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Rand Paul demands to know whether Obama spied on him

Rand Paul demands to know whether Obama spied on him

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rand paul

Following a report backing up President Donald Trump’s claims that he and other Americans were the subject of Obama administration spying during the 2016 election, Sen. Rand Paul is demanding any documents the administration may have compiled on him.

The Kentucky Republican announced via Twitter Friday that he has formally requested that the  White House and government Intelligence Committees turn over any information they have on whether the senator was a surveillance subject during Obama’s tenure.

Paul asked in a tweet: “Did the Obama admin go after presidential candidates, members of Congress, journalists, clergy, lawyers, fed judges?”

The lawmaker was referencing a report out this week from Circa which revealed that after loosening rules concerning access to NSA information, surveillance activity within the highest levels of government increased.

From the report:

In all, government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses. The activity amounted to a 27.5 percent increase over the prior year and more than triple the 9,500 such searches that occurred in 2013, the first year such data was kept.

The government in 2016 also scoured the actual contents of NSA intercepted calls and emails for 5,288 Americans, an increase of 13 percent over the prior year and a massive spike from the 198 names searched in 2013.

Paul says he wrote the White House asking for answers back in April after “an anonymous source recently alleged to me that my name, as well as the names of other Members of Congress, were unmasked, queried or both, in intelligence reports of intercepts during the prior administration.”

The senator supported President Trump’s claims about the previous administration’s election spying and “unmasking” procedures even as Obama officials categorically denied carrying out any such surveillance activity.

Paul in April said that former Obama national Security adviser Susan Rice is the central figure in the controversy.

“I believe Susan Rice abused the system and she did it for political purposes. She needs to be brought in and questioned under oath,” he said, adding, “This was a witch hunt that began with the Obama administration, sour grapes on the way out the door. They were going to use the intelligence apparatus to attack Trump, and I think they did.”

Source: Will County News

Deep state openly wars with Trump administration


Deep state openly wars with Trump administration

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Reports indicate that government bureaucrats are using the security clearance process to block key members of the Trump administration from accessing sensitive national security information. The politicization of the security process is a signal that unelected government insiders, not the appointees chosen by the elected Trump government, are ultimately in charge of the nation’s military.

Earlier this year in The Washington Times, intelligence expert Angelo Codevilla wrote that the CIA was insulting the president by blocking security credentials for Trump appointees.

From his piece:

The CIA has denied a security clearance to Trump National Security Council (NSC) official Robin Townley without any allegation, much less evidence of disloyalty to the United States. Quite simply, it is because the CIA disapproves of Mr. Townley’s attitude toward the agency, and this is unprecedented. President Trump appointed Mr. Townley to coordinate Africa policy at the NSC. The CIA did not want to deal with him. Hence, it used the power to grant security clearances to tell the president to choose someone acceptable to the agency, though not so much to him. This opens a larger issue: Since no one can take part in the formulation or execution of foreign or defense policy without a high-level security clearance, vetoing the president’s people by denying them clearances trumps the president.

Hence, if Mr. Trump does not fire forthwith the persons who thus took for themselves the prerogative that the American people had entrusted to him at the ballot box, chances are 100 percent that they will use that prerogative ever more frequently with regard to anyone else whom they regard as standing in the way of their preferred policies, as a threat to their reputation, or simply as partisan opponents. If Mr. Trump lets this happen, he will have undermined nothing less than the self-evident heart of the Constitution’s Article II: The president is the executive branch. All of its employees draw their powers from him and answer to him, not the other way around.

Evidently, the president didn’t get rid of those responsible.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday that officials within the intelligence machine have again made a decision about security clearance based not on the nation’s best interest but on bureaucrats’ desire to damage the president’s ability to lead effectively.

From the piece:

Adam S. Lovinger, a 12-year strategic affairs analyst with the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment (ONA), has been on loan to the NSC since January when he was picked for the position by then-National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn.

Lovinger was notified in a letter from the Pentagon on Monday that his Top-Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS-SCI) clearance had been suspended and that he had to return to the Pentagon.

The letter cited unspecified outside activities by Lovinger. The notice said the suspension was approved by Kevin Sweeney, chief of staff for Defense Secretary James Mattis.

One official said Lovinger was targeted by Trump opponents because of his conservative views and ties to Flynn, specifically his past association with the Flynn Intel Group, Inc., a consulting business.

The report comes on the heels of a Monday revelation from the outlet that politics are increasingly playing a role in the intelligence community’s decision making process.

Free Beacon reported:

The blocking of security clearances under Trump contrasts with the handling of clearances during the Obama administration when a key liberal adviser with a questionable security background was given a high-level clearance.

Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications under Obama, was denied an interim TS/SCI clearance by the FBI in October 2008, according to an email obtained from John Podesta last year.

The email stated that Rhodes was the only White House official out of 187 prospective White House aides to be denied the interim TS/SCI clearance.

Yet, despite the denial, Rhodes would later be granted access to some of the most secret U.S. intelligence information and emerge as one Obama’s closest aides who boasted of a “mind-meld” with the president on various issues.

Rhodes became one of the most active originators and shapers of key American foreign and national security policies under Obama.

The push-back Trump is openly getting from intelligence insiders helps to explain his total reversal on many foreign policy promises since the election.

Source: Will County News

DEEP STATE TOOK DOWN NIXON, PLANS SAME FOR TRUMP

DEEP STATE TOOK DOWN NIXON, PLANS SAME FOR TRUMP

Pat Buchanan: Probably no 2 presidents have faced such hostility, hatred from media

Published: 1 day ago

 

For two years, this writer has been consumed by two subjects.

First, the presidency of Richard Nixon, in whose White House I served from its first day to its last, covered in my new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

The second has been the astonishing campaign of Donald Trump and his first 100-plus days as president.

In many ways, the two men could not have been more different.

Trump is a showman, a performer, a real estate deal-maker, born to wealth, who revels in the material blessings his success has brought. Nixon, born to poverty, was studious, reserved, steeped in history, consumed with politics and policy, and among the most prepared men ever to assume the presidency.

Yet the “mess” Trump inherited bears striking similarities to Nixon’s world in 1969.

Both took office in a nation deeply divided.

Nixon was elected in a year marked by the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, race riots in 100 cities, and street battles between cops and radicals at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

By the fall of 1969, Nixon had buses surrounding his White House and U.S. Airborne troops in the basement of his Executive Office Building.

Trump’s campaign and presidency have also been marked by huge and hostile demonstrations.

Both men had their elections challenged by the toxic charge that they colluded with foreign powers to influence the outcome.

Nixon’s aides were accused of conspiring with Saigon to torpedo Lyndon Johnson’s Paris peace talks. Trump aides were charged with collusion with Vladimir Putin’s Russia to disseminate stolen emails of the Democratic National Committee. The U.S. establishment, no stranger to the big lie, could not and cannot accept that the nation preferred these outsiders.

Nixon took office with 525,000 troops tied down in Vietnam. Trump inherited Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history, and wars in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

Nixon pledged to end the Vietnam War with honor and begin an era of negotiations – and did. Trump promised to keep us out of new Mideast wars and to reach an accommodation with Russia.

Nixon and Trump both committed to remake the Supreme Court. Having pledged to select a Southerner, Nixon saw two of them, Judges Clement Haynsworth and Harrold Carswell, savaged by the Senate.

While Nixon was the first president since Zachary Taylor to take office without his party’s having won either house of Congress, Trump took office with his party in control of both. Thus, Trump’s nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, made it.

Probably no two presidents have ever faced such hostility and hatred from the media. After his 1969 “Silent Majority” speech on Vietnam was trashed, Nixon declared war, authorizing an attack on the three networks by Vice President Spiro Agnew.

Trump has not stopped bashing the media since he came down the escalator at Trump Tower to declare his candidacy.

In Trump’s first major victory on Capitol Hill, the House voted narrowly to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Only with a tie-breaking vote by Agnew in August 1969 did Nixon win his first big victory – Senate approval of a strategic missile defense.

Though Nixon had backed every civil rights law of the 1950s and ’60s, he was charged with pursuing a racist “Southern strategy” to capture the South from Dixiecrats, whose ilk had ruled it for a century.

Trump was also slandered for running a “racist” campaign.

Trump and Nixon were supported by the same loyalists – “forgotten Americans,” “Middle Americans,” “blue-collar Democrats” – and opposed and detested by the same enemy, a political-media-intellectual-cultural establishment. And this establishment is as determined to break and bring down Trump as it was to break and bring down Nixon.

Yet though Trump and Nixon ran up similar Electoral College victories, Nixon at the end of 1969 was at 68 percent approval and only 19 percent disapproval. Trump, a third of the way through his first year, is underwater in Gallup.

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Nixon’s achievements in his first term were extraordinary.

He went to Beijing and opened up Mao Zedong’s China to the world, negotiated with Moscow the greatest arms limitation agreement since the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and withdrew all U.S. forces from South Vietnam.

He desegregated the South, ended the draft, gave the vote to all 18-year-olds, indexed Social Security against inflation, created the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, named four justices to the Supreme Court, presided over six moon landings, declared a “war on cancer,” proposed a guaranteed annual income, created revenue sharing with the states, took America off the gold standard and let the dollar float.

He then won a 49-state landslide in 1972, creating a “New Majority,” and setting the stage for Republican control of the presidency for 16 of the next 20 years.

But in June 1972, a bungled bugging at the DNC, which Nixon briefly sought to contain and then discussed as the White House tapes were rolling, gave his enemies the sword they needed to run him through.

The same deep state enemies await a similar opening to do to Trump what they did to Nixon. Rely upon it.

http://www.wnd.com/2017/05/deep-state-took-down-nixon-plans-same-for-trump/#0oqIu5dP7FBKqQ8d.99

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C Sixth-graders learn about weather, navigation from United Express pilot

News Release
Homer CCSD 33C
Goodings Grove Luther J. Schilling William E. Young William J. Butler
Hadley Middle Homer Jr. High
Contact:
Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager
cbrautigam@homerschools.org
| 708-226-7628
For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2017
Sixth-graders learn about weather, navigation from United Express
pilot
File_003.jpeg
See how math and science are used to fly
Hadley Middle School sixth-graders now see a connection between learning
and real life.
Captain Ken Hellem, a pilot with United Express, stopped by the school
recently and talked to students about his 20-year career and how he uses
math and science daily. File_001.jpeg
“It was a nice tie in with Next Generation Science Standards and preparing
future ready students,” said sixth-grade math teacher Heather Martello who
arranged the visit.
It wasn’t difficult to convince the pilot to stop by. Hellem is Martello’s
brother.
File_002.jpeg
He’s also a resident of Homer Glen with a preschooler at Young School.
During his visit to Hadley Middle School, Hellem discussed weather,
navigation, weight and balance, and aerodynamics. He also answered
questions from students.
“All in all, it was a great learning experience,” said Martello.
Like us on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?
fref=ts&ref=br_tf

Source: Will County News

Trump News May 9, 2017

WHITE HOUSE MEMO

With yesterday’s nominations, President Donald J. Trump continues delivering on his promises to the American people by filling judicial vacancies with jurists who are committed to upholding the Constitution and defending the rule of law, not advancing their personal political agenda.

MORNING:

  • 10:00AM: President Trump meets with National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster

OVAL OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS

President Trump Announces Judicial Candidate Nominations.
Read More

President Trump calls President-Elect Emmanuel Macron of France.
Read More

WHITE HOUSE UPDATES

Photo of the Day:

Vice President Mike Pence participates in an honor flight reception in the Indian Treaty Room. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen).
View Photo

Republicans just took a major step toward rescuing Americans from Obamacare.
Read More

Vice President Pence honors Public Service Recognition Week and National Military Appreciation Month.
Read More


Retweet


Retweet

PRESS ROOM

Watch yesterday’s press briefing with Sean Spicer:

Today, a press briefing will be held at 1:30PM ET in the White House Briefing Room with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Watch it LIVE here.

NEWS REPORTS

  • The Hill: Business coalition: Trump tax plan ‘will spark an economic boom’
    Read More
  • Washington Examiner: Manufacturing openings, hires rise to highest levels of the recovery
    Read More
  • Daily Signal: Younger Judicial Nominees Give Trump Chance for Legacy in Courts
    Read More

 

Source: Will County News

What’s is Glass-Steagall

Is This Glass-Steagall Half Empty?
Jason Williams Photo By Jason Williams
Written Friday, May 5, 2017
Since the financial collapse of 2008, we’ve heard lots of talk about depression-era legislation referred to as Glass-Steagall.

We’ve been told it would have prevented the crisis. We’ve also been told it had nothing to do with the things that caused the crisis.

Depending on whom you listen to, it was either the greatest legislation ever or a complete waste of time.

And since Donald Trump started campaigning for the U.S. presidency, we’ve heard even more talk about it. He says he’s for it. A lot of the people who put him in office are for it.

Maybe he’s really a proponent of breaking up big banks. I doubt that.

Maybe he just wants to garner support from voters who are still clamoring for a reinstatement of the legislation. I think that’s more likely.

Maybe he’s just blowing wind. Probably the most likely explanation.

I’m not here to talk about that or try to guess what’s going on behind the bluster. I’ll leave that to the talking heads on the 24-hour news networks.

I’d rather get into what Glass-Steagall really was and talk about how it worked (or failed) to prevent another banking collapse.

What’s is Glass-Steagall?

The Glass-Steagall Act is actually the Banking Act of 1933 in its entirety. But when people refer to Glass-Steagall these days, they’re only talking about four provisions.

And when people talk about a reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, they’re only referring to one of those four provisions.

When you really get down to it, most people are only talking about two sections of that one provision.

You see, two of the four provisions are still intact. And everyone seems to be happy about one of them being gone…

The legislation created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This was to prevent another run on the banks like what happened in 1929.

It’s why customers don’t have to be worried about their accounts — at least not any that are under $250,000. Those are insured by the FDIC, and pretty much every bank offers that kind of protection.

That was never repealed. And it was a big part of the legislation.

Interestingly enough, Glass-Steagall also laid the foundation for the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC). That’s the group that meets eight times a year and sets interest rates.

I say “interestingly enough” because a lot of the people out there talking about how great Glass-Steagall was also think the FOMC has too much power. Those are the same people who complain about the easy money policy of the Federal Reserve. And they’ve forgotten it was Glass-Steagall that gave the FOMC that kind of authority.

Then there’s the one part that nobody cares was repealed. It forbade banks from paying interest on “demand accounts.” Those are accounts that can be accessed by savers at any time. So, your checking or savings account couldn’t accrue any interest.

The only way to get interest was by having a term deposit like a certificate of deposit. If you couldn’t easily get to the money, banks could pay interest on it.

That was repealed in 2011 — long after the recession. And nobody seems to be hankering for a return to the days of old there.

What Does Everyone Want?

There’s only one part of Glass-Steagall anyone cares about these days, and it’s the one that separated commercial banking from investment banking. Well, sort of separated it.

You’re probably wondering why I said “sort of.” Worry not. I’ll get to that a little later. First let’s talk about those sections of the regulation.

Section 16: This part of the legislation prohibited national banks from buying or selling securities except for a customer’s account. It also prohibited them from underwriting or distributing securities — except U.S. government, state, and local bonds. Section 5 (c) applied these rules to state banks that were members of the Federal Reserve System. Still in effect.

Section 20: This kept any Federal Reserve member bank from being affiliated with a company that “engaged principally” in “the issue, flotation, underwriting, public sale, or distribution” of securities. This was repealed in 1999.

Section 21: This is the part that prohibited any company or person from taking deposits if it was in the business of “issuing, underwriting, selling, or distributing” securities. That means investment companies like Smith Barney or Merrill Lynch can’t also have a savings wing. Also, still in effect.

Section 32: This section made it illegal for a Federal Reserve member bank’s officers and directors to have a role at any of the companies noted in Section 21. But the Federal Reserve Board could grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis. This section was also repealed in 1999.

So, What Do You Mean, “Sort Of?”

Now you’ve got a little background on the parts of Glass-Steagall some people want back. So, let’s talk a bit about how it was already dead long before being repealed.

There were so many loopholes in Glass-Steagall that it never really had a big impact on banks.

You see, except for Section 21, the legislation only applied to Federal Reserve member commercial banks. To put that into perspective, only about 38% of U.S. banks are currently members of the Federal Reserve System.

That means most of these rules never applied to savings and loans, state nonmember banks, and any other firm or individual in the business of taking deposits.

Also, Sections 16 and 21 prohibit banks from selling securities and prevent securities firms from taking deposits. But the legislation’s affiliation provisions didn’t have those absolute prohibitions.

Section 20 merely prohibited a bank from directly affiliating with a firm “engaged principally” in underwriting, distributing, or dealing in securities. It didn’t say anything about the bank’s parent company not doing the same thing.

Section 32 said a bank couldn’t share employees or directors with a securities firm. And that could be circumvented with an exemption from the Federal Reserve Board.

It was those two differences that led to a lot of regulatory actions. And those actions pretty much took the teeth out of Glass-Steagall long before it was ever repealed.

Plus, no part of the legislation but Section 21 applied to all institutions. And that gave plenty of opportunities for banks and their lawyers to exploit the loopholes.

Starting back in the 1960s, regulators’ interpretations of the law let commercial banks engage in more and more securities activities. Banks were able to create financial products that blurred the distinction between banking and security products. That led to even more leniency from courts and eventually the merging of banking and securities companies.

One of largest examples of failure came in 1998. Citigroup (the owner of Citibank) bought Solomon Smith Barney (a securities firm). The interpretation of Glass-Steagall at the time did nothing to stop it. By that point, Glass-Steagall was effectively dead.

That was a year before the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act repealed Sections 20 and 32 of Glass-Steagall and put the final nails in the coffin.

Don’t Call It a Comeback

Glass-Steagall may make a comeback. I don’t know. There are a bunch of people who think it would be a good idea. There are also a bunch who think it would be a waste of time.

Judging by how effective it was the first time, I’m probably a member of the latter group.

Any reenactment of Sections 20 and 32 of Glass-Steagall would likely be no more than a symbolic gesture to garner voter support. If it wasn’t enforced last time, what makes people think it’ll be enforced this time?

I’m all for protecting the American taxpayer from funding another bailout. I just don’t think this kind of legislation will do it.

I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there with a different opinion. But, hey, that’s mine.

Plus, I’m inclined to agree with my colleague, Briton Ryle, when he says big banks are a good thing.

They can back huge lines of credit for corporations. They can offer cost savings to their customers. They can diversify their risk better than small ones. They’re something we need.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the news for what’s going to happen with all this talk. I’m sure you will, too. But I’m convinced nothing will come to fruition.

And if it does, I certainly don’t think it’s going to break up the banks the way we’re being told. Honestly, I hope it doesn’t.

To investing with integrity (and a grain of salt),

Jason Williams
Wealth Daily

Source: Will County News