Thursday, January 31, 2019

Republicans kill resolution saying government shutdowns are bad


House Republicans on Wednesday voted down a nonbinding resolution that says government shutdowns are bad, just days after a record-setting 35-day shutdown.

Democrats called up the resolution as a way to assure federal workers that Congress will do what it can to prevent future shutdowns.

"After all they’ve been through, we owe assurances to federal workers that Congress will ensure continued, uninterrupted operations of the federal government," said Rep. Jennifer Wexton, D-Va., who sponsored the resolution.

But Republicans opposed the resolution and said it's a thinly disguised attack attempt to blame President Trump for the shutdown.

"It’s nothing more than a message meant to go after the president of the United States," said Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a staunch Trump ally. "I find this resolution nothing more than a political stunt."

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., protested the resolution by saying the House should be focused on border security and read the names of 50 people killed by illegal immigrants in the last few weeks.

Democrats called up the resolution under special rules requiring the support of two-thirds of those voting to pass it. That requirement, usually reserved for noncontroversial bills, was enough to kill the measure.

The final vote was 249-163, a tally that fell a few dozen votes short of passage by a two-thirds majority. Just 21 Republicans voted with Democrats.

Democrats could decide to bring the bill up under regular rules, which would allow it to pass easily with a simple-majority vote.

The resolution holds that shutting down the government "causes substantial damage to Federal employees" and also hurts the reputation of the United States.

It also holds that shutting down the government "is not an acceptable tactic or strategy for resolving differences regarding policy, funding levels, or governing philosophy."

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the shutdown cost the nation $11 billion.

Polling indicates the public mostly blames President Trump for the spending impasse because he refused to sign spending bills without federal funding for a wall. But surveys showed significant blame placed on Democrats, who blocked the wall funding.

Aside from the nonbinding resolution that got a vote Wednesday, Congress is considering binding legislation that could prevent future shutdowns by automatically providing continuous funding for the government if Congress and the president cannot agree on future spending bills.

Rep. Maxine Waters blames Trump for 'MAGA hate attack' on her Empire star friend Jussie Smollett in Chicago, claiming the President is 'emboldening' racists

  • Jussie Smollett was 'attacked by two men in ski masks on Tuesday in Chicago'
  • Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters has blamed President Trump for the incident
  • The California congresswoman insists 'he is dog whistling every day'
Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters has blamed President Donald Trump for the alleged attack on Empire star Jussie Smollett.
Speaking to news site The Giro, the California congresswoman insisted the president was ‘separating and dividing, and he’s basically emboldening those folks who feel this way.’
It comes after the 35-year-old actor, who came out as gay to Ellen in 2015, said he was set upon by two men in ski masks at 2am on Tuesday in Chicago.
He claims the pair assaulted him, hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, doused him with an ‘unknown chemical substance’ previously reported as bleach and put a thin rope around his neck.

California to Tax Drinking Water


The tax zombies won’t stop making life miserable for everyone

Trump won’t accept trade deal unless China opens market to manufacturers, bankers and farmers

President Trump is on another tweeting tear Thursday morning, alternating between comments about the ongoing US-China trade talks and his push to convince a bipartisan group of lawmakers to strike a border security deal that includes funding for his promised border wall.

After affirming earlier that a trade deal won’t be struck this week because there won’t be a "final deal" until Trump and President Xi can meet face to face (the WSJ reported that Trump will travel to China next month for the meeting), Trump followed up by insisting that a final deal will require China to open up its markets not only to US financial services firms, but to US "manufacturing, farmers and other US businesses and industries."


He followed that up with a tweet affirming that the Pentagon will be sending more troops to the US border (something the Pentagon announced earlier this week).

On Wednesday, Trump shared a quote from a Fox & Friends story about the three migrant caravans that are currently headed for the US border, an angle that Trump is seeking to play up as Democrats dig in their heels and Trump threatens to finally call the national emergency that would (in theory, at least) allow him to circumvent Congress and order the military to build the wall (which, as Trump has repeatedly claimed, has already been started). The tweets on trade come ahead of a reported meeting between Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Thursday.


However, despite Trump’s emphasis on farming and manufacturing, the president’s tweet notably follows a story published Thursday in the Wall Street Journal which explained why the US is in a better position to expand services like banking, consulting, engineering and insurance in China than agriculture – the US already ships tons of agricultural products to China – and manufacturing – China’s lower costs and established supply chains will make it impossible for US firms to compete.

An emphasis on services would be a natural fit: US companies are already internationally competitive in the financial services, insurance, engineering, consulting, software development and many other high-skilled service industries. But the US provides far fewer of these services to China than to the rest of the world, according to Adam Slater, the lead economist of Oxford Economics.



Ocasio-Cortez on Schultz: Why are billionaires who want to run for president never told to ‘work their way up’?

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday ripped former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz over his possible independent presidential bid, suggesting his lack of political experience pointed to a double standard.

"Why don't people ever tell billionaires who want to run for President that they need to 'work their way up' or that 'maybe they should start with city council first'?" the 29-year-old congresswoman tweeted.

The freshman lawmaker was referencing criticism she received during her House campaign last year that she should have aspired to a more local position before running for federal office.

Schultz, the son of a truck driver who lived in a housing project, became a billionaire from his time at the helm of Starbucks. He has never held political office before, though has flirted with a potential political run in recent years.

The former CEO angered Democrats on Sunday when he announced he was "seriously considering" an independent presidential campaign in 2020, sparking concerns he could siphon off Democratic votes and help President Trump win reelection. Schultz cast his potential bid as a home for moderate voters who feel alienated by both parties.

"It's far two extremes on both sides and the silent majority of America does not have a voice, and that's the voice I want to give," he said Tuesday morning.

He's since sparked feuds with progressives and a few presidential candidates after he criticized some of their policies.

He attacked Ocasio-Cortez's proposal to impose a 70 percent marginal tax rate on income above $10 million, slammed Sen. Kamala Harris's (D-Calif.) plan for "Medicare for all" as "not American" and said Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) plan for a special 2 percent annual tax on Americans whose net worth exceeds $50 billion was "ridiculous."

Some have responded that Schultz is using his wealth to buy his way onto the presidential ticket in 2020 without having to face a primary challenge.



Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Chinese Telecom Conglomerate Charged with Multiple Crimes

Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Bank Fraud, and Theft of Trade Secrets Among Nearly Two Dozen Charges Announced Against Huawei

Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturing giant Huawei Technologies Co., LTD has been charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and theft of trade secrets, among other crimes, in indictments unsealed today by United States Attorneys Offices in the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Washington.

“The charges unsealed today are the result of years of investigative work conducted by the FBI and our law enforcement partners,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said today at a Department of Justice press conference announcing the indictments. “Both sets of charges expose Huawei’s brazen and persistent actions to exploit American companies and financial institutions and to threaten the free and fair global marketplace.”

The Eastern District of New York charged Huawei, two of its affiliates, and Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzou with 13 counts surrounding the company’s misrepresentations to the U.S. government and four financial institutions regarding its business in Iran. The indictment charges that the company used financial institutions operating in the United States to process transactions involving millions of dollars in furtherance of Huawei’s Iran-based business. These transactions and the company’s false statements about them violated U.S. laws, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The additional 10 charges out of Washington state alleged that employees at Huawei Device Co. and Huawei Device USA, Inc. worked to steal the details of an innovative and proprietary tool built by T-Mobile to test the performance of new mobile phones prior to launch. According to the indictment, Huawei employees who were granted limited access to T-Mobile’s Tappy Robot System stole information about the technology in violation of nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements, and then sought to cover up their actions.


“The FBI does not—and will not—tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct our justice, and jeopardize our national security.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray
Wray said the company’s intentional and systematic efforts to steal valuable intellectual property were designed to “circumvent hard-earned, time-consuming research and gain an unfair market advantage.”

Wray expressed his gratitude to the FBI personnel who were instrumental in building the case and to partners at the Departments of Commerce and Homeland Security. He also recognized efforts by Canadian law enforcement officials.

“These cases make clear,” Wray stressed, “that, as a country, we must consider carefully the risk that companies like Huawei pose if we allow them into our telecommunications infrastructure. The FBI does not—and will not—tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct our justice, and jeopardize our national security.”

Democrats Plot to Make Ocasio-Cortez a ‘One-Term Congressperson’

BREITBART NEWS: Several New York "furious" Democrats have mulled whether they want to primary challenge Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and make her a "one-term congressperson," according to report released on Tuesday.

A report from the Hill released on Tuesday suggested that several Democrats have considered if they want to primary challenge Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive freshman Democrat and a rising figure in Democrat circles.

Reportedly, at least one House Democrat has urged the New York delegation to recruit a local politician from either the Bronx or Queens, New York, to challenge the progressive Democrat.
"What I have recommended to the New York delegation is that you find her a primary opponent and make her a one-term congressperson," the Democrat congressman said anonymously to the Hill.

[Read More…]

Texas: 58K non-US citizens voted in elections over 22 years

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An evaluation by the Texas Secretary of State's office discovered that about 95,000 people identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as non-U.S. citizens have a matching voting registration record. The state claims 58,000 of those people voted in one or more state elections over 22 years.

For perspective, during the 2018 Gubernatorial election, more than 15.7 million people were registered to vote, and more than 8.3 million actually voted.
In an advisory released Friday, the Texas Secretary of State, David Whitley, announced the findings from its voter registration maintenance activities.

The maintenance activity was done in accordance with federal and state law to ensure that only qualified voters — who must first and foremost be U.S. citizens — are registered to vote in Texas elections, per the Secretary of State.

The Texas Secretary of State cannot investigate or prosecute illegal activity so he turned the information over to the Texas Attorney General's Office. Voting without eligibility is a second-degree felony in Texas.

"My Election Fraud Unit stands ready to investigate and prosecute crimes against the democratic process when needed," wrote Attorney General Ken Paxton in a statement.

Civil rights groups and Mexican-American lawmakers were instantly suspicious of the numbers released.

"We need to see the evidence first because, typically, when elections go bad for the party in power, politicans will blame their electoral shortcomings on 'voter fraud'," Dallas State Representative and Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, Rafael Anchia, said after the news.

"If these allegations are true, it is a major failure on the part of the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General's office," said Rep. Anchia, "Because we have consistently seen Texas politicains conjure the specter of voter fraud as pretext to suppress legitimate votes, we are naturall skepitcal."

The Texas Civil Rights Project in a statement brought up the prospect that the list might be wrong, or at least outdated, "with about 50,000 Texas residents becoming naturalized citizens each year."

In the future, the secretary's office will use information from DPS on a monthly basis to cross-reference voters with Texas' statewide voter registration database and match potential non-U.S. citizens who have registered to vote. When there is a match, the Texas Secretary of State's office will notify the county.

What happens next?

Travis County Voter Registrar Bruce Elfant said at this time, we don't know how many of those 95,000 non-U.S. citizens live in our area. He's expecting to find out from the Secretary of State's Office next week.

Any counties that are affected by the report will be told to send a Notice of Examination to those non-citizens, letting them know their status is being examined.

They will then have 30 days to provide proof of citizenship. If they don't respond or cannot provide any proof of citizenship, they will be removed from the voter rolls.

Texas voters can also check their status using the secretary's office's Am I Registered? tool.

Voter registration process


When you register to vote in Texas, the first question you're asked is "Are you a U.S. citizen?"

If you respond yes, Elfant said, "We receive the paper voter registration cards. Manually enter it into the database. We send that off to Secretary of State for their verification, and they will either send back the records that are complete and accurate and confirmed, and we'll put them on the voter rolls [or] they'll send us records where there are questions.

He said the state verifies the person's citizenship status.

Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson said, "We don't prove citizenship here in our office. That's done at the state level."

If the state raises any issues, the local registrars are then responsible for notifying the person and asking for proof.

Elfant said his staff is trained to properly review those documents.



Saturday, January 26, 2019

CBS Reporter Shocked as Border Agent Calls Illegal Crossings a 'Crisis'

(Image: screenshot)
The liberal media seems to struggle with facts as presented by President Donald Trump, even if they’re backed by experts.
A CBS reporter on the ground at the U.S. southern border balked when a veteran Border Patrol agent called the situation the “worst crisis” he has ever seen, echoing Trump’s characterization of the immigration issue facing the nation at its southern border.

CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal reported from the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Nogales, Arizona in a segment on “CBS Evening News” on Wednesday, covering how Border Patrol agents are working without pay amid the month-long government shutdown.
But if she was hoping to find evidence to refute any of the president’s claims or to weaken his argument that funding is necessary to build a barrier and secure America’s borders, Border Patrol agent Fernando Grijalva was not the man to deliver.

The veteran agent, who has served under six different administrations, not only agreed with Trump, he made the dire situation very clear to Villarreal.
“I’ve seen six different presidents at the time that I’ve been with the Border Patrol and this is the worst crisis that I’ve seen,” he said.
“You actually will use that word ‘crisis’?” the CBS reporter asked.
“Yes,” was the agent’s simple response.

And the fact that he and other agents are not getting paid because of the partial government shutdown is irrelevant as Grijalva and others feel strongly about what they are called to do.
“They believe strongly in the mission and they know that we have a job to do,” he told Villarreal after she asked about the federal employees missing their second paycheck amid the ongoing shutdown.
Although a type of barrier structure exists at the location Villarreal was reporting from, she noted the ease with which migrants are crossing into the U.S.
(Image: screenshot)
“Just over it is a major highway. Buses come right through here. Migrants get off and then they walk right into the United States,” she said. Last year, border agents apprehended 52,000 people in this area alone, an increase of more than 1,000 apprehensions a month over the previous year.”
On Wednesday morning alone, a group of 180 migrants were apprehended by Arizona border agents.
While Villarreal may not have wanted to admit Trump has been right all along in calling the situation at the southern border a “crisis,” facts don’t lie. And Grijalva doesn’t see how agents can properly do their jobs in keeping Americans safe without the existence of a wall.
“Operationally I can tell that you without a physical barrier at border patrol we have a very tough time succeeding,” he said.



There are several lies about RBG that come up over and over and rather than debunking each one, we thought we'd compile a list of the most egregious examples along with links to reputable sites that show that they're outright fabrications.
Lie #1: RBG wants the age of consent reduced to age 12 (or lower)
Is this true? Of course not.
It seems absurd to have to even say this, but no, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has never advocated lowering the age of consent to 12. And yet, Senator Lindsay Graham felt comfortable making this claim during the confirmation hearings of John Roberts:

"And if I wanted to judge Justice Ginsburg on her heart, I might take a hard-hearted view of her and say she's a bleeding heart. She represents the ACLU. She wants the age of consent to be 12. She believes there's a constitutional right to prostitution. What kind of heart is that?"
— Senator Lindsay Graham [

As with many false online rumors, the people pushing this one cite a source: A 1974 report entitled "The Legal Status of Women Under Federal Law."

But this source doesn't back up the rumor – it's an article by Ginsburg that cites a proposed Senate bill as an example of gender-neutral language. That bill contained a definition of rape that included any case in which a person engages in a sexual act with someone under the age of 12.

Suggesting that Ginsburg supports lowering the age of consent to age 12 in this case is like saying that everyone who references the US Constitution believes that anyone who isn't white is worth 3/5ths of a person.

But that doesn't stop RBG's critics – including US Senators – from making this claim.

Fact checking sources on this rumor:
Lindsay Graham's Smear Slate
Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg Say that Pedophilia Was Good for Children?
Bonus Lie: RBG said pedophilia is good for children
Once you've lied about Ginsburg wanting to lower the age of consent, why not take the next step and suggest she actually thinks pedophilia is good for children.

Seriously: This is an actual accusation that people post on our page on a regular basis. This lie fits in perfectly with all the other lies about Democrats running underground pedophilia rings.

These lies, of course, have consequences: Fake stories like this are exactly what inspired Edgar Maddison Welch walk into a pizza restaurant with an AR-15 rifle and open fire in 2016.

As says, this claim about RBG is just a lie built on the previous lie.
Lie #2: RBG said she'd resign if Kavanaugh were confirmed.
Any truth to this rumor? Nope.
Ironically enough, RBG has recently said quite the opposite:

"I'm now 85. My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so think I have about at least five more years."
– Ruth Bader Ginsburg [Source]

Fact checking sources on this rumor:
The Weekly Standard
Lie #3: Ruth Ginsburg Threatens to ‘Resign from SCOTUS’ If Trump Is Elected President
Has RBG ever said anything like this? No.
This one has been circulating since before Trump was even inaugurated on websites and across social media. It's wishful thinking for some, but it's portrayed as evidence that RBG has gone back on her word.

She hasn't, of course, but the truth is no hinderance to RBG's critics.

Fact checking sources on this rumor:
Supreme Court's Ginsburg not retiring, despite what fake news headline says
Ruth Ginsburg Threatens to ‘Resign from SCOTUS’ If Trump Is Elected President