February 17, 2020

Virginia lawmakers reject assault weapons ban

Dana Mathewson

Let's hear it for the Good Guys!

RICHMOND, Va.— Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal.

Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday's committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

The bill was a top priority for Northam, a Democrat who has campaigned heavily for a broad package of gun-control measures.

The legislation also engendered the biggest pushback from gun owners and gun-right advocates, who accused the governor and others of wanting to confiscate commonly owned guns and accessories from law-abiding gun owners. Northam has said repeatedly he does not want to confiscate guns, but argued that banning new sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines would help prevent mass murders.

[...]

Northam has been able to get much of his gun-control agenda passed this year, but struggled with the proposed assault weapon ban. Earlier proposals to ban possession of AR-15-style rifles or to require owners to register them with state police have been scrapped. The governor had hoped a watered-down would win over enough Democratic moderates for passage.

An estimated 8 million AR-style guns have been sold since they were introduced to the public in the 1960s. The weapons are known as easy to use, easy to clean and easy to modify with a variety of scopes, stocks and rails.

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate have already advanced several other gun-control measures and should finalize passage in the coming days. Those bills include limiting handgun purchases to once a month, universal background checks on gun purchases, allowing localities to ban guns in public buildings, parks and other areas, and a red flag bill that would allow authorities to temporarily take guns away from anyone deemed to be dangerous to themselves or others.

The article is here: https://www.foxbusiness.com/lifestyle/virginia-lawmakers-reject-assault-weapon-ban There'll be more on the subject as Gov. Blackface attempts to steal Virginians' freedom to defend themselves, and I'll do my best to keep you posted. Meanwhile, it's heartening to observe that some Virginia Democratic lawmakers aren't drinking the Kool-Aid!

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Enviromental Terrorism in Britain and Canada

Timothy Birdnow

Boris Johnson is allowing Extinction Rebellion and other enviro-terrorists to run wild in Britain.

James Dellingpole bemoans the development:

Why aren’t the police arresting them? Why should taxpayers have to pay for the damage done? And what does this say about the future of Britain under a green tyranny where hardcore environmental activists and the Boris Johnson administration appear to have formed an alliance in opposition to the British people?

Here are the scenes in Cambridge today, dodgy anarchists wearing the fashionable Extinction Rebellion hat, digging up Cambridge’s manicured lawns under the rainbow flag.

Only fellows allowed on the grass!’ @xr_cambridge pic.twitter.com/wBjAH8nJ93

— Cambridge Food Tour (@cambfoodtour) February 17, 2020

And here are the same unruly mob closing down one of Cambridge’s thoroughfares, as if it’s entirely up to them who does and doesn’t get to use the public highway.

To be clear: we don’t want to spend our Sunday blocking roads in the p***ing rain and howling wind but our politicians have failed us. We have 10 years to fundamentally change economies to avoid cascading climate & ecological impacts. We won’t stop until we see change. pic.twitter.com/yZNX4vwnPb

— XR Cambridge (@xr_cambridge) February 16, 2020

And here are local people fast losing patience with the apparent reluctance of the authorities — notably Cambridge police — to do the job they are paid for and maintain law and order.

Shockingly, almost unbelievably, instead of clearing away Extinction Rebellion’s makeshift roadblock, the local police have actually chosen to formalise the protest by using their own ’emergency police powers’ to close roads officially. Buses have been diverted. ‘Pedestrians and cyclists will not be affected’, the Cambridge Police Twitter account tells us primly and with, perhaps, a hint of relish at being able to participate in this orgy of environmental virtue-signalling.

@BorisJohnson

Interestingly enough this same thing has been happening in Canada.

And nobody appears willing to act to stop this. Why?  And who is funding this?

Why don't we get answers to these questions? These things don't materialize out of thin air. Somebody is funding this - and for big bucks. And somebody is providing political protection.

George Soros? Probably, but who else? Is the U.N. clandestinely funneling U.S. dollars to this?

I want answers.

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Buttigiege Praised Sanders, Socialism

Timothy Birdnow

Mayor Pete Gigabutt Buttigieg won an essay contest praising socialism and Bernie Sanders when he was younger.

He won a Kennedy School essay contest in 2000 when he was in high school.

From Gateway Pundit:

Fortunately for the political process, there remain a number of committed individuals who are steadfast enough in their beliefs to run for office to benefit their fellow Americans. Such people are willing to eschew political and personal comfort and convenience because they believe they can make a difference. One outstanding and inspiring example of such integrity is the country’s only Independent Congressman, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ courage is evident in the first word he uses to describe himself: "Socialist”. In a country where Communism is still the dirtiest of ideological dirty words, in a climate where even liberalism is considered radical, and Socialism is immediately and perhaps willfully confused with Communism, a politician dares to call himself a socialist? He does indeed. Here is someone who has "looked into his own soul” and expressed an ideology, the endorsement of which, in today’s political atmosphere, is analogous to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Even though he has lived through a time in which an admitted socialist could not act in a film, let alone hold a Congressional seat, Sanders is not afraid to be candid about his political persuasion.

After numerous political defeats in his traditionally Republican state, Sanders won the office of mayor of Burlington by ten votes. A successful and popular mayor, he went on to win Vermont’s one Congressional seat in 1990. Since then, he has taken many courageous and politically risky stands on issues facing the nation. He has come under fire from various conservative religious groups because of his support for same-sex marriages. His stance on gun control led to NRA-organized media campaigns against him. Sanders has also shown creativity in organizing drug-shopping trips to Canada for senior citizens to call attention to inflated drug prices in the United States.

While impressive, Sanders’ candor does not itself represent political courage. The nation is teeming with outspoken radicals in one form or another. Most are sooner called crazy than courageous. It is the second half of Sanders’ political role that puts the first half into perspective: he is a powerful force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that "we should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals. For politics and legislation are not matters for inflexible principles or unattainable ideals.” It may seem strange that someone so steadfast in his principles has a reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes Sanders truly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy’s ideal of "compromises of issues, not of principles.”

Sanders has used his unique position as the lone Independent Congressman to help Democrats and Republicans force hearings on the internal structure of the International Monetary Fund, which he sees as excessively powerful and unaccountable. He also succeeded in quietly persuading reluctant Republicans and President Clinton to ban the import of products made by under-age workers. Sanders drew some criticism from the far left when he chose to grudgingly endorse President Clinton’s bids for election and re-election as President. Sanders explained that while he disagreed with many of Clinton’s centrist policies, he felt that he was the best option for America’s working class.

Sanders’ positions on many difficult issues are commendable, but his real impact has been as a reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system. His energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political scene. He and few others like him have the power to restore principle and leadership in Congress and to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism. Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption. I have heard that no sensible young person today would want to give his or her life to public service. I can personally assure you this is untrue.

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Rocket Attacks Continue in Iraq

Timothy Birdnow

Iran is still launching rocket attacks against the U.S. embassy.

From the Daily Caller article:

"The Coalition confirms small rockets impacted the Iraqi base hosting @CJTFOIR troops in the International Zone, Feb. 16 at 3:24 a.m. (Iraq Time). No casualties. Investigation ongoing,” Colonel Caggins said.

The U.S. has not acknowledged that Iran is responsible and nobody has claimed credit. But it doesn't take a genius to figure out who is involved.

I warned that if we ignored those last rocket attacks they would keep it up. We needed to take solid action to make it clear it is not worth their effort. Instead the Trump Administration chose to downplay the attacks and ignored them. You CANNOT do that in international affairs.

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Two Tiered Justice Ignores Leftist Terrorism

Timothy Birdnow

Daniel Greenfield chronicles a terror campaign against a small GOP office.

From the Front Page Mag article:

The windows of the office had beenpreviously smashed in April of last year, before the release of the Mueller report. Like this latest attack, that assault had happened late at night over the weekend. After smashing through the windows with rocks, the "Make America Great Again” sticker was replaced with a "Keep America Green” sticker from the Sierra Club. Nothing says environmentalism like vandalism.

Eureka lefties justified the attack because the office has large cardboard cutouts of Reagan and Trump.

In March 2019, a window had been smashed. In August of 2018, the office was vandalized again, leaving behind signsreading, "Fake President Impeach + Indite”, "45 = Lies House of Lies”, and "Guantanamo and Torture x 20 Years 45 and all supporters." A "Make America Great Again” sign had been crossed out and the elephant on the "Republican Headquarters” sign had been defaced.

A month earlier, President Trump had nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The windows of the Humboldt Republican Headquarters have been broken three times in two years. They’ve been covered with plywood so often that it’s become a familiar sight. And while this latest incident was the most severe, previous episodes of vandalism had marred the windows, defaced signs, and tried to cause as much damage as possible with whatever the leftist vandals had at hand.

This latest attack is expected to cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Previous acts of leftist vandalism had cost in the $700 range.

And despite the leftist signs, the Eureka Police Department dismissed it as "random vandalism”.

We live in a nation with a two-tiered system of justice, one for us normals and another for the Left.  Whatever happened to the rule of law?

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China Owns Our Drugs

This from Joseph Bast:

" Mansour noted how the coronavirus outbreak in China has exposed America’s dangerous dependence on Chinese production of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for domestic drug production.” But this is the result of "free trade,” so I guess we can’t object.

Expert: China Has ‘Global Chokehold’ on Medicine, Can Shut Down Our Pharmacies, Hospitals in Months

From the article:

China could effectively shut down America’s healthcare system within months given the one-party state’s "global chokehold” on the manufacturing of medicines and medical supplies, explained Rosemary Gibson, author ofChina Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine.

Gibson, senior adviser at the Hastings Center, offered her remarks on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Ed Martin.

Mansour notedhow the coronavirus outbreak in China has exposed America’s dangerous dependence on Chinese production of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, including an estimated 97 percent of all antibiotics and 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed for domestic drug production.

A word from Tim:

America's out of control legal system has made it too expensive for American companies to produce antibiotics. Research and development costs are very high, and then they may be disapproved by the FDA in the end. And if they ARE approved and there turn out to be side effects the trial lawyers will sue the drug companies into oblivion. So the drug companies concentrate on drugs that will make them money over the long term - pain killers, palliatives, anything that can be taken repeatedly. Antibiotics are good for one course of treatment and then (hopefully) not be used again, so there isn't enough money in pursuing research and manufacture of such drugs.

So China, with nothing to lose, is happy to do it for us. But there is a price to be paid for letting a rather unfriendly trade partner provide your needs.

Trade can be used as a weapon, and "free trade" can be a trap; it only works if both parties adhere to the rules and are fair and honest with each-other.

The Muslims used trade as a weapon, and it was quite effective for a long time. They embargoed spices and silks from China and the orient. Yes, the West eventually sent out ships to find new routes to the Orient, but it took centuries and in the meantime the Arabs had Europe over a barrel. If you wonder why the Europeans never really got behind the Crusades, or why they failed to launch new ones, it was because they could not afford to close the spice trade.

China could essentially close the Silk Road if it chose.

(I wonder; how many readers have read Isaac Asimov's Foundation stories?  Trade was a powerful weapon used by the Foundation to annex territory and colonize regions in those stories.)

At any rate, we have become way too dependent on trade, and that was by design. The internationalists wanted an interdependent world, and if you doubt that just look at Europe, which saw an economic Anschluss of the German and French economies after the Second World War. Now Europe is dying as a culture, and that because it threw away it's own distinction in a quixotic quest to comingle. And this was an archetype of what these people wanted for the whole world.

Remember when Madelein Albreight, Clinton's Secretary of State, bemoaned the fact the U.S. was the lone superpower on Earth? She was echoing the sentiment of the Foggy Bottom types, who believe that the way to peace is through world government and global socialist economics. You can't have a nation that is dominant in too many fields.

So they set out to create a counterweight to America, and they have used free trade to promote the Chinese as that counterweight. And they've succeeded. China is now capable of fighting us and possibly winning in a major war. And China has a strong hold on our economy via our lust for cheap goods. And we let China do things "Americans just won't do" - because our own government stifles us.

So now we are facing a medical situation and we have to buy our treatment from the Chinese. Great.


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"Trans" Campaign has been going on for Decades

Timothy Birdnow

In a recent post on transgenderism Dana Mathewson pointed out that scientists are now coming out decrying the notion of multiple sexes - and that this concept clashes with "gay" culture because it dismisses the very idea of different sexes in general.

I pointed out in the comments section:

I watched the movie Little Big Man yesterday (with Dustin Hoffman). That was made in the seventies, or very early eighties. In it there were TWO "transgendered" characters, both of whom were rather sympathetic (although they were still there as comic relief.) This shows they have been working on this for a long time, trying to get America to accept this idiocy.

Wearing the opposite sex's clothing is a mental disorder. It is not some sort of alternative sex. It is no different than a guy dressing in nineteenth century garb and saying he's Napoleon.

And so it is.

The point is there have been forces at work in Hollywood and other Progressive bastions that have been promoting this for quite some time.

I quoted research last summer that disproved the "gender spectrum" theory.  Let me quote from the article again:

A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. has discovered genome-wide variations in gene expression between male and female mammals. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes their RNA sequencing studies in several types of mammals and what they found.

Physiological differences between mammalian genders are quite often easy to spot—in addition to organs involved in reproduction, there are skeletal and facial hair differences, as well as height differences. Prior research and anecdotal evidence has also suggested there may be some differences in the way the brain works. But what about variations in gene expression? The researchers in this new effort report that very little research has been done in this area, which is a problem—recent studies have shown that there are many gender-based health issues. Women are more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases, for example. And men are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases.

[,,,]

To learn more about gender-based gene expression, the researchers sequenced the RNA of both genders of four non-human mammals: rats, mice, macaques and dogs. As part of their efforts, they tested different tissues in each of the animals to ensure that each germ layer was represented. They also sequenced tissue from all of the most prominent organs. They then compared what they found to similar data collected from human subjects stored in the Genotype Tissue Expression Consortium database.

The researchers found examples of hundreds of conserved gender-biased gene expressions in each tissue. As just one example, they found that 12 percent of the gender differences related to average height in humans could be attributed to conserved gender-biased gene expression. They note that such findings are significant because they prove that gender biases in gene expression can lead directly to differences in traits.

So clearly "gender" (the proper word is sex; gender is a function of language, not biology) is NOT fluid but is set by genetics. See the Physorg article here.

But Liberalism is about making a god of Man, and gods aren't bound by such mundane things as biology. If you want to be a girl, you can just make yourself into one! Freedom to the Left is to do what you will. In fact, that was the very definition of freedom given by Aleister Crowley, the infamous occultist (known also as The Beast 666.) Crowley was a notorious hedonist and black magic practitioner whose followers had sex with animals and did other things to alienate themselves from God. Crowley's admonition was to "do what thou wilt". Modern Wiccans and other practitioners of witchcraft put the caveat "as long as you hurt nobody else" on the end of that, but it is rather putting lipstick on a pig. In the end witchcraft is a practice whereby belief and rites can alter reality, can make things as "thou wilt" as opposed to as Nature and Nature's God ordained. But it is the same sin.

And our headlong rush to normalize "transgenderism" is that sin. We have decided we will make this decision, not God, not nature. It is the creature usurping the Creator.

If you don't like the religious tone of that well fine; how about saying it is going against science and the laws of nature. Either way, it is a sort of madness. You don't take a guy who thinks he's a bird to the top of a cliff and let him jump off.

At any rate, when I read Dana's post this morning it clicked with me. I had just watched Little Big Man last night (hadn't seen it in decades) and it made me realize just how long they have been working at that.

I remember a "trans woman" in the eighties movie Crocodile Dundee too. While they were poking a little fun, the fact is they also set the "woman" in a sympathetic light.

This has been a campaign in the works for decades.

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February 16, 2020

Science Says There Are Only Two Genders, No Gender 'Spectrum'

Dana Mathewson

It's about time!

In the increasingly brainwashed world we live in, it is incredibly refreshing when experts are willing to speak the politically incorrect truth. In Thursday's edition of the Wall Street Journal, biologists Colin M. Wright and Emma N. Hilton provide extensive commentary on the transgender fad and the notion of gender fluidity. What does the science say? In short, it says that are only two genders: male and female.

Sadly, such an obvious conclusion can get you branded as a bigot these days

And what about the gender "spectrum" and gender being a social construct? Wright and Hilton completely destroy the basis of these concepts. "If male and female are merely arbitrary groupings, it follows that everyone, regardless of genetics or anatomy should be free to choose to identify as male or female, or to reject sex entirely in favor of a new bespoke 'gender identity,'" they write. "To characterize this line of reasoning as having no basis in reality would be an egregious understatement. It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution."

They explain that "In humans, reproductive anatomy is unambiguously male or female at birth more than 99.98% of the time." Humans, just like most animals and plants, have two distinct biological sexes with the corresponding anatomy for reproduction. "No third type of sex cell exists in humans, and therefore there is no sex 'spectrum' or additional sexes beyond male and female. Sex is binary."

According to Wright and Hilton, denying the "reality of biological sex" in favor of subjective "gender identity” raises "serious human-rights concerns for vulnerable groups including women, homosexuals and children."

Women have fought hard for sex-based legal protections. Female-only spaces are necessary due to the pervasive threat of male violence and sexual assault. Separate sporting categories are also necessary to ensure that women and girls don’t have to face competitors who have acquired the irreversible performance-enhancing effects conferred by male puberty. The different reproductive roles of males and females require laws to safeguard women from discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere. The falsehood that sex is rooted in subjective identity instead of objective biology renders all these sex-based rights impossible to enforce.

Denying biological sex also "erases homosexuality" since "same-sex attraction is meaningless without the distinction between the sexes."

Many activists now define homosexuality as attraction to the "same gender identity” rather than the same sex. This view is at odds with the scientific understanding of human sexuality. Lesbians have been denounced as "bigots” for expressing a reluctance to date men who identify as women. The successful normalization of homosexuality could be undermined by miring it in an untenable ideology.
Hallelujah! Please read the entire article! https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/science-says-there-are-only-two-genders-no-gender-spectrum/

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Donald Trump Saves the Planet, Leads World in Lowering CO2 Emissions

Dana Mathewson

No, this is NOT from the Babylon Bee or The Onion! It's true -- though you'll never convince the Democrat Party or Scoldilocks.

A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that tracks carbon emissions worldwide dropped great news for the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump on Tuesday. "The United States saw the largest decline in energy-related CO2 emissions in 2019 on a country basis – a fall of 140 Mt, or 2.9%, to 4.8 Gt. US emissions are now down almost 1 Gt from their peak in the year 2000, the largest absolute decline by any country over that period." [Emphases original]

Not only is Trump leading the world in economic success but he's also doing exactly what the climate scolds all claim they want, which is leading the world in energy saving. Carbon emission reduction isn't the only win for Trump's policies, the IEA also reported that natural gas is on the rise and coal-powered energy declined by 15% in America. "A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall US emissions in 2019. Coal-fired power plants faced even stronger competition from natural gas-fired generation, with benchmark gas prices an average of 45% lower than 2018 levels. As a result, gas increased its share in electricity generation to a record high of 37%."

Is there anything this president can't do? The air is cleaner, the stock market is booming, now, if we could only get him to tear down all the unsightly and ineffective wind farms that do next to nothing he'd be elected president forever. Do not look to the Democrats to give Trump any credit for the energy reductions and number one status in the whole darn world for "green" policies. They will continue to claim he wants to kill the planet and rape the earth of its bounties.

In 2019, The Guardian put out a list of all the terrible climate policies of Trump's including "departing from the Paris climate agreement summit," which, of course, we all now see was not at all necessary in order to reduce emissions since the US is leading all of them.

The New York Times gave us this handy chart of the climate rollbacks under Trump, showing that useless and stupid programs can be done away with while still cleaning up the environment. "President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses." Isn't it amazing that you can get rid of stupid regulations and still have cleaner air and water?

Please read the entire article, complete with a table showing the differences, right here: https://pjmedia.com/trending/triggered-donald-trump-saves-the-planet-leads-world-in-lowering-co2-emissions/ And it's complete with the usual gloom-and-doom from the New York Times predicting how the President's actions would take us back pretty much to the Dark Ages. We'll be eagerly awaiting their corrections any year now.

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The Iceman Cometh

Timothy Birdnow

Joe Bastardi discusses ice gain/loss around the world. He argues that ice loss is being weaponized by the AGW crowd, even when they know the reason for it (and it has nothing to do with global warming.)

Read  his article at CFACT

I was going to excerpt it, but there were too many graphics. So go there yourself and enjoy.

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Deceptive rhetoric at Davos could bring disaster

Paul Driessen

The World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland is billed as the globe’s most prestigious annual gathering of movers and shakers. Its mission is to "improve the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

This year’s theme was "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” Unfortunately, the lofty rhetoric belies the misleading, potentially disastrous realities of agendas supported by many participants.

A primary basis for this year’s theme is the repeated assertion that the world faces a climate cataclysm. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen thus wants to tax carbon-based energy imports into the EU and end humanity’s practice of "taking resources from the environment and generating waste and pollution in the process.” She (and others) insist that "green energy” would do no such thing.

Climate crisis claims in turn are based on computer models that are only as good as the assumptions built into them – and on attempts to blame temperature changes, extreme weather events and future crises on fossil fuel emissions, because the assumptions and models say it’s a cause-effect relationship.

The most cited model is (naturally) the most extreme: RCP8.5, which predicts temperatures way abovewhat we are actually measuring and all manner of future calamities. But it is based on the assumptions that: methane and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (a tiny 0.0402% of Earth’s atmosphere) are vastly more important than the sun in driving climate change; our planet will have 12 billion people by 2100; there will be no energy innovations over the next 80 years; and therefore coal use will increase tenfold by the end of the century. On that we’re supposed to base restrictive energy policies, and Davos meeting themes.

Who are the stakeholders that Davos attendees will consult? Greta Thunberg was invited, to present her patented tirade that fossil fuels are destroying her future. But no climate realists (alarmism skeptics) were given the podium, nor were representatives of EU or US factory workers or the world’s poorest citizens.

The good news is that several bankersmade assurances that they were not going to stop lending funds to fossil fuel companies or "major polluters.” (Will that latter category include the mining companies that will have to provide voluminous raw materials for a US and global "green new deal,” as discussed below?) The bad news is that Davos bankers and politicians allow themselves to be pressured constantly primarily by far-left "stakeholders,” who hold the stakes that they and global ruling elites want to drive through the hearts of developed nation living standards and poor country aspirations for better lives.

Indeed, contrary to its assurances at Davos, despite consultation with indigenous peoples supposedly being a core company business principle, and without consulting with Alaska Native stakeholders who want to drill carefully and ecologically for oil and gas on their own lands, to improve their people’s living standards, Goldman Sachs has decided it will no longer fund such development in the Arctic.

With "mainstream” outlets and social mediaincreasingly controlling news and opinion, and siding with climate alarmists and anti-fossil activists, that pressure will continue to build – to our great detriment.

Will Davos themes, agendas and policies usher in a more "cohesive” world? The opposite is infinitely more likely. Deprive people of abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel (and nuclear) energy, as eco-activists seek to do – and you deprive them of jobs, living standards, food, health and life. People die in droves (itself a goal of more rabid environmentalists panicked about an over-populated world). Implement "green new deal” policies, and the results will be anything but cohesion. The policies will bring rage, protests, violence and anarchy – as France and Chile vividly demonstrated over the past two years.

Turn African, Asian and Latin American countries into vassal states, with enormous mines serving "ecologically responsible, climate-focused” nations that don’t tolerate mining within their own borders – and any cohesion will rapidly disappear. Tell American, European and other families they must accept massive wind and solar installations in their backyards or off their coasts, and the results will be similar.

A "sustainable” world? Yes, fossil fuels are ultimately finite resources – hundreds of years from now, after we run out of huge coal deposits, oil and gas from fracking, methane hydrates and other supplies, assuming policy makers don’t lock them up and "keep them in the ground.” But long before that happens, human innovation will create far better alternatives than wind turbines, if we let creativity flourish.

Meanwhile, just remember: Wind and sunshine are sustainable. But lands and raw materials required for the technologies to harness this intermittent, widely disbursed energy absolutely are not.

Sustainability is a useful concept for assessing hidden costs, risks and fiduciary responsibilities – such as those associated with climate change, as we are constantly reminded. But we must apply those same considerations to wind, solar, battery and biofuel operations; and to impacts on habitats and wildlife, air and water quality, human health and wellbeing in green new deal mining and manufacturing regions, and human welfare in an energy-deprived world of increasing hunger, death, anger, riots and chaos.

As my new Heartland Institute reportsand previous articles note, fossil fuels and nuclear currently provide over 8 billion megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity and electricity-equivalent power annually, to meet America’s industrial, commercial, residential and transportation needs. Using solar to generate all that power – and charge batteries for a week of sunless days – would require 19 billion state-of-the-art sun-tracking photovoltaic panels, completely blanketing an area equal to all of New York and Vermont.

But that assumes the panels are all located where the sun shines with summertime Arizona intensity 24/7/365, which will never happen. So we’d probably have to double (perhaps even triple) the number of panels and affected acreage. The impacts on habitats and wildlife would be significant.

Using 1.8-MW wind turbines instead of solar panels would require more than 4 million turbines on farm, wildlife habitat and scenic lands equal to Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon and part of Washington State combined. But the more we install, the more we have to put turbines in poor wind locations. We’d probably have to double (or even triple) the number of turbines, and acreage impacted. Their rapidly turning blades (200 mph at their tips) would slaughter millions of eagles, falcons, other birds and bats.

Going offshore instead would require hundreds of thousands of 650-foot-tall 10-MW turbines. Their impact on birds, bats, marine mammals, vistas, and ship and aircraft navigation would be intolerable.

Each 1.8-MW turbine requires some 1,200 tons of steel, copper, aluminum, rare earth elements, zinc, molybdenum, petroleum-based composites, reinforced concrete and other materials. Each ton of materials requires removing thousands of tons of rock and ore – and processing ores with fossil fuels. In fact, wind turbines need some 200 times more material per megawatt than a modern combined-cycle gas turbine!

Storing a week of electricity for windless and sunless periods would require some 2 billion half-ton Tesla car lithium-cobalt battery packs – and more materials; more mining. Connecting wind, solar and battery facilities to distant cities would require thousands of miles of new transmission lines, and more mining.

This doesn’t include materials to replace existing cars, trucks, heating systems and other technologies.

And that’s just for the United States. Imagine how many turbines, panels, batteries, transmission lines, raw materials, mines, processing plants and factories we’d need for a global transformation!

But green new deal advocates detest mining, at least by western mining companies in western countries. So it’s mostly done in faraway places that have virtually no environmental, health, safety, wage or child labor rules. Places like Inner Mongolia, where rare earth operations have fouled the air, created a huge toxic lake, and poisoned thousands of people. And Africa’s Congo, where 40,000 children labor in mines just for the cobalt needed in today’s cell phones, laptops and electric cars; not for any green new deal.

This eco-imperialism and false sustainability must end. As to all those self-styled stakeholders, You first. Lead by example. Slash yourenergy use and living standards. Then you can (nicely) ask the rest of us to do likewise. That means you, Greta, Leo DiCaprio, Al Gore, Emma Thompson and all the other climate scolds. (But of course they won’t. So why should we? And why should the world’s poor?)

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The Swamp Still Stinks

Timothy Birdnow

Double standard at the DOJ - and the Swamp stinks again!

From Canada Free Press:

The foreman of the jury that convicted Stone was Tomeka Hart, who revealed herself this week with public statements about the case. Hart is a former Democratic Party congressional candidate who made online comments that were critical of both Stone and President Donald Trump. She tweeted about Trump with the hashtag "klanpresident,” shouted "shame, shame shame” outside one of his hotels during a protest and referred to Stone and other supporters of the President as "racists and Putin cronies,” according to George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. In his view, there is a "serious question as to whether the conviction itself” of Roger Stone "should be reevaluated.”

It was also discovered that another juror was married to an official of the Department of Justice (DOJ) who worked in a division that spearheaded the Stone arrest, while another juror, Seth Cousins, had made donations to Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic Party candidate for President, along with other left wing organizations. With such incredible bias on the jury, Stone had no chance of receiving a fair trial. It is no surprise that his attorneys have asked for a new trial in a secret court filing according to Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller.

The DOJ initially recommended that Stone receive a jail sentence of between seven and nine years in prison. These guidelines were blasted by President Donald Trump who called them "a disgrace.” Of course, convicting Stone was part of the discredited Mueller investigation. Stone was never involved in Russian collusion and had no conversations with Wikileaks.

As President Trump noted, Stone was being prosecuted for "something nobody can even define.” He lied about conversations with a liberal talk show host, supposedly threatened his dog and engaged in other peripheral activities that had no bearing on the original purpose of the Mueller investigation.

Fortunately, United States Attorney General Bill Barr revised the sentencing guidelines to a more reasonable length of between three and four years. Nevertheless, the fact that Stone is being prosecuted is an outrage. He is also under a gag order by the judge, denying him his First Amendment rights of free speech.

 

In contrast to the harsh treatment received by Stone and other Trump associates like Lt. General Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort, the denizens of the deep state never receive any consequences for their behavior.

For example, former Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, no longer must worry about being prosecuted. On Friday, a questionable decision was made not to issue any charges and drop the investigation into McCabe, who was the subject of a criminal referral by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

This decision was made even though Horowitz identified multiple instances of McCabe lying about leaking information to the Wall Street Journal. According to Horowitz, McCabe disclosed "the existence of an ongoing investigation,” which violated both FBI and DOJ policy.

So even now there are two sets of rules, and that from Donald Trump's own Justice Department.

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Department of Labor Still Pursuing Obama Era Policies

Timothy Birdnow

Trump's Department of Labor is STILL pursuing Obama-era lawsuits promoting "social justice".

Powerline dishes.

The culprit is the Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). During the Obama administration, OFCCP became a bastion of leftism. It pursued radical theories of pay discrimination, the goal of which is to force companies to pay male and female employees the same rates with little regard for the work they actually perform and the relevant experience they bring to the job.

Silicon Valley became a prime target of the Obama OFCCP. On its way out the door, the Obamaites filed pay discrimination cases against Oracle, Google, and Palantir. Under Alex Acosta, the DOL pursued these cases (the one against Palantir settled). Under Gene Scalia, it has continued to do so.

Indeed, according to this article by Cory Andrewsof the Washington Legal Foundation, Scalia has done nothing much to curb the OFCCP. Andrews says that "since Secretary Scalia assumed his post in September 2019, the OFCCP has seemingly grown more stridentunder his watch.” (Emphasis added) "At the same time,” he continues, "Secretary Scalia has had nothing to say about OFCCP’s ultra vires enforcement regime.”

Andrews correctly views the OFCCP as an extreme example of the rise of the administrative state, under which inordinate power resides in the hands of largely unchecked bureaucrats:

If [the OFCCP] suspects a federal contractor or subcontractor of violating one of the anti-discrimination provisions in a government contract, the OFCCP doesn’t refer the matter to the DOJ to sue for breach of contract in federal court. Nor does it refer the company to the EEOC for further investigation and possible action under Title VII.

Instead, the OFCCP brings an administrative enforcement action against the accused before the Labor Department’s own administrative law judges. Appeals from that adjudication? The Labor Department decides the appeal, too. . . .

What does it take to actually drain the swamp? Trump appoints people who do nothing. We elected him to stop this kind of crap.

Bear in mind this is Trumps' second shot at this; his former Labor Secretary - Alexis Acosta - pursued the very same strategy, the one started by the Obama Administration.

This is exactly why there should be no Department of Labor in the first place. It is not only none of the Federal government's business, it's also something guaranteed to wreck havoc on the nation. And it is something that will attract radicals from Big Labor and the Progressive reformers.



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New Mexico Goes Red Flag

Timothy Birdnow

New Mexico turns to the Dark Side, passing a "red flag" bill.

From American Military News:

The House voted 39-31 Thursday night to approve the so-called red-flag bill, which would allow law enforcement to petition for a court order to take away a person’s firearms. A judge could require the person to give up their guns for 10 days — an order that could be extended to one year — if probable cause is found that the person poses a threat to themselves or others.

The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has championed it as one of her key crime-fighting initiatives. She is expected to sign it into law in the next month.

The vote did not fall strictly along party lines. Seven Democrats — Harry Garcia of Grants, Raymundo Lara of Chamberino, Willie Madrid of Chaparral, Rudy Martinez of Bayard, Patricio Ruiloba of Albuquerque, Joseph Sanchez of Alcalde and Candie Sweetser of Deming — joined Republicans in opposing the bill.

Supporters say the measure would save lives in a state beset by gun violence. Opponents say it would likely have no effect on someone who is determined to take a life and that it would violate constitutional rights protected by both the Second and Fourth amendments.

The legislation — introduced by Sen. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, and Reps. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, and Joy Garrratt, D-Albuquerque — was among the most contentious of this legislative session.

New Mexico would join 17 states and Washington, D.C., in enacting "extreme risk protection” legislation.

I'm not sure where "shall not be enfringed" is unclear.

It's interesting this is happening in a border state. With illegal aliens pouring in, the people of New Mexico have a right and duty to protect themselves. It seems once again the Democrats are more interested in helping illegal aliens and winning their illegal votes than in following the Law or protecting the People.

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Theory of Formation of Planets Wrong?

Timothy Birdnow

Theories about how the planets formed may be wrong - perhaps very wrong.

New research based on data sent back by the New Horizons probe indicate that the body known as Arrokoth (in the Kuiper Belt) formed from two distinct bodies. But, unlike the standard theory that says larger planetoids are formed from violent collisions, Arrokoth appears to have been gently created.

From the Science Alerts article:

Arrokoth, formerly known as (486958) 2014 MU69or Ultima Thule,was visited by the New Horizons probe on New Year's Day last year, way out in the Kuiper Belt.

At a staggering average distance from the Sun of 6.7 billion kilometres (4.1 billion miles), and an orbital period of 293 years, Arrokoth is the most distant single object in the Solar System we've identified.

[...]

The first of the three papers, by New Horizons investigator William McKinnon of Washington University in St. Louis and colleagues, found that the two objects in the Arrokoth binary actually formed close together.

There are generally two competing theories about how planets are born.

According to the longstandinghierarchical accretion modelof planetesimal formation, the building blocks of planets are formed when different parts of the solar nebula - the cloud of gas and dust that formed the Sun and planets - violently crash together.

 

On the other hand, thepebble accretion modelsuggests that elements from the same area gradually and gently come together to form binary objects.

The latest data from Arrokoth lends weight to the latter.

If Arrokoth had formed from chunks coming together from different parts of the nebula, it would have shown more evidence of impacts, the researchers said.

Hmm. This is ancient cosmic flotsom, and it SHOULD have been quite violent in the way it combined.

It gets wierder.:

The second paper helped back this up, with astronomer John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute and colleagues studying the surface of Arrokoth. They confirmed that it was smooth and only lightly cratered, a stark difference from other objects in the Solar System.

 

They also confirmed that Arrokoth has no rings or satellites larger than 180 metres (590 feet) within a radius of 8,000 kilometres, and no atmosphere, or gas or dust emission, the presence of which would indicate relatively recent perturbation. That indicates that Arrokoth has been pretty peaceful for a very long time indeed.

But they also studied Arrokoth's craters more closely, and found that the object's surface is likely around 4 billion years old - nearly as old as the Solar System itself.

"Arrokoth's spin state is likely to have evolved only very slowly, there do not appear to be sufficient impacts to act as effective seismic sources, and Arrokoth's likely high porosity would make seismic energy propagation highly inefficient," they wrote in their paper.

"Overall, despite the paucity of craters on its surface, the observed crater density is consistent with a crater retention age of greater than ~4 billion years. The visible surface at the scale of the LORRI image resolution thus plausibly dates from the end of Solar System accretion."

Curiouser and curiouser.  The article concludes:

Finally, in the third paper, astronomer Will Grundy of Lowell Observatory and colleagues studied Arrokoth's peculiar redness. The reddest naturally occurring material - called "ultrared matter" - in the Solar System can be found in the Kuiper Belt, and Arrokoth is coated in it, but the material's exact nature was unclear.

The team found that the object is uniformly cold and red, coated in methanol ice and complex organic molecules they couldn't precisely identify based on the limited spectral data New Horizons was able to gather. These molecules are likely what creates the red colour.

This not only seems to confirm organic molecules as the source of ultrared matter; the uniformity of the colour - as well as the age of the surface as found by Spencer's team - also support the finding that Arrokoth was formed in a highly localised region.

"Arrokoth has the physical features of a body that came together slowly, with 'local' materials in the solar nebula," said Grundy. "An object like Arrokoth wouldn't have formed, or look the way it does, in a more chaotic accretion environment."

Seems the old violent collision theory may be wrong - at least for this body, and perhaps for all the bodies as far out as the Kuiper Belt. Of course, that doesn't mean it worked that way in the inner system.

One has to wonder; if the formation of planets was more gentle than we realize, perhaps other established theories about our solar system are wrong? 

This is why we need to actually go out there and not just sit at home and peer through telescopes. You can't really learn that much from a distance.

And it may be important down the road; early in our history it appears the Earth and other planets (like the Moon) were pummelled by massive amounts of space debris. The moon is terribly pock-marked on the side facing the Earth (yet strangely enough the far side is much gentler and one wonders if the side we see was at one time facing out where it could be hit? If we understand the outer system better we can better predict a chunk of rock or ice. That may save our lives some day. We don't know why Earth was bombarded early on, but it could happen again. We just don't know!

We live in interesting times!

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There are no Moderates

Warner Todd Houston

There are no actual "moderate" Democrats running for president.

Media Pushes False Narrative that Klobuchar and Buttigieg are Moderates

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Life in the Cosmos?

Timothy Birdnow

Warner Todd Houston asked this question of Fakebook:

Question of the day: Why have we seen no indication of life outside planet earth?

My answer is that there probably isn't any. What do you say?

I replied:

That is known as the Fermi Paradox. Enrico Fermi pointed out that aliens would be at all levels of development and so we should find some evidence of their existence. We don't, which means they either do not exist, or they are so far away we cannot find any evidence of them, or they never developed machine technology like we have.

Of course, a star is  not visible to us. What is visible to us is light from the past. A star 400 light years away may have gone nova for all we know. We are seeing it  as it was four hundred years ago. So if there is intelligent life on such a star WE would give no indication of our presence since we hadn't yet developed technology they could see. It would work the same for them.

And as nine of of ten stars are red dwarfs, it means few stars likely to produce life as we know it are hanging around within easy reach. Red dwarf stars are generally flare suns, meaning they emit huge coronal mass ejections. The radiation would sterilize life as we know it. And the strong solar wind (any planets with liquid water would have to be in a close, tidally locked orbit) would sheer the atmosphere clean off such a world.

So the best bet are orange and yellow and white stars, and there just aren't that many close to us.

Personally, I believe there aren't any other intelligent life forms, and if there are they are a long way away. We have a completely unique situation on Earth. We have no "hot Jupiter" as so many extrasolar systems do (and that keeps the sun from flaring a lot.) We have Jupiter and Saturn tidally locked in the outer system, which influences the formation of the inner planets and holds the space debris down to a minimum. Jupiter likely sent a lot of crap our way early on, mainly water, which has made Earth a wet, ocean world. We are not a Super Earth. We have a satellite that is the size of a planet, and it may well have stripped away some of our atmosphere preventing us from becoming like Venus.

So it may be we are alone. And even if we are not, travel near the speed of light would be extraordinarily dangerous; imagine getting hit by space ice at 90% of C!  There appears to be a lot of crap out there. It's part of "dark matter".

So either some sort of really weird ftl drive would have to be invented (and there is no actual theory of such) or spacefarers would have to go slow and sleep through the voyage. You wouldn't do that unless you absolutely HAD to.

Another point; aliens may be blind, in which case they would not even be aware of the stars. Intelligent bats would have a problem with astronomy, for instance. And what of intelligent sea life? Without fire it would be hard to construct a technological civilization, no matter how smart a squid may be. We may be the lucky winners with eyes and oxygenated atmospheres.

And it should be pointed out our ability to sense time could be very different, perhaps to the point where we do not even recognize each-other as living beings. I read a frog is not even aware of most other creatures in the lilly pond; it recognizes flies and other food, but little else. It could be we are frogs in a big pond full of aliens.

My money is on us being alone, or near enough, at least in this part of the Cosmos.

End

Someone said "the math says there is" to which I responded:

The Drake Equations suggest so, but I've always felt they were self-serving and presumptive. They assume there is nothing unique about Earth and that life naturally happens in the right conditions. But we've never been able to create life in a lab, even though we've been trying. Not to say the equations are wrong, just some of the assumptions. We don't even know if physical laws are the same everywhere in the Universe.

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February 15, 2020

Bloomberg campaign downplays report he is considering Hillary Clinton as running mate

Dana Mathewson

From Fox News, so you know there's some credibility both ways. Notice that he is "downplaying" it but not dismissing it outright.
Billionaire Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign on Saturday downplayed a report that he is considering 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as his pick for vice president.

The Drudge Report, citing a source close to Bloomberg’s campaign, reported that Clinton was under consideration after internal polling found that a Bloomberg-Clinton ticket would be a "formidable force.”

The conservative news aggregator, which came to prominence in the 90s for first reporting the Monica Lewinsky scandal, reported that Bloomberg would consider changing his residence to a home he owns in Colorado or Florida, "since the electoral college makes it hard for a POTUS and VPOTUS from the same state.”

But the Bloomberg campaign quickly tamped down that report but fell short of denying it outright.

"We are focused on the primary and the debate, not VP speculation," Bloomberg communication director Jason Schechter said in a statement.

The spotlight has increased on Bloomberg in recent days as he has shifted up the polls. He entered the race late -- and is skipping the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary, Nevada caucuses, and South Carolina primary --the four early voting states that kick off the nominating calendar in order to focus on the Super Tuesday states in March.

As the newsboys used to yell, back in the days when boys used to hawk papers on the street, "Extra, Extra! Read all about it" right here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bloomberg-campaign-downplays-report-he-is-considering-hillary-clinton-for-vp

I have my doubts, and mainly because I think Little Mike has at least a normal amount of self-preservation instinct. And he's certainly considered this: If he were to agree to this, and (God forbid) the ticket should somehow wind up beating Trump in November, just how long do you suppose President Mike Bloomberg would live before suffering a fatal attack of Arkancide?

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Foreign Collusion at the Ivy League

Timothy Birdnow

Harvard and Yale appear to have been taking a lot of money from potentially hostile foreign actors.

And they complain about "collusion" by our President!

From American Military News:

The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that it is launching an investigation into Harvard and Yale after they failed to disclose about $375 million in gifts and contracts from China and Saudi Arabia in the past four years.

Harvard and Yale are the latest in the Education Department’s continuing efforts to crack down on foreign influence, particularly from China. According to the Wall Street Journal,U.S. universities have failed to report they brought in $6.5 billion from foreign nations since 1990.

A major aspect of the alleged foreign influence on universities is through gifts and grants, which can come with strings attached and might compromise their academic independence.

"This is about transparency,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statementWednesday. "If colleges and universities are accepting foreign money and gifts, their students, donors, and taxpayers deserve to know how much and from whom. Moreover, it’s what the law requires. Unfortunately, the more we dig, the more we find that too many are underreporting or not reporting at all. We will continue to hold colleges and universities accountable and work with them to ensure their reporting is full, accurate, and transparent, as required by the law.”

On top of failing to disclose possible financial conflicts to academic freedom, Harvard even sponsored a 30-year old Chinese national who’ve attempted to steal research.

The Chinese national,Zaosong Zheng, was recently arrested at Boston Logan International Airport allegedly with stolen 21 vials of cancer research material he was attempting to smuggle to China. Prosecutors alleged he attempted to steal the material to bring to China so he could conduct his own research in his laboratory.

In addition to Zaosong’s arrest, Charles Lieber,the chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard, was arrested on Jan. 28 on charges he lied about his ties the Chinese government’s Thousand Talents Plan.

Is it any surprise college campuses - especially the Ivy League - have become such hotbeds of anti-Americanism and Socialism? Our competitors and enemies have bought the education of our children.

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Russian pranksters say they fooled Bernie Sanders by posing as Greta Thunberg

Dana Mathewson

Well, folks, there are these two Russians who seem to be good at fooling people into thinking they are somebody they aren't. Back on Jan. 7 I posted an article about how they "punked" Rep. Maxine Waters into thinking they were St. Greta of Thunberg and her father, fresh from an interview with President Trump, in which he was rather rude to them and told them some things he shouldn't have, and wouldn't Ms. Waters like to hear them, if so we'll set up another call on a better line, etc., etc. Apparently Slapsy Maxie fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

Now they say they schnookered Karl Marx... er, Bernie Sanders. It's not clear at this time whether Bernie has admitted it.

A pair of Russian pranksters who have targeted several high-profile American politicians claim they called Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders late last year posing as teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg with an offer to support his campaign.

Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov Told the Associated Press the call took place in December 2019. The pair posted an audio recording of the purported call to YouTube on Thursday. The Sanders campaign did not immediately return Fox News' request to verify whether or not the recording is authentic.

The recording was released more than two months after the call because of Sanders' success in the Iowa Democratic caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, they said.

On the call, a female pretends to be Thunberg and Stolyarov plays her father, Svante. They offer to lend support to the Vermont senator's campaign. Sanders suggests "Greta" make a public statement in support of him and that they do an event together the next time she visits the United States.

This article, like the other one, includes a video. The entire article is here: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/bernie-sanders-russian-pranksters-greta-thunberg

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