By Matt Margolis
Ever since Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders debated tax reform two years ago, I've been itching for more debates like it. Sanders was totally outmatched going up against Cruz and it was glorious to watch. Is another debate coming?
On Monday, actress/activist Alyssa Milano challenged Senator Ted Cruz to a debate "on the gun issue and many other issues that include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
It's hard to say whether she really expected him to respond to this challenge, given she followed up her challenge with the suggestion of live-streaming their discussion "so the American people can hear [his] bulls**t" firsthand. PJ Media's managing editor was so excited she declared she'd be willing to pay money to see it happen. Late Monday night, her wish came true, because Senator Cruz accepted the challenge.
Continue reading and view tweets: pjmedia.com
By Julio Rosas & Joseph Simonson
Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared to have a blood vessel burst in his left eye while participating in CNN's town hall on climate change.
A broken blood vessel in the eye, also known as a subconjuctival hemorrhage, can be caused by several things, including high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, blood thinners, or even excessive straining.
Biden, 76, has long been plagued by health issues. In 1988, he suffered an aneurysm that burst and required him to undergo emergency surgery. The then-senator was so close to death that a Catholic priest began preparing to administer the sacrament of last rites.
Months later, surgeons clipped a second aneurysm before it burst. Biden then took a seven-month leave from the Senate following the surgery. Describing the operation, he once said, “They literally had to take the top of my head off.”
Jill Biden said in her recently released autobiography Where the Light Enters that, at the time, she feared her husband would never be the same. "Our doctor told us there was a 50-50 chance Joe wouldn't survive surgery," she wrote. "He also said that it was even more likely that Joe would have permanent brain damage if he survived. And if any part of his brain would be adversely affected, it would be the area that governed speech."
Read More: washingtonexaminer.com
NEW YORK — Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition and publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even though state laws may allow it.
The announcement comes just days after a mass shooting claimed seven lives in Odessa, Texas, and follows two other back-to-back shootings last month, one of them at a Walmart store.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based discounter said on Tuesday that it will stop selling short-barrel and handgun ammunition, including .223 caliber and 5.56 caliber used in military style weapons, after it runs out of its current inventory. It will also discontinue handgun sales in Alaska, marking its complete exit from handguns and allowing it to focus on hunting rifles and ammunition for those rifles only.
“We have a long heritage as a company of serving responsible hunters and sportsmen and women, and we’re going to continue doing so,” according to a memo by Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillon that will be circulated to employees Tuesday afternoon.
Walmart is further requesting that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms at its stores unless they are law enforcement officers. Last month, a gunman entered a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, and killed 22 people using an AK-style firearm. Walmart already bans the sale of those firearms. Texas became an open carry state in 2016, allowing people to openly carry firearms in public.
Walmart’s latest move will reduce its market share of ammunition from about 20 percent to about 6 percent to 9 percent, according to the company memo. About half of its more than 4,000 U.S. stores sell firearms.
The nation’s largest retailer has been facing increasing pressure to change its gun policies by gun control activists, employees and politicians after the El Paso shooting and a second unrelated shooting in Dayton, Ohio, in which nine people were killed. A few days before that, two Walmart workers were killed by another worker at a store in Southaven, Mississippi.
In the aftermath of the El Paso shooting, Walmart ordered workers to remove video game signs and displays that depict violence from stores nationwide. But that fell well short of demands for the retailer to stop selling firearms entirely. Critics have also urged Walmart to stop supporting politicians backed by the National Rifle Association.
The retailer has long found itself in an awkward spot with its customers and gun enthusiasts. Many of its stores are located in rural areas where hunters depend on Walmart to get their equipment. Walmart is trying to walk a fine line by trying to embrace its hunting heritage while being a more responsible retailer.
With its new policy on open carry, McMillon noted in his memo that individuals have tried to make a statement by carrying weapons into its stores just to frighten workers and customers. But there are well-intentioned customers acting lawfully who have also inadvertently caused a store to be evacuated and local law enforcement to be called to respond.
He said Walmart will continue to treat “law-abiding customers with respect” and it will have a “non-confrontational approach.”
Walmart said it hopes to use its weight to help other retailers by sharing its best practices like software that it uses for background checks. And the company, which in 2015 stopped selling assault rifles like the AR-rifles used in several mass shootings, urged more debate on the reauthorization of the assault weapons ban. McMillon said Walmart will send letters to the White House and congressional leadership that calls for action on these “common sense” measures.
“In a complex situation lacking a simple solution, we are trying to take constructive steps to reduce the risk that events like these will happen again,” McMillon wrote in his memo. “The status quo is unacceptable.”
Over the past 15 years, Walmart had expanded beyond its hunting and fishing roots, carrying items like assault rifles in response to increasing demand. But particularly since 2015, often coinciding with major public mass shootings, the company has made moves to curb the sale of ammunition and guns.
Walmart announced in February 2018 that it would no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 and also removed items resembling assault-style rifles from its website. Those moves were prompted by the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed.
In 2015, Walmart stopped selling semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 style rifle, the type used in the Dayton shooting. The retailer also doesn’t sell large-capacity magazines, handguns (except in Alaska) or bump stocks, nor the AK-style firearm that was used by the El Paso shooter.
In the mid-1990s, Walmart stopped selling handguns except in Alaska.
By Tyler Durden
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam is in full damage control mode after Reuters reported leaked audio from a closed-door meeting in which she said she would resign over the ongoing political crisis in the city.
"If I have a choice ... the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology," Lam said during the private gathering, adding that her ability to resolve the crisis is now "very limited."
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of the former British colony since mid-June in sometimes violent protests against now-suspended draft legislation that could have seen people sent to mainland China for trial in Communist Party controlled courts.
Lam told business leaders last week that she had caused “unforgivable havoc” by introducing the bill and that if she had a choice she would apologize and resign, according to a leaked audio recording. -Reuters
Speaking on Tuesday in a televised news conference, Lam said that she "never tendered any resignation," however she did not deny the authenticity of the recording.
"I have not even contemplated discussing a resignation with the central people’s government. The choice of resigning, it’s my own choice," she said, adding "I told myself repeatedly in the last three months that I and my team should stay on to help Hong Kong ... That’s why I said that I have not given myself the choice to take an easier path and that is to leave."
Lam said that she was disappointed that comments she made while sharing the "journey of my heart" had been leaked.
At a news conference given by China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office in Beijing, no questions were raised directly about the Lam tape, and a spokesman and spokeswoman did not refer to it or the Reuters story.
They denounced the violence and Western countries seeking to use the Hong Kong issue to interfere in China’s affairs, and reiterated that China would never tolerate Hong Kong independence or a leader who was not loyal to Beijing. -Reuters
So far, Beijing has firmly supported Lam and her government over anti-government unrest - but has made clear that they will not stand by forever if the violent protests over a controversial extradition bill and other grievances continue, according to spokeswoman Xu Luying.
"The central government will not allow chaos in Hong Kong to continue indefinitely," she said.
"If the situation in Hong Kong continues to worsen and it becomes turmoil that cannot be controlled by the SAR government and endangers the country’s sovereignty and security, the central government will not sit idly by."
China's communist news outlet, the People's Daily, denounced Reuters - who they said were spreading fake news.
"Reuters and other Western media have been entangled in the fake news that ‘Carrie Lam’s resignation has not been approved’ for some time, a serious infringement of the bottom line of professional ethics," the outlet said in an editorial. "They are not objectively reporting facts."
By Andrew West
There is no denying that our nation is in the grips of a political melee the likes of which we have never seen before.
The election of Donald Trump was the catalyst for the radical left’s recent turn toward outright violence, with many liberal voters suddenly finding themselves at odds with their friends, family, and neighbors. His ascension marks a major schism in American politics thanks to Trump’s undeniable outsider status in Washington DC, and has riled the democratic base in unbelievable ways.
In cities such as Portland, Oregon, a far-left domestic terror group known as Antifa have become the poster child for such unrest.
During a conversation with Breitbart News’s James Delingpole, political commentator Andy Ngo offered some of his thoughts on the ideology behind Antifa’s violence. Ngo claims that Antifa, which believes that America is currently living under the fascistic dictatorship of President Donald Trump, wants to catapult society into a civil war.
“There is a symbiotic relationship between extreme anarchists and hardcore communists. And the violence they do on the street is towards furthering their war. They are actually trying to agitate for a revolution. So from the outside is may seem like stupid street violence and vandalism but they really believe that we are living in the latter days of fascism,” Ngo said. “The conflict is going to happen in the future by bringing these brutal forms of violence, either against the state, individuals, or property. Instead of inching closer and closer to that final, climatic battle, it’s going to make us run quicker there.”
Ngo has been one for the most outspoken critics of Antifa, despite the threat of being deliberately targeted by the group again in the future.
By Iain Marlow, Natalie Lung, and Annie Lee
Hong Kong police arrested prominent opposition figures including Joshua Wong -- and warned other protesters could share their fate at illegal demonstrations this weekend -- raising tensions as authorities seek to quell pro-democracy demonstrations that have raged for almost three months.
The 22-year-old Wong, who was scheduled to speak about the protests in the U.S. next month, was among well-known pro-democracy activists arrested by police on Thursday and Friday. Those arrested included Wong’s fellow leader of 2014 Occupy protests, Agnes Chow; independence advocate Andy Chan; and District Councilor Rick Hui.
Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow arrive at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court in a police vehicle on Aug. 30.
Police said more than 20 people were arrested since Thursday, and warned at a briefinhowg Friday that others could be charged if they take part in protests without official approval. A colonial statute passed during a wave of deadly riots in the 1960s allows authorities to the power to imprison those who participate in unlawful assemblies for as long as five years and more than 900 have been arrested on a variety of charges since June.
The arrests were part of a broader push back against the largely leaderless protest movement, which flared up in June over now-suspended legislation allowing extraditions to China before widening into a broader push for more democracy. The Civil Human Rights Front -- the organizer of the biggest recent demonstrations -- said Friday it was forced to cancel a rally planned for Saturday after police withheld approval.
The crisis in the former British colony threatens to distract from Chinese President Xi Jinping’s celebrations of 70 years of Communist Party rule on Oct. 1, which will highlight the country’s rebound from imperialism, war and inner turmoil. Hong Kong’s embattled chief executive, Carrie Lam, earlier this week called for a dialogue with the opposition, while refusing to rule out invoking a sweeping colonial-era law that allows for easier arrests, deportations, censorship and property seizures.
“We still keep on our fight and we shall not surrender,” Wong told reporters as he and Chow emerged from court after being released on bail on charges related by unlawful assembly. “I urge the international community to send a message to President Xi, sending troops or using emergency ordinance is not the way out.”
The summer’s political unrest has been the worst since the city’s return to Chinese rule in 1997, with demonstrations that have resulted in often-violent clashes between protesters and police. Political observers said the moves ran the risk of drawing more people into the streets for unauthorized rallies, which can more easily get out of hand.
“Such actions are tantamount to inciting trouble at a time when the government is talking about dialogue and trying to lower the temperature,” said Kevin Yam, a political commentator and member of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Progressive Lawyers Group. “You can’t on the one hand say, ‘Let’s lower the temperature, let’s talk, let’s make nice,’ and on the other hand do something like this.”
Ronny Tong, a member of Lam’s advisory Executive Council, acknowledged that “the timing could have been better,” said said he had faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law and the police.
“The most important thing is that Hong Kong is a place where the rule of law still is alive and kicking,” Tong said. “We have a very able and independent judiciary. And the police know that. They know that unless they have a reasonable chance of a conviction, they would not try to arrest somebody at random only to give out a political message.”
Separately, Reuters reported Chinese authorities had earlier this month rejected a Hong Kong government proposal to formally withdraw extradition legislation that sparked the protests. The bill’s withdrawal and an independent inquiry into the unrest were seen as the most feasible compromises, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed senior Hong Kong government official.
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. warned employees not to take part in a general strike planned for next week, after the airline’s chief executive, Rupert Hogg, stepped down to take responsibility for the uproar over airline staff’s participation in earlier actions. Two other organizers of recent protests, including CHRF leader Jimmy Sham and Max Chung, were attacked Thursday in the latest of several reported incidents of mob violence against activists.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen -- who has helped resuscitate her re-election prospects by criticizing Beijing’s handling of the protests -- was among the first officials to express concern about the arrests. She called on authorities to comply with their promises of democracy, freedom and human rights to the city’s people, according to a statement from her office.
While the three arrested activists are among Hong Kong’s most prominent opposition voices --- Wong was the subjectof a Netflix documentary titled “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” -- none was seen as a central figure in the recent protests. The decentralized movement relies on social media apps and chat rooms to propose and revise protest plans on the fly.
Still, Wong has come under scrutiny for his meetings with U.S. officials, with China’s foreign ministry singling out one particular meeting with a U.S. diplomat. Wong was also planning to travel to the U.S. in September to speak out against what he described as authorities’ plans to establish “martial law” ahead of the National Day holiday.
The latest charges against Wong resulted from his role in a June 21 rally, in which he encouraged demonstrators to surround the police headquarters complex in Wan Chai, days after his release from jail on separate protest-related charges. Chan, the pro-independence founder of the banned Hong Kong National Party, said in a post on his personal Facebook page that he was stopped at the city’s airport departures area on Thursday night.
“They’re trying to plant a seed of fear in people’s minds, so that people will stop from attending protests, either the one tomorrow or ones in the future,” said Alvin Yeung, a pro-democracy lawmaker. “But my judgment is they won’t succeed, because Hong Kong people are very brave.”
This 1976 report makes it clear that the US Government has understood the genocidal and ecocidal dangers of electromagnetic radiation including 5G, from day one.
If President Trump does not forbid the use of 5G in the USA (as both Israel and Russia have) he will not be re-elected in 2020. This is a cross-over issue, as are his failure to defend the Constitution (especially 1st, 2nd, and 4th Amendments); his continued servitude to Zionist Israel; and his failure to unrig the system by embracing #UNRIG.
Documents & Links Below the Fold
By Holly Otterbein
The famous curmudgeon shows his emotional side.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Bernie Sanders is getting warm and fuzzy.
The Democratic presidential candidate who wouldn’t be caught dead kissing babies or flipping burgers at state fairs has figured out a way to engage in retail politics on his own terms — and there’s evidence it might be working.
Over the past month, Sanders has held a series of small, share-your-pain town halls and other events, in which he’s asked voters to respond to prompts such as “Talk about your health care experience" and "Anybody in the room trying to make it on less than $15" an hour? People have told wrenching tales of not being able to afford treatment for PTSD after surviving a mass shooting, losing their home, and their boyfriend killing himself after being kicked off Medicaid, as the candidate offers sympathy and encouragement. At times, Sanders has cut himself off during a talk or ditched a planned speech to segue into a conversation with voters.
“How do you do well in school if you can’t hear what your professors are saying?” Sanders said at one event after a 19-year-old college student discussed having to pay more than $5,000 for a hearing aid. “And this is a story we hear a hundred times."
The emphasis on intimate, personal interactions with voters is a departure from the early days of Sanders’ 2020 campaign, when he often spoke uninterrupted for long periods of time at large rallies. When he held smaller town halls, Sanders would sometimes take a few questions from the audience and be done.
The more emotive style of campaigning — emotive for Sanders, at least — coincides with a small polling upswing for him after he stalled in some surveys in the early summer months. The Vermont senator had notably slipped in a handful of polls of the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, where retail politics is paramount.
“He does retail, it’s fair to say, in his own way,” Faiz Shakir, Sanders’ campaign manager, said after a Q&A with rallygoers in Iowa this month. “Particularly when you’re campaigning and winning votes in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina and Nevada, it’s critical that he hears people and they hear him. It is truly a conversation.”
Though Sanders began holding smaller town halls and events months ago, his aides said he started making them more participatory at the beginning of August. The new format was on display during his 10-stop, three-day swing in Iowa last week. For instance, he was delivering his stump speech for about 15 minutes at a rally at his campaign office in Sioux City, Iowa — and then stopped.
“Let me take a break here and ask some of you a question,” he said. “I want people to tell me, if they could, tell me what they’re paying for health care right now. Anyone want to volunteer that?”
All across the room, hands shot up. “I just got hit by a car,” one man said, adding that he owes $4,000 for the trip to the ER and lives on money from Social Security. “I got rejected from Medicaid,” a woman said, adding she has paid more than $5,000 so far this year in out-of-pocket expenses.
Sanders’ advisers said they understand that campaigning with a personal touch is critical in early caucus and primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire. But it isn’t always easy to persuade Sanders to put that knowledge into practice: For years, he had resisted his aides’ advice to tell his personal story on the stump. Then he relented this winter and placed his biography at the center of his kickoff rallies, only to largely let it recede after his launch.
In recent months, though, Sanders has increasingly participated in “selfie lines,” a practice Elizabeth Warren popularized. He took photos with supporters at almost every stop in Iowa last week, including at several events with actress Susan Sarandon, one of his most high-profile surrogates, and her dog, Penny.
Dave Johnson, a former Iowa city councilor who has endorsed Sanders, said it's critical for presidential candidates to engage in retail politics in his state because the hourslong caucuses are so demanding.
“With a caucus, it’s very important that your supporters are enthusiastic. Because unlike a primary, it’s not a 10-minute process where you go in and you vote and you leave,” Johnson said as Sanders snapped pictures with fans in his backyard after an ice cream social. “When people get photos with him or even donate $5 to him, it’s like an investment into this idea, this political revolution. It’s theirs now, and they’re much more likely to come out and caucus because of it.”
Sanders has especially high expectations in Iowa: He came within nearly a third of a percentage point of defeating Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016, and caucuses have a reputation of favoring liberal candidates. But many Democratic activists and operatives have named Warren’s Iowa team as the most organized, and Joe Biden has hired the biggest staff.
Sanders has spent six days in Iowa in August, more days than in any other state this month. While Sanders fell to fourth place in Iowa in Monmouth University and USA Today/Suffolk University surveys this summer, he's polling better in New Hampshire and South Carolina. Sanders’ team said it has nine campaign offices open in Iowa, with three more on the way by the end of September, and employs 51 staffers in the state, with plans to hire at least another 25 soon.
On the trail in Iowa last week, Sanders opened up in other ways: He took questions from reporters twice, something he rarely does. He brought his wife, grandson and son to a softball game between his campaign and members of the media. When his staff told reporters to give him some space while he was practicing before the game, he said, “You guys want to stay, they can stay.”
Sanders’ aides said his intimate town halls have helped them recruit more volunteers in Iowa and other states. They’ve also spread his message that the nation’s health care industry is failing and workers are suffering through the mouths of everyday voters. His social media team often quickly clips the interactions and shares them on social media.
Unlike some other parts of campaigning, Sanders’ aides also said he enjoys hearing the life stories of working-class Americans — and is energized by them.
"We’ll get in the car and he’ll tell me, ‘Did you hear that one? Did you hear this one?’" Shakir said. "They stick with him."
By Marianne Levine and Burgess Everett
Tensions between Russia and the Senate are rising despite President Donald Trump's latest outreach to Moscow, with the Kremlin barring senators in both parties from visiting and Democrats urging Trump to keep Russia out of the G-7.
Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), both members of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Russia denied their visas as part of a congressional delegation. A third senator, Republican Mike Lee of Utah, is planning to travel to Russia next week but hasn't had his visa granted or denied yet, a spokesman said Tuesday afternoon.
Those revelations were quickly followed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats arguing to Trump that “under no circumstances” should Putin be allowed to take part in the meeting of the leaders of major industrial nations. In 2014, Russia was expelled from the organization, then known as the Group of Eight, after illegally annexing Crimea.
Murphy warned in a statement Tuesday morning that denying visas to members of Congress could further stymie dialogue between the United States and Russia. He emphasized that it’s in the world’s best interest to prevent conflict between the two countries.
“Unfortunately, the Russian government is further isolating their country by blocking our visit and several others in recent months,” Murphy said. “ With the collapse of recent arms control agreements and significant domestic opposition to Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, this is potentially a perilous moment for our two nations’ fragile relationship.”
Lee is scheduled to meet with outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, Jr., in Moscow next week, Lee's spokesman said. Huntsman is a former governor of Utah.
Russia's barring senators and Schumer's letter, taken together, heighten the already fraught relationship between Congress and Putin even as Trump pushed for Putin's inclusion into the G-7.
"The state of affairs is very poor," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who said he'd never applied for a visa.
The Russia hawk didn't rule out the possibility of Russia joining the G8 given the country's nuclear arsenal and place on the United Nations Security Council, but questioned whether Putin had done anything to change his country's behavior.
"We can’t ignore Russia or stop dealing with them but we should do so with clear eyes. But it’s something we need to talk to other members states as well," he told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday. "I don’t know about what the rationale is about now, none of the behavior that got them kicked out of the G8 has changed."
Johnson also said Monday evening that he too was denied entry to the country; the Wisconsin senator was part of a Republican delegation that visited last summer.
On Monday night, Johnson criticized Putin, including for failing to hold free and fair elections, supporting Syria and annexing Crimea.
Johnson said that while he hoped that he could work with Huntsman to improve the United States’ relationship with Russia, “Russian officials continue to play diplomatic games with this sincere effort and have denied [him] entrance to Russia.”
The Wisconsin Republican, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, has pushed and co-sponsored legislation to get tough on Russia for its actions in Ukraine but votedagainst keeping some sanctions on Russia earlier this year.
In 2015, Russia banned several members of Congress, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was then chairman of the Armed Services Committee, from entering the country. McCain had supported sanctions against the country for invading Crimea.
The denial of visas to the senators highlights an ongoing conflict between members of the Senate and the White House when it comes the United States’ relationship with Russia.
Trump said on Monday his “inclination is to say yes, [Russia] should be in” the G-7, again rattling U.S. beliefs that the country should remain on the sidelines of the international group. Trump said there were discussions in France about the matter and that he found agreement that “having them inside the room is better than having them outside the room.”
In the letter to the president, Schumer and other Democratic leaders argued that is misguided because “Russia does not currently possess the democratic institutions nor the economic capacity to rejoin the group.”
The Democrats argued that since its expulsion, Russia has done little to prove itss worth by meddling in U.S. elections, supporting the states of Syria and Venezuela, and stifling political debate in Russia.
“For these reasons, under no circumstances should President Putin be invited to participate in the G-7 until the Russian government undertakes demonstrable actions to show its willingness to behave responsibly both domestically and abroad,” they wrote. “Readmitting Putin’s Russia to the G-7 would be contrary to our values and a clear abdication of the United States’ responsibilities as the world’s leading democracy.”
The letter was also signed by Sens. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Bob Menendez of New Jersey, who lead Democrats on key national security committees.