The Fourth 100 Days (Trump Briefs:  Oct. 7-12/Day 261-266) Week 38

By Michael Hernandez

 

Saturday, October 7 (Day 261):

Million Poles turn out for “Rosary on the Borders” prayer campaign

Millions of Polish citizens went to the nation’s borders to “pray for the salvation of their country” in the second-largest prayer event ever held in Europe (second only to the 2016 World Youth Day) according to Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

Organizers scheduled the event for Oct. 7, the Feast of the Holy Rosary, which commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, where “the Christian fleet overcame the Muslim armada, saving Europe from Islamization.

The feast day, originally called “Our Lady of Victory” was established by Pope Pius V in 1571 after the so-called Holy League won a landmark event over the invading Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto.  At the time, much of Europe was under siege from the Islamic forces, which sought to win the entire continent for Allah.

The Catholic event openly supported by Poland’s prime minister Beta Szydlo was criticized by British Broadcasting Corporation as “controversial” because it provided “support for the government’s refusal to accept Muslim migrants.”  Newsweek magazine and the Associated Press (AP) were also critical of the prayer event.

“In the past, there were raids by sultans and Turks and people of other faiths against us Christians,” said Krzysztof Januszewski.  “Today Islam is flooding us.  We are afraid of terrorist threats and we are afraid of people departing from the faith.”

 

Sunday, Oct. 8 (Day 262):

Mike Pence walks out of Sunday 49ers football game

Vice President Mike Pence

Vice President Mike Pence walked out of Sunday’s NFL football game between the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers after several 49ers did not stand for the pledge of allegiance.

“I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” the vice president wrote on Twitter.  “At a time when so many Americans are inspiring our nation with their courage, resolve, and resilience, now, more than ever, we should rally around our Flag and everything that unites us,” Pence added.

Colin Kaepernick, who is now a NFL free agent, brought attention to taking a knee during the anthem last year while with the San Francisco 49ers, as a way of protesting against racial injustice in the U.S. 

According to Pro Football Talk, Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Jones said, “If there’s anything that is disrespectful to the flag, then we will not play. OK? Understand? If we are disrespecting the flag, then we won’t play. Period. Period.”

As Pro Football Talk relays it: “The NFL’s game operations manual says “all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem.” The rule also states, “Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

Urging Americans to “Turn Off The NFL,” the group America First Policies has added the hashtag #TakeAStandNotAKnee to push the campaign on social media.

 

Monday, Oct. 9 (Day 263):

Bannon ‘declaring war’ on all GOP Senators running in 2018 elections

Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, told Fox News Channel he was “declaring war” on the Republican establishment and that no GOP incumbent Senator was safe.

“We are declaring war on the Republican establishment that does not back the agenda that Donald Trump ran on as the president of the United States. And that is an agenda that we know that backs the working  men and women of this country.

“Their donors are coming to us because they are tired of having their money burned up by trying to destroy people like Judge Moore.  There’s a new game in town. We are to cut off the oxygen to Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell’s biggest asset is the money. We’re going to make it the biggest liability. We are going after these guys tooth and nail.”

Steve Bannon

 

Tuesday, Oct. 10 (­­­D­­ay­ ­­­­­­­­­2­­­­­­6­­­4­­­­):

Iran attempting to buy banned nuclear technology

Three German intelligence reports say that Iran attempted to purchase nuclear and ballistic missile technology at least 32 times in 2016 in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Germans say that Iran made 141 attempts to buy illicit goods—most relating to missile technology—in 2015, the year before President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal went into effect.

Iran was using “front companies” in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and China to circumvent international restrictions on its nuclear and missile programs.

The German state of Hessen said Iran, along with Pakistan, North Korea and Sudan, have been using “guest academics” in schemes to obtain the technology. 

President Trump is considering decertification of the nuclear deal on the grounds that it not longer serves America’s national interests.  However, decertification would still require Congressional action.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 11 (Day 265):

40 percent of DACA recipients have no education beyond high school

Roughly 40 percent of illegal aliens shielded from deportation by Obama’s temporary amnesty program have no education beyond high school according to a study released by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Another 21 percent of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ) recipients dropped  out of high school.  This study by Harvard scholar Roberto Gonzales contradicts the Cato Institute claim that DACA recipients are well-educated and working in high-skill jobs.

Only 22 percent of DACA recipients have earned a four-year degree from a college or university reports the study.

Breitbart News has reported that 73 percent of DACA recipients live in low-income households.

Trump to provide assistance for rebuilding California after fires  

Vice President Mike Pence visited the California Office of Emergency Services Tuesday and said that the Trump administration is committed to providing public assistance to help California county and city governments rebuild.

California fire authorities report 82 active fires burning across the state, with the worst devastation in the Wine Country, where nine major fires have burnt over 84,000 acres (with 20 of the region’s 650 wineries severely damaged or destroyed), causing at least 15 deaths after winds reached 68 miles per hour on Monday.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that Napa and Sonoma Counties have suffered over 1,000 more wildfires this year than in 2016, with over 225,000 acres burned since January 1.

The National Interagency Fire Center incident count for the Western states’ first nine months was 50,000 fires which have burned over 8.5 million acres—more than double the numbers in the first three quarters of 2016.

Freedom Caucus: Republicans succeed only if they ‘get behind Trump’

Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) says that Republicans will only succeed in the midterm elections if they “get behind the Trump agenda.”

“We should really focus on an American First agenda,” said Meadows.   “One thing that Washington D.C. does not do well is cut spending.  We have to get the economy going again and getting tax cuts to wage earners and make sure that our businesses are competitive again.  It is critically important that we deliver on tax reform.  I want to make sure that we have a tax code that makes sure that everyone benefits, including those in poverty and those middle-income wage earners.”

President Trump plans to sign an executive order that will lower health care prices.   “Since Congress can’t get its act together on HealthCare, I will using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people—FAST,” tweeted the president on Tuesday.

According to Meadows, “The fundamental question for Republicans running all across the country is:  are you going to stand with the American people like the president campaigned on and won on November 8?  Or are you going to just talk about standing with the American people?  The American voter is not going to accept talk any longer.  It’s time to show the real proof of each candidate is made of and how they will fulfill that promise.”

Mitch McConnell removes blue slip rule blocking judicial appointments

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has removed an archaic procedural rule that has been misused by the left to block conservative federal judicial nominees from ever getting a vote—or even a hearing. It is called the Senate “blue slip

In 1917, the blue slip was initially created as an informal Senate “courtesy.” Under this courtesy, home state Senators were asked about their opinion on the nominee from their state and the Senate Judiciary Committee took their objections or support into account. Importantly, this did not stop the nomination from going forward. It was just a courtesy designed to gather information and was not an obstructionist tool.

In 1956, this courtesy began getting greater deference. Rather than simply gathering input from the home state Senators, the Senate would not confirm—or even consider–any nominee unless they were first approved by the Senators from the nominee’s own state, regardless of political party. This gave one Senator veto power.

Today, there are 149 vacancies in the federal judiciary. Of these, over 50 vacancies are “judicial emergencies.” A “judicial emergency” is a situation in which there are over 600 case filings per judge and that vacancy has existed for more than 18 months. In other words, a judicial emergency is when there are insufficient judges to timely hear and adjudicate cases.

Because of delay tactics, only six nominees other than Justice Neil Gorsuch have been confirmed by the Senate this year.  Currently, there are 50 nominees still pending in the Senate, and many of these nominees would fill these emergency seats and help bring justice to parties in conflict

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gives a clear and efficient procedure for nomination and confirmation of judges: “He [the President] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint…other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States.”

Today’s rule change marks a return to the simple, efficient, constitutional model of judicial confirmation. As Senate Majority Leader McConnell explained, the “blue slip” will now be viewed “‘as simply notification of how you’re going to vote, not as an opportunity to blackball’ a nominee.”

 

Thursday, Oct. 12 (Day 266):

U.S. to withdraw from UNESCO

The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would withdraw from Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of the United States distancing itself because of what it called the group’s “anti-Israel bias.”

“We were in arrears to the tune of $550 million or so, and so the question is, do we want to pay that money?” Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the State Department, said Thursday at a news briefing. She added, “With this anti-Israel bias that’s long documented on the part of UNESCO, that needs to come to an end.”

While the United States withdrew from the group, the Trump administration said it wanted to continue providing American perspective and expertise to UNESCO, but as a nonmember observer. The withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018, but that decision could be revisited, officials said.

If UNESCO returns “to a place where they’re truly promoting culture and education on all of that, perhaps we could take another look at this,” Ms. Nauert said.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization popularly known for its designation of World Heritage sites, is a global development agency with missions that include promoting sex education, literacy, clean water and equality for women.

In 2011, the United States stopped funding Unesco because of what was then a forgotten, 15-year-old amendment mandating a complete cutoff of American financing to any United Nations agency that accepts Palestine as a full member. Various efforts by President Barack Obama to overturn the legal restriction narrowly failed in Congress, and the United States lost its vote at the organization after two years of nonpayment, in 2013.

UNESCO was dependent on the United States for 22 percent of its budget, then about $70 million a year. During the Cold War, the United States withdrew from the agency in 1984 because the Reagan administration deemed the organization too susceptible to Moscow’s influence and overly critical of Israel.

President George W. Bush pledged in 2002 to rejoin the organization in part to show his willingness for international cooperation in the lead-up to the Iraq war.

Analysts said that withdrawing from the organization was a significant escalation by the United States in its criticism of United Nations bodies.

In July, Unesco declared the ancient and hotly contested core of Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, as a Palestinian World Heritage site in danger, a decision sharply criticized by Israel and its allies. And in 2015, UNESCO adopted a resolution that criticized Israel for mishandling heritage sites in Jerusalem and condemned “Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against freedom of worship.”

Nikki R. Haley, the United Nations ambassador, has repeatedly criticized the United Nations for what she called its anti-Israel bias.  In a statement released Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel praised the move by the United States and pledged to withdraw Israel from the organization as well. “This is a courageous and ethical decision because UNESCO has become a theater of the absurd and instead of preserving history, distorts it,” Mr. Netanyahu said.

For President Trump and for Mr. Netanyahu, the recognition of World Heritage sites in the Palestinian territories, like Hebron and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the 2015 resolution and another in 2016, showed an anti-Israel bias.

The 2016 resolution condemned Israel’s “escalating aggressions” regarding a holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as the Temple Mount. It was submitted by the Palestinians, was supported by 24 countries, with six opposing it and 26 abstaining. It referred to the holy site only using Muslim names and prompted angry reactions from Israeli leaders.

 

Trump nominates Kirstjen Nielsen as the new Homeland Security secretary

President Trump formally announced his nomination of White House official Kirstjen Nielsen for secretary of homeland security.

Trump cited Nielsen’s “great talent, knowledge and devotion” and praised her performance in her current role as White House deputy chief of staff.  “Through her wisdom and her leadership, she has won the universal respect of my entire Cabinet and senior White House staff,” Trump said.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nielsen would fill the post once held by John Kelly. Kelly served as Trump’s DHS secretary for just over six months before replacing Reince Priebus as White House chief of staff over the summer.

Nielsen would be the first former DHS staffer to lead the department, which was created by former President George W. Bush in 2003.

Trump cited Nielsen’s reputation from her time at DHS as an important factor in his decision. “There, she quickly reinforced a sterling reputation as a dedicated leader whose number one priority is always the safety and security of our country and our citizens, not politics or ideology. That sets her apart,” Trump said.

Nielsen had served as Kelly’s deputy at DHS and followed him to the White House when he replaced Priebus. Her departure leaves Kelly looking to fill another administrative vacancy.

Nielsen, speaking after the president, said it was a “privilege” to have served in the administration.  “I share the president’s profound commitment to the security of our country and safety of the American people,” Nielsen said.

President Trump signs executive order that allows purchase of health insurance across state lines

President Trump announced he is “starting that process” of repealing and replacing Obamacare with his executive order to unilaterally change some aspects of health insurance coverage. 

President Trump’s executive order legalizes and allows individuals to form Health Associations and purchase insurance across state lines.  Nationwide associations will be allowed to form groups across state lines and, with the leverage of size, demand Big Insurance bring down their premiums.

Currently, about half of private insurance is cross-state, self-insured ERISA plans. The President’s action allows millions of people in the individual market an escape route to group insurance.

According to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), “Association Health Plans will be among the biggest free-market reforms of health care in a generation, and it will do more to counter the impact of Obamacare than most of the repeal bills did, because it will actually go after regulations that the legislation didn’t touch due to Senate rules.

“All group insurance guarantees access regardless of pre-existing conditions. But what is great about cross-state Health Associations is that they will be exempt from some Obamacare and State regulations. This exemption from regulations is why cross-state group insurance has seen the lowest rise in premiums of any health insurance available.

“Million-person Health Associations will have enormous leverage to get better prices for consumers – that’s exactly why Big Insurance opposes them. My hope is that cross-state Health Associations will allow so many people to flee the individual market that subsidies will no longer be necessary. The president’s executive order is intended to make lower-premium plans more widely available.”

Trump administration to stop ‘cost-sharing’ Obamacare payments

The White House announced late Thursday that the administration has concluded it can no longer legally make critical Obamacare “cost-sharing” payments.

The payments had specifically been denied by Congress but President Obama had made them anyway, drawing a rebuke from a court who said he was overstepping his powers. The case has raged for months, and both the Obama and Trump administrations had continued making payments — until now.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a statement, said the Justice Department has concluded the judge’s ruling is correct, and there is no valid legal ability to make the payments.

“The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,” Mrs. Sanders said. “Congress needs to repeal and replace the disastrous Obamacare law and provide real relief to the American people.”

The statement doesn’t explicitly say Mr. Trump won’t make the payments anymore, but given the administration’s legal argument that appears likely. The cost-sharing payments go to insurance companies to pay for reimbursements for low-income customers’ out-of-pocket costs.

Without the payments, insurers have said they would jack up premiums, which would further upend the already shaky economic underpinning the Affordable Care Act. 

The move comes just hours after Mr. Trump signed an executive order pushing his administration to allow association health plans, which would allow individuals and small businesses to join up and purchase insurance on the group market across state lines.

The payments cost about $7 billion a year, according to the latest accounting.  Mr. Trump’s decision Thursday means he’s accepting the original judge’s legal finding. It’s similar to the move he made last month on DACA, the Obama-era deportation amnesty, where the administration concluded it would likely be unable to defend the program in court, so it instead announced a phase out.

The White House said exposing Obamacare’s flaws should put pressure on Congress to come up with a better system. House Republicans have passed a repeal-and-replace bill through their chamber, but Senate Republicans have struggled to find a consensus on their own bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has tried three separate versions, twice having to pull back and once facing an embarrassing floor defeat.

 

Friday, Oct. 13 (Day 267):

President Trump addresses Values Voter Summit

President Trump received multiple standing ovations as the first-ever sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit, a yearly gathering of social conservatives at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington. The summit was standing room only while the president spoke.

“In America we don’t worship government, we worship God,” Trump said.  “We know that parents, not bureaucrats, know best how to raise their children and create a thriving society,” he added.  “We’re saying Merry Christmas again,”
“How times have changed,” he added.

“We believe in strong families and safe communities,” Trump said. “We honor the dignity of work. We defend our constitution. We protect religious liberty. We treasure our freedom. We are proud of our history. We support the rule of law and the incredible men and women of law enforcement. We celebrate our heroes and salute every American that wears the uniform. We respect our great American flag.”

Trump was preceded at the conference by conservative allies such as Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who praised the president for delivering on his campaign promises to social conservatives and called on voters to reject lawmakers who won’t move Trump’s agenda forward.

“Everyone here today is brought together by the same shared and timeless values,” Trump said. “We cherish the sacred dignity of every human life.”

“Religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment of the Bill of Rights,” Trump said. “We all pledge allegiance to … one nation under God. This is America’s heritage, a country that never forgets that we are all, all, every one of us, made by the same God in heaven.”

For complete President Trump speech at Values Summit see video link:

http://rsbn.tv/watch-live-president-trump-speaks-at-2017-values-voter-summit/

Ted Cruz:  ‘Keep promises or face 2018 election bloodbath’

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said on Fox News, if the Republican Party did not keep its promises to voters on repealing Obamacare and cut taxes the 2018 midterm elections could be a “bloodbath” for them.

“The reason people are so unhappy, they are ticked off. We have Republican control of every branch of government, and we’re not delivering. If senators don’t want to see those kind of challenges, there is an easy solution to that. Let’s do what we said we would do. Let’s deliver on tax cuts and repealing Obamacare. If we get that done, I’m a big believer good policy is good politics. We’ll have a terrific 2018 election year if we cut taxes, repeal Obamacare and the economy booms. If we don’t get any of that done, 2018 could be a bloodbath. We control our own fate. Deliver results.”

(Editor’s Note:  To see complete remarks go to Cruz video link:

http://www.breitbart.com/video/2017/10/13/cruz-dont-cut-taxes-repeal-obamacare-2018-bloodbath/

Judicial Watch: FBI uncovers 30 pages of documents related to 2016 tarmac meeting

Judicial Watch is reporting that the FBI has uncovered 30 pages of documents related to the 2016 tarmac meeting between former President Bill Clinton and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The newly uncovered documents will be sent to Judicial Watch by the end of November in response to a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit.  Judicial Watch initially filed a request seeking “all records of communications between any agent, employee, or representative” of the FBI for the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server use and all records related to the June 27, 2016 meeting between Lynch and Bill Clinton.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton reported, “The fact they (the FBI) just ‘found them’ is yet another scandal.”

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch

Trump says he will ‘not make’ Iranian nuclear deal certification

President Trump declared Friday that the Iran nuclear deal is no longer in the national security interest of the United States, “I am announcing today that we cannot and will not make this certification,” Trump said during a speech at the White House.  “We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” he continued.

The president said that Iran “has committed multiple violations of the agreement” and accused Tehran of “not living up to the spirit of the deal.”

Trump ticked off a list of problems with the deal and laid out a new, tougher strategy to confront “the rogue regime.”

The decision is a compromise forged out of heated internal discussions about what to do with the nuclear deal between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers. 

It comes before a Sunday deadline when Trump would have been forced to notify Congress whether Iran was still in compliance with the deal and if it still fit the nation’s security interests.  Trump has certified Iranian compliance twice before, but was reportedly livid over the prospect of doing so again. 

He has repeatedly condemned the agreement and declared Iran has violated its “spirit” with its non-nuclear behavior, including its support for Syrian leader Bashar Assad and militant groups in the Middle East as well as its ballistic missile program.

Although Trump last certified Iran’s compliance in July, he nearly did not after former chief strategist Stephen Bannon handed him an op-ed published in The Hill by former United Nations ambassador John Bolton that laid out the case that the deal wasn’t in the U.S. national security interest, according to a report in The Weekly Standard.

Several top advisers — including national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis — worried a withdrawal would enflame tensions with Iran and spark a regional crisis. They scrambled to come up with an alternative path that allowed Trump to send a message to Tehran without torpedoing the pact.

Trump asked Congress to pass new benchmarks Iran would need to meet in order to stave off nuclear-related sanctions in the future. That includes revisiting sunset provisions that allow Iran to ramp up uranium enrichment activity after 10 years.

Trump also ordered the Treasury Department to impose new penalties on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is an overseer of Iran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile program.   “The Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian supreme leader’s corrupt terror force and militia,” Trump said, arguing it has helped fuel unrest in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

The nuclear deal generated fierce debate in Congress, and in 2015, lawmakers passed a measure that required the administration to certify Tehran’s compliance every 90 days.  Trump has chafed at the requirement and called for a change in the legislation that would allow the certifications to become less frequent. 

European allies that helped broker the agreement have expressed concern with Trump’s approach. French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a joint statement that preserving the Iran deal “is in our shared national security interest. We encourage the U.S. administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the [deal], such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement,” they said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, reportedly told members of parliament the government would react harshly to any U.S. move against the nuclear deal. 

For complete President Trump speech on the Iranian nuclear deal see video link:

http://rsbn.tv/watch-live-president-trump-comments-on-the-iranian-nuclear-deal/

 

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 West 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 dedicating 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.


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One Response to The Fourth 100 Days (Trump Briefs:  Oct. 7-12/Day 261-266) Week 38

  1. Ronald L. Lyons October 16, 2017 at 7:26 am

    That is what I call a good news wrap up. Once again the Citizens Journal tops all other papers for an unbiased view of our government’s progress toward a better country.

    Reply

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