Thursday, May 31, 2018
Was the Trump Jr. - Veselnitskaya Meeting in June 2016 the Start of Russia's Attempt to Infiltrate the Trump Campaign?
THE REAL QUESTION TODAY IS WHEN DID OBAMA'S FBI START SPYING ON TRUMP. Nobody in the FBI or its parent agency, the DOJ, has so far answered the "when' question. • • • WHEN DID OBAMA BEGIN SPYING ON TRUMP? Restore American Glory asked the question in a May 23 article titled "Obama Was Spying on Trump Long Before DNC Emails Were Published." The article states : "The more we learn about the early days of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s “collusion” with Russia, the more this whole thing stinks....Strangely enough, the FBI seems unable or unwilling to mark a definitive start date to the investigation. The official document procured by the House Intelligence Committee has a start date of July 31, 2016, but no one is even bothering to pretend that this was actually the beginning of the investigation. Most of Obama’s lackeys pin the start of the investigation to “late spring” of that year, but it’s still not clear what actually compelled the FBI to start looking into the matter. Was it the Steele Dossier -- a piece of Clinton-funded opposition research with (as far as we can tell) very little relation to fact? The FBI and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper insist that the Dossier had nothing to do with it. Was it Carter Page’s trip to Moscow? Was it George Papadopoulos’s drunken conversation with an Australian diplomat? What started this investigation? Why is this so difficult to figure out? There is no reason for this stuff to remain shrouded in mystery unless the cloak of secrecy is intended to shield the Obama administration from charges of illegal spying." Restore American Glory says the Papadopoulos version is "the one we’re really supposed to believe," but it makes no sense, "given that no one even knew the DNC’s servers had been hacked at the time he spoke to the Australian diplomat. Nor does it make sense that the FBI would wait until January 2017 to speak to Papadopoulos. NOR does it make sense that the FBI would initiate a counterintelligence investigation without letting Trump know, 'Hey man, your people are falling into a Russian trap.' ” • Restore American Glory says : "What would make sense is that the Obama team, scared to death about what a President Trump would do to their leader’s legacy if he were to defeat Hillary Clinton, went to extraordinary lengths to spy on, set up, and investigate their political adversaries. The only other possibility is that they are withholding a MAJOR piece of evidence from the public and Congress -- a piece of evidence that landed in their laps early on and justified the rest of their bizarre and illegal machinations. If that evidence exists, now would be a good time to let the world in on it." • Since it is highly unlikely that the leaking sieve that was the FBI during the Obama years could have kept a "MAJOR piece of evidence" secret even until after lunch on the day they discovered it, what seems highly likely is that the FBI is rolling its start date for the Trump investigation in order to try to hide its illegal actions against Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election. There is no firm start date for the Trump investigation because the Obama Deep Staters who are still in charge of the investigation still do not know how far back the official date of their effort to make Hillary President come hell or high water needs to go in orde to protect Obama, Hillary, AND themselves from the consequences of their illegality. • • • ONE ANALYST HAS SUGGESTED A START DATE ON THE FBI'S TRUMP INVESTIGATION. American Thinker published an article on Wednesday titled "America 2018: Bifurcation," written by Gary Gindler, conservative Russian-American blogger at Gary Gindler Chronicles. • Gary Gindler is a Ukrainian Jewish émigré and a staunch Republican, who says that growing up in the Soviet Ukraine he had to memorize Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" and various tomes by Vladimir Lenin. Gindler says he had $800 when he arrived in the United States in 1995. Within two years, he found a job, purchased a house for his wife and two children, and had changed his name from Igor to Gary. Though apolitical at first, Gindler started picking up on the cadence of American politics after he received citizenship in September 2001. Today, Gindler has a blog, provides commentary on a Brooklyn radio station that targets the Russian Jewish community living around New York City, and abhors policies that to him look like socialism in the US while also hating post-Soviet Putin, who he says suppresses political opposition. Gindler dismisses allegations that Putin's Russia helped Trump win. He believes Russia was rooting for Trump but didn't do anything nefarious. It was Trump's promise to crack down on immigration from Moslem countries, decrease taxes, and repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act that motivated Gindler to support the Republican Trump. The common view among Russian-Americans is that Putin and Trump are opposites. Gindler says : "People who got freedom here will never tolerate what is going on over there." • With that background, let's look at what Gindler says about the FBI Trump investigation. Gindler's article in American Thinker begins with this : "US intelligence services (under the leadership of the Obama administration) considered themselves the true rulers of the country. They noted with satisfaction that they had achieved impressive successes ever since the origin of the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. In fact, in 2016, for the first time in American history, the election had not one, but both presidential candidates under investigation by intelligence services. The FBI conducted a criminal investigation against Hillary Clinton as well as a case of counter-espionage against Donald Trump. To date, the criminal case of Hillary Clinton is closed. But most of America understands perfectly well that Special Prosecutor Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign is not a means to an end, but a well conceived cover-up operation aimed at shielding Obama, Clinton, and their closest associates. So far, there is not a bit of proof of collusion between Trump and Vladimir Putin. Instead, everything points to cover up the criminal collusion between Obama and his intelligence services, which began in London. In addition to American and British intelligence services, Australian, Estonian, Russian, and Ukrainian intelligence services participated in the American elections in 2016. The efforts of all these intelligence services pressed against Trump, but only Russian intelligence services worked simultaneously against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton." • Gindler calls the entire affair "Obamagate," and says it has now "turned into an avalanche" of "seven employees of Trump under Obama surveillance, and four spies embedded by the Obama administration into Trump's campaign." • Gindler names the two spies that are on everbody's list, "Stefan Halper and Joseph Mifsud." Gindler says : "Halper, as it turned out, after the penetration into Trump campaign, tried to infiltrate Trump's administration after his inauguration. The third is an unknown person, referred to as 'NSA agent.' • Gindler explains the set up : "Suspicion of espionage is falling on Anatoly Samochornov as a fourth, the 'interpreter' of the Russian lawyer Veselnitskaya, who was, in fact, the FBI agent who accompanied her at the meeting with Trump's son, Manafort, and Kushner. Of course, the FBI kept Veselnitskaya in the dark. Her saga with the US visa is a story by itself. Her visa was overdue. However, someone high enough from Obama's Department of Justice made several calls. Veselnitskaya not only received a visa, but also had the opportunity to defend her client in an American court, even though she does not have a license to practice law in America....Now we know that the surveillance of General Flynn was conducted at least six months before his ill fated telephone conversation with the Russian ambassador in December 2016....This phone call (or rather, the scandal associated with it) was used by the Obama administration and served as yet another smokescreen to cover up the administration's criminal activities." • Gindler says national security letters were used before the FBI got its first FISA warrant : "Now we know what 'national security letters' are. They are tricks of the US intelligence services to track down Trump, which allowed them to organize surveillance without FISA court authorization. These 'national security letters' are a legitimate method of espionage business -- a method that has never been used before to track domestic political opponents." • Gindler adds to his analysis : "Finally, now we know (from the text message of FBI agent Strzok) that President Obama was behind this covert operation against Trump. The propaganda has already convinced practically everyone that these ill fated text messages were sent by Strzok to his mistress. But something tells me that the 'mistress,' Lisa Page, is yet another smokescreen, skillfully created by the FBI." [This is the first time we have heard this idea.] • Then, Gindler gives his start date for the FBI Trump investigation : "The active phase of the operation of US intelligence agencies against Trump and his campaign took place from approximately March 2016 to September 2017. That was about eight months before the elections, plus three months before the inauguration, plus about eight months after Trump took office as President. US intelligence services have all the documents of the Trump campaign (all emails, all phone calls, all texts) and, finally, reports of numerous 'confidential human sources.' " Gilder concludes that the spying on Trump was undertaken for "the protection of Obama and his accomplices." • • • AT LEAST FOUR POSSIBLE RUSSIAN 'PLANTS' MAY HAVE ATTENDED THE MEETING. In July 2017, Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI criminal division, told the Daily Caller that : "Whoever accompanied Veselnitskaya to the Trump Tower meeting will be of interest to federal investigators, including special counsel Robert Mueller, [who] will want to know “what is the pedigree of the attorney and of any translator in the room or involved in any way” in the Trump Tower meeting. As for what allegedly occurred in the meeting, both Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya claim that no Clinton research was exchanged. Instead, both say that Veselnitskaya lobbied hard against the Magnitsky Act. The meeting has drawn massive attention because of Veselnitskaya’s connections to the Russian government. In his initial outreach to Trump Jr., Goldstone referred to Veselnitskaya as a “Russian government attorney.” BUT, as of today, late May 2018, the spotlight on the meeting has dimmed and nothing has been reported about it since November, 2017. • The Daily Caller said in an article on July 13, 2017, written by Chuck Ross, that : "At least six people were involved in the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting, but so far only five have been publicly identified. Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Rob Goldstone and Natalia Veselnitskaya...took part in the meeting [later, Ike Kaveladze was identified as the eighth attendee]....Goldstone, a British music publicist, had informed Trump Jr. that Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney, would be providing the Clinton dirt. NBC News reported in July 2017 that Veselnitskaya, who does not speak English, was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who some US officials believe is a former Soviet counterintelligence officer. NBC also reported that a lawyer for Trump Jr. said that Veselnitskaya was accompanied by a second man, though no details were provided about him. The Associated Press confirmed after NBC’s report that the Russian-American lobbyist is Rinat Akhmetshin. Veselnitskaya works closely with another Russian emigre other than the suspected former Soviet spy. Anatoli Samochornov, a Russia-born professional translator who worked as a part-time contractor for the State Department, worked with Veselnitskaya last year on an effort to roll back the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 which allows for sanctions against Russians accused of human rights abuses. Veselnitskaya has used Samochornov’s translation services in court proceedings for cases she has in the US. The pair are also founding members of an obscure non-profit group registered in Delaware called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation (HRAGIF)." [ NOTE : HRAGIF claims to advocate for the adoption of Russian children by Americans, which was banned by Russian president Vladimir Putin in retaliation for passage of the Magnitsky Act.] • When Daily Caller tried to phone ANATOLI SAMOCHORNOV in July 2017, he declined to discuss either his work with Veselnitskaya (because of client confidentiality agreements) or whether he was involved in the Trump Tower meeting. But, the Daily Caller states that : "A State Department official confirmed to the DC that Samochornov was a contractor for the agency through Meridian International Center, a non-profit public diplomacy organization. The contract under which Samochornov worked ended in September [2016?], the official said. Samochornov has also worked for State’s Office of Language Services as a contract interpreter for exchange programs. Though the page [Linkedin] appears to have not been updated recently, Samochornov says that has worked as an “Interpreter at high level UN and private sector meetings for the Secretary of State [Hillary? or earlier?] and other VIPs,” and that he also worked to “develop programs that establish an understanding of US foreign policy goals and objectives for current and future international leaders” and represented the US government “in securing cooperation of key US resources in corporate, governmental and NGO community.” The Daily Caller says it is not clear whether Samochornov had security clearances in those roles that would seem to involve sensitive diplomatic issues. It is also interesting that Samochornov's wife lists herself on social media as a program officer at the State Department, and that she recently translated for Veselnitskaya and Katsyv during a court hearing held in the Prevezon case on May 3. • Samochornov has been identified, according to the Daily Caller : "as having lobbied US lawmakers to rollback the Magnitsky Act. Emails first reported last year by The Daily Beast show that Samochornov and Veselnitskaya worked closely to undercut the Magnitsky Act by setting up the screening of a film that questioned the story of the law’s namesake, a Russian lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky. Bill Browder, a London-based investor who has accused Veselnitskaya of violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act because of her anti-Magnitsky lobbying, told TheDC that Samochornov translated for the lawyer during his deposition for the legal case involving Katsyv. That case was settled in May with Katsyv’s company, Prevezon Holdings, agreeing with the Justice Department to pay a $6 million fine." Browder was deposed in the case because money stolen from his companies back in 2007 was allegedly laundered through the US real estate market by Prevezon Holdings and other Russian companies. Browder is the leading proponent behind the Magnitsky Act -- Sergei Magnitsky was Browder’s lawyer when he uncovered the $230 million money laundering scheme targeting the financiers’ firms. Magnitsky died under mysterious circumstances in 2009 in a Russian prison, where he was sent after being accused (falsely, says Browder) of perpetuating a fraud scheme of his own. • ROB GOLDSTONE, who set up the Jyne 2016 meeting, is an English publicist, music manager and former tabloid journalist, who gained international attention for his activities during the 2016 US Presidential election campaign, when he helped set up the Trump Tower meeting between Trump Jr. and Veselnitskaya. Goldstone refused to answer questions posed by the Daily Caller in 2017, as did Veselnitskaya. But, Goldstone did talk ot the UK Telegraph in November 2017. Goldstone, a former journalist, told the Telegraph he was working for a Russian oligarch, Aras Agalarov, and his pop singer son, Emin, who had appeared with Mr Trump during the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. He said Emin asked him to reach out to the Trump campaign with an offer of help. The email that Goldstone sent to Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016, said : “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump -- helped along by Aras and Emin.” Goldstone insisted to the Telegraph that he was not part of a Russian plot to influence the election : “When people said that, I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard." • Business Insider reported in December 2017 that Goldstone "reportedly sent follow-up emails to a Trump aide afterward," quoting a CNN report. Business Insider retold the CNN report : "Goldstone reportedly sent an email to Trump aide Dan Scavino, who is now the White House director of social media, encouraging him to persuade Trump to publish a page on VK, a Russian social-networking website. In the email, Goldstone also mentioned that Trump Jr. and then-campaign chairman Manafort would go along with the idea. It was not previously known publicly that the parties who attended the Trump Tower meeting communicated afterward, and Trump Jr., has told congressional investigators he had not personally followed up with the attendees. According to CNN's sources, no follow-up emails were sent directly to Trump Jr....Another source claimed that it was a 'cute marketing idea' and that Goldstone had previously pitched the idea as the Trump Tower meeting was ending. Five days after the Trump Tower meeting, Goldstone also sent an email with an article on Russia's hack of the Democratic National Committee in Spring 2016 to Emin Agalarov, one of his clients; and Ike Kaveladze, a Russian who attended the meeting, according to CNN. In his email, Goldstone called the news of the DNC hack "eerily weird" because of their discussion at the meeting. The DNC hack raised eyebrows because when Goldstone initally pitched the meeting to Trump Jr., Goldstone had suggested that Natalia Veselnitskaya -- the Kremlin-linked lawyer who attended the Trump Tower meeting -- would offer dirt on Hillary Clinton. That information allegedly never materialized; the parties instead discussed Russian adoptions in the US, according to Trump Jr. The emails were discovered by congressional investigators and were brought up in a closed-door hearing with Trump Jr. and the House Intelligence Committee....Trump Jr. testified in September  that the meeting at Trump Tower was only 20 to 30 minutes and that he "never discussed the meeting again" with "anyone else. In short, I gave it no further thought," Trump Jr. said in a statement." Business Insider said : "The meeting has been heavily scrutinized by congressional committees and special counsel Rober Mueller -- who heads the investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign." • On July 18, 2017, the Washington Post published an article about IKE KAVELADZE, a US-based employee of a Russian real estate company, who took part in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Jr. The WP said : "Ike Kaveladze attended the meeting as a representative of Aras and Emin Agalarov, the father-and-son Russian developers who hosted the Trump-owned Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013, according to Scott Balber, an attorney for the Agalarovs who said he also represents Kaveladze. Balber said...that he had received a phone call...from a representative of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III asking whether Kaveladze would agree to be interviewed. Balber said his client would cooperate." The request was, according to the WP, the first public indication that Mueller’s team is investigating the meeting. The WP wrote : "The presence of Kaveladze at the Trump Tower meeting introduces a new and intriguing figure into the increasingly complex Trump-Russia drama. A native of the Soviet republic of Georgia who came to the United States in 1991, Kaveladze was the subject nearly two decades ago of a congressional inquiry into Russian money laundering in US banks, although he was never charged with a crime and Balber said there was never any sign of wrongdoing by Kaveladze." The WP says that Kaveladze came to the meeting "as a representative of the Agalarov family, business associates of Donald Trump who were also a key tie between the Trump family and Russia in the years before Trump began his campaign. Trump and Aras Agalarov had discussed building a Trump Tower in Moscow, but plans fizzled after Western sanctions were imposed in 2014 and the Russian economy tanked, the elder Agalarov told The Post last year....Kaveladze works as a vice president focusing on real estate and finance for the Agalarovs’ company, the Crocus Group, Balber said. Balber said that Aras Agalarov asked Kaveladze to attend on his behalf. Kaveladze is a US citizen and has lived in this country for many years, according to Balber. Balber said Kaveladze believed he would act as a translator but arrived to discover that Veselnitskaya had brought her own translator, a former State Department employee named Anatoli Samochornov." According to the GAO, Kaveladze opened 236 bank accounts in the United States for corporations formed in Delaware on behalf of mostly Russian brokers. The GAO report said that Kaveladze had told officers of two US banks that he had conducted investigations of the Russian companies for which he opened accounts. The report traced the movement of $1.4 billion in wire-transfer transactions deposited into 236 accounts opened at the two banks, Citibank and Commercial Bank. Rinat Akhmetshin told the WP that Veselnitskaya spent a portion of the meeting describing 'a great campaign issue' for the Trumps -- allegations of Russian tax improprieties by a US venture capital firm whose executives were political donors. One of them had donated to the Clinton Global Initiative, an arm of the foundation established by former President Bill Clinton that became a target for Republicans who accused the Clintons of rewarding donors with political favors. But, Donald Trump Jr. said Veselnitskaya’s information was “vague” and “made no sense,” and he decided the offer of damaging information about Democrats was a pretense to secure the meeting to discuss sanctions. • That brings us to RINAT AKHMETSHIN, also present at the June 2016 meeting. Akhmetshin was a Soviet army veteran whose military service in the 1980s came in a unit whose responsibilities included counterintelligence. Now a Russian American lobbyist, he has earned a reputation as a savvy political operator, at times boosting the reputation of his clients by sullying the reputations of their enemies. He has denied working for the Russian government or intelligence services. Business Insider stated : "In one case, Akhmetshin was tied to the Dagestan-born Russian billionaire Suleiman Kerimov, when Kerimov was involved in a dispute with competitor Ashot Egiazaryan. During Kerimov's conflict with Egiazaryan in 2011, two British lawyers representing Egiazaryan received suspicious emails, sources familiar with the investigation told the Times. Forensic analysis of the emails determined that the messages contained malicious content meant to infect their computers. The emails originated from computers registered with one of Kerimov's companies in Moscow. Later that year, Russia approved a warrant for Egiazaryan's arrest, based on charges of large-scale fraud. Egiazaryan is currently a fugitive and wanted by Interpol. In 2013, Akhmetshin was directly accused of hacking in a separate case. At the time, Akhmetshin was consulting for a law firm representing EuroChem, a mining company owned by a Russian billionaire. The allegations against Akhmetshin claimed he was targeting International Mineral Resources. A source familiar with the case told the Times that Akhmetshin had personally given a flash drive containing hacked documents to a lawyer 'engaged in another matter potentially damaging' to International Mineral Resources. An investigator working for EuroChem's competitor also claimed he'd overheard Akhmetshin saying that he had paid Russian hackers 'a lot of money' for the documents. Court filings reviewed by the Times indicate that the content on the flash drive was also accessed by someone with the initials, 'R.A.' When Akhmetshin was questioned about those events during a deposition, he confirmed he had handed over a hard drive with information about International Mineral Resources, but claimed that the information had come from a Kazakh contact. He denied knowing anything about hacking and said he did not 'know a single person who could do that.' IMR dropped its lawsuit against Akhmetshin in early 2016, the Times reported, and said in a statement that it dropped the charges 'after careful consideration.' " • • • DEAR READERS, the June 2016 meeting is not the point here. The point is that Donald Trump Jr. was set up for a meeting with Russians whose backgrounds are full of Russian intelligence roles or contacts, questionable activities in the US, and the possibility of being a "plant" of the Putin government in a meeting with candidate Donald Trump's son. That Paul Manafort did not know who some of these Russian were is hardly credible. But, if he did not know, who in the Trump campaign staff failed to do the advance work of vetting these people before exposing Donald Trump Jr. to them? Akhmetshin has said that he is a "longtime acquaintance" of Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager who was present at the meeting. Manafort denies that he knows Akhmetshin, but Akhmetshin is allegedly a former top advisor to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian strongman whom Manafort is widely credited with helping win the presidency in 2010. Akhmetshin has told reporters in the past that he unsuccessfully tried to consult Yanukovych's pro-Russia Party of Regions before Russia invaded and annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014, according to the NYT. Manafort's spokesman, Jason Maloni, denied any relationship between his client and Akhmetshin : "More gossip and unconfirmable nonsense -- Paul doesn't know and hasn't worked with the man," Maloni told Business Insider in response to the Times' investigation. • So, in addition to the Russians already mentioned, we have as possible, although not probable, "plants" both Paul Manafort and Natalia Veselnitskaya. We simply do not yet know who was the point person in the Russian attempt to infiltrate the Trump campaign. But, we do know with increasing certainty, based on everything now available -- emails, sworn testimony, personal interviews -- that the Russian attempts failed. And, we do know that it is entirely possible that the concerted Russian effort to infiltrate the Trump campaign began with the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower. And, we know that other groups were very possibly trying to infiltrate the Trump campaign in the same timeframe -- groups such as the FBI and the Obama national security group. • More on this in tomorrow's blog.
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
TODAY BELONGS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP. In a Saturday tweet, the President asked : "Why didn’t President Obama do something about the so-called Russian Meddling when he was told about it by the FBI before the Election? Because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win, and he didn’t want to upset the apple cart! He was in charge, not me, and did nothing." It's not the first time Trump has asked this question, but we're getting closer to an answer. • • • TRUMP HONES IN ON MUELLER PROBE. The Gateway Pundit's Joe Hoft reported about Trump's Saturday "tweet storm" The President’s first tweet referring to the Mueller team addressed the conflicts of interest by the associates within the team : “This whole Russia Probe is Rigged. Just an excuse as to why the Dems and Crooked Hillary lost the Election and States that haven’t been lost in decades. 13 Angry Democrats, and all Dems if you include the people who worked for Obama for 8 years.” • Hoft is interested in the next Trump tweet : "...along with the fact that the only Collusion is with the Dems, Justice, FBI and Russia....When will the 13 Angry Democrats (& those who worked for President O), reveal their disqualifying Conflicts of Interest? It’s been a long time now! Will they be indelibly written into the Report along with the fact that the only Collusion is with the Dems, Justice, FBI & Russia?" • Although Joe Hoft is not sure, it seems pretty clear that the "Report" is referring to the DOJ IG report on the FBI’s actions related to the 2016 Clinton email scandal, which is in final draft stages. But, Hoft has a point whne he says : "We can only hope that a report supporting indictments for criminal actions leading to time in prison is in the works for the corrupt and conflicted team of Mueller misfits and Hillary supporters." • • • GIULIANI SAYS MUELLER PROBE IS NOT LEGITIMATE. The Daily Caller wrote on Sunday : "Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on CNN’s 'State of the Union' Sunday that he no longer believes Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion is legitimate. Giuliani told CNN’s Dana Bash that he thought the probe was legitimate before joining Trump’s legal team. However, seeing scandals like 'Spygate' and former FBI director James Comey leaking his memos to the press made him believe that the impetus for the investigation was illegitimate. 'You get the Comey thing, which is a leak of a confidential memo, which is illegal for an FBI official to do, and that becomes the basis for appointing Mueller,' Giuliani explained. 'I’m not saying Mueller is illegitimate, I’m saying the basis on which he was appointed was illegitimate.' 'So you think the Mueller probe is legitimate?' Bash asked for clarification. 'Not anymore,' he responded. 'I don’t. I did when I came in but now I see Spygate...' Bash interjected to say that Spygate happened before Mueller was appointed, to which Giuliani argued, 'but it has to inform the decision to appoint Mueller -- either it’s evidence or not.' ” • • • BONGINO NAILS BRENNAN. A Great American Daily article reported on former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino's interview with Fox & Friends. Bongino told Fox that former CIA director John Brennan is “panicking,” while others close to him have gone completely silent, all to avoid jail time. Bongino has said all along that he been suspicious that Brennan was the central figure leading towards the investigation, and ultimate spying on, the Trump campaign and transition team. Here's what he said to Fox : "I'll walk you through this real slow. He knows about the Dossier. He briefs the Gang of Eight about the Dossier, which they then use to demand the FBI start an investigation into Trump. It is that simple." Bongino also accused Brennen and others of “laundering information” by passing the allegations found in the Dossier through unofficial channels. He supports this claim by explaining that if it had gone through official channels, they would have been forced to verify the information found in the salacious Dossier, something that it has since been proven they could not do. • The Daily Caller reported more about the Fox & Friends interview with Bongino : "Bongino laid out a timeline of events that put Brennan at the center of everything. 'Brennan started this whole debacle with Trump. As we now know that Brennan had pretty detailed knowledge of the Dossier." • • • HAYDEN CALLS OUT CLAPPER. The Daily Caller reported on Sunday that : "Former CIA Director Michael Hayden called out James Clapper on Sunday for claiming to know that Russians decided the 2016 election. Clapper wrote in his new book that he has 'no doubt' Russian meddling swung the election in favor of Trump, but during a Friday night CNN interview he all but admitted he has no evidence for the claim. Hayden told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s 'This Week' that it is 'unknowable' how much Russians influenced the election and he knocked the former director of national intelligence for claiming otherwise. 'I agree that the Russians affected the election but how much they affected is not just unknown, it is unknowable and so we should stop talking about it,' Hayden asserted. 'Donald Trump is the President.' You invite folks like us on your show because we’re the fact witnesses, not because we have opinions,' he added." • • • McCONNELL SEES GOP SUCCESS IN THE MID-TERMS. Mitch McConnell seems to have gotten the Trump message. TheHill reported last Friday that : "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in an interview with TheHill said he thinks Republicans can make a play for Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown’s seat in Ohio. Brown previously hadn’t been a top target of McConnell’s, who just last week left Ohio off a list of Democratic-held seats he saw as top midterm targets. His new comments point to the growing optimism among Republicans that they can widen the map, and that their electoral prospects are improving with a strengthening economy and an uptick in President Trump’s approval numbers....A Republican strategist said internal polling shows the race between Brown and Representative Jim Renacci is 'within the margin of error. Within the past week a number of Republicans have been talking about it behind the scenes,' said the GOP source. 'The survey has given Republicans reason for hope. It’s internal polling.' • Don't let's jump to conclusions about Mitch suddenly getting religion about Trump. TheHill says McConnell’s growing confidence about the midterm election is fueled by what he says is the most productive record by a “right-of-center” Congress in more than 30 years : “I’m now in my third decade in the Senate. This has been the best period, the best period right-of-center over the last 17 months, in the time that I’ve been here. It’s been a period of extraordinary accomplishment. We think we have made a very significant difference for the country in measurable ways. Conveying that to the voters in places that we have Senate races is going to be a big part of being competitive.” • No thank-you for President Trump's leadership on his own agenda, one that McConnell couldn't pass before Trump became President, but, at least McConnell acknowledged that he wants Trump to do more to talk up the Congress’s accomplishments, something GOP Senators requested of the President during a recent meeting on Capitol Hill. McConnell seems to be impressed with the Trump numbers -- he pointed to the best economy in 18 years, last year’s $1.5 trillion tax-reform package, increased spending for the military, 15 repealed regulations, the confirmation of a conservative Supreme Court justice and 21 conservative circuit court judges, opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, and repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of tax reform. • McConnell also said he expects the Republican National Committee (RNC) to help. Juston Johnson, the RNC political director, sparked grumbling among Senate Republicans last month when he declared that his “No. 1 priority is keeping the House” and that the RNC crafted its budget on that basis. McConnell, however, has made it clear to RNC officials that protecting the Senate GOP should be an equally high priority : “I believe they’ll be helpful to us. They’re kind of the marquee committee of the campaign committees on our side and they’ve done an absolutely spectacular job during the Trump administration. I’ve talked to them about it. Everybody understands if you lose the Senate, the President will be knee-capped the last two years of his term when it comes to appointments." The RNC has $43.8 million in cash on hand and no debt, according to its last fundraising report, significantly more than the $8.7 million cash with $5.3 million in debt reported by the Democratic National Committee. • McConnell and the RNC should also be looking at California -- where the westernjournal.com reported last week that : "The Golden State has set itself up as the stridently progressive thorn in the side of the Trump administration. California has not just become a sanctuary state in an attempt to undermine federal immigration enforcement, but has gone a step further. Recently, California lawmakers proposed giving health care to illegal immigrants, which would make it the first state to do so. The plan would cost state taxpayers billions of dollars. As the state under nearly one-party rule doubles down on its left-wing drift, there is bubbling discontent among residents who are outraged by California’s increasing lawlessness and wild spending. A growing list of cities and counties have chosen to take action against California’s sanctuary policies intended to undermine federal immigration law. They are resisting the resistance. These localities are taking aim at the California Values Act, which, according to the Orange County Register, states that 'local and state law enforcement authorities may not use resources, including personnel or facilities, to investigate or arrest people for federal immigration enforcement purposes.' The Carlsbad City Council voted 4-1 Monday to join the federal government’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary state status, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Glenn Bernard, a retired Marine and former teacher, told the council, according to the Union-Tribune : “I cannot see the difference between a sanctuary state and a secessionist state.” Other cities have taken additional measures to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. The Los Alamitos City Council voted to exempt itself from the state sanctuary law, saying the measure is unconstitutional. This prompted a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. This is the “rebellion” President Trump referred to when he visited California in mid-May : “Each of you has bravely resisted California’s deadly and unconstitutional sanctuary state laws. You’ve gone through a lot, too, although it’s become quite popular what you do.” The growing movement sees the state’s policies as reckless, putting the lives of citizens in danger, and promoting criminality. Hesperia City Councilman Paul Russ, according to the Desert Dispatch, said : “We are not anti-immigrant -- there is no one on this council that’s anti- immigrant. But for immigrants, we’d like to see it done legally. I can also say without a doubt that we are anti-criminal. It’s not about the immigrants; it’s about the criminals in the community.” The message that sanctuary laws such as California’s send is that Americans have no right as a nation to determine who comes into their country, and it negates the constitutinoal axiom that the people rule, and that both duties and rights come with citizenship and the rule of law. California’s leaders may enthusiastically pursue a fight over immigration law with the federal government, but they will face a growing wave of discontent from citizens who are sick of lawmakers in the state capital fueling lawlessness and ignoring their concerns." • • • GO HOME, MITT ROMNEY. While the US mainstream media is busy with the Trump "collusion" that doesn't exist, the UK Daily Mail is taking on Mitt Romney. The Daily Mail reported on Romney's interview with NBC News -- where else?? -- in which Romney said he doesn't think President Trump is a good role model for his 18 grandchildren : "Some of the things he has said are not ones that I would aspire for my grandkids to adopt...I don't think that I would point to the President as a role model for my grandkids on the basis of his personal style. He has departed in some cases from the truth, and has attacked in a way that I think is not entirely appropriate. I think that his policies have been by and large a good deal better than I might have expected. But some of the things he has said are not ones that I would aspire for my grandkids to adopt.' [We wouldn't want any grandchildren to hear what Romney said about President Trump in 2016 : "Here's what I know. Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat." -- And a PS to Mr. Romney -- I love my red hat and wear it as proudly as I wear my Republican pin, just under and my American Flag pin.] • Here's another Romney classic from the NBC interview : "Trump has long accused media outlets of writing fake news -- his vitriol usually aimed at stories that are critical of his administration or ones that present it in a bad light. I know the media doesn't always get it right. Alright? But I also know that when they get it wrong they indicate they made a mistake and they apologize for it. And I respect the first amendment and all of our amendments -- I'll fight for the right of people to express their own views, whether they're religious or political." [I guess that puts Romney squarely in Trump's camp, because that is exactly Trump's position -- except that nobody who is a conservative or interested in the Constitution would ever say that today's anti-Trump media admits error or apologizes for lies it tells about him.] • Despite all of Romney's indecent Trump-bashing, President Trump has been gracious enough to endorse Romney's Senate candidacy in 2018. But Romney has yet to return the favor. The Daily Mail pointed out that he has declined to pledge his support for Trump in the 2020 presidential contest : "I will make that decision down the road," he told CNN in April. "As a person of political experience, if I endorse someone, I'll want to know what's in it for Utah and what help would he provide for us on key priorities in Utah. So I'm not a cheap date." [ I wonder if that's a sexist comment, but who cares, because Romney has "binders full of women" as he so inartfully pointed out in a 2012 presidential debate.] • The Daily Mail noted for its UK readers that : "The former Massachusetts governor opted to run for Utah's Senate seat after longtime Republican Senator Orrin Hatch announced he was retiring. Romney, who was born in Michigan before he ran for office in Massachusetts where he worked for the venture investment firm Bain Capital, told NBC News he's lived in Utah since he lost the presidential race in 2012. 'I've lived in Utah for some 10 years, and this is the place of my family's heritage. And when I lost the election in 2012, we came to Utah and bought the lot next to my son, built a home there. We've lived here ever since. This is where we live, and this is where I think I can have the greatest impact' he said. [Would it be sleazy to add that Utah is the only state where he has any chance of winning a Senate seat?]" • The Daily Mail said that Romney did praise the President as having 'exceeded my expectations with regard to tax policy, regulatory policy, public land policy.' [ I guess so -- Here's what Romney predicted in 2106 : "His proposed 35% tariff-like penalties would instigate a trade war that would raise prices for consumers, kill export jobs, and lead entrepreneurs and businesses to flee America. His tax plan, in combination with his refusal to reform entitlements and to honestly address spending would balloon the deficit and the national debt. So even as Donald Trump has offered very few specific economic plans, what little he has said is enough to know that he would be very bad for American workers and for American families." -- This deserves the Academy Award for getting it wrong.] • And, finally, the Daily Mail pointed out Romney's position on Trump policies : "Romney also said he wouldn't hesitate to call out the President when he disagrees with him. 'But if the President were to say something that I consider highly divisive or racist or misogynistic, I'll call him out on it. Because I think its important for people to know exactly where one stands.' [I cannot resist -- Mitt Romney stands exactly where every other #NeverTrump Republican stands -- against the President and hoping he will fall flat on his face every day -- it is disgraceful, and as I have said before, we do not need such Republicans in Name Only backstabbing the most successful President of either party since Ronald Reagan.] So, Go Home, Romney -- the GOP does not need your brand of elitist kowtowing to the Progressive Left. • In trying to support Romney in reporting the GOP primary debate between Mitt Romney and Mike Kennedy, the Washington Post on Wednesday made one, probably unintended, point for Trump : "The 71-year-old touted 'relationships' he has with the Trump White House that he says will help him offset the clout being lost by the Beehive State with the retirement of Orrin Hatch, who has served in the Senate for 41 years. 'First of all, I've known the President for a long, long time and the President has endorsed me in this campaign -- which shows he respects people who call ‘em like they see ‘em,” Romney said in a 55-second answer. 'I'm not sure with President Trump, you see things the right way,' said Kennedy, a practicing physician. 'I do know some good doctors if you’d like a referral to get your vision checked because I think President Trump has been outstanding. He is one of the Presidents that we have that actually keeps his promises...and I'm proud to stand with the President and not deride him publicly.” • Romney is expected to win in the heavily Republican state but first he has to win the June 26 GOP primary against state Representative Mike Kennedy. Will Utah Republicans have enough sense and courage to vote for Mike Kennedy?? • • • WHAT ABOUT THIS, CHELSEA? Like her mother and all Progressives, Chelsea conveniently forgets facts and opts for Fake news about President Trump. BUT, what about these facts, Chelsea?? • Andrew McCarthy at National Review wrote last week : "If you or I had set up an unauthorized private communications system for official business for the patent purpose of defeating federal record-keeping and disclosure laws; if we had retained and transmitted thousands of classified emails on this non-secure system; if we had destroyed tens of thousands of government records; if we had carried out that destruction while those records were under subpoena; if we had lied to the FBI in our interview -- well, we’d be writing this column from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth. Yet, in a feat of dizzying ratiocination, Director Comey explained that to prosecute Mrs. Clinton would be to hold her to a nitpicking, selective standard of justice not imposed on other Americans." IS THIS what it means to be an American, Chelsea? • McCarthy also wrote another article last week titled “The Clinton-Emails Investigation Intertwined with the Russia Probe," inwhich he said : "The mistake is often made -- I’ve made it myself -- of analyzing the tanking of the Clinton emails case in a vacuum. There are, after all, reasons unrelated to Donald Trump that explain the outcome : Obama was implicated in Clinton’s use of a non-secure email system; Obama had endorsed Clinton; many high-ranking Obama Justice Department officials stood to keep their coveted positions, and even advance, in a Hillary Clinton administration; the Obama Justice Department was hyper-political and Clinton was the Democratic nominee. But the Clinton investigation did not happen in a vacuum. It happened in the context of Donald Trump’s gallop through the Republican primaries and, just as important, of the Obama administration’s determination to regard the Trump campaign as a Kremlin satellite." IS THIS what it means to be an American, Chelsea? • Talk radio host Larry Elder responded to the controversy over actress Roseanne Barr tweeting that Obama royalty member Valerie Jarrett was the offspring of the Moslem Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes by comparing the remark to comments made about President Donald Trump. Elder highlighted a tweet from Bill Maher, where he suggested Trump was “the spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan,” saying Barr had made the “same joke” -- the African American radio talk host included a photo of Jarrett juxtaposed with a character from the Planet of the Apes film. TheHill pointed out on Wednesday that : "Keith Olbermann was recently hired by ESPN for the sixth time, signing a new deal earlier this month with the Disney-owned network, which also owns ABC. Some conservatives on Twitter quickly pointed to Olbermann calling President Trump a Nazi on multiple occasions on social media....Joy Reid, the host of 'AM Joy' on MSNBC, has been at the center of her own controversy last month after several tweets were unearthed that included homophobic comments made on a decade-old blog post. Reid claimed that the blog was hacked and said the comments, which include expressions of disgust toward men kissing, were fabricated. Several outlets, most notably the Daily Beast, an online publication that periodically published columns by Reid, could not find any evidence to back Reid’s hacking claim after assigning its own reporters to investigate. The Internet Archive also said on April 24 that it could find no evidence to back up her claim of hacking. Reid was a co-host of an MSNBC special, 'Everyday Racism in America,' on Tuesday night, which sparked the ire of some conservatives on Twitter." Joy Reid gets a pass...Joy Behar gets a pass...Jimmy Kimmel gets a pass...Stephen Colbert gets a pass...George Soros gets a pass. Roseanne? Like Alec Baldwin, Keith Olbermann, and others, Roseanne Barr has a history of offensive, outrageous statements the Left ignored -- until the moment she was seen as pro-Trump, THEN it became troubling. It should have been all along." @Fairbanks357 agreed with Elder's remarks : " Its not about @therealroseanne joke. @ABCNetwork cancelled her show because she's a Trump supporter attracting millions of viewers. The #DeepState tyrants who control the media and the flow of information just can't tolerate that…IS THIS what it means to be an American, Chelsea? • American Thinker's Dr. Brian C. Joondeph wrote an article on Wednesday cataloging a long list of Hillary's problems : "The media are willing and eager to look in every nook and cranny for evidence of Trump-Russian collusion, and to date, they have come up with nothing. But which journalists have investigated Mrs. Clinton's health? The presidency is a demanding job with a similarly vigorous campaign required to earn the votes to become President. Mrs. Clinton failed in the campaign. How would she have done as President?....2012, when she suffered a traumatic brain injury...her "terrible concussion," as her husband described it; prism glasses used to correct double vision; and blood-thinners to prevent clots....2016, the 9-11 tribute in New York City...Mrs. Clinton collapsed getting into her van, needing to be dragged into it, like a side of beef, by her bulky handlers....her coughing fits, lasting several minutes, during campaign speeches and her episodes of head-jerking seizure-like movements when taking questions from reporters. During the campaign, there were reports of Hillary's 'low energy and lack of stamina' such that she took days off from campaigning, while the similar-aged Donald Trump was holding rallies in multiple states on a single day....Earlier this year, she stumbled down a short flight of stairs in India, needing to be hauled along just as she was at the 9-11 event. There are persistent rumors of her affinity to alcoholic beverages, including leaked emails from her communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, telling John Podesta to 'sober her up some.' Her drinking rumors persist to this day, bolstered by her statement at a commencement address last year describing getting over her electoral loss : 'I won't lie -- chardonnay helped.' Now there is the issue of her back brace. Photos show an unusual protrusion under her clothes, highly suggestive of a back brace. She is also wearing heavy and warm clothing and a scarf around her neck, bundled up for winter despite being in summer-like heat. Some postulate that she is wearing a Kevlar vest, which she didn't seem to need as a presidential candidate but supposedly does need as a private citizen. I suspect that the only serious threats to Hillary are from the Democrat establishment who wish she would go away....There was also the wrist cast and ankle boot, both worn recently '' all pointing to a woman who is literally falling apart....Imagine if Hillary Clinton had been elected. How could she handle the rigors of the presidency? President Trump is everywhere -- rallies, commencement speeches, hoping on and off Marine One and Air Force One, impromptu press briefings, and all the other activity behind the scenes. Would Huma, Podesta, and Mills be running the country while Hillary drank chardonnay and napped? Would her randy husband be dragged away from chasing women to run the White House? Would Obama and Jarrett be re-enlisted to preside over the Deep State when Hillary couldn't drag herself out of bed?....America dodged a bullet in November 2016. It's a shame the media continue to enable Mrs. Clinton's self-serving excuse-laden pity tour, rather than encouraging her to retire gracefully -- advice they would certainly give to their elderly parents or grandparents in a similar situation." IS THIS what it means to be an American, Chelsea? • Daily Wire reports that : "On Monday, Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe made a reference to shooting and killing President Donald Trump when he joined CNN's 'New Day' to discuss what the Democrats need to do if they want to impeach Trump....CNN’s Chris Cuomo noted it [Tribe's new book] warns that 'Democrats shouldn’t be rushing down the road of impeachment.' 'But [impeachment] will be available only if we don’t use it loosely, and ring the bell every time something looks amiss,' Tribe said. 'You can’t be the boy who cried wolf and have a viable impeachment power. You can’t use it over and over again against the same President. If you’re going to shoot him, you have to shoot to kill,' Tribe continued. 'And that requires an overwhelming majority of a bipartisan kind. Otherwise, you’re just going to nick the guy, and make him feel empowered and vindicated.' " When a Harvard Law professor uses the words : "If you’re going to shoot him, you have to shoot to kill," it is way beyond what is acceptable. But, CNN's Chris Cuomo offered no pushback on Tribe's comments. IS THIS what it means to be an American, Chelsea? • • • DEAR READERS, being an American means doing what is best for America. Like President Trump's agenda of more jobs, lower taxes, honoring police, beefing up the military, and protecting the borders. • Bloomberg reported on Tuesday that the US has once again become #1 in global competitiveness rankings. Bloomberg said : "Hong Kong, scoring first in categories for government and business efficiency, held an edge over regional rival Singapore, which kept its No. 3 spot from 2017. Rounding out the top five were the Netherlands, which jumped one spot, and Switzerland, which tumbled three slots as it endures a slowdown in exports and concerns about its potential relocation of research and development facilities....The renewed top ranking aligns with the positive US growth narrative over the past year. Growth averaged 2.9% in the four quarters through March, versus 2% in the prior period. The rankings were compiled by the Switzerland-based IMD World Competitiveness Center." Bloomberg said Trump's elimination of dozens of regulations that hampered innovation should keep the US at or near the top for years to come, adding that a surging economy and improved atmosphere for scientific and technological innovation has allowed the US to regain the top spot in global competitiveness rankings. • This is what it means to be an American, Chelsea -- it's called MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
THE REAL NEWS TODAY IS THAT EuroPE IS LURCHING OUT OF CONTROL. And few leaders even want to talk about it. • • • ITALY IN CRISIS. We have been predicting this for several years. It has finally happened. Italy is in the throes of a political and economic crisis that could bring down not only the Euro currency but also the European Union. And, make no mistake, this is of a magnitude far greater than the already-horrific crisis Greece has had. Italy is the third largest economy in the Eurozone. • • • ITALY AND THE Euro. The Guardian on Monday published a guest article by economist Yanis Varoufakis, the co-founder of DiEM25 (Democracy in Europe Movement) and former finance minister of Greece under Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the socialist Syriza party who has served as prime minister of Greece since 2015. Yanis Varoufakis wrote that : "Italy should be doing well. Unlike Britain, it exports considerably more to the rest of the world than it imports, while its government spends less (excluding interest payments) than the taxes it receives. And yet Italy is stagnating, its population in a state of revolt following two lost decades. While it is true that Italy is in serious need of reforms, those who blame the stagnation on domestic inefficiencies and corruption must explain why Italy grew so fast throughout the postwar period until it entered the Eurozone. Was its government and polity more efficient and virtuous in the 1970s and 1980s? Hardly. The singular reason for Italy’s woes is its membership of a terribly designed monetary union, the Eurozone, in which the Italian economy cannot breathe and which consecutive German governments refuse to reform." • That sums up the battle now waging between the elected Italian populist govenrment and the Italian Eurocrat political elites. Varoufakis compares Italy's situation to Greece's : "In 2015 the Greek people elected a progressive, Europeanist government with a mandate to demand a new deal within the Eurozone. In the space of six months, under the guidance of the German government, the European Union and its central bank crushed us. A few months later, I was asked by the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera if I thought European democracy was at risk. I answered : 'Greece surrendered but it was Europe’s democracy that was mortally wounded. Unless Europeans realise that their economy is run by unelected and unaccountable pseudo-technocrats, committing one gross error after another, our democracy will remain a figment of our collective imagination.' Since then, the pro-establishment government of Italy’s Democratic party implemented, one after the other, the policies that the unelected bureaucrats of the EU demanded. The result was more stagnation. And so, in March, a national election delivered an absolute parliamentary majority to two anti-establishment parties which, despite their differences, shared doubts about Italy’s Eurozone membership and a hostility to migrants. It was the bitter harvest of absent prospects and withering hope." • • • DEMOCRACY OR DICTATORSHIP OF THE ELITES? That, to borrow from Shakespeare, is the quesiton. The media is full of the events unfolding in Italy because they negate any sense that domocratic nations should follow the advice given by their citizens in elections. The United States is just now coming out of such a period, but it never fell into the black hole of overriding by fiat a national election -- Donald Trump is still Preisdent and is finally taking firm control of the reins of the US govenrment. • Varoufakis explains what has happened in Italy : "After a few weeks of the kind of post-election horse-trading common in countries like Italy and Germany, the Five Star Movement and League leaders Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini struck a deal to form a government. Alas, President Sergio Mattarella used the powers bestowed upon him by the Italian constitution to prevent the formation of that government and, instead, handed the mandate to a technocrat, a former IMF employee who stands no chance of a vote of confidence in parliament. Had Mattarella refused Salvini the post of interior minister, outraged by his promise to expel 500,000 migrants from Italy, I would be compelled to support him....No, Mattarella chose to clash with an absolute majority of lawmakers for another reason: his disapproval of the finance minister designate. Why? Because the said gentleman, while fully qualified for the job, and despite his declaration that he would abide by the EU’s rules, had in the past expressed doubts about the Eurozone’s architecture and has favoured a plan of EU exit just in case it was needed. It was as if Mattarella declared that reasonableness from a prospective finance minister constitutes grounds for his or her exclusion from the post." • But, added Varoufakis : "Beyond his moral failure, the president has made a major tactical blunder. What is so striking is that there is no thinking economist anywhere in the world who does not share concern about the Eurozone’s faulty architecture. No prudent finance minister would neglect to develop a plan for Euro exit. Indeed, I have it on good authority that the German finance ministry, the European Central Bank and every major bank and corporation have plans in place for the possible exit from the Eurozone of Italy, even of Germany. Is Mattarella telling us that the Italian finance minister is banned from thinking of such a plan?....he fell right into Salvini’s trap. The formation of another 'technical' government, under a former IMF apparatchik, is a fantastic gift to Salvini’s party. Salvini is secretly salivating at the thought of another election -- one that he will fight...as the defender of democracy against the Deep Establishment. He has already scaled the moral high ground with the stirring words : 'Italy is not a colony, we are not slaves of the Germans, the French, the spread or finance.' If Mattarella takes solace from the fact that previous Italian presidents managed to put in place technical governments that did the establishment’s job (so 'successfully' that the country’s political center imploded), he is very badly mistaken. This time around he, unlike his predecessors, has no parliamentary majority to pass a budget or indeed to lend his chosen government a vote of confidence. Thus, the president is forced to call fresh elections that, courtesy of his moral drift and tactical blunder, will return an even stronger majority for Italy’s xenophobic political forces, possibly in alliance with the enfeebled Forza Italia of Silvio Berlusconi. And then what, President Mattarella?" • Few analysts writing over the weekend about the crisis Italy now finds itself in have laid out the problem with such clarity as Yanis Varoufakis. • • • WILL THE ITALIAN PRESIDENT BE IMPEACHED? BBC posed the question on Monday : "Italy is mired in fresh political turmoil, with the president facing impeachment calls after he vetoed a choice for finance minister. In a rare move, President Sergio Mattarella said he could not appoint the Eurosceptic Paolo Savona, citing concerns by investors. The decision ended a bid by Italy's two populist parties to form a coalition. Mr Mattarella may now appoint a stop-gap prime minster with early elections looking increasingly likely. He has summoned Carlo Cottarelli, a former executive director of the International Monetary Fund, who could form an interim administration....The BBC's James Reynolds in Rome says a temporary prime minister is unlikely to last long and early elections may have to be called. There is now a real argument between the president and the populists about Italy's position in the EU, he adds." • President Mattarella was stupid enough to veto Paola Savona -- an 81-year-old economics professor who has called Italy's entry into the Euro a 'historic mistake' -- as finance minister by citing his fierce opposition to membership of the Eurozone. Justifying his move, Mattarella said : "uncertainty about our position in the Euro has alarmed Italian and foreign investors," and argued that Savona's stance clashed with the two parties' own position on Europe. Matterella said he asked the new populist majority for "an authoritative person from the parliamentary majority who is consistent with the government program..who isn't seen as a supporter of a line that could probably, or even inevitably, provoke Italy's exit from the Euro." He added that Mr Conte, the majority coalition's nomineee as prime minister, refused to support "any other solution" and then surrendered his mandate to be PM. Former prime minister Massimo D'Alema, caught speaking on an open microphone on Saturday, summed up the fears of traditional parties : "If we go back to elections because of a veto on Savona, they (anti-establishment parties) are going to win 80%." • Under Italian law, the president has the right to reject the appointment of a cabinet member but the power is rarely used. According to the French worldwide AFP news agency, it has happened at least three times before, including in 1994 when then-President Oscar Luigi blocked attempts by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to appoint his personal lawyer as Minister of Justice. But, this time, Five Star leader Luigi Di Maio called for impeachment under article 90 of the constitution, which allows parliament to demand a president step down based on a simple majority vote. If the vote is in favor of impeachment, Italy's constitutional court then decides whether to impeach or not. Di Maio said in a Facebook video : "I want this institutional crisis to be taken to parliament...and the president tried. Why don't we just say that in this country it's pointless that we vote, as the ratings agencies, financial lobbies decide the governments?....Paolo Savona would not have taken us out of the Euro. It's a lie invented by Mattarella's advisors. The truth is that they don't want us in government." Salvini has called for fresh elections : "In a democracy, if we are still in democracy, there's only one thing to do, let the Italians have their say," he told supporters in a speech in central Italy. Di Maio said that Mattarella, himself a former constitutional court judge, had "gone beyond his legal prerogatives." And Salvini repeated : "This isn't democracy, this isn't respect for the popular vote. It's the latest slap in the face from those that say Italy should be a slave, scared and precarious." Five Star chief Luigi Di Maio called on party supporters to attend a rally in Rome on Saturday, the anniversary of Italy's transformation into a republic in 1946, after what he called "Italian democracy's darkest night." Di Maio said an impeachment trial for Mattarella, 76, would be "almost a certainty." But, most analysts however say impeachment is only possible in cases of "high treason" or constitutional breaches. Massimo Luciani, president of the Italian Constitutionalists Association, said : "President Mattarella has only exercised his constitutional powers." • • • CAN TECHNOCRAT COTTARELLI FORM A GOVERNMENT THAT WILL STABILIZE FINANCIAL MARKETS? Not likely. On Tuesday, President Mattarella charged Italy's caretaker prime minister Carlo Cottarelli, Carlo Cottarelli, a pro-austerity economist formerly with the International Monetary Fund, to assemble a cabinet -- in the face of resistance from far- right and anti-establishment parties. The first and only fact about any Cotterelli govenrment is that it has zero chance of being approved by the Italian parliament controlled by Salvini and his coalition. So, it will hobble on as a caretaker until new elections take place, probably in early 2019. • Financial markets were understandably not happy about that fact. They plunged into a frenzy as Cottarelli was left in charge after efforts to end months of political deadlock. • The UK Daily Mail reported at noon on Tuesday that : "Global markets have plunged amid political turmoil in Italy with investors spooked by the prospect of fresh elections -- and an even better result for anti-EU parties. The Italian stock market opened down 1.8% today while the deepening crisis has sparked a second day of heavy selling across Europe. The spread between the Italian 10-year government bond and the benchmark German bund rose to 230 points, the highest level since October 2013, with interest rates at 2.9%....In early European trade, London fell 0.7% as dealers returned from a long holiday weekend, while Milan sank more than 2%, Paris slipped 0.7% and Frankfurt lost 0.6%. Earlier, the Euro extended losses in Asian trade Tuesday. National Australia Bank said in a commentary : 'Fears of a Euro existential crisis are gathering momentum amid simmering political turmoil in Italy.' And Alessio de Longis, a New York-based portfolio manager at Oppenheimer Funds, told Bloomberg Television : 'These developments are concerning. The markets will be really unable to move forward into a different narrative' until the Italian outlook is clearer.'....'We may now be in for an extended period of heightened uncertainty ahead of fresh elections' in Italy, Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank in Sydney, said in a note. Adding to the EU financial pressure is a brewing crisis in Spain, where Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces a no-confidence vote after his party was found guilty of benefiting from illegal funds in a massive graft trial. • • • THE EURO SINGLE CURRENCY IS IN PLAY. The Euro was down against major currencies on Tuesday, and was trading in the range of 1€ = 1.155 US$, a new recent low for the Euro against the Dollar. • The UK Daily Mail said : "The Euro looked to have dodged a bullet when Italy's would-be Eurosceptic coalition government collapsed at the weekend, but it may turn out to have been the opening salvo in a war over Europe's single currency. With the Sunday rejection of the new populist, Eurosceptic govenrment by Italy's president because of the presence of finance minister Paolo Savona, who had previously said Italy should leave the Eurozone, the two coalition parties, who were rivals in the March vote, are weighing whether to join forces ahead of a fresh election in the autumn or early next year. 'The upcoming elections will not be political, but instead a real and true referendum...between who wants Italy to be a free country and who wants it to be servile and enslaved,' League leader Matteo Salvini said on Monday. 'Today Italy is not free; it is occupied financially by Germans, French and Eurocrats.'....'The election is going to resemble a referendum, de facto, on the European Union and the Euro,' said Francesco Galietti, head of political risk consultancy Policy Sonar in Rome. 'It's an existential threat for the entire Eurozone.' If Italians were to cast a protest vote against the EU and Euro at fresh elections, it would deliver the bloc's biggest challenge since Britain voted to quit the Union two years ago and raise questions about the future of the single currency. As the Euro zone's third-largest economy, heavily indebted Italy also represents a far bigger potential threat to the single currency than the Greek economic crisis." • President Mattarella's veto of Savona as economy minister has put the currency, which was little discussed in the last election campaign, at the centre of the debate. "Membership of the Euro is a fundamental choice," Mattarella said in a televised speech, explaining his veto. "If we want to discuss it, then we should do so in a serious fashion." Salvini rails against the Euro, calling it a "mistake for our economy...We don't have a Euro in our pockets. We have a German mark which they called the Euro." Italians will also be considering the future of their savings as financial markets put the country's stock market and bonds under pressure and borrowing costs increase. Italy has a government debt burden of 2.3 trillion Euro ($2.7 trillion), and the Italian bond market is the largest in Europe, so its instability or continuing weakness could have an outsized impact on EU bonds overall. European institutions, and especially the Germany-led Eurozone austerity purveyors, already suffering lack of legitimacy because they are neither elected nor accountable to the citizens of the EU. • The Italian soft coup d'état bu Italian president Matterella and his appointment of Cottarelli, a Eurocrat-IMF austerity adherent called "Scissors Man," will make things much worse. And the rest of the populist parties in Europe will use it to bludgeon their Eurocrat elite enemies. Marine Le Pen has already tweeted : "The European Union and the financial markets are again confiscating democracy. What has happened in Italy is a coup d'état." Leading Brexit campaigner and former leader of the UK Independence Party, Nigel Farage, said on Twitter : "Italian voters will be furious that the establishment is blocking new ministers. Time for more elections and bigger votes." • • • THE EU HAS OTHER TROUBLES. It is not just Italy. On Tuesday morning, a gunman shot 3 police in Liege, Belgium. Reuters reported that : "Authorities said terrorism could not be ruled out as a motive....La Libre Belgique newspaper quoted a police source as saying the gunman shouted Allahu Akbar -- God is greatest in Arabic -- and RTBF said investigators believed the attacker may well have had a terrorist motive....The national anti-terrorist crisis center, which Interior Minister Jan Jambon said on Twitter was monitoring the situation, said terrorism could not be excluded as a motive though it was also looking into other possible reasons. 'It (terrorism) is one of the questions on the table, but for the moment all scenarios are open,' a spokesman for the crisis center said." • The attack took place in the center of Liege, and after the gunman stalked 2 female police officers, stabbed them in the back several times and then shot them with their own service pistols, he turned his fire on a passing car and kille its 22-year-old driver. He then fired at other poilice and hit 2 in their legs, and took a high school cleaning lady hostage before being shot and killed by elite police. The cleaning lady was not harmed. • The dead shooter, 36, was named locally as Benjamin Herman, from Rochefort, a city about an hour from Liege. He was well-known to police after a string of crimes including robbery, assault and drug-dealing. Local media reported that Herman was temporarily released from prison for several hours on Monday night for "family leave" to prepare his reintegration into society, despite a prison service assessment that he was very violent. Herman was not on the government's list of suspected potential terrorists, according to local media, but had been in touch with radicalised prisoners during his several stints in jail. • Belgian media reported that Herman could have killed hours before the shooting, linking him to a murder in On. The body of a man shot in the head was found after a jewellery robbery in Rochefort earlier that evening. • Belgium's terror threat level remains on two, which represents an "unlikely" terror threat. However, Belgium has been on high alert since a Brussels-based ISIS cell was involved in attacks on Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and Brussels in 2016 in which 32 died. • The populist parties are also voicing their anger over this latest terrorist incident. Éric Ciotti is a member of the National Assembly of France and a member of The Republicans, the conservative party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, said that the attack shows that Europe in in the midst of a threat that will go on for some time. Marine Le Pen said European leaders do not understand the scope and danger inherent in the terrorist threat and need to shiftt heir strategy to one of "prevention" -- by which she surely means reducing immigration into the EU. • What is alarming is that there are less obvious but equally violent attacks of migrants -- supposedly terrorists, but often simply culturally unadapted young Moslem men who stab or attack women in the street, especially in Germany. European leadership makes a real effort to under-report or downplay these attacks, refusing to admit that there is problem with migrants, many of whom are still in immigration centers awaiting decisions about asylum. And, when populist leaders point out the problem, they are atacked as racists and zenophobes. • • • BRITAIN HAS THE SAME PROBLEM. There is a continuing string of Moslem gangs "grooming" young white girls to be child prostitutes. They are sometimes put on trial, but the UK does all it can to prevent the media and its citizens from having the details of the gangs' lascivious activities. • The American Thinker's editor Thomas Lifson published an article aboutthe UK situation last Saturday : "Tommy Robinson, a well known political activist warning of the dangers of Islamic extremism, was arrested Friday while doing a live-feed report online about the trial of Moslem gang members accused of grooming young girls for a prostitution ring. Metro UK reports : "The co-founder of EDL[i] livestreamed 'reports' from outside Leeds Crown Court for an hour this morning. He showed men entering the court on Facebook until he was approached by officers telling him to stop. In a separate video, the far-right activist is filmed being led away by police, arresting him for an alleged breach of the peace and incitement. He's heard asking one of his supporters : 'Can you get me a solicitor? This is ridiculous, I haven't said a word. I've done nothing.' He's then filmed asking the police officers if he's being arrested on 'contempt of court'. Before he's bundled into the van, he says: 'Someone laid their hand and assaulted me outside court. Other people have sworn at me and threatened me about my mother and here I am being arrested for saying nothing.' " Lifson quotes Nick Kangadis of the Media Research Center : "As most people know, there is no First Amendment in the UK. The UK has become an authoritarian state. While everyone ridiculously fawns over royal weddings, authorities in Britain are arresting people for shedding light on atrocities that the government doesn't want people to know about." You can watch Ezra Levant's commentary on the arrest on You Tube : < https://youtu.be/m6w7MJZX5YU >. • The Canada Free Press published this report : “UK right-wing activist and journalist Tommy Robinson was arrested and reportedly jailed Friday after he filmed members of an alleged child grooming gang entering a court for trial -- but the details of his purported sentence remain murky after the judge ordered the press not to report on the case. (Fox News, May 26, 2018) Robinson, the former head of the English Defense League and a longtime activist against Islam and Islamic migration, was arrested after he was filming men accused of being part of a gang that groomed children. Britain has been rocked by a series of child sex scandals perpetuated by gangs of predominantly Moslem men. Video shows Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Lennon, being surrounded by as many as seven police officers as he livestreamed the incident on his phone. The police informed him he was being arrested for 'breach of the peace.' But shortly after his arrest, a source with knowledge of the case told Fox News that he had been jailed for 13 months on a contempt-of-court charge...dating back to a year ago [for trying to livestream another grooming gang trial]. A court listing indicated the case was “closed” by Friday afternoon. (Fox News)....According to The Independent, Robinson was already on a suspended sentence for contempt of court over a gang rape case in 2017. (Fox News)." • As the Canada Free Press points outn what is appalling about the Robinson case is that : "The judge in the case on Friday slapped a reporting ban on the case. The order bans reporters from reporting on a case if there is reason to believe the reporting could prejudice a trial. The order prevents reporting until the conclusion of the trial Robinson was reporting on. The gag order led to news outlets in the UK removing their reporting from their websites to comply with the order. Most remaining reporting in the UK comments on Robinson’s arrest, but not on his purported sentencing. Reaction to Robinson’s sentencing from commentators and right-wing politicians was fierce, particularly as it is the latest in a series of commentators -- particularly those who are critical of Islam and mass Islamic migration into the UK -- being locked up by British authorities. • Gerard Batten, populist UKIP party leader and member of the European Parliament, tweeted : “What kind of police state have we become? I am trying to recall a legal case where someone was convicted of a ‘crime’ which cannot be reported on. Where he can be cast into prison without it being possible to report his name, offence, or place of imprisonment for fear of contempt of court. Arrested for 'breaching the peace' while reporting on a Islamic grooming gang trial? If only British authorities spent as much time working to imprison child groomers as they did on Tommy Robinson." • Sources with knowledge of Robinson’s case spoke on condition of anonymity in part because of fear they would be arrested for contempt. One told Fox that Robinson’s lawyer warned that, considering the presence of Moslem gang members in prison, a 13-month sentence was tantamount to a death sentence. (Fox News). The source said : “Tommy’s lawyer said he will likely die in jail given his profile and previous credible threats, and the judge basically said he doesn’t care. He sentenced him to 13 months in prison.” If, given his profile and previous credible threats, it is Tommy’s fate to “die in jail,” it should be the authorities responsibility to take preventative action to save his life. [NOTE : In fact, Robinson was attacked by Moslem inmates the last time he was jailed and had to be moved to another prison.] • A survivor of a child exploitation gand in Rotherham, Katie Hopkins tweeted her fears (shared by many others) that Robinson will be murdered in custody, as he is an object of hate by many Moslems : @KTHopkins "Tommy warned us about these rape gangs. You laughed and called him a racist. Tommy will die in prison at the hands of these gangs. You will laugh and say it served him right. Then you will remember YOU have a daughter #TommyRobinson." The Rotherham child exploitation scandal Katie Hopkins mentions in her tweet was a horrific example of British police deliberately ignoring widespread exploitation of young girls by Moslem gangs. You can find a summary on Wikipedia or by Googling it. • • • DEAR READERS, the fact is that much of the Brexit impetus was caused by the acts of unadapted Moslem and other migrants in the UK. And, other EU countries are feeling the heat of their citizens for much the same reason. • Consider this. Conservative Zone reported on May 22 that the Irish Refugee Protection Program is asking homeowners in Ireland -- anyone who has a primary residence, a second/holiday type dwelling, or any ‘spare property’ -- if there is an empty bedroom, you are expected to pledge that room to an asylum seeker for periods up to year. The Irish Refugee Protection Program expects you to ‘put that space to better use’, according to the Irish Red Cross. The Programme description says : “Pledging a vacant property or spare room will play a significant and valuable role in helping Syrian refugees rebuild their lives and settle in Irish communities.” Established by Dublin nurse Elizabeth O’Herrin in 1939 to provide humanitarian aid, the Irish Red Cross is administering this program as part of Ireland’s effort to resettle approximately 4,000 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece. In the newest national campaign to house migrants, the charity explains that any asylum seeker or refugee (there is a difference) who is homed through the program will also be provided with education, healthcare, employment support, and a caseworker. Each adult receives €21.60 per week, as does each child in a family. (€ 21.60 is approximately US$25.48). • Conservative Zone says : "In their 2015 campaign, hundreds of Irish people pledged free rooms and vacant homes in response to the over one million refugees landing on Europe’s doorstep. Less than 90 responses resulted in actual accommodations for migrants; many people who pledged actually withdrew their offers when contacted by the Irish Red Cross. Of the 492 pledges received in 2015, almost half were immediately withdrawn; others were deemed ‘too rural’, failed the assessment or became ‘temporarily unavailable’ due to ‘changed circumstances’. Still, other offers failed because the person pledging did not want to take in a single male refugee; almost all singles waiting to be placed in Irish homes are single males." Irish Red Cross Migration Program Manager Eve Leonard admits that this program to date has had a low accommodation return, but she is quick to add, “In terms of integration, this is a really good model for refugees to engage with Irish people and for Irish people to engage with refugees.” • The small town of Lisdoonvarna was informed their community of 300 would see a hotel in town turned into a new migrant center that would increase the town population by a third. Michael Walsh, a resident, said : “We don’t know where these people are going to be from. They won’t tell us what countries they’re from, what religion they’re from. Ireland is under the impression that these people will all become Irish, pretty much overnight and everything will continue to be terrific. But, in fact, history shows us, in Sweden, France and Germany -- this is not necessarily the case.” In fact, 93% of the residents in the tiny town voted against the huge influx, concerned about the strain on their resources. The hotelier, who originally said he would not sign a contract for the center if the residents were against it, did sign the contract. Walsh speculates the hotelier will make one or two million Euros per year from the government. “Very many people are concerned, but they’re also concerned about being called racist” Walsh explained “…the town is in a real pickle right now.” • Shockingly, these forced migration programs come as the Irish government pays journalists to report positively about the massive Project Ireland 2040 plan -- the nation intends to boost their 4.7 million population by another million via mass migration. • And, America is not immune. Ameircan Thinker published a May 23 article by Pamela Geller titled "Islamizing the Schools: The Case of West Virginia." Geller writes : "This is an outrage, but it is common nationwide : the Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Mountain Ridge Middle School in West Virginia is 'instructing junior high students to write the Islamic profession of faith ostensibly to practice calligraphy.' Students are made to write out the Shahada, which states : 'There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.' This is exactly what I warned about in my book, Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance, in the chapter 'The Mosqueing of the Public Schools.' In order to convert to Islam, one says the shahada. Saying the shahada makes you a Moslem. The shahada is what is on the black flag of jihad. No non-Moslem student should be forced to write or say the shahada without the qualifier 'Moslems believe that...' This is because it is a statement of faith. If the school exercise is requiring students to write it, it should be clear from the wording of the exercise that this is Islamic faith, not the student's faith. That distinction has been glossed over in many, many school textbook presentations. This is in West Virginia, not Baghdad. And it's a problem not just in West Virginia -- it's a national problem." • Geller also notes in her article that : "In Volusia County, Florida, hundreds protested Islamic lessons in their 'World History' text, a Common Core-approved high school history textbook. With an entire chapter dedicated to the virtues of Islam and not a single chapter for Christianity, the textbook had Floridians in a frenzy. And who is the biggest pusher of Common Core besides leftist progressives? The Islamic Society of North America, a Moslem Brotherhood front group, along with the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). In Florida, CAIR is on the offensive. We have seen the increasing Islamization of the public-school curriculum. History lessons in Islam are dawah -- proselytizing for Islam....In West Virginia, it gets even worse....after the Daily Caller and Geller Report exposed what was happening, Mountain Ridge administrators and teachers began messaging parents who were sharing the story, asking them to remove their posts." • Europe is in trouble. The Euro is losing its patina and Italy is the biggest threat to its continued existence. The EU as a whole is unable or unwilling to treat its migrant problem seriously, choosing to restrict freedom of the press in order to prevent citizens from knowing the entire truth about what is happening in their own communities. • It may be too late to save Europe, so...AMERICA, BEWARE.
Monday, May 28, 2018
TODAY WE HONOR OUR MILITARY. Americans set aside Memorial Day to honor the service and sacrifice of generations of our fellow Armed Forces patriots, now departed, who defended American Liberty with honor. John Adams said, "Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives." America's fallen heroes understood and gave their lives for us, for our friends in other parts of the world, and for freedom. • It is said of George Washington that he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." • He commanded the troops who won the Revolutionary War, often suffering with and for them as they were not paid and sometimes not fed or clothed and armed properly for their historic task. But, being the first of the long line of American patriots who took up arms to save their counrty, the soldiers stayed on under General Washington because they loved and respected him. Together they won America's freedom. • • • WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL TO HIS OFFICERS. On December 4, 1783, nine days after the last British soldiers left American soil, George Washington invited the officers of the Continental Army to join him in the Long Room of Fraunces Tavern in New York City, so he could say farewell. The best known account of this emotional leave-taking comes from the Memoirs of Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, written in 1830 and now in the collection of Fraunces Tavern Museum. As Tallmadge recalled : “The time now drew near when General Washington intended to leave this part of the country for his beloved retreat at Mt. Vernon. On Tuesday the 4th of December it was made known to the officers then in New York that General Washington intended to commence his journey on that day. At 12 o’clock the officers repaired to Fraunces Tavern in Pearl Street where General Washington had appointed to meet them and to take his final leave of them. We had been assembled but a few moments when his excellency entered the room. His emotions were too strong to be concealed which seemed to be reciprocated by every officer present. After partaking of a slight refreshment in almost breathless silence the General filled his glass with wine and turning to the officers said, ‘With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.’ After the officers had taken a glass of wine General Washington said ‘I cannot come to each of you but shall feel obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand.’ General Knox being nearest to him turned to the Commander-in-chief who, suffused in tears, was incapable of utterance but grasped his hand when they embraced each other in silence. In the same affectionate manner every officer in the room marched up and parted with his general in chief. Such a scene of sorrow and weeping I had never before witnessed and fondly hope I may never be called to witness again.” The officers escorted Washington from the Tavern to the Whitehall wharf, where he boarded a barge that took him to Paulus Hook, (now Jersey City) New Jersey. Washington continued to Annapolis, where the Continental Congress was meeting, and resigned his commission. • • • WASHINGTON HAD EARLIER RALLIED HIS UNPAID TROOPS. Earlier in 1783, as the Revolutionary War in America drew to a close, a less peaceful but far more dangerous moment in the life of the fledgling Republic occurred when officers of the Continental Army met in Newburgh, New York, to discuss grievances and consider a possible insurrection against the rule of Congress. They were angry over the failure of Congress to honor its promises to the army regarding salary, bounties and life pensions. The officers had heard from Philadelphia that the American government was going broke and that they might not be compensated at all. On March 10, 1783, an anonymous letter was circulated among the officers of General Washington's main camp at Newburgh. It addressed those complaints and called for an unauthorized meeting of officers to be held the next day to consider possible military solutions to the problems of the civilian government and its financial woes. General Washington stopped that meeting from happening by forbidding the officers to meet in an unauthorized meeting. Instead, he suggested they meet a few days later, on March 15th, at the regular meeting of his officers. Meanwhile, another anonymous letter was circulated, this time suggesting Washington himself was sympathetic to the claims of the malcontent officers. And so, on March 15, 1783, Washington's officers gathered in a church building in Newburgh, effectively holding the fate of America in their hands. Unexpectedly, General Washington appeared at the meeting. He was not entirely welcomed by his men, but nevertheless, personally addressed them. Here is what Wshington said : "Gentlemen : By an anonymous summons, an attempt has been made to convene you together; how inconsistent with the rules of propriety, how unmilitary, and how subversive of all order and discipline, let the good sense of the army decide...Thus much, gentlemen, I have thought it incumbent on me to observe to you, to show upon what principles I opposed the irregular and hasty meeting which was proposed to have been held on Tuesday last -- and not because I wanted a disposition to give you every opportunity consistent with your own honor, and the dignity of the army, to make known your grievances. If my conduct heretofore has not evinced to you that I have been a faithful friend to the army, my declaration of it at this time would be equally unavailing and improper. But as I was among the first who embarked in the cause of our common country. As I have never left your side one moment, but when called from you on public duty. As I have been the constant companion and witness of your distresses, and not among the last to feel and acknowledge your merits. As I have ever considered my own military reputation as inseparably connected with that of the army. As my heart has ever expanded with joy, when I have heard its praises, and my indignation has arisen, when the mouth of detraction has been opened against it, it can scarcely be supposed, at this late stage of the war, that I am indifferent to its interests. But how are they to be promoted? The way is plain, says the anonymous addresser. If war continues, remove into the unsettled country, there establish yourselves, and leave an ungrateful country to defend itself. But who are they to defend? Our wives, our children, our farms, and other property which we leave behind us. Or, in this state of hostile separation, are we to take the two first (the latter cannot be removed) to perish in a wilderness, with hunger, cold, and nakedness? If peace takes place, never sheathe your swords, says he, until you have obtained full and ample justice; this dreadful alternative, of either deserting our country in the extremest hour of her distress or turning our arms against it (which is the apparent object, unless Congress can be compelled into instant compliance), has something so shocking in it that humanity revolts at the idea. My God! What can this writer have in view, by recommending such measures? Can he be a friend to the army? Can he be a friend to this country? Rather, is he not an insidious foe? Some emissary, perhaps, from New York, plotting the ruin of both, by sowing the seeds of discord and separation between the civil and military powers of the continent? And what a compliment does he pay to our understandings when he recommends measures in either alternative, impracticable in their nature? I cannot, in justice to my own belief, and what I have great reason to conceive is the intention of Congress, conclude this address, without giving it as my decided opinion, that that honorable body entertain exalted sentiments of the services of the army; and, from a full conviction of its merits and sufferings, will do it complete justice. That their endeavors to discover and establish funds for this purpose have been unwearied, and will not cease till they have succeeded, I have not a doubt. But, like all other large bodies, where there is a variety of different interests to reconcile, their deliberations are slow. Why, then, should we distrust them? And, in consequence of that distrust, adopt measures which may cast a shade over that glory which has been so justly acquired; and tarnish the reputation of an army which is celebrated through all Europe, for its fortitude and patriotism? And for what is this done? To bring the object we seek nearer? No! most certainly, in my opinion, it will cast it at a greater distance. For myself (and I take no merit in giving the assurance, being induced to it from principles of gratitude, veracity, and justice), a grateful sense of the confidence you have ever placed in me, a recollection of the cheerful assistance and prompt obedience I have experienced from you, under every vicissitude of fortune, and the sincere affection I feel for an army I have so long had the honor to command will oblige me to declare, in this public and solemn manner, that, in the attainment of complete justice for all your toils and dangers, and in the gratification of every wish, so far as may be done consistently with the great duty I owe my country and those powers we are bound to respect, you may freely command my services to the utmost of my abilities. While I give you these assurances, and pledge myself in the most unequivocal manner to exert whatever ability I am possessed of in your favor, let me entreat you, gentlemen, on your part, not to take any measures which, viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained; let me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress; that, previous to your dissolution as an army, they will cause all your accounts to be fairly liquidated, as directed in their resolutions, which were published to you two days ago, and that they will adopt the most effectual measures in their power to render ample justice to you, for your faithful and meritorious services. And let me conjure you, in the name of our common country, as you value your own sacred honor, as you respect the rights of humanity, and as you regard the military and national character of America, to express your utmost horror and detestation of the man who wishes, under any specious pretenses, to overturn the liberties of our country, and who wickedly attempts to open the floodgates of civil discord and deluge our rising empire in blood. By thus determining and thus acting, you will pursue the plain and direct road to the attainment of your wishes. You will defeat the insidious designs of our enemies, who are compelled to resort from open force to secret artifice [Do Washington's words remind us of today's Deep State leaks?]. You will give one more distinguished proof of unexampled patriotism and patient virtue, rising superior to the pressure of the most complicated sufferings. And you will, by the dignity of your conduct, afford occasion for posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to mankind, 'Had this day been wanting, the world had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.' " • The assembled troops didn't very well receive General Washington's speech or his promises. But, while they were udoubtedly grumblingg and whispering among themselves, Washington took out a letter from a member of Congress explaining the financial difficulties of the government. After reading a portion of the letter with his eyes squinting at the small writing, Washington suddenly stopped. His officers stared at him, wondering. Washington then reached into his coat pocket and took out a pair of reading glasses. Few of them knew he wore glasses, and were surprised. "Gentlemen," said Washington, "you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country." • • • DEAR READERS, in that single breathtaking moment of vulnerability and introspection, Washington moved his men deeply. They were ashamed, and many were reduced to tears, now looking with great affection at this aging man who had led them through so much. Washington read the remainder of the letter and left without saying another word, wisely realizing their sentiments. His officers then cast a unanimous vote, essentially agreeing to the rule of Congress. Thus, the civilian government was preserved and the experiment of democracy in America continued. • As he had done so often since 1776, and as he would do so often in the future, George Washington saved the Republic. And, his soldiers joined his effort by standing with him. • I wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day, and I hope all of us are praying for our fallen soldiers, honoring their families, and standing with George Washington and his army, and their posterity in arms, to assure the future of the Republic. • This John Williams "Hymn to the Fallen" You Tube presentation starkly details the sacrifice of America's soldiers as little else can -- < https://youtu.be/Omd9_FJnerY >.