Monday, September 30, 2019


Hillary Clinton calls Trump a ‘clear and present danger’ to U.S.

By Abbey Marshall

September 26, 2019

Hillary Clinton is calling President Donald Trump a “clear and present danger” to the U.S. amid the latest scandal engulfing his administration, and says that her defeat in the 2016 presidential election was like “losing to a corrupt human tornado.”

In an interview with Jane Pauley that will air this weekend on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Clinton gave her assessment of Trump when asked whether it was now harder for a woman to be elected president.

“Well, I hope not, and I don’t think so — because the objective is to field whoever is the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump,” she said in an excerpt released on Thursday. “Because Donald Trump right now poses a direct threat, a clear and present danger to the institutions of our government, to the rule of law, to our standing in the world.”

Clinton said she supported impeachment proceedings against the president because of what has come to light this week from a whistleblower’s complaint about a call Trump had with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. During that conversation in late July, Trump sought Zelensky’s help in getting dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“My view is that, given the latest revelation, which is such a blatant effort to use his presidential position to advance his personal and political interests, there should be an impeachment inquiry opened,” Clinton told Pauley in the interview, which took place on Tuesday just hours before Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House was launching formal impeachment proceedings.

The upcoming interview included Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, and was tied to publication of their new book, “The Book of Gutsy Women,” which profiles more than 100 trailblazing women — from the abolitionist Harriet Tubman to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist.

Since his 2016 victory, Trump has continued to attack Clinton, including over her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. Clinton pushed back in the CBS interview, comparing her experience to what Biden is facing now.

“The most outrageously false things were said about me,” Clinton said. “And unfortunately, enough people believed them. So this is an effort to sow these falsehoods against Biden.

“And I don’t care if you’re for the [Democrats] or you’re a Republican, when the president of the United States, who has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, uses his position to in effect extort a foreign government for his political purposes, I think that is very much what the founders worried about in high crimes and misdemeanors.”


by Bob Walsh

No, I don't mean that, you dirty minded schmucks. What I do mean is that it seems (if the talking heads are to be believed) that the State Department is investigating a significant number of former acolytes of Hillary for knowingly and deliberately send classified emails to her on what they knew was an unclassified and unsecure email system, and also for deliberately underclassifying or not classifying documents that should have been classified or classified at a higher level so they could semi-legitimately send them to her unclassified server.

Will this come to anything against Hillary personally? Probably not, but it might continue to make her at least look like a chump. Every little bit helps. Maybe at least it will convince her to stop taking shots at Trump based on made-up material.


by Bob Walsh

I confess I had never heard of Artie Missie Walker until the Stockton RECORD ran her CV and obit on the front page yesterday. She was the first black female Sheriff's Deputy hired in San Joaquin County.

She was one of 23 children born to a school teacher and railroad worker in Stallo, Mississippi in 1930. She graduated from high school in 1948 and moved to Stockton to live with her sister, continue her education and find work. She continued her schooling, among other places at Humphrey's Business College but finding work was difficult for a black woman, even a bright and well educated black woman, in the 1950s.

At some point she took the civil service examination for Deputy Sheriff and was one of 175 candidates. Only 75 passed the written exam and were allowed to continue. She was one of them. She was the only female among 13 candidates who passed the entire hiring process and was hired as a Sheriff's Deputy in 1957 at age 27.

During her career she worked the jail, Youth Services, patrol, investigations and court services. She died a couple of weeks ago at age 89.

RIP sister. I suspect being first was not always a lot of laughs, but it is important. Someone has to lead so that others can follow along.

EDITOR'S NOTE: One of 23 children born to a school teacher - when did that poor woman have any time to teach?


by Bob Walsh

I did not author this. I "borrowed" it from a gun forum I hang out on but I thought it was amusing so here it is. Enjoy.

Beretta: You only hate us because we won the XM9 trials.

Browning: Have you seen our new T-shirts, dog bowls, hats, hoodies and bumper stickers? Oh, we make guns too.

Colt: The more you ask for it the less likely we are to build it.

FN: We are like H&K but we are Belgian.

Glock: So perfect we have updated it five times.

H&K: We are not against civilians owning guns. We are just against poor civilians owning guns.

Hi Point: Why spend $500 on a handgun when you can spend $200 for a gun and have $300 left over for beer.

Mossberg: You didn't ask for a M4 stock on a lever action rifle or a chainsaw grip shotgun, but we built it anyway.

Kel-Tec: Our level of innovation exceeds our level of production.

Remington: We have more lemons than Minute Maid.

Ruger: We bring you the innovation of others at an affordable price.

Sig Sauer: German and Swiss heritage with Indian quality control.

S&W: We have the revolver market locked up.

Taurus: We heard you like to gamble.

Winchester: An American legend....built in Japan.


Travis County judge apologizes for saying Gov. Greg Abbott "hates trees because one fell on him"

By Davis Rich

The Texas Tribune
September 27, 2019

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt apologized late Friday for saying Gov. Greg Abbott “hates trees because one fell on him" during a panel discussion at The Texas Tribune Festival.

A journalist from The Federalist, John Daniel Davidson, first reported the comment in a tweet. Davidson added that the crowd laughed after Eckhardt's comments, which were made in the context of the Texas Legislature overriding local ordinances like Austin's tree ordinance.

"In my panel today at the Texas Tribune Festival on 'Public Enragement' I spoke about the importance of being able to disagree without being disagreeable. Then I said something disagreeable," Eckhardt said in statement late Friday. "I want to apologize to Governor Abbott. I made a flippant comment that was inappropriate. The comment did nothing to further the debate I was participating in, much less further the political discourse in our community, state, and nation. While the Governor and I disagree on a number of issues, that is no excuse to be disagreeable."

A spokesman for Abbott could not immediately be reached for comment late Friday.

Travis County Republican Chairman Matt Mackowiak called Eckhardt's comments "disgusting" in a statement late Friday.

"Judge Eckhardt apparently believes that his disability is open to ridicule if it helps her make a political argument. This joke represents a profound lack of compassion from Judge Eckhardt," Mackiowak said.

"There is no place for insulting Americans with disabilities and Judge Eckhardt should know better.”

Abbott was 26 when he was paralyzed by a falling oak tree while he was jogging in Houston on a windy day in July 1984. The accident left Abbott, who uses a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down.

The next year, he sued the homeowner whose tree fell on him and the tree service company that had inspected it before it crashed down on him.

He received a multimillion-dollar lawsuit agreement that he told The Texas Tribune in 2013 allows him to address the health and mobility challenges every paraplegic must confront. During his initial run for governor, he told the Tribune that he would gladly give the money back if he could regain the use of his legs.

“Money doesn’t heal anything. Money doesn’t allow me to walk. It doesn’t allow me to dance with my wife. It doesn’t allow me to pick up my daughter. It doesn’t allow me to walk my daughter down the aisle when she gets married,” Abbott said in 2013. “If you could name the person I could write the check to, I’d send all this money right back if I could walk again.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: For those unfamiliar with Texas government, a County Judge is the presiding officer of the Commissioners Court, the governing body of Texas counties.

In the metropolitan counties like Travis, presiding over the Commissioners Court is a full-time job. In the cow counties, the County Judge also performs judicial duties, such as presiding over misdemeanor criminal and small civil cases, probate matters and appeals from the Justice of the Peace Court.


‘Mattress Mack’ plans to bet $4M-plus on Astros to win World Series

By Todd Dewey

Las Vegas Review-Journal
September 28, 2019

“Mattress Mack” is back and plans to place more than $4 million in hedge bets on his hometown Houston Astros to win the World Series.

For the second time in three years, Houston furniture store owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale is using legal sportsbooks to help offset a potential eight-figure loss on a free mattress set promotion.

Any customer who makes a purchase of at least $3,000 at his Gallery Furniture retail chain will get a refund if the Astros win it all. McIngvale refunded $13 million in the same promotion in 2017, when Houston won the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

The stakes are higher this year, as McIngvale said he’s fast approaching a $15 million liability on the promotion, which has proved extremely popular with the Astros as the plus 200 favorites to win the title.

“It’s been going on since the preseason, and there’s been a lot of excitement with the Astros,” McIngvale said. “The (Zack) Greinke trade made a huge difference and the fact that they have the best record in baseball.”

McIngvale, 68, partially hedged his 2017 promotion through wagers on the Astros at Nevada sportsbooks, which sources told the Review-Journal amounted to about $1.8 million.

He wants to bet a lot more than that this year and asked Anthony Curtis, who runs, and professional sports bettor Frank Betti to help him negotiate prices and numbers with the books.

The well-respected Las Vegas sharps told the Review-Journal on Saturday that the FanDuel and DraftKings sportsbooks in New Jersey have agreed to take a total of $4 million in wagers from McIngvale to win $8.8 million on the Astros at plus 220.

FanDuel is expected to take $3 million and DraftKings $1 million, according to Curtis.

“As of now, this is the agreement,” Curtis said. “Both groups have been very forthright.”

McIngvale is expected to place the bets this week, though he declined to provide details.

“I’m finalizing all that,” he said. “I’ve got to fly up to New Jersey to do it. It’ll be very dynamic. It’s going to happen fast, before the playoffs.”

The wild-card playoff games are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. The National League Division Series starts Thursday, and the American League Division Series begins Friday.

Curtis said McIngvale already has placed $350,000 in wagers to win $875,000 at Nevada books at plus 250. Venerable South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro tweeted an image of a $200,000 wager to win $500,000 on the Astros.

“We wanted plus 250 essentially for any amount,” Curtis said. “We had four sportsbooks here that took the bet at plus 250. The big dog was Jimmy Vaccaro working on behalf of Michael Gaughan at South Point.

“Caesars took $100,000, and we also had wagers at MGM (Resorts) and TI (Treasure Island). Those are the four books that stepped up. It was a complete eye-opener to me how unwilling these sportsbooks were in Nevada to step up the way they are in New Jersey.”

Curtis said he and Betti will continue to look for hedge bets for McIngvale during the playoffs.

“These futures bets that he’s going to make are essentially preflop bets,” said Curtis, comparing McIngvale’s position to a poker game.

The sharps said the best bet of all is to buy a $3,000 mattress set.

“You’ve got close to a one in three shot to get it for free,” Curtis said.

McIngvale lost $8 million on his first sports promotion in 2014, when the Seattle Seahawks upset the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

“I was told by two guys who work here that the Broncos were a dead solid lock,” McIngvale said. “They’re still around. I remind them of it almost every day.”


Hero cop killed in Bronx during hand-to-hand struggle with armed suspect

By Larry Celona, Alex Taylor and Laura Italiano

New York Post
September 29, 2019

A hero NYPD officer was fatally shot early Sunday during a desperate, hand-to-hand struggle with an armed suspect just after midnight on the grounds of the Edenwald Houses in The Bronx.

Officer Brian Mulkeen, 33, a six-year veteran of the department, did not survive three gunshot injuries, Chief of Department Terence Monahan told reporters at Jacobi Hospital, where doctors had worked to save his life.

Sources said Mulkeen had been shot with his own weapon in the head, chest and legs as he and the suspect wrestled on the ground.

The suspect, too, was fatally shot. “Five officers at the location fired their service weapons, striking the man,” Monahan said.

The fallen officer’s last words, recorded by his body-camera as he wrestled on the ground with the suspect, were “He’s reaching for it! He’s reaching for it!” Monahan told reporters.

Moments later, “numerous shots” were fired, he said.

“Officer Mulkeen’s gun fired five times,” Monahan said. “At this point, it is not clear who fired Officer Mulkeen’s gun.”

The suspect’s gun, a 32 caliber revolver, did not appear to have been fired, he said.

“As cops we know how rewarding our profession can be,” the chief added, his sadness apparent in his voice.

“But I’ll tell you: There is absolutely no worse moment on our job than this. As we stand here this morning, a young man with a bright future who courageously patrolled some of New York City’s toughest streets has tragically lost his life.”

The deadly encounter happened just after 12:30 a.m., as Mulkeen and two fellow plainclothes officers with the Bronx Borough Anti-Crime Unit, which is based in the nearby 47th Precinct, hopped out of their vehicle to speak with the suspected gang member, Monahan said.

“They were there because of gang activity that included recent shootings,” Monahan said.

The suspect, whose name was not released early Sunday, broke into a run, Monahan said.

It was Mulkeen — who lived in Yorktown Heights with his girlfriend, also a cop in The Bronx, with the 44th Precinct — who caught up with the suspect and tackled him first.

It was unclear at what point it had become apparent that the suspect was armed.

“He had a 32 cal revolver. He was seen reaching for his gun,” Monahan said.

“Officer Mulkeen was on the ground wrestling with the suspect for an extended period of time,” before the gunfire erupted, Monahan said.

The 27-year-old gunman was on probation until 2022 for a narcotics-related arrest from last year, the chief said, and had a burglary conviction from Rockland County. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mulkeen “was a great cop,” the chief added. “Just last night he arrested a man for possession of a gun in this very same precinct.”

Mayor de Blasio joined Monahan and PBA President Pat Lynch in asking all of New York to pray for Mulkeen’s heartbroken family — and his grieving NYPD family.

“This is a very, very sad day for our city,” Mayor de Blasio said at the press conference.

“We lost a hero this evening … This is a young man who made a choice to join the NYPD and put his life on the line.”

Mulkeen’s mother and father, sister and girlfriend had rushed to Jacobi hospital, the mayor said.

“We broke the news to them and one of the things they told us, even though their grief, was that Brian made a choice. He wanted to leave civilian life … he wanted to protect our city … he gave his life for all of us.”

A shaken Lynch called the suspect, “This soulless individual,” and lamented of the family, “Their hero — our hero — is not coming home.”

Earlier Sunday, police radio transmissions had recorded the worried panic of officers at the scene.

“Shots fired shots fired shots fired guys! I need a bus! I need a bus!” a male officer shouted, using police jargon for an ambulance.

“Laconia and 229!” another shouted of the shooting location.

“There was a cop lying on the floor and another guy who looked like he’d been shot in the eye,” witness Sara Diaz, 56, told The Post. “Oh my god, I got so nervous.”

Suspect in NYPD cop Brian Mulkeen shooting identified as Antonio Lavance Williams

By Anabel Sosa, Tina Moore and Aaron Feis

New York Post
September 29, 2019

The ex-con whose hand-to-hand struggle with a Bronx cop for the lawman’s gun ended with both men being shot dead early Sunday has been identified by police sources as Antonio Lavance Williams.

When hero Officer Brian Mulkeen caught up to the fleeing purported gangbanger around 12:30 a.m. in NYCHA’s Edenwald Houses, Williams made a desperate grab for Mulkeen’s service weapon, according to authorities.

“He’s reaching for it!” were Mulkeen’s last words, caught by his own body-camera, before five shots rang out from his gun.

Rounds struck Mulkeen, 33, in the head, chest and legs, while Williams — who was armed with a .32 caliber revolver — was gunned down by Mulkeen’s brothers in blue, according to police.

Neither man survived.

Williams, 27, was on probation until 2022 for a narcotics arrest from last year, and has a prior burglary conviction from Rockland County, according to officials.

Sources added that he has a total of three prior arrests in the five boroughs: Two for felonies, and one for a misdemeanor.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Had Officer Mulkeen been killed a month earlier, a picture of Antonio Williams might have been flashed around the hearing room of the House Judiciary Committee meeting on Police Oversight, along with the pictures of black men killed by the police.


Florida man 'shoots dead wife of 33 years before trying to take his own life in front of their two grandchildren' after accusing her of cheating on Facebook - just one week after he bought her a new Mercedes and she complained it wasn't red

Daily Mail
September 29, 2019

Florida husband Eddie Harris shot his wife Shanica Harris dead on Saturday night, then shot him self but survived, Miami-Dade police say. The two had been together since they were 15 and married for 33 years.

Miami-Dade police reported to the home around 8.51pm following calls about shots fired inside the residence where two children, age six and nine, were present. Officers found Shanica dead inside the home and Eddie suffering an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A week earlier Shanica flaunted the new Mercedes car Eddie bought for her but complained that he didn't get it in the color red..

This week he took to Facebook to accuse her of cheating.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Maybe she would have stopped cheating on him if he had bought her a red Mercedes instead of the silver one he gave her.


Is regulation of anti-Semitism on campus censorship?

by Jonathan S. Tobin

September 27, 2019

As far as US President Donald Trump’s liberal critics are concerned, this is just the latest instance of his administration’s hostility to free speech. The Education Department announced earlier this month that it had ordered the Middle East studies department run jointly by Duke University and the University of North Carolina to revamp the curriculum it was offering students. If the schools’ consortium that runs the program doesn’t comply, it will lose the federal grant money it gets under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

As far as most academics are concerned, the government’s unprecedented intervention in course material is an outrage and infringement on academic freedom. Yet what really riled up the critics are the reasons for the demand. The Education Department said the course offering of the consortium advanced an agenda that glorified Islam and ignored other faiths in the Mideast. The program also promoted boycott, divestment and sanctions movement activities, including a conference that was tainted by anti-Semitic rhetoric on the part of speakers.

Yet rather than being portrayed as a necessary action in which the administration sought to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to promote a skewed view of the world and promote hate, the Education Department’s letter has received scathing coverage from outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as academic publications. Even more bizarrely, a column in the Forward denounced the government effort as not merely Islamophobic, but reminiscent of Nazi regime’s censorship of German scholars.

What can explain this kind of grossly inflammatory language, as well as the massive pushback against this move?

In the current divisive political atmosphere, anything that the Trump administration does – whether good, bad or indifferent – is always going to be shoehorned into a narrative in which its work is denounced as evidence of criminal behavior and/or authoritarianism by its liberal and Democratic critics. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been a particular target of scorn from the “resistance.” Kenneth Marcus, the head of the department’s civil-rights bureau, has gotten similar treatment. The Times snidely referred to him in an article on the North Carolina controversy as someone “who has made a career of pro-Israel advocacy,” which is an interesting way to refer to someone whose career has been focused on fighting anti-Semitism.

But the real problem is that the government’s action is based on the recognition that Middle East studies in the United States has become a safe space for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic coursework and programming masquerading as scholarship. Within these departments, support for anti-Zionism and anti-Semitic BDS campaigns has become a form of orthodoxy that teachers and students dare not challenge. This was brilliantly exposed by Martin Kramer in his 2001 book "Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle East Studies in America," and the situation has only grown worse since then.

Yet is it the government’s business to police this lamentable situation?

Small government conservatives, as well as libertarians and liberals, might be inclined to answer “no.” The last thing anyone should want is for federal bureaucrats vetting or censoring academic offerings. Yet, if there is to be federal Education Department dispensing money to schools throughout the country, why shouldn’t it monitor how funds are being spent?

The federal government is quite vigilant about policing the use of grant money when it comes to possible discriminatory conduct or practices. The same is true for a host of other issues relating to federal preferences about a wide array of conduct and agendas. Why then would monitoring anti-Semitism be the one topic on which Washington should stay mum? It is widely understood that anything that smacks of condoning racism or prejudice against other minorities would result in the loss of federal grants. But anti-Semitism operating under the veil of Middle East studies has had impunity.

That has been the way the Education Department and the federal government have treated instances of anti-Semitism up until 2017. For instance, the Obama administration ignored many anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses during its eight years in office and dismissed calls (from people like Marcus) for it to use the threat of loss of federal funding to force those responsible to act. It was only after DeVos and Marcus were appointed to their posts by Trump that the Education Department began to take an active interest in the way hatred of Jews has found a home on some campuses and especially within departments focused on the Middle East.

These departments, like the one operated by Duke and UNC, are free to go on teaching the history of the Middle East in a manner that treats the presence of Christians and Jews there as illegitimate or to promote BDS and other forms of anti-Semitism. They have a choice. If they don’t want federal criticism, all they have to do is to give up the money they get from the federal government or any other entity that seeks to uphold the standards of decency one would not think has to be imposed on such elite institutions. Indeed, there are plenty of Middle East governments, such as that of Qatar, whose Muslim Brotherhood-run foundation is happy to dispense money to American institutions while promoting a very different agenda than that of the administration.

But if they do so, they can’t pretend that they are responsible scholars or anything other than promoters of hate.

What Trump’s Education Department has done is neither Islamophobic nor an unconscionable interference in academia worthy of an authoritarian regime. It’s merely upholding the values and principles that liberal academics claim to support.

For this, it is denounced by Jewish publications and groups, like the Anti-Defamation League, that claim to defend the community from anti-Semitism and are now silent when they should be speaking up in defense of the administration. Whatever you may think of Trump or DeVos, the Jewish community should be standing with the administration on this issue. The failure to do so is nothing short of a disgrace.


Iran creating more Hezbollahs across the Middle East

by Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror

Israel Hayom
September 29, 2019

Over the past several weeks, Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist group have been at daggers drawn in the Middle East. Israeli aircraft recently struck Iranian-backed forces in Syria that were plotting a major drone attack in Israel.

Hezbollah responded by firing advanced anti-tank missiles into Israel, with the leader of the group pledging a “new phase” in which Hezbollah would no longer observe past “red lines.”

Meanwhile, Israel disclosed sites in Lebanon where Iran and Hezbollah are working together to build precision-guided missiles that could hit sites throughout Israel during a war.

This dramatic escalation in tensions with Iran and its proxies is dangerous but unsurprising. It should be understood as a warning that Iran’s strategy of training and arming proxy terror groups throughout the Middle East is not being countered aggressively enough.

In the summer of 2006, at the conclusion of the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah, few expected that the quiet between Israel and Lebanon would have lasted this long.

But it is a deceptive quiet because the Israel-Hezbollah battlefield has moved to Syria and other locales. The Israeli Air Force has carried out many airstrikes on Iranian-backed targets in recent years.

That war was a missed opportunity since it ended without a clear victory over Hezbollah, which at the time was a far less intimidating enemy.

Since then, Hezbollah has grown in manpower and firepower to the extent that Israel is careful not to attack it inside of Lebanon.

Today, there is mutual deterrence, which is a strategic accomplishment for Hezbollah, a terrorist group opposing one of the most capable militaries in the world.

Thanks to massive Iranian investment, Hezbollah has now developed into a “hybrid organization,” a terror organization with strong military components. Significantly, this success has made the frightening model on which Iran is basing its promotion of new terrorist militias in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.

Hezbollah has some 30,000 troops and an equivalent number in militia positions held in parallel to civilian occupations.

The group has gained valuable combat experience in Syria (at a high cost), and now holds a diverse arsenal of weaponry of a quantity and quality befitting a modern army.

No terror organization in history has had as powerful an armament as the one Hezbollah currently stockpiles. It is no wonder, then, that the Iranians are very happy with their success and are attempting to replicate this model in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria. What remains a wonder is why these attempts by Iran are not being fought more aggressively.

Iran is pursuing this effort with adaptations that take into account the different conditions in each place, but the principle is the same: set up a local organization aided by foreigners and supplied by Iran in order to create a militia that serves Iranian interests, but also benefits the local population. Iran’s successful joint operations with its proxy forces often increase local support for foreign involvement.

This was not supposed to happen. UN Security Council Resolution 1701 was passed at the end of the 2006 conflict to prevent precisely this situation.

Western countries reinforced UN forces in Lebanon with troops that had a clear mandate to monitor and report on Hezbollah’s activities. The resolution included a categorical statement banning the transfer of weaponry to Lebanon. These measures were supposed to ensure Lebanese sovereignty and prevent Hezbollah from growing stronger.

But the reality has been completely different. Lebanon today is completely dominated politically and militarily by Hezbollah, not by the Lebanese government or army – so much so that Iran is moving to a new stage focused less on increasing the quantity of arms than on improving their quality.

A sufficient quantity of precision-guided missiles could be a tiebreaker in the current stalemate, as they would allow Hezbollah to paralyze sensitive infrastructure and strike at strategically important targets in Israel, both military and civilian.

Israel’s cautious approach to Lebanon has allowed Hezbollah and Iran to realize their vision there. Israel’s more aggressive approach to Syria has so far prevented Iran from freely entrenching. Because Iran’s military buildup in Lebanon is already too far advanced, eventually there is likely to be a terrible war between Israel and Hezbollah.

World powers should take heed. What Iran has accomplished in Lebanon with Hezbollah offers a clear vision of the future. The same thing will happen in the coming years in other parts of the region if the international community fails to stop Iran’s development of proxy militaries across the Middle East.

Nasrallah: We are prepared to enter 'occupied Palestine'

Israel Hayom
September 29, 2019

The leader of the Lebanese-based terror group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, claimed over the weekend that his organization was in possession of a large amount of military intelligence on Israel and warned that his forces were prepared to enter "occupied Palestine" [i.e. Israel] at any time.

"[We] are threatening them and we will enter occupied Palestine," Nasrallah was quoted by an Arabic-language daily on Friday.

"We have abundant information, unprecedented in fact, about all events and developments occurring on the enemy side, using both public and secretive measures," Nasrallah continued.

"We have very good intelligence and very good oversight," he added.

Earlier this month, the radical cleric claimed that "there are no red lines left in regards to defending Lebanon from Israeli aggression," adding that "Lebanon has a right to defend itself from Israeli attacks."

He further warned that an attack on Iran by the Jewish state "would result in Israel ceasing to exist."

Sunday, September 29, 2019



During the four-hour hearing on Police Oversight, the House Judiciary Committee flashed photos of Eric Garner and other black men killed by police – including Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri — on screens around the hearing room

I had lunch Saturday with an old friend of mine who is a retired state police officer. During the luncheon I mentioned that recently Al Sharpton and Eric Garner’s mother appeared before a meeting on Police Oversight that was held by the House Judiciary Committee which is chaired by NY Congressman Jerry Nadler.

When I told my friend that during the four-hour hearing, photos of Garner and other black men killed by police – including Michael Brown who had robbed a convenience store clerk in Ferguson, Missouri — flashed on screens around the hearing room, he got really pissed off.

Where were the pictures of cops killed by black men? he growled at me.

A good question!

I don’t blame my friend for being pissed off. By flashing pictures of criminals like Garner and Brown throughout the hearing room, Nadler, Sheila Jackson Lee and the other Democrats on the committee showed they favored criminals over cops that were just trying to do their jobs.


by Bob Walsh

In 1399, Richard II was deposed by Henry Lancaster, who became Henry IV.

In 1789 the Congress of the United States authorized the creation of a standing army. (There was strong sentiment against the creation of a standing army. Many believed it would inevitably become a tool a tyranical government.)

In 1932 General Motors established a 5-day work week for it's hourly employees.


by Bob Walsh

This assertion is, as far as I know, completely untrue. Which means it has the same level of truthfulness of most of the rest of the things written about Trump in the last couple of years.


by Bob Walsh

Assembly Bill AB 1724 (logged into their computer system as A01724) is moving thru their legislature. If passed it would, effective immediately, prohibit the sale of more than 20 rounds of ammunition in any 120 day period to any person for any weapon listed by the New York penal code as an "assault weapon." Violation is a Class E felony.


French Billionaire Arnault Calls Greta Thunberg ‘Demoralizing’

By Robert Williams

September 25, 2019

LVMH Chairman Bernard Arnault had some critical words for teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg when he spoke at the luxury giant’s sustainability event in Paris.

“She’s a dynamic young girl, but she’s surrendering completely to catastrophism,” Arnault, France’s richest man, said Wednesday. “I find that her views are demoralizing for young people.”

The remarks from Arnault, 70, came two days after the 16-year-old Thunberg scolded heads of state at a United Nations summit in New York for doing too little to fight global warming. “We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of endless economic growth,” Thunberg said.

Arnault pointed out that recent decades of economic growth had lifted many people from poverty and improved health around the world. “If we don’t want to go backwards, we still need growth.”

He said he preferred actions like those taken by the latest generation of entrepreneurs to integrate environmental concerns into their business plans.

Arnault made his remarks at a press conference about his company’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact and impose stricter controls on its suppliers. The company said in a statement that it was on track to achieve its 2020 goal of reducing carbon emissions in its own operations by 25% compared to 2013, despite increasing sales rapidly during the period.

A day earlier, luxury rival Kering said it would become completely carbon neutral, offsetting all emissions including those from its supply chain through means such as financial support for reforestation projects.


By Trey Rusk

Running Code 3
September 28, 2019

I had lunch today with a retired cop and LE professor and he told me that back in his day, when he wanted to know anything about anybody in the building, all he had to do was ask the janitor.

Most of the time we speak to service oriented persons such a food servers and the clerk who works at the Dry Cleaners as acquaintances. We may of may not know their names. But because we are in law enforcement, they know us.

The sometimes so called unimportant people hold a wealth of information. The people who have service jobs are often over looked while mopping or emptying the trash but they hear and see things.

My father taught me to always treat the CEO and the maintenance staff of a company on the same level. People are people and everyone remembers how they have been treated by you.

I tell you these things because the Brotherhood at the Cop Shop sometimes includes non-law enforcement staff. Janitors, mechanics, and clerks that see and hear a lot. Now, I've always considered corrections officers to be cops. They take the same oath of office as street cops and the deal with the scum of the earth.

Let's not forget the trained volunteers who man the Citizens-on-Patrol and those who show up at a 24 hour crime scene with coffee and sandwiches. The person who sits at the front door of the station and gives information and directions. I always kept a box of Congratulatory, Sympathy and Thank You cards in my desk and addressed these folks when the occasion fit. I guarantee that if you dismiss these folks as nothing, you are making a big mistake.

I premised this blog with the rather lengthy analysis to tell you a story.

I attended a department Christmas Party. During the party people exchanged gifts. The employees had pulled names from a sack and each gift was to have a $10 limit. My gift was a patrol bag with my name and rank on it. It cost much more than $10. I received it from a jailer named Norman whom I knew made much less than me. He struggled to make ends meet with his family. I sent him a Thank You card. I had gotten to know him while taking smoke breaks outside, usually in the evening. We discussed most topics and I knew he hung out with some half outlaw bikers.

I was getting close to identifying a badly decomposed body. My snitch had disappeared.

As the case was about to go cold, I found a envelope on my desk with my name on it. I opened it and the note read, "The body is John Smith from Victoria." Once the body was identified, known associates were rounded up and a confession was obtained. I had become busy and hadn't seen Norman in a couple of weeks. The Captain told me he had quit and moved out of state.

I knew Norman had written the note, because the handwriting was the same as the Christmas Card in the patrol bag he had given me.

Had Norman given me the name for the sake of justice? I believe he did. After all, he had taken the same oath I took.

Note: The names and locations have been changed in the story because I don't want anyone to get hurt.

Be nice to folks.

That's the way I see it.


Doctor facing life in prison for dispensing half a million opioid prescriptions in 2 years

By Denise Lavoie and Sarah Rankin

Associated Press
September 28, 2019

By the time drug enforcement agents swooped into his small medical office in Martinsville, Virginia, in 2017, Dr. Joel Smithers had prescribed about a half a million doses of highly addictive opioids in two years.

Patients from five states drove hundreds of miles to see him, spending up to 16 hours on the road to get prescriptions for oxycodone and other powerful painkillers.

"He's done great damage and contributed ... to the overall problem in the heartland of the opioid crisis," said Christopher Dziedzic, a supervisory special agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration who oversaw the investigation into Smithers.

In the past two decades, opioids have killed about 400,000 Americans, ripped families apart and left communities — many in Appalachia — grappling with ballooning costs of social services like law enforcement, foster care and drug rehab.

Smithers, a 36-year-old married father of five, is facing the possibility of life in prison after being convicted in May of more than 800 counts of illegally prescribing drugs, including the oxycodone and oxymorphone that caused the death of a West Virginia woman. When he is sentenced Wednesday, the best Smithers can hope for is a mandatory minimum of 20 years.

Authorities say that, instead of running a legitimate medical practice, Smithers headed an interstate drug distribution ring that contributed to the opioid abuse epidemic in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

In court filings and at trial, they described an office that lacked basic medical supplies, a receptionist who lived out of a back room during the work week, and patients who slept outside and urinated in the parking lot.

At trial, one woman who described herself as an addict compared Smithers' practice to pill mills she frequented in Florida.

"I went and got medication without — I mean, without any kind of physical exam or bringing medical records, anything like that," the woman testified.

A receptionist testified that patients would wait up to 12 hours to see Smithers, who sometimes kept his office open past midnight. Smithers did not accept insurance and took in close to $700,000 in cash and credit card payments over two years.

"People only went there for one reason, and that was just to get pain medication that they (could) abuse themselves or sell it for profit," Dziedzic said.

The opioid crisis has been decades in the making and has been fueled by a mix of prescription and street drugs.

From 2000 to 2010, annual deaths linked to prescription opioids increased nearly fourfold. By the 2010s, with more crackdowns on pill mills and more restrictive guidelines on prescriptions, the number of prescriptions declined. Then people with addictions turned to even deadlier opioids. But the number of deaths tied to prescription opioids didn't begin to decline until last year, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Martinsville, where Smithers set up shop, has been particularly hard hit.

A city of about 14,000 near Virginia's southern border, Martinsville once was a thriving furniture and textile manufacturing center that billed itself as the "Sweatshirt Capital of the World." But when factories began closing in the 1990s, thousands of jobs were lost. Between 2006 and 2012, the city had the nation's third-highest number of opioid pills received per capita, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal data.

Andrew Kolodny, a Brandeis University doctor who has long been critical of opioids, said that in recent years, doctors became less comfortable writing lots of opioid prescriptions and many big prescribers retired. That opened an opportunity for others.

"If you're one of the guys still doing this," he said, "you're going to have tons of patients knocking down your door."

During his trial, Smithers testified that after he moved to Virginia, he found himself flooded with patients from other states who said many nearby pain clinics had been shut down. Smithers said he reluctantly began treating these patients, with the goal of weaning them off high doses of immediate-release drugs.

He acknowledged during testimony that he sometimes wrote and mailed prescriptions for patients he had not examined but insisted that he had spoken to them over the phone.

Once, he met a woman in the parking lot of a Starbucks, she handed him $300 and he gave her a prescription for fentanyl, an opioid pain reliever that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

When area pharmacists started refusing to fill prescriptions written by Smithers, he directed patients to far-flung pharmacies, including two in West Virginia. Prosecutors say Smithers also used some patients to distribute drugs to other patients. Four people were indicted in Kentucky on conspiracy charges.

At his trial, Smithers portrayed himself as a caring doctor who was deceived by some patients.

"I learned several lessons the hard way about trusting people that I should not have trusted," he said.

Smithers' lawyer told the judge he had been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Family members said through a spokesperson that they believe his decisions were influenced by personal stress, and emotional and mental strain.

Even before he opened his Martinsville practice in August 2015, Smithers had raised suspicions. West Virginia authorities approached him in June 2015 about a complaint with his practice there, but when they returned the next day with a subpoena, they found his office cleaned out and a dumpster filled with shredded papers and untested urine samples.

Some of Smithers' patients have remained fiercely loyal to him, insisting their severe chronic pain was eased by the powerful painkillers he prescribed.

Lennie Hartshorn Jr., the father of the West Virginia woman who died two days after taking drugs Smithers prescribed, testified for the defense.

Hartshorn said his daughter, Heather Hartshorn, told someone "she would rather be dead than in pain all the time." According to a form Heather Hartshorn filled out when she went to see Smithers, she had chronic pain in her lower back, legs, hips and neck from a severe car accident and a fall.

When asked by Smithers' lawyer if he blames Smithers for anything, Lennie Hartshorn said he does not.

Smithers has been denied bond while he awaits sentencing. His attorney did not respond to inquiries from AP. Smithers has said he plans to appeal.


Bond denied for Florida man paralyzed in Virginia Beach shooting

By Allison Mechanic

News 3
September 25, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A judge has decided to keep a man paralyzed in a recent shooting behind bars.

Henry Frank Herbig is 65 years old and is from Florida. Earlier this month, he was arrested in Virginia Beach, accused of aggravated malicious wounding and breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.

Virginia Beach Police were called to a Bunsen Drive home around 9:45 p.m. on September 8. Investigators say Herbig broke into the home and assaulted his stepdaughter, who lives at the home, and his estranged wife, who was staying there, with a large wrench.

Herbig was shot by his stepdaughter and became paralyzed. Police deemed her actions self-defense.

Due to Herbig's condition, he was not able to be transported from the Virginia Beach City Jail to the courtroom for his bond hearing on Wednesday morning. Instead, he appeared from his jail hospital bed through video conference.

His defense attorney argued that this showed that jail staff were unable to provide proper care for his client and that he should be released on bond. Prosecutors argued that even though Herbig cannot make a fist and will not ever be able to ever walk again, he is still a danger to the community and a flight risk.

Investigators say Herbig is wealthy, has connections to pilots and several homes - one of which is on the Canadian border. Prosecutors say Herbig drove up from Florida with an elaborate plan to commit murder.

They say he had a lengthy list in his car that mentioned all the actions he took and planned to take in order to kill his wife. Some of the items listed included using several different cars to make the trip from Florida to Virginia, bringing gas cans with him so he wouldn't need to buy any, having multiple cell phones so he couldn't be traced and not using any credit cards during the trip.

Investigators say he also brought disguises, a bag with garbage bags, duct tape, zip ties and several weapons including a wooden baton, a firearm and a large wrench.

In court Wednesday, prosecutors told the judge Herbig first attacked his stepdaughter with the wrench when she was letting her dog out in the backyard. He then forced himself into the home and attacked his estranged wife.

The stepdaughter shot Herbig as he was attacking her mother, severing his spine. Prosecutors say if she didn't shoot Herbig, he may have been able to carry out his plan.

Prosecutors called Herbig "dangerous" and said with his connections, he could still be a flight risk. Herbig's attorney disagreed and said by staying in the jail where he may not receive adequate care, his health could deteriorate.

After hearing both sides, the judge decided to deny Herbig bond. However, she says she is willing to hear about this matter at a later date if Herbig's defense attorney can come up with a plan for where he can be treated.


Poland denies report that its president blamed Israel for increased anti-Semitism

By Eldad Beck

Israel Hayom
September 27, 2019

A senior official in Polish President Andrzej Duda's office dismissed a Jewish Insider report claiming that the Polish leader had accused Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz of causing an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks in Poland.

The official said the report was "fake news" and the accusation was never made.

According to Jewish Insider, during a meeting with Jewish leaders in New York this week, Duda reportedly said that Katz caused the increase in incidents in his country because the Israeli chief diplomat accused Poles of "suckling their anti-Semitism with their mother's milk," causing a diplomatic war of words between the two countries.

According to the report, Duda said Katz’s comments, which were a reiteration of a famous accusation uttered by the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, "were a humiliation and were the reason for an increase in antisemitic attacks against Jews in Poland."

Later, the office issued an official statement. The Spokesperson of President Andrzej Duda, Błażej Spychalski, said: "The quote is not only inaccurate. It is plainly not true. President Duda never said that 'Israel is responsible for recent anti-Semitic attacks in Poland.' All participants of the said meeting can corroborate this. Jewish Insider made this up."

The Jewish Insider report also noted that Duda "told the group – which included representatives of [pro-Israel lobby in Washington] AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League – that people in his country had advised him not to travel to Israel until Katz apologizes for the comment. "

Duda's statements blaming Katz for violent attacks caused an uproar at the event, according to Jewish Insider, which cited two witnesses at the meeting.

The recent tension between Israel and Poland stems from a law that makes it a civil offense to claim that the Polish people as a whole or the Polish state were responsible for the Nazi atrocities against the Jews.

Katz's statements, made just as the two sides were trying to put this issue behind them, outraged Warsaw and led to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki canceling his visit to Israel.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Historically, Poland has always been a hotbed of anti-Semitism and there is no reason to believe things have changed any. Besides that, anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Britain, France an Germany as well as throughout Europe, and it’s not because of anything Katz said.

Saturday, September 28, 2019


The whistleblower is only the latest recipient of information from White House staffers who have been leaking damaging information to the media ever since Trump assumed office

By Howie Katz

Big Jolly times
September 27, 2019

There can be no doubt the Trump presidency is now endangered. The whistle blower report has incited the Democrats to go for the President’s jugular. And the media is only too happy to join them.

The whistleblower, who is thought to be a CIA agent, alleges that Trump and many of his aides engaged in a months-long effort of pressuring the Ukraine government to discredit Joe Biden and then covered up their wrongdoing. His report states that the Ukraine government was made aware that US military aid was dependent on its compliance with the request to investigate Biden’s son Hunter. The whistleblower said:

“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.”

At the center of the whistleblower’s report is the phone call Trump made to Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That call was not the ‘lovely’ call Trump made it out to be. It was improper and the dumbest thing Trump has done since he became President.

As usual, when attacked, Trump responds with a furious counterattack. In a closed-door meeting with U.S. diplomats, the President raged:

“We’re at war. These people are sick. They’re sick. I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistle-blower the information? Because that’s close to a spy. You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”

And, of course, there were the usual barrage of Trump tweets belittling this whole brouhaha.

Even though all of the allegations made by the whistleblower were second-hand, acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire told the House Intelligence Committee: “I believe that the whistleblower and the inspector general have acted in good faith throughout. I have every reason to believe that they have done everything by the book and followed the law.”

Dumb and improper, yes, but was the call to Zelensky an impeachable offense? Adam Schitt (oops, typo) calls it a “classic mafia like shakedown.” Jerry Nadler, with Houston’s Sheila Jackson Lee at his side, makes it clear he wants Trump impeached. AOC and Rashida Tlaib are screaming for impeachment and Nancy Pelosi has caved in to their demands.

Pelosi also accused AG William Barr of “The cover up of a cover up,” while Tlaib announced she is selling T-shirts imprinted with the slogan: Impeach the Motherfucker.

It’s hard to tell how all this will play out. It’s a foregone conclusion that Trump will be impeached by the Democratic controlled House and then not convicted by the Republican controlled Senate. That could backfire on the Democrats. However, when all the House investigations are over and done with, there may be enough evidence to persuade some Republican senators to abandon the leaky ship. If that happens, there might be 60 votes in the Senate to convict Trump.

Joe Biden does not come out of this mess squeaky clean either. When he was vice president, Biden threatened to withhold a $1 billion U.S. loan from Ukraine if Viktor Shokin, that country’s chief prosecutor, was not fired. At the time, Shokin was widely rumored to be investigating Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. And the vice president's threat was a direct threat, unlike the implied threat in Trump's phone call.

The media is playing the Goebbels tune. Ever since he became President, The New York Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC and, except for Fox, the other TV networks have taken every opportunity to smear Trump because he defeated their beloved Hillary.

Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels is credited with saying: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Let me paraphrase that to show how Trump could lose the 2020 election. If you smear Trump enough and keep on smearing him, people will eventually come to believe it. And that’s what the Democrats and the Trump-hating media are counting on.

Although Trump implies that the leakers in his administration are spies who should be hanged or shot, he has not been able to learn the identity of the numerous White House staffers who have been feeding the media, and now the whistleblower, with damaging information about the President.

It’s mainly the leaks that have enabled the media to mount their blitzkrieg against the president. If Trump loses in 2020, he can thank members of his own staff for his defeat.


HCSO deputy dies after being shot 'ambush-style' during traffic stop, sheriff says

By Brittany Taylor

September 27, 2019

HOUSTON - A Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy died after he was shot from behind Friday while conducting a traffic stop in northwest Harris County, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said.

The shooting was reported around 1 p.m. at 14807 Willancy Court at West Road.

Gonzalez said Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, who is a 10-year veteran of the department, stopped a vehicle with a man and woman inside. During that stop, Gonzalez said, one of the people in the vehicle got out and shot the 41-year-old deputy "ambush-style" at least twice in a "ruthless, cold-blooded way."

The shooter was seen running in a Kroger shopping center nearby, officials said. An employee told KPRC 2 that the shooter never entered the Kroger but left the vehicle in the parking lot before fleeing the scene.

Investigators were able to identify what the shooter looked like by watching Dhaliwal's dashcam video.

"They immediately looked at his dashcam to see what the suspect looked like, they took a photo of the suspect on the scene with their phone and immediately got that out to our intel people," Gonzalez said.

The vehicle the shooter was driving was recovered and is being investigated, officials said.

The owner of a Marble Slab Creamery said the possible gunman hung out at his shop for nearly a half-hour before authorities arrived and took him into custody. The woman who was inside the vehicle with the suspect was also detained, officials said.

SKY 2 video shows a police unit taking that suspect to the county jail.

Gonzalez asked everyone to pray for the deputy after he was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Life Flight. About 4:30 p.m., Gonzalez said in a tweet that the deputy had died.

Gonzalez is asking to please keep Dhaliwal's family in your prayers. He said Dhaliwal leaves behind a wife and three children.

"Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal was a trailblazer. He was an example for many. He represented his community with respect and pride," said Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Robert Solis, 47, has been charged with capital murder in the shooting of Deputy Dhaliwal.

Solis is a parolee with an active parole violation warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon dating back to January 2017. Was there a parole hold placed on Solis when he was arrested on that aggravated assault charge? Apparently not! How did this sorry piece of shit manage to avoid arrest for that parole violation? This serves as a good example of how Texas parole fails to protect the public, and in this case a good cop paid the price.


Feds roll up East County drug networks

By Greg Moran

The San Diego Union-Tribune
September 19, 2019

Federal authorities in San Diego said Thursday they had broken up a large network of drug dealers linked to the Sinaloa cartel that peddled methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl from East County to points across the nation.

At a news conference at the local office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, officials said 85 people had been indicted for their roles in eight separate drug importation and distribution groups. On Thursday federal and local law enforcement fanned out and arrested 47 of the 85 defendants across southern California and reaching into Colorado and as far north as Alaska.

The raids and arrests capped a year-long investigation that started with busts of small-time, street-level drug dealers and grew into a sweeping probe that involved a 10-month federal wiretap, dozens of search warrants and undercover agents, said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Mazza.

In addition to the drug charges, the indictments include money laundering charges aimed at what was described as the tens of thousands of dollars in bulk cash that was collected after the sales. Agents with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division traced the funds in their role as part of the large task force that investigated the drug organizations.

Mazza said the probe, dubbed “Operation Backpack,” was one of the most significant drug investigations in the San Diego area in recent years.

The eight indictments unsealed Thursday shed little light on the details of drug networks operations. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Sutton, the lead prosecutor on the case, said the drug gangs received smuggled narcotics from Mexico, then distributed them to suppliers in the state and across the country.

They were also responsible for shipping back the cash from the sales, most of it smuggled from the U.S. into Mexico in large bulk cash shipments, into the hands of Sinaloa-cartel-connected traffickers in Mexico.

Sutton said the indictments and arrests are “a critical strike against the Sinaloa cartel.”

During the course of the investigation agents seized 175 pounds of drugs, firearms and at least $50,000 in cash. The arrests on Thursday added another four pounds of methamphetamine and two guns to that total.

While the eight networks operated independently, Sutton said that they were also affiliated with each other in some ways, sharing suppliers and even some customers for the drugs, and working collaboratively in some aspects of their operations.

San Diego County has long been a shipment point for illegal drugs smuggled into the country from Mexico and Central and South America. DEA Agent Steven Woodland said at the news conference that a little more than a decade ago a pound of methamphetamine sold for about $17,000.

But since then the Sinaloa cartel, which by 2010 had wrested control of the lucrative Tijuana smuggling plaza after the demise of the Arellano-Félix drug trafficking organization, has flooded the market to the point where the same amount of the drug sells for about $1,200, Woodland said.

Most of the 47 people arrested Thursday are due to appear in federal court in downtown San Diego Friday afternoon.


San Diegan who rose to power as corrupt Mexican attorney general sentenced to prison

By Kristina Davis

The San Diego Union-Tribune
September 26, 2019

As the top law enforcement officer of the Mexican state of Nayarit, Edgar Veytia projected an image of a no-nonsense crime fighter.

His path to attorney general had certainly been unique: born in Tijuana and raised as a dual U.S.-Mexico citizen in suburban San Diego before carving out a legal career in Nayarit, the homeland of his wife and her well-connected family.

But in the end, his path ended the same way it has for several of Mexico’s top officials: corruption.

On Thursday, Veytia, 49, was sentenced in a New York courtroom to 20years in prison for using the power of his office to assist a drug cartel in exchange for bribes.

“As a United States citizen with a home in California, the defendant could have left his life of corruption behind at any time,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Harris argued in a sentencing memorandum. “Instead, he chose to stay, enable these violent drug trafficking organizations, and accept the benefits of working with these criminals.”

The H-2 Cartel was led by Juan Francisco Patron Sanchez — known as “H-2" — and operated in Nayarit and Sinaloa as an affiliate of the powerful Beltran-Leyva Cartel.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating the organization in 2013 and determined it distributed on a monthly basis some 500 kilograms of heroin, 100 kilograms of cocaine, 200 kilograms of methamphetamine and 3,000 kilograms of marijuana to the United States, working with distribution cells in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and New York, according to prosecutors.

The cartel made millions of dollars and engaged in “substantial violence including torture and dozens of homicides,” prosecutors said.

With Veytia’s help — secured by monthly bribes — the cartel operated with impunity in Nayarit.

According to the sentencing memorandum, Veytia — at times known by the moniker “El Diablo” — directed other corrupt Mexican law enforcement officers to aid the cartel beginning in 2013 and used them to pass messages to and from Patron Sanchez.

If cartel members were arrested, Veytia would make sure they got released from custody, prosecutors said. When the cartel murdered a rival drug trafficker in October 2015, Veytia helped cover it up, prosecutors said.

Veytia is also accused of sanctioning violence.

On several occasions, Patron Sanchez and Veytia discussed “processing” — or committing violent acts — against rival traffickers who were detained by Veytia’s corrupt officers.

In one March 15, 2016, discussion, Veytia advised Patron Sanchez that he was going to “process” a rival, and Patron Sanchez approved, calling the rival “dangerous,” according to prosecutors. Veytia later clarified to Patron Sanchez: “We are going to kill him,” the sentencing memo states.

In other instances, authorities said, Veytia directed corrupt officers to send rivals in their custody “to hell.”

At the same time, Patron Sanchez was rising among his own ranks. He purportedly took the helm of the Beltran-Leyva organization after the 2014 capture of leader Hector Beltran-Leyva. In February, Patron Sanchez and several of his leaders were killed by Mexican forces.

It’s not clear how Veytia became involved with H-2.

Veytia arrived in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit in the early 1990s and began working for his future wife’s brother, who he’d met in Tijuana, according to an account in the Mexico City newspaper Excelsior.

He sold tools purchased in Tijuana to bus drivers in Nayarit and attended law school at Universidad del Alica in the state capital of Tepic from 1992 to 1996. He got married, and his father-in-law later gave his wife a permit to operate a bus route between Tepic and the city of Compostela, the article said.

Veytia later worked his way up in law enforcement and became a confidant of the state’s governor. He even considered a gubernatorial run himself. In 2011, he survived an attempt on his life when a gunman sprayed his vehicle with bullets.

Two years later, he was named attorney general.

“The government does not dispute that the defendant was charged with a difficult task: enforcing the law in a place where corruption was significant and providing protection to people where powerful and violent criminal organizations had the apparent ability to kill with abandon,” Harris wrote in the court filing.

“At the same time, it is clear that the defendant made several choices that led to his life of crime: he chose a life of corruption that endangered the lives of the citizens of Nayarit. Instead of enforcing the criminal law against these drug trafficking organizations, he used the official machinery of his position to enable those organizations.”

Veytia was arrested in San Diego in March 2017 after he crossed from Tijuana’s A.L. Rodríguez International Airport through the Cross-Border Xpress bridge. He had a family home in Chula Vista.

He was transferred to New York and pleaded guilty in January to one county of participating in an international drug manufacturing and distribution conspiracy. He agreed to forfeit $1 million.

Prosecutors indicated that Veytia has expressed remorse for his actions, although all of Veytia’s sentencing documents elaborating on his position were filed under seal. A portion of the sentencing hearing on Thursday was also closed to the public.


Israeli foreign minister tells UN: Jews will not be 'separated from homeland'

i24 News
September 27, 2019

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz addressed the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Thursday where he took the opportunity to slam critics of Israel, declaring that the Jewish people would not be "separated from their homeland," and warned of the growing threat posed by Tehran and its proxies.

Katz, who was announced as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's replacement after Israel's general election on Sept. 17 ended in deadlock, began his speech by thanking US President Donald Trump for his support of Israel before launching into a condemnation of Israel's greatest antagonists in the region.

Addressing the Palestinians, Katz urged leaders in Ramallah "to stop incitement … and financing terrorism."

He also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize "the right of the Jewish people to its own state" and "to come back to direct negotiations without any pre-conditions."

The foreign minister also urged Hamas, the ruling authority in the Gaza Strip, to release "two Israeli citizens, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul," from their custody.

In addition, Katz issued a condemnation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who earlier in the UNGA accused Israel of stealing Palestinian land while questioning the country's sovereign borders.

"The other day I heard Erdoğan attack Israel and I want to say to him: You, that brutally oppress the Turkish people, slaughter the Kurdish minority and support the terror organization Hamas – you are the last one that can lecture Israel. You are not the Sultan and Turkey is not the Ottoman Empire. Shame on you," Katz said.

But Katz saved his harshest critique for the Islamic Republic of Iran, who he called the "main problem threatening stability, and security in the Middle East," and accused Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of giving the "direct orders" to attack several Saudi oil facilities from Yemen earlier this month.

"Iran is the biggest terror state, and the biggest 'sponsor of terror' in the world," Katz said. "I call on the international community to unite in order to stop Iran."

During the live address, the camera panned to a row of empty seats revealing no Iranian officials were present to hear Katz speak. During Rouhani's address on Wednesday, Israeli officials were also not in attendance.

Friday, September 27, 2019


State records show thousands of pounds of pollutants released during Imelda

By Robert Arnold

September 26, 2019

HOUSTON - Texas environmental records show several refineries and chemical plants reported the unauthorized release of thousands of pounds of pollutants during Tropical Storm Imelda.

Air emission event reports show at least 10 facilities in Harris, Brazoria, Jefferson and Orange counties directly listed Imelda as the cause of the releases. These facilities combined reported approximately 75,000 pounds of pollutants were released over a four-day period.

Other facilities report emissions during this window but did not specifically list the tropical storm as a direct cause.

What type of pollutants were released?

A variety of compounds were released during the storm, including Benzene, Carbon Monoxide and Butadiene, 1-3. The single largest release was reported by the ExxonMobil facility in Beaumont.

State records show approximately 36,000 pounds were released "as a result of adverse weather conditions caused by Tropical Storm Imelda, a process unit compressor tripped causing a unit shutdown event."

Other facilities reported lightning strikes and rising floodwaters as causes for these events.

What is the state saying about the releases?

Officials with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality told KPRC that aerial and hand-held monitoring showed there was no danger to the public as of Thursday. Governor Greg Abbott temporarily suspended certain environmental rules for facilities in affected areas, as he did after Hurricane Harvey.

When TCEQ requested the rule suspension on Sept. 19, officials wrote that "such suspension is requested only to the extent the rules actually do prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with this disaster."

The rule suspension remains in place Thursday. When asked how long the suspension would last TCEQ officials wrote, "communities in areas impacted by Tropical Storm Imelda are still in the process of recovering from this disaster.

The state's and TCEQ's response to Tropical Storm Imelda is also ongoing, as they move into the cleanup and recovery phase. You can read more about the rule suspension on the TCEQ website.

A disagreement with the state

"This does not give me any comfort," said Dr. Bakeyah Nelson, executive director for Air Alliance Houston. "I think what everyone needs to know is that there is no level of air pollution that is quote unquote safe."

Nelson worries about the cumulative effects of these incidents, given major fires and corresponding emissions at tank yards and refineries earlier this year.

"They impact our air quality, they impact our water quality, the impact the soil," said Nelson. "We have an expanding industry, we have more frequent storms, and we're all living in this region, and we're all impacted by it."

EDITOR’S NOTE: When may we expect 16-year-old Swedish eco warrior Greta Thunberg to come to Houston to demand that the petro-chemical industry in Houston and southeast Texas be eradicated?

As for the mail, Thursday was the first day since Wednesday a week ago that I received any first-class mail. I’m concerned that some of my bills may have been destroyed when the Houston area Postal sorting and distribution center’s roof collapsed. And the same goes for the payments I made.


by Bob Walsh

Stephon Clark was the unarmed Black man shot to death in a back yard in Sacramento last year after he broke into cars, attempted to break into a house and ran from the cops. The feds just issued their report yesterday and determined that there is no reason to file federal charges against the police officers involved. The Sacramento PD has reached a similar decision, as has the DA. The officers, who have been on modified duty will now (in theory) be returned to full duty status.

In reality you can count on the BLM psychopaths to do everything possible to make police lives, and probably the lives of their families, as miserable as possible.


by Bob Walsh

Steven Semprevivo, 53, shelled out $400,000 to get his son into Georgetown on a bogus Tennis hookup. Semprevivo copped, said he knew up front he was paying a bribe and didn't try to weasel his way out.

He is getting 4 months in custody (remember the feds have 85% time) a $100k fine and 500 hours of community service, the details of which are still being worked out.

I wonder if Lori Laughlin is getting ready to run? It is not secret that she REALLY does not want to do any time. I hear Costa Rica is a nice place. No extradition treaty.


by Bob Walsh

It has happened before. The CDC made at least one major and a couple of minor attempts to force integration of cells and bunk stacks in dorms. It was, as one might expect, an unmitigated disaster.

A year ago the empty suits who run the new California Dept. of Corrections (and rehabilitation), many of who have never worn a uniform in their lives, started loosening up on yard restrictions for known gang involved inmates and allowing and even encouraging some intermingling on the yard so that the "good inmates" among them could effectively function as peace makers.

Not only did it not work worth a diddly damn but the prisoners themselves and prison rights groups accused officials of "setting up fights" between the groups for their own amusement.

The Fresno Bulldogs are one of the prime players in this little farce, having generated 32 of the brawls (riots) over the last year. Of the 45 recorded serious attempts to integrate the yards 27 ended up in notable violence.

Anybody with any brains and any experience within the system knows these social experiments are doomed to failure. Brains and experience are not widely present at higher levels of the department.


by Bob Walsh

There is a nice small airport right next to Hwy 99 in Lodi, California. I drove past it yesterday in fact. All that is there, as far as I know, is a modest restaurant and a good size sky diving operation.

Sky diving is, by its nature, somewhat hazardous. In the last 20 years something like 15 people have been killed there in dives gone bad.

Yesterday a sky diver did a bank shot off the top of an 18 wheeler driving along Hwy 99 and ended up in the roadway. It did not end well for the skydiver and severely inconvenienced a whole lot of commuters. The normal landing zone is within 50 yards of the highway.


by Bob Walsh

Over the last couple of days PG&E cut off power to about 48,000 California customers as a potential safety issue. A lot of people knew a day or two in advance this was likely coming and purchased and hooked up generators.

There are at least three known instances of the generators starting fires.


Las Vegas police confirm ID of suspect in sleeping bag homicide

By Max Michor

Las Vegas Review-Journal
September 25, 2019

Las Vegas police confirmed the identity of the suspect arrested in connection with a body found dumped in the desert on Friday in the east valley.

Officers arrested 19-year-old Michael Miller on Tuesday and booked him into the Clark County Detention Center, where he faces one count of murder in connection with the homicide.

Police released a mug shot of Michael Miller showing facial disfigurement. Robert Miller, Michael Miller’s uncle, said that his nephew was injured in a fire when he was a young child. The fire also killed his 4-year-old cousin.

He said the fire left Michael Miller severely burned and disabled, forcing him to use a wheelchair.

The Review-Journal reported on an apartment fire in July 2003 that left then-3-year-old Michael Miller severely burned and killed a 4-year-old girl. The Las Vegas Fire Department said at the time that the fire had been accidentally sparked by kids playing with a cigarette lighter.

On Friday, Red Rock Search & Rescue found the body of 47-year-old Raul Salazar wrapped in a sleeping bag in a desert area off Lake Mead Boulevard, near Pablo Road. The team was searching for a missing person in the area, police said.

Robert Miller said his nephew spent part of his childhood homeless on the west side of the valley. He said he’d never heard Michael Miller mention Salazar’s name, and that Salazar didn’t fit the description of any of Michael Miller’s friends that he knew.

The Clark County coroner’s office said Salazar died from multiple gunshot wounds. His death was ruled a homicide.

Miller remains in custody at the Clark County Detention Center, where he is held without bail. His next court date is scheduled for Friday.


Former Honolulu police officer pleads guilty for failing to report the other officer in urinal case

By Nelson Daranciang

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
September 25, 2019

One of two Honolulu police officers accused of forcing a homeless man’s face into a urinal pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this afternoon to failing to report the crime.

Reginald Ramones, 43, faces a prison term of up to three years when he is sentenced in February. In exchange for his guilty plea and promise to testify against the other officer, however, the government will recommend probation.

A federal grand jury indicted Ramones and John Rabago in April on charges accusing them of conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of the homeless man and using their position as police officers to deprive the man of his rights.

The government has promised to drop the charges against Ramones at sentencing.

Rabago is scheduled to stand trial in March. He remains with the Honolulu Police Department but is on restricted duty.

Ramones resigned in August.


United flight diverted to free passenger stuck in bathroom

CNN Wire
September 26, 2019

A United Airlines flight was diverted to Denver, Colorado, Wednesday night to free a passenger stuck in the bathroom.

“The lavatory door became inoperative” during Flight 1554 from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, according to a United Airlines statement. A female passenger was trapped inside.

In Denver, “the passenger was safely removed from the lavatory after landing, and customers have since continued on to their destination on a new aircraft,” the airline said.

Twitter user @taylorkkimber posted video online of maintenance technicians working on the door.

“We’re just working on opening up the door at the moment, ma’am. We’ll get you out soon, OK?” one of the men is heard saying.

Flight 1554 was originally scheduled to arrive in San Francisco at 8:38 p.m. Wednesday night. The diverted flight arrived in San Francisco after 11 p.m.

“We are reaching out to all customers onboard and the customer in the lavatory to apologize,” the United Airlines statement said.

The airline didn’t immediately respond to questions about possible compensation for the trapped passenger.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve never figured out why they call a plane’s shitter a bathroom. There’s no bath in there and no shower. And there’s barely room for the crapper and the hand-washing sink.


Texas inmate who claimed intellectual disability is executed for raping, killing family

By Morgan Phillips

Fox News
September 25, 2019

A Texas inmate who claimed he had an intellectual disability in a bid to avoid execution was given a lethal injection on Wednesday, 12 years after admitting to fatally stabbing his wife and two stepsons and raping his two stepdaughters.

Robert Sparks, 45, told investigators he killed his wife and 9- and 10-year-old stepsons and raped his 12- and 14-year-old stepdaughters because his family had been poisoning him and a voice told him to kill his family. He asked to be tested for poison, and for the two girls to undergo polygraph tests.

Sparks received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. He became the 16th inmate put to death this year in the U.S. and the seventh in Texas. Seven more are scheduled for execution this year in Texas, the country’s busiest capital punishment state.

“I am sorry for the hard times. And what hurts me is that I hurt y'all ... even y'all, too,” Sparks told family members who watched through death chamber windows.

“I love you all. … I feel it,” he said. He was pronounced dead 23 minutes later.

Prosecutors said Sparks first stabbed his wife, then-30-year-old Chare Agnew, 18 times as she lay in her bed. He then went into the bedroom of his stepsons, Harold Sublet Jr. and Raekwon Agnew, took them separately into the kitchen, and stabbed them. Raekwon had been stabbed at least 45 times.

He then proceeded to rape his stepdaughters.

Sparks' lawyers fought until the end to have him exempt from the death penalty on grounds of intellectual disability. A psychologist hired by Sparks’ attorneys said last month in an affidavit that he “meets full criteria for a diagnosis of" intellectual disability. The Supreme Court in 2002 barred execution for mentally disabled people but states have their own discretion over how to determine intellectual disability.

His attorneys said that at the time of the trial, Sparks was not deemed intellectually disabled, but updates to the handbook used by medical professionals to diagnose mental disorders would have changed that.

The U.S. Supreme Court also denied a request by Sparks’ attorneys to stop the execution; they alleged the jury had been improperly influenced because an officer had worn a necktie with a syringe on it, indicating he supports the death penalty.

The attorney general’s office said the jury foreperson said she never saw the tie and did not believe it influenced jurors.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Intellectual disability? Shit, many of today’s high school students graduate intellectually disabled.

A better argument would have been that the only reason he received the death penalty was because he is black.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


by Bob Walsh

Federal Magistrate Maria Valdez ruled a couple of days ago in Chicago that the Cook County Jail limit of three books per prisoner was NOT unreasonable and not unconstitutional.

Former prisoner Gregory Koger asserted that taking his excess books limited his free speech rights. The judge agreed that the right to read was in fact part of the right to free speech, but that the jail was within its rights to limit the amount of flammable material in cells.

Koger's lawyers are vowing to appeal. That's nice.

Court: Jail's 3-book limit doesn't violate rights of inmates

Associated Press
September 20, 2019

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled the confiscation by Cook County Jail guards of over 30 books from an inmate didn't violate his free-speech rights.

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports that Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez agreed the First Amendment protected the right to read, not only the right to speak.

But her recent written decision says the jail's limit of three books at a time wasn't unreasonable. Jail officials say it's partly a safety issue, including because too many books could be used to start fires.

Onetime inmate Gregory Koger brought the lawsuit. His lawyers, Mark Weinberg and Adele Nicholas, say they'll appeal.

Weinberg told the Law Bulletin that access to books is vital to inmates "since reading is one of the few ways people behind bars can escape their drudgery."


If there’s one thing dumber than President Trump’s shockingly inappropriate Ukraine phone call, it’s the deluded Democrats using it to fight an impeachment battle they can’t win

By Piers Morgan

Daily Mail
September 25, 2019

SERIOUSLY, Mr President?

Just a few weeks after you were cleared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of colluding with a foreign power to fix the 2016 Election, you called the leader of another foreign power asking him to investigate your main presidential rival Joe Biden for the 2020 Election?

Have you lost your mind????

That was my first reaction when I read the bombshell transcript of Donald Trump’s July conversation with Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelensky.

On any level, this was spectacularly ill-advised and brazen behavior, and far removed from the ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful’ chat that President Trump led us to believe it had been.

And this is no longer ambiguous Washington rumor, it’s cold hard fact confirmed in Donald Trump’s own words, released in an official document from the White House.

Any impartial non-partisan observer who reads that transcript would conclude it’s at very least, highly inappropriate.

I certainly did.

Frankly, it’s absolutely shocking to me that President Trump would be so reckless so soon after the Mueller probe ended.

He must have known it would become public, and spark the very firestorm that is now erupting over it.

BUT, and it’s a very significant ‘but’, it wasn’t a crime.

At least, that was the clear determination of the Justice Department when its high-powered legal brains carefully studied the transcript after it was referred to them following a complaint by a mystery whistle-blower.

They concluded unequivocally that there was no criminal case to answer.

And the main reason for that, I suspect, is that it failed to establish the main charge – namely, that President Trump deliberately withdrew substantial aid to Ukraine unless they did his bidding on the investigation into Joe Biden.

So there was no ‘quid pro quo’, which would almost certainly have taken the conversation into very perilous legal waters.

Yes, Trump is heard saying ‘I’d like you to do us a favor’, and yes, he had withheld the aid just days before the call.

But there is no damning irrefutable connection proven between these two things in what has so far been published – no ‘smoking gun’.

And without it, we’re left with Trump asking the leader of Ukraine to investigate what he claims is possible - though vehemently denied - corruption in that country involving Biden’s son Hunter.

Many will think this is a not entirely unreasonable request given that Biden Snr was Vice-President at the time his son was being paid $50,000 a month to advise a dodgy Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, without, say his critics, any proper experience to do so.

As Vice-President, Joe Biden led US diplomatic efforts to protect Ukraine’s fledgling democracy and root out corruption after mass protests ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych.

Burisma, on whose board Hunter Biden sat, had links to Yanukovych that prompted corruption probes and caused the Obama White House to panic about a potentially damaging conflict of interest.

No such conflict has ever been proven, but the stench of suspicion surrounding Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine remains and seems a legitimate issue of concern if his father wants to be President. The bottom line is this: Hunter was only valuable to Burisma because his dad was Vice-President, so what did he do for them?

The transcript reveals that Trump also asked President Zelensky to look into whether he could find Hillary Clinton’s infamous missing email server, which he said he’d been told might have ended up in Ukraine.

Again, many, particularly among Trump’s base, will think that’s not an outrageous request given how central it was to a criminal investigation that may have affected the 2016 Election.

Yet outraged Democrats think all this is deadly serious presidential misconduct, have decided to risk dying on this Ukraine hill, and are now moving to impeach the President.

And by doing so, I think they’re making a terrible political mistake that may well cause them to end up.. dying on this hill.

Impeachment is a very rare thing in America.

Only three Presidents have ever been impeached – Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.

None of them was convicted though Nixon would have been had he not resigned.

To be successful, an impeachment process must pass through the House of Representatives and then go to trial in the Senate.

And there’s the big problem for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats.

They’ll almost certainly get Trump’s impeachment through the House where they hold a majority. In fact, the votes are already almost there.

But as things stand, they don’t have a cat in hell’s chance of getting Trump convicted in the Senate, where 67 of 100 votes are needed to succeed and there are currently 53 Republican Senators.

So unless some new dynamite piece of information emerges during the investigations then this bid will inevitably fail, and everyone knows it.

And everyone also knows how gleefully Trump likes to seize on failure and mock ‘losers’.

He shamelessly used the Mueller Report to go on a seemingly never-ending one-man ticker tape parade, branding the media who obsessed about it ‘fake news’ and his political opponents a bunch of useless wastrels who got their come-uppance for lying about him.

Just imagine what Trump would do with an impeachment acquittal in the run-up to November, 2020?!

So why in hell have the Democrats done this?

Well, I believe it’s what NFL fans call a ‘Hail Mary Pass’, one made in desperation with the knowledge that it has very little chance of success.

The quarterback, Ms Pelosi, has hurled the impeachment ball into the air after intense pressure from her own side, and is hoping it somehow lands in the end zone with enough mud to sink Trump’s re-election chances.

She’s done it, after repeatedly saying she wouldn’t, because Pelosi is a smart long-serving Washington cookie that has read the election tealeaves and reached the sobering conclusion Trump’s increasingly likely to win re-election.

The US economy’s doing well, certainly by comparison to most other countries, and when sitting presidents run for re-election on the back of a strong economy, they invariably win again.

There’s also the issue of who could beat him anyway?

The Democrat presidential candidate field looks increasingly lackluster, and I don’t think Trump fears any of them with the possible exception of Biden who despite his age remains a canny operator.

Yet the irony of this impeachment development is that it may end up doing more harm to Biden than Trump.

There are, as I said, very genuine questions to be asked as to exactly what Hunter Biden was doing in Ukraine for his $50,000 a month, while his father held one the second highest office in America.

What did he promise them when he joined?

What influence did he wield?

Did his father intervene to prevent his son being investigated?

Biden Snr says they never discussed it, which seems highly implausible, not least because Biden Jr said they did at least once.

Whatever the truth, it will all come out in these impeachment investigations, and if the Bidens aren’t being entirely straight then it could be Joe who is politically scalped, not Trump.

So, I find this impeachment move inexplicable.

‘It turned out to be a nothing call,’ Trump said today.

No, it didn’t Mr President.

It was a very dumb call to have made.

But nowhere as dumb as the Democrats’ call to try to impeach you over it.

THAT call may cost them the election next year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Instead of making that dumb call, Trump should have had Donald Jr. contact Zelensky to make that request.

As for the impeachment, Nancy Pelosi caved in to the demands of Jerry Nadler, Adam Schitt (oops, typo) and AOC. Schitt insists Trump’s request was linked to US military aid and called the phone call “A classic Mafia-like shakedown.”

The Democrats are dismissive of the Justice Department’s unequivocal conclusion that there was no criminal case to answer by accusing AG William Barr of acting as Trump’s personal attorney.