All public forums should be open and uncensored

A US District Court judge has ruled that President Trump may not block even rude or obnoxious criticism from his Twitter account, because it is a public forum that is protected by the First Amendment. The Justice Department says it might appeal, but I argue that the DOJ, White House and Trump Administration should instead embrace the decision, expand on it, and apply these legal principles and free speech guidelines to other arenas.

After all, with the multitude of race, sexual orientation and other civil rights now protected by force of law, shouldn’t arguably the most vital and fundamental civil right also be protected? The right of free speech and free assembly, especially regarding one’s beliefs, interests and political viewpoints, and one’s ability to participate in discourse over important political and public policy matters?!?

Thank you for posting my provocative article, quoting from it, and forwarding it to your friends and colleagues.

Best regards,

Paul

All public forums should be open and uncensored

Trump should embrace (and expand) court ruling that his Twitter account is free speech forum

President Trump may not block even rude or obnoxious criticism from his Twitter account, because it is a public forum that is protected by the First Amendment, US District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald has ruled. The President’s use of his Twitter account to comment on important policy, personnel and personal announcements made it a public forum, akin to a park or town square, she concluded.

Blocking unwanted tweets is thus viewpoint discrimination, which public officials are not permitted to engage in. Indeed, his Twitter account is not just a public forum. It is also “government space,” and thus may not be closed off, Judge Buchwald continued – rejecting a Justice Department argument that, since Twitter is a public company, it is beyond the reach of First Amendment public forum rules.

Free speech proponents hailed the ruling as a groundbreaking decision, saying it expands constitutional protections deep within the realms of social media. The executive director of Georgetown Law School’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection called it “a critical victory in preserving free speech in the digital age.” Blocking people from responding critically to presidential tweets is unconstitutional, because it prevents them from participating personally and directly in that forum, others said.

The Justice Department said it disagreed with the decision and was considering its next steps. Here’s another option: Embrace and expand on the decision. Assess how these District Court principles and free speech guidelines can be applied in other vital free speech arenas. Take it as far as you can.

Some will then predictably want to construe the decision narrowly, saying it applies only to government officials, perhaps especially conservatives who support this president. Conservatives, the White House and the Trump Administration should not feel bound by such partisan, self-serving assertions.

As Supreme Court and numerous lower court decisions have interpreted the Civil Rights Act and other laws, no person may employ race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status or other categories, to discriminate in admissions, hiring or anything else under any program or activity receiving any form of federal financial assistance, including loans or scholarships. Those that do discriminate will lose their Internal Revenue Service non-profit status and their government funding.

Should that list of categories not include one of the most vital and fundamental civil rights of all – the one addressed and protected by the very first amendment to the United States Constitution? The right of free speech and free assembly, especially regarding one’s beliefs, interests and political viewpoints, and one’s ability to participate in discourse and debate over important political and public policy matters?

Our colleges and universities were once society’s crucible for developing and thrashing out ideas. Sadly, as anyone with a milligram of brain matter realizes, they have become bastions of one-sided ideological propaganda and intolerance. Every conceivable element of “diversity” is permitted and encouraged – nay, demanded – except for our most fundamental civil right of personal views, free speech and robust debate.

That right now applies only to liberal-progressive-leftist views and ideologies. Anything that challenges or questions those teachings is vilified, denounced and silenced, often violently – as being hurtful, hateful, objectionable or intolerable to liberals. Faculty members are hired, protected, promoted or fired based on their social, scientific or political beliefs. Viewpoint discrimination, bullying and mobbing are rampant.

It’s time for pushback. Judicial and Executive Branch decisions and guidelines hold that even private universities that receive federal money for faculty research, student loans and scholarships, or campus facilities, are subject to Civil Rights Act rules. Presidents, administrators and faculty members of public universities are arguably public officials. Campuses and classrooms are clearly public forums.

If they tolerate or encourage viewpoint bullying, mobbing or violence, they are violating the civil rights of students, professors and speakers whose views have been deemed inappropriate, discomforting, hurtful or intolerable to the fragile sensitivities of climate alarmist, pro-abortion, atheist and other liberal factions.

Judge Buchwald’s ruling and the reactions of free speech advocates provide useful guidelines to buttress this approach. The Trump Administration, state attorneys general and free-speech/individual rights advocates should apply them to help restore intellectual rigor and open discourse to our campuses.

The ruling and reactions could also help expand constitutional protections even more deeply in the realms of digital age social media. As they suggest, today’s most popular social media sites have become our most vibrant and essential public forums: today’s parks, town squares and town halls. People, especially millennials, rely on them for news, information and opinions, often as substitutes for print, radio and television (and classrooms). But they now seem far better at censorship than at education or discussion.

Google algorithms increasingly and systematically send climate realism articles to intellectual Siberia. Unless you enter very specific search terms (author’s name, article title and unique wording), those sly algorithms make it difficult or impossible to find articles expressing non-alarmist viewpoints.

Google thus allies with the manmade climate cataclysm establishment – which has received billions of taxpayer dollars from multiple government agencies, but has blocked Climate Armageddon skeptics from getting articles published in scientific journals that often publish papers that involve hidden data, computer codes and other work. Even worse, it facilitates repeated threats that skeptics should be jailed (Bill Nye the Science Guy and RFK Jr.), prosecuted under RICO racketeering laws (Senators Warren and Whitehouse), or even executed (University of Graz, Austria Professor Richard Parncutt).

Google is a private entity, there are other search engines, and those seeking complete, honest research results should see if those alternatives are any better. But there is something repugnant about mankind’s vast storehouses of information being controlled by hyper-partisan techies, in league with equally partisan university, deep state, deep media, hard green and other über-liberal, intolerant elements of our society.

Meanwhile, Google YouTube continues to use its power and position to block posting of and access to equally important information, including over 40 well-crafted, informative, carefully researched Prager University videos – because they contain what YouTube reviewers (censors) decreed is “objectionable content” on current events, history, constitutional principles, environmental topics and public policies.

Scholar-educator Dennis Prager sued YouTube for closing down yet another vital public forum to views that question, contest or simply fail to pay homage to liberal ideologies and agendas.

District Court Judge Lucy Koh concluded that YouTube did indeed apply vague standards and the arbitrary judgments of a few employees, and did indeed discriminate against Prager U by denying it access to this popular social media platform and digital public forum. However, she ruled that Google YouTube is a private company, and thus is under no obligation to be fair, to apply its services equally, or to refrain from imposing penalties on viewpoints with which its partisan officers and employees disagree.

In other words, YouTube may operate as a public forum but it is a private business and thus may discriminate as it wishes – since it does not bake cakes or provide food or overnight accommodations … or deal with any civil rights that Judge Koh would include among protected constitutional rights.

These actions are the hallmarks of communist, fascist and other totalitarian regimes that seek to control all thought, speech, economic activity and other aspects of our lives. They drive policies that further limit our freedoms, kill countless jobs, and cost us billions or trillions of dollars in lost productivity.

The Left is clearly afraid of conservative ideas and principles. It refuses to participate in discussions or debates that it might lose, and instead resorts to mobbing, bullying and violence to silence our voices.

Up to now, lower courts have not always been supportive of the analysis and prescriptions presented in this article. But appellate courts and the Supreme Court have yet to weigh in on the Trump Twitter, Prager YouTube, Google search bias and similar cases. So we are still in uncharted territory.

Conservatives, climate chaos skeptics and true free speech advocates should build their own social media forums – while helping to create the legal precedents that will protect our hard-won rights and freedoms, and exposing, ridiculing, embarrassing and challenging the dominance of the Intolerant Left.

Paul Driessen, JD is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy and environmental science and policy.

VIDEO: Big Trouble in Little Jerusalem with John Fitzgerald

Right Side News with John Fitzgerald  – Big Trouble in Little Jerusalem

JERUSALEM: On December 6th, 2017 President Donald Trump unveiled a new policy regarding Israel’s capital city.

WATCH NOW: Right Side News’ John Fitzgerald walks you through the newly recognized capital of Israel.

 

 

In a statement President Trump said:

My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress adopted the Jerusalem Embassy Act, urging the federal government to relocate the American embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize that that city — and so importantly — is Israel’s capital. This act passed Congress by an overwhelming bipartisan majority and was reaffirmed by a unanimous vote of the Senate only six months ago.

Yet, for over 20 years, every previous American president has exercised the law’s waiver, refusing to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city.

Presidents issued these waivers under the belief that delaying the recognition of Jerusalem would advance the cause of peace. Some say they lacked courage, but they made their best judgments based on facts as they understood them at the time. Nevertheless, the record is in. After more than two decades of waivers, we are no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be folly to assume that repeating the exact same formula would now produce a different or better result.

Therefore, I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Predictably Hamas have declared another one of their adorable days of rage which are by this point a weekly event. We can expect other Islamic nations like Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom to follow suit shortly. Of course, the liberal media and most of the world look the other way, too keen to call the President a racist to pay attention when he said:

So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities. And finally, I ask the leaders of the region — political and religious; Israeli and Palestinian; Jewish and Christian and Muslim — to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless Israel. God bless the Palestinians. And God bless the United States. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Of course on CNN and MSBNC the violence you see on the streets of Israel tonight is the fault of the man who wishes to bring peace to the region. This is the definition of #FakeNews.

SEE ALSO: Last week Right Side News’ John Fitzgerald, analyzed the disruption that took place at the “It’s Okay To Be White” speech given by Lucian Wintrich at the University of Connecticut.

*Please like, subscribe and leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

Newly Discovered Guccifer 2 Chat Shows He Was Wikileaks’ Source

An Associated Press (AP) journalist has released a chat with Guccifer 2.0. 

Raphael Satter released a previously unpublished chat he had with Guccifer 2.0, where Guccifer 2.0 stated, in reply to a question about why Guccifer 2.0 is sending documents directly to a journalist instead of waiting for Wikileaks to publish them, that “I don’t know when or if they gonna publish them.” According to Satter, “@raffiwriter argues @Guccifer _2’s handlers were impatient with @Wikileaks as summer wore on. My 8/22 convo with G2 seems to support that.”  

Satter is referencing an article in the New Yorker magazine by journalist Raffi Khatchadourian, which was reviewed extensively by RightSideNews in the article, Did Wikileaks Directly Receive Information from Guccifer 2.0? The New Yorker article lists three important interactions that display Guccifer 2.0 being impatient with Wikileaks, including:

1) On June 17th, the editor of the Smoking Gun asked Guccifer 2.0 if Assange would publish the same material it was then doling out. “I gave WikiLeaks the greater part of the files, but saved some for myself,” it replied. “Don’t worry everything you receive is exclusive.” The claim at that time was true.

2) In early July, Guccifer 2.0 told a Washington journalist that WikiLeaks was “playing for time.” An article by Joe Uchill from July 13 quotes Guccifer 2.0: “The press [is] gradually forget[ing] about me, [W]ikileaks is playing for time and [I] have some more docs.”)

3) On July 17, Assange “originally planned” to publish the files, but did not. Instead, Guccifer 2.0 leaked a batch of documents to Uchill on that very day.

4) On July 22nd, Wikileaks published the documents, and on that same day Guccifer 2.0 wrote, “At last!”

5) On August 22nd, exactly one month later, Guccifer 2.0 in his chat with the AP’s Raphael Satter expresses impatience with Wikileaks’ release of files.

According to Uchill’s July 22 article, “The [Wikileaks] site does not specifically address who leaked the documents, but hacker Guccifer 2.0 who recently breached the DNC servers confirmed via electronic message that the emails came from that hack.”

The implication of Guccifer 2.0 directly working together with Wikileaks is that Guccifer 2.0 had in his possession the documents that Wikileaks later leaked, which contradicts the narrative put forward on the Guccifer 2.0 research website, G-2.space, that Guccifer 2.0 was not the source for Wikileaks. Raphael Satter is encouraged to release screenshots of his entire chat with Guccifer 2.0.

BREAKING: New Report Suggests DNC Hacker Was Collecting Opposition Research on Donald Trump

A newly discovered report from the firm that was hired by the DNC to investigate the DNC breach says that the hackers were looking for information that would hurt Donald Trump and other GOP candidates. The report says

“Based on the data exfiltrated from the DNC, one of FANCY BEAR’s goals appears to have been to collect opposition research the DNC’s research staff had gathered on President Elect (then Republican primary candidate) Donald Trump and other Republican (GOP) presidential candidates.” (page 11). 

According to the Crowdstrike, Fancy Bear is the alleged hacking entity that stole data from the DNC and leaked it to Wikileaks. Crowdstrike’s findings have been used by the DNC and the US Intelligence Community to claim that Russian was involved in the election to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. The newly revealed information appears to contradict that narrative by showing Fancy Bear was allegedly helping Clinton by hurting Trump and the GOP. 

According to Palo Alto Networks, a spear fishing attack on May 26, 2016 “to a U.S. government entity” was successful, while Crowdstrike says the virus was in the DNC system in April 2016. The attack was allegedly passed on to targets through infected RTF files. Crowdstrike appears to contradict the report of Palo Alto Networks on the timeline of when the DNC was breached.

Contact: [email protected]

Questions the DNC Don’t Want Asked on Guccifer 2.0 And Their Claim He Took Only Two Files

The Washington Post article, National Security Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump” from June 14, 2016, states that the hacking group known as Fancy Bear “broke into the network in late April and targeted the opposition research files. It was this breach that set off the alarm. The hackers stole two files, Henry said.” The article then states that “The DNC said that no financial, donor or personal information appears to have been accessed or taken, suggesting that the breach was traditional espionage, not the work of criminal hackers.” The article continues, quoting DNC lawyer Michael Sussman of the Perkins Coie firm: “But at this time, it appears that no financial information or sensitive employee, donor or voter information was accessed by the Russian attackers,” he said.

However, in the subsequent article the following day, June 15, entitled “Guccifer 2.0’ claims credit for DNC hack“, the Washington Post reports that Guccifer 2.0 posted to a website some of the allegedly stolen documents. They included a file titled “Donald Trump Report,” dated Dec. 19, 2015, and a list of what was purported to be million-dollar-plus donors to the Democratic Party.”

Questions the DNC must answer are, 1) Why did the DNC say that only two opposition research files were taken, and not donor information, when Guccifer 2.0 did indeed take both the opposition files and the donor files? 2) Why did Guccifer 2.0 release the opposition research files, when those files could prove to be harmful to Donald Trump, if he was indeed a hacker on a mission to elect Donald Trump? 3) Did the DNC collude with Guccifer 2.0 in directing him to release the opposition research files? 4) Why did Guccifer 2.0 continue to release opposition research files, when he later released an archive of Sarah Palin’s Twitter messages on July 14, and the first page of the Trump Foundation’s income tax form and the Trump financial report on October 18, if he had already proven that he had hacked the DNC? and 5) What specific part of the software Crowdstrike used to analyze the DNC server would show that only two files were taken, when presumably hackers were in the DNC system for weeks on end?

If the answer is that the DNC or Crowdstrike did not have full visibility into the scale of intrusions on their security infrastructure, is it a coincidence that the only files the DNC or Crowdstrike thought were missing at the time were the two opposition research files, which if released would be damaging only to Trump and not Clinton, and that Guccifer the next day did indeed release those two opposition research files that are harmful to Trump but not Clinton? Those two files were entitled “Donald Trump Report” and “2016 GOP presidential candidates” in the releases. Are these opposition files that Guccifer 2.0 released the same ones that the DNC is referring to, or was Guccifer 2.0 holding on to even more harmful information, and released the Trump report and GOP report to deflect from it? All of the information from the Trump report comes from public sources. On the other hand, why would Guccifer 2.0 release the opposition research if he was supposed to be helping Donald Trump, if he could prove that he has hacked the DNC by sharing any of the 38 other files he subsequently leaked in later months?  

Contact Steve Cunningham at [email protected]

Did Wikileaks directly receive information from Guccifer 2.0?

Regarding the DNC’s secrets being spilled in the last election, the question is, as the American Thinker’s Mike Razar has put it, whether Wikileaks “received the information from the Russian government or from some non-Russian hacker source or even an inside leak rather than a hacker.” The question has become, did Guccifer 2.0 directly leak information to Wikileaks?

In order to assess this, we need to look at all of the facts. A recent front cover article of the New Yorker magazine, entitled Julian Assange, a Man Without a Country, reveals some previously unknown, unreported or unpublished interactions of Guccifer 2.0 with others, and other new information that does not even appear on the timeline of Guccifer 2.0 interactions on the “Guccifer 2.0: Game Over” website. One set of information, as extracted from the aforementioned New Yorker article, relates to how Guccifer 2.0 apparently knew that Wikileaks is delayed in releasing the files that Guccifer 2.0 allegedly sent them, and that this knowledge shows that Guccifer 2.0 is supplying Wikileaks with information, or simply colluding with Wikileaks.

There are three examples of such interactions as described in the New Yorker article, in the author Raffi Khatchadourian‘s own words (and arranged chronologically, with boldface added):

1) On June 17th, the editor of the Smoking Gun asked Guccifer 2.0 if Assange would publish the same material it was then doling out. “I gave WikiLeaks the greater part of the files, but saved some for myself,” it replied. “Don’t worry everything you receive is exclusive.” The claim at that time was true.

2) In early July, for example, Guccifer 2.0 told a Washington journalist that WikiLeaks was “playing for time.” (Indeed, the article by Joe Uchill from July 13 contains these sentences from electronic chats: “The press [is] gradually forget[ing] about me, [W]ikileaks is playing for time and [I] have some more docs.”)

3) According to Uchill’s July 22 article, The [Wikileaks] site does not specifically address who leaked the documents, but hacker Guccifer 2.0 who recently breached the DNC servers confirmed via electronic message that the emails came from that hack. “At last!” he wrote. 

Also, Khatchadourian notes other interactions that have not been documented by others so far, including his apparent attempt at interaction in mid-August 2016 with Emma Best, a journalist and a specialist in archival research who, according to her Twitter handle, is suing the FBI for 2.1 million documents. Khatchadourian seems to think that Guccifer 2.0 was considering sending his documents to Khatchadourian instead of Wikileaks in this time period. However, why would Guccifer 2.0 have written “at last!” on July 22nd to Uchill, and seemed to be happy with Wikileaks’ progress in releasing documents, but then attempted to find a different entity or individual to release the documents only a few weeks later in mid-August? It would make more sense if, between June 17 and July 22nd, the dates of the first and third aforementioned interactions, Guccifer 2.0 would have expressed a desire to send the DNC documents elsewhere. Regardless, Emma Best later commented on Twitter regarding the article, stating that “This is accurate.”

The question for American Thinker readers, researchers and the G-2.space community ought to be, do you agree with the New Yorker article when it claims that Guccifer 2.0 knew that Wikileaks is delayed in releasing the files in July 2016, as per the New Yorker article, the editor of the Smoking Gun and the Uchill articles from July 13 and July 22nd? It would be helpful if full transcripts of interactions with Guccifer 2.0 would be released by these entities for publication and analysis.

Guccifer 2.0 Appears To Be One Person

At the Hearing of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on March 30, Thomas Rid, Professor Department of War Studies, King’s College London, made the following statement:

  • “Guccifer 2 is certainly not just one individual because in private interaction with journalists we can literally see different types of humans at play. Some use consistently at a specific time lots of smilies and very informal, and there’s more a formal, all communicating through the same channels.”

Therefore, I attempted to fine examples of these “lots of smilies and very informal” communications, and the formal communications, in order to prove or disprove this theory. 

Some examples of these “very informal” private twitter messages is his chat with the BBC in October 2016, where he uses smileys on October 18 and the term “u” instead of “you” on October 7th and October 18; his chat with Vice.com on July 21, where he uses the term “u” 10 different times, while explaining the high-tech way in which he hacked the DNC, when he used a “0-day exploit of NGP VAN soft then I installed shell-code into the DNC server” (is this considered an informal or formal chat?); and his chat with former Playboy model Robbin Young between August 15 and August 30th, where he uses a multitude of smilies to express his affection for her, while at the same time, stating “ur soul’s so pure and unspoiled – it beckons me“, using a formal word like “beckons” in a sentence that also has an informal “u”. He also claimed to her on August 25 that murdered DNC Staffer Seth Rich was his whistleblower, implying that his data was obtained by a DNC leak, in direct contradiction of his aforementioned July 21st claim to Vice.com that he was a hacker that broke into the DNC server. Therefore, Guccifer 2.0 also contradicts himself even when he is in this “very informal” state of smilies and using the word “u”.

An arguable example of formal private twitter messages includes his chat with Roger Stone between August 15 and September 9, where he uses the term “u” with him 5 times on August 17th, but on September 9th, writes the intelligent statement, that “the basic premise of winning an election is turnout your base (marked turnout) and target the marginal folks with persuadable advertising (marked persuadable),” in explaining the documents he is releasing. However, because in the past the “informal” version of Guccifer 2.0 has shown he can be both informal and formal, it is possible that this statement was written by the same person sending the informal messages. We can see that Guccifer 2.0 is an intelligent individual capable of both informal and formal chats, of limitless use of the word “u” and smilies when chatting with allies, while capable of making intelligent statements to explain the utility of the documents he is releasing.  

Would the CIA frame Russia in DNC attack, yet wiretap Trump Tower?

The recent Wikileaks contains hacking tools for the CIA that are used to “avoid fingerprints implicating the CIA and the US government” in its hacking. Indeed, according to Wikileaks’ analysis, the UMBRAGE and these related projects can “misdirect attribution by leaving behind the “fingerprints” of the groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.” Since the security company Crowdstrike, funded by the DNC, has identified “two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries present in the DNC network in May 2016,” by the name of COZY BEAR and FANCY BEAR, and the Obama-led intelligence community (or “band of leakers”) “confirmed” this in their report in the dying days of their administration, many have thought it was Russia behind the DNC attack. Since we can assume, based on the recent wikileak, that the CIA can replicate a Cozy Bear and fancy Bear attack, the question we ought to ask is, would the CIA frame Russia and hack the DNC?

Certainly, the case can be made that the CIA, at least outwardly, has been Pro-Obama and Anti-Trump. Take into account the many leaks from the Trump administration, to which President Trump tweeted on Feb. 14, asking, “The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? President Trump went further and claimed that the CIA obtained the leak-worthy information through illegal monitoring, when he tweeted on Mar. 4 that he “just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory.” Mr. Trump also said in a Fox News interview, regarding the leaks, that “I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it.” The question remains, how can the CIA be so obviously against Trump, yet potentially have helped him so much with the DNC leaks?

The answer is that there could be rogue Pro-Trump individuals within the CIA agency doing the hacking behind the back of their Pro-Obama superiors. That would be the only way to explain the discrepancy, if it is true that the CIA framed Russia in the DNC attack. According to the Wikileaks trove of CIA files, these cover-up tools are contained in the documents entitled Development Tradecract Dos and Don’ts, use of encryption to hide CIA hacker and malware communicationdescribing targets & exfiltrated data as well as executing payloads and persisting in the target’s machines over time. Since the CIA has this cover-up capability, does Russia have it too?

According to John McAfee, the internationally-renowned information security pioneer and founder of global computer security software company McAfee, “Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I was the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it, I would use Russian language within the code, I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organizations. (…) He continued, “If it looks like the Russians did it, than I can guarantee you, it was not the Russians.”  The question is, why would Russia leave its fingerprints in the hacking job, if it was them, since they could have deleted those tracks?

Either the Russians wanted everyone to know it was them when they hacked the DNC, or it wasn’t them at all. It could also have been another country or group that replicated Russia’s fingerprints, including rogue individuals in the CIA, or it really could have been a Romanian hacker utilizing Russian hacking tools, as Guccifer 2.0 has claimed he is Romanian all along.

More needs to be done to find if there any Pro-Trump elements in the intelligence community in the run up to the 2016 Presidential Election, if Russia has in the past covered its tracks when it uses established hacking tools, and how easy it is for another country or group to replicate a Fancy Bear or Cozy Bear attack.

“We cannot connect dots to Guccifer 2.0” Senate Intel Hearing Cyber Analyst Says

Kevin Mandia, chief executive officer of FireEye Inc., listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, March 30, 2017. Leaders of the committee promised a thorough and impartial investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election at the hearing, held as a House probe remained mired in partisan disputes. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

There is No Evidence to Connect Russia to Guccifer 2.0 – Senate Intel Hearing Cyber Analyst Says

At the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on March 30, during testimony from experts, Kevin Mandia, Chief Executive Officer of the security technology company FireEye, said the following in response to Senator Lankford asking if there is any connection between Guccifer 2 and the alleged Russian breach of the DNC server: “We cannot connect all the dots from the breach, at least with the observables available to my company and our investigators. We can’t go from breach, and leaked data, to suddenly Guccifer 2.0, we just don’t have the means to do that.” 

The Intelligence Committee has been holding hearings over the past few weeks regarding alleged Russian interference in the election. However, new information has surfaced that the Committee hasn’t reviewed yet, including In the last few days, which was released by Wikileaks regarding Guccifer 2.0, with the tweet, “Direct Messages from U.S. alleged Russian spy @GUCCIFER_2 to actress-model @robbin_young (according to the latter).” 

The Wikileaks direct messages release have echoed in social media, with news sites pointing to Guccifer 2.0 claiming Seth Rich was his whistleblower, which is in contradiction to his previous claims of hacking the DNC directly. Guccifer 2.0 states that “His name is Seth, he is my whistleblower” and that “I’d like to find a journalist who can do an investigation and teel [sic] the real story of his life and death.” The new articles have generated thousands of views and shares on the matter. 

Make Russia Friend Again, Return Flynn, Defeat ISIS!

The greatest alliance in history was forged in World War II, when the Soviet Union allied with the U.S., Britain and others in the fight against Germany. When the War ended, the Soviet Union could have invaded the rest of Europe and taken it for itself, due to its superior fighting power, but instead chose the path of Peace. However, hawkish politicians like Winton Churchill continued antagonizing their heroic allies, declaring that “an Iron Curtain has descended across the continent” in March 1946. These hawks in many of their incarnations continue to fly around the U.S. government, but have encountered resistance from President Donald Trump, who declared during the Presidential Debates that “I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together as an example.”

To resist this shift in U.S. policy, the intelligence community, deeply entrenched in anti-Russian sentiment, has done everything they could to undermine President Trump. The first visible act of this undermining took place in the dying days of the Obama Administration, when Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged assistance of Wikileaks, an act that could have only strengthened American democracy. What right did the Obama Administration have in imposing a policy that is in contravention of the statements and attitudes of then President-elect Trump? It was therefore in keeping with the will of the American people that Michael Flynn reassured the Russians that the Trump policy will be different. He did so to protect the national interest, which was threatened by this aggressive act against Russia.
Apparently, it was disgraced acting attorney general Sally Yates that accused Michael Flynn of violating an obscure law, the Logan Act, which had bars U.S. citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with another country. Yet Michael Flynn likely would not have faced charges under the Logan Act. Subsequently, Yates was removed from office but she got the ball rolling, in one of many acts of bureaucratic sabotage that followed.

Assisting these bureaucrats are hawks in the political realm, including John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who President Trump suggested “should focus their energies on ISIS… instead of always looking to start World War III.” Mr. Trump was responding to a joint statement that these two had signed, criticizing the President. These hawks have even gone so far as to want the Armed Services Committee to investigate Trump. These two have done so even though, as Trump points out, they are not popular with the GOP base, with Trump remarking about Graham: “He’s going to crack that 1 percent barrier one day.”

Facing this unbelievable pressure, it must have been hard to stay the course toward Trump’s vision. However, Trump can return to this policy approach by returning Michael Flynn to his position, beginning negotiations with Russia to ‘knock out’ ISIS, in return for concessions that could include lifting sanctions. In addition, new Trump supporters ought to be recruited into the bureaucratic agencies of the government, to replace those hawks. As well, Trump should continue to appeal to the people for support and thereby apply pressure to the GOP establishment to either change their positions, or face Trump supporters.

An ‘Open, Democratic Process’ Needs Wikileaks Help

John Lewis recently said that “I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians, and others, that helped him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not the open, democratic process.” Putting aside questions of whether or not Russia hacked at all, and the claim of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange that his “source is not a state party,” there is nothing wrong with a foreign entity helping to disclose truth about public officials. 

Investigative reporting is one of the most important contributions that the press makes to democracy, according to Silvio Waisbord, author of Watchdog Journalism in South America: News, Accountability, and Democracy. “It provides a valuable mechanism for monitoring the performance of democratic institutions as they are most broadly defined to include governmental bodies, civic organizations and publicly held corporations,” says Waisbord. But when media organizations fail to properly investigate these institutions, can the public get help from a foreign entity? 

In this instance, Wikileaks disclosed specific examples of corruption of the DNC by hacking the emails of the DNC. That corruption is firstly expressed in Hillary Clinton having a different position personally than the one she says publicly, or in her words, “you need both a public and a private position.” Such private positions that she didn’t disclose publicly, is her private support for fracking, and her private opposition to gay marriage despite her public reversal.

Other examples include those of institutional corruption, such as how the DNC, which should be neutral in a democracy, helped Hillary Clinton win the primary when DNC surrogate Donna Brazile on two occasions, leaked debate questions to Hillary Clinton, as well as leaking a private email on African-American Outreach from a Sanders press representative to the Clinton campaign. 

However, the deepest corruption exposed as a result of the paid speeches that the Clinton would make before, during and after Hillary Clinton was in office. One such example is how a corporate donor got access to Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State when he requested it. Another example of is Bill Clinton used Clinton Foundation staff to reach out to donors to the Clinton Foundation, in order for them to funnel their dollars to him through private speaking fees. This is the most clear example of corruption, of privately benefitting from public office. Of putting money in your pocket as a result of the position that you hold in the government. 

Yet all of this information was found by Wikileaks, and not through the dogged investigations of the mainstream media. If it wasn’t for Wikileaks, we would think Hillary Clinton’s public position were here private position; that the DNC was perfectly neutral and that Hillary Clinton won her nomination fair and square; and that the sole purpose of the Clinton Foundation was AIDS research. If anything, Wikileaks saved the election from the lies and deception of the Clinton campaign. So what if a foreign entity intervened? 

There is a stark difference between foreign propaganda, and foreign intervention that leads to more truth being exposed. The difference is that the first one is founded on a lie, and the second one is founded on the truth. There can never be enough truth in a democracy, unless getting to that truth involves the violation of rights. Yet acts of civil disobedience in terms of hacking are necessary at times when so much truth has become obfuscated. We cannot say how much hacking is too much hacking, only when the rights of individuals have become so impugned that it outweighs the value of the hacking. Yet in this instance, so much truth was revealed, so as to outweigh the rights to privacy and other rights of the DNC members. If the foreign intervention did not rely on hacking, but on disseminating fake news like CNN does, then it would be foreign propaganda.

Foreign propaganda depends on a “subconscious manipulation of psychological symbols to accomplish secret objectives,” according to Kenneth Osgoode. It has been described as “the use of communication skills of all kinds to achieve attitudinal or behavioural changes among one group by another,” by historian Oliver Thomson. In other words, how to emotionally effect you so that you will hold a position that is not necessarily grounded in fact. An example of foreign propaganda would be if a foreign entity would say, “The Democrats are Weak, America is Corrupt, Your Democracy is losing,” etc. These would be baseless claims, or be grounded in inadequate sources that would inaccurate. 

In this example, the truth is exposed by hackers, and no additional emotional matter is added to the information, nor is the information taken out of context. This is because as the Wikileaks shows, Hillary Clinton is indeed corrupt. The reply of Americans if the Russian hacking allegations are true to help find the truth internationally as well, such as, for instance, researching the alleged examples of money laundering that Vladimir Putin was engaged in, as exposed by the Panama Papers, and any human rights violations, foreign and domestic. Democracy is not infallible, and needs to be preserved by those willing to find the truth, no matter who they are.   

Oh, How the Mighty Megyn Has Fallen

Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump

Joan Swirsky

Most people, including me, know that Megyn Kelly is not only gorgeous, but also smart, sassy, incisive in her interviews, and also genuinely funny. But the interview she conducted Wednesday night, August 26,  with Jorge Ramos was disgraceful––the kind of toadying and biased interrogation that should be Exhibit #1 in journalism schools across the country about how not to be a legitimate journalist.

Ramos is a reporter for Univision, the company being sued by presidential candidate Donald Trump after they terminated their contractual relationship (including television broadcast obligations) with the Trump-backed Miss Universe Organization. The official charges include breach of contract and defamation, with the plaintiffs seeking more than $500-million in damages. Univision took its punitive action after Mr. Trump said that Mexican immigrants, including criminals and rapists, were teeming over our southern border––in other words, for exercising his constitutional right to free speech.

The Kelly interview was about Mr. Trump’s ousting Ramos from a press conference the previous evening, after the candidate pointed to an audience member who had a question to ask. Instead, Ramos stood up and preempted that question, not with a question of his own, but with a virtual filibuster of grievances. And what did Ramos have the chutzpah to whine to Megyn Kelly about? That his free speech was being curtailed! Now that is rich!

Kelly had no doubt watched the film of exactly what had taken place. But not a peep out of her to give her audience the context of what had actually transpired. She also knew that Trump initially responded to Ramos’s outburst by saying repeatedly, “you weren’t called on, sit down.” Peepless.

Kelly also knew that Trump’s personal aide came out to the lobby to invite Ramos back into the auditorium. Not a peep. And she knew that the two men then engaged in a lengthy back and forth, apparently to the satisfaction of both of them. Still no peep.

Did Kelly’s viewing audience learn of any of these mitigating circumstances? Again, not a single peep from Kelly, who allowed––indeed encouraged––Ramos to go on and on in the victim role he so clearly basks in.

Did Kelly ask Ramos if it were true that his daughter works for Hillary Clinton? Would that not have been highly relevant? Not a peep!

Megyn’s interview was as dishonest as it gets in the world of what should be legitimate journalism (although in today’s America, “legitimate journalism” may be the ultimate oxymoron!). While Ramos portrayed himself as the victim of big bad Donald Trump, and himself as the virtuous believer in Free Speech and the right to be heard, Megyn put on her most sincere listening face, but failed to challenge any of Ramos’s lies.

KELLY FITS NEATLY INTO THE PACK

The pack, that is, of other TV personalities who forgot but were then reminded that they were simply employees. Both Paula Zahn and Alisyn Camerota were Fox News Network news readers, commentators, hosts, co-hosts, anchors, whatever––both delivering their commentary with a distinctly conservative flavor.

When they moved to CNN, however (Zahn in 2001; Camerota in 2014), their commentary magically became unmistakably liberal.

But it wasn’t magic at all. Both women worked for the big business of American media, with bosses who issue directives and, in essence, tell them what to say––not the exact phrasing, but certainly the slant. That’s how business works…the boss calls the shots and the employees either comply or get booted.

And if you think that the bosses have the final say, think again. The major outlets––both print and electronic––take a lot of their marching orders from the White House. That’s right, and while the government-controlled press/TV/radio didn’t begin with Mr. Obama, his regime has certainly taken it to unprecedented heights. As just one example, have we heard about one single civilian casualty in the thousand of drone strikes Mr. Obama has ordered over the past almost-seven years in the Middle East? Even one? I rest my case.

DINOSAURS

But I digress. For decades, the media have prided themselves on having the greatest influence on who gets elected and who doesn’t, particularly in the big contests for president (of which there is only one) and senators (of which there are only 100). They also like to pick their favorite spokespeople, even if those selections are completely unrepresentative of public sentiment.

Karl Rove of Fox is a perfect example. A big kahuna in the President George W. Bush years and a virtual encyclopedia of electoral minutiae, Rove likes his politicians rather tame and manipulable, and that is why he appears to call the shots for Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee, who faithfully echoes Rove’s white bread sentiments.

Clearly, Rove and his Democrat counterparts–recycled dinosaurs, all––are kept on because of the pricey contracts they’ve signed. It is certainly not that they shed any light! And then along comes Donald Trump and all they can do is hurl snooty insults and wage bets against the obvious frontrunner.

Yes, that Donald Trump, the guy who tells it like it is, never fails to remind you that he knows how to negotiate and strike deals and make America great again, the guy who has learned through thousands of negotiations how to “read” people (and the language they use) with unerring accuracy.

Even before he “read” Megyn Kelly, he came out of the candidate’s box with an insult to Sen. John McCain and a virtual manifesto against illegal immigration. And how did the media––both conservative and liberal––react? With reflexive horror, well-practiced political correctness, tsk-tsk raised eyebrows, and uniform condemnation.

WE THE PEOPLE

And how did the public react––that would be me and you and all the other ignorant rubes who the media elites believe can’t hold a candle to own their immense wisdom and knowledge?

We-the-People not only gave Mr. Trump huge poll ratings, but also heaved a huge sigh of gratitude. At last, they seemed to say, a guy who speaks to our concerns and doesn’t give a damn about the political correctness that violates our First Amendment rights every minute of every day, a guy who not only wants to protect our southern border, but also do away with every aspect of the horrors we’ve experienced over the past several years, including:

  • The diminishment of our military (and the shabby treatment of our veterans)
  • The horrific socialized medicine nightmare of Obamacare
  • The ghastly dumb-down-our-kids education fiasco known as Common Core
  • The crushing national debt
  • The Mt. Everest heights of unemployment
  • The infiltration of the America-loathing and anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood into the highest reaches of our government (including State, Homeland Security, the Pentagon, Health and Human Services, and the White House itself!)
  • On and on…

We know that not a single Democrat candidate for president is speaking out on these America-destroying issues? All you hear from them is victim, victim, victim, more money, more money, more money. Nothing with the Democrats has changed in over 70 years––and nothing has succeeded!

But the Trump promise to do away with or change or fix our problems is ringing true to the American public. Why? Because he’s proved it again and again in his own business life, surmounting losses and turning them into profits, and in his personal life, weathering disappointments in his marriages––and yet his two former wives are his biggest fans, and his children are model citizens!

Yes, there is an embarrassment of riches on the Republican side, and at least four or five candidates are impressively articulate in stating their plans for a better America. But none of them has the business experience and toughness and aggressiveness (which we need right now) of Mr. Trump.

The same Mr. Trump who perceived, quite accurately, I think, that Megyn Kelly was more than provocative in the first debate, indeed in a “gotcha” mode to entrap, embarrass, and diminish him. To the entire country’s surprise, Trump fought back, accusing Kelly of being, in essence, unprofessional and of gratuitously baiting him.

The next day…poll numbers boomed for Mr. Trump!

However, Mr. Trump went a step further. He went directly to Megyn’s boss, Roger Ailes, president of Fox News and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group, and according to the candidate’s own report, it was a productive meeting in which Ailes promised that Fox would “be fair” to him Mr. Trump. All good. And then––coincidence?––Megyn announced she was leaving for a two-week vacation.

But when she came back, Mr. Trump tweeted that Megyn was not on her game, and apparently both Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox (and The New York Post, among numerous other holdings), and Roger Ailes, decided that they would summon all their power and influence to take Trump down. Clearly, they’ve dispatched General Megyn Kelly to the front lines.

On Wednesday, the news was preoccupied by the tragic death of two young media people from Virginia who were murdered while on air. But throughout the day there was a steady drumbeat of anti-Trump commentary and innuendo on Fox.

If things continue on the same trajectory for Mr. Trump, I suspect he may end up thanking Fox for kicking his polls numbers into the stratosphere!

Joan Swirsky is a New York based journalist and author. She can be reached at [email protected].

Is Trump the Real Deal?

Trump Real Deal
Trump : The Real Deal?

Nelson Hultberg

The talking heads of the establishment are heaping scorn on Donald Trump like squawking crows defecate on those underneath the phone lines where they sit. The long knives are coming out of the sheaths of the New York-Washington literati. Everyone is attacking Donald Trump. But why is such animosity spewing from our media, our corporations, and our academic leaders toward this bodacious entrepreneur turned politician?

Why? Because Trump represents something untamed and untamable. He represents an outsider who refuses to play the game of “politics as usual” that the good ol’ boys have been playing throughout the past 80 years. What the establishment fears about Trump is that he doesn’t need to play the role of sycophant to their corporate-banking-bureaucratic combine that rules America.

Oh, the Donald makes use of the power elite combine when he sees that it is in his best interests to do so. But he does not need the corporate-banking-bureaucratic combine like the media sycophants and academic courtiers do. He is big enough to transcend the power elites that dominate the country. Thus he cannot be bullied. And this is why the major networks hate him so; it is why Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier were oozing hostility during the debates. Because they choose to live their lives as appeasers of power, sycophants despise those who do not bow and scrape as they do in front of power.

Can Trump Govern?

Donald Trump is independent and defiant; that is indisputable. But is he presidential material? Can he govern the nation in this time of immense trouble? We might just be about to find out; the man defies all naysayers.

His recently released immigration plan is sending shock waves through the power corridors of the establishment. Alabama Senator, Jeff Sessions, who is our most brilliant immigration hawk in Washington has stated, “This is exactly the plan America needs.” And it is, indeed, a revolutionary set of policy proposals. Finally a presidential candidate who is willing to tell the voters the truth on immigration. Here are its basics:

  1. Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. Until they do, the U.S. will impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages, increase fees on millions of Mexican visas, and if necessary enact tariffs on all Mexican imports.
  1. Enact nationwide E-Verify, which will bar all illegals from employment in the U.S.
  1. End birthright citizenship. No more automatic awarding of citizenship to babies of illegals because they were born inside our borders.
  1. End welfare abuse by immigrants. Applicants for entry to the U.S. must certify that they can pay for their own housing, healthcare and other needs.
  1. Enhance the penalties for overstaying a visa. Individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visa expires must be subject to criminal penalties.
  1. Detain all illegal aliens apprehended crossing the border until they are sent home. No more catch-and-release.
  1. Defund sanctuary cities by cutting off their federal grants.
  1. Mandatory return of all criminal aliens to their home countries.

There are other secondary features regarding the hiring of more ICE officers, cooperation with local gang task forces, treatment of H-1B visas, etc., but the above are the important features that need to be sold to the American people.

Flaws In the Plan

Unfortunately there still lingers Trump’s intention to select those who are “good illegals” and allow them to remain in America. My god, what a fiasco that would turn out to be. The bureaucrats in charge of such a “retention board” would surely allow 90% of the illegals to stay. This is the reality of Washington and its corporatist ideologues. Wake up, Donald! There is only one stand to take on illegals: they all must go home and apply for entrance through the front door. Only by setting the bar at the most severe level can we hope to keep the leaks and exceptions at a minimal level.

In addition, Trump’s welfare plank in the immigration plan mentions only the denial of welfare services to legal immigrants. But welfare services also need to be denied to illegal immigrants. Far more important.

The policy of allowing illegals to educate their children at taxpayer expense is not mentioned in the plan. Eventually a Trump administration will have to face this issue. But basically, the plan is an excellent start toward solving the alien invasion of America.

Skewering the Buffoons

The importance of Donald Trump can be found in the fact that through the sheer force of his personality, he has opened up gaping holes in the GOP establishment’s credibility. He is skewering the buffoons of the GOP like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and the gaggles of big spenders that prance around Washington. He has declared the neocon hierarchy of the GOP to be what it is – a coterie of greedy, stupid statists who have no interest in the good of the country, only in more legislative controls and entrenchment of their power in Washington.

Unfortunately the war going on between Trump’s camp and the establishment honchos smacks of the Mussolini-Lenin conflicts when the Fascists and the Communists were rising to power in early 20th century Europe. It is a conflict between rival gangs of collectivists to see whose vision of massive government control will prevail. It is not a fight between advocates of freedom and advocates of statism. At least so far it has not shown itself to be such. But there is still time. Trump, however, will have to follow up his very promising immigration plan with several policy positions on the side of freedom and constitutionalism as adverse to GOP business as usual.

For example, will Trump support elimination of progressive tax rates? Will he strengthen his stand against amnesty by abandoning his acceptance of “good illegals?” Will he endorse federalism? Will he propose the end of nation building in foreign policy? Or will he do what the GOP corporatists do, endorse privileges for the banks, unions, minorities, and welfare recipients while imposing democracy throughout the world with our military?

Red Flags In Foreign Policy

As reported in the Los Angeles Times of August 16, 2015, Trump says he wants to defeat Islamic State militants “by taking over a lot of the oil and certain areas of Iraq.” When asked about sending U.S. ground troops to do that, Trump said, “That’s OK.”

This is frightening. Trump would drag us back into the quagmire of a guerrilla war in the guerrillas’ home territory. These types of wars can only be won by becoming a permanent occupying force – perpetual war for perpetual peace as Orwell put it. Militant Islam does not threaten us militarily. The danger it represents to us must be fought, not by invasion of Islamic lands, but at our border by simply denying Muslims entrance to our country as immigrants.

Donald Trump is, indeed, a maverick. He has no trouble calling out the pygmies and exposing the charlatanry of the Democrats and Republicans. He has cajones as they say. But does he have the overall mindset to truly stand for freedom and the Constitution? Such a stand requires a certain level of perception in political-economy that identifies why statism is not just pragmatically lethal, but also morally wrong. Does Donald Trump have that level of perception? We are going to find out. The man is certainly defiant in face of the quislings, which is so needed these days. But is he a true patriot, or is he just another corporatist like George W. Bush?

Pro-Amnesty Pressures Trump to Re-Tool

Donald Trump Trump Moves on Amnesty[/caption]   By Roy Beck | Numbers USA   Donald Trump, Scott Walker and Rick Santorum revealed important things about themselves in high-pressure moments this past week, surrounded by the cameras and tape recorders of national media. Trump on national TV and on the Arizona border stumbled and let himself get boxed into saying he would offer amnesty to the illegal aliens who aren’t the “bad ones.” He seemed to be defensive and trying to prove that he isn’t hostile to immigrants by also indicating he would like to see legal immigration increased. But Walker — ambushed by an illegal-alien family brought to Iowa to confront him in front of the national press corps — refused to be intimidated, stood strong and unapologetic about the importance of the rule of law, and declined to concede an amnesty.. Rick Santorum in a long interview on PBS also resisted being trapped into talking about immigration issues in the paradigm the mainstream media prefers. Instead, he deftly turned the high-profile TV appearance into an appeal to set immigration policy to benefit workers and poor people.  

COMMENTS HAVE (grade) CONSEQUENCES

  Our NumbersUSA Grading Team reviewed all grades and comments of the 21 Presidential Hopefuls at the end of the week and demoted Trump in two categories and lowered his overall grade. It was a strange turn of events for Trump who dominated the news all week in his tenacious attempts to stand up for the crime victims of illegal immigration, igniting a national debate about “sanctuary cities” that led to the U.S. House passing a bill to defund such local governments. However, he still has not weighed in on what he would do about interior enforcement policies other than sanctuary cities. Thus, there was not a reason to raise his rating in Interior Enforcement. Here is a peek at 3 of the 10 category ratings plus the overall Worker-Protection Immigration Grade earned by the three candidates who had entered the week with the three top grades:  

TRUMP

  HARMFUL — Amnesty Rating UNHELPFUL — Reducing Legal Immigration GOOD — Interior Enforcement Rating C — Overall Immigration Grade    

WALKER

VERY GOOD — Amnesty Rating VERY GOOD — Reducing Legal Immigration Rating NO ACTION — Interior Enforcement Rating B- — Overall Immigration Grade    

SANTORUM

EXCELLENT– Amnesty Rating VERY GOOD — Reducing Legal Immigration Rating GOOD — Interior Enforcement Rating A– Overall Immigration Grade At the bottom of this email, I list changed ratings on all the other candidates. Please remember that no rating or grade is in concrete. It often is up to citizens — especially voters who support candidates for other reasons — to try to educate them and press them to improve their immigration positions. I’m now going to show you some of the most important new comments from candidates this week. But you can peruse all of them on the 21 separate candidate pages that you can access by clicking on a candidate’s photo on the overall Report Card Grid at www.NumbersUSA.com/2016 The comments upon which we base our ratings all include links to the original news source or candidate websites.  

WHAT TRUMP SAID

  On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Trump said he was “a very big believer in the merit system” to “work something out” for “some of these people have been here, they’ve done a good job. You know, in some cases, sadly, they’ve been living under the shadows.” Nearly all journalists tend to think the most important immigration question is what should be done with the millions of illegal immigrants already in this country. I hope candidates will learn to say, “That’s the wrong question. The right question is what can we do to minimize the harm that having a large illegal population does to the wages of American workers.” But Trump answered: “Well, the first thing we do is take the bad ones, of which there are, unfortunately, quite a few. We take the bad ones, and get them the hell out. . . . We have to get the bad ones out. Then the other ones — and I’m a very big believer in merit system. I have to tell you. Because some of these people have been here, they’ve done a good job. You know, in some cases, sadly, they’ve been living under the shadows, etc. etc. We have to do something. So, whether it’s merit or whether it’s whatever, but I’m a believer in the merit system. If somebody’s been outstanding, we try and work something out. But before we do anything, Joe, we have to secure the border….” Those comments are in line with an earlier report from TMZ.com: Donald Trump says if he’s elected president, he’d let undocumented workers who are productive stay in the United States, but if they just sponge off the system and don’t contribute … he’d have them deported. Trump tells TMZ he’d create a “system of merit,” saying people here illegally should have “a road to legal status” if they work hard and contribute to the country. Trump also says no one really knows how many people are in the U.S. illegally — he cites different stats that show the figure is somewhere between 11 and 30 million. Trumps says it’s unrealistic and inhumane to attempt to deport all of them. Thus, the merit system. He says many undocumented workers are “hardworking people” who deserve a chance to live the American dream. A Sun Times report from his Arizona visit stated: During a rally in Arizona on Saturday that drew an estimated 4,000 supporters, Trump said nobody should interpret his comments as being anti-immigration. “I love legal immigration. I love it,” Trump said. “We should make it easier, and faster.”  

WHAT WALKER DID

  A pro-amnesty group brought Jose Flores, an illegal alien, and two of his children (a 7-year old and 13-year old, both born in the U.S.) to a Walker campaign stop in Walker’s hometown in Iowa. This is a tactic commonly used in hometown districts of Members of Congress and in the halls of Congress here in the Capitol. The effort often works either in embarrassing the politician or getting the politician to back down from previous anti-amnesty positions. Knowing the national press corps would be following his every move and statement, the pro-amnesty forces surely thought they could force one of those errors while hammering the governor for being one of 26 who are part of the lawsuit that has stopped Pres. Obama’s 2014 executive amnesty for months now. The plan backfired on the open-borders activists, though, as many of the media reported that Walker showed attributes of leadership in the way he handled a highly planned ambush by his opposition. In “Scott Walker tells undocumented worker that immigrants must follow the law” Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post writes: It was an opportunity for Walker to demonstrate how he calmly fights back against challenges from activists. He was forceful as he told the Flores family that immigrants must follow the rules, but he added, “I completely sympathize with the situation you’re all in and others are in.” One of the activists, Sam Freeman of Wisconsin’s Voces de la Frontera, cut the governor off and shouted, “So that’s why you want to separate their family?” Walker curtly said that he wanted to talk only with the family and that their plight is the reason the United States must go forward with “putting in place a logical system.” To address illegal immigration , Walker said, the nation needs to secure the border and enforce its laws before it can focus on other issues. An immigration system cannot come at the cost of American workers and their wages, he added. “When are you guys going to fix the immigration system?” Flores said. “When are you guys going to take the time to fix immigration reform? So we’ve got to be deported?” Walker stayed on message, listing his immigration talking points and criticizing Obama for not fixing the system. He also said that he supported the lawsuit Wisconsin filed to stop Obama’s executive action. “No man or woman is above the law in this country,” Walker said. “That’s the beauty of America.” Then Luis Flores jumped in: “Do you want me, like, to come home — come from school and my dad get deported?” “No, that’s not what I’m talking about,” Walker said. “You mentioned Waukesha. I’ve got two nieces who go to school there as well. — I appreciate kids like you and kids like them, so that’s not what my point is. My point is that in America, nobody is above the law.” The Wall Street Journal filled in other parts of the encounter that made Walker’s steadfastness even more impressive. In “Scott Walker, Confronted by Immigrant in Iowa, Blames Obama for Family’s Uncertainty,” Reid Epstein wrote: Leslie was with her father, Jose, an undocumented immigrant who works as a painter, and 7-year-old brother Luis — told the dozen or so reporters traveling with the Walker campaign their plight. Jose Flores, 38 years old, came to the U.S. illegally from Mexico 19 years ago. Leslie had tears welling in her left eye and streaming down her cheek. . . . Young Luis asked Mr. Walker: “Do you want me to come home from school and my dad got deported?” Mr. Walker said that’s not his plan. “That’s not what I’m talking about,” he said. “My point is that, in America, no one person is above the law. The president can’t make the law just because he says it.” I didn’t notice any of the mainstream media pointing out the irony that the illegal foreign painter who said he lived in constant fear of being deported had nonetheless traveled to another state to confront a Presidential candidate in front of national media. Obviously, this illegal alien — like most — has no real fear at all that immigration laws might actually be enforced.  

WHAT SANTORUM SAID

  On the PBS News Hour, Judy Woodruff tried to focus Santorum on the controversy over whether Trump had crossed the line in tying Mexican illegal aliens to rape and drug running. Santorum quickly said he had stated his disagreement with how Trump had made the connection but that the question of crime and immigration is one that should be discussed. He immediately then indicated that the most important part of the immigration discussion should be about its effect on American workers: “I’m the only person in this race who’s actually put out a comprehensive plan on immigration control that deals with both illegal and legal immigration. “And there’s — there are a lot of — again, to me, it goes with, how are we going to create a better opportunity for lower-skilled workers in America. Many of those poor children you’re talking about, who are not going to be able to go to college? How are we going to create the opportunity for them to rise in society? “And so we have put together not just an economic plan that deals with a whole host of things, including, by the way, increasing the minimum wage, which I’m one of the few Republicans that is in favor of, but also an immigration plan that says let’s quit bringing over a million legal immigrants a year, as well as hundreds of thousands, if not millions illegal immigrants, almost all of whom are unskilled, into this country to compete against the workers right now who see their wages flat-lining and the opportunity for them to rise decreasing in America. “And so you can look at the immigration issue, and we have, according to the number, 35 million legal and illegal immigrants have come into this country in the last 20 years. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. “We need to look at it from the standpoint of what’s best for the economy and what’s best for the American worker.” Unfortunately, Woodruff then said there was no time to discuss that aspect. But Santorum seems committed to raising the jobs issue in every public forum now. Here’s another fine recent quote by Santorum through the media: “Since 2000, there have been about 6.5 million net new jobs created in this country. What percentage of those net new jobs are held by people who are in this country but not born in this country? The answer is all of them. There are fewer native-born Americans working today than there was in the year 2000.” If Santorum could be in any of these upcoming debates, his raising the issue in this way can force other candidates to deal with the issue, too. Fortunately, Walker is also raising the issue, although in much less detail, and seems assured of being included. He needs to be encouraged to talk about it in the debates.  

THIS WEEK’S CHANGES IN RATINGS AND GRADES

  Besides the three mentioned above, the following candidates said things that caused us to change their Ratings on one or more of the 10 immigration categories we track. MARTIN O’MALLEY ABYSMAL — Amnesty Rating (changed from Very Harmful) VERY HARMFUL — Unnecessary Work Visas Rating (changed from Unhelpful) ABYSMAL — Chain Migration Rating (changed from No Action) ABYSMAL — Visa Lottery (changed from No Action) F- — Overall Immigration Grade (changed from D-minus) CHRIS CHRISTIE GOOD — Interior Enforcement Rating (changed from Mixed) C- — Overall Immigration Grade (unchanged) JOHN KASICH ABYSMAL — Birthright Citizenship Rating (changed from 1st Steps) D — Overall Immigration Grade (changed from D+) MIKE HUCKABEE MIXED — Amnesty Rating (changed from Unhelpful) C- — Overall Immigration Grade (unchanged)

OTHER RECENT COMMENTS OF INTEREST

  Here are a few more comments of interest that we’ve added to the Report Cards this week: Ben Carson was reported saying that he would remove illegal aliens “from the shadows” and would require them to pay back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. Participants would have to “wait in line” to receive citizenship, Carson said. C- — Carson’s Overall Immigration Grade (unchanged) In an ad, Huckabee said: “We’ve got to repeal Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders, oppose amnesty, and secure the border. You don’t punish people for living by the rules. If you’re rewarding people who play outside the rules, and punish people who live within the rules, pretty soon nobody is going to play by the rules. By securing the border and protecting American workers and their livelihoods, we’ll finally help every American earn his or her maximum wage. Kasich had this to say about what to do with the millions of illegal aliens in this country: “What about the people living next to us that we go to church with? Does it seem right to make them leave? We don’t want to get rid of them, but I think they should pay a penalty for jumping the line. “… if they’re here (and a child is born on American soil, “I think the baby should be a citizen.” Christie said: “Sanctuary cities have to stop protecting felons in the midst of law-abiding people. That has to end and if I’m elected president it will end in a Christie administration. “We’ve got to penalize employers who hire people who are here illegally. Because the fact is that that shouldn’t happen and it’s exploiting American workers. But in addition to that, it’s exploiting many of those people who are here illegally because they’re being paid less money. So we need to make bigger fines to make sure that those employers who violate the law are being held accountable.” Grilling an Administration official in a Senate hearing on sanctuary policies, Ted Cruz said: “There are too many politicians in Washington that talk a good game but don’t act. If you want to honor Josh (Wilkerson), if you want to honor Kate Steinle, start enforcing the law and stop releasing murderers, and rapists, and drunk drivers. … I don’t want to hear from the Obama administration they’re sorry while they continue to do the exact same thing because what we know — more people will be murdered, more people will be raped, more people will be killed by drunk drivers because this Administration refuses to enforce the law. That is wrong. No man is above the law, and that includes President Obama.” C — Cruz’s Overall Immigration Grade (unchanged) It gets confusing trying to follow all the twists and turns of all these candidates on immigration issues. That’s why we do the big grid of our immigration report cards, so you can quickly get a sense at a glance where each candidate stands in relation to the others on 10 different categories of immigration policy. It is most important to dig deeper than a few superficial sound bites in the media. Keep track of just what and how much substance lies behind each sound bite. NumbersUSA’s blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted. The views expressed in blogs do not necessarily reflect the official position of NumbersUSA. Numbers USA]]>