A Trump Intervention and the Afghan Girls Robotic Team

Politico reports that a team of Afghan girls hoping to participate in an international robotics competition in the U.S. next week were twice denied visas by the U.S. State Department. But the girls are now going to be allowed into the country and will participate in the FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition thanks to the intervention of resident Donald J. Trump.

Mashable reports President Trump intervened and asked officials at the National Security Council if there was anything that could be done to allow the team of girls into the country.

According to Politico after those officials talked to counterparts at various agencies, the Department of Homeland Security agreed to allow the girls in on a system known as “parole,” which will allow them to stay in the United States for 10 days, though technically not on visas:

Parolee – A parolee is an alien, appearing to be inadmissible to the inspecting officer, allowed into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or when that alien’s entry is determined to be for significant public benefit. Parole does not constitute a formal admission to the United States and confers temporary status only, requiring parolees to leave when the conditions supporting their parole cease to exist.

The parole authority is used in exceptional circumstances. Officials determined there was significant public benefit to letting the girls into the U.S. for the competition.

Some had argued that the visa denials sent the wrong message to the people of Afghanistan, where U.S. troops are still fighting Taliban militants who once barred girls from attending school and undercut the administration’s insistence that it cares about empowering women globally.

The fact that the girls are representing Afghanistan in the contest shows how far female education there has come since the U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban from power in 2001

The FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition will take place July 16-18 in Washington, D.C. Around 160 countries are sending teams to participate in the contest.

Gorka Taunts CNN

The Daily Wire reports that during  an appearance on Tuesday edition CNN’s “New Day” Dr. Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, taunted CNN live on the air and correctly pointed out, “more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN.”

The fireworks began when anchor Alisyn Camerota, turned the interview to all things Russia. Camerota asked Gorka about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign. Gorka replied by asking why CNN has yet to cover the Democratic National Committee’s meet-up with operatives at the Ukrainian Embassy with the same breathless zeal they’ve covered the nine-month witch-hunt into alleged Russia/Trump collusion.

Here is some of the exchange:

Gorka: Was it a good idea for the DNC to send its operatives to the Ukrainian Embassy? The amount of time you spend in desperation on a topic that has plummeted you to 13th place in viewership ranking across America, more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN today.

Camerota: “Our ratings are doing just fine. If you want to go there, our ratings are doing just fine.”

Gorka: Nick at Nite is [in 11th place]. More people are interested in cartoons! . . . CNN no longer puts out journalism, but, rather, ‘fake news.’ What about individuals who got half a million dollars to give speeches when their wife was running for president?

Camerota: Is it possible that your team is obsessed with the Clintons?
Gorka: No. We’d like you to actually do your job. You aren’t in the news business anymore. You used to be. You are in the attacking President Trump business. And it’s sad. It’s really sad.

Camerota: Look, I know you have to go, and I didn’t even want to go down this rabbit hole with you. When you take shots at us and at journalism, at CNN . . .

Gorka interrupting: Not journalism, CNN.

You can watch the heated exchange in this YouTube video. The fireworks start at about the 8:00 mark.

CNN is currently ranked 13th out of all the cable networks, behind Nick at Nite, which ranks 11th.

In addition to its plummeting ratings, CNN has other serious problems. CNN has been caught publishing fake news, some of it so bad that three reporters were forced to resign. It’s been busted by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas, which infiltrated CNN and obtained video of a CNN producer admitting that the network’s Russia fixation is “mostly bullsh**t right now,” but they do it because it brings in the money. And to add insult to injury CNN had to give Veritas a retraction.

CNN is desperate to improve its image after weeks of bad and worse news.

What does CNN do to improve their image? They decide to delete their app in a failed attempt to lose the app’s terrible one star rating.

Finally Accountability at the VA

The Department of Veterans Affairs has fired 526 employees, demoted another 27 employees and temporarily suspended an additional 194 for longer than two weeks, since President Donald J. Trump took office on January 20. That information is contained in the Adverse Actions accountability report posted on the agency’s website. The report doesn’t include the employees’ names, but shows their positions.

CBS reports that in an effort for more transparency and accountability within the VA, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin announced that the list “accountability actions” will be posted  and updated online weekly.

President Trump signed his Executive Order “Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs” in April. Then in June President Trump signed the “Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017.” Those two actions allowed Trump to claim he kept his campaign promise to reform veterans’ health care and other services.

The President pointed out that getting this Accountability Act passed was no small accomplishment. Referring to union opposition, Trump said “this was not an easy one”:

We got it done. It’s a reform that I campaigned on, and now I am thrilled to be able to sign that promise into law.

The VA is the government’s second-largest Cabinet agency, with approximately 350,000 employees. VA Secretary David Shulkin has complained that the current disciplinary process has averaged 51 days to remove an employee, primarily due to a 30-day notice period. The new law cuts the 30-day notice to 10 days and speeds up the appeal process. It also lowers the evidentiary standards required to fire an employee, and allows the VA secretary to rescind employee bonuses and relocation expenses in some cases.

President Trump has vowed to rid the VA of officials who misbehave or fail to meet agency standards. This is a yuge departure from President Obama. Obama insisted his administration was scandal free, despite the horrific 2014 scandal during which veterans died waiting for doctor’s appointments, as officials falsified records hiding the amount of time that veterans had to wait for medical appointments. According to an inspector general’s report, 1,700 veterans were kept on such waiting lists and veterans waited an average of 115 days for an initial primary care appointment.

During Obama’s presidency only nine employees (out of 57 targeted for disciplinary actions) were fired. And then, in June 2016, the Obama administration abandoned the 2014 law’s streamlined firing process after deciding it was unconstitutional.

Cruz Healthcare Bill Amendment Gets Traction

 

At RedState, Andrea Ruth reports that House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows broke from withholding comment on the process in the Senate to tweet that he is in favor of the health care bill currently making its way through the Senate if an amendment to the bill offered by Sen. Ted Cruz is a part of it.

The text of the Cruz amendment hasn’t been publicly released, but it is being circulated on typed handouts. It would allow insurance companies to offer plans that did not meet certain Affordable Care Act requirements if they also offer plans that do. In allowing such plans to be sold, insurers would be able to offer more affordable plans that don’t adhere to ObamaCare’s insurance regulations to individuals who don’t necessarily need or want to pay for certain coverage.

According to the New York Times “The Upshot” blog, The Cruz Consumer Freedom amendment wouldn’t explicitly create and fund the special insurance markets, as the House bill did. Instead, insurance experts said, it would create a sort of de facto high risk pool — encouraging customers with health problems to buy insurance in one market and those without illnesses to buy it in another.

This is how Sen. Cruz described his plan last week:

If an insurance company offers at least one plan in the state that is compliant with the (Obamacare) mandates, that company can also sell any additional plan that consumers desire.

What that does is it maintains the existing protections, but it gives consumers additional new options above and beyond of what they can purchase today.

Marc Short, President Trump’s director of legislative affairs, said on Fox News Sunday, that they support the Cruz proposal.

In addition, the Washington Examiner reports that the Club for Growth expressed support for Cruz’s plan on Wednesday.

Axios reports that Senate Republicans have asked the Congressional Budget Office to analyze Cruz’s proposal — asking for one estimate of a health care bill that includes his changes and one that doesn’t.

Majority Back Trump’s So-called Travel Ban

Politico reports that its new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll finds “a clear majority of voters support President Donald Trump’s” so-called travel ban.

The poll didn’t actually ask about President Trump’s January 27, 2017 Executive Order Protecting Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States or the President’s March 6, 2017-revised version of the order, which narrowed the scope of his original order. Instead the poll asked about the new guidelines issued by the State Department to implement last week’s Supreme Court ruling which lifted parts of lower court injunctions blocking Trump’s Executive Order:

As you may know, the U.S. Department of State recently outlined new guidelines which say visa applicants from six predominately Muslim countries must prove a close family relationship with a U.S. resident in order to enter the country. Knowing this, do you support or oppose these new guidelines?

Sixty percent of voters say they support the guidelines, and only 28 percent oppose them.

There was the usual partisan divide among the respondents. Among Republicans 84 percent support the guidelines, while just 9 percent oppose them. The policy is also supported by Independent voters — 56 percent support it, compared to 30 percent who oppose it. Democrats are split on the issue, with 41 percent supporting the guidelines and 46 percent opposing them.

Politico notes that an Associated Press-NORC Center poll last month, before the Supreme Court’s decision, found that 57-percent of Americans thought courts were acting rightly in blocking the travel ban.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted June 29-30, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

It’s amazing how the media constantly refers to “applicants from six predominately Muslim countries” in its continuing effort to make it seem like a Muslim ban. They do this even though the suspect countries are identified in the Executive orders as “aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA [Immigration and Nationality Act], 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12).” The list of countries referred to there was put together by the Obama Administration.

Gov. Christie On The Closed Beach

 

Gov. Chris Christie got caught Sunday having a private beach party at a Jersey Shore park that he closed to the public.  The New York Post reports that Christie and company were lounging at Berkeley Township’s Island.  The New York  Beach State Park was among the public facilities Christie shut down because of a budget standoff he is having with state legislators.

During a press conference held later Sunday, Christie denied he got any sun Sunday:

When asked by reporters in Trenton if he got to enjoy the clear summer day, the governor demurred.

“I didn’t,” he said. “I didn’t get any sun today.”

When told about pictures of the beach party Christie’s spokesman claimed the governor’s baseball hat shielded him from any rays:

“He did not get any sun. He had a baseball hat on,” the spokesman, Brian Murray, told NJ.com.

Christie is worse than Obama who outrageously barricaded open air facilities such as the World War II Memorial and even the Grand Canyon in a childish effort to cause pain on his constituents hoping there would then pressure their representatives to do Obama’s bidding.

But not even Obama had the audacity to shove the closures in the face of citizens by actually visiting any of the closed federal facilities he forced to close while citizens were not permitted to use them.

People certainly don’t appreciate it when so-called leaders attempt to inflict pain on them for a political vendetta such as trying to seal off open air “facilities.” They will like it, and Gov. Christie, even less for using the facility he closed while Cub Scouts and other citizens were forced to leave a state park campsite.

After the bridgegate scandal and Christie’s failed presidential run his support in New Jersey has collapsed and he is now the country’s least popular governor.

More Fake News From The NY Times

The New York Times, the  newspaper that once claimed to be the nation’s ”newspaper of record,” let its zeal to be part of the Trump haters so-called renaissance cause it to publish more fake news. Thursday the Times published a correction to an article that incorrectly claimed all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that “Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get [Trump] elected.”

The now corrected article was originally published on published June 25, and “covered” certain reactions that President Donald J. Trump gave in response to Russian cyber attacks and interactions with the 2016 presidential election.

The NY Times ’s correction states:

Correction: June 29, 2017

A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community [emphasis added].

It’s really hard to see how any newspaper, let alone The New York Times could make such an egregious error. Hillary Clinton, during a May 31, 2017-interview, claimed that “all 17 intelligence agencies” confirmed with “high confidence” the Russians worked against her in the U.S. Presidential Election:

  The Russians ran an extensive information war against my campaign to influence voters in the election.

You can watch Hillary make these allegations at about the 19:30 in this You Tube video.

In a fact check of Hillary’s allegation the Daily Caller reports that James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence, refuted Hillary’s false assertion that “all 17 intelligence agencies” confirmed the Russian meddling against her campaign, during his May 8, 2017 testimony before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Clapper stated that the assessment was only from the NSA, FBI and the CIA.

Here’s the relevant passage from the transcript of the hearing:

FRANKEN: We have — the intelligence communities have concluded all 17 of them that Russia interfered with this election. And we all know how that’s right.

CLAPPER: Senator, as I pointed out in my statement Senator Franken, there were only three agencies that directly involved in this assessment plus my office…

FRANKEN: But all 17 signed on to that?

CLAPPER: Well, we didn’t go through that — that process, this was a special situation because of the time limits and my — what I knew to be to who could really contribute to this and the sensitivity of the situation, we decided it was a constant judgment (ph) to restrict it to those three. I’m not aware of anyone who dissented or — or disagreed when it came out.

According to the Daily Caller those three agencies were the CIA, NSA and FBI.

The New York Times covered that May 8, 2017 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing. They just didn’t bother to listen.

Even Chris Matthews Sees Comey’s Testimony As Undermining the Resistance

For the entirety of the Trump presidency we have been bombarded with fake news stories about President Donald J. Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton and bogus claims that President Trump was under FBI Investigation all pushed by the leaders of the so-called Resistance — politicians and the biased media wing of the Democrats’ Party.

The Washington Examiner reports, that thanks to former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, even the ever Liberal Chris Matthews declarers that the anti-Trump conspiracy theories of the resistance “came apart.”

In his written and spoken testimony on Thursday, Comey said that he never felt that Trump had tried to impede the FBI’s investigation into Russia, even that the president had encouraged it and he suggested that former national security adviser Mike Flynn wasn’t at the heart of the investigation. Comey also confirmed that he had told Trump that he was not personally under any investigation and that the president had encouraged the Russia investigation, even if it implicated any of his associates.

You can watch the MSNBC video of Chris Matthews comments or read a partial transcript published by Real Clear Politics below

Partial Transcript:

The bigger story, Nicole touched on it there, the assumption of the president’s critics, his pursuers you might say, is that some time in the last year, the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians –something to do, a helping hand, to feeding their desire to affect the election in some way. Some role they played. Some conversation with Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort.

 

But yet what came apart this morning was that theory.

 

Two regards, the president said, according to the written tell me of Mr. Comey: Go ahead and get anybody satellite to my operation and nail them. I’m with you on that. That would mean Manafort, Carter Page, somebody like that.

 

And then what was fascinating, Comey said that basically Flynn wasn’t central to the Russia investigation, that he was touching on it. Of course, Flynn wasn’t honest in the answering of the official forms to become national security head, but they only touched on that, that it wasn’t related to that but that he could be flipped for that. In other words, they could flip him because they had him on something he dishonestly answered, but it wasn’t central to the Russia thing.

 

I always assumed what Trump was afraid of he had something to Flynn and Flynn could be flipped on that, and Flynn would testify against the president that he had some conversation with Flynn in terms of dealing with the Russians affirmatively. And if that’s not the case, where’s the there there?

 

Indeed, Where is the there there?