TNT: Get Fortunes told or Prophecies — Your Choice

Just call me “Zoltar.”

We’re going to tell some fortunes today — or maybe instead of fortunes we just share some predictions. We’ve done this before at TruthNewsNetwork, but it’s been a while. I’m pretty sure we’re batting 1000 so far. Let’s try to keep the streak alive!

“Today Zoltar Says….”

  • “Nancy Pelosi speaks in circles. She will continue to say things no one understands, make claims against President Trump that have no factual basis, and, most obviously, lead Democrats in the House down the road to accomplish NOTHING legislatively for the U.S. people, all the while standing idly by while hundreds of thousands of illegals flood across the southern border because the House will NOT takeup meaningful immigration reform.
        

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC: Is he fit to be president?

HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI: The American people elected him president, not by the popular vote, but by the electoral college. So I respect the office that he holds.

BRZEZINSKI: Okay.

PELOSI: And I think I respect the office he holds. And I think I respect the office that POTUS holds more than he respects the office that he holds. And I do believe that we must hold him accountable to a high ethical standard, which he has not met. To a level of integrity that he has not met, and respect for governance, science and other imperatives that we have. So this is — we have a moment. But the fact is at the same time we have to try to find common ground to work with him, whether it’s on building the infrastructure of America in a green way, whether it’s lowering the cost of prescription drugs. I don’t think we can get him to be helpful in terms of cleaner government, but building infrastructure and lowering health care costs maybe are two places where we can work with him.

 

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Mueller Probe Was Bad — Really Bad

Now that the dust has settled after the two-plus years of the Mueller probe into Trump Campaign collusion with Russians and Obstruction of Justice, common sense dictates an objective look back to examine the probe’s function, its purpose, and objectively examine its findings.

Donald Trump early on named it a “Witch Hunt.” That term angered many and many of his followers adopted it. The Mueller findings in many ways confirmed that name was in some ways appropriate. But in the aftermath of its release and upon close examination a “Witch Hunt” may be too nice a term for it. One more appropriate may be a “Hit Job.” What am I talking about? Let’s dig in.

“In The Beginning….”

What was Mueller appointed to do? Investigate the alleged collusion between the Russians and members of the Trump Campaign during and for the purpose of impacting the 2016 presidential election for the benefit of Donald Trump. Remember this: Mueller signed on to the task AFTER the FBI had been on the case for quite a while. They had investigated the Trump Campaign for the same reasons. The FBI had already accumulated a plethora of evidence to which Mueller had unfettered access.

In that pile of evidence from the considerable FBI interrogations and documents already compiled was the infamous Steele Dossier. FBI and DOJ investigators had already been to the FISA Court and had obtained surveillance authorization to surveil electronically Carter Page and those with whom he communicated. The dossier was prepared by Christopher Steele, who we now know was an FBI paid informant. All of his interview materials, documents prepared by Steele for his “employer,” (FBI) were there for Mueller.

Why is this important?

Mueller knew from the very beginning there was NO collusion between the Trump Campaign and the Russians! 

If he didn’t know that on Day One, he knew it very shortly afterwards. Think about it: a good investigator — Mueller was a god of investigators according to Democrats and career FBI officials — would upon initiation of such an investigation first peruse all the evidence available so as to intelligently initiate whatever actions were deemed necessary to achieve the goal of the investigation. Again, Mueller knew quickly there was no Russian collusion.

From that, here’s the obvious question: Why did Mueller NOT inform the Department of Justice, the President, the FBI, or members of Congress?

Some will say that Mueller didn’t know early on for certain there was no Russian collusion. But even if he didn’t know early, in no more than a few days he knew. Remember the process of the DOJ that was used with Senator Dianne Feinstein? The instant the FBI knew that an employee that had been in her employment for years was actually a spy for China, they immediately informed Feinstein and that employee was terminated. 

But Mueller didn’t know who or what was happening illegally, right? And the FISA warrant was for surveillance of Carter Page. Still, the DOJ protocol was when an individual was being investigated, if there is evidence that individual is involved in any way with a government entity, the leader of that department or entity is immediately notified of that investigation and the evidence against that individual.

Why wasn’t Donald Trump notified by the FBI or the Mueller team about the suspicions of Carter Page and the FISA authorized wiretap? Could it be the purpose of the Mueller Witch Hunt was to look further for dirt on the Trump Campaign, or to maybe just keep the cloud of “suspicion of wrongdoing” over the heads of all people and all things Trump?

The Rest of the Story

Remember this: the FBI had just gone through the Hillary Clinton email investigation and simultaneously the investigation of the hacking of the Democrat National Committee’s servers. Strangely enough, NO expert at the FBI was given access to the DNC servers. Also, strangely enough, the FBI took for granted the Russians must have been the guilty party who hacked the DNC.

So how did Mueller get started with all of this stuff up in the air? Mueller started with the prejudice that it was “the Russians” that hacked the DNC, and he deliberately excluded from evidence anything that contradicted that view. Remember this: he was hired to investigate the Russians and their role in the 2016 election. He put 2 and 2 together and “assumed” the DNC attack and Russian collusion with Trump were connected. The key word in that sentence is “assumed.”

To that end, Mueller, as a matter of policy in his investigation, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did NOT commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did NOT interview the DOJ and National Defense IT expert for hacking: Bill Binney. He did NOT interview Julian Assange. Why Assange? Remember: part of the cloud of allegations against the Trump gang was that they got all the Hillary bad news and emails from Wikileaks and Assange. Mueller’s failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless in the minds of many experts domestically. And foreign intelligence IT officials are laughing at the Mueller Investigation ineptness!

Just one important note: It’s May, 2.5 years after the Trump Collusion investigation began. There has never been, by any U.S. law enforcement or security service body, a forensic examination of the DNC servers, despite the fact that the claim those servers were hacked is the very heart of the entire investigation. Instead, the security services simply accepted the “evidence” provided by the DNC’s own IT security consultants, Crowdstrike, a company which is politically aligned to the Clintons.

That is precisely the equivalent of the police receiving a phone call saying:

“Hello? My husband has just been murdered. He had a knife in his back with the initials of the Russian man who lives next door engraved on it in Cyrillic script. I have employed a private detective who will send you photos of the body and the knife. No, you don’t need to see either of them.”

Two Facts underline how incompetent the Mueller Report and his investigation are:

The first is the absolutely key word of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA, the USA’s $14 billion a year surveillance organization. Bill Binney is an acknowledged world leader in cyber surveillance, and is far more qualified than Crowdstrike. Bill states that the download rates for the “hack” given by Crowdstrike are at a speed – 41 Megabytes per second – that could not even nearly be attained remotely at the location: therefore the information must have been downloaded to a local device, like a memory stick. Binney has further evidence regarding formatting which supports this.

Mueller’s identification of “DC Leaks” and “Guccifer 2.0” as Russian security services is something Mueller attempts to carry off by simple assertion. Mueller shows DNC Leaks to have been the source of other, unclassified emails sent to Wikileaks that had been obtained under a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request, and then Mueller simply assumes, with no proof, the same route was used again for the leaked DNC material. His identification of the Guccifer 2.0 persona with Russian agents is so flimsy it’s actually laughable. Nor is there any evidence of the specific transfer of the leaked DNC emails from Guccifer 2.0 to Wikileaks. Binney asserts that had this happened, the IT packets containing the information would have been instantly identifiable to the NSA. Explanation? It never happened!

Bill Binney is not a “deplorable.” He is the former Technical Director of the NSA. Mike Pompeo met him to hear his expertise on precisely this matter. Binney offered to give evidence to Mueller. Yet did Mueller call him as a witness? No. Binney’s voice is entirely unheard in the report.

Mueller’s refusal to call Binney and consider his evidence was not the action of an honest man.

The second vital piece of evidence we have is from the Wikileaks “Vault 7” release of CIA material, in which the CIA themselves outline their capacity to “false flag” hacks, leaving behind misdirecting clues including scraps of key foreign material. This is precisely what Crowdstrike claims to have found in the “Russian hacking” operation.

So here we have Mueller omitting the key steps of independent forensic examination of the DNC servers and hearing Bill Binney’s evidence. Yet this was not for lack of time. While deliberately not taking any steps to get evidence that might disprove the “Russian hacking” story, Mueller had plenty of  time and energy to waste in wild goose chases after non-existent links between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign, including the fiasco of interviewing Roger Stone and Randy Credico.

Mueller’s failure to examine the servers or take Binney’s evidence pales when compared to his attack on Julian Assange. Based on NO conclusive evidence, Mueller accuses Assange of receiving the emails from Russia. Most importantly, he did NOT give Assange any opportunity to answer his accusations. For somebody with Mueller’s background in law enforcement, declaring somebody guilty, without giving them any opportunity to tell their side of the story, is plain evidence of malice AND a pre-determination of the results. That’s horrible police work!

Unbelievably, for example, the Mueller Report quotes a media report of Assange stating he had “physical proof” the material did not come from Russia, but Mueller simply dismisses this without having made any attempt at all to ask Assange himself. Mueller if honest should have certainly gone to London to interview Assange. Not doing so exposed Mueller’s investigation ”pre-judgment.”

It is also cowardly as Julian was held in silence with no opportunity to defend himself. Assange has repeatedly declared the material did not come from the Russian state or from any other state. He was very willing to give evidence to Mueller, which could have been done by video-link, by interview in the Embassy or by written communication. But as with Binney and as with the DNC servers, the entirely corrupt Mueller was unwilling to accept any evidence which might contradict his predetermined narrative.

Summary

How could such an experienced, well-respected career investigator take two years, 20 professional federal prosecutors, millions of pieces of evidence and spend $30 million doing so and not find wrongdoing by those investigated if there was wrongdoing going on in the first place? If there really was Russian hacking of the Clinton email server and the DNC, how could this reputable investigator NOT examine either server, nor have any IT expert examine them instead taking for granted what he was told about Russian hacking was true?

It makes NO logical sense.

But what really smells is the fact that after all this work, all this investigating, spending all this money, Mueller did NOT find evidence of collusion and did NOT find evidence to justify charges of Obstruction of Justice either. ”BUT”……..he DID feel compelled to give 248 pages of doubts of his own conclusions (or non-conclusions)!

Why would any prosecutor do so? After all, prosecutors are not charged under any federal laws to investigate the accused in an effort to prove they are NOT guilty of a crime. They begin investigations starting from “A Crime Was Committed.”   The investigation is to find evidence that proves who committed the crime.

THAT’S NOT WHAT MUELLER DID!

His perspective apparently was that a crime was “alleged,” and even with NO evidence that a crime WAS committed, he launched a 2-year fiasco that began with NO crime and NO evidence of a crime.

But he had an ALLEGED criminal offender: Donald Trump.

The only logical conclusion one can draw for those 248 pages of the Mueller report that followed the Mueller conclusion that there WAS no collusion and WAS no Obstruction of Justice is this: either Mueller was on a mission to take whatever actions were necessary to discredit the presidency of Donald Trump, OR Mueller was paying Mr. Trump back for NOT hiring him as FBI Director to replace James Comey, OR Mueller was using this sham investigation to avenge the firing of his close friend and buddy: James Comey.

One or all those three MUST be the explanation for the findings (or lack of findings) detailed in the Mueller Report.

One final thought: If the process of the Mueller investigation really was an honest effort, using honest and thorough investigative procedures, real evidence, and methods, and if the crew of attorneys Mueller collected for his team were really the best of the U.S. federal prosecutors, the United States Department of Justice and the entire Intelligence group of agencies are in really sad shape!

Bless Their Hearts!

 

Play

“Impeach 45!”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) has been on fire since Donald Trump won the White House in 2016. Just 2 weeks after the Trump inauguration, TruthNewsNetwork predicted the cries of “Impeachment” from Democrats would begin, would increase in their fury, and would result in impeachment proceedings in Congress, especially if they could somehow regain the House in 2018. They regained the House, and impeachment proceedings look to be just around the corner!

Wednesday (May 22, 2019) House Democrats had an early morning private meeting the purpose of which was to discuss the merits of the House moving forward with Trump impeachment. Speaker Pelosi has avoided impeachment discussions. One would think she as the House Democrat leader would be out front in any process to discredit the Trump Administration. But she has been VERY hesitant to do so. Why is that?

Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was in Congress when the Bill Clinton impeachment took place. Republicans were so anxious to impeach former President Bill Clinton that they ignored what they should have learned from the Nixon situation–that the key to getting rid of a President is to have thorough and open hearings before one even gets to the impeachment process so that the President’s goose is already cooked before impeachment proceedings begin. Republicans rushed ahead soon after Kenneth Star published his report—without any open Senate hearings at all. America was doing well at the time, including the American economy, and most Democrats in Congress thought that the charges against Clinton were contrived. Without a sufficient number of Democrats willing to convict Clinton in the Senate, Clinton was not convicted of those perjury charges and never was going to be convicted.

In addition, the American public was so annoyed at the complete waste of time of the Clinton impeachment process that the Democrats actually gained seats during a midterm while having a Democrat as President, only one of two times in modern history that this has ever happened (the two times in modern history occurred in 1998 after Republican’s failed attempt to convict Clinton and in 2002, post 9/11, under George W. Bush).

Do you think Pelosi went to school on Republicans backlash for going after Bill? I’m certain that keyed her hesitance this time. But with the fury that has been unleashed by her “junior” House members — Omar, Talib, and AOC — who are full-speed ahead for impeachment, Pelosi is in a tough spot.

Add to the fury of the youngsters the overreaching of Jerald Nadler (D-NY) who heads the House Judiciary Committee, and Nancy is facing a dilemma. Remember this: Nadler famously claimed numerous times even before the 2018 elections “there is irrefutable proof of Trump wrongdoing, including collusion with Russia,” and the identical claims of Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Nadler finds himself in the same spot with Pelosi.

To illustrate the House Democrat dilemma and how convinced of impeachment House Dems are, in March of 2019, Swalwell said in MSNBC he’s ready for President Trump to sue him because he refuses to back down from his public assertions that there was evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

What’s at Stake For Democrats?

Plenty.

There were 13 Democratic-held U.S. House districts up for election in 2018 that Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election. Three of the districts flipped, voting in a Republican representative in 2018:

  • Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District
  • Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District
  • Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District

All three races were open seats. Minnesota’s 1st Tim Walz successfully ran for governor, while Minnesota’s 8th Rick Nolan did not seek re-election. Conor Lamb (D) successfully ran to represent Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District. Lamb had previously won a 2018 special election to replace U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy (R). This increased the number of Trump/Democratic districts in Pennsylvania from one to two. The districts in Pennsylvania were redrawn after the state Supreme Court ruled that the state’s previous congressional map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor Republicans.

The 13 districts voted for Trump by as many as 30.8 percentage points and as few as 0.7 percentage points.

This may seem meaningless, but it really is important. And this may be the fundamental reason for Pelosi’s hesitation to push forward with impeachment. But there’s more.

The U.S. is booming on every financial front: revenue, unemployment, Gross Domestic Product, 5 million off of Food Stamps, more people employed in the U.S. than ever, etc.

These facts should certainly slow any impeachment discussions. What do Democrats have to offer better than this? Quoting that famous Democrat pundit, James Carville, or “Serpent-Head” as his wife termed him during the Clinton years: “It’s the economy, Stupid!”

What’s at Stake for Americans?

Let’s be honest: Americans tire quickly with all of the arguing and finger-pointing in Washington. Depending on which poll numbers one believes, Congressional members approval ratings among Americans is just 15% or less. Why is that?

Congress gets very little done!

Congress is really good at spending taxpayer dollars. But Congress is really slow at getting legislation passed and over to the President for a signature to become law. And that’s what members of Congress are supposed to do! Wouldn’t it be prudent to find out just what American registered voters think about what’s important for our government? We can do that.

In April, FOX News polled 1004 registered voters about what their most important issues are for the 2020 elections. Registered voters’ issues that impact their votes are as follows (most important to least important):

  1. Immigration/illegal immigration, border security wall: 21%
  2. The economy/jobs/unemployment:  10%
  3. Healthcare:  9%
  4. Climate change/Environment:  6%
  5. Race relations/race issues/police:  5%
  6. Guns/gun violence:  4%
  7. Political corruption/leadership:  4%
  8. Lack of unity/Partisanship/Polarization/gridlock:  4%
  9. Education:  4%
  10. Terrorism/National Security/ISIS: 4%
  11. Donald Trump:  3%
  12. Government spending/budget deficit/debt:  3%
  13. Income inequality/disappearing middle class:  3%
  14. Moral decline:  2%
  15. Social Security/Medicare:  2%
  16. Foreign policy/Middle East/nuclear weapons/war:  2%
  17. Crime:  2%
  18. Abortion:  1%
  19. Taxes:  1%
  20. Opioid addiction/Drugs:  1%

As you can see from the results of this poll, Americans are pretty much in lock step with the Trump agenda with maybe one exception: Climate change. But even without that factored in, far more than half of Americans who participated in the poll do not just support Trump’s efforts across the board as President, but strongly support his agenda. And this is the 2020 Democrat nightmare!

I’ve asked this before during the last two years: “What is the Democrat Party platform? What specifics do they plan on bringing to Americans that would support changing the residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year?” I’m still waiting for good answers. Until Wednesday, I thought there was only one. But it appears that Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer after their Wednesday morning private chit chat with fellow Democrats, they’ve added a second “platform” idea.

“Let’s Do NOTHING!”

That’s right: immediately after their meeting with fellow Democrats, the pair went to the White House to negotiate infrastructure legislation with the President. However, before heading over to the White House, Pelosi spoke to reporters and gave America the Democrats’ “temporary” plan that they are going to use while deciding if there is enough on which to impeach the President. Pelosi spelled it out for us all: stonewall any meaningful legislation in Congress. And there’s one more thing. Listen closely to Pelosi tell reporters what that “one more thing” is:

According to the House Speaker, “The President is involved in a coverup.”

No explanation…no details…but a typical “drive-by shooter” tactic by the Democrats. What Pelosi did was give the messaging arm of the Democrat Party the talking points to be used by all in the upcoming days when speaking of President Trump. Who is that “messaging arm” of the Democrat Party? CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, Washington Post, and The New York Times — The Mainstream Media.

No surprise here.

Do you know what’s saddest about all this? American confidence in the economy is at a high far above any in recent years. Wages are rising, unemployment is lower than almost ever, federal revenue is higher than ever, we are not in any foreign wars, international credibility in the U.S. is back after 8 years of NONE, our military is getting stronger after being gutted by the Obama Administration, law enforcement agencies and men and women who serve there for the first time in almost a decade feel this president has their backs. And the Democrats want to stop ALL this progress and take us back to the horrors of 2008-2016.

And they want Americans to believe in their plan?

I’ll end here with this: what’s the definition of insanity? “Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.”

What would be insanity for Americans at this point? Put a Democrat back in the White House for another 8 years of ObamaGate.

NO THANK YOU!

 

Play

Executive Privilege

This was released Monday (May 19, 2019) from The Hill:

A district judge on Monday upheld a subpoena issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee for President Trump’s financial records, dealing a blow to White House efforts to resist the Democrats’ investigations. In a 41-page opinion, Judge Amit Mehta, an Obama appointee, found that the panel, under the leadership of Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), had valid reasons for requesting the president’s financial records from the accounting firm Mazars, even though they predated his entering office.

“These are factually valid legislative purposes, and it is not for the court to question whether the Committee’s actions are truly motivated by political considerations,” Mehta wrote.

The judge was skeptical of the arguments brought forward by the president’s attorneys both in court last week and in his opinion issued Monday. Trump’s attorneys had argued that the subpoena, issued by Cummings earlier this year, was unconstitutional because it wasn’t tied to legislation. But attorneys for the House said that the records will help strengthen ethics and disclosure laws and see if Trump is in compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.

Let’s get this straight: the basis for this judge’s ruling was reasonable because the committee’s request for Trump’s financial records was “to see if Trump is in compliance with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.”

Americans should be horrified!

Judge Mehta in his ruling forgot one thing — a very fundamental thing — that is a thread of the very fiber of the Constitution: “Probable Cause.” In his 41-page opinion, Federal District Judge Mehta asserted that Congress has the right to investigate potential illegal behavior by a president, including actions both before and after the president assumed office. Seriously?!? Americans are to accept this amazing finding by a federal judge as a “legal and Constitutionally based opinion?” I think not!

Most Americans when discovering Congressman Elijah Cumming’s subpoena for the President’s financial records for a period before he became President and for the period of time he has been office will shake their heads in disbelief. This committee’s action further fans the flames of those who look own in amazement at what Congress is doing to “get” Donald Trump in the wake of the Mueller Report. (In our Summary below we’ll unpack what Congress is really up to)

President Trump’s team is fighting this action based on Executive Privilege. What is it?

Executive Privilege

In the landmark case of United States v. Nixon, the Supreme Court ruled that it had authority to resolve the conflict between President Richard Nixon and Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been appointed to investigate the Watergate affair, over the issue of executive privilege. Cox had obtained a grand jury subpoena requiring Nixon to deliver to the district court tape recordings of various meetings with assistants. The Supreme Court acknowledged, for the first time, that an executive privilege exists under the Constitution, but it qualified the scope of the privilege by subjecting it to a balancing of the opposing interests and legitimate needs of the executive and judicial branches. Courts have applied this general approach in the context of enforcement of congressional subpoenas as well, but there haven’t been very many such decisions—and the ones that do exist are drawn to the particular facts of the cases at hand. In addition, as articulated in United States v. AT&T, courts will only decide such a case if the executive and legislative branches have tried, in good faith, but failed to reach an accommodation. (“in good faith” is the principle in this argument that, in my opinion, is NOT occurring)

So while it is settled that the federal courts have jurisdiction to resolve a conflict over a claim of executive privilege in the context of enforcement of a congressional subpoena, there isn’t much actual case law to suggest exactly how assertions of executive privilege by the president may ultimately be decided by a court. In addition, the good-faith accommodation requirement typically has the effect of lengthening the amount of time it takes for civil enforcement action by Congress to confirm its subpoena power, and in many instances may prevent the practical usefulness of a court decision in a given controversy.

Dealing with White House executive privilege has always created issues: and always have been political in nature.

The most recent example is President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege regarding “Operation Fast and Furious”—a federal gun-running investigation and operation gone wrong. On March 31, 2011, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, then chaired by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, issued a subpoena to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. The Justice Department responded in writing to the committee a few months later. After more back-and-forth, on Oct. 12, the committee issued a second subpoena to the department for communications from several top officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, relating to the operation. The subpoena covered communications from Holder’s chief of staff and the head of the department’s criminal division. It also requested information regarding relevant departmental communications with the White House and details about the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent that spurred investigation of the operation.

In June of 2012, President Obama invoked executive privilege to deny the committee access to certain documents responsive to the subpoena on the basis that complying “would raise substantial separation of powers concerns and potentially create an imbalance in the relationship” between Congress and the White House. The House voted on June 28, 2012, to hold Holder in contempt—the first such action against a sitting Cabinet official. The committee then brought a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to force disclosure of the documents at issue. The court case was repeatedly delayed by procedural issues and unsuccessful efforts to broker a settlement.

It wasn’t until January of 2016—a full three and a half years later—that a federal judge rejected Obama’s assertion of executive privilege to deny Congress access to the records on the grounds that “under the unique and limited circumstances of this case, … the qualified privilege must yield, given the executive’s acknowledgment of the legitimacy of the investigation, and the fact that the Department itself has already publicly revealed the sum and substance of the very material it is now seeking to withhold.” The court also found that “records reflecting the agency’s internal deliberations over how to respond to Congressional and media inquiries fall under the protection of the deliberative process privilege.” Finally, the court “encourage[d] the parties to start with a fresh slate and resolve the few remaining issues with flexibility and respect.”

Knowing what we know now and this exhaustive confrontational relationship between the White House and the Democrat-controlled House, peaceful resolution of this conflict does not seem inevitable. What will happen?

The criminal contempt statute permits Congress to certify a contempt citation against the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of whoever is the principal of the subpoena. But Congress will have a practical problem using this approach if the president does not agree with the action. Administrations of both political parties have decided that U.S. attorneys are NOT required to refer congressional contempt charges to a grand jury or prosecute an executive branch official who carries out the president’s instruction to invoke the president’s claim of executive privilege before a committee.

That leaves Congress’s inherent contempt power, which means relying on the legislature’s own constitutional authority to detain and jail a person in contempt until the individual complies with congressional demands. What does that actually look like? It’s not very pretty—which is why the contempt process has not been used by either body since 1935 when a Herbert Hoover administration official was held briefly in the Willard Hotel. While there is no “Capitol Jail,” the Capitol Police do maintain a holding cell a few blocks away at the Capitol Police Department. At the current moment, the prospect of the House sending the sergeant-at-arms of the Capitol to arrest an administration official would likely not sit well with a public that does not favor physical confrontation in U.S. politics.

Summary

Let’s see: unemployment overall is at record lows; black, Hispanic, and female unemployment is at record lows; millions of taxpayers received a federal income tax reduction in 2018 that averaged just over $2000; federal government revenue last year far exceeded any previous year, in spite of those massive tax cuts; there are far more people at work today than ever before. And what is our government doing in the wake of these successes?

  • Congress refuses to pass comprehensive immigration reforms;
  • Congress refuses to finance measures to close our borders to illegal aliens;
  • Congress refuses to support and/or demand federal law enforcement agencies enforce laws that Congress passed;
  • Pushes for the legalization of 3rd-trimester abortions;
  • Pushes for two legislative measures that have NEVER worked anywhere on Earth but if made law will cost Americans MORE THAN THE ENTIRETY OF THE ANNUAL FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INCOME over the next 10 years;
  • Demanded that all stay away from Special Counsel Mueller to guarantee completion of his findings on Russia collusion with the Trump Campaign;
  • Demand now the rejection of the Mueller findings because they are “incomplete;”
  • Are burying members and agencies of this Administration with subpoenas, testimony, and records that are already in the treasure-trove of evidence voluntarily given to Mueller;
  • What else is our government doing? NOTHING!

What’s Really Going On?

What we are watching in D.C. in the House of Representatives is the equivalent of that North Carolina Tar Heel 4-corner stall in which the sole purpose is to bring the game to a screeching whoa: kill time to “run out the clock.” The clock that concerns them is the calendar until 2020’s elections. They are desperate with these parlor tricks masking the REAL reasons for these silly measures: praying that something will mysteriously pop up they can use to legitimately go after Mr. Trump.

Congressman Jerald Nadler (D-NY) is totally committed to destroying Donald Trump. And his commitment is running far ahead of all reason, legality, and any concerns for the citizens of the United States. On his watch the committee he chairs — the House Judiciary Committee — is instead of doing the business of the People, sending out demand after demand, subpoena after subpoena, daily threatening members of the Trump Administration with obstruction charges if they do not comply with his committee’s requests. This is all after exhaustive compliance with subpoenas for records and testimony by the Administration to Robert Mueller over 2 years and $30 million of taxpayer funds: a “Witch Hunt” in the President’s words. I suggest that Mr. Nadler and Democrat House members get after doing the work for which they were elected: Legislation. Find some ways to make America better. What they’re doing now is pure insanity: doing the same things over and over but expecting different results.

Democrats’ only hope is for some mysterious piece of evidence is uncovered that is so egregious that the U.S. cannot in any way reconcile a sitting U.S. president committing such a travesty that they can immediately impeach.

Wait: they can file articles of impeachment right now, can’t they? Absolutely! Nadler’s committee is the ONLY committee that can draft, approve, and then send to the floor of the House for consideration. If the President’s actions are so egregious and if there is real evidence that confirms any illegal actions as Congressmen Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell still maintain they have, why don’t they just go ahead and file the impeachment articles? Honestly, as a law-abiding American, I think THEY are obstructing justice by NOT taking legal action because of the President’s wrongdoing of which they say they have evidence. Why don’t they take action? THERE’S NO THERE THERE!

So what is Congress doing that really matters? Congress is REALLY good at doing two things and only two: 1) assuring their spot in Congress through massive campaign contributions to give them an extreme inside track to re-election, and 2) Spending taxpayer money!

Play

Drums of War

Thankfully, the U.S. stays away from wars. That is unless there seems to be no way out. Yes, I know that the basis for going to Iraq for those proven “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Saddam had turned out to be a bit iffy. Hindsight always being 20/20 indicates that war was probably a mistake — a “probable” mistake that cost 4500 Americans their lives. But that’s a conversation for another day.

The Drums of War have suddenly begun to sound again: this time again in the Middle East. Even as the Obama Administration quietly turned the U.S. into a “cash cow”  by sending $150 Billion to Iran as part of that Iran Peace Deal in an effort to coax the Middle East rogue nation out of their nuclear weapons activities, those drums continued to sound and are getting louder today.

The U.S. has tried many ways to nudge the leaders of Earth’s #1 terrorist power away from conflict. Current National Security Advisor John Bolton sent a mind-boggling message to Iran’s leaders in 2015 when it appeared Iran was preparing to attack American allies. Bolton’s message stated that to stop Iran from bombing, the U.S. should bomb Iran. Thankfully no bombing occurred on either side. But the sparring and rhetoric between both nation’s leaders is continuing and is escalating every day.

Meanwhile, the citizens of both countries are praying that the war stays away. This while American intelligence reports alerted military leaders once more that Iranian attacks may be imminent. The U.S. military has responded to this intelligence by sending an aircraft carrier group into the Mediterranean to send Iran a message while getting close just in case Iran starts some type of military conflict.

At Home in Congress

While this is going on, many Americans look on in horror as several members of Congress continue their rhetoric targeted at the greatest ally the U.S. has in that part of the World: the nation of Israel. Last weekend, Palestinians lobbed more than 400 rockets into Israel that killed several Israelis. No one knows for sure if those rockets were actually provided by Iran, but such has happened on multiple previous occasions and experts deem their involvement in this latest incident as “probable.”

Muslim Extremism in the Middle East is once again the probable source of the latest conflict between Muslims and Jewish people. Such conflicts have existed for centuries. The U.S. has always in similar situations sided with Israel. But the new “look” in Congress may signal a change in that policy. This has many Americans concerned as well as are foreign leaders across the globe.

But one Muslim religious leader has decided to take-on these U.S. legislators who have been sending mixed signals regarding U.S. support for Israel.

That Iranian-born Australian Shia Muslim imam, known as the “imam of peace,” called out freshman Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib on Saturday for remaining silent amid that onslaught of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.

“Remember that time Omar and Tlaib condemned Hamas’ terrorism?” Imam Mohamad Tawhidi tweeted. “Neither do I.”

Tawhidi, who is the president of the Islamic Association of South Australia, was responding to the nearly 600 rockets that have been fired into Israel from across the Gaza border this past weekend. The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has already claimed responsibility for three Israeli deaths, according to The Jerusalem Post. Neither Omar nor Tlaib have commented on the attack.

Omar and Tlaib became America’s first Muslim congresswomen when sworn into office in January. Their time in office has been full of allegations of anti-Semitism and anti-American sentiments.

Omar has defended anti-Israeli statements, such as ones invoking Allah to expose Israel’s “evil doings” and faced criticism from both sides of the aisle for promoting age-old anti-Semitic claims such as that Jews’ support of Israel is paid for and that they have dual loyalty to the U.S. and Israel.

Tlaib has also received widespread criticism for her ties to anti-Israel and terror-affiliated activists. Pro-Hezbollah, anti-Israel activist Abbas Hamideh attended her swearing-in ceremony and private dinner, and Tlaib hosted in her congressional office Joe Catron, an avowed supporter of multiple Palestinian terrorist organizations such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Hezbollah and Hamas.

She is also a member of multiple anti-Semitic social media groups, including the “Palestinian American Congress,” where members frequently demonize Jews and Israel. The founder of the aforementioned Facebook group, Maher Abdel-qader, is a Palestinian activist and was a key fundraiser for Tlaib’s congressional campaign.

Omar and Tlaib both fundraised with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a well-known pro-Palestinian organization with ties to Islamic terror groups. The U.S. Department of Justice listed CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in funding millions of dollars to Hamas. Additionally, the United Arab Emirates named CAIR a terrorist organization along with al-Qaeda and the ISIS in 2014.

Both the Minnesota and Michigan congresswomen deny they are anti-Semitic. However, they promote the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to punish Israel by economically depriving the country for its alleged mistreatment of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. The Anti-Defamation League describes BDS as “the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence.”

Tawhidi has condemned the duo’s anti-Semitism in the past, specifically while visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

“The American Congress should not be a platform for Islamist members of the American government to preach their hate against the Jewish people,” Tawhidi said in February. “The Jewish people will remain a minority and have remained a minority. If this situation continues then this minority will be persecuted once again and we need to make sure that this never happens.”

“It’s very sad to see what is happening within the American government,” he continued. “People like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, absolute frauds and Islamists, promoting hatred against the Jewish people.”

Is Anything Scarier?

The answer is a resounding “Yes.” We have recent history with war in the Middle East. America learned a lot from both wars in Iraq. And certainly much was learned from the drastic changes in contemporary war in the U.S. struggle with Syria and ISIS. War is different than ever before. It has changed. Yet its devastation and severe costs of human life, social and actual infrastructure, and dollars and cents keep most from testing it as being a logical answer for conflict. But still the strongmen of the World speak freely of war as not just rare possibilities but as near certain probabilities. It’s the same concept as the bully in the schoolyard staking out his territory and power.

But even with U.S. ships in the Mediterranean and drawing the line in front of Iran, the scariest potential war that faces the U.S. is NOT against a foreign foe or even several, it’s a war from within. Yes, the Drums of War that sound the loudest are those marking a second U.S. Civil War.

It’s easy to imagine that a second civil war might proceed like the first: two particular factions with state militaries against each other along specific strategic fronts. Generals would choose a side, those with the most troops and firepower at their disposal would claim victory. The outcome, we imagine, would likely be a winner-take-all restructuring of the United States.

But that’s not really how wars are fought in the 21st century. Indeed, much of the last century was about deconstructing the habits of large-scale, state-driven conventional warfare. As networks distribute power to the edges, warfighting shifts further away from a handful of central forces and towards a web of small actors. Warfare now often comes from ideologically and economically diverse communities whose suffering and fear is preyed upon by stealthy bad guys. They become guerrillas, rebel factions, proxies, and insurgencies. Sometimes they look more like tribal conflicts composed along racial, religious, or economic lines, often on top of crises that push violence to become a necessary solution. But they are rarely simple two-sided conflicts.

To dismiss this possibility here in the U.S. risks missing the signs of coordinated disruption and violence. If we keep thinking in terms of opposed armies, we’ll fail to develop successful strategies for recognizing and containing such a new hybrid type warfare.

For the United States, the shape of future internal conflicts will be as de-centralized. A 21st century homeland conflict would likely be made up of numerous diverse factions organized by digital tools around ideological networks. It would likely be a patchwork of affiliated insurgency groups engaging in light skirmishes along the edges of their networks, mixed with high-value terror attacks against soft and hard targets. Such groups are much smaller than conventional militaries and where they lack in firepower, they replace with ugliness and severity. As in Charlottesville and Berkeley, the fronts are less regional and far more ideological.

Furthermore, digital networks erase the boundaries of the state. Like the Islamic State and al Qaeda, any cell can access the literature, claim allegiance in some distant suburb, and start whipping up violence against their targets. Both Antifa and the Alt-Right are a mix of different groups loosely coupled under their respective brand names with local chapters spread across global networks. These are not top-down hierarchies. They’re stealthy and shapeless with the capacity to grow quickly then disappear.

As an example, consider ISIS. One simply cannot explain the speed and scale at which the Islamic State formed without that network effect. And it can happen again and in the United States.

Just as we risk missing the signs of networked violence, thinking in terms of a classic civil war can blind us to the many actors working to disrupt the U.S. from within and beyond our borders.

Behind the extremists are often additional layers of those who hate the liberty and freedom of the United States: oligarchs, transnational criminal networks, and foreign powers wielding them on both sides towards their strategic goals. We’ve seen this with Russian-backed Facebook groups organizing right wing protests in the U.S., and in the increasing regularity of information warfare originating from adversarial governments. They don’t want or feel the need to invade the U.S. from the outside, but to use these types of networking to attack the U.S. from within using angry and disenfranchised Americans!

With this in mind we can picture what a modern U.S. civil war might look like. More sporadic and unexpected conflicts but with fewer deaths. Factions popping up like mushrooms, taking different forms but coordinated across invisible networks. Waves of information warfare. Chaos and accelerated violence with a healthy immune response from the local and national authorities. The outcome (and probable goal) would likely be a split of the republic into smaller, more manageable alliances, though it may just as easily harden an increasingly unilateral federal government. This is essentially how Russia waged its internal war against Ukraine.

To counter this threat in America it’s critical to establish more formal practices for identifying and tracking domestic extremism — with an honest recognition that young, white males on both ends of the political spectrum are the most likely to commit violence. In doing so there must be inclusion in looking for likely participants from all factions. Likewise, we must formalize intense network analysis to map and track these groups across their digital territories and to identify their backers, funders, and agitators. Finally, there needs to be a very serious conversation about how to regulate Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter as platforms for influence, instigation, propaganda, and recruiting.

For now, America is held in line by the strong rule of law and a good-enough economy that most people still have something to lose by choosing violence. But as our government and corporate leaders continue to attack the rule of law and economic opportunity, the norms deteriorate  and the space for evil spurred by anger becomes bigger.

Are we headed to the second U.S. Civil War? My gut says the likelihood of a second U.S. civil war in the next five years is between 20 and 40 percent but trending upward significantly. And with the vitriol and hatred being spewed daily by the 2 dozen in number and growing Democrat presidential candidates, the possibilities for anger rising to the level of internal war are steadily increasing. God help us!

This 65 year old grandfather of 6 does not want to sit on the sidelines and be forced to pray every day for the safety of my 6 grandsons while they wage war, especially against fellow Americans. War is the direct product of Men and Women who simply refuse to discuss resolutions to differences because of hardness in their hearts. Burying a few teenage children is too great a price to pay for the pride that instigates those deaths. But stopping a civil war is a process that requires mutual agreement. I’m fearful that there aren’t enough people in D.C. that really care to do the right thing in regard to many issues we are dealing with today, yet alone to stop a war.

“Wisdom dictates reasoning, reasoning dictates compromise.” Hopefully that will be the song this in Washington will sing in this circumstance.

 

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Blurred Lines

Does anyone else have problems distinguishing what politicians really believe, disbelieve, support or stand against? Legislation, social concerns, and issues, criminal justice, Constitutional matters, foreign policy, which laws we should enforce, which we should not, etc: all very important areas in which elected officials make very important determinations every day. In each, those decisions are more often than not critical decisions.

Many of those politicians prefer to keep their positions quiet — until for political purposes, their specific issue revelations are absolutely required. Why the secrecy? It feeds the narrative in Washington politics: “Blurred Lines:” keep quiet until you absolutely must weigh-in because usually, those revelations turn half of the voting populace against them. Remaining quiet as long as possible keeps voters guessing!

Great way to run a country, isn’t it?

Honestly, it’s a SAD way to run a home, a business, a state, and certainly the U.S. government. We can NEVER trust what we see and hear our leaders tell us. Bill and Hillary Clinton when serving two terms in the White House were against same-sex marriage. But they saw the light, didn’t they? Barack and Michelle Obama were against same-sex marriage. They too saw the light — the same light as the Clintons.

Federal laws passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and signed into law by the President banned possession and use of marijuana. Barack Obama told his Justice Department head — Attorney General Eric Holder — to NOT prosecute marijuana offenders. Further, the U.S. has pretty specific laws against illegal immigration. Yet dozens and dozens of members of Congress, the entire Democrat Party including members and leadership, and pretty much everyone in the U.S. media want open borders with virtually unlimited illegal immigration. But that’s the way it goes: “Blurred Lines.”

Yep, “Blurred Lines.” That’s a famous song sung by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. I love the sound — love the beat. But even that song is controversial to many. It actually made it to #1 on the Billboard Music charts long before it was understood that its veiled message was about rape and the brutalization of women:

If you can’t hear, what I’m tryna say
If you can’t read, from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind

OK, now he was close
Tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal
Baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
You don’t need no papers
That man is not your maker
And that’s why I’m gon’ take you

It’s a really catchy song. But unless you isolate the words and think things through, it would sound simply like another catchy 21st-century pop song.

That’s kinda what’s happening to Americans today. All those veiled messages, like the ones hidden in “Blurred Lines,” are finding their way into every critical part of the American infrastructure: government, social media, media, the Church, and especially into our schools. We’ve already talked about government. Let’s take a peek at those other categories.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter both took the entire world by storm. And they’re not alone. There are a plethora of social media sources for all to use. There are plentiful statistics one can find that reveal just how dependent are people in the world — especially in the U.S. — on Social media. I’ve got to be honest: I spend too much time surfing Twitter and Facebook myself.

Isn’t it odd that we all without thinking let the posts we read impact the way we think? Certainly, there are many goods that result from social media. But there are probably more bad than good. But that’s a conversation for a different day. Today we are discussing how everyday things that we use and depend on impact the way we think and the decisions we make.

How many times have you read a long post from a legitimate “source” that you simply believe and accept as factual and real without thinking about its source or any real reasoning? We do that all the time! Those situations impact even the hard and set-in-stone standards in our lives. Why? Because we allow them to.

Think of the current ills being exposed almost daily of Facebook especially, and how they apparently have policies that directly impact First Amendment rights that give everyone the right to say and/or write anything they choose to express their thoughts and opinions for anyone and everyone to see. Remember: Facebook is a media giant whose top brass are petrified that the federal government is going to step in and restrict some of the things they allow AND disallow on their platform. Yet we hear almost daily that Facebook does that EXACT thing themselves by editing what people CAN and CANNOT post on THEIR pages.

“Blurred Lines!”

The Church

Don’t misunderstand me: “The Church” is not Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Methodist, or Presbyterian. “The Church” we are referring to is all the people together who from different denominations combined comprise the total group of Christians — or “The Church.”

Christians take as their roadmap The Holy Bible. They believe it is God’s word and that it gives all people the guidelines and instructions of how to best live for Christ.

Yes, there are various interpretations of different parts of The Holy Bible, but there is too an abundance of absolutes: “Thou Shalt Not Kill, Thou Shalt Not Steal…….” Those are a couple of the Ten Commandments. There too are other instructions for Christians throughout the 66 Books contained in it. And some are “interpretive” while others are “literal.” Let’s look at a topic that most Christians have for centuries felt is an absolute that some Christians have today decided is NOT absolute but is “interpretive.”

Homosexuality is one of the most controversial topics today that even perplexes many Christians. It isn’t specifically referenced in the Ten Commandments, but it is many times elsewhere: Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-11, I Timothy 1:9-10. (We won’t take the time to detail each, but I suggest you look those up yourself)

In those specific scriptures, homosexuality is deemed to be wrong. I know that statement is controversial and I’ve heard all the hundreds of explanations of those who believe homosexuality is OK. We’re not today going to argue that point. What we ARE pointing out is the “Blurred Lines” that are exposed in this controversy. Are you a practicing Christian? Do you believe The Holy Bible? Do you believe it is God’s Word?

If your answer to those is “Yes,” then for you to OK homosexuality requires you to turn away from your belief in The Holy Bible and that it IS God’s Word. How do we reconcile that?

Before I answer that question, let me say this: I have homosexuality in my personal family — for 40+ years. My family is comprised entirely of people who were raised in the church, believe The Holy Bible and that it is God’s Word, but still, are involved in homosexuality. Two obvious questions pop-up immediately: 1) How do THEY reconcile their beliefs with the scriptures, and 2) How do I reconcile and accept their homosexuality?

The answer is also two-fold: 1) the scriptures tell us that we are ALL to “Work out our salvation in fear and trembling.” They’re handling it however they choose is between them and God. 2) I don’t have to reconcile it because it’s none of my business! THEY answer to God for their choices and not to me. I answer to God for my choices and not anyone else.

But here’s where the lines get blurred: we are taught today by many sources that anyone that does NOT believe in homosexuality and all that goes along with it, is homophobic, and that homophobia is evil. In other words, a segment of society considers their opinion on homosexuality to be superior to someone else’s opinion. Yet many of those people will loudly proclaim their belief in The Holy Bible.

“Blurred Lines!”

(There are a number of similar Biblical topics that we could touch on here to further examine this process, but for the sake of time we will not. Feel free to express your thoughts on the front page of this website or drop me an email at dan@TruthNewsNet.org and ask questions, and express your opinions. If we receive enough, we’ll do another story for this and let YOU write it with your comments!)

Schools

I must be honest: I am horrified at what I see played out every day in our schools. Principles that once were pillars of living in the U.S. have been obliterated by educators, only to be replaced by other “principles” presented by teachers and professors as “Gospel.”

  • Excellence in achievement is now painted to be unfair and too restrictive. It’s been replaced with “participation trophies.”
  • American government — especially Capitalism — is no longer the pillar of financial freedom and personal accomplishment students should push to achieve. Capitalism is now an evil threat to American democracy and should be replaced ASAP by Socialism. Those same teachers that damn Capitalism and give Socialism heavenly diety fail to teach the structure of Socialism to our students. They certainly never mentioned in class that there is not ONE Socialist country on Earth today or even in the history of the World that has succeeded in any way. Professors certainly do not explain any socialist failures in those countries were and are direct results of the structure of Socialism itself. The fundamental principle of Socialism is that all people are treated equally in every way. BUT….the government is given autonomy over every part of the citizens’ lives to determine what is right and what is wrong regarding use of the elements of life: education, healthcare, finance, retirement, etc. What Big Brother says always goes. But in every case, Big Brother takes too good care for himself and lets the citizenry suffer. That’s why Socialism fails.

“Blurred Lines”

The Media

Last, but not least, is today’s Media. Where do we start? Let’s start with the role that Media played in a country that fawned over its government, its healthcare, and its Media….and was destroyed: Germany.

Propaganda within Nazi Germany was taken to a new and frequently extreme level. Hitler was very aware of the value of good propaganda and he appointed Joseph Goebbels as head of propaganda.

Propaganda is the art of persuasion – persuading others that your ‘side of the story’ is correct. Propaganda might take the form of persuading others that your military might is too great to be challenged; that your political might within a nation is too great or popular to challenge, etc. In Nazi Germany, Dr. Joseph Goebbels was in charge of propaganda. Goebbel’s official title was Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment.

To ensure that everybody thought in the correct manner, Goebbels set up the Reich Chamber of Commerce in 1933. This organization dealt with literature, art, music, radio, film, newspapers, etc. To produce anything that was in these groups, you had to be a member of the Reich Chamber. The Nazi Party decided if you had the right credentials to be a member. Any person who was not admitted was not allowed to have any work published or performed. Disobedience brought with it severe punishments. As a result of this policy, Nazi Germany introduced a system of censorship. You could only read, see and hear what the Nazis wanted you to read, see and hear. In this way, if you believed what you were told, the Nazi leaders logically assumed that opposition to their rule would be very small and practiced only by those on the very extreme who would be easy to catch.

Is the U.S. Media directed by the U.S. Government as was the German Media under Hitler?

Certainly not. They disdain America’s current leader. They fawned over Barack Obama. So what’s wrong today? Where are the lines Blurred?

Today’s Media has become in the U.S. what Hitler and Goebbels were in WWII Germany. The U.S. Media today pick WHAT the U.S. should see and hear and what they should not. THEY determine what is good and what is bad. Take news from that liberal bastion of Americanism out West: San Francisco.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said Wednesday she supports a decision by two judges allowing police to search freelance journalist Bryan Carmody’s home and office, as the first city official spoke out against the raid.
The raid last Friday was part of a criminal investigation into what the San Francisco Police Department says was the illegal release of its report about the Feb. 22 death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Carmody said a confidential source gave him the police report, which he then sold to several news outlets.
“Our role is to follow the law, and the judges ultimately make the decisions,” Breed said. “They made the decision. And so at this point, you know, I support their decision.”
But Supervisor Hillary Ronen disagreed: “The police have gone about this completely wrong.”
“I don’t love that (Carmody) took this document that should never have been released in the first place and sold it off to news outlets as a salacious story to hurt Jeff’s legacy and his family,” Ronen said. “But that doesn’t mean that we undermine one of the most important hallmarks of our democracy because we don’t like what this individual is doing.”

Did the New York Times or Washington Post put this story on the front page? Nope. You’d think that such an intrusion of the First Amendment rights would be blasted everywhere. But not regarding California’s flagship Sanctuary City regarding a member of its press. The “State” felt it was best to just let sleeping dogs lie. The Media chose who was right and that in this case freedom of the press was no good.

Then there was this:

Mr. Trump made his animus toward the news media clear during the presidential campaign, often expressing his disgust with coverage through Twitter or in diatribes at rallies. So if his campaign is any guide, Mr. Trump seems likely to enthusiastically embrace the aggressive crackdown on journalists and whistle-blowers that is an important yet little understood component of Mr. Obama’s presidential legacy.
Criticism of Mr. Obama’s stance on press freedom, government transparency and secrecy is hotly disputed by the White House, but many journalism groups say the record is clear. Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.
Under Mr. Obama, the Justice Department and the F.B.I. have spied on reporters by monitoring their phone records, labeled one journalist an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case for simply doing reporting and issued subpoenas to other reporters to try to force them to reveal their sources and testify in criminal cases.

This was an editorial in the New York Times. It is noteworthy and topical here today because it is an editorial and NOT a news story. This paper and almost every other paper in large American cities felt that Barack Obama could do no wrong. But, in fact, just below this sentence we have listed a link to a story that lists the 11 times President Obama unilaterally attacked the First Amendment while the American press looked away:

https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2017/02/17/11-times-barack-obama-abused-press-freedom/

“Blurred Lines!”

Summary

Here’s the danger that we are today living in: this blurring of lines across our society has become so rampant, so egregious, but so “normal” that Americans just automatically look the other way. Every time it happens it’s just no big deal. THAT’S HOW HITLER ROCKED GERMANS TO SLEEP, TOOK OVER THEIR MEDIA, THEIR MILITARY, THEIR CHURCHES, AND SYSTEMATICALLY RAN ROUGH-SHOD THROUGH EUROPE SLAUGHTERING PEOPLE LEFT AND RIGHT! Even the German people did not really think there was a systematic killing of people that were “different” from most Germans: the Jews that lived in Germany and elsewhere. And, certainly, the German press never mentioned it at all.

In every area of American life, the power junkies are routinely bending the truth to fit their specific narratives. But let’s be real: their doing so is NOT unique; it is NOT without precedent, and it is NOT without the full knowledge of the power junkies in charge.

But now it MUST be put directly in the faces of the American people. And that must happen quickly. One more national election in which those who are part of whatever this is find themselves stacking the deck of government with those who will further blur the lines between good and evil, right and wrong, justice and injustice find themselves in power. Too many are there now. Americans can afford no more.

 

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Demagoguery

It’s a horrible word that defines a horrible situation: Demagoguery. It is today alive in America: and it ain’t because of Donald Trump!

Let’s just consider Webster’s definition of the word, and YOU decide how applicable it is for insertion into the U.S. political system:

“Demagoguery is a manipulative approach — often associated with dictators and sleazy politicians — that appeals to the worst nature of people. Demagoguery isn’t based on reason, issues, and doing the right thing; it’s based on stirring up fear and hatred to control people.”

In 2019, Demagoguery is rampant throughout the political landscape. Honestly, it’s been alive in D.C. for decades or more. But politicians have been effective at keeping its identity hidden with political platitudes and verbiage to which Americans have become accustomed. We were pretty much lulled to sleep. But then came Donald Trump.

It is certainly true that the President is verbose, often crude, and self confident that borders on narcissism, but NO ONE who knows Donald Trump on a personal level can truthfully claim he is a Demagogue — thought Democrats try.

The Making of A Demagogue

Demagogues in politics are abundant. We’ll talk in a few minutes about the ones making headlines right now. But if a person wants a career in politics, creating just the right public perception is mandatory. And that perception is often created by leaders of whichever party he or she embraces. And that perception/persona is created and perpetuated for a specific political identity — one that will smoothe the path for campaign contributions and harvest votes for those candidates and other members of their party.

The authenticity of identity gets tossed into the Potomac to be replaced by the “Identity of the Day, Month, or Year” the party agenda ala carte dictates.

And if any politician wishes to win the White House, the best way is to make the most noise, be the loudest, and convince Americans they need that politician in charge. In most cases, however, the Demagoguery comes LATER — after a political leader has amassed enormous power, has passed out political favor and the perks that go with it, and learns that he or she who knows where all the skeletons are buried has virtually uncontrollable power. And they act that way. They become Demagogues.

Some would say that Donald Trump is a Demagogue. And they would be wrong. By its definition, Trump is anything but that. He is too pro-American, too into the American people, and too uninterested in assuming any control over people. He shows that over and over again. In the Mueller probe, he ordered everyone in his Administration to testify when asked, turnover every document when subpoenaed, and to fully cooperate with the Special Counsel. Certainly, his predecessor would have interrupted if not interfered with the process as he did in other investigations to thwart those conducting them. Not Trump.

But there are Demagogues in D.C. Nancy Pelosi’s name comes to power along with that of Chuck Schumer. Pelosi made a mad tour to Europe to meet with European leaders not long ago. In those meetings, she told those with whom she met that she as Speaker of the House had equal power with the President. In fact, she told them that the House now under Democrat control– her control — means she and the House are MORE powerful than this president. Chuck Schumer runs the minority in the Senate with a whip and his demeaning conversations. It is obvious he hates everyone in D.C. that doesn’t answer to him and is a government control freak. And he deplores the President.

And then there’s “The Media.” Let’s face it: today’s mainstream media no longer present actual news — political policy partisanship is what we see and hear in every news story. Truth is immaterial, facts no longer matter, and who’s in charge of what to report and what to keep hidden is no longer even kept secret. And there are Demagogues in the media. Bill O’Reilly was shot down at FOX News in spite of his massive audience and revenue generation for FOX. His Achilles heel apparently were the ladies. And Bill apparently felt he was too important, too famous, and too good at netting his boss big advertising dollars to be replaced. FOX proved him wrong. Bill had become a Demagogue in conservative television talk.

Across the aisle in media, there are plenty of examples of Demagoguery. Rachel Maddow has become the goddess of MSNBC. Commentators on the View act on-air like none of their guests have a clue about anything and work diligently on every show to prove that fact to those who dare show up. The two divas there are Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar who no one messes with. No one on television is more controlling and manipulative than those two.

Demagogues Under attack

The benign permission for Demagoguery that has existed in D.C. that no one there even tries to hide anymore is under an onslaught today. That onslaught is led actually by Mr. Trump. His primary tool is this: confrontation using the truth. And his doing so has rocked Washington. And they simply don’t know how to respond. Trump attacks all the ridiculousness in governing head-on. He understands the elitism that actually fuels Demagoguery there and he laughs at it — and the Demagogues that he faces. He lives as Achilles lived — at least the way Brad Pitt did in that role in the movie Troy — taking his enemies down one at a time, never bowing and never giving up. Achilles fought face-to-face with his foes, never shying or looking away, always keeping his eye on his enemy. So does Trump.

There’s a new group of Demagogues in D.C. that Trump is taking on right now. He’s appointed an Attorney General who is a no-nonsense lawman who ignores the verbal abuse from the Demagogues in D.C. and from their minions and is steadily just pushing forward with his job of being the chief law enforcer in the nation. The Demagogues have started whining, shouting, and frankly, are crying because their Demagoguery suddenly has been exposed. And they don’t know how to handle. it.

The Mueller Probe was a ruse — a “witchhunt” as the President calls it. It should have never happened, was politically motivated, initiated by a political power push from Demagogues, and its roots have been exposed and are being pulled up one at a time. When AG Barr announced the appointment of John Durham, it was the first spear in the sides of the Demagogues. And they are howling about it. Why? Because they are scared to death.

From our research, we have a list of those — most of which are political Demagogues — who were key “bad” players in the coup attempt to overthrow a president. The net of exposure of involvement has been cast wide by Barr. And it’s covering a bunch of them.

Before we give you the names of those on the list, here’s how this investigation will go: Durham and Barr will start low with those lower in the political pecking order. Durham will determine who were directly involved, exactly how, what they actually did, and who they answered to. Then they will try to parlay that information to obtain information from those people regarding the involvement of those a level higher than they in the government. The Barr/Durham task process is really no different that a local district attorney busting a drug user, then squeezing the drug user to get his supplier, his supplier to get his distributor, and the distributor to get his international drug trafficker.

So let’s look at those involved starting from those low who will likely “give-up” those above them:

Department of Justice (Non-FBI):

  • John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General – Head of DOJ’s National Security Division – announced resignation on September 27, 2016, after filing the Government’s proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on September 26, 2016. The filing does not disclose known FISA Abuses. Carlin is aware NSA Rogers is conducting a compliance review which will uncover the FISA Abuse. Trump surveillance originated under Carlin’s tenure.
  • Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General & Acting Attorney General (replacing Loretta Lynch – 10 days) – fired January 30, 2017. Complicit in Flynn Surveillance and surveillance of Trump Campaign.
  • Mary McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General – Acting Head of DOJ’s National Security Division (replacing John Carlin) – announced resignation on April 17, 2017 – Left on May 11, 2017. Complicit in Flynn Surveillance and surveillance of Trump Campaign.
  • Bruce Ohr – Associate Deputy Attorney General – demoted twice. Stripped of Associate Deputy Attorney General title on December 6, 2017. Removed as head of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force January 8, 2018. Unofficial liaison between Fusion GPS and FBI/DOJ. Wife worked at Fusion. Long-standing ties to both Christopher Steele and Glenn Simpson/Fusion GPS.
  • David Laufman, DOJ National Security Division, Deputy Asst. Attorney General in charge of counterintelligence – resigned on February 7, 2018. Laufman “played a leading role in the Clinton email server and Russian hacking investigations.”
  • Rachel Brand, Associate Attorney General – number three official behind Deputy AG Rosenstein – resigned February 9, 2018. Takes top legal position at Walmart. Brand “played a critical role in Congress’ re-authorization” of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
  • Trisha Beth Anderson, the office of legal counsel for FBI (demoted or reassigned)
  • Peter Kadzik, assistant attorney general, congressional liaison (resigned)
  • Matthew Axelrod, principal assistant to deputy attorney general (resigned)
  • Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney, SDNY (fired along with 45 other U.S. attorneys)
  • Sharon McGowan, civil rights division (resigned)
  • Diana Flynn, litigation director for LGBTQ civil rights (resigned)
  • Vanita Gupta, civil rights division (resigned)
  • Joel McElvain, assistant branch director of the civil division (resigned)

FBI:

  • James Comey, FBI Director – fired May 9, 2017. Oversaw all FBI operations – including exoneration of Clinton and Trump-Russia Investigation. Reported to AG Lynch.
  • Peter Strzok, Deputy Assistant Director of FBI’s Counterintelligence – forced off Mueller’s team – demoted August 16, 2017, to FBI’s Human Resources. IG Horowitz discovered texts July 27, 2017. Strzok involved in all facets of Clinton exoneration. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group. Strozk was fired August 13, 2018.
  • Lisa Page, FBI/DOJ Lawyer – forced off Mueller’s team – demoted August 16, 2017, to parts unknown. IG Horowitz discovered texts July 27, 2017. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group. Resigned May 4, 2018.
  • James Baker, FBI General Counsel – demoted and reassigned on December 20, 2017. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group. Senior-most legal counsel at FBI. Resigned May 4, 2018.
  • James Rybicki, Chief of Staff to FBI Director James Comey & successor Chris Wray – resigned/forced out January 23, 2018. Working member of “Insurance Policy” group.
  • Andrew McCabe, Deputy FBI Director – on December 23, 2017, announced retirement effective March 22, 2018. Forced to resign on January 29, 2018. Involved in all aspects. Reported to Comey.
  • Josh Campbell – Special Assistant to James Comey – resigned on February 2, 2018. Writes an op-ed in New York Times on why he is leaving but does not disclose in the op-ed that he was Special Assistant to Comey – or that he had been offered lucrative CNN job. Takes a job with CNN on February 5, 2018.
  • Michael Kortan, FBI Asst. Director of Public Affairs – resigned on February 8, 2018 – effective February 15, 2018. Kortan served as assistant director for public affairs, an influential job that controlled media access.
  • Bill Priestap, Assistant Director – Head of FBI Counterintelligence – Holds the same position. Strzok’s former boss – reported directly to McCabe.
  • Greg Bower, assistant director for the office of congressional affairs (resigned)
  • Michael Steinbach, executive assistant director (resigned)
  • John Giacalone, executive assistant director (resigned)
  • James Turgal, executive assistant director (resigned)

CIA: John Brennan

Several Obama holdovers in Intelligence very loudly began attacking those in the Trump Campaign shortly after the 2016 election. Those comments by people with access to intelligence were shameful. But the most sinister of all is John Brennan, who used his authority as former CIA director to suggest that Trump was a traitor and a compromised Russian asset. After Trump’s Helsinki summit, Brennan declared “he is wholly in the pocket of Putin.” When challenged by Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” Brennan stood by his assessment. “I called [Trump’s] behavior treasonous, which is to betray one’s trust and aid and abet the enemy, and I stand very much by that claim.” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell told Brennan this investigation was “developing while you were still on the job” and asked, “Did you see enough at that stage to believe . . . that would result in indictments?” Brennan replied, “I thought at the time there was going to be individuals who were going to have issues with the Department of Justice. Yes.” In a New York Times op-ed, he wrote that “Trump’s claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.” Now, Brennan feigns contrition. “I don’t know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was,” he said, adding, “I am relieved that it’s been determined there was not a criminal conspiracy with the Russian government over our election.”

DNI: James Clapper

Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said from the very beginning of the “discussions” in the press about Russian collusion ties to the Trump Campaign “there is a there-there.” To CNN’s Erin Burnett, Clapper said, “My understanding is back in the summer of ’16, this all started with questions about financial dealings of trump associates,” Clapper told Burnett. “That’s how this all began.

“It appears to have come, again, with what’s been out in the media – sort of come full circle now. But I don’t see how you exclude or insulate financial dealings here from the investigation.”

The Breakup

James Clapper, John Brennan, and James Comey are now feeling the heat and are desperately into attack mode, pointing fingers at each other. This is an example of just how this Demagoguery has already begun to unwind. Listen or watch what Catherine Herridge of FOX News presented earlier this week:

Summary

These are just a few of the Demagogues in this whole matter. We didn’t mention Hillary Clinton, those in the Obama White House like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, Bill Clinton, and the person who is most likely to either give federal attorney Durham information regarding Obama or face jail. This person’s  involvement was almost certainly criminal. Rather than be prosecuted for at least Obstruction of Justice: this person will surely turn — former National Security Advisor Susan Rice. And we are fairly certain that Ms. Rice is already prepared to sing to save her own skin. Who knows just how far up in the White House implication will go before this matter is done. The uncovering up the coverup which is certainly many layers deep and many players wide has just begun.

The rats are scurrying about, as the ship of deep state appears to be scuttled. This will be a lot of fun to watch. The tables appear to be turning.

 

Play

Why Single-Parent Homes?

We have been inundated for decades about single-family homes, absent father, welfare, and about all those who fall into these categories. And, quite honestly, most of those conversations include characterizations about welfare recipients that are not very flattering. Stories about minority Americans filling a grocery basket with ribeye steaks, wine, beer, and high dollar snacks then paying for them with food stamps and driving away in a luxury car. I’m not certain about the truth of such stories but I AM certain about negative characterizations of single moms and others who receive government assistance.

Make no mistake: there are those who take advantage of the welfare system. Abuse occurs in every government program in which someone receives benefits there certainly is abuse here. But the fundamental premise of this system is to provide to those who find themselves in dire situations in which suffering without help is real assistance to provide for needs while that person or persons get through their crisis. That’s what Americans do: help each other.

What is also true is that single-parent homes in the U.S. are rapidly climbing in numbers. And with that comes much talk, finger-pointing, and blame.

Before we launch into our investigation of this system, let me make one statement: there are far more Caucasian people that are recipients of welfare and other government assistance than there are African-Americans. Needing and receiving government assistance is NOT color specific: it impacts all races, ethnicities, religions, and those from multiple places of origin. What IS common among them is “need.” That need is why welfare was established and why it has been updated and even expanded over the last decades. Does it need changes? Is there abuse? These are things that need to examined and constantly monitored.

Let’s look at the big picture of this process, get some facts, and objectively begin to understand what those who find themselves receiving government assistance are going through. There’s not wrong with facts to be able to make reasoning decisions!

Truths of the Story

CNN’s Don Lemon says more than 72% of African-American births are out of wedlock. Here’s a look at the numbers Lemon’s uses to support that statement:

Race/Ethnic Group                         Percentage Single-parent

Non-Hispanic Whites                                            25%

Hispanics                                                                   42%

American Indian/Alaskans                                    53%

African-Americans                                                   67%

There has been no significant increase in the number of married-couple families with children in the U.S. since 1965. By contrast, the number of single-parent families with children has skyrocketed by nearly 10 million, rising from 3.3 million in 1965 to 13.2 million in 2012. Since single-parent families are roughly four times more likely to lack self-sufficiency (and be officially poor), this unraveling of family structure has exerted a powerful downward pull against self-sufficiency and substantially boosted the official child poverty rate. When the War on Poverty began, 36 percent of poor families with children were headed by single parents. Today, the figure is 68 percent.

Since the inception of the War on Poverty in 1964, the welfare state has promoted single parenthood in two ways. First, means-tested welfare programs financially enable single parenthood. It is difficult for single mothers with a high school degree or less to support children without the aid of another parent. Means-tested welfare programs substantially reduce this difficulty by providing extensive support to single parents. Welfare thereby reduces the financial need for marriage. Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, less-educated mothers have increasingly become married to the welfare state and to the U.S. taxpayer rather than to the fathers of their children. As means-tested benefits expanded, welfare began to serve as a substitute for a husband in the home, and low-income marriage began to disappear. As husbands left the home, the need for more welfare to support single mothers increased. The War on Poverty created a destructive feedback loop: Welfare promoted the decline of marriage, which generated a need for more welfare.

A second major problem is that the means-tested welfare system actively penalizes low-income parents who do marry. All means-tested welfare programs are designed so that a family’s benefits are reduced as earnings rise. In practice, this means that, if a low-income single mother marries an employed father, her welfare benefits will generally be substantially reduced. The mother can maximize welfare by remaining unmarried and keeping the father’s income “off the books.” For example, a single mother with two children who earns $15,000 per year would generally receive around $5,200 per year of food stamp benefits. However, if she marries a father with the same earnings level, her food stamps would be cut to zero. A single mother receiving benefits from Section 8 or public housing would receive a subsidy worth on average around $11,000 per year if she was not employed, but if she marries a man earning $20,000 per year, these benefits would be cut nearly in half. Both food stamps and housing programs provide very real financial incentives for couples to remain unmarried.

There are so many stories about the Welfare System: who benefits from its use, the dangers, the abuses, and the dollars involved. We thought it best to go back and look at its history in the modern world. Bill Clinton took the bull by the horns in his second term and Congress on his watch made the last significant changes in the system. Let’s take a look back so we can (with an educated and factual perspective) know exactly where the U.S. Welfare System is today in the U.S.

Welfare in 21st Century America

April McCray thought she had finally caught a break in late 2005. That’s when the state of Louisiana granted cash assistance to the single mother through the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families (TANF) program. (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) It was her first experience with America’s welfare program.

McCray, who had been in and out of work, struggled to make ends meet. This, she hoped, would at least help soften the burden.

But a month later, the state stripped her of the benefits without a clear explanation, she said. Since then, she says Louisiana, which controls state and federally allocated TANF dollars, has denied her requests for assistance several times.

“It gets depressing,” said McCray, who in 2019, was still struggling. With three kids and rarely more than a part-time job, she says she needs help she can’t seem to get from a welfare system that was overhauled 20 years ago.

Overhauling welfare was a hallmark of then-President Bill Clinton’s time in office. When he signed welfare reform into law on Aug. 22, 1996, he declared at a ceremony in the White House’s Rose Garden that it would “end welfare as we know it.”

Twenty years later, few would dispute the accuracy of that prediction. Welfare is, and has been, a vastly different system than it was prior to the law, which gave states wide control over their own welfare programs by allocating to them block grants.

So, two decades-plus later, are those changes working? It depends whom you ask.

TANF’s legacy has divided policy experts, with supporters saying it put an emphasis on work and increased employment among single mothers in the process while also reducing poverty overall. The program’s critics say it tore a hole in the safety net for people who remained in poverty and couldn’t find steady work, like McCray.

“(TANF) did shift the emphasis toward work. I think that is something where there has been a lot of agreement,” said Heather Hahn, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. “… As far as whether people are better off, I do think they are, in some cases, worse off.”

What America’s welfare system used to be

Welfare didn’t exist in America before the Great Depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. It officially came into being as a rule under the Social Security Act in 1935, offering aid to families with dependent children (AFDC).

In establishing the program, the federal government, for the first time, took responsibility for helping children with a parent who was dead, gone or otherwise incapacitated. Previously, those children most likely would have been institutionalized.

Over several decades, AFDC went through several changes and revisions, perhaps most notably in 1961 when it expanded its definition of a “deprived child” to include one who had an unemployed parent. And, though the benefits were small, many families did end up dependent — and the criticism poured in.

The program was blamed for encouraging unwed mothers, and for discouraging work. It included phaseout rates, meaning that dollars earned meant less dollars in assistance.

Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan chipped away at changes, instituting job training and work requirements for AFDC participants. But by the 1990s, calls were clearly pouring in for change.

Enter Bill Clinton, who championed the most radical overhaul of America’s welfare system to date. Clinton, amid a re-election campaign, made reforming the program part of his bid to win back the White House.

When TANF became a law, a lot changed

The newly minted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) put an emphasis on getting people out of poverty and to work.

Under TANF, recipients in most cases are required to participate in work activities for 30 hours a week. Combined with expansions to the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax credit for people with low- to-moderate-income jobs, TANF succeeded in getting people to work, especially during Clinton’s presidency.

From 1996 to 2000, employment rates among never-married mothers shot from 63% to 76%, according to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Additionally, both poverty rates among families with single mothers and overall poverty rates dropped.

“The welfare reform legislation moved us in the right direction by being much more aggressive about employment for the single mother population,” said Robert Doar, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who was formerly the commissioner of welfare in New York City.

Employment and poverty rates have leveled off in the long term, which has resulted in disagreement among policy experts about just how effective TANF has been in increasing employment, though most agree that it at least helped move the needle.

Where the law has failed, experts say, is by leaving behind those at the very bottom — the group of people in deep poverty who typically haven’t been able to find work, like McCray.

Studies have found that since TANF was instituted, deep or extreme poverty has increased. A 2011 study by the University of Michigan’s National Poverty Center found that families living on less than $2 per person a day more than doubled from 1996 to 2011.

Block grants: The good and the bad

Hahn of the Urban Institute and Liz Schott of the CBPP each attribute the rise in deep poverty largely to TANF. They pointed to three main flaws with the legislation: the block grants don’t adjust for inflation; states have often spent large portions of their TANF dollars on things other than basic assistance; and states sometimes have incentives to cut needy recipients loose from the program.

Since TANF became law, states have received fixed block grants from the federal government. When lawmakers were constructing TANF, Democrats in Congress wanted to include an inflation adjustment for the grants, said Ron Haskins, a Brookings Institution senior fellow who helped draft welfare reform as a staff member on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

An inflation adjustment would have enabled the amount of the block grants to increase along with inflation. But the law passed through a Republican-held Congress without one.

“Remember, in 1996 we were in midst of a huge budget fight, and Republicans were trying to balance the budget and savings were a huge deal,” said Haskins, who considers the reform mostly a success.

Not adjusting for inflation has caused the block grants to erode by about a third since 1996, according to the CBPP. That has essentially reduced the benefits states can give out, as well as the number of families that receive benefits, even as the number of needy families hasn’t been going down.

In addition, states have great flexibility in how they can spend their block grants. The money spent must fit into one of TANF’s four main purposes: assisting needy families; promoting work and marriage; reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancy; and increasing two-parent families.

States have wide discretion in determining what falls under those broad purposes, and that has led to significant spending on things other than core welfare services.

That’s a problem, Hahn said, because providing families with cash or helping parents find jobs are the two most effective ways to lift families out of poverty, since both provide them with incomes. In the most recent data available, 26% of national TANF spending went toward cash welfare, while only 8% went to work programs, according to the CBPP.

“It doesn’t always have to be about cash, but it should be about getting people to work,” Schott said.

Summary

Donald Trump didn’t often discuss welfare reform or TANF during his presidential campaign or so far in his presidency. But in his 2011 book, Time to Get Tough, Trump praised welfare reform for emphasizing work and said other welfare programs should follow the same approach.

While discussing welfare in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity, though, Trump said people need even more of an incentive to work — which he would seek to create.

“Right now, they have a disincentive,” he said in the interview. “They have an incentive not to work.”

The Trump Administration has paid an enormous amount of time in examination of the U.S. social safety environment. They have made remarkable changes in areas in which Americans have suffered and seemingly been ignored. It is likely that between today and the day of the 2020 election we will see dramatic and positive moves made by this Administration to improve America’s welfare system.

One thing we know for certain: Mr. Trump cares tremendously for Americans. That’s NOT just true about today. His life before politics was full of stories in which he helped numerous Americans who faced problems of many kinds that were no fault of their own. I imagine he’s still the same man and feels the same about his fellow Americans.

 

A “One State Solution,” or is it “Two?”

For most of my life, I’ve listened in on the conflict between the Palestinians and the Jews. I specifically entered the world of international politics as a result of the 1967 war between the two. Beginning then — and still to this day — I watch and listen to the ongoing feud between Israel and the Palestinians over a piece of land praying we don’t have another war.

“How could any country — even Israel — take land from another country, hold onto to it, settle it, with no regard for its rightful and native people?” That’s the narrative most often used in discussions about these ongoing conflicts — from the Palestinian perspective. Of course, the Israeli version sounds much different. There are infrequent but deadly skirmishes between the two and much political rhetoric that is really just arguing with everybody claiming “their” land and “their” rights and always at the expense of the other.

So what IS the truth of the matter? Who owns what? Who SHOULD own what? What is the history of all this? How can it be resolved IF it even can be resolved?

When in doubt, it’s always good to get facts. That’s just what we’ve done!

The Nation of Palestine

There is NO nation of Palestine. In fact, there never has been. So where did all this uproar begin and over what? Let’s examine the “modern” history of the two entities.

BIG Shrimp in Kuala Lumpur

The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947 proposed to divide the geographical region of Palestine into two independent countries: one with a Jewish majority and one with the Arab majority. The leadership of the Jews in the region accepted the plan; the leadership of the Arabs didn’t.

In 1948 the leader of the Jews, David Ben-Gurion, declared an independent Jewish country named Israel according to this plan. The local Arabs, assisted by armies of the neighboring Arab countries, attacked this state, beginning a war called “The War of Independence” in Israel. Israel won, in the sense that it did not succumb and kept its sovereignty within borders that were larger than what the 1947 U.N. plan allotted it. (A large part of the vitriol between the two comes from the United Nations allotment of 1947. I too wonder, “How does the U.N. have the power to determine any nation or nations’ borders? As a matter of international law, THEY DON’T!

When a ceasefire was reached, the northern part of the lands that (according to the U.N. plan) were supposed to become an Arab state (Western Galilee) became Israeli territory and the Arabs who lived there received Israeli citizenship. The central part, known as Judea and Samaria or the West Bank, became part of the Kingdom of Jordan, and the southern part, known as the Gaza strip became part of Egypt. In the process, many Arabs left their homes and became known as the Palestinian refugees.

For the next 19 years, Israel kept developing and absorbed many Jewish refugees from Arab countries. The idea of an Arab state in Palestine was somewhat forgotten, but Israel kept having conflicts with neighboring Arab countries, and the climax of this was the 1967 Six-day War. In the short, but intense, war, the Israeli army occupied all of the West Bank and Gaza. In 1948 these territories were supposed to become an Arab state, but in practice, they were administered by Jordan and Egypt and nobody complained much. After Israel took over, the idea of a Palestinian state was revived and pushed intensely.

In 1988 the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) declared an independent state of Palestine. It didn’t specify the borders, but it did specify that it is an Arab state. This declaration was symbolic because this organization worked in Tunisia and had no effective presence in the land of Palestine.

In 1993 Israel signed the Oslo accords with this organization, establishing the Palestinian National Authority, effectively giving the PLO partial sovereignty in part of the West Bank and Gaza. In Israel, it is frequently called “autonomy” or “authority.” It has its own passport, police, and government. Some countries recognize it as an independent state and call it “State of Palestine,” but this recognition is not universal.

As of 2019, the conflict with Israel continues, because the authority, as well as other Palestinian organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have significant demands, most notably: sovereignty over more land, sovereignty in the city of Jerusalem or at least a part of it, giving Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes, and stopping the enhancement of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank (or destroying them completely). Israel declared several times that it is willing to discuss these things, but it demands from all Palestinian organizations to stop all violent acts against Israel.

So What’s the HubBub?

Palestinians adamantly claim that Israel stole Palestinian land. What do Israeli’s say?

“Israel did not steal Palestinian land. It’s not Palestinians’ land; it’s never been their land. This land was given to the Jewish people, as stated in the Bible, by the Creator. Despite 27 invasions of Judea and Samaria (called the West Bank), conquests by many, forced conversions, exiles, massive oppression, generations of Diaspora, and cowardly acquiescence by a group of 5th-column Jews themselves, Jews have not only survived in what’s known in Hebrew as Eretz Yisrael (Israel), but they’ve taken a desert wasteland and turned it into a powerful little democracy, the envy of the world. That cannot be denied.

To her detractors, of whom there are many worldwide, the mantra remains the same, ad nauseam. ‘Israel is complicit in doing this. She omitted doing that.’ ‘We respect Judaism but are against Zionism.’

Attempting to mask anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism, Israel’s enemies continually make accusations in such numbers that much of it sticks.  To cite just a few:

  • Myth: “Israel discriminates against its Arab citizens.” The facts show otherwise. Israel is one of the most open societies in the world. Out of a population of 6.7 million, 1.1 million are Muslims, 130,000 are Christians, and 100,000 are Druze. All have equal voting rights — Israel is one of a very few places where Arab women have the right to vote, and Arabs currently hold 14 seats in the Knesset.
  • Following a five-year trial, in a landmark decision for women’s rights, an Arab judge, Salim Joubran, sentenced the former president of Israel, Moshe Katsav, to seven years in prison for rape. In what Muslim country do Jews have such rights? How many seats do Jews hold in the Saudi government or Jordan? Can anyone recall a Jewish judge sentencing a prominent Arab in Egypt?  More to the point, has anyone ever heard of a Jewish judge in Egypt?

 

  • Myth: “The Palestinian Authority protects Jewish holy sites.” If so, one important element blocking a sincere peace would be eliminated, but the facts speak otherwise. Just in the years between 1996-2000:
  • In September 1996, Palestinian rioters destroyed a synagogue at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.
  • Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem has been repeatedly attacked since 1996.
  • In October 2000, Joseph’s Tomb was torched after the Israeli garrison guarding it was temporarily withdrawn.  It was subsequently rebuilt as a mosque.
  • In October 2000, the ancient synagogue in Jericho was destroyed by arson, and a second historic synagogue was damaged.

In textbooks, speech, and daily life, the Palestinians and their supporters deny any Jewish connection at all to these ancient landmarks. This all occurs under nominal Israeli control of these areas.

Why the continuous uproar between Israel and the Palestinians that frequently break out in skirmishes, rocket fire, and deaths in both groups as a result?

The Jews are building settlements on Palestinian land.”

The issue here that started and perpetuates the animus between the two is there is no Palestinian land.  We did extensive research and found no historical evidence of there ever being a Palestinian country with national borders. If there were, when would it have been founded, and by whom?  What would its borders have been, and what about the name of its capital?  What would its major cities have been?  What would have constituted the basis of its economy?  What form of government would it have lived under?

Was Palestine ever recognized as an entity by another country? By whom? What was the language of the country called Palestine? What was Palestine’s religion? What was the name of its currency? Since there is no such country today, what caused her demise?

These questions were posed by a Japanese writer, Yashiko Sagamori. Only the most adherent of the Palestinian narrative could even attempt to answer her questions shared above. Pose these same questions regarding Israel and the Jewish connection to this land, each can be answered.

The History

At no time in history has there ever been a nation called Palestine. During the Ottoman Empire, which lasted from 1299-1922, the land dubbed by the Romans as Palestine was controlled by the Turks; there was never an outcry for a Palestinian State then. During the illegal annexation of Judea and Samaria by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan subsequent to the 1949 Armistice and prior to 1967, there was never talk of “occupied territory” or a Palestinian State. Why did the dynamic change subsequent to Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War — a conflict initiated by Palestinians?

Search as you will — throughout the annals of history, Israel is the only nation victorious in war on successive occasions and then expected by the vanquished and the world at large to sue for peace, to cede land she reclaimed that was historically hers, to begin with.

The Jewish people were driven out of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria by the Babylonians. They returned to their homeland and rebuilt the Second Temple only to have it burned again, this time by Romans, and to be once again exiled from their land.

Despite 27 invasions and conquests subsequent to the Grand Monarchy of Kings David and Solomon, Jews have always had a contiguous connection to this land. If not the land of Israel, where are Jews from?  Poland?  Ukraine?  Russia?

Perusing World history, it seems that the Jewish people have a legitimate claim moreso than any other to their historic homeland, and certainly more so than the Palestinian Arabs do.

But it is obvious that Palestinians do NOT agree with that statement. They have fought to the death in the past to show their disagreement. And unless somehow a mutual agreement is reached, they certainly will fight and die again.

The “Two-State” Solution

The two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict envisions an independent State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel, west of the Jordan River. The boundary between the two states is still subject to dispute and negotiation, with Palestinian and Arab leadership insisting on the “1967 borders,” which is not accepted by Israel. The territory of the former Mandate Palestine (including Jerusalem) would continue to be part of Israel.

In 1974, a UN resolution on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine” called for “two States, Israel and Palestine … side by side within secure and recognized borders” together with “a just resolution of the refugee question in conformity with UN resolution 194.” The borders of the state of Palestine would be “based on the pre-1967 borders.” The latest resolution, in November 2013, was passed 165 to 6, with 6 abstentions; with Israel and the United States voting against.

The Palestinian leadership has embraced the concept since the 1982 Arab Summit in Fez, Morocco. Israel views moves by Palestinian leaders to obtain international recognition of a State of Palestine as being unilateral action by the Palestinians and inconsistent with a negotiated two-state solution.

Summary

Why are we at TruthNewsNetwork making such a big deal out 0f the continuing conflict between these two peoples? Simple: it seems that the conflict is escalating. The recent large number of rockets fired into Israel by Palestinians (or maybe from terrorist groups hiding among the Palestinians) may be a message that they are about to mount a push to take territory from Israel. Hamas and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard — recently labeled as a terrorist organization — both have strongholds among the Palestinians. Most people know the hatred held by these and other terrorist organizations for Israel and the Jewish people.

Further escalating U.S. conversation about the issues between Palestinians and Israelis are the very vocal freshmen Congressional members who are Muslim and who do very vocally back the Palestinians in this conflict with Israel: Somali-born Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Palestinian-American Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Both have since being elected been embroiled in several serious debates for remarks they have made that are very pointed reminders that they do NOT support Israel and both vehemently oppose a Two-state solution. Their many comments primarily from national talk show interviews seem to many to be outward anti-semitism. Regardless of the validity of that, it is obvious of their support for the Palestinian people in this conversation.

So what will happen regarding the possible resolution? Conventional wisdom says Israel and the Palestinians should work out a mutually acceptable solution. That would be wonderful for everyone else in the World! But it is unlikely to happen. Both peoples have repeatedly marked their point in the sand and have dug-in. Both refuse to budge. Sadly, the losers in that political war of words has been and will continue to be the Palestinian people and Israelis who find themselves in the middle of a political conflict of which they play no part.

There is no doubt the U.S. has been a long time and devoted ally of Israel as are almost all democratic countries in the World. Backing the Palestinian efforts are the obvious countries who are primarily Muslim. Several Middle East countries known for their terrorist activities have and probably will continue to play less than desirable roles in this conflict that seems to just keep going.

If it comes down to another armed conflict, the sense is that Israel — sporting the most powerful military in that region — would unleash its might and power against the Palestinians. The West shudders at that thought because almost certainly if that happens, surrounding countries who are pro-Palestinian militant entities will certainly unite in an all-out effort to forcefully take if not all of Israel the portion claimed by the Palestinians.

I hope we don’t see that conflict. I have no idea what countries in the region have in military assets, but I’m certain Israel has more. And Israel has nuclear weapons — that’s a scary thought!

Maybe that conflict between the two has already been named. I hope not! The conflict I’m thinking of is the Last Battle on Earth, known as Armageddon.

I’d rather not go down that road.

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