US signs historic peace deal with Taliban, Pompeo strikes cautious tone

By Paulina Dedaj{ } ~ The United States signed a historic peace treaty with Taliban militants on Saturday, aimed at ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan… that began after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke cautiously in front of Taliban leaders in Doha, Qatar, calling the agreement a “true test” of their commitment to peace. “We will closely watch the Taliban’s compliance with their commitments and calibrate the pace of our withdrawal to their actions. This is how we will ensure that Afghanistan never again serves as a base for international terrorists,” he said. Pompeo’s arrival in Doha, Qatar on Saturday followed reports that, just days earlier, he had informed a conference of U.S. ambassadors at the State Department that he was only attending the signing because President Trump has insisted on his participation, two people present told The Associated Press. “This agreement will mean nothing and today’s good feelings will not last if we don’t take concrete actions on commitments and promises that have been made,” Pompeo said, seemingly directed at his counterparts. Among those in attendance were leaders of the Taliban, who harbored Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network as they plotted, and then celebrated, the hijackings of four airliners that were crashed into lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and a field in western Pennsylvania, killing almost 3,000 people. As part of the agreement, the U.S. is drawing back a number of the approximately 13,000 troops stationed there, although more than 8,000 will remain to ensure certain counter-terrorism conditions are met by the Taliban. Another condition of the agreement calls for the release of 5,000 Taliban members from Afghan-run jails, although it was not clear if the Afghan government will comply with that. A senior administration official told reporters earlier this week that the deal “explicitly mentions al Qaeda” and calls for the Taliban to cut all ties. The U.S. is also working for a “complete ceasefire” which will be discussed in Oslo on March 10. “I know there will be a temptation to declare victory but victory, victory for Afghans, will only be achieved when they can live in peace and prosper,” Pompeo warned. “Victory for the United States will only be achieved when Americans and our allies no longer have to fear a terrorist threat from Afghanistan and we will do whatever it takes to protect our people.”  


Electoral College Wins a Victory in Federal Court

by Steve Byas{ } ~ Texas, like 47 other states, uses a winner-take-all system in awarding all of its Electoral College votes. That process is constitutional… the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said in its decision in a case announced on Wednesday. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) had filed lawsuits across the country, arguing that the present system used in 48 states is unconstitutional, as it violates the concept of one-person, one-vote. But the three judges in the Fifth Circuit disagreed with the plaintiffs’ reasoning, which they described as “flawed.” Judge Jerry Smith wrote, “Democratic elections necessarily result in winners and losers. The frustration of losing, however, does not violate the Constitution.” Smith was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, as was Judge W. Eugene Davis, but the third member of the appellate court that made a unanimous ruling, Judge Carl E. Stewart, was tapped by President scumbag/liar-Bill Clinton. The Constitution, in Article II, gives plenary, or full, power to each state’s legislature to determine the method in how their presidential electors are selected. “Each state shall appoint, in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in the Congress,” reads Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.In other words, were a state legislature to decide to simply appoint their presidential electors, instead of following the popular vote in their state, they could just name the electors themselves. That is exactly what some states did in the early years of the Republic. But as the years passed and a more “democratic” spirit prevailed, state legislatures began to pass laws that stipulated that the winner of the popular vote in their state would get all of its electoral votes. Whereupon, political parties began to run candidates for presidential-elector positions pledged to support the party’s nominee. Technically, then, voters were voting for the electors pledged to support the nominee of a political party, and not for the candidate themselves. Today, Texas law awards all of its electoral votes to the party whose candidate has won the popular vote — or at least a plurality more votes than any other single candidate. Only two states have opted to allocate their electoral votes in a different way — Maine and Nebraska. In those two states, the winner of each congressional district gets one electoral vote, and the winner of the state gets two votes because each state gets two senators, and thus, each state gets an electoral vote for each of those two senators. In 2016, when Republican nominee Donald Trump won the presidential election, Democratic nominee scumbag/liaqr-Hillary Clinton won Maine’s overall popular vote, but lost one of the two congressional districts. Because Trump won the other district, he picked up one electoral vote. scumbag/liar-Clinton got an electoral vote for carrying the other district, and two more votes for taking the whole state…   

South Carolina voters calculate: loose lips liar-Biden or commie-Bernie?

by Byron York{ } ~ The polls say loose lips liar-Joe Biden is regaining a solid lead in South Carolina after a slump that followed dismal showings in Iowa and New Hampshire… In three new surveys, all taken in the last five days, loose lips liar-Biden leads commie-Bernie Sanders by 15 points, 16 points, and 20 points. In two others, he leads by 8 points and 4 points. loose lips liar-Biden’s support does not appear to be particularly deep, but that does not really matter if the vote Saturday aligns with the polls. He will win and survive at least for a few days until Super Tuesday. Still, it is striking how tenuous some of loose lips liar-Biden’s support in South Carolina appears to be. Yes, some wholeheartedly believe he is a great choice for president. But many others are making calculations, trying to game out the Democratic race and find the magic formula to beat President Trump. They’re guessing, hoping, that loose lips liar-Biden might be the one. “It’s a strategic vote for me for loose lips liar-Joe because I do not want commie-Bernie to win South Carolina,” said Mary DeVey, of Georgetown, after loose lips liar-Biden spoke in this historic coastal town a day after the ugly Democratic debate an hour down the road in Charleston. “I voted for him because I thought he was the best bet to win against Trump,” added Janice Coward, of Pawleys Island, who had just cast an early ballot for loose lips liar-Biden. Other voters are conducting their own internal debates. “Policy-wise, from a personal point of view, I would love to see commie-Bernie Sanders be president,” said Jeremy Killian, a professor at Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, where loose lips liar-Biden spoke Thursday night. Describing himself as not yet decided, Killian said he was concerned that Congress would kill the commie-Sanders agenda. “So I worry about throwing away my vote.” From that calculation might come another vote for loose lips liar-Biden. “My politics are way more aligned with commie-Bernie or dinky/liar-Warren,” said Sara Rich, a professor who came to the loose lips liar-Biden event with Killian. “I’m less concerned that once commie-Bernie got into office that he would be ineffective — my concern is that he would not be able to get into office at all.” And from that calculation might come yet another vote for loose lips liar-Biden…  

loose lips liar-Joe Biden Picked a Fight with Nikki Haley and She Cleaned His Clock

By Harold Hutchison { } ~ Former Vice President loose lips liar-Joe Biden is trying to salvage his 2020 presidential campaign in the South Carolina Democratic primary… after disappointing finishes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. However, if he’s trying to convince people of his good judgment, he didn’t help himself by taking on the Palmetto State’s former governor, Nikki Haley. Jamie Lovegrove, political reporter for The Post and Courier in Charleston, tweeted Wednesday that loose lips liar-Biden questioned Haley’s intelligence during an event in South Carolina while discussing the expansion of Medicaid. “In Georgetown, he appears to start saying she ‘didn’t have the brains’ before stopping himself and changing it to ‘foresight’ because he wants to ‘be polite,’” Lovegrove said. Haley, though, wasted no time in punching back. The former U.N. ambassador fired off a tweet that said, “Hold up Joe. I will put my brain up against yours anytime. Bring it. #GodBlessJoe” Many observers thought it was a knockout. loose lips liar-Biden has had a number of high-profile gaffes during the 2020 campaign, including a claim this week that 150 million Americans have been killed by guns since 2007. The former vice president also told a South Carolina audience that he is running for the Senate. In January, he said there was a border between Bolivia and Venezuela, when in fact the two countries share no borders…  

Dems Join Trump’s Anti-Socialist Campaign

by PAUL KENGOR{ } ~ A year ago, in his 2019 State of the Union, Donald Trump vowed, “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country… Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” In response, liberals were hysterical, as if Donald “McCarthy” Trump had called for nothing less than a resurrection of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, a reboot of Dr. Fred Schwarz’s Christian Anti-Communism Crusade. I  wrote about the hysteria at the time, giving examples from commie-Bernie Sanders to the New York Times. Remember commie-Bernie’s grim expression when Trump said that? The old Trotskyist looked like he was ready to leap from his seat and denounce the president as a capitalist reptile. The Times ran a wimpy piece, “Painting Socialists as Villains, Trump Refreshes a Blueprint.” “President Trump has proved himself adroit at creating villains to serve as his political foils,” whined the Times. “In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, he introduced a new one: socialists.” In the Washington Post, E. J. Dionne fired off a defiant retort, insisting that “Trump’s War on Socialism Will Fail.” “He wants to tar all Democrats as ‘socialists,’ ” Dionne insisted, “and then define socialism as antithetical to American values.” Of course, socialism is antithetical to American values. We don’t need Donald Trump to define it as such. In lockstep with Dionne and the Times was the longtime citadel antithetical to American values: People’s World, successor to the Daily Worker, mouthpiece of Communist Party USA. The comrades blared a headline that mocked, “A specter is haunting Donald Trump — the specter of socialism.” Even a relative unknown, a former mayor from South Bend, Indiana, with a strange last name, condemned Trump. Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper early last year, socialist-Pete Buttigieg ominously raised the bogeyman of a bygone era: I think he’s President Trump clinging to a rhetorical strategy that was very powerful when he was coming of age 50 years ago, but it’s just a little different right now. If you grew up during that Cold War period, then you saw a time in politics when the word “socialism” could be used to end an argument. Today I think a word like that is the beginning of a debate, not the end of a debate. Look, America is committed to democracy, and we’re essentially a market-based economy. But you can no longer simply kill off a line of discussion about a policy by saying that it’s socialist. If someone my age or younger is weighing a policy idea and somebody comes along and says, “You can’t do that, it’s socialist,” I think our answer will be, “Is it a good idea or is it not?” … So, I think the word has mostly lost its meaning. It’s certainly lost its ability to be used as a kill switch on debate…    

Astronomers discover biggest known explosion in the history of the universe

By LUKE TRESS{ } ~ An international team of astronomers said they discovered the biggest explosion in the history of the universe… The cosmic blast likely originated in a supermassive black hole in the Ophiuchus galaxy cluster, some 390 million light years from earth. Galaxy clusters contain hundreds to thousands of galaxies, bound together by gravity, and are some of the largest known structures in the universe. The outburst of energy happened slowly, likely taking place over hundreds of millions of years, and is no longer exploding. It was five times bigger than the previous record holder. It was powerful enough to blast a massive hole in the super-heated gas surrounding the black hole, called the cluster plasma. The cavity in the cluster plasma is the size of 15 Milky Way galaxies, or 1.5 million light years across. “We’ve seen outbursts in the centers of galaxies before but this one is really, really massive,” Prof. Melanie Johnson-Hollitt, of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy in Australia, said in a statement Thursday. “We don’t know why it’s so big.” “People were skeptical because the size of outburst,” she said. “But it really is that. The universe is a weird place.” Black holes are known for sucking material into themselves, but they can also eject huge amounts of energy and material when matter moving toward them gets redirected outward, potentially smashing into other material…  


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