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Wednesday, July 04, 2018

As Manafort Battles FBI, Mueller Gives Flynn Another Unexpected Reprieve

Recent developments in separate cases against former Trump officials Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn have left many scratching their heads.

On Friday, Politico reported that the Associated Press may have tipped off the FBI to a storage locker that the bureau then raided, according to an FBI agent who gave an unexpected testimony at a federal court hearing in Alexandria, Virginia.

A meeting last year where Associated Press reporters discussed with federal officials the news outlet’s investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s finances may have led the FBI to a storage locker the bureau raided, an FBI agent testified Friday. -Politico

Congressional investigators have inquired into the April 2017 meeting between AP and officials from both the DOJ Criminal Division and the FBI.

Manafort's attorneys have sought to suppress the materials obtained through the searches as part of a broader attempt to discredit the Mueller investigation.

In response to an earlier question about how the FBI became aware that Manafort had a secret storage locker used for all of his business-related files, FBI agent Jeff Pfeiffer said "Either through my investigative efforts or through a meeting that occurred with reporters of The Associated Press."


After Kennedy Retires From Supreme Court, These State Abortion Laws Could Challenge Roe v. Wade

The retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy increases the likelihood of extreme restrictions passing legal scrutiny.

It's been a good week for groups that oppose abortion rights.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed anti-abortion advocates a major win on Tuesday, striking down a California law that required crisis pregnancy centers -- which are usually run by anti-abortion groups -- to notify patients that the state offers options for abortion, contraception and prenatal services.

The next day, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced that he will retire at the end of July. President Donald Trump is expected to replace Kennedy, a swing vote on issues including abortion, with a solidly conservative justice who would tip the court's ideological balance in favor of conservatives.


Michigan Sends Medicaid Request, With Work Requirements and Premiums, to Trump Administration

Gov. Rick Snyder on Friday signed a bill requiring able-bodied recipients of the state's Healthy Michigan Medicaid program to work or risk losing health care coverage.

The Trump administration opened the door to such a change, approving a handful of state waivers to put Medicaid work requirements in place. Michigan will seek such a waiver under the new law.

The new law affects Michigan's 670,000 Healthy Michigan Plan recipients covered under the state's Medicaid expansion. It requires able-bodied recipients to work but provides exemptions for people including pregnant mothers, people with disabilities, caretakers of disabled dependents, caretakers of children under age 6 and individuals who have a medical condition that results in a work limitation.

The House Fiscal Agency estimates that the net fiscal effect of the bill will be a savings of between $7 million and $22 million, mainly due to a reduced Medicaid caseload.

The bill changed significantly throughout the legislative process. As introduced, it would have required Medicaid recipients to work 30 hours per week. The final version requires an average of 20 hours of work per week, or 80 hours per month. Recipients would need to comply with this for at least nine months per year.

It also requires people with income from 100 to 133 percent of poverty level who are on Medicaid for more tahn 48 months to undergo a health risk assessment and pay a premium of 5 percent.


Herring files lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, alleging lies about opioid risks

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Purdue Pharma, alleging the prescription drug manufacturer broke state law and profited through years of lies about the safety of painkillers like OxyContin.

The lawsuit is one part of an effort by the attorney general and other government officials to combat opioid addiction, which has led to nearly 5,000 deaths in Virginia since 2007 from prescription medicines and about 4,000 additional deaths from heroin and fentanyl, Herring said at a news conference.

“For decades, Purdue Pharma amassed a fortune and built an empire on suffering and lies — lies about the dangers of its drugs, lies about what the company knew, and lies about its central role in creating and profiting from an opioid crisis which has become the deadliest drug epidemic in American history,” Herring said. “We’re asking the court to put an end to Purdue’s illegal and destructive tactics.”

The lawsuit was filed in Tazewell County Circuit Court, an area of Southwest Virginia heavily hit by opioid addiction. The suit alleges Purdue has and is violating the Virginia Consumer Protection Act. Eventually the state will ask for specific financial damages, Herring said.


Watchdog: Park Service management not held to same standard

The acting National Park Service Director Michael Reynolds has not been following up on his previous pledge to "fundamentally change the culture of the National Park Service," according to independent watchdog group contends Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Two individuals in particular are getting attention — Mike Caldwell and Myrna Palfrey.

Mike Caldwell had been found guilty of submitting fake travel vouchers amounting to nearly $18,000 while he was acting as the director of NPS Northeast.

"In the Park Service, immunity for its managers appears immutable," PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said in a release. He continued, saying that the only saving grace was that Caldwell had not been placed in charge of procurement and that "lower-level employees" would not get away with these actions.

Myrna Palfrey’s case was a bit more extreme. Following scathing reports from the inspector general, a sexual harassment scandal and a congressional hearing, Palfrey was temporarily reassigned to serve as special assistant for the Southeast Regional director where she would perform her duties from home. However, she has, within the past month, returned to her duties as superintendent of the Canaveral National Seashore area.

The lack of disciplinary actions taken against managers in the NPS only serves to reinforce perceptions of a biased hierarchy within the system, according to PEER. However, according to the release, there are many "honest dedicated park superintendents and other managers who suffer being tarred by this brush." Ruch said, pointing out that the positions of NPS director and senior Interior official remain empty. "The Park Service desperately needs a new broom to sweep its leadership ranks clean."


School's Out And Some Teachers Aren't On Break, They're Running For Office

With school out, a lot of teachers are thinking about a wave of protests that had them walking off the job, demanding things like better pay and benefits and more funding for public education.

Some of those educators are now running for public office and are on the ballot in North Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and in West Virginia where those strikes began. Still, others wonder if what has been seen as a movement created by public school teachers can translate to wins for seats in statehouses across the country.

For the past 15 years, Brianne Solomon has kept busy during the summer by taking on a part-time job. But this year the art and dance teacher is hitting the campaign trail as a Democratic candidate for the House of Delegates in the state legislature. She says she has tried to compartmentalize her role as a teacher in the small rural community of Ashton, W.Va. — and as a candidate.

"I'll just flip the switch, turn out the lights and turn on the lights for campaigning," Solomon says talking about the end of school and the start of her first run for public office.


7 Examples from the Last Two Weeks That Show How Dangerous and Insane Liberals Have Become

“The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.” – Jane’s Law
Liberals specialize in the second half of that equation and Donald Trump’s election has revealed how far down the rabbit hole of fascism and madness they’ve gone. If you told any American ten years ago how badly liberals have behaved in just the last two weeks, they would have thought you were the crazy one for thinking this was possible.

7. New York Gubernatorial Candidate Cynthia Nixon Calls for Us to Get Rid of ICE

A woman running for governor of New York City called for ICE to be disbanded. In other words, Nixon believes our borders should be wide open to drug dealers, illegal aliens, terrorists, pedophiles, murderers and anybody else who wanders across our border. The idea that our borders should be completely unguarded is now a SERIOUS IDEA on the Left. It may not be THE position of the Democratic Party YET, but it’s worth noting Nixon is not alone. “Fifteen Democratic congressional candidates are currently running on de-funding or abolishing ICE.”

6. Protesters Harass Republicans in Public

Stephen Miller was harassed in a restaurant by a protester. And the D.C. chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America screamed at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen until she left a restaurant. Protesters also gathered outside of Nielsen’s house screaming: “No justice, no sleep.” Screaming protesters also harassed and spit on Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi at a Mr. Rogers documentary of all places. Liberals seemed to overwhelmingly approve of all this harassment.

5. Sarah Huckabee Sanders Gets Kicked out of The Red Hen

Liberals have been working incessantly to politicize every aspect of American life and it paid dividends for them when The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, kicked Sarah Sanders out of the restaurant for the terrible crime of being part of the Trump administration. That was met with widespread cheers by liberals who seem to overwhelmingly agree that no one who disagrees with them should be allowed to eat at restaurants anymore.

Democrats go to war with Civilization, call for ABOLISHING borders, prisons and all private-sector business

(Natural News) You may remember a time when Democrats called for free speech, civil liberties and a stronger America. Now, they’ve gone “full retard,” as the saying goes, and their mindless minions are marching nationwide, demanding:

Abolishing all U.S. borders and welcoming an unlimited tidal wave of illegals to flood the country.

Abolishing all U.S. prisons and releasing violent criminal felons into the streets of America.

Abolishing all private-sector businesses and implementing a centrally-planned, government-run fascist economy to control everything.

This is now the position of the Left. The party that once stood for civil liberties now stands for the complete invasion and overrunning of the United States of America. The Democrat platform is, essentially, the platform of war against America. Even more philosophically stated, it is actually a war with civilization. (If you think Democrats know how to run things, check out the current situation in Venezuela, run by the very same lunatics who are now calling for abolishing ICE in America…)


Bid to Split California into 3 States gains Traction

In a midterm season marked by primary upsets and the prospect of Democrats claiming a congressional check on President Trump’s power, another sensational development has been the momentum behind a ballot measure to split up the unwieldy, high-tax state of California.

The California secretary of state last month verified almost a half-million signatures collected by Cal3 initiative backer Tim Draper, qualifying it for the November ballot.

But could the seemingly quixotic bid to split California into three separate states become reality?

Californians shouldn’t worry about getting their driver’s licenses redone quite yet – the initiative has plenty of hurdles to surmount, even if it beats the odds and is approved by voters in November.

“There are a lot of what-ifs,” Citizens for Cal3 spokeswoman Peggy Grande acknowledged.


Michigan axes Basic Skill Tests for Teachers

Michigan lawmakers axed a requirement that would make prospective teachers take a basic skills test before earning their certification in Michigan.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation last week to get rid of the law requiring all prospective teachers to take the SAT to become certified in the state of Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“The basic skills test … is not a strong indicator of how successful a teacher will be,” said Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R-Troy), one of the sponsors of the bipartisan-supported legislation.

Knollenberg, who serves as the state Senate Education Committee chair, said the panel made its decision to make it easier for people to become teachers.


Stabbing suspect charged with murder, denied bail

The suspect in a stabbing that killed a 3-year-old girl and injured eight others made his first court appearance Monday, where he was denied bail.

A large crowd gathered in the courtroom to watch the hearing for Timmy Kinner; people filled the benches and stood near the doors.

Kinner appeared via teleconference while sitting at a table in the jail with a public defender. He told the judge he wanted to represent himself, but Comstock assigned him a public defender.

Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Dinger said Kinner has twice threatened jail staff since his arrest Saturday. Dinger also pointed out that Kinner had had prior felony convictions involving weapons and a 2012 assault conviction.

Dinger on Monday asked the judge either to issue no bond at all or a $10 million bond.

Given the nature of the crime, Comstock said, as well as Kinner’s lack of ties to the Boise community, he didn’t feel bond was appropriate in Kinner’s case.


Senate Intel concludes Russia interfered in 2016 presidential election, preferred Trump over Clinton

The Senate Intelligence Committee released its summary of its review of the U.S. intelligence community's January 2017 assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a press release, the panel, led by Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Mark Warner, D-Va., said that the judgments in the intelligence community’s assessment “were well-supported and the tradecraft was strong.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee has been reviewing the assessment for 16 months, and Burr, the panel's chairman, said it “sees no reason to dispute the conclusions.”

The panel said it supports the assessment that Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election “represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations.”

Further, the Senate intelligence panel said it agrees with the finding that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the interference campaign, with the goals of “undermining public faith in the U.S. democratic process,” as well as “denigrate” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“[T]he IC’s [assessment] provided a range of all-source reporting to support these assessments,” said the Senate Intelligence Committee.


Breaking News: The same nerve agent that poisoned an ex-Russian spy and his daughter in Britain has critically sickened two more people, the police said

A British man and woman have been critically sickened by the same nerve agent, Novichok, that was used to poison a former Russian spy and his daughter four months ago, the authorities announced on Wednesday.

The two victims, both in their 40s, fell ill on Saturday in the town of Amesbury after having visited gardens in nearby Salisbury, close to the spot where the spy and his daughter were stricken in March, the police said.

Subject: Majority of Blacks, Hispanics Want Stricter Immigration Laws — While Democrats Push to Abolish ICE

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was the first senator to call for ICE to be abolished during an interview on CNN with Chris Cuomo Thursday night.

Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won her Democratic primary race against establishment New York Rep. Joseph Crowley Tuesday night, strongly stands for abolishing the border-enforcement agency.

And this Democratic loon was arrested last week at an open border protest.


Nationwide Manhunt for Three Illegal Aliens Accused of Kidnapping, Raping Teen Sisters

A nationwide manhunt is underway for three illegal aliens who are accused of kidnapping and raping two underage, teenage sisters in Bowling Green, Ohio.

According to WISTV10, four illegal aliens are alleged to have kidnapped and raped a 13-year-old girl and her 14-year-old sister at a Days Inn near Wooster Street in Bowling Green.

The teen sisters allegedly escaped the four illegal aliens after being held against their will and sexually assaulted, and were quickly taken to the hospital by their mother and stepfather.

Already in custody is 24-year-old illegal alien Simon Juan Thomas from Guatemala. Thomas was arrested and charged by Bowling Green Police with raping minors and is currently imprisoned on a $50,000 bond.

Police are advising anyone with information on the whereabouts of the men are to contact the Bowling Green Police Division at 419-352-1131, Wood County CrimeStoppers at 1-800-54-CRIME, or a local law enforcement agency.


Fly Ball Hits Tim Tebow in the Head

Binghamton Rumble Ponies outfielder Tim Tebow kept his head in the game Monday night against the Portland Sea Dogs.

Red Sox prospect Josh Ockimey hit an opposite-field shot off of Portland’s Green Monster replica. The ball bounced off the wall and then hit Tebow’s head, rolling into foul territory.

Tebow went 3-for-4 with two runs knocked in and a stolen base, raising his average to .266 on the year.


DOJ Declares ‘No Evidence’ Imran Awan Broke Law with Congress’s Computer Systems

The Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed a plea deal Tuesday to Imran Awan — former IT staffer for top House Democrats — which states the federal government found “no evidence” that Awan “violated federal law with respect to House computer systems.”

The plea deal states:

The Government has uncovered no evidence that your client violated federal law with respect to the House computer systems. Particularly, the Government has found no evidence that your client illegally removed House data from the House network or from House Members’ offices, stole the House Democratic Caucus Server, stole or destroyed House information technology equipment, or improperly accessed or transferred government information, including classified or sensitive information.

The DOJ’s offer allows Awan to plead guilty to making a false statement on a loan or credit application; a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 1014. Although the crime carries a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment and a fine possibly exceeding $1,000,000 with restitution and interest penalties, the DOJ estimates a prison sentence of between zero and six months and a fine between $500 and $9,500 in the event of Awan’s acceptance of its terms.


Cardin Dodges The Question

Report: North Korea EXPANDS Key Missile Manufacturing Plant

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Sunday that analysis of satellite images by a private-sector watchdog group suggests North Korea recently completed expanding one of its most important missile manufacturing plants, a development that casts some doubt on Pyongyang’s enthusiasm for dismantling its nuclear and missile programs

The new analysis comes from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California, and is based on satellite photos provided by Planet Labs Inc. of San Francisco. The facility in question is called the Chemical Material Institute of Hamhung.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un sketched out plans to expand the Hamhung facility during a visit in August, and those expansions now appear to be completed, even though construction did not begin in earnest until after Kim’s landmark summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April. A more modest amount of work appears to have been completed at two nearby missile production facilities as well.

“The expansion of the production infrastructure for North Korea’s solid-fuel missile infrastructure probably suggests that Kim Jong Un does not intend to abandon his nuclear and missile programs,” said researcher David Schmerler of the Middlebury Institute’s Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

More here

#BoycottWalmart trends online after superstore sells 'Impeach 45' products

Walmart is in hot water as customers start #boycottWalmart on social media on Tuesday to protest the retail chain website’s sale of “Impeach 45” products.

The superstore’s online platform sold apparel promoting impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump. Among the items bearing the slogan are T-shirts and a baby onesie, as well as an infant onesie. Prices reached upwards of $20 for a single item.

Not that I needed another reason to Boycott Walmart, but they just gave me one and solidified it for— Jeb Buracker (@jebburacker) July 3, 2018

As counter-protestors pointed out on social media, also offers MAGA products for sale.


The Left’s Drumbeat of Hysteria Is Leading Toward Violence Against Conservatives

Because of the ever-descending moral and intellectual state of the mainstream news media, there has been no outcry against the leftists who call President Donald Trump and all Americans who support him Nazis. Indeed, members of the media now regularly do so.

Without that outcry, this labeling will only increase; and this steadily increasing drumbeat of hysteria is likely to lead to one result: violence against conservatives.

It is not plausible to foresee any other outcome of left-wing normalization of the terms “Nazi” and “white supremacist.”

The American left has put itself in a moral quandary: Either it doesn’t mean it when it calls the president and his supporters Nazis, in which case it is merely guilty of cheapening—and, as I explained in my previous column, actually denying—the Holocaust, or it does mean it, in which case morality demands it take violent action against Trump supporters.

For at least a decade, I have been saying that America is fighting a second Civil War. But I have always added that unlike the first Civil War, this one—thank God—is nonviolent.

It’s getting harder and harder to assume it will stay that way...

More here

62% of Americans Want New Supreme Court Justice BEFORE Midterms

Americans want the President to appoint, and the Senate to confirm, a new Supreme Court justice before the 2018 midterm elections — by a staggering 2-to-1 margin, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

According to a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll:

More than six in 10 Americans, or 62 percent, said Trump’s nominee, who will be announced on Monday, should be confirmed or rejected before the elections in which control of the House and Senate are at stake. About three in 10, or 33 percent, said the Senate should wait until after the elections, the poll found.

The vast majority of Republicans surveyed, 85 percent, said the Senate’s vote on the nominee should take place before the election. Roughly six in 10 Independents, or 61 percent, agreed. However, more than half of Democrats, 55 percent, believe the voting on a new justice should wait.

Many Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have argued that President Donald Trump should not appoint a new Supreme Court justice in an election year, and should wait for a new Congress to be seated in January.


BREAKING: DOJ Agrees Not To Prosecute Imran Awan For House Cybersecurity And Theft, But Questions Remain

An assistant US attorney said Tuesday he would not prosecute Imran Awan, a former systems administrator for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other Democrats, for any crimes on Capitol Hill in a plea agreement that had him plead guilty to one count of bank fraud.

Only one person sat at the prosecutors’ table: J.P. Coomey, who unsuccessfully prosecuted New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez for corruption and was only added to the case Monday. There was no sign of Michael Marando, who had previously led the prosecution.

Coomey did not object to the removal of Awan’s GPS monitor, said he would not oppose a sentence of probation, and agreed to drop charges against his wife, fellow former systems administrative Hina Alvi.


Get Em Shep!

The Center for American Progress Invents a Decision by Amy Coney Barrett

Having begun the process by spreading Infowars-level conspiracy theories regarding the resignation of Anthony Kennedy, the Center for American Progress has now moved on to brazenly lying about the judicial record of one of the frontrunners to replace him, Amy Coney Barrett. This morning, the @WhyCourtsMatter account made the following accusation:

The substantive description of this case is off — bizarrely off, in fact. Worse still, the decision was not written by Amy Barrett. Not only was Barrett not present on the three-judge panel that rendered the verdict, but she didn’t even take her place on the Seventh Circuit until November, 2017 — five months after the case was concluded. In fact, the ruling was penned by Judge Diane Sykes — a woman, certainly, but a completely different one.


Sentencing of Albert Mitchell

Progressives Deploy Religious Ignorance and Bigotry to Stop Amy Coney Barrett

Efforts to block the highly qualified Barrett from the Supreme Court because of her faith betray our nation’s founding ideals.

If you ever need much evidence that the growing “God gap” in American politics fosters an immense amount of ignorance and occasionally outright bigotry, look no farther than the concern — the alarm, even — that Amy Coney Barrett is on President Trump’s short list to replace Anthony Kennedy on the United States Supreme Court.

The alarm isn’t about her credentials. She’s checked every box of excellence — law review, appellate-court clerkship, Supreme Court clerkship (with Justice Scalia), elite law-firm experience, law professor at an elite law school, and now experience as a federal judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She’s a young, brilliant woman at the apex of her profession.

So, beyond her obvious originalist judicial philosophy (shared to varying degrees by every person on Trump’s list of potential nominees), what’s the problem with Judge Barrett. Why do some progressives single her out forparticular scorn?

It turns out that she’s a faithful Christian who lives a Christian life very similar to the lives of millions upon millions of her fellow American believers.

No, really, that’s the objection.

Of course there was the infamous moment during Judge Barrett’s 2017 confirmation hearing for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals when Senator Dianne Feinstein imposed an obvious religious test on her nomination. “When you read your speeches,” Feinstein said, “the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you. And that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country.”


Zimbabwe 2.0? Land Confiscation Will Damage South Africa's Food Production, Says Rights Group

The South African economy and the nation’s food production could collapse if the government seizes land from white farmers and redistributes it to black citizens, a local race relations organization has told RT.

The move, approved by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) earlier this year, is aimed at redistribution of wealth and “radical economic transformation.” The government is reportedly planning to put an end to what they call the legacy of apartheid, where nearly 95 percent of the South African wealth was kept in the hands of 10 percent of its white population.

Some organizations have claimed the initiative incites violence against white farmers. According to statistics from minority rights group AfriForum, 74 murders and 638 attacks primarily on white farmers had taken place in 2016-17.

The new plan also sparked international outrage, with Australia approving emergency visas for white South African farmers facing violent attacks. However, the farmers who are seeking refuge in Australia have been branded racist by some South African politicians.


Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Impeccable Record of Constitutional Conservatism

The stakes in filling the Supreme Court vacancy are high. This is no time for a gamble.

Social conservatives understand the stakes in filling the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement. President Trump, who has excelled in his judicial nominations to date, has the opportunity to transform the Court for a generation to come. This is no time for a gamble. As social conservatives know from bitter experience, a judicial record is the best — really, the only — accurate predictor of a prospective justice’s philosophy on the issues that matter most to us. On the vital issues of protecting religious liberty and enforcing restrictions on abortion, no court-of-appeals judge in the nation has a stronger, more consistent record than Judge Brett Kavanaugh. On these issues, as on so many others, he has fought for his principles and stood firm against pressure. He would do the same on the Supreme Court.

Start with a case argued before the D.C. Circuit this March, a case still under submission. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (i.e., the Metro) bans “issue-oriented advertising,” which it interprets to include religious ads. So when the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington wanted to run an ad with the words “Find the Perfect Gift” and an image of shepherds following a star in the sky during the Christmas season, Metro vetoed the ad. The archdiocese sued Metro for violating the First Amendment speech and religion clauses, as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The district court ruled for Metro, and the archdiocese appealed to the D.C. Circuit, where the oral argument pitted Paul Clement (representing the archdiocese), a solicitor general in the George W. Bush administration, against Donald Verrilli (representing the Metro), a solicitor general under Obama. Kavanaugh hammered Verrilli with what the Washington Post called “unrelenting” questioning about the Christmas-ad ban, which the judge described as “pure discrimination” and “odious to the Constitution.”


China Unjustly Imprisons Christian Leader for Missionary Work in Burma

Lawyer for Pastor John Cao says Chinese authorities acted improperly by ignoring evidence in case

China's government imprisoned a Christian minister on false charges of organizing illegal border crossings as the pastor provided humanitarian aid to an impoverished ethnic group along the border between southern China and Burma, according to the lawyer for the American missionary.

Li Guisheng, who represents Pastor John Cao, said the permanent U.S. resident from North Carolina was sentenced to seven years in prison in China earlier this year on charges he organized illegal border crossings from China into the ethnic enclave in Burma known as the autonomous Wa State.

China has been seeking to influence the Wa State for years. The state was formed in 1989 after the Communist Party of Burma collapsed and split into ethnic armies, including the United Wa State Army, which has 30,000 troops.


Justice Department covers up possible spy ring scandal in Democratic congressional offices

In an incredible sweetheart plea deal, Imran Awan – a former IT aide to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and other congressional Democrats – pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of making a false statement on a home equity loan.

I sat flabbergasted in the courtroom in Washington as the plea agreement was entered.

I spent the last year interviewing hundreds of people and chasing leads for my upcoming book –titled “Spies in Congress” – about the alleged spy ring believed led by Awan that may have operated in the offices of more than 40 Democratic members of Congress.

If not for my extensive research on this case, I might have assumed the government just couldn’t find enough evidence to make a solid case against Awan on more serious charges than bank fraud.

When I asked Justice Department prosecutor J.P. Cooney why the government made this odd plea deal he just smiled and waved me away as he told me to ask the Justice Department Office of Public Affairs. The office declined to answer my questions.

Shockingly, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia issued a news release about Awan’s plea agreement that made no mention of his IT work for Democrats in Congress, no mention of Wasserman Schultz, and made his case sound like a minor local criminal matter of little interest to anyone. It was headlined: “Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Making False Statement on Application for Home Equity Loan.”

Ho-hum, right? Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

Awan is due to be sentenced Aug. 21 and could get off with no jail sentence, according the plea agreement. Prosecutors said they would not recommend jail time – in effect, giving Awan a get-out-of-jail-free card.

Just like that, the Department of Justice is making an important case go away as if nothing much happened.

More here

Soros Director Moves to Rockefeller Entity to Push for Automatic Voter Registration

Julie Fernandes, who served as the deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of President Barack Obama's Justice Department and then as a director of Voting Rights and Democracy at Soros's Open Society Foundations, will now serve as the associate director of the institutional accountability and individual liberty at the Rockefeller Family Fund, a New York-based nonprofit founded by the Rockefeller family.

Fernandes's move is another signal that Democrats are moving to undermine voter ID laws following Donald Trump's victory in 2016.

The program lists its main initiative as "Voter Registration Modernization," which was created to counter efforts that "limit voting of the poor, elderly, newly enfranchised immigrants, and people of color." It also lists its objective as "expanding participation in the nation's democracy by enacting legislation to provide automatic and permanent registration to all voters."


Kobach: The Mask Comes Off the Open Borders Movement

Over the past weekend, open borders activists held rallies around the country to protest the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws and call for the end of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Protesters carried signs saying “abolish ICE.”

Quick to ride this wave of left-wing fervor, a bevy of Democratic politicians joined the call. New York’s U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said of ICE, “[Y]ou should get rid of it. Start over.” But it sounds as if whatever she would replace it with would only focus on criminal justice issues, and would not be “a deportation force.”

Cynthia Nixon, actress and Democratic candidate for governor of New York declared, “I think we need to abolish ICE,” calling it a “terrorist organization.” And these Democrats really mean it. Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan of Wisconsin announced that he would be introducing a bill in Congress to abolish ICE.

Even Bernie Sanders is now being criticized for not being far enough to the left. His statements that ICE should be reformed, rather than completely abolished, are not good enough for the Democrat vanguard.

Without ICE enforcing our immigration laws and deporting illegal aliens, the rule of law collapses entirely. Abolishing ICE would send a loud and clear invitation to the world: come on in.


Nunes slams Schiff over threat to hold GOP 'accountable' for probing alleged surveillance of Trump campaign

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes on Monday dug in after Democrats warned Republicans that "they will be held accountable" for damaging the FBI and Justice Department during their probe into possible government surveillance abuse.

“We’re not gonna be threatened by the Democrats. They are the ones that have all this blood on their hands,” Nunes told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle.”

“They're the ones who completely destroyed the FBI and DOJ. How did they do that? They did that by digging up dirt, the Clinton campaign dug up dirt, put it into a dossier, fed into the FBI and the FBI used our counterintelligence capabilities against a political campaign,” he said.


Judicial Watch Sues DOJ for Records About Raid on Michael Cohen’s Office, Home and Hotel Room

Judicial Watch has announced that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records related to the April 9 raid on the office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, then-personal attorney to President Donald Trump (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-01466)). The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the Justice Department failed to respond to three separate FOIA requests.

On April 12, 2018, Judicial Watch sought the following from the Office of the Attorney General:

Any and all records of correspondence and communications between the Office of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller concerning, regarding, or relating to the April 9, 2018 raids on the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen.”

Also on April 12, 2018, Judicial Watch sent its second FOIA request seeking the following from the Executive Offices for United States Attorneys:

The Search and Seizure Warrant executed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation at the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen on April 9, 2018.
The application for the above-referenced warrant and any affidavits submitted in support of the application
All records about the recusal of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman from the Michael Cohen investigation.

On May 2, 2018, Judicial Watch submitted its third FOIA request seeking the following from the Department of Justice:

All records of communications between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.
All records of communications between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York about Michael Cohen and/or the executed search warrants of Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room.

More here

'Insanity': Rising Clean Rivers fee forces some D.C. churches to shut down

Nearly a decade after D.C.’s water authority levied a “Clean Rivers” surcharge to help clean up local waterways, faith community leaders say that ever-rising rates have forced them to cut back on services, lay off staff and — in at least 30 cases — move out or shut down completely.

Churches and other houses of worship, they say, have special operating requirements that add to the surcharge on their water bills.

The Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge is based on the “impervious area” square footage of a property. The measure includes parking lots, sidewalks and any land that rainwater cannot permeate. Religious properties tend to own more impervious land than typical ratepayers, and even their cemeteries count against them when the tax is calculated.

“It doesn’t make sense. It’s not fair,” said Craig Muckle, manager of public policy for the Archdiocese of Washington. “I look at it as insanity, frankly.”

Mr. Muckle leads a coalition of churches, synagogues and cemeteries called DC RIVER (Religious Institutions Valuing Environmental Responsibility), which is lobbying DC Water and the D.C. Council to reduce the Clean Rivers burden.


Reuters Poll: Young White Americans Flee Democrat Party in Droves

Young white Americans are fleeing the Democrat Party en masse following the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, a new poll reveals.

The latest Reuters/Ipsos Poll surveyed more than 16,000 registered voters between the ages 18 to 34 over the course of the last three months of 2018. This same poll was conducted in 2016 around the same time period.

Young white Americans, in 2016, favored Democrats over Republicans in 2016 by a 47 to 33 percent margin. Since Trump’s election — and his booming economy which has secured high-paying jobs and record job opportunities — young white Americans’ favoritism for Democrats has disappeared.

Today, 39 percent of young white Americans say they favor Republicans, while another 39 percent of young white Americans say they favor Democrats.

More here

MSNBC Analyst Falsely Claims Potential SCOTUS Nominee Has ‘Hate Group’ Ties

MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell said Monday that United States Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett has hate group ties, referring to the religious freedom legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom.

Maxwell said on MSNBC’s "Hardball" that Barrett is "very Catholic" and cited former Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s accusations against Barrett during a hearing last year. Franken declared ADF a "hate group" and asked why Barrett had ties to the group, accusing them of "call[ing] for the sterilization of transgender people abroad."

Franken was repeating the Southern Poverty Law Center’s charge that the ADF supports "sterilization," when the group had pointed out that those who chose to undergo sex change operations can have their legal sex changed. ADF did not say this is the only instance in which someone’s legal sex could be changed, despite SPLC's claim.

Nevertheless, Maxwell called ADF a "hate group," citing Franken's words as her only evidence.


When you decide not to tell your girlfriend the fence is electric

Newly Obtained Memo Said House Democratic Caucus Server VANISHED

A secret memo marked “URGENT” detailed how the House Democratic Caucus’s server went “missing” soon after it became evidence in a cyber-security probe. The secret memo also said more than “40 House offices may have been victims of IT security violations.”

In the memo, Congress’s top law enforcement official, Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, along with Chief Administrative Officer Phil Kiko, wrote, “We have concluded that the employees [Democratic systems administrator Imran Awan and his family] are an ongoing and serious risk to the House of Representatives, possibly threatening the integrity of our information systems and thereby members’ capacity to serve constituents.”

The memo, addressed to the Committee on House Administration (CHA) and dated Feb. 3, 2017, was recently reviewed and transcribed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The letter bolsters TheDCNF’s previous reporting about the missing server and evidence of fraud on Capitol Hill.

It details how the caucus server, run by then-caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier Becerra, was secretly copied by authorities after the House Inspector General (IG) identified suspicious activity on it, but the Awans’ physical access was not blocked.

But after, the report reads, the server appears to have been secretly replaced with one that looked similar.


Our National Anthem

MSDE Release - New Guidelines Announced For Free and Reduced- Price School Meals

New Guidelines Announced For Free and
Reduced- Price School Meals

USDA Announces Adjustments to Income Eligibility Guidelines
BALTIMORE, MD (July 3, 2018) – The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has announced revised Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for free and reduced-price school meals. The guidelines are set by the federal government and adopted by MSDE. These guidelines are used to determine eligibility for free or reduced-price meals in the child nutrition programs for the period of July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) annual adjustments to the IEGs are required by Section 9 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The guidelines are intended to directly benefit those children most in need and are revised annually to account for changes in the Consumer Price Index.
Household size and income is the most common way to determine eligibility. For example, a child from a family of four is eligible for free school meals if the household’s current annual income is below $32,630. If the family’s annual income is between $32,630 and $46,435, the child is eligible for reduced-price meals.
United States citizenship is not required in order to obtain eligibility for free or reduced-price meals. Meal Benefit Applications will be sent home from each child’s school at the beginning of the school year. Parents and guardians should fill out the application completely and send it back to the school. Please note schools cannot approve incomplete applications. Schools will then inform households whether children qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Parents and guardians may speak with school officials concerning disagreement with the school’s decision or appeal the decision and request a fair hearing with the school district’s administrators.
Children enrolled in a Head Start program or children who are certified as homeless, migrant, runaway, foster, or children living in households that receive Food Supplement Program (FSP) or Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) benefits are eligible for free meals and do not need to fill out an application.  Some FSP and TCA households will receive a letter from their school informing them that their children are eligible for free meals. FSP and TCA households that do not receive a letter by the beginning of the school year should fill out an application. Parents and guardians from households that do not qualify for any of the programs mentioned above should also complete an application.
Parents and guardians may reapply at any time during the school year and are encouraged to do so if the household size increases, they become unemployed, income decreases, or the household qualifies for FSP or TCA.
School Meals include the following programs: School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, After-School Care Snack component, and Special Milk Program. The School Meals programs are administered in Maryland by MSDE and the USDA, and must meet nutrition requirements set by the USDA. Please visit the MSDE web site for additional information regarding the Child Nutrition Programs operating in Maryland.
Individuals who want more information concerning schools or facilities that participate in one of the Child Nutrition Programs should contact a Program Specialist at 410-767-0219.

Income Eligibility Guidelines
(Effective July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019)

Household Size                      Free Meals                                                     Reduced-Price Meals

Year                Month             Week               Year                Month             Week
1                      $15,782           $1,316             $304                $22,459           $1,872             $432
2                      21,398             1,784               412                  30,451             2,538               586
3                      27,014             2,252               520                  38,443             3,204               740
4                      32,630             2,720               628                  46,435             3,870               893
5                      38,246             3,188               736                  54,427             4,536               1,047
6                      43,862             3,656               844                  62,419             5,202               1,201
7                      49,478             4,124               952                  70,411             5,868               1,355
8                      55,094             4,592               1,060               78,403             6,534               1,508

For each additional family member add…           
                                    $5,616             $468                $108                $7,992             $666                $154

MSDE and USDA are equal opportunity providers.

Please Follow Their Lead, Especially Vehicles Traveling East Bound On Rt. 50

Happy 4th of July America


Experts agree that a critical infrastructure attack is imminent

An attack on U.S. critical infrastructure is imminent, a majority of security experts said in a recent survey, an alarm bell from IT professionals regarding America’s porous digital infrastructure.

A report from Black Hat released June 26 said that 69 percent of respondents believe that an attack on American critical infrastructure is coming in the next two years. Only 15 percent of respondents said they believe that the county will be able to respond. The suspected culprits of such an attack were hardly surprising: China and Russia.

Governments define critical infrastructure as assets that are crucial for a functioning society, such as power grids, financial systems and election systems.

The report highlighted security experts mistrust of the current political environment. Only 13 percent of respondents said that Congress and the White House understand the cyberthreat and will take steps to secure the critical infrastructure.

“Our United States government has no clue about technology, the internet, and how our modern era’s data and information moves,” one respondent said in the report. “It’s absolutely terrifying that these people make laws and guide our nation. They are obsolete.”


A Viewer Writes:

City of Salisbury share this WBOC article...........Jake is such a pompous ass. The city ASKED for a beer garden?

DNC Chair: Obama Is America

Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Tom Perez introduced former President Barack Obama as America’s “real president” at a DNC fundraiser Thursday night.

“Let’s give it up for the real president of the United States,” Perez said at Thursday’s fundraiser, Politico reported.

Obama reportedly then told the crowd of Democratic donors that they are “right to be concerned” about Trump’s presidency.

Perez’s false descriptor for Obama is just the latest instance of prominent Democrats abandoning political norms in order to undermine President Trump.


Maryland Fishing Report: July 4, 2018

crabberThe Fourth of July is upon us, and although it falls on a Wednesday — missing that three-day weekend luster — it’s still a little extra time off to enjoy family and friends. Here in Maryland a lot of activities will focus on a nearby body of water, from Deep Creek Lake to the Atlantic Ocean and everywhere in between.

For those living near the bay or coastal waters, the Fourth of July often means crabs and sweet corn. Judging by early observations of recreational crabbers, there were a lot of crab feasts promised, and hopefully the gatherers will be able to deliver.

Recreational crabbing continues to slowly gain momentum as more crabs enter the legal fishery after shedding — and most likely last week’s full moon was a big shed. Those crabbing in less than 12 feet of water tend to be catching the most crabs in the lower and middle bay regions. Razor clams tend to top the list as the best bait.

Read more.

Happy 4th of July 2018

Report Throws Water on ‘Blue Wave’

Democrat’s need to win at least 48 House seats and 7 Senate seats for their ‘blue wave’ to reach the shore

Discussion of an impending “blue wave” has proliferated throughout the political landscape since November 2017, aided in part by the media and a Democratic Party eager to claw its way back into power.

Yet very little evidence or research exists on what exactly constitutes a wave election or how they can be measured in the future. A new analysis by Ballotpedia attempts to break ground on the subject by examining data from 50 previous election cycles, ranging from 1918 to 2016, in order to appropriately determine how many seats Democrats would need to win in 2018 for their “blue wave” to not only crest but reach the shore.

Ballotpedia’s analysis defines a “wave” as 20 percent of elections in the last 100 years, in which the president’s party lost the most seats. Using this definition, Ballotpedia measured prior political performance to determine Democrats would need to win at least 48 House seats, 7 Senate seats, 7 gubernatorial seats, and 494 state legislative seats for 2018 to be counted as a wave election.


Teachers union says it shouldn't have to prove it has the support of teachers

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by a coalition of Florida teachers unions argues that the labor groups shouldn't have to prove they have the backing of a majority of the educators and other workers in the schools they represent.

The lawsuit is a reaction to a new state law that would decertify teachers unions if the unions cannot prove that most of the people the union represents actually wants it to be there. Unions allege the law is purely an attack on them.

"[The law] unfairly targets teachers unions — and teachers unions alone — for decertification as local bargaining agents," the unions, lead by the Florida Education Association, said in a press release.

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate a section in a new state education law that became effective Sunday.

The language says that should a union's membership fall to less than half of the people in the workplace eligible to join, then the union must ask the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission to hold a new workplace election. If less than half the eligible workers back the union in that vote, then the union loses its status as the worker's representative.


Massachusetts House Passes 'Conversion Therapy' Ban – With A Twist

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a bill banning so-called “conversion therapy” for children – but only after dropping a provision that would have defined seeking it as child abuse.

The measure would make it illegal for licensed mental-health therapists to offer techniques for patients under 18 years old designed “to impose change on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity,” on pain of losing their license to practice.

The House voted 137 to 14 in favor of the measure, now known as House Bill 4664.

Earlier in the day the House Ways and Means Committee voted to recommend the bill, but only after taking out a section from the original version that would have required a “mandated reporter” (such as a teacher, doctor, or nurse) to notify state authorities if a child has been “subjected to sexual orientation and gender identity efforts” – which critics of the bill said could have led to social-services investigations of parents seeking mental-health treatment for their children.


Goodlatte: FBI Lawyers Instructed Strzok Not To Answer

FBI lawyers instructed Peter Strzok during a congressional deposition on Wednesday not to answer “many, many questions” about his involvement in the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations, said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

“Unfortunately the FBI counsel in the room has instructed Mr. Strzok not to answer many, many questions, and that’s going to be a serious problem moving forward,” Goodlatte told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “So we will be raising questions with the FBI and the Department of Justice about why it is that their counsel is instructing Mr. Strzok not to answer questions.”

Strzok, the former deputy chief of counterintelligence at the FBI, testified for more than 10 hours about his roles in the Clinton and Trump-Russia investigations. He was also pressed about anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with his mistress, a former FBI lawyer named Lisa Page.


The Left in 2018: Unhinged

DOJ to Devin Nunes: We already ‘provided documents and answers to your inquiries’

The Justice Department responded to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ latest deadline, telling him he already has the “documents and answers” he has been inquiring about.

“Your letter asks whether the Department and the FBI ‘intend to obey’ the law. We believe that is exactly what the Department and the FBI have been doing responding to the Committee’s subpoenas and requests,” wrote Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd in a Monday letter obtained by the Washington Examiner.

Nunes, R-Calif., wrote a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Sunday in which he slammed the DOJ's Number 2 official for "unilaterally" restricting access to some subpoenaed documents to the "Gang of Eight," a term used to describe a bipartisan group of congressional leaders briefed on information relating to the FBI’s use of a confidential informant in the Trump campaign.


What Is a 'Good Death'?

When Beth Wood's cancer returned in 2014 after 20 years of remission, she made an instant choice: no chemotherapy,radiation, or other life-altering treatments that could only stave off the inevitable.

She told her husband so much in the same breath as informing him thecancer was back, after what was supposed to be a routine visit to the doctor.

"She made a decision to say, 'I'm not going back through that again. I want quality of life, not quantity,' " says her husband, David Wood, of Tennessee. "And we were given almost 3 more years."

They traveled the country, spent a final Christmas with the children and grandchildren, and when she died at the age of 65 on Dec. 29, 2016, it was peaceful, at home, with Beth secure in her faith she was going to a better place. It was, says her widower, a "good death."

"I thought a lot about those two words. I think to understand death, you have to understand the life of the person. For her, she was not scared of death," he says.

It's a concept more Americans, from the elderly to the terminally ill to the doctors who care for them, are embracing. Eight states have passed laws allowing doctor-assisted suicide, although a judge recently overturned California’s 3-year-old law. Conversations about death, once taboo, are now held around the world at so-called Death Cafes. Before former first lady Barbara Bush died in April, she received support on social media when she decided to forgo further medical treatments.

After all, at no point in history have people lived as well as Americans today. So, more people are asking: Why shouldn't we focus on the quality of our death as well?


Semper Bumble: Are Marines taking to dating app to find new recruits?

Picture this: In the midst of furiously swiping right at a pace comparable to the rounds-per-minute emission of an M240 machine gun, your Bumble app halts.

Boom! It’s a match!

Exuberant possibilities flood your mind as you inspect your possible suitor’s profile.

Good looking? Absolutely. Responsible professional? Appears to be a job recruiter, so, yes. Lives nearby? Has reliable transportation? Decent sense of humor? Check, check and check.

Suddenly, a push notification surfaces on your phone’s home screen — your new match has messaged you.

“Wow, that was fast!” you think, beginning to blush as your previous exuberance ascends to a full-blown 20-foot oceanic wave of positivity you expertly ride with the skill of legendary surfer Laird Hamilton.

And then, with the snap of a finger, everything crumbles. Your match is someone entirely different than you imagined.


Obama still backing Pelosi while other Democrats move on

The list of Democrats expressing frustration with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been growing longer in recent weeks, but don’t expect to see former President Barack Obama’s name on it.

At a party fundraising event Friday afternoon in Northern California, Obama spoke highly of Pelosi – and even predicted that she will return to the job of House speaker after November’s midterm elections.

“I think everybody knows how much I love Nancy Pelosi,” Obama told the gathering at a home in affluent Atherton, Politico reported.