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Trump talks to UN Security Counsel and sets meeting with US Senate over Korea options

streiff:
Back when you were in junior high, it was never a good thing when your parents, and your teachers, and your principal, and the guidance counselor, and maybe a social worker, and your priest and couple of cops all got together to discuss you. Rarely did anything good come of those sessions.

Via Reuters:

Top Trump administration officials will hold a rare briefing on Wednesday at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate on the situation in North Korea, senior Senate aides said on Monday.

All 100 senators have been asked to the White House for the briefing by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the aides said.

While top administration officials routinely travel to Capitol Hill to address members of Congress on foreign policy and national security matters, it is unusual for the entire 100-member Senate to go to such an event at the White …

The North Korean attack plan

Modern War Institute:
...
So what would the initial North Korean attack look like? Unlike in 1950, when Soviet, Chinese and North Korean planners had a realistic prospect of conquering South Korea in a war, an attack today has only a small chance of victory within a narrow time window. In 1950, DPRK forces enjoyed large initial advantages in numbers, troop quality, and all classes of equipment including tanks and aircraft. Today all of those initial advantages except artillery and numbers are on our side, and even the numbers are more balanced. DPRK planners recognize their inferiority in technology and, after ROK mobilization, even in numbers. They understand that ROK/US forces will have air superiority initially, and (unless China intervenes) air supremacy within days. They therefore plan to win by striking quickly, by surprise, while ROK forces are still mobilizing, US reinforcements are not yet in theatre, and while our airpower is largely committed to overcoming the DPRK integrat…

Texas county near the Eagle Ford formation is now richest in the nation

Jazz Shaw:

Where is the richest county in the nation in terms of average gross income? For a long time now if you’d have guessed one of the collar counties around the nation’s capitol you’d have been correct. You’d also likely be forgiven for suggesting one of the bedroom communities around the Big Apple in Connecticut and New York. They’re traditional magnets for money. But according to Time Magazine, the latest figures show that wealth has begun to aggregate somewhere new and it’s far, far to the west. One county in Texas is now at the top of the heap and it’s all thanks to a boom in domestic energy exploration.
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According to TRAC, McMullen County, Texas, which lies in the heart of the Eagle Ford shale patch south of San Antonio, now has the highest average adjusted gross income in the U.S.: $303,717. At #4 is Texas’s Glasscock County ($181,375), which sits in the equally productive Barnett shale patch in West Texas.
That’s pretty remarkable. Two other Texas counties rich in shal…

US nuclear sub arrives in South Korea with 150 Tomahawk missles

UPI:
A nuclear-powered U.S. submarine is to arrive at the South Korean port city of Busan on Tuesday, the same day North Korea is expected to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army.

The USS Michigan, the second Ohio-class nuclear-powered guided missile submarine in the U.S. Navy, is to make a visit to South Korea to send a strong message of warning to Pyongyang, South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported Monday.
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A South Korean military official who spoke anonymously said the Michigan will receive a hull inspection upon arrival at Busan port, then leave for training exercises in waters near the Korean peninsula.

According to a second source who spoke to the Donga, the submarine will join the Carl Vinson strike group and carry out surveillance missions.

It is also likely the submarine will conduct exercises with the South Korean navy, the source said.

The Michigan has a displacement of more than 18,000 tons when submerged and is one of the l…

What is really scary for Democrats is that immigration enforcement efforts are working

NY Times:
Anti-Immigration Activists Gain Power to Enact Agenda
Proponents of a tough stance on illegal entry have taken top jobs in the Trump administration, and they are seeing their ideas become policy. I find that headline somewhat misleading since the main thrust of the current program is to stop illegal immigration.  Democrats like illegal immigration because it creates another dependency class for people they see as future Democrats.

Those who benefit the most from stopping illegal immigration are poorer Americans who must compete with the illegals for jobs.  These are people who used to be part of the Democrats base, but many of them backed Trump this time because of his policies on illegals.

Obama's secret giveaway that makes bad Iran deal worse

Politico:
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... Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren’t telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.

In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as “civilians.” The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”

In reality, some of them were accused by Obama’s own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence …

Sexual harassment policies

CNN:
CNN anchor: Roger Ailes sexually harassed me What she alleges would likely constitute sexual harassment in the workplace if true.  That she remained employed there after the alleged event for 16 years would also make it hard for her to claim that Ailes acted on the alleged threat.

What Fox apparently lacked was corporate supervision that gave someone experiencing sexual harassment an outlet for their complaint.

As a former general counsel of two different companies, my recollection is that we had policy statements on this kind of conduct that made it clear it would not be tolerated and gave alleged victims access to a responsible person to deal with the situation.  I do not recall anything like the alleged conduct at Fox.

The policy did make it less likely that male employees would tell raunchy jokes.

The federal workplace is also not immune from conduct of a sexual nature.  I have read reports of federal employees spending hours of "work time" looking at porn on their g…

Shut up, liberals argue

Kurt Schlichter:
Understand that if America is stupid enough to let liberals take power again, they will persecute and prosecute normal Americans like us who dare to dissent. That’s not a guess or a prediction – that’s a commitment they have made to their fascist followers. They’ve seen what the truth can do to their schemes. After 2016, there’s no way they are going to take a chance on another electoral rejection by us normals, so they don’t even pretend to support free speech anymore. It will be one gender neutral being-one vote, one more time, and then never again.

Hold on. That’s clearly nuts, right? This is obviously crazy talk that’s talking crazy, isn’t it? Don’t liberals love free speech?

No.

We know they don’t love free speech because they tell us they don’t, in both words and deeds. The whole free speech thing lost a lot of its luster for the libs when people like us decided to try it out. The liberals didn’t count on that – free speech was supposed to be their jam, a way to…

Colleges making war on young men

Carol Markowicz:
The largely hallucinatory “war on women” has nothing on the very real war on college boys.

A few recent stories highlight just how unfair and unjust an environment US campuses have become for young men — and the necessity of federal intervention to fix the damage previous federal intervention has done.

Take Thomas Klocke, a University of Texas at Arlington student accused of making anti-gay comments to a classmate. Klocke vehemently denied the charges and said his classmate had hit on him and Klocke angered him by rebuffing his advances.

According to Reason magazine, “Klocke received no hearing, even though the university’s Title IX policy explicitly mandates hearings for students in danger of being expelled. He was simply charged with making physical threats against a student and engaging in harassment, in violation of Title IX.”

A school “academic integrity” official “conceded that there wasn’t enough evidence against Klocke.” No problem: “Administrators found him r…

O'Reilly absence unlikely to mean Fox viewers will tune in to MSNBC or CNN

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NY Times:
With Bill O’Reilly Out, Fox Rivals See a Chance to Move In
For the first time in nearly two decades, Bill O’Reilly will not be kicking off Fox News’s prime-time lineup. The other cable networks have noticed. I think the chances of the competition picking up Fox viewers is remote.  I have found Tucker Carlson to be more interesting anyway.   But if Fox tries to go liberal, they will be tuned out like MSNBC and CNN.

If that happens conservatives are likely to tune into alternative internet programming such a Mark Levin who used reports from liberal media sources to demonstrate Obama's surveillance efforts against the Trump campaign.

Poll discovers reason Democrats are losing election

Daily Caller:
Sixty-seven percent of Americans say the Democratic Party is out of touch with their concerns — that’s more than those who think the Republican Party or President Trump are out of touch with most Americans’ concerns, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll.

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ABC News notes that in March 2014, 48 percent said the Democrats were out of touch with most Americans’ concerns. Three years later, 67 percent of Americans feel that way about the Democratic Party — a 19 percent increase.

“The biggest change has occurred chiefly among the party’s own typical loyalists, with ‘out of touch’ ratings up 33 points among liberals, 30 points among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents and 26 points among moderates and nonwhites alike,” ABC News reports.
... The poll also found that majority thought the GOP was out of touch, and a somewhat smaller majority thought Trump was out of touch.  What is not clear is whether the Democrats feel the party is out of touch because it is…

Recent redistricting case against Texas was based on a map that was no longer being used

Taylor Millard:
There’s an extremely odd lawsuit going on in Texas over redistricting, specifically focusing on the maps written in 2011. A federal court ruled last week the 2011 maps were invalid because they violated part of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution. It’s an extremely long decision involving three federal judges, but two of the judges asserted Texas legislators did everything they could to make sure white candidates were elected, over Hispanic candidates. Similar assertions were made over white vs. black candidates. Democrats were obviously happy with the decision....
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A little bit of a history lesson for the fine Arlington rep: the new maps have already happened. The Texas Legislature passed new districts in 2013. What’s even more interesting is these were maps drawn up by a three judge panel in San Antonio. Here how The Texas Tribune described the ongoing saga in 2013.
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It should be pointed out Turner gave a comment to The Texas Tribune in the 2013 pie…

Facts do not support dirty dossier Democrats pushed about Trump campaign

Rowan Scarborough:
An anti-Donald Trump “dossier” created by a former British spy and financed by Democratic-linked money has significant detractors: the people accused of crimes in a supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy.

Three men — Mr. Trump’s attorney, a campaign volunteer and a tech company CEO — have publicly said that the parts about them in the dossier are fiction.

A fourth figure — a Russian diplomat whom Londoner Christopher Steele accused of lawbreaking — said via Russia’s Foreign Ministry that the dossier is fantasy. And there is evidence to back him up.

The 35-page dossier by Mr. Steele has taken on critical importance in recent weeks for Democrats in Washington. They cite its accusations without corroboration as the reason for a special commission to investigate Mr. Trump and his aides for a supposed role in Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party email servers.

Lost in the Democrats’ endorsements are the people who say Mr. Steele’s supposed chronicle of meetings and misdeeds is unt…

Drone strike in Yemen kills three al Qaeda fighters out for Sunday Drive

AP/Ynet:
Yemeni tribal and security officials say a suspected US airstrike has killed three al-Qaida operatives on Yemen's southern coast.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, say the operatives killed in Shabwa province on Sunday were driving a car when an unmanned aircraft targeted their vehicle.
... The war against the Islamic terrorist group continues in Yemen.  It has become a much more dangerous place for al Qaeda since Trump took office.

Science guys become prop for left wing junk science

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Washington Post:
The March for Science was the moment ‘the Science Guy’ has been waiting for

Educator-entertainer Bill Nye, beloved by millennials for his PBS series that made him an icon, is now taking on the mantle of activist for science — leading the people who grew up with his show into political battle. By politicizing science he and the Democrats actually hurt real science, and reduce trust in the efforts of real scientists.  By refusing to engage in a rigorous debate on global warming these guys are losing the argument.

Liberals and socialist the big losers in French election

Washington Post:
French political parties upended as right-wing Le Pen, centrist Macron head to runoff for president

With opponents conceding, far-right anti-immigrant firebrand Marine Le Pen and unconventional centrist Emmanuel Macron advance to a May 7 vote that could further the worldwide march of anti-globalization populists. This appears to be a rejection of current policies on the economy and immigration.  It is also a vote against the terrorists who have plagued France.  I expect that Macron will be the favorite in this runoff, as the left tries to find a way to vote against Le Pen.

If Murdoch family turns Fox into another liberal network they will lose everything

NY Times:
Murdoch Sons Plan Elaborate Overhaul of a Media Empire
Since taking over two years ago, James and Lachlan Murdoch seem determined to rid the company of the old-guard culture on which their father built his empire. If the younger Murdoch's try to please the liberals at New York cocktail parties they will destroy the brand.   It will become just another media outlet that conservatives will turn off and they will find other outlets they can trust for news.

There appears to be a serious movement by liberal groups like Media Matters to suppress conservative media any way they can.  Recently we have seen efforts to attack advertisers in a new blacklisting effort similar to that used by the John Birch society in the 50's and early 60's.

This is not just bad for the media, it is also bad for commerce.

Norks take another American hostage

Washington Post:
U.S. citizen becomes 3rd American held in North Korea

South Korea’s news agency reported that the man, who was arrested trying to leave the airport in Pyongyang, has been a professor at the Yanbian University of Science and Technology and had been involved in aid work. This is what the thug government of North Korea does when it is under pressure.  It did something similar when Malaysia was dealing with the murder of Kim's half-brother.  It a previous hostage-taking they viewed getting former Presiden Clinton;s coming to get him released as a diplomatic triumph.

Trump's base remains with him despite the most hostile media in US history

Washington Post:
Trump’s approval ratings sit at record lows but base stays steady, poll shows

President Trump is nearing the 100-day mark of his administration as the least popular chief executive in modern times. His voters are largely satisfied with his performance, but his base of support hasn’t grown since he took office, according to a Post-ABC News poll. The media has to be frustrated by their inability to separate Trump from his base.  Despite a myriad array of stories alleging his policies will hurt his base, those people are sticking with him.  What the media and other leftist do not seem to get is that people were actually voting against them more than they were voting for Trump.  All their attacks since his election have only reinforced the resolve of his base to oppose the evils of liberalism.

By focusing all their anger and resentment on Trump the left is ignoring their real problem.  People do not like them or their policies.  There is a reason why Democrats have lost ov…

Venezuela now has its own version of the Iranian Baiji

NY Times:
Armed Civilian Bands in Venezuela Prop Up President
Members of the so-called collectives, or colectivos in Spanish, operate with impunity and will defend their besieged president at all costs, experts say. I suspect that Maduro probably got the idea from the Iranians who he helps with Venezuelan passports.  Other close ties have also been alleged between the two governments.

The Baiji were the Iranian thugs who were used to suppress the actual reformers in Iran who were protesting the theft of the election by the religious bigots who rule Iran.

The 'Trump is a Russian tool' narrative is incoherent

Power Line:
When the Trump campaign (allegedly) conspired with Putin to engineer the unlikely defeat of Hillary Clinton, did Putin get anything in return? Apparently not. The story line refuses to cohere. In the world according to the Democrats, however, if the facts don’t fit you must not acquit. You must recommit.

Two months ago the sober Hudson Institute Distinguished Fellow and foreign policy historian Walter Russell Mead impolitely noted that “Trump isn’t sounding like a Russian mole.”Trump had remarked “effusively” to Reuters on the importance of expanding the American nuclear arsenal. Mead commented: “What the press has largely ignored about Trump’s latest pronouncement is an obvious truth that undermines its own narrative: someone who was safely in Vladimir Putin’s pocket wouldn’t run around saying things like this.”

Mead must have wanted to provoke the Democrats’ idiotic media adjunct. He enlarged to telling effect on this point. Like the little boy who declined to praise the…

Democrats' case against the Senate for not approving Garland rejected by Supreme Court

Daily Signal:
On Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case of Michel v. McConnell, where the courts below rejected a citizen’s effort to sue senators for inaction on D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The lower courts’ opinions explain why another controversial dispute, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. Donald J. Trump, will also fail—with only days left until the government’s response is due in that case.

Disappointed with the process of the Senate’s refusal to hold a vote on Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Steven S. Michel sued Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, for allegedly violating his constitutional right “to elect his senators by depriving his home-state senators of a voice” in the nomination process.

The U.S. Court of Appeals found, as did the district court below, that Michel “lacked standing to bring this action because he failed to demonstrate an…

The Democrat's misleading new motto

Jason Russell:
If you've ever wanted to get a high-five from Pajama Boy or a compliment from your neighbor that still hasn't removed their "I'm With Her" bumper sticker, the Democratic National Committee has a shirt for you. For $30, you can wear a shirt that says "Democrats give a sh*t about people." The unspoken implication is obvious: Republicans don't care about people. Don't vote for them.

A more truthful motto might be "Democrats give a sh*t about some people," because there are plenty of people about whom the Democrats lack any sh*ts to give.

Consider millions of children in low-income families, trapped in terrible schools because Democrats and teachers unions wouldn't let them have a choice to go somewhere else.

What about the coal miners that Hillary Clinton wanted to put out of work?

What about fetuses with a beating heart several weeks after fertilization?

The shirt should have an asterisk that says "*except coal mi…

Predictions of the end of the world are greatly exaggerated

Mark Perry:
18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year With that track record, you would think the left would pause for consideration, but they are still in denial about the pause in "global warming."

French women rebel against Muslim cultural dictates

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NBC News:
Muslims preoccupy Jennifer Troin.

"I'm worried about my nieces having to wear the veil," said the soft-spoken 29-year-old.

This fear has helped propel the young mother to the far-right of the political spectrum ahead of key presidential elections Sunday — and into the arms of the hard-line National Front party.

Troin sells children's clothes at a store in Cogolin, a town of 11,000 a few miles from the jet-set resorts of the French Riviera. In 2014, Cogolin became one of a handful of communities nationwide to elect mayors from the National Front, which is also known by the acronym FN.Jennifer Troin, 29, is a sales assistant in a children's clothes store in Cogolin, France on April 13, 2017.Saphora Smith / for NBC News

Troin told NBC News that it wasn't just the FN's stance on Islam and immigration that attracted her, but also the party's populist take on the economy.

But most of all, it was the party's charismatic leader, Marine Le Pen, who ca…

Are these the same people who said New York city would be underwater by now?

Washington Post:
At March for Science in D.C.: ‘The oceans are rising, and so are we’

Historians say today’s demonstrations in Washington and hundreds of other cities around the world are “pretty unprecedented.” Thousands of people are rallying in support of research and evidence-based policy. These people are allowing themselves to be used by Democrats who want excuses for instituting control freak government.

There is a difference between being challenged and being 'under siege'

NY Times:
Scientists, Feeling Besieged, March Against Trump
Thousands of scientists and enthusiasts took to the streets in Washington and around the world on Saturday to protest the administration’s policies. One of their problems is that the Democrats have politicized science instead of embracing scientific inquiry.  Those with an inquiring mind who challenge the political orthodoxy are called "deniers."  Skeptics is probably a more descriptive term.  There is a reason for skepticism.

The models used to project "climate change" are clearly flawed, yet the proponents of the CO2 hysteria cannot explain which of their assumptions is invalid.  Like Einstein's description of insanity, they keep on pumping in the same data expecting to get a different result.  They stubbornly refuse to consider other alternatives.

Resorting to insults of those who disagree with them is causing them to lose the argument.  They really need to engage with the skeptics and try to find …

Leaders of Gulf Cartel and Zetas killed in shoot out in Mexico

AP/Houston Chronicle:
Two top drug traffickers have been killed in pre-dawn shootouts Saturday with federal force in the northern Mexico border state of Tamaulipas, authorities reported.

The Tamaulipas security spokesman's office says the men were killed in separate confrontations, which left highways littered with burned-out vehicles.

Julian Loisa Salinas, better known as "Comandante Toro," was killed in the border city of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas.

...

On Saturday, photos showed burned-out cars, trucks and buses littering the streets, and state authorities said his supporters had set fires and tried to block roads in Reynosa in an unsuccessful effort to help him escape.
...

Also Saturday, the leader of the rival "Zetas" cartel in the Tamaulipas state capital of Ciudad Victoria was killed in a similar shootout further south. He was tentatively identified as Francisco "Pancho" Carreon.
... In previous encounters where there was an attem…

Any attack on the Norks would include taking out the artillery threatening Seoul

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Washington Post:
The U.S. has 25 million reasons to refrain from a military strike on North Korea

Kim Jong Un’s regime could retaliate by unleashing its conventional weaponry lined up on the demilitarized zone that has separated the two Koreas for about seven decades. That weaponry is reliable and could devastate South Korea’s populous capital. The US and South Korea would include strikes against the artillery units threatening Seoul in an opening salvo.  The attacks would probably include attacks by MOAB's or MOP ordinance that would destroy the weapons and those who were manning it.

Democrat disarray-Most popular guy is an economic illiterate who is not a Democrat

NY Times:
At a ‘Unity’ Stop in Nebraska, Democrats Find Anything But
At the center of the debate over the party’s future is Senator Bernie Sanders, who has emerged as the most popular active politician in America, but he isn’t even a Democrat. Sanders is a likable curmudgeon, but anyone who actually thinks socialism is a good idea is ignorant of history and economics.

If socialism were sound economics, Cuba and Venezuela would be wealthy countries instead of impoverished countries run by despots.  Socialism is where people stand in line for food instead of a new iPhone.  It is where healthcare is rationed and countries free ride on pharmaceuticals developed in the US by capitalists.

What is really sad is that the education establishment perpetuates this ignorance about socialism creating uninformed voters to support policies proposed by Sanders.  That tells you something about what a lousy job the schools are doing.

Hillary Clinton's search for scapegoats for her stunning loss to Trump focused on Russia and FBI

Breitbart:
The new Clinton campaign tell-all, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, reveals how Hillary Clinton personally placed blame for her bruising defeat on Russian meddling “within twenty-four hours of her concession speech.”

The blistering behind-the-scenes book, by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, illustrates how Hillary Clinton furiously blamed her defeat on the FBI investigation into her private emails, Russian interference, and Trump’s supposed support from “white nationalists.”

From Shattered:

On a phone call with a longtime friend a couple of days after the election, Hillary was much less accepting of her defeat. She put a fine point on the factors she believed cost her the presidency: the FBI (Comey), the KGB (the old name for Russia’s intelligence service), and the KKK (the support Trump got from white nationalists).

“I’m angry,” Hillary told her friend. And exhausted. After two brutal campaigns against Sanders and Trump, Hillary now had to explain the fa…

Manhunt underway for CIA leaker that allegedly provided material to Wikileaks

Washington Times:
Federal law enforcement authorities believe it was a vetted member of the U.S. intelligence community — either an official CIA employee or a contractor — who supplied WikiLeaks with a trove of documents that the anti-secrecy group published last month purporting to expose the agency’s vast clandestine cyberoperations.

While the CIA has refused to comment on an investigation into the matter, intelligence sources who spoke anonymously with The Washington Times on Thursday did not push back against the veracity of news reports that the agency and the FBI are engaged in a manhunt for the suspected leaker within the U.S. government.

CNN reported Thursday night that federal prosecutors are separately weighing whether to bring criminal charges against members of the WikiLeaks organization, taking a second look at a 2010 leak of diplomatic cables and military documents as well as last month’s CIA leak.

The network cited unnamed sources behind the claim, but noted that Attorney …

The Austin-San Antonio corridor is becoming a mega city.

Joel Kotkin:
If you drive south from Dallas, or west from Houston, a subtle shift takes place. The monotonous, flat prairie that dominates much of Texas gives way to a landscape that rises and ebbs.

The region around Highway 35 is called the Hill Country, and although it does not seem so curvy to a Californian, it is some of the very nicest land in the state of Texas, attracting a growing coterie of wealthy boomers seeking rural retreats. It also turns out to be a growth corridor that is expanding more rapidly than any other in the nation. The area is home to three of the 10 counties with more than 100,000 residents that have logged the fastest population growth in the country since 2010.

In fact, there is no regional economy that has more momentum than the one that straddles the 74 miles between San Antonio and Austin. Between these two fast-growing urban centers lie a series of rapidly expanding counties and several smaller cities, notably San Marcos, that are attracting residents a…

Drone strike against Zawahiri nearly killed him

Newsweek:
He has been the forgotten man in the West’s desperate campaign to obliterate the Islamic State militant group (ISIS). He didn’t even merit a cameo in the celebratory coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in 2011. For several years, he has been described as the leader of a spent force.

Yet Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s mentor and successor, remains a key player in an attack threat to America that retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, the U.S. homeland security secretary, says is "worse today than what we experienced 16 years ago on 9/11.” And if officials in the Donald Trump administration have their way, al-Zawahiri’s name will soon be as familiar to the world as bin Laden’s once was.

The White House signaled a new, tougher approach to eliminating al-Zawahiri and his militant allies in early April with the appointment of Lisa Curtis to head the South Asia desk for the National Security Council. A well-known former CIA analyst, congressi…

Corruption in Mexico is turning it into a narco state

Breitbart:
Many of Mexico’s top leaders are linked to the brutal drug cartels overrunning their country. As Mexico slips further into a failed narco-state, top politicians’ links with drug cartels possibly help explain why.
...
Despite his many campaign promises, the current Mexican president has been unable to put a halt to the raging cartel violence taking place in his country; or has he been unwilling?

As a candidate and during his term in office, Peña Nieto has openly supported many of the cartel linked politicians who are now in trouble with the law. As Breitbart Texas reported, operators from the Juarez Cartel allegedly funneled illicit funds into Peña Nieto’s 2012 presidential bid. The funds were used to buy cash cards that were then given to citizens in exchange for their votes. The scandal became known as Monexgate and was originally discovered by famed Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui.
... There is much, including the names of the alleged cartel associated politicians.  P…

Selling kids on the evils of communism

Daily Signal:
In order to make the deadliest ideology of the 20th century palatable to young Americans, “Communism for Kids” is coming to a bookstore near you.

This newly released book from MIT Press “proposes a different kind of communism, one that is true to its ideals and free from authoritarianism.”

The death toll from communist regimes in the 20th century is well-documented. One study found that more people were killed under communism than homicide and genocide combined, and only 9 million more people were killed in World War I and World War II combined than under governments of this ideology.

Another study showed how the mass killings of civilians by their own governments took an immediate nosedive after the collapse of the Soviet Union and international communism.

According to the Amazon synopsis, the book weaves a fairy tale of “jealous princesses, fancy swords, displaced peasants, mean bosses, and tired workers.”

It is bewildering why MIT Press would publish a book that cutesies …

Syria joined the axis of evil by buying WMD from North Korea

Defense One:
Weapons from North Korea have ended up in Syria, ultimately enriching the Kim regime and prolonging Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power.

The civil war in Syria, which began in 2011, has been a tragedy for millions of people, including refugees fleeing the violence and residents caught in the crossfire. But for North Korea’s ruling elite, the conflict has in many ways been a good thing.

Since the 1960s, North Korea has sold arms and equipment to Syria, and provided other sorts of military-to-military assistance, such as training and technical assistance. Of particular importance, Pyongyang has helped develop Syria’s chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs.

Today, North Korea, faced with United Nations sanctions over its ongoing missile and nuclear tests, denies providing such assistance to Syria. But evidence has emerged suggesting that in one way or another, via front companies and elaborate logistics, war materials from North Korea have ended up in Syria, ultimately …

US special ops raid takes down an ISIS leader

BBC:
US troops have targeted and killed a leading member of the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in a commando raid in Syria, military officials say.

The attack took place near the town of Mayadin in eastern Syria.

Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, who was believed to be from Uzbekistan, is said by the Americans to be a close associate of the IS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The US says he played a key role in an attack on a night club in Istanbul on New Year's Eve which killed 39 people.

Turkish police arrested Abdulkadir Masharipov, the main suspect in the attack,on 17 January after a huge manhunt.

"It was a ground operation. I think that's all we're willing to say about that," US Central Command spokesman John Thomas said in Washington in relation to Friday's attack.
... The operation took place close to where the US took out ISIS's chief financial officer in 2015.  ISIS appears to be more vulnerable to these kinds of attacks as it loses control of real estate.  It also …

Iran accused of cheating on Obama's bad nuke deal

Rowan Scarborough:
Iran is cheating on its historical deal with the U.S. by secretly conducting research into nuclear weapons components such as bomb triggers and enriched uranium, the main Iranian opposition group said Friday.

The regime is doing engineering and weaponization testing at a walled military complex south of Tehran, a location which Iran has declared off-limits to inspectors, said the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its main operational arm, the People’s Mujaheddin of Iran (MEK).

“This is the site that has been kept secret,” said Alireza Jafrazadeh, NCRI’s Washington office deputy director. “There is secret research to manufacture the bomb and basically cover up the real activities of the Iranian regime.”


The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), negotiated by the Obama administration, has become a major foreign policy issue for the Trump White House as it evaluates whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran. Iran has benefited with billion…

Putin sending his antique bomber fleet to test Alaska defenses of US

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CNN:
Russian military aircraft were spotted flying off the coast of Alaska for the fourth time in as many days, a US defense official told CNN on Friday.

The two most recent sightings occurred late Wednesday and on Thursday, with the first involving two IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft and the second involving two Tu-95 nuclear-capable Bear bombers.
... The picture is an interesting example of the technological edge the US has over Russia.  The F-22 air superiority fighter hovering over a 1950's Soviet era bomber.  In a real confrontation, the Bear bomber would probably never see the F-22 before Russian plane would be turned into smoking ruins.  The Bear should be spending its time in a flight museum.

Turning scientists into partisan hacks for liberals

Washington Post:
Why scientists will march on Washington and more than 400 other cities

Organizers insist that the March for Science, although political, is not a partisan event. But it may prove too delicate a distinction when people show up on Saturday with their signs and their passions. Their assertion that it is not partisan is not supported by the facts.  Democrats have turned pseudoscience into a cudgel for avoiding debate on issues like global warming.  When they make such remarks as "The science is settled" they are trying to shut off debate on their attempts to impose control freak policies on the use of energy.  They are using energy as an excuse to reimpose the kind of controls that destroy economic freedom.

They are losing the debate because they refuse to engage on the arguments of those who disagree with them.  Having a march by guys in lab coats is not going to change that dynamic.

Sessions mild criticism of a bad decision by a judge in Hawaii attacked

NY Times:
Jeff Sessions Dismisses Hawaii as ‘an Island in the Pacific’
The attorney general’s comments, related to a federal judge’s ruling that blocked the Trump administration’s latest travel ban, drew criticism from lawmakers. There are a lot of people who think the judge made a bad decision for partisan reasons.  What Sessions said is pretty mild compared to some of the things Obama said about decisions he disagreed with.

The left turns to advertiser black listing to suppress speech

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NY Times:

Fears of Revolt by Consumers Felled Bill O’Reilly
Though the Bill O’Reilly scandal had relatively little impact on Fox News, he was dismissed because advertisers felt obliged to desert “The O’Reilly Factor.” This is a tactic that used to be used by some right-wing groups such as the John birch society to attack leftist in the media and in Hollywood.  Now it is used almost exclusively against conservative media figures.  They tried it against Rush Limbaugh and failed.

But make no mistake about it.  The same media that is running 86 percent negative stories against President Trump appears to be actively trying to suppress conservatives from the campuses to news outlets.

Liberalism has become the home of fascism in modern America.  It is intolerant of competing ideas and rather than engage in debate, tries to suppress speech it disagrees with.

The same media that made all sorts of excuses for Bill Clinton's conduct can get on its high horse about allegations of flirting by …

Getting inside the North Korean OODA Loop on its missile program?

Bill Gertz:
Inside the Ring: Cyber Sabotage of North Korea’s Missiles? While those who might know if the US is engaged in a cyber war with the North Korean missile program are not saying, the US appears to like the prospect that the Norks should be worried about it.   It is also possible that China may be selling North Korea defective parts deliberately to thwart their program.

California is the home of dirty air

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The Resurgent:
 Something is causing this that goes beyond the use of fossil fuel.  Texas actually burns more fossil fuel than Califonia yet it does not have any cities in the top 10.  It is probably not climate change so much as the fact that the climate in California does not handle as many people as the state has.

Rubio's idea for restoring democracy to Venezuela

Washington Examiner:
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How can President Trump intervene constructively, looking out for American interests without giving Maduro a foreign enemy to use for propaganda purposes? Maduro already insists that the mass protests against him are part of an American-led coup effort. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of Maduro's sharpest critics in the U.S. government, laid out the correct path in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier when he called on Trump to ask the Organization of American States to expel Venezuela until it restores democracy.

"That may sound like diplomatic talk," Rubio said, "but it actually is the one thing that Venezuela is most sensitive to. They do not want to be ostracized. They do not want to be isolated in the hemisphere by fellow Latin American countries."

After two decades of socialist rule, despite its abundant natural resources, Venezuela is now entirely dependent on other countries and even smugglers for the goods it needs to keep …

MOAB blast in Afghanistan exposed the makeup of ISIS in that country

Radio Free Europe:
The massive U.S. bomb dropped on an Islamic State cave complex in Afghanistan last week killed militant fighters from Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, India, and other countries, an Afghan official said.

"Most militants killed in the attack were from Pakistan, India, Philippines, and Bangladesh," Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry, said on April 18.
... The US needs to study how such a diverse ethnic mix found its way to fighting in a remote country like Afghanistan on behalf of Islamic religious bigots.  The bomb also destroyed a large cave complex and weapon arsenal.

Liberal hate speech on campus aimed at silencing conservative dissent

Washington Times:
Conservatives have come to expect that they might be protested, ridiculed and disinvited when they venture to speak on college campuses, but the penalty for telling students something they disagree with has taken a more violent turn.

Buttressed by an ideology that views “hate speech” as violence and its suppression as self-defense, students increasingly are resorting to the destruction of property and assault to keep conservative speakers quiet.

Students at Wellesley College made the intellectual case for using force to stifle free speech in an editorial last week, arguing that “hostility may be warranted” against people who are “given the resources to learn” yet “refuse to adapt their beliefs.”


“If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others,” the students wrote in the April 12 editorial in The Wellesley News, “then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for…

Russia moving troops and equipment near its border with North Korea, UN condemns Nork provocations

Telegraph:
Russia ‘moves troops and equipment’ to North Korea border, as Kim Jong-un warns of 'super-mighty pre-emptive strike' The Russians say they are engaged in "routine" maneuvers while at the same time talking about the what is happening on the Korean peninsula.  The Russians did not veto the UN statement on North Korea.

China puts air force bombers on high alert

CNN:
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Chinese air force land-attack, cruise-missile-capable bombers were put "on high alert" on Wednesday, the official said, adding that the US has also seen an extraordinary number of Chinese military aircraft being brought up to full readiness through intensified maintenance.

The official said that these recent steps by the Chinese are assessed as part of an effort to "reduce the time to react to a North Korea contingency."

Such a contingency could include the risk of an armed conflict breaking out as tensions on the peninsula have risen in the wake of multiple North Korean missile tests. There has also been ratcheted up rhetoric from the US and Pyongyang, with the latter's state media warning Thursday that a pre-emptive strike by North Korea would result in the US and South Korea being "completely destroyed in an instant."
... There is more.

China at this point appears to be working with the Trump administration in dealing with the threat from …

Autonomous weapons at war

Chris Reed:
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The dilemma posed by artificial intelligence-driven autonomous weapons — which some scientists liken to the “third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms” — is that to take fullest advantage of such weapons, the logical move would be to leave humans entirely out of lethal decision-making, allowing for quicker responses to threats and in theory making us safer. But if future presidents and Pentagons trusted algorithms to make such decisions, conflicts between two nations relying on such technology could rapidly escalate — to possibly apocalyptic levels — without human involvement.

The U.S. military officially scoffs at this idea. In making life-and-death decisions, “there will always be a man in the loop,” Deputy Defense Secretary Work told the Times in October. But Work and others who try to offer a reassuring vision of a future in which radical new military technologies are deployed with care and caution may be swimming against the tide.
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In a 2013…