January 31, 2017

Trump Readies Crackdown On H-1B Visa Abuse By Executive Order

President Donald Trump is preparing an executive order aimed at revamping the H-1b visa program to ensure tech companies make a good faith effort to hire American workers before importing foreign workers.

The stated purpose of the H-1b program is to allow companies to temporarily import high-skilled workers when they can’t find American workers willing or able to do the job, but critics contend its true purpose is to help big businesses cut costs by importing less expensive workers. In the past several years, Disney, Southern California Edison, Fossil Group and others have together fired hundreds of American tech workers and forced them to train their foreign replacements, many of whom were flown in specifically to take their jobs.

A major overhaul to the program would have to happen through Congress, but Trump can make some changes via executive authority, and his administration is drafting an order, reports Bloomberg. Tech companies would have to prioritize American workers first under the draft order, and if they do import foreign workers, they would have to prioritize those who are the most skilled and highest paid.

“Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,” a draft reviewed by Bloomberg reads. “Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold.”

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January 30, 2017

WARNING: Trump’s EPA Secretary Will Have ‘16,000 Employees Working Against Him’

When likely EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt walks into his first day at the office, “He’ll have 16,000 employees working against him,” Sen. James Lankford told a large gathering of libertarian donors Saturday evening.

“And I expect a flood of lawsuits over everything he does.”

Pruitt, who has been nominated to lead the EPA by President Donald Trump, is the attorney general of Lankford’s state, Oklahoma. He has faced fierce opposition from the environmentalist left.

Lankford, who chairs the Senate Oversight Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements, was joined on stage by Sens. Mike Lee and Pat Toomey. Their panel, moderated by Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips, was during a dinner on day one of Charles and David Koch’s libertarian Seminar Network in Palm Springs, Calif.

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January 27, 2017

White House Reveals How It Will ‘Easily’ Get Mexico To Pay For The Wall

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers for the border wall by paying a 20 percent tax on exports to the U.S.

Spicer said if you tax 20 percent of the $50 billion annual trade deficit with Mexico, you can get $10 billion a year which would “easily pay for the wall.”

“That’s really going to provide the funding,” the White House press secretary said. After Spicer’s comments were widely reported, the press secretary tried to clarify his comments and said the tax is one of several options available to the Trump White House.

Spicer tells me 20% tax on Mexican imports is NOT a policy proposal, but example of options how to pay for wall.

He said that the White House has been in touch with Congress about the proposal and creating a concrete plan around it.

President Trump has said Congress will pay for the border wall first and that Mexico will reimburse American taxpayers later, through a possibly “complicated form.” Mexico’s leadership has adamantly denied that they will pay for a wall on America’s southern border, saying that it would be an affront to their dignity.

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January 26, 2017

Media Matters Is Building A Creepy Database On White House Journos

Media Matters asked for help building a “comprehensive” database of reporters who “get to ask” questions at the White House Wednesday, sending a series of bizarre tweets in which the heads of various journalists are circled in red ink.

“[Media Matters] is going to try to maintain a comprehensive database of who gets to ask questions at press briefings,” senior fellow Matthew Gertz tweeted. “We need your help to ID some!”

Gertz then began tweeting out image after image of reporters asking questions in the White House briefing room, describing the question asked in each one and asking followers to identify the reporter. Each one’s head is circled in red ink.

“Who is this?” he tweeted, along with one of the photos. “On Monday he asked about the Women’s March on Washington and the March for Life.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has switched up the pecking order in the first few briefings, opting to give outlets such as The New York Post and Christian Broadcasting Network an opportunity to ask questions, in addition to the more traditionally favored networks and wires.

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January 25, 2017

Bureaucrats Bring 500 Refugees Into Country One Day Before Trump’s Expected Ban

Bureaucrats at the State Department brought 500 refugees into the country on Tuesday, one day before President Trump “is expected to order a multi-month ban on allowing refugees into the United States except for religious minorities escaping persecution, until more aggressive vetting is in place,” according to Reuters.

The temporary ban on refugees will be one of several executive orders on immigration President Trump will sign on Wednesday, Reuters reports. “Another order will block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.”

Two hundred and twenty-six  of the 500 refugees resettled in the United States on Tuesday, or 44 percent, came from six of those seven countries, according to the State Department’s interactive website, as reported at 11:00 p.m. eastern on Tuesday: Syria (81), Iran (51), Iraq (46), Somalia (43), Sudan (4), and Yemen (1). No refugees from Libya were resettled in the United States on Tuesday.

From the beginning of FY 2016 on October 1, 2015 until January 24, 2017, a total of 115,879 refugees have been resettled in the United States, according to the State Department’s interactive website.

Fifty-two thousand and sixty-nine of those refugees, or 45 percent, came from those seven countries: Syria (17,341), Iraq (14,613), Somalia (12,914), Iran (5,278), Sudan (1,887), Yemen (32), and Libya (4).

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January 24, 2017

Report: Probe Of Michael Flynn’s Russia Phone Calls Found Nothing Illicit

Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was not the target of a counter-intelligence investigation of his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., contrary to reports on Sunday suggesting that he was, according to The Washington Post.

On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Flynn’s phone calls on Dec. 29 with Sergey Kislyak were investigated by several intelligence community agencies, including the FBI. Details of the probe were not made clear in the report. The newspaper also reported that it was unclear whether the investigation was still ongoing.

But The Washington Post appears to have a different set of sources. And those government officials appear to have more information about the status of the probe.

According to The Post, the FBI reviewed intercepts of communications between Flynn and Kislyak “but has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government.”

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January 23, 2017

New Front Runner Emerges In The SCOTUS Contest

Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may be the leading candidate for President Donald Trump’s first appointment to the Supreme Court.

Jan Crawford of CBS News, a veteran court-watcher, reports Trump may be close to settling on Gorsuch. At 49, he could conceivably serve on the Court for over 30 years if he is confirmed by the Senate.

A Marshall scholar with degrees from Oxford and Harvard Law School, Gorsuch clerked for Justices Anthony Kennedy and Byron White on the high court before entering private practice in Washington at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel PLLC. He served in the U.S. Department of Justice for two years prior to his nomination to the 10th Circuit in 2006 by President George W. Bush. He was approved by the Senate on a voice vote, as he was not considered a controversial nominee.

Gorsuch is also the author of two books. His first book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” was published by Princeton University Press in 2006. He contributed to a second book last year entitled, “The Law of Judicial Precedent,” which is a treatise on the doctrine of precedent assembled by Black’s Law Dictionary editor Bryan Garner. He is consistently identified as one of the finest writers on the federal bench given his elegant and unpretentious prose.

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January 20, 2017

The 75 Leftist Groups Trying to Stop Donald Trump from Taking Office

This is the most comprehensive list of the leftist groups supporting the DisruptJ20 event designed to thwart President-elect Donald Trump and his supporters.

These are the anarchist cells, affinity groups, student consortiums, left-wing bookstores, propaganda distribution outlets, anti-American websites, hacker collectives, and other leftist groups on the shadowy edge of the worldwide radical movement that sees Trump’s political victory as the main barrier to their goal of fundamentally transforming the world.

This is the far left of the far left – the anarchist, communist, and socialist organizations, some of which urge lawbreaking “direct action” including violence, arson, and intimidation.

The establishment media doesn’t cover these groups in any significant way, and it’s hard to estimate how many people are part of this vast network. They often operate above ground, seemingly unconcerned about exposure from the mainstream media, although a significant amount of their work is secretive.

The most shocking thing, however, is the ideology of these fringe leftists is echoed by the establishment media, the mainstream Democratic Party, and even many #NeverTrump Republicans.

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January 19, 2017

Donald Trump: John Lewis Was Grandstanding, Got Caught Lying

Donald Trump shrugged off reports that a large number of House Democrats are skipping his inauguration.

The president-elect was asked about the nearly 60 Democratic lawmakers who are boycotting his inauguration when he sat down for an exclusive interview with “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt Wednesday.

“That’s a very bad misrepresentation,” Trump said. “So let’s see what happens. As far as other people not going, that’s okay because we need seats so badly. I hope they give me their tickets. Are they going to give us their tickets? What happens to their tickets?”

“Many of the celebrities that are saying they’re not going — they were never invited,” he continued. “I don’t want the celebrities. I want the people.”

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January 18, 2017

Fake Polls? How CNN And ABC Are Fudging The Numbers To Tank Trump’s Favorability

Two polls released Tuesday — one from ABC and a second from CNN — tout Donald Trump as being the most unfavorable incoming president in modern history — yet on second look, the data is clearly boosted by the pollers’ decision to oversample Democrats.

According to Gallup, 28 percent of Americans identify themselves as a Republican, while 25 percent identify as a Democrat.

Despite this information, eight more percent of participants in both the ABC and CNN polls identified as Democrats, leading to an 11 point swing in partisanship breakdown off the national average.

ABC’s poll sampled 1,005 adults across the nation. However, partisan breakdown shows that only 23 percent of participants identified as Republican.

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January 17, 2017

Trump Snaps Back At CIA’s Brennan, Asks If He Was Leaker Of ‘Fake News’

GOP President-elect Donald Trump ratcheted up his war with the intelligence community Sunday by asking if CIA Director John Brennan himself was responsible for leaking a dossier of unverified information to the press about Trump’s alleged escapades in Russia.

After Brennan appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to call Trump’s comparison of the intelligence community to Nazi Germany “outrageous,” Trump fired of a series of tweets, in which he questioned whether Brennan was personally behind BuzzFeed’s recent publication of a 35-page dossier of totally unverified information on Trump.

“What I do find outrageous is equating intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” Brennan said earlier on Sunday. “I do take great umbrage with that and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly.”

Brennan said during that same interview that “there is no interest in undermining the president-elect.”

But Trump doesn’t appear convinced, despite statements from Brennan and also from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier this week that the intelligence community had nothing to do with the leak of the dossier, which BuzzFeed published last Tuesday. BuzzFeed has since been widely castigated for publishing the completely unverified dossier full of bizarre information about Trump’s alleged, scandalous activities in Russia.

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January 16, 2017

No One Can Agree On Comey’s Place In The Trump Administration

FBI Director James Comey is grappling with an uncertain future as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to assume office.

As the perception that Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation swung the election in Trump’s favor calcifies into conventional wisdom, no one inside the Beltway can agree about the embattled director’s future.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, both declined to express support for the FBI chief during Sunday show appearances this week, while incoming White House chief of staff Reince Preibus told ABC Comey should expect to keep his job.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, appearing shortly before Preibus on ABC, said he believes Comey should step aside.

Pence, appearing on Fox News Sunday, wouldn’t offer a definitive assessment of Comey’s future. “You’ll have to ask [Trump] about that,” he said. “I know it’s been a subject of some commentary this last week, but at the end of the day, I know that, whether it’s our security at home or abroad, that the president-elect is going to put the safety and security of the American people first.”

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January 13, 2017

DOJ Watchdog Investigating How The FBI Handled Clinton Emails Before Election

Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (IG) officials are investigating whether senior executives of DOJ and FBI broke the law or established procedures during the probe of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a home-brew private email server to conduct official diplomatic business.

The IG’s investigation, prompted by numerous requests from Congress and the public, will pay special attention to FBI Director James Comey’s decisions to issue public statements and write letters about the investigation’s findings days before the election, according to an IG news release.

Comey came under fire, particularly from Democrats, for his 11th-hour letter to Congress about the discovery of more emails related to the investigation on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Some Democrats suggested the announcement cost Clinton the election.

The DOJ’s IG, Michael Horowitz, will investigate the following:

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January 12, 2017

BuzzFeed Could Be In Legal Trouble For Publishing Trump Doc

While BuzzFeed weathers criticism for publishing a document cache containing unsubstantiated and scandalous allegations about President-elect Donald Trump and his confidantes, they also could face legal consequences.

The organization elected to publish a 35-page dossier claiming Russian operatives had compromising personal and financial information about the president-elect and others in his orbit. The documents were compiled by a former British intelligence officer working for a private intelligence firm in London at the behest of Trump’s political opponents. They were later shared with Democratic political operatives and members of Congress.

If the salacious allegations in the document cache prove false, an individual named in the documents may have cause to bring a libel lawsuit against BuzzFeed.

Though the prospect of a sitting president bringing a civil suit against a media organization seems far-fetched, Trump aides outside the administration who are implicated in the documents could move forward with their own actions. Michael Cohen, counsel for the Trump Organization and an individual named in the documents, is a likely candidate in this regard.

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January 11, 2017

Peak ‘Fake News’: BuzzFeed, CNN Target Trump with Admittedly Unverifiable Russia ‘Memos’

On Tuesday, CNN reported that President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama had been briefed by the intelligence community on memos alleging there was communication between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

CNN suggested the existence of highly-compromising material targeting Trump which was compiled by a former British intelligence officer.

CNN, which was referred to as the Clinton News Network during the 2016 election, wrote (emphasis ours):

CNN has reviewed a 35-page compilation of the memos, from which the two-page synopsis was drawn. The memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats. At this point, CNN is not reporting on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations. But, in preparing this story, CNN has spoken to multiple high ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign officials and others in the private sector with direct knowledge of the memos

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January 10, 2017

FBI Warned Clinton Emails Were Vulnerable To ‘Foreign Government Espionage’ In 2015

FBI counter-terrorism officials warned in the summer of 2015 that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton doing official business on her home email system potentially compromised national security, according to new 300 pages of new evidence released late Sunday.

The warnings came even as Clinton — by then heavily favored to win the Democratic presidential nomination — casually dismissed any problems with the private email system in her New York mansion.

Dramatic behind-the-scenes alarms were triggered by the Clinton’s emails, a fact which is vividly depicted throughout the newly released documents.

Randall C. Coleman, assistant director of the Bureau’s counterintelligence division, approved a memo circulated throughout FBI headquarters that claiming “an activity constituting a federal crime or a threat to national security has or may have occurred,” July 10, 2015, for example.

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January 9, 2017

Fake News Plus Fascism: New York Times Urges Boycott of Breitbart

In two op-ed articles for the New York Times‘ Sunday Review, the Gray Lady attacks Breitbart News and its founder, Andrew Breitbart, and encourages an effort to “destroy” the company by appealing directly to advertisers not to support the website.

One article, “How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News,” written by someone actually called “Pagan Kennedy” (was “Antichrist Roosevelt” not available?) celebrates the flagging effort of anonymous Twitter trolls who have tried to target and intimidate companies whose ads appear alongside Breitbart News articles, via third party platforms.

These would-be censors of the totalitarian left have decided that since they cannot defeat conservative views and arguments on the merits, they would prefer to eliminate them.

The Times, which prides itself as a guardian of free speech and press freedom, gives its backing to this (unsuccessful) campaign with nearly 2,000 words of space. The article includes instructions on how to join the anti-Breitbart effort, copied verbatim — “Step 1… Step 2…” — from the anonymous activists’ Twitter page.

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January 6, 2017

FBI Claims DNC ‘Inhibited’ Its Investigation Of Stolen Emails

The Democratic National Committee “inhibited” the FBI’s investigation of email hacks by refusing to grant investigators access to the party’s computer servers, the bureau is claiming.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” an FBI official said Thursday, according to BuzzFeed News.

“This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”

The FBI’s response comes a day after a DNC official told BuzzFeed that the FBI has not inspected the party’s computer servers at any point in its months-long hacking probe.

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January 5, 2017

Trump To Slim Down ‘Politicized’ Intelligence Agencies, Report Says

President-elect Donald Trump plans on cutting down and restructuring the U.S. intelligence community, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A key intent of plan is to pare back headquarters staff at the Virginia based Central Intelligence Agency, and to possibly cut the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The Director of National Intelligence’s office was established after 9/11 to better coordinate intelligence sharing among the 17 different U.S. intelligence agencies. Trump’s team is concerned both organizations have become bloated in headquarters staff and are no longer mission effective.

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world [is] becoming completely politicized,” an anonymous official with alleged knowledge of Trump’s plans told TheWSJ. He continued, “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Trump’s pick for National Security advisor, Retired Army Lt. Gen Michael Flynn, is reportedly one of the main drivers behind the restructuring effort. Flynn is a proponent of sending senior intelligence officers into foreign outposts, and continually rotating intelligence analysts to gain them more exposure. Trump’s team reportedly plans on implementing this effort at the CIA.

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January 4, 2017

Supreme Court Weighs Petition To Rein In Obama’s Most Powerful Agency

The Supreme Court is weighing a petition which could significantly curtail the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the most powerful agency established under President Barack Obama.
A petition filed before the end of the year asks the justices to strike down a wide range of actions taken by CFPB before its director was officially installed. Federal law requires all agency actions be approved and carried out by an agency’s executive officer, the individual to whom Congress makes an explicit grant of power.
The case was occasioned when CFPB levied a number of fines and penalties against Chance Gordon, a California lawyer accused of violating several provisions in the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The agency ultimately assessed an $11 million fine against Gordon and his law practice for charging fees for legal services he allegedly did not provide.
Gordon’s penalties were initiated when CFPB did not have a director, and was not empowered to take such punitive steps. When the current director of CFPB, Richard Cordray, assumed office, he issued an order retroactively sanctioning a number of actions taken by the agency before his confirmation, including the penalties assessed against Gordon.
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January 3, 2017

Liberals Are Begging Obama To Ram Garland Through This One-Minute Window On Tuesday

The prospect of multiple Supreme Court appointments looms large over the incoming Trump administration, and liberal stalwarts are urging President Barack Obama to appoint Judge Merrick Garland to the high court by an aggressive, and dubious, parliamentary maneuver.

The Constitution’s recess appointment power allows the president to make appointments to federal offices without congressional consent while Congress is in recess. The appointment is only temporary, and expires at the conclusion of the ensuing Senate session — in this case, December 2017.

To mitigate against recess appointments during adjournments, Congress typically holds “pro forma” sessions on a regular basis — the chamber is, quite literally, gaveled into and out of session in a matter of seconds, making recess appointments impossible. However, some liberal commentators argue the president has authority to make a recess appointment in a matter of seconds on Tuesday.

The 114th Congress will hold its final session on Tuesday, during which the speaker of the house will officially conclude the term’s business. At the strike of the speaker’s gavel, Congress will technically be in, if only for a moment, before the 115th Congress is called to session one minute later. It’s that brief moment, called an “inter-session recess,” that some believe presents Obama the opportunity to exercise his recess appointment power.

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January 2, 2017

McCain, Graham Call for ‘Stronger Sanctions’ on Russia for ‘Attack’ on US

During a tour of the Baltic states, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called for tougher sanctions against Russia Sunday over hacking allegations.

“We will be working for much tougher sanctions against Russia,” McCain said. “They attacked the United States of America. The hacking was an attack and it should be treated as such.”

“We strongly urge our colleagues to enact more meaningful and stronger sanctions against Russia because of their attack,” he added.

Graham said he hopes to “make 2017 a year of offense.”

He said in front of reporters, “We believe that [Vladimir] Putin has hacked into our elections in America, that he’s trying to undermine democracy all over the world, and it’s time for new sanctions to hit him hard.”

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