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2 weeks ago

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones: ‘I cannot support’ Haspel’s confirmation as CIA Director

Late Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) announced he was not going to support President Donald Trump’s nominee Gina Haspel to be the director of the CIA.

Jones cited Haspel’s “role in programs that conducted torture” as a reason for his decision to not support her confirmation.

“After spending several weeks carefully evaluating all of the information available to me about Ms. Haspel and her career, reviewing her confirmation hearing, speaking with current and former public officials, and meeting with her in person yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support her confirmation as the Director of the CIA,” Jones’ statement said.

“While her career has been impressive, Ms. Haspel’s role in programs that conducted torture is very troubling; her refusal to acknowledge the immorality of such conduct even today with the benefit of hindsight is even more so and reflects poorly on our nation’s reputation as a moral leader in the world,” it continued. “Her statement today that the ‘enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken’ has not relieved my concerns, which are rooted in both the responsibility I feel as a Senator and in my own deeply held faith.”

“I appreciate the commitment of Ms. Haspel and her colleagues to the service and defense of our nation, and I do not doubt the skills and expertise she has gained during her long career in the CIA,” the statement concluded. “However, the leader of the CIA, an organization tasked with operating clandestinely to keep Americans safe, must be held to the highest possible standard. There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy. Some of Ms. Haspel’s past actions and beliefs did not meet that standard. We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

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1 hour ago

Greens file lawsuit to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from being built

Environmental groups have taken to the judicial system in their latest attempt to derail construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada Corporation has dealt with years of delays and stonewalling from those opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline project. The Calgary-based energy company was relatively unknown until it proposed to make an additional line to its extensive pipeline system that runs through the U.S. and Canada. TransCanada entered the national spotlight ever since opposition to Keystone XL became a rallying cry for climate change activists, with numerous protests organized to halt the project.

The Obama White House officially rejected the pipeline in 2015, claiming it wouldn’t do much for the U.S. economy or energy security. But not long after entering office, President Donald Trump reversed this decision and gave Keystone the green light to begin construction.

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The president’s support for Keystone has not scuttled activists’ hopes of preventing it. Environmental organizations — such as Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and others — initiated a lawsuit in March 2017, claiming Trump’s approval of Keystone was unlawful. Their case is being held in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.

Attorneys for the Trump administration on Thursday defended approval of the project in a Montana courtroom. Environmentalists and some Native American groups are asking U.S. District Judge Brian Morris to overturn the pipeline’s approval decision.

“In approving Keystone XL, the Trump administration unlawfully ignored that it would be a disaster for our climate, wildlife and clean water,” senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity Jared Margolis said in a statement released Thursday. “Regulators failed to fully consider this pipeline’s profound threats to the environment and endangered species, including the iconic whooping crane, which would be devastated by the project’s power lines. The government failed to do its job, and this terrible project must be stopped.”

In another Thursday statement, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council appeared to say her organization would oppose Keystone no matter where on the map it was placed.

“The Trump administration barreled into office eager to appease big polluters, and fast. So fast it acted illegally by approving the KXL project even before it had an approved route,” stated Jackie Prange, a senior attorney at the NRDC. “But no route will ever be safe. Wherever it goes, this dangerous pipeline will always pose an unacceptable risk to water supplies for farmers, ranchers, indigenous people, and communities. We intend to stop it once, and for all.”

Keystone is also battling a separate legal challenge in Nebraska. Landowners are challenging the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s approval of a route through the state.

Keystone is expected to cost around $8 billion to complete. Beginning in Alberta, it will extend through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, and will transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude a day.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

2 hours ago

VIDEO: Alabama may lose a congressman — Ainworth’s ‘blood on [Gov. Ivey’s] hands’ comment — run-offs in the governors’ races … and more on Guerrilla Politics!

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Dr. Waymon Burke take you through this week’s biggest political stories including:

— Is Alabama going to lose a Congressional seat and can it be stopped?

— Did State Representative Will Ainsworth go too far with the way he asked the governor to call a special session?

— Will there be run-offs in the races for governor?

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Attorney General Steve Marshall joins Jackson and Burke to discuss his re-election and his lawsuit with the federal government over counting illegals in the census.

Jackson closes the show with a “Parting Shot” directed at NFL players who are doing all they can to help Republicans hang on to Congress.

4 hours ago

The real story: Destroying Trump and protecting Clinton

You don’t need to believe that the special counsel investigating President Donald Trump is a terrible person to conclude that the Obama administration and Clinton machine (and later their holdovers during the Trump administration) politicized and weaponized federal agencies to protect Hillary Clinton and damage Trump.

So if you just can’t shake your instinct that Robert Mueller is the epitome of virtue and professionalism, hold fast to it, but consider the litany of facts that prove serious and abundant malfeasance on the part of the Obama-Clinton “deep state” actors.

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The Department of Justice, especially the FBI, bent over backward to protect Clinton and bent over forward to harm Trump. Despite those efforts, the stubborn facts have emerged, thanks to patriots relentlessly pursuing the truth. More will be revealed as the Obama-Clinton glass house continues to shatter, but there’s already enough to make an objective person gasp. If Clinton had won the election, this evidence would have remained buried, and the power-abusing left would have been emboldened to continue to thwart the rule of law and target its opponents. Before you say it’s preposterous that Obama or Clinton would have politicized and weaponized government agencies, remember the actions of Obama’s IRS and EPA.

As for protecting Clinton, consider this partial list:

–Then-FBI Director James Comey wrote a letter exonerating her in advance of interviewing her and other key witnesses.

–Comey presented a strong case against her yet shielded her from prosecution.

–Comey claimed that Christopher Steele’s dossier was not an indispensable part of the FISA warrant application, when everyone has admitted it was. He said he didn’t know that the Clintons had paid for the dossier.

–Comey earlier said there was no spying against Trump and later said there was but the “informants” were carefully regulated.

–The FBI gave immunity like candy in the Clinton case and allowed two fact witnesses to sit in on the belated Clinton interview as her lawyers.

–The FBI claimed to have lost five months’ worth of texts between adulterous FBI honchos Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which the inspector general found in less than a week.

–Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with Bill Clinton while Hillary was under investigation. Lynch instructed Comey to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” instead of an investigation.

–Strzok texted Page after Trump and Clinton became the nominees, “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE” — meaning “midyear exam,” the FBI’s code word for the Clinton email probe. Page responded, “It sure does.” They were desperate to wrap up the Clinton investigation to prevent Trump’s election. Page was legal counsel to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The lovebirds noted that Obama wanted “to know everything.” As Newt Gingrich said, with all that was going on under his watch, it’s inconceivable that Obama and his adviser Valerie Jarrett didn’t know about it.

As for stopping, removing or disabling Trump, consider this partial list:

–The FBI planted a spy or spies in the Trump campaign with no real evidence (beyond wishful thinking, anecdotal minutiae and hearsay rumors) that there was any nefarious connection between the campaign and Russia. It appears these spies were there not just to eavesdrop but to lure the Trump campaign into the very conduct they were pretending to investigate — trying to “honey-trap” them.

–The government opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump without any evidence of a crime.

–Based on a disgraceful leak from Comey, the DOJ appointed a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign without any evidence of a crime and without specifying any crime in the appointment memo — and such specificity is required by law. Recognizing this, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein surreptitiously amended his appointment memo, but he still won’t reveal its content to congressional investigators.

–The FBI deceived the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court four times by presenting the Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton machine and based on unsubstantiated opposition research, as legitimate evidence and disclosing none of its origins to the court. It also fraudulently presented a news article sourced to the same Christopher Steele as corroborating the dossier. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires substantiated evidence; it’s a strict standard because of the extraordinary encroachments on privacy it entails. The FBI also concealed from the court that Steele had been fired by the FBI.

–The government has been stonewalling and scapegoating Rep. Devin Nunes and other congressional investigators for jeopardizing national security in demanding that documents be unredacted. Invariably, when the redactions are removed, we see that no security interests were involved but that the government was seeking to conceal embarrassing actions of government officials. The government slandered Nunes for outing the FBI mole, whose existence it had previously deceitfully denied, when it leaked facts facilitating his outing.

–The Obama administration engaged in unprecedented and egregious unmaskings.

–Five or six DOJ/FBI officials have been fired, demoted or reassigned.

–The FBI agents didn’t believe that Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, lied to them, yet the special counsel pressured him into a guilty plea.

–Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress but later denied he had lied, claiming he was thinking about something other than what he was being questioned about. That would be lame from any witness, but from a man of Clapper’s caliber, it is stunning. Clapper also said, disingenuously, that the government’s intent was not to spy on the Trump camp but to find out what Russia was doing. Then why did the government try to entrap campaign members, and why did Clapper earlier deny there were spies in the campaign? If the government’s goal was to protect the campaigns from Russian influence, why didn’t it plant spies in the Clinton campaign, as well? Why didn’t it warn the Trump campaign of the possible interference — unless its goal was to damage Trump and protect Clinton, as opposed to safeguarding national security?

–The Obama administration opened up a Logan Act case against the campaign opponent (Trump) of its would-be successor (Clinton). This is unprecedented and astonishing.

–The Obama holdouts in the DOJ and FBI are still stonewalling and misrepresenting the facts — especially as to the origin of the Trump investigation.

That Hillary Clinton wasn’t disciplined or prosecuted for her security breaches and deliberately destroying relevant evidence, among other things, is beyond disturbing. That Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency at this point seems fantastical.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

5 hours ago

Offending NFL fans isn’t just bad for owners, but players too

One of the most obnoxious stories in America the past year has been the controversy over players protesting during the national anthem.

While I personally sympathize with both concerns from athletes about police brutality in minority communities, as well as the desire of most football fans to simply not have any sort of political advocacy mixed into their sports, the resulting media coverage – from both political and sports outlets – has been largely nauseating.

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While the NFL offseason obviously brought discussion of the topic down to a simmer (with the exception being the occasional update on Colin Kaepernick – and now Eric Reid’s – lawsuit against the league), the NFL’s decision this week to change its anthem-policy has it once again at a raging boil.

Unfortunately most of these articles try to make this issue more complicated than it really is: it’s all about money.

While it’s natural to try to fit this story into some of the larger culture wars going on in the country, this is really just a simple business calculation. At the end of the day the NFL is not in the business of promoting patriotism, or providing a venue for social causes, or even really about the athletes who play in the league.

It’s all about getting the attention of fans, and the NFL clearly thinks most of them don’t want protests during the national anthem. This also means that one key point has been ignored in this whole debate, it isn’t only in the interests of league owners to not offend fans – it’s in obvious long-term interest of players too.

After all, if the same athletes were making the same plays in front of the same sized audience that watches the NHL, the value of each individual player would be significantly less than it is today. Being a great athlete is not an inherently profitable skill, there are plenty of athletic marvels who can’t make a million dollars a year taking advantage of their specific abilities.

It’s the mass appeal of specific sports that allows individuals like LeBron James, Bryce Harper, and Antonio Brown become very wealthy individuals. In the case of the NFL, polling showed that over 60% of fans watched fewer NFL games due to the player protests. If declining NFL ratings remain a constant, and it impacts revenue, then players in 2028 may be worse off than players in 2018.

As I explained last year when I defended the obvious league-wide blacklisting of Kaepernick, whether or not his cause was righteous or intentional disrespectful means little when the consumers of his product decide they don’t like it. As Ludwig von Mises frequently noted in his works, consumers are empowered by the market economy to guide the decisions of businesses based on their willingness to consumer their product or a competitors. As he wrote in Bureaucracy​:

The capitalists, the enterprisers, and the farmers are instrumental in the conduct of economic affairs. They are at the helm and steer the ship. But they are not free to shape its course. They are not supreme, they are steersmen only, bound to obey unconditionally the captain’s orders. The captain is the consumer.

While this understanding of the NFL’s decision should be pretty common sense, pundits who are offended by the fact so many NFL fans were offended by the protests have tried to take the NFL’s decision to absurd ends.

For example, I recently read Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk ask whether the NFL’s new respect for the national anthem would lead the league to crack down on Kansas City Chiefs fan who traditionally substitute “CHIEFS!” for “brave” at the song’s conclusion. Florio may think he is being clever, but the answer is obviously not, because Chiefs fans clearly don’t see that behavior as disrespectful.

People can judge that to be hypocritical, but at the end of the day the masses that consume Chief tickets don’t care. So long as consumer values are inconsistent and conflicting, so will certain business policies.

It’s also worth noting that it’s possible the NFL’s judgment in this matter may end up being wrong. After all, the league was able to ink a new Thursday night package with Fox this offseason that was worth $15 million more a game than previous deals with NBC and CBS, in spite of declining ratings. Last year’s troubles also didn’t stop Pizza Hut from being willing pay big to take over the spot of “Official Pizza of the NFL”  from Papa John’s.

Businesses make mistakes all the time, and perhaps the NFL’s new rules will end up alienating a different block of fans, without regaining those who agreed with Donald Trump. Only time will tell.

What we can be certain though is that discussing this decision isn’t about anything more than the NFL looking out for its bottom line. At the end of the day, the players should be as interested in that as the owners.

(Courtesy of the Mises Institute in Auburn)

 

8 hours ago

Elon Musk wants to create a website named ‘Pravda’ to dish on journalists

Elon Musk has entertained the idea of creating a website named “Pravda” that will rate the credibility of journalists and media outlets.

Musk is not coping well with media criticism of Tesla, the electric car company he leads. Numerous reporters have covered Tesla’s operation over the past few months, many of them taking note that the automaker has consistently failed to meet production targets and will likely require more financial capital. Musk has slowly grown more antagonist toward negative media coverage, taking swipes at journalists from time to time.

His antipathy toward the press appeared to reach a boiling point during a tweet storm on Wednesday. Musk said he wished to create a Yelp-like website named “Pravda” — the name of the official propaganda outlet for the Soviet Union — where people can apply ratings to various journalists and news organizations.

The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them https://twitter.com/electrekco/status/999318852365303808 …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 

Going to create a site where the public can rate the core truth of any article & track the credibility score over time of each journalist, editor & publication. Thinking of calling it Pravda … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 

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Musk’s bashing of the media has attracted comparisons to President Donald Trump, a man made famous for bashing “fake news.” In response, the Tesla CEO said Trump won the presidency because the media lost its credibility long ago and no one believes them anymore.

Thought you’d say that. Anytime anyone criticizes the media, the media shrieks “You’re just like Trump!” Why do you think he got elected in the first place? Because no ones believes you any more. You lost your credibility a long time ago. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) 

Musk also has a penchant for being sarcastic on social media. On April Fools Day, he joked on Twitter that Tesla went bankrupt, despite a “mass sale of Easter Eggs.”

Tesla has struggled to mass-produce its latest Model 3, a more compact electric vehicle meant to be more accessible to the general public, with Musk forced to scale back production goals. Goldman Sachs predicted earlier in May that Tesla will require $10 billion to stay financially afloat.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.