theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer

Saturday, September 23, 2017


Why ‘making America great again’ must begin with fixing immigration

Trump's Door and Wall Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times
Trump’s Door and Wall Illustration by Greg Groesch

Bruce Abramson and Jeff Ballabon

What does it mean to ‘Make America Great Again’? That’s a seemingly simple question with no simple answer, but an important part of it is certainly fixing our broken systems.
Our immigration system is among the most broken. The United States no longer controls its own borders, does too little to vet those who enter the country and less to track them once they arrive. Criminal gangs smuggle people into the U.S., treat them as virtual slaves, then set them “free” to require assistance, drag down wages or engage in crime. Cities and states attempting to nullify federal immigration law seem more and more like the segregationist Southern Democrats who fought the federal push for civil rights.
Nor do we ask the questions that made America a great nation of great immigrants: Are we attracting the best people? Are we embracing those who embrace the American ideals of freedom and free enterprise? Are we helping those who dream of becoming Americans? Do we teach them English, civics and American history? Are we availing ourselves of the useful skills, diverse wisdom and productive passions they import from around the world?
President Trump campaigned against a corrupt and counterproductive immigration system that has long answered “no” to each of those questions. His illustrative imagery made the abstract concrete: a “wall” with a “big beautiful door” in the middle.
Anti-immigrant activists and the anti-Trump press talked up the wall while ignoring the door. The wall served their narrative of xenophobia and isolationism; the door did not. Those who took Mr. Trump’s metaphors literally, rather than seriously, now insist that anything short of a Mexican-funded physical wall running the length of our southern border is a betrayal. They say the same about anything other than a mass deportation of every single person in the country illegally.
Much of Mr. Trump’s support base, however, has always been smart enough to take the president very seriously rather than literally. They understand that Mr. Trump is exactly who he claimed to be: a dealmaker. When you back a dealmaker, you understand the difference between an opening offer and a closing deal. And you don’t get upset when your President deals with the other party. After all, that’s what you hired him to do.
America needs a functioning immigration system — not a construction project. A system that lets us keep undesirables out — a wall — while inviting desirables in — a door. An improved physical barrier — already underway — is but one of many important steps toward that goal.
Those who take the president literally rather than seriously should reconsider what it means to have a world-class dealmaker in the White House. What if Mr. Trump always embraced the door as much as the wall? What if he understood both sides of the immigration debate; that a secure America is a generous America, but that security must come first?
The folks romanticized as “Dreamers” pose the ultimate conflict of American values. They entered the country illegally, as minors, frequently as small children in care of their illegally-entering parents. As a nation of laws, America should not reward that illegality. As a compassionate people, Americans should embrace these child arrivals. Where is the national interest capable of resolving this dilemma? Maybe it’s the solution that Mr. Trump has been touting for two years: wall plus door.
Who should we invite through that door first? It’s not hard to see the case for Dreamers. They may be the most carefully vetted group of noncitizens in history. They already think of themselves as Americans. They have shown the ability to excel in the American system, in many cases while contributing to it in significant ways. They have shown that they can face hardship without resorting to crime, and without developing a strong sense of entitlement. Notwithstanding the exceptions that exist in every group, the Dreamers are disproportionately the new Americans we most desire — and need.
Combatants tend to hear what they want to hear. It served some of Mr. Trump’s most voluble supporters and most vehement antagonists to paint his wall as evidence of a one-dimensional ideologue. Rather than marking a betrayal, however, Mr. Trump’s willingness to work with Democrats seems to reinforce another central theme of his campaign: he can “fix it” where others have failed. That’s a commitment on which large swaths of the president’s support base have always focused. Frustrated with Washington’s status quo, it may even have been the central reason for their support.
The need to fix immigration has been clear for decades. It seems that Mr. Trump is trying to nudge congressional leaders toward a common-sense deal capable of generating broad bipartisan support: dramatically increased border security coupled with an embrace of those whom we have already vetted carefully.
Strength plus compassion. Security plus legalization. Wall plus door. It’s a combination that could indeed Make America Great Again.

NY’s Chief Judge Pushes IMMIGRATION HYSTERIA From the Bench

Post Editorial Board

Janet DiFiore, the chief judge of New York, this week used her office to push the left’s politically correct talking point that President Trump is out to deport every single immigrant.
At a Court of Appeals hearing on providing legal services to the poor, DiFiore slammed the legal profession for not doing enough to help illegal immigrants survive the Trump era.
“With the heightened focus on immigration, there are many thousands of individuals being held and facing deportation without the assistance of counsel,” she said.
“Members of our profession have a moral and ethical obligation to respond to this growing crisis and to find ways to provide effective assistance of counsel to this very vulnerable population.”
DiFiore says the shifting “values of the current federal administration” pose a massive threat to thousands of New Yorkers. But no crisis is actually even on the horizon.
To the extent that Trump has ramped up enforcement, it’s been on the border and against those illegal immigrants who’ve committed crimes here in America, including gangs like MS-13.
Yes, he announced he’s ending the (unconstitutional) Obama policy on the “Dreamers”— but only while practically begging Congress to send him a bill to grant them actual legal protection. He’s even eager to strike a deal with Democrats, if that’s what it takes.
The top jurist in New York should be sticking to the facts — not feeding lefty fantasies.

Friday, September 22, 2017

BRASS KNUCKLE Tactics Used Against Manafort by Mueller

Maybe these are the Tactics that the New Administration should use on Team Obama...tmiraldi

Image result for Mueller team under fire for 'brass-knuckle' tactics in bid to squeeze Manafort

Christopher Wallace

When a report surfaced that federal agents picked the lock on Paul Manafort’s front door for a surprise raid over the summer while the former Trump campaign chairman was in bed, it was also a wake-up call for prominent Houston attorney Tom Kirkendall.
“Here is a United States citizen where the FBI is coming in, picking his lock, and raiding his home in the early morning, over what? It doesn’t matter which side you’re on. It’s just crazy. We’re not the Soviet Union. It’s appalling,” said Kirkendall, who has worked on cases involving one of the special counsel’s key investigators, Andrew Weissmann.
The intensity of the focus on Manafort is widely seen as a potential effort by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to pressure him into providing information on others, possibly President Trump himself, in the Russia probe.
But the “brass-knuckle” tactics have raised eyebrows in the legal community.
The Manafort investigation has been the subject of numerous leaks, including new details about the so-called FISA warrant reportedly used to eavesdrop on his calls last year. Warrants issued by a FISA court, which stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, are supposed to be highly secret. 
“It is not at all common” to reveal a FISA warrant publicly, former attorney general Michael Mukasey told Fox News. “FISA warrants are obtained for the purpose of gathering intelligence, a purpose that obviously would be defeated by revealing a warrant publicly.”
The leaks could be coming from any number of sources due to the multiple ongoing investigations on Capitol Hill as well as the special counsel probe – in addition to the dissemination of sensitive information by Obama administration figures in its final days.
But former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said he “wouldn’t be the least bit surprised” if some of the leaks were coming from the special counsel.
“Look, they clearly went out of their way to intimidate Manafort with the brass-knuckle way they did the search of his Virginia home,” McCarthy said. “They are trying to squeeze him, so I would not put it past them to use leaks if they think that might help increase the pressure on Manafort to flip. But we don't have slam-dunk evidence that they are behind the leaks.”
There are other signs of unusually aggressive tactics in this investigation.
'They clearly went out of their way to intimidate Manafort.'
- Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy
The New York Times, which reported on how agents picked the lock during the July raid, also said Mueller followed up with a warning that his prosecutors planned to indict him.
Fox News reported last month that the raid lasted 10 hours and involved a dozen federal agents, who seized documents labeled “attorney-client,” according to a source close to the investigation.  
While Mueller has assembled a large team, one of its most prominent investigators is former U.S. attorney Weissmann, who had overseen a series of controversial prosecutions that ultimately resulted in dismissed convictions and formal allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.
FILE- In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. A grand jury used by Mueller has heard secret testimony from a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's eldest son, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
FILE- In this June 21, 2017, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill following a closed door meeting in Washington. A grand jury used by Mueller has heard secret testimony from a Russian-American lobbyist who attended a June 2016 meeting with President Donald Trump's eldest son, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)  (Associated Press)
For example, when Weissmann was leading the Enron Task Force, he sent former Merrill Lynch executive William Fuhs to a maximum-security prison in Oklahoma, 700 miles from his wife and two small children in Denver.
Fuhs spent the next year behind bars before being released on bail. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals later ruled that there was no evidence upon which a reasonable jury could find that he violated the law, and his conviction was vacated.
When contacted by Fox News, Fuhs and his attorney refused to be quoted on the case, citing the anxiety caused by the experience. But Kirkendall told Fox News, “It’s déjà vu with what’s happening against Mr. Manafort. Fuhs and his family lost a year of their lives because of a completely misguided prosecution.”
Weissmann also helped prosecute Anderson Consulting, which led to a conviction of the firm, its eventual closure and the loss of 28,000 thousand employees. In a highly unusual unanimous decision, the Supreme Court later overturned and dismissed that conviction as well.
“That was a tremendous example of horrifying prosecutorial misconduct,” Kirkendall said. Weissmann, at the time, denied there had been any intimidation of witnesses. ''There is no factual basis'' to the allegation, he said in 2002. ''It is just not true.''
Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell was so outraged after a case involving Weissmann that, in 2012, she filed a formal complaint of prosecutorial misconduct with the Texas bar and the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The complaint alleged witness threatening, withholding exculpatory evidence, and the use of “false and misleading summaries.” After reviewing the complaint, the Obama administration’s OPR found no ethical violations
Now a defense attorney in Asheville, N.C., she wrote a book about the experience, called “Licensed to Lie.” She still maintains Weissmann and his task force “made up a crime,” alleging the team gave the defendants “false and misleading summaries of what witnesses had told the government.”
Powell sees similar tactics with the Manafort probe. “They will do whatever it takes to nail him. Instead of investigating crimes, they’re trying to pin stuff on him,” she said.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment, when asked by Fox News about the concerns over the tactics in the Russia investigation as well as over Weissmann's past cases. 

Harvard REVOLT Over Murderer and Traitor Snubs

Harvard faculty, alumni in revolt over snubs of Michelle Jones, Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning has received support from Harvard professors and alumni after having a fellowship withdrawn.

Lukas Mikelionis

More than 150 Harvard professors are in open revolt against the university's administration after it rescinded a Ph.D. program offer to ex-inmate Michelle Jones and withdrew a fellowship invitation to convicted leaker Chelsea Manning.
Alumni of the Ivy League school also are voicing opposition to the recent decisions regarding Jones and Manning.
“Harvard has prioritized political expediency over scholarly values,” reads a “We are Educators Not Prosecutors” petition, signed by more than 150 faculty members. “The decisions in these cases have been made not by following standardized procedure, but by reacting in an ad hoc manner to a climate of anxiety and intimidation.” 
Michelle Jones, a Ph.D. candidate at N.Y.U., was released from prison in August after serving 20 years.

Jones was sentenced to 50 years in prison in the 1990s after admitting she beat her 4-year-old son, left him alone for days, and then found him dead. She buried the child without telling police, the child’s father or his family. She was released after 20 years based on good behavior and scholarly achievements.
According to the Times, however, the decision was reached out of concern that admitting Jones to Harvard would prompt a backlash among other rejected candidates, parents of students and conservative media.
Manning, meanwhile, has seen her fellowship offer rescinded following outrage from former CIA officials, who've branded the convicted WikiLeaks leaker as a “traitor.”
Some Harvard alumni have, in response, called for the withdrawal of offers issued to President Donald Trump’s former aides Sean Spicer and Corey Lewandowski, Fox News reported.
The petition demands that the university not discriminate based on “criminal history,” invest in prison reform research and invite Manning to speak on LGBTQ issues at the institution.
“These steps will go some distance towards ensuring that, in the future, our University does not allow a misguided and moralistic notion of indelible stigma — or a fear of media controversy — to divert us from our core values,” the petition reads.
“In each case, the administration appears to have allowed the fear of public opinion and political interference to determine its actions,” it adds, emphasizing that “we are educators committed to the open, critical exchange of ideas.”

Facebook Will Turn Over RUSSIAN-LINKED Election Ads to Congress

This self serving act by Zuckerberg is in his own interest, not the interest of the American People. Like all NWO scammers Zuckerberg is silent on his Censorship of Conservative voices. Of course he will cooperate in the effort to take down Trump. His Hypocrisy about saving Democracy is laughable...tmiraldi

Bob Fredericks

Facebook has cut a deal with lawmakers to hand over ads bought by Russians to sway the 2016 campaign, and the social media site’s co-founder vowed Thursday to beef up security, cooperate with the feds and enhance transparency on the site.
“I care deeply about the Democratic process. I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” Mark Zuckerberg said on Facebook Live.
“There will always be bad actors in the world,” he added, but “we can make it harder, we can make it much harder” for them to use the website to make political mischief.
The social media platform had acknowledged about $100,000 in ad spending connected to fake accounts probably run from Russia and was expected to be called before the Senate Intelligence Committee for a public hearing in October.
In his brief online talk, Zuckerberg said the company has fully cooperated with Mueller’s investigation, and was also working with other countries to help ensure election integrity, including Germany, which is holding national elections this weekend.
The company is also beefing up it’s internal security measures, adding 250 new hires to focus on security, doubling the size of that operation.
He also promised to make advertising more transparent, so that if the ads were bought by Russia or another rogue state people would know, and also be able to see other ads bought by the same actors.
Zuckerberg said “we’re in a new world” that presents “ a new challenge for Internet companies,” and that he wanted Facebook to be a “force for good in democracy.”
In a statement earlier in the day, the company said it had already given the ads in question to Mueller, and would now share them with Congressional investigators as well.
“This has been a difficult decision. Disclosing content is not something we do lightly under any circumstances. We are deeply committed to safeguarding user content, regardless of the user’s nationality, and ads are user content,” the statement continued.
But the Russian interference in the US election — which Trump has called “a hoax” — persuaded the company to play ball.
“We believe the public deserves a full accounting of what happened in the 2016 election, and we’ve concluded that sharing the ads we’ve discovered, in a manner that is consistent with our obligations to protect user information, can help,” the company said.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Perennial Taste of SOUR GRAPES

Allegations of foreign election tampering have always rung hollow

Angst of the Loser Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times
 Angst of the Loser Illustration by Greg Groesch

Victor Davis Hanson

On her current book tour, Hillary Clinton is still blaming the Russians (among others) for her unexpected defeat in last year’s presidential election. She remains sold on a conspiracy theory that Donald Trump successfully colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin to rig the election in Mr. Trump’s favor.
But allegations that a president won an election due to foreign collusion have been lodged by losers of elections throughout history. Some of the charges may have had a kernel of truth, but it has never been proven that foreign tampering changed the outcome of an election.
In 2012, then-President Barack Obama inadvertently left his mic on during a meeting with outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Mr. Obama seemed to be reassuring the Russians that if they would just behave (i.e., give Mr. Obama “space”) during his re-election campaign, Mr. Obama would have “more flexibility” on Russian demands for the U.S. to drop its plans for an Eastern European missile defense system.
Mr. Medvedev’s successor, Vladimir Putin, did stay quiet for most of 2012. Mr. Obama did renege on earlier American promises of missile defense in Eastern Europe. And Mr. Obama did win re-election.
But that said, Mr. Obama would have defeated Mitt Romney anyway, even without an informal understanding with Russia.
In 2004, there were accusations that the George W. Bush administration had struck a deal with the Saudi royal family whereby the Saudis would pump more oil, leading to lower U.S. gas prices. Mr. Bush supposedly wanted to take credit for helping American motorists and, therefore, enhance his re-election bid.
Whether the conspiracy theory was true or not, Mr. Bush beat lackluster Democratic nominee John Kerry for lots of reasons other than modest decreases in gasoline prices.
During the 1980 presidential campaign, supporters of incumbent President Jimmy Carter alleged that challenger Ronald Reagan had tried to disrupt negotiations for the release of the American hostages being held in Tehran. They claimed that Reagan’s team had sent word to the Iranians that they should keep the hostages until after the election.
The Reagan team countercharged that Mr. Carter himself timed a hostage rescue effort near the election to salvage his failing re-election bid.
The truth was that by November, nothing Reagan or Mr. Carter did could change the fact that Mr. Carter was going to lose by a large margin.
Sometimes challengers have been accused of turning to foreigners for election help.
There were allegations that in 2008, Mr. Obama secretly lobbied Iraqi officials not to cut a deal with the outgoing Bush administration concerning U.S. peacekeepers in Iraq. Supposedly, Mr. Obama didn’t want a stable Iraq, which might have helped Iraq War supporter and rival candidate John McCain, who had argued that after the surge, Iraq was largely under control.
Such allegations were mostly irrelevant, given that there were plenty of other reasons why Mr. McCain lost the election.
There were also allegations that in 1983, Sen. Ted Kennedy sent a letter to Russian leader Yuri Andropov, asking him not to overreact to President Ronald Reagan’s hard-nosed anti-Soviet stance. This was supposedly an attempt to undercut Reagan before the 1984 election. Whether the rumor was true or not was immaterial: Reagan beat Democratic nominee Walter Mondale by a landslide.
Recently, another old charge of foreign collusion has been resurrected. Democrats allege that during the 1968 campaign, Republican nominee Richard Nixon opened a back channel to the South Vietnamese to convince them to stall peace talks to end the Vietnam War. Supposedly, Nixon was worried that President Lyndon Johnson might order a halt to bombing. Then, Johnson opportunistically would start peace talks in order to help his vice president, Hubert Humphrey, defeat Nixon in the election.
Regardless of these unproven charges and countercharges, Nixon’s narrow victory in 1968 was a result instead of a law-and-order message, a new Southern strategy, the third-party candidacy of Democrat George Wallace, an unpopular incumbent Democratic president, an inept Humphrey campaign, and unhappiness with the ongoing quagmire in Vietnam.
What can we conclude about these multiple charges that foreigners polluted an American presidential election?
One, these charges have been habitual, and only leveled by the failed candidate, blaming a shadowy conspiracy rather than the loser’s own poorly conducted campaign or lack of political support.
Two, even if some collusion charges had elements of truth, they did not affect the final outcome of an election. There were always other far more important and decisive issues that won or lost voters over months of campaigning.
Three, most presidents and their political challengers have in some way attempted to massage events to favor their candidacies — synchronizing legislative agendas, peace initiatives, summits, national addresses or surprise disclosures of scandals to enhance their campaign messages.
Hillary Clinton lost the election for dozens of logical reasons. Foreign collusion was never one of them — nor has it ever been a valid reason for a presidential candidate’s defeat.