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Wed, 21 Nov 2018
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FBI labels the Proud Boys an 'extremist group' in documents

proud boys
An internal document reveals that Gavin McInnes-founded group Proud Boys is now classified as an "extremist group with ties to white nationalism" by the FBI, the Guardian reports.

McInnes, who also co-founded Vice Media, has attempted to distance the group from white nationalism and alt-right rhetoric while promoting violence and misogyny. Members associated with the Proud Boys were involved in violent incidents in New York City and Portland, Oregon last month.

In a federal document obtained by the Guardian via nonpartisan, nonprofit Property of the People, the FBI warned Washington state law enforcement agencies about the Proud Boys' recruitment and "recent escalation of violence at political rallies."

Comment: The Southern Poverty Law Center probably classifies your grandmother as a hate group, so that's not really saying much. It should come as no surprise that a pro-Trump group of patriots would be smeared with the same labels as Trump himself - 'white nationalist' (probably the only multi-ethnic white nationalist group in history), 'alt-right', 'misogynist', 'hate group'. The fact is, there's probably plenty of ammunition to criticize the Proud Boys on what they actually are, without having to resort to these unfounded accusations. It's like there's no one left who actually has the inclination to research an individual, or group's, actual stance on things and give a critique. Just call them a Nazi and be done with it.

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Allies threaten to pull support from May in Brexit dispute

Theresa May
© AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the CBI annual conference in London, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018.
British Prime Minister Theresa May got a reprieve in one of her Brexit battles Tuesday as party rebels said they did not yet have the strength for a leadership challenge. But she faced a new headache as parliamentary allies warned they could remove support from May's minority government if she does not alter her divorce deal with the European Union.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party struck a deal last year to back May's Conservatives on major legislation. But the Protestant, pro-U.K. party opposes the Brexit deal's plans for keeping the border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland open after Brexit, saying it weakens the ties binding the U.K. by creating separate trade rules for Northern Ireland.

In a warning to May, DUP lawmakers abstained or opposed the government during several votes on finance bill late Monday.

Comment: See also:

Russian Flag

Putin: US withdrawal from INF will not go unanswered

Vladimir Putin vostok military drills
© Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolsky
President Vladimir Putin attends the Vostok 2018 military drills on September 13, 2018.
Moscow will not leave Washington's decision to unilaterally withdraw from the landmark nuclear arms treaty unanswered, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, adding that the country doesn't need to join another arms race.

Russia is still ready to continue dialog with the US on the bilateral treaty banning medium-range missiles, which has become one of the cornerstones of nuclear disarmament, the Russian leader said at a government meeting in Sochi. Still, the US should "treat this issue with full responsibility," the president said, adding that Washington's decision to withdraw from the agreement "cannot and will not be left unanswered."

Comment: Also see:


Democrats debate Ocasio-Cortez plan to switch to a climate change command economy

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.)
According to E&E News, Democrats are arguing over whether to use their new congressional majority to resurrect the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, or to push forward Ocasio-Cortez's plan to take Federal control of the economy, to save the world from global warming.
Divides harden in clash over global warming committee

Nick Sobczyk, George Cahlink and Kellie Lunney, E&E News reporters
E&E Daily: Friday, November 16, 2018

Many House Democrats remain skeptical of a push by leadership and progressives to revive the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, underscoring divisions about how to address climate change in the new Congress.

The caucus clashed in closed-door meetings this week about whether the select panel is even necessary and how much power it should have, with incoming committee chairmen looking to stake out territory on the issue.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has proposed bringing back the select panel to spotlight the issue with Democrats in control of the House, but progressives - led by Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) - are aggressively pushing for a stronger version of the climate committee that would craft a "Green New Deal" to combat climate change.

Ocasio-Cortez has a resolution in-hand that would establish a Select Committee for a Green New Deal, with the goal of crafting a comprehensive policy by 2020.

But the incoming leaders of the committees of jurisdiction on climate - namely, the Energy and Commerce; Natural Resources; and Science, Space and Technology panels - are not pleased with potentially creating a committee that could leach away their power.

Comment: Sounds like utopian pipe-dreaming. There's very little here of any practical value; only simplistic non-solutions. This is what happens when people without a true understanding of the massive complexity of the issues get put in charge. And wouldn't it be ironic if this plan actually was put into practice, all these efforts expended, only to find out that it didn't do a damn thing to stop climate change.

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Red Flag

Three men arrested in Australia for plotting Daesh-inspired terror attack

Australia terror plot
© REUTERS / Sonali Paul
Australian police arrested three men who are suspected of plotting a terrorist attack 'inspired' by the Daesh* terrorist group, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said Tuesday.

"There was a view towards a crowded place, a place where maximum people would be attending to be able to kill, we allege, kill a maximum amount of people as possible ... Certainly, inspired by ISIS [Daesh], we know that and recently over about the last week we've become a lot more energised," Ashton told reporters.

The individuals were Australian nationals of Turkish background, aged 21, 26 and 30, respectively, Ashton added.

Comment: This sounds remarkably like the last foiled terror attack in Melbourne. So what the heck is going on in Australia?

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Snakes in Suits

Pollak: Ironically, Jim Acosta's victory counters media narrative about Trump

© NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
The mainstream media are celebrating Friday's decision by a federal judge to force the White House to restore CNN correspondent Jim Acosta's "hard pass."

Judge Timothy J. Kelly's decision is being treated as a victory for the free press, and proof that the Trump administration's decision was wrong and violated Acosta's constitutional rights. But the decision undermined the picture of the Trump administration the media have sought to portray, in three ways:

Snakes in Suits

Gov. Jerry Brown quietly admits Trump was right, eases California logging rules

© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
California Gov. Jerry Brown appears to have quietly admitted President Donald Trump's suggestion about improving California forestry was correct and is now urging state lawmakers to loosen restrictive logging regulations put in place to appease environmentalists.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that Brown is proposing one of the most significant changes to the state's logging rules in nearly half a century.

"Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing broad new changes to California's logging rules that would allow landowners to cut larger trees and build temporary roads without obtaining a permit as a way to thin more forests across the state," the paper reports.

Environmentalists in California aren't on board. They've been pushing for years to make California's logging rules more restrictive, not less, but in the wake of the deadly forest fires that ripped through the state this month, prominent lawmakers believe a change must be made before more people die from a preventable situation.


Israel's 'Iron Dome' air defense is a failure, Russia's systems actually work - here's why

Israeli Iron Dome

Israeli Iron Dome
During the latest round of clashes in Gaza, the Israeli 'Iron Dome' air defence system (used for repelling local rocket and mortar attacks) managed to intercept less than 25 percent of the missiles fired into Israel by Palestinian armed groups.

This was despite the fact that the Palestinian rockets were entirely primitive by modern standards of weapon design - traveling relatively slow and on a very predictable course, not maneuvering defensively and with no countermeasure electronics to jam intercepting projectiles.

According to Theodore Postol, a now retired but highly regarded professor on science, technology, and international security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a key failure of the 'Iron Dome' system is that its intercepting missiles attempt to catch the incoming Palestinian rockets from the rear - by comparison, the more modern Pantsir-S system made by Russia is programmed for front-on and side-on interception of an incoming projectile.


No more money for you! Trump will end US foreign aid to Pakistan and Afghanistan over 'bin Laden inaction'

truck in pakistan
© Reuters / Athar Hussain
A truck carries military equipment near Karachi, Pakistan
President Trump has promised to cut aid to countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan that "do nothing for us," and has accused Pakistan of sheltering Osama bin Laden since 9/11.

"Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center," Trump tweeted on Monday, seemingly hinting that he knew bin Laden was bad news before 9/11. "President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!"

Comment: Of course what Trump may already know - and cannot say - is that bin Laden not only had little to nothing to do with the attacks of 911, but likely died of natural causes in 2006.

Trump is likely trying to shore up US financial resources and/or leveraging influence in the region with these recent statements - and using the consensus-reality unholy ghost of bin Laden to do it.

Black Cat

'Iron' Mike Pence tries to stare Putin down at ASEAN Summit

Putin and Pence
Forget the All-Blacks 'Haka', ignore Foreman-Frasier, Drago-Balboa, and Ortiz-Liddell, the honor of the greatest (or perhaps most awkward) staredown in history now goes to US Vice President Mike Pence...

Having been blamed for everything from Trump's election victory to USA soccer team's loss to England last week, Russia faced accusations all weekend and was reportedly confronted by the US contingent over "meddling."
As The Sun reports, Pence and Putin "discussed the upcoming G20 Summit and touched on the issues that will be discussed when President Trump and President Putin are both in Argentina for the summit," according to the vice president's press secretary, Alyssa Farah.

An NBC reporter tweeted: "New per the @VP's Office-> The VP's office says Vice President Pence directly addressed Russian meddling in the 2016 election in a conversation with Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Singapore.

"The conversation took place following the plenary session this afternoon at ASEAN."
But, it was the following clash of the titans that caught most people's attention.

Comment: Reminds us of another 'tough guy' stare-down given by an American politician that was outmaneuvered by Putin at every turn. Whether these nitwits are doing it to convey the idea that they "are being tough on Putin and Russia" - or they actually think they're being "tough" - one thing's for sure, they are both weak and dumb.

Putin Obama