Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Politickles By F.R. Duplantier

Source: http://politickles.com/blog/?p=11304


Though for months it has seemed like a dud,
The drip-dropping will soon be a flood,
And the things we will hear
As the midterms draw near:
Dirty Democrats covered in mud!


As investigators make connections,
Dirty Democrats face rejections:
Their poll numbers will slip
As the facts drip, drip –
Right on up to the midterm elections.


I had never the slightest confusion
And came easily to this conclusion,
Needing no one to show me
It was Mueller and Comey
With the Clintons engaged in collusion.


To avoid an erroneous conclusion,
Let’s begin by dispelling confusion:
It was Hillary who took
Russian bribes like a crook,
It was Hillary engaged in collusion.


Equal justice is our paradigm
And applies to commission of crime.
That’s why Comey and Lynch
Should both feel the “pinch”
And Obama and Clinton do time.


[to the tune of Davy Crockett]

Married to the governor of Arkansas,
Saw herself and him as above the law.
How that First Lady would scratch and claw
To get some filthy lucre in her grubby paws!
Hill’ry, Hill’ry Clinton, Queen of the Racketeers!

At Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan,
The McDougals did their best to throw her a bone.
Everyone went to prison, ‘cept Bill and her alone.
“Whitewatergate” is how that scandal’s known.
Hill’ry, Hill’ry Clinton, Queen of the Racketeers!

When she got to the White House, there were scandals galore:
There were Travelgate and Fostergate and umpteen more,
Filegate and Chinagate (with help from Al Gore),
Pardongate and other -gates – who can even keep score?
Hill’ry, Hill’ry Clinton, Queen of the Racketeers!

In the Senate and at State, there was more of the same:
Trading favors for financing has always been her aim.
For disasters like Bengazi, she refused to take the blame,
Emailgate’s the latest and she acts like it’s a game.
Hill’ry, Hill’ry Clinton, Queen of the Racketeers!

She will speak in phony accents ’cause she likes to condescend,
She just uses everybody and has never had a friend,
She deserves to be in prison and that’s where her life should end,
How she expects to be the president is too hard to comprehend.
Hill’ry, Hill’ry Clinton, Queen of the Racketeers!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Left’s inescapable HATE problem: Their hate doesn’t count but YOUR hate should get you banned from everything By Mike Adams

Source: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-11-19-the-lefts-hate-problem-their-hate-doesnt-count.html

November 19, 2017

(Natural News) The Left has found a whole new weapon to silence conservative voices: “Hate.” The problem is, their hate doesn’t count. Only the hate they selectively designate to be “hate” is punished.

Here’s how the contortion works: Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other internet gatekeepers are increasingly banning and censoring users and content by rolling out terms of service that give them justification to silence anyone peddling “hate.” But what is hate, exactly?

According to the Left, “hate” is any criticism of gays, lesbians, transgenders, black people, abortion clinics, Muslims and so on. No thoughtful criticism of such “protected” subjects is allowed, since it’s all deemed to be “hate.”

Yet at the same time, the Left openly encourages and practices its own hatred against a wide range of targets which are automatically deemed to be “okay to hate.” These targets include:

  • White people (“white privilege”)
  • Men (“toxic masculinity”)
  • Christians
  • Soldiers and veterans
  • Police officers
  • President Trump, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and other conservatives
  • Heterosexuals
  • America’s founders

Thus, the Left isn’t actually opposed to hate. They fully support hate as long as it’s directed to specific political enemies. To further pull off this contortion, of course, they make sure their own hatred is never labeled “hate.” Instead, the Left’s HATE is called “diversity.” And diversity, by definition of the Left, excludes people of white skin color. To further the delusion, this exclusion of Whites is labeled “inclusiveness,” while attacks on Christians are labeled “tolerance.”

Left-wing truthism: White people are “dangerous” to everyone

This targeted hatred of the Left is openly repeated across the left-wing news media, Hollywood movies, universities and other outlets. As just one example, an MSNBC panelist recently declared that white men “pose the biggest threat to Americans,” insisting that merely being white makes a person a danger to society. (She apparently has no familiarity with the work of MLK Jr. who correctly declared that judging people by the color of their skin is shallow and stupid.)

This openly racist hatred from the Left is widely encouraged and reinforced by late-night comedy shows, Saturday Night Live, stand-up comedy and other sources of “humor” that are really little more than hatred disguised as comedy. Remember when Johnny Carson ran late-night variety TV? A true classic, Carson was genuinely funny. But today, we get Jimmy Kimmel, a twisted, deranged Leftist who uses his late night TV platform to spew hatred and vitriol against his political enemies… all in the name of being “funny,” of course.

But it isn’t funny at all. It’s just another form of hatred disguised as political correctness. Worse, it’s turning into actual violence in the streets of America. That’s why anti-white hate crimes are the fastest-growing category of hate crimes in America, according to the FBI’s own statistics.

The Left is hopelessly blind to its own hatred

What’s so remarkable about all this is how the Left remains utterly blind to its own hatred. When UC Berkeley students penned articles in the student newspaper calling for conservative speakers to be murdered in order to halt their speech, this was widely accepted on the Left as a seemingly reasonable practice. It wasn’t deemed “hatred” at all. In fact, the Left tells itself that hating conservatives is a form of anti-hate (or “anti fascism” as the narrative goes).

According to the Left, then, if you are full of hatred for all the correct targets (Christians, solders, police, white men, etc.), that isn’t hate at all. It’s love.

This is the kind of twisted, deranged logic summarized by the Left’s mantra, “LOVE TRUMPS HATE,” which really means that if you express sufficient hatred toward Donald Trump, you will be loved by the Left, which is full of haters. Achieving acceptance and love, in other words, only requires that you hate all the same people they hate. Yet the Left lives in denial about its own hate problem, refusing to acknowledge that the entire left-wing movement in America is now steeped in hatred and fantasies of murder against political enemies. Case in point? Kathy Griffin.

The Left isn’t about love, you see. It’s about bullying people with hatred, then using selective enforcement of anti-hate rules to censor and suppress all conservative voices. See this article on The Daily Sheeple: VIDEO: Angry mob of Hillary Clinton supporters attack female reporter, attempt to silence free speech.

Why isn’t Twitter banning users who express hatred toward white people, Christians or the President?

Although Twitter aggressively bans users who express anything resembling hatred toward gays or transgenders, Twitter almost never bans users for expressing the same degree of hatred toward Christians, whites or President Trump.

Ever wonder why? It’s because to the Left, hatred toward Christians, whites and President Trump isn’t recognized as hate. It’s actually a form of virtue signaling to other leftists, which is necessary to be accepted and loved by the Left. Hatred, you see, is the prerequisite to left-wing love.

This is why the liberal mob has become so dangerous to society. Far from promoting love and unity, the Left has actually transformed into a dangerous cult of totalitarian thought control and demanded obedience, all powered by intense emotional hatred coupled with a total abandonment of reason.

If you do not agree with the Left on a given topic — no matter how absurd the Left’s stance — you are immediately branded as being engaged in “hate.” Once branded, you can then be censored, insulted and blacklisted from society in the name of the Left “stopping hate.” This is how Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter plan to make sure Democrats win the next presidential election in 2020: The Democrat candidate will be selected from one or more victim groups of the Left — transgenders, women, minorities, gays, etc. — and then any rational criticism of that candidate’s policies will be stifled via accusations of “hate speech.”

Even rational, science-based questioning of the Left’s deranged narratives earns any thinking person this same label of “hate.” For example, the Left now believes that biological sex is no longer determined by genetics. Instead, according to the Left, a person’s biological sex is now determined by a wish or a hope… and it can be changed at any moment by merely declaring such a change. Remember, this is the same Left that has, for decades, insisted that gay people are born gay, reminding us that being gay “isn’t a choice.” A rational person might point out the glaring contradiction in these two beliefs — that gay people are “born gay” but biological sex is a “choice” — but that person would be immediately branded a purveyor of HATE for the simple reason that when it comes to left-wing narrative myths, no questions are allowed.

Raising intelligent questions, you see, is now considered an act of hate according to the Left. In fact, any challenge to the false narratives of the Left is branded HATE as a crude control mechanism to stifle speech and punish intelligent thinking. The Owellian overtones in all this are, of course, too obscene to ignore: The Left has become the Ministry of Truth even when nearly everything the Left espouses is based on lies.

Remember, according to the Left, if you HATE all the correct people, you will be LOVED. In other words, “Hate = Love” to the deranged, lunatic Left.

Fake news, fake facts and narrative myths

Part of the Left’s descent into derangement and cultism is their reliance on false reality reinforcement via fake news, fake “facts,” fake science and narrative myths. The Left has historically relied on narrative myths to explain to themselves how things work, even when such myths stand in total contradiction to reality.

As mentioned above, the transgenderism myth is one such example. It involves Leftists denying biological reality to such an insane degree that transgenderism-promoting Bill Nye — who absurdly claims that “transgenderism is evolution” — even edited his own “Science Guy” shows from the 1990s to remove all the lessons about genetics, chromosomes and biological sex. Quite literally, left-wing science figures are now engaged in revisionist history and selective editing of educational materials to alter the narrative in order to fit the modern-day lunacy of the Left (which has permanently departed from physical reality).

Similarly, in the world of media, the Left has constructed an elaborate narrative myth that claims President Trump colluded with “the Russians” to steal the election from the rightful President, Hillary Clinton. This narrative lacks even a shred of credible evidence in the real world, but through the construction of an elaborate media bubble, nearly all Leftists believe that myth, even when it has no basis in reality whatsoever.

Fake hate crimes, fake “documentaries” and left-wing hoaxes

Fake “facts” are universally used throughout the twisted realm of Leftism to rile up hatred against intended targets. For example, a shockingly high percentage of so-called “hate crimes” supposedly carried out against blacks, Jews or Muslims eventually turn out to be perpetrated by those very same people against themselves. The huge number of such examples makes them too numerous to list in this article, but here’s a list of just 15 “hate crime hoaxes” that were all reported as true by the left-wing media.

The left-wing media, of course, reports all hate crime hoaxes as true events. But once the perpetrator is discovered to have carried out a hoax, the left-wing media never informs its audience of the hoax. Thus, readers of the NYT, Washington Post, CNN, etc., are left with the utterly false believe that hate crimes are happening everywhere, all the time, and that they’re all genuine hate crimes. In truth, many of them are false flag crimes.

The broadcast industry further underscores all this with staged, fake “documentary” TV shows that are all fabricated with the intention of catapulting the continued propaganda of hate crimes. A&E, for example, desperately tried to stage a KKK documentary, but they were so unsuccessful in finding actual KKK members that they had to script the whole thing and bring their own Nazi props, direct the actors to say “ni##er” on camera, and so on. The entire thing was pure theater… not merely theater for entertainment’s sake, but theater to populate the minds of Leftists with more narrative myths that further the agenda of the Left.

The Left, in other words, has to engineer hatred in order to keep its myths alive. And when there’s not enough actual hatred to be found, they are happy to invoke total fictions to depict the necessary hatred anyway.

That’s why nearly all the so-called “white supremacists” you might see marching around in public rallies these days are actually Leftists pretending to be KKK members. After all, how hard is it, really, to don a white hood and march around with a Nazi poster in your hands, all for the CNN cameras that broadcast the staged video into the minds of Leftists everywhere?

There is real racism, hatred, intolerance and marginalization in America… and it’s mostly coming from the intolerant LEFT

There is real racism in America, however. There are no doubt still pockets of bygone culture where blacks or Jews are despised. But institutional racism against black people is ancient history (except in the realm of science and medicine, where there remains a specific agenda to exterminate blacks, as I’ve publicly exposed). The real, institutionalized intolerance in America today is squarely aimed at Christians, white people and conservatives. That brand of intolerance is openly taught in the schools, encouraged at universities and reinforced through the hatred and intolerance of the left-wing media (Hollywood, late night TV, Netflix shows, etc.)

The assault against “whiteness” has become so intense across America’s universities that some indignant students have begun posting signs on campus that read, “It’s okay to be white.” This brilliant social experiment was pioneered at 4chan, eventually leading to the increasingly popular hashtag #IOTBW.

These signs, naturally, are widely condemned as being “racist.” “Those messages, instead of being ignored, have triggered university administrators and campus leftists into seeing the postings as outbursts of dangerous racism,” reports The Daily Caller. Indeed, the mere affirmation that it’s okay to be the skin color you were born with is now condemned by the deranged Left as a form of hatred all by itself. “HLS [Harvard Law School] will not let that happen here. We live, work, teach, and learn together in a community that is stronger, better, and deeper because of our diversity and because we encourage open, respectful, and constructive discourse,” Harvard Law School dean Marcia L. Sells wrote in a letter to students, apparently oblivious to the obscene contradiction in her own words. To the Left, you see, “diversity” is contingent on the exclusion of whites.

Truly, to the Left, white people are incapable of being diverse, meaning the Left judges people solely by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character.

According to leftists, WHITE people cannot be “diverse” in any meaningful way

As proof of this, Apple’s “vice president of diversity and inclusion” Denise Young Smith was recently forced to resign after daring to proclaim that white people can be diverse. “During a summit in Colombia, Young Smith, a black woman, claimed she likes to focus ‘on everyone’ and that ‘diversity goes beyond race, gender, and sexual orientation.'” reports Breitbart News.

For daring to suggest that diversity is more than skin deep, Smith was forced to profusely apologize to everyone. “I’m sorry,” she said. “More importantly, I want to assure you Apple’s view and our dedication to diversity has not change.” Weeks later, she was forced to resign.

This is precisely how the Left has earned the nickname “libtards.” To such libtards, diversity is exactly skin deep, and any person with white skin has no standing whatsoever. In other words, the Left has become a deranged cabal of intolerant, dangerous racist totalitarians. Their self-deluded tyranny is so off the charts that they now declare people to be unworthy of participating in civil society based solely on the color of their skin — a physical trait that we’re born with, just like biological sex.

An Apple spokesperson underscored the lunacy of the Left’s spiraling intolerance by saying, “We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation,” proclaiming that people should be hired based on whether they are gay, or transgender, or black rather than based on the quality of their ideas and work. This, again, is now a key tenant of the deranged Left: That the worth of a human being is no longer measured by their ideas or contributions. Rather, their entire worth as a human being is now graded solely on how gay they are, how transgender they are, how Muslim they are, or how much the pigment in their skin diverges from whiteness.

The Left has reached the depths of insanity and intolerance, and yet they keep on digging deeper. Having once condemned racist white people for judging blacks by the color of their skin, the lunatic Left has now institutionalized the “correctness” of judging people solely on the color of their skin or their commitment to LGBT values. This, to any rational person, is absolute proof that the Left has become a racist totalitarian regime of insane lunatics and crybullies who are desperately seeking power and control over everyone else.

Action item: Reject the Left’s shallow stupidity, intolerance, hatred and racism

The takeaway from all this? It’s time for all rational people to reject the Left’s skin-deep stupidity, intolerance, hatred and racism. Amazingly, it’s time to call for the Left to stop being intolerant bullies and racists.

This means speaking out against left-wing insanity at every opportunity. Some other actions you can take to help restore sanity across our society include:

  • Stop using left-wing tech services like Google and Facebook
  • Review your own behavior and make sure you are judging people solely by their character, ideas and ethics
  • Vote against Democrats at every election, as they are now universally running on a platform of hatred and intolerance
  • Stop watching left-wing Hollywood movies, TV shows and hate-filled comedians such as Jimmy Kimmel
  • Speak out against schools and universities that teach false anti-science myths (transgenderism) to children
  • Stop purchasing products and brands from companies that donate money to left-wing groups that spew hatred and intolerance


Delusional Left-wing definitions:

Finally, understand the real terminology of the Left so you can decode their linguistic nonsense.

“Inclusiveness” means advancing the LGBT agenda while insulting straight white men and Christians.

“Tolerance” means agreeing with the Left while calling for the murder of those who oppose your ideas.

“Diversity” means a room full of people with different skin color who all obediently agree on the exact same liberal ideas.

“Equality” means allowing biological male athletes who claim to be women to beat up actual biological women in Mixed Martial Arts competitions.

“Cooperation” means silencing those who refuse to cooperate with your agenda.

“Coexistence” means getting along nicely with those who obediently conform to your beliefs.


Or, better yet, as I previously mentioned in a Natural News post that describes the philosophy of the Left:

HATRED is tolerance

CONFORMITY is diversity



About the author: Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger“) is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com called “Food Forensics“), an environmental scientist, a patent holder for a cesium radioactive isotope elimination invention, a multiple award winner for outstanding journalism, a science news publisher and influential commentator on topics ranging from science and medicine to culture and politics. Follow his videos, podcasts, websites and science projects at the links below.

Mike Adams serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation. He has also achieved numerous laboratory breakthroughs in the programming of automated liquid handling robots for sample preparation and external standards prep.

The U.S. patent office has awarded Mike Adams patent NO. US 9526751 B2 for the invention of “Cesium Eliminator,” a lifesaving invention that removes up to 95% of radioactive cesium from the human digestive tract. Adams has pledged to donate full patent licensing rights to any state or national government that needs to manufacture the product to save human lives in the aftermath of a nuclear accident, disaster, act of war or act of terrorism. He has also stockpiled 10,000 kg of raw material to manufacture Cesium Eliminator in a Texas warehouse, and plans to donate the finished product to help save lives in Texas when the next nuclear event occurs. No independent scientist in the world has done more research on the removal of radioactive elements from the human digestive tract.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and American Indians. He is of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his “Health Ranger” passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world’s first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed “strange fibers” found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health “gurus,” dangerous “detox” products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over fifteen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Trump Won't 'European-ize' America and the Media Is 'Apoplectic' By Stuart Varney

Source: http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/07/10/stuart-varney-take-trump-ending-obama-push-european-ize-america

July 10, 2017

President Trump is upsetting the mainstream media and the elites by refusing to continue with the "Europeanization" of the United States, Stuart Varney said today.

In his "Varney's Take" segment, the Fox Business anchor noted the hostility from the media after Trump's trip to the G-20 Summit.

Varney said he's been in America for 40 years and has been surprised - especially in under Barack Obama - at the push to make America more like Europe.

"Socialized medicine, open borders, dislike of the military and the religion of climate change. They were all full-tilt in the Obama years. The coastal elites are very much onboard with the Europeanization of America," said Varney.

He said the media was "apoplectic" at Trump's performance at the summit in Germany because the president is leading the "de-Europeanization," especially on climate change.

"On open borders, he's said 'enough, we're gonna control who comes in and you should do the same, you Europeans,'" said Varney.

Varney concluded that many people who admire the U.S. and choose to emigrate here "sometimes find it hard to believe that the homegrown elites are so intent on making us like them."

On "The Story," a UK Telegraph columnist explained that Europeans are actually far friendlier to Trump's ideas than politicians across the pond would have you believe.

Watch the full commentary above.

European socialism taking root in US By Stuart Varney

Source: https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/european-socialism-taking-root-in-us-varney-says

March 28, 2018

I consider myself a refugee from European socialism. I didn't like it. When I got to America, I felt liberated.

Forty years later, I’ve got a case of déjà vu – I keep hearing echoes from across the Atlantic. That socialist mindset has established itself here.

What caught my attention was a headline in The Washington Post: “Wall Street's average bonus in 2017? Three times what most us households made all year."

The writer breathlessly tells us the "bonus payout" for those bankers and brokers reached $184,220 last year. Almost back to pre-crash levels. It’s dangerous, says the Post – incentive pay encourages risk taking! And all that money just makes income inequality worse.

A couple of points: this article appeared in the Trump-hating Washington Post. To them, income inequality is a big issue. They are with Bernie Sanders on this. And yes, they conveniently forget that the Post's owner is Jeff Bezos, the Amazon man, who just happens to be the most income unequal guy – he's the richest person in the world, worth a staggering $120 billion plus! You have to laugh: income inequality! From the plutocrat Post!

But what really got to me was the jealousy. The snide contempt for making money. The denigration of success. That is pure, socialist Europe. It’s class warfare. And it’s here.

What hypocrisy is on display here: the wealthy elites, voting for leftist policies and politicians. The rich, supposedly angered by income inequality – you may be tempted to laugh. Don't.

Socialism is pernicious. It is: "you've got it. I want it. Give it to me. Now.” For those of us who have lived in societies like that, it’s not funny. It’s awful.

Imagine my joy when I arrived here all those years ago: in this huge, dynamic country, I had some scope. A chance to climb the income ladder and make something of myself. I wasn't held back by social class. Nobody cared where I came from or who my dad worked for. You got any brains, drive, talent and ability? Well put it to work. It’s a wonderful place, and I’ve loved it from the get-go.

Socialism be damned!

Between Trump-ism and socialism, I have to believe Trump wins By Stuart Varney

Source: https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/between-trump-ism-and-socialism-i-have-to-believe-trump-wins-varney

August 3, 2018

We've been reporting a lot of good news on the economy: It’s booming. Plenty of jobs. Wages rising. Got it.

We've also been reporting on the rise of socialism. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is "everywhere." She's the new Democrat darling whose far-left ideas are taking over. Or so we are told. Just yesterday, she said the economy is broken. Fill vacant luxury homes with the homeless. Measure the economy not by GDP, she says, but by how many people have homes. When you say stuff like that, you make headlines, especially if you are headed for Congress.

But is she really leading a "movement" that will grow to dominate the Democrats? Are there really that many people who buy the socialist line? I'm not so sure about that.

For a start, only 15,000 people voted for Ocasio-Cortez when she won her primary in New York. Fifteen thousand. There are 300,000 voters in the district. She mobilized the far-left base, and that’s it.

And who exactly believes the economy is broken? How many people think the government should guarantee everyone a job and provide everyone with a basic income, and free college and Medicare for all?

When the economy is actually in very good shape, and getting better by the month, it’s hard to believe that middle America accepts the socialist line. As socialist Venezuela collapses, and neo-socialist Europe goes through another financial crisis, surely, America will look "over there" and say, "Not over here."

If it’s a contest for the hearts and minds of America's voters, between Trump-ism and socialism, I have to believe Trump wins. If Democrats really want to exercise power again, they should nip this so-called "movement" in the bud.

Four percent growth. Record-low unemployment. That’s not a broken economy.

Monday, September 03, 2018

S.C. needs coherent vision for future By Jim DeMint

Source: http://www.statehousereport.com/2018/07/06/demint-s-c-needs-coherent-vision-for-future/

July 6, 2018

Former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint at a 2017 meeting.

By Jim DeMint, republished with permission | It’s no secret. South Carolina is bursting with promise. Our breathtaking natural beauty, low cost of living, friendly culture and hard-working people have led to rapid growth in recent years.

But even as we celebrate all that’s good about our state, we must also acknowledge that we face daunting barriers to opportunity that hold our people back from reaching their full potential.

Opportunity is squandered every day as our state government, mired in inertia, incompetence (and sometimes outright corruption) staggers from one crisis to the next. Sadly, the diffuse accountability of our legislatively-dominated system is a barrier to creating a coherent vision for the future.

For example, what is the plan to improve education? Lower taxes? Fix roads? There is none.

Our outdated education system leaves far too many children without the skills they need to succeed in life. Our uncompetitive tax code “necessitates” huge giveaways to attract out of state companies and sticks homegrown businesses with the bill. Despite a massive gas tax hike, our crumbling infrastructure still has no transparent, prioritized strategic plan.

And then there’s the $9 billion V.C. Summer nuclear boondoggle, a vivid example of Columbia’s gaping public policy vacuum. In the absence of credible, independent analysis, part-time legislators with few staff are left to rely on information from cronies and insiders who write legislation that benefits their bottom line…and leave the rest of us picking up the tab.

But as a proud South Carolinian, “While I breathe, I hope.” In each of these challenges, I see tremendous opportunity for us to unite to overcome our challenges and lead a national opportunity revolution.

It starts with bold, proven ideas. We can’t just elect good people and send them into battle armed with nothing but good intentions. We need powerful “idea engines” to map out real solutions, crunch data, learn from other states, convene the right allies and craft the right messages to move reform forward.

Enter Palmetto Promise Institute’s Freedom Agenda, a roadmap to fairness and opportunity for every citizen in our state:

Education Freedom means parent-controlled innovations like Education Scholarship Accounts that enable students to completely customize a K-12 education experience that meets their unique needs. It also means fixing South Carolina’s broken funding formula to get dollars out of programs and bureaucracies and down into classrooms to support teachers and students.

Tax Freedom entails fundamentally reforming our unfair, unstable and uncompetitive tax code by following the tried and true pro-growth principles of a broad base and lower rates. Our neighbors in North Carolina have already done just that and are reaping the benefits. With the highest marginal individual income tax rate in the Southeast, South Carolina simply can’t afford to get left behind.

Energy Freedom starts with cleaning up the V.C. Summer mess by putting South Carolina on a path to get out of the failed, state-owned energy business and allowing for more energy choice like our neighbors in Georgia enjoy.

Healthcare Freedom protects growing innovations like Direct Primary Care that provide transparency in pricing and put doctors and patients – not insurance companies – back in charge of health care decisions. It also means continuing to push Washington away from one-size-fits-all regulation of our insurance market. With Medicaid growth unchecked and crowding out other budget priorities, we must seek new ways to reform this broken program to both rein in costs and better serve the truly vulnerable.

Each of these ideas draws from the practical experience of states across the country, while harnessing independent, data-driven research to customize them to the unique needs of South Carolina. Each of these solutions is grounded in the principles of freedom and opportunity which have been the lifeblood of American greatness. And each of these reforms stand up for the little guy or gal being crushed under the weight of our broken state government.

During my time in Washington I quickly learned that old ways of doing business die hard. But as we proved in the successful fight to eliminate earmarks, change is possible. Even in this age of negativity and division, I believe strong, principled leaders can unite people to move a bold, positive Freedom Agenda forward.

Our battle cry: give us a Palmetto State that is free and fair, where every individual has an opportunity to reach their full, God-given potential. That’s the only path to a happier, healthier, more prosperous South Carolina.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is the founding chairman of Palmetto Promise Institute.

Lava Flow Hazards Zones and Flow Forecast Methods, Island of Hawai‘i By USGS

Source: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hawaii_lava_flows.html

Lava flows from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō-Kupaianaha eruption sets fire to the Waha‘ula Visitor Center and maintenance shop in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as thin pahoehoe covers the area in 1989.

Lava flows on the Island of Hawai‘i are renowned for their frequent occurrence, relatively easy access, land-building ocean entries, and for Hawaiian names that describe their surface textures—rubbly ‘a‘ā or smooth and sometimes ropey pāhoehoe. Hawaiian lava flows generally advance slowly and can be easily avoided by people. However, lava flows can destroy everything in their paths—rainforests, buildings, roads, utility and communication systems, and whole communities. During the ongoing eruption of Kīlauea Volcano at the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent, several people have died because of the hazards associated with lava entering the ocean.

A fast-moving ‘a‘ā flow erupted from Mauna Loa in 1950 as it advanced through the forest toward the ocean. During this eruption, a flow reached the ocean (20 km, 12.5 mi) in 3 hours.

The likelihood that future lava flows will interfere with human activity and infrastructure increases as communities and other development encroach on Hawaii's active volcanoes. USGS scientists characterize long-term lava flow hazards based on where and how often past lava inundation has occurred. When a new lava flow erupts, scientists use different methods to estimate where and how quickly it will travel downslope.

Lava-flow hazard zones vary across the Island of Hawai‘i

Lava-flow hazard zones map, Island of Hawai‘i. See Full Map for complete legend.

The first USGS map showing volcanic hazard zones on the Island of Hawai‘i was prepared in 1974 and revised in 1987 and 1992. The latest map divides the island into 9 zones, with lava flows most likely to occur in Zone 1 and least likely in Zone 9. The zones are based on the mapped locations of vents and lava flows, frequencies of past eruptions, written eruption accounts, and oral traditions of Hawaiians (chants and stories about eruptions). The zones also take into account larger topographic features that will affect the paths of future flows. The hazard boundaries are approximate, and the change in the degree of hazard is generally gradual rather than abrupt.

The probability of future lava flows is not the same for all areas of the Island of Hawai‘i. The long-term lava-flow threat is greatest on Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, the two most active volcanoes, followed by Hualālai.

The 1992 lava flow hazard zone map is also available as a downloadable KMZ file, and you can read more about viewing it in Google Earth or as a GIS layer in the June 10, 2005, Volcano Watch article.

Lava flow forecasts based on past flows and topography

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists use two methods to forecast the path of a lava flow: broad inundation zones based on the mapped pathways of previous lava flows, and steepest descent paths based on a digital elevation model of a volcano's topography or surface. Estimates of lava flow travel times are based on known advance rates of active flows and earlier flows from within the same area.

Past lava flows define inundation zones: Mauna Loa

Lava inundation zone map, Mauna Loa, Hawai‘i. Excerpt from Trusdell et al., 2002

HVO scientists have mapped more than 500 individual lava flows on Mauna Loa Volcano. These flows originated from vents in the summit area, rift zones, and flanks of the volcano. Their locations help identify the approximate pathways for future flows that erupt in similar locations. Mauna Loa is divided into 9 inundation zones, each including potential future vent locations and the corresponding downslope areas that could be buried if future lava flows reached the ocean. When an eruption begins, the zones can be used to quickly identify communities, infrastructure, and roads that could be affected by lava flows from the erupting vent(s). However, it is likely that only part of a zone will be buried in a single eruption.

Surface topography determines steepest descent paths

A lava flow moves down the flank of a volcano under the influence of gravity, similar to how water flows downhill through gullies, channels, and valleys. Such low areas can be described as steepest descent paths for flowing water. In the absence of obvious water drainages on active Hawaiian shield volcanoes, scientists calculate steepest descent paths for flowing lava using computer software and digital topographic maps called digital elevation models (DEMs); the paths are shown as lines on a map. DEMs are not perfect representations of the earth's surface, however, which means that steepest descent paths are only approximate. Steepest descent paths in the Puna District, Island of Hawai‘i, published in 2007 were used to forecast paths for a lava flow that spread eastward from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent on the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano in 2014-2015.

Lava flow travel times based on actual flow rates

Travel time estimates for a lava flow are based on the actual advance rate of the flow and, if known, the overall advance rate of earlier lava flows that passed through the same location. However, this method of forecasting travel time is highly uncertain, because factors that control flows are constantly changing—eruption rate, ground slope the flow is moving over, and complex behavior of ‘a‘ā and pāhoehoe flows.

Measured advance rates on the Island of Hawai‘i are as fast as 9.3 km (5.8 mi) per hour for an ‘a‘ā flow erupted from Mauna Loa in 1950, which is slightly slower than typical human jogging speed. Pāhoehoe lava flows typically move more slowly, less than a few hundred meters (or yards) per hour or day. The distance a flow travels ultimately depends on the eruption rate and duration, slope, and evolution of the flow field, including whether and how lava tubes, lava channels, or subsequent breakouts develop and progress.

Page modified: 2017-05-10 10:55:28

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Domino's Pizza fixes streets, fills potholes across America By Alexandra Deabler

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2018/06/11/dominos-pizza-fixes-streets-fills-potholes-across-america.html

June 11, 2018

Domino's Pizza is paving streets across America as part of its "Paving for Pizza" campaign.
 (Domino's Pizza)

Domino’s Pizza is hitting the streets to help “smooth the ride home” for deliveries by making pothole and road repairs in towns customers have nominated online.

The “Paving for Pizza” initiative will fill “cracks, bumps, potholes and other road conditions [that] can put good pizzas at risk after they leave the store,” the press release said.

"We know that feeling is heightened when you're bringing home a carryout order from your local Domino's store. We don't want to lose any great-tasting pizza to a pothole, ruining a wonderful meal," said Russell Weiner, president of Domino's USA.  "Domino's cares too much about its customers and pizza to let that happen."

So far the pizza chain has helped four different municipalities all over the nation.
 (Domino's Pizza)

The pizza chain has already started the road repairs, working with four municipalities including Bartonville, Texas, Milford, Del., Athens, Ga., and Burbank, Calif.

In Milford, Domino’s said its crew helped fix 40 potholes on 10 roads in 10 hours.

“Facing an already harsher winter than usual for Delaware, this is an opportunity to get additional money to stretch our city’s limited resources,” said Eric Norenberg, city manager of the town, on the website, Yahoo reported.

To nominate towns, Domino’s customers can visit the Paving for Pizza website and enter the zip code of their city. If selected, “the city will receive funds to help repair roads so pizzas make it home safely,” the press release stated.

Alexandra Deabler is a Lifestyle writer and editor for Fox News.

The Pothole Facts

Source: https://www.pothole.info/the-facts/

Potholes are the lowly annoyance that in fact cause billions of dollars in vehicle damages and a large portion of highway deaths. Here is a run-down of pothole facts, news and views.

According to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission of the U.S. Congress, the annual investment required by all levels of government to simply MAINTAIN the nation’s highways, roads, and bridges is now estimated to be $185 billion per year for the next 50 years. Today, the nation annually invests about $68 billion.

The U.S. Congress passed in a rare bipartisan effort (late 2015) the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2015, which provides $233 billion for federal highway maintenance over five years. That’s $46 billion per year.

Roads are an integral part of our daily lives

  • 24 million children (one half) of our nation’s k-12 school population ride on 450,000 school buses 180 days per year.
  • 50,000 ambulances make 60 million trips a year.
  • Trucks carry 32 million tons of goods across the roads every day,
  • 240 million registered vehicles travel 2.9 trillion miles annually.
  • While potholes can cause hundreds and even thousands of dollars in damage to vehicles, 63% of Americans do not have the cash on hand to pay for those repairs.

The Pothole Facts

  • Potholes are formed by water, freezing and freeze-thaw cycles, excessive heat, wear and tear – and time.
  • The areas most prone to pothole development are where drainage is poor (particularly where roads dip, such as the trough under viaducts), where vehicular traffic is greatest – especially heavy vehicle traffic – and where poor maintenance allows small fissures to deteriorate.
  • The vast majority of America’s highways were built in the 1950s through the 1970s. Most were built to last 50 years. With time, all the factors that compromise pavement add up. By the same token, some roads have lasted much longer than planned in part due to good maintenance.
  • Potholes are not limited to cities in the Snowbelt. According to TRIP*, the cities with the worst road conditions in the U.S. (population 500,000 or greater) are as follows:
City Percent of roads ranked as “poor”
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana 64%
San Francisco-Oakland 60%
San Jose 56%
San Diego 55%
Tucson 53%
New York City-New Jersey 51%
Bridgeport-Stamford 51%
Milwaukee 48%
New Orleans 47%
Oklahoma City 47%
Tulsa 46%
Seattle 45%
Honolulu 43%
Sacramento 43%
Concord, CA 42%
New Haven 42%
Riverside–San Bernardino 39%
Springfield, MA 39%
Boston 39%
Hartford 38%


*Source: Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 2011 annual survey of state transportation officials, based on level of smoothness of pavement surfaces, as reported by TRIP, a national transportation research group (“Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make Our Roads Smoother,” 2013)

Pothole Economics – Funding and Costs

  • $2.7 trillion: That’s how much the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) believes it would cost to fix crumbling highway and bridge infrastructure in the U.S.
  • The average annual cost for vehicle repairs due to rough pavement for individual motorists is $377 – which varies by market. Repairs typically involve tires, shock absorbers, suspension systems, struts, rims, wheel alignment and catalytic converters.
  • The cost of bad roads to American business between now and 2022 is estimated to be $240 billion, according to the ASCE.
  • Failure to spend $1 in road repair typically results in $7 of cost five years later. Whole road rebuilding costs 14 times as much as repairs.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce listed the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure as one of their five top priorities in 2012.
  • The Federal gas tax currently stands at 18.4 cents per gallon, set in 1993. This money is put into the federal Highway Trust Fund, but because the tax was not indexed to inflation its purchasing power has diminished by 48 percent since 1990. States and municipalities add their own gas taxes to cover building and maintenance costs.
  • Improved fuel economies of all types of vehicles means that less gas tax is collected even while miles driven by vehicles rise. Alternative funding methods are under consideration such as a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) system.
  • In some areas, road deterioration is so great and repairs unaffordable that they are being returned to gravel.
  • Only about one-third of voter referenda that call for an increase in taxes are passed. Of those that do pass, they are more likely to support funding for education than infrastructure. Failed funding votes to illustrate this were in Missouri in 2014 and Michigan in 2015.

Pothole Dangers

  • Of approximately 33,000 traffic fatalities each year, one-third involve poor road conditions.
  • 27 percent of major urban roads (interstates, freeways and other arterial routes) are deemed substandard and provide unacceptably rough rides for motorists. Only 31 percent of roads are deemed to be in good condition (source: TRIP, 2013).
  • Vehicular traffic overall is expected to increase by 25% by the year 2030. Large commercial vehicle traffic is projected to increase over that time by 64 percent.
  • The grave danger that potholes present to bicyclists can also be costly to municipalities that fail to fix hazardous potholes and face multi-million dollar lawsuits as a result.

Pothole Solutions

  • The methods and materials used to build and maintain roads – including pothole repairs – are evolving and varied. What works in warmer climates is different from the four-season regions.
  • In northern climates, most wintertime pothole repairs are temporary, with permanent fixes happening in warmer, drier times of year. Some types of asphalt can allow permanent repairs in cold, wet conditions.
  • Citizens are taking action and getting involved in pothole reporting through phone apps.

Pothole Funnies

  • Television comedian John Oliver entertains with a look at how infrastructure lacks sex appeal.
  • The Daily Pothole takes a humorous approach to tracking the potholes of New York City.

It's official: New Orleans' potholes worst in U.S., TV show says

Source: http://blog.nola.com/new_orleans/2016/01/its_official_new_orleans_potho.html

January 26, 2016

Justin Cunningham, a British technical journalist and host of the UK Discovery Channel show "Incredible Engineering Blunders,'' recently dubbed New Orleans' streets the worst in the United States.

"When you think of Louisiana, you think of New Orleans and Mardi Gras, but the state has become famous for a whole other reason...Louisiana has the most poorly engineered roads in all of America,'' Cunningham says on the show.

Watch a video from the show of Cunningham intrepidly motoring through what appears to be the rocky terrain of Lakeview and other environs, with snacks and a drink sloshing across his dashboard.

The roads are "chassis smashers,'' he says.

Last year, NOLA.com asked readers what they thought were the worst streets in New Orleans. Here's what some of you said.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Firing Peter Strzok sends needed message now By Kevin R. Brock

Source: http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/401841-firing-peter-strzok-sends-needed-message-now

August 15, 2018

As lightning rods go, former FBI agent Peter Strzok was a doozy. The now famous text messages he thumbed out to ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page whipsawed official Washington and caused ordinary Americans to wonder if the FBI was being used by one political party against the other. The storm only intensified after Strzok’s self-serving appearance before Congress last month and an Inspector General report, released in June, that cited his “bias” and (apparent) “willingness to take official action to impact (Donald Trump’s) electoral prospects.”

Suffice it to say, none of that is in the job description of an FBI agent.

This week, the FBI finally fired agent Strzok. Andrew McCabe’s successor, Deputy Director David Bowdich, made the call, reportedly overruling a lesser penalty recommended by the bureau’s internal disciplinarian, which would have left the impression that the FBI really didn’t understand the magnitude of Strzok’s perfidy. Bowdich protected the FBI and, in turn, the country — a leadership ingredient that went missing under the previous director and his deputy.

Three weeks ago, the FBI turned 110 years old. That’s a lot of history, most of it storied, some of it less so. But it would be hard to find another period more devastating to the reputation of the FBI than these past two years when a small cabal at the top of the bureau’s leadership structure embarked on a series of actions and decisions that unnecessarily exposed the FBI to concerns about its most precious core values: trust and impartiality. These high officials failed to protect the FBI’s immutable compact with the American people.

James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strzok conspired to personally run two investigations with off-the-chart political ramifications out of the director’s office, contrary to common FBI protocols — and run both of them in very odd ways. All three men have been fired for cause. Each man, in his own way, emitted indicators of bias. Whether they acted on that bias is beside the point; the indications of bias were sufficient to arouse suspicions of politically motivated decision-making. They failed to protect the American people’s trust in the FBI.

Former director James Comey recklessly inserted himself into a presidential campaign, causing chaotic disruptions that a Russian spy could only dream of. He made up responsibilities not in his job description and got fired for it. His appearances before Congress laid bare an outsized ego obvious to everyone but himself. His damage to the FBI was immense and, perversely, he made sure it continued after his firing.

He prolonged his betrayal of the American people’s trust in the FBI by upchucking a book in record time with the pious title “A Higher Loyalty,” in case we still missed the point that he possesses a more finely tuned conscience than the rest of us. He exploited his experience as FBI director, even inappropriately commenting on an investigation that is ongoing.

And he took money for it. If he’d titled his book “A Higher Royalty,” we’d be closer to the truth of his motivations. He yukked it up on “The View” and made sure his Facebook and Twitter voice was in fine tune. He then told America to vote Democrat. Thanks for all that, Jim. Why would anyone think the FBI was biased under your “leadership”? In three-and-a-half years, you breezed in and undermined what a century of FBI agents spent the better part of their adult lives trying to protect.

Andrew McCabe, Comey’s deputy, made critical errors in judgment that left him open to concerns of bias. His wife’s Democratic campaign for Virginia state Senate accepted an unusually large amount of cash directly from a PAC controlled by Clinton acolyte Terry McAuliffe shortly before the election; McCabe led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails and later initiated a counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.

McCabe stubbornly refused to acknowledge the obvious conflicts of interest and recuse himself until it was too late. He can continue to maintain, to anyone who will listen, that his wife’s politics had no bearing on his official actions, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the conflict existed and he did not protect the FBI from perceptions of biased motivations. In the end, he lied under oath and was fired.

Peter Strzok was brought in by McCabe and Comey to personally involve himself in both of the controversial investigations that the three of them would run out of their headquarters perch. At every key turn — affidavits, interviews, FISA applications, informant taskings — there was agent Strzok. His Gump-like ubiquity made his disturbing text messages all the more ominous.

They culminated in his now famous assurance that “We will stop” Donald Trump from becoming president. Who is “we”? Look at the team he was on. Now all of them have been fired. The bureau can begin to heal from the wounds they each inflicted.

The FBI exists to ensure equal treatment for all under the law, not to decide who deserves to be president. The deputy director’s decision to fire Peter Strzok was correct — and needed. It bolstered the message that an impartial FBI is an ideal worth protecting on behalf of the American people and that no one in the FBI, at any level, should have the ability to disrupt its sacred trust.

Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions, which consults with private companies and public-safety agencies on strategic mission technologies.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Gregg Jarrett: Comey and Strzok -- Two key players in the scheme to clear Clinton and frame Trump

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/07/23/gregg-jarrett-comey-and-strzok-two-key-players-in-scheme-to-clear-clinton-and-frame-trump.html

July 23, 2018

In one of the more stunning revelations contained in the report compiled by the Justice Department’s watchdog, former FBI Director James Comey claimed he doesn’t remember the moment he decided – and put down in writing -- that Hillary Clinton had committed crimes.   

We know that on or about May 2, 2016, Comey composed a statement summarizing Clinton’s mishandling of classified documents, concluding that she was “grossly negligent.” Those pivotal words have a distinct legal meaning, and are drawn directly from a federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 793(f), which makes it a felony to handle classified documents in a “grossly negligent” manner.

Comey used the exact phrase not once, but twice.

Based on Comey’s finding, Clinton should have faced a multiple-count criminal indictment, since the FBI discovered that she had stored 110 classified emails on her unauthorized, private computer server.  Other people had been prosecuted for similar conduct that jeopardized national security in violation of the law.  Yet, Comey – despite characterizing Clinton’s actions with the clear language denoting violation of the law - saw to it that no charges were ever brought against Clinton.     

Based on Comey’s finding, Clinton should have faced a multiple-count criminal indictment, since the FBI discovered that she had stored 110 classified emails on her unauthorized, private computer server.

Under questioning, Comey admitted to the Inspector General Michael Horowitz that he authored the May 2 statement and penned every word of it himself. But then he offered the implausible claim that “he did not recall that his original draft used the term 'gross negligence,' and did not recall discussions about that issue.”

Comey’s amnesia is preposterous. He would have us believe that, as FBI director, he memorialized in print his decision that the leading candidate for president of the United States had committed crimes, yet later could not recollect anything about the most important decision of his career.

The truth is that Comey well remembers what he wrote, because he participated in subsequent discussions with top officials at the FBI about Clinton’s “gross negligence.” Several meetings were held on the subject and contemporaneous notes prove that Comey was in attendance. Those records show that although Comey was convinced that Clinton was “grossly negligent” in violation of the law, he was determined to clear her notwithstanding. To achieve this somersault and absolve the soon-to-be Democratic nominee, the legally damning terminology would have to be stricken from his statement. 

Just as Comey, Strzok, Page and company conspired to clear Hillary Clinton, they likewise concocted their “insurance policy,” a scam investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump.

Metadata shows that on June 6, the FBI’s lead investigator on the case, Peter Strzok, sat down at his office computer to cleanse his boss’s statement of the vexing term, “gross negligence.”  With the help of his paramour and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the words “extremely careless” were substituted to make Clinton appear less criminally culpable. Page told the IG that “to use a term that actually has a legal definition would be confusing.”

It most certainly would. After all, how could Clinton be exonerated under the “gross negligence” law if that very phrase was used to describe her behavior? The phrases mean the same thing, but only one appears in the statute.

Strozk and Page also expunged from Comey’s statement his reference to another statute that Clinton had plainly violated. She should have been charged under the statute’s “intent” provisions.  With Comey’s consent and encouragement, the pair sanitized his findings of fact and contorted his conclusions of law. Clinton, who had not even been interviewed by the FBI yet, was free and clear. The investigation was a sham.     

Comey may not have remembered writing the words that should have indicted Clinton, but he had complete recall of his inability to read the law. He told the IG he thought “Congress intended for there to be some level of willfulness present even to prove a ‘gross negligence’ violation.” If Comey had ever read the legislative history, he would have known that in 1948, Congress amended the original Espionage Act of 1917 to add a “gross negligence” provision that did not require intent or willfulness.

Amnesia must be contagious at the FBI. Testifying before Congress, Strzok feigned no recollection of using his computer to make the critical alteration that cleared Clinton. He did, however, directly implicate the FBI director.

“Ultimately, he (Comey) made the decision to change that wording,” said Strzok.

But wait, how could Comey order a change in the words he doesn’t remember writing?  Their stories don’t jibe. At least one of them is lying.

Strzok’s memory repression must be acute.  He also informed Congress he does “not recall writing” the infamous text message to his lover, Page, vowing to “stop” Trump from being elected president.

“What I can tell you is that text in no way suggested that I or the FBI would take any action to influence the candidacy,” Strzok insisted.

That is a remarkably dexterous explanation for something he does not remember doing.  When confronted with a myriad of other messages extoling Clinton and disparaging Trump, Strzok had the temerity to say, “I do not have bias.”  Later, “Those text messages are not indicative of bias.”

No one with an ounce of intelligence could possibly buy the self-serving rubbish that Strzok was peddling. This includes the inspector general who, after an exhaustive investigation, concluded that the Strzok-Page communications “are not only indicative of a biased state of mind but imply a willingness to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral process.”

Just as Comey, Strzok, Page and company conspired to clear Hillary Clinton, they likewise concocted their “insurance policy,” a scam investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump. The FBI had no legal basis to initiate its investigation into Trump and his campaign. Facts were invented or exaggerated. Laws were perverted or ignored.  The law enforcers became the law breakers.  Comey’s scheme to leak pilfered presidential memos in order to trigger the appointment of his friend, Robert Mueller, as special counsel was a devious maneuver by an unscrupulous man. Comey’s insinuation that the president obstructed justice was another canard designed to inflame the liberal media.  Sure enough, they became his witting accessories.

Compare all of this – that there was never any credible evidence that Trump or his campaign collaborated with Russia to win the presidency – with the fact that there was ample evidence that Clinton had broken the law.

This is the story of “The Russia Hoax.”

Editor's note: This article is partly adapted from the author's new book "The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump." (Broadside Books -- an imprint of HarperCollins, July 24, 2018).

Gregg Jarrett joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and is based in New York. He currently serves as legal analyst and offers commentary across both FNC and FOX Business Network (FBN).

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Trump calls for probe into claims Obama administration tried to give Iran access to US banks By Adam Shaw

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/06/07/trump-calls-for-probe-into-claims-obama-administration-tried-to-give-iran-access-to-us-banks.html
June 7, 2018

President Trump on Thursday called for an investigation into allegations that the Obama administration tried to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system by sidestepping sanctions. 

"The Obama Administration is now accused of trying to give Iran secret access to the financial system of the United States. This is totally illegal," Trump tweeted. 

A draft report by the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that, in early 2016, the Obama Treasury Department issued a license to Bank Muscat to authorize the conversion of Iran’s rials to euros through “any United States depository institution.”

According to the subcommittee, Iran had $5.7 billion in assets in the Omani bank, and wanted to convert it via the U.S. financial system as it was the most efficient means, “even though U.S. sanctions prohibited it,” according to the report.

The report says that government officials said in subsequent testimony to Congress, though, that Iran would not be granted access to the financial system. 


The report found that the plan failed only when the two U.S. banks refused to participate, citing the complexity and the unwanted appearance involved in processing an Iranian transaction.

By itself, the Obama Treasury Department's issuing of a license to allow Iran to convert $5.7 billion it held at a bank in Oman was not illegal. If the Omani bank had allowed the exchange without such a license, it would have violated sanctions that bar Iran from transactions that touch the U.S. financial system. 

But the Senate report revived criticism of how the Obama administration sought to accommodate Iran in connection with the nuclear deal. Trump suggested Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be looking at this instead of the Russia probe. 

“Perhaps we could get the 13 Angry Democrats to divert some of their energy to this 'matter' (as Comey would call it),” he said. “Investigate!”

Republicans have pointed to the revelation as proof that the Obama administration was "desperate" for the Iran deal.  

"The Obama administration misled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who chairs the panel.

But a former administration official disputed the subcommittee's conclusion, saying the Treasury Department never authorized Iran to access U.S. investments or markets, conduct commercial transactions in U.S. dollars or open correspondent accounts at U.S. banks.

“This specific license cannot be described as ‘granting access to the U.S. financial system,’” the former official said. “This specific license was in fulfillment of JCPOA commitments to give Iran access to pools of its money held overseas. It was aimed solely to allow the movement of Iran’s own funds stranded at an Omani bank into euros at a European bank, where Iran could then make use of them.”

Fox News’ Rich Edson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Republican Club By Andy Thomas

Image of "The Republican Club" courtesy of Andy Thomas

Source: http://time.com/5198306/andy-thomas-donald-trump-presidents-painting/

By Ryan Teague Beckwith
March 14, 2018

When it came time to update his hugely popular painting of Republican presidents, Andy Thomas struggled with how to fit Donald Trump in, but he knew that he belonged at the center of the frame.

A self-taught cowboy painter in southwest Missouri, Thomas stressed that he’s no political expert, so he wasn’t quite sure how the 45th president would be received by his predecessors in an imagined meeting.

“He’s outside the norm of Republicans and that makes it kind of interesting,” he told TIME. “Is he going to end up going in history as a great Republican or an abnormality or something? So it’s interesting. I just put him at the table, more or less the center of attention. We’ll let history decide. Or let the people decide. It’s not up to me.”

Thomas said Trump was a little hard to paint because his light hair, tan skin and lack of dark recesses under his eyes make his face mostly just “a light warm color.” He also found it hard to give Trump a “genuine smile,” and had to redo the painting after his first take seemed off.

Titled “The Republican Club,” the painting features Trump sitting at a table with GOP presidents Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and both Bushes. History buffs can also spot lesser-known GOP presidents such as Warren G. Harding in the crowd in the background as well.

The addition of a crowd in the background also led Thomas, an independent-minded Midwesterner who’s a fan of both Reagan and Bill Clinton, to add a subtle feminist message: A woman with indistinct features walking directly toward the table.

The same woman also appears in a separate painting, “The Democratic Club,” that Thomas just finished.

Image of "The Democratic Club" painting courtesy of Andy Thomas

“That will be the first Republican female president and the first Democratic female president,” he explained. “As I was doing the painting, I was thinking that these guys are kind of intimidating in a way. That’s the kind of woman that will be our first woman president; she’ll walk right up to that table.”

Prints of the two paintings, revealed exclusively to TIME for the first time, will go on sale sometime before the summer.

Thomas began the paintings a little before the holidays, but he said the decision to include a woman was not a commentary on Trump or the revelations about sexual misconduct among political and business leaders at the time.

Instead, he said it grew out of a more artistic decision. Made in 2008 at the suggestion of a gallery owner, his first political paintings featured eight Republican presidents and eight Democrats playing poker around a table at what appears to be a political convention. When giclee prints of those paintings turned out to be extremely popular in gift shops and galleries, he did a follow-up of the presidents playing pool, but he felt it was too closed-off and a little undemocratic.

That led him to the decision to add a group of people in the background, which along the way led him to decide a woman would approach the table.

“I’m an old-fashioned male,” he said. “But there’s a feeling of a good old boy’s network that I wanted to dispel. It just kind of came about.”

Thomas, who has a son, three daughters and two stepsons, did admit one inspiration for the idea, however: His daughter, Jenny, who works in management at a manufacturing company.

“Jenny would do that,” he said. “She’d walk right up there.”