Tuesday, January 31, 2017
The Progressive Democrats are busy "boycotting" President Trump's Cabinet appointees from beign confirmed -- even as they accusing him of not governing, which he could do a whole lot better if he had a Cabinet. But, as usual, the Prog-Dems are missing the real threat. It is not President Trump. It is Iran. Iran is still terrorizing in the Middle East, and right now the Yemen is at the epicenter of Iran's terrorist war against Saudi Arabia and its sunni allies -- and America. • US Commando Operation in Yemen. The New York Times on January 29 gave a full report of the op"ration in which "one American commando was killed and three others were wounded in a fierce firefight early Sunday with Qaeda militants in central Yemen, the military said on Sunday. It was the first counterterrorism operation authorized by President Trump since he took office, and the commando was the first United States service member to die in the yearslong shadow war against al Qaida’s Yemen affiliate." The Navy’s SEAL Team 6 carried out the surprise dawn attack, and the military said that about 14 al Qaida fighters were killed during a nearly hourlong battle. The NYT reported that an al Qaida leader -- "a brother-in-law of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric and top al Qaida leader in Yemen, who died in a drone strike in 2011 -- was believed to have been killed." American officials said they are assessing reports that women and children had died in the attack, but military sources say that women were in active combat roles on the enemy side. According tothe NYT, the military’s Joint Special Operations Command had been planning the mission for months, but Obama administration aides had deliberated extensively over the proposed operation, weighing the value of any information that might be recovered against the risk to the Special Operations forces plunging into hostile territory, and the Obama administration officials ultimately opted to hand the decision on the mission to their successors. President Trump, who has vowed to increase pressure on militant groups worldwide, was saw that the rewards were worth the risk, and he authorized the mission last week, military officials said. Commandos waited for a moonless evening on Saturday to exploit their advantage of fighting at night. Helicopter gunships and armed Reaper drones provided cover for the commandos as they attacked the home of the al Qaida leader in the rugged mountainous region of Bayda Province, a part of Yemen that has been a focal point of US military operations over the past month. The main target was computer materials inside the house that could contain clues about future terrorist plots. In a statement on Sunday, President Trump called the raid “successful” and said that it had captured “important intelligence that will assist the US in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.” He also lamented the loss of the American service member “in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism.” The NYT said that "because Mr. Trump had been explicit about his intention to ask for the review to accelerate the fight against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, American military planners had begun drafting classified options to present to the new commander in chief. Some of those options, like pushing more authority to conduct strikes to commanders in the field or loosening restrictions designed to limit the risk to civilians, could also be applied to attacks against Qaeda fighters and Islamic State insurgents. There were no immediate indications that the rules of engagement had been loosened for the mission in Yemen, military officials said. The Central Command’s statement did not elaborate on details of the raid..." • President Trump also released a statement after the raid that said : “Americans are saddened this morning with news that a life of a heroic service member has been taken in our fight against the evil of radical Islamic terrorism.” Later, Secretary of Defense James Mattis released a statement confirming the death of the SEAL -- Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens. Mattis said : "Ryan gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service." • • • IRAN AND THE YEMEN WAR. Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the group’s branch in Yemen, has long been seen by American intelligence and counterterrorism officials as among the most dangerous branches of the global terrorist network, and the one posing the most immediate threat to US territory. The group’s leaders have sought in at least three cases to detonate bombs hidden aboard American commercial jetliners. All of those plots were thwarted. The armed Houthi movement supported by Iran and affiliated with al Qaida, has engaged in a war against the elected government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi for several years. Saudi Arabi formed a coalition to drive the Houthis out of Yemen, but their efforts have been met with stiff resistance from the Houthis and their Iranian backers. On Monday, the Houthis attacked a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen, causing an explosion that killed two Saudi crew members and injured three others, Saudi state news agency SPA reported. Separately, the Houthis said they launched a ballistic missile at a Saudi-led coalition military base on the Red Sea island of Zuqar between Yemen and Eritrea on Tuesday morning, according to the group's official news channel al-Masira. The attacks are an escalation after weeks of combat on Yemen's western coast between the Iran-allied Houthis and the Squdi-led coalition, supported by the US, backing Yemen's internationally recognized government, and trying to prevent the Houthis from securing Red Sea ports. The SPA statement said : "A Saudi frigate on patrol west of Hodeidah port came under attack from three suicide boats belonging to the Houthi militias." One of the boats collided with the rear of the Saudi vessel, causing an explosion and a fire that killed two crew members and wounded three others. But, the Houthi movement's al-Masira channel quoted a military source saying the explosion was caused by a guided missile. It was at least the second attack by the Houthis on ships off the coast of Yemen in the last six months. • • • IRAN MAY HAVE WANTED TO HIT A US SHIP. Fox News reported Tuesday that two defense sources told it the Iranian-backed suicide attack targeting the Saudi frigate off the coast of Yemen on Monday may have been meant for an American warship. At first the ship was thought to have been struck by a missile. But, based on new analysis of a video showing the attack, American intelligence officials now believe this was, in fact, a suicide bomber whose small boat rammed the side of the Saudi vessel. In the audio heard on the video, a voice narrating the attack shouts in Arabic : "Allahu akbar (God is greatest), death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory for Islam.” US defense analysts believe those behind the attack either thought the bomber was striking an American warship or that this was a “dress rehearsal” similar to the attack on the USS Cole. The attack, near the Bab al Mandab Strait connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, was in the same area where US Navy warships came under missile attack last October. This latest incident came a day after President Trump spoke by phone with the Saudi King to discuss setting up safe zones for refugees in Syria and Yemen. Senior US defense officials who spoke with Fox News say they're concerned by this latest incident, but are confident American warships can defend themselves. In the October attack, an American destroyer shot down the incoming missiles -- the first successful engagement in combat using an American SM-2 missile. Then, USS Nitze, an American destroyer, retaliated, launching Tomahawk missiles on October 13 at multiple Houthi radar sites in Yemen. • • • IRAN DRONE SMUGGLED INTO YEMEN DESTROYED. The Gulf News reported on Tuesday that an Iranian military drone was destroyed in Yemen’s Mocha port city. Senior officials told Gulf News that they believe Teheran is making every effort to halt the political process that might lead ot a Yemen ceasefire. It was an Arab coalition force in Yemen, with the help of the UAE Air Force, that destroyed the Iranian military drone positioned on a mobile launching platform and intended to target Yemeni forces participating in the liberation of Mocha and the city’s port when it was hit. General Ahmad Saif Al Yafei, deputy chief of general staff of the Yemeni armed forces, said Yemeni forces detected the aircraft during surveillance to areas north of Mocha, adding that the aircraft was about to take off for its mission when it was destroyed by an air-to-surface missile in coordination with the UAE Air Force operating in Yemen. He said cornered rebel militias have resorted to using weapons smuggled from Iran to Yemen and that the unmanned aircraft was part of such clandestine weapons shipments. The General also stressed that the presence of such Iranian weapons in Yemen clearly show the blatant Iranian interference in Yemen’s crisis and attempts made by Tehran to destabilize the region and threaten peace in Yemen. The continual supply of sophisticated weapons and equipment to rebel militias by Iran is a desperate attempt to undermine the successive victories of forces that support the legitimate government of Yemen backed by the Arab coalition. General Al Yafei called on the international community to take on its shoulders the responsibility of stopping Iranian attempts to exacerbate the worsening internal security situation in Yemen. He added that Iran is trying to eliminate any chance for the success of the political process in Yemen and continues to stoke the crisis in the country in an attempt to impose its "sinister agenda" and create a model similar to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia in Yemen. • • • IRAN LAUNCHES ILLEGAL ICBM TEST. US officials told the Jerusalem Post that Iran has conducted a ballistic missile test in violation of the UN resolution put in place after the Iran nuclear deal. Officials told Fox News on Monday that the test occurred outside Semnan, about 140 miles east of Teheran, on Sunday. The missile was a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile, which the officials said flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle. The test was in direct violation of UN resolution 2231, which stated that Iran could not conduct such acts. The missile tested is 'capable of reaching Israel.' In an October address to supporters in Jerusalem, then candidate Trump vowed that he would stand up to Iran : “My administration will stand side by side with Israel and Jewish leaders,” Trump said in the recorded video address. “Together, we will stand up to enemies like Iran bent on destroying Israel and your people. Together, we will make America and Israel safe again.” • The Canadian Press reported Tuesday, citing the Associated Press, that the UN Security Council has scheduled urgent consultations Tuesday on an Iranian ballistic missile test at the request of the United States. The US Mission to the United Nations said it wanted the UNSC to discuss Iran's Sunday’s launch of a medium-range missile. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said earlier that he did not know the “exact nature” of the test and expected to have more information later. Iran is the subject of a UNSC resolution prohibiting tests of ballistic missiles designed to deliver a nuclear warhead. As part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the UN ban was prolonged by eight years, although Iran has flaunted the restriction. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. was looking into whether the ballistic missile test violates the US Security Council resolution : “When actions are taken that violate or are inconsistent with the resolution, we will act to hold Iran accountable and urge other countries to do so as well." Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned Iran for the missile test : “No longer will Iran be given a pass for its repeated ballistic missile violations, continued support of terrorism, human rights abuses and other hostile activities that threaten international peace and security." • Both Iranand Russia say the missile tests do not violate UN resolutions because they do not carry nuclear warheads. • • • UNSC SIDES WITH IRAN AND AGAINST SAUDI ARABIA AGAIN. The Kremlin-backed RT news outlet reported Monday that : "An expert UN panel investigating ten separate airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen -- in which at least 292 civilians died -- has found that most were the result of an ‘ineffective targeting process’ or deliberate attacks on peaceful targets." The report presented to the UNSC last Friday states, according ot Reuters : "In eight of the 10 investigations, the panel found no evidence that the airstrikes had targeted legitimate military objectives. For all 10 investigations, the panel considers it almost certain that the coalition did not meet international humanitarian law requirements of proportionality and precautions in attack. The panel considers that some of the attacks may amount to war crimes." Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, flatly denied responsibility, saying the coalition -- which includes Gulf states such as Qatar and Kuwait -- was "exercising maximum restraint and rigorous rules of engagement." The report said : "In some cases errors were acknowledged and responsibility accepted. Corrective measures including compensation to victims were taken." The UN panel said that although it was unable to travel to the bombing sites, it still "maintained the highest achievable standard of proof," and insisted the specific cases studied were part of a wider trend. • In a conclusion supporting Iran, the report stated : "The panel has not seen sufficient evidence to confirm any direct large-scale supply of arms from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, although there are indicators that anti-tank guided weapons being supplied to the Houthi or Saleh forces are of Iranian manufacture," said the report, which said 2,064 weapons seized on boats off the coast, had possible “direct” links with Iran. • • • DEAR READERS, The cold war between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran did not alone cause the sweeping disorder in which the Middle East finds itself, but there is no arguing that it has widened and deepened it. Whether in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Lebanon or elsewhere, the sunni-shiite feud for control of the Middle East and its petroleum and the strategic Red Sea and Suez Canal, that goes on between Riyadh and Teheran has heightened cultural divides and inflamed sectarian tensions, harming efforts to defeat ISIS, end the civil war in Syria, stabilize Iraq, stop the fighting in Yemen, and solve the political crisis in Lebanon. After centuries of bickering, today, the Saudis and the Iranians are locked in a much more dangerous struggle in Syria and Yemen. In Syria, Saudi Arabia is committed to the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a close ally of Iran, and has repeatedly threatened to increase its military involvement there, possibly by sending its own troops. Should that happen, it is inevitable that Saudi troops would face Iranian troops on the ground, where Iranian forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah are battling every group trying to oust al-Assad. In Yemen, the conflict pits Iran's proxy Houthis against the Gulf Arab coalition led by the Saudis in a battle for Persian Gulf strategic naval routes. Add to this, Russia's seizing the opportunity to again become a major military and political player in the Middle East. The Iranians benefit tremendously from Russia's security partnership to achieve strategic objectives common ot Iran and Russia. As the partnership between Iran and Russia expands, and as President Trump's resolve is tested, the likelihood grows of Iran engaging in more aggressive and provocative acts that could lead to war with Saudi Arabia. Finally, Iran’s missile capabilities have improved drastically, giving it new and powerful means to engage in offensive action. Iran cannot ignore Washington’s enormous military presence in the region. But more precise missiles provide Iran with a set of military options and greater operational flexibility that would challenge the US in the Persian Gulf -- we are seeing the beginning of this currently. The risk of an Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict in the Middle East is higher today than ever. Averting such a war will be President Trump’s most important and urgent priority in the Middle East. The raid on Anwar al-Awlaki militants on Sunday is justthe start of the renewed US Middle East offensive after years of Obama neglect and favoritism toward Iran, America's sworn enemy. Instead of throwing temper tantrums and boycotting Trump Cabinet appointee confirmations, the Prog-Dems and Senator Chuck Schumer ought to think about the real problems President Trump faces -- problems they could help resolve in a united American stance if they were acting like adults instead of spoiled children.
Monday, January 30, 2017
French and Other European Conservative and Populist Parties Are Fighting the Same Battle as Trump against Progressive Elites
Europe is just as politically divided as America and the European politicians who oppose the conservative agenda of President Trump are attempting to create Progressive strongholds in France, Germany and Britain. But, this week is all eyes are on France, where both conservative and socialist parties and candidates are under pressure from the far right's Marine Le Pen for situations they could have avoided. • • • FRENCH LEFT SPLIT IN WAR OVER POLICY AGENDA. The most open warfare between Left and Center is now playing out in France where the Socialist Party has abandoned its own President François Hollande. Socialist voters say the Hollande presidency has been confused and disastrous. They have accused Hollande of zig-zagging on economic policy and betraying Socialist ideals with policies that sometimes favor business. Hollande is the least popular French president since World War II, with a favorability rating of 4%, forcing him to concede last month that he couldn’t run for re-election. • That cleared the way for Hollande's prime minister, Manuel Valls, to run for the Socialist Party presidential nomination. Valls himself has often referred to what he calls two “irreconcilable” wings of the Socialist Party. During the primary race, Valls accused his chief rival, the extreme leftist Benoît Hamon, of having idealist, costly and pie-in-the-sky notions that could not be put into practice, warning that he would relegate the Socialist Party to “certain failure” and the wilderness of decades in opposition. Valls had told reporters last week that he could not defend Hamon’s manifesto for the presidency. Valls, who suggested that if Hamon won, he couldn’t get behind him and would step back from the campaign -- after he lost in the first round of the primary to Hamon, coming in second to set up a confrontation with Hamon one-on-one in round two for the nomination/ Valls is often compared to Tony Blair and the centrist New Labour Party Blair headed. • Well, on Sunday, Benoît Hamon, the unflinchinghly far left rebel outsider who wants to introduce a universal basic income, legalize cannabis and tax robots, was chosen as the French Socialist Party’s presidential candidate. Hamon secured a clear win of more than 58% over the centrist former prime minister Manuel Valls at 42%. It was a victory for the Party’s far left rebels against the pro-market, center-left policies of Valls and Hollande – a damning verdict by voters against what many on the Left consider the failed presidency of an unpopular leader. Speaking to supporters Sunday, Hamon said the French Socialist Party could once again “hold its head high,” saying he represented a Left that was “turned towards the future” and that “wanted to win.” Hamon said : “I believe that faced with a conservative Right that represents privilege [François fillon] and a destructive extreme-right [Marine Le Pen], our country needs a Left that thinks of the world as it is, and not as it was, a Left that can bring a future people want.” Valls, in his concession speech, merely said "Bon Chance" -- that is, wishing Hamon “good luck” and implying that he would indeed walk away form Hamon's campaign. • Hamon, 49, is by no means a newcomer to Socialist politics. He served as education minister and Party spokesman and is the figurehead of leftist rebel Socialist MPs who turned against Hollande in a bloc for his pro-business stance. Hamon was tossed out of the Hollande government in 2014 after opposing Hollande and Valls’s pro-market economic policy. He then led a rebellion of MPs against Hollande’s controversial drive to loosen France’s labor laws. A Socialist MP in Yvelines near Paris, Hamon was the youngest and farthest Left of the candidates in the open Socialist primary race, in which any voter could take part if they paid €1 and signed a form supporting the values of the Left [one French journalist is now bragging that he voted 4 times on Sunday by simply appearing at various polling places and following the rules]. Hamon has been compared to British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and to the US Democrat presidential candidate and Senator, Bernie Sanders, whom Hamon visited earlier this year while gearing up his run for the French presidency. • • • WILL THE FRENCH SOCIALIST PARTY SURVIVE? The modern French Socialist Party is the creation of François Mitterrand, who molded it out of center-left to communist factions and bent them to his unimaginably astute political savvy. The real fear now for the Socialists is that leaders from the centrist pro-Valls wing of the Party will bolt to Emmanuel Macron, seeing his campaign as their only chance of a presidential win and the survival of traditional Socialist ideology. In French politics, parties come and go with the rise and fall of popular figures, and Emmanuel Macron, 39, who served as economy minister under Hollande but quit over policy differences and formed his own party -- En Marche! or Onwards! -- to challenge all the Socialists running for president, is heading an independent centrist ticket and is drawing huge crowds and rapidly rising in the polls. In fact, Macron may beat Hamon in the first round of the presidential election in April and make the Socialists mere observers in the second round that will choose the next French president in May. Because of this likelihood, key figures in the center of the Socialist Party could well jump ship to Macron now that the extreme leftist Hamon has won the Socialist primary. • • • THE RISE OF THE RIGHT IN FRANCE. The French electorate, traditionally center-right, has shifted sharply to the right and the Socialist Party is faced with the possibility of a humiliating fifth place in the presidential race. The conservatives, Les Républicains, could even face the same fate, coming in third, if Macron succeeds in pulling the center together around his candidacy -- a trick often tried in France without success. • The real up-and-comer in the 2017 French presidential race is far-right Front National’s Marine Le Pen, who still leads the polls for the first-round of the presidential race with 25% (stable), against the beleaguered conservative candidate François Fillon at 21% (falling) and Emmanuel Macron at 20% rising strongly against Fillon. • François Fillon has been the outright favorite to win the presidential election. Despite 35 years in politics, including five years as prime minister under François Sarkozy, Fillon is presenting himself in the presidential race as an anti-system candidate and an honest, austere and “irreproachable” antidote to years of corruption scandals on the French right. Polls have shown Fillon to be the frontrunner to make it through to the final round of the highly unpredictable French presidential election in May, alongside the far right Front National’s Marine Le Pen. BUT, Fillon is now in big political trouble. France’s financial prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation into the possible misuse of public funds by Fillon and his British wife, Penelope. The byline now in French newspapers is "Penelopegate." A tabloid that specializes in political scandal-mongering, Le Canard Enchainé, alleges that Penelope has been paid about €500,000 in eight years from parliamentary funds for what it claims could be a fake job. Fillon denies this vehemently, calling it a vendetta to prevent his winning the election. President Sarkozy has undergone similar treatment from French prosecutors, and calls himself the "most investigated but never convicted" politician in France. But, Fillon is under extreme pressure to explain his wife’s role in his political operation after Le Canard Enchaîné claimed she was at various times paid an extremely generous salary from public funds allocated to him as an MP. Hiring family members is legal for French MPs and not against parliamentary rules, as long as the person is genuinely employed. But the newspaper claimed it was unable to track down anyone who had seen evidence of Penelope Fillon’s work. The question is what work Penelope Fillon did to earn a salary of sometimes about €7,000 a month -- rather high -- between the late 1990s and early 2010, since she reportedly remained at home raising the five Fillon children while her husband was in Paris working as an MP. Thierry Solère, Fillon’s spokesman, said Penelope Fillon had “indeed” worked for her husband in parliament. He told Agence France-Presse : “It is common for the spouses of MPs to work with them.” Another spokesman, Philippe Vigier, insisted Penelope Fillon’s work was not fictional. • Fillon said that he would not stand down when he appeared on the evening news on TF1 to answer questions about the scandal that could prove explosive for his presidential bid. Yet, Fillon is an adept politician and he must know that the issue is potentially so damaging because Fillon’s austerity plan for France hangs on his own carefully honed reputation for righteousness. It will be much harder for Fillon to convince a financially suffering electorate of his controversial plans to slash 500,000 public-sector jobs and make state workers put in more hours for less pay if questions persist about his wife’s privileged access to jobs paid for by their taxes. • • • MARINE LE PEN AND EUROPE'S MOVE TO THE RIGHT. We all remember the mainstream media saying Brexit would never happen and Trump would never be elected. In Europe these days, the MSM is saying that Marine Le Pen could never be elected president of France. It is, of course, 'unthinkable' that the leader of the rightwing, populist, anti-immigration Front National should become president of the French Republic in the May elections. And, most of my French friends are still confident that she will lose to François Fillon. In the second round of the presidential election because voters of the center-left will rally around Fillon, holding their noses to vote for him – "for the sake of the republic." They did the same thing in 2002 when they voted for the unpopular Jacques Chirac to defeat Marine Le Pen’s father, the founder of the Front National Jean-Marie Le Pen. In 2002 it was “better the thief than the fascist.” Protest votes in French elections often fill the first round of voting when electors send messages about their dissatisfactions to the major parties. In the second round of the presidential election, voters of the center-left will rally around the Republic, holding their noses to vote for Fillon. After all, in 2002 they voted for Jacques Chirac to keep out Marine Le Pen’s father, the founder of the Front National, saying “better the thief than the fascist.” Protest votes are one thing, but the second round of a presidential election is another thing altogether, it is serious. But the question remains whether Marine Le Pen could ride into the presidency in the same way that Donald Trump did -- on the coattails of citizens so sick of corrupt politicians that any outsider is to be preferred. Marine Le Pen is always presented in the MSM as an anti-immigration anti-EU populist-fascist. But, at the bottom, her popularity is based on the general sense of malaise in France -- economic growth barely reaching 1% last year, 25% youth unemployment, a resentment everywhere against a political class seen as remote, self-serving and corrupt, and a deep desire to boot out the establishment. There are times when history just seems to be signaling a particular candidate. It happened with Trump and Brexit. Can it happen with Marine Le Pen? She is a strong candidate, who makes all the populist arguments ring true. She speaks the language of ordinary people. She is running “in the name of the people.” She demands a new birth of the French nation and democracy. She wants a referendum on France’s membership of the EU, saying : “I’m not afraid of the people.” • • • DEAR READERS, the crisis brewing in France is not so much whether François Fillon will survive -- it seems likely that the investigation will trap him and leave Les Républicains and the center-right of French politics with a badly damaged candidate. If we assume that the French are so angry at President Hollande and his Socialist incompetence -- keep in mind that Hollande is an exception as a Socialist French president, the only other being François Mitterrand -- that they will strongly revert to form and vote for a conservative ("Gaullist" as they often call it in shorthand), then will that conservative be Fillon or Le Pen? French analysts are already talking about replacing Fillon with either former president François Sarkozy or the perennial favorite son of the Chirac era, Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé. Both were beaten by Fillon in the recent conservative primary. But, surprisingly, both are now saying that they do not want to replace Fillon. We might be tempted to call this "politics as usual," thinking they will finally leap at the chance to run. But, they may actually be calling the Socialist bluff by daring the prosecutors to charge Fillon -- for that would surely give Marine Le Pen a real chance to win the presidency, and her influence will then become a major factor in sweeping other European populists into power. And, even if Sarkozy or Juppé takes over for Fillon, the Socialist Party has still made a huge blunder -- its investigation of Fillon, surely meant to weaken the center-right and give their candidate, whom they expected to be Valls, a better shot at winning -- just might make it possible that Marine Le Pen will win and become President of France now that the Socialists have in Hamon an extreme Left candidate. The French Socialists are truly incompetent, aren't they. Does all their double-dealing and dirty tricks remind us of another Progressive-socialist candidate named Hillary? • Americans have little faith in any European politicians or political movements because we find all of them much more to the left than we are, and so we say Europe is "lost" already. But, we should consider that the conservatives among them -- those the European media calls rightwing extremists, populists, even fascists -- are now fighting for their place in European government, they are in a war for survival against Progressive globalists and corrupt elites who serve only themselves. The populists are trying to defend the remnants of democracy and citizens rights state by state in a European Union that has a massive Progressive infrastructure arrayed against them. If they sometimes sound extreme to us, it is because European politics is extreme -- it is a no-holds-barred system that attacks personally anyone who tries to overturn its privileges, witness the Fillon affair now playing out, and the unanimous rejection of the UK's Brexit vote and of Theresa May in her determination to carry it out. We may wish that Marine Le Pen were not the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen. We may see the populist ideas about social reform as leftist. We may despair for the open borders that have turned the EU into a killing field for jihadist terrorists. We may even believe that it is better to turn our backs on Europe and leave it to its own destruction. This is wrong. As with the grassroots movement that put President Trump in the White House to drain the Washington swamp, the populists -- in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Hungary, Austria -- are trying in their own way, with the means available to them, to drain the European Swamp. We should be sympathetic and support their cause when it is democratic. We can take the guidance of the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr : "Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Especially, Lord, grant us wisdom in these perilous times.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Don't Believe the Prog-Dems and MSM -- the Trump Immigration Executive Order Is Reasonable and Necessary
Often, being an informed member of society and citizen demands reading what is actually fact instead of relying on others to digest and condense it for us. One such matter is President Trump's executive order signed on Friday and titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Here is the language of that order, as supplied by the White House. Read it, please, before we discuss it because mainstream media is feeding us untrue rants : "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and to protect the American people from terrorist attacks by foreign nationals admitted to the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows : • Section 1. Purpose. The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans. And while the visa-issuance process was reviewed and amended after the September 11 attacks to better detect would-be terrorists from receiving visas, these measures did not stop attacks by foreign nationals who were admitted to the United States. Numerous foreign-born individuals have been convicted or implicated in terrorism-related crimes since September 11, 2001, including foreign nationals who entered the United States after receiving visitor, student, or employment visas, or who entered through the United States refugee resettlement program. Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism. In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation. • Section 2. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from foreign nationals who intend to commit terrorist attacks in the United States; and to prevent the admission of foreign nationals who intend to exploit United States immigration laws for malevolent purposes. • Section 3. Suspension of Issuance of Visas and Other Immigration Benefits to Nationals of Countries of Particular Concern. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall immediately conduct a review to determine the information needed from any country to adjudicate any visa, admission, or other benefit under the INA (adjudications) in order to determine that the individual seeking the benefit is who the individual claims to be and is not a security or public-safety threat. (b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, shall submit to the President a report on the results of the review described in subsection (a) of this section, including the Secretary of Homeland Security’s determination of the information needed for adjudications and a list of countries that do not provide adequate information, within 30 days of the date of this order. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a copy of the report to the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence. (c) To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas). (d) Immediately upon receipt of the report described in subsection (b) of this section regarding the information needed for adjudications, the Secretary of State shall request all foreign governments that do not supply such information to start providing such information regarding their nationals within 60 days of notification. (e) After the 60-day period described in subsection (d) of this section expires, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion on a Presidential proclamation that would prohibit the entry of foreign nationals (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas) from countries that do not provide the information requested pursuant to subsection (d) of this section until compliance occurs. (f) At any point after submitting the list described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security may submit to the President the names of any additional countries recommended for similar treatment. (g) Notwithstanding a suspension pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or pursuant to a Presidential proclamation described in subsection (e) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may, on a case-by-case basis, and when in the national interest, issue visas or other immigration benefits to nationals of countries for which visas and benefits are otherwise blocked. (h) The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall submit to the President a joint report on the progress in implementing this order within 30 days of the date of this order, a second report within 60 daysof the date of this order, a third report within 90 days of the date of this order, and a fourth report within 120 days of the date of this order. • Section 4. Implementing Uniform Screening Standards for All Immigration Programs. (a) The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall implement a program, as part of the adjudication process for immigration benefits, to identify individuals seeking to enter the United States on a fraudulent basis with the intent to cause harm, or who are at risk of causing harm subsequent to their admission. This program will include the development of a uniform screening standard and procedure, such as in-person interviews; a database of identity documents proffered by applicants to ensure that duplicate documents are not used by multiple applicants; amended application forms that include questions aimed at identifying fraudulent answers and malicious intent; a mechanism to ensure that the applicant is who the applicant claims to be; a process to evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society and the applicant’s ability to make contributions to the national interest; and a mechanism to assess whether or not the applicant has the intent to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States. (b) The Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of this directive within 60 days of the date of this order, a second report within 100 days of the date of this order, and a third report within 200 days of the date of this order. • Section 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States. (b) Upon the resumption of USRAP admissions, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality. Where necessary and appropriate, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall recommend legislation to the President that would assist with such prioritization. (c) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determined that sufficient changes have been made to the USRAP to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest. (d) Pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the entry of more than 50,000 refugees in fiscal year 2017 would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I determine that additional admissions would be in the national interest. (e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest -- including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship -- and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States. (f) The Secretary of State shall submit to the President an initial report on the progress of the directive in subsection (b) of this section regarding prioritization of claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution within 100 days of the date of this order and shall submit a second report within 200 days of the date of this order. (g) It is the policy of the executive branch that, to the extent permitted by law and as practicable, State and local jurisdictions be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or settlement in their jurisdictions of aliens eligible to be admitted to the United States as refugees. To that end, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall examine existing law to determine the extent to which, consistent with applicable law, State and local jurisdictions may have greater involvement in the process of determining the placement or resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions, and shall devise a proposal to lawfully promote such involvement. • Section 6. Rescission of Exercise of Authority Relating to the Terrorism Grounds of Inadmissibility. The Secretaries of State and Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, consider rescinding the exercises of authority in section 212 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182, relating to the terrorism grounds of inadmissibility, as well as any related implementing memoranda. • Section 7. Expedited Completion of the Biometric Entry-Exit Tracking System. (a) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall expedite the completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the United States, as recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. (b) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the President periodic reports on the progress of the directive contained in subsection (a) of this section. The initial report shall be submitted within 100 days of the date of this order, a second report shall be submitted within 200 days of the date of this order, and a third report shall be submitted within 365 days of the date of this order. Further, the Secretary shall submit a report every 180 days thereafter until the system is fully deployed and operational. • Section 8. Visa Interview Security. (a) The Secretary of State shall immediately suspend the Visa Interview Waiver Program and ensure compliance with section 222 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1222, which requires that all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa undergo an in-person interview, subject to specific statutory exceptions. (b) To the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary of State shall immediately expand the Consular Fellows Program, including by substantially increasing the number of Fellows, lengthening or making permanent the period of service, and making language training at the Foreign Service Institute available to Fellows for assignment to posts outside of their area of core linguistic ability, to ensure that non-immigrant visa-interview wait times are not unduly affected. • Section 9. Visa Validity Reciprocity. The Secretary of State shall review all nonimmigrant visa reciprocity agreements to ensure that they are, with respect to each visa classification, truly reciprocal insofar as practicable with respect to validity period and fees, as required by sections 221(c) and 281 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1201(c) and 1351, and other treatment. If a country dEOs not treat United States nationals seeking nonimmigrant visas in a reciprocal manner, the Secretary of State shall adjust the visa validity period, fee schedule, or other treatment to match the treatment of United States nationals by the foreign country, to the extent practicable. • Section 10. Transparency and Data Collection. (a) To be more transparent with the American people, and to more effectively implement policies and practices that serve the national interest, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, shall, consistent with applicable law and national security, collect and make publicly available within 180 days, and every 180 days thereafter : (i) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation, or material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national security reasons since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; (ii) information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and (iii) information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including honor killings, in the United States by foreign nationals, since the date of this order or the last reporting period, whichever is later; and (iv) any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses. (b) The Secretary of State shall, within one year of the date of this order, provide a report on the estimated long-term costs of the USRAP at the Federal, State, and local levels. • Section 11. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect : (i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals. (b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. (c) This order is not intended to, and dEOs not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. • • • WHAT DOES ALL THAT MEAN? First, it means that you are now a better informed citizen and commentator than most who will nevertheless use the internet and TV to tell the world what a nasty, not to mention racist, person President Trump is. Second, it will arm you to fight back -- because you can be sure that the mainstream media will never tell you what the EO really says. For example, the federal judges now rushing to put stays on the Trump immigration EO are largely following the EO's own wording when they admit those who were in transit or had green cards before the EO was signed. The EO never meant to stop their entry. Third, the EO lays out a rational program for getting the US immigrant and refugee vetting process in order -- an order that was either never created or was routinely ignored by the Obama administration. • A good example is the Progressive Democrat search for reasons to attack Trump and his EO. Their best shot, they must have thought, was to tell the mainstream media that some "refuigees" and migrants were being put in danger by Trump's rush to close US borders to them. Most of it is pure propaganda. American Thinker's Ed Straker said it best : "The propaganda organs spun furiously into action the minute President Trump's new policies on immigration took effect. The media quickly looked for the most virtuous examples of foreigners who were denied entrance into the United States. An Iranian scientist studying heart disease? Check. A Ph.D. student studying at Yale? Check. (Though the student, somewhat suspiciously, had just been heading to Afghanistan for "ethnographic" studies.) What about unattached, military-aged young men from Syria who have no paper trail? No profile for one of those! What about the hijabi bringing in three children and pregnant with a fourth who would immediately become an American citizen? No profile of her, either. The media's attention was elsewhere. The most virtuous example the media came up with was an Iraqi interpreter who had worked with U.S. armed forces who was emigrating to America with his family. He was moving to America because of "death threats." Well, it turns ut, Hameed Khaldi Darweesh, who worked a translator for American forces for 10 years, had been detained overnight following his arrival from Istanbul. He said he had feared he would be sent back to Iraq, which his family fled because of death threats. But, Hameed as released into America after a few hours because the Trump EO did not intend to stop him. • Then, there is the shock and horror being expressed by Iraq and Iran -- yes, Iran -- over the temporary hold on their trips or immigration entries into the US. Keep in mind that diplomats are excluded from the temporary bar under the Trump EO. So, we may well ask, why are Iraq and Iran so stunned? Iraq cannot now provide the paperwork needed to make proper vetting, but the Iraq government has up to a year to align its paperwork with US vetting requirements, after those requirements are better laid out in a new administrative set of regulations. As for Iran -- do we even need to comment? • And, there are other countries that opught to be thanking their lucky stars thqt President Trump did not single them out under the EO -- Saudi Arabia, the home of 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11, as well as Osama bin Laden himself, whose Wahhabi ideology, educational system and media teach that non-Moslems are worthy of contempt; Turkey, an authoritarian islamist country; Egypt, for although President Abdel El-Sisi, is an ally of the United States, Egypt is also ground zero for the Moslem Brotherhood (note that CAIR, the Brotherhood front in the US is in the forefront of condemning the EO); United Arab Emirates, dripping with radicalism in the form of ISIS- and Al Qaida-affiliated groups that pose a serious threat to American citizens, according to the State Department, whose website says : "Both historical and current information suggest that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), al-Qaida, and affiliated organizations continue to plan attacks against Western targets"; Tunisia, the home country of the truck terrorist who killed 84 people in Nice, France; Afghanistan, the counrty, if we may even call it that, where much of the population supports radical Islam and the Taliban; Pakistan, one of the most anti-American countries on Earth that sheltered Osama bin Laden, now protects the Taliban, and tolerates hundreds of madrassas schools like those in Saudi Arabia, which produce more and more radicals every year. Why are these countries not on the temporary ban list in the Trump EO?? • • • FEDERAL JUDGES QUICK TO ACT. Federal Judge Ann Donnelly of the US District Court forthe Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, issued an emergency stay Saturday night that temporarily blocks the US government from sending people out of the country after they have landed at a U.S. airport with valid visas. Judge Donnelly's order barred US border agents from removing anyone who arrived in the US with a valid visa from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also covered anyone with an approved refugee application. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that more than 170 people were denied entry to the US as of Saturday night, according to Reuters, which reported that 12 refugees were detained at JFK Airport within hours of Trump's order restricting immigration from seven majority-Moslem nations -- but two were released later in the day -- as hundreds of protesters continued to amass at the busy airport throughout the day and into the evening. As I mentioned above, one of the Iraqis, Hameed Jhalid Darweesh, 53, a US Army interpreter in Iraq, and his wife nad 3 children, were released by midday Saturday. Darweesh said : “I suffered to move here, to get my family here....I can’t go back.” The New York Post asked him if he’d be killed in Iraq, and he answered: “Yes, yes.” • Prog-Dem NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted : "What's happening at JFK is shameful. @NYCImmigrants Affairs Commissioner Nisha Agarwal is on the ground now working to help." Democrat congressmembers Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velazquez announced the number of refugees held at the airport and said : “This should not happen in America. We shouldn’t have to demand the release of refugees one by one. They have been detained illegally. I am begging you to go and revisit this. It's ill-advised, it's mean spirited." Meanwhile, the Progressive National Immigration Law Center and other civil liberties organizations have filed a suit in federal court in New York on behalf of the two Iraqi men that seeks to certify the case as a class-action on behalf of other who organizers claim have been detained illegally. Karen Tumlin, legal director at the NILC, issued the following statement : “Trump’s order keeps some of the world’s most vulnerable people in life threatening danger....Many refugees like our client risked their lives to help the United States government. The fact that the government has now decided to turn its back on those who served and protected us isn’t just unconscionable. It’s unconstitutional.” Prog-Dem Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe held an afternoon press conference in response to Trump's actions to say that we "cannot tolerate this type of activity." • Most of this is just Prog-Dem flailing at the turn of events they cannot stop. President Trump’s immigration order dEOs not target Moslems. The EO clearly state who it is targeting : "Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States. The United States must be vigilant during the visa-issuance process to ensure that those approved for admission do not intend to harm Americans and that they have no ties to terrorism. In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation." Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani defended the ban saying it was “perfectly legal, perfectly sensible.” Giuliani added that the ban is “not based on religion. It's based on places where there's substantial evidence that people are sending terrorists into our country.” • • • DEAR READERS, even Qatar Airways understands the scope of the EO better than the hysterical Prog-Dems do. Qatar Airways tells departing passengers bound for the US from the seven newly banned countries that they need to have either a US green card or diplomatic visa to travel. A statement on the Qatar Airways website says : "Nationals of the following countries: Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen...may travel to the US only if they are in possession of a permanent resident card (Green card) or any of the below visas." It listed foreign government, United Nations, international organization and NATO visas. • But, late Friday, the International Rescue Committee called Trump's suspension of the US refugee resettlement program a "harmful and hasty." IRC president, the British Labour politician David Miliband, said : "America must remain true to its core values. America must remain a beacon of hope." It is interesting that a British citizen would comment on President Trump's attempt to put the US immigration mess in order when he comes from a country that just voted to leave the EU largely because British citizens felt they were no longer in control of immigration into their own country. • President Jimmy Carter halted travel to the US by Iranians. In his 1995 State of the Union address, then-President Clinton spoke about securing US borders and restricting immigration. He got a standing ovation. A 2006 law signed by President GW Bush authorized the construction of a wall on the Mexican border but the Democratic Congress prevented it by not providing the funds requested. Trump's EO begins by stating that “State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals” who carried out the 9/11 attacks, and that after-enacted measures did little to stop attacks on American soil by foreign nationals. It places the onus on the countries involved to provide the US with information needed to determine that visa applicants from those countries are not a “security or public-safety threat.” The corrupt Refugee Resettlement Program under which NGOs received funds to lobby for more open borders will be suspended for 120 days. When the suspension period is over, refugee claims will be re-prioritized to give preference to : “Individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.” And, states and localities : “will be granted a role in the process of determining the placement or re-settlement in their jurisdiction“ of alien refugees -- something Obama refused to do. In addition, the Visa Interview Waiver program is suspended, meaning that all applicants not covered by specific statutory exceptions, must undergo an in-person interview. • And -- are we surprised? -- billionaire Progressive moneybags George Soros is helping fund the airport protests against President Donald Trump's executive order to ban refugees from war-torn Syria indefinitely and suspend visas from seven countries for at least 30 days, as PJ Media reported Sunday. So, are these protesters being paid to march? PJ Media's Debra Heine posted tweets of airport protests against the action, which showed protesters fighting deportations, ironically, by saying the first lady should be deported : "Immigration lawyers from groups financed by Soros" signed the ACLU lawsuit which led to the stay of President Trump's executive orders, according to the report. President Trump hit back at opposition to his executive orders Sunday morning via Twitter, saying he is pushing to defend the US borders and protect American citizens. • The world globalists and US Progressive-Democrats have good reason to be stunned and in hysterics. Their neatly organized programs to provide for wildly unreasonable open borders and to flood America and Europe with a mass of unvetted migrants and refugees whose loyalty is either to Islam or to non-western political and cultural traditions, and who often build no-go areas where their home culture and Islam are simply transplanted to Europe -- all that was dealt a severe blow by President Trump's Executive Order. Bravo, Mr. Trump. Bravo.
Friday, January 27, 2017
Saturday Politics is sometimes about the new guy in town. • • • TRUMP HAS BLITZED WASHINGTON. President Trump is moving so fast that even the mainstream media is having trouble attacking every word and order coming from the Oval Office. Trump is proving that his campaign whirlwind was not a one-of-a-kind publicity stunt -- that is who Trump is every day, and American is already better for it. “It’s a robust schedule,” one White House aide said, “He isn’t wasting any time. He said he was going to go to work for the American people, and that’s what he’s doing.” This week, Trump had jampacked days meeting with business leaders and auto industry executives and calling world leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. He invited Senate leaders to the White House and had individual meetings, including one with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He went to Philadelphia to address the Republican annual congressional retreat. He met with British Prime Minister Teresa May. And, while doing all that, he signed on so many Executive Orders (EO) aimed at sorting out and turning around the Obama failures that it's hard to keep tabs on them. A pretty heavy load for a "first week on the job." • • • CHICAGO, CAN I HELP? Remember the old pop song that promised, "If your child needs a daddy, I can help." President Trump made a variation on those words when he asked Chicago if it needs help with its horrible street crime and murder record.Trump declared he was ready to help Chicago by offering to "send in the Feds" if Chicago can't reduce its homicides. On Tuesday night, Trump tweeted: "If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible 'carnage' going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!" Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama's first chief of staff, answered that he would take help in the form of money and programs, but he warned against deploying the National Guard, saying it would hurt efforts to restore trust in the police -- we may pause here to ask, what trust. Trump had not detailed what kind of federal intervention he was suggesting or if it could involve troops, but the mayor cautioned that using the military could make matters worse, telling reporters : "We're going through a process of reinvigorating community policing, building trust between the community and law enforcement. Sending troops is antithetical to the spirit of community policing." He said he welcomed federal help battling "gangs, guns and drugs." • It is very clear that whatever Mayor Emanuel is doing in Chicago, it isn't working. In 2016, the death toll skyrocketed to 762 -- the most killings in the city in two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined. Emanuel said the Chicgo police department already partners with federal agencies such as the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration to combat crime, including efforts to halt the flow of illegal guns pouring into Chicago from elsewhere. He said he would like to see that cooperation "expanded dramatically" -- but, it looks like that effort isn't working either. On Tuesday night, the mayor told WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" that he welcomed government assistance in the form of more money to hire officers and more resources to track illegal guns. But he also said the federal government has not done nearly enough. He said, when it comes to after-school activities, summer jobs and other youth programs, the government "has walked away." • Of course, as with all Progressive Democrats, the issue for Emanuel is not street crime but police violence, as stated in an Obama Justice Department report, and that always leads to the favorite Progressive Democrat whipping boy -- gun control. Representative Luis Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, said Trump would "rather spend his time on Twitter" than look for ways to reduce gun violence : "The President wants publicity and to be seen beating up on Democratic elected officials and appearing hostile to a big city like Chicago in the eyes of his suburban and rural voters." Another Chicago Democrat, Representative Mike Quigley, called Trump's threat "reckless and misguided" and a "gross overreach of federal power," calling on the President to increase funding for federal programs that he said were cut by Republicans but would help local law enforcement [didn't Obama sign off on every budget while he was President??]. Quigley also called on Trump to support "commonsense, pragmatic gun laws" -- once again,Chicago politicians like to forget that Chicago has some of the tightest gun control laws in the US, but the crime and murders continue. Money cannot be the answer -- especially money tossed into the pockets of the Democrat machine that is Chicago politics. Trump is nobody's fool in that regard. • • • SANCTUARY CITIES. While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was telling President Trump to stay out of his city -- just send money -- he was also defying Trump's EO call for sanctuary cities to be stripped of federal funds if they do not enforce federal immigration laws. In effect, Emanuel's illogical position is that he will take federal money to fight crime while harboring illegal immigrant criminals who are responsible for some of that crime -- sometimes Progressives are just plain crazy. • Mayor Emanuel says that his city intends on openly operating as a sanctuary city : “I want to be clear. We’re gonna stay a sanctuary city. We welcome people, whether you’re from Poland or Pakistan, whether you’re from Ireland or India or Israel and whether you’re from Mexico or Moldova, where my grandfather is from, you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American Dream.” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, another Progressive Democrat, said : “[It’s an attack] on Boston’s people, Boston’s strength and Boston’s values. If people want to live here, they’ll live here. They can use my office. They can any office in this building.” Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, another Prog-Dem, meanwhile, said that his city could withstand legal challenges from the Trump administration over the matter : “This city will not be bullied by this administration. We believe we have the rule of law and the courts on our side.” • Mister Mayors, repeat slowly after me -- the rule of law does not include harboring illegal immigrant criminals. • • • TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDERS COMING ON UN FUNDING. While confronting Chicago and sanctuary cities, the Trump is also preparing EOs to reduce the US role in the United Nations and other international organizations, the New York Times reported Wednesday. According to the NYT : "the draft order establishes criteria that would trigger the US-defunding, including organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization, or support programs that fund abortion or any activity circumventing sanctions against Iran or North Korea." The draft order also calls for terminating funding for any organization that is "controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism" -- or that conducts persecutions or violates human rights, the NYT reported. In December, after the UN Security Council anti-Israel resolution passed because Obama directed the US ambassador to abstain, Trump was sharply critical of the UN, tweeting : "The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!" The NYT noted that the United States provides about a quarter of all funding to UN peacekeeping operations in Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. • And, according to the NYT, a different Trump draft EO will call for a review of many treaties with multiple countries -- with the goal of determining which ones the United States should exit. • • • THE PROG-DEMS ARE STYMIED. Sean Hannity of Fox News aptly described President Trump’s first few days as a “shock and awe” experience for the Left, a military tactic resulting in disorientation and a growing sense of helplessness. The Hill calls it a “dizzying pace.” Richard Baehr is more direct : "The left is going to have nervous breakdown soon. The wall, cutoff of funds to sanctuary cities and the UN, the cutoff of Syrian refugees and temporary freeze for all refugees, the pipelines,a new court nominee next week and no doubt several more things today. He is flooding the zone." • Trump is the real thing and by being true to his promises, he now has 57% approval on Rasmussen. • Leadership is taking action to show that policies start at the top. Trump is a far more proactive leader than either Obama or GW Bush. This can help the economy by energizing Americans and by creating the impression that he may take forceful action if talk fails, something Obama clearly did not do. Trump's Friday plug-pulling on the visit of Mexico's president is a clear example of this. Trump is moving so fast that the Prog-Dems and their MSM have resorted to hysterical overkill, calling him Hitler, a fascist, a threat to democracy, and a misogynist -- insulting and criticizing everything he does in exaggerated terms. Average Americans, thank goodness, correctly perceive that nothing Trump does will please the Prog-Dems and MSM, so their hysteria is discounted or simply ignored. If every word out of Donald Trump’s mouth is greeted with horror and rage and despair and hysteria by his opponents -- and by paid professional demonstrators following him around like mindless puppets, the Prog-Dems will never be able to offer any alternative to the Trump whirlwind. • • • DEAR READERS, that brings me to my lingering mix of pity and disgust at Madonna's rage on Friday, leading to her saying she had often thought about "blowing up the White House." An idea like that may seem slightly foolish when uttered by a 50-something has-been pop star apparently turning to Progressive politics to keep her name in the media spotlight. But, her statement is, in truth, an admission of the inability of the Left to get any hook into Trump and the American majority he represents. And, it could be the beginning of a frightening period in which political opposition takes an increasingly violent turn. How do the Prog-Dems and MSM fight against Trump's proof that constitutional America has survived their most devilish efforts to kill it? The media is fragmenting. Chicago is proof that the Obama Prog-Dem agenda failed inner cities and black Americans. Political Correctness is dead. Business is being returned to its rightful place as the engine that drives jobs and American commercial excellence. Foreign affairs are once again in the hands of pros who understand that America is their prime client, before the rest of the world. Israel has been returned to its rightful place as a key American ally. The Constitution is alive and well and soon to be protected by a conservative Supreme Court majority. Patriotism is no longer a dirty word. And, foremost, America's Christian foundation is being re-established. The Progressive Democrat Left has been bested bigtime by a New York businessman who dared to take them on in the name of America. He won and they have nowhere to go. The danger is that they will become increasingly violent. The most shocking thing I read this week came from Germany and speaks to this penchant the Left has for using violence as a tool to grab or keep political power. Newspaper publisher Josef Joffe came up with a truly frightening idea to remove Donald Trump from office -- have someone in the White House murder him. After a caller to a TV show he was a guest on asked if there was “still a way out of the Trump catastrophe” to remove him from office, one female panelist began discussing how she thought Trump might be impeached before his first term was up. But, she added : “There has to be a qualified two-thirds majority of the Senate in order for a removal of office to take place. These are politically and legally pretty high hurdles, a lot would have to happen for it, we’re far away from that.” Joffe then calmly responded : “Murder in the White House, for example.” The woman panelist said : “Josef, remain serious.” The host of the show moved on quickly. What you should realize is that Joffe is not a wild-eyed anarchist. He is is the publisher-editor of Die Zeit, the most widely read weekly German newspaper. He is also a courtesy professor of political science at Stanford University. The same Progressive Leftists who would have been outraged at anyone even hinting at violence against Barack Obama blithely talk about assassinating Donald Trump. Think about that this weekend. • And just one last Saturday Politics note after watching the Trump-May news conference -- Trump has found his "Thatcher" and the world is on notice...look out, the Anglo Saxons are coming.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
“It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.” __Elie Weisel. • January 27 is the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi concentration camp and it is the day designated by the United Nations General Assembly as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the victims of the Nazi era and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. You can join the conversation and share your reflections about International Holocaust Remembrance Day on social media using #HolocaustRemembrance. There are remembrance ceremonies and events worldwide to commemmorate the day. • In Washington DC, on January 27 at 11 a.m., the Museum will host a commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a program featuring remarks from the Honorable Björn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States, and a Holocaust survivor, musical selections from the US Army Band, and a candle-lighting ceremony and victims’ names reading. You can join the program live at ushmm.org/watch. • At the United Nations in New York City, until March 5, the UN is hosting "State of Deception : The Power of Nazi Propaganda," described as a powerful exhibition that examines how the Nazis used propaganda to win broad voter support, implement radical programs, and justify war and mass murder. It emphasizes why the issue of propaganda matters and challenges citizens to actively question, analyze, and seek the truth. • Also, at the UN on January 27 at 11 a.m. EST, there will be a United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony that you can watch live on the UN website. • The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is hosting "State of Deception : The Power of Nazi Propaganda," an exhibition that continues through June 18. • The Paris Hotel de Ville, or city hall, will also host "State of Deception : The Power of Nazi Propaganda" (L’État Trompeur : Le Pouvoir de la Propagande Nazi). You can visit the exhibition in the Paris Rendez-Vous space from January 26 through February 27. • • • The website Virtual Jerusalem has posted quotations from Holocaust victims and survivors. Here are some of the quotations. • Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Holocaust Survivor : "I remember the looks of horror on the faces of the American soldiers when they came in and stared around them. I was afraid when I saw them. I crept behind a pile of dead bodies and hid there, watching them warily. Rabbi Herschel Schachter was the Jewish chaplain of the division. I saw him get out of a jeep and stand there, staring at the corpses. He has often told this story, how he thought he saw a pair of living eyes looking out from among the dead. It made his hair stand on end, but slowly and cautiously he made his way around the pile, and then, he clearly remembers coming face-to-face with me, an eight-year-old boy, wide-eyed with terror. In heavily-accented American Yiddish, he asked me, 'How old are you, mein kind?' There were tears in his eyes. 'What difference does it make?' I answered, warily. 'I'm older than you, anyway.' He smiled through his tears and said, 'Why do you think you're older than me?' And I answered, 'Because you cry and laugh like a child. I haven't laughed in a long time, and I don't even cry anymore. So which one of us is older?' " • Primo Levi, a Holocaust Survivor : "Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions." • Ephraim Reichenberg, Holocaust Survivor : “My brother had a nice singing voice, but I couldn't sing. They injected us at the base of the neck with a certain substance that after the war we found out to be cancer cells. The experiment was done time and time again. Mengele would sit on the side and take notes...In 1948, I moved to Israel. I was one of the first soldiers in the IDF. I felt spiritually uplifted, that I - a Jew and a survivor of Auschwitz could fight in a Jewish army." __Ephraim and his brother Menashe were experimented on in the Twins Experiments conducted by Mengele, despite of the fact that the two were not twins. His brother Menashe died in 1946 from the same illness that Ephraim still suffers from. He lost the ability to use his vocal chords later in life, and was unable to speak until 1984, when he regained the ability to speak with the aid of a device manufactured in Germany. • Anne Frank, killed in the Holocaust : “Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason alone do we have to suffer now. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English, or representatives of any country for that matter; we will always remain Jews, but we want to, too.” • • • Dear readers, as Anne Frank did, we search for meaning in the Holocaust. Beyond the horror, beyond the evil, beyond the genocide, we strive to find a meaning that lifts the unspeakable into something we can grasp as evidence that the soul of humankind is not simply a black hole. And, so often, it is the Jewish people themselves who give us this hope and meaning in their everyday kindness to their fellow man. Israel has treated more than 2,600 Syrians wounded in the civil war. Most of the world is unaware that every single night, desperate women, children and men wounded in the raging Syrian civil war make their way to Israel seeking help from the very same people they consider their enemies. The injured Syrians come to set points on the Israeli-Syrian frontier after nightfall where they're quickly evacuated to safety areas by IDF personnel on the lookout for them. Despite being in a formal state of war with Syria, it's no secret that Israel has allowed more than 2,600 Syrian citizens to cross into Israel for medical help. Most of the wounded are afraid to identify themselves by name or allow their picture to be taken, out of fear of retribution back home for receiving treatment in the Jewish state. Almost all of the refugees are brought to the Ziv medical center in northern Israel, where many of the staff are native Arabic speakers. Most say they've completely changed their minds about Israel after seeing it for themselves. Since the conflict broke out in March of 2011, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and millions have been forced to flee their homes. Many of the victims are children suffering from life-threatening injuries who sometimes remain in Israel for months. Israel is studying housing possibilities for orphans until it becomes safe for them to return home. • Love can be a one-way street, but Israel proves every day its love for people, no matter who they are or what they feel for Jews. It is a love of life that perhaps only Jews -- who looked into the black hole of the Holocaust that spewed evil and the stench of imminent extermination -- can comprehend.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Democrats and some Republicans are trying to deny or downplay claims that non-citizen voting had an impact on November's election after President Donald Trump told congressional leaders Monday that "illegals" had cost him the popular vote. Trump reignited a claim that has been largely dismissed by independent fact-checkers and became another touch point for those who criticize everything that Trump says or does. • • • ATTACKS ON TRUMP FOR HIS VOTER FRAUD CHARGE. As an example, Representative Tony Cardenas, a California Democrat, told The Hill on Tuesday : "It is a shame when people get elected to office and they use their ideas and their voice with absolutely no facts and they do things as ridiculous as infringing upon the confidence of our democracy." Some top Republicans were just as quick to dismiss the allegations of voter fraud. Speaker Paul Ryan again said that he has seen "no evidence to that effect," and Senator Lindsey Graham asked Trump to show proof of the claims "or please stop saying it." But, some House Republicans used the President's claim to revive their own accusations of widespread voter fraud. Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican, was asked on MSNBC Tuesday whether he believed Trump's accusation that 3 million to 5 million people had voted illegally. King said he wasn't aware of that figure, but said he had extrapolated a figure based off a study of voter fraud in two Virginia counties : "The number I came up with off of that extrapolation was 2.4 million. So it's plausible -- the number 3 million sounds like it's a plausible number to me." And that was sufficient for House Democrats to attack King, a proponent of restrictive immigration measures, as "paranoid." Representative Zoe Lofgren, another California Democrat, called King's figure estimate incorrect : "That's provably incorrect. But then, that's Steve." And, Democrat Representative Ruben Gallego of Ariwonq went much farther : "Steve King is a paranoid politician that is trying to basically be divisive and disempower all people of color that vote. The fact is that the instances of voter fraud are rare, the incidence among immigrants is rare, and the incidence of undocumented immigrants voting is almost nonexistent." Senator Bernie Sanders also joined in, calling Trump's accusation "delusional" and said "he is sending a message to every Republican governor in this country to go forward with voter suppression." California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, a Democrat who has made voter enfranchisement his signature issue, panned Trump for bringing up the claim again : "By repeating false and unsubstantiated voter fraud allegations as the cause for losing the popular vote, President Trump is dangerously attacking the legitimacy of free and fair elections and the foundation of our democracy. These are not 'alternative facts.' They are corrosive lies without any evidence. Even leaders in the President's own party agree there is no evidence to support his claims since they were irresponsibly made back in November," Padilla told TheHill in an email. • King blamed alleged illegal voting partly on simplified voter registration techniques, such as registration connected to driver's license applications : "They ask them if they want to sign up for under motor voter, register to vote. Maybe they don't understand the language, maybe they understand. They can be signed up anyway. But some of them go in and vote. I'm completely convinced of that. I don't know the number. We need to clean it up. And motor voter is a gateway to illegal voting." Representative Mo Brooks, a Republican of Alabama, said it was impossible to determine how many non-citizens had voted in the past, but said measures should be taken going forward to ensure voters proved their citizenship in the registration and voting process, saying : "There's no proof of substance one way or the other, but there are enough circumstances to cause people to have different opinions on this issue." Brooks cites the elections of Senators Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, in 2008 and Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat, in 2000 as examples of elections that could have been decided by ineligible voters. Franken beat then-Senator Norm Coleman by 312 votes, and Cantwell beat then-Senator Slade Gorton by 2,229 votes and Brooks said : "That's an example of where illegal votes could have swayed the outcome, and there are any number of House seats that are decided by less than one percentage point." • • • THE MEDIA REJECTS TRUMP'S CHARGES. The Washington Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee explains why White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s claims on January 24 about voter fraud in the presidential election don’t add up -- but, frankly, her explanation doesn't add up either. Spicer told the White House press corps that President Trump continues to say he believes that 3 million to 5 million ballots were illegally cast during the election : “The President does believe that. He has stated that before. “ think he stated his concerns, voter fraud and people voting illegally, during the campaign. And he continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.” Spicer said that a 2008 Pew study “showed 14% of people who have voted are noncitizens.” The explanation Lee gave for Spicer's comment was : "Spicer was likely referring to a study that members of his team frequently cite in trying to back up their claims of voter fraud, the 2012 Pew Center on the States study that looked for ways to make the election system more accurate, cost-effective and efficient, and found that many voter registrations were significantly inaccurate or no longer valid because people moved, had died or were inactive voters -- although they found no evidence that this led to voter fraud. That study did not examine the citizenship of voters." Lee seems to be missing the point that "voter fraud" and "non-citizen" voting are different faces of the same thing and that the Pew study actually points out that 14% of votes could be fraudulent for one reason or another. • The more likely reference point for Trump is a study by Old Dominion University professors about voting participation rates of noncitizens by using data from 2008 and 2010 collected through the Cooperative Congressional Election Studies and concluding that 14% of noncitizens surveyed in 2008 and 2010 said they were registered to vote. The professors warned that “it is impossible to tell for certain whether the noncitizens who responded to the survey were representative of the broader population of noncitizens.” It is this study that yields the "3 to 5 million" number Trump cites. According to sources who talked ot the WP, at a reception for congressional leaders on Monday, Trump claimed that between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused him to lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. But, according ot the WP : "Analyses of the election found virtually no confirmed cases of voter fraud, let alone millions. Clinton won the popular vote by more than 2.8 million votes." Spicer said : "The comment that he made was, he said 3 to 5 million people could have voted illegally based on the studies that he’s seen. But he’s very clear that he won the election based on the 306 electoral votes that he got....He's very comfortable with the depth and breadth of the support that he got from the American people.” • At one point during the January 24 Spicer briefing, NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson pressed Spicer on why the administration isn't investigating this fraud if it truly believes it occurred : “If 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, that is a scandal of astronomical proportions. Doesn't he want to restore Americans' faith in their ballot system? Wouldn't he want an investigation of this? I mean, this is a huge, huge scandal.” • • • TRUMP ACTS ON VOTER FRAUD CLAIMS. In repsonse to his critics -- those who call his voter fraud allegations "lies," "delusional," and "false," -- President Trump on Wednesday tweeted that he will launch a 'major' investigation to look into voter fraud in the country : "I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and....even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)....Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!" So, President Trump is putting his money on the table and we will see where it leads. • • • THE KENNEDY-NIXON ELECTION. It is now widely accepted that Kennedy won the 1960 presidential election because of voter fraud. Here is the Wikipedia account of the 1960 fraud investigation : "Many people believed that Kennedy benefited from vote fraud, especially in Texas, where his running mate Lyndon B. Johnson was Senator, and Illinois, home of Mayor Richard Daley's powerful Chicago political machine. These two states were important because if Nixon had carried both, he would have earned 270 electoral votes, one more than the 269 needed to win the majority in the Electoral College and the presidency. Republican Senators such as Everett Dirksen and Barry Goldwater also thought that vote fraud "played a role in the election," and that Nixon actually won the national popular vote. Republicans tried and failed to overturn the results in both Illinois and Texas at the time -- as well as in nine other states. Some journalists also later claimed that mobster Sam Giancana and his Chicago crime syndicate "played a role" in Kennedy's victory in Illinois. Nixon's campaign staff urged him to pursue recounts and challenge the validity of Kennedy's victory in several states, especially in Illinois, Missouri, and New Jersey, where large majorities in Catholic precincts handed Kennedy the election. However, Nixon gave a speech three days after the election stating that he would not contest the election. The Republican National Chairman, Senator Thruston Ballard Morton of Kentucky, visited Key Biscayne, Florida, where Nixon had taken his family for a vacation, and pushed for a recount. Morton did challenge the results in 11 states, keeping challenges in the courts into the summer of 1961; however, the only result of these challenges was the loss of Hawaii to Kennedy on a recount. Kennedy won Illinois by less than 9,000 votes out of 4.75 million cast, or a margin of 0.2%. However, Nixon carried 92 of the state's 101 counties, and Kennedy's victory in Illinois came from the city of Chicago, where Mayor Richard J. Daley held back much of Chicago's vote until the late morning hours of November 9. The efforts of Daley and the powerful Chicago Democratic organization gave Kennedy an extraordinary Cook County victory margin of 450,000 votes -- more than 10% of Chicago's 1960 population of 3.55 million, although Cook County also includes many suburbs outside of Chicago's borders -- thus barely overcoming the heavy Republican vote in the rest of Illinois. Earl Mazo, a reporter for the pro-Nixon New York Herald Tribune, investigated the voting in Chicago and "claimed to have discovered sufficient evidence of vote fraud to prove that the state was stolen for Kennedy." In Texas, Kennedy defeated Nixon by a narrow 51 to 49% margin, or 46,000 votes. Some Republicans argued that Johnson's formidable political machine had stolen enough votes in counties along the Mexican border to give Kennedy the victory. Kennedy's defenders, such as his speechwriter and special assistant Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., have argued that Kennedy's margin in Texas (46,000 votes) was simply too large for vote fraud to have been a decisive factor. Russell D. Renka, a former political science professor at Southeastern Missouri State University, acknowledged that it was more than likely that Johnson's political machine in the state's lower Rio Grande Valley counties, including the notorious Duval County, could have "managed to produce a significant number of forged votes" for Kennedy. However, Renka also acknowledged that Kennedy's margin in the state's initial tally "made it far too difficult to prove that voter fraud had determined who won Texas" and that "any recount would also have been hard to conduct." Cases of voter fraud were discovered in Texas. For example, Fannin County had only 4,895 registered voters, yet 6,138 votes were cast in that county, three-quarters for Kennedy. In an Angelina County precinct, Kennedy received 187 votes to Nixon's 24, though there were only a total of 86 registered voters in the precinct. When Republicans demanded a statewide recount, they learned that the state Board of Elections, whose members were all Democrats, had already "certified" Kennedy as the official winner in Texas. In Illinois, Schlesinger and others have pointed out that, even if Nixon had carried Illinois, the state alone would not have given him the victory, as Kennedy would still have won 276 electoral votes to Nixon's 246 (with 269 needed to win). More to the point, Illinois was the site of the most extensive challenge process, which fell short despite repeated efforts spearheaded by Cook County state's attorney, Benjamin Adamowski, a Republican, who also lost his re-election bid. Despite demonstrating net errors favoring both Nixon and Adamowski (some precincts -- 40% in Nixon's case -- showed errors favoring them, a factor suggesting error, rather than fraud), the totals found fell short of reversing the results for either candidate. While a Daley-connected circuit judge, Thomas Kluczynski (who would later be appointed a federal judge by Kennedy, at Daley's recommendation), threw out a federal lawsuit "filed to contend" the voting totals, the Republican-dominated State Board of Elections unanimously rejected the challenge to the results. Furthermore, there were signs of possible irregularities in downstate areas controlled by Republicans, which Democrats never seriously pressed, since the Republican challenges went nowhere. More than a month after the election, the Republican National Committee abandoned its Illinois voter fraud claims. However, a special prosecutor assigned to the case brought charges against 650 people, which did not result in convictions. Three Chicago election workers were convicted of voter fraud in 1962 and served short terms in jail. Mazo, the Herald-Tribune reporter, later said that he "found names of the dead who had voted in Chicago, along with 56 people from one house." He found cases of Republican voter fraud in southern Illinois, but said that the totals "did not match the Chicago fraud he found." After Mazo had published four parts of an intended 12-part voter fraud series documenting his findings which was re-published nationally, he said, "Nixon requested his publisher stop the rest of the series so as to prevent a constitutional crisis." Nevertheless, the Chicago Tribune (which routinely endorsed GOP presidential candidates, including Nixon in 1960, 1968 and 1972) wrote that "the election of November 8 was characterized by such gross and palpable fraud as to justify the conclusion that [Nixon] was deprived of victory." Had Nixon won both states, he would have ended up with exactly 270 electoral votes and the presidency, with or without a victory in the popular vote. • • • DEAR READERS, President Trump believes that millions of people voted illegally in the US election based on "studies and evidence," the White House has said. So, in an effort to get to the bottom of the voter fraud problem in America -- including Democrat legal efforts to register people without any proof of identity, opening the door to the registration and voting of illegal and dead voter -- President Trump on Wednesday said he will launch a 'major' investigation to look into voter fraud. Trump said : "I will be asking for a major investigation into VOTER FRAUD, including those registered to vote in two states, those who are illegal and....even, those registered to vote who are dead (and many for a long time)," the president tweeted Wednesday morning. Depending on results, we will strengthen up voting procedures!" • Donald Trump has occasionally made statements that Progressives, Democrats and mainstream media have laughed at, but he has most often been proven to be correct. Let's withhold judgment until we have the results of the investigation. One thing is certain -- there is voter fraud in the United States, the question is how extensive it is.