Tuesday, November 19, 2019


House Democrats probe whether Trump lied to Mueller: Report

By Alex Swoyer

The Washington Times
November 18, 2019

House Democrats are investigating whether President Trump lied to special counsel Robert Mueller, according to CNN.

The House chamber’s general counsel told a federal court Monday they are probing whether Mr. Trump was dishonest to the special counsel in his written answers that were handed over during the investigation into alleged Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign and election interference.

“Did the President lie? Was the President not truthful in his responses to the Mueller investigation?” Douglas Letter, the House general counsel, reportedly said.

CNN reports the comments were made at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in a legal fight over the House gaining access to Mr. Mueller’s grand jury material.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I do not believe that Trump lied to Mueller because the written answers he gave were carefully crafted by his lawyers. This is just some more horseshit by the Demoncrats in their zeal to find any possible way of bringing Trump down. If, however, the Demoncrats can prove he lied, Trump is indeed a dead duck.

Meanwhile Trump has said he is considering defending himself at any impeachment trial. Fat chance of that happening. His lawyers will adamantly insist he not testify. If he is stupid enough to ignore the lawyers, Trump will not be in control of the trial – the Never Trumpers will be - and there is a good chance his big mouth will overload his ass, thereby convicting himself.


by Bob Walsh

Brian Tapey, 58, is a retired senior cop from Scotland Yard. He was one of the counter-terrorism experts. He stepped on his dick a couple of days ago.

Active duty cops are allowed freebies on public transport within 70 miles of London. He used his old warrant card to try to avoid paying a train fare of about $10 American equivalent. Unfortunately for him officers from their professional standards bureau were hanging out at Victoria Station just for the purpose of nailing fare evaders. When the cops stopped him he admitted to no longer being a cop and to not having a ticket. Then the stupid fuck ran.

They pursued him onto the street and tackled his ass. He copped to impersonating a police officer and fare evasion. The whole thing ended up costing him about $150 American. He had retired while he was out on leave and there was no mechanism in place at that time to ensure he turned his warrant card in under those circumstances. I have a sneaky hunch that they will fix that.


by Bob Walsh

SCOTUS ruled yesterday that President Trump's accounting firm does NOT have to turn over Trump's financial records to congress. Federal law does permit congress to access individual's tax records in certain circumstances if they can show a real need in addressing issues directly affecting pending legislation. They are NOT necessarily allowed to go on politically motivated fishing expeditions, which is exactly what the democrat controlled house was attempting to do.

The court was right to do it, even if they did not ask my opinion on the matter.


Who Ever Would Have Guessed That Could Happen ?

by Bob Walsh

It seems that small and medium size businesses in the People's Republic of San Francisco are having a hard time staying in business due to property crimes, often burglaries, which are routinely ignored by the cops.

Bars and restaurants are chief among these targets. They have to keep a certain amount of money on hand, as well as booze.

S F has the highest per-capita property crime rate of any major city in the U. S. And the count if actually DOWN from last year.

I wonder what effect, if any, the new I DON'T BELIEVE IN PROSECUTING CRIMINALS district attorney will have come January? Many of the burglars are repeat offender career criminals who do only brief stays in custody and then come out to return to their regular job, which is stealing your shit.


Freezing In The Dark In The Formerly Great State Of California

by Bob Walsh

Due to weather conditions, a combination of high wind and critically low humidity, P G & E may again turn off the power to a shitload of customers in rural areas of NorCal.

That is the nice thing about being an urbanite. My power goes out once in a while due to a DUI crash on Charter Way, but that's about it, and that is about two hours max. Once they turn off your power, it is an absolute minimum of 24 hours to get it back on and 48 or more is more likely.

Break out your generator and camp stove.

Meanwhile, here in Stockton, it is 76 degrees right now and the winds are calm.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I wonder if this isn't just a plot by the Generac dealers.


I Am, However, Cautious Of The WalMartians

by Bob Walsh

It seems there was a shooting in the parking lot of a WalMart in Oklahoma yesterday. Two dead, one injured. Shooter got away, so far. As I recall they have decent parking lot surveillance so they will probably get him / her / it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: When confronted by an armed Walmartian, the shooter up and killed himself.


Who Would Have Ever Thought That Could Happen ?

by Bob Walsh

The talking heads who swore blind that the Horowitz FISA court report would be out this week are now saying it won't be out until early December. Not surprising, but disappointing. Life is hard. I am also out of Diet Dr. Pepper.


by Bob Walsh

The United Farm Workers has decided to endorse and support Kamala Harris in her run (or more like a crippled meandering) for El Presidente de Los Estados Unidos. She is polling less than 10% in California and is barely a road-kill bump on the highway in national polling. the UFW is, by and large, a bunch of radical commies, but are not known generally as sTUPID radical commies. I admit to being surprised.


by Bob Walsh

There was a backyard FOOTBALL GAME WATCH PARTY in Fresno a couple of nights ago. As they were enjoying the game several somebodies came by and opened fire on the party, shooting a total of ten people. Four of those ten have died.

Perhaps the shooting was perpetrated by rabid cricket fans, but somehow I think it is more likely there was some level of gang involvement.


California Uses Minors To Bust Illegal Tobacco And Alcohol Sales. It Hasn’t Done The Same With Pot

LAPPL News Watch
November 18, 2019

California state agencies send minors into thousands of liquor stores and bars each year to attempt to buy alcohol or cigarettes. The stings catch hundreds of clerks and bartenders selling to underage customers.

But two years after the state began licensing marijuana shops, the agency tasked with enforcing cannabis laws in California has not conducted similar stings targeting the state’s multibillion-dollar pot industry, the largest in the country.

Proposition 64, which was approved by voters in 2016 to legalize the sale and cultivation of of pot, does not require the state to use sting operations to enforce the law.

But proponents of the initiative promised aggressive action to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors, and experts and critics of marijuana legalization say the state is failing to use an important method to hold the industry accountable, even as stings using minors as decoys have become standard practice in other states that legalized marijuana.


L.A. Prosecutors Use Genealogy Search To Make Arrest In 1980s Killings Of Two Women

LAPPL News Watch
November 18, 2019

Los Angeles County prosecutors have filed two counts of murder against a man linked to a pair of decades-old cold cases by connecting the suspect through a genealogy match, a first for the office, Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey said Friday.

Horace Van Vaultz Jr., 64, was charged with the 1986 killing of Mary Duggan in Burbank and the 1981 slaying of Selena Keough in Montclair. He will appear in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Monday.

The victims were both strangled and sexually assaulted, according to investigators, who have been in touch with other law enforcement agencies about Vault’s possible links to other cold cases.

“Thanks to advances in technology and forensics, we are now able to virtually reach back in time and find those responsible for these vicious crimes,” Lacey said.

Vaultz was arrested Thursday after a traffic stop in Los Angeles, said Burbank Det. Aaron Kay, the lead investigator on Duggan’s killing.


Israeli UN envoy Danon slams Bernie Sanders's Israel comments

Israel Hayom
November 18, 2019

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon didn’t mince words when slamming Bernie Sanders’s recent remarks about US aid to Israel on Sunday night.

Speaking at the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) gala in New York City, Danon said: “Mr. Sanders, a few months on a kibbutz in 1963 can only teach you so much." He was referring to the Vermont senator’s brief time at an Israeli kibbutz near Haifa in his youth.

Danon then attacked Sanders for comments he made during the J Street Annual conference in Washington, DC last month. There, Sanders declared that some of the $3.8 billion in aid the US allocates to Israel, should be given to the Gazan people as well.

“My solution is, to Israel, if you want military aid you’re going to have to fundamentally change your relationship to the people of Gaza,” Sanders said. “I would say that some of the $3.8 billion should go right now to humanitarian aid in Gaza.”

Finding that stance absurd, Danon said such a belief would “undermine the security of both Israel and the US”

“Perhaps Mr. Sanders didn’t hear about Israel leaving Gaza in 2005,” he said. “Maybe he hasn’t had the chance to visit the Kerem Shalom crossing, where hundreds of trucks pass daily to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Maybe he doesn’t know about the terror tunnels.”

“[Sanders] is suggesting to give less military assistance to the United States’ most important ally in the Middle East in order to give it to Hamas, a terrorist organization that celebrated the tragedy of 9/11,” he continued.

Danon vowed to fight against these “radical” voices threatening Israel.

In addition to Sanders’s J Street comments, he’s also called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government “racist” and has aligned himself with vociferous anti-Israel critics like US Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Linda Sarsour.

According to a CBS poll, Bernie Sanders is now polling at 18%, behind Elizabeth Warren (26%) and Joe Biden (29%).


Child endangerment charges being explored for prosecutor who brought teen daughter onto San Jose trail and plotted to record man having inappropriate contact with her

By Robert Salonga

The Mercury News
November 17, 2019

SAN JOSE — A Santa Clara County prosecutor used his 13-year-old daughter to lure a man back to the spot where she said he had sexually molested her, so that the man’s incriminating actions could be recorded on video, according to police reports and sources familiar with the case.

The man has now been arrested, but the prosecutor is under scrutiny for possibly endangering his child.

The molestation was the subject of an active police investigation at the time that the prosecutor brought his daughter back to the scene, the Los Alamitos Trail in Almaden Valley. After recording video of the man interacting with his daughter, the prosecutor gave the recording to the police. The next day, 76-year-old Ali Mohammad Lajmiri was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and false imprisonment.

The prosecutor told police that he and the victim had arranged for her to walk back and forth on the trail, while the two of them stayed in touch with cell phones and earbuds.

“He stated that they had already done this several times,” San Jose Detective Sgt. Sean Pierce wrote in the police report on the case. “He directed (the victim) to let (the suspect) touch her if she encountered him, but if it was the breast or between the legs to move away. He instructed (the victim) to let (the suspect) identify and make the contact and if she cannot handle things she should move away. He instructed (the victim) to walk back and forth on the designated route and don’t interact with anyone for very long.”

The idea that a prosecutor would interfere in an active police investigation and have his daughter essentially serve as bait for a suspected predator was met with dismay by members of the local law enforcement community, including some of the prosecutor’s colleagues and police officers who have worked with him.

Multiple sources confirmed the prosecutor’s identity to this news organization. He is not being named in this story to protect the identity of the underage sexual assault victim.

The state Attorney General’s office has taken over the prosecution of the molestation case because of the conflicts of interest involved. Such conflicts already existed because of the prosecutor’s relationship to the victim, and became more pronounced after his efforts to insert himself into the case and gather evidence against the suspect.

Sources also told this news organization that state prosecutors are exploring potential child endangerment charges against the prosecutor.

Through the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the prosecutor declined to comment. The DA’s office declined to comment specifically on the prosecutor’s actions, but it released a short statement on the case.

“As in all cases of sexual assault, our hearts go out to the victim and her family,” Assistant District Attorney Terry Harman said in the statement. “We have recused ourselves from the handling of any filing decision and prosecution of any matters related to this situation.”

She added, “We cannot answer any case questions because we are not handling the case. And, of course, it would be inappropriate to comment on any potential personnel matter.”

The sexual assault investigation began Oct. 8, a day after the victim told her doctor that she had been sexually assaulted. In the ensuing police investigation, she gave accounts of three instances between August and October in which the same man approached her while she was walking her dog on the trail and touched her sexually.

In the beginning of November, the victim’s father, the prosecutor, went out on the trail and found a man who resembled her description of the suspect, which included a distinct tracksuit, and took his photo. The victim said it looked like her assailant, according to the police report.

A few days later, the victim’s mother spotted a man matching the suspect description, and followed him to his home located a couple of blocks off the trail, and they gave the address to police to conduct surveillance, the report states.

On Nov. 11, the prosecutor contacted police, saying he had video of the suspect wearing the same tracksuit, walking with his arm around the waist of the victim — his daughter — and at one point grabbing her to keep her from leaving him.

In the video, the suspect in the molestation, since identified as Lajmiri, was seen walking with the victim with his arm around her and his hand on her waist. The video taken by the prosecutor reportedly shows Lajmiri sitting with the girl on a nearby bench, pulling her back down after she tries to get up and leave, and then moving his head toward her. The victim, in a separate interview, said that was when the suspect “leaned in for a kiss on her mouth.” She also reported that she “felt as (if) she was not allowed to leave.”

Eventually, the suspect kissed the top of the victim’s head, then “allowed her to leave, and the victim walked away,” but the suspect followed her, according to the police report.

The prosecutor, in his account to police officers, said he followed the man and his daughter as this happened, but lost sight of them on two occasions.

Lajmiri was arrested the next day in the same area. He reportedly told investigators that he put his arms around the victim’s waist, kissed her hand and head, and sat with her on a bench on Nov. 11. He also said he was trying to guide the victim back down to the bench, not pulling her. And he said any contact he had with the victim’s breasts or buttocks was accidental, referring to the allegations about earlier sexual contacts with the girl. The other contact he had with her, he said, was “a sign of affection as a fatherly figure,” according to the police report.

But Lajmiri also told police he had trouble remembering the interactions, because he had Alzheimer’s disease, the police report states.

Several legal and law-enforcement experts who spoke to this news organization on background said they do not believe that the prosecutor’s actions would significantly compromise the case against Lajmiri. An entrapment defense, the experts said, would be hard to make because there is no evidence that the suspect was coerced into performing any criminal acts. But they added that the circumstances under which the videotape was made could result in the footage recorded by the prosecutor being excluded from evidence.

What struck officials and law-enforcement sources with knowledge of the case most was the idea of the reported victim being placed in harm’s way to gather the video evidence. According to the San Jose police report, the prosecutor told sexual-assault investigators that he created a plan with his daughter to lure the suspect, in which he would be following both of them closely.

San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia declined to comment specifically on the case and the prosecutor’s involvement, but generally advised against citizens taking the law into their own hands.

“As a father, I understand how emotional it can be when your child is the victim of a crime. But we have to remember that the safety of the child comes first,” Garcia said, “and channel that frustration in a positive way to assist the investigation and not hinder it.”

Lajmiri is being held in the Santa Clara County jail on $3 million bail. He is scheduled to return to court Jan. 29.


Ilhan Omar funneled another $150K to alleged lover’s consulting group, making the total $370K

By Ebony Bowden

New York Post
November 17, 2019

Rep. Ilhan Omar paid another $150,000 to Tim Mynett’s political consulting group in the three months after The Post first revealed allegations the pair were romantically involved, records show.

The 37-year-old Minnesota congresswoman’s campaign has funneled $146,712.63 to Mynett’s E Street Group since The Post in August reported allegations she was having an affair with her paid consultant, records show.

The latest payments to Mynett’s group were for digital advertising, fundraising consulting and video production.

When news of the alleged affair broke, Omar had already paid $223,000 through her campaign since 2018 for fundraising consulting, internet advertising, digital communications, and travel expenses to the E Street Group — taking the latest total to $370,000.

But the federal agency charged with probing the campaign finance complaint against Omar is powerless to act because it doesn’t have enough commissioners on the bench to investigate.

“This is something every American should be very concerned about,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the watchdog group Public Citizen.

“We have no election cop on the beat. The Federal Election Commission essentially closed its doors so everyone knows they can pretty much do whatever they want to do and that’s the status of our political system today.”

Both Omar and Mynett have denied the allegations in Beth Mynett’s divorce papers that the consultant dumped his wife in April because he was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative.

In October, Omar filed for divorce from her husband, Ahmed Hirsi, amid the affair allegations — claiming the marriage was “irretrievable.” The split was finalized on Nov. 5.

The congresswoman’s office and the E Street Group did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

A conservative watchdog, the National Legal and Policy Center, filed a complaint against Omar with the Federal Election Commission in the wake of the bombshell report — seeking a probe into whether the Democrat used campaign funds to rendezvous with her alleged lover.

But because the FEC has only three of six commissioner slots filled and needs at least four members to vote on complaints, their hands are tied.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Holman said of the continued payments from Omar to her alleged love interest. “We literally have no election cop on the beat and we’re entering the 2020 election that promises to be the most expensive election in history.”

The FEC complaint focused on the fact that more than $12,673.43 of the payments to Mynett were simply labeled “travel expenses” — a potential breach of campaign finance law, which mandates that travel expenses be itemized.

“Our question is whether this was necessary travel or whether she was just bringing her boyfriend along for the company,” NLPC chairman Peter Flaherty said in August.

FEC spokesman Christian Hilland said Friday the agency was still open for business but needed the US Senate to confirm a fourth member before it can begin investigating campaign finance violations again.

“We are willing to accept reports but we are not able to move forward with any investigatory matters,” he said.


Why Bloomberg’s presidential run doesn’t have a hope in hell

By Kyle Smith

New York Post
November 16, 2019

I have a filthy, embarrassing little secret: I like Mike Bloomberg. He’s smart, he’s tough, he’s an able manager. As mayor of this little village on the sea, he drove down crime and hugely improved public education by ramming through the teachers unions to create space for charter schools, which now educate more than 100,000 New York City kids. He understands how the city works and boosted the real estate industry and Wall Street. Oh, and he bulldozed those smelly Oberlin twerps out of their little Occupy Wall Street performance-art playground, which was not only the right policy decision but also hugely entertaining.

Bloomberg doesn’t get enough credit for this — as far as I can tell, he gets no credit whatsoever for this — but he is probably more responsible than any other human being on Earth for getting people off cigarettes and consequently saving untold numbers of lives. When Bloomberg banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2003, everyone thought it would kill New York City social life. New York would stay home and drink boxed Chablis and eat Lean Cuisines! Every restaurant manager and barmaid in the city pleaded with him not to destroy their business.

Instead, they got to breathe fresh air. They got to take a shower the next morning without setting off the smoke detector. And everyone kept going out to eat and drink. Some smokers learned to go outside when they wanted a ciggie, grudgingly admitting that this was better for everyone than stinking up every pub, and it helped them reduce their consumption. Others simply gave up and quit, especially when Bloomberg drove up the price of a pack of Marlboros to approximately the level of a Toyota Celica.

Because New York City is to Europeans what Paris is to Americans, Europe got interested. Ireland banned smoking in restaurants in 2004. France followed in 2006, England in 2007, Spain in 2011. Anyone familiar with the bar culture in any of these countries around the turn of the century would have said they were more likely to outlaw sex or soccer than smoking. But they did, because New York proved to them that a sophisticated, world-class city could do fine without it.

Even Bloomberg’s strange crusade against large sodas and his misguided yearslong attempt to waste what is now the Hudson Yards neighborhood on a stadium for the Jets strikes me as merely eccentric, not actually alarming. (And Big Gulps would not have been banned anyway, due to a loophole.)

Now Bloomberg is testing the waters as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2020. But there’s a reason no New York City mayor gets to move up to a higher office, ever, and Bloomberg embodies it: He has annoyed far too many people. My fellow conservatives despise him because of his loud support for abortion and gun control and his unabashed nanny-statism. (Bloomberg cheerfully played Mary Poppins at the Inner Circle show for politicians and journalists.) Meanwhile, liberals hate him because of his loud support for stop-and-frisk programs and because he loves capitalism and Wall Street, not to mention the Iraq War.

Furthermore, in a Democratic Party that genuflects before the altar of political correctness, he seems almost Trumpishly insensitive. When he attempts Spanish, he mangles the language so badly he provides a trove of comedy material for the Twitter parody account ElBloombito. He used to say things like, “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s,” a joke that might have gotten laughs in 1936, when he first told it, but sounds a bit off in a country where three out of five college degrees go to women. Columnist David Dayen labeled Bloomberg “almost surgically designed to repel practically every American voter on some level.”

Bloomberg is a radical moderate in a country where all of the political energy — the organizers, the donors, the people on the talk shows — is coming from true believers who want their candidate to pass every single ideological purity test. He’s a conservative Democrat. He’s a liberal Republican. He’s a man without a party. This is a country where that matters. He has about as much chance of being elected president of the United States as El Chapo.

Michael Bloomberg apologizes for his stop and frisk police policy at historically black church ahead of potential Democratic presidential run

Daily Mail
November 17, 2019

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apologized for his longstanding support of the controversial 'stop and frisk' police strategy ahead of a potential Democratic presidential run.

Addressing the Christian Cultural Center, a historically black church in Brooklyn, on Sunday, Bloomberg, 77, admitted: 'I was wrong.'

Bloomberg said the practice often led to the disproportionate detaining of blacks and Latinos, adding that he 'can't change history'.

But he said that if anyone was wrongly stopped by police: 'I apologize', adding: 'Our focus was on saving lives. But the fact is: Far too many innocent people were being stopped while we tried to do that.

'And the overwhelming majority of them were black and Latino. That may have included, I’m sorry to say, some of you here today, perhaps yourself, or your children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbors or your relatives.'

EDITOR’S NOTE: Bloomberg took a cheap shot at a good police tactic in order to ingratiate himself to the black community. He should not apologize for ‘stop and frisk’ because it is a very effective anti-crime technique. The reason a disproportionate number of blacks and Latinos were subjected to stop and frisk is because of the high crime rate in their neighborhoods. And the fact that innocent blacks and Latinos were caught up by this tactic is no reason to abandon it.

For that matter, any crime-fighting method, like ‘broken windows, stop and frisk, and an increased police presence, is bound to impact minorities more than whites because of the high crime rates in black and Latino neighborhoods.

Instead of being a candidate of honor and integrity, Bloomberg has now shown himself just as phony as all the other presidential candidates.

Monday, November 18, 2019


Reduce drug sentences to lower Texas’ prison population

By The Editorial Board

Houston Chronicle
November 14, 2019

Twelve years ago, Texas blazed a successful trail for criminal justice reform that even the federal government has tried to follow, but Oklahoma’s recent mass release of nearly 500 inmates may have given it the momentum to reach even higher ground than the Lone Star State.

With 170,000 inmates and a $523 million budget request to build three new prisons staring them in the face, the Legislature and Gov. Rick Perry finally admitted in 2007 that Texas’ lock-’em-up approach to criminal justice not only wasn’t working; it was too expensive.

The lawmakers subsequently passed a bipartisan plan sponsored by Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, and Rep. Jerry Madden, R-Plano, that would instead lower the prison population by spending $241 million on incarceration alternatives that included drug courts, rehabilitation for non-violent offenders, and more mental health and educational programs for inmates.

The results have been striking. Texas’ inmate population has dropped more than 12 percent and instead of building new prisons, the state has closed eight facilities. Among the impressed include a long list of conservative groups and Congress, which last year passed the First Step Act, which funds similar early-release and recidivism-reduction programs for federal inmates.

First Step goes further though by also reducing mandatory minimum prison sentences for some drug crimes, which has allowed eligible federal inmates to qualify for early release. That’s also what Oklahoma has done by downgrading numerous felonies to misdemeanors, including simple drug possession and minor property crimes.

That was the will of the people. Many of the same Oklahomans whose votes ushered President Trump to a landslide in the Sooner State three years ago also approved the sentencing changes through a referendum in that same election.

The state’s legislators voted earlier this year to make the reforms retroactive, which led to the Oklahoma Pardons and Parole Board’s unanimous vote this month to commute the sentences and release more than 450 nonviolent offenders serving time for crimes no longer considered felonies.

If Oklahoma can do that, so can Texas. The Lone Star State’s criminal justice reforms have been effective, but more must be done.

In fact, a survey of prison populations by the Vera Institute of Justice showed Texas was one of 19 states that saw their inmate populations increase between 2017 and 2018. The institute said Texas’ increase of nearly 1,000 inmates was the largest in the nation. But it was called a “slight bump” by Marc Levin, a vice president for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Levin, who helped craft the 2007 prison reform package, said the Texas prison population started declining again this year and by September was 142,048 inmates, which is 3,500 fewer prisoners than it was 12 months earlier. He said most of that decline, however, appears to have occurred in state-run jails.

“A lot of jurisdictions are realizing the state jails don’t work because the people sent to them don’t get drug treatment,” Levin told the editorial board. He agreed that sentencing changes are needed to restore momentum to Texas’ inmate reduction efforts. “Oklahoma has done something we haven’t don: lessen sentences for lower-level drug cases and make those changes retroactive,” said Levin.

About 16,000 inmates in Texas prisons and state jails for drug possession could be affected by that change, he said, though some might not be eligible for release due to prior offenses.

Levin also pointed out the need for probation reform in Texas, which has more than 120 local probation departments. “Every judge does mostly what he wants,” he said, calling for a matrix that all judges must follow when setting probation guidelines. “We still have too many people in prison, including elderly, geriatric prisoners,” said Levin.

Texas took a bold step 12 years ago when it enacted criminal justice reforms. Not only has that step saved the state millions of dollars it didn’t have to spend to build and staff prisons, it has also allowed inmates who in many cases didn’t need to go to prison leave incarceration and try to make a positive contribution to society.

Now, it’s time for Texas to take some more bold steps with sentencing changes, uniform probation standards, better alternatives for geriatric inmates, and other criminal justice reforms. We look forward to seeing what the lawmakers and Gov. Abbott come up with when the Legislature reconvenes in 2021 .

EDITOR’S NOTE: Oklahoma did not learn from California that early release of prison inmates and reducing felonies to misdemeanors make law abiding citizens less safe, and neither has the Houston Chronicle.


by Bob Walsh

It seems that the change in bathroom policy for Starbucks, made a few months back after an unfortunate incident, has had a significant effect on the traffic in the stores.

Overall the chain has had a 6.8% drop in store attendance per month since May of 2018 when they started allowing "customers" to come in and use the tables and bathrooms without ordering. It is believed that this is being caused by actual customers coming in and fining the bathrooms dirty and the tables crowded.

It should be noted that this survey was compiled by SafeGraph, an independent company that does their work by charting smart phone locations and times and was NOT done by nor endorsed by Starbucks. In fact Starbucks disputes the findings.


by Bob Walsh

Another tragic example of the complete and utter failure of domestic violence restraining orders. The San Diego cops are not giving much information but it is known that five people are dead, including both parents and three children.

A 911 call was made to the residence but the line was left open. Dispatchers could hear a person (presumably the 29-year old wife) telling another person (presumably the 31-year old husband) to leave the residence. Cops were dispatched. While they were enroute the cops got another call, from a neighbor, who heard a loud argument and what sounded like gunshots.

The cops believe the husband-father shot the wife and their three children then killed himself.

I am not knocking restraining orders. I am saying that depending on one to protect you is not smart. If a person is enough of an asshole that you need to file a restraining order against them they are enough of an asshole to ignore the restraining order.


Donald Trump tells Kim Jong Un to 'get the deal done' with the US and DEFENDS Joe Biden after the North Korean leader called him a 'rabid dog' - but admits he still thinks the Democrat is 'sleepy and very slow'

Daily Mail
November 17, 2019

Donald Trump defended on Sunday his top political rival Joe Biden after a North Korean news agency dubbed the former vice president a 'rabid dog' and bashed his supposed deteriorating mental state.

'Mr. Chairman, Joe Biden may be Sleepy and Very Slow, but he is not a 'rabid dog,' Trump posted to Twitter Sunday morning. 'He is actually somewhat better than that, but I am the only one who can get you where you have to be. You should act quickly, get the deal done. See you soon!'

Although Trump's defense of Biden, or any Democrat, was rare, it was modest - with him insisting Biden was 'somewhat better' than a 'rabid dog.'


Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani accuses Joe Biden of BRIBERY for 'guaranteeing a loan in return for firing a prosecutor in Ukraine', says the Democrats are impeaching the President for something the former VP did

Daily Mail
November 17, 2019

'Bribery is a disaster for Dems. They are trying to impeach [Trump for] what Biden did. Biden offered a thing of value, loan guarantee, in return for official action, firing a prosecutor,' Giuliani said. 'That's bribery.'

Requesting an investigation of crimes without conditions is innocent,' he added, defending the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that sparked the impeachment probe.

Biden's presidential campaign did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment from DailyMail.com on Sunday.

Trump's defenders have frequently pointed to a January 2018 video in which Biden seems to brag about threatening to withhold military aid to Ukraine while serving as vice president, as a pressure tactic to force the firing of a prosecutor he did not like because he was investigating corruption involving Hunter Biden.


Pence aide calls Trump’s call with Ukraine ‘unusual and inappropriate’

November 17, 2019

The phone call between President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart at the center of Congress’ impeachment investigation was “inappropriate,” an aide to Vice President Mike Pence told lawmakers, according to a transcript released on Saturday.

Jennifer Williams, a foreign policy aide to Pence who was listening to the call on July 25, testified that Trump’s insistence that Ukraine carry out politically sensitive investigations “struck me as unusual and inappropriate.”

She said the discussion was “more political in nature” than phone calls with other foreign leaders, and included what she viewed as specific references to the president’s “personal political agenda.”

Trump’s call — which he has repeatedly termed “perfect” — is at the heart of the Democratic-led inquiry into whether the Republican president misused US foreign policy to undermine former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his potential opponents in the 2020 election.

The House of Representatives on Saturday also released a transcript of an earlier closed-door deposition by Tim Morrison, a former White House aide with the National Security Council focusing on Europe and Russia policy, who was also on the call.

Morrison, who resigned a day before his deposition last month, and Williams both expressed concerns about Trump’s remarks to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Williams and Morrison are scheduled to testify publicly next week.

“I was not comfortable with any idea that President Zelenskiy should allow himself to be involved in our politics,” Morrison told lawmakers. He also said found Zelenskiy’s tone in the call with Trump to be “obsequious.”

Morrison declined to say he thought the call was illegal or improper, stressing instead that he thought it would leak, damaging relations with Ukraine. He said he only learned later that the aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the investigations.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Trump tweeted: “Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!”

Trump should let the House Republicans on Adam Schitt’s kangaroo court defend him and stop his self-destructive tweets against every witness appearing before Schitt’s committee.


Coast Guard intercepts narco-sub with 5,000 pounds of cocaine worth $69M

By Robert Gearty

Fox News
November 16, 2019

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter has seized an apparent narco-submarine carrying more than 5,000 pounds of cocaine worth approximately $69 million during an interdiction operation in the Pacific Ocean.

The semi-submersible vessel was transporting 2 1/2 tons of cocaine at the time of the Oct. 23 seizure by Coast Guard law enforcement personnel aboard the Harriet Lane.

“Boarding teams from the cutter deployed in interceptor boats and stopped the suspected smuggling vessel just before midnight,” the Coast Guard said in a news release Thursday.

“The boarding teams took control of the vessel before the four suspected smugglers aboard could sink the craft using installed scuttling valves.”

The exact location of the bust wasn’t disclosed.

“I am really proud of our crew and the precision and professionalism with which they conducted this interdiction,” said Cmdr. Dorothy Hernaez, Commanding Officer of the Harriet Lane, in the statement. . “It was an all hands on deck effort to properly position the cutter and to safely make the seizure."

The Harriet Lane - a 270-foot medium-endurance cutter commissioned in 1984, operates out of Portsmouth in Virginia.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In September, the U.S. Coast Guard seized a 40-foot semi-submersible vessel in the Eastern Pacific Ocean that was carrying 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $165 million.

Hey folks, we are winning the ongoing war on drugs, not losing it. Significant seizures are being made nearly every day of drugs that would otherwise e sold on the streets.


Father arrested after son, 5, brings heroin to school, says tasting it turns him into Spider-Man

By Morgan Phillips

Fox News
November 16, 2019

A Massachusetts father was arrested and charged Friday after his 5-year-old son allegedly brought a bag of heroin to kindergarten and told his teacher he turns into Spider-Man when he tastes it.

Benny Garcia, 29, pleaded not guilty to charges of drug possession and reckless endangerment of a child.

The boy showed off a plastic bag stamped with the image of Spider-Man that contained a powdery substance, Hampden County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Green said in court, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The boy told his teacher that he turns into the superhero when he tastes the powder. The boy also allegedly said he got the bag from the living room of his home.

Holyoke police officers were called to the school around 11 a.m. Thursday. The boy was taken to a local hospital and later released. Police contacted the boy's mother, who gave permission for police to search her apartment. There they found Garcia sleeping on a bed with other bags of white powder underneath him. As he was handcuffed, other bags fell from his body, according to police.

Court documents stated that police found over 200 bags of heroin and cocaine on Garcia. When officers told Garcia about the situation with his son at school, he reportedly became “very emotional.”

The boy and another infant from the family were taken into state custody.

Garcia will be held without bail until his hearing scheduled for Nov. 20.

“He loves Spider-Man,” Holyoke Police Lt. James Albert said of the boy. “Our officers were quite taken by it all. You don’t often deal with this.”


Trump Signals Lack of Faith in “Loser” Netanyahu

Israel Today
November 17, 2019

They’ve been the hottest political couple on the international stage for the past several years. But is the bromance between US President Donald Trump and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu coming to an end?

At a number of recent public appearances, Trump has jokingly expressed his frustration over the fact that, two national elections this year notwithstanding, Israel still doesn’t have a government.

“What kind of a system is it over there…? They are all fighting and fighting. We have different kinds of fights. At least we know who the boss is. They keep having elections and nobody is elected,” quipped the president during a rant to an Orthodox Jewish group in New York.

Behind the scenes, Israeli officials with close contacts in the White House say that Trump is far less flattering toward Israel, and even his one-time buddy, Netanyahu.

One official told the Ynet news portal that the Americans are “frustrated and in despair due to Israeli politics and the political crisis, which has been preventing them for many months from presenting the diplomatic part of the ‘deal of the century.'”

He described the mood in Washington as one of “bewilderment and anger.”

Israelis already felt that something was up when Trump failed to wholeheartedly endorse Netanyahu in the second national election of this year.

The same official told Ynet that after the Israeli leader’s inability to form a new government following the first election in April, Trump became “very disappointed with Netanyahu and is speaking negatively about him.”

The official reminded Israelis that Trump “doesn’t like losers.”

Sunday, November 17, 2019


Barr accuses Democrats of 'using every tool' to 'sabotage' Trump

by Caitlin Yilek

Washington Examiner
November 16, 2019

Attorney General William Barr accused Democrats of waging a “scorched earth, no-holds-barred war” against President Trump to “sabotage” his presidency.

Democrats’ investigations into Trump and the subpoenas related to them are meant to “incapacitate” his presidency, the top Justice Department official said Friday in a scathing address to the conservative Federalist Society.

“I am concerned that the deck has become stacked against [the president],” Barr said. “In recent years, both the legislative and judicial branches have been responsible for encroaching on the presidency’s constitutional authority.”

The remarks came on the second day of public testimony in the impeachment process over allegations that Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company while his father was still vice president.

“Immediately after President Trump won the election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance,’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his administration,” Barr said.

“Now, ‘resistance’ is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous — indeed incendiary — notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic. What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the ‘loyal opposition,’ as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government,” he continued.

Barr added the Democrats’ tactics are a “systematic shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law.”


But Nobody Who Knows What Is Talking

by Bob Walsh

Manteca is a nice city. I used to live there. It is a burg of about 70,000 people and is now largely a bedroom city feeding into the bay area, though it still has a significant ag and light industry component.

Something strange is going on there. In the last couple of weeks the Chief of Police, Jodie Estarziau, was put on administrative leave. Public Works Manager Mark Houghton was sacked after 12 years on the job. City Manager Tim Ogden and Finance Director Jeri Tejeda were put on administrative leave back in September. The Community Development Manger resigned two weeks ago and has declined comment on why he left his job.

The city is saying very little. Somebody has stated that "accusations" were made against the Chief. An investigation is underway. No one who knows will say who is doing the investigation, if it is criminal or administrative, or pretty much anything else.

I am confident word will leak out. It pretty much always does. The city, though, is obviously sweating it as they don't want to be sued for violating any employee confidentiality rights. It will leak out anyway. Then maybe the residents will find out what the hell is going on.


by Bob Walsh

The two federal correctional officers who were supposed to be watching Jerry Epstein the night he met his final reward have turned down the opportunity to cop a plea and may face prosecution. The two officers have admitted to "pencil-whipping" the security checks of Epstein, who may (or may not) have hung himself. Strangely all the cameras in the area were down at the same time this was all happening.

Theoretically the DOJ has not yet decided whether or not to charge the two men.


by Bob Walsh

There was a "house party" on Halloween in Orindo. The front door security guard spent a lot of time taking hits off of a bottle of Hennessey. The surveillance tape showed people fairly obviously putting guns in their clothing and walking by when the guard was "busy".

At some point somebody may have attempted a bit of personal petty thievery in the kitchen of the house and lead started flying. Five people were killed. Two of the dead bodies had guns on them. It seems many of the attendees were gang members and / or ex-cons.

Several people have been arrested including the promoter of the party, who was seen on tape carrying a firearm into the house. He had a gun on him when he was arrested.

Lebraun Tyree Wallace, 28, Jaquez Deshawn Sweeney, 20, Jason Iles, 20, and Shamron Joshua Mitchell, 30, are all in custody awaiting murder charges. The promoter, Devin Isiah Williamson, 21, is in the slammer on accessory charges. He has not yet made his $500,000 bail.

Sounds like a fun time was had by one and all, except the dead guys of course.


Rudy Giuliani's fixer 'told friends he was on a secret mission for Donald Trump to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens' after a private White House meeting - and referred to the president as 'the big guy'

Daily Mail
November 16, 2019

An associate of Rudy Giuliani claims Donald Trump asked him to undertake a 'secret mission' to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Sources claimed Lev Parnas, a Ukraine-born businessmen tied to President Donald Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said he was asked by POTUS at a party in The White House last year to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens given his contacts in the country.

Parnas and Belarus-born Igor Fruman had attended the White House's annual Hanukkah party last year and were pictured with Trump, Giuliani and Vice President Mike Pence .

Parnus and Fruman had stepped away from the party to have a private meeting with the President and Giuliani, two acquaintances of Parnas told CNN.

Speaking to reporters at The White House recently, Donald Trump said of the pair: 'I don't know those gentlemen. It's possible I have a picture with them because I have a picture with everybody. 'I don't know them, I don't know about them, I don't know what to do. Maybe they were clients of Rudy, you'd have to ask Rudy.'

EDITOR’S NOTE: Parnas and Fruman have both been indicted on campaign finance charges. The indictment charges that Parnas and Fruman schemed to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from foreign donors to U.S. government officials and political action committees, including a $325,000 contribution to a political action committee backing Trump.


Barack Obama warns Democrats not to be 'deluded' into accepting radical plans by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for healthcare and immigration because 'average Americans' won't vote for them

Daily Mail
November 16, 2019

Barack Obama has cautioned Democrats against veering too far left ahead of the 2020 election, claiming that the 'average American' voter will likely be turned off by radical policy proposals.

The former President made the remarks to a room of wealthy donors at a Democracy Alliance meeting on Thursday night, with many interpreting his comments as a rebuke of the bold measures being championed by 2020 hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.

'Even as we push the envelope and we are bold in our vision we also have to be rooted in reality.,' Obama told the audience at the event, according to The New York Times.


2 Arkansas Chemistry Professors Arrested on Accusations of Making Meth

By Melissa Lemieux

November 16, 2019

Two Arkansas chemistry professors were arrested Friday on accusations that they were allegedly making methamphetamine. One of them was even known as the school's "Heisenberg," according to KATV.

Bradley Allen Rowland, 40, and Terry David Bateman, 45, both of Arkadelphia, were taken into custody on November 15. Both work at Henderson State University, whose Reynolds Science Center was closed on October 8 due to an "undetermined chemical odor."

The subsequent investigation was headed by Henderson Chief of Police Johnny Campbell and included participation from Arkadelphia police, a narcotics task force and Henderson State University. Testing by the university revealed that benzyl chloride had been found spilled on surfaces in the lab. Benzyl chloride is a chemical that can be used in dyes, as a photographic developer and to synthesize methamphetamines.

Rowland and Bateman have been charged with manufacture of methamphetamine and the use of drug paraphernalia. While Henderson State University spokesman Tina Hall told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the investigation related to the benzyl chloride spill in the science center also touched on the arrests of the two teachers, there is no word if the two men made meth on campus.

Rowland noted in an interview with the Henderson State University Oracle that he enjoys the long-running, award-winning AMC TV show Breaking Bad, about a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher named Walter White (Bryan Cranston) who manipulates one of his ex-students, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), into helping him manufacture and deal meth to pay for his treatments—and White's subsequent slow evolution away from morality and toward corruption via power as White becomes a drug lord. White's dealer alias is "Heisenberg" after the German physicist Werner Heisenberg.

"I thought it was a great show," Rowland said in the interview. "It was spot on and accurate when it came to the science, and, it has gotten a younger, newer generation interested in chemistry. I feel like it was a wonderful recruiting tool."

Both men were placed on administrative leave on October 11, and the Reynolds Science Center re-opened on October 29 after passing an EPA inspection.

Rowland and Bateman aren't the only Breaking Bad-related criminals in the news lately. Adolfo "Flaco" Mitchell, a taco shop chain owner, drew comparisons to the series' fictional fast food restaurant owner Gus Fring when Georgia police arrested him for dealing meth on the side.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This reminds me of the time I was on the College of the Mainland faculty when I was contacted by the DEA and informed that our Chemistry professor had ordered the precursors for making meth. Nothing ever came of it though.


Cartel Killer, Hector Acosta Sentenced To Death In Shooting, Beheading Of Arlington Roommate

November 13, 2019

ARLINGTON, Texas – A Tarrant County jury sentenced convicted killer Hector Acosta to the death penalty for the September 2017 murders of Erick Zelaya and 17-year-old Iris Chirinos in Arlington.

Acosta, a self-proclaimed sicario (“hitman”) for the Cartel Del Noreste shot his then-roommate Zelaya and his girlfriend Chirinos in their sleep, before mutilating their bodies with a machete and two-by-four. He decapitated Zelaya, and after dumping the bodies in a shallow grave in his backyard, he rode a bicycle through the neighborhood to a walking trail a few blocks away where he left Zelaya’s head along with a sign threatening future violence. Acosta claimed to have killed the couple in retaliation for a past drive-by incident in which he believed Zelaya had been a participant.

During the punishment phase of the trial, the prosecution introduced evidence of another capital murder Acosta was believed to have committed in a Fort Worth house. In July 2017, Acosta and accomplices bound and viciously beat Triston Algiene while robbing him. After Algiene gave them the wrong PIN number for his bank account, he was shot to death. Acosta then cut his body in half, buried him under the house and covered his body with cement. Arlington Police Detective Grant Gildon received information about this murder and informed Fort Worth Police, who discovered the body after digging up the concrete slab. The hard work of Gildon, fellow Arlington PD Detective Michael Barakat and Fort Worth Police Detectives Jerry Cedillo and Ernie Pate was instrumental in bringing Acosta to justice.

“Have you ever knowingly in your life sat in the room with a more dangerous person?” lead prosecutor Kevin Rousseau asked the jury in closing arguments for the punishment phase. “He can’t follow the rules of a cartel, but you are expected to believe he’ll follow the rules of a prison warden? He is extraordinarily violent. He deals in terror. It’s his job.”

A native of Monterrey, Mexico, Acosta allegedly showed an interest in gang life from as early as age 7. He participated in multiple gangs in both Mexico and Houston before joining the Cartel Del Noreste for which he claimed to have performed kidnappings, tortures and other murders. Evidence was presented that while being held in the jail awaiting trial, Acosta attempted to start a drug trafficking operation.

“Acosta is not a product of a bad environment,” said prosecutor Tim Rodgers. “He is the bad element in his environment. That’s what he is and what he wants to be.”

Jurors deliberated for just over four hours before sentencing Acosta to the death penalty.

“Some people can get better. Some are just bad,” said Rodgers.


The European Court of Justice's ruling to label goods produced in Judea and Samaria is nothing short of an anti-Semitic bombshell. Europe is conducting political, diplomatic and economic warfare against Israel to harm the Jewish state and assist its enemies

By Caroline B. Glick

Israel Hayom
November 15, 2019

Tuesday morning, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) released an anti-Semitic bombshell. It decreed that all EU member states must affix special labels to Jewish-made Israeli “foodstuffs” produced beyond the Green Lone and exported to EU member states. The ruling was made in response to a lawsuit brought before a French court by Psagot winery, located north of Jerusalem.

Psagot’s manager Yaakov Berg was represented by a consortium of attorneys led by Brooke Goldstein, the founder and executive director of the Lawfare Project in New York. The focus of the Lawfare Project’s work is defending Israel and Jews from discrimination.

Israeli political leaders and American Jewish leaders roundly and rightly condemned the court ruling as anti-Israel, biased and anti-Semitic.

Psagot brought suit before a French administrative court to appeal a 2016 French regulation requiring the special labeling of Jewish-made Israeli foods produced beyond the Green Line. Psagot and its attorneys argued before the French court that the French regulation contradicted European law by imposing illegal trade barriers. The French court referred the issue to the ECJ in the form of two questions: does EU law require the bloc's member-states to impose discriminatory labeling requirements on Jewish-made products from the disputed territories, and, if it doesn’t, does EU law still permit member states to adopt such labeling requirements on their own.

In the background of the case was a 2015 “interpretive notice” issued by the European Commission that had instructed all EU member states to apply the special discriminatory labels to all Jewish-made Israeli goods produced beyond the Green Line. Senior jurists in and out of government explain that the interpretive notice was a blow to Israel, but it did not legally require EU states to do anything. The notice could only have become legally binding if it had been unanimously adopted by EU states in the European Council.

Israeli lawyers noted at the time that the European demand for discriminatory labels violated international trade law, but this made no impression on European decisionmakers.

The French court’s referral to the ECJ was a big deal. It created a means for anti-Israel forces in the EU to render the interpretive notice from 2015 legally binding on all EU states without obtaining unanimous consent. ECJ judgments bind all EU states.

Once the matter was moved to the ECJ for a determination, senior international jurists and Israeli government officials began requesting that Psagot and the Lawfare Project pull their lawsuit. Former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina), who dealt with the issue during her tenure, revealed Tuesday that she and a senior Justice Ministry official had repeatedly “begged” Psagot and its attorneys to withdraw their lawsuit. Speaking to the media Tuesday, Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said that Foreign Ministry officials submitted similar requests that Psagot withdraws its lawsuit.

In late June of this year, the urgency of the entreaties grew.

According to ECJ procedure, before the judges render their verdict, the court’s advocate general publishes his recommended verdict. It is rare for the court to rule in a manner that contradicts its advocate general’s recommendation. In late June, the advocate general recommended answering that it is obligatory for EU member states to affix discriminatory labels to Israeli Jewish imports from Israeli territory beyond the Green Line.

Once his recommendation was published, any residual hope the ECJ would act in accordance with international trade law and reject the proposed discriminatory labeling policy was extinguished.

But then, with or without the advocate general’s recommendation, Israel and Psagot never stood a chance of getting justice at the ECJ. Before it is a judicial body, the ECJ is a political arm of the EU whose job it is to uphold EU policies and strengthen EU institutions.

The EU’s policy towards Israel has been clear for a very long time.

For decades, the EU has been waging a hostile campaign against Israel. The goals of its campaign are to call Israel’s right to exist into question, weaken Israel economically and politically, and strengthen Israel’s enemies at Israel’s expense. The EU wages its campaign through political, diplomatic and economic warfare.

Non-governmental organizations registered in Israel and financed and directed by the European Union and its member states are strategic weapons in this campaign. These European-financed and directed Israeli registered and staffed NGOs routinely submit petitions to Israel’s High Court of Justice whose purpose is to stymie the government’s ability to implement duly promulgated policies and undermine the IDF’s ability to defend the country.

At the UN, EU member states vote against Israel and for its enemies as a general practice. They support UN bodies including the UN Human Rights Committee, UNRWA and UNESCO that routinely and maliciously target Israel.

The EU leverages its trade and scientific cooperation with Israel to normalize boycotts of Israeli companies, institutions and Jewish citizens who operate beyond the Green Line.

As for Europe’s support for Israel’s enemies, led by Germany, the EU refuses to walk away from the nuclear deal with Iran, or reinstate economic sanctions against Iran in light of its open material breaches of the limitations the nuclear deal placed on its nuclear activities.

So too, led by Germany, the EU refuses to designate all arms of Hezbollah as a terror group. This pro-Hezbollah policy has the deadly result of enabling the Iranian-controlled terror group to operate and raise money openly in Europe.

Both of these policies, which pave Iran’s way to a nuclear arsenal and empower its foreign legion are hostile acts towards Israel.

Then there is the EU’s adulation of the Palestinians. EU institutions do not merely legitimize Palestinian terror groups, including Hamas and the PFLP. They enthusiastically embrace them. For instance, the European parliament has repeatedly hosted senior Palestinian terrorists. It has given standing ovations on senior Palestinian officials including Mahmoud Abbas as they revived medieval antisemitic blood libels. Abbas, for instance, accused Israeli Jews of deliberately poisoning wells.

In the face of the EU’s implacable, long-standing and steadily expanding efforts to harm Israel, the notion Israel can reasonably expect to ever receive a fair hearing from any EU body is ridiculous.

Stunningly, even after their defeat at the ECJ, the Psagot winery and its legal team refuse to accept this truth. In an interview on Tuesday with JNS news service, Goldstein said that Europe itself is the verdict’s biggest loser.

In her words, “The ruling opens the floodgates where consumers in any EU country will be able to insist that any consideration important to them before they purchase a product – whether social, political, environmental or other – will have to be included on the labeling of any product being imported. Not just from Israel.”

This is untrue. The verdict – like the EU’s legally unsupported claim that Israeli “settlements” built beyond the Green Line are illegal – is not general. It is very specific. It applies only to Israel. The ECJ’s ruling will not be applied on behalf of vegans and Tibetans. Everyone knows it was directed against Israel and its Jewish citizens alone. The verdict was political, not legal.

For all that, Justice Ministry and Foreign Ministry officials are wrong to attack the Psagot winery and its attorneys for their willful blindness. They themselves are afflicted by the same impairment.

In their contacts with the EU, its agencies and aligned organizations, government officials act on the basis of the mistaken belief that it is possible to convince the Europeans to abandon their hostile positions against Israel through reasoning and evidence. Perhaps the best example of this misguided Israeli practice is the respect Israel accords the prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

ICC investigators are currently preparing charges against Israelis for so-called war crimes on the basis of false accusations submitted by the Palestinians. The Palestinian complaints relate both to the IDF’s military activities and to settlement activities carried out by the Israeli government and Israeli citizens.

According to government officials, the reason Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is preventing the evacuation of the illegal Palestinian outpost Khan al-Ahmar despite the fact that the High Court of Justice ordered its dismantlement over a year ago is fear that implementing the court decision will subject Israel to war crimes charges at the ICC.

In September 2018, the Trump administration announced that it was ending all cooperation with the ICC due to its political nature and its institutional hostility towards the United States and Israel.

Following this announcement, the US denied a visa to an ICC prosecutor scheduled to visit the US to investigate complaints submitted to the ICC against US soldiers for actions they allegedly perpetrated in Afghanistan.

Shortly after the policy was presented, the State Department announced it was ordering the closure of the PLO representative office in Washington, DC due to the PLO’s refusal to withdraw the complaints it submitted to the ICC against Israel.

Unlike the Americans, Israel continues its dialogue with the ICC prosecutor and permits the prosecutor’s representatives to enter Israel in the hopes of convincing the ICC of Israel’s innocence. But the fact the ICC is even giving a hearing, let alone proceeding, with its investigations of false accusations against Israel is proof that it is a hostile body. It will never give a fair hearing to Israel.

Just as permitting the inherently hostile ECJ to adjudicate issues related to Israeli Jewish exports from Israeli-controlled territory was a mistake that harmed Israel, so Israel’s legitimization of the ICC will come back to haunt it.

Berg, Goldstein and their associates insist that they were compelled to act because the Israeli government refused to lift a finger against the EU. Their allegation of government inaction is valid. The government has an obligation to aggressively respond to Europe’s hostile behavior.

To this end, the time has come to end the tax-exempt status of hostile European-funded and directed NGOs.

It is also time for Israel to act in the legal arena in jurisdictions that are not inherently hostile to the Jewish state. For instance, Israel should seek justice against the EU’s hostile and unfair trade practices at the World Trade Organization’s arbitration bodies and in US courts.

But before Israel can do any of these things, government officials have to abandon their delusion that Europe is Israel’s enlightened ally with whom Israel can reason.

Europe is not enlightened and it is not Israel’s ally. It is not susceptible to reason and evidence.

It is a hostile post-national governing structure that is conducting political, diplomatic and economic warfare against Israel to harm the Jewish state and assist its enemies.

So long as our leaders and our officials refuse to accept this basic truth, we will continue to experience defeat and discrimination as individuals and collectively at the hands of our European “friends.”

Saturday, November 16, 2019


Well worth 10 minutes of your time


Rep. Devin Nunes questions relevance of Yovanovitch's testimony

By Stefan Becket

CBS News
November 15, 2019

Nunes, the top Republican on the committee, questioned why Yovanovitch was called to testify in the first place, given the fact that she was removed from her post before the events that are central to the Ukraine scandal.

"I'm not exactly sure what the ambassador is doing here today," Nunes said. "This is the House Intelligence Committee that has now turned into the House Impeachment Committee."

Nunes said the hearing "seems more appropriate for the subcommittee on human resources at the Foreign Affairs Committee."

He then attempted to yield to Representative Elise Stefanik in violation of the rules for the proceedings, which state that only Nunes or a designated member of his staff may ask questions during this round. Schiff cut Stefanik off, and Nunes protested, before yielding to staff attorney Steve Castor.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yovanobitch (Oops, typo) complained about being removed from office, but that occurred two months before the Trump phone call to the Ukrainian president. But Trump’s stupid tweet during her testimony has given the Democrats another charge – intimidating a witness amounting to obstruction of justice.

Adam Schitt (Typo) read Trump’s tweet to the former ambassador. You could just see the glee in his eyes, like a leopard about to spring on its prey (Trump), as he asked her how that made her feel, to which she replied she felt intimidated.

Instead of remaining quiet while Yovanobitch (Typo) testified, here is Trump’s stupid tweet: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”

Until that moment, her appearance had been rather unremarkable as she mostly bitched about the President smearing her. But Trump couldn’t leave well enough alone. As they say, stupid is as stupid does.

Fox News co-host stirs controversy for saying Trump looked like a 'big dumb baby' for tweeting at ousted ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her impeachment hearing

Daily Mail
November 16, 2019

Lisa Kennedy Montgomery who hosts a show on Fox Business Network, made the comment during Friday's episode of The Five on the Fox News Channel.

'Should the President be tweeting at [former Ambassador to Ukraine Maria Yovanovitch] mid-hearing? No, it makes him look like a big dumb baby,' she said. 'And he makes her look like a victim and if he'd just let it go, the last two days of hearings and testimony would've been a snoozefest.'

The Fox News Channel's commentators are normally known for their fierce support of the President, though Montgomery, who is known by her middle name Kennedy, has frequently criticized Trump.


by Bob Walsh

Gavin Newsom, the HMFIC in the formerly great state of California, has pardoned four people, three of whom might well have been deported otherwise (and could possibly still be deported but probably won't be thanks to Gavin).

Sam Pho, 44, was convicted of attempted murder with a firearm 11 years ago. He had it rough as a kid fleeing from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. I guess that means you get to stay here after trying to kill an American citizen.

Quyen Mai, 36, had been convicted of being an accessory after the fact in a shooting incident.

Dat Vu, 38, was convicted of three different counts of assault and one count of threatening a witness.

All three are lawfully in the United States. Clearly fine upstanding citizens. Strange how Newsom hates for citizens to have guns but has no trouble with aliens shooting at people.

The fourth was an actual native born American drug pusher. He has been out of the joint for close to 30 years and has a certificate of rehabilitation issued last year.


by Bob Walsh

Nathaniel Berhow, 16 on the day of the shooting, died a day after going on a shooting spree at his high school. He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, though he took his time doing so and sucked up a lot of resources in the process.

There is decent quality surveillance of him pulling the gun from his backpack and shooting five students before shooting himself. The whole incident lasted 16 seconds, including the time it took to clear a jam.

The cops have in the meantime seized several weapons from the kids house. I guess they think he might rise from the dead and do it again. Many of the guns were not registered, though it was legal to acquire unregistered firearms until a few years ago. They have not yet been able to trace the gun used in the shooting, or if they have they are not talking about it.


Rashida Tlaib May Be In Deep Kimchi (but probably won't be)

by Bob Walsh

The House Ethics Committee is looking very hard indeed at a report that say it looks like Rep. Rashida Tlaib paid herself a shitload of money out of her campaign funds for personal expenses, and was stupid enough to leave an email trail.

Specifically under scrutiny are two payments totaling $17,500. She is asserting the payments were permissible because they were "adjustments" for the time period prior to November 6 of last year though they were not made until November 16 and December 1.

It is permissible for a candidate to be paid as salary by her campaign, but there are some very definite limits and requirements on how this must be done. Ms. Tlaib seems to have missed the mark, assuming you believe her basic statement on the matter.

She is permitted to pay herself a salary from campaign funds not to exceed the amount she earned during the previous year on her "real' job before she ran for congress. The OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics) does state that the total sums of money fall within appropriate limits, but the timing seems to show a problem with "good faith compliance" of the rules.

Tlaib also sniveled that it is "unprecedented" for the OCE to dig into issues that came up before the person was sworn in. The committee can recommend various penalties, but almost never does, because they are pretty much all a pack of crooked fucks.


by Bob Walsh

Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts, has decided that he is going to run for the Democrat nomination for El Presidente de Los Estados Unidos. He apparently thinks the other likely candidates are either too psycho, too wimpy or too compromised to successfully grapple with Trump. (He may be right.)

He has already missed a couple of the early filing dates. I wonder if he will pull a Bloomberg and wait until Super Tuesday to try to get traction. I understand he has snatched up some staff from Beto's now-failed run so he isn't totally jumping in blind. Personally I think that Hillary has a better chance of getting the nod with a Brokered Convention-Hail Mary move than Patrick does, but then what the hell do I know?

I do know Biden is not polling well in Iowa and never thought he would do well in New Hampshire with Bernie hanging out right next door. Its just that he is so fucking pathetic, still brown-nosing Barry when Barry won't even endorse him.

I am not saying that Trump is unbeatable. I am saying that thinking they can just steamroller him is stupid. That is too much of believing your own publicity people. Trump will NOT be removed from office. He may not even be impeached. They MAY not even vote a formal vote for impeachment. Trump is far from being a dead duck.


by Bob Walsh

Yesterday the Dow Jones Industrial Averages closed at 28,004. This is another new high for the market, something like the fifth this month. A lot of people vote with their wallet. If this keeps up it can only help Trump and will do no good at all for the Democrat-Socialists attempting to demonize him.

EDITOR'S NOTE: There is a problem though. This is good news mostly for investors like me and not for those Americans who do not own any stocks. What counts with them are jobs and wages. A high Dow Jones average doe bode well for the job market.


by Bob Walsh

Myles Garrett is a defense end for the Cleveland Browns. A couple of days ago, with 8 seconds left in a game that the Browns were clearly winning, Garrett ripped the helmet off of Steeler quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him over the head with it.

Apparently the NFL has now decided to suspend Garrett for the rest of the season. It is possible they may extend the suspension further than that. It is also barely possible (though unlikely) that he will be prosecuted for assault.


by Bob Walsh

Regular readers may remember that about six months ago I wrote about the death of William Molina, 21, a college student one week from graduation at CSU Sacramento. The D A has just announced that, after a full investigation by both the P D and the D A that they are NOT going to file charges.

Molina was killed by a penetrating wound to the chest from a pellet gun. About four people per year are killed in the U. S. by such weapons. The discharge of a pellet gun or BB gun in the city limits except at a licensed shooting range is illegal in Sacramento.

The death occurred an the "unofficial" frat house for Pi Kappa Alpha. Molina was shot by a friend at about 0340 a.m. on April 12. I can't help but think there was probably some level of intoxication involved in the incident.


NFL courage takes a bye week with bizarre Colin Kaepernick tryout

By Scott Ostler

San Francisco Chronicle
November 14, 2019

Colin Kaepernick’s one-day NFL tryout camp Saturday is a test of courage.

It is not Kaepernick’s courage that is being tested. He aced that test when he put his career on the line for his beliefs.

It’s the NFL’s courage that is being tested — team owners, coaches and general managers.

Spoiler alert: The grades are in. Everyone failed. For NFL courage, this is a bye week.

The NFL is a league of bravery and toughness. The faint of heart need not apply. You man up and play like a warrior. That’s also how you coach and how you build your team. You draft for toughness and you praise courage, and you sneer at weakness or fear.

That concept took a huge hit this week, as the leaders in the world’s toughest league scurried for cover.

It was shocking and hilarious.

This simple question was asked of many team head coaches, owners and GMs: “Will you send a representative to the Kaepernick showcase?” It’s not a hard question, it’s not an unfair question. It’s a question that deserves an answer. A few teams answered, but most ducked.

Jon Gruden, asked if the Raiders will send a rep, said, “I don’t know. I’m going to answer questions about the Bengals.”

Gruden does know. GM Mike Mayock would not send a rep to the tryout without talking it over with his head coach.

The 49ers are not on the “attend” list, but Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reported that the 49ers likely would send a rep. Wednesday, coach Kyle Shanahan said, “I don’t know. I would guess we would (send someone). But that’s not something I’ve asked them, yet.”

Most coaches are vague, as if they have no clue. Some broke out into flop sweat trying to answer the question without answering it.

Let me help you, fellas. Pick one:

“Yes, we are sending a rep. Here’s why.”

“No, we are not sending a rep. Here’s why.”

The league announced Thursday that 11 teams have indicated they will send a representative, and teams have until Saturday to decide to attend. The league announcement may have been in response to an embarrassing public disagreement between the league and Kaepernick’s representatives over whether the NFL told Kaepernick they would supply him with a list of teams attending.

Why are coaches, GMs and owners ducking and covering? This is a big deal, and there’s no reason for any team to evade that question, other than fear.

Teams are afraid to attend the tryout, and afraid not to.

For teams attending, there is fear over who to send. If they send a guy who is either too high or too low on the team organizational chart, that sends a statement and opens the team to criticism.

Race is a factor. Owners and coaches fear alienating black fans and black players, the latter making up two-thirds of the NFL workforce. There is widespread belief among Kaepernick’s supporters that he is one of the best 100 quarterbacks on the planet and has been blackballed.

You can smell the fear.

The one-day showcase was born of fear.

Steve Wyche of NFL Network reported that he was told the workout was called by the league partly in reaction to teams (plural) contacting the league to ask if it’s OK to work out or sign Kaepernick.

Commissioner Roger Goodell should have told those inquiring teams, “You should be embarrassed that you called me to ask.”

When Chad Henne, Patrick Mahomes’ backup, was injured, the Chiefs needed a quarterback, pronto. Without checking with the league office, they phoned Matt Moore, a journeyman knockaround quarterback who retired after the 2017 season. The phone call probably went something like this:

Hey, Matt, what are you up to?

I’m an assistant coach of a high school team.

Want to come back and quarterback the Chiefs?

Uh, sure.

Cool, see you at practice.

Instead of standing tall and manning up, as the expression goes, Goodell & Company are hiding. No explanation for the hastily called camp, or for why Kaepernick was not given more than three days of notice.

(Per CBS News late Thursday, the following teams have committed to attending: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington.)

Kaepernick seems skeptical that this exercise is legit.

“Can’t wait to see the head coaches and GMs on Saturday,” Kaepernick tweeted Tuesday.

LOL, as the tweeters say. Zero head coaches will attend this party, and probably zero general managers. Also zero offensive coordinators. How low on team organizational charts do we need to go here to make the point? To Joan in payroll?

Before the Atlanta event was announced, Kaepernick’s mother, Teresa Kaepernick, tweeted, “The NFL doesn’t deserve him. And they still don’t. He is so much more than them, thankfully.”

Maybe the league can get better. Maybe those people simply need a shot of courage. If so, they’ve come to the right guy.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Donald Trump was spot on when he said “Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired.’”

An ungrateful and unpatriotic Kaepernick should have been fired and never allowed to step on an NFL playing field again. Instead a gutless and shameful NFL let the disrespect for flag and country get out of hand.

Kaepernick’s sorry ass should have been shipped out of the country. Let him play for the Kingdom of Eswatini’s (Swaziland) football team.


Bernie Sanders remarks on Gaza rocket fire draws ire from Israelis, Palestinians

Israel Hayom
November 15, 2019

Bernie Sanders - who is vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2020 - drew ire from Jew and Palestinians when he weighed in on Israel’s ongoing conflict with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In a tweet posted Thursday night, Sanders said that Israelis “should not have to live in fear of rocket fire.” However, in the same breath, he also remarked that “Palestinians should not have to live under occupation and blockade.”

He then called on the US to “lead the effort” to bring peace between Israel and Gaza.

The statement, made well after several Democratic Party heavyweights already chimed in and backed Israel’s right to defend itself, was seen by Jewish groups and Israeli politicians as drawing a false moral equivalence between Israel and terrorists.

Israel’s former ambassador to the US, Danny Ayalon, slammed Sanders's statement.

“This isn’t a ‘he-said/she-said’ crisis with identical sides. One side is America's closest ally in the Mideast. The other side celebrated on 9/11,” he said.

The CEO of the American Jewish Committee agreed, calling his take “moral equivalence on steroids.”

“100s of rockets [are] fired at Israel. Millions of Israelis in bomb shelters,” Harris said. “Yet no yet no mention that Israel left Gaza in 2005. No mention of Hamas or Islamic Jihad. No mention of their genocidal intent. No mention of Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Palestinian activist Linda Sarsour, for example, responded to Harris and said, “Israel is the clear aggressor. You forget to mention that Israel withdrew from Gaza, YET control the border, the airspace, and the sea. They have continued to maintain a deadly blockade on Gaza strangling 2 million people.”

But - in a rare instance of pro-Israel advocates and pro-Palestinian advocates agreeing on something - even some Palestinians found fault in Sanders’ tweet.

Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada - a staunchly anti-Israel site, said Sanders's remarks were too little, too late.

Earlier this week, Sanders published an op-ed in the left-leaning Jewish Currents. There, he maintained “it is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government,” adding on to his prior stance that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is “racist.”

Additionally, at the J Street Conference in Washington, D.C. last month, he said that a portion of the U.S. military assistance to Israel should go towards humanitarian relief in the Gaza Strip.


A city increasingly overrun by crime and squalor elects decriminalization advocate Chesa Boudin as district attorney

By Erica Sandberg

City Journal
November 12, 2019

On the eve of last week’s municipal election in San Francisco, a speaker at an event for Chesa Boudin—the eventual winner in the race for district attorney—took the microphone. “Hey, so I just got one thing to say,” she began. “Which is fuck the POA (Police Officers Association)! San Francisco, this is what we get when we throw the fuck down. This is the city where we elect a public defender to be our district attorney. What we start here, the nation follows. So, look out.”

As “Fuck the POA! Fuck the POA! Fuck the POA!” filled the room, the leader at the podium offered her middle finger, and many in the crowd followed suit. The profane chorus was not led by a grassroots Boudin supporter, nor by an Antifa rabble-rouser, but by Sandra Lee Fewer, an elected member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Other city supervisors past and present also graced the stage, including Matt Haney, Hillary Ronen, and Jane Kim.

Boudin, whose parents were left-wing radicals in the Weather Underground—they went to prison for the murder of two police officers and a security guard—has a contentious relationship with the police and has not been shy in expressing it. Fewer, an ardent Boudin supporter, claimed that the POA, which has been deeply critical of the new attorney general, is a racist organization because it ran a series of ads claiming that electing Boudin would put families at risk, and that his “reckless policies will cost lives.”

Those claims are essentially correct. Boudin pledged to stop taking first-offense drunk drivers to trial, providing they didn’t injure anyone. He promised to end gang enhancements, part of a California law that adds additional prison sentences to defendants who participate in violent street gangs. As for quality-of-life crimes that harm communities, he’s been open about ignoring them, stating that “crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted.”

These changes will likely result in harm and injury. Gang warfare, for example, is heating up, as organized Honduran nationals take over large swaths of the city, selling fentanyl and other deadly narcotics. The first quarter of 2019 saw 39 fentanyl-related deaths, which, at current rates, will just about double those of last year. The sex trade is rarely victimless, and people living in and around homeless camps experience high levels of violence.

Boudin’s platform of decarceration and ending the “criminalization of poverty” clearly appealed to many San Francisco voters, though the city’s growing public-order woes hardly suggest over-policing or aggressive prosecution of crime. A spate of car break-ins has reached epidemic proportions, with roughly 70 smash-and-grabs happening daily. Boudin has responded by pledging to address the “root causes” of crime—addiction and homelessness—but San Francisco already spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually on human services, and the problems continue to worsen. His key promise regarding car burglaries is to put the city in the business of fixing the smashed windows at a discount—essentially a gesture of defeat.

Fewer’s vulgar speech quickly went viral, and she eventually issued a half-hearted apology. “I used profanity in my comments about the POA, but quite frankly, I don’t think it is language that we have not heard before,” she grudgingly allowed. “However if that language has offended you, the members of the San Francisco Police Department, I sincerely apologize.”

Chesa Boudin won the election. As of next January 8, he will be the city’s district attorney. San Francisco’s political culture is racing to meet the rhetoric of its most left-wing advocates.


Liquid cocaine discovered in shampoo bottles at Houston airport

November 13, 2019

HOUSTON, Texas -- U.S. Customs officers found 35 pounds of cocaine in an unusual form and place Monday.

A traveler from Colombia had liquid cocaine in 24 shampoo bottles in his bag. The cocaine is valued at over $400,000.

Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol found the 26-year-old would-be smuggler as he retrieved his checked baggage from the luggage carousel at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

When the officers discovered the full-sized shampoo bottles, a K9 alerted them in a manner to indicate the presence of narcotics. Officers then tested the liquid inside the bottle and it was revealed to be cocaine.

The would-be smuggler was returned to Colombia and the narcotics were seized and turned over to the Houston Police Department for further investigation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The shipped his happy ass back to Colombia … Huh?


Arrest warrant issued for state Rep. Poncho Nevárez after he was caught on tape dropping envelope with cocaine

By Cassandra Pollock and Patrick Svitek

The Texas Tribune
November 14, 2019

Authorities issued a warrant Thursday for the arrest of state Rep. Poncho Nevárez, an Eagle Pass Democrat, on felony drug possession charges. A state special investigator claims in the warrant, which was obtained by The Texas Tribune, that Nevárez was caught on surveillance footage in September dropping an envelope with cocaine as he was leaving the Austin airport.

A magistrate judge in Travis County signed the warrant Thursday afternoon. Nevárez faces a charge of third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.

Neither Nevárez’s office nor the Travis County District Attorney’s Office immediately responded to a request for comment.

Thursday’s news came hours after an affidavit detailing the allegations, filed Oct. 29 in Travis County court by the Texas Department of Public Safety, was revealed and later obtained by the Tribune and other news outlets. The affidavit was attached to a warrant seeking to conduct a test to determine whether Nevárez’s DNA was on the envelope. The document says that the envelope had Nevárez’s official House seal and held “four small clear baggies” containing a substance found to include cocaine.

Nevárez, who chairs the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, announced last week he was retiring from the lower chamber. And in a statement to the Tribune on Thursday morning before the warrant was issued, Nevárez confirmed that the “news is true” — and that the events detailed in the affidavit prompted his decision to not seek reelection.

"I do not have anyone to blame but myself," he said, noting that he plans to seek treatment. "I accept this because it is true and it will help me get better.”

The events leading to an arrest warrant for Nevárez began Sept. 6, according to the affidavit, when two Texas Department of Transportation employees found the envelope outside the entrance to an area of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport used by traveling state officials. DPS was called, and investigators reviewed surveillance tape showing Nevárez exiting the airport, getting into the front passenger seat of a black SUV owned by his chief of staff and "dropping a white paper object," the affidavit says.

The affidavit states that DPS immediately took custody of the contents left behind by Nevárez. Lab results indicated that the white powdery substance tested positive for cocaine. The total net weight, according to the affidavit, was roughly 2 grams.

"Through training and experience, I have learned that individuals involved in the possession of narcotics would like to remain discreet and typically conceal the narcotics as best they can," wrote Special Agent Otto Cabrera. "Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that [Nevárez], using his own letterhead envelope, licked and sealed the envelope that contained the cocaine in order to keep it concealed."

The affidavit was posted online late Wednesday night by the conservative activist group Direct Action Texas, and the Tribune confirmed its contents Thursday morning. It came to light after two unexpected moves from Nevárez last week. On Nov. 6, he announced his office would deactivate its Facebook page but provided no reason for the move. Two days later, Nevárez announced he would not seek reelection in 2020, saying in a statement he "must heal up for the rest of what may come in my life” — potentially a nod to the events that happened roughly two months before.

Aside from chairing of the homeland security committee, Nevárez also serves as as vice chairman of a select committee that state leaders formed two months ago in response to the deadly shootings in El Paso and Odessa. He works as an attorney in Eagle Pass.

After Thursday's news, the Texas Democratic Party said in a statement that it's important for people with addiction to "access the help they need moving forward."

Nevárez "is taking responsibility and seeking the help he needs," the statement said. "We wish the best to him and his family."

The chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, echoed the sentiment, saying in a statement that "by not seeking reelection, [Nevárez] will be better able to focus his attention on his family and his health, which is where it should be."