July 26, 2017

A.G. Jeff Sessions Denies Russia Collusion, Defends Comey firing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, in dramatic Senate testimony, on Tuesday decried suggestions he colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign as an “appalling and detestable lie” — while staunchly defending his role in the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

“I have never met with or had any conversations with any Russians or any foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election,” Sessions told the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I have no knowledge of any such conversations by anyone connected to the Trump campaign.”

The attorney general addressed the same Senate panel that heard last week from Comey, becoming the highest-ranking official to testify in the Russia investigation.

Democrats used the forum to pepper Sessions with tough questions, at times accusing him of “stonewalling” and impeding the congressional probe.

The normally reserved Sessions showed his feisty side in response, pushing back on what he called the “secret innuendo” being leaked about his contact with Russians and challenging portions of Comey’s testimony.

In a fiery opening statement, Sessions specifically contradicted Comey’s claims that he remained silent when the former FBI director expressed his concerns over a meeting with President Trump.

“I responded to his comment by agreeing that the FBI and Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow Department policies regarding appropriate contacts with the White House,” Sessions said, adding he was confident that Comey understood the rules on communicating with the White House about ongoing investigations.

Sessions had earlier recused himself from all matters relating to the Russia investigation after it was reported he had failed to disclose two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked Sessions about conflicting accounts rising from Comey’s testimony and claims that there was something “problematic” about Sessions’ role before his recusal.

Asked what issues might be problematic, Sessions raised his voice: “Why don’t you tell me? There are none, Senator Wyden, there are none … This is a secret innuendo being leaked out there about me, and I don’t appreciate it.”

Democrats appeared to be looking for evidence that Sessions’ contact with Russian officials was more significant than previously thought. Sessions has said neither of the two disclosed encounters had anything to with the Trump campaign in 2016 and that the meetings took place in his role as a lawmaker.

Sessions flatly denied a third meeting with the Russian liaison at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington during a campaign event in April.

“I did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel,” he said. “I did not attend any meetings at that event. Prior to the speech, I attended a reception with my staff that included at least two dozen people and President Trump. Though I do recall several conversations I had during that pre-speech reception, I do not have any recollection of meeting or talking to the Russian ambassador or any other Russian officials.”

Tuesday was Sessions’ first time in the witness seat since his confirmation hearing in February.

Sessions’ testimony came on the heels of Comey’s explosive testimony last week on Russia’s medding in U.S. elections and allegations that Trump tried to kill a related investigation.

During Comey’s hearing, he hinted at Sessions’ role in the controversy.

“We were also aware of facts that I cannot discuss in an open setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia investigation problematic,” Comey said.

The Justice Department and Sessions himself have pushed back on such suggestions. Sessions also has faced questions from Democrats about why he was involved in recommending Comey’s firing even after he recused himself from the Russia investigation. However, Sessions said Tuesday he had a duty to oversee the Justice Department and FBI, and a “fresh start” was needed at the FBI.

He also said he has the right to defend himself.

“I recused myself from any investigation into the campaign for president. I did not recuse myself from defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations,” he said.

Unlike Comey, who bluntly said he tried to avoid one-on-one encounters with Trump and began documenting their interactions, Sessions is a staunch supporter of the president.

Sessions was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump and was then-candidate Trump’s adviser on almost every major decision and policy proposal pushed on the campaign trail.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio asked Sessions whether Trump had recorded conversations he had in the White House with Comey – something Trump hinted he had done then walked back.

Comey said last week that he hopes there are tapes and encouraged the White House to release them.

“I do not [know],” Sessions said when asked whether he knows whether the president records his conversations.

Comey had also said that Sessions had lingered in the Oval Office following a group meeting, just before the private encounter during which Comey has said Trump asked him to pull back on his investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. As Trump tried to shoo everyone out to talk alone with Comey, Sessions lingered, in Comey’s account. Comey suggested this indicated the attorney general’s awareness that it was improper for Trump and Comey to meet alone together, given the specter of the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling and possible ties with the Trump campaign.

But Sessions disputed that was why he lingered, suggesting there was really nothing to it.

“I do recall being one of the last ones to leave, I don’t know how that occurred,” Sessions said. “I eventually left.”

By Barnini Chakraborty The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Accused Leaker is ‘Resist’ Trump Bernie Leftist

The alleged leaker accused of feeding a classified report to an online news site has a colorful history on social media that lays bare her political leanings as an environmentalist who wanted to “resist” President Trump.

Reality Winner, 25, is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation assigned to a federal facility in Georgia, where she allegedly leaked a classified intelligence report containing “Top Secret Level” information. The report, according to the Department of Justice, contained classified defense information from an intelligence community agency.

While the DOJ did not say which site published the information, the charges were announced just as The Intercept published details of a National Security Agency report on Russian hacking efforts during the 2016 presidential election.

According to the Justice Department, Winner admitted to printing a classified intelligence document despite not having a “need to know,” and with knowledge the report was classified. Winner further admitted removing the report from her office space and mailing it to the news outlet, according to the criminal complaint.

Why go through all the trouble and risk?

The Justice Department does not speak to motivation, but Winner’s social media pages indicate she was a passionate environmentalist who shared Bernie Sanders material online and held some anti-Trump views. She shared numerous articles and comments against the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines (which Trump has moved to revive) on her Facebook page, even posting a letter she sent to the office of Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga.

“Repeat after me: In the United States of America, in the year 2017, access to clean, fresh water is not a right, but a privilege based off of one’s socio-economic status,” Winner wrote in a Facebook posting about four months ago.

Winner also posted using the hashtag #F—ingWall, in an entry about Trump “silencing” the Environment Protection Agency.

Winner also posted in February, before Trump revived construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline: “You have got to be s—ting me right now. No one has called? The White House shut down their phone lines. There have been protests for months, at both the drilling site and outside the White House. I’m losing my mind. If you voted for this piece of s—, explain this. He’s lying. He’s blatantly lying and the second largest supply of freshwater in the country is now at risk. #NoDAPL #NeverMyPresident #Resist.”

And in one telling post before the general election, she wrote, “On a positive note, this Tuesday when we become the United States of the Russian Federation, Olympic lifting will be the national sport.”

As for non-political interests, her social accounts also suggest she’s a workout buff and donates to veterans’ and children’s charities.

The Justice Department did not specify whether Winner is being charged in connection with the Intercept’s report, but the site noted the NSA report cited in its story was dated May 5 of this year — the affidavit released by the DOJ supporting Winner’s arrest also said the report was dated “on or about” May 5.

“Exceptional law enforcement efforts allowed us to quickly identify and arrest the defendant,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Monday. “Releasing classified material without authorization threatens our nation’s security and undermines public faith in government.”

Rosenstein added: “People who are trusted with classified information and pledge to protect it must be held accountable when they violate that obligation.”

Winner has held a top secret clearance during her employment at Pluribus International Corporation. She has been employed at the facility since mid-February.

Late Monday night, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange tweeted his support for Winner.

“Alleged NSA whistle-blower Reality Leigh winner must be supported. She is a young woman accused of courage in trying to help us know,” Assange posted on Twitter.

Brooke Singman. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

 

Climate Experts are Baffled by Latest “Global Warming” Findings

Global Warming protestors concerned about deforestation and loss of habitat are ignorant of the fact that slight temperature increases have actually increased forested regions by 9%. They also assume the rises are due to industrial pollution, and not natural warming and cooling trends produced by solar activity cycles.

Patrick Michaels, a climate expert and director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, says combining the findings of two important studies could reveal “a remarkable hypothesis” about the benefits of increased carbon-dioxide levels and global warming.

In a recent article published on the Cato Institute’s blog, Michaels describes the results of a recent study published in Science, a highly influential journal, that examined global drylands and found global forest cover had been undercounted by “at least 9%” in previous studies.

Michaels then recounts the findings produced by researcher Zaichan Zhu and 31 coauthors in 2016, which revealed—based on “a remarkable analysis of global vegetation change since satellite sensors became operational in the late 1970s”—that the “vast majority of the globe’s vegetated area shows greening, with 25-50% of that area showing a statistically significant change, while only 4% of the vegetated area is significantly browning,” according to Michaels.

A winter fair used to be held on the frozen Thames River in London every year, and even elephants could walk across the thick ice. These annual affairs came to an end even before the rise of the industrial age due to a natural warming trend of the earth, which could reverse in the near future, depending on solar activity.

As Michaels quotes in his post, the researchers found, “Factorial simulations with multiple global ecosystem models show that CO2 fertilization effects explain 70% of the observed greening trend …”

“And the other greening driver that stood out from the statistical noise was—you guessed it—climate change,” Michaels added to the researchers’ quote.

At the same time the Thames River would freeze in London, the Delaware was likewise known to freeze and be choked with ice during the American Revolution. These annual deep freezes ceased before the rise of the industrial age.

By combining the two studies’ findings together, Michaels says a “remarkable hypothesis” emerges: “This may lead to a remarkable hypothesis—that one of the reasons the forested regions were undercounted in previous surveys (among other reasons) is that there wasn’t enough vegetation present to meet Bastin’s criterion for ‘forest,’ which is greater than 10% tree cover, and carbon dioxide and global warming changed that.”

Put simply, Michaels is suggesting it’s possible one of the primary reasons forest cover had previously been undercounted is because significant greening linked to carbon-dioxide emissions and higher temperatures has occurred in recent decades. If a direct link could be proven, this would be a very important revelation, because it would add to the mounting evidence that shows the benefits of a warmer global climate outweigh any drawbacks.

Contrary to the arguments often made by climate alarmists, higher temperatures are much less dangerous than global cooling would be, and climate scientists cannot guarantee that global cooling won’t occur at some point in the relatively near future. In fact, some scientists believe global cooling could be just around the corner.

In 2016, Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University and a team of researchers found future solar cycles could produce much lower temperatures.

“We will see it from 2020 to 2053, when the three next cycles will be very reduced magnetic field of the sun,” Zharkova said, according to a report by Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That? “Whatever we do to the planet, if everything is done only by the sun, then the temperature should drop similar like it was in the Maunder Minimum. At least in the Northern hemisphere, where this temperature is well protocoled and written. We didn’t have many measurements in the Southern hemisphere, we don’t know what will happen with that, but in the Northern hemisphere, we know it’s very well protocoled. The rivers are frozen. There are winters and no summers, and so on.”

Watts points out “because things are not the same as they were in the 17th century,” it’s not clear whether the cooling will actually occur, but he said, “it will be interesting to see how the terrestrial and the solar influences play out.”

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BREAKING ALLEGATION: Jared Kushner Wanted Secret Communications Channel with Russia

–Developing —

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and one of the senior advisers in the Trump administration, was seeking a private communications channel with the Kremlin, according to a new report in The Washington Post.

Kushner and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak spoke of the possibility of coordinating a secret and secure communications channel between the Trump transition team and the Kremlin, the paper said.

Kushner suggested the use of Russian diplomatic facilities as a way to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports told The Post.

Read more . . .

Study: Physically Weak Men More Likely To Prefer Socialism

Surprise, surprise. Men who are physically weak are more likely to favor socialist policies.

An academic study from researchers at Brunel University London assessed 171 men, looking at their height, weight, overall physical strength and bicep circumference, along with their views on redistribution of wealth and income inequality. The study, published in the Evolution and Human Behavior journal, ​found that weaker men were more likely to favor socialist policies than stronger men.

Exhibit A:

Brunel University’s Michael Price believes this may be a product of evolutionary psychology.

“This is about our Stone Age brains, in a modern society,” said Dr. Price. “Our minds evolved in environments where strength was a big determinant of success. If you find yourself in a body not threatened by other males, if you feel you can win competitions for status, then maybe you start thinking inequality is pretty good.”

Taking his assessment one step further, Price wanted to factor in gym time to see if he could determine the relationship flow between strength and socialistic leanings. Are men who are naturally strong more inclined to hold capitalistic views, or are men with capitalistic views driven to go to the gym?

“When Dr Price factored in time spent in the gym some, but not all, of the link disappeared,” notes The Times, suggesting there may be something to men with capitalistic views hitting the gym.

“Of course this isn’t rational in modern environments, where your ability to win might have more to do with where you went to university. Lot of guys who are phenomenally successful in modern societies would probably be nowhere near as successful in hunter gatherer societies,” added Price.

Other studies in the past have also suggested stronger men are more right-wing than physically weaker men. “Researchers found that men’s opinions on redistribution of wealth could be predicted by their upper body strength, with powerful men more likely to take a conservative stance of protecting their own interests,” noted The Telegraph of a 2013 study from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Anyone with two eyes would be hard-pressed to refute such findings.

Devastating Evidence of Collusion With Russia

Kremlin-crazed Trumpophobes snored as Hillary and Bill made Russia great again–How the Clintons Sold Out U.S. National Nuclear Interests to the Putin Regime

The Democrats and old-guard news media (forgive the redundancy) are pathologically obsessed with the hypothesis that Team Trump and Russia rigged last November’s presidential election. If Donald J. Trump so much as played Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slav on his stereo, these leftists deduce, he was in cahoots with the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, the same folks who spy a KGB agent behind every filing cabinet in Trump’s White House are aggressively apathetic about Hillary and Bill Clinton’s policies, decisions, and actions that gave aid and comfort to Russia.

Hillary’s much-mocked “Russian reset” established the tone for the Clintons’ coziness with the Kremlin. On March 6, 2009, during a trip to Geneva, she presented Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov a small, red button. Hillary thought it was emblazoned with the Russian word for “reset.” Her team mistranslated and the button actually read “overload.” Nonetheless, Clinton and Lavrov jointly pressed the symbolic button. And a new era in U.S.–Russian relations erupted.

While visiting Moscow on March 24, 2010, Hillary explained the Reset’s purpose: “Our goal is to help strengthen Russia.”

Hillary said this in an interview with veteran broadcaster Vladimir Pozner of Russia’s First Channel TV network. Pozner is a Soviet-era relic who still communicates in barely accented English. During the Cold War, he popped up on American TV and radio programs and presented the views of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Pozner’s pleasantries made him and his totalitarian bosses seem blandly benign.

The shadiest deal that the Clintons hatched with Russia is called Uranium One. This outrage should mushroom into Hillary and Bill’s radioactive Whitewater scandal.

Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul and major Clinton Foundation donor, led a group of investors in an enterprise called Uranium One. On June 8, 2010, Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, announced plans to purchase a 51.4 percent stake in the Canadian company, whose international assets included some 20 percent of America’s uranium capacity.

Because this active ingredient in atomic reactors and nuclear weapons is a strategic commodity, this $1.3 billion deal required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Secretary of State Clinton was one of nine federal department and agency heads on that secretive panel.

On June 29, 2010, three weeks after Rosatom proposed to Uranium One, Bill Clinton keynoted a seminar staged by Renaissance Capital in Moscow, a reputedly Kremlin-controlled investment bank that promoted this transaction. Renaissance Capital paid Clinton $500,000 for his one-hour speech.

While CFIUS evaluated Rosatom’s offer, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer observed, “a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” began. “These Canadian mining magnates decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

These included Uranium One’s then-chairman, Ian Telfer, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) totaled $3.1 million. Giustra himself gave $131.3 million to the Clinton Foundation. Before, during, and after CFIUS’s review, Schweizer calculates, “shareholders involved in this transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives.”

Others were less enthused about this deal.

“Russia’s record of transferring dangerous materials and technologies to rogue regimes, such as those in Iran and Syria, is very troubling,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, wrote to CFIUS’s then-chairman, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The top Republicans on the Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Armed Services Committees also signed Ros-Lehtinen’s letter of October 5, 2010.

“We believe that this potential takeover of U.S. nuclear resources by a Russian government–owned agency would pose great potential harm to the national security of the United States,” the letter read, “and we urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to block the sale.”

As a CFIUS member, Hillary could have heeded this warning and stopped Vladimir Putin from controlling a fifth of U.S. uranium supplies. America’s chief diplomat and former first lady either welcomed this prospect or was too uncharacteristically demure to make her objections stick.

In either case, on October 23, 2010, within three weeks of that letter, CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of a majority stake in Uranium One.

Thanks to subsequent investments, Rosatom’s share of Uranium One grew to 100 percent by January 2013. Robert Gill of Morrison Williams Investment Management told Canada’s Financial Post: “By doing this acquisition, they can continue to build the company they intended to build, but they can do so without the transparency required by the public markets.”

Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko crowed just after taking total control of Uranium One, “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves.”

A headline in Pravda boasted on January 22, 2013: “Russian nuclear energy conquers the world.”

My old friend Michael Caputo performed public-relations work for Renaissance Capital in 1999–2000. He says it subsequently became “a practical arm of Vladimir Putin.” Caputo was stunned at the speed with which CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

“In 2010–2011, I ran acquisition communications for Safran Group, the French government–controlled defense contractor which bought the US biometrics company L-1,” Caputo wrote in PoliticsNY.net. “It took us almost two years to gain CFIUS approval for France, an historic ally, to purchase a biometrics firm, not even remotely a strategic asset.” He added, “These two CFIUS approvals were happening at precisely the same time. Safran couldn’t buy a break and was questioned at every turn. Somehow, Kremlin-controlled Rosatom’s purchase sailed through on a cool breeze.”

A strong wind lifted Hillary’s efforts to help Boeing seal a major sale to the Kremlin. She visited Moscow on October 13, 2009. She was there, in part, to boost the American jet manufacturer.

“We’re delighted that a new Russian airline, Rosavia, is actively considering the acquisition of Boeing aircraft. And this is a shameless pitch for Rosavia,” Clinton said at Moscow’s Boeing Design Center. “The Ex-Im Bank would welcome an application for financing from Rosavia to support its purchase of Boeing aircraft.”

Three days later, according to the Washington Post, “Boeing formally submitted its bid for the Russian deal.”

On June 1, 2010, the Kremlin-owned Rostekhnologii company — mercifully, it’s now called Rostec — had great news for the plane maker: It decided to buy as many as 50 Boeing 737 jets for Russia’s national airline, Aeroflot. Reported price: $3.7 billion.

That August 17, just ten weeks later, Boeing announced a $900,000 gift to the Clinton Foundation to “help support the reconstruction of Haiti’s public education system” after a massive earthquake pulverized the impoverished nation the previous January.

The Clinton Foundation’s website declares total contributions from Boeing to be between $1 million and $5 million.

Boeing also very generously supported the USA Pavilion at the 2010 World’s Fair in Shanghai, a project that Hillary championed. While visiting China on November 16, 2009, Hillary announced that Boeing “has just agreed to double its contribution to $2 million.”

But this gift was fishy, too.

“Clinton did not point out that, to secure the donation, the State Department had set aside ethics guidelines that first prohibited solicitations of Boeing and then later permitted only a $1 million gift from the company,” Rosalind S. Helderman explained in the April 13, 2014, Washington Post. “State Department officials ruled out soliciting Boeing and other large firms with significant business relationships with the government.” These authorities then changed their minds and permitted Boeing’s contribution, although no one can explain how Boeing shattered that $1 million ceiling.

Hillary Clinton also favored Skolkovo, an “innovation city” near Moscow, which enjoyed some $5 billion in Russian-government seed money. She discussed Skolkovo with Russia’s then-president, Dimitry Medvedev.

“At a long meeting I had with Medvedev outside Moscow in October 2009, he raised his plan to build a high-tech corridor in Russia modeled after our own Silicon Valley,” Hillary said. “When I suggested that he visit the original in California, he turned to his staff and told them to follow up.”

The month before Medved’s June 2010 visit to Silicon Valley, the State Department arranged for 22 leading U.S. venture capitalists to tour Skolkovo. Under Hillary, State encouraged American companies to participate in the Skolkovo project. Cisco, Google, and Intel are among those that got involved.

By 2012, Skolkovo boasted 28 “Key Partners” in the U.S., Europe, and Russia. Among these major supporting organizations, three-fifths had donated or pledged funds to the Clinton Foundation or paid speaking fees to Bill Clinton. According to From Russia with Money, an August 2016 study by the Government Accountability Institute, these 17 “Key Partner” entities donated between $6.5 million and $23.5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Far more troubling, in 2014, the FBI wrote companies that operated in Skolkovo or backed the Skolkovo Foundation.

“The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application,” warned Boston-based FBI agent Lucia Ziobro. “The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”

The U.S. Army Foreign Military Studies Program at Fort Leavenworth concluded in 2013: “Skolkovo is arguably an overt alternative to clandestine industrial espionage.”

The Clintons actually did these things. This is no unicorn hunt. No theory, speculation, or breathless, Cold War fantasy is required. These actions (and inactions) happened.

When it comes to Team Trump, Democrats and their journalist pals are as relentless as bloodhounds chasing escaped jailbirds. And yet, regarding the Clintons, the Democrats and old-guard news people are as ferocious as puppies enjoying a roaring fireplace.

By all means, let Congress and the media get to the bottom of what, if anything, Russia may have done to influence last year’s elections and what, if anything, Team Trump did to help.

But let’s also root out what, if anything, the Clintons did to advance Russia’s strategic position, while feathering their nests.

These are vital questions for both sides, and dogged investigators need to dig up all the answers.

Puppies need not apply.

 

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based contributing editor of National Review Online. William de Wolff furnished research for this article.

Terror Suspected: Explosion, Panic and Death at Ariana Grande Concert in England

MANCHESTER, England — At least one explosion, which may have been a suicide bombing, thundered through a Manchester concert arena on Monday night just as a performance by the pop star Ariana Grande ended, in what the police described as a “terrorist incident.” They said at least 19 people had been killed and 50 wounded as panicked spectators, including adolescents, screamed and fled.

There was no immediate word from the police on the precise cause of the blast, but it evoked the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, which included a deadly assault inside a concert arena where the Eagles of Death Metal had been playing.

“This is currently being treated as a terrorist incident until the police know otherwise,” the Manchester police said in a Twitter post.

People at the concert at the Manchester Arena said they had heard what sounded like explosions at the end of the show, around 10:30 p.m.

There were unconfirmed reports that a suicide bomber had detonated a nail-filled explosive device.

At least one explosion happened in the foyer of the arena, not the main event hall, according to the British Transport Police, the force that protects Victoria Station, the train terminus next to the arena. The terminal was evacuated.

Early Tuesday morning, Sky News reported that a bomb disposal team had arrived on the scene as part of a police investigation and that the security cordon around the arena had been widened.

One concertgoer, Sasina Akhtar, told The Manchester Evening News that there had been an explosion at the back of the arena after the last song. “We saw young girls with blood on them,” she said. “Everyone was screaming, and people were running.”

Ms. Grande, 23, a singer with a big voice who started her career as a star on a Nickelodeon TV series, is on an international tour supporting her 2016 album, “Dangerous Woman.” Two additional acts, Victoria Monét and Bia, performed as openers on Monday. The tour was scheduled to continue on Thursday at the O2 Arena in London.

“Ariana is O.K.,” said her publicist, Joseph Carozza. “We are further investigating what happened.”

Parents separated from their children during the mayhem were told to go to a Holiday Inn, where many children had taken refuge. Local residents offered stranded concertgoers places to stay in their homes.

Gary Walker, who was at the show with his wife and two daughters, said he “heard a massive bang and saw a flash” just as the concert finished. He turned and realized that his wife had been hurt. Mr. Walker, who is from the northern city of Leeds, said she had a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg. He said he lay down with her and saw “metal nuts on the floor.”

Ms. Walker was taken to a hospital, and Mr. Walker was standing with his daughters at Deansgate, the main shopping street in Manchester.

The confusion and fear in the hours afterward was reflected on social media. One Twitter post asked: “Did anybody see my girlfriend? I lost her in the chaos.”

The BBC interviewed one witness who was waiting outside the arena to pick up his wife and daughter. He recounted that the “whole building shook,” that there was “carnage everywhere,” and that the explosion appeared to come from near the stadium’s ticket area.

Photo

Police officers at the Manchester Arena on Monday. A bomb disposal team arrived at the scene early Tuesday as part of the investigation, but there was no confirmation that a bomb or bombs had gone off. Credit Peter Byrne/Press Association, via Associated Press

Videos posted on Twitter showed concertgoers running and screaming. Hannah Dane, who attended the performance, told The Guardian that she had heard “quite a loud explosion.”

She added, “It shook, then everyone screamed and tried to get out.”

The Greater Manchester Police said in a statement, “There are a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured.”

The Manchester Arena, opened in 1995, can hold up to 21,000 spectators; it was not clear how many people were in the crowd for the concert.

Karen Ford, a witness, told the BBC that she had been leaving the concert when the blast happened. “Everyone was just getting out of their seats and walking toward the stairs when all of a sudden a huge sound, which sounded like an explosion, went off,” she said.

“Everyone tried to push people up the stairs,” she recalled, adding that in the chaos, people tried to push past a woman in a wheelchair as children screamed.

She said there was no smoke, just one very loud bang. “It was very, very loud,” she said, adding that her husband thought he had heard a second explosion. “There were shoes on the floor,” left behind by people who had fled, she recalled.

“Just chaos,” she said. “I was trying to tell people to calm down.” She added that the crush of people trying to flee created a perilous situation: “We were being crushed.”

Outside, Ms. Ford said, parents awaited children who had attended the concert, checking their smartphones in a panic. “Everyone was trying to find each other,” she said.

Watch: The Inconvenient Truth about the Democratic Party’s History of Racism

Democratic Governor George Wallace invokes National Guard to keep Blacks from attending state universities

Radio show host Dennis Prager’s conservative/libertarian educational video group Prager U teamed up with author and controversial Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain to dispel the notion that the Republican Party is the racist entity in Washington, D.C.’s, two-party system.

Swain has caused uproar in the past by stating in a 2015 article for The Tennessean that we must “institute serious monitoring of Islamic organizations.” She is also a heavy critic of the racial activist group, Black Lives Matter, calling it a  “very destructive force” during an interview on CNN last July.

In the video titled, “The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party,” Swain explained that despite modern notions that the Republican Party is causing grief for minorities, its record of fighting for the freedom and civil rights of minorities is stellar, and that it was the Democratic Party that consistently attempted to stand in the way of civil rights.

“Since its founding in 1829, the Democratic Party has fought against every major civil rights initiative, and has a long history of discrimination,” Swain said.

Swain recounted the founding of the Republican Party in 1854 as the anti-slavery party, with the intention of abolishing the practice of slavery, and stopping its expansion into the western territories. Their first attempt to abolish slavery failed when the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were not citizens, but were property in the 1857 case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Of the nine justices on the Supreme Court at that time, the seven who voted for slavery were all Democrats, but the two dissenting justices were both Republican.

Swain then explained how the issue of slavery was resolved during the Civil War, prompting the creation of the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery), the 14th Amendment (granting blacks citizenship), and the 15th Amendment (granting blacks the right to vote). All of these amendments, Swain said, were resisted by every Democrat in office, and only passed because of universal Republican support.

Swain continued by telling of the Democrats segregation efforts that began during the reconstruction era, and continued all the way through to the 1960s, when Democrats took measures that suppressed the rights of blacks to vote, or own property. This was stopped by the Civil Rights Act, which Democrats filibustered for 75 days. Republicans eventually claimed victory in favor for the Civil Rights Act, Swain said, but the Democrats would go on to adopt a new tactic.

“And when all of their efforts to enslave blacks, keep them enslaved, and then keep them from voting had failed, the Democrats came up with a new strategy: If black people are going to vote, they might as well vote for Democrats. As President Lyndon Johnson was purported to have said about the Civil Rights Act, ‘I’ll have them n*****s voting Democrat for two hundred years,’” Swain said.

Johnson’s “war on poverty,” enacted anti-poverty legislation such as the Food Stamp Act of 1964, and the Social Security Act of 1964. From 1965 to 1974, government provided benefits increased by a factor of 2o. As the Cato Institute noted in a study, these entitlement programs incentivized lifestyles that encouraged government dependence such as single motherhood in order to continue to receive greater government benefits. This reliance on government dependence encourages voting in favor of the party that champions welfare and entitlements.

“So now, the Democratic Party prospers on the votes of the very people it has spent much of its history oppressing.”

By  

Congressional Republicans Selfishly Refuse to Defend President Trump from a Never-ending, Orchestrated Campaign to Destroy his Agenda.

The Obama Administration struggled through one Congressional investigation after another, with the Departments of State, Justice, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Agriculture all getting their turn on the hot seat.  Interestingly, the public never really connected these scandals to Obama, instead associating Lois Lerner, Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and other career bureaucrats with the various investigations.  When President Obama first took office, his administration focused on placing political appointees in various government positions of influence.  Performance may have suffered when someone unqualified individual took over a powerful agency, but concern for the average citizen was not on the list of priorities.  In some instances, persons were appointed to certain positions for specific purposes.  Leon Panetta, whose intelligence experience was limited to two years as an Intelligence Officer in the Army from 1964 to 1966, was appointed Director of the CIA in 2009.  Panetta spent two years as CIA Director, which was more than enough time to conduct an internal investigation into the interrogation practices of the agency under the Bush Administration.  Lerner, Napolitano, Holder, and Clinton closely followed the script, as none of the scandals involving these agencies were ever connected to Obama.

President Obama was particularly adept at manipulating public perception.  Without exception, during every political crisis the GOP took the hit.  The Republicans were responsible for the shutting down of government over budget disagreements, and because the Republicans were so obstructionist, the President was forced to address prolific legislation through the use of Executive Orders.  At times, it appeared as if Obama would not find a way to avoid criticism.  The U.S. role in crafting the nuclear Treaty with Iran, and the subsequent night-time delivery of  four-hundred million dollars to the Iranians, not to mention the gift of one-hundred thirty tons of Uranium, didn’t seem to sit well with the American people.  But the Democratic Party, Congressional Democrats in particular, in-step with the main stream media, put out the fire in shockingly quick fashion.  The weak-kneed Republican Congressional leadership probably was too tired of fighting the fight, and focused instead on upcoming elections, which brings us to a big part of the problem.

A friend who works on the staff of a GOP Congressman frequently complains about how much time is allotted to campaigning.  He remarked that the next campaign always begins the morning after winning an election.  For a number of reasons, members of Congress are never prepared to move on to a live outside of Capitol Hill.  No doubt the most common reason for wanting to get re-elected in perpetuity is the sense of power public office can provide.  In addition, the great majority of Congressmen and women have enriched themselves while serving, which is why I am always pleasantly surprised when I learn of a Senator or a Representative from any political background who has not become a millionaire while in office.  These politicians take the access they are afforded through their position very seriously, which explains why so many Republican Congressmen refuse to support President Trump.  The Democrats have demonstrated how successful a president can be regarding his/her agenda, with the support of a united party, but the message just hasn’t caught on with the right.  Republicans on Capitol Hill are constantly worried about Trump’s “numbers”, because they don’t want to lose votes in the next election by supporting a damaged president . . .

Read the rest of the story >>

 

B

Visit Eric’s website and read a free sample of his new book at http://www.mukhabaratbaby.com/
Eric Burkhart is a retired CIA agent, who has written a book about his service, and he shares some unique insights into what really happened in the Middle East during the Gulf War.

Did DNC Staffer Seth Rich Send the 44,000 emails to WikiLeaks?

The family of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot and killed in Washington last summer has denied the report that their son leaked more than 44,000 emails to WikiLeaks before his death.

Rich was killed as he walked home in D.C.. He was shot twice in the back but wasn’t robbed. His wallet, cellphone, keys, watch and necklace were all left on him. Nevertheless, D.C. police are calling it a robbery, sparking rumors that they are actively trying to cover up the true reason he was murdered.

Coincidentally, as reported by the Underground Reporter, Seth Rich was also slated to testify in a Clinton investigation. According to the Washington Post, prior to his death Rich was looking into several instances of DNC electoral fraud and voter suppression, and was to give testimony in the case regarding Clinton’s email server — the very scandal kicked off by the Wikileaks data dump.

After announcing that WikiLeaks would pay $20,000 for information leading to the conviction of Rich’s murderer, Assange went on an interview with Nieuwsurr. During the interview, Assange implied that Rich was his source.

Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often significant risks. There was a 27-year old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back… murdered.. for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.

Host: That was just a robbery wasn’t it?

Assange: No. There’s no finding.

Host: What are you suggesting?

Assange: I am suggesting that our sources take risks and they become concerned to see things occurring like that.

Host: But was he one of your sources, then?

Assange: We don’t comment on who our sources are.

Host: But why make the suggestion?

Assange: Because we have to understand how high the stakes are in the United States and that our sources face serious risks… that’s why they come to us so we can protect their anonymity.

Host: But it’s quite something to suggest a murder… that’s basically what you’re doing.

Earlier Tuesday, Fox News reported that 27-year-old Seth Rich may have been the one who leaked information about the DNC to WikiLeaks that showed, among other things, that the DNC favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary.

The report states federal law enforcement investigators found 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between DNC leaders from January 2015 to May 2016 were sent by Rich to Gavin MacFayden, an American reporter and WikiLeaks director based in London who is now dead. That information was found in a FBI forensic report on Rich’s computer done within days of his murder.

Later in the day, Rich family spokesman Brad Bauman told NBC News the Fox News report was bogus. Bauman said Ed Butowsky, a conservative Dallas-based financial adviser, reached out to the family months ago with an offer to pay for a private investigator to look into Rich’s death.

The family agreed and paid Rod Wheeler, a former D.C. homicide detective, to look into the July 10 murder.

“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler told Fox News. “I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the D.C. police or FBI headquarters.”

Bauman, trying to separate the family’s views about their son’s death from the hired detective’s claims, shared Butowsky’s role with NBC.

“We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers,” the family’s statement continued. “The services of the private investigator who spoke to the press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family.”

A former law enforcement officer with firsthand knowledge of the investigation on Monday said Wheeler’s claim about Rich’s laptop was incorrect because the device had been searched and yielded no emails related to WikiLeaks. In addition, the FBI never looked over the evidence.

U.S. intelligence officials believe Russia, not Rich, hacked into the DNC and allowed that information to be sent to WikiLeaks.

Wheeler added he believes someone in the D.C. government, DNC or in Clinton’s camp is blocking the investigation.

Rich’s death is one of five deaths in a six week period of individuals who had been destructive to the Clinton campaign. One recent month, for instance, two prominent anti-Clinton activists were found dead within two days.

Renowned anti-Clinton researcher and writer for American Free Press (AFP), Victor Thorn, whose birth name was Scott Robert Makufka, was found dead from a gunshot wound near his home on August 1.

The very next day, Shawn Lucas, who was recently featured in a viral video serving the Democratic National Committee and its now-ousted head, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with a class-action lawsuit alleging a massive voter fraud scheme for rigging the Democratic primary for Hillary Clinton — was found lifeless by his girlfriend on the bathroom floor.

PUBLIUS

 

Why Comey was Fired: DOJ Rips Handling of Clinton Case

President Trump’s seemingly abrupt decision Tuesday to fire FBI Director James Comey was made at the recommendation of top Justice Department officials who claimed that his controversial handling of the Hillary Clinton email case last year rendered him unfit for the position.

A senior White House official told Fox News it was purely “coincidental” that the firing occurred on the same day Comey faced scrutiny for giving faulty testimony about emails sent from Clinton aide Huma Abedin to Anthony Weiner.

Rather, Comey had been the subject of a review by the very top of the Trump Justice Department. Newly confirmed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein penned an extensive memo for Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlining concerns with Comey’s conduct during and after the Clinton email probe.

The memo said “almost everyone agrees that the Director made serious mistakes.” Rosenstein wrote that he could not defend Comey’s handling of the end of the investigation, and could not understand “his refusal to accept the nearly universal judgment that he was mistaken.”

The first count against Comey, according to Rosenstein, was his July 5, 2016 announcement during which he alleged Clinton and her colleagues were “extremely careless” in handling classified material on her personal email and server but also said the FBI would not recommend charges.

The memo said Comey was “wrong to usurp” then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s authority.

“It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement,” Rosenstein wrote, adding that Comey “at most” should have said the FBI had finished its investigation and presented findings to prosecutors.

The memo said Comey compounded “the error” by holding a press conference to “release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation,” suggesting he did so “gratuitously.”

The memo said: “The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial.” Rosenstein called it a “textbook example” of what prosecutors and agents are “taught not to do.”

The second count against Comey concerned his Oct. 28, 2016 notification to Congress that the bureau was taking another look at the Clinton case in light of newly discovered emails. While Comey has said he did not want to conceal information, Rosenstein said simply refraining from publicizing “non-public information” would not have been concealment.

He countered Comey’s position by citing numerous former Justice officials who called the move inappropriate.

Comey adamantly defended his handling of the case, and that October letter, at a Senate hearing last week.

As referenced by Rosenstein, he said, “Concealment in my view would have been catastrophic.”

Clinton herself has continued to criticize Comey, suggesting his announcement helped tilt the election toward President Trump.

“It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact” on the election, Comey said at the hearing, standing by his actions.

Rosenstein referenced Comey’s statements since the election in his memo’s conclusion: “The way the Director handled the conclusion of the email investigation was wrong. As a result, the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them. Having refused to admit his errors, the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”

The memo set off a quick chain reaction all the way up to the White House.

Sessions told Trump that a “fresh start” is needed, attaching the Rosenstein memo and recommending Comey’s removal.

Trump cited that recommendation in his letter to Comey, informing him he is “hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.”

Former FBI spokesperson John Iannarelli told Fox News he thinks Comey got “bad counsel from those close to him,” and that in the end, Comey was perceived as “too political.”

Iannarelli told Fox News the firing was virtually “unprecedented,” aside from William Sessions being dismissed by then-President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s.

Fox News’ Serafin Gomez, Brooke Singman and John Roberts contributed to this report.

BREAKING-House Votes to Repeal ObamaCare

By a vote of 217 to 213 the House of Representatives has voted to repeal ObamaCare.

Republican health care bill: What’s in it?

House Republicans plan to vote Thursday on the latest version of the American Health Care Act – their answer to ObamaCare.

The bill has gone through some changes since an earlier version was pulled from the floor in March in the face of flagging support.

Here’s what’s the bill does:

-Ends tax penalties, under the original Affordable Care Act, for individuals who don’t buy insurance coverage and larger employers who don’t offer coverage. Instead, insurers would apply a 30 percent surcharge to customers who’ve let coverage lapse for more than 63 days in the past year.

-Ends tax increases on higher-earning people and a range of industry groups including insurers, drug makers and medical device manufacturers.

-Cuts the Medicaid program for low-income people and lets states impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients. Forbids states that haven’t already expanded Medicaid to do so. Changes Medicaid from an open-ended program that covers beneficiaries’ costs to one that gives states fixed amounts of money annually.

-Overhauls insurance subsidy system from one based largely on incomes and premium costs to a system of tax credits. The credits would rise with customers’ ages and, like the subsidies, could be used toward premium costs.

-Lets states get federal waivers allowing insurers to charge older customers higher premiums than younger ones by as much as they’d like. Obama’s law limits the difference to a 3-1 ratio. States also can get waivers exempting insurers from providing consumers with required coverage of specified health services, and from Obama’s prohibition against insurers charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing health problems, but only if the person has had a gap in insurance coverage.

-States could only get the latter waivers if they have mechanisms like high-risk pools that are supposed to help cover people with serious, expensive-to-treat diseases. A newly added provision would give another $8 billion over five years to help states finance their high-risk pools. Despite criticism that the waivers strip protections, House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office maintains that since states that take the waivers would have to set up the high-risk pools, “insurance companies cannot deny you coverage based on pre-existing conditions.”

-Blocks federal payments to Planned Parenthood for a year.

-Retains requirement that family policies cover grown children to age 26.

FoxNews.com / The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Newt Gingrich: Trump vs. The Swamp, Round III — Democrats Turn to Bureaucrats to Stop POTUS

When Neil Gorsuch won long-overdue confirmation this month to serve on the United States Supreme Court, Republicans in turn won control of judiciary. This meant they led all three branches of the federal government – at least the three envisioned by our Founding Fathers – for the first time in a decade.

As a consequence, Democrats have pinned their hopes to stifle President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda on the unprecedented insurrection of an unchecked, de facto branch of government: the bureaucratic state.

Now that Alexander Acosta is confirmed as secretary of labor, President Trump has a better ability to reign in the bureaucracy.

Through executive orders, President Trump immediately began cutting needless red tape draped across the federal government by his predecessor. This led deliberately resistant entrenched civil servants to wage a campaign to subvert the administration’s clear intention of deregulation.

Consider this: In February, the president ordered the Department of Labor – previously run by Tom Perez, who is now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee –  to review and re-evaluate the implementation of the so-called fiduciary rule, a controversial Obama-era rule that would deny middle-class Americans access to sound investment advice.

Democrats have pinned their hopes to stifle President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda on the unprecedented insurrection of an unchecked, de facto branch of government: the bureaucratic state.

The order’s intention was clear-as-day. It aimed to indefinitely delay or outright kill this bad rule before it could hurt middle class American investors. Instead, Perez’s faithful holdovers at the Department of Labor effectively expedited the rule with minimal changes. This was exactly the opposite of President Trump’s instructions.

Now, the department will make the rule effective on June 9, before completing the president’s review, and argued that “the Fiduciary rule and Impartial Conduct Standards … are among the least controversial aspects of the rulemaking process.”

Nothing about this rule is uncontroversial. It would be the single largest government expansion over individual savings in four decades and the second-most expensive regulatory regime crafted in the last 12 years that doesn’t deal with environmental issues.

The rule changes the law to give the Department of Labor direct authority over individual retirement accounts, which are already regulated by the Securities and Exchange Committee, the federal agency responsible for protecting investors. For the first time, IRAs would be pulled into a complex Labor Department system created 43 years ago to regulate employee pension and health plans. Seizing control over IRAs by the Labor Department leads to bigger government, less competition, fewer jobs, and diminished savings for the American worker.

Disingenuously marketed as a way to raise the standards of advice provided to retirement investors, the rule would result in the “orphaning” of most ordinary American savers, left to seek advice on saving for their golden years from an online computer program using algorithms no investor would know about or understand.

The rule has received extensive criticism from those who’ve historically regulated the securities market. Acting SEC Chair Michal Piwowar called the rule a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rule,” adding that it was a “highly political” move that was “never about investor protection.”  President Trump and the Congress want the rule gone. Business wants the rule gone. Ordinary Americans want the rule gone.

But none of that matters to the bureaucratic state. They’ve lost the battle over the Supreme Court and the president’s cabinet. More than anything, the swamp wants to win this battle. That’s why it’s so important that President Trump and Secretary Acosta implement the president’s instructions in a timely way.

President Trump’s first order wasn’t enough to reign in Tom Perez’s faithful deputies, and only now did Senate Democrats stop obstructing Acosta’s confirmation.

So, the president and the secretary must work quickly to delay indefinitely or completely rescind the fiduciary rule under the secretary’s statutory authority.

More than that, the president needs to fully drain the swamp – especially by getting rid of the mutineers at the Department of Labor.

Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich.

Time to Overhaul the University System and Shut Down the Marxist Mills

The education problem has been growing in America for decades, as the costs of educating our children skyrocket and students are churned out of the public education system and universities with less and less actual education.

Test scores aren’t  the only indicator of a failing education system. Man-on-the-street interviews reveal that college age Americans have little or no understanding of American history or the political process. They appear to be focused solely on leftist political issues, like man-made global warming, social “justice,” and anti-American propaganda–and if any student questions his leftist professors or the nonsense they spew in classrooms, he is automatically flunked from the course.

A decades-long growing battle between liberals and conservatives over education is culminating in conservative calls to either get the government and education unions out of education altogether, or to entirely overhaul the system.

The major problems with the current system are:

1) costs have artificially skyrocketed and the taxpayer is left holding the bag for much of it while students incur decades of debt; and

2) Anti-American leftists dominate the university system and classrooms, leaving indoctrinated students with little usable education and mush for brains.

I propose a new government backed higher education option, patterned somewhat after the current online degree programs being offered by a number of universities. Notably, Brigham Young University just expanded its university system to include a worldwide online university that will provide online education and degree programs to hundreds of thousands of students who would otherwise have great difficulty attending on of its campuses in America. The program is designed to deliver the highest quality university education, for a fraction of the cost of campus courses.

In this age of digital access and computer interactivity, it is relatively simple to launch a program that provides students with online classes, with streamed lectures by top experts in every field and stunning graphics, videos and demonstrations of the principles and concepts being taught. A basic 2 year core curriculum will ensure that all students receive across-the-board instruction in math, science, English, history, American politics, etc. Then specialization will occur in 3rd and 4th year online courses. This is essentially how colleges and universities are supposed to offer classes now, but they have strayed far from their mandate, with tragic results.

streamed lectures by top experts in every field and stunning graphics, videos and demonstrations of the principles and concepts being taught

Third and fourth year specialization courses in the government-offered online university should emphasize productive degree programs initially; science, engineering, language, history, chemistry, education, pre-medicine, pre-law, etc., with some liberal arts programs being added as the system is more fully developed to accommodate their greater need for interactivity.

UC Berkeley students frequently riot in protest of conservative speakers being invited to address groups at the university.

To help reduce cheating on exams, a major problem in the current system as well, interactive biometrics and testing centers should be established for this online university system with certified proctors to administer standardized, computerized tests.

Students can take online courses at their own pace, and show up to take the exams at proctored centers as soon as they have completed each course.

Costs, which will be only a fraction of the current $500 billion the American taxpayer shells out for higher education, can be shared by students and the taxpayers. Students can pay a low flat fee for each course, and the federal government can dramatically cut its higher education budget and finance the remaining costs of the online university system.

This will replace the current Student Loan program, which essentially supports a bloated, ineffective higher education system that is little more than a propaganda arm of the global leftist movement. It will also eliminate the current juggernaut of student debt, hanged around the neck of most graduating students in America.

This proposal will provide higher education for anyone who is self-motivated enough to do the work, and who wants it–rich, poor or middle-class. It doesn’t get any easier, cheaper or better than this. By defunding the leftist propaganda mills and eliminating the burgeoning and crippling student debt that keeps graduates from prospering for the first decades of their careers, this proposed federal university system will put education back into higher education.

By James Thompson. James Thompson holds a Juris Doctor degree, and is a published author on several subjects. He is a professional ghostwriter, and ghostwrites on political, legal, business, educational, and many other topics for the nation’s top leaders.

 

Walter Williams: Environmental Calamity Predictions Have Always Failed

Each year, Earth Day is accompanied by predictions of doom.

Let’s take a look at past predictions to determine just how much confidence we can have in today’s environmentalists’ predictions.

In 1970, when Earth Day was conceived, the late George Wald, a Nobel laureate biology professor at Harvard University, predicted, “Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”

Also in 1970, Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist and best-selling author of “The Population Bomb,” declared that the world’s population would soon outstrip food supplies.

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In an article for The Progressive, he predicted, “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next 10 years.”

He gave this warning in 1969 to Britain’s Institute of Biology: “If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

On the first Earth Day, Ehrlich warned, “In 10 years, all important animal life in the sea will be extinct.”

Despite such predictions, Ehrlich has won no fewer than 16 awards, including the 1990 Crafoord Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ highest award.

In International Wildlife (July 1975), Nigel Calder warned, “The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind.”

In Science News (1975), C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization is reported as saying, “The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.”

In 2000, climate researcher David Viner told The Independent, a British newspaper, that within “a few years,” snowfall would become “a very rare and exciting event” in Britain. “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said. “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past.”

In the following years, the U.K. saw some of its largest snowfalls and lowest temperatures since records started being kept in 1914.

In 1970, ecologist Kenneth Watt told a Swarthmore College audience:

The world has been chilling sharply for about 20 years. If present trends continue, the world will be about 4 degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990 but 11 degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.

Also in 1970, Sen. Gaylord Nelson, D-Wis., wrote in Look magazine: “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian (Institution), believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”

Scientist Harrison Brown published a chart in Scientific American that year estimating that mankind would run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver were to disappear before 1990.

Erroneous predictions didn’t start with Earth Day.

In 1939, the U.S. Department of the Interior said American oil supplies would last for only another 13 years. In 1949, the secretary of the interior said the end of U.S. oil supplies was in sight.

Having learned nothing from its earlier erroneous claims, in 1974 the U.S. Geological Survey said the U.S. had only a 10-year supply of natural gas.

The fact of the matter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is that as of 2014, we had 2.47 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas, which should last about a century.

Hoodwinking Americans is part of the environmentalist agenda. Environmental activist Stephen Schneider told Discover magazine in 1989:

We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. … Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

In 1988, then-Sen. Timothy Wirth, D-Colo., said: “We’ve got to … try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong … we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

Americans have paid a steep price for buying into environmental deception and lies.

By Walter E. Williams

CLOSE ENCOUNTER: Navy Destroyer and Iranian Vessel in Persian Gulf

A U.S. Navy destroyer had another close encounter with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard “fast attack craft” in the Persian Gulf Monday.

Two U.S. officials tell Fox News that the Iranian ship came within 1,000 yards of the guided missile destroyer USS Mahan with its weapons manned.

The officials said the Mahan altered course to avoid the Iranian warship, sounded the danger signal, fired flares and manned its own weapons.

The Iranian ship did not come closer than 1,000 yards and no warning shots were fired.

In January, USS Mahan fired warning shots at an Iranian warship near the Strait of Hormuz.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

11 Ways Trump Has Rolled Back Gov Regulations in First 100 Days

As President Donald Trump reaches his 100th day in the White House on April 29, he will have worked with Congress to rescind more regulations using the Congressional Review Act than any other president.

“We’re excited about what we’re doing so far. We’ve done more than that’s ever been done in the history of Congress with the CRA,” Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., told The Daily Signal in an interview, referring to the law called the Congressional Review Act.

The Congressional Review Act, the tool Trump and lawmakers are using, allows Congress to repeal executive branch regulations. Once the House and Senate pass a joint resolution disapproving of a particular regulation, the president signs the measure.

Passed in 1996 in concert with the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America reform agenda, the Congressional Review Act is what the Congressional Research Service calls “an oversight tool that Congress may use to overturn a rule issued by a federal agency.”

The law also prevents agencies from creating similar rules with similar language.

Until this year, the law had been used successfully only once—in 2001, when Congress and President George W. Bush rescinded a regulation regarding workplace injuries promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration.

Here’s a look at the 11 regulatory rollbacks Congress has passed and Trump has signed:

1. Regulations governing the coal mining industry (H.J. Res 41).

Mandated by President Barack Obama and finalized in  2016, these regulations “threatened to put domestic extraction companies and their employees at an unfair disadvantage,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

The resolution, signed by Trump in February, repealed the rule and “could save American businesses as much as $600 million annually,” Spicer said.

2. Regulations defining streams in the coal industry (H.J. Res 38).

“Complying with the regulation would have put an unsustainable financial burden on small mines,” Spicer said.

The so-called Stream Protection Rule included “vague definitions of what classifies as a stream,” Nick Loris, a fellow in energy and environmental policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email, and undoing it does away with ambiguities:

For many regulations promulgated by the Obama administration, they fundamentally disregarded the nature of the federal-state relationship when it comes to energy production and environmental protection.

The Stream Protection Rule … removed flexibility from mining steps and simply ignored that states have regulations in place to protect water quality. State and local environmental agencies’ specific knowledge of their region enables them to tailor regulations to promote economic activity while protecting the habitat and environment.

3. Regulations restricting firearms for disabled citizens (H.J. Res 40).

This rule, finalized during Obama’s last weeks in office, sought to “prevent some Americans with disabilities from purchasing or possessing firearms based on their decision to seek Social Security benefits,” Spicer said.

The repeal protects the Second Amendment rights of the disabled, Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said.

“Those rights will no longer be able to be revoked without a hearing and without due process. It will take more than the personal opinion of a bureaucrat,” Grassley said on the Senate floor.

But Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif.,  said the regulation didn’t cover “just people having a bad day,” adding:

These are not people simply suffering from depression or anxiety. These are people with a severe mental illness who can’t hold any kind of job or make any decisions about their affairs. So the law says very clearly they shouldn’t have a firearm.

4. A rule governing the government contracting process (H.J. Res. 37).

Undoing the regulation will cut costs to businesses and free federal contractors from “unnecessary and burdensome processes that would result in delays, and decreased competition for federal government contracts,” Spicer said.

5. A rule covering public lands (H.J. Res. 44).

The rule gave the federal government too much power “to administer public lands,” in the words of the official website of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told The Daily Signal in an interview that the Bureau of Land Management’s rule restricted the control that states and their citizens had, especially in the West.

“The Obama administration wanted to shift land policy from local governments with specific expertise to the federal government, basically shifting even more of the land management policy away from those affected by it,” Lee said.

“Repealing this harmful rule will go a long way toward empowering local stakeholders and ensuring that Arizona’s cattlemen, miners, and rural land users have a voice in the planning process,” Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said in prepared remarks.

6. Reporting requirements regarding college teachers (H.J. Res. 58).

The rule mandated annual reporting by states “to measure the performance and quality of teacher preparation programs and tie them to program eligibility for participation in the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant program,” Spicer said.

Anne Ryland, a research assistant in education policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that the rule “gave the federal Department of Education power to evaluate teacher preparation programs at universities, and to link college students’ access to federal financial aid in the form of TEACH grants to the rating of the programs.”

“University programs,” Ryland added, “would be rated based on the effectiveness of their teaching graduates, with effectiveness determined by elementary and secondary students’ test scores and achievement gains.”

7. Regulations on state education programs (H.J. Res. 57).

Congress and Trump rescinded federal rules that “require states to have an accountability system based on multiple measures, including school quality or student success, to ensure that states and districts focus on improving outcomes and measuring student progress,” Spicer said.

The repeal is the first step in “a reconceptualization of Washington’s role in education,” Ryland said.

“These regulations were prime examples of federal micromanagement,” she said. “They were highly prescriptive and highly complex, serving only to put more power in the hands of bureaucrats and to distract schools and teachers from the work of educating students.”

8. Drug-testing requirements (H.J. Res 42).

Spicer said the regulation mandates an “arbitrarily narrow definition of occupations and constrains a state’s ability to conduct a drug-testing program in its unemployment insurance system.”

Four Republican governors—Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Greg Abbott of Texas, Gary Herbert of Utah, and Phil Bryant of Mississippi—wrote Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, to ask that states be allowed to implement their own policies.

“We believe this rule should be replaced with a new rule that allows increased flexibility for states to implement … drug testing that best fits the needs of each state,” the governors said in the February letter.

9. Hunting regulations for wildlife preserves in Alaska (H.J. Res 69).

These regulations restricted Alaska’s ability “to manage hunting of predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska,” Spicer said.

In a formal statement, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, called the rule “another example of the federal government’s determination these past eight years to destroy a state’s ability to manage their wildlife.”

10. Internet privacy rule (S.J.Res. 34).

Published during the final months of Obama’s presidency, the rule sought to force “new privacy standards on internet service providers, allowing bureaucrats in Washington to pick winners and losers in the industry,” Spicer said.

Flake, who sponsored the resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, said repeal helps keep consumers in charge of how they share their electronic information.

“My resolution is the first step toward restoring the [Federal Trade Commission’s] light-touch, consumer-friendly approach,” Flake said. “It will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections. It empowers consumers to make informed choices on if and how their data can be shared.”

11. Rule for logging workplace injuries (H.J. 83).

This rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration sought to squelch a more lenient one from the Labor Department. Spicer said the rule “disapproved” of a Labor regulation “extending the statute of limitation for claims against employers failing to maintain records of employee injuries.”

“This OSHA power grab was completely unlawful,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., chairman of the House workforce protections subcommittee. “It would have done nothing to improve workplace safety while creating significant regulatory confusion for small businesses.”

Through extensive use of the Congressional Review Act, Collins said, Trump is establishing a “legacy” of deregulation.

“I think there’s really a legacy really to be had here,” the Republican congressman from Georgia said.

Congress, with backing from Trump, is making good on promises and saying, “We’re not going to allow our jurisdiction and our constitutional authority to be overrun by the executive branch,” Collins said.

Past administrations from both parties, he said, have not been so devoted to deregulation.

“There was a definite disconnect between the previous administration, and even previous Republican administrations, on doing things on their own and not going through the proper legislative process,” Collins said.

Sarah Sleem contributed to this report.

Report – AG Lynch Tried to Bury Hillary Email Investigation

FBI Director James Comey distrusted former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior officials at the Justice Department, believing they might provide Hillary Clinton with political cover over her email server, according to a new report published Saturday by The New York Times.
The Times described Comey’s “go-it-alone strategy” in the Clinton probe as emerging largely from his suspicions that Lynch and others at Justice might seek to subtly downplay the Clinton investigation.
As an example, the Times reported that Lynch, during a meeting in September 2015, called on Comey to use the word “matter” instead of “investigation” when publicly discussing the case, three people who attended the meeting told the Times.

Lynch reportedly reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise a number of other questions. Furthermore, she argued that the department should maintain its policy of not confirming investigations.

After referring to the FBI the question of whether classified information had been improperly handled by Clinton through her use of a private server, a step toward a criminal investigation, Justice clarified that it was not a “criminal referral.”
This also raised suspicions at the FBI, according to the Times. Clinton seized on the wording to say that what the FBI was conducting was “not a criminal investigation.”
Lynch came under pressure to recuse herself from the investigation entirely after she had a discussion with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on he plane as it sat on the tarmac of Phoenix’s airport.
Lynch did not recuse herself, but the situation did lead her to say she would accept whatever conclusions career prosecutors and the FBI reached.
More tensions between the FBI and Lynch’s office came up later in the case.
Months after Comey held a press conference to announce that the FBI would not bring criminal charges against Clinton, new emails were found through a separate investigation into former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), who was married to top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The findings put the FBI in a difficult spot, as Comey wanted to tell Congress about what the FBI had found. He worried that if Congress was not notified, it would appear that the FBI was withholding information just before the election.
Lynch, the Times story said, did not want Comey to send the letter but decided against ordering him not to send it.

Pres Trump Wins Release of Americans

Trump Succeeds Where Obama Failed for Years

A U.S. charity worker, and others, returned home after President Trump and aides quietly worked to secure their release from an Egyptian jail after nearly three years.

Aya Hijazi, a U.S. citizen, her Egyptian husband, Mohamed Hassanein, and four other humanitarian workers were freed after weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiation by the Trump administration.

Trump met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the White House early this month.

The Post reports that Defense Secretary James Mattis and deputy national security adviser Dina Powell met with al-Sisi this week to arrange the prisoners’ release. As Mattis traveled on to Israel, Powell and military aide Air Force Maj. Wes Spurlock accompanied Hijazi, Hassanein and their family.A U.S. government aircraft brought the group to the U.S. late Thursday night.

Hijazi and her brother, Basel, are set to visit the White House to meet with Trump, his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior administration official told the Post.

“We’re very grateful that President Trump personally engaged with the issue. Working closely with the Trump administration was very important for my family at this critical time. It let us be reunited as a family. We’re so grateful,” Basel Hijazi said in a mid-flight phone interview with the Post Thursday.

Hijazi became an internationally recognized symbol of Egypt’s growing oppression. On May 1, 2014, Hijazi and her companions were imprisoned on human trafficking charges that were widely dismissed by the international community.

Egypt dropped all charges against the group last Sunday.

Originally from Falls Church, Va., Hijazi was working in Cairo with the Belady Foundation. The Obama administration previously lobbied the Egyptian government for her release, but was unsuccessful.

Dem Leader Howard Dean: Conservative Speech ‘Not Protected by First Amendment’

Howard Dean Claims The First Amendment Doesn’t Protect Ann Coulter Expressing her Traditional Opinions

Howard Dean, former DNC Chairman, and prominent voice of the left, has publicly declared a view of the US Constitution that is becoming extremely popular among leftists, which is that any opinion that differs from that of the left is not protected “free speech” under the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Couching any such opposing opinions as “hate speech,” and claiming that Coulter engages in such hate speech by voicing her support of traditional Constitutional and American values, Dean says that Coulter should not be allowed to speak publicly.

Indeed, UC Berkley, once a bastion of the right of free speech, when that free speech was Anti-American and anti-traditional values, has tried repeatedly to stamp out all but the most radical left voices in America, stopping conservatives from expressing traditional values on its campus.

Of course, Dean, like nearly all liberals, claims that outrageously offensive speech that is anti-American and anti-morality is profoundly protected by the First Amendment, with chants of killing police officers and the US President, and works of art depicting the same, and anti-religion depictions being more than welcome on college campuses and at liberal gatherings and public places.

The left has attempted to shut down all public debate by blocking centrist / conservative speakers from appearing in public, and by canceling their speaking engagements. Even now, Berkley is doing its best to prevent Ms. Coulter from speaking on its campus, and after taking public heat for outright blocking her, is trying to mitigate the damage by rescheduling her for a less convenient time.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by radical leftists, and that realization is beginning to become apparent to the Democratic rank-and-file members, who are beginning to migrate to the center, leaving the Democratic Party gutted and powerless in many American precincts, as demonstrated by the electoral map of the Trump vs. Clinton election. (Red=Republican)

The left is simply repeating what totalitarian governments have done since they began taking over the world in the early 20th Century–shutting down opposition voices, divesting populations of personal liberties, including the right to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from those governments, and redistributing private property. The Democratic Party has overplayed its hand, and revealed itself as nothing more than a radical leftist movement which seeks these things, and it will shut down any speech that opposes them.

By James Thompson