Recently in Leviathan Category

The pending government shutdown

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Wait, it is after 5:00PM EST on Friday - our Federal Governement is already shut down for the weekend. Anyway, Monday may be interesting - from CNBC:

House-passed bill to avoid a government shutdown sinks in the Senate, leaving Congress scrambling for a plan
House-passed stopgap bill that would avoid a government shutdown appeared to fizzle out in the Senate late Friday night, leaving Congress fewer than two hours to find a solution before a midnight deadline.

The measure was set to fail in a procedural vote that was still open in the Senate at 11 p.m. ET. Five Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Doug Jones of Alabama and Claire McCaskill of Missouri — had backed it, though their votes could change. Four Republicans — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — opposed it pending the vote becoming final.

And a bit more:

The Senate needs to garner 60 votes for a spending bill. With 50 Republicans present, the majority GOP needed to win support from 10 or more Democrats, many of whom had threatened to oppose a short-term spending plan if they could not also pass a bill shielding young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Something not covered in the media is that some of these dreamers are in their 30's - these are not children being uprooted from their families.

These people are too obsessed with their own egos and are not representing the wishes of the people who elected them to office.

At least President Trump is not a petulant type - remember the Barrycades back in 2013? The internet sure does: Barrycades

Great piece from Tyler at Zero Hedge:

"Explosive", "Shocking" And "Alarming" FISA Memo Set To Rock DC, "End Mueller Investigation"
All hell is breaking loose in Washington D.C. tonight after a four-page memo detailing extensive FISA court abuse was made available to the entire House of Representatives Thursday. The contents of the memo are so explosive, says Journalist Sara Carter, that it could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice and the end of Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation.

These sources say the report is “explosive,” stating they would not be surprised if it leads to the end of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into President Trump and his associates. -Sara Carter

A source close to the matter tells Fox News that "the memo details the Intelligence Committee's oversight work for the FBI and Justice, including the controversy over unmasking and FISA surveillance." An educated guess by anyone who's been paying attention for the last year leads to the obvious conclusion that the report reveals extensive abuse of power and highly illegal collusion between the Obama administration, the FBI, the DOJ and the Clinton Campaign against Donald Trump and his team during and after the 2016 presidential election.

Tick, tock, tick, tock... The wheels of justice can be slow at times but they are inexorable. Time for some prison sentences to be handed out just to keep the rest of Washington in line.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is typical Obama legislation. Another big government bureau formed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and about as useless as can be. From the Los Angeles Times:

Mulvaney requests zero funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
In his first quarterly funding request as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney is asking for nothing.

“This letter is to inform you that for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2018, the Bureau is requesting $0,” he wrote Wednesday to Janet L. Yellen, chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, which provides the watchdog agency’s funding.

Mulvaney said that the bureau had enough money on hand to cover its anticipated $145 million in expenses for the quarter, which began Jan. 1, and that he plans to slash the bureau’s reserve fund.

Mulvaney, who also serves as White House budget director, is an outspoken critic of the bureau who was made acting director in November — a controversial move by President Trump that is being challenged in court. In a 2014 interview, Mulvaney called the bureau a ​​​​​“joke … in a sad, sick kind of way” and said that he “would like to get rid of it.”

In his letter to Yellen, he said: “I have been assured that the funds currently in the Bureau Fund are sufficient for the bureau to carry out its statutory mandates for the next fiscal quarter while striving to be efficient, effective and accountable.”

That is how you do it - starve the monkey until it withers away to nothing. A small government is an efficient one and we already have other agencies that do essencially the same work - why pay for duplicated efforts?

They just can't do anything right - from Next Big Future:

California high speed rail is doomed and ultimately will cost $19.5 billion to repay in bonds including interest
The cost of the 119 mile Central Valley section has now officially gone up to $10.6 billion. California does not have budgeted money to finish. California has to find extra money for that section.

California High Speed Rail Authority will have to go to the state Legislature for a supplemental appropriation from the bonds that voters approved in 2008. The remaining bonds probably would cover the cost increases, but deplete funds for further construction beyond the Central Valley. The 119-mile section is useless. They need $20-40 billion to build the 300 miles needed for a minimum LA to San Jose system.

Assuming they do not try to dump good money after bad, it willcost $19.5 billion to repay the bonds with interest. California could have built some overpriced highways and BART extensions with that money.

The new estimate was presented Tuesday by Roy Hill, who leads the main consulting firm on the project, WSP (formerly Parson Brinckerhoff). Hill said the cost increases were mainly driven by problems including higher costs for land acquisition, issues in relocating utility systems, the need for safety barriers where the bullet trains would operate near freight lines and demands by stakeholders for the mitigation of myriad issues.

It would be substantially cheaper to buy every potential rider a car. In lieu of annual maintenance costs, they could give each person $10K for gasoline.

Curious - Newsweek raided?

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From the New York Post:

NYPD officers raid Newsweek headquarters
About two dozen NYPD offficers and investigators from the Manhattan district attorney’s office raided the offices of Newsweek and its parent company, IBT Media, on Thursday.

IBT Media was co-founded by Jonathan Davis and Etienne Uzac. The IRS placed a $1.2 million federal tax lien against Uzac in December 2017.

The agents were said to be photographing servers in the offices, but not downloading any files at the offices on 7 Hanover Square, according to sources.

They appeared to be photographing the serial numbers on the machines, said a source.

In the past, IBT has been linked to a Christian church founded by Korean American evangelist David Jang and Olivet University, a university in California that Jang’s followers founded.

NYPD and the IRS had not responded to a call by press time. The Manhattan DA declined to comment.

No news from any other source to take it with a grain of salt but still...

And it begins - sanctuary cities

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Two days ago, the Department of Homeland Security said that they would seek criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Feds planning massive Northern California immigration sweep to strike against sanctuary laws
U.S. immigration officials have begun preparing for a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, according to a source familiar with the operation.

And of course, there is an abundence of virtue signalling - from San Francisco's CBS affiliate:

Oakland Mayor Says She’ll Go To Jail To Protect Sanctuary City Policy
 Just hours after the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to end any cooperation with agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wednesday she would go to jail if needed in her opposition to ICE raids.

Hope you have a wonderfull time in the slammer. And, just as a reminder, some links:

These are not the "best and brightest", they are criminals and need to be dealt with as such.

Fake News

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The top eleven Fake News stories about President Trump are now online: The Highly-Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards

Fun reading - lots of links and screen-caps. Rember kiddies, the internet is forever...

From the Sacramento, CA CBS affiliate:

New California Declares Independence From Rest Of State
With the reading of their own version of a Declaration of Independence, founders of the state of New California took the first steps to what they hope will eventually lead to statehood.

To be clear, they don’t want to leave the United States, just California.

“Well, it’s been ungovernable for a long time. High taxes, education, you name it, and we’re rated around 48th or 50th from a business climate and standpoint in California,” said founder Robert Paul Preston.

The state of New California would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.

“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston said.

Makes a lot of sense - they propose to let the coastal area from San Francisco to Los Angeles remain as "old" California and all the other counties and population centers split off as New California. There is a mechanism for this in the US Constitution - Article 4, Section 3.

Heh

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Don't know if this is real or Photoshop but fun nonetheless:

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Another look at California

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Talk about a socialist paradise - from the Los Angeles Times:

Op-Ed Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?
Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

Socialism has always failed. Insane that people still believe that it could work.

Not just us - missile alerts

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From The Guardian:

Japanese broadcaster issues North Korean missile alert by mistake
Japan’s public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert warning citizens about a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter, then retracted it minutes later – days after a similar error occurred in Hawaii.

NHK television issued the message on Tuesday on its news websites as well as on Twitter, saying North Korea appeared to have fired a missile at Japan. It said the government was telling people to take shelter.

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management agency sent a mistaken warning of a North Korean missile attack to mobile phones across the state, triggering panic.

NHK deleted its tweet after several minutes, issued a correction and apologised several times on air. It said a mistake in using the alert system caused the error.

Something is definitely happening. If you wanted to get into the AFDB weeds, maybe North Korea did launch a missile and we were able to shoot it down.

Swipped from the internet:

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The liberals are all up in President Trump's face saying that the minutes of panic in Hawai'i are all his fault. Fortunately, cooler heads prevail - one of them is the Democratic Representative from Hawai'i. From Zero Hedge:

Watch A Sitting Congresswoman Shred The MSM Narrative In Under A Minute
Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appeared on multiple Sunday news shows a day after her state's false ICBM emergency alert sent the islands into a tense 40 minutes of panic before it was revealed to be a message sent in error, where she slammed the mainstream media's reporting on the North Korean nuclear threat, saying, "We've got to understand that North Korea is holding onto these nuclear weapons because they think it is their only protection from the United States coming in and doing to them what the United States has done to so many countries throughout history."

She further called for Trump to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un in order to prevent the real thing from ever happening.

And she said this just a day earlier:

On Saturday Gabbard had immediately criticized President Trump for mishandling North Korea, taking to MSNBC to proclaim that "our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long... he's not taking this [nuclear] threat seriously..." During Sunday interviews she elaborated on a plan of action, advising Trump to enter talks with Pyongyang which should “happen without preconditions” and that Trump should “sit across the table from Kim Jong Un” in order stamp out the climate of fear which contributed to the “unacceptable” alert issued on Saturday. 

I agree with her. There has been precious little real communication between the two nations. We now have their attention - what we do with this is Trump's decision to make.

Dick Durbin - Fake News promoter

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Senator Durbin was the person who quoted President Trump as using the word Shi*hole in a closed immigration meeting. Looking back at the Senator's history, it seems he has made things up before. From The Daily Wire:

REPORT: Dick Durbin Has A History Of Lying About Private White House Meetings
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) accused President Donald Trump on Friday of referring to African countries as "s***holes" during a meeting that they both attended on Thursday.

Durbin told reporters that what Trump said was "hate-filled, vile and racist," adding that "the most disheartening thing to me is my belief that that was the first time words that hateful had been spoken in the Oval Office of the White House."

There's just one problem with Durbin's claims: He has a history of making up statements from private White House meetings.

In 2013, Politico reported:

“In a ‘negotiation’ meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told [President Barack Obama]: ‘I cannot even stand to look at you,’” Durbin wrote in a post on his Facebook page over the weekend.

However, both the White House and the House speaker’s office denied Durbin’s account of events.

Asked about the post in the White House daily briefing, press secretary Jay Carney said he checked with a participant of the meeting in question.

“I looked into this and spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen,” Carney said.

So Durbin is a fabulist working for the deep state. He is an Illinois Democrat - so no surprise there.

Looks like there might be some investigation into Hillary's involvement.

From Zero Hedge:

DOJ Unseals Indictment Involving Uranium One Scandal
The Department of Justice unsealed an 11-count indictment on Friday to a former DoD intelligence analyst-turned uranium transportation executive who stands accused of a bribery and money laundering scheme involving a Russian nuclear official connected to the Uranium One deal. 

And this:

The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.

According to the indictment, beginning at least as early as 2009 and continuing until October 2014, Lambert conspired with others at “Transportation Corporation A” to make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX. -DOJ

While the indictment lists Lambert's company as "Transportation Corporation A," a simple search reveals that Lambert is the co-President of DAHER-TLI, "the leading front end freight forwarding company dedicated to Nuclear Cargo," according to its website.

A lot more at the site - worth reading. I hope that Hillary will serve time. That whole family is corrupt and an example needs to be made of them.

From Kemberlee Kaye writing at Legal Insurrection:

Media Falsely Reports Ambassadors to Haiti and Panama Resigned Over Alleged “Sh*thole” Comments
The press has had a rough 24 hours and they only have themselves to blame.

First, there was the telephone game turned Washington Post report, suggesting Trump called a handful of developing countries “shitholes.” Trump denies the claims.

Evidently, that wasn’t embarrassment enough. Shortly thereafter, unconfirmed reports suggested American ambassadors to Haiti and Panama resigned as a result ShitholeGate.

Kemberlee has screencaps of Tweets from media sources saying that the Ambassadors to Haiti and to Panama have both resigned over President Trump's comments.

Minor problem, we have no standing Ambassador to Haiti - the previous one was Pamela White - an Obama appointee and she resigned on October 6, 2015.  Our Charge d'Affaires is Robin Diallo and she is still there in office.

Minor problem, part two, our Ambassador to Panama was John D. Feeley who did recently resign but he tendered his letter of resignation on December 27th.

Fake news anyone?

Single-payer health care

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People keep clamoring for it but they fail to see how bad it is in other countries. I posted about England's problems a few days ago. Here is a look at Canada's problems - from Forbes:

Democrats Idolize Canada's Health System as It Recovers from Worst Year Ever
Mainstream Democrats are clamoring for Canadian-style single-payer health care -- a demand once relegated to the far-left fringe of the party.

Sixteen Senate Democrats, including several with aspirations for the party's presidential nomination in 2020, have signed onto Sen. Bernie Sanders's "Medicare for All" plan. Fealty to single-payer is already proving a litmus test for Democrats running for public office in blue states like California.

The increasing idolization of our northern neighbor's health system is ironic, as Canada's single-payer system -- which I grew up under -- just experienced its worst year ever.

Canadian patients waited a record 21.2 weeks to receive treatment from a specialist after being referred by their general practitioner in 2017, according to the latest survey of wait times by the Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based think tank. That's a week longer than last year -- and more than double the corresponding figure from 1993, when Fraser began keeping track.

Patients with complex medical needs languished even longer. Those in need of neurosurgery, for instance, faced a median wait of nearly 33 weeks. For orthopedic surgery, wait times exceeded 41 weeks.

Rural Canadians faced similar delays. The median wait time for specialist treatment in New Brunswick was almost 42 weeks. In Nova Scotia, it was nearly 38 weeks. And on Prince Edward Island, over 32 weeks.

While months-long delays are routine in the Canadian system, years-long waits are not unprecedented. One Ontario patient was recently asked to wait four-and-a-half years to see a neurologist.

All told, Canadians are currently waiting on more than 1 million medical procedures. That means that roughly 3 percent of Canadians are biding their time until it's their turn to be treated, according to Fraser's calculations.

It's a longish article (three pages) and they cite cases and give links to corroborating information. One example:

That's what happened to Walid Khalfallah, a boy whose scoliosis was so bad that he was promised an "expedited" surgery. Despite his dire need for treatment, Khalfallah was forced to wait more than three years for his surgery date. His condition deteriorated throughout his grueling wait, according to a profile in the Vancouver Sun. He is now a paraplegic.

And the free healthcare?

Nor is it true that Canadians enjoy "free" health care. Treatment delays cost Canadian patients an estimated $1.7 billion a year in lost time and wages. Canadians also pay steep taxes to both the federal and provincial governments to fund their health system. The average family of four has to shell out more than $12,000 a year in taxes to cover its share of the cost.

A sobering look at what the ninnies want to impose on us.

Shi*hole countries

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From 2005 but still completely relevant - Der Spiegel:

For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!
The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem.

And this excerpt from the interview

Shikwati: ... for God's sake, please just stop.

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice. Only the functionaries would be hard hit. Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

Much more at the site. Liberals like to do what sounds good - they are concerned with the overall narrative. Conservatives are concerned with what DOES good. Big difference. Our government functionaries do not look at the actual data, they only deal with stories from those people whose pockets they line.

From Pew Research Center:

Publics Globally Want Unbiased News Coverage, but Are Divided on Whether Their News Media Deliver
Publics around the world overwhelmingly agree that the news media should be unbiased in their coverage of political issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 38 countries. Yet, when asked how their news media are doing on reporting different political issues fairly, people are far more mixed in their sentiments, with many saying their media do not deliver. And, in many countries, there are sharp political differences in views of the media – with the largest gap among Americans.

And the upshot:

Deep political divides in many nations on satisfaction with news media; greatest is in the U.S.

And it is not just conservatives:

The U.S. is also one of only a few countries where governing party supporters are less satisfied with their news media than are nonsupporters.

Time for the mainstream media to go away. They are there to give us the news, if we want indoctrination, we will go back to college.

James O'Keeffe does it again

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Project Veritas just released some undercover videos featuring Twitter engineers talking about how they censor the views they do not like (hint: Conservative)

Here is the first one:

UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Sr Network Security Engineer Reveals Twitter Ready to Give Trump’s Private DMs to DOJ
A Project Veritas undercover investigation has revealed a senior network security engineer at Twitter stating that his company is “more than happy” to turn over the private communications and deleted tweets of President Donald Trump to the Department of Justice. If true, it is yet unknown whether Twitter is voluntarily disclosing this sensitive information or acting under a court order. Twitter is currently in the midst of defending itself from left-leaning criticism that President Trump hasn’t been removed from the enormous media platform for violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Clay Haynes has been employed by Twitter since September 2016. On January 3, 2018, he met with a Project Veritas undercover journalist (UCJ) at Stookeys Club Moderne in San Francisco. Using a hidden video camera, the Veritas UCJ captures Haynes stating that “we’re more than happy to help the DOJ with their little investigation” of President Trump.

When prompted by the UCJ, Mr. Haynes provides additional details, “Basically, giving them every single tweet that he’s posted. Even the ones he’s deleted, any direct messages, any mentions…”

“…he’s dangerous, I don’t like him and he’s a terrible human being and I want to get rid of him,” the self-described bleeding-heart liberal Haynes says in the video about President Trump. “In fact, we had internal reviews about that…”

And here is the second one:

UNDERCOVER VIDEO: Twitter Engineers To “Ban a Way of Talking” Through “Shadow Banning,” Algorithms to Censor Opposing Political Opinions
In the latest undercover Project Veritas video investigation, current and former Twitter employees are on camera explaining steps the social media giant is taking to censor political content that they don’t like.

This video release follows the first undercover Twitter exposé Project Veritas released on January 10th which showed Twitter Senior Network Security Engineer Clay Haynes saying that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice with their little [President Donald Trump] investigation.” Twitter responded to the video with a statement shortly after that release, stating “the individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent of speak for Twitter.” The video released by Project Veritas today features eight employees, and a Project Veritas spokesman said there are more videos featuring additional employees coming.

That is what I love about Project veritas - they do not go live without already have a lot of additional videos in the can. Also, if they edit a video, they also release the raw unedited footage so viewers can see that the editing was done for brevity and not to take things out of context. James and Hanna are the people who, in 2009, brought down the big community organization group called ACORN

This comes on the heels of similar revelations about Google: Google’s New Fact-Check Feature Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites

All the cool people are on gab.ai anyway...

Just no pleasing some people

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Honestly... From The Washington Free Beacon:

Liberals Express Outrage Over Ivanka Trump Praising Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech
Liberal activists, journalists, and celebrities lambasted first daughter Ivanka Trump after she praised Oprah Winfrey's speech at the Golden Globe on Sunday, saying that Trump's support for women is hypocritical because her father has been accused of sexual misconduct.

"Just saw @Oprah's empowering & inspiring speech at last night's #GoldenGlobes," tweeted Ivanka Trump, who serves as a White House adviser. "Let's all come together, women & men, & say #TimesUp! #United."

And this:

Liberals were quick to excoriate Trump for supporting the #MeToo and related Time's Up movements, noting on Twitter that several women have accused her father, President Donald Trump, of sexual misconduct.

Most of the attacks focused on the president and did not mention Ivanka Trump's recent book, Women Can Work, which aims to provide working women with professional advice on how to advance in male-dominated fields, and her time abroad giving speeches on women's rights.

The Free Beacon reprints a lot of the leftie tweets. Do these people not have a kind word for someone they don't know. I thought that the children were supposed to be off-limits.

From The Daily Caller:

Washington Governor Claims ‘Just 59 Days’ To Save Children From Global Warming
Washington state’s Democratic Governor Jay Inslee warned there was “just 59 days” to save future generations from “an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next.”

Inslee went on a lengthy Twitter rant in efforts to convince the state legislature to pass legislation to tax carbon dioxide emissions. Washington residents voted down Inslee’s last carbon tax plan by a wide margin in 2016.

Clueless. Carbon is very useful and beneficial to our environment. We are made of the stuff.

From Breitbart:

Stephen K. Bannon Steps Down from Breitbart News Network
Stephen K. Bannon has stepped down from Breitbart News Network, where he served as Executive Chairman since 2012.

Bannon and Breitbart will work together on a smooth and orderly transition.

Bannon said, “I’m proud of what the Breitbart team has accomplished in so short a period of time in building out a world-class news platform.”

According to Breitbart CEO Larry Solov, “Steve is a valued part of our legacy, and we will always be grateful for his contributions, and what he has helped us to accomplish.”

He tried to play both sides of the fence and was called for it - part of the deep state and President Trump doesn't do deep state. Good riddance... Well over 7,500 comments.

Three headlines and a video

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The future is looking interesting for Hillary:

And Judge Jeanine Pirro interviews Representative Jim Jordan and Representative Mark Meadows about current DC issues and the recent moves by the Attorney Generals’ office:

Sounds like he is more than qualified

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From BizPac Review:

Convicted felon announces campaign for governor in Democratic state – sounds about right
The Democratic Mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., who spent almost seven years in federal prison for political-corruption, announced a campaign for governor of the state Wednesday.

Joe Ganim, 58, filed the necessary paperwork to run for governor at the State Elections Enforcement Commission office in Hartford, Conn., joining a number of other Democratic candidates who have expressed interest in running for current Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy’s spot, who said in April that he would not seek re-election.

Ganim was convicted of 16 federal corruption charges in 2003 while serving as mayor and was sentenced to nine years in prison. After serving almost seven years, Ganim was released.

Prosecutors said he directed contracts to his business partners and their clients for over $500,000 of personal gifts, including cash, diamonds, designer clothing, fine wine and even improvements to his home, WTOP reported.

Ganim was released and elected mayor of Bridgeport again in 2015 after apologizing, but now believes he deserves a shot as the governor of Connecticut.

The good citizens of Connecticut are getting the government they deserve. Business as usual in the deep state...

From the UK Wired:

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens
On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called "Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System". In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair, but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?

Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It's not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school - or even just your chances of getting a date.

A futuristic vision of Big Brother out of control? No, it's already getting underway in China, where the government is developing the Social Credit System (SCS) to rate the trustworthiness of its 1.3 billion citizens. The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance "trust" nationwide and to build a culture of "sincerity". As the policy states, "It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility."

And a bit more about the rating system - what they are looking at:

So just how are people rated? Individuals on Sesame Credit are measured by a score ranging between 350 and 950 points. Alibaba does not divulge the "complex algorithm" it uses to calculate the number but they do reveal the five factors taken into account. The first is credit history. For example, does the citizen pay their electricity or phone bill on time? Next is fulfilment capacity, which it defines in its guidelines as "a user's ability to fulfil his/her contract obligations". The third factor is personal characteristics, verifying personal information such as someone's mobile phone number and address. But the fourth category, behaviour and preference, is where it gets interesting.

Under this system, something as innocuous as a person's shopping habits become a measure of character. Alibaba admits it judges people by the types of products they buy. "Someone who plays video games for ten hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person," says Li Yingyun, Sesame's Technology Director. "Someone who frequently buys diapers would be considered as probably a parent, who on balance is more likely to have a sense of responsibility." So the system not only investigates behaviour - it shapes it. It "nudges" citizens away from purchases and behaviours the government does not like.

Friends matter, too. The fifth category is interpersonal relationships. What does their choice of online friends and their interactions say about the person being assessed? Sharing what Sesame Credit refers to as "positive energy" online, nice messages about the government or how well the country's economy is doing, will make your score go up.

Yikes - how long before we have this level of intrusion into our own lives here in the USA? Read the whole thing. Crap like this is why I am a libertarian.

Two headlines - Fire and fury

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Two headlines

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What a wonderful guy - and to think that he is the Democratic National Committee Deputy Chairman:

Keith Ellison Poses With Antifa Handbook

Keith Ellison Donor: ‘Israelis Have to be Bombed,’ Only Understand ‘Resistance’

From Government Executive:

IRS Faces a ‘Crushing’ Workload to Implement the GOP’s Massive Tax Cut
The Internal Revenue Service is putting a brave public face on the massive tax cut President Trump signed into law Friday, though stakeholders familiar with past such implementations see a calm before the storm.

Reached on Thursday, the IRS in a statement said the agency had “started initial work on implementing this major tax legislation. We are working to provide more specific information and guidance to taxpayers, businesses and the tax community as quickly as possible in the weeks and months ahead.”

If they were efficiently run, they would not have this problem. This paragraph might explain why the IRS is in such dire straits:

The amount of reprogramming of IRS computers for the new tables “is probably monumental,” said Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union. 

Find inefficiency and you will find a Union. They did very much have their place in history but have failed to adapt to the times. Now, they are counter-productive to the economy and to the workers.

Fortunately, change is in the winds - from Washington Examiner - October 26, 2017:

Trump picks interim IRS chief to replace John Koskinen, long criticized by Republicans
President Trump announced Thursday that Treasury tax official David Kautter would serve as acting IRS commissioner next month as the term of current IRS chief John Koskinen expires.

Kautter, confirmed in August to be assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury, will serve in both positions, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

And Kautter's track record:

Mnuchin said. “Assistant Secretary Kautter has had an illustrious 40-year career in tax policy, and I am confident that the IRS and the American people will benefit from his experience and insight.”

Koskinen was neck deep in the IRS scandal regarding the 501(c)3 status of the Tea Party groups.

Interesting look at the New York City subway system from The New York Times:

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth
An accountant discovered the discrepancy while reviewing the budget for new train platforms under Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

The budget showed that 900 workers were being paid to dig caverns for the platforms as part of a 3.5-mile tunnel connecting the historic station to the Long Island Rail Road. But the accountant could only identify about 700 jobs that needed to be done, according to three project supervisors. Officials could not find any reason for the other 200 people to be there.

“Nobody knew what those people were doing, if they were doing anything,” said Michael Horodniceanu, who was then the head of construction at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs transit in New York. The workers were laid off, Mr. Horodniceanu said, but no one figured out how long they had been employed. “All we knew is they were each being paid about $1,000 every day.”

The discovery, which occurred in 2010 and was not disclosed to the public, illustrates one of the main issues that has helped lead to the increasing delays now tormenting millions of subway riders every day: The leaders entrusted to expand New York’s regional transit network have paid the highest construction costs in the world, spending billions of dollars that could have been used to fix existing subway tunnels, tracks, trains and signals.

Pollitical corruption and unions taking advantage of the negotiating process. Some of the workers are making over $100/hour and up to $400/hour if they are wroking weekends. The costs per mile of tunnel are about $3.5 Billion. Comperable projects around the world average around one seventh of this cost.

From South Korean news agency Chosunilbo:

Chinese Ships Spotted Selling Oil to N.Korea
U.S. reconnaissance satellites have spotted Chinese ships selling oil to North Korean vessels on the West Sea around 30 times since October.

According to South Korean government sources, the satellites have pictured large Chinese and North Korean ships illegally trading in oil in a part of the West Sea closer to China than South Korea.

The satellite pictures even show the names of the ships. A government source said, "We need to focus on the fact that the illicit trade started after a UN Security Council resolution in September drastically capped North Korea's imports of refined petroleum products."

And yes, it is illegal:

Ship-to-ship trade with North Korea on the high seas is forbidden in UNSC Resolution 2375 adopted in September, but such violations are nearly impossible to detect unless China aggressively cracks down on smuggling.

Reading the names of the ships? I would love to know the true capacity of these cameras...

Anyway, now the world knows and the pressure against China and North Korea has been ratcheted up a bit more.

Putting them on notice

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Yesterday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley laid down the law to the U.N. Today, President Trump amplified her statements - from CNS News:

Trump on U.S. Aid Recipients: ‘Let Them Vote Against Us’ at U.N., ‘We’ll Save a Lot’
President Trump had a blunt warning Wednesday for countries that “take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars” in U.S. aid, and then vote against U.S. interests at the United Nations.

“We’re watching those votes,” he said during a cabinet meeting at the White House. “Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot. We don’t care.”

Earlier, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley cautioned U.N. member-states that the U.S. will be “taking names” when the U.N. General Assembly in an “emergency session” Thursday is scheduled to vote on a resolution condemning Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Haley suggested that countries who get significant aid from the U.S. should be especially careful, and Trump expanded on the thinly-veiled threat.

“I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations for all of these nations that take our money and then they vote against us at the Security Council, or they vote against us potentially at the [General] Assembly,” he said.

“They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us.  Well, we’re watching those votes.  Let them vote against us, we’ll save a lot.  We don’t care.”

Heh - speaking truth to power...

Hit them where it hurts

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Good on Nikki Haley for these words - from Breitbart:

Nikki Haley Threatens to Yank Funding from U.N. over Jerusalem Resolution: ‘This Vote Will Be Remembered’
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tore into the U.N. General Assembly Thursday, threatening to pull U.S. funding from the international body in response to a resolution condemning President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“The United States will remember this day in which it was singled out for attack in the General Assembly for the very act of exercising our right as a sovereign nation,” Haley said in remarks to the assembly in New York.

“We will remember it when we are called upon to once again make the world’s largest contribution to the United Nations and we will remember it when so many countries come calling on us, as they so often do, to pay even more and to use our influence for their benefit,” she warned.

The resolution, which passed 128-9, expressed “deep regret” at the call made by President Trump, and calls on “all States to refrain from the establishment of diplomatic missions in the Holy City of Jerusalem.” It was sponsored by Turkey and Yemen and comes after the U.S. vetoed a similar resolution at the Security Council. The U.S. does not hold veto power at the General Assembly.

129 to 9 is quite the message from this corrupt group. Withholding their money will send an equally strong message. Perfect move!

North Korea - some interesting news

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Is that regime collapsing? This from the London Daily Mail:

North Korean soldier defects to the South by walking across the DMZ and two civilians are found drifting in a fishing boat
A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea early on Thursday, a South Korean defence ministry official said.

The low-ranking North Korean soldier defected across the heavily militarized border between North and South Korea at around 8.04am, the official said.

Yonhap reports the man's intentions are being investigated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

And just a month ago:

These are the latest known defections after a solider was shot crossing the border about five weeks ago.

Another North Korean soldier, Oh Chong Song, 24, suffered critical gunshot wounds during a defection dash on November 13.

Where were the border guards today?

The United Nations oversteps its bounds

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Seriously - from US News and World Report/Reuters:

U.N. to Vote Monday on Call for U.S. Jerusalem Decision to Be Withdrawn
The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Monday on a draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, diplomats said, a move likely to face a Washington veto.

The one-page Egyptian-drafted text, seen by Reuters, does not specifically mention the United States or Trump. Diplomats say it has broad support among the 15-member council, and while it is unlikely to be adopted, the vote will further isolate Trump on the issue.

And if this passes - what are they going to do? Send us a strongly worded memo?

They should do the same thing for flooding - from the Los Angeles Times:

After California's most destructive fire season, a debate over where to rebuild homes
After a destructive wildfire swept from Calabasas to Malibu in 1993, the head of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy stood on a mountaintop on live TV and made a radical proposal.

He called for a “three-strikes” rule to limit the number of times recovery funds could be spent to help rebuild a home destroyed by wildfire.

Today, Joseph T. Edmiston is still wincing from the blowback. But he hasn’t backed down. Just the opposite.

“I think two strikes is enough and they ought to be bought out,” Edmiston said, after spending three days coordinating the conservancy’s crews on the Skirball, Rye and Creek fires.

He’s not alone. With the frequency and cost of catastrophic wildfires climbing in California, the idea of compensating property owners to not rebuild — or using economic pressure to discourage them from building in the first place — is gaining supporters among those searching for ways to cut wildfire losses.

Makes perfect sense - why should other taxpayers have to foot the bill for stupid house location. I know it looks lovely there amid the trees but that is a huge fire-load and not a safe place to build. Same thing for riverbanks. To keep funding their rebuilding is just to encourage the stupidity. These people do have homeowners insurance but these fires (and floods and earthquakes) fall under the Act of God catagory and are not covered.

Live in one of these states and the ex-employees will have their hands out very soon. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Unfunded Liabilities of State Public Pensions Top $6 Trillion in 2017
Unfunded liabilities of state public pension plans now tops $6 trillion, an increase of $433 billion from the previous year, according to a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

"Unfunded liabilities of public pension plans continue to loom over state governments nationwide," the report states. "Absent significant reforms, unfunded liabilities of state-administered pension plans will continue to grow and threaten the financial security of state retirees and taxpayers alike."

Taxpayers are impacted by this pension crisis since they are the ones funding the wages of government employees. The report notes, however, that all residents are impacted because the funds that go to pensions take away resources from government services such as public safety, education, and roads.

The report finds that state pension liabilities average about $18,676 for every American in the United States. In some states, the liabilities average is much higher. For example, in Alaska, each resident is responsible for $45,689 in pension liability—the highest cost in the nation.

The report (PDF file) is here: UNACCOUNTABLE AND UNAFFORDABLE

Sobering numbers - this is money that was promised by the Unions but the Unions never negotiated from a position of reality and the administrators accepting these deals realized that they would be long gone when the chickens came home to roost. No accountability from either side and us taxpayers are left holding the bag...

Interesting news from Alabama

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It ain't over - from The Hill:

Possible recount in Alabama: What happens now?
Alabama Republican Roy Moore is refusing to concede in Tuesday's special Senate election, which has been called for Democrat Doug Jones.

Moore and his campaign are holding out hope as the final ballots are cast in case the margin dips to 0.5 percent or below, triggering an automatic recount.

It's unclear whether that will come to pass, as Jones led Moore by 1.5 points into late Tuesday night. But it's clear that no winner will be certified until at least Christmas.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told reporters during an impromptu Tuesday night press conference in his state capitol office that the state will direct counties to count provisional ballots, absentee ballots and military ballots.

We do live in interesting times. I bet that there are a good number of fraudulent votes to be found - enough to turn the tide?

Another case of Arkancide?

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People who cross Bill and Hillary Clinton tend to wind up dead. Here is a whole website devoted to tracking these cases: Arkancide

Here is one more for the list - from YourNewsWire:

US Surgeon, Who Exposed Clinton Foundation Corruption In Haiti, Found Dead
Dr. Dean Lorich, an orthopedic surgeon who volunteered in Haiti and exposed Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice on the island, has been found dead in New York. He was 54.

Dr. Lorich was found by his 11-year-old daughter on the bathroom floor of his tony Upper East Side apartment with a knife in his chest at around 1pm on Monday.

The knife missed the surgeon’s heart, leaving him to bleed out and be found by his daughter. Despite the fact police were called to the property regarding an “assault“, they instantly registered the death as “suicide” and closed the case.

One of the United States’ leading surgeons, Dr. Lorich was part of the relief effort sent by the U.S. to assist the relief effort led by the Clinton Foundation in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. However Dr. Lorich was disgusted by the “shameful” Clinton Foundation operation, and voiced his concerns to Hillary Clinton directly.

Unsatisfied with her response, he went public, writing an article published by CNN, accusing the Clinton Foundation of widespread corruption and malpractice in Haiti that cost the lives of thousands of children.

And a bit more - the Clinton Foundation:

According to Dr. Lorich, 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 helping citizens of Haiti. 9.6% ended up with the Haitian government. The remaining 89.8%  – or $5.4 billion – was funneled to non-Haitian organizations.

Suicide. Sure. The article at CNN is here - a damning read: Doctors: Haiti medical situation shameful

The Wikileaks website has one of Hillary's emails that goes into greater detail: DOCTORS REPORT FROM HAITI

President Obama invokes Godwin's Law

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Godwin's Law? Here:

Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Nazi analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"

From Chicago's Crain's Business Journal:

Invoking the specter of Nazi Germany, Obama warns against complacency
American democracy is fragile, and unless care is taken it could follow the path of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Mixed in with many softer comments, that was the somewhat jaw-dropping bottom line of Barack Obama last night as, in a Q&A session before the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicagoan who used to be president dropped a bit of red meat to a hometown crowd that likely is a lot closer to him than the man whose name never was mentioned: President Donald Trump.

More at the site and no, Obama didn't come right out and say it but the inference is clear.

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