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Showing posts from 2017

Leakers pushing a political agenda and harming US national security?

Washington Free Beacon:
...
"They [former Obama officials] offer ridiculous explanations about why Obama couldn't act more forcefully, and then they apparently leak even more information about certain U.S. measures they claim have been taken against Russia," said one senior U.S. official who deals closely with the matter. "The publication of this information, if it's true, could do some damage to our national security, but the sources don't seem to mind doing that if it helps advance their political narrative."

The sources leaking this information appear to be the same former Obama administration allies and holdovers behind a months-long series of damaging leaks.

"The sources for this [Post] article are obviously the same Obama holdovers who constantly leak classified information to the Washington Post," said the source, who would only discuss the matter under condition of anonymity. "They went back to the those same reporters and tried t…

Raising minimum wage in Seattle has predictable results

Washington Post:
A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals

Seattle officials wanted to help poor workers when they voted to boost the minimum wage, but a new study says they may have done the opposite. It proves once again that liberals just don't get economics.  The attempt to treat entry-level jobs as something other than that leads to fewer of them and the impact falls disproportionately on the poor and minorities who need this leg up into the job market.  They also hurt small business which is the creator of jobs.

Laser on Apache attack chopper passes first test

Tyler Rogoway:
We reported on the concept and test program over a year ago, and now it has finally happened—a AH-64 Apache equipped with a tactical high-energy laser (HEL) successfully took out targets on the White Sands Missile Range. The test is a major breakthrough in directed energy weapons and rotary-wing air warfare to say the least. Above all else it is a glimpse of what's to come on the battlefields of the near future.
...
"A high energy laser mounted on an Apache AH-64 attack helicopter acquired and hit an unmanned target. The test was conducted by Raytheon and the U.S. Army Apache Program Management Office in collaboration with U.S. Special Operations Command at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

It was the first time a fully integrated laser system successfully shot a target from a rotary-wing aircraft over a wide variety of flight regimes, altitudes and air speeds, proving the feasibility of laser attack from Apache.
... It remains unclear exactly how powerfu…

Supreme Court reinstates Trump travel ban, will hear appeal

The Hill:
The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the government’s appeal of lower court rulings blocking the immigration order from taking effect nationwide.

The court also granted the government's request to reinstate part of Trump's travel ban, which would affect people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

As a result of the decision, people who do not have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States would be barred from entry. People who can show they have a relationship to a person or entity will be allowed to enter the country.
The unsigned order putting part of the ban in place would be effective within 72 hours.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, along with the newest Justice, Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee to the court earlier this year, wanted to lift the entire ban, according to the order.
... This is a win for the Trump administration and it could get even better when the case is finally heard.  The previous co…

A 'hold my beer moment' for the Democrats

Kurt Schlichter:
Advice To Help Our Beloved Democrat Friends Win In 2018 This does a pretty funny job of taking the Democrats current approach and wrapping it into a somewhat coherent approach that will assure continued failure.

Petrochemical business a top beneficiary of the shale gas revolution

Wall Street Journal:
The Shale Revolution’s Staggering Impact in Just One Word: Plastics

Petrochemicals, once simply a cheap byproduct, are powering a U.S. manufacturing boom and export bonanza The petrochemical companies have invested billions in new facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast and many of them are just now coming into operation.  They are creating thousands of jobs and a huge export potential that will directly impact the US balance of trade.  Exxon and Dow have invested heavily in the new plants and the Saudis have also joined the competition.

Cargo ship captain claims it gave warning to Fitzgerald and tried to steer to avoid before collision

Reuters:
A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain.

Multiple U.S. and Japanese investigations are under way into how the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the much larger ACX Crystal container ship collided in clear weather south of Tokyo Bay in the early hours of June 17.

In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship's captain said the ACX Crystal had signalled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald "suddenly" steamed on to a course to cross its path.

The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reute…

Tillerson being ill served by State Department bureaucracy

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NY Times:
Tillerson Finds His Role Undercut by the Oval Office
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has found himself out of sync, especially on Middle East policy, with President Trump and his top advisers Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon. I think he is getting bad advice from the career State Department employees who seem to have an unrealistic assessment of situations like that in Qatar.  They are also giving bad advice on the Muslim Brotherhood.  Trump seems to have a more realistic approach to the situation.

It is time to move past the failed policies of the past that have allowed the Islamist cancer to spread in the Middle East.  With allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt expressing a more realistic approach to the problem. the US should seize the opportunities presented to rid themselves of trolls like Qatar's leaders.

Obama's Russian chopper deal for Afghanistan is a failure

Washington Times:
The Donald Trump Pentagon, in so many words, is saying that the Obama administration’s decision to waive punitive sanctions and buy combat helicopters from Russia was a bad deal.

The Pentagon’s first congressionally required report on Afghanistan under President Trump says the Russian Mi-17 chopper has proved a failure in the long war and will be phased out in favor of American-made UH-60 Black Hawks.

The Obama administration came to realize the failure in its last weeks in office and stopped the deal.

The report this month on “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” marks official confirmation that the Russian model broke down too often for the Afghan air force logistics system to keep up.

“Along with the increased expense and difficulty in maintaining the Mi-17 helicopter fleet, utility helicopters are in high demand and the required maintenance exceeds current capacity and capability, leading to maintenance backlogs and a reduced number of aircraft available,…

Sen. Schumer said Trump was under investigation and he knew that was not true

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This is a good example of the politics of fraud as practiced by Democrat politicians.  Sen. Grassley correctly calls Schumer on his lies and his attempt to stall a Supreme Court nomination based on the lie.

FBI clears Mike Flynn over his contacts with Russian ambassador

NY Post:
The FBI has reviewed intercepted phone calls between national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the US and has found no evidence of wrongdoing, it was revealed Monday.

The calls were made in late December and picked up as part of routine electronic surveillance of Russian officials. They did not reveal any illicit ties between Flynn and Russia, according to the Washington Post.
... This also raises serious questions about the Obama administration officials who said Flynn was "compromised" because of the talks.  I have been saying that the talks were perfectly legal and in no way compromised Flynn.  It also damages the Democrats assertion that Trump was "obstructing justice" when he asked Comey to "let the Flynn case go."

Drop in oil price begins to have effect to impact break even because of increased service company charges

Fuel Fix:
Crude prices have fallen to a level that makes drilling most oil wells in the Permian Basin too expensive as service costs continue to rise in West Texas.

The average oil well in the prolific region now breaks even at about $43 a barrel – the price at which U.S. oil settled on Friday – up from about $39 a barrel at earlier this year, according to energy research firm Wood Mackenzie.

That's because oil field service companies have raised prices for equipment and crews that drill wells and bring them into production amid a surge in drilling and equipment there.

"They definitely can't maintain the trajectory they're on," said Ben Shattuck, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie. "For a lot of these pad wells to work, you need those ultralow service prices, and that doesn't happen when you have more than 300 rigs in the Permian."

U.S. oil prices settled at $43.01 a barrel on Friday, down from more than $50 a barrel last month. The number of active oil rigs …

Perry questions subsidy effects on reliability of power grid

The Hill:
When Energy Secretary Rick Perry requested a study of electric grid reliability, wind and solar energy lobbyists were predictably alarmed. Perry wanted to know how federal policies were shaping wholesale electricity markets and whether public policies were responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants.

The government has long had a role in the electric power industry, so asking for a survey of its effects should not be controversial.

The reason for the alarm? The request mentioned government mandates and subsidies, which have driven wind and solar energy's growth, as possible drivers of reliability concerns. The industry lobbyists are right to be sensitive. Despite constantly touting the rapidly falling cost of wind and solar, industry growth over the next decade depends on mandates and subsidies.
...
While low natural gas prices due to fracking have figured into the closure of coal fired power plants, a rise in regulatory compliance costs is …

All they need to do now is persuade the Norks

Reuters:
China, U.S. agree on aim of 'complete, irreversible' Korean denuclearization The real question is, what is China willing to do to ensure this outcome.

The Democrats all too brief vacation from its 'GOP are killers' rhetoric

Derek Hunter:
It was a different time, a crazy time, all those…days ago…way back at the end of last week. I remember it like it was, well, just last week, when Democrats suggested that maybe, just maybe, the political rhetoric in the country was a little too heated after one of their own tried to murder as many Republican Congressmen as possible. Like I said, it was a different time.

After less than two weeks, that time is done and the political left is back at their lying, hateful rhetoric about how Republicans are hoping to kill as many Americans as possible. It actually took a little longer than I thought it would.

Putting aside the hypocrisy for a second, how dumb must Democrats think their base is to believe the other political party’s election strategy is to hasten the deaths of millions of people? How idiotic is the idea that one party’s plan to continue to win elections across the country is the screw as many people as possible out of something?

Moreover, Democrats are telling…

Those behind the dirty dossier are Democrats?

Paul Sperry:
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The Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month threatened to subpoena the firm, Fusion GPS, after it refused to answer questions and provide records to the panel identifying who financed the error-ridden dossier, which was circulated during the election and has sparked much of the Russia scandal now engulfing the White House.

What is the company hiding? Fusion GPS describes itself as a “research and strategic intelligence firm” founded by “three former Wall Street Journal investigative reporters.” But congressional sources says it’s actually an opposition-research group for Democrats, and the founders, who are more political activists than journalists, have a pro-Hillary, anti-Trump agenda.

“These weren’t mercenaries or hired guns,” a congressional source familiar with the dossier probe said. “These guys had a vested personal and ideological interest in smearing Trump and boosting Hillary’s chances of winning the White House.”

Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an un…

How Obama got Trump elected

Michael Goodwin:
The rapid pace of change in American life does not exempt politics. Witness how fast Democrats are cycling through scapegoats.

First came Hillary Clinton. When she emerged to gripe about all the reasons she lost last year, except herself, party activists told her to be quiet and go away. She has, for now.

Next came Nancy Pelosi. When Republicans won four contested special elections for House seats, disgruntled Dems turned their fire on their minority leader, telling Pelosi it was time to get out of the way. She refuses, for now.

And now comes Barack Obama. The former president, shredding what was left of his promise not to interfere with his successor, is joining the fight against the repeal of ObamaCare. He called the Senate bill an example of “meanness,” and pledged to campaign for the Democrat in the Virginia governor’s race.

For Republicans, luck can’t get much better. While Clinton and Pelosi were hardly innocent bystanders in the historic rout of Democrats at ev…

Muslims were responsible for one of the largest mass murders in history in India and they wonder why they are not loved?

Washington Post:
‘How can they hate us so much?’ asks father of Muslim teen brutally killed in attack on train in India

The slaying of a 16-year-old was the latest in a string of anti-Muslim attacks in India during the Islamic holy period of Ramadan. Tensions have risen since the Hindu nationalist government restricted the sale of cattle for slaughter. Some 400 million Hindus were alleged to have been killed during the attempted Muslim conquest of India.
...
From the time of the Umayyad Dynasty (711AD) to the last Mughal, Bahadur Shah Zafar (1858), so widely praised as great leaders by Indian historians themselves, entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e…

The problem with the Senate healthcare bill for Republicans

Washington Post: Senate health-care bill faces resistance from GOP moderates

Fears that proposed cuts would fray the social safety net are creating anxiety for Republican moderates whose states have benefited from the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid. Those centrists may pose just as much an obstacle to the bill’s passage as their colleagues on the right.

Koch network won’t endorse Senate GOP’s health-care measure in its current form

One group wants a “more dramatic” reversal of the Affordable Care Act. An official with the Koch network said the debate has focused too much on the number of insured people and not enough on outcomes. Most of the criticism I see is closer to what the Koch network is saying than what so-called moderates are saying.

Those who cling too closely to the current Obamacare formula are likely to be the biggest losers because they are not going to mollify Democrats who are determined to keep the sorry status quo at any cost and they will lash out at anyone who opposes …

Special ops raids give a picture inside ISIS operations

NY Times:
One late afternoon in April, helicopter-borne American commandos intercepted a vehicle in southeastern Syria carrying a close associate of the Islamic State’s supreme leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The associate, Abdurakhmon Uzbeki, was a rare prize whom United States Special Operations forces had been tracking for months: a midlevel but highly trusted operative skilled in raising money; spiriting insurgent leaders out of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s besieged capital in Syria; and plotting attacks against the West. Captured alive, Mr. Uzbeki could be an intelligence bonanza. Federal prosecutors had already begun preparing criminal charges against him for possible prosecution in the United States.

As the commandos swooped in, however, a firefight broke out. Mr. Uzbeki, a combat-hardened veteran of shadow wars in Syria and Pakistan, died in the gun battle, thwarting the military’s hopes of extracting from him any information about Islamic State operations, leaders and strategy.

N…

Immigrants in Houston react to presidential politics in US

This being from the NY Times, it has been edited to present those who think we are on the road to becoming Syria first, but there are some real insights from some of the more optimistic people interviewed and I will focus on what they said.
...
Steve Le was born in South Vietnam and was 7 years old when he boarded a ship the day before the fall of Saigon in 1975 with his family and other refugees. They resettled in Houston, and Mr. Le became a family physician and the third consecutive Vietnamese-American to represent District F on the Houston City Council. Mr. Le, a Republican who speaks with a subtle Texas twang, said he has never seen America more deeply divided, but added that nothing happening now compares to the world his parents knew in Vietnam. Watching the testimony of James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was but one example, he said.

“In how many other countries can you call the top elected official in the country a liar and get away with it?” said Mr. Le, 50. “Althou…

UK burdened by terroists' rights apparatus that prevents deportations

Sunday Telegraph:
More than 40 foreign terrorists have used human rights laws to remain in the UK, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office.

The study highlights the near insurmountable problem for the Government in deporting dangerous jihadists and follows a series of Islamic State-inspired attacks in the UK.

In the court cases, lawyers - typically funded through legal aid - have successfully prevented foreign-born terror suspects from being sent back to their home countries.

At a time when Britain’s security services are fully stretched, the additional burden of monitoring so many foreign terrorist inevitably adds to the strain.
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Prof Walker said: “My research suggests there are more than 40 foreign terrorists convicted in the UK who have avoided deportation using the human rights act. The figure is much larger than was previously thought.”

Among those understood to have used the Human Rights Act to resist deportation including jihadists with links to the fai…

The toxic language on the left

Marc Theisen:
...
Case in point: A few weeks before the Alexandria shooting, Hillary Clinton gave a commencement speech at Wellesley College where she declared that Trump’s budget is “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us, the youngest, the oldest, the poorest” (emphasis added). No, it is not. Using nerve agent on the innocent is “an attack of unimaginable cruelty.” Putting a hapless college student into a coma is an “attack of unimaginable cruelty.” Reducing the growth of government spending is not.

Think for a moment what Clinton was saying: It’s not simply that Democrats and Republicans have an honest disagreement about how best to help the most vulnerable among us. In Clinton’s telling, Republicans are waging war on the vulnerable. That is toxic.

No doubt, Trump has contributed mightily to our descent into the culture of contempt. (For example, the media is not the “enemy of the American people,” Mr. President). But since Trump’s election, the scope and…

Democrats continue to make the same mistake Hillary Clinton made in the campaign--It is all about Trump

Washington Post:
Beyond opposing Trump, do Democrats have a message?

Perhaps Democrats thought things would be easier because of Donald Trump’s rocky start. His presidency has produced an outpouring of anger among Democrats, but will that be enough to bring about a change in the party’s fortunes? Some savvy Democratic elected officials doubt it. Their anti-Trump fantasies are not working for them.  Anger is not a plan or a policy.  It only feeds those they already had and does not expand their base.  If anything, it further alienates them from voters they need.  This is because they not only hate Trump, they also hate those who voted for him.  "I hate you because you did not vote for me" is a tough sale.

Yet another absurd claim by Trump opponents

Washington Post:
Could Trump’s White House tapes ruse get him in legal trouble?

Legal experts doubt the president would actually be accused of witness tampering. But some of them said it could feed into the obstruction of justice case. There are several things wrong with this "analysis."  What Trump said was not a definitive statement that there were tapes.  He said something that he believed would force Comey to tell the truth about their conversations and it apparently worked.  After Comey testified Trump felt exonerated.

How could getting a witness to tell the truth be considered witness tampering?  That is absurd on its face.  It is a technique used by trial lawyers in cross-examinations from time to time.  Even Abraham Lincoln is said to have used it.

Why is the Washington Post even giving credence to such a ridiculous theory?  There seems to be no limit on what the left and the media will stoop to in their attempt to justify a coup against the President.

Navy has yet to reveal why watch system did not work to avoid collision of Fitzgerald with freighter

NY Times:
A U.S. Destroyer Failed to Dodge a Cargo Ship. Why?
Lookouts and radar operators on the Fitzgerald should have spotted the freighter it collided with, and the captain should have been alerted. But none of that happened, and seven sailors died. While the radar system should have alerted the crew, a person on watch should have been able to identify the potential collision by seeing the running lights on the cargo ship.  They should have been able to see the port side red lights on the ship as it approached.  The Navy needs to determine if the watch was distracted by something internally on the destroyer or was asleep at the wheel.

Reports indicate the cargo ship was on autopilot.  I suspect the Fitzgerald was too.  But both ships should have had a watch posted and both had a responsibility to avoid a collision.

Documents reveal Qatar ties to Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish despot

Shoebot.com:
Secret Documents Reveal A Grand Conspiracy Behind Qatar And Turkey For A Muslim Brotherhood Takeover What I do not understand is why the US State Department is insistent on supporting this Islamist organization even against the allegations of other Muslims.  The claim that labeling them a terrorist organization will alienate Muslims seems to be belied by the fact that so many Muslims reject the group.

Canada demonstrates how rationed healthcare works

CTV News:
Healthcare wait times hit 20 weeks in 2016: reportA survey by the Fraser Institute found a median wait of 20 weeks for “medically necessary” treatments and procedures in 2016 – the longest-recorded wait time since the think tank began tracking wait times.
... There is more.

This is what you get with the single payer system the Democrats are pushing.  This is not to mention the loss of innovation in medicine that is created by the single payer system that free rides on US pharmaceuticals where most of the new drugs are created.

The left and its terrorist movement

Red States:
Trump Supporter Savagely Attacked At Sanctuary City Protest In California

We’re barely six months into the so called #RESIST movement and the Left has already engaged in more violence than they ever falsely accused the Tea Party of committing. In California a demonstration over the sanctuary cities issue ended with a man being run down and stabbed nine times in what certainly looks like another racially or politically motivated attack. At this rate, left wing extremists are going to be a bigger security threat than ISIS.
... Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.  It has become routine especially in California where the left controls all the levers of government and it seems to have no interests in going after violent fellow travelers.  It appears opponents of liberalism are the victims of hate crimes in that state.

Congress should investigate the investigators

Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Mark Meadows:
Former FBI Director James Comey misled the American people during last year’s presidential campaign when he referred to the Clinton email scandal as a “matter,” not an investigation. He did it willfully. He did it intentionally. And he did it at the direction of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Mr. Comey misled the American people in the early weeks of the Trump administration by furthering the perception that President Trump was under investigation, when in fact he was not. He again did this willfully and intentionally.

Comey recently admitted that, after being fired from the FBI, he had a friend leak an internal FBI document to the New York Times detailing a conversation Comey had with President Trump. Comey testified under oath that he ordered the leak to help create public momentum for the appointment of a special counsel, which we now know is Comey’s mentor and predecessor, Robert Mueller.

The American people want justice to be blind. They w…

Democrat colusion allegation scam replaced by obstruction scam

Andrew McCarthy:
The “collusion” narrative was a fraud, plain and simple. We know that now. Hopefully, it won’t take another six months to grasp a second plain and simple truth: Collusion’s successor, the “obstruction” narrative, is a perversion.The Left loves narrative. The ever-expanding story manipulates time, space, and detail to fit a thematic framework. Political narrative has some surface appeal, but it is deeply flawed. It obscures plain and simple truth.So let’s stick with the plain and simple: The essence of obstruction is to frustrate the search for truth. Its antithesis is to demand the exposure of fraud.Donald Trump’s political enemies are trying to build an obstruction case on the antithesis of obstruction: the president’s insistence that the collusion fraud be exposed.
... There is more.

The Democrats have been engaged in the politics of fraud and they keep getting caught.  But rather than shrinking from their scheme they double down with another preposterous assertion an…

Will California state universities have to forfeit out of state games in certain states?

CNN:
California adds 4 states to travel ban for laws it says discriminate against LGBTQ community I suspect the ban may breach the constitution prohibition on interference with interstate commerce.  But it would be interesting to see if California would damage the ability of state school sports programs to compete.

Saudis say they foiled terror attack against holy site

Reuters:
Saudi security forces foil attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca - state TV

...
Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah. The foiled attack targeted worshipers at the mosque, it said.
... This sounds like an ISIS operation, but the Saudis have also recently foiled plots by Iran too.   If they managed to capture the plotters whey will likely find out who was behind the operation.

There is an Islamic civil war going on and the terrorists are not limiting their attacks to non-Muslims.

Narrowing the list of leakers--Trey Gowdy responds to a question about an intelligence briefing

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There were apparently eight people in the room beside the witness.  He eliminates two counting himself which suggests the leaker was one of six congressmen.  I suspect the list can be further narrowed to who among the six were Democrats.

High tech drilling is making US producers more efficient

Reuters:
In today's U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth.

The sensors are leading Big Oil's mining of so-called big data, with some firms envisioning billions of dollars in savings over time by avoiding outages, managing supplies and identifying safety hazards.

The industry has long used sophisticated technologies to find oil and gas. But only recently have oil firms pooled data from across the company for wider operating efficiencies - one of many cost-cutting efforts spurred by the two-year downturn in crude oil CLc1 prices.

ConocoPhillips (COP.N) says that sensors scattered across its well fields helped it halve the time it once took to drill new wells in Eagle Ford shale basin of South Texas.

By comparing data from hundreds of sensors, its program automatically adjusts the weight placed on a drill bit and its speed, accelerating…

Obama wimps out on what media calls the 'crime of the century'

Washington Post:
Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault

In political terms, Russia’s interference was the crime of the century. It was a case that took almost no time to solve and was traced to Russian President Vladimir Putin. But because of the ways President Barack Obama and President Trump handled it, the Kremlin has yet to face severe consequences. Through interviews with more than three dozen current and former U.S. officials, The Post tells the inside story of how the Obama administration handled the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The story buries the real lead near the end of the story where they admit that the "crime of the century" had no effect on the outcome of the election.   This appears to be another attempt by the media to keep the Russian angle alive in their complicity in a coup attempt against Trump since their collusion narrative has been totally discredited.

Apparently, Obama was a source for some of the mater…

Many on the left don't get the enormity of Democrats literally targeting Republicans they disagree with

Mary Katherine Ham:
Aftermath Of Alexandria Shooting Showed The Left’s Cultural Bullying At Its Worst

The behavior of many on the Left this week sent a message that not only do they not 'get' the other half of the country, they don’t want to. That's a recipe for losing elections.
...

National media covered the incident voraciously for several hours, but within a day, most had moved on to another leak in the Russia story. Less than 48 hours after a multiple assassination attempt on members of Congress, there were no media vans or cameras at the Alexandria baseball field where it occurred. Just for perspective, when Republican staffer Elizabeth Lauten committed the offense of writing something critical of President Obama’s daughters on her private Facebook page, news cameras were camped on her parents’ lawn staking her out for the better part of a week.
...

Less than a week after the shooting, there was a high-profile House election in Georgia—the most expensive House race in…

The meanness of Obamacare and the President who pushed it

Washington Post:
‘Meanness at the core:’ Obama jumps back into fray to criticize Trump, GOP on health care

Barack Obama had pledged to recede from the limelight, but in defending his White House legacy he is setting up a high-stakes confrontation between a former and current president that is virtually unprecedented in modern times. This is from a guy who probably has not read the bill he is criticizing.   The meanness at the core of Obamacare required him to use lies to sell it.  It imposed great burdens on small business and especially on people in the individual market where healthcare premiums for lousy insurance went through the roof so Obama could bestow his generosity on Democrat voters.

He drove up the cost by mandating coverage of crap people did not want or need.  It was one of the worse laws ever passed and earned the wrath of the voters who rejected the Democrats who supported the travesty.

Senate healthcare bill would reverse the wealth transfer portion of Obamacare

NY Times:

Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill The bill is aligned with long-held Republican values, jettisoning Obamacare taxes. But it would also reduce funding for the care of low-income Americans. This story appears to be written to suggest that allowing some people to keep their own money is a wealth transfer when it is just the opposite.

What Obamacare did was impose new burdens on small business and on people in the individual market whose rates skyrocketed in order to help pay for those who were not paying for their own healthcare insurance.

It was a very unfair system that attacked mainly middle-class people who did not have employer-provided healthcare insurance.

The media and the Democrats continue to show a lack of empathy for those seriously harmed by Obamacare.

The Washington Post has another example of this false narrative:
Senate Republicans ready themselves for a massive theft from the poor In fact, Obamacare was making people in th…

Is National Security Council trying to obstruct the investigation of Susan Rice's unmasking operation?

Washington Times:
House intelligence committee sources say career officials at the National Security Council are slow-walking the delivery of subpoenaed records on former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice’s handling of classified information and the “unmasking” of Trump campaign workers — material from the Russian hacking probe that middle-level NSC managers claim was transferred to President Obama’s library and could “remain closed to the public for five years.”

One source, speaking only on the condition of anonymity, called the transfer curious and appeared to reflect an effort by former administration officials to obscure evidence on whether Ms. Rice and other top officials in the Obama White House illegally tried to identify which Trump campaign and transition aides had been caught up in the U.S. intelligence intercepts of Russian interference in the presidential race.

The two high-level intelligence committee sources told The Washington Times that they are confident the panel…

More on the liberal jihad against Mike Flynn

Power Line:
Yesterday’s big New York Times romp was the inflammatory hit piece “Despite concerns about blackmail, Flynn heard CIA secrets.” The story carried the byline of Matt Apuzzo, Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman.

The thesis of the story was obviously spoonfed to the Times by Senator Ron Wyden (as is pointed out below). The story is based in part on public testimony, but in relevant part I believe it fails to cite a single on the record source. As usual, it seems to draw on classified information. Its apparent purpose is to kneecap CIA Director Mike Pompeo while finding yet another pretext to emit the fog of “collusion.”

Senator Tom Cotton addressed the Times story in a series of 10 tweets. He undermined the story in the first seven and returned with three more for good measure.

Senator Cotton persuades me that there is less to the Times story than meets the eye. And Senator Cotton’s last point — that certain Times reporters “need time to explain to FBI investigators their reveali…

The slippery slope of the legal fight against Trump

Alan Dershowitz:
My academic and political colleagues who insist that President Trump has obstructed justice point to his allegedly "corrupt motive" in firing former FBI Director James Comey after telling him that he "hoped" he would end his investigation of retired Gen. Mike Flynn. They concede – as Comey himself did – that the president has the constitutional authority to fire the director and to order him to end (or start) any investigation, just as he has the authority to pardon anyone being investigated. But they argue that these constitutionally authorized innocent acts become criminal if the president was "corruptly motivated."

This is a dangerous argument that no civil libertarian should be pressing. Nor would they be pressing it if the shoe were on the other foot.

If Hillary Clinton had been elected and Republicans were investigating her for asking the attorney general to describe the investigation of her as a "matter" rather than a &qu…

Financial services company to bring thousands of jobs to Dallas-Fort Worth area

Dallas Business Journal:
Financial giant Charles Schwab to begin work on new 5,000-person regional hub in Westlake Schwab is a California-based discount brokerage firm whose MO in the past is to pay its sales staff a salary rather than the more traditional use of giving them a portion of brokerage fees associated with the transaction.

They already have a large regional hub in Denver and this appears to be part of an expansion move.

China concerned that Democrats may attack them next after Russia scare fizzles

Bill Gertz:
The political hysteria sweeping Washington over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election is reverberating in China. The communist government is worried that a similar wave of anti-China sentiment will take hold in the United States.

According to China watchers in and out of government, what Beijing fears most is that special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director, will add White House dealings with China to his investigation of Russian election meddling.

One main effort of the Chinese government is trying to tamp down the fallout from news reports that first surfaced in March revealing a company owned by the family of President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was planning to sell a stake in a Manhattan skyscraper to the Chinese state-connected insurance company Anbang for $400 million.

The proposed sale of 666 Fifth Ave., reported by Bloomberg and The New York Times, has all the trappings of a Chinese influence operation designed to boost China

Before reading healthcare bill Democrat brought out disabled people to use as props as demonstrators

Red States:
Democrat Astroturf Protests Erupt Immediately After Release Of Senate Healthcare Bill Democrats like to act like they are the party of empathy, but they have shown no empathy for the people who have been grievously harmed by Obamacare.  Instead, they use people who have no knowledge of the bill to act like victims.

More evidence emerges of Comey leaks to media

Breitbart:
James Comey may have misled senators on May 3, when he testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had never been an anonymous source in news reports related to the Russia investigation.

By that time, he had already leaked several private conversations he had with President Trump to his friend Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare and former editorial writer for the Washington Post.

Wittes wrote in a piece on May 18, only nine days after Comey was fired, that the former FBI director had shared those conversations “over the previous few months.” He wrote:

Comey never told me the details of the dinner meeting; I don’t think I even knew that there had been a meeting over dinner until I learned it from the Times story. But he did tell me in general terms that early on, Trump had ‘asked for loyalty’ and that Comey had promised him only honesty. He also told me that Trump was perceptibly uncomfortable with this answer.

Wittes also wrote that he had lunch with …

Trump asked intelligence heads to tell the truth about Russian collusion allegations

Daily Mail:

Two top intelligence officials told the Special Counsel's team, and senators, that President Trump asked them to refute reports of collusion between the Russians and his campaign. Trump correctly stated that there was no collusion and it is hard to see anything inappropriate in asking officials to acknowledge the fact they were already aware of.  The Democrats had been running a scam with votes claiming there was collusion and setting the record straight rather than allow the fraud to fester makes sense.

Sniper sophistication leads to record long shot

Fox News:
A Canadian sniper set what appears to be a record, picking off an ISIS fighter from some 2.2 miles away, and disrupting a potentially deadly operation by the terror group in Iraq.

Shooting experts say the fatal shot at a world-record distance of 11,316 feet underscores how stunningly sophisticated military snipers are becoming. The feat, pulled off by a special forces sniper from Canada’s Joint Task Force 2, smashed the previous distance record for successful sniper shots by some 3,280 feet, a record set by a British sniper.

"The Canadian Special Operations Command can confirm that a member of the Joint Task Force 2 successfully hit a target from 3,540 metres [2.2 miles]," the Canadian military said in a statement.

While officials would not say where the shot took place, the statement noted the command "provides its expertise to Iraqi security force to detect, identify and defeat Daesh activities from well behind the Iraqi security force front line in Mosul.&q…

How to kill fire ants

Washington Post:
A terrifying threat from tropical depression Cindy: Floating masses of deadly fire ants

Floodwaters won’t kill the notoriously tough insects, which are just as dangerous when they’re wet as they are dry, according to Alabama officials. One of the best ways to deal with fire ants is to sprinkle instant grits over their mound when it is dry.  The ants eat the grits and the moisture in their stomach causes the grits to expand and kill them.

Democrats have a problem and it is them

NY Times:
Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump’ A demoralizing special-election defeat has left some Democrats questioning the leadership and political strategy of Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader. Pelosi is not their main problem.  Their media cohorts are so extreme in their anti-Trump rage and agenda that it makes it difficult for a candidate in a non-liberal district to present a more nuanced message.

Ossoff could talk a more moderate theme, but it was hard to overlook the vitriol coming from Democrats and media analyst at CNN and MSNBC.  That was enough to motivate Republicans to get out in high numbers and vote against the liberal media's favored candidate.

By casting the election as the "resistance" versus Trump they made it easier for Republicans to win.  Republicans may not be that happy with Trump, but they definitely do not want to support the agenda of the "resistance."

If Democrats are concerned about their br…

Democrats also refused access to Homeland Security to deal with hacks

Washington Examiner:
Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday the Democratic National Committee decided it didn't need the department's help when it was hacked by the Russians and instead opted to rely on a private cybersecurity firm.

"This was a question I asked repeatedly when I learned of [the hacking]—what are we doing? Are we in there? Are we helping them discover the vulnerabilities, because this was fresh off the OPM experience and there was a point at which DHS cybersecurity experts did get in to OPM and help them discover the bad actors and patch some of the exfiltrations, or at least minimize some of the damage," Johnson said referencing the hack at the Office of Personnel Management.

"I was anxious to know whether our folks were in there, and the response I got was the FBI had spoken to them. They don't want our help. They have CrowdStrike," he said. "That was the answer I got after I asked the question…

A major difference in the new Afghan policy

Eli Lake:
How Trump's Afghan Policy Is Different From Obama's

A new approach would aim to empower the government without telegraphing a withdrawal date for U.S. troops. One of the real weaknesses in the Obama policy was its artificial deadline for pulling troops out of the country.   You win a war by persuading the enemy that his cause is hopeless.  Pulling troops out before the enemy reaches that conclusion gives him hope that you will just leave.  It is the opposite of a winning strategy.

Iran to get no free ride in next Hezballah attack against Israel

Jerusalem Post:
'IF HEZBOLLAH FIRES ROCKETS ON ISRAEL, IDF SHOULD HIT IRAN’S INFRASTRUCTURE'

Former deputy defense minister Ehpraim Sneh warned that Israel should be prepared to react to unforeseen aggression from Lebanon by hitting it where it hurts the most. While Iran probably should be a target in such a war, I would focus on more strategic targets like their weapons production facilities and their missile program.

The end game against ISIS is getting messier

Reuters:
Western-backed Syrian rebels holding a strategic swathe of the desert southeast stretching to the Iraqi border said they came under major attack on Tuesday from government forces and allied Iranian-backed militias backed by Russian air power.

They said hundreds of troops with dozens of armored vehicles including tanks had surged into the Bir Qassab area some 75 km (45 miles) southeast of Damascus towards the Badia region that skirts the borders with Jordan and Iraq.

Bir Qassab straddles the route to the eastern suburbs of Damascus, near the Dumeir air base, that is also a key rebel supply line towards areas they control further southeast.

Bir Qassab fell to Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels after it was abandoned a few months ago by Islamic State (IS) militants beating an eastward retreat to reinforce their urban bastion, Raqqa, against a U.S.-backed coalition offensive, and Deir al Zor province against a thrust by Syrian government forces.

Bir Qassab had given Islamic State a sp…