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Kroger recalls steaks, beef over possible E. coli contamination

Meat lovers were notified of another recall affecting rib-eye steaks and ground beef products over possible E. coli contamination. Consumers in the greater Cincinnati area who purchased Kroger bone-in rib-eye steaks, boneless ribeye steaks and in-store produced ground beef are encouraged to check the label before eating the product. All affected meat was produced between April 23 and June 7, but the company is concerned that consumers may have stored affected products in the freezer. Kroger said it has not received any reports of adverse reactions related to the recall. E. coli infections vary from patient to patient, but it often produces severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. Some patients may develop a fever, but most symptoms are resolved within five to seven days, although others may be sickened for up to 10. About five to 10 percent of cases result in a potentially life-threatening condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which requires hospitalization for kidney issues. On Friday, Kroger issued a recall of some of its frozen berries over a possible Hepatitis A contamination. The items included Kroger’s Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (16 oz) and Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (48 oz). The Private Selection Frozen Blackberries (16 oz) were also subject to the recall.

 

Jason Chaffetz: Congress doubles down on incentivizing illegal immigration

Responding to rewards that incentivize illegal immigration, migrants have flowed into the United States at record rates. In each of the last three months, more than 100,000 migrants have been detained for illegally crossing our borders. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told senators this week that many are renting babies to cross the border. Of the 144,000 apprehended by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) during the month of May, 11,507 were unaccompanied minors. And these were just the ones that were caught. Congress is upset about tariffs but where is the outrage about human trafficking? These are more than statistics, they are children, but Congress seems unmoved. DHS estimates that just since September 2018, 1 percent of the entire populations of Honduras and Guatemala have migrated, many dragging vulnerable women and children with them. Rather than working to solve the problem as President Trump has been trying to do, Congress continues to ignore and incentivize more illegal immigration. Congressional Democrats’ latest solution, found in the House Appropriations draft funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security, creates new incentives that only exacerbate the problem. The bill calls for: “. . .Policy documents that define categories of vulnerable individuals who should not be so returned, including: (A) pregnant women; (B) individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; and (C) mentally or physically disabled individuals.” So in addition to incentivizing migrants to bring children (not necessarily their own) on the dangerous trek, now Democrats also want to reward migrants to bring with them pregnant women or physically disabled people, not to mention the mentally disabled who are more likely to end up becoming part of our massive homeless population. And there’s that special carve out for anyone who claims to be LGBT. How exactly does the government document those claims? For those willing to lie about whose child they just dragged across the desert, no doubt lying about their sexual orientation or mental health status will be far less trouble. These are not serious solutions. They make the problem worse. With border apprehensions up 99 percent over the same time last year, more and more vulnerable people are at risk. It’s time to get rid of the rewards and incentives, not offer more. I respect that many are not fans of using tariffs as trade policy. In this case, tariffs provide the leverage Congress refuses to wield in this critical national security battle. Mexico must be part of the solution, but thus far they too have lacked the political will to deter this human trafficking. There should be a consequence and tariffs certainly get Mexico’s attention. Every Republican House and Senate member should back the president on this issue. Democrats leave us no choice but to wield tariffs, not as trade policy, but as leverage for national security and humanitarian purposes. Anyone who fails to do so, after failing to make the legislative changes necessary to prevent this tragedy, is complicit in the crimes and exploitation our policies incentivize. Voters understand this problem. They want solutions. And they won’t forget who took the problem seriously and offered solutions rather than incentives.

Let’s hope, Jason.  This op/ed by former Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) is a little dated, but illuminating.  As we all know, President Trump DID threaten Mexico with tariffs if they didn’t start addressing the illegal immigration from their side of the border.  And, it seems that such threats may be working.  We’ll, of course, keep an eye on it.   Jason Chaffetz was the chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee when he served as a representative from Utah. He is the author of “The Deep State: How an Army of Bureaucrats Protected Barack Obama and is Working to Destroy the Trump Agenda.”

10 Plants That Are Toxic for Your Pet

Plants add color, texture and beauty to your home and yard, but some are toxic for your pets, so watch out for these varieties. If you suspect your cat or dog may have ingested a potentially toxic substance, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. You may like to keep an aloe vera plant around to treat sunburns, but the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says aloe vera can cause vomiting, lethargy and diarrhea in both cats and dogs. According to Rover.com, “Topical use of the gel found inside the leaves is no problem, but there are other proponents of the plant that can irritate the digestive system if ingested.” Click here to see 11 household items that are seriously hazardous to pets.

Analysis: Trump order could cut your cost of health care and drugs

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order soon that could require insurers and hospitals to disclose the prices they’ve negotiated for various services. He hopes such transparency will increase competition and drive down health spending. The health care industry is less supportive. The nation’s top health insurance lobby, for instance, claims the president’s plan is “bad transparency” that could actually cause prices to go up. Government mandates are problematic. Transparency as a concept is beneficial. When private-sector organizations have been able to pull back the curtain on insurers’ and providers’ prices, they’ve unleashed competitive forces that have yielded significant savings for them — and for the rest of the health care system. Hospitals are often reluctant to make their prices public because they don’t want to — or can’t — compete against lower-cost providers, like retail health or urgent care clinics. Such clinics aren’t perfect substitutes for emergency rooms. But the clinics, which typically publish their prices on something akin to a restaurant menu, can deliver care for many common illnesses at significantly lower cost. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that the average “low-severity emergency room visit” cost more than $400 out-of-pocket. That same visit was just $37 at a retail clinic. A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at all emergency room visits in New Jersey between 2006 and 2014 — and discovered that people living close to a retail clinic were up to 12.3 percent less likely to visit the ER. The authors concluded that the state’s health care system would realize $70 million in savings a year from reduced ER usage if retail clinics were more readily available. Price transparency also helps employers — who provide health coverage to half the country — rein in health spending. Take what the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which covers 1.3 million current and retired state employees and their families, has done to try to strike a harder bargain with health care providers. CalPERS identified 41 hospitals across the state that were able to provide quality knee and hip replacement procedures for $30,000. Patients could opt to get care at facilities that charged more than that price, but they’d have to pay the difference out of pocket. Previously, prices for knee and hip replacements had varied widely. Some hospitals charged as much as $100,000. The CalPERS program prompted beneficiaries to flock to lower-cost hospitals, increasing their market share by 28 percent. Other hospitals began lowering their prices in response, to try to attract more business. Prices for knee and hip replacements fell by more than 20 percent over two years, saving CalPERS around $6 million. Grocer Safeway has implemented a similar program for lab services that’s yielded savings of between 10 percent and 32 percent, depending on the test. Price transparency can also save patients themselves a great deal of money. Patients tend to choose the most affordable option for care when they’re given relevant information. Consider prescription drugs. According to the Association for Accessible Medicines, when patients have a choice between branded and generic medicines, they choose the cheaper generic 97 percent of the time. Or take diagnostics. In 2007, the state of New Hampshire launched a website where patients could compare cost and quality for various procedures. The ability to access price information saved patients around $8 million on X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans over five years, according to a University of Michigan study. Transparency could even save patients money indirectly. A study published by the journal Health Affairs found that yearly health spending was about $700 lower for patients who chose a “low-price” physician, compared to those who chose high-price physicians. The savings were due to the fact that low-price physicians tended to order less expensive tests and scans. Americans are smart shoppers. But in the health care market, they typically don’t have access to the pricing information they’d need to be savvy consumers. It shouldn’t take a presidential directive to get them that information, which would do wonders to reduce health costs in this country.

Agreed..  But, glad President Trump (hopefully) will issue such a directive soon.  Thanks to Sally C. Pipes for that outstanding op/ed.  Sally is president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy at the Pacific Research Institute. Her latest book is “The False Promise of Single-Payer Health Care” (Encounter 2018). Follow her on Twitter @sallypipes.

1000 Migrants Apprehended at Texas Border in Largest Group Ever

El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents apprehended a historic 1,036 migrants in a single group near El Paso on Wednesday morning. The group included more than 60 unaccompanied minors. Agents patrolling the border near El Paso encountered the largest-ever single group of Central American migrants crossing the border at one time. The previous record migrant group consisted of a group of 430 migrants who crossed the border near El Paso on Monday, according to information obtained from El Paso Sector officials. Prior to that agents apprehended a single group of 424 Central American migrants who crossed the New Mexico border near Antelope Wells one month ago. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported that the 1,036 migrants apprehended early Wednesday morning consisted of mostly Central American migrants including 934 family units, 63 unaccompanied minors, and 39 single adults, NBC News reported. The migrants traveled to the U.S. from Guatemala (515), Honduras (135), and El Salvador (76). “Immigration advocates say more immigrants are traveling in large groups because they believe in ‘safety in numbers,’ as conditions along their journey are treacherous,” NBC News reported. “U.S. officials say the large groups overwhelm medical teams and border agents, who are most often patrolling in pairs.” It has been a very busy week for El Paso Sector agents who are responsible for a largely unsecured border that covers far West Texas and the New Mexico boot-heel. On Memorial Day, El Paso Sector agents established a new single-day record by apprehending more than 2,200 migrants, according to information obtained by Breitbart News from El Paso Sector officials. The migrants crossed the border in two large groups and several smaller groups, officials reported. Early Monday morning, agents patrolling near Antelope Wells, New Mexico, apprehended the first large group of the day. The agents captured more than 200 migrants. A few hours later, agents in El Paso apprehended what would be short-lived record group of 430 migrants who crossed near Bowie High School. By the end of the day, El Paso Sector agents would be tasked with processing more than 2,200 migrants. Of those, 1,850 were taken into custody in small groups who crossed in an area of El Paso bounded by Executive Boulevard and Midway Street, officials stated. The migrants will be processed and provided a health screening and criminal background check. Migrants who are suspected of making false family claims will be interviewed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents to determine the validity of their claim. It is likely that most of the migrant family units will be released after processing due to overcrowding. “This fiscal year to date the El Paso Sector has arrested over [130,000] illegal aliens, compared to over 16,000 during the same time last fiscal year,” El Paso Sector officials said in a written statement. “The numbers continue to rise and agents see no end in sight for this current situation.”

Holy crap!!  The need to BUILD THE WALL NOW!!…and put U.S. Army National Guard troops physically ON the border with Mexico, to prevent them stepping one foot on U.S. soil (and secure all sorts of freebies that we-the actual citizens of America pay for), is more urgently needed then ever before!  Call, or email, your member of Congress and BOTH U.S. Senators today, and tell them to fund the wall NOW!  No more playing politics with this one.  If you hear some Democrat or member of the dominantly liberal mainstream media (i.e. CNN, MSNBC, NBC, PBS/NPR, etc) spout off some ridiculous talking point that its a “manufactured crisis” or some other such nonsense, refer them to this article.  We have over 22 MILLION illegal aliens here in America, and this is what is coming across every day, adding to that number.  By definition, this is an invasion on our southern border.  And, if it were N. Koreans, Chinese, or Russians, we’d consider it an act of war.  Well, its WAY past time we treated this problem as such.  We need to BUILD the WALL, and at the same time  start deporting illegals by the hundreds of thousands (and yes, you read that correctly).  That’s just for starters, folks.  To do anything less is NOT in our national security or economic interests.

Mathematicians Edge Closer to Solving a ‘Million Dollar’ Math Problem

Did a team of mathematicians just take a big step toward answering a 160-year-old, million-dollar question in mathematics? Maybe. The crew did solve a number of other, smaller questions in a field called number theory. And in doing so, they have reopened an old avenue that might eventually lead to an answer to the old question: Is the Riemann hypothesis correct? The Reimann hypothesis is a fundamental mathematical conjecture that has huge implications for the rest of math. It forms the foundation for many other mathematical ideas — but no one knows if it’s true. Its validity has become one of the most famous open questions in mathematics. It’s one of seven “Millennium Problems” laid out in 2000, with the promise that whoever solves them will win $1 million. (Only one of the problems has since been solved.) Back in 1859, a German mathematician named Bernhard Riemann proposed an answer to a particularly thorny math equation. His hypothesis goes like this: The real part of every non-trivial zero of the Riemann zeta function is 1/2. That’s a pretty abstract mathematical statement, having to do with what numbers you can put into a particular mathematical function to make that function equal zero. But it turns out to matter a great deal, most importantly regarding questions of how often you’ll encounter prime numbers as you count up toward infinity. We’ll come back to the details of the hypothesis later. But the important thing to know now is that if the Riemann hypothesis is true, it answers a lot of questions in mathematics. “So often in number theory, what ends up happening is if you assume the Riemann hypothesis [is true], you’re then able to prove all kinds of other results,” Lola Thompson, a number theorist at Oberlin College in Ohio, who wasn’t involved in this latest research, said. Often, she told Live Science, number theorists will first prove that something is true if the Riemann hypothesis is true. Then they’ll use that proof as a sort of stepping stone toward a more intricate proof, which shows that their original conclusion is true whether or not the Riemann hypothesis is true. The fact that this trick works, she said, convinces many mathematicians that the Riemann hypothesis must be true. But the truth is that nobody knows for sure. So how did this small team of mathematicians seem to bring us closer toward a solution? Click here to see the answer to that question, and read the rest of the article.

Fascinating!    🙂

Tucker Carlson: The real reason Obama intel officials don’t want you to know how they spied on Americans

On Tuesday, the Washington Post, our hometown newspaper here in the nation’s capital, published an op-ed by former FBI Director Jim Comey. In the piece, Comey explains that whatever surveillance the Obama Justice Department conducted on the 2016 Trump campaign was entirely justified and within bounds — nothing weird about it at all. Yes, American citizens were monitored electronically without their knowledge, but it wasn’t spying. Of course, it wasn’t “spying.” It was “investigating.” It was done for your own good. And if you don’t like it, you’re unpatriotic and possibly, mentally ill. That’s Comey’s position. What the op-ed did not contain was any evidence at all that what he said is true. Comey is a bitter partisan with a long history of shading the truth. But he suggests you’ve got to trust him anyway. It’s your duty to trust him. Okay, well, here’s another idea. We could see for ourselves exactly what happened in 2016. We could declassify all the relevant information and then make it public. That way, we wouldn’t have to take anyone’s word for what happened — Comey’s word, President Trump’s word, or anyone else’s word. The president has suggested doing just that. The left is outraged by the idea. “Trump has every reason to believe Barr will use his new powers to aid the President’s anti-deep state propaganda efforts,” MSNBC host Chris Hayes said to viewers. “Trump giving Barr unilateral authority over classification is just a huge deal in the world of Intelligence agencies. Barr will be able to override other agencies’ independent classification determinations. And the goal of all this here seems pretty clear. It’s basically to give Sean Hannity material for his television show. So the plan, as it appears now, is essentially a kind of purge of the ideologically suspect members of the intelligence apparatus.” It’s a purge, like Joseph Stalin! Unless we stop the release of this information, people will die! That’s what they’re telling you. Just another day of balanced news coverage on MSNBC. Keep in mind, as you watch and rewatch that clip, that Chris Hayes is not a flack for the CIA. He’s a member of the national press corps. But he isn’t arguing for openness — just the opposite. Hayes is using his position as a public advocate to argue against giving the public more information. These are not military secrets, by the way, or the names of U.S. agents working undercover overseas. The information in question is about how the FBI spied on Americans while investigating crimes that we now know did not occur. So what could possibly be the justification for keeping all of that secret? Really, the only justification would be to protect the intel agencies from embarrassment. That’s what they fear. And that’s exactly why the former director of the CIA, John Brennan, and so many others are anxious to preserve the veil of secrecy. “I think it’s critically important that the counterintelligence professionals continue to carry out their responsibilities and resist these unwarranted and very, very irresponsible efforts to try to undermine what they’re doing,” Brennan said on MSNBC. So John Brennan thinks it’s risky, unwarranted, “very irresponsible” to let American citizens know whether their law enforcement agencies abused their power. That kind of transparency is, again, irresponsible. What if we applied the same standards to John Brennan himself? You know that after leaving the White House, Brennan was allowed to keep his security clearance, and that clearance increased his value as an employee once he entered the private sector. It allowed him, among other things, access to classified information, which he could then selectively leak to his colleagues at MSNBC. So how does giving classified information to John Brennan help American national security? Well, it doesn’t. It helps only John Brennan. Keep in mind, this is a man who has accused his political enemies of treason, a death penalty offense. “This is nothing short of treasonous, because it is a betrayal of the nation,” he said of Trump last year. “He is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Treasonous is defined as a betrayal of trust, as well as aiding and abetting the enemy. And so that was the word that came to my mind.” That was for Trump’s “crime” of holding a press conference with Vladimir Putin last summer in Finland. He was talking with the Russian president. This is not stable behavior. John Brennan is exactly the sort of person who should not have a security clearance.

Agreed 100%!  Thanks to Tucker Carlson for that spot-on op/ed.  Having spent more than two decades in the intel community myself,  I wholeheartedly agree with Tucker’s assessment.  John Brennan is a self-righteous, partisan, agenda-driven hypocrite who has NO need to retain his clearance, and frankly is an embarrassment to the intel community.  For more of this article, click on the text above.