Friday, March 31, 2017

Biden in 3/30/17 speech says Hillary lost because she failed to speak about how to maintain a large middle class. NY Times Nate Cohn largely agreed with Biden, said "Democrats have either assumed they didn't need white working-class voters or took their support for granted"-AOL News, 3/31/17

3/31/17, "Biden talks about what led to Hillary Clinton's defeat in 2016,"

"Former Vice President Joe Biden has suggested that Hillary Clinton failed to win the presidential election because she didn't address the concerns of middle-class Americans, reports CNN.

During a speech he gave at the University of Pennsylvania on Thursday, he said, about her loss, "What happened was that this is the first campaign that I can recall where my party did not talk about what it always stood for—and that is how to maintain a burgeoning middle class."

He added, "The truth of the matter is, you didn't hear a single solitary sentence in the last campaign about that guy working on the assembly line making $60,000 a year and a wife making $32,000 as a hostess in a restaurant. And they...making $90,000 and they got two kids and they can't make it. And they're scared, they're frightened."

The New York Times' Nate Cohn largely agreed with Biden; a week after the election was decided, he pointed out, "I think the bigger issue is that Democrats have either assumed they didn't need white working-class voters or took their support for granted."

He then said, "What part of Hillary Clinton's message was aimed at less educated white voters? It just wasn't at the core of her appeal this year. It was nothing like 2012, when President Obama relentlessly focused on the middle class, Bain Capital, the auto bailout, etc."

Meanwhile, in a recent report, CNN argues that "Clinton did attempt to speak to working class voters on the campaign trail...But the overarching message of her campaign, especially at the end, was more often anti-Donald Trump than policy messaging toward these voters."

The recent speech wasn't Biden's first time speaking out about Clinton's campaign; last December, he told the Los Angeles Times that he didn't think she ever figured out why she was running for president other than, perhaps, out of a sense of duty to women."


Thursday, March 30, 2017

We need President Trump to go above and beyond the call of duty to save the country. He must reign in these Republicans. He must succeed by making the changes he promised in his campaign. He needs to take the gloves off. We the people need to help him do it. If not, we'll be in globalist hands before the next election-Retired Green Beret via Zero Hedge

"The political parties are an illusion, but there is one thing that is not illusory: the absolute desire of government to rule without the consent of the governed and to relegate the governed to a position barely above that of cattle. The President needs to take the gloves off."

3/29/17, "The Political Parties Are An Illusion Designed To "Relegate The Governed To The Level Of Cattle"," Zero Hedge, Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) vis 

"Over the course of the past week and the attempt to rid the United States of the abomination of Obamacare, the true nature of the state of thingsthe stance of our government…has revealed itself.  Here is how they have done it: 

When Obama was in power, the Congress stamped their feet and yelled with “faux” frustration: powerless to reverse ObamacareNow Obama is gone and President Trump is in, and it is Congress…the Republican-controlled Congress, mind you…that will not get rid of Obamacare.... 

The future of this country is on hold right now.  What we need is for the President to go above and beyond the call of duty to save the country.  He must reign in these Republicans.  He must succeed by making the changes he promised in his campaign and show successes to a population with the attention span of a gnat whose votes can be bought by handouts.  He needs to take the gloves off, put a roll of quarters in each hand, and then put the gloves back on....
We can’t afford to lose this one, and we only have until November when the battle really becomes joined.  Obamacare needs to be repealed and renounced, not repealed and replaced. All Republicans that went against the repeal need to be investigated.  They need to be “repealed,” (removed) and replaced with representatives who will vote the will of the people and represent the people....The subterfuge and sabotage by the Democrats and the pseudo-Republicans will continue for a “watered down” brief hiatus from the last 8 years of nightmarish misery…until a return to power by the Marxists.

Those pseudo-Republicans are the ones who will enable it.  Picture Elizabeth Warren in four years as the President with her husband, Cass Sunstein in the White House. 

This battle against the President’s reforms and changes with Obamacare is only the beginning. It is a battle on many fronts with numerous issues....The political parties are an illusion, but there is one thing that is not illusory: the absolute desire of government to rule without the consent of the governed and to relegate the governed to a position barely above that of cattle. The President needs to take the gloves off and throw the Marquis of Queensbury rules aside in order to win. We the People need to help him do it. 

If not, we’re going to lose this country even before the next presidential election and fall into the hands of the globalists.  Should that happen, all our freedoms will die, and so will we as a nation.  The time to act is now, and the responsibility to act is ours."


MSNBC's Rachel Maddow fumbled in the clutch: When Sen. Schumer said US intelligence agencies have '6 ways from Sunday at getting back at you,' Maddow failed to ask the follow up question that might even have saved lives-which was to merely repeat Schumer's devastating admission: 'Sen. Schumer, are you actually saying Trump should be afraid of the CIA?'-Consortium News, Binney and McGovern

3/28/17, "The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate," Consortium News, Ray McGovern and Bill Binney

"Exclusive: Amid the frenzy over the Trump team’s talks with Russians, are we missing a darker story, how the Deep State’s surveillance powers control the nation’s leaders, ask U.S. intelligence veterans, Ray McGovern and Bill Binney."

"Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

As those paying rudimentary attention to modern methods of surveillance know, “wiretapping” is passĂ©. But Trump’s use of the word allowed FBI and Department of Justice officials and their counterparts at the National Security Agency to swear on a stack of bibles that the FBI, DOJ, and NSA have been unable to uncover any evidence within their particular institutions of such “wiretapping.”

At the House Intelligence Committee hearing on March 20, FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers firmly denied that their agencies had wiretapped Trump Towers on the orders of President Obama.

So, were Trump and his associates “wiretapped?” Of course not. Wiretapping went out of vogue decades ago, having been rendered obsolete by leaps in surveillance technology.

The real question is: Were Trump and his associates surveilled? Wake up America. Was no one paying attention to the disclosures from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 when he exposed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as a liar for denying that the NSA engaged in bulk collection of communications inside the United States.
The reality is that EVERYONE, including the President, is surveilled. The technology enabling bulk collection would have made the late demented FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s mouth water.

Allegations about the intelligence community’s abuse of its powers also did not begin with Snowden. For instance, several years earlier, former NSA worker and whistleblower Russell Tice warned about these “special access programs,” citing first-hand knowledge, but his claims were brushed aside as coming from a disgruntled employee with psychological problems. His disclosures were soon forgotten.

Intelligence Community’s Payback 

However, earlier this year, there was a stark reminder of how much fear these surveillance capacities have struck in the hearts of senior U.S. government officials. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that President Trump was “being really dumb” to take on the intelligence community, since They have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. 

Maddow shied away from asking the logical follow-up:

Senator Schumer, are you actually saying that Trump should be afraid of the CIA?Perhaps she didn’t want to venture down a path that would raise more troubling questions about the surveillance of the Trump team than on their alleged contacts with the Russians.

Similarly, the U.S. corporate media is now focused on Nunes’s alleged failure to follow protocol by not sharing his information first with Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Democrats promptly demanded that Nunes recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

On Tuesday morning, reporters for CNN and other news outlets peppered Nunes with similar demands as he walked down a corridor on Capitol Hill, prompting him to suggest that they should be more concerned about what he had learned than the procedures followed.

That’s probably true because to quote Jack Nicholson’s character in “A Few Good Men” in a slightly different context, the mainstream media “cannot handle the truth”even if it’s a no-brainer.

At his evening meeting on March 21 at the Old Executive Office Building, Nunes was likely informed that all telephones, emails, etc. – including his own and Trump’s – are being monitored by what the Soviets used to call the organs of state security.

By sharing that information with Trump the next day– rather than consulting with Schiff – Nunes may have sought to avoid the risk that Schiff or someone else would come up with a bureaucratic reason to keep the President in the dark."...

[Ed. note: Wouldn't it have been "treasonous" not to have immediately reported this to the US president--since it urgently impacted national security and the lives of every American?]

(continuing): "A savvy politician, Nunes knew there would be high political cost in doing what he did. Inevitably, he would be called partisan; there would be more appeals to remove him from chairing the committee; and the character assassination of him already well under way – in The Washington Post, for examplemight move him to the top of the unpopularity chart, displacing even bĂȘte noire Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But this episode was not the first time Nunes has shown some spine in the face of what the Establishment wants ignored. In a move setting this congressman apart from all his colleagues, Nunes had the courage to host an award ceremony for one of his constituents, retired sailor and member of the USS Liberty crew, Terry Halbardier.

On June 8, 1967, by repairing an antennae and thus enabling the USS Liberty to issue an SOS, Halbardier prevented Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats from sinking that Navy intelligence ship and ensuring that there would be no survivors to describe how the Israeli “allies” had strafed and bombed the ship. Still, 34 American seamen died and 171 were wounded.

At the time of the award ceremony in 2009, Nunes said, “The government has kept this quiet I think for too long, and I felt as my constituent, he [Halbardier] needed to get recognized for the services he made to his country.” (Ray McGovern took part in the ceremony in Nunes’s Visalia, California office.)

Now, we suspect that much more may be learned about the special compartmented surveillance program targeted against top U.S. national leaders if Rep. Nunes doesn’t back down and if Trump doesn’t choose the road most traveled – acquiescence to America’s Deep State actors."


Comment: I share the authors' hope that Nunes and Trump don't do the usual fold. As to Nunes separately, he was given chairmanship of a committee, in this case the House Intelligence Committee, only because the Establishment believes he's on their side. You don't get those chairmanships otherwise. I gave up on Nunes after following him for several years. He sounded good at first then caved deeply for the Establishment. Now he's on TV every day.


Turkey 'successfully' ends military campaign in northern Syria, will meet US Sec. of State Tillerson on Thurs., March 30. Turkey wants US to drop its alliance with Kurdish fighters, but US says Kurds are the most effective force-BBC

3/29/17, "Turkey ends Euphrates Shield military campaign in Syria," BBC (map posted below) 

"Turkey says it has "successfully" ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield military campaign in northern Syria. 

But Prime Minister Binali Yildirim did not rule out new military operations and did not say whether Turkish troops would now leave Syria.

Turkey launched the offensive last August to push Islamic State militants away from its border and also to stop the advance of local Kurdish fighters.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Turkey....Later on Thursday, Mr Tillerson will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior Turkish officials in Ankara.

His visit comes as bilateral relations have plummeted in the past 18 months, the BBC's Mark Lowen in Turkey reports. Disagreements are growing, principally over who should be involved in retaking the Syrian stronghold of Raqqa from IS [ISIS]

Turkey wants the US to drop its alliance with Kurdish fighters, but Washington says they are the most effective force, our correspondent says.

The Turkish government is also expected to push Mr Tillerson on its extradition request for Fethullah Gulen, the cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Ankara blames for last year's attempted coup. 

The US insists it remains a judicial, rather than political decision."


Added: Clicking on BBC headline, "Syrians see signs of hope after years of war," refers readers to above article about Turkey ending part of its campaign in Syria:

3/29/17, "Syrians see signs of hope after years of war," BBC 

"Throughout Thursday the BBC is seeking to uncover what it’s like to live with war as it reports on what’s going on in different parts of Syria – the news which doesn't make the international headlines."

Read more: 

Turkey ends Euphrates Shield military campaign in Syria 

Map of Turkey-Syria border area from BBC


Comment: The positive BBC headline above about Syria is probably going to get some poor schlub fired. BBC headlines about Syria have long been famously negative.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

18 year US State Dept. employee with top secret clearance took tens of thousands in bribes from Communist China over 5 years and lied to FBI about it-BBC

3/29/17, "US state department employee 'concealed contacts with China'," BBC 

"A veteran US state department employee with access to sensitive information has been accused of concealing her contacts with Chinese intelligence agents, the justice department says.

A criminal complaint said 60-year-old Candace Marie Claiborne received tens of thousands of dollars in gifts

The employee has been charged with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI.

She was arrested on Tuesday. In court on Wednesday she pleaded not guilty.

Ms Claiborne started working for the state department in 1999 and served at a number of foreign missions, including Iraq, Sudan and China.

She had a top secret security clearance, and was required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency, the justice department said in a statement.

"Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People's Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years," it said.

She was accused of receiving almost $2,500 (£2,010) from a Chinese agent in 2011 in exchange for information about US economic policy in relation to China. 

"Claiborne, who allegedly confided to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were 'spies,' willfully misled state department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents," said the justice department statement.

It went on to say that she "instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the [Chinese] agents" after being contacted by the state department and FBI.

She made her first appearance in the US district court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday. A preliminary hearing was set for 18 April.

The maximum prison penalty for a person convicted of obstructing an official proceeding is 20 years. For making false statements to the FBI, the maximum term is five years.

The state department has not commented on the case. The revelation comes ahead of the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping next week."


It's erroneous in the extreme to state that it's about undoing Obama's climate rules--he was a bit player. Deeply globalist George HW Bush in 1990 mandated massive global climate spending in 13+ fed. agencies. Every US president since has eagerly added to the legalized theft of America unbeknownst to US taxpayers who've been forced to pay for their own genocide

Trump knows it's not about "Obama" or undoing "Obama's climate change policies." How could it be when George HW Bush in 1990 formalized US genocide via climate "change" scare with his USGCRP (US Global Change Research Program)? And every US president since eagerly added to it. While not mentioning names in his 3/28/17 remarks, Trump clearly states it's been much longer than just the past 8 years in which "climate" regulations have strangled Americans and the American economy:  

"The action I'm taking today

You people know it maybe better than anybody."...3/28/17, "Remarks by President Trump at Signing of Executive Order to create Energy Independence,"


Mafia style legalized theft of the United States was put in motion in 1990 by a so-called "conservative" and has been enabled every day since by more so-called "conservatives":

"The (US) Government’s Role in Climate Science Funding...took a critical step with passage of the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (USGCRP) (signed by George HW Bush). This Act established institutional structures operating out of the White House:"... Signed Nov. 16, 1990. (13+ agencies listed below).

"[33]. The motto of the USGCRP is "Thirteen Agencies, One Vision: Empower the Nation with Global Change Science." For a full setting out of the 1990 Act, see USGCRP (2014)."

"2. By any standards, what we have documented here is a massive funding drive, highlighting the patterns of climate science Rand D as funded and directed only by the Executive Branch and the various agencies that fall within its purview."...

established institutional structures operating out of the White House."...

Signed Nov. 16, 1990: Vast, unelected parts of US government (Executive agencies and their subgroups) are diverted to attend to an alleged global crisis of climate and environmental "change." Deeply globalist George HW Bush mandated that US taxpayers be forced to fund global climate science in all countries on earth, formalizing US taxpayers' role as global slaves. From his speech hoping for New World Order managed by the corrupt, unelected UN: "We have a real chance at this New World Order, an Order in which a credible United Nations can use its peacekeeping role to fulfill the promise and vision of the UN's founders." (begins 1:21)

Bush #1 New World Order
Bush's 1990 Act: "Reference : Global Change Research Act (Public Law 101-606, 104 Stat. 3096-3104), signed on November 16, 1990," ( or ( 104-Pg3096.pdf)

"To require the establishment of a United States Global Change Research Program, Nov 16 1990, aimed at understanding and responding to global change, including the cumulative effects of human activities and natural processes on the environment, to promote discussions toward international protocols in global change research, and for other purposes.

 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Global Change United States of America in Congress assembled, Research Act of 1990.... 

MEMBERSHIP.—The Committee shall consist of at least one representative from—
(1) the National Science Foundation;
 (2) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration;
 (3) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of   Commerce;
 (4) the Environmental Protection Agency;
  (5) the Department of Energy;
  (6) the Department of State; 
  (7) the Department of Defense;
 (8) the Department of the Interior;
  (9) the Department of Agriculture;
 (10) the Department of Transportation;
 (11) the Office of Management and Budget;
 (12) the Office of Science and Technology Policy;
(13) the Council on Environmental Quality;
  (14) the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
 of the National Institutes of Health; and p. 3, pdf:
     (15) such other agencies and departments of the United States as the President or the Chairman of the Council considers appropriate.

    Such representatives shall be high ranking officials of their agency or department.... (e)"

(image above of Bush #1 via You Tube "New World Order quotes") 



"The new phrase “global change”, if it means anything, is a more accommodating substitute for “global warming”."...

"The political attractiveness of a putative crisis apparently calling for a large expansion of state power [6]"...(From Introduction, 6)

"“If you really believe or accept that global warming is a legitimate, real, immediate threat, then there's no amount of money you wouldn't pay to avoid it," he said."

 6/27/2013, GOP Energy lobbyist insider Mike McKenna, quoted at end of Politico article, "GOP climate tack: Talk jobs, not science," Politico Pro, Darren Goode

The boom in global climate science spending since 1990 was funded almost entirely by US taxpayers without their knowledge:

 3/6/2015, "Causes and consequences of the climate science boom," William Butos and Thomas McQuade (William N. Butos, Professor of Economics, Trinity College, Hartford, CT, USA, +1-860-297-2448.  Thomas J. McQuade, Independent Scholar, San Diego, CA, USA +1-347-274-9903. Forthcoming in The Independent Review)

"Funding appears to be driving the science rather than the other way around....
[32]" (item #11) 

USGCRP's "certainty as to the deleterious effects of human-induced climate change is quite notable.  It begins (p. 1) with: “The rate of global change today…far exceeds anything observed and documented in human history.” It appears to be completely oblivious to the controversies which surround such a conclusion. 

The new phrase “global change”, if it means anything, is a more accommodating substitute for “global warming” and its postulated effects, and is uniformly used in the sense of “change for the worse”. [39]"


Added: It's a $4 billion a day "industry" (about  something that doesn't exist, ie, US CO2 danger; that US CO2 has been and continues to be a global murderer): 

"Climate change" is a $4 billion dollar a day "industry" and growing as of July 15, 2015:

"The $1.5 trillion global "climate change industry" grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth, according to Climate Change Business Journal."

July 30, 2015, "Is Climate Change Now Its Own Industry?", Don Jergler


"The science:"

Hard sciences vs "Climate science:"

"Science, in rare cases, is also susceptible to another sort of Big Player: one with the ability to portray a favored hypothesis as settled, consensus scientific knowledge even in the absence of a substantial body of confirming evidence.  This is difficult, or impossible, to carry off in the hard sciences."


Added:  US taxpayers are mandated "to assist the world" in the matter of "global change." In other words, US taxpayers are global slaves:

"Legal Mandate," From

"The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) was established by Presidential Initiative in 1989 and mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act (GCRA) of 1990 to “assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change.”


Comment: The use of US taxpayer dollars to lavishly fund a new global industry of jet setters is due the willingness of the US political class to steal from the poor and suffering and give to the rich. Precious tax dollars needed for real problems continue to be diverted to "climate industry" pals.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

13 states join brief in support of Trump's temporary travel ban: US Constitution confers no right of entry to the US for any class of foreign citizen. 'Power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative,' and aliens seeking admission to the US request a 'privilege.' (1982)

"Nonresident aliens who are in foreign territory clearly not under the sovereign control of the United States do not possess rights under the United States Constitution regarding entry into this country." From the brief, p. 11. Citations, p. 21

3/27/17, "Texas AG Paxton leads 13-state coalition backing Trump's revised immigration orders," Dallas Morning News, James Barragan, Austin

"Attorney General Ken Paxton on Monday led a coalition of 13 states in filing a brief with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals defending President Donald Trump's revised immigration order. In the brief, Paxton and representatives from 12 other states argue that the Trump administration's new order is legal and falls under the president's power over foreign affairs and national security. 

Federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland placed nationwide blocks on the order two weeks ago. The revised order would place a 90-day ban on travelers to the United States from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It exempted green card and visa holders in an effort to resolve the reasons that courts blocked Trump's initial ban. It would also block the entry of refugees into the country for 120 days and limit refugee admissions to 50,000 in the fiscal year.  

"Rather than leaving national security in limbo while litigation dragged on, President Trump issued a revised immigration order that addresses the 9th Circuit's concerns and is a vital step in securing our borders," Paxton said in a written statement. "It is imperative we find a way to better screen refugee applicants to maintain national security. The president is fulfilling his solemn duty to protect Texans and all Americans."

Paxton was the first attorney general to file a brief in support of the original immigration order in February after it was blocked by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The brief filed Monday says the 4th Circuit shouldn't follow that decision, which was "wrongly decided."

The brief argues that "nonresident aliens" applying to enter the country are not extended constitutional rights. Therefore, Paxton said, the ruling by the federal court in Hawaii, which was based on concerns about religious discrimination is erroneous.

"For the district court in Hawaii to rule that it's a violation of somebody's constitutional rights -- they are non-resident aliens," Paxton said. "We think it's not the law. It's a made up constitutional right." 

The president, the brief says, has discretion over who to allow into the country when it concerns national security and foreign affairs. Because the revised order lays out specific national security concerns, the brief says, it should be allowed to stand. 

Opponents say the renewed order doesn't address their concerns about religious discrimination. The six countries in the travel ban are majority Muslim. 

The brief says the order does not discriminate against religion because it classifies those seeking entry into the U.S. by nationality, not religion. The president, the brief argues, is allowed to suspend the entry of "all aliens" or "any class of aliens" if their entry would be detrimental to the country.
Texas is joined in the brief by the attorneys general of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia, as well as Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant."

From the brief: 

(page 21): "Plaintiffs’ constitutional challenges rest on the flawed premise that the United States Constitution confers on nonresident foreign citizens, located abroad, rights regarding admission into this country. But it is “clear” that “an unadmitted and nonresident alien” “ha[s] no constitutional right of entry to this country as a nonimmigrant or otherwise.” Mandel, 408 U.S. at 762.

The “power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign prerogative, and aliens seeking admission to the United States request a “privilege.” Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21, 32 (1982)....

The Executive Order classifies aliens by nationality—not religion. The Executive Order’s temporary pause in entry by nationals from six countries and in the refugee program neither mentions any religion nor depends on whether affected aliens are Muslim. See EO §§ 2, 3, 6. These provisions distinguish among aliens only by nationality. Id. Thus, the Executive Order is emphatically not a “Muslim ban.” Indeed, numerous Muslim-majority countries in the world were not covered by the seven-country list used in the prior Executive Order, 6 and the Pew Research Center estimates that this list from the prior Executive Order “would affect only about 12% of the world’s Muslims.”"


Added:  3/24/17, "Virginia federal judge rules in favor of Trump's travel ban," LA Times, Jaweed Kaleem 

"Unlike federal judges before him, a judge in Virginia on Friday ruled in favor of President Trump’s revised travel ban in a case brought by Muslims who said the president’s executive order illegally discriminated against their religion by restricting travel from six majority-Muslim countries. 

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District Court of Virginia in Alexandria wrote that the plaintiffs, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim community leaders from across the country, probably would not prevail in their suit.

Trenga said the travel ban likely “falls within the bounds” of Trump’s authority as president, and he rejected a request to halt the order. 

Trenga’s ruling doesn’t have an immediate effect on the ban, which was put on hold by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland last week. But it gives ammunition to government lawyers arguing for the ban across several U.S. courts where cases against it are pending. 

The Hawaii and Maryland rulings agreed with arguments that the travel ban violated the Constitution by discriminating against Muslims. The judges cited statements by Trump and his campaign associates about restricting Muslim travel to the U.S. as evidence of their intent to single out followers of Islam.

Trenga’s opinion gave less weight to Trump’s statements. It more strictly looked at how the travel ban is worded in light of presidential power over immigration and national security. 

The judge highlighted the changes made to narrow the scope of the travel ban after an initial version of the order was struck down by federal courts in January and February. Changes in the new version included omitting Iraq from the list of countries whose travelers would be blocked and removing preferential treatment of refugees who were religious minorities.

The Department of Justice, which is defending the Trump administration in court, hailed Trenga’s move.

“The Department of Justice is pleased with the ruling,” department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement. “As the Court correctly explains, the president’s executive order falls well within his authority to safeguard the nation’s security.”

The original travel ban, signed Jan. 27, was halted by federal district courts and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The new ban, signed March 6 and scheduled to go into effect March 16, was modified in an attempt to pass court muster.

The Maryland ruling stopped the revised executive order’s 90-day ban on travel into the U.S. by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The Hawaii ruling went a step further by also blocking a 120-day pause on refugee resettlement from any country. It also blocked the government’s attempt to cap refugee resettlement and the compiling of a series of government studies and reports on how refugees and foreign visitors to the U.S. are vetted.

Those rulings, as well as the one Friday in Virginia, are not final but temporary decisions on the travel ban as the cases over its constitutionality proceed.

The Department of Justice has appealed the Maryland decision to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals but has not appealed in the Hawaii case.

Trump has said he wants to take arguments over the travel ban to the Supreme Court."


Additional on Virginia Federal Judge ruling: "(Judge) Trenga said only the order itself should be up for review by the courts — not the president's past comments. And since the president does have the authority to halt immigration, he ruled Trump's order should go into effect."

3/24/17, "Virginia court gives Trump his first win on updated travel ban,", Grant Suneson

"After two federal courts stalled his renewed attempt at a travel ban, President Trump finally has a judge on his side.

Judge Anthony Trenga of Virginia ruled in favor of Trump's plan. The order bars refugees from entering America for 120 days and blocks all people from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days.

Judges in Maryland and Hawaii wrote that Trump's order didn't seem to be in response to any specific threat. They also noted that since Trump called for a Muslim ban while campaigning, his order violated freedom of religion. 

(Judge) Trenga said only the order itself should be up for review by the courts — not the president's past comments. And since the president does have the authority to halt immigration, he ruled Trump's order should go into effect.

This doesn't overturn the previous rulings that froze the executive order. But it does give the Trump administration support in the lower courts and bolsters its case if the travel ban goes to the Supreme Court."


US may have committed Act of War when it hacked 1996 Russian election. Americans intervened to help Yeltsin win, worked in Moscow hotel. "Yanks to the Rescue," Time cover, Boris Yeltsin with American flag, 7/15/1996. LA Times article 7/9/1996


Time cover, July 15, 1996

Cover story: "RESCUING BORIS"


In the end the Russian people chose--and chose decisively--to reject the past. Voting in the final round of the presidential election last week, they preferred Boris Yeltsin to his Communist rival Gennadi Zyuganov by a margin of 13 percentage points. He is far from the ideal democrat or reformer, and his lieutenants Victor Chernomyrdin and Alexander Lebed are already squabbling over power, but Yeltsin is arguably the best hope Russia has for moving toward pluralism and an open economy. By re-electing him, the Russians defied predictions that they might willingly resubmit themselves to communist rule. The outcome was by no means"...(log in required)

LA Times article, 1996

7/9/1996, "Americans Claim Role in Yeltsin Win," LA Times, Eleanor Randolph

"Russia: Consultants say they spent months in Moscow secretly devising U.S.-style strategy." 

"A team of American political strategists who helped Gov. Pete Wilson with his abortive presidential bid earlier this year said this week that they served as Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin's secret campaign weapon in his comeback win over a Communist challenger. And while some Muscovites are debating whether the Americans saved Yeltsin's job or merely provided one voice among many working to revive the Russian president's political chances, the consultants have now emerged to give interviews about how they quietly peddled advice to Yeltsin's 36-year-old daughter and key advisor, Tatyana Dyachenko.

"I don't have candidates generally who are as responsive as Boris Yeltsin," said George Gorton, who worked for Wilson in 1994 and later ran Wilson's abortive bid for the GOP nomination. "Certainly not Pete Wilson."

Hired in February through a San Francisco firm with connections in Moscow, Gorton said that the team members never met Yeltsin. Instead, they sent their detailed, unsigned memos to his daughter. "We were told that we were formally retained as advisors to the Yeltsin family."

Although the Americans spoke no Russian and worked through translators, they began secretly laying out an American-style campaign to counter the public sentiment running against Yeltsin. When they started, Yeltsin's approval rating was about 6%, and, as they told Time magazine, Josef Stalin had a higher positive rating in their polls. Yet last week, Yeltsin defeated Communist candidate Gennady A. Zyuganov by more than 13 percentage points.
In an interview here Monday, Gorton said that he and his colleagues quickly realized that Yeltsin did not trust his campaign advisors to help him win reelection and placed more value on the advice of his daughter.

"However, she didn't know anything," Gorton said. "She's very bright, very articulate, very strong-willed, but she didn't have the first idea about campaigning, not even the ideas that a child here would have."

The Americans were brought in by a circuitous route. Felix Braynin of San Francisco, a Soviet immigrant who is now a wealthy consultant to American businesses working in Russia, began helping the Yeltsin campaign last year.

After he asked about American advisors who could help, San Francisco lawyer Fred Lowell suggested Gorton and Joe Shumate, an expert on political polling, and Richard Dresner, a political strategist who has helped not only Wilson but President Clinton in his earlier campaigns for governor of Arkansas.

The Americans will not say how much they were paid, although their fee has been estimated at about $250,000. They were told that their involvement had to be treated like a state secret because of fears that the Communists would use their presence to try to foment anti-Western sentiment among voters.

The group worked in hiding on the 11th floor of the Kremlin's lavish President Hotel in downtown Moscow. The hotel can be entered by invitation only. After six weeks inside, Gorton and his colleagues began to sneak out for occasional meals in the city or to go into the countryside to help conduct some of Russia's first focus groups.

"What you have to understand is that this hotel is a minimum-security prison masquerading as a five-star hotel," said Steven Moore, a 28-year-old political consultant who joined in the effort. The team is still secretive about some of its Russian business. Dresner prefers to stay mum about whether he was in touch with his old colleague Dick Morris, now Clinton's chief campaign advisor. Citing certain "agreements" that they refuse to explain, Dresner and Gorton acknowledge only that information about their work was made available to the Clinton White House.

The American advisors also worked with the Russians on such details as replacing a poster of a scowling Yeltsin with a smiling version. They suggested that some negative ads needed to be more subtle--persuading the Yeltsin campaign to pull one poster that showed a hammer and sickle made of cockroaches.

Some of Yeltsin's Russian advisors felt strongly that he could not criticize communism, especially since Communists had done so well in parliamentary elections in December and their leader, Zyuganov, was doing so well in the polls.

But Yeltsin followed the American advice until the last few days before the first round of balloting June 16, Gorton said. At that point, however, the Russian advisors canceled the anti-Communist ads. About the same time, Dresner said, Yeltsin's campaign polls showed a flattening out.

But mostly, Yeltsin took their advice, the Americans said.

Perhaps the most troubling moment in their adventure came when it appeared some of Yeltsin's advisors in the Kremlin were trying to convince him to cancel the election. At one point, the Americans believed that a Moscow pollster was handing out false numbers showing that Yeltsin could not possibly win.

"It came to the point that we wrote a memo I would never have written anywhere else. We said: 'This campaign is in the bank. It's over. It's finished,' " Gorton said, meaning that Yeltsin had won."