80 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-17-18

  1. A brand-new day for y’all to do your pro- and anti-Trump debates! Go for it! For some of the rest of us, the election is over and we have other things to do than fret about politicians.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Them dirty Russians meddling’ in our politics, exposing Hillary’s shenanigans and holding rallies. Something must be done about that.
    How about firing half a dozen people in the Obama Justice Department?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This woman appears to miss the irony in her statement as well. She virtue signals, clutches her pearls, and continues to support the policy that has killed 50 million babies, all while fretting about the slaughter of 17 innocents.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/02/16/kamala-harris-can-proud-country-babies-slaughtered/

    “Kamala Harris: How Can We Be Proud Of A Country Where Our Babies Are Being Slaughtered?

    You make a good point, Kamala Harris. A society that doesn’t value children’s lives *is* sort of garbage, isn’t it?

    I’m glad we’re all on the same page here.”
    ————-

    “You would think Harris would be at least minimally self-aware enough not to refer to “babies” when describing callousness towards children dying. That’s how little regard the left has for life in the womb.”

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  4. A long and interesting read. And rare, in that it actually covers the views of all sides.

    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2017/11/low-skill-immigration-case-restriction/

    “A Race to the Bottom?

    Why restrict immigration? Replacing American workers with fresh waves of low-skill immigrants is not a viable long-term strategy for our country. Despite some immediate economic benefits for employers, large shareholders, and consumers, albeit with substantial offsetting fiscal costs, mass importation of low-skill workers is both demoralizing and risky in the longer term.

    Even apart from institutional and cultural effects—which deserve separate, extended treatment—mass low-wage immigration is demoralizing because it amounts to a strategy of replacing and displacing less-skilled American citizens from the workforce with no thought to the broader economic, social, and psychological effects on the workers themselves, their communities, and society as a whole.

    Sustained mass immigration is also in bad faith, because it facilitates a wholesale evasion of hard realities. Too many low-skill Americans are poorly socialized to work and considered undesirable by American employers. The current immigration status quo allows this to be papered over. Changing the status quo will force this situation to be confronted and addressed. Society and workers themselves must face up to native workers’ perceived, and actual, inadequacies, and also to the need to take the low-skill jobs that exist and are available.

    Mass immigration poses additional risks because the long-term trajectory of large numbers of unskilled immigrants is a wild card at best. Children born to Hispanics, who represent the largest group of low-skill workers, complete fewer years of schooling and have lagging test scores compared to other groups. Reihan Salam reported in National Review last August that, “of the children of foreign born parents with less than a high school education, only 6.2 percent will graduate from college. Low incomes in one generation threaten to extend into the next.”28

    There is also demographic evidence that the intact families of the first generation are giving way to paternal abandonment and single-parent families, which are a growing presence in the Hispanic community. By all indications, children born in these circumstances will largely remain at the bottom of society, qualified to take on only relatively unskilled work. Also, there is some evidence that the number of entry-level low-skill jobs is on the decline, which would mean that the offspring of low-skill immigrants will be competing for a shrinking pool of jobs with other less-educated Americans. Finally, Hispanic assimilation into American norms has many positive aspects, but it also has downsides in an era when increasing numbers of native Americans with less education and fewer skills have fallen into some dysfunctional habits. Whether second-generation immigrants will continue to display their parents’ hardihood and discipline or will become more like Americans with similar education and skills is an open question. The signs are not encouraging. The ethnography reveals some employer grumbling about native-born generations of Hispanics. If the quality of the second generation of immigrants deteriorates, that will only start the cycle over again, with renewed demands for fresh recruits from abroad.

    Immigration Restriction and Beyond

    What is to be done? First and foremost, our country must redouble its efforts to control illegal immigration. Most effective would be mandating the E-Verify system to ensure employment eligibility of all new hires, as well as finally implementing the biometric entry and exit system, first authorized by Congress in 2002, that would help identify visa overstayers. Without these initiatives, other efforts will prove far less effective. It goes without saying that formidable obstacles, largely political but also practical, exist to making good on these goals, and they will not be elaborated on here. But enforcing the law is a key element of any attempt to tackle the problem.

    Second, sharply reducing the legal immigration of low-skill foreign nationals is indispensable to addressing the dysfunction that currently besets our country’s low-wage labor markets. We endorse limiting family-based green cards to the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, while moving towards a skills-based immigration system, as Tom Cotton and David Perdue’s proposed RAISE Act would do. Extended family reunification, long the source of chain migration that has drawn millions of low-skill immigrants to the United States, should be eliminated. In addition, Congress should downsize or abolish the temporary worker programs, such as the H-2 visas, that allow American companies to look abroad for workers. (This article centers on low-skill work, not technical positions requiring advanced training. Although that topic warrants separate consideration, it may well be advisable to tighten the rules for middle- and upper-skill positions as well.)

    There is no question that some low-skill Americans are reluctant to perform some low-level jobs available in the economy. As noted below, that reluctance needs to change. But if the supply of willing foreign workers tightens, businesses will have no choice but to try to attract Americans, and especially to make more effort to employ the jobless black population. As Minnesota Federal Reserve president Neel Kashkari has recently observed, this may mean increasing wages and benefits for entry-level employees, especially for arduous, dangerous jobs in meatpacking, construction, and agriculture where immigrants now predominate.29

    The laws of supply and demand suggest this would happen. In a book-length report published last year, the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) found that the overall impact of immigration on American wages is small, but “a high degree of consensus exists that specific groups are more vulnerable than others to inflows of new immigrants.” The vulnerable groups are the workers with whom newly arrived foreign workers most directly compete—namely, prior immigrants and natives with low levels of education. The NAS lists nine different studies that find negative wage effects on those groups, with a typical result being that a 10 percent increase in immigration causes a 5 percent decrease in wages.30 The wage question is contentious, however, and some economists remain unconvinced. Part of the problem is that empirical studies must attempt to isolate the effect of immigration from the myriad other influences on wages, and such attempts can quickly bog down in technical debates with no resolution.

    More relevant for our purposes are case studies of what happens when immigrant labor suddenly becomes unavailable to American employers. William Voegeli has recently noted that, in the aftermath of a government raid on illegal workers at six of its plants, the Swift meatpacking company was able to restaff its facilities by raising wages, offering bonuses, and aggressively recruiting local natives.31 Similarly, in his book We Wanted Workers (Norton, 2016), Harvard economist George Borjas recounts how a poultry plant in Georgia lost 75 percent of its workforce practically overnight after an immigration raid. To attract native-born replacements, the plant immediately advertised higher wages, free transportation, and on-site housing.32 And when Arizona passed stricter enforcement laws in the last decade, its illegal immigrant population declined by an estimated 40 percent. The resulting worker “shortage” caused wages to increase in the state’s farm and construction industries, and contractors made an effort to recruit new people. “Now you have to put out feelers, buy ads, go on Craigslist, tap job agencies just to get a few men,” one told the Wall Street Journal.33

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  5. This article by my favorite nerd, Nate Silver, really made me laugh. He said that he was “agnostic” about whether Russian aid to Trump in 2016 was decisive, but concluded that he believes Russian aid to Trump was not as critical as James Comey’s 10/28/16 letter to Congress about the Weiner emails.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/02/16/trumps-deafness-handpicked-intelligence-leaders-signals-treasonous-behavior-kurt-bardella-column/338300002/

    I had forgotten that Trump’s approval rating on Election Day was only 38%. 2016 may be remembered for “the election the Russians stole” and/or Hillary may be remembered as “the worst candidate ever”.

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  6. Yes. The “hoax” is real. The”witch hunt” just found 13 witches.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-russia-hoax-turns-out-to-be-real/2018/02/16/be3d174a-1346-11e8-9065-e55346f6de81_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_trump-hoax-545pm-1%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.6895c35d64f4

    AJ, Really! The President’s first job is to protect the country against foreign attacks. When a President not only lies to coverup foreign attacks against our elections (which are critical to our form of government), but attacks US law enforcement who are investigating the attacks, mobilizes his army of idiots (led by Nunes) to try to discredit such law enforcement, and refuses to take actions against the foreign attacker, then that is Treason!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OK, Trumpkins. I am interested in your explanation. Why does Trump never ever criticize Russia even when it becomes obvious they interfered in our election?

    Young people have humorous, salacious explanations of the type described in The Dossier. I don’t really want to believe those. Give me a rational alternative.

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  8. Ricky @9:15 You know, the Black Pigeon is easy to make fun of, but articles like these in respected sources are really much more pernicious. Comments like this one are complete and utter rubbish:

    “Trump’s refusal to accept the consensus of his own national security team seems to be the definition of “adhering to” our “Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” His state of denial of emboldens America’s enemies to continue their attacks against our democratic process, and makes him a willing accomplice in their efforts to undermine our republic.”

    It makes a blatantly false claim and builds a case against it. Trump and Pence have both agreed with our intelligence agencies that have said Russia did not have a material impact on the outcome of our elections. It is this sort of blatant mis-reporting that make the Black Pigeons out there look just a little more credible by comparison. And that’s dangerous.

    There are excellent sources that are available, and the American Affairs Journal AJ linked @9:25 is definitely one of them. They provide a good range of well thought out ideas. They have more to offer than the cheap news thrills that so many mainstream sources are publishing these days.

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  9. Here’s another angle on protecting kids in schools: https://townhall.com/columnists/lawrencemeyers/2018/02/15/president-trump-have-education-department-mandate-active-shooter-protocols-n2449726

    I may have mentioned in the past that several of my relatives’ children attended a school with celebrity children, which meant the risk of hostage taking was high. From kindergarten, the children were taught what to do if an authorized person roamed the halls, particularly with a gun.

    I was horrified when my relative told me about the exercise, but it’s exactly what they’re discussing in the above paragraph.

    What a tragedy children need to be taught such things at a young age. What a miserable world we live in.

    But then, again, boy scouts are on the downswing. Kids don’t learn the virtue and safety in being prepared at all times. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Donald J. Trump
    ‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump
    19h19 hours ago

    Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Maybe the President doesn’t think another cold war would be a good deal for Americans.Maybe there are better ways of dealing with this. II’m not running around condemning Russia (or China for that matter) for doing what I believe they have been doing for decades. It’s what countries do when they are trying to get the upper hand. I fully believe that the US has done such things as well through CIA disruptions and interference in the internal affairs of other countries when we believe it could benefit us.

    What I would like to see happen is an increase in our defense HERE. An upgrade in our equipment HERE. And improvement in our electric grid and power infrastructure HERE. These are some of the things countries do when they view themselves as more than huge economic marketplaces. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And this Twitter snide post is what went through my cynical and irritated mind yesterday:

    “Imagine if the FBI worked as hard to protect children as it did trying to get Hillary Clinton elected.”

    Liked by 3 people

  13. And then there was this, also after Twitter:

    PJ Lange
    12 hrs ·
    California Senator Kamala Harris is what’s known as a rising star in the Democrat universe. In her zeal to express as much outrage as possible over the FL shooting, she exclaimed in an interview, “…our babies are being slaughtered!” And she wasn’t done. She decried “the effect of this extreme violence on a human body – especially the body of a child.”

    Let the irony of this rapid supporter of 9th month abortion sink in. Do they even hear themselves at this point?

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Debra @ 10:07. You are helping me make my point. In that Tweet, Trump did not criticize Russia. He did not propose sanctions against Russia. As always, he tried to exonerate himself.

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  15. Debra @10:05, Please point me to a quote from any of our intelligence heads that says that Russian interference was not decisive in the 2016 Presidential election. They can’t honestly say that, because the election was just too close. Feel free to rely on the Black Pidgeon, but remember he likes to attack his own associates on Twitter. I am still waiting for his promised video detailing how his secretary double-crossed him.

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  16. Well, historically, the best way to get yourself out of a financial depression is to go to war. Of course, the fact it destroys wealth everywhere is just collateral damage.

    I’m sorry, but as a journalist in the Dark Ages, we were trained to pay attention to what was going on off the scene as well as unfolding in front of us–particularly when the “action” is obviously choreographed.

    I suspect there’s a lot going on we’re not paying attention to because of slight of marketing hand, blindness of journalists and lack of will.

    We have major problems in this country and our new media is focused in a different direction than solving problems. Everyone would rather point and blame someone else–which is how my toddlers behaved. I nipped that in the bud as soon as possible. Apparently there were a lot of poor parents raising our “authorities.”

    We need to problem solve and go for a win-win, not destroy in our self-righteousness.

    But, then again, isn’t that what happens when everyone does what is right in his/her own eyes?

    Liked by 2 people

  17. re: AJ @ 0925
    Fixing the problem of our work force. It seems to me that children are taught, whether directly or indirectly, that labor is bad. It is like the saying of “use your brain not your back”.

    It reminds me of a story my grandpa told me. After WWI, he went to Dallas to business school. When he graduated, his instructor told him ” You have an education now. Don’t settle for a work job. Only take a good job.” He said he pounded the pavement for about 6 weeks, looking for a good job. He got to thinking about his dad, and that it was time for harvest. He decided to go home and pick cotton. He continued farming until he was 88 years old. His education did help him, as after he married my grandmother, when they came back from their honeymoon trip to Pikes Peak, the grasshoppers had ruined their crop. (how is that for a run on sentence?) He went to work as a bookkeeper at a lumber company, and Grandma started teaching school. His advice was never to turn your nose up at “work” job, just because you think you deserve a “good” job.

    There should be dignity in all work.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Ricky,

    Russia did what Russia always does, which are the same type of operations we run there during their elections, and just like every other country does. None are innocent, and this is nothing new. So stop with the drama queen act. You got nothing.

    And as noted, all this began in 2014, long before Trump. Nice try.

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  19. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2018/02/is-print-journalism-down-to-its-last-10-years/

    Is Print Journalism Down to Its Last 10 Years?

    (I’d stress that one of the major financial problems faced by newspapers — more than the subscription issue — is that digital ads simply are not living up to the revenue stream for publications that print ads have traditionally provided. There was always the working theory that as print ad revenue fell, digital ad revenue would rise and eventually there would be a cross over point where we could dump the print product altogether.

    Unfortunately, print ad revenue is diving even faster than predicted and digital ads just aren’t rising enough (revenue-wise) to replace that.)
    _________________________________

    … There is one big problem that needs to be worked out. Readers are indeed abandoning hard-copy, printed newspapers in favor of getting their news on the internet. As a result, newspapers are struggling financially.

    But most of the news that people are getting on the internet still comes from newspapers!

    Google News, the Drudge Report, and other news aggregators link to newspaper stories. And, strangely, newspapers typically have websites that put up those stories and make them available for free.

    Thus the newspaper industry is contributing to its own demise.

    But if those newspapers go out of business, who will cover the news that people get free on the internet? More to the point, who will pay the men and women who write the stories? …

    … Print newspapers also depended on advertising revenue, but that too has drifted to the internet as local companies shift to online advertising.

    I suspect that the big newspapers will survive in the digital form Mr. Thompson is looking forward to, but this will change their character. Instead of being the source for local news, they will become nation-wide platforms.

    And though they are likely to survive, the little newspapers in smaller cities and towns probably won’t.

    The promise of the internet was the decentralization of information, where everyone with a computer could potentially have, in effect, a printing press. Ironically, when it comes to news, we might see a centralizing effect after all.

    _____________________________

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Michelle @ 10:18 The Tweet you cited is the type of thing that made Silver’s article @9:28 so funny. Trumpers think “the FBI” was trying to get Hillary elected. Meanwhile, the best US election analyst of the last decade thinks the late October letter by the head of the FBI is what got Trump elected.

    I generally don’t have that much sympathy for government employees, but I can’t help but feel sorry for all the agents who had to investigate the twin cretins (Hillary and Trump) knowing that one of the two was about to become their new boss.

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  21. “AJ, Really! The President’s first job is to protect the country against foreign attacks. When a President not only lies to coverup foreign attacks against our elections (which are critical to our form of government), but attacks US law enforcement who are investigating the attacks, mobilizes his army of idiots (led by Nunes) to try to discredit such law enforcement, and refuses to take actions against the foreign attacker, then that is Treason!”

    I feel like I should ask if you maybe missed one of your meds today?………

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  22. Our 11-paper group, part of a national chain, already is moving quickly toward common pages even though the publications range widely in geography (from San Bernardino to Riverside to LA to Orange County). So that means much more of a ‘national’ focus and much less uniquely local or even regional content as staffs dwindle.

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  23. There was a dog park gathering yesterday to bid farewell to a member who’s moving to South Carolina. I was told today (I missed it) that it deteriorated quickly into a Trump-bashing session.

    Yeah, that must have been fun. No thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. So let’s return to basics. Why does it matter that Trump tried to cover up the Russian election interference and has refused to punish Russia for its actions?

    Other countries are watching. In 2020 or 2024, what if an adversary much richer than Russia (China, for example) decided it wanted to install a US President who would treat China favorably? A precedent is now being set by Trump and his cult. China would just need to be sure their stooge wins, then the stooge would be allowed to coverup their crimes and unleash his mindless legions on US law enforcement officials who tried to expose their wrongdoing.

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  25. DJ, I’m afraid we already have much of that ‘centralizing effect’ in news. Most print newspapers are held by a handful of corporate operators, it’s just that people don’t realize it. It would be wonderful to see a trend going the other way, but that would be an uphill journey. :–/

    Husband worked at a couple newspapers before he made the move to IT and software development. He was at one paper when it was bought by a conglomerate. He was a controller at that place (and several other smaller publications they swallowed up as well) so his perspective was from the financial side. The company was brutal as they tried to lay off the entire accounting department and replace them with less experienced people–he balked at that. But they added two other newspapers to his workload after they bought them and gutted their accounting departments.

    Years later, that conglomerate went under, and the original paper Husband worked for was bought by a local individual. The last I heard, he and his wife own and personally run 2 or 3 local papers in the area and they seem to be doing okay. So it’s not impossible for things to go the other way.

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  26. Ricky, when you get tired of propping up the lies and malice floating around out there in never-Trumpland let me know. Maybe there is a serious conversation to be had. ;–)

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  27. The official statement.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/16/trump-reacts-mueller-indictment-no-collusion/

    “The White House responded to the Friday indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller of Russian nationals who attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election by calling on the country to “unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”

    The statement added that President Trump “been fully briefed on this matter and is glad to see the Special Counsel’s investigation further indicates—that there was NO COLLUSION between the Trump campaign and Russia and that the outcome of the election was not changed or affected.”

    “It is more important than ever before to come together as Americans. We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful. It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions.”

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Now who was it that’s supposed to have been colluding with the Russians again?……

    Talk about useful idiots.

    http://www.wbtv.com/story/37528924/local-leaders-respond-to-claims-charlotte-rally-was-organized-by-russians

    “Federal officials believe Russian nationals may have manipulated someone in the United States to help organize a rally in Charlotte.

    The “Charlotte Against Trump” rally took place in November of 2016. People marched and chanted in opposition of then President-Elect Trump.

    A 37-page indictment released by the United States Justice Department lists allegations against several Russian nationals. In total, 13 are facing charges connected to alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

    “You know it’s obviously concerning when you see your city on such an important document like the one that came out here today,” Charlotte City Council member Braxton Winston said..

    Winston was present at the 2016 anti-Trump rally that is mentioned in the indictment. At the time he didn’t think there was anything suspicious about the event.

    “It was just like many of the other rallies I’ve been part of,” said Winston.”
    —————————-

    Maybe because you should stop hanging with commies all the time then. 🙂

    —————————–

    Doesn’t sound very pro-Trump….

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/16/russia-trump-resistance-protests/

    “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals on Friday confirms Russia sought to promote anti-Trump protests after the election as a way of sowing discord in American society.

    Russian operatives organized a rally titled “Trump is NOT my President” in New York City on Nov. 12, 2016, less than a week after the election, the indictment states.”

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  29. And just a show of hands here………

    How many believe that any, let alone all 13 of these Russians ever sets foot in an American court room to answer to any of these charges?

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

    So Mueller has accomplished nothing here, except for maybe at best the seizing of some assets. Talk about a dog and pony show….

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  30. OK, we also now know that the American indicted is the one who sold the Russians their bank info so they could produce other fraudulent documents.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/special-counsel-mueller-charges-13-russians-interfering-2016-election-n848686

    “According to the indictment, the defendants also opened financial accounts under false names at U.S. banks and financial institutions to send and receive money to supports its efforts.

    To open accounts at banks and with PayPal, the defendants obtained social security numbers, home addresses and birth dates of real U.S. persons, the indictment charged. They purchased other credit card and bank account numbers and fake U.S. driver’s licenses from online sellers to evade security measures at PayPal and maintain their accounts.

    Mueller’s team, in a separate, announcement, said that a California man, Richard Pinedo, had pleaded guilty this month to selling bank account and other stolen identify information to the Russian defendants accused of interfering in the election.

    Pinedo’s attorney, Jeremy Lessem, said in a statement Friday that Pinedo “had absolutely no knowledge of the identities and motivations of any of the purchasers” and acknowledged he made a mistake.

    “Through an online website, Mr. Pinedo sold bank information which allowed individuals to fraudulently verify and establish accounts with online financial institutions. Doing so was a mistake, and Mr. Pinedo has accepted full responsibility for his actions,” Lessem said in the statement. “

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  31. Few observations;

    Countries which responded with gun control to a school shooting rarely have an other mass shooting.

    Cruz was too young and immature to handle alcohol but he could legally buy a gun. Apparently a bottle of beer requires more responsibility than an AR15.

    If you need an AR 15 to hunt, do your hunting buddies a favour; stay home and buy your meat at the grocery store.

    If you need an AR15 to protect your home, you are either in organised crime or are paranoid and delusional. In either case you shouldnt be allowed to have a gun.

    The largest mass shootings in recent years were all committed with AR15s

    Trump repealed an Obama rule which prohibited those on disability for mental health reasons from purchasing guns. Apparently the state shouldn’t interfere with a person’s right to spend, except for of course the poor’s use of food stamps.

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  32. Most mass shootings are committed by young white males.

    The FBI failed to act on information but did manage to find a black activist with a firearms violation. The FBI under Trump has focused on Black Identity (?) terrorists and of course Muslims.

    Cruz learned to use guns with a white supremacist. I wonder if there’s “some good people” over there.

    Gun control will reduce incidences or at least the efficiency of the killing but there are other issues.

    Countries with somewhat slack gun rules, Canada and Scandinavia, rarely have mass shootings. They do have universal health care which free mental health treatment.

    Video games are not the problem anymore than Marilyn Manson in the 90s. Sane people know Call of Duty is not reality.

    Honour based societies are more violent than rule of law countries. Research has shown that American culture is far more inclined to reasons of honour than the rest of western world. Being insulted is an occasion for violence among young male adults.

    Some like to blame the media but thats a shoot the messenger approach. Most media outlets are well aware of the need for responsible coverage.

    Harris was hyperbolic but she has a point. How is gun control, mental health etc not pro life. One can turn the same logic on the pro life. If they value life why not free maternal and natal care for all. European Christians realized this and worked with socialist to ensure children and health care and education.

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  33. Good afternoon, HRW! Are your leaders inviting Russia, China, Iran and other countries to intervene in your future elections?

    Now Debra, You must know that Trumpkins are not allowed to accuse their opponents of supporting lies even as Kardashians are not allowed to accuse their rivals of unladylike behavior.

    I was at first disappointed that no Trumpkin could seriously challenge the points made in the posts @ 9:15, 10:05 and 11:47. However, after further thought I realized that there are no rational defenses for Trump’s behavior.

    Democrats prefer to think that Trump’s motives were evil and conniving: They believe he was neck deep in an evil conspiracy with the Russians to steal the election.

    I prefer to think that Trump’s motives were stupid and childish. Despite obvious evidence, he has never wanted to admit that Russia helped him win the election,

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  34. Mueller has deliver more indictments and bringing more certainty to the proposition that Russia interferes with American politics. Yet Republican supporters of Trump seem to think its time to shut it down and ho home. You would think they would like to know the extent if Russia interference.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. HRW, In Texas, we have a long proud history of allowing those with various mental problems to own and use firearms in a group setting.

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  36. Mass shootings are not a spiritual problem. The most secular countries have none yet the most religious western country is the anomaly with mass shootings.

    Trump may not have deliberately colluded with the Russians but his cumbersome and obvious attempts to obstruct will present problems for him. By his actions he clearly misunderstands the American system of government and is tripping over himself to protect the sanctity of his great victory. His ego prevents him from allowing his victory from being tainted and thus he intervenes.

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  37. This is pretty sweet. A Facebook ad executive is being very defensive about the way Facebook actually profited from the Russian interference. Guess who is jumping right on that defensive bandwagon? That’s right. The porn star’s boyfriend. Is he interested in defending his country? No. Is he interested in preventing future interference? No. Is he interested in defending his monster (-2.1%) victory? Yes.

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  38. hwesseli: “Mass shootings are not a spiritual problem. The most secular countries have none yet the most religious western country is the anomaly with mass shootings.”

    There is a spiritual reality to all of life. The shootings are no exception. Look deeper, not just on the surface of what’s immediately observable.

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  39. HRW and DJ, I am not certain that the US is the most religious western country. Much of what passes for Christianity in the US is heresy or worse. I agree with what DJ says about looking deep. If you went around the West reading nothing but 1st John and observing the behavior of people, I think you might conclude that the US is the least Christian nation.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Like I said, none will ever answer for any of it. So again, nothing to show for millions wasted.

    “Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for Chris Steele?”

    https://lawandcrime.com/opinion/does-mueller-indictment-mean-clinton-campaign-can-be-indicted-for-chris-steele/

    “Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted foreign citizens for trying to influence the American public about an election because those citizens did not register as a foreign agent nor record their financial expenditures to the Federal Elections Commission. By that theory, when will Mueller indict Christopher Steele, FusionGPS, PerkinsCoie, the DNC and the Clinton Campaign? Mueller’s indictment against 13 Russian trolls claimed their social media political activity was criminal because: they were foreign citizens; they tried to influence an election; and they neither registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act nor reported their funding to the Federal Elections Commission.

    First, if Mueller’s theory is correct, three things make Steele a criminal: first, he is a foreign citizen; second, he tried to influence an election, which he received payments to do (including from the FBI itself); and third, he neither registered as a foreign agent nor listed his receipts and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Also, according to the FBI, along the way, Steele lied…a lot, while the dossier he disseminated contained its own lies based on bought-and-paid for smears from foreign sources reliant on rumors and innuendo.

    Second, if Mueller’s theory is correct, three things make FusionGPS a criminal co-conspirator: it knew Steele was a foreign citizen; it knew, and paid, Steele to influence an election; and it knew, and facilitated, Steele neither registering as a foreign agent nor reporting his funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to the Federal Election Commission.

    Third, if Mueller’s theory is correct, then three things make PerkinsCoie a potential target: it knew Steele was a foreign citizen; it knew, and paid, Steele to influence an election; and it knew, and facilitated, Steele neither registering as a foreign agent nor reporting his funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to the Federal Election Commission, by disguising its receipt of payments from the Clinton campaign as a “legal expense.”

    Fourth, if Mueller’s theory is correct, then three things make the DNC a potential target: it knew Steele was a foreign citizen; it knew, and paid, Steele to influence an election; and it knew, and facilitated, Steele neither registering as a foreign agent nor reporting his funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to the Federal Election Commission, by disguising its payments to Steele as laundered legal expenses to a law firm.

    Fifth, if Mueller’s theory is correct, three things make the Clinton Campaign a potential target: it knew Steele was a foreign citizen; it knew, and paid, Steele to influence an election; and it knew, and facilitated, Steele neither registering as a foreign agent nor reporting his funding from the Clinton campaign to the Federal Election Commission, by disguising its funding of payments to Steele laundered through a law firm as a “legal expense.”

    Don’t expect such an indictment. Mueller chose his targets because he knows they will never appear in court, never contest the charges, and cannot be arrested or extradited as Russian citizens. “

    Like

  41. Huh. Here’s Ricky bashing Trump and Nunes, yet says nothing of those responsible for doing nothing about the Russians at the time. Candidate Trump was in no position of authority to do anything about this stuff until Jan of 2017. And Nunes was one of the few calling it out back in 2014.

    Ricky needs a new meme.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/17/republicans-say-obama-failed-to-act-on-russian-threat-after-indictment.html

    “Some Republicans are claiming the new FBI federal indictments in the Russia probe prove that the Obama administration “failed to act” on the intelligence that Moscow’s meddling in U.S. elections began in 2014

    California GOP Rep. Devin Nunez, now chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, pointed out Friday that the committee has investigated Russian “influence” on campaigns for “many years.” He said he’s warned others about such threats since 2014, when he was a rank-and-file member of the committee.

    “Although the Obama administration failed to act on the committee’s warnings, it’s gratifying to see that Russian agents involved in these operations have now been identified and indicted,” said Nunez. He argued in April 2016 that the United States’ failing to predict Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions was “the biggest intelligence failure that we’ve had since 9/11.”

    Former Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, now a Fox News contributor, suggested Saturday that the indictment shows that at least two top Obama administration intelligence officials — CIA Director John Brennan and National Intelligence Director James Clapper — “weren’t on top” of the Russia threat.”

    Like

  42. More bad news for those seeking to hide their crimes.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/17/federal-judge-fusion-gps-lawsuit/

    “A Trump-appointed federal judge said Friday that he will not recuse himself from a lawsuit related to the Steele dossier.

    Trevor McFadden, a judge in Washington, D.C., issued the ruling in response to a recusal request submitted last month by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier.

    Fusion sought McFadden’s recusal as part of an attempt to avoid complying with a subpoena issued by a Russian businessman who is suing BuzzFeed News for publishing the unverified dossier. The businessman, Aleksej Gubarev, seeks depositions and documents from Fusion GPS as part of the lawsuit.

    Fusion has argued that McFadden has several potential conflicts of interest warranting his removal from the case.”

    Like

  43. The Facebook VP in charge of advertising claims to have seen all of the Russian ads and has this to say:

    “Most of the coverage of Russian meddling involves their attempt to effect the outcome of the 2016 US election. I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal,” Goldman said.

    “The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election,” he continued.

    “The main goal of the Russian propaganda and misinformation effort is to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us. It has stoked fear and hatred amongst Americans. It is working incredibly well. We are quite divided as a nation.”

    It will be interesting to see if he has made those statements to investigators, or if he will make them under oath. We’ll see.

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/17/russia-ads-facebook-rob-goldman/

    Like

  44. The National Security Advisor (one of the adults in the room) said that evidence of Russian interference in the election was incontrovertible.

    Like

  45. Which caused the 5 year old in the White House to throw a fit.

    Like

  46. Debra, The article @ 6:23 mentions and corrects the lie Pence told and you quoted yesterday. Of course, the intelligence chiefs could not assure us that the Russian interference did not affect the Presidential election. Expert election analyst Nate Silver explained why yesterday: The election was just too close.

    Meanwhile, the 5 year old was still really mad. He attacked the FBI using a version of the same goofy Tweet which Michelle told us about.

    Maybe Trump heard about the Tweet from Judge Pirro, or maybe he got it from a YouTube video from the Black Pidgeon.

    Like

  47. My thoughts on the school shootings:

    Liked by 1 person

  48. “It is more important than ever before to come together as Americans. We cannot allow those seeking to sow confusion, discord, and rancor to be successful. It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions.”

    What part of that doesn’t Politico’s Nussbaum get?

    Or you for that matter.

    Does he need to repeat this daily until you and the resistance get it thru your addled brains? The rest of us already got it.

    It’s almost like you’re ignoring it and intentionally spreading falsehoods.

    Nah, Ricky would never do that….. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  49. “It’s time we stop the outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories, which only serve to further the agendas of bad actors, like Russia, and do nothing to protect the principles of our institutions,” Sanders wrote, attributing the line to the president. “We must unite as Americans to protect the integrity of our democracy and our elections.”

    Also again, points out Russia’s involvement,says we need to stop it……

    What part don’t you get?

    I have no choice but to think your feigned ignorance is intentional. It’s also obvious you side with Dems and the Russians and seek to continue to cause dissent in this country.

    Does it bother you, being a useful idiot for Dems, Putin, and commies?

    ‘Cuz it should….

    Like

  50. It’s called Google Ricky. You put in some key words and there it is, the Presidents statements.

    Don’t be lazy, Google it yourself.

    Like

  51. AJ- It’s fine for you to support the President. And it’s fine for Ricky to point out his feelings. I agree with Ricky that the investigation needs to go on. If Trump has nothing to hide he wouldn’t be trying to stop the investigation. This is the USA and there has always been loyal opposition to whomever is in the White House. I want the GOP to be in control, but I want the impression of wrongdoing to go away. This is starting to remind me of Nixon, and we do not want another Watergate-style result.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Ricky @6:38am The intelligence community has said from early on that there was no Russian hacking of the voting booths and the outcome of the election was not changed due to Russian interference in the actual vote. Pence agrees with this. So do I. There are those on the left theorizing that Russians hacked the vote; I have not read any support from the intelligence community for these claims. Beyond this brief explanation, I do not have the time or inclination to draw you a picture. Believe whatever pleases you. But you should be aware that some of you temper tantrums and sour expressions here rival the foolishness of the President’s tweets. So if that’s the angle you’re shooting for, congrats. You achieved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Peter, if the President has done anything illegal or worthy of impeachment, I agree that he should be impeached. However, if the goal is to do away with the impression of wrongdoing we should stop the investigation right now and just impeach. As long as he is President, there will be the impression of wrongdoing whether or not it is deserved. He is too hated on both sides of the aisle, and he is irritating even to some of his supporters.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Debra, Everyone agrees that the Russians did not successfully hack voting machines. That does not begin to answer the question of whether the Russians intervened decisively on Trump’s behalf in the election. Our intelligence chiefs understood this even without reading Silver’s article.

    The potentially decisive Russian intervention could have happened in three ways:

    A. The extensive internet effort by Russia on behalf of Trump and Stein (and against Hillary) detailed in Friday’s indictment. Silver’s article dealt only with this issue.

    B. The Russia/Wikileaks leaks of Hillary and DNC emails which Mueller has not yet addressed. We will see if there was intentional collusion with Trumpers on that issue.

    C. A plot as yet undisclosed by Mueller. Mueller doesn’t leak and he is full of surprises.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Ricky, there is the idea floating around out there that the voter databases were tampered with. I wonder if Mueller has evidence of that. I am admittedly impatient for the investigation to end regardless of the outcome. I’m tired of so much winning already. But if truth be told, I’d probably vote the same way again—probably will again, if Arnold doesn’t make the ballot .

    PS Kizzie has a point.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Peter,

    You folks have no idea how much I dislike a lot of what Trump does and says. But there is so much daily, repeated, baseless nonsense from Ricky and company that someone must point it out. I don’t defend him when I think he’s out of line, but I’m sick of the baseless accusations. Everyday is a new scandal or catastrophe, that never quite materializes. I feel for the guy.

    And there has been zero evidence thus far that Trump has done anything wrong. Impeachment talk is silly, and there’s no basis for it at this point. Someone needs to point that out.

    And again, someone tell me how he’s wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Kizzie, I think you are probably right. When the Old BP first appeared, I gave everyone (including AJ) a warning. AJ said he had checked the BP out and vouched for his legitimacy.

    If I have to spend four minutes on the Internet figuring out someone (the BP) is an Anti-Semite who has Twitter wars with his ex-secretary, I am going to ride that horse for a while.

    However, I will put the old Pidgeon out to pasture unless he reappears here to attack Mueller or say there was “no collusion”.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. I think the Russia thing doesn’t amount to anything.
    It gives the networks something to talk about, that’s all.
    And take up space here.

    Like

  59. Most of what we hear about “the Deep State” is nonsense. However, interactions between top US officials and foreign leaders as described in this article really occur.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/top-us-officials-tell-the-world-to-ignore-trumps-tweets/2018/02/18/bc605236-14a2-11e8-942d-16a950029788_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_munich-trump-10am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.e2d8245a22e6

    My question is: Do you:
    A. Want US leaders to behave as described in the article;
    B. Want them to tell foreign leaders: Sorry, folks. We are all as ignorant and crazy as the boss now.
    C. Want our officials to come up with a third option.

    Like

  60. More missed opportunities. 😦

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/02/18/social-services-investigated-florida-shooter-two-years-ago/

    “The more we learn about the background and history of the Florida school shooter, the more disturbing the picture becomes, raising additional questions about whether or not it would have been possible to prevent the attack. We already heard that the police had been to the shooter’s home on 39 different occasions over a seven year period, though how many of those directly involved the boy is unclear.

    Now, however, another wrinkle in the story has cropped up. Business Insider reports that Florida Social Services was investigating that family’s home back in 2016 and a caseworker had conducted a two month investigation into “disturbing” reports. Unfortunately, the case was eventually closed after it was concluded that the would-be shooter presented a very low risk.

    Florida’s state social services agency had previously investigated Nikolas Cruz, long before he set foot on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday and allegedly gunned down 17 people.

    The Florida Department of Children and Families opened a file on Cruz in 2016 after being alerted to his Snapchat posts showing him cutting his arms and saying he wanted to buy a gun, according to a state report first obtained by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

    Agency investigators visited Cruz at his home and questioned him, ultimately identifying him as a “vulnerable adult due to mental illness” including depression, autism, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, which he was medicated for.”

    Like

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