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Saturday, April 14, 2018

Trump Overrules Sessions: Promises To Protect States' Pot Legalization Rights

Just over 3 months ago, AG Jeff Sessions dropped a bongshell on the marijuana market when he rescinded policies allowing states to legalize pot.

But now, following Sen. Cory Gardner's, the Colorado Republican, threat to block all DOJ nominations, The Washington Post reports that President Trump has defused the standoff and promised the top Senate Republican that he will support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized marijuana.

WaPo reports that in a phone call late Wednesday, Trump told Gardner that despite the DOJ memo, the marijuana industry in Colorado won’t be targeted, the senator said in a statement Friday. Satisfied, the first-term senator is now backing down from his nominee blockade.

“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” Gardner said Friday.

“Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”


Soros Consultant’s PAC Could Influence DA Races in Oregon

A longtime consultant to liberal billionaire George Soros is listed on recently filed documents with the state of Oregon related to the formation of a political action committee that appears to be an avenue for Soros to influence yet another district attorney's race, state records show.

The paperwork was filed with Oregon's secretary of state's office in early April to launch the Oregon Law & Justice PAC, which intends to "support candidates advocating for justice."

The recent filings are another indication that Soros, who has quietly launched super PACs across the United States in recent years to fund numerous district attorney races—a position that decides who gets prosecuted for crimes and who does not—remains steadfast with his intent to "overhaul" the criminal justice system.

Soros's game plan varies little state by state: The wealthy financier will set up a PAC, push funds into the PAC, then use the money to provide his candidate of choice with an enormous financial windfall. Once the election is over, Soros refunds himself any excess cash and shuts down the committee.

More here

USDA Grants May Have Helped Chinese Telecoms Access U.S. Military Bases

At least two telecommunications companies that received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and purchased equipment from Chinese phone maker Huawei operate services areas within 100 miles of American military posts, raising national security concerns amid spying threats.

One of the USDA-backed companies, Pine Telephone Company, maintains a service area in southeastern Oklahoma that encompasses the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, potentially enabling Huawei to completely surround the Pentagon's chief provider of bombs, missiles, and ammunition for the U.S. armed forces.

Pine Telephone Company also manages a service tower that is located less than 100 miles away from the active duty Tinker Air Force base.

A second USDA-backed company, Missouri-based Crystal Automation Systems, operates service areas within 100 miles of the active duty Detroit Arsenal, which headquarters the military command tasked with complete cycle support of soldier and vehicle ground systems, including small arms, field artillery, mortars, tactical vehicles, and heavy combat vehicles.


Trump: 'Perfectly executed strike'

President Trump on Saturday praised the "perfectly executed" strikes against Syria, which were carried out the previous night by the U.S, the United Kingdom, and France in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack.

"A perfectly executed strike last night," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military. Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished."

"So proud of our great Military which will soon be, after the spending of billions of fully approved dollars, the finest that our Country has ever had. There won’t be anything, or anyone, even close!" he added in another tweet," he wrote.

Trump announced on Friday that he had ordered the U.S. military to launch a "precision strike" against Syria, directed at chemical weapons production facilities.


Job Licensing Requirements Need Serious Scrutiny

Should you really need a license to teach hair braiding?

I’d earned a master’s degree in social work and had no idea what auditing was when I showed up in Nashville in 1978 to work for the Tennessee state auditor. Tennessee, like many other states, had enacted a sunset law mandating legislative review of every agency, board and commission to determine whether they should be abolished, restructured or continued. The auditor was required to do performance audits for each of them and needed to add staff with social science training.

My experience in Tennessee left me with a view of sunset laws less cynical than that of many people in public administration. While major agencies are almost certainly never going to be terminated under a sunset law, the audits and the legislative review process can bring significant benefits. A November 2017 audit of the Tennessee Corrections Department, for example, found major problems in its management of a private prison contractor.

But the cynics are correct that these laws have largely not resulted in reductions in state regulations or abolition of unnecessary programs. One form of regulation in particular, occupational licensing, has been spreading like kudzu. The Brookings Institution reported recently that it now covers around 30 percent of the U.S. workforce, up from 5 percent in the 1950s.


Exclusive: Betsy DeVos Says Federal Government Has Failed to Improve Education

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spoke exclusively to The Daily Signal’s Rob Bluey for an on-camera interview at the Reagan Institute Summit on Education on Thursday. This week, the Department of Education released what’s known as the “nation’s report card.” DeVos addressed its disappointing results and how the Trump administration is pursuing reforms to improve education in America. The full video and an edited transcript of the interview is below.

Rob Bluey: Thirty-five years ago, the Reagan administration issued its “A Nation at Risk” report. Here we are 35 years later, and just this week you said, “We can and we must do better for America’s students.” How are you and President Trump going about doing that?

Betsy DeVos: Let’s look at the reality. With the [National Assessment of Educational Progress] results that just came out this week, we look at the historical patterns. And while there’s been minimal gains in the results, the reality is that, all of the results have been unremarkable over these years, since the NAEP has been administered.

I would argue that we are indeed a nation still at risk. In fact, I think we’re at greater risk today even than 35 years ago. When we look at how the world around us has changed, how technology has advanced in so many different sectors of society, and yet with education, our students just are simply not being prepared as a rule.


Unhappy With Quick Vote on Spending Bill, Lawmaker Proposes More Time to Read Bills

One conservative lawmaker, upset by the $1.3 trillion spending bill last month, wants to pass legislation that would give lawmakers more time to read bills before they vote on them.

“This isn’t a very big ask,” Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Va., told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

Garrett’s bill would amend House rules, requiring “any bill to be publicly available for a number of minutes that’s double the number of pages,” the website for Virginia radio station WVTF reported.

The spending bill, which was signed by President Donald Trump, was 2,232 pages long. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers, said the bill was released fewer than 36 hours before lawmakers voted on it.


CA Reps Introduce Orwellian 'Police Accountability and Community Protection Act'

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) discusses a proposed to significantly restrict when police officers can fire their weapons during a news conference Tuesday, April 3, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

In my April 6 column here on PJ Media, I mentioned the legislative effort in California to address police shootings and change the legal standard by which they are judged. Assembly Bill 931, bearing the Orwellian title of Police Accountability and Community Protection Act, would make it unlawful for a police officer to use deadly force unless it was “necessary.” It sounds reasonable, of course. After all, don’t we want police to refrain from shooting people unless it’s necessary?

But the question then arises: Necessary to whom? At their April 3 press conference introducing the legislation, the bill’s authors and other speakers made it clear. If a police officer’s use of deadly force is deemed to be unnecessary tothem and to people who share their beliefs, that officer can expect to be prosecuted and, if not imprisoned, run through a years-long ordeal that will ruin him physically, emotionally, and financially. And this, they promise, will protect the community.


5 Times the Media Didn't Ask if Obama Would Resign

Make no mistake about it, the media has already decided that President Trump is guilty. They don’t know what he’s guilty of yet, and frankly, they don’t even care. Earlier this week, April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, “With all of this turmoil, particularly last week, has the president at any time thought about stepping down before or now?” Sanders called the question ridiculous, but Ryan insisted, “It's not a ridiculous question.”

Of course it was ridiculous. The media has been salivating over any damaging story that will embarrass Trump or somehow result in impeachment. But, where were the wolves in the media during the Obama presidency? Clearly, they were hibernating. During Obama’s presidency, whenever he was caught up in scandal they made excuses or chose not to cover the story. They never asked if Obama would resign as a result.


Comey Admits He Didn't Tell Trump Steele Dossier Was Funded by His Political Opponents

In his interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, fired FBI Director James Comey admitted that he did not inform President Trump that the Steele dossier was funded by the DNC because it “wasn’t necessary for my goal.”

"Did you tell him that the Steele dossier had been financed by his political opponents?" Stephanopoulos asked.

"No. I didn't," Comey replied. "I didn't even think I used the term 'Steele dossier.' I just talked about additional material."

"Did -- but did he have a right to know that?" the host pressed.

"That it had been financed by his political opponents?" the former FBI director replied. "I don't know the answer to that. I -- it wasn't necessary for my goal, which was to alert him that we had this information."


USA Today Declares ‘Ebony and Ivory’ Offensive, Insufficiently Woke

The writers call the Paul McCarney and Stevie Wonder song 'naïve' compared to the 'woke factions of today's cultural discourse'

In a Thursday hot take, USA Today listed off twenty classic songs, including anti-racism and charitable songs, and deemed them "politically incorrect."

"There's nothing like hearing a song come on the radio or flicker across a Spotify playlist that you haven't encountered in a while, and realizing, "Was this song always this offensive?" the authors write. "The answer: Yes, it probably was."

The reason why some of the songs might be considered offensive are pretty straightforward, such as Nirvana's "Rape Me." But even well-meaning songs were declared offensive, such as Live Aid's "Do They Know It’s Christmas?" USA Today acknowledges the song was written to raise money for the 1980's Ethiopian famine, but complains the group "did it with a song that declares the entire continent of Africa is bereft of water, trees or joy."

Even "Ebony and Ivory," the 1982 anti-racism collaboration recorded by Paul McCarney and Stevie Wonder, was declared politically incorrect for not being "woke" enough.


Warren Joins the Jackals, Slams Israel for Defending Itself Against Terror

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has called on the Israeli government to show "restraint" amid what has now been weeks of protests by Hamas terrorists who have swarmed the Israeli border and stoked violence.

"I am deeply concerned about the deaths and injuries in Gaza," Warren was quoted as saying. "As additional protests are planned for the coming days, the Israel Defense Forces should exercise restraint and respect the rights of Palestinians to peacefully protest."

The quote is likely to rankle the pro-Israel community, which has become increasingly strained with the Democratic Party as lawmakers such as Warren adopt a much more anti-Israel viewpoint.

Hamas has been leading demonstrations across the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip in a bid to stoke tensions with Israeli authorities and prompt a violent response. While Hamas leaders have claimed the protests are peaceful, video evidence and news reports have repeatedly showed terrorist militants joining the protests.


Polar Opposite: NY Times Outraged by Climate ‘Denialists’ Pointing Out Polar Bear Population Increase

The New York Times has come up with a new defense against so-called climate denialists who happen to point out that most polar bear populations are steady or increasing amidst climate change: The ice hasn't disappeared as fast as we said it would.

"Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine," the Times scoffed this week. "Scientists Are Pushing Back."

Well, scientists and the Times, that is. The Times is upset that the "denialists" have stolen the polar bear away from the alarmists, who for years have warned that our SUVs are killing the bears off.

"Furry, button-nosed and dependent on sea ice for their survival, polar bears have long been poster animals for climate change," the Times writes. "But at a time when established climate science is being questioned at the highest levels of government, climate denialists are turning the charismatic bears to their own uses, capitalizing on their symbolic heft to spread doubts about the threat of global warming."

And we can't have that, can we?


California Progressives Target Feinstein With Full-on Assault Ahead of Dem Primary

Progressive Super PAC rips senator in new ad for not acting 'like a Democrat

Progressives in California this week intensified their efforts to unseat incumbent Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein, linking her to President Donald Trump and deriding her for not behaving "like a Democrat."

A political action committee linked to Feinstein's primary challenger on Thursday released a new 60-second ad in the Los Angeles media market castigating the incumbent.

A Progressive California is responsible for the ad, titled "Act Like Democrats," which calls on Californians to support state senator Kevin de León's bid to unseat Feinstein, who is seeking a fifth term in office. The Super PAC formed last October to back de León, who just ended his final term as leader of the state senate.

De León is vying to defeat Feinstein, 84, in California's Democratic primary on June 5, when candidates from all political parties will face each other on a single ballot, with the top two vote-getters moving forward to a head-to-head matchup in November. The race has further exposed the increasing progressive-establishment divide in California Democratic politics, with A Progressive California's ad illustrating some of the key divisions.


In America, the Holocaust Is Losing Its Shock Factor

And people wonder why history repeats itself.

Some Americans joined Israel and its allies Thursday in solemnly observing Holocaust Remembrance Day. To commemorate it, the White House issued a proclamation in which the president “hereby ask[s] the people of the United States to observe the Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust, April 12 through April 19, 2018, and the solemn anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, with appropriate study, prayers and commemoration, and to honor the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution by internalizing the lessons of this atrocity so that it is never repeated.”

That last part — “so that it is never repeated” — is particularly noteworthy. We noted already that only some Americans commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day. As it turns out, the Holocaust is slowly losing its shock factor among Americans. According toThe New York Times, “For seven decades, ‘never forget’ has been a rallying cry of the Holocaust remembrance movement. But a survey released Thursday, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, found that many adults lack basic knowledge of what happened — and this lack of knowledge is more pronounced among millennials, whom the survey defined as people ages 18 to 34.”

All told, 31% of Americans — a number that jumps 10 percentage points among Millennials — are under the impression that Jewish victims numbered about two million, which is one-third of the true total of six million. Furthermore, the Times reveals, “Forty-one percent of Americans, and 66 percent of millennials, cannot say what Auschwitz was. Only 39 percent of Americans know that Hitler was democratically elected.”


A Big Step Toward Real Welfare Reform

Work requirements for welfare go a long way to lifting people out of the cycle of dependency.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week entitled “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” and House Republicans unveiled the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act, the $844 billion farm bill. Both items focus on getting people working and off of welfare. No wonder the statists are angry. As Investor’s Business Daily put it, “If increased dependence on the federal government is your goal, anything that moves in the opposite direction is a bad thing.”

Trump recently said, “I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better.” The president thereby expressed the sentiment of millions of Americans who are willing to take on an extra job to pay the bills rather than be on the public dole but are frustrated by those who benefit from another choice.

But haven’t we done this before? What about the welfare reform efforts of Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton in 1996?


Here’s the Median Age of the Typical Cable News Viewer

In addition to compiling the viewership of TV news programs, Nielsen is also letting us know just how old the cable TV news viewer is.

According to Nielsen Live +7-day data, in 2017 CNN’s median age was 60, while the median age of the Fox News and MSNBC viewer was 65.

The good news for CNN and Fox News: they each aged down one year, from 2016 when CNN’s median age was 61 and Fox News’s was 66.

The not so good news for MSNBC, their median age jumped two years. It was 63 in 2016.


Trump Ecstatic After OIG Releases Report Which Led To McCabe Termination

The Justice Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) delivered a scathing report to Congress on Friday, accusing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe of repeatedly misleading investigators.

McCabe was fired on March 16 after the OIG found that he "had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor - including under oath - on multiple occasions."

Needless to say, President Trump - who is waging open war with Comey, McCabe and much of the FBI's past and present leadership - was delighted by the release of the OIG report, which prompted the following outburst: ""DOJ just issued the McCabe report - which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!"
DOJ just issued the McCabe report - which is a total disaster. He LIED! LIED! LIED! McCabe was totally controlled by Comey - McCabe is Comey!! No collusion, all made up by this den of thieves and lowlifes!

We assume today's report (found below in its entirety) only covers McCabe, and is not the all encompassing "OIG Report" probing the FBI's conduct during the Clinton email investigation. Nowhere in the report, for example, is any mention of the FBI altering Hillary Clinton's exoneration letter, effectively decriminalizing her mishandling of classified information. Of note, the OIG launched a separate probe in late March covering alleged FISA abuses by the DOJ and FBI.


10-year-old girl urges others to stop bullying in heartbreaking video

A 10-year-old girl is urging people to stop bullying one another by sharing her own heartbreaking story in a video that’s now gone viral.

Cassidy Slater, a fourth-grader at John Adams Elementary School in Scranton, Pa., shared the video on Facebook. In it, she’s holding up signs that tell the story of how she’s been bullied since first grade.

“One day during recess, a group of kids grabbed my purse off a teacher, and spit on it and me,” one of her signs reads. She goes on to explain that kids have hit and kicked her, pulled her hair and won’t sit with her at lunch.

Since posting, Slater’s video was flagged by another Facebook user and her account was shut down, according to her mom, Jenn. But before it was removed, the video had over 160,000 likes and thousands of shares, ABC News reports.

Jenn has since re-posted her daughter’s video, which has also received a large amount of views, likes and shares. It's become so popular it caught the attention of Hugh Jackman, who shared it on his own page.


The Deep State Closes In On The Donald, Part 2: Mueller's War

What is going on in the eastern Mediterranean and over the skies and on the ground in Syria is absolutely nuts; it's also scary dangerous and utterly unnecessary, too.

After all, the imminent Russian/American military clash is over the skeleton of an artificial backwater nation confected in 1916 by two swells in the British and French foreign offices. At length, what was never a nation anyway has finally been reduced to rubble, misery and sectarian fragments.

So there is nothing to contest now, and, in fact, there never was. The sovereign government of Syria long ago invited the Russians in and Washington out. Period.

Why, then, are commercial aircraft being warned to stay out of Syrian airspace, while the Russian fleet at Tartus scrambles into defensive redeployments?


Conviction of Nathaniel Appleby-El

Wicomico Vehicle Fire South Park Drive


Date:    April 12, 2018
Time:    11:40 p.m.
Location / Address:   755 South Park Dr., Salisbury, Wicomico Co.
Type of Incident:  Fire
Description of Structure / Property:   2008 Cadillac SUV
Owner / Occupants:   Dekeia Cole
Injuries or Deaths:   None
Estimated $ Loss: Structure:  $8,000                      Contents: $0
Smoke Alarm Status:  n/a
Fire Alarm / Sprinkler Status:  n/a
Arrests(s):   None
Primary Responding Fire Department:  Salisbury FD
# of Alarms:  1     # Of Firefighters:  4
Time to Control:  5 minutes
Discovered By:  Passerby
Area of Origin:   Passenger compartment
Preliminary Cause:  Incendiary (intentionally set fire)

Additional Information:  Anyone with information is asked to call the Salisbury Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal at (410) 713-3780.

Syria strike won't prompt war vote in Congress

Friday’s military strike in Syria, which Defense Secretary Jim Mattis described as right now being "a one-time shot," won’t bring serious demands on Capitol Hill for a full-blown debate on reauthorizing the president to use military force abroad.

Those who control the floor schedules in the House and Senate and the committee agendas in the panels overseeing the matter said this week they have little interest in a vote — months out from an election — on a new bill authorizing the president to use military force.

Instead, they say President Trump had the authority to respond militarily to the chemical gassing of civilians in Syria by leader Bashar Assad.


NRA Announces Support for Maryland Lawsuit

Fairfax, Va. — The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) announced its support on Thursday for a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland that challenges the state’s restrictions on carrying a handgun outside the home.

“Denying the majority of law-abiding citizens the right to carry a firearm outside of the home is unconstitutional,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The government cannot require citizens to prove a special need in order to exercise their fundamental rights.”

The lawsuit, Brian Kirk Malpasso and Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association v. William M. Pallozzi, challenges Maryland’s requirement that a citizen show “good and substantial” reason to obtain a concealed carry permit. Because of this requirement, Maryland residents must prove they are under some extraordinary imminent threat in order to be granted a permit. This effectively bans most citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights outside of their homes.


NRA’s Top Lobbyist In Florida Kept From Hearing Due To Death Threats

The anti-gunners like to accuse gun rights activists of a lot of things. We’ve been accused of lacking sufficient size in certain appendages, for one (that’s a common one). We’ve also been accused of being violent, malicious people just looking to hurt others.

Meanwhile, we’re not the ones making death threats.

Marion Hammer, the NRA’s top lobbyist in Florida, didn’t attend Tuesday’s public hearing on a Leon County gun ordinance because of death threats.

Hammer, usually a staple at legislative hearings on gun bills, acknowledged she wouldn’t attend the hearing in an email exchange over the weekend with County Commissioner Bryan Desloge.

“The death threats come with the job,” she said in a Sunday email. “I’ve dealt with it for many, many years. But it is so ugly this time NRA is insisting that I listen to my security advisers. It always amazes me how these people who claim to want to stop violence are so quick to threaten violence. I have never been afraid of them but it really makes me angry when they threaten my family.”

Desloge, in a Saturday email, said he learned about the threats from his aide, who’d spoken with her.

“I regret that’s happening to you,” Desloge said. “You don’t deserve to be treated in that manner — you’re just doing your job, just as I will be doing mine when I cast my vote.”


Troopers Seek Publics Assistance in Locating Wanted Suspect-Laurel

WANTED - Gerald F. Griner "Gerry" 35 of Laurel

Laurel - The Delaware State Police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Gerald F. Griner, 35 of Laurel, who is wanted in connection with multiple Burglaries of a local area church in Laurel.

Gerald F. Griner, who is also known as “Gerry” currently has an active warrants for burglaries which occurred at the Rock Church located at 30320 Seaford Road, Laurel. The criminal acts occurred between the dates of March 13, 2018 and March 18, 2018 these three separate burglaries were reported to the State Police during which multiple electronics were reported stolen from the church. Troop 4 Property Crimes Unit and the Laurel Police Department were able to identify Gerald Griner as the suspect who committed the burglaries and warrants were obtained. Gerald Grinner is known to frequent the area of Laurel, Delaware.

Gerald F. Griner currently has active warrants out of Delaware State Police Troop 4, for three counts of Burglary 3rd Degree, three counts of Theft, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Burglar Tools and Criminal Solicitation.

If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Griner, they are asked to please contact Detective A. Jones, Troop 4 Property Crimes Unit at (302) 752-3795. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware crime stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at

In Terms of Food Stamps, the Farm Bill Has Something for Everyone

The legislation released on Thursday includes changes that could satisfy conservatives and liberals. It does not include most of the changes President Trump proposed, such as drug testing and a Blue Apron-style delivery service.

The farm bill released on Thursday by House Republicans would reshape the nation's food stamp program by imposing stricter work requirements on more people and guaranteeing job training for every person who wants it.

While the proposed changes to one of the nation's largest anti-poverty programs are still controversial, they are more moderate than what the Trump administration had proposed earlier in the year and have something that could appease conservatives and liberals.

For example, the bill does not reduce overall spending on the program, which is in stark contrast to the White House budget that called for $26.9 billion in cuts over 10 years. The bill in fact drastically boosts funding for work training. The Trump administration also sought to impose work requirements for adults in their early 60s, wanted to send Blue Apron-style boxes of food to SNAP households -- rather than letting people purchase their choice of groceries -- and is reportedly considering state waivers to drug test people on food assistance.


Rand Paul Warns 'Trump Haters' At FBI Still Have Top-secret Security Clearance

Senator demands that exposed enemies of President Trump ‘should be fired’

Senator Rand Paul revealed Wednesday that two FBI officials who were removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team because they sent texts admitting a strong disliking for President Trump STILL have access to classified information.

The Senator tweeted out a copy of a response he was sent in March to an earlier letter Paul penned asking whether FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page still had security clearances.


US Denies Entry For Muslim Activist, Deports Her To London

Customs agents denied a Muslim activist from Australia entry to the U.S. for a speaking engagement and deported her to London on Wednesday.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied was scheduled to speak at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York for an event called “The M Word: No Country For Young Muslim Women,” but customs agents denied her entry to the U.S. when she arrived at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, according to The Associated Press.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Abdel-Magied, who now lives in London, had the wrong type of visa and would not legally be able to receive payment for her speaking engagement.


$36,731,130,000: Improper Medicaid Payments Skyrocket

Improper payments made by the Medicaid program climbed from approximately $29,149,680,000 in fiscal 2015 to $36,731,130,000 in fiscal 2017, according to data published by the Department of Health and Human Services.

That is an increase of $7,581,450,000--or 26 percent.

“Despite efforts to reduce improper payments in the Medicaid program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the program, overall improper payments continue to increase—rising to about $37 billion in fiscal year 2017 compared to $29.1 billion in fiscal year 2015,” GAO Health Care Director Carolyn Yocom told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today.

“The size and complexity of Medicaid make the program particularly vulnerable to improper payments—including payments made for people not eligible for Medicaid or made for services not actually provided,” Yocom said in her written testimony.

More here

First-Ever Evictions Database Shows: 'We're In the Middle Of A Housing Crisis'

For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute.

"Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty," Desmond says. "Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, school instability [and] community instability."


Alleged School Shooting Plot In Vermont Spurs Debate About When Intent Becomes A Crime

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to hold without bail a man accused of planning a mass shooting at a high school in February. The ruling may bolster renewed calls by the defense to dismiss the case.

Jack Sawyer, 18, is accused of plotting a mass shooting at his former high school in Fair Haven, Vt. He was arrested on Feb. 15, just one day after a shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead, and several others wounded. Now, Sawyer faces felony charges of attempted first-degree murder, attempted aggravated murder and attempted assault with a deadly weapon – crimes which carry a potential life sentence without the possibility of parole.

The case has fascinated legal experts who say it is forcing Vermont to grapple with the difficult issue of when intent to do something becomes an actual crime.


Sweet potato DNA reveals the plant was carried across the ocean by natural forces and NOT humans

Researchers revealed new information about ancient human relations by studying the history of sweet potatoes.

The scientists learned that sweet potatoes were around before humans - and, they discovered that the plant traveled to the region of Polynesia from America on its own, without intervention from humans.

The discovery goes against a previous theory suggesting a pre-Columbian relationship between the American continents and Polynesia.


A Big Step Toward Real Welfare Reform

President Donald Trump signed an executive order this week entitled “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility,” and House Republicans unveiled the 2018 Agriculture and Nutrition Act, the $844 billion farm bill. Both items focus on getting people working and off of welfare. No wonder the statists are angry. As Investor’s Business Daily put it, “If increased dependence on the federal government is your goal, anything that moves in the opposite direction is a bad thing.”

Trump recently said, “I know people that work three jobs and they live next to somebody who doesn’t work at all. And the person who is not working at all and has no intention of working at all is making more money and doing better.” The president thereby expressed the sentiment of millions of Americans who are willing to take on an extra job to pay the bills rather than be on the public dole but are frustrated by those who benefit from another choice.

But haven’t we done this before? What about the welfare reform efforts of Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton in 1996?

Barack Obama effectively undid that good work by directing the Department of Health and Human Services to dismantle the work requirement for welfare recipients in 2012. Last year, President Trump ordered HHS to reinstate that work mandate.

But the president isn’t stopping there. The administration announced that states will be able to include work requirements for Medicaid and require SNAP recipients to work after three months of benefits. Additionally, tougher requirements for those receiving assistance under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program are being considered, as well as mandating weekly work hours for recipients of housing benefits.


President Trump Pardons 'Scooter' Libby, Former Cheney Chief Of Staff

President Trump took the extraordinary step Friday of overruling the judgment of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and granting a pardon to I. Lewis Libby Jr., who served as chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney.

Libby, known as "Scooter," was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007 in connection with the leak of a CIA officer's identity. Bush had commuted Libby's sentence but did not issue a full pardon.

"I don't know Mr. Libby, but for years, I have heard that he has been treated unfairly," Trump said in a statement from the White House. (Full statement below.) "Hopefully, this full pardon will help rectify a very sad portion of his life.'"


Hagerstown High School & Junior High

Drug Testing for Food Stamps may be coming soon

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration is considering a plan that would allow states to require certain food stamp recipients to undergo drug testing, handing a win to conservatives who've long sought ways to curb the safety net program.

The proposal under review would be narrowly targeted, applying mostly to people who are able-bodied, without dependents and applying for some specialized jobs, according to an administration official briefed on the plan. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, said roughly 5 percent of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could be affected.


Suicide - An Epidemic in Schools (Watch Their Hands)

Plan to Split CA. into 3 States may qualify for Ballot

Californians may get to vote on a plan to split the state into three smaller states this November.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who previously pushed a proposal that would split California into six states, says that his three-state proposal has enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

On Thursday, Draper said in a statement that the "CAL 3" initiative has collected over 600,000 signatures from Californians who would like to see the state split into three. An initiative needs 366,000 signatures to appear on the ballot.

"This is an unprecedented show of support on behalf of every corner of California to create
three state governments that emphasize representation, responsiveness, reliability and regional
identity," Draper said.


Donald Trump Goes to War: James Comey a 'Weak and Untruthful Slime Ball'

President Donald Trump reacted to the torrent of leaks emerging from former FBI Director James Comey’s book, dismissing him as a “weak and untruthful slime ball” and a “proven leaker and liar.”

“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” he wrote. “Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired.”

Trump said Comey should be prosecuted for leaking classified information.


LA County ask H.owners to store Homeless in Sheds

Los Angeles County asked homeowners to shelter homeless people in their backyard sheds, according to the Los Angeles Times Wednesday.

Homeowners might get paid to house the homeless in small sheds in their backyards, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Los Angeles City Council approved two new laws Wednesday to expedite the construction of the homeless city-housing project and a second that allows motels to be used ashousing for the less fortunate in the meantime. Motels are also required to have counseling and substance abuse programs for the destitute, CurbedLAadded.


Make Mueller the last special counsel

President Trump shouldn’t fire Robert Mueller, but Mueller should be the last special counsel.

The Mueller probe just took a Ken Starr turn with its lurch, via the Southern District of New York, into the Stormy Daniels affair. After the Starr investigation in the 1990s, there was a consensus that we weren’t doing that again, certainly not through the independent counsel statute, which was allowed to lapse.

The law put investigations on a hair trigger and carved out independent counsels, executive branch officials, from control of the chief executive in a constitutionally impermissible way. What resulted were endless politically fraught investigations that often exhibited a zeal disproportionate to the alleged crime.


Who Cheats More? The Demographics of Infidelity in America

The last few months of 2017 treated us to a whirlwind of news coverage on sexual harassment and abuse, with powerful men from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. falling because of sexual misconduct. It continues into the new year, with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens the latest to fall. And most of these men are married.

When Time magazine picked the silence breakers as the 2017 “person of the year,” few people paid attention to the other group of women negatively impacted by the fallout—the spouses of the men who engaged in inappropriate or even criminal (in some cases) sexual behavior. To these women, sexual harassment/abuse also means infidelity.

In general, men are more likely than women to cheat: 20% of men and 13% of women reported that they’ve had sex with someone other than their spouse while married, according to data from the recent General Social Survey(GSS).


Weekly Fishing Report: April 11, 2018

Cold nights and chilly days have prevailed far too long in the past couple of weeks, but change is on the way, with air temperatures of 80 degrees promised for the weekend.

We are a little more than a week away from the opening day of the trophy striped bass season and it would be safe to say that fishermen and charter boat captains are anxious and ready, even if the striped bass may not be.

Read more.

Diversifying a Classic Humanities Course

Responding to student criticism that its foundational humanities course is too “white” and “Eurocentric,” Reed College announces overhaul of the syllabus and format.

Reed College announced major changes to its signature humanities course Wednesday, months after student protesters charged that the course was too white, too male and too Eurocentric.

Instead of focusing on the ancient Mediterranean, the team-taught course -- which all first-year students take together, at the same time -- will now consist of four different time- and place-based “modules.”

Students will still study the humanistic traditions of the ancient Mediterranean and Athens in the first part of the course. But in the second half, students will engage with history and texts related to Mexico City in the 15th through 20th centuries, and Harlem from 1919 to 1952.

The changes to Hum 110, as the course is known, take effect next academic year.

Like many institutions, Reed has faced student demands that it make its curriculum more inclusive of people of color and non-Western traditions. But those demands took a distinctly Reed-like turn when a group of students staged a months-long sit-in of Hum 110 lectures, through the fall.


U.S., Britain and France Strike Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

WASHINGTON — The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Mr. Assad to stop using banned weapons, but only ordered a limited, one-night operation that hit three targets.

“These are not the actions of a man,” Mr. Trump said of last weekend’s attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”


Kennedy, Kopechne and the Chappy Cover-Up

Getting the justice you can afford — how Ted Kennedy buried manslaughter charges.

For the first time in five years (my wife claims 10), I attended a general admission movie last weekend — "Chappaquiddick." [Applause]

While I have attended opening celebrations of good films, in my opinion there are few that merit the commute and expense of theater viewing rather than streaming it a couple months later in the comfort of our family room. Many other folks clearly agree, given that theater attendance was at a25-year low in 2017, along with Academy Award viewership.

However, I don't regret attending this movie, as I'm both familiar with the Kennedy political dynasty and the Dike Bridge at Chappaquiddick on Martha's Vineyard Island.

Not long after Ted Kennedy's Chappy cover-up, I worked the summer before college at the exclusive Edgartown Yacht Club on the Vineyard. One summer was more than enough on the playground with the wealthy leftist glitterati — a place that has since become a favorite resort destination of Demo-party protagonists, including the Obama and Clinton clans.

So here's a little teaser about an event that also shaped my perspective on Chappaquiddick: Ted Kennedy buried a drunken manslaughter conviction in Edgartown, but I was arrested and jailed for an open beer! (If you're interested in the latter, see the addendum below.)


Kevin Smith invites Stan Lee to live with him after reports of elder abuse

In response to a bombshell report alleging that Stan Lee is the victim of elder abuse, Kevin Smith has offered to help.

“This is heartbreaking. We love you, @TheRealStanLee. You are always welcome to come live with me — or please let us fans buy you a new place to live,” the director tweeted Tuesday. “We miss you, sir.”

On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter published a shocking story outlining how no one surrounding the 95-year-old seems to have his best interests at heart since his wife died last year, including his daughter J.C. Lee. The article details a legal document signed by the comic book legend in February, that states that he and his daughter are constantly fighting over her trust and his estate, and that she is under the influence of three men with “bad intentions.”


CFPB Planning Record Fine Against Wells Fargo For Mortgage Lending, Auto Insurance Abuses

President Donald Trump has apparently kept his promise that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, under the leadership of OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, isn't planning on dropping its pursuit of penalties against Wells Fargo for overcharging mortgage borrowers and forcing customers to buy auto insurance they didn't need.

According to Reuters, the CFPB is reportedly planning to levy a record fine against the bank that could exceed several hundred million dollars - and possibly be as high as $1 billion, per three people with knowledge of the agency's plans. If this comes to pass, it would be the largest fine ever levied by the CFPB. The agency previously fined Wells Fargo $100 million in September 2016. That is currently its largest ever fine.


City of Salisbury Conference Room

Kids Today!

The Town Of Delmar Is Having A Party...