Mar 30, 2017
Dr. Evelyn Farkas, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine /Eurasia, gave an interview on MSNBC where she talked about needing to preserve the intelligence the Obama administration had on the Trump team's association with Russians. Farkas now works as a Senior Adviser for the Atlantic Council, which promotes the European/US globalist agenda. She said to MSNBC, "I was urging my colleges and people on the Hill 'get as much of this information as you can before President Obama leaves the administration, because I had a fear that somehow that information would be disappear, or be hidden away in the bureaucracy... that the Trump folks, if they found out how much we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with the Russians, they would try to compromise those sources and methods."
Trump's claim that he was being spied upon took place on March 4th, two days after the Farkas interview, and thus this interview is most likely what Trump's advisers were referring to when they told Trump he was being spied upon---and not the unverified source which told Fox News commentator, Judge Napolitano that the Obama administration has enlisted the British spy agency to do the spying on Trump. What is surprising, however, is that when Trump spokesman Sean Spicer was under fire with reporters demanding to know the source of Trump's claims, he failed to mention this MSNBC interview in which Farkas clearly admits the administration had surveillance information on Trump staffers and the Russians. Whether or not those contacts were of any compromising nature has never been revealed or claimed by anyone, except by the constant drumbeat of innuendo.
Mar 30, 2017
The Obama administration had put a hold on the sale of F-16 fighters to Bahrain due to it's dictatorships ruthless supression of opposition Shiites in an uprising in 2011. The hold was more symbolic than real, to placate Human Rights activists, as the Obama administration continued to use Bahrain as the home of the Navy's 5th fleet in the region and as a conduit for arms and funds to Syrian jihadists that the US supports. In abandoning any Human Rights sanctions against Bahrain, the Trump administration is showing how much it is under the influence it is of its neocon National Security Advisor H. R. McMasters and defense secretary Mathis. Trump is also be open to the extensive lobbying of Lockheed Martin. Congress can still block the sale during its mandatory 30-day review period,
but that is unlikely since Republicans have not been known to be as concerned for allied nation's human rights violations, as opposed to giving the appearance they are "tough on defense." It is sad that Trump nor any Republican representatives are aware of the hidden agenda behind US support for Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey---all key partners in the funding and arming of US backed terrorists in Syria, including ISIS.
Mar 30, 2017
Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka, has been given an official position on the White House team---head of the White House Office of American Innovation, intended to reform the federal bureaucracy, and overhaul the ailing veterans administration using the latest business ideas on efficiency and privitization. Ivanka has also become a federal employee and has been given her own office in the West Wing. To avoid further criticism of mixing business with his new government position, Kushner is in the process of backing out of a skyscraper development process in Manhattan with a Chinese insurance agency with close ties to Beijing. Kushner had been seeking funding from the Anbang Chinese insurance company to help fund the project. But that was viewed as very unwise since Trump could be accused of having a conflict of interest with the Chinese as he seeks to halt Chinese hegemony in the Far East.
Mar 30, 2017
In the coming court battles by sanctuary cities trying to force the Trump administration to continue law enforcement grants, its important to know what current court precedent requires. MSN.com had this excellent summary:
The Supreme Court doesn’t let the federal government tell cities and states which laws to prosecute, and it can’t force them to help enforce federal law. That’s called “commandeering,” and the Supreme Court has ruled it violates the 10th Amendment. This is why President-elect Trump can’t just decree that all police officers in the US have to assist federal immigration agents whenever possible.
If the federal government wants to get states to do something, it has to use funding: making grants to states or cities conditional on certain policies. This is why the legal drinking age is 21 in most states: Thanks to legislation passed in 1984 and pushed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the federal government started refusing to give federal highway funds to any state with a lower drinking age.
What the federal government can’t do is place conditions on grants that have nothing to do with the grant’s purpose. (It couldn’t deny Small Business Administration grants, for example, to states that allowed unauthorized immigrants to get driver’s licenses.) Nor can it put conditions on funding to the point of being “coercive” — even if those conditions are relevant to the purpose of the grant. That, too, courts have judged, runs afoul of the 10th Amendment.
For these and other reason, the Trump administration has narrowly defined Sanctuary cities as those cities that have enacted written policies that deter local officials from cooperating with federal immigration officers, especially in the failure to notify immigration officials when they have an illegal in custody for commission of a crime. While the law is clearly on the side of the Trump administration in matters of restricting grants, it is likely that sanctuary cities can find judges who will rule against Trump despite the law, as they did in the Muslim ban rulings.
Mar 30, 2017
Hawaii federal judge Derrick Watson put out a temporary restraining order on March 15 stopping the enforcement of president Trump's latest ban on six Muslim countries. This week the judge turned his order into a formal 90 day injunction. Both the Hawaii ruling and a similar injunction ruling in Maryland based their rulings not on the language of the Executive Order itself but on the president's campaign statements promising to suspend Muslim travel to the US, which is highly improper in legal standards.
All of this would have been avoied had Trump not insisted on maintaining a list of six nations in his revised travel ban. In fact, no Executive Order was needed at all, but Trump wanted to use an Executive Order to "make a statement" emphasizing how he is keeping his campaign promises. The IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT already gives the president the power to ban specific individuals with questionable backgrounds from entering the US, which he could have implimented as part of the normal visa and border control process.
Mar 30, 2017
Although president Trump reduced the number of entering refugees from 110K to 50K, the immigration offices at the State Department, who work for the United Nations have, as of mid-February already allowed in 65% of that quote. But Americans will be shocked to find out that the immigration bureaucracy continues to allow thousands of refugees, especially Muslims, to enter the United States without proper vetting (let alone extreme vetting), using the excuse that the judicial ban on enforcement of gives them the justification let almost anyone through. In a video interview with Josh Tolley a Missouri attendee at UN sponsored refugee meeting document the following:
a. Many are coming in with communicable diseases: leprosy, small pox, HIV, Hepatitis, malaria, etc. Almost all have never been vaccinated. Their medical condition is not scrutinized before being transported to the US, but after they arrive. No one sanitizes the planes or vehicles in which they arrive or are transported within the state.
b. 73% of refugees coming in from Syria are men of military age, only 13% are children. No documents are required. The US provides them with documents. Many of the applicants are listed as FUNU---Full Name Unknown. If their full name is unknown, how can the State Department assure the public they were vetted?
c. Private and public agencies, some of which are state universities, are given millions to handle these refugees. It's a lucrative business for them.
d. Refugees are given a sum of cash, a housing allowance, food stamps, a Soc. Security number for Medicaid, and a US passport.
e. None of the refugees are planning on ever returning home.
The Governors of Texas and Tennessee have refused any more refugees based up improper vetting, and the federal government has filed suit against them to force them to allow refugees into their states. The federal government can also implement a secret policy to declare a state under "Wilson-Fish" rules and bring in refugees without notifying a state at all---which is a violation of the 10th Amendment. All of the money normal designated for the states to compensate for increased education and medical care, is then given to private refugee resettlement organizations.
Mar 30, 2017
There are few American pastors more savvy about world affars and the threat of globalism than Dr. Chuck Baldwin. However, conservative news site NewsWithViews.com warned him this week that if any of his future columns were critical of Donald Trump or the State of Israel they would be censored. Why? Because a large donor was threatening to withdraw his monthly support of $1000 if NewsWithViews didn't comply. Dr. Baldwin is about to submit to censorship, especially on issues he feels defends the principles of liberty. He responded forthrightly as follow:
I have never pandered to any individual, organization, or group in what I write or say, and I’m not going to start now. Therefore, I have withdrawn my columns from NewsWithViews.com. This is an excellent illustration of just how deep the problem is. There are 70 writers on this website, and ONE writer (me) tells the truth about Israel, and that ONE writer (me) must be censored. Worse yet is the fact that the website owner said he actually AGREES with me about the Zionist problem.
Dr. Baldwin is referring in part to the reflexive support many Christians have for Israel based upon Biblical prophecies about the redemption of Zion. However, Dr. Baldwin is aware that Israel is also deeply involved in the globalist conspiracy to destroy national sovereignty. Benjamin Netanyahu, the current Israeli Prime Minister, is a protoge of Henry Kissinger, who paid for his education in the US and help establish him in Israeli politics. Kissinger is perhaps the most public face of the globalist conspiracy for world domination by a New World Order and the Israeli Mossad under Netanyahu's leadership is deeply involved in a secret agenda of the US and Britain to support terrorism in Syria for conflict creation purposes.
Mar 30, 2017
The senior Senator from Utah, Orrin Hatch, who often compromises with Democrats, is very unpopular with staunch conservatives in Utah for his gradual shift to the Left. Hatch still remains, however, a favorite of the mainstream Republican wing, who think of themselves as "progressives." This week the 83 year old Senator announced he is still considering another run in 2018, but he might be willing to step aside if Mitt Romney runs instead:
"If I could get a really outstanding person to run for my position, I might consider it," Hatch said. Rogers asked: "Do you have any people in mind?" "Well, Mitt Romney would be perfect," Hatch said, who added that he has discussed it with Romney.
A Romney replacement would please the Republican mainstream, but he, like Hatch, is deeply distrusted by constitutional conservatives because of the globalist positions he took while running for president.
Mar 30, 2017
North Carolina has been under a boycott from major commercial interests since passing a bill requiring persons claiming transgender status to use public bathroom facilities that pertain to their biological sex---not their preference, which is subject to wide abuse by sexual predators claiming to be transgender. In a bill repealing House Bill 2, a moratorium on local nondiscrimination ordinances through 2020 would be created that leaves regulation of “multi-occupancy facilities,” or bathrooms, to state lawmakers. However, that was not enough for Gay rights advocates who were harshly critical of the bill. They want an iron-clad and statewide anti-discrimination ordinance that would give broad based protection to gay, Lesbians and Transgenders from all forms of private discrimination in Local government, even on private property. However, the right to make choices about who one allows on private property or who one deals with is a fundamental right of all property owners. The right is steadily being undermined by anti-discrimination laws.
Mar 30, 2017
Apparently, it takes a court order to get the government to release all the damaging emails found on Clinton aide, Huma Abedin's computer. These should have been release along with the many other damaging emails. As Judicial Watch noted,
"The records contain 29 previously undisclosed Clinton emails – of a total of which is now at least 288 emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over to the State Department. This further appears to contradict statements by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails were turned over to the State Department. Two of these emails are now available on the State Department’s website."...revealing additional instances of Abedin and Hillary Clinton sending classified information through unsecured email accounts and contributors being given special access to the former secretary of state."
Mar 29, 2017
At first glance, it appears that Republicans simply repealed last year's FCC regulations requiring Internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy as a favor to big internet providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. Under the Obama regulation, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children's information and web browsing history for advertising and internal marketing.
But the basis of internet providers complaints about the new rules lies in the fact that Google and Facebook are exempt from the rules, even though they gather most of the same information without consumer consent. The difference is that google and facebook are internal marketing companies that use the information in house rather than selling it to others for marketing purposes.
Internet broadband providers argue that holding them to a higher privacy standard than Google or Facebook puts them at a disadvantage in the lucrative marketplace of consumer data marketing. The dominance of Google in this market tends to bear that out. The solutions is not as simple as requiring Google and Facebook to obtain the same privacy permission as broadband providers. Google would argue that it isn't selling the information---just making millions off of it, in house.
Mar 29, 2017
After 3 teen home invaders were shot dead with an AR-15 rifle, inside the home of the intended burglary victims, by the son of the homeowner, anti-gun activists are calling upon Oklahoma authorities to press charges against the home defender claiming he shouldn't have shot all of the teens. However, Oklahoma's Stand Your Ground law gives wide leeway to the victim of an intrusion in the use of whatever force necessary to defend the occupants in the circumstances of a criminal intrusion.
The fact that the 3 teens made a forced entry through a back door, and were wearing masks gave the homeowner's son logical cause to fear for his safety. One of the teens was armed with a knife and the other with brass knuckles. A young women accomplice was waiting in a car outside to help the teens escape, and was charged with an Oklahoma crime called “felony murder, having been an accessory to violent death, even though she did not directly cause it. That law is also being criticized by the Left as well.
Mar 29, 2017
Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commander of US forces in Iraq accepted partial responsibility for the March 17 air attack on a large building in Mosul that killed scores of civilians: “My initial assessment is that we probably had a role in these casualties," however he cautioned that, "the munition that we used should not have collapsed an entire building.”
This would imply that the building, which was being used by Islamic State fighters may have harbored a cache of ammunition and explosives as well. Contributing factors in this tragedy are the fact that Iraqi military forces have encouraged civilians not to flee, and that ISIS always fights from civilian areas in order to draw attacks that will kill civilians. This helps them depict Iraqi and US forces as the aggressors in the Sunni portions of the city.
Mar 29, 2017
Today, Prime Minister Teresa May gave formal notice, known as invoking Article 50, to European Union president Donald Tusk, that the UK was formally pulling out of the EU. Her formal notice was prefaced however by statements assuring Tusk that the UK wished to still remain part of Europe, while reclaiming UK sovereignty over normal affairs.
However that last statement stands in contrast to her statement reiterating what she had told Parliament at the begin of the Brexit process: " As I have announced already, the Government will bring forward legislation that will repeal the Act of Parliament - the European Communities Act 1972 - that gives effect to EU law in our country. This legislation will, wherever practical and appropriate, in effect convert the body of existing European Union law (the "acquis") into UK law. This means there will be certainty for UK citizens and for anybody from the European Union who does business in the United Kingdom."
Euroskeptics in the UK fear, however, that inculcating all of current EU law into British law negates the entire purpose of the Brexit, and binds the UK to the interfering social and trade statutes of the EU that triggered the Brexit vote.
Mar 29, 2017
Basing their decision on a skewed version of privacy law, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has charged two antiabortion activists with 15 felony counts for violating the privacy of Planned Parenthood doctors who were illegally harvesting fetal body parts for sale. The two used false identities to infiltrate the organization in order to plant cameras that would record criminal actions by Planned Parenthood doctors. As a matter of legal principle, persons engaged in criminal acts have no right to privacy while engaging in criminal actions.
Mar 29, 2017
Senator Republicans are trying hard to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch forthe vacancy in the Supreme Court before the April 7 two week recess. With Democrats promising a filibuster, it would take 60 votes in theSenate to close off debate (what is called cloture), and the Republicans do not have that many Senators without some Democratic support. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is threatening to use the "nuclear option," changing Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations, but he would need all but two Republican Senators to go along in order to pass this controversial rule change. Two liberal Senators, John McCain of Arizona and Susan Collins of Maine are possible spoilers in this strategy, though they would face severe criticism of their peers if they went against what appears to be a very solid nominee to replace judge Antonin Scalia.
Mar 29, 2017
Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, siding with Democrats and the Deep State, jumped on the fake intelligence bandwagon claiming that Russia interfered with in the US election on behalf of Donald Trump. US intelligence has provided virtually zero hard evidence that Russia hacked into the DNC or any other form of election manipulation. In fact, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who published the leaked DNC documents, affirms the leak came from a disgruntled staffer within the DNC and not the Russians.
at a major speech in a conference in New Dehli, India Cheney said, "There was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic process." Cheney said he considered this an "act of war." Foreign leaders were amazed at US hypocrisy. It is well known in foreign circles that the US frequently interferes in foreign elections to elect candidates favorable to US or globalist policies. In Colombia, for example, the CIA used it's sophisticated surveillance equipment to spy on opposition leaders to discover illicit acts in order to help Mr. Fujimori get re-elected. Fujimori's spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, a CIA asset at the time, supervised the illegal surveillance.
Mar 29, 2017
Chicago Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel reveled in his city's status as a safe harbor of illegal immigrants, in response to President Trump's threat to cut off federal law enforcement funding for cities that harbor criminal aliens. Other Democratic controlled sanctuary cities are taking a similar rebellious approach. It is doubtful that the loss of law enforcement grants will deter the political agenda of Democratic supporters in sanctuary cities since they receive other millions in federal funds. But in rural California when conservatives still are in the majority, Sheriffs are working closely with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove illegal aliens who have committed crimes or who are repeat offenders of immigration law through entering the country again after being deported.
At a town hall meeting in the central valley of California, both supporters and critics of President Donald Trump's deportation policy faced off before a speech by Sheriff Scott Jones, who supports the current crackdown on illegal immigrants. The Sheriff hosted acting ICE Director Thomas Homan to address the public forum in the state capital, and he was met with jeers and disorderly conduct, which is typical of the recent conduct of anti-Trump Leftist activists.
Homan said that ICE was focused on individuals who either committed crimes or who had violated final deportation orders or had returned after being removed from the country. "We don't conduct neighborhood sweeps," he said over protestor shouts, "I don't want children to be afraid to go to school. I don't want people to be afraid to go to the doctor." However, he made it clear that his agency would "enforce the laws that are on the books."
Mar 29, 2017
On Tuesday’s Mark Levin show, so called conservatives, Sens John Cornyn and Mitch McConnell are attacking hardline conservatives and the Freedom Caucus as "purists." Levin said, "They should remember it is not about purity, but about integrity. Politicians made a promise, election cycle after election cycle to repeal Obamacare and they lied to the American people and the the Tea Party. You can’t ram through a massive new government spending bill in 18 days and start trashing conservatives when it doesn’t make it through. They have abandoned principles and the Declaration of Independence. The Republican Party has lost its identity. We didn’t hear a peep from Cornyn or McConnell when this replacement bill was in the House, because they wanted it to fail. They were never going to do the heavy lifting necessary to repeal Obamacare."
Republican leaders are all but ignoring, Sen. Rand Paul's healthcare plan which actually puts into practice the promises Donald Trump originally made, including an full repeal of Obamacare, opening competition for insurers across state lines and allowing individuals to join together in groups to seek out cheaper rates for insurance.
Mar 29, 2017
The Trump administration presented a list of suggested spending cuts for this fiscal year, and are meeting with negative reactions for Democrats who have long championed social spending benefits as a way of attracting votes. There are also a large number of liberal Republicans who likewise support social welfare spending and grants for semi-private organizations promoting Leftist artistic causes.
The largest cuts are proposed to programs related to education, labor and health, according to the document, and many of the proposed cuts are to grant programs, which almost all state universities rely upon--having built huge research centers which depend upon a steady flow of federal grants. Cuts popular with conservatives are those which target Obama era creations which fund Leftist political cause like AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Senior Community Service Employment Program.
“It is not a core function of the federal government to promote volunteerism, and therefore, these programs should be eliminated,” the Trump administration wrote. “To the extent these activities have value, they should be supported by the private and nonprofit sectors.”
Mar 28, 2017
With a sigh of relief from the beleaguered coal industry as well as those scientists who strongly dispute the "carbon as pollutant" propaganda, President Donald Trump made good on another campaign promise by reversing a host of Obama administration climate change regulations which were killing the coal industry and threatening every other carbon based form of energy.
Done in the name of "Energy Independence" the new Executive Order rescinds a ban on coal leasing on federal lands, reverse rules on methane emissions from oil and gas production, and prohibits using climate change as the major impetus in new regulations. The White House said, "We're going to go in a different direction," vowing to "protect the environment while providing people with work."
Trump's order also reverses the US commitment to a global climate change accord signed by nearly 200 countries in Paris in December 2015. It is highly unlikely that other third world nations, highly dependent on carbon based power production facilities, will continue with their commitments to cut carbon use if the United States does not do so. Environmentalist organization promise to challenge the reversal in court.
Mar 28, 2017
On Monday Democratic minority leader, Chuck Shumer of NY called on the Representative David Nunes, Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee to recuse himself from the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and further, step down from his chairmanship. Shumer was angry that Nunes had briefed Pres. Trump on the fact that persons related to Trump's campaign had be caught up in a spying episode while agents claim they were surveiling a foreign agent.
Nunes defended his actions of briefing the president before his own Intelligence Committee because he had gone to the White House to receive the briefing and felt he should immediately relay his concerns to the president, which he did. Representative Trey Gowdy, also a member of the committee responded that "Chairman Nunes has clearly said, 'This has nothing to do with Russia'." So, why recuse himself from the Russia inquiry over this issue? Further, he challenged Shumer's complaint about briefing the president: "If the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee can't go to the White House to receive intelligence data, and can't update the Commander in Chief, we're in a really strange place."
Mar 28, 2017
As the mainstream media continues to push the tenuous narrative of Russian interference in the US election much has been made out of meetings Jared Kushner and others on the Trump staff had with Russian officials and a Russian bank subject to sanctions. Little, however, mention has been made of the fact that members of the Clinton campaign also met with Russian officials. Trump went on the offensive this week, asking in a Tweet why the House Intelligence Committee is not investigating the Clintons for various ties of their own to Russia. He then slammed the ongoing anti-Russian witch hunt, saying “the Russia story is a hoax... Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech, money to Bill, the Hillary Russian ‘reset,’ praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax," Trump said in two tweets on Monday.
Mar 28, 2017
Breitbart News’ request for Capitol Hill press credentials was denied temporarily until “more answers” can be provided proving that White House senior adviser Steve Bannon, who used to run Breitbart, has severed ties with his former news organization. This is the first time such a standard has been applied. How does having a former chief taking a position in the White House disqualify a news organization from cover the news on Capitol Hill?
Larry Solov, president and CEO of Breitbart, told the press credentials office that Mr. Bannon had resigned in November 2016, and affirmed that Steve Bannon has "has no editorial, executive, financial or other role or interest” in Breitbart. However, the committee insists that it's not enough to take Larry's word. There has to be proof that he has cut all ties. There are two problems with that argument: 1) no where in law does it require a White House advisor not to have ties to a news organization, and 2) how do you prove a negative? ---that their are no ties?
Mar 28, 2017
Jeff Sessions warned sanctuary cities, now numbering over 300, that the Trump administration will sever federal law enforcement funding of those cities who continue to assist the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law. In addition, counties and cities that have taken money in the past, despite refusing to cooperate with federal agents, may have to repay those funds as a violation the conditions of the grants. All major metro areas in the US are Democratic controlled cities and have flaunted the notion that they will continue to harbor illegal aliens, euphemistically called "undocumented immigrants."
The Trump administration is focusing on sanctuary city policies that refuse to hold illegals charged with crimes for federal agents. While court precedent has acknowledged that local and state jurisdictions do not have to enforce federal laws, states have always done so when it involves criminal behavior that is a threat to local citizens. By choosing to deny sanctuary cities federal funds, Sessions is avoiding the issue of forcing cities or states to enforce federal law, which still providing a penalty for failure to help out in immigration enforcement.
Sessions cited examples of "A college football prospect gunned down in his own yard, a young convenience store clerk killed over a pack of cigarettes, a young woman murdered in front of her parents in a popular tourist area of San Francisco." "Failure to deport aliens who are convicted of criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities in the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators," Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned Monday.
Mar 28, 2017
In the wake of the Republican leadership's failure to repeal Obamacare and replace at the same time with the American Healthcare Act, which many have dubbed "Obamacare Lite", Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, has just introduced a bill in the House of Representatives doing just that. Called the 'Obamacare Repeal Act,'" the bill has just one sentence: "Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted," the bill states. Politically, this puts the pressure on proponents of a new system to find something palatable for the majority, rather than on Republicans wedded to the failed attempt to find a replacement while Obamacare is still in force.
Mar 28, 2017
Trump supports have good reason to worry about who's side his National Security Advisor is on, especially as the Trump administration takes a more aggressive foreign policy in Yemen and Syria, despite Trump's campaign promises to put America first and not be so anxsious to intervene around the world. The Daily Beast reported this week that, Sen. John McCain, a virulent Trump critic, neoconservative and one who backs all globalist initiatives talks everyday with Trumps national security advisor, H. R. McMasters.
"Republican Senator John McCain revealed he hasn’t met the President Donald Trump in person since he took office. McCain said he’d met Trump "some years ago" when he was a businessman, but had not met him since. McCain said he did speak "almost daily" to National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, however. "He doesn’t seem to be that upset that he’s not talking to him," said German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet, a former Obama Pentagon official. [speaking of McCain] "He’s trying to run U.S. defense policy through Mattis and effectively ignore Trump."
This information is disturbing in much the same way as the admission at the 2009 Munich Security Conference by Obama's first National Security Advisor, Gen. James Jones, that he and the National Security Council receives its "daily marching orders" from Henry Kissinger and Associates," perhaps the most high profile globalist still alive.
Mar 28, 2017
President Trump discussed openly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the need for European nations to honor their committment to spend at least 2 percent of GDP on NATO defense. “I reiterated to Chancellor Merkel my strong support for NATO, as well as the need for our NATO allies to pay their fair share for the cost of defense,” Trump said at the joint press conference. “Many nations owe vast sums of money from past years, and it is very unfair to the United States. These nations must pay what they owe.”
But the London Times went so far as to claim that Trump handed Merkel a symbolic bill for nearly $400 billion -- money he claims Germany owes NATO -- during their White House meeting earlier this month, according to a British newspaper. It is doubtful that it was presented as a bill since Trump is not demanding that Germany any any particular sum to the US---perhaps a suggested calculation about how much Germany needs to make up in past obligations to NATO.
The Times reported that Trump prepared similar bills for other NATO members not meeting the 2 percent targets. The White Denied the story, but Merkel did respond positively to Trump's reminder when she said, “NATO is of prime importance for us, and it was not without very good reason that we said during our summit meeting in Wales that also Germany needs to increase expenditure. We committed to this 2-percent goal until 2024,” she said. “Last year we increased our defense spending by 8 percent, and we’re going to work together again and again on this.”
Mar 28, 2017
Aleksei Navalny is openly challenging Russian president Vladimir Putin but focusing on continued official corruption in Russia. Corruption was a way of life in Soviet Russia, and little has changed since the claimed "fall of the Soviet Union" since almost all Communist officials retained positions of lucrative control over the economy and continue to extract bribes and payoffs for all types of permits. This is a sore spot with ordinary Russians, and Navalny's anti-corruption movement is gaining a large following.
Mar 28, 2017
Besides Turkish president Erdogan's attempts to consolidate power in Turkey, with active suppression of the political opposition, he is also seems to be damaging Turkey's long term prospects of joining the European Union. In past months he has demanding more financial aid from the EU, threatening to unlease millions of refugees on the EU, currently pent up in Turkish refugee camps. But he also continues to engage in espionage on German Turks who sympathize with Erdogan's biggest challenger, Fethullah Gulen, who resides in the USA. According to AFP News,
German prosecutors have launched an investigation Tuesday into claims that Turkish agents are spying on alleged followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gulen in Germany. The probe came as a German state minister accused Turkey of the "unacceptable" espionage against supporters of Gulen, blamed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a failed coup attempt last year. The claims open a new front in the diplomatic row between NATO allies Germany and Turkey, whose relationship has been strained by a series of disputes centred on human rights issues. "It is clear that the Turkish secret service MIT is investigating people living in Germany,"
Mar 27, 2017
Conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin was one of the few who had good things to say about the failure to pass the AHA. On Friday’s Mark Levin show, he extended hearty congratulations to the Freedom Caucus, the true constitutional conservatives in the House of Representatives, for stopping the "disastrous RINOcare bill from passing," in his words. Levin further noted that "Republicans should be listening to the Freedom Caucus who took a principled stand, but instead they are attacked... The Republican’s had 7 years to prepare for this to bring in different factions and address the fundamental problems of Obamacare. The problem is a big chunk of the Republican Party is Utopian progressive and many do not want to repeal large parts of Obamacare, including HHS Secretary Tom Price."
FoxNews.com, owned by globalist Rupert Murdoch, published an opinion piece by mainstream commentator Elizabeth Peak excoriating the Freedom Caucus. "It is hard to overestimate the damage the Freedom Caucus has done to the fledgling presidency of Donald Trump, and to the country. By blocking the American Health Care Act of 2017, the conservative group has guaranteed that Americans will struggle forward under the burden of Obamacare." She further claimed that "Republicans will own those higher rates," which is debatable. Had they passed Trumpcare, Republicans would have owned the higher rates that would have followed, but the public still associates the (un)Affordable Care Act with Obama and the Democrats.
Mar 27, 2017
NY Magazine had an interesting insight into the roll of Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon in the battle over the AHA. "Publicly, Bannon has been working to help the bill pass. But privately he’s talked it down in recent days. According to a source close to the White House, Bannon said that he’s unhappy with the Ryan bill because it "doesn’t drive down costs" and was "written by the insurance industry." While the bill strips away many of Obamacare’s provisions, it does not go as far as Bannon would wish to "deconstruct the administrative state" in the realm of health care. Furthermore, Bannon has been distancing himself from the bill to insulate himself from political fallout of it failing. He’s told people that Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn — a West Wing rival — has run point on it."
It does appear that the insurance industry had a big hand in writing the bill, and may have been one of the reasons why House Speaker Paul Ryan kept the language of the bill hidden for so long. Conservatives wondered where that 30% premium penalty for a lapse in coverage came from, which would have cost those who opted out of Obamacare, a small fortune in premium increases, far exceeding the penalty paid under Obamacare. In fact, it would have been a powerful deterrent not to enter the new market for those now on the outside. The Trump/Ryan healthcare bill was also poison to conservatives since it preserved the damaging sense of entitlement for those with prior existing conditions, at government subsidies rates. As with Obamacare, that forces other healthy people to carry the burden with higher premiums. Additional mandates that insurance companies cover dental, maternity and other formerly optional services adds to the expense of premiums and disallows the consumer to shop for less coverage.
Mar 27, 2017
Rather than learn from the failure of his healthcare proposal, and those aspects which bad it unacceptable to his conservative base, Donald Trump has lashed out as conservatives who wouldn't compromise, and vowed to see them defeated in the next election. The NY Times reported that, "When Speaker Paul D. Ryan arrived at the White House on Friday to inform President Trump that the health care bill he had made his first major legislative push could not pass, Mr. Trump had one reaction: He wanted revenge. Furious at rebellious Republicans who refused to back the measure, Mr. Trump demanded that defectors cast "no" votes for all to see — even if it meant the measure’s high-profile defeat... "
Even the suposedly conservative Wall Street Journal chimed in with more condemnation for conservatives, noting that, "In business Mr. Trump liked to 'get even.' He's got some scores to settle with the Freedom Caucus." Conservatives are shocked at Trump's reaction, but they shouldn't be. This is typical behavior of a populist who has no set ideology and who seeks to please the majority who looks to government solve all of their problems. Health problems are almost always caused by bad lifestyle choices over the long run, and government guarantees of health remediation does little to cause people to take greater responsiblity for their own health.
Mar 27, 2017
Various commentators are predicting that utter the "You're Fired" epithet to both Chief of Staff Rience Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan over their failure to deliver the votes. The NY Time's Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush wrote that, "On Friday evening, a somewhat shellshocked president retreated to the White House residence to grieve and assign blame. He asked his advisers repeatedly: Whose fault was this? ... Increasingly, that blame has fallen on Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, who coordinated the initial legislative strategy on the health care repeal with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, his close friend and a fellow Wisconsin native, according to three people briefed on the president's recent discussions.
Chris Ruddy, the head of Newsmax.com attacked Reince Priebus, as weak and incompetent: ""The White House is showing not the amount of order that we need to see. I think there's a lot of weakness coming out of the chief of staff. I think Reince Priebus, good guy, well intentioned, but he clearly doesn't know how the federal agencies work. He doesn't have a really good system. He doesn't know how the communications flow ... the President's not getting the back-up he needs in the operation of the White House and sometimes the pushback he needs to have with a stronger ... White House chief of staff."
Others doubt that Trump will make any dramatic changes at this time, which would signal internal weakness and disorder in the White House. Although there is considerable criticism of Paul Ryan's leadership in the House, few want the kind of tough job Ryan has trying to please too many disparate factions within the Republican Party.
Mar 27, 2017
Government spokespersons in London are saying the UK born, Muslim attacker who use a rental car to kill pedestrians and who then stabbed a policeman near London’s Parliament building acted alone in a "lone wolf attack." But the UK Independent says that is doubtful considering the history of such attacks where perpetrators are nearly always coached into their actions.
"The terrorist Khalid Masood was not a ‘lone wolf’ and others had played a key part in indoctrinating him and helping to carry out Wednesday’s deadly attacks in London, security officials believe….It has also emerged that 52-year-old Masood used the Whatsapp messaging service just minutes before he smashed his hired Hyundai car into the railings at the Houses of Parliament."
People are also wondering why a person such as Massood with a long rap sheet of criminal acts was still on the streets. Masood was born Adrian Elms and had a long criminal history. He spent only brief times spent in jail and prison including for a violent knife attack and attempted murder charges. Shortly after being released he converted to Islam and spend some time in Saudi Arabia teaching English.
He was kicked out of his apartment by landlady Cassie Havard, 43 who revealed that "he often got violent after benders on everything from crack cocaine to acid." She said, "He wasn’t a proper Muslim. He s*****d prostitutes, smoked copious amounts of crack and stuck knives in people’s faces... He was a madman. After one four-day crack session, one druggie pal got paranoid and accused him of being an undercover cop. Adrian went absolutely wild and ran to the kitchen to grab the biggest knife he could find. He went back in the room and slashed the guy’s face to pieces."
People are wondering how this kind of violence doesn't merit a long prison term. Conservative analysts like Joel Skousen have long noted a troubling pattern in "domestic terrorism" prosecutions, where US or British intelligence agents seek out young disturbed Muslim criminals which, after being threatened with prison time, are recruited as an alternative to prison, to act as "informers" for government or instructed on how to carry out terrorist attacks.
Mar 27, 2017
After refusing to honor advertizing agreements with Alex Jones and NaturalNews.com, Google is scrambling to justify these discriminatory actions. The internet search and advertizing giant now claims that mainstream advertizers like Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Walmart, Dish, Starbucks, and GM are complaining that their ads are being associated with "hateful and offensive content" Google claims that it cannot develop an algorithm to automatically screen where ads are placed (which isn't true) and thus must ban or censor certain content on Youtube in order to meet advertizer demands.
Mar 27, 2017
Wikileaks has revealed the next set of documents from its “Vault 7” leaks that reveal many of the CIA’s hacking tools developed the secretive Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI) which reportedly has over 5000 members actively working to find and exploit weaknesses in computer software for spying and surveillance purposes.
This second set of documents revealed some of the CIA’s hacking toolset for Apple machines revealing malware and viruses to infect the routines that control the boot process. The online magazine “apple insider” tried to console other Apple users by noting that most of the hacks required physical access to machines to infect them through a USB device or cable connection. The much smaller size and scale of the hacking tools for Apple is some consolation for Mac users that their choice of operating system is harder to target.
Mar 27, 2017
GOP Speaker of the House Paul Ryan scuttled the vote process for a hotly contested bill to replace Obamacare on Friday after it became clear there would not be sufficient votes for it to pass. Democrats and the media could scarcely contain their enthusiasm. Democrats have been nursing their wounds after the rounding defeat in the past election and subsequent setbacks for the so-called “progressive” agenda of the Obama Administration. NPR crowed over the fractured defeat of Republicans who had to admit that ‘Obamacare… is going to remain the Law of the Land.’
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose caucus was decimated in 2010 after the health care bill was passed, appeared flanked by Democratic leadership to gloat just a day after the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act.”
Republicans had previously passed several bills to repeal Obamacare, but apparently many voted for them just to appease their supporters knowing that the bill would be vetoed by President Obama. With a majority in both chambers of Congress and a Republican president, however, the same members refused to resubmit the same bills, knowing that they would bear the brunt of the unpopular task of taking away benefits, even from a program as unpopular as the Affordable Care Act (which has proved itself to be anything but affordable).
Mar 27, 2017
News reports are saying the attacker who plowed a rented car into pedestrians and stabbed a policeman near London’s Parliament building acted alone in a “lone wolf attack.” But the UK Independent says that is doubtful considering the history of such attacks where perpetrators are nearly always coached into their actions.
“The terrorist Khalid Masood was not a ‘lone wolf’ and others had played a key part in indoctrinating him and helping to carry out Wednesday’s deadly attacks in London, security officials believe….It has also emerged that 52-year-old Masood used the Whatsapp messaging service just minutes before he smashed his hired Hyundai car into the railings at the Houses of Parliament.”
Some are concluding that Masood was using the popular encrypted messaging service to communicate with handlers before starting on his rampage.
Masood was born Adrian Elms and had a violent past including time spent in jail and prison for prior knife attacks. Soon after his last time in prison he converted to Islam and married a Muslim woman, and then took a trip to Saudi Arabia presumably to teach English.
Analysts note a troubling pattern in these stories of “domestic terrorism” where the perpetrators usually have run-ins with police or intelligence agencies only to be publicly ignored, despite multiple warning signs. In past cases, perpetrators have been recruited during encounters with police and then coached by “informers” on how to carry out the attacks.
Mar 27, 2017
Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim to hold the position of Mayor of London, tried to downplay the importance of religion as it was revealed that the car and knife attacker near the British Houses of Parliament, Khalid Masood, had converted to Islam several years before the attack that left 4 dead including a policeman that was stabbed. Khan called the attack “Part and parcel” of living in a big city.
There followed a media outcry, not over Khan’s calloused statement, but to anyone who dared attribute the attack to the influx of Muslims and Muslim ideology. Donald Trump Jr. was widely criticized just for tweeting “Are you kidding me?” to Khan. And Nigel Farage, the former leader the of the UKIP movement was criticized for “whipping up hate” for saying that he didn’t ever want these attacks to be commonplace in a city. Farage went on to recommend reviewing immigration policies similar to Trump’s attempt to restrict refugees until better vetting methods can be put in place.
Mar 27, 2017
Parents are understandably outraged after two illegal immigrants, who liberals like to call “dreamers”, committed a brutal rape of a classmate in a Maryland high school. But Fox News reports that the parent’s objections are falling on deaf ears with the politicians of Montgomery County, that is trying to become a so-called “sanctuary status” where it formally refuses to cooperate with immigration officials working to enforce the law with regard to illegal aliens in their community.
“Parents of students at Rockville High School, where the victim was brutally assaulted in a boys bathroom by two immigrant classmates, ages 17 and 18, vented at a PTA meeting Tuesday night.
"’I'm very mad. I can't believe this is happening in my kids' school,’ said a parent who identified herself only as Liz. ‘There are a lot of people here that maybe don't belong here. They haven't been checked out and I really need to know that my kids are safe.’”
School and county officials at the PTA meeting just tried to cover their reputation, said attorney Robin ficker.
“The mood was simply, 'cover our reputation,'” Ficker said. "There were long speeches from the principal, from the superintendent, from others who were associated with them explaining why this could never have happened when it did. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound to cure it.”
Mar 24, 2017
This week in an interview with Russia Today (RT.com), former CIA analyst Ray McGovern gave his reason why he thinks the establishment is continuing to push their anti-Russia agenda:
1) They refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate, and have created this Russian interference excuse to explain away her loss to Trump.
2) The globalist elite are trying to make sure there is no rapprochement with Russia under any circumstances, especially in the Syrian battle against ISIS.
(3) The establishment made false claims about Russian hacking, supposedly to help Trump win. It has now been repeated so often that it must be supported at all costs. McGovern rightfully insists that the so-called hacks of the DNC were really internal leaks by people inside the Clinton campaign who were disillusioned by Hillary’s tactics in stealing the election from Bernie Sanders.
4) McGovern also said that the claim that Putin wanted Trump to be elected "flies in the face of everything he knows about the Russians," whom he studied for more than 20 years. "Why would Putin want someone in the White House who is profiled as rash, impulsive, and unpredictable?" McGovern asked. Why would they bet on someone they thought was losing?"
Mar 24, 2017
The "spying on Trump" story got more complicated this week as Fox News commentator judge Andrew Napolitano said confidential sources told him that British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) did the wiretapping of Donald Trump on behalf of Obama to evade being able to trace it through the US government. Predictably, that story was denied by spy agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. The British government’s denial were echoed by both FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers who, during congressional hearings this week also denied "finding evidence" of the unspecified claim by Trump that he had been the target of a wiretap at all.
But Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, appeared to muddy the waters by saying that the private communications of the presidential transition team may have been scooped up by American intelligence officials monitoring other targets and improperly distributed throughout spy agencies. However, mainstream media immediately responded that Trump was not spied upon directly but his conversations or those of his team were picked up "coincidentally" as Trump or his campaign people were talking to a foreign subject under legal surveillance.
Official denials cannot be trusted as long as there is a dark side to all intelligence agencies. All that goes on inside the Deep State is "secret" even from Congress specifically because it is illegal. That, in turn, creates a desperate need to hide illegal surveillance so that top agency leaders can claim "plausible deniability," —a term widely used within the CIA. Insiders like Comey and Rogers can go to the white side records, or even secret FISA court records (which don’t handle anything but a tiny amount of spy warrants) and report "finding nothing" on Trump spying, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.
Mar 24, 2017
Dennis Montgomery is one of the most important whistleblowers on illegal government spying, having spent years inside the CIA and NSA as a contractor. As he left he was able to smuffle out 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of information, much of which is classified. His purpose was to expose that spy agencies were engaged in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump.
One of the major revelations to surface from the Montgomery data is evidence that the controversial Project Dragnet, designed to spying on US domestic targets, never was disbanded as the government claimed. The NSA electronic surveillance data was created by the NSA as part of the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional Project Dragnet electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens, was first revealed by news reports published in 2015.
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Chief Investigator Michael Zullo have identified dozens of entries at various addresses, including both Trump Tower in New York City and Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, under which Trump was under NSA electronic surveillance, as a result of the analysis they conducted on Project Dragnet records of U.S. citizens that were the targets of electronic surveillance from 2004, during President George W. Bush’s term of office, through 2009, the first year of President Obama’s presidency. The Project Dragnet database suggests Trump was under surveillance not only for phone conversations, but also for financial information, including most likely bank account transactions, credit card transactions, and tax filings.
Mar 24, 2017
Like all modern nominees for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch displayed a deft ability to evade attempts by Democratic Senators to get him to reveal any ideological or political bias he may possess. As NBC wrote,
"....every time Democrats tried to draw him out on a range of serious issues, including abortion and gay rights, Gorsuch answered in the same way: "I have declined to offer any promises, hints or previews of how I'd resolve any case." Gorsuch similarly wouldn't commit to a view on cameras in the Supreme Court, despite widespread support from senators on the Judiciary Committee."
But, while he refused to commit himself on even conservative legal philosophies like "originalism," he did make one dramatic admission on abortion which displeased Trump supporters. Trump had promised during the campaign to appoint judges to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe vs. Wade which created a "legal" right to abortion out of thin air. Sadly, Gorsuch has no such intentions on overturning Roe vs. Wade.
Mar 24, 2017
Thursday was the day for the scheduled vote on GOP’s American Healthcare Act, which is heavily supported by Trump, but that vote never came. Speaker Paul Ryan with the help of heavy pressure by President Trump did turn around several Republican "no" votes based upon future promises of changes, but the big group of "no" votes belong to the principled Freedom Caucus which wanted significant changes now, and not ephemeral promises that "we’ll change it after it passes," which often don’t come true.
Without winning over the Freedom Caucus, Ryan did not have the votes to pass the AHA in the House, and this would have been a major embarrassment for Trump, who has stubbornly supported this flawed bill, saying "there is no plan B." In other words, it’s this or nothing. He threatened to move on to other legislative priorities if Republicans failed again on Friday to force a vote. Wisely principled conservatives have said we’d rather have nothing than vote for something that is nearly as bad as Obamacare.
The Freedom Caucus thought they were close to a deal on Wednesday night with Paul Ryan, but Ryan backed out after being threatened by liberal Republicans. Fortunately, two of the Koch brothers (with libertarian/conservative leanings) are willing to support Freedom Caucus congressman against Trump’s threats. The Koch brothers are adamant that conservatives ought not to give into Trump pressure and is willing to put big money behind those willing to stand on principle.
Mar 24, 2017
A disturbing pattern is starting to emerge in the diplomacy of Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson—talk tough but no follow through. Rex Tillerson ended his first trip to China this week with warm words for President Xi. The meeting followed strong threats by Tillerson that the US would not allow China to access militarized manmade islands in the South China Sea which are in the territorial waters of Japan and the Philippines. There was virtually no discussion of these issues that only weeks ago precipitated loud counter-threats from China.
Many conservatives are worried that a similar pattern may develop of talking tough about North Korea but doing nothing to curtail NK aggressiveness in advancing their nuclear technology and long distance ICBMs which many believe can hit the continental USA.
The US had made 3 aid deals with North Korea in past decades on condition that North Korea would dismantle it's nuclear weapons program. Each time North Korean leaders have betrayed the agreements, and yet the West has gone through with their part of the aid package. Ever since the Korean War ended in 1952, the US has also guaranteed North Korea that it will not attempt to overthrow the regime militarity or even seek regime change. This long standing permissive policy stands in stark contrast with how the West has threatened Iran continually with military action if it did not desist in its nuclear program. Finally, the Trump administration has said that the "military option" is on the table relative to North Korea. Yet, conservatives wonder if, under pressure, the Trump administration would back down on this hardline policy as well.
Mar 22, 2017
More than twenty years after being arrested for a murder he didn’t commit, Idaho Falls resident Christopher Tapp will be released from prison as part of a deal with the Bonneville County Prosecutor’s Office, reports the Idaho Falls Post-Register. John Thomas, the Bonneville County appellate public defender, emphasizes that Tapp will not admit to guilt as part of the deal, which will be presented today (March 22) at a hearing before District Judge Alan Stephens.
Tapp was one of three young Idaho Falls men interrogated in late 1996 and early 1997 by Idaho Falls police following the June 13, 1996 rape and murder of 18-year-old Angie Dodge. Police initially suspected a friend of Tapp named Ben Hobbs, who had been arrested in Ely, Nevada on a rape charge involving the use of an edged weapon. Although Hobbs was convicted of that crime and spent decades in prison as a result, he ardently denied involvement in the Angie Dodge murder. Investigators had pressured Tapp and his friend Jeremy Sargis into implicating Hobbs. Sargis obtained legal representation and invoked his rights under the Fifth Amendment. Hobbs refused to cooperate in the investigation.
Although DNA samples at the murder scene excluded Tapp, Sargis, and Hobbs, investigators isolated Tapp and manipulated him into confessing some unspecified role in the murder, despite the fact that his statement was riddled with errors that showed he knew nothing about the crime that hadn’t been shared with him by the police. An investigation conducted last year by the prosecutor’s office concluded that Tapp’s confession was false.
Mar 22, 2017
President Trump continues to be frustrated in the courts over his efforts to impose new restrictions on immigration from countries designated as terrorist havens – and many legal analysts insist that this is his own fault. The president’s compulsive need to comment on the legal controversies, both in speeches and through his Twitter account, have probably driven his legal advisers to distraction, comments the National Law Journal.
Judges in Hawaii and Maryland “cited Trump’s statements, and those of his aides, during campaign rallies and media interviews as evidence that his revised immigration order was still probably intended to ban Muslims from the country,” notes the Journal. Existing precedents do not allow a ban based on religious identity. Although the administration has appealed both of the injunctions, President Trump’s reaction to the rulings will complicate matters.
“I wasn’t thrilled, but the lawyers all said, `Oh, let’s tailor it,’” Trump told an enthusiastic partisan crowd in Tennessee a few hours after the first injunction was announced. The revised executive order “is a watered down version of the first one,” he continued. “I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place.”
While those remarks played well as applause lines in a speech to the president’s supporters, they will give ammunition to his critics as the legal appeals proceed.
Mar 22, 2017
The long and cluttered disciplinary history of Hialeah, Florida Police Officer Raul Castellon has been expanded to include a felony indictment on federal data theft charges. Castellon was arrested and charged with illegally accessing a private database and providing license plate and Social Security numbers to a woman named Neilin Gonzalez Diaz, in exchange for unspecified “gifts.” Gonzalez Diaz, along with several others, used that private information to gain access to credit cards and purchase nearly $6,000 worth of goods from various stores.
Castellon and Gonzalez Diaz have been charged with extortion, aggravated identify fraud, and related offenses involving unauthorized access to digital devices. Castellon was also charged with illegally using his position to access Florida’s Driver Vehicle Information Database for personal gain. The indictment accuses him of obtaining dozens of screen shots of license plates and Social Security numbers and providing them to his accomplices.
Over the past eleven years, Castellon has been the subject of five internal affairs investigations and four suspensions, received 13 reprimands, crashed his vehicle five times, and was fired – before union-required arbitration resulted in the restoration of his job. The 38-year-old officer was suspended, with pay, last October following the initial disclosure of his most recent alleged felonious misconduct. The Hialeah PD has endured decades of scandal, including a gun-trafficking ring involving an officer and his wife, and another case in which a Sergeant arrested on drug charges blamed the situation on his wife’s pimp.
Mar 22, 2017
Retired Judge Andrew Napolitano, a best-selling author, widely respected legal scholar, and senior judicial analyst for Fox News, was conspicuously absent during the first day of the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Fox News belatedly acknowledged that Napolitano has been indefinitely suspended by the network following a diplomatic controversy that grew out of claims made by the judge regarding President Trump’s accusation that his predecessor illegally wire-tapped Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In comments made on the air and in a subsequent syndicated column, Judge Napolitano claimed that “intelligence sources” had told “Fox News” that President Obama had circumvented established surveillance procedures by seeking transcripts of Trump’s intercepted phone calls from the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intelligence service, that country’s analogue to the National Security Agency.
“By bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no American fingerprints,” claimed Napolitano.
Both Trump and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred reporters to Napolitano’s claims when pressed to substantiate the president’s accusations. The British government formally and explicitly denied the claims, and Fox’s news division also denied that it had spoken about the matter with intelligence sources, and disavowed the story. FBI Director James Comey and National Security Director Michael Rogers likewise denied Napolitano’s claim. The Judge insists that he “reported what the sources told me, reported it accurately and I do believe the substance of what they told me.”
Mar 22, 2017
In recent years, business owners across the country – such as florists, bakers, and wedding photographers – have been sued and hit with severely punitive fines for refusing to provide goods or services for so-called same-sex weddings.
An Oregon couple who ran a bakery was run out of business by the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony in 2013 – at a time when the state government didn’t recognize such ceremonies. The same agency shut down a Portland bar after its owner had made comments that were seen as discriminating against a club of self-identified transgendered women who had driven business away on Friday nights.
In all such cases, government agencies and pressure groups have insisted that private businesses should be punished for discriminating against people who are regarded as part of a “specially protected class” – usually defined in terms of ethnic or sexual identity. Cultural conservatives have reasonably denounced this as a form of government-imposed political correctness, and the resulting frustration helped propel Donald Trump’s upset victory in last year’s presidential campaign.
At least one of Trump’s diehard supporters apparently believes that his political affiliation makes him part of a specially protected class. Philadelphia resident Greg Piatek has filed a discrimination lawsuit against a New York bar called The Happiest Hour, accusing its staff of refusing to serve him because he was wearing a “Make America Great Again” baseball cap. Piatek claims that a manager told him that “anyone who supports Trump – or believes what you believe – is not welcome here, and you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you.”
Trump supporters, of all people, should understand and respect the free market principle that a business proprietor reserves the right to refuse service to anyone of his choosing – and also that consumers have the power to give their patronage to entrepreneurs who don’t alienate a large population of potential customers.
Mar 22, 2017
Google’s YouTube video-sharing service is under fire from LGBT militants who complain that its “family-restricted” filtering option impedes children from accessing “videos about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues,” reports the New York Times. Gender revolutionaries who create and disseminate propaganda targeting children are pressuring YouTube to change its filter settings in order to prevent parents from exercising discretion over the question of whether that propaganda can be available to their children – and the service appears ready to make concessions.
“The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should,” sniveled Johanna Wright, YouTube’s vice president for product management, in response to criticism. “We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.”
This controversy comes after YouTube and its corporate owner, Google, have offered assurances that they will implement new policies to restrict content deemed to be “hate speech” – and after many channels that offer politically controversial content, generally deemed “right-wing” in perspective, have been de-monetized.
Rod Dreher of The American Conservative points out that “it is not the right of a transgender person or anyone else to decide what someone else’s children can and cannot watch. That decision belongs to the parents…. [T]his is par for the course on the left, especially the sexual left,” Dreher continues, “disempower parents so they can propagandize children.”
Mar 22, 2017
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch told his Senate confirmation hearing on March 21 that the highly contested 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion ruling is a binding precedent.
“It is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court,” Gorsuch stated in response to a question about his views on the Roe ruling. “So a good judge will consider it as a precedent of the United States Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other.”
During last year’s presidential campaign, Donald Trump – who had previously described himself as “very pro-choice” regarding abortion – promised social conservatives that he would appoint a Supreme Court justice who would vote to overturn the Roe ruling. At present, the undermanned High Court appears to be divided equally between judges who would preserve Roe and those who would reconsider or repeal it.
When pressed about Trump’s remarks last year, Gorsuch said that as a settled precedent, Roe “adds to the determinacy of the law. What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a contested issue. We move forward.”
The Roe ruling struck down the abortion laws of all fifty states, replacing them with a federally created license to kill unborn children at any point during the pregnancy if doing so can be justified as necessary to preserve the mother’s vaguely defined well-being. In a forceful and prescient dissent to the ruling, Justice Byron White observed that the majority went beyond its proper role by creating a new law through the exercise of “raw judicial power.”
Mar 22, 2017
In his March 20 congressional testimony, FBI Director James Comey explicitly denied President Trump’s claim that Barack Obama had unlawfully wiretapped the then-candidate’s business operations during last year’s presidential campaign. He also said that the Bureau was actively investigating suspected efforts by the Russian government to interfere in the election. This may include official investigation of independent news sources that supported Trump’s candidacy.
The McClatchy News Service reports that “Federal investigators are examining whether far-right news sites played any role last year in a Russian cyber operation that dramatically widened the reach of news stories – some fictional – that favored Donald Trump’s presidential bid, two people familiar with the inquiry say.”
Of particular interest is the role played by computer hackers employing programs called “bots” that were designed “to blitz social media with links to pro-Trump stories at times when the billionaire businessman was on the defensive in the race against Democrat Hillary Clinton….” Those stories – some of which have been proven to be complete fabrications from internet pranksters – were widely disseminated through Twitter and Facebook links. Other stories were sourced to alternative media outlets, such as Breitbart and InfoWars, that, while highly partisan, are legitimate news operations – or to Russian government-aligned publications such as RT News and Sputnik News.
Even if plausible connections were made between this media activity and the Russian government – a claim for which no evidence has been presented – it would not validate accusations that Russia had “hacked” the election, let alone that it did so with the active participation of the Trump campaign.
Mar 22, 2017
The dramatic March 20 congressional appearance by FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers “was all but unprecedented,” insisted Huffpost global affairs editor Howard Fineman. “Not since a White House aide named Alexander Butterfield told the Watergate committee in 1973 that President Richard Nixon had bugged his own Oval Office has an investigative hearing made it so clear that a presidency was in serious legal jeopardy.”
Accepting the claims made by Comey and Rogers as gospel, Fineman asserted that “we know for sure that, while no one `tapped’ Trump’s phones, his campaign circle is in the gunsights of the FBI. The issue is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose interference in the 2016 election is now an accepted fact, tried to rig the outcome with the knowledge or collusion of Team Trump.”
What Fineman describes as an “accepted fact” is actually an insistent accusation for which no evidence of any kind has been presented. The intelligence community represented by Comey and Rogers has pronounced its “consensus” that Russian interference had occurred, but has yet to produce a particle of proof to sustain its pronouncements.
Until and unless such evidence is made public, the charges against the Trump campaign remain unsubstantiated allegations from an intelligence community that is obviously ill at ease with an unconventional president, and – as Fineman acknowledged – “seethes” with hostility at WikiLeaks, which has exposed illegal surveillance and other criminal undertakings by the NSA, CIA, and their sister agencies.
Mar 22, 2017
According to the most recent figures compiled by the FBI, the Austin, Texas Police Department in 2015 had a 16.3 percent “clearance” rate for offenses designated as “Part I Index Crimes.” This is a category that includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, and auto theft. Crimes can be “cleared” either through an arrest or by “exception” – the latter being a circumstance that prevents an arrest, such as the death of a suspect, or a refusal on the part of a victim to cooperate with police and prosecutors.
Despite the fact that the Austin PD’s clearance rate means that nearly eighty-five percent of serious crimes against persons and property remain unsolved, this figure actually represents an exceptional performance, at least by the department’s undemanding expectations for itself. The City of Austin had set a 14.3 percent clearance goal for 2015, which is the most recent year for which those statistics are available.
While the Austin PD is doing a less than impressive job investigating routine violent crimes, the department’s performance was apparently impressive enough to earn its embattled former Police Chief, Art Acevedo, a job in Houston – a city whose department has been even less impressive in carrying out its advertised function of investigating crimes and arresting suspects. Murderers, kidnapers, and rapists continue to elude the Houston PD, but Acevedo took time on March 20 to hold a press conference at which he proudly announced that his department had recovered a Super Bowl football jersey stolen from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Super Bowl had been held in Houston earlier this year.
“You don’t come to Texas and embarrass us here on our home turf,” boasted Acevedo, who said that the case was solved through a tip from an informant.
Mar 22, 2017
Two Oregon state legislators, one of whom was elected with generous out-of-state financial support from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have introduced a bill that would require gun owners to make their legally obtained firearms essentially useless in an emergency –or face lengthy prison terms and ruinous fines.
Senate Bill 1026, co-sponsored by state Senator Chuck Riley and state Representative Barbara Smith Warner – both of whom, predictably, are Democrats – would create the criminal offense of “endangering a minor by allowing access to a firearm.” That offense would occur if a gun owner “leaves an operable firearm, loaded or unloaded, in a location where the person knows or reasonably should know that a minor could gain unsupervised access to the firearm,” and a minor “obtains the firearm without the express prior consent of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.”
The supposed harm would consist only of access to the firearm, not injury or death resulting from its misuse. The bill grants exceptions for incidents involving break-ins, firearms that are retrieved without permission from a locked container, or guns that are disabled by a trigger lock. This would translate into a requirement that personal defense firearms be locked or stored – and thus not immediately accessible in the event they’re needed in a hurry.
If enacted, the potential penalties for violating the statute would be up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $125,000, or both.
Mar 22, 2017
Republican congressmen who oppose President Trump’s revision of the wildly unpopular Obamacare program have been given an ultimatum from the White House: Either support the bill, or expect to face political retaliation in 2018.
Politico reports that during a closed-door meeting with the House GOP conference, “the president gave a full-throated endorsement to the House repeal bill that will come to the floor for a vote on Thursday,” warning that if the Republicans don’t pass the bill, “I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018.”
“This Thursday we have a chance to repeal and replace Obamacare, and this time you’ve actually got someone who will sign the bill,” Trump reportedly told the Republican congressmen. “I’m asking for your vote.”
Perhaps “asking” was the wrong term. According to several sources, Trump focused his attention on the bill’s most outspoken critic, Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina. Trump reportedly told the congressman, “Mark, I’m gonna come after you” if he remained critical of the measure.
Speaking with reporters later, Meadows insisted that there are “more than enough” members of the Freedom Caucus who oppose Trump’s re-write of Obamacare to block the bill from passing. The current bill, Meadows pointed out, “does not lower premiums for the vast majority of Americans, and that’s what we need to do.”
Mar 21, 2017
David Rockefeller, the patriarch of arguably the world’s most powerful banking dynasty, long-time head of Chase Manhattan Bank and the Council on Foreign Relations, and founder of the Trilateral Commission, died in his sleep at his home in Pocatino Hills, New York on March 20 at the age of 101.
Although his personal fortune was estimated at $3 billion, the Standard Oil heir to the Standard Oil enjoyed influence that vastly outstripped his considerable financial holdings. More than any other figure in decades, Rockefeller embodied a trans-national establishment that seeks to consolidate political, economic, and even religious power over the entire globe. Although seen as an arch-capitalist, Rockefeller was very comfortable in the company of Communist dictators. In 1973, following a visit to Communist-ruled China, Rockefeller published an op-ed column praising what he regarded as the accomplishments of the regime, which by some estimates slaughtered more than sixty million of its subjects.
“Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded, not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering a high morale and community propose,” Rockefeller wrote. “The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.”
In the early 1980s, PBS correspondent Bill Moyers summarized Rockefeller’s place in the global establishment: "David Rockefeller is the most conspicuous representative today of the ruling class, a multinational fraternity of men who shape the global economy and manage the flow of its capital. Rockefeller was born to it, and he has made the most of it. But what some critics see as a vast international conspiracy, he considers a circumstance of life and just another day's work.”
Mar 21, 2017
In defiance of establishment opinion, Donald Trump’s 2016 electoral victory was not a triumph of male chauvinism. It was propelled, in large measure, by an insurgent women’s movement that incorporates some elements of feminism and combines them with a populist and nationalist sensibility, reports Foreign Policy magazine.
“While only 42 percent of female voters backed Trump, he got 53 percent of the white female vote,” points out the publication. This isn’t limited to conservative women who had been influenced by the late Phyllis Schlafly, continues the report. Some are “pro-choice and pro-gay Republican activist[s]who praise[d] Clinton for breaking a historic barrier for women….”
“Some of the most prominent backers of Trump’s campaign have been women, such as former wrestling magnate and current Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon, a pro-choice Republican who criticized Trump’s taped remarks but did not withdraw her support, and billionaire heiress and businesswoman Rebekah Mercer,” Foreign Policy elaborates. A similar trend is seen within the populist movement in Europe:
“Today, some of those heroines are on the other side of the Atlantic: the French presidential contender and National Front leader Marine Le Pen and her niece, parliament member Marion Maréchal-Le Pen…. The Le Pen women are a reminder of a striking fact. In Europe, women are increasingly visible both as leaders and foot soldiers in the nationalist and populist revolt widely seen as a parallel to the Trump phenomenon in America.”
Mar 21, 2017
The Financial Times reports that China has eclipsed the Eurozone as the world’s largest banking center. With the global financial center of gravity shifting eastward, Brussels may look to Beijing for its next bailout, predicts economic analyst Kenneth Schortgen. This would be to Beijing’s advantage, as well.
Over the past two decades, China has used “its growing monetary power to create new infrastructures meant to compete with, if not supplant, Western control over the global financial system,” such as a partnership with Russia to allow oil transactions to be conducted in the yuan and the ruble, rather than the dollar. Beijing and Moscow have also collaborated through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and organized the so-called BRICS political coalition, which is composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. China is eagerly buying resources in Africa and establishing a political and military presence on that continent.
According to Schortgen, Beijing is now targeting Europe. If China “could coax the member states of the EU, or the bureaucracy of the Union itself to switch sides and move into China’s camp voluntarily, then it would isolate the United States, [which would] culminate in a bloodless change in the balance of power setting the stage for the 21st Century to become a Chinese century,” Shortgen writes.
Although Beijing has long enjoyed a cash surplus, there are significant signs that China’s increasingly overleveraged economy is headed for a severe downturn, as well. A collapse of China’s debt bubble could have catastrophic consequences not only for the Eurozone, but for the larger global economy.
Mar 21, 2017
For decades, law enforcement agencies have profited from the practice of civil asset forfeiture, through which they can seize money and property without filing criminal charges against the owner. All that is necessary is to file a lawsuit against the confiscated property by claiming that it was proceeds of an alleged criminal offense. The owners must then prove that the money or property was legitimately obtained in a legal forum where the standard of evidence is lower than in a criminal prosecution. Owing to the expense involved, most victims of civil asset forfeiture don’t contest the seizures.
Last week, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky re-introduced the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR), a companion measure for a bill sponsored in the House by Republican Tim Walberg of Michigan. That bill was initially introduced three years ago.
“The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime,” explains Senator Paul. The purpose of his legislation is to “protect Americans’ Fifth Amendment rights from being infringed upon by ensuring that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of US citizens without due process.”
The bill would place the burden of proof on the government, rather than the victim; it imposes a “clear and convincing” evidence standard, requires proceeds to be sent into the Treasury’s general fund, rather than to the agency that confiscates them, and ends the practice of “equitable sharing” between federal and local police agencies.
Mar 21, 2017
Hassan Aden, a retired police chief from Greenville, North Carolina, took to Facebook to describe his recent detention at JFK International Airport as he returned from a trip to Paris with his mother. As he passed through the Customs check, Aden’s cell phone was confiscated, he was told that he could not communicate with anybody – but the officials responsible insisted on pretending that he was free to leave.
Aden identified himself as a retired police chief, a career police officer, and a US citizen, and was told by the CBP officer that “he had no control over the circumstance and that it didn’t matter what my occupation was.” Aden was told that his name had been flagged and that he would have to be “cleared” before being allowed to return to his own country.
The CBP officer “had the audacity to tell me I was not being detained,” recalled Aden. “His ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment should disqualify him from being able to wear a CBP badge – but maybe fear and detention is the new mission of the CBP and the Constitution is a mere suggestion.”
Aden, who spent 30 years in law enforcement, points out that he had “frequently attended meetings at the White House and advised on national police policy reforms. All that [I can say is] that if this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be `profiled.’ No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion.”
Mar 21, 2017
While the Trump administration’s proposed budget “takes a big step toward draining the swamp in Washington” by targeting domestic boondoggles, its “defense and homeland security spending increases will squander bounties that should be reserved for taxpayers, not bureaucrats and bombs,” writes commentator James Bovard in USA Today.
As head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson will preside over an agency taking “one of the biggest cuts – down $6 billion or$13 percent,” Bovard points out. “The administration aims to sharply cut spending on rental vouchers that are notorious for redistributing violent crime from public housing projects to previously safe urban and suburban neighborhoods.” Also on the chopping block are the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which are largely funded through private philanthropies in any case.
“There is no justice in taxing dishwashers in Arkansas to subsidize programs such as Synetic Theater’s Silent Shakespeare,” Bovard opines. Subsidies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are likewise zeroed out in the budget framework.
While these reductions are all welcome, “Trump proposes to devote almost all of the savings from cutting domestic programs into the Pentagon, whose budget would rise by $52 billion, roughly 10 percent…. The specter overhanging Trump’s budget is the possibility that he could jettison his campaign promises and plunge the nation more deeply into conflicts” overseas, Bovard concludes.
Mar 21, 2017
The 73-year-old librarian who was fatally shot by a Punta Gorda, Florida police officer during a training exercise died because the officer didn’t know the difference between blanks and live rounds, investigators have concluded.
Former Officer Lee Coel shot Mary Knowlton during a “shoot/don’t shoot” role-playing exercise in a Citizens’ Police Academy event last August 9th. That drill was intended to help citizens experience confrontations with “adversarial or violent people.” Knowlton was among the attendees randomly chosen for the exercise, in which she took the role of a police officer, and Coel played a suspect. After loading four Blazer hollow-based wad cutters into his personal .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, Coel briefly spoke with Knowlton, then fired four rounds at her while moving around a parked car. Neither Coel, nor two other officers involved in the exercise, checked the ammo, as they were required to.
“There is no evidence that Officer Coel intended to use lethal ammunition while participating in the role play scenario with Mary Knowlton,” concluded an investigative report compiled by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The agency also found that it was the inability of Coel and other officers on the scene to distinguish between blanks and live wad-cutter rounds that “resulted in Mary Knowlton’s death.”
Coel, who was charged with manslaughter, has been fired from his positon with the Punta Gorda Police Department.
Mar 21, 2017
For decades, defenders of the government-sanctioned child murder called abortion have often said that if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament. For a sizeable portion of the feminist movement, abortion has sacramental status, and hatred of the Christian tradition is central to their worldview. This has been memorably illustrated in two recent demonstrations in Argentina, the home country of the current Roman Catholic Pope.
To celebrate UN-designated International Women’s Day on March 8, a mob of feminists assembled outside a cathedral in Tucuman, where “a group of women pretended to [commit] an abortion on a woman dressed like a very pregnant Virgin Mary,” reports the Catholic Crux Now news service. Described as an “artistic presentation,” the protest included a display of what appeared to be blood and fragments of a dismembered child. The demonstrators denounced the Christ Child as a symbol of what they called “the raping system that mandates us to forced maternity.”
During another demonstration in the southern city of Bahia Blanca, a mob of topless feminist radicals ignited a fire in front of a cathedral at which Pope Francis once officiated. While some of them chanted nursery-rhyme-grade leftist slogans, a small group attempted to storm the house of worship, and attacked a young man who volunteered to defend it.
Mar 21, 2017
One paradox of radical environmentalism is that it urges the masses to embrace a dismal standard of living that would be no better than the dystopian vision that supposedly awaits if we ignore their recommendations. Witness the comments offered by German physicist Joachim Schellnhuber in a recent interview with Deutsche Welle.
In order to deal with what he insists is catastrophic, man-caused climate change, “by 2030, we have to phase out the combustion engine,” insists Schellnhuber. “And we have to completely phase out the use of coal for producing our power. By 2040 we will probably have to replace concrete and steel for construction by wood, clay, and stone,” he continues. The German government, acting within the framework of the European Union, has a national goal of a 40 percent reduction in supposed greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. But this isn’t adequate, he insists: “It looks fairly bleak, actually, with the current policies in place we will not even meet our own target. Something fairly disruptive needs to happen, like closing down some of the operating coal-fired power stations.”
Schellnhuber is a long-time member of the Club of Rome, which has been promoting severe restrictions on economic growth and schemes for population control for several decades. He is also a highly influential adviser to the EU, the United Nations, and – despite being a devout and outspoken atheist – the Vatican.
Mar 21, 2017
As an attorney with the Office of White House Counsel under George W. Bush, Neil Gorsuch contributed to a proposed presidential signing statement that would have asserted the authority to order torture as an interrogation method – and forbidden judicial review of that decision. He also recommended that federal judges visit the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in order to cultivate sympathy for the administration’s “litigating positions.”
“If the DC judges could see what we saw, I believe they would be more sympathetic to our litigating positions,” wrote Gorsuch in a 2005 email to Justice Department officials. That message and many other contemporaneous emails were provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee in advance of Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings.
Gorsuch visited Gitmo in 2005 and offered praise for the facility’s commandant.
“You and your colleagues have developed standards and imposed a degree of professionalism that the nation can be proud of, and being able to see firsthand all that you have managed to accomplish with such a difficult and sensitive mission makes my job of helping explain and defend it before the courts all the easier,” Gorsuch declared during his visit. To his colleagues in the Justice Department, Gorsuch suggested that “A visit, or even just the offer of a visit [to Gitmo] might help dispel myths and build confidence in our representations to the Court about conditions and detainee treatment.”
Mar 21, 2017
A lawsuit has been filed against the Saudi Arabian monarchy in a Manhattan federal court on behalf of the families of 800 9/11 victims. The lawsuit accuses the Saudi government of direct complicity in the attack, which – according to the official narrative – was carried out by 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were identified as Saudi nationals.
According to the lawsuit, diplomatic officials from Saudi embassies offered material support for hijackers Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar during the year and a half leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Saudi officials are accused of helping the future hijackers find apartments, learn English, and obtain funding in the form of cash and credit cards. The lawsuit also presents evidence that Saudi diplomats in Germany helped support Mohamed Atta, who has been designated as the lead hijacker. It also claims that a Saudi official was lodged in the same Virginia hotel with several hijackers the night before the attacks.
New York’s Pix11 news reports that “Many of the revelations in the lawsuit are culled from findings of an FBI investigation into the terrorist attacks.” The alleged motive for official Saudi involvement in the attacks was an effort “to curry favor with fundamentalists to avoid losing power,” which has also led the Royal Family to send supposedly charitable donations that were funneled to al-Qaeda.
At some point, that lawsuit should be amended to target the FBI, the Justice Department, the CIA, and other officials such as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani who evidence suggests had prior knowledge of the impending attacks.
Mar 21, 2017
The government of Somalia has accused Saudi Arabia of carrying out an attack on a ship carrying at least 42 Somali refugees near the coast of Yemen. The assault was reportedly carried out by a military naval vessel and a helicopter gunship.
Referring to the attack as “horrific” and “terrible,” Somalia’s foreign minister, Abdisalam Omer, insisted that “the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen is responsible for it.” Laurent De Boeck, head of the Yemeni office for the International Organization for Migration, reports that the occupants of the craft were registered refugees fleeing Yemen for Sudan, many of them hoping eventually to return to Somalia.
One survivor recalled that terrified refugees had waved flashlights at the crew of the attack helicopter in an effort to show that they were non-combatants. The Saudi-commanded coalition has been conducting heavy bombardment in the area in response to what it claims have been arms-smuggling operations by Houthi rebels.
The Saudis have responded to international outrage over the incident by calling for the United Nations to assume control of the Yemeni port from which the refugees had embarked on their journey.
Mar 20, 2017
During a March 17 White House press conference, President Trump told reporters that he was planning a “major meeting” on the scandal-plagued department of Veterans Affairs with VA Secretary David Shulkin, who at the time was sitting to the president’s left. The discussion would take place at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Trump explained, because “that seems to be the most convenient location. Everybody always wants to go to the Southern White House.”
Turning to Shulkin, the president asked if he would be at the club that evening. Without speaking, the VA secretary shook his head.
Nothing on the president’s official schedule indicated that a formal meeting on veteran’s affairs took place either Friday night or on Saturday, although the White House later claimed that he “spent the early morning and afternoon [on Saturday] on issues concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs and the military,” and that in the evening he “had another meeting, including dinner, concerning the Department of Veterans Affairs and how to turn it around for the benefit of our great veterans.”
While the official schedule mentioned no meetings devoted to caring for combat veterans, the president did discuss the possibility of creating more of them. President Trump met with National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to discuss “the threat of North Korea.” While VA Secretary Shulkin wasn’t on hand at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump was photographed dining with Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Comics, who donated $1 million to his campaign last year. One correspondent on scene reported that the president had spent four and a half hours at his golf club that afternoon.
Mar 21, 2017
Police in Edna, Minnesota secured a court order requiring Google to provide the identity of a user who employed the search engine to look up the name of a local financial fraud victim, reports the Ars Technica news site. The warrant, issued by Hennepin County Senior Judge Gary Larson, demands that Google aid the police “determine who searched for variations of the victim’s name between December 1 of last year through January 7, 2017.”
The search would focus on an online photo of a person whose name is identical to that of a local resident whose image was used in a fake passport, which was in turn employed to arrange a fraudulent transfer of $28,500 from the victim’s account. The bogus passport image was faxed to the credit union using a “spoofed” phone number.
Andrew Crocker, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, suggested that the case could give rise to an appellate court ruling entitled “In Re Minnesota Unconstitutional General Warrant.” The Fourth Amendment was written for the express purpose of avoiding “general warrants” of the kind used by British customs and tax officials and enforced by British occupation troops. It requires police to list specific persons and places to be searched. Ars Technica describes the Hennepin County warrant as “the most expansive one we’ve seen unconnected to the US national security apparatus and, if carried out, could set an Orwellian precedent[.]”
Mar 21, 2017
Police officers are under no legal responsibility to identify themselves or state their purpose for being on private property before killing armed citizens who confront officers on their own property, ruled the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
That ruling emerges from the killing of Florida resident Andrew Scott, who heard a loud banging on his door late at night, retrieved his licensed handgun, and opened the door with it pointed safely toward the ground. Seeing a dimly lit figure holding a pistol, Scott retreated into his residence, and was fatally shot six times by Deputy Richard Sylvester. The deputy had no warrant to be on Scott’s property, nor did he have probable cause to suspect either Scott or his girlfriend of committing a criminal offense. Sylvester did not identify himself as a police officer. He simply opened fire once he saw that the citizen had armed himself to deal with a dangerous stranger.
According to Judge Frank M. Hull, Deputy Sylvester’s lethal actions are covered by the spurious constitutional doctrine of “qualified immunity” because there was no “clearly established law” forbidding the summary execution of innocent citizens by police officers. Hull also defended the deputy’s unlawful presence on Scott’s property as an application of the “knock and talk” rule, placing the blame for the lethal encounter on the victim who – the judge contends – could simply have declined to open the door.
Dissenting Judge Beverly Martin pointed out that “there was no talk here. This was knock and shoot.” In effect, as Judge Martin observes, Scott was killed for exercising his rights under the Second Amendment: “If Mr. Scott was subject to being shot and killed, simply because (as the District Court put it) he made the `fateful decision’ to answer a late-night disturbance at the door to his house, and did so while holding his firearm pointed safely at the ground, then the Second Amendment … had little effect.”
Mar 20, 2017
A SWAT team from South Carolina’s 15th Circuit Drug Enforcement Unit used a battering ram to break down the door of Myrtle Beach resident Julian Betton, who had allegedly made two $50 marijuana sales to a friend who had been recruited as a police informant. The raiders fired at least 57 shots at the 31-year-old man, hitting him nine times. He is now crippled, emasculated, and will need to use a colostomy bag for the rest of his life.
Officers claimed to have knocked and announced themselves several times, and then opened fire after Betton shot at them.
The Washington Post reports that “as it turns out, Betton didn’t fire on [the SWAT team]. Ballistics tests later showed that this gun had never been fired. The cops then altered their story to say that Betton merely pointed his gun at them.”
The assailants told nearly identical stories, which have been demolished by video footage of the assault. None of the officers displayed police insignia. None of them knocked on the door prior to the raid. Just as significantly, the officers did not have a no-knock search warrant – which means that if Betton had opened fire on them, he would have been legally justified in doing so.
All of the officers were cleared through an internal review. Betton was forced to plead guilty to two drug charges in exchange for the dismissal of gun-related charges.
Mar 20, 2017
Miami-Dade county State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle will not pursue criminal charges against four prison guards who literally boiled a mentally ill prison inmate to death five years ago.
Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man who was serving a sentence for cocaine possession, was locked in a shower for two hours, where his skin was literally scalded from his body by the relentless onslaught of 180-degree water. Witnesses heard Rainey screaming to let him out, as the guards laughed at and taunted him. When his lifeless body was retrieved from the shower, nurses found burns on 90 percent of his body.
The victim’s body temperature was too high to measure with a thermometer, and his skin fell off as his body was being handled. Inmate Mark Joiner was given a bottle of Clorox and ordered to clean up the chunks of skin left behind in the shower.
According to the prosecutor’s office, “The shower was itself neither dangerous nor unsafe. The evidence does not show that Rainey’s well-being was grossly disregarded by the correctional staff.”
Rundle inherited her position from another prosecutor who became notorious for an incident involving death by burning and lack of accountability for the officials responsible: She took over the Miami-Dade Prosecutor’s Office from Janet Reno after she was chosen to serve as US Attorney General by Bill Clinton, just a few weeks before scores of people perished in flames while under siege by the FBI near Waco, Texas.
Mar 20, 2017
Food shortages are an inescapable feature of every Communist-run economy, as are crackdowns on producers who are scapegoated for the hardships inflicted on the country by the ruling elite. The Marxist government of Venezuela is being true to this pedigree by detaining bakers and seizing their businesses.
The National Superintendet for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights has announced that four people had been arrested and charged with waging “economic war” and “destabilizing” the country by baking pastries instead of bread. According to the regime, bakeries are required to produce pan canilla – common white bread – and that it is illegal to produce specialty items with government-imported flour. Two bakeries were seized as punishment for violating restrictions on the items they produce and the prices they can charge.
“The government isn’t importing enough wheat,” complained Juan Crespo, president of the Industrial Flour Union. “If you don’t have wheat, you don’t have flour, and if you don’t have flour, you don’t have bread.” Of course, it is difficult to import adequate foreign-produced grain when the country’s currency is practically worthless.
Marxist Ruler Nicolas Maduro has inaugurated what he calls “Plan 700” to address what he calls the “bread war.” This will mean spot checks of bakeries nation-wide, and will almost certainly result in more arrests and seizures – and an even more acute bread shortage that inevitably will be blamed on those who produce the bread, rather than the government that is impeding production.
Mar 20, 2017
“We are living in a nation which worships wealth rather than caring for the poor. I don’t think that is the nation we should be living in,” pontificated Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator and former presidential candidate from Vermont, by way of a March 18 Twitter post that he must have immediately regretted.
Unlike more than ninety percent of the population, Sanders – who has never had an honest job in the productive sector – owns three homes, most recently closing the deal on a $600,000 lakefront summer house in an exclusive enclave last year. He also paid a tax rate of 13.5 percent in 2014, despite being a wealthy man – and routinely rebuking the wealthy for not paying what he calls their “fair share.”
Following Sanders’ self-righteous Twitter post, one user asked him, “Which of [your] three homes did you tweet that from?”
“If he is preaching about wealth redistribution, he needs to lead by example,” suggested another.
“I don’t think we should live in a country where you can say this while having three houses and [paying] a lower tax rate than I do,” added a third.
Mar 20, 2017
News of the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the subsidized Meals on Wheels program prompted an outpouring of private donations to the charity, according to CNN.
“Meals on Wheels received fifty times the typical amount of daily donations on Thursday after the White House proposed cuts to some of the program’s sources of funding,” the network reported on March 16. “Volunteer sign-ups also jumped, increasing by 500 percent, according to Jenny Bertolette, a spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels America.” Ellen Horwitz of the West Los Angeles Meals on Wheels also said that there was an “abundance of people calling in the last two days saying, `Can we help?’”
The proposed budget framework produced by the White House recommended elimination of the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant Program, through which tax subsidies are provided to Meals on Wheels programs across the country.
It’s true that the federal contribution to the charitable program is a microscopic fraction of its budget – and it’s also true that the subsidy is largely symbolic. Reason magazine points out that of the hundreds of locally operated Meals on Wheels programs nation-wide, the overwhelming majority receive most of their funding “from charitable giving, not government funds. In 2015, for instance, the national Meals on Wheels reported that government grants accounted for just three percent of its annual revenues of $7.5 million.”
Mar 20, 2017
Despite campaign promises to stop globalist interventions around the world, President Trump is ramping up US military involvement in both Yemen and Syria, and has indicated that he will be taking a more confrontational posture toward China and North Korea. Political analysts point to the military hardliners surrounding the President, such as Defense Secretary Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster , who have been antagonistic toward Iran and favor working with Saudi Arabia. Geopolitical analyst Joel Skousen warns that this will bring more of the same foreign intervention that produced massive Middle Eastern conflict in the past.
During the campaign, Trump made it clear that he considers Iran to be the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism and the most important threat in the Gulf Region. Skousen concludes that Trump has foolishly fallen for the narrative that his predecessor had been “soft on Iran” because of the Iran nuclear deal.
“This was not a deal meant to help Iran, or establish peace with the West, it was just the opposite—a future trap with conditions set so strict that Iran will surely violate some aspect of the agreement,” Skousen contends. “Even though none of the parties signed the agreement, it was put into a binding Security Council resolution that automatically authorizes a war against Iran should a violation be detected. “
“One of the psychological twists in the deal is that Republicans and Trump think they are taking up the opposite position from Obama, not realizing that this action is exactly what the globalists really want,” he elaborates. “In the end, Republicans will be blamed for the war with Iran, not the globalists.”
Mar 20, 2017
A growing number of international affairs experts are convinced that U.S. and British intelligence are the most important supporters of the world’s most vicious terrorist groups. Those claims appear to be supported by an admittedly partisan claim made by Iranian and Iraqi sources. A commander in the Iraqi army fighting ISIS in the beleaguered city of Mosul reports that after surrounding the enemy, American Special Forces operators arrived on the scene -- not to finish off the terrorist leaders, but to carry them to safety. As the Iraqis watched in disbelief, the US special operations helicopters picked up the ISIS commanders and ferried them away to safety deeper into Syria.
Javad al-Talaybawi, the field commander, claimed that “the US forces carried out the heliborne operation in one of the Western neighborhoods of Western Mosul, evacuating two senior ISIS commanders to an unknown location after the commanders came under siege by Iraqi government forces in intensified clashes in Western Mosul.”
This is but the latest example of the US helping ISIS in Iraq. In February, “US forces [also] tried hard to evacuate ISIS commanders from the besieged city of Tal Afar West of Mosul,” Talaybawi recalls.
There are also photos and videos showing US planes dropping air packages of supplies and aid over ISIS-held regions. Many local eyewitnesses report several instances of US aircraft dropping food, arms and fighting tools to ISIS positions that appeared to be helplessly besieged.
Mar 20, 2017
Last fall, major news outlets including CNN, The New York Times and Slate, reported supposed evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, after a computer server in Trump Tower was supposedly found in communication with a Russian bank. It now appears that the entire story was based on planted computer code by a US-based hacker.
Circa.com reported this week:
“The controversy over President Trump's servers talking to Russia may have been an elaborate digital ruse. A Russian bank has reported to U.S. authorities that mysterious communications resumed recently between one of its computers and an email server tied to President Trump’s business empire, and it has developed evidence the new activity may be the work of a hacker trying to create a political hoax, Circa has learned.”
“Alfa Bank is asking the U.S. Justice Department for help solving the mystery and pledged its full cooperation,” continued the report. “Alfa bank wants U.S. authorities to help unmask a computer inside the United States that it believes has been used to launch cyberattacks spoofing the appearance of a backdoor communication channel between Moscow and America’s 45th president, according to a source directly familiar with the bank’s request.”
The original leaks about the supposed connection in Trump Tower came from “L. Jean Camp, an Indiana University [computer science] researcher who made 22 donations totaling more than $1,500 to Hillary Clinton last year. She told Circa that her political donations had no bearing on her concerns about the data gathered by a loose group of colleagues who legitimately believed the connections should be investigated.”
Mar 20, 2017
Since its inception, the United Nations has relied for its existence on funding extorted from American taxpayers. Nothing in the US Constitution authorizes appropriating money for international bodies of any kind, or US membership in organizations that compromise national independence. Roughly a week after his inauguration, President Trump indicated that he wants to reassess all funding for international organizations and that until such a review is complete all current disbursements are on hold.
Liberty Hangout reports that this might result in cutting billions of dollars in funds to the world body. At present, Washington sends more than $10 billion to the UN each year, which accounts for twenty-eight percent of all of its funding.
Conservatives organizations like the John Birch Society have been petitioning for years to “Get U.S. Out of the U.N.” -- not only to save our overblown budget but also to extricate our country from an international agency that they see as working at every turn to undermines principal tenets of American ideals, including sovereignty, property ownership, and individual ownership of firearms.
President Trump, however, may not follow through on his threats to cut UN funding following the inevitable pushback from political and corporate interests that are connected to the organization. This includes self-described Republican internationalists who are critical of the world body’s performance but who accept the claim that it embodies a noble aspiration and does worthwhile work.
Mar 17, 2017
Seventeen Republican members of Congress, ten of whom are in either their first or second terms, “are bucking long-time party positions and the new occupant of the White House” by supporting a brief statement called the “Republican Climate Resolution,” reports Bloomberg News. The short draft resolution doesn’t embrace every tenet of the Climate Change dogma, offering instead a statement of support for the supposed consensus that Climate Change is a proven danger requiring concerted effort growing out of “our tradition of American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism.”
The bill is co-sponsored by Representatives Elise Stefanik of New York, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania. Rep. Curbelo, one of the chief authors of the resolution, is co-founder of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus. Eleven of that group’s thirteen Republican members have co-sponsored the Climate Resolution.
“Our founding fathers set up a political system that was to be reason-based – they didn’t believe in `alternative facts,’” stated South Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Sanford, who supports government action to abate the supposed menace of climate change. He has not addressed on record the abundant evidence that the UN-centered climate alarmism movement has deliberately created so-called “alternative facts” by manipulating data.
On the basis of what Sanford admits is largely anecdotal evidence, the congressmen says that he’s convinced that anthropogenic climate change is real and “dangerous.”
Mar 17, 2017
The populist Dutch Party for Freedom, or PVV, fell short in its bid for control of the national legislature, even though it did peel away several seats from the ruling People’s Party, or VVD. The PVV, led by the insurgent and divisive figure Geert Wilders, is seen as part of a world-wide populist revolt against progressivism, open borders, and trans-national political institutions, such as the European Union.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, celebrating his party’s victory, said that the Dutch had rejected what he called “the wrong kind of populism.” Wilders described Rutte’s remarks as “very worrying, as if populists [were] semi-Nazis,” adding “Rutte has not seen the back of me.”
Battered by Brexit and intimidated by the Trump movement, Eurocrats gloated over the defeat of Wilders and his party.
Margaritis Schinas, spokesman for EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, described the Dutch election results as “A vote for Europe [and] a vote against extremists.” Holger Schmieding, chief economist for the EU-aligned Berenberg bank, insisted that the results represented “a victory for common sense,” and commended the Dutch electorate for defying what he called “the siren songs of the populists.”
Behind this celebratory façade, the Europhiles might be hearing footsteps: Rutte’s party lost eight seats in the most recent election, and French populist candidate Marine Le Pen, who has emerged as a very serious presidential contender, has commended Brexit “for showing us the way out of this huge prison” that is the EU.
Mar 17, 2017
Addressing a rally in Nashville just hours after visiting the gravesite of President Andrew Jackson, President Donald Trump denounced as “judicial overreach” a ruling by a federal judge in Hawaii that placed a nation-wide hold on the administration’s revised travel ban.
Mr. Trump’s revised executive order would impose a 90-day ban on travel for citizens of six majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Iraq, which had been mentioned in the earlier order, was dropped from the new draft, which also deleted a provision that would have prioritized members of religious minorities. The new order also exempted people holding green cards and visas.
Judge Watson, referring to Mr. Trump’s public statements as a candidate and as president, insisted that the clear purpose of the order was to target members of one religious group. According to Watson, “It is undisputed, using the primary source upon which the Government itself relies, that these six countries have overwhelmingly Muslim populations that range from 90.7 percent to 99.8 percent. It would therefore be no paradigmatic leap to conclude that targeting these countries likewise targets Islam,” the judge continued. “Certainly, it would be inappropriate to conclude, as the Government does, that it does not.”
Watson also criticized what he called “the questionable evidence supporting the Government’s national security motivations” and ruled that “the balance of equities and public interests justify” granting the motion for a nation-wide injunction.
Hours after Watson’s ruling was published, US District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland imposed a temporary block of his own, insisting that “The history of public statements continues to provide a convincing case that the purpose of the Second Executive Order remains the realization of the long-envisioned Muslim ban.”
Mar 17, 2017
The Saudi government was a very generous benefactor to the Clinton Foundation prior to the 2016 election, but it has quickly warmed up to the figure who handed Hillary an unexpected defeat. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described his meeting with President Trump as an “historical turning point” in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh, who share a common view of Iran as the leading threat to peace and stability in the Gulf region.
Reuters observes that “Saudi Arabia had viewed with unease the administration of … Barack Obama, whom they felt considered Riyadh’s alliance with Washington less important than negotiating the Iran nuclear deal. Riyadh and other Gulf allies see in Trump a strong president who will shore up Washington’s role as their main strategic partner and help contain Riyadh’s adversary Iran in a region central to US security and energy interests[.]”
Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute points out that Saudi Arabia, whose ruling clique is deeply implicated in promoting Sunni Islamic militancy world-wide, controls a very powerful foreign lobby in Washington that distorts the government’s foreign policy priorities.
“The Saudis throw millions of dollars around,” comments McAdams. “It doesn’t matter who is elected, it doesn’t matter who is running things, because the Saudis have got so much power, because they hire all kinds of lobbyists ….”
During the 2016 campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump challenged Hillary Clinton to return $25 million donated by the Saudis to the Clinton Foundation. Now, McAdams observed, “It looks like [Trump and the Saudis] are getting along quite well.”
Mar 17, 2017
In a splenetic outburst on the Senate floor that was unprecedented even by his standards, Arizona Republican John McCain accused colleague Rand Paul of Kentucky of being an agent of the Russian government. McCain’s harangue was provoked by Paul’s objection to a proposal that Montenegro, a small former province of Yugoslavia, be brought into the NATO alliance.
“The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” snarled McCain, offering no evidence to substantiate that accusation – and violating Senate rules of comity in doing so.
Asked about McCain’s calumny on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program, Paul stated that McCain “makes a really, really strong case … for term limits. I think maybe he’s past his prime. I think maybe he’s gotten a little bit unhinged.”
“We currently have combat troops in about six nations,” Senator Paul pointed out. “We have troops … actively stationed in a couple dozen others. We have a twenty-trillion-dollar debt.”
Paul referred to an article he had read in which a photograph of McCain’s glowering face – an icon called an “Angry McCain” – was placed on every country where the senator has urged active military deployments.
“If you put an `Angry McCain’ on the globe, on the map [where he wants to send troops] – it’s virtually everywhere,” Paul recalled. “So his foreign policy is something that would greatly endanger the United States – greatly over-extend us. There has to be the thought as to whether it’s in our national interest to pledge to get involved in war if Montenegro has an altercation with anyone.”
Mar 17, 2017
Although dozens of federal agencies are targeted for cuts – or at least cuts in the expected rate of growth – by President Trump’s proposed budget, the corporate welfare trough called the Export-Import Bank has been spared any potential hardship.
Established during the New Deal, the ExImBank, as it is also known, subsidizes foreign buyers of goods manufactured by politically favored corporations. It has also been used by the so-called Deep State – the partially submerged, self-sustaining network of covert intelligence and financial institutions – to fund initiatives that have led to war and other tragedies. For example, the ExImBank was used as a conduit during the mid-1980s to subsidize purchases of goods and services by Saddam Hussein’s regime as part of its arms build-up and its war with Iran. During the 1990s, ExImBank offered lucrative aid to the Halliburton Corporation under Dick Cheney’s leadership. It has also been a tremendous boon to Boeing.
The Washington Examiner observes that “Candidate Trump said he would abolish the Export-Import Bank” and recalled that his “earliest budget framework listed Ex-Im among independent agencies to abolish. But the White House’s latest budget framework leaves Ex-Im off the hit list. This follows many reports from congressional fans of Ex-Im that Trump has been persuaded to love the agency….”
ExImBank’s sister agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), may still fall under the axe. “OPIC subsidizes US companies that want to set up business overseas, such as a Ritz Carlton in Turkey or a Wendy’s in the Republic of Georgia,” explains the Examiner.
Mar 17, 2017
Last fall, privacy rights activist Phil Mocek and his Center for Open Policing filed a lawsuit against the City of Tacoma after it had refused to provide an unredacted version of its Stingray non-disclosure agreement with the FBI. Stingray is a warrantless police surveillance system that uses cell tower emulators to identify, locate, and track cell phones. The FBI provides Stingray technology to local police agencies, which are required to sign detailed non-disclosure agreements forbidding police to talk about how they are operated – and to drop criminal charges where necessary in order to prevent disclosure of the surveillance methods in court.
The documents Mocek received through his public records request had been redacted to the point of being unreadable. According to city officials, the redactions were imposed at the urging of the FBI. The Tacoma News-Tribune reports that Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson ordered the City to pay a $50,000 fine and legal fees for this violation of the Washington State Public Records Act.
The Judge “said that this was a paradigm case in which the city favored its interest in maintaining good relations with the FBI at the expense of the public’s right to open government under the Public Records Act,” stated attorney David Whedbee, who represented the Center for Open Policing.
Mar 17, 2017
Tech giant Google, which by some accounts benefited from CIA-connected start-up capital, is adding a category labelled “upsetting-offensive” to its search results,according to the AP. Described by the company as an effort “to improve the quality of its search results,” this new feature could also create cyber-ghettos for social and political commentary from people who dissent against so-called mainstream opinions.
“With the change, content with racial slurs could now get flagged,” explains the AP report. “So could content that promotes hate or violence against a specific group of people based on gender, race or other criteria.”
The decision to flag supposedly inappropriate content would be made by review teams “comprised of contractors known as `quality raters’”; reviews of this kind are already underway to flag “questionable items such as pornography.” The new “upsetting-offensive” designation was added to its latest set of guidelines for quality raters. Among the examples cited to illustrate the new category is a search return on the terms “Holocaust history” that produces a page entitled “Top 10 reasons why the holocaust [sic] didn’t happen.”
Quality raters are instructed to “flag … all web results that contain upsetting or offensive content from the perspective of users in your locale, even if the result satisfies the user intent.” Being flagged by a “quality rater” as “offensive-upsetting” doesn’t mean that “the results won’t show up at all when someone searches for them,” but rather that it will be designated as “inappropriate.”
Mar 17, 2017
If, as President Trump has claimed, his predecessor illegally wiretapped Trump Tower for political reasons during last year’s campaign, the evidence has yet to be provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee or its analogue in the House of Representatives.
“Based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016,” asserted a joint statement filed by Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Democrat Mark Warner of Virginia.
California Republican Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, had previously said that with respect to Trump’s wiretapping claim, “we don’t have any evidence that that took place. In fact,” Nunes continued, “I don’t believe … there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”
In an interview with Tucker Carlson of Fox News, President Trump – in an aside of the sort that must by now make his aides and press spokespeople flinch – claimed that “I just want people to know that the CIA was hacked and a lot of things taken. That was during the Obama years, that was not during us, that was during the Obama situation.”
Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, responded to Trump’s ill-considered statement on national television by pointing out that “the president appears to have discussed something that, if true and accurate, would otherwise be considered classified information.”
Mar 17, 2017
Great Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency, that country’s analogue to the National Security Agency, has emphatically denied claims that it assisted former President Barack Obama to conduct electronic surveillance on then-candidate Donald Trump.
On March 14, citing three unnamed intelligence community sources, Judge Andrew Napolitano, a legal affairs analyst for Fox News, claimed that in carrying out the alleged cyber-surveillance of Trump, “President Obama went outside the chain of command – he didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI and he didn’t use the Department of Justice – he used GCHQ.” If he had instructed the Justice Department to petition the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, Obama most likely could have gotten a warrant for surveillance, but this would have left a record.
By using a back-channel to GCHQ for information that agency had obtained, Judge Napolitano said during his appearance on Fox & Friends, Obama would ensure “there were no American fingerprints on it.”
This account, which relies entirely on anonymous sources, is plausible, but unproven – and it was eagerly embraced by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who quoted Judge Napolitano in reply to questions from reporters about the absence of corroboration for President Trump’s claims. Spicer also admitted that the question “has not been raised” by President Trump in conversations with British Prime Minister Theresa May. The GCHQ described “Recent allegations made by media commentator Andrew Napolitano” that the agency was involved in wiretapping Trump “are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
Mar 17, 2017
At every campaign stop, and on every occasion that presented itself, then-candidate Donald Trump would engage in a call-and-response ritual with his audience. After promising to build a border wall, Trump would ask his supporters, “Who’s going to pay for it?” With one voice the reply would come: “Mexico!”
Writing in the Ron Paul Liberty Report, budget analyst Nick Bernabe explains to taxpayers, “You’re paying for it, not Mexico, and Trump’s newly released White House budget has made it official.”
The Trump administration’s first budget outline, which was released on March 15, “calls for taxpayers to fund $4.1 billion through 2018 for Trump’s wall along the southern border of the United States,” Bernabe elucidates. “But that’s just for the initial construction. According to DHS estimates, the overall cost to taxpayers could be $21.6 billion, a figure that will likely be even higher considering the government’s penchant for going over budget and deadlines” – and the fact that maintenance costs tend to grow geometrically.
“But wait, there’s more,” Bernabe adds. “Because Mexico has made it abundantly clear that it will not pay for America’s `great’ wall, Trump has floated the idea of slapping a 20 percent tariff on all goods imported from Mexico to make up for the cost. This idea may sound legitimate if you disregard the laws of economics, but the reality is that Americans will wind up paying for the tariffs through higher food and consumer prices.”
Mar 17, 2017
Corey Maison, a 14-year-old resident of Michigan, decided that he wanted to be the daughter his mom never had. His mom, Erica, is reciprocating by becoming the Dad she thinks Corey needs. At least, that appears to be what passes for the logic behind their respective decisions to undergo elective medical mutilation as part of a supposed “transition” to the other sex.
Two years ago, Erica gave her son a surprise birthday present in the form of emasculating hormone treatments, which is the sort of gift that keeps on giving – in the form of an ever-deepening psychosis. In this case, the derangement was of a highly communicable variety, since Erica, claiming to be “inspired” by her son’s “transgender decision,” has decided to follow suit by becoming male. The method she chose was to undergo a double mastectomy and change her name to Eric, which makes exactly as much sense as cutting off a horse’s two front legs and calling it a kangaroo.
As if to confirm the depth of her psychological disturbance, Eric – as she wants to be called – told the Australian version of 60 Minutes that “When I was younger, I used to wish for cancer so I would have to get a mastectomy.”
Her husband Les professes to have no problem with his wife’s decision, observing that he is “still married to the same person I married…. That’s all there is to it.”
This may be the only semi-rational statement made by the family during the interview: No matter what indignity Corey or Erica inflicts on his or her body, each of them remains inescapably a genetic male or female. The true tragedy is that Corey is young enough that he will someday regret his adolescent decision to succumb to a self-destructive social fad.
Mar 16, 2017
The humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Middle East, the Gulf region, and Northern Africa represents the harvest of what was sown by Washington decades ago,contended former London Mayor Ken Livingstone in an interview with RT News.
“You have to go back to the 1980s when America started funding Muslim fundamentalist groups, and the Saudis were funding the most extreme, like al-Qaeda,” Livingstone declared. “The West is in denial about Islamist terrorism, as its origins go right back to the 1980s,” he continued. “There were instances when President Carter, who was briefed by the CIA in 1979, saying that if we [meaning the US] give arms to the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, Russia will have to intervene to actually stop that and it will create Russia’s Vietnam.”
The strategy described by Livingstone was outlined in boastful detail by Zbigniew Brzezinski, co-founder of the Trilateral Commission and one-time National Security Adviser to Carter.
When Carter approved the scheme presented to him by Brzezinski, “It never occurred to him he was lighting the fuse that would lead to 9/11,” laments Livingstone, giving Carter the benefit of the doubt. Now “the West has got to come to terms [with] the fact that we funded the creation of Islamist fundamentalism and the terror that has come from that. And we’ve got to make sure we stop, that means pressure on Saudi Arabia, which remains the principal funder of the extremist terrorist groups in the Muslim world.”
Mar 16, 2017
Two and a half years after 12-year-old Cleveland resident Tamir Rice was gunned down by police while he was playing with a pellet gun in a park, the police department has imposed an eight-day suspension on dispatcher Constance Hollinger, who handled the 911 call that led to the deadly encounter.
Chief Calvin Williams says that Hollinger violated department protocol by not informing the responding officers that the caller had said the figure supposedly pointing a gun at people was a juvenile, and that the gun he was carrying could be “fake.” Rice was fatally shot within seconds of the police cruiser arriving on the scene. The youngster was given no time to comply with an order to drop the pellet gun.
The officer who fired the fatal shots, Timothy Loehmann, had been fired by a police department in Independence, a smaller suburb, prior to being hired by the Cleveland PD. His supervisor found him to be emotionally unsuited for law enforcement, and to be incompetent in the handling of firearms. He has received a disciplinary letter for failing to disclose the circumstances of his termination from the Independence Police Department.
Neither Loehmann nor his partner, Frank Garmback, has been criminally charged, and both of them are still employed by the department. Last year, Cleveland taxpayers were compelled to underwrite a $6 million payout to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Tamir Rice’s parents.
Mar 16, 2017
A year ago, law-and-order conservatives and police unions denounced the Obama administration for seeking to “federalize” local police departments. Now the same interests are applauding President Trump and Attorney General Sessions for their own efforts to expand federal involvement in local law enforcement – because unlike their predecessors they are offering financial and material aid to local police while at the same time making their departments less accountable to the public.
“To turn back rising crime, we must rely heavily on all of you in state and local law enforcement to lead the way – and you must know that you have our steadfast support,” Sessions told a March 15 gathering of police officials in Richmond, Virginia. “The federal government should use its money, research, and expertise to help you figure out what is happening and determine the best ways to fight crime,” he continued. “We should strengthen partnerships between federal and state and local officers. And we should encourage the proactive policing that keeps our neighborhoods safe. This Department of Justice will do just that.”
Sessions, like President Trump, insists that the country is seeing a dramatic nation-wide increase in violent crime, a claim that is not supported by the FBI’s crime statistics. Sessions also promises to revive federal support for marijuana prohibition, while inexplicably insisting that efforts to decriminalize marijuana are somehow connected to a recent upsurge in opioid abuse, which is being driven by the diversion of prescription painkillers.
Mar 16, 2017
Following her mother’s unexpected defeat in last November’s presidential election, Chelsea Clinton was reportedly being “groomed” to run for Congress, most likely as a replacement for New York Democrat Nita Lowey, who turns 80 this year. At the time, one former Clinton adviser wearily suggested that it might be better to “let the dust settle a bit before we start talking about another Clinton race.” However, as The Hill reports, “that skepticism is starting to fade,” and there are indications that the youngest Clinton could run for the New York Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, if the latter decides to mount a 2020 presidential run.
Many of the Clinton family’s aides and long-time advisers remain gun-shy about a potential Chelsea Clinton campaign.
“Longtime aides, donors and supporters of the Clintons are still reeling from President Trump’s victory,” observes The Hill. “With feelings still so raw, the timing might not be right for Chelsea Clinton to make the jump.”
“Even if it’s a year or two or three from now, I still don’t think the timing would be right,” one veteran of Hillary’s 2016 campaign insists. “I know it’s not fair to [Chelsea], but nothing feels right about it. It feels too forced.”
Chelsea Clinton continues to serve as the vice chair of the family’s scandal-ridden foundation and has a position as an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she teaches a class on “global health governance.”
Mar 16, 2017
The Abbato family of Aurora, Colorado has had its dog, Capone, for nearly as long as 11-year-old Ciara Abbato has been alive. On February 24, the ten-year-old German shepherd mix jumped a fence, which was the first incident of its kind since the family moved to Aurora seven years ago.
After Capone was captured by the city’s Animal Control officer, Tracey Abbato was issued citations for an animal running at large, keeping an aggressive animal, and keeping an exotic or wild animal – because the Animal Control officer claimed that Capone is a wolf hybrid. The dog has been detained in the Aurora Animal Shelter while the city awaits the results of a genetic test. If the results confirm that suspicion, Capone will either be sent to a wolf sanctuary or euthanized if no room is found for him.
The officer who confiscated Capone justified doing so on the basis of “mannerisms, behavior and physical characteristics” that suggested he may be part wolf. The family’s veterinarian, who unlike the animal control officer is a medical specialist, insists that the dog has no wolf ancestry. The family acquired Capone from the Adams County Animal Shelter, a government-operated facility which would not be legally allowed to adopt out the dog if it had lupine progenitors. Now Tracey Abbato faces a city fine for owning a supposedly illegal “exotic” animal she had acquired from a county facility.
“Capone is a family member,” Tracey Abbato insists, saying that she’s still in shock. “We’ve had him for ten years. He has grown up with my kids; it’s devastating.”