”” Actually it never was a Russian Roulette because the dice were loaded just waiting to roll:

”In the article, Gerasimov explored how social media had fueled the Arab Spring. He noted in the internet-dominated world there were new means for waging war: “political, economic, informational.” And these measures could involve “the protest potential of the population.” In other words, information warfare could be used to weaponize political divisions within another nation. Gerasimov was crafting a doctrine of “hybrid warfare”—a new form of conflict in which “frontal engagements” by army battalions and fighter aircraft would become a “thing of the past,” replaced by hackers and skilled propagandists trained to exploit existing rifts within the ranks of the adversary. “The very ‘rules of war’ have changed,” Gerasimov wrote. “The role of nonmilitary means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the force of weapons in their effectiveness.… Long-distance, contactless actions against the enemy are becoming the main means of achieving combat and operational goals.” Gerasimov did not spell out what “contactless actions” would replace ground troops. But it was not hard to figure out what he was talking about. The Russian intelligence services had become increasingly aggressive and sophisticated in their cyber hacks, penetrating government, business, and media networks all over the world. Russian hackers showed their might in 2007 when they blitzed Estonia. After the Estonian government removed a statue of a Soviet soldier, a massive cyberattack shut down the country’s banking system, the sanitation system, and the websites of government agencies and news organizations. The country was paralyzed for days.”

.”The Russian source delivered what was perhaps his most stunning and consequential revelation later that spring, as the Ukrainian crisis continued. He told his American contact that the Kremlin was planning a wide-ranging, multifaceted campaign to attack Western institutions and undermine Western democracies. The clandestine operation was to include cyberattacks, information warfare, propaganda, and social media campaigns. Here was the Gerasimov doctrine at work. “You have no idea how extensive these networks are in Europe—Germany, Italy, France, and the U.K.—and in the U.S.,” the Russian informant told the U.S. official. “Russia has penetrated media organizations, lobbying firms, political parties, governments, and militaries in all these places.” The Russian informant offered few details—not the names of any agents or the particulars of who was to be attacked and when. But he noted that Russia regularly used its own state-controlled media organizations, including RT (formerly known as Russia Today), and Russian nongovernment organizations to plant agents that worked directly for Russian security agencies.”

”The source,

was heartened by President Ronald Reagan’s anti-Soviet rhetoric. That was what he expected from the U.S. government—to stand firm against aggressors and human rights violators. And that, he said sadly, was not what he was seeing from the Obama administration. Washington was imposing tough sanctions on Russia. But as far as this Russian official viewed it, such measures were not sufficient for confronting what Putin was up to” ””

Quoting from ’Russian Roulette’

It seems that Russian Meddling is a long term Russian Strategy that applies and works everywhere unless it’s preempted. Insiders only make more effective, and there is no question that there were insiders willing and capable as we learn about Cambridge Analytica, a Manafort company that harvested 50 Million American Facebook users’ activities to channel propaganda and alternatives realities for the Trump campaign and other ’contributers’ .

Sleep Better & Healthier


Penguin Colony




FOX WHICH IS NOT THE NEWS is playing the Ostrich without feathers Ignoring the NEWS and baring it’s featherless ASS to the wind.

IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS MORE AND MORE TRUMP CAMPAIGN ASSOCIATES HAVE BEEN INDICTED, PLEAD GUILTY TO A MULTITUDE of criminal charges from perjury, Conspiracy against the USA, bank fraud, money laundering, violating US laws on misrepresentation of US POLICIES. IN addition to INDICTMENTs against foreign Nationals of breaking US laws and interference in the PRESIDENTIAL elections.

Millions of AMERICANS are totally oblivious to the fact that Trump and his campaign were well endowed with shady dishonest and unethical gang that can’t stop lying, cheating and violating US LAWS JUST LIKE TRUMP.

WE HAVE A GOVERNMENT OF SHADY CHARACTERS WITH NOT MUCH TO SET THEM ASIDE FROM THE MOST CRIMINAL ELEMENTS OF OUR SOCIETY FROM POTUS, Kushner, on down to Sessions, McConnell, Ryan and the cabinet of incompetence and moral turpitude.



Quoting Thomas Friedman and the Evangelical Gnostic cabal:

Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now

Thomas L. Friedman   NY TIMES FEB. 18, 2018

Our democracy is in serious danger.

President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy.

That is, either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs.

In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system — a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.

Up to now, Trump has been flouting the norms of the presidency. Now Trump’s behavior amounts to a refusal to carry out his oath of office — to protect and defend the Constitution. Here’s an imperfect but close analogy: It’s as if George W. Bush had said after 9/11: “No big deal. I am going golfing over the weekend in Florida and blogging about how it’s all the Democrats’ fault — no need to hold a National Security Council meeting.”

At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller — leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A. — has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups — all linked in some way to the Kremlin — for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, America needs a president who will lead our nation’s defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy.

What would that look like? He would educate the public on the scale of the problem; he would bring together all the stakeholders — state and local election authorities, the federal government, both parties and all the owners of social networks that the Russians used to carry out their interference — to mount an effective defense; and he would bring together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin — the best defense of all.

What we have instead is a president vulgarly tweeting that the Russians are “laughing their asses off in Moscow” for how we’ve been investigating their interventions — and exploiting the terrible school shooting in Florida — and the failure of the F.B.I. to properly forward to its Miami field office a tip on the killer — to throw the entire F.B.I. under the bus and create a new excuse to shut down the Mueller investigation.

Think for a moment how demented was Trump’s Saturday night tweet: “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

To the contrary. Our F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A., working with the special counsel, have done us amazingly proud. They’ve uncovered a Russian program to divide Americans and tilt our last election toward Trump — i.e., to undermine the very core of our democracy — and Trump is telling them to get back to important things like tracking would-be school shooters. Yes, the F.B.I. made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia. What is more basic than protecting American democracy?

It is so obvious what Trump is up to: Again, he is either a total sucker for Putin or, more likely, he is hiding something that he knows the Russians have on him, and he knows that the longer Mueller’s investigation goes on, the more likely he will be to find and expose it.

Donald, if you are so innocent, why do you go to such extraordinary lengths to try to shut Mueller down? And if you are really the president — not still head of the Trump Organization, who moonlights as president, which is how you so often behave — why don’t you actually lead — lead not only a proper cyberdefense of our elections, but also an offense against Putin.

Putin used cyberwarfare to poison American politics, to spread fake news, to help elect a chaos candidate, all in order to weaken our democracy. We should be using our cyber-capabilities to spread the truth about Putin — just how much money he has stolen, just how many lies he has spread, just how many rivals he has jailed or made disappear — all to weaken his autocracy. That is what a real president would be doing right now.

My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.

But whatever it is, Trump is either trying so hard to hide it or is so naïve about Russia that he is ready to not only resist mounting a proper defense of our democracy, he’s actually ready to undermine some of our most important institutions, the F.B.I. and Justice Department, to keep his compromised status hidden.

That must not be tolerated. This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.”






FBI Launches Preemptive Strike on Nunes Memo

The bureau goes after Republicans for ‘omissions of fact.’ Nunes calls the bureau ‘spurious’ and self-serving. And the explosive memo hasn’t even come out yet.



01.31.18 12:41 PM ET


The FBI said it is gravely concerned about the impending release of a memo from House Republicans that alleges the bureau abused its surveillance powers.

“With regard to the House Intelligence Committee’s memorandum, the FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it. As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,” the spokesperson said.

President Donald Trump has just a few days to decide whether he will support a move to release the memo, which could be public as soon as this week.

The FBI also said it “takes seriously its obligations to the FISA Court and its compliance with procedures overseen by career professionals in the Department of Justice and the FBI. We are committed to working with the appropriate oversight entities to ensure the continuing integrity of the FISA process.”

FISA is a reference to the law and process of obtaining a surveillance warrant against a suspected agent of a hostile foreign power. Committee chairman Devin Nunes’ memo alleges anti-Trump forces in senior levels of the FBI and Justice Department manipulated that process to acquire a FISA warrant against Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy official.

“We have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

— FBI spokesperson

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice declined to comment on whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions shares the bureau’s concerns about the memo.

The memo, which mentions Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, has galvanized President Donald Trump’s supporters on Capitol Hill. They say it includes evidence of grave corruption in the highest levels of the bureau. Meanwhile, Democrats—and, now, the FBI itself—say the memo is fundamentally flawe

The forceful FBI response comes as Trump must make a decision by Friday on whether he will agree to release the memo—as his congressional and media supporters demand—or whether he will heed the FBI’s concerns and object to its release. Trump was overheard at the State of the Union address last night saying he would “one hundred percent” release the memo.

According to Democrats on the House intelligence committee, Trump’s FBI director, Chris Wray, implored the panel to heed his worries about the release of counterintelligence-relevant information. The memo’s principal sponsor, Nunes, cited a murky new inquiry he has begun into the FBI and Justice Department as reason to dismiss Wray’s concerns.

Wray has thus far escaped the ire of conservative media personalities and activists, who have focused their criticism on other senior Justice Department and FBI officials named in the memo, including Rosenstein, Wray’s predecessor James Comey, and Wray’s now-former deputy, Andrew McCabe.

Many of Trump’s allies view the Nunes memo as a tool to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. So Wednesday’s FBI statement could generate friction between Wray and the White House.

Hours after the FBI statement, Nunes, who has dialed back his interactions with journalists, called the FBI objections “spurious” and self-serving.

It was Nunes’ latest escalation in an extraordinary clash between the bureau and a committee that, before Trump, often shared its prerogatives. Most recently, Nunes shepherded a surveillance bill cherished by the FBI that permits the bureau vast warrantless access to Americans’ NSA-collected communications.

He dared the bureau to make the Justice Department’s FISA application public—something officials overseeing surveillance will be extremely reluctant to do, for fear of creating blueprints for counterintelligence targets to evade eavesdropping or compromising intelligence sources.

“The FBI is intimately familiar with ‘material omissions’ with respect to their presentations to both Congress and the courts, and they are welcome to make public, to the greatest extent possible, all the information they have on these abuses,” Nunes said. As well, for the first time, Nunes confirmed that his still-classified memo substantially dwells on an accusation that the FBI misleadingly used ex-British spy Christopher Steele’s salacious dossier to obtain surveillance warrants.

Veterans of the FISA process say no judge would accept the Steele dossier as an exclusive or even substantial basis for surveillance, since the Justice Department would not know and could not vouch for Steele’s sources. Yet it has been reported that material from the dossier, accompanied by other evidence, had made it into the warrant application for Page.

“Regardless, it’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counter-intelligence investigation during an American political campaign,” Nunes asserted, in an echo of Trump’s claim, refuted by Comey, that the Obama administration placed the Trump campaign under surveillance.

“Once the truth gets out, we can begin taking steps to ensure our intelligence agencies and courts are never misused like this again.”

The Trump Score Cards on Facts FIVE PINNOCIOS!


From the fact checkers’ analysis:

Fact-checking the 2018 State of the Union address
By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly
January 30 at 11:39 PM EST

President Trump’s State of the Union speech had soaring rhetoric — and many dubious facts and figures. Many of these claims have been fact-checked repeatedly, yet the president persists in using them.

Here is a guide to 18 claims, in the order in which Trump made them. As is our practice with live events, we do not award Pinocchio rankings, which are reserved for complete columns.

“Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.”

Trump often inflates the number of jobs created under his presidency by counting Election Day, rather than when he took the oath of office. There have been about 1.8 million jobs created since January 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the slowest gain in jobs since 2010, which indicates how well job growth was going before Trump took office.

There were 184,000 manufacturing jobs created in the 11 months since Trump took the oath of office, compared with a loss of 16,000 in 2016, according to the BLS. This is a substantial one-year gain, but it’s still more than 1 million manufacturing jobs below the level at the start of the Great Recession.

“After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.”

Trump once again takes credit for something that began to happen before his presidency. Wages have been on an upward trend since 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and in fact their growth slowed during the first year of Trump’s presidency.
Looking closely at the data, it’s possible to argue wages were stagnant from 2000 to 2014, but the median salary has been increasing steadily since then and actually declined in the fourth quarter of 2017, from $353 a week to $345 in inflation-adjusted dollars.
“African American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.”

This is a flip-flop by Trump. During the 2016 campaign, Trump used to claim a Four-Pinocchio statistic that 58 percent of African American youths were unemployed. The official Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rate for black youth at the time was 19.2 percent — about one-third of the rate used by Trump. Now that he’s president, Trump appears all too happy to cite the unemployment rate for African Americans, bragging that it’s the best since the turn of the century.

The African American unemployment rate has been on a relatively steady decline since it hit a peak of 16.8 percent in March, 2010, during the Great Recession. The rate had already fallen to 7.7 percent when Trump took the oath of office — it is now 6.8 percent — so Trump taking credit for this is like a rooster thinking the sun came up because he crowed.

Similarly, Hispanic American unemployment had also been trending lower before Trump’s presidency. It hit a low of 4.8 percent in several months in 2017, as well as in one month in 2006.

“Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.”

If Trump had given this speech last week, his claim might have been accurate. The number of people who filed unemployment claims hit 216,000 for the week that ended Jan. 13, the lowest level since January 1973. But there are more recent data now for the week that ended Jan. 20. New jobless claims rose to 233,000, the lowest since December. So it’s a six-week low, not a 45-year low.

“The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401(k), retirement, pension and college savings accounts.”

Trump frequently brags about the rising stock market — he’s done it about once every three days as president — even though during the 2016 campaign he had said it was “a big fat bubble” that was about to pop.

Trump is correct that $8 trillion in wealth has been created since the election — or $6.9 trillion since he took the oath of office, according to the Wilshire 5000 Index of stocks. But much of that gain in wealth did not trickle down to most Americans. Only about 50 percent of Americans own stocks directly or through retirement funds, according to a Gallup survey. And most of the value in stocks is held by the top 10 percent.

Moreover, the U.S. rise in 2017 was not unique. When looking at the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, it’s clear U.S. stocks haven’t rallied quite as robustly as their foreign equivalents. So it’s hard for Trump to make the case that his stewardship is making that much of a difference if stocks are doing better in other developed countries.

In fact, Trump even falls short in comparison to Barack Obama’s first year. The S&P 500 gained about 33.3 percent from inauguration through Jan. 29 under Obama, compared with 25.5 percent under Trump.
Bragging about the rise of the stock market could backfire on the president if there is a sudden downturn. Stocks fell more than 1 percent Tuesday, as rising bond yields are becoming competitive with stocks that pay big dividends and traders are looking for less risky places to put their money. According to Trump’s metric, almost $360 billion worth of wealth in the stock market disappeared Tuesday.
“Just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reform in American history.”

Trump repeatedly claims he passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history, but it’s just not true. He’s earned Four Pinocchios for this claim before — but repeated it 57 times in his first year as president.

The best way to compare tax cuts (or spending plans) over time is to measure them as a percentage of the national economy. Inflation-adjusted dollars are another option, but a percentage of gross domestic product helps put the impact of the bill into context. Trump’s tax cut, according to Treasury Department data, is nearly 0.9 percent of GDP — compared to 2.89 percent of GDP for Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. Trump’s tax cut is only the eighth-largest — and is even smaller than two of Barack Obama’s tax cuts.

“Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.”

Trump is spinning the effects of his tax plan. Most of the benefits in the tax bill flow to corporations and the wealthy, according to numerous independent analysts.

More than three-quarters of the $1.1 trillion in individual tax cuts will go to people who earn more than $200,000 a year in taxable income, who constitute only about 5 percent of all taxpayers, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service that warned the tax plan will have negative consequences for the fiscal health of federal and local governments.

Many of the tax cuts for individuals expire in 2025 — unless renewed by Congress — while the corporation tax cuts do not expire. The standard deduction was increased, as Trump noted, but personal and dependent exemptions were eliminated, muting the impact of the increase.

“We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world. These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.”

Trump is citing a White House Council of Economic Advisers report that has been widely criticized for the $4,000 estimate, including by the economist whose work is cited in making this forecast. (The economist, Mihir A. Desai, told the New York Times that actual income gain would be $800.)

Desai said he did not think the numbers added up. Our friends at offered a good illustration. With almost 126 million households in the United States, an average of $4,000 per household would mean an income gain of $500 billion. Yet the United States collected just under $300 billion in corporate taxes in fiscal 2017.

The average household would get a tax cut of $1,610 in 2018, an increase of about 2.2 percent in that average household’s income, according to the Tax Policy Center.

“Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.”

Trump is citing a list maintained by Americans for Tax Reform, an anti-tax group, which says 285 companies have offered bonuses, pay increases or increased 401(k) contributions because of the tax plan. The group says at least 3 million Americans have received tax bonuses, many about $1,000 or $2,000; the list only identifies one company (IAT Insurance Group of North Carolina) as offering $3,000.

With about 126 million full-time workers in the United States, less than 2.5 percent have received these one-time bonuses so far. Many of the companies offering bonuses are in the financial services industry.

“Since we passed tax cuts … Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.”

Trump suggests Apple is investing $350 billion in the United States over five years because of a tax package he signed into law in December.

That’s a stretch.

Apple announced a five-year investment plan in January, which includes $30 billion in capital expenditures and roughly $275 billion in domestic spending. This represents the bulk of its $350 billion investment plan. But the company did not say whether these moves were long in the planning or spurred by the tax changes.

Apple did say it would be making a $38 billion tax payment to repatriate overseas profit under a provision of Trump’s tax law. Like other big U.S. companies, Apple responded to the tax legislation by handing out bonuses to its employees.

It’s not clear from Apple’s announcement that it is dialing up U.S. investment levels. The tech giant spent “between $12 billion and $15 billion on projects such as facilities or land globally in the past few years, though it has not said how much of that went to U.S. projects.”

“In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.”

Trump has clearly waged a battle against regulations but many of his claims cannot be verified.

Trump appears to be counting ”regulatory actions” so many of the items being delayed or withdrawn were not regulations yet. According to a Bloomberg News analysis, almost a third of the regulatory reversals actually began under earlier presidents. “Others strain the definition of lessening the burden of regulation or were relatively inconsequential, the kind of actions government implements routinely,” Bloomberg reported.

In fact, it is unclear whether Trump has cut more regulations in his first year than any other president. When the Fact Checker examined this question, experts said that the amount of withdrawn regulations is not necessarily the best metric, because these are rules that never went into effect. Moreover, often it takes another rule to repeal a previous rule. Research by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University shows that regulatory restrictions actually grew during Trump’s first year, but at a much slower pace than other presidents in their first year.
“We have ended the war on American energy — and we have ended the war on beautiful clean coal. We are now an exporter of energy to the world.”

There’s no such thing as “clean coal.” Power plants can mitigate some of the effects of burning coal by capturing and burying carbon-dioxide emissions, but that doesn’t cleanse the coal itself. By saying his administration “ended the war on clean coal,” Trump appears to be referencing the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to repeal the Clean Power Plan implemented under President Barack Obama, which had pushed states to favor energy sources that produce fewer carbon emissions than coal.

Trump also says the United States is “now an exporter of energy,” but the United States has long been an energy exporter. Trump pledged during his campaign to turn the country into a net energy exporter, meaning it sells more energy to other countries than it buys from them. But that hasn’t happened and the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates it won’t happen until sometime between 2020 and 2030.

According to the EIA, the United States was expected to become a net exporter of natural gas in 2017, and exports of crude oil and petroleum products more than doubled from 2010 to 2016. It’s important to note that the United States lifted restrictions on exporting crude oil in December 2015, while Obama was in office.

“Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan.”

Trump’s timeline is mixed up. Fiat Chrysler is investing $1 billion in a factory in Michigan, but that plan was in motion before Trump’s election in 2016, according to Sergio Marchionne, the Fiat Chrysler chief executive. Marchionne specifically credited talks with the United Auto Workers in 2015, not Trump.

“America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just one year — isn’t it a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?”

This isn’t the first time Trump has pointed to building and infrastructure projects from earlier in American history. He made similar claims about the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam in June 2017.

But in all of these cases, Trump is only focusing on the literal construction time — ignoring the bureaucratic negotiations, planning and preparation that took place leading up to construction and are required to make large-scale projects feasible. Moreover, for the Empire State Building, it actually took 13 months to build.

“The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit or the safety of our people.”

Trump is stretching the truth here. The Diversity Visa Lottery Program, more commonly known as the Green Card lottery, isn’t random as Trump suggests.

Individuals apply for the visa system, and must have at least a high school diploma or work in specific industries to be eligible for the program. As the term “lottery” implies, applicants are selected via a randomized computer drawing. The selected applicants undergo a background check, interview and medical tests before entering the country, and some applicants undergo an additional in-depth review if they are considered a security risk. Plus, selected applicants can be deemed ineligible for a number of reasons including adverse medical conditions, criminal behavior, and security or terrorism concerns.

A 2007 report from the Government Accountability Office did point to substantial fraud risks within the program and proposed using data to mitigate these risks. However, the State Department at the time disagreed with the report’s findings, saying it already had managed these risks.

“The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.”

“Chain migration” refers to the practice of immigrants bringing other members of their families to the United States. Under U.S. law, there is a preference for relatives already living in the United States, so a U.S. citizen can petition for a green card for spouses, children, parents or siblings. So, for example, a sibling of a U.S. citizen could come to the United States, bringing along spouses and minor children. The rules are stricter for green-card holders: They can only petition for a spouse or unmarried children.

The suggestion that either a U.S. citizen or a green card holder could bring in “virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives” is an exaggeration to say the least. There’s often a lengthy wait list. As of November, according to the State Department, nearly 4 million people are waiting to get off the list, including 2.3 million “family fourth” preferences — children of siblings of citizens.
“In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.”

Trump is referring to Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant who entered the United States through the diversity visa lottery program, and Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi immigrant who entered through an extended relative as part of a program Trump calls “chain migration.”

Saipov drove a rented truck into a crowd of pedestrians and bicyclists in Manhattan in October, killing eight in the deadliest terrorist attack in New York since 9/11. Ullah attempted to bomb a New York City subway station with a crude explosive device, but the device failed and only Ullah was injured.

Trump presents these two cases as evidence that the diversity visa program and chain migration open the door to terrorist attacks. But two immigration cases out of thousands a year is not statistically significant.

Note that Trump steered clear of mentioning a new report from the Homeland Security and Justice departments, which links the same two immigration programs to terrorism cases. That report describes two international terrorism-related cases linked to chain migration, and two other cases tied to the diversity visa program. Again, not a statistically significant number.

It’s a big deal to claim that any policy exposes the country to more terrorist attacks, and it requires more proof than a few anecdotal cases.

“We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling and the underprivileged all over the world.”

In raw dollars, the United States does contribute more development aid. But the United States is also richer, so as a percentage of gross national income, the United States ranks relatively low, according to 2016 figures published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The United States contributed $33.6 billion, followed by Germany with almost $25 billion. But Norway contributed 1.1 percent of GNI, whereas the United States ranked 22nd out of 29 wealthy countries tracked by the organization. That ranking placed it between Slovenia and Portugal.

APOD: 2018 January 21 – The Upper Michigan Blizzard of 1938


This is for you Old Jules,



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