House passes 50-state gun carry permit reciprocity, intensifies background checks

man with gun


Both pro and anti-gun control advocates are unhappy with a bill the US House passed to allow permitted gun owners to carry concealed handguns across state lines and also enhances the national background check system.

The House bill passed Wednesday, 231-198, and follows two of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history. The largely Republican-backed bill was supported by six Democrats, and 14 Republicans voted against it.

The bill is seen as a win for the National Rifle Association, which has long pushed for Concealed Carry Reciprocity (CCR) – the standard term for allowing people with permits for concealed weapons to carry guns over state lines.

However, Gun Owners of America, which calls itself “the only no compromise gun lobby in Washington,” opposed the bill because of its element of gun control. The gun policy was originally two separate bills, one of which was the FIX NICS Act of 2017.

The conservative House Liberty Caucus also voiced opposition.

Moms Demand an End to Gun Violence (MDEGV) opposed HR83 too, calling it a “dangerous policy that would gut every state’s gun laws and make our communities less safe.”

Shannon Watts, founder of MDEGV, spoke against the bill at the US Capitol ahead of the vote.

There has been renewed support for enhancing background checks in the wake of the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting that left 26 people dead, including the shooter Devin Kelley. The Air Force said it failed to follow Pentagon guidelines for alerting federal law enforcement about Kelly’s violent past during his service.

While the legislation passed the House, is it likely to face heavy opposition from senate democrats who oppose the concealed-carry measure. However a bipartisan coalition would have enough votes to break a filibuster on enhancing background checks.

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Nets Omit Embarrassing Failure to Impeach Trump By House Dem

In a brazen move on the floor of the House Wednesday, Texas Democratic Representative Al Green introduced Articles of Impeachment against President Trump. Citing accusations of racism and the mocking of Florida Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, the Congressman was only able to rally 57 other members of his party to join him. The embarrassing failure of the impeachment went completely unreported during the evening newscasts of the three major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC).

Where the networks failed in their reporting, Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier didn’t. In a news brief during Special Report, he noted: “The House overwhelmingly voted today to kill a resolution from a liberal Democratic lawmaker to impeach President Trump.”

“A majority of Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the move. Democratic Congressman Al Green of Texas says President Trump has associated his presidency with causes rooted in bigotry and racism,” Baier explained. “After Green’s resolution was read aloud, the House voted 364 to 58 to table that measure.”

“Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial, and removal from office,” Green opined as he put his Articles of Impeachment forward, which included some laughable citations of “high misdemeanors”:



Donald J. Trump issued a public statement referring to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24), a female, African-American Member of Congress as “wacky” and called her a liar.

Donald J. Trump issued a public statement referring to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24), a female, African-American Member of Congress as “wacky” a second time.

Donald J. Trump issued a public statement referring to Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24), a female, African-American Member of Congress as “wacky” a third time.

Green also cited the President’s temporary travel ban, apparently oblivious to the Supreme Court recently allowing for its enforcement by the Trump administration.

With the recent resignation of Michigan Democrat John Conyers for sexual harassment, Democrats only had 193 members in the House. That meant 70 percent of Green’s own party sided with Republicans against impeaching the man they love to hate. In all, the impeachment attempt basically added up to a good fundraising tool for those who participated, so they can show their donors they’re standing up to Trump.

Impeaching a president isn’t something that’s done lightly, so it really should have been something they dedicated some time too. That’s not to mention how liberal politicians and the liberal media (AKA “The Resistance”) have been dreaming of an impeachment to come down the pike. But since the impeachment fell flat on its face, it’s not surprising they don’t want to talk about it.

Transcript below:

<<< Please support MRC’s NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Fox News Channel
Special Report
December 6, 2017
6:31:54 PM Eastern

BRET BAIER: The House overwhelmingly voted today to kill a resolution from a liberal Democratic lawmaker to impeach President Trump. A majority of Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the move. Democratic Congressman Al Green of Texas says President Trump has associated his presidency with causes rooted in bigotry and racism. After Green’s resolution was read aloud, the House voted 364-58 to table that measure.

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December 5th, 2017

Via: The Intercept:

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer — with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal — to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering “deep state� enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Trump’s presidency.

The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration’s political agenda.

“Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,� said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books,� this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. “The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.�




  1. dale Says:

    I didn’t see this one coming. And yet, quite believable minus the spin.

  2. Dennis Says:

    ‘Spy vs Spy’


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Learn about the transformation of an old house (and its owners) in Midori Haus

First Chie Kawahara renovated a house to Passive House standards; then she wrote a book about it.

In 2010 Chie Kawahara and her husband Kurt bought an 88 year old bungalow in Santa Cruz, California. “Transformed in 2012 to Passive House, we preserved the original footprint and beauty of its Arts and Crafts style as we replaced the infrastructure so that it’s now a comfortable and healthy home.” Then she wrote a book about it, and I was honored to be asked to write the introduction. The book is out now and available on Amazon in Kindle form now, and will be in paperback shortly. Instead of reviewing the book, Chie and I agreed that it would be best just to publish my introduction here. There is lots more information on the Midori Haus website too.

Midori Haus Front© Midori Haus

There are some who say that the Passivhaus or Passive House system is worshipped by a cult of data-obsessed nerds who design boxy buildings with no charm. One critic claimed, “Passivhaus is a single metric ego-driven enterprise that satisfies the architect’s need for checking boxes, and the energy nerd’s obsession with BTUs, but it fails the occupant.” There are others that say it has become irrelevant; just add solar panels to the roof and net-zero it out.

The story of the Midori house puts paid to these arguments. Passive House is a chapter in a much bigger story, one describing a journey to find and build a warm, comfortable and healthy home that fits into the neighborhood. Passive House gives focus and direction, (“system thinking instead of a la carte ordering of features”) but the end result is so much more than just an energy-efficient box.

Passive House consultant Bronwyn Barry has noted that “passive house is a team sport” of architects, engineers and consultants, but the most important member of the team is, in fact, the client. And oh, what a wonderful, glorious client Chie Kawahara appears to have been; she and Kurt know what they want, do their research, fully participate in the process and respect the people they are working with. They are thoughtful, considerate and disciplined. Doing a complex renovation is a challenge and often the cause of marital disruption; Chie and Kurt handle it all with aplomb. Perhaps the book should be subtitled “How to be a client” and handed out by architects before every project.

Midori Haus Living Room© Midori Haus

To many people, houses are nothing more than real estate, a store of financial value. It’s one reason that healthy, green and passive houses are relatively rare- there is not much of a financial return on such an investment. Midori House will deliver other kinds of returns- in comfort, health, resilience, security, and happiness. The investment that the owners made was much greater than just money; it required a big dose of time and intelligence.

The story of Midori house proves that in the end what matters is people, not product; that Passive House is not an end in itself but a means to an end- a beautiful, comfortable home that meets the needs and desires of the people inside it. It’s about so much more than just data.

deck © Midori Haus Deck

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Trump mocked over empty seats White House Christmas Tree Lighting

The Trump White House drew mockery this week from critics who were quick to notice empty seats at the annual White House Christmas Tree Lighting event on Thursday night.

A photo first posted by ABC reporter Steve Rudin began making the rounds on social media as it seemed to show a surprising number of empty seats in the crowd at the Thursday event, which was held on the grounds of the White House.

Video of the 95th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting appears to show everyone in good spirits, and even a packed crowd.

But critics on Twitter were quick to find parallels between the empty chairs at President Donald Trump’s tree lighting and his less-than-packed inauguration.

Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel invoked the words of Sean Spicer.

“This is the largest crowd that has ever attended a National Tree Lighting in history. Period!” he wrote. 

CNN’s Jim Acosta also noticed the empty seats. 

“I’m starting to think people really don’t like President Trump,” he tweeted. 

CNN has been a frequent target of criticism from the Trump White House, and the outlet is planning to skip the White House’s holiday party for the press this year. 

Trump has repeatedly called for a return to wishing others a Merry Christmas insisting there is a quote “war on Christmas.” 

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Nunes blows up, threatens contempt after FBI stonewalls House on Russia investigator demoted for anti-Trump bias

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued an angry demand to the FBI and Department of Justice to explain why they kept the committee in the dark over the reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller kicked a key supervising FBI agent off the Trump-Russia investigation.

Stories in both the Washington Post and New York Times on Saturday reported that Peter Strzok, who played a key role in the original FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia matter, and then a key role in Mueller’s investigation, and who earlier had played an equally critical role in the FBI’s Hillary Clinton email investigation, was reassigned out of the Mueller office because of anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a top FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair. Strzok was transferred to the FBI’s human resources office — an obvious demotion — in July.

The Post reported that Strzok and Page exchanged text messages that “expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.”

Word of the messages and the affair were news to Nunes, even though the committee had issued a subpoena that covered information about Strzok’s demotion more than three months ago. The committee’s broadly worded subpoena for information related to the so-called Trump dossier went to the FBI and FOJ on Aug. 24. In follow-up conversations on the scope of the subpoena, committee staff told the FBI and DOJ that it included information on the circumstances of Strzok’s reassignment.

On Oct. 11, Nunes met with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. In that meeting, Nunes specifically discussed the committee’s request for information about Strzok.

In an Oct. 31 committee staff meeting with the FBI, bureau officials refused a request for information about Strzok.

On Nov. 20, the committee again requested an interview with Strzok. (Three days earlier, on November 17, Strzok met with the Senate Intelligence Committee.)

On Nov. 29, Nunes again spoke to Rosenstein, and again discussed Strzok.

On Dec. 1, the committee again requested to speak with Strzok.

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Firefighter’s self-built tiny house is inspired by earthships (Video)

Tiny living is affording a growing number of people financial freedom and a simpler, but more fulfilling lifestyle. Many are finding that they can live mortgage-free, without necessarily giving up more conventional paths to financial security.

For example, some might be paying off a mortgage on a regular-sized home, but to do so, they rent it out and live in a tiny house out back, as Steve, a firefighter from Edmonton, Canada is doing in his Earthship-inspired tiny home on wheels. We get a great tour of Steve’s lovely home from Bryce of Living Big In A Tiny House:

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/via

Steve designed the size of his 10′ by 17′ house to fit in the backyard of the main house, which he rents out, using that income to pay down the mortgage on that building. He was inspired to seek a mortgage-free life after taking a year off work, and travelling down the continents in a van, volunteering on various building projects, such as tiny houses and earthships. In addition to savouring the community of kindred spirits surrounding these projects, he learned many new skills, and when he returned, started a tiny house project of his own, in Edmonton, where he now works as a fireman.

Steve’s 140-square-foot house was built as part of a weekend workshop in collaboration with Vancouver tiny house builder Ben Garrett. Inside, it’s a light-filled space that is well-proportioned and features a lot of interesting design ideas, gleaned from Steve’s time as a volunteer builder.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

For example, the dimensions offer a much more generously sized living room, which Steve — in an experiment — attempted to heat passively with the thermal mass of a brick-lined floor. But in Edmonton’s extremely cold winters, this didn’t work so well. Steve plans to replace it with wood flooring instead. Nevertheless, the home stays warm and cozy with the help of three different heating options: woodstove, propane heater or electric patio heater.

Loft-haters will be glad to see that there isn’t one in this house; instead, there’s a pull-out queen bed that’s hidden under the kitchen platform. It rolls out in the living room area during the night and during the day, it rolls back in, and partially becomes the L-shaped sofa. The bed box has storage space, and a clever little coffee table is hidden under the bed, and can roll out when necessary.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/via
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/via
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture

The kitchen is simple, yet well-configured. Its L-shaped layout echoes that “work triangle” of ergonomics for efficiency of movement in the kitchen. Cooking is done with propane, and there’s a small refrigerator. There’s integrated wall shelving, for food and for plants.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/Video screen capture
Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/via

Since Steve’s home is located in an urban setting, and since composting toilets can be a hard sell to most conventionally minded people, Steve decided to install an incinerating toilet in the bathroom. Hot water comes via a propane-powered on-demand water heater.

Living Big In A Tiny HouseLiving Big In A Tiny House/via

The home has been designed to be flexible with its hook-ups: it can go off-grid if Steve purchases some more land to put it on, but currently, Steve uses the utilities off the main house. Of course, as a firefighter, Steve has built his home to meet building codes for fire safety: adding egress windows, fire extinguisher, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

In the end, Steve spent about CDN $50,000 (USD $38,910) on the entire build, and he figures that if he lives in his tiny home for at least four years, it will pay itself back, thanks to the arrangement he has now with renting out the main house, while keeping his own living expenses low through simpler living. He says:

For me, it was how the economics of it make sense. I rent the big house out and the tenants pay the mortgage, so by me staying in the small house in the backyard, I’m living a mortgage-free lifestyle right now, immediately, while I’m still collecting equity in the main house. So that makes sense to me and that’s a good situation to be in.

To see more, visit Living Big In A Tiny House and on YouTube.

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White House Weighs Personal Mobile Phone Ban for Staff


The White House may ban its employees from using personal mobile phones while at work, raising concerns among some staffers including that they’ll be cut off from family and friends, according to seven administration officials.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained about press leaks since taking office, but one official said the potential change isn’t connected to concerns about unauthorized disclosures to news organizations.

The proposed ban is instead driven by cybersecurity concerns, the officials said. One official said that there are too many devices connected to the campus wireless network and that personal phones aren’t as secure as those issued by the federal government. White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — whose personal phone was found to be compromised by hackers earlier this year — is leading the push for a ban, another official said.

The officials requested anonymity to discuss the proposal because it’s not final.

The White House already takes precautions with personal wireless devices, including by requiring officials to leave phones in cubbies outside of meeting rooms where sensitive or classified information is discussed. Top officials haven’t yet decided whether or when to impose the ban, and if it would apply to all staff in the executive office of the president.

While some lower-level officials support a ban, others worry it could result in a series of disruptive unintended consequences.

No Texts

Mobile devices issued by the White House aren’t able to send text messages, creating a hardship for staff who say texting is often the easiest way for their families to reach them in the middle of a busy day of meetings. Other staff are concerned that they could be accused of wasting government resources if they use White House-issued phones to place personal calls.

The White House computer network already blocks employees from accessing certain websites, including Gmail and Google Hangouts, meaning that without personal devices officials could be cut off from their personal email accounts throughout the work day.

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White House Support for Aggression and Blockade of Yemen

White House Support for Aggression and Blockade of Yemen

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Humanitarian conditions in the country are dire. International Rescue Committee in Yemen country director Paolo Cernuschi called world community “silence” on what’s going on “shocking.”

If blockade of ports continues, “we really are looking at a catastrophic deterioration of the situation and creating a humanitarian crisis of proportions that I think we’ve not seen in our lifetimes,” he stressed.

Essentials of life in amounts needed “are stuck,” unable to get in. A UN report said fuel importing companies in the country explained they’ll no longer be able to supply consumers, supplies running out in a week or less.

Millions of Yemenis face famine. Saudi Arabia reneged on its promise to open the port of Hodeida and permit humanitarian corridors – lifelines for starving Yemenis.

Aid agencies said Riyadh permission to deliver vital humanitarian supplies wasn’t received, vital essentials to life blocked from entering Yemeni ports.

According to a UN source, a request was submitted to “bring in aid…but there has been nothing,” no response. 

“At this stage, we do not know the reason for the delay.” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Yemen director Jamie McGoldrick issued a statement, saying:

“There is a system where we notify (Riyadh) and ask for space or time slots to bring our planes in, and we negotiate in terms of getting space on the port as well. We’ve actually gone through the normal procedures and we’re just waiting to find out how that goes.”

Care International said “(n)ot only is the commercial import of food and medical supplies necessary for survival, without fuel Yemen’s water and sanitation networks will not function in a country already battling cholera.” 

“Humanitarian assistance alone is not enough to supply the basic needs and protections critical for Yemen’s population.”

London-based African analyst Alex de Waal accused Washington and Britain of complicity in the horrific “famine crime” in Yemen, adding:

“Yemen is really the most shocking case of our generation of a famine crime because the lines of culpability are so clear and there’s no denying them.”

Along with Saudi terror-bombing, Trump is waging covert war on Yemen, escalating what Obama began, conducting scores of US of aerial attacks by warplanes and drones, defenseless civilians harmed most.

Naked aggression masquerades as counterterrorism operations, Britain complicit with Washington, both countries providing Riyadh with heavy weapons and munitions.

According to Reprieve deputy director Katie Taylor, “(s)ince taking office, President Trump has unleashed a barrage of strikes on Yemen in a flagrant breach of international law, killing scores of civilians and making a fragile country even less stable.”

“It’s shameful that the UK provides operational support for this disastrous strike program.”

British Labor MP Clive Lewis blasted Trump for authorizing covert CIA drone strikes, escalating the conflict instead of taking steps to end it.

Trump expanded Obama’s drone war policy, including greater CIA authority to conduct strikes in war theaters and elsewhere, Britain complicit in what’s going on.

Its Defense Ministry refused to comment on “covert operations or intelligence matters.” Civilian deaths and injuries keep mounting.

A disgraceful White House statement expressed support for Saudi terror-bombing and blockade.

It lied accusing Iran of supplying Houthi fighters with “destabilizing missile systems to target Saudi Arabia.” Blockade prevents any weapons from getting into the country.

According to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Houthis produce their own missiles. They’re not foreign supplied, calling accusations otherwise “completely baseless.”

White House expressing support for ending “this devastating conflict…through political negotiations” flies in the face of escalated war Trump initiated – along with Saudi terror-bombing and joint US/Riyadh blockade.

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