News and Headlines. 1/08/2020

News and Headlines: In The News, Politics, World News, Commentary/Opinion.

In The News:

Court blocks Trump push to restrict green cards for welfare-tapping immigrants

A federal appeals court on Wednesday declined to lift an injunction on the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule that would restrict green cards for immigrants deemed likely to be reliant on welfare.

A nationwide injunction that stopped the rule from taking effect was imposed by a federal judge in New York in October.

The Trump administration appealed, but the panel of the Second Court of Appeals declined to lift it ahead of a briefing on the merits which is set to wrap up in February and be followed by oral arguments in March.

Critics said the rule would have a chilling effect on immigrants who need assistance but do not want to exclude themselves from eventual permanent residency.

But supporters of the rule say that it is a key tool in making sure America encourages immigrants who are able to support themselves without relying on the taxpayer.

4 Chinese Nationals Have Now Been Arrested For Taking Photos at Florida Navy Base

(KEY WEST, Fla.) — Two more Chinese nationals have been arrested for illegally taking photographs at a Florida Navy base, court records show.

The arrests over the weekend of Yuhao Wang and Jielun Zhang bring to four the number of Chinese people charged recently with snapping pictures at the Naval Air Station in Key West, Florida.

An FBI affidavit says Wang and Zhang drove up to an air station annex entrance and were told by a security officer they could not enter the property without military identification.

The FBI says the pair drove onto the base anyway and were apprehended by authorities about 30 minutes later after taking photos of structures on the base.

Mexico Confirms: New Migrant Caravan Bound for U.S

Mexico’s Interior Secretary, Olga Sanchez Cordero, confirmed the formation of a United States-bound migrant caravan commencing in Honduras. The caravan is slated to leave the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula by mid-January.

Rumors of the caravan forming began appearing on social media last month.

According to the Secretary of the Interior, the government of Mexico is preparing for the arrival of the Central American caravan. Social programs and other forms of assistance will be readily available for migrants in southern Mexico.

During a press conference, Sanchez Cordero said, “The government of Mexico is very open to being a country of asylum and to migrants who want to stay and work, to obtain resident status, a job, and those who seek to join a social program that we generally provide to Mexicans, are welcome.

Those who only want to use Mexico as a transit country are not welcome.”

Gunman in ‘Fast and Furious’ border killing sentenced to life in prison

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, left, has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona in 2010.
Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, left, has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona in 2010.

Heraclio Osorio-Arellanes, who was convicted of first-degree murder and other charges last year following his extradition from Mexico in 2018, was given the life sentence after U.S. District Judge David C. Bury heard tearful statement’s from Terry’s sisters. Osorio-Arellanes is one of seven defendants charged in Terry’s 2010 slaying in Arizona.

The agent’s death exposed Operation Fast and Furious, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operation in which the federal government allowed criminals to buy guns in Phoenix-area shops with the intention of tracking them once they made their way into Mexico.

The Obama administration was heavily criticized for the operation. Former Attorney General Eric Holder also was held in contempt by Congress for refusing to turn over documents related to the sting.

Judge’s nephew found unconscious Sunday at Milwaukee County Jail has died

Nicholas Stadtmueller (Photo: Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office)

The Milwaukee County Jail inmate found unconscious in his cell Sunday has died.

Nicholas Stadtmueller, 34, died Tuesday afternoon at Froedtert Hospital, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

Stadtmueller was discovered by guards with a ligature around his neck and taken to the hospital.

The sheriff’s office disclosed the incident Monday, and on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller recused himself from a pending civil rights case over a 2016 death in the jail because he is Nicholas’ uncle and godfather.

Stadtmueller’s order in the pending case said his nephew was awaiting extradition to New York for a case involving prescription drugs.

FHP troopers find $1.2 million of cocaine in Florida woman’s car

Elizabeth Espinoza, 27 of Ruskin, was arrested Tuesday after Florida Highway Patrol Troopers found $1.2 million of cocaine in her vehicle. (Sumter County Sheriff’s Office)

Troopers pulled over 27-year-old Elizabeth Espinoza on Tuesday afternoon after observing illegal window tint on her vehicle on Interstate 75 southbound.

Troopers noticed she was acting exceedingly nervous, which stood out because of the innocuous nature of the stop.

In response troopers summoned a K-9 unit to search the vehicle that alerted them to the enormous secret within the dashboard and the rear of the car.

Lara Logan predicts future Iran actions against US: ‘Persians never forget

Appearing on “Outnumbered” with hosts Harris Faulkner and Melissa Francis, “One Lucky Guy” Guy Benson, and former Deputy National Security Adviser KT McFarland, Logan said that she “would be stunned if this was the end of Iran’s escalation.”

Logan, the host of Fox Nation’s “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” told the “Outnumbered” couch that one of the most significant aspects of Tuesday’s action by Iran is that the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “put his face on it.”

“I’m a big fan of never underestimating anybody, and the Iranians are the masters of this game, right? They really are the masters.

They have the ability to back every horse in the race,” she said.

“They are not held accountable to the same kind of standards that the U.S. expects of its leaders.”

Woman on her way to NYC gym class punched by stranger, knocking out teeth

A woman walking to a gym class in the West Village was punched without warning by a stranger Wednesday, knocking out two of her teeth, officials said.

The 23-year-old victim, who lives on the Upper West Side, was walloped on W. Houston St. near Sullivan St. about 6:20 a.m., cops said.

She told police her attacker stormed up on her rambling incoherently and punched her in the face before running off, cops said.

Army, Selective Service caution against draft rumors, fraudulent texts

U.S. Army Recruiting Command and Selective Service say rumors of an upcoming draft are false -- and that texts informing the recipient of draft selection are fraudulent.
U.S. Army Recruiting Command and Selective Service say rumors of an upcoming draft are false — and that texts informing the recipient of draft selection are fraudulent. Photo via U.S. Army Recruiting Command

Jan. 8 (UPI) — United States Army Recruiting Command and Selective Service have cautioned the public not to heed rumors of an upcoming military draft — or text messages claiming the recipient has been selected for a draft.

In a press release, U.S. Army Recruiting Command said the office has received “multiple calls and emails” about text messages informing individuals they have been selected for the military draft.

Those texts are false and do not originate with Recruiting Command or any other part of the Army, the statement said.

Soaking rain, high winds to roar across Midwest, Northeast

A far-reaching storm will impact much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation with an array of impacts ranging from record warmth ahead of the storm, a severe weather outbreak, a treacherous mix of snow and ice and a wind-driven rain that will drench the Midwest into portions of the Northeast this weekend.

As a storm develops over the southern Plains on Friday and travels northeastward this weekend, copious amounts of moisture will be drawn northward from the Gulf of Mexico and deposited in the form of heavy rain.

“While rain will begin in parts of the Mississippi Valley prior to Friday, the rain is forecast to really ramp up Friday night to Saturday morning from eastern Texas to southern Michigan,” Courtney Travis, AccuWeather forecaster, said.

Stocks Jump to All Time Highs After Trump’s Iran Speech


Oil prices dropped by more than 4 percent as the president’s remarks reassured traders that tensions with Iran would not escalate further.

President Trump’s remarks went even further than many investors expected, not only declaring that there would be no further military escalation but also saying that the U.S. wishes Iran a peaceful and prosperous future.

San Francisco small business owner struggles to run a store where customers can steal with virtual impunity

(Fox News Video)Commentary/Opinion: American Dystopia, Part 2: Under San Francisco’s radical prosecutors, law and order has been suspended.

California law loophole leads to car theft crisis that leaves tourists in the crosshairs

A person burglarizes a vehicle in broad daylight and is caught on video at La Jolla and Melrose avenues in Los Angeles. (LAPD)

“It’s ridiculous that under current law you can have a video of someone bashing out a car window, but if you can’t prove that the door is locked you may not be able to get an auto burglary conviction,” Democratic state senator Scott Wiener, who proposed changing the law but got pushback for the second year in a row, told the Los Angeles Times in December.

According to a tracker published by the San Francisco Chronicle, an average of 66 “smash-and-grab” car thefts were reported each day in San Francisco in December. Many more go unreported.

Wiener stressed that many of the victims of car theft are tourists who have no way of returning to testify that their car doors were, in fact, locked.

Special-ed teacher, 23, avoids a 10-year prison sentence after she pleaded guilty to having sex with two students under the age of 19

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Bates, who also coached volleyball at the school, pleaded guilty to sexting and having sexual contact with two students who were both at least 16 years old.

Bates avoided a 10-year sentence after taking the plea deal and was instead sentenced to time served, plus three years of probation, according to

In order to completely avoid prison time, she must complete her probation.

Bates will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

California Cities and State Regulators Are Coming for Your Gas-Powered Leaf Blower


Some 60 cities in the Golden state have already passed bans or restrictions on gas-powered landscaping equipment.

Now the California Air Resources Board (CARB)—which regulates emissions in the state—is crafting long-term plans to phase them out statewide, according to reporting from the San Francisco Chronicle.

CARB will lower the allowable amount of emissions these machines can produce this year, with an eye toward zeroing out all such emissions by 2022.

Other local governments have been less patient, passing or proposing immediate bans that have Earth-saving potential.

Illegal immigrants rescued at border wall in California after ‘precarious situation’

Three people were stuck on top of the new border wall around midnight on Sunday in San Diego.
Three people were stuck on top of the new border wall around midnight on Sunday in San Diego. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release said that around midnight Sunday, agents on patrol saw three people perched on top of the wall near Otay Mesa.

The three, a man and two women, attempted to enter the U.S. illegally in dense fog by climbing the San Diego Sector’s new 30-foot, steel bollard wall before getting stuck, according to officials.

“These three were very fortunate to not have fallen from the top of the wall, which could have resulted in serious injury or death,” CBP San Diego Sector’s Acting Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a statement.

“These dangers are not important considerations to smugglers, who place an emphasis on profits over safety.”

President Trump Addresses The Nation After Iran Missile Attack

January 8, 2019: President Donald Trump addresses the nation after an Iranian missile strike on U.S. military bases in Iraq.


Warren: U.S. Will Build No New Houses or Buildings Unless Carbon Neutral

Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) said Wednesday that her administration would mandate that any new buildings built from 2028 onwards must be carbon neutral.

“What scares me is every time you go back to the scientists, they tell you two things. It’s worse than we thought and we have less time,” Warren said during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

“That means we’ve got to be willing to do things, for example, like regulation. By 2028, no new buildings, no new houses, without a zero carbon footprint.”

Warren also backed regulation that would make light-duty trucks and cars carbon neutral by 2030, and all electricity production carbon neutral by 2035.

WaPo Fact Checker Gives Biden ‘Three Pinocchios’ for Bin Laden Claims

Getty Images

The Post‘s fact checker concludes that Biden’s story about the bin Laden raid “has evolved over time.”

He says that personal testimony—both Biden’s own and that of eyewitnesses in the room—maintains Biden opposed going after bin Laden at the time.

The rating was prompted by Biden’s interview on Friday with Fox News’s Peter Doocy, who asked the former vice president, “Didn’t you tell President Obama ‘don’t go’ after bin Laden that day?”

Virginia’s new Democratic Assembly convenes to begin ambitious agenda

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam outlined plans for the state's Democratic-controlled legislatures on Tuesday in Richmond.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam outlined plans for the state’s Democratic-controlled legislatures on Tuesday in Richmond. Photo courtesy Virginia Governor’s Office

The ambitious plans unveiled in Richmond Tuesday by Gov. Ralph Northam suggest Virginia could be the focus of national attention prior to the 2020 elections.

Lawmakers say they have a mandate to make numerous changes to laws regarding gun control, voting rights, the environment and LGBT issues.

Democrats said they plan to introduce legislation for universal background checks for firearms purchases, a ban on assault-style rifles and a “red flag” law to remove weapons from those regarded as harmful to themselves or others.

The gun issue is expected to be the most contentious on the Virginia Assembly’s agenda.

It also intends to roll back restrictions on abortion passed in the previous legislative session.

Other bills on the agenda aim to extend absentee voting and allow same-day voter registration, increase state environmental protections and loosen restrictions on renewable energy projects,

Kinzinger on Soleimani intel: ‘Most revealing classified brief’

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, House Foreign Affairs Committee, reacts to the Iran briefing by saying he is “convinced even more than ever” that Trump made the right move by killing Soleimani.

Democratic senators break with Pelosi on withholding articles of impeachment

Washington — Some Senate Democrats are beginning to question the wisdom of the House continuing to withhold the articles of impeachment against President Trump from the Senate and delaying the trial in the upper chamber.

“We are reaching a point where articles of impeachment should be sent and we should have votes on whether witnesses will be called,” Senator Richard Blumenthal told reporters Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, also questioned Pelosi’s reasoning.

“If we’re going to do it, [Pelosi] should send them over,” the California Democrat said, according to Bloomberg News reporter Laura Litvan. “I don’t see what good delay does.”

Senators Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Joe Manchin of West Virginia told The Washington Post on Tuesday that they were ready for the House to deliver the articles.

Census data suggests New York likely to lose at least one congressional seat

Times Square and 42nd Street in New York City.Stuart Monk /

New York is among eight states expected to lose at least one congressional seat after the 2020 Census count, the Electronic Data Service (EDS) projects.

Other states expected to lose a congressional seat due to population losses or stagnancy are California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia, according to the report.

“Estimates show that now 15 states will be impacted by changes in their congressional delegation if these new [census] numbers were used for apportionment today,” the EDS report states.

States expected to gain congressional seats include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon and Texas.

3 Proofs Pete Buttigieg Is No Moderate

Commentary/Opinion: In recent weeks, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has enjoyed a boomlet in polls for the Democratic presidential nomination, helped in no small part by fawning press coverage.

Politico and others have examined the candidate and his supposedly “moderate” message.

Rhetoric aside, however, the substance of Buttigieg’s policy plans seem anything but moderate.

On multiple issues, Pete has embraced positions far to the left of anything Hillary Clinton dared endorse in her campaign four years ago, and which seem “moderate” only in comparison to the socialist delusions of candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

  1. Big Tax Increases on the Middle Class:

World News:

Trump to Europe: Iran Attack Means You Must Step Up

Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty

Though the U.S. abandoned the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, and imposed sanctions on Iran, the regime has been kept afloat thanks to economic and diplomatic support from Europe.

While announcing that the U.S. would refrain from retaliating for Tuesday night’s missile strike against two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops, in which there were no American casualties,

Trump made it clear Iran had crossed a red line that required Europe and NATO to respond.

Trump said (emphasis added):

Europe, Turkey and Russia launch efforts to avoid Libya all-out war

Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for a ceasefire in a summit in Ankara on Wednesday. Photograph: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin – who have each backed opposing sides in the Libyan conflict – together called for a ceasefire by midnight on 12 January.

At the same time, the Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, hosted the two warring leaders – Fayez al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), based in Tripoli, and General Khalifa Haftar, the leader of the eastern military forces – in a summit in Rome.

But it appeared the initiative was running into difficulties even before it had begun: late on Wednesday it was reported that Sarraj refused to meet Conte because the Italian prime minister had previously met his rival, Haftar.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin – who have each backed opposing sides in the Libyan conflict – together called for a ceasefire by midnight on 12 January.

Turkey recently announced it was sending military advisers to support the GNA while Russian mercenaries have been fighting on behalf of Haftar.


‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’ Explains Why Trump’s Impeachment Is A Sham

Sexual predators and their enablers are the most lurid examples of the corruption ordinary people see in our culture’s most powerful people.

But of course, corruption isn’t limited to sex crime and its perpetrators. Plenty of grifters, hacks, cowards, and so on hold prominent positions in newsrooms, classrooms, boardrooms, and even churches.

Not even sports are safe from elites failing their basic duties, as seen in instances from Penn State’s child sex-abuse scandal to the NBA’s obsequiousness to communist China.

As for government, even as the House pressed forward with impeachment, it was confirmed that the FBI acted as partisan bunglers in going after Trump, and the Pentagon has been lying for years about America’s chances of success in Afghanistan.

Unsurprisingly, trust in almost every authority and institution has declined.

The popularity of the “Epstein didn’t kill himself” meme is, as Michael Brendan Dougherty notes, due to what it implicitly communicates, which is:

“I think our leadership class and our institutions are capable of every corruption and depravity.”