The Second 100 Days (Trump Briefs: July 1-7 /Day 163-169) Week 24

By Michael Hernandez

 

Saturday, July 1 (Day 163):

President Trump:  “Liberty comes from our Creator”

President Donald Trump while honoring veterans at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. at a “Celebrate Freedom Rally” said “Since the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 241 years ago, America always affirmed that liberty comes from our Creator.  Our rights are given to us by God and no earthly force can ever take those rights away. That is why my administration is returning that power back to where it belongs — to the people.

Our religious liberty is enshrined in the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights. The American founders invoked our creator four times in the Declaration of Independence,” said Trump. “Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer. Inscribed on our currency are the words: ‘In God We Trust.’

“America is a land rich with heroes,” said Trump at the event, which included wounded warriors who are patients at the Walter Reed Medical Center.  “We all bleed the same red blood,” said President Trump.  Choirs performed “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and other hymns and debuted a song with the lyrics “make America great again” — Trump’s campaign slogan.

“The fake media is trying to silence us but we will not let them,” Trump said. “The people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not.”  Trump recalled his great election victory, vowing to continue fighting for his agenda, accusing the media of trying to stop him.

The dishonest media will not stop us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of the American people,” he said. “Their agenda is not your agenda.” The president said that the press “destroyed themselves” by revealing their true intent to the American people. “Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning,” he said.

Evangelical megachurch First Baptist Dallas sponsored the event. First Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress, who was a strong backer of Trump, said in a statement: “We have in President Donald J. Trump one of the great patriots of our modern era and a president who cherishes the sacrifice and service of those in our armed forces.”

Pastor Jeffress:  “America is a Christian Nation”

Dallas Pastor (First Baptist Church) Robert Jeffress proclaims “America is a Christian nation” at the Celebrate Freedom Concert held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, July 1st.

The patriotic evening  featured  President Donald J. Trump,  a tribute to veterans, Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Pastor Robert Jeffress (host of the radio and television program “Pathway to Victory” viewed on 1,200 television stations and 764 radio stations) and the 500-voice First Baptist Dallas Choir and Orchestra (under the direction of Dr. Doran Bugg; which was also the first church music ministry invited to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall) and was co-sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Dallas and by Camarillo-based Salem Media of Ventura County.  Evangelical mega-church, First Baptist Dallas, a church of 13,000 embers co-sponsored the event.

“America is a Christian nation.  America is not founded as a Muslim nation.  America is not founded as a Hindu nation. America is not neutral to Christianity.  America is founded as a Christian country.

“The vast majority of the signers of the Constitution (52 of 55) were evangelical Christians.  They were evangelical believers.  These signers went on to found the American Bible Society, the American Tract Society, the Philadelphia Bible Society.

“George Washington prayed:  “I call on thee for pardon and forgiveness of sins, for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross for me…John Adams, the signer of the Declaration of the Independence, said ‘The general principles of our fathers were the principles of Christianity.  Those general principles are is the essence of God’s principles of liberty…Patrick Henry, known for his famous words, ‘Give me liberty, or give me death’ said, ‘being a Christian is a character I prize far above what this world has to boast…John Quincy Adams (the sixth president and son of John Adams, the second president), ‘the birthday of America was (a celebration of) the birthday of our Savior.  Our government is (based) on the precepts of Christianity.

“Today, 67 percent of Americans believe that the separation of church and state if found in the First Amendment.  But it is not found anywhere.  It doesn’t appear anywhere (in the Constitution).

“The wall of separation of church and state came from a letter that President Thomas Jefferson wrote in Jan. 1, 1802 to Baptists in Connecticut.   Thomas Jefferson was writing (about rumors) that the government would not establish one denomination (Congregation) as the state denomination (church).  Jefferson was reassuring Christians of their freedom or free exercise of religion.

“Today, liberals have perverted (what Jefferson wrote) to restrict Christians.   For the first 140 years, the judicial system reaffirmed that this nation was a unique Christian nation.

“John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said, “Providence has given to our people, the choice of their rulers.  The duty of a Christian nation is to select Christians for their rulers.

“The first interpretation of the separation of Church and State came 150 years after the judicial system had reaffirmed that this nation was a unique Christian nation.  In 1947, 150 years after the ratification of the First Amendment in  Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal for the State of New Jersey to support a private parochial religious school.  (See link to:  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everson_v._Board_of_Education).

“At that time, all religious schools were Catholic schools.  Chief Justice Hugo Black said ‘we can’t support (these schools).  The wall must be kept high.  Their must be an Iron Curtain between Christianity and the Government.’  Hugo Black was an ex-member of the Ku Klux Klan and he carried the fear that American elites had of Catholic power.  Catholics were feared worse than African Americans.  Hugo’s (opinion) was born of (buried) bigotry.”

Jeffress spoke on later Supreme Court decisions in 1967, 1971, 1980, and 1997 that took out prayer from public schools, outlawed Bible reading, and removed the 10 Commandments from being posted.

“God’s word to Israel through the prophet Hosea was that if you forget the law of God, He will forget your children.  God is no respecter of person or of nations.  The nation that honors God will be blessed.  The nation that reels against God will be rejected by God.  ‘Blessed by the nation, that God is the Lord.’

Pastor Jeffress endorsed and appeared at rallies for Republican candidate Donald Trump.  On June 21 2016, candidate Trump named Jeffress to participate in his advisory board of evangelical leaders.

Bay City agrees to pay $190,000 in sanctuary city payout to illegal alien

San Francisco has agreed to a $190,000 payout to settle a lawsuit filed by a 33-year-old El Salvadoran who claims the city violated its sanctuary city policies when  he was arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.

The settlement with Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno was reached by the city attorney’s office but the agreement has yet to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.  The San Francisco Police Department had notified immigration authorities of his status in violation of the city’s  sanctuary policy, according to Fox News.

According to the San Francisco Examiner, the lawsuit names a number of officers who were involved, including then-Acting Chief of Police Toney Chaplin, Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, Sgt. Trevor Kelly and Eric Balmy, and officers Kevin Clifford, Nicole Chambers and Dayna Thibeaux.  “It’s really important for San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city not in name only but also in practice,” an attorney representing Zarceno told the Examiner. “Our hope is that the department is going to look into this further and really examine the way that the department can do more.”

KFI AM 640, a Southern California talk radio station reports that Figueroa-Zarceno’s attorney “said the ICE document shows that he was in jail for two days back in 2012 for DUI, and had a civil deportation order dating back to 2005.”

When Zarceno, walked into the police station in the Mission Bay District of San Francisco to report his car stolen on December 2, 2015, the city police ran his information, and an open warrant popped up — but because they were unable to ascertain the details, they let him leave. As soon as  he walked out the side door of the station, he was allegedly arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Zarceno has been fighting his deportation ever since he was released from two months in custody.  “What happened to me was very unfair and it was an injustice,” Figueroa-Zerceno said, according to a statement published by Fox News.. “I went into the police station to seek help and they didn’t tell me what was happening and they arrested me and treated me badly.”

Connecticut, Illinois and Maine fail to pass state budgets on time

Connecticut, Illinois, and Maine went into default shut-downs after failing to pass state budgets before the start of their July 1st fiscal year.  Governors started service shut-downs for the three states at midnight June 30. If states can not resolve their budget crises quickly, banks and municipal bond buyers will demand higher interest rates for all government borrowers Monday, July 3.

Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy and Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage are locked in political budget battles with their Legislatures.  Illinois’ Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to pass a budget in special sessions this weekend.

Illinois already had over 180,000 unpaid bills amounting to over $15 billion sitting at their state controller’s office and is in danger of become the first U.S. state to have its credit rating downgraded to “junk” status, causing the state to pay higher rates on its $200 billion in debt and liabilities.  Making matters much worse, a federal judge late on June 30th ordered  Illinois to immediately start paying $293 million for unpaid Medicaid bills, plus an extra $1 billion next year.

When the Chicago Public Schools, with about 400,000 K-12 students, was downgraded to junk two years ago, the interest rates they were paying to borrow short-term cash went from 3 to 4.64 percent. But after the State of Illinois failed to pay a $215 million pension payment on March 1st, Chicago Public Schools has been forced to pay 9 percent interest on some bonds, according to Bloomberg.

Seniors’ group files complaint with FCC over CNN’s reporting

The Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC), the leading conservative seniors’ organization in the country, filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Thursday over CNN’s reporting on Russian hacking.

In the light of hidden camera videos from James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas showing a CNN producer calling the narrative “bulls***,” and CNN Contributor Van Jones’s characterization of the Russia “collusion” story as a “nothing burger,” AMAC has brought a complaint under FCC regulations against the knowing broadcast of false information.

AMAC President Dan Weber, in a press release said: “[I]t became clear CNN personnel are violating FCC rules by ‘knowingly broadcasting false information.’ It is the FCC’s chartered duty to prevent broadcasters from knowingly airing false information, and that’s why I am filing a formal complaint with the agency. I further call on all Americans concerned with the preservation of truth and civil, democratic discourse to join me and the Association of Mature American Citizens by filing their own complaints with the FCC.”

AMAC, on Friday, kept up its attack on CNN, drawing attention to the recent resignations and retractions at the network. The organization claims over one million members  will receive the call to join in the complaint campaign.

Cable news, the market in which CNN competes, skews overwhelming towards seniors. According to AdWeek, in 2015 the Average CNN viewer was 61-years-old. Consumer actions by conservative seniors have the potential to cause networks like CNN serious concern.

Former Democratic Senator “optimist” U.S. Embassy in Israel will move;

Critical of Democrats who are “anti-Israel”

Former Senator Joseph Lieberman

Former 2000 Vice Presidential candidate and Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman (who co-sponsored the legislation in the ‘90s that mandated the movement of the American embassy) is “optimistic” that President Donald Trump will move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  

“Strangely, of all the countries in the world, Israel is the only one where we don’t locate our embassy in the city that the host country says is their capital,” said Lieberman at the annual “Free Iran” rally put on by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

“We have a site already in Jerusalem for our embassy and it is part of what was Israeli territory in 1948. So, there’s not going to be any negotiation about that site.”

Trump, following tradition, decided to sign a six-month waiver delaying the potential move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department refuses to recognize Americans born in Jerusalem as being born in Israel.  The State Department manual instructs: “For a person born in Jerusalem, write JERUSALEM as the place of birth in the passport. Do not write Israel, Jordan or West Bank for a person born within the current municipal borders of Jerusalem.”

Lieberman said, “I believe the President (Trump) could take (rectifying action) without moving the embassy. And it might be a statement about where he’s heading. It really is kind of silly that if you’re born in Jerusalem, Israel, somehow your American passport only says Jerusalem; not Jerusalem, Israel.”

Last month, 52 members of Congress wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urging him to change this policy the United States adopted several years ago.

Lieberman said he was “concerned” with the split between the Bernie Sanders and the establishment wing of the Democratic Party:  “The Democratic Party, when I became active in it, in the age of John F. Kennedy, was very pro-Israel, and if anything became more so. Now, there is clearly an element in the Democratic Party that doesn’t feel like that. And you have to deal with that reality and confront it with why Israel deserves to be supported by the United States …We are linked to them by values, by interests in a way that is profound.”

Lieberman, who was a member of the Democratic Party for many years, switched to the Independent Party in July 2006. “I think America remains very pro-Israel,” he said. However, he added that there are places where there is a rising opposition to Israel that “is not based on reality … I think the Israeli people that I’ve talked to, over the years, probably yearn for peace with the Palestinians as much as anybody does because they are the victims of lack of peace.”

 

Sunday, July 2 (Day 164):

Los Angeles Congressman seeks to impeach President Trump

Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman

Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman (Calif.) on Sunday called on other congressional lawmakers to join the efforts of impeaching President Trump, as thousands of people in Los Angeles participated in an impeachment march in which the crowd reportedly supported Sherman’s speech with cheers as well as “lock him up” chants.  According to the Los Angeles Times, a small group of pro-Trump counter-demonstrators also marched.

“We have to act now to protect our country from abuse of power and impulsive, ignorant incompetence,” Sherman said to audience members while on stage, the newspaper reported.  The California lawmaker said the testimony given by fired FBI Director James Comey, in which he confirmed the president asked him to let “go” of his investigation into former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, served as evidence of a “federal felony.”

Sherman is the second House Democrat, after Rep. Al Green (Texas), to speak about drawing up articles of impeachment.  However, most House Democrat leaders have rejected and warned against the calls to impeach the president, maintaining their distance from such measures.  “We have to find out what the facts are,” Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said last month.

Protesters from the “#Resistance” movement demonstrated in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and nationwide on Sunday to call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.  Thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators showed up in downtown Los Angeles, and hundreds more attended some 45 rallies across the country.

CBS Los Angeles reported:  Thousands of demonstrators gathered Sunday in downtown Los Angeles for a march to impeach PresidentDonald Trump. Massive crowds marched from Pershing Square to Fletcher-Bowron Square to urge Congress to impeach the president.  The Los Angeles march was one of 45 sister marches across the nation including Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco and Ventura.

The official website for the marches, impeachmentmarch.org, listed two reasons for Trump’s impeachment: namely, his alleged violations of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Marchers in Ann Arbor, Michigan also reportedly claimed that Trump deserved to be impeached because of alleged obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI director James Comey. The organization responsible calls itself “Impeachment March – Worldwide.”

However, many constitutional scholars have dismissed those claims: “My skepticism borders on disbelief,” liberal scholar Jonathan Turley told Bloomberg News last month.

California Congresswoman to fight to get President Trump impeached; blasts HUD and Education Secretaries

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) while speaking at the New Orleans Essence Festival said, she has said she has “taken off the gloves” to fight to get President Donald Trump impeached.  “We’re going to lock him up,” she said, before leading the crowd in an “impeach 45” chant.

Waters also aimed her sights at Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.  “He knows nothing about the mission of HUD.  He doesn’t care about people in public housing.  He believes that if you are poor, it is your own fault.  And he doesn’t know the difference between an immigrant and a slave,” she reportedly said.

Waters then promised: “And if he thinks when he comes before my committee where I am the ranking member [of the Financial Services Committee] that I am going to give him a pass… I am going to take his a** apart.”

Waters also blasted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “Jeff Sessions is a racist, he’s a throwback. We know his record, we know the statements that he’s made,” she said. “He really did like the Ku Klux Klan until he learned that they smoke pot.”  Waters said DeVos has “never seen the inside of a classroom” and never “served in education.”

(Editor’s Note: On Monday, Essence festival management announced that the event, which took place from June 29 to July 2, attracted more than 470,000 attendees.)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

Monday, July 3 (Day 165):

12 House Republicans request cancellation of August recess

Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs and 11 other House Republicans signed a letter to Paul Ryan requesting that the August recess be cancelled.

“During the 2016 elections, President Trump and Republican candidates running for the House and Senate promised the American people that with unified Republican government we could achieve many of the policy priorities that have been mere wishes for the last several years,” Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs wrote in his letter to Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican.

The 11 House Republicans who signed the letter Friday cited a “long list of pressing issues on our docket” including the repeal of ObamaCare, passing a tax reform plan, reign in federal spending and working toward balancing the budget. “The American people put their faith in us and are counting on us to carry out these goals.”

Congress on Friday broke for a roughly two-week Fourth of July recess and will return to Washington for about 14 legislative working days before their month-long August break.

The letter also cited the need to pass a federal budget and appropriate federal funding by Sept. 30, when the U.S. government technically runs out of money.  It also cited the need to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the National Flood Insurance Program and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The House Freedom Caucus — roughly 30 of the chamber’s most conservative members including Biggs — was among the first to support the effort to cancel the August recess. The group said in early June that “Congress must remain in session this summer to “continue working to accomplish the priorities of the American people.”

White House budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently said that he supports Congress staying in session through at least part of August. And White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway has made clear that President Trump, a businessman and real estate mogul by trade, wants faster results.

“When he says drain the swamp, it’s not just about getting rid of all the crocodiles in the water that we don’t need. It’s about moving at a different pace,” she recently told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

The GOP-led Senate is perhaps under an even tighter deadline, after leaving for July break without passing their ObamaCare overhaul bill.  Still, getting Republican congressional leaders to cancel or shorten the August recess, practically a perennial request, is unlikely.  Capitol Hill lawmakers historically use August to travel in delegations to foreign countries.

This year, a trip to China is scheduled through the U.S. Asia Institute, and a trip to Israel is being led by the American Israel Education Foundation.

House Committee approves amendment restricting President’s military command to fight terrorist

Congresswoman Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, measure to restrict the power of President Trump to wage war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates without the consent of Congress has been approved as an amendment to the $658 billion U.S. Department of Defense spending bill.

On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee adopted the new amendment to rescind the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Force (AUMF) as part of the $658 billion U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spending bill. The only lawmaker to oppose the measure was Kay Granger (R-TX), the chairwoman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, arguing that the policy has no place in a spending bill, reports the Hill.

Passed shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. homeland, American presidents have since used the Authorization for the Use of Force to justify military action against various jihadist groups, including al-Qaeda foe the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.  ISIS was originally an al-Qaeda offshoot, but the terrorist group broke away from Osama bin Laden’s organization in 2014.

The amendment attached to the defense spending bill by the House Appropriations Committee was immediately challenged by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.   “House Rules state that ‘a provision changing existing law may not be reported in a general appropriation bill.’ The Foreign Affairs Committee has sole jurisdiction over Authorizations for the Use of Military Force,” argued Cory Fritz, the Foreign Affairs panel’s deputy staff director for communications, reports the Hill.

The measure would revoke President Trump’s military authority within 240 days after the defense appropriations bill is enacted by the full Congress, forcing U.S. lawmakers to pass a new authorization in the interim to continue combating ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their respective affiliates.  Congress has been unable to pass a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force to combat ISIS and al-Qaeda.

Congresswoman Lee, a Democrat who has been serving East San Francisco Bay voters since 1998, is notable as the only member of either House of Congress to vote against the authorization of use of force following the September 11, 2001 attacks.  This made her a hero among many in the anti-war movement. Lee has been a vocal critic of the war in Iraq and supports legislation creating a Department of Peace.

Rep. Lee said, “This issue is more urgent given the erratic behavior and inexperience of our current Commander-in-Chief,” declared the lawmaker. “No president should have a blank check for endless war, least of all President Donald Trump.”

The Independent stated that some Republicans supported the Democrat congresswoman’s amendment, including Reps. Chris Stewart from Utah, a former Air Force pilot; and Tom Cole from Oklahoma, the chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services. “We are at war against an enemy that did not exist in a place that we did not expect to fight,” declared Congressman Cole. “How an AUMF can be stretched 16 years, certainly before I was in Congress, is beyond me.”

President Bush and former President Barack Obama both used AUMF on numerous occasions to order military action overseas — including operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, Ethiopia, and the Philippines.  George W. Bush used the AUMF on 18 occasions.  Former President Barack Obama invoked the authorization measure 19 times, including to justify U.S. military efforts against ISIS and its offshoots.

According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the AUMF has been used more than 37 times in 14 nations since U.S. lawmakers adopted it in 2001 to justify military action, “including non-lethal military activities such as detentions and military trials.”

President Trump has removed restrictions put in place by his predecessor, granting the Pentagon the authority to make Afghanistan battlefield decisions on its own, including setting troop levels.

After approving the defense spending legislation Thursday, the appropriations committee sent the bill to the House floor for a vote.

President tweets willingness to help English couple with ill baby

President Trump tweeted Monday: “If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”

President Trump was speaking of the critically ill 10-month-old British baby Charlie Gard, saying he would be “delighted” to “help” the boy after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled his parents could not privately fund a final attempt to treat him by taking their son to the United States for “experimental treatment.” The court argued that little Charlie was too ill, could not be saved, and must “die with dignity” in the United Kingdom.

The baby’s mother disagreed, insisting, “Charlie should get a chance to try these medications”, explaining: “He literally has nothing to lose but potentially a healthier, happier life to gain.”

The baby’s parents – Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31 – had raised more than £1.3 million to take Charlie to the U.S. for partially untested, “experimental” treatment.

In a statement issued by Greg Burke, the spokesman for Pope Francis:  “The Holy Father follows with affection and commotion the situation of Charlie Gard, and expresses his own closeness to his parents.  He prays for them, wishing that their desire to accompany and care for their own child to the end will be respected.”

The Pope’s words clashed with an earlier statement released by the head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, the pope’s advisory panel on bioethical issues, which seemed to sympathize with the court ruling that barred the parents from pursuing an experimental treatment in the United States.

After the ECHR’s ruling, the parents claimed that doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie has been treated, refused to allow them to take their son home to die.

“We want to give him a bath at home, put him in a cot which he has never slept in, but we are now being denied that,” Gard’s father said. “We know what day our son is going to die but don’t get a say in how that will happen.”

Charlie was born healthy, but suffers from a rare genetic condition called mitochondrial depletion syndrome and has serious brain damage.  Because of his condition, Charlie is unable to breathe without assistance, but his parents had raised money by crowd-funding to take their boy to the U.S. for trial therapy.

Charlie Gard

Election Integrity Project slams California for not investigating voter fraud

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla is being slammed by the Election Integrity Project (EIP), a California volunteer organization that aims to increase transparency in the voting process,  for his decision to refuse to cooperate with President Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity to investigate claims of voter fraud.

In a statement, the EIP said, “California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, along 25+ other Secretaries of State (SOS), has refused to cooperate with the bipartisan President’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. He was asked to simply supply the state’s voter list to the Commission so it can investigate practices that could lead to improper or fraudulent registrations and voting. The requested information is, for the most part, public information, and no more than any candidate, education organization, research organization, among others, are privy to.

“Secretary Padilla states that he does not want to ‘legitimize already debunked claims of massive voter fraud.’ California’s Election Integrity Project (EIP) asks not only when, where and how did the “debunking” take place, but more importantly, why protest an opportunity to conclusively prove through third party investigation his assertion that there is no election fraud in California? What does the Secretary have to hide?”

Padilla was among the first state officials to reject the request for voter information from Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Padilla told the Los Angeles Times that he did not want to “legitimize” claims of voter fraud in California that he called “false.”

EIP President Linda Paine said: “The secretaries of state can provide needed information while still protecting the privacy of voters.”

 

Tuesday, July 4 (Day 166):

Canadian singer’s song for America:  “Resist the powers that be”

Canadian singer Neil Young, a Bernie Sanders supporter, has released a Fourth of July music video “Promise of the Real – Children of Destiny”  with lyrics that say:  “Stand up for what you believe / Resist the powers that be / Preserve the ways of democracy so the children can be free.”  Young announced “Children of Destiny” in a short Facebook Live video posted Friday.

Wednesday, July 5 (Day 167):

North Koreans threaten U.S. with ‘final doom’

The Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s state newspaper, published a July 4 editorial threatening “final doom” for the “U.S. imperialists” should they not cease to sanction and condemn Pyongyang’s rogue regime.

The editorial follows the announcement of another missile launch with the North Koreans claiming to have a functional intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Rodong condemned the alleged “imperialist” tendencies of the United States.

“These madcap military provocations are nothing but an extremely dangerous action to drive the situation in the peninsula to the verge of nuclear war and a blatant challenge to all Koreans and the world people desirous of peace and stability,” stated the Rodong Sinmun.  “Such cowardly bluff of the Yankees as making a military mockery of only weak nation without nuke may work on other countries but never on the DPRK.  If the U.S. imperialists opt for the reckless military provocations, they will meet their final doom to be entailed by their foolish judgment and strategic mistakes.”

Last week, Rodong Sinmun referred to President Donald Trump as a “psychopath” and called his “America first” policy an “American version of Nazism.” Trump’s policies, it continued, were “far surpassing the fascism in the last century in its ferocious, brutal and chauvinistic nature.” That same article vowed to “annihilate all the invaders” should the United States attempt a military intervention.  In June, the newspaper accused the United States of deliberately causing the global migrant crisis triggered by the Syrian civil war while ignoring the death of 22-year-old American Otto Warmbier who had been arrested and detained before being sent back to the United States in a coma.

Pyongyang, the capital and largest city of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), claimed to have successfully tested a missile that “can reach anywhere in the world on Monday.” American officials told the South Korean news agency Yonhap that their intelligence suggested that North Korea had indeed tested an ICBM and that it may have the ability to reach as far as Alaska. “If confirmed, the ICBM test would put the North much closer to perfecting capabilities to strike the continental U.S. with a nuclear weapon and send the already high tensions with the North soaring higher,” reported Yonhap.

President Trump responded to the missile launch with a message on twitter, suggesting regional patience for such antics was waning and mocking dictator Kim Jong-un, asking, “Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?” In a separate tweet, President Trump stated that China should also participate in ending the “nonsense” performed by North Korea’s dictator.

The ballistic missile launched by North Korea on Tuesday flew longer than any missile test conducted by the rogue regime to date, U.S. Pacific Command said — Kim Jong Un’s dictatorship may now possess the ability to strike Alaska.

“North Korea launched a missile on Mother’s Day that flew for 30 minutes and reached an altitude 1,000 miles higher than the international space station. Tuesday’s missile flew for 37 minutes and reached a height of 1,500 miles, leading missile experts to conclude it could have reached a target 4,000 miles away, putting Alaska in its cross-hairs.

“The threat is much more immediate now,” National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters prior to the launch. “So it’s clear we can’t repeat the same failed approach of the past.”  Vice Admiral James Syring, the director of the Missile Defense Agency, said, “We have to assume that the capability exists today to attack the United States.”

President Trump met with South Korean president Moon Jae-in in the White House last week. During his remarks at a joint press conference with Moon, Trump declared, “the era of strategic patience with the North Korea regime has failed.”

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) broadcast reported  on the money connection between China, Iran and North Korea and also with gambling interests operated in Japan.  The Chinese  trade to North Korea increased by 40 percent the first quarter of this year.  Iran traded technology from the Russians to North Korea during the same period.

Chinese banks handle North Korean trade deals. African countries employ North Korean guest workers and buy spare parts for Soviet-era military equipment as well as sophisticated new missiles. Moldova recently announced its intentions to export wine for the more sophisticated palates of Pyongyang, the capital.

But trade with North Korea might become more perilous as the Trump administration looks to expand sanctions to companies and countries it says are enabling Kim Jong Un’s continued defiance of the international nonproliferation norms.

“There are countries that are allowing, even encouraging, trade with North Korea in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions,” said Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations at an emergency session of the Security Council on Wednesday.  “Such countries would also like to continue their trade arrangements with the United States. That is not going to happen. We will not look exclusively at North Korea. We will look at any country that chooses to do business with this outlaw regime,” said Haley.

Thursday, July 6 (Day 168):

Poland Trump speech:  A ‘defining’ moment and a ‘tale of two narratives’

President Ronald Reagan had his “Tear down this wall” speech at the Brandenburg Gate  of the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tear_down_this_wall!

President Donald J. Trump now has his Western Civilization speech at Poland’s Krasinski Square in Warsaw.  Both speeches are defining speeches for these men; for their nations; and for the world.

President Trump’s speech interrupted six times by chants of “Donald Trump—Donald Trump—Donald Trump”  written by speech writer Steve Miller spoke of how “the world has never known anything like our community of nations” (Poland and the United States):

  • “We write symphonies. We pursue innovation. We celebrate our ancient heroes, embrace our timeless traditions and customs, and always seek to explore and discover brand new frontiers.
  • “We reward brilliance. We strive for excellence and cherish inspiring works of art that honor God. We treasure the rule of law and protect the right to free speech and free expression.
  • “We empower women as pillars of our society and of our success. We put faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, at the center of our lives.
  • “And above all, we value the dignity of every human life, protect the gifts of every person, and share the hope of every soul to live in freedom. This is who we are.  Those are the priceless ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, and as a civilization.”

President Trump spoke of a “safe, strong, and free” Poland that “stopped the Soviet army bent on European conquest” in 1920 and of the 150,000 Poles that died during “that desperate struggle to overthrow oppression” during World War II (fighting both the Russians and the Germans) during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the deaths of nearly one in five Polish people.

resident Trump concluded:  “Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield—it begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls.  Today, the ties that unite our civilization are not less vital, and demand no less defense, that that bare shred of land on which the hope of Poland once totally rested.  Our freedom, our civilization, and our survival depend on these bonds of history, culture, and memory.

“And today as ever, Poland is in our heart, and its people are in that fight.  Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken.  Our values will prevail.  Our people will thrive.  And our civilization will triumph.”

For complete Trump speech see video link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rZqffnba_o

LIVE: President Trump Poland Speech in Warsaw at Krasinski Square – July 6th, 2017

For complete Trump speech transcript see link:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/national/read-trump-urges-west-preserve-our-civilization-poland-speech/moWj6aSXGJFWDblQyuhwhN/

For complete Citizens Journal story see link:

https://citizensjournal.us/poland-trump-speech-defining-moment-tale-two-narratives/

California Governor announces global environmental summit for next year

Gov. Jerry Brown announced plans for a global environmental summit next year in San Francisco.  The announcement, at a convening of climate activists in Hamburg, Germany, coincided with Trump’s arrival there for the G-20 summit of world leaders, signals once more how Governor Brown and other American leaders aim to galvanize continued efforts against climate change, even as the federal government moves in the opposite direction.

“It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change,” Governor Brown said. “Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America…. We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act, it’s time to join together and that’s why at this climate action summit we’re going to get it done.”

London Daily:  100,000 protest Hamburg, Germany world leader’s summit

Around 100,000 protesters from across Europe came into Hamburg, Germany to protest the G20 world leaders summit in an event called “Welcome to hell.”  German police in armored vans sprayed some of the “hardcore anti-capitalists” with water and pepper spray and police are investigating an overnight fire at a Porsche dealership.  Up to 20,000 police officers are on duty in Hamburg, the nation’s second-largest city.

Some protesters carried signs that said:  “borderless solidarity instead of nationalism:  attack the G-20.”  Protesters wanted the world leaders to address issues threatening world peace such as “climate change, inequality, and violent conflicts.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the host of the G20 conference.

 

Friday, July 7 (Day 169):

First Lady:   ‘Thinking of those hurt in #Hamburg protests

https://twitter.com/FLOTUS:  “Thinking of those hurt in ‪#Hamburg protests. Hope everyone stay safe! ‪#G20

3:59 AM – 7 Jul 2017

First Lady of the United States Melania Trump

First Lady of the United States Melania Trump missed a G20 event in Hamburg, Germany this morning for the spouses of world leaders after leftist rioters left 130 police injured and parts of the city in flames.

The First Lady’s communications director Stephanie Grisham confirmed to reporters that Mrs. Trump was indeed stuck at a guesthouse, “The Hamburg police could not give us clearance to leave.  She was prevented from participating in today’s spousal program, which she was looking forward to,” said Grisham.

Video of the violent Thursday night riots show many cars on fire, items being hurled at police, hordes of protesters swarming streets and being hosed down as police attempted to control the situation. Clashes took place within a mile and a half of the G20 summit where world leaders are meeting for the next two days.

Hamburg shopkeepers have reported that left-wing extremists have demanded money in exchange for preventing the destruction of their stores. Police warned ahead of the G20 summit that left-wing extremists were coming from even outside of Germany to riot.

The G20 summit is taking place July 7-8 in Hamburg, Germany. U.S. President Trump is participating and holding meetings there with many world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, President of China Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and others.

U.S. and Russia announce ceasefire for Syria after Trump-Putin meeting

The U.S. State Department confirmed that the United States and Russia had reached a ceasefire agreement in Syria following a meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.  Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it, “the first indication of the U.S. and Russia being able to work together in Syria.”

“We spent a very, very lengthy period on Syria. With a great amount of detail on the agreement, we concluded today but also where we go,” Tillerson said of the meeting between Trump and Putin.

CBS News and the Associated Press report that Jordan and Israel, which border on southern Syria, are also part of the plan. Jordanian Minister of Media Affairs Mohammed Momani announced on Friday that the ceasefire would go into effect at noon local time on Sunday, July 9.

It remains to be seen whether the Syrian military and rebel forces will honor the agreement. One hopeful sign noted by CBS/AP is that the Syrian government has already announced a four-day unilateral suspension of combat operations, which will end just before the U.S.-Russia deal goes into effect.

The ceasefire marks a positive shift in relations between America and Russia after such incidents as the U.S. cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase to retaliate for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime and Russia threatening to target warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition if they entered certain regions of Syria’s airspace.

Secretary Tillerson said President Trump was interested in discussing no-fly zones and the delivery of humanitarian aid with Putin, along with a monitored ceasefire. Tillerson  cautioned the Syrian regime and its allies from rushing in to occupy areas where the U.S. and its coalition partners have routed ISIS.

Tillerson was claiming rather optimistically that American and Russia have similar objectives in Syria other than the fate of Assad’s regime. He insisted that the United States continues to “see no long-term role for Assad” in Syria, and insisting the endgame for that tormented country will involve a “transition from the Assad family.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Senate Homeland Security Report: 125 classified security leaks in 126 days

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security chaired by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc) has released a report that shows the Trump administration has been hit with 125 classified security leaks in the first 126 days of office.  This figure compares to 9 security leaks during the same time period for President George W. Bush and 18 security leaks for President Barack Obama (9 of these connected to President Bush).

An analysis shows that 78 of these security leaks are connected with the Russian probe and that the majority of these leaks have been released to either the New York Times or the Washington Post.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice says, “The deluge of state secrets is appalling.  These leaks pose a threat to our national security.  The Department of Justice needs to start investigating” the leakers and prosecute them under the espionage act (which requires 10 years of prison for each leak).

Politico:  “Trump leaks crackdown sends chills through security world; agency officials say measure to isolate leakers, creating culture of fear”

National security officials across the federal government say they are seeing new restrictions on who can access sensitive information, fueling fears in the intelligence and security community that the Trump administration has stepped up a stealthy operation to smoke out leakers.

Officials at various national security agencies also say they are becoming more concerned that the administration is carefully tracking what they’re doing and who they’re talking to — then plotting to use them as a scapegoat or accuse them of leaks.

One U.S. official voiced concern over even talking to superiors about a benign call from a reporter. The agency this official works for had started limiting staff access to information, they said, and it would make it far easier to figure out who was talking to people in the media. There was suspicion, the official said, that the agency was even tracking what they printed, to keep tabs on what information they were accessing.

A half dozen officials across the national security community described to POLITICO a series of subtle and no-so-subtle changes that have led to an increasingly tense and paranoid working environment rooted in the White House’s obsession with leaks.

President Donald Trump has regularly vented about his intense frustration with anonymously sourced stories, and has specifically targeted federal government entities, including intelligence agencies like the CIA and FBI, and the State

White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to comment on fears of a crackdown but said the administration takes leaks seriously.  “This administration understands the importance of safeguarding classified and sensitive information. Those that leak classified and sensitive information threaten our national security,” Spicer said.

 “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” Trump tweeted on Feb. 15.

The American Center for Law and Justice is asking the Justice Department to set up an investigative unit dedicated to identifying leakers to be prosecuted under the espionage act which requires from 10 years (possibly 20 years) for every leak.

 

(Editor’s Note:  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.)

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email: [email protected].


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