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TBR News December 7, 2020

Jan 06 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. January 7, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it.
‘Trump aches from his head to his toes
His sphincters have gone where who knows
And his love life has ended
By a paunch so distended
That all he can use is his nose’
Commentary for January 7: “Having stirred up a hornet’s nest with his personally ordered assassination of a top Iranian general, Trump is now actively planning to start a war with that country. An official position paper I have seen explains that Trump fears impeachment and feels that if he can get global war going, the public will support him and he can whip up patriotic themes so that everyone will forget the impeachment. Also, he plans to crack down on any and all criticism of himself by using his hopeful powers as a wartime leader.
He has promised the lunatic Evangelicals that he will reinstitute “Christian prayer’ in all public US schools, post the Ten Commandments in all classrooms, make homosexual behavior a criminal offense, re-criminalize marijuana, institute a general draft, cut off Social Security, and, because of his war, extend his term in office by executive order.
Further, he plans to deport all Latinos, regardless of citizenship, all Muslims, all blacks that have immigrated to America over a twenty year period, establish a National ID card which all citizens must carry at all times and a few more fascistic fantasies.
Will he get away with it? He will try, for sure.”

The Table of Contents
Thousands More US Troops Deploying to Middle East in Response to Iranian Threats
• With Suleimani Assassination, Trump Is Doing the Bidding of Washington’s Most Vile Cabal
• Facts before Fictions: Trump explained
• Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason
• Leaked Draft of Possible Trump Executive Order on Public Benefits Would Spell Chilling Effects for Legal Immigrants
• Trump and the Numbers Game
• The Season of Evil
• A warning to Internet browsers

Thousands More US Troops Deploying to Middle East in Response to Iranian Threats
January 3, 2020
by Richard Sisk
Thousands more U.S. troops will deploy to the Mideast in response to Iranian threats to avenge the killing of Quds Force Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani at Baghdad’s International Airport on the order of President Donald Trump, the Pentagon said Friday.
The entire 1st Brigade Combat Team of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, which constitutes the Immediate Response Force at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, “was alerted to prepare for deployment and is now being deployed,” a Pentagon spokesperson said.
“The brigade will deploy to Kuwait as an appropriate and precautionary action in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Elements of the 1st Brigade could also be sent to bolster security at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad following their arrival in Kuwait, according to sources.
On Wednesday, about 750 paratroopers from 82nd’s 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, boarded C-17 Globemaster aircraft en route to Kuwait following the storming of the Baghdad Embassy’s perimeter. The brigade has a total of about 4,000 troops.
At an off-camera Pentagon briefing Thursday, both Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said that additional deployments were under consideration.
Esper said that about 100 Marines in Kuwait were initially sent to back up embassy security but added: “We are prepared to reinforce other positions throughout the region as required over the coming days.”
Milley said, “There’s a variety of forces that are alerted and prepared, if necessary” to deploy, “depending on the situation as we move forward.”
Both Milley and Esper spoke before the U.S. strike on an access road to the Baghdad airport that hit a two-car convoy carrying the 62-year-old Soleimani, leader of the Quds (Jerusalem) Force within Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Defense officials declined to say how the strike was carried out, but Iraqi state media said the attack came from a drone firing missiles. Iran’s official media later confirmed that Soleimani had been killed.
In Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene, called for three days of mourning for the death of Soleimani, charged by the U.S. as being responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops in Iraq through his direction and supply of Shiite paramilitaries who fought against the U.S. invasion.
In a statement published by Iran’s Fars news agency, Khamenei said, “A forceful revenge awaits the criminals who have his blood and the blood of the other martyrs last night on their hands.”
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called Soleimani’s killing a “heinous crime,” adding that “Iran will take revenge.”
In a series of tweets, Trump said that Soleimani was not the revered figure he was made out to be by Iran’s leadership.
“While Iran will never be able to properly admit it, [Soleimani] was both hated and feared within the country,” Trump wrote. “They are not nearly as saddened as the leaders will let the outside world believe. He should have been taken out many years ago!”
The U.S. currently has a total of about 60,000 troops in the Mideast, including 5,000 in Iraq, according to Esper. The total includes about 14,000 sent to the region since last May to shore up defenses against Iran.

With Suleimani Assassination, Trump Is Doing the Bidding of Washington’s Most Vile Cabal
by Jeremy Scahill
January 3, 2020
The Intercept
While the media focus for three years of the Trump presidency has centered around “Russia collusion” and impeachment, the most dangerous collusion of all was happening right out in the open — the Trump/Saudi/Israel/UAE drive to war with Iran.
On August 3, 2016 — just three months before Donald Trump would win the Electoral College vote and ascend to power — Blackwater founder Erik Prince arranged a meeting at Trump Tower. For decades, Prince had been agitating for a war with Iran and, as early as 2010, had developed a fantastical proposal for using mercenaries to wage it.
At this meeting was George Nader, an American citizen who had a long history of being a quiet emissary for the United States in the Middle East. Nader, who had also worked for Blackwater and Prince, was a convicted pedophile in the Czech Republic and is facing similar allegations in the United States. Nader worked as an adviser for the Emirati royals and has close ties to Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince.
There was also an Israeli at the Trump Tower meeting: Joel Zamel. He was there supposedly pitching a multimillion-dollar social media manipulation campaign to the Trump team. Zamel’s company, Psy-Group, boasts of employing former Israeli intelligence operatives. Nader and Zamel were joined by Donald Trump Jr. According to the New York Times, the purpose of the meeting was “primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months, past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office.”
One major common goal ran through the agendas of all the participants in this Trump Tower meeting: regime change in Iran. Trump campaigned on belligerence toward Iran and trashing the Obama-led Iran nuclear deal, and he has followed through on those threats, filling his administration with the most vile, hawkish figures in the U.S. national security establishment. After appointing notorious warmonger John Bolton as national security adviser, Trump fired him last September. But despite reports that Trump had soured on Bolton because of his interventionist posture toward Iran, Bolton’s firing merely opened the door for the equally belligerent Mike Pompeo to take over the administration’s Iran policy at the State Department. Now Pompeo is the public face of the Suleimani assassination, while for his part, the fired Bolton didn’t want to be left out of the gruesome victory lap.
Trump, who had no idea who Qassim Suleimani was until it was explained to him live on the radio by conservative journalist Hugh Hewitt in 2015, didn’t seem to need many details to know that he wanted to crush the Iranian state.
Much as the neoconservatives came to power in 2001 after the election of George W. Bush with the goal of regime change in Iraq, Trump in his bumbling way assembled a team of extremists who viewed him as their best chance of wiping the Islamic Republic of Iran off the map.
While Barack Obama provided crucial military and intelligence support for Saudi Arabia’s scorched earth campaign in Yemen, which killed untold numbers of civilians, Trump escalated that mass murder in a blatant effort to draw Iran militarily into a conflict. That was the agenda of the gulf monarchies and Israel, and it coincided neatly with the neoconservative dreams of overthrowing the Iranian government. As the U.S. and Saudi Arabia intensified their military attacks in Yemen, Iran began to insert itself more and more forcefully into Yemeni affairs, though Tehran was careful not to be tricked into offering this Trump/Saudi/UAE/Israel coalition a justification for wider war.
The assassination of Suleimani — a popular figure in Iran who is viewed as one of the major drivers of ISIS’s defeat in Iraq — was one of only a handful of actions that the U.S. could have taken that would almost certainly lead to a war with Iran. This assassination, reportedly ordered directly by Trump, was advocated by the most dangerous and extreme players in the U.S. foreign policy establishment with that exact intent.
Assassination has been a central component of U.S. policy for many decades, though it has been whitewashed and normalized throughout history, most recently with Obama’s favored term, “targeted killings.” The U.S. Congress has intentionally never legislated the issue of assassination. Lawmakers have avoided even defining the word “assassination.” While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by U.S. personnel, they have each carried out assassinations with little to no congressional outcry.
In 1976, following Church Committee recommendations regarding allegations of assassination plots carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, Ford signed an executive order banning “political assassination.” Jimmy Carter subsequently issued a new order strengthening the prohibition by dropping the word “political” and extending it to include persons “employed by or acting on behalf of the United States.” In 1981, Ronald Reagan signed Executive Order 12333, which remains in effect today. The language seems clear enough: “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”
As I wrote in August 2017, reflecting on our Drone Papers series from two years earlier, “The Obama administration, by institutionalizing a policy of drone-based killings of individuals judged to pose a threat to national security — without indictment or trial, through secret processes — bequeathed to our political culture, and thus to Donald Trump, a policy of assassination, in direct violation of Executive Order 12333 and, moreover, the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To date, at least seven U.S. citizens are known to have been killed under this policy, including a 16-year-old boy. Only one American, the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, was said to have been the ‘intended target’ of a strike.”
While many Democratic politicians are offering their concerns about the consequences of Suleimani’s assassination, they are prefacing it with remarks about how atrocious Suleimani was. Framing his assassination that way ultimately benefits the extremist cabal of foreign policy hawks who agitated for this very moment to arrive. There’s no justification for assassinating foreign officials, including Suleimani. This is an aggressive act of war, an offensive act committed by the U.S. on the sovereign territory of a third country, Iraq. This assassination and the potential for a war it raises are, unfortunately, consistent with more than half a century of U.S. aggression against Iran and Iraq.
For three years, many Democrats have told the country that Trump is the gravest threat to a democratic system we have faced. And yet many leading Democrats have voted consistently to give Trump unprecedented military budgets and surveillance powers.
Five months ago, California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have prohibited this very type of action, but it was removed from the final bill. “Any member who voted for the NDAA — a blank check — can’t now express dismay that Trump may have launched another war in the Middle East,” Khanna wrote on Twitter after Suleimani’s assassination. “My Amendment, which was stripped, would have cut off $$ for any offensive attack against Iran including against officials like Soleimani.”
Trump is responsible for whatever comes next. But time and again, the worst foreign policy atrocities of his presidency have been enabled by the very politicians who claim to want him removed from office.

Facts before Fictions: Trump explained
• Trump is not an honest man by any stretch of imagination. He has a long record of bankruptcies, business failures, very dubious business practices and extraordinarily negative behavior to staff and other employees. To catalogue the full sweep of a flood of patently dishonest business allegations against Donald Trump would require thousands of words and lump together the trivial, the blatently criminal with the truly scandalous.
• Certainly, the psychological personal profile of Donald Trump could hardly be better tailored to being easily turned by a hostile intelligence agency.
• The concept of Trump taking bribes from the Russians (or the PRC) is completely understandable if one applies the concept of Occam’s Razor to the tumult and disruption he is deliberately causing both domestically and in foreign areas.
• Russian intelligence agencies are known to have highly compromising and often bizarre sexual material on him going back more than 30 years and they have used Trump and his elaborate network of business entites as a funnel for laundering dirty money from the Russian mafia and from post-Soviet oligarchs. The Russians are well-known to have more than enough compromising material on Trump to bend him to their will.
• Trump has constantly been engaged in bribings and manipulations and does this through second parties such as Cohen his former lawyer or Manafort, his recently convicted campaign manager during the election.
• Following Mr.Trump’s bankruptcies in the 1990s he borrowed very large sums of operating capital from Russian sources. He also obtained large loans from the Deutsche Bank (over 640 million dollars)
• Other big banks, domestic and foreign, have long refused to lend to him, coining the term “the Donald risk” to refer to his repeated bankruptcies and failures to repay loans. However, Deutsche Bank, whose real-estate division continued to lend him hundreds of millions of dollars to finance his projects, seemed to have a greater risk appetite. There is a solid connection and on-going business between this bank and two Russian-based banks.
• 1,300 Trump condominiums have been sold to Russian-connected buyers. Even a cheap Trump condo costs over a million dollars, so there over 1,300 condos that meet all the criteria for what is normally called money laundering. Russian intelligence is using Trump real estate to launder money
• Also, it is certain that Trump has been working closely with known Russian drug dealers, helping them to find headquarters in his various real estate holdings and laundering their drug profits for them in exchange for a percentage.
• In 2008 his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that Russia was an important source of money for the Trump businesses.
• Trump and his entourage have made a significant number of trips to Russia in the past (a list of these along with Russian personages he was in contact with can easily be found on Google), seeking financing and permission to build luxury hotels in that country
• Russian intelligence owns Wikileaks entirely and released the damning, and authentic, ‘Podesta papers’ concurrent with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in coordinated agreement with the Trump people. This did serious damage to her campaign and was a major contributory factor to her narrow defeat and Trump’s election to the presidency.
• Trump’s actions, as President, are deliberate efforts to alienate both the putative allies of the US such as Germany, France, and Canada and, to a lesser degree, Mexico. Also, the tariffs suggested by Trump against China would result in retaliation by that country and many retail outlets in the United States would be forced to close because they would be unable to purchase Chinese-made goods, the bulk of their stock.
• Trump has deliberately launched pointless, and destructive, attacks against Mexican and Muslim immigrants, as well as Canadian, Chinese and German imports. All this has done is to create a highly negative image of his persona primarily and secondarily, the global image of the United States. This is only to the benefit of Putin’s Russia, not the United States.
• Trump’s tariffs, and threats of tariffs, have engendered counter-tariffs that will, when implemented, create serious economic problems for American businessmen and, eventually, the American public.
• Trump’s politically foolish but calculated support of the Israeli far right has done, and is doing, serious damage to the US image in the Middle East. It should be noted that Russian influence in the Shiite areas of the Middle East, is growing. Also note that Iran, and parts of Iraq, both Shiite, have extensive oil reserves and that Saudi Arabia, a Sunni state, once America’s primary source of badly-need oil, is running dry. Further, his aggressive support of Israel is resulting in increasing antisemitism in the United States.
• The Middle East areas where Russia now has growing influence, have oil and if Russia sets itself up as major oil merchandising source, this will give them tremendous economic leverage vis a vis the United States which is the world’s largest consumer of oil and its by-products.
• By alienating America’s allies and disrupting that country’s social structure, Trump benefits only Russia and its interests.
• When he is caught at this, and it is common knowledge that the FBI was deeply interested in his Russian connections long before he ran for President, either the American public will have to deal with another Dallas or Trump will suffer a fatal heart attack. Vice-President Pence, a Christian fanatic, would then have to be told to mind his manners or suffer similar terminal problems.
• Trump is very well aware of the ongoing and growing official investigation into his denied but completely genuine Russian connections and is certainly also well aware of what they can find, and probably have already uncovered, so he initially fired the head of the FBI and even now, according to a very reliable source, is determined to replace the FBI with the cooperative CIA (their former head, Pompeo, is now Secretary of State) as the sole foreign and domestic intelligence agency. He, and his Russian intelligence handlers, want to nip any FBI revelations in the bud so that Trump can continue on his course of castrating the United States as a global power to the benefit of Putin’s Russia.
• There was a full page ad that he took out in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post in 1988, putting forth foreign policy points that could have been dictated by Vladimir Putin. It was an assault against NATO, and the European Union, both anathema to Russia
• In 2015, Western European intelligence agencies in France and Germany began picking up solid evidence of communications between the Russian government and people in Donald Trump’s orbit. In April 2016, one of the Baltic States shared with then–CIA director John Brennan an audio recording of Russians discussing funneling money to the Trump campaign. In the summer of 2016, Robert Hannigan, head of the U.K. intelligence agency GCHQ, flew to Washington to brief Brennan on intercepted communications between the Trump campaign and Russia.
• During the Soviet era, Russian intelligence cast a wide net to gain leverage over influential figures abroad. (The practice continues to this day.) The Russians would lure or entrap not only prominent politicians and cultural leaders, but also people whom they saw as having the potential for gaining prominence in the future. In 1986, Soviet ambassador Yuri Dubinin met Trump in New York, flattered him with praise for his building exploits, and invited him to discuss a building in Moscow. Trump visited Moscow in July 1987. He stayed at the National Hotel, in the Lenin Suite, which certainly was known to be bugged
• Throughout his career, Trump has always felt comfortable operating at or beyond the ethical boundaries that constrain typical businesses. In the 1980s, he worked with La Cosa Nostra, which controlled the New York cement trade, and later employed Michael Cohen and Felix Sater, both of whom have links to the Russian Mafia. Trump habitually refused to pay his counter parties, and if the people he burned (or any journalists) got in his way, he bullied them with threats. He also used LLCs which he created for the purpose of swindling firm who, for example, laid new carpet in one of his hotels. The vendor billed the LLC which promptly went bankrupt. This has been a favorite gambit of Trump.
• Trump continually acts like a man with a great deal to hide: declining to testify to anything under oath, dangling Presidential pardons to keep potential witnesses and former employees from incriminating him, publicly chastising his attorney general for not quashing the whole Russian investigation, and endorsing Russia’s claims that it had nothing to do with the election. (“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” he tweeted last month, contradicting the conclusion of every U.S. intelligence and counter-intelligence agency.) Trump’s behavior toward Russia looks exactly like that of an accessory after the fact.
• When, and not if, it becomes public knowledge that the President of the US is an agent of a foreign power, it would be the worst scandal in American history, far surpassing Tea Pot Dome or Watergate.
• In conclusion, it is clearly obvious that President Trump was jobbed into his office with the full cooperation of Russian intelligence and that he is currently engaged in efforts to carry out their political global programs which, if allowed to continue, will wreak economic and political havoc on the American government, business community and public.

Trump and Putin: The Prospering of Treason

‘Cui bono’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘who benefits?’
In the matter of the accusations at a high level that President Trump has worked, does work, for the Russians, the application of this phrase is quite important.
• Who benefits from Trump’s economically restrictive tariffs?
• Who benefits from Trump’s undeclared 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 such as the black community and the latino?
• 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?
Simple logic and an application of Occam ’s Razor show with great clarity that only one entity benefits from Trumps belligerent actions and that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
The recent allegations that Trump worked for the Russians; had been gotten at by them earlier on is 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.

Leaked Draft of Possible Trump Executive Order on Public Benefits Would Spell Chilling Effects for Legal Immigrants
by Michael Fix and Randy Capps
A draft executive order apparently under consideration by the Trump administration could have widespread chilling effects for legal immigrants—both those already in the United States as well as prospective ones who seek to reunify with relatives here.
A leaked draft that has circulated widely in recent days includes language asserting that immigrants are a drain on U.S. taxpayers, and proposes restricting the grant of green cards for low-skilled, low-income immigrants.
Beyond limiting future arrivals, the order would also make legal permanent residents already in the United States more vulnerable to deportation if they use federal means-tested public benefits, and would activate dormant policies requiring immigrants’ sponsors to repay benefits received—a policy that has proved largely unworkable in the past.
In limiting the use of cash, nutrition, and health benefits, the proposed action would have deep effects on legal immigrants and their children—most of whom are U.S. citizens—by slowing their social and economic integration and perhaps raising public health issues. One has to go back to 1996, when the U.S. welfare reform system was substantially overhauled, to find a policy with such potentially far- reaching effects on immigrant households.
Further, the animating premise of the draft executive order—“that households headed by aliens are much more likely than those headed by citizens to use federal means-tested public benefits”—does not hold up under closer scrutiny. The National Academies of Science, in a seminal 2016 study on the fiscal impacts of immigration, found that immigrants of all ages except for the elderly use fewer public benefits than the U.S. born.
It is important to note two caveats: One, the leaked draft could be amended or discarded, and two, unlike a flurry of other executive actions signed by President Trump during his first two weeks in office, this one would require a lengthy public comment and rule-making period before it could take effect, and thus could be substantially changed in its final implementation.
A Brief History of Immigrants and Public Benefits
Until 1996, legal permanent residents (LPRs) were eligible on the same terms as U.S. citizens for health, nutritional, and other public benefits. (Unauthorized immigrants were ineligible both before and after passage, and remain ineligible today.) Changes in the 1996 welfare reform law enacted under President Bill Clinton (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act) barred LPRs (also known as green-card holders) residing in the United States for less than five years from means-tested public benefit programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and food stamps (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP).
Animated by politicians’ abiding concern that ill, poor, or unemployable newcomers would drain public coffers, the 1996 law reflected provisions that have been part of the U.S. immigration code for decades, labeling newcomers who may become unable to provide for themselves “public charges,” making them inadmissible, or barring their ability to get a green card. The immigration code allows for the deportation of green-card holders within five years of arrival if they become public charges, but prior administrations have limited the public charge definition in this context to immigrants who use cash welfare programs or long-term institutional care funded by the government. As a result, very few people have been deported on these grounds. This could change if a regulation mirroring language in the draft order leads to much wider grounds for deportation based on benefits receipt. Finally, the law requires the sponsors of new legal immigrants to that attest to their ability to provide financially for the newcomers, and allows federal, state, or local governments to compel reimbursement for benefits from sponsors.
Legal immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits has expanded somewhat since the 1996 welfare law was enacted: Congress restored food stamps to recently arrived LPR children as well as Medicaid/CHIP to recently arrived LPR children in willing states. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes immigrants who are lawfully present—including green-card holders and temporary visitors—eligible for subsidies to purchase private health coverage. Several states, among them California and New York, fund public benefit programs for legal immigrants who cannot access federal assistance under the 1996 welfare law.
While policies authorizing the federal government to compel sponsor reimbursement for benefits have been on the books for years, they have rarely been invoked. The few states that have attempted to do so failed because implementation was costly.
Major Changes Ahead?
The draft executive order would dramatically reorder longstanding policy regarding admissions, adjustment of status, deportation, and sponsor reimbursement. Among the key changes contemplated:
Redefining “public charge” and “means-tested public benefits” to span a much wider variety of federal programs.
The draft order refers to all “public benefits for which eligibility or amount is determined in any way on the basis of income, resources or financial aid.” Though rulemaking might narrow its scope, this definition could include a wide variety of federal programs such as school lunches, college financial aid, home heating assistance, and public health services that are not included in the welfare law’s means-tested definition.
Deporting legal permanent residents for using benefits.
Under current interpretation, green-card holders may become deportable as public charges only if they use cash welfare or are institutionalized in long-term care funded by the government. (Under the welfare law, they can only be deported as public charges within their first five years of U.S. residency.) If implemented as written in the leaked executive order, legal immigrants could be ordered deported for using a wide variety of benefits, potentially including food and nutrition assistance, federally subsidized health insurance through Medicaid or the ACA, and education benefits.
Refusing to admit prospective immigrants who could become public charges.
The executive order could also exclude large numbers of people who are otherwise eligible from being admitted as LPRs. As written, the order could be interpreted to make a high-school degree or better a prerequisite for admission or adjustment to a green card, for instance, or having a certain level of assets. The result could be restrictions on low-income or less well-educated immigrants from entering via some family reunification channels. And some people who are already in the United States—for instance nonimmigrants married to a U.S. citizen—would be unable to adjust to LPR status.
Seeking repayment of benefits from sponsors.
The draft order also instructs federal agencies to request reimbursement for benefits used by legal immigrants. (The welfare law currently allows agencies to collect benefits used by LPRs who have not become citizens or who have not worked for at least ten years.) The government would need to determine the cost of benefits used by each immigrant, locate his or her sponsor, send a notice requesting payment, and ultimately pursue the sponsor legally or hire a collection agency.
Beyond rewriting the rules governing legal immigrants’ access to benefits, the draft order proposes limiting eligibility for the child tax credit to immigrants with valid social security numbers. The result: Unauthorized households with children (more than three-quarters of whom are U.S. citizens) would be ineligible for benefits, even as they pay taxes and have income thresholds low enough to otherwise qualify.
Opening the Door to Greater Immigrant Selection Based on Income and Education?
Changes to admissibility criteria could move the United States toward a selection system that favors those with more education and higher skills over family relationships. This shift could effectively accomplish a dramatic change in the legal immigration system through the back door—via regulation, not legislation. In the long term, such changes would be more likely to exclude immigrants from Latin America and Southeast Asia, who tend to have relatively low socioeconomic status, as well as elderly immigrants who might have more difficulty meeting the public charge criteria.
Monitoring benefits use across multiple agencies and running collection procedures could be a difficult and expensive task, reducing the direct fiscal benefits of implementing these policies. At the same time, the threat of deportation or enforcement of legal liability for sponsors could chill immigrants’ participation in public benefit programs even when they are eligible. The effects, particularly in the health-care setting, could be damaging. By making immigrants and their children reluctant to visit doctors and clinics, as happened in the wake of the 1996 welfare law, they as well as the broader public could face public health risks.
Implicit in the draft executive order, as with others implemented in recent days that touch upon immigration, is an effort to focus public attention on the costs, but not the benefits, of immigrants to U.S. society. The draft would mandate the issuance of annual reports on noncitizens’ use of benefits, without also including their economic contributions. Immigrants will fill critical future labor market needs, and many of the public benefits accessed by immigrants are by those who work full time. Scholars have found that immigrants’ use of benefits, which is largely short-term, promotes their longer term economic and social integration—and thus helps maximize their contributions to the broader society.
The draft executive order severely misreads the process of immigrant integration and how immigration on balance has served the nation. And by creating new exclusions on legal immigration and new grounds for deportation of legal immigrants, it would make systemic changes in the U.S. immigration system. In our view, these are decisions that should more properly be reserved for Congress.
Michael Fix is President of the Migration Policy Institute and Randy Capps is Director of Research for U.S. Programs.

Trump and the Numbers Game
There were 56.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2015, accounting for 17.6% of the total U.S. population.
The Hispanic Mexican population of the United States is projected to grow to 107 million by 2065.
The share of the U.S. population that is Hispanic has been steadily rising over the past half century. In 2015, Hispanics made up 17.6% of the total U.S. population, up from 3.5% in 1960, the origins of the nation’s Hispanic population have diversified as growing numbers of immigrants from other Latin American nations and Puerto Rico settled in the U.S.
For example, between 1930 and 1980, Hispanics from places other than Mexico nearly doubled their representation among U.S. Hispanics, from 22.4% to 40.6%. But with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mexican share among Hispanics grew, rising to a recent peak of 65.7%.
California has the largest legal poplation of Mexicans, 14,013,719. And California is also home to almost 25% of the country’s undocumented population. California is followed by Texas where 31.14%,(8,500,000) are Mexican, Florida has 4,223,806 Mexicans, Illinois 2,153,000, Arizona,1,895,149, Colorado, 1,136,000 Georgia, 923,000, North Carolina, 890,000, and Washington, 858,000 Mexicans.
Given the fact that President Trump has strong personal dislikes for both Blacks and Latinos, manifest in his recent vicious treatment of Mexican immigrants in their legal attempts to immigrate to the United States, the sheer number of Mexicans now resident in the United States ought to give him, and his far-right Republican Congressional supporters serious pause in their denial of entrance for legal immigrant attempts and the subsequent brutal maltreatment of small children of these immigrants.
If the Mexican voting population of the United States were to organize, like the recent organizing of the black voting population of Alabma in opposition to the fanatical and deranged Judge Moore, the results in the November elections could well prove to be a stunning disaster for both Trump and the Republicans.
Numbers certainly count but Trump is obviously unaware of their potential danger, both to him and his right-wing radical supporters.

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccurate.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 50

The subsequent conversations were reasonably elevated and devoid of the often ribald sarcasm that marked most of their less formal meals.
The dinner progressed through four courses and three wines and it took them two hours to consume the goose, the dressing with fresh truffles, the Strasbourg pate and other unfamiliar but tasty dishes.
There was excellent coffee after the lime ice and after the table was cleared, they moved into the living room with its fireplace, drinking an excellent Cognac while digesting the rich dinner.
Conversation was desultory and at nine, Lars decided to go upstairs and sleep. He was not used to so much satisfying food and rarely drank anything stronger than domestic beer. A snifter of good brandy was more than enough to make him so tired he could barely stay awake and he had some trouble with the stairs, which seemed to be more fluid than they ought to be.
Gwen went up a half hour later and the living room was left to Claude and Chuck.
There was silence for some time, the only sound the creaking of the burning logs and the faint noises heard in an old house as it settled down for the night.
“More Cognac, Claude?” Chuck asked as he picked up the bottle from the table next to him.
“Oh sure, why not? I haven’t had good brandy for a long time. I don’t spent money on good booze but I don’t mind if others do.”
There was more silence as they enjoyed the fumes from the liquor that their hands warmed in the crystal glasses.
“It’s like vanilla extract, Claude. Stuff smells great but it tastes like turtle piss.”
“You would know about that, Chuck. I don’t have any really personal knowledge of how turtle piss tastes.”
“Just a witty remark.”
“Be careful you don’t leave yourself open to sharp people like me who miss nothing. I had a friend take me to a very fancy French restaurant in New York once and they served terrapin. It was rat meat. We had rats in the orphanage and I recognized the bones. Didn’t taste bad but when I told my host, he threw up right at the table. We got the dinner for free but he didn’t appreciate my enlightening him as to what he just ate. People take so much on faith, don’t you think?”
“That’s why they should ban mirrors from bars.”
“Oh yes, I agree. Do you know what magic it takes to turn a real dog into a fox, Charlie?”
“Don’t call me that and no, I don’t know what magic it takes to do that.”
“Six drinks and a raging erection. If you know what I mean.”
“I know. I told Gwen once that booze heightens the desire and robs of the performance. That’s Shakespeare.”
“Why thanks. If you hadn’t told me, I might have thought you were intelligent.”
They both laughed.
The lights had been turned out in the room and the fire illuminated the faces, casting moving shadows across them that belied the relaxed mood.
“That was a very nice dinner, Cyril, and a good speech. My experience with the holidays is not too good but I guess you were lucky when you were young.”
“Yes, we had a great time then. But after that, not so good. I really don’t like Christmas at all, Claude, but I just did this to give everyone else a nice time and I admit I miss the roast goose.”
“Still, it was a pleasant evening. Since you brought it up, what’s the deal with a dead body in the snow? And is your uncle really trying to kill you?”
Chuck set his glass down on the table creating a musical note as it touched a stone ashtray.
Somewhere above them, a door opened, creaking softly.
“That’s my family. My uncle has probably killed off a number of people just to get control of my late grandfather’s estate.”
“I hope it’s worth it for him.”
“Do you know who I am?”
“A nice guy with a great singing voice who’s a first class cook. No, I don’t know who you are aside from that.”
“Cyril Rush. My grandfather was Arthur Rush, the newspaper man.”
“No shit? Jesus, I almost knocked over your place up in Glencoe. There’s one hell of a lot of first class art in there.”
“Why didn’t you do it?”
“Security was intense. Most of the big places on the North Shore have piss poor security but not that one.”
Chuck peered intently at Claude.
“You steal fine art? I knew you did a bit of burglary because of the picks. I have to confess I’ve done some too but not fine art. Too hard to sell.”
“Not for me. I have that all sewn up…”
“Jesus! You must be the North Shore cat burglar! Holy fuck! I’ve been reading about you for…let me see…about three years now! My God, I always envied you and I used to think…. You are the cat burglar, aren’t you?”
“Are you going to call the cops on me, Cyril?”
“No, Claude, but I might do just this…”
He heaved himself to his feet and walked over to Claude, sticking out his hand.
They shook hands solemnly and Chuck sat back down again.
“Why thank you for the compliment, Cyril. Most people don’t want to be nice to a burglar.”
“Professional envy. I always figured you looked like some movie actor and you probably drove around in a Ferrari.”
“I don’t look like an actor, as far as I know, and I drive a decent, unobtrusive car with an uncomfortable back seat.”
“The Levinthal collection! My God, you nailed that! My Grandfather knew old Levinthal. I saw his Della Robbia pieces once. It was one of the best collections outside of Italy. That was all over television. Did you get it all?”
“Sure, all of it. There were thirty three pieces all told.”
“The reporting was sixty two.”
“Oh, the usual fraud on the insurance company. And ten of the pieces were fakes and I left them behind.”
“The FBI got onto it.”
“So did the Chicago cops, Cyril, and that’s why I’m here right now, drinking your good brandy and wondering if the stiff in the snow will make an appearance any day now.”
“Lake Forest is not in Cook County, Claude. Why should the Chicago police care what goes on up there? It’s not in their district.”
“No, it isn’t, but there’s this guy in Chicago who runs a burglary gang made up of off duty cops. From my fence, I heard this guy was planning to do the same job but I beat him to it by one day. And now old Collins wants to…”
Chuck straightened up quickly in his leather armchair.
“Collins? Robert Collins?”
“Yeah. Do you know him?”
“This is all nut stuff. Collins was hired by my uncle to kill me. The hit man, the one outside your window, told me all about this before he died. He said Collins had pushed him into being a hit man.”
Claude leaned forward and peered at Chuck.
“Why don’t you calm down? That’s good. And don’t talk so loud or you’ll wake everyone up. I know a lot about Collins but he knows nothing about me. What does this hit man look like?”
“Now? A nice gray color with blue lips.”
“No, I mean what did he look like?”
“His name was LeBec and he was tall and thin…”
“Long dark hair? About forty?”
“Yes. Did you know him?”
“Of him. A nasty person and Collins never made him do anything. He was a professional killer who used to work out of Detroit until Collins offered him more money. You’re lucky he died or he would have found some way to kill you and probably all of your friends. I met him once casually but I didn’t know his name. From what I heard about him, this Eskimo Pie of yours is a psycho who likes to kill people. He’s supposed to be a crack shot with a gun but he also uses a knife or a piece of guitar wire with wooden ends that he used to strangle people with. You were damned lucky he had a heart attack. You know, Cyril my friend, I have you pegged as a good man but just as cold as I am underneath. Are you sure you didn’t ice this guy? Not that I wouldn’t blame you if you did.”
Chuck sighed.
“No, he died of natural causes. I thought he was a victim like the rest of us so I was taking care of him when he died. Seemed like such a meek and mild man.”
“Sure, so was Charlie Manson. We’re all better off with him gone and both of us would be much better off if old Collins was gone. In fact, I think we ought to kill him.”
“Get real, Claude, we can’t go killing a high level police officer. In the first place, even though I know where he lives…”
“Hold it, lad, just hold it. You know where the shit lives? Are you serious?”
“I found his unlisted phone and home address in LeBec’s private phone book. He lives down by the marina.”
“That’s because he owns a big cruiser he keeps docked there. It’s called the ‘Lady Luck’ and he has been known to take out dead people on it and throw them into the lake. He does love that boat. And a fat slut who has been living with him for years. You have the address, do you? Well, I think we ought to do him. I know he’ll kill me if he finds out where I am and you believe he’ll do you so what do we have to lose?”
Chuck was curious.
“How do you know so much about Collins?”
“A boyfriend of mine is a Chicago detective. Look surprised, do you? First you find out I’m a burglar and now I tell you I have been known to sleep with men. Really shocks you, doesn’t it?”
“I don’t care. And I doubt if you’re gay.”
“Oh, I’m not. My first piece of ass was a girl my age and I do like women. And they do love me, Chuck, they can’t wait to get their pink-nailed fingers on my staff of life. On the other hand, I like men too and one is just as good as the other in a dark room. You can call me bisexual. Is that more acceptable for you?”
Chuck laughed and reached for his brandy.
“I would say you were tri-sexual, Claude.”
“What? What’s that? Tri-sexual? Mice, pigs, dead pigeons?”
“No, you don’t understand. I meant you’d probably try anything at least once.”
“I see, a smart-ass. You’re probably right. But everyone in this place is safe from Uncle Claude’s magic marker and do you know why?”
“You have AIDS?”
“Fuck off. Because I like you, and the others, and I don’t piss in my own house. OK?”
“Fine. Such delicacy. Last week, both of my friends got into my bed after a strip poker session and did all kinds of embarrassing things with me. What does that make me?”
“If Lars had anything to do with it, probably very sore. Let’s forget the sex and get back to Collins. Agreed that if we don’t get him, he’ll get at least one of us?
Chuck rubbed his hands together and nodded.
“Logic tells me that, of course, you are correct. One could say that perhaps he might not find out about this place. If he does, the first we would know about it would be when one of us died suddenly.”
“Or all of us.”
“Perhaps. But he doesn’t know that LeBec is dead and that means something. He will wonder and I am sure he will send people up here to try to find him. Perhaps we could cut off LeBec’s head and hands and mail them to Collins from some other place. Would he tell the police about this?”
“What would be the point?”
“Convince Collins that we are bad people in another, far distant, state.”
“That wouldn’t stop him, now would it? Then there would be a possible murder charge and he could get legitimate law enforcement after us.”
Collins did not know where either Chuck, whom he had been very well paid to kill, or Claude whom he wished to kill because he was a business rival, were. He knew that one of his best men had vanished but perhaps his men were telling the truth and LeBec was even now stalking his prey in Terre Haute.


This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

A warning to Internet browsers
January 6, 2020
by Christian Jürs
We included the following addresses on a very recent mailout and immediately had them rejected for being what was called a ‘honeypot.’
A ‘honeypot is known, and its description published, as a child pornographic site!
‘Through a collaboration with the Government Agency (e.g., Federal Bureau of Investigation), a honeypot website can be released to trap child pornography criminals’ Hackernoon
The entity that accused them of maintaining such a legally forbidden site is:
• Registry Domain ID: 1814508605_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
• Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.godaddy.com
• Registrar URL: http://www.godaddy.com
Accessing, or supporting a “honeypot’ is a federal offense
Here is the message we received on each listed site:
“host smtp.servconfig.com []
SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
550 Destination is to a known honeypot.”
It should be noted that contacting or messaging with an identified honeypot is a serious Federal offense.


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