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Supreme Court sides with baker in same-sex wedding cake case

Supreme Court sides with baker in same-sex wedding cake case | 04 June 2018 | The Supreme Court sided with the Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex wedding in a narrow ruling on Monday. In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the free exercise clause of the Constitution when it ruled Jack Phillips had broken the state's public accommodations law in refusing to make a couple a custom cake even though he morally and religiously opposes same-sex marriage. In its majority ruling, the court said the laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to same-sex marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.

Deep State-owned 'left' reveals its true colors: Koch brothers join #Resistance, launch campaign against Trump tariffs

Deep State-owned 'left' reveals its true colors: Koch brothers join #Resistance, launch campaign against Trump tariffs | 04 June 2018 | The billionaire Koch brothers are launching a campaign against President Donald Trump's tariffs and trade policies, denouncing them as bad for business. Industrialists Charles and David Koch will spread their message through Koch network group's Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity, and the LIBRE Initiative, they announced on Monday. The campaign will use ads, activists, lobbying and policy analysts, "all intended to transform the way Washington and the rest of the country consider and value trade with other nations." The Kochs' anti-tariff push has aligned them with the Democrats, who have spent years demonizing the brothers as the source of all evil.

Sailor pardoned by Trump is suing Obama and Comey for going easy on Hillary Clinton but sending him to prison after he photographed classified area of nuclear sub

Sailor pardoned by Trump is suing Obama and Comey for going easy on Hillary Clinton but sending him to prison after he photographed classified area of nuclear sub --President Trump pardoned him this year but his life had largely been ruined as he was forced to work as a garbageman to feed his family --'There's a two-tier justice system and we want it to be corrected,' his lawyer says | 04 June 2018 | A former U.S. Navy seaman who spent a year in federal prison for photographing a classified area of a nuclear submarine plans to sue former President Barack Obama and fired FBI director James Comey for selectively prosecuting him. Donald Trump issued a presidential pardon this year to Kristian Saucier, whose lawyer Ronald Daigle told Fox News on Monday that the pending lawsuit will also name the Justice Department as a defendant. Daigle says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was given a free pass by avoiding prosecution for mishandling classified information on her infamous private email server. Saucier, 31, believes Comey and Obama should be held responsible for treating him unequally.

62 dead as 'Volcano of Fire' erupts in Guatemala

62 dead as 'Volcano of Fire' erupts in Guatemala | 04 June 2018 | At least 62 people have died after Guatemala's "Volcano of Fire" erupted, spewing lava into a village and sending smoke and ash billowing into the sky. "There are injured, burned and dead people," said Sergio Cabanas, head of Guatemala's disaster agency Conred. He said four people had died when lava set a house on fire and two children were killed while standing on a bridge watching the eruption. The agency says two million people have been affected. Nearly 300 are believed to have been injured.

Arizona suspect linked to 4 recent shooting deaths found dead in hotel room, police say

Arizona suspect linked to 4 recent shooting deaths found dead in hotel room, police say | 04 June 2018 | The suspect linked to the recent shooting deaths of four professionals, including a prominent forensic psychiatrist involved in the JonBenet Ramsey murder investigation, in a three-day period was found dead in an Arizona hotel Monday, police said. Scottsdale and Phoenix police traced the suspect linked to the four murders to the Extended Stay Hotel on North 69th Street. Authorities heard several shots fired inside a hotel room as officers closed in. Police did not fire any shots. The suspect, who was not yet identified, was found dead from an apparent 'self-inflicted gunshot wound.' [Tying up loose ends? I wonder what the four victims were investigating, and who brought in the shooter?]

Israel Planned to Attack Iran and Start a War, Former Spy Chief Says

Israel Planned to Attack Iran and Start a War, Former Spy Chief Says | 31 May 2018 | Israel planned to bomb Iran and initiate an all-out conflict in the Middle East, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's former head of intelligence, who said he believed the move may have been illegal. Tamir Pardo, who served as head of Israeli spy agency Mossad from 2011 to 2016, told local investigative program Uvda in an interview set to air Thursday that Netanyahu instructed his military command in 2011 to prepare for a strike against longtime foe Iran, which Israel has accused of developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups abroad. Pardo said then-Israeli chief of staff Benny Gantz informed the prime minister that the armed forces would be ready within 15 days.

Hawaii residents' final escape route cut off by lava from Kilauea volcano, officials say

Hawaii residents' final escape route cut off by lava from Kilauea volcano, officials say --At least 87 homes have been destroyed by the Kilauea volcano eruption | 03 June 2018 | Nearly a dozen people are stranded in an area cut off by lava following "vigorous eruptions" from the Kilauea volcano, Hawaii authorities announced Sunday. Hawaii Civil Defense Service officials said they went through the neighborhood to warn residents this was their last chance to evacuate before their final escape route was cut off by lava. Authorities are planning to airlift people out if the lava spreads farther and endangers the dozen or so holdouts. Some said they were staying because they had nowhere else to go, officials said.

Security Troops on US Nuclear Missile Base Took LSD

Security Troops on US Nuclear Missile Base Took LSD | 24 May 2018 | ...Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America's arsenal. Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. A slipup on social media by one airman enabled investigators to crack the drug ring at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in March 2016, details of which are reported here for the first time. Fourteen airmen were disciplined. Six of them were convicted in courts martial of LSD use or distribution or both. The service members accused of involvement in the LSD ring were from the 90th Missile Wing, which operates one-third of the 400 Minuteman 3 missiles that stand "on alert" 24/7 in underground silos scattered across the northern Great Plains.

Paramedics asked six times to enter Parkland school where kids were dying; Broward Sheriff's Office said no

Paramedics asked six times to enter Parkland school where kids were dying; Broward Sheriff's Office said no | 01 June 2018 | During the Parkland school shooting, paramedics from Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department were desperate to go inside the building where students were wounded and dying. Michael McNally, deputy chief for Coral Springs fire-rescue, asked six times for permission to send in specialized teams of police officers and paramedics, according to an incident report he filed after the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead. But every time McNally asked to deploy the two Rescue Task Force teams -- each made up of three paramedics and three to four law enforcement officers -- the Broward Sheriff's Office captain in charge of the scene, Jan Jordan, said no...Even after the [alleged] shooter had been arrested, the answer remained the same. [And, we know the deputies were told to stand down, as well. Now, am I deemed a 'conspiracy theorist' for asserting that it seems as if certain individuals/some agency wanted this shooting to proceed, with the goal of a maximum tragic outcome? Sorry, but I see no other logical conclusion.  --LRP]

U.S. in Early Talks for Potential Summit Between Trump and Putin

U.S. in Early Talks for Potential Summit Between Trump and Putin | 01 June 2018 | The White House is planning for a potential summit between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia, according to people familiar with the efforts, a meeting that would bring to the international stage one of the world’s most enigmatic political relationships. A senior administration official said Friday that Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia, has been in Washington to help arrange a meeting between Messrs. Trump and Putin. The planning is still at an early stage, the official said, with the two nations needing to agree on a date and location.

Russia probe has cost taxpayers nearly $17 million since Mueller's appointment

Russia probe has cost taxpayers nearly $17 million since Mueller's appointment | 01 June 2018 | Taxpayers have spent nearly $17 million on the Russia probe since Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over the investigation last year, according to a new spending report released Thursday by the Justice Department. About $10 million was spent between October and March, the document states. That includes $4.5 million spent by Mueller's team and another $5.5 million spent by the Justice Department on other expenditures attributable to the investigations.

Trump pushes ahead with metals tariffs against EU, Canada and Mexico

Trump pushes ahead with metals tariffs against EU, Canada and Mexico | 31 May 2018 | The United States on Thursday said it was pushing ahead with tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, setting the stage for a possible trade war with some of America's top allies. [Too bad about them! Americans need jobs.] Trump in March announced global tariffs of 25 percent on imports of steel, and 10 percent on aluminum, citing national security concerns, but has delayed enacting them for some countries, giving them time to offer concessions. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters in a telephone briefing that the tariffs would go into effect at midnight.

U.S. adds 223,000 new jobs as unemployment falls to 18-year low in May

U.S. adds 223,000 new jobs as unemployment falls to 18-year low in May | 31 May 2018 | The numbers: The U.S. created a robust 223,000 new jobs in May to push unemployment down to an 18-year low of 3.8%, signaling that a nine-year-old economic expansion still has plenty of steam despite being one of the oldest ever. The increase in hiring -- the biggest in three months -- exceeded the 200,000 forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. The unemployment rate fell again to the lowest level since April 2000 as more people found work. The last time the jobless rate was even lower was in 1969.

Feds reportedly find surveillance tech near White House

Feds reportedly find surveillance tech near White House | 01 June 2018 | The feds discovered sophisticated surveillance devices that intercept cellphones near the White House and other sensitive locations in the DC area last year, a new report said Friday. A Department of Homeland Security probe discovered evidence of the surveillance devices, called IMSI catchers, as part of federal testing last year, according to a letter from DHS to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on May 22, the Washington Post reported. DHS didn't say who was behind the cyber-snooping, but the discovery backs up a body of research that foreign intelligence agencies use sophisticated interception technology to spy on US officials.

Hawaii's Kilauea has destroyed more than 80 homes

Hawaii's Kilauea has destroyed more than 80 homes --Residents told to evacuate | 02 June 2018 | More than 80 homes have been destroyed by the Kilauea volcano eruption in Hawaii in the four weeks since lava began flowing, Hawaii Civil Defense spokesman Talmadge Mango said Friday. The number of homes swallowed by the lava flowing from fissures has jumped to at least 87, up the from the 77 reported destroyed Thursday. The report of mounting damage followed a mandatory evacuation order issued Thursday night for a portion of the Leilani Estates subdivision in the midst of "vigorous lava eruptions" threatening homes, the Civil Defense said.

Residents face arrest as lava threatens Hawaii homes

Residents face arrest as lava threatens Hawaii homes --Residents advised to evacuate by noon Friday | 01 June 2018 | Hawaii authorities have a message for residents in some areas affected by the Kilauea volcano: evacuate or get arrested. A mandatory evacuation order was issued Thursday night for a portion of the Leilani Estates subdivision as "vigorous lava eruptions" threaten more homes, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said. Residents have been advised to evacuate by noon Friday. Emergency responders have no plans to rescue anyone from the evacuated areas past the deadline, the agency said.

London 'bridges' falling down: Curious origins of FBI's Trump-Russia probe

London 'bridges' falling down: Curious origins of FBI's Trump-Russia probe | 01 June 2018 | The bridge to the Russia investigation wasn't erected in Moscow during the summer of the 2016 election. It originated earlier, 1,700 miles away in London, where foreign figures contacted Trump campaign advisers and provided the FBI with hearsay allegations of Trump-Russia collusion, bureau documents and interviews of government insiders reveal. These contacts in spring 2016 -- some from trusted intelligence sources, others from Hillary Clinton supporters -- occurred well before FBI headquarters authorized an official counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016. The new timeline makes one wonder: Did the FBI follow its rules governing informants?

White House releases photos of Trump accepting Kim Jong Un's letter

White House releases photos of Trump accepting Kim Jong Un's letter | 01 June 2018 | The White House unveiled a photo on Friday of President Trump receiving a letter authored by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from a top envoy from Pyongyang. The photo was released hours after Trump met with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's former intelligence chief and a top aide to Kim Jong Un, at the White House. Kim Yong Chol's visit marked Pyongyang's most senior-level official visit to the U.S. since 2000.

'Deliberate war crime': Palestinians decry murder of 21yo female paramedic at Gaza border

'Deliberate war crime': Palestinians decry murder of 21yo female paramedic at Gaza border | 02 June 2018 | The killing of a 21-year-old female medical worker during the Great March of Return at the Gaza border is nothing short of a war crime, Palestinian officials said, calling on the international community to hold Israel responsible. The murder of 21-year-old medical volunteer, Razan Al-Najar, is a direct violation of all "international treaties and conventions" that ensure the protection of the medical staff in the conflict zones, Palestinian Minister of Health, Jawad Awwad, said late Friday, noting that the shooting of the paramedic must have been "deliberate" and amounted to a "war crime." The volunteer was shot in the chest by the Israeli Defense Forces on Friday near the border fence east of Khan Younes, in the southern Gaza Strip, while she was helping wounded Palestinians.

Trump confirms meeting with Kim after seeing top Pyongyang aide at Oval Office

Trump confirms meeting with Kim after seeing top Pyongyang aide at Oval Office | 01 June 2018 | A meeting between leaders of the US and North Korea will take place in Singapore on June 12, US President Donald Trump confirmed after receiving a senior official from Pyongyang at the White House. Kim Yong-chol is among the most senior officials in North Korea, a rank for which he was previously blacklisted by the US. He arrived in the US to deliver a letter from Kim Jong-un to Trump. After the meeting in the Oval Office, Trump walked Kim and his delegation to their car, an honor usually reserved for a select few foreign dignitaries. He confirmed that the scheduled meeting, which had earlier appeared to be in jeopardy, will take place.

Trump says summit with North Korea will take place on June 12

Trump says summit with North Korea will take place on June 12 | 01 June 2018 | President Trump said Friday that his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place as scheduled on June 12, ending a week of uncertainty about the historic summit. Trump made the announcement after an 80-minute meeting in the Oval Office with top North Korea official Kim Yong Chol, who hand-delivered a personal letter from Kim Jong Un -- a symbolic gesture aimed at easing tensions that led Trump last week to scrap the summit. "We're going to be June 12 -- we'll be in Singapore. It'll be a beginning," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn, adding, "I think we're going to have a very positive result in the end."

We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are

We Ran Out of Words to Describe How Good the Jobs Numbers Are --The economy is in a sweet spot, with steady growth and broad improvement in the labor market. | 01 June 2018 | The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for "good" in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately. So, for example, "splendid" and "excellent" fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low. "Salubrious," "salutary" and "healthy" work as words to describe the 0.3 percent rise in average hourly earnings, which are up 2.7 percent over the last year...And a broader definition of unemployment, which includes people who have given up looking for a job out of frustration, fell to 7.6 percent. The jobless rate for African-Americans fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest on record, which we would count as "great."

High-profile forensic psychiatrist who aided the JonBenet Ramsey investigation is shot dead outside his office

High-profile forensic psychiatrist who aided the JonBenet Ramsey investigation is shot dead outside his office --Dr. Steven Pitt also worked on the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and recently the Maryvale shootings in Phoenix --Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Vince Lewis says he has no information on whether the killing is connected to his work, according to Tuscon.com. | 01 June 2018 | The forensic psychiatrist who assisted in the investigations into the death of American child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey has been shot dead outside his office. Dr. Steven Pitt, 59, helped investigate the high profile 1996 murder case as well as a string of other killings in the Phoenix area more than a decade ago. In JonBenet's case Pitt believed the pineapple found in the six-year-old’s digestive tract, which her mother denied she ate, was proof of a family cover up. He was leaving his office when witnesses say they heard a loud argument then gunfire as he was shot on Thursday...Pitt also consulted in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Trump considering clemency for Blagojevich, Stewart

Trump considering clemency for Blagojevich, Stewart | 31 May 2018 | President Trump on Thursday said he is considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and pardoning TV personality Martha Stewart. Trump's comments come hours after he pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who pleaded guilty to a felony campaign finance violation. Last week, the president offered a posthumous pardon for the boxer Jack Johnson. Trump told reporters in his private cabin aboard Air Force One he believes Blagojevich was "being stupid" but added that "every other politician" has done it and that his sentence is excessive. [Exactly.]

Prosecutors interview Comey as they investigate whether McCabe should be charged

Prosecutors interview Comey as they investigate whether McCabe should be charged | 31 May 2018 | Investigators from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office recently interviewed former FBI director James B. Comey as part of a probe into whether his deputy, Andrew McCabe, broke the law by lying to federal agents -- an indication the office is seriously considering whether McCabe should be charged with a crime, a person familiar with the matter said. Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz accused McCabe in April of misleading investigators and Comey four times -- three of them under oath -- about authorizing a disclosure to the media. Horowitz referred the findings to the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office to determine whether criminal charges are warranted. Lying to federal investigators can carry a five-year prison sentence, though McCabe disputes that he intentionally misled anyone.

Prosecutors interview James Comey as part as they consider whether to charge his deputy Andrew McCabe for 'lying to federal agents'

Prosecutors interview James Comey as part as they consider whether to charge his deputy Andrew McCabe for 'lying to federal agents' | 31 May 2018 | Prosecutors interviewed fired FBI director James Comey and are considering whether his deputy Andrew McCabe should be charged for lying to federal agents, a report suggests. Investigators from the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office recently spoke to Comey as part of their probe into whether McCabe broke the law, The Washington Post reported. Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz has accused McCabe of misleading investigators. He has also accused Comey of lying four times -- three of them under oath.

Samantha Bee insults Ivanka Trump with obscene phrase

Samantha Bee insults Ivanka Trump with obscene phrase | 31 May 2018 | Comedian Samantha Bee has apologised after insulting Ivanka Trump with an obscene phrase on her television show. Bee was lambasting the White House adviser and US first daughter over the immigration policy of her father President Donald Trump. Conservatives demanded Bee be fired like Roseanne Barr, whose sitcom was cancelled this week after she posted a racist tweet..."You know, Ivanka, that's a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad's immigration practices," Bee said. She then called Ms Trump a "feckless [c---]". The term she used is widely viewed as the most offensive epithet to call a woman. Bee urged the first daughter to confront her father about [immigration] policy. "He listens to you," she said. "Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to [f---ing] stop it."

Lavrov meets Kim in Pyongyang, gifts him with 'box for secrets'

Lavrov meets Kim in Pyongyang, gifts him with 'box for secrets' | 31 May 2018 | Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has already exchanged several firm handshakes with Kim Jong-un during his visit to Pyongyang on Thursday. Photos show the two engaged in pleasant diplomatic protocol. The Russian diplomat has travelled to the North Korean capital to hold talks with senior officials aimed at supporting intra-Korean negotiations and de-escalation on the Korean Peninsula. Lavrov added a bit of suspense to his meeting with Kim when he presented him with a box, leaving bystanders guessing what's inside. "You can lock secret things here," the top Russian diplomat said with a smile as he gave the North's leader a key to it.

Pompeo meets top North Korean official in New York as summit plans continue

Pompeo meets top North Korean official in New York as summit plans continue | 31 May 2018 | Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has met with a top North Korean official as the Trump administration races to prepare for its June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. The point person for U.S. preparations, Pompeo, met with Kim Yong Chol, a top adviser to Kim Jong Un and vice chairman of the Central Committee. It's the third meeting between the two men, after Pompeo's two trips to Pyongyang in as many months. Pompeo hosted Kim Yong Chol for dinner Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the residence of the U.S. deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, an apartment on the east side of Manhattan. In photographs released by the State Department, they are seen toasting, shaking hands and smiling -- with Pompeo showing off the New York City skyline in one photo.

Joe diGenova TAKES OUT Jeff Sessions, Trey Gowdy

Joe diGenova TAKES OUT Jeff Sessions, Trey Gowdy --"Oh, please. Don't even bring up Trey Gowdy tonight!" | 30 May 2018 | Attorney Joe diGenova appeared on "Hannity" to give his take on Attorney General Jeff Sessions's decision not tell President Trump that he would recuse himself from the biggest investigation in Trump's administration. Also, diGenova criticizes House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R - S.C.) for his assertion that there is no evidence of a spy in Trump Administration or wrongdoing in the Mueller investigation. [Background: In April 2018, DiGenova called for the firing of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and said that special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating [alleged] Russian interference in the 2016 election were "legal terrorists" and called former FBI Director James Comey "a dirty cop."] (Video)

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*****

'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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