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Democrats plan Capitol Hill event to put Trump’s mental health under fire


Reported by Kimberly Leonard |  June 05, 2019 12:00 AM

Democrats are planning to host a Capitol Hill event featuring psychiatrists who will warn that President Trump is unfit for office based on his mental health. The event will be led by Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale School of Medicine psychiatrist and editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book that argues psychiatrists have a responsibility to warn the public when a president is dangerous. The position is controversial because psychiatric associations urge members never to diagnose patients they haven’t personally evaluated, saying it undermines the scientific rigor of the profession.

But Lee and others who agree with her stance say that their description of the president’s behavior, of his showing mental instability and dangerousness, shouldn’t be interpreted as issuing a diagnosis.

“The president’s condition has been visibly deteriorating to the point where there’s a lot of talk right now about his mental state beyond mental health professionals,”Lee said. “It no longer takes a mental health professional to recognize the seriousness of the current presidency.”

The date for the town hall hasn’t been set but would be held “imminently soon within the next couple of weeks,” said Lee, who said the event was meant to be bipartisan. Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who has called for Trump’s impeachment, confirmed the event was in the works, but said it would be more likely to occur in July because lawmakers have a full plate in June with spending bills.

“We’re planning to put together an event,” Yarmuth said. “She’s calling it a town hall. We haven’t actually determined the format, but it’s going to be an event where she is going to present her findings, and media will be invited.”

Yarmuth said every House member would be invited but that he hadn’t yet gauged who would be interested because not many people knew about it. Lee said the group would reconsider the event if no Republicans planned to show up.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

According to Lee, attendees at the town hall would watch a condensed video that was recorded at a Washington, D.C., event held at the National Press Club in March that featured 13 experts discussing how they didn’t think Trump was fit for office. The experts, who came from the fields of mental health, philosophy, history, and journalism, said they were worried about the president’s access to nuclear weapons and the impact his administration would have on climate change.

Lee said the event is to allow members of Congress to ask her and other experts questions, but planners hope the town hall will be broadcast live so that people who aren’t in D.C. also would be able to watch and submit questions.

Lee said the experts won’t make specific recommendations about whether Congress should consider invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office or whether they should do so by impeachment. The political process should be determined by members of Congress, she said.

Yarmuth said that, to him, the event was a separate question from impeachment. “I don’t think an assessment of someone’s mental health is an impeachable issue,” he said. He decided to hold the event “for the same fears she has,”he said, referring to Lee. “That the president is manifesting dangerous behavior and the American people need to be alert to it.”

“Their position is that as professionals, when they see patterns of behavior that are endangering people, that they have a professional obligation to go public and alert the people who are threatened, and in this case it’s the American people,” Yarmuth said. “I think the American people deserve to have wider dissemination of that perspective.”

It’s not yet clear who else will participate. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who has a 25th Amendment bill that would set up a body in Congress to determine presidential fitness, had been asked to be on a panel that was based on the topic and set for sometime around May 20. The panel was then canceled or postponed because of scheduling conflicts, and Raskin’s office said it hadn’t heard about a new one in the works.

His deputy communications director, Samantha Brown, said in an email that he likely would have discussed the 25th Amendment from a historical and legal perspective.

Lee has been outspoken about Trump’s mental state. She’s the public face of a five-person group that is meeting regularly in D.C. and working to set up a medical panel to evaluate the mental capacity of Trump and Democratic presidential candidates.

“It’s deceptive because it seems like he’s alert, it seems like he’s responding to things in a rational manner, but it is not the case from every measure that we have taken,” Lee said of Trump. “And this is very serious. In fact, worse than if he had a stroke and were unconscious because he can mislead the country in destructive or nefarious ways.”

One of the other members of the working group is Dr. James Merikangas, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at George Washington University, but the others haven’t identified themselves publicly and aren’t known to the Washington Examiner.

In April, Lee and other psychiatrists wrote a report using the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference to make an assessment about the president’s mental health. They at first refrained from issuing a conclusion and gave Trump three weeks to undergo an evaluation. After they didn’t hear back, they released a conclusion that Trump “lacks mental basic mental capacity for duties of office” and recommended his access to nuclear weapons and war powers be curtailed.

“Our concern is that the dangers be contained — the dangers of having a president who lacks the mental capacity, lacks the fitness to discharge his duties of office for the remainder of his term,”Lee said. “I mean, this is really a national emergency.”

Bannon and Kobach unveil crowdfunded border wall amid unspent millions


Reported by Anna Giaritelli |  | May 31, 2019 12:05 AM

A group of immigration hardliners who used millions of crowdfunded dollars to build a border barrier on private land along the U.S.-Mexico border unveiled the nearly completed half-mile steel bollard fence Thursday following construction delays.

The 2,300-feet-long project marks the first time a nongovernment organization or individual has built a wall on privately owned land on the international boundary. It runs up a rocky 320-feet-tall hill and is 18 to 20 feet tall, depending on the point on the hill where it is measured.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, former Kansas State Secretary Kris Kobach, World Series MLB player Curt Schilling, Blackwater USA founder Erik Prince, and other longtime supporters of President Trump were on site at the project in Sunland Park, N.M., to showcase the fence, which stands on less than half a mile of the 1,954-mile border.

The undertaking has evolved, prompting questions about how money is being spent and the Trump administration’s involvement in the process.

Brian Kolfage, a triple amputee veteran, created a crowdfunding page in December with the intent of raising $1 billion for border wall construction following the Trump administration’s failure to obtain $25 billion for the project last December. The GoFundMe website did not state where the wall would be built or any other details. Kolfage vowed to return everyone’s money if the project did not reach $1 billion.

Kolfage insisted the campaign was not a scam despite having run a since-shuttered Facebook “news” page known for spreading conspiracy theories. He was also sued in 2017 after he reported the wrong name of the suspect involved in the fatal car accident during a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Va.

Kolfage’s page did not come close to its $1 billion goal and topped out at $22.9 million earlier this year. The more than 330,000 people who donated were informed by GoFundMe that they were eligible for a refund because Kolfage had changed the terms of the fundraiser to move to a different fund money people did not request back.

Weeks ahead of the crowdfunding campaign’s failure, Kolfage had launched We Build the Wall, Inc., a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. Bannon, Kobach, and other staunch conservatives who have been criticized as anti-immigrant were appointed to the organization’s board. The money from the crowdfunding campaign was then funneled to the outside organization.

About the same time this spring, Bannon and fellow board members, including former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, held a couple rallies in Midwestern cities to raise money for the organization, though they have not shared how much they raised in addition to the crowdfunding dollars.

Tommy Fisher, president and CEO of Fisher Industries, was paid to install the steel fence and said it is expected to come in at $7 million after taxes.

We Build the Wall has raised nearly $23 million for the project, though it is unclear how the nonprofit group plans to spend the remaining donations. The group did not respond to a request for comment.

Fisher told the Washington Examiner on Thursday he got involved in the project in April after receiving a call about his company’s claims it could build a mile of border wall per day. We Build the Wall officials, including Kobach, attended a demonstration of the construction in Coolidge, Ariz., last month.

Fisher said the organization signed a contract for him to build the half-mile portion of steel fence over the course of eight days, but it took longer because the city of Sunland Park shut down construction for two days. The suspension was lifted Wednesday.

Despite the board’s connections to Trump, organizers have insisted the project is not affiliated with the White House.

That claim was called into question in a recent Washington Post article that said Trump was adamant about the Army Corps of Engineers hiring Fisher Industries to carry out border wall projects.

Fisher dismissed being described as having lobbied Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., to get his name in front of Trump and insisted Trump was calling for the Pentagon to hire his company because of personal frustration with the less than 40 miles of border wall that has been installed in the two years and four months that he has been in office.

“I’d be mad if I were him,” Fisher said.

Police Report Is Game-Changer in Case of Gay, Black Actor Attacked by ‘Trump Supporters’


Reported By C. Douglas Golden | January 30, 2019 at 9:29am

When gay black actor Jussie Smollett said he was attacked by white men who yelled some stuff about “MAGA,” it didn’t take long for the liberal rage machine to mobilize.

“The star of the tv show ‘Empire,’ Jussie Smollett, was attacked by two assailants early Monday morning in Downtown Chicago according to Chicago Police Department Spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi,” CNN reported.

“Smollett, 36, was walking on the 300 block of E. North Lower Water Street when two men approached him and ‘gained his attention by yelling out racial and homophobic slurs towards him,’ Guglielmi says in a statement.

“Two unknown offenders — it is unknown if they were male or female — then attacked Smollett, hitting him in the face and then poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

“At some point during the scuffle, one of the offenders wrapped a rope around the victim’s neck and then both offenders fled the scene, the statement reads.”

Smollett took himself to Northwestern Hospital, where the incident was reported to police, according to CBS Chicago.

There was plenty of condemnation to go around, particularly after TMZ reported that the attackers had shouted “this is MAGA country.” Two of the outraged included black Democratic senators, who just by chance, happen to either be running for president or widely expected to be running for president.

There was one problem with this “modern-day lynching” narrative: None of that “MAGA country” stuff was originally mentioned to police and they’re having trouble corroborating the fact that the attack even happened.

“According to the victim, the offenders’ faces were concealed,” a police spokesman said, according to Reason. “We have no record indicating that (they shouted ‘MAGA’), we only have record of them shouting racial and homophobic slurs at him.”

A statement from Chicago Police confirmed that, Reason reported.

“We have no record of the ‘MAGA Country’ comment,” the statement said, according to Reason. “We have racial and homophobic comments documented.”

CNN reported that when police heard about the accusation and called the actor, he “relayed it to detectives in a supplemental interview.”

But then again, there’s some doubt as to whether the attack even happened.

In an area that has a “very high density” of surveillance cameras, according to the police spokesman’s statement, there is not a single image of an attack like the one Smollett described.

“A Chicago police spokesperson tells CNN that investigators canvassed the neighborhood where the reported attack occurred on actor Jussie Smollett and have found no still images or video from security cameras of the incident,” CNN reported.

“The only image of Smollett police obtained from security cameras was inside Subway Sandwich shop near the location of the reported crime, the actor was standing alone.”

For all I know, Smollett really was attacked by bigots who shouted the phrase “MAGA country,” and ambitious, Democratic politicians who are calling this a “a modern-day lynching” are absolutely justified. But here’s the thing — I’m going to wait to see whether or not that’s the case, as everyone else should have.

It hasn’t even been a fortnight since the Covington Catholic incident, and the lesson we were should have taken away from that “teachable moment” — be careful dealing with stories that confirm your cultural narrative — has been lost.

No fewer than two senators with eyes on the 2020 Democratic nomination have taken this accusation as gospel because they can use it as an illustration of supposed Trump-fueled hate coursing through the country, even though no arrests have been made and the evidence is scanty. If this turns out to be a hoax, Sens. Booker and Harris own this, as do the legion of liberals who tweeted this out without waiting for a fuller investigation.

Even if this turns out to be true, what they did was supremely irresponsible. That these two individuals are in the Senate is bad enough. Just imagine one of them in the White House, backed by a legion of people who think Donald Trump supporters are irresponsible bigots, but are willing to blame white Donald Trump supporters for a hate crime without any charges or even direct physical evidence. It will make the Obama years look like pure reason.

ABOUT THE REPORTER:

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between America and Southeast Asia and believes in free speech and the Second Amendment.

 

Trump’s list: 289 accomplishments in just 20 months, ‘relentless’ promise-keeping



Reported by Paul Bedard  | October 12, 2018 08:43 AM

The Trump administration’s often overlooked list of achievements has surpassed those of former President Ronald Reagan at this time and more than doubled since the last tally of accomplishments after his first year in office, giving President Trump a solid platform to run for re-election on.

As Trump nears the two-year mark of his historic election and conducts political rallies around the country, during which he talks up his wins in hopes it will energize Republican voters, the administration has counted up 289 accomplishments in 18 categories, capped by the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

They include 173 major wins, such as adding more than 4 million jobs, and another 116 smaller victories, some with outsize importance, such as the 83 percent one-year increase in arrests of MS-13 gang members.

“Trump’s successes in reducing the cost of taxes and regulations, rebuilding our military, avoiding wars of choice and changing the courts rival those of all previous Republican presidents,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

“Trump has an advantage over Ronald Reagan: He has a Reagan Republican House and Senate while Reagan had a [Democratic Speaker] Tip O’Neill House and a pre-Reagan Republican Senate. Reagan and [former GOP Speaker] Newt Gingrich were the ice breakers that allowed Trump’s victories to grow in number and significance,”he added.

Unlike the Year One list which included many proposals and orders still to be acted on, the new collection includes dozens of actions already in place, signed legislation, and enforced executive orders.

For example, while the Year One list bragged about the administration’s efforts to rewrite the much-maligned NAFTA trade deal with Canada and Mexico, the Year Two list said: “Negotiated an historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.”

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In December, Secrets reported on the first list of White House accomplishments.

And shockingly the NAFTA achievement is presented as a sidebar to the larger achievement that reads, “President Trump is negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.”Under that umbrella are eight trade deals cut with Japan, South Korea, Europe and China.

“President Trump is a truly unique leader in American history. He’s a kid from Queens who became an international business leader and made billions by getting things when no one said he could,” said Trump’s 2016 campaign pollster John McLaughlin.

“They told him he couldn’t be president and beat the establishment and he did. For two years the establishment is telling him he can’t do things in Washington and he’s succeeding in spite of them. He never retreats. He doesn’t back up. He’s relentless. He just wins,”he added.

Comparing the two years shows that the latest has an expanded group of economic achievements while the pro-life category was folded into the health care section.  Along the way, there have been some disappointments, such as failing to replace Obamacare, fund a big infrastructure plan, and build the border wall.

But the White House believes that despite a lack of media coverage of his accomplishments, supporters know about them and will head to the voting polls to help the GOP maintain control of the House and keep the president on what CNN dubbed a “winning streak.”

In the Washington Post Friday, former Bush speechwriter and columnist Marc Thiessen agreed and said that Trump has proven to be successful at keeping his campaign promises. He wrote, “The fact is, in his first two years, Trump has compiled a remarkable record of presidential promise-keeping.”

The list:

Economic Growth

  • 4.2 percent growth in the second quarter of 2018.
  • For the first time in more than a decade, growth is projected to exceed 3 percent over the calendar year.

Jobs

  • 4 million new jobs have been created since the election, and more than 3.5 million since Trump took office.
  • More Americans are employed now than ever before in our history.
  • Jobless claims at lowest level in nearly five decades.
  • The economy has achieved the longest positive job-growth streak on record.
  • Job openings are at an all-time high and outnumber job seekers for the first time on record.
  • Unemployment claims at 50 year low
  • African-American, Hispanic, and Asian-American unemployment rates have all recently reached record lows.
    • African-American unemployment hit a record low of 5.9 percent in May 2018.
    • Hispanic unemployment at 4.5 percent.
    • Asian-American unemployment at record low of 2 percent.
  • Women’s unemployment recently at lowest rate in nearly 65 years.
    • Female unemployment dropped to 3.6 percent in May 2018, the lowest since October 1953.
  • Youth unemployment recently reached its lowest level in more than 50 years.
    • July 2018’s youth unemployment rate of 9.2 percent was the lowest since July 1966.
  • Veterans’ unemployment recently hit its lowest level in nearly two decades.
    • July 2018’s veterans’ unemployment rate of 3.0 percent matched the lowest rate since May 2001.
  • Unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma recently reached a record low.
  • Rate for disabled Americans recently hit a record low.
  • Blue-collar jobs recently grew at the fastest rate in more than three decades.
  • Poll found that 85 percent of blue-collar workers believe their lives are headed “in the right direction.”
    • 68 percent reported receiving a pay increase in the past year.
  • Last year, job satisfaction among American workers hit its highest level since 2005.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans rate now as a good time to find a quality job.
    • Optimism about the availability of good jobs has grown by 25 percent.
  • Added more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since the election.
    • Manufacturing employment is growing at its fastest pace in more than two decades.
  • 100,000 new jobs supporting the production & transport of oil & natural gas.

American Income

  • Median household income rose to $61,372 in 2017, a post-recession high.
  • Wages up in August by their fastest rate since June 2009.
  • Paychecks rose by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, the most in a decade.
  • Council of Economic Advisers found that real wage compensation has grown by 1.4 percent over the past year.
  • Some 3.9 million Americans off food stamps since the election.
  • Median income for Hispanic-Americans rose by 3.7 percent and surpassed $50,000 for the first time ever in history.
    • Home-ownership among Hispanics is at the highest rate in nearly a decade.
  • Poverty rates for African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans have reached their lowest levels ever recorded.

American Optimism

  • Small business optimism has hit historic highs.
    • NFIB’s small business optimism index broke a 35 year-old record in August.
    • SurveyMonkey/CNBC’s small business confidence survey for Q3 of 2018 matched its all-time high.
  • Manufacturers are more confident than ever.
    • 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers are optimistic about the future, the highest ever.
  • Consumer confidence is at an 18-year high.
  • 12 percent of Americans rate the economy as the most significant problem facing our country, the lowest level on record.
  • Confidence in the economy is near a two-decade high, with 51 percent rating the economy as good or excellent.

American Business

  • Investment is flooding back into the United States due to the tax cuts.
    • Over $450 billion dollars has already poured back into the U.S., including more than $300 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Retail sales have surged. Commerce Department figures from August show that retail sales increased 0.5 percent in July 2018, an increase of 6.4 percent from July 2017.
  • ISM’s index of manufacturing scored its highest reading in 14 years.
  • Worker productivity is the highest it has been in more than three years.
  • Steel and aluminum producers are re-opening.
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500, and NASDAQ have all notched record highs.
    • Dow hit record highs 70 times in 2017 alone, the most ever recorded in one year.

Deregulation

  • Achieved massive deregulation at a rapid pace, completing 22 deregulatory actions to every one regulatory action during his first year in office.
  • Signed legislation to roll back costly and harmful provisions of Dodd-Frank, providing relief to credit unions, and community and regional banks.
  • Federal agencies achieved more than $8 billion in lifetime net regulatory cost savings.
  • Rolled back Obama’s burdensome Waters of the U.S. rule.
  • Used the Congressional Review Act to repeal regulations more times than in history.

Tax Cuts

  • Biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history by signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs act into law
    • Provided more than $5.5 trillion in gross tax cuts, nearly 60 percent of which will go to families.
    • Increased the exemption for the death tax to help save Family Farms & Small Business.
    • Nearly doubled the standard deduction for individuals and families.
    • Enabled vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page by claiming the standard deduction.
    • Doubled the child tax credit to help lessen the financial burden of raising a family.
    • Lowered America’s corporate tax rate from the highest in the developed world to allow American businesses to compete and win.
    • Small businesses can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.
    • Cut dozens of special interest tax breaks and closed loopholes for the wealthy.
  • 9 in 10 American workers are expected see an increase in their paychecks thanks to the tax cuts, according to the Treasury Department.
  • More than 6 million of American workers have received wage increases, bonuses, and increased benefits thanks to tax cuts.
  • Over 100 utility companies have lowered electric, gas, or water rates thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Ernst & Young found 89 percent of companies planned to increase worker compensation thanks to the Trump tax cuts.
  • Established opportunity zones to spur investment in left behind communities.

Worker Development

  • Established a National Council for the American Worker to develop a national strategy for training and retraining America’s workers for high-demand industries.
  • Employers have signed Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” committing to train or retrain more than 4.2 million workers and students.
  • Signed the first Perkins CTE reauthorization since 2006, authorizing more than $1 billion for states each year to fund vocational and career education programs.
  • Executive order expanding apprenticeship opportunities for students and workers.

Domestic Infrastructure

  • Proposed infrastructure plan would utilize $200 billion in Federal funds to spur at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure investment across the country.
  • Executive order expediting environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects.
  • Federal agencies have signed the One Federal Decision Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) streamlining the federal permitting process for infrastructure projects.
  • Rural prosperity task force and signed an executive order to help expand broadband access in rural areas.

Health Care

  • Signed an executive order to help minimize the financial burden felt by American households Signed legislation to improve the National Suicide Hotline.
  • Signed the most comprehensive childhood cancer legislation ever into law, which will advance childhood cancer research and improve treatments.
  • Signed Right-to-Try legislation, expanding health care options for terminally ill patients.
  • Enacted changes to the Medicare 340B program, saving seniors an estimated $320 million on drugs in 2018 alone.
  • FDA set a new record for generic drug approvals in 2017, saving consumers nearly $9 billion.
  • Released a blueprint to drive down drug prices for American patients, leading multiple major drug companies to announce they will freeze or reverse price increases.
  • Expanded short-term, limited-duration health plans.
  • Let more employers to form Association Health Plans, enabling more small businesses to join together and affordably provide health insurance to their employees.
  • Cut Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate penalty.
  • Signed legislation repealing Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, also known as the “death panels.”
  • USDA invested more than $1 billion in rural health care in 2017, improving access to health care for 2.5 million people in rural communities across 41 states
  • Proposed Title X rule to help ensure taxpayers do not fund the abortion industry in violation of the law.
  • Reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy to keep foreign aid from supporting the global abortion industry.
  • HHS formed a new division over protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.
  • Overturned Obama administration’s midnight regulation prohibiting states from defunding certain abortion facilities.
  • Signed executive order to help ensure that religious organizations are not forced to choose between violating their religious beliefs by complying with Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate or shutting their doors.

Combating Opioids

  • Chaired meeting the 73rd General Session of the United Nations discussing the worldwide drug problem with international leaders.
  • Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, introducing new measures to keep dangerous drugs out of our communities.
  • $6 billion in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • DEA conducted a surge in April 2018 that arrested 28 medical professions and revoked 147 registrations for prescribing too many opioids.
  • Brought the “Prescribed to Death” memorial to President’s Park near the White House, helping raise awareness about the human toll of the opioid crisis.
  • Helped reduce high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent in 2017.
  • Opioid Summit on the administration-wide efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
  • Launched a national public awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid addiction.
  • Created a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis which recommended a number of pathways to tackle the opioid crisis.
  • Led two National Prescription Drug Take Back Days in 2017 and 2018, collecting a record number of expired and unneeded prescription drugs each time.
  • $485 million targeted grants in FY 2017 to help areas hit hardest by the opioid crisis.
  • Signed INTERDICT Act, strengthening efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids before they reach our communities.
  • DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
  • Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
  • Declared the opioid crisis a Nationwide Public Health Emergency in October 2017.

Law and Order

  • More U.S. Circuit Court judges confirmed in the first year in office than ever.
  • Confirmed more than two dozen U. S. Circuit Court judges.
  • Followed through on the promise to nominate judges to the Supreme Court who will adhere to the Constitution
    • Nominated and confirmed Justice Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
  • Signed an executive order directing the Attorney General to develop a strategy to more effectively prosecute people who commit crimes against law enforcement officers.
  • Launched an evaluation of grant programs to make sure they prioritize the protection and safety of law enforcement officers.
  • Established a task force to reduce crime and restore public safety in communities across Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
  • Signed an executive order to focus more federal resources on dismantling transnational criminal organizations such as drug cartels.
  • Violent crime decreased in 2017 according to FBI statistics.
  • $137 million in grants through the COPS Hiring Program to preserve jobs, increase community policing capacities, and support crime prevention efforts.
  • Enhanced and updated the Project Safe Neighborhoods to help reduce violent crime.
  • Signed legislation making it easier to target websites that enable sex trafficking and strengthened penalties for people who promote or facilitate prostitution.
  • Created an interagency task force working around the clock to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent human trafficking.
  • Conducted Operation Cross Country XI to combat human trafficking, rescuing 84 children and arresting 120 human traffickers.
  • Encouraged federal prosecutors to use the death penalty when possible in the fight against the trafficking of deadly drugs.
  • New rule effectively banning bump stock sales in the United States.

Border Security and Immigration

  • Secured $1.6 billion for border wall construction in the March 2018 omnibus bill.
  • Construction of a 14-mile section of border wall began near San Diego.
  • Worked to protect American communities from the threat posed by the vile MS-13 gang.
    • ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations division arrested 796 MS-13 members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the prior year.
    • Justice worked with partners in Central America to secure criminal charges against more than 4,000 MS-13 members.
    • Border Patrol agents arrested 228 illegal aliens affiliated with MS-13 in FY 2017.
  • Fighting to stop the scourge of illegal drugs at our border.
    • ICE HSI seized more than 980,000 pounds of narcotics in FY 2017, including 2,370 pounds of fentanyl and 6,967 pounds of heroin.
    • ICE HSI dedicated nearly 630,000 investigative hours towards halting the illegal import of fentanyl.
    • ICE HSI made 11,691 narcotics-related arrests in FY 2017.
    • Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand introduced new measures to keep dangerous drugs out the United States.
    • Signed the INTERDICT Act into law, enhancing efforts to detect and intercept synthetic opioids.
    • DOJ secured its first-ever indictments against Chinese fentanyl manufacturers.
    • DOJ launched their Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team, aimed at disrupting online illicit opioid sales.
  • Released an immigration framework that includes the resources required to secure our borders and close legal loopholes, and repeatedly called on Congress to fix our broken immigration laws.
  • Authorized the deployment of the National Guard to help secure the border.
  • Enhanced vetting of individuals entering the U.S. from countries that don’t meet security standards, helping to ensure individuals who pose a threat to our country are identified before they enter.
    • These procedures were upheld in a June 2018 Supreme Court hearing.
  • ICE removed over 226,000 illegal aliens from the United States in 2017.
    • ICE rescued or identified over 500 human trafficking victims and over 900 child exploitation victims in 2017 alone.
  • In 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or charges, responsible for
    • Over 76,000 with dangerous drug offenses.
    • More than 48,000 with assault offenses.
    • More than 11,000 with weapons offenses.
    • More than 5,000 with sexual assault offenses.
    • More than 2,000 with kidnapping offenses.
    • Over 1,800 with homicide offenses.
  • Created the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) Office in order to support the victims and families affected by illegal alien crime.
  • More than doubled the number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which allows jails to detain criminal aliens until they are transferred to ICE custody.

Trade

  • Negotiating and renegotiating better trade deals, achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade for the United States.
    • Agreed to work with the European Union towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsides.
    • Deal with the European Union to increase U.S. energy exports to Europe.
    • Litigated multiple WTO disputes targeting unfair trade practices and upholding our right to enact fair trade laws.
    • Finalized a revised trade agreement with South Korea, which includes provisions to increase American automobile exports.
    • Negotiated an historic U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to replace NAFTA.
    • Agreement to begin trade negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement.
    • Secured $250 billion in new trade and investment deals in China and $12 billion in Vietnam.
    • Established a Trade and Investment Working Group with the United Kingdom, laying the groundwork for post-Brexit trade.
  • Enacted steel and aluminum tariffs to protect our vital steel and aluminum producers and strengthen our national security.
  • Conducted 82 anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations in 2017 alone.
  • Confronting China’s unfair trade practices after years of Washington looking the other way.
    • 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China and later imposed an additional 10% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
    • Conducted an investigation into Chinese forced technology transfers, unfair licensing practices, and intellectual property theft.
    • Imposed safeguard tariffs to protect domestic washing machines and solar products manufacturers hurt by China’s trade policies
  • Withdrew from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
  • Secured access to new markets for America’s farmers.
    • Recent deal with Mexico included new improvements enabling food and agriculture to trade more fairly.
    • Recent agreement with the E.U. will reduce barriers and increase trade of American soybeans to Europe.
    • Won a WTO dispute regarding Indonesia’s unfair restriction of U.S. agricultural exports.
    • Defended American Tuna fisherman and packagers before the WTO
    • Opened up Argentina to American pork experts for the first time in a quarter-century
    • American beef exports have returned to china for the first time in more than a decade
  • OK’d up to $12 billion in aid for farmers affected by unfair trade retaliation.

Energy

  • Presidential Memorandum to clear roadblocks to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
  • Presidential Memorandum declaring that the Dakota Access Pipeline serves the national interest and initiating the process to complete construction.
  • Opened up the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to energy exploration.
  • Coal exports up over 60 percent in 2017.
  • Rolled back the “stream protection rule” to prevent it from harming America’s coal industry.
  • Cancelled Obama’s anti-coal Clean Power Plan and proposed the Affordable Clean Energy Rule as a replacement.
  • Withdrew from the job-killing Paris climate agreement, which would have cost the U.S. nearly $3 trillion and led to 6.5 million fewer industrial sector jobs by 2040.
  • U.S. oil production has achieved its highest level in American history
  • United States is now the largest crude oil producer in the world.
  • U.S. has become a net natural gas exporter for the first time in six decades.
  • Action to expedite the identification and extraction of critical minerals that are vital to the nation’s security and economic prosperity.
  • Took action to reform National Ambient Air Quality Standards, benefitting American manufacturers.
  • Rescinded Obama’s hydraulic fracturing rule, which was expected to cost the industry $32 million per year.
  • Proposed an expansion of offshore drilling as part of an all-of-the above energy strategy
    • Held a lease sale for offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2018.
  • Got EU to increase its imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States.
  • Issued permits for the New Burgos Pipeline that will cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Foreign Policy

  • Moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
  • Withdrew from Iran deal and immediately began the process of re-imposing sanctions that had been lifted or waived.
    • Treasury has issued sanctions targeting Iranian activities and entities, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force
    • Since enacting sanctions, Iran’s crude exports have fallen off, the value of Iran’s currency has plummeted, and international companies have pulled out of the country.
    • All nuclear-related sanctions will be back in full force by early November 2018.
  • Historic summit with North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, bringing beginnings of peace and denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula.
    • The two leaders have exchanged letters and high-level officials from both sides have met resulting in tremendous progress.
    • North Korea has halted nuclear and missile tests.
    • Negotiated the return of the remains of missing-in-action soldiers from the Korean War.
  • Imposed strong sanctions on Venezuelan dictator Nicholas Maduro and his inner circle.
  • Executive order preventing those in the U.S. from carrying out certain transactions with the Venezuelan regime, including prohibiting the purchase of the regime’s debt.
  • Responded to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.
    • Rolled out sanctions targeting individuals and entities tied to Syria’s chemical weapons program.
    • Directed strikes in April 2017 against a Syrian airfield used in a chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.
    • Joined allies in launching airstrikes in April 2018 against targets associated with Syria’s chemical weapons use.
  • New Cuba policy that enhanced compliance with U.S. law and held the Cuban regime accountable for political oppression and human rights abuses.
    • Treasury and State are working to channel economic activity away from the Cuban regime, particularly the military.
  • Changed the rules of engagement, empowering commanders to take the fight to ISIS.
    • ISIS has lost virtually all of its territory, more than half of which has been lost under Trump.
    • ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital city, Raqqah, was liberated in October 2017.
    • All Iraqi territory had been liberated from ISIS.
  • More than a dozen American hostages have been freed from captivity all of the world.
  • Action to combat Russia’s malign activities, including their efforts to undermine the sanctity of United States elections.
    • Expelled dozens of Russian intelligence officers from the United States and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, WA.
    • Banned the use of Kaspersky Labs software on government computers, due to the company’s ties to Russian intelligence.
    • Imposed sanctions against five Russian entities and three individuals for enabling Russia’s military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities.
    • Sanctions against seven Russian oligarchs, and 12 companies they own or control, who profit from Russia’s destabilizing activities.
    • Sanctioned 100 targets in response to Russia’s occupation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine.
    • Enhanced support for Ukraine’s Armed Forces to help Ukraine better defend itself.
  • Helped win U.S. bid for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
  • Helped win U.S.-Mexico-Canada’s united bid for 2026 World Cup.

Defense

  • Executive order keeping the detention facilities at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay open.
  • $700 billion in military funding for FY 2018 and $716 billion for FY 2019.
  • Largest military pay raise in nearly a decade.
  • Ordered a Nuclear Posture Review to ensure America’s nuclear forces are up to date and serve as a credible deterrent.
  • Released America’s first fully articulated cyber strategy in 15 years.
  • New strategy on national biodefense, which better prepares the nation to defend against biological threats.
  • Administration has announced that it will use whatever means necessary to protect American citizens and servicemen from unjust prosecution by the International Criminal Court.
  • Released an America first National Security Strategy.
  • Put in motion the launch of a Space Force as a new branch of the military and relaunched the National Space Council.
  • Encouraged North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to increase defense spending to their agree-upon levels.
    • In 2017 alone, there was an increase of more than 4.8 percent in defense spending amongst NATO allies.
    • Every member state has increased defense spending.
    • Eight NATO allies will reach the 2 percent benchmark by the end of 2018 and 15 allies are on trade to do so by 2024.
    • NATO allies spent over $42 billion dollars more on defense since 2016.
  • Executive order to help military spouses find employment as their families deploy domestically and abroad.

Veterans affairs

  • Signed the VA Accountability Act and expanded VA telehealth services, walk-in-clinics, and same-day urgent primary and mental health care.
  • Delivered more appeals decisions – 81,000 – to veterans in a single year than ever before.
  • Strengthened protections for individuals who come forward and identify programs occurring within the VA.
  • Signed legislation that provided $86.5 billion in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the largest dollar amount in history for the VA.
  • VA MISSION Act, enacting sweeping reform to the VA system that:
    • Consolidated and strengthened VA community care programs.
    • Funding for the Veterans Choice program.
    • Expanded eligibility for the Family Caregivers Program.
    • Gave veterans more access to walk-in care.
    • Strengthened the VA’s ability to recruit and retain quality healthcare professionals.
    • Enabled the VA to modernize its assets and infrastructure.
  • Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act in 2017, which authorized $2.1 billion in addition funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
  • Worked to shift veterans’ electronic medical records to the same system used by the Department of Defense, a decades old priority.
  • Issued an executive order requiring the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs to submit a joint plan to provide veterans access to access to mental health treatment as they transition to civilian life.
  • Increased transparency and accountability at the VA by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with access to wait time and quality of care data.
  • Signed legislation to modernize the claims and appeal process at the VA.
  • Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, providing enhanced educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members.
    • Lifted a 15-year limit on veterans’ access to their educational benefits.
  • Created a White House VA Hotline to help veterans and principally staffed it with veterans and direct family members of veterans.
  • VA employees are being held accountable for poor performance, with more than 4,000 VA employees removed, demoted, and suspended so far.
  • Signed the Veterans Treatment Court Improvement Act, increasing the number of VA employees that can assist justice-involved veterans.

Black Leaders Issue Powerful Message to CNN over Don Lemon’s Anti-White Comments


Reported By Chris Agee | November 1, 2018 at 1:04pm

CNN host Don Lemon is facing continued backlash over comments he made earlier this week regarding the threat he claimed one group in particular poses to homeland security. Lemon drew fire specifically for declaring that the “biggest terror threat in this country are white men.”

Among those who have since publicly denounced Lemon’s comments are three co-chairmen of the Project 21 Black Leadership Network, an organization sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. A statement from Horace Cooper, Bishop Council Nedd II and Stacy Washington called on CNN bosses to take action in light of the on-air proclamation.

“Within a space of five seconds, CNN’s Don Lemon went from saying we shouldn’t demonize people to broadly labeling white men as our nation’s ‘biggest terror threat,’” they wrote. “That’s not responsible journalism. This cannot stand.”

The trio went on to cite the network president’s recent statement denouncing President Donald Trump’s frequent criticism of CNN and the news media in general. Following a bomb scare at CNN’s New York City headquarters last month, Jeff Zucker issued a statement describing a “total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media.”

Zucker called on Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to “understand their words matter,” and concluded that “they have shown no comprehension of that” so far in the administration’s first term.

Cooper, Nedd and Washington wrote that Zucker should apply his own standard to his network’s hosts.

“CNN President Jeff Zucker recently called out the White House for its criticism of the media, saying President Trump doesn’t comprehend the importance of the words he uses,” the statement concluded. “It’s time for Zucker to put his own house in order — starting with explaining how Don Lemon’s outrageous statement can stand in light of Zucker’s call for civility.”

Lemon addressed the controversy in a segment Wednesday evening, using data from the Government Accountability Office that indicates right-wing extremists have been responsible for more deadly attacks on U.S. soil than left-leaning groups.

“Earlier this week, I made some comments about that in a conversation with Chris (Cuomo),” he said. “I said that the biggest terror threat in this country comes from radicals on the far right, primarily white men. That angered some people. But let’s put emotion aside and look at the cold hard facts. The evidence is overwhelming.”

The information he referenced showed 62 separate attacks staged by terrorists believed to hold radical right-wing views have caused a total of 106 deaths since the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. Comparing that to a much lower total assigned to left-wing extremist groups, Lemon declared that there was one deadly leftist attack “for every eight deadly attacks by right-wing extremists.”

Islamist extremists were responsible for a total of 119 terror-related deaths in 23 attacks over the same period, according to the GAO report.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.

Meadows: Religious liberty a high priority for Trump administration


Reported by Bill Bumpas, Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com) | Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pastor Andrew Brunson releasedA U.S. congressman who was part of the effort to bring Pastor Andrew Brunson home recalls the “powerful moment” he witnessed as the pastor prayed over the President of the United States.

The televised meeting on Saturday between Brunson and President Donald Trump continues to have people talking. “What a day of celebration to know that not only Pastor Brunson is back home, but our God still reigns over the affairs of nations,” said Congressman Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina). “It is a great day of rejoicing.”

Meadows, who made his comments Monday on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” went on to say that it was a powerful moment to see a man of God – who not only had been in prison but also possibly would not be coming home – now free.

Andrew Brunson praying over Trump“At times, it looked very, very bleak [for Brunson],” said Meadows, who was among the lawmakers and administration officials in the Oval Office on Saturday. “The president deserves just unbelievable gratitude not just from Republicans or Democrats or unaffiliated, but from those who believe in religious liberty. And it was a powerful moment as the president was prayed for by Pastor Brunson.”

(See C-SPAN report; prayer begins at 7:30 into the video)

Meadows added that the entire Trump administration made him feel that there was no higher priority than getting Brunson home. “I had the opportunity to not only talk to the pastor and his wife, but to his children,” he continued. “They were so unbelievably grateful … and it lets us know that Americans will not be left behind.”

Meadows was also moved by the “Christ-like love” Brunson obviously has for the Turkish people. “He said that in the Oval Office,” the congressman emphasized, “and that’s saying something after being imprisoned against your will.”

Brunson was accused of espionage and terrorism. On Friday he was found guilty in a Turkish court of terrorism, but released on time served. He had been held in prison and under house arrest by the Turkish government for two years.

Brunson’s back … but don’t stop now!

The successful return of the American pastor to the U.S. after being imprisoned in Turkey for his faith is inspiring hopes that more persecuted Christians will be freed from captivity.

Faith McDonnell is director of religious liberty programs at The Institute on Religion & Democracy as well as a founding member of Save the Persecuted Christians. McDonnell says she’s grateful for the work by the Trump administration to gain Brunson’s freedom – and she’s hopeful it could lead to relief for other oppressed believers.

McDonnell, Faith (IRD)“… I would love to see this kind of effort go on for other Christians who are being persecuted and imprisoned, whether they’re American citizens or not – particularly Leah Sharibu right now,” says the IRD spokeswoman.

Sharibu is the Christian teenage girl being held captive by Boko Haram. McDonnell tells OneNewsNow that Pastor Brunson’s positive outcome should motivate the Trump administration to move forward in helping other persecuted Christians.

“But it’s going to take continued encouragement from American Christians,” she explains. “They need to care as much about a little girl in Nigeria as they do about an American pastor – so Americans need to continue to step up to the plate and be advocates for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.”

If that happens, McDonnell is convinced the Trump White House will continue to take positive steps towards helping more persecuted Christians.

Today’s TWO POlitically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


September 11, 2018, Still Remembering

September 11, 2018, we still have a hole in our hearts as we continue to remember and will never forget what happened September 11th, 2001.

9/11 2018 Still RememberingPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.

Deep Throat

The New York Time claims they have senior member inside the White House who is conveniently anonymous speaking out against Trump. I may be true.

Anonymous White House SourcesPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.
More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.

A.F.Branco Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here!

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A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News” and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

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