Overnight Open Thread: Seven Earth-Sized Planets

Via Reuters:

Astronomers have found a nearby solar system with seven Earth-sized planets, three of which circle their parent star at the right distance for liquid surface water, bolstering the prospect of discovering extraterrestrial life, research published on Wednesday showed.

The star, known as TRAPPIST-1, is a small, dim celestial body in the constellation Aquarius. It is located about 40 light years away from Earth, close by astronomical standards, but about 44 million years away at the average cruising speed of a commercial passenger jet.

Researchers said the proximity of the system, combined with the proportionally large size of its planets compared to the small star, make it a good target for follow-up studies. They hope to scan the planets’ atmospheres for possible chemical fingerprints of life.

“The discovery gives us a hint that finding a second Earth is not just a matter of if, but when,” NASA chief scientist Thomas Zurbuchen said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Keep reading…

Pentagon Considering Troops In Syria To Fight ISIS

Via McClatchy:

The top U.S. military officer declined repeatedly on Thursday to rule out committing U.S. ground troops to battle the Islamic State in in Syria, stressing that the Pentagon will present President Donald Trump with “a full range of options” to combat the terror organization.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments at a Washington research center as the 30 days that President Donald Trump gave military leaders to develop a strategy to fight the Islamic State are almost up.

“I’m in the business of providing the president with options,” Dunford said several times at the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. when repeatedly pressed on whether those choices would include conventional ground troops.

Keep reading…

Man Who Illegally Fundraised For Clintons Made Tell-All Video Because He Feared Assassination

Via Daily Mail:

A Chinese-American businessman at the center of a Clinton campaign finance scandal secretly filmed a tell-all video as an ‘insurance policy’ – because he feared being murdered.

In footage provided exclusively to DailyMail.com, Johnny Chung spills details on how he illegally funneled money from Chinese officials to Bill Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid.

The Chinese-American Clinton fundraiser recorded the ‘elaborate videotaped testimony’ while in hiding in 2000.
He smuggled it to trusted friends and family with instructions to release it to the media in the event of his untimely death because he believed he was at risk of being assassinated.

Chung is believed to still be alive and living in China.

The video was obtained by author and historian David Wead for his new book Game of Thorns, which traces Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2016 campaign and the Chinese government’s long-running operation to buy political influence in Washington.

Keep reading…

Underground Network Preparing To Hide Illegal Aliens From ICE

Given that the government will be concentrating on criminal illegal aliens, these people are going to be taking in criminals? Oh that should go well…

Los Angeles (CNN)A hammer pounds away in the living room of a middle class home. A sanding machine smoothes the grain of the wood floor in the dining room.

But this home Pastor Ada Valiente is showing off in Los Angeles, with its refurbished floors, is no ordinary home.
“It would be three families we host here,” Valiente says.

By “host,” she means provide refuge to people who may be sought by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE. The families staying here would be undocumented immigrants, fearing an ICE raid and possible deportation.

The purchase of this home is part of a network formed by Los Angeles religious leaders across faiths in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. The intent is to shelter hundreds, possibly thousands of undocumented people in safe houses across Southern California.

Keep reading…

Two Minors Were Injured, One Severely, By Fires Deliberately Set By DAPL Protesters

Where are the arrests for arson and assault?

CANNON BALL, N.D. – Police in riot gear began arresting the last remaining protesters at a makeshift camp in North Dakota on Thursday after they defied several orders to leave the area.

It’s unclear if any protesters remained at the camp after the police officers raided it.

The raids came after the eviction orders were unenforced for at least a day. Hundreds left peacefully on Wednesday after the 2 p.m. deadline, and 10 were arrested hours later after they taunted cops. But out of the tens of thousands that once called this prairie home, Gov. Doug Burgum said late Wednesday that 50 remained.

But hours later, 18 National Guardsmen and dozens of law officers entered the camp from two directions, along with several law enforcement and military vehicles. A helicopter and airplane flew overhead.

Officers checked structures and began arresting people, putting them in vans to take to jail. About two dozen people were arrested in the first half hour of the operation, according to Levi Bachmeier, a Burgum adviser.

North Dakota originally offered protesters a carrot. If they agreed to leave peacefully, they would receive a hotel room and bus ticket to anywhere in the U.S. As of Wednesday night, none had taken it. They also offered a courtesy or ‘ceremonial arrest’ for anyone needing a picture for their Facebook page. Again, no takers.

A 17-year-old girl and 7-year-boy old were burned after protesters set fire to the last remnants of the camp. They both required medical attention and one was air lifted to Minneapolis because her injuries were severe.

Keep reading…

Swedish Democrats: Trump Was Right

Via Fox News:

Two leading Swedish politicians have a message for President Trump’s critics: He’s right.

Per Jimmie Akesson and Mattias Karlsson, both leaders of the Sweden Democrats, penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday supporting Trump’s characterization of a Muslim immigrant-led crime crisis in Sweden.

“Mr. Trump did not exaggerate Sweden’s current problems,” Akesson and Karlsson wrote. “If anything, he understated them.”

Keep reading…

Philly’s Soda Tax By Democrats Causes Massive Job Loss

Who would have thought?

Via The Blaze:

There is little debate that America faces an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases. In typical liberal fashion, the Democrat-dominated city of Philadelphia decided two months ago that this was a problem that could be solved by government regulation, and promptly passed an ordinance that imposed a massive tax on “sugary drinks.” Theoretically, this was supposed to not only punish people for having the gall to enjoy a Diet Coke (yes, artificially sweetened drinks are also taxed), but also to pay for a universal pre-K program in the city.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, you can’t stop people from drinking sodas and also reap huge tax receipts on the sales of soda at the same time,” then you’re at least two steps ahead of the City of Philadelphia, and you probably know by now where the rest of this story is going, too.

Keep reading…

Ted Cruz: Border Crossings Drop 50% At Rio Grande Since Inauguration…

Via The Blaze:

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was greeted to applause Thursday as he took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he broke immigration news from the Texas border.

Cruz, who was joined onstage by conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin, told the audience that he had some breaking news from the Rio Grande section of the southern border.

“Since Inauguration Day, illegal crossings have dropped 50 percent [in the Rio Grande section of the border],” he said, as the audience broke out in applause and cheers. Cruz mentioned that he had gone on a ride-along on a midnight patrol of the area and that a border patrol agent had given him the information about the drop in crossing attempts.

“Oddly enough, you and I have not seen that on 6 o’clock news,” he added.

Keep reading…

Anti-Police ‘Pig’ Flyers Appear At North Carolina College

Via Daily Caller:

Flyers depicting police officers as pigs have appeared this week at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

This is the second incident at UNC Chapel Hill of contentious flyers being distributed. Last Thursday, flyers encouraging stealing and burning “Make America Great Again” hats and hitting Nazis in the head with baseball bats were spotted on campus.

Chancellor Carol Folt responded to the flyers in an email, where she wrote that such messages were the “antithesis of the values that are the foundation of our university,” and were meant to “incite violence.”

The newly surface “pig” flyers are seemingly a response to that, with a picture of a pig as a police officer directly above a quote from Folt’s email.

Keep reading…

Revealed: Democrats Behind Mexico City Demonstration Against Tillerson

They’re undercutting our representative in a foreign country? Really?

Via Daily Caller:

An official arm of the Democratic party is behind a planned demonstration against Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday outside the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

The Mexico chapter of Democrats Abroad — “the official Democratic Party arm for the millions of Americans living outside the United States,” according to the group’s website — is organizing the demonstration against Tillerson, who arrived in the Mexican capital on Wednesday.

Advertising for the demonstration on The Action Network, a website for left-wing activists, says that “Democrats Abroad Mexico and other progressive organizations like the Women’s March and Bridges to Understanding have created a petition” that demands Tillerson “meet with U.S. citizens who hold opposing views while he visits Mexico City to talk with Mexican government officials.”

Keep reading…

Obama Lawyers Unite To Launch Legal Attacks Against Trump Administration

Via Free Beacon:

Lawyers who worked with former President Barack Obama have formed a nonprofit called United to Protect Democracy, which aims at filing lawsuits against President Donald Trump’s administration.

The group plans to investigate Trump, give information to the press to build the pressure for Congressional investigations, and eventually file lawsuits, Politico reported on Thursday.

The leader of the group and former associate White House counsel Ian Bassin warned that democracies don’t end quickly. He said they often “decline over a period of years that happen through a series of much smaller steps,” in an apparent suggestion that the Trump administration would contribute to that decline.

Keep reading...

Billionaire Dem Donor Urges Men To Use Women’s Rooms To Protest Trump

Oh, that will work well…

Via Free Beacon:

A billionaire Democratic megadonor, who is exploring a run for governor, encouraged men to use women’s bathrooms on Wednesday sparking criticism from transgender advocates and politicians.

J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire heir whose father co-founded Hyatt hotels, floated the idea of switching bathrooms in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive order reversing an Obama policy that could have stripped federal funds from schools that maintain separate bathroom facilities based on sex.

“As a protest against Trump’s rescinding protections for trans kids, everyone should use the other gender’s bathroom today!” he tweeted at 8:36 a.m.

Keep reading…

Chris Cuomo: 12 Year Old Girls Should Be Taught To Be ‘Tolerant’ Of Penises In Ladies Room

Wow, really?

Trump Calls For Building Nuclear Arsenal Up…

Via The Hill:

President Trump said Thursday he wants to build up the U.S. nuclear arsenal so that it is at the “top of the pack.”

“I am the first one that would like to see everybody — nobody have nukes, but we’re never going to fall behind any country, even if it’s a friendly country. We’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters.

“It would be wonderful — a dream would be that no country would have nukes — but if countries are going to have nukes, we’re going to be at the top of the pack.”

The interview also touched on Russia’s violation of an arms control treaty, North Korea’s ballistic missile tests and China’s ability to pressure Pyongyang.

Trump also claimed the U.S. has “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity,” according to Reuters.
Trump previously called in a December tweet for the U.S. to “greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.”

Keep reading…

Feds Spending $149,927 Studying Bigfoot…

And still better than the money spent on any golf vacation for Obama.

Via FreeBeacon:

The National Park Service is spending $149,927 researching Bigfoot, sea monsters, unexplained lights, and other paranormal activity.

Kawerak Inc., a nonprofit group that serves people of Eskimo, Aleut, or American-Indian descent in the Bering Strait region between Alaska and Russia, received the grant last year. The organization illustrates its project with a picture of “Hairy Man,” a mythical Bigfoot-like creature.

The group is not just interested in researching “Hairy Man,” but a whole host of “supernatural” creatures.

Keep reading…

Google Plans To Fight Internet ‘Hate Speech’ With Tool That Automatically Flags It…

Who gets to set the parameters for what qualifies as hate speech?

Via Washington Post:

The Internet can be an ugly place — one where the mere act of expressing an opinion can result in a barrage of name-calling, harassment and sometimes threats of violence.

Nearly half of U.S. Internet users say they have experienced such intimidation; a third say they have resisted posting something online out of fear, according to the nonprofit Data and Society Research Institute. Women, particularly young women and women of color, are disproportionately targeted.

Now Google is zeroing in on the problem. On Thursday, the company publicly released an artificial intelligence tool, called Perspective, that scans online content and rates how “toxic” it is based on ratings by thousands of people.

Keep reading…

NOT THE ONION: North Korea Accuses China Of Being In Cahoots With America…

Are they new? Starvation rations tends to interfere with critical thinking…

Via BBC:

Last week, China announced a ban on coal imports during 2017, in response to North Korea’s continuing ballistic missile tests.

The statement did not name China, but referred to a “neighbouring country” which “often claims” to be friendly.

“This country, styling itself a big power, is dancing to the tune of the US,” the state-run news agency said.

In a direct reference to the ban on imports, the statement said China had “taken inhumane steps such as totally blocking foreign trade”, which would help its enemies “to bring down the social system” in North Korea.

Keep reading…

On This Date, The American Flag Rose Over Iwo Jima…

Forever grateful.

Moonbats Hold Vigil For Escaped Bull After It Dies During Escape From NYC Slaughterhouse…

HT NYScanner

University of Michigan Students Demand No-Whites-Allowed Space To Plot “Social Justice” Activism…

Because bigotry against white people is socially acceptable.

Via College Fix:

A student activist group at the University of Michigan is demanding campus officials provide them with “a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize and do social justice work.”

The demand is one of several lodged by “Students4Justice,” who this month ratcheted up campus demonstrations to pressure administrators to cave, complaining in a newly launched petition that President Mark Schlissel has snubbed their demands.

The clamor for a segregated space for students of color to organize social justice efforts comes even as the public university builds a $10 million center for black students in the center of campus.

In their demands, students explain why the new black student center is not enough, “because we want a space solely dedicated to community organizing and social justice work specifically for people of color.”

“We want documentation of past, current, and future student activism and this should be a permanent space that is staffed, and has resources for students to organize and share resources,” the demand letter states.

Leaders of “Students4Justice” did not respond to requests from The College Fix seeking comment. Campus spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told The Fix that at “this point, our colleagues in Student Life have been working with the Students4Justice leaders to better understand their concerns. This is our normal process.”

The demands caught the attention of the Michigan Review, an independent student news outlet which first reported on the issue — and criticized it.

“The same organization that criticizes the University for failing to create ‘an environment that engages in diversity, equity and inclusion,’ is calling upon the University to undermine these ideals by facilitating a sort of de facto segregation? One where space and resources are designated for students based solely on the color of their skin?” the Review wrote.

Keep reading…