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Appearing on Fox & Friends Friday, Judge Jeanine Pirro revealed findings from her segment Street Justice and what she believes people are really thinking about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

“Everywhere I go on Street Justice they love him. I don’t care if you’re blue collar, white collar,” Pirro said. “You would be amazed at how many people will cheer on Rodeo, like, ‘Trump, Trump, Trump.’ You know, he’s hit a chord.”

Pirro seems to believe that at least part of Trump’s appeal is that he speaks about the issues the way average Americans do and takes on certain subjects in a manner that seems more common-sense.

“And when he talks about things like, yesterday the EgyptAir crash, he says hours before everybody else who’s so nervous, you know, it’s probably terrorism. What are you kidding me? You know, Americans relate to this guy,” Pirro said.

Pirro’s experience on Street Justice also seems to match up with new polling conducted by The New York Times and CBS News.

According to the new data, Republicans overwhelmingly want their party to coalesce behind Trump, with eight out of 10 saying GOP leaders should support Trump even if they disagree on significant issues.

His unfavorability ratings among Republicans have also begun to fall off, dropping from 36 percent in April to 21 percent in May, a strong sign that most Republicans will unify behind him as nominee.

Despite these numbers, some Republicans and conservatives are still hoping for a Trump alternative, or have yet to express support for the presumptive nominee. House Speaker Paul Ryan, for instance, says he is still unable to pitch his support behind Trump.

Actress and Fox News contributor Stacey Dash posted a picture of herself with Donald Trump on Friday, and it is generating a lot of interest online.

The picture–posted to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram–appears to have been taken at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention, which is taking place in Louisville, Ky., Friday through Sunday.

In the post, Dash announces her endorsement of Trump, as did the NRA on Friday.

Dash has had complimentary things to say about Trump during various appearances as a co-host on Fox News’ Outnumbered during the campaign season.

She also defended him in a blog post in March after violent protesters caused the candidate to cancel a Chicago campaign rally. “There’s a lot of talk about Donald Trump being violent, condoning it, or at least inciting it,” Dash wrote. But, she said, “he’s not violent, he’s just ‘street.’”

“But there is something about growing up in New York, a certain toughness instilled, a certain level of ‘street’ that can’t be ignored,” she added. “That’s why Americans LOVE him. They are tired of being pushed around. They want someone who will not put up with non-sense.” 

Dash has a book coming out June 6 chronicling her political journey, entitled, There Goes My Social Life: From Clueless to Conservative. (Her breakthrough film role was in the 1995 comedy “Clueless.”)

She told Western Journalism that she hopes her book will be a vehicle to help people discover that they are conservatives too. She believes there are many currently disenfranchised people who, when presented with the facts, will have that epiphany.

“They are for the Second Amendment, they just don’t know it. They are constitutionalists, they just don’t know it. They are capitalists, they just don’t know it. Those are all conservative principles, they just don’t know it,” Dash said.

House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., has boarded the Trump train.

“I endorse Donald Trump,” Gowdy told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Friday.

“I was a Rubio guy, and if Marco had won I would have expected the Cruz supporters and the Kasich supports and the Trump supporters to support my guy,” he said. “My guy lost. When the jury speaks, I’m going to support the jury.”

Gowdy had previously said he would support the eventual GOP nominee, but never mentioned Trump specifically.

When he was pressed about his change in attitude regarding Trump, Gowdy said, “I actually didn’t think I was that hesitant.”

He then reiterated his support for Trump.

“I was a Rubio guy and Marco lost, but I will enthusiastically support the Republican nominee,” he said.

Gowdy also elaborated about the current happenings on the Benghazi committee, which is investigating the 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

He said that the report of his committee would be issued before this summer’s political conventions. Democrats have attacked the committee, saying the panel’s more than two years of investigations are politically motivated and timed to impact Clinton’s chances in the election. Gowdy has denied this accusation and blamed federal agencies for their slow responses to requests for information.

h/t: The Right Scoop

Paul Ryan is willing to step down from his role as co-chairman of the Republican National Convention in July if Donald Trump asks him to do so, he told reporters on Monday.

The comment, made in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, was the latest sign that many Republican leaders are willing to walk away from their party’s presumptive nominee and distance themselves from the controversy and chaos of his campaign. Many believe Trump will lose badly in a general election, and that he could take senators and representatives down with him.

Ryan declined to endorse Trump last week, telling CNN: “I’m just not ready to do that at this point. I’m not there right now.”

Trump at first responded with statement: “I am not ready to support Speaker Ryan’s agenda.”

He later expressed disappointment, telling NBC on Sunday: “He called me, I think, to congratulate me about New York, ’cause I won by massive numbers.”

Ryan’s staff has since made clear that the two hadn’t spoken since March, more than a month before New York’s 19 April primary. However, Trump also made clear he does not place great value on the speaker’s support. “No. It’s just the way it is,” Trump said. “I don’t think it hurts me at all. And I’d like to have his support, but if he doesn’t want to support me that’s fine.”

As speaker of the House, Ryan would be expected to preside over the Republican party’s convention as chairman this summer. Though his office has called the role mostly “ceremonial”, he would be expected, as the party’s leader in Congress, to bless the nominee and rally Republicans around the candidate.

Oregon standoff leader Ammon Bundy was a peaceful protester advocating the constitutional beliefs of US supreme court justices Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia, according to the jailed activist’s formal defense filed on Monday.

Bundy’s motion to dismiss the federal charges that he led a violent conspiracy against the government with an armed occupation of a wildlife refuge lays the groundwork for a trial that could have a lasting impact on the controversial land-use movement in the west.

On 2 January, Bundy, 40, led a group of activists into the Malheur national wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon to protest the federal government’s treatment of local ranchers. The protesters, some of whom were heavily armed, took over a number of public buildings at the refuge headquarters, launching a standoff with federal authorities that dragged on for 41 days.

Bundy and two-dozen other activists were eventually arrested and now face serious felony charges for using “force” and “threats” to impede the government, which could lead some of them to spend decades behind bars.

“Contrasted with shallow and uninformed media portrayals and government hyperbole, Ammon is not an ‘extremist’ and is not a member of any militia, patriot group, or political land protest organization,” Bundy’s attorneys wrote in the filing. “Mr Bundy is not a … so-called ‘sovereign citizen,’ and he does not hold anti-government views.”

The new motion claims that Bundy identifies as a “federalist” and an “originalist”, meaning he believes the federal government has overstepped its authority by owning vast swaths of land in the west and has strayed beyond its limited jurisdiction the founders intended.

“This is hardly a philosophy of extremism or violence, and has been championed on both sides of today’s dominant political spectrum,” Bundy’s attorneys wrote. “Originalism is a constitutional approach and philosophy with its most well-known adherents being current United States supreme court justice Clarence Thomas [and] the late Justice Antonin Scalia.”

The filing also references Hugo Black, a liberal supreme court justice who also espoused originalist beliefs.

Bundy and his followers have long argued that the federal government does not have the authority to own and regulate the Malheur refuge, which is a federally protected bird sanctuary that the US Fish and Wildlife Service oversees.

The philosophy has spread among ranchers and activists in the west in recent years, propelled forward by Ammon’s father, Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who received national attention for refusing to acknowledge federal authority on public lands by his ranch, culminating in a tense standoff in 2014.

Although constitutional experts, bolstered by a number of court decisions, have repeatedly refuted the Bundys’ claims and affirmed the government’s land-use authority, Ammon’s lawyers say the supreme court should specifically address “whether Congress can forever retain the majority of the land within a State”.

The federal government owns 53% of the land in Oregon.

The motion also notes that, over the last year, lawmakers in Utah have considered filing an expensive lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of federal land ownership.

“Ammon Bundy identified an alternative way to raise the legal challenge,” the filing says.

“It’s nothing radical or new,” Mike Arnold, Bundy’s attorney, said in an interview Monday. “It’s a way of looking at the constitution in the context of the original words … viewed through the intent of the founders.”

The motion – which argues that the case should be dismissed since the federal government lacks jurisdiction – also claims that the occupation was a “spontaneous protest” and that the activists maintained the property in good condition, welcoming “over a thousand visitors including elected officials, and prominent political leaders”.

“The fact that elected officials visited the protest site illustrates … that it was a safe, peaceful place,” Arnold said. “And the protest was working to draw attention to a larger problem.”

This depiction of the protest sharply contrasts the allegations of federal prosecutors, who have relied heavily on social media posts as evidence and presented the occupation as a coordinated and violent attack against the government, which left the refuge in terrible condition.

A spokesperson for the US district attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

This article titled “Ammon Bundy is an ‘originalist’ just like Antonin Scalia, says defense” was written by Sam Levin in San Francisco, for theguardian.com on Monday 9th May 2016 19.06 UTC

The young victim of a sexual assault carried out by a sheriff’s deputy in Kern County, California, has settled a civil lawsuit for $1m, marking the second violent misconduct case the beleaguered sheriff’s office has settled in just five days.

The settlement was announced following a Guardian investigation, which identified law enforcement in the county as the deadliest in the US and revealed a program of attempted cash payoffs to vulnerable women who had been sexually assaulted by Kern County deputies.

The sheriff’s department is now facing renewed calls for a federal investigation into its patterns and practices.

The young woman was 21 when she was sexually assaulted by Kern County sheriff’s deputy Gabriel Lopez in March 2013. Lopez, then 28, forced the young woman to strip naked in her bedroom and then molested her. Lopez and his partner had arrested the woman’s boyfriend at the same house earlier in the day. He then returned alone hours later to carry out the assault, which occurred just two weeks after he had qualified as a patrol officer.

Lopez was sentenced to two years in prison for the attack, and for another similar assault occurring days later against another young woman.

The young woman who settled on Monday was initially offered just $7,500 in cash by a representative from the sheriff’s office to waive her right to sue, days after the assault occurred. No lawyers were present at the time the settlement was offered. The other young woman Lopez was convicted of assaulting accepted a cash payment of $5,000 from the sheriff’s office.

The Guardian revealed the Kern County sheriff’s office had a longstanding program of attempted cash payoffs to women who had accused deputies of sexual assault, sometimes for as low as $200.

Lopez is also accused in an ongoing civil lawsuit of sexually assaulting a third woman, aged 79, who recently died.

Neil Gehlawat, an attorney representing the young woman, argued that Monday’s settlement, along with a $3.4m settlement announced last week with the family of David Silva, who died after a violent beating by Kern County deputies in 2013, should prompt the US Department of Justice to investigate the police force.

“The DoJ has gone into departments across the country – from Ferguson to Chicago – after serious issues were identified there. I don’t think it would be bad idea for the same to happen here,” Gehlawat said.

He described the attempted cash payout as “abhorrent”, arguing the seven-figure settlement highlighted that the county “knew the case was worth more money, but they attempted to sweep it away under the rug”.

Kern County, with a population of just under 875,000, had the highest rate of officer-involved fatalities in 2015.

Fourteen people were killed by law enforcement officers in Kern County last year. During the same period, 10 people were killed by the NYPD across the five boroughs of New York City, where nearly 10 times as many people live and about 23 times as many sworn police officers patrol.

Gehlawat said he hoped the settlement would bring some level of closure for the victim. “Obviously she’s gone through a lot,” he said. He added that as part of the settlement deal, his firm was prevented from holding a press conference to announce it.

Brandon Rutledge, a spokesman for the Kern County sheriff’s office, said he had no comment on the disparity between the initial cash offer that was made in 2013 and the amount the case eventually settled for.

Rutledge said he had no knowledge of a clause in the settlement agreement preventing a press conference for attorneys working on the case.

“I’m just the messenger right now,” Rutledge said, adding that a statement from Donny Youngblood the Kern County sheriff was expected later in the day.

This article titled “California’s Kern County settles for $1m over sexual assault by sheriff’s deputy” was written by Oliver Laughland in New York, for theguardian.com on Monday 9th May 2016 22.24 UTC

Hillary Clinton might have a problem in November. Some supporters of Bernie Sanders at a rally in Sacramento, California, indicated they would rather vote for anyone in the general election than the former secretary of state – even, in some cases, Donald Trump.

As the sun set over the arena, Sanders – voice strained but otherwise visibly energized – addressed a packed stadium crowd of 15,000 vocal and enthusiastic supporters. Introduced by the actor Danny Glover, Sanders fed meat to his base in an energetic speech, promising to win the California primary and go into the Democratic campaign in Philadelphia with a majority of pledged delegates – even if some have declared that impossible.

When he reiterated his promise to ban fracking in America, a thunderous stamping of feet in the stands briefly drowned out the public address system.

It has been said that the sun is setting on the Sanders campaign – he is behind in the delegate count and the path to victory is far from clear. But his massed supporters punctuated his speech with roared appreciation nonetheless, remaining hopeful that the Vermont senator can pull off a miracle.

Hillary Clinton was not a popular figure – roundly booed six or more times by the audience in the stadium; pretty much every time she was mentioned.

A Los Angeles Times poll from March found that eight out of 10 Sanders supporters would vote for Clinton – however reluctantly. But at the Sacramento rally fewer than half of the 22 supporters spoken to by the Guardian said they would even consider voting for Clinton if Sanders was not the nominee.

Several would write in Bernie Sanders instead – or vote Green, or simply not vote at all. Three indicated they would go as far as voting for Trump – and one said that faced with a choice of Clinton or Trump, he would move to Britain.

Of those willing to back Clinton, none seemed particularly enthusiastic about the prospect. Joe Tellez from Sacramento said he would only do it because “the alternative would be hideous”.

“I’d prefer not to [vote for Clinton],” Tellez said. But he most likely would.

Jazz pianist and Sanders supporter Dave Bass, attending with his wife Nancy, said: “As distasteful we’d find it – we think of her as a war criminal – we’d vote for Hillary because of Trump.”

Alex Moody, a bartender from Sacramento who had brought her three-month-old son, Rider, to his first ever political event, had other ideas about voting for Clinton. “Hell no,” Moody told the Guardian. “I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils.” She indicated that if Clinton won the nomination, she would simply not vote.

The same went for Mike Fabel, a group home coordinator from Rocklin, California, though he might consider Clinton if she picked Elizabeth Warren as running mate. “Man, that’s tough. Probably,” he conceded.

David Hernandez, a retired state worker for the Department of Food and Agriculture, said: “Clinton voted for war. Everything she touches turns to death.” Asked if he would consider voting for Trump, he said: “I will get into that booth and decide at the last minute. But definitely not her.”

Brigitte Solario, a student from the North Bay area, and her boyfriend Parker Dean, indicated that they would seriously consider voting for Trump if Sanders wasn’t the nominee.

“They’re both terrible,” she said. “[But] would I rather have someone who was on a TV show than someone who represents Wall Street?”

She gave a little shrug and a smile, suggesting that yes, she would.

This article titled “At Sacramento rally, some Sanders fans would rather Trump than Clinton” was written by Nicky Woolf in Sacramento, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 10th May 2016 06.52 UTC

On crime and punishment

A: “Forget the laws on human rights… You drug pushers, hold-up men and do-nothings, you better go out. Because I’d kill you.”

B: “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

On sex and other things

A: “I was separated from my wife. I’m not impotent. What am I supposed to do? Let this hang forever? When I take Viagra, it stands up.”

B: “My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.”

On modesty

A: “I do not have brilliance, wit or smartness. What I have is common sense. It is what our country needs!”

B: “My IQ is one of the highest — and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure; it’s not your fault.”

On negotiation

A: “Do not fuck with my team.”

B: “Sometimes you need conflict in order to come up with a solution. Through weakness, oftentimes, you can’t make the right sort of settlement, so I’m aggressive, but I also get things done, and in the end, everybody likes me.”

On the political system

A: “The trouble with us in government is that we talk too much, we act too slow, and do too little.”

B: “One of they key problems today is that politics is such a disgrace. Good people don’t go into government.”

On the future

A: “We, the People, recognise that we have responsibilities as well as rights; that our destinies are bound together; that a freedom which only asks what’s in it for me, a freedom without a commitment to others, a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals, and those who died in their defence.”

B: “We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realise their full potential.”

Answers: All As are Rodrigo Duterte and all Bs are Donald Trump. EXCEPT the last one – both are Barack Obama.

This article titled “Separated at birth? Sayings of Donald Trump and Rodrigo ‘the punisher’ Duterte” was written by Guardian staff, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 10th May 2016 07.33 UTC

  • Some 30 Muslim men thought that the woman was in violation of Islamic sharia law, by being in Sweden unaccompanied by a man. They thought that she should therefore be raped and her teenage son killed.
  • Sometime during the night, the victim was awakened by the Iraqi as he raped her. The woman managed to break free and locate a train attendant. At first, the woman did not want to call the police. “She felt sorry for him [the rapist] … and was afraid he would be deported back to Iraq.”
  • Two Swedish citizens were convicted by a Gothenburg Court of joining an Islamist terror group in Syria and murdering two captives. Video evidence showed one victim being beheaded. “Every night when I have gone to bed, I have seen a head hanging in the air.” – Court Chairman Ralf G. Larsson.
  • One week after Sweden raised its terror alert level to the highest ever, the police raised another alarm — saying their weapons are simply not good enough to prevent a potential terror attack.

November 4: The Swedish Immigration Service sent out a press release, saying that it had hired close to a thousand additional employees since June. The Immigration Service now has over 7,000 employees, including hourly workers and consultants — double the 3,350 employees who worked there in 2012. Most of the new recruits work with the legal processing of asylum applications, but the units dealing with receiving migrants and filing their initial applications have also expanded considerably. As if the record influx of migrants this autumn were not crushing enough, the Immigration Service also had trouble retaining its staff. Employees complain about being badly treated: they are always expected to be on call, and possibly even work Christmas Eve.

November 4: Bobel Barqasho, a 31-year-old Syrian, was sentenced by Sweden’s Supreme Court to 14 years in prison. Before his case reached the Supreme Court, Barqasho had been sentenced by a lower court to 9 years in prison, then acquitted by the Court of Appeals. In February 2013, Barqasho threw his wife off a sixth-floor balcony. Against all odds, the woman survived the 13-meter (about 43 feet) fall, but was badly injured. When she woke up after five weeks in a coma, her head was held together by a helmet, her face felt loose, and her teeth were gone. In the Court of Appeals, the defense managed to plant reasonable doubt about the man’s guilt by claiming the woman was depressed and had jumped of her own free will] so the Court of Appeals set him free. By the time the Supreme Court pronounced its sentence of 14 years, Barqasho had disappeared. He is now being sought by Interpol.

November 6: The Grönkulla School in Alvesta closed after reports of a rape at the facility spread on social media. A Somali boy had apparently been sexually harassing a 12-year-old girl for some time. On October 17, he allegedly took his attentions a step farther, pulled the girl behind a bush and raped her. The girl’s father had been unsuccessful in trying to get the school to address the problem earlier, but even after the reported rape, the school’s management did not act. The boy was allowed to continue going to the school – just on a schedule different from the girl’s. Her distraught parents told the news website Fria Tider: “We are being spat on because we are Swedish.” In protest against the school’s management, many parents, viewing the school as having sided with the perpetrator, moved their children to other schools.

November 9: Social commentator and whistleblower Merit Wager revealed on her blog that administrators at the Immigration Service had all been ordered to “accept the claim that an applicant is a child, if he does not look as if he is over 40.” A staggering 32,180unaccompanied refugee children” had arrived during 2015 by December 1 — since then another 1,130 have come — and the government finally decided to take action. If its proposition is approved by Parliament, everyone who looks adult-aged will be forced to go through a medical age-determination procedure. One of the reasons Sweden stopped doing these in the first place, was that pediatriciansrefused to take part in them. They said the procedures were “unreliable.”

November 10: A 28-year-old Iraqi man was prosecuted for raping a woman on a night train between Finland and Sweden. The man had originally planned to seek asylum in Finland, but had found the living conditions there too harsh. He had therefore taken a train back to Sweden. In a couchette (sleeping car where men and women are together), the rapist and two other asylum seekers met one of the many Swedish women whose hearts go out to “new arrivals.” The woman bought sandwiches for the men; they drank vodka. When two of the men started groping the woman, she told them to stop, yet chose to lie down and go to sleep. Sometime during the night, she was awakened by the Iraqi as he raped her. The woman managed to break free and locate a train attendant. To the attendant’s surprise, the woman did not immediately want to press charges. The court documents state: “The train attendant asked if he should call the police. At first, the woman did not want him to do so, because she did not want to put N.N., an asylum seeker, in a tough spot. She felt sorry for him… and was afraid he would be deported back to Iraq.”

The man was given a sentence of one year in prison, payment of 85,000 kronor (about $10,000) in damages, and deportation — but will be allowed to come back to Sweden after five years.

November 10: An Algerian and a Syrian asylum seeker were indicted for raping a Swedish woman in Strängnäs. The men, 39-year-old from Algeria and 31-year-old from Syria, met the woman in a bar one night in August. When the woman left, one of the men followed her, pulled her to the ground, and assaulted her. Afterwards, the woman kept walking, and ran into two other men — the Syrian and another unidentified man — and was raped again. The Syrian reportedly also spit her in face and said, “I’m going to f–k you, little Swedish girl.” The men, who lived at the same asylum house, denied knowing each other when questioned by the police. The verdict was announced on December 1. Rapist number one was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison, 117,000 kronor (about $14,000) in damages, and deportation to Algeria. Rapist number two was convicted of aggravated rape and sentenced to four years in prison. He cannot be deported, however, because “there are currently hindrances towards enforcing deportations to Syria.” He was also ordered to pay the woman 167,000 kronor (about $20,000) in damages.

November 13: A trial began against eight Eritrean men, between the ages of 19 and 26, who according to the District Court, “crudely and ruthlessly” gang-raped a 45-year-old woman. She had been waiting in a stairwell for a friend when the men invited her into an apartment. Inside, she was thrown on the floor, held down, beaten and brutally raped. When questioned by the police, she said, “It felt as if there were hands and fingers everyplace. Fingers penetrated me, vaginally, anally. It hurt very much. I could feel the fingernails.” She said she could also hear the Eritreans laughing and speaking in their own language while they raped her. “They seemed to be enjoying themselves,” she said.

When two of the men started fighting over who should rape her next, she tried to flee, but one of the men hit her over the head; she fell unconscious. After coming to, she escaped out a window and was able to reach a neighbor.

The District Court of Falun established that several men had taken part in the attack, but the District Attorney was unable to prove who had done what. Therefore, only one man was convicted of aggravated rape, and sentenced to five years in prison. The others were sentenced to only 10 months in prison for helping to conceal a serious criminal offense. After serving their time, the men will be allowed to stay in Sweden.

November 14: The Swedish Security Service, Säpo, warned again of Muslim terrorists hiding among migrants. The number of individuals listed as potential security threats has tripled this year, and includes several hundred who may be ready to carry out “Paris-style” attacks. As the Immigration Service has a huge backlog in trying to register all 150,000 asylum seekers who have come to Sweden so far in 2015, there are probably also many migrants that would be considered potential security threats.

November 14: Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, made yet another strange statement with diplomatic consequences. The day after the Paris attacks, in an interview with Swedish Public Television, Wallström was asked, “How worried are you about the radicalization of young people in Sweden who choose to fight for ISIS?” Wallström replied:

“Yes, of course we have a reason to be worried not only here in Sweden but around the world, because there are so many who are being radicalized. Here again, you come back to situations like that in the Middle East, where not least the Palestinians see that there isn’t any future for us [the Palestinians], we either have to accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”

Two days later, the Swedish ambassador to Israel, Carl Magnus Nesser, was called to a meeting at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. Its spokesman, Emmanuel Nahshon, later told Reuters, “The Swedish Foreign Minister’s statements are appallingly impudent… [She] demonstrates genuine hostility when she points to a connection of any kind between the terror attacks in Paris and the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians.”

In a formal statement, the Swedish Foreign Ministry denied that Margot Wallström’s remark had connected the Paris attacks with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A Swedish Conservative (Moderaterna) Member of Parliament, Hanif Bali, sarcastically tweeted that it seemed the Foreign Minister is suffering from an “obvious case of Israel-Tourette’s.”

November 18: The Authority for Civil Protection and Contingency Planning (MSB) warned that the asylum situation was not only “very strained,” but that things keep getting worse — and that in some parts of Sweden, the authorities can only function until the end of December. Meanwhile, the Immigration Service calculated that another 13,000 beds are needed in so-called evacuation accommodations. “The problem cannot be fully solved even if the Armed Forces help provide more housing or if the MSB could arrange more tent accommodations,” the authority wrote.

The massive influx of asylum seekers has also led to native Swedes “being crowded out of the health care and social services systems,” according to the MSB. “It [the MSB] is so busy handling unaccompanied children and asylum seekers, that there simply is not enough time to tend to the everyday functions, such as healthcare and social services,” said Alexandra Nordlander, Chief of Operative Analysis at the MSB, to the daily tabloid, Aftonbladet.

November 19: A fire broke out at Lundsbrunn Spa, a few weeks after plans were announced to convert the historic building into the biggest asylum-seekers’ home in Sweden. According to the police, the fire was not an arson, but started in a wood-pellet stove.

Many hotels and spas have transforming themselves into asylum-seekers’ housing, in order to profit from lucrative deals offered by the Immigration Service. Lundsbrunn Spa, near a mineral spring, dates back to 1890; in 1817, a hospital was established on the grounds. The nearby village is home to fewer than 1,000 people, so when Lundsbrunn Spa decided to accept an offer from the Immigration Service, the village faced a doubling of its population. The owners of Lundsbrunn wrote on the Spa’s website that they see the transformation from spa to asylum-seekers’ home as a temporary measure.

November 20: Norwegian businessman Petter Stordalen, the billionaire owner of Nordic Choice Hotels,announced that the chain’s many properties in Scandinavia and the Baltic states would no longer serve their guests sausage and bacon for breakfast. The breakfast buffet of the Nordic Choice’s Clarion Hotel Post in Gothenburg was named earlier this year the best hotel breakfast in the world by the British newspaper, The Mirror. But apparently, this award did not matter. The cause for the hotel’s decision was cited as “health reasons.” The internet, however, was soon abuzz with speculation that the real reason was adaptation to Islamic dietary laws (halal). One week later, Stordalen backtracked. The reaction from hotel guests had been too strong. Many people vented their anger over the withheld bacon on Stordalen’s Facebook page. Stordalen commented: “The guests have spoken. Comfort Hotels are bringing back bacon.”

November 23: Hassan Mostafa Al-Mandlawi, 32, and Al Amin Sultan, 30, were indicted in the Gothenburg Municipal Court, suspected of having traveled to Syria in 2013 and murdering at least two people there.The charge was terrorist crimes, (alternatively crimes against international law) and murder. Chief Prosecutor Agnetha Hilding Qvarnström, of the National Unit for Security Cases, said: “The act [was] committed with the intent to harm the state of Syria and intimidate the people, thus the classification: terrorist crimes. The hard part is to clarify fully whether these men have been part of an armed group, and acted within the frames of the armed conflict, or not.”

The accused men came to Sweden, one from Iraq and one from Syria, as children, but grew up in Sweden and are Swedish citizens. They traveled to Syria in 2013, and joined one of the many Islamist terror groups there. According to the prosecution, they murdered two captured workers in an industrial area of Aleppo by slitting their throats. The prosecutor wrote that, “Al-Mandlawi and Sultan have both expressed delight at the deeds.”

During the trial, films of the executions were shown, but both men still denied having committed the crimes. Those present in court agreed that the films were among the most disturbing ever displayed in a Swedish court. First, they show a man having his throat slit, the blood gushing before he dies. Then, the other victim’s head is severed from his body, and the killer holds up the severed head to loud cheers from the others. The court’s chairman, Ralf G. Larsson, told the news agency, TT: “Every night when I have gone to bed, I have seen a head hanging in the air.”

The verdict was announced December 14: Both men were convicted of terrorist crimes and sentenced to life in prison. The verdict will be appealed, the defense lawyers said.

Two Swedish citizens were convicted by a Gothenburg Court of joining an Islamist terror group in Syria and murdering two captives. Video evidence (left) showed one victim being beheaded. When asked if she is worried about the radicalization of young people in Sweden who choose to fight for ISIS, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström (right), blamed Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

November 25: The municipality of Ängelholm proudly announced that it had managed to hire a world-famous star to sing at the 500-year anniversary of the city of Ängelholm. Mezzo-soprano Susanne Resmark, of La Scala in Milan and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, would now, for the first time, sing in her hometown. The denizens of Ängelholm would get to enjoy the Resmark, considered by many one of the best Mezzo-sopranos, in a free performance. Two days later, however, the local paper, Helsingborgs Dagblad, ran a story on how Resmark had posted on her Facebook page comments critical of Islam. This apparently sent representatives of the municipality into a panic; they cancelled the star’s performance. The journalist behind the story, Jan Andersson, admitted in an interview with Dispatch International that the paper’s reporters had gone over Resmark’s statements with a microscope, in an effort to force the municipality to cancel her appearance. “We did a damn fine job!” Andersson said.

November 27: One week after Sweden raised its terror alert level to the highest ever in the country (four on a five-point scale), the police raised another alarm — saying their weapons are simply not good enough to prevent a potential terror attack. “We are sent out without adequate weapons, only a nine millimeter service pistol. We are also told that there may not be enough protective vests and ballistic helmets. It feels like being sent out on a lion hunt with a pea-shooter and a jumpsuit made out of zebra meat,” wrote a police officer called “Christian,” in an internal incident report reviewed by the news agency, Siren.

His colleague, “Niklas,” wrote that he had to patrol, without a protective helmet, a location considered at risk of terror attacks, because none of the available helmets fit his head: “Without the right equipment, and with inadequate training in tactics and shooting, we still had to work as live targets without any kind of chance to defend ourselves or our [locations] against a potential attack.”

The police say they want to be able to use more powerful weapons, such as the HK MP5, a submachine gun that is popular with law enforcement agencies around the world. Few, however, have had the required training for it. Also, the existing MP5s are kept at police stations — not in patrol cars. Martin Lundin, of the Department of National Operations, conceded there was some merit to the criticism: “We will probably need more people who are able to handle that weapon in the future.”

November 28: A large mob at an asylum house in Nora tried to break into a room where a woman had barricaded herself along with her son. Some 30 Muslim men apparently thought the woman was in violation of Islamic sharia law, by being in Sweden unaccompanied by a man. They thought that she should therefore be raped and her teenage son killed. Asylum house staff called the police, who averted the plan.

Okay, let’s assume that she said what she meant to say as eloquently as possible. Let’s give her a pass on the gaffes of Women and 9/11, because while it’s entertaining from a media buzz perspective it’s not what ought to really scare you.

What’s scary is that if you take those two things out, you still have a scenario where her answer to the question of why she continues to take advantage of a tool that denigrates the very foundation of our democracy is “Well, I deserve it.”

See, deep down, Hillary Clinton knows its wrong. She’s said as much in her albeit half-hearted attacks on the Citizens United ruling. So Bernie asked her why not lead by example? Why not show the American people that democrats can win without contorting the definition of democracy? Why should liberal voters even take the risk of supporting a candidate who’s getting paid overwhelming amounts of cash by the very people who want to shut down these necessary financial reforms?

And her answer, best-case scenario, if you take out her nonsense about women and 9/11, is the height of entitlement. The most generous translation of what she meant to say at the debate is:

“I’m receiving this money for the good job I’ve done, and I deserve to keep it. And I expect you to believe that I’ve actually done such a good job, that despite knowing I’ll be working directly against their financial interest, rich people are actually willing to donate massive amounts of money to my campaign. I did such a good job that Wall Street gives it gladly, without expecting anything in return. I did such a good a job that it would almost be unfair to me if I had to just settle for the legal maximum contribution. Why should I have to leave this money sitting on the table, just because I claim to be against the very law that allows it? But don’t worry, I’ll make sure this will be the last campaign where this is allowed. Trust me.”

Does anyone believe a word of this? That the money isn’t there to influence her decisions? That the millions in her Super Pac don’t signal where her loyalties lie? Does anyone truly believe that even half of her Super Pac money comes from people with no special interests, who just have feel-good memories of her decent tenure as senator? Does anyone truly believe that even half of it has anything to do with her time in New York, 9/11 or otherwise?

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