15 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-17-19

  1. “Walls Are Closing in on the FBI—and Its Media Accomplices”


    “Shoring Up Oversight—And a Bombshell Letter
    House and Senate Republicans have been frustrated with stonewalling by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has thwarted their demands for testimony and materials related to the FISAgate scandal. (Or should we now call it FBIgate?) Reps. James Jordan (R-Ohio) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) have been harsh critics of Rosenstein; they moved to impeach him last year.

    Jordan again recently requested that Rosenstein appear before the House Oversight Committee and respond to reports he offered to wear a wire to record President Trump. Rosenstein also advised Trump last September not to declassify key documents—including the FISA application on Carter Page and correspondence between top law enforcement officials, including ex-FBI Director James Comey—the president had pledged to release per Congress’s request.

    But it appears that Barr will be more forthcoming than Rosenstein and act quickly to find out exactly what went down in the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017. Some of his underlings are one step ahead of him: Andrew McCabe is already under criminal investigation by the U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. A grand jury apparently is looking into illegal leaks by McCabe to reporters in 2016 and lying about it to federal officials.

    McCabe isn’t the only one in serious legal jeopardy.

    As Barr was testifying Tuesday afternoon, Jordan and Meadows released their own bombshell letter about James Baker, the former FBI general counsel whose partial testimony was leaked to the Times for its January 11 article. Under questioning by lawmakers last October, Baker’s attorney disclosed that his client was being investigated by the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut.

    “During the course of our investigation we interviewed [Baker] and discovered your office is investigating him for unauthorized disclosures to the media,” they wrote to U.S. Attorney John Durham. (Baker and FBI lawyer/McCabe confidant Lisa Page both resigned on the same day last year.)

    The letter mentions two reporters—David Corn of Mother Jones and Franklin Foer, a writer for The Atlantic who worked for Slate during the 2016 presidential campaign. Both reporters posted explosive stories on October 31, 2016 about Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. Corn’s article is mostly about the dossier and clearly sourced by Christopher Steele, but his piece also references Foer’s article alleging unusual activity between a Trump organization email server and Alpha Bank, the largest private bank in Russia. The Alpha Bank connection was one more cog in the manufactured Trump-Russia collusion plot that could also be traced back to Fusion GPS chief Glenn Simpson.

    Hillary Clinton cited the article in a tweet one week before Election Day, demanding that “it’s time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia.”

    It’s unclear whether Baker was the source for one or both of those articles, but his lawyer refused to allow Baker to “answer the questions about whether he had conversations with reporters.”

    The Real Scandal
    Barr has his work cut out for him, and no time to waste. His inspector general now is working on a report about FISA abuse at the agency related to the 2016 election; the new attorney general should also disclose to the public the numerous FBI agents who improperly received gifts from reporters. (We want names.) Not one law enforcement or intelligence official has been identified or charged with illegally leaking classified information on Michael Flynn or Carter Page: Those disclosures are felonies.

    As I wrote Monday, the Trump-Russia collusion peddlers are in the throes of death spasms after the Times article, desperate to keep their charade alive. But that manufactured scandal is in its final stages while the real scandal looks like it will finally get the attention by the nation’s top lawyer that it deserves.

    To borrow a well-worn line of the so-called #Resistance, “the walls are closing in.””


  2. “A national disgrace of unprecedented historic proportions.”


    “Comey and his crew were in a world of trouble. They had played partisan presidential politics and their candidate had lost. All of their plans were dashed, and they now faced the disagreeable likelihood of being held to account by the incoming president. What to do?

    But, as they pondered this question, their prospects dimmed further. On November 17, 2016, Admiral Mike Rogers, the Director of the National Security Agency, met with President-elect Trump in New York. While it is unknown what transpired at that meeting, the next day two things happened.

    First, the Trump transition team vacated Trump Tower and moved to New Jersey. Was this because Rogers had warned Trump of ongoing FBI electronic surveillance of Trump Tower?

    Second, the same day the transition team departed Trump Tower, the Washington Post reported on a recommendation by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to President Obama that Rogers be removed from office. Noting that Rogers had “caused consternation at senior levels of the [Obama] administration” by meeting with Trump without notifying “superiors,” the Postarticle stated that the recommendation to remove him had been made in October 2016, well before his meeting with Trump. Why? What had he done?

    We know now that in early 2016 Rogers had advised the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of wholesale abuse of FISA powers by the FBI. This led to an internal investigation and a hearing before the FISC in October 2016. On April 26, 2017, the FISC issued a highly redacted Memorandum Opinion and Order regarding this abuse. The court found that “the FBI had disclosed raw FISA information” to a name-redacted organization “staffed largely by private contractors.” These private contractors had been given “access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems…”

    Who were these private contractors? What, if any relation, did this illegal activity have with the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign?

    While the answers to these critical questions are unknown, the facts recited in the FISC opinion combined with Rogers’ unauthorized meeting with Trump and the Trump transition team’s prompt evacuation of Trump Tower raise the specter that, throughout the presidential campaign and after the election, the FBI’s widespread illegal abuse of FISA was aimed at Trump.

    The Times’ claim that the FBI didn’t begin investigating Trump until he fired Comey is patently and demonstrably untrue. Comey’s FBI investigated Trump during the campaign even as it was meretriciously and repeatedly clearing Hillary Clinton of criminal charges.

    But let’s accept for the sake of argument the Times’ claim that the Comey firing triggered the FBI investigation of Trump. Are we to believe that, rid of Comey, the FBI was then out of partisan politics? No, it was not.

    With Comey gone, leadership of the FBI went to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. In 2015, McCabe’s wife ran for Virginia State Senate with the political support of then Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe’s political action committee and the state Democratic party gave Jill McCabe financial and “in-kind” support of more than $650,000.

    McAuliffe was and is a well-known Clinton insider and supporter. In fact, in June 2015, Hillary Clinton had been a featured speaker at a fundraiser for McAuliffe’s PAC, the same organization that had been so generous to McCabe’s wife’s campaign.

    When his wife announced her candidacy, McCabe was the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. But by February 2016, he had risen to the rank of Deputy Director. In that capacity, he oversaw the Clinton email investigation until its very last days, when it had become clear that Comey was going to publicly grant Clinton absolution for her sins.

    McCabe did his part to undermine the new president by setting up Trump’s National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn, for his fatal interview by Special Agent Peter Strzok. According to Joe diGenova, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, McCabe was on a conference call when Flynn’s indictment for lying to the FBI was announced. McCabe reportedly cheered.

    This recitation of FBI connivance and subversion is by no means all-inclusive. The list could go on, but you get the idea. Contrary to the Times’story, Trump wasn’t targeted by the FBI because he fired Comey. While that may have spurred Comey’s crew to intensify their efforts to get Trump and may make for a good cover story, those efforts started almost the day he announced his candidacy for the presidency.

    The Times would have us believe that Comey’s FBI was a pristine, nonpartisan guardian of the national interest alarmed by a perceived threat to national security posed by Trump. In fact, under Comey and McCabe, it was an active adjunct of the Democratic Party using its nearly unlimited investigative powers to make a massive in-kind contribution to the Clinton campaign. Comey, McCabe, and others in the FBI hierarchy acted, quite simply, as political operatives with badges.”


  3. “Understanding Why the Deep State Had to Take Down General Michael Flynn”


    “Does the American public really understand what happened to Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn? Highlights of the case have been thoroughly exploited by the shallow, left-leaning media as a convenient avenue to attack President Trump. But important elements of the story remain largely buried from public view.

    The tragic political demise of this distinguished general who was President Trump’s initial national security adviser, one of the key jobs in the White House, has been well documented. Former FBI director James Comey and the now disgraced upper echelon of the FBI and, subsequently, Special Counsel Robert Mueller maliciously trapped him, resulting in his ultimate prosecution and pleading guilty to lying to the FBI. Not only did Flynn lose an important and influential job in the White House, but they also bankrupted him with legal fees; threatened his family; and, worst of all, damaged the good name of a highly decorated military professional who served his country honorably and with distinction as a member of the American Intelligence Community.

    The despicable and unethical attack on Flynn immediately after his appointment by Trump was just one element of a shameful Deep State campaign to discredit and destroy the Trump presidency. As Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn had Trump’s ear. He was potentially the Deep State’s worst nightmare. Flynn knows in detail how the Intelligence Community and the FISA courts operate. With a 33-year military career, including heading up the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn was an existential threat to outgoing President Obama and his shameless and highly partisan CIA director, John Brennan, who cynically and criminally corrupted the Intelligence Community for political purposes on behalf of Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    The Conservative Tree House linked Flynn’s fall from grace to his knowledge of what happened in Benghazi. Flynn knew how they lied and covered up the disaster that cost four American lives, including an ambassador’s.

    Behind the attack-motive was the much bigger State Department and CIA problem with the U.S. Libyan weapons and the flow to Syria. The U.S. sending weapons into the hands of al-Qaeda was always the larger risk to the Obama administration. This problem started with Clinton (State) and Panetta (CIA at the time), but now those weapons going to Syria was an even bigger problem. Flynn was not in place at the time (2010 – 2011).

    There is yet another major element of Flynn’s fall from grace that, predictably, has been ignored by the politically correct, anti-Trump media.

    In 2016, Flynn published his book, The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies. That’s the last direction of policy that Barack Hussein Obama, Brennan (there is suggestive but unconfirmed evidence that Brennan is a converted Muslim), and their pro-Islamic allies wanted as a priority agenda of the new administration.

    You will recall that Obama’s well established Muslim sympathies led him to pressure Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak into inviting the Muslim Brotherhood to attend his Cairo speech over Mubarak’s objections. Obama later supported Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi until Morsi was overthrown by the Egyptian people with the help of the Egyptian military. Who can forget Obama’s criticism at a prayer breakfast, where he never mentioned Islam, of what Crusaders did in the name of Christianity?

    That’s the same Obama who, in his May 19, 2011 speech, called for Israel to be cut in two by connecting the Gaza strip, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank (emphasis added):

    The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

    Recall that Flynn was dismissed by Obama as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2014, thus ending Flynn’s military career. In his final interview as DIA director, Flynn said he felt like a lone voice in thinking that the United States was less safe from the threat of Islamic terrorism in 2014 than it was prior to the 9/11 attacks. Flynn believed he was pushed into retirement for questioning the Obama administration’s public narrative that al-Qaeda was close to defeat.

    Journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that Flynn told him his agency had sent a constant stream of classified warnings about “the dire consequences of toppling Syrian President Bashar Assad.” Flynn recounted that his agency was producing intelligence reports indicating that radical Islamists were the main force in the Syrian insurgency and “that Turkey was looking the other way when it came to the growth of the Islamic State inside Syria.” Flynn reportedly said the reports “got enormous pushback from the Obama administration,” who he felt “did not want to hear the truth.” According to former DIA official W. Patrick Lang: “Flynn incurred the wrath of the White House by insisting on telling the truth about Syria … they shoved him out. He wouldn’t shut up.”

    In addition to Trump’s appointment of Flynn as national security adviser, Trump had also named Sebastian Gorka as a deputy assistant. Gorka washed out of the Trump administration in a few short months after accusations from the Deep State and academia that he was a fringe academic with questionable credentials. It’s no coincidence that Gorka, an internationally prominent and highly respected authority on counterterrorism, had published a book with a similar theme to Flynn’s: Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War.”


  4. “The Deep State Digs Deeper”


    “Will a failure to prosecute seal the fate of the U.S. as a banana republic?

    As we approach Martin Luther King Day, it seems timely to reflect on King’s statement from a Birmingham jail in 1963 that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Arguably, the greatest injustice and worst crime against the democratic republic of the United States is for an elite cadre to engineer and attempt to carry out a coup that subverts the government elected by the people.

    But that injustice has just happened! A crime that makes Watergate look like Romper Room has been carried out by public figures, whose names we all recognize, but who are also part of the “Deep State.”

    Some in the Deep State work openly, such as those in permanent bureaucracies of Washington, D.C., while others — notably political appointees — typically operate behind the scenes. Probably most Deep State players believe they are part of a positive vanguard rather than a shadowy conspiracy. Being generally progressive and collectivist in their orientation, Deep State players generally know what to think, say, and do without being under control or receiving any directives.

    Elements of a Deep State have been around for many decades — even dating back to the early Progressive era with roots prior to the Woodrow Wilson presidency. But machinations of the Deep State became overt and obvious during the Obama Administration, much like what happened during FDR’s tenure, when numerous federal government agencies were riddled with Americans who had become agents or agents of influence for the Soviet Union.

    Many in government who would be considered part of the Deep State think of themselves as having a role in the forward looking elite, and so are open to a postmodern perspective, which is a philosophical framework in which reality is seen as a human construct rather than one defined by objective or independent facts or a connection to past history. Postmodernists typically embrace a “global” perspective, which puts them at odds with the U.S. Constitution and things like borders and American exceptionalism. And because postmodernists believe that truth and reality are human constructs, which are relative rather than absolute or fixed by higher authority — such as the Bible used for swearing in high-level government appointees — they also presuppose that making judgments about the law, truth, and falsehood is subjective and changeable. As Bill Clinton aptly put it, “It depends on what the definition of is is.”

    The Deep State also has roots in what was described in 2010 by scholar Angelo Codevilla as the “Ruling Class” in Washington, D.C., whose chief pretension is its intellectual superiority and the corollary that the vast majority of Americans are “unfit to run their own lives.” For Hillary Clinton, these are “the deplorables.” Barack Obama describes them as those who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them…”

    Prominent leaders in the Deep State believe they are the elect — superior to the masses and deserving to be above the law. Which is, of course, why they prefer and count on a two-tiered justice system for immunity from prosecution for law-breaking.

    Members of the Deep State may pay lip service to the founders and the Constitution, but in practice they’re more comfortable with Saul Alinsky, whose “Rules for Radicals” provide the apologetics for all the ways in which the ends justify the means. For Alinsky, deceit and law breaking were standard methods of operation. It’s noteworthy that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were Alinsky fans. Obama taught and led Alinskyite community organizing in Chicago, while Hillary established a personal relationship with Alinsky after writing her senior thesis at Wellesley College, entitled, “There is Only the Fight… An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.”

    The Deep State also enjoys a cozy, symbiotic and vital relationship with the mainstream media, which it has helped corrupt, and which can be counted on to pursue stories incorporating government leaks, sensationalism, sleaze, or a politically correct angle. The media are indispensable in providing the means for propagating Deep State disinformation and false narratives, such as that of an alleged video being the cause the Benghazi, Libya terrorist attack, in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed.

    Members of the Deep State trust and use the media to leak politically charged information, such as what outgoing FBI director James Comey did with his memo to assure the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate alleged Trump-Russian collusion. The Washington Post describes Comey and Mueller as “brothers in arms… who were mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder’s time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.”

    The media also have the unique ability to distract the public from the real and important stories — such as those disclosing government corruption — by simply crowding those stories out. The Deep State understands the importance of the long view — both in defanging scandal by making it old news and in running out the clock on statute of limitations in the event one or more of their own might face indictment. Additionally, the media can be counted on to emphasize form over substance in a variety of ways — such as focusing on leaders’ fashion and manner of speaking rather than the content of what they say and do. Last, the media routinely provide little or no historical context in news stories, a practice that exploits the public’s limited memory of such.”


  5. Good. Put hem under oath.


    “Judge orders Susan Rice, other Obama officials to answer questions in Clinton email case”

    “A federal judge has breathed new life into questions surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and the 2012 attack that killed U.S. officials in Benghazi, Libya.

    Judge Royce Lamberth ruled Tuesday that Obama administration officials, including national security adviser Susan Rice and deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, must answer written questions as part of a conservative judicial advocacy group’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department over Clinton’s emails.

    The lawsuit by Judicial Watch – now with the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit – was first filed in 2014 in an effort to obtain records related to Clinton and her staff’s response to the Benghazi attack. Specifically, the group sought documents about Rice’s explanation immediately after the attack on the U.S. compound that characterized it as a protest turned violent instead of a deliberate terrorist assault. At the time of the attack, Rice was serving as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

    “But the case has since expanded to question the motives behind Clinton’s private email use while Secretary and behind the government’s conduct in this litigation,” Lamberth wrote in his Tuesday order.

    Judicial Watch claims that Clinton intentionally used her private email server in an attempt to shield her communications from FOIA requests and that the State Department acted deceptively and did not really try to complete the request.

    More: Former Army Ranger says he wanted to ‘choke’ Obama for Benghazi line in speech

    Lamberth, who was appointed to his seat by former President Ronald Reagan, ruled that Judicial Watch can depose the State Department on the development of Rice’s “talking points” for her media appearances, the “advance dissemination or discussion of those talking points,” the “aftermath of Rice’s appearances” and State Department officials’ “evolving understanding of the Benghazi attack.”

    “Rice’s talking points and State’s understanding of the attack play an unavoidably central role in this case,” he argued. Lamberth said questions about those issues could uncover “unsearched, relevant records” and “shed light on Clinton’s motives for shielding her emails from FOIA requesters.”

    The judge approved the submission of written questions to Rice and Rhodes, who “helped develop Rice’s talking points.” But he rejected Judicial Watch’s request to depose the two former Obama officials in person.

    Lamberth agreed with government lawyers’ objection that Judicial Watch can’t “appoint itself as a freelance Inspector General” and conduct its own investigation into the Benghazi affair.

    “But that’s not what Judicial Watch does here,” he wrote. “Though Judicial Watch cannot helm a fishing expedition trawling anything and everything concerning the Benghazi attack,” he ruled it can depose the State Department on subjects related to its FOIA request. ”


    Silly people. Only Deep State flunkies like Mueller get to go on fishing expeditions.


  6. Further proof they lied to the FISA court to get their bogus warrants to spy on team Trump.


    “When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

    The then-No. 4 Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

    Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

    At the time, Ohr was the associate attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtained from a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

    Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

    They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.

    Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

    A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.

    The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

    Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.”


  7. This women is a joke. A rather vile and disgusting one.



  8. Poor Nancy. Caught lying again.



    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter Wednesday to the White House asking for a postponement of the annual State of the Union address until after the government shutdown has ended. Pelosi cited security concerns over the speech due to “hamstrung” security agencies.

    Pelosi wrote:

    The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events. However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] have not been funded for 26 days now — with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs. Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.

    However, multiple DHS officials and Secret Service veterans have said that Pelosi is not being truthful in her remarks and weaponizing the Secret Service for political reasons.

    Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino tells The Daily Caller that Pelosi owes the Secret Service an apology and that the shutdown has nothing to do with agency readiness.”


  9. Some refugees are more equal than others I guess.


    “Media had a field day last week with the story of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled an abusive family situation by escaping to Thailand, where she used social media to publicize her predicament and gain a hearing with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Within six days of barricading herself inside a hotel room at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, UNHCR granted al-Qunun refugee status, and Canada gave her asylum. It makes good sense for someone in fear of her life in an oppressive country to be offered asylum elsewhere. I just wish the UNHCR (and international media) would apply the same treatment to my Pakistani Christian friend Michael and his family. They’ve been waiting more than seven years, with no end in sight.

    Federalist readers may remember Michael, whom I wrote about in March 2018 after Muslim extremist thugs brutally assaulted him in a suburb of Karachi, and burned his tuk tuk (also known as a motorized rickshaw), his only source of livelihood. (Thank you to the many readers who supported the GoFundMe page that raised thousands of dollars for Michael’s medical expenses).

    After several weeks of recovery, Michael and his wife and three children tried to seek asylum in the European Union, but were rejected at the Polish border and forced back to Pakistan. Apparently the EU has no problem taking in more than 1 million Muslim migrants, but isn’t willing to take in a Catholic family who have been severely persecuted. Europe’s Christian ancestors, who built the greatest civilization this world has ever known — and that was a haven for those persecuted for their faith in Christ — would balk.

    A Family of Color Threatened with Murder
    Other Western institutions are worthy of censure for failing to help Michael’s family, who have been the targets of Islamic extremist threats, intimidation, and violence in Pakistan since 2005. After seven years of this treatment — which included attempts to forcibly convert Michael, threats against his person, threats that his wife and older daughter would be taken and married to Muslim men, kidnappings of extended family members, numerous physical assaults, and false allegations of blasphemy (an offense that often elicits mob violence) — Michael fled with his family to Bangkok.

    There are thousands of Pakistani Christians living in Thailand’s capital, and elsewhere in the country, because of the suffering and persecution they have endured in their native land. This has created a humanitarian crisis that the UNHCR in Bangkok is poorly equipped to address, and thus results in tremendous backlogs for those seeking refugee status.

    As someone who lived in Bangkok for three years and was heavily involved in advocating for Pakistani Catholic asylum-seekers and refugees, I have sympathy for UNHCR workers in Thailand, who are overwhelmed with the sheer number of people from Pakistan and elsewhere in need of assistance. Yet there are also significant problems that suggest UNHCR has routinely failed.

    During Michael’s interview with UNHCR, he was assigned an interpreter who was blatantly working against his family’s interests. Michael, who speaks English well enough to represent himself, was forced to take an Urdu interpreter. Several times when he spoke in Urdu, the interpreter would translate it incorrectly.

    The interpreter, who threatened to cancel the interview if Michael spoke in English, told the UN officer, in English, that Michael was lying about his story. At the end of the interview the interpreter told Michael in Urdu that he should return to Pakistan and convert to Islam, so that his “problems would be solved.” Michael’s family is not the only one who experienced this problem with UNHCR interpreters.”

    Convert or die doesn’t really offer a choice.


  10. I wonder if the federal employees who are seeking unemployment pay have to pay it back when they get reimbursed their paychecks? I have to say that I am somewhat amused by the shock of those employees for how long it takes to get unemployment. Many of the miners and steelworkers etc. who went through lay-offs or lost their employment altogether are well aware of how long it takes and what lay-offs are like. Perhaps there will be a little more empathy from these people for others now.

    I realize there are some differences for those who still need to work and pay for daycare or who could not plan for missing a paycheck. Otherwise, for anyone who cannot withstand one paycheck, I hope they wise up. There are many reasons anyone might miss a paycheck.

    I also wonder if those who call in sick will be paid back pay when they get back to work.

    Shutting down the government is a horrible waste of tax payers dollars. It is stressful for many on top of that. No one in the legislative branch should be paid, IMO. They surely should not be off being wined and dined.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Ouch.

    Well played Mr. President….. well played…..

    And you know what they say about payback…..

    And besides, they just came back from vacationing in PR, so another to Brussels and Egypt is unnecessary. Plus they have work to do here at home. If the shutdown is the horror for fed workers they claim it is, they need to get back to the negotiating table.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Revenge…..


    “Just a reminder that this is the greatest show any of us will ever watch and we should appreciate it as such.” 🙂

    “Either he wrote that himself or the White House comms department has adopted his Twitter style of random capitalization.

    Members of Congress typically fly abroad on official trips via military aircraft. He’s the commander-in-chief so he decided that military aircraft are momentarily unavailable. Next, I assume, is Pelosi and House Dems announcing which presidential perks will no longer be funded.

    Says Drew McCoy, “It’s going to be wild watching people go after Trump on the shutdown for not helping Pelosi and other Democrats leave town in the middle of it.” Yeah, but they will. Some are already knocking him for revealing her itinerary, which is typically kept secret for security reasons until the delegation arrives at its destination. I assume the chief complaint will have to do with Afghanistan, though. It’s one thing to impede her from visiting Egypt and Brussels (home of NATO!), we’ll be told, it’s another to impede a goodwill visit to where U.S. troops are stationed. And needless to say, she’s not flying commercial into Taliban country.”

    The beatings will continue until morale improves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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