“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, October 31, 2017

Yada, Yada, Yada, Another Allah 'akbar

  • More thoughts and prayers
  • It will only make us stronger
  • The parade must go on (It's a fucking Halloween Parade)
  • They still hate our freedoms
  • Don't mention who "they" are
  • Yada, Yada, Yada,
  • Allah is the greatest

No one is going to do shit. No one is going to say anything intelligent.

Trick or treat assholes

The Most Corrupt Robert Mueller, Grand Inquisitor of the Swamp

Steve Bannon Tells Trump To Bring In New Lawyers as He Looks For Ways to Kneecap Mueller

Trump’s former top dog increasingly feels like he has to take matters into his own hands.

Steve Bannon spoke on the phone with his old boss, Donald Trump, on Monday and offered a message: get yourself some new lawyers.

The former White House chief strategist has grown increasingly concerned that the president’s legal team is falling down on the job, proving too accommodating to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and leaving Trump vulnerable as former campaign aides are handed indictments.

“In terms of Steve’s thinking of how the president is handling this, yeah, he thinks the legal team was not prepared for what happened today—they’re not serving the president well,” a source close to Bannon said.

Added another confidant: Bannon believes Ty Cobb and John Dowd, the top two attorneys on the president’s legal team, “are asleep at the wheel.”
Bannon talked to Trump after those indictments were issued on Monday to express these concerns directly. Two sources, one working inside and one outside the White House, with knowledge of the conversation told The Daily Beast that Bannon advised Trump not to demote Dowd and Cobb, but to bring in new lawyers to work over them, in the hopes that fresh blood would bring an order and "ruthlessness" to Trump's legal team that Bannon sees as desperately incompetent.

Cobb and Dowd have publicly feuded over White House legal strategy after joining the president’s team, arguing in particular over the degree to which that team should cooperate with Mueller’s investigation. They’ve been overheard doing so at a steakhouse in D.C., while Cobb has been fooled by an email prankster and has angrily lashed out at reporters.

Trump was receptive to Bannon’s plea and expressed dismay and frustration at the state of his legal team and the ongoing Russia probes. However, it was not clear if the president was committing to any sweeping changes to his team of lawyers at this time.

As the president decides what next to do, Bannon is looking to take matters into his own hand—all in an attempt, he believes, to spare Trump from having to fire the man investigating his campaign and family’s finances.

Multiple sources close to Bannon told The Daily Beast on Monday that he is “advocating a much more aggressive legal approach short of firing Mueller,” as one source put it, and has been mulling options that would effectively curtail the special counsel’s investigation into 2016 Russian election-meddling and alleged Trump campaign connections to it.

He’s being tight-lipped about the strategy so far—and it is unclear how robust an effort he’ll actually try to mount—but options are available to him.

One potential avenue is legislation crafted by Rep. Ron DeSantis, a Florida Republican and member of the House Freedom Caucus, an influential bloc of conservative lawmakers. DeSantis offered an amendment to a House spending package in August that would have barred Mueller from pursuing criminal charges for any conduct occurring before March 2015. That would have severely complicated Mueller’s indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, which rely in large part on alleged criminal conduct prior to the 2016 presidential campaign, when the two lobbied on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

DeSantis’s amendment would also have given Mueller six months to wrap up his investigation before the special counsel’s office was completely defunded. 

A spokesperson for the congressman did not return a request for comment as to whether Bannon had been in touch with their office.

The White House has insisted that Trump has no plans to fire Mueller despite a pair of indictments handed down against former campaign chairman Manafort, and Manafort’s deputy Gates. A federal court on Monday also unsealed a guilty plea by former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, who admitted to soliciting damaging information about Hillary Clinton last year from individuals who he believed had ties to high level Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin.

While DeSantis has an amendment to curtail the special counsel’s purview, it’s not clear how widespread support for doing so is among even Republicans on Capitol Hill. Many, in fact, have expressed reluctance to interfere. Bannon and his allies would have an uphill battle ahead of them, as numerous GOP officials are also on record having praised Mueller’s integrity and capabilities.

Bannon, incidentally, shares some of those views. Though he is considering ways to limit the scope of Mueller’s investigation, he has also been privately praising and expressing respect for the special prosecutor and his team’s qualifications, calling them “serious guys” who should not be underestimated. 

Trump’s former top strategist still talks regularly with the president on the phone. But he’s also been confiding in allies that some of the president’s behavior has been counterproductive, perhaps even legally so, in the face of the ongoing Russia-related investigations.

“[Bannon] doesn’t think the tweets are very helpful,” one source bluntly noted, citing Bannon’s private criticisms of the president’s habitual hate-tweeting, particular when the news cycle becomes Trump-Russia heavy.

“I thought these [tweets] were supposed to stop after I left the White House,” Bannon has joked to his allies, according to a close associate. 

Monday morning brought no relief for the former White House strategist.
“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren't Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????” Trump rage-tweeted. “....Also, there is NO COLLUSION!”

—With additional reporting by Sam Stein

Sunday, October 29, 2017

When Apple released the SE 30 desktop computer for $4200, US debt was $4 trillion - Today, who knows?

Look at how out of control U.S. ‘debt creep’ is compared to the rest of the world

Flags fly over the Federal Reserve Building in Washington.

Nobody touches America when it comes to racking up debt. But you already knew that. Jeff Desjardins of the Visual Capitalist blog, however, offered up some fresh perspective on just how much of the world’s $63 trillion in borrowed money can be pinned to the United States government and its spendy ways.
“In an ideal situation, governments are just borrowing this money to cover short-term budget deficits or to finance mission-critical projects,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “However, around the globe, countries have taken to the idea of running constant deficits as the normal course of business, and too much accumulation of debt is not healthy for countries or the global economy as a whole.”
Does this look healthy to you?

As you can see, the U.S. has more debt than the next three countries combined, thanks to its “debt creep” problem. As Desjardins points out, the U.S. hasn’t posted an annual budget surplus since 2001, when the federal debt was only $6.9 trillion (54% of GDP). Nowadays, U.S. debt has exploded to about $20 trillion (107% of GDP) — almost a third of the world’s sovereign debt nominally.
To be fair, the U.S. is in much better shape when it comes to the debt-to-GDP ratio, which is a better metric for measuring the health of a country. 
Here are the top five by that measure:

“While only Italy and Japan here are considered major economies on a global scale,” Desjardins said, “the high debt levels of countries like Greece or Portugal are also important to monitor.”

The Nasty 🤷🏼‍♀️ Forgot to Delete Her Twitter Account !

Hillary Said She Knew Nothing of Dossier, But She Forgot to Erase Her Twitter Account

Hillary Clinton has claimed that she had no knowledge of the infamous dossier that attempts to link President Donald Trump to Russian collusion, however her Twitter track record proves otherwise. She has been caught, yet again, in a number of lies.

The dossier was published in January by BuzzFeed ahead of Trump’s inauguration. As soon as the document came out, Clinton and others rushed to put out statements that they were shocked by the contents, and wished they had known about it sooner.

A piece by The New York Times this week tried to show Clinton was blindsided by the information BuzzFeed published.

“Even Mrs. Clinton only found about Mr. Steele’s research after BuzzFeed published the dossier, according to two associates who discussed the matter with her,” The Times wrote. “They said that she was disappointed that the research — as well as the fact that the F.B.I. was looking into connections between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia — was not made public before Election Day.”
The Times also noted that Clinton hired Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump during the campaign, and it was Fusion GPS who hired Christopher Steele, the actual compiler of the fraudulent dossier. So Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the Democrat National Committee, helped pay for this 35-page document yet Clinton wants the country to believe that she somehow knew nothing about it.

Unfortunately for Clinton and her supporters, she forgot to clean up her Twitter account and it seems that as early as August of last year she was hoping some of that opposition research that she paid Fusion GPS for, a.k.a. the dossier, was going to come out.

On Aug. 6, she was just getting warmed up, tweeting, “Seriously what is going on with Trump and Russia?”

She used a supercut of a propaganda video with Trump commenting about Russian President Vladimir Putin as her cover. It seems that some of that research the campaign paid for was starting to be leaked to her and she was getting antsy for it to be published to the world.

So the next day she tweeted again, “We have some questions about Donald Trump’s cozy relationship with Russia.”

On Aug. 15, Clinton linked to the same propaganda video, tweeting again, “We have some questions about Donald Trump’s cozy relationship with Russia.”

On Sept. 7, Clinton tweeted the same propaganda video once again and added, “The worst part is, this isn’t the first time Donald Trump has praised Russia and Putin. #NBCNewsForum”

Later that month, on Sept. 22, Clinton tweeted, “Donald Trump’s ties to Russia may conflict with America’s interests—but they’re great for his bottom line.”

On Sept. 26, 2016, Clinton tweeted again about her suspicions saying, “What is the deal with Donald Trump and Russia?”

On Oct. 7, 2016, she was getting desperate and needed to rally support for her unfounded accusations. With no dossier in hand, and even a biased mainstream media refusing to go public with its sensational, unsupported, charges, she instead reached out to her supporters with a campaign statement.
“It should concern every American that Russia is willing to engage in such hostile acts in order to help Donald Trump become president,” the statement said.

Woah… left field much? That came out of nowhere, but did it?

Finally, on Oct. 31, Clinton realized the dossier was not going to be published like she wanted it to be, so instead she found whatever she could… a far-left Slate article that published an excerpt from the dossier… adding a caption that read, “It’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia.”

Clinton’s desperate attempt to paint herself ignorant now that she is directly linked to the dossier just screams dishonest incompetence. The American people are much better off now that this pathological liar did not win the election.

Share this story on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to add your thoughts on the latest Hillary Clinton scandal to the comment section below.
What do you think about Hillary's telling tweets? Scroll down to comment below!

Battle hymns of the Republicans: Trump civil war is just getting started

Flake and Corker have fired shots but other senior Republicans are keeping their heads down as Steve Bannon readies an all-out assault on the establishment

Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs the White House on Wednesday.
Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs the White House on Wednesday. Will the Republican dysfunction live on when Trump departs? Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Donald Trump had barely left the US Capitol on Tuesday after a meeting with Republican senators when Jeff Flake took the Senate floor. He delivered a barnstorming speech, excoriating the state of the Republican party under the stewardship of the president.
Just moments before, reports that Flake would not seek re-election had sent shockwaves across Washington.
From the Arizona senator’s vantage point, the writing was on the wall: he had a reliably conservative record but his willingness to speak out about the controversial behavior of a divisive president had rendered him a man without a party. This was Trump’s Republican party, Flake said, and there was no room for him within it.
“It is time for our complicity and our accommodation for the unacceptable to end,” Flake said, in explosive remarks that were instantly labeled as a historic act of defiance. “There are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles. Now is such a time.”
The senator delivered a 17-minute speech, framing the moment as an existential crisis for the party, taking direct aim at Trump’s conduct and what his presidency symbolized in a lacerating critique.
It was an extraordinary event that would have otherwise been regarded as a major breach of decorum. But this is Washington in 2017. The norms have already been broken.
A handful of Flake’s colleagues sat stony-faced in the chamber as he implored Republicans not to acquiesce on core principles in the pursuit of appeasing Trump’s angry nationalist base.
“We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal,” he said.
Flake went on, thrusting the knife even further into Trump, though avoiding naming him: “Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.”
Among those who bore witness to Flake’s remarks was John McCain, the senior senator from Arizona who just a week previously blasted “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in a coded attack on so-called “Trumpism”. Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, looked on stoically.

Senator Jeff Flake announces he won’t seek re-election – video

As the speech reached its conclusion, one senator applauded: Ben Sasse, a young Republican from Nebraska who, like Flake, declined to endorse Trump in the 2016 election. Many of the Senate’s 52 Republicans were nowhere to be found. They had just left a closed-door lunch with the president, dining over chicken marsala, green beans and Trump’s favorite, meatloaf, before a major push to overhaul the tax code.
Much of the meeting featured Trump – characteristically – singing his own praises, according to some attendees. There was general discussion of taxes, but few specifics from a president who takes little interest in the policy details.
It was nonetheless a cordial meeting, by Trump’s standards, embodied by the takeaway quote of John Kennedy, of Louisiana: “Nobody called anyone an ignorant slut.”
Nonetheless, Flake’s sudden exit was a stark reminder that the rapport between Republicans and the figurehead of their party is anything but congenial.

The November election did not put an end to the Republican Party’s civil war – a chasm between the establishment in Washington and grassroots activists that deepened with the rise of the Tea Party movement of 2009. Trump has only amplified it. Flake, after all, was not alone in his scathing criticism of the president.
All week, a feud between Trump and Bob Corker, the Republican chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, soared to new heights – or depths. It culminated in Corker issuing his own stunning rebuke of Trump. 
“When his term is over, the constant non-truth-telling, the name-calling, the debasement of our nation, will be what he will be remembered most for,” Corker told CNN.
Corker announced his own retirement last month, joining the ranks of a small but growing number of Republicans who have come to see Trump’s presidency as a moment of reckoning.
On one side is Trump, the most unpopular president in modern US history, ushered in by a grassroots movement with Steve Bannon, the former White House chief strategist, at its helm. On the other is the old guard of Republican leaders, struggling to distance themselves from Trump’s toxicity and a party base that he increasingly drives with racially motivated nationalism.
Critics like Flake, Corker and McCain subscribe to the views espoused by Republican presidents back to Ronald Reagan – a belief in limited government, moderate positions on immigration and trade – but Bannonites have waged war on “globalists” and used race and class to drive a wedge between the establishment and a rancorous base unmoored by the economic and cultural dislocation of the last 20 years.
The friction has prompted a battle for the soul of the Republican party. A strategist aligned with Bannon told the Guardian that Trump’s victory unleashed an insurgent movement that wants to overthrow the party establishment in Washington.
“The strategy is to make everyone look over their shoulders,” the Bannon ally said, “so they understand that they are no longer in charge of the Republican party.”

Bannon’s war

As reports of Flake’s retirement surfaced, another ally of Bannon swiftly celebrated the news by claiming “another scalp”.
The departure of another moderate senator – at least, a moderate within the current Republican party – was the latest victory in Bannon’s mission to reshape the conservative movement.
Although he did not formally join Trump’s campaign until August 2016, three months shy of the election, Bannon spent years cultivating his influence as the executive chairman of Breitbart News. The hard-right website traffics in often vitriolic content about immigrants and Muslims, and once published stories under the tag “black crime”.
The seeds of racial anxiety sown by Breitbart were not simply fodder for rightwing readers, but were intended as markers for Republicans in elected office. The message was clear: if Republicans did not adhere to protectionism they risked being vilified as part of the “establishment”, a tag that by the 2016 primaries became so potent it was regarded by contenders as an insult.

Bannon on Trump: 'The elite media think he's a cloven-hoofed devil'

To longtime political observers, this insurgency is the likely culmination of the Tea Party movement that rose up against Barack Obama and swept Republicans to control of the House of Representatives in 2010 and the Senate four years later.
If the bombast of Sarah Palin as McCain’s 2008 running mate foreshadowed the uprising, the die was cast by 2012. Although Mitt Romney survived a bruising primary, the centrist former governor of Massachusetts failed to placate the right wing in the general election.
Romney was also vilified as an out-of-touch plutocrat at a time when the American economy was still recovering from the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. In some ways, he was the antithesis to what the Tea Party insurgency was seeking.
The GOP’s mainstream nominee also performed abysmally among Hispanic, African American, women and young voters, resulting in a 100-page “autopsy” commissioned by the Republican national committee that recommended dramatic change. Little did party leaders know that Trump would come along and render that autopsy irrelevant.
Trump’s support was fueled, in part, by Breitbart, which during the Obama years shaped the debate on the right over issues ranging from immigration and healthcare to fiscal policy, never giving an inch to compromise.

Bannon’s swift return to the website after leaving the White House in August suggested a “take-no-prisoners” war was only just beginning, and could reach the West Wing if Trump moved away from the “America First” agenda on which he campaigned. But Republican leaders in Congress were, and continue to be, the top targets of Breitbart’s ideological crusade.
The website has been so ruthless in its attacks against House speaker Paul Ryan that it not only promoted his primary challenger in 2016 but also ran a story criticizing him for having a fence around his home in Wisconsin but not being sufficiently supportive of a wall along the US-Mexico border.
Speaking at the Values Voter Summit, an annual gathering of conservative activists held earlier this month, Bannon declared “a season of war”.
“Nobody can run and hide on this one, these folks are coming for you,” he said, to raucous approval.
In a pointed advisory to McConnell, the Senate majority leader, Bannon invoked Shakespeare, stating: “Up on Capitol Hill, it’s like the Ides of March.”
“They’re just looking to find out who is going to be Brutus to your Julius Caesar,” he said. “We’ve cut your oxygen off, Mitch.”

‘You’re going to see more retirements’

For some Republicans facing a tough road to re-election in 2018, the Bannon insurgency has already proved too daunting. A flurry of high-profile retirements have been announced, many hailing from competitive districts eyed by Democrats as potential wins. 
“You’re going to see more retirements,” Michael Steele, a former chairman of the RNC, told the Guardian. “It speaks to a growing frustration with the way politics have played out in Washington. The forces on the right and the left have pushed subject matter and content so far to the edges that you can’t have a discussion around solving problems.”
If Bannon has his way, the party will not simply transform itself. It will instead create a new establishment, led by what Bannon dubbed as “the populist, nationalist, conservative revolt that’s going on, that drove Donald Trump to victory”.
Flake’s exit appeared to usher in a turning point for Republican leaders in Washington. Senate Leadership Fund, a political action committee aligned with McConnell and tasked with preserving a Republican majority in the upper chamber, revealed plans this week to meet Bannon’s fire with fire. 
The Washington Post reported that McConnell’s allies would tie Bannon to white nationalism in a bid to undermine him and his roster of outsider candidates. The group will reportedly commit millions of dollars, while supporting more orthodox Republicans.
It is likely to be a nasty battle, costing tens of millions of dollars. Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah are ready to assist Bannon, their close ally. Rightwing commentators such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have begun to trumpet Bannon’s anti-establishment message to millions of loyal followers. 
In some ways, Flake and Corker signalled an uphill climb. Flake confessed he would have had to run a campaign he would not be proud of in order to fend off a challenge from the right.

Bob Corker speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill.
Bob Corker speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill. Photograph: Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters

The attacks levied at Trump by his Republican opponents in the 2016 campaign went far beyond the norms of primary jostling, with some declaring him “unfit” and going so far as to say he could not be trusted with the nuclear codes. But when voters selected Trump as the Republican nominee, his critics lined up behind him, insisting their allegiance was to the party and anyone would be better than Hillary Clinton.
David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida, said that was short-sighted.
“We’re not going to win a long-term governing majority by endorsing those kind of candidates,” he said. 
“We might win a few races here and there in the short term, but we’re not winning the hearts and minds of the American people and independent voters looking at a party they don’t recognize.”

‘Rationalize and capitulate’

For Republicans in Washington, capitulating to Trump has often meant ignoring the unprecedented ways in which he has tested institutions, incited racial resentment and governed in 140 characters or less. 
Trump has feuded with military families, flouted US allies, attacked members of his own party and made divisive remarks on race after the death of an anti-racist protester in Charlottesville in August. Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have taken to meeting such daily controversies with a shrug of the shoulders.
“I’m not going to comment on the tweets of the day,” Paul Ryan says near-weekly while fielding questions from reporters on Capitol Hill.
There is a growing sense in Washington that more and more Republicans are willing to hold their noses in hope of passing tax reform – or more likely, tax cuts.
Despite engaging in his own war of words with Trump this summer, McConnell has similarly sought to project unity this month.
Compounding pressure on GOP leaders is nine months without a major legislative accomplishment. Republicans exhausted three months on healthcare only for their efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act to fall short, thwarted by opposition within their own party.
Operatives say Republicans will be “crucified” by constituents if they are left with nothing to run on in 2018, despite controlling both chambers of Congress and the White House. 
Trump critics such as Charlie Sykes, a conservative talk radio host who authored the book How the Right Lost Its Mind, have resigned themselves to believing the party has been “thoroughly Trumpified”.
“The capacity of the Republican party to rationalize and capitulate to Donald Trump is extraordinary,” Sykes said, “and their capacity for surrender has not yet been exhausted. How many times have we said, ‘Surely, this will be enough?’”
Sykes predicted the dysfunction that created Trump would live on well after his exit, bolstered by a “post-truth conservative media”, until and unless Republicans provided a clear, electoral alternative. 
“Candidates more in line with mainstream conservative thinking and basic human decency would have to come forward,” he said.
He paused and chuckled, before adding with a sigh: “But I also want a unicorn for Christmas.”

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Culture Wars: First They came for Confederate Memorials , Now Washington is in Their Crosshairs, Christ Will be Next

Washington, Lee memorials to be removed from church sanctuary in effort to be 'welcoming' to all - Washington Times

An historic Episcopal parish where George Washington frequently worshiped has decided to remove a memorial plaque honoring the nation’s first president, saying the decision was out of a desire to provide a “welcoming” worship space for all visitors. The church will also remove a similar memorial plague honoring Robert E. Lee, the commander of Confederate Army of Northern Virginia.

The vestry of Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, announced its unanimous decision in an Oct. 26 letter, The Republican Standard website reported Thursday. The letter suggests that while initially the concern was over honoring the Confederate military leader, Washington’s slave ownership was a factor in the decision to remove his plaque as well.

“We understand that both Washington and Lee lived in times much different than our own, and that each man, in addition to his public persona, was a complicated human being, and like all of us, a child of God,” Christ Church’s vestry said. 

“Today, the legacy of slavery and of the Confederacy is understood differently than it was in 1870. For some, Lee symbolizes the attempt to overthrow the Union and to preserve slavery. Today our country is trying once again to come to grips with the history of slavery and the subsequent disenfranchisement of people of color.
“… Many in our congregation feel a strong need for the church to stand clearly on the side of ‘All are welcome — no exceptions,’ ” the letter continued. “Because the sanctuary is a worship space, not a museum, there is no appropriate way to inform visitors about the history of the plaques or to provide additional context except for the in-person tours provided by our docents.

“The Vestry believes that the memorial plaques to George Washington and Robert E. Lee should be considered together. The plaques were erected at the same time. They visually balance each other, maintaining the symmetry of our sanctuary. The men they memorialize are giants in our nation’s history and were members of this parish,” the vestry said. “Robert E. Lee has taken on outsized symbolism in the national conversation about race and inclusion.”

According to photos of the church available online, the identically designed plaques adorn the wall at the front of the sanctuary — Washington’s on the left side, Lee’s on the right. Each plaque shows an image of a cross and crown and reads “In Memory Of” preceding their respective names. Neither man’s military or political accomplishments are listed on the memorial plaques, which appear to be carved on marble and overlaid with gold paint.

“It is important to understand that the plaques will not be moved to a storage area,” the vestry noted in its letter. “Rather, they will remain in the church until they can be relocated to a place of respectful prominence where they will be fully visible to parishioners and tourists alike. And ultimately, they will be incorporated into a more complete presentation of our long and many-faceted history.”

Founded in 1773, Christ Church is nearing its 250th anniversary year, the vestry said, and the relocation of the memorial markers was just “the beginning” of a larger effort to “take ownership of our history,” perhaps with “a museum or interpretive center” on the grounds to better serve tourists and history buffs.
Read the full Christ Church vestry letter by clicking here.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Trump Won - Mark Halperin ‘Was the Harvey Weinstein of Media' - Hillary Clinton is Still a 'Nasty Woman'


Vox reporter Liz Plank said on Thursday that Mark Halperin, the disgraced former prominent Morning Joe panelist who has been accused of sexually harassing and assaulting multiple women while he was the political director at ABC News, “was the Harvey Weinstein of media.”

“I’m receiving texts today from women in media who are older, younger, new to media. And a very sort-of-junior reporter told me that one of the first things she was told when she started working on the campaign trail was she was warned about Mark Halperin,” Plank said during a CNN appearance. “So, in a way, he was the Harvey Weinstein of media.”
Plank added that she hoped “there will be more women who have the courage to come forward about their stories.”
“Unfortunately, I don’t think that he is an exception,” she continued. “That’s very worrying because you look at someone like Mark Halperin, someone like Harvey Weinstein, these are men who are at the top of their industries. And who are in control of the stories that we tell and the the narratives that we choose to talk about.”

Five women told CNN, in a story published Wednesday evening, that Halperin sexually harassed or assaulted them while he was the political director at ABC.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hillary Clinton, DNC — and One Republican — Paid for Russia Dossier: Report

Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid opposition research firm Fusion GPS to compile the “Russian dossier” that triggered an FBI investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government, according to a report Tuesday by the Washington Post.

A Republican had contracted first with Fusion GPS, and Clinton and the DNC continued to fund Fusion GPS’s work, the report says.
According to the Post:
Mark Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS, a Washington firm, to conduct the research.
After that, Fusion GPS hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with ties to the FBI and the U.S. intelligence community …
Before that agreement, Fusion GPS’s research into Trump was funded by a still unknown Republican client during the GOP primary.
The Clinton campaign and the DNC, through the law firm, continued to fund Fusion GPS’s research through the end of October 2016, days before Election Day.
The “Russian dossier,” whose contents Trump has denied and which has been widely discredited, is believed to have led the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign and several Trump associates.
Until now, Fusion GPS has continued to refuse to cooperate with congressional panels investigating Russian attempts to intervene in the election, and how the Obama administration probed those efforts. Democrats have also protected the company.
The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee were involved in procuring the salacious accusations against Trump that fed their own later accusations of Russian interference in the election lends credence to those who, like Trump himself, have regarded the Russia accusations as conspiracy theories.
Last week, Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal observed:
The Washington narrative is focused on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. But the ferocious pushback and unseemly tactics from Democrats suggest they are growing worried. Maybe the real story is that Democrats worked with an opposition-research firm that has some alarming ties to Russia and potentially facilitated a disinformation campaign during a presidential election.
On the heels of revelations that the FBI was investigating Russian attempts to influence Hillary Clinton to approve a controversial uranium deal, Democrats will have more questions to answer about possible collusion with Russia. The FBI, too, will face additional scrutiny from Congress — especially as it agreed to pay Steele after the election for additional research into Trump’s potential Russia ties.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Lawless (Santuary) Cities

Illegal immigrant who paved way for Massachusetts’ ‘sanctuary’ policy arrested in stunning robbery

The illegal immigrant whose case turned Massachusetts into a “sanctuary” state is behind bars yet again.

Police say he committed a stunning daylight robbery by taking a wheelchair-bound woman, slapping her and stealing the $2,000 she had just carried out of the bank.

Sreynuon Lunn had been free on the streets of Boston because his home country won’t take him back, leaving immigration officers no choice but to release him under a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

His case gained headlines over the summer when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that state and local authorities could no longer legally hold immigrants for pickup by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Now ICE is trying to decide whether to try again to pick up and deport Lunn, even as he faces local charges from the latest robbery.

“The first, obvious problem is that Lunn is here at all. He should be removed to either Cambodia or Thailand, but apparently neither country will take him,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which wants stricter immigration controls.

A 65-year-old wheelchair-bound woman told police that Lunn and a female companion wheeled her away from a bank where she had just withdrawn $2,000, then robbed her. After the woman told Lunn to stop, he responded with an expletive, slapped her in the face and fled, according to the police report. The woman’s son and others witnessed the assault.

Lunn told police that he robbed the woman because he was detoxing and needed money for drugs. He blamed his companion, identified as Tiffany Bovio, for the idea of the robbery.

Immigrant rights advocates said Lunn’s latest arrest amounts to a local crime report that doesn’t merit much attention.

“I’m not going to comment on the charges against Mr. Lunn except to say that under U.S. law, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If he did actually commit a robbery, the criminal justice system will put him in prison after giving him his due process,” said Eva A. Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “However, one thing that is crystal-clear is that the arrest of Mr. Lunn has nothing to do with the Supreme Judicial Court case about his unlawful detention.”

The court ruled in July that Massachusetts law enforcement officers could not hold illegal immigrants just to give ICE agents a chance to pick them up for deportation.

“Massachusetts law provides no authority for Massachusetts court officers to arrest and hold an individual solely on the basis of a federal civil immigration detainer, beyond the time that the individual would otherwise be entitled to be released from state custody,” the state high court ruled.

The justices said deportation is a civil proceeding, not a criminal matter, and while there are some cases in which police can detain someone without a criminal charge — drunks, deadbeat parents and “sexually dangerous persons” — that doesn’t apply to illegal immigrants or others eligible for deportation.

Lunn has been under a final order of deportation since 2008, but ICE has been unable to oust him. He was born to Cambodian parents in a refugee camp in Thailand, and Cambodia refuses to recognize him as a citizen.

ICE agents tried to deport Lunn again this year, taking custody after a previous robbery charge, but were again rebuffed by Cambodia and had to release him after more than three months.

Under the 2001 Zadvydas v. Davis ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the government cannot detain migrants for immigration violations beyond six months, except in cases involving national security or severe mental health problems.

Thousands of people — many with serious convictions on their records — are released from ICE custody each year thanks to the Zadvydas ruling. In one notorious case, a man who served time for attempted murder was released onto the streets after Haiti refused to take him back, and months later he killed a young woman in Connecticut after a drug dispute with her boyfriend.

President Trump this month called for Congress to amend the law to change the Zadvydas ruling and said he wants to crack down on sanctuary cities.
Ms. Vaughan said both are needed.

“This case illustrates exactly why Congress needs to pass legislation that clarifies that state and local law enforcement agencies may and should honor ICE detainers and warrants,” she said. “We’ve seen enough examples of released criminal aliens who go on to harm more people. Enough already.”