Sunday, February 26, 2017



America first, (insert your country here) second ... make yourself proud of (insert your country here) great again!

Who’s to say which nation in the world is truly first? Well, Trump – obviously. But if the U.S. is already lapping the rest of the world en route to certain gold, satirists in other nations are having a spirited contest for the silver ... 

There’s no shame in second place, right? Second best? A gentleman’s second? Being first among all the “losers”?
A month after US President Donald Trump took office declaring a new “America first” era, people in Asia and elsewhere armed with social media accounts and jaded senses of humour are competing tongue-in-cheek to be from “almost” the best nation in the world – second only to the world’s sole superpower, and the super-sized ego now in charge of its executive branch.
“It’s going to be only America first,” Trump declared in his January 20 inauguration speech as he tacitly chastised his predecessor Barack Obama, who oversaw the country’s longest stretch of job growth in recent times, for careening the country through an “American carnage”.
The “America first” slogan has become fodder for political satirists around the world hungry for new material to deride the former New York businessman’s trademark bombastic speaking style. From India to Singapore to Indonesia, they have produced mock tourism commercials, with voiceovers imitating Trump, talking about why their country should be chosen as second only to the US.
The trend began half a world away in the Netherlands, after the late night show Zondag met Lubach (Sunday with Lubach) on January 23 – three days after the inauguration – put up a video with a Trump impersonator touting some of the country’s peculiarities, from windmills to its purportedly superior tax code. The voiceover featured the US leaders’ favoured phrases (“You’ll love it. It’s great”, “It’s huge!” “Total losers!”), and his style of using short sentences peppered with barbs aimed at his opponents. “We totally understand it’s going to be America first. But can we just say: the Netherlands second?” the voiceover says towards the end of the video.
Stephen Colbert to host Emmy posters while commenting on the Amerika culture 
Satirists in Germany, Portugal, and Switzerland soon put up their own versions, before their Asian counterparts entered the fray in February.
In India, one version of the spoof video not only took aim at Trump, but at the European countries that were “jockeying” to be second. “All those European countries welcoming you, they are not even real countries. India is the oldest culture in the world,” said the Trump voiceover.
And In Singapore, the multiracial country’s hybrid language “Singlish”, a mishmash of English as well as Malay, Chinese and Tamil, was featured. “We have the best and fastest language. Singlish. it has all the best words. One word has twelve meanings,” the Trump voiceover boasts, touting the tiny Southeast Asian city state as good enough to be second only to America.
Indonesia meanwhile said the country of 250 million across an archipelago of 17,000 islands was peerless in emulating the US. “Despite our diversity, we love America very much and more than willing (sic) to copy,” the voiceover said, boasting of the fact that the country was home to Ilham Anas, a leading Barack Obama impersonator.
China’s Hutong School, a language academy for foreigners, produced a version of the video highlighting the Great Wall of China. “It kept out all the Mongolians, total losers by the way. All the Mexicans too. Best part, we made the Japanese pay for it and they don’t even know,” the voiceover said, mocking Trump’s plan for a wall in the US border with Mexico.
The Philippines showed off Rodrigo Duterte, the country’s eccentric president widely seen as Asia’s answer to Trump. “The Philippines has the greatest president ever in Asia. Ever. And his name is Rodrigo Duterte. He was even named as the Trump of the East” by your people,” the video said.
The one that started it all: America First, the Netherlands Second.
America First, France Second
America First, Germany Second
Related articles

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Buenos Dias ……
Turnabout is fair play. It's about time we came to our (fiscal) senses. BTW Snopes indicates this is TRUE. That's a breakthrough in itself. This is just one U.S. State .....all our States should follow suit. 
If so we could probably reduce our national debt by a few Billion $ and get back to "our way of life."
Please read on while Mark levin is reading and follow through on this strategy.
Mexico is angry ...
Make certain you read, at the bottom of this page, the part that says it will take 30 more seconds to read!

The shoe is on the other foot and the Mexicans from the State of Sonora, Mexico do not like it.  Can you believe the nerve of these people?  It's almost funny.  The State of Sonora is angry at the influx of Mexicans into Mexico.

The state legislators from the Mexican State of Sonora traveled to Tucson to complain about Arizona's new employer crackdown on illegals  from Mexico.  It seems that many Mexican illegals are returning to their hometowns and the officials in the Sonora state government are ticked off.  A delegation of nine state legislators from Sonora was in Tucson on Tuesday to state that Arizona's new 'Employer  Sanctions Law' will have a devastating effect on the Mexican state.  At a news conference, the legislators said that Sonora (Arizona's southern neighbor) made up of mostly of small towns - cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools that it will  face as Mexican workers return to their hometowns from the USA without jobs or money.

The Arizona law, which took effect Jan. 1, punishes  Arizona employers who knowingly hire individuals without valid legal documents to work in the United States.  Penalties include suspension of, or loss of, their business license.  The Mexican legislators are angry because their own citizens are returning to  their home towns, placing a burden on THEIR state government instead of ours.

'How can Arizona pass a law like this?' asked Mexican  Rep Leticia Amparano-Gamez, who represents Nogales. 'There is not one person living in Sonora who does not have a friend or relative working in Arizona,' she said, speaking in Spanish.  'Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems it will  face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and who were sending money to their families return to their hometowns in Sonora without jobs,' she said 'We are one family, socially and economically,' she said of the people of Sonora and Arizona.

Wrong! The United States is a sovereign nation,  not a subsidiary of Mexico, and its taxpayers are not responsible for the welfare of Mexico's citizens. It's time for the Mexican government, and its citizens, to stop feeding parasitically off the United States and to start taking care of its/their own needs.

Too bad that other states within the USA don't  pass a law just like that passed by Arizona.  Maybe that's the answer, since our own Congress will do nothing!

  *New Immigration Laws*

Be sure to read to the bottom or you will miss the message...
1.      There  will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
2.      All  ballots will be in this nation's language.
3.      All  government business will be conducted in our language.
4.      Non-residents  will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
5.      Non-citizens  will NEVER be able to hold political office.
6.      Foreigners  will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or any other government assistance programs. Any who are a burden will be deported.
7.      Foreigners  can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
8.      If  foreigners come here and buy land, their options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
9.      Foreigners  may have NO protests; NO demonstrations, NO waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, NO bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
10.. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted and, when caught, sent to jail until  your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.

Too strict you say?    The  above laws are the current immigration laws of MEXICO!   If it's good for Americans to obey Mexican laws, then  it's got to be good vice versa.!!!

This will take less than  thirty seconds to read . If you agree, please pass it on. An idea whose time has come: Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the  law. The self-serving must stop. 


Brzezinski: ‘Our Job’ Is to Control ‘Exactly What People Think’

Controlling "exactly what people think" is the job of the media, MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski boldly declared Wednesday morning.

While discussing President Trump's entreaties to the American people to remain skeptical of the press, Bzezinski worried that if the economy turns south, Americans may end up trusting him over the media.

  • "And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think," Brzezinski said. "And that, that is our job."
  • DUH ...
Democrat Maxine Waters Calls Trump Cabinet Picks: “A Bunch of Scumbags”
Far left Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has taken on the role of spokesperson for the Democrat Party since the November election.

During an appearance on MSNBC’s All in with Chris Hayes, Democrat Maxine Waters read off a list of people connected to the Trump team who also have connections to Russia and the oil and gas industry.

Waters then went on to call the Trump administration a “bunch of scumbags.”
SCARBOROUGH: "Exactly. That is exactly what I hear. What Yamiche said is what I hear from all the Trump supporters that I talk to who were Trump voters and are still Trump supporters. They go, 'Yeah you guys are going crazy. He's doing -- what are you so surprised about? He is doing exactly what he said he is going to do.'"

BRZEZINSKI: "Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job."

The comment failed to raise any eyebrows from her co-panelists. Instead, her co-host, Joe Scarborough, said that Trump's media antagonism puts him on par with Mussolini and Lenin.

SCARBOROUGH: "It’s the -- it's the ground noise that he is throwing out there also, whether he is questioning, Mark, the legitimacy of federal judges to do what they have done since Marbury v. Madison. It's when he says the media is the, quote --"


SCARBOROUGH: "-- 'enemy of the people', where he sounds like Mussolini or Lenin which obviously causes concern that phrase right there makes him sound more like a dictator in training, when he sends Stephen Miller out and says, basically the president has absolute power, he shall not be questioned."

Scarborough also accused Trump's base of having a "blind spot" on the issue of illegal immigration.

"We have an economy, let’s face it, we have an economy that is built on illegal immigration," Scarborough said. "We have an economy that is built on that. That is why I say why don’t you just legalize it?"

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Drudge Put It Perfectly: Congressional Republicans Flail and Fail ...

Incompetence hinders party from accomplishing Trump’s agenda

On February 8, 2017, Matt Drudge tweeted, “No Obamacare repeal, tax cuts!” and “Republican party should be sued for fraud. NO discussion of tax cuts now.” Drudge was spot on.

This week, Sen. Rand Paul (my former boss, it should be pointed out) stormed out of a meeting with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan when he heard talk of keeping Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion intact and creating tax credits. Paul worried these tax credits would be a Republican-created entitlement program.

Unfortunately, the leadership and establishment in the Republican party is incompetent. When you compare the accomplishments of President Barack Obama at the same point in his presidency as President Donald Trump, it shows that Republicans are not doing their job.

Jonathan Weisman, deputy Washington editor at The New York Times, encapsulated Republicans’ lack of accomplishment in one tweet.
Weisman points out that at this point in the Obama administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress had passed his stimulus package, the Lilly Ledbetter bill, and started serious talks about healthcare reform. Right now, House and Senate Republicans have passed a budget that sets the table for Obamacare partial repeal, yet they don’t seem to have the stomach to pass the partial repeal measure that they passed last year. That bill gutted some of the core elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by repealing Medicaid expansion, exchange subsidies and most of the healthcare related tax hikes.

Conservatives, including The Heritage Foundation, are pushing Congress to use this measure as the basis for reconciliation this year, yet moderate senators Lamar Alexander, Bill Cassidy, and Susan Collins are pushing ideas that will save the core of Obamacare.

Now that Republicans have control of Congress, they seem to have lost focus. On February 16, The New York Times reported, “After moving to start rolling back the Affordable Care Act just days after President Trump was sworn in last month, Republican lawmakers and Mr. Trump have yet to deliver on any of the sweeping legislation they promised. Efforts to come up with a replacement for the healthcare law have been stymied by disagreements among Republicans about how to proceed. The same is true for a proposed overhaul of the tax code.”

The large infrastructure bill that both Democrats and Trump were eager to pursue has barely been mentioned, other than a general hearing to discuss well-documented needs for infrastructure improvements. Even a simple emergency spending bill that the Trump administration promised weeks ago—which was expected to include a proposal for his wall on the Mexican border—has not materialized, leaving appropriators idle.

Implementing the Trump agenda is impossible if Republicans don’t try. One of my favorite quotes is Wayne Gretzky’s “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Republicans are not taking any shots right now.

Republicans know that it would be easy to roll out and pass a massive $1 trillion infrastructure bill that would have bipartisan support. Members love roads and bridges, and Congressional pork is proven to create bipartisan support. Yet, Congress hasn’t started the process of passing Trump’s version of a stimulus bill.

Republicans ran on promising to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, and they are falling flat on their faces trying to figure out the “replace” part. Sen. Rand Paul has teamed up with forces in the House Freedom Caucus to introduce a bill to repeal Obamacare and replace with healthcare freedom, including a massive expansion of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and the freedom to purchase healthcare plans across state lines. This is a good option if Republicans feel the need to “replace” Obamacare.

Additionally, Congress has done nothing to forward the ball on Trump’s plan for a historic reform of the tax code that would include massive tax cuts for average Americans.

Republican leadership in the House and Senate are thwarting the Trump agenda with their gross incompetence. Drudge was spot on to accuse them of fraud, and Sen. Rand Paul is correct to team up with freedom loving members of the House and Senate to jump start the process of repealing Obamacare. At some point, establishment Republicans need to understand that if they continue to break promises to right-leaning Trump voters, they will hand over power to the Democrats.



Sunday, February 19, 2017


Trump baffles ... those living in fanasty land ... Sweden with crime comment, says it was based on TV report

A day after falsely suggesting there was an immigration-related security incident in Sweden, President Donald Trump said on Sunday his comment was based on a television report he had seen.

Trump, who in his first weeks in office has tried to tighten U.S. borders sharply for national security reasons, told thousands of supporters at a rally on Saturday that Sweden was having serious problems with immigrants.

"You look at what's happening last night in Sweden," Trump said. "Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible."

No incident occurred in Sweden and the country's baffled government asked the U.S. State Department to explain what Trump meant.


"My statement as to what's happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden," Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.
Fox News, a U.S. cable news channel that has sometimes been cited favorably by Trump, ran a report on Friday night about alleged migrant-related crime problems in the country.

A White House spokeswoman told reporters on Sunday that Trump had been referring generally to rising crime and not a specific incident in the Scandinavian country.


Sweden's crime rate has fallen since 2005, official statistics show, even as the country has taken in hundreds of thousands of immigrants from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq.

Trump's comment confounded Sweden's government. "We are trying to get clarity," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Catarina Axelsson said.

The U.S. State Department said it did not comment on diplomatic communications.

Trump has been widely criticized for making assertions with little supporting evidence.

In recent months, he has argued that more than 3 million people voted fraudulently in the U.S. election, an assertion that election officials say is false, and incorrectly stated that he won the election by the most decisive margin in decades.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom appeared to respond to Trump's statement about her country on Saturday by posting on Twitter an excerpt of a recent speech in which she said democracy and diplomacy "require us to respect science, facts and the media."

Her predecessor was less circumspect.

"Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound," former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt wrote on Twitter.

Other Swedes mocked Trump's remark on Twitter using the hashtag #LastNightInSweden, posting pictures of reindeer, Swedish meatballs and people assembling the country's famous IKEA furniture.

"#lastnightinsweden my son dropped his hotdog in the campfire. So sad!" Twitter user Adam Bergsveen wrote.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm, Andy Sullivan in Washington and Jeff Mason in Florida; Editing by Kieran Murray and Peter Cooney)




Friday, February 17, 2017


State Dept. carries out layoffs under Rex Tillerson
By Margaret Brennan, Kylie Atwood CBS News February 17, 2017, 12:44 AM

While Rex Tillerson is on his first overseas trip as Secretary of State, his aides laid off staff at the State Department on Thursday.

Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told today that their services were no longer needed.
These staffers in particular are often the conduit between the secretary’s office to the country bureaus, where the regional expertise is centered. Inside the State Department, some officials fear that this is a politically-minded purge that cuts out much-needed expertise from the policy-making, rather than simply reorganizing the bureaucracy.
There are clear signals being sent that many key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House, rather than through the professional diplomats.

Not a single State Department official was included in the White House meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner - who has no regional expertise or diplomatic experience - had a greater role in the meeting than the Senate-confirmed secretary of State.

Rex Tillerson was absent Wednesday but did join Kushner and Netanyahu for dinner the night before. Acting Deputy Secretary of State Tom Shannon was on the official schedule to take his place but was then shut out of the White House meeting.

In an emailed statement to CBS News, a State Department official explained that the decision to modify the meeting was made at the White House to “allow for a more personal discussion.” That presumably is a reference to the long-standing friendship between Trump, Kushner, and Netanyahu.

That particular incident was disheartening to many State Department officials who hope that Mr. Tillerson - who had a long career as Exxon Mobil’s CEO - will bring his worldly experience and management to a building that has been demoralized by the Trump administration’s antipathy toward multilateralism and cavalier approach to diplomacy.

Two sources also told CBS News that Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the Counselor of the State Department and one of the last remaining senior officials, was informed that she will be let go. She is a career foreign service officer who had served as an ambassador under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Her staff was told that Secretary Tillerson does not intend to fill the counselor’s position anytime soon.

While positions are often reshuffled during transitions and those perceived as politically-oriented are moved aside, the departures leave the positions vacant at a time of global instability. In Thursday’s presser, President Trump referred to “mass instability overseas, no matter where you look.” 

“The middle east is a disaster,” he complained. “North Korea - we’ll take care of it folks; we’re going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess.”
“It is irresponsible to let qualified, nonpartisan, experienced people go before you have any idea of their replacement. You can’t do foreign policy by sitting in the White House, just out of your back pocket,” explains Tom Countryman, Former Assistant Secetary for Non-Proliferation who was let go earlier this month. Countryman worries that the White House is displaying an intent not rely on the State Department for foreign policy in that no one will be in place to challenge the edicts drawn up in the Oval Office.

This may be what President Trump was referring to when he repeatedly said that “our people” are not yet in place at U.S. government agencies. He blamed the leaks of embarrassing White House transcripts of his phone calls with foreign leaders - including difficult conversations he had with Mexico and Australia - on officials who had previously worked for the Obama Administration.

R.C. Hammond, a State Department spokesman, did not respond to the specific question of what motivated the layoffs but provided the following statement: “As part of the transition from one administration to the next we continue to build out our team. The State Department is supported by a very talented group of individuals, both Republicans and Democrats. We are appreciative to any American who dedicates their talents to public service.‎”

Hammond previously worked for Newt Gingrich and is a new hire at the State Department.


Bay Area restaurants register as sanctuary businesses

Bay Area restaurant owners are joining the national debate about immigration policy.

President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on the issue has sparked the Sanctuary Restaurants Movement, which launched in early January and now counts more than 240 restaurants across the country. The Bay Area is home to about two dozen participating restaurants, including Alfred’s Steakhouse in San Francisco, Cancun Sabor Mexicano in Berkeley and Flea Street in Menlo Park.
Largely symbolic in nature, the collaboration is led by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United and promotes safe, tolerant spaces to restaurant workers, employers and consumers. While the sanctuary restaurant label doesn’t protect immigrants from law enforcement, the classification does spur business owners to educate themselves and their staff about how to handle federal officials during possible raids.
Another national protest — dubbed “A Day Without Immigrants” — took place Thursday, where foreign-born workers and students stayed home to demonstrate their importance to the country’s workforce and way of life; several dozen Bay Area restaurants closed for the day in solidarity.

Nationally, the restaurant industry relies heavily on immigrant labor. Restaurants employed 2.3 million foreign-born workers, or more than 8 percent of the foreign-born workers in the country, according to 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Of foreign-born workers, 7.1 percent have jobs as food preparers or servers, compared to 5.1 percent of U.S.-born workers, according to data from the 2015 census. The data also show 27 percent of California’s entire population was foreign born — twice the national percentage.
“On an emotional level, it disturbs me that we’ve gotten to a place where we have to actually put signs up letting people know that everyone is welcome,” said Preeti Mistry, chef-owner of Oakland’s Juhu Beach Club. “There was a time when this was just understood.”

The sanctuary restaurant movement has gained momentum across the country in recent weeks as Trump’s controversial immigration ban was enacted (and then halted by a federal appeals court). More recently, reports of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids have put the restaurant industry on high alert.

“Look around. That’s not the way things are anymore,” Mistry said.

Mistry, a second-generation immigrant whose parents are from India, was one of the first chefs in Oakland to register her business as a place with zero-tolerance policies toward racism, sexism and xenophobia. In her Telegraph Avenue restaurant is a sign that reads “Welcome all: shapes, sizes, colors, sexes, languages, cultures, beliefs, ages, preferences, statuses, faiths. You are home.”

As of Feb. 13, 245 restaurants across the country were signed up to be sanctuary restaurants, according to Tim Rusch of Restaurant Opportunities Center United.
On the same day, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released a statement saying ICE raids conducted the previous week had resulted in 680 arrests in various cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Texas, and New York City. Kelly said the operations targeted individuals “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”
“We were worried about the treatment of immigrants, and already a few weeks into the administration we see what’s happening. I have no doubt it could get worse,” said Amy Brown, co-owner of San Francisco’s Marla Bakery. Brown was one of San Francisco’s early registrants, along with chef Daniel Patterson, whose name is tied to seven different businesses on the sanctuary status list.

Bicycle Banh Mi is a Vietnamese American, LGBTQ and women-owned small business near Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco. Owner Jess Nguyen said she registered the restaurant as a sanctuary on Jan. 29 because she is “fighting for progress in areas which Trump is targeting.”
“Reading the news about Trump’s immigration policies and executive order was a big catalyst,” Nguyen said. “It hit close to home.

“I thought about my parents, who escaped Vietnam for the chance of a better life here. I thought about the food and restaurant community, our shared kitchen and our staff members. We’ve all exchanged stories of what our families had to sacrifice in order to be be living in America.”

Berkeley’s 1951 Coffee isn’t on the official sanctuary restaurant list, but the month-old cafe operates like one, employing a staff of refugees, asylum seekers and special immigration visa holders. Its mission is to teach its multicultural staff, all of whom are new to the country, how to create successful lives for themselves.

Co-founder Doug Hewitt said he was glad to see so many restaurants pushing for social change.

“Restaurants, and in our case, cafes, occupy an important place in society,” Hewitt said. “They are one of the few places in which our public and personal lives merge together. We gather with business partners or friends. We dine with family or teammates. But all too often the workers are a backdrop to the food and beverage.”

While the number of sanctuary restaurants in the Bay Area continues to grow, Mistry said she noticed there were businesses avoiding the political fray, despite having cause to participate.

“Not everyone is going to have the same political views. I get that,” Mistry said.

Ultimately, signing up for the movement, no matter how symbolic it might be, is a stance for what she believes in, she said: “At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and making your voice heard.”

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Will a Judge's Ruling Against CNN Make It Easier to Sue the Media?

Donald Trump probably doesn't know about it, but the guy who once said he wanted to open up libel laws will probably be quite pleased by a new ruling from a Georgia federal judge. In fact, the stakes in this case are so high we wouldn't be surprised if it eventually lands before the U.S. Supreme Court and potentially makes it easier to sue entertainment and media outlets. There's a reason why the Motion Picture Association of America submitted an amicus brief in this case.

The lawsuit is Davide Carbone v. Cable News Network.

Carbone was the chief executive of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based St. Mary's Medical Center until CNN reported in June 2015 that the infant mortality rate for open-heart surgery there was three times the national average. Reporters for Anderson Cooper's CNN show aggressively covered the death of babies at the hospital and even went to Carbone's home in an attempt to get comment. Instead, he closed his garage door on them. Later, he was forced to resign. His defamation lawsuit followed.

What makes this case so important is how a judge addressed CNN's attempt to strike the lawsuit.
Many states have anti-SLAPP statutes in the interest of guarding against frivolous lawsuits attacking First Amendment activity. Georgia is one of them. Under these SLAPP statutes, plaintiffs have to show a likelihood of prevailing before the case moves any further.

But under federal civil procedure law, plaintiffs only need to demonstrate the plausibility of claims before a motion to dismiss is denied. So the question is — which standard should be used? If a judge just goes with plausibility instead of probability, it means that plaintiffs in a range of cases involving First Amendment activity — not just defamation, but also intellectual property, privacy and so forth — get an easier road past initial hurdles and into discovery. That ups the cost of defending lawsuits significantly. That might help explain why the MPAA joined other media companies in telling the judge that anti-SLAPP laws are "fundamentally important."

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans decided that the plausibility standard under federal rules was what was most important. In coming to the decision, she notes that appellate circuits around the nation have split on the issue. The judge cites a 9th Circuit decision that there's no conflict between a state's anti-SLAPP law and federal rules because litigants are free to try both. Evans also nods to 9th Circuit judges like Alex Kozinski who have "challenged the wisdom of the 9th Circuit's continued tolerance for anti-SLAPP statutes."

Ultimately, she likes what D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh has to say.

"He agrees with this Court that the two are in conflict and cannot co-exist," writes Evans. "As in D.C., here, the Georgia anti-SLAPP statute impermissibly 'set[s] up an additional hurdle a plaintiff must jump over to get to trial' in federal court."

So she effectively renders Georgia's free-speech protection statute toothless.

As for the rest of the opinion, which weighs the plausibility of Carbone's claims, Evans feels there's enough to move it forward. The plaintiff is disputing how CNN arrived at its infant mortality rate statistic. Carbone alleges that it should have been risk-adjusted, that CNN was doing an "apples-to-oranges comparison" when comparing St. Mary's Medical Center to the national average.

CNN will have the opportunity to fight this contention at a later stage in the case, but the point is that it will still be fighting instead of getting the judge to address the merits of the claims now rather than later. Before Trump was elected president, we suggested that his threats necessitated a federal anti-SLAPP law. Instead, the decision, as it gets appealed upwards, may risk undercutting the existing anti-SLAPP state statutes around the nation.


February 15, 2017
Let's compare what President Trump has accomplished since the inauguration (with that enormous crowd!) with what congressional Republicans have done.
In the past three weeks, Trump has: staffed the White House, sent a dozen Cabinet nominees to the Senate, browbeat Boeing into cutting its price on a government contract, harangued American CEOs into keeping their plants in the United States, imposed a terrorist travel ban, met with foreign leaders and nominated a Supreme Court justice, among many other things.

(And still our hero finds time to torment the media with his tweets!)

What have congressional Republicans been doing? Scrapbooking?
More than 90 percent of congressional Republicans kept their jobs after the 2016 election, so you can cross "staffing an entire branch of government" off the list. Only the Senate confirms nominees, which they've been doing at a snail's pace, so they've got loads of free time -- and the House has no excuse at all.

Where's the Obamacare repeal? Where are the hearings featuring middle-class Americans with no health insurance because it was made illegal by Obamacare?

The House passed six Obamacare repeals when Obama was president and there was no chance of them being signed into law. Back then, Republicans were full of vim and vigor! But the moment Trump became president, the repeals came to a screeching halt.

After the inauguration (gigantic!), House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put out a plan for repealing Obamacare ... in 200 days. They actually gave their legislative agenda this inspiring title: "The Two Hundred Day Plan.”


What was in the last six Obamacare repeals? If we looked, would we find "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" carefully typed out 1 million times? Seriously, what does Paul Ryan's day look like?

This is the Silence of the Lambs Congress. They're utterly silent, emerging from the House gym or their three-hour lunches only to scream to the press about Trump.

To the delight of the media, these frightened little lambs are appalled by nearly everything Trump does. They've been especially throaty about Trump's temporary travel ban from seven terrorist nations -- as designated by the Obama administration (and by everybody else who hasn't been in a deep freeze in a Finnish crevasse for the past decade).

Just like the six Obamacare repeals, a refugee ban was already written and passed by one house of Congress. Then suddenly: the Silence of the Lambs. McConnell and Ryan are hiding under their desks, as Trump is being attacked from every side.

Way, way back, 15 long months ago, congressional Republicans didn't have a problem with a total ban on Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Not for a mere three months like Trump's order -- but permanently, unless the director of the FBI, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence personally certified that a particular refugee posed no danger to the U.S.

That bill passed the House with an overwhelming, veto-proof majority, including 47 Democrats. Then it went to the Senate to die.

But when President Trump imposed a comparatively mild three-month ban on immigrants from Syria, Iraq and five other terrorist nations, the same Republicans who had voted for a limitless ban on refugees whiled away their days calling reporters to denounce Trump.

A little more than a year ago, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, bragged in a press release that he had introduced the House's refugee ban, calling it a bill that would "protect Americans from ISIS.”

But when it came to Trump's three-month pause, McCaul told the Post that Trump's order "went too far.”

I guess that ISIS problem just sort of faded away. (Or maybe we should check with Mrs. McCaul, inasmuch as it's her family money that makes Rep. McCaul one of the richest members of Congress.)

Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., who voted for the House's permanent refugee ban, demanded that Trump immediately rescind his travel ban, babbling on about the "many, many nuances of immigration policy" -- which he must have learned about on one of his congressional jaunts to a Las Vegas casino.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., said that Trump's order "overreaches and undermines our constitutional system." Evidently, he was suddenly struck by the realization that it's "not lawful to ban immigrants on the basis of nationality," despite having voted to ban refugees on the basis of nationality just 15 months earlier. (I'm OK with this, provided the Syrians, Somalis and Yemenis are sent to live on Justin's street after being told about his support for gay marriage.)

Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., both rushed to The Washington Post with this refreshingly original point: NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS! Why, thank you, senators! Where would the GOP be without you?

The Post also quoted spokesmen -- spokesmen! -- for Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina complaining about not having been briefed on Trump's order. The senators themselves were far too busy to talk to the press because they were -- wait, what were they doing again? Words With Friends? Decoupage?

Since the election, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., has been mostly occupied polishing his anti-Trump quotations to get a pat on the head from an admiring media. He complained about Trump's order, saying it was "poorly implemented" and that he had to find out about it from reporters. (I wonder why.)

This is the moment we've been waiting for our entire lives, but Republicans in Congress refuse to do the people's will. Their sole, driving obsession is to see Trump fail.

I am not presently calling for these useless, narcissistic, Trump-bashing Republicans to be defeated in their re-election bids, but they're on my Watch List. To be cleared, they can start by getting off the phone with The Washington Post and passing one of those six Obamacare repeal bills.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017



February 15, 2017 "Information Clearing House" - "Sputnik" - The tawdry Michael Flynn soap opera boils down to the CIA hemorrhaging leaks to the company town newspaper, leading to the desired endgame: a resounding victory for hardcore neocon/neoliberalcon US Deep State factions in one particular battle.
But the war is not over; in fact it’s just beginning.

Even before Flynn’s fall, Russian analysts had been avidly discussing whether President Trump is the new Viktor Yanukovych — who failed to stop a color revolution at his doorstep. The Made in USA color revolution by the axis of Deep State neocons, Democratic neoliberalcons and corporate media will be pursued, relentlessly, 24/7. But more than Yanukovych, Trump might actually be remixing Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping: “crossing the river while feeling the stones”. Rather, crossing the swamp while feeling the crocs.

Flynn out may be interpreted as a Trump tactical retreat. After all Flynn may be back — in the shade, much as Roger Stone. If current deputy national security advisor K T McFarland gets the top job – which is what powerful Trump backers are aiming at – the shadowplay Kissinger balance of power, in its 21st century remix, is even strengthened; after all McFarland is a Kissinger asset.
This call won’t self-destruct in five seconds

Flynn worked with Special Forces; was head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); handled highly classified top secret information 24/7. He obviously knew all his conversations on an open, unsecure line were monitored. So he had to have morphed into a compound incarnation of the Three Stooges had he positioned himself to be blackmailed by Moscow.

What Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak certainly discussed was cooperation in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and what Moscow might expect in return: the lifting of sanctions. US corporate media didn’t even flinch when US intel admitted they have a transcript of the multiple phone calls between Flynn and Kislyak. So why not release them? Imagine the inter-galactic scandal if these calls were about Russian intel monitoring the US ambassador in Moscow.

No one paid attention to the two key passages conveniently buried in the middle of this US corporate media story.
  • 1) "The intelligence official said there had been no finding inside the government that Flynn did anything illegal.” 
  • 2) "…the situation became unsustainable – not because of any issue of being compromised by Russia – but because he [Flynn] has lied to the president and the vice president.”
Recap: nothing illegal; and Flynn not compromised by Russia. The “crime” – according to Deep State factions: talking to a Russian diplomat.

Vice-President Mike Pence is a key piece in the puzzle; after all his major role is as insider guarantor – at the heart of the Trump administration — of neocon Deep State interests. The CIA did leak. The CIA most certainly has been spying on all Trump operatives. Flynn though fell on his own sword. Classic hubris; his fatal mistake was to strategize by himself – even before he became national security advisor. “Mad Dog” Mattis, T. Rex Tillerson – both, by the way, very close to Kissinger — and most of all Pence did not like it one bit once they were informed.

A “man of very limited abilities”

Flynn was already compromised by his embarrassingly misinformed book co-written with neocon Michael Ledeen, as well as his juvenile Iranophobia. At the same time, Flynn was the point man to what would have been a real game-changer; to place the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff under White House control.

A highly informed US source I previously called “X”, who detailed to Sputnik how the Trump presidency will play out, is adamant “this decision makes Trump look independent. It is all going according to script.”

“X” stresses how “the NSA can penetrate any telephone system in the world that is not secure. Flynn was a man of very limited abilities who talked too much. You never hear from the real powers in intelligence nor do you know their names. You can see that in Flynn's approach to Iran. He was disrupting a peace deal in the Middle East relating to Russia, Iran and Turkey in Syria. So he had to go.”“X” adds, “the Russians are not stupid to talk among themselves on unsecured lines, they assumed that Flynn controlled his own lines. Flynn was removed not because of his Russian calls but for other reasons, some of which have to do with Iran and the Middle East. He was a loose cannon even from the intelligence perspective. This is a case of misdirection away from the true cause.”
In direct opposition to “X”, an analytical strand now rules there’s blood on the tracks; the hyenas are circling; a vulnerable Trump has lost his mojo; and he also lost his foreign policy. Not yet.
In the Grand Chessboard, what Flynn’s fall spells out is just a pawn out of the game because the King would not protect him. We will only know for sure “draining the swamp” – the foreign policy section – is doomed if neocons and neoliberalcons continue to run riot; if neoliberalcons are not fully exposed in their complicity in the rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh; and if the much vaunted possibility of a d├ętente with Russia flounders for good.
What’s certain is that the fratricide war between the Trump administration and the most powerful Deep State factions will be beyond vicious.
Team Trump only stands a chance if they are able to weaponize allies from within the Deep State. As it stands, concerning the Kissinger grand design of trying to break the Eurasian “threat” to the unipolar moment, Iran is momentarily relieved; Russia harbors no illusions; and China knows for sure that the China-Russia strategic partnership will become even stronger. Advantage swamp.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

Chuck Schumer says CIA is plotting REVENGE AGAINST President Trump