11 thoughts on “News/Politics 11-29-18

  1. The new SC with it’s new conservative majority are hard at work. 🙂

    First by reining in overzealous police and self-serving prosecutors seeking to cash in on seizure monies.


    “The Supreme Court left little doubt Wednesday that it would rule that the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines applies to the states, an outcome that could help an Indiana man recover the $40,000 Land Rover police seized when they arrested him for selling about $400 worth of heroin.

    A decision in favor of 37-year-old Tyson Timbs, of Marion, Indiana, also could buttress efforts to limit the confiscation by local law enforcement of property belonging to someone suspected of a crime. Police and prosecutors often keep the proceeds.

    Timbs was on hand at the high court for arguments that were largely a one-sided affair in which the main question appeared to be how broadly the state would lose.

    The court has formally held that most of the Bill of Rights applies to states as well as the federal government, but it has not done so on the Eighth Amendment’s excessive-fines ban.

    Justice Neil Gorsuch was incredulous that Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher was urging the justices to rule that states should not be held to the same standard.

    “Here we are in 2018 still litigating incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Really? Come on, general,” Gorsuch said to Fisher, using the term for holding that constitutional provisions apply to the states.”

    Fisher agreed.

    It was unclear whether the justices also would rule to give Timbs his Land Rover back or allow Indiana courts to decide that issue. Some justices seemed willing to take that additional step.

    “If we look at these forfeitures that are occurring today … many of them are grossly disproportionate to the crimes being charged,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said.

    But Chief Justice John Roberts said the question of whether what happened to Timbs was excessive might be a closer call. Timbs drove his car to the place where he twice sold small amounts of heroin to undercover officers, and he carried the drugs in the car, Roberts said. Police have long been allowed to seize property in such situations.

    “You will lose assets you used in the crime,” Roberts said. “You can see how that makes a lot of sense.””

    Liked by 2 people

  2. More common sense from the SC.

    We could have used this to beat back Obama’s illegal seizure efforts.


    “The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to timber company Weyerhaeuser Co and other landowners seeking to limit the federal government’s power to designate private land as protected habitat for endangered species in a property rights case involving a warty amphibian called the dusky gopher frog.

    The court, in a 8-0 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, threw out a 2016 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that had favored the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, finding the lower court gave the government too much leeway. The justices sent the case back to the 5th Circuit lower to reconsider.

    In 2012, the agency decided to include private land where the frog does not currently live as critical habitat, potentially putting restrictions on future development opportunities. Weyerhaeuser harvests timber on the Louisiana land in question and was backed in the case by fellow landowners and business groups including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    The frog, found only in southern Mississippi, also previously inhabited Louisiana and Alabama. The U.S. government identified the Louisiana land partly owned by Weyerhaeuser, which is based in Washington state, as meeting the criteria for the frog’s habitat under the federal Endangered Species Act.

    Roberts wrote that the appeals court’s broad definition of what can be defined as “critical habitat” under the Endangered Species Act was incorrect, with chief justice making clear that there are limits on the scope of government authority to make such determinations.

    The chief justice also said the challengers should be allowed to contest whether the government conducted a rigorous analysis of the costs and benefits when designating the land as critical habitat. Weyerhaeuser has said that, among other things, the government did not account for the costs of planting pine trees that would be required for the frogs to flourish.

    The Supreme Court did not rule on whether land that needs modifications to support a protected species, like the property in question, can constitute habitat, meaning the ruling may be limited in its impact on other similar cases.

    “While we’re disappointed, the ruling doesn’t weaken the mandate to protect habitat for endangered wildlife,” said Collette Adkins, a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group that backs the designation.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. AFM has now spread to 31 states and Canada.


    “We have been following the spread of a mysterious, polio-like disease that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). The illness, the cause of which remains undetermined, continues to expand its range and public health officials have recorded 286 cases.

    The mysterious, rare ‘polio-like’ disease blighting the US has now spread to 31 states, sickening at least 116 children.

    And yet, officials still have no idea what causes acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), nor how to treat or prevent it.

    The poorly understood illness, which can cause paralysis and, in rare cases, prove deadly, has struck Colorado the hardest, followed by Texas.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating a further 170 cases of people with tell-tale symptoms of AFM.

    There has already been more than three-and-a-half times as many cases as last year, but doctors remain baffled as to what is causing the illness.

    Over 90 percent of people stricken with AFM are under 18, with 4 being the average age. Cases of the illness are now being reported in Canada.

    One case of an unusual polio-like illness that targets children may have shown up in Alberta, but health officials say they can’t provide a definitive answer because the specific condition is not tracked.

    According to Alberta’s deputy medical officer of health, Dr. Kristin Klein, a child was hospitalized in January with a possible case of Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM).

    While the condition is not new, cases are on the rise in the United States and doctors in other parts of Canada say they’re starting to see cases, too.

    Public health officials are alarmed at the spike in cases, the continued spread, and the fact that no specific pathogen has been tied to the disease. After 4 years of continuing reports of AFM, the CDC has recently announced a special task force is being created to focus on AFM.”


  4. Now where did it come from, and how did it get here?

    There are theories……..

    And they explain the media’s disinterest in reporting on it.


    “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced the formation of a task force to investigate a new mysterious illness afflicting primarily children. Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a polio-like illness believed to be caused by a virus. But in contrast to polio, which has been mostly eradicated, except in a few pockets around the globe, AFM is on the rise.

    The disease sleuths at the CDC are befuddled. Unlike in the movie The Andromeda Strain, where a crack team of scientists, within a few days, identified and cured a mysterious illness from far beyond the reaches of our galaxy, a bureaucratic behemoth full of scientists is stumped.

    When a government agency either does not know the answer, or for political reasons does not want to acknowledge and reveal the answer, they form a task force. By the time the task force settles on a meeting schedule and what types of snacks to serve during meetings, AFM will either disappear naturally or become a mass extinction event.

    Perhaps the scientists have some ideas where AFM came from and why it is increasing in prevalence, but if they want to keep their jobs, pensions, and reputations, they feign ignorance. A task force with a few scientists and many more non-scientists, skilled at media and public relations, will eventually announce their findings, scrubbed of anything politically incorrect or offensive to any of the many victim groups in America. But it’s worth looking at who’s bringing this disease in, because it coincides with recent vast waves of illegal immigration.

    FM begins as a flu-like illness progressing to difficulty swallowing, slurred speech, and sudden limb weakness. Most children improve although many are left with residual arm and leg weakness, much like polio. It’s believed to be caused by a virus, specifically Enterococcus D68. AFM incidence seems to spike every other year. In 2018, 38 cases so far. In 2017, 33 cases, but in 2016, 149 cases. In 2015, 22 cases, and 120 cases in 2014.

    Much of the U.S media is uninterested in AFM. Jake Tapper and Jim Acosta most likely send their children to private schools plagued by the occasional cold or weekend underage drinking and partying. Their children pal around with other private school kids, returning home to tony neighborhoods free of annoying infectious diseases, whether AFM, or other refugee afflictions such as lice and scabies. CNN is far more concerned with President Trump’s latest tweets.

    Most of America doesn’t live the charmed lives of media stars and Washington D.C. politicians, however. Instead they live in lower- or middle-class enclaves. Their kids attend public schools, the same schools frequented by the illegal immigrants settled into their towns.

    As the media is incurious about the migrant caravan and illegal immigrants beyond their tweets of outrage and framing the story in a way to inflict maximal damage on President Trump, let’s take a closer look at those migrating to our southern border. Where are the migrants coming from and what diseases might they be bringing to America?

    The Association of American Physicians and surgeons asked these questions and took note of the obvious.

    What invisible travelers are accompanying them? And what infections are already here in the millions of illegals already dispersed throughout the country?

    In the past, waves of immigrants from Europe were stopped at Ellis Island, medically examined, and quarantined long enough to be sure they were not incubating a contagious disease. Procedures are less rigorous today, and of course those who enter illegally are not screened at all.

    Polio has been eradicated in much of the world, but is still endemic in three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. Polio has also reemerged in the socialist paradise of Venezuela, as reported by CNN. How many migrants are fleeing the Venezuelan hellhole, bringing who knows what with them?”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do it.


    “In a wide-ranging, exclusive interview with The Post, President Trump said Wednesday that if House Democrats launched probes into his administration — which he called “presidential harassment” — they’d pay a heavy price.

    “If they go down the presidential harassment track, if they want go and harass the president and the administration, I think that would be the best thing that would happen to me. I’m a counter-puncher and I will hit them so hard they’d never been hit like that,” he said during a 36-minute Oval Office sitdown.

    The commander-in-chief said he could declassify FISA warrant applications and other documents from Robert Mueller’s probe — and predicted the disclosure would expose the FBI, the Justice Department and the Clinton campaign as being in cahoots to set him up.

    “I think that would help my campaign. If they want to play tough, I will do it. They will see how devastating those pages are.”

    But Trump told The Post he wanted to save the documents until they were needed.

    “It’s much more powerful if I do it then,” Trump said, “because if we had done it already, it would already be yesterday’s news.”


  6. Some times we actually get what we deserve. 🙂

    In the case of these 2, they deserve each other.


    “Stormy Daniels Rips Avenatti: He Sued Trump For Defamation And Started A New Fundraiser Without My Permission”

    “I have no deep thoughts on this. It’s just that I read it and suddenly felt like a child again coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to see presents piled high around the tree.

    And I had to share that feeling with you.

    Given the searing contempt with which all right-thinking people now view Avenatti, this is like opening the big present to find a Red Ryder rifle with a mounted flamethrower attached. It simply can’t get any better.

    Unless, I suppose, Stormy fires Avenatti and they then spend most of their time on Twitter for the next few months flaming each other in acidic terms. In which case it’ll be like getting a Red Ryder rifle with a mounted flamethrower and attached chainsaw bayonet.

    “For months I’ve asked Michael Avenatti to give me accounting information about the fund my supporters so generously donated to for my safety and legal defense. He has repeatedly ignored those requests. Days ago I demanded again, repeatedly, that he tell me how the money was being spent and how much was left. Instead of answering me, without my permission or even my knowledge Michael launched another crowdfunding campaign to raise money on my behalf. I learned about it on Twitter.”


  7. Trump is wrong on this.

    I completely understand his reasoning and seeking to keep peace with the UAE, but he’s still wrong. And Graham is right to call him on it.


    “Read this post from yesterday for background if you missed it. Mike Pompeo and James Mattis came to the Hill this morning to deliver a classified briefing to the Senate on the Saudi war in Yemen. Conspicuously missing: CIA director Gina Haspel, who’s obviously well informed about the war and even better informed about the Saudi murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Senators wanted to ask her two questions based on recent reporting. First, is it true that she’s listened to the Turkish audio of the murder? Second, is it true that the CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing?

    The fact that Haspel was MIA when congressional interest in hearing from her was high speaks volumes about what answers she would give. Hint: Not ones that would have been helpful to preserving Trump’s friendly relations with the Kingdom.

    Other senators confirmed to the Daily Beast that Mattis and Pompeo told them Haspel was blocked from attending by Trump. The two were pressed by reporters afterward on whether it was true that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination. We have no “direct reporting” about that, said Pompeo. There’s no “smoking gun,” said Mattis. Which sounds suspiciously like a feeble attempt to avoid admitting that the evidence in its totality points to bin Salman by emphasizing that he wasn’t caught red-handed or anything.

    And so a briefing that was aimed at winning Senate support for continued U.S. backing of the Saudi war in Yemen ended up pissing everyone off:

    [Haspel’s] absence contributed to the exact opposite result their briefing was meant to accomplish—to shore up support for the bloody U.S.-backed Saudi-Emirati war in Yemen. As Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) are set to force a vote on ending Washington’s support for the conflict, previously undecided senators left the briefing indicating they will join an effort that would deliver a forceful rebuke to President Donald Trump and two key authoritarian Mideast allies…

    “I have laid on the railroad tracks to keep us from doing things that I believe are against our national interest, as it relates to Saudi Arabia,” [Bob] Corker said. “But I may now be willing to get on the [Yemen] vehicle, knowing it can be amended, to figure out some way for us to send the appropriate message to Saudi Arabia that appropriately displays American values and American national interest.”…

    “The Goldilocks solution is, absolutely, the administration forcing Saudi Arabia to take ownership over what has happened with the journalist, and putting in place appropriate policies relative to what they’re doing as it relates to innocent civilians,” Corker added.

    Corker can probably be appeased with a new, verrrrrrry carefully worded statement by the White House and/or the Saudi government obliquely acknowledging some sort of culpability for Khashoggi. Appeasing Trump’s buddy Lindsey Graham will be harder, though. He doesn’t want the Saudis to “take ownership” of the matter or whatever. He wants Haspel in front of the Senate, ASAP, or he’s not voting on anything important going forward. Not the spending bill next week, not anything. Even judges? he was asked. “Whatever gives me the most leverage,” he replied.”


    Background link mentioned above….



  8. He’s wrong on this too.

    This guy needs to be fired ASAP. What he did is disgraceful, an abuse of his prior office, and all to cover-up and benefit the well connected perverts who preyed with this molester.

    I’ve told you some of the details before, he’s connected to Clinton, many in Hollywood, Menendez and his pervy MediCare scamming buddy and others. It’s mostly been buried because some big names in politics are named in it.

    First the HotAir link, and then the Miami Herald story which you need to read, and it is a good piece of serious investigative journalism. It exposes the whole cover-up.


    “Do you remember Jeffrey Epstein? He’s the billionaire hedge fund manager who got a sweetheart deal that put him behind bars (part-time) for about a year after he sexually abused dozens of underage girls in his Florida mansion and on his private island. This is another case where it was obvious to everyone that a) Epstein was guilty and b) he was going to mostly get away with it because he had unlimited money and a dream team of lawyers including Alan Dershowitz and Kenneth Starr.

    When Epstein’s most notable political connection was Bill Clinton the national media had barely a passing interest in this story. Fortunately, one of the central players in the deal that kept Epstein out of prison for life is now a Trump administration cabinet official which means there is renewed interest. I say fortunately because, to be blunt, I don’t give a damn about the politics motivating this story. Epstein is a genuine monster, a pedophile who preyed on vulnerable girls and used them to lure in more victims. Any reconsideration of the case that puts him behind bars for the rest of his life is one worth having.

    Today the Miami Herald published a lengthy story, which they spent a year putting together, reviewing Epstein’s unique non-prosecution deal and the possibility it could be overturned by a new lawsuit. To appreciate how sweet this deal was, you have to look at what Epstein would have been facing if he wasn’t a rich, well-connected billionaire:

    Facing a 53-page federal indictment, Epstein could have ended up in federal prison for the rest of his life.

    But on the morning of the breakfast meeting [between Miami’s federal prosecutor and Epstein’s attorney], a deal was struck — an extraordinary plea agreement that would conceal the full extent of Epstein’s crimes and the number of people involved.

    Not only would Epstein serve just 13 months in the county jail, but the deal — called a non-prosecution agreement — essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein’s sex crimes, according to a Miami Herald examination of thousands of emails, court documents and FBI records.

    The pact required Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. Epstein and four of his accomplices named in the agreement received immunity from all federal criminal charges. But even more unusual, the deal included wording that granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators’’ who were also involved in Epstein’s crimes. These accomplices or participants were not identified in the agreement, leaving it open to interpretation whether it possibly referred to other influential people who were having sex with underage girls at Epstein’s various homes or on his plane.

    As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.

    The Miami prosecutor who made the deal with Epstein’s lawyers was Alexander Acosta, who is now Trump’s Secretary of Labor. As mentioned above, the deal Acosta agreed to allowed Epstein to plead guilty to two felony prostitution charges. But as the Herald points out, the actual deal shouldn’t have been possible because the girl labeled a prostitute for purposes of the agreement was only 14 years old.”


    The Miami Herald link….



  9. I am glad this Epstein/Acosta story is getting play, but the gist of it has been out there a LONG time. In any sane world, this thing would have brought down the careers of many many many prominent people we’ve all heard of. There’s some seriously dark stuff out there.


  10. Solar,

    I agree completely. I say it’s never too late to expose their crimes, but let’s face it, none of this further investigation would be going on were Hillary president. Too close to home for her.

    Liked by 2 people

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