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Monday, May 29, 2017


Sources: Arlington Cemetery, YouTube

Sunday, May 28, 2017






Sources: BBC News, The Hill, Forbes, YouTube

**** Assange: 'Kushner correct to create channels with everyone'

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange on Sunday said he thinks President Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner was "correct" if he attempted to set up backchannel communication with Russian leadership.

"Kushner correct to create channels with everyone," Assange tweeted Sunday, following reports that Kushner sought to set up a line of communication between the Trump transition team and Moscow.

"CIA has no authority over leadership and is financially motivated to increase conflict."

Washington Post reported last week that Kushner in December sought to establish a backchannel line of communication between the Trump transition team and Moscow.

The move came during a meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI is looking at meetings that Kushner fielded with Kislyak and Russian banking executive Sergey Gorkov in December as part of the law enforcement investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Sunday, April 30, 2017





Sources: The Blaze, Fox News, Twitter, Youtube

***** Gutfeld bashes White House Correspondents’ Dinner: ‘Trump Kicked the Media’s Rump’

On Saturday night’s episode of the “Greg Gutfeld Show” on the Fox News Channel, Gutfeld slammed the liberal media’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner and praised President Donald Trump for choosing to bypass the event, which is usually attended by presidents on both sides of the aisle.

“He’s like the cool outcast at school who tells the snotty, rich kids, ‘I don’t want to go to your stupid party, I’ll throw my own, thank you very much! And I’m going to invite all my friends!'” Gutfeld said.

Gutfeld called Trump’s decision to hold a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a key swing state for Trump, a “stroke of brilliance” and referred to the Correspondents’ Dinner as an “orgy of preening self-importance.”

Trump’s rally in Harrisburg attracted thousands of supporters, and the president used the opportunity to jab the media.

“As you may know, there’s another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington, D.C., did you hear about it?” Trump said. “A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now.”

“They are gathered together for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner without the president,” Trump said. “And I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from Washington’s swamp, spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people, right?”

Trump also took the opportunity to list the accomplishments his administration has achieved in its first 100 days.

“For the last 100 days my administration has been delivering every single day for the great citizens of our country, whether it’s putting our coal miners back to work, protecting America’s steel and aluminum workers or eliminating job killing regulations, we are keeping one promise after another and frankly the people are really happy about it,” Trump said.





Sources: Donald Trump, ABC News, Fox News, Washington Examiner, Youtube

**** Give Trump 130 days: President's tax plan is his biggest test (and biggest opportunity)
Forget the 100 day reckoning; let’s give President Trump 130 days instead.

Here’s why: the president is on the cusp of achieving nothing less than a once-in-a-generation tax cut that will boost the U.S. economy out of its 8-year rut and restore the nation’s competitiveness.

It won’t pass in the next four weeks, but if Trump throws himself into selling the plan over the next month, and it catches the country’s imagination, “Resisting” Democrats will have to climb aboard. The buoyant stock market will continue its run, optimism will rise yet again, and Donald Trump will be well on his way to a successful presidency.

Trump himself will have to hit the campaign trail, dig out those red MAGA hats, and convince the country that this program will create jobs, boost wages, help middle-class families and put the nation on the right track. He must sell it not as a tax cut, but as a jobs bill – something the country has hungered for ever since the Great Recession. Something President Obama failed to deliver.

This is the biggest test yet for the young Trump presidency. It isn’t Paul Ryan’s plan or Kevin Brady’s plan; it’s the Trump tax plan. He owns it, he campaigned on it, and if he can get it done his backers will be thrilled.

It will especially please small business owners, who pay taxes today at over 50 percent in some states, and who are among Trump’s most enthusiastic backers. As one participant in a recent small-biz roundtable with the president wrote in The Hill, “Former President Barack Obama was an almost-daily insult for eight years, telling us the economy was doing great while business owners struggled keep their doors open.” Small firms account for nearly half the nation’s private workforce; they need lighter regulation and a tax break; Trump is serving up both, as promised.

Oh, and by the way, if Trump succeeds in pushing through his tax plan, those deriding the White House as inept and Republicans as unable to govern will develop a sudden case of laryngitis.

Bringing the party together to cut taxes for millions won’t have happened in the first 100 days. Who’s counting? If significant progress is posted in the next few weeks, Trump wins.

The Tax Foundation last year analyzed Trump’s tax plan, and estimated it would boost economic growth, create 5.3 million new jobs, and kick wages up by 6.5 percent. Notwithstanding the benefits that will accrue to U.S. workers, Democrats will fight Trump’s tax plan tooth and nail.
They don’t believe that lower taxes spur growth, even though tax cuts pushed through by John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan most definitely did. They don’t want to “starve the beast” of the ever-expanding federal government, because they don’t think that Americans are wiser about investing our money that the bureaucrats in Washington.

Adding to their hypocrisy is a new-found concern about the federal debt. Democrats complained for years that the Stimulus passed in 2009 wasn’t big enough; they are fans of deficit spending – as long as it grows the swamp and not the private sector.

The battle is joined, as we saw from the next-day treatment from the media.

The New York Times banner read: “Tax Overhaul Would Aid Wealthiest”. The paper followed up with: “Trump’s Plan Shifts Trillion to Wealthiest.” Fact: the top 20 percent of earners in U.S. pay 84 percent of the country’s income taxes. Yes, those folks, the ones paying the lion’s share of our taxes, will get a break.

In numerous articles, the Grey Lady has hinted recently that Trump’s tax policy is especially crafted to benefiting himself – by retaining the mortgage interest deduction, for instance. Yes, real estate developers benefit from that deduction; so do tens of millions of American homeowners. Since the current plan includes eliminating the ability to deduct state and local taxes, which would pummel wealthy New Yorkers like Trump, that particular story line was muted.

The facts are clear: the United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Nearly every one of our major competitors has cut their corporate tax burden in recent years; we are the outliers. While it is true that businesses take advantage of numerous loopholes and pay less than the statutory rate of 35 percent (39 percent for companies operating in high-tax states), it is also true that even adjusting for deductions and carve-outs, American businesses still pay the second-highest actual rate among developed countries.

A CATO study some years ago argued that in today’s interconnected world, it is workers who ultimately pay business taxes. “The burden of corporate taxes in the globalized economy,” senior fellows Chris Edwards and Daniel J. Mitchell wrote in Global Tax Revolution, “mainly falls on average workers in the form of lower wages. If U.S. and foreign semiconductor and pharmaceutical companies are not building factories in America because of higher taxes, it is American workers who lose.”

We need to do better. Donald Trump sometimes says “We don’t win anymore.” His supporters get that. Businesses want to move out of the U.S. to take advantage of low tax rates elsewhere, but our country should press our many advantages. We are a rule of law nation, we speak English and we have vast energy resources that over time will become a significant competitive advantage. While labor rates in manufacturing, for instance, are cheaper elsewhere, automation means that wages are becoming a smaller part of total costs.

If tax breaks spur investment, U.S. firms will become ever more competitive. Most important, we are still the world’s largest consumer market – right here.

Why on earth wouldn’t companies want to locate here? Let’s make it easy for them.
The plan rolled out by the White House is an opening bid. There will be negotiations over the top rates, the repatriation on overseas-held cash and other particulars. Trump could mollify deficit hawks by eliminating the tax break on carried interest, for instance, which mainly benefits private equity and hedge fund managers. Even many industry participants think that hand-out should disappear. He also could pressure Democrats by rolling out an infrastructure plan to be seeded by the proceeds of a one-time repatriation of foreign earnings stashed overseas by U.S. companies. That’s the Art of the Deal.

But the main message is this: lowering corporate and individual rates will gin up growth, create jobs and raise wages. Astonishingly, even the prospect of this tax plan set the stock market soaring and boosted consumer and business confidence. That’s how hopeful people are, and how potent this medicine will be for our ailing economy. This is Trump’s big moment; I’ll give him a few more weeks.

(The Goals Of Donald J. Trump’s Tax Plan)

~ Too few Americans are working, too many jobs have been shipped overseas, and too many
middle class families cannot make ends meet. This tax plan directly meets these challenges with
four simple goals:
1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people
keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and
let everyone keep more of their money.
3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number
of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.

~ The Trump Tax Plan Achieves These Goals
1. If you are single and earn less than $25,000, or married and jointly earn less than $50,000,
you will not owe any income tax. That removes nearly 75 million households – over 50% –
from the income tax rolls. They get a new one page form to send the IRS saying, “I win,”
those who would otherwise owe income taxes will save an average of nearly $1,000 each.
2. All other Americans will get a simpler tax code with four brackets – 0%, 10%, 20% and 25%
– instead of the current seven. This new tax code eliminates the marriage penalty and the
Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) while providing the lowest tax rate since before World
War II.
3. No business of any size, from a Fortune 500 to a mom and pop shop to a freelancer living job
to job, will pay more than 15% of their business income in taxes. This lower rate makes
corporate inversions unnecessary by making America’s tax rate one of the best in the world.
4. No family will have to pay the death tax. You earned and saved that money for your family,
not the government. You paid taxes on it when you earned it.

~ The Trump Tax Plan Is Revenue Neutral
The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:
1. Reducing or eliminating most deductions and loopholes available to the very rich.
2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted
10% tax rate, followed by an end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad.
3. Reducing or eliminating corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as
deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and
business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business
interest expenses.


America needs a bold, simple and achievable plan based on conservative economic principles.
This plan does that with needed tax relief for all Americans, especially the working poor and
middle class, pro-growth tax reform for all sizes of businesses, and fiscally responsible steps to
ensure this plan does not add to our enormous debt and deficit.
This plan simplifies the tax code by taking nearly 50% of current filers off the income tax rolls
entirely and reducing the number of tax brackets from seven to four for everyone else.
This plan also reduces or eliminates loopholes used by the very rich and special interests made unnecessary
or redundant by the new lower tax rates on individuals and companies.
The Trump Tax Plan: A Simpler Tax Code For All Americans
When the income tax was first introduced, just one percent of Americans had to pay it.
It was never intended as a tax most Americans would pay. The Trump plan eliminates the income tax
for over 73 million households.
42 million households that currently file complex forms to
determine they don’t owe any income taxes will now file a one page form saving them time,
stress, uncertainty and an average of $110 in preparation costs.
Over 31 million households get the same simplification and keep on average nearly $1,000 of their hard-earned money.
For those Americans who will still pay the income tax, the tax rates will go from the current
seven brackets to four simpler, fairer brackets that eliminate the marriage penalty and the AMT
while providing the lowest tax rate since before World War II:

Long Term Cap
Dividends Rate
Single Filers Married Filers Heads of Household
0% 0% $0 to $25,000 $0 to $50,000 $0 to $37,500
10% 0% $25,001 to $50,000 $50,001 to $100,000 $37,501 to $75,000
20% 15% $50,001 to $150,000 $100,001 to $300,000 $75,001 to $225,000
25% 20% $150,001 and up $300,001 and up $225,001 and up

With this huge reduction in rates, many of the current exemptions and deductions will become
unnecessary or redundant.

Those within the 10% bracket will keep all or most of their current deductions. Those within the 20% bracket will keep more than half of their current deductions.

Those within the 25% bracket will keep fewer deductions. Charitable giving and mortgage
interest deductions will remain unchanged for all taxpayers.
Simplifying the tax code and cutting every American’s taxes will boost consumer spending,
encourage savings and investment, and maximize economic growth.

~ Business Tax Reform To Encourage Jobs And Spur Economic Growth

Too many companies – from great American brands to innovative startups – are leaving
America, either directly or through corporate inversions. The Democrats want to outlaw
inversions, but that will never work. Companies leaving is not the disease, it is the symptom.
Politicians in Washington have let America fall from the best corporate tax rate in the
industrialized world in the 1980’s (thanks to Ronald Reagan) to the worst rate in the
industrialized world.

That is unacceptable. Under the Trump plan, America will compete with
the world and win by cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, taking our rate from one of the worst
to one of the best.

This lower tax rate cannot be for big business alone; it needs to help the small businesses that are
the true engine of our economy. Right now, freelancers, sole proprietors, unincorporated small
businesses and pass-through entities are taxed at the high personal income tax rates.

This treatment stifles small businesses. It also stifles tax reform because efforts to reduce loopholes
and deductions available to the very rich and special interests end up hitting small businesses and
job creators as well.

The Trump plan addresses this challenge head on with a new business
income tax rate within the personal income tax code that matches the 15% corporate tax rate to
help these businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers grow and prosper.

These lower rates will provide a tremendous stimulus for the economy – significant GDP
growth, a huge number of new jobs and an increase in after-tax wages for workers.

~ The Trump Tax Plan Ends The Unfair Death Tax
The death tax punishes families for achieving the American dream. Therefore, the Trump plan
eliminates the death tax.

~ The Trump Tax Plan Is Fiscally Responsible
The Trump tax cuts are fully paid for by:

1. Reducing or eliminating deductions and loopholes available to the very rich, starting by
steepening the curve of the Personal Exemption Phaseout and the Pease Limitation on
itemized deductions. The Trump plan also phases out the tax exemption on life insurance
interest for high-income earners, ends the current tax treatment of carried interest for
speculative partnerships that do not grow businesses or create jobs and are not risking their
own capital, and reduces or eliminates other loopholes for the very rich and special interests.
These reductions and eliminations will not harm the economy or hurt the middle class.
Because the Trump plan introduces a new business income rate within the personal income
tax code, they will not harm small businesses either.

2. A one-time deemed repatriation of corporate cash held overseas at a significantly discounted
10% tax rate. Since we are making America’s corporate tax rate globally competitive, it is
only fair that corporations help make that move fiscally responsible. U.S.-owned
corporations have as much as $2.5 trillion in cash sitting overseas. Some companies have
been leaving cash overseas as a tax maneuver. Under this plan, they can bring their cash
home and put it to work in America while benefitting from the newly-lowered corporate tax
rate that is globally competitive and no longer requires parking cash overseas. Other
companies have cash overseas for specific business units or activities. They can leave that
cash overseas, but they will still have to pay the one-time repatriation fee.

3. An end to the deferral of taxes on corporate income earned abroad. Corporations will no
longer be allowed to defer taxes on income earned abroad, but the foreign tax credit will
remain in place because no company should face double taxation.

4. Reducing or eliminating some corporate loopholes that cater to special interests, as well as
deductions made unnecessary or redundant by the new lower tax rate on corporations and
business income. We will also phase in a reasonable cap on the deductibility of business
interest expenses.





Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, WSB-TV, Youtube

**** 4 teens killed in south Fulton crash ID’d

Officials have identified four teenagers killed Monday in a crash between an SUV and tractor-trailer in south Fulton County.

The teens, identified late Tuesday by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office, were Isaiah Gregory, 15, Cameron Jones, 16, Ke’Ariy Lopez 14, and Octavious Rhodes, 16.

Isaiah, Ke’Ariy and Octavious were freshmen at Langston Hughes High School, Fulton County Schools spokeswoman Susan Hale said Wednesday morning. Cameron, she said, was new to the school, having transferred from another district about two months ago. He withdrew from Langston Hughes less than two weeks ago, Hale said.

A family member released the name and photo of the student who survived the crash.
Sophomore Lexus Todd was in the back of the Lincoln Navigator involved in Monday’s deadly collision, Lexus’ grandmother told Channel 2 Action News.

Her legs were crushed, and she suffered bleeding of the brain, the television station reported.
Fulton police said the preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the SUV ran a red light, causing the collision.
The accident happened about 1:17 p.m. at Ga. 92 and Butner Road, Fulton police Cpl. Maureen Smith said.
Three of the teens were trapped inside the SUV and had to be extricated, Fulton fire Deputy Chief Charles Stubb said. The driver was ejected.
Lexus was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. She was still there Wednesday morning, Hale said.
“Lexus is expected to recover from her injuries,” Hale said.
The tractor-trailer driver was also taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
The school system has a counseling team at Langston Hughes to help students and staff, Hale said.
Channel 2 spoke to parent Anissa Williams about the mood inside the school.
“It’s very quiet,” she said. “I've never gone into any school where there's hundreds of children and heard the silence I heard today. And I can truly say it was birthed out of pain.”

****** Questions persist in wreck that killed four Fulton County students

As hundreds of students returned to Langston Hughes High School in South Fulton County on Tuesday in the wake of four classmates killed Monday in a vehicle collision, questions surrounded the circumstances that led to the teens being off campus.

Fulton County Schools spokeswoman Susan Hale said she cannot confirm whether the students were supposed to be on campus during the crash until all are positively identified.

Fulton County Schools officials said Tuesday they could not answer many questions related to the students until all were identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The Langston Hughes High students killed in the crash were identified late Tuesday by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office as Isaiah Gregory, 15, Cameron Jones, 16, Ke’Ariy Lopez 14, and Octavious Rhodes, 16.
"As you can imagine it's so sorrowful," said Shannon Flounnory, the district's executive director for safety and security. "Essentially, our students have lost members of their family."
Grief counselors were on hand as students returned to school the day after the fatal accident.
Isabel Ramirez, who said her daughter knew one of the teens who apparently died in the crash, said something must be done to avoid administrators and school police from turning a blind eye as students freely enter and exit the campus, tucked away from Hwy 92 on Hall Road in Fairburn.
"They let the students come and go ... as if it's WalMart," she said.
***** 4 Langston Hughes High students killed in tractor-trailer crash
Four teenagers were killed and another was injured Monday in a crash involving a tractor-trailer and a Lincoln Navigator, Fulton County police said.
The teens were confirmed to be students at Langston Hughes High School, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The school system will have a counseling team at Langston Hughes on Tuesday to help students and staff, Fulton County Schools spokeswoman Susan Hale said.
It was also a bad day for Cobb County schools as two Lassiter High teenagers died in an afternoon crash.
The crash happened around 1:17 p.m. at Campbellton Fairburn and Butner roads in south Fulton, police said.
Five teens, four boys and a girl, were inside the SUV when the crash happened, Fulton police Cpl. Maureen Smith said. Three of the teens were trapped inside the car and had to be extricated, Fulton fire Deputy Chief Charles Stubb said. The driver was ejected.
The girl, who was pulled from the back seat, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with injuries. Her condition was not released.
The tractor-trailer driver was also taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
Fulton police said the preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the SUV ran a red light, causing the collision.
Police did not release the identities of the teens pending notification of next of kin.
No other details were released.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017





Sources: CBS News, Fox News, The Federalist, USDA, YouTube

***** Senate confirms Sonny Perdue as agriculture secretary

The Senate on Monday confirmed former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary in President Donald Trump's administration as the farming industry looks to Washington for help amid a downturn in the market.
Perdue won confirmation on a strong bipartisan vote of 87-11, as several Democrats backed a Trump nominee after razor-thin outcomes for his choices earlier this year.

Perdue's cousin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., voted "present" but presided over the vote and announced the final tally.

The son of a farmer from Bonaire, Ga., Sonny Perdue will be the first Southerner in the post in more than two decades.

He has owned several agricultural businesses, but isn't related to or affiliated with the food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms.

At his confirmation hearing in March, Perdue assured nervous farm-state senators that he will advocate for rural America, even as Trump has proposed deep cuts to some farm programs.

He also promised to reach out to Democrats.

Still, Perdue, 70, is getting a late start on the job. Trump nominated him just two days before his inauguration, and then the nomination was delayed for weeks as the administration prepared his ethics paperwork.

Perdue eventually said he would step down from several companies bearing his name to avoid conflicts of interest.

As agriculture secretary, he'll be in charge of around 100,000 employees and the nation's food and farm programs, including agricultural subsidies, conservation efforts, rural development programs, food safety and nutrition programs such as food stamps and federally-subsidized school meal, Perdue will take office as farm prices have been down for several years in a row and some parts of the industry, including cotton and dairy farmers, say they need the department and Congress to rewrite agricultural policy to help revive their business.

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said Perdue will help facilitate recovery in small American towns.

"I know he will put the needs of farmers, ranchers and others in rural America first," Roberts said.

Perdue's main task over the coming year will be working with Congress and coordinating his department's input on the next five-year farm bill. Current farm policy expires next year, and lawmakers on the House and Senate agriculture committees will have to find a way to push it through Congress amid heightened partisan tensions and concerns over spending.

At his hearing, he pledged to help senators sustain popular crop insurance programs and fix problems with government dairy programs.

Perdue may also find himself in the uncomfortable position of defending agriculture in an administration that has so far given the issue limited attention, despite Trump's strong support in rural areas. Trump has proposed a 21 percent cut in USDA programs and has harshly criticized some international trade deals, saying they have killed American jobs. But farmers who produce more than they can sell in the United States have heavily profited from some of those deals, and are hoping his anti-trade policies will include some exceptions for agriculture.

At the hearing, Perdue said, "Food is a noble thing to trade."
Perdue will also be part of the administration's response to a dispute with Canada's dairy industry, which has a new lower-priced classification of milk product that Trump says is harming

U.S. producers in dairy states like Wisconsin and New York. Canada changed its policy on pricing domestic milk to cover more dairy ingredients, leading to lower prices for Canadian products that compete with U.S. milk.

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, voted for Perdue and encouraged him to come to Wisconsin to talk to affected farmers.

"I stand as a willing partner to work with Secretary Perdue and President Trump to address this urgent issue," Baldwin said.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York also talked to Trump about the dairy issue last week in a rare phone call between the two men.

Trump has reached out to farmers on regulation, saying the government has too many rules that negatively affect farm country. That issue is expected to come up on Perdue's first day in office Tuesday, when the president holds hold a round table discussion with farmers and sign an executive order "to provide relief for rural America," according to the White House.

The White House hasn't said when Perdue will be sworn in, but he is scheduled to speak to USDA staff Tuesday morning.

After Perdue, remaining nominees for Trump's administration to be confirmed are Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative and Alexander Acosta for labor secretary.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017




A Woman's loyalty to a Man is tested when a Man has NOTHING.

A Man's loyalty to a Woman is tested when a Man has EVERYTHING.

Sources: VH-1, YouTube

Friday, April 21, 2017





Sources: Fox News, Bloomberg News, USA Today, YouTube

***** Trump optimistic as government shutdown, ObamaCare replacement loom

Fresh from a two-week Easter break, Congress hits the ground running next week -- its legislative plate more than full, and its back against the wall with the government funding clock ticking down and the resurrection of a tuned-up ObamaCare replacement bill on its agenda.

Asked late Friday if he can get it all done, an optimistic President Trump told a reporter, "We'll see what happens. No particular rush, but we'll see what happens. A lot of good things are happening. "

Those upbeat remarks -- a week before the federal government runs out of money -- stand in stark contrast to growing fears in some quarters of another government shutdown.

A key House source told Fox News that negotiations on a new spending bill are, "ongoing and progressing" and that "a government shutdown is not on the table."

Trump's Budget Director Mick Mulvaney agrees, but on Thursday he threw a wrench in the works. He told the Associated Press that Democratic negotiators need to agree to fund some of the president's top priorities, including a down payment on a border wall and hiring of additional immigration agents.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's Communications Director, Matt House, fired back late Friday in an emailed statement: "If the administration would drop their 11th-hour demand for a wall that Democrats, and a good number of Republicans oppose, Congressional leaders could quickly reach a deal.

Asked Friday morning, after Mulvaney's remarks, whether the wall funding is a budget deal breaker, Counselor to the President Kelly Ann Conway played it safe. "I'll let the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] director and the president and others address that. We're confident that the government will not be shut down next week."

Conway’s circumspection may also stem from knowing Democrats are making their own budget demands, further risking a government shut-down.

"You have Democrats saying they want ObamaCare payments into this funding bill so Republicans are not going to like that," says Bob Cusack, managing editor of The Hill. "So there is certainly some brinksmanship going on and this is going to take some twists and turns but, at the end of the day, I think they'll get a deal done," he says.

"We boiled this thing down to something we want very badly and the democrats really don't want," Mulvaney said on Bloomberg TV. "We'd offer them $1 of CSR payments for $1 of wall payments. Right now that's the offer that we've given to our Democratic colleagues."

Adding another wrinkle to budget talks, the president wants the House to roll out the new American Health Care Act next week. It's a tuned-up version of the ObamaCare replacement that was pulled from the floor in late March, when it became clear Republicans didn’t have enough votes.

But voting on two complex pieces of legislation in a single week is extremely difficult. As an insurance policy against a government shutdown, Republicans will have a short-term continuing resolution at the ready, should it be





**** Inside Paisley Park on the anniversary of Prince’s death

CHANHASSEN, Minn. – Of all the eerily beautiful moments while spending time in Paisley Park on the anniversary eve of Prince’s death, the most bittersweet was provided by the man himself.
On a massive screen inside the massive soundstage Prince frequently used for performances, a clip played from a 2014 concert with 3rdeyegirl.

As he steered “Purple Rain” through its moody intervals, Prince paused to tell the crowd, “If you come to my house, you have to take care of it…at Paisley Park we sing together, we dine together, we love together.”

It was a fitting comment at that moment, with close to 1,000 fans from across the world assembled in the Paisley Park audience, all staring in the dark at video footage of the performer who died on April 21, 2016 just a few hundred feet from that screen, and exactly a week after thrilling crowds at the Fox Theatre at what became his final concerts.

While the mourning process continues for many – Matt Fink of The Revolution said earlier in the week that he still grieves for his former boss – this weekend at Paisley Park is supposed to be about rejoicing in Prince’s musical contributions and preserving his legacy.

The four-day Celebration 2017 kicked off Thursday with waves of fans who spent between $500 and $1,000 to bask in the Prince-ly aura, wander through parts of the Paisley compound (the Atrium houses Prince’s ashes – out of reach – in a “symbol”-shaped urn, guitar displays and, on the second floor, his white doves in a white cage), attend panels with members of The New Power Generation and soak in a surprise performance from George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic.

A gambler would have lost some cash that Clinton, at 75, would outlive Prince, who died at 57.

For more than an hour, Clinton and P-Funk bulldozed through one seamless groove that included “Get Up for the Down Stroke,” “Flashlight” and “Give Up the Funk.” Clinton alternately led the adrenalized crowd through arm calisthenics and slumped in a purple chair in front of the drum riser, content to direct his ace musicians as they paid tribute to Prince with their funk-steeped rock ‘n’ roll.

The afternoon concert – which would be repeated for a second round of Celebration attendees that evening – was the first live music event at Paisley Park since Prince’s death.

But there Clinton was, a tamer, less-colorful, shorter-haired version, barking through “Atomic Dog” in a silver-sequined military hat and long silver jacket, a dozen or so musicians in varying degrees of costumes whirling around him.

Because cell phones are prohibited at Paisley Park – a Prince rule even before his death – and were placed in Yondr pouches upon entry into the building, fans could experience the music uninterrupted by camera screens and glaring Facebook pages.

Damaris Lewis, who joined New Power Generation in 2012 as a dancer, served as lithe hostess and told the assembled throng after P-Funk’s set, “Live music. Real musicians. Real music. Nothing like it.

Inside the soundstage, a giant lighted Prince symbol hung from a back corner, while a banner of Prince’s face, silhouetted against a moon, looked toward the stage, his guidance omnipresent.

That same stage was the setting for a panel featuring NPG members Levi Seacer, Morris Hayes, Tony Mosley and Damon Dickson, who offered hilarious accounts of their time with Prince, as well as stories about his notorious work ethic.

“We would pull three-day straight sessions,” Hayes said. “He was so dedicated to the creation process. If you start it, finish it.”

Throughout the weekend, Celebration 2017 will present performances and panels from The Revolution, Morris Day & The Time, 3rdeyegirl and Paisley Park mainstays.

If there was a message to receive on Thursday, Seacer provided it: “Prince was all about r





Sources: NY Post, YouTube

***** Trump: ‘We’re not going into Syria’

Amid complaints that his aides are saying different things about Syria and his policy is confusing, President Trump emphatically cleared the air.

“We’re not going into Syria,” he told me yesterday in an exclusive interview. “Our policy is the same — it hasn’t changed. We’re not going into Syria.”

The president, speaking by phone Tuesday, called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a “butcher” and a “barbarian” for using sarin gas on his own people, but said last week’s successful missile strike was not the start of a campaign to oust the dictator.

“Our big mission is getting rid of ISIS,” Trump said. “That’s where it’s always been. But when you see kids choking to death, you watch their lungs burning out, we had to hit him and hit him hard."

called the attack, which involved 59 cruise missiles fired from two Navy destroyers, “an act of humanity.”

I asked if he, as a new president, found it difficult to make the final decision, knowing the stakes.

“It’s very tough to give that final go-ahead when you know you’re talking about human life,” he said. “We went back and forth, and also back and forth about severity. We could have gone bigger in terms of targets and more of them, but we thought this would be the appropriate first shot.”

Later, he added, “We hope he won’t do any more gassing.”

The interview was scheduled to last 15 minutes, but ran nearly twice as long. Throughout, the president was gracious, energized and focused. He answered every question, and invited me to ask more as aides tried to get him to his next appointment. So I did.

How seriously does he take the threats from Russia, and does he think there is still a possibility for cooperation in the region with Vladimir Putin?

“We’re not exactly on the same wavelength with Russia, to put it mildly,” Trump answered. “Putin must see what a barbarian this guy is, and it’s a very bad symbol for Russia with this guy gassing children and using barrel bombs.”

With Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Moscow as we spoke, Trump said he hoped for Putin’s cooperation, but added, “I don’t know.”

He was especially upset that Syria had used chemical weapons after supposedly destroying all its stockpiles under a deal President Obama signed in 2013 and repeatedly boasted about. I asked whether that fact gave him more pause about Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

“I don’t need more pause about Iran,” Trump said. “It was the single worst deal ever. It’s a disgrace that a deal like that was even signed. It made Iran a power from a country that was ready to fall apart.”

He wasn’t finished. “Iran won’t honor its deal. Instead of saying, ‘Thank you very much for saving our country,’ they’ve been emboldened.”

Noting those problems and North Korea’s threatening aggression, Trump said, “I knew I was left a mess, but it’s worse than I thought.”

he had any recent contact with Obama?

“No,” he said. “I’m very disappointed that I was surveilled and so was my campaign. That’s not supposed to be happening, but I’ve been proven right.”

Although the evidence supporting Trump’s claim that Obama “wiretapped” him is incomplete, there is no question he is the victim of dirty tricks. Numerous leaks suggest that communications involving Trump’s team were intercepted by law enforcement or intelligence agencies and given to anti-Trump media outlets to undermine the new administration.

And the admission last week by Susan Rice, Obama’s national security director, that she asked for the names of some Trump associates to be “unmasked” points to a likely political purpose involving the White House.

Although two congressional committees are probing Trump’s claim, along with whether his campaign colluded with Russian hacking during the campaign, I believe a Justice Department probe of the Obama administration’s surveillance is also needed. At the very least, the leakers of national security material gathered must be found and prosecuted.

Bannon: “A good guy, but …”

Washington’s rumor mill is working overtime on the fate of presidential aide Steve Bannon, who is said to be at the center of the rampant White House infighting. When I asked the president Tuesday afternoon if he still has confidence in Bannon, who took over the campaign in mid-August, I did not get a definitive yes.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

He ended by saying, “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”

Media’s ‘fake sources’

President Trump remains hot about the coverage he gets in the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN. When I asked about stories that cited anonymous sources “close to the president,” Trump insisted that “many of those sources are made up and I don’t believe them. Let them reveal their sources.”

“It’s fake news and fake sources,” he insisted, adding that’s why he won’t appear on CNN. As for the Times, “they’re a failing, dead paper. Lucky for them I came along. If Hillary had won, they’d be closing up shop by now.”

He’s not impressed by commentators, either. “Pundits, they knew less than my 11-year-old son,” he said. “They have zero political instinct and zero political talent.”

Xi ‘understood immediately’

The missile strike in Syria overshadowed his two-day meeting with China president Xi Jinping, who brought his wife to meet Trump and first lady Melania Trump at Mar-a-Lago. The leaders ended their first meeting just as the first missiles were launched.

“When I explained to him what we were doing, because of the gassing of children, he understood immediately,” Trump told me.

I asked about their summit, given some of the harsh things Trump has said about China.

“I was a little surprised, we had a great chemistry, not good, but great,” Trump said. “I liked him and he liked me a lot. That doesn’t mean we’re going to get along on trade or North Korea, but we had great chemistry.”

Their meeting included a priceless interlude in which Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner brought their three children to meet China’s first couple. The oldest, Arabella, who turns 6 in July, is studying Mandarin and sang a Chinese song and recited Chinese poetry in honor of the guests.

What did President Xi make of that, I asked.

“He said she was speaking absolutely perfect Chinese, he couldn’t believe it,” the proud grandfather recalled. “He said, ‘She sounds like a 5-year-old girl from Beijing.’”

Ivanka posted a video of the performance and it is a huge sensation in China, making successful diplomacy in this case a Trump family affair.







Sources: CNBC, MSNBC, NY Times, Think Progress, Youtube

***** Bill O'Reilly's Payout Could Be as High as $25 Million

The day after Bill O’Reilly was ousted from Fox News, aftershocks rippled through the network, with news of Mr. O’Reilly’s exit package spreading through the newsroom and some employees questioning how committed executives were to rooting out sexual harassment.

Mr. O’Reilly is receiving a payout of as much as $25 million, equivalent to one year of his salary, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday. That development was met with “outrage” and “disgust” among some employees and among critics outside the company, who said it sent a message that a powerful newsroom figure could profit even after multiple sexual harassment allegations had been made against him.

“It’s terrible,” said Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who represents two women who reported sexual harassment allegations against Mr. O’Reilly. “Most people would consider $25 million a huge lottery win.”

Mr. O’Reilly’s package brought the total amount of payouts related to sexual harassment allegations at Fox News to more than $85 million — paid by the network’s parent company, 21st Century Fox. The vast majority of that — as much as $65 million in exit packages — is being paid to the men who were ousted because of the allegations.

Mr. O’Reilly, 67, was forced out on Wednesday after the disclosure of several sexual harassment allegations against him and after an internal investigation found more women with complaints about his behavior. He was dismissed nine months after the network’s founding chairman, Roger E. Ailes, was ousted amid a sexual harassment scandal. Executives promised at that time that there was no room for “behavior that disrespects women or contributes to an uncomfortable work environment.“ Mr. Ailes received a $40 million package when he left.

On Wednesday, Rupert, Lachlan and James Murdoch, the top executives at 21st Century Fox, said in a memo announcing Mr. O’Reilly’s departure that they had a “consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect.”

Since Mr. Ailes left, the network has made an effort to clean up its culture, dismissing some executives close to him, installing a new head of human resources and conducting a series of training and sensitivity sessions.

Some Fox News employees said Thursday that while the dismissal of Mr. O’Reilly was a step in the right direction, they remained skeptical that real change would occur. As examples of how the network had yet to change, the employees pointed to the fact that Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy, the network’s co-presidents and former lieutenants to Mr. Ailes, remained in their positions. Employees in the newsroom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss delicate internal matters.

The network continues to face sexual harassment suits, including one from Julie Roginsky, a current Fox News contributor, who has asserted that she faced retaliation for rebuffing Mr. Ailes’s sexual advances and for refusing to disparage Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News host who sued Mr. Ailes last summer. “Contrary to a new environment, it is an environment of cover up and protect,” Nancy Erika Smith, the lawyer for Ms. Roginsky and Ms. Carlson, said in an interview Thursday.

d that she had been contacted by other women who had complaints about sexual harassment at the network.

The abruptness of Mr. O’Reilly’s exit has created widespread uncertainty in the newsroom about the future of other executives, including Mr. Shine and Mr. Abernethy. But some people at Fox News said that it was unlikely that the Murdochs would allow a sense of capitulation to permeate the network and that keeping Mr. Shine and Mr. Abernethy in place would provide some needed stability at an anxious time.

Mr. Ailes and Mr. O’Reilly have denied the allegations of harassment.

Mr. O’Reilly’s ouster was a stunning reversal for 21st Century Fox, which had long stood by him even as allegations and settlements started to amass. Mr. O’Reilly, who started at Fox News in 1996, was considered the network’s top asset. His nightly program, “The O’Reilly Factor,” generated high ratings and pulled in hundreds of millions in advertising revenue.

But pressure mounted on the company to take action after a New York Times investigation early this month found that Mr. O’Reilly and the company had reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million, the majority paid by him.

Earlier this year, the network extended Mr. O’Reilly’s contract by an additional four years. At the time, the company was aware of allegations of sexual harassment against him and had even reached two settlements involving such complaints. His previous contract had been set to expire this year.

But the new contract provided the company with some protections. Those included a provision that Mr. O’Reilly could be dismissed if the company was made aware of other allegations against him or if new ones arose, according to one person briefed on the matter. The contract also included provisions meant to get Mr. O’Reilly to address his behavior, the person said.

In addition, though the contract was extended for four more years, it also modified the company’s financial commitment to Mr. O’Reilly if he was dismissed, so that he would receive a maximum of one year’s salary, according to two people. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private negotiations.

The exact financial terms of Mr. O’Reilly’s exit package are not known, but it is expected that the company will disclose them in future regulatory filings.

In addition to Mr. O’Reilly’s payout and the settlements made involving him, 21st Century Fox has reached settlements with at least six women who accused him of sexual harassment, according to a person familiar with the matter.

One was Ms. Carlson, the former Fox News anchor. She sued Mr. Ailes last July and left the network with a $20 million settlement.

Last November, 21st Century Fox disclosed that for the three months that ended Sept. 30, the company had about $35 million in costs related to settlements of pending and potential litigation after Mr. Ailes was ousted.

Thursday, April 20, 2017







Sources: Fox News, CBS, Business Insider, YouTube

***** How MS-13, One of America’s Most Dangerous Gangs, is Funded

President Donald Trump is ready to crack down on the infamous, money-making MS-13 gang, after a violent quadruple homicide in Long Island, N.Y. last week left four teenagers dead and badly beaten. Trump is promising to remove the gang from U.S. streets “fast.”

MS-13, a group that was started by Central American immigrants in Los Angeles in the 1980s, is known for its ruthless and violent tactics. Most of the founding members were from El Salvador and fled to the U.S. during the country’s civil war that lasted 12 years, from 1980-92. Since then the gang’s membership has ballooned to at least 10,000 members in the United States and more than 30,000 worldwide, according to the FBI and Treasury Department.

“[MS-13] is one of the most dangerous and rapidly expanding criminal gangs in the world today,” Philip Holloway, a legal analyst and former police officer, told FOX Business. “MS-13’s mottos is ‘Mata, roba, viola, controla’ (Kill, steal, rape, control),” he noted.

The gang has managed to expand its business tentacles into a variety of illegal activities, despite sanctions levied against the group by the U.S Treasury Department under the Obama administration. “They are involved in multiple crimes including murder, racketeering, drug trafficking, sex trafficking and human trafficking including prostitution,” Holloway said.

MS-13 also uses violence as a means for extortion, which constitutes much of its income, University of Houston sociology professor Luis Salinas told FOX Business.

“A lot of the violence is part of the extortion … and prostitution. Once they get here they get these individuals and extort money from their families. They’re also into extortion for protection of this neighborhood or that neighborhood,” Salinas said.

In 2015 the U.S. Treasury Department froze the assets of three members of the gang who were funneling funds back to higher-ups in El Salvador from prison. These actions were an attempt “disrupt” MS-13’s financial network by cutting off profits from illegal activities in the United States, the Treasury Department said. In 2012 the Obama administration designated MS-13 a transnational crime organization and implemented sanctions against six members in 2013.

While the U.S. government attempts to target MS-13’s earnings, targeting its culture is proving more difficult. The fierce loyalty among members is unique, Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, told FOX Business.

“They're very cohesive and often directed by imprisoned bosses in El Salvador to recruit and expand in American communities. That tends to mean there's an aggressive internal enforcement mechanism which equates to internal discipline involving physical violence and murder for disrespect or betrayal,” he said.

Membership in street gangs showed no signs of decreasing, according to the FBI’s 2015 National Gang Report, and MS-13 was identified as one of the top gangs involved in cross-border crimes. Recently, law enforcement has taken a tougher stance on making arrests; a move spurred by Attorney General Jeff Session’s focus on illegal immigrant crime, Hosko said.

“MS is a clear example [of illegal immigrant crime]. Affiliates would cross the border and make their way to American enclaves where they found friends and relatives living here already,” he said. “Citizenship is a combination of American born (many to illegals) and illegal immigrants.”

Salinas said about 60-70 percent of current U.S. members in MS-13 are immigrants, the majority of which could be illegal.

On Tuesday during an interview on Fox News, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he believes the gang “could qualify” as a terrorist group. In El Salvador, MS-13 has already been designated as a terrorist organization.

Hosko said President Trump’s administration is changing the narrative quickly for both gang members and law enforcement in the United States.

“[The FBI] believed that claiming of ‘credible fear’ of persecution, gang retaliation, other bad acts in their homeland to immigration authorities likely resulted in widespread release of bad actors into the U.S. as their claims were being evaluated. With Obama, that was acceptable risk. I think that's changing fast.”







1614 CAMDEN ROAD Charlotte NC 28203

704 333 9866

Sources: Charlotte Observer, YouTube

**** How long can Price’s Chicken Coop hold out in South End?

Drive down Camden Road in South End, and you’ll pass by shiny new office buildings, hip new restaurants and towering, luxury apartments.

And in the middle of it all, you’ll also see a squat brick storefront that looks almost exactly like it did in the early 1960s.

Price’s Chicken Coop is one of the last holdout businesses in the rapidly transforming South End neighborhood.

Very little has changed since it opened 55 years ago – in fact, Price’s has removed several items from its original menu, including its seafood dinner and chuck wagon steak.

The restaurant still doesn’t have customer seating. It still only accepts cash. It still doesn’t deliver.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” co-owner Stephen Price explains, matter-of-factly.

Any given weekday, the Coop has a steady stream of customers flowing in and out of its little no-frills South End spot to pick up a quick friend chicken lunch.

On a recent day, you could see construction workers from a nearby site, a doctor in scrubs, a few 20-somethings who live at an apartment nearby.

Johnny Jackson was just a kid when he started frequenting Price’s.

Now 67, Jackson says he still swings by for lunch about three times a week. The fish sandwich, Jackson says, is the simple thing that keeps him coming back.

Skyrocketing property values have driven out Price’s longtime neighbors, and over the last year or so, Price’s, which owns its property, has been approached with two written offers from developers to buy the spot.

But the iconic restaurant has no plans to leave its space at 1614 Camden Road.

“Part of it’s family, part of it’s heritage. It’s what we do,” Price says. “It’s what our customers have grown to expect. As long as our customers are happy, that’s what we care about.”

As Price’s remains frozen in time, the area around it is changing rapidly.

A few doors down is Camden Gallery, a multi-family project that includes 323 apartments and retail space for tenants like Blue Hem, the upscale jeans boutique.

Houston-based Camden Property Trust also bought the building next door that previously housed a doggie day care, and the group is considering turning it into offices, records show.

Next door to Price’s is the 1616 Center, a five-story office building with ground-floor retail that includes local businesses like Fidelli Kitchen and Clean Juice.

Beacon Properties bought the center’s property for $2.7 million in 2014.

Price would not say which developers have approached him with offers to buy his spot. But it wasn’t Beacon, which owns several other buildings in South End, and has prioritized local businesses over national chains.

Kristy Venning, who works in leasing for Beacon, said of the 1616 Center: “We decided from the beginning we wanted locally grown interesting cool retail and restaurant groups because we noticed that’s what the market wants.”

New development nearby has come at a price, as longtime businesses have closed their doors.

The beloved restaurant Phat Burrito, for instance, closed nearby on Camden earlier this year.

Amos’ Southend also closed earlier this year on South Tryon after almost 17 years in business. Both cited parking issues triggered by new development as reasons for their closure.

In Plaza-Midwood, the dive bar Thirsty Beaver remains in its place, as Price’s does, despite the fast growth of apartment buildings all around it.

Stephen Price, 57, who owns Price’s with his cousin Drew, 51, shrugs when he says he hasn’t really thought about what kind of offer would tempt him to sell his spot on Camden. Also unclear is who would take over for the Price cousins, should they decide to retire.

“There’s no heir apparent right now,” Price says, adding his two kids haven’t expressed interest in going into the family business.

Before it was turned into a restaurant that cooked chicken, Price’s was Dilworth Poultry, selling fresh meat, fish and eggs, with live chickens out back.

Price’s father, Talmadge, and uncle Keith opened Price’s Chicken Coop in 1962 in response to a local manufacturer who wanted a hearty, reasonably priced lunch option for his warehouse workers.

Back then, Price’s was surrounded by industrial buildings like metal parts-maker Charlotte Machine Company, which once occupied the spot where Camden Gallery now sits.

Stephen Price says he hasn’t thought about where the restaurant would relocate, if it had to.

“I mean, you couldn’t find as good a location, and that’s the thing.

We’re still kinda in the middle of everything. You’re not too far from the east side of Charlotte, you’re not too far from the west side of Charlotte. You’re not far from downtown,” Price says, underscoring the very reason the area has become so hot.

The light rail is another reason.

Construction of the Blue Line over a decade ago prompted subsequent development of thousands of apartment units, new restaurants, breweries and offices.

The exposure Price’s has gotten from being right next to the light rail, Price says, has been a positive for business.

But Price says the fast development of the area hasn’t always worked well for small businesses like his.

In summer 2015, for instance, the city installed parking meters to prepare for the influx of vehicles expected in the area with the opening of nearby office and apartment buildings.

The meters charge customers from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Price’s is open from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

“My customers didn’t have to pay for 50 years, and all of a sudden now they’ve gotta start paying,” Price says. “It’s more of a frustration than anything else.”

In some ways, Price’s has adapted with the times.

It maintains active Facebook and Twitter accounts, for example. Unlike at most other restaurants, though, you can’t order online.

Despite the area’s changes, Price’s is still renowned in Charlotte and beyond.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton stops by periodically when he’s entertaining his teammates at his place.

Jay Leno came in for chicken and sweet tea before a performance a couple years ago at the Belk Theater.

Price is unfazed: “They’re still customers. It doesn’t make any difference whether they’re black, blue, purple, polka dotted or whatever, as long as the customers are happy, and they get what they need at a reasonable price, that’s what we care about.”

That’s what’s kept longtime customers like Jackson coming back.

And maybe it’s the food and price, or maybe it’s experiencing a Charlotte classic that draws in new customers, too.

“I try not to laugh too hard when someone comes in asking for grilled chicken,” Price says.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017




Sources: AJC, CNN, YouTube

***** Homeland Security chief says Congress should “shut up and support” Trump efforts to slow illegal immigration

After almost three months of stepped up enforcement under President Donald Trump, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Tuesday that new efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the United States are quickly paying off, as he said lawmakers in Congress who don’t like the enforcement changes by the Trump Administration should change the laws, or “shut up.”

If lawmakers do not the laws that we enforce, that we are charged to enforce, that we are sworn to enforce, then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws,” Kelly said in a speech at George Washington University.

“Otherwise,” Kelly said of lawmakers, “they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”

In his speech, Kelly cited figures that show a steep drop in the number of people trying to ilegally cross the southern border of the United States.

“March apprehensions were 30 percent lower than February, and 64 percent lower than this time last year,” Kelly said in a speech at George Washington University in D.C.

“These numbers are lower because we’ve shown we are serious about border security, and enforcing our immigration laws,” the DHS chief.

Kelly noted a large drop in the number of families trying to make the crossing into the United States.

“While more than 16,000 family units were apprehended at the border in December, only 1100 were apprehended in March,” Kelly told his audience.

“This is a phenomenal drop in movement,” Kelly said.