25 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-26-19

  1. First up…..

    Some good news. 🙂


    “Secret Santa is best known as a gift swapping activity in offices and other places of business during the Christmas season. But some people are taking the sharing to a whole new level.

    In cities and towns across America, several self-proclaimed Secret Santas who operate under the cloak of anonymity, have taken to the streets to make the lives of those whose holidays may not be so happy a little bit better.

    In Milwaukee, the city’s transit workers and police were charged with giving out thousands of dollars in $100 bills to various citizens of the “Cream City.” This unknown St. Nick has been performing these random acts of kindness over the Christmas season for several years. He did pose for photos with some of Milwaukee’s finest but covered his face with a Christmas hat, so his identity remains a mystery.

    In Eastern Idaho for the last five years, a local man has been giving away $500,000. He works with EastIdahoNews.com to solicit nominations and then the news organizations “elves” surprise recipients during the holiday season through Christmas morning. And it is not just cash. This helper has given away cars, appliances, health aides and shopping sprees.

    Santa’s good work is not limited to America’s heartland. In Pennsylvania about 90 minutes north of Pittsburgh in the small town of just under 4,000, a man walked into the local police department with 10 envelopes to be distributed to families in need. It so moved the police chief there, that he matched the gifts.

    Police officers were also drafted by an unknown Kris Kringle outside of Kansas City, Missouri to donate $100 bills (clearly the currency of choice for Christmas). Officers in Shawnee “pulled over” drivers who thought they were getting tickets. Instead, they were gifted.

    Sheriffs in Perry County, Alabama became helpers when asked to distribute $15,000 to help make Christmas merrier for local families.”


    And more…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. More good economic news. 🙂


    “Trump’s Economy: Super Saturday Recorded Highest Sales Of Any Day In U.S. History”

    “More evidence of the strong U.S. economy during the Trump administration came over last weekend, as sales across the country on Saturday reached the highest level ever recorded.

    Bloomberg reported, “Holiday shopping set records over the weekend, with Super Saturday sales reaching $34.4 billion, the biggest single day in U.S. retail history, according to Customer Growth Partners.” Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, credited job growth and the abundance of disposable income for the record-setting day, adding, “Paced by the ‘Big Four’ mega-retailers — Walmart, Amazon, Costco and Target — Super Saturday was boosted by the best traffic our team has seen in years.”

    Johnson noted that 58% of the increase in sales could be attributed to sales online. On Black Friday 2019, the day after Thanksgiving, the nation recorded $31.2 billion; on Saturday, December 14, the level reached $28.1 billion, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, the level of sales reached $19.1 billion.

    Johnson said that less people visited malls over the weekend but the ones who did were more likely to actually purchase items rather than simply window-shopping. “


  3. More winning.


    “‘It hasn’t stopped him’: Trump racks up wins, even as impeachment grips Washington”

    “President Trump enjoyed an extraordinary period of policy successes over the past two weeks, even as Democrats seeking to remove him from office moved articles of impeachment through the House.

    As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats damaged Trump politically, the two negotiated an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement, allowing the president to tout a previously elusive trade deal after three years of promising he would complete it. And he and House Democrats compromised on $1.4 trillion in spending that funds critical aspects of Trump’s immigration agenda and delivers on his vision for the Space Force, the first new U.S. military service branch in more than 70 years.

    The House voted along party lines to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, an action the president had lamented would amount to a black mark on his legacy. A trial in the Senate, presumably in January, awaits. “But it hasn’t stopped him from having two of the best weeks of his presidency,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters.

    Former congressman Jason Altmire, a Democrat from western Pennsylvania who now lives near Jacksonville, Florida, said the spate of deal-making that coincided with impeachment was advantageous to both Trump and congressional Democrats. In part to convince voters that impeachment was unwarranted, Trump needed legislative accomplishments. Democrats, especially in swing districts, needed to show constituents that impeaching Trump was not their only priority.

    “To the degree they don’t get along on anything, this was mutually beneficial,” Altmire told the Washington Examiner. “Both were able to show that they are continuing to do the American people’s business.”

    But Trump may have gotten more out of the deal-making, securing a host of key priorities that could boost his 2020 reelection bid.

    The president obtained regular funding for construction of a wall along the Mexican border; won the elimination of unpopular Obamacare taxes, such as one on medical devices; and signed legislation to provide permanent federal funding for historically black colleges and universities.”


  4. And now the rest…..

    According to the garbage WaPo, the real meaning of Christmas is “Orange Man Bad.”


    “WaPo: The True Meaning Of Christmas Is That Trump Is Terrible”

    “When I woke up on Christmas morning I checked my email (some habits are hard to break) and noticed that the Washington Post had sent out their usual “Wednesday Headlines” newsletter. Since it would be a little while before everyone was awake and ready to open presents, I clicked on it and began scanning the day’s offerings. Almost immediately I noticed that the editorial board had published a piece called “The True Meaning of Christmas.”

    I suppose the fact that I immediately experienced a brief feeling of dread speaks to my inherently cynical nature, or perhaps just too much experience with this publication. But then I succumbed to a moment of optimism. Why not give it a look? Perhaps the editors had set aside their partisan rancor for just one day. Maybe they decided to deliver an enlightening message of hope, exhortations to do good, charitable works or simply wish everyone some joy on this special day. Or perhaps just a celebration of the day, such as the one Ed wrote last night. I clicked on the link.

    So much for optimism. It turns out that the true meaning of Christmas is that the Bad Orange Man is still Bad and we shouldn’t let a little thing like the celebration of the birth of the Savior get in the way of remembering that.

    Most people in the time of Mary and Joseph had little idea of what country they were in, or even of such things as countries. They went where they had to in order to survive and got by as best they could. Yet, out of this particular family, came a figure who gave new hope and moral guidance to much of the world.

    So, with Christmas approaching, the president, or one of the elves in the darker reaches of his workshop, came up with a plan to cut the number of refugees admitted to the United States to a record low of 18,000. This despite the fact that most refugees have been thoroughly vetted and offer considerable promise to society. A number of communities welcome them and set them on the path to productive citizenship. This latest needless and probably self-destructive action, like many the president has taken, is the reality behind the mirthless jollity of his “Merry Christmas.”

    This entire theme of Mary and Joseph being refugees has become popular among those on the left who are unhappy with the President’s immigration policies.”


  5. Another Christmas message. From China.


    “Christmas Message From China “Factory”: Get Us Out Of This Prison Camp!”

    “Christmas is a time of joy and discovery, especially for children, but young Florence Widdicombe got more discovery than anyone would wish. After buying greeting cards from UK supermarket giant Tesco, the six-year-old began writing out her Christmas greetings. What she found in one card, however, set off an international dispute over China’s prison-camp operations, trade policies, and called into question just how much the West is prepared to overlook in its relations with Beijing:”

    “After a 6-year-old girl found a plea for help from Chinese prison laborers inside a Christmas card she was preparing to send to friends, the U.K. grocery chain Tesco said it halted production at the factory in China where the cards were produced.

    Tesco said it also launched an investigation of the Chinese supplier it hired to make the holiday cards, Zheijiang Yunguang Printing, after the Sunday Times raised questions about the factory’s labor practices. The newspaper reported the factory used forced labor to produce charity Christmas cards for the supermarket.

    The potentially problematic source of the cards came to light when Florence Widdicombe, 6, of London was writing holiday cards to friends and found one that already had a message written inside. The statement read: “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qinqpu prison China forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organization.”

    Widdicombe and her family asked Tesco a few pointed questions about the sourcing of their greeting cards. After that, matters escalated quickly, although at first this appeared to be a prank. Once Tesco determined that it wasn’t a joke, they suspended orders from the supplier, which denies using prison labor:”


  6. Are you interested in using prison labor too?

    Bloomberg’s got ya’ covered.

    We expect this garbage from the Chinese, but a Democrat running for president?

    What. A. Cheapskate.



    “FORMER NEW YORK CITY mayor and multibillionaire Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg used prison labor to make campaign calls. Through a third-party vendor, the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign contracted New Jersey-based call center company ProCom, which runs calls centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma. Two of the call centers in Oklahoma are operated out of state prisons. In at least one of the two prisons, incarcerated people were contracted to make calls on behalf of the Bloomberg campaign.

    According to a source, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, people incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison with a capacity of more than 900, were making calls to California on behalf of Bloomberg. The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign. They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.

    The Bloomberg campaign confirmed the arrangement in an emailed statement to The Intercept. “We didn’t know about this and we never would have allowed it if we had,” said Bloomberg spokesperson Julie Wood. “We don’t believe in this practice and we’ve now ended our relationship with the subcontractor in question.”

    The campaign said it did not know about the arrangement between ProCom and an undisclosed campaign vendor until The Intercept made its inquiry. The campaign then ended the relationship on Monday and said it has asked vendors to do a better job of vetting subcontractors in the future.

    “The use of prison labor is the continued exploitation of people who are locked up, who really have virtually no other opportunities to have employment or make money other than the opportunities given to them by prison officials,” said Alex Friedmann, managing editor of Prison Legal News and an advocate for incarcerated people’s rights.

    John Scallan, a ProCom co-founder, said his company pays the Oklahoma minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, which then pays the incarcerated people working in the call centers. The Department of Corrections website lists the maximum monthly wage for the incarcerated at $20 dollars a month, but another policy document says there is a maximum pay of $27.09 per month.

    When asked if their total monthly earnings are capped at these levels, Scallan said incarcerated people who work for ProCom make far higher wages. “I can tell you unequivocally that is not us,” Scallan said. “Some of them are making that much every day.””


    Sure Mike…. you didn’t know…. and neither did the Chinese, right? wink, wink…..


  7. Put up, or shut up. That’s the message Democrats don’t want to hear.


    “Former NFL player Jack Brewer once raised campaign money for President Barack Obama, but now he’s among the increasing number of black voters who support President Trump.

    “There is an awakening going on right now in the country,” Mr. Brewer said of black voters who traditionally support Democrats. “I’m going to take the guy who’s actually putting in the policies that are going to make life better for my young black son and my young black daughter, versus somebody who gives me lip service — like, unfortunately, the Democrats have done for our community for years.”

    Mr. Trump and his reelection team are aggressively courting black voters amid a strong economy that has reduced black unemployment to 5.5%, lowest in history. The Trump campaign launched its “Black Voices for Trump” coalition in Atlanta last month.

    “The Democrats have let you down,” Mr. Trump told black supporters at the time. “They’ve dismissed you. They’ve hurt you. They’ve sabotaged you for far too long.””


    Try something new. After all, what do they have to lose?


  8. Dershowitz says the Senate should move ahead with this, regardless of the stalling tactics from Pelosi and her co-conspirators.


    “Democrats Debate Whether Trump Has Been Impeached”

    “Under Laurence Tribe’s scenario, the House Democrats get to “obstruct” the Senate and “abuse” their power (to borrow terms from the articles of impeachment).

    I believe that the Senate need not wait for articles of impeachment to be transmitted. Senators are empowered by the constitution to begin a trial now — with or without further action by the House. Just as the House has the “sole power of impeachment,” so too the Senate has the “sole power to try all impeachments.”

    Tribe and the Democratic House majority, led by Speaker Pelosi, want to have their constitutional cake and eat it too: they want Trump impeached but not acquitted. Sorry, but the Constitution does not permit that partisan, result-oriented ploy. Either Trump has been impeached and is entitled to a Senate trial; or he has not been impeached and is entitled to a clean slate.

    So there are only two constitutionally viable alternatives: either Pelosi must announce that Trump has not been impeached; or the Senate must initiate a trial. Preserving the status quo indefinitely — Trump remaining impeached without having a trial — is unconstitutional and should not be tolerated by the American people.

    Speaker Pelosi’s unconstitutional decision to delay transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to gain partisan advantage raises the following question: has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach — which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted?

    This highly technical constitutional issue is being debated by two of my former Harvard Law School colleagues — Professors Laurence Tribe and Noah Feldman — both liberal Democrats who support President Trump’s impeachment.

    Tribe believes that Trump has been impeached and that it would be perfectly proper to leave it at that: by declining to transmit the articles of impeachment, the Democrats get a win-win. President Trump remains impeached but he gets no opportunity to be tried and acquitted by the Senate. This cynical, partisan ploy is acceptable to Tribe because it brings about the partisan result he prefers: Trump bears forever the stigma of impeachment without having the opportunity to challenge that stigma by a Senate acquittal. Under the Tribe scenario, the House Democrats get to “obstruct” the Senate and “abuse” their power (to borrow terms from the articles of impeachment).

    Feldman disagrees with Tribe, arguing — quite correctly — that impeachment and a removal trial go together. If a president is impeached, he must be tried. Impeachment, in his view, is not merely a vote; it is the first step in a constitutionally mandated two-step process. He goes so far as to say that if the articles of impeachment are not forwarded to the Senate for trial, there has been no valid impeachment.

    In my opinion, both of my colleagues are wrong, though Feldman’s approach is more consistent with the structure of the Constitution and the intent of its Framers. I believe that the Senate need not wait for articles of impeachment to be transmitted. Senators are empowered by the constitution to begin a trial now— with or without further action by the House.

    Just as the House has the “sole power of impeachment,” so too the Senate has the “sole power to try all impeachments.” The Senate can make its own rules (as long as they are consistent with the constitution) and establish its own timetables.”


  9. How A Small Group Of American Citizens Exposed Terror And Antisemitism In Boston


    “Ilya I. Feoktistov’s new book, ‘Terror in the Cradle of Liberty,’ tells a harrowing story of uncovering Muslim terror organizations in Boston. What’s even scarier is how the media and community organizations wanted to look the other way.”

    “A conspiracy conceals its bad behavior behind allegations its opponents are crazed “conspiracy theorists.” Reporters expend column inches denouncing and denying facts revealed by the very investigative reporting that they refused to do themselves. Respected establishment organizations side against their own base rather than address the growing concerns of those who made them influential.

    Given the theme, you will be forgiven if you assume this is the story of the post-2016 political and media environment. But Terror in the Cradle of Liberty by Ilya I. Feoktistov has nothing to do with the current climate of Washington D.C in the age of President Donald Trump.

    Instead, Feoktistov is the executive director of the Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a Boston area nonprofit organization founded to investigate threats to civil society, a group founded by his mentor Charles Jacobs, a long-time Jewish activist who played a central role in efforts to combat slavery in Africa, particularly Sudan. Jacobs eventually played a leading role in the David Project, a Boston-area Jewish group fighting anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

    The story of how they came to be involved in investigating Islamic extremist cells in Boston, as told in Terror in the Cradle of Liberty: How Boston Became a Center for Islamic Extremism is really three stories in one.

    Firstly, it is the story of Jacobs, Feoktistov, and a small coterie of Boston activists who, while chasing a seemingly pedestrian story of a “sweetheart land deal” between the Boston government and a local city mosque, The Islamic Society of Boston, stumbled into a radical network that would foster more than one dozen terrorists in the past two decades, including the notorious Boston Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

    Secondly, it is the story of the Boston media which ignored them, then later smeared them as conspiracy theorists and kooks even while Boston became known as a hub for Islamic terrorism.

    Finally, it is the story of the capitulation of the leadership of the Boston Jewish community, which not only declined to listen to warnings about their interfaith partners at the Islamic Society of Boston, but instead targeted Jacobs and his team for derision and exclusion for daring to raise questions.”


  10. And another response for Christianity Today’s hit piece, from Dennis Prager.


    “The editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, wrote an editorial calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

    In my view, this editorial only serves to confirm one of the sadder realizations of my life: that religious conviction guarantees neither moral clarity nor common sense.

    The gist of the editorial — and of most religious and conservative opposition to President Trump — is that any good the president has done is dwarfed by his character defects.

    This is an amoral view that says more about Galli than it does about the president. He and the people who share his opinion are making the following statement: No matter how much good this president does, it is less important than his character flaws.

    Why is this wrong?

    First, because it devalues policies that benefit millions of people.

    And second, because it is a simplistic view of character.

    I do not know how to assess a person’s character — including my own — outside of how one’s actions affect others. Since I agree with almost all of President Trump’s actions as president and believe they have positively affected millions of people, I have to conclude that as president, Trump thus far has been a man of particularly good character.

    Of course, if you think his policies have harmed millions of people, you will assess his character negatively. But that is not what never-Trump conservatives or Christians such as the Christianity Today editor-in-chief argue. They argue that his policies have indeed helped America (and even the world), but this fact is far less significant than his character.

    In the words of Galli: “(I)t’s time to call a spade a spade, to say that no matter how many hands we win in this political poker game, we are playing with a stacked deck of gross immorality and ethical incompetence.”

    This rhetorical sleight of hand reflects poorly on Galli’s intellectual and moral honesty.

    Galli and every other Christian and conservative opponent of the president believe their concerns are moral, and that the president’s Christian and other conservative supporters are political.

    This is simply wrong.

    I and every other supporter of the president I know support him for moral reasons, not to win a “political poker game.” Galli’s view is purely self-serving; he’s saying, “We Christian and other conservative opponents of the president think in moral terms, while Christian and other conservative supporters of the president think in political terms.”

    So, permit me to inform Galli and all the other people who consider themselves conservative and/or Christian that our support for the president is entirely moral.”


    Read the rest.


  11. I see on FoxNews that Trump is considering getting US government involved in the California homeless crisis.

    We need to stay out of California. It is bigger than we are. What I mean is: The legislature in California created this crisis. We would have to take over the government of a state to solve a crisis that belongs to California.
    An earthquake? A tornado? Maybe we can help.
    But not this.


  12. Calling out the poor choices, however, could help.

    One of my relatives spent all day reading a book about solving the homeless crisis. New to her job, she is the one answering questions while her boss— the county point man on the homeless issue— is out of the office. They’re having a meeting today and she’s supposed to have all the answers.

    We’re delighted she’s home but this new job, her dream job, is so brutal because of the burgeoning homeless situation, she may be regretting it.

    I’ve been praying for her. Please do so as well. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. And the next (annual) homeless “count” is officially almost upon us again for January.

    Numbers spiked last year, surprising a lot of people.


  14. I was just reading this….. 😦


    “Editorial: Welcome to California, the Homeless State”

    “The nation’s homelessness problem has to a disturbing degree become California’s homelessness problem. While the latest counts compiled by the federal government show that America’s homeless population is growing again after more than a decade of declines, the entire national increase and more can be attributed to California alone.

    With a majority of states experiencing decreases in homelessness over the past year and only one small state, New Mexico, suffering a larger proportionate increase, California’s dire statistics underscore the extent to which state and local policies drive an extraordinary and persistent failure to shelter the equivalent of a midsize city. Although the state has the worst housing shortage on the U.S. mainland, resistance to dealing with it remains endemic among the Legislature’s ruling Democrats and in nominally progressive cities such as San Francisco.

    Based on a January census widely believed to underestimate the true figures, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported Friday that the nation’s homeless population grew by about 15,000 people to about 568,000, or 2.7%. The number of Californians without homes, meanwhile, spiked by more than 21,000 to nearly 130,000, or 16.4%. The state’s exploding homelessness was enough to overwhelm declines in 29 states, among them Washington, Hawaii, Massachusetts and other states with substantial housing pressures.”

    While the nation’s homeless population remains about 10% lower than it was a decade ago, California’s has expanded more than 22% in that time. With less than an eighth of the U.S. population, California is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s homeless people and more than half those who are unsheltered.”


  15. This is just pathetic.



    “”You guys are the biggest bush league ‘journalists’ of all time. Editing out Trump’s cameo in Home Alone 2. What kind of state-sponsored @#$%$#@# is that? #Defund,” one Twitter user wrote to the network.

    “Welcome to the liberal government-controlled media,” another tweeted to the network.”


  16. Understand, too, that some of California’s dilemma has been brought about by the aggressive lawsuits brought against its larger cities, forcing laws to allow people to live and sleep on the sidewalks.

    Haha, just saw this news alert:


  17. https://www.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-warren-has-a-plan-oh-my-11577404548


    Elizabeth Warren Has a Plan, Oh My
    She may not win the nomination, but her ideas show where the American left wants to go.

    By The Editorial Board
    Dec. 26, 2019 6:55 pm ET

    She’s the candidate with a plan for everything: That’s Elizabeth Warren’s brand. But even that sells her ambitions short, as we discovered after a tour of her 60-some policy papers. Ms. Warren is proposing a transformation of American government, business and life that exceeds what the socialist dreamers of a century ago imagined. …


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