15 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-11-19

  1. A local story from my area that could have nationwide implications.

    And it seems to me, something long overdue.

    https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/2019/01/nj-teen-was-accused-of-cheating-on-acts-so-his-family-filed-an-absolute-worst-nightmare-lawsuit.html

    “N.J. teen was accused of cheating on ACTs, so his family filed an ‘absolute worst nightmare’ lawsuit”

    “Brendan Clare’s family thought his final ACT scores were pretty good.

    After scoring a 21 out of 36 in his junior year, the Readington Township teen got a tutor, studied hard, retested and scored much higher on his second and third attempts.

    But forget about pretty good. ACT, Inc., the company that oversees the exam, decided the scores were too good.

    Near the end of his senior year, Clare received a letter from ACT, Inc. implying he cheated and telling him his scores from tests taken eight and 10 months ago were in jeopardy of being invalidated, potentially putting his college admission in jeopardy. Now, after Clare satisfied the testing company in a high-stakes retest, his family is fighting back with a lawsuit that could be the ACT’s “absolute worst nightmare,” said his father, Patrick Clare.

    The elder Clare, an attorney based in Bernards Township, is challenging terms and conditions all ACT test-takers must sign, giving up their rights to sue ACT, Inc. for damages and funneling complaints into arbitration. The suit thrusts an under-the-radar aspect of the standardized testing industry to the forefront. And it could have major implications for students accused of cheating, said Bob Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, a national nonprofit group critical of standardized tests.

    “It would change the rules of the game,” Schaeffer said. “It would level, at least a bit, the playing field so that the way these kinds of cases are treated is closer to what Americans were taught about due process and justice.”

    ACT, Inc. declined to comment on the lawsuit because it does not discuss pending litigation or individual score investigations, spokesman Edward Colby said. But the company has vigorously defended its score review process in the past, calling it fair to students and denying labeling students as cheaters.

    Brendan Clare, now a freshman at Penn State University, sees the lawsuit as a way to prevent other teens from going through the stress he did, he said.

    “I just hope there’s a change in the system,” he said.”

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  2. If there isn’t money for a wall, then why are we funding useless stuff like this?

    Seems to me there’s plenty of money for a wall and better border security. We just need to stop wasting what we are and redirect it to border funding.

    And there’s plenty of garbage to cut…….

    Caleb Hull took the time to put together a list, and there’s way more than this.

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  3. If “it’s the economy, stupid”, then Democrats are in trouble.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jan/9/how-the-trump-economic-miracle-shatters-the-left/

    “The Trump economy is firing on all cylinders, which means only one thing: The left is petrified.

    Last week brought economic news so good that it sent the Democrats and their fellow travelers in the Resistance Media into full bury-then-ignore mode. Their pathological hatred of the president blocks them from reporting the truth about the booming economy he is delivering, lest it make him look good (heaven forfend) and help him politically (a fate worse than death).

    They also know that since it’s always “the economy, Stupid,” they’d be damaging his potential 2020 opponent, which must be avoided at all costs.

    Given the dazzling December economic data, it’s no wonder the press gave it short shrift. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy added a whopping 312,000 jobs, far more than the expected 176,000. After revisions, job gains have averaged an impressive 254,000 per month over the past three months. Job growth in 2018 (an average of 220,000 per month) passed that of both 2016 (195,000) and 2017 (182,000). Payrolls increased by 2.6 million in 2018, the highest since 2015.

    The sunny jobs picture encouraged 419,000 new workers to enter the workforce and sent the labor force participation rate up to 63.1 percent. Unemployment rates among blacks, Latinos and women are at or near historic lows.

    Job growth has also meant significant wage growth. Wages are up a stunning 3.2 percent from last year and .4 percent from November. December was the third straight month that the yearlong growth in nominal average hourly earnings was above 3 percent in nearly a decade; the last time we saw that trend was April 2009. Wages are also being given an assist by inflation being kept in check.

    The jobs boom is being felt across most major sectors: Construction (a reliable indicator of economic growth) added 38,000 jobs in December and saw a total of 280,000 new jobs in 2018. Retail added 24,000 jobs in December, with 92,000 for the year. Health care jobs increased by 50,000 last month and by 346,000 for the year.

    And perhaps the most politically and economically important of them all: Manufacturing added 32,000 jobs in December and a stunning 284,000 new jobs in 2018. That represents an increase of 12 percent over 2017, and a major achievement for Mr. Trump.

    During the eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, the only sector that experienced consistently expanding job growth was government. At the same time, he presided over the net loss of 210,000 manufacturing jobs.

    In mid-2016, Mr. Obama was asked about the loss of those jobs, and candidate Trump’s promise to bring them back. “Well, how exactly are you going to do that?” Mr. Obama asked. “What exactly are you going to do? There’s no answer to it.

    “He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, what, how exactly are you going to negotiate that?” Mr. Obama continued. “What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”

    Turns out Mr. Trump did have an answer. It was to ratchet down the globalism Mr. Obama and his fellow elites insisted was inevitable and move to put America — its workers, taxpayers, industries and interests — first.

    Mr. Trump’s “magic wand” was simple economic common sense: Pro-growth policies of tax cuts, widespread deregulation, unleashing the energy sector and renegotiating trade policies that had long decimated American manufacturing (another thing the elites told us couldn’t be done).”

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  4. Poor Jim. Self-owned again.

    All he did was prove that walls work.

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    Liked by 2 people

  5. Worse than we thought….

    http://thefederalist.com/2019/01/10/screen-time-worse-kids-brains-thought/

    “Screen Time Is Worse For Kids’ Brains Than We Thought

    A study from the National Institutes of Health found that children who consume two hours of media a day have lower thinking and language scores on tests than peers who didn’t.”

    “As technology has crept into everyday life and across all activities, it has transformed the mediums by which we receive information and the kinds of information we consume. While we know there has been a fundamental shift within every age group and demographic in the U.S., research is only just beginning to show us what those changes in consumption mean for the human brain.

    To date, research results and best practices have been mixed. Whether the use of devices is good or bad for our brains, one thing is for certain: they are literally changing the way we think and develop.

    The average adult consumes five times more information every day than the average adult did 50 years ago. Further, we spend as much as 12 hours a day in front of TVs and computers—and that’s just while we’re at home! Because of all this, how we interact with one another and the world around us is evolving, with research suggesting our time on social media shows measurable, causal differences in our mental health.

    This certainly extends to teens, as they are becoming more and more consumed with devices in every aspect of their lives. Given that our brains can process about 120 bits per second, filters that help us choose which information of pay attention to (think about how you can drive hundreds of miles without remembering any of the scenery along the roads) now must work overtime to determine what is and is not important to our survival.

    Sadly, shifts in what is “important” to developing minds also change how the brain filters information that affects our well-being. For example, teens are expressing higher rates of depression and loneliness the more time they spend on their phones, despite claims by 81 percent of teens that phones make them “feel” more connected.

    But the biggest shocks in research are coming from analyses on young children, whose developing brains are connecting millions of neurons each second. When grandparents, parents, and older siblings obsess over screens and digital content, these environment and behavioral patterns are surely rubbing off.

    In fact, newly released research suggests that the brains of infants and young children show significant differences between kids who use (or are exposed to) smartphones, tablets, or video games more than seven hours a day. That amount might seem extreme, but it’s still five hours less than the average adult in their life. The same study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that even children who consume two hours of media a day have lower thinking and language scores on tests than peers who didn’t.

    Because screen time appears to be addictive, parents need to set strong resolutions early about how they intend on using devices. That’s particularly because, just like any addictive substance, the NIH found that parents’ use of devices will become a vicious cycle for their children and their children.

    Even without this new information, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) felt the need to rewrite its most recent guidelines about screen time for children. The AAP recommendations suggest, “avoid digital media use, except video chatting, in children younger than 18 to 24 months,” and for the best toys, “go back to the basics.” For children between the ages of two and five, the AAP recommends limiting screen time to one hour per day, and to let them use less of their own devices while they interact with children of any age.

    Children Need Relationships, Not Stuff

    Even in poorer households, babies and very young children are consuming more digital technologies than ever before. In fact, the lowest-income children tend to consume the most screen media.”

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  6. The new workers’s hero of the progressive left really isn’t.

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/01/10/ocasio-cortez-campaign-fined/?utm_campaign=atdailycaller&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter&__twitter_impression=true&__twitter_impression=true

    “OCASIO-CORTEZ CAMPAIGN SLAPPED WITH A FINE FOR NOT PROVIDING PROPER WORKERS’ COMP”

    “Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 2018 congressional campaign was fined by the state of New York for failing to provide the proper workers’ compensation coverage to campaign staffers.

    “The employer did not have the required workers’ compensation coverage from March 31, 2018 to April 30, 2018,” Melissa Stewart, the spokeswoman for New York’s Workers Compensation Board, told The New York Daily News. “[It] was issued a final penalty of $1,500, which was paid.”

    “This coverage is vital to ensuring workers are protected for on-the-job injuries,” Stewart continued.

    The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist has been portraying herself as a champion for workers’ rights. During her campaign, she advocated for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and a Federal Jobs Guarantee because according to her website, “anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment.”

    Interestingly, the progressive congresswoman bemoaned in August the closing of a restaurant where she was previously employed — however, the restaurant cited an Ocasio Cortez-endorsed policy as a partial reason for its closure. “

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  7. THIS is CNN.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/01/cnn_rejects_a_local_san_diego_report_on_border_wall_because_it_doesnt_support_its_narrative.html

    “Fake news: CNN rejects local San Diego report on border wall because it doesn’t support its ‘narrative'”

    “CNN is “news, corrupted.” Seriously, the people over there are rejecting actual news because it doesn’t support their manufactured “narrative,” turning down a report they themselves commissioned from local station KUSI because they didn’t like the facts-on-the-ground the report contained – or, more likely, the bigger fact on the ground that the local report supports the stance of a president who says and shows by numbers that there really is a crisis at our border. The network President Trump calls “fake news” can’t let that San Diego report get out.

    Here’s the top story today on The Hill:

    “Thursday morning, CNN called the KUSI Newsroom asking if one of our reporters could give them a local view of the debate surrounding the border wall and government shutdown,” a report by KUSI, an independent station in San Diego that began airing in 1982, begins.

    “KUSI offered our own Dan Plante, who has reported dozens of times on the border, including one story from 2016 that was retweeted by former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, and posted on DrudgeReport.com,” it continues while linking to a border fence tour report.

    “We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most Border Patrol Agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work,” it concludes. “We have continuously been told by Border Patrol Agents that the barrier along the Southern border helps prevent illegal entries, drugs, and weapons from entering the United States, and the numbers prove it.”

    Obviously, that was poison to their “narrative” that Trump’s wall is a matter of no importance, and CNN’s editors decided they wouldn’t even be able to spin the KUSI report to the contrary away in their own report. It was just too damning, given the line they were pushing.

    This is really creepy for a national network to be doing, given how unethical it is journalism-wise. Fake news seems to be pretty real.”
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    Here’s The Hill’s piece….

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/424876-san-diego-tv-station-cnn-declined-our-local-view-because-of-reports-on-wall

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  8. The cover-up continues.

    They’re aren’t investigating, they’re hiding evidence. Rosenstein can’t go fast enough.

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/01/hiding_evidence_the_continuing_coverup.html

    “More information is supporting the theory that the current big Justice Department “investigations” are actually functioning as big cover-up operations. Robert Mueller’s team is effectively hiding key evidence related to serious crimes committed by government officials. Mueller has nearly complete control over what the public or any investigator can see. He has control over what witnesses can talk about.

    This means that the Huber and Horowitz investigations exist to make you think something is being investigated when it is not. That is why Representatives Doug Collins, Mark Meadows, and Jim Jordan sent a letter to Huber, the U.S. attorney, this week that essentially exposes the fraud.

    The letter begins, “We write to request an update on the progress of your review of irregularities involved with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) actions during 2016 and 2017[.]” The letter then points to facts that indicate that there has been no real investigation. None of the many key witnesses has been interviewed. Huber refused to testify at a recent congressional hearing about the Clinton Foundation. The letter then asks for information in four areas where Huber cannot reply without further demonstrating that this is a fake investigation.

    There is also mounting evidence that hiding facts is common in deep state political crusades. A recent column by Marty Watters and Lee Cary exposes Mueller’s long history of improperly hiding evidence. The column begins, “During his twelve-year reign as FBI Director, Robert Mueller not only protected his criminal friends by silencing those who could expose their bad acts, he projected his friends’ crimes onto others.”

    One example cited is the case of William Campbell, who infiltrated Russia’s State Nuclear Energy Corporation, Rosatom, for the FBI. Over a period of eight years, he documented the bribery and money-laundering involved in Russia’s effort to get access to U.S. uranium assets. Massive donations were made to the Clinton Foundation, and absurdly high speaking fees were given to Bill Clinton by those who planned to profit from the deal.

    The reason you have not heard Campbell’s story is that FBI director Mueller forbade him to go public. Attorney General Loretta Lynch threatened Campbell with jail if he told the truth. The truth was hidden, and the deal went through.

    You will remember the case of Valerie Plame, where a special counsel was empowered to find out who “outed” supposed covert agent Plame. It was known early in this politically motivated investigation that the chosen target, Dick Cheney’s top aide, Scooter Libby, was not the person who had leaked Plames name. There were two earlier leakers whom Mueller’s FBI knew about. But the special counsel did not want to let a good investigation go to waste, so he prolonged it for maximum political effect. Sound familiar?

    We know that the person who leaked Plame’s name to Robert Novak was Richard Armitage. The Watters-Cary column added a new twist to the story by introducing an earlier leaker, who was hidden by Mueller. An FBI employee, Sibel Edmonds, did not like the extensive illegal surveillance she was witnessing. She wanted to expose the criminal actions of the FBI. Director Mueller intervened on two occasions to silence her. Some of the information from the surveillance related to Plame. Watters and Cary write:

    One of the “secrets” that Mueller did not want Edmonds to expose was that the FBI has a 2001 recording of Under Secretary of State Marc Grossman outing Plame’s identity as a CIA employee to a Turkish diplomat. This was long before Richard Armitage claimed he “accidently” [sic] outed Plame to Robert Novak.

    Silencing Edmonds enabled Mueller to position his protégé, Deputy Attorney General James Comey, to eventually appoint their mutual, close friend, U.S Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, as the Special Counsel tasked to discover who leaked Plame’s identity as a CIA employee. Everyone with a need to know already knew the original leaker was Grossman. But the public didn’t need to know, and so the spin-up to the lengthy Plamegate puppet show began.

    Scott Johnson of Powerline has three posts about “Mueller’s Cone of Silence” that relate to Mueller attempting to hide evidence in his Russian troll case. In February of last year, Mueller indicted Russian social media actors (some of whom do not even exist) for some trivial actions not aimed at any particular candidate. The apparent purpose of the indictment was to feed the Trump-Russia collusion fable by creating news stories containing the word “Russia.” Mueller surely had no expectation that the Russians would answer the charges, but Concord Management did just that.

    Concord’s attorney has asked to see the evidence against its people. Mueller has essentially told the judge that the evidence is “sensitive,” and he doesn’t want to show it. Openly telling the defendant he can’t see the evidence is one step more brazen than simply hiding the evidence. The Concord attorney responded this way in his motion to Judge Dabney Friedrich:

    In this first-of-its-kind prosecution of a make-believe crime, the Office of Special Counsel maintains that it can unilaterally – and for secret reasons disclosed only to the Court – categorize millions of pages of non-classified documents as “sensitive,” and prohibit defense counsel from sharing this information with Defendant[.]

    It is interesting that Judge Friedrich is married to Matthew Friedrich, who is tied directly to Mueller in some well documented cases of hiding evidence from defendants. Sidney Powell’s great book, Licensed to Lie, describes the extreme corruption of Mueller’s prosecutors in the cases of Ted Stevens, Merrill Lynch, and Enron. Evidence was hidden in these cases on a grand scale. Later, after the damage was done, higher courts overturned verdicts and strongly rebuked the dishonest prosecutors.

    In 2014, Sidney Powell wrote a column about what Eric Holder had done to four of the corrupt and discredited prosecutors described in Powell’s book. Holder did the same thing that our current “dirty cops” expected from President Hillary Clinton. Holder “honored, promoted and protected” them.

    Matthew Friedrich was one of the four, and Andrew Weissmann was another. Matthew Friedrich “personally told the jury facts that were directly refuted by [evidence he withheld][.] … Mr. Friedrich rushed the indictment of Senator Stevens and micromanaged that corrupted prosecution, which cost the citizens of Alaska their senior Senator, changed the balance of power in the Senate, and facilitated the enactment of Obamacare. “”

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    Nope. No Deep State here……. move along.

    Man, Ricky has been wrong about just about everything.

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  9. Ouch.

    Don’t sugar coat it Mike, tell us what you really think. 😳

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/defense-national-security/pompeo-rebukes-obama-in-egypt-the-age-of-self-inflicted-american-shame-is-over

    “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared an end to “the age of self-inflicted American shame” in Cairo on Thursday, in a speech intended to repudiate then-President Barack Obama’s 2009 address to the region.

    “America is a force for good in the Middle East,” Pompeo told an assembly at the American University. “We need to acknowledge that truth, because if we don’t, we make bad choices.”

    Pompeo cited Obama’s Cairo address, in which he said the September 11 terrorist attacks “led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals” through the use of torture in counterterrorism, as an example of U.S. self-doubt that caused American power to acquiesce to the Islamic State and other horrors in the region. He repudiated those misgivings to defend the U.S. role in the region, even as allies worry about an American withdrawal under President Trump.

    “When America retreats, chaos follows,” Pompeo said. “The age of self-inflicted American shame is over, and so are the policies that produced so much needless suffering.”

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  10. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6581851/New-party-dis-Ocasio-Cortez-mocks-aging-Joe-Liberman-hoping-shes-not-future.html
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    Freshman lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dropped a hammer on Joe Lieberman on Thursday, after the onetime Democratic vice presidential candidate said he feared her brand of high-tax socialism could doom the party’s chances for long-term dominance in Congress.

    ‘I certainly hope she’s not the future and I don’t believe she is,’ Lieberman said in a Fox Business Network interview. He retired in 2013 after serving 24 years in the U.S. Senate.

    The 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the 76-year-old’s sentiment with a four-word rejoinder: ‘New party, who dis?’

    ‘Who dis?’ is a common response to a text message from an unknown number. Among millennials in the smartphone generation, the phrase has morphed into a snarky tool for rejecting someone by framing their approach as a mistake. …
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