This week has seen a tsunami of negative media coverage about President Trump’s handling of illegal immigrant families, with much of the quivering outrage being based on his old bugaboo, “fake news.” There were all the photos of detainee facilities for children labeled with such hashtags as “TrumpConcentrationCamps” that were actually taken when Obama was President, and a shocking photo of a toddler in a dog pen that was actually posed by activists at a protest in Dallas. But no photo has been so heartrending as the crying face of the two-year-old girl allegedly wailing after being cruelly ripped from her mother’s arms. It evokes such a visceral reaction, especially in parents, that Time magazine created a PhotoShopped cover depicting a glowering Trump looming over the crying child like an evil ogre.
Well, we now know who that child is. She’s from Honduras, and virtually nothing about her assumed tragic backstory turned out to be true. According to her father, who is still in Honduras, she was not escaping some terrible oppression or poverty. He has a pretty good job as a captain in a port. It was his wife’s dream to go to America, but he didn’t want to expose his daughter to that risk. So early one morning, she took off with the little girl on her own, leaving him and their two other children behind without even giving him a chance to say goodbye to his daughter.
He hadn’t heard from them until he saw their photo in the media. But a friend told him his wife had paid $6000 to a “coyote” to smuggle them across the border. He’s also been told by border officials that, in fact, they are fine and being detained in a family residential center in Texas and – brace yourself – they were never separated from each other. So all the horrified and outraged reactions were really over a photo of a two-year-old crying, something that I guess no two-year-old ever did until Trump was elected.
Sorry if that sounds a bit sarcastic, but at least we can all agree that dozens of news anchors never got caught crying on camera like two-year-olds until Trump was elected.
Twitter practically leaps to ban conservative users who post comments they deem too harsh. But it took the site 20 hours to force the far-left group Occupy Wall Street to delete a post graphically depicting how to murder ICE agents (warning: the disgusting graphic is included at the link.) And guess who still has a Twitter account. That’s right: Peter Fonda. But he assures us that at the tender age of 78, he’s finally mature enough to have figured out that it’s not a good idea to encourage unstable followers to kidnap, rape and murder children of people he disagrees with politically, so I’m sure it’s fine.
By the way, since then, he’s continued to retweet outrageous posts, including two overhead photos of a border tent city for detainees and the Auschwitz death camp because…the tents look kind of similar from the air? Someone responded with a nearly identical photo of a Boy Scout camping jamboree.
Now let me be absolutely clear to anyone whose passions have caused their brains to disengage: that doesn’t mean that the detainee camp is a fun excursion like a Boy Scout trip. But it also isn’t Auschwitz, which is a disgusting insult not only to US border authorities but to victims of the Holocaust and their families. It just makes the point that photos of buildings taken from the air prove absolutely nothing. Other than that people who post them as if they do might have taken too many drugs in the ‘60s.
Now, here’s something you don’t see every day: a Democratic Senator goes on CNN to rip President Trump over the inhumane facilities on the border for illegal crossers and actually gets asked – by a CNN anchor, yet! – whether she also spoke out when the same facilities were operating under Obama. Check out her response. It’s the most entertaining example of on-screen tap-dancing since the days of Shirley Temple.
Forbes reported this week that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is now by far the richest man in the world – ever! -- with an estimated fortune of nearly $142 billion, which is $49 billion more than Bill Gates. Not surprisingly, that news led some of his employees to wonder why he can’t afford to maybe give them a raise that amounts to more than the change in his sofa cushions.
Bezos purchased the Washington Post, which has turned into a full-time Trump-attacking outlet, and admittedly, they’ve done that job well. In an open letter to their boss, 400 WaPo employees pointed out that they’ve met or exceeded all advertising targets, doubled digital subscriptions and increased online traffic by more than half (TDS sufferers must really crave that sweet, sweet venom.) And while they are very grateful that Bezos bought the Post and saved it from going belly-up, they can’t help wondering why he refused to improve retirement benefits, cut severance pay for laid-off or outsourced workers, pushed for the right to indiscriminately lay off anyone and tried to get laid-off workers to waive their right to severance pay. For a paper that’s made “fairness” a mantra, that seems kind of, you know…unfair?
Also, considering that their boss is now the richest man in the history of the world, so rich he makes King Tut look like Johnny Depp, they think that offering the staff raises of $10 a week (no, I didn’t miss a zero, it really is ten bucks a week) seems “unfair and even shocking from someone who believes democracy dies in darkness.” (“Democracy dies in darkness” is the hilariously pretentious new motto of the in-your-face post-Trump Post.)
No response yet from Bezos. He might be too busy cracking the whip on Amazon warehouse or Whole Foods workers, or maybe he’s just swimming in Krugerrands in his money vault like Scrooge McDuck. Or maybe he’s too busy ordering an op-ed about income inequality and how it’s all Trump’s fault. I’ll bet that will double web traffic for the Post’s writers, who seem to have trouble figuring out which billionaire really is trying to help middle class working Americans.
With the Fourth of July nearly upon us, I’d like to remind you to say thanks to America’s veterans for making our freedoms possible by including them in your patriotic holiday celebration. There’s a great group called “Pizzas 4 Patriots” that sponsors pizza parties at veterans hospitals across America and delivers a taste of home to our soldiers around the world as a reminder that we’re thinking of them and are grateful for all they do for us. Your donation of just $20 can supply pizza and sodas for up to four disabled veterans or active duty military members. To learn more and help out, please visit https://www.sgtpizza.org/
Even after the release of a 568-page report documenting example after example of the stunning partisanship infecting our federal bureaucracy, new clues suggest we’re still just seeing the tip of the dirty old iceberg. Inspector General Michael Horowitz has now turned his attention to the “Trump/Russia” investigation, and with any luck, maybe it won’t take another year and a half to complete. Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the Freedom Caucus, said during his questioning of Horowitz that there is “growing evidence” that some of the FBI reports known as 302s have been changed. If this happened during the Hillary email investigation, it is the same as evidence tampering.
Another compelling revelation is that it looks as though more spying was done than we knrw about, this time by a different spy, and that the spying started in May rather than July, the “official” start of the FBI investigation. Someone with a long history of working as an FBI informant apparently approached both Michael Caputo and Roger Stone.
Michael Caputo, who had worked as an advisor to the Trump campaign, made news when he went public weeks ago to talk about the financial burden placed on those who were cooperating with the Mueller team. Even though he wasn’t a target or subject of the investigation, he said, the cost of compliance was high, as he had to have legal representation just to participate as a witness. To make money to pay his legal bills, he was thinking he’d have to sell his house in upstate New York and, regretfully, move his family to a big ciy where he could earn a bigger paycheck. It would have drastically changed their lives.
But he set up a GoFundMe page, and apparently it did well, because he raised enough to pay his lawyers and also to hire some investigators to look into one part of his experience with the special counsel that was really bothering him. In May of 2016, he had been approached by a man who identified himself as “Henry Greenberg” but who didn’t sound American. The man had wanted $2 million in exchange for damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Caputo’s investigators found that “Greenberg” had worked as an FBI informant for 17 years, so Caputo thinks the encounter may have been an attempt to spy on him and set a trap.
This person’s real name turns out to be Gennady Vasilievich Vostretsov, which sounds, um, extremely Russian. Caputo’s investigtors discovered that the 59-year-old Russian citizen has worked under several aliases and has a long history of criminal behavior –- some of it violent –- in both the United States and Russia. According to the “Greenberg Dossier” put together by Caputo and his team, Vostretsov spent years in prison in both Russia and America. He admitted under oath that he has been a longtime FBI informant. He is in this country, perhaps avoiding deportation because of his ties to the government.
Caputo was forthcoming about the encounter when he was called in to testify before the special counsel on May 2, and he got the impression from his questioner’s conduct that they already knew more about it than he did. Thus he suspected that their questions about it were intended as a perjury trap. The interviewer’s angry reaction to his transparency about the meeting with “Greenberg” also suggested that they had unsuccessfully set him up to trap him. That’s what raised his curiosity about the real purpose of the initial contact and caused him to hire detectives to find out what was really going on.
It appears that Caputo definitely got his money’s worth from his investigators; check out the full “dossier” at his website (link below). Again, we don’t yet have all the dots connected, but this story strongly suggests that more spying was taking place than we have confirmed at this point. If it is what it appears to have been, that means it was yet another “collusion” with foreign spies –- this one Russian –- to help not Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton.
Speaking of 302s, Sara A.Carter has conducted a fantastic interview with a former senior FBI official that reveals how interrogations and 302s are supposed to work. It sheds a lot of light on what might have happened with Michael Flynn. Extremely informative –- check it out.
If you thought “vitamin water” sounded a little fishy, then how does “wiener water” sound? I know, a little porky. But trust me, it’s fishy, too, especially at $37.99 a bottle.
Here’s more fake news to stoke the outrage machine, and more proof of why Twitter is to news what Ring-Dings are to nutrition. Count all the alleged professional journalists (including MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and even a journalism professor) who retweeted and commented on the “NEW” and "BREAKING NEWS" that “immigrant children” were beaten, handcuffed and tortured in a juvenile detention center in Virginia. Of course, it must all be the fault of that evil, child-hating Nazi, Trump!
Except it appears that not only did none of these supposedly professional journalists note that these are unproven allegations, but none could even be bothered to look at the dateline (December 2017) or read the AP story, which made it clear this was a camp that opened in 2007 and the allegations are part of a lawsuit filed in 2016, a year before Trump became President.
So...what evil, child-hating, literally-worse-than-Hitler Nazi was President then?! Oh, wait…never mind! Nothing to see here!
Whenever virtually the entire media become consumed with one story, particularly one such as illegal immigrant detention centers that have been around for years without them seeming to care very much, I look around to see what else might be in the news that they’re desperate not to report on.
Maybe this much-overlooked story is an example of that. It’s also about something that happened under Obama, back before Trump was elected. In fact, so long ago that it was way back when Democrats weren’t more staunchly anti-Russian than Joe McCarthy. At least it appears that way, since it involves testimony by Obama’s White House cybersecurity coordinator confirming that after evidence was found of Russian hackers trying to meddle in the US election, cyber response staffers were stunned when Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice ordered them to “stand down” and do nothing. We learn that that “was not the focus of our activity during that time period.”
There is an attempt to explain that at the link. Although personally, I suspect that the focus of their activity during that period was spying on the Trump campaign. Their patriotic zeal over alleged Russian election interference only sprang into being after Hillary lost. Or maybe they just assumed that Hillary would win and then make all the Russian problems vanish by pressing her magic Russian reset button.