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Democratic group pulls ad targeting Virginia governor hopeful Ed Gillespie's supporters

Fox News (Politics) - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 20:30
A television ad depicting supporters of Virginia governor hopeful Ed Gillespie as Confederates who attack minority children has been pulled amid a terror attack in New York City.

Dumb sensors, deadly consequences

Michelle Malkin - 1 hour 4 min ago

Dumb sensors, deadly consequences
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2017

The circumstances of U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez’s death this week remain murkier than the Rio Grande River.

Agent Martinez succumbed to critical head injuries early Sunday morning. An unnamed partner, who came to Martinez’s aid after he radioed for help from a remote area of the Big Bend sector in Texas, also suffered serious wounds. Whether by deliberate ambush or accident, one of our border enforcers is dead and the other hospitalized.

This much is clear: Dumb sensors + depleted forces = deadly border disorder.

Agent Martinez had ventured out alone to check on a ground sensor to determine who or what had set it off. He confirmed to his colleagues that human activity had activated the alarm before he died.

Here’s the scandal: Our federal government has been squandering billions of dollars on inferior border technology for years. It’s a monumental waste of taxpayer funds and a dangerous redistribution of wealth to crony contractors, whose ineffective pet projects are putting our men and women on the front lines at risk.

Nearly 14,000 ground sensors have been littered along the southern border over the past several decades — some dating back to the Vietnam War era. Untold numbers have simply been buried and lost by federal workers who failed to record where they put them. Twelve years ago, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s report found that agents couldn’t determine the cause of 62 percent of the sensor alerts because they were “unable to respond to the dispatch, or it took the agent too long to get to the sensor location.”

Compounding staff shortages are outdated sensors unable to distinguish between humans, vehicles and animals. They can’t tell cows from criminals or wild boars from dirty bombers. Thirty-four percent of alerts were confirmed false alarms in the 2005 review. Only 2 percent resulted in apprehensions of immigrants in this country illegally, the feds admitted.

The Arizona Republic reported that “a possible false alarm from a ground sensor, and faulty radio communications, may have contributed to the death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie in a friendly-fire incident” in 2012. “(A)gents didn’t detect anyone but each other when they arrived. Ivie, responding separately, apparently mistook the other agents for smugglers and opened fire. One of the agents shot and killed him.”

A $1 billion integrated fixed tower project, fronted by Boeing, was supposed to remedy the flaws of the ground sensor system. A surveillance program along the southwest border in Arizona, the IFT systems “are fixed surveillance assets that provide long-range persistent surveillance” using radars that send pictures back to a central hub to monitor illegal crossings and criminal activity.

But the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general reported this summer that the towers had never been properly tested for suitability and operational effectiveness. Its successors haven’t fared much better.

On a trip to the Sierra Vista, Arizona, region earlier this summer for my CRTV.com show, “Michelle Malkin Investigates,” I talked to ranchers who pointed out fancy new towers with fatal blind spots, out of reach of deep washes and heavy forests where illegal immigrants and drug smugglers travel.

“We have $50 million of infrastructure on this ranch now,” fourth-generation Arizona rancher John Ladd told me during a tour of his property, “and none of it has worked. Camera towers, radar, fence, roads, street lights.” All the technology in the world is useless, he has long pointed out to politicians and bureaucrats, without boots on the ground. And Border Patrol agents parked in air-conditioned cubicles hours from the border don’t count.

“You got 600 (agents) in Tucson” who “take 6 hours to get to the border. Move them down! You got Nogales … and Naco and Douglas that are within a mile of the border,” Ladd points out. “All the rest of them are more than 50 miles north. Why do we have that? What good is that?”

Longtime illegal immigration activist and systems engineer Glenn Spencer, who I first met in California in the 1990s, has lived and worked on the Arizona border for more than decade. He patented and tested a pilot system of seismic detection and ranging on 1.5 miles of his friend John Ladd’s property called Seidarm and paired it with a drone, dubbed Hermes, which automatically launches when border activity is detected within 500 feet of the smart sensors. It can be manufactured and built at a fraction of the cost of the big defense contractors’ systems. Unlike much of the government’s gold-plated technology, Ladd said: “It worked.”

“If they had SEIDARM/HERMES installed, they could have checked out the ground sensor without putting the agent in jeopardy,” Spencer told me after Agent Martinez’s death hit the news this week.

But politicians in both parties have spurned Ladd’s pleas and Spencer’s proposals. Special interests have raided public coffers to fund border security Kabuki theater and stave off meaningful assessments. Spencer doesn’t mince words:

“They don’t want to measure it; they don’t want to secure the border; they want to make it LOOK like they are.”

Beltway business as usual. Another agent’s life sacrificed. President Trump, the clock is ticking.

'Poor man's Don King': Trump takes aim at hoops dad LaVar Ball as feud escalates

Fox News (Politics) - 1 hour 29 min ago
President Donald Trump fired back Wednesday morning against claims made by outspoken basketball dad LaVar Ball.

Trump: NFL may keep teams in locker rooms during national anthem next year

Fox News (Politics) - 1 hour 33 min ago
President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that the NFL is considering keeping the teams inside the locker rooms during the national anthem next year over fallout from the players’ protest this year.

After Trump remarks, Alabama Senate hopefuls make latest pitches to voters

Fox News (Politics) - 1 hour 59 min ago
With less than three weeks to go until Alabama’s U.S. Senate election, rivals Roy Moore and Doug Jones made their latest pitches to voters Tuesday night.

Anti-Trump sticker sales grow after Texas controversy

Fox News (Politics) - 2 hours 59 min ago
A Texas woman who sparked a controversy by displaying a profane anti-Trump sticker on the rear window of her pickup truck is now selling them for $15 each.

Alaska's Murkowski says she backs repeal of ObamaCare individual mandate

Fox News (Politics) - 3 hours 29 min ago
In an op-ed published Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, writes that she backs the Republican effort to repeal ObamaCare’s individual mandate, a position that might offer her party hope when it comes to the tax plan vote.

Politicians Must Come Together and Stick up for the Middle Class

TownHall Latest columns - 5 hours 42 min ago
Our nation was built on the value that hard work pays off. But for many middle-class Americans, this no longer rings true. Under our current tax code, the middle class Americas economic engine has been cut off from the American promise.

American freed from North Korea by President Carter found burned to death

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 01:30
An American man who was freed from North Korean labor camps with the help of President Jimmy Carter in 2010 burned to death last weekend in California.

Military members reassigned after having inappropriate contact during Trump’s Asia trip

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:39
Three military members working for the White House have been reassigned after having alleged inappropriate contact with foreign women during President Trump’s recent trip to Asia, a senior U.S. defense official has confirmed to Fox News.

Military members reassigned after having inappropriate contact during Trump’s Asia trip, report says

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:23
Three military members working in the White House have been reassigned after having alleged inappropriate contact with foreign women during President Trump’s recent trip to Asia.

FBI investigating Democratic rep over payments to primary challenger

Fox News (Politics) - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 20:00
The FBI has reason to believe U.S. Rep. Bob Brady unlawfully concealed a $90,000 payment made by his campaign to get an opponent to quit a 2012 primary race, according to court documents that confirm the Philadelphia Democrat is under investigation in a widening campaign finance probe.

The Sultans of America and Their Harems

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
Americans have been buried in the last six weeks by a blizzard of reports of sexual harassment, assault, misconduct and malfeasance from our politicians, journalists and Hollywood glitterati.

6 Scenarios For GOP Disaster In Roy Moore Senate Race

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
Six scenarios. For the GOP, six bad scenarios.

The Thanksgiving Day Game That Defined American Football

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
A group of students from Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia met at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City on April 28, 1882 and made an unambiguous decision: The United States was declaring its independence from British football.

Thanksgiving: A Holy Day

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
Although the despisers of Western civilization and America insist upon calling it Indigenous Peoples Day, or something silly to this effect, most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

When Good Faith Medicine Raises Red Flags

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
Forest Tennant, who has been treating and researching pain at his clinic in West Covina, California, since 1975, is well-known as an expert in the field.

Central Bank (and Chinese) Gold Demand Soared in the Third Quarter

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
In addition to rising demand from hedge fund managers, central banks increased their gold demand 25% last quarter, according to the World Gold Councils Gold Demand Trends Q3 217 Report, released last week.Global banks bought 111 metric tons of gold last quarter vs. 88.8 tons in the same quarter in 2016.

Don't Make Taxpayers Subsidize Sex Bullies

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
Republicans and Democrats in Washington are vying to appear the more outraged by sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

Dumb Sensors, Deadly Consequences

TownHall Latest columns - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:01
The circumstances of U.S. Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez's death this week remain murkier than the Rio Grande River.

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