You’re Fired! Look At News Daily  (March 10-16/Day 50-56) Week 8

By Michael Hernandez

 

March 10 (Saturday): Day 50

President Trump New Campaign Slogan:  “Keep America Great!”

President Donald Trump announced his re-election slogan during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “Our new slogan … is going to be ‘Keep America Great!” he said.  “I can’t say Make America Great Again because I already did that,” he said.   “I look forward to 2020 because I want to see how far left the person is going to be that we’re going to run against,” he said.

“I would love to beat Oprah,” he said. “I know her weakness. I know her weakness … I would love it. That would be a painful experience for her.”

Trump specified that Republicans had to keep the House and the Senate in order for things to keep going well.  “We can only do that if we elect people who are going to back our agenda and fight for our values,” he said.

Three million new jobs added since President Trump elected

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders opened Friday’s press conference by contrasting massive manufacturing jobs losses under Obama to the nearly three million U.S. jobs added since Donald Trump was elected President.

Sanders pointed to Obama-era manufacturing job losses of 1,000 each month, but said that since President Donald Trump was elected the U.S. had added 275,000 manufacturing jobs.

February jobs numbers earlier in the day revealed a much higher than anticipated job creation total of 313,000. Before the numbers came out, estimates sat at around 200,000 for non-farm job increases.

Sanders credited Trump-era tax cuts and deregulation for acting as a driver to the nearly three million new jobs added. “The federal government is getting out of the way and the American people are innovating, building, and creating jobs,” said Sanders.

Industries in jobs increases were construction, retail and business services, manufacturing, finance, healthcare, and mining. Jobs total reports for December and January were also revised upward.

The February jobs numbers represented the highest gain in a year and a half, according to MarketWatch.

The news comes the same week that Trump made tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum official. The decision brought both praise and criticism. Canada and Mexico have been temporarily exempted from the tariffs pending NAFTA negotiations. Other countries have been extended the opportunity to request relief if they can provide alternative remedy for national defense concerns.

Immigration Center says illegal aliens responsible for 5,000 crimes

The state of California and the sanctuary city laws that make it a safe-haven for criminal illegal aliens is likely responsible for at least 5,000 crimes that were committed by criminal illegal aliens released by local authorities rather than being handed over to federal immigration officials according to data by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS)

For example, roughly 50 percent of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers — the hold that federal immigration officials place on a criminal illegal alien — ignored by local sanctuary city authorities across the U.S. occurred in California.

In mid-2017, ICE Director Thomas Homan revealed that about 10,000 criminal illegal aliens had been released by sanctuary cities across the U.S. and went on to commit more crimes. This figure, though, could be even higher for the year of 2017.

Based on this data, CIS Director Jessica Vaughan said that it is “reasonable to assume” that about half of those crimes committed by released criminal illegal aliens occurred in the state of California. “That is 5,000 crimes that occurred that could have been prevented if they (sanctuary cities) had cooperated with ICE as federal law provides,” Vaughan said. “What is the cost to Californians for that crime spree?

“Surely it is a lot more than the cost of the few minutes of a California jail officer’s time to notify ICE, or to keep the offenders in custody for ICE for a few hours,” Vaughan said. “But California politicians like Gov. Brown, Xavier Becerra, and Libby Schaaf would rather have the crime, apparently.”

This estimate was gathered by provided ICE data, as the agency says it has no way of tracking the figure of how many exact criminal illegal aliens have been released into the public by California’s sanctuary laws.

“Lack of cooperation from sanctuary jurisdictions means that they do not notify ICE when they release an individual on whom we have filed a detainer, so we have no way of knowing exactly how many such individuals they have released,” said an ICE official.  “We often become aware of an alien’s release from a jurisdiction when we re-encounter the alien later during targeted enforcement.”

Oakland Mayor warns criminal illegal aliens before raid

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf recently warned criminal illegal aliens ahead of a regional raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), helping convicted illegal alien sex offenders, armed robbers, and drunk drivers escape deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice is now investigating Schaaf for obstruction of justice. About 47 percent of likely voters say the DOJ should prosecute Schaaf for obstruction of justice, while only 36 percent of likely voters say the DOJ should not prosecute the mayor.

Sessions announced a DOJ lawsuit against the state of California, challenging three of its sanctuary state laws that protect criminal illegal aliens from deportation by ICE.

Attorney General releases list of illegal aliens released back into streets

The sanctuary state of California — which protects criminal illegal aliens from deportation — is responsible for releasing offenders back into the public who have been convicted of child sex crimes, domestic abuse, and child abuse.

This week, the White House provided a list of criminal illegal aliens who have been released by the sanctuary state of California following the announcement of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ lawsuit against the state for failing to cooperate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

The list of convicted criminal illegal aliens who have been recently released by California authorities rather than being handed over to ICE agents as requested includes individuals who committed crimes against children and their own spouses.

In one case outlined, an illegal alien from Mexico was arrested in Santa Clara County for possession of drugs in January 2017. Soon after, he was convicted of child abuse, as well as possession of drugs. Following the criminal illegal alien’s sentence, he was released by California and ICE was not able to arrest him until September 2017.

Other cases include:

  • An illegal alien from Mexico who was convicted of child sex crimes in February 2017, and following his sentence, was released into the public by California. ICE was not able to arrest the criminal illegal alien until a year later.
  • An illegal alien from Mexico who was convicted of child sex crimes in 2004. Then, after being released by California, he was arrested and convicted of selling drugs in August 2016. After having their detainer ignored, ICE was not able to deport the individual from the U.S. until March 2018.
  • An illegal alien from Mexico who was convicted of domestic violence in 2004. Then, after being released from prison by California the first time, he was convicted of sexual battery in January 2017. After being released yet again by California, ICE was not able to arrest the individual until February 2018.
  • An illegal alien from El Salvador who was convicted of drunk driving in November 2017 and who had already had prior theft and drunk driving convictions. Due to his release into the public by California, ICE was not able to arrest him until February 2018.
  • An illegal alien from Mexico who was convicted of battery and accused less than a year later of drunk driving. California ignored the ICE detainer lodged against the criminal illegal alien, preventing ICE from arresting the individual until February 2018.

Democratic Senator defends Oakland Mayor illegal aliens assistance

Senator and potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris (D-CA) says she “100 percent” supports Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s (D) decision to help criminal illegal aliens evade deportation ahead of a raid by federal immigration officials.

During a fundraiser for the YMCA’s “Y for Youth Luncheon,” Harris defended Schaaf, who made national headlines last month when she warned criminal illegal aliens of a coming raid in Oakland by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Harris defended Schaaf, saying “I think Mayor Schaaf is doing exactly what she believes is in the best interest of her community, and I support that 100 percent,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The liberal senator said the Trump administration was attempting to “roll back the clock” by enforcing federal immigration laws.

Senator Kamala Harris

March 11 (Sunday): Day 51

Puerto Rico still struggling after Hurricane Maria

Six months after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, many leaders there are pointing the finger at Washington, but the scandal, corruption and waste that now plague the U.S. territory were around long before last summer’s storm.

Decades of dysfunction, mismanagement and embarrassing abuses of power left Puerto Rico reeling well before the storm delivered a knockout blow, say observers. Enormous debt, absurd infrastructure projects and a tradition of corruption have hampered the commonwealth’s ability to get off the canvas.

“There’ve been so many problems that have built up year after year,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., told Fox News. “It’s a tough situation.”

Reckless spending sprees by a revolving door of politicians have turned the commonwealth into a bloated bureaucracy that can’t pay its bills and yet enjoys the benefits of a welfare society without any of the responsibilities attached to it.

Before Maria hit in September, Puerto Rico was already navigating the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. government history at a whopping $120 billion in combined bond and pension debt.

For years, the island blew through billions of dollars in borrowed money. Pricey and impractical infrastructure projects almost always got the go-ahead. “Every town in Puerto Rico has a new baseball park,” Emilio Pantojas-Garcia, a sociology professor at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, told Bloomberg News.  “All these mayors were using borrowed money to build things that were underutilized.”

One such project was a 1,000-seat performing-arts center in the small city of Humacao. The building was designed for big-budget Broadway-style performances. Instead, it was rarely used and ended up being the place where the occasional stand-up comic performs.

The territory’s towering debt and mismanagement also led to less money being available for schools and hospitals. Then Maria hit and things on the island went from bad to catastrophic in the blink of an eye.

Multiple cases of corruption and greed by local leaders, government officials and inexperienced contractors surfaced, shedding light on the toxicity that is still very much a part of everyday life in Puerto Rico. Those who can leave, often do.

The government of Puerto Rico now estimates that by the end of the year, another 200,000 residents will have moved to the mainland. But for residents stuck in Puerto Rico, the future looks grim. “We’re used to it by now but that doesn’t make it right or fair,” Sunita Howell, a waitress in Old San Juan, told Fox News. Howell’s family, who lives in the Hato Rey neighborhood of the city, struggles daily. Howell says after Maria hit, her family was approached by someone offering to restore power to their home for $3,000. “I don’t have that kind of money,” she said. “Who has that here? You are supposed to be helping us not taking our money.”

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority – PREPA- has already suspended three employees without pay and says it is looking into another 25 reported cases of possible bribery in the days and weeks after Maria. PREPA confirmed to PBS that all of the cases involve field employees responsible for restoring power.

El Vocero, a San Juan-based newspaper, said that some employees demanded up to $5,000 to reconnect power. PREPA’s director was forced out in November after the utility, the commonwealth’s sole electricity provider, failed to call for help from its mainland counterparts after the storm.

Instead, PREPA granted a power-restoration contract to Whitefish Energy Holdings. It was a disaster of a deal and PREPA was forced to rescind the contract after public pressure. PREPA was also accused of stockpiling supplies badly needed to help with rebuilding after Maria.

“The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has become a heavy burden on our people, who are now hostage to its poor service and high cost,” Governor Ricardo Rossello, who is planning to sell PREPA to the private sector, said in a statement. “What we know today as the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority does not work and cannot continue to operate like this.”

PREPA’s problems are just one of several crises slowing down recovery on the island. The federal government recently awarded a $156 million contract to a one-person Atlanta-based company that was supposed to deliver 30 million meals to Puerto Rico. Owner Tiffany Brown, who had no disaster relief experience, got the gig but managed to deliver only 50,000 meals to the storm-ravaged island.

There have been problems with the housing situation too and now, the island’s largest restoration contractor says it will pull out of Puerto Rico in the next few weeks after maxing out its $746 million contract. “It never ends,” Howell said. “Tomorrow I’ll wake up and there will be another scandal, another Whitefish.”

Americans observe 44th consecutive year of Daylight Saving Time

At 2:00 AM on March 11, Americans complied for the 44th year with President Richard Milhouse Nixon’s still controversial “Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act.”

The “Act to preserve daylight and provide standard time for the United States” was first passed by President Woodrow Wilson beginning on March 31, 1918 as strategy to maximize productive sunlight working hours during World War I. But with the end of the war, Congress override President Wilson’s veto to kill the wildly unpopular federal action.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt instituted a year-round Daylight Savings “War Time” from 1942 to 1945, but Congress dumped the unpopular law at the end of World War II.

Richard Nixon successfully campaigned against the power and intrusiveness of FDR’s big government in his 1968 run for the presidency. But in his first State of the Union Address, he introduced a 37-point environmental manifesto that set goals ranging from monitoring motor vehicle emissions standards to halting all dumping in the Great Lakes. Nixon passed a dizzying array of environmental legislation, including establishing the Environmental Protection Agency as a new and independent agency.

Nixon then led a historic federal intervention into the American economy when he imposed widespread wage and price freezes, and then ended the convertibility of the dollar into gold by floating the exchange rate of the currency in 1971. To justify his interventions in the economy, Nixon said in August 1971, “We are all Keynesians now.”

The Nixon administration took credit for his Keynesian policies pushing down the price of crude oil to a 25-year low of $2.90 a barrel in July 1973. But then all hell broke loose in October, when members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced a retaliatory oil export embargo during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. With the price of crude oil quadrupling to $11.65 a barrel and Americans waiting in long lines during the gasoline shortage, President Nixon and the Democrat-controlled Congress, desperate to look effective, passed the “Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act” on December 15, 1973.

President Nixon personally promised year-round daylight-saving time would produce substantial “energy saving in electrical power consumption and the unnecessary use of electric lights.” Liberal Democrats rewarded Republican President Nixon for championing their interventionist agenda by impeaching him three months later.

Congress has made only modest changes to the supposed emergency measure over the last four decades. But under current law, U.S. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday of March, and ends at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday of November.

The most important analysis regarding the effectiveness of DST regarding energy use is a 2008 National Bureau of Economic Research study that found “contrary to the policy’s intent — DST increases residential electricity demand” by about 1 percent. Although DST reduced demand for lighting, demand for heating and cooling dramatically increased.

Many health and safety experts also have a negative opinion of Daylight Savings Time. According to the “Fatal Accident Reporting System,” there is a 17 percent increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the shift and fatal motor vehicle accidents remained elevated for the first six days after the clocks spring ahead. A recent medical study indicates that DST time change may also increase the risk of stroke due to sleep disturbances.

 

March 12 (Monday): Day 52

Syndicated radio host releases documentary on First Amendment assault

Nationally syndicated radio host Dennis Prager’s upcoming film. No Safe Spaces, is a documentary detailing the ongoing assault on the First Amendment on college campuses across the country and how the scourge of group identity politics enables it.

Prager partnered with veteran comedian and podcaster Adam Carolla for the film, which features footage of the pair’s cross-country tour of college campuses where they explore the root causes and the fallout from decades of politically-motivated censorship at universities that have taught a generation of minds to eschew alternative opinions and despise debate.

“I’m going to Berkeley next week to give a speech and to investigate for myself just how serious the threats to free speech are,” Prager said of his March 13 event, a talk by Prager, hosted by UC Berkeley College Republicans. So far, Prager’s scheduled appearance hasn’t caused a stir.

UC Berkeley, the birthplace of the 50s-era Free Speech Movement, however, has been a flashpoint of late as far-left protesters have shut down high-profile conservative speakers from Milo Yiannopoulos to Ann Coulter.

Dennis Prager is no stranger to censorship. His Prager University, which produces short videos teaching conservative principles, has repeatedly been restricted and demonetized by Google-owned YouTube, leading to a long legal battle.

President Trump visits California on Tuesday

President Donald Trump will make his first visit Tuesday to the State of California since taking office last year — and the state is bracing for his arrival, hot on the heels of the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against “sanctuary state” laws last week.

California was a frequent stop for Trump during his campaign — more so during the primary phase than the general election, when Trump focused on more likely targets. Like many Republicans, Trump’s main interest in California was financial: the state is home to many high-dollar conservative donors. And, indeed, one of Trump’s stops will be to Beverly Hills, where he will attend a Republican fundraiser.

But California has since acquired greater symbolic significance for Trump — and for his opponents. The state’s leaders have declared themselves the vanguard of the so-called “Resistance” — the contrived, romantic name Democrats have chosen for their post-2016 opposition effort. California has filed over two dozen lawsuits against the Trump administration, and the state’s dominant Democratic Party has become more and more left-wing as it has become more and more rabidly anti-Trump.

California is also where the Trump administration has erected the prototypes for its proposed border wall — and it is that site that will be the main focus of Trump’s excursion to the Left Coast. The wall was a central theme of Trump’s 2016 campaign and remains a key priority for the administration — if a somewhat delayed and attenuated one.

The memory of anti-Trump riots — such as the melées in San Jose in June 2016, when left-wing activists chased and beat Trump supporters leaving a rally — has lived on in periodic flare-ups between various political groups, both mainstream and fringe, across the state.

California is also a key battleground in the 2018 midterm elections, as Democrats hope to pick up a significant number of congressional seat toward the minimum of 24 that they will need to take control of the U.S. House.

GOP Report:  “No evidence of Trump campaign Russian collusion”

House Republicans investigating foreign interference in the 2016 election say they have found no evidence that Russians colluded with any members of the Trump campaign and dispute a key finding from the intelligence community that Russia had developed a preference for the Republican nominee during the election.

Those are the initial conclusions of a 150-page report from GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee, who are formally bringing the panel’s year-long investigation to an end over the fierce objection of Democrats.

Lawmakers had been telegraphing that last week’s committee interview with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was likely to be the last of dozens conducted since the committee launched its Russia probe last March.

Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who has been leading the committee’s investigation since late last spring, said he would officially share the draft with Democrats on Tuesday after speaking to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., about it on Monday. He said Democrats would have an opportunity to offer their input before the report is sent for declassification and ultimately public release, a process that could take at least a month.

After speaking with 73 witnesses and reviewing more than 300,000 pages of documents, Conaway said there was an urgent need to begin making their recommendations known to the public because Americans have already begun voting in midterm elections. And he denied that any of the initial conclusions by the GOP members represented an effort to undermine the work of the probe by special counsel Robert Mueller. “We’re not doing anything. We’re not saying anything to ask him to stop. We’re not asking him to not investigate anything,” Conaway said.

The report will include an assessment of the June 2016 meeting between Trump campaign officials, including Donald Trump Jr., and Russians with ties to the Kremlin, concluding that nothing discussed represented collusion.

Conaway and other committee officials said that after an exhaustive review of the thousands of source documents that went into developing that assessment, they largely agreed with its findings but with a major caveat: Information suggesting a “clear preference” by Putin for Trump did not meet the analytical standards required to support the assessment.

The report will go further and suggest that to the extent that any Russians acted on behalf of either candidate, it was for Hillary Clinton. That contentious finding is included in the context of discussing the role of the Christopher Steele dossier that was compiled on behalf of an opposition research firm contracted by a law firm connected to the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

“Clearly the dossier would have hurt him and helped her,” Conaway said. “We don’t have any evidence that the Clinton campaign itself or the DNC knew what was going on. There [were] some cutouts, so to speak.”

Among some of the other 40 initial findings:

  • Russians used cyberattacks and social media to sow discord in the U.S.
  • The Obama administration had a “lackluster” response to the Russian efforts.
  • There were “problematic contacts” between senior intelligence officials and the news media.

The draft report includes 25 proposed recommendations for Congress and the executive branch related to election security, supporting European allies, the government response to cyberattacks, campaign finance transparency and counterintelligence practices related to political campaigns.

President Trump seeks input on rifle purchase age from fed commission

President Trump has broken from his personal push to raise the minimum rifle purchase age from 18 years to 21 and chosen instead to hand the decision to a federal commission. This shift comes after weeks of NRA opposition against raising the minimum purchase age and two days after the NRA filed suit against Florida for raising their minimum rifle purchase age to 21.

The Washington Post reports that the commission will be chaired by Education Secretary Betsy Devos.

On Monday morning Trump explained that the shift and subsequent delay on raising minimum rifle purchase age is intended to give time to “[watch] court cases and rulings before acting.”

Justice Department opposes California’s attempt to move lawsuit court

The Department of Justice has filed a motion opposing the State of California’s effort (filed by State Attorney General Xavier Becerra) to move a lawsuit against its “sanctuary state” laws from a federal district court in Sacramento to one in San Francisco.

“It is remarkable that the State of California would seek to delay this matter primarily so that it can avoid litigating in its State capital. There is no basis to seriously entertain this request that the case be transferred,” Justice Department lawyers wrote. “California’s wish to defend these challenges in another federal judicial district in San Francisco, where the State capital is not located and where the official Defendants do not reside, makes no sense.”

Lawyers from Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation called the state’s transfer suggestion “meritless,” despite the fact that attorneys for the state have yet to file a formal motion seeking the transfer. In a scheduling filing last Friday, lawyers from Becerra’s office said a transfer to San Francisco would be warranted because a judge there is already considering a case that involves a federal law seeking to prohibit certain local and state policies from preventing cooperation with immigration authorities.

The San Francisco court has ruled against the Trump administration on immigration issues in the past. In addition, the presiding judge in the state’s ongoing case in San Francisco against President Trump’s executive order stripping grants from sanctuary cities, William Orrick III, is a Barack Obama appointee — and past donor. In contrast, the judge in Sacramento, John Mendez, is a George W. Bush appointee.

The State of California argues that the issues in the San Francisco and Sacramento cases are the same; the Department of Justice disagrees.

 

March 13 (Tuesday): Day 53

President fires Secretary of State; chooses replacement

President Donald Trump bid a swift farewell to Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, telling reporters that his now-former secretary of state would be “much happier” after he was fired from the administration.  The president insisted that he had a good relationship with Tillerson but said that he wanted someone more in tune with his thinking on foreign policy. Trump cited policy differences such as the Iran deal as one of the reasons why Tillerson was asked to leave.

The Family Research Council (FRC) said in a statement Tuesday that the nomination of Mike Pompeo, for Secretary of State will enhance the administration’s goal of a return to “American values and principles” and make support for human rights and religious freedom a priority.

“President Trump has been an agent of change in Washington,” said FRC president Tony Perkins in a press statement. “It is hard to identify another federal agency that is in more need of change than the State Department, which has historically and consistently been at cross purposes with American values and principles. Mike Pompeo is a proven leader, and I am very confident that he will be the desperately needed agent of change at State.”

In the Christian pro-family group’s “Washington Update” Tuesday, Perkins and his staff noted that, under Rex Tillerson, the “harmful cultural imperialism” that existed during the Obama administration continued.  FRC observed that the State Department has done little “to restore our promotion of international religious freedom to where it should be.”

Gina Haspel, the CIA’s deputy director has been selected by President Trump to replace Mike Pompeo as CIA director.  She would be the first woman to head this agency.

Fox News reports that Senate Republican leaders are vowing to move quickly on confirmation hearings for President Trump’s nominations which were also praised by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  The hearings are slated to begin in April.

Rex Tillerson

Governor:  Californian’s vision “one of bridges, not walls”

California Governor Jerry Brown “welcomed” President Donald Trump to the Golden State by releasing a letter he sent to him on Monday, declaring that California’s vision for America was one of “bridges, not walls.”

On Tuesday, President Trump will arrive to inspect the border wall prototypes being built near San Diego; to speak to Marines at the Miramar base; and to attend a Republican fundraiser in Beverly Hills. The visit comes in the midst of clashes between the state and the federal government over immigration policy and other issues.

Brown and his government have led the “resistance” to the Trump administration’s policies, suing it dozens of times. Last week, the Trump administration turned the tables, suing the State of California over its “sanctuary state” laws.

 

March 14 (Wednesday): Day 54

President Trump picks new chief economic adviser

President Donald Trump has picked former Reagan economist and longtime CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow as his chief economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council.

Kudlow will fill the role vacated by former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn, who left the White House after differing with the president over tariffs to protect America’s steel and aluminum industries.

The news of Kudlow’s selection was first reported by CNBC, the financial news network with which Kudlow has long been associated.  Kudlow has confirmed to a number of news outlets that he accepted the job last night.

Kudlow is best known for his advocacy of tax cuts. As an informal adviser to the Trump campaign and later the White House, Kudlow helped develop some of the ideas that became the Trump tax cut plan in 2016, which many consider the crowning achievement of Trump’s first year. Last year, Kudlow and co-author Brian Domitrovic published a book lauding the tax cuts of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Kudlow was once an advocate of relatively open immigration but changed his mind in 2015 following terrorist attacks in San Benardino and Paris. The U.S. should “seal the borders” and end all immigration and visas until the system can be made safer, Kudlow wrote.

Kudlow criticized the president’s call for sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. But as the administration exempted Canada and Mexico from the tariffs, and said it was opening to providing further exemptions, Kudlow appeared to back away from that critical stance. For his part, Trump said Kudlow’s disagreements with tariffs were not a dealbreaker, telling reporters Tuesday that his administration welcomed “divergent opinion.”

People who have spoken to Kudlow say he is “100 percent on board” with the Trump administration’s economic struggle against Chinese domination. Kudlow has praised the administration’s attention to the issue of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers by China and Chinese companies.

Kudlow has credited Art Laffer, the godfather of supply-side tax cuts, as being formative in his own economic views. Kudlow, in turn, became an economic guru to many Republican and conservative tax cutters, including Jack Kemp and Rush Limbaugh. In addition to serving as a member of the Reagan economics team, Kudlow worked at Bear Stearns until 1994.

Steve Bannon:  Fascism charge “is a smear to discredit populism”

Fascism’ is just a ‘smear’ used by the media to discredit ‘populism’, Steve Bannon has said in a wide-ranging interview in the Spectator. Bannon – former senior advisor to President Trump and former Executive Chairman of Breitbart News – was talking to interviewer Nick Farrell, who asked him what he thought of claims that “populism is the new fascism.”

“The bigger threat we have got than socialism is state-controlled capitalism, which is where we’re headed, where we have big government and a handful of big companies. That’s what you’re seeing in technology right now with these massive companies. It’s the biggest danger we have.”

Bannon was speaking to Farrell on his European tour, where he has been speaking at a series of sell-out events and reporting on the recent Italian elections which Bannon described as “the most important thing happening politically in the world right now”.

The full interview can be read here at Spectator USA.

 

March 15 (Thursday): Day 55

Judicial Watch reports on Broward County deputies inaction in shooting

In a release issued on March 15, Judicial Watch reported that Broward County Operations documents direct deputies to confront an active shooter, which is what deputy Scot Peterson did not do when he arrived at building 12 of the Parkland high school.

Judicial Watch notes that Broward County Sheriff’s Office training and operations docs explain that the reason for confronting the shooter is to save lives. The training and operations “lesson plan” instructs deputies to confront a shooter immediately because “history shows when a suspect is confronted by any armed individual… they either shoot it out with that person or kill themselves. Either way, the shooting of innocent bystanders must stop.”

Judicial Watch’s report also showed that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel “was also eligible for $2000 in supplemental pay for completing a 20-hr training course. In 2016, the Sheriff received a warning letter that he had not successfully completed the course & his supplemental pay was being withheld.” The letter did not distinguish if the training course involved preparation for active shooter situations.

“These Broward County Sheriff’s Office documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the law enforcement agency failed the victims of the Parkland shooting,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton declared in a press release. “Lives were lost in Parkland because the Sheriff’s Office personnel were either poorly trained or failed to follow training protocols.”

First illegal alien appointed to state office in California

Lizbeth Mateo, the illegal alien who was appointed to state office in California on Wednesday is the first illegal alien appointed to statewide office in California.  She was arrested in 2013 for trying to cross back into the United States after “self-deporting” to Mexico.

Mateo was one of the “Dream 9,” a group of illegal aliens brought into the country as children who staged a protest by leaving the U.S. and attempting to gain re-entry — also illegally. The nine — six of whom had already left the U.S. for Mexico — were detained at the U.S. border and held at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona after trying to cross the border in academic caps and gowns.

The “Dream 9” — five women and four men — became a cause célèbre among amnesty activists. Thanks in part to the attention they generated, and the pressure their supporters put on the Obama administration, immigration officials let them return to the country.

Mateo and the others applied for asylum, claiming “credible fear of persecution or torture in their birth country,” the Los Angeles Times reported — though, as ABC News reported, Mateo had returned to her home town in Oaxaca and posed with relatives for photographs.

“Just being here for a week with my family and seeing how happy they are and how excited they are, I think it’s worth it,” the supposed asylum-seeker told ABC.

So Mateo, who calls herself a “Dreamer” — one of those brought to the U.S. illegally “through no fault of their own,” as President Barack Obama said — chose to repeat her parents’ illegal crossing.

Instead of being punished and deported, she has been rewarded with a legal education, membership in the California State Bar, a career as an attorney, and elevation to state office.

Lizbeth Mateo,

 

March 16 (Friday):  Day 56

Long-time Democratic Congresswoman dies

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) died Thursday night after being admitted to hospital following a fall earlier this week, according to Politico.

Rep. Slaughter passed away on Thursday at the age of 88. Slaughter was hospitalized earlier this week after falling in her home and received treatment for a concussion.

Slaughter served in Congress since 1987.  Congresswoman Slaughter is the longest-serving member of New York’s delegation to Congress and the oldest sitting member of the House.  Rep. Slaughter became the first woman to chair the influential House Rules Committee.

Slaughter was born in Harlan County, Kentucky, in 1929. Rep. Slaughter pushed for several prominent pieces of legislation such as the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act. Slaughter also co-authored the Violence Against Women Act and founded the Congressional Pro-Choice.

Attorney General fires former FBI Director

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, acting on the recommendation of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew “Andy” McCabe Friday.

By dismissing McCabe – who was set to retire at the end of the month – before Sunday, Sessions may have jeopardized McCabe’s ability to draw a pension. Speculation Sessions might make this move has stirred since the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report, which is yet to be publically disclosed, was reported to have recommend McCabe be fired over his handling of press disclosures during his investigation of the Clinton Foundation. The OPR, upon reviewing the IG’s report, issued a recommendation to fire McCabe.

Attorney General Sessions issued the following statement, announcing his decision: “After an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure, the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) provided its report on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

“The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor − including under oath − on multiple occasions.

“The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, “all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.

“Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately.

Andrew McCabe has responded with a statement:  “I have been an FBI Special Agent for over 21 years.  For the last year and a half, my family and I have been the targets of an relenting assault on our reputation and my service to this country.  Articles too numerous to count have leveled every sort of false defamatory and degrading allegation against us. The president’s tweets have amplified and exacerbated it all.  He called for my firing.  He called for me to be stripped of my pension after more than 20 years of service.  And all along we have said nothing, never wanting to distract from the mission of the FBI by addressing the lies told and repeated about it.  No more.

“The investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has to be understood in the context of the attacks on my credibility. The investigation flows from my attempt to explain the FBI’s involvement and my supervision of investigations involving Hillary Clinton. I was being portrayed in the media over and over as a political partisan, accused of closing down investigations under political pressure. The FBI was portrayed as caving under that pressure, and making decisions for political rather than law enforcement purposes. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact, this entire investigation stems from my efforts, fully authorized under FBI rules, to set the record straight on behalf of the Bureau and to make it clear that we were continuing an investigation that people in Department of Justice opposed.”

Andrew McCabe

Legislative Director attacks Senate Democrats for nominee “obstruction”

Legislative Director Marc Short took the White House briefing podium on Friday to call out “historic obstruction” by Democrats for requiring 30 hours of debate over Trump administration nominees at a rate far beyond that which prior administrations faced.

Short repeatedly pointed to Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for “…the historic obstruction that we have faced by Sen. [Chuck] Schumer and Senate Democrats in confirming our nominees to enable us to fill out our White House.

“The Senate obviously has the constitutional responsibility for advice and consent,” said Short who then proceeded to describe “what that looks like in real life.” After the President selects a nominee, that person goes through an FBI background check, “they work with the office of government ethics to deconflict financial issues,” and after this extensive process the nominee is submitted to the U.S. Senate. There the individual goes through “several additional evaluations” including meetings with members and staff from both sides of the aisle. The nominee is then submitted to a committee hearing and vote, after which the nominee is submitted for a confirmation vote on the Senate floor.

“Traditionally the Senate routinely confirms an administration’s nominees once out of committee,” said Short. “What Sen. Schumer has done, is to require cloture votes to essentially slow down the process and to obstruct.”

Short then recounted the pace and history of Senate confirmations and cloture or “filibuster” of them under the four previous administrations. In the first 14 months of the Trump administration, the Senate had 79 cloture votes on Trump administration nominees.

Short contrasted the 79 cloture votes under Trump to a combined 17 cloture votes in the same time period under all of the four prior administrations, or five times as many. Under President George H.W. Bush’s entire four-year term “he faced one cloture vote,” said Short. In four years President Bill Clinton faced just ten total cloture votes. In his entire first term, President George W. Bush faced four cloture votes. President Barack Obama endured 17 total cloture votes in his first four-year term in office. That’s a total of 32 combined over the entire first terms of the prior four presidents.

“At this rate, the United States Senate would take eleven and a half years to confirm our nominees,” explained Short.

Short went on to list several nominees who have been waiting for confirmation for substantial periods of time, as of Friday: Deputy Secretary of Labor nominee Patrick Pizzella (nominated 269 days prior), Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency nominee Andrew Wheeler (nominated 152 days prior), Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control nominee Yleem Poblete (nominated 298 days prior), Treasury Department Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis nominee Isabel Patelunas (nominated 270 days prior), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner nominee Kevin McAleenan (nominated 298 days prior).

 

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 dedicated 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.


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