Archive for December, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1191, December 19, 2018, Story 1: 30 Year Invasion of United States By 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens Will Only Stop When A Border Barrier Spanning 2000 Miles Is Built — Neither Democrats or Republican Are Listening To Demands of American People for Immigration Law Enforcement — American Independents United To Defeat Big Government Two Party Tyranny — Videos — Story 2: A Day of Reckoning For The Warfare and Welfare State Coming Sooner Than You Think With Unfunded Liabilities and Obligations Already Exceeding $200,000,000,000,000 — Federal Government Spending Is Out-of-Control — Videos — Story 3: The Normalizing of Interest Rates Will Increase Carrying Cost Of U.S. Treasury Debt in Budget — Videos

Posted on December 21, 2018. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Merry Christmas and

A Happy and Prosperous New Year

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1191 December 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1190 December 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1189 December 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1188 December 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1186 December 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1185 December 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1184 December 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1183 December 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1182 December 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1181 December 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1180 December 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1179 November 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1178 November 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1177 November 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1176 November 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1175 November 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1174 November 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1173 November 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1172 November 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1171 November 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1170 November 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1169 November 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1168 November 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1167 November 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1166 October 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1165 October 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1164 October 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1163 October 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1162 October 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1161 October 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1160 October 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1159 October 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1158 October 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1157 October 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1156 October 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1155 October 12, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1153 October 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1152 October 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1151 October 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1150 October 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1149, October 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1148, September 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1147, September 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1146, September 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1145, September 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1143, September 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

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Story 1: 30 Year Invasion of United States By 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens Will Only Stop When A Border Barrier Spanning 2000 Miles Is Built — Neither Democrats or Republicans Are Listening To Demands of American People — American Independents United To Defeat Big Government Two Party Tyranny — Limited Legal Merit Based Immigration Only — Videos —

Updated December 21, 2018

See the source image

Congress searches for budget compromise ahead of shutdown deadline

Trump ‘ready for shutdown’ as Senate struggles over wall

BORDER or SHUTDOWN 🔴 President Trump URGENT Speech Signs First Step Act Following Mattis Quit

House approves bill to avert government shutdown and fund border wall

Trump Tells Rush Limbaugh ‘Secret Plan’ On Border Wall, Pelosi & Schumer Flip Out

With Trump determined to fund the border wall, what will happen next with Congress?

House passes bill to fund government with border funds, setting up showdown with Senate

 

 

Trump: I’m asking Congress to defend our nation’s border

Thomas Sowell On Immigration

Milton Friedman – Illegal Immigration only helps when its Illegal

George H. W. Bush And Ronald Reagan Debate On Immigration In 1980 | TIME

BEST VERSION: Reagan on Amnesty & Illegal Immigration

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

President Reagan’s Remarks at Ceremony for Immigration Reform and Control Act. November 6, 1986

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Heather Mac Donald, Victor Davis Hanson & Steven Malanga – The Immigration Solution

Ann Coulter Slams Trump for Failure to Fund Border Wall

GUTLESS PRESIDENT IN WALL-LESS COUNTRY

If you were elected president after decades of politicians doing nothing about the millions of illegals pouring into our country every year, committing crimes, dealing drugs, driving drunk, molesting children and killing Americans like Kate Steinle, and your central campaign promise — repeated every day — was to build a wall, wouldn’t you have spent the entirety of your transition period working on getting it done?

Wouldn’t you have been building prototypes, developing relationships with key congressional allies and talking to military leaders about using the Seabees or the Army Corps of Engineers to build the wall?

Wouldn’t you skip the inauguration and take the oath of office in San Diego so you could get started on supervising wall construction immediately after putting your hand on the Bible and being sworn in as the leader of the free world?

You would if you meant it.

Well, Donald Trump didn’t do that.

OK, sure he could have taken the oath in D.C., gone to a few balls, then started the wall on day two of his presidency. But he didn’t do that either.

Maybe I’m a literalist. A zealot. When people kept telling me to be patient — the wall is coming! — I nursed a private hope that I was wrong, and they were right.

It is now crystal clear that one of two things is true: Either Trump never intended to build the wall and was scamming voters all along, or he has no idea how to get it done and zero interest in finding out.

He sacrifices every opportunity to make the wall happen.

For two years, Trump pretended to believe the president of the United States needs express authorization from Congress to defend the nation’s borders and blamed the Republican majority for not “funding” the wall.

In a few weeks, he’ll start blaming the Democratic House.

Last week — several whole days ago — Trump said over and over again that he would shut down the government if he didn’t get funding for the wall — the precise thing he claims he needs. “We need border security. The wall is a part of border security,” he said. “If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government.”

 

Trump wore the shutdown over the wall as a badge of honor: “You want to know something? OK, you want to put that on me. I’ll take it. You know what I’ll say? Yes, if we don’t get what we want … I will shut down the government. Absolutely.”

One week later, The Drudge Report:

WALL FUNDING OFF TABLE

In other words, Trump is doing exactly what I feared he would do in the worst conceivable way. He’s not building the wall, while making ridiculous promises right up until the second before he folds.

The Washington Post loves to find the one crazy, trailer park lady who supports Trump because she’s had religious ecstasies about him, but most people who voted for him did so with a boatload of qualms.

The basic factory setting on the perception of Trump is: gigantic douchebag. This is a man who manufactured fake Time magazine covers featuring himself with the headline, “Donald Trump: The ‘Apprentice’ is a television smash!” so that he could put framed copies of it on the walls of his clubs.

His business is convincing people with lowbrow taste to give him their money.

He’s a vulgar publicity hound who used to call reporters in a fake voice and pretend to be his own PR agent, “John Miller” or “John Barron,” so he could brag that actresses wanted to date him.

On one “Apprentice” episode, the reward for the winning team was: to see Trump’s apartment. Not to eat there or spend the night. They got to see it. “As a little treat,” he said, “you’re gonna see the nicest apartment in New York City.” He added: “I show this apartment to very few people. Presidents, kings …”

It’s not as if a majority of his voters weren’t clear-eyed about what kind of man he is. If anything, Trump’s vulgar narcissism made his vow to build a wall more believable. Respectable politicians had made similar promises over the years — and they always betrayed the voters. Maybe it took a sociopath to ignore elite opinion and keep his word.

On the basis of his self-interest alone, he must know that if he doesn’t build the wall, he has zero chance of being re-elected and a 100 percent chance of being utterly humiliated.

But when Trump is alone with Ivanka, they seem to agree that the wall has nothing to do with it. The people just love him for who he is! In a country of 320 million people, I’m sure there are some, but I have yet to meet a person who said, Yeah, I don’t really care about immigration or trade, I just love his personality!

What else were we going to do? He was the only one talking sense. Unfortunately, that’s all he does: talk. He’s not interested in doing anything that would require the tiniest bit of effort.

In the end, we’ll probably find out “wall” was Trump’s “safe word” with Stormy Daniels. It’s just something he blurts out whenever he’s in trouble.

He’s in trouble now. As absurd as the Russia nonsense is, the details about Trump’s sleazy associates, the porn star, the Playboy playmate and his seedy business practices leave his supporters feeling queasy, even if he hasn’t committed any crimes.

Instead of joining a fight that will make his most ardent supporters cringe no matter how it comes out, why not choose a battleground where he’s guaranteed a win? If Trump used the military to build the wall — actually build it, not keep telling us he’s going to build it — the Democrats will go mad.

They’ll hold impeachment hearings, file a million lawsuits, produce weeping children reading from phony scripts written by immigrant rights groups — and Trump will win. The public will support Trump overwhelmingly, and the left will be forced to keep reminding voters why they hate Democrats.

Instead, what he’s doing now absolutely guarantees that the next president will be a Democrat and, given today’s Democratic Party, that president will be Kamala Harris.

 

Remarks on Signing the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

November 6, 1986

The President. I’m very pleased that you could all be here today. I know how busy you’ve been with events leading up to Tuesday’s election, and I want to congratulate all of you in the House of Representatives who’ve just been reelected.

This bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, that I will sign in a few minutes is the most comprehensive reform of our immigration laws since 1952. It’s the product of one of the longest and most difficult legislative undertakings in the last three Congresses. Further, it’s an excellent example of a truly successful bipartisan effort. The administration and the allies of immigration reform on both sides of the Capitol and both sides of the aisle worked together to accomplish these critically important reforms to control illegal immigration.

In 1981 this administration asked the Congress to pass a comprehensive legislative package, including employer sanctions, other measures to increase enforcement of the immigration laws, and legalization. The act provides these three essential components. Distance has not discouraged illegal immigration to the United States from all around the globe. The problem of illegal immigration should not, therefore, be seen as a problem between the United Statesand its neighbors. Our objective is only to establish a reasonable, fair, orderly, and secure system of immigration into this country and not to discriminate in any way against particular nations or people.

I would like to recognize a few of the public servants whose unflagging efforts have made this legislation a reality. Senator Alan Simpson, Congressman Dan Lungren, Chairman Peter Rodino, and Congressman Rom Mazzoli have long pursued and now have attained this landmark legislation. Important roles were played by Senator Strom Thurmond, Senator Paul Simon, and Congressmen Ham Fish, Bill McCollum, Chuck Schumer, and many others in both Houses of the Congress and in both parties. Additionally, I would like to note the excellent efforts of members of my administration who have worked so hard over the last 6 years to make this bill signing possible today. The long list of those in the executive branch is headed by Attorneys General Edwin Meese and William French Smith, who with Immigration Commissioner Alan C. Nelson have contributed greatly to our efforts to pass meaningful immigration reform.

Future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people: American citizenship. So, now I’ll get on with the signing and make this into law. Hope nothing happens to me between here and the table. [Laughter] And I got my names in the right order there. [Laughter]

Reporter. Mr. President, do we have a deal going with Iran of some sort?

The President. No comment. But could I suggest an appeal to all of you with regard to this: that the speculation, the commenting and all, on a story that came out of the Middle East, and that to us has no foundation — that all of that is making it more difficult for us in our effort to get the other hostages free.

Note: The President spoke at 10:10 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. S. 1200, approved November 6, was assigned Public Law No. 99 – 603.

https://www.reaganlibrary.gov/research/speeches/110686a

 

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

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Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
Great Seal of the United States
Acronyms(colloquial) IRCA
Nicknames Simpson–Mazzoli Act
Enacted by the 99th United States Congress
Effective Signed into law by Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986
Citations
Public law Pub.L. 99–603
Statutes at Large 100 Stat. 3359
Legislative history
  • Introduced in the Senate as S. 1200 by Alan K. Simpson on May 23, 1985
  • Committee consideration by Senate Judiciary, Senate Budget
  • Passed the Senate on September 19, 1985 (69–30)
  • Passed the House on October 9, 1986 (voice vote after incorporating H.R. 3810, passed 230–166)
  • Reported by the joint conference committee onOctober 14, 1986; agreed to by the House on October 15, 1986 (238–173) and by the Senate on October 17, 1986 (63–24)
  • Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan onNovember 6, 1986

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), Pub.L. 99–603, 100 Stat. 3445, enacted November 6, 1986, also known as the Simpson–Mazzoli Act or the Reagan Amnesty,[1] signed into law by Ronald Reagan on November 6, 1986, is an Act of Congress which reformed United States immigration law. The Act[2]

  • required employers to attest to their employees’ immigration status;
  • made it illegal to hire or recruit illegal immigrants knowingly;
  • legalized certain seasonal agricultural undocumented immigrants, and;
  • legalized undocumented immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously with the penalty of a fine, back taxes due, and admission of guilt; candidates were required to prove that they were not guilty of crimes, that they were in the country before January 1, 1982, and that they possessed at least a minimal knowledge about U.S. history, government, and the English language.

At the time, the Immigration and Naturalization Service estimated that about four million illegal immigrants would apply for legal status through the act and that roughly half of them would be eligible.[3]

 

Legislative background and description

Romano L. Mazzoli was a Democratic representative from Kentucky and Alan K. Simpson was a Republican senator from Wyoming who chaired their respective immigration subcommittees in Congress. Their effort was assisted by the recommendations of the bipartisan Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, then President of the University of Notre Dame.

The law criminalized the act of engaging in a “pattern or practice” of knowingly hiring an “unauthorized alien[4] and established financial and other penalties for those employing illegal immigrants under the theory that low prospects for employment would reduce undocumented immigration. Regulations promulgated under the Act introduced the I-9 form to ensure that all employees presented documentary proof of their legal eligibility to accept employment in the United States.[5]

These sanctions would apply only to employers that had more than three employees and did not make a sufficient effort to determine the legal status of their workers.

The first Simpson–Mazzoli Bill was reported out of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The bill failed to be received by the House, but civil rights advocates were concerned over the potential for abuse and discrimination against Hispanics, growers’ groups rallied for additional provisions for foreign labor, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce persistently opposed sanctions against employers.

The second Simpson–Mazzoli Bill finally passed both chambers in 1985, but it came apart in the conference committee over the issue of cost. The year marked an important turning point for the reform effort. Employer opposition to employer sanctions began to subside, partly because of the “affirmative defense” clause in the law that explicitly released employers from any obligation to check the authenticity of workers’ documents.

Also, agricultural employers shifted their focus from opposition to employer sanctions to a concerted campaign to secure alternative sources of foreign labor. As opposition to employer sanctions waned and growers’ lobbying efforts for extensive temporary worker programs intensified, agricultural worker programs began to outrank employer sanctions component as the most controversial element of reform.

Reagan Executive Action

The Immigration Reform and Control Act did not address the status of children of illegal aliens who were eligible for the amnesty program. In 1987 President Reagan used his executive authority to legalize the status of minor children of parents granted amnesty under the immigration overhaul,[6] announcing a blanket deferral of deportation for children under 18 who were living in a two-parent household with both parents legalizing, or with a single parent who was legalizing.[7] This action affected an estimated 100,000 families.

Impact

On labor market

According to one study, the IRCA caused some employers to discriminate against workers who appeared foreign, resulting in a small reduction in overall Hispanic employment. There is no statistical evidence that a reduction in employment correlated to unemployment in the economy as a whole or was separate from the general unemployment population statistics.[8] Another study stated that if hired, wages were being lowered to compensate employers for the perceived risk of hiring foreigners.[9]

The hiring process also changed as employers turned to indirect hiring through subcontractors. “Under a subcontracting agreement, a U.S. citizen or resident alien contractually agrees with an employer to provide a specific number of workers for a certain period of time to undertake a defined task at a fixed rate of pay per worker”.[9] “By using a subcontractor the firm is not held liable since the workers are not employees. The use of a subcontractor decreases a worker’s wages since a portion is kept by the subcontractor. This indirect hiring is imposed on everyone regardless of legality”.[9]

On illegal immigration

There have been various law changes over the years that encouraged immigrants to enter or exit the United States. With the railroad, World War II, and agricultural work force demands, many immigrants saw the opportunity to come to the United States temporarily for money or a better life. An increase in legal immigrants migrating to the United States also led to an increase of illegal aliens, especially from Mexico. Most of these immigrants searched for and gained jobs where hard labor was needed. As the immigration population increased American citizens started to worry about their impact on the economy.

The reform did not have a lot of impact on decreasing the immigrant population, “Until 2012, there was virtually no movement in Congress to deal with the problem of the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States since the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which granted amnesty to many of the 3.2 million illegal immigrants living in the United States.”[10]

In 1983, the Supreme Court forbade schools and hospitals to deny services based on undocumented immigration status.[11]

On crime

One study finds that the legalization of three million immigrants reduced crime by 3-5%, primarily property crime.[12] The author finds that this is due to greater job market opportunities for the immigrants.[12]

Structure of the Act and relationship to United States Code

Following the Short title, the IRCA is divided into seven Titles (I through VII). Title I is divided into parts A, B, and C, and Title III is divided into parts A and B. The IRCA affects 8 USC 1101. Additional portions of the U.S. Code created or amended by the IRCA include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Parts A and B of Title I: 8 USC 1324, 8 USC 1324a, 8 USC 1324b, 18 USC 1546, 8 USC 1321, 8 USC 1357, 8 USC 1255.
  • Part C of Title I: 42 USC 1320b-7
  • Title II: 8 USC 1255a
  • Title III: 8 USC 1186, 8 USC 1152, 8 USC 1187

See also

References

  1. ^ Fred Lucas (October 8, 2017). “What Trump Could Learn From the Reagan Immigration Amnesty”. The Daily Signal. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Coutin, Susan Bibler. 2007. Nation of Emigrants. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. pg 179
  3. ^ Branigin, William (March 3, 1987). “U.S. Migrant Law Falls Hard On Jobless in Central Mexico”. The Washington Post. p. A1.
  4. ^ See section 101 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, amending the Immigration and Nationality Act to create a new section 274A, codified as 8 U.S.C. section 1324a.
  5. ^ 8 C.F.R. sec. 274a.2.
  6. ^ John Kruzel, “Did Reagan and H.W. Bush issue actions similar to DACA, as Al Franken said?”, Politifact, September 8th, 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  7. ^ Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present, American Immigration Council, October 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  8. ^ Lowell, Lindsay; Jay Teachman; Zhongren Jing (November 1995). “Unintended Consequences of Immigration Reform: Discrimination and Hispanic Employment”. Demography. Population Association of America. 32 (4): 617–628. doi:10.2307/2061678. JSTOR 2061678.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b c Massey, Douglas S. (2007). “Chapter 4: Building a Better Underclass”. Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System. New York: Russel Sage Foundation. pp. 143–145. ISBN 0-87154-585-3.
  10. ^ “Immigration Policy”. credorefernce.com. Roger Chapman and James Ciment.
  11. ^ Orchowski, Margaret. “How Hispanics Influenced The Law That Changed The Fact Of America”. Proquest.com. The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
  12. ^ Jump up to:a b Baker, Scott R. “Effects of Immigrant Legalization on Crime †”. American Economic Review. 105 (5): 210–213. doi:10.1257/aer.p20151041.

External links

Story 2: A Day of Reckoning For The Warfare and Welfare State Coming Sooner Than You Think With Unfunded Liabilities and Obligations Already Exceeding $200,000,000,000,000 — Federal Government Spending Is Out-of-Control — Videos

Professor Laurence Kotlikoff – True U.S. Debt Over $200 Trillion

What is FISCAL GAP? What does FISCAL GAP mean? FISCAL GAP meaning, definition & explanation

Dan Mitchell: Is There an Endgame for US Debt?

Is DEBT Threatening the USA’s Future? – VisualPolitik EN

Entitlements Fantasy: The Abyss of Unfunded Liabilities

III – Unfunded Liabilities

Story 3: The Normalizing of Interest Rates Will Increase Carrying Cost Of U.S. Treasury Debt in Budget — Videos 

Trump pressures the Fed ahead of expected rate hike

National news | Fed expected to hike interest rates, defying Trump

Fed To Raise Rates, End Tightening

Gundlach: The Fed should not raise rates this week

 

 

Merry Christmas and

A Happy and Prosperous New Year

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1190, December 18, 2018, Story 1: President Trump’s Apparent Surrender To The Washington Establishment — The Democratic and Republican Parties Refusal To Fund $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build Border Barrier or Trump Wall — Betrayal of The American People By Political Elitist Establishment — 2020 Presidential Race Starts Today — Videos — Story 2: Start A New Viable Limited Government Party of Independents To Replace Big Government Democrats and Republican — Story 3: The Day They Drove Old Dixie Down — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump’s Apparent Surrender To The Washington Establishment — The Democratic and Republican Parties Refusal To Fund $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build Border Barrier or Trump Wall — Betrayal of The American People By Political Elitist Establishment — 2020 Presidential Race Starts Today — Videos

Updated December 20, 2018

 

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Trump makes his case for border wall funding in Senate spending bill

BORDER 🔴 President Trump URGENT Press Briefing on the Wall at Farming Bill Signing Event

What $5 billion in border wall funding pays for

Republicans in the dark about Trump’s shutdown strategy

Trump: Wall will go up fast and save billions

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/18/18 | Breaking Fox News December 18, 2018

Will Republicans fund Trump’s wall?

Nobody in Washington Wants Trump’s Wall

Conway: Trump is not ‘softening his stance’ on border security

Rep. Jordan: We have to fund Trump’s border wall now

Ann Coulter on Trump’s wall funding showdown

24Hrs After GoFundMe Started To Pay For Wall – Americans Give Trump HUGE Christmas Gift!

Steve Scalise’s message for Democrats on border wall funding

Is The Wall Around Nancy Pelosi’s House Immoral? | Huckabee

Politicians On Border Wall Funding | TIME

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

Where Does Trump’s Border Wall Stand Today? | NYT News

Arizona Border Ranchers Torn in Support for Trump’s Wall

Rand Paul: Government shutdowns ‘more hype than reality’

Pelosi: Democrats will not support $5 billion for wall

2020 Election – 5 Republicans Who Might Run For President (Why Donald Trump will be the GOP Nominee)

Congress needs to fund Trump’s wall: Diamond & Silk

Trump: It is realistic to deport all illegal immigrants

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

Trump vows to deport criminal illegal immigrants

The Truth About What Actually Shuts Down During a Gov’t Shutdown Is Depressing

Donald Trump slams illegal immigration in RNC speech

What the US-Mexico border really looks like

Mexico – Fear of Trump’s wall | DW Documentary

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

Stephen Miller weighs in on border wall fight

Stephen Miller: WH ‘absolutely’ will shut down government to get border wall

Trump: We’re getting $1.6 billion for the border wall this year

President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico takes shape

 

 

White House suggests it could back down on $5 billion border wall demand

  • The White House could back down from its demand for $5 billion in border wall funding in a year-end spending bill, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says.
  • Parts of the government will shut down on Saturday if lawmakers don’t pass spending bills.
  • Trump has threatened to let funding lapse if he cannot secure money for the border wall.

Trump reportedly agrees to dissolve foundation, signals willingness to avoid government shutdown
Trump reportedly agrees to dissolve foundation, signals willingness to avoid government shutdown  

The White House suggested Tuesday that President Donald Trumpcould back down from his demand for $5 billion to fund his proposed border wall in a year-end spending bill.

Trump’s push for the money has threatened a partial government shutdown when funding for seven agencies lapses after midnight Friday. Last week, the president said he would be “proud” to close parts of the government over border security.

“We have other ways that we can get to that $5 billion” and will “work with Congress” to do so, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Fox News on Tuesday morning. She added that the Trump administration could support $1.6 billion in border security funding proposed by Senate Democrats, as long as it can “couple that with other funding resources” to get to $5 billion.

WATCH: These virtual walls could be the cheaper and more effective alternative to Trump’s $5 billion border wall

These virtual walls could be the cheaper and more effective answer to Trump’s $5 billion border wall  

She added that “at the end of the day, we don’t want to shut down the government. We want to shut down the border.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have cast the potential lapse in funding as the “Trump shutdown.” When Pelosi goaded Trump into an Oval Office fracas last week, the characterization appeared to irritate the president.

Sanders’ comments mark a de-escalation in the White House’s rhetoric about the proposed barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has repeatedly threatened to force a shutdown if he cannot secure money for the wall. As a candidate, he promised to force Mexico to fund the barrier. Mexico has refused.

Still, Trump himself has not weighed in Tuesday on how much money he would accept. As always, a comment or tweet from the president could trample on the message administration officials try to send. On Tuesday afternoon, Trump told reporters it is “too early to say” if parts of the government will shut down.

Later Tuesday, Sanders put the burden on Congress to find a solution, even though GOP lawmakers have said they do not know what Trump would accept. The White House wants to “see what the Senate can pass” and then the administration will “make a determination” on whether to sign it, she said. Sanders added that Trump has directed agencies to see if they have money to put toward border security, though Schumer flatly said Tuesday afternoon that such an effort would not get congressional approval.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House driveway after appearing on a morning television show on December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks to the media in the White House driveway after appearing on a morning television show on December 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Schumer met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday. The Kentucky Republican proposed an appropriations bill that includes money for border security fencing, as well as what a Senate Democratic aide described as a $1 billion “slush fund” that Trump could use on his immigration policies. Democrats rejected the deal.

A McConnell spokesman later told NBC News that the “hypothetical slush fund” would not go toward a wall. Speaking to reporters Tuesday afternoon, McConnell said he offered a plan to Schumer that he “thought was reasonable to both sides.” He later heard back from the Democratic leader “that the offer was not acceptable,” McConnell said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Schumer told reporters that he thought the “Republican offer today would not pass either chamber.” However, he said Democrats would “very seriously consider” a short-term measure to keep the government open if McConnell offered it.

Despite the lack of a deal, the Senate GOP leader said he is confident the government will not shut down. McConnell said he is consulting the White House on how to move forward, and he hopes to hear more later Tuesday about what the president would support. He called the Trump administration “extremely flexible” on the issue.

In proposing $1.6 billion in border security funding, Schumer has said it would go to building new or repairing existing fences, rather than the wall as Trump has proposed it. The White House appears to want to claim that funding as “wall” money to promote a victory.

Trump has also claimed his administration has built large portions of the wall. But Congress has only authorized money to build fencing similar to existing structures. The president has also contended that the military could build the wall — though the Pentagon has said it has no plans to do so, yet.

On Tuesday, Pelosi told reporters that “we’ll see” if negotiations with the White House make any progress. She said the wall “is not about money,” but rather “about morality.”

“It’s the wrong thing to do. It doesn’t work. It’s not effective. It’s the wrong thing to do and it’s a waste of money,” the California Democrat said, according to NBC News.

The president has already signed spending bills for five government agencies, including the massive departments of Defense and Health and Human Services, into law. Lawmakers still have not passed spending bills for five agencies. Trump’s push for wall money as part of Department of Homeland Security funding has snagged talks to dodge a shutdown.

Schumer said Tuesday morning that he and Pelosi had not heard from the White House on two offers Democrats made to avoid a shutdown. One includes appropriations bills for six agencies and a yearlong continuing resolution to fund DHS. The other would pass a continuing resolution to keep all seven departments running.

Schumer again urged Republicans to support one of those plans on Tuesday afternoon.

Leaving McConnell’s office Tuesday, the New York Democrat said he had not heard a “peep” from the White House, according to NBC News.

As only about a quarter of the government would shut down this weekend, it would have only limited effects. Along with Homeland Security, the unfunded agencies are the departments of Transportation, Commerce, Interior, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development and Justice.

While some functions like national parks would close down, some employees and law enforcement officers at those agencies would continue working without getting paid temporarily. Those would include employees such as FBI, border patrol and Transportation Security Administration agents.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/18/white-house-suggests-it-will-back-down-on-5-billion-border-wall-demand.html

White House cites ‘options’ for funding U.S. border wall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Tuesday it was searching for ways to unilaterally fund the building of a controversial wall on the U.S.-Mexico border that Congress is balking at, possibly easing chances of a government shutdown this weekend.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters President Donald Trump has asked his Cabinet agencies to “look and see if they have money that can be used” to begin building the wall.

Previously, Trump had demanded that Congress approve $5 billion in new funds for the wall that he argues is needed to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from entering through the southwest border.

On Tuesday, Trump said it was too early to say whether a partial government shutdown will be averted by a Friday midnight deadline when existing funds for several agencies expire. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters.

But some Republican senators said they thought the president could be persuaded to sign a bill that does not fund his wall, and several Republican and Democratic senators spoke of the possibility of a stop-gap funding bill passing this week that would simply extend government operations into the new year.

The new Congress that convenes on Jan. 3 would then have to grapple with the budget impasse.

Given the continued uncertainty, however, federal agencies began publicizing their plans in case of a partial government shutdown.

The State Department, for example, said its consular operations, both domestic and abroad, would continue “as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations.” However, passport agencies might not operate if they are located in government buildings affected by the lapse in appropriations.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had proposed a plan that would have had Congress approve $1 billion in unspecified money that Trump could use to advance his border security priorities.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “slush fund” that was promptly rejected.

Previously, Trump had demanded that Congress approve $5 billion in new funds for the wall that he argues is needed to stop illegal immigrants and drugs from entering through the southwest border.

On Tuesday, Trump said it was too early to say whether a partial government shutdown will be averted by a Friday midnight deadline when existing funds for several agencies expire. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters.

But some Republican senators said they thought the president could be persuaded to sign a bill that does not fund his wall, and several Republican and Democratic senators spoke of the possibility of a stop-gap funding bill passing this week that would simply extend government operations into the new year.

The new Congress that convenes on Jan. 3 would then have to grapple with the budget impasse.

Given the continued uncertainty, however, federal agencies began publicizing their plans in case of a partial government shutdown.

The State Department, for example, said its consular operations, both domestic and abroad, would continue “as long as there are sufficient fees to support operations.” However, passport agencies might not operate if they are located in government buildings affected by the lapse in appropriations.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had proposed a plan that would have had Congress approve $1 billion in unspecified money that Trump could use to advance his border security priorities.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it a “slush fund” that was promptly rejected.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-taxcuts/middle-class-tax-cut-not-focus-of-trump-administration-efforts-bloomberg-idUSKBN1OH2J3

POLITICS

Immigration Up Sharply as Most Important U.S. Problem

BY JUSTIN MCCARTHY
Immigration Up Sharply as Most Important U.S. Problem

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mentions of immigration as top problem rise, from 13% to 21%
  • Mentions of healthcare also increase in November, from 6% to 11%
  • 35% are satisfied with how things are going in the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans’ perceptions of the biggest problem facing the U.S. shifted a bit over the past month, with increased percentages mentioning immigration and healthcare, and fewer citing government leaders or poor government, generally.

Americans’ Views of the Top Problem Facing the U.S.
Problems mentioned by at least 3% of respondents in November
October November Change
% % (pct. pts.)
Immigration/Illegal aliens 13 21 +8
Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership 27 18 -9
Healthcare 6 11 +5
Unifying the country 6 9 +3
Race relations/Racism 6 9 +3
Lack of respect for each other 5 6 +1
Ethics/Moral/Religious/Family decline 3 4 +1
Economy in general 3 4 +1
Unemployment/Jobs 3 3 0
Education 2 3 +1
GALLUP

Americans are more likely to name immigration as the top problem facing the U.S. in November than they were in October — it surged to 21% from 13%. Mentions of healthcare as the most pressing issue also increased, from 6% last month to the current 11%. Meanwhile, the proportion who name government and poor leadership decreased by nine percentage points to its current 18%, but this remains among the top problems.

These data are from a Nov. 1-11 poll, which spanned the days before and after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

The current 21% who cite immigration or illegal aliens is about as high as the record 22% Gallup recorded in July. The issue’s move to the top of the list comes after a large group of Central American immigrants, widely described in the media as a caravan, formed last month with intentions of crossing the U.S. border. It became politicized by President Donald Trump, who declared the caravan a “national emergency” and sent 5,000 troops to the border to try to prevent illegal entries.

Immigration had already ranked among the top-named issues in the months leading up to the caravan’s formation, but the issue’s politicization in the weeks before the midterm elections appears to have elevated it further.

The issue is of particular concern to Republicans, 37% of whom name it as the most important problem — an increase of 17 points from the prior month. This well exceeds the 18% of independents and 10% of Democrats citing immigration as the top issue.

Line chart, June through November 2018. U.S. adults’ view that immigration is the most important problem in U.S., by party.

Another major issue in the midterms, healthcare, also gained prominence in November, with mentions rising to 11% — up from 6% in October. There were small increases in mentions of this problem among all party groups, with 8% of Republicans saying healthcare is the biggest problem, along with 12% of both Democrats and independents.

Meanwhile, nearly one in five Americans (18%), down from 27% in October, cite some aspect of government or poor leadership as the top issue — keeping this near the top of the list of named problems, as it has been for almost a decade. This decrease occurred among all party groups, especially Republicans — 14% of whom name dissatisfaction with government and leadership, compared with 16% of independents and 22% of Democrats.

Satisfaction With the Direction of U.S. Higher in 2018 Than in 2017

Currently, 35% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. — consistent with the 33% to 38% range for this issue since May. Twin 38% readings, recorded in June and October, marked a 12-year high for the measure. The latest poll shows the typical polarization among partisans, with satisfaction among Republicans (63%) much greater than that of independents (37%) and especially Democrats (8%).

The average level of satisfaction with the country’s direction for 2018 so far is 34%, an improvement from the average of 27% for 2017.

Line chart, January 2017 to November 2018. U.S. adults’ satisfaction with the way things are going in the U.S.

Bottom Line

Depending on what the incoming Congress prioritizes after being sworn in on Jan. 3, issues like healthcare — on which the soon-to-be House Democratic majority heavily campaigned and is likely to act first — could remain at the top of Americans’ minds in terms of the most pressing issues facing the country.

It’s possible that immigration could retreat from the top of the list, as the caravan of migrants’ journey becomes arguably more difficult now that it has reached Tijuana, Mexico, and is receiving less news coverage in the U.S. But the issue will likely remain an important one for many — particularly Republicans — as Trump’s pledges on the issue, including a border wall, remain unfulfilled.

Next month’s reading on Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the country could be more revealing of what the public’s mood will be in 2019, as the current figure is based on responses that were given both before and after the midterm elections. Though the federal government itself remains a commonly named problem, satisfaction with the country’s general direction is relatively high compared with where it was in the recent past.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/244925/immigration-sharply-important-problem.aspx?g_source=link_NEWSV9&g_medium=TOPIC&g_campaign=item_&g_content=Immigration%2520Up%2520Sharply%2520as%2520Most%2520Important%2520U.S.%2520Problem

Officials baffled by large migrant groups at remote crossing

33 minutes ago
Claudia Maquin, 27, shows a photo of her daughter, Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin in Raxruha, Guatemala, on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Oliver de Ros)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Large numbers of Guatemalan families and unaccompanied children are surrendering to U.S. immigration agents in an extremely remote and dangerous stretch of New Mexico desert, a new smuggling route that has baffled authorities.

It is where 7-year-old Jakelin Caal and her father were found Dec. 6 with 161 others near a border crossing in Antelope Wells. Caal started vomiting on the bus ride to the nearest Border Patrol station 94 miles (150 kilometers) away and had stopped breathing by the time she arrived. She died at a hospital in El Paso, Texas.

U.S. authorities this week encountered groups of 257 and 239 people consisting of families and unaccompanied children, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday. The Border Patrol found groups of more than 100 people along the entire U.S. border with Mexico about eight times during the budget year that ended Sept. 30 and encountered nearly four times that amount since Oct. 1.

“This is a brand new phenomenon,” McAleenan told reporters in a conference call. “It’s really challenging our resources.”

Antelope Wells is the site of one of about three dozen Border Patrol “forward operating bases” in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — bare-bones facilities designed to increase enforcement in remote areas. About four agents are assigned to Antelope Wells and they sleep at the base on eight-day shifts to avoid having to drive home every day.

Migrants have told agents that they took commercial buses from Guatemala to New Mexico in four or five days straight, a sharp contrast to the traditional route that can take 25 to 30 days to reach the U.S. border and includes rest stops at “stash houses” along the way, McAleenan said.

It’s unclear why Guatemalans are choosing such a remote spot, but McAleenan said it may be less expensive for smugglers to pay other criminal organizations fees to pass through. The U.S. is working with Mexico to determine the reasons behind it, hoping to redirect traffic to the nearest cities, El Paso and Nogales, Arizona.

Families began arriving in large groups about once or twice a week since mid-October and the trend has accelerated in recent weeks, McAleenan said.

The families are generally seeking out U.S. agents to turn themselves in, raising questions about why they would go to such lengths when they could do so in large cities. All along the border, migrants are increasingly turning themselves in to U.S. authorities to seek asylum or other form of humanitarian protection.

The U.S. has shifted additional medical personnel and more vehicles to Lordsburg and Antelope Wells to help manage.

“In a group as large as 250 you’re going to have medical issues,” McAleenan said. “You’re going to have people that have the flu, and people that have scabies or lice or other skin conditions, and so we are making hospital runs with pretty much every group that arrives at this time.”

Only about 30 vehicles a day enter the U.S. at the Antelope Wells, compared to tens of thousands at San Diego’s San Ysidro crossing, the nation’s busiest. McAleenan said buses typically drop off Guatemalans near Antelope Wells and they cross a barbed-wire fence to reach the U.S.

McAleenan gave a tour of the area to members of the Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, said the group had seen many young children and their parents in the facility, and called for a congressional investigation into the conditions at the facility and the girl’s death.

Caal’s body was expected to be returned to Guatemala Thursday, and then taken to her hometown of San Antonio Secortez. Her death touched off a firestorm. Border Patrol agents said they did all they could do to help the girl who seemed healthy when she first reached encountered them. But it’s not clear if there was a translation issue. Border Patrol agents were speaking to her father in Spanish, as they are required to do, but his first language is the Mayan tongue known as Q’eqchi’.

Attorneys in Texas representing the girl’s father criticized U.S. officials for asking him to sign a form that asks questions with check boxes of “yes” or “no.” ″Claims good health” was handwritten in the “additional comments” section.

Her cause of death has not been released.

The family also disputed the accounts by U.S. officials that the girl walked for days in the desert without food or water before crossing. The father’s lawyers said Caal took care of his daughter, giving her sufficient water and food, and she appeared to be in good health.

___

Spagat reported from San Diego.

https://www.apnews.com/f3bf396116574f9b9bd0c0f017e39983

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Story 3: The Day They Drove Old Dixie Down — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 1189, December 14, 2018, Story 1: Court Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional — When Will The Republican Party Repeal and Replace Obamacare or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? — 2021 or 2019 By Supreme Court Decision — Videos — Story 2: Trump Must Shutdown Government Until He Gets At Least $5 Billion to Fund 300 Miles of Border Wall Between U.S. and Mexico — Both Democratic and Republican Party Leadership Will Not Fund The Wall — Maximum Pressure — Call Their Bluff — Up and Down Party Vote — American People vs. Washington Political Elitist Establishment — 75% of Government Funded — Videos — Breaking News — Story 3: Trump Selects A Temporary “Acting” Chief of Staff — Mick Mulvaney — Too Much On His Plate — Gatekeeper Golfer — Videos

Posted on December 17, 2018. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Court Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional — When Will The Republican Party Repeal and Replace Obamacare or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act? — 2021 or 2019 By Supreme Court Decision — Videos

See the source image

Federal judge strikes down Obamacare

ObamaCare ruling was the right decision: Judge Napolitano

Federal judge rules ObamaCare unconstitutional

Federal Judge Strikes Down Obamacare – What’s Next? | Sunday TODAY

U.S. judge finds obamacare unconstitutional

Fox Report Weekend Fox News 12/15/18 Breaking Fox News December 15, 2018

 

Federal judge rules Obamacare is unconstitutional – and President Trump calls it ‘great news for America’

  • Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth ruled Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional
  • Ruled that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire law
  • Last year Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that included a provision eliminating the individual mandate 
  • Trump celebrated the 55-page ruling in two Tweets sent shortly after 9 pm 
  • Obamacare will remain in place pending its expected appeal to Supreme Court 

A U.S. federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law.

President Trump responded to the ruling on Twitter with glee.

A federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court. Trump was overjoyed

He first tweeted shortly after 9 pm, ‘As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!’

He followed that up eight minutes later with a second Tweet.

‘Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!’

Trump issued two celebratory tweets shortly after the ruling

Trump issued two celebratory tweets shortly after the ruling

O’Connor’s decision was issued the day before the end of a 45-day sign-up period for 2019 health coverage under the law.

‘The Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause — meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,’ the judge wrote. ‘The Individual Mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA.’

‘Without [the individual mandate], Congress and the Supreme Court have stated, the architectural design fails,’ according to O’Connor. ‘It is like watching a slow game of Jenga, each party poking at a different provision to see if the ACA falls.’

A year ago, Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that included a provision eliminating the individual mandate.

In the 55-page opinion, O’Connor ruled Friday that last year’s tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under ‘Obamacare’ by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.

About 11.8 million consumers nationwide enrolled in 2018 Obamacare exchange plans, according to the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The coalition of states challenging the law was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, both Republicans.

Republicans have opposed the 2010 law, the signature domestic policy achievement of President Donald Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, since its inception and have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal it.

The White House hailed Friday’s ruling, but said the law would remain in place pending its expected appeal to the Supreme Court.

‘Once again, the president calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare,’ White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

In June, the Justice Department declared the healthcare law’s ‘individual mandate’ unconstitutional in federal court. 

The decision was a break with a long-standing executive branch practice of defending existing statutes in court.

JUDGE’S PREVIOUS RULINGS

 U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, is no stranger to the conservative resistance to Obama administration policies.

O’Connor, 53, is a former state and federal prosecutor who was nominated to the federal bench in 2007 by President George W. Bush. He has been active in the Federalist Society, which describes itself as ‘a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order.’

In 2014, the Fort Worth, Texas-based judge upheld the constitutionality of an Arlington, Texas, ordinance that bars people from handing out printed material at busy intersections and roads. The lawsuit had been brought by a gun-rights group called Open Carry Tarrant County. Although he upheld the ordinance, O’Connor ordered the city to pay the group’s coordinator $42,251 in damages.

That same year, he sentenced a man to more than 15 years in federal prison for kidnapping and severely beating a gay man he met through an online service, concluding the assailant kidnapped the man because of his sexual orientation.

In 2016, though, he blocked a federal directive that required public schools to let transgender students use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity. He ruled that Title IX, which the Obama administration cited in support of the directive, ‘is not ambiguous’ about sex being defined as ‘the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.’

Also in 2016, he struck down new U.S. Health and Human Services regulations that advised that certain forms of transgender discrimination by doctors, hospitals and insurers violated the Affordable Care Act. He declared that the rules placed ‘substantial pressure on Plaintiffs to perform and cover (gender) transition and abortion procedures.’ A coalition of religious medical organizations said the rules could force doctors to help with gender transition contrary to their religious beliefs or medical judgment.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6498335/U-S-federal-judge-rules-Obamacare-unconstitutional.html

Texas ObamaCare Blunder

A judge’s ruling will be overturned and could backfire on Republicans.

By The Editorial Board
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton PHOTO: TONY GUTIERREZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

No one opposes ObamaCare more than we do, and Democrats are now confirming that it was designed as a way-station to government-run health care. But a federal judge’s ruling Friday that the law is unconstitutional is likely to be overturned on appeal and may boomerang politically on Republicans.

Judge Reed O’Connor ruled for some 20 state plaintiffs that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is no longer legal because Republicans repealed its financial penalty as part of the 2017 tax reform. Recall that Chief Justice John Roberts joined four Justices to say ObamaCare’s mandate was illegal as a command to individuals to buy insurance under the Commerce Clause. “The Framers gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it,” he wrote.

Yet the Chief famously salvaged ObamaCare by unilaterally rewriting the mandate to be a “tax” that was within Congress’s power. Never mind that Democrats had expressly said the penalty was not a tax. Majority Leader Roberts declared it to be so.

Enter Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who argues in Texas v. U.S. that since Congress has repealed the mandate, the tax is no longer a tax, and ObamaCare is thus illegal. Judge O’Connor agreed with that logic, and he went further in ruling that since Congress said the mandate is crucial to the structure of ObamaCare, then all of ObamaCare must fall along with the mandate.

We’ll admit to a certain satisfaction in seeing the Chief Justice hoist on his own logic. But his ruling in NFIB v. Sebelius was in 2012 and there is more at issue legally now than the “tax” issue in that opinion. One legal complication is that Congress in 2017 repealed the financial part of the individual mandate, not the structure of the mandate itself. Republicans used budget rules to pass tax reform so they couldn’t repeal the mandate’s express language.

The Affordable Care Act has also been up and running since 2014, which means so-called reliance interests come into play when considering a precedent. Millions of people now rely on ObamaCare’s subsidies and rules, which argues against judges repealing the law by fiat.

Judge O’Connor breezes past this like a liberal Ninth Circuit appeals judge handling a Donald Trump appeal. He’s right that Democrats claimed the individual mandate was essential to the Affordable Care Act. But when Congress killed the financial penalty in 2017 it left the rest of ObamaCare intact. When judging congressional intent, a judge must account for the amending Congress as well as the original Congress.

In any case, the Supreme Court’s “severability” doctrine calls for restraint in declaring an entire law illegal merely because one part of it is. Our guess is that even the right-leaning Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals judges will overturn Judge O’Connor on this point.

As for the politics, Democrats claim to be alarmed by the ruling but the truth is they’re elated. They want to use it to further pound Republicans for denying health insurance for pre-existing conditions if the law is overturned. Democrats campaigned across the country against Mr. Paxton’s lawsuit to gain House and Senate seats in November, and they will now press votes in Congress so they can compound the gains in 2020.

President Trump hailed the ruling in a tweet, but he has never understood the Affordable Care Act. His Administration has done good work revising regulations to reduce health-care costs and increase access, but the risk is that the lawsuit will cause Republicans in Congress to panic politically and strike a deal with Democrats that reinforces ObamaCare. This is what happens when conservatives fall into the liberal trap of thinking they can use the courts to achieve policy goals that need to be won in Congress.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-obamacare-blunder-11544996418

Story 2: Trump Must Shutdown Government Until He Gets At Least $5 Billion to Fund 300 Miles of Border Wall Between U.S. and Mexico — Both Democratic and Republican Party Leadership Will Not Fund The Wall — Maximum Pressure — Call Their Bluff — Up and Down Party Vote — American People vs. Washington Political Elitist Establishment — Videos

See the source image

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

Stephen Miller weighs in on border wall fight

Stephen Miller: WH ‘absolutely’ will shut down government to get border wall

Should Trump follow through with shutdown threat over border wall?

Let’s hope we can avert a government shutdown: Rep. Fleischmann

Homan: Trump needs to call Democrats’ bluff on border wall

There’s been one shutdown this year, Chuck Schumer did it: Rep. Jordan

Victor D. Hanson on Obama’s Last Year & the Problem w/ Elites in Society

Victor Davis Hanson – Postmodern Ideologies Dismanteled

Victor Davis Hanson: How the left elite cheats the public

Victor Davis Hanson – Immigration Rhetoric vs Reality

Victor Davis Hanson – The 4 Groups that Benefit from Illegal Immigration

Historian Victor Davis Hanson on why he supports Trump

Victor Davis Hansen- Keynote Address: California at the Crossroads

Story 3: Trump Selects A Temporary “Acting” Chief of Staff — Mick Mulvaney — Too Much On His Plate — Gatekeeper Golfer — Videos

Trump names Mick Mulvaney acting chief of staff

Trump picks Mick Mulvaney as acting White House chief of staff

Does Mick Mulvaney make a government shutdown more likely?

Trump picks acting chief of staff

Who Is The New White House Chief Of Staff, Mick Mulvaney? | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Newt Gingrich weighs in on White House chief of staff pick

Acting Chief Of Staff Under Fire For Previous Comments On President Donald Trump | TODAY

Matt Schlapp: Mick Mulvaney ‘perfect fit’ for Trump chief of staff

A Boss Fight at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: The Daily Show

Trump names his budget director Mick Mulvaney as ‘acting’ chief of staff as he FINALLY finds someone to succeed ousted John Kelly – amid new plan to prevent government shutdown

  • President named former congressman Mick Mulvaney his acting chief of staff
  • Trump suggested the role is temporary but a White House official indicated to reporters that Mulvaney will stay in the job indefinitely
  • Mulvaney has a lot on his plate as Office of Management and Budget head 
  • His agency will oversee the government shutdown if Congress and the president cannot agree to a short or long-term spending deal by Dec. 21
  • Trump was said to be shopping an extension on Friday that would delay the battle until after the Christmas holiday
  • Had told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he would ‘absolutely’ shut the government down until they give him his desired funding for a border wall
  • Democrats take over Congress in January and will easily pass legislation averting a fiscal cliff, forcing Republicans in the Senate to make a decision 
  • Mulvaney earlier this year wore two hats as director of OMB and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until Trump filled an open job  
  • Trump said Thursday he was seriously considering five people for chief of staff
  • Chris Christie took himself out of the running on Friday afternoon
  • Jared Kushner was said to lobbying for the role, but White House officials openly dashed cold water on his ambitions
  • Trump left scrambling after he was unexpectedly turned down by Mike Pence chief of staff Nick Ayers last weekend 

President Donald Trump says his Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will lead the West Wing until he can find a permanent replacement for John Kelly.

Trump effectively let Kelly off the hook on Friday, saying in a tweet that Mulvaney would serve as ‘acting chief of staff’ once the retired general leaves the administration.

A senior official indicated that Mulvaney’s tenure will be indefinite however, telling reporters at the White House minutes after the announcement, ‘There’s no time limit.’

Just this morning, the White House was claiming that Kelly could stay longer than planned, having already agreed to extend his tenure longer than Trump initially said to ensure a smooth transition.

Trump said in an early evening tweet that he had changed his mind and Kelly would be departing at the end of the year.

‘I am pleased to announce that Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management & Budget, will be named Acting White House Chief of Staff, replacing General John Kelly, who has served our Country with distinction. Mick has done an outstanding job while in the Administration,’ he announced.

Hours later he sent a follow up tweet insisting ‘MANY’ people wanted the job.

President Donald Trump says his Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will lead the West Wing until he can find a permanent replacement for John Kelly

President Donald Trump says his Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will lead the West Wing until he can find a permanent replacement for John Kelly

Trump effectively let Kelly off the hook on Friday, saying in a tweet that Mulvaney would serve as 'acting chief of staff' once the retired general leaves the administration

Trump effectively let Kelly off the hook on Friday, saying in a tweet that Mulvaney would serve as ‘acting chief of staff’ once the retired general leaves the administration

Hours after naming Mulvaney, the president tweeted that 'MANY' people wanted the job

Hours after naming Mulvaney, the president tweeted that ‘MANY’ people wanted the job

Mulvaney has a lot on his plate as Office of Management and Budget head. A White House official said Friday that his job at OMB will be filled by his deputy Russ Vought 

Mulvaney is seen here chatting up Mark Meadows, a Republican congressman that Trump denied the job this week

Mulvaney is seen here chatting up Mark Meadows, a Republican congressman that Trump denied the job this week

In naming Mulvaney, the president went on, ‘I look forward to working with him in this new capacity as we continue to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! John will be staying until the end of the year. He is a GREAT PATRIOT and I want to personally thank him for his service!’

Mulvany heads the Office of Management and Budget within the White House and earlier this year wore two hats as he filled the top job at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

OMB would oversee a partial government shutdown in the case that Congress and the president are unable to resolve their differences ahead of a Dec. 21 deadline to pass legislation to pull unfunded areas of the government out of limbo.

Trump was said on Friday to be shopping a two-week delay in hostilities after declaring on Tuesday that he would ‘absolutely’ preside over a shutdown until Congress approves $5 billion for his border wall.

That would push the fight that could furlough federal workers over the Christmas holiday into early next year. Trump will have lost much of his leverage by then, as Democrats take the majority in the House, but as he made clear in a Thursday tweet he now sees the value of avoiding an expensive and potentially toxic government closure.

‘Let’s not do a shutdown, Democrats – do what’s right for the American people!’ Trump had tweeted.

His appointment of Mulvaney to Kelly’s post on Friday evening suggests that Trump, whose White House is already stretched thin, is seriously considering his options.

A senior official told reporters on Friday evening that the OMB job will be filled for now by Mulvaney’s deputy Russ Vought.

The person stressed Mulvaney’s credentials for chief of staff as a former Member of Congress, representing South Carolina as a Republican from 2011 until the president appointed him OMB head.  

‘He knows Congress. He knows Capitol Hill,’ the official said.

Mulvaney and Trump met at the White House on Thursday afternoon prior to the announcement to discuss the impending fiscal cliff. Trump said in a tweet hours later that Mulvaney would be his interim chief of staff.

Hours prior to the president's announcement that Kelly would be succeeded by Mick Mulvaney, the White House said Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was not under consideration. Kushner is Ivanka Trump's husband and a senior adviser to the president like she is

Hours prior to the president’s announcement that Kelly would be succeeded by Mick Mulvaney, the White House said Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was not under consideration. Kushner is Ivanka Trump’s husband and a senior adviser to the president like she is

Trump promoted the job as a temporary assignment, but White House officials signaled that Mulvaney could fill the position for an extended period of time.

‘He’s the acting chief of staff, which means he’s the chief of staff,’ a senior official who requested anonymity said. ‘He got picked because the president liked him they get along.’

The person said that Mulvaney was named ‘acting’ chief instead of permanent chief, ‘because that’s what the president wants.’

‘We’ll see,’ a second official said of the appointment. ‘It’s what the president wants right now.’

Ivanka Trump quickly blasted a a congratulatory note to her new boss on Twitter, telling Mulvaney, ‘You will undoubtedly continue to inspire and impress in this new role just as you have at OMB.

Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the president, had been a dark horse for the job. The couple routinely clashed with Kelly, and the president’s daughter eagerly welcomed his exit. 

‘Thank you General Kelly for almost 2 years of leadership in this Administration and for a lifetime of service to our great nation!’ she said in her tweet. 

Prior to holding federal office, Mulvaney served as a state representative and state senator in South Carolina. Before that, he practiced law and worked for his family real estate business. 

Mulvaney and his wife Pamela have three children.

In Congress, he was known as a fiscal-hawk and social conservative who ran with the right-wing Freedom Caucus and was willing to shut the government down to trim down the federal deficit. 

Since joining the Trump administration he has taken flack for claiming that there is such a thing as a ‘good shutdown’ that could permanently fix the appropriations process. He has also been dogged by a claim that he says was meant to be a joke that he would only meet with lobbyists as a congressman who’d contributed to his campaigns.

Chris Christie became the latest contender for chief of staff to take himself out of the running on Friday, saying in a statement that it is an honor to have been considered, but it's not the right time in his life for the assignment
His announcement further narrowed the field after counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway confirmed that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is not under consideration

Chris Christie became the latest contender for chief of staff to take himself out of the running on Friday, saying in a statement that it is an honor to have been considered, but it’s not the right time in his life for the assignment

Mulvaney was the obvious choice for acting White House chief of staff after having been one of two rumored picks for the position for close to six months.

The other contender, Nick Ayers, turned the job down over the weekend.

Chris Christie also took himself out of the running, saying in a Friday afternoon statement that it is an honor to have been considered, but it’s not the right time in his life for the assignment.

He told the New York Times that he had asked Trump ‘to no longer keep me in considerations for this post’ following a meeting on Thursday to discuss the position.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway meanwhile confirmed that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner was not under consideration.

‘I haven’t heard either Jared or the president mention Jared on the list,’ she asserted. ‘But I think he’s doing a great job at what he’s doing.’

Asked whether the president spoke to Christie and what exactly happened she said: ‘I do know the answer, but I can’t comment. They had a great meeting last night.’

She smiled and said nothing as DailyMail.com asked if she is interested in doing the job that no one else seems to want.

Conway suggested to reporters that the president does have a ‘front-runner’ in mind for the job he’s been openly trying to fill for the last week.

‘I’m not saying, although I know. I know the answer, not telling you,’ she teased.

Reporters, throwing names out and hoping that someone sticks, queried the potential appointment of senior communications aide Bill Shine, who joined the administration earlier this year after working as an executive for many years at Fox.

‘I love that Bill Shine is the communications director,’ she said, ‘and it’s added a lot to our press and coms shop.’

It was unclear on Friday night whether Trump told Christie that he wouldn’t be getting the job and that’s why he abruptly pulled out.

Christie sent Kushner’s father to jail when he served as U.S. attorney for illegal campaign contributions.

Kushner was reported Thursday to have lobbied to become his father-in-law Donald Trump’s chief of staff.

The first son-in-law, already an adviser to the president with an office next to the Oval Office, was reported by the Huffington Post to have pushed his own candidacy and been rewarded with a meeting Wednesday about the role.

He apparently claimed he could work with Democrats – a claim ridiculed by one of the sources for the report who said: ‘I don’t know why he thinks that, when the Democrats are mainly going to be coming after Trump.’

Kushner’s potential candidacy emerged shortly after the president claimed he had five candidates who actually want the job fighting it out.

‘Five people. Really good ones. Terrific people. Mostly well known, but terrific people,’ Trump told reporters on Thursday.

The claim was met with skepticism in wider Washington D.C. given that Trump pushed out John Kelly without a successor in place and was turned down by his first choice.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and Governors-elects in the Cabinet Room at the White House on Thursday

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump and Governors-elects in the Cabinet Room at the White House on Thursday

Trump told the only Republican openly expressing interest in the job that he wants him to stay in Congress.

A White House statement on Wednesday said that Trump ruled out North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows for the top White House position.

‘Congressman Mark Meadows is a great friend to President Trump and is doing an incredible job in Congress. The President told him we need him in Congress so he can continue the great work he is doing there,’ White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Trump’s plans were turned upside down when Trump’s first pick for the position, Nick Ayes, unexpectedly turned the president’s proposition down.

The White House subsequently said that Kelly would be staying on until early January ‘at least’ to the manage the West Wing while the president conducts his search for a replacement.

Politico reported on Monday that Meadows, a leading pro-Trump Republican congressman, was interested in the gig that nobody else seemed to want.

‘Serving as Chief of Staff would be an incredible honor. The President has a long list of qualified candidates and I know he’ll make the best selection for his administration and for the country,’ he told the publication.

The White House told the publication Wednesday that the president asked the congressman who had a double-digit victory in November to remain his position in the House. Meadows is the House Freedom Caucus chairman.

The president claimed Tuesday that more than 10 people were competing for the chief of staff job but none appeared to be in the lead and it was unclear how much any of them actually wants to do it.

‘We are in no rush. Over a period of a week or two or maybe less we’ll announce who it’s going to be, but we have a lot of people who want the position,’ Trump said in a Oval Office meeting with Democratic leaders on Tuesday morning that Kelly attended.

He said, ‘A lot of friends of mine want it. A lot of people that Chuck and Nancy know very well want it, I think people you’d like,’ Trump said, talking up the post. ‘We have a lot of people that want the job of chief of staff. So we’ll be seeing what happens. We’re in no rush.’

Kellyanne Conway told reporters this week that Kelly will stay on as chief of staff 'at least' through the beginning of the year

Kellyanne Conway told reporters this week that Kelly will stay on as chief of staff ‘at least’ through the beginning of the year

The reason, Trump said: ‘Because we have a wonderful chief of staff right here.’

Conway had said during an appearance on ‘Fox & Friends’ on Tuesday morning – just days after the White House said Kelly’s tenure was nearly over – that he wouldn’t be leaving at the end of the year as planned.

‘He will stay on the job through January 2nd at least, and I think there were will be a very peaceful and pragmatic transition to the next chief of staff,’ Conway said. ‘But the president has many people who want to serve here.’

Later in the day, the president held a bill signing in the Oval Office that Mulvaney and Meadows were a part of. The two men allegedly competing for the same job who worked closely together in Congress stood side by side as the president talked.

By Wednesday afternoon, the White House had announced that Meadows, at least, was out of the running, and on Friday, ex-congressman Mulvaney was the last one standing.

Nick Ayers (L), chief of staff to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, announced he is leaving the White House rather than succeeding White House Chief of Staff John Kelly

Nick Ayers turns down Chief of Staff role in Trump Administration

Mick Mulvaney

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Mick Mulvaney
Mick Mulvaney official photo.jpg
Acting White House Chief of Staff
Assuming office
January 2019
President Donald Trump
Deputy Zachary Fuentes
Succeeding John F. Kelly
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Assumed office
February 16, 2017
President Donald Trump
Deputy Russell Vought
Margaret Weichert
Preceded by Shaun Donovan
Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
In office
November 25, 2017[a] – December 11, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Leandra English
Brian Johnson (acting)
Preceded by Richard Cordray
Succeeded by Kathleen Kraninger
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina‘s 5th district
In office
January 3, 2011 – February 16, 2017
Preceded by John Spratt
Succeeded by Ralph Norman
Member of the South Carolina Senate
from the 16th district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Chauncey K. Gregory
Succeeded by Chauncey K. Gregory
Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives
from the 45th district
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Eldridge Emory
Succeeded by Debora Long
Personal details
Born
John Michael Mulvaney

July 21, 1967 (age 51)
Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Pamela West (m. 1998)
Children 3
Education Georgetown University (BS)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (JD)

John Michael Mulvaney (/mʌlˈveÉŞni/; born July 21, 1967) is an American politician of the Republican Party who is serving in President Donald Trump‘s cabinet as Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). He will serve as Trump’s acting White House Chief of Staff, beginning in 2019.[1][2] Mulvaney served as the acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from November 2017 to December 2018.

Mulvaney served in the South Carolina General Assembly from 2007 to 2011, first in the State House of Representatives and then the State Senate.[3] He served as a U.S. House Representative from 2011 to 2017.[4] He was nominated as OMB Director by President-elect Donald Trump in December 2016[5] and confirmed by Senate vote (51–49) on February 16, 2017.[6] While Mulvaney was known for his professed support for fiscal conservatismas a congressman, Mulvaney oversaw a dramatic expansion in the deficit as OMB Director. The deficit increases were a result of both spending increases and tax cuts, and were unusually high for a period of economic expansion.[7]

In November 2017, Trump appointed Mulvaney to serve as Acting CFPB Director under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which allows for the president to appoint an interim replacement without Senate confirmation. Mulvaney’s appointment was contested by CFPB Deputy Director Leandra English, but a federal judge had ruled in Mulvaney’s favor, thus Mulvaney was simultaneously directing both CFPB and OMB for almost 13 months.

On December 14, 2018, Donald Trump named Mulvaney as White House Chief of Staff in an acting capacity to begin with the new year.[8]

 

Early life

Mulvaney was born in Alexandria, Virginia, to Michael “Mike” and Kathleen “Kathy” Mulvaney, a teacher,[9] and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina.[10] His father was a real estate developer[11] He later moved to Indian Land, South Carolina.[12][13] His grandparents were originally from County Mayo, Ireland.[14] He attended Charlotte Catholic High School and then Georgetown University, where he majored in international economics, commerce and finance.[12] At Georgetown, he was an Honors Scholar of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and ultimately graduated with honors in 1989.[13]

Mulvaney attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a full scholarship to attend law school, where his focus was on antitrust law. He graduated with his J.D. degree in 1992.[15]

Early legal work

From 1992 to 1997, Mulvaney practiced law with the firm James, McElroy & Diehl. Mulvaney joined his family’s homebuilding and real estate business. He participated in the Owners and Presidents Management Program at Harvard Business School. He was a minority shareholder and owner-operator in Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, a privately held regional restaurant chain.[16]

South Carolina legislature

State House

Mulvaney was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2006.[17]

State Senate

In 2008 an unexpected retirement created a vacancy in the South Carolina Senate and he campaigned for and won that office in what was widely regarded to be the hardest fought legislative race in South Carolina that year.[18]

While in the State Senate, Mulvaney served on the Judiciary, Labor/Commerce/Industry, Medical Affairs, Agriculture/Natural Resources, and Corrections Committees. The Palmetto Family Council identified him as the Freshman Legislator of the Year in 2006 for his work on the South Carolina ultrasound bill.[19][20]

In 2010 he was named Legislator of the Year for his work in support of the State’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS). He has received one of the few A+ ratings in the entire legislature from the South Carolina Club for Growth.[20]

U.S. House of Representatives

Mulvaney’s official portrait

Elections

2010

Mulvaney, a GOP Young Gun, ran against Democratic incumbent John M. Spratt Jr. for South Carolina’s 5th congressional district. The race was highlighted by Mitt Romney‘s Free and Strong America PAC’s “Take Congress Back: 10 in ’10” initiative as one of the top 10 House challenger races.[21] Mulvaney’s involvement in the now defunct Edenmoor real estate development in Lancaster County, South Carolina became a campaign issue, with Mulvaney’s opponents alleging that he misled the Lancaster County council and taxpayers to provide $30 million in public funding for the real estate development and that once the public funds had been approved, Mulvaney sold his interest in the development to a third party at a $7 million profit.[22][23] Mulvaney denied the allegations and said that the project’s failure was due to Democratic economic policies.[22] He defeated Spratt, who had held the seat since 1983, with 55% of the vote.[24]

Mulvaney’s campaign against Spratt was aided by a 501(c)(4) organization named the Commission on Hope, Growth, and Opportunity. The group, which was established by anonymous donors and run by lobbyist Scott W. Reed, has been accused by the watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington of violating federal campaign finance laws and disclosing false information to the Internal Revenue Service.[25]

2012

Mulvaney speaking at the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.

He won re-election to a second term by defeating Democrat Joyce Knott 56%–44%.[26][27]

2014

He won re-election to a third term by defeating Democrat Tom Adams, a Fort Mill Town Council[28] member, 59%–41%.[29]

Mulvaney cofounded the bipartisan Blockchain Caucus, “meant to help congressmen stay up to speed on cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies”, and develop policies that advance them.[30]

2016

Mulvaney faced Ray Craig in the Republican primary and defeated him 78–22%.[31] Mulvaney was re-elected to a fourth term, winning over 59% of the vote.[32]

Tenure

During his time in the U.S. House, Mulvaney aligned himself with the Tea Party movement.[33][34] He was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus.[35]

He opposed gun control initiatives and the Affordable Care Act.[36][37][38]

Pay-to-play

In April 2018, Mulvaney told a room of banking industry executives and lobbyists that as a Congressman he refused to take meetings with lobbyists unless they contributed to his congressional campaigns.[39] He said, “If you are a lobbyist who never gave us money, I did not talk to you. If you are a lobbyist who gave us money, I might talk to you.”[39] At the top of the hierarchy, he added, were his constituents. “If you came from back home and sat in my lobby, I talked to you without exception, regardless of the financial contributions,” said Mr. Mulvaney.[39]

An April 2018 Daily Beast analysis of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) visitor logs and campaign finance disclosures found that Mulvaney had as OMB Director met with at least eight registered lobbyists and six executives who donated to his congressional campaigns.[40]

Government shutdown

According to the New York Times, Mulvaney took “a hard line on spending during President Obama’s term, vowing not to raise the nation’s debt limit and embracing the term ‘Shutdown Caucus’ because of his willingness to shut the government down instead.”[37] In 2015, Mulvaney voted against a government-funding resolution, which would have prevented a government shutdown, in part because it included funding for Planned Parenthood.[41] Explaining his vote, Mulvaney said, “This is not about women’s health. It’s about trafficking in pieces of dead children.”[41] After his appointment as head of the OMB in 2017, he reiterated his conditional position of support for a shutdown.[42]

Regulations

Mulvaney supported the Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015, which would have “[created] a commission tasked with eliminating and revising outdated and redundant federal regulations.”[43][44]

Fiscal year 2014 budget

On December 10, 2013, Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray announced that they had negotiated the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, a proposed two-year budget deal.[45][46] The budget deal capped the federal government’s spending for Fiscal Year 2014 at $1.012 trillion and for Fiscal Year 2015 at $1.014.[47]

The proposed deal eliminated some of the spending cuts required by the sequester by $45 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in January and $18 billion of the cuts scheduled to happen in 2015.[47] This did not decrease federal spending; instead, by reducing the amount of spending cuts the government was going to be forced to make by the sequester, it actually increased government spending by $45 billion and $18 billion over what would have been spent had the sequester remained in place. Some Republicans wanted Speaker John Boehner to pursue a temporary measure that would cover the rest of Fiscal Year 2014 at the level set by the sequester – $967 billion, rather than pass this budget deal, which would have $45 billion in additional spending.[48]

The deal was designed to make up for this increase in spending by raising airline fees and changing the pension contribution requirements of new federal workers.[45] According to The Hill, Mulvaney spearheaded opposition to the bill. He did not blame Ryan for the budget deal, instead saying that the problem was that too few conservatives had been elected to Congress to pass a budget with a greater focus on debt reduction.[48] Mulvaney said that he expected the budget deal to pass because “it was designed to get the support of defense hawks and appropriators and Democrats”, not conservatives.[45]

On April 9, 2014, Mulvaney offered a proposal based on the Obama proposal as a substitute amendment in order to force a vote on the President’s budget request. The President’s proposal failed in a vote of 2–413, although Democrats were urged by their leadership to vote against this “political stunt.”[49]

Presidential endorsements

Mulvaney speaking at a campaign event for Senator Rand Paul in Spartanburg, South Carolina in September 2015.

In September 2015, Mulvaney endorsed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries.[50]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Director of the Office of Management and Budget[edit]

Nomination

On December 16, 2016, Mulvaney was announced as President-elect Donald Trump‘s choice to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.[53]

Mulvaney’s nomination as Director-designate was reviewed in hearings held by the members of the United States Senate Committee on the Budget and the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs then presented to the full Senate for a vote.

In his statement to the Senate Budget Committee, Mulvaney admitted that he had failed to pay $15,000 in payroll taxes from 2000-04 for a nanny he had hired to care for his triplets. Mulvaney said he did not pay the taxes because he viewed the woman as a babysitter rather than as a household employee. After filling out a questionnaire from the Trump transition team, he realized the lapse and began the process of paying back taxes and fees. Senate Democrats noted that Republicans had previously insisted that past Democratic nominees’ failure to pay taxes for their household employees was disqualifying, including former Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle in 2009.[54][55]

On February 16, 2017, the Senate confirmed Mulvaney, 51–49.[6][56]

Tenure

During his tenure as OMB Director, Mulvaney sought to influence President Donald Trump to cut Social Security and Medicare.[11] When he introduced himself to Gary Cohn, who was then Trump’s chief economic advisor, Mulvaney said, “Hi, I’m a right-wing nutjob.”[11]While Mulvaney was known for his professed support for fiscal conservatism as a congressman, under Mulvaney’s tenure as OMB Director there was a dramatic expansion in the deficit as a result of both spending increases and tax cuts.[7] The deficits were unusually high for a period of economic expansion.[7]

Manipulated unemployment numbers claim

In March 2017, Mulvaney stated that he believed that “the Obama administration was manipulating the numbers, in terms of the number of people in the workforce, to make the unemployment rate — that percentage rate — look smaller than it actually was,” and that “[w]hat you should really look at is the number of jobs created.”[57] There is no evidence that jobs numbers under the Obama administration were manipulated.[57][58][59] FiveThirtyEight‘s Ben Casselman noted that “manipulating the jobs figures… would mean not just messing with one number but rather interfering with an entire ecosystem of statistics” and “would require a conspiracy theory of massive proportions, involving hundreds if not thousands of people.”[58]

Criticism of the Congressional Budget Office

In March 2017, Mulvaney stated that the Congressional Budget Office was not capable of assessing the American Health Care Act, stating that “[i]f the CBO was right about Obamacare to begin with, there’d be 8 million more people on Obamacare today than there actually are.”[60] According to FactCheck.Org, “[t]he CBO actually nailed the overall impact of the law on the uninsured pretty closely…It’s true (as Trump administration officials have repeatedly pointed out) that CBO greatly overestimated the number who would get government-subsidized coverage through the new insurance exchanges. But at the same time, CBO underestimated the number who would get coverage through expanding Medicaid. And whatever the failings of CBO’s predictions, they were closer to the mark than those of the Obama administration and some other prominent forecasters.”[61] PolitiFact noted that “the initial CBO analysis of the Affordable Care Act did forecast that more people would participate in health care exchanges than actually did, but the CBO has revised those estimates. Moreover, independent analyses, as well as experts agree that the CBO offers some of the best estimates given the information available at the time.”[62]

In May 2017, Mulvaney was critical of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) after it estimated the version of the American Health Care Act passed by the house in May 2017 would result in 23 million fewer people with health insurance. Mulvaney said that the CBO’s assessment was “absurd” and that “the days of relying on some nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to do that work for us has probably come and gone.”[63]

Trump administration’s budget proposals

While promoting the Trump administration’s budget proposal in March 2017, Mulvaney stated that, as to taxpayers, the government was “not gonna ask you for your hard-earned money, anymore… unless we can guarantee to you that that money is actually being used in a proper function.”[64] For instance, Mulvaney justified cuts to block grants that go towards spending on Meals on Wheels because it was “just not showing any results.”[65][66] Others disagreed with Mulvaney’s statement, citing research that has “found home-delivered meal programs to significantly improve diet quality, increase nutrient intakes, and reduce food insecurity and nutritional risk among participants. Other beneficial outcomes include increased socialization opportunities, improvement in dietary adherence, and higher quality of life.”[67][65]

On May 22, 2017, Mulvaney presented President Trump’s $4.1 trillion 2018 United States federal budget. The budget included cuts to the United States Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the social safety net and increases in funding for defense spending and paid family leave. The “America First” budget included a 10.6% decrease in domestic program spending and a 10% increase in military spending, in addition to $1.6 billion for a border wall.[68] The budget would remove $272 billion from welfare programs, including $272 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.[68] The budget would also remove $800 billion from Medicaid, and $72 billion from Social Security disability benefits, while removing nothing from Social Security retirement or Medicare benefits.[68] Mulvaney projected the budget will not add to the federal deficit because future tax cuts will lead to 3% GDP growth.[68] He described the budget as “the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes.”[69]

In December 2017, the President signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation forecasted that with dynamic scoring the $1.5 trillion reduction in revenues will increase the federal deficit by $1 trillion.[70] Regulatory implementation of the tax cuts have been delayed by a dispute between Mulvaney and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin regarding the involvement of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.[71]

In February 2018, Mulvaney released the President’s $4.4 trillion 2019 United States federal budget, which would add $984 billion to the federal deficit that year, and $7 trillion over the next 10 years.[72] Later that month, the President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which allowed yearly federal deficits to reach $1 trillion.[73] In March 2018, Congress ultimately passed the $1.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, which funded the government’s operations until the end of the fiscal year in September.[74]

Ethics waivers

On April 28, 2017, Walter Shaub, the Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics issued a data request to see the ethics waivers given to ex-lobbyists in the executive branch, which Mulvaney then refused.[75] On May 22, Shaub sent Mulvaney, in addition to every federal ethics officer, every inspector general, and the six members of Congress responsible for government oversight, a ten-page response reasserting his legal authority to see the ethics waivers.[75]

Government shutdown

In a press briefing on May 2, 2017, Mulvaney said that a “good shutdown” of the federal government might be necessary in September. He defined such a situation as one “that fixes Washington, D.C. permanently.”[42] In the same conference call to reporters, Mulvaney defended a funding package which contained no funds for President Trump’s posed border wall. The call became infamous after being plagued with technical problems and interruptions.[76]

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Appointment

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had encouraged the President to replace Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray.[77] As a congressman, Mulvaney had been a strong critic of the CFPB, calling it a “sick, sad” joke and cosponsoring legislation for its elimination.[78] Mulvaney’s congressional campaigns had accepted nearly $63,000 in donations from payday lenders.[77]

President Trump appointed Mulvaney to serve as Acting Director of the CFPB under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA), which allows for the president to appoint an interim replacement without Senate confirmation. However, a dispute arose over whether Mulvaney can be so-named under the FVRA or whether a provision of the Dodd-Frank Act controls, which would make the deputy director, Leandra English, acting director of the CFPB instead. This led to a court battle, English v. Trump. On November 28, 2017, U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly denied English’s motion for a preliminary injunction and allowed Mulvaney to begin serving as CFPB Acting Director.[79]

Tenure

Mulvaney immediately stopped hiring at the CFPB, stopped collecting fines, suspended rulemaking, and ordered all active investigations reviewed.[80] Mulvaney also sharply reduced agency personnel’s access to bank data, arguing that it posed a security risk.[39] On January 18, 2018, Mulvaney submitted a quarterly budget request for the CFPB to the Federal Reserve for $0.[81][82]

In January 2018, Mulvaney canceled an investigation into a South Carolina payday lender that had previously donated to his congressional campaigns.[77] He also dropped a lawsuit the CFPB was pursuing against an online lender the bureau had found was charging 950% interest.[83] Mulvaney suspended a short-term payday loan regulation.[84] In addition to payday lenders, Mulvaney also scaled back efforts to go after auto lenders and others accused of preying on vulnerable consumers.[39] By April 2018, more than four months after taking charge of the CFPB, Mulvaney had not undertaken a single enforcement action against finance companies; the previous CFPB director, Richard Cordray, averaged two to four enforcement actions per month.[84] Mulvaney accepted nearly $63,000 in donations by payday lenders while he was a congressman; in April 2018, he said that he would never take a meeting with lobbyists unless they contributed to his campaigns.[39]

In April 2018, Mulvaney submitted the CFPB’s annual report to Congress, in which he recommended the bureau’s funding should be made to require congressional appropriations, that its future rulemaking should require legislative approval, and that he, the director, should be made removable without cause by the President.[85]

The Community Financial Services Association of America, a trade association representing the payday lending industry, praised Mulvaney’s approach, calling it “relatively passive”.[77]

In April 2018, it was reported that Mulvaney had given some of his political appointees at the CFPB raises.[86] Mulvaney hired at least eight appointees after he took over the agency and created positions for some the appointees which did not exist under Cordray’s tenure at the CFPB.[86]

In April 2018, Mulvaney said that he would shut down public access to the CFPB’s online database of consumer complaints where consumers could post complaints and the CFPB used to guide its investigations.[39] Mulvaney said, “I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government.”[39] As the database was mandated by law, it could not be shut down, only closed to the public.[87] A review of Mulvaney’s campaign contributions as a congressman showed that 8 of the 10 firms with the most complaints about them had contributed to Mulvaney’s campaigns.[87]

In April 2018, Mulvaney announced a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo for fraudulent practices. The case against Wells Fargo started prior to Mulvaney’s tenure, and there were reports that Mulvaney considered dropping the case. Amid this reporting, Trump warned that the bank would be fined.[88]

In May 2018, The New York Times reported that Mulvaney worked two to three days a week at the CFPB, a few hours at a time.[88]

In August 2018, it was reported that Mulvaney was considering rolling back oversight of lenders to see if they were violating the Military Lending Act and predating on military service members and their families.[89]

White House Chief of Staff

Appointment

On December 14, 2018, Donald Trump named Mulvaney as his acting White House Chief of Staff beginning with the new year.[90] Prior to Trump’s election, Mulvaney had characterized the future president as a “terrible human being”.[91][92]

Personal life

In 1998, Mulvaney married Pamela West whom he had met in line at a bookstore while he was a law student. The couple have triplets, (born in 2000) Finn, James and Caroline.[14][9] He is a Roman Catholic.[93]

Mick Mulvaney’s brother Ted Mulvaney (Theodore) is portfolio manager for Braeburn Capital, the investment arm of tech giant Apple Inc.[94][95]

Notes

  1. ^ Disputed with Leandra English until November 28.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Mulvaney

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1188, December 13, 2018, Story 1: Democrats Keep Banging The Impeachment Drums and President Trump Will Win In A Landslide in 2020 — Videos — Story 2: The FBI Entrapment of Retired Lt. General Flynn — Videos — Story 3: American People Demand Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Investigate The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation Handling of The Clinton Email and Clinton Foundation Investigations and Failure To Verify The Christopher Steele Dossier and Disclose It Was Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democrat National Committee to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

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Image result for general michael flynnSee the source image

Story 1: Democrats Keep Banging The Impeachment Drums and President Trump Will Win In A Landslide in 2020 — Videos —

Dershowitz: Trump Won’t Be Impeached Unless ‘Massive New Information’ Comes Out

Trump will benefit if Democrats try to impeach him: Dennis Miller

Trump pushes back against Democrats’ impeachment threats

Exclusive interview: Trump sits down with Harris Faulkner

BREAKING: Trump Reveals Exactly Why He’s Not Afraid of Impeachment

Story 2: The FBI Entrapment of Retired Lt. General Flynn — Judge Emmett Sullivan Orders Mueller To Turn Over All FBI Summaries of Interviews with General Flynn (302s) — Videos

 

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Did James Comey set up Michael Flynn?

Comey admits to sending FBI agents to interview Flynn without telling White House

Gowdy blasts Comey: An ‘amnesiac with incredible hubris’

Devin Nunes – How Gen Flynn Was Framed, 2477

Comey Admits FBI Flubbed Standard Protocol During Flynn’s Interview

James Comey in Conversation with Nicolle Wallace

Comey Quietly Admits: “Trump Did Not Collude With Russia”

Mueller says ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn cooperated in Russia probe

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/13/18 Breaking Fox News December 13, 2018

Michael Flynn’s lawyers request no prison time

Flynn’s Claim Catches Judge’s Eye, Demands All FBI Documents Related to Case by Friday

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/13/18 | Breaking Fox News | December 13, 2018

The Federal Judge Overseeing Michael Flynn’s Sentencing Just Dropped A Major Bombshell

The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple summaries of Michael Flynn’s questioning, which may indicate they’re hiding the truth.

By Margot Cleveland

On Tuesday, attorneys for Michael Flynn filed a sentencing memorandum and letters of support for the former Army lieutenant general in federal court. The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple 302 interview summaries of Flynn’s questioning by now-former FBI agent Peter Strzok and a second unnamed agent, reported to be FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka.

Further revelations may be forthcoming soon following an order entered late yesterday by presiding judge Emmet Sullivan, directing the special counsel’s office to file with the court any 302s or memorandum relevant to Flynn’s interview.

Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, pleaded guilty more than a year ago to making false statements to federal investigators during a January 24, 2017 interview. During that interview, Strzok and (presumably) Pientka questioned Flynn about a telephone conversation the Trump advisor had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

While Flynn’s sentencing memorandum methodically laid out the case for a low-level sentence of one-year probation, footnote 23 dropped a bomb, revealing that the agents’ 302 summary of his interview was dated August 22, 2017. As others have already noted, the August 22, 2017 date is a “striking detail” because that puts the 302 report “nearly seven months after the Flynn interview.” When added to facts already known, this revelation takes on a much greater significance.

First, text messages between Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page indicate that Strzok wrote his notes from the Flynn interview shortly after he questioned the national security advisor on January 24, 2017. Specifically, on February 14, 2017, Strzok texted Page, “Also, is Andy good with F 302?” Page responded, “Launch on f 302.” Given Strzok’s role in the questioning Flynn, the date (three weeks from the interview), the notation “F 302,” and Page’s position as special counsel to Andrew McCabe, it seems extremely likely that these text exchanges concerned a February 2017, 302 summary of the Flynn interview.

Additionally, now that we know from the sentencing memorandum that the special counsel’s office has tendered a 302 interview summary dated August 22, 2017, we can deduce that an earlier 302 form existed from James Comey’s Friday testimony before the House judiciary and oversight committees.

During the day-long questioning of the former FBI Director, Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Comey whether the agents who interviewed Flynn had indicated that Flynn did not intend to deceive them during the interview. After Comey replied “No,” Gowdy pushed him, asking “Have you ever testified differently?” Comey again responded, “No.”

But when asked whether he recalled being asked that question doing an earlier House hearing, Comey countered: “No. I recall — I don’t remember what question I was asked. I recall saying the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing.” (More on that testimony shortly.) This exchange then followed:

Mr. Gowdy: “Who would you have gotten that from if you were not present for the interview?”

Mr. Comey: “From someone at the FBI, who either spoke to — I don’t think I spoke to the interviewing agents but got the report from the interviewing agents.”

Mr. Gowdy: “All right. So you would have, what, read the 302 or had a conversation with someone who read the 302?”

Mr. Comey: “I don’t remember for sure. I think I may have done both, that is, read the 302 and then investigators directly. I just don’t remember that.”

President Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, so the 302 of the Flynn interview Comey read must have been written before then. Why then was a new 302 drafted on August 22, 2017? And by whom?

The timing of the re-write—shortly after then-FBI Agent Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump text messages came to light—raises the possibility that Mueller wanted to scrub the evidence of Strzok’s taint. Having the second agent involved in questioning Flynn draft a new 302 summary would eliminate attacks premised on Strzok’s bias against the president.

But was that the only reason the FBI issued a new 302? Were there any differences in the versions?

Congress has been trying to get to the bottom of this question for months upon months. In February, senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham requested the DOJ inspector general, Michael Horowitz, conduct a comprehensive review of potential misconduct in the Russia investigation and specifically asked Horowitz to answer these questions about the Flynn interview and the 302s:

“Did the FBI agents document their interview with Lt. Gen. Flynn in one or more FD-302s? What were the FBI agents’ conclusions about Lt. Gen. Flynn’s truthfulness, as reflected in the FD-302s? Were the FD-302s ever edited? If so, by whom? At who’s direction? How many drafts were there? Are there material differences between the final draft and the initial draft(s) or the agent’s testimony about the interview?”

Horowitz has yet to answer these questions, but the special counsel’s office now has federal judge Sullivan inquiring as well. Sullivan made history a decade ago when he ordered an independent investigation into “the systemic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence,” he discovered during the government’s prosecution of the now-deceased Ted Stevens, then the senior senator from Alaska. The DOJ’s misconduct in the Stevens’ case led Sullivan to enter a standing order in all criminal cases on his docket.

The most recent iteration of Sullivan’s standing entered in the Flynn case required Mueller’s office to produce “any evidence in its possession that is favorable to defendant and material either to defendant’s guilt or punishment.” The order further required the government to submit to the court any information “which is favorable to the defendant but which the government believes not to be material.”

Flynn referenced some of these materials in his sentencing memorandum, specifically the FR-302 from August 22, 2017 and a memorandum apparently written by McCabe and dated January 24, 2017—the same day as Flynn’s interview. Now Sullivan wants to see those documents and ordered Mueller by Friday afternoon “to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302.” Sullivan further ordered “the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to [Flynn’s interview.]”

What motivated Sullivan is unclear, but his experience in the Stevens’ case was a likely trigger. In that case, the government withheld 302s, didn’t include exculpatory statements in the 302s, and did not create a 302 for an interview that “didn’t go very well,” from the prosecution’s standpoint. Sullivan likely wants to assure himself that the Flynn case isn’t a copycat of the political targeting of Stevens from a decade ago.

Once the government dockets the evidence, Sullivan should be able to resolve two outstanding questions: First, what, if any, changes were made to the 302s? Second, did Strzok and his fellow FBI agent express a view on whether Flynn was lying?

Here, we return to Comey’s testimony from Friday referenced above, that “the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing.” Comey further explained, though, that his “recollection was [Flynn] was — the conclusion of the investigators was he was obviously lying, but they saw none of the normal common indicia of deception: that is, hesitancy to answer, shifting in seat, sweating, all the things that you might associate with someone who is conscious and manifesting that they are being — they’re telling falsehoods. There’s no doubt he was lying, but that those indicators weren’t there.”

The earlier version(s) of the 302s will either support or contradict Comey’s testimony. Same with McCabe’s January 24, 2017 memorandum. The latter will prove particularly interesting given the conflict between Comey’s latest testimony and that of McCabe, who served as deputy director of the FBI at the time. In an executive session of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, McCabe acknowledged “the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, . . .”

Of course, this all assumes that the special counsel’s office still has copies of the initial 302s created, which might not be the case given that when Mueller’s “pitbull,” Andrew Weissmann, led the Enron Task Force, his team, among other things, systematically destroyed draft 302s.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
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FBI’s entrapment of General Flynn was despicable

Investigators into Russian attempts to subvert American democracy grievously mistreated Gen. Michael Flynn, now convicted of perjury related to the investigation. Some of the prosecutors should themselves face professional punishment for their misbehavior.

As this site’s resident defender of special counsel Robert Mueller, I am obligated to insist that the investigators themselves uphold the same standards they would apply to others. Without excusing Flynn’s lies to investigators, a fair-minded observer can call foul on an obviously unfair, and perhaps unlawful, perjury trap.

Federal district judge Emmet Sullivan likewise seems quite perturbed by the latest information about the Flynn case. With Flynn’s sentencing imminent, Sullivan suddenly ordered prosecutors to produce any existent memoranda regarding their conduct of the interview in which Flynn lied.

And for good reason. The investigators’ treatment of Flynn, as described in a memo filed with the court by Flynn’s lawyers, looks like a textbook case of unethical entrapment.

The interview was set up directly via a phone call to Flynn from Andrew McCabe, who then was deputy director of the FBI. McCabe, by his own account, made it sound like an ordinary national-security-related briefing of the sort Flynn was accustomed to giving the FBI. Even though McCabe clearly knew that Flynn was a potential subject of investigation, he deliberately dissuaded Flynn from having attorneys present.

Moreover, when the agents arrived, they and Flynn both treated the meeting as rather informal, even “jocular,” and “the agents did not provide General Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement … before, during, or after the interview.” The agents’ decision not to so inform Flynn was made at the direct behest of McCabe because “they wanted Flynn to be relaxed.”

This is an absolute outrage.

Granted, it’s not certain that the ordinary requirement for a “ Miranda warning” were applicable in this situation because Flynn had not been detained by, nor was in the custody of, law enforcement. Yet in commonsense terms, what McCabe and his agents did was obviously entrapment. It may even have crossed the official legal line of entrapment to the effect that Flynn’s conviction might be thrown out. At first perusal, it appears to have done so.

Let’s be clear what this FBI perfidy does and doesn’t mean. First, it does not have any bearing on Mueller’s conduct of the investigation: The interview with Flynn occurred months before Mueller was appointed. And Mueller, pleased with Flynn’s cooperation, has recommended no jail time for the general. Flynn’s case is only a small part of Mueller’s overall investigation, which has been conducted “by the book” (as the expression goes). Second, it does nothing to invalidate, or make legally unusable, any other information Flynn provided Mueller’s team while cooperating. If Flynn provided evidence implicating others in misdeeds, that evidence is still good.

Third, though, this entrapment provides even more reason for McCabe himself to be investigated for wrongdoing. Again and again, it has been shown that McCabe acted not as the impartial enforcer of justice that a top FBI official should be, but rather as a partisan or ideological hack against conservatives in general or against Trump’s team in particular.

Fourth and finally, this might remove the status of “felon” from Flynn’s permanent record. A man with a distinguished military career, whose lie did not involve conduct that in itself was criminal and was less self-protective than it was a matter of political ham-handedness, perhaps merits some slack anyway. His reputation already has suffered; must his legal status also be permanently scarred?

Either way, McCabe’s behavior here appears shameful, well deserving of fierce condemnation.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/fbis-entrapment-of-general-flynn-was-despicable

Story 3: American People Demand Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Investigate The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation Handling of The Clinton Email and Clinton Foundation Investigations and Failure To Verify The Christopher Steele Dossier and Disclose It Was Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democrat National Committee to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Hannity 12/13/18 9PM | December 13, 2018 Breaking News

 

UNBELIEVABLE! Trey Gowdy Makes Huge Announcement Immediately After James Comey Does This To Him

BREAKING: After Federal Judge Issues Demand Entire Flynn Case About To COLLAPSE – Mueller Finished!

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1187, December 12, 2018, Part 2 of 2 Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos — Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos — Story 3: Back To The Free Enterprise Competitive Market Capital System — Videos —

Posted on December 13, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Medicine, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP_, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1186 December 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1185 December 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1184 December 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1183 December 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1182 December 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1181 December 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1180 December 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1179 November 27, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1149, October 1, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

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Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

Tucker: Trump insists GOP Congress should fund wall

Body Language: Government Shutdown Trump, Pelosi & Schumer

Migrants Continue to Breach US Border Wall

Lying Politicians And Words

Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer get in fight over border wall: full video

Trump Outsmarts Pelosi, Reveals Unstoppable Plan To Build The Wall Without Democrat Support

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/11/18 | Breaking Fox News December 11, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/11/18 | Hannity Breaking News | Fox News December 11 2018

Tucker: Schumer hated moment when Trump berated him

The Ingraham Angle 12/11/18 | Laura Ingraham Fox News Today December 11, 2018

George Carlin Politicians

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Fact-checking Trump, Pelosi and Schumer’s White House fight over the border wall, shutdown

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer sparred before news cameras over the effectiveness of a southern border wall, at times fact-checking and speaking over one another.

While all three leaders said they wanted border security, there was clearly no consensus over how much money they would set aside for Trump’s barrier. Trump said he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Vice President Mike Pence was there, too, looking on from his seat between Trump and Pelosi in silence.

Here’s a recap of what was said, fact-checked and with added context.

Trump: “A lot of the wall is built.”

While there have been improvements at the border, Trump so far isn’t getting the long, contiguous wall he promised on the campaign.

“Steel bollard wall” has been built at the southern border since Trump took office. But that’s not much different from what’s been built by other administrations. During the Obama administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a memo referred to bollard barriers as “fencing.” Under Trump, these similar barriers are considered “wall.”

Bollard barriers are hollow steel beams filled with concrete and rebar. None of the Trump administration’s wall prototypes have been constructed.

CBP said construction started for 40 miles of “steel bollard wall” along border areas in California and Texas, at a cost of $292 million. About 22 miles of bollards are completed, construction of four more miles started in September, and an additional 14 miles should be finished in May 2019, CBP said.

Appropriations from Congress so far have been far less than what Trump promised. Congress authorized $1.6 billion for established designs for new and replacement fencing, like the bollard system — and not the Trump’s administration’s prototypes.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“A lot of the wall is built.”
Trump: “If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Ariz., illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.”

It’s unclear what specific construction Trump is talking about, and he did not define start and end points for measuring the effect on illegal migration. The White House did not respond to PolitiFact’s query. Here’s what we could gather from CBP announcements by region:

San Diego: CBP in June said it began replacing about 14 miles of “8-to-10 foot high scrap metal wall with an 18-to-30 foot bollard-style wall topped off with an anti-climbing plate.” In December, CBP told PolitiFact that a 14-mile San Diego project is expected to be completed in May 2019.

El Paso: CBP in September said it started construction on a new “steel bollard wall” to replace existing pedestrian fencing in El Paso. That four-mile project would be completed in late April 2019, the agency said. CBP in December also told PolitiFact that another 20-mile project in El Paso had been completed.

Tucson and Yuma: CBP in November said a contract had been awarded to build up to 32 miles of “primary pedestrian replacement wall” within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma and Tucson sectors. Construction should begin in April 2019.

Schumer: “The experts say you can do this without a wall.”

This is consistent with previous reporting by us and other outlets.

Asked which experts Schumer had in mind, his staff directed us to a January New York Times article that said the Trump administration would cut or delay funding for security measures “that officials and experts have said are more effective than building a wall along the Mexican border.”

Adam Isaacson, director for defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, told PolitiFact that the wall might not do much to bolster border security because there is already a wall at the points that are most densely populated, with the exception of southern Texas. Apprehensions are at their lowest point in decades. Most resources are instead needed at the legal ports of entry, Isaacson said.

Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies, told PolitiFact that while the vast majority of drugs are coming in through legal checkpoints or more advanced methods of catapults, drones, boats and tunnels.

“They’re not going where the wall isn’t, they’re going where the wall is, and they’re slipping right through,” Tree said.

Trump: “We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”

We rated a similar claim by Pence as Pants on Fire, and experts remain dubious of Trump’s version.

“No matter what period of time Trump is talking about, there is no evidence to support his claim,” said Alex Nowrasteh, a senior immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute. He counted fewer than 10 people who had crossed the southern border and were charged with terrorism-related crimes.

David Sterman, senior policy analyst at the New America International Security Program, said, “There are no cases that come to mind among the more than 400 people accused of jihadist terrorism crimes since 9/11 tracked by New America in which terrorists infiltrated across the southern border.”

Trump’s State Department in July 2017 reported there is “no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reported in June her department “now blocks 10 known or suspected terrorists a day from traveling to or attempting to enter the United States.”

That’s across all ports of entry by land, air and sea, not just the Mexican border.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”
Trump: “If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel. 99.9 percent effective. And our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.”

Israel has built multiple barriers along its borders with Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza Strip and West Bank. The 99-percent reduction comes from Israeli government data for the Israeli-Egyptian southern border, where there is a 143-mile fence. (See related fact-check.)

Border security experts said the fence alone was not responsible for the dramatic decrease in illegal immigration — policies also deterred illegal border crossings.

They also cautioned about comparing Israel with the United States’ southern borders. The U.S.-Mexico border is much longer than the Israel-Egypt border, terrain conditions are different and more agents would be needed to monitor the U.S. border, experts said.

Trump: “People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in … and in many cases it’s contagious.”

We have found little evidence to support this periodic Trump claim. Recently, we rated a widespread claim that “2,267 caravan invaders have tuberculosis, HIV, chickenpox and other health issues” as Mostly False, because the number of individuals with such serious diseases was far lower.

The number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in close proximity to each other does provide opportunities for diseases to spread, especially when migrants come from poor and under-vaccinated locations. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Mexican counterpart have established disease-surveillance infrastructure on the border.

However, not many outbreaks are known to have occurred at the U.S. border, with the most common ones involving scabies, an easily treatable condition similar to lice.

Two dozen medical experts spent two years investigating the health impacts of migration. In the journal the Lancet, they concluded that the harsh journey to the U.S. could increase the risk of infectious disease, especially measles and food- and water-borne diseases.

“However,” the authors wrote, “despite the commonly held view of an association between migration and spread of infectious diseases, no systematic association has been shown with many of the infectious diseases of concern.”

Thomas Fekete, the section chief for infectious diseases at the Temple University School of Medicine, told PolitiFact that claims such as Trump’s involve more fear-mongering than sound science.

Assertions like Trump’s “are just ad hominem statements that have no epidemiologic basis,” he said. “One of the only potential contagious infections that would be potentially relevant is tuberculosis. But we currently have excellent tools to diagnose TB and to deal with it both in its latent stage and its active stage, so any concern about that is highly overblown.”\

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/dec/11/fact-checking-trump-pelosi-and-schumers-public-whi/

Video shows border wall construction underway in Texas

 

Video released this week shows construction underway in El Paso, Texas, for a portion of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The video published by the El Paso Times shows construction beginning to replace existing fencing with a wall in Chihuahuita, El Paso’s oldest neighborhood.

The wall, construction for which began last Saturday, is set to run from Chihuahuita and continue east for four miles.

The 18-foot-tall steel bollard wall will replace the chain link and metal fence as part of President Trump’s executive order last year authorizing construction of his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the administration said.

The construction project is expected to be completed in late April 2019 and is estimated to cost $22 million.

https://uw-media.elpasotimes.com/embed/video/1437649002?placement=snow-embed

“El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal aliens and drug smuggling,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release last Friday.

“In fiscal year 2017, El Paso Sector apprehended 25,193 illegal aliens, seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine,” the release continued. “Additionally during that fiscal year, there were 54 assaults against El Paso Sector agents.”

The agency said it contracted West Point Contractors of Tucson, Ariz., on June 1 to build the barrier.

Trump lashed out at Congress earlier this month over a lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump tweeted. “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

On Friday, Trump signed an $854 billion spending package that funds most parts of the federal government through fiscal 2019, pushing off a deadline for a partial shutdown and a showdown over funding for his proposed border wall until December.

 

Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos —

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Published on Nov 23, 2017
Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was one of the most recognizable and influential proponents of liberty and markets in the 20th century, and the leader of the Chicago School of economics. In this video from 1999, he gives a history lesson on the 20th century and talks about the effects of intellectuals, the great depression and the 70s inflation and how they had an effect on government growth. Complete Video quoted under creative common licence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqKA…

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Brandon Turner and Dave Rubin Talk Political Philosophy (Full Interview)

Marxism, Socialism, and Bernie Sanders (Brandon Turner Pt. 2)

Classical Liberals vs Libertarians, and Donald Trump’s Political Philosophy (Brandon Turner Pt. 3)

The Constitution, Classical Liberalism, and Libertarianism (Randy Barnett Interview)

Has Trump Crushed the Conservative Movement? (Randy Barnett Interview)

George Carlin’s Advice on Dealing with the 2016 Election

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

The Worst of Bernie Sanders

Why “Democratic” Socialism Doesn’t Work

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1186, December 11, 2018, Part 1 of 2 Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding Border Security and The Wall Funding — No Border Security and Wall Funding Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government — Make My Day — Videos — Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos — Story 3: Back To The Free Enterprise Competitive Market Capital System — Videos —

Posted on December 12, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, Senate, Social Security, Tax Policy, United States of America, Welfare Spending | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1186 December 11, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1180 December 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1179 November 27, 2018

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

Lying Politicians And Words

Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer get in fight over border wall: full video

Trump Outsmarts Pelosi, Reveals Unstoppable Plan To Build The Wall Without Democrat Support

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/11/18 | Breaking Fox News December 11, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/11/18 | Hannity Breaking News | Fox News December 11 2018

Tucker: Schumer hated moment when Trump berated him

The Ingraham Angle 12/11/18 | Laura Ingraham Fox News Today December 11, 2018

George Carlin Politicians

George Carlin on Elections

George Carlin – Balance the Budget

George Carlin – Question Everything

 

Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos —

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Published on Nov 23, 2017
Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was one of the most recognizable and influential proponents of liberty and markets in the 20th century, and the leader of the Chicago School of economics. In this video from 1999, he gives a history lesson on the 20th century and talks about the effects of intellectuals, the great depression and the 70s inflation and how they had an effect on government growth. Complete Video quoted under creative common licence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqKA…

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society

Milton Friedman: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Milton Friedman – Why Tax Reform Is Impossible

Milton Friedman – Whats wrong with welfare?

Responsibility to the Poor

Milton Friedman – Redistribution of Wealth

Milton Friedman Speaks: Is Capitalism Humane? (B1227) – Full Video

Milton Friedman on Slavery and Colonization

Milton Friedman Speaks: The Energy Crisis: A Humane Solution (B1233) – Full Video

Milton Friedman Speaks: Who Protects the Worker? (B1237) – Full Video

Milton Friedman Speaks: Equality and Freedom in the Free Enterprise System (B1238) – Full Video

In Depth with Milton Friedman w/ Q&A (2000)

John Stossel – Downsizing Government

John Stossel on Government, Free Enterprise, and Media

Freeloaders: The Wealthy

John Stossel -Freeloaders 2 of 2

Freeloaders: Panhandling

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Downsizing Government and Federal Bureaucracy

Downsizing the Federal Government

The Collapse of The American Dream Explained in Animation

Story 3: Back To The Free Enterprise Competitive Market Capital System — Videos

The Free Market: Understanding Milton Friedman

The Best of Milton Friedman

Free Market Revolution by Yaron Brook

George Carlin’s Advice on Dealing with the 2016 Election

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1185, December 10, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Stands Firm For Funding $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build The Wall or Shut Down The Government — Republicans Voters Stand Firmly Behind Trump Waiting To See 1700 Miles of New Wall– Videos — Story 2: Congress Will Never Impeach Nor Convict President Trump — Democrats Delusional — Please Try and Make Trump’s Day — Videos — Story 3: The Coming Investigation and Prosecution  of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy —  President Trump Will Demand Attorney General Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute The Criminal Plotters  Including Those in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and Obama White House –Hysteria and Panic Spreads Among The Plotters — American People Demand Justice — Videos — Story 4: The Fixer Former FBI Director James Comey Stonewalls Congress By Not Remembering Many Many Things — Selective Amnesia — Videos

Posted on December 11, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Military Spending, National Interest, Networking, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Spying, Subornation of perjury, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 

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See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Stands Firm For Funding $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build The Wall or Shut Down The Government — Republicans Voters Stand Firmly Behind Trump — Videos —

See the source image

Trump should ‘stick to his guns’ on the wall: Matt Schlapp

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

History of the U.S. – Mexico border

US Mexico Border Wall- America’s Wall (Compilation)

President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico takes shape

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

Life in the Shadow of US-Mexico border Wall – BBC News

Contractor explains what it will take to build a border wall

US Special Forces unable to scale border wall prototypes

On the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump supporters wait for the wall

United States Mexico Border Fence, 2017

Can Trump Supporters And Immigrants See Eye To Eye?

She thinks illegal immigrants are draining the system. What about the family next door?

9 Things That COULD Happen if Trump Builds “The Wall”!

US & the Wall: Deportees in Mexico unwanted by either side after decades in the US (RT Documentary)

Meet some of Donald Trump’s Latino supporters

Risk Takers – 109 – Border Patrol Agents | FULL LENGTH | MagellanTV

 

 

 

Trump-O-Meter

Build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

Build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it

Trump-o-Meter: Build a Wall on the Mexican Border
Autoplay: On | Off
PolitiFact is tracking the promises of President Donald Trump. See them all at PolitiFact.com.

Updates

Donald Trump secures about $1.6 billion for border barriers

President Donald Trump has secured $1.57 billion for barriers along the southwest border — advancing his promise to secure the border but falling significantly short of his desired $25 billion for a wall.

“We funded the initial down payment of $1.6 billion,” Trump said March 23 after signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law. “We are going to be starting work literally on Monday on not only on some new wall, not enough, but we are working on that very quickly. But also fixing existing walls and existing acceptable fences.”

The funds, however, won’t be used to construct any of the wall prototypes standing in California near the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump toured earlier this month.

The designated funds, the bill said, “shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, (Public Law 115–31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection told PolitiFact on March 13, 2018, that the wall prototypes were still being evaluated.

The bill Trump signed specifically called for:

• $251 million for approximately 14 miles of secondary fencing along the southwest border in the San Diego sector;

• $445 million for 25 miles of primary pedestrian levee fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;

• $196 million for primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;

• $445 million for replacement of existing primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border;

• $38 million for border barrier planning and design; and

• $196 million for acquisition and deployment of border security technology

Earlier in the day, Trump threatened to veto the bill because it did not fully fund his long-promised border wall.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted.

Trump described the $1.6 billion as “a short-term funding.” The funds will be used to secure the border through fencing. It’s still unclear which wall prototype will be used for the wall, which Mexico still says it’s not paying for, despite Trump’s promise.

For now, we continue to rate Trump’s promise to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it as In the Works.

Sources:

House.gov, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018

Twitter, @realdonaldtrump tweet, March 23, 2018

Donald Trump requests Congress $18 billion for border barriers

Donald Trump supporters chanted “build the wall” at his rallies, as he promised them an impenetrable, physical, tall and beautiful wall with Mexico. Not a fence.

But since the election, Trump has said parts of the wall will actually be see-through and that the barrier could also consist of fencing. His administration also seeks taxpayer money to cover the costs, though he pledged Mexico would pay for it.

Despite his post-election remarks and comments from his own staff, Trump claims that he plans to deliver what he promised.

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water…..” he tweeted.

Trump also maintained that Mexico would pay for it — but did not offer concrete details on how or a clear timeframe — as he asked Congress for $18 billion.

“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is ‘peanuts’ compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!” Trump tweeted.

(We’ve noted that the trade deficit has nothing to do with whether the Mexican government could afford to pay the wall.)

Trump gave varying figures for the cost of the wall during the campaign, from $8 billion to $12 billion.

But The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 5 that his administration outlined to a group of senators plans requesting nearly $18 billion to build new and replacement barriers along more than 700 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border.

The administration’s document called for a barrier, referred to as a “wall system,” but officials did not specify where it would be constructed, The Wall Street Journalreported. Trump’s administration asked for $9.3 billion over the first five years and $8.7 billion over the next five years, the newspaper reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not confirm to PolitiFact the details reported by The Wall Street Journal, and the White House did not respond to requests for information.

At an immigration meeting between Trump and a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Jan. 9, Democratic Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, of Hawaii, asked Trump if it was still his position that he wanted $18 billion for a wall or there would be no deal for young immigrants who came to the United States as children and are now at risk of deportation.

“Yeah. I can build it for less, by the way,” Trump responded.

The $18 billion for the border barrier is part of a $33 billion package, which also requests $5.7 billion for towers, surveillance equipment and other technology; $1 billion for road construction and maintenance; and $8.5 billion for border security personnel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A CBP spokesman told PolitiFact officials are still testing and evaluating wall prototypes built in California.

It’s unclear if lawmakers will approve Trump’s request for border barriers. A taxpayer-funded border wall would be a departure from Trump’s repeated promises of Mexico covering the costs.

Pending appropriations and construction, Trump’s border wall promise remains In the Works.

Sources:

Email interview, U.S. Customs and Border Protection press office, Jan. 10, 2018

The Wall Street Journal, Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall, Jan. 5, 2018

The Washington Post, Trump says he will build ‘impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful’ border, Aug. 31, 2016

PolitiFact, What happened at the immigration meeting between Trump, bipartisan lawmakers, Jan. 9, 2018

CQ, Transcript: President Donald Trump and Members of Congress Deliver Remarks in Meeting on Immigration, as Released by the White House, Jan. 9, 2018

Fox News, John Kelly suggests Trump wasn’t ‘fully informed’ when he promised wall across entire border, Jan. 17, 2017

PolitiFact, How Trump plans to build, and pay for, a wall along U.S.-Mexico border, July 26, 2016

Twitter, @realdonaldtrump tweet, tweet, Jan. 18, 2018

The Hill, Conway: Trump ‘discovered’ there doesn’t need to be ‘physical wall’ along entire border, Jan. 11, 2018

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1397/build-wall-and-make-mexico-pay-it/

Story 2: Congress Will Never Impeach Nor Convict President Trump — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Democrats Delusional — Please Try and Make Trump’s Day — Videos

 

Tucker Carlson Tonight Fox News 12/10/18 Breaking Fox News December 10, 2018

Story 3: The Coming Investigation and Prosecution  of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy —  President Trump Will Demand Attorney General Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute The Criminal Plotters  Including Those in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and Obama White House –Hysteria and Panic Spreads Among The Plotters — American People Demand Justice — Videos

 

Sean Hannity 12/10/18 – Hannity Fox News December 10, 2018

Story 4: The Fixer Former FBI Director James Comey Stonewalls Congress By Not Remembering Many Many Things — Selective Amnesia — Videos

The Ingraham Angle 12/10/18 – Ingraham Angle Fox News December 10, 2018

 

Comey transcript released: Ex-FBI boss claims not to know, remember key details in Russia case

Former FBI Director James Comey claimed “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” in response to dozens of questions concerning key details in the Russia probe, according to a lengthy transcript released Saturday of his closed-door interview with congressional lawmakers.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., published the 235-page transcript as a part of an agreement with Comey.

The former bureau boss frustrated GOP lawmakers during Friday’s session, in large part because his lawyers urged him not to answer numerous questions. Comey is expected to return later in the month for another round, though blasted Republicans on his way out for what he called a “desperate attempt to find anything that can be used to attack the institutions of justice investigating this president.”

READ THE COMEY TRANSCRIPT

But while Comey insisted in the interview that “we never investigated the Trump campaign for political purposes,” the transcript shows he claimed ignorance or memory lapses in response to questions concerning key details and events in the Russia investigation, which some GOP lawmakers continue to claim was improperly conducted.

The transcript reveals lawmakers’ frustration with his lack of specifics.

Asked if he recalled who drafted the FBI’s “initiation document” for the July 2016 Russia investigation, Comey said, “I do not.” He again claimed not to know when asked about the involvement in that initiation of Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump texts later got him removed from the special counsel’s probe.

When asked if the FBI had any evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server, Comey gave a lengthy answer referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as to why he couldn’t answer.

“Did we have evidence in July of (2016) that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server?” Comey asked rhetorically. “I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line.”

“I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line,”

— Former FBI Director James Comey

When pressed further by Gowdy about what “factual predicate” the bureau had to launch a counterintelligence investigation, Comey again claimed that answering that question would be a “slope” that would ask him to reveal what the FBI “did or didn’t know about Russia activity” as it related to the 2016 election.

“You can’t tell us, or you won’t tell us?” Gowdy asks.

“Probably a combination of both … To the extent I recall facts developed during our investigation of Russian interference and the potential connection of Americans, I think that’s a question that the FBI doesn’t want me answering. So it’s both a can’t and a won’t,” Comey replied.

The former FBI director went on to say that anything related to Mueller’s investigation, to his understanding, would be “off limits” as it is an ongoing investigation.

Comey was also fuzzy on the eventual Democratic funding of the research that went into the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

Asked when he learned that the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, was hired by law firm Perkins Coie – and when he learned that law firm was hired by the Democratic National Committee – Comey said “I never learned that” while director.

Comey also claimed not to know key details surrounding the involvement of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the dossier.

Asked when Steele was “terminated” as an FBI source, Comey said he didn’t know.

Asked about Steele’s subsequent contact with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, Comey said, “I don’t know anything about that.”

The Comey appearance comes as Republicans try to probe deeper into the FBI’s handling of both the Russia case and Hillary Clinton email investigation, before Democrats take control of the House in January and likely shut down these lines of inquiry.

Comey was asked numerous questions as well about the handling of the Clinton case, acknowledging at times that certain aspects of it were “unusual” while defending other actions.

Comey initially challenged the subpoena to appear before the committees and instead pressed for a public hearing out of concern his comments would be selectively leaked and taken out of context. He eventually agreed to appear, with an arrangement for the transcript to be made public.

Fox News’ Bill Mears, Jake Gibson, and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/comey-transcript-released-ex-fbi-boss-claims-not-to-know-remember-key-details-in-russia-case

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The Pronk Pops Show 1184, December 7, 2018, Story 1: Special Counsel Mueller’s Prosecutors Getting Desperate For Cooperative Convicted Criminals Composing (Lying About Trump) — Conspiracy to Suborn Perjury For No Jail Time For Cooperative Convicted Criminals — Absolutely No Evidence Trump “Colluded” With Russian Government — Waste of $40 Million of Taxpayers Money —  Videos — Story 2: Department of Justice/FBI Attorney Blocked Comey From Answering Congressional Questions About FBI Clinton E-Mail Investigation and FISA Warrant Application and Renewals Thereby Stonewalling Congress — Videos — Story 3: Chief of Staff John Kelly Expected To Resign and Replaced by Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff   — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Nominates Heather Nauert as United States Ambassador to United Nations — Videos — Story 5: Federal Bureau of Investigation Should Reopen Investigation of Clinton Foundation Based on Whistle-Blower Evidence — Videos

Posted on December 10, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribes, Cartoons, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, College, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Former President Barack Obama, Freud, Government Dependency, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Spying on American People, Subornation of perjury, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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mueller-fishing-tina-toon.jpg (2040×1553)See the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: Special Counsel Mueller’s Prosecutors Getting Desperate For Cooperative Convicted Criminals Composing (Lying About Trump) — Conspiracy to Suborn Perjury For No Jail Time For Cooperative Convicted Criminals — Absolutely No Evidence Trump “Colluded” With Russian Government — Waste of $40 Million of Taxpayers Money  —  Videos —

See the source imageImage result for robert mueller, donald j. Trump and michael cohenSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

752. SUBORNATION OF PERJURY

To establish a case of subornation of perjury, a prosecutor must demonstrate that perjury was committed; that the defendant procured the perjury corruptly, knowing, believing or having reason to believe it to be false testimony; and that the defendant knew, believed or had reason to believe that the perjurer had knowledge of the falsity of his or her testimony.

To secure a conviction for subornation of perjury, the perjury sought must actually have been committed. United States v. Hairston, 46 F.3d 361, 376 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 124 (1995). The underlying perjury must be proved under the standards required by the applicable perjury statute. Thus, if section 1621 applies to the underlying perjury, the two witness rule must be met, but not if section 1623 applies to the underlying perjury. United States v. Gross, 511 F.2d 910, 915 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 924 (1975). Physical coercion need not be proven in prosecutions for subornation of perjury. United States v. Heater, 63 F.3d 311, 320 (4th Cir. 1995), cert. denied, 116 S.Ct. 796 (1996). Conspiracy to suborn perjury may be prosecuted irrespective of whether perjury has been committed. The two witness rule does not apply in conspiracy prosecutions. Solicitation of perjured testimony also may be prosecuted as obstruction of justice irrespective of whether the perjured testimony took place. United States v. Silverman, 745 F.2d 1386, 1395 (11th Cir. 1984).

Because the crime of subornation of perjury is distinct from that of perjury, the suborner and perjurer are not accomplices; however, a person who causes a false document to be introduced through an innocent witness can be held liable as a principal under 18 U.S.C. § 2(b). United States v. Walser, 3 F.3d 380, 388 (11th Cir. 1993).

The attorney’s ethical obligations when confronted by a client who wishes to testify falsely are discussed at length in Nix v. Whiteside, 475 U.S. 157 (1986). See also Rules 1-102, 4-101 and 7-109 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, Canons 1, 4, and 7, and Ethical Consideration 7-26.

[cited in JM 9-69.200]

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1752-subornation-perjury

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Hannity: Mueller memos have nothing on Trump

Sean Hannity 12/7/18 [FULL] | Breaking Fox

News December 7, 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight [12AM] 12/7/18 Breaking News Today December 7, 2018

Michael Cohen sentencing memo formally accuses Donald Trump of directing criminal conspiracy to a…

‘Substantial’ prison term recommended for Michael Cohen

Watch Live: Prosecutors file sentencing memo for Michael Cohen

Ex-CIA official on Mueller: Size 16 shoe is about to drop

Special counsel to reveal new details on Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort

Robert Muller suggest no jail time for Michael Flynn

Nunes reacts to new evidence of FISA abuse in FBI emails

Prosecutors demand Michael Cohen spend four to five YEARS in prison for trying to ‘influence the election from the shadows’ at the ‘direction’ of Trump – who insists report ‘totally clears’ him

  • President’s former lawyer should get 51-63 months, according to prosecutors, for a range of crimes including tax evasion and campaign finance violations
  • Sentencing memo from New York prosecutor says Michael Cohen coordinated with the president to pay off two women so their stories of affairs were buried
  • Says Cohen tried to ‘influence the election from the shadows’ and claims he didn’t help Special Counsel Robert Mueller enough to justify leniency
  • Mueller, though, spells out four ways Cohen was helpful and says a judge should sentence him to concurrent prison terms in two cases

A federal prosecutor told a judge on Friday that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in prison for a range of federal crimes including tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws.

He tried to ‘influence the election from the shadows,’ according to Robert Khuzami, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, by arranging payoffs to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in order to avoid October-surprise embarrassments for then-candidate Donald Trump.

Khuzami wrote that Trump was directly involved in the efforts. The president tweeted an hour after the document was filed in New York. that it ‘[t]otally clears the President. Thank you!’

Cohen has helped Special Counsel Robert Mueller with ‘information that assisted … in ongoing matters,’ according to Khuzami’s sentencing recommendation memo.

But the level of cooperation, he wrote, was too small to warrant more than token leniency. And Cohen, he revealed, made an ‘affirmative decision not to become’ a cooperating witness.

A separate memo from Mueller covering a different case in Washington, D.C. related to an aborted attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow spells out a greater level of assistance, saying it is sufficient to warrant sentences that run concurrently.

The New York sentencing recommendation tells a story of Cohen working ‘in coordination with and at the direction of’ Donald Trump – by his own admission – to arrange for the National Enquirer to buy the rights to the two women’s stories and ‘kill’ them, preventing media exposure of their claims.

David Pecker, a longtime Trump friend who was CEO of the National Enquirer’s parent company, got an immunity deal from Mueller to divulge his part in the plot.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in federal prison, according to a prosecutor's memo

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in federal prison, according to a prosecutor’s memo

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York wrote that Cohen worked at the direction of President Donald Trump in 2016 to arrange payments to two women for the purpose of keeping their sexual affair allegations from becoming public before the election

Trump tweeted barely an hour after prosecutors filed their court statement about Cohen that it 'totally clears' him

Trump tweeted barely an hour after prosecutors filed their court statement about Cohen that it ‘totally clears’ him

Special Counsel Robery Mueller spelled out in a separate memo four ways in which Cohen has been helpful to his Russia probe

Cohen ‘coordinated his actions with one or more members of the campaign,’ according to the memo, ‘including through meetings and phone calls, about the fact, nature, and timing of the payments.’

And as a result, ‘neither woman spoke to the press prior to the election.’

The president said this week in a tweet that Cohen should ‘serve a full and complete sentence.’

In Mueller’s case, filed just last month, the special counsel alleges that Cohen has admitted lying about his efforts and timing on the Trump Tower Moscow plan, and alleges that he briefed Trump about the project’s status in 2016.

Cohen told investigators that the entire projet was scrapped before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary inJanuary 2016. In fact, however, negotiations related to the proposal were going on through the time of the July Republican National Convention.

Mueller charged Cohen with a felony for lying to his investigators, but said he was truthful in six other sessions where government lawyers plied him with questions.

Mueller’s seven-page memorandum says the former Trump fixer ‘provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts.’

As one example, he cited Cohen’s willingness to discuss a November 2015 discussion with ‘a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation.’ That person, he wrote, offered to help create ‘synergy’ with Trump ‘on a government level.’

At the time, Trump was slicing his way through the Republican primary field.

Cohen told Mueller’s team that his Russian contact proposed arranging a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying ‘that such a meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well”.’

The Michael Cohen sentencing memorandum from a federal prosecutor in New York recomments 51 to 63 months in prison

The Michael Cohen sentencing memorandum from a federal prosecutor in New York recomments 51 to 63 months in prison

Felix Sater (right) is pictured with Donald Trump and Soviet-born Turkish real estate developer Tevfik Arif at the Trump Soho launch party in 2007; Sater was allegdely Michael Cohen's link to the Kremlin

That, he wrote, was a reference to the Moscow Trump Tower proposal. Cohen never followed up, and the project was never built.

Other testimony has revealed that Trump campaign advisers discussed a separate meeting between Trump and Putin in 2016, and that Cohen spoke to a Kremlin official about a possible Trump-Putin meeting after the Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

There have been suggestions over the years that the two men met in Moscow during the Trump-run Miss Universe pageant in 2013, but that claim has not been substantiated.

The Russian contact who offered to be Cohen’s go-between in late 2016 is believed to be Felix Sater, a former mobster who pleaded guilty in 1998 to his involvement in a Russian Mafia-led $40 million stock fraud scheme.

Mueller also wrote that Cohen helped his office with information about ‘discrete Russia-related matters’ that he obtained ‘by virtue of his regular contact with [Trump Organization] executives during the campaign.’

And Cohen provided ‘relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period.’

Khuzami’s much longer 40-page sentencing memo in the New York case, however, downplays the level of help Cohen may have provided.

‘Cohen’s description of those efforts is overstated in some respects and incomplete in others,’ Khuzami wrote. ‘To be clear: Cohen does not have a cooperation agreement.’

He’s lying’ Trump bashes Michael Cohen over guilty plea
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal (left) and porn actress Stormy Daniels (right) both claimed to have slept with Donald Trump in the past, but the government says Cohen coordinated with Trump to make sure the women were paid for their silence – in effect a pair of massive campaign contributions designed to save the election for Trump

Condemning Cohen’s end-around attempt to influence the 2016 election, Khuzami wrote that ‘[w]hile many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows.’

‘He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1,’ he added, referring to President Trump.

‘Cohen, an attorney and businessman, committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years. He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends,’ he wrote.

‘Now he seeks extraordinary leniency – a sentence of no jail time – based principally on his rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes; his claims to a sympathetic personal history; and his provision of certain information to law enforcement.

‘But the crimes committed by Cohen were more serious than his submission allows and were marked by a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life (and was evidently hidden from the friends and family members who wrote on his behalf).’

By BENJAMIN WEISER, MAGGIE HABERMAN and MARK MAZZETTI
a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: Michael Cohen, who was President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer for more than a decade, leaving federal court in Manhattan last week after a guilty plea.© Jefferson Siegel for The New York Times Michael Cohen, who was President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer for more than a decade, leaving federal court in Manhattan last week after a guilty plea.

Federal prosecutors on Friday mounted a scathing attack on Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, rejecting his request to avoid a prison term and saying that he had “repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.”

The prosecutors said Mr. Cohen deserved a “substantial” prison term that would most likely amount to roughly four years.

Mr. Cohen, 52, is to be sentenced in Manhattan next week for two separate guilty pleas: one for campaign finance violations and financial crimes charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan, and the other for lying to Congress in the Russia inquiry, filed by the Office of the Special Counsel in Washington.

Prosecutors in Manhattan said the crimes Mr. Cohen had committed marked “a pattern of deception that permeated his professional life,” and though he was seeking a sentence of no jail time for providing assistance to the government, he did not deserve much leniency.

In a lengthy memo to the judge, William H. Pauley III, prosecutors wrote that Mr. Cohen was motivated by “personal greed” and had a “rose-colored view of the seriousness of the crimes.”

[Read the federal prosecutor’s memo ahead of Michael Cohen’s sentencing in Manhattan.]

They once again emphasized that Mr. Cohen had implicated the president in his guilty plea, writing that Mr. Cohen “played a central role” in a scheme to purchase the silence of two women who claimed to have affairs with Mr. Trump, so they would not speak publicly during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1,” the prosecutors wrote. “Individual-1” is how Mr. Trump is referred to in the document.

Mr. Cohen’s actions “struck a blow to one of the core goals of the federal campaign finance laws: transparency,” the prosecutors wrote, adding that he “sought to influence the election from the shadows.”

At the same time, the special counsel’s office released its own sentencing recommendation to the judge for Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea for misleading Congress.

The special counsel seemed to offer a more positive view of Mr. Cohen’s cooperation with the Russia investigation, saying he “has gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

[Read the Office of the Special Counsel’s memo.]

The special counsel’s memo revealed a new detail about Russian efforts to influence the Trump campaign. It said Mr. Cohen had told prosecutors about a meeting that appeared to be the earliest-known contact between a Russian and a campaign adviser in the months after Mr. Trump announced his bid for the presidency.

In November 2015, as discussions about a possible Trump Tower Moscow project were gaining momentum, Mr. Cohen told prosecutors he was approached by a Russian claiming to be a “‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation,” who offered “synergy on a government level” with the Trump campaign.

The individual, who was not named, pushed for a meeting between Mr. Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Such a meeting, he said, could have a “‘phenomenal’ impact ‘not only in political but in a business dimension as well.’”

Mr. Cohen told the special counsel’s team that he never followed up on the invitation.

Mr. Cohen has emerged as one of the biggest threats to Mr. Trump’s presidency, providing the special counsel’s office and prosecutors in Manhattan with material in dozens of hours of interviews. Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential ties to the Trump campaign.

On Tuesday, Mr. Mueller asked a judge in Washington to impose little or no prison time on Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser, saying that he had provided substantial assistance to his office’s Russia investigation. Mr. Flynn faces up to six months in prison under federal guidelines after pleading guilty to one count of lying to the F.B.I.

In the Manhattan plea in August, Mr. Cohen implicated Mr. Trump in hush-money payments to two women — Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model — to conceal affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.

On Nov. 29, Mr. Cohen entered his second plea, revealing in court that Mr. Trump had been more involved in discussions over a potential deal to build a tower in Moscow than was previously known. He also said those discussions had continued until June 2016, well after Mr. Trump had clinched the Republican nomination and only five months before the election.

Mr. Trump’s interest in building a Trump Tower Moscow led Mr. Cohen to make numerous inquiries with Russian officials and other Kremlin-linked figures about the feasibility of the project, raising the possibility that the negotiations might have given the Russians leverage over Mr. Trump when he was running for president.

In Mr. Cohen’s own sentencing memo, his lawyers disclosed that their client had consulted with White House staff members and Mr. Trump’s “legal counsel” — without identifying the lawyer — as he prepared for his false congressional testimony.

Mr. Cohen said in court that he lied “out of loyalty” to Mr. Trump and to be consistent with his “political messaging.”

Mr. Cohen’s cases have been consolidated before Judge Pauley in Manhattan.

Mr. Cohen’s lawyers, Guy Petrillo and Amy Lester, have asked Judge Pauley to allow Mr. Cohen to avoid a prison sentence, citing his cooperation with Mr. Mueller even though he never signed a formal cooperation agreement.

They also portrayed him as a remorseful man whose life had been shattered by his relationship with Mr. Trump. They said Mr. Cohen had lost friends and professional relationships and wanted to confess his crimes, serve any sentence imposed and begin his life anew.

Under federal guidelines, Mr. Cohen faces about four to five years in the Manhattan case and up to six months in Mr. Mueller’s case. But the guidelines are not binding, and Judge Pauley will decide the final sentence.

Follow Benjamin Weiser and Maggie Haberman on Twitter: @benweisernyt and @maggieNYT.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/michael-cohen-trump%E2%80%99s-ex-fixer-should-get-prison-term-of-about-4-years-prosecutors-say/ar-BBQEjEQ

Mueller’s End Game Is Starting to Come Into View

by Nancy LeTourneau

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

According to Michael Isikoff, Donald Trump and his enablers might finally be getting their wish, because the whole Mueller probe could be coming to an end very soon.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are “tying up loose ends” in their investigation, providing the clearest clues yet that the long-running probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election may be coming to its climax, potentially in the next few weeks, according to multiple sources close to the matter.

The new information about the state of Mueller’s investigation comes during a pivotal week when the special counsel’s prosecutors are planning to file memos about three of their most high profile defendants — former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

A Flynn sentencing memo is due Tuesday, and memos about Manafort and Cohen are slated for Friday. All three documents are expected to yield significant new details on what cooperation the three of them provided to the Russia investigation.

Before getting to the important news on what all that means, let’s put to rest the idea that this has been a “long-running probe.” Keep in mind that Mueller has been investigating one of the most significant criminal allegations in this country’s history: whether or not an adversarial foreign government attempted to interfere in a presidential election, as well as a possible conspiracy with one of the candidates who went on to be president. With that in mind, the folks at FiveThirtyEight developed a helpful chart to compare both the timing and results of this probe with those of previous administrations.

If Mueller is, indeed, “tying up loose ends,” this investigation will not only be the most consequential, but the shortest in recent history.

Besides reporting that the Mueller investigation might be coming to a conclusion soon, Isikoff notes that the special counsel will be releasing reports for the sentencing hearings of Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort this week. All three have pleaded guilty to crimes in exchange for their cooperation and will soon be sentenced.

However, the special counsel has accused Manafort of violating his agreement by lying to investigators. As part of their status report, prosecutors wrote that “The government will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein.” That is the document Mueller will be filing on Friday.

There was some speculation about whether or not that document would be made public. Isikoff broke the news:

Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel, confirmed to Yahoo News on Monday that the Manafort memo “will be public,” although he added there could be some portions that are redacted or filed as a sealed addendum.

To casual observers, Robert Mueller has run a tight ship when it comes to leaks and played his cards pretty close to his vest. But there’s been an ongoing discussion among lawyers that when he has produced documents in this case, they have been what is often referred to as “speaking indictments.”

Those waiting for Mueller to issue some massive, 9/11 Commission–style report at the end of the investigation often overlook the sheer volume of detailed information Mueller has pushed into public view already. Nearly every court document he has filed has been what lawyers call a “speaking indictment,” going into deeper detail and at greater length than is strictly needed to make the case for the criminal behavior charged.

The most specific example of that is the indictment filed against the Russians.

It is unclear precisely why Mueller is using speaking indictments, but people familiar with their use suspect he wants to use them to tell the public more about what his investigation believes happened in the 2016 election.

It could also be a way for Mueller to fire warning shots at people he might want to target.

The 29-page document charging a dozen Russian intelligence officers in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee that was unveiled by the special counsel last month fits the description of a speaking indictment.

These indictments contain a high level of detail and go well beyond the constitutional requirements of laying out the essential facts of the offense charged. It also gives the defendant enough notice and specificity to mount a defense.

If Mueller uses the same strategy in the sentencing reports, this could be the way he releases many of his findings to the public without giving Trump, his lawyers or Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker the opportunity to stop him. That was the conclusion many people reached from his most recent status report on Manafort.

It is worth keeping in mind that Mueller and his team can read the news and learned about the strategy Trump and his lawyers had adopted along with the rest of us.

President Donald Trump and his lawyers have made a strategic calculation that their fight against special counsel Robert Mueller is more political than it is legal.

They’re banking that the lead Russia investigator will follow long-standing Justice Department practice that a sitting president can’t be indicted, and that the only real threat to Trump’s survival is impeachment.

So long as that theory holds, Trump’s plan is to forcefully challenge Mueller in the arena he knows best — not the courtroom but the media, with a public campaign aimed at the special counsel’s credibility, especially among Republican voters and GOP members of Congress.

If Mueller issues “speaking indictments” in his sentencing reports on three of the most influential people in Trump’s campaign—Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort—he will demonstrate that he knows how to play that game as well. Both the obstruction of justice and conspiracy case will be put out to the public and, now that Democrats control the House, will be followed up with investigations, possibly leading to impeachment.

So hold on to your hats, folks. This could be the beginning of the end game.

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2018/12/04/muellers-end-game-is-starting-to-come-into-view/

Story 2: Department of Justice/FBI Attorney Blocked Comey From Answering Congressional Questions About FBI Clinton E-Mail Investigation and FISA Warrant Applicationand Renewal Thereby Stonewalling Congress — Videos —

Tom Fitton reacts to Comey’s closed-door testimony

Trey Gowdy on his plans going into the Comey hearing

Issa: FBI attorney blocked Comey from answering questions

BREAKING: James Comey Says Mueller Investigation Is Going Extremely Well

Gaetz shares what he learned from the Comey hearing

Comey Testifies Before Congress, Has Message For Trump

 

Ex-FBI director Comey grilled again in US Congress

Former FBI director James Comey was interviewed in a closed-door session by US lawmakers, amid mounting intrigue over the investigation into possible contacts between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia

Former FBI director James Comey was interviewed in a closed-door session by US lawmakers, amid mounting intrigue over the investigation into possible contacts between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia

Former FBI director James Comey testified before US lawmakers for the first time in over a year Friday, with much of the discussions centering on Hillary Clinton’s email use.

The closed-door grilling came amid mounting intrigue over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible contacts between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Moscow.

Comey had pleaded for a public hearing after he was subpoenaed by the outgoing Congress in November, but House Republicans including some of Trump’s allies insisted on a private session before the judiciary and oversight committees.

Comey was questioned as part of a Republican-led House inquiry into possible Russian interference, and Clinton, who lost to Trump in 2016, featured prominently.

“Hillary Clinton’s emails, for heaven’s sake,” Comey said after testifying for six hours. “I’m not sure we need to do this at all.”

Clinton had set up a private email server before becoming secretary of state in 2009.

Republicans seized on the revelation years later, saying she broke department protocol by using a private email account while a government official in order to hide sensitive correspondence.

The issue became a flashpoint of the 2016 race.

Republicans exited Friday’s session complaining that Comey lawyers shut down certain avenues of questioning.

Comey disputed that but gave a rationale for why he would not publicly discuss some elements.

“The FBI, for understandable reasons, doesn’t want me talking about the details of the investigation that is still ongoing, and began when I was FBI director,” he said.

In May 2017 Trump abruptly sacked Comey, who was the senior official leading a criminal investigation into possible collusion with Moscow.

Three months earlier the president met privately with Comey and urged him to end the investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn, a move that many Democrats interpreted as obstruction of justice.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s probe as a “witch hunt,” and on Friday unleashed a Twitter tirade against Mueller, Comey and other current and former officials tied to the Russia probe.

“Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends, just one of many Mueller Conflicts of Interest,” Trump tweeted.

Comey said a testimony transcript will be published 24 hours after his interview. Republicans want him to return for further testimony in two weeks, a final effort to advance their probe.

House control shifts to Democrats in January, and incoming Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler said he would shut down the probe into FBI behavior because it was merely an effort to “cast aspersion on the real investigation, which is Mueller.

Story 3: Chief of Staff John Kelly Expected To Resign and Replaced by Nick Ayers, Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff — Videos

See the source imageSee the source image

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is ‘expected’ to resign as soon as TODAY after Trump completely stopped speaking to him – and Pence chief of staff will replace him

  • Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly is ‘expected’ to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday
  • His presumed replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence
  • Ayers is a 36-year-old political wunderkind; Kelly is a 68-year-old decorated vet
  • Trump and Kelly are no longer on speaking terms
  • President has been telling aides to reach out to Ayers if they need things  
  • Friday White House senior staff dinner was to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials, but news leaked first to CNN

White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days.

Sources told DailyMail.com that Kelly, a decorated Marine Corps general brought in last year, is ‘expected’ to leave the White House before the end of the year, and the announcement could come as soon as Friday.

His expected replacement is Nick Ayers, the young chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence.

A source familiar with the situation told DailyMail.com on Friday morning that a dinner at the White House in the evening for senior staff was supposed to serve as an appreciation event for Kelly and other departing senior officials.

‘They were trying to give John the out he deserved for his service to the country. That was the plan,’ the person said.
White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days
White House insiders expect Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign in the coming days
The president is no longer on speaking terms with Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general

The president is no longer on speaking terms with Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general

Now, that timeline has likely been expedited —Trump could make the announcement as soon as Friday.

The news comes as CNN reported that Kelly is no longer on speaking terms with President Donald Trump.

The decorated veteran participated in a handful of Oval Office meetings on Thursday, a source told DailyMail.com on Friday, adding that he and Trump didn’t interact before or afterward.

Trump and Kelly ‘know that they are 17 months into what has been a very tumultuous relationship. It is no longer seen as sustainable by either party,’ CNN reported Friday morning.

‘Their relationship has deteriorated so much in the last couple weeks, where John Kelly’s job security has essentially been seen as permanently in danger.’

The Daily Caller, a favored Trump news outlet, reported Friday that an unnamed source had said the idea of an impending Kelly resignation was ‘absolutely untrue,’ and that the chief of staff had merely taken a day off.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Ayers is the president's choice to succeed him

The website’s editorial director, Vince Coglianese, is the son of U.S. Marine Corps Major General Vincent A. Coglianese, who is in charge of Marine Corps Installations Command.

Another source told DailyMail.com that the dinner on Friday night would be hosted in the White House residence by the president and first lady. The person said that it is a holiday party for staff, just like the one the first couple hosted last Christmas.

It was not described on the president’s daily guidance as a holiday party. The closed-press event was listed as a ‘dinner’ with senior White House staff.

Axios also reported Friday what administration insiders have said for weeks: Ayers will likely take over for Kelly whenever he leaves.

A source confirmed to DailyMail.com that Ayers is the president’s choice to succeed him.

The president has been telling people for the past several days to call Ayers if they have a request. The directive has spread so far that senior aides are no longer regarding Ayers’ ascension as a secret, an insider said on Friday morning.

‘John wanted to stay, but he has a broken relationship with the president, so bad you just can’t keep him,’ the person told DailyMail.com of the president’s claims this fall that Kelly was staying.

Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed

Trump announced during a senior staff meeting in July that he had asked Kelly to stay through the 2020 election, and that he agreed.

The two men discussed a commitment at the time for Kelly to agree to run the West Wing until 2024 if Trump were to win a second term.

Since then Trump has backtracked, arguing at a post-election news conference that people leave and it can’t be helped.

‘As we make changes, we’ll sit down and talk to you about it. I mean, there’s no great secret. A lot of administrations make changes after midterms. I will say that, for the most part, I’m very, very happy with this Cabinet. We’re doing a great job,’ the president said.

Pressed to confirm that Kelly is staying, Trump said, ‘People leave. I haven’t heard about John Kelly. But, no, people — people leave. They come in, they’re here. It’s a very exhausting job.’

He went further in a ‘Fox News Sunday’ interview later in the month, in which he admitted: ‘There are certain things that I don’t like that he does.’

‘There are a couple of things where it’s just not his strength. It’s not his fault. It’s not his strength,’ he asserted.

Trump said at ‘some point’ the retired marine general ‘is going to want to move on.’ He maintained that it is possible that Kelly would stay through 2020 but backed off the initial pledge that

Kelly jokes about White House move: ‘God is punishing me’

He had insisted in October, as the White House attempted to project confidence in advance of the mid-terms, that he was not going to ditch Kelly for Ayers or other rumored candidates for the job.

Trump brought a New York Magazine reporter into the Oval Office for a parade of denials that ended with Kelly and Ayers giving each other a bear hug.

Since the election, the relationship between Trump and Kelly has apparently soured.

In a hint that Kelly was on his way out, deputy chief of staff Zachary Fuentes, started putting out feelers for a new job, Politico reported this week, circulating his resume to the Department of Defense and other Cabinet agencies.

Kelly has clashed with top Trump advisers inside and outside the White House, getting into West Wing screaming matches with the national security adviser and others.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6471487/White-House-Chief-Staff-John-Kelly-expected-RESIGN-soon-Trump-stopped-speaking-him.html

Story 4: President Trump Nominates Heather Nauert as United States Ambassador to United Nations — Videos

Trump confirms he’s nominated Bill Barr for AG, Heather Nauert U.N. Ambassador

Trump names William Barr as Attorney General, Heather Nauert as UN ambassador

[youtub3e=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqCwAmZyXJo]

Donald Trump Nominates State Dept. Spokesperson Heather Nauert As UN Ambassador | NBC Nightly News

Trump to pick Heather Nauert as next UN ambassador

Heather Nauert reportedly offered UN Ambassador job

Trump picks ‘very smart, very quick’ State Department spokeswoman and former Fox anchor Heather Nauert to replace Haley as UN ambassador – but the position will be downgraded

  • President Trump named State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the next ambassador to the United Nations 
  • Nikki Haley has held the position since the beginning of the Trump administration and will finish out the year
  • Nauert, whose nomination will require Senate confirmation, is a former Fox News Channel correspondent and anchor
  • She was shocked when she learned she would go from press flack to diplomat and recommended a colleague for the job instead before accepting
  • Position was Cabinet-level for Haley but will be downgraded for Nauert 

President Donald Trump named State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert as the ambassador to the United Nations on Friday.

He told reporters at the White House that she is ‘very talented, very smart, very quick. And I think she’s going to be respected by all.’

The president said Nauert is ‘somebody that we know very well’ and ‘has done a great job’ as the State Department’s press secretary.

Nikki Haley has held the UN post since the beginning of Trump’s administration and said she would stay in the job through the end of the year.

Nauert will not enjoy nearly as much power as Haley, however, with a source confirming that the position is being downgraded. It will no longer be a Cabinet-level post.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert (left), pictured on October 18 with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be a top diplomat in 2019 as she becomes the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert (left), pictured on October 18 with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, will be a top diplomat in 2019 as she becomes the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Nauert (left) was a Fox News reporter and anchor before entering the Trump administration

Nauert (left) was a Fox News reporter and anchor before entering the Trump administration

Trump told reporters on Friday that he had made up his mind about the ''very talented, very smart, very quick' Nauert

Nauert must win the approval of the U.S. Senate, even so. The post is still an ambassadorship, and that requires Senate confirmation.

Republicans will hold a majority of seats in the upper chamber – 53 – after January all but assuring that Nauert will win the appointment.

She said early Friday in a tweet that she is ‘humbled’ by the promotion to UN ambassador.

‘Thank you, Mr. President, for your confidence in me. I am humbled by your intent to nominate me as USUN Ambassador and, if confirmed, look forward to continuing the outstanding job Amb. Haley has done representing your Administration and the American people,’ she said in her statement.

Nauert is a former Fox News Channel correspondent and anchor who has no prior political or policy-making experience.

Before becoming the front-runner for the United Nations post, she had been a rumored contender for White House press secretary.

She became the State Department spokeswoman in April 2017, and earlier this year was named the acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6471935/Trump-picks-smart-quick-Heather-Nauert-replace-Nikki-Haley-ambassador.html

 

Story 5: Federal Bureau of Investigation Should Reopen Investigation of Clinton Foundation Based on Whistle-Blower Evidence — Videos

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/7/18 [FULL] | Breaking Fox News December 7, 2018

Report: FBI raids home of Clinton Foundation whistleblower

Did John Huber ignore complaints from Clinton whistleblowers?

 

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Feds received whistleblower evidence in 2017 alleging Clinton Foundation wrongdoing

When a House subcommittee chairman bangs his gavel next week to convene an unprecedented investigative hearing into the Clinton Foundation, two questions will linger as preeminent: Is the Clinton family charity really the international do-gooder that earned a perfect four-star rating from Charity Navigator, or does it suffer from corruption and illegalities as conservatives allege? And if it is the latter, how much evidence of wrongdoing does the government possess?

The answer to the first question is that the foundation and its projects reported collecting about $2.5 billion to help global crises, from AIDS to earthquakes, even as its own auditors, lawyers and employees privately warned of problems over the years.

The answer to the second question may reside in 6,000 pages of evidence attached to a whistleblower submission filed secretly more than a year ago with the IRS and FBI.

That evidence was assembled by a private firm called MDA Analytics LLC, run by accomplished ex-federal criminal investigators, who alleged the Clinton Foundation engaged in illegal activities and may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties.

In addition to the IRS, the firm’s partners have had contact with prosecutors in the main Justice Department in Washington and FBI agents in Little Rock, Ark. And last week, a federal prosecutor suddenly asked for documents from their private investigation.

The 48-page submission, dated Aug. 11, 2017, supports its claims with 95 exhibits, including internal legal reviews that the foundation conducted on itself in 2008 and 2011.

Those reviews flagged serious concerns about legal compliance, improper commingling of personal and charity business and “quid pro quo” promises made to donors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State.

The submission also cites an interview its investigators conducted with Andrew Kessel that quotes the foundation’s longtime chief financial officer as saying he was unable to stop former President Clinton from “commingling” personal business and charitable activities inside the foundation and that he “knows where all the bodies are buried.”

“There is probable cause that the Clinton Foundation has run afoul of IRS rules regarding tax-exempt charitable organizations and has acted inconsistently with its stated purpose,” MDA Analytics alleged in its submission. “The Foundation should be investigated for all of the above-mentioned improprieties. The tax rules, codes, statutes and the rule of law should and must be applied in this case.”

Current and former Clinton Foundation sources confirm that CFO Kessel met with MDA investigators in late 2016 and subsequently was interviewed by FBI agents in 2017. But they insist he did not implicate former President Clinton or the foundation in any illegality.

They also acknowledge that the internal reviews cited in the submission were authentic and did in fact flag issues that the foundation has tried to address, including major governance changes made public in 2013.

“The Clinton Foundation has been one of the most heavily scrutinized charitable organizations in the world, and subjected to outrageous, politically motivated allegations that have been proven false time and time again,” the foundation said in a statement. “Critics continue to resurrect these false claims to try to damage the reputation of the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation. The fact is, the Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world, while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process.”

MDA’s partners include experts whose work ranged from compliance by private Wall Street firms to Drug Enforcement Administration money-laundering investigations, terrorism-financing probes and U.S. attorney prosecutions. They specifically created the firm to investigate 501c3 charities. The firm wasn’t hired by clients but, rather, conducted its research on the Clinton Foundation at its own expense with the hope that its whistleblower submission might result in a government reward if the IRS substantiated wrongdoing and recovered tax dollars.

The IRS sent multiple letters in 2017 and 2018 to MDA Analytics, confirming it had received the submission and it was “still open and under active investigation.” But, shortly before last month’s election, the agency sent a preliminary denial letter indicating it did not pursue the allegations for reasons that ranged from a lack of resources to possible expiration of the statute of limitations on some allegations.

I asked a half-dozen former federal investigators to review the submission and key evidence; all said the firm’s analysis of tax-exempt compliance issues would not be that useful to federal agencies that have their own legal experts for that. But they stressed the evidence of potential criminality was strong and warranted opening an FBI or IRS probe.

“It is a very good roadmap for investigation,” said retired FBI supervisory agent Jeffrey Danik, a prior practicing certified public accountant who helped the bureau make some of its most complex financial fraud and terrorism cases during a 29-year career.

“When you have the organization’s own lawyers using words like ‘quid pro quo,’ ‘conflicts of interest’ and ‘whistleblower protections,’ you have enough to get permission to start interviewing and asking questions,” he said.

Danik said the only investigative challenge is that some documents assembled by the private investigators are marked as attorney-client privileged and federal agents might need special permission to use them.

“Given that [special counsel Robert] Mueller got the OK to investigate Michael Cohen and his attorney-client communications with President Trump, I imagine that hurdle could be overcome under the crime-fraud exception,” he said.

The whistleblower submission’s public emergence comes at a sensitive time, as President Trump has taken to Twitter in recent months to decry a lack of action by his Justice Department against the Clintons.

And a GOP-led congressional subcommittee, led by Rep. Mark Meadows(N.C.), is planning to hold a hearing next week to review the work of John Huber, the special U.S attorney named a year ago to investigate all things Clinton.

That hearing is designed to determine how much money and resources Huber has dedicated to the investigation and whether any action might be expected on issues that long have concerned conservatives, including Hillary Clinton’s transmission of classified information over an insecure private email server and the foundation’s activities.

A prosecutor working for Huber called MDA Analytics last week, seeking copies of their evidence, according to sources. The firm told the prosecutor that the FBI has possessed the evidence in its Little Rock office since early 2018, the sources said.

Some evidence that MDA investigators cited is public source, such as internal foundation reviews hacked in 2016 and given to WikiLeaks. Other materials were provided to the investigators by foreign governments that have done business with the charity, or by foundation insiders.

One of the nonpublic documents is an interview memo the MDA Analytics investigators penned after meeting with Kessel in late November 2016 at the Princeton Club in New York City.

Kessel told those investigators that “one of the biggest problems was Mr. Clinton’s commingling and use of business and donated funds and his personal expenses,” according to the whistleblower submission.

“There is no controlling Bill Clinton. He does whatever he wants and runs up incredible expenses with foundation funds,” states a separate interview memo attached to the submission.

“Bill Clinton mixes and matches his personal business with that of the foundation. Many people within the foundation have tried to caution him about this but he does not listen, and there really is no talking to him,” the memo added.

The memo also claims Kessel confirmed to the private investigators that private lawyers reviewed the foundation’s practices — once in 2008 and the other in 2011 — and each found widespread problems with governance, accounting and conflicts of interest.

“I have addressed it before and, let me tell you, I know where all the bodies are buried in this place,” the memo alleges Kessel said.

Foundation officials confirm Kessel attended the meeting but declined to describe what was discussed, except to say Kessel “strongly denies that he said or suggested that the Clinton Foundation or President Clinton engaged in inappropriate or illegal activities.”

“Mr. Kessel believed he was meeting an old professional acquaintance who was looking for business from the Foundation,” the foundation said in a statement.

MDA Analytics said it stands by the information it submitted to the IRS and can prove its accuracy.

The comments attributed to Kessel track closely to statements employees and executives of the foundation made during the 2008 and 2011 internal legal reviews.

For example, the 2008 review written by a private lawyer named Kumiki Gibson, who was hired by the foundation to study its governance, directly flagged concerns about improper commingling of charitable and private business.

“The work of the Foundation and the President are intertwined in a way that creates confusion at, and undermines the work of, the Foundation at virtually every level,” Gibson wrote, warning that such commingling poses “reputational and legal challenges, and with confusion, inefficiencies and waste.”

Specifically, the memo warned the foundation had not created policies and procedures “required by law” and that some of its leaders “appear to have interests that do not always align with those of the Foundation.”

It also raised the possibility of illegal activities, saying the foundation and its managers held an “anti-compliance attitude” and that there were lower-level employees who “begged” for whistleblower protections after witnessing “less than fully compliant behavior or even worse are asked to participate in or condone it.”

The 2011 review conducted by the law firm Simpson Thacher raised similar concerns about legal compliance and noted that auditors in 2009 and 2010 had found “material weaknesses,” such as a lack of governing board meetings and unsigned board minutes.

That report alleged some foundation workers “abuse expense privileges” and others suffered conflicts of interest, especially as the foundation solicited large donations from countries with business interests before Hillary Clinton at the State Department. “It appears conflicts are not timely disclosed” and “when staff becomes aware of conflicts they are unsure how to raise and clear these conflicts,” the report warned.

The report even raised the possibility that donors were expecting favors at State or from the former president’s government connections in return for money.

“Some interviewees reported conflicts of those raising funds or donors, some of whom may have an expectation of quid pro quo benefits in return for gifts,” the lawyers warned.

The whistleblower submission cited many of the same concerns as the internal legal reviews, but also alleged that evidence from foreign governments showed that some charity transactions were commercial in nature and therefore should have been taxed.

The evidence amassed by the private investigators should give Congress plenty to explore at its hearing next week, and put the Trump Justice Department on the spot to answer what it has done to address concerns that the foundation’s lawyers raised and the private investigators uncovered.

Quid pro quo donations, a culture of noncompliance, travel abuses and commingling of personal with charitable business are serious issues, especially when Americans trusted the Clinton Foundation to spend $2.5 billion tax free in the name of charity.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/420131-feds-received-whistleblower-evidence-in-2017-alleging-clinton-foundation

THREE whistleblowers hand over hundreds of documents ‘showing the Clinton Foundation misused funds and made quid-pro-quo promises to donors about access to Hillary’

  • Mark Meadows, who is involved in a probe into the Clinton Foundation, says three people have come forward with hundreds of pages of potential evidence 
  • Says they hint at a misuse of funds and quid-pro-quo promises made to donors
  • It was also revealed that another whistleblower gave 6,000 pages to the FBI 
  • Investigative hearing will take place in the House of Representatives next week 

Three whistleblowers have come forward with hundreds of pages of evidence suggesting wrongdoing at the Clinton Foundation, a Republican congressman says.

Mark Meadows, head of the House Oversight Subcommittee, said the documents suggest misappropriation of funds and quid-pro-quo promises made to donors during Hillary’s time as secretary of state.

Meadows spoke to Fox News about the documents ahead of an investigative hearing on the Clinton Foundation which is due to take place next week.

Three whistleblowers have handed over hundreds of pages of documents which could indicate misuse of funds and promises made to donors while Hillary was Secretary of State (file image)

The hearing will review evidence collected by U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was tasked with investigating the Foundation by ex-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

It comes after The Hill reported that 6,000 pages of evidence on the Clinton Foundation was secretly handed to the FBI and IRS last year.

The papers allege that the Foundation engaged in illegal activities and may be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties.

The documents also showed commingling of personal and Foundation affairs, especially by former President Bill Clinton, according to The Hill.

The evidence was compiled by a firm called MDA Analytics LLC and included a submission by another whistleblower. 

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said at the time: ‘The Clinton Foundation has been one of the most heavily scrutinized charitable organizations in the world, and subjected to outrageous, politically motivated allegations that have been proven false time and time again.

‘Critics continue to resurrect these false claims to try to damage the reputation of the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation.

Mark Meadows, head of the House Oversight Subcommittee, spoke out about the documents ahead of a hearing into the Foundation which is due to take place next week

‘The fact is, the Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world, while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process.’

Meadows has previously raised questions about a large drop in funds donated to the Foundation after Hillary lost her 2016 presidential race to Donald Trump.

Donations fell from $63 million in 2016 to $27 million in 2017.

He said: ‘The remarkable significance of the drop in Clinton foundation donations raises grave concerns their operations were not above board as the American people have been led to believe.

‘Whenever we look at the possibility of ‘pay to play’ by government officials, current or former, it demands answers–and anyone who uses public office to sell access for their own financial benefit must be held accountable.’

Meadows is a close ally of Donald Trump who has called for investigations into his former Democrat opponent.

The Clinton Foundation defended itself against the allegations, saying the fall in donations was due to the Clinton Global Initiative shutting down.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6470709/Whistleblowers-hand-hundreds-documents-Clinton-Foundation-wrongdoing.html

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