Apr 19 2010

On almost every news site, we can see regular requests for money.

I have been operating this site for years without asking for anything but there are now growing, but not huge, costs involved in producing this and so it is that we have a “donate” button to help defray expenses.

No, we won’t have to sell our children to the medical experimenters if we don’t raise $200,000 by next Thursday but as the fat man said, every little bit helps.

No responses yet

TBR News January 19, 2019

Jan 19 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 19, 2019:”Metallic sodium, easily available, put into a number 9 geletain capsule along with 00 buckshot is something not to put down a toilet in a tall office building or expensive hotel.

The water will eat through the capsule in time and when it contacts the sodium, it will burst into flame.

Most toilet systems have pockets of methane gas, caused by decaying fecal matter, and methane ignites at once if a flame is present.

And Mucinex, poured into the same toilet system will form thick pockets of goop that blocks the passage of water.

To get at it, or the damage from the sodium, means tearing large holes in walls and ceilings.

Insurance companies will pay out for the first episode but not any that might follow. They only bet on sure things.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 18
  • Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth
  • Trump’s Sex Tape Scandal
  • Russian hooker who had sex with Donald Trump mocks his “tiny penis”
  • Two years in, Donald Trump remains the ‘unprecedented president’
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Sacred Treasures in the Wrong Hands

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 18, 2019

Jan 18 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 18, 2019:”It is only a matter of time before his deeds and misdeeds will crash down upon Donald Trump’s dyed hair and he will follow Richard Nixon into disgrace and private life. Throughout his life, Trump has lied, cheated and gotten others to lie for him over such a long period and with considerable success. But in the end, what is now at the top of the wheel will fall to the bottom. Many books have been written about the assassination of Kennedy and the future holds many more books about the decline and fall of a paper tiger.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 17
  • President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project
  • Trump’s Articles of Impeachment Are Writing Themselves, With Echoes of Richard Nixon Growing Stronger
  • House committees to probe report Trump told lawyer to lie to Congress
  • Trump revealed: The Golden Shower
  • The Vice President’s Men
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 17, 2019

Jan 17 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 17, 2019:” Operation Cyclone was the code name given to the CIA program designed to arm, train, and finance the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, from 1979 to 1989. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention. The CIA was actively supporting and financing the Islamic brigades, later known as Al Qaeda. In the Pashtun language, the word “Taliban” means “Students”, or graduates of the madrasahs (places of learning or coranic schools) set up by the Wahhabi missions from Saudi Arabia, with the support of the CIA.

Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; funding began with $20–30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987. CIA financial aid to the insurgents within Afghanistan was approved in July 1979, six months before the Soviet invasion, though after the Soviets were already covertly engaged there. Arms were sent to CIA-loyal Afghani rebels only after the formal Soviet invasion.

The Soviet War in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the indigenous Afghan Mujahideen and foreign “Arab–Afghan” volunteers. The mujahideen found military and financial support from a variety of sources including the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Egypt, China and other nations. The Afghan war became a proxy war in the broader context of the late Cold War. . On April 14, 1979, the Afghan government requested that the USSR send 15 to 20 helicopters with their crews to Afghanistan, and on June 16, the Soviet government responded and sent a detachment of tanks, BMPs, and crews to guard the government in Kabul and to secure the Bagram and Shindand airfields. In response to this request, an airborne battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A. Lomakin, arrived at the Bagram Air Base on July 7. They arrived without their combat gear, disguised as technical specialists. They were the personal bodyguards for President Taraki. The paratroopers were directly subordinate to the senior Soviet military advisor and did not interfere in Afghan politics. On July 3, 1979, Carter signed a presidential finding authorizing funding for anticommunist guerrillas in Afghanistanas a part of the Central Intelligence Agency program called Operation Cyclone, led by their elite Special Activities Division, which would later include the massive arming of Afghanistan’s mujahideen.

The initial Soviet deployment of the 40th Army in Afghanistan began on December 24, 1979 under Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev. The final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989 under the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Due to the interminable nature of the war, the conflict in Afghanistan has sometimes been referred to as the “Soviet Union’s Vietnam War”.

President Jimmy Carter insisted that what he termed “Soviet aggression” could not be viewed as an isolated event of limited geographical importance but had to be contested as a potential threat to US influence in the Persian Gulf region. The US was also worried about the USSR gaining access to the Indian Ocean by coming to an arrangement with Pakistan.

On July 3, 1979 ,Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. The aim of US was to drag the Soviet Union into what then US Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski liked to call the “Afghan trap.”

The Afghans were supported by a number of other countries, with the US and Saudi Arabia offering the greatest financial support.

The United States began training insurgents in, and directing propaganda broadcasts into Afghanistan from Pakistan in 1978.Then, in early 1979, U.S. foreign service officers began meeting insurgent leaders to determine their needs After the Soviet deployment, Pakistan’s military ruler General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq started accepting financial aid from the Western powers to aid the mujahideen In 1981, following the election of US President Ronald Reagan, aid for the mujahideen through Zia’s Pakistan significantly increased, mostly due to the efforts of Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson and CIA officer Gust Avrakotos.

US “Paramilitary Officers” from the CIA’s Special Activities Division were instrumental in training, equipping and sometimes leading Mujihadeen forces against the Soviet Army. Although the CIA in general and Charlie Wilson, a Texas Congressman, have received most of the attention, the key architect of this strategy was Michael G. Vickers, a young Paramilitary Officer. Michael Pillsbury, a senior Pentagon official overcame bureaucratic resisistance in 1985-1986 and persuaded President Reagan to provide hundreds of Stinger missiles.

Between December 25, 1979 and February 15, 1989, a total of 620,000[soldiers served with the forces in Afghanistan (though there were only 80,000-104,000 serving at one time): 525,000 in the Army, 90,000 with border troops and other KGB sub-units, 5,000 in independent formations of MVD Internal Troops, and police forces. A further 21,000 personnel were with the Soviet troop contingent over the same period doing various white collar and blue collar jobs.

The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Soviet Army formations, units, and HQ elements lost 13,833, KGB sub-units lost 572, MVD formations lost 28, and other ministries and departments lost 20 men. During this period 417 servicemen were missing in action or taken prisoner; 119 of these were later freed, of whom 97 returned to the USSR and 22 went to other countries, the rest were murdered by their captors.

Bin Laden recruited 4,000 volunteers from his own country and developed close relations with the most radical mujahideen leaders. He also worked closely with the CIA, Since September 11, [2001] CIA officials have been claiming they had no direct link to bin Laden.” -Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. The US covert education destroyed secular education. The number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000. From the outset of the Soviet Afghan war in 1979, Pakistan under military rule actively supported the Islamic brigades. In close liaison with the CIA, Pakistan’s military intelligence, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), became a powerful organization, a parallel government, wielding tremendous power and influence.

The ISI had a staff composed of military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers, estimated at 150,000. Meanwhile, CIA operations had also reinforced the Pakistani military regime led by General Zia Ul Haq:

“Relations between the CIA and the ISI had grown increasingly warm following [General] Zia’s ouster of Bhutto and the advent of the military regime. During most of the Afghan war, Pakistan was more aggressively anti-Soviet than even the United States. Soon after the Soviet military invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Zia [ul Haq] sent his ISI chief to destabilize the Soviet Central Asian states. The CIA only agreed to this plan in October 1984

The ISI operating virtually as an affiliate of the CIA, played a central role in channeling support to Islamic paramilitary groups in Afghanistan and subsequently in the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union.

Acting on behalf of the CIA, the ISI was also involved in the recruitment and training of the Mujahideen. In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 Muslims from 43 Islamic countries were recruited to fight in the Afghan jihad.

The madrassasin Pakistan, financed by Saudi charities, were also set up with US support with a view to “inculcating Islamic values”. “The camps became virtual universities for future Islamic radicalism,” (Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban). Guerilla training under CIA-ISI auspices included targeted assassinations and car bomb attacks.

Weapons’ shipments were sent by the Pakistani army and the ISI to rebel camps in the North West Frontier Province near the Afghanistan border. The military governor of the province was Lieutenant General Fazle Haq, who allowed hundreds of heroin refineries to set up in his province. Harvested gum opium was trucked to a Pakistani Army base and taken over by CIA personnel where it was trans-shipped to Columbia by CIA proprietary aircraft companies.

Beginning around 1982, Pakistani army trucks carrying CIA weapons from Karachi often picked up heroin in Haq’s province and return loaded with heroin. They were protected from police search by ISI papers. During the Reagan administration, Osama, who belonged to the wealthy Saudi Bin Laden family was put in charge of raising money for the Islamic brigades. Numerous charities and foundations were created.

The operation was coordinated by Saudi intelligence, headed by Prince Turki al-Faisal, in close liaison with the CIA. The money derived from the various charities were used to finance the recruitment of Mujahieen volunteers.

Al Qaeda, “The Base” in Arabic, was a CIA-instituted and maintained data bank of volunteers who had enlisted to fight in the Afghan jihad. That data base was initially also controlled by Osama bin Laden. U.S. CIA and U.S. Army counterinsurgency experts worked closely with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in organizing Mujahideen groups and in planning operations inside Afghanistan. But the most important contribution of the U.S. was to bring in men and material from around the Arab world and beyond. The most hardened and ideologically dedicated men were sought on the logic that they would be the best fighters. Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 16
  • ‘Radicalized’ man planned to storm White House with BAZOOKA, FBI says
  • Trump lawyer Giuliani shifts on collusion, can’t say if campaign tied to Russia
  • Fake editions of The Washington Post handed out at multiple locations in D.C.
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 16, 2019

Jan 16 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 16, 2019:” There are questions and there are answers.

When men came down out of their caves and stood on their hind legs, questions began to form in their small minds.

Would they live forever?

Where would they go when they stopped breathing and began to smell bad?

And other men, more clever, told them what they wanted to hear so desperately.

Yes, they would live forever and in a wonderful place.

Yes, they would see their dead family again who would be waiting for them, smiling.

Of course in order to get to this wonderful place and see smiling dead family members they would have to become a paying member of a certain religious group.

They would have to believe just what the leaders of this religious group told them to believe or they would go to some cold, wet and nasty place when they died and have to sleep with dead rats.

And because they wanted to believe these entertaining and entirely invented stories, they did.

Those who promised paradise got rich and those who believed were content. But when they died, they slept with the worms.

Of course they weren’t aware of anything at that point.”

 

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 15
  • Brexit likely to be Britain’s greatest disaster
  • Pelosi asks Trump to delay State of the Union address, or deliver it in writing
  • Factbox: Impact on U.S. government widens on 25th day of shutdown
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 15, 2019

Jan 15 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 15, 2019: “’ Cui bono’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘who benefits?’ In the matter of the accusations at a high level that President Trump worked, works for the Russians, the application of this phrase is quite important.

  • Who benefits from Trump’s tariffs?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s war on Latin Americans?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s harassment of China?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s divisive attacks on sections of the American public?
  • Who benefits from Trump’s very ill-advised and illogical actions in the Middle East?

American interests, economic and social?

No, they not only do not benefit but they are seriously injured and impaired.

Who, then,benefits from these actions?

Why logic and an application of Occam’s Razor show with great clarity that only one

entity benefits and that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The recent allegations that Trump worked for the Russians; had been gotten at by them earlier on are the only clear and logical answer to the question ‘cui bono.’

And for the leader of a country to deliberately work against the interests of his country for another is an act of treason and should be treated accordingly.”

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 14
  • Donald Trump’s Russian Connections
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 14, 2019

Jan 14 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 14, 2019: “Donald Trump does not care if thousands of Federal employees, whom his actions have been cut off from income, starve to death as long as he can force his worthless billion dollar wall through Congress. That he cannot is obvious but in Trump’s world, no one ever defies him with impunity. On this occasion many have and he will not yield until he forces them to his will. Perhaps the mythic Jesus will appear in the Oval Office in support of Trump but like the enormous parade Trump demanded, this will never happen.

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 13
  • Senate Republicans feel shutdown pressure as Trump tweets angrily on
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • ‘In God We Trust’ – the bills Christian nationalists hope will ‘protect religious freedom’
  • Jesus: Fact and Fiction
  • It is near; it is at hand. Maybe tomorrow but probably never

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 13, 2019

Jan 13 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 13, 2019: “By his hysterical and growing dictatorial behavior to both the organs of government and the public, Trump is in the process of creating havoc in the United States and the end result will echo the Yellow Vest protests now erupting in France. There is every reason to believe that Putin’s intelligence service got at Trump and that much of his behavior can be blamed on his Russian connections. He does not belong in the White House. Leavenworth would be more appropriate.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 12
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Trump fails to answer yes or no when asked if he ever worked for Russia
  • Trump losing battle to avoid blame for shutdown as it enters day 23
  • Trump tweets his fury after bombshell report adds drama to Russia inquiry
  • Violent Round Robin letter to right wing Trump American support groups

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 12, 2019

Jan 12 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 12, 2019:” The reports that Trump had been taken over by Russian intelligence and was operating under their orders are not new and recently information emerged from Russia that confirmed this. It was turned over to competent authority for verification and soon we will be hearing more of this. If one takes all of Trump’s apparently bizarre behavior and studies it, it is obvious that what he has been doing is creating world-wide negativity against the United States as a world power and given his corruption and many visits to Russia, the conclusions are clear.”

 

 

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 12
  • FBI reportedly opened inquiry into whether Trump was working for Russia
  • French police brace for ninth ‘yellow vest’ weekend protests
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • RAF veteran ‘admitted 1961 killing of UN secretary general’
  • Hammersköld Assassination background
  • Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 11, 2019

Jan 11 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 11, 2019:”The increasing mass anti-government movement in France, the Yellow Vests, have smashed their way into a government ministry in Paris, burned official cars, chased police and minsters to safer places, halted rail and road traffic, caused havoc with national banks and in general, have seriously threatened the sitting government. This movement, which is obviously growing in size and determination, is determined to bring down the Macron government but interestingly enough, is not covered in the main line American media. Why is this? Simply because those in current control do not wish to agitate an American public that is growing increasingly angry with the erratic and damaging reign of President Trump. Loyal supporters of the President, fearful of impeachment, are now approaching the more fanatical right wing and Evangelical Chistiain groups to join forces and take to the streets in defense of the President. There is a round robin document being sent around to these militants that explains that mob fury will convince the laggard Americans that Trump is indeed the ruler. We are trying to get our hands on this so we can publish it.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 11
  • Brought to Jesus’: the evangelical grip on the Trump administration
  • What are the End Days? A study in deception
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

Continue Reading »

No responses yet

TBR News January 10, 2019

Jan 10 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. January 10, 2019:”There stands our President,insulting everyone who dares to disagree with him, threatens to cancel food stamps, medical assistance and even social security unless the nation bow down to his magnificence and worship his glory. He must go, of course, but in the process of removing him from high office, there will be more threats and childish outbursts until one day, an artery will explode and God will have taken pity on the Republi

The Table of Contents

  • 815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 10
  • Trump storms out of talks on shutdown, bemoans ‘total waste of time’
  • The Guardian view on Trump and the wall: useful for him, not for the US
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • French protesters want to set off bank run with withdrawals

 

815 false claims: The staggering scale of Donald Trump’s pre-midterm dishonesty No 10

November 15, 2018

by Daniel Dale Washington Bureau Chief

Toronto Star

WASHINGTON—It took Donald Trump until the 286th day of his presidency to make 815 false claims.

He just made another 815 false claims in a month.

In the 31 days leading up to the midterm elections on Nov. 6, Trump went on a lying spree like we have never seen before even from him — an outrageous barrage of serial dishonesty in which he obliterated all of his old records.

How bad have these recent weeks been?

  • Trump made 664 false claims in October. That was double his previous record for a calendar month, 320 in August.
  • Trump averaged 26.3 false claims per day in the month leading up to the midterm on Nov. 6. In 2017, he averaged 2.9 per day.
  • Trump made more false claims in the two months leading up to the midterms (1,176), than he did in all of 2017 (1,011).
  • The three most dishonest single days of Trump’s presidency were the three days leading up to the midterms: 74 on election eve, Nov. 5; 58 on Nov. 3; 54 on Nov. 4.

As always, Trump was being more frequently dishonest in part because he was simply speaking more. He had three campaign rallies on Nov. 5, the day before he set the record, and eight more rallies over the previous five days.

But it was not only quantity. Trump packed his rally speeches with big new lies, repeatedly reciting wildly inaccurate claims about migrants, Democrats’ views on immigration and health care, and his own record. Unlike many of his lies, lots of these ones were written into the text of his speeches.

Trump is now up to 3,749 false claims for the first 661 days of his presidency, an average of 4.4 per day.

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not telling the truth.

  • Oct 22, 2018

“And we passed Veterans Choice, giving our veterans the right to see a private doctor, instead of waiting on line for one month, two months, three months, four months. And having a simple illness corrected, you’d have people that stand in line so long they would have a simple problem, and by the time they got to see a doctor, they were terminally ill. Terminally ill. So now they have to wait on line. These are our great people. If our veterans have to wait online, they go out and they see a private doctor. We pay the bill. And we get them fixed up.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: The Veterans Choice health program was passed and created in 2014 under Obama. The law Trump signed in 2018, the VA MISSION Act, modified

“African-American, Hispanic American, Asian-American unemployment has reached the lowest level ever recorded in our country’s history.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump was correct about African-Americans and Hispanics, incorrect about Asians. The Asian-American unemployment rate briefly dropped to a low, 2.0 per cent, in May — a low, at least, since the government began issuing Asian-American data in 2000 — but the most recent rate at the time Trump spoke, for September, was 3.5 per cent. (It fell to 3.2 per cent for October.) This was higher than the rate in Obama’s last full month in office — 2.8 per cent in December 2016 — and in multiple months of George W. Bush’s second term.

“Remember the previous administration? I won’t be specific, but let’s say the head of the previous administration — does anybody know who I’m talking about? Remember he said, ‘You can’t have manufacturing jobs in this country. You’d need a magic wand,’ remember the famous — well, I guess we found the magic wand.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: The economy added 416,000 manufacturing jobs between Jan. 2017 and Oct. 2018. (It’s 446,000 manufacturing jobs if, like Trump, you start the month of the election, Nov. 2016.) Regardless, Obama never said “you can’t have manufacturing jobs in this country” when he made this “magic wand” comment. Rather, at a televised PBS town hall in Elkhart, Indiana in 2016, Obama said that certain manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back” — but also boasted that some manufacturers are indeed “coming back to the United States,” that “we’ve seen more manufacturing jobs created since I’ve been president than any time since the 1990s,” and that “we actually make more stuff, have a bigger manufacturing base today, than we’ve had in most of our history.” Obama did mock Trump for Trump’s campaign claims that he was going to bring back manufacturing jobs that had been outsourced to Mexico, saying: “And when somebody says — like the person you just mentioned who I’m not going to advertise for — that he’s going to bring all these jobs back, well, how exactly are you going to do that? What are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.” But, again, Obama made clear that he was talking about a certain segment of manufacturing jobs, not all of them.

“We’ve added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: The economy added 416,000 manufacturing jobs between Jan. 2017 and Oct. 2018. (It’s 446,000 manufacturing jobs if, like Trump, you start counting the month of the election, Nov. 2016, even though Obama was still in office until late January 2017.)

“In less than two years’ time, we have created over 4.2 million new jobs…They said that was impossible.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Experts did not say it would be impossible to create 4.2 million jobs over this period. (Trump is counting the final months of the Obama era as his own.) Over the previous 22-month period, under Obama, 4.7 million jobs were added.

“And, yeah, and we’re getting the wall finished, because it’s a very important element of what we need. Even the Democrats are seeing it.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: It is possible that Trump knows a Democrat or two who supports his border wall, but Democratic Party as a whole is overwhelmingly opposed.

“The casualties of the Democrats’ open border crusade…”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Democrats do not want open borders. Most of them support a less aggressive immigration policy than the one Trump advocates, but they are not calling for people to be able to walk across from Mexico unbothered.

“And then you have chain migration. A guy comes in, as an example, West Side Highway in Manhattan. That’s where I am. Beautiful park, beautiful highway. This animal is driving a car down and he decides he’s going to make a right, right into the park where everyone is working out, exercising, running, bicycling. And he knocks everything down, including kills eight people. And badly wounds — you ever notice they never talk about the people that are wounded, where they lose their arms, and their legs, and their lives can never be the same? They never talk. They say eight people died. They don’t talk about the 12 people that lost something so important. These are people that are in a park where they go to exercise so they can be in perfect shape. And they go home months later without their legs, without their arms. Because this animal going at a very fast speed just decided he’s going to make a right into the park and run people over. So he has 22 people that came in, because he’s here. So he’s here. It’s called chain, a chain, nice name, chain migration. He’s here. His mother comes with him, his father then comes, his uncle, his aunt, his brother, his nephew, his sister, 22 people. No jobs. Just 22 people. No more chain migration. No more chain migration. That’s why the Democrats want to give illegal aliens free welfare and the right to vote.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: There is no evidence that Sayfullo Saipov, the alleged perpetrator of the terror attack in 2017 on Manhattan’s West Side Highway, brought 22 relatives into the U.S. through “chain migration.” Even Trump’s own aides have declined to endorse this claim, and even anti-immigration advocates say it is wildly improbable that one man with a green card could have sponsored 22 people.

“And that’s why the Democrats all support catch and release. That’s why they support visa lottery. You know what visa lottery? Countries put name in a batch and you pick them. You pick them. You keep picking them. And then then you got nothing but problems, because you think those countries are putting their finest? I don’t think so. It’s a great way to dispose of their problems. Visa lottery.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: This is, as usual, an inaccurate description of the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Foreign countries do not “put” anyone in the lottery, much less put in their “problem” citizens to dump them on the United States. Would-be immigrants sign up on their own, as individuals, of their own free will, because they want to immigrate.

“It’s called catch and release. You know what catch and release is, right? You got these great people from Border Patrol. These are great people, ICE, Border Patrol. These are incredible people. Tough job. They catch them and then they release them. And they say you have to come back for a court case. They just put their foot over immediately. They touch our land. You have to come back in two years for a court case. Well, number one, they never come back. Three per cent. And I don’t believe the ‘three.’”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: There is no basis for Trump’s claim that only “3 per cent” of people released for an immigration hearing show up to court. The Justice Department says 72 per cent of people showed up for their immigration court hearings in 2017. For asylum seekers in particular, it was 89 per cent. There is no group for which it was even close to 3 per cent. A 2017 report released by the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates a hard line on illegal immigration, concluded that 37 per cent of people who were free pending trial did not show up for hearings over the past two decades. The author of the report, a former immigration judge, said the number was 39 per cent in 2016. In other words, even according to vehement opponents of illegal immigration, most unauthorized immigrants are indeed showing up for court.

“As we speak, the Democrat Party is openly encouraging millions of illegal aliens to break our laws, violate our borders, and overwhelm our nation.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: There is no basis for this claim.

“They want to be able to vote. They want to be able to vote. Oh, don’t worry about it. They want to be able to vote. The illegals — and by the way, I hate to tell you, you go to California, you go — they vote anyway. They vote anyway. And they’re not supposed to. And every time I say it, the fake news says, oh, they said — they got so many people voting illegally in this country, it’s a disgrace, OK? It’s a disgrace.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: There is no evidence of widespread illegal voting by anyone, let alone by unauthorized immigrants.

“And Republicans will always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. We protect you. Pre-existing conditions. Right?”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: This claim is belied by Republicans’ actions. The party has tried repeatedly during Trump’s presidency to replace Obamacare with a law that would give insurers more freedom to discriminate against people with pre-existing health conditions. As part of a Republican lawsuit to try to get Obamacare struck down, Trump’s administration is formally arguing that the law’s protections for pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional and should be voided. Trump has not said what he would like to replace these protections with.

“Democrats in Congress have already signed up for a socialist takeover of health care that would eliminate the private insurance of more than 15 million Texans. The Democrat plan would destroy Medicare and terminate Medicare Advantage for 1.4 million Texas seniors who depend on it. Republicans want to protect Medicare for our great seniors who have earned it and who have paid for it for a long time.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Democrats’ “Medicare for all” proposals tend to be vague, but they would not take Medicare health insurance away from seniors. Rather, they would extend similar government-provided health insurance to younger people as well, and they would give current Medicare recipients additional coverage for things like vision and dental services.

“I also want to recognize your outstanding Republican Congressman, including Chairman Kevin Brady, what a guy. Where is he? What a guy. You talk about help with taxes. And so, Kevin, we’re putting in next week the 10 per cent reduction in middle-income taxes, right, next week? OK.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: We do not usually fact-check promises of future action, but there was no sign that Republicans were actually pursuing an additional 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class; Trump suddenly introduced this claim two weeks before the election, with no details attached. We will amend this item if he proves serious.

“And another tall guy (John Cornyn), who is an incredible senator, he represents you so well. He’s always fighting for you. And he was the one that asked Dianne Feinstein, ‘Did you leak?’ Remember? And she went, ‘Oh.’ So he was the one. He said, looks over to her, remember? During the hearings? Those horrible hearings, where they were so nasty and horrible, to a great gentleman who’s going to go down as one of our greatest Supreme Court justices ever? He goes out and he goes — he’s on the committee. And he goes, ‘Did you leak?’ And she went, ‘Oh, what, no, no, no, I don’t — wait a minute, let me check. Did we leak? No, you — no, we didn’t leak. Oh. No.’ That was the worst body language. She was so guilty of leaking. She leaked. John Cornyn was great.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump did not accurately recount the answer Feinstein gave when Republican Sen. John Cornyn pressed her, at a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on the leaking of Christine Blasey Ford’s letter accusing judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault. Feinstein didn’t say “Well, what, what, what? No, I didn’t do it. Did we leak? Did we leak? No. No. No, we didn’t.” She vehemently said she did not leak the letter; asked if her staff leaked it, she said, “Oh, I don’t believe my staff would leak it. I have not asked that question directly, but I do not believe they would.” When Cornyn followed up, she said, “The answer is no. The staff said they did not.”

“In Texas, the United States Coast Guard saved 16,000 lives.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump’s figure is an exaggeration. The Coast Guard told the Star that they rescued 11,022 people during their response to Hurricane Harvey.

“And, by the way, I want China to do well, but they went down 32 per cent over the last six months and we went way up. And since our election, we’ve gone up almost 50 per cent.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump was even less specific here than usual, but he usually makes this claim about the countries’ stock markets. U.S. markets were up much less than 50 per cent over the previous six months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were both up about 3 per cent,

“And, by the way, I want China to do well, but they went down 32 per cent over the last six months and we went way up.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump was even less specific here than usual, but he usually makes this claim about the countries’ stock markets. China’s markets had not dropped 32 per cent. Shanghai’s SSE Composite Index was actually down about 13 per cent over the six months dating back from the week Trump spoke. Shenzhen ‘s SZSE Component Index was down about 27 per cent.

“And a sad thing happened last week. Because Elizabeth Warren was exposed as being a total fraud. And I can no longer call her Pocahontas, because she has no Indian blood! I can’t call her… I can’t call her Pocahontas. She doesn’t qualify. She has — I’ve been saying for a long time. I’ve been saying it for a year-and-a-half, I said I have more Indian blood than she has, and I have none. I have none. But I have more than she has. But I can’t use the name Pocahontas anymore. But if you don’t mind, I will anyway. Is that OK? We got to keep her down.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: A Stanford University professor who conducted a DNA test on Warren concluded that “the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor” six to 10 generations in the past. The analysis found that almost all of Warren’s ancestors were European, and many Native Americans reject the suggestion that a distant Native ancestor can qualify a person as any part Native. But it is not true that Warren “has no Indian blood.”

“And if Ted doesn’t win, your Second Amendment is going to be in trouble. Big trouble. Remember that.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: This is a wild exaggeration. The Second Amendment to the Constitution would not be endangered by a Democratic senator being elected, though Beto O’Rourke is a staunch advocate of gun control measures.

“He (Beto O’Rourke) got an F from the NRA, one of the few. You know — you know what an F means? An F means he wants to take away your guns, OK? That’s what it means. I never even heard of an F. I never heard. Louie, did you ever hear of an F?”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: More than a “few” lawmakers have received F grades from the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby group. According to a Washington Post analysis of the grades, well over half of Democratic lawmakers received F grades in 2017. Also, it is not true that Trump has “never even heard of an F.” At a rally two weeks prior in Topeka, Kansas, he commented on the F grade of Democratic governor candidate Laura Kelly — and also claimed that time that he had never heard of an F.

“With Texas leading the way, think of this one, the United States is now — this happened over the last very short period of time — the largest producer of crude oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. Thank you. That’s pretty good. That’s big stuff. We’re the number-one energy producer in the world.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in 2017 that 2016 was the fifth straight year the U.S. had been the “world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons.” It was crude oil in particular in which the U.S. recently became number-one in the world, according to the EIA, which made the estimate in September.

“On day one, I approved the Keystone and the Dakota Access pipeline, 48,000 jobs, day one. Day one. Think of that, day one. They spent years and years trying to get these pipelines built.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump did not approve either pipeline in anywhere close to his first day of office. He issued executive orders four days into his presidency to advance the two pipelines, but they did not grant final approval then. Trump actually approved Keystone XL two months into his presidency; the government announced the approval of the Dakota Access pipeline three weeks into his presidency.

“We’ve saved your family farms, ranches, and small businesses from the estate tax, also known as the death tax. So most of you love your children. Some of you don’t…But for those of you that really would like your small businesses, your farms, your ranches left to your children instead of now having your children go out when you kick the bucket, a sad day, and about two or three days later, they’re happy as hell. No, forget it. [Laughter] Instead of have them — instead on having them go out and borrow a tremendous amount of money to pay the estate tax, they don’t have to borrow anything. There’s no tax. There’s no tax. So you’ll be able to — to me, that’s a very important thing. Nobody even talks about it. That was in our — that was in our tax cuts. So a lot of small business, a lot of farms, ranches, and there will be no tax. So that’s great for your children. Only if you love them. Only if you love them.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump did not eliminate the estate tax. His tax law merely raised the threshold at which it must be paid. Also, it is highly misleading to suggest that the estate tax is a major burden on family farms and small businesses: very few of them were paying the tax even before Trump’s tax law was passed. According to the Tax Policy Center, a mere 80 farms and small businesses were among the 5,460 estates likely to pay the estate tax in 2017, before Trump’s tax law. The Center wrote on its website: “The Tax Policy Center estimates that small farms and businesses will pay $30 million in estate tax in 2017, fifteen hundredths of 1 of the total estate tax revenue.”

 

“Republicans passed the biggest tax cut and reform in history with massive tax cuts for the middle class. And now we’re adding 10 per cent to those numbers.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: We do not usually fact-check promises of future action, but there was no sign that Republicans were actually pursuing an additional 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class; Trump suddenly introduced this claim two weeks before the election, with no details attached. We will amend this item if he proves serious.

“And, you know, what’s happening right now, as a large group of people — they call it a caravan. Do you know how the caravan started? Does everybody know what this means? I think the Democrats had something to do with it. And now they’re saying, I think we made a big mistake. Because people are seeing how bad it is, how pathetic it is, how bad our laws are, they made a big mistake. So as the caravan — and, look, that is an assault on our country.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: There is no evidence Democrats had anything to do with the formation of a caravan of migrants from Latin America.

“So we started the wall. They’ve got $1.6 billion. We got another $1.6 billion. We have a third $1.6 billion. I want to do it fast.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started, and Trump has not secured $4.8 billion for the wall. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction. Trump has requested another $1.6 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, but this has not yet been approved, much less spent. In these comments, Trump also added a third “$1.6 billion” that does not exist.

“We have a 3.7 per cent unemployment. It’s the lowest it’s been in more than 50 years.” And: ““The unemployment rate just fell to the lowest level in more than 50 years. Five-oh.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: The unemployment rate, 3.7 per cent, is the lowest in 49 years, since 1969. We would not count this as false if Trump rounded to “50 years,” but “more than” 50 years is objectively false.

“You know, explain that to me. They’re for open borders, which means crime, and for massive tax cuts.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Democrats do not want open borders. Most of them support a less aggressive immigration policy than the one Trump advocates, but they are not calling for people to be able to walk across from Mexico unbothered.

“In fact, I just left Kevin Brady. By the way, how good is Kevin Brady? He’s here. We’re going to be putting in a 10 per cent tax cut for middle-income families. It’s going to be put in next week, 10 per cent tax cut. Kevin Brady is working on it. We’ve been working on it for a few months, a 10 per cent brand-new — and that is in addition to the big tax cuts that you’ve already gotten. But this one is for middle income. This is — no business. Business is now good. They’re coming back. The jobs are coming back. The plants and factories are coming back like never before. They’re all coming back. This is for middle-income people, all middle-income people, a big tax, 10 per cent. We’ll be putting it in next week. Now, if the Democrats take over — I can’t speak, I’m sorry. Instead of a tax cut, you’re going to have a big, beautiful tax raise. You don’t want that.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: We do not usually fact-check promises of future action, but there was no sign that Republicans were actually pursuing an additional 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class; Trump suddenly introduced this claim two weeks before the election, with no details attached. We will amend this item if he proves serious.

“Do we have a great country or what? Great country. Hello, Houston. I’m thrilled to be back. Well, you treated me very well during a certain election two years ago. With all my friends from the Lone Star State, a special, special place, thank you very much for being here. This is some record crowd. And they just told me we broke the record, but we could really break it if we could get all the people that are outside in here. We’d break it by three times. But it’s true what they say: Everything in Texas is just bigger. Right? It’s bigger.” And: “If you’d like to leave now, go ahead. Anybody want to leave, go vote, come back. Get behind about 50,000 people outside. Who we love. And we put big screens out for them. Let’s wave to them. Wave! But I will say, you got a better location. Your location’s better.”

Source: Campaign rally in Houston, Texas

in fact: Trump had a capacity crowd at Houston’s Toyota Center, which has a capacity of 19,000 for basketball. It is not clear what “record” he was talking about. Regardless, he would not break any record “by three times” if he could count the people standing outside during the speech, and there were not “50,000 people outside.” Houston’s police chief, Art Acevedo, said there were about 3,000 people outside watching.

“And the pre-existing conditions, and all the other things, we’re with 100 per cent.”

Source: Interview with ABC13 in Houston, Texas

in fact: This claim is belied by Republicans’ actions. The party has tried repeatedly during Trump’s presidency to replace Obamacare with a law that would give insurers more freedom to discriminate against people with pre-existing health conditions. As part of a Republican lawsuit to try to get Obamacare struck down, Trump’s administration is formally arguing that the law’s protections for pre-existing conditions are unconstitutional and should be voided. Trump has not said what he would like to replace these protections with.

“We’re building the wall, we’re built — we should be able to build it faster, but we the Democrats are doing everything they can to obstruct and not give us the money to do the wall, even though we’ve started a very big chunk of it. “

Source: Interview with ABC13 in Houston, Texas

in fact: Construction on Trump’s border wall has not started. When Trump has claimed in the past that wall construction has begun, he has appeared to be referring to projects in which existing fencing is being replaced. The $1.6 billion Congress allocated to border projects in 2018 is not for the type of giant concrete wall Trump has proposed: spending on that kind of wall is expressly prohibited in the legislation, and much of the congressional allocation is for replacement and reinforcement projects rather than new construction.

Question: “Hey, Mr. President, you said Californians were rioting over the sanctuary cities. Where?” Trump: “You shouldn’t have — take a look. They want to get out of sanctuary cities. Many places in California want to get out of sanctuary cities.” Question: “But that’s not rioting, sir, right?” Trump: “Yeah, it is rioting in some cases.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

in fact: There were no riots by California opponents of sanctuary cities.

Question: “You said that you wanted tax cuts by November 1st. Congress isn’t even in session. How is that possible?” Trump: “No, we’re going to be passing — no, no. We’re putting in a resolution sometime in the next week, or week and a half, two weeks.” Question: “A resolution where?” Trump: “We’re going to put in — we’re giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10 per cent. We’re doing it now for middle-income people. This is not for business; this is for middle. That’s on top of the tax decrease that we’ve already given them.” Question: “Are you signing an executive order for that?” Trump: “No. No. No. I’m going through Congress.” Question: “But Congress isn’t in session though.” Trump: “We won’t have time to do the vote. We’ll do the vote later.” Question: “Congress is out.” Trump: “We’ll do the vote after the election.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

in fact: We do not usually fact-check promises of future action, but, as this exchange made clear, there was no sign that Republicans were actually pursuing an additional 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class; Trump suddenly introduced this claim two weeks before the election, with no details attached, and seemed to have no idea how such a tax cut might get passed. We will amend this item if he proves serious.

“I don’t want to lose all of that investment that’s being made in our country by Saudi Arabia). I don’t want to lose a million jobs. I don’t want to lose a $110 billion in terms of investment. But it’s really $450 billion if you include other than military. So that’s very important. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

in fact: There is no basis for the claim that Saudi Arabia’s business deals with the U.S. will produce “a million jobs.” (The White House did not respond to a request for an explanation from U.S. website Axios.) As we explained in the previous fact check, there is no basis for the claim that there are “$450 billion” in total orders or “$110 billion” in military orders. Trump has increased his jobs estimates from “over 40,000” jobs in March to “450,000 jobs” on Oct. 13 to 500,000 jobs on Oct. 17 to 600,000 jobs on Oct. 19, the day he also introduced the “over a million jobs” claim. Reuters reported: “An internal document seen by Reuters from Lockheed Martin forecasts fewer than 1,000 positions would be created by the defense contractor, which could potentially deliver around $28 billion of goods in the deal. Lockheed instead predicts the deal could create nearly 10,000 new jobs in Saudi Arabia, while keeping up to 18,000 existing U.S. workers busy if the whole package comes together — an outcome experts say is unlikely.”

“I don’t want to lose all of that investment that’s being made in our country by Saudi Arabia). I don’t want to lose a million jobs. I don’t want to lose a $110 billion in terms of investment. But it’s really $450 billion if you include other than military. So that’s very important. But we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

in fact: There is no basis for either the claim that the U.S. has $450 billion in business orders from Saudi Arabia or that it has $110 billion in military-related orders from Saudi Arabia. The White House has not explained what Trump has talking about; PolitiFact reported: “Hossein Askari, a business professor at George Washington University, analyzes international trade in the Middle East. He knows of no tally of contracts to back up Trump’s assertion. ‘There is absolutely no such number that could support the $450 billion,’ Askari said.” As for the $110 billion figure, the Associated Press wrote: “Trump’s wrong to suggest that he has $110 billion in military orders from Saudi Arabia. A far smaller amount in sales has actually been signed…Details of the $110 billion arms package, partly negotiated under the Obama administration and agreed upon in May 2017, have been sketchy. At the time the Trump administration provided only a broad description of the defense equipment that would be sold. There was no public breakdown of exactly what was being offered for sale and for how much…The Pentagon said this month that Saudi Arabia has signed ‘letters of offer and acceptance’ for only $14.5 billion in sales, including helicopters, tanks, ships, weapons and training. Those letters, issued after the U.S. government has approved a proposed sale, specify its terms…Trump’s repeated claims that he’s signed $110 billion worth of new arms sales to Riyadh are ‘just not true,’ said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at Brookings Institution and former CIA and Defense Department official.”

“Well, you’re going to have to see that (unknown Middle Easterners in the caravan of migrants). I have reports. And they have a lot of everybody in that group.” And: “You know what you should do, Jon? Go into the middle of the caravan, take your cameras, and search. Okay? Search.” And: “Take your — Jon, take your camera, go into the middle, and search. You’re going to find MS-13, you’re going to find Middle Eastern, you’re going to find everything.”

Source: Exchange with reporters before Marine One departure

in fact: There was no evidence of Middle Easterners in the migrant caravan.

Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There was no evidence of “unknown Middle Easterners” in the caravan of migrants, who were overwhelmingly from Latin America. Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and other administration officials provided no corroboration for the claim.

 

Trump storms out of talks on shutdown, bemoans ‘total waste of time’

January 9, 2019

by Richard Cowan and  Alexandra Alper

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump stormed out of talks with Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday over funding for a border wall with Mexico and reopening the government, complaining the meeting in the White House was “a total waste of time.”

On the 19th day of a partial government shutdown caused by the dispute over the wall, a short meeting that included Trump, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi ended in acrimony with no sign of a resolution.

Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?” Trump wrote. “Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!”

Exasperated Democrats called Trump’s behavior a “temper tantrum” and said the meeting broke down when they refused to commit to funding his proposed southern border wall. Trump’s desire for a wall between the United States and Mexico was a central theme of his 2016 presidential campaign.

Schumer told reporters that Trump asked Pelosi if she would fund his wall. “She said no. And he just got up and said: ‘Then we have nothing to discuss,’ and he just walked out.”

“Again, we saw a temper tantrum because he couldn’t get his way,” Schumer added. “That is sad and unfortunate. We want to come to an agreement. We believe in border security. We have different views.”

The breakdown in talks could strengthen the possibility that Trump will declare a national emergency to build a wall on the southern border if no deal with Congress can be reached on his request for $5.7 billion for the project.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump said he had the authority to declare a national emergency that would let him pay for the wall with military funds. Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that Trump is still considering that option.

Asked what Trump had gained by walking out of the talks, Pence said: “I think the president made his position very clear today: that there will be no deal without a wall.”

Shortly after the White House meeting broke up, the Democratic-majority House of Representatives voted to pass legislation to end a partial shutdown of the Treasury Department and some other agencies that have been closed since Dec. 22, without money for the wall.

But there was no indication that the Senate, controlled by Trump’s fellow Republicans, would allow a vote on the bill.

Democrats are eager to force Republicans to choose between funding the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service – at a time when it should be gearing up to issue tax refunds to millions of Americans – and voting to keep it partially shuttered.

In a countermove, the Trump administration said that even without a new shot of funding, the IRS would somehow make sure those refund checks get sent.

Trump attended a lunch meeting of Senate Republicans on Wednesday and emerged to declare unwavering support for the tough stance he has taken on funds for the wall.

Asked if he got the impression in the meeting that the shutdown would end soon, Republican Senator Tim Scott said: “I did not. I think we’re going to be here a while.”

DEMOCRATIC TACTICS

Pelosi plans more votes this week that one-by-one would provide money to operate departments ranging from Homeland Security and Justice to State, Agriculture, Commerce and Labor.

Able to get the bills through the House because of the Democratic majority, Pelosi is hoping some Senate Republicans back her up and abandon Trump’s wall gambit.

The political maneuvering comes amid a rising public backlash over the suspension of government activities that has resulted in the layoffs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

Other “essential” employees are being required to report to work, but without pay for the time being.

On Thursday, Trump travels to the border to highlight what he calls an immigration “crisis.”

With tempers running high over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion just for this year to fund wall construction, there are doubts Pelosi’s plan will succeed in forcing the Senate to act.

McConnell has not budged from his hard line of refusing to bring up any government funding bill without Trump’s backing even as a few members of his caucus have called for an end to the standoff.

The funding fight stems from Congress’ inability to complete work by a deadline last September on funding all government agencies. It did, however, appropriate money for about 75 percent of the government on time – mainly military and health-related programs.

U.S. airport security workers and air traffic controllers working without pay have warned that security and safety could be compromised if the shutdown continues, but the Trump administration said staffing is adequate and travelers have not faced unusual delays.

Union officials said some TSA officers have already quit because of the shutdown and many are considering quitting.

Ratings agency Fitch warned that it could cut the U.S. triple-A sovereign debt credit rating later this year if the shutdown proves prolonged and Congress fails to raise the legal limit on the national debt in a timely manner.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; Additional reporting by Amanda Becker, Roberta Rampton, David Morgan and Susan Heavey in Washington and Helen Reid in London; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Alistair Bell and Peter Cooney

 

The Guardian view on Trump and the wall: useful for him, not for the US

Editorial

The promise to ‘build the wall’ worked for Trump as a candidate, and he continues to use it as president. Americans are paying the price with what has become the second longest government shutdown

January 9, 2019

His “big, beautiful wall” is no closer to reality than it was then, but he continues to relish its powers. It is clear that it will not be paid for by Mexico, as once promised, and will not do what he says it will to protect the United States. But in his highly performative presidency, Mr Trump values its symbolic importance. Unlike that other mantra – “Lock her up!” – its potency is undiminished by his victory. It allows him to present himself as the eternal insurgent, battling for change against the establishment.

This explains the second-longest government shutdown in the US, as Mr Trump demands a $5.7bn downpayment on a pointless and very expensive project. With 800,000 federal employees facing the prospect of their first missed paycheck, growing public discontent about the impact, and no sign that the Democrats will offer him a route out, Mr Trump may be beginning to regret his televised declaration that he would be proud to shut down the government for border security: 47% of voters blame him for the impasse, and only 33% blame the Democrats.

His first Oval Office address on Tuesday is unlikely to shift this. While it invoked the full authority of the presidency, it fitted ill with his style, which may explain Mr Trump’s reluctance to deliver it. (He also seems unenthusiastic about the border trip planned for Thursday.) Though his words at times echoed the hateful rhetoric of his inaugural speech, even his demand to know “How much more American blood must we shed?” seemed oddly half-hearted in delivery. He paid unconvincing lip service to the humanitarian crisis he created.

There were more distortions and lies. In contrast to the administration’s claims, most drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry; migration continues to fall; and unauthorised migrants are no more likely to commit criminal acts than others, and may be less so. But to Mr Trump, what matters is not whether words are true but whether they are compelling – and 86% of Republicans back the wall. Some around him believe he is wedded to realising it, or some version of it that he can claim as a victory, because of its talismanic qualities. Others believe that the fight itself is the thing. Either way, there is the alarming prospect that he might invoke a national emergency, allowing him to use Pentagon resources for the project. Legal challenges would be almost guaranteed, but if courts blocked his progress he would still be able to position himself as the doughty fighter for the people.

His rallies rang to renewed chants of “Build that wall!” as the midterms approached last year, and his claims about a migrant “caravan” were given undue credence – but only went so far in holding back the Democratic advance. His base alone cannot win him a second term. It is true that the Democrats’ recapture of the House gives Mr Trump an opposition to run against. But their response to the shutdown is a reminder that the election left them not only stronger in legislative terms, but also emboldened to face down the president – dismissing his “temper tantrum” – and to try to make the political weather. Some Republicans have voiced potential support for Democrats’ plans to reopen parts of government.

Yet however this ends, Mr Trump may feel the wall is as useful as ever. His remarks in 2016 made it clear that it was as much about tactics as his strategy of fostering fear and division. It is to be invoked in times of need. Those have arrived. Mr Trump looks increasingly anxious for a deal in the trade war he started with China. Above all, Robert Mueller’s investigation moves closer and looms larger. On the same day that the president spoke, we learned that Mr Mueller has accused his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, of sharing polling data with a Russian man linked to Moscow’s intelligence agencies. Is it any surprise that Mr Trump would rather discuss the border? The wall does not have to be real to be useful: the only question is whether its magic is gradually wearing off

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

January 9, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas  in 1993  when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications.

 

Conversation No. 38

Date: Friday, September 27, 1996

Commenced: 11:05 AM CST

Concluded: 11:21 AM CST

RTC: Gregory, I see that the material you got from God knows where about the Clintons is causing real havoc here. Were you aware of that?

GD: One has hopes, Robert, hopes. What kind of havoc?

RTC: Well, it might be a well-kept secret but it turns out to be perfectly true. It’s gotten all over the place. I had two people call me to give me disjointed reports. People can read a simple sentence and then mix it all up when they try to repeat it.

GD: I know. In the main, camels are smarter and they smell better. I hope the Clinton’s like my little sendings. I did the same thing to Cranston 1  earlier on.

RTC: I recall you discussing this with me. You know, I have gotten so disillusioned with some of these people that I really ought to dig into things and send my more material. By the way, did you get the Angleton papers?

GD: Oh, I did but I didn’t want to discuss them on the phone. My God, Angleton was tapping all the phones there, wasn’t he?

RTC: Oh he did. Jim was convinced that everyone was spying on him and in the end, what with tapping the phones of the DCI, the President and God alone know how many bankers, stock brokers, poor Ollie North and so on he had so much data he got a bit out of his head.

GD: Such criminals they are. Thieving, lying, corrupt assholes, all of them. We trust these bank CEOs and heads of major companies, not to mention our top leadership, that I am certain if I released all of Angleton’s material, there would be great trouble. We would see the heads of the Federal Reserve running for Rio before the storm of public opinion. The public, myself included, thinks the Fed is a government operation while it is not.  Private.operation all the way

RTC: Yes, and run by the Jews for the Jews. The famous Bank of New York is a Jewish operation who works with the Russian Mafia to launder money. The FBI knows all about this but Clinton says hands off.

GD: No doubt his wife is behind that. I think her background needs to be exposed.

RTC: And how could you do that? The press would never handle it so you would have to send out thousands of letters. That takes time and costs money. No one really cares here, at least in public. Bus, as I say, your little surprises have stirred up real comment. Of course, it will never go any further than the cocktail circuit.

GD: No, but in your city, that rules, doesn’t it?

RTC: Oh, it does, it truly does. Given your particular talents, Gregory, I don’t doubt that you could start a war if you got loose on the cocktail circuit. Inside the Beltway, everyone wants to be in the know so if they hear some malicious gossip, they will tell their friends that a certain top government official casually told them this. This place is a pressure cooker, filled with liars, babblers and deadbeats. When I say you could raise hell here, of course, I do not include you in any of the above categories.

GD: No, no offense. Are the Kimmel types still calling you about how evil I am?

RTC: I think once they discovered that I passed their names and telephone number on to you, it all stopped. Kimmel himself is horrified that I talk to you and he told Bill that he was afraid I might say or do something you could run with. If they only knew. I know Trento has made a deal with Langley that when I am dead and gone, he will get all my papers…and of course give them what they don’t want out. Joe will be satisfied with some useless cruimbe. But when he finds out all the important material is gone with the wind, I imagine he will get on the horn down there and there will by attempts to find out what you have. They know what you will do with it.

GD: What did General Sherman say? Publish and be damned? Something like that. I kept some of this material in footlockers in my bedroom until common sense dictated that I ought to find a safer place for it.

RTC: And what if someone breaks in? Unofficially, that is.

GD: Why I would kill them very dead, Robert. And after I took a sharp axe to their head, I would put a knife in their lifeless hands, call the police and tell them I caught a burglar who tried to kill me. I suppose his friends down the street would find it expedient to drive off. If I did that, I would frisk the stiff and remove any identification. Maybe that way he’d find himself a cheap wooden box out in potter’s field.

RTC: Think of the family. Whatever happened to the breadwinner?

GD: Well, they can comfort themselves with the thought that he is feeding the environment. Helping the worms feed and the grass grow. One time when I became aware that someone was getting into my place and drinking my really good brandy, I poured some old Mr. Boston swill into a good bottle and added some rat poison. Came back from a trip and found vomit and shit all over the entrance hall but no perp. Probably died outside.

RTC: Old Rough on Rats! Terrible, Gregory. I remember that. ‘They Die Outside’ was the motto.

GD: In this case, he probably did but I never heard a word.

RTC: One would think that he didn’t get far.

GD: Agreed. Maybe his friends came and got him. Must have stunk up the car something terrible. Anyway, my brandy was safe. Croton oil is even better. They usually don’t die but there is nothing like a prolapsed rectum to keep a man on his toes.

RTC: (Laughter) No, I suppose not.

GD: I remember once my idiot sister was dating a policeman and I did not like him in our house. Used to give me a hard time and ate up all the candy from the coffee table. I bought a box of Awful Fresh MacFarlane’s soft mints, injected a mixture of croton oil and peppermint extract into all of them and left them in the dish. Bugger gobbled all of them down and then rushed to the back bathroom where it sounded like a drunken hippo thrashing around in a mud flat. After the ambulance came, I replaced the loaded mints with real ones and the next day when his friends came over, they found wonderful, fresh and harmless candy. Of course he never came over to the house again.

RTC: I would think that was wise of him.

GD: My idiot sister told me that he carried one of those tiny liferings around for months. I imagine his anus looked like the sun setting over some tropical island. Flaming red.

RTC: I hope your sister didn’t eat any.

GD: No, that was safe. Booze, yes, but not candy. They probably figured he had dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Say, I just remembered a lovely joke I played on my favorite Chop Suey emporium. I got a friend of mine, dressed him up in a coverall and had him walk in the front door of a local Chinese eatery with a live cat in a cage. Through the dining room and right into the kitchen. Of course out the back door before the kitchen staff could grab the cat for the Sunday special. I am told a number of people left at once and never came back. The place closed down about a month later.

RTC: (Laughter)  A man of creative action.

GD: Sometimes. If I couldn’t laugh at the cesspit, I might go mad. Or I could go to the Jockey Club and stuff a wiggling cockroach into the Caesar salad. Well, back to reading the Bible to the cats, Robert.

(Concluded 11:21 AM CST)

 

1 Alan MacGregor Cranston June 19, 1914 – December 31, 2000 was an American journalist and Democratic Senator from California. Cranston, a supporter of world government, attending the 1945 Dublin Declaration, and later became president of the World Federalist Association in 1948. He was reprimanded by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics for “improper conduct” on November 20, 1991 after he accepted $1 million in campaign contributions from the Lincoln Savings head, Charles Keating. Keating had wanted federal regulators to stop “hounding” his savings and loan association. The committee deemed Cranston’s misconduct the worst among the Keating Five.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

 

French protesters want to set off bank run with withdrawals

January 9, 2019

AP

PARIS (AP) — Activists from a French protest movement encouraged supporters Wednesday to set off a bank run by emptying their accounts, while the government urged citizens to express their discontent in a national debate instead of weekly demonstrations disrupting the streets of Paris.

Activists from the yellow vest movement, which started with protests over fuel tax increases, recommended the massive cash withdrawals on social media. One protester, Maxime Nicolle called it the “tax collector’s referendum.”

“We are going to get our bread back … You’re making money with our dough, and we’re fed up,” Nicolle said in a video message.

The movement’s adherents said they hoped the banking action will force the French government to heed their demands, especially giving citizens the right to propose and vote on new laws.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe gave details Wednesday of a “big debate” the government plans to start next week in all the regions of France.

“We want it to be rich, impartial and fruitful,” Philippe said.

The debates will focus on four main topics: climate change, democratic issues, taxes and public services, the prime minister said. Anyone can propose a local event and an internet platform will provide another venue for discussion, he said.

President Emmanuel Macron proposed the debate as a way for the government to hear and to respond to the movement’s central complaints.

Macron also announced 10 billion euros ($11.5 billion) worth of measures to boost the purchasing power of French households.

About 200 protesters, including trade union members and participants in the yellow vest movement, gathered Wednesday in Creteil, a Paris suburb as Macron visited a handball facility dedicated to handball gymnasium.

Police officers used tear gas to keep the crowd at a distance from the French leader.

The yellow vest movement was named after the fluorescent garments French motorists must carry so they are visible if they need to get out of their vehicles in a place that could be unsafe.

The protests started in November to oppose fuel tax hikes and have expanded into broader public rejections of Macron’s economic policies, deemed to favor the rich.

No responses yet

Older »