Regulatory Action Center Review - October 7, 2019   

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Welcome to FreedomWorks Foundation’s nineteenth regulatory review of 2019! Our Regulatory Action Center proudly updates you with our favorite tidbits from the swamp. We want to smash barriers between bureaucracy and the American people by delivering regulatory news straight to FreedomWorks activists. Check back in two weeks for the next edition.

1) Video of the Week: Unsurprisingly, the United States is not the first country to experience ballooning budgets and astronomical deficits. In the mid-1990’s, Canada’s debt grew to as high as 70% of GDP, similar to our current debt situation. In this weeks video, John Stossell sits down with Canadian economist David Henderson to discuss how Canada managed to tackle their debt problem by cutting government spending and reducing waste.

2) Why Is the CDC Still Fostering Potentially Deadly Confusion About Vaping and Lung Disease?: “Media outlets, following the lead of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), continue to blame recent cases of severe respiratory illnesses among vapers on "vaping" and "e-cigarettes" in general, falsely implying a link to legal nicotine products. This misinformation is fostering public confusion that may lead to more disease and death, both from smoking and from the black-market products that have been implicated in the lung disease cases.” https://reason.com/2019/09/24/why-is-the-cdc-still-fostering-potentially-deadly-confusion-about-vaping-and-lung-disease/

3) FBI using Facebook ads to gather Russian intelligence: report: “The FBI is reportedly using Facebook ads to gather intelligence on Russia, specifically targeting those who may be or know Russian spies. The FBI is running ads in the Washington, D.C., area, CNN reported on Wednesday, that direct to the FBI field office's website that describes its counterintelligence team and encourages visitors to meet "in person." https://thehill.com/policy/national-security/fbi/464069-fbi-using-facebook-ads-to-gather-russian-intelligence-report

4) Federal Court Upholds FCC Decision to Roll Back Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules: “Today, by a 2-1 vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided largely with the FCC, upholding the primary regulatory rollback as a valid exercise of its authority. In the nearly 200 page opinion, which is heavy on technical detail, the court wrote that while the challengers raised "numerous objections" aiming to show that the FCC's reclassification is "unreasonable," the judges found them "unconvincing." https://reason.com/2019/10/01/federal-court-upholds-fcc-decision-to-roll-back-obama-era-net-neutrality-rules/

5) Trump to issue executive order ‘protecting’ Americans from ‘Medicare for All’ campaign proposals pushed by Democrats: “The executive order, which he is scheduled to discuss at a speech in Florida later Thursday, is intended to bolster Medicare Advantage, private Medicare insurance for seniors that currently covers 22 million people, senior administration officials said on a call with reporters. The plan would also offer more affordable plan options, increase use of telehealth services and bring payments in Medicare fee-for-service program in line with payments for Medicare Advantage, officials said.” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/03/trump-to-issue-executive-order-protecting-americans-from-medicare-for-all.html

6) Treasury to create tool to help people redeem billions in unclaimed savings bonds: “Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) on Wednesday said that the Treasury Department will create an online tool to help people redeem billions of dollars in savings bonds. About $26 billion in matured savings bonds are in the U.S. Treasury and have yet to be redeemed. Using the department's forthcoming tool, people will be able to verify against Treasury Department records if they have any savings bonds dated after 1974 that can be redeemed, Kennedy's office said in a news release.” https://thehill.com/policy/finance/464057-senator-treasury-will-create-tool-to-help-people-redeem-billions-of-dollars-in

7) Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown: “The Trump administration is under fire from conservative groups and some GOP lawmakers, who are pushing back over its planned crackdown on e-cigarette flavors. They say the administration is overreaching, and the flavor ban will harm small businesses, a violation of core Republican free market principles.” https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/464470-trump-takes-heat-from-right-over-vaping-crackdown


          

The Voice Myanmar Contestant Brings Slipknot’s “Spit It Out” to the Stage   

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A performer on The Voice in Myanmar impressed the hell out of the judges with a Slipknot song.

The post The Voice Myanmar Contestant Brings Slipknot’s “Spit It Out” to the Stage appeared first on MetalSucks.


          

Trixie Mattel Judged a Stripping Contest and Her Reactions Are Perfect   

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DragDrag, Entertainment

Can someone sign me up to judge G-A-Y's 'Porn Idol' next?!

Entertainmenttrixie mattel gay Mikelle Street

It seems that the drag world’s attention is currently on London — well, RuPaul’s world that is! After Miss Fame, Aquaria, and Violet Chachki bounced around at fashion month, we settled in Britain for the launch of RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. And seemingly to fete the show’s arrival, a few Drag Race alum came to town. Of them, was All Stars season 3 winner Trixie Mattel.

While in London, Mattel linked up with Drag Race U.K. contestants The Vivienne and Baga Chipz for a stop at the popular nightclub G-A-Y. Among her dates there, as there were multiple, she hosted a night of the spot’s long-running competition “Porn Idol.” Think of it as American Idol (or maybe British Idol) but strippers! And while the contestants certainly put on a show, Mattel’s facial expressions were meme-worthy in and of themselves. 

“Are you ready to see some fucking naked people?!” Mattel said after being introduced onstage. Yes m’am. Yes m’am, we are. 

We aren’t exactly sure how the event is structured but from what we can tell, a number of contestants come to stage and strip to, what seems to be, a song of their choice. There’s a pole available for twirling around and apparently, you can take it all off (as one contestant did.) On Thursday, when Mattel judged, the lone female contestant apparently took her mic from the drag queen mid performance. So, that happened!

But get into Mattel’s varied expressions during the whole thing.

Quite a ride! After every performance, the judges scored the contestants via placards. Later on, an audience vote helped to decide (with a little save from Mattel herself) the final two. That pair, the lone female contestant, and the guy who went balls to the crowd, played backup dancers for the All Stars winner, later for a lip sync — and at some point during the night Mattel also juggled for full seven seconds!

Mattel returned to G-A-Y for a performance on Saturday as well.

RELATED | 'Cher' Crashed Sean Hayes' Guest-Host Appearance on 'Ellen'

 
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Darren McMullen unmasked as singing prawn   

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He had been widely rumoured to be on the show but none of the judges had Darren McMullen pegged as 10's Prawn.
          

DRAG RACES's Baga Chipz and BTG's Sheila Simmonds Will Star In All Drag Pantomime CINDERELLA   

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Drag stars BAGA CHIPZ a?" currently on screen as one of the contestants in BBC Three's RuPaul's Drag Race UK a?" and SHEILA SIMMONDS a?" best known from her outrageous performance that wowed the judges in Britain's Got Talent 2019 a?" will star in a fierce and funny drag makeover of classic pantomime CINDERELLA this Christmas, playing at the Trafalgar Studios in the West End for six performances only.
          

James Cracknell admits he has always 'avoided things I won't be good at'   

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The sportsman and his professional partner Luba Mushtuk were voted out of the competition after the first dance off, after failing to impress the judges with their jive. 
          

The X Factor: Celebrity FIRST LOOK at the judges as Simon Cowell reunites with Nicole and Louis   

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The first look at the X Factor: Celebrity judges as Simon Cowell reunites with Nicole Scherzinger and Louis Walsh as the music mogul reveals why he's revamped the singing show
          

The Climate Fixathon: using tech to fight climate change   

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The Climate Fixathon: using tech to fight climate change

At 1Password, we aim to make the online world a better, safer place. But climate change is the biggest threat to the future of our planet, and we want to make a difference there too. That’s why we chose to sponsor the Climate Fixathon.

The Climate Fixathon is the world’s first online hackathon for makers to help fix the climate. If you’re not familiar, a hackathon is a coding competition, usually held over a set period. People come together to test their skills to solve a particular problem or just create something great. The Climate Fixathon is a 4-week competition, held entirely online.

As someone who cares deeply about our planet, (last year, I embarked on a 24-day expedition for marine conservation) I was thrilled to be one of the judges. Reviewing and testing the 43 projects from across the globe was eye-opening. It was exciting to see the tech community come together to create websites, apps, and services that aim to help restore a safe climate for our planet. Technology is a powerful force for doing good.

There were three categories: Awareness, Action, and Facilitation. On offer was $1,500 for the winning team of each category. As you’d expect, the standard of entries was incredibly high across the board, but there were a few that impressed me in particular.

HQ→CO2 was chosen as the project that best raises awareness of climate breakdown. The website juxtaposes random pairs of images: the headquarters of high-emissions fossil fuel companies with places around the world affected by global warming. It was thought-provoking to see how the HQ pictures appear static and unchanging, while the picture alongside shows dynamic ecological breakdown.

Also recognised by the judges was Climate 365, an email service that repeatedly contacts those in power urging them to take action against climate change. Their tool for digital protest won the prize for Action. The prize for Facilitation was awarded to Trip to Carbon, a carbon footprint calculator with simple API that can be integrated into new and existing websites and products to raise awareness of climate change.

Another favourite of mine was the Arctic Calculator. You enter the distance travelled and it gives you the area of the Arctic circle you’re responsible for melting. Certainly difficult to ignore. Shift was another great website that everyone can use to make a difference. It tells when grid production in your area is at its least carbon-intense, so that you can time your household electricity consumption, like putting the washing machine on.

All exciting and impactful projects that are sure to inspire change. It’s certainly sparked some food for thought about how we do things at 1Password.

To learn more about all of the entries, visit the Climate Fixathon website. Perhaps it will inspire a project of your own! You can also find out more about my motivations for taking part in my judge’s interview.


          

Super All rounder   

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 Very attractive big bodied Hungarian Warmblood with lots of chrome. His registered color is Bay Roan, but looks black most of the time. He is a 2006 model and stands at 16.1hh. He has been owned by the same owner for the past five years. He is a lovely mover and catches the judges eye everywhere he goes. Balou has competed in training level dressage but has some of the training of a 3rd level horse, including a lead change. He has done some low level jumper and hunters and has also competed at Novice level eventing. He is great on the trails as well. Balou is sound with no history of lameness in his past. Balou is very easy off the leg, and is naturally forward in a good way. Because of his stature you always feel like you have a horse with four feet underneath you. He is also like riding a giant couch to boot! His breeding is HS Vidax (Hungarian Sporthorse) x Glencarin Blue Print (Shire) x Bold Ruling (TB).

          

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards   

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We are delighted to announce the 40 fantastic finalists from the 2019 competition, which has been an absolute treat for the judges with possibly the best entries we have ever had. The Overall Winner and Category Winners will be announced … Continue reading
          

Letters to the Editor: "There were gasps in the courtroom as the judges announced their ruling"   

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PLEASE keep your letters to 250 words maximum giving your name, address and daytime telephone number - even on emails. Email: letters@swindonadvertiser.co.uk. Write: Swindon Advertiser, Unit 1 and 2 Richmond House, Edison Park, Swindon, SN3 3RB. Phone: 01793 501806.
          

Comment on Darren McMullen unmasked as singing prawn by BarrieT    

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I’m beginning to think this show is either rigged or they need better judges.Firstly when giving clues almost everyone has an Australian accent yet still they say it’s some big Hollywood Star. Second, don’t tell me not one of the judges could think it sounds like Deni Hines or Rob Mills, when they have such distinct voices. Deni’s voice is quite unique .
          

Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial, St. Paul   

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Article Level: 
Category: 

In the summer of 1994, the League of Women Voters of Minnesota convened a group of thirty women to form the Nineteenth Amendment Celebration Committee. The committee organized events around the seventy-fifth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, giving women the right to vote. They left a lasting legacy in the form of the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial Garden. It was the first monument to a movement approved for the capitol mall.

Minnesota was the fifteenth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment on September 8, 1919. It wasn’t until Tennessee ratified it on August 18, 1920, that it attained the three-fifths majority of states needed to amend the constitution. US Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the amendment on August 26.

Minnesota’s Nineteenth Amendment Celebration Committee hosted a successful seventy-fifth anniversary celebration in 1995. Programs included suffrage-themed performances and a “Women Win the Vote Day” at the state fair. The committee also commissioned a curriculum on woman suffrage for elementary and high school students created by the Upper Midwest Women’s History Center.

Led by historian Barbara Stuhler, the committee considered ideas for a memorial that would be a fitting legacy for the milestone anniversary. They favored a garden on the state capitol grounds with plants native to Minnesota featuring the suffrage colors of yellow and white. The yellow daffodil, a traditional symbol of the suffrage movement, figured prominently in the plan.

The committee worked with the Capitol Area Architectural Planning Board (CAAPB) for permission to proceed with the memorial and began fundraising. They kicked off the project at the final anniversary event held at the Minneapolis Women’s Club in October 1995.

In March 1996, the Minnesota state legislature approved $250,000 for the planning and construction of the memorial. The appropriation required a matching grant of $50,000 raised from private and corporate donors.

Over the summer, the CAAPB sponsored a juried design competition for the memorial. They expected applicants to have an interest in women’s history. Female designers were especially encouraged to enter.

The planning committee outlined a number of design considerations. They wanted an accessible public memorial, no larger than 150 feet by 100 feet, for a location in the northeast corner of the lower capitol mall. The design should incorporate a path and at least one bench. Plantings could be flowers, shrubs, or trees, in the suffrage movement palette of yellow or gold and white, with some green and purple. The memorial should be easy to maintain and offer landscape interest year-round. It also had to fit in with other design elements on the mall.

The committee received six proposals. The judges awarded the commission and a prize of $5,000 to architects Ralph Nelson, Raveevarn Choksombachai, and design associate Martha McQuade of LOOM Studio, and landscape designer Roger Grothe of Aloha Landscaping, for their proposal, “Garden of Time: Landscape of Change.”

The winning design featured a garden with twenty-three beds and nine smaller plots of native prairie and woodland plantings separated by lines of pavers. It included a ninety-foot steel trellis inscribed with the names of twenty-five key Minnesota suffragists. A series of steel tablets shared the story of the fight for woman suffrage in Minnesota.

The committee asked for more funding during the 1997 legislative session. The senate included the request in a state government finance bill, but it was line item vetoed by Governor Arne Carlson. The following April, the governor approved a final $150,000 for completion of the memorial. Overall, the state provided $400,000 and the committee raised more than $100,000 in non-state funds.

A groundbreaking ceremony on August 26, 1998, marked the beginning of construction. The memorial was dedicated on August 26, 2000, the eightieth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Those attending enjoyed live music, an ice cream social, and a children’s activity. The committee sent special invitations to those involved with the project, and included a yellow “thank you” button bearing the name of one of the twenty-five suffragists featured in the memorial.

Many of the original plants failed to thrive. In 2004, Aloha Landscaping refurbished the garden with many new plants, including hardy perennials, groundcovers, and grasses. A rededication took place on August 24, 2004.

Usage Rights: 
Public Domain
Location: 
State Capitol Mall
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Cedar Street
Saint Paul, MN
United States
44° 57' 13.1256" N, 93° 6' 4.086" W
Rights Holder: 
Minnesota Historical Society

151.K.16.9B (Box 11) and 151.K.16.10F (Box 12)
Barbara Stuhler papers, 1945–2006
Manuscripts Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Description: Personal papers documenting the professional career, research interest, publications, and organizational activities of a University of Minnesota continuing education dean and professor who was interested in world affairs and was active in the League of Women Voters.
http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00496.xml

Guthrey, Molly. “The Fight to Vote.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 19, 2000.

Hostetter, Janet, photographer. “Honoring Those Who Went First.” St. Paul Pioneer Press, August 27, 1998.

143.B.17.3B Box 19
League of Women Voters of Minnesota records, 1919–2012
Manuscripts Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Description: Records of a non-partisan political organization formed to encourage informed and active participation in government and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.
http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00191.xml

“Memorial Groundbreaking for Groundbreaking Women.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 27, 1998.

Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. Minnesota Women’s Legislative Timeline.
https://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/womenstimeline/details?recid=2

“Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial.” [Memorial booklet.] Minnesota: N.p., 2000.

143.F.2.7B Box 2
Organizational records, 1980–1999
Upper Midwest Women’s History Center
Manuscripts Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul
Description: Records and curriculum material of the Upper Midwest Women’s History Center, a regional teacher-training center founded in Minnesota that helped educators integrate women’s curriculum into regular history classes.
http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00734.xml

Placeography. Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial, Cedar Avenue at Martin Luther King Boulevard, St. Paul
http://www.placeography.org/index.php/Minnesota_Woman_Suffrage_Memorial%2C_Cedar_Avenue_at_Martin_Luther_King_Boulevard%2C_Saint_Paul%2C_Minnesota

“Plan for Woman Suffrage Garden Rooted in Groundbreaking History.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 25, 1996.

Salisbury, Bill. “As Controversy Swirls Around Public Monuments Elsewhere, Minnesota Officials Want to Restore Theirs.” TwinCities.com, October 1, 2017.
https://www.twincities.com/2017/10/01/as-controversy-swirls-around-public-monuments-elsewhere-minnesota-officials-want-to-restore-theirs/

Session Laws of Minnesota for 1996, Chapter 390, Section 5. Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/1996/0/Session+Law/Chapter/390/1996-04-03%2000:00:00+00:00/pdf

Session Laws of Minnesota for 1997, Chapter 202, Section 14. Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/1997/0/Session+Law/Chapter/202/1997-05-19%2000:00:00+00:00/pdf

Session Laws of Minnesota for 1998, Chapter 404, Section 14, Subdivision 7. Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/laws/1998/0/Session+Law/Chapter/404/1998-04-09%2000:00:00+00:00/pdf

“They Fought for the Vote.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 16, 2000.

United State House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. Minnesota Ratifies 19th Amendment.
https://history.house.gov/HouseRecord/Detail/15032436205

“Women’s Garden: Preserving the Memory of Pioneers.” Minneapolis Star Tribune, August 26, 1998.

In March 1996, the Minnesota state legislature appropriates $250,000 for planning and construction of a Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial on the state capitol mall.

Publisher: 
Minnesota Historical Society
September 8, 1919

Minnesota becomes the fifteenth state to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment, which in theory gives all women full suffrage. Though white women begin to vote, poll taxes and literary tests continue to hold back women of color.

August 26, 1920

The Nineteenth Amendment is added to the US Constitution after the state of Tennessee becomes the thirty-sixth state to ratify the measure, giving it the three-fifths state approval needed.

1994

Thirty women form the Nineteenth Amendment Committee to plan a celebration for the seventy-fifth anniversary of Minnesota’s ratification of the amendment.

June 1995

The Nineteenth Amendment Committee begins to discuss a legacy project involving plantings of daffodils and a few trees on the capitol mall.

August 26, 1995

The Nineteenth Amendment Committee hosts “Women Win the Vote Day” at the Minnesota State Fair in celebration of Women’s Equality Day, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

March 1996

The Minnesota state legislature appropriates $250,000 for the planning and construction of the memorial. The last $50,000 is contingent upon a match of private and corporate donations.

March 1, 1996

A competition for the design of the memorial is announced.

May 1, 1996

The memorial committee receives six design proposals by the deadline.

August 1996

The project is awarded to architects Ralph Nelson, Raveevarn Choksombachai (principals), and Martha McQuade (design associate) of LOOM, with landscaping by Roger Grothe of Aloha Landscaping for Garden of Time: Landscape of Change. The prize is $5,000.

April 1998

The state legislature appropriates a final $150,000 for completion of the memorial, and Governor Carlson approves it.

August 26, 1998

Ground is broken for the suffrage memorial, the first monument to a movement to be approved for the Capitol Mall.

1998

The LOOM design team wins an award from Progressive Architecture magazine for their work on the memorial.

January 2000

Roger Grothe of Aloha Landscaping wins an excellence in landscaping award from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association for his work on the memorial garden.

August 26, 2000

The Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial Garden is dedicated on the grounds of the state capitol, the eightieth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.

August 24, 2004

The garden is rededicated with substantial new plantings.


          

   

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What Happens When Top Rival American Politicians Compete to Jail Each Other?

It's been more than two years since the Belmont Club article predicting a political showdown after the election of Donald Trump was written. Since then, its scenario of top rival American politicians trying to jail each other has become an actual possibility. "Will impeaching Trump lead to indictments of Obama and Biden over Ukraine?" says an article in the Spectator. Rudy Giuliani asks: 'Shouldn't Biden be investigated over Ukraine if Trump can be impeached over it?' Hillary's in the mix too:

As President Donald Trump's presidency is threatened by an impeachment inquiry, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, are asking Attorney General William Barr to investigate any ties between Ukraine and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

To use a World War II analogy there are torpedoes in the water going in opposite directions at each fleet's battlewagons. If all strike home, a lot of damage will ensue as the different parts of the bureaucracy act against rival leaders. Not surprisingly, the term "civil war" actually began trending on Twitter. CBS News reported: "'Civil War 2' trends on Twitter after Trump quotes speculation that impeachment would spark 'civil war.'"

The very mention of the term is itself an impeachable offense according to Harvard Law professor John Coates. "This tweet is itself an independent basis for impeachment - a sitting president threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power." The fact that it was Pastor Robert Jeffress who said the offending words on a TV program -- Trump was merely quoting him -- is of no moment. The impeachment devil who no one professed to believe in has appeared at Nancy Pelosi's prayers.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Saturday that she is heartbroken and prayerful as House Democrats move forward with their impeachment inquiry and that President Donald Trump's actions left her no other choice.

There is frank hostility. "Joe Biden's campaign wrote to executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to 'demand' that Rudy Giuliani not be invited on the air to discuss Ukraine and President Trump because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family," according to the New York Times. Giuliani responded indignantly: "Think of the Biden arrogance and entitlement to protection. They believe they own the media and they are demanding that they silence me. They know I have incriminating facts, not hearsay, because they know what they did in selling Joe’s office to a Ukrainian crook."

Politicians could be psyching themselves into the very thing they purport to abhor. If they sincerely want to step back from the brink now's the time. Otherwise, their actions may at some point unleash a runaway train. As a Harvard symposium noted, World War I started by miscalculation.

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Dems Target Mike Pompeo

With the whistleblower's complaint coming up short, Dems aim for "corrupt" officials. 

In an effort to prop up their “whistleblower’s” false allegations, House Democrats have lashed out at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his refusal to submit to their subpoena demands. Following Pompeo’s statement that he would not let State Department staff be bullied by Democrats into testifying, three Democrat committee chairmen led by Rep. Adam “B Movie” Schiff cried foul, disingenuously claiming that this was evidence that Pompeo was the one who was “intimidat[ing] witnesses.” They warned, “Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry.”

Naturally, the mainstream media is taking cues from Democrats and is now framing the normal job-related actions of high-ranking White House officials like Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr as somehow being evidence of corruption. For example, Pompeo is alleged to have engaged in misconduct for simply listening to President Donald Trump’s infamous July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Why would this be wrong? As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Shouldn’t a Secretary of State be on a call to the new President of an important country? U.S. foreign policy is the secretary’s job.”

Why are Democrats playing this vilification game? Because their “smoking gun” whistleblower complaint failed to expose any impeachable offense. In all likelihood the Democrats knew that going in, but with a friendly press they calculated that it would serve to provide just enough of a cover story to justify acting on their long-running impeachment obsession. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and company know they don’t have any actual evidence of a crime, so they’re vilifying anyone near Trump to create the air of corruption around any action. Even innocuous job-related activities can be said to have been done with corrupt motivations to cover up Trump’s crimes. This is an effort to keep the narrative alive through the election.

Trump sees this, which is why he’s calling it what it is: “a coup.” On Tuesday, he asserted, “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their Vote, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” He’s right.

There may be another motive for the Democrats’ vilification of Pompeo and Barr — they don’t want them investigating the origins of the 2016 Russia-collusion hoax. In fact, The Washington Post suggests as much in an article titled, “Democrats’ worst fears about William Barr are proving correct.”

SOURCE 

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Trump Reshaping Ninth Circuit Will Be Felt for Decades

In May 2016, Donald Trump was close to securing the Republican presidential nomination but needed to shore up his support among skeptical conservatives to have even a remote chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in the general election. In an unexpected but brilliant move, candidate Trump released a list of judges that he promised to choose from in selecting a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, beloved by conservatives.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had infuriated Democrats by refusing to hold hearings on Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, so the next president would fill that vacancy. Trump’s list had been compiled with heavy input from the conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society. Proving him right, conservatives rallied to Trump’s banner (even if cautiously), based on this promise.

The result has been far better that conservatives could have imagined. As president, Donald Trump has nominated two solid conservatives (an originalist/textualist in Neil Gorsuch, and a conservative institutionalist in Brett Kavanaugh) to the Supreme Court, and recently passed an impressive milestone — more than 150 nominees confirmed to the federal bench. The positive repercussions of this will be felt for decades to come.

Arguably, even more impactful than Trump’s Supreme Court appointments (replacing originalist Scalia with originalist Gorsuch, and moderate Kennedy with conservative Kavanaugh) has been his reshaping of the notorious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, nicknamed the “Ninth Circus” because of its penchant for ultra-leftist rulings.

A week and a half ago, President Trump nominated Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke to fill vacancies on the Ninth Circuit. This was the second time Bumatay has been nominated to that court. Trump nominated Bumatay — a Filipino-American federal prosecutor from San Diego and former counselor to the U.S. attorney general — in October 2018, but after strenuous objections by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, the nomination lapsed without action.

VanDyke is an attorney with the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division, having served previously as the solicitor general of both Nevada and Montana, where he incurred the wrath of Democrats and radical environmentalists for litigating against Obama’s abusive land- and water-use policies.

If these nominees are confirmed, it will make the ninth and tenth Trump-nominated judges confirmed to the Ninth Circuit, meaning Trump will have appointed more than a third (10 of 29) of the judges on that bench.

The long-term benefits are enormous.

First, the Ninth Circuit is the nation’s largest circuit court, with a jurisdiction covering nine states and two island territories (40% of U.S. land mass). Its rulings impact more than 60 million Americans (roughly 20% of the U.S. population).

The importance of placing Trump’s nominees on the Ninth Circuit — judges who understand their proper role is to interpret the law as written, not twist it into what they want it to be — cannot be overstated.

Of the 7,000-8,000 cases appealed to the Supreme Court each year, only about 80 receive plenary review and are heard by the nation’s highest court.

By contrast, the Ninth Circuit last year received nearly 11,000 filings and “terminated” (rendered final judgments on) nearly 12,000 cases. Meaning, no matter how obviously unfair, ludicrous, or unconstitutional a ruling of the Ninth Circuit may be, the ruling stands and applies to 20% of the American population unless it is one of the precious few taken up by the Supreme Court.

Of its cases reviewed by the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit is reversed a staggering 82% of the time. Yet only a tiny fraction of those cases will ever be reviewed by the Supreme Court, so the lunatic rulings stand in the vast majority of cases.

And the Ninth Circuit judges are well aware of that, and take advantage of it.

Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Ninth Circuit in 1979, served until his death in 2018. Known as one of the most leftist judges in the nation, Reinhardt once said of his high reversal rate at the Supreme Court that he would keep issuing leftist rulings because the Supreme Court “can’t catch ‘em all.” It was Reinhardt’s Ninth Circuit Court that ruled in 2002 that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because of the words “under God,” a ridiculous ruling unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court.

There have been calls over the years to split the Ninth Circuit into two courts, a position supported by most of the members of the Supreme Court. Aside from its far-left rulings, the Ninth is simply too big and unmanageable.

Until then though, it is undeniable that President Trump’s efforts are significantly impacting the structure and leanings of the Ninth Circuit. With a third of its judges now Trump appointees, it greatly improves the odds that a panel of Ninth Circuit judges will include those with a more conservative, originalist philosophy.

Just this year, in what would have previously been unfathomable, the Ninth Circuit handed Trump major victories in a border-wall battle with environmentalists and in upholding his “remain in Mexico” policy of dealing with asylum seekers.

Decades from now we may very well look back and see that Trump’s influence on reshaping the federal judiciary, especially the Ninth Circuit, did more than anything else to save the Constitution and uphold the Rule of Law.

SOURCE 

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IN BRIEF

ANTI-NRA U-TURN: "Remember last month when San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization and ordered city employees to 'take every reasonable step to limit' business interactions with the NRA and its supporters?" asks Jim Geraghty of National Review. "... The NRA sued, and lo and behold, San Francisco is backing down, before the suit even went to court." The mayor in a new memo states, "No [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA." Meanwhile, says Geraghty, "The NRA is challenging a similar law passed by the Los Angeles city council that requiring city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the gun-rights group."

DEATH AND TAXES: "Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2018 than they did on the basic necessities of food, clothing and health care combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey. ... The $14,758.11 that the average American consumer unit paid for food, clothing and health care was $3,859.82 less than the $18,617.93 it paid in federal, state and local income taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes and 'other taxes.'" (Terence Jeffrey)

NET-NEUTRALITY REPEAL UPHELD: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission was mostly lawful in its rollback of Obama-era 'net neutrality' guidelines, while offering a glimmer of hope to proponents of the guidelines. In a 2–1 ruling, the court said the FCC had acted lawfully in its decision to stop regulating broadband like a utility or a 'common carrier' such as a phone service. But it said the FCC had exceeded its authority in attempting to block states from passing their own rules in contradiction of the net-neutrality repeal, as California did in 2018." (National Review)

TANTAMOUNT TO A WARREN ENDORSEMENT: "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that an Elizabeth Warren presidency would pose an 'existential' threat to the company, according to over two hours of leaked audio published by The Verge." (National Review)

PRO-LIFE SETBACK: "A federal judge handed an early win to abortion rights activists Tuesday by blocking Georgia's restrictive law from going into effect — but it is only the first step as a lawsuit makes its way through the court system. District Judge Steve C. Jones' ruling stops House Bill 481 from taking effect Jan. 1 while the case plays out. Anti-abortion activists are hoping the case winds up in the U.S. Supreme Court." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

MURDERS DECLINE: "Murder is on the decline in America, according to a new FBI report. The nation's top federal law enforcement agency found that homicides fell by 6 percent in 2018. The decline in homicides is part of a 3 percent drop in the violent crime rate, according to the Uniform Crime Report, the FBI's annual tally of crimes reported to local police departments. The 2018 decline follows several years of slight increases in homicide and violent crime, driven largely by spikes in major cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C." (The Washington Free Beacon)

FAIRFAX FOLLY: The Daily Caller reports: "A county police department in Virginia announced Tuesday that one of their officers was suspended for turning an illegal alien over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after determining the individual had dodged a deportation hearing. Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said the officer in question had a 'lapse in judgment' when he called ICE about the illegal alien. ... Fairfax County has a policy that limits the police department's cooperation with ICE." The "lapse in judgment" here is being directed at the wrong person.

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here 

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Darren McMullen unmasked as singing prawn   

Cache   
He had been widely rumoured to be on the show but none of the judges had Darren McMullen pegged as 10's Prawn.
          

Cointreau Announces PH Representative   

Cache   



We've got great bartenders, I've seen how we have been able to win a few competitions outside the country and yes, they've made us proud.

A few nights ago, I felt that much enthusiasm as they held the finals for the La Maison Cointreau Philippines 2019 wherein they'll be sending the winner to Thailand for the regionals. The program was short and sweet as contestants from different parts of the country converged in Run Rabbit Run in the Poblacion Makati district. After an ardous battle a few weeks ago it was judged to have the top 5 battle it out who will be this year's La Maison Cointreau Champion. Jacques Buenviaje fro The Peak Grand Hyatt, Ian James Osilo of Mandalay Whisky and Cigars, Jay Natividad of The Spirits Library, Hi Agunat of Versus Barcade and Abigail Quilan-lan of Proof Manila had to bring their ingredients up the stage and prepare their contest worthy concoctions that has the secret ingredient put in. This time, they had to incorporate TEA.
























It only took them a few minutes to whip up their best cocktails using the world's finest Cointreau French Orange Liqueur. They jazzed it up with different gins, spices, burned stuff and juggled a lot to make a drink that would best represent them.


After the mixes were all done, they got us a treat with free flowing cocktails the whole night. Might I say, the ones they prepared for us. (tried and proven recipes) were all awesome! Some of my friends were already bumping and grinding prior to the announcement of the winner. Using the Cointreau French Orange Liqueur made the drinks bright and fruity.


Honestly, I wanted one of the guys to win, because they prepared well and their flair was entertaining, but the judges preferred a solid story, a believable one explaining her inspiration on why she made the drink. They were all good but they had one clear winner.







Congratulations to Abigail Quilan-lan of Proof Manila! She bested 4 guys to get the crown. Well deserved, all of them had their best drinks on top of the table but she clearly won them over. Now she's going to have to make another designed cocktail drink for the regionals as she has to represent the country as she gets pitted against other Asian countries at the Bangkok, Thailand regional finals.




As for me, I obviously had so much fun! Got drunk and settled for tons of porridge at 1am LOL




Cheers! I've had so much fun with new friends, new people that night. I wish her the best in the next few months, she's going to do the country proud! 


COW


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