Daily Recap — July 10

The news……it ain’t slowing’ down, folks.

Let’s touch on all the non-SCOTUS stories of the day. If you’re interested in my take on Brett Kavanaugh, simply click on the pertinent article on the front page. Can’t miss it.


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MIRACLE COMPLETE

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The last remaining member of the Wild Boars soccer team and their assistant coach have been pulled out of a flooded cave in Thailand, bringing an end to a near three-week ordeal that prompted an international rescue effort and captivated audiences around the world.

The true miracle here, of course, is that a group of young Thai boys were trapped somewhere besides Barney Frank’s basement. But I digress. 


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The 12th boy and his coach were the last of the team to be rescued today, after a complicated three-day operation to extricate the team, who became trapped on June 23 when rising flood water cut them off deep inside the cave.
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In the last 18 days, what began as a local search for the missing 13 turned into a complex rescue operation, involving hundreds of experts who flew in from around the world to help, including from the good ole United States. But we already knew that, didn’t we?
The parents of the boys have maintained a constant vigil outside the cave since they went missing, praying for their safe return. Today, the last of their prayers were answered.
All of the boys and their coach have now been transported to a nearby hospital where eight of their teammates are recuperating after being rescued Sunday and Monday.
The last of the group to emerge from the cave today were four Navy SEALs, including a doctor who stayed with the team for a week after their discovery.
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“We are not sure if this is a miracle, a science, or what. All the thirteen Wild Boars are now out of the cave,” the Thai Navy SEALS said in a Facebook post confirming the entire soccer team had been rescued.
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It’s ok to call it a miracle, fellas. Even miracles sometimes require good training.
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Nineteen divers entered the cave at 10 a.m. local time this morning, many on their third mission in three days, with the aim of bringing everyone inside the cave out.
Today’s rescue took nine hours in total, from the time the divers entered the cave to bringing out the boys and their coach.
Earlier today, more details emerged about the ages and condition of the children already freed from the cave.
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All eight boys rescued on Sunday and Monday are being treated in an isolation ward in a Chiang Rai hospital. Medical officials told reporters today that they’re healthy, fever-free, mentally fit and “seem to be in high spirits.”
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Some of the boys have even asked for bread with chocolate spread — which they were given, said Jedsada Chokedamrongsook, the permanent secretary of the Thai Health Ministry. But they’ll mostly be eating a food similar to milk and rich in proteins and nutrients.
Chokedonsomethingoranother said the first group of boys taken out on Sunday were aged 14 to 16. Their body temperatures were very low when they emerged, and two are suspected of having lung inflammation.
Families of the first four have been able to see their children through a glass window, Chokedamrongsook said. They were also able to talk on the phone. They’ll be allowed to enter the room if tests show the boys are free of infection.
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Yay Western medicine!

And an even bigger yay for Western water-pumping technology!

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Thai hospital staff and a police officer at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital on Tuesday.
The second group freed on Monday were aged 12 to 14. One had a very slow heartbeat but had responded well to treatment, Chokedonhisownmassivelylongname said. The hospital has sent test samples from the boys to a lab in Bangkok.
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Authorities will likely look for signs of Histoplasmosis, also known as “cave disease,” an infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. I guess American liberals now have competition for not being the only people with the term “batshit” written on their medical charts. 
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They are all likely to stay in hospital for up to a week, due to their weakened immune systems. Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-ocha visited the hospital yesterday, and spoke to relatives and hospital workers.
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Prime minister Prayut Chan-ocha gives support to families of the rescued boys and thanks hospital staff for taking care of the Wild Boar soccer team members being treated at Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital.

Shortly after the news of the boys’ safe return broke, PDT tweeted his congratulations to the Navy SEAL team:
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“On behalf of the United States, congratulations to the Thai Navy SEALs and all on the successful rescue of the 12 boys and their coach from the treacherous cave in Thailand. Such a beautiful moment — all freed, great job!”
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Indeed, Mr. President. It was a beautiful moment, and one we should enjoy. With so much ugliness in the world, let’s take in the best of humanity for a bit.
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God knows, we could all use it.
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BEST PRESIDENT EVER

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To some, they’re rugged individualists and patriots in the tradition of the greatest Americans. To others, they’re dangerous arsonists, subversives, outlaws and even terrorists. Whatever you want to call them (I prefer the former, for the record), the father and son who were convicted of intentionally setting fires on public land in Oregon were pardoned today by PDT.

The move came years after the convictions of Dwight and Steven Hammond, part of a family in the high desert of eastern Oregon known for its generosity and community contributions.

“Our family is grateful to the president and all who worked to make this possible,” the Hammond family said in a statement.

Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, a well-known figure for his own battle over public land, welcomed the pardons, saying the Hammonds were victims of federal overreach.

“Now we’ve finally got a president of the United States who is paying attention to what is going on,” Bundy said.
Here here, Mr. Bundy.

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Federal prosecutors painted sinister portraits of the Hammonds at their trial.

Witnesses testified that a 2001 arson fire occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered deer on federal Bureau of Land Management property.

One said Steven Hammond handed out matches with instructions to “light up the whole country,” and another testified that Hammond barely escaped the roaring flames.

The fire burned 139 acres (56 hectares) of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

The jury also convicted Steven Hammond for a 2006 blaze that prosecutors said began when he started several back fires, violating a burn ban, to save his winter feed after lightning started numerous fires nearby.


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The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 called for mandatory five-year sentences for the convictions. But U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan said such a lengthy sentence “would not meet any idea I have of justice, proportionality … it would be a sentence which would shock the conscience to me.”

Good for the judge. The government was attempting to make an example out of some folks who didn’t care much for Uncle Sam. The judge recognized that and called it out.

Hogan instead sentenced Dwight Hammond to three months in prison and Steven Hammond to a year and one day. However, in October 2015, a federal appeals court ordered them to be resentenced to the mandatory prison time.

And that’s when real Americans started noticing, and becoming angry. 


 

The new sentences became a cause célèbre for those who oppose federal control of public lands, leading to the armed occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon for 41 days in 2016.

One occupier was shot dead by Oregon State Police. They say he reached for a pistol at a roadblock, though serious doubt has been cast over that narrative with the existing evidence on the ground along with the less than amiable relationship the group had enjoyed with both local and federal authorities, especially the latter.

The U.S. attorney for Oregon, Billy Williams, justified the mandatory sentences, saying they’re “intended to be long enough to deter those like the Hammonds who disregard the law and place firefighters and others in jeopardy.” Williams has been quiet about the matter since the pardons were handed down.

Cat gotcha tongue, commie?


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Dozens of armed Americans, many from out of state, occupied the refuge near the Hammond ranch to assist the family against what they saw as gross federal overreach. They changed the name of the refuge to Harney County Resource Center, reflecting their belief that the federal government has only a limited right to own property within a state.

Ammon and Ryan Bundy, two sons of Cliven Bundy, and five other defendants were acquitted in 2016 by a federal jury in Portland on charges stemming from the takeover.

In a statement today, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called the five-year sentences for the Hammonds “unjust.”

“Justice is overdue for Dwight and Steven Hammond,” she said.

Lyle Hammond, another of Dwight Hammond’s sons, said today that his father and brother have been released from a federal prison south of Los Angeles but he didn’t know their whereabouts.


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BIG PICTURE: 

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Look, the Hammonds were technically guilty of the crimes in which they were charged, just as Cliven Bundy was. They weren’t innocent men randomly arrested by the government.

However, the Hammonds and Bundys found themselves as the point men in a fight that most Americans don’t even realize has begun; the fight for the People against an overbearing government.

The original judge in the Hammond case was absolutely right to see this as a perversion of justice. His original sentence was reasonable for the crime that had been committed. But when the government stepped in to override a federal judge’s lawful sentence, they merely proved the point that the Hammonds sought to make; that Uncle Sam had become too large, aggressive and unaccountable.

Sometimes, to make a point, you have to draw outside the lines a bit. The Hammonds did that, and we’re all better for it. The fact is, tyranny is the default state of government. It’s men (and women) like those who were pardoned today who keep them in check. Without people like Cliven Bundy and Steve Hammond, the government can and will behave like it can do whatever the hell it pleases. And that’s EVERYTHING that our forefathers fought against. It’s what our Declaration of Independence and Constitution are all about.

So if I’m to be called a hypocrite on law and order, I’ll happily do so in this case.

Men such as those who were pardoned today keep us free.

Thank you for you courage, gentlemen.

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PDT VISITS THE GLOBALISTS

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Globalist, commie, pick your descriptive. When it comes to the totalitarian douchecanoes in Europe, they all apply.

Much to the chagrin of his enemies back home, PDT remains strong in his commitment to making Europe pay their fair share for their own friggin defense, while also stopping the perpetual ripoff game that our trade relations with the EU has become. Today, he continued to express frustration with trade between the U.S. and the European Union (EU), using Europe’s trade surplus with the U.S. to question our disproportionate NATO spending.

“The European Union makes it impossible for our farmers and workers and companies to do business in Europe (U.S. has a $151 Billion trade deficit), and then they want us to happily defend them through NATO, and nicely pay for it. Just doesn’t work!” he tweeted as he prepared to touch down in Brussels for the annual NATO summit.


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These complaints from PDT are nothing new, of course. Hell, they’re not even knew for the presidency, as even Barry Soetoro called Europe “freeloaders” and often remarked about how they needed to start pulling their own weight. He never did anything about it, of course, because he was Barry Soetoro and defending America wasn’t exactly his forte.
But this isn’t Barry Obama. This is Donald J. Trump, a businessman who refuses to operate at the speed and/or confinements of government. As such, he’s not taking the foot off his gas in terms of getting these bums to pony up on defense and stop taking us to the cleaners on trade. And he doesn’t care how many people cry about it.

In fact, those liberal tears make a fine lubricant for his Dim-destroying diesel engine.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT NATO SPENDING:

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When you hear folks like me groan on and on about the Euro-cooters paying their fair share, I’m not speaking from my rear end. It’s not some arbitrary figure I pulled from thin air, deemed fair and ran with. Dims and NeverTrumpers (as if there’s a difference) probably won’t tell you this, but NATO countries themselves agreed to increase their pitiful defense budgets to the levels PDT has discussed, and they did it before he ever sought the White House.
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NATO members agreed in 2014 to move toward spending at least 2% of their gross domestic product on defense by 2024 — a goal that PDT has pressed hard for them to meet almost from the second he was sworn in. The media often point to Trump’s statements regarding the NATO spending goal as dishonest because it applies to the defense of individual countries and not to spending on NATO as a whole, as PDT has suggested.
NEWSFLASH MEDIA, WHEN THE INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES OF NATO MEET THEIR DEFENSE SPENDING OBLIGATIONS, NATO AS A WHOLE GETS STRONGER. NATO IS ACTUALLY COMPRISED OF INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES. THERE IS NOT A COUNTRY CALLED “NATO.” IF INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES INCREASE THEIR DEFENSE SPENDING TO 2% APIECE, THAT WILL REMEDY THE SITUATION.
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ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH I HATE THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH. Always looking for some semantic nonsense to undermine the larger point.
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The US currently spends more than 3.5% of its GDP on defense. Among European members, only Greece, the UK and Estonia spend over 2%.

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Washington pays about 22% of Nato’s running costs – but European officials say just 15% of America’s overall defense spending happens in Europe on NATO business, as if that matters in the least damn bit. They’re essentially saying “see, you can afford to pay our tab so stop bitching.”
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How about no. Yeah, I like that strategy better. We’ll go with no. 

And about that lofty 2% goal for individual countries and defense spending? NATO’s own figures released today show just how pathetic they’ve been in meeting that goal. A whopping  24 of NATO’s 29 member countries forecast to fall below the alliance’s target  2% of GDP on defense in 2018.

For a continent that’s so deathly afraid of the big bad Putin, they sure have a funny way of showing it. So OMG RUSSIA is about to take over Europe and you can’t even pony up 2% of GDP on defense? 

Sorry, if you’re more concerned with having 3-day work weeks and a welfare state than being able to defend yourself from foreign invaders, don’t expect me to shed any tears when our president takes you to task.

I’m just thrilled to have a POTUS who will actually call them out. What a luxury, although it should be an entitlement. 

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THE PUTIN VISIT:

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Forget the fact that our POTUS is making history by actually demanding that our so-called allies do their fair share in defending the free world. No, there is a super secret meeting with Putin coming up, which means the two greatest Satans of the world will be plotting the Earth’s destruction. Thus, the media must swoop in to save us once again.

If you couldn’t detect the sarcasm in that paragraph, please log off right now and never read my work again because you’re going to have a very hard time here. 

 

The hysteria reached a fever pitch when news broke that PDT and Putin would be meeting…*gasp*….ALONE for a few minutes with nothing but translators between them. Cryin’ Chuck Schumer has wasted no time framing the narrative, which is that evil genius KGB Putin is going to take political novice Trump to the cleaners as soon as he gets him alone.

“It’s even worse for him to meet with a very, very clever, out-for-himself man like President Putin, alone. And I am very much afraid what he would give away without any advisers to keep him in check,” Schumer told his press lapdogs in the Capitol hall. 

Not long ago, I laid out exactly what would be happening between PDT and Putin. Obviously I don’t know every single thing that will be said or the reactions they will receive. There are a lot of issues in the world and the Russians are a pain in our ass for most of them, usually purposely. 

However, they are uniquely positioned to help us with a particular country, and if we can get the backseat drivers to sit down and shut up for a while, it should actually be relatively easy to accomplish. I’m not going to go into great detail as I did with my previous piece on this matter, but I’ll give you the basic gist to refresh your memories.

Basically, Russia is a glorified gas station led by a KGB guy who’s nostalgic for the old USSR. But the one thing Putin seems to care about more than the love for the old empire is money. Just check out the Panama papers. He’s got lots of it, and most of it is stolen. That’s Russian politics for ya.

However, his love of easy money and increased power within his region make him — yes, even an old seasoned KGB agent — vulnerable. 

Let’s get right to the point here. Putin has a whole lot of oil in the Arctic shelf but it’s really hard to drill. We have the technological capacity to do that for him rather easily. Additionally, the U.S. (our own country, for those of you playing at home) has drastically increased its own oil production footprint on the world stage over the last couple years, wholly thanks to the Trump administration’s energy policy. 

This gives us two very good pieces of leverage over Putin going into that meeting. First, not only can we help him drill his oil, we can ease up on sanctions so he can actually bring it to market. Secondly, we can manipulate our own supply, thus giving them a bigger piece of the overall market. These two (relatively) small measures on our part would make a world of difference to the Russian economy, not to mention Putin’s own kleptocratic pockets.

And what do we get in return? Putin drops Iran like a hot potato, leaving the Iranians fresh out of powerful friends on the world stage and with an increasingly frustrated, pro-Western population back home. 

The loss of Russia as an ally is essentially a death sentence for Iran, especially its nuke program, which we stupidly provided the uranium for thanks to the “Russian collusion” from the Obama years that our press refuses to discuss. 

We want Russia to drop Iran in exchange for economic incentives. Period. I know that’s what Trump is doing because it’s the smart thing to do. If the thought of providing Russia economic incentive in exchange for a foreign policy item offends the neo-McCarthyite Left, so be it. PDT has a free world to run and guess what, it’s not always perfect. Sometimes you have to wheel and deal with unsavory characters in order to work toward a greater good.

It’s called the real world. Trump-haters are welcomed to join it at any moment. 

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BOTTOM LINE:

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Our president is working for us on the world stage in the best way he knows how. It’s not an easy job but it has to be done. And no, he’s not delusional about who he’s dealing with.  He understands that Russia must be dealt with from a position of strength.

But guess what, so do the Europeans. You know how I know? Centuries of history that show they’ll screw us the moment we allow them. Does that offend anyone in the legacy media?

I certainly hope not. That’d be tragic. 

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MORE UNION THEFT STOPPED

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I swear, this administration gets stuff done every second of the day. That’s not butt-kissing; it’s the truth. The pace at which issues are handled within this administration is astonishing.

The Trump admin announced today that it would change Medicaid’s rules to prevent unions from automatically getting a cut of the checks sent to state-subsidized home healthcare workers.

Under the proposed new rules announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, states would be prohibited from diverting any funds away from the workers to a third party, such as unions.


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The problem with the current arrangement is that homecare workers often aren’t aware that they are members of unions or that the deductions are being made, since they usually start automatically once they enter the subsidy programs. And that’s exactly how the unions like it. Under today’s proposed rules change, providers would likely still be eligible to join unions but would have to act on their own to make the payments. No more unions automatically digging into their pockets.

“The law provides that Medicaid providers must be paid directly and cannot have part of their payments diverted to third parties outside of a few very specific exceptions,” said Tim Hill, acting Director for the Center for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program Services. “This proposed rule is intended to ensure that providers receive their complete payment, and any circumstances in which a state does divert part of a provider’s payment must be clearly allowed under the law.”

Medicaid-funded homecare subsidy programs are common in states and pay people to take care of invalids, in many cases family members. Public-sector unions have sought to represent these workers, and in at least 14 states since 2003 they were able to find friendly governors or state legislatures to pass legislation or sign executive orders declaring the workers state employees. This allowed the state, as the workers’ employer, to enter into contracts with unions to represent the workers, which in turn entitled the unions to a portion of the subsidy checks.

The homecare workers were typically recognized as state employees only for the purpose of collective bargaining, meaning they received no benefits from the state such as pensions. In a 2014 Supreme Court case, Harris v. Quinn, a 5-4 majority said the homecare workers were not public-sector employees and therefore not eligible to organize. That has not ended the practice in other states though.

It was a racket to pad union pockets, nothing more or less. And Dim lawmakers were in on the whole thing. In 2014 under the Obama administration authorized states to divert Medicaid funds to third parties, a move done to put the union dues diversions on firmer legal footing.

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BOTTOM LINE: 

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Last week the SCOTUS ruled that the unions couldn’t force people to pay dues who didn’t want to join, and now their Medicaid fraud scheme has been blown to bits.

And the best part? Despite this, PDT continues to carry the rank and file union vote in battleground states. It appears that even the union workers have caught onto the fact that what benefits the bosses doesn’t always benefit the worker. 

Mr. President, I know what you said on the campaign trail, but I have to be honest — I’m nowhere near tired of winning.

Check in with me again next week; perhaps I will have grown weary of it by then.

But I wouldn’t bet on it. 

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There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.


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