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Zorro's Journal
Zorro's Journal
September 12, 2019

Issa on challenging fellow Republican Hunter: 'He cannot win reelection'

Former Rep. Darrell Issa signaled over the weekend that he intends to run for Congress in Rep. Duncan Hunter’s district if he is not confirmed to a position in the Trump administration by winter.

Issa and Hunter are both Republican.

Issa, 65, represented San Diego County for 18 years before retiring at the end of his ninth term earlier this year. His 49th District seat flipped to the Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections, with Rep. Mike Levin handing GOP candidate Diane Harkey a 12 percentage point loss.

With Hunter facing trial in January on federal corruption and campaign finance crimes just weeks before the California primaries, Issa has told the California Report that he intends to run for Hunter’s seat in the 50th District to prevent the Democrats from picking up another longtime GOP stronghold in Southern California.


Carpetbagger Darrell. Don't need any more Republican crooks in Congress.

September 11, 2019

Trump's tweet on Fed, negative rates and debt is called a 'recipe for disaster'

President Trump triggered a swift and skeptical reaction with his demand Wednesday for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates “to zero, or less” as part of a plan to reduce the financing costs of U.S. government debt.

“This is a recipe for disaster,” said Roberto Perli, a former Fed economist and partner at Cornerstone Macro in Washington. “If a central bank starts financing debt spending without constraints, interest rates will end up being anything but moderate. Just look at Zimbabwe.”

Independent central banks such as the Fed don’t set rates motivated by an urge to manage their national budget’s debt financing costs. They adjust the cost of borrowing based on what they judge will be best for the overall economy. In the U.S., the Fed has to pursue that through specific goals set by Congress: maximizing employment and containing inflation.

To be sure, interest costs represent a meaningful portion of the U.S. federal budget and are projected to rise at a worrying pace. Lower rates would ease that burden. It’s also a fair question to ask why the U.S., the safest haven for investors worldwide, should be paying higher rates than countries such as Japan and even Greece.


September 11, 2019

Court ruling suggests Boris Johnson may have broken the ultimate taboo: lying to Her Majesty

It’s one thing to make up tabloid-style tales of bumbling European Union bureaucrats, as former colleagues say Boris Johnson routinely did when he was a journalist in Brussels years ago.

It’s another thing to mislead the public about how Brexit would supposedly benefit Britain’s struggling National Health Service, as critics say Johnson and his hard-charging fellow Brexiters did during the 2016 referendum campaign over whether to leave the EU.

But it would be quite, quite, quite another thing to deceive Her Majesty the Queen — to actually lie to the 93-year-old monarch’s face.

On Monday, a Scottish court ruled that the prime minister appeared to have done just that when he sought royal assent last month to suspend Parliament for five weeks. According to the sharply worded ruling, he was untruthful about his main motive for the suspension: to shut down debate over Brexit.


September 11, 2019

Trump administration considers monitoring smartphones of people with mental health problems

The Trump administration is considering a proposal to combat mass shootings which suggests phones and smartwatches may be used to track people with mental health problems.

The idea began with Bob Wright, a former NBC chairman and longtime Trump confidant, who first proposed creating a government research arm, called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA), to tackle health problems.

After the El Paso massacre, Ivanka Trump asked the team behind the proposal to come up with ways to stop mass shootings, according to The Washington Post.

Mr Wright’s team put together a three-page document titled “Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes”, which links mass shootings to mental health.


Oh yeah...what a smart idea....

September 9, 2019

Trump Under Fire For Forcing Astronauts To Stay In Trump Hotel While On Specialized Space Mission

WASHINGTON—Responding to critics who have again accused President Trump of enriching himself from government business, White House officials defended Monday their boss’s decision to make astronauts spend their nights at his golf club in Doonbeg, Ireland, while they conduct a mission in space.

“To be clear, Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland is located only 240 miles below the International Space Station, where the members of this crew will be working for the next six months,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham said of the arrangement, which, depending on the station’s position in its orbit, will reportedly require astronauts to spend 16 to 22 hours of each day traveling through space.

“These brave heroes deserve to stay in a comfortable, amenity-filled hotel instead of the cramped quarters of the ISS. Besides, some of the crew members are of Irish descent and thus have ancestral connections to the area.”

According to NASA sources, the astronauts were forced to take the stairs to their ninth-floor suite because of numerous out-of-service elevators and appeared to be the only guests at the resort.

September 9, 2019

This teen went blind and partially deaf after only eating Pringles, French fries and white bread

This cautionary tale could get your kids to eat their veggies.

A British teenager described as a “fussy eater” went blind and partially deaf after noshing nothing but potato chips, sausages, French fries and white bread for the past decade, according to an alarming case study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine over the weekend.

The 17-year-old, who wasn’t named in the report, had visited a general practitioner three years earlier complaining of fatigue. Tests at that time revealed he was anemic and had low levels of the vitamin B12, so he began taking vitamin injections and receiving diet advice. But his height and BMI were normal, so doctors didn’t suspect any greater nutritional issues.

By the time he was 15, however, his vision and hearing had begun to deteriorate. Now at 17, he has suffered permanent vision loss, partial hearing loss, as well as bone weakness. So researchers at the University of Bristol examined his case. And after ruling out factors such as his BMI, family history, medications, or drug and alcohol use, they determined that his poor diet had damaged his optic nerve badly enough to cause blindness.


September 9, 2019

The Republicans Are Dropping Like Flies

There was no home for Representative Will Hurd in Donald Trump’s Republican Party.

For a while he tried to make one. For a while he succeeded, if success means preserving some of your dignity while steering clear of Trump’s wrath and surviving politically. Although Hurd’s Texas congressional district voted narrowly for Hillary Clinton in 2016, he held on to his seat that year and again in 2018, but by slim margins. It was anyone’s guess how he’d fare in 2020, and now no one will know. Hurd, 42, isn’t seeking re-election — he and a big, expanding bunch of his Republican colleagues in the House.

We talk and write all the time about the Never Trumpers: those previously stalwart Republicans who cringed at Trump’s entry into the presidential race; grew increasingly apoplectic as he raged on; began to live, courtesy of him, in an unwavering state of unalloyed outrage; and scaled new media and sometimes financial heights as party turncoats, their antipathy toward the president more titillating and telegenic by dint of their loyalty to Republicans before him.

But they’re not the best gauges of his and the party’s political fortunes. Their estrangement and emotional pitch have been changeless.


September 9, 2019

A new poll shows voters aren't buying what Trump is selling

President Trump inherited more than $400 million from his father and invested in one failed business after another. Trump must be the only person in the world who can’t make money off steaks, vodka or gambling. He would have been better off putting his money into an index fund.

Now he has brought his reverse Midas touch to politics. Despite a booming economy, he is the only president in modern history never to achieve at least a 50 percent job approval rating. He inherited a Republican-controlled Congress and in his first midterm election lost control of the House. It’s not just that Trump is personally unpopular. So are his views. On issue after issue, the country rejects the populist snake oil that he is peddling.

Trump breathlessly and endlessly touts the economy, claiming it’s “doing GREAT,” yet in a recent Quinnipiac poll, more Americans said the economy is getting “worse” (37 percent) than say it’s getting “better” (31 percent).

Trump opposes any attempt to strengthen lax gun laws, even refusing to back universal background checks. Yet Gallup reports that support for stricter gun laws (now at 61 percent) has reached one of its highest level in a quarter-century.


September 9, 2019

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Trump can't erase a decade of clean air progress with a Sharpie

California has been a leader in the fight to clean our air since one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, was our governor.

The Trump administration, for some reason, is hellbent on reversing decades of history and progress. Whether it is political pettiness, shortsightedness or just plain jealousy, I couldn’t tell you.

I can tell you that it’s wrong. It’s un-American. And it’s an affront to long-standing conservative principles.

To understand why I’m so angry about the administration’s move to revoke California’s waiver to regulate automobile emissions, you must understand the history. In 1967, Reagan established the California Air Resources Board to fight crippling pollution. He appointed as its first director not a political hack or lobbyist, but a scientist, Arie Jan Haagen-Smit, who was a pioneering researcher of the causes and impacts of smog. The 1970 Clean Air Act, signed by another California Republican, President Richard M. ­Nixon, gave California the authority to regulate air pollution — and ever since, we have had what is called a waiver from the federal government to set car pollution limits.


September 9, 2019

After mass shootings, gun advocates in Texas worry about a political shift

Four years ago, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott urged his constituents to arm up. “I’m EMBARRASSED: Texas #2 in nation for new gun purchases, behind CALIFORNIA,” he tweeted. “Let’s pick up the pace Texans.”

Last week, as Texas was coming to terms with recent back-to-back mass shootings, Abbott sounded like a changed man.

“The Texas House & Senate are getting to work on laws to keep communities safe from gun violence,” Abbott tweeted, promising proposals this week to help prevent more massacres.

The governor reassured his supporters that he remains a staunch defender of the 2nd Amendment. But in a state as serious about guns as Texas — whose unofficial motto, “come and take it,” summarizes the stance of many residents when it comes to their firearms — even a slight diversion from the gun lobby agenda can set people off.


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