VIDEO: The ‘Fringe’ begins eating its own, starting with Nancy Pelosi

In his remarks on the first anniversary of the Alliance for Progress on 13 March 1962, John F. Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Today, the Democrat Party has made peaceful revolution impossible and now it is they who are paying the price when it becomes violent. Democrats did not condemn the violence perpetrated by members of Occupy Wall Street (OWS). Instead Nancy Pelosi endorsed the OWS revolution.

In a Weekly Standard column titled “Pelosi on Occupy Wall Street Protesters: ‘God bless them’,” John McCormack wrote:

During a press conference Thursday afternoon, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi praised those participating in the “Occupy Wall Street” protests. “God bless them,” Pelosi said, “for their spontaneity. It’s independent … it’s young, it’s spontaneous, and it’s focused. And it’s going to be effective.”

Read more.

Occupy Wall Street then began breaking windows, literally.

Once you endorse a revolution it does become a more and more violent revolution. Watch Nancy Pelosi, a champion of open borders and amnesty, shouted down by illegal aliens (so called dreamers) in San Francisco, a sanctuary city, within California, a sanctuary state.

The Democrat Party, and then President Obama, failed to repair the broken windows beginning with the Occupy Oakland riots in California, which inextricably lead to the 2013 riots in Sanford, Florida, 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri and most recently the 2017 riots and death in Charlottesville, Virginia. Now we see the Democrats targeted by their own.

The Democrats have encouraged breaking windows, because “it has always been fun” so long as its the other party that gets hurt. Well now their party is being hurt.

Violence begets more violence: From Sanford, Florida to Ferguson, Missouri to San Francisco, California.

Ayn Rand wrote, “The hardest thing to explain is the glaring evidence which everybody has decided not to see.”

Pat Condell in a YouTube video titled “Europe is Killing Itself” states:

The progressive thing is to merge the two cultures the civilized one and the barbarous one. Of course they know civilized people will reject barbarism. Therefore civilized people need to be reeducated to believe that barbarianism is as valid as civilization and worthy of equal respect or you’ll be a criminal. Which is pretty much where we are now.”

In February then candidate Donald J. Trump at a rally in Iowa began reciting the lyrics to a Al Wilson song from 1969 entitled “The Snake.” Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have taken in the snake and it has bitten them and they are going to die politically.

The snake cannot be satisfied with kindness. It must by its very nature bite the hand of those who took it in.

RELATED ARTICLE: 2020 Democratic Presidential Hopefuls: No Longer Friends of Israel

“The Snake” Lyrics

On her way to work one morning
Down the path along side the lake
A tender hearted woman saw a poor half frozen snake
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Poor thing, ” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk
And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk
She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken to had been revived
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful, ” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
She stroked his pretty skin again and kissed and held him tight
Instead of saying thanks, the snake gave her a vicious bite
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake
“I saved you, ” cried the woman
“And you’ve bitten me, but why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman, ” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
“Take me in, tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in, tender woman, ” sighed the snake

Written by Robert S. Kelly, Darian Morgan • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

Likely Next Solicitor General Fought for Nuns, Against Disputed Obama Appointees

After racking up victories against the Obama administration before the Supreme Court, Noel Francisco is expected to be confirmed by the Senate to manage the Trump administration’s cases there.

“If you asked any conservative attorney in this town, they would put Noel in the top five legal minds,” @Curt_Levey says.

President Donald Trump nominated Francisco, who clerked for the late Justice Antonin Scalia and was a lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, to be his solicitor general.

A Senate committee approved the nomination four months ago. Democrats have stalled a final vote, but an end looks in sight.

While working in private practice for the Jones Day law firm, Francisco, 48, successfully argued before the Supreme Court against the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, winning a 9-0 decision.

He also gained a 4-4 tie at the high court after arguing for the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic order of nuns, against Obamacare’s mandate requiring employers to cover contraception and abortion-inducing drugs in employee health plans.

In another widely publicized case that made its way to the high court, Francisco helped overturn the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, on charges of public corruption.

The Supreme Court is set to begin hearing new cases Oct. 2. Some of the more high-profile cases concern the separation of powers, Trump’s “extreme vetting” order blocking immigration from certain failed states, and religious freedom.

“There are a number of very significant cases before the court and he is equal to the task for any cases before the Supreme Court,” John Malcolm, who heads the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “Noel Francisco is exceptionally bright and has impeccable character, and the nation will be well served to have him as solicitor general.”

Francisco, approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party line, 11-9 vote in June, is one of many Trump nominees whom Senate Democrats have managed to prevent from coming to a final floor vote.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative legal group, watched Francisco argue the NLRB v. Noel Canning case before the Supreme Court. The justices unanimously ruled the president could not make recess appointments—installing appointees without Senate confirmation—while the Senate was not officially in recess.

Severino said Francisco’s impressive record was on display in his actions as a litigator.

“This has been another shameful holdup by the Senate Democrats who dragged this nomination out much longer than necessary,” Severino told The Daily Signal. “Noel Francisco is very well-known attorney and a very skilled litigator.”

“I’m glad he’s on board,” she added, “but we are still moving at a pace of confirmation that it would take three terms to appoint all of this administration’s nominees.”

The U.S. solicitor general works in the Justice Department, charged with managing the defense of the federal government’s cases in front of the Supreme Court. In many cases, the solicitor general argues the case.

Francisco briefly served as acting solicitor general until Trump nominated him for the position in March. Jeffrey Wall, who has served as acting solicitor general, is set to take the office’s No. 2 slot upon Francisco’s confirmation.

Francisco grew up in Oswego, New York. Francisco received his law degree from the University of Chicago in 1996. He clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit before clerking for Scalia at the Supreme Court.

Bush named Francisco as associate counsel to the president. He served in the White House from 2001 to 2003 before becoming deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department until 2005.

Francisco lives in Washington with his wife Cynthia and their two daughters, Caroline and Maggie.

“If you asked any conservative attorney in this town, they would put Noel in the top five legal minds,” said Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice and a legal affairs fellow with FreedomWorks, both conservative organizations.

“Given the resistance to Trump in the federal courts, almost everything could be dealt a blow by a district court somewhere, it’s important to have someone with executive branch experience, and it’s more important than ever for not only the country but for this administration,” Levey told The Daily Signal.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal. Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Noel Francisco, President Trump’s nominee for solicitor general, testifying on May 10 before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Photo: Ron Sachs/DPA/Picture Alliance/Newscom). Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

I’m a Descendant of Holocaust Survivors. Why I’m Appalled at the Comparison of Christian Bakers to Nazis.

It’s November 1938, and the Nazis have confiscated a silk factory owned by the same Jewish family for over a decade, arresting the owner.

Fast forward to 2014, and a state official has compared a Colorado Christian baker to the same group that took away what belonged to the Jewish silk factory owner—the father of my grandmother’s cousin, Godofredo.

This in a country founded by people who fled religious persecution.

While America, the country that mostly turned away Jews fleeing Adolf Hitler, is thankfully not on a course to repeat the Holocaust’s atrocities, some of its citizens have taken to comparing matters of individual freedom—such as a baker refusing to make a same-sex wedding cake—to the actions that led to the deaths of 11 million people, including 6 million Jews and 1.5 million children.

Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner Diann Rice said, “Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust.”

Especially as the grandson of Holocaust survivors, my message for Rice and for those who make religious liberty comparisons to the Shoah is simple: Stop it.

The late Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust, warned against comparisons like this. He said:

Only Auschwitz was Auschwitz. I went to Yugoslavia when reporters said that there was a Holocaust starting there. There was genocide, but not an Auschwitz. When you make a comparison to the Holocaust it works both ways, and soon people will say what happened in Auschwitz was “only what happened in Bosnia.”

Apply that logic to the case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips: Only Auschwitz was Auschwitz.

I went to Colorado where a baker refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. I personally think it’s a shame, but it’s a private business refusing to bake a cake for a purpose of which the owner doesn’t agree.

It was a denial, not an Auschwitz. When we make a comparison to the Holocaust, it works both ways, and soon people will say what happened in Auschwitz was “only what happened in a bakery.”

To cheapen the Holocaust by making such comparisons is to convolute and deny its atrocities.

The Holocaust, which only started with the discriminatory Nuremberg Laws only to end up in genocide, didn’t happen so much because of a hatred of a religion, but rather an explicit hatred for a people. This hatred extended to people who helped those the Nazis targeted, like the family who hid my only living grandmother when she was a child in France.

In fact, once Hitler took power, he sought to reduce Christianity’s influence on German society.

Rice’s comment was nothing but perverted and bigoted. I dare her to tell my living grandmother that what the Colorado baker did compares to the atrocities at Dachau, of which her late husband survived (his father perished there), and about which Phillips’ father wrote notes regarding the atrocities there and other places like Buchenwald, which he helped liberate.

Hypocritically, those on the left, like Rice, cite the plight of Jewish refugees during World War II as a reason for why the U.S. should take in refugees from war-torn places like Syria. Apparently they failed to learn about the Holocaust, which consisted of Jewish bakeries and other businesses being looted on Kristallnacht, or “Night of the Broken Glass,” let alone being sent to concentration camps.

(Important side note: Where is the outrage from the left over the atrocities in Rohingya, Darfur, Tibet, in Iraq against the Yazidis, and other persecuted groups in the Middle East? Those conflicts are severe compared to a bakery refusing to bake a same-sex wedding cake.)

Intolerance was part of the Holocaust. Blatant discrimination was part of the Holocaust. Concentration camps and gas chambers were part of the Holocaust. Death marches were part of the Holocaust. Indifference was part of the Holocaust.

Bakers refusing to bake same-sex wedding cakes were not part of the Holocaust. Rice seems indifferent to the magnitude of the Holocaust’s barbaric and sadistic acts, and instead chose to relate them to a baker who simply followed his conscience in declining to make a same-sex wedding cake.

Would Rice equate Phillips refusing to make a “divorce” cake to the Holocaust? Would Rice compare Phillips refusing to make Halloween-themed cakes to that of the Holocaust?

The famous psychologist Rollo May said, “The opposite of courage in our society isn’t cowardice. It’s conformity.”

It’s astonishing that America, which eventually admitted my surviving grandparents, is in 2017 a place where some are trying to coerce others to conform to an ideology, even if it conflicts with their personal beliefs.

In Nazi Germany, if you weren’t an Aryan as Hitler prescribed in “Mein Kampf,” you would perish. Is it somehow acceptable to compare this baker or anyone coerced by those with differing ideologies to the Nazis?

If we’re going to say “Never again,” let’s also say “No more.” No more false equivalences. No more hate. Conversing, not ostracizing, is the solution to bridge divisions between people.

Let’s judge people personally—not by their background, but rather by their character.

COMMENTARY BY

Jackson Richman is the Capital Commentary editor for Kol HaBirah, a Jewish newspaper in the greater Washington, D.C. area. Twitter: .

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of the sign above the entrance of the former Dachau concentration camp reads in German, “Work makes you free.” (Photo: Michael Dalder/Reuters/Newscom) Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

Hurricane Heroes

On Friday September 8, 2017 Governor Rick Scott issued a mandatory evacuation order for all residents of the barrier islands on the west coast of Florida where my husband and I live. We anxiously monitored the trajectory of Hurricane Irma and watched with horror as the colossal storm gathered strength and unexpectedly veered west. On Saturday morning we left everything behind and drove north toward safety.

The drive north on I-75 was a most extraordinary experience. The northbound lanes inched forward packed bumper-to-bumper with evacuees in passenger cars seeking safety away from the storm. In stark contrast the southbound lanes had convoys of trucks – power companies, EMS vehicles, tree companies, huge semis filled with supplies – all driving toward the deadly hurricane. It was a stunning polarity.

We drove north for fourteen hours and the convoys never ended – there were thousands of trucks. Men and women of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities and political perspectives sacrificing their personal safety and comfort in common cause to rebuild what Hurricane Irma was destroying. It made me cry. These Hurricane Heroes are authentic American heroes – men and women driving into a lethal hurricane to rebuild shattered lives. Real heroes are builders.

It was inspirational to witness their dedication and commitment and I am overwhelmed with gratitude and admiration for how these Hurricane Heroes choose to live their lives. Natural disasters have a remarkable unifying capacity. When the water recedes and the debris clears America has a choice. We can choose to be builders like the Hurricane Heroes or we can choose to be destroyers.

Weeks before Hurricane Irma devastated the Keys and slammed into the west coast of Florida the tabloid mainstream media became obsessed with the destruction of symbols of American history. It began with Confederate statues. The smashing and/or removing of statues offensive to the snowflakes who found them deeply disturbing was reported and debated incessantly. In a pathetic display of audacity left-wing liberals and anarchist dressed up in camouflage and black ski masks asserted themselves by destroying statues. Obama’s anti-American resistance “fighters” manifested their faux bravery by shattering inanimate objects! Their counterfeit bravery is laughable in the real world of bona fide American heroes. Fake heroes are destroyers.

It does not take courage to destroy a statue – any angry out-of-control adolescent can do that. Courage belongs to real heroes risking their own lives fulfilling their commitments to help others in need. It was extraordinary to witness such a remarkable display of bravery and watch mile after mile of America’s finest traveling south into harm’s way. Unlike the statue smashers and fake Hollywood glitterati who dress up in costumes and oppose fake enemies and fake obstacles and fake calamities in the movies they make – the Hurricane Heroes traveling south on I-75 are real life courageous American heroes. They deserve our deepest respect, admiration, and profound gratitude.

America has observed its proud traditions of lawful change and the peaceful transfer of power for 241 years. We vote with the expectation that the election outcome will be honored. Obama’s signature “resistance” movement is deeply destructive and anti-American because it defies our patriotic American traditions of lawfulness. Instead, it inspires lawlessness, anarchy, violence, and destruction. Any voter who did not support President Donald Trump has a four-year opportunity to help field a viable candidate to oppose him in 2020. Patriotic Americans do not try to overthrow the government – they respect the law and vote for change. Loyal Americans are builders not destroyers.

Fake heroes are like fake news – neither can compete in the real world of facts. When the boundaries between fact and fiction are blurred we end up with the Hollywood glitterati, like the statue smashers, actually taking themselves seriously as heroes. They have the audacity to lecture real people about gun control and illegal immigrants when they live in walled fortresses protected by armed guards.

My message to the costumed snowflake statue smashers and the hypocritical Hollywood glitterati is GROW UP! The country needs rational adults who live in objective reality to solve the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Irma and the devastating repercussions of eight anti-American years of Obama. The country needs real heroes committed to rebuilding the country willing to drive south into the storm not a bunch of costumed fake heroes pretending that acting is reality.

The extraordinary dedication of the Hurricane Heroes is inspirational and gives me hope that we can once again be whole and united as one American family if we reject fakery and destruction and concentrate on rebuilding the reality of America the beautiful.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Goudsmit Pundicity.

Judicial Crisis Network Launches Ad Against Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s ‘Religious Litmus Test’

The Judicial Crisis Network is launching ad campaigns against two Democratic senators who are blocking President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees.

The two campaigns are against Sens. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Franken is refusing to return the blue slip for Justice David Stras, nominated to serve on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And Feinstein attacked Amy Barrett, nominated for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, for her Catholic faith at a confirmation hearing Sept. 6.

“The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern,” Feinstein said at thehearing in a phrase that made headlines.

Under Senate tradition, hearings aren’t held for a judicial nominee until his or her home state senators submit “blue slips” showing their consent to advancing the nomination.

The ad campaign attacking Franken was announced Wednesday and is running for two weeks in Minneapolis. The ad buy includes CNN and MSNBC. The ad campaign will also air digitally throughout the state.

“Franken is trying to block the Judiciary Committee from even reviewing Justice Stras’ sterling record, and his refusal to return the blue slip for Justice Stras is unacceptable,” said Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network.

“By not returning his blue slip, Sen. Franken is choosing Washington politics over the people of Minnesota.”

In a statement released Sept. 5, Franken attacked Trump for relying on conservative organizations, such as the Federalist Society and The Heritage Foundation, for judicial nominees.

But as I have familiarized myself with Justice Stras’ record—not just his past decisions, but his professional experience and past statements—I have grown concerned that, if confirmed to the federal bench, Justice Stras would be a deeply conservative jurist in the mold of Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, justices who the nominee himself has identified as role models,” Franken said.

The ad campaign against Feinstein was announced Friday and is attacking what the organization is calling Feinstein’s “Religious Litmus Test.” The campaign will be digitally focused and starts Saturday. It will last for 10 days with a six-figure budget.

“This is going to be known as Feinstein’s Folly,” Severino said. “Her line of questioning reeked of ‘No Catholics Need Apply,’ while ignoring professor Barrett’s stellar qualifications, experience and fierce commitment to defending the Constitution. Feinstein was fundamentally at odds with our constitutional commitment to religious freedom, not to mention politically tone-deaf.”

Franken’s and Feinstein’s offices did not respond to a request for comment by publication deadline.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

Casey Ryan

Casey Ryan is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Sen. Dianne Feinstein who’s “line of questioning reeked of ‘No Catholics Need Apply,’” according to Carrie Severino of Judicial Crisis Network. (Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters/Newscom) Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

VIDEO: ‘Exposing the Deep State’

On Friday, Judicial Watch hosted an important expert panel discussion on the Deep State featuring an all-star lineup of participants, including Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Diana West (author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character), Judicial Watch’s own James Peterson, and Todd Shepherd of the Washington Examiner.

The panel explored not only how the Deep State operates, but the danger it poses to the nation as well.

VIDEO: I’m a T-Shirt Maker With Gay Customers and Gay Employees. I Still Was Sued.

In 2012, my promotional printing company, Hands on Originals, was approached by a customer to print a message that conflicted with my conscience. When I said no, they sued me.

Hi, my name is Blaine Adamson.

I got into the T-shirt printing business because I wanted to create Christian shirts that people would want to wear. Christian T-shirts at the time were so cheesy, they were so bad.

For all the years that I’ve been running my business, Hands on Originals, I’ve happily served and employed people of all backgrounds, of all walks of life.

That’s why it was hard in 2012 when a customer sued us after I politely declined to make T-shirts promoting the local pride festival. I was surprised because I work with and serve gay people. But I can’t print any message that goes against my faith, no matter who asks me to print it. And whenever I can’t print something, I always offer them to another local print shop.

As is the custom for T-shirt makers of all kinds, I’ve declined plenty of orders in the past. For example, I was once asked to make a shirt with Jesus on a bucket of chicken, with chicken coming out of the bucket. I didn’t feel right making that one. I’ve been asked to make a shirt promoting an adult film, one that promoted a strip club, and one or two that promoted violence. I couldn’t in good conscience print any of those shirts.

Another shirt we declined was a simple black shirt with white text that read, “Homosexuality is a sin.” I didn’t feel right making that one either. I don’t think that’s how Jesus would have handled the issue; Jesus would have balanced grace and truth.

I have gay customers and employ gay people. For example, we have printed materials for a local band called Mother Jane whose lead singer is a lesbian. That was never a problem for us because, as I said, we’ll work with everyone, but we can’t print all messages.

Shortly after our case started, two lesbian printers in New Jersey voiced their support for us because they didn’t want to be forced to print messages that would violate their consciences.

That’s why I was glad when a judge ruled that I had the freedom to decide which messages I wanted to promote. An appeals court also agreed. Unfortunately, though, the government has appealed again, this time asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to hear the case.

The bottom line, for me? I love designing T-shirts, and I’d be pretty crushed if I had to close down Hands On, especially after all the years of building the business, serving the community, and doing what I love.

All we are asking for is that the government not force us to promote messages against our convictions. Everyone should have that freedom.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.
Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.
Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.
Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.
The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.
Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.
Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.
You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.
Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. But this can’t be done alone. Find out more >>

Clinton Emails Reveal Additional Mishandling of Classified Information, the IRS Scandal is Still a Scandal

Clinton Emails Reveal Additional Mishandling of Classified Information

We continue to accumulate details of the communications abuses in the Hillary Clinton State Department, but after you read the following report pause and consider the big picture. For four years the inner workings of her department were porous to prying eyes. Is it just a coincidence that Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic efforts so often failed?

This week we released 1,617 new pages of documents revealing numerous additional examples of classified information being transmitted through the unsecure, non-state.gov account of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, as well as many instances of Hillary Clinton donors receiving special favors from the State Department.

The documents included 97 email exchanges with Clinton not previously turned over to the State Department, bringing the known total to date to at least 627emails that were not part of the 55,000 pages of emails that Clinton turned over, and further contradicting a statement by Clinton that, “as far as she knew,” all of her government emails had been turned over to department.

The emails are the 20th production of documents obtained in response to a court order in a May 5, 2015, lawsuit we filed against the State Department (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00684)). We sued after State failed to respond to a March 18, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking: “All emails of official State Department business received or sent by former Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin from January 1, 2009 through February 1, 2013 using a non-‘state.gov‘ email address.”

On September 11, 2009, the highly sensitive name and email address of the person giving the classified Presidential Daily Brief was included in an email forwarded to Abedin’s unsecure email account by State Department official Dan Fogerty. The State Department produced many more Clinton and Abedin unsecured emails that were classified:

  • On April 16, 2009, Deputy Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman sent to Abedin’s unsecure email account classified information about an unknown subject.
  • On June 18, 2009, Abedin sent classified information summarizing a June 18, 2009, “Middle East Breakfast” meeting between various senators, representatives and State Department officials, at which Deputy Secretary Jack Lew and George Mitchell briefed the congressmen with “an update on our discussions with the [Middle East] parties.”
  • On June 23, 2009, U.S. diplomat Martin Indyk, who had his security clearance suspended in 2000 for “possible sloppiness” in the handling of classified information, sent a memo containing classified information to Abedin’s unsecure email account. The memo, written for Clinton, pertained to Indyk’s discussions with top Israeli officials:
Could I ask you to review the memo below that I wrote yesterday on my return from Israel?  If you think it worthwhile, I’d be very grateful if you showed it to HRC (I have already shared it with Mitchell and Feltman). A confrontation with Bibi appears imminent.  I’ve never been one to shy away from that, as she may know.  But it has to be done carefully, and that doesn’t appear to be happening.  And I’m concerned that she will be tarred with the same brush if this leads to a bad end.  So I think she needs to make sure that the friction is productive.  I’ve made some suggestions at the end of the memo
  • On August 1, 2009, Abedin forwarded classified information from State Department official Richard Verma to her unsecure email account. The email from Senator Russ Feingold was sent to Hillary Clinton regarding her upcoming Africa trip.
  • On August 4, 2009, Assistant Secretary Jeffrey Feltman sent classified information about discussions with Kuwaiti officials to Abedin’s unsecure email account. Feltman noted that the Kuwaitis felt a lunch they had with Obama was “chilly.” The discussions concerned Guantanamo as well as Kuwait’s treatment of detainees.
  • On Sept 20, 2009, Abedin forwarded classified information to her unsecure email account. The email was from State Department official Esther Brimmer and concerned foreign leaders’ discussions regarding a UNESCO leadership appointment.
  • On November 1, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE Rick Olson sent classified information to Abedin’s unsecure email account. The email shows that Olsen was traveling with Hillary in the Middle East, and Abedin asked him to “work on a list of everything covered in the mbz [presumably Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi] meeting for Hillary.” Olson asks: “do you want it on this system (I can sanitize), or on the other system.” She replies: “This system easier. We are staying without class[ified] computers. Thx.”
  • On December 1, 2009, Abedin sent classified information about foreign military contributions to the Afghanistan war effort to her unsecure email account. The email originated with State official Sean Misko who wrote to Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan that he first “accidentally” sent it on the “high side” (secure) but was resending.
  • On December 25, 2009, Abedin sent to her unsecure email account classified information prepared by Deputy U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Francis Ricciardone concerning the Afghan elections.
  • On December 26, 2009, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Carlos Pascual sent a memo to Clinton, which was found on Abedin’s unsecure email account. It contained extensive classified information involving U.S. and Mexican counter-drug operations in Mexico.
  • On March 22, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified information about a telephone conversation between President Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
  • On April 13, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email account classified information from Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman regarding diplomatic discussions with the foreign ministers of Algeria and Morocco.
  • On May 24, 2010, Abedin forwarded to her unsecure email accountclassified information about the minutes of a State Department senior staff meeting regarding State Department officials’ meetings in Uganda.
  • Among Abedin’s unsecure email records is a document that is simply titled “NOTE” with the date September 12, 2010. The contents are entirely redacted as classified.
  • On January 28, 2011, Abedin sent Clinton an unsecure email containing classified information relating to a briefing White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gave.
  • On March 21, 2012, Clinton received a memo from State Department officials Joseph Yun and Derek Mitchell marked “Sensitive But Unclassified” and sent to Abedin’s unsecure email account. It contained classified information about elections in Burma.
  • Jake Sullivan emailed to Hillary’s unsecure email account classified information in which Sullivan discussed the content of conversations with UK Prime Minister Gordon regarding “the situation” in Northern Ireland. The date of this email is not included on the document.
  • On April 8, 2012, Abedin sent classified information to her unsecure email regarding a call sheet and an “Action Memo” for Clinton relating to a call with Malawi President Joyce Banda. On April 9, 2012, confidential assistant Monica Hanley again forwarded the classified information to Clinton’s unsecure email account.

Other emails contain sensitive information that was sent via Hillary Clinton’s unsecure email servers.

  • On August 18, 2009, Hanley provided Abedin with laptop and fob (a physical device that provides a login code) logins and passwords to log onto a laptop, as well as a secure State Department website at https://one.state.gov. Included were a PIN number and instructions on how to access her email from the secure State Department website. Abedin forwarded this information to her unsecure account.
(The FBI interviewed Hanley in its probe of Clinton’s email practices, and State’s Diplomatic Security staff reprimanded her after she left classified material behind in a Moscow hotel room. Hanley was the staffer tasked with finding BlackBerry phones for Clinton to use.)
  • On August 19, 2009, Hanley asked Abedin to call her and provide Abedin’s computer password so that she could download a UN document for Cheryl Mills from Abedin’s computer. Instead of calling Hanley, Abedin apparently provided the computer password in her unsecure reply email, saying, “Its [redacted].”
  • On April 17, 2009, Clinton aide Lona Valmoro emailed Clinton’s sensitive daily schedule for April 18 to various Clinton Foundation officials, including Doug Band, Terry Krinvic and Justin Cooper. She also forwarded Clinton’s daily schedule for July 16 to numerous Clinton Foundation officials. She did the same thing on September 8, 2009. She did so again on January 10, January 14 and April 11, 2010.
  • The details of Hillary’s arrival on November 18, 2009, in war-torn Kabul, Afghanistan, for the inauguration of President Karzai, were found on Abedin’s unsecure email account. Included were precise times of landing at Kabul Airport, the occupants of her vehicle, arrival and departure times at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, and meeting times with U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The new documents show that Clinton donors frequently requested and received special favors from the State Department that were connected to the Clinton Foundation.

  • On July 14, 2009, Gordon Griffin, a XL Keystone lobbyist, sent an email to Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band, asking if Band could get him into a Council on Foreign Relations dinner at which Clinton was speaking. Band forwarded the email to Abedin, saying, “Can u get him in?” Abedin replied: “Yes will get him in.” Band was a top aide to President Bill Clinton and co-founder of Teneo. Griffin was a major donor to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns.
  • On July 16, 2009, Zachary Schwartz asked Band for help getting visas to travel to Cuba for a film production crew from Shangri La Entertainment. Band forwarded the request to Abedin, telling her, “Please call zach asap on this. [Redacted.] Important.” Abedin responded, “I’ll call zach when we land in India.” Abedin concludes with “Enjoy. Cuba is complicated. Am sure you aren’t surprised to hear that.” Schwartz worked for Steve Bing, a mega-donor to the Clintons and owner of Shangri La Entertainment. Bing has reportedly donated $10-25 million to the Clinton Foundation and paid Bill Clinton personally $2.5 million a year to be an adviser to a green construction company Bing owned.
  • On September 11, 2009, Terrence Duffy, chairman of futures brokerage firm CME Group, a donor to the Clinton Foundation, asked Clinton to arrange “government appointments” for him in Singapore and Hong Kong. Clinton, using her HDR22@clintonmail.com address, forwarded the request to Abedin, “fyi.” Abedin responded to Duffy’s email, saying she would “follow up” with Duffy’s secretary, Joyce. Duffy gave $4,600 to Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign; CME Group paid Hillary $225,000 for a speaking fee and has donated between $5,001 and 10,000 to the Clinton Foundation.Abedin, using her huma@clintonmail.com address, later told Joyce, “Would like to get some more information and details so we can try to help.” Further along in the exchange, Joyce responds “We would also like some help in arranging meetings with some key govt officials in both locations, such as the Prime Minister of Singapore, and would appreciate any help you may be able to provide.”

On September 29, 2009, Abedin followed up with Duffy, telling him that “we are happy to assist with any and all meetings” and that she had “discussed you and your trip with our assistant secretary of state for east asia and pacific affairs,” suggesting that Duffy write the assistant secretary, Kurt Campbell. Duffy replied, “Thank you very much. I did connect with Kurt Campbell today.”

  • On May 5, 2010, major Clinton Global Initiative member, Clinton Foundation donor and real estate developer Eddie Trump forwarded to “Dougie” Band a request for assistance from Russian American Foundation Vice President Rina Kirshner to get the Russian American Foundation involved in a State Department program. Band forwarded the request to Abedin, saying, “Can we get this done/mtg set.” As Judicial Watch previously reported, the State Department doled out more than $260,000 to the Russian American Foundation for “public diplomacy.”
  • Major Clinton donor Bal Das, a New York financier who reportedly raised $300,000 for Hillary’s 2008 presidential campaign, asked Abedin on November 11, 2009 if Hillary Clinton could address the Japan Society at its annual conference in 2010. Clinton did speak to the Japan Society’s annual conference in 2011.

The emails also provide insight on the inner workings of the Clinton State Department, in particular her engagement with her staff.

  • In a May 19, 2009, “Global Press Conference” memo, Clinton was given in advance the “proposed questions” of four of the seven foreign reporters. Examples include: “What is the Obama administration’s view of Australian PM Rudd’s proposal to form an Asia-Pacific Community” and “Why can’t American drones not find, detect and destroy the insurgency supply line?”
  • In a document entitled “HRC Pakistan Notes” prepared for Clinton by her staff, Clinton apparently had to be reminded about all her trips to Pakistan and of “stories that you have told/remember.” Her reminder instructions include: “You loved Faisal mosque, and it was especially meaningful to have CVC [Chelsea] with you.” And: “Your first Pakistani friend was in College. She introduced you to Pakistani food and clothes.” And: “You have had lots of Pakistani and Pakistani American friends over the years. From Chicago to California to Washington, DC, you have friends all over the country. They know how much you love Pakistani food …”
  • On February 12, 2010, Case Button, a Clinton speechwriter, asked Abedin if her mother, a professor at Dar Al Hekma, a women’s university in Saudi Arabia where Clinton held a town hall meeting, would be willing to give him advice on talking points he was preparing for Clinton. Abedin responded, “Talk to my mom for sure. She will have good points for you.” After reviewing Hillary’s draft remarks, Huma’s mother, Saleha Abedin, (a controversial Islamist activist), offered some advice: “Do not use the political terms such as ‘democracy/elections/freedom.’ Do not use the term ’empowerment of women’ instead say ‘enabling women’ Do not even mention driving for women! Don’t sound sympathetic to ‘women’s plight’ or be ‘patronizing’ as other visitors have done and made the students extremely annoyed. They rightly consider these as in-house issues …” No references to these issues appear in Clinton’s speech.

Abedin’s involvement in a major appointment at the State Department is controversial given that Abedin’s mother was an Islamist activist.

  • On July 24, 2009, Cheryl Mills forwarded to Abedin a CV for someone being considered for the position of Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It had been sent to Mills from State Department recruiter Margaret Carpenter. Rather than forwarding the resume on to Clinton for her approval, Abedin simply responds to Mills: “I’m a hundred percent fine with him.”

Abedin also offered her opinion to Clinton on administration leaders: On January 21, 2011, while on a trip to Mexico, Abedin emailed Hillary that, “Biden is a disaster here.”

  • On February 20, 2012, Clinton expresses outrage over an apparent wardrobe miscommunication for a meeting in Mexico and sent an email to Abedin with the subject line “I’m venting.” Clinton admonished:

So, here I sit in the meeting surrounded by ever other person dressed in a white shirt provided by the Mexicans. Patricia is not wearing the exact style that all others are but her own white shirt. But, since no one ever told me about this, and instead assumed I didn’t need to know, I had no idea about any of this until I just walked into the large meeting in front of the entire press corps and I’m wearing a green top. So, what’s my answer when asked why I think I’m different than all my colleagues and why I’m dissing our hosts? I am sick of people deciding what I should know rather than giving me the info so I can make a decision. This really annoys me and I told Monica [Hanley] I just didn’t understand.

These emails show ‘what happened’ was that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin obviously violated laws about the handling of classified information and turned the State Department into a pay for play tool for the corrupt Clinton Foundation. The clear and mounting evidence of pay for play and mishandling of classified information warrant a serious criminal investigation by an independent Trump Justice Department.

To read more about Huma Abedin’s emails, click here.

The IRS Scandal Is Still a Scandal

In a baffling move, President Trump’s Justice Department has decided not to prosecute Lois Lerner, former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS, whose own emails place her at the heart of the politicization of the IRS for the targeting of conservative groups:

When we learned of this, I issued this statement:

I have zero confidence that the Justice Department did an adequate review of the IRS scandal. In fact, we’re still fighting the Justice Department and the IRS for records about this very scandal. Today’s decision comes as no surprise considering that the FBI collaborated with the IRS and is unlikely to investigate or prosecute itself. President Trump should order a complete review of the whole issue. Meanwhile, we await accountability for IRS Commissioner Koskinen, who still serves and should be drummed out of office.

Let’s review the history.

Judicial Watch released 294 pages of FBI “302” documents revealing top Washington IRS officials, including Lois Lerner and Holly Paz, knew the agency was specifically targeting “Tea Party” and other conservative organizations two full years before disclosing it to Congress and the public. An FBI 302 document contains detailed narratives of FBI agent investigations. The Obama Justice Department and FBI investigations into the Obama IRS scandal resulted in no criminal charges.

The FBI 302 documents confirm the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) 2013 report, which said, “Senior IRS officials knew that agents were targeting conservative groups for special scrutiny as early as 2011.” Lerner did not reveal the targeting until May 2013, in response to a planted question at an American Bar Association conference. The documents revealed that then-acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller actually wrote Lerner’s response: “They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title. That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate.”

Our litigation forced the IRS first to say that emails belonging to Lerner were supposedly missing and later declare to the court that the emails were on IRS back-up systems. Lerner was one of the top officials responsible for the IRS’ targeting of President Obama’s political opponents.  Judicial Watch exposed various IRS record keeping problems:

  • In June 2014, the IRS claimed to have “lost” responsive emails belonging to Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • In July 2014 Judge Emmett Sullivan ordered the IRS to submit to the court a written declaration under oath about what happened to Lerner’s “lost” emails. The sworn declarations proved to be less than forthcoming.
  • In August 2014, Department of Justice attorneys for the IRS finally admitted Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The IRS’ attorneys also disclosed that Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) was looking at several of these backup tapes.
  • In November 2014, the IRS told the court it had failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lerner and other IRS officials.
  • On February 26, 2015, TIGTA officials testified to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that it had received 744 backup tapes containing emails sent and received by Lerner.  This testimony showed that the IRS had falsely represented to both Congress, Judge Sullivan, and Judicial Watch that Lerner’s emails were irretrievably lost. The testimony also revealed that IRS officials responsible for responding to the document requests never asked for the backup tapes and that 424 backup tapes containing Lerner’s emails had been destroyed during the pendency of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit and Congressional investigations.
  • In June 2015, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to admit in a court filing that it was in possession of 6,400 “newly discovered” Lerner emails. Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered the IRS to provide answers on the status of the Lerner emails the IRS had previously declared lost. Judicial Watch raised questions about the IRS’ handling of the missing emails issue in a court filing, demanding answers about Lerner’s emails that had been recovered from the backup tapes.
  • In July 2015, U.S District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan threatened to hold John Koskinen, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, and Justice Department attorneys in contempt of court after the IRS failed to produce status reports and recovered Lerner emails, as he had ordered on July 1, 2015.
  • Obama IRS Commissioner Koskinen was nearly impeached in September 2016 for misleading Congress on Lerner’s emails.

While Washington spins in circles trying to find election rigging on the part of Donald Trump, it closes its eyes to genuine election skullduggery.

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

Gang members profit through criminal enterprises in a variety of ways: drug, weapon and human trafficking; theft, robbery, intimidation and extortion, and various kinds of fraud. In a win-win for gangbangers, material gains from criminality in one California municipality will soon include government-sanctioned payola.

In a special meeting on August 29, the nine-member City Council of Sacramento unanimously agreed to allocate $1.5 million in funding and to move forward with a “gun-violence reduction strategy” that will include cash payments (“LifeMAP milestone allowances”) and paid vacations for the handful of gang members suspected of committing the majority of gang-related gun crimes in the city.

The report and funding agreement before the council indicate that the program, the “Peacemaker Fellowship,” is to be implemented by a group called Advance Peace. It proposes to reduce gang violence through “transformational opportunities to young adults identified as most likely to be” involved in “gun violence” and by ensuring “greater connectivity to culturally competent human, social, and economic opportunities” for these individuals. The details, as fleshed out during the council meeting, were that participants will be selected from a small group of gang members thought to be behind the “re-cyclical and retaliatory” gun crimes in the community. Among other things, program participants will be required to identify and commit to “LifeMAP goals” (academic aspirations, or more basic things like “getting a driver’s license or improving their relationship with their parents or their kids”). As part of “incentivizing achievement,” the program’s “touchpoints” include “Transformative Travel” and cash stipends for participants. The cost associated with each participant tops out at an estimated $30,000.

The four-year agreement requires the city to pay $500,000 over the course of two years, starting this year. Implementation will consist of two 18-month segments, with 50 participants in each segment. The expected “outcomes” listed in the report are a reduction in firearm assaults and firearm-related homicides by 50 percent” over the four years, “reduc[ing] by $26 million the government costs associated with gun violence,” and the dismantling of “gang war zones within and around the City.”

At the meeting, only one council member, Angelique Ashby, raised significant concerns with the agreement and the authorizing resolution. Among these deficiencies, she noted that out of the “many, many numbers” referenced in the proposal, including “$26 million in government savings,” there was “not one citation” to explain or substantiate these references. The agreement was “front loaded with the cash,” with all of the funding paid out in the first two years but with “zero outcomes” due until year three, meaning the city had no payments that it could withhold if there was a default in performance. More generally, nothing allowed the city to terminate the agreement if the benchmarks and goals weren’t met, which was complicated further by the fact that the goals (like an initial reduction of 20 percent in gun-related assaults and homicides) had no clearly defined baseline or starting point against which performance would be measured. The agreement start and end dates were left blank; the only “quantifiable dates” in the contract were the dates on which the payments by the city had to be made. Nowhere was there a requirement that the program be coordinated with local law enforcement or schools. And despite an assumption that Advance Peace was going to “match” the city funding with an equal amount, this obligation wasn’t documented in the agreement wording.

Determined to waste not a moment, the council rejected councilor Ashby’s request for a one-week delay to address these concerns, although it agreed to incorporate some changes. 

A much more fundamental problem – considering the whole premise is a reduction in gang-related violence – is that nothing in the agreement or resolution requires fellowship participants to make a commitment to forego violence and forsake their gang lifestyle as a condition of participation, or mandates withholding payments and other incentives from participants who commit violent crimes or are charged or convicted of criminal offenses. While fellowship participants will be evaluated for “new gun charges/arrests” as part of the overall benchmarking reports, this doesn’t extend to criminal charges more generally, or operate as a disqualification. A participant who is paid council-approved funds for accomplishing his “LifeMAP goal” of getting a driver’s license is under no agreement-imposed impediment against using that license to facilitate other criminal acts.  

One law enforcement official – Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones – points out the program may actually shield participants who commit crimes. “They do not engage in law enforcement at all, and I have been told that if they become aware of one of the participants committing crime, they will NOT notify law enforcement.”

This funding is not just “counter-intuitive,” it is simply wrong. Apart from the most obvious, glaring lack of anything in the agreement that conditions payments on “good behavior” and a repudiation of gang violence, the perception is this “incentivizing” is compensation for lawbreakers that weakens respect for the law and the criminal justice system. Heather MacDonald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, calls it “an absolute abdication of the law and of the moral authority of the law, and a perfect example of defining deviance down…I mean, you’re basically holding the state hostage.”

These misgivings might arguably be overlooked if there was some guarantee that the spending program significantly reduced gang violence over an appreciable period of time. City residents looking for assurances that their taxpayer funds are being spent wisely will find little in the Council Report. Its lengthy recital of statistics, percentages and cost savings omits, surprisingly, information on the merits and success of this and similar programs. The government bureaucracy may be just as well served, in terms of reducing gang crime and violence in Sacramento, by giving the same participants a bus ticket and $20,000 to stay out of the city. 

Residents who aren’t gang member fellowship recipients will have to wait and see. Unfortunately for them, at the same time that the Sacramento City Council embarks on this bold new program to assist “hard-to-reach” residents to escape crime and violence in their communities, lawmakers across the state continue their efforts to prevent law-abiding Californians from doing the same through the exercise of their Second Amendment rights (here and here and here).

Sarah Halimi’s killer suffered a bouffée délirante

The long-awaited psychiatric evaluation of Sarah Halimi’s killer, Kobili Traoré, was revealed in the media on September 13th. Forensic psychiatrist Daniel Zagury concludes that Traoré committed the crime under the influence of an “acute bouffée délirante” that altered but did not abolish his discernment. This psychopathological state was aggravated, according to doctor Zagury, by the consumption of cannabis, a total of 15 cigarettes. The voluntary drug intake somehow balances out the potential irresponsibility of some sort of temporary insanity in proportions that a judge will be trusted to decide. It is not incompatible with a criminal trial and, according to some reports, Kobili Traoré has already been transferred from a mental facility to the Fresnes prison.

On the night of 4-5 April, Kobili Traoré, a 27 year-old of Malian origin, burst in on Malian neighbors in a state of agitation. The neighbors took refuge in one room of their apartment and called the police. Hearing Traoré reciting Koranic verses, the police called for reinforcements. While they waited in the hallway, Traoré climbed over to the neighboring balcony, broke into the apartment of his Jewish neighbor Sarah Halimi, a retired physician who lived alone in the apartment upstairs from the Traore’s. Shouting allau akhbar and Koranic imprecations, he bashed and battered his victim with relentless fury and then threw her to her death from the 3rd floor balcony. By then, a heavily armed commando had arrived. Too late. Traoré was considered unfit for interrogation, placed in a mental health facility, and finally charged with voluntary manslaughter and sequestration. The aggravating circumstances of antisemitism were not added to the charges. 

A virtual media blackout of the horrific crime was followed by months of dim silence. And now we have a puzzling psychiatric evaluation that confirms the impression of a perverse cover up of a savage Islamic anti-Semitic torture/murder, a systematic refusal to confront the genocidal antisemitism that runs like a deep dark river in Arab-Muslim societies here in France, in Europe, in the countries of origin. How could armed policeman stand down as an enraged man was venting his fury on a defenseless woman? If the killer was possessed by an acute bouffée délirante, the police must have been paralyzed by a bouffée of delirious panic. They reportedly assumed that Traoré must be a terrorist… because he recited koranic verses. Therefore, it would be too dangerous to intervene before the arrival of commandos.

Why did it take more than five months to present this psychiatric evaluation that looks to the naked eye like a whitewash? One more whitewash in an endless series of evasions. Like pre-emptive jail breaks. It has nothing to do with Islam, the car rammer was mentally disturbed, the stabber was depressed by an impending divorce, the mass murderer at the wheel of the truck driving wasn’t even religious, the throat slitter had never read the koran.  

And now the enraged Muslim that batters his Jewish neighbor was a victim of an acute bouffée délirante. My search for the English equivalent of this fearsome psychic state came up with some curious specifics (in italics):

“A French term for a culture-bound symptom complex described in West Africa and Haiti, characterised by an abrupt onset of agitated and aggressive behaviour, confusion and psychomotor excitement.”

Bouffée délirante: an examination of its current status.

Johnson-Sabine EC, Mann AH, Jacoby RJ, Wood KH, Peron-Magnan P, Olié JP, Deniker P

Abstract

“Bouffée délirante is an historic and unique French diagnostic term for a short-lived psychosis. The key diagnostic features are acute, floridly psychotic symptoms with complete remission. Its use in a Paris hospital has been examined, and it appears that the term is declining in popularity. A case-controlled study indicated that the diagnosis is likely to be given to migrants on first admission. A re-diagnosis of case summaries indicated no particular correspondence of bouffée délirante to any one ICD category. However, the usefulness of having a special diagnostic term for psychosis with a good outcome is discussed.” 

What, then, distinguishes an acute bouffée délirante from chronic murderous hatred of Jews among other infidels?  If the latter is garden variety antisemitism then the former must be a sudden onset of savage antisemitism.

If I understand correctly, Doctor Daniel Zagury would or might agree with the above. Where most French media apparently picked up the story as it broke in le Figaro on September 13th, a regional newspaper, La Voix du Nord, saw fit to add further details from “sources close to the case.” “The heavy dose of cannabis could have triggered the acute bouffée délirante but, according to the expert, this would not be ‘incompatible with an antisemitic dimension’ of the crime. Doctor Zagury describes this bouffée délirante as a ‘polymorphous persecution complex with mystical, demonopathic thematics.’ Though the suspect’s antisemitism has not been established by the investigation, the psychiatric expert supposes that ‘common ordinary prejudice or shared representations were transformed into absolute conviction in the ‘state of delirious agitation.'”

Translated into normal language this would give the doctor’s opinion that ordinary everyday prejudices shared by the suspect’s milieu-the belief that Jews are evil, scheming, devious creatures that killed the prophet- were transformed into “absolute conviction,” in other words, an absolute certainty that the Jewish woman, Sarah Halimi was really, truly and absolutely Satan (shietan).

Daniel Zagury, who is a specialist in the evaluation of mass murderers, does not subscribe to the notion that jihadists are mentally deranged individuals that just happen to commit a certain type of crime. On the contrary, he believes that psychological factors are either rare or minor elements. His lifeline neighbors that of Doctor Sarah Halimi née Lucie Attal.  Born in France to Moroccan Jewish parents, Doctor Zagury spent the first ten years of his life in Morocco. He describes himself as a non-believer-Sarah Halimi became orthodox-who neither hides nor displays his Jewish identity-hers was obvious to the neighbors. “It has always been clear to me that being Jewish means standing in a lineage of history, culture, love, stubborn determination, and the commitment to transmission.” 

Dr. Zagury is 67. Sarah Halimi’s life ended at the age of 66.

Maître Jean-Alexandre Buchinger, counsel for Sarah Halimi’s adult children, takes note that the psychiatric evaluation concludes that Kobili Traoré is fit to stand trial. He has nevertheless filed a request for a second evaluation.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Family Security Matters.

VIDEO: The Vortex — “The Dogma Lives Loudly Within” by Michael Voris

By now you have probably seen or heard about this shameful attack by Sen. Diane Feinstein of Amy Coney Barrett, the Notre Dame Law school professor nominated by President Trump to the federal bench. So outrageous was the verbal assault that even heterodox modernist Catholics like Notre Dame’s President Fr. John Jenkins went after Feinstein as did the failing and pro-gay Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York. But what went largely unreported was the fact that sitting on that side of the judiciary committee bench were two Catholics, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Pat Leahy of Vermont, two fake Catholic pro-abortion senators.

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TRANSCRIPT

By now you have probably seen or heard about this shameful attack by Sen. Diane Feinstein of Amy Coney Barrett, the Notre Dame Law school professor nominated by President Trump to the federal bench. So outrageous was the verbal assault that even heterodox modernist Catholics like Notre Dame’s President Fr. John Jenkins went after Feinstein as did the failing and pro-gay Cdl. Timothy Dolan of New York. But what went largely unreported was the fact that sitting on that side of the judiciary committee bench were two Catholics, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Pat Leahy of Vermont, two fake Catholic pro-abortion senators.

Notably, it was Durbin, a Catholic who rejects the Catholic Church, who took exception to Barrett’s use of the term “orthodox Catholic.” He said the phrase unfairly maligns Catholics who believe child murder is acceptable and sodomy should be enshrined as a right from which marriage should be defined. For the record, it does not unfairly malign but rather accurately portrays them. They are not “orthodox Catholics” at all. They have abandoned their faith for political glory. Both Leahy and Durbin were at one time pro-life but to hold on to their political power, they switched and started voting for child killing.

Amy Coney Barrett is absolutely correct to make the distinction between orthodox Catholics and phony Catholics. It is the class of phony Catholics that have almost all the ecclesiastical and secular power among Catholics who have any such standing. But where did these Judases come from? Well, that’s pretty simple. They are shining examples, exemplary examples of Church of Nice Catholicism, that pick and choose cafeteria Catholicism so heavily promoted today from within the Church.

Every day on the secular stage, we get a look at these traitors, which reveals the system whereby they easily converted to their phony Catholicism. Washington D.C. is crawling with these apostates — Joe Biden, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy and the whole Kennedy Clan before they went before the judgment seat of Almighty God drenched in the blood of innocents.

But they are by no means confined to D.C. — California Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown who was in Jesuit seminary in his young adulthood. Jesuits, hmmm, go figure. And of course former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also a Catholic — both men betraying the precepts of their faith while in office in more ways than one. The list of traitorous Catholics never denounced or called out or even challenged by the Church Establishment is too long and painful to review, and it’s been that way for decades. Imagine that headline: “Cardinal Terminates Terminator for Terminating Pre-born.” Don’t hold your breath.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell, restating what Pope Benedict told German seminarians, there are too many malformed bishops and orthodox Catholics are just going to have to live through this because what other option is there? But living through this doesn’t mean ignoring and being disengaged. In fact, it means just the opposite, exactly the opposite. It means being even more engaged. It means being dedicated to studying, learning, reviewing the Faith continually. We are in a pitched battle for the Truth, and the sad reality is we have very few allies even in the Church, especially in the Church.

As we’ve covered earlier this week, more than four out of five U.S. Catholics do not believe in the Devil and close to half of European Catholics don’t see any real difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. These horrible realities are the reason we started St. Michael’s Media and Church Militant, and even we didn’t realize how bad it was when we started 12 years ago but we have come to realize, and now we are dedicated to calling out the error, and at the same time pointing to the Truth.

That’s why we are asking you, highly encouraging you to sign up for a Premium subscription to Church Militant. We have hundreds and hundreds of hours of straight-up Catholic programming, ranging from classes to shows to investigations to just about everything you can think of — all to help you fall in love with the Catholic faith. And for those who sign up, just this week, for a recurring monthly subscription, which is just $10 a month, you will receive a complimentary copy of The Vortex published just this spring.

We must rededicate ourselves to knowing and studying the Faith so that we can resist the continuing loss of Catholic identity with all our might. Part of that involves setting aside time to study the Faith — to be enraptured by its glories and mysteries and blinding truth.

Dianne Feinstein would have never said what she said had she been surrounded by orthodox Catholics. But with traitorous Catholics, a by-product of the Church of Nice, she had all the permission and confidence she needed. Far from being surrounded by any orthodox Catholics, she was seated next to a Judas Catholic who actually joined her in attacking and calling out an orthodox Catholic. His conscience no doubt searing inside him.

We have fallen so far, so fast, that the task ahead of us is almost beyond words. It is daunting, true, but that cannot dissuade us from the work. We have to simply knuckle down and get to work every day, in every little way and that includes committing ourselves to knowing the Faith.

So please sign up today for a recurring monthly Premium membership, and not only do you get a copy of The Vortex book but more importantly, you get access to all of our programming so it can be an essential part of your training in the Faith. Thousands already count on Church Militant to be their daily source of consistent knowledge of the One True Faith.

Don’t just sit back and complain about the likes of Feinstein and the current state of affairs. Get involved. Get off the sidelines and get in the game.

God love you, and we’ll see you on the Church Militant Premium channel, and thank you in advance for your Premium subscription. And remember, you want traitorous Catholics to call you out for the dogma living loudly within you.

EDITORS NOTE: This episode of The Vortex with Micheal Voris originally appeared on The Church Militant.

The End of DACA Could Give Congress a New Start

For both Democrats and Republicans, it is a chance to pass a bill that Americans by a wide margin would welcome.

When President Trump last week started a six-month countdown clock to end his predecessor’s executive order protecting immigrants who were brought illegally to America when they were children, the denunciations came fastfurious, and fevered.

Angry outrage has become the standard reaction to almost everything Trump says and does, often with reason. But on the issue of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, that fury is misplaced. Trump has created an opening that should gladden conservatives and liberals alike – one that members of Congress on both sides of the aisle should exploit.

How DACA Happened

For years, legislators have allowed presidents to push the limits of executive power, bypassing Congress on issues ranging from warrantless wiretaps to health care subsidies. Lawmakers, constantly battling each other, have failed to defend what should be their exclusive power to make the nation’s laws. Unexpectedly, Trump has just handed them a chance to reclaim lost ground.

Barack Obama’s DACA policy was a classic example of achieving an excellent end through terrible means. It offered to protect 1 million or so young people from deportation and allow them to work legally, so long as they stayed out of trouble, finished school, and registered with the government. More than three-fourths of eligible immigrants signed up for DACA status, and by all accounts, they have been a productive and law-abiding cohort. Some have been downright heroic.

The problem with DACA is that it was imposed unilaterally by Obama in 2012. He claimed he had to take “action to change the law” by executive order because Congress had failed to pass a bill (the proposed DREAM Act) that would do so legislatively. At first he insisted that DACA was only a “temporary stopgap measure.” But as hundreds of thousands of so-called “Dreamers” signed up, DACA became institutionalized.

Two years later, Obama tried to expand it, sheltering not only Dreamers from deportation, but their parents – a population numbering more than 4 million. When a group of states sued to block the expansion, federal courts backed them up. Obama’s action was “manifestly contrary” to existing immigration law, ruled the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and presidents cannot make immigration law by fiat.

But DACA itself remained in force, and there is no question that the policy is popular. An overwhelming 76 percent of voters, say DACA enrollees should be allowed to stay legally in the United States; only 15 percent want them deported. Majorities of Democrats (84 percent), independents (74 percent), and Republicans (69 percent) believe Dreamers should able to remain in America as permanent legal residents. Even among self-identified Trump voters, two-thirds think Dreamers should stay.

Trump himself has repeatedly expressed unwillingness to hurt Dreamers. “I have a love for these people,” he said on Tuesday. “Hopefully, now Congress will be able to help them and do it properly.”

That’s exactly what Congress should do.

Legalizing DACA

Even granting Trump’s habit of saying “X” on Monday and “not-X” on Thursday, it seems plain that a clean bill giving Dreamers legal status is one he would relish signing – if only to tout it as an achievement only he could have engineered. “Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do),” Trump tweeted on Tuesday. “If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”

No one should miss the significance of Trump’s surprising deference to Congress. Trump used to say he would end DACA the way Obama created it: unilaterally. In his campaign kickoff speech in the Trump Tower lobby two years ago, he vowed that if elected he would “immediately terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration.”

But he didn’t. He hesitated for months on DACA – and when he finally moved it was because of a looming legal threat: A group of state attorneys general were about to challenge DACA in court. If Trump wanted DACA killed without having to pull the trigger himself, he could have invited that lawsuit and ordered the Justice Department not to oppose it.

Instead, he is urging Congress to take the lead and “legalize DACA.” To put it differently, Trump is urging the legislative branch to reclaim its proper constitutional authority – to take back a measure of power that Obama usurped.

In modern times, presidents of both parties have routinely overstepped their bounds. Obama arguably went further down that path than any previous president. “Once a presidential candidate with deep misgivings about executive power,” The New York Times observed last year, “Obama will leave the White House as one of the most prolific authors of major regulations in presidential history.” It took a while for Obama to get over those “misgivings” – after all, he had sharply criticized George W. Bush’s reliance on unilateral orders. But once he did, he pursued executive power without apology.

Improbably, Trump has now handed Congress a perfect vehicle to undo an act of presidential overreach and enhance its own authority. For Republicans, this is an opportunity to roll back one of Obama’s most blatant acts of “pen-and-phone” aggrandizement. For Democrats, it is a way to deter Trump from engaging in overreach of his own – from, say, ordering a wall to be built along the Mexican border on the grounds that Congress hasn’t acted. For both, it is a chance to pass a bill that Americans by a wide margin would welcome.

Trump should be cheered, not cursed, for handing off DACA to Congress. For years, lawmakers of both parties have fumed as presidents have gotten away with wielding power unilaterally. Now Capitol Hill has a chance to do something about it, and with White House encouragement. Blow this opportunity, and they may never get another.

Reprinted from Jeff Jacoby.

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby has been a columnist for The Boston Globe since 1994. He has degrees from George Washington University and from Boston University Law School. Before entering journalism, he (briefly) practiced law at the prominent firm of Baker & Hostetler, worked on several political campaigns in Massachusetts, and was an assistant to Dr. John Silber, the president of Boston University. In 1999, Jeff became the first recipient of the Breindel Prize, a major award for excellence in opinion journalism. In 2014, he was included in the “Forward 50,” a list of the most influential American Jews.

Decorated Combat Commander’s Career destroyed due to ‘political correctness’, case goes to Supreme Court

ANN ARBOR, MI—On Monday, September 11, 2017, the Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the United States Supreme Court to correct the injustice done to Lieutenant Colonel (“LTC”) Christopher Downey after the United States Army violated its own regulations, effectively ending his stellar career.

In a footnote, the U. S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals acknowledged that the Army applied the incorrect burden of proof to LTC Downey’s case, contrary to its own regulations.  However, it shrugged off this fundamental error. LTC Downey’s petition to the Supreme Court points out that the error was so manifest and so serious that nearly every other appellate court in the land would have required the Army’s final review board to rehear his case.

TMLC attorney, Jay Combs, the principle author of the Petition to the Supreme Court, commented: “The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals threw away the exceptional career of Lieutenant Colonel Downey in a footnote.  The issue that the Fourth Circuit so cavalierly disposed of in a footnote was so serious that nearly every other circuit in the United States, on this issue alone, would have reversed the entire Army Board process without the need to even address any of the other issues in the case.  Most circuits recognize that the rule of law is dealt a crippling blow if an agency does not have to follow its own regulations.”

Combs was assisted by attorney Erin Kuenzig, who had handled the District Court and Fourth Circuit arguments.

LTC Downey’s troubles began in 2012 when he made the “politically incorrect” effort to prevent two lesbian female officers under his command from violating Army regulations regarding public displays of affection. The two officers, a Captain and a Lieutenant, were in uniform at a formal military ball and were on the dance floor engaged in prolonged French kissing, publicly taking off each other’s uniform jackets, and other intimate and salacious conduct.  Once he became aware of the situation, LTC Downey took immediate action to stop the inappropriate behavior.  He also attempted to prevent other soldiers from photographing and videotaping the officers’ inappropriate conduct, which he believed would embarrass the unit as well as the offending officers. In the process of lowering the camera of an enlisted soldier, the camera accidentally made contact with the soldier’s nose. As a result, despite the recommendations of LTC Downey’s immediate superior, General Mark Milley ordered an investigation and a subsequent Article 15 hearing where he acted as the presiding officer on charges of assault consummated by battery and violation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

The Article 15 proceeding, which lasted approximately 5 hours, was more concerned about offending homosexual advocacy groups than the guilt or innocence of LTC Downey. General Milley found LTC Downey guilty of the charge of assault consummated by battery. LTC Downey was issued reprimands for both violations, relieved of command, issued a negative Officer Evaluation Report, and removed from the attendance list of the National War College.

A formal board hearing was convened to review the same matters to decide whether LTC Downey should be retained in the Army. The formal board, unlike General Milley in the Article 15 proceedings, conducted an exhaustive adversarial hearing in which the Army was represented by an attorney and LTC Downey was also represented by counsel.  The hearing board listened to the testimony of multiple witnesses, reviewed evidence, and listened to the arguments of government and defense attorneys. Afterwards, the formal board unanimously determined the allegations against LTC Downey were not supported by even a preponderance of the evidence.

Despite the unanimous decision of the formal board of officers, the prior contrary findings of the Article 15 hearing remained a part of LTC Downey’s official record, destroying the further progression of his stellar career and tarnishing his good name.

Downey was well on his way to becoming a high-ranking officer in the Army, as evidenced by the glowing remarks from his commanding officers. In early April of 2012, Downey received a prestigious award recognizing him and the unit that he commanded as the best aviation battalion in the United States Army. He has been awarded 3 Bronze Stars and 7 Air Medals, one with a “V” device for valor in combat. The Air Medal with “V” device was awarded for valor he displayed on May 25, 2011, in “complete disregard for his own safety while initiating multiple engagements against an enemy with superior fields of fire over friendly forces.  His actions were decisive in saving the lives of soldiers on the ground.”

His performance reviews uniformly painted a picture of one of the Army’s most skilled and accomplished combat aviators.

Former Secretary of the Army, Louis Caldera, wrote of Downey:

“As former SecArmy I had the honor of working with strong officers daily, Chris Downey stands out among them. A clearly superior performance by a leader with phenomenal potential.”

White House Military Office Operations Director, Marcy Steinke-Fike:

“He is clearly in the top 1% of the handpicked officers of the White House Military Office Operations Directorate and in all of the Lieutenant Colonel’s I have known in my 20 years of military service. Chris planned the most sensitive and complex missions in support of the President, Vice President, First Lady and other White House delegations. Absolutely unlimited potential – a future General Officer!”

Commanding General John F. Campbell:

“Lieutenant Colonel Chris Downey’s performance in combat has been spectacular, he is my best aviation task force commander among the top three out of 70+ commanders that I senior rate. Strong General Officer potential.”  

The Administrative Board Applied the Wrong Burden Of Proof

In order to remedy the injustice caused by the erroneous Article 15, LTC Downey appealed to the Army Board for the Correction of Military Records (“ABCMR”). Unfortunately for LTC Downey, the ABCMR applied the wrong burden of proof to his case. The Board is governed by 32 C.F.R. § 581.3(e)(2) which provides: “Burden of proof. The ABCMR begins its consideration of each case with the presumption of administrative regularity. The applicant has the burden of proving an error or injustice by a preponderance of the evidence.” (emphasis added). Rather than holding LTC Downey to the correct burden of proof, the Board held him to the much more difficult burden of proving an error or injustice by clear and convincing evidence.  Finding that LTC Downey had not met this illegitimately high standard, the Board denied him relief.

Richard Thompson, President and chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center commenting on what happened to LTC Downey, stated: “There is no question in my mind that Lieutenant Colonel Downey was a victim of the military’s efforts to appease homosexual advocacy groups. As a result of political correctness gone amuck, America lost an outstanding combat commander who had given his country over 24 years of loyal service.”

Click here to read the Petition

How a Fraudulent Guardianship/Conservatorship Commences and Continues

This column examines conditions in Florida but the same problems exist in many states.

Step One: Eminent danger —The initial court petition

The professional guardian [or conservator], with the assistance of her attorneys, commences the embezzlement process by filing an emergency petition in the probate courts to become the “emergency” “temporary” guardian.

Florida guardianship statutes (Chapter 744), like many states, require that there be an “eminent danger” in order for the petitioner to become the “emergency temporary guardian.”

The guardian oftentimes fabricates the “eminent danger” by stating that there is a neighbor or relative or stranger who is taking advantage of the elderly person. In some cases, this may be a somewhat true statement, albeit an exaggerated claim. In most cases, upon further investigation, there has been no “eminent danger”whatsoever.

Step One takes away all of the victim’s civil rights and therefore gives the guardian and her attorneys full control over the victim and his or her assets.

Step Two: The examining committee

Once the professional guardian has taken control of the victim on a temporary basis (the emergency temporary guardianship order expires in 60 days [in Florida]) an examining committee of three medical “professionals” steps in to verify the allegation of mental incapacity. Oftentimes, the victim is administered a cocktail of psychotropic drugs to enhance the claims that he or she is incompetent.

“Ward” Elizabeth Faye Arnold, for instance, stated, “They put me on drugs that made me feel very drunk. I couldn’t even remember my name. Now that they have all my money, they don’t medicate me that way anymore.” One of the three medical professionals must be a psychiatrist and the victim is generally always found to be mentally incapacitated. The guardian usually has her own set of medical professionals that she utilizes on a regular basis. For instance, one professional guardian is married to a medical doctor and therefore has an entire fleet of medical professional associates available to her.

Back in the courtroom, soon after the three medical professionals file their reports, there is a capacity hearing. The victim seldom is permitted to attend this hearing. The judge quickly scans the medical examinations that “verify” that the victim is “mentally and/or physically incapacitated.” The judge then signs an order that gives the professional guardian full and permanent legal authority over the victim’s person and property.

Step Three: The “feast” begins

Property is sold for below market value and the deeds switch and switch several times. (kick backs are suspected). Bank accounts, annuities, stocks, and Certificates of Deposit are liquidated into one big guardianship account.

Out of this large bank account, the guardian is expected to pay all the victim’s, but bills oftentimes go unpaid.

How the victim’s money is spent

1. Attorney’s fees and guardianship fees for “services rendered to ‘Benefit’ the ‘Ward.”

A large part of the victim’s money is spent on attorney’s fees and guardian’s fees. As long as there is ample money in the victim’s guardianship account, the guardian and her attorney cohorts will file motion upon motion after motion to the courts, such as:

  • A motion to sell the ward’s furniture.
  • A motion to liquidate stocks and Certificates of Deposit.
  • A motion to transfer the ward to a different nursing home.
  • A motion to sell the ward’s homesteaded house.
  • A motion to open up a safety deposit box.

Each motion can cost the “ward” in excess of $2,000 because the motion must be written, researched, filed, and then a hearing is scheduled. Oftentimes, the motions cost more than what is being petitioned for.

2. Puffing the monthly budget

The guardian frequently doubles the monthly expenses then keeps the remainder.

3. Selling the “Ward’s” personal belongings for below market value then pocketing the difference

The guardian underestimates the amount of the sale of personal items, such as jewelry, paintings, and antiques, for the purpose of the court record inventories, then is free to keep the difference. There is little and often no court oversight.

4. Bills are simply not paid

Often times, the bills of the “ward” are not even paid. When the “ward” dies, the guardian simply places an ad in an obscure newspaper, if there is money left for an estate to be probated.Assuming creditors do not see the ad and file a claim against the estate within 30 days, their claims are forever barred and so the guardian was able to fool creditors and abscond with the money and not have to pay any of the bills. If she is caught, she simply pays the bills of the creditors who caught her. This frequently includes Medicaid.

5. Accounting is not accurate

The guardian can claim a much lower amount of liquid assets than what the victim is actually worth and then pocket the rest.

  • Julie Sweeten–$400,000.00 estate with an alleged $80,000.00 remaining when Sweeten died. More than $300,000.00 was spent in three years.
  • Louise A. Falvo started off with approximately $800,000.00. Two months into the guardianship, her guardian filed an accounting with the court stating that Falvo was worth only $672,000.00. Shortly thereafter, a bank statement from Bank of America stated that Falvo now had $449,000 after all accounts had been liquidated. So, approximately $200,000 turned up missing.

6. Fake wills

In this scenario, the guardian claimed that Julie Sweeten desired to leave her estate to her bank. A forged will was entered into the record. Wachovia Bank trustee was then given $80,000 from the uncontested, probated estate.

Step Four: The mysterious deaths

Once the funds have been spent, the “ward” oftentimes suddenly dies.

The “ward” dies when there is still plenty of money — if a huge probate battle can commence, thereby further enriching the attorneys and guardian.

Examples:

  • Carlisle Bosworth died soon after his $250,000 had been spent.
  • James Deaton — $5 million, three years in probate — $3 million in attorney’s fees with a pittance finally paid out to his family members.
  • Louise A. Falvo — suspected morphine sulfate overdose as cause of death; huge probate battle to enrich attorneys ensued even though her bank accounts were all Pay On Death/In Trust For (POD/ITF) to her daughter, so probate should have been completely unnecessary.

NASGA, National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse, has adopted a three part theme to succinctly describe the legally sanctioned exploitative guardianship process:

Isolate, Medicate, Take the Estate.”

Predatory guardians: How courts are allowing professional guardians/conservators to rob your assets

Examples:

  • Marie Long was worth $1.3 million when she suffered a stroke and came under the “protection” of a professional guardian. Three short years later, she is penniless and subsisting off of a meager social security pension and Medicaid.
  • Louise A. Falvo, 91, had accumulated nearly one million dollars when she was placed under a guardianship that was commenced with a forgery of her daughter’s signature by a probate attorney. Within three months, Louise A. Falvo was dead. Two and a half years later, the guardianship remains open. The guardian and her attorneys have, to date, been awarded by the judge more than $350,000.00 of Falvo’s estate — “to benefit the ‘ward'” — who is deceased.
  • Corretta Brown was placed under guardianship when the Department of Children and Families discovered that her home was uninhabitable. Today, Brown is deceased, her assets have disappeared (more than $100,000), and all of her debts — totaling more than $75,000 in nursing home costs, remain unpaid. The professional guardian, it was discovered, was not licensed and has since fled the state of Florida with Brown’s assets.
  • Marie Sandusky signed a power of attorney to guarantee that her beloved daughter, and not her rejected son, would manage her financial affairs and health care directives. Today, Sandusky has a court-appointed guardian who has spent more than $300,000 of Sandusky’s money in attorney’s fees. The reason? Sandusky’s rebuked son hired an attorney and together they made false allegations against Sandusky’s beloved daughter. As the “wheels of justice” move forward, Sandusky’s money is legally used to fund the frivolous feud.
  • Debra Duffield, 58, has been under the control of a professional guardian for the last four years. She was only 54-years old when an involuntary guardianship was petitioned against her by a professional guardian who gleefully discovered (tipped off by a social worker) Duffield’s substantive worth when Duffield was hospitalized for anorexia and a broken hip. During the last four years, the vast majority of her assets have been converted to attorney and guardian fees. Duffield, who was diagnosed as merely bipolar, had allegedly been financially exploited by a friend — hence, the rationale for the guardianship. She is confined to a nursing home without rehabilitation. She sits in a bed, smelling of urine and fecal matter, watching television. The guardian and her attorney regularly and steadfastly bill her account for merely “reading her file” or checking on the latest whereabouts of her former girlfriend. Soon, Duffield, who once owned a fabulous house complete with expensive antiques, valuable imported rugs and fine paintings, will be penniless.

When you hear the word “professional guardian,” what do you think? Do you think of someone who protects the elderly? Assists them with their daily needs? Guarantees they are protected from financial exploitation and physical neglect?

Think again.

The pristine image of professional court-appointed guardians who allegedly protect the elderly is being challenged. Grass root organizations, such as the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse (N.A.S.G.A.) and Advocates for National Guardianship Ethics and Reform (A.N.G.E.R.) are claiming that professional guardians, their attorneys — and even judges — need to be watched.

May 25, 2010. Latifa Ring of Elder Abuse Victims Advocates addressed the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security stating, “… exploitation in guardianships is rampant. It is largely kept out of the public eye under the guise of ‘protection.'”

“Family members are portrayed as “Osama Bin Laden” or the devil incarnate,” David Newman said, a guardian reform advocate.

These “unproven and often false allegations” commence a flurry of legal activity that can only be likened to Charles Dickinson’s Bleakhouse. While family members are forced to spend thousands of dollars defending themselves against the false accusations, these same accusers — oftentimes, the professional guardians– handsomely profit from the legal havoc they create.

The guardians need to be watched

Take, for example, the recently widely publicized case of Clay Greene and Harold Scull, a gay couple who had cogently cohabitated together for more than 20 years, rendering mutual durable powers of attorney, wills, and other legal declarations upon one another. When Scull, 89, unexpectedly fell onto a stone patio, paramedics were called and the local sheriff department hastily alleged that Greene had intentionally shoved Scull to the ground. Yet, despite the fact that all charges were subsequently dropped, the public guardianship office for Sonoma County used the already disproved physical abuse allegation to commence an involuntary guardianship against Scull. Scull was removed to a nursing home, isolated him from Greene, and the couple’s jointly owned property which included valuable paintings, expensive Persian rugs, antiques, silverware, jewelry, and real estate — was sold for far less than appraised value — at least according to the court records. It was later discovered that the items had been sold for far more by the public guardianship office.

These types of guardianship irregularities have sparked a guardianship task force Special Committee on Aging, which reported, “…guardianship…has the potential of harming older adults rather than protecting them…The…continuing reports of the failure of courts…to prevent [financial] exploitation of incapacitated adults by their guardians have long been of concern to this Committee.”

Greene sued the public guardianship office who settled with him for approximately $600,000.00 just days before trial. Amy Todd-Gher, Greene’s attorney, stated:

“This victory sends an unmistakable message that all elders must be treated with respect and dignity…and that those who mistreat elders must be held accountable. [But] Even as we celebrate this victory…we are deeply troubled that the Sonoma [County] continues to refuse to take responsibility for their egregious misconduct…We urge every citizen…to demand more oversight of the Public Guardian’s office. They need to be watched.”

An alarmingly common practice

Is elder financial exploitation by professional guardians and their attorneys a commonplace occurrence? According to John Caravella, a former detective and office manager for Seniors vs. Crime, a special project of the Florida Attorney General’s Office, Gainesville, Florida, the answer is “Yes.”

Caravella became simultaneously intrigued and disturbed by the court-sanctioned practices of professional guardians on their “wards” (the legal term dubbed to those who have lost all of their civil rights under court-mandated guardianship) when one of his neighbors mysteriously disappeared shortly after receiving an inheritance of more than a quarter of a million dollars. The neighbor, referred to as “Adelle” in Caravella’s book, Marked for Destruction, had been falsely induced by a stock broker, whom she had consulted about her fledgling inheritance money, to sign papers that authorized a professional guardian and her attorney to manage Adele’s finances — if she should become mentally incapacitated. Within a few weeks, the guardian and her attorney petitioned the court alleging that Adele was not competent to manage her own affairs. The court authorized that she be stripped of all of her civil rights and placed in a nursing home. Soon thereafter, Adele’s recently acquired $250,000+ was quickly consumed by the attorney and guardian for “professional services” fees. And Adele soon passed away.

How it all begins

Kevin Gallagher had a trusted, longstanding pact with his beloved parents: When the time was “right,” he would make arrangements for their safe return to Maine where they would reside in assisted living. That “right time” came unexpectedly one day after Sunday services when Robert and Elsa Gallagher became slightly disoriented in traffic when they happen chanced upon orange cones in a road detour. Kevin and Lisa, delighted to hear that their parents were ready to journey home, began making all of the necessary arrangements. Kevin even phoned his estranged Orlando-based sister, Lori, and asked if she would simply “telephone” Mom and Dad during the interim. The sister, however, consulted the Yellow Pages and telephoned a company, Geriatric Care Management, that specializes in elder care.

The sheriffs arrive

Within 48 hours a professional guardian, and owner of the elder care company, arrived at the Gallagher’s doorstep with a court order and two deputy sheriffs. She had hastily petitioned to become the couple’s “emergency temporary guardian” after learning of their substantive assets. Upon her arrival, the couple were forcefully removed from their home and placed in separate nursing home facilities. Mrs. Gallagher, hysterical, secretly phoned her daughter-in-law, her speech slurred, crying for help. She had been forcibly administered psychotropic drugs. Three medical professionals quickly examined her while under the influence of the narcotics, and declared both she and her husband simultaneously 100% mentally incapacitated. The temporary guardian was then quickly appointed the permanent, plenary guardian.

The guardians first move was to encumber all of the couple’s assets.

The legal contest commences

Instead of making arrangements for their safe return home, Kevin Gallagher suddenly found himself furiously searching for Florida attorneys. Meanwhile, the guardian’s legal counsel quickly filed papers to block Kevin’s attempts at removing his parents from Florida to Maine. A hotly contested guardianship soon commenced with attorneys from both sides legally authorized to generously pay themselves from the Gallaghers’ assets.

“The story is always the same,” states Newman, a guardianship reform advocate. “A family member fights the guardianship; then the family member later ‘wins’ the contest — when all the assets have been spent in attorneys’ fees.”

Three years passed. Kevin found himself switching attorneys four times in an attempt to get the legal nightmare to stop

Then, suddenly, it did stop. Kevin was declared the winner of the contest.

All of the assets had been spent.

“They then placed my parents on a airplane with a single suitcase with a broken zipper,” Kevin stated. “Inside the suitcase were tattered clothes that had the names of other people in Magic Marker inside the clothes. Everything they had owned — even their clothes — had been sold or trashed by the guardian.”

Both Elsa and Robert died shortly after returning to Maine.

Family feud — or — an open invitation for fraud?

Corrine Branson, 82, had been happily living in Miami Beach with the daily assistance of a CNA when her grandson secretly petitioned the court to become his grandmother’s guardian. When Branson learned that she was to be moved into a nursing home, she quickly phoned her beloved daughter, aunt to the grandson, who had been granted a springing power of attorney many years before. Bonnie Reiter, with little knowledge of guardianships or guardianship law, quickly hired an attorney who suggested that a “professional guardian” be appointed during the interim legal contest.

It turned out that the guardian he suggested works with him on a regular basis. Reiter fired her attorney, hired another, and then moved for a court hearing which her mother planned to attend.

“Two weeks prior to the hearing, my mother ended up mysteriously dead,” Reiter stated.

The guardianship remained open after Branson’s death with Reiter, alone, having spent $130,000.00 in attorneys’ fees.

“They took more than $800,000 of my mother’s money in attorneys’ fees. The guardianship, in which my mother had never even been declared mentally incapacitated, lasted less than three months. This is a racketeering scheme that needs to be investigated. The F.B.I. should step in.”

Different names, same story

  • An Orange County court auditor discovered $50,000.00 missing three days before the ward died. The judge ordered an “Order to Show Cause.” Prior to the hearing, the guardian and her attorney simply brought back the missing money and placed it back with the court. The judge dropped the scheduled hearing.
  • Court records show that the guardian received $12,000 a month to pay the nursing home bills for Carlisle Bosworth. However, the skilled nursing home facility where he was placed charges only $6,000 a month. No investigation has ever been conducted regarding what happened to the extra $6,000 per month. Bosworth died shortly after all of his money had been spent.
  • Marion Copley was placed on Medicaid — even though her guardian sold her home for more than $250,000.
  • In another case a professional guardian petitioned the court to become an elderly woman’s guardian when she discovered the woman had no living relatives. She told the judge that the woman, who was still living independently in her home, had “bats flying all over the inside of the house.” The allegation resulted in a guardianship and the victim was removed from her home. Neighbors later stated that they had never seen “bats flying all over the house.”
  • In yet another case a professional guardian obtained a guardianship over Christian Van Beekum stating that neighbors had exploited him. A quick search of the property records showed that the neighbors who had allegedly exploited Van Beekum had actually sold their home and moved to another state six years prior.
  • James Deaton had owned an extensive coin collection, an expensive baseball card collection, and his deceased mother’s diamond rings and pearl necklaces, according to relatives. None of these items were ever listed on the guardian’s inventory report.
  • The Denver Post has several times( 2010, 2011 ) published investigative reports exposing the problems with the probate court there.
  • In July 2012 World News posted a video by Lisa Flurie and story about what has been done to her brother Mark in Florida probate courts. Links to many other stories of guardianship/conservatorship fraud are available there as well.

Law enforcement agents, social workers, and judges have been trained to maintain a watchful eye over exploitative family members. Yet no one seems to be guarding the guardians. Family members have complained to local law enforcement, the state attorneys’ office, and even the F.B.I.without any significant action being taken.

The problems grow worse with time as the courts become ever more dysfunctional.

The Hospital Gestapo: You May Never See Home Again

American hospitals have devised a scheme to guarantee they never get stuck with an unpaid bill.  It’s called guardianship.

Thinking of checking into a hospital?  Think again.  You may never see home again.

  •  Ginger Franklin, Hendersonville, Tennessee, fell down the stairs in her condo and suffered a bump on her head.  She was declared “temporarily mentally incapacitated” and a guardian was appointed through the courts.  Within six weeks, the guardian had sold Franklin’s home, car, furniture, and drained her bank account. Today, Franklin has her freedom back, but she is having to start all over.
  • Michael Kidd, 72, of Richardson, Texas, fell in his yard and broke a hip.  Now, he is living in Countryside Nursing Home with his wife.  Both were removed from their home when the state of Texas petitioned the courts claiming that the Kidds were mentally incompetent.  Their house sits vacant and neglected, with rotting food still remaining in the refrigerator.  The Kidds have been confined to a single room in the nursing home, while the state appointed guardian burns through their money an gives them a mere $60 a month spending allowance which they have been using to buy “real” food.
  • Robert Milton (not his real name) was taken to the hospital because he fell “one time too many” at his home, and although his stepson had been given power of attorney to make all of his health care decisions, a court-appointed corporate guardian placed Milton against his will in a nursing home where he is now isolated from his family and friends.  Meanwhile, his money is being spent as quickly as possible by the Orlando-based guardian and her attorneys.

Elderly couple kidnapped by Texas Adult Protective Services:

How It Commences

Joseph Niedesky (not his real name) was air lifted to a hospital in Orlando from Ocala by helicopter after he was the victim of a motorcycle crash.  But something went terribly wrong during Niedesky’s surgery and he aspirated on his own vomit, causing some brain injury. That’s when a corporate guardian was contacted by the hospital and appointed by the court as Niedesky’s full plenary, permanent guardian.

What Happens Next

The corporate guardian who petitioned the court stated in the court papers that Niedesky had no family.  In reality, Niedesky had been married for more than 20 years and had four teenage children.  It took more than two months for Niedesky’s wife to discover what had happened to her husband and where he was located.

The Family is Always Portrayed as the “Devil Incarnate”

What happened to Niedesky is becoming a commonplace occurrence in America.  A family member is rushed to the hospital.  Surgery occurs and something sometimes goes terribly wrong.  However, by quickly petitioning the courts for guardianship, the hospital avoids any kind of lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death.  Niedesky’s wife wanted to bring him home and get him out of the guardianship.  The guardian, however, kept moving Niedesky from location to location, city to city, until the statute of limitations for suing the hospital had expired.  Shortly after the statute of limitations ended, Niedsky just happened to die.

“The hospital saved itself millions in a lawsuit.  It is typical that shortly after the statute of limitations runs out, the ward just happens to suddenly die,” stated David Newman, Gainesville, Florida, a civil rights guardianship reform advocate.

Niedesky’s wife was portrayed in the court record as uncaring, incompetent, over-meddling, and negligent, and although these descriptors seem to be a contraction of terms, you will typically find the most cynical descriptions of family members in most court files where an involuntary guardianship has been granted by the courts to a total stranger.

For example, in Milton’s case, Milton’s stepson had been named long ago as his power of attorney and health care surrogate.  That designation, however, was destroyed by the court and the corporate guardian even accused the stepson of stealing several thousands over the years from his stepfather.  Today, Milton’s stepson, a 65 year old retired veteran, finds himself in a legal nightmare gathering bank records and hiring attorneys and forensic accountants to prove his innocence.  Meanwhile, the corporate guardian is spending Milton’s money like water.

The Other Scenario

Tom Griffith (not his real name) wonders why an Orlando-based corporate guardian would be interested in his father at all.

“He has no money.  All he gets is a small monthly cheque from Social Security of about $800.00.”

I explained to Griffith that his father has been marked for destruction and will mostly likely not be among the living in a very short period of time.  “We live in a country that is ruled by corporations, not the U.S. Constitution.  If there is not enough money for the nursing home to cover its expenses, there is ‘no reason’ to keep your father alive.”  I explained to Milton how Thomas Chada’s father was sent to him as a box of ashes and how other wards seem to always turn up “expired” shortly after a corporate guardian and her attorneys have burned through all of an elderly person’s money.

But in this case, Griffith said there was no reason to destroy his father.  “There is no money to gain.”

“Yes, but that is the point.  The corporate guardians have a symbiotic relationship with the nursing homes.  Sometimes, the nursing home gives them a wealthy resident that they can bilk.  At other times, the corporate guardian does them a favor by making premature end-of-life decisions when there is not enough finances to cover the elderly person’s day-to-day expenses.”

In the case of Griffith’s father, who just received quadruple open heart bypass surgery, it was determined that the ward, age 74, now needed dialysis, a very costly ongoing treatment.

“The doctors said my father does not want dialysis,”Milton stated.  “But I know my father wishes to live; he is only 74.”

“They probably got your father to sign such a statement without him even knowing what he was signing,” I explained.

Milton wanted to know what he could do to rescue his father out of this dangerous and life-threatening situation.

“You can hire an attorney, but you might end up spending more than $500,000.00 of your own money to become your father’s guardian.”

“I don’t have that kind of money,”Griffithdeclared, shocked.

It was obvious that the scenario I was describing was greatly upsetting Griffith.   Those of us who have already lived this scenario remember going through the predictable stage of “mental shock” followed by the overwhelming urge to seek justice—at any cost.  I explained to Griffith that he may find himself bankrupt as a result of trying to help his father out of this doomed guardianship situation.

My phone continues to ring as victims, desperate to find a solution, want to know what they can do.

In a country that is ruled by corporations and corporate greed, there will be no solution to The Guardianship Nightmare until a public uprising is so severe that these kinds of abominable– yet commonplace situations– will no longer be able to occur.