Our power grid remains open to both physical and cyber-attacks

Just in case you were feeling a little too cheerful, what with the arrival of Spring and the failure of the Chinese space station to fall on your head and all, here’s a little something to keep you a bit more grounded. A new Congressional Research Service report indicates that despite decades of warnings being issued to the energy sector, our power grid is still far too vulnerable to attacks, posing the threat of massive power outages which could bring the country to its knees for weeks, months or even years. And, as Adam Kredo explains at the Free Beacon, we’re not even talking about high-tech terror attacks or massive hacking schemes. We’ve already been hit with scattered attacks which require little more than a single person with a rifle.

The U.S. electric grid has become increasingly vulnerable to what the federal government is describing as an unprecedented wave of attacks that threatens to cripple the nation, according to a new investigative report that warns the energy industry is lagging in efforts to boost physical security of these critical sites.

Amid a wave of increasing attacks across the country on key power stations, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC, has been struggling to force the power industry to enact a series of security improvements meant to stop would-be attackers and terrorists from crippling the nation’s infrastructure.

Since 2014, “security risks to the power grid have become an even greater concern in the electric utility industry,” according to a new Congressional Research Service report that warns the power industry “has not necessarily reached the level of physical security needed based on the sector’s own assessments of risk.”

The two scenarios which could potentially send the whole country back into the dark ages for a while are a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) burst or a particularly well planned hacking effort. But as the report notes, there have been local attacks using rifles and small, improvised explosive charges at transformer substations which have cut out the power over specific areas for a significant number of hours. A more widespread, coordinated attack of even such a low-tech nature which takes out some of the huge, regional transformers could spell trouble for weeks or months. And most of these stations have limited security in place if they have any at all.

This is frustrating to many analysts because we’re not waiting for some new, Star Wars level technology to be developed. The technical ability to “smarten” up the grid and isolate outages already exists, but it’s expensive to put in place. The utilities don’t want to spend the money and the government either doesn’t have it or can’t dig that deeply into the private industry’s infrastructure. (Or both.) At the individual stations, it would take some resources to put in more effective shielding and defensive arrangements to thwart low-tech attacks, but it could clearly be done with enough effort. This could conceivably be one project which might be included in any proposed federal infrastructure package.

I realize it’s a bit of a dry topic and not as “exciting” as many other threats we face, but it needs to be addressed. We’ve identified a vulnerability which our enemies doubtless already know about and we have the capacity to largely mitigate the danger. Failing to do so shifts the blame at least partly onto us, not just the prospective terrorists.

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Trump Has Tweeted About Amazon Four Times In Last Week. Amazon Loses $37 Billion In Value.

It’s never good to be on the receiving end of a withering attack by Donald Trump. That applies equally to people — like Rep. Nancy Pelosi — and companies — like, say, Amazon.

Amazon was created by Jeff Bezos, and the massive company made him a billionaire. With all his extra cash, Bezos decided to move into journalism, buying The Washington Post, a once-great newspaper. Since he bought the Post, the paper has relentlessly attacked President Trump.

So Trump decided to fight fire with fire. He’s tweeted about Amazon — it’s sweetheart deal with the U.S. Postal Service, whether Bezos is really a “lobbyist,” the company’s tax-paying history — and the counter-punching is having a serious effect: Amazon’s stock is down 7% since Trump’s onslaught began. That’s a $37 billion loss in market value.

“The Dow dropped more than 700 points and the Nasdaq plunged 3% on Monday. All three major indexes are now in the red for the year,” CNN reported.

“The sell-off on the first day of the second quarter came after President Trump once again attacked Amazon on Twitter. Amazon (AMZN), one of the biggest drivers of the 2017 market rally, tumbled 5%, wiping out more than $37 billion of its market value.”

Again, note to anyone out there — anyone: Don’t mess with Trump. It never pays off in the end.

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Deputy Warns Protester in Cruiser’s Way, Takes Her Down, Keeps Right on Rolling

A sheriff’s deputy stands accused of running over a protester with his car during demonstrations over the death of an unarmed African-American man in Sacramento, California, after video emerged of the incident.

The incident occurred Saturday night during a tense protest over Stephon Clark, who was shot by police after they allegedly mistook an iPhone he was carrying for a gun.

Protests surrounding the March 18 police shooting intensified this weekend after an autopsy ordered by the family and released late last week concluded seven of the eight bullets that Clark took from police hit him in the back. Dr. Bennet Omalu’s autopsy also found that any of the shots would have been fatal.

In the video, obtained by a reporter with KXTV, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputy can be heard warning protesters to move out of the way of his SUV before running over a 61-year-old protester.


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According to The Washington Post, the incident took place on Florin Road, a busy thoroughfare in the Californian capital. The video shows protesters surrounding the SUV chanting, “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.”

As the cruiser was surrounded, the police vehicle’s lights flashed and its sirens sounded. A second SUV arrivef behind the first one, presumably as backup.

“Back away from my vehicle,” the deputy in the first cruiser can be heard saying over the loudspeaker. After four warnings, the cruisers then began slowly moving forward and a woman from the crowd came in between the two vehicles.

Do you think that this action was justified?

The woman can be seen being hit in the leg by the second SUV, which moved on. The protester, 61-year-old Wanda Cleveland, was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.

Protesters, meanwhile, chanted “Hit and run!” after the police vehicle hit Cleveland.

According to Fox News, a statement by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the incident, saying it occurred while the vehicle was “traveling at slow speeds.”

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“During the incident, the Sheriff’s Department vehicle sustained scratches, dents, and a shattered rear window,” the statement said.

“The damage to the vehicle was not a result of the collision involving the pedestrian but was caused by vandals in the crowd,” it added.

The California Highway Patrol will be reviewing the matter. The deputy or deputies involved in the incident have yet to be named.

USA Today reported that Sacramento was “calm” on Easter Sunday after several nights of tense protests over Clark’s death. However, the Sacramento Black Lives Matter Facebook page has urged residents to “(b)e on the look out” for other events to come this week.

What do you think? Scroll down to comment below!

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Largest Connecticut Newspaper Calls on Dem Rep to Resign for Covering up Abuse Allegations

The Hartford Courant, the largest newspaper in Connecticut, called on Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D., Conn.) to resign Friday over allegations she kept her chief of staff Tony Baker on the payroll for three months after finding out he left a voicemail threatening the life of one of her former female aides.

Baker is accused of physically abusing and sexually harassing Anna Kain, a former Esty aide that he once dated. In a recording obtained by the Washington Post, Baker threatened to kill Kain if she did not reply to him, the Post reports:

Rather than firing or suspending Baker, the congresswoman consulted her personal attorneys and advisers, she said. She also spoke to Kain on May 11, emails show; Kain said she provided detailed allegations that Baker had punched, berated and sexually harassed her in Esty’s Capitol Hill office throughout 2014, while she worked as Esty’s senior adviser.

Later, Esty enlisted a friend, former chief of staff Julie Sweet, to look into Baker’s past behavior, emails show.

Baker did not leave for three months. By his last day on Aug. 12, according to documents Esty provided to The Post, he and Esty had co-written a positive recommendation letter he could use in a job search and signed a legal document preventing her from disparaging him or discussing why he left.

The Courant‘s editorial board said Esty will probably spend the next several days attempting to defend her failure to take strong steps to protect Klain, who alleged she was punched, berated, and sexually harassed by Baker in Esty’s Capitol Hill office throughout 2014. The Courant, however, said Esty shouldn’t waste her constituents’ time and should just resign, calling her actions "appalling."

"You better f—–g reply to me or I will f—–g kill you," Baker said in the recording left for Kain on May 5, according to the Post.

"The next day, I confronted him about this and said, ‘This is completely unacceptable,’" Esty told the Courant. "He did not deny that this happened. He was contrite. I told him he had to get anger management and basically stop drinking."

The editorial board said it was "completely unacceptable" what Esty did by trying to sweep the allegations under the rug. The congresswoman told the Post that "she was pressured by the Office of House Employment Counsel to sign" a nondisclosure agreement in order to get Baker out of her office, but the Courant said Esty has done "too little, too late" and that she is only acknowledging the incident because the allegations came to the public’s attention. Esty’s full statement can be read here.

The editorial board went on to sat Esty had every opportunity, or responsibility, to at least suspend Baker and hold him accountable for his behavior, calling her attitude "complicit."

Despite Esty’s reaction to the situation with her chief of staff, the congresswoman joined some of her colleagues in Congress late last year to call on fellow Rep. John Conyers, (D., Mich.) to step down after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.

"I do think that reports that have come to light in the last 48 hours are of an extremely serious nature," she said of the allegations against Conyers. "They involve people he had direct authority over, staff in his congressional office who are entirely reliant upon him for their livelihood. … I think it’s entirely unacceptable and I think he should resign."

Conyers ultimately announced he would retire from office less than a week after several members of Congress called on him to do so, and he endorsed his son to run for his seat.

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Dinesh D’Souza Just Posted a Brutal Soros Interview on the Holocaust

Liberal financier George Soros is one of the most controversial political figures in the world.

Much is made of the fact that Soros, whose dollars help fund many left-wing foundations from Media Matters for America to Planned Parenthood, survived the Nazi occupation of his native Hungary even though, as an individual of Jewish background, he was potentially subject to the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Much is also made of Soros’ conduct during World War II, however, in which he admits to having helped his protector seize Jewish property.

One time that he spoke on the subject was during an interview with “60 Minutes” journalist Steve Kroft. In it, he was asked about that experience.

That interview resurfaced this past week after conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza retweeted a video of its most damning part.

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In the interview, Soros explained how he “was 14 years old” when he managed to evade the Nazis.

“And I would say that that’s when my character was made … That one should think ahead. One should understand that, and anticipate events and when, when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a — a very personal experience of evil.”

However, Kroft wanted to question him about what he did with the man who convinced authorities Soros was his godson.

“My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson,” Kroft said.

“Yes, yes,” Soros answered.

“Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews,” Kroft continued.

Did this video change your opinion of Soros?

“That’s right. Yes,” Soros responded.

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“I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?” Kroft asked.

“Not, not at all.  Not at all,” a smiling Soros said.

He was then asked if there were any feelings of guilt. “No,” Soros responded.

Dinesh D’Souza, in his tweet, got to the heart of the issue perfectly.

“The issue isn’t what Soros did with the Nazis when he was 14. It is his complete absence of remorse for it as an adult,” the conservative commentator wrote.

There is something about a man who refuses, in any way, to appropriately deal with the past. This is an event which, no matter what the circumstances, should compel some guilt on the part of those who experienced them — or at least reflection. Not smiling.

I may not have experienced these things, but I’ve seen enough interviews with those who have to know what the normal range of human experience is. This lies outside of it — and it bears watching if just because of the insights it provides into Soros’ personality.

What do you think? Scroll down to comment below!

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Ingraham’s advertisers continue to bail — but the real story is who’s actually behind the boycott

More than a dozen companies have pulled their ads from Laura Ingraham’s Fox News show in the wake of controversy over a story she tweeted last week about David Hogg, the prominent gun control advocate from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Though it was Hogg who initiated the boycott, the real story is the organization that orchestrated and fueled the boycott to the level it’s at today.

Who’s really behind it?

As with past Fox News advertiser boycotts, far-left media watchdog Media Matters — which was founded by longtime Clinton ally David Brock and is funded in part by George Soros — orchestrated the boycott and used the far-left’s grassroots to apply pressure on companies whose ads appear during Ingraham’s weekday program.

Last Thursday, Media Matters published an article detailing which companies advertised on Ingraham’s show between March 19 and March 28, in addition to how many times an ad for each company appeared.

For example, Media Matters includes Liberty Mutual and Bayer — a pharmaceutical company — at the top of the list because those companies showed ads seven times on Ingraham’s show during the prescribed time period.

The list has also been updated to include statements from companies that have either removed their ads from Ingraham’s program or distanced themselves from her.

Thanks to Media Matters’ work — which Hogg proudly directed his followers to — the far-left was able to apply enough pressure to force more than a dozen Ingraham sponsors to abandon her show for the apparent moral high ground.

Meanwhile, Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters, has continued the anti-Ingraham crusade on Twitter, informing his followers of the boycott’s “progress” and which organizations the far-left needs to apply the most pressure to in order to do the most damage to Ingraham and Fox News.

Has Media Matters done this before?

Yes, most recently with Fox News host Sean Hannity last year over a faux-controversy involving failed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. The boycott initially saw results, though it quickly dissipated. “Hannity” remains one of the most watched programs on cable television.

Media Matters also helped orchestrate the removal of Bill O’Reilly from Fox News last April.

As the Daily Caller noted, ThinkProgress, a liberal news outlet also funded in part by Soros, initiated a boycott of the National Rifle Association in February following the mass shooting at MSD. It also failed.

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Parkland students unhappy with the new reality they demanded

Rapid action to make schools more secure and reduce the risk of another mass shooting was demanded after the attack at Parkland. The changes came fast, something quite unusual when you consider the generally glacial pace of the federal government (and usually the state as well). Florida passed the Gun and School Safety Bill on March 7th, barely three weeks after the shooting, with similar legislation being introduced and attracting bipartisan sponsors in Washington.

All of this has added up to many changes. In addition to bans on bump stocks, more funds are available for armed school resource officers. Perimeter security measures are being established around schools. New systems allowing the anonymous reporting of students (or anyone else in the system) displaying aberrant or dangerous behavior, making threats. etc. have been launched. School-specific ID cards have been generated to help detect unauthorized persons looking to enter the campus and allow them to be more quickly identified. While not enacted yet, some schools are looking at metal detectors.

That must have the Parkland kids from that big march in D.C. pretty happy, right? Rarely do you see your demands met with such a rapid response. But as it turns out, most of them aren’t all that thrilled. In fact, some are complaining that they feel like they’re returning to a prison rather than a school. (CNN)

Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School return to class Monday, their first day back since organizing one of the largest youth-led protests in US history. But these teenagers won’t be returning to a normal high school experience. Instead, they’ll be met with strict security measures which are intended to protect them from another mass shooting but have some students feeling as if they’ll be learning in a prison.

“Going to school is really so hard, and now it’s going to be so much worse,” said Isabelle Robinson, a senior. “A lot of the people I’ve talked to are dreading going back.” …

“It feels like being punished,” Robinson told CNN. “It feels like jail, being checked every time we go to school.”

When classes first resumed two weeks after the shooting, Principal Thompson told students not to bring backpacks at all while they focused on their emotional health and not the curriculum.

This appears to be a case of idealism (or, if you’re more cynical, some astroturf which passes for it) crashing into reality. Being either outraged or frightened at the number of school shootings, or at least the media portrayal of how many there are, is a perfectly normal reaction for a teenager. Asking to be more secure in both their homes and their schools is also completely understandable. But increased security comes at a price, and that may include inconvenience or disruption to your normal schedule Most of us would love to be able to sail through the airport quickly and still make our flights like we did back in the 90s, but in the post 9/11 world that was no longer the reality.

I’m not trying to shame these students for being in a snit over having to use clear backpacks, wear ID tags or any of the other measures being put in place. They’re teenagers and we shouldn’t expect them to roll with the punches as an adult would. These things develop over time and as they mature they’ll probably understand the response to their demands with a bit broader perspective.

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The President has noticed that army of illegal aliens heading for our border

Over the weekend I wrote about the “caravan” (read: army) of illegal aliens currently coming up through Mexico with plans to enter the United States. The Mexican government is thus far doing nothing to stop them, and some towns and cities along the route are even hurrying them along. You don’t need to look far to find American media outlets cheering them on as if they are striking some sort of blow for equality or whatever.

The President obviously caught wind of the story himself. He sent out a few tweets over the weekend declaring that Mexico has an obligation to help protect the border and if they can’t handle the job there may be repercussions. (WaPo)

Trump thrust the future of millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children into peril by promising “NO MORE DACA DEAL,” and he directed congressional Republicans to pass tough anti-immigration legislation.

An hour after he wished Americans a “HAPPY EASTER,” Trump fired off three tweets in which he vented, sometimes in all caps, about immigration laws he derided as “ridiculous” and “dumb” and about border enforcement he deemed dangerously lax.

In his first of the immigration-related tweets, Trump wrote, “Border Patrol Agents are not allowed to properly do their job at the Border because of ridiculous liberal (Democrat) laws like Catch & Release. Getting more dangerous. ‘Caravans’ coming. Republicans must go to Nuclear Option to pass tough laws NOW. NO MORE DACA DEAL!”

The usual media backflips are on display this morning as Trump’s opponents seek to claim that there’s no relationship between DACA, NAFTA and illegal aliens queuing up to sneak over the border into America. In reality, of course, all of these subjects are interwoven.

First of all, the fact that the so-called “dreamers” were brought here as children doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the country illegally if DACA fully expires and Congress takes no action to address the situation legislatively. And that remedy is going to require some cooperation and compromise on the part of the Democrats if they want to influence the process while they’re in the minority.

NAFTA is involved because Mexico has already agreed repeatedly (at least on paper) that they too are responsible for the security of the border. Their unwillingness to pitch in on building the wall has been a rather obvious jab at the President (who they need to be making a deal with) and it’s clearly exhausting his patience. If they want a better trade deal and the cooperation of their neighbors to the north, they could heal a lot of wounds by stepping up their enforcement efforts, beginning with shutting down this “caravan.”

The Democrats back home are involved on that front as well. If they want any sort of immigration reform passed, a Dreamers deal or anything else, they too should have been able to get much of what they wanted by coming to the table. At this point, it’s not much of a mystery as to why Trump may be reaching the end of his rope and calling on Republicans to go nuclear on the filibuster and pass something.

None of this is meant to imply that a deal is imminent. The players involved are all too hunkered down in their corners at the moment. But that doesn’t mean that the White House has no more cards left to play. If our immigration forces are arrayed at the border when this caravan arrives, with instructions to keep things locked down, the plan may backfire. The travelers are counting on overwhelming our immigration enforcement agencies, asking for asylum and planning on being turned loose in the United States for years until their cases can be heard. If we move some folks around and make room in detention facilities near the border to hold them all while the background work is done that plan may not wind up looking like such a winner.

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Donald Trump: ‘Our Country Is Being Stolen’ by Illegals

Donald Trump: ‘Our Country Is Being Stolen’ by Illegals

President Donald Trump urged Congress to prevent large groups of illegal immigrants from entering the country.

“Act now Congress, our country is being stolen!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Monday morning.

Trump said that “weak” border laws passed by Democrats prevented border patrol and ICE agents from enforcing the border laws.

“Congress must immediately pass Border Legislation, use Nuclear Option if necessary, to stop the massive inflow of Drugs and People,” he wrote.

Trump repeated his views about DACA, saying the issue was “dead” after Democrats refused to make a deal to legalize illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children.

He reminded Mexico that they had the power to prevent large “caravans” of illegal immigrants from entering the country.

“They must stop them at their Northern Border, which they can do because their border laws work, not allow them to pass through into our country, which has no effective border laws,” Trump wrote.

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