~ Featuring ~  
Another Ireland Trip
Me, wife Roseann, Paul's girlfriend Terri, and 
Paul at old McLaughlin homestead  
Tom McLaughlin
How Minneapolis' Somali community became 
the terrorist recruitment capital of the US
by Hollie McKay } ~ More men and boys from a Somali American community in Minneapolis have joined – or attempted to join... a foreign terrorist organization over the last 12 years than any other jurisdiction in the country. FBI stats show 45 Somalis left to join the ranks of either the Somalia-based Islamic insurgency al-Shabab, or the Iraq- and Syria-based ISIS combined. And as of 2018, a dozen more had been arrested with the intention of leaving to support ISIS. Both numbers are far higher than those of alleged terrorist wannabes who left or attempted to leave the country from other areas in the country where Muslim refugees have been resettled. In the case of the Somalis, it's no longer just the men. Early last year, a female was apprehended by authorities on charges of supporting providing material support to Al Qaeda and arson. So what has made the area such a hotbed for such activity? And what has been Rep. Ilhan Omar's record in addressing the issue - either before she was elected, or since? The answers matter because federal authorities say they remain "highly concerned" about the terrorist connection with the Minneapolis Somalis - even though al-Shabab is struggling against the Somali government, and the so-called ISIS “caliphate” has crumbled under a sustained U.S.-led military campaign...
Correcting Media Distortions 
About the Electoral College
by Jarrett Stepman } ~ “The Right Side of History” is a podcast dedicated to exploring current events through a historical lens and busting left-wing myths about figures and events of America’s past... On this week’s episode, hosts Jarrett Stepman and Fred Lucas discuss the various media attacks, and in some cases, outright distortions about the Electoral College. They break down why the Founders created this institution to elect presidents and why it’s still relevant today. Stepman and Lucas also interview Tara Ross, who wrote “The Indispensable Electoral College: How the Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country From Mob Rule.” The following is a transcription of that interview: Jarrett Stepman: We’re now joined by Tara Ross, who is the author of literally the book on the Electoral College. It’s called “The Indispensable Electoral College: How The Founders’ Plan Saves Our Country From Mob Rule.” Thank you so much for joining us, Tara. Tara Ross: Thanks for having me. Stepman: So, getting down to kind of the basics here and we’ve discussed a little on the show what the Electoral College is about, but at its core, why did the Founders create the Electoral College for the United States?...

The Left's Overreach on Abortion
by Brian Joondeph } ~ One thing the left is adept at is overreaching. Not content with a small victory, they prefer to double down, going double-or-nothing, and usually ending up closer to nothing than double... Some call this, “Perfect is the enemy of the good” and it is sage advice, whether in politics or in gambling. Pushing the Trump-Russia collusion coup is but one example of such overreach, as AG William Barr will soon demonstrate. Abortion is the latest issue where Democrats, as well as their leftist cultural and media accomplices, have taken what is for them a solid win and are overreaching to the point that they will actually lose ground in one of their core missions of aborting as many babies as possible. Roe v. Wade settled the abortion debate in 1973, legally although not morally, when the U.S. Supreme Court found that a right to privacy outweighed states’ rights to regulate abortion, with the ultimate compromise being a restriction on third-term abortions. A subsequent court ruling in Casey v. Planned Parenthood further clarified the third trimester prohibition, eliminating the arbitrary trimester distinction, instead allowing abortion only until viability, which with modern medical care is usually in the second trimester. The debate was never settled as it represented a textbook example of judicial activism. Nine unelected justices made the decision of when a woman can have an abortion. The legislative and executive branches of the federal government were left out of the decision, despite the fact that those two branches were elected by the people to represent the will of “we the people”...  
Barr: dirty cop-Mueller turned 
down offer to review Russia probe findings
By Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio } ~ Attorney General William Barr rebuffed Democrats’ demands that he turn over special counsel dirty cop-Robert Mueller's full report and all its underlying evidence to Congress...
 telling lawmakers on Tuesday that he’ll release a redacted version of the report “within a week.” In his first public appearance since the conclusion of dirty cop-Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether President Donald Trump obstructed that probe, Barr defended his handling of the report against attacks from Democrats, who panned his four-page summary as an effort to protect Trump from damaging information contained within the report. The attorney general also said lawmakers had no inherent authority to review dirty cop-Mueller’s sensitive grand jury evidence, adding that he does not intend to ask a court to authorize the release of grand jury evidence to Congress. “My intention is not to ask for it at this stage,” he said, adding that he doesn’t believe Congress is exempt from grand jury secrecy rules under the law. Democrats have called on Barr to make the full report, including all the grand jury material and underlying evidence gathered as part of the investigation, available to Congress. Barr on Tuesday said the House Judiciary Committee could ask a court for the grand jury information — something Democrats have not yet embraced. Barr called the version he intends to release in the coming days a “first pass” and said he’ll work with House Judiciary Committee Chairman scumbag liar-Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and his Senate counterpart, Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), if they want to view some of the redacted areas of the report...
Noncitizen Sentenced for Illegally 
Voting in Presidential Election
by Molly Prince } ~ A Mexican national was sentenced to one month in prison for illegally voting in the 2016 presidential election, a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina announced Monday... Guadalupe Espinosa-Pena, 61, pleaded guilty to illegally voting in the 2016 general election in North Carolina. He was consequently sentenced to one month in prison followed by a supervised release for one year. Espinosa-Pena is a lawful permanent resident in Wake County, however, his application for United States citizenship had been denied. He had attempted to register to vote prior to the election but was initially denied since he was not a U.S. citizen. An election official ultimately registered Espinosa-Pena and advised him that “if he wanted his voice to be heard, he needed to vote,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. President Donald Trump won North Carolina’s 15 electoral votes in the general election, defeating former Secretary of State scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton by only 3.6%, or fewer than 200,000 votes. However, scumbag/liar-Clinton won Wake County by one of the largest margins in the state of North Carolina. It is not clear which candidate Espinosa-Pena voted for during the 2016 election...
Another Ireland Trip
Me, wife Roseann, Paul's girlfriend Terri, and 
Paul at old McLaughlin homestead  
Tom McLaughlin
{} ~ Daylight was just breaking as I drove out of Shannon Airport in our rental car after a red-eye flight from the USA. Although there were two feet of snow around my house when I left Maine, I smelled freshly-mown grass in Shannon. Birds were chirping and trees were flowering and I inhaled the distinctive fragrance of burning peat from a nearby chimney. My wife and I had a couple of days to kill before heading north to meet my brother and his girlfriend in Carndonagh, Donegal on the Inishowen Peninsula to show them the farm where our great-grandfather, James “Wee John” McLaughlin was born in 1878. 
View to the Atlantic over Ballyliffin from 
hill in rear of property  
We drove to the old monastery at Clonmacnoise near Athlone in County Offaly on the River Shannon. It had been established by St. Ciaran in 544 AD as a center of teaching and learning. Along with St. Patrick and others, Irish monks brought civilization to what had been a collection of savage tribes in Ireland. As if that weren’t enough, they then preserved European civilization after Germanic barbarians overran the western Roman Empire by harboring other monks who brought precious manuscripts with them containing much of the accumulated knowledge of Rome. Monks from Clonmacnoise, Glendalough, and other Irish abbeys made multiple copies and redistributed them in western Europe after the barbarians had settled down.  
After revisiting our ancestral McLaughlin homestead in Inishowen, my wife and I headed south to explore the Beara Peninsula which straddles Counties Cork and Kerry where the Sullivans and Harringtons, also on my father’s side, originated. We stayed at a B&B in Kenmare which is central to Beara, Dingle, and Macroom, Cork near whereother ancestors, the Mahoneys, lived.  
Lagg Church Inishowen  
The Dingle Peninsula on the southwest coast has the most stunning landscape in Ireland. I haven’t been everywhere, but I’ve seen quite a bit of the country and I have to agree with several others who consider Dingle the prettiest. My wife and I visited there ten years ago but it was snowing sideways and visibility was poor. Last week the sun was in and out and we spent most of a day driving all over it. All of Ireland is charming but Dingle with its steep mountains down to the sea is quite dramatic.  
Returning to our B&B in Kenmare, the Garmin GPS unit directed us through the Gap of Dunloe, across The Black Valley, and on through Moll’s Gap. I would not have chosen that route if I knew what was involved. It’s a one-lane road for almost the entire eleven kilometers snaking up high and down low through switchbacks and around glacial boulders that have toppled into the two gaps and between which the car barely fit. I shifted into low gear and crawled around each sharp turn in case another vehicle was coming the other way. If there were, he or I would have to back up to a wider spot and drive past each other without breaking off our mirrors. My wife was almost in a panic several times, while I strove to resist the contagion of her anxiety as I steered.  
For her it was like riding on the scariest of roller coasters as we traveled through several such gaps and passes all over the mountainous regions of Ireland. She would marvel at the stupendous views, often saying: “Look at that!” but I simply couldn’t. I had to concentrate on the road ahead lest we drive off a cliff into oblivion. There are very few trees in Ireland which allows for wonderful panoramas, but it also reveals hair-raising views of how far down our car would fall off a steep mountainside before ever hitting bottom.  
Not a country renowned for culinary skills, it used to be said that an Irish seven-course meal was a six pack and a boiled potato. Trying to keep down expenses, we sometimes purchased our dinner at the deli counter of a local supermarket and went back to our room at the B&B to eat, but when we ate at a restaurant or a pub on this trip we were quite pleased.  
Wherever we went there was talk of Brexit both in the North and in the Free Republic of Ireland. All are disappointed that negotiations are extended for another year. They want it over with but neither side wants a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Republic which may result. Ireland ships a lot of food to the UK and Irish people are unsure of how trade conditions would change. Some in the North think reunification of Ireland north and south might happen. If Scotland breaks with the UK, Northern Ireland may as well. We toured Derry’s Walls and got a first-hand account of the troubles there, now quiet after the Good Friday Agreement negotiated by former Maine Senator George Mitchell has held for twenty years now.  
Inch Strand Dingle  
Many McLaughlins were caught up in that conflict over the centuries.  

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TRUMP:  Trump To Give ‘Start Your Engines’ Command At Dayton

President Donald Trump will give the command for drivers to start their engines before the Daytona 500.

Daytona International Speedway officials named Trump the grand marshal for NASCAR’s season opener, meaning he will deliver the most famous four words in auto racing. “Gentleman, start your engines,” has been a staple of races around the country and world for decades.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Thursday the president plans to attend the race. Track president Chip Wile confirmed the news in a release.

“Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting presidents of the United States over our history,” Wile said. “We’re honored that the president of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race.’”

Trump is the third sitting president to attend a race at Daytona, but only the second to attend the Daytona 500. George W. Bush attended in 2004. Trump is the first to be given an honorary role in pre-race ceremonies.

Trump is scheduled to spend part of the Presidents Day weekend at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a flight restriction for Sunday and the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security, also tweeted to fans that drones are prohibited within 30 miles of the race in Daytona Beach — a restriction put in place for presidential visits.

Trump has hosted previous NASCAR champions at the White House and last October awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to motorsports titan Roger Penske. Last year, Trump also praised retired driver Mario Andretti, the Daytona 500 winner in 1967, reminiscing about a ride Andretti gave him in a race car for his reality show “The Apprentice.”

“I said, ‘Mario, get me out of here. I want to get out of this car,’” Trump recalled. “We went so fast. We literally — we covered four blocks in like a second.”

Tucker: Elizabeth Warren's campaign on its last legs

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