Losing Energy Independence

There are two groups of people who are attempting to end America’s energy independence–OPEC (The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and the Democrat Party. OPEC is fighting American energy independence because it represents competition and loss of OPEC’s worldwide influence. I am not really sure what the Democrat Party stands to gain by fighting American energy independence except that the position opposes President Trump’s position, which seems to be their platform–if President Trump is for it, we’re against it.

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the resistance to America’s energy independence.

The article reported:

The battle to win U.S. energy independence has been long, hard and well worth it but the industry is facing new foreign threats from OPEC as well as right here at home from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Biden wants to ban U.S. fracking, which was the key to our winning the war of energy independence. The former vice president at one point has said “no new fracking” — which, because of the nature of the shale decline rate, would end the U.S. shale revolution. This would not only cost the U.S. thousands of high-paying jobs, it would allow other countries to fill the void and produce more oil and gas.

…Biden has also said he has a goal to completely eliminate fossil fuels. While all men are created equal, energy sources are not. The move to fossil fuel alternatives in the near future is not reasonable and handicapping the U.S. energy industry will only put U.S. energy security at risk.

In fact, because of demand drops due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, many alternative fuels have also seen setbacks in investment and are not viable. The truth is the road to get the world off of fossil fuels will be much longer than the original goal of energy independence and in some form, we will be using fossil fuels for energy for generations to come.

Having a presidential contender looking to curb the U.S. energy industry comes at a time when threats from foreign actors are rising amid allegations they have conspired to try to bankrupt the U.S. energy industry so that we return to depending on them for our economic and national security.

While Saudi Arabia and Russia denied it, many believe that the goal of an oil production war in the midst of COVID-19’s oil demand collapse was to once and for all neutralize and bury the hard-won U.S. energy independence.

Does anyone remember the gasoline crisis of the 1970’s? Because we were almost totally dependent on foreign oil, we had gas lines and high gasoline prices. Does anyone really want to do that again? Energy independence is an economic issue, a national security issue, and a geopolitical issue. It determines our economy, our national security, and can influence our foreign policy. The less dependent we are on foreign oil, the more free we are to stand up to tyrants in countries with large supplies of oil. Energy independence should not even be debatable–it it necessary for the survival of our republic.

Shenanigans!

We all need to be on the alert for voter fraud or elections fraud in November. The Democrats are already using social media for ‘dirty tricks’ to keep down the attendance at Trump rallies. Who knows what they will do in the election?

This article is based on three sources–a U.K. Mail article posted yesterday,  a Geller Report article from today, and a Fox News article from today.

The U.K. Mail reports:

TikTok users and K-pop fans claim they reserved hundreds of tickets for Donald Trump‘s Tulsa rally on Saturday night with no intention of attending.

Political strategist Steve Schmidt, an outspoken critic of Trump, tweeted on Saturday night: ‘My 16 year old daughter and her friends in Park City Utah have hundreds of tickets. You have been rolled by America’s teens.

‘@realDonaldTrump you have been failed by your team. You have been deserted by your faithful. No one likes to root for the losing team.’

…Brad Parscale, campaign manager for Trump’s 2020 campaign, tweeted Saturday night: ‘Radical protestors, fueled by a week of apocalyptic media coverage, interfered with @realDonaldTrump supporters at the rally.

‘They even blocked access to the metal detectors, preventing people from entering. Thanks to the 1,000s who made it anyway!’

The Geller Report reports:

News outlets would probably have dismissed as conspiracy theory the notion that people – liberal wackos, American teenagers, KPop fans, and even foreigners – gamed the Trump Tulsa rally by reserving tickets that they had no intention of using in order to deliberately drive down the attendance and crowd size, had it been Trump who brought it up.

But Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez not only admits that it happened, she’s THRILLED about it. In tweets on Saturday she directly taunted Trump about it and praised those who did it.

…Oh so it’s all cool then? Russians on Facebook is the END OF DEMOCRACY but teenagers and anonymous users foreign and domestic using China’s TikTok app to prevent people from attending the other party’s campaign event is some great and wonderful thing? Remember when they bashed Rush Limbaugh as unpatriotic and possibly Satan for suggesting interfering in Democratic primaries?

Fox News reports:

“Shout out to Zoomers. Y’all make me so proud,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

In a separate message, Ocasio-Cortez thanked “KPop allies,” a term referring to fans of Korean pop music.

“KPop allies, we see and appreciate your contributions in the fight for justice too,” the congresswoman wrote.

…Many of those participating in the alleged scam deleted their posts after 24 to 48 hours in a bid to limit word of the plan from spreading on mainstream social media, the Times report said.

“These kids are smart and they thought of everything,” Daniel told the paper.

KPop activists were previously linked to campaigns to raise money for Black Lives Matter, fight racist hashtags on Twitter and disrupt the eyewitness app of the Dallas Police Department, Vulture.com reported.

This is simply disgusting. It is foreign election interference although those responsible will never be charged. If Americans want to see fair play in the election season, they are going to have to stop voting for people who brag about doing things like this.

Telling The Truth

Rick Grenell definitely left his mark as acting Director of National Intelligence. Things that should never have been classified were unclassified so that the American people could see for themselves what their government had been up to. Hopefully, John Ratcliffe, who replaced Ambassador Grenell, will be as equally concerned about unnecessary government secrecy.

Ambassador Grenell was interviewed on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night. Fox News posted an article about the interview late last night. The article includes a video of the interview. Please follow the link to view the interview. It is telling.

The article reports:

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday that his time in the Trump administration has shown him that the great political struggle is no longer between Republicans and Democrats, but between the District of Columbia and the rest of the U.S.

The article includes a screenshot of something Ambassador Grenell tweeted:

The article continues:

“The fact of the matter is,” Grenell said, “we have a real problem in Washington, D.C., because it’s a system that it no longer is Republicans and Democrats pushing against each other to create good policy. It’s a fight between Washington and the rest of America.”

“What we have [is] a system in Washington where people get jobs if you’re there, if you know someone and you work your way up, and it’s like musical chairs from one agency to another,” Grenell added. “There is no outside thought, there’s no outside perspective.”

Grenell, who also spent two years as U.S. ambassador to Germany, characterized Trump as a great disruptor of this insular system.

“He’s breaking their system,” he said. “He doesn’t play by the rules.

The article concludes:

“I saw that at ODNI,” Grenell added. “I saw that by entering the intelligence world, and senators from the Democratic Party saying, ‘You have no experience, what are you doing — why should you be there?””

Grenell specifically called out Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, by noting that Grenell had received his first intelligence briefing back in 2001, before Warner was elected to public office.

“He said that I wasn’t qualified,” Grennell said of Warner. “I actually am a receiver of intelligence, and [I’m] an expert on the consumer part of the intelligence and how to utilize it, but that perspective is never brought to Washington.”

Change is hard–particularly if that change means you are losing control of something you have controlled for a very long time. That is the current battle in Washington. Does the bureaucracy want to represent the American people or do they want to represent only their own interests?

 

Under The Radar

Fox News is reporting today that Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has asked the Trump administration to provide Mexico with all the information available regarding the ‘Fast and Furious’ operation. As you may remember, Fast and Furious was a government program under President Obama that allowed guns to be sold in America to Mexican cartels with the supposed goal of tracking the guns and finding the cartels. A more cynical idea of the goal is that the program would increase gun violence to the point where Americans would accept the Obama administration’s plans for severe restrictions on gun ownership.

The article reports:

The sting allowed people to illegally buy arms in the United States and take them to Mexico, so the firearms could be tracked to drug cartel bosses and lead law enforcement there. It hoped to limit gun smuggling across the border.

review of the program found that only 710 out of roughly 2,000 firearms were recovered as of February 2012, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). In 2011, Holder had requested the OIG to conduct a review of operation “Fast and Furious.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had said last week his government would send a diplomatic note to Washington for information on the operation, as his current regime digs for more information on the cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico, as well as possible corruption under previous administrations.

“How could this be? A government that invades in this way, that flagrantly violates sovereignty, international laws,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference, according to Reuters.

Holder was the U.S. Attorney General under Obama between 2009 and 2015. Ebrard said he previously issued a statement by way of the U.S. embassy in Mexico asserting that “Mexican authorities” knew about the program, the news organization reported.

In 2012, the Justice Department report had found “no evidence” that Holder was informed about the operation or learned about the tactics employed by the ATF, according to the USA Today.

Lopez Obrador first talked of the scheme last Monday when discussing Genaro Garcia Luna, the former Mexican security minister from 2006-2012, who was arrested in the U.S. last December on drug trafficking offenses, Reuters reported.

Stay tuned.

No Longer Fair And Balanced

“Fair and Balanced” has been the slogan of Fox News since it began in 1996. Unfortunately, as the children have taken the management over from their father, the station is no longer quite as fair and balanced as it used to be.

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday reporting that Fox News reportedly cut ties with social media personalities Diamond & Silk after the pair stirred controversy over incorrect comments about the novel coronavirus. Actually I am not sure anyone on the news is currently making accurate comments about the coronavirus.

Diamond & Silk are Trump supporters who are entertaining and funny. They do not claim to be scientists. They are as entitled to their opinion on the coronavirus as much as anyone else is. I believe that they are being censored not because of their comments about the coronavirus but because of their support of President Trump.

The article reports:

“After what they’ve said and tweeted you won’t be seeing them on Fox Nation or Fox News anytime soon,” a source with knowledge of the situation said according to The Daily Beast.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.

The siblings came under fire after saying on March 30 that the number of Americans who have died from the novel coronavirus is being misreported to make President Donald Trump look bad, The Daily Beast reported.

They also accused billionaire Bill Gates of being involved with the virus on April 10 during a livestream, saying he has pushed for “population control,” the publication reported. Diamond & Silk said they would not be taking any vaccine that Gates was involved in producing, according to The Daily Beast.

Just for the record, Bill Gates is an advocate of population control and is one of the major fund sources for the World Health Organization. It may be that Diamond & Silk were fired because some of what they were saying was a little too close to the truth.

This Would Be Funny If It Weren’t So Sad

Fox News posted an article about some recently declassified documents today that really makes me wonder about the wisdom of choosing Joe Biden as the Democrat nominee for President.

The article reports:

Usama bin Laden wanted to assassinate then-President Barack Obama so that the “totally unprepared” Joe Biden would take over as president and plunge the United States “into a crisis,” according to documents seized from bin Laden’s Pakistan compound when he was killed in May 2011.

The secretive documents, first reported in 2012 by The Washington Post, outlined a plan to take out Obama and top U.S. military commander David Petraeus as they traveled by plane.

“The reason for concentrating on them is that Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make [Vice President] Biden take over the presidency,” bin Laden wrote to a top deputy. “Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis. As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour … and killing him would alter the war’s path” in Afghanistan.

Bin Laden specifically wanted fellow terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri to shoot down Obama.

“Please ask brother Ilyas to send me the steps he has taken into that work,” bin Laden wrote to the top lieutenant, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman. Kashmiri wouldn’t get too far along in the plot, however; he was killed in 2011 in a U.S. drone strike shortly after bin Laden himself was shot to death by Navy SEALs.

I guess Joe Biden’s reputation internationally is not too wonderful.

Some Observations From A Friend

Connie Hanna is a friend who writes a column for The County Compass, a local newspaper. Her column is called the “Trump Report Card.” One of her recent columns was particularly insightful, and I want to share it below:

It has been said that a socialist is a person who is too stupid to know that they’re a communist! Our government is littered with these people. Very few will even call themselves a socialist; Bernie Sanders is the exception. They prefer to hide behind the moniker, “progressive.” They are primarily also known as Democrats, but there are more than a few Republicans involved as well. However, the logical, practical conclusion is that progressive = socialist =communist. Many of the people involved (elected lawmakers and unelected bureaucrats alike) are willing to further the “progressive” agenda for the massive amounts of cash and perks available to them from lobbyists and foreign governments. Regardless of their personal motive, they are enabling and abetting the very people who have a blatant and callous disregard for the well-being of the American people. They have become part of the problem.

If President Trump had any doubts (which is not likely) as to the nature or the identity of the enemy, it has become evident during the time that the country has been shut-down. The governors, mayors, and sheriffs of several states seem to be trying to outdo each other with their edicts and mandates. The governors of the states of Washington, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania are a few of those who have overstepped their legal authority in several ways. Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan, actually BANNED TRAVEL BETWEEN TWO RESIDENCES. In addition, although she deems marijuana to be essential, she’s declared vegetable garden seeds to be off limits. The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky prohibited drive-in church services on Easter. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to block it. The fragile economic state of our country right now which was caused by a need to protect the American people from the nasty virus which originated in Wuhan, China has emboldened the very people who are the most dangerous to our way of life. They actually have no authority to force people to remain at home or force businesses to close, but that fact hasn’t stopped their tyrannical actions. What we are experiencing is just a small taste of what we would have to endure if people with this personal and political philosophy were in charge. Remember this and choose wisely in November.

The President’s message to the governors on April 13thvia Twitter was, “Governors, get your states’ testing programs & apparatus perfected. Be ready, big things are happening. No excuses! The Federal Government is there to help. We are testing more than any country in the World. Also, gear up with Face Masks!” He sent a strong, decisive, no nonsense message, don’t you think? The President sees some of the states descending into tyranny, and he knows it could become an explosive situation considering all the other stresses people are facing right now. The American people have been very patient, but there is a limit, and we need to get back to a semblance of normal. President Trump is sending signals that we need to move in that direction at every press conference recently, and April 13th was no exception. (As usual, you’re on the right track, Mr. President. “A+.”)

In addition to the power grabbing governors, President Trump has had to contend with attempts at sabotage by “journalists” during the press briefings which he holds each and every day of the week. The briefings are usually scheduled for 5:00 p.m. They are very informative, but they are carried by very few news outlets. However, FOX News and One America News (oann.com) both carry the entire presidential briefing each day. In addition, they are streaming to the internet and can be seen on YouTube. There have actually been two reporters on two different days who attended the press briefings who represent “news” outlets based in China and controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). These two have outlets are here, but they are basically Chinese propaganda machines; how in the world was this allowed to happen? They lied of course to gain entrance, and when the President questioned them, they lied to him. Fortunately, we haven’t seen either of them again, but there are just so many people working against him, and yet he continues to prevail. Great swaths of the American “media” represent and sell the world-views of subversive, evil people. Their orders are to do whatever is necessary to denigrate and destroy the President. He is calm and even tempered which is remarkable considering the pure vitriol coming from them. As author, John LeCarre, said, ”Some things are a necessary evil, and some things are more evil than necessary.” Stay strong Mr. President and remember, GOD WINS! (And by the way, sir, another ”A+++!”)

Thank you, Connie, for sharing the truth.

Shady Statistics

Fox News is reporting that the federal government is classifying the deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus as COVID-19 deaths, regardless of any underlying health issues that could have contributed to the loss of someone’s life.

The article reports:

Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government is continuing to count the suspected COVID-19 deaths, despite other nations doing the opposite.

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

“The intent is … if someone dies with COVID-19 we are counting that,” she added.

Asked whether the numbers could skew data the government is trying to collect, Birx said that would mostly apply more to rural areas where testing isn’t being implemented on a wide scale.

“I’m pretty confident that in New York City and New Jersey and places that have these large outbreaks and COVID-only hospitals. … I can tell you they are testing,” she said.

Dr. Michael Baden, a Fox News contributor, said it’s reasonable to include the death of someone infected with the virus, who also had other health issues, in the COVID-19 body count.

Follow the link to read the entire article. This seriously causes me to wonder about the validity of any of the numbers we are seeing regarding deaths due to the coronavirus. People die of heart attacks, cancer, and strokes every day. If they have the coronavirus, those deaths are reported to be the result of the virus. It would be interesting when this is over to compare the number of deaths from heart attacks, cancer, and stokes from this time period to another time period. If the number is significantly lower during this time, it would be easy to conclude that the coronavirus deaths were being exaggerated.

I Suppose This Is Good News

Fox News reported yesterday that ISIS is advising terrorists not to travel to Europe for jihad. It’s a little ironic to me that ISIS is protecting its members from the flu while instructing them to engage in suicide missions.

The article reports:

ISIS’ al-Naba newsletter contains “sharia directives” urging its healthy members not to enter “the land of the epidemic” to avoid becoming infected, the New York Post reported Sunday.

But any sick jihadists already in Europe should stay there — presumably, to sicken infidels, the paper reported. The Sunday Times of London first reported on the newsletter, according to the paper.

The “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic and the afflicted should not exit from it,” the ISIS newsletter advises, according to the Post.

…Ten people have died from the coronavirus in Iraq, where 110 cases have been reported, according to John Hopkins University which is tracking the endemic. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Europe is now the virus’ epicenter.

Iran has also become an epicenter for the coronavirus.

On February 28, The New Yorker reported:

Iran, a country of eighty-three million people, has now become one of the global epicenters of the coronavirus—with the highest mortality rate in the world. Based on official numbers, the mortality rate in Iran has fluctuated daily, between eight and eighteen per cent, compared to three per cent in China and less everywhere else. Iran is also unique, because a disproportionate number of confirmed cases are senior government officials. On Thursday, the Vice-President, Masoumeh Ebtekar—who gained fame in 1979 as Sister Mary, the spokeswoman for the students who seized the U.S. Embassy and took fifty-two Americans hostage—announced that she, too, had contracted the coronavirus. The day before, she had attended a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet. Two members of parliament, including the chairman of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, have also been infected, as has the mayor of a district in Tehran and a senior cleric who had served as Iran’s Ambassador to the Vatican. One of the lawmakers, Mahmoud Sadeghi, tweeted on Tuesday, “I send this message in a situation where I have little hope of surviving in this world.” The former Vatican Ambassador, who was eighty-one, died on Thursday.

The article in The New Yorker notes:

The first mention of the disease by the government was a report of two deaths in the city on February 19th. Initial reports indicate that the carrier of the virus may have been a merchant who travelled between Qom and Wuhan, in China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated. The outbreak is estimated to have begun between three and six weeks ago, which would mean that the two Iranians who died could have been sick and infecting others for weeks.

The fact that the virus has impacted many high-level officials in Iran might be the result of the close relations between the Chinese government and the Iranian government. It seems that China’s failure to tell the truth about the virus has impacted both their friends and their enemies.

When Principles Depend On Who Is In Power

Yesterday Fox News posted an article detailing the Democrat’s reaction to President Trump’s suggested payroll tax cut. The tax cut is designed to counter some of the economic losses caused by fears over the coronavirus.

The article notes:

Democrats are lining up to condemn President Trump’s proposal to eliminate payroll taxes amid the coronavirus outbreak, even though many of them were lock-step in supporting former President Obama’s two-percent payroll tax cut in 2010.

The apparent flip-flop came as stocks rebounded on Tuesday on news of the president’s coronavirus initiatives, with the Dow posting its third-biggest point gain in history. Trump has called for a “dramatic” payroll tax cut, and Fox News is told there has been consideration of suspending the payroll tax for three months, through the fall, or even through the end of the year.

The article notes the Democrats’ previous stand on this issue:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is working with Democratic leaders on their own stimulus package, and has suggested that a payroll cut likely won’t be included because it amounts to “tax cuts for major corporations.”

However, in a 2011 press release, Pelosi called a brief extension of Obama’s payroll tax cut a “victory for all Americans” and said it would put “nearly $40 per paycheck in the pockets of the average family.”

“Today is a victory for all Americans – for the security of our middle class, for the health of our seniors, and for economic growth and job creation,” Pelosi said at the time. “The American people spoke out clearly and, thanks to President Obama’s leadership, 160 million Americans will continue to receive their payroll tax cut – nearly $40 per paycheck in the pockets of the average family. I salute the work of the unified House Democratic caucus on behalf of the American people.”

The article concludes:

“According to those knowledgeable about the events that played out over less than a week, the agreement was the product of a fast-paced series of telephone contacts, conference calls and consultations with Congressional leaders,” the Times wrote. “A critical negotiation on Sunday led to a surprise cut in employee payroll taxes as the men sought to wrap up the deal.”

For Republicans, the sudden change in tone on payroll taxes as a means of economic stimulus was evidence of election-year opportunism.

“Like clockwork, Democrats never miss an opportunity to oppose President Trump,” Republican National Committee spokesperson Steve Guest told Fox News.

As for the new proposal on Capitol Hill, a source familiar with the proposal tells Fox News that addressing the Trump administration’s payroll tax proposal is “the fastest possible way” to address economic concerns. The source said that crafting proposals such as “unemployment insurance and dropping money out of helicopters” takes months to engineer. But the payroll tax could hit immediately – especially if they include both employers and employees.

The reluctance among some Republicans is a payroll tax cut could explode the deficit. However, Fox News is told that there are concerns that if Congress waits to act amid the declining economy, an even bigger hit to the deficit might result — as large as “a $1 trillion direct score on the deficit.”

Unfortunately the game is played on both sides. I believe there may be a handful of people in Congress who actually put the welfare of the country ahead of the welfare of their political party. I just wish there were more of them. As a country, we need to learn to work together in times of crisis–not simply use the crisis for political gain.

When You Understand The Connections, This Makes Sense

There are a lot of Republicans walking around wondering how they ever supported Mitt Romney. He has made some very strange comments and votes since Donald Trump was elected. Now we are beginning to see the reason behind some of his actions. Keep in mind that President Trump has consistently attempted to drain the Washington, D.C., swamp. There are investigations currently going on into various aspects of that swamp. Whether anyone will actually pay a price for their corruption I don’t know, but I suspect there are some seriously uncomfortable people walking around Washington right now.

Today Fox News posted an article about some of Romney’s recent comments.

The article notes:

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who faced the scorn of President Trump and fellow Republicans over his vote last month to convict at the Senate impeachment trial, questioned the motivation behind a Republican effort to issue a subpoena related to Hunter Biden and his dealing with Ukraine.

“I would prefer that investigations are done by an independent, non-political body,” Romney told the Washington Post. “There’s no question the appearance is not good.”

Oddly enough, he has not been equally concerned about all of the investigations into President Trump. The article notes that Romney’s vote in the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is pivotal. That is the Committee that would approve a subpoena to gather information on the Ukrainian scandal involving Hunter Biden. Republicans maintain an 8-to-6 majority in the committee, and if Romney sides with Democrats the result would be a 7-7 tie.

PJ Media posted an article in February that reminded us of the following:

Romney’s vote to convict on the charge of abuse of power might very well be connected to his own links to the company via one of his top advisers. The Federalist reported back in September that “top Mitt Romney adviser Joseph Cofer Black, who publicly goes by ‘Cofer Black,’ joined Burisma’s board of directors while Hunter Biden was also serving on the board.”

I would be very surprised if Romney votes to investigate Ukrainian corruption since he has close ties to someone who may be caught up in the investigation. This might also explain some of Romney’s problem with President Trump–it is becoming obvious that Romney may well be part of the swamp. That may be the reason he worked so hard to be elected to the Senate–self preservation.

Why Border Security Matters

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about a recent drug seizure at the Arizona border.

The article reports:

A drug bust last year was hailed as the largest fentanyl bust in U.S. history—254 pounds seized at an Arizona border crossing.

The seizure came as the scourge of fentanyl continues to fuel the opioid epidemic, ravaging communities across the U.S. while killing tens of thousands of people.

“Fentanyl also continues to be a tremendous problem, contributing to 68,000 overdose deaths in the United States in 2018,” Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Congress in November. He said CBP’s seizures of fentanyl rose by 30 percent in fiscal year 2019, totaling 2,770 pounds.

Fentanyl comes from China. Often it is smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico by drug cartels involved in a violent war with Mexican police and military forces.

The historic 254-pound bust was just one of a half-dozen big fentanyl busts recorded by law enforcement in recent years, a tally shows.

These six busts have led to the seizure of some 818 pounds of fentanyl–enough to kill 229 million people, according to authorities.

The article lists the six major drug busts. Please follow the link above to the article to see the details.

On March 22, 2019, I Heart Radio reported:

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how the opioid epidemic has ballooned over the past six years. The report found that from 2011 to 2016, the number of overdose deaths from the synthetic opiate fentanyl has risen by over 1000 percent.

The CDC says that in 2011 and 2012, around 1,600 people died each year from a fentanyl overdose. The number of deaths rose to 1,900 in 2013, but in 2014 officials saw the number of fatalities jump to 4,223. In 2015 the number of deaths nearly doubled to 8,251, and in 2016 there were another 10,000 deadly overdoses, bringing the total to 18,335 for the year.

The massive spike in fentanyl-related deaths was seen mainly in men. Up until 2013, the number of men and women who overdosed on fentanyl was about the same, but in 2014 the numbers began to diverge, and in 2016 there were three times as many men killed from an overdose as women.

Fentanyl is now considered the deadliest drug in America and is responsible for 29% of all overdose deaths in the nation.

Border security matters.

Someone Needs To Turn This Story Into A Movie

Fox News reported yesterday that Dave Ayres, a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, saved the day for the North Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes were playing the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The article reports:

Ayres, who works as a Zamboni driver for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, was forced into action midway through the second period after Carolina’s James Reimer and Petr Mrazek were injured. The Hurricanes were leading 3-1 when the 42-year-old Ayres took over.

The article details how the game went:

Carolina trailed 1-0 after the first, but tied it at 5:46 of the second when Wallmark scored off a scramble in front of Andersen. Niederrieter then blasted a one-timer on a power play at 9:43 before Foegele made it 3-1 at 10:49.

Mrazek made 14 saves in relief of Reimer, but left the game 30 seconds after Foegele’s first goal. The Czech netminder lay on the ice for a few minutes before leaving.

And after a delay, Ayres emerged from the Hurricanes locker room sporting No. 90. He got a some warmup shots from his new teammates before getting thrown into the fray.

Aho made it 4-1 with Clifford in the penalty box for charging at 13:17, but Tavares scored on the first shot against Ayres through the pads 19 seconds later.

Engvall scored off a loose puck on Toronto’s next shot against Ayres at 15:10.

The Leafs got a power play after that — fans at Scotiabank Arena screamed “Shoot!” almost every time a Toronto player had the puck anywhere near the Carolina goal — but the Hurricanes didn’t allow anything through.

Ayres made his first save late in the second on Auston Matthews as Carolina led 4-3 through a wild 40 minutes.

What a wild story!

Nature Is Amazing

On February 6th, Fox News reported the following:

A type of black fungus that eats radiation was discovered inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

In 1991, the strange fungus was found growing up the walls of the reactor, which baffled scientists due to the extreme, radiation-heavy environment.

Researchers eventually realized that not only was the fungi impervious to the deadly radiation, it seemed to be attracted to it.

A decade later, researchers tested some of the fungi and determined that it had a large amount of the pigment melanin — which is also found, among other places, in the skin of humans.

The article concludes:

In a 2008 paper, Ekaterina Dadachova, then of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, noted that the fungi attracted to radiation are unlikely to be the first examples of their kind.

“Large quantities of highly melanized fungal spores have been found in early Cretaceous period deposits when many species of animals and plants died out. This period coincides with Earth’s crossing the “magnetic zero” resulting in the loss of its “shield” against cosmic radiation,” the paper’s introduction states.

The fungi indicate that there could be places in the cosmos — which we are unaware of — where organisms could live in radiation-filled environments.

Just amazing.

Here We Go Again

Fox News is reporting today the following:

The Trump Economy Continues To Thrive

Fox News posted an article today about the January jobs numbers.

The article reports:

U.S. hiring topped expectations in January, as the economy added 225,000 jobs, kicking off the decade on a stronger-than-expected note.

It marks the 112th month of straight gains.

Unemployment ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent, as more people were looking for work, the Labor Department said Friday. The labor force participation rate edged up slightly to 63.4 percent. Average hourly earnings, meanwhile, rose by 7 cents over the past year to $28.44.

“Taken together, the first report of 2020 is a healthy one — showing that a possible redux of the roaring twenties updated for the 21st Century isn’t off the table yet,” Daniel Zhao, Glassdoor senior economist, said.

The labor force participation rate has not been at 63.4 percent since June of 2013.

The article notes:

“The labor market is continuing at a solid pace, and unemployment remains low,” said CareerBuilder CEO Irina Novoselsky. “It’s a crowded market for those battling to attract top talent and businesses are seeing the most traction when touting company culture along with their open positions.”

As the U.S. continues the longest economic expansion on record, investors are looking at the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll and unemployment data for signs that the rapid job growth over the past two years is softening and leading way to an overall growth slowdown.

The report contained a bad omen for manufacturing, which has been in a year-long rut: In January, the sector lost 12,000 jobs, most of which stemmed from motor vehicles and parts.

More Americans are going back to work, and wages at all levels are increasing. That is good news for all Americans.

President Trump And His Trade Policies

Yesterday Fox News reported that the US trade deficit has dropped for first time in 6 years because of the taxes President Trump has placed on China.

The article reports:

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as President Donald Trump hammered China with import taxes.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the gap between what the United States sells and what it buys abroad fell 1.7 percent last year to $616.8 billion. U.S. exports fell 0.1 percent to $2.5 trillion. But imports fell more, slipping 0.4 percent to $3.1 trillion. Imports of crude oil plunged 19.3% to $126.6 billion.

The deficit in the trade of goods with China narrowed last year by 17.6 percent to $345.6 billion. Trump has imposed tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese imports in a battle over Beijing’s aggressive drive to challenge American technological dominance. The world’s two biggest economies reached an interim trade deal last month, and Trump dropped plans to extend the tariffs to another $160 billion in Chinese goods.

The article notes:

Overall, the United States posted a $866 billion deficit in the trade of goods such as cars and appliances, down from $887.3 billion in 2018. But it ran a $249.2 billion surplus in the trade of services such as tourism and banking, down from $260 billion in 2018.

America is a nation of consumers, so I suspect trade deficits are something that will always be with us, but as the manufacturing base in America expands and our trade policies become more balanced, I believe we will see lower trade deficits.

Not A Good Look

The Iowa Democrat Caucuses have not gone well. As usually happens in the modern world of social media, the memes have begun.

This is one of the better memes that showed up on my Facebook feed:

However, on a more serious note…

One America News reported today:

Officials in Iowa reportedly knew there were problems with the mobile app used to tally the results in Monday’s caucus. The state’s Democrat Party released a statement late Monday to announce its decision to delay the release of the official results. They cited “inconsistencies” in the results as the reason for the postponement.

The Democrats went on to specify the delay was not because of a hack in an apparent effort to quell possible theories of election interference. On top of the supposed “inconsistencies,” however, many county chairs in Iowa have said they reported problems with the new app in the week before the caucus date. One chair from Polk County said not only were there unresolved problems with the app, but local Democrat officials weren’t provided any training on how to use it.

There were also reports of the phone lines being backed up for counties to report their results, with some reports suggesting county officials were on-hold for over an hour. Many counties were forced to switch to recording the votes on paper. Despite all this, the state’s Democrat Party has assured voters the underlying reporting was sound, but it would take time to tally the votes.

Fox News reported today:

The app that was supposed to help the Iowa Democratic Party quickly report Monday’s caucus results – but contributed to confusion and a muddled result as campaigns were in an uproar – is linked to Hillary Clinton campaign veterans.

Shadow, a tech firm that describes itself as a group that creates “a permanent advantage for progressive campaigns and causes through technology,” is the company that created the Iowa Democratic Party’s app, according to The New York Times. At least the COO, CEO, CTO and a senior product manager at Shadow all worked for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, according to LinkedIn profiles.

Shadow is associated with ACRONYM, a nonprofit dedicated to “advancing progressive causes through innovative communications, advertising and organizing programs.” Early last year, ACRONYM announced that it was acquiring an SMS tool called Groundbase and, out of Groundbase, “launching Shadow, a company focused on building the technology infrastructure needed to enable Democrats to run better, more efficient campaigns.”

The article at Fox News continues:

Groundbase co-founders Krista Davis, who is the current Shadow CTO, and Gerard Niemira, who is the current Shadow CEO, both held senior positions with the Clinton campaign.

Tara McGowan, the founder and CEO of ACRONYM, posted a statement from an ACRONYM spokesman early Tuesday morning distancing the nonprofit from Shadow, which is a for-profit company.

“ACRONYM is a nonprofit organization and not a technology company. As such, we have not provided any technology to the Iowa Democratic Party, Presidential campaigns, or the Democratic National Committee,” spokesman Kyle Tharp said in the statement. “ACRONYM is an investor in several for-profit companies across the progressive media and technology sectors. One of those independent, for-profit companies is Shadow, Inc, which also has other private investors. We are reading confirmed reports of Shadow’s word with the Iowa Democratic Party on Twitter, and we, like everyone else, are eagerly awaiting more information from the Iowa Democratic Party with respect to what happened.”

McGowan is an alumna of Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and previously worked as a digital director for NexGen America, a progressive organization founded by presidential candidate Tom Steyer.

Remember in 2016 when the DNC took the nomination away from Bernie Sanders? Is there any reason not to believe that those in the smoke-filled rooms are doing a repeat performance? I am willing to go on the record to say that somehow, I don’t know how, Hillary Clinton will be the Democrat Presidential Candidate in 2020. Stay tuned.

Michael Flynn and FBI Misconduct

Yesterday Fox News posted an article about the case of Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

“I did not lie to them.”

With those words in a declaration and supplemental motion filed Wednesday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn formally asked a federal judge for permission to withdraw his guilty plea for making false statements to two FBI agents in the White House back on Jan. 24, 2017.

In a sweeping argument that took aim at the bureau’s “outrageous” conduct, Flynn’s legal team highlighted a slew of information that has come to light since Flynn’s plea — including that no precise record of Flynn’s statements to the agents exists and that the original handwritten FD-302 witness report from the interview is “missing,” with subsequent versions later “edited” in some undisclosed manner by anti-Trump FBI officials.

Moreover, Flynn’s team maintained he had no reason to lie about his communications with the Russian ambassador concerning how the country should respond to sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, or a then-pending vote on Israel in the United Nations. After all, Flynn said, he knew federal officials “routinely monitor, record, and transcribe” conversations like the ones he had with Russian diplomats.

The article continues:

Horowitz further revealed that Pientka (FBI Agent Joe Pietnka) was part of an apparent undercover operation to essentially spy on the Trump campaign and Flynn during a routine intelligence briefing in August 2016.

Pientka’s “participation in that presidential briefing was a calculated subterfuge to record and report … anything Mr. Flynn and Mr. Trump said in that meeting,” Flynn’s lawyers wrote. Morever, the FISA court itself has rebuked the FBI as a whole, the filing noted.

Pientka “bore ultimate responsibility for four falsified applications to the FISA court and oversaw virtually every abuse inherent in Crossfire Hurricane — including suppression of exculpatory evidence,” Flynn’s team added.

The FBI has repeatedly refused to respond to Fox News’ request for clarification on Pientka’s status, even as Republicans in Congress have sought to question him.

The article concludes:

In December, U.S. District Judge Emmitt Sullivan had seemingly crushed Flynn’s hopes for ditching his guilty plea, saying that Flynn had waived his constitutional rights to obtain exculpatory information by pleading guilty.

Then, earlier this month, Flynn moved to withdraw his guilty plea for this first time —  just days after the Justice Department reversed course to recommend up to six months of prison time in his case, alleging he was not fully cooperating or accepting responsibility for his actions.

On Wednesday, the govenrment kept its recommendation of between zero and six months in prison, but specifically stated it would not “oppose” a sentence of probation. That walkback was notable, and signaled that Flynn likely will not serve time in prison.

Flynn’s lawyers, earlier this month, argued that “because of the government’s bad faith, vindictiveness and breach of the plea agreement,” Flynn’s plea should be withdrawn. That led to Wednesday’s supplemental filing — and, perhaps, new life for Flynn’s defense team.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it includes a lot of significant details. I hope that Michael Flynn is not only exonerated, but reimbursed for the legal expenses he has incurred defending himself from a smear campaign.

How Does This Make Sense?

On Saturday, BizPacReview posted an article about some recent comments made by Fox News Analyst Juan Williams.

The article reports:

Fox News co-host Juan Williams vehemently disagreed with the praise for President Trump’s appearance at the March For Life rally, saying his attendance further “divides the country.”

The liberal co-host of “The Five” delivered his tone-deaf argument on Friday’s show, criticizing Trump for what many have lauded as a powerful message with his appearance at Friday’s event, making him the first sitting U.S. president to address the March for Life rally in person.

In January 2017, Real Clear Politics reported the following:

If politicians really want to show that they trust American women, then they should follow the advice of the overwhelming majority of us and restrict abortion in meaningful ways.

This means supporting the president’s action to ban funding of abortion internationally, which is supported by 83 percent of women, and same percentage of all Americans.

This means limiting abortion substantially through legislation. Nationwide, 77 percent of women support limiting abortion to – at most – the first trimester. That is slightly higher than the percentage of all Americans – 74 percent. Laws restricting abortion should be embraced, not resisted.

And 61 percent of women think it is important, or an immediate priority, for our government to restrict abortion in this way, a slightly higher percentage than the 59 percent of all Americans who hold this position.

Not surprisingly, the majority of American women (59 percent) say abortion is morally wrong, the same percentage of all Americans who agree.

And a majority of women (51 percent) believe that abortion causes more harm than good in the long run; 50 percent of all Americans agree.

According to Juan Williams, is the President prohibited from speaking out or supporting controversial issues? Doesn’t the President have the same First Amendment rights that all Americans have?

I don’t think abortion is what divides the country–I think that biased news that only reports things that support their agenda is actually what divides the country. Right Wing Granny is a politically-biased site–it says so in the title. I share facts, but I share them with opinion. It is very difficult right now to watch the mainstream media and find unbiased information–while the mainstream media is totally unwilling to admit that it is biased.

No, President Trump has not divided the country–those who despise the fact that he was elected and are willing to do anything to undermine his presidency are dividing the country.

Don’t Trust What You Read On Twitter

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a tweet by CNN’s Joe Lockhart .

This is the tweet:

There’s only one problem with the tweet–it is totally made up.

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

After his tweet went viral with thousands of retweets and 10’s of thousands of ‘likes’ with ‘conservative’ WaPo blogger Jennifer Rubin retweeting it, Lockhart admitted he made up the entire conversation.

“Ok maybe I made up the convo, but you know that’s exactly what they’re thinking.” Lockhart tweeted.

After major backlash from thousands of people calling Lockhart out for his lies, he pulled a Schiff and claimed it was just satire and parody.

This is what all Democrats do when they get caught lying and fabricating conversations.

Note that in the tweet Lockhart is saying that the Senators don’t know incriminating information against President Trump because they watch Fox News. Think about that for a minute–CNN, known for its fake news has reported stories that are totally false. The reporting on Fox News–particularly Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham has consistently proved to be true. What about the people who watch CNN and have no idea that everything Fox News has reported for the past two years has turned out to be true? How does that compare to the truthfulness of CNN? The false reporting of CNN and other biased media outlets bears much of the responsibility for the divisiveness currently found in America.

Policies Have Consequences

Fox News is reporting today that Mayor Douglas Nicholls of Yuma, Arizona, has withdrawn his city’s state of emergency that was declared in response to this year’s migrant crisis at the southern border — saying that the crisis has diminished in recent months.

The article reports:

“I am grateful to be able to withdraw the Proclamation of Emergency due to the Trump Administration’s policy changes that diminish the flow of the migrant family units to the Yuma area and prevent releases into the Yuma community,” Mayor Douglas Nicholls said in a statement earlier this month.

Nicholls declared a state of emergency in April near the peaks of the border crisis, when the number of migrants apprehended or turned away at the border soared to over 109,000. That number would hit 144,000 in May, but then decline sharply in the months since then, down to about 42,000 in November. At the time, Nicholls said the state of emergency was “due to the migrant family releases overwhelming the local shelter system.”

The administration has credited a slew of measures for bringing down the numbers of migrants approaching the border. Most significantly is the ramping up of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) over the summer — which sees migrants returned to Mexico as they await their hearings. So far more than 53,000 migrants have been returned to Mexico under MPP. That has been coupled with asylum agreements with countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador that sees migrants sent there to claim asylum instead

While those policies have drawn significant criticism from pro-migrant and humanitarian groups, who warn that they could send migrants into dangerous areas and place them at risk of violence, the administration claims it is those policies that have helped slow the crisis and end the pull factors that brought migrants north. They also mean that apprehended migrants can be processed quicker and, in many cases, be sent to Mexico or a Central American country rather than released into the U.S. interior. In a press release, Nicholls also credited those initiatives for alleviating the crisis in Yuma.

The constant flow of illegal immigrants flowing into America from our southern border does not help anyone–it puts those immigrants at risk and puts American citizens at risk. It puts downward pressure on the wages of working Americans. It poses a security risk. The wall is not the entire answer–the policies that the Trump administration is putting in place are also very helpful.

In Britain, The People Are Winning

Fox News is reporting today that British lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal Friday. The deal means that Britain will leave the European Union by January 31st.

The article reports:

Before Friday’s vote, Johnson painted it as a moment of closure for Britons, saying, “Brexit will be done, it will be over.”

“This is a time when we move on and discard the old labels of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’,’ he added. “Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation.”

He said passing the bill would end the “acrimony and anguish” that has consumed the country for the last three years.

…The bill commits Britain to leaving the EU on Jan. 31 and to concluding trade talks with the bloc by the end of 2020. Trade experts and EU officials say striking a free trade deal within 11 months will be a struggle, but Johnson insists he won’t agree to any more delays, The Brexit bill has been amended to bar ministers from agreeing to extend the transition period with the EU.

The new divorce bill needs to be ratified by the European Parliament, whose vice president, Pedro Silva Pereira said officials expect to happen by Jan. 29.

It took a referendum and another election, but the wishes of the people in Britain are finally being honored. The political elites who fought Brexit have now been defeated–at least temporarily.

Slowly Getting To The Truth

Fox News posted an article today about a recent comment by James Comey. In an interview with Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, James Comey stated that the recently released Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the launch of the FBI’s Russia investigation and their use of the surveillance process showed that he was “overconfident” when he defended his former agency’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I don’t mean to be difficult, but I think you could fertilize your garden with that statement. Remember, it was James Comey who leaked information to his friend to leak to The New York Times in order to promote the idea that a Special Prosecutor was needed. It was James Comey who listed all the crimes committed by Hillary Clinton and then said they weren’t really crimes because she didn’t mean to commit them. It was James Comey who briefed the President on the Steele Dossier so that it could be leaked to the press. It was James Comey who paved the way for the entire phony Russia investigation that cost taxpayers millions and prevented Congress from actually accomplishing anything for the good of the country. Keep that in mind as he proclaims he had no idea what was going on.

The article notes:

“He’s right, I was wrong,” Comey said about how the FBI used the FISA process, adding, “I was overconfident as director in our procedures,” and that what happened “was not acceptable.”

Horowitz did make it clear that he believes the FBI’s investigation of Russian election interference and possible connections with the Trump campaign was properly initiated, but he did note that this is based on a “low threshold.” He also concluded that there was no testimonial or documentary evidence to show that the investigation started due to any political bias, but said the issue of bias “gets murkier” when it comes to the various issues with the FISA process.

That process included the reliance on information gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele as part of opposition research conducted by Fusion GPS for the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign. Horowitz’s report stated that government attorneys were hesitant to approve a FISA warrant application until they relied on unverified information from Steele. That information also was used in subsequent renewals for the FISA warrant.

Comey downplayed the role of Steele’s information in obtaining the FISA warrant against Page, claiming Sunday that it was “not a huge part of the presentation to the court,” just part of the information included in the warrant application.

It will be interesting to see if James Comey is included when indictments are handed out. My bet is that he will be. He should at least be held accountable for leaking information.

This Is Long Overdue

Yesterday Fox News reported that President Trump has awarded the posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal to Rick Rescorla. Rick Rescorla was one of the heroes of September 11, 2001. This medal is long overdue.

The article reports:

The U.K.- born Rescorla worked as the director of security for Morgan Stanley, which had its headquarters in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 bomb attack on the Trade Center, Rescorla designed and implemented evacuation drills to prepare employees for another attack.

Rescorla was born in Cornwall and served in the British army in Cyprus. He also worked as a policeman in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) before coming to America at the age of 24. He enlisted in the Army and fought in Vietnam before leaving active duty in 1967. He then studied at the University of Oklahoma, earning a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and a master’s degree in English. He also earned a law degree from Oklahoma City University and taught at the University of South Carolina. He retired from the Army in 1990.

The article continues:

After the first plane hit the towers on 9/11, Rescorla ordered Morgan Stanley employees to get out of the South Tower and ignore building announcements telling people to stay at their desks. As he directed workers in the stairwells, Rescorla went right on singing his hymns. One of Rescorla’s last phone calls was to his close friend, Dan Hill, who he had known since his days in Rhodesia. Rescorla told Hill to get to New York to help with the aftermath of the attack.

The article concludes:

Rescorla was last seen climbing up the stairs on the 10th floor of the South Tower. He is credited with saving nearly 2,700 people that day. He was 62 when he died.

Rescorla’s wife Susan, who has spent the last 18 years preserving her late husband’s memory, accepted the honor from Trump.

“Of all the accolades… and all the people along the journey who have touched my life, each is so memorable because I was able to learn more about this incredible man than I had during our short time while he was here on earth,” she said. Susan and Rick had been married for fewer than three years at the time of his death.

In his remarks, the president recalled Rescorla’s last words to his wife, spoken in a phone call from the South Tower: “I’ve never felt better in my life. I love you so.”

For more of Rick Rescorla’s story, see the article posted here on September 10, 2008.