza

Israel National News:
Israel Air Force (IAF) aircraft on Friday night attacked six military targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization's naval force in Gaza, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.

The strikes were in response to the terror activity and mass infiltration attempt from Gaza earlier in the day. Palestinian Arab media reported four injuries in the air strike.

“For several weeks now, the Hamas terrorist organization has been leading violent disturbances that constitute a cover for a series of terrorist attacks against terror infrastructures, security forces and civilians,” the IDF statement said.

“At the height of the events today, a large scale violent incursion was carried out, in which Hamas terrorist operatives led hundreds of violent rioters, including terrorists, towards Israel, while throwing explosives, hand grenades and firebombs, and even damaging the fence.”

“The IDF views with great severity the ongoing attempt by the Hamas terrorist organization to turn …

The NAACP exposed by Candace Owens

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Power Line:
The NAACP has long been a sacred cow. It did some good long ago, but for decades it has been a useless, left-wing pressure group in thrall to the Democratic Party. As such, it has generally opposed the interests of most African-Americans. So it is good to see the fearless Candace Owens denounce the NAACP:




... Rush Limbaugh has correctly described the group as the NAALCP.  They are only interested in advancing liberal "colored people as their opposition to people like Clarence Thomas demonstrated.  That they attack a young conservative black woman is par for the course with this group.

Clapper accused of leaking to CNN

Jonathon Turley:
Friday’s release of the House Intelligence Committee report generated much coverage over its finding of no evidence of collusion with the Russians. Receiving less attention was a small section entitled “Finding #44,” where the committee suggested that then-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper leaked information from the so-called Steele dossier. Even worse for Clapper, the alleged leak was made to CNN, which later hired him as a contributor.

If true, both the national intelligence chief and then-FBI Director James Comey leaked information while denying such violations to Congress. Moreover, even if Clapper waited until shortly after leaving office, it is deeply troubling that he would confirm details of the dossier, which was under investigation.

The report recounts how Clapper gave “inconsistent testimony” to Congress when he denied ever “discuss[ing] the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalis…

The politics of life and parent's struggle to keep it going

John Kass:
...
But the other evening at home, one of our sons mentioned the baby in Liverpool, England.

“What baby?” Betty said sharply.

Baby Alfie.

As she was filled in on the details, she looked across the table at me, into my eyes, then through them to some other place.

We’d known that place years ago. It is a room with beeping monitors, tubes and a rocking chair. Nurses would walk through in their soft quiet shoes.

I knew she was there in that room, on the edge of what could have been the beginning of a vastly different life for us.

Perhaps you’ve tried avoiding the Baby Alfie story as we did.

The 23-month-old boy was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder. Doctors of England’s National Health Service said they could do nothing and recommended removing life support.

Italy had offered to take Alfie into one of its hospitals and try to keep him alive. But English justice rejected the kind Italian offer.

English judges ruled they knew best, and so they decided, in the best interest of …

Why US intelligence agencies have lost the trust of many Americans with their anti-Trump bias

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Why should we trust organizations run by leakers and liars like Brennan, Clapper, and Comey?

Tester should be tested on the source of his allegations against nominee for VA post

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Washington Post:
Trump calls for Sen. Tester to resign after review finds no evidence that former VA nominee ‘wrecked’ a car
A document released by Senate Democrats this week alleged that presidential physician Ronny L. Jackson drank on the job and improperly prescribed and dispensed medications. Jackson has vehemently denied all of the allegations. President Trump and the White House have accused Sen. Jon Tester of a smear campaign. He should have to reveal his sources for these slurs.  At this point, it looks like a partisan hit job based on animus toward the President and his nominees.  Testers conduct was disgraceful and is a blot on the confirmation process.

Why does EU need unfair trade practices with the US and why does anyone support the bad Iran deal?

NY Times:
Trump and Merkel Meet One on One, but Don’t See Eye to Eye The two leaders made no attempt to hide their disagreements over the future of the Iran nuclear deal and trade relations between the United States and Europe. Why does the EU need protectionist policies in their trade with the US?  That is what the dispute is really about.  If they removed their protectionist policies Trump would have no reason to impose tariffs. 

As for the Iran deal, it appears that proponents cling to it because Obama and Kerry gave away the store up front for meager concessions from Iran while not addressing the threats posed by their missile program which shows an intent to develop delivery vehicles for nukes they have said they are not building.  Why believe the leaders of Iran.  They believe that lying is an accepted form of negotiation.

Texas law requires counties to remove non-citizens from the voting rolls

Breitbart:
Texas Senator Pushes Removal of ‘Noncitizens’ from Voter Rolls

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He questioned Warren and Pippins-Poole if the county was acting in compliance with state law and election codes that call for “monthly compilation of a list of noncitizens registered to vote” as well as the cancellation of illegal voters. Huffines asked how many voters they removed for noncitizenship over the past decade and if any of the registrants voted illegally in federal, state, and/or local elections. He even inquired as to which elections these noncitizens voted. Lastly, he queried elections officials if they reported this “illegal conduct” to the Dallas County District Attorney or the Texas Attorney General’s offices.
...
The letter also referenced a four-county survey conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, revealing 165 “unlawfully registered noncitizen voters” were removed from the voter rolls but prior to identifying themselves as noncitizens at jury duty, this group of 165 cast 100 ille…

Lifting the veil on 'secret science' at the EPA

Daily Signal:
A proposed rule announced Tuesday by Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is intended to bring much-needed transparency to agency rule-making.

The environmental lobby is positively apoplectic about the proposal (naturally), even though it aligns perfectly with its long-held commitment to the public’s “right to know” principle.

The proposed regulation would require the EPA to ensure that the scientific data and research models “pivotal” to significant regulation are “publicly available in a manner sufficient for validation and analysis.”

Despite existing rules on government use of scientific research, federal agencies routinely mask politically driven regulations as scientifically-based imperatives. The supposed science underlying these rules is often hidden from the general public and unavailable for vetting by experts. But credible science and transparency are necessary elements of sound policy.

The opposition from greens and much of the medi…

South Korea gives Trump credit for bringing North Korea to the peace table

Mediaite has a clip of an interview with the South Korean Foreign Minister explaining how the two sides moved toward peace.  She gives most of the credit to President Trump who used a combination of threats and sanctions to squeeze North Korea into a position where peace looked like the best alternative.  It looks like those on the left were wrong again in their criticism of the Trump approach, but he obviously played the situation better than previous Presidents.

Arab states struggle to explain why Israel is so much more successful

Aljemeiner:
Over the past several months, a series of Arab commentators have sought to explain why Israel appears so far ahead of the Arab world in politics, economics, and military power.

According to translations published on Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the general consensus was that Israeli democracy gives the country this strength. In particular, the emphasis on the rule of law, the fight against corruption, and the importance of education.

Although the commentators at times engaged in racist rhetoric and smeared Israel as an “apartheid” state, they nonetheless acknowledged that Arab nations have failed in their basic responsibilities to their citizens, whereas Israel has not.

Reda Abd Al-Salam, the former governor of Egypt’s Al-Sharqiya province and a lecturer at Mansoura University in Egypt, noted, “The Arab and Muslim peoples live under regimes that for decades have engaged not in developing their peoples and establishing themselves in economy,…

5th Circuit approves Texas voter ID law

Washington Times:
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas’s new version of its voter-ID law can go into effect, rebuking a lower court judge for trying to block the law and delivering a significant victory to voter-integrity advocates.

The original law passed earlier this decade had been blocked after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded both its purpose and effect was to punish minority voters.

But the state legislature went back and made changes, and the 5th Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, now says the new version cures what ailed the previous one.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hailed the ruling.

“The court rightly recognized that when the Legislature passed Senate Bill 5 last session, it complied with every change the 5th Circuit ordered to the original voter ID law,” he said. “Safeguarding the integrity of our elections is essential to preserving our democracy.”

The new law includes a longer list of ID options that are acceptable for voting purposes, allows people…

Clapper accused of leaking dossier and lying about it

Sean Davis:
Buried within a newly declassified congressional report on Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections is a shocking revelation: former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper not only leaked information about the infamous Steele dossier and high-level government briefings about it to CNN, he also may have lied to Congress about the matter.

In one of the findings within the 253-page report, the House intelligence committee wrote that Clapper leaked details of a dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied to Congress about the leak, and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later.

“Clapper flatly denied ‘discussing[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists,'” the committee found.

When asked directly whether he had ever discussed the dossier with any journalists, Clapper replied that he had not, according to a transcript o…

Comey's lack of knowledge about those responsible for dirty dossier is astounding

This interview by Bret Baier is revealing in just how little Comey knew about the dossier and those responsible for it.  For example, he is still pushing the false story that the Republicans started the dossier when in fact they had nothing to do with it.

Baier also exposed how Comey exonerated Clinton despite her lies.  Newsbusters has a long report on the interview too.

Questions are also being raised about Comey's stories about his self-serving memos some of which were later discussed in a New York Times story after his "friend/attorney" talked to the reporter.

Rush Limbaugh also weighs in on the Comey interview.
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Everybody involved — the media doing the reporting, FBI leaders, CIA leaders, Director of National Intelligence people. They all knew that there wasn’t a shred of truth in this. Even the whole idea that they’re gonna try to verify it and corroborate it is BS! It was written as a political opposition document. It is not intelligence. Furthermore, what does…

Wealthy Democrat donors still supporting Fusion GPS attacks on Trump despite a lack of evidence

Daily Caller:
A group of wealthy donors from New York and California have forked out $50 million to fund a Russia investigation being conducted by Christopher Steele, Fusion GPS and a former Senate staffer for Dianne Feinstein.

That bombshell revelation is made in a footnote to the House Intelligence Committee’s newly released report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.

Fusion GPS hired Steele, a former MI6 agent, to investigate Trump’s activities in Russia. He would go on to produce a 35-page report alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

The Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee funded the project. A law firm representing the organizations hired Fusion GPS in April 2016.


While the dossier project failed to help former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton win the presidency, Fusion GPS and Steele have continued their investigative work.

That’s according to statements from Daniel Jones, a former Feinstein staffer who runs the Penn Q…

US intelligence and FBI bought into Democrat Russian collusion scam. They now have egg on their face along with Democrats

Washington Post:
U.S. intelligence, FBI accused of failures by House Republicans in Russia report

The House Intelligence Committee said it found “no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated or conspired with the Russian government” during the 2016 election. The report was met with swift criticism from Democrats, who refused to endorse its findings. And don't forget the media which perpetuated this fraud too.  Both the intelligence agencies and the FBI senior leadership acted disgracefully because they did not like the choice of voters for President.  They lied and leaked and the media ate up the leaks and rarely corrected false allegations made in the course of the coup attempt.  It is one of the biggest political scandals in history and too many in the media went along with it because they hate President and his voters.

Hamas seems eager for more casualties as it urges people to charge Israel's border defenses

NY Times:
As Gazans Charge Fence, Israeli Troops Wound Hundreds
Urged on by a Hamas leader, hundreds of Palestinian protesters tried to breach the fence between Gaza and Israel. Israeli troops opened fire, killing at least 3. I think Hamas is using casualties as a political weapon against Israel and is eager to build up a body count in their operation.  There is nothing too cynical for the Islamic religious bigots of Hamas.  It would be easy to avoid casualties by not attacking the border defenses  The Israelis have no interest in going into Gaza and inflicting casualties. 

It is a further example of the misrule of Palestinians within Gaza.  They have blown every opportunity for a better life with their futile attempts to destroy Israel.  Even when they lose a war that they start they use aid money meant for rebuilding to dig tunnels and make new preparations for the next war.  The US should cut off all funding for these "refugees."  It should also cut off funding for UNRA an…

Sally Yates and Matthew Axelrod cower in the face of questions about shutting down Clinton Foundation investigation

Washington Times:
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and her top lieutenant, Principal Assistant Deputy Attorney General Matthew Axelrod, refused to answer questions this week about whether they tried to squelch an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation during the final months of the 2016 campaign.

Ms. Yates was hosting a conference Thursday at Georgetown Law School urging the public and the media to do more to hold President Trump accountable, and Mr. Axelrod was a panelist for the conference, titled “Democracy in the Balance: The Essential Role of Democratic Institutions & Norms.”

When this reporter approached Mr. Yates, who served as the No. 2 official at the Obama Justice Department, she recoiled at questions about her handling of investigations into the Clinton Foundation. She had a Georgetown media representative intervene to head off further inquiries, saying all interview requests had to go through the school.

Once the media representative was in between …

Mueller should resign from this hopelessly tainted investigation

Mark Penn:
Comey, Mueller and the poisonous tree

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The more we learn about how these massive investigations were started, the more they look so corrupted that this entire investigation now could now qualify as the fruits of a poisonous tree, a doctrine first adopted by Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter as the only way to prevent government agents from abusing the rights of citizens and benefitting from those actions. The government can’t violate people’s rights with impunity and then just say “oops.”

The investigation was polluted from the beginning. Former British spy Christopher Steele was a government contractor when he illegally leaked the dossier and lied about it. Mueller team members and FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok operated with such open hatred for Trump that they were removed from the investigation after managing key parts of it. The heads of the FBI and CIA participated in spreading and vouching for a Trump dossier they never verified and yet used to spy …

Lawless judges make a mockery of justice system

Rich Lowry:
There’s a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration.

The source is federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump administration’s immigration priorities.

If the judges get their way, there will, in effect, be two sets of law in America — one for President Trump and one for everyone else.

In this dispensation, other presidents, especially Democratic presidents, get a pen and a phone. Trump gets a judicial veto — even when he is simply trying to undo the unilateral moves of his predecessor.

This is the clear implication of the latest decision against Trump’s rollback of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. US Judge John Bates in the District of Columbia held that Trump’s decision was “arbitrary and capricious.” If nothing else, the judge is an expert on arbitrariness. He’d force the administration to begin granting new DACA permits if it doesn’t explain to his satisfac…

Tax cuts give economy a boost in first quarter

Washington Post:
U.S. economy grew faster than expected in first quarter since Trump’s tax cuts

The economy grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the first three months of 2018, the Commerce Department said. The results were slightly above Wall Street analysts’ forecasts of 2 percent annual growth rate. I suspect supply-side economists expected the robust growth and Democrats did not.  These results will make it harder for Democrats to run on repealing the tax cuts in the mid-term elections.

Mattis says Iran could spark a regional war in Middle East involving Israel

Washington Free Beacon:
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that Iran's destabilizing actions in Syria risk an escalation with Israel that could spark a larger regional conflict.

Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Mattis said Iran has continued to work through its Lebanon-based proxy, Hezbollah, to expand Tehran's influence in the Middle East.

Fears over a new conflict breaking out deepened in February when an Iranian drone launched from Syria crossed into Israeli airspace. The drone was immediately shot down, setting off a day of tense fighting that culminated in the downing of an Israeli jet that had been bombing Iranian positions in Syria.

Sen. Jack Reid (D., R.I.) pressed Mattis on the incident, asking the defense secretary whether he believes there is a "significant risk of escalation at this moment that would not only engulf Syria, but spread throughout the region."

"That's a complex question. I believe the short answer is yes,…

California voters want to protect the border

San Francisco Gate:
Poll: California governor race heats up, two-thirds of voters want to send National Guard to border The poll on border protection signals problems for the Democrats' open borders policies.  As for the governor's race, no candidate has over  21 percent of the vote at this point.  It is a "jungle primary" with Democrats and Republicans running together and only six percent separates they top three candidates at this time.

Trump's policy in dealing with North Korea appears to be working

CNBC:
President Donald Trump recently confirmed that Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo secretly met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over Easter weekend, increasing the chances that Trump and Kim may have substantive talks when they meet.

If the administration stays on track, it is possible the talks may significantly reduce the threat of war on the Korean peninsula, strengthen America's overall national security, and achieve a diplomatic feat that none of the previous 12 presidents were able to realize.

There is justification for cautious optimism:

For the first time ever, the leaders of North and South Korea will meet face-to-face on Friday on the South Korean side of the DMZ. A peace treaty could be on the agenda.

And, at Pompeo's secret meeting with Kim, Trump said "a good relationship was formed." At no point during the both the Bush and Obama Administrations did legitimate possibilities for peace even exist.

We must be clear-eyed, however, about the path …

Mattis ordered that Russian irregular forces attacking US positions be annihilated

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The Mattis statement about his order of annihilation comes toward the end of the video as he responds to a Senator's questions about the "deconfliction" process in Syria in dealing with the Russians.  The Russian irregular forces were trying to capture Syrian oil fields with the hopes of getting a percentage of the production from the fields as payment from the Assad regime.

Anti-gun extremists suspend boy for learning gun safety

Erick Erickson:
A father taught his son how to properly and safely handle a gun. Now the son's school is suspending him because of it.

Ken Bone is the guy who went viral during the Presidential debate asking the candidates a question. He posted on social media that he was teaching his son gun safety. The picture showed him with his son at a firing range where his son was getting instructions on safely handling a fire arm.

According to Mr. Bone, his son has been suspended from school "pending a police investigation" because he was learning how to shoot a gun. This is just irrationally insane.
... It is hard to comprehend how wrong the school is.  Fathers have been teaching their children the proper handling of firearms for hundreds of years.   This has to be based on the irrational assumption that boys who know the proper handling of firearms will become homicidal maniacs.  That is just nuts.

ConocoPhillips wins $2 billion arbitration award against Venezuela while posting huge profits in US operations

Fuel Fix:
ConocoPhillips reported a big quarterly profit that jumped more than 50 percent from a year ago as crude oil prices rose and the energy sector continued to rebound.

ConocoPhillips said it earned $888 million in the first quarter of 2018 versus a $586 million gain during the same time last year. The Houston-based oil and gas explorer said it is upping its oil and gas production volumes for the rest of the year with higher crude prices expected to hold relatively steady.

To satisfy investors, ConocoPhillips also recently increased its share buyback program to improve stock values and worked on debt reduction.
...
ConocoPhillips is expanding up north in recent months in Canada and Alaska, as well as nearer by in the emerging Austin Chalk play in Louisiana and Texas.

ConocoPhillips also said it won a $2 billion arbitration award against Venezuela's state oil company in the socialist nation that's struggling financially and politically.
... Getting payment out of Venezuel…

The Democrats unprincipled attack on Trump's nominee to head the VA

Daily Mail:

President Trump says his Veterans Affairs nominee, Dr. Ronny Jackson, got a raw deal after Jackson suddenly withdrew his name from consideration Thursday. Reporters have not been able to find any evidence to support the claims of the Democrats against Jackson.  This is looking like a small minded hate Trump move by Democrats.  They should be ashamed.

Collapse of test site left North Korea with little choice but to suspend nuclear testing

Guardian:
North Korea’s main nuclear test site has partially collapsed under the stress of multiple explosions, possibly rendering it unsafe for further testing and leaving it vulnerable to radiation leaks, a study by Chinese geologists has shown.

The findings could cast doubt on North Korea’s sincerity in announcing last weekend that it would stop testing nuclear weapons at the site ahead of Friday’s summit between the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in.

The test site at Punggye-ri, in a mountainous area in North Korea’s north-east, has been the location for all six of the regime’s nuclear tests since 2006.

The findings, by scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China, suggest the partial collapse of the mountain that contains the testing tunnels, as well as the risk of radiation leaks, have potentially rendered the site unusable.

The study was published soon after Kim said his country would stop testing nuclear weapons and balli…

The left and their obstruction of justice when it comes to Trump

Andrew McCarthy:
The absurd ruling by District Judge John Bates in the DACA case — which means that what is lawlessly imposed by executive order may not be lawfully rescinded by executive order — reminds us that justice is being politicized plenty from the bench. No surprise, then, that the pols and pundits are getting in on the act.

Byron York’s Washington Examiner column takes up the question of whether, where Donald Trump is concerned, the “generally accepted standard of justice has been turned on its head.” The matter at issue is the so-called Steele dossier, the Clinton-campaign-sponsored compilation of opposition-research memos that the author, former British spy Christopher Steele, masqueraded as intelligence reports. Byron collects commentary from left-leaning political, academic, and media doyens, all arguing that the dossier’s sensational allegations carry a degree of credibility because, though unverified, they have not been proven untrue.

We’ll come to the law in a moment.…

More evidence of Clinton mishandling of classified material

Katie Pavlich:
Judicial Watch Finds New Classified Emails, Others Confirm Collusion Between State Department and Clinton Foundation The Clinton Foundation material suggests a real pay to play operation.
...
And on the Clinton Foundation:

Several of the emails demonstrate the commingling of Clinton State Department and Clinton family foundation business:

-In a November 2010 email with subject line, “How do I get through to Bill Clinton,” Rafael Anchia, a lawyer with Haynes Boone, asks Clinton campaign official Ed Meier if he could get to the “gatekeepers” to get Bill Clinton to give a speech in Spain, noting that “a large bank is willing to pay for it.”

-Meier forwarded the email to former State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan who forwarded it to former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin. Abedin sent it to Bill Clinton’s scheduler at the Clinton Foundation, Terry Krinvic, who provided Clinton’s contact information, to which Sullivan responded, “Awesome.”

-In September 20…