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Flooding damage extensive in Midwest and more rain forecast

Flooding damage extensive in Midwest and more rain forecast | 25 March 2019 | Floodwaters are receding across most of the hard-hit Midwest, but there could be new problems if the forecast for significant rain later this week holds up. Already the flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries has caused at least $3 billion damage and forced thousands from their homes as floodwaters penetrated or flowed over several hundred miles of levees. The flooding is blamed in three confirmed deaths, and two Nebraska men have been missing for more than a week.

Flooding poses potential risk for 1 million private wells

Flooding poses potential risk for 1 million private wells | 26 March 2019 | More than 1 million private wells that supply drinking water in mostly rural parts of the Midwest could face the risk of contamination from floodwater, posing a health concern that could linger long after the flooding subsides. Major flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and several smaller waterways has inundated states in the middle of America, from the Canadian border south to Kentucky. The National Weather Service has warned that with snowmelt in northern states only beginning, the threat of additional flooding persists well into spring.

Senate rejects Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal in 57-0 vote blasted as a 'sham' by Dems

Senate rejects Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal in 57-0 vote blasted as a 'sham' by Dems | 26 March 2019 | The Green New Deal failed to pass a procedural vote in the Senate Tuesday, with Democrats slamming the GOP motion as a "sham" and with two exceptions voting "present" in protest. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the ambitious plan to create jobs and improve the environment to a vote to force Democrats to take a public stand on the measure and try to divide the party's moderates and progressives. The final vote was 57 against and no one for the plan, with 43 Democrats voting present. Red State Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona voted no.

Ex-Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos says applied for pardon

Ex-Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos says applied for pardon | 26 March 2019 | George Papadopoulos, the first Trump campaign aide charged in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, said on Tuesday his lawyers have applied for a pardon from President Donald Trump and that he is considering a withdrawal of his guilty plea. "My lawyers have applied for a pardon from the president for me," Papadopoulos said in an interview with Reuters, adding that the request was made a few days ago. "If I’m offered one I would love to accept it, of course."

Chicago mayor and police chief express fury as Jussie Smollett escapes 48 years in jail for his $10k bond after prosecutors drop charges because he is not a 'violent threat'

Chicago mayor and police chief express fury as Jussie Smollett escapes 48 years in jail for his $10k bond after prosecutors drop charges because he is not a 'violent threat' - as Empire actor insists he was telling the truth --A grand jury also returned a 16-count indictment which was based on a 'sliver' of the evidence --But in a sudden move on Tuesday, Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats said he had decided to drop the case | 26 March 2019 | Chicago's mayor and chief police officer tore through Jussie Smollett and slammed prosecutors' decision to drop all charges against him as a 'whitewash of justice' on Tuesday after the Empire actor jubilantly celebrated escaping a possible 48 year prison sentence. Speaking at a press conference with the equally enraged Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson on Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel insisted repeatedly that Smollett was guilty of staging a hoax attack on January 29 and that he did it for a raise. He slammed Assistant State's Attorney Joe Magats decision to drop the 16 felony charges Smollett was hit with by a grand jury, a move he said he took because Smollett is not a 'violent threat' to the community. Magats's decision comes amid calls for his boss, Kim Foxx, to face investigation an from the Attorney General for exchanging text messages with Smollett's relatives in the early stages of the investigation.

New York's Rockland County declares measles state of emergency, bans unvaccinated minors from public spaces

New York's Rockland County declares measles state of emergency, bans unvaccinated minors from public spaces --Unvaccinated minors will be barred from public places in Rockland County. | 26 March 2019 | A county in New York has declared a state of emergency after more than 100 people have been diagnosed with measles. Rockland County officials announced that starting at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, anyone under 18 who has not yet been vaccinated will be barred from public places until they receive the MMR vaccine or until the emergency declaration expires in 30 days. It's unclear how the ban on public places will be enforced. [OMG. This INSANITY must be challenged in court, IMMEDIATELY.]

Pentagon authorizes up to $1B to start 57 miles of border wall construction

Pentagon authorizes up to $1B to start 57 miles of border wall construction | 26 March 2019 | The Pentagon notified Congress late Monday that it authorized the transfer of up to $1 billion to erect 57 miles of "pedestrian fencing" along the U.S.-Mexico border in direct support of President Trump's national emergency declaration from last month. The fencing, which will be 18 feet high, is to be erected in the Yuma and El Paso sectors, the statement read. A reporter from the New York Times tweeted that it is the first time the funds will be transferred under Section 284 for the border wall. Section 284 allows the Pentagon to "construct roads and fences and to install lighting to block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of Federal law enforcement agencies," the statement read.

FBI Sued for Failure to Report Known 9/11 Evidence to Congress

FBI Sued for Failure to Report Known 9/11 Evidence to Congress --The complaint cites the failure of the FBI and its 9/11 Review Commission to assess key 9/11-related evidence that the FBI can be shown to have had, or been aware of | 25 March 2019 | The Lawyers' Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and 9/11 victim family members Robert McIlvaine and Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, announced today a joint federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI for their failure to perform a congressionally mandated assessment of any evidence known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission related to any factors that contributed in any manner to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The action for declaratory and injunctive relief is being brought under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 702, 706, and the federal mandamus statute, 28 U.S.C. 1361, because of federal agency failures to comply with the mandate from Congress.

Jussie Smollett charges dropped, actor won't be prosecuted on charges he faked attack

Jussie Smollett charges dropped, actor won't be prosecuted on charges he faked attack | 26 March 2019 | Calling himself a man of faith, "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett said Tuesday that he felt vindicated after the Cook County State's Attorney's office said it would drop all charges against him. Smollett was accused of faking an anti-black, anti-gat hate crime in Chicago in order to drum up publicity for his role on the Fox drama...In a shocking announcement Tuesday morning, authorities said they will not prosecute Smollett. Fox News has learned the judge granted a nolle pros, which essentially means that the case has been dropped and that he will no longer be prosecuted for the alleged crime.

Trump administration asks court to completely invalidate Obama's Affordable Care Act

Trump administration asks court to completely invalidate Obama's Affordable Care Act | 26 March 2019 | In a significant shift, the Justice Department now says that it backs a full invalidation of the Affordable Care Act, the signature Obama-era health law. It presented its position in a legal filing Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, where an appeal is pending in a case challenging the measure's constitutionality. A federal judge in Texas ruled in December that the law's individual mandate "can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress's tax power" and further found that the remaining portions of the law are void. He based his judgment on changes to the nation's tax laws made by congressional Republicans in 2017.

Justice Department sides with lower court, says Obamacare should be struck down

Justice Department sides with lower court, says Obamacare should be struck down | 26 March 2019 | The U.S. Department of Justice said it supports a federal judge's ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be overturned, signaling a major shift in the Trump administration's stance on the Obama-era federal health care law. "The Department of Justice has determined that the district court's judgment should be affirmed," three department lawyers wrote in a letter submitted Monday to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which is now considering the case..."The Department of Justice has determined that the district court's comprehensive opinion came to the correct conclusion and will support it on appeal," Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told ABC News.

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan admits he may have had 'bad information' regarding President Trump and Russia

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan admits he may have had 'bad information' regarding President Trump and Russia | 26 March 2019 | Bad information. That's what former CIA Director [Deep State dirt-bag] John Brennan is blaming for his near-constant attacks on President Trump after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into alleged collusion between Trump and Russia ended up clearing the president. Brennan, whose role in the Obama administration helped land him a job as an MSNBC contributor and lent his perspective on national security major gravitas, once warned that the Mueller probe showed "our Nation’s future is at stake." But on Monday, a day after Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller's findings, showing there was no evidence Trump or anyone close to him colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, Brennan admitted he may have gotten it wrong.

Cook County prosecutors drop all charges against Jussie Smollett

Breaking: Cook County prosecutors drop all charges against Jussie Smollett | 26 March 2019 | In a stunning reversal, Cook County prosecutors on Tuesday dropped all charges against "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett on disorderly conduct charges for allegedly staging a phony attack and claiming he was the victim of a hate crime. "We believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case," a prosecutor said in announcing the dismissal of all 16 counts. There had been no clue that prosecutors planned the about-face move before the announcement.

Graham sends ominous tweet to Comey: See you soon

Graham sends ominous tweet to Comey: See you soon | 25 March 2019 | Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., posted an ominous reply to ex-FBI-Director James Comey on Twitter Sunday [which garnered 112K likes] after Comey seemed to sum up the summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation by posting a picture of a man who appeared lost in the woods. The photo posted by Comey was of a man surrounded by tall trees, and the caption was simply: "So many questions." Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, replied, "Could not agree more," an obvious message that he hopes to question the former FBI head. "See you soon."

Lindsey Graham will probe alleged FISA abuses at FBI, calls on Barr to appoint new special counsel

Lindsey Graham will probe alleged FISA abuses at FBI, calls on Barr to appoint new special counsel | 25 March 2019 | Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Monday that he will probe alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) at the start of the Russia investigation, while calling on Attorney General Bill Barr to appoint a new special counsel to investigate the "other side of the story." Graham, R-S.C., made the comments during a press conference on Capitol Hill following the release of the findings in the Robert Mueller investigation, which did not uncover evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy in 2016. Graham and other Trump allies cited the findings to renew scrutiny of the probe's origins at the FBI.

IDF confirms targeting Hamas leader Haniyeh's Gaza office in retaliatory strike

IDF confirms targeting Hamas leader Haniyeh's Gaza office in retaliatory strike | 25 March 2019 | Israeli airstrikes have hit the office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza, the IDF said. It confirms earlier Palestinian reports that the strikes, coming in response to a lone rocket fired into Israel had high-profile targets. The bombed building, the Israel Defense Forces said, was previously targeted in a 2012 Israeli bombing campaign, codenamed 'Cloud Pillar,' and is regularly used by Hamas leadership to hold military meetings.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg surges to 3rd place in Iowa as Democratic presidential free-for-all leaves senators and governors in the dust

Mayor Pete Buttigieg surges to 3rd place in Iowa as Democratic presidential free-for-all leaves senators and governors in the dust --Buttigieg is a Rhodes scholar and Afghanistan vet who is mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and speaks Norwegian, Italian, Arabic, and other tongues | 25 March 2019 | South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg has surged to third place in a new Iowa poll, making strides in a crowded field in the key primary state. The 37-year-old Iraq and Afghanistan vet jumped to earn 11 per cent support in the latest Emerson poll of Democratic presidential candidates in Iowa. He trailed two vastly better known candidates: former Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn't yet entered the race, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Back in January, Buttigieg didn't even register in the poll, scoring 0 per cent.

Michael Avenatti arrested on federal charges of wire fraud and extortion

Michael Avenatti arrested on federal charges of wire fraud and extortion | 25 March 2019 | Attorney Michael Avenatti, who came to national prominence as the lawyer for adult film star Stormy Daniels, was arrested on federal charges in two separate cases in California and New York, federal prosecutors said Monday. The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York charged Avenatti for allegedly trying to extort Nike for about $20 million. Prosecutors said he and another attorney threatened to release damaging information about the company if it did not meet his demands. The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles separately announced Avenatti faces bank and wire fraud charges for allegedly embezzling money from a client and defrauding a bank through fake tax returns.

Long-shot presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to tax Amazon sales and give that money to Americans

Long-shot presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants to tax Amazon sales and give that money to Americans | 18 March 2019 | Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang doesn't believe his proposed value-added tax, or VAT, on companies in the United States would drive business out of the country, he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday. Yang, who announced his candidacy in late 2017, is proposing a 10 percent VAT targeting companies like Amazon and Google. But he said he doesn't believe corporations would abandon the U.S. if they are hit with the tax. "There's really no place for them to go," Yang said, noting that "every other advanced economy" already has a VAT that's higher than the one he's proposing. Yang said the tax would help pay for his plan to give every American adult between the ages of 18 to 64 a monthly $1,000 stipend.

Michael Avenatti is accused of keeping a $4M personal injury settlement payout from a paraplegic man with mental health issues, according to his former legal partner

Michael Avenatti is accused of keeping a $4M personal injury settlement payout from a paraplegic man with mental health issues, according to his former legal partner --Michael Avenatti, 48, has been accused of improperly keeping a $4 million personal injury settlement payout away from former client Geoffrey Johnson | 25 March 2019 | Michael Avenatti has been accused of improperly keeping a $4 million personal injury settlement payout away from a paraplegic man, a Los Angeles court heard. The embattled attorney, 48, was also alleged to have hid almost $1 million from creditors, a hearing was told on Friday. The news comes as Avenatti was charged with wire and bank fraud on Monday, with federal authorities saying he attempted to extract more than $20 million from Nike. The hearing held at federal court came as part of Avenatti's former legal partner Jason Frank's case against his old colleague.

Israel bombs Gaza, positions troops after rocket attack near Tel Aviv

Israel bombs Gaza, positions troops after rocket attack near Tel Aviv | 25 March 2019 | Israel launched air strikes in the Gaza Strip and deployed extra troops to the border on Monday, promising a strong response to the longest-range Palestinian rocket attack to cause casualties in years. Seven Israelis were wounded near Tel Aviv by the morning rocket attack. The Gaza health ministry said five Palestinians were wounded by the initial wave of retaliatory strikes. Dozens of explosions rocked the coastal enclave and ambulance sirens echoed through the night. [Just before the elections in Israel...wow, what a coincidence!]

Trump team turns tables after Mueller report, calls for investigation into probe's origin

Trump team turns tables after Mueller report, calls for investigation into probe's origin | 24 March 2019 | President Trump and his legal team declared total victory Sunday following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's key findings -- including no evidence of collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign -- but sought to turn the tables by renewing calls to investigate the investigators. Trump himself slammed the probe as an "illegal takedown," as he called Mueller's report a "complete exoneration" and said it was a "shame" his presidency had to deal with the investigation for two years. "Hopefully somebody is going to look at the other side," Trump said. "This was an illegal takedown [aka coup] that failed and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at the other side."

Read the Mueller report findings: Barr's letter to Congress

Read the Mueller report findings: Barr's letter to Congress | 24 March 2019 | The following is Attorney General Bill Barr's letter to key congressional leaders summarizing the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report: Click here to see the letter. Text version: On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a "confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election." Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation...

Trump calls Russia probe 'an illegal takedown that failed' after Mueller report summary released

Trump calls Russia probe 'an illegal takedown that failed' after Mueller report summary released | 24 March 2019 | President Trump told reporters Sunday that the release of a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe findings represented a "complete and total exoneration," calling it "an illegal takedown that failed." "So after a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side, where a lot of bad things happened, a lot of horrible things happened, lot of very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia, the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Trump said as he prepared to board Air Force One to return to Washington from his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.

Nadler says he will fight for full disclosure of Mueller report

Nadler says he will fight for full disclosure of Mueller report | 24 March 2019 | Days after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has ended, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said his committee will fight for the full report to be released to the public and argued against President Trump asserting executive privilege to block its release. "It's so crucial that the entire report and the evidence underlying it be released to the public," Nadler, D-N.Y., told CNN on "State of the Union" Sunday. "Transparency is key here."

Police arrest man accused of throwing water on Steve King

Police arrest man accused of throwing water on Steve King | 24 March 2019 | A Colorado man has been arrested after authorities said he threw a glass of water on U.S. Rep. Steve King at a restaurant in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Fort Dodge police said the incident happened at approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Mineral City Mill and Grill...King, a Kiron Republican, was having a group lunch when 26-year-old Blake Gibbins, of Lafayette, Colorado, approached the congressman's table, authorities said. The water hit King and some others having lunch, police said.

Russian planes 'carrying troops' arrive in Venezuela

Russian planes 'carrying troops' arrive in Venezuela | 24 March 2019 | Russian jets carrying troops have reportedly touched down in Venezuela. Two Russian Air Force reportedly planes landed in Venezuela's main airport on Saturday carrying a Russian defence official and around 100 troops. One flight tracking website shows two aircraft left a Russian military base for the Venezuelan capital Caracas on Friday, with a further jet leaving on Sunday.

Mueller did not find Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia; did not exonerate him on obstruction

Mueller did not find Trump or his campaign conspired with Russia; did not exonerate him on obstruction | 24 March 2019 | Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find Donald Trump's campaign or associates conspired with Russia, Attorney General William Barr said Sunday. Mueller also did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute obstruction of justice, Barr wrote, but he did not exonerate the President. "The special counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election," the four-page letter sent to Congress states. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the determination that the evidence was "not sufficient" to support a prosecution of the President for obstruction of justice.

U.S.-Led Coalition Captures Last ISIS Bastion in Syria, Ending Caliphate

U.S.-Led Coalition Captures Last ISIS Bastion in Syria, Ending Caliphate | 23 March 2019 | U.S.-backed forces ousted Islamic State from its last outpost in Syria, marking the end of a nearly five-year campaign that forced the extremist group to morph from a governing authority back into a guerrilla insurgency as swaths of territory were freed from its brutal rule. The demise of the group's self-proclaimed caliphate [I-CIA-SIS, funded and armed by the Deep State] -- which once covered an area the size of Portugal -- comes as President Trump prepares to pull U.S. troops from Syria.

Free speech debate in New Zealand after mosque slayer's manifesto banned

Free speech debate in New Zealand after mosque slayer's manifesto banned --Anyone caught with the document on their computer could face between 10 and 14 years in prison | 24 March 2019 | New Zealand's chief censor has banned [alleged] mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant's racist manifesto, as well as videos of his violent rampage. The bans have ignited a debate over free speech in the grieving country. Chief censor David Shanks declared the killer's 80-page manifesto - entitled 'The Great Replacement' - "objectionable" on Saturday, and ordered anyone in possession of it to destroy it. Following the classification, anyone caught with the document on their computer could face between 10 and 14 years in prison. Video footage of the attack, originally live-streamed by Tarrant on Facebook, has also been deemed objectionable.

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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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