“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2014 - Single Male Muslims from India Under 30 Not Wanted and Banned From Iraq

Published on Dec 3, 2014
Single Muslim males from India banned in Iraq

Are you single, male, Muslim and under 30? If yes, then you should not apply for a pilgrimage visa to strife-torn Iraq. Alshaya Nasser Travels, one of the two Iraqi government-organized agencies (the other is Faiz-e-Hussaini) that facilitate visa processing, has asked tour operators not to accept passports from applicants who are single, under 30 and unaccompanied by family members.

Trump Stuck With Cleaning Up the Refugee Mess Caused By Clinton, Bush, Obama and Clinton

WikiLeaks: Hillary Clinton Said Jordan ‘Can’t Possibly Vet All Those Refugees’ from Syria; ‘Jihadists Are Coming in Along with Legitimate Refugees’

by Michael Patrick Leahy
8 Oct 2016

Clinton’s remarks, made in an October 28, 2013, speech to the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Vanguard Luncheon, for which she was paid $400,000, according to the Citizen Uprising website, are in stark contrast to the public position she has taken during her current campaign for president.

As recently as September 19, she said that “tough vetting” of refugees “is a serious challenge, [but] we are well-equipped to meet it, and we can do so in keeping with smart law enforcement, good intelligence and in concert with our values.”

At a speech given in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on December 15, 2015, Clinton said:

We also have to be vigilant in screening and vetting refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security and diplomatic professionals. Rigorous vetting already takes place while these refugees are still overseas, and it’s a process that historically takes 18 to 24 months.

Breitbart News asked the Clinton campaign to reconcile the differences between Secretary Clinton’s 2013 private remarks, where she said Syrian refugees “can’t possibly” be vetted, to her 2015 and 2016 campaign claims that “vigilant” screening and “vetting” of “refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security and diplomatic professionals,” will be sufficient to safeguard American citizens from “jihadists coming in along with legitimate refugees,” but there has not yet been a response.

We also asked the Clinton campaign to explain if Secretary Clinton believes the United States has unique vetting capabilities superior to those of Jordan, which enable us to successfully vet Syrian refugees; she admits we cannot.

The entire quote from Clinton’s speech to the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Vanguard Luncheon on October 28, 2013, included in the WikiLeaks document dump of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches reads as follows:

So I think you’re right to have gone to the places that you visited because there’s a discussion going on now across the region to try to see where there might be common ground to deal with the threat posed by extremism and particularly with Syria which has everyone quite worried, Jordan because it’s on their border and they have hundreds of thousands of refugees and they can’t possibly vet all those refugees so they don’t know if, you know, jihadists are coming in along with legitimate refugees. Turkey for the same reason.

In September 2015, Hillary Clinton called for the United States to accept 65,000 Syrian refugees per year.

Thousands of Syrian refugees reside in refugee camps in Jordan. A number of Syrian refugees reside in Jordan in locations other than official refugee camps.

The majority of the more than 12,500 Syrian refugees who were resettled in the United States in FY 2016 came from their temporary residences in Jordan.

According to a 2013 newsletter from the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, “Former Secretary of State and Former U.S. Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, will be the featured guest speaker for the Vanguard Event on behalf of the 2014 Jewish United Fund Annual Campaign.”

Leslie Bluhm and Michael J. Sacks were listed as “Vanguard Co-Chairs” for the event. Bradley Jarol, Jodi A. Newmark, and Tom Rivkin were listed as “Vanguard Vice Chairs.”

“Attendance at this event requires a contribution at the Vanguard level to the 2014 Jewish United Fund Annual Campaign,” the newsletter said.

This year’s Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago’s Vanguard Luncheon will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on November 7, the day before the presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who served under President Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who served under President George W. Bush, will be the featured speakers. According to the registration page for the event, “A $5,000 minimum donation to the 2017 JUF Annual Campaign is required to attend.”

Monday, January 30, 2017

Revoking Visas

Too Bad These Visas Were Not Revoked:

Mohamed Atta     Abdulaziz al-Omari Wail al-Shehri     
Waleed al-Shehri     Satam al-Suqami     Marwan al-Shehhi     Fayez Banihammad     Mohand al-Shehri     Hamza al-Ghamdi  Ahmed al-Ghamdi     Khalid al-Mihdhar     
Majed Moqed      Nawaf al-Hazmi     Salem al-Hazmi     
Ziad Jarrah         Ahmed al-Haznawi     Ahmed al-Nami     Saeed al-Ghamdi     

Sunday, January 29, 2017

"Christians in the Middle-East have been executed in large numbers: We cannot allow this horror to continue!" - Trump Tweet this morning

You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies. — Oscar Wilde.


Ted Nugent: President Trump ‘would kick ass and take names’

Consider hard rocker and conservative firebrand Ted Nugent Donald Trump’s number one fan.

Nugent, famous for his outspoken views on hunting and immigration, has already called for Trump to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but in a new interview airing this Sunday, the NRA board member is calling for the real estate mogul to be awarded the presidency as well.

“I think Donald Trump, if he stays on course, he’s gonna be the next President of the United States,” Nugent told "The Rita Cosby Show."
Asked by the host what he liked about Trump, Nugent underlined the businessman’s "bold, brazen, courageous, unapologetic politics in his stance,” adding that, “his campaign, is just what the working-hard, playing-hard American families have been waiting for.”

Pressed on whether he thought Trump would make a good president, Nugent didn’t wait for Cosby to finish her question.

“Yes!” he said, cutting the host off. "He would kick ass and take names, and that's what America needs right now."

Friday, January 27, 2017

NAFTA and Mexico is a Trojan Horse for China

Most studies conclude that NAFTA has had only a modest positive impact on U.S. GDP.

WHARTON School U of P

Supporters of NAFTA estimate that some 14 million jobs rely on trade with Canada and Mexico combined, and the nearly 200,000 export-related jobs created annually by NAFTA pay an average salary of 15% to 20% more than the jobs that were lost, according to a PIIE study. Furthermore, the study found that only about 15,000 jobs on net are lost each year due to NAFTA. “On our reckoning, since NAFTA’s enactment, fewer than 5% of U.S. workers who have lost jobs from sizable layoffs (such as when large plants close down) can be attributed to rising imports from Mexico,” wrote its authors, PIIE senior fellow Gary Clyde Hufbauer and research analyst Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs. For the roughly 200,000 out of 4 million people who lose their jobs annually under these circumstances, the job losses can be attributed to rising imports from Mexico, they wrote, but “almost the same number of new jobs has been created annually by rising U.S. exports to Mexico.” Moreover, “For every net job lost in this definition, the gains to the U.S. economy were about $450,000, owing to enhanced productivity of the workforce, a broader range of goods and services, and lower prices at the checkout counter for households.”

Trade specialists agree that it has proven difficult to separate the deal’s direct effects on trade and investment from other factors, including rapid improvements in technology, expanded trade with other countries such as China and unrelated domestic developments in each of the countries.

When President Bill Clinton signed the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in December 1993, he predicted that “NAFTA will tear down trade barriers between our three nations, create the world’s largest trade zone, and create 200,000 jobs in [the U.S.] by 1995 alone. The environmental and labor side agreements negotiated by our administration will make this agreement a force for social progress as well as economic growth.” Twenty-three years later, scholars and policy makers often disagree about the impact that NAFTA has had on economic growth and job generation in the U.S. That impact, they say, is not always easy to disentangle from other economic, social and political factors that have influenced U.S. growth.

On the positive side, overall trade between the three NAFTA partners — the U.S., Canada and Mexico — has increased sharply over the pact’s history, from roughly $290 billion in 1993 to more than $1.1 trillion in 2016. Cross-border investment has also surged during those years, as the stock of U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico rose from $15 billion to more than $107.8 billion in 2014. As for job growth, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, six million U.S. jobs depend on U.S. trade with Mexico, a flow that has been greatly facilitated by NAFTA, which has helped eliminate costly tariff and non-tariff barriers. NAFTA has also facilitated a multi-layered integration of the U.S., Mexican and Canadian supply chains. According to the Wilson Center, twenty-five cents out of every dollar of goods that are imported from Canada to the U.S. is actually “Made in USA” content, as are 40 cents out of every dollar for goods imported into the U.S. from Mexico.

Geronimo Gutierrez, managing director of the North American Development Bank (NADB), notes that trade between the United States and Mexico reached over $500 billion in 2015, a five-fold increase since 1992, when NAFTA negotiations concluded. Thus, he explains, Mexico imports more from the U.S. these days than do all of the so-called BRIC nations combined – Brazil, Russia, India and China. (The NADB acts as a binational catalyst in helping communities along the U.S.-Mexico border develop affordable, long-term infrastructure.)

Gutierrez adds that there are lesser-known benefits of NAFTA. By promoting the tight integration of North American industrial supply chains, “NAFTA is creating partners and not competitors among its member countries. As for Mexico’s interest in this bilateral relationship, it can be summarized in two facts: about 80% of Mexico’s exports go to the U.S., while 50% of the accumulated foreign direct investment received between 2000 and 2011 comes from the U.S. Moreover, NAFTA has been the fundamental anchor for reforms that make Mexico a more modern economy and open society.”

A Modest Impact

For all that, most studies conclude that NAFTA has had only a modest positive impact on U.S. GDP. For example, according to a 2014 report by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), the United States has been $127 billion richer each year thanks to “extra” trade growth fostered by NAFTA. For the United States, with its population of 320 million at the time of that study, the pure economic payoff was thus only $400 per person, while per capita GDP was close to $50,000. And while the costs of NAFTA are highly concentrated in specific industries like auto manufacturing — where job losses may be significant for specific firms — the benefits of the trade pact (such as lower prices for imported electronics or clothing) are distributed widely across the U.S., as they are in the case of any trade pact worldwide.


Most studies conclude that NAFTA has had only a modest positive impact on U.S. GDP.

Supporters of NAFTA estimate that some 14 million jobs rely on trade with Canada and Mexico combined, and the nearly 200,000 export-related jobs created annually by NAFTA pay an average salary of 15% to 20% more than the jobs that were lost, according to a PIIE study. Furthermore, the study found that only about 15,000 jobs on net are lost each year due to NAFTA. “On our reckoning, since NAFTA’s enactment, fewer than 5% of U.S. workers who have lost jobs from sizable layoffs (such as when large plants close down) can be attributed to rising imports from Mexico,” wrote its authors, PIIE senior fellow Gary Clyde Hufbauer and research analyst Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs. For the roughly 200,000 out of 4 million people who lose their jobs annually under these circumstances, the job losses can be attributed to rising imports from Mexico, they wrote, but “almost the same number of new jobs has been created annually by rising U.S. exports to Mexico.” Moreover, “For every net job lost in this definition, the gains to the U.S. economy were about $450,000, owing to enhanced productivity of the workforce, a broader range of goods and services, and lower prices at the checkout counter for households.”

Trade specialists agree that it has proven difficult to separate the deal’s direct effects on trade and investment from other factors, including rapid improvements in technology, expanded trade with other countries such as China and unrelated domestic developments in each of the countries.

Walter Kemmsies, managing director, economist and chief strategist at JLL Ports Airports and Global Infrastructure, notes that that many of the job losses that are popularly blamed on NAFTA would likely have taken place even in the absence of NAFTA, in part because of growing competition from China-based manufacturers, many of which have taken advantage of currency manipulation by the Chinese government that has rendered China-made products more price-competitive in the U.S. Likewise, Mauro Guillen, head of Wharton’s Lauder Institute, agrees that without NAFTA, many American jobs that were lost over this period would probably have gone to China or elsewhere. “Perhaps NAFTA accelerated the process, but it did not make a huge difference.”
“A lot of instant experts on NAFTA don’t really understand trade and what drives trade,” said Kemmsies. “And so they get confused between NAFTA and the globalization of the world’s economy. The fact is, with or without NAFTA, we would have done a lot more trade with Mexico anyway. I’m not sure that NAFTA has even fostered any growth of trade between the U.S. and Mexico. Look at Mexico and forget about everything else for a second: What is the single-biggest trade-flow corridor in the world? It’s East-West — Asia to Europe to North America. Mexico happens to sit right smack in the middle of the East-West trade flow…. Here is Mexico, with 120 million people, and all of these abilities to draw raw materials…. You have a cheap labor force, a global geographic advantage, a rising middle class. It’s a good place to make stuff.”

For a long time, because of a lack of investment, Mexico’s infrastructure was well below par, including its ports, which were made to process raw materials, rather than handle industrial goods. In that respect, NAFTA has had a positive impact on Mexico’s economic development, and it has encouraged foreign investors to trust that Mexico, whose governments were long protectionist and populist, would follow the rule of international law. International trade specialists M. Angeles Villarreal and Ian F. Fergusson of the Congressional Research Service wrote in a recent report: “While Mexico’s unilateral trade and investment liberalization measures in the 1980s and early 1990s contributed to the increase of U.S. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Mexico, NAFTA provisions on foreign investment may have helped to lock in Mexico’s reforms and increase investor confidence [in Mexico.]” Nearly half of total FDI investment in Mexico is in its booming manufacturing sector.

Job Losses and Lower Wages

Some critics argue that NAFTA is to blame for job losses and wage stagnation in the U.S., because competition from Mexican firms has forced many U.S. firms to relocate to Mexico. Between 1993 and 2014, the U.S.-Mexico trade balance swung from a $1.7 billion U.S. surplus to a $54 billion deficit. Economists such as Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Robert Scott, chief economist at the Economic Policy Institute, argue that the consequent surge of imports from Mexico into the U.S. coincided with the loss of up to 600,000 U.S. jobs over two decades, although they admit that some of that import growth would likely have happened even without NAFTA.

“A lot of instant experts on NAFTA don’t really understand trade and what drives trade.” –Walter Kemmsies

While conceding that many U.S. high-wage manufacturing jobs were relocated to Mexico, China and other foreign locations as a result of NAFTA, Morris Cohen, Wharton professor of operations and information management, argues that NAFTA has, on balance, been a good thing for the U.S. economy and U.S. corporations. “The sucking sound that Ross Perot predicted did not occur; many jobs were created in Canada and Mexico, and [the resulting] economic activity created a somewhat seamless supply chain — a North American supply chain that allowed North American auto companies to be more profitable and more competitive.”

Moreover, in their 2015 study published by Congressional Research Service, Villarreal and Fergusson noted, “The overall economic impact of NAFTA is difficult to measure since trade and investment trends are influenced by numerous other economic variables, such as economic growth, inflation, and currency fluctuations. The agreement may have accelerated the trade liberalization that was already taking place, but many of these changes may have taken place with or without an agreement.”

Some of its harshest critics concede that NAFTA should not be held entirely responsible for the recent loss of U.S. industrial jobs. According to Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, “Over the past two decades, currency manipulation by about 20 countries, led by China, has inflated U.S. trade deficits, which [in combination with the lingering effects of the Great Recession] is largely responsible for the loss of more than five million U.S. manufacturing jobs.” Scott argues that while NAFTA and other trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership are bad for American workers, the fundamental problem is not that they are “free trade” pacts, but that they “are designed to create a separate, global set of rules to protect foreign investors and encourage the outsourcing of production from the United States to other countries.”

Unlike the earliest generation of “free-trade agreements” – which focused on reducing or eliminating tariffs and duties that stifled trade — these newer pacts are more comprehensive. As Scott explains, they “contain 30 or more chapters providing special protections for foreign investors; extending patents and copyrights; privatizing markets for public services such as education, health, and public utilities; and ‘harmonizing’ regulations in ways that limit or prevent governments from protecting the public health or environment.” When critics of the TPP conflate their criticism of that pact with their criticism of “free trade,” they miss an essential element of the TPP that has disaffected many otherwise loyal supporters of earlier-generation agreements that truly focus on deregulation of “trade” per se, he notes.

The Role of China

Two decades ago, when NAFTA was born, China had only a faint presence in the global economy, and was not yet even a member of the World Trade Organization. However, the share of U.S. spending on Chinese goods rose nearly eight-fold between 1991 and 2007. By 2015, U.S. trade in goods and services with China totaled $659 billion— with the U.S. importing $336 billion more than it exported. China has become the U.S.’s top trading partner for goods — a development never anticipated at the signing of NAFTA. And yet, NAFTA continues to attract the lion’s share of the blame among U.S. critics of globalization, despite the fact that the U.S. and China have yet to sign any bilateral free-trade treaty.

“NAFTA did foster greater U.S.-Mexican integration and helped transform Mexico into a major exporter of manufactured goods.” –Robert Blecker

How is that possible? In a recent study that de-emphasized the impact of NAFTA on the U.S. economy, economists David Autor (MIT), David Dorn (University of Zurich) and Gordon Hanson (University of California, San Diego) stress the role of China’s emergence on job growth and wages in the U.S. In the study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, they write: “China’s emergence as a great economic power has induced an epochal shift in patterns of world trade. Simultaneously, it has challenged much of the received empirical wisdom about how labor markets adjust to trade shocks. Alongside the heralded consumer benefits of expanded trade are substantial adjustment costs and distributional consequences…. Exposed workers experience greater job churning and reduced lifetime income. At the national level, employment has fallen in U.S. industries more exposed to import competition, as expected, but offsetting employment gains in other industries have yet to materialize. Better understanding when and where trade is costly, and how and why it may be beneficial, are key items on the research agenda for trade and labor economists.”

As Robert Blecker, an economist at American University, notes, “Contrary to the promises of the leaders who promoted it, NAFTA did not make Mexico converge to the United States in per capita income, nor did it solve Mexico’s employment problems or stem the flow of migration.” However, “NAFTA did foster greater U.S.-Mexican integration and helped transform Mexico into a major exporter of manufactured goods.”

The benefits for the Mexican economy were attenuated, however, by heavy dependence on imported intermediate inputs in export production, as well as by Chinese competition in the U.S. market and domestically. The long-run increase in manufacturing employment in Mexico (about 400,000 jobs) was small and disappointing, while U.S. manufacturing plummeted by 5 million — but more because of Chinese imports than imports from Mexico. In both Mexico and the United States, real wages have stagnated while productivity has continued to increase, leading to higher profit shares and a tendency toward greater inequality.”

Blaming NAFTA for all of these disturbing problems may make some NAFTA critics feel good, but as trade researchers have learned in recent years, the growing complexity of today’s economic challenges defies any simplistic explanations.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Why Would We Not Want to Know if Voter Fraud Exists?

Voter fraud, lawlessness  and emails getting lost under Obama and the Democrats - Remember When:

How to prove rampant voter fraud in U.S.
Experts say federal investigation could verify Trump's claim
Published: 8 hours ago

WASHINGTON – President Trump has called the establishment media’s bluff on voter fraud, and, judging by the evidence, as well as comments from a pair of the nation’s leading experts on the subject, he may just hold a winning hand.

Reporters incessantly badgered White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday over the president’s comments in a private meeting that he believed 3 to 5 million illegal votes were cast in the election.Hillary Clinton garnered 2.9 million more votes nationwide than Trump, while the Republican won the Electoral College vote, 304-227.Reporters repeatedly demanded Spicer tell them, if Trump was so sure about widespread voter fraud, why he didn’t order an investigation?So, on Wednesday, Trump announced he would do just that.

He unleashed a pair of tweets that read: “I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and. even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time). Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!” The reporters’ brazenness could well have been prompted by articles from mainstream media outlets, such as the New York Times, insisting there was no evidence of voter fraud. But that’s not true. Ample evidence has been published indicating widespread voter fraud, as WND and other media outlets have reported over the years. What do YOU think? How big of a national problem is voter fraud? Sound off in today’s WND poll!

The problem with Trump’s claims, according to two experts who have studied the issue in depth, is “we don’t really know to what extent they are true.” John Fund is the national affairs columnist for National Review. Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation. They are the authors of “Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk.”
Both have commented extensively to WND on voter fraud in the past, and they generously allowed WND to use quotes from the draft of an op-ed they submitted for publication, titled, “Trump’s probe of voter fraud long overdue. No one should oppose collecting the data Obama’s administration has been hiding.”
Perhaps their most consequential insight is that if all the past indicators are true and there likely has been rampant voter fraud, it may not be all that difficult to prove, particularly now that there is a will to look for it.
“Conducting an investigation that will help resolve the size of the voter fraud problem is straightforward,” asserted Fund and von Spakovsky.
“The Department of Homeland Security should cooperate with states wanting to check the citizenship status of voters on their rolls. The Justice Department should put pressure on or sue counties and states that refuse to clean up their rolls.”
That could weed out dead voters and those who cast multiple ballots. What about identifying illegal voters, those who are not citizens?

“The IRS has issued 11 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, most of them to illegal immigrants so they can file taxes,” noted the authors.

“Privacy rules allow the IRS to share information for some law enforcement purposes, but not in a way that results in deportations. Those rules could be tweaked to allow states to compare the names of illegal immigrants the IRS has with their voter records.”
The results of such an investigation could be stunning, even a major scandal for Democrats, if past studies prove correct.
Fund and von Spakovsky cited “a 2012 study from the Pew Center on the States estimating that one out of every eight voter registrations is inaccurate, out-of-date or a duplicate.”
“About 2.8 million people are registered in more than one state, according to the study, and 1.8 million registered voters are dead. In most places it’s easy to vote under the names of such people with little risk of detection.”
Additionally, a 2014 study in the Electoral Studies Journal shows illegals may have cast as many as 2.8 million votes in 2008 and 2010.
In an editorial on the study by Investors Business Daily on Nov. 28, titled “Trump is right — Millions of illegals probably did vote in 2016,” the paper noted: “And when you consider the population of illegal inhabitants has only grown since then, it’s not unreasonable to suppose that their vote has, too.
“Remember, a low-ball estimate says there are at least 11 million to 12 million illegals in the U.S., but that’s based on faulty Census data. More likely estimates put the number at 20 million to 30 million.”
The study has been criticized, but the objection made by a Harvard team in 2015 that “the likely percent of noncitizen voters in recent U.S. elections is 0” not only seems dubious, even Democrats disagree.
Fund and von Spakovsky observed: “The Washington Post conducted a poll last October using the Polfish firm that found 84% of Republicans believe that a ‘meaningful amount’ of voter fraud occurs in U.S. elections, along with 75 percent of independents. A majority of Democrats – 52 percent – also believed there was meaningful voter fraud.”
A quarter of Democrats believed illegal immigrants were voting.

Fund and von Spakovsky also reported: “A postelection survey conducted by Americas Majority Foundation found that 2.1% of noncitizens voted in the Nov. 8 election. In the battleground states of Michigan and Ohio, 2.5% and 2.1%, respectively, of noncitizens reported voting.”
Other evidence of the strong potential for voter fraud includes what Gateway Pundit dug up and WND reported in October, that 12 states and the District of Columbia allow driver’s licenses to be given to illegal immigrants, and almost half of California’s driver’s licenses went to illegal aliens last year.
And Democrats seem more than well-aware how that works to their advantage, as evidenced in an email revealed by WikiLeaks in October, sent by Clinton campaign manager John Podesta on Feb. 3, 2015, indicating he is not troubled by voter fraud.
Podesta wrote, “On the picture ID, the one thing I have thought of in that space is that if you show up on Election Day with a drivers license with a picture, attest that you are a citizen, you have a right to vote in Federal elections.”
WND also reported a Democratic Party activist told undercover investigators for Project Veritas that his party has been rigging elections “for 50 years.”

“You know what? We’ve been busing people in to deal with you f—ing a—–es for 50 years, and we’re not going to stop now,” said Scott Foval, the national field director for Americans United for Change.
So if there are so many indication of voter fraud, possibly on a massive scale, why hasn’t it been proven so far?
Because the federal government holds the key. And the fraud would have benefited Democrats. And Democrats have held the White House for eight years.
As Investors observed: “A Rasmussen Reports poll earlier this year found that 53% of the Democratic Party supports letting illegals vote, even though it’s against the law. It’s pretty clear why.”
“Leftist get-out-the-vote groups openly urge noncitizens to vote during election time, and the registration process is notoriously loose,” Investors added.
Fund and von Spakovsky went even further, charging, “The Obama administration did everything it could to avoid complying with requests from states to verify voter registration records against federal records of legal noncitizens and illegal immigrants who have been detained by law enforcement to find noncitizens who have illegally registered and voted.”
They noted former Justice Department attorney Christian Adams testified under oath that he attended a November 2009 meeting at which then-deputy assistant attorney general Julie Fernandes told DOJ prosecutors that administration would not be enforcing the federal law that requires local officials to purge illegitimate names from their voter rolls.
The authors state, “The Justice Department has also opposed every effort by states – such as Kansas, Arizona, Alabama and Georgia –to implement laws that require individuals registering to vote to provide proof of citizenship.
“This despite evidence that noncitizens are indeed registering and casting ballots. In 2015, one Kansas county began offering voter registration at naturalization ceremonies. Election officials soon discovered about a dozen new Americans who were already registered – and who had voted as noncitizens in multiple elections.”
Fund and von Spakovsky conclude, “These blatant attempts to prevent states from learning if they have a real problem with illegal votes makes it impossible to learn if significant numbers of noncitizens and others are indeed voting illegally, perhaps enough to make up the margin in some close elections.”
So, with a change in administrations, the bottom line in discovering whether there really is massive voter fraud may be as simple as, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And President Trump certainly has announced he has the will.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trump Putting our Former Lords and Masters to Heel

Trump clamps down on federal agencies
BY JORDAN FABIAN - 01/24/17 08:09 PM EST

The Trump administration is clamping down on public communications by agencies as it seeks to assert control over the federal bureaucracy.

New restrictions on social media use and interaction with press and lawmakers at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the departments of Commerce, Health and Human Services, Agriculture and the Interior have sparked concerns of a President Trump-backed effort to silence dissenting views.

The Trump administration’s newly imposed communications rules vary at different agencies.

At the EPA, staffers were ordered to stop issuing press releases, blog updates and social media posts, according to a memo to employees. The Agriculture Department’s research arm was reportedly told by its chief of staff to stop issuing news releases, photos and other “public-facing” documents — although the agency disavowed the order late Tuesday, saying that new guidance would replace it.
The new prohibitions come as Trump seeks to reverse many of former President Barack Obama’s policies, which requires the cooperation of a federal workforce that is broadly perceived to be hostile to him.

It’s not unusual for incoming administrations to seek control over agency communications, especially at the outset, when Cabinet secretaries aren’t in place.

But experts on the federal workforce say they have never seen a White House take the type of steps Trump’s administration has to curb public communications.

Green groups worry the moves could signal Trump wants to cut off the public from government information on climate change and other issues.

Liz Perera, climate policy director at the Sierra Club, said the moves “should be a major red flag for all Americans.”

“These actions don’t just threaten scientists — they threaten everyone in the country who breathes air, drinks water and eats food,” said Andrew Rosenberg, an official at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The EPA restriction caught the attention of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the ban on social media and contact with reporters was “very troubling —and honestly, anti-democratic.”

In an apparent act of defiance, the official Twitter account for Badlands National Park in South Dakota on Tuesday afternoon posted information about climate change.

The tweets were later deleted.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters he didn’t know the reason behind the moves but denied it was a concerted effort to silence federal employees.

“I don’t think it’s any surprise that when there’s an administration turnover, that we’re going to review the policies,” he said.

The White House did not respond to a request for further comment, nor did the EPA.

Doug Ericksen, chief spokesman for the EPA’s beachhead team, which is working to transition the agency to its new leadership, also downplayed the changes.

“We’re temporarily dimming some of the communication aspects of the department while we get it under control, to shape the message towards what the new administration would like to be talking about,” Ericksen said.

The spokesman added the changes are likely to be lifted by the end of the week.

“We’ve got 10 regions at EPA, so we’re bringing them in the house for a little bit, then we’ll build them up again,” he said.

The moves come after Trump was reportedly infuriated over reporting on the turnout at his inauguration, which included a viral photo comparison showing Friday’s crowd next to the one that attended Obama’s 2009 swearing-in. The tweet was retweeted by the National Park Service (NPS).

The Interior Department, which oversees the park service, was ordered last Friday to shut down its social media operations. Its accounts were quickly revived over the weekend.

NPS spokesman Thomas Crosson told The Washington Post the tweets were “inconsistent with the agency’s approach to engaging the public through social media.”

Asked to explain the decision, Spicer said, “My understanding is, is that because they had inappropriately violated their own social media policies, there was guidance that was put out to the department to act in compliance with the rules that were set forth.”

The moves have compounded existing tensions between Trump and federal workers. It came as Trump announced a broad federal hiring freeze aimed at reducing the size of the bureaucracy through attrition.

Many rank-and-file federal employees, likewise, are not enamored with their new boss. They preferred Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over Trump by a 2-1 margin, according to a recent Government Business Council/ poll. 

Twenty-eight percent said they would even consider leaving the federal workforce entirely now that Trump is president.

Activists are concerned that Trump could be looking to limit information that he doesn’t agree with.

The administration also barred EPA staff from awarding new contracts and grants and temporarily suspended new work orders to contractors, the report said, all of which could have a significant impact on the agency’s activities.

Trump has previously dismissed global warming as a hoax “created by and for the Chinese” to stunt U.S. manufacturing.

During the campaign, he raised the prospect of backing out of the Paris climate agreement brokered by Obama. His pick to lead the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has led lawsuits against Obama’s climate policies.

“I am, to a large extent, an environmentalist; I believe in it. But it’s out of control,” Trump told reporters Tuesday.

Ericksen, who currently serves as a Washington state senator, said the restrictions on grants and contracts is a way “to understand what money’s going out of the EPA right now, to make sure it reflects the priorities of the new administration.”

Timothy Cama contributed.

Monday, January 23, 2017

1968...2017, Trump did not Divide America - America is Divided

 Obama’s Legacy Is a Weaker and More Divided America
Hans von Spakovsky    / @HvonSpakovsky / Grant Strobl    / January 19, 2017 /

Americans voted in November for seismic change, but our outgoing president is still as clueless as ever about the nation he governed.

In his farewell speech-cum-lecture earlier this month, President Barack Obama proclaimed that he made America better by “almost every measure.”

The statement goes far beyond optimism, and lands squarely in the realm of delusion.

Eight years of Obama’s leadership has left America demonstrably weaker and more divided. Rather than the promised “healing”—racial and other—the Obama era frayed the ties that bind us.

It began when his Justice Department dropped an open-and-shut voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. It was essentially a declaration that his administration would use the Voting Rights Act to protect only certain races.

There followed a steady stream of false claims that America was an inherently racist society with a biased judicial and law enforcement system. Obama rekindled a racial divide that had been steadily disappearing in American society.

In fostering group identity politics for political advantage, the Obama administration only divided the American people. And the people know it.

A recent Rasmussen poll found that 60 percent of Americans felt “race relations have gotten worse since Obama’s election”—a far cry from the president’s claim of “better” race relations under his administration.

The president also boasted of controlling health care costs while bringing Americans better insurance coverage. Neither claim is true.

This year, insurance premiums skyrocketed by an average of 25 percent in states with exchanges. Deductibles are through the roof. And people shopping for more affordable insurance are finding far fewer options.

Most states this year have even fewer insurance providers participating in health care exchanges than last year.

As for “better coverage,” the vast majority of previously uninsured people now covered are enrolled in Medicaid—a troubled and increasingly stressed program that actually delivers poorer health outcomes than those of people with no insurance at all.

It’s no wonder that more Americans want to repeal the consistently unpopular law than keep it, according to a recent Kaiser Health tracking poll.

The president proudly stated that he opened a “new chapter with the Cuban people,” but it appears the new chapter for the Cuban people is one behind bars. Since Obama began “normalization,” arrests of Cuban political dissidents have escalated, with over 9,000 political arrests made in 2016.

It is no secret that the tyrannical Castro regime has a dismal human rights record. The influx of American capital blessed by normalization will only bolster the regime.

It was a huge mistake to give Havana diplomatic recognition with no conditions and no requirements to stop the oppression. In Cuban-American communities, the widespread celebrations of Fidel Castro’s death stood in stark contrast to the bitter disappointment in Obama’s failure to stand for freedom and liberty in Cuba.

Returning to domestic policy, the president ignored his real record: eight years of economic stagnation. Instead, he offered happy talk: “The good news is that today the economy is growing again.”

Really? Our economy continues to under-perform, with low increases in gross domestic product, a low labor participation rate, increased cost of living in cities, and lower-than-expected wage growth.

Rather than implement policies that encourage business creation and investment, the president fostered an environment of class warfare and instituted policies, including Obamacare and over-regulation in many other areas, which increased the barriers to entry for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

This no-regrets president remained unapologetic of his “pen and phone” approach to governance. First expressed in 2014, it reflects his belief that the limits of the Constitution on the power of the presidency do not apply to him.

Obama has engaged in more unilateral policy-making through executive fiat than almost any previous president—bending, changing, rewriting, and ignoring the law at will.

From refusing to enforce federal immigration law or welfare work requirements, to ignoring statutory deadlines, to making illegal recess appointments, Obama abused his office and his power. That is not something to be proud of.

In his typical lawyerly fashion, the president skirted around the truth of cities riddled with racial tension and soaring crime rates, small businesses ruined by rising health care costs and crushing regulations, a metastasizing national debt, and a foreign policy that seems to favor authoritarian regimes over our allies.

Perhaps all the spin worked on the reporters attending Obama’s last speech. But the broad swathes of the American people who have suffered the consequences of his misgovernance for eight long years stopped buying it months, if not years, ago.



Saturday, January 21, 2017

Obama Foundation

Mainstream media “stars” lie in calling facts a lie – won't distinguish between facts and lies – contribute to a dangerous breakdown in the public’s ability to sort truth from lie


How the NYT Plays with History

January 19, 2017

Special Report: By failing to tell the hard truth about Establishment wrongdoing, The New York Times — along with other mainstream U.S. media outlets — has destabilized American democracy, reports Robert Parry.


Whenever The New York Times or some other mainstream news outlet holds itself out as a paragon of professional journalism – by wagging a finger at some pro-Trump “fake news” or some Internet “conspiracy theory” – I cringe at the self-delusion and hypocrisy.

No one hates fake news and fact-free conspiracy theories more than I do, but the sad truth is that the mainstream press has opened the door to such fantasies by losing the confidence of the American people and becoming little more than the mouthpiece for the Establishment, which spins its own self-serving narratives and tells its own lies.

Rather than acting as a watchdog against these deceptions, the Times and its mainstream fellow-travelers have transformed themselves into little more than the Establishment’s apologists and propagandists.

If Iraq is the “enemy,” we are told wild tales about how Iraq’s non-existent WMD is a danger to us all. If Syria is in Washington’s crosshairs, we are given a one-sided account of what’s happening there, black hats for the “regime” and white hats for the “rebels”?

If the State Department is backing a coup in Ukraine to oust an elected leader, we are regaled with tales of his corruption and how overthrowing a democratically chosen leader is somehow “democracy promotion.” Currently, we are getting uncritical stenography on every conceivable charge that the U.S. government lodges against Russia.

Yet, while this crisis in American journalism has grown more severe in recent years, the pattern is not entirely new. It is reflected in how the mainstream media has missed many of the most significant news stories of modern history and has, more often than not, been an obstacle to getting at the truth.

Then, if the evidence finally becomes so overwhelming that continued denials are no longer tenable, the mainstream media tries to reclaim its tattered credibility by seizing on some new tidbit of evidence and declaring that all that went before were just rumors but now we can take the long whispered story seriously — because the Times says so.

For instance, we have the case of Richard Nixon’s sabotage of President Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam War peace talks in 1968 to give himself a crucial boost in a tight presidential race against Vice President Hubert Humphrey. In “real time” – both as Nixon was executing his maneuver and in the years immediately afterwards – there was reporting by second-tier newspapers and independent journalists into what Johnson privately called Nixon’s “treason,” but the Times and other “newspapers of record” treated the story as little more than a conspiracy theory.

As the years went on and the case of Nixon’s guilt grew stronger and stronger, the story still never managed to cross the threshold for the Big Media to take it seriously.

Definitive Evidence

Several years ago, I compiled a detailed narrative of the 1968 events from material declassified by Johnson’s presidential library and I published the material at Not only did I draw from newly available recordings of Johnson’s phone calls but from a file of top secret wiretaps – labeled “The ‘X’ envelope” – which Johnson had ordered his national security adviser, Walt Rostow, to remove from the White House before Nixon’s inauguration.

I also traced how Nixon’s paranoia about the missing White House file and who might possess it led him to assemble a team of burglars, known as the Plumbers, whose activities later surfaced in the Watergate scandal.

In other words, by unraveling the mystery of Nixon’s 1968 “treason,” you change the narratives of the Vietnam War and Watergate, two of the pivotal issues of modern American history. But the mainstream U.S. media studiously ignored these new disclosures.

Just last November, in a review of past “October Surprise” cases – in the context of FBI Director James Comey telling Congress that the FBI had reopened its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails – the Times offered this summary of the 1968 affair:

“President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced a halt to bombing of North Vietnam, based on his claim that peace talks had ‘entered a new and a very much more hopeful phase,’ and he invited the government of South Vietnam and the Viet Cong to take part in negotiations. Raising hopes that the war might end soon, the announcement appeared to bolster the standing in the polls of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, the Democratic presidential nominee, but Humphrey still fell short in the election against former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, the Republican.”

In other words, the Times treated Johnson’s bombing halt and claim of peace-talk progress as the “October Surprise” to try to influence the election in favor of Humphrey. But the evidence now is clear that a peace agreement was within reach and that the “October Surprise” was Nixon’s sabotage of the negotiations by persuading South Vietnamese President Nguyen van Thieu to boycott the Paris talks.

The Times got the story upside-down by failing to reexamine the case in light of convincing new evidence that had been available for years, albeit circulating outside the mainstream.

However, finally, that disdain for the story may be dissipating. Earlier this month, the Times highlighted in an op-ed and a follow-up news article cryptic notes from Nixon’s 1968 campaign revealing Nixon’s instructions to top aide H.R. Haldeman.

Haldeman’s notes – discovered at the Nixon presidential library by historian John A. Farrell – reveal Nixon telling Haldeman “Keep Anna Chennault working on SVN,” meaning South Viet Nam and referring to the campaign’s chief emissary to the South Vietnamese government, right-wing Chinese émigré Anna Chennault.

Nixon’s gambit was to have Chennault pass on word to South Vietnamese President Thieu that if he boycotted Johnson’s Paris peace talks – thus derailing the negotiations – Nixon would assure Thieu continued U.S. military support for the war.

Monkey Wrench It

Another Haldeman note revealed Nixon’s intent to get Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen, R-Illinois, to berate Johnson about a planned bombing halt while Nixon looked for “Any other way to monkey wrench it? Anything RN [Richard Nixon] can do.”

Though Haldeman’s scribbling is sometimes hard to decipher, the next entry makes reference to “SVN” and adds: “tell him hold firm” – the same message that Anna Chennault later passed on to senior South Vietnamese officials in the last days of the 1968 campaign.

Though Farrell’s discovery is certainly newsworthy, its greatest significance may be that it has served as a tipping point that finally has forced the Times and the mainstream media to move past their longstanding dismissals of this “conspiracy theory.”

The Times gave Farrell space on its op-ed page of Jan. 1 to explain his discovery and the Times followed up with an inside-the-paper story about the Haldeman notes. That story included some favorable comments from mainstream writers, such as former Newsweek bureau chief Evan Thomas saying Farrell “nailed down what has been talked about for a long time.”

Of course, the story of Nixon’s Vietnam peace-talk sabotage has been more than “talked about for a long time.” A series of journalists have pieced together the evidence, including some as the scheme was unfolding and others from digging through yellowed government files as they became available over the past couple of decades.

But the major newspapers mostly brushed aside this accumulation of evidence apparently because it challenged their “authoritative” narrative of that era. As strange and vicious as some of Nixon’s paranoid behavior may have been, it seems to have been a bridge too far to suggest that he put his political ambitions ahead of the safety of a half million U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam war zone in 1968.

For the American people to have been told that troubling truth might have profoundly shaken their trust in the Establishment, given the deaths of 58,000 U.S. soldiers in the Vietnam War, plus the killing of several million Vietnamese. (Nearly half of the dead were killed after Johnson’s peace talks failed and as Nixon lived up to his commitment to Thieu by extending the direct U.S. combat role for four more years.)

[For more details, see’s “LBJ’s ‘X-File’ on Nixon’s ‘Treason’” and “The Heinous Crime Behind Watergate.”]

A Reprise

But the mainstream media’s concealment of Nixon’s “treason” was not a stand-alone problem in terms of distorting recent U.S. history. If the American people had realized how far some top U.S. officials would go to achieve their political ambitions, they might have been more willing to believe other serious allegations of government wrongdoing.

President Ronald Reagan, delivering his Inaugural Address on Jan. 20, 1981, as the 52 U.S. hostages in Iran are simultaneously released.
For instance, the evidence is now almost as overwhelming that Ronald Reagan’s campaign reprised Nixon’s 1968 gambit in 1980 by undermining President Jimmy Carter’s negotiations to free 52 American hostages then held in Iran, another well-documented “October Surprise” case that the mainstream media still labels a “conspiracy theory.”

With more than two dozen witnesses – including U.S., Iranian, Israeli and other officials – describing aspects of that Republican behind-the-scenes deal, the reality of this “prequel” to Reagan’s later Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal should be widely accepted as a real piece of modern American history.

But a half-hearted congressional investigation in 1991-93 naively gave then-President George H.W. Bush the crucial job of assembling internal U.S. government records to confirm the allegations – despite the fact that Bush was a principal suspect in the 1980 operation.

Several years ago, I uncovered documents from the Bush presidential library in College Station, Texas, showing how Bush’s White House staff organized a cover-up to conceal key evidence and hide a key witness from the investigation.

One memo by one of Bush’s lawyers disclosed that the White House had received confirmation of a key October Surprise allegation – a secret trip by campaign chairman (and later CIA Director) William Casey to Madrid – but then withheld that information from congressional investigators. Documents also showed the White House frustrating attempts to interview former CIA officer Donald Gregg, a key witness.

Another document bluntly set out the White House’s goal: “kill/spike this story” to protect Bush’s reelection chances in 1992.

After I discovered the Madrid confirmation several years ago – and sent the document to former Rep. Lee Hamilton, who had headed the congressional inquiry which had concluded that there was no credible evidence supporting the allegations – he was stunned by the apparent betrayal of his trust.

“The [Bush-41] White House did not notify us that he [Casey] did make the trip” to Madrid, Hamilton told me in an interview. Asked if knowledge that Casey had traveled to Madrid might have changed the investigation’s dismissive October Surprise conclusion, Hamilton said yes, because the question of the Madrid trip was central to the inquiry.

Yet, to this day, both right-wing and mainstream media outlets cite the investigation’s inconclusive results as their central argument for defending Reagan and his legacy. However, if Nixon’s 1968 gambit – jeopardizing the lives of a half million U.S. soldiers – had been accepted as genuine history earlier, the evidence that Reagan endangered 52 U.S. embassy personnel might have seemed a lot easier to believe.

As these longstanding cover-ups slowly crack and begin to crumble, the serious history behind them has started to show through in the mainstream media. For instance, on Jan. 3, during a CNN panel discussion about interference in U.S. presidential elections, popular historian Doug Brinkley added, “One point: 1980, Ronald Reagan was taking on Jimmy Carter, and there was the October Surprise meeting keeping the hostages in Iran. William Casey, people in the Reagan administration were interfering with foreign policy then saying, ‘Keep the hostages in until after the election.’ So it has happened before. It’s not just Nixon here or Donald Trump.”

[For more details on the 1980 case, see Robert Parry’s America’s Stolen Narrative or Trick or Treason: The 1980 October Surprise Mystery or’s “Second Thoughts on October Surprise.”]

Contra-Cocaine Scandal

But the denial of serious Establishment wrongdoing dies hard. For instance, The New York Times, The Washington Post and other major news outlets have long refused to accept the overwhelming evidence that Reagan’s beloved Nicaraguan Contra rebels engaged in cocaine trafficking under the benevolent gaze of the White House and the CIA.

My Associated Press colleague Brian Barger and I assembled a lot of that evidence in 1985 for the first story about this scandal, which undermined Reagan’s claims that he was fighting a relentless war on drugs. Back then, the Times also went to bat for the Establishment. Based on self-serving information from Reagan’s Justice Department, the Times knocked down our AP reporting. And, once the Times got taken in by its official sources, it and other mainstream publications carried on vendettas against anyone who dared contradict the accepted wisdom.

So, when San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb revived the Contra-cocaine story in 1996 — with evidence that some of that cocaine had fed into the “crack epidemic” — the Times and other big newspapers savaged Webb’s articles and destroyed his career. Not even an institutional confession by the CIA in 1998 that it had been aware of widespread Contra drug smuggling and looked the other way was enough to shake the mainstream media’s false conventional wisdom about the Contras’ and the CIA’s innocence.

After the CIA inspector general reached his damning conclusions admitting knowledge of the drug-running, the Times did run a story acknowledging that there may have been more to the allegations than the newspaper had previously believed, but the same article kept up the bashing of Webb, who was drummed out of journalism and, nearly penniless, committed suicide in 2004.

Despite the CIA admissions, The Washington Post also continued to deny the Contra-cocaine reality. When a movie about Webb’s ordeal, “Kill the Messenger,” was released in 2014, the Post’s investigative editor Jeff Leen kept up the paper’s long-running denial of the reality with a nasty new attack on Webb.

Leen’s story was endorsed by the Post’s former executive editor Leonard Downie Jr., who circulated Leen’s take-down of Webb with the added comment: “I was at The Washington Post at the time that it investigated Gary Webb’s stories, and Jeff Leen is exactly right. However, he is too kind to a movie that presents a lie as fact.”

[For more on Leen’s hit piece, see’s “WPost’s Slimy Assault on Gary Webb.” For more on the Contra-cocaine story, see “The Sordid Contra-Cocaine Saga.”]

Lies as Truth

The fact that mainstream media “stars” lie in calling facts a lie – or they can’t distinguish between facts and lies – has contributed to a dangerous breakdown in the public’s ability to sort out what is and what is not real.

Essentially, the problem is that the mainstream media has sought to protect the integrity of the Establishment by dismissing real cases of institutional criminality and abuse of power. However, by shoring up these defenses – rather than challenging systemic wrongdoing – the mainstream media has watched its own credibility erode.

One might hope that someone in a position of power within the major news organizations would recognize this danger and initiate a sweeping reform, which might start by acknowledging some of the long-buried historical realities even if it puts Establishment icons, such as Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, in a negative light.

But that is clearly not the direction that the mainstream U.S. news media is heading. Instead, the Times, the Post and other mainstream outlets continue to take whatever Establishment sources hand out – now including dubious and bizarre U.S. intelligence allegations about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump.

Rather than join in demanding real evidence to support these claims, the mainstream media seems intent on simply channeling the Establishment’s contempt for both Russia and Trump. So, whatever is said – no matter how unlikely – merits front-page headlines.

The end result, however, is to push more and more Americans into a state of confusion regarding what to believe. While some citizens may seek out honest independent journalism to get what they’re missing, others will surely fall prey to fake news and conspiracy theories.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

PNG Bitches - Eat it!

‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted

They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.

But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non grata.

Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.

One letter, with 122 names, was published by War on the Rocks, a website devoted to national security commentary, during the primary season in March. The other, with 50 names, including some repeat signatories, was published by the New York Timesduring the general-election campaign in August.

Now, just days before Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, the letter signers fear they have been added to another document, this one private — a purported blacklist compiled by Trump’s political advisers.

Flynn says Trump administration wants 'peace through strength'

During a Jan. 10 speech at the Institute of Peace, President-elect Donald Trump's national security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn spoke of the need for "peace through strength" and the potential to “rebaseline" global relationships. (The Washington Post)

HEADLINE: "Trump transition aides did not respond to a request for comment for this article." (You Think?)

“Before he won, the conversation was, ‘We really would love for you to change your mind and join us,’ ” Peter Feaver, a National Security Council special adviser under President George W. Bush, said of informal talks with Trump aides. Feaver, who signed both letters, added that, “Since he won . . . the conversation is, ‘There likely will be a blacklist of people who signed the letters who won’t themselves be eligible for a post.’ ”

Trump transition aides did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
The president-elect has virtually no experience in national security and foreign policy, and his transition team could presumably benefit from the broadest pool of applicants for the influential appointive positions in the State Department, Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security.

But the purportedly blacklisted figures report to their jobs at Washington law firms and think tanks in a state of indefinite limbo as their colleagues, some working in the same offices, are flirting with potential administration jobs.
Last week, the Trump transition held a private briefing for secretary-of-state nominee Rex Tillerson to prepare him for his Senate confirmation hearing. One former Bush national security official who works at a Washington think tank said that some of his younger staff assistants were invited to participate but that he was not. He assumes it was because he signed the letter.

“It’s hostile,” said this person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of further retribution. “It’s not just that we’re frozen out. . . . I was told they said there was an enemies list.”

Among those who signed at least one of the letters are Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, the first two secretaries of the Department of Homeland Security; two former U.S. trade ambassadors, Carla Hills and Robert Zoellick; two former heads of U.S. intelligence agencies, John Negroponte and retired Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden; a former ambassador to NATO; and several former deputy secretaries of various U.S. government agencies.

Not everyone who signed the letters wants a job, and some remain vocal critics of Trump. But many stand ready to serve or offer guidance if asked.

The letters were explicit in their denunciations of Trump’s professed support for torture of terrorism suspects, his pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico, his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his admiration for Russian President Vladi­mir Putin.

The letters also attacked Trump’s character and temperament, asserting that he “lacks self-control and acts impetuously,” has demonstrated “erratic behavior” and is “fundamentally dishonest.”

Former Bush administration lawyer John Bellinger III, who organized the letter published in the Times, said that many have not given up and are trying to help from the outside.

“They’re seeing how it goes and trying to provide advice, counsel, support to our friends who go into the administration,” said Bellinger, who has served as legal counsel at the State Department and the National Security Council.

The scenario was set up by Trump’s un­or­tho­dox candidacy and then his upset victory. The threat the New York business mogul’s populist campaign posed to the establishment of his party caused some of the Republicans’ leading lights to oppose him, even after he had clinched the nomination.

The question after Election Day was how quickly Trump loyalists and the onetime GOP resistance would reconcile.

In some cases, the process has gone fairly smoothly. Congressional leaders who had been lukewarm toward Trump’s campaign have made nice with the president-elect, and they have vowed to work together on a conservative policy agenda.
In other cases, it has been painfully awkward, as with Trump’s flirtation with Mitt Romney for secretary of state. Romney had called Trump a “phony” and a “fraud” last March, but the 2012 GOP presidential nominee called to congratulate Trump on his election victory. After a courtship that included a dinner of frog legs and lamb chops in New York, Romney was passed over for Tillerson, the head of ExxonMobil.

During a national security forum last week at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, K.T. McFarland, who was named Trump’s deputy national security adviser, opened her remarks by referring to the “elephant in the room.”
“Most of the people in this room didn’t support Donald Trump — maybe not at first or maybe ever,” she said. “And I suspect most of the people in this room didn’t think he’d win. But he has.”

Some of the “Never Trump” letters signers fear they are at the bottom of the pecking order, below those who expressed verbal opposition to Trump’s campaign but did not sign either of the letters. (You Think?)

The conflict was exacerbated shortly after the election when Eliot Cohen, a State Department counselor during the Bush administration who had helped organize the War on the Rocks letter, aired new criticism of the Trump transition. In an opinion column for The Washington Post in November, Cohen said that a friend on the transition team had asked him to provide names of potential job candidates — with the stipulation that he include no one who signed either of the letters.

Cohen wrote that he became convinced there were “pent-up resentments” among members of the Trump team, and he warned young policy experts against working for the administration. Cohen has had no further communications with the transition team.

“Believe me — my phone is not ringing,” he said in a recent interview.
Other letter signers said Cohen had misinterpreted emails from the transition official and overreacted, and some of them expressed a sense of regret.
Mary Beth Long, who served as assistant secretary of defense in the Bush administration, signed the War on the Rocks letter. But, she said, her opinion of Trump improved as he began to moderate his rhetoric and selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate.

Long attended a Pence rally in Charlotte in October, during which, she said, a local GOP official announced that a “Never Trump” letter signer in the audience had changed her mind and was now supporting Trump. The crowd cheered.
But her about-face hasn’t thawed the ice. Long said her inquiries to the Trump transition team to get clarity on some of his foreign policy positions have gone unanswered. She said that she has spoken with retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s designee for national security adviser, whom she knows from the Pentagon, but that she isn’t expecting a job.

“If I were asked to sign a letter like that again, I would be much more careful about the verbiage that related to the candidate himself,” she said.
Some letter signers said the Trump transition might be overwhelmed and could reach out more broadly in the coming weeks. Some hoped that Cabinet nominees, such as retired Marine Gen. James N. Mattis, Trump’s pick to head the Pentagon, could potentially have the freedom to hire them. Many jobs below the Cabinet level remain unfilled.

But others are resigned to waiting until some of Trump’s initial appointees begin leaving his administration.

Frances Townsend, a former Bush homeland security adviser who signed the War on the Rocks letter, is friendly with Flynn. A few weeks after the election, she received an email from the transition team inviting her to meet with the president-elect.

Ahead of the meeting, she thought over how to explain her past actions if Trump raised the letter — but he did not, she said.

“I took that as a sign of maturity and graciousness,” said Townsend, who has not taken a job with the administration and declined to say whether she was offered one.
“As I was leaving, I said I was privileged and humbled to come in and speak to him,” she said. “It was a veiled reference [to the letter]. Given the circumstances, I didn’t expect to be there.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Indict Her or Pardon Her?

Report: The Clinton Global Initiative Is Shutting Down After Hillary’s Loss

The Clinton Foundation, the controversial charitable organization founded by former President Bill Clinton and his nominal wife, Hillary, is shutting down the main New York City office of the Clinton Global Initiative, the New York Observer reports.

According to the report, the alleged charity filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice with the New York Department of Labor on January 12, announcing the “discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative.” The law requires employers “to provide 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.”

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), established in 2005 as a networking platform for the Clinton Foundation, previously announced a series of layoffs in September, a move the was seen as a response to criticism over the foundation’s fundraising from foreign donors, and possible conflicts of interest that would arise if Hillary Clinton was elected president.

According to the Clinton Foundation website, CGI “facilitates action by helping members connect, collaborate, and make effective and measurable Commitments to Action—plans for addressing significant global challenges,” whatever that means.

CGI hosted annual meetings at which politicians and celebrities gathered to “analyze pressing global challenges, discuss the most effective solutions, and build lasting partnerships that enable them to create positive social change.”

Shutting down CGI would appear to validate the concerns from critics that the Clinton Foundation was a merely vehicle through which foreign and corporate donors to curry favor with the Clintons. Foreign government have already begun to reduce their donations to the foundation in the wake of the election.

The Clinton Foundation, meanwhile, intends to continue doing whatever it is it supposedly does, and recently sent out an online appeal begging for money.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The CIA has no Business Interjecting Itself in US Politics - It is a Rogue Organization That Needs to be Throttled

Trump revives attack on intel community in early morning Twitter burst

By Tara Haelle01/13/17 07:12 AM EST POLITICO

President-elect Donald Trump renewed his criticism of the intelligence community Friday morning, blaming it once again for leaking an unverified report containing compromising and salacious allegations about him to the media and citing the Russian government as proof that the dossier's allegations are false.

That report, which had circulated for months among government officials and media institutions, was published Tuesday evening in full by BuzzFeed, which cautioned that the information it contained was unverified and included multiple errors. BuzzFeed’s decision to publish that report, the product of a private security company paid to develop opposition research on Trump, came on the same day that CNN reported that a summary of it had been included in briefings delivered to both the president-elect and President Barack Obama.

“It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued. Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans - FAKE NEWS!” Trump said in a flurry of posts to Twitter Friday morning. “Russia says nothing exists. Probably released by ‘Intelligence’ even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!”

The "failed spy" Trump refers to is the supposed author of the report, a former British M16 agent identified by the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and other media organizations as Christopher Steele. He is the director of a London-based intelligence company named Orbis Business Intelligence.

The president-elect continued to blame the intelligence community for leaking the report despite assurances from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who took the unusual step on Wednesday of releasing a statement reading out a phone call he placed to Trump. In that readout, Clapper said he told Trump that he didn't believe the intelligence community was behind the leak, has not made a judgment about the veracity of the report published by BuzzFeed and that such leaks are “extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

A Russian government spokesman said Wednesday that the report amounted to “pulp fiction,” and that the Kremlin did not possess compromising information about Trump or his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton. The president-elect has repeatedly cited this assertion as proof that the claims are false.

Trump has promised to initiate a cybersecurity review immediately upon taking office with a report to be delivered to him within 90 days. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a longtime supporter of Trump's who works as a security consultant for foreign governments, said Thursday that he will head up that team.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

You Can't Lie To A Liar - Inside The CIA - Don't be Naive

Trump vindicated as intelligence community undermines its credibility

The writing was on the wall, and President-elect Donald Trump was the only one able to read it: At least some members of the U.S. intelligence community are placing partisan, political interests above America's interest.

It’s unacceptable. It’s wrong. And Trump has rightfully sounded the alarm over the last few weeks.

Donald Trump’s questioning of the intelligence community was prompted by a series of leaks by “anonymous sources” concerning confidential intelligence investigations. The first “anonymous source” told The Washington Post in early December that the CIA had discerned that the motive of Russian hackers in the Democratic National Committee leak was to help Trump win the presidency.
The leak came just days before the intelligence community officially confirmed its unified opinion of Russia’s motive. At the same time, another “anonymous source” leaked to The New York Times the false information that the Republican National Committee’s computer systems had also been hacked.

As recently as this week, several news organizations had reported that the intelligence community had given Trump a two-page summary of a baseless, unsubstantiated report gathered by a private security firm on behalf of Trump’s electoral opponents. The source of this information? Once again, “unnamed sources.”

Given that these leaks all concerned confidential intelligence investigations, it is by no means a far cry for the president-elect to presume that the leakers were intelligence officials.

Moreover, the intelligence branches have a documented history of leaking.

Let’s not forget Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s remarks in 2010 during the Obama administration: "I was in a meeting yesterday with the president, and I was ashamed to have to sit there and listen to the president express his great angst about the leaking that's going on here in this town. … And particularly when it's widely quoted amorphous, anonymous senior intelligence officials, who for whatever reason get their jollies from blabbing to the media.”

But what does Trump get for merely stating his obvious suspicion of leaks originating from intelligence officials? A barrage of criticism from the left and lame accusations that he is undermining the integrity of the intelligence community.

On the contrary, Trump has repeatedly expressed his “tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women” of the intelligence community, both on Friday and again yesterday in his phone call with Clapper.

What the apoplectic left fails to understand is that Trump is not disrespecting the intelligence community: he is merely holding them accountable. After a stream of leaks — which, to be clear, is unlawful — and the intelligence community stonewalling Republicans in Congress who sought information on the Russian hacking, Trump merely called for documented evidence before he accepted the conclusion.

In truth, the outrage is misplaced. Perhaps critics ought to redirect their outrage — not at Trump’s questioning of the intelligence community but at the intelligence community itself. Not only are the leaks of high concern, also of concern is why the intelligence community chose to memorialize false, salacious rumors in an official intelligence report. The information was more suited for the front pages of a supermarket tabloid, not a certified government document.

Remarking on the unprecedented nature of this course of action, former CIA analyst Bryan Dean Wright states, “You don’t do that. We are trained never to do those kinds of things … it’s inappropriate. Until you have the verified information that this is happening … you don’t brief it. You don’t brief rumors.”

Instead of critiquing Trump’s approach to the intelligence community, commentators should be applauding his cautious approach to analyzing intelligence.

It’s undeniable that the U.S. should have been more cautious in acting on the CIA’s “slam dunk case” — in their words — that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. And how about the intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran had halted its nuclear program? These were honest intelligence assessments that just got the facts wrong.

But then there was the dishonest one we learned about in early August from a congressional panel: U.S. Central Command had falsely changed reports to give President Obama “a more positive depiction” of progress against ISIS “than was warranted by facts on the ground.” This was nothing short of an egregious politicization of U.S. intelligence aimed to give Obama the ammo he needed to mislead the American public into a false sense of safety.

Like President-elect Trump, I have deep respect for the men and women in our intelligence community despite these noted flaws. In fact, I have given the intelligence community the benefit of the doubt throughout its investigation into the Russian hacks. But the most recent reported memorialization of sick gossip into a government document proves that Trump’s measured skepticism of intelligence product was merited all along.

Trump simply questioned the intelligence community, for which he was publicly flogged. But, as is so often the case, he was proven right, and the public flogging he received was yet another politicized attempt to discredit the incoming president.

Kayleigh McEnany is a CNN political commentator who recently received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. She graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and also studied politics at Oxford University.

The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill