Sunday, December 31, 2017
The post HILARIOUS! Here Are 12 of the Best New Year’s Eve Cartoons and Memes appeared first on The Federalist Papers.
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MAJOR Weather Changes Underway, But It’s Not Because Of Global Warming…
By Brittany Soares
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now predicts a 65 to 75 percent chance of weak La Nina conditions to continue at least through the winter.
The NOAA announced Thursday that La Niña has arrived for the second winter in a row.
The southern regions of the U.S. will have a drier winter. From the mid-Atlantic and through the southeast into Texas, winter will be drier and warmer, according to NOAA. The northwest and northeast will be wetter, and across the country in the northern regions, people should expect colder temperatures than usual.
Typically, cooling sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean lead to cold, snowy winters for most of the northern half of the United States, with the opposite conditions seen in the south.
This year is slightly different, and the recent warming trend is expected to dominate. While it’s likely precipitation will stay above normal this winter, since areas such as Ohio will trend on the warmer side, it’s possible some of that precipitation will be shifted toward rain, rather than the normally very heavy snow during La Nina years.
La Niña is expected to be weak this year, as was last year’s La Niña. Last winter, the west and upper Midwest had one of the wettest winters on record, reported the Weather Channel. The east, south, and Midwest, however, had one of the warmest winters recorded.
NOAA said oceanic and atmospheric signals in October and early November are consistent with a weak La Niña. You can see the strip of cooler-than-average sea-surface temperatures near the equator as of early November in the graphic below.
The black box highlights the cooler-than-average sea-surface temperatures near the equator indicating La Niña conditions on Nov. 9, 2017.
El Nino and La Nina are the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific, called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. ENSO conditions are usually felt heaviest in the fall and winter, which is why snow and chilly temperatures are most talked about with a La Nina event.
With La Nina, strengthening winds across the Pacific push the warm surface water away, bringing up cooler water below. This cooler water initiates sinking motion in the atmosphere over the Pacific, which dries things out in that region. The cool water can also shift the position of the jet stream, shifting the threat for severe weather and wet conditions in the United States north.
El Nino is essentially the opposite of La Nina. In this phenomenon, weakened surface winds lead to an unusually warm surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean. The increasing heat in the ocean triggers rising motion in the atmosphere above, which intensifies storms and rain over the Pacific.
Warm Pacific Ocean temperatures also shift the jet stream south, making the atmosphere more unstable there. The instability then makes the southern portion of the United States more susceptible to severe storms and tornadoes. So, during El Nino, the southern portion of the United States sees wetter than normal conditions, while the northern half of the states see a drier winter.
This is the fifth “double dip” La Niña in historical record—which is an unofficial term indicating when neutral conditions briefly prevail in between the La Niña winters, according to a climate update from NOAA’s ENSO blog posted on Wednesday. In October, there were signs of a La Niña winter coming as a result of cooler sea surface temperatures in the east-central tropical Pacific and more precipitation over Indonesia. But it wasn’t quite enough to make the call until this month, when all the signs for La Niña were clear and indications of less rain over the central Pacific and more over Indonesia had strengthened.
What do you think is causing this? Sound off in the comments section!
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Obama’s DOJ Busted With Both Hands in The Harassment Cookie Jar
By Brian Thomas
The Justice Department’s inspector general’s office says that under the Obama Administration, the department suffered “systemic” problems regarding dismissal of sexual harassment complaints.
As the #MeToo movement picks up steam, and sexual misconduct becomes increasingly highlighted in high-profile cases, it seems one arena of sexual misconduct has been largely overlooked.
Obama’s Justice Department and then-Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch overlooked and dismissed several cases of sexual harassment and misconduct under their watch.
The inspector general’s office said it published summaries of 19 “substantiated allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct” that occurred from fiscal year 2012 through fiscal year 2016. In the memorandum, the watchdog warned that “without strong action from the department to ensure that DOJ employees meet the highest standards of conduct and accountability, the systemic issues we identified in our work may continue.”
The office released other reports which largely detail concerns about handling of allegations but don’t report large numbers of instances of sexual misconduct across Justice Department components.
For example, a May 2017 report posted to the inspector general’s website finds “few reported allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct in the Civil Division from FY 2011 through the first two quarters of FY 2016,” though the office “identified significant weaknesses in the Civil Division’s tracking, reporting and investigating of the 11 sexual harassment and misconduct allegations that we reviewed.”
Further, a Washington Post article published Tuesday highlighted many problems with the lack of punishment for this harassment. But of course, while WaPo condemned the Justice Department for mishandling reports of sexual harassment, it entirely ignored just who failed the victims by letting the perpetrators off easy.
The Washington Post reports:
The cases examined by the IG’s office include a U.S. attorney who had a sexual relationship with a subordinate and sent harassing texts and emails when it ended; a Civil Division lawyer who groped the breasts and buttocks of two female trial attorneys; and a chief deputy U.S. marshal who had sex with “approximately” nine women on multiple occasions in his U.S. Marshals Service office, according to investigative reports obtained by The Washington Post under a Freedom of Information Act request.
“We’re talking about presidential appointees, political appointees, FBI special agents in charge, U.S. attorneys, wardens, a chief deputy U.S. marshal, a U.S. marshal assistant director, a deputy assistant attorney general,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said in an interview.
The Justice Department apparently avoided strong action against perpetrators of sexual harassment. One DOJ attorney was given a simple reprimand, with no further punishment, for stalking before receiving a “special commendation” award.
According to a DOJ press release, Loretta Lynch claimed in 2015 that the Justice Department was “doing everything it can” to “strengthen the Justice System’s Response to Sexual Assault.”
“The Department of Justice is committed to doing everything it can to help prevent, investigate and prosecute these horrendous crimes,” Lynch said, “including working to ensure that our greatest partners in this effort, the state and local law enforcement officers on whom we all rely, have the tools, training and resources they need to fairly and effectively address allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence.”
Perhaps Lynch should have started by actually preventing, investigating, and prosecuting incidents at the DOJ.
The Daily Caller reports:
One woman, who was allegedly the victim of repeated groping and “sexually charged comments” became so distressed by her harasser that she “was terrified I was going to get in the elevator and he would be in there.”
On top of complete negligence in the handling of the complaint, the DOJ allowed “potential criminal assault violations,” according to the IG report. Despite these serious allegations, the IG’s office “found no evidence in the case file that a referral was made to the [Inspector General] or any other law enforcement entity.”
Theodore Atkinson, who worked in the DOJ as an attorney in the Office of Immigration Litigation under Holder according to his LinkedIn, admitted to stalking a female coworker, hacking into her personal email account and constructing a “fictitious online profile to entice her,” the IG wrote. For his behavior, Atkinson simply received a “written reprimand and reduction in title,” with no suspension or pay cut.
Atkinson was, however, recently given a “Special Commendation Award from the Civil Division.”
Several other incidents like Atkinson’s dismissal were highlighted by the IG.
It’s appropriate that the IG said “people’s attitudes have to change,” but will anyone who served in Obama’s Justice Department, who let these creeps off the hook, actually face repercussions for their neglect?
If a Justice Department can’t stand for justice in its own ranks, then what good is it?
Tell us what you think, and sound off in the comments below.
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Police in Colorado have declared a “Code Red” in Douglas County after reports of a shooting and “multiple deputies down.”
The shooting occurred at a Highlands Ranch Apartment complex Sunday morning. Residents are being asked to “shelter in place.”
A Code Red was sent out regarding this incident. Any citizens in the affected area are instructed to shelter in place, avoid windows and stay away from exterior walls. http://pic.twitter.com/RgutCEqgJA
— DC Sheriff (@dcsheriff) December 31, 2017
A local reporter rushed to the area and reported hearing gunshots in the distance and that multiple roads were closed in the area.
— Meghan Lopez (@Meghan_Lopez) December 31, 2017
Several law enforcement agencies have been put on alert including Douglas County, the Parker Police Department, the Lone Tree Police Department, Castle Rock Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol.
The local sheriff tweeted that all agencies are on high alert.
UPDATE, we have multiple deputies down, no update on their status. The scene remains active and please avoid the area.
— DC Sheriff (@dcsheriff) December 31, 2017
Due to this incident, the following agencies are on accident alert. Douglas County, Parker Police Department, Lone Tree Police Department, Castle Rock Police Department and Colorado State Patrol.
— DC Sheriff (@dcsheriff) December 31, 2017
“UPDATE, we have multiple deputies down, no update on their status. The scene remains active and please avoid the area,” they tweeted.
“We are looking into an active incident in which multiple officers are down,” deputy Jason Blanchard of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
“We have multiple officers down,” said Deputy Jason Blanchard of the incident in Highlands Ranch. “We are not giving numbers or status at this point, we are still working on getting the suspect in custody.”
Denver 7 reported hearing shots fired as a reporter arrived at the scene.
Deputies were responding to a disturbance call when shots were fired from the home near Colorado Boulevard shortly before 6 a.m., Lekander said.
“We have SWAT out there setting up and preparing to go in right now,” Lekander said at about 7:15 a.m.
The shooting stemmed from a domestic incident at an apartment on the 3400 block of County Line Road, Blanchard said.
Blanchard said they do not yet known whether the suspect is male or female or what kind of weapon was used.
No suspects are in custody yet, Patch is reporting.
Residents in the area received a “Code Red” alert warning them to “shelter in place, avoid windows and stay away from exterior walls.”
Highlands Ranch is an area 12 miles south of Denver. It is an unincorporated area in Douglas County.
One spokesman for the Sheriff’s office said the situation “is not looking good for us.”
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Frederick Douglass, a former slave and a leading abolitionist writer and orator, was the most photographed American of the 19th century. And as you at Hillsdale College know, one of the most famous photographs of Douglass was taken in this town, just a few weeks after President Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation. At the invitation of a ladies literary society, Douglass came to Hillsdale and spoke in the College Chapel on January 21, 1863. The title of his lecture was “Popular Error and Unpopular Truth.” As reported in the newspaper, Douglass said: “There was no such thing as new truth. Error might be old or new; but truth was as old as the universe.”
A “popular error” of our own day is the idea that because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, nothing good could come from him. Douglass surely knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but he knew as well that Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence, which supplied for Douglass and for all Americans the key to political progress: the principles that “all men are created equal”; that they are “endowed by their Creator [not by government] with certain unalienable Rights,” among which are “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”; and that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.”
Douglass called these “saving principles,” and he devoted himself to convincing white Americans “to trust [these principles’] operation.” In this he foreshadowed Justice John Marshall Harlan’s lone dissent against the Supreme Court’s infamous Plessy v. Ferguson decision, which produced the nefarious doctrine of “separate but equal.” Harlan wrote: “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law.”
Thirty years before Plessy, Douglass observed that the Constitution “knows no distinction between citizens on account of color.” The “burden of our demand upon the American people shall simply be justice and fair play,” he said. “We utterly repudiate all invidious distinctions, whether in our favor or against us, and only ask for a fair field, and no favor.”
Douglass was no fan of “race pride,” counting it “a positive evil” and a “false foundation.” For the better part of American history, black Americans wanted nothing to do with a color line that set them apart from other Americans. “It has long been the desire of our enemies,” Douglass wrote, “to deepen and widen the line of separation between the white and colored people of this country.” For Douglass, the only relevant minority in America was the minority of one—the individual. The government of all should be partial to none.
The politics of identity make the present a prisoner of the past, with individuals viewed chiefly through the lens of race or other arbitrary characteristics. Douglass argued for identifying with America—with the nation founded on “human brotherhood and the self-evident truths of liberty and equality.” He saw that the protection of specific groups or classes would lead government away from protecting individual rights and towards assigning benefits and burdens. “I know of no rights of race,” he said, “superior to the rights of humanity.”
A few months after Lincoln’s assassination, Douglass remarked that the American people saw in Lincoln “a full length portrait of themselves. In him they saw their better qualities represented, incarnated, and glorified—and as such, they loved him.” In future days, may those who look on this statue see in Frederick Douglass a full-length portrait of themselves, and be reminded what it is to be an American.
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Study Shows The Cost of Illegal Immigration Per Year, by State
By Seth Connell
Illegal immigration has consequences for our society, and given the fact that many states are apparently willing to cater to them and treat them better than legal migrants and citizens, there are especially financial consequences.
A new study conducted by the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR) reveals the staggering amount of money that states and the federal government shell out to deal with the issue of illegal aliens. The amount of money that the states and feds spend is truly breathtaking.
FAIR’s study reveals that in order to address the issue of nearly 12.5 million illegal aliens present in the United States, the federal government lays out over $45 billion.
The Federal government spends a net amount of $45.8 billion on illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children. This amount includes expenditures for public education, medical care, justice enforcement initiatives, welfare programs and other miscellaneous costs. It also factors in the meager amount illegal aliens pay to the federal government in income, social security, Medicare and excise taxes.
To compound that issue, many of those who live here illegally actually file tax returns; they do so because the focus of ICE and other immigration agencies has been to remove illegal aliens with criminal records, so those who are simply here with a civil violation and not a criminal one are much less likely to be deported.
Hence, many will often file tax returns. The issue that arises is the fact that since many of them work lower-paying jobs, they will often get all of their taxes returned to them, along with net payments due to various tax credits. So the idea that since they pay taxes there is no loss is mathematically incorrect.
The majority of illegal aliens seeking employment in the United States have lived in an environment where they have little fear of deportation, even if discovered. This has created an environment where most illegal aliens are both able and willing to file tax returns. Because the vast majority of illegal aliens hold low-paying jobs, those who are subject to wage deductions actually wind up receiving a complete refund of all taxes paid, plus net payments made on the basis of tax credits.
While the burden on the federal government is rather large, the burden on the states is even greater though, with nearly $89 billion being spent due to issues arising from the presence of illegal aliens.
Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of how much illegal aliens cost each state:
The costs include expenditures on things like educational, medical, administration of justice, and welfare expenses. Some of these expenses are mandated on the states, like educational. The Supreme Court of Plyler vs Doe established the rule that all children, regardless of immigration status, have the “right” to an education in public schools.
A total of sixteen states even offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
In total, illegal aliens contributed $18 billion in taxes to state and federal governments. However, the total cost at both levels is $134 billion, leaving a deficit of $115 billion.
That’s a lot of money to be shelling out for the more than 12 million people who are living in the U.S. illicitly. Mass deportations are likely not a viable solution to the issue, but there has to be some way that we can deal with it to save money.
What do you think? Do you have any practicable solutions that the states and federal government can enact to save money and discourage future illegal migration? Let me know below!
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Prof Who Called For “White Genocide” Learns a Hard Lesson About Racism
By Donn Marten
A controversial professor at Philadelphia’s Drexel University is calling it quits just over a year after he caused a major uproar with a racist tweet that all that he wanted for Christmas was “white genocide.”
George Ciccariello-Maher who teaches history and politics, has announced his resignation and is citing “harassment” including death threats for his decision.
Despite the controversy and disgrace that he brought to Drexel, school officials didn’t have the guts to fire him and instead issued a wishy-washy reprimand.
Undeterred by Drexel’s “reprimand”, Ciccariello-Maher continued to make inflammatory and vile political statements including blaming the October Las Vegas massacre at a country music festival that killed nearly 60 and injured hundreds more on the “white supremacist patriarchy” and what he referred to as “Trumpism” – whatever that is.
A White Man
— George Ciccariello (@ciccmaher) October 2, 2017
It's the white supremacist patriarchy, stupid.
— George Ciccariello (@ciccmaher) October 2, 2017
While the motives of the Vegas shooter remain mysteriously unknown to this day, what is known is that Ciccariello-Maher is a deranged leftist who has no business in a classroom where he indoctrinates young minds into his twisted cultural Marxist worldview.
Now he’s out on December 31st.
After December 31st, 2017, I will no longer work at Drexel University. http://pic.twitter.com/bAM37dbv1q
— George Ciccariello (@ciccmaher) December 28, 2017
A Drexel University professor who received death threats after posting several controversial tweets said Thursday he is resigning because the year-long harassment has made his situation “unsustainable.”
George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor of politics and global studies, had been teaching his class remotely via video conference after being put on administrative leave, a move that Drexel said was for his own safety.
The professor said his resignation is effective December 31.
“This is not a decision I take lightly; however, after nearly a year of harassment by right-wing, white supremacist media outlets and Internet mobs, after death threats and threats of violence directed against me and my family, my situation has become unsustainable,” Ciccariello-Maher wrote on his Facebook account. “Staying at Drexel in the eye of this storm has become detrimental to my own writing, speaking, and organizing.”
JUST IN: Controversial Drexel professor George Ciccariello-Maher, who tweeted "All I want for Christmas is white genocide" in 2016, will resign http://bitly.com/2Ek3OWf
— Inside Higher Ed (@insidehighered) December 28, 2017
Additional details and comments from the nutty professor are provided by Inside Higher Ed:
Ciccariello-Maher went on to say that his situation illustrated the limits of tenure protections (he has tenure). “[T]enure is a crucial buffer against those who would use money to dictate the content of higher education. But in a neoliberal academy, such protections are far from absolute,” he wrote. “We are all a single outrage campaign away from having no rights at all, as my case and many others make clear. The difference between tenure-track and the untenured adjunct majority — which has far more to do with luck than merit — is a difference in degree not in kind.”
He added: “In the past year, the forces of resurgent white supremacy have tasted blood and are howling for more. Given the pressure they will continue to apply, university communities must form a common front against the most reprehensible forces in society and refuse to bow to their pressure, intimidation, and threats. Only then will universities stand any chance of survival.”
Considering his ideology, it’s hard to see Ciccariello-Maher being out of work for an extended period. He may even be able to parlay his notoriety into a spot as a regular guest on MSNBC since they seem to be made for each other.
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The Founders’ Model of Welfare Was Better at Fighting Poverty than Modern Liberalism
If both the left and the right want to take seriously the problem of poverty in America, they should read this highly useful and informative piece out today from The Heritage Foundation.
Professor Tom West argues that the Founders’ approach to welfare was far more effective at fighting poverty than the burgeoning welfare state under post-1960s liberalism. The Founders, he says, still have a great deal to teach us. But are we still listening?
From Professor Tom West at The Daily Signal:
Which approach to welfare policy is better for the poor: that of the Founders or that of today’s welfare state?
The more we spend on the poor, the harder it seems for them to attain decent, productive lives in loving families. The federal government has spent $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs since the beginning of the War on Poverty in 1965, but the poverty rate is nearly the same today as in 1969, fluctuating between roughly 11 and 15 percent over that time period.
As I argue in a new essay on “Poverty and Welfare in the American Founding,” these results are bound to continue unless we rethink welfare policy from the perspective of our Founders. Neither the contemporary left nor right in America properly understands their approach.
The left often claims the Founders were indifferent to the poor—suggesting that New Deal America ended callousness and indifference. Indeed, high school and college textbooks frequently espouse this narrative. Many on the right think the Founders advocated only for charitable donations as the means of poverty relief.
Neither is correct. America always has had laws providing for the poor. The real difference between the Founders’ welfare policies and today’s is over how, not whether, government should help those in need.
Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin believed government has an obligation to help the poor. Both thought welfare policies should support children, the disabled, widows and others who could not work. But any aid policy, they insisted, would include work-requirements for the able-bodied.
Rather than making welfare a generational inheritance, Franklin thought it should assist the poor in overcoming poverty as expediently as possible: “I am for doing good to the poor.…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”
Moreover, local, rather than federal, officials administered this welfare, since they were more likely to know the particular needs of recipients and could distinguish between the deserving poor (the disabled and involuntarily unemployed) and the undeserving poor (those capable of work but preferring not to).
The Founders sought to provide aid in a way that would help the deserving poor but minimize incentives for recipients to act irresponsibly. They wanted to protect the rights of taxpayers by preventing corruption and abuses in welfare aid.
Above all, the Founders saw the family and life-long marriage as the primary means of support for everyone, rich and poor alike.
The Founders’ welfare system had three basic principles:
1. It should only be for those who truly need it.
The Founders believed government had an obligation to the governed to provide a safety net, but only for those individuals incapable of providing for themselves, like widows, orphans, the elderly, and the mentally and physically handicapped. If you were capable of working, and refused, government owed you nothing.
2. It should be the bare minimum.
The Founders believed that government should provide the basic necessities of life for those who were incapable of providing for themselves, but it would only be the bare minimum. This meant that you would have food to eat and a place to sleep free of charge, but nothing much beyond that. In other words, welfare was not meant to be comfortable.
3. It should be done at the state and local level, NEVER the national.
The Founders believed that the form of government closest to the individual could best take care of the individual if necessary. This meant all welfare would come from the local and state authorities. The national government was too remote and too general to ever be suited to providing welfare. As a result, poor houses, orphanages, and insane asylums were built by local authorities, at public expense. Churches and neighborhoods also gave some relief.
Today, we have completely abandoned the Founders’ system.
Professor West continues:
By the mid-20th century, intellectual opinion began to peel away the stigma attached to the behavioral aspects of poverty, and progressive politicians increased the benefits and number of welfare recipients. …
Until the mid-1960s, free markets, secure property rights, strong family policy and minimal taxation and regulation supported a culture of work and entrepreneurship. But through the rise of modern liberalism’s redefinition of rights and justice, welfare was officially reconceived as a right that could be demanded by anyone in need, regardless of conduct or circumstances.
Among the most destructive features of the post-1965 welfare regime has been its unintentional dismantling of the family. By making welfare wages higher than working wages, the government essentially replaced fathers with a government check. The state became many families’ primary provider.
Even more perverse, for many single mothers, marrying a working man may actually be a financial burden rather than a support because the marriage can diminish government benefits.
Though modern welfare programs grant more benefits to a greater number of individuals than the Founders ever fathomed, the Founders’ approach to welfare policy was effective in providing for the minimal needs of the poor and dramatically reducing poverty over time. Based on today’s living standards, the poverty rate fell from something like 90 percent in the Founding era to 12 percent by 1969. …
What do you think of this?
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Jeff Sessions Orders New Investigation of Bill And Hillary Clinton
By Robert Gehl
President Donald Trump’s attorney general has ordered an additional investigation into the shady uranium deal involving Russia and the Clintons.
Jeff Sessions has ordered prosecutors at the Justice Department to begin interviewing agents at the FBI about evidence they uncovered during a criminal investigation of the Uranium One deal.
At the heart of the 2010 deal was the fact that Hillary Clinton signed off on the Uranium One project while she was Secretary of State
The 2010 deal allowed Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency, to acquire a controlling stake in Uranium One, a Canadian-based company with mining operations in the Western United States.
During the campaign, Donald Trump and others accused Hillary Clinton of giving away U.S. uranium rights to the Russians in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Now, NBC News is reporting there were allegations of corruption surrounding the process under which the U.S. government approved the sale. But no charges were filed.
The FBI started gathering evidence in 2009 of the Russians engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering in the deal that gave 20 percent of America’s uranium reserves to a Kremlin-controlled outfit.
During the initial investigation, current special counsel Robert Mueller was acting FBI Director.
The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.
Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation about money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI.
The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.
The investigation comes after Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, received a letter from Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd saying Justice Department lawyers would make recommendations to Sessions about whether an investigation should be opened or expanded, or whether a special counsel should be appointed to probe a number of issues of concern to Republicans.
Last month, Hillary made the startling statement that she didn’t think Trump should investigate her because it would constitute an “abuse of power.”
“If they send a signal that we’re going to be like some dictatorship, like some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have, that we can trust our justice system,” Clinton said.
Hillary Clinton denied playing any role in the decision by the State Department to approve the sale, and the official who approved it has said Clinton did not intervene in the matter.
H/T: Daily Wire
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CBS News Succumbs to Trump Derangement Syndrome; Publishes Dumbest Story of 2017
By Brian Thomas
CBS News called President Donald Trump a “homebody” on Thursday, saying it’s a “peculiarity” of Trump’s presidency that he doesn’t go out much to tour the sights and eat at restaurants in Washington DC.
As President Trump is wrapping up his first year in office, CBS News claims it’s odd that he hasn’t taken time “enjoy a single non-working meal at a restaurant that doesn’t pay him rent” or go to sporting events.
He hasn’t yet gone to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He hasn’t toured most of the sights. In fact, according to CBS, “he rarely goes out” to any local restaurants.
“I would say that Trump has been the least present of any of the most recent presidents,” said Phil Mendelson, chairman of the Washington, D.C., City Council and a Democratic member of the council since 1999.
It’s not just restaurants, says Mendelson. Trump has been less engaged on the local charity circuit than other recent presidents, with no stops at local food banks or to help elementary school reading drives. First lady Melania Trump has been venturing out more often, appearing with Jordan’s Queen Rania at a girls’ charter school, attending a holiday toy drive sponsored by the military and visiting with patients and staff at Children’s National hospital […]
Those weekends that he does spend in Washington, Trump has dined at just one restaurant: BLT Prime in the Trump International Hotel, which opened last year just a few blocks from the White House. Trump’s visits have thrilled the tourists who flock to the hotel, building buzz and earning revenue. But most often, Trump, who is known to prefer well-done steaks with ketchup to snootier fare, chooses to eat in.
“I love the food in the White House. The White House is the greatest restaurant, it’s the most beautiful,” he told the Larry O’Connor radio show last month. “They do such a beautiful job” […]
“The reason my hair looks so neat all the time is because I don’t have to deal with the elements. I live in the building where I work. I take an elevator from my bedroom to my office. The rest of the time, I’m either in my stretch limousine, my private jet, my helicopter, or my private club in Palm Beach Florida,” he once wrote.
Not much has changed — though the house, plane and helicopter are now taxpayer-paid.
Here’s where we discover why CBS considers this news. CBS thinks it can spin the story about how Trump rarely goes out into “Trump wastes tax dollars.”
That doesn’t quite add up. What would waste tax dollars is if Trump were more obsessed with getting photo ops. Trump isn’t delaying traffic and spending on additional security while getting his picture taken at a local restaurant.
That is a change from his predecessor, who never missed a chance to shirk work to be praised by the media at places like Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack, Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Taylor Gourmet sandwich shop, and Ray’s Hell Burger.
CBS reports that Obama “treated Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to a burgers and fries” at Ray’s Hell Burger. Even before his inauguration, Obama was treated at Ben’s Chili Bowl.
Trump drinks Diet Coke, and the media calls him unhealthy. Obama eats burgers and fries, obviously adoring his never-ending kiss-some-babies-for-the-camera campaign, and he’s praised.
CBS’s “taxpayer-paid” blow to Trump’s limousine and helicopter is just ridiculous, as if previous presidents didn’t use helicopters and limousines for travel. The difference is, Trump doesn’t spend those tax dollars for photo-ops, while Obama did.
CBS also complains that Trump made “no stops at local food banks or to help elementary school reading drives.”
That’s a low blow, considering Trump refused to accept his presidential salary, instead donating his first quarter to the National Park Service, according to PolitiFact.
Trump gifted his second quarterly installment to the Department of Education to host an education camp for kids. Trump understands that actions speak louder than both words and publicity stunts.
At a White House press briefing, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders presented a check for $100,000 to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
DeVos said the funding would go toward hosting a camp for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students at the Department of Education.
“We want to encourage as many children as possible to explore STEM fields in the hope that many develop a passion for these fields,” DeVos said.
The CBS News article admits that Trump visited the Smithsonian’s new black history museum during Black History Month last February, but downplays the visit and brings up no others, so as not to disturb the “homebody” image the network hopes to brand the president with.
CBS wants to complain about something Trump is doing. Since they can’t complain about him wasting tax dollars on travel and security to eat junk food for publicity, they complain that he isn’t doing that in the liberal city of Washington D.C.
CBS has fallen victim to Trump Derangement Syndrome. One obvious symptom is publishing ridiculous stories that can’t seem to find an angle besides attacking Trump over trivial things that don’t matter.
Unfortunately, the only cure is honesty, so CBS News is doomed.
from The Federalist Papers http://bitly.com/2q8s4I3
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Whom do you dislike the most when they talk down to you?
Is it men? When, from the perch of their patriarchy, they pontificate on issues all and sundry?
Those are not good folks.
But are they the worst?
What about money itself? Lots and lots and lots of money. All the PowerBalls run together.
Combined. In the hands of a handful.
When that handful of zillionaire hoarders decides to let you know what’s what, do you like it?
Used to be, they retreated to the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, or St. Barts, discreet. They didn’t deign to speak to you except through layers upon layers of lackeys and domestics.
Much safer to launch a lackey into leadership, you see. Fund ‘em, train ‘em, trot ‘em out on the stage to run the old film-flam routine, I speak for you, we stand united, why the “CleanMakeAmericaFamilyChildSafePuppyCommunityTogetherHappyWorkResponiblity” Act is comin’!
And it will amaze you, folks! Pass it and we’ll really turn a corner! [Applause, tears, donations].
Four years later, when things look just as grim, just trot out a new lackey. Rewind. Hit play.
For a long time, the show went on. To rave reviews. But lately, it came to feel a bit stale.
“Why pretend any more?” the zillionaires thought. “Why continue this stupid charade of having our lackeys pretend not to be our lackeys? The country is ready for the truth. Our truth.”
And so, a zillionaire strode forth, eyed the lackeys of the past assembled backstage, and chortled. He donned his clown make-up, hoisted his obese frame onto a unicycle, and tottered out into the spotlight, machine-gunning lazy, vulgar one-liners left and right. And the crowd roared.
On the other side, next door, meanwhile, it was the same ol’ same ol’. The hired gun of the zillionaires strode forth once more with the familiar act. Responsibility, security, strength, experience. It sure felt comfortable. The audience nodded, smiled, slipped gently toward slumber.
But then something strange happened. In the back of the theater, an unkempt, wild-haired old white guy stood up.
“Why do we keep watching this same old stuff?” he asked. “Why do we keep letting them do this to us, on and on, over and over, endlessly? Why don’t we stand together and make our own show?”
How rude! How shocking! The people stirred, looked at each other, querulous, uncertain. A few bolted out the window and down the fire escape into the adjoining theater to watch the zillionaire.
The rest shuffled their feet. Several got up to stand with the old bald white guy with the weird eyes. Then a few more. Pretty soon a little less than half of them were gathered around, smiling, chatting, enjoying the new sensation of themselves being the spectacle.
But most of them shrugged and turned back to the show on the stage. It was, after all, what they knew. It was safe. The same words, the same act, the same stilted gestures, the same promises so artfully hedged everyone knew nothing would ever come of them.
They paid little attention to the rumbling in the back of the theater, and soon slipped back into a sleep so deep the disturbance evaporated from their memories, and even their dreams…
And after a time, the lights dimmed, the canned music softened, and inch by inch the curtain softly descended, drifting down like snow.
Soon, the ushers gently woke the dozing public and prodded them efficiently out the exits. Once they were all gone, the theater was quickly boarded up, closed for another four years. Which was good, for the people could not afford tickets for another show anyway. They would remain in their homes watching various explosions and various very pretty people on various screens in various rooms.
Thus concluded yet another successful run of The Rich-Splaining Reality Show.
Unless this year it has a different ending. We still have time to write a different ending.
from The Federalist Papers http://bitly.com/2EkxNgC
via IFTTT You’ve Heard of ‘Mansplaining’ – Now Get Ready for ‘Richsplaining’ http://bitly.com/2EkxNgC
Oversharing is perfect for a late night dish session with your new roommate. It’s not appropriate for an interview. Don’t misinterpret the “Tell me about yourself” part of the interview as a chance for you to rattle on and on about your life and dreams. Keep it professional and relevant to the task at hand.
Conversely, millennials are often hesitant to talk about their strengths and skills, lest they come off as arrogant. A bit of selling yourself is not only permissible, it’s going to be necessary. Strike a good balance between confidence and arrogance.
What you wear to the interview will make a lasting impression—one you may not have time to change in the course of a short interview. Do yourself a favor and look your absolute best. Err on the side of professional. You can always go more casual later once you have the lay of the land, and the job.
- Not doing your homework
Before you go into an interview, you must learn everything you can about the company and the position. Read up. Take notes. Have answers ready to show you’ve done your homework and you can get done what they need done.
- Maintaining a social media shit show
Go through your social media profiles and walls and feeds and scrub them clean of anything that might give a potential hirer pause. That includes party stuff, political stuff, and anything otherwise questionable.
- Not using your age to your advantage
Yes, older, more seasoned candidates have more experience. But if you can find a way to sell your age as an asset, that can give you a huge boost. Figure out what that means to you—passion, vigor? Then sell it.
- Not asking questions
You will be asked if you have any questions. Have a few prepared and ask them.
- Not speaking like a grown-up
Um…. like… you know. It’s hard sometimes, bro. It’s like…. (you’re not going to get the job). Do a few mock interviews with a pal and put a quarter in a jar every time you use lame fillers like these in your speech. When you can get through a few sentences without them, you’re good to go.
- Fear of commitment
The hiring manager wants someone who can be in it for the long run. Even if you don’t want that—even if you are a “typical millennial” and want to keep your options open at all costs, the interview is not the place to assert yourself. Research is your friend here. The more invested and informed you seem about the company, the more likely you are to assuage their fears that you’ll get hired and bail.
- Poor communication skills
It’s not enough to talk like a grown-up. You also have to write like one. Proofread every piece of correspondence you send for errors, large and small. And learn to write clearly and well. It’s almost as important as the way you speak.
from The Federalist Papers http://bitly.com/2q0ifvv
via IFTTT Take The ‘Older Than Dirt’ Quiz – Millennials Don’t Remember Any Of These! http://bitly.com/2q0ifvv
Saturday, December 30, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump fired the rest of the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS earlier this week.
The council, called PACHA for short, was set up by Bill Clinton and is supposed to provide advice and direction on policy and other aspects of AIDS prevention.
According to a statement from the council’s executive director, the group members each received a letter earlier this week with the news. B. Kaye Hayes said previous presidents have made similar moves.
“Changing the makeup of federal advisory committee members is a common occurrence during administration changes,” Hayes said in a statement, according to CNN.
She also noted that changing advisory committee members is a common thing for a president to do.
WATCH: How the fear of HIV has changed over time
Former committee member Scott A. Schoettes confirmed the news on Twitter.
“Remaining HIV/AIDS council members booted by @realDonaldTrump. No respect for their service. Dangerous that Trump and Co. (Pence esp.) are eliminating few remaining people willing to push back against harmful policies, like abstinence-only sex ed,” Schoettes wrote, adding the hashtags “#WeObject” and “#Resist.”
Council member Gabriel Maldonado told the Guardian the firing felt like “retribution.”
“I’ve criticized the Trump government’s HIV policy … I think we all know broadly that there is a hostility that this administration has to people in the LGBTQ community, particularly [among] those on the evangelical right wing.”
He also said he was worried about reports like the one saying there were banned words in the CDC like transgender and diversity — saying there might be policy changes coming.
“It’s unclear exactly what is happening but it seems to be a foreshadowing of what they are thinking on policy,” he told the Guardian.
The firing came six months after six council members resigned. At the time, Schoettes penned an op-ed in Newsweek saying Trump didn’t take the fight against HIV/AIDS seriously.
“The Trump Administration has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic, seeks zero input from experts to formulate HIV policy, and — most concerning — pushes legislation that will harm people living with HIV and halt or reverse important gains made in the fight against this disease,” he wrote.
Trump is expected to appoint another PACHA in the future.
via IFTTT Donald Trump fires remaining HIV/AIDS council members http://ift.tt/2Ehse2D
Thousands of Iranians are taking to the streets in Mashhad, the capital city of Tehran, and other cities throughout the country.
The protesters denounced the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment and Grand Ayatollah Ali Khmenei.
The Associated Press reports:
Thousands already have taken to the streets of cities across Iran, beginning at first on Thursday in Mashhad, the country’s second-largest city and a holy site for Shiite pilgrims.
The protests in the Iranian capital, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump tweeting about them, raised the stakes. It also apparently forced state television to break its silence, acknowledging it hadn’t reported on them on orders from security officials.
“Counterrevolution groups and foreign media are continuing their organized efforts to misuse the people’s economic and livelihood problems and their legitimate demands to provide an opportunity for unlawful gatherings and possibly chaos,” state TV said.
The protests appear sparked by social media posts and a surge in prices of basic food supplies, like eggs and poultry. Officials and state media made a point Saturday of saying Iranians have the right to protest and have their voices heard on social issues.
However, protesters in Tehran on Saturday chanted against high-ranking government officials and made other political statements, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Hundreds of students and others joined a new economic protest at Tehran University, with riot police massing at the school’s gates as they shut down surrounding roads.
Fars also said protests on Friday also struck Qom, a city that is the world’s foremost center for Shiite Islamic scholarship and home to a major Shiite shrine.
The Associated Press reports that at least 50 protesters have been arrested since Thursday.
President Trump rushed to defend the protesters, saying the Iranian people are “fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including the right to express themselves. The world is watching!”
Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regime’s corruption & its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their people’s rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2017
The US State Department also defended the protesters.
The Daily Caller reports:
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Department of State called on the international community to support the Iranian people’s “demands for basic rights and an end to corruption.”
“Iran’s leaders have turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, “As President Trump has said, the longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are Iran’s own people.”
The protests are the largest Iran has seen since 2009.
The Trump administration offers a stark contrast to Obama’s silence over Iranian protests in 2009.
“I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days,” Obama said.
Notice that after ignoring days of protests, Obama finally broke his silence by denying his silence.
“I would say to those people,” he continued. “who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching.”
He did not condemn the Islamic Republic, however, and he was careful to let them know that he wasn’t going to take sides. Ultimately, he put his trust in the Iranian government the people were protesting.
“We respect Iranian sovereignty,” Obama concluded. “and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran. […] My understanding is, is that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place.”
The Daily Caller notes that Obama finally did condemn Iran’s regime for oppression a week later. Even then, he took a weaker stance than Trump takes now. Surely, Obama was advised to take a harder stance, since the public saw his wishy-washy statement as supportive of Iranian corruption.
Trump is doing now what Obama failed to do. Or rather, Trump stands with the Iranian people, as Obama didn’t.
from The Federalist Papers http://bitly.com/2lwqw4V
via IFTTT BREAKING: CHAOS IN IRAN… http://bitly.com/2lwqw4V
Ramon Regalado, one of the Bay Area’s last survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippines during World War II and a face for the area’s World War II Filipino soldiers over the past several years, has died.
The 100-year-old Regalado, who had lived in Berkeley from 1962 until he moved to El Cerrito a few years ago, died Dec. 16, in El Cerrito.
A native of the island of Iloilo in Central Luzon, he and other Philippines natives were given the Congressional Gold Medal for fighting tenaciously alongside American troops fighting the Japanese in that island nation.
Born April 13, 1917, Regalado was, when World War II fighting came to the Philippines, a machine gun operator with the 57th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Company L of the Philippine Scouts under the U.S. Army Forces in the Far East. He was returning fire when the first Japanese fighter planes strafed the islands, his son Raldy Regalado said Wednesday.
When those Army troops surrendered on April 9, 1942, after fighting for 99 days on the peninsula of Bataan with no reinforcements or air support, approximately 63,000 Filipino and 12,000 American troops — already weakened by starvation and disease — were forced to march some 65 miles to a prison camp at Camp O’Donnell. Prisoners who faltered were beaten, bayoneted, shot and even beheaded by their Japanese captors. Regalado escaped the march.
Following the liberation of the Philippines, he rejoined the U.S. Army. In 1950, he came to the United States and worked as a civilian for the U.S. Navy, both at the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto and on transport ships during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
The elder Regalado — an eclectic man, a voracious reader who followed politics closely — took part in the first Bataan Legacy Historical Society event held at Cal State East Bay in Hayward in April 2012, and became a prominent spokesman for Filipino WWII veterans.
Cecilia Gaerlan, executive director of the Berkeley-based Bataan Legacy Historical Society, said Regalado was a humble man, and an eloquent one. “He embodied the values of the greatest generation — duty to country, honor and love for freedom,” she said.
He lived long enough to be personally honored with a Congressional Gold Medal, a result of the signing by President Barack Obama of the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.
This gave about 260,000 Filipino and Filipino-American veterans who served during World War II — most having died by that date — a collective Congressional Gold Medal, the United States’ highest civilian honor.
The medals provided a degree of recognition for veterans who after the war were victimized by two congressional “Rescission Acts” that canceled the benefits and citizenship previously offered many of the soldiers from the Philippines. Lawmakers apparently balked at paying benefits of between $1 billion and $3 billion.
He had first started speaking up in the 1990s about recompense for Filipino soldiers. “He never talked about that stuff when we were young,” Raldy Regalado said. “He didn’t want us to harbor resentment.”
Regalado received his personal medal just four weeks ago, while in an ICU bed at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Richmond.
“It’s a very, very important thing,” Ramon Regalado told a Bay Area TV station in September. “We sacrificed together for four months without food, no supplies.
“I’m very proud to defend democracy,” he added.
Gaerlan said there are now perhaps a half-dozen surviving Bataan/Corregidor soldiers in the Bay Area.
Regalado is survived by Marcelina, his wife of many years, as well as five children and numerous grandchildren.
from The Federalist Papers http://bitly.com/2losvc3
via IFTTT One of the Last Survivors of WWII Bataan Death March Dies at 100 http://bitly.com/2losvc3