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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Let There Be Light: The Documentary The Army Suppressed

At the end of the second World War, filmmaker John Huston got a commission from the US Army to produce a documentary of new treatments for psychiatric casualties of the war. This occurred when experimental treatments such as hypnosis or injections of sodium pentothal were being introduced into psychiatric therapy. The army wanted to produce the film to show off these promising new treatments, rather than to illustrate the psychological trauma of soldiers due to what we now recognize as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Huston titled his film Let There Be Light, and it opened with a statistic that likely would have shocked the American public:

“About 20% of all battle casualties in the American Army during World War II were of a neuropsychiatric nature.”

This statistic is followed by a brief explanation of the film’s intended purpose:

“The special treatment methods shown in this film, such as hypnosis and narco-synthesis, have been particularly successful in acute cases, such as battle neurosis. Equal success is not to be expected when dealing with peacetime neuroses which are usually of a chronic nature.”

Even though the psychiatric profession was still years away from naming PTSD, the idea of “battle neurosis” wasn’t exactly new. In World War I, soldiers called it “shell shock.” In the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the term “gross stress reaction” was defined similarly to what the third edition would refer to, not yet hyphenated, as “posttraumatic stress disorder.” But to the wider public, Huston’s “battle neurosis” did not enjoy the ubiquitous acknowledgement that PTSD receives today.

Thus, even though the film was intended to optimistically showcase the new treatments that had not been available to soldiers of previous wars, the initial viewings proved that the audience takeaway was not so positive. Huston unintentionally followed in the footsteps of Upton Sinclair. In writing The Jungle in 1904, Sinclair described the horrid (and fictionalized) conditions of the Chicago meatpacking industry, hoping to inform the American public about the worker’s plight. Instead, he only generated concern about the meat readers were eating, prompting him to famously say “I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.” Huston’s Let There Be Light similarly missed its mark. Instead of documenting the uplifting trend of new treatments for psychiatric casualties of war, he exposed the horrible reality of psychiatric trauma that war imposed on soldiers.

Huston spent two months filming the documentary in the Mason General Hospital. He used “long takes” to film the documentary, making it clear that the soldiers’ recounted experience was not deceptively edited. The soldiers housed at Mason General were, as the documentary’s narrator describes them,

the casualties of the spirit, the troubled in mind. Men who are damaged emotionally. Born and bred in peace, educated to hate war, they were overnight plunged into sudden and terrible situations. Every man has his breaking point. And these, in the fulfillment of their duties as soldiers were forced beyond the limit of human endurance. . . .

Here are men who tremble, men who cannot sleep. Men with pains that are nonetheless real because they are of mental origin. Men who cannot remember. Paralyzed men whose paralysis is dictated by the mind. However different the symptoms, these things they have in common: unceasing fear and apprehension, a sense of impending disaster, a feeling of hopelessness and utter isolation.


Martin Armstrong: Global Cooling, Not Warming, Is What We Should Fear Most

It is incredibly important to understand that as the weather turns bitterly cold in the north, people will begin to migrate south. This not merely caused the ancient Greeks to become the Sea Peoples, but during the Year without a Summer in 1816. In the United States when in 1816 six inches of snow fell in June and every month of the year had a hard frost, people began to migrate. The temperatures had dropped to as low as 40 degrees in July and August in New York City during 1816. People also called it ‘Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death’ and the ‘Poverty Year.’

This is what I keep pointing out that cold is what kills society and creates poverty – not warming.

The Year without a Summer sent people fleeing from New England states in search of warmer weather and fertile soils both south and west. It was the weather that began to cause migration in the United States outside of the 13 original states. Thousands of New England families gave up their farms, packed their belongings into wagons and joined the throngs traipsing over rivers and mountains to Pennsylvania and the Ohio River Valley, which includes Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

Indeed, between 1810 and 1820, Maine lost as many as 15,000 people. Sixty Vermont towns lost population during that decade as well. The population of 60 other towns in Vermont stayed the same while the U.S. population grew 32%. When we examine Massachusetts, we can see that this state gained only 50,000 people from 1810-20, while Ohio gained five times as many. The Massachusetts Legislature tried to hold on to its citizens by passing a homestead act that gave settlers 100 acres of land for $5.


Pat Caddell: Trump Will Lose 2020 if He Doesn’t Change His WH Team

Veteran pollster Pat Caddell told Breitbart News that President Donald Trump will not be re-elected if he does not change his White House team and “purge” the Republican Party of politicians and consultants “bought” by the “donor class.”

Caddell joined Wednesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight for an interview with Breitbart News Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak.

Caddell criticized Republicans for not holding accountable Democrats who, while campaigning, expressed opposition to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) speakership bid following the year’s midterm elections.

“A lot of these people were going to end up supporting her,” said Caddell. “They were lying that they weren’t going to support her. Now, the Republicans are responsible, in part, for this, because they don’t hold anybody’s feet to the fire.”


Amid California's Housing Shortage, Companies Carve Up Apartments to Pack More People and Lower Rent

When Christopher Cacho is home, the 23-year-old data specialist doesn't do much out of the ordinary. He may run a computer analysis at his desk, play a video game or lie down with a good book.

But when he does, he'll do it from a roughly 11-by-8-foot space that's cordoned off by a foldable tan wall on wheels.

To make the pricey Southern California real estate market work for him, Cacho turned to a company that rented him a partitioned section of a living room. Inside, he's set up his bed and television. In the corner, there's a tiny, square end table and ottoman.

"It works well as a converted desk," the recent college graduate said.

Hard-pressed families have long turned couches into beds, and it's common for recent graduates to bunk with friends in a house. But amid a sharp rise in housing costs in booming U.S. cities, a growing number of companies say the affordability crisis has become so severe that there's significant money to be made in offering, if not solutions, at least some relief.


The Left's Election Day Analysis: If We Lost, They Must've Cheated

A disturbing trend is emerging from the political left: When their candidates lose elections, rather than accept lawful defeat, they denounce the election itself.

In 2016, they explained away President Donald Trump’s victory as the product of Russian meddling. Now, they are blaming election losses in Florida and Georgia on “voter suppression” and other sinister acts.

In Florida, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum walked back his election night concession, claiming “tens of thousands of votes have yet to be counted,” and told supporters that a “vote denied is justice denied.”

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, described the Georgia gubernatorial race as biased against Democrat Stacey Abrams, claiming that if Abrams “had a fair election, she already would have won.” Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat, announced that Abrams’ apparent defeat was a sure sign that Republicans “stole” her election.


How one woman thinks the rise of ‘male bashing’ is destroying Australian men

Psychologist Bettina Arndt has claimed that the global #MeToo feminist movement has granted women a license to 'destroy' men.

The psychologist and author controversially blamed the feminist movement for throwing false accusations of rape and violence at men on Tuesday.

The author went as far as to label feminism as a 'destructive force in our society'.

Ms Arndt discussed her upcoming book '#MenToo', which she claims highlights the problems that confront men today.

She went on tell Sunrise co-hosts Samantha Armytage and Natalie Barr that feminism has 'gone off the rails' and is 'all about rules and regulations to advantage women at the expense of men.'


Meet The Ballot-Harvesting Felon At The Center Of A Still-Undecided North Carolina Race

A North Carolina man known for creative "electioneering" and alleged fraud is now at the center of a hotly contested House race in the state's Ninth District separated by just 905 votes, which state regulators have refused to certify, according to the New York Times.

Elections regulators are poised to hold an evidentiary hearing this month. Investigators have already begun questioning witnesses about what Joshua Malcolm, who was named on Monday as the election board’s chairman, described last week as “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities” with regard to absentee ballots in rural parts of the district. -NYT

At the center of those activities is L. McCrae Dowless Jr. - a felon and politico convicted of perjury and fraud in the early 1990s. Dowless - known for get-out-the-vote campaigns revolving around absentee ballots, was hired by a firm working for Republican candidate Mark Harris against Democrat Dan McCready, and was rumored to be in line for a $40,000 bonus if Harris won the election.


George H.W. Bush: A Man of Character

I first met the man who would become America’s 41st president in 1968. He was a Houston congressman and I was a young reporter for a local TV and radio station.

My first impression was how kind he was to this “kid,” who had just moved to Texas from the Washington, D.C., area and was just starting to learn the “language,” like “fixing to go” and “y’all.”

Everyone who worked for George H.W. Bush, or knew him, has a story to tell. I have several.

Bush was a letter writer like none other. I think I have an almost complete collection of his notes and letters, some typed, some handwritten, from every position he held in public life. These include congressman, Republican National Committee chairman, chief liaison officer to the People’s Republic of China, U.N. ambassador, CIA director, vice president, and president.

When he became president, I wrote him a congratulatory note and he responded on White House stationery. I later told him I was keeping the letter “just in case you amount to something.”

He laughed.


Under China's New Rules, U.S. Recycling Suffers

Some cities are closing recycling plants. Others are ending curbside pickup. For recycling to be sustainable, consumers must learn to sort their trash better.

Ever since cities began offering curbside recycling programs, skeptics have joked about how it all ends up going to the same place as the garbage. In Franklin, N.H., that’s actually true.

Residents there still sort items into separate recycling bins and garbage cans, but the different material all gets hauled to the same incinerator. “We are currently disposing of all of it at the trash plant,” says Judie Milner, Franklin’s city manager, “because recycling costs are twice as high.”

Those costs have spiked all over. Until this past January, China took 40 percent of America’s gently used paper, metals and plastic. Now, it accepts hardly any of it. China won’t take recycled material from this country, or others, unless it’s 99.5 percent free of contaminants. Some of the material is currently being processed domestically or is getting sent to other countries, but the loss of the biggest market has led some domestic recycling plants to shut down and some cities to end curbside pickup of recyclables.


Is Rudolph the Reindeer Racist?

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Hateful views have 'no place on our platforms'

Individuals who push white supremacy and “violent conspiracy theories” have no place in the digital world, AppleCEO Tim Cook declared Monday.

“We only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms … You have no home here,” Mr. Cook said as he accepted the Anti-Defamation League’s first-ever “Courage Against Hate” award at a conference Monday night in New York City.

“If we cant be clear on moral questions like these, then we’ve got big problems,” he said. “From the earliest days of iTunes to Apple Music today, we have always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy. Why? Because it is the right thing to do. As we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists on the App Store.”

Earlier this year, Apple became the first tech giant to ban far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from iTunes and its Podcast app. Facebook, YouTube, Spotify and Twitter soon followed suit in deplatforming the InfoWars founder.

“At Apple, we are not afraid to say that our values drive our curation decisions,” Mr. Cook said Monday. “And why should we be? Doing what’s right — creating experiences free from violence and hate, experiences that empower creativity and new ideas — is what our customers want us to do.”


Could Jerome Corsi's lawsuit destroy the Mueller investigation?

Perhaps the media and the various "experts" should reconsider salivating over the recent information stemming from the Michael Cohen plea agreement in light of the lawsuit filed by Jerome Corsi. According to Fox News, "Corsi filed a 'criminal and ethics complaint' against Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, accusing investigators of trying to bully him into giving 'false testimony' against President Trump." If this is true, Michel Cohen's "admissions" will be rendered virtually meaningless, and Robert Mueller's investigation should be immediately terminated.

As part of his plea agreement, Michael Cohen admitted to making false statements in a letter to Congress in 2017 regarding a 2016 Moscow building project that was being considered by the Trump administration. According to Cohen, the discussions regarding the deal continued until June 2016, as opposed to January 2016, as he previously stated in his letter.

Many well respected legal scholars have opined that Cohen's admission has no bearing on President Trump and the Russia investigation. According to Alan Dershowitz, "special counsel Robert Mueller's probe is creating crimes rather than uncovering past ones," and the "devastating" report he will write will be based on people "who have lied." Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett agreed with Dershowitz. According to National Review's Andrew McCarthy, Mueller is building a report as opposed to a legal case. Said McCarthy, "With respect to the president and 'collusion,' Mueller does not have a crime he is investigating. He is investigating in hopes of finding a crime, which is a day-and-night different thing." Together, these comments paint a picture of an investigation that is reeling and a prosecutor hoping to find something he can use against the president that would justify his interminable investigation.


For the West to Live, ‘Equality’ Must Die

Equality is the chief faux virtue of our time. Our obsession with it brings to mind the great G.K. Chesterton’s observation, “The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

Long ago the West erred by exalting “equality” at, ultimately, quality’s -- and sanity’s -- expense. In fact, it’s at a point where boys claiming girlhood are allowed in girls’ bathrooms and locker areas based on equality dogma. How do we correct this mistake? First, stop being connedservative and realize that few people have pondered equality deeply and that, of those who have, few actually believe in it.

Let’s start with what most already reject: seeking equality of outcome. We so often hear, for example, that growing income disparities must be eliminated. Not only does this imply big-government redistributionism, but does “inequality” actually tell us anything relevant?

Consider: Imagine two tennis centers training children. After a given period, all the kids at the first are advanced beginners. At the second, there are some advanced beginners, a large group comprising varied intermediates, a decent-size set of advanced players and a few approaching tournament caliber. Which center exhibits more equality?

Now, at which are the kids faring far better on average?


Senators Convinced By CIA's "Smoking Saw" Evidence Crown Prince Orchestrated Khashoggi Murder

Trump's attempt to keep the Saudi Crown Prince away from the spotlight - and keep pumping as much oil as possible to keep the price of oil low - just suffered a major blow when US senators said a classified CIA memo convinced them that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role in dissident columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s dismemberment, with one describing the evidence as “a smoking saw.”

Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee rejected Jared Kushner's Donald Trump’s efforts to downplay the prince’s role, and according to Bloomberg said that if a jury were to consider a case against Prince Mohammed, he’d be convicted of murder in 30 minutes.

"There is zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through," Corker said Tuesday after the closed-door briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel and a handful of senators. "Zero question in my mind.


NRCC emails hacked before 2018 midterm elections

The campaign body for House Republicans was hacked ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, putting at risk sensitive information exchanged by top party officials via thousands of emails.

The email accounts of four senior National Republican Congressional Committee aides were compromised for months before the breaches were detected in April by MSSP, a security services contractor that monitors its network, Politico reported Tuesday.

“The NRCC can confirm that it was the victim of a cyber intrusion by an unknown entity," Ian Prior, a vice president at Mercury, the public affairs firm retained by the NRCC to manage the hack, told the Washington Examiner in a statement. "The cybersecurity of the Committee’s data is paramount, and upon learning of the intrusion, the NRCC immediately launched an internal investigation and notified the FBI, which is now investigating the matter."



Israel Launches Operation to Thwart Hezbollah Border Tunnels

The Israeli military launched an operation on Tuesday to "expose and thwart" tunnels it says were built by the Hezbollah militant group that stretch from Lebanon into northern Israel.

The military said the tunnels were not currently being used by militants and that its work to find and neutralize them was taking place inside Israeli territory. However, the Israeli operation could send tensions soaring between Israel and its Iranian-backed foe, which have both been preoccupied with other conflicts since their last conflagration more than a decade ago.

"We see Hezbollah's activities as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty" and of U.N. resolutions, said Lt. Col Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman. "This activity is another example of the negative effects of Iranian entrenchment in the region."

The military did not disclose how many tunnels snake into Israeli territory from Lebanon nor what tools it was using to deal with the threat, although it said the operation could last for weeks. Israel has spent years attempting to tackle a network of tunnels from the Gaza Strip into Israel and has used a variety of methods to destroy tunnels and prevent them from being rebuilt.

More here

Huge Victory for Free Speech Against Berkeley’s Ideological Enforcers

Young America’s Foundation (YAF), a conservative youth organization founded in 1969, secured a landmark victory against the University of California, Berkeley, after more than a year of gritty litigation in the conservative-hostile Ninth Circuit.

The school agreed to YAF’s settlement terms, according to a release by YAF’s Spencer Brown on Monday.

The notice of conditional settlement was filed with the court on Monday.

“This is a landmark free speech victory for all students at UC Berkeley,” Harmeet K. Dhillon, the attorney for YAF, told LifeZette on Monday.

Attorneys across the county, she said, have already been in contact with her to let her know they plan to use the settlement as a model for their own free speech-related litigation at other institutions.

“A generation of college students will owe [YAF and UC Berkeley College Republicans] thanks for this victory.”

More here

Judicial Watch Sues for Records of FBI Meetings with Clinton-DNC Law Firm

Judicial Watch announced Monday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Justice seeking records of all meetings in 2016 between former FBI General Counsel James Baker and the Perkins Coie law firm. The Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee (DNC) reportedly paid Fusion GPS to create the “salacious and unverified” Clinton-DNC anti-Trump dossier.

The lawsuit cites a specific media report that FBI top lawyer Baker met with Perkins Coie lawyers to discuss allegations of collusion between Donald Trump and Russia. The meeting reportedly took place weeks before the 2016 election and before the FBI secured a controversial FISA spy warrant targeting then-candidate Trump’s campaign.

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after the DOJ failed to respond to an October 9, 2018, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-02617)) seeking:

All records concerning any and all meetings between former FBI general counsel James Baker and one or more attorneys from Perkins Coie, the Democrat National Committee’s private law firm during 2016.

On October 4, 2018, Fox News reported that Baker told congressional investigators that Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussmann “initiated contact with him and provided documents and computer storage devices on Russian hacking.” The contact was made in late 2016 as federal investigators prepared a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

More here

Russia Has At Least Four Potential "Killer Satellites" In Orbit

A senior U.S. diplomat has accused Russia of deploying another small, specialized satellite into orbit that it could use as an anti-satellite weapon. This is at least the fourth such system the Kremlin has launched since 2013 and highlights a continued lack of internationally accepted ground rules for hostile activities in space, even as the United States seeks to increase its military capabilities above the Earth’s atmosphere.

Yleem Poblete, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance, raised the concerns about the Russian “space apparatus inspector” at a meeting of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland on Aug. 14, 2018. Russia publicly announced the launch of this satellite in June 2017, but insists that its only function is to inspect the country’s own space-based systems for damage or other possible issues and potentially service and repair them.

The Russian satellite’s “behavior on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities,” Poblete said at the gathering. “We are concerned with what appears to be very abnormal behavior by a declared ‘space apparatus inspector.’ We don’t know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it.”


Fraternity Told to Take American Flag Down to ‘Improve Image’

Stanford University told the Sigma Chi fraternity to remove its American flag to “improve” its image. An administrator reportedly told the fraternity that the flag could be seen as “intimidating, aggressive or alienating.”

According to a report from the Stanford Review, an unnamed administrator told the Sigma Chi fraternity that their American flag was a symbol that could be seen as “intimidating, aggressive or alienating.”

The fraternity was actually shut down in May after the university argued that there were accountability issues with the chapter. The alleged incident with the unnamed administrator took place as the members of the chapter were looking to prevent a suspension.


New Maryland Report Card Provides Insight on School and School System Performance

Report Card Goes Beyond Test Scores for More Complete Picture

The 2018-19 Maryland School Report Card, released today, provides educators and parents with the most complete picture of school and school system performance in State history.

The Report Card, for the first time, includes a broad selection of performance indicators to help measure how schools are doing. In addition to student success and growth on State tests in English Language Arts and mathematics, the Maryland Report Card factors in progress in achieving English language proficiency for English Learners, chronic absenteeism, preparation for postsecondary success, access to a well-rounded curriculum and graduation rate. In the coming years, it will include the results of a student and faculty survey.

“Education is and will always remain our number one priority, and we owe it to Maryland families to provide them with as much information as possible to make informed decisions about their children’s education,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The new Maryland Report Card will provide parents, teachers, and students with critical information about our schools and enhance transparency and accountability in our education system.”

Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, said that the simplified format of the Maryland Report Card is a major improvement.

“Our goal is to improve every school throughout our State, and prepare every student for a bright future,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “The new Maryland Report Card will help parents, educators, policymakers, and the general public gain a better understanding about how each school is doing based on our accountability measures. Together we are working toward making sure our schools are the best they can be.”

Schools receive points based on their results on the performance indicators. Educators and parents will be able to view a brief summary of performance by looking at a school’s Star Rating, which tallies the school’s total earned points percent and issues a rating from 1 to 5 stars; the Percentile Rank, which is how a school performed in comparison to other schools in the category; and the Total Earned Points Percent, which is the total number of points earned by the school across the measures, divided by the total possible points.

The new Maryland Report Card, based on the ESSA accountability plan, represents a quantum leap from previous versions of the Report Card in place for the past two decades. The changes were set in motion by the passage of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed into law in 2015. ESSA succeeded the No Child Left Behind Act in governing state school improvement plans.

Subject: Execution scheduled for 'Texas Seven' prison-break gang member convicted of killing cop in 2000

A member of the notorious 'Texas Seven' who escaped from prison nearly two decades ago and went on to commit a string of crimes and the murder of a police officer is scheduled for execution on Tuesday night.

In recent weeks, attorneys for Joseph Garcia have argued that the 47-year-old should be spared from lethal injection at a state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas, by raising last-minute questions about his conviction.

Garcia and six other inmates brazenly escaped from a South Texas prison in December 2000 and proceeded to commit numerous robberies, including the one in which they shot 29-year-old Dallas-area police Officer Aubrey Hawkins 11 times, killing him.

Hawkins had just finished Christmas Eve dinner with his family when he responded to the call about the robbery at a sporting goods store and was ambushed.

Garcia's attorneys claim that he wasn't the one who killed Hawkins during the robbery 18 years ago, casting the blame on the other escaped inmates he was with.


SCOTUS Rejects Eco-fascist Challenge to Border Wall

A gaggle of three eco-fascist groups just saw their hopes of preventing President Donald Trump from constructing a border wall based upon their environmental “concerns” rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices refused to take up the case in which California Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel had ruled in February in favor of Trump. Curiel determined that the president had not exceeded his powers and had the legal authority to waive environmental laws based upon a 1996 law that was designed to stem illegal immigration.

In his ruling, Curiel quoted Chief Justice John Roberts: “Court(s) are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgements. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” That was Roberts’s opinion in upholding ObamaCare despite clear constitutional reasons to strike it down, so Curiel’s choice of a quote was … interesting.


2 attorneys general to subpoena Trump Organization, IRS

The attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland plan to file subpoenas Tuesday seeking records from the Trump Organization, the Internal Revenue Service and dozens of other entities as part of a lawsuit accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency.

The flurry of subpoenas came a day after U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte approved a brisk schedule for discovery in the case alleging that foreign and domestic government spending at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel amounts to gifts to the president in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

The subpoenas target more than 30 Trump-linked private entities and the federal agency that oversees the lease for Trump’s D.C. hotel.

The Maryland attorney general’s office confirmed the targets of the subpoenas to The Associated Press as they were being prepared Tuesday.

More here

[Your tax dollars at work. --Editor]

Conservative Leaders Demand Congress Fund Border Wall for National Security

More than 100 national conservative leaders demanded Tuesday that Congress tackle illegal aliens on the U.S.-Mexican border in the year-end funding measure, demanding $5 billion for a border wall and other national security safeguards.

Leaders of many of the most powerful conservative organizations in the United States signed this Conservative Action Project Memo to the Movement, entitled “America’s National Sovereignty Threatened: Congress Must Fund a Wall that Secures our Southern Border.”

“As the southern border continues to be overwhelmed by migrants seeking illegal entry into the United States, we urge Congress to finally address this issue,” begins the Memo to the Movement.

The Memo makes three specific demands on Congress to achieve this national security goal:

3 teens arrested in murder of Louisiana pastor's wife

Three Louisiana teenagers were arrested Saturday after a pastor’s wife was run over and killed by her own vehicle during a carjacking.

Jeannot Franco Plessy, 49, was pulled from her own car and thrown to the ground while she was outside her daughter’s home on Nov. 27. Her son-in-law tried to stop the carjacking, but the teens reversed the car and ran over Plessy. She died later that night from blunt force trauma.

A 17-year-old, Jontrell Robinson, was charged with second-degree murder and carjacking, New Orleans police said. Edwin Cottrell, 18, was arrested and charged with being a principal to second-degree murder and a principal to carjacking.

Another juvenile, who was not identified, was also charged with being a principal to second-degree murder and principal to carjacking.

Plessy was a mother-of-five who co-founded the outreach ministry Crossover Christian Fellowship with her husband, David Plessy, more than a decade ago. David Plessy said his wife was a domestic abuse survivor who recently returned from an evangelical trip to American Samoa during domestic violence awareness month, according to WWL-TV.


Rand Paul Rages: "The Deep State Is Trying To Run Congress"

CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed leaders of multiple Senate committees Tuesday about the October murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

But Senator Rand Paul believes Haspel should share the CIA's findings with all members of Congress.

Paul, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, exclaimed:

“To my mind this is the very definition of the deep state..."

“The deep state is that the intelligence agencies do things, conclude things, make conclusions but then the elected officials are prevented from knowing about this.”


Four Out Of Five Racist Notes Were Fake At An Iowa University: School Officials

Officials at an Iowa university said an 18-year-old student is facing criminal charges after being believed to have written four out of five racist notes on campus.

The Drake University student, who has not been identified, admitted to writing one of the notes and also allegedly received one of the notes, the Des Moines Register reported Friday. The student reported four racist notes, which officials believe to be hoaxes.

“The fact that the actions of the student who has admitted guilt were propelled by motives other than hate does not minimize the worry and emotional harm they caused, but should temper fears,” Drake University President Marty Martin wrote in a statement to students and staff, according to the Register.

Martin added the notes reported on Nov. 13, Nov. 15 and on Nov. 28 are “copycat hoaxes of an initial campus incident.”


101-year-old WWII veteran credits longevity to daily Coors Light

Forget green juices and turmeric smoothies — one man credits his longevity to a different kind of beverage.

Andrew E. Slavonic, who celebrated his 101st birthday on Dec. 1 with his family and friends in McMurray, Penn., has been drinking one Coors Light every day at 4 p.m. for the past 15 years.

“In 1996, he actually started drinking regular Coors beer,” Andrew’s son, Bob Slavonic, told Fox News. “He switched to Coors Light beer about 15 years ago. I think I am the one to blame for the switch because that is all that I have been drinking for about the past 25 years.”


Joe Biden: 'I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president'

Former Vice President Joe Biden says there's no one better qualified in the nation to be president, but admitted at the same time he's a "gaffe machine."

"I'll be as straight with you as I can. I think I'm the most qualified person in the country to be president," Biden said Monday during a book tour stop in Missoula, Montana, according to CNN.

"No one should run for the job unless they believe that they would be qualified doing the job. I've been doing this my whole adult life, and the issues that are the most consequential relating to the plight of the middle class and our foreign policy are things that I have — even my critics would acknowledge, I may not be right but I know a great deal about it," he said.


South Carolina prison escapee shot dead by homeowner, other jail-breaker captured, cops say

One escaped inmate was shot dead by a female homeowner and another was captured soon after the pair's ill-fated, early-morning prison break from a facility in South Carolina on Tuesday, officials said.

The incident began around 2:35 a.m. when two inmates assaulted and took hostage two detention center guards, overtaking a teaching area as part of a "premeditated plan" to escape the facility, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said at a news conference.

The first 911 calls came in around 2:53 a.m. notifying deputies of the incident, and the first officers arrived around four minutes later, according to Clark.

As deputies from the sheriff's office arrived at the scene, one of the inmates, Timothy Cleveland Dill, was taken into custody on a nearby road without incident. Dill had been jailed on charges of sexual conduct with a minor, according to jail records.

Clark said that, as Dill was being captured, a female homeowner who lives nearby called 911 to report a man had kicked in her back door and she had shot him.


North Carolina teacher arrested for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old

A North Carolina middle school teacher has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old student.

Brianna Nicole Stanley, 23, was charged on Friday with multiple sex crimes related to the student at Carver Middle School in Laurel Hill.

Stanley resigned from her teaching job on Thursday before she was arrested.

A parent had contacted the school last week with allegations that Stanley was having an inappropriate relationship with the child.

The gender of the child is not known.


Why did fentanyl take over US? It was the easiest, cheapest drug to make to meet rise in addiction

Fentanyl's rise in the US drug market is part of a much bigger, longer-term strategy from global trafficking groups, according to a new report.

The drug - 30 to 100 times stronger than heroin - is driving the rise in overdose deaths in the US.

It is sold straight, but it is also cut into all kinds of drugs, from heroin to Percocet, and there is no way of users detecting whether it's there until they try it.

Five years after the US declared an addiction epidemic, things are turning around, with prescription rates on the downturn and more education about the risk of addiction from prescription drugs.

But the one thing that still stumps health officials is fentanyl: how did it spread so far in the US, and why do Americans take it?

According to a new report, published today in the journal Addictions, there isn't (and never has been) significant user demand for fentanyl specifically among US drug users.

More importantly, it seems, fentanyl was the easiest and cheapest drug for manufacturers and traffickers to produce fast enough to meet America's rapidly rising demand for opioids.


Trump Admin Vows Penalties for European Countries Doing Business With Iran

BRUSSELS—The Trump administration will cut off all Iranian business interests in Europe and elsewhere as part of what it calls a "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran that seeks to isolate the Iranian hardline regime and its allies, according to senior U.S. officials and congressional insiders who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Iranian leaders and some of its partners in Europe have been scrambling to skirt tough American sanctions that went into effect early last month.

Senior officials in the Trump administration tell the Free Beacon this policy of appeasement will not stand as it works to slice oil revenues to the Islamic Republic, which was recently granted waivers—to the consternation of many of Capitol Hill—so that it can continue its lucrative crude oil trade.


Law Firm Pitching Climate Suits Sought to Evade Detection by Open Records

Sher Edling, the law firm heading up a number of climate lawsuits brought by governments against oil producers like Exxon and BP, sought to move some of their conversations with the city of Miami Beach offline with the express concern of hoping to keep the discussion's details out of documents that might later be obtained through open records requests.

Sher Edling now represents several state and local governments, including San Francisco, Oakland, Rhode Island, and Baltimore, that are suing major energy producers for alleged damages from the effects of climate change.

This May, Charles Savitt with Sher Edling emailed two officials with the City of Miami Beach and while asking for an appointment said, "Given state law, let's talk rather than me send you anything."

A day after that original email, Savitt was more explicit when again talking with the same officials, writing, "Given public records laws it is much better for us to talk on the phone. Do you have time today or tomorrow?"


Xi Tells Trump China Will Schedule Fentanyl

China will finally add fentanyl and its analogs to its list of controlled substances, following a Saturday meeting between Chinese president Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump.

"President Xi, in a wonderful humanitarian gesture, has agreed to designate Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling Fentanyl to the United States will be subject to China's maximum penalty under the law," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced in a Saturday night statement.


2020 Democrats: We're Thinking About It

There are literally dozens of Democrats who are mulling, considering, and thinking about running against President Donald Trump for the White House in 2020.

There's Obama administration officials like former Vice President Joe Biden, who still has to decide with his family whether it's the right thing to do, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder, who will decide soon, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who is "going to think about it," and former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, who is "likely" to run.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said he will make a final decision over the holidays after he talks to his family and friends, as will Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.). Sen. Sherrod Brown(D., Ohio) is "seriously thinking about it," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) promised to take a "hard look" after the midterms, Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) wouldn't deny interest in a run when pressed by an NBC News reporter, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) is considering it after promising in 2018 to serve a six-year term in the Senate, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) said she's talking about it with people.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.) is "absolutely" considering running, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) is hoping voters don't mind her being a parrot for Bashar al-Assad as she thinks about the White House, and Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D., Texas) has flipped from definitely not running to not ruling it out in the aftermath of his closely fought Senate race in Texas.


Giving a Raise to All Federal Employees Makes No Sense

The Senate’s 2019 budget contains an across-the-board salary hike of about 1.9 percent for all federal employees. That is not good news.

Though modest and deficit-neutral—the bill requires agencies to reduce spending elsewhere to offset the hikes—this pay raise is a bad idea. A growing consensus of policy analysts agree that the federal pay system needs a major overhaul.

Today, federal employees earn raises for time served rather than good work. While federal managers can offer high performers cash awards and raises, the latter are rarely used and the former are too paltry and too freely given to be effective motivators.

In a recent survey, only 26 percent of federal employees reported that “pay raises depend on how well employees perform their jobs.”


Michigan Lawmakers Urge Fast-Food Chains to Drop Gendered Toys

More than a dozen Michigan lawmakers support a resolution in the state’s House of Representatives pressuring fast-food chains like McDonald’s to eliminate “gender-classified” toys from their children’s meals.

State Rep. Leslie Love, D-Detroit, who introduced House Resolution No. 49 on Wednesday, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that the purpose of her resolution is to stop fast-food chains from reinforcing gender stereotypes.

“I would visit fast-food restaurants and when you go through the drive-thru they always ask if you want a girl’s toy or a boy’s toy, which was really annoying. Just offer people a toy … and move on with it,” she said. “How do we get caught up in gender identity with a toy?”

“We’re telling them [children] in advance … that this toy equals a boy and this toy equals a girl,” Love said. “We’re setting up this prejudice in our children unconsciously, unknowingly. It has become so ingrained that this dysfunction is almost normal.”


Died of Natural Causes

Looks like Florida has a Sheriff like Arizona and wait until you read the last line and last answer to the question asked by a reporter, which in my opinion is the 'best answer of all time'.

Polk County Florida Sheriff - "You kill a policeman it means no Miranda rights... no negotiations...nothing but as many bullets as we can shoot into you...PERIOD."


An illegal alien, in Polk County , Florida , who got pulled over in a
routine traffic stop, ended up "executing" the deputy who stopped him. The deputy was shot eight times, including once behind his right ear at close range. Another deputy was wounded and a police dog killed.

The murderer was found hiding in a wooded area. As soon as he took a shot at the SWAT team, officers opened fire on him. They hit the guy 68 times.

Naturally, the liberal media went nuts and asked why they had to shoot the poor, undocumented immigrant 68 times.

Sheriff Grady Judd told the Orlando Sentinel: "Because that's all the
ammunition we had."

Now, is that just about the all-time greatest answer or what??

The Coroner also reported that the illegal alien died of natural causes. When asked by a reporter how that could be, since there were 68 bullet wounds in his body, he simply replied: (BEST QUOTE ever) . .."When you are shot 68 times you are naturally gonna die".



Head Of CA Democrats Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

On Thursday. the head of the California Democratic Party resigned after there were multiple claims of sexual misconduct made against him. Eric Bauman released a statement to the Los Angeles Times that said, “I have made the realization that in order for those to whom I may have caused pain and who need to heal, for my own health, and in the best interest of the party that I love and to which I have dedicated myself for more than 25 years, it is in everyone’s best interest for me to resign my position as chair of the California Democratic Party.”

According to The Sacramento Bee, “One of Bauman’s deputies, Daraka Larimore-Hall, initiated the process to remove him last week after hearing from individuals who said Bauman had sexually harassed and assaulted them at party events. By Monday, the party had launched an investigation into the complaints and Baumantook a leave of absence.”

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that 10 party staff members and political activists reported Bauman had made vulgar sexual comments and participated in unwanted touching or physical intimidation in professional settings.