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Showing posts from 2017

Wall Street is being played by Obama to fund attacks on their own objectives

Paul Sperry:
Wall Street might be shocked to learn it is helping bankroll the anti-Trump “resistance” movement that’s aggressively fighting policies it favors — including corporate tax cuts and the repeal of Obama-era banking and health-care regulations.

The Obama administration’s massive shakedown of Big Banks over the mortgage crisis included unprecedented back-door funding for dozens of Democratic activist groups who were not even victims of the crisis.

At least three liberal nonprofit organizations the Justice Department approved to receive funds from multibillion-dollar mortgage settlements were instrumental in killing the ObamaCare repeal bill and are now lobbying against GOP tax reform, as well as efforts to rein in illegal immigration.

An estimated $640 million has been diverted into what critics say is an improper, if not unconstitutional, “slush fund” fed from government settlements with JPMorgan Chase and Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., according to congressi…

The Obama unmasking scandal grows

Michael Goodwin:
The number is so large that it explodes everything we were led to believe about how tightly-controlled our government’s surveillance programs are.

The number is 260, and that’s how many times Samantha Power, the ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama, reportedly requested the names of American citizens who were included in intelligence reports covering foreign officials.

The story, by respected Fox News’ journalists Bret Baier and Catherine Herridge, said Power made the requests to “unmask” the 260 names in one year alone, including the period between the presidential election and the inauguration.

The first obvious question is this: Why would she need those names? Power had no operational duties for either intelligence-gathering or counterintelligence investigations, yet her requests apparently were approved.

The second obvious question: what did Power do with those names? Having no clear official reason to get them, any use she made of them would be susp…

The difference between Tebow and Kaepernick

Washington Post:
Perspective: Why is Kaepernick taking a knee different from when Tebow does it? One of the big differences is the media reaction.  Tebow was ridiculed for praying and Kaepernick was praised for pushing the racial grievance project of the left.

Kaepernick was buying into the "hands up don't shoot" lie that fed the Black Lives Matter movement.  Fans did not react negatively to Tebow's prayer like many in the sports media did, but they did turn off their TV's because Kaepernick and others were seen as disrespecting the country and its flag.

Without fans, the league will have fewer billionaire owners and fewer millionaire players.  Trump seems to have a better understanding of this than NFL management and many of the owners.  He has also exposed again the political bias of the sports media.

Kaepernick and his imitators are the ones being divisive and the NFL seems clueless as to why this is a problem.

NFL is allowing the racial grievance industry to ruin the market for their game

NY Times:
Trump Calls for Boycott if N.F.L. Doesn’t Crack Down on Anthem Protests “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our country, you will see change take place fast,” President Trump wrote on Twitter. In San Francisco where this movement started with Kolin Kaepernick, they played Thursday night to a half-full stadium.  The team they were playing was the Los Angelos Rams who notoriously fell for the "hands up don't shoot" lie that gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.  The TV ratings continue to drop for this once dominant sport.

It has become a toxic mix that the owners and the NFL do not seem to have an answer for except one does.  Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys told his players that if they did not show respect for the national anthem and the flag they would be cut.  His team still sells out every game and has a large fan base.

I feel sorry for players who have bought into the Ferguson lie.  It is sad to see millionaires act…

Small Houston oil company awarded $100 million for allegedly fraudulent book keeping by Spanish owned company

Energy Fix:
A small Houston energy company was awarded nearly $100 million in damages by a Texas jury that found Canada's Talisman Energy violated their partnership agreement and committed accounting fraud.

The district court jury in La Salle County sided with Matrix over the multibillion-dollar company in the Eagle Ford Shale dispute that dated back to 2011. Talisman was later acquired by Spanish energy giant Repsol in 2015 in an $8.3 billion deal. Talisman, now known as Repsol Oil & Gas Canada, can still appeal the jury decision.

Matrix is a very small, privately owned energy company in Houston that's represented by The Kim Law Firm, of Houston. The argument centered on Talisman allegedly violating their joint operating agreement.

Matrix alleged Talisman signed on with them to drill wells on Cooke Ranch fields in 2011, but Talisman instead drilled wells on a competing, adjacent lease and later lied about production volumes and revenues for more than five years. Matrix was a…

Trump is getting under the thin skin of Nork leader

streiff:
...
Today’s speech is the direct result of US presidents allowing three generations of imbeciles North Korean despots think that they can a) do whatever they wish and b) they will be rewarded for bad behavior and c) the more outlandish their behavior the greater the reward.

What Kim Jong Un is experiencing is something very new to him and to his regime. Bad behavior is getting punitive action. He is not being treated as a player on the world stage, rather he’s being treated like a spoiled brat with a can of gas and a Zippo.

The key mistake he made was letting Trump know that the “rocket man” label is getting under his skin. All this ensures is that we will see more of it and we will see more inventive insults yet to come. Where will the goading lead? We don’t know but if we’re going to have to fight this guy, we need to do it now before he has a creditable nuclear force. Because then we will have to fight him and the carnage will be appalling. Some recent polling is troubling…

Iran continues to embarrass those who back Obama's bad nuclear deal

The Drive:
Shortly after revealing the new Khorramshahr medium range ballistic missile to the public for the first time, Iran released a never before seen video showing a successful test of the weapon, but did not give a date or place for the footage. The new development will undoubtedly have an impact on whether U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration decide to scrap a deal with Iran over its controversial nuclear program, but it also underscores long-standing concerns that the Iranian authorities have been working with the North Koreans and other allies to skirt their international obligations.

Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), a military-political organization that commands immense influence on the country’s domestic and foreign policy, unveiled the Khorramshahr during a military parade on Sept. 22, 2017 as part of the country’s annual Sacred Defense Week. The events commemorate the country’s bloody war with Iraq between 1980 and 1988.
...
Brigadier…

US backed forces take Syrian oil field from ISIS near area where leaders are thought to be

Reuters:
U.S.-backed forces said on Saturday they had seized a major natural gas field in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province from Islamic State militants in rapid advances since the start of an operation earlier this month to capture areas east of the Euphrates river.

Commander Ahmed Abu Khawla told Reuters that the Conoco gas field was the first of its kind taken by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, since it began an offensive earlier this month to capture the eastern province.

“This is the first gas or oil field in the campaign which we have liberated,” said the commander of the group whose campaign is in parallel with an ongoing battle for the nearby Raqqa city.

The Conoco field is named for the American company which discovered the gas reserves and built a processing plant there. It has been the target of U.S. strikes and was used to supply cooking gas canisters for household use. Before the conflict it supplied gas to power stations.

In Deir …

US B-1 bombers expose new avenue of approach to North Korea

BBC:
US bombers have flown close to North Korea's east coast to demonstrate the military options available to defeat any threat, the Pentagon has said.

It said the flight was the farthest north of the demilitarised zone between the Koreas that any US fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st Century.

Tensions have risen recently over Pyongyang's nuclear programme.

At the UN, North Korea's foreign minister said US President Donald Trump was on a "suicide mission".

Ri Yong-ho's comments to the General Assembly mimicked Mr Trump's remarks at the UN on Tuesday, when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "rocket man on a suicide mission".

Mr Ri added that "insults" by Mr Trump - who was, he said, "mentally deranged and full of megalomania" - were an "irreversible mistake making it inevitable" that North Korean rockets would hit the US mainland.

Mr Trump, the foreign minister said, would "pay dearly" for his sp…

NFL's response to Trump's criticism of anthem protests shows they are out of touch with fans

ESPN:
President Donald Trump criticized NFL players who lodge protests during the pregame national anthem, saying Friday night that he wished those players would be released and encouraging fans who are offended to walk out of stadiums.
...
The NFL responded Saturday with a brief statement.

"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities," the statement said.
... There is much irony in this response to Trump's criticism.  The anthem protests are intended to be a disrespectful act to those who sacrifice to keep them safe.  Usu…

China restricting North Korea oil shipments

LA Times:
China will soon begin restricting oil exports to North Korea, the country’s Commerce Ministry announced on Saturday, marking a major step by Pyongyang’s top ally and trading partner to further isolate the country from the global economy.

China said the new restrictions are in accordance with United Nations sanctions leveled against the North to stymie its nuclear and missile ambitions. They include a total and immediate ban on natural gas and textile exports, and will limit annual petroleum exports to 2 million barrels beginning on Jan. 1.

“When approaching the upper limit, Chinese government authorities will issue a notice based on the export situation,” said a statement on the Commerce Ministry’s website. “Once it reaches the limit, from the date of implementation, no refined oil products will be exported to North Korea.”

China has been North Korea’s top ally for decades, and now accounts for an estimated 90% of the country’s trade. Yet Beijing has been increasingly uneasy…

Media and Trump on two different wave lengths on Russia and the election

NY Times:
Trump Dismisses ‘Russia Hoax’ as Facebook Turns Over Ads Tied to Campaign The president asserts that the “Fake News Media” had the most sway in the 2016 election, and he again denies any Russian role in the campaign. They are arguing about two very different things.  Uppermost in Trump's mind is the bogus charge that he collaborated with Russia to steal an election.  That has been the Democrat narrative and the media has embraced it without finding any real evidence to corroborate it.  Mueller is looking increasingly desperate to try to find something he can hang his hat on or extort testimony out of targets like Manafort.

So, the media has been more focused of late on Russian attempts to peak at State voting.  As the post below indicated there were apparently 20 attempts by Russia to "hack" elections in the states.  However, none of them changed any votes or effected the results.  To Trump that goes to his fervent belief that he won the electoral college fair a…

California's 'sanctuary law' will make the state less safe, sheriff say

Washington Free Beacon:
California Law Enforcement Groups Say Sanctuary Law Makes Communities Less Safe

Top sheriff: We can't call ICE on three-time drunk-drivers or MS-13 gang members California has become totally irrational when it comes to illegal immigration.

Putin's unproductive election hacking?

Daily Mail:

BREAKING NEWS: Putin's hackers targeted TWENTY ONE states before the 2016 election - including key state Wisconsin which Hillary lost to Trump but no votes were changed
Department of Homeland Security tells 21 states that Russian government hackers targeted them in 2016No votes were changed by the electronic attempt at interference, says DHS States include Wisconsin, where Hillary Clinton narrowly lost to Donald Trump in one of his key moves towards victoryOther include the less closely contested Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington In other words, the Russian hacking had nothing to do with Trump's victory or Clinton's loss.  I think the same can be said of Russian attempts to influence the election with "fake news."   I voted against Hillary Clinton for numerous reasons none of which had anything to do with something some Russian or Macedonian might have said.  I tuned out Twitter during the election.

Clinton was the propone…

'Climate change' in California?

BBC:
Snow comes early to California

Snow has come early - very early - to Northern California, on the last day of summer. Drivers have been advised to be careful in icy conditions. There is a video of the snowfall that will continue the recent trend of ending what the global warming crowd called the "permanent drought."  Maybe the California government will allow the farmers to have some of the resulting water.

The left's nutty embrace of a man who wants to kill them with nuclear weapons

Red States:
It only takes one small word to set progressives off. In this case, it was the word “dotard,” and it was used by Kim “Rocket Man” Jong-un to describe his arch nemesis, Donald Trump. Rocket Man was responding to Trump’s speech at the United Nations, in which the president said the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if it came to that.
...
Rocket Man isn’t used to such strong talk from other world leaders, and, thus, the boy leader lashed out at Trump:
Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say. “Dotard” quickly started trending on Twitter, mainly because American leftists were cheering on Kim for insulting their president. (For record, “dotard” means an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile.)
... If the left looked at the map North Korea has provided of its targets in the US, every one of them is a large liberal enclave.  He is saying he wants to reduce these liberal enclaves to ashes…

Predatory pricing claim may lead to tariffs on foreign solar panels

Fuel Fix:
The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled Friday to that a flood of foreign made solar panels was damaging the domestic solar manufacturing industry, setting the foundation for new tariffs that developers here fear will dramatically raise costs on solar projects.

Two U.S. solar manufacturers, Georgia-based Suniva and Oregon-based SolarWorld, filed a petitions with the ITC earlier this year, arguing that large manufacturers abroad are dumping their products onto the global market below cost, driving American competitors into bankruptcy.

The ITC is scheduled to make a decision on what if any tariffs to impose by Nov. 13. A final decision would then be made by President Donald J. Trump, who campaigned on protecting U.S. manufacturing jobs by taking a tougher line on trade policy.

"We brought this action because the U.S. solar manufacturing finds itself at the precipice of extinction," Suniva said in a statement Friday. "President Trump can remedy this injury wit…

Mueller using an attorney who has been accused of prosecutorial misconduct

Fox News:
When a report surfaced that federal agents picked the lock on Paul Manafort’s front door for a surprise raid over the summer while the former Trump campaign chairman was in bed, it was also a wake-up call for prominent Houston attorney Tom Kirkendall.

“Here is a United States citizen where the FBI is coming in, picking his lock, and raiding his home in the early morning, over what? It doesn’t matter which side you’re on. It’s just crazy. We’re not the Soviet Union. It’s appalling,” said Kirkendall, who has worked on cases involving one of the special counsel’s key investigators, Andrew Weissmann.

The intensity of the focus on Manafort is widely seen as a potential effort by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to pressure him into providing information on others, possibly President Trump himself, in the Russia probe.

But the “brass-knuckle” tactics have raised eyebrows in the legal community.

The Manafort investigation has been the subject of numerous leaks, including new d…

This is the mess that McCain and the Democrats are 'saving'

Red States:
...
Recently, I was laid off from my job. I am now among the millions of Americans trying to figure out which health insurance plan to buy, all the while becoming more and more frustrated by the actual “coverage” included in them.

Because I no longer have an employer-sponsored plan, I’m left with plans on the individual market, where the cheapest premium I’ve been able to find thus far would cost me less than $100 per month.

Sounds great, right? Wrong.

That’s because with any plan with a monthly premium I can actually afford, the ridiculously high deductibles (ranging from $5,000 to nearly $10,000) basically ensures I’ll never even be able to use the coverage I buy.

The alternative isn’t much better. I could choose not to purchase health insurance and pay out of pocket for any medical expenses. However, I would then be stuck with a $1,000 penalty come tax time, and God help me if I’m forking over to the federal government one more penny than I have absolutely have to.

Now,…

Nork leader channels left wing zealots in the US in response to Trump

Washington Post:
Kim reacts to Trump, says he will ‘tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire’

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacted angrily to President Trump’s speech to the U.N. General Assembly, calling it “unprecedented rude nonsense.”

Trump lashed back this morning, calling Kim a “madman” whose regime will be “tested like never before” amid new U.S.-imposed sanctions aimed at forcing nations, foreign companies and individuals to choose whether to do business with the United States or Pyongyang. I wonder whether liberals and those in teh media realize how close their own rhetoric is to that of North Korea's leader in their reaction to President Trump.  Hopefully, they are not flattered by the comparison.

The North Koreans are something of an expert when it comes to "rude nonsense."

Mueller's move against executive privilege

NY Times:
Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, is interested in Mr. Trump’s firing of his F.B.I. director and national security adviser and other events. I question whether he has a right to documents that are part of the deliberation process by a President in the exercise of his constitutional duties.  That would include his right to fire the FBI director and national security advisor for any reason or no reason.

Chinese banks no longer allowed to do business with North Korea

Fox News:
North Korea learned this week Chinese banks will no longer do business with the Hermit Kingdom, in the strongest sign yet pressure from the Trump administration to choke off funding to the rogue nation is working.

Chinese banks received a document Monday stating they should halt financial services and loans to new and existing North Korean customers as a result of strict U.N. sanctions passed earlier this month, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

“Our bank is fulfilling our international obligations and implementing United Nations sanctions against North Korea. As such, we refuse to handle any individual loans connected to North Korea,” the document reportedly said.
...
China's surprising instructions to banks this week, however, were at least partially undermined when South Korea on Thursday approved $8 million in supposed humanitarian aid to North Korea.

Some South Korean officials fear the new aid will send a mixed signal to international leaders. Son Kim-ju, a lawmak…

Iran is probably collaborating with North Korea on ICBMs

CNBC:
A former CIA analyst said Monday the Iranians are continuing to help North Korea with weapons technology as Pyongyang's new missile test over the weekend was described as "a significant advance."

North Korea's launch of an intermediate ballistic missile test on Sunday appears to be a new model and shows an improved capability to reach U.S. military bases on Guam. Also, experts said the new missile is a mid-range ballistic missile and suggests Pyongyang maybe getting more proficiency with reentry technology that could be used for longer-range missiles.

Such reentry mastery would be required for a nuclear warhead to withstand extreme temperatures and other stresses of atmospheric reentry of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

"It was a significant advance in terms of missiles that seem to be able to carry a fairly heavy warhead and carry it a fairly significant distance," said Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and now senior vice president for…

London terror suspect was in a 'deradicalization' program

BBC:
...

The 18-year-old arrested man is thought to have lived in a foster home owned by Ronald and Penelope Jones in Sunbury-on-Thames.

He is thought to have moved to the UK from Iraq aged 15 when his parents died.

The BBC has learnt that he had been referred to an anti-extremist programme before his arrest.

It is not known who made the referral and when - or how serious the concerns were.

Sources did not name the flagship Prevent programme, but it is thought that this is the mostly likely case as the referral for help was at local authority level.

Prevent is managed and delivered locally by multi-agency teams of social workers, police officers and other specialists.

He was already in contact with social services because of his foster care placement.
... These attempts to "deprogram" radical Islam from these terrorists have been largely a failure.  They have been tried from Saudia Arabia to Western Europe.  They are an outgrowth of an attempt to cure cancer by thought contr…

Afghan leader says Trump's war plan has a better chance of success than Obama's

Reuters:
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy to win the war in Afghanistan will work where his predecessor’s failed because the Afghan army is stronger and Trump wants a regional approach and a harder line with Pakistan.

Ghani also said that former President Barack Obama “did not have a partner in Afghanistan,” implicitly criticizing former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who frequently disdained U.S. policy and the U.S.-led international military force.

“President Trump is not just an individual (but) a team of partners in Afghanistan,” Ghani told the Asia Society in New York, where he is attending the U.N. General Assembly. “The Trump administration’s strategy has the uniqueness of immense consultations with us.”

At the same time, Ghani said, Obama’s decision to maintain some U.S. forces in Afghanistan “ensured our survival” despite advances by Taliban insurgents.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that more than 3…

$6 billion petrochemical plant opens in Freeport, Texas, $4 billion addition now planned

Fuel Fix:
The newly merged DowDuPont said Thursday it's opening its new ethylene and plastics plants in Freeport, making the nation's largest chemical giant the first to start up a major ethylene complex along the Texas Gulf Coast.

The complex is the crown jewel of the old Dow Chemical's recent $6 billion expansion along the Gulf Coast. The chemical company will go back to being just Dow once DowDuPont splinters out into three separate companies in a year or so.

The project includes a massive ethane cracker that separates a component of natural gas liquids called ethane, which in turn will provide the feedstock for some 1.5 million metric tons a year of ethylene, the most common building block of plastics. A large portion of an upcoming $4 billion expansion will go toward expanding the plant to 2 million metric tons a year, eventually making it the world's largest ethylene production plant.

DowDuPont Executive Chairman Andrew Liveris, who's also chairman and CEO of Do…

Obama's secret wiretap of Trump campaign not known to Director of National Intelligence

Mediaite: Earlier this week CNN reported what radio talk show host (and former Justice Department official) Mark Levin revealed in March, that secret FISA court orders had been implemented during the Obama Administration to wire tap Paul Manafort. Mediaite then pointed out that the former Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, James Clapper, had unequivocally denied the existence of any such FISA wiretap during an interview on Meet the Press....
...
Obviously, Mr. Clapper had some explaining to do. Last night on CNN, he had the opportunity to do just that in an exchange with Don Lemon....
... Clapper said he was unaware of the wire tap.  So, who besides the FBI was aware of it.  Did Obama ask the FBI to get the warrant?  Will the media be asking Obama that question anytime soon?

The Federalists has 13 questions about the wire taps.  Eli Lake discusses the unmasking operation that appears to have coincided with the wire taps.  True Pundit takes a look at the agencies

Housing cost drives up California poverty rate

Chuck DeVore:
Liberal California and conservative Texas are different in many ways – including their poverty rates.

California’s poverty rate is 20.4 percent and the Texas rate is only 14.7 percent, based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for the regional cost of living, out-of-pocket medical expenses and other items.

Why the dramatic difference in poverty between California and Texas – proportionately 38.8 percent higher in the Golden State, and affecting the lives of millions of people? And what can we as a nation learn from the success of Texas and the failure of California to hold down their poverty rates?

Three big factors are responsible for California having more poor people and Texas having fewer as a portion of their state populations:


California has high state and local tax rates, while the rates in Texas are low.California has a generous welfare system that acts as a disincentive to work, while Texas incentivizes people to get jobs.And California’s many bu…

Liberal attack on DeVos backfires

Washington Post:
Betsy DeVos uses her own plane when she travels — and never bills the government, spokesperson says

The travel of President Trump’s Cabinet members has come under scrutiny after reports about their use of noncommercial flights for travel at immense cost to taxpayers. Some in the media were looking for another way to attack the Trump administration and seized on air travel by appointees.  DeVos  does not fit the profile they were trying to establish.  It is interesting that they are trying to make a story out of this when they were making excuses for Nancy Pelosi's expensive flights on government aircraft when she was Speaker of the House.

New sanctions on North Korea focus on businesses that do trade with it and those that facilitate the trade

NY Times:
Trump Moves to Widen Sanctions Against North Korea
With a new executive order, President Trump is expanding efforts to constrict North Korea’s trade with the world. It is similar to some of the sanctions the US urged on the UN, but it avoids cutting off all trade with China and Russia.  It is much more focused on the people doing the actual trading.

Trump's "Rocket Man" label on the North Korean leader appears to have been embraced by many at the UN.

Dr. Roy Spencer refutes the climate change celebrities

Washington Times:
Sparring with celebrities and Al Gore over global warming may not be what Roy Spencer had in mind when he earned his Ph.D., but it’s certainly become a bustling sideline for the University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist.

A month after rebutting Mr. Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Mr. Spencer has published another short e-book, this one challengingstatementsby Jennifer Lawrence, Bill Nye, Stevie Wonder and others linking global warming to this year’s active hurricane season.

Called “Inevitable Disaster: Why Hurricanes Can’t Be Blamed on Global Warming,” the 50-page book was released Monday, and like his August e-book, “An Inconvenient Deception,” it’s already made landfall on the Amazon bestseller list.


As of midday Thursday, “An Inconvenient Deception” and “Inevitable Disaster” ranked number one and two on Amazon’s list of bestsellers in the category of Environment & Nature, while Mr. Gore’s companion book to “An Inconvenient Sequel” ranked 100t…

Did they tell her she would be put on trial for corruption?

Houston Chronicle:
Prosecutors say Texas lawmaker spent $51K on online psychic The Austin Democrat is facing misdemeanor corruption charges according to the story.  Besides the psychic matter, she was also accused of showing appearing for work at the Capitol impaired and hid a cellphone from investigators. "The Austin Democrat is accused of giving a taxpayer-funded raise to a legislative aide to cover gas money for shuttling Dukes' daughter back and forth from school."

The prosecutors may still charge her with a felony count for presenting false reimbursement vouchers.

It does look like she is doing her part to "keep Austin weird."

Democrats claim new healthcare bill helps insurance companies, but insurers don't agree

NY Times:
Insurers Come Out Swinging Against New Health Bill
The health insurance industry said that state-by-state block grants could create chaos in the short term and an uncertain market. It would create a return to state control of the process.  That probably will be scarier for people in large blue states like New York and California, which became more dependent on Obamacare to expand coverage.

ISIS to switch to insurgency operations

Washington Times:
The Islamic State command is calling for a big shift in battlefield tactics to guerrilla warfare, acknowledging that the U.S.-led coalition’s precise air campaign is methodically picking apart its clustered forces.

A retired U.S. Army infantryman told The Washington Times that the new tactics may well be preparation for a metamorphosis. Islamic State will transform itself from an occupation force defending territory to an insurgency trying to undermine the authority of the governments of Iraq and Syria.

The marching orders are contained in the Islamic State’s authoritative Al-Naba publication, which regularly releases guidance to fighters trying to retain the terrorist army’s weakening hold on land and people.

Islamic State terrorists have been in retreat for months. The predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces — advised by American special operations forces and guided by blanket aerial surveillance — have taken large swaths of territory and liberated almost all o…

California seeks to thwart US immigration law

Washington Examiner:
California sues Trump administration to block border wall I think California and its Attorney General should be sanctioned for bringing such a frivolous lawsuit.

Will Mueller investigate the wire tapping of the Trump campaign?

Joseph Curl:
WSJ Openly Calls Mueller Probe A Sham Unless Wiretapping Investigated I think it is going to take another special counsel to investigate this since Mueller appears to be compromised by his use of the illicit snooping.   The use of intelligence agencies to snoop on a political opponent is a huge scandal that needs special attention.

Obama's political espionage campaign against Trump was to help Hillary Clinton

George Neumeyer:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign memoir rests on an astonishingly audacious lie: that the very FBI director who made her campaign possible by improperly sparing her from an indictment doomed it. A normal pol who had mishandled classified information as egregiously as Hillary would have felt eternal gratitude to Comey. Only an entitled ingrate like Hillary would have the gall to cast her savior as the chief thorn in her side.

Nor does Hillary acknowledge another in-kind contribution to her campaign from Comey: his willingness to serve as a cog in Obama’s campaign of political espionage against Trump. Obama’s team of Hillary partisans, which included among others John Brennan, Susan Rice, and Loretta Lynch, wanted Comey to snoop on Trumpworld and he duly did.

It was reported this week that the FBI had until as recently as earlier this year been intercepting the communications of Paul Manafort, one of Trump’s campaign chairmen. This means that Comey, contrary to his lawyerly d…

Causes of income inequality revealed and Democrats will not like it

Terry Jeffrey:
Liberals talk about "income inequality" as if it is caused by insufficient government action -- including insufficient taxation of those they call the "rich."
...

The Census Bureau's annual report on American incomes, as this column has previously noted, presents data that answers these questions.

The new report is accompanied by Table HINC-01: "Selected Characteristics of Households, by Total Money Income in 2016."

It lists three types of "family households" and four of "nonfamily households."

A family household, by the Census Bureau's definition, "includes a householder and one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption."

"A nonfamily household," it says, "consists of a householder living alone (a one-person household) or where the householder shares the home only with people to whom he/she is not related (e.g., a roomm…

Single payer healthcare in UK puts seven million patients at risk

Times:
Seven million patients are treated at GP surgeries with serious safety problems, according to the first comprehensive review.

Inspectors urged patients to switch to better performing surgeries after finding that one in seven had issues with safety and one in ten was not good enough overall.

They uncovered “pockets of persistent poor care” including out-of-date medicines, a failure to follow up on test results, delayed cancer diagnoses and a lack of checks on the medical qualifications of staff.
... Bernie Sanders and the Democrats who support his single payer scheme need to pay them a visit before he tries to impose the same system in the US.   It appears the UK is having teh same problem with their single payer plan that the US has with the VA.

Harvey took so many cars off roads that it reduced demand for gas while Irma increased it

Energy Fix:
The Gulf Coast's vast energy network is making a comeback three weeks after Hurricane Harvey.

Fifteen of the 20 refineries that went down or slowed production have almost fully recovered, with about 1 million barrels a day of refining capacity still offline, IHS Markit said in an update on Wednesday.

"Steady progress appears to have been made and the four refineries in active restart may very well be operating normally by this weekend," IHS said.

Average U.S. gasoline prices have edged down by about 5 cents to $2.62per gallon of regular.

Demand for gasoline, particularly in the southwestern United States, has dropped this month as two major hurricanes destroyed cars and left roads impassable.

In Florida, motorists fleeing Hurricane Irma had boosted southeastern gas demand by 19 percent.
... As many as 500 auto dealers in the Houston area were impacted by the flooding.  Some estimates suggest as many as 500,000 cars are going to have to be replaced by consumers and …

Laser weapon shoots down five drones in succession in test

It appears the laser weapon is designed to handle swarm attacks by drones.  There is more on the weapon as well as other photos and video here.

Another 'so what' story about 'Russian collusion'

Washington Post:
Manafort offered ‘private briefings’ on 2016 race to Putin ally

Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination, his campaign chairman made the offer in an email, according to people familiar with the discussions. The emails are among tens of thousands of documents given to officials probing whether Trump associates worked with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. A private briefing on Trump's policies is a long way from being collusion.  In fact, it probably would only confirm what the Russians had already learned from the US media.  The Post and its leakers seem desperate to try to keep this story alive and if this is the best they got, then it will be another so what story lime the many that have preceded it.

Keeping the Iran deal could lead to another deal as bad or worse with North Korea

NY Times:
If Trump Kills Iran Deal, Can He Make a North Korea Deal?
If President Trump ends the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea would have less incentive to negotiate over its weapons programs. Obama's terrible Iran deal is not good enough to save regardless of what the US does with North Korea.  The logic of this piece only makes sense if you are willing to give a murderous despot nuclear weapons and a delivery system.  That is a deal I would pass on without pause.

All the Iran deal does is postpone the same situation for a few years if that.  There is nothing in it I have seen that would stop Iran from using the windfall it got from Obama to buy a nuclear weapon from North Korea which is desperate for money to finance its nuclear arsenal.

What really makes a deal with North Korea almost impossible is what Obama did to Lybia once they gave up their nuclear program.  Obama and Hillary Clinton's Lybia fiasco was a strategic disaster for non-proliferation as well as destabilizing …

Trump strategy against ISIS is working and media is trying hard to ignore it

Paul Mulshine:
Did you see all those front-page stories last week about how ISIS is getting trounced in Syria?

Neither did I.

In recent weeks I read more about the high heels that Melania Trump wore on a trip to Texas than I did about the positive developments in a war that was at the center of the foreign-policy debate in last year's presidential election.
...

That may be the reason that you need to go to military-oriented blogs like Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis site to read how ISIS is being squeezed in Syria. There, you can read in infinite detail about the efforts to clean up what an Army spokesman termed "holdouts" in provinces such as Idlib and Deir al-Zor.

The work is proceeding apace, and the real story now is how the endgame will play out.

Not good for the Beltway crowd, said Lang. The establishment types wanted to remove Assad because he was too close to the Iranians and the Shiite militias such as Hezbollah. Now he's a lot closer to them - and they'…

Obama's wire tapping legacy

James Freeman:
Did Obama Know about Comey’s Surveillance?

The media is less interested in Obama Administration wiretapping than in how Trump described it. What we are most likely to get from the media are more tendentious "fact checking" quibbling over Trump's wording than the substance of what really happened.

As Sharyl Attkisson points out:
Many in the media are diving deeply into minutiae in order to discredit any notion that President Trump might have been onto something in March when he fired off a series of tweets claiming President Obama had “tapped” “wires” in Trump Tower just before the election.

According to media reports this week, the FBI did indeed “wiretap” the former head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, both before and after Trump was elected. If Trump officials — or Trump himself — communicated with Manafort during the wiretaps, they would have been recorded, too.

But we’re missing the bigger story.

If these reports are accurate, it means U.S. intellig…

Motor voter law leads to illegal voting

Washington Times:
Hundreds of non-citizens were registered to vote in Philadelphia over the last decade, and at least 90 of them actually ended up casting ballots that should never have been allowed, City Commissioner Al Schmidt said Wednesday, adding more fuel to complaints of bogus voting in U.S. elections.

The voters are all self-admitted non-citizens who went back and canceled their registrations later — but not before casting illegal ballots a total of 227 times in elections spanning 2006 to 2007, Mr. Schmidt said.

He said most of those non-citizens signed up to vote at PennDOT, the state motor vehicles bureau, when they went to get a driver’s license. While legal residents and long-term visitors are allowed to hold licenses, they are not allowed to vote in federal elections — yet thanks to a federal law, the sign-up for both licenses and voter registration is often tied together.

“The current voter registration process at PennDOT is both harmful to election integrity and to members…

What the PBS series on Vietnam leaves out

Bing West:
To understand Ken Burns’ 18-hour Vietnam documentary, listen to the music. The haunting score tells you: This will be a tale of misery. And indeed, Burns and his co-author Geoffrey C. Ward conclude their script by writing, “The Vietnam War was a tragedy, immeasurable and irredeemable. But meaning can be found in the individual stories . . .”

The film is meticulous in the veracity of the hundreds of factoids that were selected. Everything depicted on the American side actually happened. But that the chosen facts are accurate doesn’t mean the film gets everything right. Indeed, the brave American veterans are portrayed with a keen sense of regret and embarrassment about the war, a distortion that must not go unanswered. And the film implies an unearned moral equivalence between antiwar protesters and those who fought.

Burns’ theme is clear: A resolute North Vietnam was predestined to defeat a delusional America that heedlessly sacrificed its soldiers. The film follows a chron…

Healthcare reform would reverse Obama's favoritism toward blue states?

Washington Post:
Under latest health-care bill, red states would benefit disproportionately

Democratic mega-states including California, New York and Massachusetts would lose billions of dollars, a feature the bill’s two main sponsors have talked up to conservatives. Almost allof Obama's spending programs showed favoritism for states with large Democrat populations.  It was part of his Chicago political MO.  Reversing that to a more fair distribution is a good way to incenivise more efficient use of resources.  As one of the posts below shows Democrats have been irresponsible in the mangement of state resources and have piled up unfunded debt in the process.

Some governors do not want the responsibility for managing government healthcare

NY Times:
G.O.P. Leaders Defy Bipartisan Calls to Reject Health Bill
Eleven governors, including five Republicans, urged the Senate to reject a new push to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. But G.O.P. leaders want a showdown vote. Texas has always been a state that has pushed for block grants that would allow it flexibility in deciding the best way to proved healthcare for those on Medicaid.  Apparently some states would still like the excuse of being able to say to voters that the feds are making us do this dumb stuff.  

I am of the opinion that almost anything is better than Obamacare, so I am open to this proposal.  Obamacare has made healthcare unaffordable for those in the indiviual market.  From truck drivers to single moms it has been a disaster.  The only people who have benefited from it are those who were added to Medicaid, and they are faced with a shrinking pool of providers.

Another reason why people are fleeing blue states

Lifezette:
Study: Unfunded Debt 12 Times Higher in Democratic-Run States

States with liberal one-party control have average liability of $22,214 per taxpayer vs. $1,814 in red states Liberal financial thinking appears to be based on mogical thinking and not math.

Cooking the books on the earth's temperature in order to achieve power?

Power Line:
Liberals want us to turn control of our economy over to them, not because their stewardship has been successful in the past–heh–but because if we don’t, the Earth faces imminent climate catastrophe in the form of global warming. Some (e.g., liberal reporters) accept such claims uncritically, while the rest of us want to see evidence.

In this debate, there are two types of evidence. The first is the raw material of science, observation. The second is climate models created by alarmists for the purpose of generating scary scenarios. Anyone with the slightest acquaintance with science understands that observation (type 1) trumps theory (type2). Which is a serious problem for the left-wing warmists, since temperature records show that their models are wrong.

How have liberals chosen to deal with this conundrum? By admitting that their theory, as embodied in their models, was wrong? Don’t be silly. They control pretty much all of the Earth’s historic temperature records, so the…