Ron Johnson gushes Conspiracy Theories, doesn't Trust FBI and CIA, before and now after.    

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Ron Johnson became Wisconsin's Senator because he didn't understand the Affordable Care Act, and hated a program offering more people access to affordable health insurance. He even said...


And it only got worse from there. In Washington, Johnson's blathering idiocy became the talk of the town:

And then he got reelected...true!

Johnson plays Trump as Victim, says he's "...never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election: Amazing. Let's remind our clueless Dumb Ron Johnson why that's not true either:
1. Here’s John Boehner offering his plans for Obama’s agenda: “We're going to do everything — and I mean everything we can do — to kill it, stop it, slow it down, whatever we can.”

2. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up his plan to National Journal: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

3. Mike Pence, underscored the point with a clip from Patton, showing the general rallying his troops for war against their Nazi enemy: “We’re going to kick the hell out of him all the time! We’re going to go through him like crap through a goose!”

4. Even though the economy was in free fall, not one House Republican had voted for the effort to revive it, prompting a wave of punditry about a failed party refusing to help clean up its own mess and dooming itself to irrelevance.

5. Have we forgotten that right when President Obama took office in 2009, the Republican leadership in Congress planned a no-honeymoon strategy of all-out resistance to Obama, even though the country was in an economic meltdown? Then-Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said that “if [Obama] was for it, we had to be against it.”
So it's mind-bending to hear Dumb Ron Johnson whine about the supposed "attacks" on the grifting Trump family presidency:
Johnson: "I have never in my lifetime seen a president after being elected, not having some measure of well wishes from his opponents; I've never seen a president, administration, be sabotaged from the day after the election; I've never seen no measure of a honeymoon what-so-ever." 
Johnson, chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security committee, rambled from one conspiracy theory to another (just like every Trump cultist), and admitted he doesn't trust the CIA or the FBI.
Johnson: "No, I don't — absolutely not. No, and I didn't trust them back then."


So, Nothing like this ever happened under Obama? Trump Investigations plays into GOP Victim-Hood: Here's just a quick reminder below. Note: Remember Trump's own attempts to seek out Obama's birth certificate to prove he was not a U.S. citizen and a secret Muslin:
MSNBC: Republicans made aggressive use of their investigative powers ... matters involving Hillary Clinton, her use of email as secretary of state, her conduct of foreign policy and the Clinton Foundation ... House Republicans unleashed a barrage of subpoenas ... a half dozen GOP-led House committees conducted protracted investigations of the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya ... investigations of the 2009-2011 Operation Fast and Furious episode – a botched initiative against drug cartels that ended up putting guns in the hands of murderers ... investigations into the IRS's treatment of conservatives, and his administration’s loan guarantee to the failed solar-panel startup, Solyndra. And much more.
Who can forget Johnson's imagined "secret society?" 


Or this Johnson gem:


Ron Johnson now has his eye on the governorship in Wisconsin. Just a little advice to anyone thinking about moving to a state who's economy is held hostage by the gerrymandered Republican Party determined to not change a thing because after 8 years of control, everything is perfect now; DON'T. 



          

CHRIS MASSOGLIA   

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Christopher Paul "Chris" Massoglia[1] (born March 29, 1992) is an American television and motion picture actor.
Chris Massoglia was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Christopher and Karen Massoglia.[2] His father is a chiropractor and his mother a homemaker.[2] His parents are devout Christians and Republicans, and Massoglia grew up a fan of Christian pop music (as well as unable to listen to rap music).[2] Gifted with an above-average intelligence, Massoglia was homeschooled by his mother.[2] While his peers were taking third grade-level subjects, Massoglia was taking eighth grade-level courses.[2] By the age of 13, he had enrolled in an online university where his coursework included developmental psychology, Biblical studies, algebra, and American history.[2] He also had studied jujitsu, played piano, trained as a hip-hop dancer, knew American sign language, and rode horses.[2] He was also a stand-out Little League Baseball player.[2] The Massoglia family has, as of 2009, refused to move to Hollywood, preferring to maintain a home in Minneapolis despite the extensive travel for Chris that this requires.[3]

He began attending acting workshops at a dancing academy in his home town of Minneapolis while in middle school, and auditioning for television commercials by creating home-made audition tapes.[3] His first jobs included commercials for Target, Marshall Field's, PepsiCo, and Best Buy.[2]
He began acting in 2003 under the name "Chris Kelly" (sometimes appearing as "Chris J. Kelly") in an episode of the television program Law & Order: Criminal Intent.[3] The same year, he was considered for the part of 10-year-old Sean in the Nicole Kidman film Birth, but the family refused to allow him to appear naked on screen with a nude, grown woman.[2] He auditioned for Spider-Man 2 (getting far enough in the casting process to spend an afternoon with Tobey Maguire) and Bad News Bears (he returned six times for call-backs but was not cast).[2] He spent the summer of 2004 away from auditions to play Little League Baseball; his team (the Robbinsdale All-Stars) won the Minnesota state title that year but did not go to the Little League World Series after losing in the Indianapolis regionals.[2] He appeared in two episodes of Medical Investigation in 2004,[4] and four episodes of the TNT cable television police drama Wanted in 2005.[3][4] He began using his family name of Massoglia in 2008.[3]
He made his feature film acting debut in 2007 in the motion picture A Plumm Summer,[5] but his most prominent role as of 2009 was as "Darren Shan" in the 2009 film Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant.[6] Originally scheduled to debut in theaters in 2010, the film was moved to October 2009 to "capitalize on the Halloween season",[7] and opened a month prior to another highly-anticipated vampire picture, New Moon.[8]
His follow-up project was the 3-D horror film The Hole, directed by Joe Dante,[9][10][11] He also went on to playing an older Sam, Zac Efron's brother in Charlie St. Cloud, but his role was cut from the film.[11][12]



http://en.wikipedia.org

 

          

Profit, not politics: Trump allies sought Ukraine gas deal   

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KYIV, Ukraine – As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump’s main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.

Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine’s massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.

Their plan hit a snag after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.

But the effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine’s new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry’s past political donors.

It’s unclear if Perry’s attempts to replace board members at Naftogaz were coordinated with the Giuliani allies pushing for a similar outcome, and no one has alleged that there is criminal activity in any of these efforts. And it’s unclear what role, if any, Giuliani had in helping his clients push to get gas sales agreements with the state-owned company.

But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president’s personal political interests. It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served five years on the board of another Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

On Friday, according to the news site Axios, Trump told a group of Republican lawmakers that it had been Perry who had prompted the phone call in which Trump asked Zelenskiy for a “favor” regarding Biden. Axios cited a source saying Trump said Perry had asked Trump to make the call to discuss “something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant.”

While it’s unclear whether Trump’s remark Friday referred specifically to the behind-the-scenes maneuvers this spring involving the multibillion-dollar state gas company, The Associated Press has interviewed four people with direct knowledge of the attempts to influence Naftogaz, and their accounts show Perry playing a key role in the effort. Three of the four spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. The fourth is an American businessman with close ties to the Ukrainian energy sector.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Energy Department said Perry, a former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, was not advancing anyone’s personal interests. She said his conversations with Ukrainian officials about Naftogaz were part of his efforts to reform the country’s energy sector and create an environment in which Western companies can do business.

Perry was asked about the AP’s reporting on Monday while in Lithuania, where he was meeting with officials from Ukraine and other eastern European countries to discuss energy security and cooperation. He said any suggestion that he tried to force a management change at Naftogaz was a “totally dreamed up story.”

“We get asked for our recommendations about people who are experts in areas, various areas,” Perry said. “Folks who have expertise in particular areas. Obviously having been the governor of the state of Texas, I know a lot of people in the energy industry.”

The Trump and Giuliani allies driving the attempt to change the senior management at Naftogaz, however, appear to have had inside knowledge of the U.S. government’s plans in Ukraine. For example, they told people that Trump would replace the U.S. ambassador there months before she was actually recalled to Washington, according to three of the individuals interviewed by the AP. One of the individuals said he was so concerned by the whole affair that he reported it to a U.S. Embassy official in Ukraine months ago.

THE BUSINESSMEN

Ukraine, a resource-rich nation that sits on the geographic and symbolic border between Russia and the West, has long been plagued by corruption and government dysfunction, making it a magnet for foreign profiteers.

At the center of the Naftogaz plan, according to three individuals familiar with the details, were three such businessmen: two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III.

Parnas and Fruman have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republicans, including $325,000 to a Trump-allied political action committee in 2018. This helped the relatively unknown entrepreneurs gain access to top levels of the Republican Party – including meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago.

The two have also faced lawsuits from disgruntled investors over unpaid debts. During the same period they were pursuing the Naftogaz deal, the two were coordinating with Giuliani to set up meetings with Ukrainian government officials and push for an investigation of the Bidens.

Sargeant, his wife and corporate entities tied to the family have donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the last 20 years, including $100,000 in June to the Trump Victory Fund, according to federal and state campaign finance records. He has also served as finance chair of the Florida state GOP, and gave nearly $14,000 to Giuliani’s failed 2008 presidential campaign.

In early March, Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov, according to two individuals who spoke to the AP as well as a memorandum about the meeting that was later submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, formerly known as Kiev.

Going back to the Obama administration, the U.S. Energy Department and the State Department have long supported efforts to import American natural gas into Ukraine to reduce the country’s dependence on Russia.

The three approached Favorov with the idea while the Ukrainian executive was attending an energy industry conference in Texas. Parnas and Fruman told him they had flown in from Florida on a private jet to recruit him to be their partner in a new venture to export up to 100 tanker shipments a year of U.S. liquefied gas into Ukraine, where Naftogaz is the largest distributor, according to two people briefed on the details.

Sargeant told Favorov that he regularly meets with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and that the gas-sales plan had the president’s full support, according to the two people who said Favorov recounted the discussion to them.

These conversations were recounted to AP by Dale W. Perry, an American who is a former business partner of Favorov. He told AP in an interview that Favorov described the meeting to him soon after it happened and that Favorov perceived it to be a shakedown. Perry, who is no relation to the energy secretary, is the managing partner of Energy Resources of Ukraine, which currently has business agreements to import natural gas and electricity to Ukraine.

A second person who spoke on condition of anonymity also confirmed to the AP that Favorov had recounted details of the Houston meeting to him.

According to Dale Perry and the other person, Favorov said Parnas told him Trump planned to remove U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and replace her with someone more open to aiding their business interests.

Dale Perry told the AP he was so concerned about the efforts to change the management at Naftogaz and to get rid of Yovanovitch that he reported what he had heard to Suriya Jayanti, a State Department foreign service officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv who focuses on the energy industry.

He also wrote a detailed memo about Favorov’s account, dated April 12, which was shared with another current State Department official. Perry recently provided a copy of the April memo to AP.

Jayanti declined to provide comment. Favorov also declined to comment.

On March 24, Giuliani and Parnas gathered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington with Healy E. Baumgardner, a former Trump campaign adviser who once served as deputy communications director for Giuliani’s presidential campaign and as a communications official during the George W. Bush administration.

She is now listed as the CEO of 45 Energy Group, a Houston-based energy company whose website describes it as a “government relations, public affairs and business development practice group.” The company’s name is an apparent nod to Trump, the 45th president.

This was a couple of weeks after the Houston meeting with Favorov, the Naftogaz executive. Giuliani, Parnas and Baumgardner were there to make a business pitch involving gas deals in the former Soviet bloc to a potential investor.

This time, according to Giuliani, the deals that were discussed involved Uzbekistan, not Ukraine.

“I have not pursued a deal in the Ukraine. I don’t know about a deal in the Ukraine. I would not do a deal in the Ukraine now, obviously,” said Giuliani, reached while attending a playoff baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. “There is absolutely no proof that I did it, because I didn’t do it.”

During this meeting, Parnas again repeated that Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv, would soon be replaced, according to a person with direct knowledge of the gathering. She was removed two months later.

Giuliani, who serves as Trump’s personal lawyer and has no official role in government, acknowledged Friday that he was among those pushing the president to replace the ambassador, a career diplomat with a history of fighting corruption.

“The ambassador to Ukraine was replaced,” he said. “I did play a role in that.”

But Giuliani refused to discuss the details of his business dealings, or whether he helped his associates in their push to forge gas sales contracts with the Ukrainian company. He did describe Sergeant as a friend and referred to Parnas and Fruman as his clients in a tweet in May.

As part of their impeachment inquiry, House Democrats have subpoenaed Giuliani for documents and communications related to dozens of people, including Favorov, Parnas, Fruman and Baumgardner’s 45 Energy Group.

Baumgardner issued a written statement, saying: “While I won’t comment on business discussions, I will say this: this political assault on private business by the Democrats in Congress is complete harassment and an invasion of privacy that should scare the hell out of every American business owner.”

Baumgardner later denied that she had any business dealings in Ukraine but refused to say whether the replacement of Ambassador Yovanovitch was discussed.

Sargeant did not respond to a voice message left at a number listed for him at an address in Boca Raton.

John Dowd, a former Trump attorney who now represents Parnas and Fruman, said it was actually the Naftogaz executives who approached his clients about making a deal. Dowd says the group then approached Rick Perry to get the Energy Department on board.

“The people from the company solicited my clients because Igor is in the gas business, and they asked them, and they flew to Washington and they solicited,” Dowd said. “They sat down and talked about it. And then it was presented to Secretary Perry to see if they could get it together.

“It wasn’t a shakedown; it was an attempt to do legitimate business that didn’t work out.”

THE ENERGY SECRETARY

In May, Rick Perry traveled to Kyiv to serve as the senior U.S. government representative at the inauguration of the county’s new president.

In a private meeting with Zelenskiy, Perry pressed the Ukrainian president to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board. Attendees left the meeting with the impression that Perry wanted to replace the American representative, Amos Hochstein, a former diplomat and energy representative who served in the Obama administration, with someone “reputable in Republican circles,” according to someone who was in the room.

Perry’s push for Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz to change its supervisory board was first reported by Politico.

A second meeting during the trip, at a Kyiv hotel, included Ukrainian officials and energy sector people. There, Perry made clear that the Trump administration wanted to see the entire Naftogaz supervisory board replaced, according to a person who attended both meetings. Perry again referenced the list of advisers that he had given Zelenskiy, and it was widely interpreted that he wanted Michael Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-American businessman from Texas, to join the newly formed board, the person said. Also on the list was Robert Bensh, another Texan who frequently works in Ukraine, the Energy Department confirmed.

Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine, were also in the room, according to photographs reviewed by AP. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation, said he was floored by the American requests because the person had always viewed the U.S. government “as having a higher ethical standard.”

The Naftogaz supervisory board is supposed to be selected by the Ukrainian president’s Cabinet in consultation with international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union. It must be approved by the Ukrainian Cabinet. Ukrainian officials perceived Perry’s push to swap out the board as circumventing that established process, according to the person in the room.

U.S. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Perry had consistently called for the modernization of Ukraine’s business and energy sector in an effort to create an environment that will incentivize Western companies to do business there. She said Perry delivered that same message in the May meeting with Zelenskiy.

“What he did not do is advocate for the business interests of any one individual or company,” Hynes said Saturday. “That is fiction being pushed by those who are disingenuously seeking to advance a nefarious narrative that does not exist.”

Hynes said the Ukrainian government had requested U.S. recommendations to advise the country on energy matters, and Perry provided those recommendations. She confirmed Bleyzer was on the list.

Bleyzer, whose company is based in Houston, did not respond on Saturday to a voicemail seeking comment. Bensh also did not respond to a phone message.

Perry has close ties to the Texas oil and gas industry. He appointed Bleyzer to a two-year term on a state technologies fund board in 2009. The following year, records show Bleyzer donated $20,000 to Perry’s reelection campaign.

Zelenskiy’s office declined to comment on Saturday.

In an interview Friday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Perry said that “as God as my witness” he never discussed Biden or his son in meetings with Ukrainian or U.S. officials, including Trump or Giuliani. He did confirm he had had a conversation with Giuliani by phone, but a spokeswoman for the energy secretary declined to say when that call was or whether the two had discussed Naftogaz.

In Lithuania on Monday, Perry said he could not recall whether Bleyzer’s name was on the list provided to Zelenskiy. But Perry confirmed he had known Bleyzer for years and called him “a really brilliant, capable businessman.”

“I would recommend him for a host of different things in Kyiv because he knows the country,” Perry said of Bleyzer. “He’s from there. So, why not? I mean I would be stunned if someone said that would you eliminate Michael Bleyzer from a recommendation of people you ought to talk to about how to do business in the country, whether they’re knowledgeable. It’d be remarkable if I didn’t say, `Talk to Michael.“’


          

Republicans on Parade – 10/7/2019   

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Here is the one hundred sixty-seventh article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s winner is Trump sycophant and Republican Senator Ron Johnson. He is so honored for one of the biggest episodes of simultaneous goose-stepping or side-stepping I have ever seen! Sen. Ron Johnson [...]
          

The Tennessee Republican Party Chairman's Cup golf game   

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Rod --
We are only a few days from the 3rd Annual Chairman'sCup Golf Tournament and tomorrow is the last day to register to play!
It’s a best ball scramble, so you don’t have to be a good golfer to have some fun. And if you're not a golfer, this is a great opportunity to sponsor a hole for $100.

Sign up by tomorrow as a single player for $150, part of a foursome for $600, or a hole sponsor for $100. Reserve your spot now! All players will receive a TNGOP golf polo.
          

Re: The Dem Schism Gets Real   

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There is NO excuse for the obvious voter manipulation carried out by a few of these members, most obviously lifelong Republican Virginia Bass, who continues to support the Republican Agenda. This county has a history of voting Democrat, let the local Republican party meet the wants of the voting majority.
Posted by Problem #1 is obvious1

          

10/06 Links: PMW: PA capitulates to Israel's anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law; It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite; Elizabeth Warren Fundraises for Anti-Semite; Caving to BDS   

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From Ian:

PMW: PA capitulates to Israel's anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law
After initially refusing to accept any tax revenues Israel collected and transfered to the Palestinian Authority because Israel implemented its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has now capitulated and agreed to accept the vast majority of the funds.

In February 2019, Israel's cabinet decided to implement one part of the 2018 anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law and started to deduct the sum the PA spent in 2018 paying salaries to terrorist prisoners and released prisoners from the 2019 tax revenues Israel collects and transfers to the PA.

Initially, rejecting Israel's implementation of the anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, because he argued that paying financial rewards to Palestinian terrorists is legitimate, Abbas refused to accept the money Israel tranfered and plunged the PA into a self-made financial crisis.

"[PA] Minister of Civil Affairs [and Fatah Central Committee member] Hussein Al-Sheikh said yesterday [Feb. 10, 2019] that he has conveyed an official message at the request of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas that emphasizes that 'He will refuse to receive the collected [tax] money if Israel deducts even one penny from it.'" [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 11, 2019]

When he made that decision, Palestinian Media Watch speculated that Abbas was probably planning to use the ensuing impoverishment of the Palestinian population as a tactic to put pressure on Israel to transfer to him the money he uses to reward terror. PMW also suggested that he was using the decision as a means to leverage the international community to put pressure on Israel to ignore its own laws. Abbas was also hoping that the international community would again side with the PA against Israel and further subsidize the PA.

As a show of his resolve to plunge the PA economy into the abyss, Abbas decided to cut the salaries of the PA's law abiding employees by 40-50% while guaranteeing the payment, in full, of the salaries to the terrorists. The PA also stopped allowing Palestinians to receive medical treatment in Israel, under the false claim that Israel was deducting $100 dollars a year for this service. This ban did not apply to senior Fatah figures like Jibril Rajoub who continued to receive medical treatment in an Israeli hospital.

Abbas' decision to accept the tax revenues, even though Israel continues to implement its anti-"Pay-for-Slay" law, reflects an understanding that all these goals have failed.
Pay for Slay with funds from UK?
The Department for International Development (DFID) must now release documents to UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), having abandoned part of its appeal from the decision of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The ICO ordered DFID to disclose to UKLFI audits of accounts into which British grant aid was transferred and then used to pay salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists. British Ministers relied on these audits when concerns were expressed that British money was being used to pay terrorists.

Various countries, including the UK, paid large sums of money into the World Bank’s Palestinian Recovery and Development Program Multi donor trust fund (PRDP-MDTF), which were then transferred to the Palestinian Authority’s Central Treasury Account.

Funds from this account were used to pay convicted terrorists, rewarding them for their crimes.

On 26 July 2019, the ICO ordered DFID to disclose the audit reports of the PRDP-MDTF and the terms on which the auditors were engaged. The ICO concluded that there was a significant public interest in the disclosure of the information, which outweighed any harm that may be done to diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority.

DFID had filed a Notice of Appeal on 19 August 2019, saying that it intended to appeal the release of the documents, on the grounds that the ICO’s assessment of the public interest was wrong, and that it also disputed the ICO’s conclusion that the Palestinian Authority was not a State, for the purposes of section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act.
David Singer: Netanyahu and Liberman must stop Israel’s third election in a year
Israel is surrounded by enemies – especially Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria and Hamas in Gaza that could be tempted to exploit the fractured nature of Israel’s current political circumstances.

There are pressing political issues awaiting Israel’s next Government – most notably negotiations on President Trump’s deal of the century and Netanyahu’s election promise to annex large parts of the "West Bank."

Ending this state of suspended uncertainty has now been thrust on the shoulders of Netanyahu and Liberman – following the failure of Netanyahu and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz to achieve a deal they could both live with.

Netanyahu and Liberman would do well to heed the sage advice contained in the Ethics of the Fathers:

“Do not seek greatness for yourself, and do not lust for honor”

Achieving greatness and honor together by compromising their political expectations will secure Netanyahu and Liberman a special place in the annals of Israel.



Jonathan S. Tobin: It’s time to put an end to labeling Trump an anti-Semite
It’s that at a time when a rising tide of anti-Semitism is spreading over the globe – and Jews are facing the twin threats of white-supremacist hate from the far-Right, as well as leftist anti-Zionists seeking to delegitimize both Israel and American Jews – using it as a partisan political weapon is dangerously irresponsible.

Trump’s actions and statements are fair game for criticism and, like any other leader, can be held accountable by Congress and the courts.

But labeling him an anti-Semite is a blatant falsehood. That’s not merely because he’s clearly the most pro-Israel president America has had, in addition to someone with Jewish family, and with a staff and cabinet filled with many Jews.

It’s also true that his administration has in some respects taken anti-Semitism more seriously than his predecessors. He has ordered civil-rights investigations into attacks on Jewish students and others on US college campuses that were ignored by Obama, and Trump’s Justice Department convened a summit on the subject that addressed issues not treated seriously before this.

If anti-Semitism is just one more brickbat to be tossed around with impunity in the course of bitter and all-too-savage debate on impeachment, then those who are using it in that way are effectively saying that it’s not as important as their partisan goals.

It’s time for both Democrats and Republicans of goodwill to recognize that whatever the outcome of the impeachment battle, injecting false charges of anti-Semitism into the discussion will not advance their cause. It will, however, materially damage the fight against hate.
Elizabeth Warren Fundraises for Anti-Semite
Senator Elizabeth Warren, well-known for cultural appropriation, sent a fundraising email on behalf of Leslie Cockburn late yesterday afternoon.

Warren’s support comes well after the Republican Party of Virginia revealed that Leslie Cockburn was a “virulent anti-Semite” for espousing bizarre conspiracy theories regarding the Jewish people and Israel. It was also recently discovered that Cockburn’s work has been used as source material for a number of white nationalist organizations. Notably, at least one of those websites was responsible for promoting and organizing the deadly Charlottesville rally of last August. Cockburn’s history of anti-Semitism has been well-documented since she wrote Dangerous Liaison in the early 1990s.

It is also worth noting that Cockburn’s co-author, at a debate at Oxford in 2007, said “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” Andrew Cockburn also had this to say about the so-called Israel Lobby: “I mean, you know, we’ve had comparisons of the National Rifle Association lobby, very powerful, supremely powerful in Congress, but you can get up and run for office against the National Rifle Association for gun control and no-one tries to demonise you or drive you out of public life. That’s different with the Israel lobby. It’s across, it’s the Congress, it’s the executive branch and it’s in the culture, in the media.”

“Either Elizabeth Warren didn’t do her homework, or she supports what Cockburn stands for; anti-Semitism.” said RPV Executive Director John Findlay. “Elizabeth Warren should answer whether she agrees with Leslie’s co-author when he said that “the Israel lobby in the United States dictates American policy.” This endorsement by a Massachusetts Democrat exemplifies the truth about Leslie Cockburn – she is an out-of-touch, out-of-state liberal who only wants to go to Congress to push a far-left agenda.”
The UN's Insane Israel Bias: Ben Shapiro on UN Watch Statistics
Ben Shapiro calls out the UN's extreme bias against Israel, reading out UN Watch's data:
The U.N. and Israel: Key Statistics from UN Watch




Seth J Frantzman: Turkey re-writes international law with “safe zone” invasion doctrine
Turkey has re-written the rules of international law in Syria, declaring that when there is a presence of what it views as a “terrorist organization,” it has a right to invade and create a “safe zone” or “peace corridor” along the border. Other countries including India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Egypt may take note and begin to study Ankara’s doctrine that has wide implications for international affairs.

In international relations, countries generally enjoy a right to self-defense. This is enshrined in various international laws, precedent and treaty law. The UN Charter, for instance, argues in Article 2 that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” Article 51 notes that nothing in the charter “shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense.”

Ankara re-written these norms, arguing that when a country has designated an organization a “terrorist group” that it will have a right to invade the neighboring country and set up a “safe zone” along the border. This doesn’t require Ankara to present any evidence that there was a threat or attacks from northern Syria. Turkey simply took over Jarabulus and Afrin in 2016 and 2018 respectively. Now Turkey says it has a right to take over eastern Syria, redraw property lines and international borders, and settle one million Syrian refugees there, creating hundreds of towns regardless of the local population’s views.

This is a new step in international law, one which has broad implications. Israel’s conquest in 1967 of the West Bank and Golan Heights have generally been seen as illegal under international law. But Israel may now argue it is setting up a “safe zone.” This could also be Israel’s argument for distancing Hezbollah from the Lebanese border.

Wider ramifications mean that India can now argue that it needs a safe zone in Pakistan to keep extremists away from parts of the border of Kashmir. Pakistan may need to take over parts of Afghanistan to create Turkey-style safe zones. Russia can say that its role in eastern Ukraine is a “safe zone” or peace corridor. Saudi Arabia now likely needs a safe zone in Yemen. The number of safe zones that can be created on the Turkish model may be endless. Many porous borders across the Sahel in Africa mean that various countries may need to set up safe zones in the territory of their neighbor.


In English, Haaretz Whitewashes Temple Mount Killings
In an article last week on the occasion of IDF's Brig. Gen. Eran Niv wrapping up his post as commander of the Judea and Samaria Division, Haaretz's English edition whitewashes the July 2017 killing of two Druze police officers shot dead by three Israeli Arab assailants just outside the Temple Mount.

Haaretz's English edition, both in print (page 4, Sept. 29) and online refer to the "deaths of two Border Police officers" in the summer of 2017:
The perceived violation of religious symbols is a particularly potent accelerant for violence, Niv says, recalling the violence that erupted after Israel installed metal detectors at the Temple Mount in the summer of 2017, following the deaths of two Border Police officers, as well as the brief outburst that followed visits by Jews to the Temple Mount in August on Tisha B'Av, which coincided with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Why does the English edition fail to note that the border police officers were killed by Israeli Arab assailants leaving the Temple Mount? Indeed, violence didn't erupt only after the officers' "deaths" -- their deaths themselves, ie murders, were violent.

The Hebrew version of the same article more precisely reported that the officers were killed
China pulls out of $5B deal to develop Iranian offshore gas field
China's state oil company has pulled out of a $5 billion deal to develop a portion of Iran's massive offshore natural gas field, the Islamic republic's oil minister said Sunday, an agreement from which France's Total SA earlier withdrew over US sanctions.

The South Pars field deal, struck in the wake of Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, appears to be just the latest business casualty of America's pressure campaign on Tehran following US President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of the US from the deal.

It also comes as China and the US engage in their own trade war, as Beijing and Washington levy billions of dollars of tariffs on each other's goods.

Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh, quoted by the ministry's Petroenergy Information Network (SHANA), said Sunday that the China National Petroleum Corp. was "no longer in the project." He did not elaborate or give any reason for the withdrawal, though SHANA said the company "had pulled out of a contract" to develop the field.

Officials in Beijing didn't immediately acknowledge their decision. Phone calls to the CNPC rang unanswered on Sunday and its website bore no mention of the withdrawal.
Australia Denies Extradition of Iranian Academic to US
Australia will not extradite an Iranian academic to the United States, Australia’s attorney-general said over the weekend, following a 13-month detention of the researcher for allegedly exporting American-made military equipment to Iran.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said in a statement that “in all the circumstances of this particular case” the academic, Reza Dehbashi Kivi, should not be extradited.

“My decision was made in accordance with the requirements of Australian domestic legal processes and is completely consistent with the powers provided to the commonwealth attorney-general under our law,” Porter said.

The statement came hours after Iran had agreed to free an Australian couple from a Tehran prison who were held on spying charges. Later on Saturday, Iranian media reported that Dehbashi Kivi had already returned to Iran.

Porter would not say whether the two cases were related.

“The Australian Government does not comment on the details behind its consideration of particular cases,” Porter said in his e-mailed statement.

“And while it is likely that because of Mr Kivi’s nationality some will speculate regarding this matter, consistent with prior practice I do not intend to comment further on the particular details of this case, particularly when any such response from me may diminish our government’s capacity to deal with future matters of this type in Australia’s best interests.”
Iranian media calls on Iraqis to takeover U.S. embassy amid protests
An Iranian newspaper linked to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iraqis to seize the US embassy in Baghdad, in a move similar to the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran during the Iranian revolution of 1979, according to Radio Farda.

"Historical evidence has shown that US embassies in all countries, even in friendly and allied countries, are the focus of conspiracy. The US Embassy in Iran is a clear and exemplary example of this bitter reality," wrote Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the Kayhan newspaper, in reference to the former US embassy that was taken over and held hostage during the revolution in 1979.

Documents found in the embassy in 1979 "revealed the betrayal of some Iranian political figures and exposed the countless US crimes in Iran and some other countries in the region," according to Kayhan.

The author of the Kayhan article asked "young Iraqi revolutionary believers" why they don't "end the presence of the US Embassy in Baghdad, the same espionage and conspiracy center against the oppressed Iraqi people."

Shariatmadari claimed that "There are many documents about the presence of U.S., Israeli and Saudi Wahabi agents, as well as Ba'thist elements behind the Iraqi protests."
Iranian health workers infect hundreds, including kids, with HIV - report
More than 300 people are accusing local Iranian medical officials of infecting them with the HIV virus, according to Iranian media sources.

The residents, located in the village of Chenar Mahmoud and the towns of Lordegan, Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari, say adults and children contracted HIV from local medical centers and health clinics due to unsanitary medical practices, including from contaminated syringes used by the local health organizations during a widespread test for diabetes two months prior.

There are similar unconfirmed reports by individuals in neighboring villages.

On Saturday, large groups of the affected townspeople, along with their loved ones and supporters, stormed the office of the Friday Prayer Imam and set it ablaze. Another group protested in front of the governor's building in the province, demanding that the courts investigate the case.

Radio Farda and the Mehr-news agency (MNA) both reported on the incidents.

"A limited number of 'opportunists' attempted to create disruption and sedition outside the Governor's building, but failed," MNA reported about the incident in front of the governor's office.
Merkel’s gov’t says Iran’s call to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ not antisemitic
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government declared the Iranian regime’s call to obliterate the Jewish state is not an expression of antisemitism in an eye-popping statement to The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

On October 1, Merkel’s Foreign Ministry merely labeled the call to destroy Israel by commander-in-chief of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Gen. Hossein Salami “anti-Israel rhetoric.”

When the Post asked the Merkel administration if it agrees with the statement of its foreign ministry, a spokesman told the Post: “We have nothing to add to the reply of the foreign office.”

The Post specifically asked if Salami’s statements are antisemitic.

In late September, Salami delivered his call to exterminate the Jewish state before an audience of IRGC leaders that was publicized by the state-funded IRNA agency, as well as other Iranian regime-controlled outlets.

Salami said that “This sinister regime must be wiped off the map and this is no longer… a dream [but] it is an achievable goal.”

He added that his country has “managed to obtain the capacity to destroy the impostor Zionist regime” 40 years after the 1979 Islamic revolution.




JPost Editorial: Caving to BDS
We don’t believe that Lovato is an antisemite but she does need to understand that by backtracking on her praise for Israel, she is playing into the hands of antisemites and forces that seek Israel’s destruction.

By caving to BDS pressure, Lovato let herself be used as a political tool. She backtracked on her praise for Israel out of some distorted sense of solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

It is true that Israel has an unsettled conflict with the Palestinians and this paper is not alone within Israel of calling – repeatedly – on the government to find ways to reengage with the Palestinian Authority and to work toward a solution.

The BDS movement, Lovato should know, does not want peace and is not interested in a two-state solution. It openly seeks the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, a right afforded to Israel by the United Nations.

Like Lorde, Lovato has joined the forces that believe the Jewish people do not deserve that right. They hold Israel to a double standard and believe that song line out the Jews is okay and not hypocritical or wrong.

She may have distanced herself from Israel and apologized for visiting here, but she needn’t be “Sorry, not Sorry,” as her famous hit song goes. Israelis might not get to hear her perform anytime soon in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but they will get to hear Celine Dion next summer. Our hearts, as Dion famously sings, will go on.
A beginner’s guide to the SJP national conference
In a surprise to nobody, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) announced that its upcoming national conference, set to commence on November 1, will be held on the University of Minnesota Campus in Minneapolis (UMN). Why is this not a surprise? Because Minneapolis happens to be the district of antisemitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a prominent figure in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

This is not a coincidence. In fact, the very first goal stated on the conference website is to capitalize on shifts in the political climate, represented by the elections of BDS supporters Rep. Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. However, the real shift in the political climate – one that SJP itself has played a substantial role in – is the resurgence of the world’s “oldest hatred” in the US under the guise of BDS.

Countless articles and in-depth studies have delineated the various calls for violence by the SJP leadership, as well as their intimate connection with Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), all of which thrive off an ideology of Jew-hatred. It’s not just the leadership that is guilty of promoting antisemitism, but many student members of SJP as well.

How many times must an SJP chapter host convicted terrorists like Rasmea Odeh at its events before they are called out for their antisemitism? How many social media posts fawning over convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti and PFLP founder George Habash must be shared by official SJP accounts until the tech overlords ban SJP from their platforms? How many T-shirts glorifying PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled must be sold at their events before the world opens its eyes?
HonestReporting's Daniel Pomerantz Exposes BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti
HonestReporting's Executive Director Daniel Pomerantz goes head to head with on live television with Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. This is a 3 minute highlight reel. For the full 20 minute segment click here: https://youtu.be/xq0XUFpVoCA
This was originally aired on CGTN's The Heat news talk program. CGTN is China's English language international channel, with an estimated global viewership of 4 million.


Financial Times misleads on Muslim antisemitism
A Sept. 27th Financial Times book review written by David Feldman, director of the UK based Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism, gave a mostly positive account of “How to Fight Anti-Semitism” by NY Times editor Barri Weiss.

However, on the topic of Muslim antisemitism, Feldman is critical.

Weiss is strong on how rightwing anti-Semitism functions, and she scores some hits in her attacks on the left and radical Islam. But sometimes she misses the target. Her writing about anti-Semitism among Muslims is a case in point. It is because of the growing Muslim presence, Weiss claims, that “it is dangerous to be a Jew in Europe.” In fact, so far as we can tell, most anti-Semitism in Britain stems from white men who are nominally Christian.

This is extremely misleading.

Whilst it’s narrowly true that most antisemitic incidents in the UK are committed by “white men”, this is not a terribly significant fact given the overwhelming majority of British citizens are white. When taking into account antisemitic incidents by perpetrator, based on the size of racial and religious groups, CST’s 2018 report demonstrates that Muslims commit acts of antisemitism at a rate disproportionate to their numbers. (page 8 of the report)

Further, according to a major 2017 study of antisemitic attitudes in the UK, by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and CST, levels of antisemitism in the UK are “2 to 4 times higher among Muslims compared to the general population“.
The BBC’s take on ‘Zionism’
On its website, the BBC has an animated series entitled An A-Z of -isms – including one episode titled “Zionism: A Very Brief History” – and gives this strapline: “Writers, academics and thinkers share their takes on some of the world’s most important ideas (plus a few fun ones).”

The corporation declares that it is “the world’s leading public service broadcaster,” and creates “distinctive, world-class programmes and content which inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the UK and around the world.” Therefore, although, so far, only 79,300 or so of those millions have clicked the Zionism animation, it must be remembered that it is on the BBC’s website and not on some obscure ranter’s internet outlet.

As it is, for now, one of the most viewed -isms, it cannot be ignored and remains relevant. Also, Israel is a subject close to the BBC’s keyboards.

In setting itself up as educator, and because it is here dealing with “some of the world’s most important ideas,” the BBC is duty-bound to ensure editorial rigor of its content. Yet, the corporation shirks this duty when it complacently defers it to the author of the “potted history” of Zionism. Using drab and noisy illustrative cartoons that are in some cases inaccurate and inappropriate, with the voice-over veering high and low, further underlines the utter slovenliness of this BBC product.

Clearly, the Zionism -ism was also a “fun one” of the -isms. Theodor Herzl gets tomatoes thrown at him, Jews are swivel-eyed and other such – it adds up to a bit of a list in this 3.08-minute agitated animation.

Who or what was editing Colin Shindler’s “take” on Zionism? You won’t find out who Herzl was, a Jew, because you’re not told.

You are also not told about how Europe, with its fanatical crusades, was long ago set on its path to Hitler’s “Final Solution.” Nor is there any mention of the horrifically violent history of antisemitism across Europe, in which entire villages of Jews were regularly burned to the ground – and this was before the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, the latter of which was a wedding gift of sorts. Alfred Dreyfus was dispensable and so Shindler dispensed with him, and with this swipe, a major defining point in modern Jewish history is elided.

Russian antisemitism – the only mention of “antisemitism” – is quickly and quaintly dismissed as a “heavy hand.” Also not mentioned is the specially coined Russian term, “pogrom,” with all the wanton and brutal destruction of whole Jewish communities that it entailed. It is interesting, though, how the word “Diaspora” is used, without any irony about the way in which it has become a common term, far beyond the Jewish context – a bit like pogrom (but then again, it was not mentioned). Whereas Herzl got tomatoes thrown at him, “Arab nationalism” is treated reverentially. Not even one falafel flies (but then again, falafels are Pharaonic).
CAMERA Arabic prompts correction of three inaccuracies in one BBC report
A BBC article published on September 24th on the network’s Arabic website was corrected last week (no earlier than October 1st, based on the date attributed to a cached copy of the inaccurate version) following a complaint made by CAMERA Arabic on the day of publication.

The article – which aimed to provide a detailed, informed introduction to Israel’s major Arab parties – contained three factual errors, one memorable typo and one major omission – all in one subsection.

Under the headline “What are the components of the Joint Arab List in the Israeli Knesset and [what are] their orientations?”, the article discussed the Joint List – a union of four Israeli parties, three of which self-identify as “Arab” while the fourth, Hadash, describes itself as “Arab-Jewish” (although the vast majority of its voters are estimated to be Arab).

The inaccuracies appeared in the part of the article portraying one of the Joint List’s components: the nationalist Arab party of the National Democratic Alliance (Balad). The correction addressed all the issues raised by CAMERA Arabic. (all translations, emphasis and in-bracket remarks are by CAMERA Arabic unless otherwise specified)
Anti-Semitic hate crimes in NYC have risen significantly in 2019
The number of hate crimes against Jews in New York City has risen significantly over the first nine months of this year, part of a citywide rise in such offenses.

The New York Police Department has reported 311 total hate crimes through September, as opposed to 250 reported through the same period in 2018, according to Deputy Inspector Mark Molinari, who heads the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

Molinari said 52 percent of the reported hate crimes, or 163, have targeted Jews. Over the same period last year, the NYPD reported 108 anti-Semitic hate crimes.

At a meeting Thursday with Jewish philanthropists, Molinari discussed the numbers and how to prevent anti-Semitic crimes in the city. He recounted a list of anti-Jewish hate crimes that had made the news just this week:
- Two Jewish men had their hats knocked off by a group of teens.
- A separate group of children broke the windows of a Brooklyn synagogue during the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
- Also during the holiday, a third group of kids harassed a Jewish woman, pulling off her scarf and wig.
Robert Kraft names new exec. director of Foundation To Combat Anti-Semitism
Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group, announced today the hiring of Dr. Rachel Fish as the founding executive director of the Foundation to Combat Anti-Semitism. Fish will begin her new role on Monday, October 7.

Kraft established this new foundation in response to the growing rise in antisemitism in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in light of the spread of hateful rhetoric online and the initiation of hate crimes against the Jewish people through social media. He announced the foundation when he was awarded the Genesis Prize in June in Jerusalem, along with his own $20 million founding investment and the generous donations of others.

“I am thrilled to have Rachel lead this new and important effort,” Kraft said. “Rachel’s education, experience and, most importantly, her commitment make her the right person for this role. She is equipped to face the growing epidemic of antisemitism with tenacity and a proven track record of progress through a lifetime of work in this arena. Our family is honored and privileged to have Rachel lead this new foundation, which is so close to our hearts.”

Fish brings with her a thorough background and history in the fight against antisemitism, including a strong academic understanding of the issues and varied experience in advocacy work. Most recently, Rachel was Senior Advisor and Resident Scholar of Jewish/Israel Philanthropy at The Paul E. Singer Foundation in New York City where she aided in developing the strategic approach for the foundation’s giving and worked directly with practitioners to implement their missions and initiatives.
Turkey’s Kanter Says He Was Harassed by Erdogan Supporters
Boston Celtics and Turkey center Enes Kanter said he had been harassed outside a Massachusetts mosque on Friday by two men he described as supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter, who filmed the incident and posted it on Twitter, is an outspoken critic of the Turkish regime and its human rights record.

He was indicted by a Turkish court last year on charges of belonging to an armed terrorist group, which he denies.

“Erdogan thugs attacked and threatened me today after Friday prayers in Boston at a mosque,” he wrote.

“Turkish Government don’t even let me practice my religion freely in America let alone my freedom of speech is under attack.”

The video does not show any physical violence, but Kanter is clearly agitated as a crowd gathers around him on the sidewalk, and he seems particularly annoyed by one man who is not speaking English.

“I told you America, this is crazy,” Kanter said in the video.
Israeli defense firm Elbit secures $153 million drone deal with Asian country
Israel defense firm Elbit has secured a drone deal with an Asian country worth approximately $153 million, the company said on Sunday.

The contract will comprise a networked, multi-layer drone system, with aerial vehicles of varying sizes and capabilities, and will be delivered to the unnamed southeast Asia country over a 22-month period.

The materiel will include over 1,000 of Elbit’s THOR mini-drones, which look like consumer rotor drones and are meant to carry out surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The unmanned aircraft can fly at altitudes of 2,000 feet and at 65 kilometers per hour (40 mph).

It will also include dozens of Skylark drones, small aircraft launched and operated by a team of two that are widely used by the Israel Defense Forces. The Sky Rider, as it is known in Hebrew, is a tactical surveillance drone operated by the Artillery Corps that provides a live video feed to soldiers on the ground.
Israeli innovation is about to disrupt the fruit industry
“Disruption” is a common superlative applied to technology startups. Craigslist disrupted the classified advertising business. Uber and Lyft have disrupted the taxi industry.

Now, a new Israeli company aims to disrupt the fruit market, encompassing some 116 million acres of fruit orchards globally.

Markets in general are ripe for disruption when inefficiencies eat away at their core. The issue with fruit is knowing how much the trees on a farm will produce in a given year.

In industrial farming, this is known as “yield estimation” and it’s accomplished today in a remarkably low-tech way: Farm crews do a manual, visual “count” from the sampling of a few randomly selected trees in the field or in photographic images. From there, they extrapolate to the entire orchard.

But because it’s very difficult to distinguish unripe green fruit from green leaves, inaccuracies ranging from 30% to 40% are common. And wrong yield estimation results in less (or even no) profitability.
Pre-Mossad: How one man used espionage to bring Poland's Jews to Israel
Miri Nahari’s father, Tzvi Netzer, was the point-man for pre-Mossad clandestine efforts bringing 250,000 out of 300,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland to Israel.

Despite that near-miraculous accomplishment, strangely, Netzer is not as much of an international household name as his boss, Shaul Avigur.

Avigur helped found the Haganah’s intelligence wing, and at points headed all of Mossad Aliyah Bet and Nativ – which, respectively, brought massive numbers of European and Russian Jews to Israel.

Still, Netzer was the operational leader on the ground for “the Bricha” (the Jewish Escape) in Poland.

That meant getting Jews out of Poland post-World War II and essentially made him the pre-Mossad Israeli intelligence station chief in one of the key countries in Europe for Jewish survivors.

But before he got to that point, he, in typical Mossad-level spellbinding style, survived quite a few precarious situations, Nehari tells The Jerusalem Post Magazine with a flicker in her eye.

At this point, Nehari herself is a grandmother, and spent aspects of her career carrying out important activities for the state.
Her dynamic and bubbly personality is on full display as we make small talk and she offers a hot drink in the living room of her Ramat Hasharon home.
'A great privilege to see Ari rejoice in Trump's J'lem decision'
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman eulogized Ari Fuld in Gush Etzion Sunday evening, lauding the murdered father of four as an ‘outstanding American, an outstanding Israeli, and an outstanding Jew’.

Speaking during a ceremony marking the first yahrzeit (anniversary of his death) of Fuld in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem, Friedman recalled Fuld’s pro-Israel activism, and his jubilation over the White House’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“The voice of your brother cries out to me from this ground…and it reminds us, as only Ari can, that we must always stand for the truth. I remember how excited Ari was on the day that we opened the United States Embassy in Jerusalem, some 17 months ago,” said Friedman.

“He issued several moving videos. Through all his excitement and all his commentary, the point that reverberated over and over again was not that the opening of the embassy was good, not that it was the right policy, not that it was appropriate or that it was just. Rather what Ari said was that the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem was an act in solidarity with the truth.

“The United States did not discover something new when it opened our embassy there. Rather, the United States was the first among nations to take a stand for the truth, in recognizing Jerusalem’s undeniable eternal status as the capital of Israel, and Ari implicitly recognized this.”

“It was a great privilege to see Ari rejoice at President Trump’s decision. While we had no doubt that we had taken the right path, positive reinforcement from an American and an Israeli and a Jew of Ari’s stature was most welcome.”

Friedman went on to call Fuld, who was murdered in a stabbing attack by a Palestinian Arab terrorist near the Gush Etzion bloc last year, a ‘proud American, Israeli, and Jew’.
Yahya, a Muslim Arab Israeli Combat Soldier


5,000-year-old NYC-style metropolis uncovered in northern Israel
The ruins of a 5,000-year-old megalopolis were uncovered in northern Israel, the Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday, in one of the most significant archaeological findings in recent history.

The ruins were discovered in a major excavation project in the Ein Assur site near Harish. According to the IAA, the city was the largest and most central one in the area during the Bronze Age. According to the archaeologists, about 6,000 people lived there, a huge number at the time.

“About the same time that the first pharaoh established his rule over Egypt, this city was founded,” IAA official Yitzhak Paz, explained in a video, calling the city “the New York of that era.”

Paz explained that the location offered exceptionally good conditions to settle, such as sources of water and strategic proximity to ancient commercial routes.

The city was fortified and its urban design is clearly visible, he added.

The ruins clearly show a web of roads and alleys, as well as the design of the buildings. Among the most unique structures uncovered, was a temple where religious rituals were performed. A seal imprint featuring the figure of a stylized man raising his hands in prayer and a head figurine were found at the site.

An even earlier settlement, dating to the Chalcolithic period from 7,000 years ago, was uncovered in deeper excavations made beneath this city's houses. It seems that two abundant springs originating in the area in antiquity were a site of attraction throughout the period.

According to the authority, the finding will change everything scholars know about the urbanization process in the Land of Israel in ancient times.



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Profit, not politics: Trump allies sought Ukraine gas deal   

Cache   
KYIV, Ukraine – As Rudy Giuliani was pushing Ukrainian officials last spring to investigate one of Donald Trump's main political rivals, a group of individuals with ties to the president and his personal lawyer were also active in the former Soviet republic.

Their aims were profit, not politics. This circle of businessmen and Republican donors touted connections to Giuliani and Trump while trying to install new management at the top of Ukraine's massive state gas company. Their plan was to then steer lucrative contracts to companies controlled by Trump allies, according to two people with knowledge of their plans.

Their plan hit a snag after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko lost his reelection bid to Volodymyr Zelenskiy, whose conversation with Trump about former Vice President Joe Biden is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry of Trump.

But the effort to install a friendlier management team at the helm of the gas company, Naftogaz, would soon be taken up with Ukraine's new president by U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, whose slate of candidates included a fellow Texan who is one of Perry's past political donors.

It's unclear if Perry's attempts to replace board members at Naftogaz were coordinated with the Giuliani allies pushing for a similar outcome, and no one has alleged that there is criminal activity in any of these efforts. And it's unclear what role, if any, Giuliani had in helping his clients push to get gas sales agreements with the state-owned company.

But the affair shows how those with ties to Trump and his administration were pursuing business deals in Ukraine that went far beyond advancing the president's personal political interests. It also raises questions about whether Trump allies were mixing business and politics just as Republicans were calling for a probe of Biden and his son Hunter, who served five years on the board of another Ukrainian energy company, Burisma.

On Friday, Trump told a group of Republican lawmakers that it had been Perry who had prompted the phone call in which Trump asked Zelenskiy for a "favor" regarding Biden, according to a person familiar with Trump's remarks.

The person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to describe a closed conversation among GOP officials, recounted that Trump said it was Perry who asked him to make the July call to discuss "something about an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant." Trump's remarks were first reported Saturday by the news site Axios.

While it's unclear whether Trump's remark Friday referred specifically to the behind-the-scenes maneuvers this spring involving the multibillion-dollar state gas company, The Associated Press has interviewed four people with direct knowledge of the attempts to influence Naftogaz, and their accounts show Perry playing a key role in the effort. Three of the four spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation. The fourth is an American businessman with close ties to the Ukrainian energy sector.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Energy Department said Perry, a former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate, was not advancing anyone's personal interests. She said his conversations with Ukrainian officials about Naftogaz were part of his efforts to reform the country's energy sector and create an environment in which Western companies can do business.

Perry was asked about the AP's reporting on Monday while in Lithuania, where he was meeting with officials from Ukraine and other eastern European countries to discuss energy security and cooperation. He said any suggestion that he tried to force a management change at Naftogaz was a "totally dreamed up story."

"We get asked for our recommendations about people who are experts in areas, various areas," Perry said. "Folks who have expertise in particular areas. Obviously having been the governor of the state of Texas, I know a lot of people in the energy industry."

Perry also confirmed he had urged Trump to call Zelenskiy, but said the subject was the potential growth of Ukraine's energy sector.

"Absolutely, I asked the president multiple times, 'Mr. President, we think it is in the United States' and in Ukraine's best interest that you and the president of Ukraine have conversations, that you discuss the options that are there,'" Perry said, recounting his conversations with Trump.

The Trump and Giuliani allies driving the attempt to change the senior management at Naftogaz, however, appear to have had inside knowledge of the U.S. government's plans in Ukraine. For example, they told people that Trump would replace the U.S. ambassador there months before she was actually recalled to Washington, according to three of the individuals interviewed by the AP. One of the individuals said he was so concerned by the whole affair that he reported it to a U.S. Embassy official in Ukraine months ago.

___

THE BUSINESSMEN

Ukraine, a resource-rich nation that sits on the geographic and symbolic border between Russia and the West, has long been plagued by corruption and government dysfunction, making it a magnet for foreign profiteers.

At the center of the Naftogaz plan, according to three individuals familiar with the details, were three such businessmen: two Soviet-born Florida real estate entrepreneurs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, and an oil magnate from Boca Raton, Florida, named Harry Sargeant III.

Parnas and Fruman have made hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations to Republicans, including $325,000 to a Trump-allied political action committee in 2018. This helped the relatively unknown entrepreneurs gain access to top levels of the Republican Party – including meetings with Trump at the White House and Mar-a-Lago.

The two have also faced lawsuits from disgruntled investors over unpaid debts. During the same period they were pursuing the Naftogaz deal, the two were coordinating with Giuliani to set up meetings with Ukrainian government officials and push for an investigation of the Bidens.

Sargeant, his wife and corporate entities tied to the family have donated at least $1.2 million to Republican campaigns and PACs over the last 20 years, including $100,000 in June to the Trump Victory Fund, according to federal and state campaign finance records. He has also served as finance chair of the Florida state GOP, and gave nearly $14,000 to Giuliani's failed 2008 presidential campaign.

In early March, Fruman, Parnas and Sargeant were touting a plan to replace Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev with another senior executive at the company, Andrew Favorov, according to two individuals who spoke to the AP as well as a memorandum about the meeting that was later submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, formerly known as Kiev.

Going back to the Obama administration, the U.S. Energy Department and the State Department have long supported efforts to import American natural gas into Ukraine to reduce the country's dependence on Russia.

The three approached Favorov with the idea while the Ukrainian executive was attending an energy industry conference in Texas. Parnas and Fruman told him they had flown in from Florida on a private jet to recruit him to be their partner in a new venture to export up to 100 tanker shipments a year of U.S. liquefied gas into Ukraine, where Naftogaz is the largest distributor, according to two people briefed on the details.

Sargeant told Favorov that he regularly meets with Trump at Mar-a-Lago and that the gas-sales plan had the president's full support, according to the two people who said Favorov recounted the discussion to them.

These conversations were recounted to AP by Dale W. Perry, an American who is a former business partner of Favorov. He told AP in an interview that Favorov described the meeting to him soon after it happened and that Favorov perceived it to be a shakedown. Perry, who is no relation to the energy secretary, is the managing partner of Energy Resources of Ukraine, which currently has business agreements to import natural gas and electricity to Ukraine.

A second person who spoke on condition of anonymity also confirmed to the AP that Favorov had recounted details of the Houston meeting to him.

According to Dale Perry and the other person, Favorov said Parnas told him Trump planned to remove U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and replace her with someone more open to aiding their business interests.

Dale Perry told the AP he was so concerned about the efforts to change the management at Naftogaz and to get rid of Yovanovitch that he reported what he had heard to Suriya Jayanti, a State Department foreign service officer stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv who focuses on the energy industry.

He also wrote a detailed memo about Favorov's account, dated April 12, which was shared with another current State Department official. Perry recently provided a copy of the April memo to AP.

Jayanti declined to provide comment. Favorov also declined to comment.

A Florida lawyer representing Sargeant, Christopher Kise, issued a statement Monday confirming that his client was at the Houston dinner with Parnas, Fruman and Favorov, but insisted he was there only to offer "broad industry guidance and his expert view on the challenges presented by operating in foreign markets."

"Attending a single, informal dinner in Houston does not place Mr. Sargeant at the center of any Naftogaz or Ukrainian business plan," Kise said. "Mr. Sargeant never discussed any role or participation in any Ukraine venture, nor any specifics regarding the potential business ventures of the other dinner participants."

The statement did not address whether Yovanovitch's fate was discussed at the dinner. Kise also said Sargeant has not met at Mar-a-Lago with Trump since he became president.

On March 24, Giuliani and Parnas gathered at the Trump International Hotel in Washington with Healy E. Baumgardner, a former Trump campaign adviser who once served as deputy communications director for Giuliani's presidential campaign and as a communications official during the George W. Bush administration.

She is now listed as the CEO of 45 Energy Group, a Houston-based energy company whose website describes it as a "government relations, public affairs and business development practice group." The company's name is an apparent nod to Trump, the 45th president.

This was a couple of weeks after the Houston meeting with Favorov, the Naftogaz executive. Giuliani, Parnas and Baumgardner were there to make a business pitch involving gas deals in the former Soviet bloc to a potential investor.

This time, according to Giuliani, the deals that were discussed involved Uzbekistan, not Ukraine.

"I have not pursued a deal in the Ukraine. I don't know about a deal in the Ukraine. I would not do a deal in the Ukraine now, obviously," said Giuliani, reached while attending a playoff baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. "There is absolutely no proof that I did it, because I didn't do it."

During this meeting, Parnas again repeated that Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv, would soon be replaced, according to a person with direct knowledge of the gathering. She was removed two months later.

Giuliani, who serves as Trump's personal lawyer and has no official role in government, acknowledged Friday that he was among those pushing the president to replace the ambassador, a career diplomat with a history of fighting corruption.

"The ambassador to Ukraine was replaced," he said. "I did play a role in that."

But Giuliani refused to discuss the details of his business dealings, or whether he helped his associates in their push to forge gas sales contracts with the Ukrainian company. He did describe Sergeant as a friend and referred to Parnas and Fruman as his clients in a tweet in May.

As part of their impeachment inquiry, House Democrats have subpoenaed Giuliani for documents and communications related to dozens of people, including Favorov, Parnas, Fruman and Baumgardner's 45 Energy Group.

The House Intelligence Committee also issued sweeping document requests to Parnas and Fruman, due Monday, and scheduled depositions for later in the week.

John Dowd, a former Trump attorney who now represents Parnas and Fruman, said he and his clients have not yet decided whether to comply. Democrats on Monday threatened to issue subpoenas if they don't show.

Baumgardner issued a written statement, saying: "While I won't comment on business discussions, I will say this: this political assault on private business by the Democrats in Congress is complete harassment and an invasion of privacy that should scare the hell out of every American business owner."

Baumgardner later denied that she had any business dealings in Ukraine but refused to say whether the replacement of Ambassador Yovanovitch was discussed.

Dowd said it was actually the Naftogaz executives who approached his clients about making a deal. Dowd says the group then approached Rick Perry to get the Energy Department on board.

"The people from the company solicited my clients because Igor is in the gas business, and they asked them, and they flew to Washington and they solicited," Dowd said. "They sat down and talked about it. And then it was presented to Secretary Perry to see if they could get it together.

"It wasn't a shakedown; it was an attempt to do legitimate business that didn't work out."

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THE ENERGY SECRETARY

In May, Rick Perry traveled to Kyiv to serve as the senior U.S. government representative at the inauguration of the county's new president.

In a private meeting with Zelenskiy, Perry pressed the Ukrainian president to fire members of the Naftogaz advisory board. Attendees left the meeting with the impression that Perry wanted to replace the American representative, Amos Hochstein, a former diplomat and energy representative who served in the Obama administration, with someone "reputable in Republican circles," according to someone who was in the room.

Perry's push for Ukraine's state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz to change its supervisory board was first reported by Politico.

A second meeting during the trip, at a Kyiv hotel, included Ukrainian officials and energy sector people. There, Perry made clear that the Trump administration wanted to see the entire Naftogaz supervisory board replaced, according to a person who attended both meetings. Perry again referenced the list of advisers that he had given Zelenskiy, and it was widely interpreted that he wanted Michael Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-American businessman from Texas, to join the newly formed board, the person said. Also on the list was Robert Bensh, another Texan who frequently works in Ukraine, the Energy Department confirmed.

Gordon D. Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department's special envoy to Ukraine, were also in the room, according to photographs reviewed by AP. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation, said he was floored by the American requests because the person had always viewed the U.S. government "as having a higher ethical standard."

The Naftogaz supervisory board is supposed to be selected by the Ukrainian president's Cabinet in consultation with international institutions, including the International Monetary Fund, the United States and the European Union. It must be approved by the Ukrainian Cabinet. Ukrainian officials perceived Perry's push to swap out the board as circumventing that established process, according to the person in the room.

U.S. Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said Perry had consistently called for the modernization of Ukraine's business and energy sector in an effort to create an environment that will incentivize Western companies to do business there. She said Perry delivered that same message in the May meeting with Zelenskiy.

"What he did not do is advocate for the business interests of any one individual or company," Hynes said Saturday. "That is fiction being pushed by those who are disingenuously seeking to advance a nefarious narrative that does not exist."

Hynes said the Ukrainian government had requested U.S. recommendations to advise the country on energy matters, and Perry provided those recommendations. She confirmed Bleyzer was on the list.

Bleyzer, whose company is based in Houston, did not respond on Saturday to a voicemail seeking comment. Bensh also did not respond to a phone message.

Perry has close ties to the Texas oil and gas industry. He appointed Bleyzer to a two-year term on a state technologies fund board in 2009. The following year, records show Bleyzer donated $20,000 to Perry's reelection campaign.

Zelenskiy's office declined to comment on Saturday.

In an interview Friday with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Perry said that "as God as my witness" he never discussed Biden or his son in meetings with Ukrainian or U.S. officials, including Trump or Giuliani. He did confirm he had had a conversation with Giuliani by phone, but a spokeswoman for the energy secretary declined to say when that call was or whether the two had discussed Naftogaz.

In Lithuania on Monday, Perry said he could not recall whether Bleyzer's name was on the list provided to Zelenskiy. But Perry confirmed he had known Bleyzer for years and called him "a really brilliant, capable businessman."

"I would recommend him for a host of different things in Kyiv because he knows the country," Perry said of Bleyzer. "He's from there. So, why not? I mean I would be stunned if someone said that would you eliminate Michael Bleyzer from a recommendation of people you ought to talk to about how to do business in the country, whether they're knowledgeable. It'd be remarkable if I didn't say, 'Talk to Michael.'"

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Biesecker and Lardner reported from Washington. Associated Press reporter Alan Fram contributed.

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Key findings from this story are summarized at the AP News website.

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Follow AP investigative reporters Desmond Butler at http://twitter.com/desmondbutler, Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbieseck and Richard Lardner at http://twitter.com/rplardner

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Contact AP's global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org.

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This story has been corrected to show Bleyzer's first name is Michael, not Robert.


          

As Pete Sessions Tries to Revive his Political Career, He May Get Sucked into Ukraine   

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Former Congressman Pete Sessions stood behind a lectern at the McLennan County Republican Party headquarters in Waco, flanked by a man holding a campaign sign and a cardboard cutout of Donald Trump, and made it official: He was re-running for …

The post As Pete Sessions Tries to Revive his Political Career, He May Get Sucked into Ukraine appeared first on The Texas Observer.


          

Powell: U.S. Foreign Policy Is in ‘Shambles’   

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“The Republican party has got to get a grip on itself.”

— Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, on CNN, adding that the country’s foreign policy is “in shambles right now.”


          

Democrats snoozed while Republicans took over the courts. It's time to fight back   

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Democrats snoozed while Republicans took over the courts. It's time to fight backThe Democratic base is tired of the party being passive about Republicans packing the judiciary. So what’s their game plan?‘Every major Democratic presidential contender must be able to answer tough questions about how they will reform the courts.’ Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty ImagesLast Sunday, a boisterous group of protesters, primarily women, marched through Washington, DC. They stopped in front of the Washington home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court. The protest, called “Reclaim the Court,” was led by civil rights groups like Planned Parenthood Action, the Center for Popular Democracy, and the Women’s March, and was meant to mark the first anniversary of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court, and came on the heels of new reporting that lends corroboration to accusations of sexual assault by the Justice and provides greater evidence that he lied under oath at his confirmation hearings, charges which he has denied.Protestors carried signs that said “KAVA-NOPE” and “SUPREMELY CORRUPT.” A sister demonstration took place in Portland, Maine, where constituents expressed pointed displeasure at Senator Susan Collins, who voted to confirm Kavanaugh last year. At a podium on the Court steps in DC, protestors called on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to initiate impeachment proceedings against Kavanaugh, as he previously promised to do if Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterms. There was palpable rage at the appointment of Kavanaugh, whose presence on the Court symbolized the persistence of two great threats to women’s full citizenship and bodily autonomy: sexual assault and the erosion of abortion and contraception rights. Chants rose up of “My body, my choice.” A sign raised towards the Court façade read, “BELIEVE SURVIVORS.” The demonstrators felt that the Court has the power to make life-altering decisions about the rights and freedoms of women, and that Kavanaugh’s presence there indicated that they would not choose well.But the protesters’ anger at the court went beyond Kavanaugh himself, and beyond, even, the insult to women’s dignity and threat to women’s rights that the man represents. Representative Ayanna Pressley, of Massachusettes, told the crowd, “Kavanaugh may have that seat (for now), but what we are fighting for is so much bigger than one insecure man blinded by his privilege.” The protesters see Kavanaugh as only the most egregious symptom of a court system that is gravely diseased. Their action speaks to a growing liberal agitation around the judiciary, led by feminists, that is poised to change the politics of the courts.Traditionally, it was only the right that cared about the judiciary. Republicans ran on promises to appoint judges that would uphold conservative social values, and oppose abortion and gay rights. Those judges in turn enshrined the legality of gerrymandering, curtailed voting rights, and opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate money in politics, interventions which have enabled the Republican party to maintain power even in districts where they have only a minority of popular support. The result became cyclical: Republicans won by promising to appoint conservative judges, and then those conservative judges issued decisions that helped more Republicans win.To the left, the judiciary had often been more of an afterthought. Conventional wisdom held that the judiciary could not be counted on as a motivating issue for Democrats the same way that it could for Republicans. But the Kavanaugh appointment brought a new sense of urgency to the matter; the Court’s new conservative majority, and the spectacle of the emotional Senate confirmation hearings through which Republicans secured this majority, galvanized the attention of a Democratic base that increasingly feels that its basic civil rights are imperiled under a federal judiciary packed with Trump appointees and a Supreme Court controlled by Trump allies.There is some evidence that this concern expands well beyond the activist left: in September, a poll conducted by the firm Perry Undem found that a full 60% of Americans thought it likely that Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury during his confirmation hearings, a figure that suggests that popular support for impeaching the Justice may be easy for Democrats to come by. Support for abortion rights is even higher, meaning that the Supreme Court, which is poised to issue the first assault on abortion of its new conservative majority just before the next presidential election, is not only comprised of justices that the people do not trust, but is also likely to hand down opinions that the people do not want.And this is the problem with the Supreme Court: it is a profoundly un-democratic institution, and has only been made more so by the right’s determination to politicize the court and to manipulate it into helping them secure a policy agenda that runs counter to popular will. The gross injustice of the Kavanaugh confirmation made Americans—and feminists in particular—more aware of the urgency of the problem, and less accepting of its inevitability. Now, every major Democratic presidential contender must be able to answer tough questions about how they will reform the courts; several, including California Senator Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, have joined the call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. Some of the court reform proposals that have emerged from the Democratic field have been halting or insufficient, paying undue deference to a myth of an apolitical court. Others have been more aggressive, more willing to treat the Court as the political institution that Republicans have long treated it as. At any rate, the Democratic base wants answers: it is no longer acceptable for the party to be as passive and accepting of Republican aggression regarding the judiciary as its once was. In Portland, Maine, a small child carried a sign to the protest: “FAIR COURTS FOR MY FUTURE.” Beside him, an older woman was even more pointed: “CONSERVATIVE JUDGES ERODE FREEDOMS FOR ALL.” * Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist



          

Colin Powell Hammers Republicans Kowtowing To Donald Trump: “The Constitution Started With We The People, Not Me The President”   

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Ret. Gen. Colin Powell hammers Republicans kowtowing to Donald Trump saying, “the Constitution started with we the people, not me the president” and the the GOP needs to get a grip on itself. “The Republican party has got to get a grip on itself. They’re holding back if they speak out. Will they lose a […]

Colin Powell Hammers Republicans Kowtowing To Donald Trump: “The Constitution Started With We The People, Not Me The President”


          

Kanye West Doubles Down on Trump Support, Slams ‘Mental Slavery’ of Voting Based on Skin Color   

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Rapper Kanye West reaffirmed his support for President Donald Trump during his “Sunday Service” event in Salt Lake City over the weekend. West reminded the upward of 10,000 people on hand at the Gateway Center in downtown Salt Lake on Saturday that it was the Republican Party under the leadership of its first president, Abraham…

The post Kanye West Doubles Down on Trump Support, Slams ‘Mental Slavery’ of Voting Based on Skin Color appeared first on The Western Journal.


          

Trump To Honor Former Reagan Attorney General, Who Left Government Under Ethics Cloud   

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Edwin Meese III was part of Ronald Reagan's surge among "movement conservatives" who strove to rebuild the Republican Party after its disastrous defeat in the presidential election of 1964.
          

Mythology in America   

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21st Century Myths, Lies, Distortions & Propaganda
BOB CLARK

The political left in America and in Europe have a set of beliefs that contain a substantial number of myths. One characteristic of the mind set of the liberal left is that they publically state that they are far more intelligent and have a lot more knowledge than the “knuckle dragging” conservative Neanderthals on the Right! I have even heard some elitist lefties say that members of the Republican Party should be “taught how to read”. For what it’s worth, every time I check out the academic credentials of many of the self declared experts on the left, I come away with a smirk** on my face! Most of the so-called leftwing experts don’t have academic degrees or in most cases degrees that don’t correspond to the subjects that they lying about.

Editor’s note: items in orange are links to the story in the blog. When finished reading the link, simply backspace back to the blog.

MYTHS FROM THE LOONY LEFT:

Sugar vs. High-fructose Corn Syrup is a green scam myth that has a life of its own! The fact is that your body CANNOT tell the difference between sugar from beets, canes or corn! No matter what the moron green nuts say! I think you should avoid both because of the calories. My recommendation is sucralose; it is the only commonly available SAFE substitute.

One very dangerous health myth is the COLON CLEANSING myth! Warning, this is something that you should not do unless under the directions of a doctor (for example in advance of a colonoscopy). Here is what the Mayo Clinic has to say about this nonsense!

Genetically modified crops are “Frankenstein food”! With the exception of possible cross pollination of nearby Brassica crops with regard to seed production, there is no problem with genetically modified crops according to the Rand Corporation. Where this myth came from is anyone’s guess. I hear it came from Greenpeace.

Carbon Dioxide is destroying the planet! CO2 is not a greenhouse gas of any significance. The burning of fossil fuels is responsible for just 3.27% of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere each year, while the biosphere and oceans account for 55.28% and 41.46%, respectively.

Global warming is a danger and is killing the planet Earth. There are so many stupid myths about global warming/climate change I don’t have room to list them. Here they are at this website.

Eating food that isn’t NATURAL OR ORGANIC is dangerous to your health! This myth is moronic beyond belief, and here are the facts!
To make matter worse, it may be dangerous to eat some natural or organic food products!

Homeopathic or Alternative medicines are better than drugs from the big profit mongering pharmaceutical corporations!
WRONG! Do not take vitamin/mineral supplements or homeopathic/alternative drugs unless you check them with your doctor first. Under no circumstances should you believe anything you see on WebMD which is nothing less than a populist website that caters to whatever myth that it going around.

Drive electric/hybrid cars and save the atmosphere! Well one major concern that you might not be aware of is the batteries in these vehicles that are not only overpriced but fail all the time! The Washington Post says these batteries fail in cold weather!

Cancer! There are a series of myths making the rounds, some as urban legends in the USA and Europe. Here are the top ten cancer myths.

Cell phones cause brain cancer! Should you throw that expensive toy away? Hold it! The only radiation that causes cancer is “ionizing radiation” that your cell phone does not emit. Here are the facts.

Top 7 Idiotic Environmental Myths! I love this one because some of these myths are now in high school and college texts. That should give one PAUSE! It also says a lot about science education in America: A COMPLETE FAILURE!

Energy and the Environment Myths
! Here are the results of a nationwide survey to determine just how knowledgeable Americans are about energy. This one is shocking reading because most Americans are badly informed on this subject because of a leftist media printing lies about the subject.

The North Pole is Melting! You’ve seen the commercial showing mama polar bear swimming away from her cub in an ocean with little or no ice for them to climb onto. Get out your crying towels and check books? No! The myth is an outright lie! Here are the facts.

John Holdren, Obama Czar on energy/global warming badly needs SOME science education. His proclamations are causing howls of laughter in the scientific community! This man needs therapy. Here is the latest on Mr. Holdren’s candidacy for an immediate brain transplant.

** FULL DISCLOSURE, I have an honors degree in Physical Chemistry and no one will debate me on the left concerning climate change/global warming.
@Bob Clark Blogs, all rights reserved

          

Political News and Economics Magazine   

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Bob Clark
Governor Quagmire sits on her you know what and is doing nothing as it appears we have a MAJOR DISASTER with November’s unemployment numbers for the State of Washington. The numbers came in at levels signaling what I have been saying for 6 months: WE ARE IN A DOUBLE DIP RECESSION IN WASHINGTON STATE. To give you a picture of this disaster, 322,700 folks were collecting unemployment insurance in November in this state and that’s up almost 6,000 from October. Total unemployment in Washington was 602,846 or 17% in November up about 12,000 from the previous month. In the Tri-county area: King 9.1% or 134,270, Snohomish 38,110 or 10% and Pierce County 36,530 or 9% of the total workforces in those counties were collecting unemployment benefits. At the national level the US Department of Labor is reporting that 577,279 folks showed up to file for NEW unemployment benefits last week up more than 52,000 in the previous week (read the unadjusted numbers at this site). As I have said many times in the past SEASONABLY ADJUSTED NUMBERS ARE NOTHING LESS THAN A MAJOR LOAD OF MALE BOVINE EXCREMENT!

John Koster’s campaign has been questioning the vote counting in Whatcom County during the last election the grape vine tells me and that does not surprise me one bit. Larsen came in with 13,500 plus votes when the polls at the time showed him down against Koster county wide, yet the almost tie vote between the two swung the election to Larsen. Hmmm?


There was a major shakeup in the Snohomish County GOP with a whole new slate of leadership during the last central committee meeting. Activist Bill Cooper has taken over from Jim Kellett as county chair, Billye Brooks-Sebastiani takes over as Vice Chair, Olga Farnam takes over as State Committee Woman and Councilman Michael Plunkett assumes the State Committee Man position at the State central committee meetings.

A major battle is shaping up between conservative Bill Rennie and former radio talk show host Kirby Wilbur to take over the State Chairmanship of the Washington State Republican Party from the very unpopular Luke Esser (who is on his way out!). If I were to bet on the race I would say that right now it is to close to call with Kirby having a slight edge. The problem for Wilbur is that the Tea Party folks and most of the conservative wing of the state GOP are supporting Bill Rennie!

Foreclosures continue to pile up and threaten to destroy Washington State’s housing market. In the month of November, according to RealtyTrac, 4,067 homes were foreclosed on statewide. That brings year to date through November: 40,722 homes foreclosed on in the State of Washington. Here is the map for the month of November. I would like to clarify that a number of the 40,000 plus homes foreclosed on so far this year have been sold, but not enough to impact the continued decline in home values in Western Washington. To make matters worse many who signed up for ARM’s (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) a few years ago will find their mortgage payments double or triple during 2011 because a huge number of these ARM’s are expiring this year at the 3,5,6, and 10 year time frames all converging on this new year. That could mean that foreclosures could skyrocket in the first and second quarters of 2011.

The State of Washington’s tax revenue took a big hit this holiday season according to my sources at the State Legislature. Not with standing these bogus reports from the worst newspaper in the state: The Washington Post owned Everett Herald, the real number of this coming budget shortfall are already being talked about at the 5 Billion dollar plus level and that does not count unfunded liabilities for State Pension funds that could total as much as 20 Billion dollars according to my sources.
Breaking news: The US Department of Labor is saying that December's U3 number (the number of people collecting unemployment benefits) dropped to 9.4%. What they did not say was the fact that the reason for the drop is because a large number of people nationally left the work force because they have given up trying to find a job; that depresses the U3 number mathematically. Even though some 100,000 jobs were added in December, most of these jobs are TEMP/contractor jobs that ended at the end of the retail Christmas season. So if you see the "brain dead" media falling all over themselves saying this is good news, you may know the truth.

During the week ending 1/8/2011 770,413 people signed up for unemployment benefits for the first time up 191,686 from the previous week; an all time record! Meaning that all of those temp retail jobs for the holidays are over and the people are out of work. The total number of people collecting unemployment benefits as of 12/25/2010 was 9,193,838 folks, an all time record.

          

Rossi Campaign Cautiously Optimistic As Voter Count Continues   

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As of 11:57 PM, the Washington Secretary of State was reporting on its website Election Day results showing incumbent Senator Patty Murray leading challenger Dino Rossi by a razor slim margin of only 14,005 votes out of 1,430,787 counted.  At the end of the first day of counting, Murray has a lead of 50.49% to Rossi's 49.51%.  However, Rossi For Senate Campaign Manager Pat Shortridge issued a statement by Email late last night outlining some points that should have the Murray campaign sweating bullets:
  • Historically in Washington, the Republican candidates improve their percentages in each county in votes counted after Election Day, usually improving their margins by 2 to 3 percentage points.
  • King County, which is providing most of Sen. Murray’s margin, accounts for 30.7% of all registered voters in the state. According to County Election reports, King County only has 26.7% of the remaining ballots left to count. The rest of the state, where Rossi has a comfortable lead, will count proportionately more ballots post-Election Day.
  • Spokane County, where Rossi is currently in the lead by more than 50%, still has at least 21.6% of the remaining ballots left to process, with more coming in.
  • Rossi is currently leading in Pierce County by nearly 2,500 votes
  • According to the Secretary of State, there are still over 508,000 estimated ballots left to process statewide.
  • Again, we will know more over the next several days as ballots continue to come in and counties continue to count. We are confident that the margins we are seeing throughout Washington State, combined with the state legislative victories, will put Dino Rossi ahead by an overwhelming margin.
This election is not like previous statewide races that Rossi has run.  It is a midterm, off-Presidential cycle election.  These usually favor Republicans, that traditionally exhibit more faithful voting habits.  In addition, a Republican tidal wave is sweeping the nation, with Republicans gaining a solid majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Turnout in more conservative Washington districts is running above normal this year.  This trend is elevating Republican Party hopes, as Washington is poised to send a Republican majority of its Congressional Representatives back to D.C. come January.  Five of Washington's nine Congressional seats appear to be in Republican hands:
  • District 2 John Koster is leading his opponent 50.41% to 49.59%.  This is a Republican "gain".
  • District 3 Jaime Herrara is leading her opponent 52.92% to 47.08%.  This is a Republican "gain".
  • District 4 Doc Hastings is leading his opponent 68.31% to 31.69%.  This is a Republican "hold".
  • District 5 Cathy McMorris Rodgers is leading her opponent 64.51% to 35.49%.  This is a Republican "hold".
  • District 8 Congressman Dave Reichert is leading his opponent 55% to 45%, this is a Republican "hold".
Republican gains in west-side Congressional Districts are exceeding local Party expectations.  In addition, a number of voter initiatives regarding taxes have shown a conservative voting streak.  An initiative for a state income tax has gone down in flames, while another requiring a 2/3 majority of the state legislature to raise taxes appears to be passing.  In addition, a rollback of Democratic Party approved taxes on food and bottled water appeared to be passing as well.
While the race is still too close to call, it looks like we may be calling Dino Rossi our Senator very soon.

***
Cross-posted to BLOGSUNNYSIDE.COM

          

Politics with Amy Walter: Quid Pro Quo My God    

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This week, new information about President Trump’s interactions with foreign governments have rattled Washington, D.C. 

While the White House works on beating back the impeachment inquiry, members of Congress are home in their districts checking in with constituents. This task might prove difficult for those representing districts that have supported the president in the past, like Democratic Congresswoman Elaine Luria from Virginia.

Representative Luria joined Politics with Amy Walter to discuss why she decided to support the impeachment inquiry and the response she's received from constituents in a district that voted for Donald Trump in 2016. 

DC-based reporters Yamiche Alcindor of PBS and MSNBC and Rachael Bade of The Washington Post contextualize the ongoing impeachment proceedings. Tim Alberta from Politico chronicles the transformation of the Republican Party and historian Timothy Naftali demonstrates the role of bipartisanship during past impeachments. 

Amy's Final Take

This week, we also got our first polls taken since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House was starting a formal impeachment inquiry. Here’s what they show: Even as support for impeachment has grown, opinions about how the president is doing his job are virtually unchanged. In other words, as we’ve seen over the last 2 plus years, voters are pretty locked into how they feel about this president and there’s nothing that has been able to alter that. 

This is different from what we saw back during the Nixon impeachment. Back then, as support for impeachment rose, Nixon’s approval rating dropped. While support for impeaching Trump is basically at the same point it was with Nixon in 1974, Trump’s job approval rating is 41 percent Nixon’s was just 25 percent.  It is a testament to just how much more polarized the electorate is today than it was 45 years ago. And, a reminder that even as more and more information about Trump’s interactions with Ukraine are revealed — much of it is getting to Americans through partisan, biased filters like social media and cable news - making it harder and harder for any sort of ‘consensus’ to be found either among members of Congress - or the electorate. 

And, we end up where we’ve been all along. A divided country, more deeply and firmly entrenched than ever. And, those who aren’t as politically engaged or aligned, struggling to make sense of it all.

Opening music: I Think Like Midnight


          

Colin Powell Criticizes Republicans For Not Coming Out Against Trump [VIDEO]    

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Oh yeah, the great Colin Powell, who voted for Barack Obama TWICE, who said he 'cried' when Obama was elected in 2008 (see video below), who has never advanced the ball one yard on the Republican side in his entire life, is once again scolding Republicans. Why? Because they are staying silent and not speaking out against President Donald Trump. It seems as though every time Colin Powell is handed a microphone, he takes a swipe at Republicans.
“The Republican Party has got to get a grip on itself. Right now, Republican leaders and members of the Congress, in both the Senate and in the House, are holding back because they’re terrified of what will happen to any one of them if they speak out"
Here is the video-


Colin Powell day after Obama was elected in 2008 - I cried.
WATCH:


 

          

Trump faces bipartisan backlash over decision to withdraw troops from Syria   

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Trump is facing criticism from the Republican party and the Pentagon about the decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria as Turkey readies military operations. Kurdish people in the area reportedly fear for their lives if U.S. troops withdraw. NBC’s Richard Engel reports for TODAY from Istanbul and NBC analyst Jeremy Bash provides analysis.
          

Columnist Eugene Robinson unleashes on Republicans for officially resorting to Trump ‘bootlicking’   

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson unleashed on the Republican Party in his latest column — and it was to an extent not yet seen. In his piece, Robinson said that Republicans are becoming just as “bombastic, full of lies and incoherent to the point of lunacy” as President Donald Trump. “Sadly,” he said, he isn’t […]
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