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Thursday, April 19, 2018

James Comey's book falls as flat as its cover

The new memoir by James Comey, former FBI director, is light on new information but heavy on petty insults. It is being marketed by a typical rage-fest on President Trump's Twitter feed. A bestseller is guaranteed.

But Comey's name-calling makes for an unpersuasive condemnation of this presidency. It won't convince Trump supporters, or wavering conservatives, or Democrats (perhaps especially those who previously voted for President Barack Obama) to change their minds

Comey’s observations about Trump's orange-ness, his hand size, and the length of his tie, aren’t even original, let alone amusing except to that corps of haters who giggle at any show of disrespect to the chief executive. Perhaps the only impact they will have is to engender among disaffected conservatives a certain sympathy for a president whose substantive policies have been a pleasant surprise.


ACLU lawyer sides with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

A lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union sided with President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Tuesday, saying a judge should allow a neutral party to review the documents the FBI seized from Cohen's office.

ACLU lawyer Brett Max Kaufman agreed with Cohen's lawyers in a blog post that it makes no sense for the government itself to decide which files it can keep and use in an attempt to prosecute Cohen and which files it should ignore.

"Such files should be reviewed in the first instance by a neutral party, or 'special master,' appointed by and answerable to the court, to ensure that the prosecutors and investigators get the evidence they are authorized to look for," Kaufman wrote. "They should not be allowed to roam widely through digital files that may contain terrabytes of private information."


350,000 signed up to protest, Salisbury Included


Donald Trump could be preparing to put himself above the law. We won’t allow it.

Trump will create a constitutional crisis if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller, or attempts to compromise the investigation by other means. (See The Plan for details.)

Our response in the hours following a potential power grab will dictate what happens next—whether Congress will stand up to Trump or allow him to move our democracy toward authoritarianism.

That's why we're preparing to hold emergency "Nobody Is Above the Law" rallies around the country, in the event they are needed—800+ of them and counting, in every state, with 300,000 RSVPs to date!

Join us.

Enter your ZIP code in the search field or scroll through the list to find a event near you, or create one if none exists.

If you choose to attend an event, you agree to engage in nonviolent, peaceful action, to act lawfully, and to strive to de-escalate any potential confrontations with those who may disagree with our values.


Trump slams TPP: Bilateral deals are better for American workers

President Trump on Tuesday shared his dislike of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral trade deal with countries along the Pacific Rim, deeming bilateral arrangements to be "far more efficient, profitable and better" for U.S. workers.

“While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don’t like the deal for the United States,” Trump tweeted. “Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers. Look how bad WTO is to U.S.”


Hero who landed Southwest flight broke barriers as Navy pilot

The hero commercial pilot who safely landed a Boeing 737 full of passengers after shrapnel from an engine explosion breached the cabin was a former Navy pilot and one of the first women to take the stick of an F/A-18 fighter jet, according to reports.

Southwest Airlines pilot Tammie Jo Shults, 56, kept cool Tuesday as she brought Flight 1380 down for an emergency landing in Philadelphia when an engine exploded mid-air, according to passengers’ social media.

“A huge thank you to the Southwest Crew & Pilot Tammie Jo Shults for their knowledge and bravery under these circumstances. God bless each one of them,” passenger Diana McBride Self wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

“The pilot, Tammy Jo was so amazing! She landed us safely in Philly,” wrote Instagram user Amanda Bourman.


Delingpole: Trump Must Stop U.S. Hardwood Forests Being Burned for UK 'Biofuel'

Greenies are up in arms over another environmental scandal of their own making. A TV documentary, shown on Britain’s left-wing Channel 4, has been shocked to discover that old hardwood forests in the U.S. are being chopped down, exported to the UK and burned for what is laughably being billed as “green” energy.

According to the Ecologist:

Huge areas of hardwood forest in the state of Virginia are being chainsawed to create ‘biomass’ energy in Britain as the government attempts to reach targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in efforts to tackle climate change, an investigation by Channel 4 Dispatches has found.

A key part of government efforts to hit its green energy targets is to switch from generating electricity from burning coal to burning wood – or so-called biomass. It’s a policy that is costing taxpayers more than £700 million per year through a levy on their electricity bills.

Well fancy that. Enviroloons caught once again killing the planet in order to save it.

Oscar Wilde would have called this “the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in the glass”.

I call it: “Groundhog Day.” This happens all the time because environmental destruction is not a bug of the Climate Industrial Complex – it’s a feature.


Is America's Tax System Fair?

Illegal immigrant Uber driver raped passenger then fled to native Ghana, police say

An Uber driver charged with raping a passenger earlier this month was able to walk free because officials failed to notify immigration agents about his arrest, authorities said.

Frederick Amfo, 30, an illegal immigrant from Ghana, was arrested after a female passenger said that on April 8 he forced her into the backseat of his car and raped her, police said. Hours after he was released from police custody, he fled to his native Ghana. He was supposed to surrender his passport but did not.

“A loss for words,” Emily Murray, the victim who insisted on being identified by the press, told Boston 25. “I was angry, I’m still angry. I’m confused.”


GOP lawmakers want Hillary Clinton and James Comey prosecuted

Eleven House Republicans are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prosecute a handful of individuals, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ex-FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

In a Wednesday letter to Sessions, FBI Director Chris Wray, and U.S. Attorney John Huber — who was appointed to investigate GOP claims of FBI misconduct — the lawmakers refer Comey and McCabe for “investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes.”

Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and FBI General Counsel Dana Boente are also named in the letter.


Weekly Fishing Report

This coming Saturday, April 21, is a big day for those who dream of catching a trophy striped bass. More than a few anglers will spend the night before checking alarm clocks just to find themselves waking up a half-hour before the alarm is set to go off anyhow.

Weather is predicted to be a little nippy in the morning but should warm up as the day progresses. It will be a wonderful day to be out on the water with family and friends.

Before we get into this week’s fishing report, I want to remind everyone that they can submit their own fishing reports and photos to the Maryland Angler’s Log. To post a report, please email your name, hometown, photos, location and additional content for your report. All information is optional, but encouraged.

The striped bass spawning in the Choptank, Nanticoke, Patuxent and Potomac rivers is behind schedule due to colder than expected water temperatures, and spawning in the upper Chesapeake Bay is most likely weeks away. This week the spawning area in the Choptank River registered 56 degrees and there is a minor amount of spawning occurring. Usually spawning begins at 60 degrees and is optimal at 64.5 degrees, so many female striped bass are still holding in the spawning reaches. Based on predicted weather forecasts, it may be another week or so for water temperatures to be correct in that area.


911 operator who hung up on emergency calls is sentenced to jail

A former 911 operator who hung up the phone "thousands" of times on people attempting to call in emergencies in Harris County, Texas has been sentenced to jail time.

Crenshanda Williams, 44, was found guilty of interference with emergency telephone calls Wednesday after "systematically" hanging up the phone on residents of Harris County,KTRK reported.

She was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 18 months probation.

Williams reportedly had an unusual number of "short calls," which were no longer than 20 seconds. Prosecutors, according to the Houston Chronicle, determined she hung up on "thousands" of calls.

In one instance, emergency caller Jim Moten told KTRK he called 911 in 2016 after he spotted two vehicles speeding on a highway where people had been killed from speeding weeks earlier and thought his call had dropped after a few seconds.

Court documents, according to the news station, stated that Williams had taken Moten's call and, before he could finish explaining his emergency, she reportedly said: "Ain't nobody got time for this. For real."


Here's why that professor dancing on Barbara Bush's grave shouldn't be fired

Former first lady Barbara Bush died on Tuesday night at the age of 92 — only two days after it was announced she would forgo further medical treatment and receive comfort care.

She leaves behind a memorable legacy in which she spearheaded programs to reduce illiteracy in America, in addition to being actively involved in the campaigns of her husband, former President George H.W. Bush. Yet, some liberals seem keen on dancing on the former first Lady's grave instead.

Take Fresno State professor Randa Jarrar. Following the news of Bush's death, Jarrar called her a "racist," who "raised a war criminal," referring to her son, former President George W. Bush.

Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. Fuck outta here with your nice words.— Randa Jarrar (@randajarrar) April 18, 2018

Instead of reprimanding Jarrar, Fresno State University President Joseph Castro released a statement that stopped well short of a condemnation.


No (Wall Street) Bank Left Behind!

Times have been hard for Wall Street banks lately, what with record amounts of cash pouring in and causing all kinds of bookkeeping headaches.

The Four Biggest U.S. Banks Made $2.3 Billion From Tax Law - in One Quarter

Big banks just cashed in the first installment of benefits corporate America will reap from the new federal tax law.

The haul: more than $2.3 billion.

That is how much the combined earnings of the four major national banks— JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo. Citigroup, and Bank of America, — increased in the first quarter because of the lower corporate rates under the tax-overhaul law enacted in December, according to an analysis of the banks’ results by The Wall Street Journal.

That amount is only a modest-size chunk of the banks’ total first-quarter earnings—less than 10% of their combined net income applicable to common shareholders. But it comprises a major chunk of their year-over-year earnings growth.

Without the tax savings resulting from the new lower corporate tax rate, Wells Fargo’s earnings would have declined from a year ago instead of increasing, and much of the year-over-year growth at Citigroup and Bank of America would be gone. At JPMorgan, losing the tax bump would have cut its earnings growth to 28% from 35%.

The $2.3 billion boost isn’t the entire story. For one thing, other provisions of the tax law prompted some of the same banks and many other companies to take big charges against their earnings in the fourth quarter. From that perspective, the first-quarter boosts merely help even things out.

The Journal’s analysis calculated what each bank’s results for the latest first quarter would have been if the effective tax rate from last year’s first quarter was still in effect.



Second Amendment Proponent, Criticized Marjory Stoneman’s Gun Control Cavalcade

Sometime on or around April 1, 2018 Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Fitzsimon, 42 years old and in excellent state of mind and health, called in sick to his job. Shortly thereafter Fitzsimons was found dead on his sofa. There has been a complete “news blackout” of this curious and untimely death.

Deputy Fitzsimons wasn’t just any law enforcement officer. Unlike many of his peers, he took to social media to question the potential agenda behind the February 14 Marjory Stoneman High School mass shooting, suggesting that the event was being used to promote the Democratic Party’s gun control platform in anticipation of the 2018 midterm elections. And recent personnel decisions involving public officials indicate (e.g. here and here), an unwritten law of taxpayer-funded institutions is that employees disavow and steer clear of “conspiracy theories” that may call their superiors motives into question.


Eric 2020? Holder Heads To New Hampshire

Former attorney general Eric Holder will visit the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in June 2018 amidst increasing speculation he will mount a presidential bid.

Eric H. Holder, Jr., 82nd Attorney Attorney General and Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee will speak in NH @nhiop@NECouncil Politics &Eggs #fitn

— Neil Levesque (@NeilLevesque) April 18, 2018

“The Politics & Eggs series is a forum for presidential candidates, political leaders, and other political analysts and commentators as they visit New Hampshire, home of the nation’s first presidential primaries,” the press release said.


Black Guy Walks Into Starbucks, Says "Racist," Immediately Gets Free Coffee

White guilt gone wild

A new video shows a black man walking into Starbucks, dropping the word “racist” and immediately being given a free coffee.

The stunt was in response to news that Starbucks is set to close 8,000 stores for an afternoon for race-bias training.

Bryan Sharpe, who goes by “Hotep Jesus” on Twitter, recorded himself walking into a Starbucks and telling a barista, “I heard ya’ll was racist, so I came to get my free coffee.”


Be Honorable and Tell Your Wife When You Cheat

Columns in the New York Times style section do get your attention. I’ll give them that. Like the one last November, written by a professor who justified her role as a homewrecker seducing a married man – titled “An Optimist Guide to Divorce.” I disagreed with her assessment.

Then there was the style column last week that begins:

“I’m not sure it’s possible to justify my liaisons with married men …”

Well, then. At least, there’s a hint of honesty – dare we say a rise in conscience? – that adultery might be wrong. The problem is that the writer is not sure. The author of “What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity” is no professor. She is Karin Jones, identified as a columnist for Erotic Review Magazine. With such credentials, I’m not expecting prudence.

Jones’s point, however, is not that she is doing anything wrong. She chastises her partners in adultery for not being truthful with their wives about the cheating.

She has completely removed sex from any sense of love and commitment. In other words, she’s just another traveler on this sexual revolution that is headed to nowhere … nowhere but hurt.


Outstanding Members of the Chicken Community Recognized at Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. Banquet

Hundreds of farmers, chicken company employees, representatives of allied businesses, and friends of the Delmarva Peninsula’s chicken community gathered in Salisbury, Maryland for the Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. (DPI) Booster Banquet, the 1,800-member trade association’s annual membership dinner. During its 62nd banquet, DPI honored two individuals for their work on behalf of the chicken industry and recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers for their excellent performance and stewardship.

The J. Frank Gordy, Sr. Delmarva Distinguished Citizen Award, DPI’s highest honor, was presented to Andrew McLean. An “organic chicken rancher,” as he cheerfully describes himself, McLean is deeply involved in industry and community activities. He is a board member of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology, Inc., and is chairman of the Delmarva Land & Litter Challenge, a group of industry, government, university, and environmental persons who are working on a consensus-building approach to develop solutions for poultry-related issues. A Maryland native, McLean worked for banks in agricultural lending for 28 years. He often hosts tours of his farm for groups and individuals seeking to learn how chickens are raised on Delmarva, and he was a trustee of the Maryland Family Farmers Legal Defense Fund when the community rallied to raise money for a Worcester County farm family when a misguided lawsuit threatened them.

He is active in DPI leadership, serving on our Executive Committee, Environmental Committee, Grower Committee and Government Relations Committee, and he is a past president of DPI as well. A graduate of the LEAD Maryland program, he has served on the Maryland Agricultural Commission, is a past president of the Queen Anne’s County 4-H Park Board and is a past president of the Ruthsburg Community Center. He and his wife, Kellee, live in Ruthsburg, Maryland.

The Edward H. Ralph DPI Medal of Achievement was presented to Michelle Chesnik. A tireless watchdog and advocate for the chicken community, Chesnik worked in the banking industry in Baltimore before she and her husband, Paul, decided to move to Wicomico County and bought a chicken farm, seeking a calmer place to raise a family. With a large network of contacts throughout Maryland and being well versed in chicken industry issues, Chesnik has been engaged on our industry’s behalf in recent years by sharing thoughts with, and educating members of, the Maryland General Assembly through e-mails, in-person contacts, or via testimony at legislative hearings. She often attends other types of meetings to educate non-legislators about the chicken industry. She played a large role in discussions of Maryland’s phosphorous management regulations, and she continues to be involved with legislative issues relating to animal antibiotics and air quality. 

Chesnik offered her farm as a site for a demonstration alternative use of manure project, and she has taken a particular interest in conservation best management practices. Aided by DPI and the Wicomico Soil Conservation District, she has established extensive grass and forest buffers on her farm made up of 29 different plant species, most of which she selected. Her farm is part of the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program that recognizes farms for outstanding environmental practices. She has been a member of DPI’s board of directors since 2014 and is very involved as a member of our Grower Committee, Government Relations Committee and Environmental Committee.

Additionally, DPI recognized 12 outstanding chicken growers. Selected by the companies for which they contract to raise chickens from Delmarva’s more than 1,500 poultry growers, this year’s recipients are:

Joe Calhoun Jr., Denise Calhoun and Bessie Calhoun, Dagsboro, Delaware – Allen Harim
Eui Jin Choi, Mardela Springs, Maryland – Mountaire Farms
Brian W. Derrickson and Brian B. Derrickson, Pocomoke City, Maryland – Mountaire Farms
Harry El-Baf, Pittsville, Maryland – Perdue Farms
Blaine Hitchens, Laurel, Delaware – Amick Farms
Donnie Howard, Crisfield, Maryland – Tyson Foods
Jack & Cathy Kohland, Frederica, Delaware – Mountaire Farms
Walter & Arlene Littleton and Andrew Mitchell, Laurel, Delaware – Perdue Farms
Ben Lim, East New Market, Maryland – Amick Farms
Billy & Pat Thompson, Laurel, Delaware – Mountaire Farms
Mark & Sue Whaley, Laurel, Delaware – Perdue Farms
Joel & Tina Wharton, Millsboro, Delaware – Perdue Farms

Photos and details for each outstanding grower: 

Photos of the individuals recognized:

Planned Parenthood Instructor Has Mother Arrested for Trying to Audit Pornographic Sex Ed Class

Planned Parenthood is willing to go to extreme lengths to keep parents from knowing what kind of sex education they offer kids. St. Mary's County Library in Maryland contracted a Planned Parenthood certified instructor to put on a pornographic sex workshop for teens—no parents allowed. When mother Kathleen Crank tried to enter the class, she was arrested for trespassing. It all began when local parents heard about the class and began researching the instructor. What they found was the exact opposite of the type of person they wanted teaching their kids about sex. Parent-led protest site Creepy Library reported:

The instructor, Bianca Palmisano, was keynote speaker of SlutWalk in 2013 where she promoted the sex toy shop she worked at the time, saying it was a place, "where polyamorous leather dykes could hang out with kinky bisexuals and couples and compare notes with lifelong swingers, and still welcome those just beginning to explore their sexuality. We host workshops twice a month, bringing in speakers from across the country to share their expertise on everything from blowjobs to threesomes to rough sex.”


Comey Calls McCabe A Liar, McCabe's Attorneys Fire Back

A massive battle is brewing between former FBI Director James Comey, and his deputy Andy McCabe - as first noted a few weeks ago by the Daily Caller's Chuck Ross - over exactly who is lying about Comey knowing that McCabe had been leaking self-serving information to the Wall Street Journal.

Comey stopped by ABC's The View to peddle his new book, A Higher Royalty Loyalty, where he called his former Deputy Andrew McCabe a liar, and admitted that he "ordered the report" which found McCabe guilty of leaking to the press and then lying under oath about it, several times.

Comey was asked by host Megan McCain how he thought the public was supposed to have "confidence" in the FBI amid revelations that McCabe lied about the leak.

“It’s not okay. The McCabe case illustrates what an organization committed to the truth looks like,” Comey said. “I ordered that investigation.”


SYRIANGIRL Explains Who Is Behind The Latest "Chemical Attack" In Douma, Syria

There Was No Chemical Attack in Syria

Should Hollywood Kick Its 'Gun Habit'?

When it comes to movies, I’m one of those guys you don’t take to some melodramatic film with poignant messaging and Oscar-bait performances. Well, you don’t take me to one of those unless I’m suffering from insomnia. The only reason you’ll see me at a chick flick or RomCom is that I’m a married man who understands that the wife has preferences too.

No, if it’s up to me, it’s going to be an action movie of some sort. I want good guys taking out the bad guys, preferably with some explosions here and there.

While I get that not everyone shares my taste in films, a lot of people do. Action movies are the ones that tend to do really well at the box office, after all.

So imagine the stupidity it takes to tell Hollywood to “fix its gun problem.”


Cuomo to Pardon, Restore Voting Rights to 35,000-Plus Felons on Parole

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) will be granting all convicted felons in the state who are on parole a pardon, a move that will restore voting rights to more than 35,000 people.

The pardons would allow Cuomo to work around the state legislature, which has not approved any such measure on criminal justice reform, the New York Times reports.

Under current New York law, convicted felons may only vote again after they have completed their parole or are on probation.

The executive order excludes parolees with certain firearms offenses.

"The pardons following this executive order and all future restorations of voting rights, shall not include rights with respect to the receipt, transportation or possession of firearms as provided by New York Penal Law Section 400," the order states.

Cuomo made the announcement on Wednesday to Al Sharpton's National Action Network's annual convention in New York City.

"I’m unwilling to take no for an answer," Cuomo said. "I’m going to make it law by executive order."

"With active intervention, we can bend the arc toward justice," Cuomo said.


Comey memos could land Rod Rosenstein in contempt of Congress: Top Democrat

The top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee says Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., is poised to subpoena the Justice Department for former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, which the agency so far has failed to produce.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., warned such a move puts Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in jeopardy of being placed in contempt of Congress and the special counsel investigation of being shut down prematurely.

Nadler announced in a statement that Goodlatte informed him Wednesday that "he intends to issue a subpoena to the Department of Justice — in this case to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein."

A spokesperson for Goodlatte did not immediately return theWashington Examiner's request for confirmation.

The Justice Department also did not immediately return a request for comment.


Old-school AM/FM radio the most popular medium of all

Even in the age of sophisticated cable TV and video on demand, it is old school AM/FM radio which rules the nation’s media world according to Nielsen, which has revealed the audience numbers.

With 243 million monthly listeners, radio bests the competition across the board.

“Each week, more Americans tune to AM/FM radio than any other platform. What’s more, according to Nielsen’s second-quarter 2017 Comparable Metrics Report, 93 percent of U.S. adults 18 and older listen to radio every week — more than those watching television or using a smartphone, TV connected device, tablet or PC,” Nielsen noted in its report, which was released Wednesday.

In comparison, TV reaches 88 percent of Americans and garners 229 million viewers.

“Technology trends are a bit like fashion trends,” said Brad Kelly, managing director of Nielsen Audio. “They come and go, oftentimes long forgotten after the craze ends. But there’s one notable exception to the technology/fashion trend rule in the media world — broadcast radio. AM/FM radio is the blue blazer of the media universe. Who would have believed 100 years after its debut, AM/FM radio would continue to top the charts as the medium that reaches more consumers each week than any other?”

The analysis cited “compelling audio content and expanding delivery options” as a strong factor in the consistent appeal of radio.

It also found that the most popular format was country music, closely followed by news/talk combinations, adult contemporary music, pop contemporary hits, classic rock, classic hits, “hot” adult contemporary, urban adult contemporary and non-commercial news and talk. These are the top draws in a lengthy list of genres.

More here

GOP lawmakers demand criminal probe of Comey, McCabe, Clinton, Lynch

A group of conservative Republicans sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department Wednesday asking prosecutors to consider bringing charges against former FBI Director James Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others involved in the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s emails.

They also complained that the FBI and Justice Department mishandled the so-called “Steele dossier” with salacious and unverified claims about then-candidate Donald Trump.

The 11 GOP lawmakers, led by Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis, said the taint of the two matters is so widespread that it demands investigations of Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Mrs. Clinton, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boenta, FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Those latter two were the FBI employees whose text messages revealed some of the sordid inner workings of the Clinton email probe.

“Because we believe that those in positions of high authority should be treated the same as every other American, we want to be sure that the potential violations of law outlined below are vetted appropriately,” the lawmakers said in a referral letter.

More here

Iranian-Backed ‘Sleeper Cell’ Militants Hibernating in U.S., Positioned for Attack

Iranian-backed militants are operating across the United States mostly unfettered, raising concerns in Congress and among regional experts that these "sleeper cell" agents are poised to launch a large-scale attack on the American homeland, according to testimony before lawmakers.

Iranian agents tied to the terror group Hezbollah have already been discovered in the United States plotting attacks, giving rise to fears that Tehran could order a strike inside America should tensions between the Trump administration and Islamic Republic reach a boiling point.

Intelligence officials and former White House officials confirmed to Congress on Tuesday that such an attack is not only plausible, but relatively easy for Iran to carry out at a time when the Trump administration is considering abandoning the landmark nuclear deal and reapplying sanctions on Tehran.

There is mounting evidence that Iran poses "a direct threat to the homeland," according to Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and chair of its subcommittee on counter-terrorism and intelligence.

A chief concern is "Iranian support for Hezbollah, which is active in the Middle East, Latin America, and here in the U.S., where Hezbollah operatives have been arrested for activities conducted in our own country," King said, referring the recent arrest of two individuals plotting terror attacks in New York City and Michigan.

"Both individuals received significant weapons training from Hezbollah," King said. "It is clear Hezbollah has the will and capability."

More here

Hillary Clinton's popularity has plunged since election, poll finds

Hillary Clinton, well over a year after she lost the 2016 election to President Trump, is less popular than ever, according to a poll released this week.

Only 27 percent of those polled had a very or somewhat positive view of the former secretary of state, according to The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. That makes her less popular than President Trump, whose popularity registered at 35 percent. It is a new low for her in the poll, which clocked her popularity at 30 percent in August 2017.

A Journal analysis of the poll notes that the poll is a reminder of “just how unusual” Clinton is in terms of her unpopularity -- even among recent losing presidential nominees who have typically experienced a post-election decline, but not to the extent Clinton has. At the time of the election, 40 percent had a positive view of her.


Public Employees Resist Pension Reform as Crisis Looms

For years, state and local politicians have ignored a looming fiscal crisis; namely, rapidly exploding deficits to public-sector employee pensions. Unfortunately, ignoring the problem does not make it go away, and now politicians, public employees and unsuspecting taxpayers face a brutal reality.

According to a new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, states face a collective pension funding shortfall of $1.4 trillion. To put that into perspective, that amounts to roughly three times the annual budgets of California, Texas, New York and Florida … combined.

States must now choose among unpleasant options: cut back on other government services like education, public safety and parks to redirect funds to public employee pensions; raise taxes (angering voters and slowing economic growth); or reducing lavish public employee benefits (angering powerful unions).

The painful process is already underway. States like Arizona, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky face or have faced teacher strikes if demands for massive pay increases — as much as 20% immediately — are not met. Oklahoma’s teachers have been striking for more than a week, and West Virginia’s returned only after securing a 5% pay raise, even as state leaders warned of budget cuts elsewhere, including Medicaid, to pay for the raises.

Politicians have played a shell game for years, making contractual promises to public labor unions that are impossible to meet, using sleight-of-hand accounting gimmicks to hide the truth, even as they negotiated ever larger pensions with the unions with no way to fund them, hoping to be retired when it blew up..

More here

Muslim Professor Cheers Death of Former First Lady Barbara Bush “Happy the Witch is Dead

Fresno State Associate Professor, Randa Jarrar cheered the death of former First Lady Barbara Bush on Tuesday from her verified, ‘blue checkmark’ Twitter account.

Earlier Tuesday, a spokesman for the family confirmed former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away at the age of 92.

People from all sides of the political spectrum set politics aside for a moment and offered condolences.

The hateful professor at Fresno State, however, cheered Mrs. Bush’s death then doubled down and wished for the ‘rest of the Bush family to fall to their demise.’

It is these types of vile leftists who are teaching the youth today.

The Gateway Pundit has provided screenshots of Randa Jarrar’s tweets in case of deletion.


Joe Biden Is the Front-runner. Uh-oh.

Joe Biden, who leads the Democratic 2020 presidential field in early polls, has all the markings of a front-runner. He possesses a sterling résumé, access to a donor base, name recognition and eight years of loyal service to a president who’s loved by the party base. There’s just one problem: He’s also a deeply flawed candidate who’s out of step with the mood of his party.

Biden hasn’t announced he’s running for president, of course, but he’s made clear he’s seriously thinking about it. On Sunday, he confirmed it again on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation. The decision, he said back in February, will be based on whether it’s “right for me to do.”

But that’s the wrong question. What Biden should be asking is whether the party wants him, and not just whether he should seize his last chance.

His advanced age—Biden would be 78 years old at the time of his swearing-in—isn’t the main obstacle. While Biden’s age would be a nonstarter in most presidential elections, if he continues to appear hale and hearty it would not be an insurmountable problem against Donald Trump, who would be 74 himself in 2020.


LGBT Activists Attack the Transgender Romance ‘Anything,’ Because the Trans ‘Woman’ Is Played by a ‘Cisgender’ Man, Matt Bomer

Next month, a romantic film about a transgender "woman" will hit theaters and the trailer launched this week. LGBT activists and transgender actors in particular are far from pleased, however. While a main character, Freda Von Rhenburg, is transgender, the actor playing him isn't. Matt Bomer himself is not only biologically male but also identifies as man (often referred to as "cisgender" or "cis"). Even so, he plays a man ... who identifies as a woman.

"I auditioned for this. I told them they shouldn't have a cis man play a trans woman. They didn't care," tweeted Jen Richards, a transgender actor best known for the television series "Her Story."
Another transgender actress, Jamie Clayton, who plays a transgender blogger in the Netflix series "Sense8," posted a more passive-aggressive message. "I really hope you both choose to do some actual good for the trans community one day," Clayton tweeted, tagging Bomer and "Fast & Furious" actress Michelle Rodriguez, who plays a female-to-male transgender in the upcoming film "The Assignment."


The Outrageous Outing of Sean Hannity, Cont’d

In yesterday’s column, I contended that it was outrageous for federal district judge Kimba Wood to direct that talk-radio and Fox News host Sean Hannity be publicly identified as Michael Cohen’s third client. Cohen, whose law practice is, shall we say, less than thriving, is under criminal investigation by the FBI and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). He claims only three clients. The other two, President Trump and GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy, acknowledge retaining Cohen. Hannity denies ever having had a formal attorney-client relationship with him.

The court’s order that Hannity’s name be disclosed in open court violated longstanding, judicially endorsed standards against identifying uncharged persons in legal proceedings attendant to criminal investigations.

Forget about evidence of wrongdoing. There is not even a suggestion that Hannity is involved in any crimes. He is a longtime friend of Cohen’s. He says they’ve had some informal legal discussions about such matters as real estate — and as any lawyer will tell you, informal discussions with non-lawyer friends are common. Hannity insists, however, that he has never retained Cohen to represent him in any legal matter, and has never paid him or received an invoice from him. There is no public evidence to contradict this, and no suggestion that Cohen has previously represented himself as Hannity’s attorney.

There has been no intimation that Hannity has any pertinent information about the activities for which Cohen is under investigation. His only relevance to the probe involves the question of whether there is a factual basis for Cohen to claim that an attorney-client (A-C) relationship with Hannity should prevent investigators from perusing some materials seized by the FBI from Cohen’s office and residences. And since Hannity is not suspected of wrongdoing, even that question appears to be of little importance.


REPORT: Attorney for CNN and NYTIMES convinced judge to publicly name Sean Hannity

Here’s a little tidbit from [the] Michael Cohen hearing that’s pretty interesting…

According to reports from inside the courtroom, Judge Kimba Wood was ready to allow Michael Cohen to submit the name of his 3rd client — who we now know is Sean Hannity — under seal, but an attorney for CNN and the New York Times convinced her otherwise.

From Natasha Bertrand, The Atlantic:

"A note about this: Judge Wood was prepared to let Ryan give her the name of Cohen’s third client under seal. At that point, an attorney for the NYT and CNN approached the podium and convinced her that the press (&public) should know. She agreed. He played pivotal role here.."

More here

Support Eric Tomorrow

Facebook has no plans to stop tracking your internet activity

Just because Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress last week to answer a plethora of questions about the way Facebook handles user data and privacy doesn’t mean Facebook is done with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. There are more “hard questions” ahead, given that Zuckerberg’s answers weren’t exhaustive.

One of the things the Facebook CEO failed to address appropriately during questioning concerns the way Facebook tracks internet users, regardless of whether they have a Facebook account, or whether they’re signed into one. Zuckerberg acknowledged that Facebook tracks all your activity online, saying it does it for security reasons.

Reports that followed revealed that Facebook isn’t really interested in building tools that would allow non-Facebook users to keep track of the kind of data Facebook collects, and opt out. It turns out that you can’t really prevent Facebook, or other internet companies, from tracking your activities.


Lost Dog 4-19-18

Iranian-Backed 'Sleeper Cell' Militants Hibernating in U.S., Positioned for Attack

Iranian militants poised to attack U.S. homeland

Iranian-backed militants are operating across the United States mostly unfettered, raising concerns in Congress and among regional experts that these "sleeper cell" agents are poised to launch a large-scale attack on the American homeland, according to testimony before lawmakers.

Iranian agents tied to the terror group Hezbollah have already been discovered in the United States plotting attacks, giving rise to fears that Tehran could order a strike inside America should tensions between the Trump administration and Islamic Republic reach a boiling point.

Intelligence officials and former White House officials confirmed to Congress on Tuesday that such an attack is not only plausible, but relatively easy for Iran to carry out at a time when the Trump administration is considering abandoning the landmark nuclear deal and reapplying sanctions on Tehran.

There is mounting evidence that Iran poses "a direct threat to the homeland," according to Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), a member of the House Homelan


100 Face Charges for Multi-State Heroin Trafficking Ring

Drug bust involved 200 officers, more arrests might be forthcoming

Nearly 100 individuals face charges for their roles in a multi-state heroin and fentanyl trafficking ring, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday morning.

Over 200 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers took part in Operation Saigon Sunset, a DEA-led operation that led to simultaneous arrests in Michigan and West Virginia. The operation was part of Project Huntington, a project of the U.S. Attorney's office for the Southern District of West Virginia meant to prosecute more drug dealers.


Family Farmers Face Prison for Calling Skim Milk by Its Name

Forget narcotics. Uncle Sam has a new substance to crack down on: all-natural skim milk.

Food and Drug Administration regulations make it a federal crime for dairy farmers to call all-natural skim milk exactly what it is—skim milk. Instead, the FDA demands that farmers label additive-free skim milk as “imitation milk product,” because, in the FDA’s mind, skim milk just isn’t the real thing.

The FDA’s finicky rules are not going unchallenged, however. Attorneys with the Institute for Justice are challenging those rules on behalf of a dairy farmer, Randy Sowers, who wants to sell all-natural products and label them honestly, without the threat of fines or imprisonment.

Randy and Karen Sowers founded their South Mountain Creamery in Maryland on rented land back in 1981. They took out a loan and bought 100 cows. Today, three generations of Sowers work on their family’s 2,200 acre farm. They have more than 600 cattle, plus 16,000 chickens. Their family employs more than 75 people.


Trump Ends Brief Truce With California Over Sending Troops to Border

Trump says California governor not watching out for 'safety and security' of California residents

President Trump on Tuesday ended his brief détente with Gov. Jerry Brown over sending National Guard troops to the border, slamming Brown's attempt to limit what the troops would do as a sign that he and other California Democrats aren't interested in the "safety and security" of its residents.

Brown late last week said he would agree to send 400 National Guard troops to the border but conditioned his commitment on his state's troops having nothing to do with immigration enforcement, even in a supporting role.

The Trump administration and Brown have since been negotiating exactly what role the troops would serve. Those negotiations hit a snag Monday with administration officials arguing that California officials were insisting on severe limitations to the tasks that the troops would be allowed to perform.

"Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!"


Deportation Law Too Vague, Rules Supreme Court

Ruling in a Bay Area case, the Supreme Court, with a crucial vote from Justice Neil Gorsuch, struck down a federal immigration law Tuesday that required deportation for any noncitizen convicted of a felony that posed a "substantial risk" of violence.

The 1996 law is unconstitutional because its wording is so vague that it sets no clear standard for either judges or immigrants on which crimes it covers, Justice Elena Kagan said in the 5-4 ruling. She said it was similar to another law the court had overturned in 2015 requiring a 15-year prison sentence for some felons whose past convictions were for crimes posing a "serious potential risk" of violence -- language the court also found unconstitutionally murky.

The 2015 ruling was written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a leading member of the court's conservative wing. Gorsuch, appointed by President Trump last year to succeed Scalia, had been unswervingly conservative in his decisions until Tuesday, when he invoked his predecessor in a strongly worded opinion that provided the court's more liberal justices with a decisive fifth vote.

"Vague laws invite arbitrary power," Gorsuch said, citing legal history from the time of the nation's founding and earlier, as Scalia often did. "The law's silence (in defining the crimes that require deportation) leaves judges to their intuitions and the people to their fate."


NYPD Investigation Into Anthony Weiner Is Exposing Higher Corruption

Arnold Ahlert: Entitlements: Moral Bankruptcy Fuels Fiscal Bankruptcy

And if enough Americans continue countenancing the former, the latter is inevitable.

Few things reveal the fraudulent nature of our ostensible two-party system better than the nation’s steady march toward fiscal armageddon. Neither Democrats nor Republicans evince anything resembling fiscal responsibility. Instead both parties are about prioritizing programs, entitlements and pork-barrel spending projects each one needs to ensure its respective political constituencies are sufficiently bought off. In short, political self-interest has eviscerated statesmanship.

“Deficits will top $800 billion this year and will reach $1 trillion by 2020, just as President Trump prepares to face voters in his bid for re-election,” The Washington Times reports. “They will remain above $1 trillion for the foreseeable future … painting a better economic picture but a significantly worse fiscal picture than last year.”

The future revealed by the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) “2017 Long-Term Budget Outlook” is surreal. And despite assertions by a group of liberal economists that the latest tax cuts, rather than entitlement programs, are leading the way, is absurd.


3 Student Journalists Sue University for Covering Up Teacher's Role in Anti-Trump Rally

Three student journalists have filed a lawsuit against their Illinois university and an instructor, alleging that the teacher grabbed and broke a smartphone as they tried to report on an anti-Trump rally.

The three students’ federal suit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and instructor Tariq Khan says that the university got a restraining order preventing them from reporting on Khan’s involvement in the November protest against President Donald Trump.

Khan, 39, was charged with destruction of property after taking and smashing a student’s smartphone on the pavement, an action caught on video.

The suit contends that the instructor and university officials violated the students’ constitutional rights to free press, free speech, and due process, according to the law firm representing the students, Mauck & Baker, LLC.

“The First Amendment should not be a partisan issue or something only conservatives are willing to defend,” the law firm said in a formal statement.


New Jersey Blames Other States For Their Gun Woes

Did you know that the problems the state of New Jersey is having with gun-related crime are none of New Jersey’s fault? Not a one.

No, it seems that New Jersey’s tough anti-gun laws that take away rights from law-abiding people while doing nothing to stop actual criminals are just fine. It’s all the states that don’t buy into that line of bovine excrement that are to blame.

At least, that’s what some in New Jersey seem to think.

Three of every four traceable guns recovered by authorities in New Jersey are purchased in states with weaker gun laws.

That’s according to an analysis by The Record and of federal firearms trace data and a gun-law score card published by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The firearms trace data were compiled by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, between 2012 and 2016. The figures include guns used in crimes or found by authorities but not tied to specific crimes.

Some 40 percent of the firearms successfully traced during that period came to New Jersey via the so-called Iron Pipeline, made up of Southern states along the I-95 corridor with comparatively lax gun regulations.

An additional 16 percent were traced to Pennsylvania, which requires background checks for private sales of handguns but not rifles and other long guns.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Andrew McCabe Lied. So Will the FBI Apply the Same Rules Against Him That It Applies to All of Us?

It’s official: Andrew McCabe lied.

The new report from the Justice Department inspector general concludes that McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, lied to then-FBI Director James Comey, to other FBI agents, and to officials of the Office of the Inspector General. Some of those lies came when McCabe was under oath.

What did he lie about? Unauthorized disclosures about the FBI’s investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The information was leaked to a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.

The inspector general has completed his work. The question now is, will the Justice Department prosecute McCabe? Or, put another way: Will the FBI and the Justice Department follow the same rules they apply to members of the public who lie to a federal agent?


Supreme Court Doesn't Want to Hear Imprisoned Ex-Gov. Blagojevich's Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will not hear former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appeal, marking the end of a decadelong legal road and virtually guaranteeing he will remain in prison until 2024 barring a presidential pardon or commutation.

The justices did not comment in letting stand the convictions and 14-year prison term that Blagojevich is serving. It marked the second time in two years that the high court has rejected hearing Blagojevich's appeal.

Blagojevich's lawyers had hoped the Supreme Court would take up his case to make clear what constitutes illegal political fundraising. They argued that politicians are vulnerable to prosecution because the line between what's allowed and what's illegal is blurry.

His convictions included trying to extort a children's hospital for contributions and seeking cash in exchange for an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he was elected president in 2008.


The New Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Marijuana

The price of medical marijuana could fall dramatically for some patients by mid-summer. And the drug will soon be used to treat opioid withdrawal in Pennsylvania, which will become the second state after New Jersey to allow it for that purpose.

At a news conference in Harrisburg, Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said she had approved the sale of cannabis flower, the traditional smokable or vaporizable form of the plant.

"It's another tool," Levine said. "The whole idea of this program is to provide another tool in the toolbox of physicians to treat these conditions."

Since the launch of the state medical marijuana program in February, dispensaries in Pennsylvania have sold only pricey marijuana oils and extracts. Flower, also known as leaf or bud, needs no processing and is less expensive to produce.

"For some patients, the cost of their medical marijuana could drop by 50 percent with the addition of flower," said Chris Visco, owner of TerraVida Holistic Centers, a chain of dispensaries with shops in Sellersville and Abington. "It offers the lowest price per milligram of THC, the active ingredient."


With Fewer Police Applicants, Departments Engage in Bidding Wars

Hiring police officers is much harder than it used to be. To stay competitive, some are offering generous pay increases and bonuses.

Like many law enforcement agencies, the Utah Highway Patrol has lots of vacancies to fill as officers leave for higher-paying jobs. It also has a lot of competition. Salt Lake City recently announced plans to hire 50 additional officers for its police force. This prompted the city council in nearby Ogden to approve pay raises and extra bonuses for many of its officers as a preemptive measure to thwart departures to the larger department in Salt Lake.

Highway Patrol Col. Mike Rapich has observed what he calls a “wage war” among agencies competing for personnel. “We’re in a really aggressive recruiting effort,” he says, “probably more so than I’ve seen in the 25 years I’ve been with the agency.”

Law enforcement officials across the country say they’re struggling to fill vacancies, largely due to retirements and moves to the private sector. A national survey by the Center for State and Local Government Excellence found last year that governments are having more trouble hiring police than any other category of personnel. Agencies are scrambling to attract and retain talent, often by boosting compensation packages or ramping up recruitment.


Researchers mark death of Pearl Harbor mastermind Yamamoto

A group from the U.S. and Japan is trekking to a remote Pacific island jungle to document what is considered one of the most important wreck sites of World War II: the place where American fighters shot down a Japanese bomber carrying the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack.

Three members of a New York-based WWII research organization and a Japanese aviation expert plan to visit the crash site on Bougainville, part of Papua New Guinea, on Wednesday - the 75th anniversary of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's death.

Yamamoto had spent several years in the U.S. earlier in his military career, studying at Harvard University and admiring America's industrial might.

In the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, he was quite possibly the most hated man in America.


Noemie Emery: Ted Kennedy's enablers at Chappaquiddick

“This one’s for you, Mary Jo.” So read signs in the Bay State in 2010, when Republican Scott Brown won the Senate seat opened up by the passing of Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy. Even before the film “Chappaquiddick,” the stain scrubbed at so hard by some of those featured in the movie had never been wholly erased.

The senator, weak as he was, was hardly the worst of the people depicted. That honor goes to the fixers, who showed up to “help” him escape the consequences of his actions. They saved his career, but not his reputation. And they gave to themselves the stigma they merit, and to his dead brothers a guilt-by-relation they did not deserve.

By 1969, when the accident happened, the Kennedys had been through a series of tortured transitions, when one of its sons met a violent ending, and the expectations around him passed on to the next: Joseph "Joe" P. Kennedy Jr. was killed in the war, and the torch passed to John F. Kennedy; JFK was killed, and the torch passed to Robert "Bobby" F. Kennedy; Bobby was murdered, and the torch passed to Ted, by whom it was dropped.


House Democrat Pushes Licensing Requirement for Handgun Owners

Representative Elizabeth Esty (D-CT) is pushing legislation to require licenses for handgun owners throughout the United States.

The legislation, HR 5490, is titled the “Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act.”

HR 5490 would not only require licenses but would also provide federal grants to help states cover the expense of a licensing program.

The bill is based on the inaccurate claim that “33,000 Americans were killed by guns” in 2013. Hillary Clinton made this claim again and again during her failed 2016 campaign, and Breitbart News showed that her claims actually exaggerated “gun violence” deaths by 66 percent.

In reality, the number of accidental deaths was 505, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the number of deaths due to actual “gun violence” was 11,208. The number of suicides was 21,175. When Clinton spoke, she would combine homicides, accidental deaths, and suicides as if all were the result of “gun violence” and present a death toll of 33,000. Rep. Esty is doing the same thing.


Philadelphia Starbucks manager claims loitering was ongoing problem

The Starbucks manager who called the police on two black customers for trespassing has spoken out, claiming that loitering has been an ongoing issue in the store.

The employee, named only as Holly, has since 'mutually parted ways' with the Philadelphia store after video went viral of the two men being arrested as they waited for their friend to arrive at the coffee shop.

The incident has sparked sit-ins and protests at the store as many claim the black men were racially profiled by the manager. On Monday, interfaith clergy leaders staged a sit-in at the Center City Starbucks to demand action.

Holly, who managed the 18th and Spruce Street location for a year before leaving the company, told on Saturday that she'd had problems with loiterers and one had even chased her round the shop after she asked them to leave.


It's the end of the Castro era in Cuba

With Raúl to step down as president, his chosen successor emerged as the only candidate to replace him.

Raúl Castro, who took over from his brother Fidel 12 years ago and led Cuba through some of its biggest changes in decades, is expected to step down as president on Thursday and hand power to someone outside the Castro dynasty for the first time since the Cuban revolution more than half a century ago.

During his two terms as president, Mr. Castro opened up his Communist country to a small but vital private sector and, perhaps most significantly, diplomatic relations with the United States. It was a notable departure from his brother’s agenda, yet it was possible only because he, too, was a Castro.

New ways to tackle prostate cancer discovered

Thousands of men's lives could be saved after a world first study found new ways to tackle prostate cancer.

Scientists have discovered 80 proteins which trigger prostate cancer and cause it to spread.

The revelation means drugs currently used to treat breast, ovarian and skin cancer could in future be given to prostate cancer patients.

They could be life-saving for the one in seven men who die within a decade of getting prostate cancer.

These men need further treatment beyond radiotherapy, hormone therapy and surgery to remove their prostate gland. Currently there are just seven drugs available to block two proteins which cause prostate cancer.

But the study led by the Institute of Cancer Research in London has now found another 80 proteins which could be stopped with a single daily pill.


Automatic Voter Registration Goes Beyond the DMV

The most recent states to adopt the practice are expanding it to agencies that serve disenfranchised populations, including the poor and disabled.

New Jersey on Tuesday became the 12th state, plus the District of Columbia, to enact an automatic voter registration law, which is intended to increase participation in elections.

While automatic voter registration (AVR) is itself a new trend -- first adopted in Oregon in 2015 -- New Jersey's law represents a new twist: It allows the practice to extend beyond the DMV.

Automatic voter registration typically happens when people apply for or renew a driver's license. But four of the last five laws of this kind either require or open the door for people to be automatically registered to vote when they interact with government in other ways.


Illegal immigrants seeking jobs, not safety, survey shows

The Hondurans who make up most of the illegal immigrant caravan still churning through Mexico say they’re asylum seekers — but the vast majority of their countrymen making the journey north are actually regular economic migrants, according to a new study this month.

Relatively few are actually fleeing violence, while more than 80 percent told pollsters it’s all about better opportunities elsewhere. The poll was taken by the Reflection, Research and Communication Team, which is affiliated with the Roman Catholic order of Jesuits in Honduras, and surveyed nearly 1,600 Hondurans in February, just a month before the caravan organized.

A stunning 44.3 percent of Hondurans said they are looking to emigrate — a figure that suggests a new surge of people could be headed north.

The findings, which were released last week in Honduras and translated and released here in the U.S. by the Center for Immigration Studies on Monday, contrast with the image of the caravan, whose participants claim they are asylum seekers who deserve political protections in the U.S.


Somehow, it is supposed to be a scandal that Sean Hannity asked Michael Cohen for advice

President Trump’s tweet that “Attorney-client confidentiality is dead” was doubly accurate. I concede that Judge Kimba Wood has a law degree and many years of experience and I don’t, but I am still stunned by her cavalier disregard for the protections of lawyer-client confidentiality. She refused a request by President Trump and Michael Cohen’s lawyers to be the first to review documents seized from the lawyer’s office and homes..

Another person whose privacy was shredded by Judge Wood is Sean Hannity. Right there, on the front page of the New York Times and constantly on CNN and MSNBC, the supposedly shocking news that Michael Cohen named Sean Hannity as a client of his when forced to name all of his clients in open court by Judge Kimba Wood. More shocking to me is that a federal judge would so casually force disclosure of any lawyer’s client list, which are not, in my understanding, matters of public record. But Judge Wood, who named no legal reasoning for her ruling, must have some basis in law…one would hope. The question now is moot, since the horse is out of the barn, but the ruling strikes me as wrong-headed.


Ketamine spray can stop suicidal thoughts, study finds

An anesthetic that is also used as a ‘club drug’ can help people with dangerously suicidal thoughts, rapidly treating their depression and wish to die, researchers reported Monday.

The drug, called ketamine, has already been shown to help when given intravenously. Developers tried a nasal spray formulation that they thought might act more quickly and be easier to give.

The hope is to help patients hold on until more traditional anti-depressants and therapy have a chance to click in, developers said.


Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Shells

Crowley Making Moves to Succeed Pelosi as Dem House Leader

Democratic lawmakers and aides say Rep. Joe Crowley’s (D., N.Y.) maneuvers to become the Democrats’ next House leader are no secret, despite his maintained stance that he has no such intention.

Nearly 30 Democratic lawmakers and aides interviewed by Politico generally agreed: Crowley is making moves to succeed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) in hopes of being the next speaker of the House. Crowley, who serves as the Democratic Caucus chairman, said he’s focused on Democrats winning the House and doesn't have plans to challenge Pelosi, but his travel schedule has been reminiscent of a party leader’s.

Some Democrats want him to go for it.

"I think Pelosi and Hoyer ought to take the message from [Paul] Ryan’s retirement and realize it’s time for this caucus to move on. And I think Crowley fits the bill to be our next leader," Rep. Filemon Vela (D., Texas) said.

Vela’s comments reflect a wider dissatisfaction with Pelosi, whose leadership has been called "toxic" to the party’s image. Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D., N.J.) also gave Crowley an unsolicited endorsement in March, saying the House’s culture was changing and Democrats ought to "start fresh."


The 4-Day School Week Gets Introduced to Cities and Suburbs

The public school in Campo, Colorado, hasn’t required all its students to come to class on Fridays for nearly two decades. The 44-student district dropped a weekday to boost attendance and better attract teachers to a town so deep in farm country that the nearest grocery store is more than 20 miles away.

“I think the four-day week helped us, initially, in recruiting teachers,” the superintendent, Nikki Johnson, said. “Now that so many districts are on four-day, that’s not much of an incentive.”

No national database tracks the number of public schools that cram instructional hours into four days. But the schedule — long popular in rural Western communities — is becoming more common elsewhere as school leaders search for ways to both attract teachers and save money.

In Oklahoma, for instance, where teachers recently staged a walkout to demand more school funding, cash-strapped districts have been using four-day weeks to cope with a teacher shortage and state budget cuts. Last school year, 97 districts of 513 ran on the compressed schedule, nearly twice as many as the previous year.