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Friday, December 14, 2018

Meeting Materials & Public Notice - 12-17-18 - Work Session followed by Closed Session

Attached is the Agenda Packet for Monday’s Work Session and the Public Notice for the Closed Session to be held immediately upon the adjournment of the Work Session; both are posted on the City website at the links below:


Public Notice Closed Session:

Dem Senator Hirono: Dems Have Trouble “Connecting” With Voters Bc Of “How Smart We Are”

Interesting Alignment – Trump Makes The UniParty More Visible Than Ever…

An interesting pattern of seemingly disconnected political stories is beginning to show signs of a common continuity. In the bigger of the big pictures seven words continue to set the baseline: “There are trillions of dollars at stake”.

When the common sense Tea Party movement formed in 2009 and 2010 it contained a monumentally frustrated grassroots electorate, and the scale of the movement caught the professional republican party off-guard. When Donald Trump ran for the office of the presidency he essentially did the same thing; he disrupted the apparatus of the professional republican party.

The difference between those two examples is one was from the bottom up, and the second was from the top down. However, the commonality in the two forces resulted in the 2016 victory.


What America Has Done To Its Young People Is Appalling

Critics are perhaps too quick to judge America’s young people, citing declining SAT scores, obesity, drug overdoses, addiction to smart phones, bizarre alterations of personal appearance and high rates of (alleged) mental illness. It’s just too easy to be annoyed at how some of the cashiers at the local grocery store seem unable to carry on a conversation or have chosen to mutilate their faces with pieces of metal. We are perhaps too quick to condemn the crazed behavior of young protesters in recent years without fully considering what our government, society and culture have done to these poor souls.

Let’s begin at the beginning. Forty percent of Americans are now born out of wedlock. Single parent families are associated with a long list of social maladies:

“Children who grow up with only one of their biological parents (nearly always the mother) are disadvantaged across a broad array of outcomes. . . . they are twice as likely to drop out of high school, 2.5 times as likely to become teen mothers, and 1.4 times as likely to be idle — out of school and out of work — as children who grow up with both parents. Children in one-parent families also have lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, and poorer attendance records. As adults, they have higher rates of divorce. These patterns persist even after adjusting for differences in race, parents’ education, number of siblings, and residential location.” Sara McLanahan, “The Consequences of Single Motherhood,” American Prospect(Summer 1994).

In addition, a large number of marriages will fail. That means that close to sixty percent of children will not grow up in the classic nuclear family of the 1950’s. How much of this change is due to government policies is hard to say, however, as government grows, the traditional family shrinks. When government subsidies to single parent families increase, so do the number of such families. As Jack Kemp used to say, when you subsidize something, you get more of it. Yes, culture also plays a role but don’t forget that government can change the culture as well. Women tend to come out ahead in Family Court—they get the house, the kids and much of the man’s spare change thanks to unrealistic support formulas. This provides an incentive in marginal cases for women to seek a divorce. Increases in divorces made them more socially acceptable over time.

Even with intact families, the idyllic norm of the 1950’s, where the mother typically stayed home to take care of the kids until they reached school age and perhaps even long afterwards, has been destroyed. These days, in the typical American family, both parents work fulltime which means that a very large percentage of children are consigned to daycare. Daycare was virtually unknown in my world growing up in the 1960’s. On the working class South Buffalo street where I grew up, I don’t recall any mother with young children working full-time. The overwhelming majority were housewives while a few would get part-time jobs after the kids started school. I was not aware of any daycare centers in the neighborhood and certainly do not recall


Bill Bennett: The important secret that the real Saint Nicholas and Santa share

Thursday, December 6 is Saint Nicholas Day, the feast day of the Christian bishop who lived during the fourth century in what is now Turkey, and whose name we associate so much with chimneys and stockings hung with care.

There is an old story about Nicholas and his remarkable generosity. When he was a young man living in his hometown of Patara, he heard of a family that had fallen on hard times. The desperate parents were too poor to provide dowries so that their three daughters could marry. They decided that the only way to keep their daughters from starving was to sell them into servitude.

Nicholas put a few gold coins he had inherited into a small bag and, one night when the family was sleeping, tossed it through a window into their home. It was enough money to provide a dowry for the oldest daughter, who was soon married.

When Nicholas saw the effects of his gift, he returned and tossed another bag of gold through the window so the second daughter could be married. When he came several nights later with a third bag, the tearful father was waiting to see who their secret benefactor was. Nicholas begged him not to tell anyone, but his act of generosity set him on the path to becoming the world’s most famous gift giver.

Such are the stories of Nicholas that have come down to us. His life, to be sure, is obscured by time and legend. It’s a history I explore in my book, "The True Saint Nicholas."


Schwarzenegger Says He Would Eliminate “Evil” Fossil Fuels (After Buying $265,000 Bentley Continental)

Do as I say, not as I do

Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced fossil fuels as “evil” during his appearance at the U.N. climate conference in Poland despite having only recently purchased a $265,000 dollar gas-guzzling Bentley Continental.

“I wish that I could be the terminator in real life to be able to travel back in time and stop all fossil fuels when they were discovered,” said the former Governor of California.

He added that humanity would “be much better off” if it had “never started in that direction,” despite the use of fossil fuels being widely credited for having “played an essential part in human history, fostering technical innovation, industrial production and the cultural and artistic resources of civilized societies.”

“The biggest evil is fossil fuels: it’s coal, it’s gasoline, it’s the natural gas,” he told conference delegates.


US Debt Nears $22 Trillion Mark As "Storm Clouds" Indicate "Another Financial Crisis" Looms

The rapidly exploding U.S. national debt is about to cross another critical threshold. According to the U.S. Treasury, the debt of the federal government is currently sitting at $21,854,296,172,540.94, and at our current pace we will likely hit the $22 trillion mark next month.

This is a horrifying national crisis, and yet nothing is being done about it. When Barack Obama entered the White House in January 2008, the U.S. was $10.6 trillion in debt, and so that means that we have added 11.2 trillion dollars of new debt to that total in less than 11 years. Needless to say, it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that we have been adding an average of more than a trillion dollars a year to the national debt for more than a decade. But instead of getting our insatiable appetite for debt under control, Congress is actually accelerating our spending. At this point, there is no possible scenario in which this story ends well.

Meanwhile, the global financial elite are really starting to talk up the possibility of a new financial crisis.

For example, the deputy head of the IMF just said that he sees “storm clouds building”

The storm clouds of the next global financial crisis are gathering despite the world financial system being unprepared for another downturn, the deputy head of the International Monetary Fund has warned.

David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, said that “crisis prevention is incomplete” more than a decade on from the last meltdown in the global banking system.

“As we have put it, ‘fix the roof while the sun shines’. But, like many of you, I see storm clouds building and fear the work on crisis prevention is incomplete.”

And according to CNBC, Janet Yellen is warning that “we could have another financial crisis”…

“I think things have improved, but then I think there are gigantic holes in the system,” Yellen said Monday night in a discussion moderated by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman at CUNY. “The tools that are available to deal with emerging problems are not great in the United States.”

Yellen cited leverage loans as an area of concern, something also mentioned by the current Fed leadership. She said regulators can only address such problems at individual banks not throughout the financial system. The former fed chair, now a scholar at the Brookings Institution, said there remains an agenda of unfinished regulation. “I’m not sure we’re working on those things in the way we should, and then there remain holes, and then there’s regulatory pushback. So I do worry that we could have another financial crisis.”

It almost sounds as if they have been reading The Economic Collapse Blog. Of course they probably aren’t, and the truth is that at this point the next crisis is so close that just about everybody should be able to see it.


‘She’s Scared’ — Ted Cruz Criticizes Pelosi For Wanting To Turn Cameras Off During White House Meeting

Texas Senator Ted Cruz lauded President Trump’s performance during Tuesday’s Oval Office exchange with Democratic leaders.

During Tuesday night’s edition of Fox News’ “Hannity,” Cruz also criticized Rep Nancy Pelosi, calling her stated desire to take the discussion off-camera a result of being “scared” because she’s on the “losing end of the argument.”

Fox News host Sean Hannity began the segment by comparing Cruz’s own 2013 filibuster on healthcare to Trump’s “fighting on borders now.”


"The Capitulation Begins": Everyone Is Bearish But No-One Is Short

In the past two months we have written extensively on how most market participants got caught offside by the dramatic reversion in risk assets, and which after several attempts at bottom-fishing - attempts which have failed because as Morgan Stanley first noted two months ago the Buy The Dip trade no longer works...

... increasingly more traders have thrown in the towel, resulting in YTD returns which are truly "historic" with not one single asset generating positive returns for the first time since the Nixon presidency.

Well, that's not exactly right: one asset is outperforming - the one which usually does best just as the economy slides into a recession or worse: cash. As Bank of America notes, the YTD score for the top global assets is the following:
equities -4.2%,
bonds -2.3%,
commodities -6.2%,
cash 1.7%,
US$ 4.9%.

Drilling down reveals an even uglier picture: the 2018 bear market has spared nobody with US Treasuries down -4.9%, the 5th largest loss since 1970, US IG bonds -3.3%, their 4th largest loss since 1970, meanwhile 1881 of 2767 global stocks are in a bear market, down more than 20%, 86 of 94 equity indices underwater, and the cherry on top - the FAANG bull market "leader" is down -26% from highs, which according to BofA's Michael Hartnett is "a big nasty bear market."

The result, per Bank of America, is that "capitulation to lower credit & equity allocations begins but from high allocations to risk assets."

That's the good news: the bad news is that even as investors are bailing out of risk assets, they are also dumping safe havens like treasuries, and in the last week we saw broad based risk-off flows, including $5.2BN outflow from equities, and $8.1BN outflow from bonds this week. Looking at the latest EPFR fund flow data, Hartnett observes 3 flows trends:

value to growth...inflows to tech (largest in 11 weeks) & healthcare, big outflows from financials;

Trump: ‘People Would Revolt’ If Democrats Impeach

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that “people would revolt” if Democrats impeach him.

The president’s comments came during a sit-down Oval Office interview with Reuters on the same day as a contentious White House meeting with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over the issue of border security.

“It’s hard to impeach somebody who hasn’t done anything wrong and who’s created the greatest economy in the history of our country,” said Trump, responding to those who say payments made through his then-attorney, Michael Cohen, to women with whom he allegedly had relationships with could amount to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” Constitutionally required to remove a president from office.


Ending US Military Support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen Would Trigger Dangerous Consequences

In a new resolution, a bipartisan group of senators is calling for the United States to end its involvement—specifically its support of Saudi Arabia—in the Yemen conflict.

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 63-37 to pass a procedural measure that will clear the way for a floor debate on the issue next week.

The push comes largely in response to the recent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Trump administration has banned 21 Saudi suspects in that murder from entering the U.S., imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials, and expressed its willingness to take further action if warranted by ongoing investigations. Many senators seek to do more to punish the Saudis, even if it means sacrificing the interests of the Yemeni government and making a negotiated settlement of the conflict more difficult.


Warren Advisers Privately Suggest She Apologize for DNA Test

Advisers to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) are privately suggesting the potential 2020 presidential candidate apologize for taking a DNA test proving marginal Native ancestry.

In October, Warren released a DNA testshowing she had a Native-American ancestor dating back somewhere between six to 10 generations. While hailing the results as a win, Warren was attacked not just by conservatives mocking the results, but by Native American groups that have historically opposed the use of DNA to prove ancestry.

"Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven," Cherokee Nation secretary of state Chuck Hoskin Jr. said at the time. "Senator Elizabeth Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage."

Now The New York Times reports that Warren has "privately expressed concern that she may have damaged her relationships to Native American groups and her own standing with progressive activists, particularly those who are racial minorities."

"Several outside advisers are even more worried: They say they believe a plan should be made to repair that damage, possibly including a strong statement of apology," the Times reports. "The advisers say Ms. Warren will have to confront the issue again if she announces a presidential campaign, which is expected in the coming weeks, and several would like her to act soon."


Finland: Crackdown on Criminal Migrants After 'Evil' Rape Gangs

Finland is set to speed up the deportation of criminal aliens after it emerged a 10-year-old girl was repeatedly raped and abused by migrant predators.

Commenting on the “shocking inhumanity” of the cases, President Sauli Niinistö said the country must “show strength” in punishing the rapists in order to “stigmatise the evil” of their actions so that Finland “can continue to have a just, safe society”.

Authorities in Oulu, a city and municipality in north-west Finland with just over 200,000 residents, on Wednesday announced that a total of 10 suspects had been arrested in connection with sexual abuse and violence carried out against three children under the age of 15 in the region.


Three Clinton Foundation Whistleblowers To Testify About Tax Crimes, Pay-For-Play

Following allegations of sloppy accounting, potential tax fraud and pay-to-play, the Clinton Foundation will be under a Congressional microscope this week after three whistleblowers have come forward and agreed to testify - one of whom secretly submitted 6,000 pages of documents to the IRS and FBI in August of 2017, and all three of whom have submitted various documents to Congressional investigators.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Fox News's Martha MacCallum on Monday night that there are three whistleblowers who have spent the past two years investigating the Clinton Foundation, and have "explosive" allegations which they will share during Thursday testimony on Capitol Hill.

MACCALLUM: OK. With regard to the investigation, which doesn’t get a lot of attention, into the Clinton foundation, the DOJ designated John Huber to look into this. They have 6,000 pages of evidence that they’ve gone through. The foundation raised $2.5 billion, and they’re looking into potential improprieties.

What’s next on this investigation?

MEADOWS: Well, I think for the American people, they want to bring some closure, not just a few sound bites, here or there, so we’re going to be having a hearing this week, not only covering over some of those 6,000 pages that you’re talking about, but hearing directly from three whistleblowers that have actually spent the majority of the last two years investigating this.

Some of the allegations they make are quite explosive, Martha. And as – we just look at the contributions. Now everybody’s focused on the contributions for the Clinton Foundation and what has happened just in the last year. But if you look at it, it had a very strong rise, the minute she was selected as secretary of state. It dipped down when she was no longer there.

And then rose again, when she decided to run for president. So there’s all kinds of allegations of pay-to-play and that kind of thing.


NJ State Police Won't Rule Out Door-to-Door Enforcement of Mag Ban

The New Jersey State Police corresponded with Breitbart News on December 11 and refused to rule out house-to-house enforcement of the state’s “high capacity” magazine ban.

On December 10 Breitbart News reported that New Jersey was hours away from making it a felony to possess a magazine holding more than 10 rounds. The law took effect during the midnight hour of Tuesday, December 11.

Breitbart News contacted New Jersey State Police on Monday to ask how they planned to enforce the newly enacted ban. We asked whether they would enforce it on a traffic-stop basis–checking magazines in firearms when they pulled over drivers for speeding, reckless driving, etc.–or whether they would enforce it by going to house-to-house to check magazine capacity in the firearms New Jersey residents kept in their homes.


I’m a Jew. Here’s Why I Support Saying ‘Merry Christmas.’

Is “Merry Christmas” a thing of the past, a greeting from a bygone era, a remnant of a past with which we no longer want to be associated? We might not be there yet, but if current trends continue, we’re not far off.

If so, it’s a shame, a further coarsening of the culture—and worse. It is yet another example of the removal of religion, specifically Christianity, from a country that has long been the most religious major industrialized democracy in the world.

Proponents of “Happy Holidays” argue that this is no big deal. They say the advocates of saying “Merry Christmas” are making a mountain out of a molehill. There is no “war on Christmas,” they say.

But the “Happy Holidays” advocates want it both ways. They dismiss promoters of “Merry Christmas” as hysterical while simultaneously replacing “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays,” “Christmas vacation” with “winter vacation,” and “Christmas party” with “holiday party.”


'First Step Act' in Senate Holds Hope for Federal Low-Level Offenders

What parent hopes their child will grow up to be a career criminal? What child dreams of one day living behind the bars of one of America’s 102 federal prisons?

Going to prison is a nightmare, not a dream. And it’s become a terrible reality for many.

Today, more than 2.4 million people are confined in American prisons, jails, or juvenile correctional facilities. Nearly 1 million of those are African-Americans. It’s estimated that one of every 20 Americans—including one of every four black males—will be incarcerated in a state or federal prison at some point in their lives.

Not everyone in prison is a hardened criminal. Indeed, many are serving lengthy sentences for nonviolent and relatively low-level offenses, such as a single drug conviction.


Trump's Ex-Lawyer Didn’t Violate Campaign Finance Laws, and Neither Did the President

President Donald Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, may have been convinced by the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York to plead guilty to a supposed violation of campaign finance law, but that doesn’t mean that what happened is actually a federal crime.

In fact, neither the Federal Election Commission—which is the independent agency tasked with enforcing the Federal Election Campaign Act—nor its former commissioners would likely agree with the overaggressive view that the Southern District is taking. Indeed, the Southern District’s aggressive stance on this issue might have violated the Justice Department’s own policy.

Robert Khuzami, the acting U.S. attorney standing in for Geoffrey Berman, who has recused himself from the Cohen case, says in the government’s sentencingmemorandum that Cohen committed a campaign finance violation by arranging payments from corporations to two women—Woman-1 and Woman-2 (Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, respectively), who claimed they had affairs with Trump—in order to buy their silence. Cohen eventually invoiced the Trump Organization for the Daniels payment.


The Racism the Left Ignores

How appropriate would it be for a major publicly held American company to hire a person with a history of having publicly made the following statements and many others like them? In the interest of brevity, I shall list only four:

“The world could get by just fine with zero black people.”

“It’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men.”

“Dumbass f—ing black people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”

“Are black people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically only being fit to live underground like groveling bilious goblins?”

I think most Americans would find such blatant racism despicable and would condemn any company that knowingly hired such a person. Leftists of every stripe would be in an uproar, demanding the dismissal of such an employee. College students and their professors would picket any company that hired such a person.

I could be wrong about this, so I’d truly like any employer who’d hire such a person to come forward.

Most Americans would see such statements as racist, but consider this: Suppose we slightly changed the wording of each statement, replacing the word “black” with “white.” For example, “The world could get by just fine with zero white people.”

Would you consider that statement to be just as racist? I would hope you’d answer in the affirmative. They’re all racist statements.


Reveal the Congressional Hush Fund Hypocrites

Which is worse: candidate, businessman, and then still private citizen Donald Trump using his own money to make what Hillary Clinton might call "bimbo eruptions" go away to protect his brand and himself from personal embarrassment, or Congress using taxpayer money in a slush fund to pay off those sexually harassed by sitting officeholders?

As Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women for America, notes in USA Today:

Literally a year ago – as the #MeToo era was erupting – the nation was waking up to news that a secret congressional "hush fund" had been used by Members of Congress to pay off accusers of sexual misconduct. Taxpayer money – yours and mine – was used to pay off these alleged victims[.] ...

Nobody knows how many congressmen and Senators are involved, and if [Pelosi] is a willing participant to keep all of this a secret she will forfeit credibility on every other issue[.] ...

What we know already is devastating. We know congressmen John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Blake Fahrentold (R-Tex.) used this "hush fund" to settle with alleged victims. Both men have already left Congress.


Flynn says FBI pushed him not to have lawyer present during interview

In a lengthy court filing Tuesday, attorneys for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn alleged that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe pushed Flynn not to have an attorney present during the questioning that ultimately led to his guilty plea on a single charge of lying to federal authorities.

The document outlines, with striking new details, the rapid sequence of events that led to Flynn's sudden fall from the Trump administration. The filing also seemingly demonstrates that the FBI took a significantly more aggressive tack in handling the Flynn interview than it did during other similar matters, including the agency's sit-downs with Hillary Clinton and ex-Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.

While Flynn is among several Trump associates to have been charged with making false statements as part of the Russia probe, no one interviewed during the FBI’s Clinton email investigation was hit with false statement charges – though investigators believed some witnesses were untruthful.

According to Flynn's legal team, FBI agents in his case deliberately did not instruct Flynn that any false statements he made could constitute a crime, and decided not to "confront" him directly about anything he said that contradicted their knowledge of his wiretapped communications with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. (The FBI would not have been legally required to warn Flynn of his Miranda rights in order to use his statements against him in court, as long as the conversation was ruled voluntary, and Flynn was not effectively in custody at the time of the questioning.)


In the Image of Joseph Stalin — Incoming NY AG Promises to Target and Destroy Trump and Family — Will Find a Crime Later!

In November Letitia James became the first African-American elected the Attorney General of New York state.

It didn’t take long for Letitia to show her true colors.

In a video after her election James was seen cursing and threatening President Trump.

Reporter: What would you say to people who say, ‘Oh, I’m not going to bother to register to vote because my voice doesn’t make a difference.” Or, “I’m just one person.”

Letitia James: “I say one name. Donald Trump. That should motivate you. Get off your ass and vote.

Reporter: Will you sue him for us?

Letitia James: Oh, we’re definitely going to sue him. We’re going to be a real pain in the ass. He’s going to know my name personally.


Subject: Judge Wants to See All Notes, Memos Regarding FBI Interview of Michael Flynn

The federal judge who will sentence Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI has now ordered the FBI to show him the notes written by FBI agents who interviewed Flynn in January 2017.

Judge Emmet Sullivan also wants to see a January 24 memo that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote about his own conversation with Flynn, a conversation that happened just two hours before FBI agents arrived at Flynn's office.

The request from Judge Sullivan came one day after Flynn's lawyers filed a memorandum in Sullivan's court, urging leniency for President Trump's former national security adviser, who has admitted making materially false statements to the FBI.

The December 2016 conversation between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the U.S. was recorded by U.S. intelligence. Someone in the Obama administration unmasked Flynn's name, which was leaked to the Washington Post.)

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said on Wednesday what's happened to Flynn is a "tragedy."

"I've known General Flynn since the mid-2000s. Visited him numerous times in Iraq. He is an American war hero," Nunes told Fox News's Laura Ingraham Wednesday night.

"That was a leak of a phone call on American citizen that he had every right to make. It wasn't just that he was a national security advisor. Any American has the ability to talk to any ambassador that they want. They used a law from the 1700s, the Logan Act, that had never been used."

"It looks like a set up," host Laura Ingraham said.


Flashback: Obama Offered $150,000 Bribe to Silence Crackpot Preacher Jeremiah Wright – No Charges Were Filed

The Mueller Special Counsel and New York District Attorney’s Office seek to destroy President Trump for paying out $130,000 in hush money to two former paramours

The New York District Attorney’s office has picked up the case because New York state crimes can not be pardoned by a president.

Most experts believe paying hush money is not a crime.
The media believes the alleged bribe ranks as one of the worst criminal act in US history.


Strzok, Page messages from Mueller probe lost after phone resets: IG

Investigators weren’t able to find any text messages between fired agent Peter Strzok and former bureau lawyer Lisa Page from their time on the Mueller probe because by the time their phones were recovered, they’d been reset for others’ use, an inspector general said Thursday.

The report also said the FBI still isn’t reliably collecting text messages of all of its employees — despite the black eye the bureau has suffered from Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page.

The revelations came in a report Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released to detail the efforts his team made to try to recover the texts between the two, who traded anti-Trump messages during the course of an affair they were having.

More here

Hillary, Huma, Kerry all back in fine form dancing with the Indian billionaire set

Hillary Clinton is baaack.

According to Kyle Olson's American Mirror, she's been videographed and Twittered, dancing at an Indian billionaire's wedding as though she were still in Colombia.

Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin attended the wedding of the daughter of India's richest man this past weekend, and when in India, Hillary's gotta dance.

The failed presidential candidate was center stage as the music blasted and everyone grooved at the Ambani wedding.

The routine started with Hillary doing a hand routine, even getting into the groove with John Kerry.


From dispatched to death: 3 minutes inside Dennis active shooter response

RICHMOND, Ind. — Two nearby Richmond Police Department officers heard a radio call shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday about an armed threat to Dennis Intermediate School.

About three minutes later the teenage boy was dead in a second-story stairwell of the school. Officials said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as law enforcement closed around him.

In a face-to-face interview with the Palladium-Item, Richmond Police chief Jim Branum detailed what happened Thursday morning. Wayne County Sheriff Jeff Cappa also provided insight into what transpired.

After information about an armed boy heading to the school was phoned to the Wayne County Emergency Communications Center, Dennis officials locked down the school. Cappa said three school resource officers were inside the building at the time.

Branum said nearby RPD officers arrived first at the school, within about a minute of receiving the call from dispatch. They witnessed the suspect shoot glass out of a north-side exterior door and enter the building.

While those two officers followed the suspect inside the building, another wave of law enforcement officers, including Branum, arrived at the school. Branum said he was nearing the school when he heard his officers relay on the radio that shots had been fired.

His group, which included a couple of other RPD officers, three Wayne County Sheriff's Office officers and an Indiana State Police officer, entered the school's east doors.

"Once in the building, we could hear shots being fired by the suspect, and we kept moving toward the sound of the shots," Branum said.


Sports Illustrated Uses Blasey Ford to Give Award to Actual Victim - And Trash Kavanaugh (VIDEO)!

She’s baa-aack!

On Tuesday evening, Christine Blasey Ford gave her first public statement since testifying against President Trump’s Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh in September.

Christine Blasey Ford appeared on video Tuesday to present this year’s Sports Illustrated Inspiration of the Year award to former gymnast Rachael Denhollander –and without saying his name, she attacked Justice Kavanaugh one more time.

Last week, Rachel Denhollander was awarded Sports Illustrated‘s Inspiration of the Year.


The Top 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old (Pay Attention To #15)

1. You didn’t travel when you had the chance to do so.
Traveling becomes incredibly harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and somehow it is expected from you to pay for three-plus people, instead of just yourself.
2. Missing the opportunity to learn another language.
You won’t be really happy when you realize you had three years of language in high school, but you remember none of it.
3. Staying in a bad relationship.
All the people who gets out of a bad relationship always look back wishing they made the move much sooner.
4. Forgoing sunscreen. 
Moles, wrinkles and skin cancer can be avoided if you really try to protect yourself. Coconut oil can help you!
5. Missing the chance to visit shows from your all-time favorite musicians.
“No, man, I’ll see Nirvana next time they come into town.” Facepalm.

Lanny Davis: Michael Cohen will ‘state publicly all he knows’ about Trump after Mueller investigation wraps

Attorney Lanny Davis suggested Wednesday his client Michael Cohen has more to reveal about President Trump.

After Trump’s former fixer was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for his role in a hush-money scandal during the 2016 campaign, Davis, who serves as an adviser to Cohen, said “Trump’s repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts.”

“At the appropriate time, after Mr. Mueller completes his investigation and issues his final report, I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump — and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies,” Davis said in a statement.


OPINION: Are Teacher Unions The Biggest Threat To Freedom?

What is the biggest threat to freedom in our country? According to an eye-opening new book by educator Rebecca Friedrichs, who gained fame as the named plaintiff in a U.S. Supreme Court case challenging forced fees from teachers to unions, teacher unions are thwarting freedom on a massive scale.

In her must-read book “Standing Up to Goliath,” Friedrichs, writes, “Throughout my twenty-eight years as a teacher forced to fund unions, and two decades as a parent with children in union-controlled public schools, I have witnessed union forces bully and intimidate teachers, parents, and children.”

“Among other things,” she says, “I’ve watched as union leaders have drowned out debate at school board meetings, pushed for sexually explicit sex education lessons, groomed students and teachers to become social justice warriors, and used indefensible intimidation tactics to bring down anyone who refused to cower to the control of state and national unions.”

Reading the tales of outrageous union tactics in Friedrichs’ book will shock you.


The fallacy of the Black Lives Matter movement

The Black Lives Matter movement, which started out as a genuine outcry for justice, mainly among black males, has now lost its legitimacy and deteriorated into an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

I am an African-American male who lives in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, which has the highest crime rate in the city. Murders, robberies, gang violence, and shootings happen here on a regular basis. I once was a gang member, a part of the problem. My descent into the world of criminality, and the brutal fight to regain my sanity and humanity, has been a struggle.

As an African-American who lives within a community where young black and Hispanic males claim they are targeted by the police, I've witnessed firsthand how honest, well meaning cops are met with open hostility and disrespect.

They are also fearful for their lives due to the high percentage of shootings committed by black and Hispanic males who target not only each other, but also the police assigned to patrol their communities.

Long gone are the days when the command "halt!" was enough to stop a suspect or a crime. Now it has become commonplace to start shooting at the police rather than be apprehended. The term used for this is called "clapping back."


Lindsey Graham tells Trump to 'dig in' amid row with Democrats over wall funding

Lindsey Graham urged President Trump to 'dig in, not give in' after he got into a bust-up with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer over border security.

The South Carolina senator called Trump after the shouting match in which Democrats refused to back funding for his wall, to tell him to stick to his guns.

Graham said he would be 'fine' with Trump shutting down the government - as he threatened to do during the Oval Office row - over the issue.


MSNBC’s Mika Brezezinski apologizes for using homophobic slur to describe Mike Pompeo

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski apologized on Wednesday for using a homophobic slur when describing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “butt-boy.”

Brzezinski took issue with Pompeo’s recent comments to Fox News regarding Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Why doesn’t Mike Pompeo care right now?” Brzezinski asked. “Are the pathetic deflections that we just heard when he appeared on ‘Fox and Friends,’ is that a patriot speaking, or a wannabe dictator’s buttboy? I’m dead serious. I’m asking, are these the words of a patriot?”


Why do Waymo self-driving vans get so much hate?

A Waymo self-driving van cruised through a Chandler neighborhood Aug. 1 when test driver Michael Palos saw something startling as he sat behind the wheel — a bearded man in shorts aiming a handgun at him as he passed the man's driveway.

The incident is one of at least 21 interactions documented by Chandler police during the past two years where people have harassed the autonomous vehicles and their human test drivers.

People have thrown rocks at Waymos. The tire on one was slashed while it was stopped in traffic. The vehicles have been yelled at, chased and one Jeep was responsible for forcing the vans off roads six times.

Many of the people harassing the van drivers appear to hold a grudge against the company, a division of Mountain View, California-based Alphabet Inc., which has tested self-driving technology in the Chandler area since 2016.


Alexander: Mueller/Comey/Clinton and the Trump Takedown

The claim of campaign-finance violations will fuel the Democrats' relentless hounding of Trump over the next two years, as it fits with their "stolen election" narrative and is fodder for faux impeachment charges.

There was actual news this week (versus the constant din of media churn) regarding the special counsel investigation into what originally was supposed to focus on Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election.

Of course, that mandate immediately turned into an unlimited investigation into all manner of ostensible wrongdoing regarding Donald Trump and his campaign associates, including an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. That diversion was prompted by a fake dossier funded by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, whose “higher loyalty” was, first and foremost, to Clinton, set the fabrication into motion.

That “collusion” diversion has not turned up anything of substance thus far, so the investigation has now diverted to the question of how then-candidate Trump used his own money to settle some extortion demands associated with past lurid associations — and if so, whether these payments violated campaign-finance law.


'Fortnite' addiction is real, and parents are failing to take responsibility

Several articles have been published in the last few months about "Fortnite" and children becoming addicted to it. At the end of November, Bloomberg reported a piece that has reverberated in the minds and homes of parents with teens and adolescents: “'Fortnite' addiction is forcing some kids into video-game rehab.” While as a parent I completely understand how hard it seems to be to police a child as they fight the pull of "Fortnite," a post-apocalyptic competition, on the other hand, it seems like some parents are acting like they aren’t in charge of their home, devices, or money.

While children can be unpredictable (they say and do things out of your control), devices can be cut off, put on pause, sold, given away, or thrown in the trash.

The mom in the Bloomberg piece said her 17-year-old son was logging on for up to 12 hours a day. His grades were suffering and the kid wasn’t sleeping. "We’d made some progress in getting him to cut down his 'Fortnite' hours and get better sleep, but he’s slipped back into his old habits,” Vitany said. "I've never seen a game that has such control over kids’ minds."


He Should Be Person Of The Year!

Gary Sinise Flew 1,000 Children of Fallen Soldiers to Disney World for Christmas

Actor Gary Sinise gave an amazing gift to Gold Star families for Christmas — a trip to Disney World for almost 1,700 family members of fallen soldiers.

“Each one of these children who are going on these airplanes have lost a parent in military services—either combat related or illness or unfortunately suicide sometimes,” The Gary Sinise Foundation founder said. “We wanna take care of these kids and make sure they know we don’t forget.”

The families took 15 planes and stayed at Disney for five days, The Epoch Times reports.

What a sendoff for families as they board the Snowball Express! @INDairport -> Chicago -> Orlando for a special holiday trip in honor of their loved ones who died while serving our country. @GarySiniseFound @GarySinise @DoubleGee18 @WTHRcom #WTHRSunrise

— Anna Carrera (@AnnaWTHR) December 8, 2018

The Forrest Gump actor said in a social media post, “We Remember. Each flag representing the fallen hero of over 600 families attending GarySiniseFound 2018 Snowball Express event at WaltDisneyWorld Thank you to these Gold Star families, our amazing volunteers and all who supported our event.”

More here

"Canary In The Coal Mine": House Flipping Returns Crash To Six-Year Low

Real-estate speculation has long been a characteristic of booming housing markets, and in this current cycle of artificially suppressed rates, investors have been furiously flipping homes which peaked in the first few months of 2018. The number of companies flipping houses also hit a decade high, as HGTV programming and house flipping seminars across the country suckered in the broad base of the American people.

Now the house flipping industry has gone bust, and many investors are left holding the bag. Flipping dropped for the third consecutive quarter, due to mortgage rate increases, according to Attom Data Solutions. At the same time, the average return on investment crashed to a six-year low.

"A total of 45,901 single-family homes and condos were flipped in 3Q18, signaling a 12% drop from a year ago to a 3.5-year low from the first quarter of 2015. Houses flipped sold for an average of $63,000 more than what the home flipper purchased them for, down from the all-time high of $68,000 achieved in the first quarter and from $65,000 a year ago," said Attom Data Solutions.

The gross flipping profit in 3Q18 was about 42.6% ROI, the lowest level seen since the first quarter of 2012. Despite the recent market plateau, some flippers are finding it unprofitable in the current market environment.

With home price appreciation stalling, many flippers have started to notice margin compression and to make matters worse, President Trump's tariffs have made the cost of materials just that more expensive.

The amount of flipped homes purchased with financing held steady at 38.8% in the third quarter, down from 39.2% a year ago and 40.7% the previous quarter.

"Home flipping acts as a canary in the coal mine for a cooling housing market because the high velocity of transactions provides home flippers with some of the best and most real-time data on how the market is trending," Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom, said in a press release.

"We've now seen three consecutive quarters with year-over-year decreases in home flips. The last time that happened was in 2014 following the mortgage rate jump in the second half of 2013, but it's still far from the 11 consecutive quarters with year-over-year decreases in home flips extending from 2Q 2006 through 4Q 2008 and leading up to the last housing crash," he said.


This happened last night. It's AMAZING!!

Folks, we are beyond words in our attempt to express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who helped make a young mans night. Tonight, the local community pulled out all the stops and gave this young man a Christmas Parade that left many of us with lumps in our throats. It goes without saying, it was the largest nighttime parade in Girdletree History. We will be providing a much more detailed response tomorrow with additional pictures , but at last count there were over 97 different organizations represented with over 200 pieces of apparatus in this parade. Jake, we are praying for you and we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas. It was truly our honor to assist and participate in your parade. 11 yr old boy has been prevented from going to any of the local Christmas parades due to his illness. The community came together last night and gave him his own parade. This is amazing!!! Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Release On Thursday December 13th at about 1800 Hrs. the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was proud to participate in a parade for a child in our community named Jake. Jake was unable to attend the Christmas parades in Worcester County this year due to an illness. One of Jake’s joys is to watch the numerous organizations display their holiday spirit throughout Worcester County in the Christmas parades. The parade was held on his street in front of his house outside Girdletree. The Sheriff’s Office was approached to lend assistance in organizing a small group of people who wanted to give Jake his own parade. The event blossomed from a few vehicles into an outpouring of support from the community. There were 97 entries from Delmarva communities and organizations from as far away as Delaware, Wicomico and Somerset Counties. There were 200 vehicles participating We cannot thank the community that we serve enough for reaching out and making the life of one child just a bit better on December 13th 2018.

DACA Amnesty Would Cost Americans $26B

A deal in which President Trump accepts an amnesty for millions of illegal aliens enrolled and eligible for President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in exchange for minor border wall funding would be counterproductive to the “America First” goals of the administration, depressing U.S. wages in the process ahead of the 2020 election.

As Breitbart News has extensively chronicled, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended the DACA program last year, although it’s official termination has been held up in court by left-wing judges.

Since then, a coalition of establishment Republicans and Democrats have sought to ram an amnesty for up to 3.5 million DACA-enrolled and eligible illegal aliens through Congress, an initiative supported by the donor class.

Such a plan, most recently, has been touted in an effort to negotiate a deal in which Trump receives anywhere between $1.6 tand $5 billion for his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall in exchange for approving a DACA amnesty for millions.


NY Stock Exchange let Morgan Stanley make after-hours trade

At the New York Stock Exchange, some traders are more equal than others.

That’s the bitter takeaway from stock brokers, who say the Big Board, in an unusual move last week, gave special treatment to a broker at Morgan Stanley who asked to trade large blocks of stocks for several minutes after the markets closed.

The frantic floor trader needed to make orders after the closing bell on at least four stocks on Friday — the last trading day before President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s long-anticipated summit in Argentina to hash through trade issues, two people familiar with the trades told The Post.

Those sources say the NYSE would normally have shut the trader out of the market, for fear of letting one market player gain an unfair advantage over other participants and wrongly influence stock prices.


Thank God Its Friday 12-14-18

What will you be doing this weekend?

Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack - "V"

On Saturday, December 15th, at 8:00 AM, the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack along with law enforcement agencies from across Worcester County, will join the Worcester County CRICKET Center in hosting its 6th Annual Shop With A Cop event. The Worcester County Board of Education has identified 28 elementary school students from throughout the county to participate in this year’s holiday event. Each of the students will be paired with either a Trooper, a Deputy or an officer from one of our local agencies. The officers will be giving the children a tour of the Berlin Barrack, show and tell with police vehicles, and a meet and greet with a friendly four-legged K-9 partner.

The students and their law enforcement partners will then by transported, via MSP Bus, to the Berlin Wal-Mart where each of the students will be provided $100 to spend as they wish as they “Shop With A Cop.” After shopping, participants will be provided lunch as volunteers wrap gifts the children have bought for family and friends.

This event has continued over the past years with the generous support of Wal-Mart and the National Wal-Mart Foundation, Harbor Marine in West Ocean City, Denovo’s Trattoria Restaurant in Ocean Pines, Chic-fil-A in West Ocean City, Atlantic Physical Therapy in Ocean Pines, the Makemie Memorial Presbyterian Women, private citizen donations, the Worcester County Board of Education, the Worcester County Health Department, the Worcester County CRICKET Center, and the men and woman, both sworn and civilian, of the Maryland State Police and local law enforcement.

Election Fraud Doesn't Exist Until Liberals Want It to Exist

Something amazing is happening: Liberals have suddenly begun to believe in voter fraud. Almost overnight, years of constant denial and disbelief have melted away amid allegations that a congressional election in North Carolina may have been tainted by absentee ballot fraud.

In North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, Republican Mark Harris beat his Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, by 905 votes out of almost 300,000 cast. McCready conceded defeat, but irregularities in absentee balloting in Bladen and Robeson counties prompted the North Carolina State Board of Elections torefuse to certify the results and instead move to hold an evidentiary hearing to examine evidence of fraud.

Thus far, the investigation is centering on a political operative named Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr., who apparently worked for Harris’ campaign. According to witness statements and affidavits, Dowless paid people to collect voters’ absentee ballot requests and the ballots themselves—a practice known as “vote harvesting,” which is illegal in the state. Dowless and others are also being accused of having tampered with those absentee ballots.

If true, this would hardly be the first time that fraudsters have targeted absentee ballots. In fact, absentee voting is particularly vulnerable to fraud. The Heritage Foundation’s election fraud database tracks a growing list of proven examples of election misconduct across the country—1,177 cases so far—and many of its entries involve efforts to manipulate, forge, or change absentee ballots and coerce or intimidate absentee voters.


A GREAT Letter to Lebron James from former Houston news reporter Hal Lundgren

Dear Mr. James,

No one in my circles discusses French Modernist artists. That comforts me. Such a conversation would expose me as an illiterate on French Modernism, just as I am an illiterate on how to cook.

When I know nothing of subjects, my mouth stays closed. That's at least one difference in us. You are an economics illiterate. You prove it often. The dishonest "reporters" who cover you want to be your buddy. They won't embarrass you by being honest journalists and treating your words as economics illiteracy.

When you call Trump "a bum," none of them will tell you that statistics rank him as one of our best presidents for black Americans. His tax cuts and freeing us from absurd regulations have resulted in -- after only 18 months -- the lowest unemployment numbers ever for Hispanic and black Americans, and one of the lowest numbers for women.

DURING THOSE 18 MONTHS, TRUMP'S POLICIES CREATED ABOUT FOUR TIMES THE OF MANUFACTURING JOBS CREATED DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S LAST 18 MONTHS. Remember when Obama mistakenly told us "Our lost manufacturing jobs are not coming back." Maybe manufacturing job growth depends on a president who knows what he's doing.

As a professional journalist, I cringe at some of Trump's buffoonery, like repeating sentences and wearing us out with "great," "fantastic" and other empty adjectives. He is often coarse He was not my candidate. But there's no question his policies have helped many more minority Americans than Obama. It's not even close. Today he's working to free many black and Hispanic prisoners who in his opinion have been in prison too long for relatively minor offenses. Are you aware of that effort?

You need to look up Gross Domestic Product, adjusted for inflation, and learn what it means to everyday Americans. Learn what one GDP point means to employment, and see how Trump has kept the number climbing.

Your buddy Obama? In addition to being our worst foreign affairs president and worst military commander-in-chief, his economic numbers all deserved an "F." He is our ONLY eight-year president who failed to give us at least one 3% or higher year of adjusted GDP growth.

EVERY other president achieved at least one year of 4.28% or higher growth. Aided by Vietnam spending, Johnson had an 8.48 year. The best peacetime year -- 7.83 -- belonged to Reagan. And Obama couldn't even score a 3!!! Look it up.

You say you would speak to Obama but not Trump? How tragically uninformed you are. Obama had BY FAR the worst debt accumulation record of all our presidents. His economic blunders added about $9 trillion to our debt. NO OTHER PRESIDENT EVEN CAME CLOSE. That indebtedness will fall to you and your children.

Poor families suffered most. Obama's awful job numbers forced a record number of people to take food stamps. Black household income under Obama fell steeply as black unemployment rose. Look that up, too.

But the worst part of what Trump inherited is that Obama, like Bush and Clinton before him, thought bribes and sweet talk were the best ways to deal with North Korea. As the North Koreans neared being able to wipe out Los Angeles with a nuclear-tipped missile, Trump became the first president to stand up boldly to the rogue nation.
Notice North Korea, because of Trump, has stopped launching missiles over Japan? Notice North Korea has released political prisoners? Notice North Korea has begun to return remains of U.S. Service members? Absent sturdy spines, Clinton, Bush and Obama could not approach those major achievements.

Obama naively bribed the planet’s worst terrorist nation, Iran, with what was supposed to become a $150 billion handout. Did Obama not know many of those U.S. Tax dollars would help fund Hamas and Hezbollah terrorism? Of course he did. He just didn't care.

Remember the $800 billion of your and everyone else's tax dollars in his early stimulus for "shovel-ready jobs." Most of those tax dollars went to political cronies. He handed $500 million to Solyndra, a solar company run by boosters. The company soon went bankrupt. Our half-billion in tax money vanished with it.

Trump is often obnoxious, but people with courage can have that hang up. Obama always talked big, then feebly stood by when Putin infringed on Ukraine and annexed Crimea. But Obama's most cowardly move came when he warned Assad not to cross "the red line" in Syria. When Obama's warning was ignored, which Assad knew would happen, Obama did nothing. Does that make him a "bum?"

It makes me sad that you, as someone with a national voice would be so ignorant of economics, and also presidential decisions. I encourage you to do more reading and thinking as you watch the nation's GDP numbers rise and minority employment rise.

* Read about "Right To Try," which frees terminally ill people to sign a lawsuit waiver and take an experimental drug that might not be approved for many years. Democrats fought this sensible plan for years because it would cost them donations.

* Read about a Navy Obama left to Trump that struggled with about half its carrier aircraft unsafe to fly.

* Read about Trump's giving the VA the right to fire any employee who neglects or abuses a patient.

* Read about Trump's courage in challenging, actually demanding that, NATO partners to pay their fair share rather than keep mooching off the U.S.

You might also read the wisdom of two of the world’s brightest people, black intellectuals Dr. Thomas Sowell and Dr. Walter Williams. They have written many books. Sowell and Williams’ integrity, remarkable insights and clarity of expression cause their common sense to soar
off the page to readers.

Or, you could ignore vital Trump decisions and remain an illiterate on both presidential achievement and economics. If you disdain knowledge and keep calling Trump or any other U.S. president a bum, people will begin to wonder who's the real bum.


Hal Lundgren

Due To Inclement Weather...

Wicomico County Public Schools will open 2 hours late, no AM Pre K.

Worcester County, Somerset County and Delmar have a two hour delay as well.

The Last To Let You Down

Many of our citizens were no doubt watching the incredible memorial services for President George H. W. Bush this past week and had several opportunities to watch the U. S. Military perform it's world famous precision as part of our country's State Funeral process and tribute to its highest-ranking officials. The timing of having this video being circulated now is perfect.


Liberal Liars

What's Wrong With Us?

Staged TV

The Dangers Of A One Sided Story

The Mueller Bombshell That Wasn’t

Is this really all they've got?

Special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York filed sentencing memos for President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Friday. Despite Cohen’s cooperation with the special counsel investigation, prosecutors recommended the disgraced lawyer serve 51 to 63 months in prison.

President Trump’s opponents, who eagerly awaited the memos as #MuellerFriday trended on Twitter for hours ahead of the filings, are likely to be disappointed with their findings. The Southern District linked Trump to Cohen’s payments to women who claimed to have had an affair with the president, concluding, “Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1 [Donald Trump].” However, even this implied violation of campaign finance law rings hollow after prosecutors failed to convict ex-Senator John Edwards on a far clearer cut version of this charge in 2012, to say nothing of Trump's long history of similar payouts to women, making it difficult to prove these were campaign-specific and not just business-as-usual at the Trump Organization.