Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, in London in March.
By KENNETH P. VOGEL, New York Times OCTOBER 24, 2017
WASHINGTON — The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid for research that was included in a dossier made public in January that contained salacious claims about connections between Donald J. Trump, his associates and Russia.
A spokesperson for a law firm said on Tuesday that it had hired Washington-based researchers last year to gather damaging information about Mr. Trump on numerous subjects — including possible ties to Russia — on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C.
The revelation, which emerged from a letter filed in court on Tuesday, is likely to fuel new partisan attacks over federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates assisted in the effort.
The president and his allies have argued for months that the investigations are politically motivated. They have challenged the information contained in the dossier, which was compiled by a former British spy who had been contracted by the Washington research firm Fusion GPS.
The letter that was filed in court said that Fusion GPS began working for the law firm, Perkins Coie, in April 2016. Written by the firm’s managing partner Matthew J. Gehringer, the letter said that Fusion GPS had already been conducting the research “for one or more other clients during the Republican primary contest.”
Perkins Coie was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the D.N.C. during the 2016 campaign, according to filings. The role of the Clinton campaign and the national party in funding the research for the dossier was first reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post.
At the time that Democrats began paying for the research, Mr. Trump was in the process of clinching the Republican presidential nomination, and Ms. Clinton’s allies were scrambling to figure out how to run against a candidate who had already weathered attacks from Republican rivals about his shifting policy positions, his character and his business record. READ it HERE
By M.D. Kittle, MacIver News Service | Oct. 23, 2017
[Madison, Wis...] If you look at the trend lines, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy continues to swing further left, and that could spell bad news for Wisconsin's Republican-written electoral maps.
But the data don't factor in all the "sociological gobbledygook" tied to the Badger State's redistricting case now before the highest court in the land.
Last week, the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists hosted a panel discussion on the legal battle over Wisconsin's political maps, just days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the gerrymandering case.
William Whitford, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit brought by challengers of the redrawn political boundaries crafted by Republicans in 2011, joined Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, for a kind of point-counterpoint discussion.
The moderator, University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor Ryan Owens, broke down the Kennedy curve, or rather, the so-called "swing vote" justice's slide to the left.
"You see Kennedy trending to the left, which, if you are a conservative, doesn't give you much hope," Owens told the sparse but engaged audience of about 20 people.
Kennedy, legal observers agree, stands to be the deciding vote in the controversial case that aims to answer the question of how much is too much political motivation in redistricting. READ the REST
By M.D. Kittle, MacIver News Service | Oct. 9, 2017
[Madison, Wis...] - José Delgado can still hear the gunshots echoing off the walls in Havana's La Cabana´, the Fortress of St. Charles.
Delgado, an adolescent at the time in his native Cuba, knew what those sounds meant. More enemies of Fidel Castro and his communist government - opponents of oppression - were dead.
"Talk about a chilling memory," Delgado told MacIver News Service in an interview this week. "I was 14, but I was fully aware of the danger my father was in. He would not go along with communism so he was a target."
"I knew a lot of people getting executed."
So it should come as no surprise that intelligent and outspoken boy of post-Revolution Cuba, the boy who boarded a plane for the United States in 1961 not knowing if he would ever see his parents again, would grow up to be a champion for free speech.
On Friday, Delgado once more stood up for the First Amendment of his adopted country. He was one of 17 members of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents to vote for a measure giving campuses across the state the power to expel students who repeatedly disrupt speakers or attempt to stifle speech.
The vote was near-unanimous. Only Tony Evers, superintendent of the state Department of Public Instruction voted against the rule, asserting it would chill expression.
While Delgado said he respects Evers, the chilling has come from students and faculty members who have demanded "safe spaces" from speech they find offensive. These self-appointed arbiters of what is acceptable expression and what isn't have become increasingly disorderly and violent in pushing their crusade.
The free speech policy comes nearly a year after a crowd of left-wing, "social justice" warriors attempted to shut down a speech by national conservative columnist Ben Shapiro. Student protesters, decrying Shapiro's very presence as racist, stormed the stage and began chanting, "Safety! Safety! Safety," "Shame, Shame, Shame," and other such slogans the "safe space" crowd fancies. READ the REST
Oct. 13, 2017
Today, President Trump was the first sitting U.S. president to speak before Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. Evangelical and faith-invested voters are frequently thought to be among Trump’s most loyal supporters. President Trump brought back several of his favorite talking points during his speech before the Value Voters Summit.
“Values voters have waited eight years for a leader who puts America’s mission first and respects the values that made America into a great nation,” said FRC president Tony Perkins in a public statement. “Values voters are coming to our nation’s capital thankful to hear from a president who is fulfilling the promises that he campaigned on.”
President Donald J. Trump Proclaims October 9, 2017, as Columbus Day
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. The voyage was a remarkable and then-unparalleled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery. The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that undeniably and fundamentally changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation. Therefore, on Columbus Day, we honor the skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions -- even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.
More than five centuries after his initial voyage, we remember the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea" for building the critical first link in the strong and enduring bond between the United States and Europe. While Isabella I and Ferdinand II of Spain sponsored his historic voyage, Columbus was a native of the City of Genoa, in present day Italy, and represents the rich history of important Italian American contributions to our great Nation. There can be no doubt that American culture, business, and civic life would all be much less vibrant in the absence of the Italian American community. We also take this opportunity to reaffirm our close ties to Columbus's country of birth, Italy. Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner in promoting peace and promoting prosperity around the world.
In commemoration of Christopher Columbus's historic voyage, the Congress, by joint resolution of April 30, 1934, and modified in 1968 (36 U.S.C. 107), as amended, has requested the President proclaim the second Monday of October of each year as "Columbus Day."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 9, 2017, as Columbus Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. I also direct that the flag of the United States be displayed on all public buildings on the appointed day in honor of our diverse history and all who have contributed to shaping this Nation.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
DONALD J. TRUMP See it HERE
By Michael S. Kochin| October 4, 2017 American Greatness
About the Author: Michael S. Kochin
Michael Kochin is Professor Extraordinarius of Political Science at Tel Aviv University. He received his A.B. in mathematics from Harvard and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. He has held visiting appointments at Yale, Princeton, Toronto, Claremont McKenna College, and the Catholic University of America.
I don’t own a gun. I have never fired a gun. That means that my safety, the safety of my family, and the security of my country are dependent upon those who, unlike me, are able, trained, ready, and armed. Some of those people are the police and soldiers I pay for through my taxes —soldiers who include among their number my two adult children currently serving in the Israeli military. But some of them are my neighbors, who have armed and prepared themselves at their own time and expense.
Events like the mass killing in Las Vegas stimulate debates about gun rights. But properly speaking, these events should also stimulate debates about gun duties. It is the duty of every person to lend his or her force to the enforcement of the law as they are able and as is necessary. It is a bit late to start getting your head straight about right and wrong when you are sitting in the jury box. Similarly, when you are on the scene, and something horrendous or unjust is happening, you may be part of the problem unless you are willing and ready to respond as needed.
Mass shootings end when shooters are confronted. The faster the shooter is confronted, the fewer the casualties. The more people on the scene, armed and ready to respond, the faster the shooter will be confronted, the sooner he will be stopped. Adjusting for the tactical situation, this is as true in Las Vegas as it was in the Bataclan massacre in Paris or at the Burnet Chapel Church shooting in Tennessee. “When seconds count the police are just minutes away.” In Tennessee the shooting was stopped with one killed, when a church usher, Robert Engle, went back to his car to get the gun that, in retrospect, he probably wishes he had had on his person. If, as in Paris, where ninety died in the Bataclan Theater alone, the only people armed and ready are the police, the killing will continue until the police neutralize the shooter.
James Madison wrote the words: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” It is up to today’s Americans to live up to them. Who is the militia? In almost every state (though not Nevada) and under federal law, the militia is every able-bodied adult resident of military age. What does it mean for the militia to be “well-regulated”? It means that enough able-bodied adults have the weapons and the training to respond when their security or that of the community is threatened. Does this require fewer guns?
The evidence, in the United States, is that it requires more guns, because more guns means more guns in the right hands. Does this require stricter control of guns? Perhaps, but perhaps also in the sense that those of us who do not carry weapons need to pay a little more in taxes to subsidize the training and arming of our fellow citizens who do. READ the REST
Many consider this to be his best ever speech - September 19, 2017 Watch the Speech Here
By Ola Lisowski, MacIver Institute, September 11, 2017
As children all across Wisconsin head back to school, it is time for the MacIver Institute's annual examination of our educational system. To make sure we're all set for the semester, let's take a look at what's going on with our students.
First, we'll touch on recent developments at the State Capitol, followed by a rundown of how our kids are doing on a slew of exams and other metrics. We'll also examine different indicators of a healthy educational ecosystem - such as the state of school choice and how the state is addressing failing schools - before wrapping up. Let's start off with an update on the 2017-19 Wisconsin State Budget.
A Busy Budget Summer
To understand the context of Wisconsin's state of education, we have to start with the 2017-19 biennial budget. We've been covering those issues from the fourth floor of the Capitol all summer long.
The state's Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) agreed to a budget plan for K-12 schools that sends $693.3 million more to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) over current funding levels. JFC's plan sends $8.9 million less than Gov. Scott Walker proposed in February, but the increase is still considerable.
Included in the budget: more funding for schools across the board in the form of per pupil categorical aid payments, more flexibility to raise property taxes for low-revenue school districts, and more access to choice and charter schools statewide. Changes to the Special Needs Scholarship Program will allow approximately 250 more students to participate, effectively doubling the program.
After three years of changing students' standardized tests three different times, Wisconsin is stuck with the Forward Exam. That's a clear win for students and the rest of the public, as we'll soon have another yardstick to compare student growth year over year. READ the REST
by DYLAN GWINN Breitbart News 8 Sep 2017
The NFL opened its 2017 season Thursday night, in much the same way that it played out the 2016 season. The game featured the team that won the final game of the year last season, the game was high-scoring with plenty of offense, the game featured an anthem protest, and the league’s ratings went down.
The game between the Chiefs and the Patriots drew a 14.6 overnight rating on NBC. That rating is down nearly two full points from last year’s 16.5 number for the Panthers-Broncos opener, and more than three points down from the Steelers-Patriots opener in 2015.
Why, the steep decline?
While the ratings have clearly trended down for a number of seasons, last night’s game did feature an anthem protest from Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters, and it’s entirely likely that many tuned-out after seeing that:
Marcus Peters sits on trainer's bench during national anthem
The sports media would gladly point the finger at politics, as the cause of the ratings drop. Though, no debate, or matter of pressing national importance was being discussed in politics on Thursday night. Some have opined that coverage of Hurricane Irma, might be the culprit. Though, it rings hollow that coverage of the storm would cause a 12% decline in ratings from last year.
Instead, it’s more likely that NFL fans are following through on their warnings of last year. Specifically, the warning where 44% of fans said they would stop watching the NFL if the anthem protests continued. That poll, backed-up by the J.D. Power survey which showed that most fans cited the anthem protests as the main reason for why they stopped watching the league, might have a lot more to do with the ratings drop than Irma. Breitbart HERE
by Chuck Ross, The Daily Caller, Aug. 31, 2017
As FBI director last year, James Comey began writing drafts of a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton, even before all witnesses in the investigation — including Clinton herself — had been interviewed.
The Senate Judiciary Committee obtained the Comey memos as part of its investigation into his firing by President Trump, which occurred on May 9.
The revelation that Comey had begun drafting memos of his exoneration statement comes from transcripts of interviews given last fall by two FBI officials. James Rybicki, Comey’s chief of staff, and Trisha Anderson, the principal deputy general counsel of national security and cyberlaw at the FBI, gave the interviews as part of an investigation conducted by the Office of Special Counsel into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
In a July 5, 2016, press conference, Comey said that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information despite her use of a private email server as secretary of state. While the transcripts of those interviews are heavily redacted, they indicate that Comey started working on an announcement clearing Clinton in April or May of last year, before the FBI interviewed 17 witnesses in the case, including Clinton and some of her top aides.
Clinton was interviewed for several hours on July 2, just three days before Comey’s announcement.