16 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-26-18

  1. If they’re not criminals, perhaps they should stop acting like criminals……


    “U.S. border agents fired tear gas on hundreds of migrants protesting near the border with Mexico on Sunday after some of them attempted to get through the fencing and wire separating the two countries, and American authorities shut down the nation’s busiest border crossing from the city where thousands are waiting to apply for asylum.

    The situation devolved after the group began a peaceful march to appeal for the U.S. to speed processing of asylum claims for Central American migrants marooned in Tijuana.

    Mexican police had kept them from walking over a bridge leading to the Mexican port of entry, but the migrants pushed past officers to walk across the Tijuana River below the bridge. More police carrying plastic riot shields were on the other side, but migrants walked along the river to an area where only an earthen levee and concertina wire separated them from U.S. Border Patrol agents.

    Some saw an opportunity to breach the crossing.

    An Associated Press reporter saw U.S. agents shoot several rounds of tear gas after some migrants attempted to penetrate several points along the border. Mexico’s Milenio TV showed images of migrants climbing over fences and peeling back metal sheeting to enter.

    Honduran Ana Zuniga, 23, also said she saw migrants opening a small hole in concertina wire at a gap on the Mexican side of a levee, at which point U.S. agents fired tear gas at them.

    Children screamed and coughed. Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of feet away.

    “We ran, but when you run the gas asphyxiates you more,” Zuniga told the AP while cradling her 3-year-old daughter Valery in her arms.

    Mexico’s Interior Ministry said around 500 migrants tried to “violently” enter the U.S.

    The ministry said in a statement it would immediately deport those people and would reinforce security.

    As the chaos unfolded, shoppers just yards away on the U.S. side streamed in and out of an outlet mall, which eventually closed.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sleeping with the enemy.



    “The email from a federal agent in Dubai about her jet-set affair with a suspected Middle Eastern terrorist could have been torn from a supermarket paperback.

    “I can’t stop thinking about…you. I haven’t slept for days,” Leatrice Malika De Bruhl-Daniels wrote, according to federal court documents. “I’m deeply attracted to you and I can’t think about you like that. Don’t worry, I will still fight for your visa situation as much as I can.”

    As U.S. officials continued to investigate the Syrian businessman who’d thrown the federal agent a lavish birthday bash and helped treat her to a Greek vacation, she reportedly texted him, “I don’t want to think u hv lied to me since I put my neck out there for u.”

    De Bruhl-Daniels, 45, a career federal law enforcement officer from the suburbs of Washington, D.C., is now facing federal charges in Houston of hampering the FBI’s counterterrorism investigation of 46-year-old Nadal Diya, and Diya has been charged with using fake travel documents. Both face a mid-December trial date that is likely to be postponed.

    It’s a rare case that falls into a unique category — criminal reckonings for federal law enforcement officials accused of abusing their access to top-secret information. Cases involving misconduct prompted by romantic attachments are even more unusual.

    “I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many times that’s happened,” said Mervyn M. Mosbacker, Jr., a former U.S. attorney who has defended several federal agents. “You don’t go into a job like that unless you are really committed to the goals of the agency.””

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a well deserved acknowledgement.


    “Parkland student Kyle Kashuv is asking others to sign a petition he started to encourage President Donald Trump to give a student who died in the Parkland Shooting while helping others the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Peter Wang, 15, was a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) cadet who was killed while holding the door to let others out of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February last year during an active shooter situation where a total of 17 students and staffers were killed.

    Wang and two other JROTC members who were killed, Alaina Petty, 14, and Martin Duque, 14, were honored by the Florida National Guard.

    Wang was posthumously accepted to the U.S Military Academy at West Point — where he dreamed of going to school — “for his heroic actions,” the academy said in a statement.

    “It was an appropriate way for USMA to honor this brave young man,” the statement said. “West Point has given posthumous offers of admission in very rare instances for those candidates or potential candidates whose actions exemplified the tenets of Duty, Honor, and Country.””

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Scamming the taxpayers to benefit the rich and famous.


    “Californians pay some of the highest tax burdens in the nation (even Politifact agrees). On the November ballot, state leaders begged citizens to protect a recent gas tax increase or else the state’s highways and bridges would crumble away (in reality, a lot of that money is being siphoned off to a whole bunch of special interest mass transit projects of dubious public value). Three other November ballot initiatives asked California citizens to approve general obligation bonds for projects totaling billions of dollars. Two passed, committing residents to more debt.

    But after insisting that it needs every nickel and dime we can give up in order to keep the state’s infrastructure from collapsing, it is, of course, turning around to give hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to its richest industrialists: Hollywood filmmakers.

    The heavily overtaxed worker bees in California are going to have to make up the difference for the revenue the state will not be getting from the production of Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny/Looney Tunes branding and marketing festival known as Space Jam 2. The blockbuster has been granted up to $21.8 million in tax credits from the state of California. The Los Angeles Times notes that it’s the second largest grant from the program, which is currently scheduled to sunset in 2025. The Transformers spinoff, Bumblebee, which will no doubt be a fiscally successful, narratively incomprehensible car crash of a movie, was granted up to $22.4 million in credits.

    The California Film Commission gets to hand out $330 million in these credits every year. It used to be $100 million a year, but the pool was dramatically increased in 2016, in an effort to attempt to lure movie and television production back from other states like Georgia. Much like the recent Amazon HQ2 competition, it’s a race to see which governments can give the best bribes to the nation’s wealthiest to convince them to do business there. (Though to be fair, California’s budget would be absolutely hosed were it not for its wealthiest residents.)

    Yet, despite the obvious comparison to the Amazon HQ2 coverage and criticism, Times writer David Ng doesn’t seem to want to bite into or even so much as question any claims that these tax breaks are beneficial job creators for Californians. He notes in his coverage that the tax breaks can recoup the costs of salaries for crew and set production but cannot be used for star salaries or high-end compensation. But this is an absurd claim. Money and budgets are fungible creatures. If Warner Bros. knows that they’re going to recoup $21.8 million in expenses on crew, that inherently frees them up to offer more money to LeBron James to lure him in to pretend to play basketball against a dude in a motion capture outfit that will eventually be animated to become a space monster. This program does, in a roundabout fashion, subsidize the costs of stars’ salaries.

    This system of tax breaks is the government at its most intrusive in selecting winners and losers. Major film studios get to suck up 35 percent of the available funding. Indie features get a measly five percent. And even then, there are obviously more projects that would like to have access to these credits than the state is able to award given the size of the pool. So these big budget blockbuster pictures from studios that are rolling in money—Captain Marvel and Top Gun: Maverick are among the beneficiaries—are getting these breaks while smaller competitors may be frozen out (Hollywood Reporter has the latest list of winners here).”


  5. And speaking of scams…..


    “Corruption: Throughout the presidential campaign there was plenty of talk about whether the Clinton Foundation was a legitimate charity or a pay-to-play scam. The latest financial data from the charity provides the answer.

    Controversy over the foundation erupted after Peter Schweizer’s 2015 book — “Clinton Cash” — suggested that the foundation served as a way for donors to curry favor with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


    And, indeed, the multitude of connections that slowly turned out became hard to dismiss as coincidental. There was the fact that 85 of the 154 private interests who’d met with Clinton during her tenure at state were Clinton Foundation donors.

    Emails turned up showing how the foundation intervened to arrange a meeting between Clinton and the Crown Prince of Bahrain, a country that had been a major foundation donor. A Chicago commodities trader who donated $100,000 to the foundation got a top job on a State Department arms control panel, despite having no experience in the area. On and on it went.”

    “Donations Evaporate

    But the most glaring indictment of the Clinton Foundation came from what happened last year, after Hillary Clinton lost the election — and effectively ended her political career.

    First, the Clinton’s almost immediately shuttered the Clinton Global Initiative and laid off 22 employees.

    Now, fresh financial documents show that contributions and grants to the Clinton Foundation plunged since Hillary lost her election bid. They dropped from $216 million in 2016 to just $26.5 million in 2017 — a stunning 88% fall. Throughout Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, the foundation pulled in an average of $254 million a year. (See chart below for a timeline.)

    If the Clinton Foundation was as good as defenders claimed, why did all its big-time donors suddenly lose interest? The only reasonable explanation is that donors weren’t interested in what the foundation supposedly did for humanity. They were interested in the political favors they knew their money would buy.


  6. Who could have predicted this?

    I mean besides Trump…. repeatedly….



  7. Silly Sharyl….

    Only approved media (that we agree with) will be tolerated.



  8. More V D Hanson.


    “Predictably, Donald Trump was attacked both by the establishment and the media as “crude,” “unpresidential,” and “gratuitous” for a recent series of blunt and graphic statements on a variety of current policies. Oddly, the implied charge this time around was not that Trump makes up stuff, but that he said things that were factual but should not be spoken.

    Trump’s tweets and ex tempore editorials may have been indiscreet and politically unwise, but they were also mostly accurate assessments. That paradox revisits the perennial question that is the hallmark of the Trump presidency of what exactly is presidential crudity and what are the liabilities of presidential candor?

    Concerning the catastrophic California Camp Fire (150,000 acres) and the Woolsey conflagration (100,000 acres), which in turn followed prior devastating California fires in spring and summer of 2018 (perhaps charring 1 million acres in all), Trump tweeted: “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor. Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!”

    Certainly, while flames were devouring homes and lives, it was unwise and crass to talk of withholding federal disaster assistance funding in the future—a realization apparently soon known to Trump himself. In short order, he began signaling his admiration for the rare courage of California response teams and visited the fires promising full federal cooperation with state officials.

    No matter. A chorus of critics claimed that Trump was ignoring the human tragedy to score points, whether about reviving the logging industry to salvage dead trees or punishing blue California. Perhaps, but he did not quite serially milk the catastrophe in the manner of California Governor Jerry Brown, who repeatedly warned that the disaster was a result of global warming rather than his own disastrous green agendas that have led to such destruction: “Managing all the forests in everywhere we can does not stop climate change. And tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years.”

    Both statements—Trump’s and Brown’s—may well have sounded crass in the midst of such lethal disasters, but there were a few differences. The likeliest immediate cause of the 2018 serial fires was the Brown administration’s continual failure on state lands to allow removal of millions of dead trees, lost in mountain and foothill forests during the four-year California drought, and to petition the federal government to do the same in national forests.

    Instead, Brown throughout years of increasingly deadly forest fires has stayed wedded to the unyielding green orthodoxy that decaying trees were nearly sacrosanct and essential to the forest ecosystem (true perhaps in the long run, but absolutely a catastrophic short-term policy in a state of 40 million). Moreover, despite Brown’s diagnosis that that the fires rage because of a new normal era of hot and dry weather, 2016 had seen one of the wettest and snowiest years in California history, while 2017 had been a near normal year of temperature and precipitation. The point then was that Trump’s ill-timed admonishment was truthful, while Brown’s own politicking was either irrelevant, misleading—or abjectly dangerous for millions. And yet Trump’s candor was precisely the sort of bluntness that turns off suburban voters.”

    They’d rather have their ears tickled than hear truth spoken.


  9. Playing willfully ignorant to reality is not a good look for a Supreme Court Justice.


    “What about Your FISA Judges, Justice Roberts?”

    “As long as we are on the subject of whether there is such an animal as an “Obama judge,” let us consider the judges who sit on the FISA court and issue warrants allowing surveillance of American citizens who are suspected foreign agents, essentially taking the uncontested word of the government.

    Their actions on behalf of one political campaign, colluding with a corrupt DOJ and FBI to target a political opponent, are not supposed to happen in a country based on the rule of law as administered by supposedly impartial judges. Empowered to safeguard our national security against foreign actors, they essentially served as an extra-constitutional arm of the Hillary Clinton campaign as it colluded with foreign actors to stage a Deep-State coup against a duly elected president, Donald J. Trump? Aiding and abetting the legacy of Barack Obama seems like something an “Obama judge” would do.

    Chief Justice Roberts is the one who gets to appoint judges to the FISA court – every last one of them, judges like Rudolph Contreras, who granted a previously denied Michael Flynn FISA warrant. His appointees are the ones who swallowed whole the contentions of the Obama administration using unverified material put together by a British agent and his Russian sources to aid one political party at the expense of another.

    The FISA court and its star chamber judges make for a borderline example of the prophetic warning about trading a little liberty for a little security and winding up with neither. The potential abuse of FISA powers is enormous, and the damage that has been done to our republic and our politics has been staggering.

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court deals with some of the most sensitive matters of national security – terror threats and espionage. Its work for the most part cannot be examined by the American public, by order of the Congress and the President. It is a tribunal that is completely secret (or supposed to be), its structure largely one-sided, and its members unilaterally chosen by one person.

    A rotating panel of federal judges at the FISC decides whether to grant certain types of government requests – wiretapping, data analysis, and other monitoring for “foreign intelligence purposes” of suspected terrorists and spies operating in the United States.

    … [T]he 11 judges are appointed exclusively by the Chief Justice of the United States, without any supplemental confirmation from the other two branches of government. John Roberts has named every member of the current court, as a well as a separate three-judge panel to hear appeals of FISC orders, known as the Court of Review.

    So how could a court over which Chief Justice John Roberts has complete control allow frauds to be committed upon it in a manner more fitting in a banana republic? With pressure on President Trump to declassify and release the FISA warrants and substantiating documents, if any, could Justice Roberts be getting nervous about what might be found?

    It was astonishing, for example, to find out from Judicial Watch that these FISA warrants used against Team Trump were issued without any hearings being held, starting with the one issued against Carter Page:

    The Justice Department admitted that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court never held a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act spy warrant applications on Carter Page.

    Judicial Watch announced the DOJ revealed in a court finding Thursday that “there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page,” and that the FISA Court “considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.””

    Perhaps Roberts should just shut up and do his job.


  10. Empty suit elitists.


    “As the bumper stickers in Los Angeles assure me every single day, we are now in a contest of mean people versus nice people, and “love trumps hate.” The daily political battle between the horrible man in the White House and the relentlessly pure savior class embodied in the resistance is portrayed as a fight between cruelty and kindness, vulgarity and sophistication, white nationalism and a culture of human decency. But it’s actually none of that. It’s a fight over credentialing.

    Who Gatekeeps the Gatekeepers?
    In any society, the right to authority is derived from some origin everyone understands: education, bloodlines, swords in lakes. What gives the people who run the place the right to run it? Why are the leaders the leaders?

    More importantly, how well does the gatekeeping work? Do the steps for choosing leaders in a society put it on a path to peace, power, and prosperity? If everyone who runs Freedonia gets to hold a position of authority because she found a magic dingleberry on the hidden path, does finding a magic dingleberry on the hidden path demonstrate that a person has consistent and effective forms of practical knowledge?”


    “Our Credentials Aren’t About Actual Competence
    For some time now, the credentialing of new American elites has centered not on knowledge and ability but on a set of cultural postures and social signals. No less than with the etiquette of earlier aristocracies, the gestures that hold a place in the upper classes are learned, absorbed, and relentlessly lived. As Codevilla noted, our cultural upper classes and our economic upper classes don’t invariably overlap; a magnificently wealthy pro-Trump owner of coal mines or slaughterhouses is a lower-class person who happens to have a bunch of money. Don Blankenship doesn’t dine in the Hamptons with Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

    National political journalists, a status group that once ranked on par with show people and bartenders, are upper class, no matter their salaries. They lose their class status the moment they speak the wrong social code words, like, “I think Trump is doing a good job.” They know this, and live with an existential sense of status anxiety over it.

    For 40 years, with gathering uniformity of purpose, our credentialing institutions have taught postures rather than skills, attitudes rather than knowledge. This isn’t invariably true, and many fine scholars have taught many excellent practitioners, especially outside of the humanities and social sciences. But the overarching trend is toward training in intellectual and psychological uniformity, toward the world of excellent sheep.

    The hollowing out of our credentialing institutions has been abundantly clear for years, in well-known examples like the discussion of rape law at Harvard and the “it is not about creating an intellectual space!” tantrum over Halloween costumes at Yale. What credentialing institutions teach is mental rigidity, intellectual cowardice, and the fear of disagreement. They narrow the mind and constrain the ability to act. Our elites largely can’t put the wet stuff on the red stuff, because it’s triggering and unsafe to mention that the red stuff is there, and why are you being so hurtful when I don’t want to talk about this?

    Credentials Not Worth the Parchment They’re Printed On
    So the very finest people, elevated to positions of responsibility, do essentially nothing, but with elaborate demonstrations of rhetorical restraint. Samantha Power was a highly regarded journalist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who taught at our top-ranked school of government at one of our most elite universities. As a diplomat, she accomplished — what? In Syria, In Libya, in Iran, in Cuba, in Russia or China or Yemen or Saudi Arabia or North Korea, what did the highly credentialed mandarins of the Obama administration, led by a graduate of Harvard Law School, accomplish in the real world?

    Staffing up a new administration, Barack Obama hired Power, professor Cass Sunstein, professor Steven Chu, professor Christina Romer, and so on. Donald Trump hired generals, CEOs, and governors, people who were credentialed by lives of action and management. This isn’t disagreement; this is a difference of foundational premises.

    In short: Trump declines the authority of the cultural sectors that most assertively claim it. That’s the conflict, and that’s why it’s being played in a relentless tone of hysteria. There are credentialing authorities — and credential-holding elites — who can see the path to their own obsolescence. Like the empress dowager, they will not go quietly.”


  11. And just a reminder, Democrats are hypocrites.


    “Democrats are hammering the Trump administration for using tear gas to deter migrants who are rushing the southern border, but the Obama administration used similar tactics in 2013.

    U.S. and Mexico border agents deployed tear gas against migrants in Tijuana after the migrants threw rocks at agents and tried to storm the border to gain illegal entry into the U.S.”


    “The criticism of the Trump administration for deploying tear gas, however, ignores the fact that the Obama administration used similar tactics to deter migrant hordes in 2013.

    According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, a group of about 100 migrants near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at Border Agents in November 2013. The agents responded by shooting pepper balls into the crowd and forcing them back into Mexico.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Narrative buster.



    “For the past month, talking heads on CNN and MSNBC have repeated numerous outright falsehoods about the Central American caravan: namely, that it is comprised of “mostly women and children”; that there is “no evidence” of criminals participating; and that none of those marching north are “economic migrants.” An MRC analysis of cable news coverage also identified eight instances in which panelists brazenly claimed that the existence of the caravan was itself a conspiracy theory.

    Below is a video documenting just some of the numerous narratives about the caravan that cable pundits have been pushing:


    For all their adamance, these cable news personalities have repeatedly failed to acknowledge statements from Mexican officials and DHS reports about the makeup of the Central American caravan:

    Mexican Interior Minister Navarrete Prida in an October 30 interview on Radio Enfoque (Focus) 100.1 FM substantiated DHS’s assertion of gang members in the caravan: “I have videos from Guatemala that show men dressed in identical clothing, sporting the same haircuts, handing out money to women to persuade them to move to the front of the caravan… we have images showing many of them preparing Molotov cocktails.”

    Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Gerónimo Gutiérrez recently confirmed the presence of a criminal element in the caravan. As of November 1, DHS had identified at least 270 individuals in the caravan with criminal backgrounds, according to a press release from the department.

    There have been reports of migrants committing crime against fellow caravan members. As reported by numerous news outlets – including the Washington Post – on October 29, a man in the caravan attempted to abduct a child who was also making the trip north. That same piece from the Post also describes cocaine and marijuana being sold openly.

    The ranks of those burying this information includes not just frequent panelists, but CNN and MSNBC employees as well. CNN chief political analyst Jeff Toobin on New Day November 3 complained of President Trump: “He’s got this fantasy of this caravan.”

    MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was a repeat-offender of the pernicious lie that the caravan did not even exist, using the phrase “phony caravan” multiple times in late October and insisting that the story had been “cooked up” by Republicans and conservative media.

    Meanwhile, during the October 23 episode of MTP Daily, Chuck Todd of MSNBC insisted that there was “no evidence of any criminals in the Central American caravan.””



  13. This is why we can’t have nice things….. 😦


    Because there’s always some Grinch to steal the joy from any occasion……..


    TDS is an ugly thing to behold, in any season.


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