Early Fireworks Over Illegal Immigration – Peter Fonda and Other Miscreants | Look At News Daily  (June 16-22/Day 147-154) Week 22

By Michael Hernandez

June 16 (Saturday):  Day 147

Department of Health gives media tour of migrant children facility

The Department of Health and Human Services hosted media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California, on Friday where migrant children are being sheltered after being separated from their parents.

The children are separated from their parents — or, to be precise, from the adults accompanying them, who may or may not be their parents — when their parents cross the southern U.S. border illegally and are caught and detained.

Previously, under the “catch-and-release” policy, the adults would be released. Under the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration, the adults are being detained and prosecuted. Children cannot be incarcerated with them.

However, families that arrive together at legal ports of entry and apply for asylum status are generally not split up and are permitted to stay in the U.S. pending the adjudication of their applications (which can take several years).

Democrats and the mainstream media have accused the administration of separating the children of “immigrants” from their parents and imprisoning them in “cages.” On Thursday, CNN analyst and Playboy reporter Brian Karem shouted at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages.” None of the reporters in the briefing room corrected him.

The facility at El Cajon, however, is not a “cage.” It is a comfortable facility providing lodging, meals, clothing, medical care, education, recreation, counseling, and other services.

It is run by a nonprofit organization called Southwest Key as part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program, run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Administration for Children and Familes (ACF).

The facility is located on a main street in a quiet, suburban neighborhood. It has 65 beds, occupied by boys ages 6 to 17. The rooms are spare, with three to four beds in each; the boys are responsible for cleaning the rooms and making their own beds. There is an outdoor recreation area with picnic tables and a small soccer pitch. There is a classroom area, and English lessons. The goal is “reunification”: letting each child depart with a legal guardian.

Some 90 percent of the children at the shelter arrived at the border without adults; the other 10 percent were separated from the adults accompanying them. Once the children arrive — usually brought by U.S. Border Patrol agents — they are greeted in the “intake” office, where they receive any urgent medical care, are assigned a case worker, and are given food, a shower, and new clothing. They are also given toiletries and lessons in hygiene — literally how to flush a toilet, brush their teeth, and operate the shower, which some of the children may have never seen in their lives.

The children receive six hours of education daily, which include lessons in English and physical education. The boys interact with girls who are housed offsite and brought to the shelter during the day to access its services.

They have limited access to telephones to call relatives, both in the U.S. and abroad. They receive therapy, both as individuals and in group sessions. They enjoy field trips to local museums, parks, and the zoo, where they can explore the city beyond the shelter. And they also have social activities, including a recent “prom” for which they dressed up.

Southwest Key has operated its facilities — 27 in total, across California, Arizona, and Texas — since 1997, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Flores v. Reno that unaccompanied illegal alien minors could not be held in detention facilities.

Migrant children in federal care have more than poor American children

Migrant children who cross into the United States either alone or with adults have a higher standard of living once they are put into federal care than the more than 13 million American children who are living in poverty across the country.

In Fiscal Year 2017, the federal government referred nearly 41,000 unaccompanied minor border crossers to the Unaccompanied Alien Children program which is facilitated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Data provided to Breitbart News reveals that each unaccompanied minor costs the federal government about $34,660 annually. This is a higher standard of living per child than the roughly 13 million American children who continue to live below the U.S. poverty line.

In 2016, there were about 13.2 million American children under the age of 18 living in poverty. These are U.S. children, for example, whose parents or guardians –in a household of four — earn less than $24,500 a year.

This annual income for an impoverished American family is $10,000 less than the more than $34,500 in federal funds which are spent on each unaccompanied minor border crosser.

Overall, about $1.4 billion is spent on unaccompanied minor border crossers every year, which American taxpayers foot the bill for.

Justice Department Inspector reports on FBI collusion

FBI witnesses speaking to the Justice Department’s internal watchdog described an extraordinary system of communication set up between former deputy director Andrew McCabe and FBI official Lisa Page that bypassed the ordinary chain of command to communicate important information about the agency’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The method of communication involved FBI official Peter Strzok, who was romantically involved with Page, sending information on the Clinton probe to McCabe through Page, the report found.

Page and Strzok have been the subject of public controversy following revelations last December that they exchanged a series of anti-Trump text messages. Still more messages were revealed in the 500-plus page report released yesterday by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General.

One section of the report focuses on Page’s special liaison role between the team investigating Clinton, known as the “Midyear team”, and McCabe. The method of communication resulted in information not being filtered through other FBI officials, and according to the report Page acknowledged that some within the FBI were upset by this setup.

The Inspector General report found that Page, McCabe and Strzok’s circle of contact cut out two top FBI officials from the chain of communication, namely E.W. Priestap, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division and Michael Steinbach, who served as executive assistant director of the agency’s national security branch.

The report reveals: Lisa Page, who was Special Counsel to McCabe, became involved in the Midyear investigation after McCabe became the Deputy Director in February 2016.  Page told the OIG that part of her function was to serve as a liaison between the Midyear team and McCabe.  Page acknowledged that her role upset senior FBI officials, but told the OIG that McCabe relied on her to ensure that he had the information he needed to make decisions, without it being filtered through multiple layers of management.

Several witnesses told the OIG that Page circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap’s or Steinbach’s knowledge.  McCabe said that he was aware of complaints about Page, and that he valued her ability to “spot issues” and bring them to his attention when others did not do so.

The Inspector General report, meanwhile, contained previously unknown text messages between Page and Strzok in which the pair discussed stopping Trump from becoming president. “Trump’s not ever going to become president, right? Right!?” Page texted Strzok in one August 2016 message. “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

President Trump comments on Manafort going to jail

President Donald Trump commented Friday about former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was sent to jail for alleged witness tampering after his bail was revoked.  “Wow, what a tough sentence for Paul Manafort, who has represented Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and many other top political people and campaigns,” Trump wrote on Twitter.  “Didn’t know Manafort was the head of the Mob.”

Manafort was hired to run Trump’s campaign in March 2016 and was fired in August 2016. Trump said it was wrong that Manafort was jailed when Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey remained free. “What about Comey and Crooked Hillary and all of the others?” he wrote. “Very unfair!”

Trump also commented on the case during an interview with reporters on Friday, suggesting it was unfair for prosecutors to charge Manafort for some of his work with foreign political interests 12 years ago. He reminded reporters special counsel Robert Mueller charged Manafort with accusations that had “nothing to do with [his] campaign.”

Ivanka Trump to help Kevin McCarthy with fundraisers

First Daughter Ivanka Trump will attend several fundraisers with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in California next week to help protect the House against Democrats who are seeking to regain control of it in November’s general election.

According to an invitation obtained by the Los Angeles Times, Trump will headline an event in Fresno and Los Angeles on Monday. Proceeds from the fundraisers will reportedly go to a political action committee (PAC) led by McCarthy and Vice President Mike Pence called Protect the House that seeks to maintain the GOP’s control of Congress.

“At the request of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Ivanka Trump will be headlining a June 18 Protect the House fundraiser with the Leader in California,” a statement acquired by Politico read. “Ivanka developed a strong relationship with Leader McCarthy during their efforts to Pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its Child Tax Credit provisions. They also worked closely on Seta/Fosta legislation to combat online sex trafficking.”

California is one state where Republican members of Congress are most vulnerable and the targets of Democrat-led efforts to change the tides to blue from red in Washington, D.C.

The Central Valley has also become a target with Hollywood names like Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Streisand backing Republican Rep. Devin Nunes’s (R-CA) little-known Democratic opponent Andrew Janz.

Democrats have focused particularly closely on targeting four Republican seats in California’s Orange County, formerly the “Most Republican County in America” before the “OC” voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections.

In April, McCarthy and the Protect the House PAC were hosted for a brunch at the Malibu home of Eva and Marc Stern. Tickets cost $10,000 per person.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the hosts of the Fresno event are Richard and Karen Spencer of Spencer Enterprises, John Harris of Harris Farms, and Dan Gerawan of Gerawan Farming. They reportedly “previously donated to the unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign of Antonio Villaraigosa, who courted conservative voters and the agriculture industry in the Central Valley.”

Democrat Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the frontrunner for governor, will face off against Republican businessman John Cox in the November general election.

 

June 17 (Sunday):  Day 148

FBI and DOJ could face Congressional action

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday” that House Speaker Paul Ryan led a meeting Friday night with senior members of the DOJ and FBI, and made it clear that “there’s going to be action on the floor of the House this week if FBI and DOJ do not comply with our subpoena request.”

Georgia couple fight illegal aliens who kills Americans and flee

After the car crash, the illegal alien spoke to detectives but fled when he was instructed to go to the hospital. Investigators with the federal government now say Harrell-Gonzalez has been living freely in Mexico.

Today, Billy and Kathy Inman—who is bound to a wheelchair because of the accident—are continuing to seek justice for the illegal alien killer of their son, telling CBS 46 that they have spoken to President Trump about their fight.

“It’s a struggle every day,” Kathy says of missing her son Dustin. “The way my son died is unacceptable, how he died,” Billy told CBS 46.

The illegal alien has been indicted on vehicular homicide charges, according to documents obtained by CBS 46, but federal investigators say they need the Department of Justice (DOJ) to work in capturing Harrell-Gonzalez in Mexico and extraditing him to the U.S.

“I hope so,” Cathy Inman told CBS 46 of seeing justice for Dustin’s death. “Our son’s been gone 18 years. This man’s been walking the streets for 18 years since what he did to my family,” Billy said in the interview. “He’s gotten to see his kids grow up and graduate and do something and get married and whatever they do. He gets to hug his kid.  I’ve got to go to the cemetery to see mine.”

To fight on behalf of bringing justice to Dustin’s killer and other American victims of illegal alien crime, the Dustin Inman Society was founded by D.A. King in 2005. Supporters can donate to the organization here.

(Editor’s Note:  Some 225 victims killed by illegal immigrants are listed in the Dustin Inman Society web page.)

Liberal activist calls Breitbart, Fox, and Sinclair “state-run media”

Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” director and liberal activist Rob Reiner called Breitbart News Network “essentially state-run media.”

Reiner said, “It’s more difficult now than it has ever been — first, to hold people in power accountable, to risk access and all of that, but also you have a mainstream media that is feeding the base of Donald Trump. And they are only getting information in one way. It’s much easier to say, fake news, witch hunt, no collusion and repeat that over and over than to explain to people what actually happened, how the democracy was attacked, what the connections to the Trump campaign are, were there any obstructions of justice? These are things that are very complicated to explain. But in order for our democracy to survive, we have to explain it, and we have to be vigilant.”

He added, “We know propaganda works. Every single administration, Republican, Democrat, all traffic in propaganda either to sell policy or to sell a rational to go to war. The difference is, we got a president now who is backed up by essentially state-run media with Fox and Breitbart and Sinclair.”

Most Californians want to repeal the gas tax

California Transportation Commission data demonstrates that if the “Repeal the Gas Tax” initiative on the November ballot passes, it will mostly kill HOV, bicycle, and light rail projects.

The USC Dornsife / Los Angeles Times Poll in mid-May found 51 percent of voters now favor voting to dump the 12-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase first enacted by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) in 2017, and only 38 percent want to keep the tax.

Repealing the gas tax is popular because the tax will cost each California household about $300 per year. But an American Road & Transportation Builders Association study claims the gas tax actually saves households nearly $300 per year. That savings is mostly being credited to “user benefits from decreased congestion, less money spent on vehicle repairs, safer roads, and an improved infrastructure network.”

Officially titled the ‘The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017’, the SB 1 website promised that $5.4 billion per year in gas tax revenues would “rebuild California by fixing neighborhood streets, freeways and bridges in communities across California and targeting funds toward transit and congested trade and commute corridor improvements.”

Roger Dickinson, executive director for union- and contractor-funded Transportation California, told the Bond Buyer, “the 5,000 projects underway — or those slated to begin soon — would be halted in their tracks.” Dickinson warned, “There are smaller ones that could be completed in a year, but many jurisdictions are planning on multi-year funding, and they would not be able to finish the projects they had programmed.”

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) announced $2.7 billion in gas tax awards in 2018 to fund 61 projects that will be “split equally between state and local investments.” To maximize transportation improvement, CTC established 3 funding streams, titled the “Solutions for Congested Corridors Program,” the “Trade Corridor Enhancement Program,” and the “Local Partnership Competitive Program.”

Last month, the 2018 Congested Corridors Program was awarded about $1 billion as recommended spending for just 10 of California’s 58 counties. Other than funding 13 miles of pavement reconstruction, most program funding was allocated to fund about 125 miles of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, bike paths, and light rail transit.

The 2018 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program was awarded almost $1.4 billion as recommended spending. Although there was less detail regarding its spending, almost half the cash for that program will go to HOV lanes and transportation enhancements at California’s southern border.

The 2018 Local Partnership Competitive Program was awarded $308 million as  recommended spending. About $180 million, or over half of the cash, will fund HOV lanes and rail improvements.

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association warns that repeal of SB 1 could cost the state 68,203 jobs and reduce $18.3 billion of economic activity and benefits for California residents and businesses each year.

Conservative Young Women gather in Dallas for Turning Point USA

Over 1200 young women from all backgrounds representing 48 states gathered in Dallas for Turning Point USA’s 4th Annual Young Women’s Leadership Conference.

At the Friday evening banquet, Turning Point USA’s Founder, Charlie Kirk, interviewed White House Counselor Kelly Anne Conway before a room of politically charged young women, who represent one of the most coveted demographics in American Politics.

“This country is more than ready for a female President, just not that one,” stated Conway. “We kept open the job of first female President of the United States, and maybe she’s in this room,“ Conway added as the inspired young activists broke out in applause.

Continuing with the female empowerment theme, Conway and Kirk expounded on the fact that President Trump has placed an unprecedented number of women in top leadership positions and as heads of government agencies, some of which have never had female leadership before, including Gina Haspel, Director of the CIA and the nomination of the Marine Corps Col. Lorna Mahlock to serve as the first black female Marine Corps brigadier general.

During the discussion, Kirk underscored the vital importance of having young conservative female voices engage in the political conversations occurring on university campuses across the nation. He added, “What happens on college and high school campuses now will play a pivotal role in saving Western Civilization.”

Conway, who founded one of the most successful polling and cultural trend predicting consultancies in DC, expounded upon one of the main themes that emerged at #YWLS2018, the freedom of expression. “Don’t worry about being different. God made you unique, so stand out from the sameness. Be it and do it, don’t just say it” said Conway.

During the Saturday session, Candace Owens, Turning Point USA’s Communications Director, inspired the young female crowd by describing her personal experiences with the left’s “outrage culture.” She encouraged them to develop their own authentic voice and to speak the truth courageously against the outrage culture’s attempt to force conformity and collectivism on to America. She left the eager young activists with some final words of encouragement, “I don’t want you to look up to me for what I believe in, but I want you to look up to yourselves for what each of you believes in.”

 

June 18 (Monday):  Day 149

Trump critics lash out at immigration policy

Beltway pundits who dislike President Donald Trump seem to agree that the Holocaust is now fair game when it comes to attacking the administration’s immigration policies.

On Friday, MSNBC hosts compared U.S. Border Patrol agents to “Nazis.” The White House objected, but others continued.

Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele referred to the facilities used to detain and shelter illegal alien children as “concentration camps for kids” and warned that the Trump administration could target the children of U.S. citizens as well.

Over the weekend, retired General Michael Hayden, who served as Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief in the Bush administration, and as National Security Agency (NSA) chief in both the Clinton and Bush administration tweeted an image of the death camp of Birkenau as a comment on Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy toward illegal immigration, which often results in the children of arrested migrants being held separately and sent to shelters.

Hayden was hailed by Trump’s critics — but criticized by other observers, such as Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, who called his tweet “a form of Holocaust denial.”

Hayden defended his use of the image on CNN on Monday morning, saying he wanted to “grab people’s attention.” He apologized, somewhat: “If I overachieved by comparing it to Birkenau. I apologize to anyone who may have felt offended,” he told CNN.

Not to be outdone, First Lady Laura Bush  an op-ed in Monday’s Washington Post comparing Trump’s policy to the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. “They were citizens of the U.S.”

President Trump defends immigration laws

President Donald Trump defended his tough enforcement of immigration laws on Monday, saying that he would not allow unchecked flows of illegal immigration into the country. “The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump said. “You look at what’s happening in Europe … we cannot allow that to happen to the United States. Not on my watch.”

The president urged Americans to read about the problems and crime in Europe after countries accepted mass groups of migrant populations.  “We need borders, we need security, we need safety,” Trump said.  He chastised Democrats for grandstanding on the issue of immigration instead of working with Republicans to fix the problems.

“If the Democrats would sit down instead of obstructing, we could have something done very quickly,” he said. “Good for the children, good for the country, good for the world.”

The president said he was willing to accept more immigrants, but called for it to be focused on high skills immigration. He added, however, that the problem with the country’s immigration laws had to be fixed first. “A country without a border is not a country at all… It starts at the border, and that’s the way it is,” Trump concluded.

Bio-tech billionaire buys LA Times and San Diego Union-Tribune

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire who earned his fortune in the biotech field, will officially take full control of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday when the $500 million sale is completed and Soon-Shiong becomes executive chairman of the California News Group.

The deal, which was reported in February, will return the two historic publications back to local ownership after what the Times itself described on Saturday as “18 turbulent years under Chicago control” (i.e. the Chicago-based Tribune Media Company).

Soon-Shiong also owns a 4.5% stake in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. He also reportedly has a passion for seeing medical advancements, particularly in the area of cancer. Soon-Shiong, 65, was born in South Africa, is the son of Chinese immigrants and educated at the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, at the time one of the finest medical schools in the world. He reportedly amassed his $7.5 billion fortune by building and then selling two biopharmaceutical companies, and has since then “been on a mission to personalize cancer treatment and develop vaccinations for deadly diseases.”    Last year he purchased six financially strapped California hospitals.

Soon-Shiong wrote to the publications’ readers on Sunday in which he wrote that he is “honored and privileged to assume the mantle of these storied institutions of democracy. To me, this is the culmination of an immigrant’s American Dream.”  He added:  “I believe that fake news is the cancer of our times and social media the vehicles for metastasis. Institutions like The Times and the Union-Tribune are more vital than ever. They must be bastions of editorial integrity and independence if they are to protect our democracy and provide an antidote to disinformation. We will continue our papers’ dedication to truth, integrity, journalistic independence, and storytelling that engages, informs, educates and inspires with care and compassion.”

 

June 19 (Tuesday):  Day 150

Two journalists on Penn Law panel believe Trump will be re-elected

Four national political journalists with ties to Philadelphia discussed the state of the press during a conversation at Penn Law School one week ago (June 12).  In a two-hour panel, they evaluated how their profession has been affected by President Trump and how to deal with challenges to the media in a polarized environment.

The event, labeled “Free Press in the Trump Age,” was organized by local media organization The Philadelphia Citizen, in partnership with Penn’s Annenberg School of Communication and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

Larry Platt, the editor of The Philadelphia Citizen, moderated the panel discussion. He was joined by 2005 College graduate and Washington Post White House correspondent Ashley Parker, Philadelphia Inquirer Washington correspondent Jonathan Tamari, and MSNBC Business correspondent Ali Velshi (a Canadian television broadcaster).

The journalists said that the President, who has called the news media the “enemy of the American people” is unlikely to be removed from office anytime soon. When asked by an audience member whether they believed President Trump could last in office, the panelists said they didn’t think Trump was going anywhere. 

Velshi said he believed Trump is far from a liability for congressional Republicans and that, as long as this remains true, he will enjoy the support of his party.

Parker agreed that the president was here to stay and forecasted a possible second term for Trump.  “I don’t think he will get impeached, and I think he will run for re-election,” Parker said. “And there is a good chance he will win re-election.” 

13 GOP Senators want open borders

13 Republican Senators are demanding President Trump halt all enforcement of the United States-Mexico border until they pass legislation closing an immigration loophole, a plan that would leave the border open for potentially years.

In a letter by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), he and 12 other Republican Senators have taken the extreme, open borders position that the Trump administration should release every illegal alien who crosses the southern border with a child into the interior of the U.S.

The plan would spur a completely open border until the Republican-controlled Congress passes legislation that allows children to be detained with the border-crossing adults that they arrived in the U.S. with.

“We, therefore, ask you to halt implementation of the Department’s zero tolerance policy while Congress works out a solution that enables faster processing of individuals who enter our country illegally without requiring the forced, inhumane separation of children from their parents,” the letter signed by the 13 Republican Senators states. “We believe a reasonable path forward can be found that accommodates the need to enforce our laws while holding true to other, equally essential values.”

A list of all the Republican Senators supporting this plan to stop all border enforcement:

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
  • Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
  • Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
  • Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)
  • Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)
  • Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH)

Truth in Accounting:  California receives an “F” grade

The non-partisan “Truth in Accounting” project, which analyzes government financial reports, has awarded California an “F” grade for claiming surpluses instead of a $269.9 billion deficit.

The Chicago-based organization has been providing in-depth accounting reviews of the audited financial statements for America’s 50 states, as well as most major counties and major cities, in the United States since 2002. The group’s mission is to educate and empower citizens with understandable, reliable, and transparent government financial information.

California received the lowest score of “F” on Truth in Accounting’s grading scale because despite Gov. Jerry Brown touting several years of surpluses. California actually faces a $269.9 billion shortfall in terms of its overall obligations, which equates to $22,000 burden for each of the 12.3 million taxpayers in the state.

California’s financial burden is primarily associated with the rapidly deteriorating condition of the state’s current $461.3 billion in promised public employee retirement benefits –which are $102.5 billion under-funded by the pension plan — and $107 billion for unfunded retiree health care benefits.

The State of California faced a near financial death experience in Great Recession, when the average taxpayer burden jumped from $15,000 to $23,500. Newly elected Gov. Brown, facing a $25 billion deficit in 2011, passed an array of income and sales tax hikes, including a 29 percent increase for Californians with taxable income over $1 million.

Gov. Brown has touted the “California Comeback.” But the data demonstrate that despite the gusher of tax revenue the flooded into Sacramento from the economic recovery and the substantially higher tax rates Gov. Brown passed, the state’s taxpayer burden only fell modestly to $20,900 by 2015. The taxpayer burden rose to $21,600 in 2016 and hit $22,000 in 2017, the second-highest in the history of the state.

Truth in Accounting Founder Sheila Weinberg warns that California is a giant “Sinkhole Sate.” Ms. Weinberg is especially critical of Gov. Brown claiming an $8.8 billion surplus this year, while avoiding the fact that California has only $100.1 billion in available assets to pay $369.9 billion worth of bills.

U.S. announces withdrawal from U.N. Human Rights Council

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department on Tuesday to announce the United States’ withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council.

“This step is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” Nikki Haley said. “On the contrary, we take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organization that makes a mockery of human rights.”

The announcement comes after the council’s condemnation of Israel for the violence and deaths in the Gaza Strip, even as Hamas admitted that 50 of the 62 Palestinians who died in recent riots on Israel’s border with Gaza were its members. Palestinian Islamic Jihad said three others belonged to the organization.

Kuwait, the council’s Arab representative, said Israel should be condemned “in the strongest terms and immediately cease its military reprisals, collective punishment and unlawful use of force against civilians, including in the Gaza Strip.”

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley

June 20 (Wednesday):  Day 151

AB 2577: Taxpayers to Fund /Subsidize Unions

The California Teachers Association has cut $23 million from its budget—but DOUBLED its political spending. 

“Californians now face AB 2577, a bill that would allow a “deduction an amount equal to the amount paid or incurred during the taxable year by a taxpayer for member dues to a labor organization.” As reported by the Pacific Research Institute, “Californians, in effect, will collectively subsidize union dues – the bill would cost taxpayers $250 million the first year, $170 million in 2019-20, and $180 million in 2020-21.” AB 2577 has already passed in the State Assembly.

Supreme Court to rule on forced union dues

The Janus v AFSCME Supreme Court decision, due any day now, could free teachers and other public employees from having to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. Hence, a teacher in California could save $1,100 or $1,200 a year if they so choose.

Assuming an unfavorable decision, the teachers unions are preparing for such a ruling. The California Teachers Association is projecting a loss of 23,000 members, according to Mike Antonucci. The union also figures to lose a great majority of its 28,000 fee payers, those who have quit the union but still are forced to pay an “agency fee,” the amount of money the union claims it costs to represent them. But as a way to soften the financial hit, CTA has announced a per-teacher dues raise of $23 a year for the 2018-2019 school year, bringing the state component for teachers’ dues to $700 annually, which will help ease the pain of lost members.

CTA’s parent, the National Education Association, is also planning strategies pending an adverse Janus decision. While it is preparing for a 10 percent teacher quit-rate and has slashed its budget by $50 million, NEA has also raised its per teacher share of dues, from $189 to $192.  NEA is pondering a new class of member called “community ally.”

As Antonucci writes, the new category would be open to “any person who demonstrates support in advancing the cause of public education, who advocates for the mission, vision, and core values of the Association, and who is not eligible for any other membership category.” 

Since labor unions can only solicit political action committee contributions from members, this could open the door for deep-pocketed folks like Tom Steyer to join. This strategy is legally tenuous to say the least, and most likely will be subject to judicial scrutiny.

No union pays a penny in income tax.  As a 501(c)(5), unions have a special tax exempt status with the IRS which is accorded to “Labor, Agricultural, and Horticultural Organizations.” So NEA took in $365,874,501 in 2015, according to its most recent available tax return, all coming from taxpayer supported teachers’ salaries, and the union pays no government taxes. CTA’s income was $183,118,404 as per its latest return and that too is tax-free despite using its taxpayer-paid tax-free money to raise taxpayer taxes!

Californians now face AB 2577, a bill that would allow a “deduction an amount equal to the amount paid or incurred during the taxable year by a taxpayer for member dues to a labor organization.” As reported by the Pacific Research Institute, “Californians, in effect, will collectively subsidize union dues – the bill would cost taxpayers $250 million the first year, $170 million in 2019-20, and $180 million in 2020-21.” AB 2577 has already passed in the State Assembly.

Meanwhile, teachers unions fight charter schools and voucher programs, railing against “privatizers” who “try to make money from public education.”

President signs executive order to keep immigrant families together

The executive order Trump signed on Wednesday acts as a sort of a strategic retreat buying President Trump time; while keeping the framework of his original zero tolerance policies at the border intact.

Meanwhile, the new guard of economic nationalist GOP candidates in Trump’s mold have seized on this issue as a lightning rod against their Democratic opponents on the campaign trail from Florida and West Virginia to Montana and Wisconsin and beyond.

When Trump did it in 2016, promising a wall and deportation of all illegal aliens and key immigration reforms like E-Verify, an end to catch-and-release, and so much more, he shocked the world by defeating 16 other accomplished Republican politicians and taking the GOP nomination away from more “qualified” candidates. He did it again in the general election, trouncing Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton by winning 30 states–306 electoral votes. His drubbing of the former first lady of the United States, who went on to serve as a U.S. Senator and then as a Secretary of State, was predicated on these immigration principles.

Republicans, in 2014, took control of the U.S. Senate–and held their House majority–in a historic swing election that also focused on immigration. Then President Barack Obama began considering additional executive amnesty for parents of illegal aliens to supplement his 2012 DACA program–something that became a central focus of the race that year–along with the rise of radical Islamic terrorism through the now basically defunct Islamic State and its connections to refugees and immigration, as well as an Ebola scare in Africa that ended up hitting Texas as well.

Fast forward to September 2017 and all of a sudden Trump, in his first year as president, has ended DACA. When he did, he gave Congress a six-month timeline to develop a legislative replacement. Congress failed to hit that March 6 deadline.

GOP divided over immigration bills

GOP leadership in the House has had serious problems wrangling a fiercely divided conference on this hotly contested issue. Pro-amnesty moderates reject the Goodlatte bill because it is tough on enforcement. Anti-amnesty pro-Trump conservatives reject the Ryan amnesty bill–the so-called “compromise”–because it is not tough enough and would be the biggest amnesty in U.S. history.

According to Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, whose group commissioned an immigration survey. “As House Republicans consider their votes on the Goodlatte-McCaul bill and the Ryan ‘Leadership’ bill, they should be aware that voting for either bill – both of which contain amnesty for a certain class of illegal immigrants – will endanger their reelection campaigns,” Martin said announcing the poll results, which can be viewed in full on the organization’s website. “These new survey results prove the point: Likely voters do not support amnesty, and will punish Republican Congressmen who vote for it.”

First Lady contacts Secret Service about threats to her son

Has been Peter Fonda

The Office of First Lady Melania Trump contacted the Secret Service concerning a tweet from actor Peter Fonda, in which he called for the kidnapping on Melania and President Trump’s son Barron. On Wednesday, Fonda tweeted for a mob to “rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles.” Barron Trump, President Trump’s youngest child, is 12-years-old.

Wednesday’s tweet is only one example of several that saw the Oscar-nominated actor lash out at President Trump and members of his administration. Late Tuesday night, Fonda called on a mob of “90 MILLION,” to get “EVEN MORE ANGRY WITH THESE REPUBLICANS:” Fonda also called for the mob to surround the schools attended by the children of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in order to “scare the shit out of them.”

A representative for Fonda told Fox News’ Sasha Savitsky: “Peter wanted to make sure that Melania and Ivanka communicate with the president the dire circumstances of separating mothers and young children.”

San Francisco protesters descend on immigration offices

Protesters in San Francisco and other cities descended on the offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to demand an end to the “zero tolerance” policy on the border, comparing the agency to the Nazi Gestapo.

Demonstrators were reacting to reports that illegal aliens who were caught crossing the border with children were being detained and separated from them as the Trump administration ended the practice of “catch-and-release.”

The San Francisco Chronicle reports: “Hundreds of protesters descended on a block of San Francisco’s Financial District on Tuesday to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the border.

Demonstrators, armed with homemade signs and rallying cries, blocked the entrance to the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement field office in San Francisco around 1 p.m., choking the stretch of road on Sansome Street between Jackson and Washington and diverting traffic.” 

 

June 21 (Thursday):  Day 152

President Trump:   “All they (Democrats) do is obstruct

President Donald Trump continued criticizing Democrats on Thursday for refusing to support any Republican-led immigration reform legislation. “We need two to tango,” Trump said during a Cabinet meeting, citing the Democratic filibuster in the Senate that was blocking any legislation from moving forward.

The president called for a new effort on immigration, inviting legislators to the White House to discuss more details about immigration—a problem the country has faced for 50 years.  “They don’t care about the children. They don’t care about the injury. They don’t care about the problems. All they do is obstruct,” Trump said about the current crisis at the border.

President holds rally in Duluth Minnesota

President Trump’s rally in Duluth, Minnesota Wednesday night marked the beginning of the Republican Party’s campaign to win Minnesota in 2018 and 2020.

Trump almost pulled that victory off in 2016, narrowly losing the state to Hillary Clinton by a mere 44,000 votes, a fact the president acknowledged to the enthusiastic crowd at the very beginning of the rally. “I hate to bring this up, but we came this close to winning the state of Minnesota,” Trump told the enthusiastic crowd.

Minnesota is the only state in the country where more Democrat held seats are competitive:  three than Republican held seats which are two.  With so much at stake, Minnesota’s three potential takeaways from the Democrats are a tempting target for President Trump and the Republican Party.

Two Senate seats currently held by Democrats are up in 2018, thanks to Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) resignation after pictures of him engaging in inappropriate behavior surfaced. The Cook Political Report rates Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) race as “Solid Democratic,” but rates Franken replacement Sen. Tina Smith’s (D-MN) special election race as merely “Lean Democratic.” With a surge of pro-Trump agenda voters, Republicans have a real chance of taking Smith’s seat away from the Democrats in November.

Incumbent Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, is not running for re-election, and the Cook Political Report rates this race a “Toss-Up.”

 

June 22 (Friday):  Day 153

Bloomberg donating $80 million to pro-gun Democrat candidates

Gun control proponent Michael Bloomberg is donating $80 million to Democrat candidates in hopes of flipping the House of Representatives to a pro-gun control position.

Bloomberg wrote on Twitter, “Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, have done little to reach across the aisle to craft bipartisan solutions–not only on guns and climate change, but also on jobs, immigration, health care, and infrastructure. As a result, Congress has done very little.”

Protesters demonstrate at Cabinet Secretary home

Secret Service officers monitored the nearly hour-long demonstration, outside Department of Home Security Kirstjen Nielsen home Friday.  The demonstration outside the Secretary’s home comes days after members of the D.C. chapter of the Democrat Socialists of America drove Nielsen out of a Mexican restaurant on Tuesday. “No borders! No walls! Sanctuary for all!” the activists shouted as she ate.”

“Aren’t you a mother too?” The far-left agitators asked Nielsen. “Kirstjen Nielsen, you’re a villain! Lock her up!” Nielsen eventually vacated the restaurant amid fears the situation would escalate.  Nelsen was also targeted by actor Peter Fonda, who shared a violent  and sexually degrading fantasy about the Trump Cabinet leader Tuesday night.

Trump reform plan would merge Departments of Education and Labor

A Trump administration federal government reform plan seeks to merge the Departments of Education and Labor as a means to fulfill President Donald Trump’s executive order to make the federal government more “efficient, effective and accountable.”

The reform plan announced during a Cabinet meeting Thursday, lists 14 “organizational realignments to enhance mission and service delivery.” The first one named is to “merge the Departments of Education and Labor into a single Cabinet agency, the Department of Education and the Workforce [DEW].”

The Trump administration states the newly formed department would be “charged with meeting the needs of American students and workers from education and skill development to workplace protection to retirement security.”

According to the plan: “Merging ED [Education Department] and DOL [Department of Labor] would allow the Federal Government to address the educational and skill needs of American students and workers in a coordinated way, eliminating duplication of effort between the two agencies and maximizing the effectiveness of skill-building efforts.

All of the existing ED and DOL programs would merge into a single department that would consist of four “sub-agencies” that focus on 1) K-12; 2) Higher Education/Workforce Development; 3) Enforcement; and 4) Research/Evaluation/Administration.

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky is the author of a one-sentence bill introduced last year that would end the federal Education Department on December 31, 2018. Though he still supports a complete end to the department, he said the administration’s proposal could be a step in the right direction:

 

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens JournalVentura Countys online news service, founder of History Makers Internationala 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 24 years as a middle school teacher.   Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email:  [email protected].

Mr. Hernandez is dedicated himself to advance the 13 spheresas 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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