Monday, November 12, 2018

Catastrophic California Wildfires: 31 people killed in wildfires raging on both ends of California




LOS ANGELES  -- Powerful winds swept through California on Sunday, threatening to erase the hard-earned progress made on wildfires that have ravaged both ends of the state and killed at least 31 people.

The Camp Fire in Northern California -- the most destructive fire in state history -- has killed at least 29 people, left hundreds missing and destroyed thousands of homes and structures.

At least two have died in Southern California's Woolsey Fire, and hundreds of thousands of residents have been displaced.

Saturday saw a brief reprieve in the fierce winds fueling the fires, and firefighters used the break to their advantage. But as the gusts returned Sunday, a Cal Fire unit chief warned that "it's not over yet."

Parts of Los Angeles experienced gusts of 40-45 mph as fire crews worked tirelessly not to lose ground on the Woolsey FireIn a briefing late Sunday afternoon, officials said the wind led to serious flare-ups, but crews were able to keep a majority of the flames within the contained burn area.

The toll

Here's the latest on the fires:

• Camp Fire: The largest of the trio, the Camp Fire had burned about 111,000 acres across Northern California and was 25-percent contained as of Sunday night, officials said. It's destroyed an estimated 6,700 buildings, most of which were homes.

Officials announced in an evening briefing that they found six more bodies Sunday, increasing that fire's death toll to 29. Nearly 230 others are unaccounted for.

• Woolsey and Hill fires: In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire had spread to 85,500 acres and was 15-percent contained Sunday night, up from 5 percent the night before. The smaller Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres and was 75-percent contained. Together the fires were responsible for the destruction of at least 179 structures.

• Massive evacuations: More than 300,000 people have been forced from their homes statewide. The majority of those residents are in Los Angeles County, where 170,000 were evacuated. While some orders had been lifted Sunday, most remained in place.

The Los Angeles County Fire Chief said crews were repeatedly "hampered" by people who waited too long to evacuate and then needed to be rescued.

...

Crews searching for the dead

Crews are combing through blackened ruins of homes.

Many of the fires' victims were found in or near Paradise, California, a town of about 26,000 that's been all but leveled by the Camp Fire.

Two people found dead in Malibu were believed to be escaping down a long residential driveway in their car when the driver may have "become disoriented" and the vehicle was overtaken by flames, officials said in a Sunday briefing.

The painstaking process of finding the missing and identifying the dead is challenging, with some of the bodies recovered burned beyond recognition.

"In some cases, the only remains we are able to recover are bones or bone fragments," Butte County Sheriff and Coroner Kory Honea told reporters. "I know that members of the community who are missing loved ones are anxious, and I know that the news of us recovering bodies has to be disconcerting."

Many bodies recovered from the Camp Fire were found inside or near homes or in vehicles, officials said.

Hours after the fire broke out, residents fleeing Paradise became trapped in gridlock traffic as the fire closed in. Some drivers abandoned their vehicles in the chaos and attempted to escape on foot.

Woolsey Fire: Some return home after 'firestorm'

Craig Clunies-Ross and his wife had seen wildfires before and they were prepared when it was time to evacuate their Malibu home. But what they saw when they stepped outside shocked them.

"It was a 100-foot wall of flames. It was like a firestorm, it was roaring," he told CNN affiliate KABC, referring to the Woolsey Fire.

The family quickly took photos, a few clothes and other essentials hoping they could come back to their home. On Saturday, they were among several families who drove through scorched hills and discovered their homes were leveled.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

President Trump Marks The 100th Anniversary Of The Armistice To End WWI And Honors Fallen Soldiers


President Donald Trump paid tribute Sunday to U.S. and allied soldiers killed in World War I. 

The President spoke during the Armistice Day Ceremony that was held at the Suresnes American Cemetery hosted by the Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Democrats’ Cash Tsunami


By The Editorial Board |The Wall Street Journal


The party that runs against money in politics had a huge financial edge.

Nancy Pelosi pledged Tuesday night that the new Democratic House will deliver campaign-finance reform to “drain the swamp of dark-interest money in our elections.” That’s a little rich.

Mrs. Pelosi’s second run at Speaker comes, thanks in large part to a green wave of cash that Democrats surfed to political victory.

Democratic House candidates this cycle raised $951 million as of Oct. 17, the most recent reporting cutoff, according to figures from OpenSecrets.org. That’s nearly 50% more than Republicans. 

Forty-five percent of donations to these Democratic campaigns came from out of state, compared with 34% for the GOP. Of the 34 red districts at last count that flipped blue Tuesday, the Democrat outraised the Republican in all but seven.

Money isn’t everything, but this cash advantage doubtless helped in places where a Democrat narrowly knocked off a Republican incumbent. 

Virginia’s Congressman Dave Brat, who lost by 1.8 points, was outraised by $3.2 million.

For New York’s Congressman John Faso, it was 2.9 points and $4.2 million.

For New Jersey’s Congressman Leonard Lance, 3.4 points and $2.9 million. The list goes on.

What about outside spending? 

Republicans got trounced there, too. 

In California’s 25th District, Congressman Steve Knight is trailing by 2.6 points—no winner yet declared—and Democratic groups spent $5.8 million more than their GOP counterparts.

In Michigan’s Eighth, where Congressman Mike Bishop lost by 3.8 points, the spending difference was $2.6 million.

For Colorado’s Congressman Mike Coffman, it was 10.3 points and $4.7 million.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged to put $100 million into House and Senate races this year as he sets himself up for a possible Democratic presidential run.

Through mid-October he had spent only $38 million, though maybe he turned on the spigot in the last three weeks.

Fundraising for Senate candidates tilted left as well. Democrats raised $513 million, 40% more than Republicans. Sixty percent of Democratic donations came from out of state, compared with 49% for the GOP.

The cash deluge helped Democratic heartthrob Beto O’Rourke make even Texas competitive. He lost by only 2.6 points, after raising $69 million to Senator Ted Cruz’s $40 million.

In Missouri and North Dakota the Democrats spent more but failed to sway GOP electorates.

The main exception to this story is Florida, where Republican Rick Scott injected $51 million of personal funds into his campaign. As of Thursday he was leading Senator Bill Nelson by 17,000 votes, and Democrats are demanding a recount while claiming that some votes may not have been counted in Democratic Broward County. (Shades of 2000 election thievery?)

Then again, New Jersey’s Bob Hugin gave his campaign $28 million in an attempt to knock off scandal-ridden Senator Robert Menendez, and Mr. Hugin still lost by 10 points.

The Center for Responsive Politics says the 2018 midterms were probably the most expensive ever, with projected outlays of $5.2 billion by campaigns, political parties and outside groups. But this is hardly a breathtaking sum for nationwide elections in a country of 325 million people.

As a point of comparison, Americans spend somewhere around $8 billion a year on greeting cards, according to that industry’s trade group.

Although liberals often decry “money in politics,” they don’t mind taking whatever donations are needed to win. Not that there’s anything wrong with that: Donald Trump’s Presidency has energized Democrats, and it figures that excitement translates into fundraising.

This is how American democracy works, as candidates hustle for voters—and donors—while they try to get their messages across.

Creating more federal rules to govern political speech would increase the advantages of incumbents and the liberals who dominate national and local media.

As Mrs. Pelosi’s party celebrates its defeat of two dozen Republican incumbents on Tuesday, Americans should ignore what she says about money and watch what Democrats raise and spend.

Friday, November 09, 2018

OUTRAGEOUS FLORIDA VOTE COUNT FRAUD BY DEMOCRATS!


Senator Bill Nelson is urging the "finding" of Democrat votes in Florida.

FL SEN MARCO RUBIO: Something Very Odd (And In Violation Of State Law) Is Going On In These Two Democratic Counties

By Matt Vespa | Townhall

GOP chair draws red line:
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What’s happening in Florida is unacceptable. The #Broward Elections Supervisor has been pulling stunts like this for years and we’re not going to let her get away with it. https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/1060596874577657856 …

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Something odd is occurring in Florida’s Senate race. 

Republican Gov. Rick Scott has declared victory over incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

At the time, Scott led Nelson by a little over 34,500 votes. It’s now been cut to around 18,000. 

We’re heading into recount territory, as Scott’s lead has dwindled to 0.2 percent; less than half of one percent triggers an automatic recount. 

Yet, in two Democratic bastions—Palm Beach and Broward counties—they’re taking their sweet time counting the votes and not telling how many are left outstanding.  

A category four hurricane recently hit the state and yet every county, including the ones slammed by Michael, have all counted their votes. 

In Broward, the supervisor there isn’t keeping regular reports on the ballots that need to be counted. 

She also appears not to know and has been dumping thousands at a time in the late night hours. 
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Long but IMPORTANT THREAT ON ELECTIONS IN #FLORIDA.#BayCounty was hit by a Cat 4 Hurricane just 4 weeks ago,yet managed to count votes & submit timely results.

Yet over 41 hours after polls closed
#Broward elections office is still counting votes?

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#Broward supervisor:
- says she doesn’t know how many ballots are left to be counted; &
- Isn’t reporting hourly or regularly,but rather releasing thousands of additional votes,often in the overnight hours,that are chipping away at GOP leads

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Now democrat lawyers are descending on #Florida. They have been very clear they aren’t here to make sure every vote is counted. 

- They are here to change the results of election; &
-
#Broward is where they plan to do it.

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A U.S. Senate seat & a statewide cabinet officer are now potentially in the hands of an elections supervisor with a history of incompetence & of blatant violations of state & federal laws.

Read Here:
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article220841135.html …

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#Broward election supervisors ongoing violation of #Florida law requiring timely reporting isn’t just annoying incompetence. It has opened the door for lawyers to come here & try to steal a seat in the U.S. Senate & Florida Cabinet

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#Florida law requires counties report early voting & vote-by-mail within 30 minutes after polls close. 43 hours after polls closed 2 Democrat strongholds #BrowardCounty & #PalmBeachCounty are still counting & refusing to disclose how many ballots they have left to count.

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Florida's ability to produce virtual 50-50 electoral splits time after time, despite relatively dynamic population shifts, is grimly amazing.

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Democrats are actively working to steal another election in Florida. https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/1060609799719714817 …

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who fears that the Democrats might steal this election, detailed all of this on Twitter. 

He’s not the only one who thinks this election could be stolen. 

Now, scores of Democrat lawyers are pouring into the state, and just like in 2000, they’re only concerned with just counting the Bill Nelson votes. 

Oh, and the Broward Elections supervisor is known to be a total disaster at her job, like illegally destroying ballots disaster (via Miami Herald) [emphasis mine]:

Broward County’s Elections Department will receive special attention from state officials this November after a series of glitches, mistakes, and one case of illegal ballot destruction has some voters wondering if they should even trust the results coming out of the elections department telling them to “vote with confidence” on Nov. 6.

Following a court ruling in May that Broward Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes had illegally destroyed ballots from a 2016 congressional race, the governor’s office announced the Florida Department of State would send election experts to Snipes’ office during this year’s election “to ensure that all laws are followed” and “to observe the administration of the election.”
Snipes says the extra scrutiny is undeserved.

“I think the problems are blown out of proportion,” Snipes said as she led a reporter around the elections staging facility in Lauderhill in October. “Broward is nitpicked to the bone. Other places have the same problems, different problems. It’s just that they are not spotlighted like we are.”

Even beyond her own reprimand for authorizing the destruction of ballots, Snipes cannot deny the department’s patchy track record. In 2016, early voting results for Broward were posted a half hour before polls closed, in violation of election law. Her office was sued unsuccessfully because a constitutional amendment was missing from some mail-in ballots. The electronic system used by the county was also later found to have been targeted by Russian government hackers — although it’s unclear whether that affected results and had nothing to do with the early posting.

On multiple occasions, there have been problems with printing mail ballots. And in the August primaries, Broward was the last county to post election results. The department cited reasons from unexpected recounts, delayed jump drive delivery — rumor was they were temporarily lost — to a late influx of mail-in ballots that were still being counted the next day, leaving the results of several races unclear.

“We have consistently been the bottom of the barrel getting our voting results in,” Broward County Commissioner Nan Rich said at a September meeting to discuss how to prevent future delays in posting results. “I don’t want to be 67th in 67 counties again in voting.”

Well, you are dead last, Broward County…and this looks like this race could end in a very nasty manner. 

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How can Broward County not know/refuse to say how many votes it has left to count?

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They're not done filling out the ballots they're planning to count yet. https://twitter.com/charlescwcooke/status/1060621603522965505 …

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Thursday, November 08, 2018

HORROR: Mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California


By Alexander Smith, Pete Williams, Andrew Blankstein, Alastair Jamieson and Corky Siemaszko


Several hundred people were inside at the time, police said. The gunman later was confirmed dead.

A Marine veteran clad in black and armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun shot his way into a Southern California bar crowded with college students and unleashed hell before turning the gun on himself, officials said Thursday.

When it was over, 12 others, including a sheriff's sergeant who tried to stop the carnage, were also dead and many more were wounded.

While investigators identified the gunman as 28-year-old Ian David Long and tried to establish a motive, the nation was once again forced to grapple with tragedy and embark on the all-too-familiar rituals of mourning after yet another mass shooting.

When the shooting started late Wednesday at the Borderline Bar & Grill in normally peaceful Thousand Oaks, about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles, several hundred people were inside for a "college country night," Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said.

"It's a horrific scene in there," Dean said. "There's blood everywhere."

The sheriff said the gunman first shot a security guard standing outside, then "stepped inside, turned to the right, shot several other security and employees and began opening fire inside the nightclub."

He added, "We have no idea what the motive is at this point."

Officials from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting the Ventura County Sheriff's Office in processing evidence at the scene and at the shooter's home.



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IN OTHER NEWS

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, breaks ribs in fall



  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, fell in her office at the court and fractured three ribs, the court says.
  • "Tests showed that she fractured three ribs on her left side and she was admitted for observation and treatment," the statement from the court said.
  • Ginsburg's health has been a matter of intense speculation in recent years. Ginsburg, the court's oldest member, is one of the court's four liberal justices.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell in her office and fractured three ribs. The 85-year-old liberal justice was admitted to a hospital Thursday.
Ginsburg's health has been a matter of intense speculation in recent years. The court's oldest member, Ginsburg has survived multiple bouts with cancer, and in 2014 underwent a procedure to have a stent placed in her right coronary artery.
The fall happened Wednesday evening.
"She went home, but after experiencing discomfort overnight, went to George Washington University Hospital early this morning," the court said in a statement Thursday. "Tests showed that she fractured three ribs on her left side and she was admitted for observation and treatment."
It is not the first time that Ginsburg has fractured her ribs while on the court. In June 2012, Ginsburg fractured two ribs in a fall and did not disclose the injury to the public until months later. The court said at the time that despite the fracture, Ginsburg "did not skip a beat."
The Brooklyn-native, one of four liberal justices on the nine-member court, has said she plans to serve on the bench until she is 90, and has hired law clerks through 2020.
Her approach to the law has been described as cautious, though she has been influential in shaping jurisprudence in cases involving gender discrimination, women's reproductive health and international law.
She was the principal author of a landmark brief that led Supreme Court in 1971 to apply the the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to women.
Ginsburg, the second of four women to serve on the high court, was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Before joining the court, she worked as the director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project.
News of Ginsburg's fall comes on the same morning as the formal investiture of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump's second nominee to the high court.
The court said that more information would be provided as it became available.