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Europe’s ‘Axis of the Willing’ attempts to seal the borders

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I realize it can be hard to keep an eye on events in Europe these days, what with all of the drama playing out in the United States and across the Pacific, but there are some major events unfolding across the pond which could lead to a serious shakeup in the EU power structure right now. The latest round of unrest was significantly exacerbated earlier this week when Italy decided to turn away a ship carrying hundreds of refugees. That happened at the same time that Angela Merkel was facing a serious challenge to her open border policies from her own Interior Minister. Emmanuel Macron got in on the action, calling Italy’s decision “sickening.”

Now, in what appears to be a showdown between the open and closed border camps, officials from Austria and Italy have joined with Germany’s Interior Minister to form what they’re referring to as an Axis of the Willing, which seeks to secure their nation’s borders and curb the flow of migrants. This is leading to something of a crisis of leadership in several countries and things are only heating up further now. (Daily Mail)

The hardline interior ministers of Austria, Germany and Italy have formed an ‘axis of the willing’ to combat illegal immigration, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Wednesday, escalating a Europe-wide row over the issue.

The announcement by Kurz in Berlin after talks with German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer marks a shot across the bow at Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is trying to pull together a deal for EU cooperation on placing asylum seekers.

Seehofer – who is locked in an open migration feud with Merkel that is threatening the stability of her coalition government – said that he and his far-right Austrian and Italian counterparts, Herbert Kickl and Matteo Salvini, formed their alliance this week.

I firmly believe that the individual countries in the European Union have the right to chart their own course when it comes to border security and migration issues without being dictated to by Brussels. But with that said, Seehofer, Kicki and Salvini might have given a bit more thought to the name of their new unofficial coalition if only in terms of branding. Anything with the word “Axis” in it when you’re talking about Europe probably brings back some unpleasant memories and associations which they could likely do without.

Still, this is stirring things up on a couple of fronts. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is openly calling for a new strategic partnership between Rome, Vienna and Berlin to “combat illegal migration” and stave off what he described as, “another catastrophe like we saw in 2015.” This was a thinly veiled shot at Angela Merkel and her policies which opened the floodgates a few years ago.

All of this is straining relations across Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron was scheduled to visit Italy tomorrow. Will that still happen? The Italians are saying that they’re still waiting for an apology from Macron before they decided.

Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday he still expects French President Emmanuel Macron to apologize for critical comments he made about Italian immigration policy two days ago…

“We’re waiting for an apology. If we get one, we can start down a new path,” Di Maio said in a radio interview. “There’s still time to take a step back, apologize, and then start over.”

Reuters is reporting that there was a call from Paris to Rome this morning, but no details were released. If an apology was made, nobody was putting out a press release to confirm it.

Meanwhile, back in Germany, the Interior Minister is doing more than just complaining. He’s threatening the stability of Merkel’s already shaky ruling coalition. If that bond is seen as weakening, we’re being told that Merkel could be facing a confidence vote as soon as next week. If she manages to lose that vote she may be forced to step down as Chancellor and call for new elections.

Europe has lived to see interesting times, and for once the media can’t credibly blame this one on Trump. The migrant situation is splitting the European coalition in two and the current power structure may be about to change significantly. Stay tuned.

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New York Times on latest Scott Pruitt “scandal”: Never mind

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When we were recently discussing the Washington Post’s fervent desires to somehow see EPA administrator Scott Pruitt impeached, I provided a roundup of some of the latest “scandals” which have been run up the flagpole. That list only brought us up to Lunchgate, however, and another one slipped past me. (They come up with scandals over there so quickly that nobody can possibly keep track.) In just the past few days the New York Times turned in some additional crackerjack reporting claiming that Pruitt has been abusing the goodwill of his staff and employing his influence as a cabinet member to land his daughter a spot in the University of Virginia Law School.

While perhaps not technically illegal, that’s still dirty pool. Children of powerful government executives shouldn’t get a leg up and a free pass to prestigious schools at any level while regular citizens sweat it out hoping to land a spot for their own kids. (Right President Obama and Michelle?) We can’t allow Scott Pruitt to use his position as a Cabinet member to gain special perks for his family. This is an outrage! Somebody needs to get to the bottom of this and…

Wait a minute. What’s that you say, New York Times? Nevermind? (Emphasis added)

An article on Saturday about senior staff members at the Environmental Protection Agency who said they frequently felt pressured by Scott Pruitt to help in nonwork matters included an item that erroneously described Mr. Pruitt’s use of his position for personal matters. While a Virginia lawmaker, William Howell, said he wrote a letter of recommendation to the University of Virginia Law School on behalf of Mr. Pruitt’s daughter, McKenna, he actually wrote it while Mr. Pruitt was the attorney general of Oklahoma. After publication of the article, additional research by a legislative aide, Mr. Howell said, showed he had incorrectly stated the date of the letter, which he said was actually written on Nov. 1, 2016, more than three months before Mr. Pruitt was confirmed as E.P.A. administrator, in February 2017. The law school, which had declined to comment for the article because of privacy concerns, issued a statement on Saturday saying Ms. Pruitt had given the school permission to confirm that she had been offered early admission in late November 2016 and that the “application was evaluated according to our usual admissions procedures.”

I see. Pruitt’s daughter had gotten her letter confirming early admission months before Donald Trump was even sworn into office. I would have brought this to all of your attention earlier but it took a while to find it. You see, while the news of the original “scandal” was plastered all over page 1 in the Times, this correction showed up at the bottom of page A-17. It was melded in with a correction to the caption under a photograph from somebody’s funeral. (I’m not even kidding.)

Well, mistakes happen, right? Some day we’ll all look back on this and laugh, I’m sure. It will be hilarious, just like that fun-filled time last summer when the Gray Lady reported that Pruitt had taken a secret meeting with the head of Dow Chemicals. (It was some spot on, incisive reporting except for the fact that they later admitted the meeting never happened.) Or that laugh riot from a couple of months ago when the Times reported that a member of Pruitt’s inner circle had been seen out drinking with the EPA Inspector General. (A story which was absolutely accurate, except for the part about the member of Pruitt’s inner circle being out drinking with the EPA Inspector General.)

Good times all, and we shall no doubt remember them fondly down the road. And besides, who among us hasn’t been tracking the Cabinet official we’re trying to paint as being under a cloud of scandal and suspicion and made the odd mistake over and over and over and over and over again?

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FBI Director Wray Praises Mueller “I Do Not Believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a Witch Hunt” (VIDEO)

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FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday on the IG report’s findings of the Clinton email investigation.

Christopher Wray told Senator Leahy (D-VT) that Robert Mueller’s investigation is ‘not a witch hunt.’

FBI Director Wray once again proves he serves the Deep State swamp rather than the interests of the American people.

FBI Director Christopher Wray held a press conference last Thursday afternoon from the FBI headquarters in DC following the release of the IG report was released.

Wray defended the swamp; he said the IG report “did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation under review.”

On Monday, the FBI Director praised Mueller and said the dirty cop is not on a witch hunt.

Truly disgusting.

VIDEO:

We shouldn’t be surprised as Wray defended the corrupt officials in the FBI brass last week in a disgraceful press conference.

Americans are disgusted after reading more anti-Trump text messages from FBI agents.

What a disgrace.
The top officials at the FBI and DOJ hated Donald Trump and his supporters.

The Deep State hacks called Trump supporters: F***ing Idiots, Sad, Pathetic, Retarded.

Chris Wray told reporters there was “no evidence of political bias.”
This is the same FBI that had spies inside the Trump campaign and continued to spy on President-elect Trump after his election and inauguration.
And the FBI spy infiltrating the Trump campaign openly advocated for Hillary Clinton during the election.

According to Wray, there’s no political bias and Mueller is not on a witch hunt despite KGB tactics of breaking down doors and raiding anyone connected to the president without even naming the crime.

Wray needs to go.

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Study: The states with the most psychopaths seem to be blue

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Why on Earth would we talk about a Social Science Research Center study like this? The real question is… how could we not?

Reported at QZ, this new study by Southern Methodist University Professor Ryan Murphy correlated a bunch of data which I can’t make heads or tails of and figured out how psychopathic the residents of every state are. He was looking at the “levels of big five personality traits” (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience) in each state. These apparently correlate with other traits which identify psychopathic tendencies. To put it mildly, the news was not good for the blue states.

Sometimes, it can feel like there are psychopaths everywhere. If you live in the United States, it’s now possible to move to less psychopathic environs, thanks to new research ranking 48 contiguous states by psychopathy.

Connecticut wins the dubious award of most psychopathic state in the US, followed by California in second, and New Jersey third. New York and Wyoming tie for joint fourth place, followed by Maine. The least psychopathic state is West Virginia, followed by Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New Mexico…

Earlier research shows that psychopathy is composed of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness, and a forthcoming paper shows that these characteristics can be translated into the big five traits.

I’m still not sure how things like “meanness” and disinhibition translate over to characteristics typical of psychopaths, but then, I only lasted for a few classes in pre-med. It’s still interesting to note that while the five states with the highest psychopath rating were almost entirely blue states in the northeast (plus California), the least psychopathic ones were in red (or at least reddish purple) areas. Who would have guessed that West Virginia would be the best location, particularly if you’ve ever watched the movies based in that region?

Oh, there was one more kicker to the study results. You might have been wondering where the District of Columbia landed. The answer is that it’s not on the list because it rang up a psychopath rating that was off the charts but was disqualified due to mitigating circumstances. (Emphasis added)

Murphy also included the District of Columbia in his research, and found it had a psychopathy level far higher than any other state. But this finding is an outlier, as Murphy notes, as it’s an entirely urban area and cannot be fairly compared with larger, more geographically diverse, US states. That said, as Murphy notes, “The presence of psychopaths in District of Columbia is consistent with the conjecture found in Murphy (2016) that psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere.”

So if you’re looking for the highest concentration of psychopaths in the country, head to Washington, D.C. Apparently they have more of them than you can shake a stick at and the majority are working “in the political sphere.”

C’mon, man. You’re not going to sit there and tell me you’re surprised.

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