Gambia: Regional troops invade to depose Jammeh

Source: Lompoc Record

"A West African regional force charged into neighboring Gambia late Thursday to support the country's newly inaugurated president, while longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh showed no sign of stepping down. The troops moved in shortly after Adama Barrow was inaugurated at Gambia's embassy in neighboring Senegal, after a final effort at diplomatic talks with Jammeh failed to secure his departure. His mandate expired at midnight." (01/19/17)

A parting shot at personal freedom

by Andrew P Napolitano

"On Jan. 3, outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch secretly signed an order directing the National Security Agency — America's 60,000-person-strong domestic spying apparatus — to make available raw spying data to all other federal intelligence agencies, which then can pass it on to their counterparts in foreign countries and in the 50 states upon request. She did so, she claimed, for administrative convenience. Yet in doing this, she violated basic constitutional principles that were erected centuries ago to prevent just what she did." (01/19/17)

Mexico: Regime says drug lord "El Chapo" Guzman extradited to US

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

"Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman, Mexico's most notorious cartel kingpin who twice made brazen prison escapes and spent years on the run as the country's most wanted man, was extradited to the United States on Thursday to face drug trafficking and other charges. Mexico's Foreign Relations Department announced Guzman was handed over to U.S. authorities for transportation to the U.S. on Thursday, the last day of President Barack Obama's administration and a day before Donald Trump is to be inaugurated. Two senior U.S. officials confirmed that Guzman was on his way." (01/19/17)

You can't "cheat" a gang of thieves

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Will Grigg

"[Willia] McCovey's contrition, celebrity, and — to be blunt — ethnicity helped him find favor in the eyes of the Divine One. Obama did not extend similar leniency to other so-called tax cheats, such as actor Wesley Snipes or economist Irwin Schiff — the latter of whom died of cancer in prison at the age of 87. Blind, unable to walk, wracked with unremitting pain, deprived of medical treatment and the solace of his family, Schiff was kept shackled to a bed in what can only be described as deliberate torture worthy of the Soviet gulag. That comparison is somewhat unfair: As former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky has testified, the KGB guards at Lefortovo Prison who witnessed his torture eventually succumbed to the entreaties of conscience and interceded on his behalf. Prison guards employed in the American soyuz tend to be more dutiful statists than their Soviet antecedents. Just as McCovey was rewarded for his penitence, Schiff was tortured to death for his defiance." (01/19/17)

Judge hints at trial for lawsuit on CIA torture

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"Psychologists who designed the CIA's [torture] methods for the war on terror want a lawsuit from three former detainees dismissed, but a federal judge said Thursday that he was inclined to allow it to move to a trial that was expected to include classified information. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the psychologists on behalf of Gul Rahman, who died in custody, and Suleiman Abdullah Salim and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud, who claim they were tortured in CIA prisons. The lawsuit says [torture] methods such as waterboarding were developed by James Mitchell and John 'Bruce' Jessen, whose Spokane, Washington, company contracted with the CIA." (01/19/17)

Rick Perry's sudden change of heart is business as usual

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"As a cabinet official, Perry's bailiwick will sprawl across all 50 states and the several US territories. He'll dispose of a budget a fraction of the size that he controlled as governor of Texas (less than $30 billion versus more than $100 billion), but within his sphere of influence, he'll actually wield more, and less contestable, power. Is anyone surprised that Perry doesn't want to eliminate a particular job now that it’s going to be HIS job? If so, you shouldn't be. David Stockman told you all about that phenomenon 30 years ago." (01/19/17)

Libya: US planes strike Islamic State training camps after declaring end to bombing

Source: Guardian [UK]

"US warplanes have again struck Islamic State targets in Libya, a month after Washington declared a successful conclusion to its air campaign there. B-2 bombers and drones attacked and destroyed two Isis training camps 45km south-west of Sirte, the Pentagon said on Thursday." [editor's note: "Isis training camps" turn out to be wedding receptions in 3, 2, 1 … – TLK] (01/19/17)

Nothing is real: When reality TV programming masquerades as politics

by John W Whitehead

"Donald Trump no longer needs to launch Trump TV. He's already the star of his own political reality show. Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment, and the Trump reality show — guest starring outraged Democrats with a newly awakened conscience for immigrants and the poor, power-hungry Republicans eager to take advantage of their return to power, and a hodgepodge of other special interest groups with dubious motives — feeds that appetite for titillating, soap opera drama." (01/19/17)

US transfers four Guantanamo inmates in waning hours of Obama tenure

Source: Jamestown Sun

"The United States sent four more detainees from the Guantanamo Bay military prison to two other countries on Thursday, marking President Barack Obama's final prisoner transfers from a facility whose continued existence he said would be judged harshly by history. With Republican Donald Trump to be sworn in as president on Friday and vowing to keep the prison open, Democrat Obama whittled down the inmate population there to only 41, far short of fulfilling his promise to close the jail dating back to his 2008 presidential campaign." (01/19/17)

Hurting low-information voters wittle feelings

Source: Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan

"Let's be clear: Part of my mission is to downgrade the status we attach to politics. I argue for elitism about politics in the same way I argue for elitism about plumbing. The average person knows jack shit about plumbing, but that doesn't make him an inferior person. Still, the average person's opinions on plumbing aren't worth much more than the stuff we flush down the pipes. Same goes for the average person's opinions on trade policy, immigration policy, and so on. To have a reasonable point of view requires knowledge of particular relevant facts (let alone social scientific knowledge), but we have 65 years of data showing most people lack awareness or are uninformed even the most basic relevant facts. 'It hurts my feelings when you say that!' Sorry, precious, but I ain't your mommy." (01/19/17)