Category Archives: Congress

President Trump would purge federal government of Obama appointees

Conservatives have been saying for years that after (and if) Obama finally leaves office, the White House needs fumigation, along with the entire federal government.

Indeed, to correct the direction of this country — a direction that is wrong, according to a whopping 72% of Americans in the latest Rasmussen poll — it’s not just elected politicians that must go, the thousands of unelected bureaucrats in the many federal government institutions of the administrative state, e.g., DHS, HUD, HHS, EPA, who form America’s very powerful permanent government — must also be removed.

The Administrative State1

And according to NJ governor Chris Christie, who was among a few considered for Trump’s VP slot, if elected, President Donald Trump would do just that.

Emily Flitter reports for Reuters that on July 20, 2016, Trump ally Chris Christie said that “If he wins the presidency, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would seek to purge the federal government of officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama and could ask Congress to pass legislation making it easier to fire public workers.”

Christie, who is governor of New Jersey and leads Trump’s White House transition team, said the Trump campaign already is drawing up a list of federal government employees to fire if Trump defeats Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

“As you know from his other career, Donald likes to fire people,” Christie told a closed-door meeting with dozens of donors at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, according to an audio recording obtained by Reuters and two participants in the meeting.

Christie was referring to Trump’s starring role in the long-running television show The Apprentice, where his catch-phrase was “You’re fired!”

Trump’s transition advisers fear that Obama may convert these appointees to civil servants, who have more job security than officials who have been politically appointed, thereby enabling Obama appointees to keep their jobs in a Republican, administration. Christie explains:

“It’s called burrowing. You take them from the political appointee side into the civil service side, in order to try to set up … roadblocks for your successor, kind of like when all the Clinton people took all the Ws off the keyboard when George Bush was coming into the White House.”

Christie was referring to pranks committed during the presidential transition from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush in 2001. During that period, some White House staffers removed the W key on computer keyboards and left derogatory signs and stickers in offices, according to a report by the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress. That’s Democrats for ya — childish, petty, malevolent.

Christie said firing civil servants is “cumbersome” and “time-consuming,” and so “One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people.”

Christie said that a top priority for Trump is changing the leadership of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to roll back some of the most ambitious federal environmental policies, so as to revive the U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security.

Christie also said that Trump wants to let businesspeople serve in government part time without having to give up their jobs in the private sector.

In response, Obama’s White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that allowing appointees to apply for career civil service positions is “a longstanding precedent.”

Mouth of Sauron Joshua Earnest

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal employee union in the United States, said while it was concerned about the practice of “burrowing,” current law protected most federal employees from at will firing. AFGE policy director Jacqueline Simon said, “The federal government is a serious undertaking. It’s not a reality TV show, with ‘You’re fired!’ Just as we don’t want to hire anybody for political reasons, we don’t want anybody to be fired for political reasons.”

AFGE policy director Jacqueline Simon

“We don’t want to hire anybody for political reasons”?

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha. Are you serious, Simon?

Here’s the extent of the problem:

As of March 2016, there were a total of 3,164 political appointees, 852 of whom were presidential appointees. In its most recent report on the topic, the Government Accountability Office said that in 2010, 143 former political appointees and congressional employees converted to career positions between May 1, 2005, and May 30, 2009.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the practice of burrowing, and has sent letters to 23 federal departments and agencies, asking them to document all cases of burrowing that have occurred since Sept. 1, 2015.

See also “Six Steps to Reining in the Administrative State“.

~Eowyn

Congress releases classified 28 pages of 9/11 Report: It’s Saudi Arabia

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released the long-awaited and much-speculated-about 28 pages from the report by the congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. 9/11 was the worst attack on U.S. soil in U.S. history, second only to the 1941 Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Until yesterday, those 28 pages had been classified and, we were told, withheld from the American people by both the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations. But it turns out all along it was within the power of Congress to make public those 28 pages! No wonder politicians are held in such low regard by the American people.

The released 28 pages still contain a number of redactions, that appear to be the names of individuals and of Saudi businesses. The pages also make clear that they are based on FBI and CIA documents that the Joint Inquiry had not itself investigated, using the lame excuse that it did not have the resources to conduct such an investigation, which of course is horse manure.

As rumored, the 28 pages indeed implicate Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but not of other rumored countries/governments, such as Israel. The Saudi government has issued a denial, but the 28 pages again and again point to Saudi government officials as being associated and met with, and financially supporting the 9/11 hijackers, including:

  • Former Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Prince Bandar and his wife; “blind” Shaykh al-Thumairy; and Abdullah Bin Laden, brother of Osama Bin Laden.
  • Saudi intelligence officers Omar al-Bayoumi and Osama Bassnan.
  • Saudi companies and mosques in the U.S. with connections to the Saudi government,

The 28 pages are in PDF format that does not enable copy-and-paste. I have therefore painstakingly transcribed the bulk of the pages into text (see below). I emboldened and colored red certain words, for emphasis. To read the 28 pages in PDF, go here.

Authentic, undoctored photo taken by AP photog Mark D. Phillips on 9/11.

The 9/11 devil face is that of Saudi Arabia. Authentic, undoctored photo taken by AP photog Mark D. Phillips on 9/11.

From the formerly-classified 28 pages:

PART FOUR–FINDING, DISCUSSION AND NARRATIVE REGARDING CERTAIN SENSITIVE NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS

Finding: While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected with the Saudi Government. There is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers. The Joint Inquiry’s review confirmed that the Intelligence Community also has information, much of which has yet to be independently verified, indicating that individuals associated with the Saudi Government in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups. The FBI and CIA have informed the Joint Inquiry that, since the September 11 attacks, they are treating the Saudi issue seriously, but both still have only a limited understanding of the Saudi Government’s ties to terrorist elements. In their testimony, neither CIA nor FBI witnesses were able to identify definitely the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or within the United States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is knowing or inadvertent in nature. The FBI’s Washington Field Office created a squad devoted to [redacted]. Only recently and at least in part due to the Joint Inquiry’s focus on this issue, did the FBI and CIA establish a working group to address the Saudi issue. In the view of the Joint Inquiry, this gap in U.S. intelligence coverage is unacceptable, given the magnitude and immediacy of the potential risk to U.S. national security. The Intelligence Community needs to address this area of concern as aggressively and quickly as possible.

Discussion: One reason for the limited understanding is that it was only after September 11 that the U.S. Government began to aggressively investigate this issue. Prior to September 11, the FBI apparently did not focus investigative resources on [redacted] Saudi nationals in the United States due to Saudi Arabia’s status as an American “ally.” A representative of the FBI [redacted] testified that, prior to September 11, 2001, the FBI received “no reporting from any member of the Intelligence Community” that there was a [redacted] presence in the United States.

According to various FBI documents and at least one CIA memorandum, some of the September 11 hijackers, while in the United States, apparently had contacts with individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. While the Joint Inquiry uncovered this material during the course of its review of FBI and CIA documents, it did not attempt to investigate and assess the accuracy and significance of this information independently, recognizing that such a task would be beyond the scope of this Joint Inquiry. Instead, the Joint Inquiry referred a detailed compilation of information uncovered by the Inquiry in documents and interviews to the FBI and CIA for further investigation by the Intelligence Community and, if appropriate, law enforcement agencies. A brief summary of the available information regarding some of these individuals is illustrative for purposes of this report:

  • Omar al-Bayoumi. The FBI has received numerous reports from individuals in the Muslim community, dating back to 1999, alleging that al-Bayoumi may be a Saudi intelligence officer. FBI files suggest that al-Bayoumi provided substantial assistance to hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi after they arrived in San Deigo in February 2000. Al-Bayoumi met the hijackers in a public place shorting after his meeting with an individual at the Saudi consulate and there are indications in the files that his encounter with the hijackers may not have been accidental. During this same time-frame, al-Bayoumi had extensive contact with Saudi Government establishments in the United States and received financial support from a Saudi company affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Defense. According to the FBI files, [redacted] at the company said that al-Bayoumi received a monthly salary even though he had been there on only one occasion. This support increased substantially in April 2000, two months after the hijackers arrived in San Diego, decreased slightly in December 2000, and stayed at the same level until August 2001. That company reportedly had ties with Usami Bin Laden and al-Qa’ida. In addition, the FBI determined that al-Bayoumi was in contact with several individuals under FBI investigation and with the Holy Land Foundation, which has been under investigation as a fundraising front for Hamas.
  • Osama Bassnan. Bassnan may have been in contact with al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi during their time in San Diego. Bassnan was a close associate of al-Bayoumi and Omar Bakarbashat, another one of the hijackers’ close associates. He also lived across the street from the hijackers, and made a comment to an FBI asset that he did more than al-Bayoumi did for the hijackers. According to an FBI document, Bassnan told another individual that he met al-Hazmi through al-Bayoumi and later that he met two of the hijackers through al-Bayoumi. He also told the asset that al-Bayoumi was arrested because he knew al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi very well. The document goes on to state that Bassnan and al-Bayoumi have been “close to each other for a long time.” Bassnan has many ties to the Saudi Government, including past employment by the Saudi Arabian Education Mission, referred to in FBI documents as [redacted]. The FBI also received reports from individuals in the Muslim community alleging that Bassnan may be a Saudi intelligence officer. According to a CIA memo, Bassnan reportedly received funding and possibly a fake passport from Saudi Government officials. He and his wife have received financial support from the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and his wife. A CIA report also indicates that Bassnan traveled to Houston in 2002 and met with an individual who was [redacted]. The report states that during that trip a member of the Saudi Royal Family provided Bassnan with a significant amount of cash. FBI information indicates that Bassnan is an extremist and supporter of Usama Bin Laden, and has been connected to the Eritrean Islamic Jihad and the Blind Shaykh;
  • Shaykh al-Thumairy. According to FBI documents and a CIA memorandum, al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar may have been in contact with Shaykh al-Thumairy, an accredited diplomat in the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and one of the “imams” at the King Fahad mosque in Culver City, California. Also according to FBI documents, the mosque was built in 1998 from funding provided by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdulaziz. The mosque is reportedly attended by members of the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles and is widely recognized for its anti-Western views;
  • Saleb al-Hussayen. In September 2001, Saleb al-Hussayen, reportedly a Saudi Interior Ministry official stayed in the same hotel in Herndon, Virginia where al-Hazmi was staying. While al-Hussayen claimed after September 11 not to know the hijackers, FBI agents believed he was being deceptive. He was able to depart the United States despite FBI efforts to locate and re-interview him; and
  • Abdullah Bin Laden. Abdullah Bin Laden claims to work for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C. as an administrative officer. He is identified by the FBI as Usama Bin Laden’s half brother. He is a close friend of Mohammed Quadir-Harunani, a possible associate of [9/11 hijackers] Mohammed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi prior to September 11, 2001.

The Joint Inquiry also found other indications that individuals connected to the Saudi Government have ties to terrorist networks, including:

  • The CIA and FBI have identifed the Ton Tamiyah Mosque in Culver City as a site of extremist-related activity. Several subjects of FBI investigation prior to September 11 had close connections to the mosque and are believed to have laundered money through this mosque to non-profit organizations overseas affiliated with Usama Bin Laden. In an interview, an FBI agent said he believed that Saudi Government money was being laundered through the mosque;
  • Another Saudi national with close ties to the Saudi Royal Family, [redacted], is the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations and reportedly was checking security at the United States’ southwest border in 1999 and discussing the possibility of infiltrating individuals into the United States;
  • According to FBI documents, several of the phone numbers found in the phone book of Abu Zubaida, a senior al-Qa’ida operative captured in Pakistan in March 2002, could be linked, at least indirectly, to the telephone numbers in the United States. One of those U.S. numbers is subscribed to by the ASPCOL Corporation, which is located in Aspen, Colorado, and manages the affairs of the Colorado residence of the Saudi Ambassador Bandar. The FBI noted that ASPCOL has an unlisted telephone number. A November 18, 2002 FBI response to the Joint Inquiry states that “CIA traces have revealed no direct links between numbers found in Zubaida’s phone book and numbers in the United States.”
  • According to an FBI document, the telephone number of a body guard at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, who some have alleged may be a [redacted] — was also found in Abu Zabaida’s possessions; and
  • According to an FBI agent in Phoenix, the FBI suspects Mohammed al-Qudhaeein of being [redacted]. Al-Qudhaeein was involved in a 1999 incident aboard an American West flight, which the FBI’s Phoenix office now suspects may have been a “dry run” to test airline security. During the flight, al-Qudhaeein and his associate asked the flight attendants a variety of suspicious questions; al-Qudhaeein then attempted to enter the cockpit on two occasions. Al-Qudhaeein and his associate were flying to Washington, D.C. to attend a party at the Saudi Embassy, and both claimed their tickets were paid for by the Saudi Embassy. During the course of its investigations, the FBI has discovered that both al-Qudhaeein and the other individual involved in this incident had connections to terrorism.

Finally, the Committees are particularly concerned about the serious nature of allegations contained in a CIA memorandum found by the Joint Inquiry Staff in the files of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office. That memorandum, which discusses alleged financial connections between the September 11 hijackers, Saudi Government officials, and members of the Saudi Royal Family, was drafted by a CIA officer [redacted], relying primarily on information from FI files. The CIA officer sent it to the CTC to determine whether CIA had additional information. He also provided a copy to the FBI agent responsible for the investigation of one of the individuals discussed in the memorandum. Despite the clear national implications of the memorandum, the FBI agent included the memoradum in an individual case file and did not forward it to FBI Headquarters. FBI Headquarters, therefore, was unaware of statements in the memorandum until the Joint Inquiry brought the memorandum’s implications to the Bureau’s attention. [redacted]

Possible Saudi Government Connections to Terrorists and Terrorist Groups

While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government. There is information, from FBI sources, that at least two of these individuals were alleged to be Saudi intelligence officers. The Joint Inquiry’s review confirmed that the Intelligence Community also has information, much of which remains speculative and yet to be independently verified, indicating that Saudi Government officials in the United States may have other ties to al-Qa’ida and other terrorist groups. […]

In their testimony before the Joint Inquiry, neither the CIA nor the FBI was able to definitively identify for these Committees the extent of Saudi support for terrorist activity globally or within the United States and the extent to which such support, if it exists, is intentional or innocent in nature. Both the FBI and CIA have indicated to the Committees that they are now aggressively pursuing Saudi-related terrorism issues. […]

It should be clear that this Joint Inquiry has made no final determination as to the reliability or sufficiency of the information regarding these issues that we found contained in FBI and CIA documents. It was not the task of this Joint Inquiry to conduct the kind of extensive investigation that would be required to determined [sic] the true significance of any such alleged connections to the Saudi Government. On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a [redacted] dated July 2, 2002, “incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi Government.” On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.

Given the serious national security implications of this information, however, the leadership of the Joint Inquiry is referring the staff’s compilation of relevant information to both the FBI and the CIA for investigative review and appropriate investigative and intelligence action.

~End of transcription~

See also:

~Eowyn

San Diego builds affordable apartments for LGBT seniors with taxpayer $

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” -Isaiah 5:20

We’re living in an upside-down America.

In this weird America, traditional man-woman marriages are denigrated, but same-sex marriages that can’t reproduce are celebrated. Mentally-ill men who dress up in women’s clothes are coddled as “transgenders” — a biological impossibility. And cities use taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars to construct special “affordable” housing for a new politically-designated privileged group called LGBTs, aka dykes; sodomites; people who indiscriminately screw both men and women; and transvestites.

Four “affordable” housing facilities for LGBT seniors already exist in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. New ones are being constructed in San Francisco and San Diego.

groundbreaking ceremony of LGBT senior apartment complex, San Diego

CBS8 reports that on July 13, 2016, work began on a $27.5 million, 76-unit apartment complex in San Diego’s North Park that will be the city’s first “gay and lesbian-friendly affordable housing facility for seniors,” expected to open in December 2017.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, senior LGBT advocate Robert Bettinger said the project will help the many older gays and lesbians who don’t have family support: “Many people are going to benefit from relief from isolation, depression and anxiety and find that moments in their last days can be full of compassion and warmth. I’m happy for the many people who will go forward in hope, safety and comfort.”

Delores Jacobs, CEO of the Community Center, said seniors form the foundation of the LGBT community: “They led us from the Stonewall riots through the most devastating years of the AIDS crisis to where we are today, yet their needs are often overlooked. These pioneers of the LGBT community deserve our respect, our support and, when necessary, our help.”

The apartment complex is a collaboration between the San Diego LGBT Community Center and Community HousingWorks:

(1) The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center is a tax-exempt 501c3 non-profit organization — “a California non-profit corporation, organized March 8, 1974 under the Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable purposes.”

According to the Center’s 2015 Audited Financial Statements, in 2015, it had total assets of $7.648 million (see page 4), of which $3.093 million were grants (p. 5) “from government agencies” (p. 10) — “state and federal” (p. 12) and San Diego county and city (p. 21). Of those various government grants, federal grants account for the lion’s share — of $1.641 million (p. 21). That means the San Diego LGBT Community Center is substantially funded by taxpayers nationwide and those in California and San Diego.

(2) Community HousingWorks (CHW) is another tax-exempt non-profit organization, self-described as “a California non-profit organization that has been building and owning affordable apartments that help people and communities move up in the world for nearly 30 years. CHW is an exemplary member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, a founding member of the Housing Opportunities Collaborative, an award-winning affiliate of the National Council of La Raza, and a member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network.”

CHW is partially funded by a number of corporations and foundations, among which are:

  • The City of San Diego Block Grant Program, the funds of which originate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • NeighborWorks America, self-described as “a congressionally chartered corporation that receives a direct annual appropriation to support our work of strengthening communities and expanding opportunities for affordable housing.”
  • The corrupt United Way charity.

In other words, Community HousingWorks is also funded by taxpayers nationwide.

All of which means that taxpayers are paying for this special “affordable” apartment complex for a designated group of people — LGBT seniors. No straight people need apply. How is this not government-supported housing discrimination?

H/t FOTM‘s Ken Russell

~Eowyn

GOP platform nixes declassifying secret 28 pages of 9/11 report

Here’s more evidence that the Republican Party is rotten to its core.

Remember those 28 pages in the Congressional report on 9/11 which both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations have kept “classified,” i.e., secret from the American people?

Conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees, the 838-page report was published in December 2002. The redacted 28 pages, titled “Part 4: Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters,” begins on Page 395 of the report.

Why are those pages important? Because former Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who was chairman of the congressional Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 that issued the 9/11 report, said “there is compelling evidence in the 28 pages that one or more foreign governments was involved in assisting some of the hijackers in their preparation for 9/11.” Graham later indicated that by “foreign governments” he was referring to Saudi Arabia. (15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis.)

Though classified, members of Congress can read the mysterious 28 pages in a special secure room on Capitol Hill if they get prior permission from the House or Senate Intelligence Committee. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky), one of 18 co-sponsors of a 2013 House resolution introduced by Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) to declassify the pages, is one of a few to have read the classified 28 pages. Massie was shocked by what the pages reveal. He said:

“I had to stop every couple of pages and just sort of absorb and try to rearrange my understanding of history for the past 13 years and the years leading up to that. It challenges you to rethink everything.

Yesterday, July 12, however, the Republican platform committee voted down a plank introduced by Sen. Eric Brakey (R-Maine) calling for the declassification of those 28 pages.

9-11 devil face1

Authentic, undoctored photo taken by AP photog Mark D. Phillips on 9/11.

Jerome Corsi reports for WND that in drafting the platform plank, Brakey pointed out that Obama had twice promised 9/11 family members he would release the pages, which could be invaluable in any lawsuit. However, the administration has refused to declassify the pages, even in the face of bipartisan support for their release from former 9/11 commission members and 73 current representatives and senators.

Disappointed by the GOP platform committee’s decision, Brakey said:

“The public has a right to know. It saddens me that, here we are, 15 years later and it sounds like there’s key pieces of information to our understanding of what happened on that day, and the government has been keeping that information from us.”

Donald Trump has pushed for declassifying the 28 pages. He said on Fox News on April 19: “I think I know what it’s going to say. It’s going to be very profound, having to do with Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia’s role on the World Trade Center and the attack. That’s very serious stuff. It’s sort of nice to know who your friends are and perhaps who your enemies are. You’re going to see some very revealing things in those papers.”

A 9/11 jumper

A 9/11 jumper

Here are the members of the 2016 GOP Platform Committee who want to conceal the identity(ies) of the foreign government(s) complicit in the worst terrorist attack on American soil:

  • Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee Chairman
  • Bob McDonnell (former governor of Virginia and convicted felon), Chairman. In 2014, McDonnell and his wife were convicted by a federal jury of corruption charges for receiving improper gifts and loans from a Virginia businessman. In 2015, they were sentenced to two years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. On June 27, 2016, Supreme Court unanimously vacated McDonnell’s conviction and remanded the case back to a lower court.
  • Senator John Hoeven (ND), Co-Chair
  • Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN), Co-Chair
  • Chairs of Subcommittees:
    • Jonathan Barnett, Andy Puzder, Jim Bopp, Jane Timken, Mary Dye, Ed Whitfield, Jim Cawley, Rachel Kemp, Tom Luna, Carolyn McLarty, Sam Olens, Donna Cain, Jim Talent
  • Committee Members:
    • Alabama: Jacqueline Curtiss, Cam Ward
    • Alaska: Ric Davidge, Debbie Joslin
    • American Samoa: Salote Schuster, Brandon Smart
    • Arizona: Kip Kempton, Heather Sandstrom
    • Arkansas: Jonathan Barnett, Julie Harris
    • California: Andrew Puzder, Audra Strickland
    • Colorado: Suzanne Sharkey, Guy Short
    • Connecticut: L. Scott Frantz, Themis Klarides
    • Delaware: Ruth Briggs King, John Sigler
    • District of Columbia: Teri Galvez, Edward Newton
    • Florida: Allen Bense, Remedios Diaz
    • Georgia: Sue Everhart, Sam Olens
    • Guam: Arthur Boyd Clark, Telo Taitague
    • Hawaii: Lynne Hansen, Philip Hellreich
    • Idaho: Gayann DeMordaunt, Tom Luna
    • Illinois: Steve Kim, Sharee Langenstein
    • Indiana: James Bopp Jr., Deborah Fleming
    • Iowa: Gopal T.K. Krishna, Kimberly Lehman
    • Kansas: Beverly Caley, Kris Kobach
    • Kentucky: Ed Whitfield, Shirley Wiseman
    • Louisiana: Ambia Baker, Tony Perkins
    • Maine: Linda Bean, Mike Wallace
    • Maryland: Christian Cavey, Kathy Szeliga
    • Massachusetts: Jay Barrows, Rachel Kemp
    • Michigan: Krista Haroutunian, Norm Shinkle
    • Minnesota: Kevin Erickson, Juliette Jordal
    • Mississippi: Lynn Fitch, Delbert Hosemann
    • Missouri: Phyllis Schlafly, Jim Talent
    • Montana: Mark Baker, Tamara Hall
    • Nebraska: Brian Buescher, Darlene Starman
    • Nevada: Cynthia Kennedy, Pat Kerby
    • New Hampshire: David Boutin, Beverly Bruce
    • New Jersey: Aubrey Fenton, Lynda Pagliughi
    • New Mexico: James Damron, Rocky Galassini
    • New York: John Cahill, Adele Malpass
    • North Carolina: Wayne King, Mary Summa
    • North Dakota: Kyle Handegard, Paul Henderson
    • Northern Mariana Islands: Ellsbeth Alepuyo, Juan Diego Blanco
    • Ohio: Clarence Mingo, Jane Timken
    • Oklahoma: Anthony Lauinger, Carolyn McLarty
    • Oregon: Donna Cain, Russ Walker
    • Pennsylvania: Jim Cawley, Joyce Haas
    • Puerto Rico: Jorge San Miguel, Vanessa Viera
    • Rhode Island: Barbara Ann Fenton, Richard Ford
    • South Dakota: Mary Jean Jensen, Dana Randall
    • Tennessee: Marsha Blackburn, Chris Devaney
    • Texas: David Barton, Denise McNamara
    • Utah: Margaret Dayton, Brad Dee
    • Vermont: Rick Cochran, Darcie Johnston
    • Virginia: Chris Stearns, Kathy Terry
    • Virgin Islands: April Newland, Herbert Schoenbohm
    • Washington: Mary Dye, Lew Moore
    • West Virginia: Conrad Lucas II
    • Wisconsin: Daniel Feyen, Susan Lynch
    • Wyoming: Cynthia Cloud, Dan Dockstader

See also:

UPDATE (July 19, 2016):

Three days after the GOP Platform Committee eschewed calling for the declassification of the 9/11 report’s 28 pages, on July 15, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee released those pages to the public. See “Congress releases classified 28 pages of 9/11 Report: It’s Saudi Arabia“.

In other words, it was within the power of Congress all along to make public those pages.

~Eowyn

Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg: If Trump wins, it’s time to move to New Zealand

Liberals keep threatening that if so-and-so is elected, they would leave the U.S. and move to a foreign country, usually to Europe. Hollyweirdos like Alec Baldwin and Barbra Streisand had made that threat before. The problem is they NEVER actually leave. It’s just all blather and empty talk.

The latest liberal to make that threat is the very liberal Supreme Court “Justice” Ruth Bader Ginsburg — she who once said that legalizing abortion is in the cause of eugenics or, bluntly put, culling the population of black and poor people. In July 2009, in a Sunday New York Times interview, Ginsburg said:

“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe [v. Wade] was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg falls asleep at Obama' 2015 SOTU

In an interview with The New York Times, last Friday, July 8, 2016, Ginsberg was outspoken about what she thinks of presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. She moaned:

“I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

She then quoted what her late husband, a tax lawyer who had died in 2010, would have said:

“Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

Why wait till Trump is elected, Ruth Ginsburg?

Honor your husband’s memory and move to New Zealand already. I’ll even chip in $1 to help pay for your airfare.

But Ginsburg did accomplish something useful with her NYT interview: she’s reminded us why Hillary Clinton can NEVER EVER be elected president.

After the mysterious death of Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court is now (supposedly) evenly divided 4:4 between conservatives and liberals. But judging by the Court’s recent 5:3 ruling against Texas’ anti-abortion law and 4:3 decision on affirmative action (Fisher v. University of Texas), that even division is an illusion. In both cases, it came down to “Justice” Anthony Kennedy siding with the libs.

Given the ages of Ginsburg (83), Kennedy (80), and Stephen Breyer (78), the next U.S. president not only gets to nominate a replacement for Scalia (the Senate, to its credit, has refused to act on Obama’s nominee, Merrick B. Garland), the next president could well name three other Supreme Court justices as well (to replace Ginsburg, Kennedy and Breyer). That is why Ginsburg is hyperventilating at the prospect of a President Trump.

~Eowyn

Rep. Corrine Brown (demorat) indicted in fraud case over charity ‘slush fund’

Brown better get on a private jet and rendezvous with Lynch on a tarmac STAT.

corrine brown

From Fox News: U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff have been charged with multiple fraud and other federal offenses in a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday after a federal investigation into a fraudulent charity with ties to the congresswoman.

Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, was to appear later Friday in Jacksonville federal court on charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns. She has represented a Jacksonville-based congressional district since 1993 and is seeking re-election in a newly-redrawn district.

The indictment comes after an investigation into the charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc., which federal prosecutors say was purported to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates.

Also charged in the 24-count indictment was Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, 50, of Laurel, Maryland, who has served as Brown’s chief of staff since 1993. It wasn’t immediately clear from court records whether Brown and Simmons had attorneys to represent them.

Earlier this year, One Door President Carla Wiley pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud after it as determined that she had deposited $800,000 into the foundation’s account over four years. Over that time, federal prosecutors say it gave one scholarship for $1,000 and that Wiley transferred herself tens of thousands of dollars.

“Congresswoman Brown and her chief of staff are alleged to have used the congresswoman’s official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund,” Assistant U.S. Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in a statement.

“Corruption erodes the public’s trust in our entire system of representative government,” Caldwell added.

The indictment says that Brown, Simmons and Wiley “used the vast majority” of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that Simmons made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.

According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament, lavish receptions during an annual Washington conference and the use of luxury boxes for a concert and an NFL game in the Washington area.

Documents previously obtained by The Associated Press from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer’s office show that he received an invitation bearing the seal of the House of Representatives to a July 13, 2013 golf tournament called the “Corrine Brown Invitational.” It was sponsored by the One Door organization and coincided with a freight and rail industry symposium in Jacksonville.

Potential donors attending the tournament received letters from One Door with Brown’s signature and official House seal asking them to give from $125 up to $20,000 to One Door, according to Wiley’s plea agreement.

The invitation said the donations would benefit a scholarship fund for the Jacksonville chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, or COMTO, and other charities. Authorities say none of the charities received any of the money raised.

DCG

WTF: If elected president, Trump won’t serve?

In a recent interview, when Donald Trump was asked by the New York Times if he would actually serve should he beat Hillary and is elected President, Trump refused to give a definitive answer.

The New York Times did not actually give us the transcript of the interview. Below is Jason Horowitz’ article, “Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the election? He Doesn’t Rule it Out,” in The New York Times of July 8, 2016, in its entirety:

The traditional goal of a presidential nominee is to win the presidency and then serve as president.

Donald J. Trump is not a traditional candidate for president.

Presented in a recent interview with a scenario, floating around the political ether, in which the presumptive Republican nominee proves all the naysayers wrong, beats Hillary Clinton and wins the presidency, only to forgo the office as the ultimate walk-off winner, Mr. Trump flashed a mischievous smile.

“I’ll let you know how I feel about it after it happens,” he said minutes before leaving his Trump Tower office to fly to a campaign rally in New Hampshire.

It is, of course, entirely possible that Mr. Trump is playing coy to earn more news coverage. But the notion of the intensely competitive Mr. Trump’s being more interested in winning the presidency than serving as president is not exactly a foreign concept to close observers of this presidential race.

Early in the contest, his rivals, Republican operatives and many reporters questioned the seriousness of his candidacy. His knack for creating controversy out of thin air (this week’s edition: the Star of David Twitter post) and his inclination toward self-destructive comments did not instill confidence in a political culture that values on-message discipline in its candidates.

Those doubts dissipated after Mr. Trump vanquished his Republican opponents and locked up the nomination.

“I’ve actually done very well,” Mr. Trump said. “We beat 18 people, right?”

But as the race has turned toward the general election and a majority of polls have shown Mr. Trump trailing Mrs. Clinton, speculation has again crept into political conversations in Washington, New York and elsewhere that Mr. Trump will seek an exit strategy before the election to avoid a humiliating loss.

Told of Mr. Trump’s noncommittal comment, Stuart Stevens, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney in 2012 who has become one of Mr. Trump’s most vocal critics, said that Mr. Trump was “a con man who is shocked his con hasn’t been called” and that he was looking for an emergency exit.

“He has no sense of how to govern,” Mr. Stevens said. “He can’t even put together a campaign.” [Really, Stuart Stevens? Trump managed to “put together a campaign” that defeated all his GOP rivals in primary elections. I call that a successful campaign! What would you call it? -Dr. Eowyn]

Even Mr. Trump’s supporters acknowledge that his past campaigns had the air of a vanity tour. That impression lingers. A recent Trump news release promising “a speech regarding the election” prompted many reporters and political fortunetellers to predict a declaration of his departure. But just the fact that a routine news release prompted paroxysms of conjecture throughout the political universe suggested that, as Mr. Trump might say, “there’s something going on.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign and his supporters dismiss the talk as the fantasizing of frightened liberals or frustrated establishment figures.

“He’s not going to pull out,” said Thomas Barrack Jr., a financier and real estate investor who is a close friend of Mr. Trump’s. He compared Mr. Trump’s candidacy to an innovative start-up company: “You never see disruption when it’s happening.”

In Mr. Trump’s case, the disruption is everywhere. Last fall, he said in television interviews that if his standing collapsed in the Republican primary polls, he could very well return to his business. In mid-June, amid an onslaught of negative news coverage, he joked to a crowd that he would consider leaving the race for $5 billion.
On the off chance he actually is planning to back out, what would happen?

Alexander Keyssar, a historian at Harvard who is working on a book about the Electoral College, said the process of succession would depend on “the precise moment at which he said, ‘Nah, never mind.’”

The party representatives who make up the Electoral College would suddenly have real power rather than a rubber stamp. If Mr. Trump bowed out after winning on Nov. 8 but before the electors met in each state to cast their ballots on Dec. 19, then the electors could have the opportunity to vote for another candidate, Professor Keyssar said.

A majority of the 538 electors would be Republicans, but they might not agree on the best alternative candidate. If no one won a majority of the electors, the contest between the top three vote-getters — one of whom would presumably be Mrs. Clinton — would go to the House of Representatives, where each state would be given one vote, while the Senate would select the vice president. House Republicans hold 33 states to the Democrats’ 14, with three evenly split. It is unclear whether the vote would take place before or after newly elected representatives were seated.

It is also unclear what would happen, Professor Keyssar said, if Mr. Trump bid adieu after the electoral votes were cast but before they were officially counted, per the 12th Amendment, by the president of the Senate before a joint session of Congress in January. And if Mr. Trump left after the votes were counted in Congress but before he was sworn in on Jan. 20, Professor Keyssar said the closest guidance would probably come from Section Three of the 20th Amendment: “If, at the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the president, the president-elect shall have died, the vice president-elect shall become president.”

“Nothing like this has ever happened,” Professor Keyssar said.

And nothing like it will this year, Mr. Trump’s supporters say.

“It’s going to be too late by then,” Roger Stone, Mr. Trump’s longtime political adviser, said of the go-out-on-top theory. “If he got elected president, he’d certainly serve. I’m fairly certain about that. You think he’d resign? I don’t see that happening. There is only one star in the Donald Trump show, and that’s Donald Trump.”

Russell Verney, a former top strategist for Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire who abruptly pulled out of the 1992 election, only to re-enter and win 19 percent of the vote, said that outsider candidates were more vulnerable to questions about their resolve.

“It never would be a subject raised with Romney and others, because the presidency is the ultimate goal of their entire professional career,” said Mr. Verney, who conferred with Mr. Trump during his exploration of a presidential run in 2000, during which, he said, Mr. Trump expressed reservations about selling his casinos to fund his campaign. “Donald Trump has not worked toward being president every day of his professional career.”

Mr. Trump’s supporters point out that he has begun adopting the more traditional trappings of a presidential campaign: a fund-raising operation, policy ideas, prepared speeches.

“This is silly,” said Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which has tried hard to make the Trump campaign more professional. “He’s in it to win it.”

But the only person who could truly put any doubts to rest seemed instead to relish the idea of keeping everyone guessing, concluding the recent conversation with a you’re-on-to-something grin and handshake across his cluttered desk.

“We’ll do plenty of stories,” Mr. Trump promised enigmatically. “O.K.?”

So what do you think?

Sound off in our poll below:

~Eowyn