Look At News Daily: Dems sit on their hands and there’s that Memo and so much more!  (Jan. 27-Feb. 2/Day 8-14) Week 2

By Michael Hernandez

(Editor’s Note:  Mr. Hernandez has agreed to continue his weekly news column in 2018 but under a different banner:  “Look At News Daily” rather than “Trump Briefs.”  This change reflects his intent to provide election coverage; and focus on not just national news; but local, state and international news.)

Saturday, January 27  (Day 8):

President Trump backs off White House immigration amnesty proposal

President Donald Trump carefully distanced himself from his unpopular amnesty proposal late Saturday night, saying that it is intended to show the GOP’s sincerity and the Democrats’ cynicism and obstructionism.  “I have offered DACA a wonderful deal, including a doubling in the number of recipients & a twelve year pathway to citizenship, for two reasons: (1) Because the Republicans want to fix a long time terrible problem. (2) To show that Democrats do not want to solve DACA, only use it!,” Trump said.  “Democrats are not interested in Border Safety & Security or in the funding and rebuilding of our Military. They are only interested in Obstruction!”

The White House proposal emerged as Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer told the New York Times that he had agreed to fund wall construction in a face-to-face meeting with Trump while believing he could not deliver on the deal. Trump’s pro-American voters were hostile to the amnesty offer, which opens the door to a massive, unregulated, unending amnesty of far more than 1.8 million illegals.

The amnesty would greatly help business groups and their lobbies, such as the Koch brothers. Trump’s top congressional aide, Marc Short, is a former senior aide to the Koch brothers.

 

George Soros attacks U.S. and President Trump

Billionaire speculator and social activist George Soros came out swinging at Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos Thursday, accusing the U.S. President of trying to turn the country into a “mafia state.” “I find the current moment in history rather painful,” Soros stated in his remarks. “In the United States, President Trump would like to establish a mafia state but he can’t, because the Constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won’t allow it.”

The billionaire also said that “the United States is set on a course toward nuclear war by refusing to accept that North Korea has become a nuclear power.” “Not only the survival of open society, but the survival of our entire civilization is at stake,” he said. “The rise of leaders such as Kim Jong-Un in North Korea and Donald Trump in the US have much to do with this.”

In his address, Soros said that he considers the Trump administration “a danger to the world,” while insisting, however, that it is “a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner.” “I give President Trump credit for motivating his core supporters brilliantly, but for every core supporter, he has created a greater number of core opponents who are equally strongly motivated. That is why I expect a Democratic landslide in 2018,” he said.

Along with the danger of nuclear war with North Korea, Soros said that he fears climate change, and once again blames Trump for the lack of political will to implement the necessary measures to contain it.  “The other major threat to the survival of our civilization is climate change, which is also a growing cause of forced migration,” Soros said.

Soros said that whereas in the past he had focused his economic might on “the so-called developing world,” now he was targeting “the United States and Europe” in an effort to influence the course of these societies. Our current aim, he said, “is to help save the European Union in order to radically reinvent it.

“The EU used to enjoy the enthusiastic support of the people of my generation, but that changed after the financial crisis of 2008. The EU lost its way because it was governed by outdated treaties and a mistaken belief in austerity policies,” he said.  “As a consequence, a large proportion of the current generation has come to regard the European Union as its enemy,” Soros said, citing the examples of Great Britain, Poland and Hungary. “In several other countries anti-European parties are on the rise. In Austria, they are in the governing coalition and the fate of Italy will be decided by the elections in March,” he said.

“How can we prevent the European Union from abandoning its values?” Soros asked Thursday. “We need to reform it at every level: at the level of the Union itself, at the level of the member states and the level of the electorate. We are in a revolutionary period; everything is subject to change. The decisions taken now will determine the shape of the future,” he said.  Earlier this month, Soros said he would “fight back” against the “dominant ideology” of nationalism, while lamenting that the European Union is “on the verge of a breakdown.”

Alluding to the collapse of the USSR, Soros said: “It’s déjà vu all over again with one big change — the dominant ideology in the world now is nationalism… It’s the EU that’s the institution that’s on the verge of a breakdown. And Russia is now the resurgent power, based on nationalism,” he said.

 

Sunday, January 28 (Day 9):

Barack Obama and Louis Farrakhan photo released

A photograph of then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan that was taken in 2005 at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC, was released Saturday after a 13-year cover-up to protect Obama’s political career.

Journalist Askia Muhammad told TriceEdneyWire.com that he took the photograph after Obama had engaged “in a warm conversation with constituent and fellow Chicagoan Minister Louis Farrakhan.” However, he realized that the photograph could endanger Obama’s presidential ambitions, which were already being widely discussed.

Farrakhan is a black supremacist and anti-semite who also holds anti-gay views. Rumors of an association between Obama and Farrakhan circulated during the 2008 presidential campaign in the wake of revelations about Obama’s decades-long membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ, led by the racist preacher Jeremiah Wright.

Muhammad told TraceEdneyWire.com that he was confronted by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus about the photograph, and that he eventually surrendered it to Farrakhan’s chief of staff. He secretly kept a copy of the image for himself, but he never told anyone and never released the image, for fear of burglary or retaliation against him, he told the Talking Points Memo website. He told TraceEdneyWire.com that he believed the photograph would have destroyed Obama’s electoral chances: “I gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy,” Muhammad said in an exclusive interview with the Trice Edney News Wire this week. “But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover.”

As for any debate that the photo could have made a difference in the outcome of the Obama presidential election, Muhammad is emphatic: “I insist. It absolutely would have made a difference.”

Farrakhan, born Louis Eugene Walcott, has led the Nation of Islam (NOI) since 1981. NOI is a cultish new religious movement founded in the 1930s by Wallace Fard Muhammad, a man who claimed to be the Messiah cometh as well as the “Mahdi” of Islam.

NOI’s primary beliefs, hammered out under the leadership of “the honorable” Elijah Muhammad in the 1940s and 50s, include that white people are inherently “devils,” who exist because a black scientist named Jakub “grafted” them into existence on an island in the fifth millennium B.C. Whites “devils” were, according to the NOI, bred to be evil for hundreds of years by Jakub, and eventually learned to use “tricknology” to enslave blacks.

Farrakhan and the NOI also have a long history of antisemitism. Farrakhan has, for example, spoken highly of Hitler’s abilities as a leader, and repeatedly spoken in sermons on “Jewish control” of various industries. He also infamously referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion.”

The photograph also includes “Minister Farrakhan’s son-in-law, Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad; His son and security chief, Mustapha Farrakhan; Minister Farrakhan’s son Joshua Farrakhan; and the Rev. Willie Wilson, executive producer of the program for Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995 and a chairman of the 20th anniversary,” according to TraceEdneyWire.com.

KPCC: Trump’s tax reform best for middle and lower income households

A story by Southern California Public Radio station KPCC last week appeared to admit that President Donald Trump’s $1.5 billion tax reform is best for middle and lower income households.

During the months leading up to the tax cut, public radio and television railed away that Republican tax reform would be a massive giveaway to the wealthy, paid for by the middle and lower households. KPCC public radio reported polling that only one in three voters supported the bill.

Citing the supposedly non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), PBS News Hour gravely warned that all taxpayers with annual incomes under $75,000 would become tax losers over the decade long life of tax reform. Individuals with $1 million incomes were predicted to receive an immediate $59,615 a year tax cut windfall, while poor Americans making less than $20,000 per year would suffer losses that would grow from $48 in 2019 to $788 a year by 2027.

But CBO has had dismal track record estimating public spending and government deficits. CBO in 2010 infamously presented a 36-page financial justification to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi assuring that Obamacare would reduce federal deficits of $143 billion over the next decade. By 2012, the CBO was estimating that Obamacare’s spiking healthcare insurance premiums would increase the deficit by another $820 billion.

KPCC recently engaged Los Angeles-based H&R Block to break down what the Trump “tax changes have in store for a group of Southern Californians,” ranging from “low-income grad students to highly paid professionals.”

H&R Block’s Aaron Martinez said that although critics claimed that Trump’s tax reform would only benefit the rich: “The new rules don’t always give much back to highly paid workers in a state like California. They pay higher state income taxes than residents in other states, and now their ability to deduct those taxes will be capped.”

Pro-Life activists Walk for Life in San Francisco

Tens of thousands of pro-life activists gathered in Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco on Saturday for the 14th annual Walk for Life West Coast. KQED reported some 50,000 activists were expected to participate in the San Francisco event that mirrored the March for Life on January 19 in the nation’s capital. The pro-life events are held each year on or about the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Roe v. Wade, when the high court creaed a right to abortion though none existed in the Constitution.

Wearing a pink jacket, Walk for Life West Coast co-founder Eva Muntean emphasized that abortion hurts both babies and women. “We’re here to proclaim that abortion hurts women,” she told the crowd of activists. “We’re here to take back the narrative that abortion is a right and personally, I’m here to take back pink!”

“No matter who is mayor, no matter who is governor, no matter who is president, we are not going away,” Muntean said. “We will not rest until every life is protected in America.”

Participants celebrated with Mass and a rally prior to the Walk from the Civic Center Plaza, down Market Street, and on to Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero beside San Francisco Bay.

Former pro-abortion-turned-pro-life speakers headlined the rally prior to the Walk.

As National Catholic Register reports, the speakers included Terry Beatley, the founder of the Hosea Initiative, a group that carries on the work of former abortionist and co-founder of NARAL Bernard Nathanson, who eventually became a pro-life Catholic.

Dr. John Bruchalski, a former abortionist who returned to the Catholic faith also delivered an address. Rev. Clenard Childress, a Protestant pastor from New Jersey, spoke about how abortion has particularly affected the black community. Childress noted that while the pro-life movement has made significant strides, “the final surge may prove to be the most difficult. There must be a presence in the public square continually demanding the right to life for the last segment of our society that has been denied access to the American dream,” he said.

A recent Marist poll released last week found that 76 percent of Americans—including 92 percent of Republicans, 78 percent of independents, and 61 percent of Democrats—would restrict abortion to, at most, the first trimester of pregnancy.

Additionally, 51 percent of Americans identify as “pro-choice,” but even 60 percent of those agree with substantial restrictions on abortion. The poll also finds that 63 percent would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, while 60 percent oppose the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.

 

Monday, January 29 (Day 10):

House Committee to release four-page classified memo

Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, praised the House Intelligence Committee’s decision on Monday evening to release a classified memo purportedly revealing government surveillance abuses under the Obama administration.

According to numerous reports, Page, the energy industry consultant who was briefly and tangentially associated with Trump’s presidential campaign, was the subject of possible illicit snooping under the FISA surveillance program.

“Today’s vote was a giant leap in the direction of open and transparent government,” Page said. “The House Intelligence Committee showed incredible courage in doing the right thing despite being attacked with such harsh criticism from political partisans and media hardliners.”

Following today’s vote, Trump will need to weigh in with any objections within five days before the memo can be publicly released.

According to numerous reports concerning the contents of the memo, Republicans believe the FBI utilized the 35-page anti-Trump dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Page. In October, the Washington Post reported that in April 2016, attorney Marc E. Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained Fusion GPS to conduct the firm’s anti-Trump work on behalf of both Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).  Clinton’s campaign and the DNC both were clients of Perkins Coie.

Fox News reported on the surveillance memo: The four-page memo is being described by GOP lawmakers as “shocking,” “troubling” and “alarming,” with one congressman likening the details to KGB activity in Russia. Those who have seen the document suggest it reveals what role the unverified anti-Trump “dossier” played in the application for a surveillance warrant on at least one Trump associate.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who helped craft the memo, urged the government to make the document public. “If you … want to know whether or not the dossier was used in court proceedings, whether or not it was vetted before it was used. … If you are interested in who paid for the dossier … then, yes, you’ll want the memo to come out,” Gowdy stated on “Fox News Sunday.”

Schweizer’s new book to expose corruption by high-level officials

The author who wrote Clinton Cash and sparked an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation is preparing to launch his highly anticipated investigative follow-up.

On Monday, publishing giant HarperCollins released the book cover of Government Accountability Institute President and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer’s forthcoming book, Secret Empires: How Our Politicians Hide Corruption and Enrich Their Families and Friends. While little is known about the book’s contents, five images on the book’s cover suggest that Schweizer’s next targets may include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), former Vice President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

According to the publisher, Secret Empires will expose vast corruption by top Washington figures who leverage their political power to enrich their family members and friends, often by helping grease deals with foreign entities.

The author of four major New York Times bestsellers, Schweizer has garnered praise from conservatives and progressives alike for his reputation as a nonpartisan deep-dive investigative journalist. Newsweek dubbed him “the wonk who slays Washington.” Indeed, among Washington insiders, the launch of a Schweizer book is regarded as somewhat of an event—one that has resulted in ethics probes, the passage of major anti-corruption legislation, members of Congress stepping down, and, in the case of the Clintons, an FBI investigation.

In 2012, 60 Minutes based a feature report on Schweizer’s book Throw Them All Out that exposed congressional insider trading by members of Congress. The 60 Minutes report won the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based journalism. After Schweizer’s revelations, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill called the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) to ban lawmakers from using insider knowledge to make personal stock trades. As Slate noted, Schweizer wrote “the book that started the STOCK Act stampede.” One of the main targets of the book, the powerful chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Spencer Bachus (R-AL), announced he would not seek reelection following the book’s revelations.

In 2013, Schweizer released Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets and sparked the resignation of Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ). Schweizer revealed that Andrews used $16,575 from his leadership PAC to jet he and his family to a lavish resort in Edinburgh, Scotland. CBS’s 60 Minutes partnered with Schweizer again to report Extortion’s findings. Following Rep. Andrews’s resignation, Schweizer said: “The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) is a nonpartisan investigative research team committed to exposing cronyism and misuse of taxpayer money. For those discouraged by the cronyism corrupting Washington, the Andrews resignation demonstrates that we can hold them accountable. For those in power who are engaging in self-enrichment, we have two words: watch out.”

Then in 2015, Schweizer sent shockwaves through Washington, DC, with the release of Clinton Cash. The book revealed that Hillary Clinton’s State Department, along with eight other agencies, approved the transfer of 20 percent of U.S. uranium and that nine foreign investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation. The New York Times ran a 4,000-word front-page story based on the book and confirmed its findings, as did the Washington Post and several others. Hillary Clinton’s campaign kicked into overdrive trying to refute the book’s myriad revelations. Surprisingly, some of Schweizer’s strongest defenders came from the political left. Progressive columnist Eleanor Clift hailed Schweizer “an equal-opportunity investigator, snaring Republicans as well as Democrats.” And Columbia University Earth Institute Director Jeffrey D. Sachs said Clinton Cash was “compelling reading on how Bill and Hillary have mixed personal wealthy, power, and influence peddling.”

A feature-length documentary film based on the book debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and also received wide praise. MSNBC said the film was “devastating” and that it “powerfully connects the dots.”

Later, in November 2016, the New York Times reported that an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation “was based mostly on information that had surfaced in news stories and the book Clinton Cash, according to several law enforcement officials briefed on the case.”

According to HarperCollins, Secret Empires is slated to hit bookshelves nationwide March 20th.

 

Tuesday, January 30 (Day 11):

President Trump delivers State of the Union address

The Economy:

“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.  Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

“Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

“Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and  small businesses.  To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit. A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

“We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone. We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000. Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

“Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

The American Way:

“We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.  And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions. Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act. Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

“I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

“We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world. In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again. Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.

Healthcare:

“To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.  We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives. People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

“One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.

Infrastructure:

“As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need. Together, we can reclaim our building heritage. We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land. And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

Immigration:

“Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

“For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country. We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

“The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

“Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.  Here are the four pillars of our plan:

“The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

“The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like C.J. to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

“The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

“The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

Drug Addiction:

“These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction. In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

“My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

International Relations:

“As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad. Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values. In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

“For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military. As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression. Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

“Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement. Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.

“Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before: I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition. American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

“That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

“I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

“My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.  But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

America and Freedom:

“It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America. It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness. But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea: that they could rule themselves. That they could chart their own destiny. And that, together, they could light up the world.

“And freedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people. A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

“They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

“But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them. Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

“Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again.

“As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

“Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

“Thank you, and God bless America.”

Wednesday, January 31  (Day 12):

Trump right on national motto; CNN analyst wrong

President Trump reminded the nation that “in America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is ‘In God we trust.’”

Brian Karem, a political analyst CNN and executive editor for Sentinel Newspaper wrote on his Twitter feed:  “Our motto has been E Pluribus Unum – out of many One.”

“In God We Trust” is the official national motto of the United States and has been since 1956. Prior to 1956, there was no official motto until “In God We Trust” was codified into law by the 84th Congress. “E pluribus unum,” which translates into “Out of many, one,” is the unofficial motto of the United States.

Karem is not alone in his ignorance. In 2010, while speaking at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, President Obama misinformed his audience with this: “I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope. It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum — out of many, one.”  After Obama’s flub, in November of 2011, by a vote of 396 to 9, the House of Representatives again reaffirmed that the official U.S. national motto is “In God We Trust.”

 

Thursday, February 1 (Day 13):

ICE requires 77 California businesses to comply with immigration audits

Some 77 Northern California businesses were required this week to comply with immigration audits of their workforces in what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has described as “protecting jobs for U.S. citizens” and other lawfully employed individuals.

Businesses received notices of inspection from ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents from Monday through Wednesday, ICE Spokesman James Schwab said.  The notices gave each business three days from the date of being served to comply and produce I-9 documents.

Typically HSI takes the documents and conducts inspection for compliance. While the businesses were not initially identified, they were located within the San Francisco responsibility jurisdiction, including San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose.

Schwab said that HSI has increased enforcement activities to “enforce the laws that prohibit businesses from hiring illegal workers.” ICE Deputy Director Tom Homan has made known plans to increase the level of HSI worksite enforcement actions.

“HSI’s worksite enforcement strategy is focused on protecting jobs for U.S. citizens and others who are lawfully employed, eliminating unfair competitive advantages for companies that hire an illegal workforce and strengthening public safety and national security,” Schwab said.

The HSI investigations are ongoing, and any resulting criminal charges or penalties will be coordinated with the Department of Justice. Employers not in compliance with the law face civil fines. Those employers who have knowingly violated the law face potential criminal prosecution.

HSI conducted 1,360 I-9 audits in fiscal year 2017. Those audits resulted in 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests, according to ICE. Audits also led to judicial forfeiture, fines, and restitution of $97.6 million levied on businesses and $7.8 million in civil fines.

One business, Asplundh Tree Experts, Co., was hit with the largest ever ICE case civil payment in U.S. history. The case against Asplundh was conducted over the course of six years.

HSI plans to continue conducting I-9 audits and imposing civil fines.

 

Friday,  February 2 (Day 14):

House Intelligence Memo released

The memo from House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), released finally on Friday after a massive buildup and protracted battle with Democrats and feds who fought its release, demonstrated widespread abuse by senior Department of Justice (DOJ) and law enforcement officials of federal spying capabilities.

The memo also demonstrates deep politicization inside the Justice Department and FBI, at the highest levels of federal law enforcement, showing a need for serious reforms so that law enforcement can never again abuse their powers for political purposes.

Perhaps the most important revelation, on page 3 of the four-page memo, is that this was all an effort by paid supporters of Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to abuse the powers of the federal government to prevent a candidate they disliked, now President Donald Trump, from winning a presidential election.

Christopher Steele, the FBI source who was paid by Fusion GPS and law firm Perkins Coie, on behalf of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign to draft the dossier that was used as a basis by the FBI to begin surveillance on Trump associate Carter Page, told a senior Justice Department that he was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.” That was in September 2016.

Democrats have staged a series of “media stunts” to prevent the public learning how FBI and Justice Department officials used Democratic-funded rumors to justify federal surveillance of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, says a press statement from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The HPSCI statement says the top Democrat on the intelligence oversight committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, and his allies tried to block, hide and stifle the revelations of improper 2016 surveillance by the FBI and the Department of Justice:

  • HPSCI Ranking Member [Rep.] Adam Schiff has been a ceaseless opponent of the Committee’s attempts to collect and share information on FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978] abuses. He even denounced the Committee’s issuance of subpoenas to the DOJ and FBI for information the agencies were withholding from Congressional oversight.
  • In a last-ditch effort to block publication of the HPSCI memo, Ranking Member Schiff issued a press release complaining about minor edits the Committee made to the memo.
  • The edits, implemented before HPSCI voted to make the memo public, included routine, minor technical changes and edits suggested by the FBI and by the Committee Minority themselves, respectively.
  • Ranking Member Schiff’s press release was one in a long line of media stunts meant to oppose transparency and stifle the Committee’s investigation of possible surveillance abuses by top officials at the FBI and DOJ.

The HPSCI committee is headed by California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes.

CNN compares forced resignation of FBI Deputy Director to Holocaust

CNN’s Ana Navarro compared the forced resignation of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to those murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. Using her verified Twitter account, Navarro rewrote Martin Niemoller’s famous Holocaust poem “First They Came…” to fit the occasion of the news that McCabe was forced out at the FBI.

The Niemoller poem specifically references three groups of Nazi victims — Socialists, trade unionists, and Jews. Navarro’s rewrite replaces those victim-groups with the names of former FBI Director James Comey and McCabe.

Navarro’s own employer, CNN, is backed by the unlimited wealth and power of Time-Warner, a multi-national corporation.

ACLJ analyzes the House Memo

In the American Center for Law and Justice analysis of the House Intelligence Committee Memo, they state: “ it is manifestly clear that the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI participated in a fraud on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in order to surveil Carter Page, a U.S. citizen.

“The FBI and the DOJ deliberately and intentionally advanced unverified opposition research paid for by one political party (the Democratic National Committee) designed to harm the opposing party by creating a fictional Russian collusion story as reliable fact. All this took place in the midst of a U.S. presidential election.  

“Evidently, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified before the Committee that but for reliance on the 35-page dossier, authored by Christopher Steele, the FISA warrant would neither have been sought nor obtained.  After previously rejecting their initial request, the judges relied on two sources as a basis for the eventual issuance of the warrant:  the dossier authored by a foreign agent, Christopher Steele, and a Yahoo News report Mr. Steele gave to Yahoo News.

“This behavior is a massive abuse of power and should outrage all Americans of both political parties.  In essence, a surveillance warrant was issued against an American citizen grounded in unverified, uncorroborated claims made by a foreign agent who ‘was desperate’ to prevent the current President from winning the 2016 election and was passionate about him not being President. 

“Despite this hostility toward the current President, in  a 2017 filing in a British Court, Mr. Steele,  said the claims he made in the dossier were unverified. Speaking through his attorneys regarding an alleged hacker, Steele “acknowledges that the part of the 35-page dossier that identified Mr. Gubarev as a rogue hacker came from “unsolicited intelligence” and “raw intelligence” that “needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified.

Mr. Steele’s court filing portrays him as a victim of Fusion GPS — the Washington firm that hired him with money from a Hillary Clinton backer. Fusion GPS specializes in opposition research for political parties and circulated the Steele dossier among reporters in an effort to injure the opponent of one of the major political parties. Mr. Steele’s unreliability is confirmed by virtue of evidence that Christopher Steele lied to the FBI when he said he did not speak to the media.

“Based largely on the information contained in the Steele dossier, financed by Fuson GPS and funded by a political party with the aide of the party’s law firm, on Oct. 21, 2016, the DOJ and FBI obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting a peripheral member of the Trump campaign and subsequently three FISA renewals from the FISC.

“The FISA statue, 50 U.S.C. 50 U.S.C. §1805 (d)(1) requires a FISA order on an American citizen be renewed by FISC every 90 days. Each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-FBI-Director James Comey, the now-disgraced former director, signed three FISA applications on behalf of the FBI, and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one.

“Signing on behalf of the DOJ were the Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, and current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of the Department of Justice.

“Parenthetically, readers should note that Mr. Boente currently serves as General Counsel for the FBI currently led by FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

“Because foreign intelligence activity is very sensitive and because surveilling American citizens implicates the important constitutional rights we hold as citizens, the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court’s ability to hold the government to the highest standards. This means that the evidence adduced before the court must demonstrate probable cause as well as the absence of bias.

“Thus, all material and relevant evidence favorable to the American target should be released to the court, including evidence that the affidavit on which the FISA warrant was issued was grounded in unverified evidence funded by a political party. In addition, FISC’s rigor in protecting the rights of Americans including applications for a 90-day renewal of surveillance order depends on the government’s production to the court of all material relevant facts including evidence of bias attributed to Mr. Steele, Fusion GPS, and an opposition political party.

“Failure to submit all material evidence to the FISA court constitutes a fraud on the court. Even more outrageous, the source of the relevant FISA order targeting Carter Page was created by a foreign national. This means that the FBI and DOJ outsourced their research and arguably violated their solemn duty to the American people. By doing so, these two government departments fueled the narrative that the Russian interfered in America’s last presidential election. On the contrary, the adducible evidence shows that members of the FBI and the DOJ interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign much more than any Russian operative. They placed their fingers on the scales of democracy to favor one candidate over another.

“This behavior suggests that each individual who signed the FISA applications on behalf of the DOJ and/or the FBI, should be required to testify under oath before Congress and the American people and give a defensible account for their misconduct. Otherwise they must face consequences. They must be held accountable.”

 

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 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 and supporting constitutional awareness and active citizenship.


Get Citizensjournal.us Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments