Sexual Harassment and Fat boy Kin Jong-un; The Fourth 100 Days (Trump Briefs:  Nov. 11-Nov. 17/Day 303-309) Week 43

By Michael Hernandez

 

Saturday, November 11 (Day 303):

North Korea leader Kin Jong-un

President Trump tweets remarks about North Korea leader

President Donald Trump tweeted North Korea leader Kin Jong-un:  “I would never call him ‘short and fat.’” 

Trump was responding to the North Korean regime’s first statement on his visit to Asia. The North Korean foreign ministry said that the President’s “current trip to our surrounding region is a warmonger’s visit for confrontation to rid the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] of its self-defensive nuclear deterrence.

“It is also nothing but a business trip by a warmonger to enrich the monopolies of the U.S. defense industry by milking the moneybags from its subordinate ‘allies.’

“Trump, during his visit, lay bare his true nature as destroyer of the world peace and stability and begged for a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula.

“Reckless remarks by an old lunatic like Trump will never scare us or stop our advance. On the contrary, all this, makes us more sure that our choice to promote economic construction at the same time as building up our nuclear force is all the more righteous, and it pushes us to speed up the effort to complete our nuclear force.

 On Tuesday of last week, President Trump had addressed the South Korean Assembly and stated:

“A free independent South Korea stands strong.  In the 1990s,  South Korea wealth surpassed North Korea by 10 times.  Today, South Korea wealth surpasses North Korea by 40 times.”

“The Korean people have a glorious destiny.  The destiny of the Korea people, is not to suffer but to thrive.”

“We affirm the dignity of every person to embrace the full potential of every soul and defend against the cruel ambitions of tyrants.”

…(We believe) for “a peninsula that is safe and families that are reunited once again.  We can dream of highways that connect North and South and a nuclear nightmare replaced with the beautiful promise of peace.”

(Editor’s Note:  Please see link posted on:  https://citizensjournal.us/trump-speaks-north-korea2/ or go to:  https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-delivers-speech-to-south-korea-assembly-live-stream/

Before leaving Vietnam, Trump addressed questions about North Korea at a press conference, saying: “”We want progress, not provocation…We want stability not chaos. We want peace, not war.”  Asked about his tweet, and wanting to be friends with  Kim Jong-un, he said: “Strange things happen in life.”

Attorney General files to halt Trump’s reversal of contraceptive mandate

California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion Thursday to put a stop to President Donald Trump’s decision to protect employers of faith and moral convictions from the Obama-era contraceptive mandate.

Becerra joins the attorneys general of the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia to request a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The motion is part of a larger lawsuit against the Trump administration that claims the reversal of the mandate is unconstitutional and harms women.

“The Trump administration has no business putting employers in the position of preventing women from accessing contraceptives,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, according to the Chronicle. “It’s not too long ago that women were asked routinely in job interviews if they used contraceptives and when they planned to have children — we will not go back to those days.”

California, is one of eight states that have passed laws mandating employer-based health plans to provide free birth control to workers. Passed in 2014, the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act covers Medicaid health plans and requires multiple methods of contraception to be covered by insurance.

In a tweet that criticizes the Trump administration for its protection of faith groups and those with moral convictions regarding contraceptives and abortifacients, Planned Parenthood says women should not have to spend up to $600 per year of their own money for their birth control.  Planned Parenthood – which benefits financially from wider distribution of contraceptives and their political and media advocates have attempted to portray Trump and other Republicans as intent on taking away women’s birth control by reversing the mandate. The Obama administration actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule – including major U.S. cities, the U.S. military, and mega-corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling.

In October, Trump rescinded the Obama-era contraceptive mandate. The Obamacare rule sparked dozens of lawsuits by faith groups – among the most well-known waa the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order that cares for the elderly poor and would have been forced to pay millions of dollars in fines because their faith beliefs conflicted with the Obama mandate. The new rule leaves free contraception in place for the vast majority of women since it only concerns employers with moral and religious objections.

The mandate was inserted into Obamacare by former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius – an abortion activist – and bureaucrats in her department. Following objections by many religious employers to the requirements of the mandate, the Obama administration devised “accommodations” that only gave the appearance the religious groups would not be footing the bill for the federal government’s mandate of the contraceptive drugs and sterilization procedures.

The Supreme Court’s decision last year in Zubik vs. Burwell sent the case of the Little Sisters and other faith organizations back to the lower courts and, in effect, protected these groups from the contraceptive mandate’s fines. The new Trump administration rule will now protect a larger group of employers from the mandate, and not just the “closely held” private companies – such as Hobby Lobby – which the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled could be exempt due to religious objections.

FBI Director dropped use of “grossly negligent” to describe Hillary

CNN reports that Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), has taken interest in why an early draft of a memo by then FBI Director James Comey described the behavior of Hillary Clinton as “grossly negligent” for her handling of classified information, though Comey in his July 5, 2016 public statement didn’t use that term.

A source familiar with the FBI decision told CNN that Comey and his FBI colleagues were “playing with the language throughout” the process, but consistently held the belief that they needed to condemn Clinton’s handling of classified information while asserting they would not bring charges.  Instead, Comey ended up criticizing Clinton’s conduct as “extremely carless,” but said no reasonable prosecutor would pusue charges based on the evidence.

“Grossly negligent,” the language dropped from the draft, is a term that carries with it legal ramifications.  “Extremely careless,” the term Comey ended up using does not.

Alabama Senate candidate defends himself; attacks Washington Post

“After becoming the Republican nominee for the United States Senate, the Washington Post began an attack on the Foundation for Moral Law, on my wife, and on me. For weeks, we read about my salary which they distorted, about taxes where they said we were paid money we never got. But we endured that,” said Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

“Later, they came out and endorsed my opponent in this race.  Just two days ago, the Washington Post published yet another attack on my character and reputation in a desperate attempt to stop my political campaign for the United States Senate. These attacks about a minor are completely false and untrue about something that happened nearly 40 years ago. But more than being completely false and untrue, they are very hurtful to me personally.”

“These allegations came only four and a half weeks before the general election on Dec. 12. Why now?  For forty years I have been closely scrutinized in the press and the public media. I have had investigations by the attorney general, I’ve had investigations by the judicial inquiry commission on more than one occasion, I’ve had investigations by the court of the judiciary, I’ve been in five statewide campaigns in which they do opposition research—they do investigations, as you can see in every one I’ve ever run—and three county elections and two major controversies over religious liberty and the Ten Commandments and same-sex marriage.

“I’ve been investigated more than any other person in this country. That grown women would wait 40 years to come right before an election to bring charges is absolutely unbelievable.”

Roy Moore

 

Sunday, November 12 (Day 304):

Pro-Trump candidates joining forces in Pennsylvania

Republican candidate Jeff Bartos has dropped out of the Pennsylvania Senate race to run for Lt. Governor and join the campaign of State Senator Scott Wagner who is running for Governor.

Bartos had been facing off against Rep. Lou Barletta for the Republican nomination in a challenge to face U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). Barletta was an early supporter of now President Donald Trump.  Bartos had amassed over $1 million for his Senate campaign which now serves as an asset in his quest to become the next Lieutenant Gov. of Pennsylvania. About half of that total represents loans from Bartos to his own campaign.

Wagner promises in the video that the two will, “change the way things have always been done in Harrisburg. Jeff will help me make Harrisburg work for you, the taxpayers – not special interests or insiders.”  Wagner attacked his opponent, incumbent Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf, for raising taxes and increasing spending.

Wagner and Bartos came under fire from Never Trump, Jeb Bush donor Paul Mango as the two men announced they would be campaigning together. Mango is also running for governor in the state, hoping to secure the Republican nomination.

Bannon:  Jewish community “bind together”; fight GOP establishment

“As the storm clouds are rising in the Middle East…we’re leading an insurgency movement against the Republican establishment and against the permanent political class in Washington, D.C.,” Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon said while speaking to the Zionist Organization of America’s annual awards gala.

“There are so many games being played by the establishment…You get double dealt all the time.  That’s how you get the Iran Deal.  And that’s how we still allow the American government to finance people that have blood on their hands of innocent Jewish civilians.

“It’s time for us to act.  And that’s why I’m proud to stand with the state of Israel.  That’s why I’m proud to be a Christian Zionist.  That is why I’m proud to be a partner of one of the greatest nations on earth and the foundation of the Judeo-Christian West.”

 

Stephen K. Bannon

Monday, November 13 (Day 305):

President Trump nominates new Health & Human Services Secretary

Alex Azar, former president of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, and former number two person in the Department of Health & Human Services under President George W. Bush (he was in charge of the regulatory process and also worked as a the department’s general counsel), has been nominated by President Trump as the new Health & Human Services Secretary to replace former Secretary Tom Price.

Two GOP Congressmen seek special counsel investigation for Hillary

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) are requesting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “do his job” and appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton and James Comey. 

In an editorial they wrote for Fox Opinion, both GOP Congressmen ask 16 questions that wish the Justice Department to investigate and ask what is happening to the July 27 request made by 20 House Republican members of the Judiciary Committee’s for a Special Counsel and the follow-up meeting with five House Republicans of the Judiciary committee on Sept. 28th.

Their concluding remarks:  “It’s time for Jeff Sessions to name a Special Counsel and get answers for the American people.  If not, he should step down.”

Former Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton

Democrats create ads targeting five California Republicans over tax reform

Liberal and labor groups named “Not One Penny” began airing a series of television ads targeting five of California’s Republican members of Congress over the GOP’s tax reform plan.

According to the Los Angeles Times the ads are running in districts represented by Re. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), Rep. Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Rep. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine).  The 2016 president candidate Hillary Clinton won all five congressional districts in which the ads are being aired.

Issa has become the first House Republican to oppose the House version of the bill known as the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.  Issa opposes the Trump tax reform bill because of the elimination of the state and local income tax deduction.  (Editor’s Note:  This deduction was restored to the House bill later in the week.)

 

Tuesday, Nov. 14 (Day 306):

Supreme Court to review law for pro-life centers to promote abortions

The Supreme Court will review a California law that requires licensed pro-life pregnancy resource centers to post ads for free or low-cost abortions in a case known as National Institute of Family and Life Associates (NIFLA) v. Becerra.  The California law also requires unlicensed resource centers to post a notice that they lack a license and have no credentialed medical providers.

The NIFLA sued arguing that the California law violates its rights under either the Free Speech Clause or the Free Exercise Clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment.  The organization is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom and by constitutional scholar John Eastman from Chapman University, a leading member of the Federalist Society who is also a former law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas.

The case will be heard early next year with decisions handed down by the end of June 2018.

 

Wednesday, Nov. 15 (Day 307):

U.S. House paid $15 million to its secret sexual harassment victims

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has paid $15 million to alleged victims of sexual harassment by its own members “on behalf of harassers in the last 10 to 15 years.  Victims have signed non-disclosure agreements.

“I think you have the right to know, but right now, under the system, you don’t have the right to know.

“Right now, it takes almost 90 days to be able to file a complaint.  And before actually going through the mediation, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement.  And then, you are not represented by counsel, but the harasser is represented by the House of Representatives general counsel.

Speier testifying at the Committee on House Administration said two current members of Congress, one Republican and one Democrat, were guilty of sexual harassment.

China wants rural Christians to replace Jesus image with Xi Jinping

China plans to deny a pivotal poverty relief package if Christians do not replace images of Jesus in their households with photos of President Xi Kinping.

One official stated that the move “was necessary because Christians are ignorant and need to be taught to worship the state, not God.”

Xi views Christianity (which has boomed in China) as a challenge to the supremacy of the Community Party’s growing cult of personality around Xi himself.  The intent is to move Chinese “from believing in religion to believing in the party.

“After our cadres’ work, they’ll realize their mistakes and think:  we should no longer rely on Jesus, but on the party for help.”

Xi’s efforts to amass power and Christian groups’ efforts to spread the word of the Gospels have caused the conflict in China.    The president has limited Christian leaders mobility in the nation.  Researchers estimate the total Christian population in China to be around 100 million.

Taylor Force Acts advances to House floor, would halt aid to Palestinians

The House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed the Taylor Force Act (House Resolution Action 1164) and sent it to the House chamber.  The bill would cut funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if it refused to end its practice of “pay for slay” which rewards terrorists up to $3,500 per month for killing Americans and Israelis.  The Palestinian Authority has designated approximately $344 million of its 2017 budget to this “pay for slay” practice.

Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) introduced the legislation last year in honor of a former U.S. army officer and a Vanderbilt University student who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist on March 8, 2016 while visiting Tel Aviv.

“It is unacceptable that American taxpayers are funding Palestinian terrorism—the very terrorism that took the life of an American veteran like Taylor Force.  The Palestinian Authority must be held accountable for glorifying terrorism by paying terrorists and naming streets in Ramallah after Palestinians who murder Jews.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a co-sponsor of the Taylor Force Act said:  “Palestinian terrorists who murder innocent Americans and Israelis are not martyrs, and their cowardice should certainly not be celebrated or financially rewarded, especially with United States tax dollars.”

A few Democrats expressed their willingness to support the legislation after the bill was adjusted to include U.S. funding to Palestinian water, funding for childhood vaccination programs and ensuring funding to East Jerusalem hospital networks.

The Foreign Affairs panel also advanced House Resolution 3542, the Hamas Human Shields prevention Act, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) and House Resolution 2712, the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017, introduced by Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL). HR 2712 calls for sanctions against supporters of Hamas, including Qatar and Iran.

HRT 3542 imposes sanctions against Hamas for use of civilians as human shields and sanctions foreign government and individuals for providing financial support to Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization.  The House passed similar legislation regarding Hezbollah last month.

(Editor’s Note:  Those wishing to sign a petition urging the House to pass the Taylor Force Act can do so at:  https://aclj.org/israel/pass-the-taylor-force-act-end-us-funding-of-palestinian-pay-for-slay-terrorism-against-israel.  The petition has 186,697 signatures.)

 

Thursday, Nov. 16 (Day 308):

House Passes Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:  227-201 227-201age Skidmore/Flickr

The House passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 227-201, almost entirely on partisan lines. Thirteen Republicans voted against the bill, while 190 Democrats voted against the tax reform legislation that features massive tax cuts for middle-class families and small businesses.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will collapse the income taxes’ brackets into four: 12 percent, 25 percent, 35 percent, and 39.6 percent for the wealthiest Americans. The tax plan will also raise the standard deduction to $12,000 from $6,350 for individuals, and from $12,700 to $24,00 for married couples. The tax plan will also permanently and immediately cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. The House plan will also expand the child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600 and the plan will eliminate the estate tax, also known as the death tax.

“Passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act today is the single biggest thing we can do to help middle-income families in America,”  said House Speaker Paul Ryan. On Wednesday, House Ways and Means Chairman  Kevin Brady  (R-TX) said, “this is “historic tax reform legislation that will revitalize our economy and provide lasting tax relief to Americans of all walks of life.”  According to President Donald Trump, the Republican tax plan will be “rocket fuel for our economy.” He spoke to the House Republican conference on Thursday morning about the need to cut taxes to revitalize the American economy.  Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), a member of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-SC) whip team, said “It’s more than just a tax bill. It will show that Republicans can get things done.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) released a statement that cheered the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s passage through the House. Chairman Meadows said, “Today, the House kept its promise to pass a historic tax reform proposal—and it’s a delivery that is long overdue. Moms, dads, small business owners, and working families across the country sent us to Congress to create a simpler and fairer tax code that grows our economy, works for American families rather than D.C. special interests, and returns power from bureaucrats in Washington back to the people of Main Street. Today is an monumental step toward fulfilling those promises.”

The House Tax Cuts and Jobs Act initially faced resistance from Republicans that represented high-tax, mostly Democrat states, after the bill proposed to eliminate the state and local tax (SALT) deduction. Reps such as Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) signaled that they would vote for the bill after Republican leadership amended the bill to keep a $10,000 deduction for state and local property taxes.

Now that the House passed their version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will seek to pass the upper chamber’s version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) became  the first Republican senator to openly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs on Wednesday. Republicans hold a 52-seat majority in the Senate, McConnell can only afford to lose two Republican senators and have Vice President Mike Pence break the tie in the upper chamber.

Congress hears testimony on Pastor Brunson’s Turkish imprisonment

Congress heard testimony about American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson’s imprisonment in Turkey for over a year.   He was imprisoned on Oct. 7, 2016 after 23 years of ministry, serving as pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church.

Turkish authorities deemed the North Carolina pastor a threat to national security and arrested Brunson.  He has been held in the Harmandali Detention Center and has yet to be charged with any crime.   He has been held in  a cell meant for eight people, but at times has held as many as 22 prisoners.  He has lost over 50 pounds during his confinement.

Despite international appeals, on Aug. 24, 2017, the Turkish government decided to levy new and additional accusations against Pastor Brunson, which include:  political or military espionage, attempting to overthrow the government, attempting to overthrow the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and attempting to overthrow the Constitutional Order (the last three charges carry aggravated life sentences) and also accused Pastor Brunson of using force and violence.

Pastor Brunson has stated that his sole purpose for being in Turkey for the past 23 years was “for one purpose only.  To tell about Jesus Christ.”  He has further stated that he has “done this openly, in front of the government.”

Turkish President Erdogan has recently demanded a swap of Pastor Brunson for Fethullah Gulen, the cleric Erdogan blames for the failed coup attempt in July of last year.  

(Editor’s Note:  Those wishing to sign a petition demanding the release of American Pastor Brunson can go to the American Center for Law and Justice at:  https://aclj.org/persecuted-church/free-american-pastor-andrew-brunson.  The petition has 388,290 signatures.)

 

Friday, Nov. 17 (Day 309):

Hungary’s Prime Minister denounces globalism; speaks for silent majority

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban says battle lines have been drawn between a “silent majority” of ordinary people who “provide for their families, love their homelands, and insist on their Christian roots” versus the “globalist elites, the bureaucrats who serve them, the politicians in their pay, and the agents of the Soros-type networks that embody their interests.

“We should realize that the soothing melodies pouring out of the speakers of powerful global corporations and global political organizations—siren voices encouraging breezy irresponsibility, frenzied consumption, and boundless self-indulgence—are not at all the same as the spirit of the age.

“We see tens of millions of Europeans working hard and struggling day in, day out to keep themselves and their families afloat.  We see how they yearn for security and order.  We see how they cleave ever more firmly to their cultural identity, and fight every day for every square meter of their normal European life.

“The globalists they’ve invented the magic word ‘populism’ to denigrate all that is national, popular, Christian and civic—but they repeat this magic word in vain; their incantations are in vain, and their political voodoo is in vain.

“They operate like the activists of the Department for Agitation and Propaganda of the old Soviet Communist Party.  We old war horses recognize them by their smell.  Although the Soros troops use somewhat more refined methods, they nonetheless want to tell us what to do, what to say, what to think—and even how we should see ourselves.

“Millions of people are being encouraged to come to Europe, indeed they are even being transported here, in order to debilitate nations and deliver the coup de grace to Christian culture.

“In Europe’s multicultural countries, acts of terrorism have become regular occurrences, crime rates are increasing, violence against women has escalated, and anti-Semitism is emerging again.

“This is what we must prevent, and this is the threat against which we must defend the country.  So when we say that we must defend Hungary, we declare that we must defend work, our families, security, the authority of our laws, our achievement…we must also defend our future.

“What we did not tolerate from the Soviet Empire we shall not tolerate from the Soros Empire.  We shall defend our borders, we shall prevent implementation of the Soros Plan, and eventually we shall win this battle.”

 

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

 Mr. Hernandez is dedicating himself to advance the 13 spheres –as a “City Upon A Hill”; developing an interactive California citizens news platform as an alternative to mainstream media; while building local school-community partnerships.


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