Report: FBI documents show ‘flawed’ Hillary Clinton investigation-

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Newly released documents from the FBI’s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of highly classified materials highlight a “serious, but flawed investigation hindered by a lack of cooperation,” according to a new report.

Some of the 42 pages are marked “grand jury material,” indicating that the FBI considered the investigation serious enough to prosecute before a grand jury, according to a report by Fox News.

One document shows that one of Clinton’s private attorneys, Katherine Turner, had agreed to turn over one of Clinton’s non-secure Apple iPads and two of her BlackBerrys to the FBI.

However, neither smartphone had SIM cards or Secure Digital (SD) cards, the report said. A total of 13 mobile devices identified by the FBI as potentially using clintonemail.com addresses were never located by Clinton’s lawyers, according to government watchdog group Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton.

Some of those devices were pounded with hammers after Clinton’s homebrew servers went down or after news that Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal’s email had been hacked, the report said.

“We are presuming there are still 13 devices at issue,” Fitton told Fox News. “The new records show how badly the Obama Justice Department and FBI mishandled the Clinton email investigation.”

There are 177 redactions in the documents, including of information that would “disclose investigation techniques.”

Fitton said the FBI was played by Clinton’s lawyers and didn’t care, and he called for an audit of the investigation.

“The Trump Justice Department needs to audit this mess and figure out if the Clinton matters need to be reopened or reinvigorated,” he said.

The report notes then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting on the tarmac with Bill Clinton in Phoenix, Arizona, just eight days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he would not recommend prosecution of Clinton.

Comey would later testify that Lynch, his then-boss, directed him to use the term “matter” instead of “investigation” when discussing the investigation into Clinton, and he complied.

The documents were released just before the nominee for FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before his confirmation hearing.

Two former FBI agents told Fox News they hope that “the atmosphere is changed with a new director.”

source–breitbart, kristina, wong, fox, katherine turner, christopher wray

 

fight for the future offers $15K for full-time anti-trump activists–

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A group of anti-Trump activists is offering potentially as much as $15,000 to full-time political activists to help in the resistance against President Donald Trump.

“Terrified about Trump? Quit your job, start an A-Team. We might just fund it,” reads Fight For The Future’s A-Teams project page. The A-Teams project offers as much as $15,000 for the first month to political activism teams to fight a wide range of social and political issues listed on the website, including, “Healthcare / ACA, Climate, Immigration, The Wall, Corruption, Racism / Fascism, Police, Prisons.”

The website encourages people to create political groups and become full-time grassroots political activists, offering the possibility of funding to these groups, allowing them to turn their activism into a paying job.

You can call Congress, or attend a protest. And you should. But is that it? Why stop there? Why set aside everything you’ve learned, everything you are, to be simply one more terrified person on a phone line, or marching in a street?

What if you did the following, as well?

  1. Find someone you love to work with.
  2. Pick an issue area and angle.
  3. Do activism full-time using every connection, skill, tool, and trick at your disposal—until you win.

Our goal: to convince you to take exactly these steps, give you a playbook, and then potentially fund you.

Further down the page, however, the funding description becomes slightly less promising: “To start, we’re going to select some of the strongest teams for funding. So if you’ve got a 2-3 person A-Team and a target, you should apply. We’d potentially give you $15,000 for the first month, just to see what you can do.” The website states that the group would “potentially” pay out $15,000 for the first month and continues to say, “If you make a big splash or measurable impact on your target in that time, we think we can find you more.” Essentially, none of the funding for this project is guaranteed.

The project is run by the non-profit organization Fight For The Future (FFTF) which has been pushing for net neutrality and fighting the FCC’s attempts to repeal Obama-era rules on internet regulation. The group’s website suggests some options for activists looking to turn their advocacy into a full-time job, including moving to countries where the cost of living is cheaper or moving back in with their parents.

“Often the best answer to the funding question is a personal one. If you’re young, maybe you can live for free or cheap by moving back home,” the group suggests. “Maybe you’ve always wanted to check out Thailand, or India, or build a tiny house, or try some rural or urban lifestyle where you don’t really need that much money.”

“The cool thing about being able to self-fund your team (e.g. by living cheap and working unpaid) is that you get total independence to follow your vision,” FFTF claims. “This lets you find opportunities for activism that perhaps nobody else in the world is thinking about.”

FFTF does not guarantee that they’ll provide funding or even successfully source funding for their A-Team groups. “If you are granted $15k, there’s no guarantee of further funding.” the website states. “If we find people who are awesome at this and they’re working on a primary issue like one of the ones we listed above, we’re hopeful that we can get them ongoing funding. There’s some risk we won’t be able to, but we think it’s more likely than not that we will.”

The website suggests relying on crowdfunding as a source of funding for A-Teams, even after encouraging prospective activists to quit their full-time jobs to focus on their A-Teams work: “As you start to build large audiences, ask them to donate. And look out for individuals or organizations who support what you’re doing and might be able to give more.”

“We started A-Teams because Fight for the Future has been able to do some amazing things with a tiny team—like stopping the Internet censorship bills SOPA & PIPA, or helping stop Obama and Comey’s FBI from winning a backdoor to everyone’s iPhone—so we’re looking for teams that can pull off big wins like these but on other issues, like legalizing marijuana, addressing opiate addiction in a smarter way, or turning Obamacare into something that gets the job done but isn’t a handout to insurance companies,” FFTF told Breitbart News when reached for comment. “We’re doing it with general funds, and we’ve only made one grant so far, since finding the right mix of creativity and skills is extremely hard, so it hasn’t been much money yet. Once we figure out a good way to find skilled activists we’ll ramp up fundraising, but right now our bottleneck has been finding the right people.”

When asked if the project was explicitly anti-Trump, they claimed, “We’re speaking to people who are anti-Trump, yes, but we’re trying to focus them on political fights that are much, much bigger and more important than partisan politics, and where—in many cases—they’ll find they have a lot of allies among Trump supporters.”

source-breitbart, lucas nolan, fight for the future,

AFSCME distorts the truth to attack right-to-work laws

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unions  in America authored an opinion piece in which he sought to convince readers that it’s okay for unions to force workers to pay dues against their will, even when those dues are spent on political activity.

Because the actual purpose of his piece was so absurd, Lee Saunders spent most of it talking not about that issue but about others like collective bargaining benefits and unrelated policy questions. I responded accordingly, spelling out the facts of the core issue at hand.

My response led Saunders to hit back in the Huffington Post with another round of talking points and left-wing dog whistles, so it is important to set the record straight again in these pages.

Right-to-work laws simply state that no one can be fired for refusing to join or pay a union as a condition of employment. Twenty-eight states have passed these common-sense bills — including six in the past six years — and voters unsurprisingly rewarded lawmakers who did so.

Now, a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court could extend that protection to every public employee in America.

Workers already have the right to opt out of union political spending on candidates and parties. (That workers must “opt out” rather than unions receiving “opt in” permission for political spending is absurd, but a separate issue). As union leaders themselves have stated, this protection against forced political spending is long-standing and noncontroversial.

The reason Janus v. AFSCME is pending before the Supreme Court is that union politics don’t end at PAC spending. In government, even the so-called “collective bargaining representation” fees that workers in 22 states are required to pay are spent on political activity, and so the court is poised to extend the right against forced payment to that portion, as well.

In the public sector, collective bargaining is inherently political, as it deals with questions involving taxpayer dollars. This includes items as benign as the paid time-off Saunders references, or the pension plans that have states facing $5.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

Saunders can dance around this truth all he wants, but it is plain as day and was even acknowledged by the Washington Post and New York Times last year.

Aside from misunderstanding the “political speech” question, the other primary rebuttal to right-to-work and Janus is that workers who opt out of the union still benefit from representation. But unions are free to represent paying members only.

Saunders denies this inconvenient truth, but provides no evidence. In reality, the Supreme Court upheld members-only union contracts in Consolidated Edison Co v. NLRB (1938) and in Retail Clerks v. Dry Lion Goods (1962), and many unions utilize them willingly today.

If two Supreme Court rulings and several real-life examples aren’t enough, there is also a new policy proposal that would codify the right of unions to represent members only. I’ll expect AFSCME’s endorsement of such legislation any day now.

Over two op-eds, Saunders never once explains what right-to-work or Janus are actually about. His position on these questions is indefensible, so he opts instead for baseless hysterics.

Reasonable people can disagree on taxes or health policy, but they cannot disagree on facts. Far from crippling unions, strangling public services, or allowing the rich to hoard wealth, states with right-to-work laws have seen greater growth in union membership, tax revenue, and worker wages. And workers’ rights to bargain collectively are unaffected.

Union membership has been cut in half since 1983. People are fleeing union-controlled states by the thousands. And voters are overwhelmingly rejecting the union political agenda. The “right wing” did not force any of these things to happen. Free people chose to do so themselves, and now union bosses are grasping at coercion — truly “rigging the game” — to rescue their political clout and exorbitant salaries.

Perhaps Saunders wouldn’t have to worry so much if he spent more time respecting the concerns of workers like Mark Janus and less time disparaging them.

source–akash chougule, wash examiner, lee sauders, huffington post, nyt,wash post,

out of the spotlight, social security rots in the dark

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Former President George W. Bush followed up his re-election with a public relations campaign in early 2005 to reform Social Security. It did not go well, and Bush’s failure — made inevitable by the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina — confirmed to Washington that Social Security was the “third rail” of politics and should never be touched. It has lain untouched ever since, perhaps partly because Social Security is not the most pressing strain on federal finances. But it is a very serious one in the medium and long term.

Medicare and the Social Security Disability Insurance program are in far worse shape, and young people have fair warning not to rely on a Social Security check for their retirement. But the Social Security program’s trustees have just reminded the nation that this problem hasn’t gone away. Politicians need to take notice now, because the challenge of fixing it will only become harder to solve the longer they wait. In our families we do our best for our children; we don’t just heap liabilities upon them and expect them to look after us. But politicians are doing the exact opposite.

The new report projects the same bleak future for Social Security as last year’s report did. As of 2034, Social Security’s trust fund, which is already full only of IOUs, will even run out of theoretical money. At that point, under current law, benefits would be scaled back to match whatever annual amount is being paid in through Social Security payroll taxes. And that amount will be significantly less than what today’s taxpayers are expecting for tomorrow. Over a longer time frame of 75 years, the program is on pace to come up $12.5 trillion short of what beneficiaries expect to be paid.

The 2034 deadline might seem far away, but it isn’t. The longer Congress waits to act on this, the more painful the eventual fix, or the wrenching failure will be. If Congress were to act immediately to cover the gap, it would either have to increase the rate of the regressive payroll tax by 22 percent, or reduce everyone’s benefits by 17 percent. Either way, the heaviest relative burdens would fall on the poor. In the case of an employment tax hike, it would also sharply reduce low-wage employment opportunities, given that the tax makes up a larger share of the employer’s labor cost.

Meanwhile, each year that passes, tax hikes or benefit cuts needed to put the program on stable long-term footing become more and more harsh. President Trump has vowed there will be no benefit cuts. A massive tax hike seems equally unlikely. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reacted to the news with a statement implying that the answer is economic growth. Massive middle-class wage growth is needed. That would certainly increase the amount being paid into the program, but if politicians could magically cause enormous increases to the wages of everyone making less than $110,000, they would have done so already. Economies don’t just steadily grow, they also experience unpredictable slowdowns and recessions. Salvation for Social Security through economic growth alone is not a realistic plan, not because growth could not be much faster but because Democrats would never let the necessary legislation pass through Congress.

Today’s leaders would be doing a big favor to tomorrow’s leaders, not to mention tomorrow’s beneficiaries, if they worked together to reform this program, to make it a sustainable vehicle for retirement. Ideally, they would do it in a way that would also give people more control over their retirement savings. A system of private investment accounts with a government guaranteed minimum benefit, like the system used today in Chile, would not only give beneficiaries more certainty, but it would also reduce wealth inequality by helping all families to save and accumulate wealth.

But that isn’t the only way to improve Social Security’s bottom line. There are many other ideas to which Democrats might prove more receptive, including the Heritage Foundation’s 2011 plan of adopting a flat-rate benefit that keeps seniors out of poverty but pays out less to the wealthy.Whatever Congress chooses, it must start discussing the problem now. People can fool themselves all they like, but given that tens of millions of people are planning to retire 17 or more years from now, any retirement program with a 17-year shelf life is headed for disaster.

SOURCE–WASH EXAMINER, STEVE MUCHIN,

Scott Pruitt’s rumored televised climate debate would be a win for public discourse–

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Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at MIT who co-wrote a recent op-ed in the Washington Post directed at EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, begins his “short guide to climate science and climate risks for the educated non-specialist” with this: “Considerably more than 90% percent of climate scientists attribute the bulk of the increase in global mean temperature over the past three to four decades to the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases that commenced with the Industrial Revolution.”

Leading with the 90 percent figure gives Emanuel a psychological and rhetorical advantage, because questioning 90 percent of experts in any given field is believed unconscionable.

This is basically how the climate debate has been propagated. The public learned that nearly all climate scientists are in agreement and subsequently tuned out competing arguments.

But shouldn’t the public at least hear from other meager 10 percent of climate scientists who dissent? Shouldn’t we at least hear what they have to say?

Scott Pruitt thinks so. He recently hinted at the potential for a televised debate on climate change, so that people can hear directly from scientists themselves.

This is a great idea.

The notion that issues with serious political implications are better understood when openly debated is fundamental to all nonauthoritarian forms of government, like our own. Unfortunately, not many in the scientific mainstream support having that notion when it comes to climate change.

Emanuel and his co-authors responded to propositions of debate or Pruitt’s plan of team-based investigations: “Such calls for special teams of investigators are not about honest scientific debate. They are dangerous attempts to elevate the status of minority opinions, and to undercut the legitimacy, objectivity, and transparency of existing climate science.”

Rather than blacklisting those who have come to different conclusions, the scientists should maybe, just maybe, accept that some of their viewpoints could benefit from wider scrutiny.

Even though the percentage of dissenting scientists is apparently negligible, the public still ought to, at the very least, be familiar with their arguments, considering the implications of climate change and proposed mitigation policies.

 

SOURCE–JERMENY BEAMAN, WASH EXAMINER, WASH POST,

Why won’t planned parenthood show women their ultrasounds?–

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Thanks to ever-advancing ultrasound technology, we can see babies in the womb in astonishing detail like never before. This not only leads to improved quality of care for mothers, but it also shows whether babies are properly developing. Moreover, it highlights quite clearly that what is in the womb is a tiny, growing human being.

At just 3 1/2 weeks after fertilization, a heartbeat can be heard. At six weeks, hands and feet are seen developing. At seven weeks, the child can be seen sucking her thumb, stretching, and even sighing.

Yet at Planned Parenthood – which is at the center of a taxpayer funding debate in Congress – the hundreds of thousands of pregnant mothers who come through its doors and get ultrasounds never see the ultrasound images. Unlike at an OB/GYN’s office, at Planned Parenthood, the ultrasound monitors showing the developing child are only seen by staff.

Former Planned Parenthood manager Sue Thayer has attested that staffers deliberately “turn the monitor away so the mom can’t see it.”

But why is that?

Planned Parenthood hides those images from women because its best interests are not served by revealing them. The images would show the mother her child’s beating heart, tiny hands, and tiny feet. Those images destroy the abortion industry myth that her baby is just a “clump of cells” lacking humanity.

Without that myth, it becomes harder for the abortion chain to stay in business, as people begin to realize that living babies – not amorphous tissue masses – are being killed by abortions.

Keeping the ultrasound images from mothers makes it easier to convince those mothers that their preborn children aren’t really human yet and that abortion has about the same moral implication as removing a tumor.

Former Planned Parenthood employee Catherine Adair told the Washington Examiner in 2011 that workers would purposefully avoid providing information on what the child looked like, the child’s anatomical development, and the pain she could feel. She said that she was “continuously reminded that when referring to the baby, the appropriate terminology was ‘clump of cells’ or ‘contents of the uterus.'”

To the nation’s largest abortion chain, even a fully developed baby at nine months is not a baby or a person yet. The abortion industry’s training manuals advise that abortionists avoid using the term “baby.”

And defying all science, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards says that life doesn’t begin until a baby is born and out of the womb. “[F]or me,” she said, “life began when I delivered them.”

So, if Planned Parenthood doesn’t use ultrasound machines to show the amazing developmental milestones of children in the womb or to even check on the health of the mother or child, why does Planned Parenthood have ultrasound machines at all?

At the nation’s largest abortion chain, ultrasound machines are used for killing, not care. They most often are used to determine the gestational age and position of the baby in the womb before he or she is aborted.

Live Action recently investigated 68 Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Our investigators, posing as pregnant women wanting to keep their babies, contacted the facilities asking to get ultrasounds to check on their own and their babies’ health. Our undercover recordings show the women being turned away at 65 of the 68 facilities. Those facilities that had ultrasound machines told our investigators that they only use them for abortions.

Planned Parenthood staff admitted things like, “We don’t do any ultrasounds for prenatal care. We do them for abortions,” and “We do have to do an ultrasound with an abortion, but we don’t offer them for – we can’t do anything to make sure that the pregnancy is fine.”

This raises two important questions. First, if Planned Parenthood truly believed in “choice” for women as it says it does, then why won’t it use its ultrasounds to help women have healthy pregnancies who choose to keep their babies?

Second, if Planned Parenthood genuinely believed in “choice,” then why does it hide pre-abortion ultrasound images from mothers? Why conceal the truth? Why not let them make the most informed choice they can?

Despite all of its rhetoric about choice and about providing women’s healthcare, Planned Parenthood is a business that makes its money from abortions. It performs roughly one-third of all abortions in the U.S., or more than 320,000 per year. Its last 10 years of annual reports (2005-06 to 2015-16) show that services like breast exams, Pap tests, and prenatal care have experienced huge declines (62, 74, and 29 percent, respectively), while the number of abortions it does rose 24 percent.

That’s why America’s largest abortion chain won’t show mothers the truth of the ultrasound: that there exists a tiny human being who happens to be smaller in size, but not in dignity, importance, or humanity.

source- lila rose, wash examiner, sue thayer, catherine adair, cecile richrds,

planned parenthood to toddlers: ‘your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl’-

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Planned Parenthood has long been known for its frank, scientific, and matter-of-fact advice on how parents should talk to their kids about their bodies and sex. But the organization’s recently revamped website has scrapped biological explanations for male-female distinctions in favor of a non-binary view of sexuality and gender, even for the very young.

The new guidelines include lengthy discussions on gender identity for all ages and encourage adults to explain to preschoolers that one’s private parts “don’t make you a boy or a girl.”

Both the old and new Planned Parenthood recommendations for talking to preschoolers include explicit explanations of how a woman becomes pregnant. However, unlike the new, detailed discussions of multiple subjects over dozens of paragraphs, the old guidelines consisted of only two additional possible preschooler questions, and the answers were relatively anodyne:

On these same topics, the new guidelines blur the lines considerably. Regarding breasts: When answering questions, don’t worry about going into every detail. For example, if your little one asks what those spots on their chest are. You can say, “Those are nipples. Everybody has nipples.” You don’t have to explain breastfeeding or why everyone has nipples even though not everyone breastfeeds.

From there, the advice jumps into a discussion of gender, giving a nod to the traditional definition, but taking great pains to incorporate the latest thinking about “gender identity”:

While the most simple answer is that girls have vulvas and boys have penises/testicles, that answer isn’t true for every boy and girl. Boy, girl, man, and woman are words that describe gender identity, and some people with the gender identities “boy” or “man” have vulvas, and some with the gender identity “girl” or “woman” have penises/testicles. Your genitals don’t make you a boy or a girl.
You can say that most girls have vulvas and most boys have penises/testicles. You may want to emphasize that it doesn’t matter too much what parts someone has—that doesn’t tell you much about them. But you can make that decision based on your values and how you plan to talk with your kid about gender as they grow up.

The organization’s website includes recommendations not just for preschoolers, but gives pointers for talking to children of all ages about their bodies, gender identity, relationships, sexuality, and reproduction. The new guidelines are quite extensive, delving into each topic for each age group far deeper than previous iterations and break new ground, even for an organization known for progressive attitudes about sex and sexuality.

Throughout the guidelines, the underlying message regarding a child’s gender (sex) is that it is unknown and unknowable at birth. Parents are told that “your kid figures out what their gender is really early on—and they’ll usually tell you. So in preschool and in early elementary school, trans kids are starting to realize that they’re not the gender everyone said they were when they were born.”

While Planned Parenthood encourages talking to children about most everything related to their bodies, sexuality and reproduction, the guidelines make one big exception: “Gender identity isn’t about what kind of anatomy you have—and asking transgender and gender nonconforming people about their bodies is NEVER okay.”

While Planned Parenthood links to a number of websites related to the topics covered, the website itself does not indicate the medical or scientific sources used to formulate the guidelines, recommendations, and information on gender identity versus biological sex.

source–jeryl bier, weekly std,