Saturday, August 25, 2018

Today's Tune: Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul - Can I Get A Witness (w/ Richie Sambora)

Live Review: Little Steven And The Disciples Of Soul bring Soulfire to Shepherd's Bush

July 30, 2018

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Not forgetting his wise-guy acting career in The Sopranos and Lilyhammer.
However, tonight he returned to his true calling as leader of his fifteen-piece band.
Playing a two and a half hour set of scintillating soul classics, deep cuts from his back catalogue and hot new songs from his most recent Soulfire album, he supplied maximum enjoyment to his dedicated fans.
With set opener Sweet Soul Music being belted out by his finely tuned band, Little Steven hit the stage and emptied his lungs into this soul classic.
Easy on the eye, he was glamorously backed up by his three sinuous 70s attired female backing singers.
Covered in purple and black from the paisley bandana on his head to almost his feet, which were hooved in patent leather leopard spot brown boots, Little Steven controlled the stage like an old-school band leader.
Stopping halfway through the opening song, with the band in freeze mode and giving his fearsome Frank Tagliano death stare to the occasional audience member who broke the silence, Little Steven whipped up the hysteria to a frenzy before the band broke back into finishing the song.
It's refreshing to witness a show being presented in the context of an old-school Soul Revue, with all players having their moment to shine on the stage.
The power of the horn section alone shook the floorboards to the rafters in this former BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush.
In fact, the effort put into choreographing the onstage arrangements was a masterclass of how to present a show.
No sampling or drum machines, just top professional musicians blending their artistry together and clearly revelling in every moment.
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Incendiary takes on Soulfire and Lyin' In A Bed Of Fire moved the show quickly through the gears as did the fuel injected energy on Etta James' The Blues Is My Business.
With the vibe pumped up to the max, Southside Johnny songs Love On The Wrong Side Of Town and Some Things Just Don't Change were delivered with the passion of a band locked into a shared love of their repertoire.
It's fair to say that with a high calibre band playing at the top of their game, there comes a show stopping moment during a set when even the players are surprised by their top level of interplay.
This arrived with the funky wah-wah chug of guitar introducing James Browns' blaxploitation ode Down And Out In New York City.
With the backing singers shaking their thing with cool harmonies, all players took their turn to exhibit their musical chops to the wide-eyed delight of this sold out hall.
After being introduced to the stage by Dave Clark at the beginning of the set, guest singer Ali McKenzie from UK 60s band The Birds - which originally included Ronnie Wood - joined the party and hollered hard on Say Those Magic Words.
It is heartening to hear Van Zandt involving his favourite artists and keeping alive their treasured songs.
To prove such, encores including The Beatles Got To Get You Into My Life and U2's Out Of Control, and an earlier fiery take on Gary 'US' Bonds' Standing In The Line Of Fire, sealed the deal on a matchless evening of magnificent rock 'n' soul.
If music is where everybody can find a common ground to share and enjoy their listening tastes, then tonight Little Steven produced a joyous connection to humanity with his Soulfire show.

Today's Tune: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Keep A Little Soul

Today's Tune: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - You and Me (Clubhouse Version)

Family members and band mates salute Tom Petty with 'An American Treasure' 4-CD box set

By Randy Lewis
August 24, 2018

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(Sam Jones)

“Lonesome Dave,” one of 11 previously unreleased recordings among 60 tracks on the forthcoming Tom Petty memorial box set “An American Treasure,” captures much of what made the rock star so special to band mates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench.

“I like that one because it’s so raw,” Heartbreakers lead guitarist and Petty’s frequent songwriting collaborator Campbell said, leaning back into a sofa and occasionally plucking the resonator guitar he’d picked up in his home recording studio in the San Fernando Valley on Thursday.

Tench sat 3 feet away, leaning on the other arm of the well-worn couch. “We had barely learned it at that moment, and we were all laughing about the lyrics.”

The track was recorded in 1993 while Petty was working on his second solo album, “Wildflowers,” but still had the Heartbreakers with him in the studio. Campbell recalls the group discussing the prospect of their next tour together, and someone asked, “Whatever happened to Lonesome Dave?” referring to Dave Peverett, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for English rock band Foghat, a band that famously burned out through relentless touring.

The Heartbreakers agreed that they didn’t want to follow that example, quickly concocting a breakneck rock boogie in the vein of Chuck Berry with a Southern rock slant. Petty spun out lyrics that included the line, “Whatever happened to Lonesome Dave?”

Campbell and Tench remember Petty inventing lyrics in the moment. Tench says, “If you listen to the lyrics all the way through, it’s seamless. That’s the kind of writer he was. … I always say I’m an evangelist for Tom, because I think the world needs to know just how great he was.”

That’s a motivation for Campbell and Tench in collaborating with Petty’s widow, Dana, his daughter, Adria, and recording engineer Ryan Ulyate on a four-CD set slated for Sept. 28 release, four days ahead of the first anniversary of Petty’s death at age 66 from what was ruled to be an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers and other medications.

The compilation includes many of the band’s biggest hits in their original studio versions as well as alternate takes, live performances and demo versions of songs spanning not just the life of the Heartbreakers, which formed in 1976 in Los Angeles, but stretching further back to sample the members’ earlier work together in Gainesville, Fla., as Mudcrutch.

Petty’s record label, Reprise, released a new crowd-sourced video for another of the previously unreleased tracks, “Keep a Little Soul,” which filmmaker, art director and editor Adria Petty oversaw and unveiled Wednesday night to several dozen invited guests at a playback in West Los Angeles of highlights from the box set and a question-answer featuring Campbell, Tench and Ulyate.

The event was held at the Village recording studio, where the Heartbreakers first played together some 42 years earlier.

Adria Petty noted that the recording used home movie footage her father and others shot playfully while on tour in 1980.

“I think it shows the magic of my dad, his personality and his sweetness,” Adria told the about 75 attendees, among them George Harrison’s son, musician Dhani Harrison; Doors lead guitarist Robbie Krieger; Willie Nelson’s guitarist-singer-songwriter son Lukas Nelson; Dana Petty; and Petty’s longtime manager, Tony Dimitriades, among other industry executives and music writers.

Addressing the issue of why certain songs had sat on the shelf for years or even decades, Ulyate said some just didn’t fit within the mood of themes the band wanted to focus on in various albums. Tench and Campbell also pointed to the blessing, and curse, of being in a band with a writer as prolific as Petty.

“We might be working on a song one day and everyone thinks, ‘Yeah, that’s pretty good,’ ” Tench said, “and then Tom might come in the next day with ‘Southern Accents’ or ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ and suddenly we’d go to work on that and never come back to the one we were working on the day before.”

Both praised Ulyate’s contributions for unearthing worthy archival recordings to consider, such as “Surrender,” a song recorded in 1976 while the Heartbreakers were at work on their debut album. Tench and Campbell said they took multiple stabs at it over the next few years and felt at the time they’d never quite nailed it.

“An American Treasure” is being released in multiple configurations, including a super deluxe version with an expanded 84-page hardbound book with additional photos and a lithography of the box set’s cover image by L.A. artist Shepard Fairey, which he created from a photo by Mark Seliger.

Wednesday’s event ended with the premiere of another video, this one crowd-sourced, for the previously unreleased track “You and Me (Clubhouse edition),” featuring Petty, Campbell and Tench in the rehearsal and recording studio the band used extensively in recent years, known as “The Clubhouse.” The video incorporates contributions from fans of their selfies and videos taken at Petty shows over the decades and other fan-supplied visuals.

It’s a stripped-down version of the song that originally appeared on the group’s 2002 album, “The Last DJ,” and it served as a poignant salute to Petty’s fans and to his band mates and what he envisioned as a long future together: “Take a look at what I got / I can’t promise a lot / But you and me and the road ahead.”

Impeachment for Dummies
August 24, 2018

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At the very moment the GNP is humming along at 4.1 percent, the S & P is at record highs, and unemployment is at record lows (for blacks and Hispanics too), the infantile buffoons in the Democratic Party and their mainstream media lackeys are calling so loudly and incessantly for the impeachment of the president you'd have to be on the North Col of Everest not to hear them. And even then you'd have to be wearing the most expensive noise-canceling ear muffs extant.

And of course they are screaming equally loudly, "Russia-Russia-Russia" when anyone with an IQ within spitting distance of triple digits knows the real problem for the USA has been China by roughly 400X for the last decade or longer.

If you're looking for someone to impeach, how about Dianne Feinstein who, we just learned, had a Chinese spy as her chauffeur for twenty years, even while she was chair of the Senate Intel Committee? At virtually the same time — 2010-ish, when Obama was president — close to the entire U.S. spy network in China, several dozen people, were apprehended by the Chinese on their soil in an unprecedented intelligence disaster. Only a few survived. Connection? Perhaps the New York Times or the Washington Post will investigate (as if).

Meanwhile, China, until quite recently and, still to a great extent, had the run of the U.S. higher educational system via thousands of exchange students and their Confucius Institutes. These are the same American universities where professors urge the president's impeachment while promoting the virtues of socialism even though Venezuela, once by far the wealthiest country in Latin America, is imploding at an extraordinary pace with unheard of inflation, banknotes used for toilet paper, because of.... socialism.

And, at the same time, according to polls, our gullible and uneducated (or rather miseducated) college students — attending schools more richly endowed by capitalism than any in history with sushi in the dining halls and hot rock saunas in the gyms — and a majority of equally clueless Democrats, led by Bernie Sanders and a young woman who couldn't find the Middle East on a map, believe that the socialist system is indeed superior to ours.

What's going on here? Is there something in the water? Has the country had a mass lobotomy?

Oh, yes, Donald Trump did the dirty with a porn star ten years ago. Not only that, he paid real dollars to shut her up. Everything else must stop. Forget North Korea. Forget Iran. Forget trade negotiations. Forget our life expectancies declining for the last two years because of fentanyl brought over our porous borders. Stormy Daniels is what's important.

No, it's not. Looked at from further away than six inches it's trivial compared to what's going on in the world. Nothing could be more obvious. Also, nothing could be more obvious than that Donald Trump is the most hated man in this country because he might, just might, be successful as president. They want to bring him down personally because his policies, most of them anyway, are (gasp!) actually working. What if they really work? What if the mullahs fold? What if the NORKs give up their nukes? What if even the Palestinians turn rational? What if the GNP goes to 5 percent or even 8 percent?

All the legalities spewed by all the special counsels and talking heads calling for Trump's head are trivial compared to that. This is not about the law or however you want to define high crimes and misdemeanors. It's about good, old human psychology and that most basic of emotions therein — envy.

My God, that man had it all — porn stars, billions, a reality show... what more does he want? Why did he have to run for president and interfere with "business as usual," because there's nothing and no one more "business as usual" than Hillary Rodham Clinton. You couldn't invent such a person.

No one — no one in his right mind anyway — ever voted for Donald Trump to be head priest or rabbi (not that they're particularly clean). But we live in an age of hypocrisy for which the word hypocrisy itself — what Rochefoucauld once called the homage that vice pays to virtue — is now so weak it's almost as meaningless as racism or racist. We need to invent something new.
But that's for the long term. For the short term, have no fear — the clean-up squad is here: Robert Mueller & Co. The Department of Justice and the special counsel's office move ever closer to the NKVD, or maybe Savonarola or Torquemada, while thinking they're the next best thing to Mother Teresa.

So if there's going to be impeachment, I say bring it on. Destroy the country, if you wish. Create a civil war.

But if you do it, remember to buy the book — Impeachment for Dummies. Or is it Dummies for Impeachment? I think it's the latter.

Roger L. Simon - co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media - is also an author and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Crime and Punishment

August 23, 2018

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Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen

One of the reasons so many people are confused by the operations of our self-appointed fourth branch of government—I mean in this instance the unending, Kafkaesque investigations conducted by Robert Mueller and his crack team of anti-Trump shock troops—is that while we have seen plenty of punishment meted out, crimes have been rather less populous on the ground.

Yes, I understand that Paul Manafort has been nabbed for tax evasion and bank fraud, and that he now faces additional charges in yet another court. One of the nice things about our modern prosecutors is their handy multiplication machine that takes what is essentially one crime and gins it up into dozens or even hundreds of counts. Presto! You’re facing 18 counts, peasant—try beating that!
The point is, when you have carte-blanche to torment someone, why stop when you’ve got him locked up for life? Like a cat toying with an injured mouse, the modern major prosecutor keeps batting his prey about till he stops moving altogether. What might have been justice for a serial killer is gleefully applied to someone who fudged his tax returns or tripped over himself answering an FBI agent. Then we have sadism, not justice.
When it comes to our legal system, they say that the process is the punishment. But that leaves out the other side of the equation: that for the system, for wretched power-drunk commissars like Robert Mueller, the process, because of the punishment, is all the fun. They enjoy tormenting people.
But the thing that makes this long-running entertainment so confusing for most of us is that none of the crimes we’ve seen so far have anything to do with the title of the show.
Remember: we crowded into the theater to see “The Great Russian Collusion Drama.” But all of the skits we’ve seen so far—from Manafort’s and Michael Cohen’s tax evasions all the way down to whatever it is that Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos are supposed to have done—are like warm-up acts. Russian dressing might be slathered over the salad—everyone knows that in this election, as in previous U.S. elections, the Russians meddled and endeavored to sow discord. (And of course, we do the same thing: just ask the Brits or the Israelis.)
But the main course—evidence that Donald Trump “colluded” with the Russians to affect the outcome of the election—about that there has been a Godot-like absence in the very center of the narrative.
What’s the Reason for All This?
As many wits noted back when the the Russian Collusion Investigation was in its early decades—I mean, its early months—this was a Russia investigation with no Russians. We had Flynn and youngsters like Papadopoulos entrapped by the FBI, but for what people call “process crimes,” i.e., more process than crime.
Stepping back from the details of this expensive, divisiveness-spreading machine that is the Mueller Investigation, what is the central crime being investigated? What is the raison d’être of this beltway spectacular?
Oyez, oyez, oyez: I am now in a position to answer these questions. Drum roll, please!
The crime at the center of this deep-state initiative is the election of Donald Trump. The tort? He was elected without the permission of the ruling class, its jesters and its scribes and moralists. Pete Wehner does not approve of Donald Trump. Bill Kristol thinks he is infra-dig. Psychiatrists are still trying to figure out what Mad Max Boot and Jabbering John Brennan think.
But this, Ladies and Gentlemen (and unlike the MTA and the London Tube, we still use the phrase “Ladies and Gentlemen” here), this is the crime: Donald Trump was elected. That’s it. That’s the crime. It’s not in the statute books, but a little thing like that never stopped a diligent bureaucrat, especially one armed with a phalanx of partisan prosecutors and an unlimited budget.
Image result for robert muellerRobert Mueller
So, the next time you see Robert Mueller indict a ham sandwich or order a pre-dawn, guns-drawn raid on your Aunt Millie, remember: it’s not personal (or maybe, as Daisy Buchanan says in The Great Gatsby, “It’s only personal”). In Mueller’s twisted mind, there is or might be some connection between the ham sandwich or your Aunt Millie and Donald Trump. By squeezing them, he hopes, he can finally achieve his goal, which is to remove this president from office.
Getting Donald Trump is the point of this entire sordid “investigation.” (It has a subsidiary goal of distracting attention from the only real Russian collusion in the 2016 election, that between the Clinton campaign, Fusion GPS, and Christopher Steele on one side and dubious Russian sources “close to the Kremlin” on the other, but that really is just a collateral benefit to team Mueller.)
Impeachment Is the Goal
As many commentators have observed—and none more eloquently or with stronger legal acumen than Andrew McCarthy, who has been terrier-like in his dissection of this whole sorry saga—this investigation is primarily about impeachment.
Once that is understood, the mists clear and we know where we are with this baroque phantasmagoria of an investigation.
Think about this: not one of the people indicted by this wholesale indictment factory, not one, would have been indicted had Mueller not thought him a possible conduit to the president. How’s that for guilt by association?
In practical terms, it means that the president has to approach the midterms not state-by-state but nationally. The midterms are a referendum of the 2016 election. The president needs to go to the people and ask: was your vote in 2016 legitimate?
He should say: “I promised you judges who would interpret the law, not seek to make the law, stronger borders, tax cuts, economic growth, low unemployment, a stronger military, and a more rational, less intrusive regulatory environment. I have delivered on those things as much as Congress would allow me. Do you want more of that or do you want tax hikes, weaker borders, and more regulation? Do you want more Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Nancy Pelosi or Brett Kavanaugh and Mike Pompeo? That’s your choice in November.”
The Pardon Play
A nonpartisan friend (he did not vote for Trump or Hillary) wrote me with another bit of practical advice for the president. Reflecting on the vindictive, death-by-a-thousand-cuts procedure of Robert Mueller, he noted that the president could “avoid this form of slow water torture by simply pardoning Manafort and anyone else who has gotten in Mueller’s sights. I can,” he said, “right now write the presidential statement”:
I am now pardoning Paul Manafort and everyone else who has come within the gun sights of the special counsel. These individuals have fallen into jeopardy entirely because of their association with me, my campaign, my business, my family, and so forth. None of them would be in such trouble but for the fact that they are seen by Mr. Mueller as stepping stones in his quest to get me.
Rather than wait until the end of the process, I have decided to pardon everyone now, because the enormous distraction caused by the Mueller investigations threatens to distract the nation from attending to crucial business in a very dangerous world. This is a fight between Mr. Mueller and me, not between Mr. Manafort, nor anyone else, and Mr. Mueller. I signed the pardon papers this morning.
Having now pardoned all of Mr. Mueller’s targets, I invite him to file a report with the House of Representatives, recommending my impeachment. The House, and, if articles of impeachment are voted by the House, then the Senate sitting as my jury, are the proper arena for this battle.
This is a political, not a legal battle. I am prepared to wage that political battle within the House and the Senate in an impeachment context, and before the American people in the next presidential election, in which, I hereby announce, I intend to run for a second term. Let the American people have their say.
Neither Don Lemon nor Rachel Maddow nor their many confrères in the media would like this. Indeed, it would drive them, if possible, to further frenzies. But, hey, in for a penny, in for a pound. If, as I say, Donald Trump’s crime was simply being elected, such a forthright expedient might be just the ticket.
After somehow managing to get elected, Donald Trump’s biggest crime has been fighting back against his enemies. They are not used to a president who gives as good as he gets. They’re used to having a monopoly on calling people unpleasant names and acting like dyspeptic toddlers. Donald Trump has had the temerity to repay them in kind. How dare he! Robert Mueller has been about impeachment all along. Bring it on, and let’s see what happens.

You want to talk about separating families? Let's talk about Mollie Tibbetts.

August 23, 2018
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Go and play your word games and tell me about the cruelty of borders, the kindness of sanctuary cities and the political wisdom of abolishing ICE.
Tell me about government’s lack of compassion, and of the heartbreak of families separated from each other through broken immigration policy.
Tell me how racist it is, how cruel it is to think that a nation should control its own borders and stop, rather than reward, illegal immigration.
And then tell me about Mollie Tibbetts.
The 20-year-old University of Iowa student was separated from her family too.
She was separated from those she loved a month ago, when she went jogging near her home near Des Moines. Her accused killer, Cristhian Bahena Rivera, authorities said, was in the country illegally. He worked at a large dairy farm owned by a prominent Iowa Republican.
His lawyers, seeking a gag order in the case, insist Rivera is here legally. The truth will eventually come out, as well as the circumstances of her death, with an autopsy to be performed.

Investigators said her alleged killer stalked her, approached her, then said he blacked out and couldn’t remember much. But he remembered enough to help police find her body in a cornfield.
And ever since, Mollie Tibbetts has been pulled at by politics.
Democrats who want the Latino vote ignore her or they pivot, smoothly, making their pitch for “compassionate” immigration policy and attacking President Donald Trump.
Republicans who are pushing stronger border control use her as an emotional symbol. Republicans whose agribusiness political contributors want cheap labor for their packing houses and their farms avoid her, as if she was never here.
Apparently, they really don’t mind a few dead Americans if they can keep to their political talking points.
And Trump, who rode to the White House by tapping into a real, desperate and bipartisan American desire to stop illegal immigration, disfigures the debate. He exaggerates the threat of crime by those in the country illegally, making it seem as if they’re driving a violent national crime spree when statistics say otherwise.
But victims of violent immigrants here illegally are more than mere statistics or a point from which to pivot and attack.
They’re more than broken eggs in the political policy wars.
They were real people. They lived real lives. They were loved. They were daughters and sons and husbands and wives. And they are dead, the result of immigration policy and partisan politics.
Because if we actually did something about illegal immigration, rather than shout at each other and play politics, Mollie Tibbetts would be alive today.
She’d be alive like so many others would be alive.
Kate Steinle would be alive. She wouldn’t have died while walking along a pier in San Francisco with her father when a habitual criminal here illegally fired a gun. He claimed it was all an accident and was acquitted of murder.
“Help me, Dad,” were her last words.
We don’t know the last words of Dennis McCann of Chicago. But he’d be alive too.
Instead, McCann was dragged to his death under a car driven by a drunk in Chicago in 2012. McCann was hit so hard that his shoes were left on the pavement. The rest of him was pulled a half-mile under the car along Logan Boulevard.
The drunk was jailed and charged, but under an allegedly compassionate policy pushed by Cook County Democrats pandering for Latino votes, the driver, Saul Chavez, was not held for pickup by federal immigration authorities.
He was compassionately allowed to make bail. And once out on the street, Saul Chavez fled back home to Mexico. And there were no real answers for McCann’s horrified and stunned family.
All they were given were vague, political regrets and mind-numbing Democratic Party talk by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle about process and writs. Preckwinkle’s a powerful political boss. McCann is dead. Chavez is gone.
So please, tell me about political cruelty.
Trump vaulted to the top of the Republican presidential pile by targeting illegal immigration. The Republican establishment was not pleased. And Democrats campaigning against Trump use his exaggerations as reason to avoid victims like Tibbetts.
Or step over them quickly, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and presumptive candidate for president, did on CNN the other day.
“I’m so sorry for the family here and I know this is hard not only for her family but for the people in her community, the people throughout Iowa,” Warren said.
Warren will go through Iowa next year and eat corn and talk about close-knit families and demonstrate warmth as she campaigns in what her aides will call “the heartland.” She might pick up a pork chop and pose in farm clothes next to a bale of hay.
But she stepped over Mollie Tibbets and then it was time for her pivot, a pivot that was ruthless as it was obvious in its cynicism.
“Last month, I went down to the border and I saw where children had been taken away from their mothers,” Warren said on CNN. “I met with those mothers — who had been lied to, who didn’t know where their children were, who didn’t have a chance to talk to their children. And there was no plan for how they would be reunified with their children.”
Sen. Warren, isn’t that horrifying, parents not knowing the whereabouts of their children, not having a chance to say goodbye?
Like the parents of Mollie Tibbetts, after their daughter went out for a run, never to come home.
Listen to "The Chicago Way" podcast with John Kass and Jeff Carlin —
Twitter @John_Kass

More Muslim Candidates for Political Office

By Janet Levy
August 23, 2018

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According to an Associated Press report issued in July this yearclose to 100 Muslims filed to run for federal or state offices in the current election cycle, and nearly half made it through to the primaries.  Meanwhile, numerous other Muslim candidates are campaigning for seats on local planning commissions, school boards, library committees, and other positions of influence at the county and city levels.

The proliferation of Muslim candidates may appear to some as positive and benign participation in American democracy by an emerging minority, but it cannot be denied that a Muslim plan to usurp American democracy has existed for decades.  Careful scrutiny of this new wave of Muslim candidates yields a number with questionable backgrounds, motivations, and support groups, whose motives may be to implement the plan.

The plan to infiltrate and take over American democracy is explained in a 1987 strategic document, "An Explanatory Memorandum," written and approved by the Muslim Brotherhood, a political organization with ties to the fundamentalist terrorist organization Hamas.  The Muslim Brotherhood has itself been designated a terrorist organization by seven nations, including Egypt, where the Brotherhood began in 1928.  The memorandum calls for the elimination of the U.S. Constitution and its replacement with an Islamic government under sharia law.  It spells out its "process of settlement" as a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within.  It calls for the establishment of political organizations designed to train and promote the Muslim Brotherhood goal of establishing the Quran as the sole authority for the Muslim family, individual, community, and state.

Several organizations – primed specifically to assist, support, and increase the number of U.S Muslim candidates for office – are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  They include the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), Project Mobilize, Jetpac Inc., and Emgage.

The USCMO, a political party for Muslims and the first religion-based political party in U.S. history, formalized its commitment to Muslim candidates at its founding in 2014.  Conspicuously absent from the USCMO website are references to U.S. laws or a pledge to uphold the Constitution.  Instead, featured prominently is this statement: "The Council places premium importance on defining the common good based on the Quran and the model of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), and coordinating a cooperative striving among Muslims and their institutions to implement that common good in American society."

Further, the USCMO website explains that it will implement this mission by:
  • "Promoting Islam's core universal principles to benefit American society,"
  • "Reviving Islamic scholarship that helps guide the American Muslim community through its tests and strivings[.]"
  • "Harnessing the imaginative energy of Muslims and their organizations, reconnecting it with our heritage of inspired knowledge and putting this to work with the good will of the Muslim community for the betterment of both our community and American society."
Project Mobilize, a USCMO precursor, stated on its website, "And finally, the political climate is ripe for an organization that will pave the way for concentrated advocacy efforts in the name of the Muslim American community."  It is dedicated to the political advancement of the Muslim-American community at the local, state, and federal levels.

Jetpac, an organization "committed to empowering American Muslims in the democratic process," laments the "lack of political representation," "discriminatory policies," "Islamophobic rhetoric," and an alleged "600% increase in hate crimes against American Muslims since 2014."  It provides a six-week political consultancy program on campaigning, mobilizing local support, countering Islamophobic attacks, and securing resources.

Emgage's mission is to promote the political careers of "engaged Muslims."  It was formerly known as Emerge USA, founded and led today by alumni from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has ties to Hamas.  Emgage got its start raising campaign funds for former Democratic representative Keith Ellison, who supported racist and anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, worked on behalf of Nation of Islam, and received political contributions by CAIR officials.  Emgage has held events at terror-linked mosques and seeks to "create an infrastructure of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Americans who are empowered and can directly impact public policy."

These organizations are plainly dedicated not to American principles of democracy, but to Muslim ideals.  Meanwhile, some of the recent Muslim candidates also hold questionable allegiances and motivations, specifically a Florida attorney general candidate and congressional candidates for Michigan and Minnesota.

Amira Dajani, a GOP candidate running for Florida attorney general under the name "Amy Fox," was recently discovered to be part of a family with deep ties to the PLO, a terrorist group pledged to destroy Israel and led from 1969 to 2004 by Yasser Arafat, the father of modern terrorism.  Dajani's father wrote an anti-Israel, anti-Jewish book and dedicated it to his daughter.  He advocates Israel's destruction and, contrary to reality, accuses the Jewish State of using Arabs as human shields.  The uncle of Dajani, AKA Fox, has served in high-level PLO leadership positions.  Thus far, the candidate has been mum about the activities of her father and uncle.

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Chris Crowley and Amira Dajani

Dajani's background was revealed this month by her opponent, Gulf War veteran Chris Crowley, who objected to the media's failure to question Ms. Dajani about her family affiliations and her opinion of her father's writings.  Crowley was subsequently arrested Aug. 6 and briefly incarcerated for an unwitting campaign violation – accepting $670 raised from a raffle, which is considered a lottery and is illegal.  He accused Dajani of instigating the arrest in reprisal for his raising serious concerns about her background.

In the Midwest, two Democratic congressional candidates have been endorsed by Emgage USA: Ilhan Omar, seeking Minnesota's 5th District seat, and Rashid Tlaib, running for Michigan's 13th District post.  The two women have also been endorsed by sharia advocate and anti-American, anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood operative Linda Sarsour, who has spoken in support of al-Qaeda, been instrumental in curtailing critical NYPD counter-terrorism measures, and called for a jihad against President Trump.  Sarsour refers to Siraj Wahhaj, unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, as a mentor. 

Somali Muslim refugee Ilhan Omar, who verbally attacked America as a hateful, bigoted country, served in the Minnesota House of Representatives.  During her term of office, she voted against a state bill to terminate insurance payments for individuals who commit or aid terrorist attacks against Americans.  In addition, she opposed a state bill that would have made the Islamic practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) a felony and included provisions to penalize parents who perform the procedure on their children.  Omar is vehemently anti-Israel; supports the Hamas-inspired initiative to boycott, divest from, and sanction (BDS) Israel; and has referred to the Jewish State as an "apartheid regime."  She has been a featured speaker at CAIR events and received honorariums from several of their state chapters.  Although she has denied allegations that she committed bigamy and immigration fraud by marrying her brother, ample evidence exists that this is the case.  She may also have committed perjury by attesting in family court in 2017 that she had not seen her second husband for six years, a statement belied by a personal Instagram photo, since removed from her account when her marital history became an issue.

Rashida Tlaib, the Michigan congressional candidate, is the daughter of Arab-Palestinian immigrants.  She recently called for a one-state solution and subsequently lost the endorsement last week of J Street, a radical, George Soros-funded organization highly critical of Israel.  Tlaib supports the BDS movement and the cutting of U.S. military aid to Israel.  Although she derides Israel for promoting injustice, she has remained mute on the issue of continuing aid to Muslim-majority countries that discriminate against Christians and Jews.

In 2008, Tlaib was the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan state legislature.  She criticized Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) for meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Tlaib accused of "racism."  In addition, she supported convicted Arab-Palestinian terrorist Rasmeah Odeh in her bid to fight deportation after Odeh lied to U.S. immigration officials about her involvement with Hamas.  In 2014, Tlaib served on a panel, "The Outer Dimensions of Zakat," at the 51st annual Islamic Society of North America conference and was as a keynote speaker for CAIR Los Angeles on the topic of "Islamophobia."  She plans to propose civil rights legislation to file punitive lawsuits based on disparate impact, without requiring proof of racial bias or ill intent.

As can be seen by just this short review of only a handful of candidates, enough questions and doubts exist to compel close scrutiny of all Muslim candidates who are seeking to break through as American political "firsts."  Without a close examination, our political process and systems could be infiltrated with increasing numbers of Muslim candidates of questionable background and motivation who will follow the insidious civilizational jihad according to plan and at a dizzying pace.   

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

The President in a Vise

Editorial of The New York Sun
August 21, 2018

Image result for trump manafort cohen
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump and Paul Manafort

From President Trump’s point of view, it will be hard to put the gloss on the developments today in federal criminal court. First came news that the president’s erstwhile personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, would be pleading guilty, albeit without an obligation to turn state’s evidence. Then came news of a jury’s conviction of Mr. Trump’s erstwhile campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, on eight counts, albeit crimes unrelated to the president. The crimes of both are felonies.

Yet if we were the judge — a stretch to be sure — we would reject the guilty plea in the one matter that intimately threatens Mr. Trump’s presidency. That is Michael Cohen’s claim that his role in arranging to pay so-called hush money to Stormy Daniels and another woman amounts to a violation of campaign finance law. That, at least to us, is by no means clear. If the law bars such payments, it’s probably unconstitutional. Americans deserve to have it tried in court.

Particularly because Cohen’s plea puts the President in a terrible box. Cohen, after all, is pleading in court that it was at Mr. Trump’s direction that he paid for the settlements with the two women who say they had affairs with Mr. Trump and won financial settlements from him. Yet by cutting a deal with the prosecutors, Cohen a) stipulates that what he did was against the law and b) denies his ex-client the chance to contest his allegations in an adversarial proceeding.

The Bard himself couldn’t have come up with such a plot. It features the fact that the president’s erstwhile lawyer is now being represented by, in Lanny Davis, a long-time friend and adviser to the candidate Mr. Trump defeated for president. Feature how the New York Times frames the situation. It notes Cohen’s plea agreement “does not call for him to cooperate with federal prosecutors in Manhattan,” but neither does it “preclude” him from singing to Robert Mueller.

Mr. Mueller is now going to use the prospect of a long sentence to wrest Manafort’s cooperation in the case against President Trump. We have that on no less authority than the presiding judge in the Manafort trial, T.S. Ellis III, who warned early on that the prosecution was trying to squeeze Manafort to turn against the president whose campaign he chaired. So Mr. Trump will soon be in an unprecedented vise, as the world grows more dangerous by the hour.

This is why the Wall Street Journal was so prescient when it said Mr. Trump should have fired James Comey on his first day in office. It is why we have been saying that Mr. Trump should have put a stop to the special prosecutor the day he was named. It is why we have encouraged him to use every one of the powers — including commissioning prosecutors and the pardon — that are granted to him in the Constitution he swore to preserve, protect, and defend.

What needs to be kept in mind at every stage is that this whole investigation is not about Russian meddling. Everyone agrees that they did it and it was wrong. No one needs a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of that. This is part of an effort by the Democrats and their collaborators to overturn a presidential election that they thought they would win. No crime of which either Paul Manafort or Michael Cohen was pronounced guilty today is as foul as the campaign underway to foil the decision of the American people.