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Nigeria: Scores Killed in Boko Haram Attacks in Borno, Yobe
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 6: Politix
4 10:58 James Carville [336]
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8 13:36 ed in texas [444]
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Victor Davis Hanson: Nagging Questions for the Special Counselors
[National Review] 1) If the FISA Court orders to explore the purported Trump-Russian collusion were predicated on phony Steele/Fusion GPS documents and suppositions that prove largely untrue (Comey himself testified under oath that he could not verify their contents), then are subsequent transcripts of court-approved surveilled conversations somewhat poisoned? And, if so, not permissible to be used in collation with later sworn FBI statements to prove inconsistencies, lying, or obstructing? Would someone like Flynn eventually have grounds to appeal his confession?

2) Given the overwhelming progressive consensus by summer 2016 that Trump was not going to be president and that his likely post facto blame for his defeat would fall on deaf ears (Obama before the election had both predicted that Trump would not win and that he would have no grounds to complain of outside interference in the results), why did the amateurish Clinton-created Fusion GPS dossier win such a shelf life, to be peddled around the FBI, discussed by the Obama White House, bandied about by the intelligence agencies, and worked on by the spouse of a DOJ high official? Was the dossier seen as some sort of insurance, or an amusing trifle without consequences ‐ given that a Clinton administration would have no interest in learning whether there was any impropriety among those who trafficked in it (or rather gratitude for doing just that), and who probably would be working for Hillary Clinton anyway?

3) In an era in which "diversity" is a national mantra, why didn’t Mueller’s law team reflect much geographical, institutional, political, ideological, and career diversity? Surely there were hundreds of blue-chip attorneys with DOJ or FBI experience, who lived outside of New York and Washington, who did not go to Ivy League law schools, who did not work in Mueller’s former firm or even New York or D.C. firms, who were reticent about expressing preferences in the 2016 election, who did not give, say, over $100 to a presidential candidate, who were never involved in prior investigations of Hillary Clinton, and who had never represented or had contact with the Clinton Foundation or Obama officials. Or was the political frenzy of early 2017 such that collusion was seen as a slam dunk, and many of the current and former elite of the DOJ, the FBI, and Mueller’s firm wished to get in on the hunt to show how a "dream team," "army," and "all-stars" could take down the obviously hemorrhaging Trump? In any case, in a politically charged era of accusations of a deep-state, ideologically driven, incestuous swamp, Mueller’s team has almost proved a caricature.

4) To what degree, if any, in 2018 will reinvestigations about the improper transmissions of classified emails by Hillary Clinton and her staff ‐ or the use of the likely bogus Fusion/GPS document to obtain FISA warrants, or the unmasking and leaking of names of U.S. citizens surveilled ‐ fall under Mueller’s purview? And if not, why not? And if not, how can critics of the entire notion of a special counsel, then want a special, special counsel to investigate the "real" collusion?

5) In 2018, the charge of "blaming the FBI" as somehow unpatriotic or subversive will probably vanish, with the reality that a politicized FBI hierarchy, not its critics, let down the rank and file and endangered the sterling reputation of a hallowed agency.


Probably because of cumulative reports that the FBI director confessed that he deliberately leaked to journalists his confidential work notes (written on government time) of conversations with the president, to leverage a special-counsel appointment (which went to his close friend Robert Mueller); that the same director changed the wording of an initial finding of wrongdoing on the part of Hillary Clinton to avoid suggestions of criminal intent (on the written suggestion of a subordinate with clear pro-Clinton sympathies); that a deputy FBI director continued in an investigation of Hillary Clinton at the very time his wife was running for state office, a campaign fueled in part by extremely generous donations from a Clinton-related PAC; that two high FBI officials conducted a clandestine extramarital affair using government-issued communications both to manage their affair and to express disdain and venom for the very object of their current investigations; that these two FBI employees were reassigned and their reassignments were not announced to the public until months after their departure and were revealed in a manner that did not disclose either the reasons for their departure or the relationship between both departures; and that the Obama administration’s FBI, at some point and for some reason, abbreviated its investigation into the so-called Uranium One matter, possibly owing to worries over damage to the 2016 Clinton campaign.

Perhaps each of these problems involves extenuating circumstances and a backstory that makes them less damaging.

But taken as a whole, they point to a careerist FBI hierarchy that did not adhere to standards of professionalism that their subordinates in the field most certainly do adhere to.

The FBI’s current problems are not in their stars, but in themselves.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 03:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [421 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What we've seeing, IMO, is "cognitive elites" (meaning they're good at cheating on tests) attempting to reverse people's choice.
To barrow from one of my favored authors
"They imagine they're the wave of the future, but it's only sewage flowing downhill" - Lois McMaster Bujold Barrayar.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2018 3:28 Comments || Top||

#2  What we've seeing, IMO, is "cognitive elites" (meaning they're good at cheating on tests) attempting to reverse people's choice.

Good at "cheating" on elections as well, but not good enough. None of this populist rubbish was supposed to happen. Swamp levels were set to increase, not decline. Old white men were to have been finished! But our shadow gov't regime planners miscalculated. As so often happens, our betters underestimated the long memories and wisdom of the 'forgotten man.'

Hence the gnashing of teeth and bitter outrage from the left and Deep State. The damage wrought by Soetoro was too pervasive. Candidate Clinton was simply too heavy a lift.

Their cheating was not enough.

Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 3:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Good at "cheating" on elections as well, but not good enough.

Tell it to Roy Moore.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2018 3:31 Comments || Top||

#4  G(r)om, sometimes the biggest problem with a flat tire is that it's flat right now.
(I particularly like the way that, after all these years, the WAPO had this revelation immediately after Moore won the primary but before the actual election. So he couldn't be replaced.)
Posted by: ed in texas || 01/01/2018 10:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Well Ed, maybe it's past time people learned to to swallow propaganda - I do notice that all of Moore's accusers seem to have disappeared after he stopped being a threat.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2018 15:22 Comments || Top||

#6  Ido notice that all of Moore's accusers seem to have disappeared after he stopped being a threat.
Posted by g(r)omgoru

The noise making abruptly ended as soon as the dividends stopped coming.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 15:46 Comments || Top||

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Sorting myths from facts about foreign fighters from Russia
By Olga Oliker [CSIS]
Posted by: ryuge || 01/01/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [207 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This seems to be a case of "a distinction without a difference". (Chechnya, Dagestan, Nagorny, ...)
Posted by: ed in texas || 01/01/2018 13:30 Comments || Top||

West Virginia: Billions already spent on drilling and fracking; giant projects could follow
[The Wheeling Times Leader] WHEELING ‐ As a region flush with coal, oil and natural gas reserves beneath the ground’s surface, billions of dollars worth of investment continue flowing into northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio for mining, drilling, fracking, pipelining and processing.

As 2017 closes, the wait is on to see how the announcement by China Energy to spend $83.7 billion to build petrochemical plants and electricity generators in West Virginia will unfold in 2018 and beyond. The proposed PTT Global Chemical ethane cracker for Belmont County, meanwhile, a project with an estimated price tag of up to $6 billion, will eventually realize an affirmative or negative decision, as well.

Still, even before these "downstream" investments, new pipelines continue to be built, new wells are being drilled and fracked, and more coal continues to be shipped out of the region.

Drilling, Fracking and Pipelining
Virtually anywhere one goes in the Upper Ohio Valley, he or she will likely see signs of the oil and natural gas industry. Whether one sees rigs rising above the horizon in Belmont County, pipelines being installed in Marshall County, pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles parked at hotels in Ohio County, flaring at processing plants in Harrison County, or "sand can" trucks traveling between fracking operations along highways, the signs are clear.

Now, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Belmont County features more permitted horizontal wells than any of the state’s other 87 counties. For several years, Carroll County led the way with the most drilling operations.

According to industry leaders, one of the significant impediments to growth in recent years has been the lack of interstate pipeline infrastructure to transport natural gas to market. As 2017 draws to a close, this appears to be on its way to resolution. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has given approval to multiple pipelines, including:
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 09:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [324 views] Top|| File under:

#1  For several years, Carroll County led the way with the most drilling operations.
It was never the same after "The Accident"
Posted by: Classer || 01/01/2018 10:04 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Watergate's Woodward and Bernstein RIP INTO THE MEDIA for their anti-Trump BIAS!!
[Right Scoop] In a segment on CNN with the legendary journalists from Watergate, host Dana Bash tries to get them to compare Richard Nixon to Trump over his attacks on the press ‐ and they lay into the media instead.

Bernstein says that the media mocks too much and Woodward says the media is smug and self-righteous while pointing out that they would never have the tone that current journalists show on broadcasts and in their social media.
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 02:36 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [289 views] Top|| File under:

Obama's backseat drivers, John Kerry, Susan Rice, and Ben Rhodes have lots of advice for Trump on Iran
[American Thinker] Former Secretary of State (and Vietnam veteran) John Kerry and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice seem to be shuddering. And so is Ben Rhodes. Iran is having another freedom revolution, following the 2009 one the Obama administration flubbed, and they don't want President Trump to get his big bumbling hands on it. He might just ... mess it up.

Kerry emphasized that it was an "Iranian moment," meaning America's White House should say nothing.
With humility about how little we know about what's happening inside Iran, this much is clear: it's an Iranian moment and not anyone else's. But the rights of people to protest peacefully and voice their aspirations are universal and governments everywhere should respect that.

‐ John Kerry (@JohnKerry) December 31, 2017

Rice had the same message, just more direct:

Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 09:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [412 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Whatever Jawn Jawn Kerry recommends, do the opposite.
Posted by: Raj || 01/01/2018 12:51 Comments || Top||

#2  ISIS collapsed within a year, if the Iranian government topples within a similar amount of time the Obama foreign policy will really look pathetic.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 01/01/2018 14:17 Comments || Top||

#3  Well there have been numerous intelligence community senior assessments and predictive analysis updates concerning the Soviet Union... Iran.

[sarc off]
Posted by: Besoeker || 01/01/2018 14:21 Comments || Top||

#4  The only name missing from this list of chump-ass fools potential advisers is Jimmy Carter.
Posted by: SteveS || 01/01/2018 16:03 Comments || Top||

#5  One thing they have definitively learned from history is they cannot learn from history.
Posted by: newc || 01/01/2018 19:48 Comments || Top||

#6  On the plus side, you now know what not to do.
Posted by: H. Jineng3062 || 01/01/2018 20:26 Comments || Top||

Support the thousands of protesters risking their lives
[ARABNEWS] Iran is experiencing a political earthquake. The fault lines are clear: On the one side, the theocratic regime and its suppressive forces; on the other, the Iranian people. At least two dozen cities across the country witnessed large-scale demonstrations on Friday and Saturday against a regime that has been sorely incapable of addressing the country’s economic and political demands. The protests have now grown over 50 cities and several protesters have been rubbed out as security forces opened fire.

"Death to the dictator" is once again echoing among Iran’s struggling population, mainly youths and women. For months, thousands of people have been protesting in various quarters, demanding justice for the plundering of their wealth by institutions tied to the "supreme leader" and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. However,
there's no worse danger than telling a mother her baby is ugly...
the scale and political orientation of the Dec. 29 and 30 protests were striking and remarkable.

"The people live like beggars/(Khamenei) lives like a God," thousands of demonstrators chanted in several towns on Dec. 30.

One of the most interesting chants in Tehran’s protests Sunday was "Reformists, hard-liner, game is over now," reflecting the desire by Iranians for regime change.

On Thursday, Iran’s second-largest city, Mashhad, saw the spark of the protests. Several thousand people began their demonstrations by complaining about rising commodity prices (in some cases, food prices have seen a 20-30 percent hike in the last week alone).

Quickly, however, the protests were reoriented toward the regime’s bigwigs, including President Hassan Rouhani and supreme leader Ali Khamenei: "Death to Rouhani," "Death to Khamenei," and "Death to the dictator," the protesters chanted.

Then on Friday, the cities of Kermanshah, Shiraz, Rasht, Qom, Hamedan, Ahvaz, Isfahan, Zahedan, Qazvin, and Sari rose up, joined by a large number of smaller towns. There are several noteworthy characteristics about what has been reported thus far.

First, the political nature of the protests has been made clear from the start, although the underlying impetus was the economic situation and particularly the vast financial corruption permeating the regime.

Khamenei, as the main figure of the theocracy, has been a permanent fixture in the protesters’ slogans. And protesters continue to call on the regime to "Free all political prisoners."

Second, the regime’s main players were quick to point out that there is a leading opposition movement that can lead the protests toward their final destination: the regime’s downfall.

During at least seven Friday prayer sessions across Iran, senior mullahs pointed the finger at the opposition and other foreign governments.

The state security and anti-riot forces were out in full force, using water cannons to disperse crowds and drawing chants of "Shame on you" from crowds who refused to give up any ground.

The fearlessness, courage and leading role of women has been exceptional. Dozens of video clips circulating on social media attest to this. In one case, a woman stands in front of security forces and shouts "Death to Khamenei," an offense that could carry the death penalty

Posted by: Fred || 01/01/2018 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [303 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  We can only pray that the protest will be peaceful, and successful.
Posted by: anymouse || 01/01/2018 0:36 Comments || Top||

#2  We can only pray that the protest will be peaceful, and successful

That's mutually exclusive - the mullahs won't give up without a fight.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2018 2:36 Comments || Top||

#3  So true, g(r)om.

When Ghandi led the Indian "revolution" the lack of violence said much more about Britain than it did about Ghandi.
Posted by: AlanC || 01/01/2018 8:45 Comments || Top||

#4  Ten people killed in Iran unrest on Sunday
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2018 12:47 Comments || Top||

#5  Trump should name and send Obama as a special envoy. To Guam.

Would be funny as poop to watch Berry-Barry turn him down.
Posted by: Woodrow || 01/01/2018 13:19 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Sarah Hoyt: Nobody Expects These Predictions
h/t Instapundit
I don’t come from the future, I only work there.

Or to put it another way, I spend a lot of my time thinking of where current events and current trends will lead in the future.

Mind you, that future is usually 500 or so years in the future, and I’m also likely to succumb to the rule of cool. I don’t really expect them to have antigrav wands, but come on, guys, gangs of broomers roaming the skies? Perfect for cool stories, even if I wouldn’t want to live there.

Nearer term, and where you can be disproven, making predictions is risky. Or as the professor has been known to say, "making predictions is difficult, particularly about the future."

So, take this with a grain of salt.

...The one thing I can predict for sure is that the left will continue to shriek with unhinged fury at everything that Trump does and fails to do.

So the one solid bet I have for you is "Buy popcorn futures. You can’t go wrong."
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 01/01/2018 02:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [432 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good stuff.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/01/2018 11:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Popping up a bowl now but it's just not going to big enough.
Posted by: Woodrow || 01/01/2018 13:21 Comments || Top||

#3  We have a nice collection of bowls in the O Club storage room, Woodrow dear. So no worries.
Posted by: trailing wife || 01/01/2018 19:01 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
6Islamic State
5Govt of Iran
4Moslem Colonists
2Govt of Pakistan
2Sublime Porte
2al-Shabaab (AQ)
1Govt of Pakistain Proxies
1Govt of Saudi Arabia
1Govt of Syria
1Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (IS)
1Muslim Brotherhood
1Boko Haram (ISIS)
1Arab Spring
1Govt of Iran Proxies
1Govt of Iraq

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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
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john frum
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trailing wife
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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2018-01-01
  Nigeria: Scores Killed in Boko Haram Attacks in Borno, Yobe
Sun 2017-12-31
  Iran protests: Telegram and Instagram restricted
Sat 2017-12-30
  IS says it was behind Saint Petersburg supermarket bombing
Fri 2017-12-29
  Senior Pakistani Taliban leader blown by own explosives in Kunar province
Thu 2017-12-28
  Islamic State claims attack on Shiite center in Kabul, 41 dead
Wed 2017-12-27
  Swede among 'terror' suspects arrested in the Netherlands
Tue 2017-12-26
  Six Islamic State, involved in killing policeman, killed in Kirkuk
Mon 2017-12-25
  ISIS military commission chief killed in US drone strike in Afghanistan
Sun 2017-12-24
  Taliban’s IED expert famous as Osama killed in NDS operation
Sat 2017-12-23
  Terror Attack in Pennsylvania's State Capital?
Fri 2017-12-22
  US drone strike kills Qaeda propaganda chief in Yemen
Thu 2017-12-21
  ISIS shadow judge among 5 killed in Afghan forces operations
Wed 2017-12-20
  US drone targets compound in Kurram
Tue 2017-12-19
  Ballistic missile intercepted over Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh just seconds before it slammed into royal palace
Mon 2017-12-18
  Senior Al-Shabaab Militants Killed In Somalia Drone Strike

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