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On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, President Donald Trump gave his second State of the Union (SOTU) address.

His theme was ‘choose greatness’.

His able speechwriter and adviser, Stephen Miller, wrote an inspiring, fact-filled address.

Special guests

The president had an incredibly varied group of special guests, all of whom were mentioned in his speech and who sat with First Lady Melania Trump:

– a retired astronaut (Buzz Aldrin),

– three Second World War veterans (Herman Zeitchik, Joseph Reilly and Irving Locker),

– two law enforcement officers (DHS investigator Elvin Hernandez and Pittsburgh SWAT team member Timothy Matson),

– a survivor of the Holocaust as well as the Pittsburgh synagogue attack last year (Judah Samet, whose birthday it was),

– a concentration camp survivor (Joshua Kaufman),

– the father of a Navy Seaman who was killed on the USS Cole (Tom Wibberley),

– an Angel Family whose elders were murdered in their home by an illegal immigrant (Debra Bissell, Heather Armstrong, and Madison Armstrong),

– two reformed ex-convicts (Alice Johnson and Matthew Charles),

– a lumber mill manager (Roy James),

– a young mother who overcame drug addiction (Ashley Evans),

– two children (cancer survivor Grace Eline and a boy bullied for his name [no relation] Joshua Trump [please pray for this lad]).

On February 4, Big League Politics said that the guest list was Trump’s way of sending a clear message to Democrats about his priorities.

Everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to Judah Samet, the Holocaust survivor. What a treat that must have been for him:

Meanwhile, some of the Democrats invited illegal immigrants.

Here is the video. The speech is very long: 1 hour and 22 minutes:

That said, I highly recommend watching the video, because in urging Congress and the American people to ‘choose greatness’, President Trump showed himself to be a unifier. As one viewer at home put it:

Before I go into the speech, it is worth pointing out that not everyone attends, in the event the worst case scenario occurs. This year’s designated survivor was Energy secretary Rick Perry:

Truth v speculation

So many people expected fireworks. Some expected Trump to declare a state of emergency. Others wanted revelations on FISA:

Think about it. The greatest US president in living memory wants to be re-elected in 2020. He’s going to play the long game.

There was also speculation as to whether Trump prepared two different speeches.

Some people think that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) got the wrong speech. She did spend a lot of time perusing whatever she received during Trump’s SOTU delivery.

Recall that Pelosi did not want Trump to deliver his SOTU at all, under spurious grounds of security, when the Secret Service and Homeland Security were already well prepared, as this event is an annual one.

Interestingly, the House of Representatives, which Pelosi heads, has been historically known as ‘the People’s House’, and is not defined by political party. The leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy (R-California), wanted the SOTU to go ahead on January 29.

Technically, Trump could have forced both the House of Representatives and the Senate to convene for the SOTU:

https://media.8ch.net/file_store/ec761245326e36b6ddee5d279cfe656c5e239ea73b1a05cb3d169f1b3ff53063.jpg

Some think that Pelosi might be ill or duly influenced by an outsider.

Nonetheless, Trump remained undeterred, despite Pelosi’s attempts to control the date of the SOTU, which should have taken place on January 29.

On January 28, Pelosi wrote Trump to say that the rescheduled date was Tuesday, February 5. The US president duly accepted in writing that same day.

In the end, she won. But, was it a Pyrrhic victory?

Let us not forget that another shutdown could start on February 15.

Meanwhile, in the Republican-controlled Senate, on the morning of the SOTU, to be delivered that evening, Trump tweeted about Chuck Schumer (D-New York):

Departure for the Capitol

First Lady Melania Trump left the White House separately, as she did in 2018. Up to that time, the first ladies accompanied their husbands:

Meanwhile, the president’s limousine was waiting:

The Trump children, except for Barron, were in attendance.

Note the CIA director’s fabric pattern:

Along with a few other Supreme Court members, Justice Kavanaugh arrived:

As people took their places, Dem presidential hopeful Senator Kamala Harris (California) took it upon herself to give a ‘pre-buttal’ SOTU message on Facebook, which Dem voters did not like one bit.

Democrat identity politics

There was no rerun of last year’s kente cloth and black clothing.

This year, many of the female Democrats wore all white, in tribute to the Suffragettes.

The address

As is customary at SOTUs, the Vice President sits behind the President to his right and the Speaker of the House to his left. Mike Pence had a simple glass of water in front of him whilst Nancy Pelosi had an ornate water display:

Normally, the Speaker introduces the President, but Trump took no chances and immediately began his speech, excerpted below, emphases mine.

Trump received many standing ovations. Townhall has an article with tweets stating when the Dems did not stand, some of which are below. They definitely do not want American greatness, that’s for sure.

He was careful to introduce political and national unity at the beginning:

The agenda I will lay out this evening is not a Republican agenda or a Democrat agenda. It is the agenda of the American people …

There is a new opportunity in American politics, if only we have the courage to seize it. Victory is not winning for our party. Victory is winning for our country.

He mentioned the 75th anniversary of D Day and mentioned his aforementioned special guests who were there on the Normandy beaches:

Here with us tonight are three of those heroes: Private First Class Joseph Reilly, Staff Sergeant Irving Locker, and Sergeant Herman Zeitchik. Gentlemen, we salute you.

He also mentioned the 50th anniversary of the moon landing:

Half a century later, we are joined by one of the Apollo 11 astronauts who planted that flag: Buzz Aldrin. This year, American astronauts will go back to space on American rockets.

The retired astronaut immediately rose to his feet to salute his Commander In Chief:

It’s obvious that Trump really wants national unity:

Together, we can break decades of political stalemate. We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America’s future. The decision is ours to make.

We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction.

Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) — AOC — remained seated:

He went on to discuss his administration’s economic success — an incredible feat, considering where the US was in January 2017:

In just over 2 years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before. We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do, but the fact is, we are just getting started.

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades, and growing for blue collar workers, who I promised to fight for, faster than anyone else. Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The United States economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office, and we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world. Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in half a century. African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. More people are working now than at any time in our history –- 157 million.

But someone broke rank. Uh oh:

Trump went on to describe tax cuts, removal of the Obamacare mandate as well as regulatory cuts.

Then he discussed energy production:

We have unleashed a revolution in American energy — the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. And now, for the first time in 65 years, we are a net exporter of energy.

Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) was practically the only Dem who applauded:

He spoke about criminal justice reform — the First Step Act — and discussed Alice Johnson:

Alice’s story underscores the disparities and unfairness that can exist in criminal sentencing — and the need to remedy this injustice. She served almost 22 years and had expected to be in prison for the rest of her life.

In June, I commuted Alice’s sentence — and she is here with us tonight. Alice, thank you for reminding us that we always have the power to shape our own destiny …

Inspired by stories like Alice’s, my Administration worked closely with members of both parties to sign the First Step Act into law.

Matthew Charles followed:

We are also joined tonight by Matthew Charles from Tennessee. In 1996, at age 30, Matthew was sentenced to 35 years for selling drugs and related offenses. Over the next two decades, he completed more than 30 Bible studies, became a law clerk, and mentored fellow inmates. Now, Matthew is the very first person to be released from prison under the First Step Act. Matthew, on behalf of all Americans: welcome home.

Immigration and border security came next:

Tonight, I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country.

The Dems booed.

Trump continued:

No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration. Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls and gates and guards.

Meanwhile, working class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal migration — reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.

Tolerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel. One in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north. Smugglers use migrant children as human pawns to exploit our laws and gain access to our country.

Human traffickers and sex traffickers take advantage of the wide open areas between our ports of entry to smuggle thousands of young girls and women into the United States and to sell them into prostitution and modern-day slavery.

Here’s the aforementioned Kamala Harris:

Trump then mentioned the Bissell family:

Here tonight is Debra Bissell. Just three weeks ago, Debra’s parents, Gerald and Sharon, were burglarized and shot to death in their Reno, Nevada, home by an illegal alien. They were in their eighties and are survived by four children, 11 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren. Also here tonight are Gerald and Sharon’s granddaughter, Heather, and great‑granddaughter, Madison.

Afterwards, he introduced ICE Special Agent Elvin Hernandez:

When Elvin was a boy, he and his family legally immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. At the age of eight, Elvin told his dad he wanted to become a Special Agent. Today, he leads investigations into the scourge of international sex trafficking. Elvin says: “If I can make sure these young girls get their justice, I’ve done my job.” Thanks to his work and that of his colleagues, more than 300 women and girls have been rescued from horror and more than 1,500 sadistic traffickers have been put behind bars in the last year.

The Dems stood to applaud, although AOC remained seated:

The Dem women did get on their feet for three standing ovations when Trump mentioned females in the workforce and Congress:

No one has benefitted more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58 percent of the new jobs created in the last year. All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before — and exactly one century after the Congress passed the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than ever before.

He discussed trade then healthcare, introducing young Grace Eline:

Last year, Grace was diagnosed with brain cancer. Immediately, she began radiation treatment. At the same time, she rallied her community and raised more than $40,000 for the fight against cancer. When Grace completed treatment last fall, her doctors and nurses cheered with tears in their eyes as she hung up a poster that read: “Last Day of Chemo.” Grace — you are an inspiration to us all.

He briefly discussed his support of school choice, then moved on to the dignity of human life, particularly that of the unborn:

There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our Nation saw in recent days. Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world. And then, we had the case of the Governor of Virginia where he basically stated he would execute a baby after birth.

To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.

Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.

Two days later, on February 7, Congress once again — twice now — defeated that legislation.

Trump discussed the great progress being made internationally.

In talking about Venezuela, he attacked socialism:

We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom — and we condemn the brutality of the Maduro regime, whose socialist policies have turned that nation from being the wealthiest in South America into a state of abject poverty and despair.

Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence –- not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.

Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders (who has returned to being an Independent), was the most furious. Many years ago, during the Cold War, he and his wife spent their honeymoon in Russia:

He mentioned Tom Wibberley:

Eighteen years ago, terrorists attacked the USS Cole — and last month American forces killed one of the leaders of the attack.

We are honored to be joined tonight by Tom Wibberley, whose son, Navy Seaman Craig Wibberley, was one of the 17 sailors we tragically lost. Tom: we vow to always remember the heroes of the USS Cole.

He discussed anti-Semitism and introduced Timothy Matson, Judah Samet, Joshua Kaufman and Herman Zeitchik:

Just months ago, 11 Jewish-Americans were viciously murdered in an anti-semitic attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. SWAT Officer Timothy Matson raced into the gunfire and was shot seven times chasing down the killer. Timothy has just had his 12th surgery — but he made the trip to be here with us tonight. Officer Matson: we are forever grateful for your courage in the face of evil.

Tonight, we are also joined by Pittsburgh survivor Judah Samet. He arrived at the synagogue as the massacre began. But not only did Judah narrowly escape death last fall — more than seven decades ago, he narrowly survived the Nazi concentration camps. Today is Judah’s 81st birthday. Judah says he can still remember the exact moment, nearly 75 years ago, after 10 months in a concentration camp, when he and his family were put on a train, and told they were going to another camp. Suddenly the train screeched to a halt. A soldier appeared. Judah’s family braced for the worst. Then, his father cried out with joy: “It’s the Americans.”

A second Holocaust survivor who is here tonight, Joshua Kaufman, was a prisoner at Dachau Concentration Camp. He remembers watching through a hole in the wall of a cattle car as American soldiers rolled in with tanks. “To me,” Joshua recalls, “the American soldiers were proof that God exists, and they came down from the sky.”

I began this evening by honoring three soldiers who fought on D-Day in the Second World War. One of them was Herman Zeitchik. But there is more to Herman’s story. A year after he stormed the beaches of Normandy, Herman was one of those American soldiers who helped liberate Dachau. He was one of the Americans who helped rescue Joshua from that hell on earth. Almost 75 years later, Herman and Joshua are both together in the gallery tonight — seated side-by-side, here in the home of American freedom. Herman and Joshua: your presence this evening honors and uplifts our entire Nation.

Democrat reality

The Democrats, by and large, looked sombre. It could be because of this — from over a year ago:

The Trumps say thank you

The US president tweeted a full video of his speech, then followed up with this:

I have much more to follow on this, but will continue next week.

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How great is this?

On Saturday, January 19, 2019, President Trump held the first ever naturalisation ceremony in the Oval Office:

What a day to remember that must have been. Wow.

Here are the fortunate five who made history last Saturday:

The AP was one of a handful to carry this story. It’s a good report, by the way, excerpted below:

The new citizens had the oath of allegiance administered by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and received their naturalization certificates from Vice President Mike Pence, followed by a handshake from Trump.

“By taking this oath, you have forged a sacred bond with this nation, its traditions, its culture and its values. This heritage is now yours to protect, promote and pass down to the next generation and to the next wave of newcomers to our shores,” the president said.

Splendid!

The White House posted a transcript of President Trump’s remarks to the newly minted Americans. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:

Each of you worked hard for this moment. You followed the rules, upheld our laws, and contributed to the strength and success and vitality of our nation. Now each of you stands here today, before your proud and beaming families — look at those families, huh? — in the Oval Office of the White House. A very special place. I look, and sometimes they say, “Wow, this is it.” Right? The Oval Office. So, congratulations.

I’d like to share a few brief words about each of our new citizens.

Estabraq Adel Al Sayyad came with her husband to the United Statesfrom Iraq in 2013. She is the proud mother of two children and is expecting a third. Since coming to America, she has become a teacher’s assistant in our public schools — doing a fantastic job, I might add — preparing the next generation of young Americans to make the most of this magnificent country that she, too, now enjoys. And I want to just congratulate you, Estabraq. Thank you. (Applause.)

Matthew Hemsley is from the United Kingdom. Thank you, Matthew. He is an Anglican pastor who came to the United States in 2006 and earned a master’s degree from Gordon Conwell Seminary in North Carolina. A fine place. His grandmother was an American citizen whose ancestors first came to North America in 1637 — that means you beat us — (laughter) — you beat all of us — as part of the Plymouth Colony. Now the Hemsley family history to the United States is renewed, and the next chapter of their American story begins. Matthew, it’s an honor. Great luck. Great luck. (Applause.)

Yook Young Choi is from South Korea and came to the United States in 1992 to pursue a master’s degree. She earned a PhD from the University of Maryland and is now a professor at Azusa Pacific University. Her husband teaches statistics at George Mason, and — it’s a great school too, by the way — and they are proud parents of two sons. I want to congratulate you, and you’re going to have a great time. Great time. Thank you very much. We really appreciate it. (Applause.) Appreciate you being a member of the family. Thank you.

Robert Castle is from Jamaica, and he immigrated to the United States in 2009 as the husband of a then-active duty service member of the United States Army. Robert is a warehouse supervisor — a strong guy, a smart guy — and they have a beautiful four-year-old son who was born here in the United States. Robert, congratulations. Thank you. (Applause.)

Marcelo Ramos Ramirez is from Bolivia and has a beautiful, lawful permanent resident of the United States, and has been since 2013. He is the co-owner of a staffing company with his son Marcio. The business is thriving. He’s doing really well. And it’s expanding in all different ways. He says, “I know that in the [United States] you can achieve anything that you want, and I am a perfect example.” In another words, he’s making a lot of money. (Laughter.) Marcelo, thank you very much. (Applause.)

You’re all at the beginning of a new and extraordinary adventure. With the rights and freedoms you enjoy as Americans, there is nothing you cannot achieve.

But citizenship is also a profound responsibility. Each year, over 700,000 new Americans take the oath and allegiance, and inherit a legacy of liberty and justice that generations of Americans fought and died to secure …

As Americans, and American citizens, we are bound together in love, and loyalty, and friendship, and affection. We must look out for each other, care for each other, and always act in the best interests of our nation and all citizens living here today. We love each other. We’re proud of each other.

The beauty and majesty of citizenship is that it draws no distinctions of race, or class, or faith, or gender or background. No matter where our story begins, whether we are the first generation or the tenth generation, we are all equal. We are one team and one people proudly saluting one great American flag.

Again, I want to congratulate you and welcome you to the family. It’s a family. It’s a beautiful family

What a moving ceremony that must have been.

I hope that this will become an annual tradition at the White House, at least during the Trump years.

May God bless these new citizens and may He continue to watch over the President, his family and his administration.

Congratulations to President Trump on his second anniversary in the White House.

Sunday, January 20, 2019 was the big day.

The pictures in the following video are good, but I would encourage everyone to listen to what the American president said during his 2016 campaign and in his inauguration address on January 20, 2017 — ‘The American people will no longer be forgotten’:

The chairwoman of the GOP (Republican Party) tweeted a brief list of Trump’s promises kept:

There is so much more. The White House has elaborated on those promises kept in ‘The Historic Results of President Donald J. Trump’s First Two Years in Office’, which includes (emphases mine):

More than 5 million jobs have been created since President Trump’s election and the unemployment rate remains below 4 percent.

  • This is the eighth time this year that the unemployment rate has been below 4 percent.
  • Prior to this year, the unemployment rate had fallen below 4 percent only five times since 1970.
  • The unemployment rate for African Americans in May fell to 5.9 percent, which is the lowest rate on record.
  • Asian and Hispanic-American unemployment rates have reached record lows this year
  • Americans are seeing more money in their pockets thanks to the booming economy.
    • In recent months, workers have seen their largest nominal year over year wage growth in nearly a decade.
    • In 2017, real median household income rose to a post-recession high.
  • President Trump’s policies are helping to lift Americans out of poverty.
    • African-American and Hispanic-American poverty rates reached record lows of 21.2 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively, in 2017.
    • Since the election, 4.6 million Americans have been lifted off of food stamps.
  • Consumer confidence has soared under President Trump, recently reaching an 18-year high
  • Small Business optimism jumped to a record high under President Trump, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
    • The NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index broke a 35-year record in August.
  • President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, ushering in the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.
  • These tax cuts are delivering real results for American families and workers.
    • More than 6 million workers received tax cut bonuses and benefits.
    • More than 100 utility companies have announced lower rates

The under-rated and under-appreciated First Lady Melania Trump, who is a beautiful person inside and out, had this to say:

Vice President Mike Pence summarised the past two years as follows:

Last Thursday, January 17, all three — and who knows how many more hundreds — dodged a highly serious domestic terror threat. The alleged perpetrator, who is from the state of Georgia, was arrested on January 16 after a year’s work between the FBI and local law enforcement.

Please continue to pray for President Trump, his family and his administration:

Yes, that hatred is pointed at ordinary Americans every day in so many ways, from harassment of Trump supporters to law enforcement officers being murdered in cold blood.

In closing, January 21 is Martin Luther King Day in the United States:

Let us pray that we may more closely emulate Dr King’s ideals of valuing personal character over identity politics.

On August 1, 2018, Vice President Mike Pence presided over the  Honorable Carry Ceremony for 55 returned remains of US soldiers from the Korean War.

On Tuesday, August 14, President Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, explained what will happen next.

What follows are excerpts from that day’s press briefing. Emphases mine below.

MS. SANDERS: Good afternoon. The images from the Honorable Carry Ceremony at Joint Base Pearl Harbor this month made us all proud to be Americans.

President Trump is committed to getting the almost 8,000 left behind from the Korean War home, and bringing closure to the families who have been waiting for more than 60 years. The process of identifying and verifying the remains is challenging but one that this administration is committed to.

Overseeing this process is Kelly McKeague, the Director of the Defense for POW and MIA Accounting Agency. Leading DOD’s worldwide operation of research, investigation, recovery, and identification, and supporting functions, Director McKeague strives to provide the fullest possible accounting of our missing personnel.

The Director, along with his colleagues, Dr. John Byrd, the Defense POW and MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory Director, and Dr. Timothy McMahon, Director of DOD DNA Operations, have joined us today to offer remarks and take your questions on this topic …

Kelly McKeague then spoke. He noted that the 55 cases returned do not 55 soldiers’ corpses but rather a collection of remains, which might or might not be human (e.g. personal effects):

MR. MCKEAGUE: Thank you, Sarah. Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

The August 1st repatriation and homecoming in Hawaii of the remains of the Korean War unaccounted for was a poignant manifestation of the commitments secured by President Trump and pledged by Chairman Kim at the Singapore Summit.

For the families of the 7,700 still unaccounted for from the Korean War, this first step in fulfilling this commitment has undoubtedly provided a seed of hope.

Last week, over 700 of these family members gathered in Arlington, Virginia to receive government updates, and they were resoundingly appreciative of the successful advocacy of the President and his administration.

Two of those family members who attended, Charles and Larry McDaniel, were the recipients of the dog tag their father, Master Sgt. Charles McDaniel, of Indiana. It was the sole personal effect returned by the North Koreans.

The remains of those 55 cases are well into the painstaking multi-faceted analyses by Dr. John Byrd and his forensic science team in Hawaii. And in the coming weeks, Dr. Tim McMahon and his dedicated DNA specialists in Delaware will begin their meticulous testing.

The met[tle] of our scientists and the capabilities of our labs will be challenged. But in the months and years ahead, they will make identifications from these remains and give families long-sought answers.

We are guardedly optimistic the 1 August repatriation is the first tangible action of others with which we will be able to account for more of our missing from the Korean War.

The second aspect of the Korean — of the Singapore commitment was the recovery of remains in North Korea, which DPRK officials reaffirmed last month. We are in the midst of exploring next steps as well as discussions with the Korean People’s Army for the express purpose of resuming joint field operations and having additional repatriations.

But our mission to search for, find, and account for missing Department of Defense personnel from World War II through Operation Iraqi Freedom is one not limited to the Korean Peninsula.

Today, 186 personnel from DPA and private partners are deployed in seven nations. And yesterday, 50 of those members returned from Laos and the Philippines.

Our global mission is humanitarian in every respect, because the impact of a missing American to their family is not constrained by time or generations. And it leaves an enduring pain and void. This is why former enemies, like Vietnam, used cooperation on the POW/MIA mission as a bridge to normalization in today’s thriving bilateral relationship with the United States.

The fact that the United States of America vigorously pursues the fullest-possible accounting of our missing reflects our values as a nation.

The sacred obligation, if not moral imperative, remains a high priority for the Department of Defense. Inherent to the exceptional teamwork, resources, and resoluteness provided by multiple agencies is a solemn vow that those were sent off in harm’s way and are missing will not be forgotten. And their families will receive answers to their decades of uncertainty.

John Byrd, in responding to Major Garrett of CBS News, further confirmed that the 55 boxes contain the partial remains of more than 55 soldiers. He also explained the forthcoming painstaking forensic analysis:

DR. BYRD: … what our lab specializes in is making identifications in circumstances where you have very little to work with. And so I’m confident that we’re going to do well with the remains in these 55 boxes over the coming months and maybe the next several years.

When you look at what’s at stake, we’re going to be doing a lot of DNA sampling. And that’s what Dr. McMahon’s lab does, is they process the samples and then they go into a mass database where they can be compared to all of the other samples that we’ve generated from remains from North Korea, and also compared to the family members.

And so it takes some time to get the samples processed through the lab at AFMES; it takes some time to get them into the mass comparison. But once they’re in there, we’ll start looking for the quick identifications that can be made where you have compelling matches that show themselves early on.

We also look for comparisons to dental records that can be distinctive. We look for individuals that are unusual, in the sense of being very tall, very short, very old. Anything that distinguishes somebody, we can usually get a good clue and identify them faster.

But because of the preservation of the remains, that will just sort of guide the kinds of methods that we can bring to bear on the case. And the case will be very DNA — or very DNA-intensive in terms of the way that we’re going to go about this.

Q And did the number of 55, is that — what does that number represent

DR. BYRD: It’s the number of boxes.

Q Is that 55 individuals?

DR. BYRD: No. It’s the number of boxes that the remains came in. And at no time did we expect there to be one body, one box. Nor did the North Koreans try to pitch it that way to us when we were in Wonsan.

The question arose whether the remains of soldiers of other nationalities were included in the 55 boxes. It is highly possible that not all of these remains are 100% American:

MR. MCKEAGUE: We have a high confidence. So in the early ‘90s, for five years, the North Koreans would repatriate, unilaterally, remains that they had recovered. Out of those 208 boxes over those five years, we estimated, after DNA sampling, 400 individuals.

Now, from that, 200 were Americans. So the likelihood is — you’re correct, there may be some of U.N.-sending forces, there may be some South Korean soldiers — remains, as well as Chinese and North Korean.

What our laboratories — both DNA and the forensic laboratory have the technology and the capabilities by which to differentiate those remains over the course of the next several years.

McKeague explained to another reporter that the US halted the joint search for remains in 2005 (under Bush II), because of the increased nuclear threat from North Korea. He also emphasised that the searches and returns requiring co-operation from both countries:

MR. MCKEAGUE: So for 10 years, we operated between 1996 and 2005, over time conducting 33 joint activities with the North Koreans. Security is primarily our responsibility for our personnel. We also pay attention to communications — having communications abilities as well as having an ability to medevac our personnel should they get hurt.

What we would be looking for from the North Koreans is, again, a commitment from them that communications, medical evacuation requirements can be met, and more importantly, that we can conduct these joint operations in a collaborative way, as we had done for 10 years.

It all comes down, back into 2005, to their behavior on the international stage. The President, rightfully so, was concerned that their nuclear activities, their missile activities, were countermanding and counterproductive to our joint operations, which is why we suspended —

In his talks with the North Koreans, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been working to resume the searches, which are considered to be a humanitarian mission:

MR. MCKEAGUE: … So, Secretary Pompeo, in getting a reaffirmation from the North Koreans last month, affirmed that they do want to establish communications with us and to conduct joint operations. We have not started those negotiations. We will do so. It is on a separate track.

However, as you well pointed out, it could be drawn into the greater geopolitical stream. But for now, we’re treating it as a military-to-military contact, but more importantly, as a humanitarian endeavor that’s separate and distinct from anything else.

And, by the way, the 45 countries that we work with all rightfully recognize this as a humanitarian endeavor, including countries like Russia and China, where we have tremendous cooperation with them.

A reporter asked whether the search for the remaining missing in Vietnam was closed:

MR. MCKEAGUE: It has. So, right now, there are close to 1,700 — 1,600 that remain missing and unaccounted for. Within that set of unaccounted for is what we call “last known alive.” It’s a small subset of individuals who, for whatever reason, were seen alive at a certain point during the war and will remain unaccounted for.

Our priority with the Vietnamese is to get at that subset — small subset. I think it’s down to 25 — not necessarily prisoners of war, but again, last known alive at the time that they were seen.

Another reporter asked whether animal remains had been inadvertently included in the 55 boxes or whether everything pertained to humans:

DR. BYRD: Yes, we did a cursory inspection of the remains in Wonsan before we loaded them onto our military aircraft just to ensure that at least some of what was in each box was human. When we got to Osan, in South Korea, we spent two days going through every box in detail, conducting what we call a field forensic review. The purpose of that review is to ensure that every item is consistent with being human. And if there were any animal remains, we would have pulled them at that point. As it was, we did not find any animal remains.

No one knows at this point the number of soldiers whose remains could be in the 55 boxes. It will take some time to find out:

DR. BYRD: … You know, there is a scientific process to estimate that. And I wish it were very fast, because I think a lot of people would really like to know. The families would love to know that information. But unfortunately, it’s going to take months of analysis to start to get a refined estimate.

Although there is no future timetable at present, it is hoped that the searches will continue now in light of the successful Singapore Summit in June:

DR. BYRD: Okay, so the first question, as Mr. McKeague mentioned, we’re in the process of planning next steps. So we can’t say we have any timeline today for bringing back more remains. We’re hopeful that we will be in the not-too-distant future.

I will say, though, in terms of having worked there — I worked there in the past, during the 1996 to 2000 — five years. I spent a lot of time in the field there. And then I went into Wonsan with our team on July 27th, and there was a very different feel to it this time. It was a much more friendly, welcoming, and collegial approach this time compared to the way it used to be.

I hope that the explanations from the White House press briefing go some way to answering various questions about the remains of soldiers from the Korean War.

I also hope to post the next instalment of Forbidden Bible Verses tomorrow.

Yesterday’s post was about American soldiers’ remains from the Korean War.

On Wednesday, August 1, in Hawaii, Vice President Mike Pence presided over the latest return of 55 remains from that war, which never officially ended. For a number of American families, the past six decades have been troubling, as they cannot be sure whether their loved ones’ remains will ever be recovered.

The Singapore Summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim produced this latest return of remains:

This video has the full Honorable Carry Ceremony:

The Vice President was honoured to preside over the ceremony:

The following tweets summarise his tribute:

President Trump tweeted his appreciation:

The vice president and Mrs Pence had special guests accompany them:

Fox News has more:

The vice president said that when Sanfilippo was 4 years old she lost her father in the Korean War during a recon mission, and that when Downes was just 3 years old he lost his father operating radar on a B-26 bomber …

Fox News’ Pete Hegseth, who was traveling with Pence in Air Force Two, recalled the touching stories of the heroes’ now-grown children.

“We picked up probably the two most important passengers on that plane: a man and woman who were 4 and 3 years old — little girl and little boy in the 1950s  — when they sent their fathers, then young men, both pilots, both first lieutenants, both went to fight in the Korean War,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

“They dedicated their lives for the last 60 years finding out what happened to their fathers, what happened though those patriots, warriors who went to fight for us, for every generation of Americans,” Hegseth continued.

I hope they find peace and closure.

The remains now need to be analysed in order to identify them — a painstaking process that will take weeks, if not months.

Many more remains are still in North Korea, yet to be discovered. I pray that they are discovered soon. This long and painful chapter of history must come to a close — as does the Korean War.

On Monday, June 18, 2018 President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-3, National Space Traffic Management Policy:

It’s incredible to imagine that activity in outer space has progressed to this extent:

The future space operating environment will also be shaped by a significant increase in the volume and diversity of commercial activity in space. Emerging commercial ventures such as satellite servicing, debris removal, in-space manufacturing, and tourism, as well as new technologies enabling small satellites and very large constellations of satellites, are increasingly outpacing efforts to develop and implement government policies and processes to address these new activities.

To maintain U.S. leadership in space, we must develop a new approach to space traffic management (STM) that addresses current and future operational risks. This new approach must set priorities for space situational awareness (SSA) and STM innovation in science and technology (S&T), incorporate national security considerations, encourage growth of the U.S. commercial space sector, establish an updated STM architecture, and promote space safety standards and best practices across the international community.

The United States recognizes that spaceflight safety is a global challenge and will continue to encourage safe and responsible behavior in space while emphasizing the need for international transparency and STM data sharing. Through this national policy for STM and other national space strategies and policies, the United States will enhance safety and ensure continued leadership, preeminence, and freedom of action in space.

The White House offered a summary of Trump’s efforts to make space great again (emphasis in the original):

A RENEWED VIGOR FOR SPACE: The new Space Policy Directive builds on the President’s efforts to reinstate the United States leadership role in space.

  • On May 24, 2018, the President signed Space Policy Directive – 2 to reform United States commercial space regulatory framework, seeking to ensure our place as a leader in space commerce.
  • On March 23, 2018, President Trump unveiled a National Space Strategy that laid out an approach to ensuring that the United States is strong and competitive in the space environment.
  • On December 11, 2017, the President signed Space Policy Directive – 1, instructing NASA to return United States astronauts to the Moon, followed by human missions to Mars.
  • On June 30 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order reviving the National Space Council for the first time in 24 years.

Trump met with the National Space Council on Monday. He said, in part (emphases mine):

We’re going to have the Space Force.

One year ago, I revived the National Space Council and put exactly the right man in charge, and that’s our friend, Mike Pence. He feels very strongly about this. And in December, I signed a historic directive that will return Americans to the moon for the first time since 1972, if you can believe that. (Applause.)

Always remembering it’s about that, but it’s also about jobs and the economy. This is a great thing we’re doing.

This time, we will do more than plant our flag and leave our footprints. We will establish a long-term presence, expand our economy, and build the foundation for the eventual mission to Mars — which is actually going to happen very quickly. And, you know, I’ve always said that rich guys seem to like rockets. So all of those rich guys that are dying for our real estate to launch their rockets, we won’t charge you too much. Just go ahead. If you beat us to Mars, we’ll be very happy and you’ll be even more famous.

Here is a video clip (full White House video here). Mike Pence is at the president’s side and transport secretary Elaine Chao is in the background:

Trump plans to create a new branch of the military — Space Force:

Vice President Pence then introduced the meeting, which included reports from the National Space Council as well as updates from Cabinet secretaries who are also working with the Council. The User Advisory Group met for the first time on June 19.

Democrats said that it couldn’t be done, that space was essentially dead for the United States — and, now, Trump is making space great again!

Thursday, May 10, 2018, was a busy day for President Trump.

It began in the early hours with the welcome home to three Americans who had been detained in North Korea.

It ended with a rally in Elkhart, Indiana, where Trump set the tone for the 2018 mid-term elections.

At the rally, Trump quipped about the long day:

“At 2.a.m. early this morning and by the way I got back to the White House at 4:30 a.m. and somebody said, ‘Oh that’s ok you can just cancel Indiana tonight.’ I said, you just don’t know the people of Indiana. I don’t have the courage to cancel,” he added.

The COO of Donald J. Trump for President was there:

Elkhart is near South Bend, which is home to the University of Notre Dame. The small city is best known for the production of RVs (recreational vehicles). Elkhart still has a small-town look, including a traditional Main Street.

It was a good location for a Trump rally, as the greater South Bend area is known as Michiana, encompassing this part of northern Indiana and the southwestern border with Michigan. It is also fairly close (by American standards) to Chicago. Elkhart is readily accessible by rail, which further added to its appeal.

Incidentally, Obama also liked Elkhart:

While Michiana is filled with Democrat voters, 7,000 Trump fans were inside North Side Middle School’s auditorium for the rally, with 10,000 listening to proceedings outdoors.

You can get a full perspective of the packed venue here. To be one of the lucky ones inside a Trump rally, you need to get there early, even 24 hours in advance. Heaven only knows where everyone parked. Yet, people were patient, and some probably made new friends. Meanwhile, the media were setting up their equipment inside the auditorium.

Traffic warnings and road closures made the news. Obama had been in South Bend twice before during his tenure (2009 and 2016), so locals are used to presidential disruption. Protesters were also present.

Regardless of political preference, some local residents made sure they could get a view of the airport when Trump arrived. Local businesses also put up displays welcoming the president; Democrat or Republican, it is ‘an honour’.

Local lawmakers either attended or spoke at the rally.

Trump arrived at South Bend International Airport shortly after 6 p.m.

The NBC affiliate, located at Notre Dame, posted a video of Air Force One:

Meanwhile, back in Elkhart, one woman was delighted that CNN’s Jim Acosta took a photo of her:

Not everyone was so enthusiastic about CNN, however:

The crowd was revved.

Vice President Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana, attended. He and his wife Karen flew in on Air Force Two:

The crowd gave him a rousing ovation:

He addressed the audience:

He pointed to the jobs success in Elkhart:

And introduced the president:

Before state office holders and Pence spoke, the rally, which started at 7 p.m., began in the traditional way:

Trump began speaking at 7:29 p.m.

Highlights follow. Each tweet linked below has a video clip.

The president acknowledged the crowd:

He spoke about the world’s renewed respect for the United States:

.: “We are unlocking new opportunities for prosperity and for peace. All of these changes are happening because America is being respected again.”

He discussed North Korea:

.: “On June 12th, in Singapore, I’ll be meeting with Kim Jong Un to pursue a future of peace and security for the world.”

Weakness:

.: “You know what gets you into nuclear wars and you know what gets you into other wars? Weakness.”

Jobs:

Trump: “Here at home. The great news keeps rolling in. 3.3 million new jobs since the election.”

Record employment for blacks:

.: “African American unemployment has reached the lowest level in the history of our country.”

Strong borders:

.: “We believe that a strong nation must have strong borders.”

Patriotism:

.: “We have pride in our history and respect for our great American flag.”

Fair trade:

.: “We want trade deals that are fair and, by the way, reciprocal.”

The new embassy in Jerusalem, which opened on Monday, May 14:

.: “Next week we will finally open the American Embassy in Jerusalem.”

And Iran:

.: “We’re putting the harshest, strongest, most stringent sanctions on Iran.”

He also criticised Joe Donnelly, the state’s Democrat senator for that district who refused to vote for the tax cut and Obamacare repeal.

Trump invited the Republican candidate for Senate onto the platform:

CBS affiliate WSBT had a good summary of the rally speeches, including soundbites from Mike Braun’s:

… he said “one of the neatest experiences of my life is spending 30 minutes riding with the president. You wouldn’t believe the advice you get.”

But also told the crowd he’s a businessman and an outsider just like the President — who he calls “his inspiration.”

“When I started this journey, almost a year ago, I traveled the states, spent a lot of time in the north. Wanted to make sure this was going to end up with a good result,” said Braun. “Wouldn’t have done it if I wasn’t inspired by what this man did in 2016. He cleared the field systematically and really that was the inspiration for doing it.”

Braun said he will “retire Joe Donnelly.”

Local reporter Taurean Small from ABC57 summarised Trump’s talking points well:

The rally ended at 8:30 p.m.:

Here is RSBN’s video of the rally:

Their reporters were happy (The Conservative Treehouse has more videos from them):

Then it was time for President Trump to return to Washington.

This was the motorcade on the way back to the airport:

And finally, as Mike and Karen Pence headed downstate to Indianapolis:

He tweeted Fox News’s video of his hour-long speech along with his thanks for the crowd’s enthusiasm:

Trump is off and running for MAGA candidates this year. As the year progresses, he will have even more great news to report.

Early in the morning of Thursday, May 10, 2018 (US time), three American citizens arrived on US soil after having been held captive in North Korea.

It was a stunning, historic event not only for them, but also for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and, certainly, President Donald Trump:

CNN reported (emphases mine):

The Americans — Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song and Kim Sang Duk, also known as Tony Kimwere freed while Pompeo was on a visit to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang to discuss President Trump’s upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The three men issued a joint statement thanking Trump.

“We would like to express our deep appreciation to the United States government, President Trump, Secretary Pompeo, and the people of the United States for bringing us home,” the trio said in the statement which the State Department supplied to journalists traveling with Pompeo.

Kim Dong Chul has been in North Korean custody since late 2015, but the other two detainees were arrested last spring, after Trump’s inauguration as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang were beginning to ramp up.

The White House has often brought up their cases when discussing North Korea issues. As both sides began laying the groundwork for the Trump and Kim’s meeting — which would be the first-ever between a sitting US President and North Korean leaderthe Trump administration made it clear that releasing the three Americans would be viewed as a gesture of good will.

Aboard the plane leaving North Korea, Pompeo said he was “thrilled to have them back.”

Pompeo told the small contingent of reporters traveling with him that the detainees appear to be in good health, or at least as healthy as can be considering the circumstances surrounding their detention

The state-run Korea Central News Agency said that Kim decided to release the Americans at Trump’s suggestion. It added that Pompeo and Kim “reached a satisfactory consensus on the issues discussed” and described the talks as “very beneficial.”

Press pool releases, courtesy of Hunter Walker White House Correspondent Yahoo News, were as follows.

This was the order of arrival:

According to staff, at about 2:00 a.m., Vice President Pences helicopter will arrive at Andrews first followed by POTUS. Mike Pompeos plane will come next followed by a medical plane bearing the freed Americans.

The President and First Lady arrived shortly after 2 a.m. on May 10:

Marine One landed at Andrews Air Force Base at approximately 2:18 a.m.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump disembarked at about 2:22 am and walked into the terminal. The President didnt respond to shouted questions about whether he had any message ahead of the returnees arrival or whether he had spoken with Kim Jong Un.
Mike Pompeos plane is due to land imminently. —

Trump waited for the appropriate time to leave Marine One. Note the Tylenol® and Diet Coke on the cabinet:

As for the returning Americans:

After coming to Andrews and meeting with the President, the returnees will be going on to Walter Reed for further evaluation and medical treatment. The White House is referring any questions about their medical condition to the State Department.

Reuters has a 41-minute video of the planes landing and the subsequent welcome home for the three men.

The event was carried live around the world, especially South Korea:

Going back to the landings, Mike Pompeo energetically dashed down the steps:

Later, one of the released prisoners gave him a heartfelt hug:

In another tweet, the Washington Post‘s Anna Fifield added:

Kim Dong-chul … was detained a year before the 2016 election so he probably didn’t know until yesterday that Donald Trump is president.

President and Mrs Trump boarded the plane carrying the three men:

They spoke to the men:

And helped guide them to the door:

 

Then it was time to disembark:

I cannot begin to imagine the joy and relief they must have felt:

Afterwards:

Not to be forgotten was someone Obama’s State Department — under John Kerry — did not care much about and told his parents there was not much they could do. Thanks to Rex Tillerson and President Trump, North Korea released Otto Warmbier, who had been in a coma for over a year in prison. He died on June 19, 2017, six days after he arrived back home in Ohio:

Who can say better than this? This is a short, excellent White House video compilation, by the way:

Vice President Mike Pence received three insights into the detainees’ experience.

The first was his and his wife Karen’s conversations with the men:

Another came from Mike Pompeo:

The third came when one of the three handed Pence a note with verses from Psalm 126 on the reverse. Note that their faith never faltered. Below is the index card (full image courtesy of The Conservative Treehouse):

The Conservative Treehouse has more (emphasis in the original):

Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang Duk, Kim Hak Soon are the names of the three detainees who were released.  Two of the captives, Hak-Soon and Sang Duk, belong to the Pyongyang Univ of Science & Technology and were detained in Apr & May 2017: they had been held for a year. The third, Kim Dong Chul, is an ordained minister held since 2015 when he was commuting from China and was serving a 10-year sentence on espionage charges.

In closing, the White House released a pleasantly bi-partisan set of statements applauding the release of the detainees. Media kudos are also included.

I’ll leave you with the first statement:

The Family of Freed American Tony Kim: “We are very grateful for the release of our husband and father, Tony Kim, and the other two American detainees. We want to thank all of those who have worked toward and contributed to his return home. We also want to thank the President for engaging directly with North Korea. Mostly, we thank God for Tony’s safe return.”

May God bless the three released Americans and their families richly.

May He also abundantly bless all those who secured their release.

Some reading this would be delighted if President Donald Trump were toppled from office.

With the recent revelations during the past two weeks, it does not appear as if this will happen (thank goodness), but the coup is real.

In July, I wrote about a South African — now American — Evangelical pastor who held a 24/7 prayer vigil at his church praying for Trump’s safety.

Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne is no tin-foil hat wearer. The danger is real.

Cascade Free Zone has an excellent article, ‘The Deep State Coup’, which is brilliantly written and informative. I highly recommend it.

Brief excerpts and a summary follow. Emphases mine below.

The coup has been going on since the November 8, 2016 election. The means and accusations were in place long before then — e.g. the Russian dossier. Note that the dossier is still in active play and old accusations about Trump and women are making the news cycle once again. Impeachment stories feature strongly as do news items about the president’s mental state.

Now:

We are approaching the end of the first-phase of the coup. This is a non-military coup, but what we are witnessing clearly fits the definition of “the overt seizure of the state by an elite within the state apparatus”.

Renowned patriot author and speaker Matt Bracken, in a series of postings and interviews, has outlined the basic mechanics of the coup.   Central figures include former FBI director James Comey and the Independent Counsel Robert Mueller, assistant US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and current  acting director of the FBI Andrew McCabe.  Motivation for all of them is self-preservation.  As we have learned Clinton-World was a very corrupt place and the list of self-serving deals and those who benefited from them includes all of the key plotters.  None of them believed there was any chance Hillary would lose and leave them exposedShe didThey are.

Here is an illustration of the plot:

The Special Counsel investigation of Russian collusion — led by Robert Mueller — has not found the president guilty of anything.

Meanwhile, several Democrats have found themselves embroiled in impropriety.

So have law enforcement organisations, such as the FBI:

Americans of a certain generation have to strip away the years of propaganda indoctrination that the FBI are “the good guys” and look closely at what they do. The DOJ are their partners in all this, together they are the muscle of the Deep State plotters.

As for the wiretapping — the word the New York Times used in a headline — of Trump Tower last year:

This was clearly an illegal use of the most powerful wiretapping tool in the US law enforcement arsenal. FISA warrants were created to help prevent terrorism, not to ensure election of Deep State approved candidates. It has been criminally misused by the Obama administration to spy on political opponents and blackmail them with the illicitly obtained knowledge.

This goes further than deposing Trump. This is meant to also prevent his successor, Vice President Mike Pence, from taking his place:

the Deep State agenda is not merely to remove Trump, but also to remove Pence, Ryan, McConnell and whoever else stands in their way. Discussion of “do-over elections” is a serious topic there, as is simply removing every person until a flexible insider is found to run things.

Good grief. If that isn’t a totalitarian notion, what is?

There are minor — yet seemingly powerful — players, too. Saul Montes-Bradley has a good Twitter thread, excerpted below, spelling edited (photos in the thread):

(3) Two major events occupied out time last year during the campaign: The Clinton investigation over Hillary’s corrupt and felonious handling of her office as Secretary of State, and the,”Steele Dossier,” that abhorrent and at times sophomoric attempt to besmirch candidate Trump.

(6) I have tried to keep abreast of events as they developed, from the collusion of a venal press with the DNC, to the shenanigans of FBI agents in the Mueller probe.

(8) But it is much, much worse.

And all is coming together now.

Let’s bring a few more names to the forefront.

Does anyone remember Aaron Zebley? …

(9) Zebley was Mueller’s Chief of Staff at the FBI before becoming a Senior Counselor in the National Security Division at the Department of Justice.

Before that he was Special Agent of the FBI in the Counterterrorism Division for seven years.

(10) In between his two tours at the FBI, Zebley served as an Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) in the National Security and Terrorism Unit in Alexandria, Virginia.

If he is any measure, no wonder the fight against terrorism was an utter failure for years!

(11) In March 2014, he joined the law firm Wilmer Hale. “Aaron’s experience at the FBI, DoJ and the US Attorney’s Office will add to our internal investigations, crisis management and cybersecurity capabilities,” crowed his new managing partner …

wilmerhale.com/pages/publicat…

(12) Guess who this upstanding shyster represented there?

Justin Cooper

(13) Yep.

The cretin who set up the Hilldebeast private email server in her basement and then took a hammer to the blackberries she claimed she did not use!

The one who handled classified information without a security clearance.

(14) [Zebley] … went from defending Cooper to the Russia investigation under Mueller, working with McCabe and Strzok, who were supposed to have investigated Cooper

Go figure.

(15) There’s always room for a couple more … in this caper.

Enter Andrew Weissman, for one.

(16) he returned to the Bureau in 2015 (amazing how many of these vermin found their way back to the bureau in 2015, isn’t it.)

This time as Chief of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Fraud, mind you.

(20) There are quite a number more.

Like Jeannie Rhea, a shyster in Mueller’s team, who defended Ben Rhodes, finally a focus of the investigation into the “unmasking” caper.

She and 8 others donated to the Hilldebeast’s campaign.

(21) Or Rudy Contreras, judge who presided over @GenFlynn’s plea agreement without telling anybody he was on the FISA court that authorized the tapping of Trump’s phones and God knows why, suddenly remembered and recused himself.

ONE DAY AFTER THE PLEA.

Did he find religion?

(22) And then of course, there’s good ‘ol Bruce Ohr, former Associate Deputy Attorney General, AND Director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces.

“Former” since Trump demoted him four days ago

(23) Why was he demoted?

Oh, well, he forgot to declare a minor detail to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigating a tiny thingy called the “Trump Dossier.”

What did he forget?

(24) Nothing much. Just that he had “ties” to Fusion GPS and its founder, Glenn Simpson.
It gets better. Simpson had introduced him to Christopher Steele (though some sources he has known Steele for 10 years!).

(25) Steele, yes, the chap who concocted that abomination paid for by the DNC to smear candidate Trump.

Ohr met with Steele SEVERAL TIMES during the campaign, just as this thing was going on, and back with Simpson soon after the election.

What a coincidence!

(26) In fact, Simpson and Ohr met “around Thanksgiving” to discuss “the anti-Trump dossier, the Russia investigation and what Simpson considered the “distressing development of Trump’s victory.”

Distressing, indeed. And after all that work, too!

(27) But that’s not all.

Who was working with Steele in the cooking of the infamous dossier but Ohr’s better half, his wife, Nellie.

What do you know, SHE was HIRED by Fusion GPS in 2016!

Her area of expertise? You guessed it: Russia, Russia Russia.

(28) Ohr didn’t declare any of this. Oops! Forgot.

It was discovered by the HPSCI, but only after threatening Director Wray and Deputy Dog Rosenstein with finding them in contempt …

(29) And this in spite of the obstruction of … Adam Schiff, who tried every which way to stop the committee.

Uncharacteristically, he is now silent over this.

Cat ate his tongue.

(30) Who else had his nose in this?

Peter Strzokwho interrogated @GenFlynn without a lawyer and without disclosing his conflicts of interest.

(31) Now, as the Dimms like to remind us, there is under Federal law the crime of conspiracy to perform a criminal act.

Indeed, if it turns out that these band of 3rd world misfits conspired to undermine the investigation into the Clinton mishandling of classified information

(32) AND to pervert the 2016 elections AND to undermine the legitimately elected President of the United states, while endangering the country creating conflicts with foreign powers

(33) …not to mention other beauties like egregious violations of the Hatch Act, lying to Congress, falsifying informationthey should be in a world of trouble

(34) Meanwhile, five have already been demoted or suspended pending investigation, one has been recused and, suddenly, it looks as if the … charge against @GenFlynn might well end up dismissed as the only evidence against him is the tainted word of a felon.
Poisoned fruit

(35) What upsets me the most, especially today, is that the FBI these vermin corrupted into a political police doing the dirty job of the DNC, neglected its counter espionage functions and endangered us all.

(37) I said months ago that the Dimms may come to regret ever having demanded this investigation.

It looks like that was an understatement.

They swallowed the hook, line and sinker.

Amateur hour is over.

Somebody WAS looking.

FINIS

Ultimately, the coup will fail. In fact, it looks as if many of the players are imploding. More will follow suit.

We can only hope that they are fully investigated and, where possible, prosecuted and sentenced.

Yesterday’s post discussed the events that took place Friday, December 1, 2017.

Today’s entry serves as an update on the weekend’s news. I won’t be recapping much of what I wrote about Friday, so you might want to read that post before continuing here.

ABC’s Brian Ross

ABC’s veteran reporter Brian Ross was suspended for four weeks without pay for his fake news of Friday that caused the US stock market to dip for an hour:

President Donald Trump was delighted:

But he was not yet finished:

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, father of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is a past Republican presidential candidate and former Fox News show host:

This lawyer and writer for The Federalist listed more of Ross’s huge blunders:

Mueller investigation — Peter Strzok

One of Robert Mueller’s top investigators has been sacked from his team investigating the Trump campaign’s notional Russian collusion:

One could not make this up:

 

You can read clips from more articles on that subject here (image courtesy of a Reddit contributor).

Trump chimed in:

Advice came in for the new FBI director, Christopher Wray:

Judicial Watch has been keen for the McAuliffe/Clinton scandal to be investigated:

Their November 21 article begins with this summary:

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released 79 pages of Justice Department documents concerning ethics issues related to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s involvement with his wife’s political campaign. The documents include an email showing Mrs. McCabe was recruited for a Virginia state senate race in February 2015 by then-Virginia Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s office.

The news that Clinton used a private email server broke five days later, on March 2, 2015. Five days after that, former Clinton Foundation board member and Democrat party fundraiser, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, met with the McCabes. She announced her candidacy on March 12. Soon afterward, Clinton/McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated nearly $700,000 (40% of the campaign’s total funds) to McCabe’s wife for her campaign.

Most Trump supporters knew about that during the 2016 campaign, but it got little media coverage.

Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton has been doing great work in exposing Swamp scandals. See here, here and here.

This is very serious. Can one imagine a Republican getting away with such a thing?

Where’s the justice?

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn has been made to look like a criminal for lying to the FBI, but we have senior US officials — present and former — who have committed crimes. The American people are told there is nothing to see.

Congressman Steve Smith (R-Georgia) summarised the situation well:

Trump is, rightly, on the warpath:

Is he having a go at his Attorney General Jeff ‘Sleepy’ Sessions?

Sleepy will be leaving soon, probably early in 2018.

His immediate recusal from this probe, because it was connected with the Trump campaign and he was part of the campaign, caused a lot of grief for a lot of people, including the spring-summer campaign manager Paul Manafort, whom the Mueller team treated terribly — including a middle-of-the-night FBI raid on his and his wife’s home while they were asleep.

What Manafort has been indicted for isn’t even related to the Trump campaign but to work he did in Ukraine years before.

See how justly Manafort has been treated:

Obama still acts as if he’s in office

But wait, there’s more.

Never has there been a US president who hasn’t let his successor be in charge.

But not Obama:

Even if he was only referring to climate change, he should do the decent thing.

On December 2, the Washington Examiner reported:

While speaking to a group of business leaders in Paris, former President Barack Obama said there is a “temporary absence of American leadership” when it comes to tackling climate change.

“I grant you that at the moment we have a temporary absence of American leadership on the issue,” the former president noted, which was met with laughter from the room full of French former ministers and CEOs at the invite-only event, according to Reuters.

Obama also recently visited China:

Swamp tries to trap CIA director Pompeo

On December 2, the CIA director Mike Pompeo — a Trump appointee — was a guest at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

TrumpSoldier has a detailed Twitter thread on Pompeo’s appearance, video clips and still photos included. A summary with most of the tweets follows. I corrected a few original typos below.

The Reagan National Defense Forum (RNDF) sounds conservative until one looks at who is on the steering committee (see point 4), including the CEO/Publisher of the Washington Post, a few Obama appointees, anti-Trump Republican senator John McCain and former Clinton adviser and CIA director Leon Panetta. Fox News’s Bret Baier conducted an interview on stage with Pompeo and Panetta (emphases mine below):

5) Mike Pompeo was going into swamp territory and now everything makes sense to me as you will soon see.

6) The slogan for the RNDF is “Investing in Peace Through Strength” I like Peace through Strength but the “investing” part sets off alarm bells. I am not going to investigate who funds them but I imagine it’s not pretty.

7) The RNDF is an organization that is run by active and retired swamp creatures whose main purpose is influencing and shaping policy.

8) Mike sat down with Panetta and his lackey Bret Baier for an hour and they discussed world events from a security perspective. It was light hearted and fun and that is all part of the set up.

9) Mike Pompeo is relaxed, joking and having fun. Panetta even tries to connect with him as “two Italians”. Bret’s ambush questions are strategically placed for maximum effect.

10) The Triggering!
Baier asks Mike Pompeo about Saudi Arabia: Panetta and decades of swamp failure are brought face to face with the dramatic sudden success of Trump Administration Foreign Policy.

11) Everything was jovial up to this point (at about 30 minutes in) Panetta’s reactions became really serious and concerned and his responses became lectures. An old swamp thing cut off from power flailing for relevance.

12) The Soft Ball
Baer asks Mike Pompeo how he shares intelligence with Trump.

No real answer, by the way. Good.

14) The Ambush!
Mike Pompeo asked about #FakeNews stores regarding the mental state of President Trump: “It’s Absurd” (watch and listen closely)

15) Remember everyone is laughing and having a good time up to this point and on cue as the question is asked Panetta laughs. It was the perfect set up!

16) You can see the moment when Mike senses the trap he licks his lips and smiles ever so slightly. He is ready!

17) Mike breaks character, reveals his power level, and suddenly kills the room! Panetta nervously begins laughing some more to try to lighten the mood. I would have loved to see Baier’s face as he absorbed this stare. I guarantee he looked down and away.

18) The next order of business to to try to get Pompeo to listen to the wisdom of a “very concerned” Panetta regarding the danger of #TrumpTweets

19) #TrumpTweets are Dangerous!
Mike Pompeo doesn’t think so. He uses them strategically.

In fact, The Hill reported on this interview:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday that President Trump’s Twitter habits have actually helped his agency gather and understand intelligence

 “I’ve actually seen it help us,” he said. “I have seen things the president has put on his Twitter account actually have a real-world impact on our capacity to understand what’s going on in other places in the world.”

“That is, our adversaries responded to those tweets in ways that were helpful to us to understand command and control issues, who’s listening to what messages, how those messages are resonating around the world.”

Back now to the Twitter thread. Baier was eager to pursue this line of questioning, even though Pompeo wanted to move on to other topics. Panetta also pressed Pompeo on Trump’s tweets, expressing ‘concern’.

22) Note Mike’s body language and comments he really is trying to politely end the conversation but they keep pushing

23) THE KILL
CIA Director Mike Pompeo reminds old swamp creature (Leon Panetta) that he is a failure and irrelevant.

24) After you are done laughing consider how deadly serious this was. It was a carefully orchestrated trap completely scripted and gamed out in advance and Mike came up aces!

25) Pompeo’s ruthless defense of Donald Trump speaks volumes about his loyalty and dedication to the cause. His defense of #TrumpTweets confirms that they are highly strategic and coordinated with the CIA. This frightens everyone… but us.

No doubt this week’s narrative will be about Trump’s mental health again.

The Left’s dirty game

For over a year, the media and other Democrats have been saying that it was wrong for the Trump team to speak to the Russians prior to the inauguration.

It is legal and something that every president-elect’s transition team does.

As for contact with Russia during the campaign, to date, Mueller’s team has found nothing, except for the abortive meeting with the Russian lawyer. Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner left soon after it started. President Trump was unaware of it at the time.

My post yesterday listed three meetings that campaign advisers to then-candidate Obama had with Hamas and FARC. When he was still president-elect in January 2009, he met with the president of Mexico.

The Democrats — including the media — are being very dishonest with this anti-Trump narrative which is dividing the country.

In January 2017, Obama’s press secretary Mark Toner said there was no problem with the Trump team speaking with the Russian ambassador:

That text comes from the transcript of January 13. This is what precedes it:

QUESTION: — reports starting yesterday, but then more of them this morning, about contact between the incoming national security advisor and the Russian ambassador. I’m just wondering, from the State Department’s point of view, is this something that’s of concern at all? Or – I’ll just leave it there and then follow up.

MR TONER: Again, not necessarily – I’ve seen the reports. I don’t think they’ve been confirmed or corroborated yet. But that’s – as he’s part of the transition team, that’s really for them to speak to in how they are engaging. I mean —

QUESTION: Right, but —

MR TONER: — the president-elect is also engaged on his own with many world leaders.

 

Lt Gen Michael Flynn

Now a word about the embattled Lt General Michael Flynn.

On Saturday, December 2, Trump tweeted:

And:

The Conservative Treehouse has a good analysis and timeline of Flynn and the Russian ambassador, including Flynn’s dismissal. Excerpts follow (emphases in the original):

Many people have asked the question why would Michael Flynn have lied about talking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the first place?

It’s a great question.

The Occam’s Razor answer is the toxic political environment that existed in January 2017, where the administration was being hammered by a tsunami of media narratives and political opposition claiming that any scintilla of contact with anything Russian meant that Putin and Trump were “colluding” BFFs,…. and Flynn didn’t want to fuel that nonsense.

That’s really the only reason to mislead about Russian contacts.

And/or once Vice-President Mike Pence made the statement that Flynn had no contact with anyone from Russia etc. any contradictory statement from Flynn would make Pence appear compromised; so Flynn had to stick to it without clarification.

Sunday January 15th – VP-elect Mike Pence appears on Face The Nation. [Transcript Here] …

[*NOTE* Notice the narrative questioning at the time (early Jan) was framed that ‘any contact’ with Russians was evidence of meddling/election-collusion with Russians.]

Friday January 20th – Inauguration

Tuesday January 24th – Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn was interviewed at the WH by the FBI.  [Either Flynn contradicts Pence, or he tells a lie, those were his options.]

Afterwards, having received a report of the interview, Department of Justice (DOJ) employee, Sally Yates — since fired — had discussions about Flynn with other senior Obama holdovers still working there. This was what brought about the charge that Flynn lied to the FBI.

Another part of this story is that Flynn had talked to the Russian ambassador in December 2016 about the sanctions that Obama had imposed on Russia.

The following comes from The Last Refuge, the founder and author of The Conservative Treehouse (emphases mine below):

11. So on December 29th, sanctions day, Flynn spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak… Essentially, saying ‘chill out, we’ll get through this’ etc.

14. We arrive at Sunday January 15th. VP-Elect Mike Pence appears on Sunday talks to discuss political stuff and the Trump administration.

15. On that Sunday 1/15/17 Pence appeared on CBS Face the nation (John Dickerson)

16. What does Dickerson start off with? Of course – The Vast Russian Hacking Election conspiracy: “did any advisor or anybody in the Trump campaign have any contact with the Russians who were trying to meddle in the election?”

17. Amid the questioning, there is no distinction between *BEFORE* the election, and during the President-Elect transition period (ie. *AFTER* the election). It’s just one long framed question about “contact” and “collusion” etc.

18. And with that framework VP-Elect Pence says: “Of course not. And I think to suggest that is to give credence to some of these bizarre rumors that have swirled around the candidacy.”

19. VP-Pence says “of course not”, ie NO CONTACT. In doing so, and without pointing out the transition team would have ordinary and customary contact, Pence has now painted Flynn into a corner.

20. Flynn has had contact (ordinary and appropriate contact), but VP-Elect Pence gave an emphatic: “Of course not.”

22. The January 24th [FBI] interview is where the “Flynn Lied” to the FBI came from.

23. At the time of the interview the media cycle was filled with intelligence leaks. During that interview Flynn had two options: Option #1) tell investigators he did have conversations with Kislyak in December – and as a consequence contradict VP Pence.

24. Option #2) tell investigators he did not have conversations with the Russians (Kislyak) and align with VP Pence statement a week prior.

Option #1 puts the criticism and Russia story on VP Pence for lying to CBS. (He didn’t, because the question was vague on timing but that didn’t matter amid the frenzy) and as an outcome weaken the incoming administration 4 days after inauguration.

26. Option #2 puts himself at risk; but protects VP Pence and avoids the immediacy of a narrative against the White House and new administration.

27. Likely Flynn knew the FBI was up to no good because they probably already knew the answer to the question (wiretapping). But these decisions were about politics amid the frenzied media swarm. The downstream sh[*]t-storm on Pence would have been brutal.

28. The very next day, Wed Jan 25th, Sally Yates (DOJ) gets an after action report on the FBI questioning of Flynn.

37. Note the presumption here is that Flynn had lied to VP Pence. However, there is nothing to indicate that angle/aspect is or was actually correct. Specifically, there is ample evidence the ‘lie to Pence’, evolved from a storyline -driven by necessity- to save face for Pence.

38. The administration was now boxed in. Flynn lied to protect Pence’s political posture/integrity/position, (ie. Military Leadership Training 101: never compromise your leadership), but was now confronted by Sally Yates. FUBAR!!

Conclusion — thus far

It seems this past weekend served, in part, as a watershed moment.

As I write, Trump’s Twitter account has over 43m subscribers. Imagine factoring in millions of others, e.g. yours truly, who don’t subscribe but check it at least once a day.

Tens of millions of people are reading and passing his tweets along to millions more every day.

Over time, that’s a lot of red pills being handed out.

Trump is taking this time to get the American people psychologically prepared for The Storm / the Silent War.

I have read several online commenters saying that they never realised how corrupt America is until they read about the Strzok dismissal and the crookedness of this Mueller investigation which, so far, has cost around $5m in taxpayer money.

Meanwhile, actual criminals who served at federal level are on the loose. Where’s the DOJ? Where’s the justice?

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