Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy Friday, Everybody!

Good Morning,
It has been a while since I have posted on my blog. That is, sometimes, the life of a very busy person. I will keep it short, since I have to be up, in a few hours, to head into work. Thank you, Joyce, and other who have posted.

I am currently second in command at my job, and have been for almost a year. I am the type that does both administrative duties and cover a post, at least five days a week. I am a Lieutenant for a security company, earning the title in July, 2016. I have been with such since 2014. Regardless of the uniform that I wear, I give it my best effort day in, day out. That is how I was raised, and that is how I approach each day at work. My hard work has paid off, as I have earned an award from the owner. I plan to use part of it towards going to a dinner show in December. It is a nice way to celebrate the spirit of the holiday season, in my opinion.

Speaking of uniform, Veterans Day is this weekend. If you know someone who has served or is serving, take a moment to shake their hand; or, at least, say "Thank you!" Many are humble in regards to talk about it, but I know that they will appreciate the gratitude extended. I know that Wawa is offering free coffee to all veterans on Saturday, November 11. It's the little things that count.

I will let you go here. Take care, and Blessings on your day. Happy Friday, everybody!


Bill P.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Clinton cover-up, brought to you by the same guys who are investigating Trump By Gregg Jarrett

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/10/18/gregg-jarrett-clinton-cover-up-brought-to-by-same-guys-who-are-investigating-trump.html
October 18, 2017

Damning new evidence appears to show that Hillary Clinton used her office as Secretary of State to confer benefits to Russia in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband. 

But there’s more.  It seems it was all covered up for years by the same three people who are now involved in the investigation of President Donald Trump over so-called Russian “collusion.”

The incriminating evidence was uncovered by The Hill (John Solomon and Alison Spann) and Circa News (Sara Carter).  Their dogged reporting reveals that the FBI gathered a multitude of documents, secret recordings, intercepted emails, financial records, and eyewitnesses accounts showing that Russian nuclear officials directed millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill Clinton during the very time that Hillary Clinton presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia. 

The corrupt scheme is said to have been financed by the Russians through bribes, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.  The FBI and the Department of Justice reportedly had the evidence in their possession before the uranium sale, but kept the matter secret and never notified Congress which would surely have stopped the transfer of uranium to Russia.  

Indeed, the entire sordid affair remained hidden for seven long years.  Until now.

Clinton Corruption and Racketeering?

It is a crime to use a public office to confer a benefit to a foreign government in exchange for money.  It is often referred to as “pay-to-play,” but it can be prosecuted under a variety of anti-corruption laws passed by Congress, including the federal bribery statute (18 USC 201-b), the federal gratuity statute (18 USC 201-c), the mail fraud statute (18 USC 1341), the wire fraud statute (18 USC 1343), the program bribery statute (18 USC 666), and the Travel Act (18 USC 1952).

If the evidence is as compelling as reported, a second special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether Hillary Clinton and others should be indicted for crimes of corruption.

The FBI evidence, if true, would seem to show that one or more of these illegal “pay-to-play” laws were broken.  The government would have to prove that Hillary and Bill got paid, while the Russians got to play.  And prosecutors are required to show a “quid pro quo” or “nexus” between the payments and the benefit provided.  But it appears that the FBI already possesses all the evidence it needs to make a compelling case.

If Hillary leveraged her public office as Secretary of State for personal enrichment, but also used her charity as a receptacle or conduit for money obtained illegally, that would also constitute racketeering, as I first argued in a column almost a year ago.

Racketeering is the use of a business for a corrupt and illegal enterprise.  The “Mafia” and other organized crime syndicates are often prosecuted under the “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act” or “RICO” (18 USC 1961-1968).  Frequently, they devise a dual purpose company –one which operates lawfully from the front door, but unlawfully out the back door. 

There is little doubt the Clinton Foundation operated as a charity.  But if the FBI documents demonstrate that there was a secondary, hidden purpose devoted to self-dealing and personal enrichment, then prosecution could be pursued against Clinton for racketeering.

According to the Associated Press, more than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she served as secretary of state donated money to her foundation.  If Clinton was peddling access, was she also peddling influence?  Again, the reported FBI documents seem to answer that question.

But why has there been no prosecution of Clinton?  Why did the FBI and the Department of Justice during the Obama administration keep the evidence secret?  Was it concealed to prevent a scandal that would poison Barack Obama’s presidency?  Was Hillary Clinton being protected in her quest to succeed him? 

The answer may lie with the people who were in charge of the investigation and who knew of its explosive impact.   Who are they?

Holder, Mueller, Comey & Rosenstein

Eric Holder was the Attorney General when the FBI began uncovering the Russian corruption scheme in 2009.  Since the FBI reports to him, he surely knew what the bureau had uncovered.

What’s more, Holder was a member of the “Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States” which approved the uranium sale to the Russians in 2010.  Since the vote was unanimous, it appears Holder knowingly and deliberately countenanced a deal that was based on illegal activities and which gave Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium assets.

It gets worse.  Robert Mueller was the FBI Director during the time of the Russian uranium probe, and so was his successor James Comey who took over in 2013 as the FBI was still developing the case.  Rod Rosenstein, then-U.S. Attorney, was supervising the case.  There is no indication that any of these men ever told Congress of all the incriminating evidence they had discovered and the connection to Clinton.  The entire matter was kept secret from the American public.

It may be no coincidence that Mueller (now special counsel) and Rosenstein (now Deputy Attorney General) are the two top people currently investigating whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.  Mueller reports to Rosenstein, while Comey is a key witness in the case. 

It is not unreasonable to conclude that Mueller, Rosenstein and Comey may have covered up potential crimes involving Clinton and Russia, but are now determined to find some evidence that Trump “colluded” with Russia. 

If this is true, Mueller and Rosenstein should immediately recuse themselves from the case.  How can Americans have confidence in the outcome of the Trump-Russia matter if the integrity and impartiality of the lead investigators has been compromised by their suspected cover-up of the Clinton-Russia case?

And, if the evidence is as compelling as reported, a second special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether Hillary Clinton and others should be indicted for crimes of corruption. 

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News legal analyst and former defense attorney.


Still no evidence of Trump-Russia 'collusion' - but Hillary is a different matter By Gregg Jarrett

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/10/30/gregg-jarrett-still-no-evidence-trump-russia-collusion-but-hillary-is-different-matter.html

October 30, 2017

Over the weekend, the mainstream media was absolutely giddy with delight upon learning there would be an indictment by special counsel, Robert Mueller.  

This was proof positive, they insisted, that Trump “colluded” with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.  Their exuberance was the equivalent of a two day-long tailgate party. Too bad it was premature. 

Manafort & Gates

The celebration came to a crashing end when the indictments of Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, were unsealed Monday morning.  It turns out the charges are, basically, a tax fraud case.  The two men stand accused of hiding their income from their lobbying work for Ukraine in order to avoid paying taxes, then lying about it.  That’s it.

The 31-page indictment makes no mention of Trump or Russia or “collusion.”  The media seemed as dejected as a kid who wakes up on Christmas morning, only to find there are no presents under the tree.  Gee whiz.  

The truth is, it should have come as no surprise to anyone, much less the media, that Manafort was in legal jeopardy for his business dealings.  The FBI raided his home over the summer.  It was later learned that the FBI wiretapped his conversations as far back as 2014.  And it was widely reported that Manafort had been told by Mueller’s team that he would be criminally charged.

It could be said that Hillary Clinton is the one who was conspiring with the Russians by breaking campaign finance laws with impunity.

The media became even more dispirited when they read through the indictment, discovering that nearly all of Manafort’s alleged wrongdoing substantially pre-dates his brief stint as chairman of the Trump campaign.  In other words, there is no connection to either Trump or his campaign. 

Somewhere, I’m sure, ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Van Jones were crying.  Again.  Just like the tears they shed on camera election night when Hillary lost. 

Papadopoulos

But wait.  Shortly after the indictments were unsealed, the media’s spirits were suddenly boosted when the special counsel revealed that a former adviser to Trump pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian national during his time on the Trump campaign.  Surely this was evidence of illegal “collusion,” right?

Wrong.  George Papadopoulos pled guilty to a single charge of making a false statement to the FBI.  He was not charged with so-called “collusion” because no such crime exists in American statutory law, except in anti-trust matters.  It has no application to elections and political campaigns.

It is not a crime to talk to a Russian. Not that the media would ever understand that.  They have never managed to point to a single statute that makes “colluding” with a foreign government in a political campaign a crime, likely because it does not exist in the criminal codes.

To put it plainly, Mueller is tasked with finding a crime that does not exist in the law. It is a legal impossibility. He is being asked to do something that is manifestly unattainable.

But that did not stop them from accusing Donald Trump, Jr., of illegally conspiring with the Russians when he met with a Russian lawyer to obtain information on Hillary Clinton.  What law did he break?  None.  The Federal Election Commission has made it clear that it is perfectly lawful for foreign nationals to be involved in campaigns, as long as they are not paid and do not donate money.  Which brings us to Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton

It is against the law for the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to funnel millions of dollars to a British spy and to Russian sources in order to obtain the infamous and discredited Trump “dossier.”  The Federal Election Campaign Act (52 USC 30101) prohibits foreign nationals and governments from giving or receiving money in U.S. campaigns.  It also prohibits the filing of false or misleading campaign reports to hide the true purpose of the money (52 USC 30121).  This is what Clinton and the DNC appear to have done.

Most often the penalty for violating this law is a fine, but in egregious cases, like this one, criminal prosecutions have been sought and convictions obtained.  In this sense, it could be said that Hillary Clinton is the one who was conspiring with the Russians by breaking campaign finance laws with impunity.

But that’s not all.  Damning new evidence appears to show that Clinton used her office as Secretary of State to confer benefits to Russia in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband.  Secret recordings, intercepted emails, financial records, and eyewitness accounts allegedly show that Russian nuclear officials enriched the Clintons at the very time Hillary presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia. 

If this proves to be a corrupt “pay-to-play” scheme, it would constitute a myriad of crimes, including bribery (18 USC 201-b), mail fraud (18 USC 1341), and wire fraud (18 USC 1343).  It might also qualify for racketeering charges (18 USC 1961-1968), if her foundation is determined to have been used as a criminal enterprise. 

Despite all the incriminating evidence, Clinton has managed to avoid being pursued by a special counsel.  Trump, on the other hand, is being chased by Robert Mueller and his team, notwithstanding a dearth of evidence. 

Robert Mueller

The indictments of Manafort and Gates now present a unique opportunity to challenge the authority of the special counsel. 

Until now, no one had legal “standing” to argue in court that the appointment of Mueller was illegal.  The criminal charges change all that.  The two defendants will be able to argue before a judge that Mueller’s appointment by Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein violated the special counsel law. 

As I pointed out in a column last May, the law (28 CFR 600) grants legal authority to appoint a special counsel to investigate crimes.  Only crimes.  He has limited jurisdiction.  Yet, in his order appointing Mueller as special counsel (Order No. 3915-2017), Rosenstein directed him to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”   It fails to identify any specific crimes, likely because none are applicable. 

To put it plainly, Mueller is tasked with finding a crime that does not exist in the law.  It is a legal impossibility.  He is being asked to do something that is manifestly unattainable. 

If the federal judge agrees, Mueller and his team would be disbanded by judicial order.  The Department of Justice would have to seek a new indictment of Manafort and Gates without the special counsel or drop the case entirely. 

The naming of Robert Mueller was tainted with disqualifying conflicts of interest from the beginning.  Fired FBI Director James Comey admitted he leaked presidential memos to the media for the sole purpose of triggering the appointment of a special counsel who just happens to be Comey’s longtime friend, ally and partner. 

It is no coincidence that Rosenstein appointed Mueller.  We now know both men were overseeing the corrupt Uranium One sale which involved Russian bribes, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering.  They appear to have kept it secret, even hiding it from Congress which would surely have cancelled the transaction involving a vital national security asset.  A cover-up?  It has the stench of one. 

How can Americans have confidence in the outcome of the Trump-Russia matter if the integrity and impartiality of Mueller and Rosenstein has been compromised by their suspected cover-up of the Clinton-Russia case?   Both men should resign. 

And a new special counsel should be appointed – this time to investigate Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump.   

Gregg Jarrett joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and is based in New York. He currently serves as legal analyst and offers commentary across both FNC and FOX Business Network (FBN).


Hillary Clinton's scheme in 'rigging' the nomination may have been criminal By Gregg Jarrett

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/11/03/gregg-jarrett-hillary-clintons-scheme-in-rigging-nomination-may-have-been-criminal.html

November 3, 2017

Hillary Clinton has spent a year crying about how the presidency was stolen from her. Turns out, she stole the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.

The stunning revelation from former Democratic National Committee interim chairperson Donna Brazile that Clinton secretly rigged the primary process by commandeering the DNC should come as no surprise to anyone. Clinton is nothing, if not unethical and corrupt. She always has been. This is precisely why pre-election polls consistently showed that a majority of Americans found her dishonest and untrustworthy.

The critical question now is whether she committed crimes in her theft of the nomination. 

The Scheme

According to Brazile, the DNC went broke under the leadership of Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. This dire circumstance presented a perfect scenario for Clinton to seize command of the party apparatus by paying off its debt of roughly $20 million dollars. But in exchange, the DNC executed a written, albeit hidden, agreement transferring to Clinton the committee’s finances, strategy, and money raised -- all to the benefit of Clinton and to the detriment of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her primary opponent.

Even more deceptions and money shuffling ensued. It was a clever and complicated stratagem, but here is the simple version. During Clinton’s joint fundraising events with the DNC and state parties held across the nation, more than $82 million was raised. The states immediately kicked back nearly all of their share to the DNC which, in turn, kicked back their share and the states’ share to Clinton’s campaign.

With Clinton in control of the Democratic party’s staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, mailings and money, she was able to overcome the serious primary challenge by Sanders in securing the nomination. The DNC, which was supposed to remain neutral, had been neutered by Clinton. It devolved into nothing more than a willing accessory to a devious scheme for Clinton’s campaign to get rich at the expense of Sanders. 

There appears to be little doubt that Clinton rigged the election process. It was so unconscionable and unprincipled, that Brazile’s discovery of the incriminating document left her in tears. So she says.     

Clinton Crimes?

The Federal Election Commission must immediately launch an investigation. So, too, must the Department of Justice and the FBI. It appears that Clinton may well have violated several laws which could constitute serious crimes. 

First, federal law sets strict limits on campaign contributions.  Financial records must now be subpoenaed to determine whether these laws were broken. Given Clinton’s past record of shady transactions such as the Whitewater land deal and her sale of cattle futures, there is a strong chance that a document trail will lead investigators to multiple violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act. 

Second, if Brazile’s account of Clinton’s artifice is true, it is likely that campaign finance reporting laws were broken under the same Act. Hiding campaign money through false or misleading campaign reports is illegal. In egregious cases it is a crime, not just a civil penalty.    

Finally, the funneling of campaign funds from one source to another smacks of money laundering. Any transaction that seeks to conceal or disguise proceeds of illegal activity constitutes money laundering. So, if it can be shown that Clinton violated campaign contribution limits or reporting requirements, then the channeling of the proceeds from one source to another would be the “laundering” of it.

Second Special Counsel

Clinton and her campaign are already suspected of playing a pivotal role in violating federal law by paying a substantial amount of money to a British spy and Russian government sources in order to obtain the infamous and discredited Trump “dossier”.  Talking to a Russian in a campaign is not a crime, but paying money to one as part of a political campaign is a crime.     

There is also evidence Clinton used her public office to confer a benefit to the Russian government in exchange for millions of dollars in donations to her foundation and cash to her husband. If the Clintons were enriched at the very time Hillary presided over a governing body which unanimously approved the sale of one-fifth of America’s uranium supply to Russia, it would amount to a violation of seven criminal statutes, including racketeering. 

Yet, despite calls by the House Judiciary Committee and others on Capitol Hill for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel, he has taken no action whatsoever. Perhaps this is because he recused himself from any matter related to Hillary Clinton during his confirmation hearing in January. 

This, however, would not legally prevent him from appointing a special counsel to handle the investigation. But it does underscore that Sessions has become so compromised on so many disqualifying matters of vital public interest, including the Trump-Russia case, that he can no longer serve in an able capacity.

As I have written before, Sessions should resign, but not before appointing a special counsel.

It is clear from President Trump’s many comments over the last several months that he has lost all confidence in his attorney general. It is time for him to go.   

Hillary Clinton has bemoaned for months that the presidential election was stolen from her and that Donald Trump “colluded” with the Russians. As with many thing in Clinton’s mind, she has it backwards.    

Evidence continues to mount that it was Clinton who may have conspired with the Russians, while also rigging the primary election process to hand herself the Democratic nomination for president. 

If she committed crimes in the process, she should be charged, convicted and punished.     

Gregg Jarrett joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 2002 and is based in New York. He currently serves as legal analyst and offers commentary across both FNC and FOX Business Network (FBN).

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Trump Is Right About ‘Stop and Frisk’: It’s constitutional, as the Republican correctly described. Lester Holt should apologize. By Rudolph W. Giuliani

Source: http://truthfeed.com/rudy-giuliani-trump-is-right-about-stop-and-frisk-lester-holt-should-apologize/26378/

September 27, 2016
Wall Street Journal

One of the strategies that helped bring about an 85% reduction in crime in New York City between 1994 and 2013 was the careful and appropriate use of “stop and frisk.” This practice dramatically reduced the number of guns, knives and other dangerous weapons, as well as illicit drugs, in the city.

But according to candidate Hillary Clinton and moderator Lester Holt during Monday night’s presidential debate, stop and frisk is “unconstitutional.” They are wrong. In Mrs. Clinton’s case, it’s the usual misrepresenting she does when she does not know what she is talking about. As for Mr. Holt, if a moderator is going to interfere, he should do some homework and not pretend to know the law when he does not. Mr. Holt and NBC cannot overrule the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stop and frisk is based on an 8-1 decision of the Supreme Court, Terryv. Ohio. That ruling hasn’t been overturned or even modified by the court since it was handed down in 1968. Stop and frisk is constitutional and the law of the land. The majority opinion, written by then-Chief Justice Earl Warren, approved the constitutionality of stopping a suspect if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that a person has committed, or was about to commit, a crime. If the officer also has a reasonable suspicion the person is armed, he can conduct a pat-down—that is, a frisk—of a person’s outer clothing.

In many places, this practice is called a “Terry stop,” based on the decision upholding its constitutionality. It is a police technique used by all law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Over a 20-year use of this policy, spanning the administration of two New York City mayors and four police commissioners, stop and frisk played a material part in reducing homicides in New York City. It helped to change New York City from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in the country. In each of those 20 years, approximately six of 10 murder victims in New York City were African-Americans. In other words, stop and frisk saved many black lives.

In the case discussed during Monday’s debate, federal Judge Shira Scheindlin found in 2013 that the way Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly applied stop and frisk was unconstitutional. The practice had been expanded to 600,000, the vast majority being of African-Americans. Previously, during my administration, for eight years under Commissioners William Bratton, Howard Safir and Bernard Kerik, the stops and frisks always fell short of 100,000.

During my administration, the U.S. Justice Department spent two years examining stop and frisk and it filed no case. After continued use of the practice during the administration of Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly, Judge Scheindlin found that the volume of stops and the focus on the African-American community made the practice not unconstitutional in general but unconstitutional as applied. This is the distinction that is so important—yet was misunderstood by Mr. Holt and misrepresented by Mrs. Clinton.

During the debate, Donald Trump described the history of the case correctly. He said that after the judge decided the case, the city appealed and asked for a stay of the lower court’s decision. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in a scathing opinion, criticized Judge Scheindlin for improperly steering the case to her courtroom. It issued an unusual stay to allow the Bloomberg-Kelly form of stop and frisk to go forward until the court could decide the appeal. And in a rare action, it removed Judge Scheindlin from the case.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision underscores Mr. Trump’s position that stop and frisk is constitutional and plays a critical role in saving lives. The Court of Appeals issues a stay or injunction only if there is a likelihood of success on the merits for the appeal and the lower-court ruling will create irreparable damage. The likelihood of success means the court believes there’s a good chance that the judge’s ruling of unconstitutional as applied was going to be reversed. And irreparable damage means that the court came to the same conclusion as Mr. Trump, that stop and frisk plays a critical role in reducing crime.

Donald Trump was right. Hillary Clinton was wrong. Lester Holt should apologize for interfering and trying so hard to help Mrs. Clinton support her incorrect statement that stop and frisk is unconstitutional.

Mr. Giuliani was mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001. He is an adviser to the Trump campaign.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Obama’s Campaign Paid $972,000 To Law Firm That Secretly Paid Fusion GPS In 2016 By Sean Davis

Source: http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/29/obamas-campaign-gave-972000-law-firm-funneled-money-fusion-gps/

October 29, 2017

Former president Barack Obama’s official campaign organization has directed nearly a million dollars to the same law firm that funneled money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the infamous Steele dossier. Since April of 2016, Obama For America (OFA) has paid over $972,000 to Perkins Coie, records filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) show.

The Washington Post reported last week that Perkins Coie, an international law firm, was directed by both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign to retain Fusion GPS in April of 2016 to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to compile a dossier of allegations that Trump and his campaign actively colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Though many of the claims in the dossier have been directly refuted, none of the dossier’s allegations of collusion have been independently verified. Lawyers for Steele admitted in court filings last April that his work was not verified and was never meant to be made public.

OFA, Obama’s official campaign arm in 2016, paid nearly $800,000 to Perkins Coie in 2016 alone, according to FEC records. The first 2016 payments to Perkins Coie, classified only as “Legal Services,” were made April 25-26, 2016, and totaled $98,047. A second batch of payments, also classified as “Legal Services,” were disbursed to the law firm on September 29, 2016, and totaled exactly $700,000. Payments from OFA to Perkins Coie in 2017 totaled $174,725 through August 22, 2017.

FEC records as well as federal court records show that Marc Elias, the Perkins Coie lawyer whom the Washington Post reported was responsible for the payments to Fusion GPS on behalf of Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, also previously served as a counsel for OFA. In Shamblin v. Obama for America, a 2013 case in federal court in Florida, federal court records list Elias as simultaneously serving as lead attorney for both OFA and the DNC.

OFA, which managed Obama’s successful re-election campaign in 2012, retooled after that campaign to focus on enacting the president’s agenda during his final term in office. The group reorganized again after the 2016 election and planned to use its staff and resources to oppose President Donald Trump. During the entire 2016 campaign cycle, the group spent only $4.5 million, according to FEC records.

Federal records show that Hillary Clinton’s official campaign organization, Hillary For America, paid just under $5.1 million to Perkins Coie in 2016. The DNC paid nearly $5.4 million to the law firm in 2016.

The timing and nature of the payments to Perkins Coie by Obama’s official campaign arm raise significant questions about whether OFA was funding Fusion GPS, how much Obama and his team knew about the contents and provenance of the dossier long before its contents were made public, and whether the president or his government lieutenants knowingly used a partisan political document to justify official government actions targeting the president’s political opponents named in the dossier. According to the Washington Post, Fusion GPS was first retained by Perkins Coie on behalf of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in April of 2016.

At the same time that Hillary’s campaign, Obama’s campaign organization, and the DNC were simultaneously paying Perkins Coie, the spouse of one of Fusion GPS’s key employees was working directly for Obama in the West Wing. Shailagh Murray, a former Washington Post reporter-turned-political operative, was serving as a top communications adviser to Obama while the Obama administration was reportedly using information from the dossier to justify secret surveillance of Trump campaign staff. Murray is married to Neil King, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who was hired by Fusion GPS in December of 2016. While at the Wall Street Journal, King worked alongside Fusion GPS’s core team, even sharing bylines with Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS executive who personally hired Steele to probe Trump’s alleged Russia connections.

The importance of the dossier funded by Democrats, commissioned by Fusion GPS, and compiled by Steele, is difficult to overstate given that its contents were reportedly briefed to both President Obama and then-President-Elect Trump. The dossier was eventually published in full by BuzzFeed on January 10. On January 6, then-FBI Director James Comey had briefed Trump on the allegations in Steele’s dossier. Steele admitted in court filings that he had shopped much of the information in his dossier to numerous media outlets beginning in September of 2016.

Fusion GPS, which has been accused of illegally operating as an undisclosed agent of foreign governments, is currently facing multiple congressional inquiries into its activities and its clients. Bill Browder, whose attorney was allegedly murdered by Russian authorities after publicizing explosive allegations of Russian fraud and money laundering, alleged in congressional testimony last July that Fusion GPS was paid by Russians to undermine U.S. sanctions against the country. Late last week, Fusion GPS reportedly struck a deal with U.S. House investigators regarding a federal subpoena of the firm’s bank records. And in September, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reportedly requested that the U.S. Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit provide his committee with all suspicious activity reports related to Fusion GPS’s bank transactions.

Following reports of Perkins Coie’s role in funneling money to Fusion GPS, the Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan campaign finance watchdog, filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the secret funding schemes violated federal campaign disclosure laws.

Fusion GPS is also facing a separate defamation suit in federal court related to claims in the dossier. That case, which was brought by three Russian businessmen who claim to have been libeled in the Steele dossier, was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., in early October. Fusion GPS is yet to respond to those allegations in court.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Top Fifteen Tips to Be a Successful Administrative Assistant By Brande Michelle Eburn

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/most-valued-person-office-administrative-assistant-eburn

March 4, 2015

Get the inside scoop on office expectations.

Administrative Assistants are the gasoline fueling today's offices. From office supply inventory to professional powerpoint presentations, Administrative Assistants deftly juggle multiple roles and responsibilities.

There is a broad general description of what Administrative Assistants do, as well as multiple variations of the job title. And every office has unique needs and systems in place for their particular specialty. Their common threads are the importance of organization, attention to detail, time management, accountability and dependability. Professional Administrative Assistants live by these principles and have learned to adapt their tasks accordingly.

With over a decade of administrative experience in offices big and small, I've compiled a list of what I think are:

The Top Fifteen Tips you need to know to be a Successful Administrative Assistant.

1. Reception Management: Even if your company has a receptionist, you'll be screening phone calls, making phone calls, greeting clients, visitors, and vendors. Your primary goal is to be the smiling face and friendly 'first impression' of your company to all who call or come in. A professional appearance and pleasant phone voice are expected. Second, minimize interruptions and deflect whomever/whatever your boss doesn't have time to deal with right now. Take accurate, detailed messages that allow your boss to save time when calling the person back.

2. Coffee Management: You'll be responsible for keeping the coffee station stocked and clean. And maybe decorative, if you can which is nice when your customers share the station with you. Got a Kuerig or other instant, pod dropping machine? Keep options simple. Still working with the old fashioned drip brew? Be resourceful. Invest in one or two of those large dispensers like in hotel lobbies, that keep coffee hot and fresh for several hours. Everyone will appreciate the good coffee. And coffee makes people happy.

3. Go-For Management: You'll be the Go-For; go for coffee, for copies, for lunch, for bank runs, for break room goodies, for anything that's needed. In time, you will begin to anticipate the needs of your Boss, co-workers and customers and spend less time go-for-ing and more time preparing for the support they require.

4. Equipment Management: You'll be expected to know how to troubleshoot every piece of office machinery, including parts maintenance, upgrades and lease renewals. *Savvy tip: Create calendar entries for all your office equipment as well as continuing maintenance like carpet cleaning with dates, times, service needed, amount spent and all the pertinent information from the company that was used. You can quickly generate follow up reminders. At the end of the quarter or year, create a quick-view spreadsheet with the information and place in the corresponding file. Now you have a current history and accurate record.

5. Supply Management: You'll be expected to keep inventory of office supplies, bathroom supplies, kitchen/coffee/breakroom supplies and party supplies while staying in budget. Bulk stores can save the company money on certain items. Take time to research what you're buying. Amazon can save you a ton too.

6. Event Management: You may be responsible for coordinating off-site events, like industry shows, fairs or expos. Also, you may be tasked with all the 'office party' planning. This can include celebrations for promotions or reaching goals, birthdays, anniversaries - the work kind, wedding/baby, and retirement/leaving occasions. Be sure to establish a budget with your boss prior to planning. This can present you with a great opportunity to showcase your creative side and cost-cutting skills.

7. Agenda Management: You'll be scheduling appointments, conferences, lunches, meetings and rearranging all of the above effectively due to unforeseen circumstances. Some offices require you to make travel arrangements. Use a travel agency to assist you in saving time, money and frustration.

8. Presentation Management: For prospective clients or new employees you'll be responsible for selling your company's accomplishments, awards, future growth, unique attributes and the reasons behind why this is the best place to do business or work. For meetings you'll be the note-taker, report-maker, and brilliant, creative, well organized, meeting presentation-compiler.

9. Buzz Management: You will hear most of everything that's going on with everyone, in every department. All the juicy gossip, nasty rumors and running tabs on who is - insert label here -. Even if you don't want to know any of this mostly mean, damaging information there is always a know-it-all in every office spreading the buzz. Just don't be that person. Be the person that builds others up. If there is a conflict with a coworker, talk openly and honestly and be willing to compromise in an effort to resolve the issue. Maintain your professionalism.

10. Information Management: You'll be writing office memos, emails, business correspondence, reports and responding to requests for information and data. You'll also maintain electronic and hard copy filing systems, prepare and distribute mail, and may assist with record-keeping for staff including expense reports and/or petty cash.

11. Multi-tasking Management: You'll be juggling several roles and responsibilities at once and will be expected to adapt, transform, compromise, camouflage, and implement solutions in the moment. Smile. Be gracious. You can do it.

12. Micro-Management: Some bosses will bring every mistake they find, big or small, yours and everyone else's to you. You'll be expected to point them out to your co-workers, so she/he doesn't have to. You'll also need to relay the 'correct' procedure according to the boss, to everyone who doesn't do it their way. I mean, the 'right' way. Some bosses are all about results. They empower their employees to complete the designated task however it works best for them, as long as the assignment is handled properly. If you do make a mistake, be honest and accountable for it. Then immediately learn how to fix it and what not to do next time.

13. Time Management: Most office environments are fast paced and you'll be expected to adapt. Accuracy and efficiency are what you should strive for. Prioritize your workload so you have ample time to pay attention to the details that matter. Get creative and provide solutions or ‘hacks’ that save you and everyone else precious time that can be spent on selling your product or service and catering to your customer’s satisfaction.

14. Impact Management: Developing your unique skill set makes you indispensable to the staff you provide primary support to and vital to the overall efficiency of the office. Listening is a key component of communication. Communication is essential to success.

15. You'll need to tuck in your cape though, being the end all, be all in the office goes over much better when you're humble. Administrative Assistants are the life force of modern business offices and the more demonstrable skills you have, the more valuable you are to a prospective employer. Now, you can beef up that resume with the insider knowledge you've gained here and practice those interview skills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, salaries can range from $25k - $45k per year, depending on location and level of education and/or work experience. The BLS also reports (as of Jan. 2014) this occupation as having an overall expected job growth of twelve percent from 2012 - 2022, which is as fast as average for all occupations. More and more companies are relying on their Administrative Assistants to learn and assume tasks performed by Executive Secretaries as a means of saving money, and many managers are now performing some administrative tasks themselves.

With approximately 12 variations of the same job title*, the subtle differences between them pertain to specific industries and levels of education. Another variable is the size of the company, and you’ll find an expanded list of responsibilities unique to each office/place of business specified in the employment ad. In the corporate world of business, there is a distinct difference between Executive Secretaries and Administrative Assistants and as such, a separate article.

As an Administrative Assistant, you are the support system for the office and the higher up, i.e. department manager. The foundation for Administrative positions begins with having strong typing skills and in depth knowledge and understanding of most modern computer software, database maintenance, and project management. There are degree programs available for Administrative Assistants, with coursework including classes in database management, word processing, computer applications and office etiquette. If you want to enter a specific industry, such as Law, Medical, Insurance, or Accounting for example, you’ll need higher education to get the prerequisite skills to apply for and enter that field. Entry level positions expect the minimum skills and are usually willing to train you on the job for that specific industry and office.

* Variations of the job title include: Administrative Assistant, Administrative Support, Administrative Associate, Administrative Specialist, Administrative Coordinator, Administrative Clerk, Administrative Aide, Administrative Secretary, Office Assistant, Office Clerk, Office Support, Office Aide

This article was originally published on Hubpages, February 2011 by Brande M. Eburn.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

President Donald J. Trump’s Letter to House and Senate Leaders & Immigration Principles and Policies

Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/10/08/president-donald-j-trumps-letter-house-and-senate-leaders-immigration

October 8, 2017

President Donald J. Trump’s Letter to House and Senate Leaders:

I am pleased to transmit to you my Administration's principles for reforming our Nation's immigration system.  In 2012, after the Congress rejected legislation offering legal status and work permits to illegal immigrants, the previous Administration bypassed the Congress and granted those same benefits unilaterally.  These actions threatened Congress's status as a coequal branch of Government and have resulted in a surge of illegal immigration.

As President, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, which makes clear that all legislative powers are vested in the Congress, not the President. 

I, therefore, tasked the relevant executive departments and agencies to conduct a bottom-up review of all immigration policies to determine what legislative reforms are essential for America's economic and national security.  Rather than asking what policies are supported by special interests, we asked America's law enforcement professionals to identify reforms that are vital to protect the national interest.  In response, they identified dangerous loopholes, outdated laws, and easily exploited vulnerabilities in our immigration system – current policies that are harming our country and our communities.

I have enclosed the detailed findings of this effort.  These findings outline reforms that must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.  Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.

Immigration reform must create more jobs, higher wages, and greater security for Americans -- now and for future generations.  The reforms outlined in the enclosure are necessary to ensure prosperity, opportunity, and safety for every member of our national family.

Sincerely,

Donald J. Trump 

 

 

IMMIGRATION PRINCIPLES & POLICIES

1. BORDER SECURITY

A. Border Wall. Our porous southern border presents a clear threat to our national security and public safety, and is exploited by drug traffickers and criminal cartels. The Administration therefore proposes completing construction of a wall along the southern border of the United States.

i. Ensure funding for the southern border wall and associated infrastructure.

ii. Authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise, collect, and use certain processing fees from immigration benefit applications and border crossings for functions related to border security, physical infrastructure, and law enforcement.

iii. Improve infrastructure and security on the northern border.

B. Unaccompanied Alien Children. Loopholes in current law prevent “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UACs) that arrive in the country illegally from being removed. Rather than being deported, they are instead sheltered by the Department of Health and Human Services at taxpayer expense, and subsequently released to the custody of a parent or family member—who often lack lawful status in the United States themselves. These loopholes in current law create a dramatic pull factor for additional illegal immigration and in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the apprehensions of UACs at our southern border. Therefore, the Administration proposes amending current law to ensure the expeditious return of UACs and family units.

i. Amend the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVRPA) to treat all UACs the same regardless of their country of origin, so long as they are not victims of human trafficking and can be safely returned home or removed to safe third countries.

ii. Clarify that alien minors who are not UACs (accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or have a parent or legal guardian in the United States available to provide care and physical custody) are not entitled to the presumptions or protections granted to UACs.

iii. Terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) by passing legislation stipulating care standards for minors in custody and clarify corresponding provisions of the TVPRA that supersede the FSA.

iv. Amend the definition of “special immigrant,” as it pertains to juveniles, to require that the applicant prove that reunification with both parents are not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and that the applicant is a victim of trafficking. The current legal definition is abused, and provides another avenue for illicit entry.

v. Repeal the requirement that an asylum officer have initial jurisdiction over UAC asylum applications to expedite processing.

C. Asylum Reform. The massive asylum backlog has allowed illegal immigrants to enter and stay in the United States by exploiting asylum loopholes. There are more than 270,000 pending cases in the asylum backlog before USCIS, and approximately 250,000 asylum cases before EOIR. Therefore, the Administration proposes correcting the systemic deficiencies that created that backlog.

i. Significantly tighten standards and eliminate loopholes in our asylum system.

ii. Elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews.

iii. Impose and enforce penalties for the filing of frivolous, baseless, or fraudulent asylum applications, and expand the use of expedited removal as appropriate.

iv. Close loopholes in the law to bar terrorist aliens from entering the country and receiving any immigration benefits.

v. Clarify and enhance the legal definition of “aggravated felony” to ensure that criminal aliens do not receive certain immigration benefits.

vi. Expand the ability to return asylum seekers to safe third countries.

vii. Ensure only appropriate use of parole authority for aliens with credible fear or asylum claims, to deter meritless claims and ensure the swift removal of those whose claims are denied.

viii. Prevent aliens who have been granted asylum or who entered as refugees from obtaining lawful permanent resident status if they are convicted of an aggravated felony.

ix. Require review of the asylee or refugee status of an alien who returns to their home country absent a material change in circumstances or country conditions.

D. Ensure Swift Border Returns. Immigration judges and supporting personnel face an enormous case backlog, which cripples our ability to remove illegal immigrants in a timely manner. The Administration therefore proposes providing additional resources to reduce the immigration court backlog and ensure swift return of illegal border crossers.

i. Seek appropriations to hire an additional 370 immigration judges.

ii. Establish performance metrics for immigration judges.

iii. Seek appropriations to hire an additional 1,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys, with sufficient support personnel.

iv. Ensure sufficient resources for detention.

E. Inadmissible Aliens. The current statutory grounds for inadmissibility are too narrow, and allow for the admission of individuals who threaten our public safety. Therefore, the Administration proposes expanding the criteria that render aliens inadmissible and ensure that such aliens are maintained in continuous custody until removal.

i. Expand the grounds of inadmissibility to include gang membership.

ii. Expand the grounds of inadmissibility to include those who have been convicted of an aggravated felony; identity theft; fraud related to Social Security benefits; domestic violence; child abuse; drunk driving offenses; failure to register as a sex offender; or certain firearm offenses, including the unlawful purchase, sale, possession, or carrying of a firearm.

iii. Expand the grounds of inadmissibility to include former spouses and children of individuals engaged in drug trafficking and trafficking in persons, if the official determines the divorce was a sham or the family members continue to receive benefits from the illicit activity.

F. Discourage Illegal Re-entry. Many Americans are victims of crime committed by individuals who have repeatedly entered the United States illegally, which also undermines the integrity of the entire immigration system. Therefore, the Administration proposes increasing penalties for repeat illegal border crossers and those with prior deportations.

G. Facilitate the Removal of Illegal Aliens from Partner Nations. Current barriers prevent the Federal Government from providing assistance to partner nations for the purpose of removing aliens from third countries whose ultimate intent is entering the United States. Therefore, the Administration proposes authorizing DHS to provide foreign assistance to partner nations to support migration management efforts conducted by those nations. This will allow DHS to improve the ability of Central and South American countries to curb northbound migration flows and to interrupt ongoing human smuggling, which will also substantially reduce pressures on U.S. taxpayers.

H. Expedited Removal. Limited categories of aliens are currently subject to expedited removal, which erodes border integrity and control by impeding the ability of the Federal Government to efficiently and quickly remove inadmissible and deportable aliens from the United States. The Administration seeks to expand the grounds of removability and the categories of aliens subject to expedited removal and by ensuring that only aliens with meritorious valid claims of persecution can circumvent expedited removal.

 

2. INTERIOR ENFORCEMENT

A. Sanctuary Cities. Hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions release dangerous criminals and empower violent cartels like MS-13 by refusing to turn over incarcerated criminal aliens to Federal authorities. Therefore, the Administration proposes blocking sanctuary cities from receiving certain grants or cooperative agreements administered or awarded by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security

i. Restrict such grants from being issued to:

a. Any state or local jurisdiction that fails to cooperate with any United States government entity regarding enforcement of federal immigration laws;

b. Any entity that provides services or benefits to aliens not entitled to receive them under existing Federal law; and

c. Any state or local jurisdiction that provides more favorable plea agreements or sentencing for alien criminal defendants for the purpose of immigration consequences of convictions.

ii. Clarify ICE’s detainer authority, and States’ and localities’ ability to honor that authority, so that States will continue to detain an individual pursuant to civil immigration law for up to 48 hours so that ICE may assume custody.

iii. Provide indemnification for State and local governments to protect them from civil liability based solely on compliance with immigration detainers and transportation of alien detainees.

iv. Require State and local jurisdictions to provide all information requested by ICE relating to aliens in their custody and the circumstances surrounding their detention.

v. Clarify the definition of a criminal conviction for immigration purposes, to prevent jurisdictions from vacating or modifying criminal convictions to protect illegal immigrants, and roll back erosion of the criminal grounds of removal by courts under the “categorical approach.”

B. Immigration Authority for States and Localities. The prior Administration suppressed cooperative partnerships between the Federal Government and State or local governments that wanted to help with immigration enforcement, undermining the security of our communities. Therefore, the Administration proposes enhancing State and local cooperation with Federal immigration law enforcement in order to ensure national security and public safety.

i. Clarify the authority of State and local governments to investigate, arrest, detain, or transfer to Federal custody aliens for purposes of enforcing Federal immigration laws when done in cooperation with DHS.

ii. Authorize State and local governments to pass legislation that will support Federal law enforcement efforts.

iii. Incentivize State and local governments to enter into agreements with the Federal Government regarding immigration enforcement efforts.

iv. Provide the same extent of immunity to State and local law enforcement agencies performing immigration enforcement duties within the scope of their official role as is provided to Federal law enforcement agencies.

C. Visa Overstays. Visa overstays account for roughly 40 percent of illegal immigration. The Administration therefore proposes strengthening the removal processes for those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas, and implementing measures to prevent future visa overstays which may account for a growing percentage of illegal immigration.

i. Discourage visa overstays by classifying such conduct as a misdemeanor.

ii. Require that all nonimmigrant visas held by an alien be cancelled when any one nonimmigrant visa held by that alien is cancelled, to ensure that if an alien abuses one type of visa, he cannot circumvent the immigration system by then relying on another type of visa to enter the United States.

iii. Bar all visa overstays from immigration benefits for a certain period of time with no waiver.

iv. Clarify that the government does not bear any expense for legal counsel for any visa overstay in removal or related proceedings.

v. Require DHS to provide all available data relating to any deportable alien to the Department of Justice’s National Crime Information Center for purposes of that alien’s inclusion in the Immigration Violators File, with the exception of aliens who cooperate with DHS on criminal investigations.

vi. Enhance the vetting of bond sponsors for those aliens who enter without inspection, to ensure that bond sponsors undergo thorough background checks prior to being eligible to post or receive a bond.

vii. Permit the Department of State to release certain visa records to foreign governments on a case-by-case basis when sharing is in the U.S. national interest.

viii. Permit the Department of State to review the criminal background of foreign diplomats or government officials contained in the National Crime Information Center database before visa adjudication, regardless of whether the applicant’s fingerprints are in the database.

D. Necessary Resources. The relatively small number of ICE officers is grossly inadequate to serve a nation of 320 million people with tens of millions of tourists and visitors crossing U.S. ports of entry every year. Therefore, the Administration proposes providing more resources that are vitally needed to enforce visa laws, restore immigration enforcement, and dismantle criminal gangs, networks and cartels.

i. Seek appropriations to hire an additional 10,000 ICE officers.

ii. Seek appropriations to hire an additional 300 Federal prosecutors to support Federal immigration prosecution efforts.

iii. Reforms to help expedite the responsible addition of new ICE personnel.

E. Detention Authority. Various laws and judicial rulings have eroded ICE’s ability to detain illegal immigrants (including criminal aliens), such that criminal aliens are released from ICE custody into our communities. Therefore, the Administration proposes terminating outdated catch-and-release laws that make it difficult to remove illegal immigrants.

i. Ensure public safety and national security by providing a legislative fix for the Zadvydas loophole, and authorizing ICE, consistent with the Constitution, to retain custody of illegal aliens whose home countries will not accept their repatriation.

ii. Require the detention of an alien: (1) who was not inspected and admitted into the United States, who holds a revoked nonimmigrant visa (or other nonimmigrant admission document), or who is deportable for failing to maintain nonimmigrant status; and (2) who has been charged in the United States with a crime that resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of another person.

F. Legal Workforce. Immigrants who come here illegally and enter the workforce undermine job opportunities and reduce wages for American workers, as does the abuse of visa programs. Therefore, the Administration increasing employment verification and other protections for U.S. workers.

i. Require the use of the electronic status-verification system (“E-Verify”) to ensure the maintenance of a legal workforce in the United States.

ii. Preempt any State or local law relating to employment of unauthorized aliens.

iii. Impose strong penalties, including debarment of Federal contractors, for failure to comply with E-Verify.

iv. Increase penalties for any person or entity engaging in a pattern or practice of violations.

v. Require the Social Security Administration to disclose information to DHS to be used in the enforcement of immigration laws.

vi. Expand the definition of unlawful employment discrimination to include replacement of U.S. citizen workers by nonimmigrant workers or the preferential hiring of such foreign workers over U.S. citizen workers.

vii. Strengthen laws prohibiting document fraud related to employment or to any other immigration benefit.

G. Deportable Aliens. The categories of aliens that currently qualify for deportation are insufficiently broad to remove aliens who pose a threat to the security of the American public. Therefore, the Administration proposes expanding and clarifying the type of aliens who present a danger to Americans and should therefore be removable on an expedited basis.

i. Expand grounds of deportability to explicitly include gang members.

ii. Expand the grounds of deportability to include those convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses or a single offense involving death or serious injury.

iii. Expand the grounds of deportability to include those who fail to register as a sex offender.

iv. Clarify the technical definition of “aggravated felony” by referring to “an offense relating to” each of the categories of crimes, rather than specifying the crimes themselves. This will ensure certain kinds of homicide, sex offenses, and trafficking offenses are encompassed within the statutory definition.

H. Gang Members. Today, known gang members are still able to win immigration benefits despite the dangers they pose to American society. As such, the Administration proposes implementing measures that would deny gang members and those associated with criminal gangs from receiving immigration benefits.

I. Visa Security Improvements. Without sufficient resources, the State Department is hindered from adequately vetting visa applicants. As such, the Administration proposes enhancing State Department visa and traveler security resources and authorities.

i. Expand the Department of State’s authority to use fraud prevention and detection fees for programs and activities to combat all classes of visa fraud within the United States and abroad.

ii. Ensure funding for the Visa Security Program and facilitate its expansion to all high-risk posts.

iii. Increase the border crossing card fee.

iv. Grant the Department of State authority to apply the Passport Security Surcharge to the costs of protecting U.S. citizens and their interests overseas, and to include those costs when adjusting the surcharge.

v. Strengthen laws prohibiting civil and criminal immigration fraud and encourage the use of advanced analytics to proactively detect fraud in immigration benefit applications.

 

3. MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

A. Merit-Based Immigration. The current immigration system prioritizes extended family-based chain migration over skills-based immigration and does not serve the national interest. Decades of low-skilled immigration has suppressed wages, fueled unemployment and strained federal resources. Therefore, the Administration proposes establishing a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers, and ending chain migration, to promote financial success and assimilation for newcomers.

i. End extended-family chain migration by limiting family-based green cards to spouses and minor children and replace it with a merit-based system that prioritizes skills and economic contributions over family connections.

ii. Establish a new, points-based system for the awarding of Green Cards (lawful permanent residents) based on factors that allow individuals to successfully assimilate and support themselves financially.

iii. Eliminate the “Diversity Visa Lottery.”

iv. Limit the number of refugees to prevent abuse of the generous U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and allow for effective assimilation of admitted refugees into the fabric of our society.

 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Job Search Tips for Job Seekers Over 40 By Susan P. Joyce

Source: https://www.job-hunt.org/onlinejobsearchguide/article_over-40-job-search.shtml

Recently several job seekers over 40 have written to complain that they feel they have lost out on job opportunities because of their age. In many cases, they may be correct. But, probably not always.

Why does age discrimination happen? Younger hiring managers may feel uncomfortable telling someone older what to do (like bossing around their parents).

They may also feel that someone older is not as technically savvy or as physically and mentally "quick" as someone younger. They may even suspect that you'll be out sick more often than someone younger. Frequently, an older worker is viewed as having higher salary expectations and, therefore, being more expensive to hire and retain.

5 Key Elements for 40+ Job Search Success

Take these steps:

1. Keep (or get) up-to-date with your profession and/or industry.

Or, do a lot of research before you launch your job search to get back up to date (the web is great for this!).

This issue often torpedoes people who have been unemployed for several months and women who have taken a few months to a few years out of the job world to care for their children or other family members.

Learn the new software and the latest jargon before you send out your resume or apply for a job. Know who the important "players" are (companies, products or services, and people).

LinkedIn Groups can be very helpful for catching up, becoming visible to employers, and also for identifying those individuals (and companies) currently influencing an industry or profession.

2. Update your resume.

Since you need to get an interview to be considered, Job-Hunt Mid-Life Career Expert, Jan Cannon, recommends that you modify your resume:

  • Focus your resume on your future and the job you are seeking.

    Don't make it a laundry list of everything you've ever done. Most jobs that you had more than 10 years ago shouldn't be included because they aren't relevant.
  • Describe significant and relevant accomplishments vs. a list of duties and "responsible for" items.

    Show the employer how good you are at your job by documenting your accomplishments that are relevant to the job.
  • Change the "Education" section of your resume to "Education and Training" and put your most recent training first.

    Include the year and the source for each training entry. This shows that your skills are up-to-date. List your degrees following the more recent training, and don't include the dates, unless your degrees were earned in the last 10 to 15 years.
  • Be selective if you have had a lot of jobs in the past 20 years.

    Include only those that demonstrate the skills, experience, and/or industry knowledge you have that are directly relevant to the job you are seeking.
  • Limit your resume to no more than 2 pages.

    You only want to include the most relevant jobs, anyway. And, a longer resume is much less likely to be reviewed. For more details on your experience and accomplishments, include a link to your LinkedIn Profile.
  • When a salary range is required, generalize.

    When you must give your salary requirements to be considered, specify a range. Indicate that your salary expectations are appropriate for someone with your experience, and "fair in today's market."

[MORE: Job-Hunt's free Guide to Effective Resumes.]

3. Create/update your LinkedIn Profile.

A LinkedIn Profile is not optional for most professions and industries. The lack of a solid LinkedIn Profile will make you look out-of-date to employers, and that's the last thing you need right now.

Make sure your Proile is "All-Star" which means complete. Complete Profiles are 4,000% more likely to be seen in LinkedIn Search results, so LinkedIn offers a big reward for completeness. LinkedIn's current All-Star Profile criteria:

  • Photo - a nice recent headshot, recognizably you (only you - no friends, pets, or other family members).
  • Your Industry and Location (the Location can be future, if you want to work somewhere else).
  • Up-to-date current position (with a description of what it is that you do).
  • Your education.
  • Your Skills (a minimum of 3).
  • At least 50 connections (more are better for credibility and visibility within LinkedIn).

[MORE: Job-Hunt's free Guide to LinkedIn for Job Search.]

In addition to LinkedIn's requirements, pay attention to what employers and recruiters want:

  • Use the best keywords for you.

    Employers and recruiters relentlessly search through LinkedIn for qualified candidates, which is usually more effective for them than to dig through the resumes and applications after posting a job. Without the "right" keywords for the job you want next, you won't be included in the search results.

    [MORE: How to Identify Exactlly the Right Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile.]
  • Keep your LinkedIn Profile in agreement with your resume.

    Your resume will be compared to your LinkedIn Profile by most recruiters and employers, so these items should support each other -- same dates, employers, job titles, accomplishments, and more. If they aren't in agreement, the assumption usually made is that the LinkedIn Profile (visible to your family, friends, and network) is more likely to be true than your resume. And, if you aren't truthful in your resume, they aren't interested.

    [MORE: "Social Proof" Linked(in) to Your Resume.]
  • Focus on sharing your accomplishments, not just lists of duties.

    Like your resume, your LinkedIn Profile should provide recruiters and prospective employers with useful insight into what you have done and how well you have performed. Your LinkedIn Summary is a great place to collect your accomplishments that demonstrate how extremely well you can do the job you want next.

    [MORE: Building Your Best Pitch, Resume Summary, and LinkedIn Summary.]
  • Be professionally visible and active in LinkedIn Groups.

    LinkedIn Groups provide excellent networking -- and visibility -- opportunities, but stay professional. No sniping or grumpy/nasty comments or posts. Demonstrate what a great co-worker you would be!

    [MORE: 6 Great Benefits of LinkedIn Groups.]

[MORE: 5 Ways You Look Out-of-Date in Your Job Search.]

4. Be well-prepared for job interviews.

Next, Jan has several recommendations for that critical interview with the younger manager:

  • Describe situations where you worked with younger people on an equal basis or where you followed a younger leader.
  • Focus on your experience and excellent attendance record.
  • Look peppy and energetic. Walk into the room with a brisk step, and sit straight and alert in your chair.
  • Dress for success. Looking competent and confident goes a long way toward convincing others that you are.
  • If you are asked what salary you expect, respond by asking for the salary range. When you hear the range, say that you are sure that you fit within the range, even if you aren't completely sure.

[MORE: Job-Hunt's free Guide to Successful Job Interviews.]

5. Play the salary negotiation smartly.

Finally, Jan offers advice for the job offer and salary negotiation:

  • Try to postpone salary discussions until you have been offered the job.

    When they've offered you the job, you are in a much stronger position to explore options and to negotiate your starting salary.
  • Don't turn down a job because of the salary range until you've explored other ways to "sweeten the deal."

    If the salary isn't high enough, think of how you might negotiate a better "total package" with things of value to you: the amount and timing of your first raise, more vacation time, lower health insurance co-pay, a company car, free parking, spousal travel on business trips, free tuition for your kids, etc.
  • DO turn down a job or a salary that doesn't "feel right" to you.

[MORE: Winning Negotiation Strategies for Your New Job.]

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Obituary - Reilly

Source: http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/obituaries/bct/elizabeth-b-reilly/article_e629f6e5-6737-5940-bc72-d7bda8e7acbd.html


Elizabeth B. Reilly

Sep 17, 2017

Beth Reilly of Myrtle Beach, S.C., formerly of Marlton, N.J., peacefully passed away at her son's home in Hainesport, N.J. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017.

She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa. Beth was an honors graduate of St. Hubert's High School (Class of 1962), and Holy Family College (Class of 1967).

She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Richard, and her sons, Brian (Jenn) and Dan (Kate) of Raleigh, N.C. She was a devoted grandmother, 'Nini,' to Shane, Emma, Ellie, and Libby.

Beth was the daughter of the late Raymond and Bridget Loftus of Philadelphia, and was also preceded in death by her brother, Raymond.

Beth was a public school teacher and guidance counselor for well over 30 years. She began her career as a teacher of Biology in Bristol, Pa., followed by time spent teaching Chemistry in Burlington Township, N.J. Later, she served as a guidance counselor in Delran, N.J. Beth finished her public school career as Guidance Director at Collingswood School District. After retirement she served as an academic advisor at Burlington County College for 10 years.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at The Church of St. Joan of Arc, 100 Willow Bend Rd., Marlton. Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Samaritan Hospice, 5 Eves Dr., Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053, www.samaritannj.org. Perinchief Chapels,

Mount Holly


www.perinchief.com

Friday, September 15, 2017

An Open Letter to President Elect Trump on Global Warming By Elmer Beauregard

Source: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/opinion/an-open-letter-to-president-elect-trump-on-global-warming/

December 2, 2016

Dear President Elect Trump,

First off let me say congratulations on you outstanding victory. I supported and voted for you and am privileged to be a part of this historic moment. The stock market is up, Carrier and Ford are keeping their plants here, peace is breaking out across the globe and you’re not even sworn in yet. I think ISIS will be a thing of the past now that you’re in office as well. But I fear you biggest challenge still lies ahead of you and that is the threat of “Global Warming”.

Like you I am a global warming skeptic and am so glad to finally have someone as President who thinks the way I do but globally the people have been brainwashed into thinking that Global Warming is the biggest threat to humanity there has ever been. People need something to fear and if you remove all other fears Global Warming will rear its ugly head and be the biggest threat once again. I already see it happening, not in real life of course, I’m talking about in the Mainstream Media, they are really ramping up the Global Warming Propaganda big time.

1. We are funding our own destruction

First off you have to cut off the funding of Global Warming research. The US spends billions annually on study after study telling us how Global Warming is worse than ever and you only get the money if your study supports Global Warming. There is no funding for skeptical studies and it’s ruining science. Good article here.

2. Stop the Data Tampering

As you so accurately pointed out in your New York Times interview, scientists have been caught fudging the data in Climategate and they haven’t stopped its worse than ever. You need to hire Tony Heller AKA Steve Goddard and have him look into the data and he will get rid of the tampering he’s a genius. You might need to fire the people who have been doing the tampering as well I won’t mention names. Watch Tony’s video here.

3. 99% of Scientists DON’T believe in Global Warming

I’m sure you’ve heard it repeated over and over that 97% scientists believe in Global Warming but if there’s one thing we’ve all learned from your election that all the experts and the Mainstream Medial are usually wrong. Here is a list of 31,487 scientist who have signed a petition saying they don’t believe in Global Warming, the closest thing I could find on the other side is where 375 scientists signed this letter telling you not to pull out of the Paris Agreement. Doing the math 31,487 vs 375 means 99% of scientists DON’T believe in Global Warming, again it is the exact opposite of what you hear in the Media.

4. Hire an Actual Scientist for Science Czar

Great job appointing Myron Ebell as EPA Transition Manager, keep picking people like that. I read an article (probably fake) that said you might appoint Ivanka as Climate Czar, I think this would be a bad idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ivanka but I think she, like most Millennials, believes in Global Warming. This is because that’s all they have heard their whole life and they don’t know any better, plus she is not a scientist. There are so many well qualified actual scientists you could appoint to this or other positions like Science Czar, Judith Curry, or John Cristy for instance would be great and there many more to choose from.

Anyway, I think you’re doing a good job, keep it up.


American Youth Indoctrinated Under Pretense Of Environmental Education

Source: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/science/american-youth-indoctrinated-under-pretense-of-environmental/

February 2, 2017



Millie Weaver interviews Holly Swanson about the undisclosed agenda of the newly implemented environmental movement within our schools. They discuss how the environmental movement is used to politicize curriculum under the pretense of environmental education to advance green party goals and communism on America’s children.

Elmer’s PowerPoint Presentation – Confessions of a Graphic Designer By Elmer Beauregard

Source: http://www.globalclimatescam.com/opinion/elmers-powerpoint-presentation-confessions-of-a-graphic-designer/

February 13, 2017



I decided to put part of my PowerPoint presentation online. As a Graphic designer I have been designing “graphs” for many years and I think bring a different perspective to the Global Warming debate.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Finding Joy: Local artist Robyn King shares her story of growth and gratitude as she closes out her exhibit at the Bucks County Visitor Center By Samantha Bambino

Source: https://langhornetimes.com/finding-joy-a651f35e2373

Sep 13, 2017
Langhorne Times

Too often, the dawn of a new day is met with resistance. Many struggle to find motivation to go to their non-dream job or complain about minor issues and ailments. While most are hitting the snooze button over and over, Robyn King is enjoying the sunrise and simple pleasure of being alive — something the Bensalem-based artist conveys in her work. Through Sept. 15, guests at the Bucks County Visitor Center can experience the beauty of nature and message of hope at King’s vibrant yet serene exhibit.


Providing hope: Half of all proceeds from Robyn King’s piece “Hope” benefit research and awareness for RSD, an internal disorder she was diagnosed with that causes tremors and pain. SAMANTHA BAMBINO / TIMES PHOTO

Throughout her artistic career, King has become a quadruple threat specializing in photography, painting, digital art and in her spare time, poetry. Growing up in Northeast Philadelphia, King discovered her knack for creativity as a child when she preferred coloring and drawing over all other hobbies.

When it came time for college, King knew she wouldn’t be happy unless she was creating art. Though at first hesitant at her decision, her parents supported her passion and after some research, found that the Moore College of Art & Design was one of the best in the area. It was an all-girls school, but that was perfectly OK with King — she was there to become an artist, not date.

Until that point, King was self-taught and lacked the portfolio required for admission. She enrolled in a last-minute summer class to create the best one she could in a limited amount of time, and brought it to her interview. After one glance, it was evident to the dean that King didn’t have any formal training. Still, she loved the aspiring artist’s work.

King was allowed to begin classes at Moore on probation, which meant if she faltered in any, her education would be cut short. Determined to succeed, she surpassed all expectations and graduated with top honors on the dean’s list.

“Them taking a chance on me wasn’t wasted,” she said.

During her freshman year, King took basic general education classes before having to select a major her sophomore year. She always envisioned herself as a comic book artist, so she chose illustration. But things took a turn junior year during a basic photography course.

“I fell in love with it,” she said. “I thought, I have to do this.”

Following her instinct, she switched her major to photography and ended up minoring in illustration. With this well-rounded background, King is able to utilize a variety of skills in her work today, whether it be watercolor or typography. Her “old school” education, as she calls it, also allows her to fascinate and teach young artists who grew up in the age of technology and never spent hours developing photographs in a darkroom.

After graduation, the ambitious artist set out to get her career started, but things were put on hold after an accident left her fully disabled. King was diagnosed with RSD, “Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy,” also known as complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS. To look at King, one would never know anything is wrong. RSD is something internal that spreads over time and causes tremors and constant pain.

“It’s an invisible disease,” she said.

Unfortunately it’s not well-known, though it was brought into the spotlight by Paula Abdul, who was previously diagnosed. Several years ago, a friend of King passed away from RSD. For King, who was unaware the disorder could cause death, this was a shattering reality. To raise awareness, she turned to what she knew best — art.

Her piece “Heaven Sent,” a digital creation made from an original painting, was sold to raise money for RSD research and awareness. It ended up being the most popular piece on her website.

The message behind “Heaven Sent” is hope and positivity, something King lives by every day. Despite the severe physical pain, she doesn’t take painkillers. King endures purely through positive thinking.

Last May, King hosted her first solo exhibit entitled “A Peaceful Mind,” and each piece was created with the goal of helping those suffering or in distress ease into a meditative state. While planning the exhibit, she tested the pieces on both herself and her friends. If something didn’t evoke the calming emotions she wanted, it wasn’t included.

“I only used the ones that were the strongest,” she reflected.

King wanted people to connect with her pieces and feel a sense of joy — the same emotions she felt while creating each of them, usually while on a beach. Several of these meditative pieces can be seen at the Bucks County exhibit as well as several photographs from a family cruise. All of them are uplifting, joyful and colorful, with many capturing the serenity of daybreak at sea.

“I got up with the sun,” she said of her time on the cruise. “It’s the birth of a new day. Anything is possible. Your slate is clean.”

Also featured at the exhibit are “Heaven Sent” and “Hope,” the proceeds of which go toward rsds.org to benefit research for RSD. Through her art, King encourages people to see the world as filled with endless possibilities and each day as a new beginning, despite the struggles they may be going through.

“I say what I am,” she said. “I say that I’m happy.” ••

King’s exhibit is open daily until Sept. 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Bucks County Visitor Center, 3207 Street Road in Bensalem. Visit 1-robyn-king.pixels.com.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com


Art By Robyn King At FineArtAmerica

Shallowtail Butterfly #2

Fly Like The Wind

Open Pathway Meditative Space

Frozen Delaware River Sunset