Monday, July 31, 2017

Orwellian "Newspeak" Diversity=conformity! Now tell me again who are the real fascists?

College’s new ‘diversity chair’ once said Trump supporters are ‘not welcome on our campus’

College’s new ‘diversity chair’ once said Trump supporters are ‘not welcome on our campus’
The University of Central Florida’s newly appointed “diversity chair” once said supporters of President Donald Trump are “not welcome” on the Orlando, Florida, campus. (2016 file photo/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 

At the University of Central Florida, diversity apparently doesn’t include those who support President Donald Trump.
Grayson Lanza, UCF’s newly appointed “diversity chair,” once chastised Trump supporters during the 2016 presidential election, saying they “are not welcome” at the Orlando, Florida, university.

“And let today be a lesson to all; Trump supporters are not welcome on our campus,” Lanza wrote in a Facebook post on Oct. 31, referring to a pro-Trump rally held at UCF, according to Knight News.
Statements like that are allegedly not uncommon for Lanza. Daniel Hanna, a student who voted for Trump on Election Day, said the new diversity chair once discriminated against him because of his political opinions.
“When we started debating politics, I eventually said, ‘You know the great thing about this country is we can both differ regarding political views but we can openly discuss it,’” Hanna recalled. “Then I offered him a handshake. He said, ‘I’m not shaking your hand, I do not tolerate you and you are not welcome here.’”
Then, during an interview with Campus Reform, Hanna said he and his friends “were having a good time waving Trump flags and such” at a rally on UCF’s “free speech lawn” when Lanza and his progressive friends started calling them “racist” and “sexist.”
Hanna went on to tell Knight News that Lanza is not qualified to be diversity chair. He said he doesn’t care if the job goes to someone “equally as liberal” as long as “it’s not someone who has been actively aggressive toward people who disagree with him.”
“That is the antithesis of diversity,” Hanna explained. “You can talk about diversity of skin color, religion, and sexuality all you want. But diversity of thought is a real thing too, and if you’re just disregarding people who disagree with you, and you just want them off campus, what’s the point?”
Lanza’s appointment to the position of diversity chair came just weeks after the SGA Senate rejected Karis Lockhart, former chair of the UCF College Republicans. Lockhart said her experience in politics made her “the most qualified person for this position” but her conservative views on issues like “sanctuary campuses” disqualified her.
She said the student Senate “didn’t care” about her qualifications but was instead concerned with political opinions.
“They do not want diversity, they just want one thought process — liberal-leaning policies only,” she said. “The student Senate didn’t approve me because of my affiliation with the Republican Party and their lack of ability to look past party politics and look at a qualified candidate ready to serve the students of UCF.”

Here’s how Pelosi answered when asked how Democrats would compromise on health care

Here’s how Pelosi answered when asked how Democrats would compromise on health care

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) joined Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend and was unable to answer a question he asked her twice: what would Democrats be willing to give up to keep cost sharing reductions, or CSR, in the Affordable Care Act?
CSR refers to the tax payer-funded subsidy of insurance premium, coinsurance, and deductible payments for those who are forced to obtain a health care plan under the ACA, yet cannot afford it on their own. President Donald Trump has stated he wants to end CSR, which he sees as a bailout of insurance companies.
Pelosi did not answer, stating instead:
“The Affordable Care Act is a market-oriented proposal, doing the cost-sharing, the reductions, a way to have it be in the free market, in the marketplace as opposed to having everyone say — have many more people on Medicaid or something. So, you — there’s governors of states had [sic] said, ‘give me the money. I’ll buy insurance for these people.’”
Wallace tried again to have Pelosi name a point of compromise. This time, she responded:
“You will remember that the Affordable Care Act as we passed and as we call it, the Affordable Care Act, is something that was very modeled after Romneycare, and that said no free riders. Everybody has to have insurance, so that if your neighbor’s not buying insurance and you are, you are paying more because he or she is not. So, this is about enlarging the pool, making it healthier, younger, and having more benefits….”
Chris Salcedo noted on Monday’s “Chris Salcedo Show,” as did Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” that it sounded as if Democrats were not willing to compromise with the Republicans. He cited wait times for doctors in Boston in response to Pelosi’s touting of Romneycare, asking, “This is what [she] cites as justification for imposing socialism on the country?”

How Hollywood liberals roll...

Anthony Pellicano Re-Sentenced, Ex-P.I. Stays Behind Bars Until 2019

“I have no intention of appealing anything,” Anthony Pellicano told a federal judge today as the disgraced former Hollywood private investigator was re-sentenced.
In a short hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Dale Fisher on Monday morning, Pellicano joined in via videoconference to learn he will remain in the big house until March 2019. As prosecutors had requested, Pellicano was re-sentenced to 180 months for violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act with three years supervised release when he does get out and millions in fines. Succinct in his words, the ex-P.I. had bandages on his head and was wearing dark shades on the video screen in court in DTLA.
A preying purveyor of the Hollywood dark arts for a number of big name clients like Tom Cruise over the years, Pellicano was sentenced in 2008 facing allegations of computer hacking, illegal wiretapping, threats and harassment on behalf of former CAA boss Michael Ovitz. He was set to serve a 15-year prison term in Texas but improper jury instructions complicated the matter. While rejecting the bulk of his latest appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2015 vacated portions of Pellicano’s sentence after tossing his convictions on computer fraud and hacking. After various delay’s, today’s hearing was that re-sentencing.
Pellicano will be back in court later this year as a part of the Nov. 13 starting trial of Deadline film editor Anita Busch’s invasion of privacy, assault and intent of emotional distress case against Ovitz in L.A. Superior Court.
Looking into the career and machinations of Ovitz, once considered the most powerful man in Tinseltown, in 2002 while at the L. A. Times, Busch faced a dead fish on the shattered front window of her car and a message that said, “Stop.” Busch was subjected to intimidation, hacking of her phone and computers and more.
Winding through the courts over the past decade, the accusation has been that Ovitz was behind Pellicano’s harassment and intimidation of Busch due to his dislike of the stories being written and pursued about him. Tape recordings unearthed in the investigation of Pellicano revealed conversations between Ovitz and the investigator in which the former was complaining strongly about being in such a media spotlight.

They signed the Paris agreement -- then bought our coal...hypocrisy is the Left's touchstone

They signed the Paris agreement -- then bought our coal

Remember Larry Groce's song "Junk Food Junkie"?
Yeah, in the daytime I'm Mister Natural
Just as healthy as I can be
But at night I'm a junk food junkie
Good lord have pity on me
So it goes with Europe.

In the daytime, they're Mister Climate Change -- just as renewable energy as can be.

But at night they await shipment of their coal from overseas.

U.S. exports of coal rose 60%, Reuters reported.

From Reuters:
The previously unpublished figures provided to Reuters by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed exports of the fuel from January through May totaled 36.79 million tons, up 60.3 percent from 22.94 million tons in the same period in 2016. While reflecting a bounce from 2016, the shipments remained well-below volumes recorded in equivalent periods the previous five years.
They included a surge to several European countries during the 2017 period, including a 175 percent increase in shipments to the United Kingdom, and a doubling to France - which had suffered a series of nuclear power plant outages that required it and regional neighbors to rely more heavily on coal.
"If Europe wants to lecture Trump on climate then EU member states need transition plans to phase out polluting coal," said Laurence Watson, a data scientist working on coal at independent think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative in London
Don't worry, Europe. We'll keep secret your need for coal as a backup to all that wind and solar energy you pretend are all you need.

Don't forget, West Virginia coal is the best. Doesn't pollute like that brown coal the Germans and the Poles have.
Both the coal industry and the Trump administration said the rising exports of both steam coal, used to generate electricity, and metallurgical coal, used in heavy industry, were evidence that Trump's agenda was having a positive impact.
"Simply to know that coal no longer has to fight the government -- that has to have some effect on investment decisions and in the outlook by companies, producers and utilities that use coal," said Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association.
Shaylyn Hynes, a spokeswoman at the U.S. Energy Department, said: "These numbers clearly show that the Trump Administration's policies are helping to revive an industry that was the target of costly and job killing over-regulation from Washington for far too long."
But hey, my moral and intellectual superiors tell me coal is dead.

Say, Whatever Happened To 'We Can't Drill Our Way To Lower Prices'? Another Leftist myth destroyed by reality.

Say, Whatever Happened To 'We Can't Drill Our Way To Lower Prices'? 

Energy: Last week Royal Dutch Shell (RDSA) told investors that it expects oil prices to be "lower forever." We're still waiting for all those people who were only recently complaining about higher-forever oil prices to admit their mistake.
It wasn't that long ago that President Obama was mocking Republicans for their "three-point plan for $2 gas: Step one is drill, step two is drill, and step three is keeping drilling."
He went on to say that "the American people aren't stupid. They know that's not a plan."
Renewable energy, he said, was the only way to solve the "problem" of high oil prices.
And he kept pushing for new taxes on "old" energy to support federal subsidies for the energy supplies "of the future."
Of course, Obama wasn't the only one. There was endless talk about how Big Oil was making obscene profits while gas prices skyrocketed. There were calls for investigations into collusion among oil companies. Some wanted to bring back the Jimmy Carter-era "windfall profits tax."
Turns out drill, baby, drill was exactly what was needed.
Domestic oil production was skyrocketing even as Obama made those remarks — thanks to advanced drilling technologies that have opened up vast new domestic supplies to production.
The Energy Information Administration projects that, next year, U.S. oil production will average almost 10 billion barrels a day, which would beat the previous record of 9.6 billion in 1970. What's more, a quarter of this production is coming from one oil field: the Permian Basin in West Texas.
Those "obscene" industry profits? They've fallen as well. ExxonMobil's (XOM) revenue in 2016 was about half what it was in 2011. In its most recent quarter, the company earned $3.4 billion — or 78 cents share. In the same quarter in 2011 it earned $10.7 billion, or $2.18 a share.
Oil companies for a time even had to borrow money to pay dividends.
Low oil prices have also led to a sharp drop in the taxes paid by the industry to the federal government. In 2016, the federal government collected about $6 billion in royalties, rental costs, and other fees from oil production on federal lands. That's down from $14 billion in 2013.
Now Shell is saying that it's bracing for low oil prices forever.
It was President Trump, not Obama, who had it right when he said that the idea of perpetually high energy prices "was all a big, beautiful myth." The U.S. he said, "has near-limitless supplies of energy in our country."
Even if the current oil glut causes some pain to the oil industry and crimps tax revenues, it is good news for the economy, since lower energy prices reduce the cost of doing business across the board, and make the U.S. a more-attractive place to do business on a global scale.
But it does raise some important questions: Where are those people who were screaming about Big Oil? Why aren't they being asked to explain how they could have been so wrong? And just who, exactly, was being stupid?

Check your 'cognitive privilege,' all you smart people!

Check your 'cognitive privilege,' all you smart people!

Progressives, crazed with identifying new forms of oppression attached to the currently fashionable catchword "privilege," have finally embraced the stupid as a victim class.  Hey, let's celebrate stupidity!  Just ponder for a moment all the potential grand marshals for the inevitable Stupidity Day Parade in New York City once the stupid are organized into a grievance-powered pressure group. 
And where else but at a university, a temple of higher learning? 

In this case, one funded by taxpayers.  The following is from a genuine column in the student newspaper of the University of Iowa.  A student suddenly has discovered that being smart is just like being white: an unfair privilege.  Dan Williams writes:
Any of us could have been born the unluckiest person on the planet, which, by definition, picks out precisely one person. But we all have the privilege of not being that person. We are all privileged by comparison.
There are many kinds of privilege besides white privilege: cognitive privilege, for example. We now know that intelligence is not something we have significant control over but is something we are born with. We are living in a society in which success is increasingly linked to one's intelligence. This is not to say that intelligence is the only factor that is important. All that is implied is that below a certain threshold of intelligence, there are fewer and fewer opportunities. These opportunities are being shifted upward to jobs that require heavier cognitive lifting or else are being replaced by robots. Thus, the accident of having been born smart enough to be able to be successful is a great benefit that you did absolutely nothing to earn. Consequently, you have nothing to be proud of for being smart.
Once we have admitted the reality of privilege itself and identified some species of privilege, we are better able to talk about the temperature-rising topic of racial privilege.
I am not certain if Williams is an actual sophomore, but he certainly is sophomoric.  He understands nothing about intelligence, though he pretends he does.  (In fairness, I was once an undergraduate college student intoxicated with the new ideas I was learning.  And it was my privilege to learn from scholars immersed in classical thought, not progressive propagandists.)
Intelligence is not merely an inherited characteristic that exists independent of effort, practice, and practical application.  In fact, genuine intelligence is a skill, best analogized to athletics, the other thing the University of Iowa is famous for.  Skills of any sort demand practice, effort, critical self-evaluation, coaching, and many other requirements. 
Athletes can be born with excellent physical endowments, but unless they practice and try hard, they will end up as duffers.  Pete Rose became a baseball legend, known as "Charlie Hustle," because he proved the point that sheer willpower is a major factor in athletic excellence.  True enough, I will never be an NBA star owing to my meager physical endowments.  But I would have been a much less awkward and pathetic amateur if I had at least tried.
The inherited components – of intelligence, of athleticism, and of every trade that exists – are necessary but not sufficient for excellence.  There is a strong moral component in the achievements of those who use well their particular inheritance, whatever it might be, if they strive, push themselves, and are driven by a sense of what could be.  That is the true source of merit.  And relatively few of us are able to achieve anything of note or worth to others without striving.
Stupidity, it should be noted, is also a characteristic acquired according to degree of effort. [1]
One of my favorite expressions is "There's no fool like an educated fool," and I appreciate it from abundant personal experience.  
Merit is under attack on both the left and the right, in part because it is so often confused with education and privilege.
[1] People who are incapacitated by mental deficiencies are a separate phenomenon.

ObamaCare Fines Nailed The Working Class In 2017 And Other Unpopular Truths. The economics of paying the Obamacare fine.

FacebookObamaCare Fines Nailed The Working Class In 2017 And Other Unpopular Truths 

Preliminary data from the 2017 tax season are in, and they're shocking. Not only does it look like the working class bore the brunt of ObamaCare individual mandate penalties this year, but people with relatively modest incomes apparently paid a lot more than the Congressional Budget Office anticipated.
The data underscore a reality that Democrats would prefer not to talk about: While ObamaCare has been a big help to the near-poor and those with major medical needs, it gives a bad deal to nearly everyone else. Even among working-class households earning 150% to 250% of the poverty level, supposedly among the law's biggest beneficiaries, just 1 in 3 people who lack insurance from other sources are getting silver coverage that will protect them from financial disaster. Most of the other two-thirds are uninsured, either because they or a spouse work full time and don't qualify for exchange subsidies, or else they've spurned subsidized bronze plans that carry $6,000-$7,000 deductibles — despite the threat of an individual-mandate penalty.
The much-despised individual mandate was the central target of Republicans' chaotic, desperate effort this week to kill or wound the ACA in any way possible. Yet simply getting rid of the individual mandate, without addressing the ACA's underlying problems, would be a destructive act that would only increase premiums, which is the opposite of what Republicans say they want.


While the GOP came up one vote short of repealing the individual mandate early Friday morning, the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service thinks that the new data from the 2017 tax season suggest that President Trump's effort to undermine the mandate might be working. The total number of forms with payments dropped 27% from a year ago. While other factors may have played a role, exchange enrollment was essentially flat, and the taxpayer advocate highlighted the drop in its discussion of Trump's executive order that led the tax-collection agency to accept tax filings even when filers failed to attest whether or not they had health insurance coverage.
Some insurers filing their 2018 rate plans cited lax enforcement of the individual mandate as among their reasons for out-sized premium hikes. On Wednesday, Anthem (ANTM) said it would have to seek an increase in premiums of 20% — on top of the 20% hike already requested — if the government doesn't commit to funding ACA cost-sharing subsidies that limit out-of-pocket spending for low-income enrollees.
The dispute over the individual mandate has been at the heart of the toxic, deleterious environment that has made it politically impossible to fix the ACA's serious problems, and that dispute threatens to further destabilize insurance markets in the months ahead, despite the collapse of repeal efforts.

An Avoidable Fight

Yet here's another unpopular truth that could help avert the misery which might be wrought by Trump's stated plan to "let ObamaCare implode": The individual insurance market can work much better than it does now without an individual mandate and without sacrificing the protections built into the ACA.
Few policy wonks on either side of the political spectrum have questioned the conventional wisdom that an individual mandate is essential to a functional individual market if rules prevent insurers from charging higher premiums to those with greater health needs. Those on the left warn of a possible death spiral if the mandate is killed, offering up the collapse of Washington state's insurance market as a cautionary tale and the relative success of the RomneyCare mandate in Massachusetts as proof of concept.
While the ObamaCare mandate does help to some extent in countering adverse selection — young and healthy people opting out while the less healthy get covered — it is much weaker and more poorly targeted than the RomneyCare mandate. An alternative set of policies can provide far better results, and there is a little-known bipartisan plan called the Health Care Security and Freedom Act that shows precisely how to transform and improve upon the ACA, while increasing the ranks of the insured and without relying on the individual mandate.

$708 ObamaCare Fine

The 2017 tax data offer new evidence that there's much to be gained by moving away from the individual mandate and much to lose by sticking with it. Tax returns that had been processed as of April 27 included 4 million that paid ObamaCare fines (officially known as individual shared responsibility payments), with an average payment of $708.
What is striking about the data is that the average payment is barely higher than the minimum payment of $695. Since people were required to pay the greater of $695 or 2.5% of taxable income above the filing threshold ($10,350 in 2017), one takeaway is that most of the $2.8 billion in fines paid through April appear to have come from people with modest to moderate incomes. As a frame of reference, CBO's 2014 analysis implied that the average mandate payment for this tax season would be roughly $1,075 and that the total amount paid by people earning up to three times the poverty level would barely exceed $1 billion.

IBD'S TAKE: IBD's Medical-Managed Care industry group has been a stock-market laggard over the past week as the debate over ObamaCare mandates has proceeded. Visit IBD Stock Checkup to see which leading ObamaCare insurer is rated No. 1 based on earnings, sales, margins and stock performance.

Precise conclusions can't be made based on the available data, but two of the unknowns would have somewhat offsetting effects: Some tax forms included mandated payments for more than one individual (i.e. a spouse or child), meaning the minimum payment would be much higher than $695, while some people paying a fine may have had coverage for part of the year.
Based on mandate collections that streamed in after April in prior years, the full-year total is likely to rise to roughly 5 million tax forms with mandated payments totaling closer to $4 billion.

ObamaCare Vs. RomneyCare

It's a fairly easy job to explain why policy mavens have placed far too much faith in the ObamaCare mandate. In fact, ObamaCare's mandate is weakest for the group that policymakers most want to sign up: young and healthy adults with moderate incomes, somewhere around 250% of the poverty level. Young adults with much lower incomes are much easier to attract because their subsidies are so much more generous. Those with much higher incomes are more likely to get insurance because a hospital bill would drain their bank account, rather than push them into bankruptcy.
Take 30-year-olds earning $32,500 a year, about 275% of the poverty level. Their choice is paying a $695 penalty or paying about $2,150 for a bronze plan (nearly double what a 60-year-old at the same income level would pay for the same plan), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation health subsidy calculator. Essentially, such young adults can tuck away nearly $1,500 a year by paying a fine — unless they ring up medical bills of more than $6,000.
In this case, bronze-plan premiums cost more than three times the mandate penalty. By comparison, RomneyCare plans cost only twice as much as the mandate penalty for young adults, greatly limiting the potential reward for going uncovered. On top of that, RomneyCare plans for this income group carried $0 deductibles, so people were much more likely to derive some benefit from the plans, further limiting the incentive for rolling the dice.
For many people with somewhat more modest incomes, ObamaCare's mandate costs nearly as much as a bronze plan, so it does provide a powerful push to get coverage. Yet that coverage still isn't cheap and it may not provide help paying medical bills until long after their finances are in distress. It's worth remembering that President Obama never sold the individual mandate as a requirement to buy plans with deductibles of $6,000 or more.
In 2016, 12.7 million tax filers claimed one of numerous exemptions from the individual mandate that further limit its forcefulness. In addition, payment is limited to the size of one's tax refund. Just over 3 out of 4 taxpayers last year still claimed a refund after paying a penalty, meaning nearly 1 in 4 didn't. (It's not clear the extent to which this limits the average payment.) Amid all of the doubts about the political staying power of the mandate, a further weakness is that people who make their mind up in December over whether to buy insurance for the coming year won't actually have to pay a fine until 16 months later.

Powerful Incentive$

The logic of coming up with an alternative is compelling, given the structural problems with ObamaCare's mandate, the further problem of lax enforcement and the destructive political battle that's raging over it. The alternative offered by the Health Care Security and Freedom Act is based, in part, on a very simple and powerful idea: If you give people enough flexibility to buy a plan that works for their finances with some cash left over (to put in a Health Savings Account), then you don't need a mandate to get people to sign up. When free cash is available, word will get around.
This approach isn't just the key to ending the fight over the individual mandate, it also could unlock a beautiful compromise over the cost-sharing reductions that the White House has threatened to withhold.
The compromise would, in effect, turn the cost-sharing subsidies into working-class tax cuts, giving people the choice of applying them to very comprehensive coverage or using them to pay premiums, with leftover funds going into HSAs. While the concept may at first be concerning to ACA supporters who want everyone to have comprehensive coverage, the Health Care Security and Freedom Act is extremely carefully crafted to minimize such concerns.
The reality is that neither ObamaCare nor GOP plans are designed to deliver a robust nongroup market for insurance that serves everyone well, whether they are young or old, healthy or sick, working class or middle class. Yet the dynamism of our economy will be better served if entrepreneurs and idealists who are willing to step out on a limb don't have to fear that their health insurance support will come crashing down. Demographic changes make it increasingly important for people to have the flexibility to step back from full-time work to help care for an aging parent or a sick child. Amid minimum-wage pressures and health care mandates, ultra-competitive markets and the advance of technology threaten to widen the cracks in our employer-centric insurance system that millions of workers, many with modest wages, are already falling into. And don't forget that we're entering the ninth year of an economic expansion. When the next recession hits, all of these pressures will multiply and millions more people will depend on insurance outside the employer system.

Imran Awan is going to be a treasure trove of information on Democrat Party corruption.

Posted By Luke Rosiak On 6:50 PM 07/30/2017 
Imran Awan, a congressional aide arrested by the FBI after wiring $300,000 to Pakistan and misrepresenting the purpose, had previously wired money to the country and was frantically liquidating multiple real estate properties on the day he was arrested, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
Imran’s real estate properties provide a source of money that could be sent directly to Pakistan when two upcoming home sales close. Prosecutors have since filed paperwork saying they fear “the dissipation of the proceeds of the fraud and destruction of evidence in other locations.”
Imran was arrested July 24 — four months after the FBI says his wife Hina Alvi moved to Pakistan after learning the family was the subject of a criminal investigation into their work as IT administrators for House Democrats. On the day of Imran’s arrest, the couple accepted a buyer for one house owned by Hina with an asking price of $618,000 (Hawkshead Dr.) and listed another property for sale at $200,000 (Pembrook Village), real estate records show.
On June 20, a third house his wife owned was “sold” to his brother-in-law for $360,000 (Sprayer St.). In November 2016, a fourth home his wife owned was “sold” to his brother Jamal for $620,000 (Linnett Hill Dr.). In both cases, the bank financed nearly all of the purchase.
Home sales could be a vehicle to continue moving large amounts of money to Pakistan even after Imran’s arrest. Authorities released him with a GPS monitor and confiscated his passport.
Soon after Imran began working as an IT aide for Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, various House Democrats added his wife Hina, his brothers Abid and Jamal, Abid’s wife Natalia Sova, and two friends to their payrolls. But just as real estate transactions appeared to use relatives as stand-ins, there are reasons to believe not all of them were actually showing up for work.
During their time supposedly working on the Hill, one in the group was running a car dealership. Another worked at McDonald’s until he was fired, at which point he sat home all day, his housemate told TheDCNF. A third of the IT troop was a 20-year old college student, and multiple members of the group spent months at a time in Pakistan.
Most of the group were paid salaries far higher than the norm for House IT staffers. They collected $4 million since 2009 — money that seemed to disappear with no sign of lavishness in their lifestyles, a six-month investigation by TheDCNF found.
Capitol Police informed congressmen that the family was the target of a criminal investigation Feb. 2. Days prior, Imran wired nearly $300,000 to Pakistan and told the bank manager over the phone to wait as he googled what excuse to give him for the transfer — all while pretending to be his wife, according to an FBI affidavit.
A neighbor told TheDCNF the couple abruptly moved their possessions hurriedly out of their home in February, and the FBI later confiscated hard drives Imran had left in the garage. Hina moved to Pakistan March 5 with her children. Authorities stopped her at the airport and found $12,000 cash in her suitcase, but they did not prevent her from boarding.
Title companies can wire large sums abroad without attracting the suspicion Imran did at the bank, and with Hina — the nominal sole owner of each of the houses — residing in that country, it would be natural to send the proceeds to her.
In addition to the three houses sold or slated to be sold since June 20, Imran’s lawyer, Chris Gowen, told The New York Times that the $283,000 wire in January was preceded by other similar transfers to Pakistan. “Gowen said the transfer represented the latest payment by his client for a piece of property he was buying in the country,” The Times reported.
Gowen would not tell TheDCNF whether the proceeds of the $360,000 June 20 home sale were wired to Pakistan, nor where the income from the two upcoming sales would go. The office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia declined to comment on whether it would block the disbursements.
The value of the known homes that have been sold since November or are currently being sold is $1.8 million. There is also the $283,000 January wire transfer from the Congressional bank, in addition to previous wires of unknown amounts that Imran’s lawyer acknowledged.
Since Imran’s lawyer said the January wire of nearly $300,000 was the latest in a series of wires, the transfers may have been about moving money from the $4 million in House payments or other sources.
Authorities arrested Imran at Dulles airport trying to fly to Pakistan and accused him of taking out a home-equity loan on a rental house by falsely claiming that it was his primary residence and that the money would be used for home improvements. Real estate pictures show no improvements were made, and the money was sent to Pakistan.
The November 2016 sale of the Linnett Hill home from Imran’s wife to his brother likely broke the same law. Realtors said it was extremely unlikely that the five-percent-down loan Jamal Awan used to buy the house from his brother would have permitted Jamal to continue to rent it out to others, which he did.
A fourth Awan sibling, Adeela, and her husband Naeem Shah have now been drawn into the web with the June 20 sale of the Sprayer Street home to Naeem. Naeem also used a five-percent-down mortgage that would almost always require the couple to use the house as their primary residence, but they already own another home.
A marriage certificate shows Naeem Munawar Shah married Adeela Ashraf Awan, Imran’s sister, in 2006.
Court records show that Naeem had second thoughts at being dragged into the siblings’ suspicious finances months after it was known police were onto them.
“Awan’s sister and brother attended the hearing. Both gave consent to allow Mr. Awan to reside at their addresses … His sister unfortunately had not consulted her husband about the process. Mr. Awan’s brother-in law does not want Mr. Awan residing at his address,” documents dealing with Imran’s post-arrest release say.
The FBI affidavit says Imran’s mother-in-law, Suriayyah Bagim, also lent her name to financial schemes.
The Awans’ father later changed his last name to Shah, and a relative claimed it was because he didn’t want to be associated with his sons’ fraudulent behavior.
Imran’s real estate hijinks and his Capitol Hill work both appear to share the same tactic of using family members as proxies for seemingly shady activities.
But unlike the real estate schemes, members of Congress — employing members are listed below — had to sign off on forms granting IT access to those people and adding them to the payroll.

Let's make it a two way street: University of Michigan searching for staffer to tackle ‘cultural appropriation prevention’

University of Michigan searching for staffer to tackle ‘cultural appropriation prevention’

University of Michigan searching for staffer to tackle ‘cultural appropriation prevention’
The University of Michigan is looking to hire a “bias incident prevention and response coordinator" who will target “students of concern” and “enact cultural appropriation prevention initiatives." (Image source: YouTube screenshot) 

Amid the growing movement of colleges allocating money to enforce political correctness, the University of Michigan is looking to hire a “bias incident prevention and response coordinator” who will — among other things — “enact cultural appropriation prevention initiatives.”
The coordinator also must ensure that Expect Respect — a school campaign aimed at making the campus “inclusive and welcoming to conflicting ideas and diverse voices” — is introduced in orientation programs, according to a job posting on the college’s website.
The full-time gig — which pays a starting salary in the range of $46,000 to $57,000 — also requires the coordinator to partner “with other campus and divisional social justice initiatives” and develop and maintain “strong working relationships with identity-based student organizations.”
The coordinator will also provide “a safe listening space in which to offer compassion, support, and guidance to students” who are “experiencing bias and challenges associated with campus climate” and also assist “students in locating and obtaining emergency funding in crisis situations” and teach and coach “students to develop and demonstrate problem solving and self-advocacy skills.”
Given the nature of the job, the coordinator should be prepared to “work unpredictable early morning, evening and weekend hours in response to the emergent needs of students and the campus community.”
Recently, minority students at the school reportedlysaid they felt “marginalized” because of “imposing” and “masculine” wood paneling in a historic building on campus.
And a University of Michigan history professor noted in a May op-ed that 23-year-old pop singer Ariana Grande is better at handling counterterrorism than Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
(H/T: Campus Reform)

Chicago: And the beat goes on. If Rahm Emmanuel were a Republican the news would already convicted him of malfeasance.

4-Year-Old Boy Among 36 Shot in Chicago Weekend Violence

The child was wounded in a shooting that also left a woman dead and a teen injured on the city's West Side Friday, marking the weekend's first homicide

Venezuelans vote for civil war and mass repression.

Venezuela braces for a day of fresh violence in wake of Maduro 'power grab' victory

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed victory on Monday in an internationally criticised election for an assembly to rewrite the constitution, but the opposition cried fraud and vowed to keep protesting despite a deadly crackdown.
Ten people were killed in a wave of bloodshed that swept Venezuela on Sunday as Maduro defied an opposition boycott and international condemnation - including the threat of new US sanctions - to hold elections for a powerful new "Constituent Assembly."
The country was bracing itself on Monday morning for another wave of violent protests, which have now been erupting for months.
Anti-government activists set up barricades during a protest against the elections for a Constituent Assembly in Caracas
Anti-government activists set up barricades during a protest against the elections for a Constituent Assembly in Caracas CREDIT: RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
On Sunday, protesters attacked polling stations and barricaded streets around the country, drawing a bloody response from security forces, who opened fire with live ammunition in some cases.
Despite the boycott and the unrest, the head of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena - one of 13 Maduro allies already slapped with sanctions by US President Donald Trump's administration - said there had been "extraordinary turnout" of more than eight million voters, 41.5 percent of the electorate.
This figure is disputed by the opposition, who say that 88% of Venezuelans abstained.
Nicolas Maduro celebrates the results of "Constituent Assembly", in Caracas
Nicolas Maduro celebrates the results of "Constituent Assembly", in Caracas CREDIT: AFP
Dressed in bright red, his fist clenched and face beaming, Maduro hailed it as a win in a speech to hundreds of cheering supporters in central Caracas.
"It is the biggest vote the revolution has ever scored in its 18-year history," he said, referring to the year his late mentor, Hugo Chavez, came to power.
"What the hell do we care what Trump says?"
A Bolivarian National Police agent was wounded in an explosion in the street in Caracas
A Bolivarian National Police agent was wounded in an explosion in the street in Caracas CREDIT: EPA/MIGUEL GUTIERREZ
Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the United Nations, slammed the election as a move towards dictatorship.
Members of the new assembly will include Maduro's wife Cilia Flores, his pugnacious right-hand man Diosdado Cabello, and other staunch allies.
The socialist president is gambling his four-year rule on the 545-member assembly, which will be empowered to dissolve the opposition-controlled congress and rewrite the constitution.
In his speech, he encouraged the assembly to scrap opposition lawmakers' immunity from prosecution as one of its first acts.
There was blistering international condemnation of the vote, led by Washington.
The constituent assembly aims to "undermine the Venezuelan people's right to self-determination," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement, threatening further "strong and swift" sanctions on Maduro's government.
Explosions and clashes in Venezuela
The election was also condemned by the European Union, Canada and Latin American powers including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.
Senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on Venezuelans to continue defying the deeply unpopular Maduro with new protests against the election and the "massacre" he said accompanied it.
"We do not recognize this fraudulent process," he said, calling for nationwide marches Monday and a mass protest in Caracas Wednesday, the day the new assembly is due to be installed.