Thursday, January 12, 2017

Kerry arrives in Vietnam on his last trip as secretary of state (wasting taxpayer $$$ one last time)

Washington Post ^ | January 12 at 3:37 PM | Carol Morello 

HANOI — Secretary of State John F. Kerry returned to Vietnam on Thursday for his fourth and final visit as the top U.S. diplomat, his presence embodying the transformation of the two countries from enemies to partners.
Even as his nominated successor, Rex Tillerson, was answering questions at his confirmation hearing Wednesday, Kerry was already in the air for the 22-hour journey from Washington to Southeast Asia. It is the final trip overseas for the most traveled secretary of state in U.S. history. With his latest flight, he has now logged more than 1.4 million miles.
After two days in Vietnam, Kerry goes to Paris to confer with other foreign ministers on Middle East peace and to London for dinner with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. He will end the trip at an economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, then return to Washington with barely a day and a half left to savor what he has characterized as the job of a lifetime.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

Nicole Kidman Thinks It’s Time All Americans Start Supporting Donald Trump

Huffpooh ^ | 1/12/17 | Cole Delbyck 

It sounds like Nicole Kidman is keeping her eyes wide shut when it comes to the many potential problems of a Donald Trump presidency.

The Oscar-winning actress, who is a dual citizen of both the United States and Australia, caused some controversy this week when she encouraged Americans to accept and support the reality-TV-host-turned-politician now that he’s been elected.

“I’m always reticent to start commenting politically; I’ve never done it in terms of America or Australia. I’m issue-based,” Kidman explained in a wide-ranging interview with BBC Two about her film “Lion.” “So I just say, he’s now elected, and we as a country need to support whosever the president because that’s what the country’s based on.”

“Whatever, however that happened, he’s there, and let’s go,” she added.
Kidman on Trump
(Excerpt) Read more at huffingtonpost.com ...

Fox's "Shepie" Smith criticizes Trump for 'belittling' CNN

The Hill ^ | January 11, 2017 | Nikita Vladimirov 

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Wednesday criticized President-elect Donald Trump for his shouting match with a CNN reporter.
Trump refused to take a question from CNN's Jim Acosta during a Wednesday news conference, berating him and accusing his network of reporting "fake news." The confrontation came after CNN reported that intelligence officials briefed Trump about Russia having compromising information on him — a report Trump denied.
"President-elect Trump today told CNN's Jim Acosta the his organization amounts to fake news. CNN's exclusive reporting on the Russian matter was separate and distinctly different from the document dump executed by an online news property," Smith said during his closing monologue.

"Though we at Fox News cannot confirm CNN's report, it is our observation that its correspondents followed journalistic standards and that neither they nor any other journalists should be subjected to belittling and delegitimizing by the president-elect of the United States," Smith added.
During the press conference, Trump continuously refused to let Acosta ask him a question.

"You're attacking us, can you give us a question?” Acosta asked.

"Don't be rude. No, I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news," Trump responded, before taking a question from a Breitbart News reporter.

Like it or not, the “Trump Effect” is looking more and more real

Hot Air ^ | January 11, 2017 | Jazz Shaw 

This morning I heard Bryan Williams (of all people) say that today is “one of the busiest news days” since the election. I suppose that’s true if you butter your bread in the cable news game. But while much of the press corps prefers to discuss secretive and probably imaginary meetings in Prague of whatever bits of dirt they can dig up on the cabinet nominees, there have been some other things happening. Ever since Donald Trump was elected there’s been a not always quiet undercurrent of concern flowing through companies who do a lot of outsourcing or build factories in other countries. Having seen what’s happened to some of their competitors, CEOs are becoming worried about the President Elect calling them out for being unamerican and many have begun modifying their plans or at least making contingency preparations. (Reuters)
Some U.S. companies are reviewing potential mergers while others are rethinking job cuts or looking at their manufacturing operations in China for fear of being cast as “anti-American” by President-elect Donald Trump, according to Wall Street bankers, company executives and crisis management consultants.
Having seen some of America’s largest companies, including General Motors Co (GM.N), Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), bluntly and publicly rebuked by Trump on Twitter, many others are worried they may be his next target – especially if they have significant overseas manufacturing, have had U.S. job cuts or price increases for consumers.
“Any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence is WRONG!” Trump, who assumes office on Jan. 20, tweeted in December.
This article contains some remarkable interviews with people in companies who have not yet made announcements about repatriating jobs or increasing investments in US operations, some of whom preferred to speak on background. White Mountains Insurance Group had been in talks to structure an “inversion” deal where they would move their headquarters overseas for a more favorable tax position. That proposal fell apart in late November, largely because buyers were quoted as saying that they feared the move would be portrayed as unamerican. The CEO of Fitbit, which does it’s manufacturing in China, is quoted as saying that his company is looking at “contingeny plans” right now. Other business leaders told Reuters that they have set up special programs to monitor Trump’s Twitter feed so they can be prepared to answer if he comes after them, even while they prepare to invest more in the United States.
Ford scrapped that plant in Mexico at an awfully convenient looking time and now we’ve learned that Fiat is preparing to invest a billion dollars in plants in Michigan and Ohio and has pledged to hire 2,000 new American workers. It’s almost as if an entirely new “Trump practice” (as Reuters describes it) is taking hold in corporate boardrooms across America and it’s leading to a philosophy which balances maximizing profits against sustaining an America First image.
Corporate leaders, say the advisers, can no longer focus only on maximizing shareholder value; they must now also weigh national interest.
“CEOs are talking to their boards saying we’ve got to be viewed pro-America. If something is more on the margin – like layoffs, or moving manufacturing, then they are not going to do it,” said one Fortune 500 CEO, who said he had spoken with other U.S. companies.
I think I’ve written about this here in the past and I know I’ve brought it up on social media, but this is the question I can’t help but keep coming back to. Was really this easy the whole time? And if so, why did nobody else think to do it? There are no new laws on the books forcing this to happen. Heck… Trump hasn’t even been sworn in yet and Congress hasn’t begun to take up any of his promised legislative goals. These are just business leaders who are taking the national temperature and responding accordingly. Rather than big government regulatory moves, this is an example of the laws of capitalism in action.
Is the Trump Effect real? It’s still too soon to say. But if you’re in the camp which seeks to dismiss anything which could be seen as positive about Trump’s victory, the evidence seems to be getting harder and harder to ignore.

How Can We Miss a President Who Won’t Go Away?

Wall Street Journal ^ | January 11,2017 | Opinion 

His presence in Washington will invite news reporters to seek his commentary and criticism of every move Mr. Trump makes. True, he told Mr. Axelrod he agreed with President Washington “that at a certain point, you make room for new voices and fresh legs.”

But he added a huge qualification: “Now, that doesn’t mean that if a year from now or a year and a half from now or two years from now, there is an issue of such moment, such import, that isn’t just a debate about a particular tax bill or a particular policy, but goes to some foundational issues about our democracy that I might not weigh in.”

It’s a safe bet that many of the challenges the Trump administration presents to the Obama legacy will come under Mr. Obama’s heading of “foundational issues of our democracy.” His presence in Washington, not some faraway place like Chicago, will make it difficult to remain above the fray even if he wanted to. As his party’s most admired and most skilled politician, he will receive calls to join the battle early and often.
(Excerpt) Read more at wsj.com ...

Democrats say Obama must 'deprive' Trump of using Guantanamo Bay

The New York Daily News ^ | January 11, 2017 | Christopher Brennan 

Democratic lawmakers are calling for President Obama to close Guantanamo Bay because "Donald Trump must be deprived of the use” of the controversial prison.
Representatives including New York City’s Hakeem Jeffries, Jerrold Nadler, Nydia Velazquez and Jose Serrano signed a letter sent to the White House Wednesday.
Obama promised during his first presidential campaign to close the facility on Cuban soil, which was filled with suspected terrorists during the Bush administration, some of whom have stayed there for years without a trial or charges.
The White House has said that it is working to move the 18 inmates who remain at the facility that have been approved to be transferred to other countries such as Yemen....
(Excerpt) Read more at nydailynews.com ...

Chuck Todd to BuzzFeed EIC: ‘You Just Published Fake News’

Breitbart.com ^ | 11 Jan 2017 | Ian Hanchett 

During a discussion of BuzzFeed’s story on a dossier regarding Russia and President-Elect Donald Trump on Wednesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “MTP Daily,” host Chuck Todd told BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith “you just published fake news.”
Todd said BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the dossier was an instance where they “would not have made the same decision in the pre-Trump era.”
Smith stated that it was more “the pre-Internet era.” And that there was a time “where we could act as gatekeepers. Where we could say, you know what, crazy people are claiming that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is forged, but we’re not going to write about that, that’s crazy.”
He continued that this era doesn’t exist, and that while they had reporters trying to confirm or deny specific details, the dossier was “in play,” and “having consequences for the way our elected leaders are acting. The — you do have to ask the question of, why should I suppress that? There are then good reasons, right? Once though, it emerges, as it did last night in the public conversation that there is this secret document floating around, full of dark allegations that we will not repeat to you. That I feel like in this era, you really have to share [with] your readers what that is in an appropriate context. And our original report, I mean, if you read what we wrote, it stressed that there were real solid reasons to distrust this. It noted two specific errors.”
Todd then asked if BuzzFeed had a responsibility to not spread false information. Smith responded that, like with the Obama birth certificate issue, it’s a “difficult balance that everybody in our business navigates every day.”
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

The Legendary A-10 (Warthog) Looks Like It's Here To Stay After Being Upgraded By The Air Force

business insider ^ 

In another positive sign for the beloved A-10, Air Force maintainers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona have outfitted the Warthog with an upgrade for combat search and rescue missions (CSAR). Dubbed the lightweight airborne recovery system, the upgrade helps A-10 pilots "communicate more effectively with individuals on the ground such as downed pilots, pararescuemen and joint terminal attack controllers," according to an Air Force statement.

Of all the fixed-wing aircraft in the US Air Force's inventory, no plane carries out CSAR missions like the A-10. CSAR missions jump off with little warning and often involve going deep into enemy territory, so becoming certified to perform CSAR missions takes tons of training, which only A-10 pilots undergo. The A-10's rugged survivability, massive forward firing power, newly acquired communication capabilities, and long loiter times at low altitudes make it ideal for flying low and slow and finding the lost person.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...

Donald Trump just put to rest the idea he will ever back down (that would be why we voted for him)

Washington Compost ^ | January 11, 2017 | Chris Cillizza 

Donald Trump took questions from the media Wednesday for the first time since he was elected president on Nov. 8. And he quickly put to rest the idea that his rapidly approaching presidency would fundamentally change his tone, style or basic approach to issues and the media.
Consider:
Trump — through a lawyer — said he would not put his assets in a blind trust, the traditional way in which presidents wall off their private interests from their public obligations. Trump was also quick to note that as president it is impossible for him to, legally speaking, have a conflict of interest and, therefore, any steps he takes to separate his business interests from his presidency were above and beyond the call of duty. (This was a similar line of logic used by Trump's lawyer to explain how he would deal with the Emoluments clause.)
Trump refused to offer a timetable for the release of his tax returns. He insisted that the only people who care about his tax returns are reporters. (Not true!) As evidence that no one cares about his tax returns, Trump offered this: “I won.”
Given the chance to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump did not. Instead, he said it was an “asset” that Putin allegedly likes him. When asked directly about the Russian hacking of the election, Trump acknowledged it was probably Russia — which is further than he has gone before — but quickly pivoted to emphasize that Putin wouldn't be doing these sorts of things under a Trump administration.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

GOP rep: Sessions attacks part of ‘war on whites’

 The Hill ^ | 1/11/2017 | Mark Hensch 


Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) said accusations of racism against Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Donald Trump's attorney general nominee, stem from Democrats' ongoing "war on whites."
"It's really about political power and racial division and what I refer to, on occasion, as the 'war on whites,'" he said on WBHP 800 Alabama radio, as first reported by CNN Wednesday. "And the Democrats are not shy about lying in order to achieve their political goals."
"And if they have to besmirch the reputation of a good man, Jeff Sessions, in order to achieve their political goals, they, as a group, are not hesitant to do so," Brooks said.
Brooks added Democrats use allegations of racism to unfairly unite African-American voters against Republicans.
"They are trying to motivate the African-American vote to vote-bloc for Democrats by using every Republican is a racist tool they can envision, even if they have to lie about it."
Brooks was answering a question about criticism of Sessions's record on civil rights, which is under fresh scrutiny while he undergoes Senate confirmation hearings.
Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 in part because of disparaging remarks he allegedly made about the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He strongly denied the accusations back then and again this week. Critics also point to his prosecution of black voting rights activists for voter fraud and other civil rights concerns.
Sessions said this week that he was hurt by the characterization.
Sessions's supporters argue that he has a strong record on civil rights, and point to a notable case in which Sessions's office, when he was a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, handed down a death sentence in a KKK lynching case.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) testified against Sessions Wednesday.
Booker said the unprecedented move was inspired by a moral obligation to speak out against Sessions's confirmation.
"Sen. Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requisite of the job to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights and justice for all of our citizens," he said during his testimony.
Brooks said Tuesday he is under consideration by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) to replace Sessions in the Senate if the latter is confirmed.
The House lawmaker previously accused Democrats of waging a "war on whites" while discussing immigration reform in August 2014.

Obama: I'm The Father Of The Tea Party

Townhall ^ | 01.11.17 | Matt Vespa 

Well, here’s a new declaration from outgoing President Obama. He’s declared himself to be the “father of the Tea Party.” In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, the anchor (and former Clinton operative) asked the president what sentence would describe him.

Stephanopoulos cited the quote by the late Congresswoman Clare Booth Luce, who said “the greater the man, the easier it is to describe him in a single sentence.” Luce uttered this in 1962 when asked by then-President Kennedy what was on her mind.

The 44th president said of himself, “President Obama believed deeply in this democracy and the American people.”

“I’ve gotten people who maybe didn’t believe in the process to get engaged. Ironically, I’ve even gotten the other side that maybe didn’t believe in the process to get engage. I gather that I’m the father of the Tea Party; I invigorated the grassroots of the Republican Party as well as the Democratic Party,” added Obama.
(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...

Why California’s Silly Secession Scheme Can’t Succeed

Townhall.com ^ | January 12, 2016 | Kurt Schlichter 

America’s dopey adolescent California is sulking because Hillary lost, so now it’s talking big about moving out of Mom’s house. According to one local bison, who presumably speaks for much of the proggy herd, the rest of America is unworthy of the Golden State’s glorious presence anyway.
I’m a resident of California, and I say, “Great – pack your crap and get out.” As tempting as it is to keep you in the Union as a cautionary example of what happens when liberals run everything, the pain you would suffer running away from home would be so overwhelming that it might even teach you hapless denizens of this ridiculous state a much-needed lesson. So, go for it.
Now, I’ve previously explored the whole idea of America breaking up both here in Townhall and in my new novel People’s Republic, which features the M4-oriented hero infiltrating blue America and finding Venezuela without the charm (This spring, look for its even more proactive prequel Indian Country). But now that the local nimrods seem to be at least semi-serious about putting the question of whether the Golden State should stay or go on the 2018 ballot, perhaps this is as good a time as any to do something that liberals really, truly hate.
Let’s confront them with facts by walking through how their stupid secession idea would actually work in the real world.Now, let’s assume the separation would be peaceful. It would have to be – I’m thinking that the declining number of the kind of people who pick up rifles still living here would not be psyched to die so San Franciscans can ensure that illegal alien hobos are able to defecate on the street unmolested and that people who misgender via their pronoun use can be incarcerated. The typical California social justice warrior would make a poor warrior warrior. It would have to be an amicable divorce. So, California is an independent country with about 40,000,000 people. What now?
Well, let’s talk about food. Where’s it going to come from? The Central Valley is a remarkably fertile area. All sorts of stuff will grow there – except, it doesn’t anymore because California has decided to stop stockpiling water and has prioritized flushing what water it does have out into the sea for the benefit of bait fish. The California water system was sufficient when we had 20 million folks, but decades ago we stopped building dams and reservoirs because of Gaia or something. So, to eat, California would need to change its priorities from tadpoles to people, or become a net importer of food.
Oh, and that Colorado River water that quenches LA’s thirst? Yeah, the United States is probably going to need that. But you can still get some of that H2O – in the form of food grown in the USA that you now have to import. Except grapes. We have lots of grapes. Can’t make bread with them though.
And then there’s fossil fuels. We know you want to go green because of your bizarre weather panic religion, but that’s a lot of infrastructure to build (and, as we will see, you’re going to be short on cash), so for now you’re stuck with dino juice. Since you’ve pretty much banned fracking and limited oil production (and I bet you’ll be shutting down those rigs off the Santa Barbara coast because rich libs hate looking at them), you’ll need to import oil. A lot of oil. The good news is the USA will have plenty to sell you.
In fact, the USA will have plenty of everything to sell you since you’ve largely driven manufacturing out of California with your regulations and taxes. Who makes cars in California? Well, Tesla, sort of – except its big new battery plant is in Nevada. And generating power? The USA will be happy to oblige since your climate change scam laws will essentially require you to outsource your greenhouse gas emissions – and the USA will be delighted to let you pay it for the privilege.
But hey, California still has entertainment and technology! Except much of the entertainment industry has already been driven out of SoCal by costs and regulations – wonder why the credits on all the TV shows you watch tell you they are filmed in Vancouver, Georgia, New Mexico, or somewhere other than Hollywood? Even the porn industry is hitting and quitting Cali! But you still have the tech companies that are stubbornly clinging to California; I hear Twitter is doing great. Oh, right. And those companies hire what – a few thousand genderfluids named Kaden? They may make rich punks richer, but other than that, nada. Well, perhaps you can still partially offset your stunning trade deficit with exports of karma and synergy.
Let’s talk spending. Don’t think California gets to just leave behind its >10% share of the $20 trillion dollar Obama-enhanced national debt. Here’s an invoice for $2 trillion. And we already talked about the California military – with >10% of the population, will it pick up 10% of the current $582.7BN defense budget? That’s $58BN on top of the current $167BN budget – ouch. Now, California might be tempted to free ride on the more martial USA, but that is going to engender some bad blood. Do you really want to tick off the people who feed and fuel and defend you?
Now, those 40 million California citizens are also going to be expecting their Social Security and Medicare and government federal pensions and all the rest of the goodies they think they’ve earned. Guess who gets to scratch that itch? Let’s not forget California’s own existing bond and pension debt – the rest of America won’t be around to help you with that. Plus, the all-Democrat legislature is going to be hard-pressed to turn down any deadbeat constituency looking for a handout, and a third of America’s deadbeats live in California now. It’s already well on its way to becoming America’s dead weight.
Not wanting to be oppressive to people who shouldn’t be there in the first place, California is going to want to legalize all the zillions of illegals currently living here. And when it does, since immigration laws are racist or something, more uninvited folks will be showing up as California becomes Mexico’s Spare Bedroom. Even if it keeps all the income taxes its residents pay to the feds now, California is still going to have to come up with a lot more dough. Sure, an independent California can run a deficit, but after Greece, who is going to lend tens of billions to Sacramento – except at crushingly high interest rates?
So taxes get to go up. California’s income tax on the wealthiest (who aren’t actually that wealthy when you realize a shack a couple miles from the beach costs $1 million plus) is something like 11%. The current top federal rate is about 39% (with no state tax deduction anymore!), so assuming that dough goes to Uncle Moonbeam, you are at a 50% rate before local taxes and without considering payroll/self-employment taxes. That’s still not enough to pay for California’s progressive utopia.
Taxes need to rise. Of course, the really rich can suck it up (or, more likely, shelter their income), and the poor don’t pay income taxes anyway. So that leaves the already depleted middle class to pick up the tab. But the few remaining middle class Californians are more likely to pick up and leave – after all, plenty of their pals from California are in Austin already and at least there they can afford a house outside the ghetto. Guys like me – a lawyer who prospers because of the state’s idiotic regulatory regime – will milk this Cal until it’s dry and then take off to sunny, low-tax Florida with our loot. So, California will become, even more than it already is, a place consisting of a few really rich people and a lot of poor ones. Not really a recipe for long term stability and prosperity – sure you want to forgo an army?
And then there are the substantive changes the extreme lefties left in charge would make. Bathroom antics and mandatory cake baking are just the beginning. Does anyone think a California unrestrained by the Constitution will retain unchanged any of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights? Think of an independent California as a giant college campus that is a country – who in Sacramento will resist the inevitable call to criminalize “hate speech” and “racism” and “sexism?” Of course, those words simply mean anything progressives dislike – look for censors in the form of “Bias Review Commissions” and the like scrutinizing every word you utter.
Freedom of religion? Come on. Do you think they won’t legislate the content of religious teachings? You’ve met liberals, right? They’re aching to destroy the alternate pole of power that religion represents. Watch “hate churches” – by which they mean ones that actually follow Jesus’s teachings – get stripped of their tax exemptions. The bankruptcies and tax sales that follow will not be bugs – they will be features.
And as for the Second Amendment – don’t make me laugh. Crime will run rampant (hell, it already is) because the left sees criminality as a valid expression of oppressed peoples, and opposition to it as pure bigotry. But fear not – the rich will still be safe behind their walls and armed guards. Everyone else? Too bad, so sad.
But for all the big talk, California will never try to secede. It’s dumb, but not that dumb. The clowns in Sacramento fully understand that the folly and foolishness that flourishes on the left coast is an indulgence of, and made possible only by, the patience of better Americans in the rest of the country. California is just lucky that Mom has so much patience with its nonsense, and that she will let it keep crashing on the futon down in the basement in the likely vain hope that someday it will get its stuff together and grow the hell up.

Senate Takes First Step To Repeal Obamacare With 51-48 Vote

ZeroHedge ^ | January 12, 2017 

Early on Thursday morning, in a 51-48 vote, the Senate took the first concrete step toward dismantling Obamacare, when it voted to instruct key committees to draft legislation repealing Barack Obama's signature health insurance program. Republicans needed a simple majority to clear the repeal rules, instructing committees to begin drafting repeal legislation, through the upper chamber, with the vote falling largely along party lines.
Rand Paul was the lone Republican to vote against the budget resolution because it didn’t balance. Paul said in a statement after the vote that while he supports nixing ObamaCare "putting nearly $10 trillion more in debt on the American people’s backs through a budget that never balances is not the way to get there."
Meanwhile, no Democrat supported the repeal rules. Instead, Democrats rose one by one from their seats on the Senate floor in protest to state why they were voting against the resolution. In dramatic fashion, Bernie Sanders warned that if the GOP resolution moved forward Americans would die.
"Up to 30 million Americans will lose their health care with many thousands dying as a result," he said. "Because when you have no health insurance and you can't go to a doctor or a hospital, you die."
Sanders also mocked the Republican effort saying the GOP have never united around an alternative to Obamacare. "They want to kill ACA but they have no idea how they are going to bring forth a substitute proposal," declared Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Dianne Feinstein who had surgery to install a pacemaker, missed the hours-long "vote-a-rama" session that began Wednesday evening. Lawmakers were able to use the hours-long voting block to force a vote on any amendment to the budget resolution. Some 180 amendments were filed.
(Excerpt) Read more at zerohedge.com ...

FBI Reportedly Sought FISA Court Warrant To Spy On Trump Campaign Officials

Zerohedge ^ | 1-12-2017 | Durden 

A new report released today features both the FBI seeking to launch a surveillance operation against an active US presidential campaign, and the ultra-rare case of the FISA courts actually turning down an FBI request to conduct surveillance against somebody.
The report, originating at the Guardian, claims that the FBI had sought broad surveillance powers over four high-ranking members of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign during the election, claiming them to have had contact with Russian officials.
The FISA court turned the request down, telling investigators they needed to narrow the request. ADVERTISING
Though the four are not directly named in the report, it is related to claims in a dossier of Russia having substantial blackmail dirt on Trump, and that dossier centered heavily around accusations against a handful of Trump campaign personnel, including Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, along with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, meaning some of them may well be among the targets.
(Excerpt) Read more at zerohedge.com ...

Obama's Phony War on ISIS

American Thinker ^ | January 12, 2016 | Jonathan F. Keiler 

It was recently mentioned that U.S. Forces have dropped over 27,000 bombs on Syria and Iraq during Operation Inherent Resolve, the Obama administration's campaign against ISIS. Given the current controversies over the reliability of and possible political motivations behind American intelligence assessments, let's look behind this figure to see what these munitions have bought the U.S. during the campaign, and whether we can count on the Obama administration's related claims about the war on ISIS or the claims of his intelligence community in general.
Historically, air campaigns are mostly measured by aircraft sorties rather than munitions dropped. In the age of precision munitions (and almost all the weapons deployed in Inherent Resolve are in that category), perhaps things are somewhat different. Still, it is useful to examine this figure against the number of sorties flown and most particularly against the administration's claims of ISIS losses. In doing this, it is not my intention in any way to impugn the motivations, determination, or skill of the American aircrew, ground crew, support, command and control, or special forces elements that have carried out this campaign so far. Although ISIS anti-aircraft defenses are extremely weak, the very fact that American forces have managed to fly tens of thousands of missions safely and with negligible losses, often at night, and requiring frequent in-air refueling, is extremely impressive.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

BREAKING – Senator Who Attacked Jeff Sessions Caught in BOMBSHELL Scandal

Tea Party ^ | 1/11/2017 | Angry Patriot Movement Staff 

(Angry Patriot Movement) – A liberal senator who is as we speak attacking Jeff Sessions during his U.S. attorney general confirmation hearings has a massive scandal of his own unfolding.
Senator Cory Booker is embroiled in a Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation (NWCDC) scandal involving allegations of massive kickbacks, Politico reports. Yesterday, Donald Bernard Sr., who was the senior projects manager at the company that ran Newark’s water infrastructure under the direction of then-mayor of Newark, New Jersey Cory Booker, pled guilty in federal court to accepting nearly $1 million in bribes from contractors.
In December, Donald Bernard Sr.’s former boss at the Newark company, Linda Watkins Brashear, also pleaded guilty to similar corruption and kickback charges. Former contractor Giacomo “Jack” DeRosa pleaded guilty earlier this week to money laundering charges over kickbacks paid to Bernard.
Could all of this corruption at a massive and essential piece of infrastructure have happened without Mayor Cory Booker knowing about it? Allegations and complaints about the NWCDC were near constant during his tenure, but he failed to address them or push for an investigation into the corruption.
When Booker took office in 2008, the NWCDC, through its city contract, was running Newark’s entire water delivery apparatus — from the reservoirs to the purification plants. Its engineers and planners worked directly out of Newark City Hall.
Trustees appointed by a judge in 2013 to “wind down” the NWCDC and return water operations to the city are now suing Cory Booker in bankruptcy court. They maintain Booker’s failure to monitor the agency caused the extreme corruption which robbed the fiscally struggling city of its few resources and placed its antiquated water infrastructure at significant risk.
Cory Booker was forced to admit he never once attended a NWCDC board meeting his entire time in office even though he was the agency’s ex-officio trustee. Just last week, Booker’s attorneys argued that he is immune from financial liability because his role on the Newark water board was a “de facto responsibility of the office of mayor.” So, not doing a duty levied upon your office makes you immune from being responsible for not doing your duty?
Allegations of malfeasance at the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation (NWCDC) have been raised by local residents, reporters, and lawmakers for many years. The NWCDC is a non-profit agency created to protect the Newark watershed.
City Councilman Augusto Amador also led an investigation into corruption and kickbacks at the NWCDC. He was one of the most vocal and earliest critics of the excessive spending going on at the Newark agency. He said, “I’m surprised about the amount of money that was stolen…When I first looked into it and looked at the books that were submitted to the Council, the amount that was involved was nowhere near what we’re seeing now, but I’m not surprised by the indictments.”
The Newark watershed has grown substantially over the years and is now responsible for the entire water delivery infrastructure in the city. United States Attorney Paul Fishman unearthed the extensive corruption at the NWCDC that occurred on Cory Booker’s watch.
“This is bigger than I thought,” Dan O’Flaherty said after the guilty pleas of two more NWCDC suspects were uttered this week. O’Flaherty is an economics professor at Columbia University and a former Newark City Hall staffer.
Dan O’Flaherty and a group of concerned citizens formed The Newark Water Group to delve into the corruption allegations long swirling around operations at the NWCDC. He wrote a detailed report of the agency’s mismanagement entitled “Hog Wild” in 2011.
The NWCDC had a budget of about $11 million per year. According to O’Flaherty, $3 million of the budget was “pure pass-through,” which the non-profit infrastructure agency “never actually got their hands on.”

KILLING CNN

AMERICAN THINKER ^ | JANUARY 12, 2017 | Robert Arvay 

Someday, Bill O'Reilly may add to his list of historical books, which include Killing Kennedy and Killing the Rising Sun, the title Killing CNN. 

It portends to be the chronicle of a vital turning point in American history, the death of the propaganda machine in our politics, and the resurgence of genuine journalism.

I have for some time now eschewed referring to most American news institutions as "mainstream media" and instead termed them what they are: the Ministry of Propaganda (MoP).

~SNIP~
For those who may find themselves uneasy at the possibility of official censorship, remind yourselves that what CNN is being censored for is not reporting, but lying.  They actually accused Trump of hiring Russian prostitutes to urinate on a hotel bed where Obama had slept – and then, at the press conference, had the audacity to accuse him of being "improper" in his refusal to dignify their propaganda with a response.

Your time is over, CNN.  Let your liberal cohorts in other parts of the propaganda machine take note.  When you strike at Trump with lies, he will avenge the insult with that most terrifying of all weapons: truth.  To paraphrase a famous Democrat president (FDR), you have nothing to fear but Trump himself.  Well should you.


(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

I kissed his ass!

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Confirmation hearings!

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Your government at work!

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Just ignore that!

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Someone has to pay!

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Remarkable Progress?

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Ruined!

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THANKS!

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