School Walkout: ‘Government Is Not A Co-Parent’ Rally At State Capitol Monday

‘Bow to the state or they will take everything from you’

The “Government Is Not A Co-Parent” rally At California’s State Capitol Monday was vast. The “Statewide School Walkout” rally was exactly what it professed it would be: moms, dads, children, grandparents, teachers, and concerned citizens, showed up en masse at the Capitol armed with homemade signs to protest public schools and teachers unions, which pushed to keep schools closed, forced kids into distance learning, and wearing masks all day, and now Gov. Newsom’s mandatory vaccine for children.

“Medical freedom” was/is at the root of the rally. The Globe spoke with parents whose children are otherwise fully vaccinated, but say Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and a violation of their medical freedoms.

Speaking at Monday’s rally was Matthew Oliver, owner of House of Oliver wine lounge & restaurant in Roseville, CA. Oliver, a father of five, has protested the business and school lockdowns since the beginning in March 2020. “Welcome to the parent revolution,” Oliver said to loud cheers from the crowd.

“They tried to silence us, and tell us we didn’t matter,” Oliver said. “They tell us our voice doesn’t have power, but it does. Our governor and Legislature need to hear our voice.”

Oliver told the crowd that “now is the time to stand,” otherwise “silence is an endorsement.”

Ponderosa High School teacher Michael Wilkes was put on administrative paid leave after teaching classes while not wearing a mask. Wilkes, a father of three children, has achieved national attention for his stand.

Wilkes said it is important to stand up for individual freedoms and our love of liberty. “They are attempting to divide us over our own children – the tyranny of the powerful over the powerless – bow to the state or they will take everything from you.”

In a recent interview with WCSI, he said he encourages debate in his classes. “He said parents are growing tired of these mandates and pointed to last week’s protest in Sacramento as evidence,” WCSI reported. “The (October 26) protest included parents who lashed out against the Newsom vaccine mandate.”

Wilkes said the district is conducting an investigation and he may lose his job.

At the heart of the protest was Ponderosa high schooler Lexi, who said this all started one day she lowered her mask down below her chin, as many other students had. That went without incident, so she stopped wearing it altogether, and came to school without a mask for one entire week before one of her teachers sent her to the school administrators. Lexi said she walked into the office and none of the administrators were wearing masks. She called them on it, but they told her they only have to wear masks when students are present.

She was given few choices other than to comply with the mask mandate or she could be transferred to online learning. “My education should matter more than a mask,” Lexi said. The administrator told her he agreed, but said he couldn’t do anything without losing his job. Lexi told him to stand up for himself and the students, but fear of losing his job was too great. “It’s okay, I’ll stand up for you too,” Lexi told the administrator at her school. She left Ponderosa High School.

Click here to read full article at the California Globe

This Republican’s Marijuana Legalization Bill Aims To Build Bipartisan Support for Repealing Federal Prohibition

When Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) unveiled a “discussion draft” of a marijuana legalization bill last July, he said he wanted to start a conversation that would eventually produce legislation resolving the longstanding conflict between the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and state laws that allow medical or recreational use of cannabis. But his 163-page Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act was full of unnecessarily contentious provisions that seemed likely to alienate potential Republican allies. A bill unveiled today by Rep. Nancy Mace (R–S.C.) tries to address that problem by outlining a simpler and less burdensome approach that entails less federal involvement, lower taxes, and greater deference to state policy choices.

Mace’s bill, the States Reform Act, has five initial co-sponsors: Reps. Tom McClintock (R–Calif.), Peter Meijer (R–Mich.), Don Young (R–Alaska), Kenneth Buck (R–Colo.), and Brian Mast (R–Fla.). It is endorsed by Americans for Prosperity, the Cannabis Freedom Alliance, and the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce.

Mace says the bill is designed to accommodate state marijuana policies, which range from complete prohibition to general legalization for adult use. “Every state is different,” Mace says in a press release, noting that her own state, South Carolina, has gone no further than allowing medical use of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid CBD, while “California and others” allow commercial production and distribution of marijuana for recreational use. “Cannabis reform at the federal level must take all of this into account. And it’s past time federal law codifies this reality.”

Thirty-six states have legalized marijuana for medical use, while 18 states, accounting for more than two-fifths of the U.S. population, also allow recreational use. The latest Gallup poll found that 68 percent of American adults favor legalization, which matches last year’s record level of support. “Washington needs to provide a framework which allows states to make their own decisions on cannabis moving forward,” Mace says. “This bill does that.”

Geoffrey Lawrence, director of drug policy at Reason Foundation (which publishes this website), provided model language for the bill and technical feedback on Mace’s drafts. He hopes the States Reform Act will prove more appealing to Republicans than Schumer’s bill, which so far has not attracted any GOP support, and the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which the Democrat-controlled House approved last December with support from just a handful of Republicans. “The States Reform Act is a relatively simple bill that gets to the heart of what most people can agree on when it comes to legalizing cannabis at the federal level,” Lawrence says.

At 131 pages, Mace’s bill is just 20 percent shorter than Schumer’s, and it includes several similar provisions. Both bills would remove cannabis from the CSA’s schedules of controlled substances, and both would establish a nationwide minimum purchase age of 21. Both would require automatic expungement of federal criminal records related to nonviolent marijuana offenses, bar the Small Business Administration (SBA) from discriminating against state-licensed cannabusinesses, and allow Veterans Health Administration doctors to recommend medical marijuana. Both would leave states free to ban marijuana but would bar interference with shipments between jurisdictions where cannabis is legal.

One big difference is the level of federal taxation. Schumer’s bill would impose a federal excise tax on marijuana starting at 10 percent and rising to 25 percent by the fifth year, which would be in addition to frequently hefty state and local taxes. The tax would be based on either the wholesale price per ounce or, for “any THC-measurable cannabis product,” the price per gram of THC. Mace’s bill, by contrast, would impose a straightforward 3 percent excise tax, which would remain at that level for at least 10 years.

According to Mace’s summary of the bill, the 10-year moratorium on raising the excise tax is meant to “ensure competitive footing in the market.” In other words, a relatively low tax rate will help legal marijuana businesses compete with black-market dealers, who do not collect taxes.

Schumer’s bill would use revenue from the marijuana tax to create three new grant programs aimed at helping “economically disadvantaged individuals” and “individuals adversely affected by the War on Drugs.” Mace’s bill would create a Law Enforcement Retraining and Successful Second Chances Fund, which would funnel marijuana tax money to three existing programs: the Crisis Stabilization and Community Reentry Grant Program, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, and the Community-Oriented Policing Services Program. Some of the money also would be assigned to “veterans’ mental health,” “state opioid epidemic responses,” “preventing underage use of cannabis,” and the SBA “for supporting newly licensed small [marijuana] businesses through its various programs.”

Under Schumer’s bill, state-licensed marijuana businesses, which already are regulated by state and local governments, would also be supervised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), and the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Mace’s bill likewise imagines roles for all of those agencies, but it says the FDA “shall have the same authorities with respect to cannabis products that it has with respect to alcohol,” such as label regulation for certain beverages, “and no more.”

According to the summary, that provision “ensures that cannabis products in interstate commerce will be treated like alcohol and that the regulatory issues harming the industrial hemp-derived CBD industry will not be repeated in the cannabis space.” The bill also “grandfathers ‘designated state medical cannabis products,'” including “those produced consistent with state law,” to ensure “continued access” for patients. The FDA “may still prescribe serving sizes, certify designated state medical cannabis products as a ministerial duty, and authorize new drugs or approved new uses of drug applications to create new pharmaceutical grade products, but may not prohibit the use of cannabis or its derivates in non-drug applications, such as in designated state medical cannabis products, dietary supplements, foods, beverages, non-drug topical solutions, or cosmetics.”

Continuing the analogy to alcohol, the TTB “will be the primary regulator of cannabis products in interstate commerce,” while the ATF “will serve as the primary law enforcement agency supporting the TTB’s work, exactly as it does in the alcohol space.” The Department of Agriculture would regulate cannabis crops in the same way it regulates raw materials for alcoholic beverages, such as grain and hops. The bill “applies to cannabis the same recordkeeping, liability, reporting, packaging, and labeling requirement[s]” that apply to the alcohol industry under the Internal Revenue Code. The bill would prohibit cannabis advertising that is false, misleading, or aimed at minors.

Mace is playing up the aspects of the States Reform Act that should appeal to her fellow Republicans without alienating Democrats. A poster she used at today’s press conference says the bill, in addition to descheduling marijuana and regulating it “like alcohol,” imposes a low excise tax, “protects kids,” “protects veterans,” “protects each state’s unique laws & reforms,” and implements “safe criminal justice reform.”

Mace’s bill summary elaborates on that last point, noting that the States Reform Act “provides opportunities for reentry for non-violent, non-DUI cannabis offenders who had no relation to a foreign drug cartel and pose no further threat to society, consistent with the policies of the Department of Justice under President Trump for clemency for non-violent cannabis offenders.” Mace also could have noted that Trump supported drug sentencing reform and, unlike his successor, said he favored reconciling state and federal marijuana laws.

“The States Reform Act completely removes federal prohibition and allows states to compete and decide how they wish to treat cannabis,” Lawrence notes. “It removes federal tax penalties against marijuana companies and opens up banking. It recognizes that legal markets must compete with black markets on price and therefore charges only a 3 percent excise tax, along with licensing fees not to exceed $10,000. Finally, it extends these changes back in time by expunging the records of those who have been arrested for nonviolent federal cannabis crimes.”

Rather than “going too far in any direction by including elements that splinter the realm of agreement,” Lawrence says, “the beauty of the States Reform Act is that it’s both simple and reasonably comprehensive. Enacting major social change requires broad, bipartisan agreement, and the States Reform Act checks that box.”

This article was originally published by Reason.com

Parents Taking on the Leviathan

17th-century theorist Thomas Hobbes argued that members of any distinct society must subject themselves to an absolute sovereign as the only way to preserve their own lives and security. His book, “Leviathan,” reflected the political world view of the age. Proving him wrong was a small group of Puritans who established a tiny colony near what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The term Leviathan as used today in political discourse simply means a large, oppressive government or force, much like the Old Testament monster from which it derives its name. And even though the United States is based on the anti-Hobbesian theory of consent of the governed, there remain large forces that demand submission from citizens.

One of those large forces is the education establishment found both at the state and federal level. Large bureaucracies backed by powerful labor organizations have a vice-like grip on how our children are taught and what they are taught.

But things may be changing. The election earlier this month, more than anything, demonstrated that parents are angrily rejecting the education Leviathan. Republican Glenn Youngkin artfully deflected Terry McAuliffe’s claim that he was a Trump clone. And most pundits believe the deciding factor in the race was McAuliffe’s gaffe saying parents shouldn’t have a say in what their kids are taught. McAuliffe’s terminal case of political tone-deafness is replicated here in California, where the California Teachers Association and its affiliated local branches are increasingly viewed negatively by voters across the political spectrum.

As reported in the Los Angeles Times, the head of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, Cecily Myart-Cruz, claimed that there is “no such thing as learning loss” for students who were forced into remote learning during the pandemic, saying the children learned “survival” and “the difference between a riot and a protest.”

The arrogance revealed by Myart-Cruz might explain why the Los Angeles Unified School District has seen its steepest enrollment decline in 20 years, dropping by more than 27,000 students. Disaffected parents are discovering that, while escaping the Leviathan isn’t easy and sometimes requires sacrifice, the benefits to their children are worth the cost. Charter schools, private schools and homeschooling options have exploded throughout the state.

Click here to read the full article at Daily Bulletin

California Gas Prices Soar to Record High

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in California reached a record high on Monday.

The statewide average increased to $4.68 a gallon Monday, according to figures from the AAA, Fox 11 reported.

“This new average surpasses the previous record of $4.67 set in Oct, 2012,” the outlet continued:

The average price of regular gasoline in California is $1.27 higher than the current national average of $3.41, according to AAA. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose seven-tenths of a cent Monday to $4.672, moving within 3.3 cents of the all-time high.

The average price rose 1.4 cents Friday, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 7.9 cents more than it was one week ago, 20.8 cents more than one month ago and $1.523 higher than one year ago.

In a social media post on Thursday, oil and refined products analyst Patrick De Haan said average gasoline prices in California were at all-time record highs, “beating out both 2012 and 2008 records. $4.68/gal today statewide average”:

Will Huntington Beach Spill Trigger the End of Oil in California?

A recent San Diego Union-Tribune story asked the question that’s been on a lot of minds recently: After last month’s Huntington Beach spill, is oil in California at its end?

Given the state’s focus on the environment, the answer is likely a booming “Yes.”

Three years ago, Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Barbara Lee sent then-Gov. Jerry Brown a letter, asking him to end “the issuance of new permits for fossil fuel development and infrastructure” because doing so would “establish the standard for climate policy worldwide.”

Earlier this year, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’d ​​made it clear he didn’t see a role for fracking in the state’s future and further declared that “California needs to move beyond oil.”

Then last month, Consumer Watchdog, responding to the Orange County spill, argued that it’s become “clear like never before that there is no such thing as safe proximity to oil drilling,” and insisted that “Newsom must stop issuing both offshore and onshore permits immediately.”

If California refuses to capitalize on its bounty of crude, it will have to increase its consumption of oil produced elsewhere, which will mean higher prices in the state that already has the most expensive gasoline and diesel in the country. The loss of a local supply will have no effect on local demand.

Only five other states have more proved crude reserves than California. But in-state production has dropped steadily after peaking about 40 years while it has soared in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, and other oil-rich states. The keep-it-in-the-ground crowd, which has nearly unchallenged political clout in Sacramento, considers this a feature rather than a bug.

Seven of every 10 barrels of oil produced in California, and 3 percent of the nationwide total, is pulled out of Kern County. It is seventh among all top oil-producing counties in the country. Roughly 25,000 jobs in the county, many of them high-paying positions, are connected directly and indirectly to the oil-and-gas industry. The benefits of California oil, however, go far beyond Kern County.

Across the state, 50,000 work in the industry. While we think of crude primarily in terms of pumping gasoline, only two-thirds of petroleum consumption is used for transportation, and less than half is burned as motor fuel. Other uses important to the modern California lifestyle include the manufacture of telephones, movie film, cameras, solar panels, wind turbines, and a literal laundry list of everyday household and consumer items.

California will be happy to rely on other states and countries to provide the crude for these wares. It seems the mindset is that what happens outside the borders stays outside. The dirty mining in China and the Third World that’s needed to deliver raw materials used in renewable energy is unnoticed by most Californians, as does the explosion of coal plant construction in China and India.

Maybe most Californians expect that after 2035, demand for gasoline and diesel will fall sharply simply because Newsom issued an order banning the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles. It takes a certain degree of faith, though, to believe that the ban can realistically be implemented.

None of the above is intended to minimize oil spills. We all would rather the environment and wildlife remain unharmed. There is no way to provide energy without risk. Wind turbines probably chop up more than 1 million birds a year. Solar farms kill animals and destroy their natural surroundings. Both eat up enormous parcels of land, far more than natural gas power plants, and are creating waste disposal problems. They’re also risky because both provide energy only intermittently.

Yet oil is the chosen villain in California. It will be missed when it’s gone.

This article was originally published in the Pacific Research Institute

Kerry Jackson is a fellow with the Center for California Reform at the Pacific Research Institute.

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Emails Show LA Commissioner Used Influence to Help Win $3 Million COVID-19 Contract, Union Alleges

‘The public deserves to know who was pulling the strings to funnel a $3 million no-bid contract’ to a company partly owned by Commissioner Dr. Pedram Salimpour

An embattled Los Angeles fire and police pensions commissioner accused of ethics violations by a law enforcement union over a $3 million contract to test unvaccinated city employees for COVID-19 began lobbying Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office nearly a year ago on behalf of his company, raising questions from critics about potential influence peddling, emails obtained by the Southern California News Group reveal.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League is suing the city and demanding an investigation, alleging it failed to disclose that testing contractor PPS Health Inc., doing business as Bluestone Safe, is partly owned by Dr. Pedram Salimpour, who was reappointed by Garcetti to the pension commission in 2017.

“Did commissioner Salimpour mislead his commissioner-colleagues and the professional staff as to just how involved he was and how much he stood to gain with this taxpayer-funded contract? asked Tom Saggau, a spokesman for the union. “We all deserve answers.”

The union lawsuit seeks to block the city from requiring unvaccinated employees to pay for COVID-19 tests through payroll deductions at a cost of $65 per test. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 8.

Bluestone among 7 firms vetted

The Los Angeles Personnel Department said it vetted seven vendors with vaccine and testing tracking services before awarding the no-bid, emergency contract to Bluestone to test city employees. With the exception of Bluestone, the other vendors were not identified.

Bluestone was the only company that offered a variety of services at a competitive rate, including vaccine card verification, daily symptom monitoring, a PCR saliva test, vaccine exemptions submission and tracking, and health services counseling, Bruce Whidden. a spokesman for the Personnel Department, said in an email.

“The services of Bluestone Safe have a proven success record with other area governments, including Los Angeles County and several Native American tribes,” he added.

Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, which manages more than $30 billion in assets and administers retirement and health benefits for nearly 27,000 current and retired public safety employees and their beneficiaries, said last month Salimpour was “not engaged nor part of the review and vetting process” for the Bluestone contract.

That improbable explanation raises questions about whether Salimpour may have manipulated the pension commission, Saggau said.

“The public deserves to know why the pension commission released an official statement that downplayed commissioner Salimpour’s ownership and management control of Bluestone, as well as stating that Salimpour was not engaged and had no role in the process to gain the contract,” he added. “Why would a city entity defend the profit-focused actions of an individual?”

Bluestone issued a statement saying it has done nothing wrong. “Bluestone sought out and followed legal advice and complied with all applicable ethics laws,” a spokesperson for the company said. “The allegations made by Los Angeles Police Protective League are simply false.”

Click here to read the full article at Los Angeles Daily News

Government Regulation of Social Media Won’t Protect Free Speech

Sen. Amy Klobuchar wants to put HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, the former California attorney general with a reputation for being a partisan hack, in charge of “health disinformation” online.

Is it me or does the Facebook whistleblower’s “bombshell” revelations seem like much ado about very little? The company’s former product manager, Frances Haugen, has given the Securities and Exchange Commission and The Wall Street Journal thousands of internal documents that say more about the state of American culture than they do about the social-media company.

“No one at Facebook is malevolent, but the incentives are misaligned, right?” Haugen told CBS News. “Like, Facebook makes more money when you consume more content. People enjoy engaging with things that elicit an emotional reaction. And the more anger that they get exposed to, the more they interact and the more they consume.”

If that’s the issue, then one can just as easily blame newspapers, TV news shows, talk radio, and political parties—all of which benefit by stirring the pot. For some reason, people prefer conflict to happy thoughts about puppies (although there are plenty of those posted on Facebook). Do we blame the medium or the human condition?

Haugen shared an internal Facebook survey showing that Instagram increases thoughts of suicide and worsens eating disorders among teens. I would never minimize the tribulations of being a teenager, but Haugen seems woefully naive. Young girls have always compared themselves to the photos of fashion models in magazines. Teens were vicious to one another long before Instagram.

Again, do we blame social media or something deeper? The same goes for commenters who post incendiary information on their Facebook pages. These are platforms, which people use for good or ill. This nonsense reminds me of liberal politicians who blame video games for gun violence and conservative politicians who blame Hollywood movies for an erosion of the nation’s morals.

It’s time to grow up. The problem with the latest hysteria: A rash of new rules and regulations will certainly follow. As The Wall Street Journal noted, Haugen’s testimony before Congress “builds momentum for tougher tech laws.” Of course it does, and conservatives—who will be on the receiving end of whatever passes—will only have themselves to blame.

“(T)he time is ripe for the regime and the digital medium to face a long-overdue just comeuppance,” wrote Josh Hammer in The American Mind, in a typical conservative diatribe against tech firms. Hammer calls for Congress to “rein in the ‘Mountain View-Menlo Park nexus of woke leftist corporatism…lest technocracy vanquish democracy anew.'”

Click here to read the rest of the article on Reason.com

Along With the Now Indicted Steve Bannon, Whom Has The Jan. 6 Select Committee Subpoenaed — and Why?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection has issued almost three dozen subpoenas as it aggressively seeks information about the origins of the attack and what former President Donald Trump did — or didn’t do — to stop it.

The panel — which referred Trump campaign and White House strategist Steve Bannon’s flouting of a subpoena to the Department of Justice, leading to Friday’s criminal indictment — is exploring several paths simultaneously, demanding testimony from Trump’s inner circle about his actions that day as well as from outside advisers who organized the rally he spoke at the morning of Jan. 6 and allies who strategized about how to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory. They are also turning toward former Vice President Mike Pence’s orbit and questioning witnesses about efforts to pressure him to stop the congressional electoral count.

An attendee’s sign calls for the impeachment of Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida speaks at a rally in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Jan. 28. Cheney is one of two Republicans on the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6. MICHAEL CIAGLO/GETTY IMAGES

The committee is expected to issue more subpoenas as some witnesses, especially those closest to Trump, have indicated they won’t comply or refused to answer questions. But lawmakers on the panel have already talked to more than 150 people, most of them voluntarily, about what led up to the violent siege by Trump’s supporters.

While the committee doesn’t have the power to charge or otherwise punish anyone for their actions, the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the panel say they hope to build the most comprehensive record yet of what happened when hundreds of Trump’s supporters brutally pushed past police and broke into the Capitol, interrupting the certification of Biden’s victory.

A look at whom the committee has subpoenaed, and what is to come in the panel’s investigation:

Trump’s inner circle: The committee’s first subpoenas in late September went to four men who were among his most loyal allies: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Bannon, longtime communications aide Daniel Scavino and Kashyap Patel, a White House national-security aide who had moved to the Pentagon in the weeks after Trump lost the election.

Bannon immediately told the panel he wouldn’t cooperate, citing a letter from Trump’s lawyer claiming that his conversations should be privileged and shielded from the public. The committee balked at that reasoning and the House voted to hold Bannon in contempt, referring the matter to the Justice Department, ultimately resulting in Friday’s two-count indictment against Bannon alleging criminal contempt of Congress.

Meadows could also be held in contempt after his lawyer indicated Thursday that he would not testify, saying in a statement that the courts would have to decide, after the White House notified him that Biden would waive Trump’s claims of executive privilege over the testimony.

From the archives (September 2020): White House chief of staff Mark Meadows lashes out as FBI director fails to echo Trump claims about vote fraud

The House has since subpoenaed several other well-known members of Trump’s circle, including former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and top aides Stephen Miller and Jason Miller. The committee said all three participated in efforts to spread false information and may have been with Trump as the attack unfolded — a key area of investigation, as little is still known about what he did to try to stop it.

Click here to read the full article at marketwatch.com

OC, Riverside County Announce Crackdown on Fentanyl Dealers. But Not LA County

Dealers who sell fentanyl-laced drugs that result in death can face murder charges under tough new policies announced by Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin on Monday, Nov. 9.

“We have seen a 1,000% increase over the last five years as a result of overdoses and deaths by fentanyl,” Spitzer said. “Rich, poor, Black, White, Brown, men, women, children, hardcore drug users and first-time drug users who are exposed have died.”

Spitzer will add an admonishment to plea deals, in which dealers acknowledge that fentanyl is in street drugs and can be deadly.

If that dealer is involved in another fentanyl sale that results in death, second-degree murder charges can be filed. In Riverside County, Hestrin is prosecuting seven second-degree murder cases against alleged pill pushers on the theory of implied malice, and has several more in the pipeline.

Click here to read the full article at the OC Register

New Twists in Durham Probe: FBI Danchenko Recordings and Suspicions Fiona Hill Lied

The indictment of Igor Danchenko, the “primary sub-source” of Christopher Steele’s infamous dossier, reveals that the FBI electronically recorded several previously undisclosed interviews with the Brookings Institution researcher. Separately, it raises suspicions, according to congressional sources, that his Brookings superior Fiona Hill may have committed perjury when testifying about Steele during President Trump’s first impeachment.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Fiona Hill, the Brookings Institution boss of Igor Danchenko, above. Congressional investigators suspect she was untruthful about the Steele dossier in her testimony in the first impeachment of President Trump.AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The existence of electronic records of Danchenko speaking to the FBI far more extensively than previously known creates the possibility that much more will come out about the origins of the Steele dossier and the way the opposition research was weaponized. And those under scrutiny in Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia affair will have to wonder whether information to which they previously attested jibes with the Danchenko recordings.

According to Durham’s Nov. 3 indictment of Danchenko, the FBI conducted interviews with him in March, May, June, October, and November of 2017 — well beyond the three days of interviews at the beginning of 2017 previously disclosed in the Trump-Russia affair. (Deep in the Justice Department Inspector General’s report on surveillance court abuses—page 186—there is a passing reference to interviews with the “primary sub-source” in March and May 2017.) Unlike the early interviews, which were memorialized in a “consolidated write-up” of notes taken by agents and provided to lawmakers in heavily redacted form, at least three of the later interviews were recorded legally but without Danchenko’s knowledge — those conducted March 16, May 18, and June 15. The indictment is silent on whether the October 24 and November 16 interviews were also surreptitiously recorded.

Click here to read the full article at Real Clear Investigations