Cohen Raid, Syria Bombing to Facebook’s CEO ‘I will get back to you on that’ – What a Week | Look At News Daily  (April 7-13/Day 78-84) Week 12

By Michael Hernandez


April 7 (Saturday): Day 78

Democrats respond to U.S. attack on Syria

Democratic lawmakers have responded with mixed reactions to President Donald Trump’s decision to carry out military strikes on a Syrian air base that was the site of a chemical attack on Syrian civilians this week. Approximately 59 Tomahawk missiles targeted Shayrat Airfield near the Syrian city of Homs.

“I support the administration’s strike on the air base that launched the chemical attack. I hope this teaches President Assad not to use chemical weapons again,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) wrote on his Twitter feed.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praised the strike but chided Trump for not consulting with Congress before carrying it out:  “Making sure that Assad knows that when he commits such despicable atrocities he will pay a price is the right thing to do. It is incumbent on the Trump administration to come up with a strategy and consult with Congress before implementing it. I salute the professionalism and skill of our Armed Forces who took action today.”

The chemical attack killed least 72 civilians. Many of the victims included small children.

Part of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s statement read, “Tonight’s strike in Syria appears to be a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons.” She also sounded off on the president’s decision to proceed without Congress, saying, “If the President intends to escalate the U.S. military’s involvement in Syria, he must come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is tailored to meet the threat and prevent another open-ended war in the Middle East.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan called the strikes “appropriate and just“:  “Earlier this week the Assad regime murdered dozens of innocent men, women, and children in a barbaric chemical weapons attack. Tonight the United States responded. This action was appropriate and just. These tactical strikes make clear that the Assad regime can no longer count on American inaction as it carries out atrocities against the Syrian people. Resolving the years-long crisis in Syria is a complex task, but Bashar al-Assad must be held accountable and his enablers must be persuaded to change course. I look forward to the administration further engaging Congress in this effort.


April 8 (Sunday):  Day 79

Republicans messaging “stop impeachment”

Republicans are increasingly turning to a simple message to motivate their voter base to turn out for the 2018 midterm elections: stop impeachment. The message is one that unites all factions of the party, save for the last few #NeverTrump holdouts on cable news pundit panels. Republicans do not want to see President Donald Trump removed from office. The Democratic Party base, by contrast, would love to see Trump impeached. Members of congress, and candidates, who have urged impeachment have been cheered by the so-called “resistance” and celebrated by left-wing media outlets.

But the voters do not want impeachment. As the New York Times observed Sunday: “Polls show most voters are not supportive of impeachment at the moment.” Only 39% wanted to see impeachment proceedings brought in the House of Representatives in a recent Morning Consult/POLITICO poll (versus 48% who did not).

Some Democratic Party leaders understand the risks of impeachment as a campaign message, and have been urging their colleagues to avoid the idea. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has clashed with California billionaire Tom Steyer, who is promoting impeachment through a massive nationwide ad campaign.

But Pelosi’s task is made more difficult by the fact that her fellow Democrats, especially those from California, seem eager to press for impeachment. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), one of the first Democrats to propose impeachment, told her state party’s convention in February:  “I say it is time to get ready for impeachment … I cannot wait and I’m counting on special counsel Mueller to connect the dots. … Democrats, I don’t care what the Republicans say. I say impeach 45!”

As a result, the Times notes, Republicans have been increasingly using the prospect of impeachment to warn voters about what a return to Democratic control of the House and Senate would mean:  “Last week, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas used his re-election kickoff rally to introduce a video featuring a faux news anchor reading would-be headlines were conservatives not to vote in November.

“Senate Majority Leader Schumer announced the impeachment trial of President Trump,” one of the anchors says.

Last week, America Rising, a Washington-area candidate-tracking and opposition-research firm that assists Republicans, sent out a fund-raising email that read, “Right now the only thing standing between the president and the Democrats’ underhanded impeachment attempts is the Republican majority in the House fighting to defend our president.”

Or as Representative Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, a Republican, put in last week in a talk radio interview: “Do you think that the far-left Resist movement base of the Democrat Party would accept anything other than impeachment?” Some Republicans are wary of the message, fearful that it may sound alarmist — or even encourage Democrats to pursue impeachment if they do win the House, which some polls suggest is likely.

But Democrats clearly need little encouragement. After six House Democrats called for impeachment in December, 66 did so in January.


April 9 (Monday):  Day 80

Missiles strike Syrian air base

Missiles struck an air base in central Syria early Monday, its state-run news agency reported. Although the agency said it was likely “an American aggression,” U.S. officials said the U.S. had not launched airstrikes on Syria. The missile attack followed a suspected poison gas attack Saturday on the last remaining foothold for the Syrian opposition in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. At least 40 people were killed, including families found in their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.  SANA reported that the missile attack on the T4 military air base in Homs province resulted in a number of casualties.

Earlier, President Donald Trump had promised a “big price to pay” for the suspected chemical attack. After the airstrikes were reported, however, Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood said in a statement, “At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria.”

The U.S. launched several dozen Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last year after a chemical attack in the northern Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun killed dozens of people. Israel has also struck inside Syria in recent years.

The suspected poison gas attack Saturday on the besieged town of Douma came almost exactly a year after the U.S. missile attack prompted by the Khan Sheikhoun deaths.

In response to the reports from Douma, Trump on Sunday blamed Syrian government forces for what he called a “mindless CHEMICAL attack.” In a series of tweets, Trump held Russia and Iran, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s chief sponsors, responsible. The Syrian government denied the allegations, calling them fabrications.

First responders entering apartments in Douma late Saturday said they found bodies collapsed on floors, some foaming at the mouth. The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense rescue organization said the victims appeared to have suffocated. They did not identify the substance used, but the civil defense organization, also known as the White Helmets, and the Syrian American Medical Society, a medical relief organization, said survivors treated at clinics smelled strongly of chlorine.  Those reports could not be independently verified because of a government blockade around the town.

Hours after the attack, the Army of Islam rebel group agreed to surrender the town and evacuate their fighters to rebel-held northern Syria, Syrian state media reported. The group also agreed to give up its prisoners, a key demand of the government.  The government agreed to halt its assault after three days of indiscriminate air and ground attacks.

“There’s nothing left for civilians and fighters. We don’t have anything to stand fast,” said Haitham Bakkar, an opposition activist inside the town. He spoke to the Associated Press by WhatsApp.  “People now are going out in the streets looking for their loved ones in the rubble,” Bakkar said. “And we don’t have any space left to bury them.”

More than 100 buses entered the town Sunday night to transport fighters and their families to Jarablus, a town under the shared control of rebels and Turkey, said Syrian state-affiliated al-Ikhbariya TV. The preparations follow a pattern of evacuations around the capital and other major Syrian cities as the government reasserts its control after seven years of war.

Human rights groups and United Nations officials say the tactic amounts to forced displacement, a war crime. The U.N. Security Council planned to hold an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the attack.

In his tweets Sunday, Trump called Assad an “animal” and delivered a rare personal criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin for supporting him. A top White House aide, asked about the possibility of another U.S. missile strike, said, “I wouldn’t take anything off the table.”  The developments come as Trump has declared his intent to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in the coming months despite resistance from many of his advisers.

The Syrian Civil Defense group documented 42 fatalities but was impeded from searching further by strong odors that gave rescuers difficulties breathing, said Siraj Mahmoud, a spokesman for the group. A joint statement by the civil defense group and the medical society said that more than 500 people, mostly women and children, were brought to medical centers complaining of difficulty breathing, foaming at the mouth and burning sensations in the eyes. Some had bluish skin, a sign of oxygen deprivation.

The symptoms were consistent with chemical exposure. One patient, a woman, had convulsions and pinpoint pupils, suggesting exposure to a nerve agent, the statement said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights issued a higher death toll, saying at least 80 people were killed in Douma, including around 40 who died from suffocation. But it said the suffocations were the result of shelters collapsing on people inside them. “Until this minute, no one has been able to find out the kind of agent that was used,” Mahmoud said in a video statement from northern Syria.

The Syrian government, in a statement posted on the state-run news agency SANA, denied the allegations. It said the claims were “fabrications” by the Army of Islam and a “failed attempt” to impede government advances. “The army, which is advancing rapidly and with determination, does not need to use any kind of chemical agents,” the statement said.

The latest assault on Douma came after talks between the Army of Islam and Russia collapsed Friday, ending 10 days of calm for residents trapped inside.

Russia denied any involvement in the attack. Maj. Gen. Yuri Yevtushenko was quoted by Russian news agencies Sunday as saying Russia was prepared to send specialists to Douma to “confirm the fabricated nature” of the reports.

Douma has been crippled by close to five years of siege by government forces. It was once one of the hubs of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Assad’s government.

In recent weeks, government forces have recaptured villages and towns in the eastern Ghouta suburbs of the capital. Douma was the only town left holding out.

A 2013 chemical attack in eastern Ghouta that killed hundreds of people was widely blamed on government forces. The U.S. threatened military action but later backed down. Syria denies ever using chemical weapons during the war and says it eliminated its chemical arsenal under a 2013 agreement brokered by the U.S. and Russia.

President Trump condemns Syria chemical attack

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday condemned a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in Syria that killed dozens of people and said he would make a decision on a response, probably by the end of the day. Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Trump said he was talking to military leaders and would decide who was responsible for the attack — whether it was Russia, or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, or Iran, or all of them together. International bodies led by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were trying to establish exactly what happened on Saturday in Douma, a besieged town in eastern Ghouta near Damascus.

The Syrian government and its ally Russia have denied involvement in the attack.

U.S. government sources said on Monday the administration had not yet conclusively determined whether the attack was carried out by Assad’s forces. Its initial assessment suggested that a nerve agent was used but further evidence was needed to determine what specifically it was, the sources said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said he would not rule out military action such as air strikes if blame was proven. “I don’t rule out anything right now,” he told reporters in Washington.

4,000 National Guard to deploy to Mexican border

California Governor Jerry Brown is still silent after Secretary of Defense Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis signed the order to deploy up to 4,000 National Guardsmen to the Mexican border.

President Donald J. Trump’s April 4 proclamation to deploy the National Guard to enhance U.S. Customs and Border Protection support along the southern U.S. border “was made with the affected governors’ approval”, according to the Defense Department’s website. President Trump’s justification for his action was due to a “drastic surge of illegal activity on the southern border” that he says is threatening national security.

Trump did not make the demand under Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which would have given the Secretary of Defense the authority to “federalize” any National Guard units for full-time duty. But Trump instead made a Title 32 voluntary homeland defense call-up that reimburses state deployment costs and leaves command under governors.

Following the official order signing, Gen. Mattis and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen M. Nielsen made a joint statement to the effect that the Trump administration intended to work closely with border-state governors to identified security vulnerabilities that the National Guard units could best address in a deployment through September 30. National Guard units will provide aviation, engineering, surveillance, communications, vehicle maintenance, and logistical support. National Guardsmen will not perform law enforcement functions or interact with migrants detained by DHS or other persons without the direct approval of Gen. Mattis. The carrying of weapons by Guardsmen will be limited to situations requiring self-defense, according to the memo.

Mattis and Nielsen stated that the administration is “using every lever of power to support the men and women of law enforcement defending our nation’s sovereignty and protecting the American people.” DOD and DHS leadership added: “We appreciate the governors’ support and are dedicated to working with them to secure the national borders.”

California Gov. Brown’s press secretary acknowledged that the governor has had several personal phone calls with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other federal law enforcement officials, but referred all questions to the  California National Guard.

California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tom Keegan told Capital Public Radio that the state participated in the 2006 deployment under President George W. Bush and the 2010 deployment under President Barack Obama; and that the state currently has 56 California National Guardsmen imbedded in a separate drug control mission with the U.S. Border Patrol. Keegan stated that the Guard will promptly review the funding and duration of the deployment, “to determine how best we can assist our federal partners.”

National Border Patrol Council union president Brandon Judd told the Los Angeles Times that with only about 10,000 agents to watch 1,954 miles of the Mexican border, “We have so many agents working in permanent surveillance duties, in control rooms, watching cameras.” Judd argues Guard deployment will free resources to put agents in the field to “increase the certainty of apprehension, which will allow us to target the criminal cartels.”

American late night host losing viewers for mocking Melania Trump

According to TV By the Numbers, so far this season Jimmy Kimmel Live has averaged only a measly 2.31 million viewers. That is it — 2.31 million total viewers. In a country of 330 million, that is less than one percent.  His numbers have dropped for his mocking of Melania Trump.

Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert are not much better, with an average of 2.97 million and 3.89 million, respectively. Sure they are beating Kimmel; Colbert is nearly doubling Kimmel.

Pentagon to award $10 billion contract for infrastructure platform

If President Donald Trump is looking for a way to clip Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s wings, blocking a massive contract with the Pentagon could be one way to do it. The Pentagon next month is set to award a single company an estimated $10 billion contract for cloud infrastructure and platform services — the largest information technology procurement in U.S. government history.

The single cloud would cover multiple security levels across different departments at the Pentagon, with the aim of reducing management and administrative burdens, for as many as ten years.

Competitors, and even some partners of the online retail giant, are crying foul — arguing that the contract is being unfairly tailored for Amazon and will ultimately waste taxpayer money and potentially harm national security. “This is not a small potatoes thing. This is billions and billions of dollars,” said one industry source.   Industry officials — both competitors and partners with Amazon — argue that having one cloud computing service provider to fulfill this role makes no sense, and they say that a multi-cloud system would work better.

“A single cloud for all data doesn’t make sense,” said a second industry source. “There’s really no need for all that data to be in one single cloud to begin with because of the disparity and difference in the mission — for example: mission-oriented warfighting data and pay and personnel systems. They’re just never going to have to intermingle that data.”

The Pentagon has strongly denied that any company is predetermined to be awarded the contract.  “This is a full and open competition. We want people to be as creative as possible. This is important. This is not business as usual. The secretary’s been very clear that we need to be good stewards of the American people’s money. So nothing is taken for granted. Nothing is presumed. And we will get a full, open and transparent competition. And this is the first of many competitions with respect to the cloud,” Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White said Thursday.

But industry officials — who are under a DOD gag order — point to signs they say indicate that Amazon will win the contract. About a month ago, the Pentagon made a sole-source award of $950 million to REAN Cloud to migrate Pentagon programs and software to a cloud. In the company’s press release announcing the award, it boasted in its first sentence of being an Amazon Web Services partner.

“What the Pentagon did was tip its hand. It said, ‘We’re choosing our migration partner, which is an Amazon partner, before we’ve even chosen our cloud partner,’” said a third industry source.  Another sign was that in the Pentagon’s request for information (RFI) that was sent out to the industry in November, it asked prospective cloud service providers to respond with their experience working in secret and top secret clouds.

“There really only is one vendor who has experience working in secret and top secret cloud,” a fourth industry source said. “Only one company can answer yes to that question. I think that raises some concerns.”  

Some industry competitors suspect personal politics are at play. “When you look at the people who are at the center of making these decisions at the Pentagon, these are all Obama administration, [former Defense Secretary] Ash Carter holdovers,” said the third industry source. “This is their innovation council staff, these are folks who were kept in place when the new administration came in, and they’ve all been proponents of Amazon for a long time.”

The source pointed to Raj Shah, who just recently stepped down as the head of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) office in Silicon Valley. Shah was appointed as head of the office by Carter and served until February. They “routinely” funded Amazon partners — including REAN Cloud, the source said.

The chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, Eric Schmidt, chairman emeritus of Google, recruited Jeff Bezos to the board, though he is not listed as a member of the board on the Pentagon’s website. And even Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s former senior adviser, Sally Donnelly, had links to Amazon, according to the source; her consulting firm had AWS as a client.

“Amazon has permeated the Pentagon, and the Pentagon has held all these Obama holdovers, and I think those two factors conspire. And, frankly, I think it’s just easier for them,” the source said. “It’s not good for the taxpayer or warfighter, but it’s easier for them to simply pick one and be done with it and then, go leave and move on from it all — let their successors deal with the aftermath.”

Critics argue that using one cloud service provider could make the Pentagon vulnerable to interruptions. The industry sources argue that every cloud service provider, even the major ones, have gone down at one point. “The idea that we would want the warfighter to have a single point of failure with one cloud and the downstream risk that that can pose to the guy out there on the battlefield,” said the fourth industry source, “that doesn’t make sense to me.”

According to a 2016 Microsoft study, nearly 80 percent of companies use more than one cloud. For example, Apple uses multiple cloud services for iCloud: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. The study also argues that a single award contract would reduce competition, which would lead to higher prices and less innovation. “If you went to a single cloud provider for ten years, you basically say, ‘I’m not interested in what Google or Microsoft or Amazon or whoever wasn’t selected, and what they’re doing. I’m just going to put all my eggs in this one basket and hope for the best,’” said the second industry source.

Choosing one company to perform the contract would effectively lock the Pentagon into that company’s price and innovation pipeline, sources argued. “Competition makes us all better athletes. We don’t know today what cloud will look like tomorrow. And locking yourself into the innovation pipeline of one company, and then also the pricing pipeline of one company, takes out their incentive to continue to be better and do better,” said the fourth industry source.

Already, the CIA has had some performance issues with Amazon, which won the award to build C2S, the CIA’s cloud for secret and top secret data. The contract also gave Amazon sole accreditation for handling secret and top secret data, insulating it from competition.  

While DOD agencies will not be banned from awarding smaller defense contracts to other cloud service providers, there would be pressure to use Amazon, sources argued. The reason is that many Pentagon applications that will be migrated to the cloud will need to be rewritten to be compatible with the cloud, and once that happens, the incentive will be to continue using that cloud. “What you don’t want to do is to lock in a single cloud provider, in kind of a one-size-fits-all approach for this really wildly diverse set of applications that could reside in it,” the second industry source stated.

“And the reason why is once you get in there, that application will have to be rewritten and optimized for operating in that specific cloud and getting it out of the cloud and moving it to a different one because you either a) see services that you wanted someplace else or b) you’re no longer happy with the price that you’re paying. You know, in any monopoly, you’re kind of beholden to the provider of the service.”

Congress has expressed concern about the contract and inserted language in the omnibus spending bill to exert oversight over the contract. “There are concerns about the proposed duration of a single contract, questions about the best value for the taxpayer, and how to ensure the highest security is maintained,” the language said.

The bill requires Mattis to provide a report to Congress that includes “justification” and “cost considerations” for awarding a single award contract, instead of using a hybrid-cloud system with multiple cloud computing service providers, by the end of May — about the same time the contract will be awarded. The bill also requires Deputy Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan to provide a report on the contract request for proposals 45 days after the bill’s enactment, by mid-May.

The timelines have concerned industry groups, who argue the Pentagon will not have time to reconsider the contract if necessary.

So far, Trump has not weighed in on the Pentagon contract, but he has stepped up attacks on Amazon in recent days. “The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s ‘chief lobbyist,’ has another (of many) phony headlines, ‘Trump Defiant As China Adds Trade Penalties.’ WRONG! Should read, ‘Trump Defiant as U.S. Adds Trade Penalties, Will End Barriers And Massive I.P. Theft.’ Typically bad reporting!” he tweeted on Thursday:

The Fake News Washington Post, Amazon’s “chief lobbyist,” has another (of many) phony headlines, “Trump Defiant As China Adds Trade Penalties.” WRONG! Should read, “Trump Defiant as U.S. Adds Trade Penalties, Will End Barriers And Massive I.P. Theft.” Typically bad reporting!

President Trump reconsidering tariffs

President Donald Trump acknowledged that his stand-off with China on trade was hurting American farmers, but promised that conditions would change eventually. “I tell you, our farmers are great patriots,” he said. “They understand that they’re doing this for the country and we’ll make it up to them.”

China announced plans to raise tariffs up to 25 percent on American agricultural goods such as soybeans, cotton, corn, wheat, and beef in response to his tough actions on China trade including a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum.

Trump acknowledged that many farmers were already suffering economic challenges for their products in the last eight years, but tried to show solidarity. “It’s not nice when they hit the farmers specifically because they think it hits me,” Trump said, referring to China.

Student activist takes year off to focus on 2018 midterm elections

UC Irvine (UCI) reportedly offered admission to David Hogg, but the Parkland activist has decided to take a year off from college to focus on the 2018 midterm elections.  Hogg’s mother told CNN on Monday that her son “will not be going to college this year because he’s decided to take a year off and work on the midterm elections.”

TMZ reported on Sunday that Hogg received an acceptance letter from UCI that partly read: “Students choose UCI to make a true difference in the world, we hope you will too.”

After Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted that Hogg, who told numerous outlets that he was “hurt” that some of California’s top public schools rejected him, had whined about not being accepted to various colleges, the left-wing teenage activist immediately called on Ingraham’s advertisers to drop her. More than a dozen advertisers immediately caved to the Twitter mob that Hogg unleashed before Ingraham took her pre-planned Easter vacation last week. Ingraham returns to the air on Monday evening.

Ingraham apologized to Hogg, but Hogg refused to accept it, telling outlets like CNN and MSNBC that he was offended and disgusted that the Fox News host, in his opinion, was also promoting her television show while apologizing to him.

Hogg recently told NBC News reporter Kerry Sanders that his boycott fight with Ingraham was just a “practice round” for the bigger battle against the right, the National Rifle Association (NRA), and pro-Second Amendment politicians. He told Sanders that he and is friends will go after the advertisers of anyone who calls them out. “We’re going to go after the money, because that’s where it hurts them the most,” Hogg said.

Left-wing comedian and free-speech advocate Bill Maher recently came to Ingraham’s defense, asking whether it was “American” to call for massive boycotts to silence speech that people do not like. Is that American?” Maher asked on his Friday’s Real Time on HBO. “And he complains about bullying? That’s bullying. I have been the victim of a boycott. I lost a job once. It is wrong.”

Facebook CEO meets with Washington lawmakers

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is meeting with lawmakers in Washington on Monday ahead of his testimony before multiple judiciary committees this week. Reuters reports that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is meeting with Washington lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Monday, ahead of his testimony before multiple judiciary committees later in the week. Zuckerberg is expected to meet with multiple lawmakers, some of whom are members of committees holding hearings this week relating to Facebook’s latest user data scandal.

Zuckerberg is expected to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday to testify about the company’s user data scandal. Reuters reports that an anonymous source with knowledge of the matter stated that Zuckerberg is likely to “recognize a need to take responsibility” and “acknowledge an initial failure to understand how many people were affected,” by the Cambridge Analytica scandal in his testimony before both committees.

In a recent call with members of the media, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg commented on the company’s treatment of private data by saying that when building an “unprecedented” platform like Facebook, “there are going to be things that you mess up.” Zuckerberg’s testimony is related to an alleged data leak which may have seen the personal information of up to 87 million people used by Cambridge Analytica during their 2016 election advertising campaign.

Facebook is also under investigation for their internal privacy practices by the Federal Trade Commission. Tom Pahl, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, released a statement on their investigation saying:  “The FTC is firmly and fully committed to using all of its tools to protect the privacy of consumers. Foremost among these tools is enforcement action against companies that fail to honor their privacy promises, including to comply with Privacy Shield, or that engage in unfair acts that cause substantial injury to consumers in violation of the FTC Act. Companies who have settled previous FTC actions must also comply with FTC order provisions imposing privacy and data security requirements. Accordingly, the FTC takes very seriously recent press reports raising substantial concerns about the privacy practices of Facebook. Today, the FTC is confirming that it has an open non-public investigation into these practices.”

Former White House adviser says California can be “won”

Former White House foreign policy adviser Sebastian Gorka told a gathering of conservatives in Riverside on Sunday that Donald Trump’s election in 2016 proves that they could still take California back from the far-left.

Gorka, a former Breitbart News editor, was the keynote speaker at the annual Unite Inland Empire conference, a gathering in the heartland of Southern California’s conservative belt.

The Orange County Register reported: “I am here to tell you, it’s possible, even in California,” Gorka said to cheers and applause. … “All the rules have been broken. Donald Trump took the rulebook of the elite and shredded it, burned it and then jumped up and down on it.  (The polls) were all wrong. We can take California back.”

Calling Trump “the kryptonite of political correctness,” Gorka said Trump’s supporters – “the flotilla” – must follow the icebreaker’s path before the sea path freezes over again. That means working to make the November midterm elections as big a victory for Trump and conservatives as 2016 was, said Gorka, who worked as a deputy assistant in the White House from January to August 2017.

“I know as sure as anything that Nov. 8, 2016 is proof that God exists,” he said. “But we cannot let that opportunity slide us by. America won, but we need to win again in the midterms.” (Read more in the Orange County Register.)

Gorka left the White House when former Breitbart News executive chairman left his post as a senior adviser to the president last August. He has since become a Fox News contributor and speaks around the country.


April 10 (Tuesday): Day 81

President Trump rants against FBI and Special Counsel for raiding lawyer

President Donald Trump continued his frustrated rant against the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller after the office of his personal lawyer Michael Cohen was raided.  “Attorney–client privilege is dead!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning, decrying the investigation as “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!”

Trump told reporters on Monday night that the raid was “a real disgrace,” “an attack on our country,” and “an attack on what we all stand for. When I saw this and when I heard it — I heard it like you did — I said, that is really now on a whole new level of unfairness,” the president continued. He condemned Mueller’s investigation as “a pure and simple witch hunt” and reminded reporters that many people had suggested that he fire the Special Counsel.  “We’ll see what happens. I think it’s disgraceful, and so does a lot of other people,” Trump said.


April 11 (Wednesday):  Day 82

Facebook CEO testifies before Senate

Facebook CEO and billionaire Mark Zuckerberg confirmed in a Tuesday Senate hearing that the social media platform will “not proactively” work with federal immigration officials to help arrest and deport criminal illegal aliens living in the United States.

Silicon Valley tech conglomerates and elites have benefited greatly from the current legal and illegal immigration system, which imports more than 1.5 million mostly low-skilled foreign nationals every year. Mass immigration is responsible for native-born Americans becoming a minority in the tech hub of Silicon Valley, with 71 percent of high-paying, high-skilled, white collar jobs going to foreign born workers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to a question from Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) on “hate speech” on his social network Tuesday with optimism that an artificial intelligence (A.I.) system will be able to recognize and eliminate the category he refused to define. “As we discussed in my office yesterday, the line between legitimate political discourse and hate speech can sometimes be hard to identify, especially when relying on artificial intelligence and other technology for the initial discovery,” Thune said at the joint Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees’ hearing, then asking Zuckerberg what steps Facebook took in making these evaluations.

A little more than an hour into his testimony before a rare joint panel of the Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg was hit with a question for which he did not have a ready answer.  “Who is your biggest competitor?” Senator Lindsay Graham asked.  “Senator we have a lot of competitors,” Zuckerberg said.  “Who is your biggest?” Graham asked.  “Do you want just one? I’m not sure I can give one. Can I give a bunch?” Zuckerberg said.

After a nod from Graham, Zuckerberg began to layout a series of three categories of companies, the first including a list of familiar tech companies–Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft–which he said “overlap” with Facebook.

The Senator from North Carolina, however, cut him off. “Do they provide the same service you provide?” Graham said. “If I buy a Ford and it doesn’t work well, I can buy a Chevy. If I’m upset with Facebook, what’s the equivalent product that I can go sign up for?” Graham went on to explain that “car companies face a lot of competition. If they make a defective car, and it gets out into the world, people can stop buying that car. Is there an alternative to Facebook in the private sector?”  When Zuckerberg began to argue again that various other tech companies provide services that overlap with some of what Facebook does, Graham cut him off again.  “You don’t think you have a monopoly?” Graham asked.  “It certainly doesn’t feel like that to me,” Zuckerberg said.  That last answer elicited audible laughter in the hearing room.

House Speaker to retire at end of his term

House Speaker Paul Ryan revealed at a press conference that he will retire at the end of the congressional term, saying that this “year will be my last as a member of the House.” Reports on early Wednesday morning that the speaker expresses concern about the GOP losing the House in the 2018 midterm election and he does not want to serve as the minority leader.

Speaker Ryan said, “You realize when you take this job you realize that only take this job for a small part of our history, so you better make the most of it. It’s fleeting. That inspires you to do big things.” Ryan noted that he “did not want this job.”

The outgoing speaker then admitted that the tough work as the speaker took over his personal life. “It’s easy for it to take over everything in your life. Namely your time as a husband and a dad,” Ryan suggested, arguing that he hopes to spend more time with his family.

“I’m confident that we don’t want the gridlock that would come with the Democrats in power,” Ryan said, arguing that the American people would not vote to make the Democrats the House majority in the 2018 midterms.

Speaker Ryan touted his legislative victories as leader of the House, namely tax cuts and increased funding for the military. Ryan argued:  “I am really proud of what we have been able to do. We passed the first major reform of our tax code for the first time in 36 years, which has already been a huge success for our country. Second, is to rebuild our nation’s military. This will make our country more prosperous and more secure. “I think we have achieved a heck of a lot,” Ryan added.

Ryan also suggested that he intends to finish his full term as a member of the House and will not retire early.


Orange County supervisor called racist for stance against sanctuary laws

The supervisor of Orange County, California said Wednesday she was recently called a “racist b—-” amid her county’s push to opt out of the state’s sanctuary designation.

Michelle Steel, a legal immigrant from South Korea, voted in support of the move, which she says was voted in favor of unanimously.  Steel said it was the first time she was called a “racist.”  She noted English is her third language, behind Korean and Japanese.  “In Asia, when you get called all different names, you live longer. So I think I will live a long life,” she said.

Newport Beach votes to challenge California’s sanctuary law

The Newport Beach city council voted unanimously earlier this week to challenge California’s sanctuary law, joining a dozen other cities that are not interested in complying with the sanctuary policies. It’s the third city in the past two days to take such action, joining about a dozen others in recent weeks. 

“It’s a tool in the toolbox for our police to help keep criminals off the street,” Newport Beach Councilman Scott Peotter said of the vote against the law. He said the issue is not about opposition to immigrants – as critics allege – but about keeping “illegal alien criminals” from re-entering the community.  Peotter also said that Brown is sending its National Guard troops to the border for reasons other than illegal immigration. “You listen to Jerry Brown, and he’s sending [troops] there for other reasons. Not for immigration purposes,” he said. “In either event, the troops end up being at the border.  So it’s a matter of, whose spin do you want to listen to?” he added, arguing that the state is controlled by two-thirds Democrats. 

The sanctuary law is heavily supported by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and State Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D).

400 high schools and colleges participate in Pro-Life Walkout

Students from nearly 400 high schools and colleges from around the nation participated in the Pro-Life Walkout Wednesday to remember those of their generation who have been lost to abortion and protest taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood.

Brandon Gillespie, a Rocklin High School junior from the Sacramento, California, area, organized the event that saw students walking out of their schools at 10:00 a.m. in all time zones for 17 minutes – as did students who participated in the pro-gun control walkout on March 14. Gillespie reported that while his school administrators provided considerable accommodation for students promoting gun control, they refused to do so for pro-life students.

“They are not giving me any accommodation at all, except for the district policy of not punishing students for protesting,” he said in a statement prior to the event. “That is not the accommodation that I asked for; I asked for the same accommodation as the anti-gun protest, that teachers would be flexible in their lesson planning, and also for the availability of equipment that the anti-gun protestors were allowed to use.”

Attorneys from Life Legal Defense Foundation contacted Davis Stewart, principal of Rocklin High School (RHS), to outline the rights of Gillespie and other pro-life students. In a letter to Stewart, Life Legal senior staff counsel Allison K. Aranda and executive director Alexandra Snyder wrote, “RHS granted permission for students to engage in certain expressive activity, including leaving class and gathering in the amphitheater, to support gun control legislation,” adding, “It may not withhold similar permission from those seeking to engage in the identical expressive activity to support legal protection for the unborn.”

“This is a blatant case of content discrimination and arbitrary favoritism,” Snyder said in a statement. “Rocklin High School’s decision treats the Pro-life Walkout differently than the way the school treated the gun walkout, which violates the First Amendment and the Equal Protection rights of every student participating in the Pro-life walkout.”

Thousands of students from over 400 schools are walking out of their classrooms today for 17 minutes to protest abortion violence, which has claimed 59 million lives since 1973 in America.


April 12 (Thursday):  Day 83

Slovenia residents attack late night host for mocking Melania Trump

Earlier this month, late night host Jimmy Kimmel mocked the accent of First Lady Melania Trump, and now the Slovenian residents of the town she grew up in are telling the far-left Kimmel to back off. USA Today reports that residents of Sevinca, Slovenia, the town of 5,000 where Mrs. Trump spent her youth as Melanija Knavs, are not amused by Kimmel’s attacks on the first lady.  “It’s very hard to speak English. Melania’s been in the U.S. so long and she still has some problems, but Jimmy Kimmel should come to Slovenia and see how hard it is to speak another language,” said Helena Horjak, 24. Melania Trump speaks five languages.

Sevinca is proud of their hometown girl who ascended to the White House, and celebrates her achievement with menu items such as the “Presidential Burger,” “First Lady Apple Pie,” “Melania Wine,” and even a “Melania Tour” that includes her former nursery and middle school. Her childhood home is still owned by Melania’s parents.

Until Donald Trump became president, first ladies were widely seen as off-limits. The norm was that the president’s family should be left alone and heaven help anyone who crossed that line. The media would savage anyone who violated this norm. This was especially true when it came to Michelle Obama.

The establishment corporate media, however, was silent after Kimmel’s attacks on Melania Trump, which did not stop at her accent. It was alternative media that raised the issue, including Breitbart News and, notably, Sean Hannity, who spent days feuding with the late night host.

Kimmel has still not apologized for engaging in the only kind of bigotry still accepted by our self-appointed elites — identity-based attacks on Republicans, including Republican immigrants.

More voters critical of Special Counsel after raid on Trump’s attorney

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s raid on President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen has backfired in the eyes of voters, according to Rasmussen Reports.

Prior to what many are describing as Mueller’s unprecedented stunt, the special counsel and former Obama official was held in high regard by a majority of the public. Back in October, a full 52 percent believed “Mueller’s investigation is an honest attempt to determine criminal wrongdoing.”  That number is now down -6 points to just 46 percent.

Moreover, the number of voters who now see Mueller’s probe is a “partisan witch hunt” has jumped a full +8 points, from 32 percent to 40 percent. Only 14 percent remain undecided. Overall, public opinion moved against Mueller by a full 14 points. What was a 20 point (52 – 32 percent) favorable rating is now just a 6 point advantage.  The loss of Mueller’s support among a majority of voters is also worth noting. Also worthy of note is that Trump’s approval rating has edged up since the raid.

Mueller was originally appointed to investigate what has now been revealed as a partisan hoax dreamed up by Democrats and their allies in the intelligence bureaucracy and mainstream media: the idea that Trump and/or his campaign colluded with the Russians to fix the 2016 presidential election.

The only wrongdoing that has so far been found  in the Russia probe has been at the hands of disgraced former FBI director James Comey’s immediate subordinates and the unprecedented unmasking committed by the Obama administration as a means to use foreign surveillance warrants to spy on Trump officials during the presidential campaign and the transition.

Various reports indicate that that Mueller raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen (who by all accounts had been cooperating fully with document requests) was in pursuit of records and privileged attorney-client communication pertaining to Trump’s personal life and rumored extra-marital affairs from over a decade ago.

Mueller is now much more widely seen, not as a man investigating a legitimate crime, but as a zealous prosecutor investigating a man in the hopes of finding a crime that will overturn a presidential election.

Robert Muller

President Trump may rejoin TPP to put more pressure on China

Senator Ben Sasse said that President Donald Trump was interested in rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership to put more pressure on China by opening up more Asian markets to agricultural exports from the United States.

Sasse and other members of Congress and governors from agriculture states met with the president at the White House to express concerns about higher China tariffs hurting American farmers. Senators Deb Fisher (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), and John Hoeven (R-ND), who also attended the meeting, confirmed Trump’s interest in rejoining TPP.

TPP-11 is the group of Pacific nations who signed a renewed free trade pact after Trump pulled the United States out of TPP.

Sasse, who recently returned from a trip to China, admitted that they cheated on trade and stole intellectual property but suggested that the best way to compete with them was to lead Pacific nations on global trade.  He criticized the president’s strategy of proposing higher tariffs on China to get them to play fair on trade. “Tariffs first and U.S. alone action that focuses just on tariffs and steel … that’s not going to solve the real problems we have,” he said.

Senator Sasse criticized the idea of using government welfare payments to farmers to help them survive threatening tariffs from China. “They don’t want welfare payments, they want to feed the world,” Sasse said.


April 13 (Friday):  Day 84

Founders, CEOs of alternative social networks respond to Facebook CEO

The founders and CEOs of several popular alternative social networks, including Minds, Gab, and BitChute, have revealed to their thoughts on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s two congressional hearings this week.

Minds is an open source social network that is frequently used as an alternative to Facebook.  “Privacy is a fallacy on Facebook,” declared Minds Founder Bill Ottman in a statement to Breitbart Tech. “Facebook’s testimony to Congress today spoke to their current scandals surrounding data privacy, surveillance, censorship, and transparency. As proactive and idealistic as he claims to be, Zuckerberg did not offer a single foundational change in operating procedure, only surface-level distraction. The true path to solving these issues would be to opt all users out of data collection by default, open-source all their software and implement the zero-knowledge principle with regards to their ability to access personal data.

“The obvious reason they don’t do this is that their revenue is reliant upon the exploitation of user data, not any sort of a sustainable or ethical model. At the heart of Facebook is a complete and utter lack of transparency and commitment to put users first,” he continued. “There is no redemption at this point, and it’s time for people to vote with their energy online to empower new social networks that respect freedom from the ground up.”

Ottman continued to claim that “Users don’t own their content on Facebook.  As one Senator observed, if, as Facebook claims, users own their data, then why aren’t they compensated at all of the $40 billion a year in ad revenue generated with that data? Clearly Facebook has a greater degree of ownership when, by default, your data is shared with a number of parties without consent immediately upon signing up,” he declared. “If people had any sort of real ownership of their data, then there would be a share of the billions that Facebook makes off users given back. Additionally, complete transparency is essential as to who is using your data, including corporations, individuals, and governments. Facebook does monetize user data. Regardless of what Zuckerberg says.

“Facebook sells Targeted Ads — the only way to target an ad is by mining user data and knowing exactly their interests, demographics and comprehensive psychometric analysis. This third-degree of separation that Facebook claims is really just semantics. Facebook has built its empire by selling user data in the form of targeted advertising without consent,” Ottman explained. “They may not provide a data-dump for third-parties (still to be proven that this has not occurred), but they do monetize data to the tune of $40 billion dollars last year alone. Does FB Sell User data? Yes.

“A couple questions, especially from Senator Cruz, honed in on political bias in content policy enforcement and the blurry terms around what is and what is not acceptable speech. However, the general answer from Facebook seemed to communicate that more AI (Artificial Intelligence) was going to be developed to combat these issues along with an army of content patrollers,” the Minds founder noted. “While it is true AI, if transparent, can help provide certain benefits to social technology, it is not a foundational solution in itself and also poses many dangers if let loose- as is the case now with unwarranted bans skyrocketing. Content patrollers can certainly be useful for policing illegal content, but beyond that they are only as beneficial as the terms of the site are. The emerging scientific consensus about censorship of law-abiding content is that it actually amplifies violence and extremism for a variety of different reasons.”

In conclusion, Ottman pointed out that “no one on the panel mentioned the catastrophic decline in organic reach on the platform where publishers can now only reach 3-5% of their own followers due to the secretive newsfeed algorithm.  This is easily one of the greatest abuses to the community. Creators sign up and invest in building audiences under one impression, and suddenly the restrictions are implemented that limit the very ability to communicate with that audience,” he concluded. “That’s the opposite of social.”

BitChute is a peer-to-peer video hosting website and network which is frequently used as an alternative to YouTube.  “Zuckerberg is getting squeezed by the left for letting Trump win the election,” claimed BitChute Founder and CEO Ray Vahey to Breitbart Tech. “He had to censor conservatives, or face repercussions as an accomplice to ‘Russian hacking’. The right is falling for the trap of begging for more government regulation of Facebook which will only lead to more censorship.  What we need is more competition, more alternatives, more freedom,” he expressed. “Not more government control.”

Gab is a user-funded microblogging social network which is frequently used as a free speech alternative to Twitter.  “Facebook plans to have 20,000 people reviewing content for ‘hate speech’ by year end, yet when pressured Zuckerberg could not define what they consider ‘hate speech’ to be,” noted Gab CEO Andrew Torba to Breitbart Tech. “He also claimed that the company hopes artificial intelligence will improve over the next five years to automatically remove ‘hate speech’ as soon as it is posted. It is clear that Facebook will continue down the path of censorship in the years to come.

“The fragmentation of the social web is starting to accelerate and will continue to do so as people seek out alternative platforms that share their values and put people first,” he continued, adding, “Gab has always and will always support the core values of free expression, individual liberty, and the free flow of information online. On Facebook you are the product being sold. On Gab we sell a software product to our users and give them full control over their account data.”

Americans deleting Facebook accounts due to privacy fears

According to a new report, nearly 1 in 10 Americans surveyed have deleted their Facebook account citing privacy fears as their motivation for leaving the platform.

Business Insider UK reports that according to a survey of 1000 Americans by Carolina Milanesi and technology research group Techpinions, nearly 1 in 10 Americans have deleted their Facebook account over privacy concerns. The figures discovered by Milanesi and Techpinions would seem to contradict Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who said recently that there was not a “meaningful” number of users deleting their Facebook pages.

Here are some of the most important figures from the Milanesi and Techpinions survey:

  • 17% of Americans have deleted the Facebook app from their phone due to concern for their privacy.
  • 35% of Americans are using Facebook less than they used to directly as a result of the privacy issue. 
  • 9% of Americans have deleted their Facebook account.
  • 39% of Americans are “very aware” and 37% say they’re “somewhat aware” of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. 

While these numbers are quite shocking, they are also self-reported — meaning there may be a gap between what people say they’re doing and their actual actions. However, it would appear that public perception of Facebook at the moment is not the most forgiving. Milanesi stated that while users deleting Facebook is obviously a worry for the company, the real threat comes from the dropping engagement rate on the platform. The study also states that 2 out of 5 (40 percent) Americans surveyed that had been using the platform for the last seven years wanted it to “go back to how it was.”

The survey findings indicated: Privacy matters to our panelists. Thirty-six percent said they are very concerned about it and another 41% saying they are somewhat concerned. Their behavior on Facebook has somewhat changed due to their privacy concerns. Seventeen percent deleted their Facebook app from their phone, 11% deleted from other devices, and 9% deleted their account altogether. These numbers might not worry Facebook too much, but there are less drastic steps users are taking that should be worrying as they directly impact Facebook’s business model.  Read the survey results in full here.

Federal judge strikes down DOJ refusal of law enforcement grants

A federal judge in Los Angeles this week struck down the Trump administration’s policy of denying certain Department of Justice law enforcement grants to cities that adopt “sanctuary” policies and refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement.

The Los Angeles Times reports:  “U.S. District Judge Manuel Real issued a permanent, nationwide ban against a Justice Department policy that gave an edge to obliging police departments applying for a community policing grant program. In doing so, Real dealt a legal setback to the Trump administration in its aggressive campaign to crack down on illegal immigration and to force compliance from law enforcement officials.”

Calling the ruling “overbroad and inconsistent with the rule of law,” a Justice Department spokesman said the government was within its rights to give preference to departments that assisted in immigration enforcement. “The Department has the lawful discretion to give additional consideration for jurisdictions that prioritize the safety of their communities and their law enforcement officers when they promise to cooperate with federal immigration authorities seeking information about illegal aliens who have committed crimes,” Devin M. O’Malley said in a statement.

The ruling follows a similar decision in San Francisco late last year.  U.S. District Court Judge William Orrick III issued a permanent injunction Monday against President Donald Trump’s executive order directing that federal funds be withheld from “sanctuary city” jurisdictions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum clarifying the Department of Justice’s interpretation of the order, stipulating that the federal funds to be withheld would be limited to discretionary grants from the department to local law enforcement authorities.

But the judge said in July that memorandum was not enough to stop other agencies from interpreting the executive order in a broader sense, and that the memorandum could easily be withdrawn.

The battle will likely continue as the California judgments go through the appeals process.

President Trump slams former FBI director’s new book

Former FBI Director, James Comey

President Trump on Friday slammed James Comey as an “untruthful slime ball,” as the ex-FBI director’s upcoming book and accompanying tour raised anew salacious allegations about Trump first made in an unverified dossier and blasted the president for everything from integrity to his height, skin and hair.

“James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR,” the president tweeted. “Virtually everyone in Washington thought he should be fired for the terrible job he did-until he was, in fact, fired. He leaked CLASSIFIED information, for which he should be prosecuted. He lied to Congress under OATH.”

In another tweet, Trump said, Comey’s “handling of the Crooked Hillary Clinton case, and the events surrounding it, will go down as one of the worst ‘botch jobs’ of history,” Trump said. “It was my great honor to fire James Comey!”

Comey, who was fired by Trump in May of 2017, is coming out with his “A Higher Loyalty” book next week. Excerpts began surfacing Thursday, as Comey kicks off a media tour to promote the book.. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”

In his book, according to excerpts, Comey also describes Trump as “untethered to truth” and “ego-driven.”  Comey goes so far as to question the strength of Trump’s marriage to his wife, Melania.

Associated Press reported that Comey, who stands 6-foot-8, described the president as shorter than he expected with a “too long” tie and “bright white half-moons” under his eyes that he suggested came from tanning goggles. He also said he made a conscious effort to check the president’s hand size — briefly a subject of mockery among Trump’s Republican rivals on the campaign trail — saying it was “smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so.”

According to The Washington Post, Comey described Trump’s presidency as a “forest fire” and wrote that his interactions with the administration recalled “my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob.  “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview,” Comey reportedly wrote. “The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.”

The New York Post reported that Comey returned to the Mafia theme in describing a Jan. 27 dinner with Trump at which, Comey wrote, the president told him: “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty.  You will always get honesty from me,” Comey said he replied, later writing, “The demand was like [mobster] Sammy the Bull’s Cosa Nostra induction ceremony.”

Trump fired Comey in May 2017, claiming he did so because of Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices. According to The AP, Comey wrote that he regretted his approach and some of the wording he used in his July 2016 press conference in which he announced the decision not to prosecute Clinton. But, he said he believed he did the right thing by going before the cameras and making his statement, noting that the Justice Department had done so in other high-profile cases.


Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  He has worked 23 years as a middle school teacher.   Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email:  [email protected].

Mr. Hernandez is dedicated himself to advance the 13 spheres—as a “City Upon A Hill”; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships and supporting constitutional awareness and active citizenship.

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