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Showing posts from 2019

London is losing population

Telegraph:
Londoners are leaving the capital in record numbers as property prices drive people to the south coast, official data shows. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) today revealed that 340,498 residents quit London to live in other parts of the UK.

It marks the highest rate of people fleeing the capital since the ONS began collecting data in 2012. Experts have blamed the exodus from London on inflated house prices and violent crime rates.

Over the same period, just 237,270 people migrated into the city from elsewhere in the UK, meaning that the capital lost a net 103,228 individuals to other parts of the country.

The record figure only relates to 2018 and therefore does not account for the recent slump in the market, which is widely attributed to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. It also only tracks internal migration, and does not account for migration from sources outside the UK.
...
For every year since 2012, the south east was consistently the m…

Iranian leader makes misleading statements about that country's war plans

AFP:
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran "never seeks war" with the US, state media reported Wednesday amid a spike in tensions between the two countries.

"Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US," the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Rouhani was speaking by phone to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, as Tehran and Washington engaged in an escalating war of words following Iran shooting down a US drone last week.

"We have always been committed to regional peace and stability and will make efforts in this respect," the Iranian president told Macron.
... What he really means is that he does not want a direct confrontation with the US which he would obviously lose.  Instead, Iran uses its proxy forces to ambush US troops in Iraq and it uses the Houthis in Yemen to attack the government and the Saudis and it uses Hezballah to attack Israelis.  Iran also used Hezbal…

Democrats outrageous border cruelty

NY Post Editorial:
Democrats are finally acknowledging the border crisis they claimed didn’t exist, yet many still want to deny aid to suffering migrants. It’s beyond cruel.

Nearly everyone now agrees border officials are overwhelmed and conditions at facilities used to hold and process migrants are deplorable. Reports describe children having to sleep on floors, without adequate food or necessary provisions.

Yet many Dems — who for months insisted the crisis “does not exist” (Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer) and is “fake” (House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) — are nonetheless now insisting that any emergency aid comes with tough conditions that risk a veto by President Trump.

Indeed, some resist any funding at all, simply because it would pass through Team Trump’s hands. “I will not fund another dime,” vows Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, arguing Trump can’t be trusted.

Got that? Border officials are detaining migrants in what the freshman firebrand calls “concentration camps,” but she w…

Ted Cruz has proposed a way to make Iran pay the cost of the drone it shot down

Washington Free Beacon:
Congress is considering a new measure that would extract millions from frozen Iranian bank accounts in order to subsidize the cost of its recent downing of an American drone in the region, according to congressional sources and a copy of draft legislation viewed by the Free Beacon.

The measure, filed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) late Monday, would require the Trump administration to assess the exact cost of the drone, which could be anywhere from $120 million to $220 million, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The move comes as congressional hawks and Iran critics seek more ways to penalize Iran for its increasingly flagrant military attacks against the United States and its assets in the Persian Gulf region. While President Donald Trump called off a strike on Iran minutes before it was to take place last week, his administration and allies in Congress continue to seek a financial price from Iran, via economic sanctions and other measures meant to s…

Democrats in denial about the crisis on the border should have a day of reckoning

Byron York:
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the situation "a fake crisis at the border."

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called it "a crisis that does not exist."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, "There is no crisis at the border."

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries said, "There is no crisis at the border."

House Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Eliot Engel called the situation "a fake crisis at the border."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said, "There is no crisis at the border."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said, "We don't have a border crisis."

Rep. Lloyd Doggett called the situation "a phony border crisis."

Rep. Earl Blumenauer called it "a fake crisis at the border."

Rep. Sanford Bishop called it "a crisis that does not exist."

Reps. Jesus Garcia, Jose Serrano, Suzanne …

The Palestinians best option is to agree to Trump's proposal, as in the past they will probably reject peace

Washington Post:
Forget peace. Trump and Israel want Palestinian surrender.

The White House may seek to ply the Palestinians with economic handouts, but it wants the Palestinians’ political capitulation. What the Palestinians want is Israel's destruction as a Jewish state.  It is what they have wanted since Arabs engaged in the colonialization of Israel from the beginning.  They have created the fiction of "Palestine" as a historical matter, even though it has never existed as such.  Arab's did not really begin migrating in mass to the area until the Jews came back to their historical homeland.  They keep pushing this weird belief that an area once conquered by Muslims can never go back to its original status.  It is why the radical Islamist still lay claim to Spain and parts of Eastern Europe.

The so-called Palestinians should agree to the Trump proposal because they are never likely to get a better deal.

I suspect that Trump will get support from the Arab countries …

Google tries to hide its evil ways?

Warner Todd Huston and Jeff Dunetz:
Google Execs Suddenly Go Into Hiding After Project Veritas Exposes Trump Destruction Plans
All of a sudden, a group of Google executives deleted their social media presence after a new expose revealed their plans to use their Internet search engine to destroy President Donald Trump’s 2020 election campaign.

The sudden disappearance of the Google executive’s social media accounts came on the heels of the latest undercover exposé by Project Veritas that reveals that Google is programming its machine learning algorithms (or AI) to prevent the “next Trump situation.”

The Project Veritas video reveals that instead of merely doing its job as the world’s leading Internet search and archiving tool, Google is using its power over what Americans see on the Internet as a partisan political weapon to force extreme, un-American leftism on all of us.

Google, which owns YouTube, decided that truth is not an option and pulled the Veritas Video off of YouTube; theref…

Judge approves $2 billion pipeline to bring Permian natural gas to a Houston area hub

Fuel Fix:
A state district court judge has tossed out a lawsuit that sought to stop a Kinder Morgan pipeline from being routed through the Texas Hill Country.

In a Tuesday afternoon decision, Judge Lora Livingston with the 261st State District Court in Austin dismissed all claims made against the Permian Highway Pipeline, a $2 billion project to move 2.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from the Permian Basin of West Texsa to the Katy Hub near Houston.

Two landowners, a trust, the City of Kyle and Hays County sued Kinder Morgan, one of its subsidiaries, the Railroad Commission of Texas and five agency executives over the 423-mile pipeline in April.

Judge Livingston heard testimony from both sides of the case during a two-day hearing in late May. After nearly four weeks of reviewing evidence and testimony, the judge sided with Kinder Morgan and the Railroad Commission. In a statement, Kinder President of Natural Gas Pipelines Tom Martin said the company was pleased with the ru…

The Democrats irrational position on deportation

Why do Democrats even bother denying that their position is open borders?

Another sign of how the Democrat House has failed to provide resources to the Border Patrol to deal with crisis

NY Times:
Migrant Children Moved Back to Troubled Texas Border Facility The Trump administration says it is transferring the children back to a shelter in Clint, Tex., that had seen hundreds of children held in overcrowded and filthy conditions. The Democrats have invited this crisis by their failure to deal with the exploitation of a dysfunctional asylum system.  Then they whine when the Border Patrol is overwhelmed and lacks resources to deal with the mess the Democrats do not want to fix.  The Democrats and the media are as responsible for this mess as the cartels and the traffickers who have brought these people to the border and exploited kids to get into the country.  I find the attitude of the Democrats and their cohorts in the media totally disgusting.

Home Depot founder says Bernie Sanders is the enemy of entrepreneurs

Daily Caller:
Home Depot founders Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone had strong words for socialism and the politicians who espouse it, particularly 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, during a Monday interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto.

The wide-ranging interview with the billionaire businessmen included topics like trade, the company’s history and philosophy, and even tax policy, but Cavuto hit a “red flag” for Marcus when he brought up the topic of Sandersand his socialist campaign proposals.

“He is the enemy of every entrepreneur that’s ever going to be born in this country and has been born in the past,” Marcus said.

“If he became president, what would you guys do?” Cavuto asked.

“Probably move to Australia,” the Home Depot founder responded, laughing. “Well what could he do? I mean he can’t do anything to us. He’s going to affect my grandchildren.”

Marcus then contrasted Sanders and his socialized medicine proposals with work his foundation is doing with war veterans:

And…

Google says it is fair to suppress support for Trump?

PJ Media:
On Monday, Project Veritas released a powerful video revealing Google's liberal "Machine Learning Fairness" program, which a Google executive admitted defined fairness in terms any supporter of President Donald Trump would disagree with. She also suggested that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) plan to break up Google is misguided because only Google has the power to prevent "the next Trump situation." She also expressed a goal with Google's algorithms — to prevent 2016 from happening again.

"Elizabeth Warren is saying that we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better, it will make it worse because now all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation. It’s like a small company cannot do that," Jen Gennai, head of Responsible Innovation at Google Global Affairs, tells an undercover Project Ver…

Democrats infested with members who want to do nothing about the border crisis

NY Times:
Emergency Aid for Migrants Badly Divides Democrats Congress is trying to rush billions of dollars to the border to alleviate the suffering of detained migrants, but Democrats fear the funds will advance President Trump’s immigration policies. I find their entire attitude toward immigration inexplicable.  They seem so desperate to import voters to fill their shrinking ranks that they will allow the country to be overrun with unvetted migrants instead of trying to bring in the best and brightest.

Democrats want illegal to vote to help them steal elections

Kevin McCullough:
Caught Red Handed: Despite Their Protests, Democrats Want Illegals To Vote The Democrats have a scheme to give illegals drivers licenses which would automatically lead to registration to vote under the motor voter law.  Democrats claim to be worried about foreign interference in our elections as they plot to all that very thing.  This was happening in New York, but it is already happening in California, the state that gave Hillary Clinton her popular vote "victory."

The left on the West Coast has no answer to its dying cities filled with homeless drug addicts

Communities Digital News:
With the Left in charge, Seattle and Los Angeles are dying. Chaos on camera (videos) The video of Seattle is striking showing not only the homeless mess but the frustration of citizens having to deal with it and with their incompetent government. The one of Los Angeles is equally disturbing.  About the only thing that is clear is that the liberals who are elected officials in those cities are totally incapable of dealing with the problem.  It raises the question about why the voters keep electing them.

Illegal immigration is causing a hit to local budgets along the border

Washington Examiner:
The 16,000 migrants passing through San Antonio came with a cost In San Antonio alone the cost to city government was $600,000.  Smaller cities along the border have also faced costs that have nothing to do with normal municipal expenses.  Most of these cities are run by Democrats who are having to deal with their party's irresponsible immigration policies.  The city of Del Rio which is along the border has had to focus on dealing with the influx instead of dealing with its normal governmental functions.

Democrats cornered by their position of ICE raids?

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Thomas Lifson:
Once again, as is his wont, President Trump has maneuvered his opponents into a losing position on an issue of high priority to him. His original plan for nationwide ICE raids on scofflaws who already had their due process and who are ignoring court ordered deportation was a trap for Democrats, as Silvio Canto, Jr earlier explained on these pages:     So ICE will pick up people who choose to disobey a court order? The Democrats, who choose to, will now have to defend people in the country who don't obey court orders.  I wonder how that's going to play with the people in their districts who have to obey court order? Also, these arrests will take place in "sanctuary cities."  Are the Democrats going to criticize federal agents arresting people violating the law? It's a good move in defense of the rule of law.  It's a brilliant move in continuing to define the Democrats as pro–illegal immigration, in support of sanctuary cities, and calling out ICE age…

Omar has a credibility problem about her marriage claims

Washington Examiner:
Dozens of documents indicate Ilhan Omar lived with Ahmed Hirsi while claiming to be married to Ahmed Elmi The Democrat Congresswoman who has a history of religious bigotry appears to have been dishonest about her marriage claims.

The climate doomsday cult keeps getting it wrong

Vijay Jararaj:
On June 29, 2017, the Dailymail in UK ran an article headlined “Four years to save the Earth: 2020 is the deadline to avert climate catastrophe, experts claim in chilling commentary.”

Two years later and halfway to deadline, the earth has not changed much. If anything, the El Niño of the 2016-17 season gave way for much cooler temperatures across the globe and the past two years have been colder than 2016.

This is just one of the many climate doomsday news articles that gets published in our mainstream news media every single day.

How seriously should we treat the climate doomsday claims?

In mid-2000s “Arctic sea ice melting” became the buzz word and the star of the climate apocalypse movement. Since then, the melting of Arctic sea ice became the central theme of climate doomsday theories.

In 2007, news media across the globe warned that the Arctic would soon be ice-free because of the excessive melting from global warming. It came on the heels of Al Gore’sAn Inconvenient Tr…

Hillary Clinton blames Republicans for the irresponsible actions of Democrats on the border

Washington Examiner:
Rep. Dan Crenshaw accused Hillary Clinton of "gaslighting" the GOP for blaming the humanitarian crisis on the southern border on Republicans.

"What insane gaslighting. You know Dems have refused to support funding for resources at the border & have offered no solutions," Crenshaw said in a Sunday tweet. "So tell us, if you were President, how would you manage hundreds of thousands of people illegally crossing our border and dragging children with them?"

"After blatantly lying, you’re also fundraising for 'rights of immigrants' using ActBlue, the Democratic Party fundraising platform, so that donor data is collected for the Democrats. Absolutely shameless," Crenshaw said.
... There appear to be no Democrats who are being honest about their responsibility for the current crisis on the border.  Certainly, Hillary Clinton is not being honest about the situation.

Cuba pays the price for backing socialism in Venezuela

Washington Post:

New sanctions against Cuba make U.S. — once a driver of hope — a source of pain

New Trump administration restrictions, aimed at punishing Havana for supporting Venezuela’s president, are contributing to the island’s worst economic crisis in years. Cuba is actually paying a price for being the driver of pain in Venezuela and backing a failed socialist government there.  It is just like the socialist in Cuba to never take responsibility for their own actions and to always blame the US when they screw up.  It is also, unfortunately, too much like the current Washington Post to ignore Cuba's irresponsible government for their current circumstances.  At the Post, too many of its writers have a blame Trump first approach to presenting the news.

How about this climate change?

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Daily Mail:
The latest snowfall in nearly 100 years hit Steamboat Springs, Colorado on Friday (left), as 14 states were blasted with severe thunderstorms and wind damage that left three dead. The weather system referred to as 'derecho' struck 1,000 miles of the US, from the Midwest to coastal South Carolina. Those who didn't survive the storm included Michael Birge, 38, of Kentucky, a 48-year-old woman in Illinois, and Levi Mayberry, 22, of Missouri, all killed by downed trees. Tents dragged to the ground by 50-70 mph in Nashville, Tennessee are shown at right, at the top. Flash flooding stranded drivers in Kansas City (shown at right, at bottom). It is not hot.

Democrats out of touch on healthcare?

Washington Post:

Voters have big health-care worries, but not the ones Democrats are talking about

Americans tell pollsters they feel squeezed by deductibles and prescription drug costs, but the candidates are mostly focused on expanding access to insurance. They appear to be much closer to what Trump is pushing than the socialized medicine that most Democrats are pushing.   I think what Senders and other Democrats want would lead to rationed healthcare and a significant drop in innovation and new treatments.

Get the gender Nazis out of the classroom

Jordan Peterson:
Gender politics has no place in the classroom

A six-year-old girl became confused about her identity after an Ottawa teacher taught her class that 'girls are not real and boys are not real' This gender ambiguity nonsense appears to be an attempt to normalize the deviancy of a small minority of people who seem confused about what they are.  To transpose that confusion, on the whole, is an absurd form of child abuse.

Congress decides to go to war with US allies in the Middle East

Benny Avni:
Regarding Iran and its Mideast foes, Congress has come to a strange conclusion: The enemy of our enemy is actually . . . the bad guy. It’s true: Even as Iran’s Mideast aggression increasingly threatens US assets and interests, Congress is looking to tighten the noose around Tehran’s Sunni Arab rivals.

As President Trump huddled with his team Thursday, weighing a response to Iran’s downing of a US drone over international waters in the Gulf, over on Capitol Hill a bipartisan group of senators celebrated their success in nixing a White House plan to sell sophisticated arms to Saudi Arabia and other Mideast allies.

Iran’s attack on the US drone followed assaults on oil tankers in the Gulf. America has long vowed to protect navigation on the high seas, and disrupting it is widely considered an act of war.

Some blame the attacks on Trump’s pullout of the flawed Iran nuclear deal. Yet Iranian aggression started long before that. Indeed, it’s been escalating for decades, manifest…

Podesta using dark money group to file suits against Trump to thwart good policies

Washington Free Beacon:
A "nonpartisan" dark money group that regularly files litigation against President Donald Trump's administration is powered by money from the Center for American Progress (CAP), the liberal think tank founded by former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

The Democracy Forward Foundation, a D.C.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit, was founded in 2017 to "help expose the rampant corruption in the Executive Branch and fight in court on behalf of the people it hurts." The group also has a 501(c)4 "social welfare" arm that goes by Democracy Forward. The foundation has filed suit against numerous government agencies, such as the Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, and the Office of Management and Budget, and has aided other entities with similar litigation, including Baltimore's lawsuit against the Trump administration over immigration policy.

The group, which has maintained a relatively low profile despite its litigation effo…

Socialism still sucks in Cuba

Silvio Cantu Jr.:
Many years ago, my mother used to say "me voy a la cola" or loosely translated to "I am going to stand in line." Back then, they were ration lines from "a" to "z." My mother carried "una tarjeta" or a ration card where the merchant would mark how many ounces of this or that she got this week. Not much has changed, as we see in this report by the Wall Street Journal:

Pushed by the implosion of top ally Venezuela and sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, Cuba has driven into an economic ditch. The government has tightened state rations. Residents stand in lines for hours to buy scarce basic goods such as eggs, flour and chicken.
The lines are still here. What's also here are the excuses.

Back then, it was "Yankee imperialismo" choking the revolution. We were told that sacrifice made the new "socialist man or woman".
...

The lines are part of Cuba, again. The excuses always start …

Busting the Democrats racism lies

Legal Insurrection:
Condoleezza Rice Rejects Notion that Race Relations are Worse Under Trump
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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made it clear that she doesn’t think racism in America has gotten “worse” under President Trump, calling the claim “hyperbole” on Thursday during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

NBC News’ Sheinelle Jones told Rice “there are people who will say it feels worse now when we’re talking about race” and said others feel that America is currently a “divisive environment.”

Rice quickly responded, “It sure doesn’t feel worse than when I grew up in Jim Crow Alabama. So let’s drop this notion that we’re worse race relations today than we were in the past.”
... Rice lived through the Jim Crow era in Alabama and has personal knowledge of how bad it really was.  She also has made it clear it the past why her father was a Republican and why she is.

I don't think those ruling Iran believe it can be great without nuclear weapons

Washington Post:

‘Let’s make Iran great again’: Trump reaches out to Tehran, still threatens more sanctions

Iran has shown no interest in renegotiating a new agreement with a Trump administration that has worked to strangle its economy and prevent it from selling oil on the international market. Trump appears to be having some success with this kind of outreach to North Korea, but I doubt it will work with the Islamic religious bigots who rule Iran.  These bigots seem to believe that Shia Islam should dominate the world and are willing to commit mass murder to achieve that objective.  They really have little empathy for their own people who suffer while they try to achieve this objective.  They went along with Obama's deal because it enriched them and appeared to be no long term obstacle to their objectives of having nuclear weapons.

The left keeps finding new excuses to thwart border security

NY Times:
‘Stop Repeating History’: Plan to Keep Migrant Children at Former Internment Camp Draws Outrage Demonstrators called the government’s plan to house 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children a return to a shameful past. This is another bad faith claim by the open borders left.  They look for any excuse to turn illegals loose in the country so that Democrats can get them counted in the census and steal more Hosue seats.  They constantly look for new ways to demonize border enforcement.

US cyber attacks crippled Iran command and control system for missile launches

Washington Post:
U.S. launched cyber-strikes against Iran’s missile systems

Though crippling to Iran’s military command and control systems, the operation Thursday did not involve a loss of life or civilian casualties. This appears to be a pretty effective response to the Iranian attacks and could stymie their future operations in the area.  It also makes those operations vulnerable to kinetic attacks by aircraft and missiles.

The Muslim Brotherhoods goals is to make the US as miserable a place as all countries dominated by the group

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The words come from their own mouth in this video.  Why the left defends these subversive forces is strange since they would be targeted for elimination once the Brotherhood came to power.  I think the left does it because they don't like American leadership of either party.  The Muslim Brotherhood's agenda everywhere is to impose its evil ideology on everyone.

Democrats could be in trouble if the debate is a clunker with candidates spouting some of their ridiculous agendas.

Washington Post:

‘Everyone needs a big moment’: Democrats are hoping for a ratings blockbuster at debates

Candidates are digesting data, prepping at lecterns and hoping to stand out amid the televised chaos spread over two nights next week. As Bill Mahar has said, if they make it about concentration camps and reparations it will be a disaster.  So far most of their "investigations" pushing issues in Congress have also been a disaster.

My guess is that the Democrat debate will not attract an audience as large as that of President Trump at his announcement for reelection in person or on TV.

Trump delays ICE raid on illegals to try to get a deal with Dems on asylum

NY Times:
Trump Says He’ll Delay Deportation Operation Aimed at Undocumented Families Immigration agents had planned to sweep into immigrant communities on Sunday in coordinated raids in 10 major cities. I wonder how many of those targeted moved in recent days.  Now they have to worry about coming back.  The Democrats have been dragging their heels on changing the asylum laws that are being abused by the migrants and the courts.  In fact, they do not seem to want to fix the problem at all.  They seem to want to have a welcome wagon program that signs these people up for benefits and voter registration.

Marines get laser weapon to fight enemy drones

National Interests:
Wow

Brace yourselves: Marine grunts now have their hands on a drone-killing laser cannon.

Marines are currently evaluating a Compact Laser Weapons System (CLaWS) as "the first ground-based laser approved by the Department of Defense for use by warfighters on the ground," Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday.

Unlike the Army's vehicle-mounted directed energy system, the CLaWS is "not intended to be a standalone system," according to MARCORSYSCOM, but the prototype will "serve as a component to an overall system" designed for counter-drone operations downrange.

"This was all in response to a need for counter unmanned aerial systems to take down drones," Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) program manager Don Kelley said in the MARCORSYSCOM release. "We're providing CLaWS to Marines as a rapid prototype for evaluation ... Depending on the results, CLaWS could become part of a larger capability set."

Charge these politicians with obstruction of justice

NY Post:
Cuomo, de Blasio vow to fight ICE raids targeting illegal immigrant families This is a much clearer case of obstruction of justice and the gobbledygook Mueller wrote about Trump.

Democrat identity politics is Jim Crow revisited

Washington Post:
Republicans despise identity politics. Trump wants to immerse his campaign in it.

The right’s position on identity politics is a misrepresentation of what identity politics is. Democrats have been practicing identity politics for decades.  Before the civil rights movement made it easier for blacks to vote Democrats used identity politics to get poor southerners to vote against Republicans.  Now they are using to get poor blacks and other minorities to vote against Republicans.  It is a consistent theme of demonization of opponents they just are exploiting different groups now.

It is a bastardization of politics that rather than focus on issues focuses on alleged grievances of groups and those grievances are in many cases manufactured.  When Joe Biden tells a group of blacks that the Republicans want to put them back in chains he knows that is a lie, but says it anyway to stir antagonism toward the GOP.  It is a form of identity politics at its worst.  It is no differen…

Who has the most to lose in the Iran oil attacks?

NY Times:
In Trump’s Iran Response, Some See a Dangerous Ambiguity As diplomats try to ratchet down tensions, some of them worry that hard-liners in Iran could be emboldened to further test President Trump’s resolve. The US is no longer dependent on Middle Eastern oil so there is no real urgency for the US to act against Iran.  The real pressure is on the Asian and European countries who depend on oil from that region.  As they begin to recognize their own dilemma they could put more pressure on Iran.  Trump really controls most of the cards in this situation as Iran continues to twist in the wind as it tries to hold onto its genocidal nuclear ambitions.  What should be clear to everyone is that Obama's deal with Iran was a strategic blunder of significant proportions.  Hopefully, the Europeans are recognizing their mistake in going along with it.

FBI has a problem on proving Russian hacking?

Consortium News:
FBI Never Saw CrowdStrike Unredacted or Final Report on Alleged Russian Hacking Because None was Produced While Mueller charged several Russians with hacking, it was not a charge he ever expected to prosecute because he knew the Russians would not extradite the accused.  Therefore he would not have to give up the sources and methods used to discover their hack.  The information on Crowdstrike came to light in the discovery process by Roger Stone's attorneys.  The government says the information is not relevant to Stone's alleged crimes of obstruction and giving false statements.  However, it does make the government case weaker if they can't prove the underlying crime happened.

Barr investigation strikes fear at the CIA

Jed Babbin:
Last Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency.

The article, obviously written at the behest of its intelligence community sources — “current and former American officials” — is the first of many concerted attacks on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the joint CIA/FBI spy operation. Many other articles, based on carefully crafted leaks to the media and Congress, are sure to follow because current and former high-ranking officials of those agencies (and probably the NSA as well) have a lot to lose.

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connec…

China's technology thefts are a greater concern than trade for agriculture and energy products from the US

Washington Examiner:
The U.S.-China trade war is making headlines, but the most important aspect of the long-term economic competition with China isn’t soybeans or natural gas, it’s technology. The dual flashpoints of economic espionage and backdoor surveillance could precipitate the great uncoupling of the world’s two largest economies.

Although American politicians have just started to pay attention, China has been engaged in a decadeslong, systematic, state-sponsored effort to steal U.S. technology. Beijing has relied heavily on stolen trade secrets and intellectual property to build its own indigenous manufacturing and technology base. Recent U.S. intelligence community estimates suggest that China employs 30,000 military cyber spies and 150,000 private sector cyber experts whose job is to steal foreign secrets and technology.

China’s economy has thus grown substantially, often at the cost of American companies. China is estimated to be responsible for 50-80% of all international …

US launches counter attack against Iranian cyber attacks on ships

Yahoo News:
On Thursday evening, U.S. Cyber Command launched a retaliatory digital strike against an Iranian spy group that supported last week’s limpet mine attacks on commercial ships, according to two former intelligence officials.

The group, which has ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, has over the past several years digitally tracked and targeted military and civilian ships passing through the economically important Strait of Hormuz, through which pass 17.4 million barrels of oil per day. Those capabilities, which have advanced over time, enabled attacks on vessels in the region for several years.

Though sources declined to provide any further details of the retaliatory cyber operation, the response highlights how the Persian Gulf has become a staging ground for escalating digital — as well as conventional — conflict, with both the United States and Iran trying to get the upper hand with cyber capabilities.

The retaliatory cyber response follows several weeks of mount…

Popular vote movement is unconstitutional

Brian Messenger:
...
A fundamental problem with the NPVIC is that it is inherently not a republican form of government for a specific state to select that state's Electors. Once a state Legislature decides to ask its citizens their preference through a popular vote, there must be a rational basis as to how the vote of the state's citizens is used to select that state's electors. It is not rational that the people's decision could be overruled by the votes of citizens of unrelated states. The following comparison is between two states in the NPVIC who are at the extremes of the Popular Vote Range for the 2016 election.

Vermont has three electoral votes in our existing system and cast 315,067 votes for president in 2016. This constituted 0.23% of the total votes in the nation. Under the NPVIC, Vermont will give other states 99.77% of the power to select its state's electors for president instead of maintaining the 100% control it presently has. Presently, there…

Alleged Hezballah money launderer arrested and extradited to US

Miami Herald:
A Paraguayan businessman accused of moving millions of dollars around the globe for drug traffickers and other criminals with suspected links to the terrorist group Hezbollah was extradited to Miami to face money-laundering charges on Friday.

Before his extradition late Thursday, Nader Mohamad Farhat operated one of the biggest currency exchange businesses in the Tri-Border Area of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. At his first appearance in Miami federal court, he was charged with two counts of conspiring to launder money from drug-trafficking proceeds and an unlicensed currency transmitter in the United States, as well as six related money-laundering offenses.

Farhat faces similar charges in New York federal court, but his Miami case must be resolved first before he is transferred there. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Miami next Thursday, when he also has a bond hearing. Prosecutors are seeking his detention, saying he is a risk of flight.
...
Farhat, who is of Leban…

Middle East uncertainty drives up the price of oil

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
Oil rocketed to its biggest weekly gain in more than two years as U.S. President Donald Trump's aborted air strikes against Iran left Middle East tensions simmering with the endgame uncertain.

Crude futures rose in New York on Friday to complete a 9.4% rally for the week. Trump tweeted that he called off raids because of concern the death toll wouldn't have been "proportionate" to Iran's downing of an American spy drone earlier this week. Trump said he was in "no hurry" to respond, despite a series of provocations in the oil-rich region.

The canceled attack sent a "very confusing" message, Daniel Yergin, an oil historian and vice-chairman at IHS Markit Ltd., said in a Bloomberg TV interview. "The fear is that this could pretty quickly escalate. There's plenty of room for accident, misunderstanding, future incidents. The Iranians are in a corner."

West Texas Intermediate for August delivery closed 36 cents high…

Biden has played the race card in the past and now finds it played against him

John Kass:
How will Joe Biden survive next week’s presidential debates now that his fellow Democratic opponents have fitted him for the white hood?

He won’t.

And just days before the Democratic debate in Miami, with or without those cool aviator shades, old Biden looks really old.

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama could stand on either side of Biden on that debate stage and give him great big protective hugs to protect all that creamy Biden whiteness inside, and it still wouldn’t help him.

He’s toast, after he was tagged as being racially insensitive at best and an enabler of Dixiecrat segregationists at worst.

It’s always his mouth that got him in trouble, but for years he was forgiven his racial gaffes and his creepiness — including getting all touchy feely and sniffing the hair of young women he didn’t know. But then he was Obama’s vice president and so was absolved.

But that’s over now, and Obama doesn’t seem to be sending any protective hugs Joe’s…

Biden's inconsistent story about his advice on the bin Laden raid

Washington Examiner:
Joe Biden has offered two starkly different and contradictory accounts of his role in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

After initially saying that he opposed the operation and told President Barack Obama not to do it, the 2020 Democratic front-runner changed his account to say he hedged in front of other official but privately told Obama to go ahead.

Every other account of the decision-making process indicates that the former vice president's first version was true and his later accounts were not. In 2012, he said his advice was, 'Don’t go.' By 2015, he had settled on saying he'd privately told Obama to 'go.'

The former vice president’s most recent descriptions of his stance — when he morphed from vocal opponent of the raid, to private supporter of it — contradicts the public accounts of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, former CIA Director Leon Panetta, and Obama himself.
... The fi…

Democrat candidates out of touch with their own voters

Nick Gillespie:
On the one hand, a new Fox News poll spells doom for Donald Trump, with a fistful of Democratic presidential candidates beating the incumbent. Former Vice President Joe Biden cleans Trump's clock by 10 percentage points, 49 percent to 39 percent. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) wins 49 percent to 40 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) ekes out a 43 percent-to-41 percent victory. And Sen. Kamala Harris (D–Calif.) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg both squeeze out a 1-point margin, 42 percent to 41 percent.

On the other, more consequential hand, that same poll underscores why Trump is almost certainly going to win reelection in 2020. One of the questions asked Democratic voters whether they will vote for a candidate with a "bold, new agenda" or one "who will provide steady, reliable leadership." Fully three-quarters of respondents want the latter, with just 25 percent interested in the sort of "bold, new agenda" that virtually all…