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Friday, April 20, 2018

Alabama to execute inmate, 83, oldest in modern U.S. history

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily halted Alabama's planned execution of an 83-year-old convicted pipe-bomb killer, minutes before he was set to become the oldest person put to death in the modern era of U.S. capital punishment.

The execution of Walter Moody had been scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT (2300 GMT) at the William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore. The death warrant expires at midnight (0500 GMT Friday) and state authorities were still preparing to conduct a lethal injection if the court lifts the hold and denies appeals.

The Death Penalty Information Center, which monitors U.S. capital punishment, said the oldest inmate put to death since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 was 77-year-old John Nixon in Mississippi in December 2005.

There have been seven executions this year in the United States.


Kentucky Teachers Want A Taxpayer Bailout

The Kentucky state workers’ pension system is by some measures the worst funded pension in the entire country with an estimated $70 billion dollars of unfunded liabilities. A recent audit of the pension system found that the plan has had $6.9 billion in negative cash flows since 2005.

At $40 billion, Kentucky teachers make up the largest portion of this unfunded liability. But even in the face of impending insolvency, many teachers in Kentucky are still protesting the slightest changes and cuts to their compensation that have been proposed in an effort to prevent catastrophe.

A minor reform bill recently signed into law that Governor Bevin admits “doesn’t come close” to solving the pension crises, and in no way changes current worker or past retiree’s pension or healthcare benefits, has been met with hysteria.

Many teachers and the Kentucky Education Association (KEA), the teacher’s union, are demanding the state raise revenue instead of cutting costs. The grand plan by the KEA and their lobby of teachers opposing pension reform is to take more money from those that are already responsible for paying teacher incomes - the Kentucky taxpayer. Instead of making concessions in an effort to fix their own underlying problem, they want a bailout. Not only would such a bailout set a very dangerous precedent, but for reasons I will explore below, it would be economically disastrous for Kentucky’s economy and private sector.

To put the $70 billion of unfunded pension liabilities in perspective, Standard & Poor's has ranked Kentucky's public pension as the worst-funded of any state in the US, with just 37.4 percent of the money it needs to pay obligations to retirees. Moody's has ranked Kentucky as having the third-highest pension debt when measured against a state's capacity to pay it off. With just over $10 Billion in total annual tax revenue for Kentucky’s General Fund, every state run institution and service in Kentucky would need to close for nearly 7 years just to fund past pension liabilities.

But despite this fact, the KEA and supporting teachers still insist that the state can somehow tax its way to solvency.


Dershowitz On A Roll: Comey 'A Man Without Courage', ACLU 'A Partisan, Hard-Left Political Organization'

Harvard lawyer Alan Dershowitz is on a roll in recent days, slamming both the ACLU and former FBI Director James Comey as feckless partisans with no sense of duty.

Speaking on "Fox & Friends" Monday, Dershowitz blasted the ACLU for refusing to denounce the FBI raiding President Trump's personal lawyer's office, which he and the president felt violated attorney-client privilege.

"If this were Hillary Clinton being investigated and they went into her lawyer's office, the ACLU would be on every television station in America, jumping up and down," Dershowitz said last week. "The deafening silence from the ACLU and civil libertarians about the intrusion into the lawyer-client confidentiality is really appalling."


ICE arrests 225 during Operation Keep Safe in New York

NEW YORK – Officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 225 during a 6-day period, ending Apr. 14 in New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley.

During the operation, ICE’s ERO arrested 225 individuals for violating U.S. immigration laws. Of those arrested, more than 180 were convicted criminals or had criminal charges pending, more than 80 had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed from the United States and returned illegally. Several had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault, or had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.

"ICE continues to face significant obstacles with policies created by local officials which hinder cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement. Yet, with the tireless efforts of the men and women of ICE, this operation was a great success," said Thomas R. Decker, field office director for ERO New York. "The fact is that a so-called "sanctuary city" does not only provide refuge to those who are here against immigration law, but also provides protections for criminal aliens who prey on the people in their own communities by committing crimes at all levels. ICE is committed to enforcing the immigration laws set forth by Congress with integrity, despite the push-back and rhetoric within the city they serve."

Arrests include:

James Comey Says He Modeled His Leadership After LeBron James: 'I Used to Talk About Him All Over the FBI'

During a Tuesday interview with “Good Morning America,” former FBI Director praised Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, saying he learned a lot about leadership from the future Hall of Fame.

“I admire LeBron James, and he’s probably about to find out I used to talk about him all over the FBI and say he illustrates what the endless pursuit of excellence looks like,” Comey told host George Stephanopoulos.

He continued, “Every offseason, I’ve read, he tries to find a part of his game to make better — which is crazy, because he’s already better than everybody else. It’s because he measures himself up not against the others, but against himself.”


GOP maneuver could roll back decades of regulation

Republicans are preparing to open a new front in their push to roll back regulations across the government, using a maneuver that could enable them to strike down decisions by federal agencies that reach back decades.

As soon as Tuesday, GOP senators, backed by President Donald Trump, will use the Congressional Review Act to topple safeguards issued by the CFPB in 2013 that were intended to discourage discrimination in auto lending.

While Republicans in the Trump era have already taken advantage of the 1996 law to remove more than a dozen recently issued rules, this would be the first time that Congress will have used it to kill a regulatory policy that is several years old.

Now, actions going back to President Bill Clinton’s administration could be in play under the procedure GOP lawmakers are undertaking, forcing numerous agencies to reconsider how they roll out new regulations.

“It’s a hugely important precedent,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), the architect of the effort, said in an interview. “It’s potentially a big, big opening.”

While conservatives are applauding the effort as a way to rein in rogue bureaucrats and boost the economy, consumer advocates are warning that the consequences could be dire.


The Chick-Fil-A-Phobes Are Back With New Symptoms

Move over, Trump Derangement Syndrome. Another unhinged liberal pathology is back: Chick-fil-A-phobia.

Perhaps, in the interest of public health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should launch a weekly C-F-A-P surveillance report to map the recurrence of this culturally infectious disease. Early-onset symptoms include fear of pressure-cooked poultry, allergic reaction to waffle potato fries, and an irrational hatred of cow costumes. Anti-Christian prejudice and coastal elitism are common comorbidities associated with this debilitating progressive condition.

Ground zero for the latest outbreak? The headquarters of The New Yorker magazine.

This week’s issue online features the bigoted lament of writer Daniel Piepenbring, who decries the fast-food chain’s “creepy infiltration” of the Big Apple and warns against the company’s “pervasive Christian traditionalism.”


How Better Treatment of the Mentally Ill Could Reduce Mass Shootings

After a 19-year-old with a rifle killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, President Donald Trump lamented how mental illness could have been a contributing factor in that massacre and many others.
Negotiations on DACA have begun. Republicans want to make a deal and Democrats say they want to make a deal. Wouldn’t it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle. This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Trump hit on an uncomfortable topic that the media, focused as usual on gun control, has given little coverage in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

America doesn’t have a gun problem. It’s enduring a crisis of inappropriately treated mental illness that began decades ago but has worsened in recent years.

The Daily Signal spoke about this growing problem with John Snook, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a nonprofit organization in Arlington, Virginia, dedicated to coming up with better solutions to treat mental illness.

Snook said officials planted the seeds of the mental health crisis in the 1970s, when they focused on deinstitutionalizing the mentally ill.


Facebook Is Trying to Exclude 1.5 Billion Users From Stricter Privacy Regulations

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a strict set of laws governing what data tech companies can collect on users, requiring them to seek explicit opt-in consent before doing so, and promptly disclose breaches, goes into effect on May 25th, 2018. Currently, the GDPR would require Facebook to apply these changes to 1.9 billion users.

It wants to exclude 1.5 billion of those users.

Per Reuters, Facebook users outside the US and Canada are currently subject to whatever regulations apply to the company’s foreign headquarters in Ireland—where it is situated to take advantage of generous tax rules other countries have labeled a tax haven. Whoops! But the company is planning to try and exempt all of those users outside the EU, Reuters reported on Wednesday, in what seems like an attempt to make an end run around the privacy rules and dodge potential fines as well:

Facebook members outside the United States and Canada, whether they know it or not, are currently governed by terms of service agreed with the company’s international headquarters in Ireland.

Next month, Facebook is planning to make that the case for only European users, meaning 1.5 billion members in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will not fall under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which takes effect on May 25.

The previously unreported move, which Facebook confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday, shows the world’s largest online social network is keen to reduce its exposure to GDPR, which allows European regulators to fine companies for collecting or using personal data without users’ consent.

That removes a huge potential liability for Facebook, as the new EU law allows for fines of up to 4 percent of global annual revenue for infractions, which in Facebook’s case could mean billions of dollars.


President Trump's Vitally Important Anti-Poverty Initiative

It takes a lot of courage for a president to target almost a quarter of the federal budget for reform in an election year.

But this is exactly what President Donald Trump is doing with his executive order, “Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility.”

We’re now spending more than $700 billion per year on low-income assistance, which is more than we are spending on our national defense. And there are plenty of reasons to believe this spending is inefficient, wasteful, and counterproductive.

Over the last half-century, some $22 trillion has been spent on anti-poverty programs and yet the percentage of poor in this nation remains unchanged. And it is not only a matter of the percentage staying the same but also that the people and families who are born poor stay that way.


Confederate statues fallout: House removes $250,000 for Memphis from budget

House lawmakers on Tuesday approved a last-minute amendment to remove $250,000 allocated to the city of Memphis as punishment for the removal of Confederate monuments.

The amendment, which was approved with a 56-31 vote, was introduced as a result of Memphis officials’ decision to remove two controversial statues on public property last year.

After being denied a waiver by the state Historical Commission to remove the statues, Memphis sold two public parks in December to a nonprofit, which then removed statues of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.


Stun Gun Ban Violates Second Amendment, Rules Massachusetts High Court

The Second Amendment protects civilians possessing stun guns and tasers, the highest court in Massachusetts said Tuesday.

The ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court stated that the prohibition in Massachusetts state law is a violation of the Second Amendment. The law allowed for law enforcement to possess the weapons.

The ruling came in a case in which a defendant was charged with possession. The court ruled that the complaint against him be dismissed and that the state law is struck down.

The court is giving the Massachusetts legislature 60 days to revise the statute behind the prohibition so it meets constitutional muster.

"Therefore, under the Second Amendment, the possession of stun guns may be regulated, but not absolutely banned," said the Supreme Judicial Court ruling issued Tuesday. "Restrictions may be placed on the categories of persons who may possess them, licenses may be required for their possession, and those licensed to possess them may be barred from carrying them in sensitive places, such as schools and government buildings."

The court's ruling was a reversal after the US Supreme Court provided some guidance: In a 2015 case, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not cover stun guns.


Smartphone Addiction Increases Loneliness, Isolation; No Different From Substance Abuse, Experts Say

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s well-known that smartphone, or more broadly, digital addiction can result in many negative mental effects on people over time. Recent research even found it creates a brain imbalance in teens. Now a new study finds that over-attachment to your phone can cause serious social problems — boosting feelings of loneliness and isolation — while worsening anxiety and depression symptoms.

Smartphones have become useful, everyday tools that essentially manage our daily lives. From calendars to calorie monitors to sleep aids, smartphone owners find themselves constantly glancing at their screens from the minute they wake up to the seconds before hitting the sack. Whether it’s reading push notifications, responding to dings and vibrations, or constantly refreshing one’s Facebook newsfeed on the go, the need for phone time is becoming a more serious problem.

Researchers behind the study, conducted at San Francisco State University, liken smartphone addiction to opioid dependency, arguing that overuse of a mobile device is no different from substance abuse.
“The behavioral addiction of smartphone use begins forming neurological connections in the brain in ways similar to how opioid addiction is experienced by people taking Oxycontin for pain relief — gradually,” explains Erik Peper, co-lead author of the study and professor of health education at the school, in a news release.

The ubiquity of smartphones today betrays their usefulness, but app developers and tech companies are highly incentivized to create features that draw your eyes, and your attention, as much as possible. “More eyeballs, more clicks, more money,” comments Peper.

To Track Opioid Use, More Cities May Soon Screen Wastewater

Cities may soon have a new tool in their efforts to contain the opioid epidemic: residents' own urine.

Biobot Analytics, the winning startup in a pitch competition judged by mayors this weekend at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, measures the concentration of opioids in sewage to estimate levels of drug use in different neighborhoods.

“Everybody pees, every day,” said Newsha Ghaeli, co-founder of Biobot, during her pitch to the mayors on Sunday. “And this rich source of human health information aggregates in our public sewers -- an infrastructure that you own, you maintain and you manage.”

Too often, public officials rely on information about opioids and opiates that is reactive, such as overdoses and deaths, Ghaeli says. With wastewater, cities can collect samples and analyze the data every two weeks, allowing them to pinpoint where residents are abusing drugs and whether consumption declines after policy interventions.

Since launching as a company six months ago, Biobot has already started operating in Cambridge, Mass., and will soon go live in Cary, N.C. as well. (Last month, Bloomberg Philanthropies named Cary one of 35 “Champion Cities” for its proposal to test Biobot’s opioid detection technology.)

“It’s a very creative way to use a source of untapped data. Who thinks about measuring wastewater?” said Fort Worth, Texas, Mayor Betsy Price, who was one of three mayors on a panel of judges. “This is another way to use city assets that we don’t think about to hit a problem like opioids or public health in general.”


D.C. Ditches Ad Campaign Encouraging People to Report Food Stamp Fraud

The District of Columbia’s health department is ditching a taxpayer-funded ad campaign urging the public to report food stamp fraud.

The D.C. government released a statement on the ads, apologizing to residents for “sharing a message that is not a reflection of our values” and letting the community know the D.C. government had decided to remove them.

“The advertisement missed the mark, and DHS apologizes for sharing a message that is not a reflection of our values,” D.C.’s Department of Human Services (DHS) said in a statement. “In response to community concerns (and our own), DHS is removing the ads and taking steps to ensure future advertisements express our belief that SNAP is a critical and effective program.”

The ads were spotted in the city’s Metro rail system as Congress considers tightening eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) benefits in the 2018 Farm Bill.


Lettuce-Linked E. Coli Outbreak Expands

An E. coli outbreak that health investigators believe is linked to chopped romaine lettuce has expanded, with 53 cases now reported in 16 states, and nearly three dozen hospitalized, at least five of whom suffered kidney failure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added 18 more cases to the total in its update Wednesday, a marked increase since the prior update less than a week earlier, and said five more states reported sick people: Alaska, Arizona, California, Louisiana and Montana.

Officials believe the contaminated lettuce was grown in Yuma, Arizona, though they have not identified a grower, supplier, distributor or brand.

Cases have been reported across the tri-state area, the most in New Jersey (7); New York and Connecticut have three cases each. Pennsylvania has the most (12) in this outbreak, followed by Idaho (10).

More here

Pro-Assad Regime Organization Paid Ohio Dem Dennis Kucinich $20,000

An organization that supports Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad paid former Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich $20,000 to speak to its organization last year.

The payment came out as part of the Democrat's financial disclosures since he is running for governor of Ohio. Originally, Kucinich did not list the source of the payments and referred to them as speaking fees without specifying who they came from, the Columbus Dispatch reports. The three speaking fees came to a total of $33,000.

The $20,000 payment came from the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, in El Cerrito, California. The speech was at the European Centre for the Study of Extremism in Cambridge, England. Kucinich's travel costs were also handled.

Kucinich has been to Syria several times before and has met Assad. The gubernatorial candidate is against most military actions the U.S. could be involved in and repeatedly attempted to impeach former President George W. Bush for the invasion of Iraq.


Baltimore Mayor Announces ‘Don’t Block The Box’ Traffic Safety Program

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new traffic law kicks in next month that may change driving habits in Baltimore.

The new city traffic safety campaign, “Don’t block the box,” means if drivers are blocking an intersection after the light turns red, you can be cited.

Cars stuck in the intersection can cause congestion and confusion as other drivers try to get around them, and it poses a hazard for pedestrians.

“Thirty-two percent of all statewide pedestrian involved crashes occur right here in the City of Baltimore,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

As part of a comprehensive traffic safety campaign, blocking the box will be a traffic violation with a $90 ticket and one point on your license.

“We really want people to understand it’s not that we want to ticket, we want the traffic to move safely, we want pedestrians to be able to cross safely through intersections, we want bikes to travel safely, we want buses to be on time. All of this goes into how we operate in the infrastructure,” Baltimore Transportation Department Director Michelle Pourciau said.


Sentencing of Byron Simpson


Fan ownership, not stadium welfare, would be best for sports fans and taxpayers

This year, Major League Baseball’s opening day was the earliest it’s been in the modern history of the game. On March 29, 28 of the 30 MLB teams kicked off their 2018 season (two were prevented by the weather in Detroit). From now until the end of September, calls of balls, strikes, and home runs will be heard throughout the nation.

Fans will cheer and boo as their teams’ fortunes rise and fall over the next few months, but there’s one call that should echo in every hallway of our nation’s statehouses: a call to end taxpayer-funded corporate welfare for sports teams.

Elected officials often justify using taxpayer money to pay for the construction or renovation of sports stadiums by arguing it helps to create local economic growth. In reality, corporate welfare is a losing proposition for the very people elected officials claim to be helping: the taxpayers.


“Taking Back Our Community” Opioid Forum to be held in Bivalve

A “Taking Back Our Community” opioid forum will be held on May 3, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the West Side Fire Department at 21045 Nanticoke Rd., Bivalve, MD. This is the fourth in a series of community forums being held around the county to share with residents what is happening at the county level to combat the opioid crisis in Wicomico County. Community members will also be given the opportunity to ask questions and share what they feel needs to be done.

This event includes a free Naloxone training for community members ages 18 and older, immediately following the community discussion. Those completing the training will be given a Naloxone kit.

The opioid crisis has touched the lives of many in our community. The public is encouraged to be part of the solution to the opioid situation in Wicomico County by participating in this forum.

For more information about the forum or the training, please call 410-334-3480.

NYT's Best-Seller List Is Another Reason Americans Don't Trust the Media

About half the American people do not believe the mainstream media tell the truth. They believe the media are more interested in promoting their left-wing views than reporting the truth.

I am, I note with sadness, a member of that half.

Here is but one more example: The New York Times best-seller list.

As a writer (who, for the record, had a previous book on that list), I have long known it isn’t a best-seller list, and I don’t pay attention to it. But I paid attention last week to see if my recently published book, which opened up on Amazon as the second best-selling book in America, was on the list. It wasn’t.

The book, “The Rational Bible: Exodus,” the first volume of a five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible (the Torah), was No. 2 in nonfiction on The Wall Street Journal best-seller list; No. 2 on the Publishers Weekly nonfiction best-seller list; No. 1 on Ingram, the largest book wholesaler in the country; and, according to Nielsen BookScan, the organization that tracks 75 to 85 percent of book sales, No. 2 in hardcover nonfiction.


Lance Armstrong Settles Federal Fraud Case for $5 Million

Lance Armstrong agreed on Thursday to pay $5 million to settle claims that he defrauded the federal government by using performance-enhancing drugs when the United States Postal Service sponsored his cycling team.

The settlement ended years of legal wrangling between Armstrong and the government over whether the Postal Service had actually sustained harm because of Armstrong’s doping.

After years of vehement denials, Armstrong admitted in 2013 that he had used banned substances while winning a record seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005. He wore a Postal Service jersey during the first six of those victories, but he was stripped of all his Tour titles in 2012 after an investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency determined that he and many of his teammates had been doping.


How a big enough Democratic wave could even wash away Nancy Pelosi

A big enough Democratic wave could threaten the party's existing House leadership team while washing away the Republican majority.

Virginia Rep. Gerry Connolly, a member of Congress since 2009, hears echoes of the post-Watertage Democratic gains in 1974 in this year’s election. Once a defender of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Connolly said the California Democrat’s future atop the caucus “will depend on the size and composition of the freshman class.”

“If we beat all expectations and it’s a massive class, well then you’ve got a real wild card there,” he told the Washington Examiner. “The Watergate class took out a lot of sitting chairmen on their own team.”


Ex-FBI agent pleads guilty to leaking classified documents to media

A former FBI agent accused of giving covert documents to a national media outlet pleaded guilty to leaking classified national defense information Tuesday, the Justice Department said.

Terry Albury, a former counterterrorism agent in the Minnesota field office, said he knew the disclosure of the information was illegal but believed FBI investigations treated minority communities improperly, according to the Associated Press.

He appeared in federal court in St. Paul, Minn. Albury was pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized disclosure of national defense information and one count of unauthorized retention of national defense information.


'Growing body of evidence' James Comey lied to Congress

Rep. Mark Meadows said Thursday there's a growing body of evidence to suggest that former FBI Director James Comey lied when he told Congress that the FBI and the Justice Department were not coordinating on the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.

Meadows, R-N.C., said on Fox News that his staff has more texts between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that show signs of coordination.

"We know because we have a number of documents, a growing body of evidence," to suggest Comey may have lied about that coordination. "Not only was that false, but we know that over and over again now, we have emails that would suggest that that testimony was false and at best misled the American public, at worst was lying to Congress," he said.


De Blasio’s rat-killing demonstration is a complete disaster

Mayor Bill de Blasio and workers from the Housing Authority were outwitted by the rodent during a press event at a Bushwick project when it triumphantly escaped their clutches as they attempted to demonstrate a new high-tech extermination technique.

Like a scene from “Tom and Jerry,” workers fruitlessly tried to stomp on the agile rodent when it scurried from a hole in which dry ice had been dropped in an effort to control the furry pests.

One worker even swung a shovel at the plucky rat in a comical whack-a-mole routine.

But no one could lay a hand on the tiny animal, which dodged all the would-be rat-slayers at the Bushwick Houses and scampered to safety at a playground on Humboldt Street.


McConnell Kills President Trump’s Plan to Cut $60 Billion in Spending

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) has torpedoed President Donald Trump’s plan to cut $60 billion in federal spending, despite a promise to open a “discussion” on the cuts.

Even after supporting and passing a $1.3 trillion increase in spending, McConnell said he would talk about a rescissions package that had the support of the president. However, McConnell has ultimately refused to support the plan, Conservative Review noted.

McConnell appeared on Fox News with host Neil Cavuto on April 17 and as the interview ended, the Sen. insisted that he could not make such an agreement to rescind any of the massive spending he supported during the budgeting process.

Cavuto noted that President Trump expressed shock that his cuts in spending were not added to the bill and said he would never sign such a bill again. The Fox host then asked if McConnell would try to rescind any of that spending.

But the majority leader said that he already brokered an agreement with the Democrats and that train has left the station..


San Diego County Joins California's 'Sanctuary-State' Revolt

County votes to support Trump administration's lawsuit against sanctuary-state law

San Diego County, California's second-most populous county, on Tuesday joined at least a dozen other municipalities in supporting the Trump administration's lawsuit against the state over its so-called "sanctuary" law.

The county's all-Republican Board of Supervisors discussed the issue in a closed session Tuesday and afterward announced that it had voted in favor of supporting the Justice Department's lawsuit against the state law.

The law in question, SB54, officially titled the California Values Act, limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. The vote was 3-1, with one supervisor absent.

"I think San Diegans are finally waking up and finally saying, ‘Enough is enough, Gov. Brown,'" Gaspar told Fox News before the vote. "Gov. Brown needs to follow the laws of our Constitution."


Villanova coach Jay Wright meets with Pope Francis, presents him with an autographed basketball

Pope Francis specializes in blessings. Villanova University men’s basketball coach Jay Wright leads a team counting its blessings.

And while it’s not clear whether the pope favored the Wildcats in the just-wrapped NCAA tournament — or whether he followed college basketball’s winter extravaganza at all — Wright delivered a big thank-you to the Holy Father on Saturday.

He presented Francis with a basketball signed by members of Villanova’s national championship team.

After earlier this month leading the Wildcats to their second national championship in three years, Wright this weekend was in Rome with Villanova’s president, the Rev. Peter Donohue, and university trustees for their spring board meeting. Their visit to the Eternal City included a trip to the Vatican and a special audience with the pope, who, in brief remarks to the delegation in Clementine Hall, referred to the school’s Augustinian roots and spoke of its obligation to “address the complex ethical and cultural challenges raised by the epochal changes affecting our world today.”

One “urgent” aspect of its educational task, Francis said, “is the development of a universal, Catholic vision of the unity of our human family and a commitment to the practical solidarity needed to combat the grave inequalities and injustices that mark today’s world.”

He said he hopes “Villanova University will persevere in its efforts to communicate the intellectual, spiritual and moral values that will enable young people to participate wisely and responsibly in the great debates shaping the future of our society.”


Trumpism Without Trump

A little more than six months from now, on November 7, the sun will rise on a political landscape wrecked by President Donald Trump’s first midterm election. Thanks to a map that puts more Democratic than Republican seats at risk, our party will still cling to control of the Senate, but GOP House members lack insulation: They will crawl out from the smoking rubble of a 40- to 50-seat pounding to find they have lost their majority.

Paul Ryan will be gone. The former Great White Hope of the Republican Party sneaked out of town before reveille, leaving his troops facing extinction. Our remaining soldiers, stunned or wounded, will also have blown the bugle of retreat, fleeing to the shelter of the party's shrunken conservative base. Our eyes will turn to those survivors, the leaders of a broken party, one only they can restore. They will determine where the Republican Party goes next. How do we renew our party in the Age of Trump?

We don’t have to wait for November’s cataclysm. We can begin now with a strategy to harness Trump’s base and add swing voters, even as we remain faithful to our principles.

To begin, we need to recognize that, although Donald Trump often appeals to the worst in us, the fears that fueled his election are legitimate. They need to be respected. We need a Republican Party as big as those fears and as great as America’s challenges. We need a Republican Party to address the twin concerns that rocketed an inexperienced businessman past both irrelevant political parties and made him president of the United States.

Fear No. 1: Our country fears it is losing the future. A broad slice of working-class voters fear the American dream has become the American game. They believe it has been fixed by the big guys, for the big guys, against the man who drives an F-150 and built their mansions. It was rigged by the very political leaders Americans sent to Washington to guard the future’s gates.


Here's the Path Forward for Health Reform in 2018

An open letter to the American public from conservative leaders.

Congressional leaders were poised last month to spend tens of billions of dollars in the omnibus bill to temporarily shore up Obamacare’s failing health insurance system.

That money, however, never would have given Americans the long-term relief they so desperately need.

After this idea was struck from the spending bill, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who had worked closely with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to shape a bipartisan deal, said that “the only choice we have is to go back to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”

We agree. Obamacare is broken and cannot be fixed, and there is a better way forward.



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It's Clear 'White Flight' to Suburbs Isn't Reason Cities Struggle

When World War II ended, Washington, D.C.’s population was about 900,000; today it’s about 700,000. In 1950, Baltimore’s population was almost 950,000; today it’s around 614,000. Detroit’s 1950 population was close to 1.85 million; today it’s down to 673,000. Camden, New Jersey’s 1950 population was nearly 125,000; today it has fallen to 77,000. St. Louis’ 1950 population was more than 856,000; today it’s less than 309,000.

A similar story of population decline can be found in most of our formerly large and prosperous cities. In some cities, population declines since 1950 are well over 50 percent. In addition to Detroit and St. Louis, those would include Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

During the 1960s and ’70s, academic liberals, civil rights advocates, and others blamed the exodus on racism—”white flight” to the suburbs. However, since the ’70s, blacks have been fleeing some cities at higher rates than whites.

It turns out that blacks, like whites, want better and safer schools for their kids and don’t like to be mugged or have their property vandalized. Just like white people, if they have the means, black people can’t wait for moving companies to move them out.


Obama Interior Secretaries Spent More Than Ryan Zinke on Chartered Flights

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has spent far fewer taxpayer dollars on chartered flights than his two predecessors in the Obama administration, public records show.

The Daily Signal’s examination of travel records found that on average Zinke’s two predecessors spent more annually on such noncommercial flights, despite media reports critical of Zinke’s spending on travel.

The cost of such chartered flights for Zinke totaled $72,849 in his first six months as interior secretary, the travel records show.

The average annual cost of such flights was $155,515 for predecessors Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell from fiscal years 2010 to 2016, according to recordsprovided by the Interior Department to the House Natural Resources Committee.


Hoyer: Democrats Will Look to Raise Taxes Once Back in Power

Democratic Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (Md.) said if Democrats win the House this year, he's looking to raise "revenues," an apparent alternative way to say "raise taxes."

CNBC's Rebecca Quick asked Hoyer what Democrats would try to do to unravel or change the tax law should they win back the House in the 2018 elections.

The minority whip said Democrats will want to invest in jobs, infrastructure, and jobs skills.

Then, referencing the new tax cuts, which included a reduction in the corporate tax rate, Hoyer said, "we'll look at some of those resources going to people who are not going to use them to grow the economy."


"Biggest Fine Ever": Wells Fargo To Announce $1BN Settlement On "Risk Management"

In a story that sounds suspiciously similar to another report published by Reuters roughly two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal said Thursday that Wells Fargo is nearing a $1 billion settlement on its risk management with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; that would be the largest fine ever levied by the CFPB. The deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow, the WSJ said, citing an unspecified number of "people familiar with the matter."

For the Warren Buffett's favorite scandal-plagued bank, the settlement won't just be a monetary punishment, but also the latest public reminder of its myriad criminal misdeeds.

What's worse, it would also come with increased oversight of how the bank - which was officially chastised by the Fed in Janet Yellen's last action as Fed chair - compensates its employees. The latter issue appears to be a reaction to the bank's unusual incentives system, which employees said had encouraged them to open millions of fraudulent accounts during the Wells' now-infamous cross-selling scandal.


Friendlier Feds Change the Game for Cannabis Stocks

Until last week, the most important news to date for the cannabis industry, in my view, was the 2013 Cole Memorandum, which gave the green light to Colorado and Washington to move forward with cannabis legalization.

The memorandum specified eight priorities for Department of Justice attorneys with respect to enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act and created a safe harbor for regulators and businesses in states that permitted adult access to cannabis. With that guidance from the government, cannabis businesses invested with confidence that they wouldn’t wake up to asset forfeitures or even arrest, and we have seen rapid growth in these states and others subsequently.

The Cole Memorandum’s fundamental flaw of being only guidance became very clear with the change in the Presidency in late 2016.

By early 2018, the Cole Memorandum was ripped up, leaving the industry technically facing a great deal of uncertainty, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions opened the door to prosecution at the discretion of individual department attorneys.


Rudy Giuliani joins Trump legal team, hopes to end Russia probe in ‘a week or two’

Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that he will join President Trump’s legal team and hopes to bring an end to the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election meddling in “a week or two.”

“I’m going to join the legal team to try to bring this to a resolution,” Giuliani told The Post.

“The country deserves it. I’ve got great admiration for President Trump.

“I’ve had a long relationship with Bob Mueller. I have great respect for him. He’s done a good job.”

Giuliani, a former US Attorney, served as New York City’s mayor when Mueller was the FBI director.


Supreme Court Not Sold on Ending Online Sales Tax Ban

The justices pressed attorneys on Tuesday about the potential consequences of overturning the court’s 26-year-old ruling.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley came to the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, backed by the attorneys general in 42 other states, on a mission to overturn a 26-year-old decision that prevents states from collecting taxes on online sales.

But the court's nine justices quickly made clear that it would not be an easy sell.

Jackley had barely begun explaining that states were losing massive amounts of money and small businesses were being harmed by the 1992 case Quill Corp. v. North Dakota before Justice Sonia Sotomayor interrupted.

“I'm concerned about the many unanswered questions that overturning precedents will create a massive amount of lawsuits about,” she said.


Republicans Chances Of Keeping The House

Republicans’ hopes for maintaining control of the House are dwindling and that is likely an understatement.

Forty-six House Republicans are either resigning, retiring or seeking other office in 2018. Roughly 22 House members retire each election cycle, so to say the party is going through a seismic shift is not a misnomer.

In fact, its been nearly 25 years — since 1994 — that a majority party incurred as many losses as Republicans have this year. Democrats controlled the House leading up the to the 1994 midterms. The party had 28 members announce retirement and Republicans subsequently took them to the cleaners, picking up 54 seats and outright claiming the majority in what is now known as the “Republican Revolution.”

Following what was a quiet stream of weeks after the months-long chain of Republicans fleeing the House, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan rattled Capitol Hill early last week, declaring he will hang up his hat after serving almost 20 years in the lower chamber. Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania dealt another blow to the party Tuesday morning, becoming the 46th Republican on a growing list of casualties.


'The More, the Better' Australia Ready to Welcome South African Farmers

Australia is laying the legislative groundwork necessary to welcome persecuted South African farmers who face a targeted campaign of violence at home, the country’s top legal officer said.

Attorney-General Christian Porter pledged Wednesday to help at-risk farmers applying for visas, telling the Australian newspaper “the more South Africans in our local community the better.”

Mr Porter’s own Perth electorate of Pearce had more than 5000 South African-born residents at the last census, which recorded 2656 Afrikaans speakers living in the seat. Now he wants to welcome more.

“More than any other place in Australia, South Africans have made their home in the north coast of WA, in my electorate. They are hardworking and make a huge contribution to our local community,” Mr. Porter said.

He said over the past five years his office had helped a steady stream of South Africans with immigration issues.


Revealed: Dream Democrat Agenda Includes Reparations

Behind closed doors, wealthy liberal donors plot universal healthcare, free college, and reparations

A wealthy Democratic donor club plotting the future of the liberal movement hopes to be fighting for reparations by 2022, according to a document obtained by the Washington Free Beacon from the Democracy Alliance's spring conference this week in Atlanta.

The desire was stated in the invitation for a Monday reception during the annual spring gathering, which was attended by top Democratic Party officials such as DNC chairman Tom Perez, former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, and Reps. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.) and Mark Pocan (Wis.).

The reception, "Way to Win: 2022 Victory Party," was presented as a look forward at what's possible if Democrats can be effective in coming elections.

"It's 2022 and we are celebrating policy victories across the nation: Medicare for All and Free College, and next on the agenda is Reparations," the group projected, according to an invitation to the event.


Andrew McCabe swipes at James Comey: He's not telling the truth

Andrew McCabe — who was fired as FBI deputy director last month — hit back at former FBI Director James Comey, saying he was not telling the truth in an interview earlier Wednesday.

“Comey has relied on the accuracy and the soundness of the Office of the Inspector General's (OIG) conclusions in their report on Mr. McCabe. In fact, the report fails to adequately address the evidence (including sworn testimony) and documents that prove that Mr. McCabe advised Director Comey repeatedly that he was working with the Wall Street Journal on the stories in question prior to publication,” said Michael Bromwich, counsel for McCabe.

In an appearance on ABC’s “The View” earlier Wednesday, Comey said he ordered the probe that eventually led to McCabe’s firing, and believes McCabe lied about his conversations with the media.


The True Story of the USS Liberty - Important Documentary on Israel

WALSH: The Facts Are In. The Real Story At Starbucks Is Entitlement, Not Racism.

When the controversy over two black men getting escorted out of a Starbucks by police first erupted, I was skeptical of the racism claims but I said I needed to hear all the facts. Well, now we have the facts. It is now confirmed that this incident stems not from racism but from entitlement.

We were told at first that two black men sat down at a table, and, out of nowhere, for no reason other than their race, were summarily perp walked out of the establishment by an army of police officers. This already made little sense for a number of reasons, including the fact that the incident occurred at a store in Philadelphia. The store presumably sees hundreds of black customers every week. If it was in the habit of having black people randomly arrested, why is this the first time we're hearing about it?


Thank God Its Friday 4-20-18

What will you be doing this weekend?

Paul Ryan, GOP Establishment Look to Fulfill Koch Brothers' Wage-Crushing Amnesty Dreams Ahead of Midterms

House Speaker Paul Ryan and the Republican establishment are considering an amnesty plan for illegal aliens that is nearly identical to a plan being pushed by the billionaire GOP megadonors the Koch brothers.

Ryan, the GOP establishment, and the Koch brothers are looking to make the 2018 midterm elections primarily a referendum on tax cuts, rather than President Trump’s popular pro-American immigration reform agenda that would boost American workers’ wages.


Alabama Governor Swings Confederate

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey unveiled a campaign ad Tuesday championing a bill she signed in 2017 that bars local municipalities from removing Confederate statues.

“When special interests wanted to tear down our historical monuments, I said, ‘No!’ and signed a law to protect them,” Ivey, a Republican, said in the ad. “We can’t change or erase our history, but here in Alabama we know something Washington doesn’t: To get where we are going, we have to understand where we’ve been.”


As Mount Ida’s Debt Increased, So Did Its Executives’ Pay

Sbynews Editor's Note:
Mount Ida College is a private college in Newton, Massachusetts, United States, offering professional undergraduate and graduate degrees. Wikipedia
Address777 Dedham St, Newton, MA 02459
Acceptance rate68.5% (2014)
Undergraduate tuition and fees30,447 USD (2015)
Total enrollment1,481 (2010)
Typical SAT scoresMath 390-490 (2014), Reading 390-500 (2014), Writing 380-490 (2014)

Pay and other compensation for Mount Ida College’s president and other executives increased while its increasing debt load threatened to drive it out of business.

The board of trustees of the small college in Newton kept approving significant increases in salary for president Barry Brown and other leading officials during the last few years leading up to the college’s decision to close and sell the campus to the University of Massachusetts, according to the Boston Business Journal.

Brown made $446,000 in 2016, including $390,082 in base salary, the Boston Business Journal reported. The total compensation that year was up from $406,000 in 2014. Debt increased from $58 million to $68 million between 2014 and 2016, states the Boston Business Journal, citing documents the college was required to file with the federal government.


Jordan Candler: 'Little Pink House': Putting a Spotlight on Government Abuse

A new movie hitting theaters this week tells of the saga that went all the way to the Supreme Court.

In 1997, Connecticut resident Susette Kelo purchased what became known as the “Little Pink House.” Located in the city of New London, Kelo, like many older-home buyers, exerted time and money bringing new life to the dilapidated house. But then the government invoked eminent domain as justification for literally destroying Kelo’s entire neighborhood. A new movie hitting theaters this week, “Little Pink House,” puts a spotlight on the egregious saga that went all the way to the Supreme Court, as well as the broader problem of the government’s powerful eminent-domain arm. Columnist Jeff Jacoby previewed the film in a recent column:

It recounts the true story of Susette Kelo … and her working-class neighbors in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Connecticut, whose homes were seized by eminent domain to clear the way for an upscale private development at the behest of Pfizer, the Big Pharma colossus. The tiny band of homeowners, represented by idealistic lawyers from the Institute for Justice, fought their eviction all the way to the Supreme Court — and lost. In one of the most infamous decisions in its history, the court ruled, 5-4, that property owners can be stripped of their land whenever the government decides that a wealthier owner would put it to more lucrative use.


Criminal Referral Issued For Comey, Clinton, Lynch And McCabe; Rosenstein Recusal Demanded

Eleven GOP members of Congress led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray - asking them to investigate former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others - including FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz - falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to utilize.

The GOP letter's primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.

The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "be recused from any examination of FISA abuse," and recommends that "neither U.S. Attorney John Huber nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein."

The letter refers the following individuals for the following conduct:

James Comey - obstruction, perjury, corruption, stealing public property or records, gathering transmitting or losing defense information, unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents, false statements.


Flashback: McCabe Threatened to Take Everyone Down With Him If Charged

Ex-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe threatened to take down everyone else involved in FBI and DOJ corruption – including perhaps even ex-FBI Director James Comey – if he faces criminal charges, as Infowars reported in March.

That might happen very soon, as media outlets just reported that the Justice Dept. has sent a criminal referral regarding McCabe to the US attorney’s office.

Look back at our article from March 17, 2018:

Recently fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said if he faces criminal prosecution, he’s going to take down everyone else involved in FBI and DoJ wrongdoing related to the Hillary Clinton email probe with him, according to reporter Sarah Carter.

“McCabe is worried. And one thing that I did hear is that McCabe has said over and over again, ‘If I go down, I’m taking everybody else with me,’” Carter said on “The Ingraham Angle” on Friday.

“Plain and simple, he lied. A lot of current and former FBI agents that I’ve spoken to said ‘I hope he’s fired. Is he going to get fired today?’ That’s all I kept hearing all day because they realize that if they had done this, they would have been fired too.”

McCabe is already in a public spat with Comey, which suggests that if he’s taken down, he’s taking Comey down with him.


Report: Broward County Grew Increasingly Unsafe as Obama-Era Discipline Policies Protected Minority Students

A new investigation reveals that while the Broward County schools superintendent and school board are touting fewer arrests of minority students, the most recent state data actuallyshows the district has the highest rate of weapons-related incidents in South Florida.

Research conducted by Paul Sperry for RealClearInvestigations (RCI) shows while Broward County Public Schools, under the direction of superintendent Robert Runcie, has embraced Obama-era, social justice school discipline policies aimed at ending the “school-to-prison pipeline” for minority students, data indicate the school district has grown increasingly unsafe over recent years.


Judge Overseeing Cohen Case Officiated George Soros' Wedding in 2013

The federal judge overseeing the case against Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen is the very same judge who officiated the wedding of left-wing billionaire George Soros and his then-42-year-old bride Tamiko Bolton in September of 2013, according to news reports.

Judge Kimba Wood performed the non-denominational ceremony, an honor that is often reserved for close and trusted members of a couple's inner circle:
According to a Reuters report, the couple said their vows at Soros' estate in Bedford, New York, in front of 500 "select guests." The guest list included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, then-California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Estonia's President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama.

Twenty years earlier -- at the behest of Hillary -- Kimba Wood was nominated by President Bill Clinton to be attorney general. Wood withdrew her name from consideration after it became known that she had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny.