29 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-24-17

  1. David French wrote this article on Hannity and the Seth Rich story.

    1. Trump’s lawyers seem to have (at least for now) stopped Trump from tweeting lies or embarrassing comments to his naive cult followers.

    2. Now if conservatives like French (or the bosses at Fox) can stop Hannity and Gingrich from spouting garbage to their gullible listeners, we will be making some progress on the road back to sanity.

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  2. Ben Sasse is currently the best Republican in Washington. With his intelligence, honesty and conservatism, I realize he has very little chance for higher office, but I will root for him just the same.

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  3. It will probably be possible to cut some programs after there is a sustained increase in the quantity and quality of available American jobs. But sadly, this is not the case now, and so this budget is not a step in the right direction. It’s the sort of thing that will cost him support in 2020 if not before.

    President Donald Trump’s budget plans to cut the Children’s Health Insurance Program by at least 20% over the next two fiscal years and slash Medicaid, which covers millions more children.

    Millions of poor and working families could lose their health coverage if his proposed budget, released Tuesday and called “A New Foundation for American Greatness,” gets through as-is. It would hit children’s health care hard and break Trump’s campaign promise to “save” Medicaid “without cuts.”

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  4. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/university-md-students-demands-school-address-racial-tensions-article-1.3188802

    I am not sure anymore what kind of new the NY Daily News is, but I have read about this from several different sources and even got in an disagreement with a friend last night over one source calling it a “lynching”. To me lynching means so much more.
    I live in the Deep South where the last known KKK Lynching did happen, so would someone please explain to me why in 2017 this is still happening? AND it’s not happening in the South! While I am horrified that this is happening and my heart breaks for the victim and his family, my second thought is always, “Thank You, God, this didn’t happen in the South”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Don’t worry, Debra. No Democrat and few Trumpkins want those cuts. They will never be made. However, I salute Trump’s budget office for a noble gesture. Sasse could even tell you the additional cuts that would need to be made to balance the budget, but no one could stand to hear those truths.

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  6. Debra, Re: better jobs. We have long noted that Indian immigrants earn double the salaries of native-born Americans. Now that Sean Hannity is no longer on the Seth Rich case, why don’t you suggest that he investigate where those sneaky Indians are hiding all those high-paying jobs?

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  7. Well, I guess now we know where our infrastructure spending is going: India…and Pakistan, Afghanistan. Any place but US.

    In a move that could potentially counter China’s Belt and Road initiative, the United States revived two major infrastructure projects in South and Southeast Asia, the ‘New Silk Road’ project, and the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor. India is involved in both projects as a major player. An outline of the two initiatives, which were made available in the Trump administration’s maiden annual budget on Tuesday, indicated that the NSR initiative would be a public-private project with India as a key player…..

    http://indianexpress.com/article/world/china-belt-and-road-initiative-obor-us-infrastructure-projects-india-4671773/

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  8. Ricky, the census data you’re referring to is household income. Immigrants tend to pile in several working adults in a household. Native born Americans usually have no more than 2—and if there are young children, only 1 working adult per household is preferable.

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  9. Kim, it is a heartbreaking to see a life cut short, and in such a meaningless way. But I also have the same involuntary internal response that it was not in the South. Somehow, I think the North will deal with it more rationally. I’m not sure that is really accurate, but the historical burden of the Civil War is tough for Southerners to overcome when passions start to mount. :–(

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  10. I know many of you won’t agree with the conclusion of this brief piece, but I hope we can agree that Session’s push for tougher sentences is misguided.

    “Intensifying the drug war definitely did not work. America locked drug sellers up, but drug use remained the same. Fat black-market profits enticed new groups of sellers to enter the business. . ..

    . . .The drug war just drove the trade into the hands of nastier criminal gangs. Violence between those gangs is a much bigger problem than the drug use itself.

    As Neill Franklin, a former Baltimore police officer and former drug warrior, puts it, “Drugs are problematic. But the policies to prohibit their use are 10 times more problematic.”

    During Prohibition, gangs like Al Capone’s shot each other over alcohol. It wasn’t because alcohol suddenly made people more violent during those years. It was simply because a popular product was made illegal. The murder rate dropped by half when Prohibition ended.”

    http://reason.com/archives/2017/05/17/jeff-sessions-drug-war-escalation-cruel/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kizzie, due to personal experiences I am extremely torn on the drug issue. What we have done in the past hasn’t worked. Legalizing it should have been done differently. It should be made legal nationwide and regulated and taxed out the wazoo.
    It also needs to be explained that there are dangers with marijuana just like with alcohol but you can’t get anyone to listen to that narrative.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Marijuana is widely portrayed as quite benign these days. But of course, it’s not at all benign and apparently is much stronger than the marijuana of earlier generations.

    Now that it’s legal, more people of course will try it. I don’t know what the answer is either, but I tend to support drug laws as a way to prevent at least some people from going down that road (and I do believe it becomes a so-called “gateway” for a fair number of young people to try drugs that are much more addictive and dangerous). People will do what they’re gonna do.

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  13. Looks like Hillary isn’t the only one having computer problems.

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/05/24/wasserman-schultz-threatened-police-chief-for-gathering-evidence-on-her-it-staffers-alleged-crimes/

    “Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatened the chief of the U.S. Capitol Police with “consequences” for holding equipment that she says belongs to her in order to build a criminal case against a Pakistani staffer suspected of massive cybersecurity breaches involving funneling sensitive congressional data offsite.

    The Florida lawmaker used her position on the committee that sets the police force’s budget to press its chief to relinquish the piece of evidence Thursday, in what could be considered using her authority to attempt to interfere with a criminal investigation.

    The Capitol Police and outside agencies are pursuing Imran Awan, who has run technology for the Florida lawmaker since 2005 and was banned from the House network in February on suspicion of data breaches and theft.”
    ——–

    “The investigation is examining members’ data leaving the network and how Awan managed to get Members to place three relatives and a friend into largely no-show positions on their payrolls, billing $4 million since 2010.

    The congresswoman characterizes the evidence as “belonging” to her and argues that therefore it cannot be seized unless Capitol Police tell her that she personally, as opposed to her staffer, is a target of the investigation.

    When TheDCNF asked Wasserman Schultz Monday if it could inquire about her strong desire for the laptop, she said “No, you may not.” After TheDCNF asked why she wouldn’t want the Capitol Police to have any evidence they may need to find and punish any hackers of government information, she abruptly turned around in the middle of a stairwell and retreated back to the office from which she had come.

    Her spokesman, David Dameron, then emerged to say “We just don’t have any comment.””

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  14. And it looks like the Trump team weren’t the only ones Obama was spying on.

    http://circa.com/politics/barack-obamas-team-secretly-disclosed-years-of-illegal-nsa-searches-spying-on-americans

    “The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

    More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

    The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

    The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

    The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans”

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  15. More on the players in the Wasserman Schultz story. Seems some have fled back to Pakistan.

    Which begs the question, did they hire a Pakistani agent to run their IT? They had access to the entire House network. No wonder the DNC didn’t want the FBI looking at their servers.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/05/pakistan-gives-protection-to-democratic-aide-who-allegedly-breached-house-security/#more-213995

    “Four IT staff for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers lost their jobs in February after suspicions arose that they breached security on the House IT network.

    The U.S. Capitol Police named Hina Alvi, her husband Imran Awan, and his brothers Abid and Jamal “as subjects of a criminal probe.”

    Now relatives have said that Alvi has fled the United States with her daughters and sought protection from the Pakistani government.”
    ——————-

    “In February, reports surfaced that five House employees face an investigation for breaching House IT systems and stealing equipment. Media named Alvi, Abid, Imran, and Jamal in reports the following days, but I have not found the name of the fifth person. Lawmakers fired the four when the suspicions arose and barred the brothers “from computer networks at the House of Representatives.”

    The House members included three congressmen on the intelligence panel and three on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The officials suspect the four of “accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.”

    The Representatives affected include Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), and then-Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY).

    The congressmen have tried to downplay the access the four had, but a former House Information Resources (HIR) technology employee disputed them to The Daily Caller:

    “They had access to EVERYTHING. Correspondence, emails, confidential files — if it was stored on the Member system, they had access to it,” the former House Information Resources (HIR) technology worker with first-hand knowledge of Imran’s privileges told The Daily Caller News Foundation.”

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  16. Debra, You are correct that the avg.household size of an Indian-American family is slightly larger than the average American household (3.06 to 2.6) However, it is not because they have two family households. It is because they are less likely to divorce or have illegitimate children. Thus they have many fewer single women raising children and many fewer single men living alone. They are also 60% more likely to have a college degree than the average American. So, tell old Hannity to find out where they are stashing those high paying jobs.

    Seriously, the economic statistics and behavior patterns for Indian-Americans as a whole look very similar to those of the upper half of American whites as described by Murray in Coming Apart.

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  17. This is the 5th full day since Trump’s Twitter intervention and the 5th full day without an idiotic Tweet. My son thinks that there is bound to be a relapse. However, I am not so sure. The intervention involved Trump’s personal lawyers. I think they may finally have his attention. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yikes. 😨

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republican-candidate-body-slams-guardian-reporter-in-montana/ar-BBBvfsN?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U452DHP

    “The Republican candidate for Montana’s congressional seat slammed a Guardian reporter to the floor on the eve of the state’s special election, breaking his glasses and shouting, “Get the hell out of here.”

    Ben Jacobs, a Guardian political reporter, was asking Greg Gianforte, a tech millionaire running for the seat vacated by Ryan Zinke, about the Republican healthcare plan when the candidate allegedly “body-slammed” the reporter.

    “He took me to the ground,” Jacobs said by phone from the back of an ambulance. “This is the strangest thing that has ever happened to me in reporting on politics.”

    Jacobs subsequently reported the incident to the police. The Gallatin County sheriff’s office is investigating the incident.

    A statement by campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon blamed Jacobs for the incident, saying that he “entered the office without permission, aggressively shoved a recorder in Greg’s face, and began asking badgering questions”.

    “Jacobs was asked to leave,” the statement reads. “After asking Jacobs to lower the recorder, Jacobs declined. Greg then attempted to grab the phone that was pushed in his face. Jacobs grabbed Greg’s wrist, and spun away from Greg, pushing them both to the ground.”

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  19. Thought some of you may find this interesting. Turns out that Trump used to be much more articulate than he is now.

    “Research has shown that changes in speaking style can result from cognitive decline. STAT therefore asked experts in neurolinguistics and cognitive assessment, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists, to compare Trump’s speech from decades ago to that in 2017; they all agreed there had been a deterioration, and some said it could reflect changes in the health of Trump’s brain.”

    https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/23/donald-trump-speaking-style-interviews/

    Liked by 1 person

  20. The Rs are going to lose in Montana and Georgia. Then in 2018, they are going to lose bigly.

    Britain and Israel are adopting new procedures to protect intelligence for the next 44 months.

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  21. Thanks for posting, Kizzie. That is an interesting article. My son would say that the dumbed-down version was more electable.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. When the beautiful new girl moved to town when we were in the 9th grade, about 50 of us fell in love with her at the same time. Right now all the conservatives are falling in love with Ben Sasse.

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