Trump: Not ‘That Far off’ From Passing Health Care Overall

President Donald Trump said Sunday he doesn’t think congressional Republicans are “that far off” on a health overhaul to replace “the dead carcass of Obamacare.”

Expressing frustration, he complained about “the level of hostility” in government and wondered why both parties can’t work together on the Senate bill as GOP critics expressed doubt over a successful vote this week.

It was the latest signs of high-stakes maneuvering over a key campaign promise, and the president signaled a willingness to deal. (Read more from “Trump: Not ‘That Far off’ From Passing Health Care Overall” HERE)

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‘We Have a Problem’: ISIS in Afghanistan ‘Not Getting Better’ as US Mulls Thousands More Troops

The Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan continues to thrive despite several U.S. and Afghan military efforts to annihilate the group, Pentagon Chief Spokeswoman Dana White told Voice of America Wednesday.

ISIS in Afghanistan has morphed from a nascent band of militants in 2015 to a full-fledged threat in the eastern province of Nangarhar. The group controls a relatively small amount of territory but has used it to launch multiple complex attacks on the capital city of Kabul, killing hundreds with its brutal tactics.

Several U.S. troops have died in Nangarhar province in recent months on missions targeting the terrorist group. The U.S. considered defeat of the insurgents such a priority it dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in its arsenal on ISIS’s cave network, killing approximately 100 fighters.

“It’s not getting better in Afghanistan in terms of ISIS. We have a problem, and we have to defeat them and we have to be focused on that problem,” White declared. White’s statement contradicts the Pentagon’s recent report on the state of war in Afghanistan which claims that the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) recent efforts as well as “pressure from the Taliban, and a lack of support from the local populace have diminished ISIS-K’s influence and caused it to decline in size, capability, and ability to hold territory.”

The report however admits that ISIS in Afghanistan “remains a threat to security in Afghanistan and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region and a threat to U.S. and coalition forces, and ISIS-K retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks in urban centers.” (Read more from “‘We Have a Problem’: ISIS in Afghanistan ‘Not Getting Better’ as US Mulls Thousands More Troops” HERE)

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Suicide Bomber Blows Himself up as Saudis Foil Mecca Plot

A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque in Mecca as police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam just as the fasting month of Ramadan ends, Saudi security forces said Saturday.

The Interior Ministry said it launched a raid around Jiddah, as well as two areas in Mecca itself, including the Ajyad Al-Masafi neighborhood, located near the Grand Mosque.

There, police said they engaged in a shootout at a three-story house with a suicide bomber, who blew himself up and caused the building to collapse. He was killed, while the blast wounded six foreigners and five members of security forces, according to the Interior Ministry’s statement. Five others were arrested, including a woman, it said. (Read more from “Suicide Bomber Blows Himself up as Saudis Foil Mecca Plot” HERE)

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How Environmental Groups Are Responding to Trump’s ‘Solar Wall’ Pitch

President Donald Trump’s idea of putting solar panels on his long-promised border wall hasn’t gained a lot of support among top environmental lobbying groups—even though the organizations have long backed solar power as a key renewable energy.

“The problem with talking about solar panels on Trump’s border wall is that it’s science fiction,” Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, a liberal environmentalist group, told The Daily Signal. “Just like clean coal does not exist and will never exist, Trump’s wall with solar panels won’t exist, so it’s irrelevant to discuss climate issues.”

A spokesman with the Sierra Club referred to a tweet storm by the Sierra Club executive director, Michael Brune, reacting to Trump’s proposal for solar panels on the border wall.

Speaking Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump proposed putting solar panels on the wall. Such panels would capture power along the hot southern border, to help increase the power supply, which the president said would help pay for the wall.

“We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money,” Trump told the Iowa crowd.

“And that’s good, right? Is that good? You are the first group I’ve told that to. A solar wall. It makes sense. Let’s see. We are working it out. Solar wall panels.”

Trump added: “Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea.”

There would likely be more effective ways to pay for the wall, said Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, a pro-border enforcement think tank.

“It is one of the sunnier parts of the country, but solar panels are fairly fragile,” Camarota told The Daily Signal. “Each illegal border crosser has a cost of about $75,000 for taxpayers. A modest reduction in border crossings could help pay for the wall.”

Camarota, who believes interior enforcement is perhaps more important than the wall, said the reduction in needed law enforcement and health costs from drugs not entering the country would also offset the costs.

There are too many uncertainties to know whether this would cover the cost of the border wall, said Nick Loris, a research fellow in energy and environmental policy at The Heritage Foundation.

“It’s entirely too early to tell and there are too many outstanding questions. If the solar panels are subsidized, we’re just paying for them through another mechanism,” Loris told The Daily Signal. “It’s difficult to know what the solar panels would cost, how much energy they’d produce standing vertically as opposed to angled horizontally like you see at a solar farm or a rooftop.”

It would require additional building, Loris said, adding:

You also have to factor in the transmission lines to take the energy from remote places to where it’s needed. There’s repair, replacement, and waste costs. They’re also not very efficient compared to other forms of energy, which is why they only account for a meager 2 percent of our net electricity generation, even with generous support from the taxpayer. There’s a lot of question marks surrounding the project so that it’s difficult to know how costly or beneficial it would be.

A Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined “A Shiny Border Wall That Pays for Itself” by Vasilis Fthenakis, an earth and engineering professor at Columbia University, and Ken Zweibel, director of the Solar Institute at George Washington University, contends:

Resolving the political impasse between Mexico and the U.S. over a border wall requires innovative thinking. How about this: Presidents Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto should work together to construct a ‘solar wall’—a massive string of photovoltaic panels—on the Mexican side of the border.

Another op-ed in the liberal Huffington Post on Dec. 16, 2016, “Instead of Trump’s Wall, Let’s Build A Border of Solar Panels,” by Homero Aridjis, a poet and novelist, and James Ramey, a professor at Metropolitan Autonomous University and member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers, said:

There is indeed a way that Mexico could create a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico, one constructed exclusively on the Mexican side, with substantial benefits for both countries and the planet: a solar border. …

If one were to construct the equivalent of a strip of arrays one-third the width of a football field south of the entire U.S.-Mexico border, wider in some areas and narrower in others, with a wide berth allowed for populated areas and stretches of rugged terrain, sufficient energy might be produced to also supply Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Dallas, and Houston. For the U.S. cities, it would be a way to obtain cheaper and cleaner energy than they can from other sources.

(For more from the author of “How Environmental Groups Are Responding to Trump’s ‘Solar Wall’ Pitch” please click HERE)

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What a Wounded Veteran Thinks of Trump’s VA Reform

Sgt. Mike Verardo’s military career ended seven years ago because of an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan, but he said the worst part of his injuries was dealing with a “broken VA” when he returned home.

He had to go to the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital weekly, wait 57 days for a prosthetic leg, make long drives to VA medical centers to verify he had injuries and undergo more than 100 surgeries. He said the doctors were patriotic and cared about veterans, but much of the bureaucracy failed those returning home from war.

“When I came home it was incredibly difficult going once a week to the VA trying to get the basic care that I needed,” Verardo told The Daily Signal in an interview at the White House shortly after President Donald Trump signed legislation to hold VA staff more accountable and improve service to veterans.

In the East Room, surrounded by veterans groups, Trump signed the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.

The bill was set up to create a new streamlined process to remove, demote, or suspend any VA employee for poor performance or misconduct. It also provides expanded protections for whistleblowers and bars the VA from using this removal authority if the employee has an open whistleblower complaint.

The new law also allows the VA secretary to to reduce an employee’s federal pension if he is convicted of a felony that influenced his job at the VA and to directly appoint individuals to the positions of medical center director at VA centers.

“President Trump definitely engaged with the veterans on his campaign. He definitely listened to what we had to say,” Verardo told The Daily Signal.

Verardo also spoke at the bill signing ceremony before Trump spoke.

During his remarks, Trump asked Verardo to stand up and the president shook his hand. Trump joked, “He gets up better than I do.”

“What happened to Michael is happening to many but it’s rarely happening under our leadership and David’s leadership,” Trump said, referring to VA Secretary David Shulkin.

The president talked about the 2014 VA waiting list scandal, in which the department’s inspector general determined that some VA medical centers’ falsified waiting lists led to denied care and in some cases deaths.

“We all remember the nightmare that veterans suffered during the VA scandals that were exposed a few years ago. Veterans were put on secret wait lists, given the wrong medication, given the bad treatments, and ignored in moments of crisis for them,” the president said.

Trump added:

Many veterans died waiting for a simple doctor’s appointment. What happened was a national disgrace, and yet some of the employees involved in these scandals remained on the payrolls. Outdated laws kept the government from holding those who failed our veterans accountable.

Shulkin talked during the bill signing ceremony about how the department could not fire employees with a record of driving under the influence or an employee who watched pornography during work hours. Still, he said the purpose of the new law is not to fire more people but to set up a culture of higher standards at the department.

During a press conference at the White House after the bill signing, Shulkin told The Daily Signal:

Every organization needs to see whether something works and whether you need to make changes. So it won’t surprise me if we’re going to need to ask for further legislative changes. Frankly, I’m looking for additional support on the hiring piece because getting the right people in place not only involves removing people that have lost their way but more importantly it involves attracting the very best and the brightest to serve our country’s veterans. And it still takes too long to do that and we’re still too restrictive so I’m going to be looking for help in that area.

(For more from the author of “What a Wounded Veteran Thinks of Trump’s VA Reform” please click HERE)

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Nonprofit Tracker to Remove ‘Hate Group’ Labels on Conservative Groups for ‘Time Being’

The nation’s leading source of information on U.S. charities announced it will modify its use of a controversial “hate group” designation in listings for some well-known and broadly supported conservative nonprofits.

“We have decided to remove the SPLC annotations from these 46 organizations for the time being,” read a statement posted Friday on GuideStar’s website. “This change will be implemented during the week of June 26, 2017. In the meantime, we will make this information available to any user on request.”

GuideStar, which calls itself a “neutral” aggregator of tax data on charities, recently incorporated the “hate group” labels produced by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which inspired 41 conservative leaders to protest the move, asking GuideStar in a letter last week to remove the flagging

In an interview with The Daily Signal last week, William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a retired Army general who is executive vice president of the Family Research Council, said GuideStar’s messaging is not neutral.

“GuideStar says that they are neutral, but they are anything but neutral. In fact … I would say at this point, they are becoming an arm of the ultra-left,” Boykin said.

The conservatives’ letter, dated June 21 and directed to GuideStar President and CEO Jacob Harold, who is described on GuideStar’s website as a social change strategist, asked the website to drop the “hate group” labels put on 46 organizations.

Before joining GuideStar, Harold worked for the Hewlett Foundation’s philanthropy program as a “climate change campaigner” for Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace USA, and as an organizing director at Citizen Works.

Organizations represented on the letter included the Family Research Council, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the American College of Pediatricians, the National Task Force for Therapy Equality, the American Family Association, the London Center for Policy Research, and the Jewish Institute for Global Awareness.

Signers of the letter pointed to recent history and noted the “hate group” designation propagated by the Southern Poverty Law Center and adopted by GuideStar can have serious implications.

Floyd Corkins, the man convicted of a 2012 attempt to massacre employees at the Family Research Council, was inspired by SPLC’s description of the Christian pro-family research organization as a hate group.

In an interview with the FBI, Corkins said a list on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website motivated his attack, a connection which the SPLC has acknowledged.

The signers also note that that James T. Hodgkinson, the man who police say tried to gun down Republican lawmakers June 14 during practice for a congressional baseball game just outside Washington in Alexandria, Virginia, liked the Southern Poverty Law Center on Facebook.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was gravely wounded in the gunman’s attack. Four others were injured.

Among the signers of the June 21 letter was Edwin J. Feulner, founder and president of The Heritage Foundation, the parent organization of The Daily Signal. Two other fixtures of the conservative think tank, Heritage board member Edwin Meese III and Heritage Action for America CEO Michael Needham, also signed the letter. Heritage is not labeled a hate group by either SPLC or GuideStar.

The signers asked Harold “that GuideStar return to its prior, nonpolitical approach to evaluating nonprofit organizations. Please send your reply within one week of receipt of this letter.”

The self-described “neutral” aggregator announced it would continue to navigate the “political spectrum” and evaluate how to move forward.

“We hope to engage in a constructive dialogue with experts from across the political spectrum to help us determine the best way to fulfill this need,” GuideStar’s press release said. (For more from the author of “Nonprofit Tracker to Remove ‘Hate Group’ Labels on Conservative Groups for ‘Time Being'” please click HERE)

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With Ominous Tweet, Comey Pal Suggests Bombshell Story Is Soon to Drop

A longtime friend of James Comey is teasing what could be a bombshell story about the former FBI director and his interactions with President Trump.

Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, posted an ominous message on Twitter on Friday: “TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK.”

The lawyer, who blogs at Lawfare, has posted similar messages in the past just before major stories in the ongoing Trump-Comey saga hit The New York Times.

Wittes wrote on Twitter that the upcoming story could be published late Friday or on Monday. The heads-up comes a day after Trump revealed that he was bluffing last month when he suggested that he had recorded his conversations with Comey.

May 16 appears to be his first time Wittes previewed Comey stories.

(Read more from “With Ominous Tweet, Comey Pal Suggests Bombshell Story Is Soon to Drop” HERE)

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DHS Agent: “Staggering” Pedophilia Crisis Uncovered With Mass Arrests of Entertainers, Community Leaders, Professionals and Clergy

As bogus news pushing the divisive two-party paradigm about which puppet politician said something stupid this week fills the airwaves, very real news is taking place and conveniently getting glossed over. This very real news involves very real victims — who happen to be innocent children.

This week, a massive operation came to a head that was carried out across southern California which swept up 238 child predators and traffickers — including clergymen attempting to buy a 6-year-old boy.

Conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children task force, “Operation Broken Heart III” targeted offenders wanted for the sexual exploitation of children, child prostitution, sex tourism and possessing and distributing child pornography, said Deputy Chief Matt Blake of the Los Angeles Police Department, as reported by the LA Times.

The mass arrests were not made up of reclusive pedophiles living in their mother’s basements either. In fact, much of the arrests involved high-profile figures throughout the community.

John Reynolds, acting special agent in charge for U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations said that among those arrested were entertainers, community leaders, white-collar professionals and clergy members.

“The incidence of child sexual exploitation has reached staggering proportions,” he said at a news conference.

These are not your typical Internet dwellers looking to prey on children online with images and pornography. These people are willing to cross the globe to purchase children for sex. What this exposes is the very real, elite, and extremely horrific market for children.

In May, Michael Quinn, 33, traveled from Australia to Los Angeles to complete a deal to buy a 6-year-old boy for sex, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

As the Times reports, undercover agents met Quinn on a social media networking site, where he had communicated that he wanted to “meet up with a dad who shares his young one,” according to prosecutors.

“Quinn explained to the undercover agent he was hoping to meet ‘other pervs’ in the U.S. and ultimately agreed to pay a human trafficker $250 to provide him with a young boy with whom he could engage in illicit sex,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

Since its inception in 2014, Operation Broken Heart has increased resources to law enforcement agencies and task forces which have resulted in thousands of arrests. It is one of 61 programs nationwide funded through the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Sadly, the funding for the prevention of child sex trafficking is but a drop in the bucket to the $51 billion spent annually fighting a [largely unconstitutional] drug war. . .

However, as the Free Thought Project has reported numerous times, many of these sickos hold positions of power within high levels of the government. They have an incentive to protect their operation and can do so using the many corrupt pedophiles within law enforcement as their minions.

In case after case, the Free Thought Project reports on horrifying instances of child sex rings that were allowed to go on for decades because politicians — including heads of states — policemen, clergy, and others were all in on the sick game.

In fact, as the new Netflix series, The Keepers set out to launch an investigation into a murder cold case it soon became much deeper because of the high-level pedophilia it revealed. The story exposed a concerted effort to conceal widespread rape and sexual abuse committed by Keough school chaplain and counselor Father Joseph Maskell, as well as other clergy, police, and a local gynecologist.

On multiple occasions, the Free Thought Project has reported interviews of former child sex trafficking victims who’ve all noted that they had nowhere to go as police and high-level politicians all took part in the abuse.

Hopefully, as the government’s war on drugs continues to crumble, people will wake up to the fact that rescuing a child from a rapist is far more important than catching some dude smoking a plant. Hopefully. (Read more articles from the author of “Staggering Pedophilia Crisis Uncovered,” HERE)
__________________________________________________________

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project.

Despicable Nebraska Democrat Says He’s ‘F**King Glad’ Scalise Got Shot

A Nebraska Democratic Party (NDP) operative has been fired from his position on the Technology Committee of the of the NDP after recorded audio appeared in which he says he was “f***ing glad” that Congressman Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot and that he wishes Scalise “was f***ing dead.”

Phil Montag, the state party’s technology committee co-chairman, was recorded saying “I’m glad he got shot” and “I wish he was f***ing dead” during a private meeting with NDP Black Caucus Chair Chelsey Gentry-Tipton that was recorded.

Rep. Scalise was shot during a targeted attack on GOP members of Congress in Alexandria, Va., in mid-June by radical leftist James T. Hodgkinson, who wanted to kill Republicans. Gentry-Tipton has come under fire herself after she made comments on Facebook that she thought it was “funny” that Republicans were “crying” after Scalise and four others were injured.

Listen:

Here is a transcript of the discussion, provided by Leavenworth St., a conservative blog in Nebraska:

Male: “Right now, so what is it that you want to do?”
Phil Montag: “Let me tell you, that motherf***er, the one that was shot, the scafie guy…I mean that guy, what’s was his name scafie?”
Female: “Scalise”
Male: “I really don’t want you to deflect right now.”
Montag: “No, this motherf***er, like his whole job is to like get people , convince Republicans to f***in’ kick people off f***in’ healthcare”
Female: “We know all of this.”
Montag: “I hate this motherf***er”
Female: “We know this”
Montage: “I’m f***in’ glad he got shot!”
Male: “Phil! Phil!”
Montag: “I’m glad he got shot!”
Male: “Dude!”
Montage: “I’m not going to f***in’ say that in public.”
Female: “You don’t have to say that in public.”
Male: “Then what are you saying it to us for?”
Female: “Say something, say something.”
Male: “What are you telling us for?”
Montag: “I wish he was ***in’ dead!”
Male: “Why are you telling us but not telling anyone else?”
Montag: “Cause I’m trying to f***in’ figure all this s*** out.”
Male: “It’s OK, because I’ve been recoding this conversation since you’ve come in, so I will publicly release it myself.”

In the wake of the released audio, NDP Chairwoman Jane Kleeb removed Montag from his position with the state party.

“I apologize to all the Democrats who now have to answer at the sale barn or hair salon what is wrong with the direction of politics,” Kleeb told the Lincoln Journal Star.

“The hateful rhetoric has no place in the Democratic Party and does not represent the values of Democrats across our state and country who lift up working-class families every day.”

Reached for comment by Conservative Review, Kleeb said “The amount of heated political rhetoric is dangerous and reckless.”

Montag denied wishing that Scalise was dead, arguing to the Omaha World-Herald Thursday that his words had been taken out of context.

“Like every decent American I am saddened and horrified by the shooting of Congressman Scalise,” Montag told the paper by email. “I do not and did not wish for his death. I am hopeful that the entirety of the original, unedited recording will emerge so we can get to the truth of the matter.”

Mr. Montag did not respond to a request for comment from Conservative Review. (For more from the author of “Despicable Nebraska Democrat Says He’s ‘F**King Glad’ Scalise Got Shot” please click HERE)

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Asian Yale Dean Makes “White Trash” Comment, Forced to Step Down

June Chu, who came under fire earlier in 2017 for using disparaging terms like “white trash” in Yelp reviews, has left Yale University.

“Dean Chu has left her position at Pierson College and wishes the best to the students,” Pierson College administrative head Stephen Davis wrote in an email to students. “As a result, I am initiating the process of the search for a new dean, who will be in place before the start of the fall term” . . .

Chu had been placed on leave by Yale towards the end of May over disparaging remarks she made on Yelp towards local establishments surrounding New Haven, Connecticut, where the university is located.

“This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of any imagination and perfect for those low-class folks who believe this is a real night out,” Chu wrote in one post. In another review, Chu wrote that the restaurant was perfect for anyone who was “white trash.”

“Let me be clear,” she wrote. “No one, especially those in trusted positions of educating young people, should denigrate or stereotype others, and that extends to any form of discrimination based on class, race, religion, age, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.” (Read more from “Asian Yale Dean Makes “White Trash” Comment, Forced to Step Down” HERE)

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