Thursday, March 16, 2017

Happiest and Safest Of St Patrick's Day. Trump's Budget. Two Wild District Judges. Defunding The U.N.

The best of St Patrick's Day to all my Irish friends.
If for some strange reason you are mistakenly deleted from receiving these memos, according to
Chimp Mail procedures, I cannot re-instate you.  You have to request this on your own.
You can always go to: to view any of my memos.
Not to beat a dead horse but. (See 1 below.)

On another matter, two District Court Judges decided to render opinions based on politics not law which is why our nation is in a mess.

Regardless of what Trump said on the campaign, the legality of the proposed legislation must be determined within the context of what was written, not what the judges thought motivated it, not what they think about Trump, their own knowledge and interpretation of the terrorist threat we face etc.  If they do not like being restrained by their robes then they should run for the presidency.

Judges should just interpret the law and if they do they will learn the president's prime duty is to defend our nation. The seven countries named have lost their ability to provide documents immigration authorities need to adequately vet.  The law is clear but Democrat appointed judges are socially driven. There is nothing religious in the proposed law's intent and if there was Saudi Arabia and Indonesia would be on the list along with other Muslim nations.

Maybe the judges do not know how to read maps and population statistics. (See 1a below.)

Recap of Present's Day Elliott Abrams Event. (See 2 below.)
Trump's budget is designed to allow him to spend where he believes we need more focus without radically increasing the nation's debt.  He avoided cutting welfare, entitlements and various transfer payments at this time but eventually needs to do so, in my opinion, in order to place appropriate pressure on deadbeats who are taking advantage of the system  and to encourage the financial logic of seeking work and perhaps stop rewarding single mothers from having  babies out of wedlock etc.

At least Trump is willing to touch the third rail. Now let's see if Republicans are willing to walk their talk.

As most of you know. I serve on the Board of The State Museum (GMOA) and Trump proposes eliminating funding for the arts.  This means less money for GMOA. Until the budget is balanced, and we are moving away from a fiscal debacle, I am willing to go along with not using tax payer money to support the arts though I believe this is a knock against our culture.

This is why Trump must continue with cuts up and down the line until he and Congress get our nation's fiscal affairs in order.
Why funding the U.N is a waste of tax payer dollars and simply assists further immoral decisions. (See 3 below.)
Two of our kids and our three youngest grandchildren in town for the parade and weekend family celebrations so no more memos til next week.
1) Did Obama Spy on Trump?

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

The question of whether former President Barack Obama actually spied on President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition has been tantalizing Washington since President Trump first made the allegation nearly two weeks ago. Since then, three investigations have been launched — one by the FBI, one by the House of Representatives and one by the Senate. Are the investigators chasing a phantom, or did this actually happen?
Here is the back story.

Obama would not have needed a warrant to authorize surveillance on Trump. Obama was the president and as such enjoyed authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to order surveillance on any person in America, without suspicion, probable cause or a warrant.

FISA contemplates that the surveillance it authorizes will be for national security purposes, but this is an amorphous phrase and an ambiguous standard that has been the favorite excuse of most modern presidents for extraconstitutional behavior. In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon used national security as a pretext to deploying the FBI and CIA to spy on students and even to break in to the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, one of his tormentors.

FISA was enacted in the late 1970s to force the federal government to focus its surveillance activities — its domestic national security-based spying — on only those people who were more likely than not agents of a foreign government. Because FISA authorizes judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to make rules and establish procedures for surveillance — essentially lawmaking — in secret, the public and the media have been largely kept in the dark about the nature and extent of the statute and the legal and moral rationale for the federal government's spying on everyone in the U.S

The mass spying that these judges have ruled FISA authorizes is directly counter to the wording, meaning and purpose of FISA itself, which was enacted to prevent just what it has in fact now unleashed.

We now know indisputably that this secret FISA court — whose judges cannot keep records of their own work and have their pockets and briefcases checked by guards as they enter and leave the courthouse — has permitted all spying on everyone all the time.

The FISA court only hears lawyers for the government, and they have convinced it that it is more efficient to capture the digital versions of everyone's phone calls, texts, emails and other digital traffic than it is to force the government — as the Constitution requires — to focus on only those who there is reason to believe are more likely than not engaging in unlawful acts.
When FISA was written, telephone surveillance was a matter of wiretapping — installing a wire onto the target's telephone line, either inside or outside the home or business, and listening to or recording in real time the conversations that were audible on the tapped line.

Today the National Security Agency has 24/7 access to the mainframe computers of all telecom providers and all computer service providers and to all digital traffic carried by fiber optics in the U.S. The NSA has had this access pursuant to FISA court orders issued in 2005 and renewed every 90 days. The FISA court has based its rulings on its own essentially secret convoluted logic, never subjected to public scrutiny. That has resulted in the universal surveillance state in which we in America now live. The NSA has never denied this.

Thus, in 2016, when Trump says the surveillance of him took place, Obama needed only to ask the NSA for a transcript of Trump's telephone conversations to be prepared from the digital versions that the NSA already possessed. Because the NSA has the digital version of every telephone call made to, from and within the U.S. since 2005, if President Obama last year wanted transcripts of Trump's calls made at any time, the NSA would have been duty-bound to provide them, just as it would be required to provide transcripts of Obama's calls today if President Trump wanted them.

But if Obama did order the NSA to prepare transcripts of Trump's conversations last fall under the pretext of national security — to find out whether Trump was communicating with the Russians would have been a good excuse — there would exist somewhere a record of such an order. For that reason, if Obama did this, he no doubt used a source on which he'd leave no fingerprints.

Enter James Bond.

Sources have told Fox News that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump's calls. The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump's. So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.



Skidaway Island Republican Club

From the New SIRC Chairman Guy Randolph:
Thank you to all who attended our annual President's Day Dinner. For those of you who missed it, below is a write up of Elliot Abrams' comments. He was excellent. Included are several pictures for everyone's viewing. A full gallery of pictures is available on our website at Sure looks like people had a good time.

We are putting together our first True Perspectives talk of the year. Tentative dates are 4/18 or 4/25. The topic will deal with the merger of Chatham County and Savannah as well as incorporation possibilities for Skidaway Island.

Look forward to seeing you there. Don't forget to bring a friend.

Elliott Abrams on Foreign Policy

The SIRC President's Day Dinner featured speaker was Elliott Abrams who was in the news recently. Though he was selected by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (and supported by Jared Kushner) to be the Deputy Secretary of State, Abrams was vetoed by Trump due to criticism of Trump he had written during the campaign last year.
However the packed audience was treated to an insightful view of foreign policy especially in the Middle East (Abrams’ specialty). He started with his view of the chief threats facing us around the world.

Radical Islamic Terrorism
This is the worst threat; not only must ISIS be thoroughly defeated, but Al Qaida is now stronger than ever. Europe is obviously more threatened than we are, and is much more vulnerable. We have been fortunate not to have had more incidents in our Homeland (thanks partly to luck and heightened vigilance by our security experts).
The solution is partly a military one (to eradicate ISIS bases), but longer term an ideological response is also needed. ISIS participants are not easily deterred.  Their ultimate defeat may take a few generations.

Their quest is clearly a “Shia crescent” takeover of the Middle East. Their vast oil and gas reserves make it clear nuclear power is not necessary. Their goal is a nuclear weapons capability and a rocket delivery system.
It did not help when the Obama administration gave them $1.5 billion, including $500 million in cash! (Editor’s note: plus a clear path to a weapon development after the 10-year slowdown is over. The Shia have waited 1000 years; what’s another decade or two?)
The Iranians respect power and sensed negotiating weakness on the part of Obama (especially after Syria violated Obama's red line threat.) Abrams relayed a story of how an unnamed local Sunni state warned of a dangerous shipment of prohibited arms from Iran sailing in the Red Sea, and Obama did nothing. Israel was then informed and sent a message to Iran: turn the boat back or it will be sunk. The Iranians complied.
Should Iran launch an attack on Israel, which could cause horrific damage to Tel Aviv, Abrams believes Israel would destroy Iran's entire oil facilities at Kharg Island or 90% of their export capability which currently provides them cash to fund their economy and weapon's programs etc.

 Until Obama allowed Russia to cozy up to Iran Russia had been a non- player in the Middle East for decades. Russia always wanted a naval base presence in the Mediterranean. Siding with Shia powers, however, puts Russia on the wrong side of Sunni states (Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE), Abrams thus implied Russia might not be so committed to Iran and Syria and that could provide Trump with some negotiating opportunity.

Responses to Threats
Perhaps our biggest asset is our strong relationships around the world, whereas our adversaries generally have none. Iran, Russia, and China each have no real allies, while the US has a strong alliance system.
Because of the threat posed by Iran, Israel, one of our most loyal allies, has begun to develop  “below the radar” relationships with Sunni states in the Middle East.

Key Decisions 
Abrams highlighted some key areas in which America may need to take some action in the near future, starting with the Obama/Iran Deal. Some re-imposition of sanctions might prove effective. European defectors may be harder to get back on board, but one should not underestimate the power of the U.S. to say: you can do business with Iran or you can do business with America. You must choose. The question is, does Trump have the will?
America and Israel can also re-employ covert sabotage of Iranian nuclear facilities.
Syria’s War is equally difficult to solve. Abrams characterized it as Obama’s worst legacy. When he failed to act after drawing a “red line” regarding the use of chemical weapons, not only did Syria notice, but also the whole world concluded he was feckless. The results were disastrous as 500,000 Syrian citizens were killed and 10 million refugees were unleashed on the world, - mostly in Europe which is now dealing with the consequences.                                 
In comparing Obama to Ronald Reagan, Abrams reminded the audience of the message Reagan sent when he warned then fired the air traffic controllers.
Meanwhile, Israeli/Palestinian peace talks have gone on for decades, with no results. Trump has called for an “outside/in” strategy: using Israel’s new contacts with the Arab states to help bring a deal with the Palestinians.
Russia and Syria need to be dealt with, but Abrams believes Russia’s alliance with Iran is not necessarily permanent, as Sunni states are vehemently opposed to it
North Korea is another example of failed U.S. policy. (Editor’s note: the U.S. got snookered when North Korea built a nuclear weapon in a site not being monitored by the Clinton Administration.)
Ultimately Abrams felt some military response needs to be on the table if and when they develop a missile capable of reaching the U.S. Maybe even before, as South Korea is in grave danger due to proximity. Perhaps an America prepared to use a military option will challenge China to act more aggressively in curbing North Korea. China holds a major trump card as they import North Korean coal which is a major economic prop along with sales of North Korean arms to other rogue countries.

Q&A Session

1. What is your reaction to Obama meddling in the Trump presidency and remaining in D.C.?
It is inappropriate given longstanding tradition of ex-presidents remaining silent. Eight days in, Obama opined. George W. Bush said nothing publicly during the eight years of Obama’s missteps.

2. What is likely to happen in France’s next election, with a strong nationalist running in the person of Marine Le Pen?
Despite pundits saying she has no chance, Abrams cited the recent election in the U.S. where a strong “America firster” had similar journalist skeptics. Le Pen absolutely could win, but it remains a longer shot, as a lot of European journalists are fearful of this nationalist movement. Many view World Wars I and II as caused by overt nationalism gone bad. Despite these views, don’t rule out security fears and nationalism as motivating many voters (Brexit as an example).

3. Is self-governing democracy an ultimate solution to the conflicts in the Middle East? Will the tenets of Islam allow it?
The key concept might be how the local populace views the legitimacy of the government, rather than seeking outright democracy.  Many of the monarchs have support, which is why in the “Arab Spring” no kings have been overthrown. Thus Arab culture does have strong concepts of law and justice, if not Western-style democracy.

4. Will Tax Reform ultimately succeed?
Citing this as not his particular area of expertise, Abrams did however, volunteer his opinion that repatriation of 'huge' profits overseas should be a major goal and could become a powerful economic force, along with as would removing restrictive regulatory red tape.

Final Perspective
Abrams thought it was ludicrous for the mass media to draw conclusions after only 30 days into the new administration. Appointments of Cabinet secretaries and deputies were unnecessarily delayed by Democrat strategy, abetted by some of Trump’s own intemperate tweets and outbursts. The latter has allowed the mass media to increase their criticism.
Let’s look at the true record after six months or a year.
Abrams was particularly impressed by Trump’s National Security appointments:
  • Tillerson at State,
  • Mattis at Defense,
  • Kelly at Homeland Security,
  • Pompeo at CIA, and
  • McMaster at NSC.
Abrams also opposed allowing a political adviser to participate in National Security deliberations. He revealed that George W. Bush refused to allow Karl Rove to attend a single National Security meeting.

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3)US urges UN to scrap report accusing Israel of apartheid

By Eli Leon, Shlomo Cesana and Reuters
On the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to combat anti-Semitism, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Wednesday demanded that U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres withdraw a report compiled by one of the body's agencies that accuses Israel of imposing an apartheid regime on Palestinians.
Israel's Foreign Ministry spokesman likened the report, which was published by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia to Der Sturmer, the strongly anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda newspaper.
The report concluded that "Israel has established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole." The accusation has been fiercely rejected by Israel.
U.N. Undersecretary General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf said the report was the "first of its type" from a U.N. body that "clearly and frankly concludes that Israel is a racist state that has established an apartheid system that persecutes the Palestinian people."

ESCWA comprises 18 Arab states in western Asia and aims to support economic and social development in member states, according to its website. The report was prepared at the request of member states, Khalaf said.

The report calls on the International Criminal Court to intervene.

The report was authored by Richard Falk, a former U.N. human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories, and Virginia Tilley, professor of political science at Southern Illinois University. In the past, the United States has accused Falk of being biased against Israel, and he was also banned from entering Israel.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon commented on Twitter that the report had not been endorsed by the U.N. secretary general.
"The attempt to smear and falsely label the only true democracy in the Middle East by creating a false analogy is despicable and constitutes a blatant lie," Israel's Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said in a statement.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York that the report was published without any prior consultation with the U.N. secretariat.
"The report as it stands does not reflect the views of the secretary general [Guterres]," Dujarric said. He added that the report itself notes that it reflects the views of the authors.

Haley issued a statement condemning the report, saying, "The United Nations secretariat was right to distance itself from this report, but it must go further and withdraw the report altogether.

"That it was drafted by Richard Falk, a man who has repeatedly made biased and deeply offensive comments about Israel and espoused ridiculous conspiracy theories, including about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is equally unsurprising. The United States stands with our ally Israel and will continue to oppose biased and anti-Israel actions across the U.N. system and around the world."

In Israel, Yesh Atid Chairman MK Yair Lapid said the report "is dripping with hate and anti-Semitism. Instead of defending freedom, democracy and liberal values, the U.N. and its agencies are assisting terrorist organizations. Does it make any sense to anyone that the U.N., which includes member states Syria and Sudan, should preach to Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, which upholds minority rights and provides humanitarian assistance to its enemies? The U.S. and Europe need to make it very clear that they will withhold support for the U.N. and its agencies as long as they continue to incite against Israel." 

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