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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Attorney General Frosh Joins Coalition Defending Underprivileged Populations from Banking Discrimination

14 States Submit Comment Letter Urging Trump Administration to Maintain Strong Oversight of Banks Under the Community Reinvestment Act

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh has joined a coalition of 14 attorneys general in filing a comment letter urging the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to maintain rules requiring banks to take steps to serve low- and moderate-income communities and protect against lending discrimination. The comment letter is in response to the OCC’s efforts to weaken oversight of bank compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA encourages banks to help meet credit needs of all populations within their communities. The law was enacted in 1977 in response to banks’ persistent and systematic denial of access to credit for historically disadvantaged communities, often communities of color. The OCC’s proposal would undermine the purpose of the CRA and result in diminished access to banking services, loans, and investment options for disadvantaged populations.

“Access to lending and other banking services is critical to community development throughout Maryland,” said Attorney General Frosh. “The OCC’s proposal will weaken the federal law put in place to serve the underserved—a move that could harm revitalization, community improvement, and quality of life for many Maryland residents.”

Read more in the full press release:

Attorney General Frosh: Avoid Shopping Pitfalls in Post-Thanksgiving Retail Rush

Attorney General Releases Top Tips for Consumers to be Savvy Shoppers this Holiday Season

The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season. Attorney General Frosh is urging consumers to know their rights, educate themselves, and to be extra vigilant as consumer spending online and in stores sharply increases. Consumers in the U.S. are expected to spend more than $700 billion on holiday shopping, much of which will take place this weekend. November also marks the start of a sharp increase in charitable giving.

“Being a savvy shopper begins with educating yourself about retail policies and pitfalls,” said Attorney General Frosh. “Sometimes that ‘great deal’ isn’t such a bargain if you’re left with a broken or unwanted gift that you cannot return.”

Read more in the full press release:

Obama Blames Slow Climate Change Progress On "Confused, Blind, Racist, Shrouded With Hate"

During an hour-long discussion with author Dave Eggers at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, former President Obama opined on ways to mobilize Americans toward creating social change.

While the entire session was a thinly-veiled attack on the current administration (and anyone who voted for it), as Grabien's Tom Elliott notes, when the topic of global warming came up, Obama’s criticism was particularly pointed.

Obama begins his somewhat off-the-rails comments at around 29:00 in, proclaiming:

"...the reason we don't [invest in climate change policies] is because we are still confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism - mommy issues..."

“I mean, we — we are we are fraught with stuff,” he continued,

“And — and so if that’s the case then the single most important thing that we have to invest in is not all — and look I’m a huge supporter of science and technological research and social science and, you know, evidence-based learning and all that good stuff.

I’m — I’m — people call me Spock for a reason, I believe in reason and logic and all these enlightenment values, but the thing that really we have to invest in is people. We got to get people to figure out how they work together — in a — you know, how do we get people to work together in a cooperative, thoughtful, constructive way."


Listen Up!

Troopers Investigating Shooting- Seaford

Seaford, Delaware – The Delaware State Police are investigating a shooting complaint that occurred during the late night hours north of Seaford.

The incident occurred on Sunday, November 18, 2018, at approximately 11:57 p.m. when troopers were dispatched to a residence located in the 11,000 block of Park Drive, Seaford for a report of shots fired.

Further investigation revealed that a physical altercation occurred between two male subjects and during the argument several shots were fired at a vehicle leaving the scene. All of the subjects involved in the incident had fled prior to troopers arrival. There were no reports of anyone injured as a result of this incident

This incident remains under investigation by the Delaware State Police Criminal Investigations Unit. If anyone has any information in reference to this case, they are asked to please contact Troop 4, Detective D. Cathell at 302-752-3793. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at

New Evidence Reveals Full Extent of Common Core’s Historic Failure

Most public schools are still afflicted with the Common Core national standards. Paid advocates such as the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation continue to push Common Core despite overwhelming evidence of the slow-motion train wreck that has resulted – reduced student achievement by almost every metric. Fordham refuses even to acknowledge the bad news, much less try to rationalize it.

That’s why it was refreshing to hear the blunt truth proclaimed at a Heritage Foundation event last week entitled “Rethinking Federal Intervention in K-12 Education.” At this program the authors of a new Pioneer Institute study, “Common Core, School Choice and Rethinking Standards-Based Reform,” explained how Common Core has not only damaged public education but also threatened the independence of private schools. How? By imposing government strings on the curricular autonomy of the schools that accept government funding via school-choice mechanisms such as vouchers.

Study authors Ted Rebarber of AccountabilityWorks and Neal McCluskey of the Cato Institute advocate restoring genuine diversity in education models by removing centralized government control over K-12 school standards. But the prelude to that argument came from Rebarber, who minced no words in describing the doleful effect of Common Core on education.

“In my view,” Rebarber observed, “[Common Core] is really the worst large-scale educational failure in 40 years.”


University of Maryland student dies from Adenovirus, 5 others sick, school says

A student at the University of Maryland has died after suffering from a strain of the Adenovirus, school health officials said.

The school learned that a student was sick with the illness on Nov. 1, David McBride, the director of the university's health center, said in a statement released Tuesday.
Since then, five more students have been diagnosed with the Adenovirus. On Monday, the health center learned that one of the specimens they sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) was confirmed to be type 7 of the illness.

The same strain of the Adenovirus was found to be at the center of a viral outbreak at a rehabilitation center in Wanaque, New Jersey, that has killed 11 children.

The college student who died from the common virus was identified by The Baltimore Sun as 18-year-old Olivia Paregol. She had reportedly been sick throughout the fall semester, starting with a cough that led to pneumonia.


FBI Data Shows Armed Citizens Have 94% Success Rate Stopping Would-Be Mass Shooters

As the nation mourns the latest tragedy in “gun free zone” Chicago, a recent report compiled by Jacob Paulsen at shows that armed citizens facing possible mass shooters are able to stop the potential massacre 94% of the time. Paulsen’s study is inspired by John Lott’s consistent analysis of crime and gun laws.

While sourcing data from the FBI and giving a prefrace, Paulsen reports on

We thought it would be interesting to see if the overall percentage of events at which an armed citizen was present was increasing given the rise in concealed carry permit holders and gun owners nationwide. The data set is low enough that it is hard to draw any strong conclusions when you are looking at 33 incidents out of 283 over an 18 year period.

It is worth noting that there may be more than 33 incidents in which an armed citizen was present given that we have no way of knowing if an armed citizen chose NOT to engage and run the other way. That may not even be known to law enforcement. Our objective here is to look at incidents in which an armed citizen was clearly present and to some degree engaged the active shooter.

Looking at the 283 total Active Shooter events in our data pool, an Armed Citizen was Present and Engaged the Active Shooter in 33 total incidents (11.7%). This is all inclusive regardless of who the armed citizen was or their direct potential for stopping the shooter.


Subject: Georgia Democrats Seek Repeal of 'Undemocratic' Voter Purge Law Passed by Georgia Democrats

Georgia House Democrats are proposing a repeal of what they're calling an "undemocratic" law passed by the state's Democrats in the 1990s allowing the secretary of state to purge inactive voters from the rolls.

Democratic House Minority Leader Bob Trammell brought the repeal legislation forward on Friday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

"With today’s technology, there’s no excuse that justifies making voting harder rather than simpler," he said. "The process of purging people from the voter registration rolls solely because they haven't voted in recent elections is undemocratic and corrosive to the integrity of our elections process."


Espy Denied Employee's Promotion Due to Child's Preexisting Condition

Department of Agriculture lost disability discrimination fight during Espy's tenure

As secretary of agriculture, Mike Espy fought to block the promotion of a department employee because his young daughter's preexisting heart condition was believed to be a potential financial burden on the government, according to documents reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

Espy, now running for U.S. Senate in Mississippi, was confirmed to head the Department of Agriculture in January 1993 during the Clinton administration. It was after Espy took office that James Patterson, an agricultural economist for the department, says he learned that his promotion to the Foreign Agriculture Service, a department within USDA, was being stalled even though he had passed all the required tests with flying colors.

The reason for the USDA's decision was Patterson's daughter, who was born in 1989 and immediately went into surgery for congenital heart disease.


Trump says Mueller investigators ‘have gone absolutely nuts,’ are ‘a disgrace to our Nation’

President Trump on Thursday ripped into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, accusing investigators of having “gone absolutely nuts” and saying they are “a disgrace” to the country.

“The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts,” Trump tweeted. “They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t care how many lives the[y] ruin.”

He then focused his ire on Mueller, a former FBI director, who he accused of having conflicts of interest, though he did not elaborate on the accusation. Mueller served under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

“These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side,” he said. “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!”


Democrats May Have Untied Trump’s Hands on Pharma

The conventional wisdom coming out of the 2018 midterm elections is that President Trump is likely to be aggressively “checked” by the incoming Democratic House of Representatives. And, to some extent, that is clearly true, in view of the oncoming flood of investigations and possibly impeachment hearings for Trump and others. If nothing else, such actions are likely to prove a nuisance for the president, as well as a potential quagmire that could slow down his administration’s actions on any number of fronts.

However, while Democrats are likely to try to tie Trump’s hands in any number of other areas, there is one area where their election may actually give him more leeway to pursue his agenda. I speak of Trump’s potential battle with the pharmaceutical industry.

Firstly, recall that President Trump is no fan of Big Pharma, and hasn’t been since he ran for president in the first place. On the stump, candidate Trump accused the industry of “getting away with murder.” Nor are they fans of his – the industry donated more to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign than to all other candidates. Since taking office, moreover, Trump has struck an antagonistic note in dealing with the industry, and has appointed officials – like Food and Drug Administration (FDA) head Scott Gottlieb and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar – who have committed to getting tough on Pharma. And in many ways, they have, most notably via Trump and Azar’s decision to weaponize Medicare negotiations against the industry, and via Trump’s orders to now-retired Attorney General Jeff Sessions to sue the industry for its role in the opioid crisis.


Have European Leaders Lost The Will To Defend Western Civilization?

The Western world would have succumbed over 1,000 years ago had its leaders and citizens not made a brave stand in the face of foreign invasion.

Today, no less dangerous invaders than those from the past have succeeded where their forebears could not, and without the force of arms.

The history of Western civilization has been interspersed with episodes of military conflict on such a monumental scale that any defeat would have reversed the course of history forever.

Consider the Battle of Tours. Beginning in 711 AD, a Muslim army under the Umayyad caliphate conquered a large swath of what is known today as Spain and Portugal, or the Iberian Peninsula. The tide began to recede only in 732 when the Germanic statesman and military leader, Charles Martel, with a force of some 20,000 men, emerged victorious against Muslim forces on a battlefield in southwestern France in what is known as the Battle of Tours.

Military historian Victor Davis Hanson emphasized the importance of the conflict when he wrote that "most of the 18th and 19th century historians, like [Edward] Gibbon, saw (Tours), as a landmark battle that marked the high tide of the Muslim advance into Europe."

Martel’s victory represented the first chapter in a protracted effort – known as the Reconquista – a 780-year campaign on the part of the Christian kingdoms to uproot the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula. And it wasn’t until 1492, the year Columbus set sail to discover the New World, that the peninsula was fully controlled by Christian rulers.

It makes for a compelling thought experiment to consider how a powerful historic figure, like Charles Martel, one of the founding figures of the European Middle Ages, would be received by today’s mainstream media, which has a acquired a very particular way of reporting on those modern European leaders – like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – who are simply motivated by the desire to strengthen Europe’s borders from illegal aliens. For an answer, one need only consider the breathtakingly biased BBC interview where Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó was told that his government was guided by “xenophobia” in its decision to prevent illegal migrants from entering the country.


If America Is Such A Happy Place, Why Is The Suicide Rate Up 34% Since The Year 2000?

In the years ahead, poverty is likely to get a whole lot worse in this country

What in the world has happened to us? Despite our ridiculously high standard of living compared to the rest of the world, America is a deeply unhappy place.

When I was growing up, there were no “smart phones”, the Internet did not exist, if you wanted to buy something you had to actually go to a store and hunt for it, and most vehicles were pieces of junk that completely broke down after a few years. Today, we have hundreds of television channels, we have more movies than we could ever possibly watch, video games have become wildly creative and there is an app for almost anything that you could possibly need on your phone just a few clicks away. We are literally drowning in entertainment, and yet we are far less happy than previous generations. In fact, the CDC says that the suicide rate in the United States has risen by 34 percent since the year 2000…

Men who work in construction and extraction had the highest rates of suicide in the United States, according to a reportpublished Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For women, suicide rates were highest among those who work in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media.

From 2000 to 2016, the suicide rate among the US working-age population — people 16 to 64 — increased 34%, the report says.

It greatly saddened me to learn that construction workers and miners have the highest suicide rates in the entire country. My grandfather was a construction worker, and he took great pride in his work. In fact, I still have a wooden bowl that he made for me sitting on my desk as I write this article.



Whatever you do – never build a snowman….


8:00 AM: I made a snowman.
8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn't make a snow
8:15 So, I made a snow woman.
8:17 My feminist neighbour complained about the snow woman's
voluptuous chest saying it objectified everywhere.
8:20 The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned
it could have been two snow men instead.
8:22 The transgender ma..wom...person asked why I didn't just
make one snow person with detachable parts.
8:25 The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the
carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.
8:28 I am being called a racist because the snow couple is
8:31 The Muslim gent across the road demands the snow woman wear
a burqa.
8:40 The Police arrive saying someone has been offended.
8:42 The feminist neighbor complained again that the broomstick
of the snow woman needs to be removed because it depicted women in a
domestic role.
8:43 The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with
8:45 TV news crew from the ABC shows up. I am asked if I know
the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, "Snowballs" and am
now called a sexist.
9:00 I'm on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist,
homophobic, sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during
difficult weather.
9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices. My children are taken
by social services.
9:29 Far left protesters offended by everything are marching
down the street demanding that I be beheaded.

Moral: There is no moral to this story. It's just a view of the
world in which we live today.

Wells Fargo Banker Worked in Sinaloa Cartel Money Laundering Scheme, Say Feds

A former Wells Fargo banker was arrested by FBI agents on Wednesday, for allegedly participating in an international money laundering conspiracy connected to Mexican cartels.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrest of Luis Fernando Figueroa, 30, for allegedly taking part in an international money laundering conspiracy tied to cartels based in Tijuana, Mexico. Figueroa was arrested in San Diego.

According to the indictment and other public records, the international money laundering organization cleaned approximately $19.6 million in narcotics proceeds on behalf of Mexican-based drug trafficking organizations, including the Sinaloa Cartel, between 2014 and 2016. Figueroa’s arrest marks the latest in a string of recent indictments. Between January and March 2018, seven alleged leaders of this organization were charged and arrested in San Diego. Five of those pleaded guilty. Figueroa made his initial court appearance Thursday, according to the DOJ.


Comey, Lynch To Receive Subpoenas From House GOP

The GOP-led House Judiciary committee will issue subpoenas to former FBI Director James Comey and former Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch, according to Bloomberg and CNN's Manu Raju.

The subpoenas will reportedly be issued on November 29 and December 5, while the GOP says they would prefer them to meet in private but are open to public testimony.

News of the subpoenaes rattled ranking Democrat Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who is expected to chair the panel next year.

"These subpoenas are coming out of the blue, with very little time left on the calendar," Nadler said in a statement, noting that Lynch and Comey had indicated "months ago" that they were willing to answer questions voluntarily.

Comey and Lynch were under threat of subpoena earlier this year by Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee (R-IA), only to be blocked by the panel's top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California.

In June, the Department of Justice's internal watchdog, the Inspector General, found that Comey defied authority several times while he was director of the FBI, including using personal email (Gmail) for official business.

The former FBI Director has also come under fire for mishandling classified information when he leaked an internal memo to the press documenting what he felt was President Trump obstructing the FBI's probe into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn - which was conducted by the FBI under dubious circumstances, and for which evidence may have been tampered with. Comey's memo was a key component in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's decision to launch a special counsel investigation headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

In addition, Comey was head of the FBI during a multi-agency counterintelligence operation against the Trump campagin in which campaign aides were spied on and misled by FBI/DOJ agents.

Loretta Lynch, on the other hand, was dinged in the IG report over an "ambiguous" incomplete recusal from the Clinton email "matter" despite a clandestine 30-minute "tarmac" meeting with Bill Clinton one week beforethe FBI exonerated Hillary Clinton.


The Mystery of Phil Ochs

“They say they can’t believe it, it’s a sacrilegious shame
Now, who would want to hurt such a hero of the game?
But you know I predicted it; I knew he had to fall
How did it happen? I hope his suffering was small.
Tell me every detail, I’ve got to know it all,
And do you have a picture of the pain?” – Phil Ochs, The Crucifixion

“You are aware of only one unrest;
Oh, never learn to know the other!
Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast,
And one is striving to forsake its brother.” – Goethe, Faust

President John Kennedy was assassinated by the U.S. national-security state, led by the C.I.A., on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. That is a fact beyond dispute, except for those who wish to engage in pseudo-debates to deny the obvious. I prefer not to, since there is nothing to debate.

But there is everything to mourn, even after fifty-five years, first of course for the man himself, then for those who have suffered and died for bearing witness to the truth about his assassination, and finally for the consequences of his murder, because it cut savagely into any pretense of American innocence and set the stage for the nihilistic tragedies that have followed, including the murders of Malcolm X, MLK, RFK, the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the ongoing “war on terror.”


Construction worker suicide rates are highest in the US, CDC study says

Males working in construction have the highest suicide rates in the country, according to a recent analysis by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Comparing the suicides of more than 22,000 people across 17 states in 2012 and 2015, researchers found males working in construction and extraction took their lives the most often, a rate of roughly 44 per 100,000 “civilian noninstitutionalized working persons” for construction workers and 53 per 100,000 for extraction workers.
Men working in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media came in second — an increase of 47 percent during the years studied, according to the CDC. Installation, maintenance and repair rounded out the top three for males in 2015.

Comparatively, in 2015, women working in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media had the highest suicide rates for females, while women in protective services came in second. The third were women who worked in health care support, according to the study.

“Among both males and females, the lowest suicide rate in 2015 was observed in Education, Training, and Library occupations,” the CDC reported.


L. Brent Bozell & Tim Graham: 6 Reasons the CNN-Acosta Lawsuit Is Lame

CNN’s war on the Trump White House is now entering the legal system. CNN filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia insisting that denying its chief White House shouter Jim Acosta a permanent press pass has caused “irreparable harm,” and that Acosta has a constitutional right to shout at the president under the First and Fifth Amendment rights. How lame is this? Let us count the ways:

1.) CNN claims its network is “significantly hampered,” causing harm to Americans who “rely on CNN as an essential news source.” As a network, CNN is not impaired. It still has more than 10 credentialed White House reporters and producers. The only “harm” might be that Acosta yelling at (and repeatedly interrupting) the president excites CNN’s liberal base.

2.) CNN claims in court that Acosta is “widely reputed as a diligent and thorough reporter for one of the nation’s most respected and widely watched networks.” CNN isn’t close to the most “widely watched,” and it viciously attacks the most “widely watched” network as a pathetic “state-run” channel.


Family's Thanksgiving tablecloth has 16 years of signatures

One Missouri woman came up with a unique way to cherish her family’s Thanksgiving memories each year — and she couldn’t be more grateful that she did.

In 2000, Deb Mills of Clinton began the holiday tradition of having each person who joins her family’s Thanksgiving dinnersign her white tablecloth.

“We are a blended family, and we set out to make some very special family traditions that are all our own,” she told ABC Newsof her unique idea. “Back in 2000, I got out this plain white tablecloth, and put it on the table, and my teenage kids looked at me like I was crazy when I said, ‘I want you to sign this tablecloth.’ Then a few years later, the [grandchildren] came along, and now we have 16 years of memories on the tablecloth.”


Italy Orders Seizure of Migrant Transport Vessel

The Italian populist coalition government has ordered the seizure of the migrant transport ship Aquarius after accusing the NGO operating the vessel of dumping toxic materials potentially linked to diseases such as HIV and Tuberculosis.

The Italians ordered the seizure of the vessel operated by NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which is currently in the French port of Marseille, claiming that MSF had illegally dumped 53,000lbs of waste in 11 different Italian ports, ANSA reports.

The material, which was dumped in at least 44 separate incidents according to investigations, consisted of medical waste that was not separated from ordinary refuse and had the potential to be infected with diseases reportedly prevalent among the migrants transported aboard the vessel.

According to the Catania prosecutor, there were “5,088 health cases at infectious risk out of 21,326 migrants disembarked” from the vessel including cases of scabies, HIV, tuberculosis, and meningitis.

More here

Mass Migration: Majority of Germans Feel Like 'Stranger in Own Country'

A majority of Germans say the level of mass migration has left them feeling “like a stranger in their own country”, according to a new study.

Presented as part of this year’s Leipzig University research into “authoritarian” attitudes in the country, the figure showed a rise of 12 points since the Competence Center for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research tested Germans on the same questions in 2014, with 56 per cent of Germans expressing the sentiment in 2018.

Other findings from the 328-page study, for which 2,416 Germans were interviewed between May and July this year, were that 44 per cent would support a ban on Muslim immigration — a rise of 7.5 per cent from 2014 — with agreement higher in the nation’s east (51 per cent) than west (42 per cent).


CDC: Romaine lettuce linked to E.coli outbreak

Just days before Thanksgiving, the CDC is advising that U.S. consumers stay away from ALL romaine lettuce following an E.coli outbreak.

On Tuesday, the CDC said any romaine lettuce should not be eaten, and retailers and restaurants should not sell or serve any.

This comes after an outbreak of E.coli infections has been linked to the lettuce.

The CDC stated that this advisory includes all types and uses of romaine lettuce.


Trump: Secret Service Would Not Let Me Drive To French Cemetery

President Donald Trump defended his administration’s decision not to attend a scheduled World War I memorial service Saturday in France, saying the Secret Service would not allow him to attend because of weather considerations.

By the way, when the helicopter couldn’t fly to the first cemetery in France because of almost zero visibility, I suggested driving. Secret Service said NO, too far from airport & big Paris shutdown. Speech next day at American Cemetary in pouring rain! Little reported-Fake News!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2018

Trump has been criticized for his decision and accused of not wanting to attend the ceremony in the pouring rain. The president pointed out that he attended another memorial service in the rain the next day.


Skid Row voter fraud

An alleged voter fraud scheme in which Skid Row’s homeless were being offered money and cigarettes in exchange for “false and forged signatures” on ballot petitions and registration documents has been uncovered in Los Angeles, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office says it is charging nine people in total with felony counts related to the offenses, which are said to have happened during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.

“The defendants are accused of engaging in the solicitation of hundreds of false and/or forged signatures on state ballot petitions and voter registration forms by allegedly offering homeless people $1 and/or cigarettes for their participation,” a statement from the attorney’s office reads.

The charges are part of a larger-scale crackdown on voter fraud that the Los Angeles Police Department has been undertaking this year.


Trump wants ‘rules and regulations’ for reporters

Team Trump is writing up “rules and regulations” for how reporters should behave during White House press briefings, President Trump said Friday.

“People have to behave and we are writing up rules and regulations. I think you were treated very unfairly. Both of you were treated very unfairly because you have people interrupting you,” the president said at the White House.

He was apparently referring to reporters who he said were interrupted by CNN’s Jim Acosta as he persisted in questioning the president during a contentious news conference last week.

Trump’s comments came hours after a federal judge on Friday ruled the White House had to return press credentials to Acosta — at least temporarily — rebuking the president’s decision to yank them after that briefing.

But the president — who frequently rejects and insults reporters in person and on Twitter — insisted the new rules would ensure “decorum” during the increasingly rare briefings.

“You can’t take three or four questions and stand up and not sit down. We want total freedom of the press. That’s very important. More important to me than anybody would believe,” he said.

“If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we will end up back in court and we will win. More importantly, we will just leave. Then you won’t be very happy. We do get good ratings,” he said.


Study: 97.8% of Mass Shootings Since 1950 Occurred in ‘Gun-Free Zones’

Findings from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) show that 97.8 percent of mass shootings over a 68-year period occurred in “gun-free zones.”

The study covers 1950 through May 2018. Otherwise, it would also include the November 7, 2018, mass public attack at Borderline Bar & Grill, in which 12 were killed. The November 19, 2018, attack at Chicago Mercy Hospital, where three were killed, would not be listed because it does not meet FBI criteria for a mass shooting, but it should, nevertheless, be noted that Borderline Bar and Mercy Hospital were both state-mandated gun-free zones.

According to CPRC, 97.8 percent of mass public shootings from 1950 to May 2018 occurred in gun-free zones. These include the Virginia Tech University attack, which killed 32 (April 16, 2007); the Fort Hood attack, which killed 13 (November 5, 2009); the Aurora movie theater attack, which killed 12 (July 20, 2012); the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, which killed 26 (December 12, 2014); the D.C. Navy Yard attack, which killed 13 (September 16, 2013); the Chattanooga military base attack, which killed 5 (July 16, 2015); the Umpqua Community College attack, which killed 9 (October 1, 2015); the San Bernardino attack, which killed 14 (December 2, 2015); the Orlando Pulse attack, which killed 49 (June 12, 2016); the Parkland high school attack, which killed 17 (February 14, 2018); and the Santa Fe High School attack, which killed 10 (May 18, 2018).

More here

[Facts are amazing things, aren't they? --Editor]

Newt Gingrich: Republicans must pass important bills before Democrats take over House

Now that the midterm elections are over, Republicans have a short amount of time to accomplish a great deal. This is their last stretch of having full control of the Congress before Democrats become the majority party in the House in January, and they should work with President Trump to take full advantage.

First, Republicans must pass the remaining appropriation bills, including spending bills for the Homeland Security Department and the Agriculture Department.

There will doubtlessly be Democratic attempts to stall or block conservative measures in these remaining spending bills, but the Republican leadership must insist on including them. It is very unlikely that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., will want to start the 2020 presidential cycle by shutting the government down.

Second, Republicans have an opportunity this year to block a job-killing, innovation-halting, health-care-cost-increasing tax hike. If Congress doesn’t do something to stop it, the tax increase on medical devices – which was born out of ObamaCare and has been temporarily halted by Congress twice due to its destructive consequences – will go into effect.

From 2013 to 2015 – the years this tax increase was in effect – the medical device industry in America lost 28,800 jobs, while in the first year alone investment in industry research and development fell by $34 million.

This is largely because of the way the tax is structured and the complex, competitive nature of the health-care market. Companies can’t directly pass the tax on to consumers, so they must carve the cost out of salaries, innovation and investment.


NC State Rolls Out PhD In "Social Justice Education"

North Carolina State University announced a Ph.D. in social justice education on Monday.

The program, which will debut in fall 2019, aims to teach educators, or "scholar-activists," about social justice and how they can bring about change in the classroom setting, according to an NC State news release.

“The goal of the program is to help educators recognize and disrupt systems of oppression by helping to foster and create equitable learning environments,” Jessica DeCuir-Gunby, a professor of educational psychology and director of graduate programs for the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department, said in the news release.

Faculty will come from various research areas, such as “social justice teacher education, multicultural education and literacy, education and immigration and diversity and equity in schools and communities,” according to the Ph.D. program’s webpage. The program also claimed it would focus on “equity in STEM” and “scholar activism.”

“This program area of study promotes social diversity while naming, interrogating and challenging oppression, exploitation and marginalization within education at the local, state, national and international levels,” the website states.

Courses that are required to attain the Ph.D. in social justice education include “Social Justice in Education,” “Diversity & Equity Scholar Leader Course,” and more.


US Household Debt Hits Record $13.5 Trillion As Delinquencies Hit 6 Year High

Total household debt hit a new record high, rising by $219 billion (1.6%) to $13.512 trillion in Q3 of 2018, according to the NY Fed's latest household debt report, the biggest jump since 2016. It was also the 17th consecutive quarter with an increase in household debt, and the total is now $837 billion higher than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion, from the third quarter of 2008. Overall household debt is now 21.2% above the post-financial-crisis trough reached during the second quarter of 2013.

Mortgage balances—the largest component of household debt—rose by $141 billion during the third quarter, to $9.14 trillion. Credit card debt rose by $15 billion to $844 billion; auto loan debt increased by $27 billion in the quarter to $1.265 trillion and student loan debt hit a record high of $1.442 trillion, an increase of $37 billion in Q3.

Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) continued their downward trend, declining by $4 billion, to $432 billion. The median credit score of newly originating mortgage borrowers was roughly unchanged, at 760.


Little Johnny...

True That!

Town's ban on renting space for religious services a First Amendment violation

The Department of Justice Tuesday joined a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by a South Carolina Baptist church opposing its hometown’s ban on religious groups holding services in its civic center.

The Justice Department said it supports the Redeemer Fellowship of Edisto Island, which in August filed a lawsuit against Edisto Beach, South Carolina over the ban.

Edisto Beach adopted the ban earlier this year because it was afraid that allowing Redeemer Fellowship to rent space in the civic center violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which imposes the separation of church and state.

But the Justice Department said such a ban runs counter to the Establishment Clause.

“Indeed the town’s reading of the First Amendment is exactly backwards: the town seeks to permit the content and viewpoint discrimination against religious worship that Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses prohibit and to prohibit equal access for religious expression that the Establishment Clause permits,” the Justice Department lawyers wrote.


Nolte: You Can Fire Fox News by Killing Your Cable Package

Long before it became a phenomenon, Breitbart News was covering the phenomenon of cord-cutting. Years before the patriotic act of canceling your cable or satellite television package was a thing, Breitbart news was right here laying out all reasons to do exactly that.

Those of you holding out, those of you still paying way too much for subscription TV, those of you still lining the pockets of multi-national corporations who want to see everything you believe in exterminated, have essentially offered up two objections to avoid doing your patriotic duty:

Football and Fox News.

But if I cut my cable, you cried, I won’t be able to watch football or Fox News.

Although I have never been a football or Fox News fan, I let the above excuse go. This is, after all, a free country, and if you want to get gouged by a handful of evil corporations while subsidizing Hate Outlets like CNN, that is your choice as an American — a bad American, but an American nonetheless.

But what in the world is stopping you now?


Eric Swalwell: If Gun Owners Defy 'Assault Weapons' Ban, 'The Government Has Nukes'

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) defended a potential “assault weapons” buyback Friday afternoon, saying that if gun owners defy a legislative ban, “the government has nukes.”

The exchange began with conservative Twitter commentator Joe Biggs responding to astory on Swalwell’s Thursday op-ed in USA Today, titled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters.” “@RepSwalwell wants a war,” Biggs wrote. “Because that’s what you would get.”

Swalwell responded by noting the government’s nuclear arsenal, writing: “And it would be a short war my friend. The government has nukes. Too many of them. But they’re legit. I’m sure if we talked we could find common ground to protect our families and communities.”

Did Fox News Cost the GOP Orange County?

Nearly 90 minutes before polls closed in California, Fox News chose to make the irresponsible announcement that Republicans had already lost the U.S. House of Representatives. Did that early call cost the Republicans Orange County, California?

Orange County has been a Republican stronghold (and a famous one) for decades, and while there is no question the county had been trending Democrat, on Election Night, Republicans lost all seven congressional seats. But if you look at the vote counts, there were a number of squeakers.

In the 28th District, Democrat Linda Sanchez beat Republican Ryan Downing by less than 300 votes.

Out of over 140,000 votes cast in the 39th District, the Democrat won by only a little over 4,000 votes with 51.4 percent. This race was so close, it was not called until November 17.

In the 45th District, the margin was 51.6 to 48.4 percent with a margin of under 9000 votes out of some 280,000.

With margins such as these, it is not unreasonable to ask if Fox News suppressed the Republican vote with its indefensible Election Night call.


A Brief History of Islam

Aaron "Bull" Hudson, Rest in Peace Friend

The Plan to Destroy America From Within

Lincoln and Thanksgiving: The Origin of an American Holiday

House Democrats To Probe Ivanka Trump's Use Of Personal Email

Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will look into Ivanka Trump's use of a personal email account "to continue our investigation of the presidential records act and federal records act," reports The Hill.

The panel, now under Democratic leadership, will seek to determine "if Ivanka complied with the law," according to ta Democratic aide.

The Democratic aide noted that the committee had started a bipartisan investigation last year on whether White House officials were in compliance with the Presidential Records Act under then-committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who has since retired from Congress. That probe has since been dropped. -The Hill

On Monday the Washington Post reported that the president's daughter sent "hundreds" of emails in 2017 to White House aides, assistants and Cabinet officials. That said Ivanka reportedly discussed government policies "less than 100 times" - and none of the content was classified.

In a statement to Fox News, Trump ethics lawyer Abbe Lowell's spokesman, Peter Mirijanian, emphasized the differences between the Hillary Clinton email scandal and Ivanka's use of private email, after many on the left quickly jumped on the Post report in an attempt to equate the two.


Senate Democrat floats legislative work-around if Whitaker buries Mueller report

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., raised the possibility of Congress introducing legislation to compel the Justice Department to release special counsel Robert Mueller's findings to lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the public.

"There is maybe some tricky legal issues here that have to figured out but I believe the answer is yes, that we could legislate that this report must be delivered to Congress," Merkley said during an interview Sunday evening with MSNBC's "Kasie DC."

"Right now under the law, the attorney general can block it," the Oregon Democrat continued. "And so that's a big concern: Even if the report is completed, it won't make it into our hands. I just feel the whole collection of the way President Trump has behaved, it's all about suppressing this investigation."


At Berkeley, rational discussion descends into darkness

Appropriately, on Halloween night, the University of California-Berkeley’s ghosts returned to its hallowed halls.

A well-meaning and earnest student senator, Isabella Chow, unleashed the specters of Berkeley’s past — the contest between conscience and conformity — by daring to dissent.

Her punishment has been swift: stripped of her student political party’s backing, denounced by the student newspaper, subjected to calls for resignation and recall, and expelled from nearly every student organization she led or helped to lead for the last two years.


U.S. Envoy Seeks Peace Deal With Taliban By 2019 Amidst Direct Talks

The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan has said he hopes to strike a final peace deal with the Talibanby April of 2019, according to Reuters citing local media reports.

U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad led three days of talks between the United States, the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar where the Taliban has a political office, the culmination of months of attempted unprecedented face-to-face sit down dialogue between American officials and the Islamist insurgent group's representatives.

Khalilzad told reporters over the weekend that he hopes “a peace deal is reached before April 20 next year”, when Afghanistan is planning to hold a presidential election. While six months is ambitious and a tad optimistic, it appears more about creating the conditions for a final politically face-saving American exit from the now approaching two decade long quagmire.


Kelley Paul on Criminal Justice Reform: 'Just Locking People Up Is Not Solving the Problem'

Kelley Paul, the wife of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), sat down with Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House last week to offer her thoughts on why criminal justice reform is needed in America.

Paul says she is very enthusiastic about the FIRST STEP Act, a bill that would ease federal sentencing laws and that President Trump put his weight behind last Wednesday.

“I think it’s really exciting and incredible. This is an incredible day for bipartisanship, for a great bill that hopefully we will get brought to the Senate floor,” Paul told House moments after President Trump’s endorsement. “I appreciate the leadership that Jared Kushner and Ivanka have shown on criminal justice reform.”


Fathers of slain US troops in Jordan see echoes of Jamal Khashoggi murder: 'Lie after lie'

Jordan rolled out false claims and gave shifting explanations after one of its soldiers killed three U.S. Green Beret trainers outside one of its bases in 2016, according to a new lawsuit brought by their families.

Fathers of the three slain soldiers who sued the kingdom this week say its handling of the deaths is reminiscent of Saudi Arabia’s changing explanations for the murder of Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at one its consulates last month.

The lawsuit takes aim at key Middle East ally Jordan and its lucrative relationship with the U.S., which saw $1.7 billion in aid flow to the kingdom last year — another echo of the tens of billions of dollars in arms sales at the heart of the Khashoggi debate.


Harold Hutchison: Did the 2018 Election Kill the Warthog?

With McSally defeated, the Air Force's A-10 has lost is best advocate in Congress.

Lost in the 2018 midterms that have increasingly looked like a loss for conservatives was the fact that our troops may have taken a hit on Capitol Hill. In the election for the Senate seat in Arizona once held by Jeff Flake, former Air Force fighter pilot Martha McSally lost to Kyrsten Simena.

McSally was perhaps the biggest advocate in Congress for the A-10 Thunderbolt II close-air support plane. This plane has never really been a favorite of Air Force brass. But the A-10 earned its reputation as the best close-air support plane in history during Desert Storm and the War on Terror. Recently, it has been upgraded to carry Joint Direct Attack Munitions. Yet plans call for the A-10 to be replaced by the F-35. While the F-35 is a good multi-role fighter, it can’t do what the A-10 does as well as the A-10 does it. Nor can the OA-X Program.

Furthermore, when it comes to deterring Russian intervention, the A-10 can help American and NATO troops hold the line, and the pilots have been training to do so. This plane was designed to take out hordes of Russian tanks coming through the Fulda Gap (and elsewhere in Europe), and the souring of relations with Russia over the last decade makes having this capability important. The failure of many NATO countries to maintain their military forces places even more reliance on the Warthog, especially when bad biofuels ground combat jets.


The myth of stagnant incomes

We aren’t stagnating, after all.

Unless you’ve been hibernating in the Himalayas, you must know of the recent surge in economic inequality. It’s not just that the rich are getting richer. The rest of us — say politicians, pundits and scholars — are stagnating. The top 1 percent have grabbed most income gains, while average Americans are stuck in the mud.

Well, it’s not so. That’s the message — perhaps unintended — from the Congressional Budget Office, which reports periodically on the distribution and growth of the nation’s income. It recently found that most Americans had experienced clear-cut income gains since the early 1980s.

This conclusion is exceptionally important, because the CBO study is arguably the most comprehensive tabulation of Americans’ incomes.

Most studies of incomes have glaring omissions. Some examine only before-tax income; others, after-tax. Many don’t include some government benefits — for example, food stamps, Medicare or Medicaid (health programs for the elderly and the poor). Others exclude employer-paid health insurance, which is a big item. The CBO study covers all of these areas.


Robert Royal: Strange Last-Minute Gambit By Pope Stopping American Bishops Shows He’s Part of the Problem

Catholic Church commentator Robert Royal says that Pope Francis’s recent request that U.S. Catholic bishops meeting in Baltimore this week take no immediate additional actions to stop clergy sex abuse is head-spinning.

“The Vatican knew for months that the bishops would deal with abuse at their regular Fall gathering. The pope asked them to cancel it and hold a spiritual retreat instead until the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world meet in February,” Royal writes in The Catholic Thing. “… Whatever the fear, to wait until the very day the meeting opened to request no voting take place is almost without precedent. For many Americans, sad to say, the pope has probably just confirmed what he was forced to admit in Chile: he’s part of the problem.”


Report: China Is Picking Up The Tab For Trump’s Trade War

China appears to be taking the brunt of the economic impact of President Donald Trump’s trade war, at least according to a paper published by EconPol Europe.

The paper, authored by Benedikt Zoller-Rydzek and Gabriel Felbermayr, asserts that American consumers and U.S.-based companies will only absorb 4.5 percent of the 25 percent tariff increase imposed on China — the remaining 20.5 percent will be picked up by China — and this applies to $250 billion in Chinese goods.

Critics argue that the real impact has only begun to take its toll on Amerian farmers, in particular with regard to soybeans.