[CBS News] A man from Utah was arrested this week when police found almost $4 million worth of illicit drugs in his car in Arizona, according to CBS Utah affiliate KUTV. Logan Lewis Pederson, 30, was pulled over on Interstate 15 near the Utah border Monday afternoon.
Oh dear. That doesn’t sound good for anyone involved.
[Bongino] The top judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ruled that at least two of the FISA applications used to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were "not valid."
In an order dated Jan 7, 2020 and declassified and released today, FISC Judge James Boasberg wrote, "DOJ assesses that with respect to the applications in Docket Numbers 17-375 and 17-679 (two of Page’s warrants), ’if not earlier, there was insufficient predication to establish probable cause to believe that [Carter] Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power. The Court understands the government to have concluded, in view of the material misstatements and omissions, that the Court’s authorizations in Docket Numbers 17-375 and 17-679 were not valid."
(Boasberg‐it’s worth noting‐is the FISA judge who chose Obama Administration official and Republican critic David Kris to oversee the FBI’s surveillance reforms.)
According to the Federalist, the ruling notes that the Department of Justice had not concluded its position on the other two FISA applications against Page, however, the agency is currently collecting information to assess their validity.
One of the invalid applications, dated April 7, 2017 was signed by disgraced former FBI Director James Comey. The other, dated June 29, 2017 was signed by former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. Of course they were not 'valid.' They were a cover, a surveillance tool used to monitor the campaign and collect 'incidental intelligence' (Former DNI Jim Clapper's term, not mine). Once Page departed the campaign, all FBI interest in him vaporized. Page then assumed the convenient role of victim. This was NOT Carter Page's first Other Gov't Agency (OGA) rodeo.
[Jpost] One man was arrested on Thursday and two more were being sought as suspects in a shootout that erupted the evening before on a busy street in downtown Seattle.
The arrest of Jamel Jackson, 21, who was himself maimed, came as Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best pledged an all-out effort to curb gun violence in Seattle, which has long prided itself as one of the nation's safest large cities.
Police detectives viewing video footage recognized one of the gunnies as a known gang member and convicted felon who was thus prohibited by law from carrying a gun, Best said.
That worked well...
He was arrested at the hospital where he and six other people had been taken for treatment of gunshot wounds and was booked on unlawful possession of a firearm, police said.
Two other suspects, identified by police as Marquise Tolbert and William Ray Tolliver, both aged 24 and described as having lengthy arrest records, remained on the lam.
[Bus Insider] More than 91 million people in Russia, the US, and NATO-allied countries might be killed or injured within three hours following a single "nuclear warning shot," according to a terrifying new simulation.
The simulation is called "Plan A," and it's an audio-visual piece that was first posted to to YouTube on September 6. (You can watch the full video at the end of this story.) Researchers at the Science and Global Security lab at Princeton University created the animation, which shows how a battle between Russia and NATO allies that uses so-called low-yield or "tactical" nuclear weapons ‐ which can pack a blast equivalent to those the US used to destroy Hiroshima or Nagasaki in World War II ‐ might feasibly and quickly snowball into a global nuclear war.
"This project is motivated by the need to highlight the potentially catastrophic consequences of current US and Russian nuclear war plans. The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years," the project states on its website.
The video has an ominous, droning soundtrack and a digital map design straight out of the 1983 movie "WarGames." The Cold War-era movie, in which a young Matthew Broderick accidentally triggers a nuclear war, "was exactly the reference point," simulation designer Alex Wellerstein told Insider.
But while simulations can be frightening, they can also be incredibly helpful: governments can use them to develop contingency plans to respond to nuclear disasters and attacks in the least escalatory way, and they can also help ordinary citizens learn how to survive a nuclear attack.
"Plan A" comes as tensions between Russia and NATO allies ratchet up. Both Russia and the US are testing weapons previously banned under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, often called INF. Russian bombers have also cruised into US airspace repeatedly, and the US recently sent its B-2 Spirit stealth bomber on a mission in the Arctic ‐ right in Russia's backyard.
This is how a NATO-Russian confrontation could quickly escalate into nuclear war.
The risk of nuclear war has increased dramatically in the past two years
... because The Shitshow has all but forced Trump into an excessively confrontational posture vs Russia in order to dispel these foolish, false assertions that he's Putin's puppet. In reality he's been Putin's nightmare.
Which is a really stupid policy, given that we badly need Russia to contain China and that we have next to no interests in the borderlands adjoining Russia's southern flank.
We need to quickly arrive at a rapprochement with Russia over Ukraine, probably the Baltics and maybe Belarus as well. Finlandization on the Cold War model would work.
Um... this has been a known possibility for governments since 1958.
Stalin got the bomb in 1949. I've been living with this reality my entire life. I first learned about it when I was four years old. It's a helluva thing for a kid that young to learn and I was traumatized. But I decided not to live my life as if there is no tomorrow because, when tomorrow comes, I wouldn't be prepared for it.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
01/24/2020 13:11 Comments ||
[NYPost] A Detroit man is suing a Michigan bank for refusing to cash a settlement check awarded to him in a racial discrimination lawsuit, according to a report.
Sauntore Thomas, 44, claims TCF Bank employees refused to cash or deposit his settlement check on Tuesday at a branch in Livonia, leading cops to respond and a fraud investigation to be launched, the Detroit Free Press reports.
"I didn't deserve treatment like that when I knew that the check was not fraudulent," Thomas told the newspaper. "I’m a United States veteran. I have an honorable discharge from the Air Force. They discriminated against me because I'm black. None of this would have happened if I were white."
Thomas, who had an account at the bank for nearly two years, sued TCF Bank on Wednesday, alleging racial discrimination by the bank for calling police, prompting four cops to respond to the branch, the newspaper reports.
The vet even called his employment law attorney while at the bank for help explaining to bank employees that the check was authentic.
"I got on the phone with the bank," attorney Deborah Gordon told the newspaper. "I sent them my federal court complaint, to see that it matched. I did everything."
Lex, we have Reuben, a woman who took testosterone for a while; her girlfriend Jay, who pretends to be neuter; the male sperm donor, who pretends to be female; and the doctor, s3x unknown, who provided the baster service.
January 22, 2020
In a video interview at a summit hosted by the London School of Economics in May 2017, Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman, addresses the camera face on. “What’s important is that we start telling the real African story…we hear a lot of the stories of what’s wrong, and I don’t think we hear enough of the stories of what’s right,” says the Angolan businesswoman, before explaining that she strives for “a culture of excellence, a culture of merit, a culture where young people have the opportunity to get a good job.”
Dos Santos [was] chairwoman of Angola’s giant state oil company, Sonangol Group—a post to which she’d been appointed by her father, Angola’s president. When her father retired later that year, dos Santos was fired from the position. Leaked documents now show that a day later, she approved $58 million in payments from Sonangol to a company in Dubai directed by one of her business partners.
Construction begins in Wuhan to build a hospital, scheduled to be completed in six days, to deal with the escalating epidemic #WuhanCoronavirus infection. In 2003, to control #SARS, Beijing built a hospital in seven days with a capacity of 1,000 beds. pic.twitter.com/g0HNbDmNrx
[Zero Hedge] - What feeling do you have when you hear IRS? Is there a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach or do you just roll your eyes knowing that April 15th will be here all too quickly? Throw in the word audit and emotions and blood pressure can reach levels you never dreamed of.
CPA Jim Buttonow has 30 years of experience in tax technology and representing people before the IRS. He’s written this article outlining 10 major trends he sees in IRS audits.
This article is spot on and worth a read, but I'll quibble with two of Buttonow's points:
4) To me, the CP200 notice is not an audit; it's a notice saying there's something wrong (missing) from your filed tax return. An audit is verification of an existing tax return.
9) The IRS do love their penalties, don't they? Some tips for y'all - if the penalties are of the late file / late pay variety, they're waivable with a single phone call. If your three previous tax returns were penalty free (or not 'significant'), you'd tell them 'I request waiver of these penalties under the First Time Abatement (FTA) Program'. You can use this one every four years, by the way.
9) (cont'd) These other penalties (accuracy-related & substantial understatement) are more tricky, as you need to demonstrate (or just make it up) 'reasonable cause', which I won't get into here due to time constraints. I could write a few chapters on it. Suffice to say, I have one pending penalty request waiver that covers the FTA penalty and the two I just mentioned, and there's a total of $3,800 for two years. It's a masterpiece - the most concise letter I've ever crafted. If I get both of these waived, I'll basically be in black-belt status for this penalty waiver stuff, which is my niche now.
[IsraelTimes] Firm says it imposed power cuts of several hours a day in parts of Ramallah and other cities in bid to recover $500 million owed.
That’s a much better use for all those donations from the EU, etc. than all had originally intended.
Israel’s state-owned electric company said Wednesday it was ending power cuts to the West Bank after the Paleostinian Authority paid over half of its outstanding debt.
In September, the Israel Electric Corporation began cutting power in parts of the West Bank over the NIS 1.7 billion ($500 million) debt owed by the main Paleostinian power distributor for the West Bank.
On Wednesday, the IEC said it had received NIS 920 million ($267 million) from the Paleostinians.
"The electric company will cease the power cuts over the debts," a statement from the IEC said, adding it would hold further negotiations with the power distributor and the Paleostinian Authority on the repayment of the remainder of the outstanding funds.
The IEC called the payment a "breakthrough" and "the basis to a comprehensive solution the sides strive to reach."
There was no immediate confirmation from the Paleostinian side.
IEC chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal called the payment "a significant step in reducing the debts," adding his company was working to "upgrade the quality of supply."
The company had imposed power cuts of several hours a day in parts of Ramallah and other West Bank cities in a bid to recover the money owed.
[AlJazeera] "Go outside," French President Emmanuel Macron demanded in English in a melee with Israeli security men on Wednesday, demanding they leave a Jerusalem basilica that he visited before a Holocaust memorial conference.
It not genteel to shout at one’s host’s staff. Your staff and theirs are supposed to resolve all such issues beforehand, so that shouting is not necessary. But President Macron seems to be struggling with his responsibilities lately.
The French tricolour has flown over the Church of St Anne in Jerusalem's walled Old City since it was gifted by the Ottomans to French Emperor Napoleon III in 1856.
France views it as a provocation when Israeli police enter the church's sandstone complex, in a part of Jerusalem captured and annexed by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
Did they previously regard Jordanian actions as a provocation, or did they carefully never test the situation by not visiting?
Wednesday's incident was a case of deja vu all over again.
In 1996, France's then-president Jacques Chirac lost patience with Israeli security agents at the same church, telling one of them that his treatment was a "provocation" and threatening to get back on his plane.
Chirac refused to enter St Anne until Israeli security left the site.
Video showed Macron, jostled in the centre of a crowded circle between his own protective detail and Israeli security personnel, including several paramilitary policemen in uniform, under an archway leading into the church.
Macron then stopped the shoving and shouted at the Israeli security guards in English: "I don't like what you did in front of me."
Lowering his voice, he then said: "Go outside. I'm sorry, you know the rules. Nobody has to provoke nobody."
Speaking later to reporters, Macron said the incident ended pleasantly and that he shook hands with the Israeli security officials.
Israeli police said that when Macron arrived at the church "there was a discussion" between Israeli and French security officers about entering with the president.
"When the president and the delegation finished the visit, he apologised about the incident and shook hands with the security personnel," a police statement said.
An Israeli government spokesman did not immediately comment on behalf of the Shin Bet internal security agency, which also helps guard foreign dignitaries.
French diplomats had cautioned that they want to leave little room for mishaps on Macron's trip.
Earlier on Wednesday, a separate squabble ensued when Israeli police tried to enter St Anne before Macron's visit.
Macron is one of dozens of world leaders due to attend Thursday's World Holocaust Forum at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre in Jerusalem, which will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
The 42-year-old head of state had seen his visit to St Anne as a symbolic stop underscoring Paris' historical influence in the region.
Before heading to the church, Macron walked through the Old City, speaking to shopkeepers and stopping by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
He later visited the Muslim Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque, a site revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, and prayed at Judaism's Western Wall, touching the ancient stones.
Yes. He means leaving a job unfinished must never happen again.
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
01/24/2020 1:54 Comments ||
I think he does want to drag the Magic Kingdom into at least the 20th century. But basically he is caught between traditional hatred for the Jews and traditional hatred for the Shia. In this case the Shia (AKA Iran) are the bigger threat.
Posted by: European Conservative ||
01/24/2020 18:11 Comments ||
What #2 M.M. said.
Posted by: Barbara ||
01/24/2020 18:16 Comments ||
At the moment Saudi Arabia is quietly cultivating a relationship with Israel, in the hope that Israel will fix the region’s Iran problem for them. And possibly Prince Mohammed bin Salman would like more than that — but like Egypt, the rulers cannot run too far ahead of the prejudices of the peepul.
Everybody wants the advantages of having Jews around — but then there would be Jews.
The subgun I could see. The pistol caliber carbine makes no sense at all.
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
01/24/2020 7:32 Comments ||
If I'm going to carry that much hardware give me a rifle cartridge please.
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
01/24/2020 7:34 Comments ||
It makes every sense. I own a couple of PCC's, my favorite is my Beretta CX4 Storm in S&W .40. It uses the same 14 round magazines as my Beretta PX4 Storm full-frame .40. The CX4 is zeroed at 100 yards and you can drive tacks with it. In an urban defense scenario with close quarters you don't need rifle rounds. The PCC's are excellent weapons with great utility, the market and demand for these reflects that.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.