Thursday, July 20, 2017

American exceptionalism, unmasking, Mueller investigation, Zuckerberg and Lewis and Clark, Millennials have been roped in, our disgust with the Democratic Party, a full-scale coup attempt

Today the brilliant Rush Limbaugh was at the top of his game. Are Trump voters populists and nationalists, blind Anerica-Firsters? Rush does not think so. He thinks our primary motivation is our disgust with what the Democrats have been doing to our culture, our government, our education system, our government at all levels.

The 30th anniversary of this show is coming up on August 1. It now has over 27 million daily listeners! Today is the sixth month anniversary of Trump's presidency. There has been a full-scale coup attempt, and, short of that, an attempt to paralyze him.

Rush talked about American Exceptionalism, how it is built into our government structure. Our Constitution limits government and promotes individualism, the first country ever to do that!

Samantha Powers, Obama's UN Ambassador, is accused of illegally unmasking Americans. Information obtained by illegal masking has then been shared with the media, which has cooperated with the felonious release of information on American citizens. The media has benefitted ideologically as well as financially.

Bloomberg quotes an anonymous source (Mueller team?) as saying that the Mueller investigation is looking at every possible connection Trump has ever had with Russians. Mueller has hired a massive number of liberal activists to do the biggest oppo research in American history. No one could survive such an investigation, including Donald Trump. Mueller's team has no restraints, including money or time.

Zuckerberg has been knocking on people's doors in Minnesota and Chicago to find out how they think. Rush compares it to the Lewis and Clark expedition, which explored parts of America no American citizens had previously explored.

Millennials have been roped in to viewing economic growth as a danger to the environment.

Trump has killed 16 new regulations for every new one!

Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner,
President Trump's administration, on orders to kill two regulations for every new one, ripped up the playbook during its first six months, eliminating 16 old rules for every new one, according to top officials.

...The bare numbers will show that the Trump administration has "withdrawn or removed from active status" 860 regulations so far.

...Comparing Obama's first five months in office to Trump's, Obama imposed $3.1 billion in costs. Trump has cut regulations, realizing an annualized cost saving of $22 million.
Read more here.

"Not a perfect man."

O.J. Simpson has been granted parole after serving 9 years for a Las Vegas robbery. He could be out as early as October, looking for Nicole's killer, no doubt. Read more here.

Knowledge of good and evil

Some excerpts from Ann Voskamp today:
Sometimes it’s hard to look love square in the eye and accept the acceptance. Is this why we turn from God?

...We have no knowledge of good and evil apart from God. Our heart optics are not omniscient.

How can I really see if a seeming disaster or dilemma, is actually dire?
Read more here.

Using a habit tracker

Adrienne discusses what we need to do to form good habits here.

Ending the threat

Russian money supporting environmental groups

Andrew Higgins reports in The New York Times that Russian money is suspected behind fracking protests.
Before stepping down in September as NATO’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave voice to this alarm with remarks in London that pointed a finger at Russia and infuriated environmentalists.

“Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called nongovernmental organizations — environmental organizations working against shale gas — to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas,” Mr. Rasmussen said. He presented no proof and said the judgment was based on what NATO allies had reported.
Read more here.

Beating the Soviets

On this date in history, in 1969, we beat the Soviets when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

How Obama, Holder, and Lynch made us less safe and criminals emboldened

At the Ace of Spades blog, Oregon Muse brings us information from Thomas Wictor explaining what Obama Attorney Generals Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder did to make us less safe and criminals emboldened.

Rights

We live on a mesa with a long dirt road to traverse. Colleen was doing that this morning when she saw a man in the middle of the road. She pulled to a stop, but the man yelled at her, "You ran over a beautiful rattlesnake! This snake had a right to live, and you killed it!" To which Colleen replied, "and I have a right to get home without being screamed at!"

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Physical work

Some excerpts from Victor Davis Hanson, writing at City Journal,
...as we continue on this trajectory, initiated in the Industrial Revolution, from less demanding physical work to rare physical work, is something lost? Something only poorly approximated by greater leisure time, non-muscular jobs, and contrived physical exercise?

...Donald Trump was the first politician in recent memory to refer to working people with the first-person plural possessive pronoun of endearment—“our miners” and “our farmers,” as if physical work was still critical and honored. Otherwise, most of popular culture promotes the idea of a bachelor’s degree as the first stepping-stone of the cognitive elite on the path toward professional and graduate schools, certification and degree branding, interning, and ending up largely physically inactive but inordinately well compensated and intellectually and psychologically fulfilled. So inured are we to the ideal of a cursus honorum that we don’t even need to mention that it is an obvious means to escape a supposedly limited life of laying tile or overhauling transmissions.

There seems a human instinct to want to do physical work. We moderns want to be able to say that we have some residual firsthand familiarity with drudgery—or at least share our admiration for muscular labor when one sees the positive results of physical craftsmanship, or even the smallest physical alteration of the natural environment.

The proliferation of hard-work reality-television programming reflects this apparent need, if only vicariously. Indeed, the more we have become immobile, urbanized, and distanced from hard work, the more we tune in to watch reality television’s assorted truckers, loggers, farmers, fishermen, drillers, and rail engineers. Usually, these supposed “losers” are filmed in rough physical landscapes of Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, or out at sea, where they sweat, grunt, smoke, and swear as they toil to bring us our seafood, wood floors, arugula, and high-performance gasoline. The subtext of these shows is that the human dinosaurs who do such work are as tough and wild as the environment in which they labor.

...What is it about physical work, in its supposed eleventh hour within a rapidly changing Western culture, that still intrigues us?

...I learned more from teaching students at California State University, Fresno, than from my students at Stanford—not because they knew Greek and Latin better (most did not) or because they were more ethical (again, not necessarily true) but because they often worked 20 hours or more per week at minimum-wage jobs and thus had a far wider range of experience with (and empathy for) characters and events found in Aristophanes, Euripides, and Hesiod in the premodern world of the Greeks. They were also more circumspect in addressing their complaints, angst, or unhappiness, as if they had already learned from unenviable off-campus jobs, in a way that their Stanford counterparts had not, that the world is not necessarily kind and compliant.

If incoming Yale students’ orientation or first-year community service required them to cut the quad’s grass, chainsaw tree limbs, fix clogged sewers, and work side by side with those who did, there might be less obsession over Halloween costumes and a greater reluctance to curse at faculty with the secure knowledge that they would only politely nod and smile back. Unfortunately for Yale students and for our elites in general, the world outside privileged bubbles operates on quite different premises. Perhaps this studied isolation accounts in part for why our governing classes have done such a poor job of understanding the global community in recent years.

The notion of physical work, or lack of same, also underpins the United States’ massive illegal immigration problem. Yes, Mexico seeks to export its dependent poor, to create a powerful expatriate community in the United States, and to garner over $25 billion in remittances; and yes, corporations demand cheap labor in hospitality industries, construction, and agriculture. On the political front, La Raza activists want a steady stream of unassimilated immigrants in need of parity with U.S. citizens—and thus requiring self-appointed ethnic activists and a careerist industry of identity politics; and the Democratic Party hopes to turn the American Southwest from red to blue, given new demographics.
Read more here.

Got some expired prescription drugs?

Marshall Allen reports at NPR,
...If some drugs remain effective well beyond the date on their labels, why hasn't there been a push to extend their expiration dates?

It turns out that the FDA, the agency that helps set the dates, has long known the shelf life of some drugs can be extended, sometimes by years.

For decades, the federal government has stockpiled massive stashes of medication, antidotes and vaccines in secure locations throughout the country. The drugs are worth tens of billions of dollars and would provide a first line of defense in case of a large-scale emergency.

Maintaining these stockpiles is expensive. The drugs have to be kept secure and at the proper humidity and temperature so they don't degrade. Luckily, the country has rarely needed to tap into many of the drugs, but this means they often reach their expiration dates. Though the government requires pharmacies to throw away expired drugs, it doesn't always follow these instructions itself. Instead, for more than 30 years, it has pulled some medicines and tested their quality.

...An official with the Department of Defense, which maintains about $13.6 billion worth of drugs in its stockpile, says that in 2016 it cost $3.1 million to run the extension program — which saved the department from replacing $2.1 billion in expired drugs. To put the magnitude of that return on investment into everyday terms: It's like spending a dollar to save $677.

...Some medical providers have pushed for a changed approach to drug expiration dates — with no success. In 2000, the American Medical Association, foretelling the current prescription drug crisis, adopted a resolution urging action. The shelf life of many drugs, it wrote, seems to be "considerably longer" than their expiration dates, leading to "unnecessary waste, higher pharmaceutical costs, and possibly reduced access to necessary drugs for some patients."
Read more here.

The fake news of a secret meeting between Trump and Putin

Howard Kurtz:
It is hard to fathom how a conversation in full view of 18 other world leaders and their spouses gets billed as a shadowy secret meeting.

Fox News appears to be the only major news outlet that is not reporting it that way. As often is the case, the fake news of a secret meeting between Putin and Trump all started with the Washington Post, then the crazies at MSNBC and CNN jumped aboard.

McCain does have brain cancer

Max Greenwood reports at The Hill,
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with brain cancer, the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix said Wednesday.

The tumor was discovered after the senior Arizona senator underwent a minor procedure last week to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

"Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot," the hospital said in a statement.
Read more here.

Now we know what Trump and Putin talked about in their "secret" meeting!

A headline from today's Dail Mail: Vladimir Putin 'bathes in blood extracted from severed deer antlers' believed to boost health, according to extraordinary claim in Russian media. Read the story here.

hat tip Ace of Spades

Are you cool? Or are you mean?

Did you know Greg Gutfeld has written a book entitled, The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage.

Are you obsessed with being cool? With being liked by teenagers? Conservatives just aren't very cool. We like to compete, build, own. The Left is obsessed with identity. They have become the person who is trying to sap the fun out of your life. Greg wants to reverse that trend. Basic common sense is now considered outmoded. Calling somebody a compassionate conservative is redundant, like calling somebody a naive liberal. Tolerance only works when you are talking to someone with whom you disagree. To the tolerant, everything you do is mean. You cannot call terrorism terrorism. Call it workplace violence. Achievement is mean.

"The Saudis are our friends."

Mark Steyn educates us today about Ibn Saud, the man who set himself up as the King of Saudia Arabia in 1932. Mark takes notice of the "greasy" former ambassadors to Saudia Arabia from the United States and Britain, who told us after 9-11-2001, "The Saudis are our friends," even as the Saudis funded Madrasas all over the world in which their young people were taught to hate us. The principal export of Saudia Arabia is not oil, but ideology. The oil merely funds the ideology.

On March 11, 2002 there was a fire in a girls school in Mecca. The girls fled the flames, but the Mecca police made them go back into the burning building, because they did not have on their head covers.

Ibn Saud had 16 wives who bore him 100 children, 45 of whom were sons. Lots of princes running around in Saudia Arabia! The King died in 1953, and his six successors have all been his sons.

"Potentially a crime could have been committed, if we find something out that we don't know now!"

Scott Adams tries some media satire.

Read more here.

Charlie Gard now a legal citizen of the US!

The United States Congress did something right today. They made Charlie Gard a permanent citizen of the United States. There will be a hearing in Britain Friday to see if the judge will let him come to America. Read more here.

"Billy, how long do you think it would take us to eat this juniper tree?

Sorry, you must have the wrong address!

Seven Goldendoodle puppies enjoying summer in New Mexico, waiting for new owners to claim them soon.

The Senator of Sleaze

Let's remember Ted Kennedy. 48 years ago yesterday the drunk Senator from Massachusetts drove his car off a bridge with Mary Jo Kopechne in the passenger seat. At Daily Mail, Charlie Laurence writes about The Senator of Sleaze who was a drunk sexual bully... and left a young woman to die.

Misanthropic Humanitarian
writes more at Ace of Spades and provides us with a photo of The Lion The Drunk Driver of the Senate.


Read more here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

“false, malicious and absurd.”


Kristina Wong reports at Breitbart,
Several mainstream news media outlets reported Tuesday evening that President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin held a second, undisclosed “meeting” at the G-20 summit earlier this month in Hamburg, Germany, attended only by Putin’s translator.

The “meeting” — occurring during a dinner for heads of states and their spouses, supposedly “raised the eyebrows” of other foreign leaders at the dinner, for breaking national security protocol by not also having a U.S. translator present, according to Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer, who first reported the meeting in a note sent to clients, according to Reuters.

However, the White House quickly sent out a lengthy statement explaining what actually occurred, and calling the idea there was a second meeting “false, malicious and absurd.”

Here’s the White House’s statement in full:

The night of the G20 summit, there was, first, a concert for all the leaders in the new Hamburg opera house. The leaders were all photographed by the press in a group photo before going in. Later that night, Chancellor Merkel hosted a dinner for leaders and spouses only, and the German government set the seating arrangements. The concert and dinner were publicly announced on both the President’s schedule and the G20 schedule, with the clear understanding that all visiting leaders would be present.

At the dinner, President Trump was seated between Mrs. Abe, wife of the Prime Minister of Japan, and Mrs. Macri, wife of the President of Argentina. Mrs. Trump was seated next to President Putin.

During the course of the dinner, all the leaders circulated throughout the room and spoke with one another freely. President Trump spoke with many leaders during the course of the evening. As the dinner was concluding, President Trump went over to Mrs. Trump, where he spoke briefly with President Putin.

Each couple was allowed one translator. The American translator accompanying President Trump spoke Japanese. When President Trump spoke to President Putin, the two leaders used the Russian translator, since the American translator did not speak Russian.

There was no “second meeting” between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to “hide” a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd.

It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a President’s duties, to interact with world leaders. Throughout the G20 and in all his other foreign engagements, President Trump has demonstrated American leadership by representing our interests and values on the world stage.
Read more here.

Would you have guessed correctly?

Acid attacks in London

Here is a graph from the UK Telegraph depicting acid attacks in London.


Tim Blair reports at The Daily Telegraph,
There’s more acid in London now than there was in 1968. But this acid isn’t the kind that makes people create awful music and forget basic hygiene.

The whole city is feeling the burn:

Following five acid attacks in London, two teenage boys have been arrested after two male suspects riding a moped targeted victims during a 90-minute spree.

The Metropolitan Police said one victim had been left with "life-changing" injuries after being doused on Thursday night in the east of the capital.
Read more here.

Why CNN has no other option but to ratchet up the fake news

Evan Sayet writes at Town Hall,
...Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. With Trump’s ability to go around them, they cannot simply stand pat. They need to respond. This leaves them with only two choices.

They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery.

The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve. It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.

Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s, church.

Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.

This makes “going high” a non-starter for CNN. This leaves them no other option but to ratchet up the fake news, conjuring up the next “nothing burger” and devoting 24 hours a day to hysterical rants about how it’s “worse than Nixon.”

This, obviously, is what CNN has chosen to do. The problem is that, as they become more and more hysterical, they become more and more obvious. Each new effort at even faker news than before and faker “outrage” only makes that much more clear to any objective observer that Trump is and always has been right about the fake news media.
Read more here.

Do people really want cute, social robots?

Joe Jones writes for IEEE SPECTRUM,
Cute, social robots currently get a lot of press, but are these engaging devices early emissaries of our robotic future? Are we entering an era where no one would dream of living without a cheerful electromechanical companion? In my view, companion robots offer novelty over utility, but once the novelty wears off, it’s only utility that people will pay for.

Rather than being front and center, home robots, I believe, will follow computers into the shadows. Why? Because people don’t want robots. (I say this despite 30-plus years as a practicing roboticist.) Consumers want a spotless floor; not a machine buzzing around underfoot. Every morning, you want to find your dresser filled with clean clothes; you have no need to socialize with a laundry-bot no matter how exuberant it may be. People want the things a robot can do for them; the robot itself may just get in the way.
Read more from this roboticist here.

Brain implants that record from one million neurons

Do you know how many neurons there are in the human brain? 86 billion! Eliza Strickland reports at IEEE SPECTRUM,
DARPA is known for issuing big challenges. Still, the mission statement for its new Neural Engineering Systems Design program is a doozy: Make neural implants that can record high-fidelity signals from 1 million neurons.

Today’s best brain implants, like the experimental system that a paralyzed man used to control a robotic arm, record from just a few hundred neurons. Recording from 1 million neurons would provide a much richer signal that could be used to better control external devices such as wheelchairs, robots, and computer cursors.

What’s more, the DARPA program calls for the tech to be bidirectional; the implants must be able to not only record signals, but also to transmit computer-generated signals to the neurons. That feature would allow for neural prosthetics that provide blind people with visual information or deaf people with auditory info.

Today the agency announced the six research groups that have been awarded grants under the NESD program. In a press release, DARPA says that even the 1-million-neuron goal is just a starting point. “A million neurons represents a miniscule percentage of the 86 billion neurons in the human brain. Its deeper complexities are going to remain a mystery for some time to come,” says Phillip Alvelda, who launched the program in January. “But if we’re successful in delivering rich sensory signals directly to the brain, NESD will lay a broad foundation for new neurological therapies.”
Read more here.

"We are all creatures of the Animal Farm barnyard now."

Here are my favorite excerpts of the latest post by Victor Davis Hanson at National Review.
The wars between Trump, the media, the deep state, and the progressive party — replete with charges and counter-charges of scandal, collusion, and corruption — are merely symptoms of a much larger fundamental and growing divide between Americans that is reaching a dangerous climax.

...Now we are engaged in yet a fifth revolutionary divide, similar to, but often unlike, prior upheavals. The consequences of globalization, the growth of the deep state, changing demographics, open borders, the rise of a geographic apartheid between blue and red states, and the institutionalization of a permanent coastal political and culture elite — and the reaction to all that — are tearing apart the country.

...It does not matter that the ossified European social model does not work and leads to collective decline in the standard of living. The world knows that from seeing the implosion of Venezuela and Cuba, or the gradual decline of the EU and the wreckage of its Mediterranean members, or the plight of blue states such as Illinois and California. Instead, it is the near-religious idea of egalitarianism that counts; on the global stage, it has all but won the war against liberty. We are all creatures of the Animal Farm barnyard now.

...On a second front, there is a veritable civil war over race, ethnicity, gender, and identity. Massive immigration, the rise of opportunistic identity politics, and a new tribalism have replaced the old melting pot of assimilation, integration, and intermarriage with salad-bowl separatism. The only obstacle to the tribal state is that there may soon be too many victims with too many claims on too few oppressors.

There are too many incentives — from political spoils and university admissions, to government employment and popular cultural acceptance — to identify with one’s tribe rather than simply as an American.

...In this latest arena of civil dissent, Donald Trump, the renegade liberal and most unlikely traditionalist, squares off against the elite that despises his very being not only for reasons of class and culture, but mostly for attempting to restore a traditional regime of citizenship, individualism, assimilation, territorial sovereignty, recognized borders, strong defense, deterrence abroad, and free-market capitalism.

Read more here.

CNN commentator praises a convicted cop killer, bank robber and terrorist

At the Washington Free Beacon Alex Griswold reports,
Liberal CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill praised a convicted cop murderer and wanted terrorist in a series of tweets Sunday.



...In actuality, Shakur is a convicted bank robber and murderer. In 1973, she and two other members of the Black Liberation Army opened fire on a pair of New Jersey state police officers, wounding one and killing the other execution-style. The fallen officer left behind a widow and two children.

Four years later, Shakur was found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, armed robbery, and several other crimes. She was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1979, Shakur escaped prison and fled to Cuba. The FBI has placed her on its list of "Most Wanted Terrorists," offering a million dollars to anyone with information that leads to her recapture.
Read more here.

I just thought you might like to see him.

This is the Rob Goldstone who asked Donald Trump Jr. for a meeting with the Russian lawyer.


hat tip Chateau Heartiste

What's going on with Jeff Bezos?

Bezos pre-Trump


Bezos post-Trump


hat tip Chateau Heartiste

How Multinational Corporations, Wall Street interests and Multinational Financial stakeholders create trade outcomes favorable to them

Here is another urgent effort by Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse to educate us on economic issues.
Earlier today USTR Robert Lighthizer released President Trump’s NAFTA Objectives outline to congress and the American people. The NAFTA renegotiations are scheduled to begin in August.

The bilateral trade negotiations with the EU (European Union), S.E.A.N. (Southeast Asian Nations), China, U.K. and all other nations will follow -individually- after the NAFTA process is complete.

It cannot be overstated how critical this is. Please, please, understand. There are trillions of dollars at stake. All political opposition to President Donald Trump will increase in exponential severity as the dates of these renegotiated trade deals draws closer. There are trillions of dollars at stake. The entities outlined below will throw everything at the current administration in an effort to secure a better financial outcome for their interests.

Multinational Corporations, Wall Street interests and Multinational Financial stakeholders (mostly banks and foreign governments), have lobbied DC politicians for decades to create trade outcomes favorable to them. It is, at its core, the financial and policy cancer that has distributed America’s physical and financial wealth globally. Additionally, multinational corporate media are part of this entire process and are stakeholders in the outcomes.
Read more here.

How multinational corporations and banks exploit national markets

At The Conservative Treehouse Sundance once again tries to break down complicated economics in a way that we can begin to understand.
To understand the larger objectives of the global and financial elite it is important to understand the three-decade global financial construct they seek to protect. Global financial exploitation of national markets:

♦Multinational corporations purchase controlling interests in various national elements of developed industrial western nations.
♦The Multinational Corporations making the purchases are underwritten by massive global financial institutions, multinational banks.
♦The Multinational Banks and the Multinational Corporations then utilize lobbying interests to manipulate the internal political policy of the targeted nation state(s).
♦With control over the targeted national industry or interest, the multinationals then leverage export of the national asset (exfiltration) through trade agreements structured to the benefit of lesser developed nation states – where they have previously established a proactive financial footprint.
Read his detailed explanation of each bullet point here.

Maybe it really is a Uni-party!

Ace of Spades is exasperated this morning.
Party of Fail: Senate Pulls Plug on Obamacare "Repeal"
—Ace

I'm having a hard time caring what party controls what any more. It's all really the same party.

House Republicans on Tuesday were seething with anger over the Senate GOP's late Monday decision to pull the plug on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Lawmakers leaving the House GOP's weekly conference meeting said feelings of exasperation and anger have set in, now that the Senate has dropped plans to vote on an Obamacare replacement bill this month.

As usual, there are many good comments. For example Scogg Dog writes,
There are 51 sitting US Senators that voted for HR 3762 in 2016. The bill that was called repeal by Paul Ryan.

The bill used Budget Reconcilliation to void most of ObamaCare. The bill was short.

That they didn't put it back up for vote on Day One told me all I needed to know.
Read more here.

Remember, Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse has been explaining to us over and over how we really have a Uni-party of political salesmen in the House and Senate, and the legislation is written by lobbyists for big donors who fund the salesmen's political campaigns.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Maybe we should consider hiring local workers!

Will Racke reports at The Daily Caller,
Businesses in Bar Harbor, Maine are turning to locals to make up for a shortage of foreign guest workers that normally fill summer jobs in the bustling seaside resort town.

Because the H-2B visa program has already reached its annual quota, Bar Harbor’s hotels, restaurants and shops can’t bring in any more foreign workers for the rest of the busy summer tourist season. Like hundreds of similar coastal resort towns, Bar Harbor has for many years depended on the H-2B visas for temporary workers. The program allows non-agricultural companies to bring in foreign labor if they are unable to find suitable employees domestically.

Now they are coming up with creative ways to attract local labor, reports the Bangor Daily News.

The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce will hold a job fair Saturday in an effort to recruit significant numbers of workers from the region. Just about every kind of business in the town is looking for help, says chamber executive director Martha Searchfield.

“All types of businesses — retail, restaurants, the tour boats, all the trips, everything. All types of workers are needed,” she told the Daily News.

The shortage is so acute that companies are sweetening incentives for local workers. Searchfield says some businesses are offering flexible schedules that might appeal to older workers who might be interested in working only a day or two each week. And other companies have gone so far as to offer higher wages to entice locals.

The annual limit for H-2B visas is set at 66,000, half for the winter season and half for the summer. In the past, workers who had previously come to the U.S. on H-2B visas were given a “returning worker” exemption and not counted against the cap. Congress did not include the returning worker provision in this year’s authorization, but instead gave Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly the power to raise the limit by as many as 70,000 extra visas for the summer.

Several lawmakers are pressuring the Trump administration to authorize more H-2B visas, and DHS is expected to announce a higher cap this month. Independent Maine Sen. Angus King has introduced legislation that would restore the returning worker rule.

In the meantime, Bar Harbor’s businesses are scrambling to find locals to pick up the slack.

“Because of the new situation that’s going on with these visaed workers, I think it’s going to create some holes for us,” said Bar Harbor Bicycle Shop owner Joe Minutolo.

Bret Baier's Special Report covers a lot of ground tonight.

Today is a deadline for President Trump to sign off on a document certifying that Iran is complying with sanctions. Today Iran imprisoned a 37-year-old Chinese American doctoral student from Princeton. He was arrested last summer on charges I didn't understand. Iran has already received tens of billions of dollars, thanks to Obama.

Rand Paul is voting "no" on the health care bill as it now stands. He explained that "Nearly $200 billion for a bailout of the insurance industry is called "temporary stabilization." Nobody owns Rand Paul, that I can see. That's a good thing! However, Brit Hume called him a Republican in name only (RINO). That does not seem fair to me. Susan Collins is also opposed to the plan for very different reasons than Rand Paul. Trump said he hopes John McCain makes a quick recovery from surgery on a blood clot above his eye, because they need his vote.

Brit Hume made another remark: "If it turns out that there were more meetings between Trump team members and Russians, the administration would be in dire straits and all bets would be off." Does Brit know something we don't know?

Congress is allocating more money for the military than Trump requested. There is enough money for transgender surgery to fund 13 F35 aircraft, and there is lots of money to study climate change!

There have been 2000 shooting victims so far this year in Chicago, which has one of the strictest gun control laws in the nation!

An Afghan man who saved many American soldiers' lives has been brought to America and will be living in Omaha.

There was a referendum yesterday on the Madura government in Venezuela. Citizens voted overwhelmingly against him. A Florida Congresswoman was a guest on the program. She advocates new sanctions against the "thugs" who run that country. Nearly 100 have died in civil unrest protests there. The inflation rate in Venezuela is 800%. 87% have no money for food. All of this in one of the most oil rich countries on earth. Trump has sanctioned their Supreme Court Justices who have been throwing opposition leaders in jail.

How demographic changes are affecting the Mountain West



Reid Wilson has the story at The Hill

"It is the biggest story of our time, and no one is telling it!"

The demographic extinguishment of the people who built the modern world: but nobody is writing about it!

Japan: one-third of their citizens under thirty have never dated! They do not allow immigration.

President Trump in Poland spoke about faith and family. Europeans are averaging 1.3 children per couple. Muslims are averaging 3.5 children per couple, and Erdogan is urging them to increase that to 5 children per couple. Muslims are now a majority in Belgium.

The majority of elementary students in Arizona are Hispanic. I think that is probably true here in New Mexico, too. Demographics underlie everything.

By mid-century the majority of Austrians will be Muslims. The new song there will be, "How do you solve a problem like Sharia?"

There are now 1 billion Africans, and by the end of the century that number is expected to be 4 billion.

The problem with health care (explained in four minutes, with a solution!)


hat tip Bookworm

The scandal of Democrats blocking Trump appointments

John Hinderaker guest-hosted Laura's show this morning. His focus was the scandal of how the Democrats are preventing the Trump administration from staffing the government. The president has the top three tiers of employees in each bureaucracy of the federal government. By the end of June in his first administration President Obama had 183 confirmed by the Senate. Trump had 46!

How are the Democrats doing this? They are invoking an ancient rule of the Senate requiring that each committee is not supposed to conduct business for more than two hours after the Senate opens for business each day! In addition, there is a two day waiting period for each nominee to be considered, and 30 hours of debate!

What needs to be done? 1. Get the word out regarding what is happening. 2. Change the rules of the US Senate! President Trump could also follow Obama's lead and make recess appointments every time the Senate is in recess.

Every cabinet bureaucracy is staffed with bureaucrats who are over 90% Democrats!


China has some new obstacles in the Trump administration

At The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance writes,
Anyone who has been following along will note the entire Chinese economy is beyond tenuous, at best. Their economic enterprise is not a free market, has never been a free market and is only as sustainable as the imported dollars are available to keep it propped up. Without expansive export growth it stalls, then contracts.
Read more here.

"It's the witches who have been doing the witch-hunting!"

Ace of Spades brings us up-to-date on the Social Justice wars here. Be sure to peruse the comments section, which breaks these complicated issues down into easy-to-understand slurs, including the title for this post.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Good humor, wit, truth

I love the Greg Gutfeld Show. Greg is very witty, and he gives each participant the opportunity to shine. Last night's show featured Mark Steyn as one of the panelists, and you know he is also one of my favorites.

Here are some of the witty things I have heard Greg say in recent days, either on his own show or on The Five. On Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer: "The most hyped meeting since Eve met the snake!" "It was bait and switch, and the Democrats came up emptier than a protestor's resume." "Fishier than the dumpster outside Red Lobster!"

Kat Timpf does a funny skit pretending to be one of the senators questioning Christopher Wray, Trump's pick to be the new FBI Director.

Mark Steyn points out that unlike this meeting with the Russian lawyer, the DNC collusion with Ukraine had real results. It took Manafort out of the Trump campaign.


Do you follow the Ajerbaijani Hit Parade as closely as CNN does?

Donald Trump Jr. is colluding with John Denver's Australian publicist from the 1980s!

I'd sure like to climb that cliff up there. Maybe I could get a ride?

Let's sit in this juniper tree and pretend we're ravens!

May I please come in and be with my daddy? I promise I won't jump on him!

I can't believe Billy thinks he needs a safe space!

That's far enough! Not another step, or I'll attack like Mad Dog Mattis!

Obama's fratty speech writing team

At Ace of Spades, Oregon Muse reports,
Apparently, working in the Obama White House was great if you wanted to grab a little mish:

A new memoir documents a Barack Obama White House in which a fratty speech writing team smoked, drank, told "dick jokes," and used their jobs to sleep with women.

David Litt, a former Obama speech writer, will release Thanks Obama: My Hopey Changey White House Years in September, the Daily Mail reports.
What, Obama staff memebers using the perks of their positions to indulge themselves at taxpayer expense? Where was Anderson Cooper? Where was Jake Tapper? Where was Geraldo Rivera?

He also discusses how romance was "almost painfully easy" for a White House staffer. At least one aide used his position to sleep with a "blonde D.C. newscaster," although Litt does not specify who. The aide regularly boasted about his conquest to his coworkers.
Whaa-? I thought all of this sort of groping and grabbing and bedding hotties was invented by Donald Trump! I'm absolutely flabbergasted.

The White House that Litt describes might be characterized as "fratty." He writes how the all-male, all-white, all-under-40 speech writing team drank, smoked, called each other "bro," and followed along with college basketball mostly to please Obama.
Aaaaaah! You can just *smell* the diversity!

When Litt was first hired by the WH, he was 24 years old. I have socks older than him.

I have no idea if any of this is going to turn out to be true. But you can be sure that the MSM will do its best to ignore or bury this book when it's released.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

"We drift in a sea of historical fraud."

Fred Reid corrects historical inaccuracies regarding slavery in the US here.

Drugs and Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan

The drugs and Islamic fanatics are doing well in Afghanistan. Strategy Page has a report.
For most people living here “Afghanistan” is a secondary name for where they live. The primary name relates more to tribe and very local geography. This whole nation thing was never widely accepted in this region and modern “Afghanistan” is something of a scam developed by many of the major tribes to deal with troublesome (and often heavily armed) foreigners. This time around the most dangerous foreign threat is chemical and financial. Heroin, made possible by a late 19th century German chemical process enables locals to convert opium (laboriously obtained from poppy plants) into much more valuable (and portable) heroin. While a few Afghans benefit financially (some spectacularly) from the heroin trade nearly half the population in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran suffer the consequences of addiction, crime and social breakdown.
Read more here.

Another timely suicide who was expected to expose Clinton Foundation corruption next week

Are you getting tired of reading about "suicides" of people who have damaging information on the Clintons? Baxter Dmitry reports at Your Newswire,
Klaus Eberwein, a former Haitian government official who was expected to expose the extent of Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice next week, has been found dead in Miami. He was 50.

Eberwein was due to appear next Tuesday before the Haitian Senate Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission where he was widely expected to testify that the Clinton Foundation misappropriated Haiti earthquake donations from international donors.

According to Miami-Dade’s medical examiner records supervisor, the official cause of death is “gunshot to the head“. Eberwein’s death has been registered as “suicide.”

Eberwein, who had acknowledged his life was in danger, was a fierce critic of the Clinton Foundation’s activities in the Caribbean island, where he served as director general of the government’s economic development agency, Fonds d’assistance économique et social, for three years.

According to Eberwein, a paltry 0.6% of donations granted by international donors to the Clinton Foundation with the express purpose of directly assisting Haitians actually ended up in the hands of Haitian organizations. A further 9.6% ended up with the Haitian government. The remaining 89.8% – or $5.4 billion – was funneled to non-Haitian organizations.

“The Clinton Foundation, they are criminals, they are thieves, they are liars, they are a disgrace,” Eberwein said at a protest outside the Clinton Foundation headquarters in Manhattan last year.

The former director general of Haiti, who also served as an advisor to Haitian President Michel Martelly, was also a partner in a popular pizza restaurant in Haiti, Muncheez, and even has a pizza — the Klaus Special — named after him.

According to the Haiti Libre newspaper, Eberwein was said to be in “good spirits“, with plans for the future. His close friends and business partners are shocked by the idea he may have committed suicide.

“It’s really shocking,” said Muncheez’s owner Gilbert Bailly. “We grew up together; he was like family.”

Bailly said he last spoke to Eberwein two weeks ago and he was in good spirits. They were excited about future business plans and were working on opening a Muncheez restaurant in Sunrise, he said.

The Haitian government issued an official notice thanking Eberwein for his service and mourning his untimely death.

“The Directorate General of FAES presents its sympathies to the bereaved families, friends and collaborator that this mourning afflicts. The FAES flag will be flown at half-mast from Wednesday 12th to Tuesday 18th July 2017. May his soul rest in peace,” Charles Ernest Chatelier, director general.

From Make America Great Again to Make America Grate Again!

I know Michael Savage supported Trump in the primaries and general election, but until today I had not listened to him in many, many years. I guess he was the chaser after listening to Hannity earlier! If Michael Savage is your friend, I'd hate to see your enemies. He spent the first 13 minutes and 48 seconds (that's all I had time for) skewering Trump. He started off questioning why Trump is in Paris. The Obama travels cost American taxpayers over $100,000 dollars over eight years, and Savage thinks Trump may break that record.

Savage asks, Is American great again yet? Have taxes been lowered? Has the budget been cut? We have just had the greatest monthly trade deficit in history and the greatest budget increase in history. (Where are Savage's facts to back up those claims?) Savage laughs when he reads a quote Trump gave someone on the plane: "I back Comprehensive Immigration Reform." Savage said that is a euphemism for amnesty for illegal aliens.

Fighting hard on the right

Sean Hannity is fighting hard against the "Fake News Industrial Complex." Tonight he has help from Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a top assistant to President Trump. Gorka said he has decided to be the pitbull on the Trump team, and he has been taking it to the biased media.

Hannity brings up a long list of issues the media has ignored in the Obama/Clinton years. Gorka says it's "Spin, Spin, Spin!"

Patrick J. Buchanan agrees with Hannity and Gorka.

Since I am a centrist conservative, I would love it if somebody would just call balls and strikes, as novelist Brad Thor told Laura Ingraham this week. Let us examine the facts as they become known, and make up our own minds.


Illicit funds going to Democrats? You don't say!

The Associated Press has a new wrinkle on the meeting with the Russian lawyer. She did present information of what she believed were illicit funds going to the Democrats. There was also a Russian lobbyist in the meeting, a fact that had not been previously disclosed. Read more here.

20 million mosquitoes to be released in Fresno, California this summer.

This may not be as bad as it sounds. Caroline Chen writes about it in Bloomberg Technology.

Take the test!

In the market for a new car? You might want to look at the Ford Fusion!

Ohio's Vindy.com reports,
The head of the Youngstown Federal Drug Enforcement Administration says a recent marijuana-smuggling operation with ties to Warren is the first of its kind he has seen in this area.

In fact, said Bob Balzano, who runs the local DEA office, the only time he has heard of the method being deployed was in April, when a similar discovery was made in Minnesota.

The marijuana was found last week inside the wheel well for a spare tire in a new Ford Fusion which was manufactured in Sonora, Mexico, at a Ford dealership in Kent, after one of the vehicles was unloaded from a car carrier, Balzano said.

Investigators were then able to find 14 more packages of marijuana in other Fusions, which all came through a rail yard in Warren.

All together, about 14.5 per kilos per car, or 400 pounds of marijuana, was found. It has a street value between $400,000 to $1 million.

The Portage County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating, along with the DEA.

Read more about the case in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

"Choosing one suboptimal alternative over another even worse alternative is not "believing" in the suboptimal alternative."

Ace of Spades writes,
For those who ask, "How can you believe in Trump?," I answer, I don't believe in anybody. I now look back on all my past faiths as embarrassments. But, as we're on the subject, How can you believe in the GOP?
Choosing one suboptimal alternative over another even worse alternative is not "believing" in the suboptimal alternative.

Ace links to an article by Christopher Jacobs in The Federalist describing backroom deals on health care legislation.

California's woes

At Investors.com, Victor Davis Hanson analyzes California's woes, and wonders if it will ever thrive again. Read it here.

A French kiss and warm handshake goodbye

In Praise of Anniversaries

2017-07-15
Guest post by Suzann Darnall

Today is my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary. Next month my husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Most of my grandparents and great-grandparents had long marriages, or at least marriages that lasted until one of them passed away. Anniversaries are the birthdays of marriages and we like everything to live long and prosper!

My parents like to mark their milestone anniversaries with big parties. Lots of family, friends, food, and fun. They cherish one another and want the world to know about their love.

My husband and I are more private about our anniversary celebrations. We mark the occasions, but usually just between the two of us.

I think either option is fine, so long as one acknowledges the date. To ignore the date is like saying it was an unimportant event. I feel one needs to pay tribute to special people and happenings. Let someone know they are special by honoring particular events in your life and theirs.

I always try to do something a little special for the anniversary of the day Pete and I met, as well as the day we got married. I want Pete to always know I consider him one of the most important parts of my life. I want him to know I really do remember the first time I saw him. The first time we met. The first time we spoke. That it really was about as close to love at first sight as I can imagine. It certainly was infatuation at first meeting!

While we do not always do extravagant for anniversaries, we do try to do something. Sometimes gifts are personal, sometimes not. Occasionally there is a big ticket item we want or need, so we decide that will be our gift to one another. At other times there is a small something that one or the other of us requests as that year’s token of love. But, big, small, household, or personal, it is the thought that counts when we give to one another.

Same thing for our dinners or whatever direction our celebration takes. Sometimes I fix us something special at home. Usually we go out for dinner at a favorite restaurant. Occasionally our children have treated us to a home-cooked meal or joined us on a family celebratory outing. Again, it is the thought, as well as the togetherness, that counts. The details are just that, details. Not the main point of it all.

So, whether you have a first anniversary coming up or a milestone like 25, maybe even 50, years together, I encourage y’all to mark it with your loved one or loved ones. A wedding is the birth of a living union. It should be celebrated and encouraged to thrive. Just like a plant withers without water and sunlight, so a marriage can wither without love and friendship!

Learning more about the Russian attorney

At The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance is beginning to dig into the background of the Russian attorney with whom Donald Trump Jr. met in June, 2016.
Natalia Veselnitskaya was/is also a very vocal anti-Trump person on all of her social media accounts – SEE FACEBOOK ARCHIVE HERE – So why would someone with a disposition of being anti-Trump want to deliver information to Donald Trump Jr? …Especially considering Ms. Veselnitskaya was never identified within the original email request for a meeting? ….and Donald Trump Jr. said, correctly it appears, that he had no idea whom he would be meeting with(?) .

It’s enough to make you wonder what exactly is the nature of the relationship between Natalia Veselnitskaya and President Obama’s appointees such that they would be visibly working together only a few days after her reported meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in Trump Tower….

...At the heart of the current media Russian narrative du jour is a story about Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian attorney named Natalia Veselnitskaya. That meeting took place on June 9th 2016 in Trump Tower.

Now it is discovered via video and images, that only 5 days later, June 14th 2016, Ms. Veselnitskaya was a guest of former Obama administration Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul in Washington DC for a House of Representatives hearing on U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia.


Ms. Natalia Veselnitskaya is pictured seated in the front row directly behind former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Mr. Michael McFaul at the House Foreign Affairs Committee. This is June 14th, 2016, five days after the reported meeting with Donald Trump Jr.
Read more here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A fine line

This morning my 17-year-old son said something to me that I treasure. I can't remember his exact words. He was acknowledging that I allow him to say whatever is on his mind. It was an unexpected compliment because I don't really think I do that well, but it meant a lot to me for him to say it.

Ace of Spades writes today,
No matter how hard it is for a parent to do, at some point he must permit his child to make his or her own decisions. Only when he is granted some degree of responsibility over his own life will he begin to exercise, well, responsibility.

...What do teenagers do when they chafe under what they perceive as a too-heavy hand in parental control?

They rebel. They do all the wrong things, either subconsciously or full-on consciously.

At some point you have to just allow people to make their own decisions. Like teenagers, they will often make bad decisions. Or, rather: They make decisions you disapprove of, decisions which may be objectively bad by any reckoning, or which might actually be decent decisions given their own circumstances, preferences, and aspirations. Or, even -- they might be good decisions, and you cannot see they are good decisions, because you yourself are married to your own bad decisions.

But anyway it shakes out, the only way people make good decisions is by first having the capacity to have a (mostly) free choice of actions in the first place.

Enforced morality is not actually morality; it is no more than an amoral rational scheme to avoid punishment.

True morality only arises from a free choice: You could have chosen good, or evil, but you chose good. You could have chosen benevolence or selfishness; you chose benevolence. You could have chosen self-improvement or self-destruction; you chose self-improvement.
Read more here.

"Collusion is not a crime."

Laura wonders why the Russian lawyer was allowed to stay in the US for six more months after her court case was finished.

Alan Dershowitz was a guest on the program. He still maintains that collusion is not a crime, and is opposed to the criminalization of political differences.

Tucker Carlson was also a guest. Tucker has had several confrontations with guests on his program who believe, "If someone doesn't agree, they must be evil!" Rand Paul and Susan Collins are opposed to the health care bill for opposite reasons.

Laura has been rumored to be interested in running for the US Senate from Virginia. She admits she was interested, but the timing is not right for her family. She supports a man named Cory Stewart. It is time for crazy Tim Kaine to retire.

"Washing sidewalks with water is a form of microaggression."

Lucas Mikelionis reports at Heat Street,
A Seattle councilman has come out against an effort to hose sidewalks to wash excrement off outside local courthouse, claiming it’s racist.

The area around the local Seattle courthouse, King County Superior Court, is known to include a shelter for homeless people and other social-services for the underprivileged people in the town.

But it also contributed towards creating an “unsanitary and potentially frightening” neighborhood “that reeks of urine and excrement”, The Seattle Times reported.

“When they come to this courthouse they’re afraid to come in,” said the county’s Sheriff John Urquhart after two jurors were assaulted near the courthouse. “They’re afraid to walk down Third Avenue because what they see.”

“There is public urination, defecation. That’s a crime,” he added when testifying on the courthouse safety on Tuesday. “There is smoking marijuana in public. That’s a crime.”

Two of the court’s judges are urging the local government to fix the environment in the area, asking the city to provide power-wash the excrement-covered sidewalks.

But one councilman objected to the proposal, suggesting washing sidewalks with water is a form of microaggression.

Councilmember Larry Gossett objected to the idea of power-washing the sidewalks in the troubled area because it brings back the images of police using hoses against civil-rights activists.

An attempt at humor

I have a good friend who is married to a Russian woman. I sent him this email today:
It has been brought to my attention that you might be colluding with a Russian. This is very serious at this time. It didn't used to be. We used to have a president who whispered to Medvedev that he would be able to be more flexible after the election. His Secretary of State even presented her Russian counterpart with a reset button (mistranslated).

Now those same people are very suspicious of the Russians. They have told me to write you this email, which will be read by the National Security Agency, because it has Russia as the subject.

So, watch your step, unless you have some damaging information against Donald J. Trump, or any member of his family. If you do, please forward it, so the intel officers who read these emails between us can leak your information to the New York Times.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Who is the dunce here?

On Twitter, Craig Schmuckatelli writes,
.@johnpodesta got hacked because he used "password" as his actual password and fell for a phishing scam, but Don Jr is the dunce.
John Sexton reports at Hot Air,
The Board of Trustees of Evergreen State College met on campus Wednesday and held a listening session for anyone who wanted to come before them and offer their perspective.

...At Evergreen College, students can do no wrong so long as they are talking about their own victimization.
Go here to see videos of key students and professors giving the Board of Trustees their perspectives.

The Russian lawyer was very busy in America, Biggest health care fraud in American history, killer confesses in Pennslyvania

The Russian lawyer in the Donald Trump Jr. controversy was in the United States on a special Visa waiver issued by Loretta Lynch. The lawyer's client was accused of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars in real estate transactions. While in the US she also ran a robust campaign to repeal the Magnitsky Act that levied sanctions against Russian officials implicated in the death of an anti-corruption investigator. She also represented Fusion DPS, the firm that produced a dossier against Trump that Senator McCain paid to get and then turned over to the FBI.

The Justice Department today went after 456 American doctors accused of fraudulent writing of prescriptions in the largest health care fraud case in US history. False bidding and writing prescriptions for opioids.

Democratic Senator Warner of Virginia is on the Senate Intel Committee. He says the Russians prodded into 21 different states' electoral systems. In France, Facebook took down 30,000 sites peddling fake news during the French elections. 21st Century cyberwarfare by Russia.

A man in Pennsylvania has confessed to murdering four young men and showed authorities where they were buried on his parents' farm.

"Joka," Mueller stacking the deck with Democrats, health care repeal and reform, Iran adhering to the nuke deal?

Yes, I listened to the Laura Ingraham Show again today, while cleaning freshly laid eggs.

Laura has named the Joe and Mika show as Joka.

An illegal immigrant who had already been deported seven times killed three people after drinking 12 beers and then driving.

The Justice Dept. will not defend DACA in court.

Laura believes the Mueller special counsel team is tainted, because he has stacked the deck with Democrats, and he is best buds with James Comey.

Laura put up a photo of a woman in DC with a full abaya dress. Laura thinks that should not be allowed because of the security risk. The French have outlawed the wearing of full burkas. Our primary ideal is freedom. The Left's primary ideals are multiculturalism and diversity. LA has a diversity monument.

Senator Rand Paul was a guest on today's program. He continues to push breaking health care into two parts: first, repeal Obamacare. Second, vote on how many new entitlements should be in the bill. He would vote for repeal, but not to add entitlements, which he described as a boondoggle for insurance companies, which already make 15 billion dollars a year under the current bill.

Senator Paul surprised me when he said Iran is adhering to the deal on nukes. He wants to get a new deal on ballistic missiles, which would include Saudia Arabia and other gulf nations, as well as Iran.

Moral preening vs. lack of morals

Tucker Carlson takes on both Ralph Peters and Max Boot. Both Peters and Boot lose their cool. Peters suggested that anyone who disagrees with him on Russia would probably be a Hitler sympathizer. Boot accused Tucker of having no morals. Carlson accused him of moral preening.

Exuding kindness

Melania Trump in Paris speaking French to hospitalized children.


Read more here.

..."and that's how I became a racist, sexist, misogynist!"

Receiving oppo from foreign sources

Ace of Spades notes,
A lot of the people claiming it is grossly unethical to receive oppo from a foreign source sure seem to doing a lot of receiving of oppo from foreign sources.

...For years, American political operatives (usually Democrats) have gone over to foreign countries to help get socialists elected. Am I really supposed to believe there are no reciprocal back-channel exchanges going on, where grateful foreigners report to Democrat operatives what their spy services have dug up on Republicans?
Read much more here.

If we value democracy, can we permit our intelligence agencies to exist in their current form?

I missed this post by Glenn Reynolds at USA Today on May 30.
In 1972, some employees of President Nixon’s re-election committee were caught when they broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to plant a bug. This led to Nixon’s resignation and probably would have led to his felony prosecution had he not been pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.

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

Because that’s what was unveiled last week.

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

There are supposed to be strict safeguards on who can access the information, on how it can be used and on protecting American citizens’ privacy — because the NSA is forbidden by law from engaging in domestic spying. These safeguards were ignored wholesale under the Obama administration, and to many Republicans, it is no coincidence that intelligence leaks damaged Democrats' political opponents in the 2016 election.

A report from journalists John Solomon and Sara Carter last week, based on recently declassified documents, exposed what went on. As Solomon and Carter write:

More than 5%, or one out of every 20, searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards President Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa. ...

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying that the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor,” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans. ... The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard Americans' privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

As former anti-terrorism prosecutor and national security expert Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review, this is a very serious abuse. And potentially a crime. If such material were leaked to the press for political advantage, that's another crime.

McCarthy observes: “Enabling of domestic spying, contemptuous disregard of court-ordered minimization procedures (procedures the Obama administration itself proposed, then violated), and unlawful disclosure of classified intelligence to feed a media campaign against political adversaries. Quite the Obama legacy.”

Will the Justice Department investigate and prosecute former Obama officials? It seems hard to imagine. But then, so did Nixon’s resignation, when the Watergate burglary was first discovered.

This debacle also raises serious questions about the viability of our existing “intelligence community.” In the post-World War II era, we gave massive power to the national security apparatus. In part, that power was granted in the belief that professionalism and patriotism would lead people in those agencies to refuse to let their work be used for partisan political purposes.

It now seems apparent that we overestimated the patriotism and professionalism of the people in these agencies, who allowed them to be politically weaponized by the Obama administration. That being true, if we value democracy, can we permit them to exist in their current form?

That’s a decision that President Trump and Congress will have to face. Ironically, they may be afraid to — for fear that intelligence agencies will engage in further targeted political leaks.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Economic war with China?

Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse believes we are going to economic war with China.



Read Sundance here.

Is this the best you can do, Maine?

This is the latest Democrat to threaten the life of our president. His name is Scott Hamann, and South Portland, Maine Democrats have elected him as their Representative in the Maine legislature.



Hamann: "Trump is a half term president, at most, especially if I get within 10 feet of that pussy."
Read more here.

Clint Eastwood Casts Roles of Heroic Soldiers Who Stopped Terrorist on Paris Train


Jason LaVeris/Getty
Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Spencer Stone
Remember these three guys? They are American soldiers who, while traveling together on a train to Paris, encountered an armed terrorist, and took him down. Clint Eastwood is making a movie about the experience, and guess who will be playing the soldiers? They will be playing themselves.
Read more here.

hat tip Ace

Democrats pushing diversions away from Trump's policies, Trump policies tougher on Russia than Obama's, communism more about power than economics

Laura Ingraham reminds us that the Democrats do not want Trump to focus on policy, such as tax reform, health care proposals, or deregulation, the economy, jobs. They jump on every"scandal" they can to keep him from focusing on fulfilling his promises.

Trump leaves in a few minutes for Paris to help the French celebrate Bastille Days.

How did the Russian lawyer get into the United States? Who approved her Visa? She had previously been denied. Was she representing a client who knows Putin?

Laura remembers 1992, when lots of Chinese money went into the Clinton campaign.

There is an article by someone named Kaufman (sp?) in National Review that talks about how much tougher Trump has been with the Russians than Obama was. Has anyone in the media ever asked Obama what he meant when he had the hot mic conversation promising to be more flexible with Russia after the 2008 election?

There is a good article on parenting teens by Elizabeth Egan in the Chicago Tribune.

The Wall Street Journal's Bill McGurn was a guest on today's program, and Laura discussed North Korea and China with him. One of his comments: communism is not so much about economics as it is about power. More about Lenin than Marx.

China's elites send their children to Harvard and Stanford and own mansions in L.A. Maybe they might be more affected by policies regarding Visa stays in the US.


Demographics

43 per cent of people aged 18 to 34 from the island nation of Japan say they are virgins.
And what about the United States? Ariana Eunjung Cha reports in the Washington Post,
According to provisional 2016 population data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, the number of births fell 1 percent from a year earlier, bringing the general fertility rate to 62.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. The trend is being driven by a decline in birthrates for teens and 20-somethings. The birthrate for women in their 30s and 40s increased — but not enough to make up for the lower numbers in their younger peers.
Read more here and here.

"He purposely mis-gendered me!"


Fort Lauderdale Police Officer James Brinton is facing disciplinary action after “mis-gendering” Shelby Kendall (pictured), a transgender female, on a reckless driving ticket in January. (Image Source: Sun-Sentinel Screen Shot)
Tré Goins-Phillips reports for the Blze here.

Who was the leaker of Donald Trump Jr.'s emails?

Bill Clinton victim Kathleen Willey reports on Facebook,
Jamie Gorelick was a lawyer in the Clinton WH. She is as corrupt as they are. She is now Jared Kushner's lawyer. Kushner left this "famous" Russian meeting after 5 minutes. Jamie Gorelick is your leaker. She leaked Donald Jr's email to the slimy NYT.

Aren't you glad you don't live in Oregon?

Ace of Spades reports,
Oregon Will Soon Become First State to Mandate That All Taxpayers Pay for All Abortions, No Matter How Late Term, No Matter What the Motive
Read more here.

Our missile defense system

The People's Pundit reports, The U.S. successfully tested the THAAD missile defense system from Alaska amid rising tensions with North Korea, U.S. officials told People’s Pundit Daily. It intercepted a target missile launched from an Air Force Cargo plane north of Hawaii.

THAAD can intercept short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles, but not intercontinental ballistic missiles. Thus far, the U.S. has hit 14 out of 14 targets.
Read more here.

How US environmental groups collude with Russia

Kevin Mooney reports at The Daily Signal,

...Forget about allegations of Russian interference in U.S. presidential elections for a moment, or even “collusion” between Russian officials and Trump campaign operatives.

“If successful, an anti-fracking campaign deprives Americans of affordable, dependable energy.”–@NiconomistLoris

The real action is in the European and U.S. energy markets, according to a letter from two Texas congressmen to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that details what they call “a covert anti-fracking campaign” with “little or no paper trail.”

The Daily Signal obtained a copy of the June 29 letter to Mnuchin from Reps. Lamar Smith and Randy Weber, both Republicans who chair energy-related House panels.

Smith and Weber quote sources saying the Russian government has been colluding with environmental groups to circulate “disinformation” and “propaganda” aimed at undermining hydraulic fracturing. Commonly called fracking, the process makes it possible to access natural gas deposits.

The sources include a former secretary-general of NATO, who is quoted by the GOP congressmen as saying:

Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain dependence on imported Russian gas.

This anti-fracking campaign seizes upon environmental issues and health concerns that could be used to constrain U.S. drilling and fracking exercises, the letter explains.

Gazprom, a large Russian oil company, stands to benefit if Russian-funded environmental activism results in reduced levels of fracking and natural gas production in the United States, Smith and Weber tell Mnuchin. They write:

It is easy to see the benefit to Russia and Gazprom that would result from a reduction in the U.S. level of drilling and fracking—a position advocated for by numerous environmental groups in the U.S.

Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, joined Weber, chairman of that panel’s energy subcommittee, in calling on the treasury secretary to investigate whether Russia works with American environmental activists to prevent the U.S. from developing its natural gas resources.

Top U.S. government officials who have acknowledged the connection between Russian and environmental groups include former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president in 2016.

In 2014, Clinton delivered a “private speech” in which she discussed Russia’s financial support for environmental groups, the letter says. The speech was included in documents released by WikiLeaks, it says.

An Oct. 10, 2016, report in The Washington Times quoted Clinton as saying:

We [the State Department and the U.S. government] were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media. We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand up against any effort, ‘Oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you,’ and a lot of that money supporting that effort was coming from Russia.

Contrary to what Russia’s propaganda machine and its environmental allies have told news consumers in Europe and America, fracking is safe, effective, and enormously beneficial, Nick Loris, an economist and energy policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation, said in an email to The Daily Signal.

“If successful, an anti-fracking campaign is depriving Americans of good-paying jobs and affordable, dependable energy,” Loris said. “Despite smears and outright lies from environmental activists, smart drilling, and energy extraction technologies have been proven to be safe.”

“It feels like every week a new study is published, confirming what we already know,” he said. “Hydraulic fracturing does not contaminate drinking water. The facts and history of hydraulic fracturing, a history that dates back more than half a century and over 1 million fracked wells, indicate that many of the fears associated with the process are grossly exaggerated or flat-out unsubstantiated.”

Loris added:

The good news, however, is that the anti-fracking campaign really hasn’t been all that successful in ‘keeping it in the ground.’ The U.S. is the world’s largest petroleum and natural gas producer, and we can thank fracking and American energy companies for it.

The result is that money is going back into bank accounts of hard working families through lower energy bills, and American businesses are more competitive because of lower input costs. And we’re in a position to supply our allies with power, significantly reducing the ability of any one nation’s ability to manipulate energy markets for political gain.

In their letter to the Treasury secretary, Smith and Weber also say the Russians have been able to advance their strategy without “a paper trail.”

They pass along reports that Russia apparently funnels the money through a Bermuda-based “shell company” known as Klein Ltd.

Tens of millions of dollars are moved from Russia through Klein “in the form of anonymous donations” to a U.S.-based nonprofit called the Sea Change Foundation.

The money, the congressmen write, then is moved in the form of grants to U.S. environmental organizations.
Read more here.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What about her client's human rights violations and assets being frozen because of US sanctions?

Okay, here is the Hannity interview with Donald Trump Jr. I have one problem with it. There was no mention of the attorney requesting help for a client who allegedly committed some kind of human rights violation, which resulted in the client having assets frozen under US sanctions laws.

Donald Trump Jr. releases email chains regarding meeting with Russian lawyer

Well, I guess the Donald Trump Jr. story is getting blown up to be something "yuge." Democrats are calling it treason for him to meet with an agent from a foreign country. Are they overplaying their hand? Tonight he will be on Hannity. On Bret Baier's Special Report it was given a lot of attention with Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard (a NeverTrumper?) excoriating him and his father.

Of course, Representative Schiff from California said he should have reported the email requesting a meeting to the FBI. Disgusting Tim Kaine was eager to call it perjury and treason. Campaign manager Manafort was in the room and was copied in the emails. The attorney was asked by NBC if she had ties to the Russian government. Her answer? "Nyet!"

All of this, of course, detracts from the Trump agenda of tax reform and health care repeal and replace.