Report Shows No Group of Americans Is More Law-abiding Than Concealed Carry Holders

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Cortney O’Brien reports: “Indeed, it is impossible to think of any other group in the U.S. that is anywhere near as law-abiding” as concealed carry permit holders. So concluded the Crime Prevention Research Center following its new report, “Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States 2016.”

“With about 685,464 full-time police officers in the U.S. from 2005 to 2007, we find that there were about 103 crimes per hundred thousand officers. For the U.S. population as a whole, the crime rate was 37 times higher—3,813 per hundred thousand people.”

The center studied the rate of criminal offenses among concealed carry holders in Florida and Texas when coming to its conclusion.

The findings speak for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Luxury TVs Are Affordable when Basic Health Care Is Not

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Monopoly products and services go up in price, while competitive ones go down.

Imagine this. You are feeling under the weather. You pull out your smartphone and click the Rx app. A nurse arrives in 20 minutes at your home. He gives you a blood test and recommends to the doctor that she prescribe a treatment. It is sent to the CVS down the street, which delivers it to your door in 20 minutes. The entire event costs $20.

“Medical care prices are up 105% in the last 20 years. This contrasts with the television industry, which is selling products that have fallen 96% in the same period.”

Sounds nuts? Not so much. Not if health care were a competitive industry. As it is, medical care prices are up 105% in the last 20 years. This contrasts with the television industry, which is selling products that have fallen 96% in the same period.

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Take a look at this chart assembled by AEI. It reveals two important points. First, there is no such thing as an aggregate price level, or, rather what we call the price level is a statistical fiction.

[Read the full text here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

Second, it shows that competitive industries offer goods and services that are falling in price due to market pressure. In contrast monopolized industries can extract ever higher rents from people based on restriction. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] REWIND: George W. Bush Full Speech on Katrina from Jackson Square

President George W. Bush responds to criticism for the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina in Jackson Square, New Orleans on September 15, 2005.

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Obama to Complete Vacation Before Visiting Louisiana Next Week

While in Martha’s Vineyard, the President has received updates on the situation in Louisiana, including from the DHS Secretary and the FEMA Administrator, who took separate trips there. The President today directed his team to coordinate with Louisiana officials to determine an appropriate time for him to visit, and together they have determined that the President will visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Tuesday, August 23rd. Additional details will be announced in the coming days. The President is mindful of the impact that his travel has on first responders and wants to ensure that his presence does not interfere with ongoing recovery efforts. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] State Department Blames Criticism of U.S. Ransom Payment to Iran on…the Media 

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The State Department admitted Thursday that the US would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four American hostages — two weeks after President Obama insisted the payment was not a “ransom.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby was asked at Thursday’s press briefing: “In basic English, you’re saying you wouldn’t give them $400 million in cash until the prisoners were released, correct?”

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“That’s correct,” Kirby replied.

In an Aug. 4 press conference, President Obama said the opposite.

“We do not pay ransom. We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future,” the president told reporters, speaking of the Jan. 17 payment and hostage release.

Families “know we have a policy that we don’t pay ransom. And the notion that we would somehow start now, in this high-profile way, and announce it to the world, even as we’re looking in the faces of other hostage families whose loved ones are being held hostage, and saying to them ‘We don’t pay ransom,’ defies logic,” Obama added at the time. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Look Me Up, I’m Internet Famous’: Today in Presidential History: August 17, 1998

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On this day in 1998, President Bill Clinton becomes the first sitting president to testify before the Office of Independent Council as the subject of a grand-jury investigation.

The testimony came after a four-year investigation into Clinton and his wife Hillary’s alleged involvement in several scandals, including accusations of sexual harassment, potentially illegal real-estate deals and suspected “cronyism” involved in the firing of White House travel-agency personnel. The independent prosecutor, Kenneth Starr, then uncovered an affair between Clinton and a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. When questioned about the affair, Clinton denied it, which led Starr to charge the president with perjury and obstruction of justice, which in turn prompted his testimony on August 17.

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After testifying, Clinton addressed the nation live via television and gave his side of the story. He admitted to an inappropriate relationship with Lewinsky and said that he regretted misleading his wife and the American people when he denied the affair earlier. He insisted that he had given “legally accurate” answers in his testimony and that “at no time” had he asked anyone to “lie, hide or destroy evidence or to take any unlawful action.” In addressing the investigation into his past business dealings, Clinton insisted that the investigation did not prove that he or his wife Hillary had engaged in any illegal activity.

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The damage, however, was already done. Revelations from the investigation sparked a battle in Congress over whether or not to impeach Clinton. While Democrats favored censure, Republicans called loudly for impeachment, claiming Clinton was unfit to lead the country. In December 1998, the House of Representatives voted to impeach the president, but after a five-week trial in the Senate, Clinton was acquitted. Public opinion polls at the time revealed that while many people disapproved of Clinton’s extramarital affair–which he conducted in the White House Oval Office—most did not consider it an action worthy of impeachment or resignation. Read the rest of this entry »


U.S. Held Cash Until Iran Freed Prisoners 

Administration officials have refused to publicly disclose how and when the cash transfer ransom payment authorized by Mr. Obama took place.

WASHINGTON — Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee report: New details of the $400 million U.S. payment to Iran earlier this year depict a tightly scripted exchange specifically timed to the release of several American panic-manprisoners held in Iran.

“‘Our top priority was getting the Americans home,’ said a U.S. official. Once the Americans were ‘wheels up’ on the morning of Jan. 17, Iranian officials in Geneva were allowed to take custody of the $400 million in currency, according to officials briefed on the exchange.”

The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17. Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.

President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials have said the payment didn’t amount to ransom, because the U.S. owed the money to Iran as part of a longstanding dispute linked to a failed arms deal from the 1970s. U.S. officials have said that the prisoner release and cash transfer took place through two separate diplomatic channels.

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“The picture emerged from accounts of U.S. officials and others briefed on the operation: U.S. officials wouldn’t let Iranians take control of the money until a Swiss Air Force plane carrying three freed Americans departed from Tehran on Jan. 17.”non-stop-panic-4

But the handling of the payment and its connection to the Americans’ release have raised questions among lawmakers and administration critics.

 “Once that happened, an Iranian cargo plane was allowed to bring the cash home from a Geneva airport that day.”

The use of an Iranian cargo plane to move pallets filled with $400 million brings clarity to one of the mysteries surrounding the cash delivery to Iran first reported by The Wall Street Journal this month. Administration officials have refused to publicly disclose how and when the cash transfer authorized by Mr. Obama took place. Executives from Iran’s flagship carrier, Iran Air, organized the round-trip flight from Tehran to Geneva where the cash—euros and Swiss francs and other currencies—was loaded onto the aircraft, these people said.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

“Our top priority was getting the Americans home,” said a U.S. official. Once the Americans were “wheels up” on the morning of Jan. 17, Iranian officials in Geneva were allowed to take custody of the $400 million in currency, according to officials briefed on the exchange.

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“Mr. Obama said on Aug. 4 the payment had to be in cash because the U.S. and Iran have no banking relationship, eliminating the possibility of a check or wire transfer.”

The payment marked the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration announced it had reached with Tehran in January to resolve a decades-old legal dispute traced back to the final days of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. His government paid $400 million into a Pentagon trust fund in 1979 for military parts that were never delivered because of the Islamic revolution that toppled him. Read the rest of this entry »


A Pleasant Weekend in the Hamptons, Interrupted

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The Klu Klux Klan is coming to the Hamptons.

Jamie Schram reports. The hate group — which says it has some 2,500 members on Long Island — is planning to disrupt a Black Lives Matter rally scheduled for noon Sunday at the traffic circle near Village Hall in Westhampton Beachaccording to Patch.com.

“I would like to invite them to the rally. I honestly don’t believe they’re going to show up. I hope they come out of hiding.”

— Gary Monker, the Exalted Cyclops Chief Officer of the KKK’s New York chapter

Gary Monker, the Exalted Cyclops Chief Officer of the KKK’s New York chapter, told Patch on Tuesday that Black Lives Matter and the Black Panthers group aren’t who they say they are.

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“As for drugs and rape, those are all separate issues in everyone’s community, including the white community so that’s irrelevant…Everything he’s saying is ignorant.”

— Gary Monker

“[They are] a contradiction,” Monker told Patch. “They always say they have peaceful protests but nothing is ever peaceful. They rape, pilfer, loot. They’re rioting and using this as an excuse to do wrong. It’s not right.”

[Read the full story here, at New York Post]

Black Lives Matter officials argued that their rallies are always peaceful.

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“[There has been] absolutely no violence. Where is he getting his information?,” Black Lives Matter organizer Vanessa Vascez-Corleone told Patch.

Vascez-Corleone said the KKK was welcome to show up — if they have the guts. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Pokémon Go versus the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules…in 60 Seconds 

With its “T-Mobile Tuesdays” promotion, T-Mobile is giving customers free data for Pokémon Go. But does that defy net neutrality? AEI Visiting Fellow Roslyn Layton describes how the FCC’s rules impact zero-rating—the practice of giving away free data for certain applications.

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Venezuela’s Road to Literal Serfdom

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Friedrich Hayek’s classic book The Road to Serfdom describes the popular delusions that have led to the breakdown of civil society in Venezuela.

Barry Brownstein writes: In his classic 1841 book on financial bubbles, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay observed, “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

“In societies turning to socialism, there is no appreciation of scarcity. There is no appreciation that ‘things cannot all be done at the same time, that anyone of them can be achieved only at the sacrifice of others.’”

Mackay covered religious and political delusions, too. “We see one nation suddenly seized, from its highest to its lowest members, with a fierce desire of military glory; another as suddenly becoming crazed upon a religious scruple,” he recounts, “and serfdomneither of them recovering its senses until it has shed rivers of blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears, to be reaped by its posterity.”

[Order Friedrich Hayek’s classic “The Road to Serfdom” from Amazon.com]

Venezuela is sowing its harvest of “groans and tears.” Due to the breakdown of civil society in the country, even war-plagued Syrians feel more safe in their homes than do Venezuelans. Venezuelans are so hungry that they cried at the sight of food in Columbia. Recently the hungry broke into a zoo to kill a horse for its meat. Literally, they have become serfs that may be required to work 60 days or more in agricultural fields.

“The hard to give up delusion of socialists is that there are coercive plans that will benefit all. Venezuelans have seen the means of production nationalized in the name of the common good and with every intervention their standard of living fell further.”

Venezuela has the world’s worst rate of economic growth, and the worst inflation rate. It has become like “a gangster state that doesn’t know how to do anything other than sell drugs and steal money for itself.” Socialism has virtually destroyed civilization in Venezuela making it seem like a “hurricane [has] swept things away.”

[Read the full text here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

When the history of this tragic period in Venezuela is written, the population will have plenty of “culprits” to blame. In blaming many will eschew their own responsibility. Some will blame Chavez; others will blame Maduro. Some will follow their beloved leaders and continue to blame the “elite” and the capitalists. The true believers will continue to insist there is no inherent flaw in socialism; they will simply say mistakes were made that will not be made again.

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“Believing that the “coercive or arbitrary intervention of authority,” can coordinate and adjust our individual activities is delusional. With this delusion comes disbelief that a market economy can solve problems and advance society. Those who cherish such delusions may find themselves hungry.”

We are not the victims of the world we see. Our delusions, our beliefs have consequences. The fact that our delusions are often invisible to us does not make them any less powerful or any less consequential. Again, Mackay observed that a population subject to delusions “only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.”

The new idea of freedom “gave the socialists another word in common with the liberals and they exploited it to the full.

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Venezuelans have not yet recovered their “senses.”  Caracas radio host Glen Martinez stubbornly insists that the “reforms” that Chavez instituted will never be reversed. “We are not the same people we were before 1999,” Martinez said. Many share Martinez’s sentiments; daily the true believers still march and  promise to spill their blood in support of the government.

“The fact that our delusions are often invisible to us does not make them any less powerful or any less consequential.”

There is no better book than Friedrich Hayek’s classic The Road to Serfdom to explain the popular delusions that helped to virtually eliminate the market economy and civil society in Venezuela. Writing during the depths of World War II, Hayek intended his book as a warning “to the socialists of all parties.” What happened in Venezuela can happen wherever a critical mass of the population begins to hold certain delusionary beliefs.

Popular Delusion 1: Freedom Means Freedom from Necessity

Hayek points out that freedom in Western countries traditionally meant “freedom from coercion, freedom from the arbitrary power of other men.”

Socialists point to a “new freedom” which is “freedom from necessity” which releases us “from the compulsion of the circumstances which inevitably limit the range of choice of all of us.”

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Hayek adds, “the demand for the new freedom was thus only another name for the old demand for an equal distribution of wealth.”

Believing that these two types of freedom can be combined is delusional. Hayek points out that the new idea of freedom “gave the socialists another word in common with the liberals and they exploited it to the full….Few people noticed [that the word freedom was being used differently] and still fewer asked themselves whether the two kinds of freedom promised really could be combined.”

Popular Delusion 2. Only Coercive Planning Can Coordinate Activity

Almost every individual and organization plans. Writes Hayek, there is no “dispute about whether we ought to employ foresight and systematic thinking and planning our common affairs.”

Hayek thought that to plan or not to plan is not “the real question.” Instead, we should ask if “the holder of coercive power should confine himself in general to creating conditions under which the knowledge and initiative of individuals is given the best scope so that they can plan most successfully; or whether a rational utilization of our resources requires central direction and organization of all our activities according to some consciously constructed ‘blueprint.’”

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Those who cherish such delusions may find themselves hungry.

The humanitarian disaster in Venezuela has been a long time in the making. In 2010, the hungry waited while “2,340 shipping containers with more than 120,000 tons of rotting food (estimated to feed 17 million people for one month)” sat at the government run port of Puerto Cabello. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Q&A with Fred Smith: ‘The Alternative To Innovation Is Not Stability. It’s Stagnation’

“The alternative to innovation is not stability,” says Fred L. Smith, who founded the influential and controversial Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) in 1984. “It’s stagnation.”

In 2014, after almost 30 years as CEI’s president, Smith became director of the group’s Center for the Advancement of Capitalism, which champions free markets as the best means to create a fair, prosperous, and future-oriented society. Libertarians, says the one-time federal bureaucrat, have always had a difficulty communicating their ideas to a wider public, even to the entrepreneurs and business leaders who radically improve our lives on a daily basis by providing better and better goods and services at lower and lower prices. “We need to re-calibrate our arguments so they reach the people we need to have as allies. That means businessmen.”

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Reason‘s Nick Gillespie sat down with Smith to talk about the liberating history of capitalism, the regulatory war on innovation, whether millennials are socialists or capitalists, and the morality of market exchanges. “The market not only creates a web of voluntary economic interactions,” says Smith. “It is the best facilitator for creating the social networks that encompass the modern world.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: Putin Ready to Move, ‘Sees Weakness in the White House’

Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of sending saboteurs across the border into Crimea to provoke the Russians, which a Ukrainian official called “ridiculous.” Charles Krauthammer agrees, and believes Putin is ready to take advantage of U.S. and European weakness.

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U.S. Accepts More Syrian Refugees than All of EU: 8,000 vs. 6,000 

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In the U.S., some governors and other politicians have warned against moving fast to bring in the refugees, concerned that poor vetting could let in terrorists.

Despite promises of European Union member states to take in 160,000 refugees, a new report shows that they’ve accepted a fraction, 6,000, while the United States has embraced 8,000 of a planned 10,000 this year.

“As President Obama, backed by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has ramped up accepting refugees fleeing Syria and other war-torn nations, the EU has put the brakes on hard, apparently bowing to public outrage.”

As President Obama, backed by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has ramped up accepting refugees fleeing Syria and other war-torn nations, the EU has put the brakes on hard, apparently bowing to public outrage.

[Read the full story here, at Washington Examiner]

In the U.S., some governors and other politicians have warned against moving fast to bring in the refugees, concerned that poor vetting could let in terrorists.

In this Jan. 31, 2014, file photo released by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), residents of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, queue to receive food supplies. Conditions in the camp have deteriorated since Islamic State militants muscled their way into it in early April 2015. The militants are trying to consolidate their hold on the camp. (AP Photo/UNRWA, File)

“One year later, this commitment is far from being fulfilled. France is not the only ‘bad student.’ There is an obvious lack of solidarity.”

— Pierre Henry, director of an organization called France Terre d’Asile

After officials moved to stem the huge influx if immigrants, Europe had led the way in making promises to accept the additional refugees in camps in Italy and Greece. But a new report in France found that Paris had accepted just 1,300 of the 30,000 it promised to take from Greece and Italy by 2017.

Syrian refugees wait to cross into Turkey at the border on Monday near the town of Suruc, Turkey, which has been overwhelmed as thousands flee to escape a militant advance.G Getty Images

What’s more, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, all of the European Union member states that had promised to accept 160,000 asylum seekers have taken in just 6,000 so far. Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Betrayed Cuba’s Dissidents

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Is this what Obama Calls Normalization?

Mary Anastasia O’Grady writes: Fidel Castro turned 90 years old on Saturday, adding plausibility to the popular Cuban theory that even hell doesn’t want him. Meanwhile Cuba’s military dictatorship, now headed by his 83-year-old brother Raúl, is cracking down with renewed brutality on anyone who dares not conform to its totalitarian rule.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

If President Obama’s December 2014 softening of U.S. policy toward Cuba was supposed to elicit some quid pro quo on human rights from Havana, it has so far failed. Independent groups that monitor civil liberties on the island say conditions have deteriorated in the 20 months since the Obama decision to normalize relations and ease Cuba trade and travel restrictions for Americans. Many dissident groups opposed any U.S. thaw without human-rights conditions attached and say they feel abandoned by the U.S., which they had long relied on for moral support.

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“If President Obama’s December 2014 softening of U.S. policy toward Cuba was supposed to elicit some quid pro quo on human rights from Havana, it has so far failed.”

Guillermo Fariñas, a 54-year-old psychologist and winner of the European Parliament’s Andrei Sakharov Prize, is one such disappointed Cuban.

“Independent groups that monitor civil liberties on the island say conditions have deteriorated in the 20 months since the Obama decision to normalize relations and ease Cuba trade and travel restrictions for Americans.”

In a July 20 letter to Gen. Castro, Mr. Fariñas announced “a hunger and thirst strike” until Castro “designate[s]” a vice president to meet with the opposition and declares an end to the state policy of torturing and arresting dissidents and confiscating their property. Mr. Fariñas has been taken to the local hospital in the city of Santa Clara twice for rehydration, but is now at home. He is gravely ill.

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Mr. Amel, who was arrested in July, also sought an end to the state’s policy of beating and arresting dissidents. In his letter to Raúl Castro, Mr. Fariñas wrote that when he went to the police to inquire about charges against the hunger-striking Mr. Amel and another dissident, he was handcuffed and tortured.

Flirting with death is a sign of desperation and it is difficult not to see a connection between that and Mr. Obama’s decision to drop the longstanding U.S. commitment to the democracy movement on the island so that he can be on better terms with the despots. Mr. Fariñas also has personal reasons for feeling betrayed. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Highlight Reel: Ten Minutes of CNN Cutting Off People Who Dare Criticize Hillary 

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Chase Stephens reports: It’s no secret that the mainstream media is a giant liberal cesspool willing to do and say anything to make sure their Democrat candidate gets elected. In this case it’s Hillary Clinton. Yet in the midst of two consecutive email scandals, her record of failure, including letting four Americans die in Benghazi, and having the father of the terrorist responsible for the worst attack since 9/11 sitting behind her at a recent rally, all the media can report is, “Hey, look, Trump said something distasteful again!”

In the compilation video (above), the YouTube channel “Centipede Productions” has amassed 10 minutes worth of CNN claiming technical difficulties, shouting down guests, and flat-out cutting the microphone of people who attempt to speak the facts pertaining to Hillary Clinton’s scandal-ridden past and present.

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The video begins with a correspondent having her live feed cut off just as she’s detailing Clinton’s record on supporting laws that the Left now believes unfairly targeted minorities in the 90s.

[Read the full story here, at Daily Wire]

It moves on to a hilarious moment where a CNN host throws to a clip she thought would be angry African Americans protesting Trump, but turns out to be a black pro-Trump supporter talking about the racial unity he’s found at the rallies and the media’s determination to race-bait, which is exactly what that host was trying to do. Hi-lari-ous!

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Another host slams a conservative guest as lying when in reality she was repeating the talking points of FBI Director Comey’s press conference about Hillary’s secret-home email server, which was filled with classified information she denied was ever there. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] OH YES HE DOES: Does Donald Trump Take Every Side of Every Issue? 

At NRODavid French writes:

…One of the more frustrating and fruitless conversations in modern politics is with a Trump supporter who just insists that Trump can be trusted. But trusted to do what? If you want boots on the ground in the Middle East, Trump’s your guy. If you want America to stop sending its soldiers to die on foreign soil, Trump’s your guy. If you want higher taxes, Trump’s your guy. If you want lower taxes, Trump’s your guy. The list goes on…

Read more at NRO.

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Source: National Review


[VIDEO] Dr. K: Improper Clinton Foundation E-mails ‘Could Destroy Her Candidacy’ 

“This, I think, can be quite ominous. There are two questions that have been outstanding forever. The first is: what exactly does the foundation do? I know what Habitat for Humanity does. I know what the Gates Foundation does. It is obvious that it was a huge networking operation: funding, supporting, giving jobs to the entire Clinton retinue, waiting for her accession, for the Clintons to return to the White House. And the second question is: why does she have a private server?”

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“I have always speculated here, and I said it was pure speculation, that the real stuff, the reason she had to hide all this, obviously she meant to hide things, was because there is something having to do with the foundation. And that’s where you would put all the so-called private stuff. It wasn’t yoga lessons or wedding invitations. If there was anything about improper connections, and we see them here — this is just a hint of it, just a few e-mails. What was in the 30,000? If anybody gets their hands on them, Russian or not, there could come spilling out stuff that could destroy her candidacy.”

putin-computer Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Julian Assange Suggests Murdered 27 Year-Old DNC Staffer was Wikileaks Source

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There have been at least three mysterious deaths recently of Democratic operatives.

 reports:

…On July 8, a twenty-seven year-old Democratic staffer named Seth Conrad Rich was killed in Washington DC when he just walking down the street. His body was found with his wallet, watch and phone all left behind.

In other words, it was not a robbery.

Here’s the news report on the murder:

Today, Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of the organization WikiLeaks, indicated Seth could’ve possibly been the source of the leaked Democratic National Convention emails that have so horribly embarrassed the party.

[Read the full story here, at patheos.com]

Listen carefully to what he says:

Gateway Pundit has the transcript:

Julian Assange: Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material and often very significant risks. As a 27 year-old, works for the DNC, was shot in the back, murdered just a few weeks ago for unknown reasons as he was walking down the street in Washington.

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Reporter: That was just a robbery, I believe. Wasn’t it?

Julian Assange: No. There’s no finding. So… I’m suggesting that our sources take risks. Read the rest of this entry »


Google Employees Have Enjoyed Revolving Door During Obama Administration

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The Google Transparency Project, the work of Campaign for Accountability, poured over reams of data to find 258 instances of ‘revolving door activity’ between Google or its associated companies and the federal government, national political campaigns and Congress since 2009.

 reports: More than 250 people have moved from Google and related firms to the federal government or vice versa since President Barack Obama took office.

The Google Transparency Project, the work of Campaign for Accountability, poured over reams of data to find 258 instances of “revolving door activity” between Google or its associated companies and the federal government, national political campaigns and Congress since 2009.

Much of that revolving door activity took place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where 22 former White House officials went to work for Google and 31 executives from Google and related firms went to work at the White House or were appointed to federal advisory boards by Obama. Those boards include the President’s Council on Science and Technology and the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

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Regulation watchdogs may be just as keen about the moves between Google and the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission. Those government bodies regulate many of the programs that are at the heart of Google’s business, and there have been at least 15 moves between Google and its lobbying firms and those commissions.

The research also shows that 25 officials in national security, intelligence or the Department of Defense joined Google, and three Google executives went to work for the DOD.

Eighteen former State Department officials became Google employees, and five Google staffers became employed at the State Department.

[The complete list can be downloaded via Excel file here]

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Friends in high places

Former Google employees occupy several key slots in the federal government. These include:

  • Megan Smith, vice president new business development at Google 2003-12, vice president of Google 2012-14, chief technology officer at the Office of Science and Technology Policy 2014-present.
  • Alexander Macgillivray, deputy general counsel at Google 2003-09, general counsel at Twitter 2009-13, deputy chief technology officer at OSTP 2014-present.
  • Nicole Wong, vice president and deputy general counsel at Google from 2004-11 and deputy chief technology officer at OSTP 2013-14.
  • Jannine Versi, product marketing manager in Middle East and North Africa for Google 2010-2012, White House National Economic Council 2013-14, chief of staff International Trade Administration at U.S. Department of Commerce 2014-present.
  • Michelle Lee, deputy general counsel at Google 2003-12, under secretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 2012-present.
  • Mikey Dickerson, site reliability manager at Google 2006-13, administrator U.S. Digital Service 2014-present. Dickerson also assisted with election day monitoring and modeling with Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and helped repair the broken HealthCare.gov website.

At least 18 former Google employees work or have worked for the U.S. Digital Serviceand its General Services Administration sidekick, 18F. USDS operates under the Executive Office of the President, consulting on big federal information technology projects.

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The door revolves

Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan group that exposes abuses of power in government, said it’s hard to know for sure how more than 250 people moving between Google and the federal government since 2009 compares to other corporations, but “it sounds like it’s a very significant number.”

“It’s very hard to get information about the quantity of people who go in and out of government service,” Amey told Watchdog.org.

Google didn’t return an email seeking comment for this story.

Analysts at Google Transparency Project compiled the revolving-door data by using public information that includes lobby SCHMIDT: The Google chief executivdisclosure records, news stories, LinkedIn profiles and reports from Open Secrets. Campaign for Accountability notes the analysis is “an evolving representation of the scale of the revolving-door relationship between Google and government” rather than a comprehensive tally.

In other words, the total could be higher.

SCHMIDT: The Google chief executive

SCHMIDT: The Google executive chairman’s company Civis Analytics was a key ally of Obama during his re-election campaign.

The project’s analysis included affiliates of Google, such as YouTube, as well as key law firms and lobbyists.

It also includes Civis Analytics, whose sole investor is Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google parent company Alphabet Inc.

At least 27 people who worked on Obama’s 2012 presidential re-election campaign went to work for Civis Analytics after the election. Google Transparency Project said “those employees are then deployed by the White House to work on President Obama’s top policy priorities.”

Those policies include federal technology acquisition reform, national security matters and health care reform – Civis Analytics employees worked with Google engineers to fix the broken HealthCare.gov website in 2013, Campaign for Accountability reports. Read the rest of this entry »


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