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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

John Podesta paints disturbing picture of Trump in Europe in raising alarms about climate data

John Podesta has been making the rounds in Europe to warn the European Union that U.S. climate data needs protection from the Trump administration.

The former Hillary Clinton campaign manager was in Brussels last week to address the European Parliament on what he described as the necessity to combat the current administration’s open “hostility” to climate science.

Podesta explained in a Guardian op-ed that he spoke to parliamentarians about the "unprecedented threats facing the global understanding of climate change as a result of the Trump administration’s hostility to climate science, and [discussed] what European countries can and should do in response."


Charter school strikes are exactly what teachers' unions want

Charter school teachers in Chicago went on strike last week, striking for at least four consecutive days in the first charter school strike in our nation’s history.

Teachers at Acero charter network, which contains 15 schools and serves more than 7,500 predominantly Latino students, are demanding better pay, more support staff, smaller class sizes, and guaranteed protection for students and families living in the U.S. illegally.

Charter teachers taking to the picket lines are exactly what teachers’ unions want.


Maxine Waters: 'I Told You So' --- Trump 'Is a Criminal' He Must Be Impeached

Sunday on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said President Donald Trump is a “criminal” who should be impeached.

Waters said, “Well, I hate to say it but it’s like I’m going to say it, I told you so. Remember I started out talking about this president even before the inauguration. I talked about him being a despicable character. I talked about him not being worthy of the presidency United States of America.”

She continued, “I said it’s not about wanting to undermine our democracy, it was about lifting those sanctions. I believe that the agreement of Manafort and Putin, coming to the campaign to begin with was to do everything they could do so that he could get this president elected so he could be the president that was going to lift these sanctions so they could all make money. I continue to say you follow the money and you’ll watch all of these thieves. This president has brought a criminal enterprise into the White House.”


Trump calls Michael Cohen payouts a ‘simple private transaction,’ denies they were campaign contributions

President Trump on Monday denied the hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal in the weeks leading up to the 2016 election were campaign contributions, instead calling them a "simple private transaction.”

“So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,” Trump tweeted.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, recently admitted in a plea deal to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging payments to Daniels and McDougal on Trump's behalf, according to the plea. Prosecutors on Friday released a sentencing memo calling for Cohen to a “substantial term of imprisonment” for the president’s former fixer.

On Monday, Trump took aim at Cohen, saying that if a mistake was made and it was considered a contribution, the “liability” should be with the lawyer.

“Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced,” Trump tweeted. “WITCH HUNT!”


Debunking the lies about the First Step Act

President Trump has courageously thrown his weight behind a reform bill that will dramatically improve how we rehabilitate criminals and help keep them out of overcrowded prisons. Joining him are a majority in the Senate as well as numerous groups representing law enforcers and prosecutors, including former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

The problem: A small group of GOP senators are trying to defeat the bill, known as the First Step Act, with the basest of tactics. Instead of permitting a principled debate on the Senate floor, they’re treating the American people to misdirection, delay and fearmongering — all aimed at running out the clock on the legislative session.

Opponents frame the bill as a form of mass jailbreak. It threatens nothing of the kind.

As it is, nearly every inmate will leave prison eventually, with or without the First Step Act. The question is whether they stay out or return behind bars. On that count, the brokenness of the system is plain for all to see.


First Baby Born From Uterus of Deceased Donor

TUESDAY, Dec. 4, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- The world's first baby born to a woman who had a uterus transplant from a deceased donor shows that such transplants can be successful, Brazilian doctors say.

The 6-pound baby girl was delivered by C-section to an unidentified young woman who had been born without a uterus.

The birth shows that pregnancies involving a uterus from a deceased donor are viable, said study leader Dr. Dani Ejzenberg.

"The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone, creating the possibility of childbirth for many infertile women with access to suitable donors and the needed medical facilities," said Ejzenberg, who practices at the University of Sao Paolo. The Brazilian team reported the case Dec. 4 in The Lancet.



Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio claimed Thursday that there are more Americans on food stamps than there are people in Canada.

“More Americans on Food Stamps than the entire population of Canada. Yet Democrats won’t support work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving your tax dollars,” he tweeted.

Verdict: True

Canada has an estimated total population of 37 million, while 40.3 million Americans used food stamps in fiscal year 2018.

Fact Check:

Jordan’s tweet linked to an article discussing the debate over the new farm bill, which includes funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),formerly known as food stamps.

In FY 2018, 40.3 million people living in 20.1 million households participated in SNAP, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The average SNAP household received about $250 per month. The Census Bureau estimates there are currently 329 million people living in the U.S.

Canada had a population of 37.1 million as of July, according to Statistics Canada, an agency of the Canadian government.

The number of SNAP participants had been increasing steadily since the start of the 21st century, rising from an average of 17.2 million in FY 2000 to 28.2 million in FY 2008. It spiked to a high of 47.6 million in FY 2013 in the years following theGreat Recession, followed by a decline as the economy continued to recover.


Children who spend seven hours or more on smartphones and tablets are changing the structure of their brains and risking lower IQs and declining memory and cognitive function

Children who use screens for seven hours or more a day are showing signs that their brain cortex is thinning prematurely.

The findings show that children are at risk of deteriorating memory function, perception skills and cognitive abilities, according to new major US study.

The ongoing $300 million (£236mn) research is funded by the National Institute of Health and shows results of the effects of technology on children.


The forgotten voices of #metoo: Prison rape in America - perpetrated by both inmates and staff - remains pervasive and under-reported 15 years after the passage of a law intended to end crisis

It started the first night Joe Booth was placed with his new cellmate at the Richard Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.

'He grabbed my ankle and pulled me off the bed … He had a weapon that was manufactured out of a piece of metal that he had gotten,' Booth told 'I had struggled, but when he put that next to my throat – that was the end of my fight.'

He was repeatedly and violently raped over four days by his cellmate, who was serving a 72-year sentence for raping, sodomizing and transmitting HIV or AIDS to a teenage girl. According to a federal lawsuit he filed against the prison warden, Booth sought help from seven different staff members, including a counselor.

None intervened on his behalf.


Maryland to Fund College Saving Accounts For Over 13,000 Applicants

Funding Exceeds $6.3 Million for 2018

Maryland 529 today announced that 13,381 eligible applicants for the 2018 Save4College State Contribution Program will receive a $250 or $500 contribution from the state to their Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan, also known as Maryland College Investment Plan (MCIP), by the end of the year. State funding for this program will exceed $6.3 million in the current year. Maryland 529 is the administrator of MCIP.

“Our administration is doing everything we can to ensure that all Marylanders have access to a college education, and planning ahead is key to assisting with the high levels of college debt that many of our students face,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration remains committed to providing families with much-needed relief from student loan debt and making college more accessible and affordable.”

Earlier this year, Governor Hogan announced that he will reintroduce the Student Debt Relief Act as emergency legislation during the 2019 session of the Maryland General Assembly, which will allow Marylanders to deduct 100 percent of the interest paid on their student loans from their state income tax return. The legislation would also expand the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program to include four-year Maryland public institutions. Students who qualify for the Promise Scholarship and fulfill the requirements by graduating from community college with an associate’s degree while maintaining at least a 2.3 GPA will receive free tuition for the remaining two years.

Since taking office, Governor Hogan has invested more than $7.1 billion in higher education and has diligently worked with Maryland’s public colleges and universities to cap tuition growth at two percent annually for Maryland residents.

Established in 2016, the Save4College State Contribution Program was designed to help families, especially those from low- and middle-income households, have the opportunity to start saving for college for their children. Income-eligible families who opened a new Maryland College Investment Plan after December 31, 2016, applied during the application period of January 1 and June 1, 2018, and made the minimum contribution will receive a $250 or $500 contribution to their MCIP account from the state.

During the program's second year of operation, applications for the 2018 State Contribution Program increased by 400 percent from 2017. Of the 16,088 applications received, 13,381 were eligible to receive the contribution, with 11,925 Marylanders receiving $500, and 1,456 receiving $250, for a total of $6,326,500. As funding for the program is limited by the state budget ($3 million for fiscal year 2019), not all eligible applicants were guaranteed to receive a contribution. Recognizing the significant increase in demand and interest by Maryland families wanting to start saving for college, Governor Hogan agreed to increase the State Contribution budget by over $3.3 million to ensure all eligible applicants would receive their contribution this year.

According to the Corporation For Enterprise Development, families that save any amount of money for college - even less than $500 - are three times more likely to enroll a child in college and four times more likely to see that child graduate than families that don't save anything. Families receiving the state contribution will now be able to get a jump start on college savings.

“We are grateful to Governor Hogan for his support of the State Contribution Program," said Treasurer Nancy Kopp, Maryland 529 Board Chair. "We are proud of the program's success and the lasting impact it will have for many Maryland families who otherwise may not have been able to start saving for college."

To be eligible to apply for the State Contribution Program, the beneficiary must be a Maryland resident; the account holder's Maryland taxable income cannot exceed $112,500 as an individual or $175,000 as a joint couple based on the previous taxable year; and you must open a Maryland College Investment Plan or have opened an account after December 31, 2016. Account holders are also required to make a minimum contribution to the account of $25, $100, or $250, depending on the account holder's income bracket. The 2019 application period will open on January 1 and will run through May 31, 2019.

Please visit to apply or for more information.

Subject: John Brennan confident Trump ‘will never have the opportunity to run for public office again’

Former CIA Director John Brennan expressed confidence Monday that President Trump will never have another chance to run for public office after his former fixer Michael Cohen implicated Trump in illegal payments during the presidential campaign.

Reacting to a Trump tweet, in which the president argued that Cohen’s case does not implicate him, Brennan said he takes “great solace in knowing that you realize how much trouble you are in & how impossible it will be for you to escape American justice.”

“Mostly, I am relieved that you will never have the opportunity to run for public office again,” he wrote.


BREAKING NEWS: Rt. 13 South Closed In Delmar

There's been an accident on Rt. 13 South bound in Delmar before the Exxon. Use Bi State Blvd as a detour. 

Arnold Ahlert: The Harvard Crimson's Crumbling PC Agenda

Harvard University is discovering that some of its students take freedom of association seriously.

Last Monday, a number of national fraternities and sororities filed two separate lawsuits, in state and federal court respectively, challenging Harvard’s ham-fisted attempts to impose sanctions, beginning with the Class of 2021, on students who join off-campus, single-gender social clubs.

The national organizations for Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Sigma Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, along with Harvard’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, filed the federal lawsuit. They were joined by three unnamed Harvard students who are members of all-male social clubs — students who asked the U.S. District Court in Boston to let them proceed under pseudonyms so they could avoid “harassment and threats” from the public and “retribution” from the college.

The federal suit alleges that barring members of single-gender final clubs (secretiveall-male groups), sororities, and fraternities from holding leadership positions in recognized student organizations, becoming varsity team captains, or receiving the college’s endorsement for prestigious fellowships, violates Title IX’s ban on sex-based discrimination and the United States Constitution.


Robin Smith: Double Take on the Fifth Amendment

The Supreme Court heard arguments in a fascinating case about state and federal punishment.

A Supreme Court case is getting a great deal of attention in part because it would be contrary to 170 years of precedent and practice. But more attention-getting, it may have an impact upon Robert Mueller’s case involving Paul Manafort in the vastly overreaching special investigation to determine the extent of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Oral arguments were heard Thursday in Gamble v U.S. The case involves an Alabama man who was arrested in 2015 for crimes that involved the illegal possession of a handgun. Terrence Gamble, a felon who had already served time in prison for a separate crime, faced both state and federal charges for this second failure to observe laws. The State of Alabama sentenced Gamble to one year in prison while an additional federal charge yielded a 46-month sentence on top of that. Gamble appealed this second sentence to the Eleventh Circuit Court, citing the Fifth Amendment.


Fired FBI Director James Comey Calls on Americans to "Use Every Breath We Have" to Oust President Trump!

Fired FBI Director James Comey called on all Americans to “use every breath we have” to oust President Donald J. Trump as President during a speech Sunday in New York City.

Comey has been leading this mission since at least 2016 while during a presidential campaign the FBI, Department of Justice, Obama administration and foreign allies spied on President Trump and his campaign, family and business.

MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace interviewed Comey at the 92Y event last night.

Comey also said President Trump told him in private that he wanted him to drop the Michael Flynn investigation.
Comey said it was very disturbing.


Wall Street Journal Ed Board Tells Mueller to 'Wrap it Up'

Last week's bombshells in the Robert Mueller investigation turned out to be nothing of the sort. Paul Manafort's crimes, lying to prosecutors about his contacts with Ukrainian business partners, were unrelated to his work on the Trump campaign. As for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, he admitted to lying about his contact with a a Russian national who reached out to the Trump campaign, but nothing transpired.

"So a Russian wanted to insinuate himself into the Trump orbit but nothing happened," the Wall Street Journal editorial board summarizes. "Why drop this into a sentencing memo?"

They conclude:

"All of this argues for Mr. Mueller to wrap up his probe and let America get on with the political debate over its meaning for Mr. Trump’s Presidency," the Wall Street Journalurges. "Mr. Mueller has been investigating for 19 months, and the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into the Trump campaign began in July 2016, if not earlier. The country deserves an account of what Mr. Mueller knows, not more factual dribs and drabs in sentencing memos."


Rep. Nadler Says Trump Hush Money Payments with His Own Money Are “Impeachable Offenses” …But What About the Hush Money Payments from Congress?

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told CNN’s Jake Tappertoday that President Trump’s hush money payments to two women with his own money are “impeachable offenses.”

Meanwhile, Congress paid has paid out $17 million in the past 10 years, public records show, for unwanted sexual advances by unnamed lawmakers.
The offenses were by unnamed lawmakers.
And the money came from taxpayers.

Congress wants to keep this information hidden.

So will Nadler reveal this information before or after he tries to impeach President Trump?


"Not So Fast" Kunstler Warns: The Resistance's Victory Orgasms May Prove Premature

The media branch of “the Resistance” wet its pantsuits last Friday when Robert Mueller released sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the human keys to the dungeon they would like to toss Mr. Trump into. Over in the House of Representatives, incoming Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler splooged himself into a rapture as visions of impeachment lap-danced in his head. Their victory orgasms may prove premature.

The media branch of “the Resistance” wet its pantsuits last Friday when Robert Mueller released sentencing memos on Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the human keys to the dungeon they would like to toss Mr. Trump into. Over in the House of Representatives, incoming Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler splooged himself into a rapture as visions of impeachment lap-danced in his head. Their victory orgasms may prove premature.


Washington woman dead from brain-eating amoeba after using neti pot filled with tap water, report says

A Seattle, Washington woman whose brain was partly a “ball of bloody mush” after rare brain-eating amoebas infected her likely contracted the organisms after she used a neti pot full of tap water to clear her sinuses, according to a report.

The woman, who was not been identified, was admitted to the Swedish Medical Center earlier this year after she had a seizure, The Seattle Times reported. An initial CT scan revealed what doctors believed was a tumor.

But they would soon learn that what was inside the woman’s skull was not a tumor at all.

“When I operated on this lady, a section of her brain about the size of a golf ball was bloody mush,” Charles Cobbs, a neurosurgeon at the Swedish Medical Center, told The Seattle Times. “There were these amoeba all over the place just eating brain cells."

“We didn’t have any clue what was going on,” he added.

Tissue taken from the woman’s brain during the procedure would later confirm the presence of the amoeba, specifically Balamuthia mandrillaris — which cause a rare but potentially deadly brain-eating infection known as granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE), according to the publication.

The woman, who was 69 years old, died in February — roughly a month after doctors discovered the amoeba in her brain and about a year after she was initially infected.


13% Of Americans Will Boycott Christmas Spending

Online spending on Thanksgiving day reached $3.7 billion, topped by Black Friday sales of $6.2 billion, and Cyber Monday sales of $7.9 billion - it’s a staggering amount of spending, but there’s another data set casting a cloud over the enthusiasm: Growing numbers of Americans plan to boycott holiday spending, entirely.

While shopping madness has many Americans feverishly trying to find the best gifts for everyone on their list, others are protesting the commercialization of Christmas. In fact, the 2018 Bankrate Holiday Gifting Survey showing that 13 percent of American shoppers are planning to completely boycott holiday spending.

That means they’ll be resisting all the sales gimmicks designed to pressure consumers into spending—and overspending, in the end. And if they’re going to drop all that cash on Christmas, some say they’d rather take a family vacation.

It’s a small percentage—for now. But it’s a piece of data that still should make retailers nervous.

“It's interesting to see that so many people aren’t participating in gift-buying,” noted Bankrate data analyst Adrian Garcia.

“I see it as a realization that people need fewer things, especially as they get older, and that it’s more important to spend time together, or donate to a charity.”

Despite growing consumer resistance, 45 percent of shoppers will still spend beyond their comfort zone, says Bankrate's survey. And in this race to show their love by gifts—where larger gifts apparently mean more love--Americans are prepared to plunge themselves into heavy debt.


UNC Chapel Hill Teaching Assistants Go On Strike over Confederate Statue

Nearly 100 teaching assistants and instructors went on strike on Friday in response to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill constructing a building to house a Confederate statue on campus.

Nearly 100 UNC Chapel Hill teaching assistants have gone on strike, threatening to withhold their students’ final grades, unless the university ceases construction of a building that will house a Confederate statue.

The Confederate statue, known as Silent Sam, had been standing on UNC Chapel Hill’s campus for over 100 years, until it was torn down by protesters in August 2018.


Wells Fargo charges students most in fees: Report

Wells Fargo charges students the most in fees on average to have a bank account, according to a government report.

The report authored by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and released late Friday showed that students paid an average of $46.99 in fees to Wells Fargo over 12 months. That's nearly double the fees charged students by TCF National Bank and U.S. Bank, which ranked second and third.

The CFPB report focused on what are known as college-sponsored accounts, for which a bank often pays money to a college or university to market their accounts to students when they arrive on campus. College-sponsored accounts have been controversial for some time, since a college's endorsement of a product tends to carry weight with students and parents when they are searching for a good or service.

In fact, the CFPB report found that banks that paid marketing fees to colleges and universities were often the ones charging students the higher fees. Banks that paid colleges to promote their products had an average fee of $36.52 while banks that didn't do paid promotion had an average fee of $11.93. The fees calculated by the CFPB included both account maintenance fees and overdraft fees.


Too Much Partisanship In Washington? No, Ron Paul Says, Too Much Bipartisanship!

Washington is once again gripped by the specter of a government shutdown, as Congress and President Trump negotiate an end-of-year spending deal. A main issue of contention is funding for President Trump’s border wall. Sadly, but not surprisingly,neither Congress nor the administration is fighting to cut, or at least not increase, spending.

Federal spending has increased from 3.6 trillion dollars to 4.4 trillion dollars since Republicans gained control over both chambers of Congress in 2014. Some may try to defend congressional Republicans by pointing out that for two years the Republican Congress had to negotiate spending deals with President Obama. But federal spending has increased by 7.5 percent, or over 300 billion dollars, since Donald Trump become President.

A big beneficiary of the Republican spending spree is the military-industrial complex. Republicans have increased the “defense” budget by eight percent in the past two years. President Trump and congressional Republicans claim the increases are necessary because sequestration “decimated” the military. But Congress, with the Obama administration’s full cooperation and support, suspended sequestration every year but one, so the planned cuts never went into full effect. Congress and Obama also “supplemented” the official military budget with generous appropriations for the Pentagon’s off-budget Overseas Contingency Operations fund. Spending on militarism increased by as much as 600 billion dollars over the amounts allowed for under sequestration.

President Trump has proposed reducing the projected military budget for fiscal year 2020 to 700 billion dollars. This would be a mere two percent cut, yet the usual voices are already crying that this tiny reduction would endanger our security. If history is any guide, the military-industrial complex’s congressional allies and high-priced lobbyists will be able to defeat the president’s proposed reductions and convince President Trump to further increase the military budget.

This huge military budget has little or nothing to do with America’s legitimate security needs. In fact, as candidate Trump recognized, America’s military interventions in the Middle East have endangered our security by empowering terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.


Black Dems Upset Pelosi Considering Committee Term Limits

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), said on Thursday that it is a “bad idea” for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to consider instituting term limits on committee chairs.

Pelosi said on Thursday that she was “sympathetic to the concerns that have been expressed” by some House Democrats regarding term limits.

“I think it’s a bad idea, I think it’s awful timing, and I think it’s a hell of a reward for all these chairmen who went out there traveling the country and busting their behinds to get Democrats elected,” Richmond told The Hill.

Richmond said several black Democrats he has spoken to have all asked the same question: “Why every time something’s established and we start doing well in the system, they want to change the rules?”


Russia Sends 2 Nuclear-Capable Bombers to Venezuela

The Russian military says two of its nuclear-capable strategic bombers have arrived in Venezuela, a deployment that comes amid soaring Russia-U.S. tensions.

Russia's Defense Ministry said a pair Tu-160 bombers landed at Maiquetia airport outside Caracas on Monday following a 10,000-kilometer (6,200-mile) flight. It didn't say if the bombers were carrying any weapons.

The Tu-160 is capable of carrying conventional or nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with a range of 5,500 kilometers (3,410-miles).

Such bombers took part in Russia's campaign in Syria, where they launched the conventionally-armed Kh-101 cruise missiles for the first time in combat.


Howard schools will offer free lunches during winter break

In an effort to curb child hunger, for the first time, Howard schools are offering free lunches during two days of winter break.

Howard established the winter meals program “because hunger doesn’t end when school ends,” said Brian Bassett, a county schools spokesman.

“The more days we can offer that [free meals] when school isn’t in session the better,” Bassett said.

Lunches will be available for all children under the age of 18 on Dec. 27 and Dec. 28. Children can go to either the Florence Bain Center and the East Columbia Library Branch, both in Columbia, to receive a meal.


Pompeo: China Is Biggest Threat to the United States

During Monday’s “Hugh Hewitt Show,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cautioned that China is the United State’s biggest threat “in the medium to long term” because of its demographics and wealth.

“[I]s the People’s Republic of China the greatest threat to the West now, greater than Russia, greater than Iran? Is it our 100-year or 200-year threat? And do we have to think about it in those terms?” host Hugh Hewitt asked.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Pompeo responded.

More/video here

100 Christians snatched in overnight raids on underground Chinese church

About 100 worshippers at an unofficial church in southwestern China were snatched from their homes or from the streets in coordinated raids which began on Sunday evening.

Chinese authorities targeted members of the Early Rain Covenant Church across various districts of Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, in what appeared to be an effort to close down one of the country’s most prominent Protestant house churches.

Members’ personal accounts and cell group discussions on social media channels were blocked at around 9pm on Sunday while the church’s telephone line was also cut. The homes of the church’s leaders, including pastor Wang Yi, were among those raided.

Many house churches have been closed this year in China’s harshest religious suppression in decades.

Bob Fu of China Aid, a US-based Christian non-profit organization, said the crackdown represented a major escalation of religious persecution in China.


OVER? Hillary Clinton Bails On Speaking Tour, Heads Overseas For Wedding

Hillary Clinton appears to have officially called time on her and Bill Clinton's ill-fated "conversation tour," hopping a flight to India for a wedding without any word of rescheduling a canceled appearance in Sugar Land, Texas.

Last week, the pair, who failed to draw any significant attention at either of two appearances in Canada, announced that they'd be "postponing" the Sugar Land appearance because of former President George H. W. Bush's funeral, but promised a new tour date "soon."

This weekend, though, Hillary Clinton was spotted getting her groove on at a high society wedding in Udaipur, India, according to The Hill, and is expected to be in India all week, celebrating.


MD Tax Refund Interest Rate Litigation

This website provides information to members of the plaintiff class in the lawsuit Holzheid v. Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland. The Holzheid lawsuit challenges the interest rate being applied to certain income tax refunds due to Maryland taxpayers as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne, __ U.S. __, 135 S.Ct. 1787 (2015). Class members in this lawsuit include Maryland taxpayers who paid income tax in other states between 2006 and 2014 for which they did not receive full credit in Maryland and filed a protective claim for a refund of that income tax (a “Wynne claim”). Normally, if a taxpayer is owed and files for a refund, interest begins accruing at the rate of 13% on the refund from the 45th day after the claim is filed. However, in 2014 the General Assembly passed a law mandating that Wynne claims would receive only 3% interest from 45 days after the time they were filed until the time they are paid. The Holzheid lawsuit alleges that the application of a lower interest rate only to Wynne claims violates certain federal constitutional provisions that prevent the State from taking a property right without due process or just compensation and from burdening interstate commerce. It is estimated that, by applying the lower interest rate of 3% toWynne claims, the State is depriving class members of a total of $38.4 million. You can read the full complaint and amended complaint here.

False statement charges abound in Mueller probe, in contrast to Hillary Clinton case

Nearly every Trump campaign associate indicted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling Russia probe has been charged with making false statements.

But in a striking contrast, raising questions about a possible double standard, not a single person interviewed during the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation was hit with false statement charges – even though investigators believed some witnesses were untruthful.

“Somebody needs to be resolving how they exercise discretion, because a whole bunch of people are facing jail time, or flipping in one probe, and the agents openly discussed how other people in the Clinton probe could have been charged with the same offense,” former Justice Department senior official James Trusty told Fox News.

Of the six Trump campaign associates charged in Mueller’s long investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, five have been charged with violating U.S.C. 1001 — making false statements to FBI agents.

Those charged include: former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos; former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn; former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen; and former associates of Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort—Alex van der Zwaan and Rick Gates.

But according to the report released in June by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, federal prosecutors and FBI agents told the independent watchdog that witnesses in the probe lied during interviews, but that agents and prosecutors did not pursue false statements charges.

More here

Comey Lied

In the normal course of events, one could understand the hundreds of “I don’t knows” and “I don’t recalls” former FBI Director James Comey during Friday’s testimony. Most FBI investigations are handled out of the field office in which the illegality allegedly occurred with the FBI Director not privy to all the details. But it was Comey who decided to run the whole Trump collusion and obstruction investigation out of FBI headquarters. He should have known and remembered every detail of his actions and those under him. He did.

Don’t count the “I can’t recalls” Just counting the contradictions and the lies would make quite a drinking game, starting the case which started it all -- Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s “process lie” about his legitimate contacts with his Russian counterparts as a national security adviser designate:


James Comey Admits He Knew Democrats Financed ‘Pee’ Dossier Before FISA Warrant Signoff

In testimony, former FBI Director James Comey says that prior to signing a FISA application to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign, Comey was aware that the dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele was financed by Democrats who opposed President Donald Trump.

Yet according to Democratic and Republican House Intelligence memos, that information was not specifically included in the FISA application, which in part relied on Steele’s work to obtain warrants to monitor Page.

The Steele dossier was reportedly funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.


How a US War Veteran is treated in Court by Judge

As doctors taper or end opioid prescriptions, many patients driven to despair, suicide

This is the first of a three-part series on the nation's struggle to address a crippling opioid crisis, and the unintended victims left in its wake.

It happened slowly. The pain caused by a 1980 back fracture, the result of a tractor-trailer crash, crippled more and more of Jay Lawrence’s body and spirit.

By 2006, the Tennessee native and Navy veteran’s arms and legs were going numb. The excruciating pain reduced him to tears. Multiple surgeries, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy didn’t work.

He finally found solace in prescription painkillers – 120 milligrams a day of morphine. A high dose, but it dulled the pain enough for him to take walks with his wife, shop for groceries, even take in a few movies.

But last February, the pain clinic doctor delivered jarring news: He was cutting Lawrence’s daily dosage, first to 90 milligrams then, in short stages, down to 30 milligrams. The doctor said the reduced dosage was in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prescribing guidelines released in 2016 as part of a national anti-opioid push, according to Lawrence’s wife, Meredith.

“The doctor said: ‘You know these guidelines are going to become a law eventually. So we've decided as a group that we're going to take all of our patients down,’” she told Fox News in an interview.

Lawrence’s pain returned with a vengeance. He could barely move or sleep. He soiled his pants, unable to make the bathroom in time, Meredith said.

“It feels like every nerve in my body is on fire,” he told his wife.

Meredith said she and her husband went to their primary care physician and asked for a referral to another pain clinic. They were told it would take a minimum of six weeks.

That was too much for Lawrence. In March, on the day of his next medical appointment, when his painkiller dosage was to be reduced again, he instead went to a nearby park with his wife. And on the very spot where they renewed their wedding vows just two years earlier, they held hands.

He raised a gun to his chest and killed himself.


Google+ Shutdown Speeds Up, New Privacy Bug Affected 52.5M Users

Alphabet Inc's Google said on Monday it would shut down its Google+ social media service in April, four months ahead of schedule, after finding a software flaw for the second time this year that allowed partner apps to access its users' private data.

However, Google said in a blog post that it found no evidence that any other apps had accessed the data, such as name, email, gender and age, using the latest bug. It affected 52.5 million Google+ accounts, including those of some business customers, for six days after it was introduced last month, Google said.

The disclosure comes a day before Chief Executive Sundar Pichai is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Congress about Google's data collection practices. Some U.S. lawmakers from both major political parties have called for new privacy rules to better control Google, Facebook Inc and other large technology companies.


Billionaire backs $35 million voter data project in 'existential threat' to Democrat Party

Silicon Valley billionaire Reid Hoffman has teamed up with several former Obama administration officials to create an independent — and likely for-profit — database that would store all of the progressive community’s voter data, according to three sources familiar with the initiative.

The project's backers intend to spend $35 million in the first year alone, with Hoffman, a co-founder of LinkedIn, as the primary investor.

“As we build this effort, we will be reaching out to all the key players soon to get this done,“ a person familiar with the on-going discussions told POLITICO, stressing that the project is still in its early stages. “Across the board, everyone involved agrees that the Republicans have a tremendous advantage when it comes to data infrastructure going into 2020, and that there needs to be a real shift in our thinking and action in order to set candidates up to be successful for people around the country.”

The DNC’s top leaders have been telling people that Hoffman’s project represents an “existential threat" to the party, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.


What Faith-Based Efforts Can Do to Help Prevent Veteran Suicide

I don’t often quote sources from The New York Times, but in mid-November, David Brooks wrote a piece called “Fighting the Spiritual Void.” He stated without equivocation that “[t]rauma is a moral and spiritual issue as much as a psychological or chemical one.”

He could not be more correct.

The Heritage Foundation convened a panel to discuss post-traumatic stress disorder and veteran suicide from the faith angle. The panel was chaired by myself, a 30-year veteran of the Army Special Forces, and the members included Richard Glickstein, an advocate working to move the government to appropriately address the crisis; Dr. David LeMay, a medical doctor who specializes in rehabilitation; and Lt. Col. Damon Friedman, an active-duty Air Force special operator, who also leads a veterans service organization called Shield of Faith Missions.

The panel laid out quite a story.

Friedman presented several personal anecdotes from his own trauma, and those of some of the veterans with whom he works. The depth of despair some of our warriors face is profound, and the fact that they are not getting the help they need is discouraging. He also showed how faith-based programs like his own often take the lead in helping these veterans.

Glickstein highlighted the way government efforts have failed—and offered a possible solution. He said that in the last 10 years, the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs have together run 1,100 different programs addressing PTSD and veteran suicide, at enormous expense.

During that time, the average of 21 veteran suicides per day has not changed.

More here

Judicial Watch President to Testify before House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Judicial Watch announced that President Tom Fitton will provide testimony on December 13 before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Government Operations during a hearing titled “Oversight of Nonprofit Organizations: A Case Study on the Clinton Foundation.” The committee is chaired by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC).

In August 2016, a related Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit broke open the Clinton Foundation pay to play and has since uncovered many other instances of seeming pay-to-play and favoritism for the Clinton Foundation at the Clinton State Department. Judicial Watch’s ongoing investigation into the Clinton Foundation’s pay-to-play politics that involves multiple FOIA lawsuits seeking government documents from Hillary Clinton’s illicit email system, as well as records related to the intersection of the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Judicial Watch recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice for all records of communications involving any investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) into the Clinton Foundation.

Judicial Watch FOIA litigation also uncovered a massive conflict of interest issue in Bill Clinton’s speeches and business concerns during Mrs. Clinton’s tenure on Secretary of State.

(Judicial Watch)

IDF Warns Lebanese to Evacuate Homes Atop Hezbollah ‘Explosive’ Tunnels

The IDF on Sunday warned residents of two border towns in Lebanon to “temporarily evacuate” homes located on top of Hezbollah cross-border attack tunnels as the military continued its current operation to destroy them.

“Hezbollah built terror tunnels under Kfar Kila and Ramiyeh that infiltrate into Israeli territory, making the area a barrel of explosives,” IDF Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee said in a post on Twitter. “We are determined to neutralize these tunnels, and we do not know the outcome of these actions on the relevant buildings on the Lebanese side.”

Adraee then urged residents to take Hezbollah to task for putting “explosive barrels” under their homes.

“Is it not time for you to insist that Hezbollah give you clear answers?” he asked. “Are you living in safety when you know that your houses are located above a barrel of explosives? We recommend that you thoroughly consider temporarily leaving the relevant buildings for your safety.”

The warning comes after the army uncovered three cross-border attack tunnels originating in Kfar Kila and Ramiyeh.


Thousands of Mailed Ballots in Florida Were Not Counted

Florida officials say thousands of mailed ballots were not counted because they were delivered too late to state election offices.

The Department of State late last week informed a federal judge that 6,670 ballots were mailed ahead of the Nov. 6 election but were not counted because they were not received by Election Day. The tally prepared by state officials includes totals from 65 of Florida's 67 counties. The two counties yet to report their totals are Palm Beach, a Democratic stronghold in south Florida, and Polk in central Florida.

Three statewide Florida races, including the contest for governor, went to state-mandated recounts because the margins were so close.

In the battle for agriculture commissioner, Democrat Nikki Fried won her election by 6,753 votes. Republican Gov. Rick Scott ousted incumbent Democrat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by slightly more than 10,000 votes.

Under Florida law, ballots mailed inside the United States must reach election offices by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Overseas ballots are counted if they are received up to 10 days after the election.

More here

Scalise: ‘Every Single Day’ at Least 10 Known Terrorists Are Captured At Our Border

During an interview with “Life, Liberty and Levin” host Mark Levin, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) discussed the importance of securing the United States borders.

Scalise noted the large number of criminals in the migrant caravans that are attempting to come into the country, applauding President Donald Trump’s efforts to strengthen border security.

“It’s incredibly important that we secure our border, ” Scalise told Fox News Channel’s Levin. “I applaud President Trump for being willing to do it.”


Dan Said It Was Going To Be Like This, NOT!

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Dan Said It Was Going To Be Like This...

Oh Snap!

Leaker James Comey told Congressional Hearing: "I Don't Know" - 166 Times, "I Don't Remember" - 71 Times, "I Don't Recall" - 8 Times!

Fired FBI Chief James Comey testified before Congress in a closed session on Friday.

Comey brought in a DOJ attorney who demanded Comey not reply to dozens of questions because they were related to ‘ongoing investigations.

Literally hundreds of times the FBI leaker and former chief claimed during his testimony that he didn’t remember several events that were suspect or criminal.
This was quite odd considering Comey wrote a book about these subjects after his firing.

Comey told Congressional investigators:

** “I don’t recall”—8 times
** “I don’t remember”—71 times
** “I don’t know”—166 times
** AND he said he didn’t know that

Christopher Steele was passing information to Bruce Ohr, who was giving it to the FBI.